Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quilt Pictures

The camera batteries have charged, and here's my quilt. It's the Husqvarna Viking Embroidery Club for June and I pretty much followed the directions. The picture on the envelope showed the quilt in beige and light pink, though, so this is a cousin once removed.
It has machine applique and is constructed in a quilt-as-you-go technique, which means that once the quilt is constructed, it's finished. I'd love to add some free motion quilting once its life as a sample is over, but I'm not sure. I tried to free motion before once the binding was on and didn't have a great result. We'll see - the quilt is already telling me that it needs some in fluorescent colors.

The quilt measures 31" x 40" and was designed as a lap quilt. You can see the ruffling on each side of the embroidery above and to the left of the big blue flower below.

This was a fun project, from picking out the fabric to doing the embroidery to trying out the ruffler to doing the construction. Quick, too, as quilts go, even machine quilted ones.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not Enough Juice

Tonight I finished the binding on the quilt with all those ruffles. Only thing is, I don't have enough battery in either of my cameras to upload the pictures. I've got this happy quilt with lots of orange, purple, green, and yellow and no way to show it.

I'm charging the batteries and you'll see the quilt tomorrow. In the meantime, here's my best girl, eating an apple. I love her technique.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 126

Time for Friday Fill-Ins. Answers are in bold. You might want to go to the website and play along.

1. It's cold and there were blankets on the bed last night. Well, cold is relative and it was 60 degrees. The curtains were rippling gently and it was great sleeping weather.

2. I'm soon going to need to stake my tomatoes. A few are heirlooms that reseeded from last year - I hope they're the little golf-ball-sized yellow ones, but the purple ones would be nice too.

3. My favorite health and beauty product is moisturizer. I layer on four different kinds because I can't decide which I like best. And they all say they'll do wonderful things.

4. I'm not big on a nice long ride. It just always seems like a waste of time when I could be "doing" something, like quilting. Not to mention I get a ride when I go to work several days a week.

5. Well, first of all, you think and study on patterns and colors, because when you make a quilt you'll be living with both of them for a good long while and you want to make sure you love them.

6. My friend Jess and me; those were the cast of characters in a recent dream and it was lovely to be with her again.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to coming home after working late (we're setting up for a big event,) tomorrow my plans include working at the store, and Sunday I want to start to work on a banner for church. I'm using a quilt I made a few years ago and making some changes.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer at the Levee

Saturday found me going to Barnes and Noble - more about that later - , which just happens to be at Newport on the Levee. I'd been to the Levee every few weeks during the winter, but I'd forgotten how it seems like a small community during the summer.

Notice the concentration of the two little ones as they watch the balloon guy on stilts,

and the crowd,

and the drums and belly dancer,

and the musicians under the tent,

and, of course, the river.

How fun that people like to visit my town during the summer.
Now for a couple of projects. I made this spa bag from Bags, Pillows, and Pincushions. It has four outside pockets and a lining that's primarily yellow.

And I just made this huge pile of ruffles with my new ruffler. Very easy.

When I was a young teen, my mother ordered a ruffler for her Singer from the sewing machine shop. The idea was that when it was delivered, with delivery person would show my mom how to use it. As it happened, when the ruffler came, my mother was back in the woods picking berries and it would have taken me at least half an hour to get her. The guy who brought it said he couldn't wait for half an hour.
My mother was really upset at me for not telling me he had to wait, and I felt I had to rescue the situation (yeah, I'm the oldest child, did you guess?) I told her I'd figure it out and teach her. Which I did, but I remember it being really complicated.
So the voice in my head said, "learning to use this ruffler is going to be really hard, it's going to take you a long time," etc. The voice was wrong, though. And now I have a big pile of ruffles for my quilt.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

And thanks to Steph and Sarah for the Hancock gift card. I've been holding on to it until today, when notions are 50% off with an additional 10%. I got many goodies, the kind I love. And, with the sale, I got many, many goodies and a tiny bit of fabric, too.

With my 50% off fabric coupon, I got the eight yards left on the bolt of Kona prepared-for-dyeing fabric. It's my favorite dyeing fabric, but at $6 a yard I don't get it often. Even at $2.70 per yard it was more than I usually pay, put it's just too luscious to pass up. There may be dyeing pictures soon.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Summer's Coming

Summer's coming, maybe already here. Earlier in the week I put on an extra blanket and this weekend, it's hot.

Pictures of summer - here are Nora's four-year-old feet with flip flops and chipped polish. And lace on her capris, totally girl-y.

And Aaron's sturdy eighteen-month-old feet in summer sandals with one foot muddy from stepping in a puddle. How little boy. Yes, summer's coming.

I'm glad to have this work project finished. Lots of ripping out and starting again with this one. It's a little shopping wallet with spaces for coupons and shopping list.

I wish the word "groceries" was higher up, but I'd already redone that part once and wasn't about to do it again. It is what it is.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to Sarah

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday dear Sarah,

Happy Birthday to you.

Photos by Winnie - thanks.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 125

If you want to play along with Friday Fill-Ins, go to

1. Moving reminds me of the Mad Hatters Tea Party, move down, move down, clean cups, clean cups. Did anyone else like that part of Alice in Wonderland?

2. Some really neat things are free, like the Art Museum, watching the river go by, events in Fountain Square, music at the Levee, Krohn Conservatory. And Berea College convocations.

3. My best quality is patience, followed by listening quietly. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

4. What is it they say, the devil is in the details? Actually, I'm pretty detail-oriented.

5. In only ten years, I went from 53 to 63. In retrospect, 53 was really young.

6. Sleep is what I need right now. I wonder how many people will say that.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, that's all, tomorrow my plans include working on projects, inside and outside, and Sunday I want to go to a graduation. It's the season for it.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Has She Always Been Here?

The other day I was driving past the library and saw this statue of a young girl sitting on the brick wall. I go to the library lots and drive by it lots and I'd never seen her before. Could be she's new, but I have a feeling that she's been there all along. I've been trying to be more observant, too. Hmmm.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Working Outside

I am lucky to live in a neighborhood where home improvements go on. The cement truck comes, the roofers come, new windows appear on a regular basis, flowers appear. While I have contributed my share to the home updating process, I've done little landscaping.

The first summer I moved in during early August and the temperature was in the upper 90's for weeks. Not the time for gardening. Last year I made a tentative start, a little gardening spot between the sidewalk and driveway, which was a pain to mow anyway. At the end of the summer I laid out a small garden area in the back, covered it with cardboard and topsoil, and planted a few perennials and herbs elsewhere. Sarah took out a couple of half dead shrubs in front.

All this was slow going for me, and I've realized that when I move there is a little grieving process going on for past gardens and the part of myself that's gone in them. I miss the helleboros and fire on the mountain at the Ecovillage, the rosemary plants with southern exposure that reappeared healthy in the spring along with the beautiful sage. The chocolate mint, trying to get things started on the trellises, the okra that had beautiful flowers one year. And the large yard before that, with the special roses, ornamental grasses, heirloom tomatoes in the garden, and the rhubarb that was finally big enough to produce fruit for a pie.

Finally, on Monday, my truck turned into the garden center and came out loaded with bags of mulch. I know myself. Once one bag is spread out, just one bag, the motivation is there to continue.

I mulched the little area beside the sidewalk, then started pruning the shrubs in front. By the time I was done, the shrubs were half their size and the bed was larger and spread with mulch. Because I'm a fan of laying down cardboard and putting soil on top, there won't be any planting there this year, just a few ornaments and pots. And I'll probably enlarge the bed in the fall. In the meantime, it looks better, much better, and I'm happy driving up.

I've realized that I can have another "garden" area by putting pots of flowers on the porch, too. Little preparation required.

About a month ago, I planted onions beside the sidewalk. I don't like onions much, but I love the idea of something early and green.

So now I have a start. I know from experience that it will just go on from here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Steph's Jeans

From time to time I get a little pile of mending/alterations from Steph and Sarah and the last pile from Steph had a pair of old jeans that I could "embellish if I wanted to." If I wanted to? Finally! Design from Embroidery Library.

It's easy to do, take out one of the leg seams, embroider, and re-sew the seam.

For heavy embroidery on denim, you can't beat the Q foot (for Vikings.)

I was excited to deliver the completed pile, but in my focus to not forget any of the dinner things I was taking I forgot the clothes. So, Steph, here's what your jeans look like.
There was crayoning going on when I got to Steph and Mike's. Aunt Tina and Aaron -

Nora coloring a picture for Gran B's refrigerator.

Note to Grandma Janice - Aaron handed me a truck and said, "It's blue." And it was.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

April Journal Quilt

One of my goals this year was to make a journal quilt for every month. It's turned out that I like using little remembrances and scraps from projects. Just don't tell me that I haven't done March's yet, I know that. Here's April's, though.

Starting at the bottom is a little designation for Steph's decade birthday, stamped on the fancy linen that I used for a bag. The rabbits are from the Easter card from my sister, and I think I used the pink/green fabric as a lining for another bag.

The red patchwork with batting is scraps from a potholder and I used a blue stamp pad to color the white batting edges. There's ivony linen at the top, stamped with "SUNSHINE" because there finally was some spring sunshine and "DREAMS" because I was sick during April and had all kinds of dreams.

The peace dove is embroidery from a stole I made for the church pastor and I accidentally made this one facing the wrong way. The shimmery fabric was used during Advent and Lent for church wallhangings. The 3D shimmery stuff represents spring clouds and, once again, dreams.

The piece is 8 1/2" x 11".

P.S. Did anyone see that supergirl win the Preakness? The first filly since 1924 to win that race. And Calvin Borel is one heck of a happy jockey. Black-eyed susans for him this time.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I parked around the corner tonight because there was a celebration going on across the street and there weren't any parking places. And I glanced at this yard, which a week ago was just . . . a yard and tonight was an exuberant show of roses. Something to think about as I think what my landscaping will be like. When it comes to flowers, I like exuberance.

My peonies will bloom soon. At my other house I always wanted a start of peonies, and when I moved here that was pretty much all there was. I have a few perennials now, a few herbs. I'm going slow, trying to visualize what I want.

Last weekend I made this bag with hand-dyed fabrics and flowers embroidered on each side. It's not very big, but I'm not a fan of large bags. It has a lining and a pocket inside, and I'm happy with it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 124

For this Friday Fill-In, Janet chose quotes having to do with spring. Since I know none of them, I just answered in my own way.

1. If we had no winter, we'd miss the first lesson in longing.

2. Creativity is a perpetual astonishment. Where there was nothing before, something appears.

3. If I had my life to live over I'd go to grad school or professional school a lot younger. When I graduated from college most of us didn't look beyond that. I'm sure I appreciated it more when I was older, though.

4. Your whole life can change inside of four and twenty hours. I'll bet it happens to most of us.

5. If you'd never been thrilled, come to Kings Island and ride the coasters. Come to think of it, it's been years since I've been there.

6. To be interested in the changing seasons is to have a glimpse of the spiritual side of yourself.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to coming home and reading (Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry - a great read,) tomorrow my plans include getting off work at 5, and Sunday I want to go out to lunch with my church friends. In other words, no real weekend plans yet, but I know I'll think of something.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cut It Up

I've been wanting to try this ragged edge pillow from Better Homes and Gardens Bags, Pillows, and Pincushions (actually, I've been wanting to try a whole ragged edge quilt, but it took me ages to just get to the pillow) and I love the embroidery design you saw a week or so on a bag.

I decided to embroider the bag design again, then cut it up for the pillow. I enjoy cutting quilts and other things - don't know why, but once I did it a couple of times I found it kind of freeing. There was an unwritten rule in my head that you don't cut up nice things, never mind that they might have an even better life in a different form.

The pillow was fun, fast too. The wrong sides are sewn together instead of right sides together, then the edges are cut (there's that word again) every half inch or so. The whole piece gets cut in the washer, then the dryer, and ends up with ragged fluffy edges. Then the back is put on.

When I went to the store to pick up a pillow form, my neighbor was there buying drapery fabric. Turns out that he does draperies at home. I need to get to know him better.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just One More

Just one more weekend picture - from the Chinese Buffet on Sunday.

It's off to bed for me. It's just my bad luck that quilt guild falls on the second Monday of the month, my late work night is the second Tuesday, and sometimes, like this week, Worship Committee is on Wednesday. Quilt guild is always a treat, but it takes about 45 minutes to get home. Worship Committee is always energy in as well as out, but by the time it rolls around, there's not much energy to start with. Right now, though, I'm feelin' pretty good.

When I got home, I just had to pick out some embroidery designs at one of my favorite sites - all designs were on sale for $10 for 10 and tonight was the last night of the sale. Of course I look for the big ones that have caught my eye. Fun.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sweetest Date Ever

I stayed with Aaron on Saturday while Steph and Mike went to the baseball game. Going for pizza in one of the little strip malls leading into their subdivision seemed like a fun idea, and that's what we did.

Before we left, there were various modes of transportation to consider -

Gran B's truck -

Aaron's car -

And this four-wheeler from Aunt Sarah.

Of course I decided on the stroller.

Aaron had a pizza slice and smiley fries, with a fruit roll-up for the diaper bag. He didn't spot it or it would have been eaten on the spot. He's a fan. There was a cheese cracker for an appetizer.

About half way home he decided he'd had enough of the stroller and simply slid out the front. Many times he headed for the curb, looked back at me, said "No Street" and turned back for the sidewalk. There were also yards to try (can there be a difference?)

and puddles to walk in.

His favorite by far was when a motorcycle drove by. For the next ten minutes he looked hopefully in the direction the motorcycle was headed and said "motorcycle." He didn't care for the car with a loud muffler.
I hope everyone's Saturday night date was as sweet.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers, grandmothers, aunts, teachers, and friends who help make the lives of children happy.

Thanks to Sarah, Steph, Mike, Nora, and Aaron for the geraniums.

Below you'll find one of the reasons why my life (and Grandma Janice's) is so blessed. Nora is another reason, and she is visiting Aunt Tina this weekend.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

New Dress

A couple of weeks ago I was having fabric cut at Hancock and noticed some pretty little seersucker prints on sale. I didn't know quite what I'd make, but I was sure it would be for Nora.

This morning I made a new dress. I like the granola kid style and have used this Indygo Junction pattern several times. It's fast and easy and the pattern can be adjusted for sizes 1 - 6.

I think this is the first time I've made it with the contrasting panels at the front and bottom. One of the really nice things is the lack of zippers, elastic, and in this case, buttons, makes an inexpensive little dress.

I can't wait to give it to her, but I do need to use it for a work presentation before she gets it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Little Quilt Finished

It seems that my original art quilts are too far apart these days, so I'm especially grateful for this one.

It's done on canvas, something new for me. I traced my photograph, then traced it onto the canvas, using a light box. I brushed on the blue, yellow, and pink, then wiped much of it off. I painted faces, skin and hair then free-motioned hair, shoes, and socks.

Free motion quilting, beading, and trimming finished it up. I left a small border of batting showing. The backing is on upside down so the right side shows on the border.
What I really like: the movement
What I really don't like: the faces. I did them with a fine marker but wish I'd left them blank.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 123

Time for Friday Fill-Ins, with my answers in bold.

1. Apples are to oranges as polyester quilt batting is to cotton quilt batting. Both have their place, they're just different. For what I do, it's almost always thin cotton batting, like Warm 'n Natural.

2. I'm really happy with our new president and that's all I have to say about that. Except to add that at work, I'm in the minority with that sentiment.

3. I think I hear city traffic noise through my open window. Same traffic sounds I heard in the little town of Berea where I lived before. I-75 went right by town. Actually, the traffic sounds are nicer here because there is less truck traffic.

4. It's a grand old flag, it's a high-flying flag. We used to sing that in grade school. Do kids still sing lustily in grade school?

5. Do what you want to do but be civil. In journalism school, we learned that freedom of speech doesn't give us the right to yell "fire" in a crowded theatre. Is that why I'm so big on civility?

6. My daughter Sarah walked down the road and behind him/her was a Radio Flyer wagon; in the wagon was a bucket filled with tadpoles. True story, but instead of a bucket the whole wagon was full of water and tadpoles. Tadpoles for sale, anyone?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to heading down to the river to see how high it got (not near flood stage, don't worry, it's just an excuse to watch the water go by,) tomorrow my plans include babysitting Aaron in the evening so Steph and Mike can go to a baseball game, and Sunday I want to wish all mothers a Happy Mother's Day.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On Top of the Hill

My converter box is hooked up and there are around 20 channels to choose from. Who would have thought? I guess there are advantages to being on top of the hill and on the second floor of my house at that.

I do have the KET stations that I was hoping for, the local channels, and a whole lot of other channels that I've never heard of. All crystal clear, on my little $69 tv. I'm so happy that I didn't go the cable or satelite route.

In retrospect, I sort of wish I hadn't bought the digital tv for downstairs, which I rarely watch. Sometimes it's just hard to know what to do.
Several months ago, probably in February, I started a art quilting class. I did the first two lessons, a little late, but I did them. The third was working on canvas with paint. I love the feeling of having a paintbrush in my hand but I feel so inexperienced and inadequate. About a month ago I started working on my lesson and really liked how it was shaping up. Like the tv experience, though, I just wasn't sure what to do.
I started with quilting the shoes and socks, then the hair. Tonight I did a little quilting on the sky area - that was easy. I'm thinking about swirls in the yellow to represent the children going in a circle.

Here's the photograph I'm working from. The figures are in a little sidewalk park in Fort Thomas.

The instructor recommended working from a photo of a pet, but I just knew I wouldn't be happy with that. By the way, the red in the hair of the second figure from the left is a Christmas ribbon that someone used to decorate him.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finished Pillow

This is the finished pillow that I mentioned last week. Context: I ran out of thread midway through. Viking Emboridery Club 138. Its finished size is 20" square, and if you look close you can see piping around the edges. There's even an invisible zipper in the back. That was a little scary, but it's the best way ever for finishing a pillow.

In between projects tonight, I've been fooling with installing the converter box on the studio tv. I wasn't going to bother with getting one, but I've noticed that the tiny tv up there is the one I watch. My coupon expired yesterday, so I went to the store.

I've gone about as far as I can for tonight. I'm pretty sure I have it hooked up right - there don't seem to be many options. I'll save the programming for another day. My hope is that I'll be able to get Kentucky Educational Television - that would be so sweet.