Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tulips, storms and new project

Here are the last of the 36 tulips I planted last fall.  28 came through.  In the meantime, I've dug up others and replanted in this location.  I am fortunate in that both my neighbors have lovely yards. 

Several days ago, we were alerted by the NOAA weather system to be watchful for Flash Flooding.  Huh???   We are sitting outside on the deck, NOT in rain, noting how dark the sky was to the north of us, just WISHING for rain, but none landed on our little space.  Again, that danged radio went off, 4 or 5 times and we were right in the area of "flash floods".  Obviously, the NOAA folks have missed the mark we are thinking!!!  We are in a semi-arid climate, and the words "flash floods" sound like a joke to ignorant me.  Next day at work, I began to hear horror stories from only 7 miles north of here.  Water, washing roads out, calves swept away, 6-10 inches of hail and rain on the road!  -- all traffic having to pull over with flashers on.  The country road grader was called out to clear the roads from field debris!   And we were oblivious of the storm the whole time.   Yikes - So we went for a drive the next day to see what we could see.  There wasn't much to be seen  except for a lot of crud caught in fences in low areas and evidence of much-needed water.  This was the beautiful storm sky, the day after.  The farmers were very appreciative for the rain, just not so much at one time!!

Here is another Rebuilt Log Cabin I'm starting, but it looks a lot like the previous one I made!  LOL  The last round of logs on this version were cut wider, to accommodate the extra seam.  I'm not sure it makes a difference, but I've wanted to try.  I have 50 blocks made up (2 for extra, just in case).  These blocks trimmed to 8 1/2 inches and will finish at 8 inches.

I simply MUST get stash used!!!  The mess is driving me crazy. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Waxwings and Practicing

When the Bohemian Waxwings swoop through I feel like it's soon spring.  They are here one day, and gone the next.  They come through in a bunch, flit about like crazy and always stop for water.   I took 7 photos - this was the only one where they stayed still long enough!  Have you ever wondered how they drink?  Do they suck it up like a straw or what???  One bird scooped it up, using it's beak like a ladle, tipped it's head back with it's beak open.  Glug, glug, glug. 

It may be spring, but our grass and iris bed is still yucky.


Today, I decided to practice quilting circles -- mmmm -- harder than I thought - I just couldn't stay on the lines, then I see I've changed my circles to squarish things and still not staying on the lines.   I think my circles will be easier with a thicker thread, and a thread that is a similar color to the background of blue strings.  We'll see.

Also, I tried practicing one version of Baptist Fans.  I need to keep them small for my hand movements, but I'm liking this as an overall background.   I save my practice pieces in a notebook -- just like PatsyThompsonDesigns.com suggests -- you never know when a practice piece will suggest just the right effect!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

What is "Pinning"?

Some days I am so ignorant, I should have a dog or similar to help me out!   I was playing around in blogger -- can't remember how I did it, but in some window, I found my Tutorial, and there were several items  "Pinned" to that tutorial.  I don't see them when I just LOOK at my own Tutorial.

What is "Pinning"?  How do I get to where I saw that several items were "Pinned" to my tutorial.  Is it a good thing?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pinwheels and 4-Patches, DONE

This lovely Pinwheels & 4-Patches is completed.  I LOVE the "glow" that happened with the pale melon and blue.  It has a "foresty" kind of feeling -- my favorite -- doesn't it?  I once had a quilt-in-process that needed some "zip" and another blogger (thanks Marla) suggested adding a few pale pastels to the background - it worked -- great tip!

Two sides of the border were quilted with leafy viney motifs, and why I did that -- who knows?  Seemed like a good idea at the time, but immediately was not thrilled.  Why I continued to a second side was ludicrous!!! -- not good.  My quilting was OK, my thread was OK, but the overall design was NOT.  The curvy vine, pointy leafy structures did not "fit" with the stripey design, and I spent 2 long days taking it all out.  I replaced it with stitch in the ditch, invisible thread (clear, and then smoke) and I'm much more happy with it.  The little stitch holes are still visible and will disappear with steam or a gentle washing. 

Below is the quilting design, from http://www.patsythompsondesigns.com/.  Her design and DVDs were my inspiration, I certainly have used her designs so many times that my version is now dissimilar to hers.  8-)))   If you are struggling with wanting to learn machine quilting DESIGNS on your domestic sewing machine (DSM) you might look into her excellent video demos on her site. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

NQR -

video
I've been playing with my 5-yr old camera, not ever realizing it had video AND sound.  Getting this little trimmed clip to my Blog has made me feel like I am super-human when in actuality, the Internet provided the tools.  I provided good luck and stamina.  This is me, and DH speaking.

I feel like a football player after winning the Superbowl!!! 

If you look fast, there is a quilt pile on a frame in the background.  I hope my last comment was "shazam" not what it sounded like!  8-))

Sunday, April 01, 2012

EGAD, body posture! and Machine Quilting Pinwheels and 4-Patches

I often visit Youtube.com for sewing videos. While watching one machine quilting video, I was shocked at the body posture of the young quilter - a talented young quilter from whom we've probably all learned.  She said she'd been complaining of headaches, shoulder and eye issues.  Then she mentioned her own shock at seeing her own video, noticing how awkward and poorly balanced her neck/shoulders were.  Because I also have neck/shoulder issues (unknown origin) I notice these things as well!  I reviewed some of my Fons and Porter videos, taking note of the body posture of these quilters/sewers, and have noticed something important.   They often use different machines, and  sometimes they also are hunkering their head down into shoulders to "see" the needle.   No one tells us these things when we buy a new machine.  It's not always the posture of the quilter/sewer that causes discomfort and problems, it might be the shape of the sewing machine!  Some machine have a very large, boxy front that holds your tension rings, needle threader, etc., that protrodes so far forward that it reduces your vision to the needle, leaving the sewist's line of vision hunkered down into her shoulders!  Other machines are low across the arm of the machine, leaving the user with the same hunkered position.  Even with a proper chair, and proper posture, and proper desk/table height, the shape of your machine might be causing YOU issues -- check yours out, especially if you spend hours at your machine.   Many of us quilters are past the age of "Youth" and poor body position can cause serious spinal problems later on - you won't know it until it might be too late.   Personally, I'd really like a TALL machine, and maybe there are available, I was only aware of this issue.

I've asked my husband to check on my own posture periodically -- it is different when I'm piecing, than when I'm machine quilting.   Yikes!

On a more pleasant subject, here are 3 machine (DSM) quilting photos on my Pinwheels and 4-Patches.  (This is the quilt where I learned about cording and piping.)   This  quilting thread is called "Sand", from King Tut and blends well with all the various values.   I sandwiched the quilt in the garage (warm weather!) Saturday and have about half of the top quilted.  The finished quilt is approximately 68" x 84".  DH was kind enough (!!!!!!!!!!) to show me a "humility block" when it was too late for repairs.

(I just discovered that Blogger does NOT like the "ampersand" and my photos did not appear as expected -- I'll try again!)