. . . . . . Enjoying the journey of quilting

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

April's Craftsy BOM - Hexi Love and Redwork Christmas Tree

 Hexie Love

Craftsy's April Block of the Month was all about making Hexies using the English Paper Piecing technique. I have been wanting to try making them. Surfing quilting blogs and seeing many quilters making quilts and projects using this old, tried and true block pattern has certainly tantalized the desire to make something with them. It took this April's block of the month to motivate and inspire me to do so. Thank you Amy Gibson for choosing this block pattern. This is actually not a pattern that Craftsy promoted for the second block. It was a sun with rays. My color and fabric choices definitely didn't lend to making a sunshine with rays so I made a common flower using a 1-1/4 inch hexagon shaped template. Every flower needs a stem and leaves so I designed the stem and leaves by laying a layer of Golden Thread Paper (transparent paper that can be used for multiple purposes) and drawing them on to the paper. Once drawn I cut them out and pasted the pieces to freezer paper on the non-shiny side, ironed the freezer paper to the fabric and cut 1/4" seam around each piece.

I'm quite pleased with the results.

The smaller picture was taken outside where natural light enhances the picture.

The first block demonstrated was with a double strip of hexies sewn together using 13 different fabrics. It's so cute!

I also finished block #6 out of 12 for my redwork Winter Twitterings quilt. Well I thought it was finished until I noticed I missed a snowflake. Since it is starched, pressed and a picture has been taken I am going to call it finished!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Craftsy BOM, Garden Pics & More

Craftsy Block of the Month

Finally done! The second Craftsy Block of the Month for March. Yep! I am working to catch up!

It was so wonderful to turn on my sewing machine again. It has been several weeks - seems longer than that.

I love how this block turned out! 

It is a broken spider web block that is foundation pieced - well in the initial stages it is since the only pieces that had a foundation are the strips along the star edge. After the first strip was sewn to the foundation I sewed the remaining strips matching seams together right sides together until the foundation pieced is covered. After covering the foundation piece I trimmed the edges along the lines of the foundation and then trimmed the foundation to reduce bulk.

Modern Quilt Blocks from Members of the 
Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild

These wonderful and amazing blocks are for the Quiltcon Challenge. Check out their website to see some WOW! quilts.  I missed the April CLTMQG meeting and missed out on the opportunity to participate.

An Afternoon in the Garden

I was looking out my sliding glass doors and noticed how the birds were lining up to take a bath. I had filled the bird bath to full yesterday morning and the birds came. I ran upstairs to grab my camera to grab a picture of what looked like an airport with with flights waiting to land. I opened the door and they all flew away. So I thought I would sit on the garden bench to see if they would return so I could get a picture of them. One did!

While sitting on my bench I looked up and noticed my sweet Cassie staring out at the door wanting to come out and sit with me on the bench, something she loves doing. She was getting quite persistent about wanting to come out, barking and pawing at the door. I ran to let her out as I was concerned she would awaken my napping hubby. 

Aren't you glad I came out to help make your flower look pretty?

As we sat on the bench Cassie was talkng in all the critters. There is a new bird that has been visiting us. I'm not sure what it is but it has a beautiful song. While Cassie looks for the critters I was looking for pretty things in the garden. I love my garden bunny. I picked it up on the way home from vacation one summer.

 The gardenias are blooming and giving off their wonderful scent.

A potted plant brimmed full with color!

It has been a good day! It ended a bit different than usual though. Hubby and I made a difficult decision to move his autistic son to another group home after having lived there for 14 years. In the last year we took measures to wean Jason from high power medications that was causing him to be listless, not enjoying life, and sleeping all the time. He was so drugged! We wanted Jason back! Well Jason is back! Now that he has returned he doesn't fit in with the other residents because they are satisfied with doing nothing. Not only that staff had been instructed not to talk to them. All the residents are not able to speak, but that doesn't mean that don't want people to talk to them. They used to be an active group home going bowling, skating, swimming, beach trips, outings in the community and etc. This is no more or so reduced that Jason is bored out of his mind. 

If you know anything about autism you know that they do not like changes!! I should add more exclamation points because changes are big adjustments that can set them off. The plan was to keep him in the same work shelter to keep something in place that is familiar. Well that is not to be because the organization that owns the group home also owns the work shelter and they are forcing Jason out of it because of our decision to pull him out of the group home. We have found a wonderful work shelter for him! We feel as though God handed us an amazing blessing as we didn't know that we would find something that offers so many choices and flexibility. It is operated with smiling staff members who love what they do. The facility is bright and cheerful in the Uptown area of Charlotte. 

In an effort for transitioning Jason, Jason spent an afternoon with the guys from his new group home. Jason will officially be a part of them on May 31st. They went out to dinner. Jason had such a good time that when the van from his current group home came to pick him up he wouldn't get on it! No! No! No! he proclaimed and no bribing him with food that usually works would work to change his mind. Mike had to go and pick him up which is clear across town and let me tell you Charlotte is a sprawling town. When Mike drove up to the group home Jason refused. After a couple of hours Jason finally cooperated. Though this may sound like a frustrating event we actually are rejoicing because we are so thrilled that Jason is going to love his new life. We don't know what adjustments he will endure but we are hopeful that it will go beyond our wildest dreams for him.

Wishing all a Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival Hosted by Amy's Creative Side

Thank you to Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival. It has become an opportunity to get excited about quilting again after a month and a half of not having time to do what I love to do. So today I touched and felt different quilts that I have made.

Now the big decision was which one was I going to show? I first picked out a Modern Quilt and then decided against it since I noticed Amy wanted a story behind the quilt.

The quilt I have chosen to share with you is one that really got me excited about making different blocks and introduced me to the world of sharing quilt making with people across the country online via Eons Quilting groups. It was amazing that I could learn along with others the art of quilting with many wonderful quilters throughout the US. Quilting online has opened so many new doors, making new friends, blogging, becoming aware of all the nationally known quilters and their specialty areas of quilting and more. I learned about the new Modern Quilt Guilds springing up throughout the U.S. and joined my local chapter.

Challenge Block of the Month

The Challenge Block of the Month quilt was made from fabric in my stash. The red was intended for making a quilt for my dad that never happened. All the blocks are foundation pieced on muslin. It was fun to make the same block pattern and come up with a variety of blocks by changing the fabric for pieces of the block.  The quilt is machine quilted with the Baptist Fan motif and the border is feathers. I used a stencil for the feathers. The one thing that I am proud about with this quilt is I achieved not to have wavy borders, something that later quilts I have not been so successful in doing. Anyone else have frustrations with getting quilts to lay flat?

The back is a large Ohio Star using the same fabrics as the top.

Again, thank you to Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival. Today I will be back to my sewing machine now once again to get back to it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Spring Day in Pictures

Today began first with a cup a coffee and my Bible. By 6:30 a.m. I was out working in the yard. Six hours later I took snapshots of all the blooming shrubbery. 
Aren't the hydrangeas beautiful?

 This is a close up a Lantana bush that has been re blooming for at least the past 5 years. It was supposed to be an annual. Every Spring and Summer I have to trim it back  at least 4 times during a season as it will overtake the steps to the front door. 
Humming birds love it! 
And we love watching them come and visit while sitting in our living room.

 I love this Oakleaf Hydrangea in my tree covered area in my backyard.

Oh my gosh! My Granny Smith Apple tree is going to bear more than 1 apple this year. The tree is laden with mini apples. 

 Miss Cassie loves playing outside with me while I am gardening! She loves sniffing and watching all the critters. I think it is time to go to the groomers. Last evening I gave her a top knot piggy tail but she decided she wasn't going to have any part of it!

The garden shed.

 The past two days I have been reworking my mini garden around the mailbox. It was beginning to look like a jungle. I replanted all the Irises along the perimeter of the border. The former area where the Irises were once planted now hosts pretty bright pink Vincas that really brighten up the garden. At Lowe's I purchased a couple bags of cow manure and 3 bags of organic matter that has mini wood chips in it. I treated the soil with the cow manure and mulched around the plants with the organic matter. I can't wait until the Irises are standing tall again and the Vincas grow giving more color.

After working around the mailbox I placed wavy brick border along the side walk and trimmed the shrubbery. I also planted Begonias along the brick border corners. All the planting was done and now I had to find the energy to clean up all the debris from trimming the shrubbery. I have a blower that also works like a sweeper and mulcher. It throws off a lot of dust which covered me in a a haze of North Carolina red clay dirt! So after all of this I was dirty, hungry, thirsty, tired and back was aching. By early afternoon I made it to my shower before Mike came home from work. He found Cassie and I out on the patio reading the newspaper and eating lunch. 
While reading the paper I kept wanting to nod off.

 Here is a collection of sticks that I am planning to use to make a bottle tree. 
Another day, not today I am too tired!

After a day outside on a absolutely beautiful and magnificent Spring day I crawled into my recliner with a good book, even though it is a good read, I finally fell off to sleep until it was time to make dinner. I really had planned to do a bit of quilting today. Well maybe I will get an hour in before going to bed. 
Where did this day go?

Happy Saturday,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vacation in Pictures

Carolina Beach from the Pier

Aged Pelican Looking For Fish Tidbits

Stingray - No Thanks!

Gorgeous Sunrise

Young Pelican Following Lead of Aged One

Good Morning!

Another Beautiful Sunrise

$5 Tomato

1920s Quilt - Hand Pieced - Beautiful

Beware of Attack Cat That Showed His Fangs!
Beware of Attack Cat!

Beach Wedding

Geraniums at Farmers Market on River Front
Many Dogs At the Farmers Market

Quite a Beauty!

Hot Dog Stand at Farmers Market - Gal with Pigtails

Pottery Ware at Farmers Market

Knitted Scarves On Sale at Farmers Market

Tailess and Sheepless Dog at Farmers Market

Whats is a Farmers Market without Produce?

Hope you enjoyed my vacation pictures.


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