Monday, March 31, 2008

I knew it! LOL

Woot! Bonnie has posted part 1 of Orange Crush. I just knew it would be hundreds of little pieces! Ah well. It just makes the mystery mysteriouser. Hard to tell where the design is going.

Back to the machines!

Rainy Weekend

Rain! Always good after a year of drought. Not so good for men up in trees though. We were having the big pecan tree taken down on Saturday but they had to quit when the rain started. Weather Underground says the only non rainy day this week is Wednesday so I guess I'll plan on them coming back then. They have to! LOL We have all their equipment!

So we have half a tree. You can see why we don't like it looming over the house. It's big.

The indoor project of the weekend was altering my sewing table so the machine will sit flush. It's an old old Ikea desk so we figured the worst that could happen is I'd need a shiny new sewing table!

And it worked! The Tramp was was in power tool heaven. LOL Mom treated me to the Horn of America insert.

The tricky part was leveling the shelf underneath. Of course I painted it purple.

It also makes a great shelf for bobbin boxes, scissors and stuff. :-) Very cool. *happy sigh*

Look at that! So clean and neat!

Not for long. Pretty soon it'll match the rest of the room! Darn....I think I better take an hour or so today to clean up.

I made new leaders for the frame and installed a Grace Sure Stitch (stitch regulator) I bought used. Now I have even more wires to contend with! But I put the quilt for mom back on the frame and I hope to finish it today.

I have all my fabrics chosen and waiting to start the Orange Crush mystery quilt. There are now 1500 people in the Yahoo Group waiting somewhat impatiently to start. I wonder if Bonnie had any clue what she was getting into! LOL Fame is an amazing thing.

And my dog photo of the day. Beats me how she can possibly be comfortable, but she'll hang out like that, by The Tramp's desk for hours in the evening. Nutty dog.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pick a little, talk a little.....

Bonnie Hunter has posted the first installment (fabric requirements) of her next mystery quilt, ORANGE CRUSH. A very cool name and it's generated lots of excitement. Poor Bonnie though, she finally had to express her frustration with all the questions she was receiving about fabric choices. I can understand her feelings when she has over 1000 ladies in a Yahoo Group suddenly jumping all over her, but I'm afraid it kind of goes with the territory...darn it. Everyone is asking questions all at one time. She made reference to hens clucking and I had to laugh when I immediately thought of the River City Ladies from The Music Man.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE the music from this show but it's a bit much when it's running through my dreams all night long! LOL

Now here's some chickens for you. I wish I could show you the fine workmanship.

This is a BOM (block of the month) that my Mom did. The detail is incredible. Talk about frustration with fabrics. All the applique and quilting is done by hand. Another BOM in this series of quilts is shown in the detail below. She has a third, Fox Chase, in the works. She's also done the cat one.

I watched them being made and I still can't grasp the innate Talent, incredible Patience, attention to Detail and sheer Perseverance that got her through these. She has a pile of ribbons, mostly blue and best-in-shows, that I don't even try to compete with! Go Mom!

SO ANYWAY...I'm not about to get my britches in a twist about Bonnie's mystery. I'll take what she offers and enjoy it thoroughly. Her Carolina Crossroads mystery quilt was so well planned and went together so "easily" (that's not quite the right word) I have complete faith in this one.

So of course all last night in my dreams I also was choosing fabrics. (Always fun, but I'd rather do it in the daytime! LOL) So this is how it's going so far..... (Bonnie's words in italics)

Approximately 1.5 yards of light (neutral) scraps cut into 2" strips. Woot! a chance to get out the 2" strip bin and see what I have. Lots of my stuff is from Mom's old scrap bin so I don't know what treasures I have.

Approximately 1.5 yards of dark scraps cut into 2" strips. Ahhhh. Dark strips are easy. I have lots of brights too. And if I don't have enough I can always cut more as we go along. Neutral is going to be my problem. FIELD TRIP! :-)

Approximately 3/4 yard of dark scraps cut into 3.5" strips. Hmmmm. This bin isn't quite so exciting. I'm going to have to clean off my cutting table and get to work.

Bonnie says she has "scrap salad" in her bins. Cute way to put it. I thought that was the way the bins were SUPPOSED to look! LOL

Then she said we will need some additional yardage. She chose 2 yards of an Orange, 1.5 yards of a red and 1.5 yards of a vintage black. Her accent fabric is assorted pieces of blue/white indigo but we can use scraps if we want, in 3.5" strips.

So far very clear. But wait! Bonnie goes on to suggest other colorways for the mystery. I read through them all until I was gobsmacked by the last one!

Do you have 30's fabrics to clear out? This is a good place to use those 1930's solids in bubble gum pink, bright yellow, nile green, and lavender! Just as long as those 4 colors are more intense than your "lights" are. For a 1930's quilt, you can use plain muslin or cream for the lights. They didn't have "white on white" or "cream on cream" in the dare to make it look really vintage with muslin!

Wooohooo! I just bought a big packet of 30's fat quarters from Keepsake Quilting! I can use these and I also get to buy some solids as well! *tee hee*

My intention was/is to make a shower curtain and give the bathroom a sort of "quilty 1930's" look. This might be it! If it turns out shower curtain sized great, if it doesn't that's fine too. Hear that??? ME, the control freak, being loosey goosey! Yesssssss.

Oh! And Mom has expressed interest in doing this mystery too! Once again...THANKS BONNIE!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A lovely day!

My Easter treat from The Tramp.

Easter seemed like the perfect day to try my hand at making Pavlova. Not a native dish for this Jersey girl but it seemed like the sort of day I could get it right. It's always chancy when I'm in the kitchen. :-) I got out the Edmonds cookbook and the New Zealand measuring cups and spoons (thanks batgirl!). I had plenty of time to snap photos while the mixer was whirring away. 15 minutes of mixing! I also had time for a cup of tea, to empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher..... LOL

The Tramp converted the oven temps to Fahrenheit for me but I got out my trusty ruler to get the centimeters right for the diameter. :-)

While I mixed, The Tramp worked on the woodpile.

It was apparently a success!

Thursday at quilt guild I won a drawing. A lovely little Easter packet of fat quarters from a local shop! *happy dance*

Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Windy days

Look what the wind blew in yesterday! A wonderful gift I won over at Grace's site. :-) Beading yummies. Thank you Grace!!!

I'll resist posting bird pictures today and for a change you can look laundry! LOL

The Tramp and I finally got the clothesline constructed and yesterday was it's maiden voyage. I love how it's always breezy here and yesterday was downright WINDY. I also love my fancy dancy new dryer but nothing is better than hanging things out in the sun and wind. Wednesday is laundry day and it's always nice when the weather cooperates! The lines sagged quite a bit but we pulled them tighter today. It's still windy so....

It wasn't hard to find another load of laundry. I can't figure out how just two of us manage to generate so much!

Today was Make Stew For The Dog Day. Polish sausage, green beans, sweet and white potatoes. I forgot to get beef broth so used chicken. I was all ready to worry about it, then realized...the dog couldn't care less. Sheesh. The recipe is from this book.

So it naturally followed that it should also be Scrub Out The Kibble Containers Day.

Our yard is slowly taking shape. The construction of the clothesline helped make the woodpile a bit smaller. The Tramp has also been busy chopping wood for the stove.

Things have greened up since we've finally had some rain. The problem is that with all this drought and not a little neglect on our part weed is taking over. All the green you see above is chickweed or something similar. It's also taken over the gardens.
It grows like mad in the pine straw mulch so I've been hacking it out a bit at a time. I only wonder if I can keep ahead of it!

I've got so much more to go! This is just the tip of the iceberg. Sigh.

But the bonus is finding lovely little things like this. :-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This, That and the Other

It's a dull day today but that doesn't seem to deter the birds. I end up sitting here watching them rather than getting stuff done! The Bluebirds were back today, checking out the suet feeders. Sparrows are back nesting in the Bluebird house though. I've chucked out the nest a few times but this time I think I'll let it go. They're a pest, but throwing them out doesn't guarantee the Bluebirds using it. (click to see the Bluebird)

The daffodils are finishing. I'm waiting for the next wave of bloom. I know there are irises in the bed, but I'm not sure what else.

With spring in the air I just have to mess around with soil. I've put pansies in pots and under the bird bath. I had the fright of my life the other day when watering. The biggest, blackest black widow spider was hanging out by one of the pots. She was breathtakingly beautiful to see but at the same time the experience shook me to the core! These are creatures I've only previously read about and seen in photos. Quite a different experience in person....and living under the siding of my own house! *shiver*

I've got a few pots of seeds starting indoors. Flowers...

tomatoes....and strawberries! I think it's going to take these guys a long time before I see a strawberry out of here. :-)

I did some much needed re-potting. The croton is a very happy plant. Good thing because it really needed a larger pot. The other plant (yellow pot) I've never been able to identify. So it's been suffering (can you tell?) while I try to figure out what kind of pot, light and watering schedule it likes. I think this last location is going to be a good one. I hope!

I brought this Easter Lily with me from my church in New Jersey. I didn't know where to plant it last summer when we got here but it has survived in the pot and is now growing like mad in my sewing room window!

Like I need them (not!) I bought two more African Violets at Lowes on Sunday. My excuse is I don't have these colors.

Some of the others are blooming nicely right now.

Sewing slowed down for a while. I was/am having so many aches and pains in my shoulders and arms. As of last night (another sleepless one) I've convinced myself my aches are being caused by the memory foam topper we got for our bed about a month ago. So it's coming off tonight and we'll see! I was a bit bored too, and since big items were tough with the aching arms, I took a break and messed around on my Featherweight making some of Bonnie's Maverick Stars. I had lots of little triangle ends from the braided border on the Scrappy Bargello quilt in my crumbs bin. So I threw caution to the winds, sort of followed the directions and had fun. :-)

Pretty cute.
Not sure what I'll do with them but I can enjoy them hanging around on my design wall for a while. Maybe a table topper.....

Bonnie has started dropping hints for the next mystery quilt. I'm counting on the aches and pains going away by then! Yes!!!!