Saturday, April 18, 2015

April In the Garden

My Saturday was a busy one catching up on gardening jobs that had been put aside while quilting.
I cleaned up in the fenced veggie garden, pulling weeds that had grown, even though there is weed barrier cloth. I trimmed bushes that are more like trees, and added soil to the main raised bed there and planted a few bean seeds. I'm hoping our meager watering will still inspire them to grow.
I fed and watered by hand the other raised beds, my "potager". Though I now dread summer with water being so scarce. I have starting changing the way I do things in hopes of cutting back a bit of water usage.
Out front, I did more of the same...watering carefully the plants that need it. We will see how summer plays out. Already, I can see some plants resent being cut back. The trees on the side of the house show it the most. We are only watering 3 days a week and have cut the times on each station. We probably won't get many apples, apricots or peaches this year, although the quince tree is showing a fair crop so far.
But most surprising are the little cherry trees that are in the front yard. They are really just sticks...babies. This is their third year. The biggest tree started blooming a month ago and then the littlest showed some blooms. The biggest tree actually has some fruit growing! So exciting! We might just get a few, like a handful!
 These are semi-dwarf trees in 18 x 18 boxes. the roots can, when they need get into the ground below...
 Here you can see the little cherries...and in the background the boxes I put on the lawn to grow tomatoes and squash. We have actually had three little zucchinis!
These are terrible pictures, I am sorry, but I was so excited to see little fruit!
Out front I also have blueberries, about 10 plants in pots under a tree. They have been great the last several years, this year we will see a drop in amounts I think....however, I did get a handful this morning, and made gluten-free blueberry muffins with chocolate chips. Very yummy. That is how we started the day....
The muffins are made using Pamelas gluten free baking & pancake mix. A simple and easy recipe to whip up 6 little muffins in no time. It was extra special to go out pick some berries and throw them in.
I hope your weekend is going well.....
Nancy


Friday, April 17, 2015

The Quilt

So, I promised I'd share.
So, here is the quilt...minus the binding....

However badly I have hung this so you can see it, what is in each square is what is fun. No two are exactly alike....


I am waiting for fabric to make the binding....so it can take its place as a finished quilt. I gave it a name...."Doodle School". The lady who did the online class said we should doodle...it helps make designs....of course she meant on paper. But, I haven't doodled in many years....so I doodled with thread. Silly I know, but what the heck...it gave me practice....and I think it turned out pretty sweet...
Well, that's it.
Have a great weekend.
Nancy

The Frame and the Quilt

Okay, so yesterday I told you about a surprise......so today I will show you.....
First, if you have been following my blog, you know I have a soft spot for frames. Yup, frames....
It all started when we redid the bathroom....I found two frames that changed the whole way we did the bathroom and those frames became the mirrors for the bathroom.


The frames weren't this color, in fact they were that horrid brassy color with those awful insets of velvet. My friend showed me how to remove the inset and I painted them, first a brown under color (created with Primer Red and Olive Green ASCP), then went over them with Coco and then wax. I had a professional do the mirror.
After those frames, I looked for more frames.....and found one for a print that needed framing....which hangs in the bedroom next to the door to the bathroom....
That one got painted in the same way.....
Then I found two matching smaller frames, same style, and we put a print from a trip inside those, they were also painted the same way....
Although with these, I put just a bit of old white on details.....
I vowed, being somewhat enamored with these types of frames I would get them when I saw them....for a good price though....
I found one last year, it went here...
This one is in French Linen in the dining room.....
If you know me at all, you know I love to layer frames....It's like a giant frame and  matting....it draws the eye into the art with art. Yeah, I think frames are art in themselves....and yes, yes I am smitten.....
It is a bit crazy I know, but really, why not?
So, that being said, and history laid out...here is what I found....a frame, in that style, for $5. Yes! Really! $5 and of course it was a really awful "antique brass" and an inset, but no longer...it is beautiful in French Linen and no inset.....

...in my front hall.
I played with the paint on this one...with touches of primer red, old ochre and french linen....just because....
I think it makes a sweet vignette....
Anyway....I like them...
Tomorrow, I will show you the quilt. With all but its binding...I finished it yesterday!!
Hope you have a great day!
Nancy

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Around the House....

So, ever have one of those days where you set out to do one thing, and end up with a multitude of things done??
Yeah, yesterday was like that. In fact, it didn't start very well. I set out to "stitch in the ditch" on the quilt I've been working on.
Honestly, I hate this part! I much prefer the artistic creating that comes with free motion quilting. This part is awful....in fact, somehow I broke two needles! I figured it had to be the quilt pulling on the needle as it was pulled through. Usually, quilting centers me....but not this day!
So, I took frequent trips away from the quilting and did something else. Tomorrow I will show you one of the things I did accomplish.....that will be a surprise.
Anyway, one of the trips away I was looking at fabrics and came across some "toppers" I used to have on the dining chairs. Funny, they looked appealing...so I brought them out...

It's so fun to refresh for $0! I threw on one of the table runners and added a "splash" of something in the center.
I also got some laundry done....
But, after I got a bit settled and got the needle fixed and picked the thread, I went ahead and "played" with quilting.

 The pictures don't really show what I've done here...sad, I wanted to share....but this is a scallop design in the center and traced the lines on the outside of the square....
 The center part here got traced and vines on outside....
 Same here.....
And here you almost can see I used a fill technique after tracing the plants in the center.....
As you can guess...I have lots more to do....I will show you after it is done.....
But after I closed up the craft room for the day, I tidied the hutch and realized the corks we save were overflowing, so.....
I started a tray!! Because the corks were super dried....they have odd shapes now...but no matter....
Only problem is I used them all....darn we have to drink more.....30 bottles or so....This will be sidelined for awhile. I bought this tray backing at a thrift store a bit ago, it is my favorite for this and then I will add handles.....
Well, I guess that is all I got done yesterday...today, since I am not babysitting, I plan on doing more quilting and maybe going to the farmers market, if I need a break...
Hope you have a great day!!
Nancy

Saturday, April 11, 2015

New quilt....in the works

What did you do this week? Did you have kids at home for Spring Break? (We used to call it Easter Break....but now I'm just showing my age....)
Did you go somewhere wonderful? Make something?
Here I don't have children in our home....I have young adults in their 30's (that I can't believe). And now I have a grand-baby who is 6 months old.
I have been doing babysitting and I went shopping with a friend and gardening. This week was a blur...it felt like I wasn't home much....
However, I did manage to put together squares for a new quilt, made from a "layer cake" and a "charm pack".....an interesting design I saw done online. Very cool.
You take a 10" square and set a 5" square on top, then fold, iron and stitch two sides, then press and turn and do it again so that the 5" square is stitched into the larger square which becomes about 8 6/8" give or take. No cutting, just sewing!
Well, they go together quite quickly....and become .....
42 squares.....
Here you se I am already playing with placement and strips....
All the fabric I used here were Rue de Indienne and they are by Moda....
The packs of fabric are precut and assembled so that colors work....and a no-brainer....
Well, one does have to think a little....
See the slips of paper? It takes that if you want to assemble them correctly.




 And then, after spending quite a bit for layer cakes, charm packs and strips for "window-panes", I realized I hadn't figured backing. Yikes!
So, I was determined to find fabric in the closet for backing.....
Ha! I had three to choose from that were possible...and this one wins....
Well, it would be best to order yardage of the same fabric from the front, but this was only $4 at a thrift store and soft and a little heavy, but it also mirrors the squares from the front...so I think it works....only problem is I have to cut in half, turn and stitch it to fit.....oh well....
But, today is not going to be a sewing day....sadly. I get to go to a baby shower! Yup, my thread time will have to wait.....
Hope you have a great day....and get to create something....
Nancy

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cleaning House

Well, there comes a time when one needs to reassess....
I have some quilts, early ones, that are sweet to me, for various reasons.....
However, I need to make room for all the new endeavors...and that gives you my readers a chance to save on a baby quilt!
So, here we go!

This is a Dick and Sally quilt. Made from pre-printed panels that have been set in a bright border. It measures 26" x 26"...perfect for a wall hanging or playtime.... $30.
Next....
Sunbonnet Sue & Sunbonnet Sam...panels were appliqued by a dear neighbor who quilted with me....I put into a small quilt....measures...28" x 28"...$30.


This is a brown calico Irish Chain quilt....measures 34" x 28"....perfect for that little someone! (sold)


This is the first quilt I ever named. Some quilts just need names..."Garden Play" measures 34"x 33" $35.
Then, there is....
Squares and pinwheels...(seen here on top of garden play and doesn't have any blue....)This quilt is done in a variety of browns....measures 34" x 26"...(sold)

This triangles quilt with cats all over it, nicknamed Lions & Tigers, is 35" x 34"....sold

If you are interested you can message me here on this Facebook and we can make arrangements for shipping or pick-up. All quilts are made with cotton fabrics and cotton batting.
Nancy