Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Winding Ways #2 - Borders Corrected

After really looking at the pictures I posted yesterday of this miniature quilt, the apparent flaws in the borders stuck out like a sore thumb.  After talking with Louise, I realized that the borders had to be re-done - here is the result.  Much better.  And they look straighter than in the picture above - with my just holding the camera, I still get some keystoning (didn't figure out the exact center, so the left looks a little wobbly.)  However, I'm more satisfied.  A famous quilter once said, "Better finished than right", but this time, I needed to correct my mistake.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Another Miniature Quilt - Winding Ways

The Winding Ways quilt pattern has always been a favorite.  I love the secondary patterns in it that you will see if you click on the quilt to enlarge it.  This was a kit, with the pieces already laser cut.  I don't think that I would have the patience to cut the tiny pieces used to create this mini.  I'm still having a problem with the bottom dark first border - there is a slight wow or bulge, and I've got to figure out how to fix it, but over all, I love the pattern and the colors.  Another UFO to click off as being half done.  Progress in the sewing room!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Li'l Twister Little Quilts

I  love the pinwheels that you make using a special ruler to cut up connected blocks.  For quite a while, I have cut up extra fabric into 5" squares.  How convenient to sew these squares together to make a table runner - Some of this fabric was in Mandy's graduation quilt - quite a few years ago.

 The second neat thing about making this quilt top, is that if you cut the first pinwheels carefully, you have small squares that can be trimmed to 2-1/2" squares, which, after being sewn together and then cut, you have a miniature pinwheel quilt.  Fun, right?
This is the second group - goes faster the second time.  
This is one of the best ways I know of to get rid of some winter blahs.  Make something useful while having the satisfaction of learning a new technique.  A recent article in one of our newspapers said that learning quilting and photography were two ways to keep our brains in a learning mode - I take a few pictures, but love the challenge of finding new ways to make pleasing patterns in fabric.
Now, I have a real excuse - keep this ancient mind in top form!  If you don't make quilts, it's not too late to begin.

Friday, March 7, 2014

View from Our Patio

While Tony was visiting, we had some pretty gray days, but the photo above is evidence that gray can be beautiful.  Be sure to click on the photo to enlarge it.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Friendship Quilt Block

This is the trial block for my contribution to our guild's friendship quilt that we're making this year.  I have made a few design changes, but, essentially, this is how my block looks.  It tells a story about the things I like to do.  I am sitting at the computer, have books to read, a small quilt on the side of the desk,  a picture on the wall (like to paint or sew pictures), and a genealogy pedigree chart.  Here I am - stick figure and all.  Now, I just have to finish embroidering another 14 blocks.  Oh, yes, and all of the other blocks will have me wearing my favorite color, yellow.  When you enlarge this, you will see all of my mistakes, but that makes this qualify for "folk art".  When we exchange our blocks in September, It will be fun to make a quilt of all of my friends interpretations of themselves and their favorite things.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sunbonnet Sue Gone With the Wind


This is supposed to be the year for finishing.  So many unfinished quilts just tucked away here and there, and they need to be completed, and this quilt was at the top of the list.   The keystone effect on the top picture makes the finished quilt look crooked - it quilt is actually straight on the sides.
I began appliquéing Sue in 1994 while we were still living in Tumwater.  It took me six years to get the blocks finished, and the quilt constructed.  Originally, the pattern showed blocks sticking out from the side of the quilt, making a "dramatic" edge  - hills and valleys, or Vs.  I began hand quilting this quilt in 2000, taking it with me to Mesa in the winter, and quilting on it rather sporadically during the next five years, and coming back home each year to sit on the shelf.  When we sold our little place in AZ, the
quilt was truly shelved.  However, since this is the year to finish things, I retrieved it, and, with the help of niece Cheryl's recommendation about a "beanbag" bottom lap hoop from Barnett's (internet), I have actually completed it.  However, one sad thing - or not - When I would finish quilting in the evening, I would just lay the quilt, hoop and all, on the floor by my chair, not realizing that part of an edge piece was over the floor vent for the furnace.  The result was a pretty ugly scorch, which would not come out.  The result - the quilt got squared off - no jutting-out Vs, and a simple binding to finish it.  I am not really a wonderful hand quilter - just too impatient to get on to the next project, I guess.  Nevertheless, it is finished!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snap-top bags

 It's always difficult to know what to give neighborhood children when they have birthdays - and we have such cute neighborhood children.  These bags aren't very big - just enough to hold a few treasures.
 A little girl's bag has to have a ruffle or two -
I love the internet. Just by searching, you can find so many wonderful things to make.   One of the ladies in our Preston Piecers quilt guild found this pattern last fall.   The most unique part of the bag is that the casings at the top contain pieces of a carpenter's tape measure, cut to measure the length of the casing, and then trimmed and taped several times with either masking tape or duct tape to keep them from cutting through the fabric.  When the pieces of tape measure are inserted correctly, the top is sealed with a satisfying snap, so that nothing can tumble out.  Now, a few treasures, and these are ready for gifting.  The neat thing about this bag is that it can be made much larger, or smaller (coin purse), and I can think of a multitude of uses, from a coin purse to a wallet. - or even larger for who knows what?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Birthday Gift From The Gourd Lady

This is Ron's birthday present from his sister, Evie, who is truly a magician with gourds.  This bird house will not hang out in the trees this summer, but will be put where we can enjoy it.  The carefully and precisely carved design had to take a lot of time, and the effect is a "wow".
 These two pictures are the back of the gourd - Love the dash of turquoise - it sets everything off nicely.
 This picture shows a more true color of the gourd.  So glad that Ron had a birthday to celebrate!

The rather ugly winter weather must be blamed for the hiatus in the family blogs, with the exception of Dwight and his Curmudgeonly Professor, which keeps the wit and pictures coming.  We have had bitter cold weather, but the sun in the daytime has eroded the edges of the snow so that some of the grass is showing.  And this morning there is a light, steady snow to chase the inversion away.  As we live in the north end of Cache Valley, our atmospheric effects from the inversion are not as heavy as Logan, itself.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Beautiful Great Grandchild

Doesn't he look like a winter?  Fortunately for us, Jet's father is a photographer, and posts pictures on Facebook for us to admire.  This little guy has really grown.  I don't frequent Facebook often, and usually just browse, but it's a boon to great-grandmas like me, so that we can see these children who live far away. We live in a town where, often, families in close proximity. Great-grandparents, grandparents, mothers & fathers, children, etc., etc. all live in or near the community.  That's how life used to be for many.  However, we are prey to the logistics of society today - the jobs are far away, and ever evolving.  Once my aunt Cindy and uncle Norman moved to Smithfield, Utah and built a home to be near two of their children and families.  Within a couple of years, those children had moved away to follow employment opportunities.  My aunt and uncle stayed in Smithfield, and both are buried in the Smithfield cemetery, far away from their parents' burial place in northwestern Wyoming.  Such is life!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wintry Morning from our window.

We've just been very, very cold this year - and the mornings have not been spectacular.  This picture is from a year ago - I don't remember if the day was glorious, but the sunrise certainly was.  It is wonderful to have this beautiful scene in its varying aspects at our back door.  Count my blessings.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Down by the Riverside



This long-ago wintry day was celebrated by Louise, Judy, and me with a walk down to the river in the snow.  We were dressed pretty warmly, but it was the idea of the photographer (me) to have them pose in the snow.  Dumb idea, but the pictures, taken with the old Baby Brownie, turned out okay.  Louise must have been  working away from home,and was home for the weekend.  Maybe you remember?
Anyway, these are good memories - I would probably have forgotten this time, except for the pictures that remain to tell about it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nostalgic Photo

Sometime in the late 40s, I got this coat for Christmas (if my memory serves me right.)  Some of us went up to Grandma and Grandpa Wasden's to show them our gifts.  I'm not sure what this pose is all about, but I do know that I thought that  this coat with the hood was just like a wonderful cloak that made me beautiful.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

More of Our Christmas Decor

 These are special Christmas balls.  In Washington, Ron had a patient who was a glass blower, and had a glory hole in his garage.  We spent a Saturday there - Daddy didn't want to go, but we took Elna, and she made a ball.  Ron's and my balls are small - We didn't have the technique quite right, but it was a lot of fun and very exciting.  We took more glass balls home than we made.
 These little "Santa's Dwarfs" have traveled with us.  I first made these guys for a craft fair that we did in Powell - sold lots of them.  These have endured over the years - always looking patient.
 Ron had this paper mache Santa when we married - he seems to be very old.  He has to come out each Christmas.
 The little Santa clinging to the lamp base was a gift from Phyllis Hansen, a dear friend, who left us quite some years ago.  The carved Santa in front was made by a Mr. Nelson, a furniture re-finisher in Olympia, who retired and went to Arizona and picked up wood carving.  The Santa with the tree was painted by Julia in the days when we were doing lots of painting projects.  And, if you enlarge the picture, you can see my collection of Petersen mice in the display case.  Nativity scene on top, Ron's shelf is next, and mine on the bottom.
 Sorry this picture is so dim - These are a few of my nativity sets.  The center figures are corn husk dolls of Mary, Joseph and the baby, the set to the left that you can barely see is  one that I purchased in Jerusalem after I realized that we just couldn't afford the olive wood carved sets in Bethlehem, and the little white set minus shepherds, I bought in Olympia at a clearance sale.  The light is coming in from the windows, so the reflection on the table makes an interesting effect.
 At least you get the drift of the tree - never did get the angel at the top of the tree this year.
 I'm including this picture because the ghost hands at the far edge are mine - so much for taking pictures in front of a reflective window.  This stained glass poinsettia was made by a couple of friends in Mesa during the years we wintered there.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Part of our Christmas Traditions

 Some traditions are new - this Santa and Mrs. Santa (Do they have first names?) usually end up somewhere in our house at this time of year.  A gift from children.
 This is Julia's corner - She and Mike sent holly, and the blue Santa is one that she painted and gave to me for Christmas quite a few years ago.  He is very special
 Dorothy and Sara and their families spoiled us with a lovely centerpiece - In this world of artificial trees and greens, it's nice to actually smell an evergreen bough.
 The Wedgewood onion (another gift from Dorothy and Sara) hangs from our chandelier every Christmas - a perfect reminder of many things in our lives.
And this little Christmas tree always sits under the mirror at the entrance to the living room.  The fired clay Santa has holly in his pack - Many of the little ornaments on the tree came from our stay in Germany    More tomorrow!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Four and Twenty Birds that Are Black



The big apple tree at the corner of our lot and our neighbor's orchard is seldom free of fruit in the winter, because the apples are small and difficult to pick.  However, it does offer food to traveling birds.  This flock settled in to eat the fruit or just rest from their travels.  Couldn't tell what kind they are - it is so cold, and they are all fluffed up.  Enlarge them to see the red apples and the birds - if you are able to identify them, make a comment.  Anyway, the tree is decorated for the holiday season.  Unfortunately, the neighbor's grandson fired up a snowmobile to have fun in our lots, and scared them away.  The tree waits for the next occupants.