Sunday, June 12, 2016

Busy Weekend

When the Cold Wind Blows, 291 appliqued baskets, 280 done ...... 11 to go.

The end is VERY near!  I'll try to get them done by next weekend, but we'll see what roadblocks pop up this week.  Those 11 are at the bottom of the picture, prepped and ready to go!

Yesterday this old house was power washed.  I didn't realize how dingy it was looking until it was clean.  Some of the outside trim will have to be painted but, all in all, it isn't too bad.  It was quite a production, though, involving scaffolding and 23 gallons of bleach.  They are coming back next weekend to clean the Cottage and two storage buildings on the property.  Next up, inside painting.  I still have to figure out the game plan on that.  I'm sure it will be ceilings first, then kitchen cabinets (including new hinges), and then the rest of the house.  I'm facing decisions on paint color and that has me stressed.  You'd think color choices would be easy for a quilter!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Slowly working on finishing up the basket blocks.  I have finished 269 out of 291.  If I'd concentrate and push a bit, they'd be finished in short order.  I seem to be piddling now that the end is in site.   Just 22 more to go!

It's been a busy weekend with the help I had in the yard Friday and Saturday.   I figure by the time we get through trimming everything, it'll be time to start over.

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 07, 2016


This week I picked up this project again to work on.  The baskets are from When the Cold Wind Blows by Blackbird Designs.  I now have 260 baskets done - only 31 more to go.  I think I'll leave this one out to work on instead of hiding it in the closet.

I've decided not to do the appliqued on-point setting squares.  Enough is enough.  I'll just do a straight setting so I can get this one done in this lifetime.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Losing Track of Time

I always have the best intentions and then things go wonky.  Before I know it weeks or months have gone by and my best intentions have fallen by the wayside.  There always seems to be something going on that swallows up my quilting time.

My flower beds have been ignored during the peak weed-growing season.  I walked around the yard yesterday and was amazed at how much is blooming and how the weeds have flourished.  Purple irises are blooming - a surprise planting that I inherited with the house.  I was tempted several times to pull up those things because I didn't know what they were. Glad I didn't do that!

I saw this "weed" in a crack in the sidewalk by the pool.  On closer inspection I saw that it's a teeny tiny poinsettia that volunteered there.  I immediately thought of the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  Well, the tree part, not the rest of the depressing book.  Anyway, this morning I gently tugged on it and it came out roots intact.  I planted it in a clay pot.  We'll see how it fares.  I may have doomed it but it was going to get a dose of Round-Up if I left it there.

My first project went up on the new design wall.  I shuffled things around a bit and got it all assembled.  Just need to get a backing pieced and it's another one in line to get quilted.

I went through the yardage stash and found a good backing for this one.  It's the one on the left, Chasing Butterflies by RJR Fabrics.  I also found a backing for the Moda Modern Building Blocks, the one on the right, an old Jane Sassaman line called Butterfly Gardens.  I guess it was a butterfly kind of day when I went searching!  I've been wanting to use that Sassaman fabric for a long time.  While it's not a perfect match color-wise to the Modern Building Blocks, I think it will do fine.  Besides, isn't it "free" fabric when you find it in your stash?  ;)

I'm pondering what's up next on the design wall.  I have several quilts that just need an assembling of the blocks.  I'm wanting to start a Village (Carrie Nelson pattern) but I think I'll hold off just a bit until I get at least two more ready for quilting.  That's the plan, anyway, at this point.

Off to hop in the shower and get back to the Cottage.  On the way back there, I'm sure I'll get sidetracked by some weeds that are calling out to me, "Pull me up"!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Exciting Weekend

I finally accomplished the one thing I've been wanting for years and years.  A design wall!

It ended up being 96" wide and 80" tall.

It was interesting to get it up, and for a while yesterday I was about to throw in the towel.  My handyman, Peter, had no clue why I wanted to cover perfectly good insulation boards with "material" and hang it on the wall.  It wasn't until we were done and I grabbed a block out of a UFO tub and stuck it up there that he finally "got it"!

A month ago I ordered a bolt of flannel from Jo-Ann's for about $2.50 a yard.  Although the sku's matched, the color was totally different than it looked online.  Then after buying the insulation board last weekend, I realized that I'd have to piece the flannel to cover it.  Peter was carefully watching me measure, and about passed out when I ripped the length of that fabric instead of cutting it.  (I love to watch the reaction of folks when I do that!)  When I was stretching the fabric over the board and duct taping it to the back, I couldn't get those two seams to keep from wrinkling a bit.  Oh, well, as my Dad used to say often to me, "Bebe, we aren't building a piano here."  Then I decided to Velcro it to the wall after pondering for a month on how to attach it.  Silly me didn't want to screw it in because I wanted to be able to easily take it down and change the flannel when I needed to.  I tell you, screws would have been easier to deal with than trying to pull the board away from the wall with two-inch Velcro holding it firm!  But, you know, it's up - it's done - and I'm a happy camper.

Oh, a couple of other things that totally blew Peter's mind ... and made me laugh out loud.  1)  When he said he wished he had brought his square, I opened a drawer full of rulers.  2)  He handed me the scissors to cut the fabric from the bolt and I whipped out the rotary cutter.  3)  I made that cut directly on the top of the cutting table and he tried to stop me because I was going to cut the surface, which precipitated a lesson on cutting mats.  4)  The Osilio iron that raised itself up when I let go of it.  5)  That me, a girl, truly understood measuring and drawing straight lines and getting things to match.  At the end of the day when he was once again expressing his amazement at all the tools I had in my sewing room, I couldn't help but think of my late boss' favorite phrase ... "Stick with me, kid!"

So it seems I'm all ready to get back into quilting and get those blocks all sewn together that I've been making but not assembling.  No more excuses!

I guess everyone has seen the news about all the bad weather we've had down here.  I think the worst of it passed slightly north of my little town, but there was still plenty of rain and very high winds.  Thursday night about 1:15 I woke up and actually got scared.  The wind was blowing so hard that the shutters were banging and this big old house felt like it was moving and swaying.  I put Penny in her little travel kennel and stuck her in the little downstairs bathroom tucked under the staircase, and I sat holding a flashlight until it was time to get dressed to go to work.  There were several times during that period that I was sure any minute the house would blow down. The fact that it's been sitting here since 1927 and has been through hurricanes and things a lot worse than that storm didn't even enter my mind at that point.  But all's well - and thank you to all of you who were worried and emailed or called me.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Light

You know that light at the end of the tunnel?  I think I can see it.

I haven't been able to work much on the basket blocks lately because of other commitments.  I did finish 250 but had no more prepped.  So this weekend I just did it.

I need to cut the last 41 background squares, and then I'm ready to get these all stitched up.

This is the Trick or Treat quilt from the When the Cold Wind Blows by Blackbird Designs.

I'm pondering the appliqued setting triangles.  I'll see how I feel when it's all up on the design wall, but right now I'm leaning towards just plain background triangles.  I think when the baskets are done that I will want to be done with this quilt.  Another choice:  A friend from California, Yvette, set hers as straight squares (not on point) with no border and it's beautiful.  I might follow her example.  Still pondering.

I hope I have an even distribution of colors throughout the quilt.  I used all colors of my Civil War fabrics except for blue, red and pink.

Regardless of how I decide to set the quilt, I'm real happy that I stuck with it and did the 291 baskets - or will soon have them done.  I'll have to go back and see when I started this ... or maybe I don't want to know!

The light is shining brightly on this overcast day in my little corner of the universe.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Party Time

Today is Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras.  There's a Mardi Gras parade today in my little town, but I think I'm going to stay home and enjoy my day off.  Mardi Gras surely wasn't a paid holiday in the other LA!

Mardi Gras is the last day of feasting and celebration before the clock strikes midnight and Lent begins.  I suspect some of those folks in New Orleans and at other celebrations around the state will need those 40 days to sober up!

Other than a purple, green and gold wreath on the front door, I didn't decorate at all.  I guess next year I should do that. And make a Mardi Gras quilt.  This picture caught my eye this morning. It looks like it would be simple enough to make, or even just squares in the three colors of the day.  We'll see what I can come up with for next year....

Wishing everyone a happy day.  As we say down here ... laissez les bon temps rouller!