Friday, April 30, 2010

Art Museum Lecture and mail

There was a lecture at the Akron Art Museum given by Tavia Nyong who is an assistant professor at New York University. I wasn't sure what the lecture was going to be about except in the newsletter dutch wax fabric was mentioned so I had to go. I love dutch wax fabrics and I use them in my quilts. Well, after attending I am still not sure what the lecture was about (picture a look of confusion on my face). He talked about dandies and what the word macroni meant (like in the song Yankee doodle dandie stuck a feather in his hat and called it marcroni - please don't ask me to explain - I am still at a loss). He did show a couple of slides showing art using dutch wax fabric so I was happy.

Here are some pictures of the mail I have been getting with the scraps for my Millennium quilt. I have to say thank you again to everyone who has helped me out with this. See the envelope with the selvage taped across it? That came from Karen at Then yesterday I got an envelope from Leeanne from New Zealand. The fabric she sent was very cool and she included a piece with the NZ flag on it. I has been so much fun everyday to see all the prints, feedsack, and vintage fabric which all will add so much to the finished piece.

I am looking forward to a productive weekend. Some of the items on the list are moving the great wall in the front yard, working on my Art Quilt Workbook exercises so I can send pictures of my completed homework to upstatelisa, and sewing together more baby quilt tops. I gave another girl baby quilt away last night so my stash of girl baby quilts is getting low. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Selvage pincushion and Step 1: Remove grass

This is the selvage pincushion I made last evening. The selvages are from my African fabrics. It measures 5 1/4" x 8". It did turn out a little large, but I say go big or go home - that's is my excuse and I am sticking with it! I found a faux ethnic bead in my odds and ends drawer so I put in the middle. I like the way it turned out.

This is a shot of the back stone wall I blogged about yesterday that I need to move. The stones that were given to me are from the foundation of an old milk house. I know one weights 300 pounds and these were the small stones!

I dug out the grass - 4 wheelbarrows full to the compost pile. Next I will have to dig out some soil. When I orginally set the stone, I dugged down to the solid clay, put in a layer of small rocks hoping to keep the grass from creeping into the flower bed, and then set the stones. It worked well, but now I have to move the stones, gather up the small rocks and move them to the new location. When you look at the picture it doesn't seem like I am moving the stones that far, but I will have to move the stones at the center about 4 feet. My goal is to post the finish bed on Monday so stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Making progress on the flower beds

It was chilly last evening, but the sun was shinning so I was back out working in the yard. I managed to get the trench dug for resetting the sandstone front border. I transplanted a daylilly behind the telephone poles. Then I proceeded to try and talk myself out of moving the stones at the back of this bed. Since I moved the front ones back from the curb where they should have been place to begin with, at the center of the bed there is only about 18" of planting space. I ususally plant my canna here so that is not going to be enough room to plant them plus some cora bells. I just stepped back and said to myself "you just have to move one stone at a time and eventually you will move them all." I have a borrowed spud bar in the garage that hopefully will help me to move these stones. Wish me luck because I am going to need it! I will throw down some grass seed on the dirt area between the curb and the front stone border once I buy some.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Week 4 for the Hellebrous

No sewing happened last night. I ended up spending most of my time in the kitchen. I had some dishes that needed washed and some chicken that had to be cooked. I decided to try Jamie Oliver's chicken nugget recipe. The I used plain bread crumbs and the nuggets were so good! I think next time I will try making them with the seasoned Italian crumbs. I also had to finish draining my yogurt. If you have been following my blog you would know that I now make my own Greek style yogurt. I had been using Dannon for my starter, but recently I found Chobani Greek yogurt and thought I would try it as my starter. Oh my, I am so glad I did! The Chobani is silky smooth and has a very soft almost sour cream taste to it. When I used the Dannon, the yogurt tasted just like Dannon yogurt. I was suprised that my yogurt was almost as silky as the Chobani and the taste is wonderful. I bought the plain to use as my starter, but I only needed a couple of spoonfuls so I added some honey and cinnamon to the left over and enjoyed every moment eating it.

I did get my weekly picture of the Hellebrous. It has grown a bit - to me it just looks stronger than it did last week. We have received lots of rain the past few days. If the temperature goes up, I think the plant will really take off. I think I will mix up a weak solution of little fertilizer water to give them a little boost.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Progress on the Millennium Quilt

Even thought I felt lousy all weekend with this cold, I did manage to make progress on the Millennium quilt. I added the additional 5 pieces to each of the rows in the section of 12 rows that I had previously sewn together to make each row 50 pieces long. Then I got all three sections sewn together. So here are the 33 rows handing on my 8' x 8' design wall. Only 7 more rows to go!

I spent Friday evening cutting out all the wonderful fabric everyone has been sending me. I bet the postman is wondering why I have been getting so much mail! The fabrics have been great - vintage 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, feedsacks, novelty prints which I love!. There was fabric with leprechauns (I am Irish so I loved that), cupcakes, ducks, a pheasant, and the year 2000 on it. Here are four rows I sewed together. I am going to wait to finish assembling these until the rest of the fabric arrives. I want to make sure I get pieces in the quilt that are coming from New Zealand and Spain as well as from everyone who is contributing to this project.

Congratulations to Austrialia's Cadel Evans for winning the Fleche Wallone bike race!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Catching up on homework, blocks, and scraps

I have started to receive mail containing scraps for my Millennium quilt. It was so fun to look at all the different fabrics. I especially liked the Texas fabric that came from Missouri! With what I have received so far, the fabrics are similar to what I have already used so the the last seven rows I make with the scrap fabrics will blend well. Thanks again everyone!

I was home with my bad cold yesterday. By the afternoon I was feeling a little better so I decided to get some sewing done.
Got the blocks done for the Georgia Theater project - due 4/30/10.

Got the pinwheel blocks done for one shabby chick.

I am doing the Art Quilt Workbook project with upstatelisa and I was behind. I am now caught up with getting my homework pieces for Chapter 3 and 4 done although I have not done any of the series pieces.
Here is my Chapter 3 piece. Yes, my pear is blue with a hot pink stem and an orange shadow. I quilted the bottom half to make it look like the pear was sitting on something rather than just floating in space. This was a fused piece. Would I do this technique again? Probably not. I am not much for making picture type quilts.

Here is my Chapter 4 exercise. I used some bark cloth and my hand dyed fabric. The beads were just in a drawer and I like the way they look on this.

TGIF - I still don't feel great, but I am going back to work today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Shopping and the mature Helleborus

I really don't like to go shopping, but last night I had no choice. No it was not for fabric but for OTC cold medicine. I feel a little better today, but I could use a nap right now!

If you look at the mature Helleborus plant when it arrived on April 8 you can tell it is really growing! I planted this is the back where it gets morning sun and then is in the shade the rest of the day. So far it seems happy! The small one year old plants are also growing. Some are getting their second leaves. I just want them to get bigger faster!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Feedsack fabric and the Helleborus week 3

I didn't work on the Millennium quilt last night. My neighbor was mowing last night so I went over to ask if I could borrow his mower and at least mow the grass in the front of my place. My mower is in the shop and I will not get it back until next week. His mower is bigger than mine and much heavier. It was like wrestling a bear! I thought my arms would be pulled out of their sockets! On top of that yesterday afternoon I felt a cold coming on big time. I had one horrible nights sleep last night - runny nose and a sore throat. I kept snoring and waking myself up! I feel better right now - I took a couple of Excedrin.

A big shout out to everyone who is sending me scraps for my Millennium quilt! Besides putting everyone's name in a drawing I will be having for those who sent me scraps, I plan on putting everyone's name who helped me out on the quilt's label. I want to always remember the generosity of all those who took the time to make this UFO into a finished quilt. You all ROCK!

Angela over at was asking if I wanted some feedsack scraps for my Millennium quilt. Of course, I said yes and that I had some feedsacks and I would post a picture of my small stash today. I was in a hurry when I took this - can you tell! LOL!!

Here is the same Helleborus I have been taking a weekly picture of to show it progress and that I have not killed it! It has grown a little since last week even though it has been cold for the last couple of nights. The mature plant that was the bonus plant that was sent to me is looking really great! I will have to get a picture of it tonight.

I almost forgot - I won Cherri House's new book City Quilts over at Pat Sloan's blog! It will be coming from the publisher sometime in May. Thank you Pat and Cherri House!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Progress on the Millennium Quilts

I made a huge amount of progress on the quilt. I had to take apart some of my rows and use those fabrics to add on to each row to make them all 50 pieces wide. I managed to get those all sew together which in the picture is the section at the top that is 13 rows long. Then I altered the 8 row section to make those rows 50 wide. That's the middle section shown. I did not get them added on to the top section yet. I still need to modify the lower section of 12 rows. My design wall is 8'x8' and as you can see what I have so far pretty much covers the wall! Sorry for the bike in the picture. I still need to add 7 rows which is 350 pieces. Thank you to everyone so far that has volunteered to contribute scraps to help me out. I plan on having a drawing for anyone who sends me some scraps. If you are interested in helping me out just leave a comment or e-mail me.

Here is a close up so you could see the different fabrics. How about that 30's fabric with the aqua dots and the kitty cat! There are all kinds fabrics: food, fish, Xmas and Holloween images, Bugs Bunny, batiks, hand dyes, African, and calicos just to name a few. I have never had the quilt hung up on a design wall before yesterday and it was so fun to see all the different fabrics! As I looked at them a flood of memories invaded my brain. So many quilts have been made from all those fabrics!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Millennium UFO I need to get done

Karen over at is opening a Online Quilt Museum. She has a call out for one patch quilts. I have a one patch quilt I started a few - ok, more like 11 to 12 years back. I dug it out to see how much I did get done. It is a millennium quilt with 2000 different fabrics and contains authentic fabric from every decade. I use to work part time for an autctioneer so I would pick up vintage fabric all the time for a song. Here are two sections - one has 12 rows and the other has 8. I have no idea why I stopped working on this.

No this is not a pile of scraps. Here are 17 more rows sewn together that need added on to the quilt. I did trim the height of the rows about an inch so the finish height is 3".

I think I am going to go back and add 5 pieces to each row so that each row has 50 pieces. I have no idea why I pick a row of 45. When you divide 45 into 2000 it comes out to 44.44 rows. Well, that won't work!

Ok, here's the math. I have 1665 different pieces in rows. I still need 335 pieces of fabric from the 20th century. I went thru my stash and my Mom's during the 20th century and have used all of them once in this quilt. I still have a few pieces of fabric I need to cut, but I don't have 335 pieces. I needs some help here. If you have any scraps that are 4" x 4" and from the 20th century, that you want to donate to my cause let me know. Just e-mail me. I would appreciate the help to get this project done. The finish size of this quilt will be approximately 90" x 120" if I do not add a border.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A reason not to put sugar in your tea ...

I was downloading my pictures this morining and after I pulled the end of the cord out of the computer I dropped it into my tea! S**t! I dried it off, blew on it, and shook it around to try and dry it. I plugged it back into the computer and it still works! Yeah!!! If there was sugar in the tea, sometimes it gums up the contacts. I remember my son spilling tea on the TV remote and the sugar gummed the whole works up.

Last night was perfect for working in the yard. Sunny but cool. The ground was nice and soft from the morning rain. This picture is not the area I worked in (I forgot to take a picture). It is similar to what I was dealing with, but much worse with lots and lots of grass. I spent 2 1/2 hours digging, ripping, and transplanting. I swear I am going to keep up with any grass that finds its way into the bed so I don't end up with this mess again!

This is the result of my work. Looks pretty good to me! Oops - I forgot to move that rock that is next to the edging.

Now take a look at what I have left to do in this center bed!

Here is the sea mist just getting ready to bloom. It gets the sweetest little pink flowers on it. There are hundreds of buds on it right now. I will post a picture when it blooms - probably in the next couple of days. Yes, there is a grape hyacinth and some daffadil leaves growing thru the sea mist.

This is one of the Helleborus that is now 5 days in the ground. It has a second leaf. I plan on taking a picture of this plant every week to document its progress. I just happy I have not killed it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yesterday's mail and my muse

Here is the wonderful postcard I received from Linda Robertus, Quilts I just love it! I will be hanging it in my studio with the other art pieces I have collected from other textile artists like Lisa Call and Robin Ferrier. The colors of the thread Linda used for satin stitching the edges is the perfect finishing touch! Thank you Linda!

Here is the pincushion I made this past weekend. I waited to post it until I ran it by Victoria at She was my muse for this and she said that I had her blessing to post the pincushion and that I had made it my own. I had a bunch of silk scraps left from when I use to work at a shop that made custom clothes for people who showed western horses. We made blouses and outfits out of silk dupioni(spelling?) and of course we saved the scraps for alterations or repairs. We were slow at the shop one time so it became cleaning the shop day. They gave away a bunch of the silk scraps so I snatched those babies right up! I used embroidery floss for the hand quilting. Mine is improvisationly pieced whereas Victoria's are appliqued: I used silk and Vic's are shot cotton so there are a few differences. I plan on making more of these to use up those scraps. I think they will make great gifts. Thanks Victoria!

It is finally raining today! It is suppose to clear up later on today so maybe I can get back out in the garden and transplant the daylillies and cora bells.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A lttle sewing, a little cleaning

I spent 5 hours Saturday cleaning out the garage. What a mess! It is nice now that I can walk thru without tripping on something!

I got these block made for another baby quilt. I need to make some samples of different ways to quilt a quilt in case I end up teaching the class. If the class doesn't happen, at least I will have a few more quilts in my giveaway pile.

I got a great deal on this Ridgid shop vac at Home Depot this weekend. 20 bucks! I used it my my studio to suck up all the threads and dust bunnies. I didn't want to get the thread wrapped around the beater bar of my new Dyson.

I got the letters and numbers sewn on my brother's jersey. He is going to the Indians home opener today. A place in town cut out the red twill letters and numbers. They had iron on stuff on the back so I ironed them on some scrap ultrasuede and cut them out. He was happy with the result.

Congratulations to Fabian Cancellara again for winning Paris-Roubaix! 260 kilometers in 6 hours 35 minutes and 10 seconds!

Now if I could just find a cover for the spark plug for my Toro mower...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Helleborus have landed!

Here are the Helleborus. I ordered these from I received 30 one year old plants and the one mature plant was a free bonus. Thank you Sky!

Since I had plenty of room in this bed, I plant 12 of the 30 one year old plants here. I will be transplanting them again as soon as I get the other beds redone. I also planted some in the back yard bed. I want to see if they do better in the front which get south/southwest sun or in the back which is shady and get north/northeast sun. I planted the mature plant - I guessing 3 years old - in the back - I did not want to fry it in the hot sun in case Helleborus don't do well in the heat.

Here is an up close pic of a one year old Helleborus. They all had very nice root systems. I water the heck out of them. I sure hope get the rain the weather people are predicting. We have not had any significant rain for weeks.

Here is the ratty looking flower bed in the backyard. I raked it enough so that I could plant the rest of the Helleborus. I couldn't take an after picture because it was too dark by the time I got them planted. This bed needs a lot of work so after I get it cleaned up and top it with the Sweet Peet, I will post a photo.

I managed to boil the milk and get it batching overnight between the yard work and two loads of laundry, so that I could drain the yogurt this morning. Here it is before I scrap it off the towel and have some for lunch today.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I didn't post a picture of the green cow quilt so here it is. There are cows in the blue fabric and the major color is green thus the name. The strips of fabric to the left of it was the binding I orginally had planned for this quilt, but I didn't like the green of the blocks with this binding. Something just wasn't right. I am much happier with the binding I ended up using even though I thought it was a little tame.

Here is the back.

Here is my new toy. I ended up buying two - one for myself and one for my son. They had a really good price on them on HSN and with flex pay it made it real affordable. To clean the house for the last few years I have been using a shop vac! Of course, I have had lots of construction. Last year I began the demo of both of my bathrooms - what a mess. I started the serious demo in May and with the help of a contractor started putting the bathrooms back together in September. Therefore nothing but a shop vac would due! I still have some punch list items that need done in the lower level bathroom, and the tile for the walls and floor plus the finish electrical and plumbing needs done upstairs, but at least the majority of the dirty work is done. I would not want to ruin my new dyson with construction dust!

This is on my design wall. What is on yours?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Two down, two to go.

Here is the pile of Sweet Peet that was delivered late yesterday afternoon. Isn't it beautiful?!

The before - at least I did not have any weeds that had to be pulled first. I was suprised that it took 3 wheelbarrows of material to fill in this area.

The after - don't the plants just look happier?

The before - sad!

The after - it looks like I could use a couple more small plants here.

Here is the pile after eight wheelbarrows of material was put in the beds.

So I have the two easy beds done. Now on to the two hard ones. The big center bed needs a total overhaul, and the bed near the curb has some stones that will have to be moved and reinstalled. My Helleborus have been shipped so there is no messing about on this gardening work.

After work tonight I just have to get some stuff done around the house. I have dishes to do, yogurt to make, and laundry. No messing in the yard or I will have to go to work naked and hungry! I will get back to yard work on Wednesday night.