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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easy street--The New Bonnie Hunter Mystery

It is that time of year again. Bonnie Hunter's mystery for 2012 is in full swing. Bonnie, of Quiltville fame generously hosts a free mystery annually. It is so much fun.

I have completed clue one and am excited to see clue 2 tomorrow morning.

Click over to Linky Monday at Quiltville, scroll down and see the progress of over 200 of us from all over this big wide world. And of course if you would like to join us on Easy Street we would love to have you. There is always room for one more. We are having a ball.

I have 232 4-patch units for Clue 1. We only need 192 but I need to make mine larger so I just finished up all the strips I had cut. Not sure how many more I will need but this is a start. They are clipped together in groups of 10. This way I only need to count once. It is good to know how many units I have made and how many to go. 

These are some of the fabrics chosen for my quilt. There will be more variety from my stash but these are the "newbies".

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October 2012 Charity Items to Nevada and Virginia

I belong to an online Charity group with almost a thousand members worldwide. Each month we donate items to a different cause. In October we are donating to Riverside Hospital in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.
There is always a need for preemie items so the items you see pictured are on their way to warm some little ones in Virginia.

Usually knitting is my chosen craft but occasionally I will get on a crocheting kick and it's fun. These are the result of such a kick!!
Preemie afghans for Riverside Hospital in Virginia

A variety of preemie and newborn items for Riverside Hospital. The little caps that have the pom poms were knit by Mom and the blue knit caps and knit booties are also Mom's handiwork. 

A few more items going to Riverside

These quilts are going to Nevada where there is a reception honoring Viet Nam Veterans. Since Greg my brother was a Viet Nam Veteran  Mom and I decided to participate and send these quilts in his memory. Greg was a wonderful man and he is sorely missed.

Mom and I chose the fabrics and I cut the strips to her specifications. Then she designed the quilt top, pieced the strips and added borders. I quilted and bound them.

We have several more tops pieced and will be sending them to a Veterans Administration hospital in the future. There are a number of new VA hospitals opening in 2013. Their goal is to have a quilt on the bed when a Veteran is admitted. The quilt is a gift and is theirs to keep.

These quilts are one way to show our appreciation for our armed forces who serve and have served our nation.

Viet Nam quilt #1

Viet Nam quilt #2

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Get it right or get it wrong?

Sometimes "getting it wrong" opens up a whole new way of looking at things and offers a new perspective and even a way to solve a problem...

Daughter Jennifer and I are working on a BOM (block of the month) quilt together. BOM is a program where you are sent only part of the quilt pattern and fabric each month. Usually the program lasts a year. This is such a program. But as with most BOM programs the quilt when finished will not be big enough for a queen let alone a king size bed, so we need to make more blocks.

We have been mulling this over since month one and had not come up with any ideas for addtional blocks.

By a happy chance, I mixed up an orientation of a set of motifs in one of the blocks and came up with an alternate block. We decided to make alternate blocks using the same motifs but a different arrangement.

We decided this was a good solution because the quilt would still have the same percent of color as in the original and none of the new blocks should stand out and look different than the original blocks.

These are my blocks. In rows 2 and 3 you can see the reorientation of part of the motifs in each block. I like the differences and will be happy to see how the other blocks evolve.

Jennifer's blocks are on the left. She is looking forward to making her additional blocks in the near future. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Charity knitting for Kikis Hats

A great charity project, you can read about it here.

In September we were making hats and mitten sets. Here are the sets that I donated. These will be going to Minnesota where it is really really cold in the winter. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pizza Pizza

A shout out to my Bestie in food and fiber, Deb. Deb is a baker -- a wonderful baker (and cook too), quilter, knitter, crafter, singer, actress....the list goes on and on. 

We get together every Tuesday morning. We talk and share new ideas with each other. We are excited and giddy by the time the morning is over, at potential new projects and recipes.  We both love "new and shiny" ideas.

Years ago I baked lots of bread and even ground my own flours from whole grains. I loved it. It took too much time so I stopped baking.

Deb told me about the Artisan Breads in 5 minutes a day. She helped me get started with my first loaf, which was a success. We have been enjoying the Artisan breads for the last couple weeks.

I mixed up some pizza dough earlier in the week and Saturday night, we had pizza night. I baked all 6 of pizzas!

We didn't have any pizza meats so all 6 were meatless. We didn't have any prepared pizza sauce so we made it from scratch. It is not likely that I will go back to store bought pizza sauce. We decided to make all 6 so we could experiment with ingredients, baking pans, baking stone and baking times.

We used our normal ingredients -- mushrooms, green olives, sauteed onions and green peppers, and shredded cheeses. The star of the show turned out to be fresh mozzarella balls in and herb olive oil marinade. Oh goodness no more shredded cheeses for us.

 This pizza has our porch tomatoes and the fresh marinated mozzarella. The bits of cheese that are browned on the pan are crispy and crunchy goodness a treat.

This pizza has some shredded cheddar along with the fresh mozzarella., and other ingredients.  

Pizza night was a success, Keith and son-in-law Juan said they do not want to have any other pizzas EVER again. I am excited to make more.

Thanks Deb, for another awesome idea. Next time you will have to come for the party!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sheba is finished--Tuesday art show

This is the finished product of the painting Mom started in August 2012. The painting was already framed and my phone camera would not take a straight on view so Sheba looks a little wonky. 

The bottom of the painting makes it look like she is walking through tall grasses. The detail is amazing.

This is the original sketch. What a difference. Mom has been experimenting with alcohol inks and I think she has mastered it.

Have a great Tuesday,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Design wall Monday disappearing 4 patch

We had a workshop Thursday at our weekly quilt meeting. Floy taught us the disappearing 4 patch. It was so much fun. 

I decided to use some of my hand dyes fabrics. My daughter and I dyed many fabrics and I haven't really used them. So this seemed like the perfect opportunity. 

I think I have decided to stay with 15 blocks and will just add a wide black border and a scrappy binding from the same fabrics as the blocks. Maybe though I will make some more blocks. Hmmm..... that is a decision for another day.

Head on over to Design Wall Monday at Patch Work Times and see some fabulous projects.

Happy Monday, 
Hoping you have a sunny day to enjoy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

20 Little Dresses for Africa and one Special Lady

Mom made 20 more Little Dresses for Africa in 9 days.

My quilt guild had a request for Little Dresses. One of our members is traveling to South Africa and was hoping to bring 100 dresses with her.

Mom has made many of these Little Dresses in the past, but decided to challenge herself to finish all 20 in nine days! 

We put together kits to add to solid fabric panels that were furnished by the guild. It was a good way to use stash fabrics. 

A huge part of the fun for Mom is that she designs each dress a bit differently than any others.

As you can see there are dresses that are similar but no two are identical.

She is one amazing, talented and giving lady. There will be 20 more little girls somewhere in Africa that will smile each day because of her kindness and generosity. 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Progress on Mom's Birthday quilt

You can see the more about Mom's birthday quilt. Worked today on the first arm of eight on the quilt. It is a little tedious but I love the result. Mom spent many hours working on the placement of all 128 units. Closeup below.

First two rows of 1st arm. There are 4 rows in each arm, so 32 rows of 4 units. Will keep you posted...more tomorrow.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A New Relaxing Knitting Project

Today I needed a new project to knit. So I decided on a pair of mittens for charity. I am frustrated with my Lazy Katy shawl and finished my easy shawl.

The pattern I chose is very easy. It is a two needle mitten. The hint was to knit both at the same time using a center pull ball of yarn. You knit one mitten from the yarn that comes from the outside of the ball and the other from the yarn that comes out of the inside of the ball. I have knit lots of mittens this way. So no big deal.

Easy right? Relaxing right? NOT AT ALL RELAXING 

While I was with my good friend Deb for our weekly get together, we worked together to untangle the yarn several times. I have spent more time untangling the yarn than it would have taken me to knit the mittens.

Lazy Katy is coming along nicely, but the lace edging is fine on the long side and wonky on the short side. Gotta ravel it tonight and see how to fix it.

Close up of the lace border--the good side.

My Easy shawl that I just finished. The knitting is super easy and the yarn makes the statement.

The yarns are both hand dyed mohair, the thicker yarn is a boucle and then thinner just a fine mohair. Glad to have this one done.

Happy Tuesday evening,

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Porch Tomatoes

Dad always had a huge garden and a green thumb. Mom always had flower gardens and enjoyed fresh flowers all summer. The arrangements were varied and many. She had dozens of different types of flowers in her yard. 
Keith and I are not yard or garden folk. This year we decided to have some tomato plants. We bought them late in the season but have been enjoying many delicious tomatoes over the past couple of weeks.
Last night we had a mozzarella and tomato salad. The mozzarella balls are from Costco. They live in a yummy herbed olive oil marinade. One of our favorite salads in New York was this one. The cheese was cold and so good. Yay for porch tomatoes.

The plants had to come and live inside the porch as the birds decided they should sample every tomato that started to turn pink. That is a gallon plastic jug in between for perspective. The plants are starting to wither. They  must know that autumn is here. Next season we will buy more plants and buy them earlier. Boo birds--Yay porch tomatoes

Saturday Art Show

We have been hearing so much about the new alcohol inks that Mom decided to try them. 
Part of Mom's birthday present from us were the inks and various tools, sponges, and some special paper needed for this technique. 
One day soon maybe Mom and Amy will allow me into their "play time" to take some pictures. I have only heard about how the magic happens but would love to see it in detail.

I think we need to make sure that they don't run out of paper or supplies. I have lots of walls to fill!!
These are some of the paintings Mom has finished.

 This was my birthday present this year. Mom captured pure joy in this painting. The colors are my favorites. It  is hung in my studio right over my clock. So when I look at it I can remember now is the time to be joyful. Thanks Mom. I love you.
Here is a closeup. The bright white spot is a reflection from the camera flash, not part of the painting.
 This is another one of Mom's recent paintings. It really looks like you are under the sea. 

If you look closely in the upper left quadrant it almost looks like a fish is emerging from some seaweed. 

This is an oil painting that has traveled with us from home to new home over the years. It is a biggie--27x33. It hangs over our fireplace in the family room and 
we love it.
This is especially for Keith's Man Cave. The colors are just right for his room.
He loves this, what is not to love?
Close up of Keith's painting.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A new Lazy Katy shawl

This is a shawlette that is knit in the shape of a crescent. You only increase on one end so it automatically makes this shape. There will be a lace edging on two sides. 

The yarn is from KnitPicks and it is the Lollipop colorway of Chroma fingering weight.

This is just the happiest yarn. It reminds me of a fabric palette Jennifer and I dyed years ago called Tutti Frutti. It is happy, happy,

Almost time to add the lace edging.
Close up of the color changes. I love this yarn. 

Mom's Birthday Quilt

This is the print in Mom's bedroom that we used for our inspiration of her birthday quilt. Sorry for the grainy pictures, but you can get the idea.

This is a Karen K Stone pattern called Unusual Lone Star. It is featured in her book Karen K. Stone Quilts

Mom and I had great fun deciding which fabrics were appropriate for the star. We also had to decide how many fabrics for each color group. We so enjoyed that process.

There are 128 pieced units in the star. Each unit has 6 pieces. The units are a diamond shape. 

Mom has taken the units home and has laid them out on her bed to decide where  they all should live in the star!! 

Placement of the units is a job that is tedious at best. If you move one unit then it changes the look of all the surrounding units and will likely begin a chain reaction of switching units. She has finally after a number of days decided the design in just right. 

Mom took several days to work on the star. She is a fine artist, a painter and told me that the way she paints is to work on the painting and then go away from it and to come back later and to see how it looks. As wise woman she is. 

Next she is marking each unit with a code for exact placement in the star. I will sew them together and then we will have the fun of auditioning fabrics for the background. 

The star only covers the top of Mom's queen size bed. We need to design the rest of the quilt.

I will keep you posted on our progress. 

In the meantime have a wonderful safe weekend,


Closer look at the units in the center of the star

Cloeup of one of the 8 arms of the star

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Art Work Mom and Amy and Alcohol inks

What a fun Sunday. We had a mini art show when Mom and Amy came for dinner. They spent this afternoon exploring their new found favorite medium--alcohol ink. They are working on acetate and are looking forward to using some sort of masking materials. I don't have much of a clue how it all works but they do and that is what counts. Hope you enjoy the pretties.

Amy's painting in progress. She didn't have enough time to finish today, but is excited to work on it soon. 
This is a closeup of part of Amy's painting above. It shows the detail.  Amazing detail isn't it?
This is Mom's work in progress. She used alcohol inks for the background and then will paint the elephant.

This is Mom's first alcohol ink painting. I wish my phone camera could capture all the nuances of color. Maybe my new phone will produce a better picture. It is so pretty in real life.
Here is a closeup of all the detail in Mom's painting. Amazing is all I can say.

This one is Amy's first alcohol ink painting. The detail is easier to see because you guessed it -- a closeup.

Another Little Dress for Africa

Another Little dress for Africa made with love by Mom, with an extra large pocket because mom said she always loved to have a pocket for treasures. She has made many of these dresses and now excited to make many more in the near future. A family from our Quilt Guild will be traveling to Africa and will hand deliver dresses and shorts. Mom is branching out to make shorts too as soon as we get the details. Yay Mom
Another adorable dress 

NYE Mystery -- Suggestions for quilting the 9 patch blocks

Today is a pretty Carolina sunny day. Am waiting for kids and mom for Sunday dinner. Dinner is in 3 crock pots. So just a few last minute chores and we will be ready to enjoy. 

This is the top my daughter pieced from our current New Year's Eve mystery. I am finally getting around to quilting it. The backing is the same blue paisley fabric. I love her fabric choices. Mine is top is not nearly as wonderful. My fabriccs were from my stash and her's was brand new. In fairness Jen didn't have any fabrics that would have worked so she really did need to go and purchase new.

I have quilted the sashing and like it so far. but I cannot decide what to do in those 9 patches. Any suggestions? Any suggestions? I would appreciate your input.

Love the sub patterns especially these cute polka dot squares.
Happy Sunday,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quilted chair cover

Our middle daughter Amy needed a chair seat cover for her burgundy leather recliner. I an happy with the quilting and had a ball with the free flowing patterns.  The deep burgundy color was not captured in the late afternoon sunlight, but I love the color in the picture too. The piece is about 33"x34".