No fashionista here…

The Fashion Police would lock me up and throw away the keys. I hate to shop and my clothing consists primarily of exercise clothes and work-with-paint-or-dye clothing. Since I don’t work in an office anymore, I really don’t need much in the way of nicer things. However, it’s gotten to the point where I HAD to go shopping, but it was a nice outing with my daughter and daughter-in-law. We had lunch at a really nice Mediterranean restaurant and slowly worked our way through several shops. We all managed to find a few things, too, which is not always the case!

Today hubby and I stocked up on groceries and I found even more clothing, but it’s more of the kind I usually buy…not pretty little one of a kind items, but a decent shirt and buy one of every color! Yep—same shirt, 4 ways, and that kind of fashion life is just fine with me!

Not much sewing going on lately, though. I have a few small pieces that I want to work on, but spring is finally here and I’m mowing and planting a few annuals and hanging around outside more…and that’s just fine with me, too!

And then I run into one that I can’t decide on the orientation OR what beads to use……….UP?

Or DOWN?

And it’s not like I don’t have plenty of beads! Bonus time—my former sister-in-law knows that I’m a beader and she has decided that she doesn’t need any of the beads she has collected, so she gave them to ME!!!! A huuuuuuge tote full of them.

And there were some in there that were perfect for this piece. I am such a lucky person.

I need to get the garage cleaned out and ready for the dye class that I’m teaching. It’s a real mess out there! It will be ready for class, though, no matter what else is going on.

My daughter surprised me with a new mug for Mother’s Day. I had seen and liked it a few months ago and promptly forgot about it—but she remembered!

And I’m drinking my coffee out of it right now!

So blogging is probably going to be sporadic, as it usually is in busy times, but I’ll try to get at least a couple of posts out a week.

Oh—I’m planning on getting some lavendar plants at the nursery tomorrow. I’m excited about that because I love them and have forgotten to look for them in previous springs…….they do not thrive where I have had them, so I will have to ask some questions this time about what they really need.

 

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Cousins Re-connect

Met up in Chicago with my California cousin Peg, with a plan to spend a few days doing family research. Spent the night and had to take at least one pic of the skyline. Nothing like a big city at night!

The next day we connected with our Chicago area cousin Bill. He has an old one-horse buggy from the family and it is just beautiful!

He also has this beautiful old car…which he admits he has not cleaned up and run in a few years!

AND he has a serious woodworking hobby!

Loved catching up with him and his lovely wife.

Then we spent a couple of days going to cemeteries and libraries and the old family farm sites. Found out we had a relative who was running a dance pavilion and got arrested and convicted, from not having the proper permits. Quite a local scandal, but it was during the Roaring 20’s and I think it was a time when people were looking to have a good time!

Our cemetery searches found almost everyone that Peggy was looking for, and maybe all that were ‘find-able.’ It helped that most of the relatives had big headstones with their names on them! I didn’t take any pics of those but took one of this monument.

I came upon it from the back and thought it was a tree stump with carving until I got close. It’s stone! Totally awesome!

There are some other cousins from my mom’s side of the family that I am going to try to meet up with on our way home. This could be a really good weekend for making family connections!

In any event, we have had a wonderful time. Peg had done so much research on the family that she made it easy to find any missing links. Better than that, though, is that she and Rick were great to hang around with!!

Spring Break Sewing

The grandson is on spring break this week and we are babysitting him every day. This is the extent of my sewing…

We have done painting and stenciling and made stamps.

We have done some household tasks, like replacing old shower curtains and a damaged mailbox.

We have done some necessary math, which is NOT his favorite part of the day.

We have also gone to the movies, which WAS his favorite part.

This is a great time for us and I would never think of giving up time with him in favor sewing. Nope!

Sewing will resume in a few days…thanks for playing along with me. Go find a kid and get a hug!

Quilt for my girl!

The next big use up the stash project is calling. That pile of black and whites isn’t getting any smaller…and I have a few more on the shelves. These are just the fat quarters. There is yardage!

I’m also being tempted by a bunch of turquoise prints

…because I have more of these colors than any other, except maybe orange! But, nooooooo….there is something that has a much higher priority!

My daughter is a big fan of fonts and text and I have long planned on making her a quilt with text fabric. I collected a fairly good number of text fabrics and had good intentions. Well, we know what road is paved with good intentions! I used some of the fabrics on a challenge piece because I had so many. Then I made a quilt with them and it didn’t turn out as I wanted and it ended up as a quilt on hubby’s chair. Then I used someĀ  for a class I took and another bit for another challenge and now, this is all I have left and my daughter still doesn’t have a text quilt!!!!

Looking at the black and white with the little bits of reds I had been using with them did not inspire me at all. I hoped Deb would have a strong preference and showed her these blue fabrics.

And some green fabrics.

Hmmmm–I love those greens so I went ahead and made the decision for both of us! And after I made a couple of plain blocks, I finally figured out how I want to make this quilt.

Primarily little strips like this with green. The green will be spread out more than this, but I’m making the parts with green first. And I remembered as I was doing improv cutting and sewing that this is a sloooooow process! Nothing quick like the strip piecing of that last big quilt. However, it’s the only way to get the result I want, so slow stitching it is!

Yes, I am currently in use up the stash mode, but I can’t get so caught up in it that I forget the more important reasons for quilts. Family always comes first and making a quilt that will make my daughter happy will be so much fun for me.

And I think it’s free ice cream day at DQ so I’ll be sure to make time for that, too! Priorities, after all!

 

Space Marine Quilt

The only thing I did today was quilt AJ’s Space Marine Quilt. I have learned to wind several bobbins, usually 6, and when I have used them all up, it is time to stretch and take a break.

There were 18 bobbins wound and I only needed 15….but that took me plenty long enough, even with breaks! I did end up with a meandering star design and it covered the area fairly quickly.

Ordinarily he would be here tonight, using it! We had to adjust our schedule due to icy weather and he will be here Sunday night instead. I am so looking forward to wrapping him up in it. It’s the first big kid quilt I’ve made especially for him and I hope he enjoys it for many years…at least until he gets old enough to want a more adult theme!

And I’m ready to say that I’ve seen enough of my sewing machine for one day!

How geese become stars…

It’s holiday time and all semblance of routine has been abandoned. Family and celebration and eating are pretty much all that has happened lately. There was a lot of football watching and knitting so that I could keep up with the couch sitting and keep my hands busy!

Today, as we start tip-toeing back to normalcy, I began sewing the quilt for my grandson.

AJ loves purple, but only DARK purple, so this little bit is all I’ll add, as a border around the skeleton.

The stars I planned are easily made from flying geese and flying geese are easily made with the four-square method. I know I’ve told you all this before, but it bears repeating because sometimes we forget the easy stuff! I use the Flying Geese x 4 ruler by Lazy Girl Designs and it’s even easier without having to do the math!

Now you can spend a lot of time marking diagonals when you have to sew on each side of them, but I prefer to take a few minutes and fold the small squares in half and press. Then sew on each side of that line…very quick!

I’ll be the first to admit that my piecing is not always precise, but most often in this case, no ripping is needed. Simply sew a straighter line right over the top and continue on!

The second set of squares goes just as quickly…

and then the geese are ready to be placed around a central square. Voila! A star!

It was less than two hours to get this much done……………

…..and I only know that because I was couch sitting again for the start of the GLI hockey game this afternoon! I did sew a few more blocks later on and the next step is to make some smaller geese and stars. Then I’ll be able to get a final design layout and get this top put together.

Keith joked about me having it (the quilt) done by Friday and I laughed…but there is a very real possibility that the top could be done by then! It’s not so much of a joke anymore…and I’m excited about it. Now I only hope that AJ likes it when it’s done. He’s already surprised me with his definite fabric preferences. I hope there are no unpleasant surprises when he sees the finished product!

Love being busy!

It’s so much better to be busy than to be bored, but sometimes busy is just too busy! I don’t have a bunch of pictures to show you, though I sure have been doing a lot of stuff.

Finally got the last of the leaves and garden detritus taken care of–at least as much as it’s gonna get until spring! Rain is what determined the end point there, and it was cold, too. I’m never ready for the cold weather and this year I wanted to do so much more dyeing out in the garage where I can spread everything out. There will still be dyeing done, but in my basement studio, it gets done on a much smaller scale.

Friday was a guild sponsored workshop with Paula Golden. As we were starting out, she had a small sample that she offered up to anyone who wanted to start creating with that. I did not volunteer, but was challenged to take it because it was mostly purple and my friends all know that I do not like purple!!! This is how far I got with it in class.

There will be more added to it before it’s done…quilting, for sure, and maybe some more metallic yarn or beads. I’m not sure, but something. Here’s a close up.

I took advantage of the fraying ability of silk…love those raggedy edges!

And, of course, I did the postcard demo on Saturday. Lots of supplies and choices, showing from start to finish, and as many edge finishes as I could work in.

Saturday afternoon was my rest and relaxation time, andĀ  I’m making progress on my red houses.

Sunday, my usual day of doing nothing, has now changed to an exercise day! My daughter and I are now enrolled in kickboxing classes! I thought she was joking, but she was not and now Sunday afternoon is kickboxing time. We actually did a tryout class and found it to be a great workout, so we’re going to do it for a while.

And sometimes AJ has hockey on Sunday, too, so this is where our Sunday started!

He’s the one in black…this is part of the reason they have names and numbers on their backs!

This week will be devoted to Thanksgiving, of course, and we have to finish getting the furniture back into the house from the garage, too. I’m hoping to sneak in a little bit of sewing time, but the odds are against it! Oh, yeah–AJ will be here all day Wednesday, looking to start putting up Christmas decorations. I’m tired already!

Looking forward to fewer commitments and more couch time after this weekend. Lots more couch time. And naps….yeah, naps!