Sunday, May 19, 2019

What I've Been Up to for the Last Month.... (Not all quilting)

     It's been a month since my last post....  what have I been up to?  

     A whole bunch of this last month has been spent around the house and yard.  We have had a really warm, dry, spring to date.  We hit the high 70's and low 80's last week.    I'm not sad that it's raining today and will do so most of this next week.   My plants really need it.   The ground had turned to concrete around the weeds.... so I'm hoping I can finish pulling with some softer soil.  

     We live on an acre and a quarter.  This means that I have plenty of weeds to attack, both with hand pulling and by spraying.   With nearly 15,000 square feet of gravel driveways and parking area,  it took me nearly two days to spray with my backpack sprayer.   It is too cumbersome to wear and pump... so I've rigged it to my hand truck on buckets.   It works pretty good!   

You can see that there are plenty of weeds in this gravel! 

       I  tweaked my right knee last September,  and had it in a knee support for the entire months of Sept. and Oct.!   I finally went to have it checked out.... possible meniscus tear.... but the doctor suggested we try a cortisone shot to help with the inflammation.  It did the trick.... but I  was hesitant to do any crawling or digging in November.   It definitely shows this spring!  

     The front concrete driveway has been pressure washed.     Still to pressure wash:   back patio,  patio furniture,  upper deck,  stairs to shop and shop front. 

     I've gotten all my flower pots planted and they have thoroughly enjoyed the three weeks of warm sunshine.  I went with multi-colored petunias this year.   They looked really cheerful when I was ready to purchase.   It was so wet when it was time to buy basket fillers and trailers....  I missed out on many of my favorites.  

     I did find the small bistro set for the covered deck area.   It now sports  new area rugs,  the bistro set and a new, smaller gas grill which replaces the big one that gave up this last fall.    

     I got a shade cloth hung in the greenhouse last week.   I purchased a shade sail at Costco for $35.00.  (7 x 13)  My greenhouse is 10 x 12.   it doesn't cover the entire roof area,  but it sure will make a difference keeping those Hostas protected from the hot sun.  It has 90% UV protection.  A comparable nursery one would have been about double that amount.  

     These were divided last fall when I moved them from an area that was too hot between two concrete areas where I don't water often enough.   70 of them in gallon containers.   Roots are not pot full yet.... but they are looking good!   I do not know the species name, because these came from my niece's yard and they were already there when she moved in.   They do get a white flower that is later  than the purple ones on my other Hostas. 

This picture was taken before I got the shade cloth up.

 Another chore I accomplished last week was hanging the bamboo shades around the hot tub area under the upper deck.   They were taken down when we re-built the deck 2 years ago,  and I never got them up last summer.   It really does help to keep the glare out of our family room on really bright days.  

      I have been hand weeding the beds around my patio.  They will all get new bark when I'm done.   The last bark I put down was right after the patio was put in... that was 2015.  

This picture was taken in 2015 as I was doing the plantings.   The black mondo grass didn't work so well.  Turns out the rabbits loved it more than i do.  

The other end of the patio looking out at the beds.   2015. My!, those two trees have really grown!  

      One part of those beds was never planted in 2015.... because we knew we were going to be re-doing the deck above it.   I didn't want to have to move plants,  or worry about ladders and such, so I left the part directly under the deck for later.    I finally got the plants in place!  Only took 4 years.  

     I have done a little sewing.... I finished the hand sewing on these borders for this quilt.   I started it in 2012, and it got put away with the borders still in the planning stage.   I'm ready to attach them, and add it to the finished top category. This was the UFO number for April.  

     I  started piecing and have finished the top of  the log cabin quilt for Aaron, our grandson.   He loves the Philadelphia Eagles Football team... so I'm hoping he will love the color combination.  I had all the greens in my stash... and needed to supplement the grays I had on hand.  I probably purchased 4 - 5 yards of different grays.  

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Post - Quilt Show Hangovers.... and more UFO Progress

     Well,  our show was 3 weeks ago....  Really?   Three Weeks?    Seems like yesterday, in so many ways...  I'm still haggling over prices with the pipe and drape folks,  who seem to have raised some of their prices by nearly triple since last year!   YIKES!  

     I'm also exploring different venues for next March,  and at the rate we are making progress on invoicing,  most likely a new Trade show Decorator!   

     We have so many spring quilt shows in our area....  we were traditionally the first for many years....  and everyone seems to have followed us...   Puyallup Quilt, Sewing Expo (about a 2 hour drive),  then our show, with another small show in the  same town the same weekend this year....  a neighboring guild had one the week after us....  then this weekend was the PDX  Quilt, Sew Craft Expo.... and then a mid-valley show next weekend about an hour south....     We had approx 1000 paying visitors,  about the same as last year,  but the vendors aren't happy about the influx of so many shows so close together....   Everyone is either saving for the next show,  or just spent their money at the last one....   

     UFO progress...  

I had entered my "On Ringo Lake" Bonnie Hunter Mystery in our show...  so it was definitely on my " to do" list for March.    I actually did this one on a long arm,  with help and assistance from a member of our guild who does Long Arm finishing on many of our Quilts of Valor.    We chose an overall design and in about 4 hours, I was on my way home.   

I had to finish my "Whole Cloth" project for my Quilting Rockstar Status, which had our graduation on the 29th of March.....   I finished just before the posting deadline by one day....  

I chose to use a variety of geometric shapes, surrounded by a variety of background fills.   I'm calling it "Shapes I",  as I see a series of these in my future.   I used a soft gray shot cotton on top,  80/20 Hobbs batting plus a layer of wool batting,  and quilted it with a soft gray Glide Thread.    I'm very happy with how it turned out.  

My March UFO for the APQ Challenge was this lovely vintage, well aged piece that was started in the mid-1990's.  Wow!  that was last Century!    I believe it is my oldest UFO.   I didn't get anything done on it early in the month,  but I took it to our retreat the last week of March,  and got the top assembled with a couple of hours to go before April 1.   It helped to have friends cheering me on! 

This is now 82 x 82 approx.   This was originally an internet exchange of blocks.   Thank goodness I had just enough fabric to add the outer border and cut binding.   Next up is to piece a back out of some of my homespun plaids and get this quilted.   I love Churn Dash Blocks! 

I also finished this table runner earlier in March...  this was from our 2010 quilt show, where I took a class from Judy Niemeyer.   I finished piecing the top earlier this past year, but we wanted a small display of items completed as a result of guild workshops... so I decided to go ahead and quilt it.   Done!  

  I also finished my Drizzle Pizzaz project.  This was taught by Kathie Kerler at our Guild this last September.  One of the first projects I started on my Janome 9400.   I decided to set my little samples into a tote bag.   Done!   

I did some prep work on my seasonal Wool Project,  and finished the last applique piece.   Now they all just need to be finished around the edges and have the final embellishments added. 

And...   "Good Fortune",  the 2019 Bonnie Hunter Mystery went to Retreat with me as well!   I got it pieced together and ready for it's Minky Backing and Quilting.   I did forget to take the four final corner pieces with me,  so they  are missing in the picture.

This is a graduation gift for our granddaughter who will receive her BS in Nursing this spring. 

And.... I had committed to helping with the Quilts for Cure project which helps to bring snuggly comfort to Kids with Cancer.   Michael Miller Fabrics sent me the box of blocks, and fabric while I was at retreat.    It is now a top,  and I'm waiting for the box with the batting and thread. 
 I'm now working on another 2012 UFO that is on my April list.. but I'll keep that one a bit of a secret for another week or two and we'll see how far I can get on it.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Quilt Show Countdown!

   Our guild's show is in just over a week!   There is still so much to do.   March 22, 23 at the Portland Expo Center, in Portland Oregon.

    I'm on both our executive board,  and I'm on the show committee.   I've been responsible for finding homes for all registered quilts for for about 9 years now.   I've got the routine down, so i guess it's time to teach someone else how to do it....  LOL      

    The Pipe and Drape goes up on Wed the 20,  quilt hanging is on the 21,  and then 2 days of show.   Set up takes so much organization, so many volunteers and about 9 hours of actually working on the hanging for over 300 quilts.... and then it all comes down in about 2 1/2 hours when it's all over.  

  •      I have layout sheets ready
  •      I have finished the powerpoint presentation for my demonstration on EQ software,  my tuna can hexie demo is a repeat, so I'm ready for that
  •       My 9 quilts that I have entered are almost ready.... One sleeve, and two labels left to stitch on. 
  •       The screen mesh that we are hanging our small quilts on this year has been ordered, but has not yet arrived and still needs to be trimmed and stitched with hems and hanging sleeves. 
  •       I've submitted the floor plan to the fire marshall, and I think we have enough tables and chairs 
  •      Ladders and hanging supplies need to be cleaned and prepped for being near quilts... 
  • Clips were ordered and have been retrofitted to hang properly... 
  • I need to verify copy and text for our large signage.... and then send them off to Kinko / Fed X for printing. 
 In just a blink of the eye,  it will all be over for another year.   

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

UFO Project Update

February was a productive month for me.  

I not only did the online class I shared samples of in the last post,  but I finished 2 major quilt projects this month.  

I decided to start out with two little snow fabric table toppers, that were made with pieces left over from Warm Winter Wishes, that I finished up in December.   It didn't take long at all to quilt these two little gems.   Besides, it was snowed that day... just seemed right to work on them. 

My second finish was to finish Jamestown Landing.  I had it sandwiched and had started the quilting when I posted earlier in the month.   I love the way it turned out. 

Quilting Details

 I've used three spools of thread...  and it's a race to see if I have enough to finish... 

 I ran out of thread  while stitching the binding...  found a similar color on the rack and went for it!  Not buying another full spool. 

Overall Texture  of Quilting

Overall Texture 

 My Third finish for the month was my #6 APQS UFO challenge.   This was a round robin that was originally started back in 2009.  It came home in the fall of 2019,  but we were in the midst of a a move to our current home,  and I had just lost my Mom in May of that year.    Lots of projects got set aside that year.....   Retirement and new skills have  both encouraged me to finish up these  projects that have been aging to perfection. 

I now call this quilt "Spring is in the Air".   Believe me...  after a week of snowy, cold weather right at the end of February and I am ready for spring. 

This quilt is now 54 x 54 and is now gracing the back of the loveseat in our family room. 

Entire Quilt 

Add caption

Center Medallion Detail

Outer Border Details 

Daffodil outline Details 

Texture on the back 

February Quilting Progress - Lots of practice sandwiches were used this month!

   February was my month for Free Motion Quilting practice.  (I have been taking a "Quilting Rockstars Rockstar status" class online this month.)  We have worked on 30 different motifs, and had lots of practice opportunities.   Here are a few of my practice samples from this month.  

A link to HollyAnne's  blog is .  If you have been wanting to improve your free motion skills,  check out HollyAnne's classes.   She has a great facebook community that can cheer you on. 

I've also been following Machine Quilting Tutorials with Jeanne  on facebook.  She also has a great way of using video tutorials to help you see just how it's done.

Doodle, Doodle, Doodle,   AND  Practice, practice, practice!  It really does pay off!