Thank you to Karen Stone for sharing this! I hope you enjoy...
Thank you to Karen Stone for sharing this! I hope you enjoy...
I have been pounding away on my my keyboard for days, weeks, months... sigh. I applique at night but other than that I haven't had time to work with actual fabric. Happily I can say that I'm just about typed out and ready to make some more quilts for the color book. Yay!
With three quilts drawn, I chose colorways and have pulled fabric for them. The colors are separated into stacks and then sorted by value.
I did something I haven't done before... I took the fabric stacks off of the table and pinned it all to my design wall. Better! When I took a photo, the colors worked together the way I hoped they would. I love it when that happens!
This fabric will be in a quilt that is about complementary colors, in this case blue and orange. Off to the right you can see the edge of the applique quilt that is waiting for a border. Below, you can see part of a black and white quilt that will be in the book. Steve is hand sewing the binding on it for me. I love that man!
The next photo shows the mostly blue fabrics that will be in a quilt that is all about clear colors vs. gray colors.
The yellows, greens, and that purple print on the right don't exactly fit but I like them with the blues. I may use at least some of them in very small amounts.
I am making progress—oh happy day!
Lorna reminded me a couple of weeks ago that Bear needed a stocking! I couldn't help myself—his name is 'bear' after all...
Bear's actual name is Moses Beren. Lorna and Chris are not sure what version of his name should be on his stocking but honestly, does it matter? This is obviously Bear's stocking :-).
If any of you want to use the polar bear drawing, I've attached it below. Merry Christmas!
This is what I do when I'm snowed in...
As pies go, it's not that bad for you. Cranberries and apples are healthy. My pie has 3/4 cup of honey and the butter in the pie crust... really, not that bad. Unless you eat the whole pie :-).
The recipe is below. Click here to read my recent post on pie crusts.
Elanor has been here for a couple of days during the worst of the ice storm. To fight off cabin fever, yesterday she decided to make an ornament for the Christmas exchange with a home school friend. This little girl likes Star Wars so we googled for ideas and found this. Simple enough! I helped Elanor with the stuff she didn't know how to do and this is her Princess Leia...
This morning I suggested that she could take the idea and make more ornaments (more cabin fever fighting). Elanor drew a Christmas tree with a star, made templates, and got to work:
Whatever your shape, cut a front and back. Make a wire form that follows the shape of the ornament, but is small enough to fit inside it. Include extra length at the top to make a hanger. I used light-weight galvanized wire...
Once the felt fronts and backs (tree and stars both) were glued together with the wire (and felt tree trunk) in between, she decorated the front with glitter and sequins...
She's having fun and making presents! Yay!
Sleet and freezing rain began falling Thursday. Freezing rain is rain that freezes on contact forming a sheet of ice. Sleet is rain that is made up of little tiny ice balls. Together they are a huge mess. This was the view out of my front door Friday morning...
It looks the same today, but with more footprints. It looks like a light snowfall, but it isn't. It's ice. Here’s a close-up of ice balls on the fern (which will be turning brown any minute now) outside our front door…
When it is driven on, the sleet balls compact to form a hard, dense ice.
When more cars drive on it and/or it melts, it re-freezes to make a bumpy icefield...
Our niece, Rachel, and her husband are driving today from Dallas to Norman, OK. They drove through Sherman on Highway 75 an hour ago—at 20 mph. They didn’t want to get off the highway and I can’t blame them. Steve just got home from a walk to report that a semi is sideways on 75 and the southbound cars are stopped. (Update: Rachel and John got home safely.)
That's the thing about driving on ice. Even if you can do it, you have to worry about the skills (or lack therof) of other drivers. We've made a few ice-drives in our younger years but we would REALLY have to be somewhere to get us to do it now.
It is pretty...
Also, annoying—for example, the trash cans were frozen shut...
Everything in our area has been cancelled for the weekend. Austin College cancelled classes on Friday. Our church cancelled all services this weekend—and that’s almost unheard of. The Christmas Pops concert will now be in January. Parties, classes, you name it, it’s not happening. What did happen is that on Friday we wrapped all our Christmas presents! I usually do that alone and it was very nice to have Steve helping. I made a cranberry pie (so good!) and we've cleaned house. Mom made oatmeal cookies. (What is it about being iced in that makes us want to bake?)
Steve reminded me this morning (when I thought about going on a walk with him) that I have osteoporosis. A broken hip would be exceptionally bad. I'm staying in. For days, probably, because it's not supposed to warm up enough to melt off until mid-week. This is not all bad.
I can’t tell you how often I wish for days like this. When I can stay home and work and not be interrupted by things that have to be done. So I am going to wind up this post and get to my sewing machine. The temperature outside is not going to get above freezing for any length of time until mid-week. By then I will probably be ready to go outside. Until then, I’m going to get as much done as I can!
I was not the sort of parent who saved every drawing that our boys generated. The refrigerator door was their gallery space. Most of their 'art work' ended up in the recycling bin rather than in acid-free boxes to be saved forever. I'm not sentimental about that sort of thing and luckily our boys are happy not to have to deal with boxes of paper from their past.
Children go through drawing phases. I noticed this with my own boys and now with my grandchildren. At some point, what they draw can be interesting. And by that I mean interesting to someone who is not genetically related to them.
I did save a very few of my own kids' drawings. Some I've even had framed, like this portrait that Jeff drew of Steve. Jeff was 7 at the time and he captured his father perfectly! Even though I'm his mother, I think this is pretty good...
What made me think of children's drawings today is a post found on DesignTAXI. Reddit contributor, Tatsputin, started coloring his kids' drawings! (Side Note: Isn't it amazing how inter-connected we all can be online?!)
Click here to see the post on DesignTAXI, where you can see more of this collaborative artwork.
It's making me look at Jack's current drawings a bit differently...
I'm not particularly fond of coloring, but these could easily be applique patterns! They would also make wonderful embroidery patterns. I'm not sure when I might be able to use this idea myself but if any of you take this idea and run with it, let me know :-).
FYI: You may have gotten the newsletter I just sent featuring a present idea... mouse pads made with photo transfers. Not a new idea but I had never really noticed them before. We quilters have the tools that make it easy to make them at home (good irons, fusible web, presser sheets, and rotary tools for trimming.) I put up a page with instructions. I've got mouse pads and EQ Printable inkjet fabric sheets online if you don't already have them.
I made mouse pads with photos, but it would also be fun to scan 'artwork' to put on a mouse pad! I'm beginning to wish I needed more than one mouse...
Here's a quote from Wikipedia (click here to read the full article):
"Extreme Ironing (also called EI) is an extreme sport and a performance art in which people take ironing boards to remote locations and iron items of clothing. According to the Extreme Ironing Bureau, extreme ironing is "the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt."
Part of the attraction and interest the media has shown towards extreme ironing seems to centre on the issue of whether it is really a sport or not. It is widely considered to be tongue-in-cheek."
There was an Extreme Ironing World Championship in 2002. Or not :-).
I suppose my biggest question is what kind of iron is used in extreme ironing? I'm still hunting for the perfect iron...
The other big Thanksgiving event in our family is that Elanor is visiting her Aunt Celia and Uncle Jeff in NYC—at Thanksgiving! Aunt Celia planned an amazing trip. They are doing everything! I look at the pictures and am just amazed—and happy for the three of them.
They went to see the floats (with the balloons inflated but tied down) the night before the Macy's parade and then they braved the windy cold Thanksgiving morning to go to the parade itself...
They had hot chocolate by the tree at Rockefeller Center...
And they went to the Top of the Rock!
FAO Schwartz, the American Girl store, Central Park... Elanor is enjoying it all! This is a very special Christmas present for her, one that she will never forget :-).
I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving yesterday! We had a traditional Thanksgiving, which for us always includes a house-related project. We don't have any projects to do at our house so this year we planned to install new windows in our grandkids' bedroom.
After a recent local fire I got extra nervous about the fact that the windows in their bedroom were not openable. When our boys were little we lived in a house with the same problem and we didn't have the money to fix it. We do have the money now.
We've replaced windows at Chris and Lorna's house before. Getting the old windows out is half the battle so, in preparation, Steve took off the aluminum storm windows on Wednesday. I joined him and, luckily, before busting out the first window, we unwrapped the replacement and guess what—it was wrong! All three windows went back to Lowe's and we are now waiting for new ones. Sigh. The Thanksgiving project will be moved closer to Christmas.
However, Thanksgiving just doesn't feel right to us without a project so we came up with a new one. Steve did some promised sheetrock patching in their living room and then went home to prepare the turkey dinner. Chris and I put a back on a leaning bookcase—it no longer leans—and then we spent several hours tidying up their mudroom. That included knocking off the glitery, flaking, ugly popcorns from the ceiling. That's not me in the photo, but you get the idea.
I wore a dust mask, but not a hat or goggles, which would have been a good idea. I didn't use water, but I did use a wide scraper just like that drywall knife. It took almost no effort because no one had ever painted over the popcorns.
TIP: If you have a ceiling with popcorns that you don't like, don't paint it! Scrape the popcorns off. It took less than a half hour for the 7' x 10'-ish room.
Chris decided what to take to Goodwill and what to keep. He decided how to rearrange everything, while I almost successfully didn't make (many) suggestions. It was fun to spend the time together!
I know why holidays feel like the time for projects to me and to Steve. We would always head home for the holidays and we always took part in projects at my mom and dad's. And once my dad (a project king) died, mom still had things that had to be fixed. I blogged about building her fence at Christmas in 2009... good times, as Jeff would say.
No matter how you are spending this holiday weekend, I hope it includes fun times with those you love :-).
I don't know about you, but my weekend was a blur—a happy, active blur!
I Christmas shopped with a friend in Dallas on Thursday. (Side note: The Container Store is THE place to go for adult stocking stuffers!) The weather turned cold on Friday. The combination of cold weather and shopping put Steve and I both in the mood to decorate for Christmas on Saturday.
We braved the cold to string lights on the trees out front. I don't think we can be seen from the space station, but it's very festive.
The stockings are hung...
I made two new stocking holders from rocks, wire, and ribbon. I like rocks better than the kind of stocking holders you can buy, but that's just me.
I put out the Santas, including Mr. Potatohead Santa. He looks happy next to Darth Tater.
Steve built some new shelf/supports for the North Pole village. I have more pieces but we only put these out. They look better under the white cabinets than they did before the remodel.
Some of these houses are more than 25 yearls old! How did that happen so fast?
There's more in the way of Christmas decorations, lots more. It's like a Christmas-decoration bomb went off in the house! The nearly 30 year old Christmas tree is up, with lights but no ornaments. It's brittle but still looks good. I plan to hang the ornaments on it after Thanksgiving.
I am feeling a lot more festive now. I hope you are looking forward to the holdays as well!
I took my 'big' camera especially so that I could take photos of the kids...
There was face painting for the kids. Jack really got into character!
Elanor was a little less into it.
Bear perched on a mushroom, with help from his mom...
But mostly he watched from the stroller...
Amazingly enough, Lorna and I were ready to go before the kids were. They really enjoyed the interactive exhibits and activities in the adventure garden. Even though it's more than an hour away, we'll go back.
My stash lives in a small closet. The shelves are 5' wide and 12" deep. I don't let my fabric grow into other closets. When the shelves are full, I sometimes stack fabric on the floor. Well, it had gotten out of control. The closet floor was completely covered with a stack of fabric that was about 18" tall.
I am visiting an English class at Austin College later this week. The students have read My Jim by Nancy Rawles and are going to make a quilt for the author as one of their class projects. I'm going to give them a quick couple of classes on how to applique a block. When I say 'quick', I mean 2-3, 1-hour classes. I voluteered to bring fabric making this an excellent time to thin the herd of fabric in my stash.
I realize, now, that I should have taken a 'before' photo but it was just too emabarrassing. Here is the fabric that got culled:
And, another view, to help show how much fabric this is. FYI—the tallest stack is 12" tall.
None of this is 'bad' fabric. In fact, it was hard to cull much of it. But a funny thing happens when I do this... even if I like a fabric a lot, once I put it in the pile to go away, I no longer love it. In fact, I'm not sure why I had it in the closet in the first place. It's weird, but true.
The stacks of fabric in front are ones that I think the students can work with. I don't want to overwhelm them, but I do want them to have choices that can work together.
My stash now fits on the shelves. It is more organized. I know what I have. That doesn't necessarily mean that I won't have to hunt for a particular piece, but there you go.
FYI: If you click on the link for Austin College, some of the banner photos are from the dedication of the IDEA Center, the spectacular new science building on campus. Steve is Dean of the Sciences and he is so very proud of the new building and of the work going on inside it! He's in some of the photos.
There's a new quilt show! The Small Town Quilt Show — in a Big Town Way, is sponsored by High Valley Arts Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to encouraging excellence in the arts, including visual and performing arts.
The Show will take place June 26-28, 2014 at Zermatt Resort, Midway, Utah. This three-day event is for quilters, sewers and lovers of the art of fabric at all levels and interests. I'm one of the teachers and I do hope to see you there! Click here to see all of the classes. Signups have just begun.
And here's the pretty picture! I can't remember where I was when I took this but I imagine that a happy farmer owns it. How could he not be happy!
Here is a different farm, in Colorado, also lovely...
It's hard for me to imagine what it would be like to live in such a remote area. But life plopped me in Sherman, TX, and I never thought I'd live here, either. Home is where you make it.
I take pictures of people I don't know... much like I have seen Japanese tourists do when I've been on vacation. I used to not understand why they wanted images of people they didn't know, but I understand better now. People are fascinating to look at!
I took this young woman's photo because of her outfit, which is clearly a costume. She was playing on the street for tips. Where do your eyes go?
There's a lot to look at, but I always focus in on the tights.
This next woman was posing for photos... I don't think she was posing for me exactly, but I took her photo anyway. You can tell that she is HAPPY! And her outfit is pretty cute, too :-)!
There is a lot to look at in this photo as well, but I always come back to the figure. Did you know that that is why people are in so many ads? People like to look at people. A bar of soap, for example, just doesn't hold our interest.
I took the next photo in Times Square as well. I love the mix of the complementary colors, red and green. It looks like Christmas (but it's not).