Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Curtains

I love my new bedroom curtains that I got from the "Macy's on the Hill" thrift store at the Newport Shopping Center. $2 a pair. Worked up nice and crispy, and there's a little ruffle on the bottom. After I paint, I'll rehang them higher so the ruffles don't drag and wider because the panels are so generous. I know they don't do much with the beige, but picture grey green walls (Sherman Williams Koi Pond.) The dash of pink on the bed is my Christmas bedspread from Sarah and Winnie. This is going to be good. I love pink and green.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Goal Undone

One of my goals this April was to paint the front door. I researched how to do it - wait until a dry, non-windy day. Now you know why it didn't happen.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Serger Table Topper

The end of the month is approaching, and I had a few things left on my list of goals, including a serger project. I decided to make this table topper, a variation of a Marie Duncan project. Maybe not quite in the spirit of my goal, since I didn't use any new techniques, but I really liked the project and the truth is that the serger still had the same thread as when it went in for service. Which means I've haven't used it.

It was supposed to be a rail fence pattern, but I changed it around to make it a little less predictable. The really nice thing about using a serger for quilting, besides the finished edges, is that the sashings come out nice and flat because of the differential feed. Set at "1" the top feeds through at the same rate as the bottom, like a dual feed foot on a sewing machine. Very nice.

Yesterday was more rain, and I haven't had the heart to check out today's weather. I did get my front yard mowed between showers, and for that I'm grateful. The grass was actually going to seed. The back yard is totally soaked, so no mowing there, but it isn't quite as bad yet. In the whole scheme of things, I was just happy that the mower started since I hadn't emptied out the gas last fall. I always think there will be one more mowing.

With my added beds, the front yard took no time at all, it's probably half the size it originally was.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Project Finished

Last month I took a Kathy Loomis workshop on improvisational strip piecing. I learned lots, including, as usual, things I didn't expect. Like pressing. And working intutively. And not always using the ruler when cutting. I really like that last one. It was a wonderful Sunday.

This week I decided to actually finish the project with quilting and binding. I meant to use a serger thread for the quilting but didn't have the swirl colors I wanted so I reached in my thread basket and came up with a 12-weight Sulky blendable. Totally unplanned.

The 12-weight thread has a tremendous presence. I used that on top and a prewound bobbin on the bottom, just to see, and they worked well together. I used a walking foot and went down one side, rotated the quilt, and went up the other, and there was no distortion (even though the picture looks like there is, got to work on that.)

The amazing thing to me is how different the piece looks and feels with the quilting added. I'm happy. Except that, umm, now I think I need a second design wall with nice lighting and plenty of space in front so my pictures will look better.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good Memories

Winnie and Sarah's pretty house

Easter morning

Mast General Store

Front porch

Monday, April 25, 2011

What Was Your Favorite?

Question in the car on the way home: what was your favorite thing in Asheville?

Concensus from the booster seats in the back: The Arboretum.

The Aboboretum trumped all,

Even the Easter Bunny.

Friday, April 22, 2011

In Asheville, Years Later

Years ago, in her Parks and Rec days,

Sarah was part of a playground build in Asheville's Azalea Park.

Today, Sarah and her nephew at that park.

You just never know how the world will unfold.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Here

Fountain on, shirts off, umbrellas out, people in Fountain Square.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Even When

Even when the other team scores five runs in one inning and the score ends up lopsided and even when most of the fans stayed home,

even when . . . it's still good times at the ball park when the barges float by and the evening comes in and there's a draft beer to drink

and a walk over the bridge with anticipation and a walk home across the bridge, looking back.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Love Nora

I love Nora.

At the Jump Zone, all about her, no little brother along.
At baseball practice, in the turquoise shirt, looking so grown up.

At home, all happy quirky playing a computer game.

Yep, I love Nora.

I'm feeling all kinds of light this afternoon. I met my friend from quilt guild and she liked how I'd put together the Eden Park quilt. The picture below has some colored pieces I'd auditioned for flowers - just ignore those. She's taking the quilt to her house to her house to try some flower beds and trees.

With Eden Park gone and the church worship banner gone, my studio feels light as air. Nothing on the floor. Nothing on the design wall.

My friend and I had a wonderful outdoor lunch at Potbelly, just my kind of place. Sometimes I forget just how close Kenwood is to where I live, and what an enjoyable place it can be.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday morning, I got up early and finished the worship banner to hang after church so it will be in place for Easter.
It symbolizes the "water in the font" after Lent and water for baptism services, which are coming up.

A lovely day, although rain is expected tomorrow, when I have a ticket to watch the Reds play. What was I thinking? Oh, yeah, that tomorrow is senior day and I could get the ticket for half off. I should have looked at the forecast before I pushed the button. Oh well, it's not like I will drive hours and hours and have to hang around to see if there's a rain delay.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Banner

I won't be in church on Easter, so I need to hang a new worship banner after the service on Sunday. During Lent I hung a piece of beige linen to represent the sand found in the baptismal font of some churches throughout Lent. The sand is removed before the Easter vigil service and the water turned back on during the service. The banner I'm working on represents the water, blues and turquoise and green with yellow at the very top for sunlight. It's pieced with a backing, and how much quilting goes on it depends on how much energy I'll have tonight. As time gets short, I'm not even sure that it will have a binding. It will hang up and away so there won't be many close looks. The advantage of leaving it partly finished is that I can easily resize and redo it later for a different project. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Morning Message

One word message - made me happy this morning. Steph and Bridget are in Asheville after a late-night trip. Hiking today and Helen's wedding tomorrow.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Working on It

Eden Park. I just covered the green with a couple of layers of organza to tone it down just a little. I'm happier now. More butterflies and music to go.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Midwest International Quilt Festival

I went to the International Midwest Quilt Festival today - after all, it was in Cincinnati and I've been looking forward to it for months. I was glad I went by myself, since it's easy for me to get overwhelmed and I could set my own pace.
I would study some quilts, then head back around the perimeter, then check out some vendors.

My apologies to the artists that I don't have their names to go with their quilts. There were so many gorgeous ones, including two large exhibits by SAQA. No pictures to go with theirs, since they had a printed catalog and didn't allow photos.

Of course I loved this quilt, with a grandmother-type and a little girl with red hair and a little boy with sticking-up blond hair.

Shopping, just a little. I was happy to see a booth by Pro Chemical and got some paints and dyes. It was the first time I'd seen such a large retail selection. I got a pattern for a personal planner cover at another booth and that was it. I really have almost everything I need and don't find myself tempted by most commercial fabrics.

That doesn't mean that I'm not going to start a fund for next year's show, though. I'll be looking for those paints and dyes first thing.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Walking around my favorite thrift store, I spotted a Pottery Barn bumper bad, nice and puffy and pretty. I cut it apart and sewed the tops and bottoms together, then serged the long edges to compress the batting enough to put on a store-bought binding. I'd call this a floor quilt, just the right cushion for a baby and a few toys. Minimal sewing for a nice little shower gift.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Now why isn't my vacuum working? And is anyone surprised?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One Block at a Time

Heard at the Newpost Post Office - there were two contractors behind me in line: "What are you working on?" "I'm gutting a house, even the stairway. It really needed it." "It's quite a change here over thirty years ago." "Yeah, like my dad used to say, Newport's getting better, one house at a time."

The quilt above is getting bigger, one block at a time, about to outgrow the design wall. And it's getting a little bratty. My original plan was to have a quilt large enough to cover an awkward window in the living room. I have a new curtain there now and I'm happy with it, so the quilt will look nice on the dining room wall.

My goal for April was to make as many blocks as I could and then finish the quilt. But the quilt is saying that it wants to be BIG. I don't often do "big" but, like I said, this quilt has its own mind. So my adjusted goal is to do a block a day during April and May and we'll see what things look like then.

In the meantime, it needs to come off the design wall because other things are ready to go on.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Steph

Steph got a lovely Pandora bracelet from Mike and a Pandora gift certificate from Sarah and me. She hardly got a chance to look at the booklet that came with it because Nora just didn't want to give it up, studying all the beads and deciding which would be just right. Nora's turning into Steph's little Mini-Me.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Little Monday Project

Martha Pullen work project, diaper bag organizer. Place for diapers, wipes, and a flannel-lined changing pad. I like this one. I wish I could have found a plain linen towel so the lamb would show up more, but this was what I could find.
Last night there was a small women's group from church at my house, so I'm going into today with my house nicely cleaned and dusted. A new set of curtains hung in the living room.

Today is Steph's birthday, so soon I'll go out shopping for things for a birthday dinner. Not sure what to make. I want something nice for adults but something the kids will eat too. Noodles and veggies for Nora, who loves those. Aaron will enjoy the meat, whatever it is. Maybe a pork roast. Nice salad. Candles and cake. OK, I think I've got it.

Tonight, of course, the BIG basketball game. Now that Kentucky is out, I've got a soft spot for Butler.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Day

Baseball and basketball can break your heart. I kept waking up all night last night remembering that my team was out of the tournament, that there would be no UK/Butler matchup. Reason tells me to be so proud of this UK team, the freshmen team, the four-seed playing in the final four. But my heart's still bruised. Still, it's a new day. Most of the team will return next year and it will be a good sophomore team. The Reds won again and the fireworks boomed and I was happy to live in Cincinnati. It's almost Derby time. A new season, new tiny hopes. I have my grow lights up for garden plants. Most of the plants in the picture are petunias with two colors of seeds in each pellet. Burgundy and lime green. The one that's stretching up is a Cherokee Purple tomato. I had to replant my tomatoes because they got too leggy before I had the grow lights up. The petunias were fine because they grow so slowly. Before I put up the grow lights I had to set up shelving and before I did that I wanted to paint the wall behind them. It's all a process. This morning I started getting the peat ready for more seeds. This year I'm going to be ready and won't be looking sadly at the mass-produced plants in the big stores in the middle of May. There's a wonderful local greenhouse with breath-taking flowers but veggies, not so much. Just a tiny area in the back that doesn't get the attention the flowers do. That's ok because I love to start my own, once I get things in place. New season, new hopes.