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Monday, March 24, 2014

Quilty Pleasures: Spiderweb Quilt With Snow

Like many grown kids, ours came to visit last weekend toting her laundry, including this spiderweb quilt I made a couple years ago.

She's trying to preserve this quilt because the previous one had so much laundering and drying the border ended up shredded (crummy fabric, methinks).

"Will it dry outside?" she asked. "Sure," Tom said. "It'll freeze dry."

So she draped it over the deck railing for overnight.

It was just a 10 percent chance of snow, which around here usually means it ain't gonna happen, but sure enough, it did. And so the quilt had a quick tumble on low temperature anyway and is none the worse for wear.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Quilty Pleasures: Hard Times, Splendid Quilts

Just thought I'd share my layout for a BOM my local quilt store ThreadBear offered this past year. The blocks are paper pieced and from a book called Hard Times, Splendid Quilts. I actually kept up this time, which is a feat in itself. If you want to know more about paper piecing these blocks or about the book, click this link to a previous post.

The photo is a tad fuzzy, but I took it to see the layout from a different perspective and also to remember how the blocks were placed when I sewed it together. As you can see, I used large pieces of the black pin dot background to lay everything out before I did any cutting.

I wanted to change it up from the traditional blocks, sashing and rows, so did some research and found a modern looking setting at this site. As you can see, theirs was for 20 blocks, so I had to mess around a lot since my 12 blocks did not match the measurements they had. Nonetheless, Generation X Quilters is a new website favorite!

Since we were at a retreat in a hotel, the hallway became the "design wall," which worked out just fine.

It's at the quilter's now, so very soon we shall see how it all turned out.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Last Snow of the Season?

Our winter has been neither snowy nor cold, except for a few days here and there. I am not complaining about the lack of cold, but we could use a little more moisture.

Luckily, the past several days have had rain and sleet and even a little snow, so our ground is nice and wet, just what the grass needs.

This morning while he and Ms. Pearl were on their morning constitutional, Tom took some photos. The snow was already melting and will probably be gone by tomorrow.

Doesn't it look like sea urchins in a tide pool?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Quilty Pleasures: What the Heck Am I Doing?

Today I am off to ThreadBear in Las Vegas, NM, to quilt the string quilt, but in the meantime, in a hyper moment, I took out the Go cutter and made some half square triangles. I've been collecting solids with the idea of a series of  a couple of Amish-style quilts in the back of my mind.

Look at the lint on these blackies.

So the triangles morphed into these:

Which made their way into one of these:

I've been looking through a book called Amish Abstractions, by Faith and Stephen Brown, and have an idea.

Ms. Pearl is not impressed.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Marching Into Spring

Geez, that's a corny title, but spring is almost here and I'm itching to plant some stuff outside. Considering June 1 is our last frost date, I have a way to go, but a girl can still dream, can't she?

Inside the Growing Dome, though, we have a flourishing garden of winter veggies.

On the left are Waldmann's Dark Green lettuce and a red lettuce variety. I can't remember its name, but will look it up if you are interested. I use a cut and come again technique. All these lettuces have had haircuts and the leaves just keep growing back. All I do is use some organic fertilizer on them once in a while and we've had lettuce all winter.

That's some rainbow chard to the right of the lettuce. I will give them a trim, too, but their leaves take longer to grow back.

Below, take a look at the kale, romaine and basil.

I tried this dwarf kale for the first time in the dome and it's doing well. I keep cutting its leaves and they grow right back. The same goes for the romaine lettuce, called Little Gem. It's the gift that keeps on coming. These little varieties for the dome are perfect because it's just the two of us eating from this garden and they don't take up too much space.

At Trader Joe's I bought a pot of live basil for $3.99. When I looked more closely, there were five separate plants, so re-potted four of them and stuck the fifth in the dome's planter bed. All are doing well, but if we were to get some sub zero weather, we'd cover them and say a prayer since basil is a definitely a warm weather plant.

Outdoors it's still too cold to plant anything, but here's a look at my bed of garlic, its shoots peeking up from the straw mulch I put on there last fall. Plant garlic by Halloween and it's ready for harvest by the Fourth of July.

I have big plans for these raised beds. We all just have to wait.

Last, a reason why I love living here. Yesterday I stopped off at our local grocery store, a little place that has shown much improvement since we moved here almost four years ago.

I needed eggs, and among the Shur-Fine brand eggs, were these. They are from a local farmer who I know and trust and isn't it just cool that I can say, "Oh, those are Roger's eggs."

And aren't they pretty?

That's all today, peeps. I am close to a quilt finish, so stay tuned.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Quilty Pleasures: A String Quilt in the Making

Do you suffer guilt while shopping at your favorite Local Quilt Shop? Do you say, "I really don't need any more fabric." And then buy it anyway, guiltily, just because you like it? A lot?

Me, too, but I don't feel guilty about this one which I picked up in Prescott, Arizona last summer. It was calling to me. I had to have it!

It's called Sunflowers (duh) designed by Leers for Clothworks.

There were no plans for this fabric, so it sat around in my stash waiting for its moment. Now its time has arrived along with other fabrics patiently standing in the wings.

Using the dots on the selvage as my color guides, I started pulling from the stash until a nice assortment of coordinating fabric was piled on the cutting table. 

If you don't have a big stash, there's nothing stopping you from buying quarter yard cuts of fabric from your local quilt shop. Just saying.

Then I cut strips, the smallest 3/4 of an inch, the largest 2 1/2 inches and various in between. I ended up with a grocery bag full of strippy goodness. At the quilt retreat I attended a couple weeks ago, people would peer into the bag and say, "Oh, how pretty!"

From these strips came some colorful blocks which will find their way into a quilt this week.

That original fabric? It will be the quilt's border.