Saturday, April 27, 2013

For Baby O

I managed to finish the houndstooth baby quilt a mere 15 minutes before the baby shower today at noon for my Bunco mate, Leslie.
I got up early this morning and completely stipple quilted the sandwich, made the binding and applied it, and hand stitched up the corners in near record time, for me.  Have I mentioned I'm not fast?

 The sock monkeys are dancing all over the back.  A simple label completed the gift.

 The beautiful mom-to-be Leslie was most generous in her praise of the quilt, which made me happy.

There's a novelty in this photo--my friend is taller than I am :)  Others at the shower commented this quilt should hang on the wall. I told Leslie to let it be dragged around, spit up on, closed in a car door, washed a hundred times, or whatever life with three kids dishes out.  I want my quilts to be used and loved!  Now on to quilt number 2, which is due in a week and DD Elaine is waiting for it...fairly patiently so far...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Orts

Tuesday's Orts--scraps and bits of thoughts and events that land here semi-regularly.
  • A very embarrassing weed patch on the side of the house obtained new life this past weekend. After paying to have a gardener clear it, twice! I finally got the weed block cloth laid down and bought mulch and a few large plants. I had to break my rule about going to the home center twice in one day to complete a project, though.  It takes a lot of mulch to make a two inch layer on a 6 x 15 foot planting bed!
  • The neighborhood boys will miss digging holes looking for treasure there, but it was long past time to beautify this part of the front yard. Like two years too long.
  • Russell the shepherd dog has a small flock these days.  Last evening he came into the bedroom looking for the second one (DH), who was in the shower.  Not finding him, I watched as Russell went to the top of the stairs and looked down to the living room, left and right, then turned around to look in the office door, and finally went a few steps down the hall to look in the music room before coming back towards me.  The look on his face was hilarious: "Dang, where did he go? I only have two humans to look after and I've lost one!"
  • Traffic Rant:  Drivers who cannot wait three seconds for a pedestrian to get past their lane, but instead swing out around them to turn the corner.
  • On my breaks, I enjoy a quick walk around the neighborhood near the office, an eclectic mix of houses ranging from the 20's to the 50's.  I had to smile when I saw the protectors on this gate's wrought iron spikes:
 Pink rubber duckies.  Last month it was sparkly carrots.  Can't wait to see what they use next month!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Design Wall Monday--April 22, 2013

On my design surface is more of the same--but this will be the last week it gets shown since the baby shower is next Saturday.  My PC was in the shop so I didn't have access to these photos when I posted the pic last week's DWM of the blocks laid out.  The construction of the Houndstooth block was super simple, sewing opposite colored 3" squares on two corners of a 6" square (I double-stitched the small squares for bonus HSTs). 

Then two opposite-colored pieced 6" squares were placed right sides together and stitched as if they were big HSTs, on either side of a drawn line corner to corner between the smaller squares to create a striped block.

I pressed all the seams open for maximum flatness, then squared them down to 5.5".  The pieced block is flipped every other row so either the pink or brown triangle is at the top to match the solid alternate 5.5" block.  Clever, no? 

All the rows got pieced (Oops, one row is turned wrong!).  I pressed to the solid blocks so all the seams would nest.  Once the top is complete I gotta get going on the quilting portion.  I found this fabric for the back at Joann's:

I love it!  This baby quilt is destined for a friend who already has two older monkeys :) See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

AKA Vitamin Q

Fabric therapy this weekend has been so nice.  Now that I have my PC back from the repair shop (due to a fried power supply) and have access to Picasa again, sharing progress is a lot easier!  Mobile blogging on the commuter bus was a challenge :)

 This was the quilt laid out with all the petals glued down in place with dots of applique glue.

Yesterday I finished buttonhole stitching the remainder of the petal rings down before heading off to find a suitable backing.  It was great to use technology to send DD Elaine a photo from Joann's Fabric of three choices for backing.  This subtly printed minty aqua won out since it matches so well with several of the prints we selected.  The yellow dot will be the binding.  The baby's parents (friends of DD Elaine) have opted not to learn the sex of their child so we wanted to quilt to be gender neutral enough without being dull.  Hope we did it.  But I've now set this quilt aside to work on the houndstooth quilt.  I spent the morning stitching away and have got all the rows pieced.  That's my favorite kind of fabric therapy--piecing and ironing and only the odd ripping out, all while listening to music.  DD Erica helped me set up Pandora on my phone last month and I just love it.  Hope you all are getting enough Vitamin Q as well!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Working it Out

It has been a bit over a month since I started my new job and surprisingly I don't really mind the getting up early part. Sunrise and I are becoming more comfortable with each other.  I've yet to become proficient at setting out my clothes, or making up a lunch the night before, but timing the lights while I rush to catch the bus is easier.  Mostly on the ride I just gaze out the window at this:


I've typed quite a lot of reports and gotten right back into the orthopedic med/legal vocabulary I was so intimate with for 15 years before being a manager the last four years.  With multiple clinics, the five of us are kept plenty busy.

The amount of walking on city sidewalks and streets after being pretty sedentary while off work for six months has given me some trouble with my feet and ankles, though, and I've got to get some better shoes! 

The hardest part of the new job?  Going to bed early!

Now I'm off to Joann's and some fabric therapy...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Design Wall Monday--4/15/13

On my design wall today, well, really off, is the second baby quilt of the month, the modern one from Moda Bakeshop, petals appliqued into 12 circles.


I've started buttonhole stitching all the petals down, using cream 30 weight thread.  See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mobile?

Trial mobile blogging...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Computer Woes

A post title no one wants to have.  Our main computer appears to be having technical difficulties; i.e, I think the power supply went on the blink after a power outage.  I am posting this from work.  Back soon, I hope!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Design Wall Monday--April 8, 2013

On my design surface is the second of two baby quilts that must be completed this month.  This second one started is actually due first.  One of the ladies in my Bunco group who has two school-aged children and had been told by doctors that she was in early menopause turned up pregnant, to everyone's surprise, least of all hers!  A baby shower is planned for late this month and she is having a girl.  I have wanted to make THIS houndstooth check block quilt ever since I first saw it on Tracey's blog several years ago. 

On her sidebar, Tracey shares a tutorial of her bias-free way to make the blocks.  Clever one!  Mine is of brown and pink Kona solids and I'm hoping it turns out well.  All my pieces are cut and ready to mark with diagonal lines--or I may just use the painter's-tape-on-the-machine-bed method.

This hasty sketch shows the two different pieced blocks along with the two different colored solid squares that make up the layout.  These finish at 5" and the setting will be 7 x 7.  I may use Minky on the back but haven't decided on that either.

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Round and Round

Not much sewing room activity happening around here with the new job, except for some stitching on the bus on the Greenpiece applique blocks.  But I've shown those enough!  DD Elaine was over the other night and I received a stern reminder that I only have a month to finish the baby quilt I volunteered to make for her friend.  The next step that I'd been dragging my feet on was making a template and drawing registration circles for the petals Elaine and I already cut out.  So yesterday I went to JoAnn's, bought some template plastic and got busy.

 I traced the circle but then got looking at the size listed and wondered if it was really 8 inches.
 
 Nope.  Quarter of an inch off.  I decided to try out the petals and see how they fit before proceeding to drawing the on the background gray Kona fabric. 
 The petals fit just fine.  On to the tracing!

I used two rulers to help with the spacing and a Frixion pen for the drawing, and soon had the 12 circles completed.  It did not occur to me until later that the difference in template size could have been from my printer, which is why the petals fit the circle.  It all doesn't matter in the end--once the petals are laid out they will be the star of the show :)  That's Elaine's task and she'll be over in a couple of days to lay them out.

And now, a word about Google Reader.  I never used Google Reader so will not miss it.  Lots of people have been talking about Bloglovin as an alternate. Upon investigation, I was surprised to see that my blog is already ON Bloglovin.  In fact, there are two entries for my blog there, each with some followers.  I have not a clue how that happened but suppose it isn't critical.  For those of you who want to subscribe by email, some weeks ago I added that feature to my sidebar.  Thank you, dear readers, for following, reading, and commenting, whichever way you do it! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tusday's Orts

Tuesday's Orts--bits and scraps of thoughts and events that land here semi-regularly.
  • Unexpected nice events over the weekend included an evening reminiscing with DD Elaine and her best friend visiting from New York at her parents' house on Friday night, and then lunch on Saturday with one of my oldest friends and her husband who were passing through town on their way to a wedding.  Old Home Weekend, I guess :)
  • On Sunday I got an out of-the-blue phone call from my aunt's husband, Tommy, to whom I sent a quilt when he was sick with cancer a couple of years ago (Kitchen Sink).  He just called to tell me how much joy the quilt gave him when he was so low and ill, and how he uses the quilt all the time.  So sweet and wonderful to hear!  By the way, he's cancer free and was able to return to work for awhile before retiring on his own terms later. 

Tommy with his quilt.
  • Traffic RantThe warm fuzzy feelings somewhat counteracted the mail from the Court regarding the traffic ticket I got a couple of weeks ago (on my first day at my new job!).  The unbelievable charge for being cited for failure to stop? $490.00.    (I can hear you all gasping as I did!)
  • People watching today included an interpretative lawn dance by a homeless guy wearing headphones and twirling a cane.
  • Another plus of the new job?  My house is a lot cleaner without me being home all day and letting the animals in and out incessantly.