Monday, February 28, 2011


February's project for my goal of trying something from Quilting Arts or Cloth Paper Scissors each month. This one is making a resist using instant mashed potatoes, from Quilting Arts. If you're thinking that I'm going for the easier (or less time consuming) projects you'd be correct, it seems. The idea, though, is to try new things.

Usually with fabric paints I'd heat set before washing, but that won't work here, so I'll have to let this rest for a week or two. I'll put it in the basement, out of sight, so I won't be tempted to wash it sooner. The darker blue is where there is paint on the fabric, the lighter where the paint can't penetrate.

Lots of wind last night, with thunder and lightning. March comes tomorrow. Hope to find time today to stop at a dollar store to buy plastic plates so I can start my seedlings.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Name Tag Workshop

I'd never gone to one of my quilt guild's workshops simply because they usually don't coincide with my days off. This one on Saturday morning did - we were making nametags to wear to meetings.
I really enjoyed the chance to just sit on a Saturday morning and totally focus on a project. The house was so pretty and light-filled and art-filled and everything was planned so nicely. Usually I'm the one doing the planning - I hope the people who come to workshops I'm teaching enjoy themselves as much as I did.

My nametag in progress, before the trimming and more stitching.

Afterwards I went to the new JoAnn's in Steph's side of town. It was the grand opening and was terribly crowded. I got what I went for and left. My usuals - Hancock and the Hyde Park JoAnn's - probably won't be losing any of my business. I find the whole Eastgate area so confusing, had to have Steph's computer navigating help to find the store. And it isn't because it's such a big area, it's just such a small confusing area.

After that adventure, I went to pick up Aaron, who was waiting for a ride in the truck, a trip to Barnes and Noble, and a sleepover at my house.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

From the Bulletin

From the cover of Sunday's bulletin:

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking
the whole world belongs to you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beige Basement

Somebody, some time, decided to paint my basement green. Really green. Really bad green. I have to wonder how long that really bad green has been there.

I have a picture in my mind of a nice beige basement. My goal is to paint a gallon every month and I project that by Christmas the basement will be all beige. Since it's a concrete basement I'm using the waterproofing paint, although I'm wondering at the wisdom of that since the painting with it is kind of like painting with glue. One gallon down.

I started with the wall at the bottom of the stairs because I wanted to move the freezer there so I can glance at the light when I come down the stairs and be reassured that all is well.

And now . . .I can move on to the next and lovely part, putting a set of shelves in the freezer's former location and rigging up my grow lights. I'd been postponing opening my seed order until the space was clear, kind of an incentive.

Tomatoes first, then petunias. Under the seed packets are brackets for a raised bed to go in my front yard since that's where the sun is. I'm so February hopeful, although I'm wondering whether there isn't a notice in the deer newsletter that there will be more goodies this year.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Little Silver Car

Wednesday night, coming home from work, just starting up the big hill toward home, I heard a roaring under the truck and realized that something had come apart in the exhaust system. Darn. Yesterday morning found me at the CarX close to home. The mechanic asked me if I wanted to see what was going on and of course I did. The exhaust had broken between the catalytic converter and the front pipe.

The mechanic said he thought they could put a flange on it and I would get a year or two or three out of it for $50. Sold. I shudder at the cost of a replacement pipe and converter. Right next door is Enterprise and I got a little silver Colbolt for the day. At the end of the day, the opposite: stop at Enterprise, put the keys in the slot, back to CarX for a now quiet truck. All pretty easy. Thank you, Universe. Perhaps I needed to learn the lesson to not take things for granted.

Last night I started on the February challenge quilt. I know it was the 18th, don't anyone remind me of that. I needed some thinking time, not to mention I had other things to work on. I decided on a log cabin quilt made with scraps and some pieces of stash as well.

I wanted scrappy and that's what I'll have. The centers will all be red, made with the on-sale Valentine fabric that I loved, and the #7 strip will be the same fabric. The # 8 strip will be pieced. And, that's it. Easy enough that I can mindlessly do one every day. A 3 1/2" square in the center and 2" strips will make a big enough block that it will go quickly. I'm happy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Class Quilt

At last, my "class quilt" is ready for quilting. Lots of cutting, auditioning, and changing my mind. When it's finished, it will be the six-sided shape, no yellow showing except in the swirly lines.

Very loosely translated, it's water below, sky above, and hopefully the quilting will reveal a coral-colored dove in top right. Whoever heard of a dove that color, but the lighter colors just didn't work. Noah's Ark.
In the end, I didn't follow the teacher's suggestions for putting it together and went with what worked for me instead. I have bits of paper and fabric everywhere.
Because I want to use it for my quilt guild's challenge, it will be finished with thread only, no beads or other embellishments.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pretty in Pink

Nora is going to a birthday party this weekend and the theme is "pretty in pink." Steph asked if I'd make her a skirt . . .well, yes, :)

The pattern is so simple, basically a couple of round donuts of fabric. Of course I wanted to add a tulle layer too. She tried it on and her eyes lit up at the twirling effect.

This afternoon I went out for something else and found a wonderful pink hooded sweater, greatly reduced. Hope she and her mom like that too.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Children's Museum Kind of Day

Saturday was a Children's Museum kind of day.

Not nearly as cold as it has been, but no where near warm enough for an afternoon outside.

So inside it was, but at the Children's Museum climbing can happen
A few critters can be seen

Learning goes on

Imaginations can soar around almost every corner.
No wonder there are such protests when it's time to go home.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Serger Apron

I have a feeling that most people who have sergers are pretty much like me. I've put lots of hours on my serger, even done a few creative things with it, but don't use it to its potential. It's a fantastic tool and I have a really good one but it sits unused for weeks at a time.

So, among my goals for this year, there's one to learn to use my serger. When I saw this apron project my talented co-worker did (she's really a serger queen) I knew this is where I'd start.
And here's the thing - it was easy, it really was. Even with my pondering, thinking-it-through style, it was still quick.
On to my next project, a pink skirt for Nora to wear to a birthday party.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Several of my church friends sing in MUSE, Cincinnati Women's Choir, but I'd never heard the group perform. The other night at the library I found this CD, which is an absolute treat.

A section of their statement: "MUSE is a women's choir dedicated to musical excellence and social change. In keeping with our belief that diversity is strength, we are feminist women of varied ages, races, and ethnicities with a range of musical abilitiers, political interests, and life experiences."
Next time I hear about an upcoming performance, I'm moving from the "oh, that's nice" category to the "oh, I'm going."

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Last night were parent/teacher conferences at Nora's school and I asked Steph if I could tag along. Nora's school has a brand new building this year and I drive by it every time I pull into the neighborhood. In the picture, the school is just a little left of center.

I loved meeting Nora's teacher and hearing about her progress. Nora is a little introverted by nature and my heart was so happy to hear that she reads aloud readily, participates, and has two special friends, both of whose names start with "N."

There's a happy face in the rectangle, so the story says, "My Dad is happy." The picture is happy, too. Love it, Nora.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


The first thing we need to talk about is that I didn't piece the background of this quilt. I bought the fabric with the batik squares already put together.

The appliqued butterflies are from Anita Goodesign Antique Butterflies and they're huge. They come in three sizes and the largest one at the bottom is probably 8".

If you look closely you'll find some brown outline quilting that is also in the collection. Embroidered quilting is big right now - just put the quilt in the hoop, no stabilizer, and embroider. There are even special quilting hoops with more room for quilts. There is cluster of quilting at the bottom of the quilt.

I just peeked at the 10-day forecast to see if there are any 50's temperatures coming - there aren't. One of the things I've enjoyed about living in this area is that some time during January or February there is a break with 50's temperatures. That hasn't happened this year and I've missed it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Big Blue Bag

Just finished a gi-normous linen bag. It would be just about right for taking a quilt to class. Viking Embroidery Club.

It started out with lots of little leaves that "quilt" the fabric with the batting and backing. And, yes, it is a large hoop, 200 x 360 mm.

The pocket flap has embroidery and cutwork. There are cool new "needles" that cut out the cutwork using the machine, but I don't have those so I just used scissors. In this design, even the cut-out leaves have embroidery that can be used for something else.
This was my late night at work and I came home way past hungry and wanting something sweet. I had sweet potato fries and apple butter - could have been worse.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ring Bearer Pillow

Latest work sample - a Martha Pullen ring bearer pillow. Satin and organza and ribbon and doves, oh my. Way out of my comfort zone. Someone once told me, forget about what you're sewing on, just think of it as cotton. Well, maybe.

Monday night was a workshop with my quilt guild for the big quilt we're making. The International Quilt Festival is coming to Cincinnati beginning this year, and we're making a Cincinnati Quilt for next year's festival. Members are working on different parts of the city. My partner and I have Eden Park. We're in the design phase now. The quilt needs to be completed by September 12.

I'm excited about a Kathy Loomis workshop the guild is sponsoring next month. One of the sessions is on a Sunday, which means that I can attend. I just got the supply list and I have everything except for the fabric. I love it when that happens.

With so many parts of the country buried in ice and snow, I'm feeling very lucky today.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I tried out the colors for my class project - I'll need to make a few changes but I'm pretty set to go on. I used an old drawing, and there have been some updates but they'll be easy to incorporate.

Melody at Fibermania is having her second February quilt challenge. Since I loved last year's challenge, I've been looking forward to this one. This year's challenge is to make the quilt you've always wanted to make.

That required some thinking. I finally looked at my tub of scraps and decided I'd been saving them faithfully for a scrap quilt so the time must be here. I can't quite decide how to get started but I do know that
(1) it will have beads, and
(2) there will be free motion quilted with no stippling.

I need to decide soon how to do this. February is a short month.