Monday, July 25, 2011

Method to my Madness

I always ponder why I have so many projects going all at once. 
I think I have come up with an explanation,
or maybe I'm just rationalizing the situation.
When I work on more than one project at a time, I can use what Bonnie Hunter refers to as the 'leaders and enders' technique. 
The first thing I do is cut a dozen fabric squares that I will pair together to make multiple half-square triangles out of.  Then I cut the fabrics for an 1880 Sampler block.  Now it is time to sew.  As I piece each section of the sampler block, I chain feed in the fabrics for my HST's. That way I conserve thread and keep my machine from 'eating' my tiny fabric pieces.
The result...
3 new blocks for my sampler. 
My goal this week is to make one more and then assemble the next row.  I have enjoyed following the progress of several others who are piecing the sampler through the flicker site (the link can be found on my side bar.)  A brown and pink color scheme seems to have become popular and quite stunning, I may add.  Many are using the Julie Hendrickson Miniatures collection.  One of my favorites!

The second benefit from this 'leaders and enders' technique is that Pinwheels for Caroline is growing.
I think I have finally figured out how to make the ocean waves blocks with a modicum of precision.  I have already told myself that this quilt is utilitarian and therefore, I am overlooking a thread off here and there.  Nothing too obvious!! That would be sacrilege for me.
But, as we all know, once it is quilted and washed, no one will see my transgressions.

We are back in Colorado and after I plucked all the weeds that had claimed my vegetable and flower gardens in the last 3 weeks, we headed to the Continental Divide.  At last, the snow has receded and one of my favorite hikes above the Wolf Creek Ski Resort is now accessible.
And that means...
wildflower pictures.
I have added all the new ones to my Wildflowers of Colorado page, but I just had to share my favorite picture of the day.
You might ask what I do with my photography...
OK, my attempts at photography.
My husband makes rustic wood frames, we stain them and then a local framer finishes them up.  These are pictures I took last year enlarged to 8" x 10".
They make great wall decor for the cabin. 
A few hours of 'leaders and enders,' and believe it or not, I make progress on all of the first 5 projects on my priority list.  Of course, you could argue that if I put that much time into just one project, I might finish it.  But what fun is that?
Have you tried this technique?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Doll Quilt Exchange

At last...
I can show you the doll quilt I received from Nicky in Christine's doll quilt exchange.
I had given Nicky our Colorado addy and then returned to Arizona before the quilt was posted.  It has been waiting patiently for me to return and claim it.
Nicky's needleturn applique is exquisite!
She chose the 'Oak Leaf and Reel' pattern with my love of all things FALL in mind.  Then, she added teeny, tiny hexies in the corners knowing I love all things miniature.
I ADORE this little quilt and it will take a place of honor in my sewing room.
Thank you Nicky for exchanging with me. 
here is the quilt I made for Nicky.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Celebration Time!

My beautiful mother celebrated her 80th birthday on Saturday!
We traveled to Napa, California for the festivities.
What a gorgeous weekend in the valley!
It was so much fun to see old family friends and reunite with distant relatives.
My cousin from Texas flew in and had a wonderful time getting reacquainted with  my son (not in the cowboy hat...that is Coleman, my son's best friend from high school.)  It has been almost 15 years since she had last seen either of my children.
My lovely daughter and her special someone! 
The quilt behind them on the wall is the one I made as a tribute to my mother and father.  It is so nice that it hangs in a place of honor in my mother's home.
Mom, Dad and Me!

Monday, July 11, 2011

SSQSG meeting for July

One of the reasons I came back to AZ early was to have the opportunity to meet with my SSQSG.  What started out as a sewing bee has become a warm, enjoyable meeting of friends to talk about life and share our individual works.  Since we met at TOWQS this month, it was also time to get in a little retail therapy!

I will direct you to Merumo's blog to catch up on all her projects...
 and then I would love to share
 Lin's (no blog) work for the month.  
Loved this scrappy double 4-patch and must add some of that red border fabric to my stash!
A Quilter Lives Here by Liberty Homestead
I should have taken a close up pic of the fabulous machine quilting.
Made using Jo Morton fabrics and the hand-dyed, sueded cottons from Liberty Homestead.
Her full sized version of Grandpap's Cards.
The setting fabric is from Bonnie Blue reads grey, but is a small pattern of blue and brown.  I'm thinking it would  be a good choice of setting fabric for my Farmer's Wife blocks.
Just love her version!  Do you think she will trade...her's is quilted and bound!!!

I brought home a few pieces of Jo Morton's new Sweet Emilie line.
Perfect nuetrals for the HST units in my Pinwheels for Caroline.

Mother Nature has blessed us with a marvelous, drenching rain this morning...
a good day to sew.  My goal will be to make a few R&W blocks first and then play with my new pretties.  What will you play at today?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Morning Visitor

I hear this fellow every morning, but have never seen him until today. 
Fearless, he was unmoved by my approach.  And why not, he is a Great Horned Owl.
He has no horns...his name comes from the tufts that appear similar to cat's ears.
Did you know they will attack humans to protect their young and have been known to prey on our domestic pets. 
 Of course, I left my telephoto lens in Colorado.
I never seem to have it when the opportunity for a great wildlife photo arises!

Finished and gifted this darling door hangar yesterday.  It is Kim Diehl's design. 

We are now cleaning up the dust and mud left behind by Tuesday night's Haboob.
I was picking my DD up at the airport as it approached the city.  Her plane was one of the last to land before they closed down the airport. 
An awesome sight!...but a mess the next day. 
The sky is clearer this morning, but the air was thick all day yesterday and everything tasted like dirt.

 I just keep hand appliqueing Autumn Houses and making R&W blocks.  I am half way done!

Fell Off the Wagon

 It was bound to happen. I had stuck to my guns until I saw Laundry Basket Quilts' pattern, Alaska Magic. I told myself,  "It is te...