Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I finished the title quilt

Hi! I finally finished the quilt pictured in the title. It is two blocks, a butterfly and a flower. I started this quilt more that 10 years ago. I cut out all the patches for the blocks and sewed a few of each, then packed it away. I found the pieces about 5 years ago and put them together with red. I found a butterfly print for the back. After quilting about half of it, it went back into storage for a few years. I took it out last summer and finally finished it this September. This quilt reminds me of my mother. She taught me how to sew when I was 8 years old, and how to quilt when I was 14. She died before I started this quilt, but it was quilted with the feathers she liked.

Thats my dog Lily on the bed. She hates the camera.

I decided this quilt is for my bed. When the weather started changing, I put it on my bed. I had forgotten how warm a quilt is. At least for now, I don't need the other blankets I usually have on my bed in the winter.

Take a look at other quilter's quilts by following this link.

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall is here, Winter is threatening.

When I posted about the garden, I forgot about the grapes. We have one grapevine that grows up a 10 foot section of fence along the path to the back yard. Last year we thought we would get a harvest, but the birds got it first!. This year when they started turning purple, we covered the vine with bird netting. When we picked the grapes, we got a large tote about full. Looks like 1 1/2 or 2 bushels.

We spent two days making juice Mom's way. Fill a large pan with cleaned grapes, add water until just below the top of the grapes. Bring slowly to a boil and boil for about 3-5 minutes. Let cool for about a hour then put through the food mill to get most of the juice out. Then put through a straining cloth, in our case a large white dish cloth, which turned PURPLE after 5 batches of grapes.

We put 12 quartes in jars and froze it. It will be a little taste of summer when the snow is flying. It dilutes 1 to 1 with water, add a little sugar. Yum.

We also had about 22 cups of juice to make jelly with. 12 half pints and 10 full pints. Yum.

I don't know the name of the grape, it's not good to eat raw, but the best juice and jelly.

Looks nice.

I spent a day cleaning and reorganizing the food storage. We may not have a year's supply, like the church asks, but, we have enough to get by for a long time, if needed. I only found a few items that were outdated and needed to be tossed. The got lost behind newer items. We can see what we have now. We still plan on some more canned tomatoes, and a case each of corn and beans. We use a lot of them. Most of our food storage is rotated as we use it. And it is food that we use on a regular basis.

When we were growing up, we put up a lot of fruit and tomatoes, and Mom would buy extra when she could and add to the food storage and the freezer. When things got tight, we used to joke about Mom's macaroni tree in the basement! But we usually had enough to get by. My Dad was a carpenter, and sometimes work was scarce in the winter. As a kid, I don't remember worrying about not having enough to eat. So I continue the tradition. Its a keeper.

I have a shelf of freeze dried foods. I plan on adding to it from time to time. That food keeps good up to 10 years. We do need to get a grain mill for flour and a couple more containers of wheat.

I'm not a fanatic about having a food supply, but I do like to feel that we can survive in pinch. If we needed to help out a family member, we would be able to. When the Boy Scouts came by for donations, we had food to donate in the shelves. If we get snowed in in the winter, we don't have to rush to the store before the roads close. We have gas heat even if the power goes out. We could rig a few tarps so we could cook on the barbeque, on the porch, if needed. A couple of oil lamps, plenety of quilts and blankets. We have done a little planning for "just in case". We also have a freezer to store frozen meat and veggies, too.

I used to have an old sheet thumbtacked to the shelves for my design wall. I took that down and I have a new curtain rod and and new sheet to put up. It will be nicer than the old sheet and make getting to the shelves easier.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

September and October

As sorry as our garden was, we did get 20 cups of frozen green peppers and 5 quarts of frozen tomatoes. It's freezing now, at night. So we turned on the heat in the greenhouse. We hope to keep getting tomatoes from the greenhouse until about thanksgiving.

While I couldn't drive or sew, I did some other crafting. A few years ago, I made some "Fairy Houses" out of the wooden bird houses you can get at the craft store. I glued on rocks and flowers and stuff to make them whimsical.

This is the first one. I cut pictures of fairies out of magazines and glued them behind the large glass pebbles you can buy. I wanted it to look like someone was home and looking out the window. I used cinnamon sticks to make a door.

On this one I used a bamboo placemat for the roof. I took each banboo and split it lengthwise and cut it to size. After the rocks for the walls, I used moss and flowers to add interest.

These houses were made about 3 years ago. I sold the round one.

I had collected 2 large and 4 small wooden houses. I had also collected a lot of silk flowers, small baskets, etc. So I got out my paints and started with the small houses. these are about 3 - 5 inches tall, taller with the foliage. I painted these and sprinkled clear glitter in the wet paint. I used metalic paint in silver, gold, and copper with the other paints. It doesnt show in the pictures but it made the paint sort of opalescent. I found I could cut a door using a utility knife. I painted the inside with glow in the dark paint. The floors were carpeted with soft moss, for the fairies to sleep on.

Green house with copper roof, front and back.

Blue house with gold/brown roof, front and back.

Blue house with silver roof.

Yellow house with copper roof.

This is one of the larger houses about 8 - 9 inches tall. up to 12 inches with foliage. On this one I glued rocks about 1/3 of the way up the wall and around the door. These rocks are about 1/4 inch. I flled in with a course sand, about the size of bird gravel. I used this to fill in between the rocks and up the rest of the walls. I had some small flower pots I wanted to use, but they wouldnt fit on the house base. So I glued on two 2 inch wood circles on the front corners, and to balance it out 1 inch circles on the other corners. This gave me room to put the pots on the front of the house. I used some plastic faceted beads on all the houses. I "scattered" them on the bases and under the plants so they just peep out.

Here is the other large house. There were columns on the front so I ran "rose" vines arount them and up onto the roof. I only put the rocks up partway on these walls.

August and September

July and August were very stressful. After my auto accident, Nyda broke her toe. She stumbled over the vaccum. A few days later, a dear friend fell and broke her hip. We helped her by feeding her cat, etc. She was in the hospital for an operation and recovery for a few days, then went home using crutches and a walker. She is much better now.

Our brother Mike came over on a Saturday, which he does a lot. He was sleeping on the couch and it was hard to wake him up. He said he had gone to the Doctor because he was having trouble breathing. I asked him if it was the meds they gave him that were making him so sleepy, and he said yes. So I let him sleep. Until an ambulance pulled in to the yard. The clinic had sent it because they said he hadn't answered their call. He said he was ok, but they would not leave until we said we would make sure he went to the clinic.

He didn't seem to know what was happening, so Nyda drove him to the clinic. The doctor at the clinic said he needed to go to the hospital because he had double Pneumonia. He refused to go by ambulance so she drove him to the hospital. After he was checked in, and was changing to the hospital gown, the nurse saw his leg. It was red and swollen from the knee to the ankle. She got the doctor and he took one look and said he didn't have pneumonia, but celulitis. They got him on some major antibiotics. The doctor later told us that he was 6 - 8 hours from death. If he had gone to sleep at home he would not have woke up. Scary.

He was in the hospital for 4 days. We got a twin bead and set it up in the living room and he came home to our house. I had to learn how to change IV's. He was on IV's for a week at home, with a nurse coming in to change the bandages. He then went in for dressing changes and they didn't like his progress so he was on daily IV's at the wound center for another 2-3 weeks. He's on oral antibiotics now. He is getting better, but it will be a while before he gets all his strength back. His leg is still in a bandage and is still pretty red. It's been most of 2 months for him.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

July and August

I made up a pincushion pattern and submitted it to a quilt magazine. I haven't heard from them yet. A local woman, who has been published, said that is a good thing, as they tell you right away if they don't like a submission. They may still turn it down, but since they haven't told me no thanks, someone still likes it.

I saw a picture of an owl necklace on the web somewhere. It was sort of cute, but I dont wear jewelry. The owls were flat. One day, I got the inspiration to make round, stuffed owls that were simular. I made up a pattern, and after some false starts I came up with these owl pincushions. I took the first 3 pairs to my quilt guild meeting. I was asked to make and donate 12 pairs to a fundraiser in September. The guild is trying to setup a quilt museum. So I made up a lot of owls.

On July 28th I was on my way to a job interview, and worrying about what to say, etc. and got into an accident. It totaled my car, broke my ankle, various bumps, scrapes, sprains, and cuts. I hit my head and my forehead swelled up like a Klingon (without the bumps) and my eyes turned the most horrible shade of black. Over the next two weeks, the bruse sort of melted down my face. I had red eyes for a few days. I just have a little reminder in a few places now, but I still have a swollen area above my eyes, look like a neandertal. And I have to wear this stupid black boot thing for another 3 to six weeks. The doctor said the xray yesterday doesn't show a lot of healing.

It's my right ankle and I haven't been able to sew or drive for 3 weeks now. It's a good thing I got the owls done. In fact, they were in a box on the seat of my car, when I had the accident. I was going to deliver them after the interview. I still haven't gotten them delivered. There is a guild meeting tonight, and Nyda, my sister, will drive me over so I can deliver the owls. I need a job, but even if I got another interview, I can't get my dress slacks over the boot, and I can't drive. Sorry for the pity rant. I'm feeling like crap about this.

I have been working on hand embroidery. I saw a metal dragon wall ornement in a gardening catalog a while back that I liked. I put the picture in my files, and after the accident, I enlarged it up to about 18x24 inches and transferred it to a piece of black linen. I used gold colored pearl threads couched down with a gold colored sewing thread and outlined the whole thing. I haven't decided if its done or if I want to do a fill stitch or couch it all in the gold pearl. I only used it because I had a lot of it left over from a store I had about 10 years ago. The store lasted less than a year, but the inventory will outlast me. I have a big tote full of DMC floss and another full of linens. I always check there before buying any floss. Nyda kitted up a new cross stitch pattern the other day and only had to buy 3 skeins of floss.

While I'm pondering on the fate of the dragon, I got out my Nemisis, Teresa Wentzler's Peacock tapestry. I have been working on this for about 12 years now, off and on, mostly off. I think it is beautiful, but I can't seem to make any progress with it. I work from the bottom up and I am almost 2/3 finished.

I recently moved my room around so I have my sewing desk in front of the window. I think I like it better here. I also was able to get rid of one desk chair, and it leaves me a larger space to move in. I just have to turn around and I'm at the computer. I don't have to walk around the sewing desk to get to the computer.

I'm Back

I hadn't realized it has been so long since I posted. This has been a weird summer.

We finally planted the garden June 9. the first time we had 3 days without rain. The tomatoes were 2 feet tall and so were the peppers. The looked so good. Lots of baby tomatoes and peppers.

Just 3 days later, we picked the first ripe tomatoes.

Then on June 17, there was a frost warning. We could cover the peppers, but what to do for the tomatoes. My sister uses long lenths of pvc pipe to stake them. We decided to slit the bottom on large plastic garbage bags and slip them down the pipes to cover the plants. The next morning the peppers were ok. The tomatoes looked a little frozen, but for the most part looked ok. Later in the day, I looked out at the garden and the tomato plants were black and drooping down to about 8 inches above the ground. Gone. We still had 4 greenhouse tomatoes in the greenhouse, but these outside plants never recovered to produce anything but small stunted tomatoes.

Who expects a killing frost on June 17?!!! The joys of gardening in Idaho.

We have been gettiing some wonderful tomatoes out of the greenhouse. And cucumbers.
We have just started gettiing summer squash. Peas are usually a thing of the past by now, but ours are not ready to pick yet.

I still do not have a job. I've been living off my savings but that won't last too much longer. I have been working on some sewing projects.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Red/Green Crazy Quilt Square

I finally finished a crazy quilt square. It took me longer than I thought it would. I always seem to have 3 or 4 projects going at the same time. Even though it was a green/red color scheme, I didn't want to do it as a Christmas block. I did the spider with some black beads and a black sparkly floss, but it didnt show up well, so I ripped it out and did it over again with the purple and silver beads. All in all, I think it turned out OK.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Surprise on the patio

We have 70 degree weather today, so we spent the morning cleaning up part of the yard. We decided to barbecue some hamburgers for lunch. After pulling the patio furniture pads out of the shed we opened the barbecue and SURPRISE:

Some birds had decided that they had found a perfect place to make a nest.

After we cleaned it out, we let it run for a few minutes and cleaned the grates before we cooked.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


My sister, Nyda, has been starting her plants from seed for several years. Over the last 4-5 years she has invested over $3000 in her greenhouse. she covered it with greenhouse film the first year. We get so much wind here it tore the film apart in 2 years. Originally the greenhouse was 8 x 12 feet. Before we put the fiberglass on, we added another 4 feet, making it 12 x 12. It's still not big enough. Last year, Nyda added the propain heat. We had tomatoes until November, last year.

I took these pictures today. As you can see, the tomatoes need to transplanted outside, but it's been too cold and wet until this week. Hopefully, by the weekend we can move them out.

This A-frame stand was setup in the house, in March, with lights hanging above the seed starting trays, until it got warm enough to move them out to the greenhouse.

The hanging plants on the left are cucumbers, on the right are fuschias started from tiny plants about a month ago. The fuschias will hang on the patio this summer, the cucumbers stay in the greenhouse along with 4 large pots of greenhouse tomatoes.

Tomatoes and below them, peppers.

The outside of greenhouse, attached to garage. My studio is on the other side of that wall.

New quilt tops,quilt, flying geese

I have been piecing flying geese blocks. As I was sorting through my stash, I found that I had a lot of small pieces, 1/4 yard or less, that were related by color, either violet, purple or green, and all mixes. I found speed piecing instructions on the web. I couldn't find the original site, but it is also here: http://www.quilterscache.com/H/Howtomakegeese.html
I used method B. I started putting them in a shoe box and when it was full I had enough for the two quilts shown.

The stripped quilt is double bed sized. I found the lilac print and the pink in my stash. I used white on white prints for the white.

I used the leftover blocks to make the smaller quilt. Its about 55 x 66 inches. I didnt put the outer border on at first, but it felt unfinished. Adding the darker boarder framed it and it looks better.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Help Identifying image.

I copy images from all over the web to use for inspiration. I want to try to make a quilt out of this striped star image, but I can't remember where I got it. Does anyone know where it came from? I'd like to give credit if I make it into a quilt.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sewing, Sewing

Hi. I'm sorry for taking so long to post. I have been job hunting and have only had 2 interviews in 4 months. I'm a bit more depressed than usual. I have a friend that rented a spot in a flea market and offered to put some of my items for sale. I'ts been a bit slow. I also put some of my collectables up for sale. They are doing better than the crafts!

I made some small purses with my beaded appliques on them. My sister wanted a small purse/wallet to use for the summer. She only carries a debit card, cell phone, and a small amount of cash. In the winter it goes in her coat pocket, but for summer she wanted somthing with a long handle that could be removed.

I sew an outline of the motif in chain stitch on the fabric before I bead it. So I trimmed to about 1/4 inch from that outline, clipped the curves and folded the extra fabric to the back and basted it to the back of the beading.

Then I appliqued the motif to the front part of the purse, sewing through the chain stitch so the applique stitches dont show.

After that I sewed in a zipper, added a lining and a handle. I put two pockets inside. I think they turned out ok.

This is a bag I beaded on a dark blue velvet. It is lined with a sparkly blue satin.

These are a couple of purses I made from my stash of fabrics.

And here are some flower dolls.

My sewing machine tension went crazy, so I had to take it to the repair shop. I was in the middle of a new project. About 2 years ago I bought a reproduction treadle sewing machine, but I had never used it. So I opened it up and figured out how to make it work after a little trial and error. I have a lot of admiration for the women who sewed on these machines. After about 30 minutes, my legs were getting sore. I didn't finish my project, but now I know I have a resource if the power goes off and we need some sewing done. I got my machine back after 3 days. Joy! It's not the best machine, but it is way better than the treadle.

Happy sewing.