03 July, 2015

On The Plus Side

"Think Positive!" ~ 46" X 56"


Some things are worth the wait, this flimsy is no exception! I began this small quilt over a year ago. Somewhere along the line I got distracted... who, me?... and simply didn't get back to this until a few weeks ago. With a dedicated spirit I worked on it a few hours every day and finally got the borders on it yesterday. I designed this quilt in EQ7 and posted about it late last May, shortly after that I was contacted by them for permission to include this pattern in their "Do You EQ?" blog, I was flattered. At the time I was looking for a way to showcase my vast collection of low volume prints and this scrappy idea fit the bill. Since then my collection has only grown; but, on the plus side, this one is now a full-fledged flimsy! You can access the pattern here. It's easy, and fun! 
Life is Good!

30 June, 2015

Moment In The Sun

According to wiktionary ~ "moment in the sun" (n) is an idiom: A brief instance in which an otherwise obscure, unremarkable, or humble person* draws attention. 

In this case replace "person" with "quilt" and you'll have a spot-on, accurate definition! This otherwise obscure and unremarkable quilt top was found by my mother years ago at a yard sale and rescued on the spot. She's done it before, remember this salvaged quilt from a few months ago?
She has a good eye; an expert quilt rescuer, she immediately recognized the value in this one. From that day, years ago, until this past winter when it was rediscovered in a storage box; it has lain, untouched and all but forgotten. Mom brought it out this past spring for a consultation: "what do you think?", she asked me, "can this quilt be saved?". The photos below tell the rest of the story. Finally, at long last, this yard sale star has become the quilt it was always meant to be. This one's earned its moment in the sun. 
The above two photos of the completed quilting are a little more "yellowed" than in reality.

 
The tones in the two outdoor shots are more representative of the actual colors, the background and backing are white-white.

There are some questions that can never be answered: who made this and what purpose was the quilt to serve? We'll never know, the only answer now is that it has been given a new lease on life and it will be loved and treasured from here on in; maybe that's all we need to know.

Life is Good!


29 June, 2015

Fighting The Funk

Along with the warmer temperatures and humidity come unpleasant, funky odors to the towels in our house. I always run towels, be they kitchen or bath, in the hottest wash water available on our machine. However, that doesn't always deodorize mine in the summer months. I long ago abandoned colored bath towels altogether, precisely so that I can bleach them as needed, that works every time! The kitchen towels are another matter altogether, I can't bleach them without ruining them. I tried this method last week and it worked like a charm: I presoaked all of my kitchen towels overnight in a white vinegar bath. The next morning I wrung them out and transferred them to the washer along with regular detergent and 1/2 C baking soda (I have a front-loader and just tossed the baking soda on top of the towels). I laundered them on the hottest water setting; et, voila-- out came the freshest towels imaginable! I am pleased. Do you have any lingering funk to fight? Take up arms; you probably already have the weapons on hand, go forth and be ruthless!
Life is Good!

27 June, 2015

Lucky 13

Can you imagine, in your wildest dream, being given thirteen quilt tops that are masterfully and beautifully designed and stitched? It's hard to believe, but this is the gift recently received by our Quilt Ministry! One of our members brought these to us after visiting with her parents in Minnesota. Her Mom and Dad are former longarmers; they've given that up due to the physical strain associated with loading and unloading quilts, they are of advanced age and simply couldn't do that anymore. Her mother, however, cannot stop piecing quilt tops... and, so, we are the beneficiaries of her talented hands and generous heart! It just doesn't get any better than this. Quilt dreams really do come true.
Life is Good!

25 June, 2015

Developing A Plan

It's a great thing when a plan comes together... this sneaky project tip-toed in before one was even developed! I've got one now though, "Jackstones" will ultimately finish to be 63" X 84".  This photo represents  the left side of the top row; I'm happy with the integrated pieced border, I like the effect.
Now I can get back to the work at hand... where I was before that project snuck in and took over my brain and cutting table! Somedays it's just hard to demonstrate self-control and ignore those pesky creative distractions, I have to remember who's the boss.
Life is Good!

24 June, 2015

Jackstones

Jackstones


I have an ongoing love affair with Low Volume fabrics; my burgeoning collection was begging to be used, or at least some of it was, it's hard for me to cut it up. Anyway, after Bible Study on Monday Quiltkeemosabe sent me a link for website tutorial on "X" or Hummingbird blocks, thinking I might be able to use the technique on next month's block assignment. Well, as sometimes happens, I decided to experiment with a few larger blocks. The tutorial requires an EZ Dresden ruler to cut the wedge shapes, I didn't have one but I did have a 9 degree wedge and pulled out some brights to pair with the LVs, I had this pretty 10" block stitched up lickety-split.  I really liked the effect. I decided to make a few more blocks (of course I did!) and stitch them together to get a good idea of how they would appear set block to block, they reminded me of playing jackstones on the concrete porch floor in the summer when I was a little girl.

One thing leads to another and I tried auditioning the reverse block on the outside as a possible border option. You see how these trains can become runaways in no time?
It was okay, but it wasn't as great as I had imagined. 
I found the larger, brighter triangles to be too distracting.
I had some pale gray shot-cotton in the stash closet... "I wonder" I said out loud...and I set to cutting. Yes, that was exactly what I had in mind for this idea! I still have a LOT of planning to do: size being the main consideration; from there I will know how many pieces to cut. A plan is a wondrous thing! But, for now, this is but the seed for a larger quilt-to-be; one that harkens back to long, lazy summer days playing jackstones with a little red rubber ball on a smooth, cool concrete floor. Isn't that what summer is all about; taking the time to have some fun... playing a little? If the first thing you do doesn't excite you, feel free to scrap it and move on. In this case, I am SEW happy that I did just that! Don't worry about those border units I have removed, one can't ever have too many potholders, can they?
Life is Good!

23 June, 2015

Hot, Hot, Hot!

You know the song: Hot, Hot, HOT; we're living it out in NC these days, each day the forecast is the same: HOT, HOT, HOT. There has been precious little rain too, the lawns are dried up brown reminders of the the green that used to be. It's much too early in the summer for such a ruthless, extended heatwave.  It shouldn't have come as any surprise, and yet, it did, when my husband casually asked me if I had seen the cactus growing in our front yard. "What? A CACTUS?" I asked. "Yes; it's right in front of the azaleas" he responded, "growing up out of the pine straw." I jumped right up and went to look, I couldn't believe it... this isn't Tucson after all, but you couldn't prove that by the weather here. I was amazed to find this very healthy cactus, (it stands about five inches tall right now) exactly where Mr. Goodneedle described it to be; I have no clue how it came to be there or where it came from... but it seems to be very happy under the current conditions.  I've always embraced the "bloom where you're planted" philosophy;  I need to learn a lesson from this volunteer upshoot and adapt; for as long as is necessary, I shall be a happy cactus.
Life is Good!