Tuesday, April 30, 2013

THe Halloween quilt - dancing skeltons

After work the grass was dry enough that I could mow the front although it was muddy in places. I was drenched with sweat by the time I was done - the humidity is high with all the rain. I did three loads of laundry and I was beat. So this morning I found a few minutes to sew a couple of blocks together. I love the dancing skeletons!

So here is what the design wall looks like now. I will trim the blocks once I get the majority of them made.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rockin' and quiltin'

Before I needed to leave the house and head over to my brother's for a full day of being a roadie, I just had to play with my new toy - a pressure washer. I wanted to practice on something I couldn't damage so the steps up to garage fit the bill. They were covered with dirt and moss and the washer did a pretty good job. The steps in this picture are still wet so the dark dirty part looks really dark. I bought it to clean the siding and when I did spray the siding by the steps it did wash off a lot of dirt.

I got up about 6:30 on Saturday to make cookies so we all would have a little snack during what was going to be a long day of music. I got to my brother's house a little after 10 a.m. We hopped in the car and we were off to North Canton for the Blues Contest. Michael's band was up first and played at 12:30. I helped unload equipment and set up the band's banner with my sister-in-law. After they played their alloted 20 minutes set we only had a few minutes to tear down before the next act. We packed everything and then took it out to the trailer between acts. We hung around a while to watch several other acts before we headed back to my brother's house. My sister-in-law whipped up some pasta and garlic bread and by this time it was 4:30 already! Back in the car at 5:30 and off to the next show.

Here is a picture at the second venue - Stringz and wings in Streetsboro. The crowd gave them rounding applause and Michael put on a good show. I got home at 11:30 and I was beat!

Sunday it rained all day so there was no working on the yard. I was so tired from running all day Saturday that all I managed to get done was three loads of laundry and 10 new blocks for the Halloween quilt. I did sew together the three piles of pieces I had from my improv demo too. Here is what I have so far. I want to try and have this quilt shaded from one corner to the opposite corner using the light background fabric showing in most of the blocks with skinny stripes to the other corner with mostly the colored fabric with skinny white stripes. I will probably end up with more blocks than I need so the leftovers will go into baby quilts. I am not sure at this point that any of the triangles strips will go into this quilt - I just didn't bother taking them down.

It is raining again today and does my lawn need mowed! The rain is clearing out, but I need a bit of sunshine to warm things up and dry out the grass. At least if it is not raining when I get home I could go out and work on the big back yard clean up.

Friday, April 26, 2013

So glad it is Friday

I was exausted when I got home from work last evening. It was a crazy day at work! The highlight of the craziness was when the police showed up and wanted to talk to one of the men about what he saw when some thug jumped the fence at the top of the hill behind the building (which happens to be a temporary school building). The thug fell, bounced down the hill, brushed himself off, and took off running. Apparently he had threatened someone the and the cops were chasing him down esp. since there was a gun involved. My co-worked was outside having a smoke when the thug fell down the hill. Crazy! Here is the hill the thug fell down.

Saturday my nephew's band will be playing at two venues so I will be busy all day. My job with the band now is selling t-shirts and his first CD. I plan on making oatmeal cookies tonight so we have a quick snack tomorrow just in case. It is going to be a long day so I will probably take some hand sewing and/or some knitting for the downtime to keep my hands busy and to be at least somewhat productive.

Sunday will be all about working on the Halloween quilt. I really want to get into making more blocks out of this fun fabric I have been collecting for this quilt. If the weather is decent I will try to spend and hour or two cleaning up the next section of the backyard. I haven't been able to get anything done since Tuesday since Wednesday was quilt group and yesterday it rained. I need to keep my momentum going on this huge undertaking!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Modern quilt group meeting

We had our Modern quilt guild meeting at a quilt shop that just opened about a year ago - Sew Deja Vu. What a lovely shop! Stupid me I forgot to take picture of the shelves of beautiful fabric. I could have spent a lot of money because they had so much great fabric! The owners gave a informative presentation on thread and needles and lots of questions were asked and answered. They also provided coffee, soda, cake, cookies, and the all important chocolate kisses!

I was early so I started to shop and found some wonderful pieces on the sale shelf. Only $5.00 a yard! The gray piece is for binding on a quilt and the rest is for the stash.

Then is was show and tell time. I took my yellow and gray baby quilt top I just finished. I fielded more questions about improv piecing.
One lady was really busy! She made this fun quilt and I just love the colors. It was like a warm gray with brown and green undertones. The color reminded me of facial mud. What a great color.

Look at the back! Isn't it great?

She also made these lovely pillows using Jacquie's Quilting Modern book.

And here are the backs - just a cute as the fronts!

It was a fun time and we had the whole shop to ourselves! Many of the member were shopping and the owners were so helpful. So if you are ever in NE Ohio and are looking a a wonderful quilt shop, make sure you check out Sew Deja Vu. Thank you Sew Deja Vu for a lovely evening.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Progess in the backyard cleanup and on the sewing front

I am posting late as we were watching a huge fire down the street from where I work. Huge plumes of black smoke and there were seven huge fireballs that had to be 100 feet high. I don't know what happened, but I just hope no one was injured.
Here is my pile of debris I racked up in the first evening of the big backyard clean up. Two hours and 15 minutes of raking, then weed wacking, then raking again to get a wheelbarrow full of sticks and four wheelbarrow loads of dead grass and leaves. What a mess!

This is what the area looks like now after the clean up. I still need to get rid of the junk leaning against the garage, but over all it looks so much better!

This area is next. I plan on planting all my extra daffodil bulbs in this area so I will have some fun color next spring.

It was 7:45 before I finally sat down at the machine. I was tired, but I went ahead and managed to sew these two section together. Tonight is quilt group (so not yardwork tonight!) and we are meeting at a new quilt shop that opened last year. I have never been there so it will be fun to see what they have.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Next project

The weather is finally nice so I again last evening decided to do some yard work. I got another flower bed cleared of debris, spot sprayed weeds, and then got really brave and tackled the back yard. I will have to attack the backyard in sections because it is so bad. I mowed a section and tonight I will rake. There are a lot of sticks and leaves, and since the grass was very tall I couldn't use the bagger so I will have to rake. I need to keep doing this every night until I get a handle on the mess. It is suppose to rain tomorrow so that will slow down my progress, but I will just keep working between the drops. One piece of equipment I wish I had is a chipper/shredder. With part of my backyard being wooded there are so many sticks and branches that it is hard to keep up. I burnt some stuff last year, but that just takes too long when you can only have a little fire.

After working outside I figured my next project would be the Halloween quilt I am making for my brother, Mike, whose birthday is on Halloween. I had some pieces already made because I used the Halloween fabric for my improv demo at quilt group. Here is what I have done so far. I just randomly stuck them on my design wall.

I have a few groups of pieces that I cut to show how I improv cut the fabric so I will sew those together next. Then it will be a process of cutting and sewing more blocks. It doesn't take long to sew these blocks together, so this is a nice way of getting a little sewing time when I come in from working in the yard.

Monday, April 22, 2013

2nd finish of 2013

This quilt is for my neighbor who is having a girl and the room is pink and gray. I am glad to have this done before the baby has been born! Oh, I did get a voice mail from the fellow that is going to be the grandfather of the baby who is getting the Buffet baby quilt. He loved it! He was almost at a loss for words.

I had four of these blocks sewn together. I had used them for a demonstration at the MQG meeting when I did a demo on improv piecing. I found the pieces for the last two blocks on Sunday so I sewed them together and then decided to sew the six blocks together and make a baby quilt. I added a border and this top is ready for quilting.

My yard is in need of some major TLC. I picked up some crabgrass preventer on Saturday when I was out and about. I didn't mow on Saturday because it kept SNOWING! It was cold and very windy, but Sunday it warmed up to 50 degrees so I was weed wacking, mowing, and spreading the halts. The front looks better, but I have more serious work that I need to do to get it back in shape. I do have a new toy coming that will help with my outside spring cleaning! I will post pictures once I get it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

I am making a date with ...

my paintbrush. I need to get a final coat of paint on the trim in my bedroom so I can install the paintable wallpaper I just bought on ebay. I have been watching for a good deal and found this vintage paper. I put in a offer of $8.00 a roll and they accepted. The rolls usually only have 33' for a double roll, but these rolls are 65' so it was like buying 14 double rolls So doing the math, I paid $5.57 a double roll including shipping. It has a subtle stucco texture. I bought enough to do the bedroom, the bedroom entrance, and the sewing studio.

I got started on the binding for the gray and pink quilt. I just didn't have much ambition last evening. I had to watch the season finale of Southland and after that I was pretty much useless!

When I pulled into the parking lot this morning momma duck was just sitting right out in the open. She was only about 15' from my car. Once I opened my door she stood up and started slowly walking. She keeps her distance but does not seen frightened of people.

My plans this weekend are not to mess around and get some stuff around the house done including a lot of painting, finishing the binding on the gray and pink quilt, and figuring out what is the next sewing project.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The quilting is done

I finished quilting the gray and pink quilt last evening. No yard work because of the threat of rain. I am showing the binding I will be using on this quilt and will work on that tonight after I get some odds and ends done like laundry and dishes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lots of progress

Look who is back - the ducks!

After starting a load of wash, I went out to work on the rest of the center flower bed. It is suppose to rain the rest of this week so I wanted to get this done. This bed got totally out of control since it was so hot last summer. I was still not 100% from surgery and the heat was awful so the flower bed suffered. Now it is time to get it back in shape.

Here is the mess under the plastic. Maybe if I would have put down paper underneath I would have gotten less weed growth, because where the leaves were thick the weeds didn't grow. Thank goodness I left all those leaves instead of raking them out before I cover the bed with plastic last fall.

So here is the bed with at least a couple of layer of weeds and grass removed. Now it will on to planting and mulch. I plan on filling this bed with coneflowers because the deer do not eat coneflowers and the flinches love the seed heads. I did find a couple daylillies that I missed digging out last fall. I dug up most of them and gave them to a co-worker's husband who wanted them for their drainage ditch. I asked if they were coming up and they were!

Next was working on the gray and pink quilt for my neighbor's baby due shortly. I managed to get about 40% of it quilted.

I don't even know what to say about the events yesterday in Boston. Prayers to all. Let law enforcement find the scum that did this.

Monday, April 15, 2013

1st finish of 2013

Yes, finally my first official finish of 2013! I am very happy with the way it turned out. I ended up using almost a whole 1200 yard spool of Essential Meadow thread to quilt this. I am glad it is done - now on to the next one!

The back.

I made the lable with some of the fabric that was used for making shirts for the musicians in Jimmy Buffet's band. This is the same fabric that I used in a couple of the blocks in the quilt I made brother for wedding gift.

Here is the Yo Gabba Gabba fabric I just received. Yo Gabba Gabba is s kids TV show. These will be for birthday quilts for the twin girls.

I spent some time Sunday afternoon pressing all my recent fabric purchses. So that is a good job done and they are all put away in the fabric storage room ready for the next project.

I went outside at 6 p,m. to start working on the center flower bed. I figured out real quick that the black plastic worked great on killing weeds over the winter, but the semi-opaque did nothing but act like a greenhouse. I have lots of grass and weeds to pull in that area. I worked on the bed for 2 hours.

I more than half way done with this bed thank goodness! I am going to try and finish is tonight because they are calling for rain the rest of the week.

Friday, April 12, 2013

My fabric present came

My brother sent me this fabric he bought for me when he was in Australia for three weeks touring with Bruce. Is was so nice of him to get me this, but I find it pretty funny that he goes into fabric stores at all!

He was in Alaska several years ago and sent me fabric that had moose, bears, and native American symbols. He asked them for fabric that was more local in flavor. It is nice to add these fabrics to my stash!

This weekend I will finish up the Buffet baby quilt and who knows what else. I have a bunch of stuff I would like to get done this weekend and of course my list is bigger than what I could possibly get done.