Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring is popping up all over….


I am amazed at how quickly the flowers are coming up this year.  It looks as if Winter is over (what little Winter we had), but I am still concerned that we might have one last cold snap before it is all over.

Here are a few photos from around my house…..

The Dogwood tree has been gorgeous…..



This lovely Iris is a gift from a good friend.  It is fun to think about her when I see these blooms  (thanks Kris!!)…_3255899

This plant just gets bigger and bigger……

_3255901 _3255909

These tulips remind me of several years ago when my daughter’s Dog was just a puppy……


I really cant believe that the Elephant Ears are coming up.  They normally wait until the first of June!!!   Last year I add a lot of soil and mulch to these bulbs and obviously it was a good thing…._3255912

The ferns are starting to emerge…..


Unfortunately the weeds are also starting to show out which means that I should spend more time in the yard and less in my studio.  We will see which wins out!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Little bits of time for sewing


My sewing time has been confined to an hour or so at a time and I have been having fun working on blocks for the quilt started with Pat Speth. 

It has been good to have something that I really don’t have to think about but can just grab some fabrics and sew, sew, sew!!!!


Here are my finished products….so far…….


This is the design that I am thinking of so far…..

quilt …although I may change the borders before it is all over.

I need 80 blocks to complete this configuration and have finished 50 so far……


One of the fun things is to see the little slivers of color mount up as I square up the blocks…..


I would normally throw these away, but think that I will keep them for awhile and see what develops!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My little bit of crazy quilting

You know how you have some little thing that has hung in the exact same place for such a long time that you forget that it is there…..

Well, yesterday I noticed this little bauble that hangs on my bedroom door…..


MANY years ago our guild had a meeting about crazy quilting.  My main objection to making a crazy quilt was that I didn’t want to do all of the hand stitching.  One of our members suggested using the sewing machine and experimenting with the programmed stitches. 

So, THIS was my one and only try at crazy work!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Goose poop….

Do you know what Goose Poop is?

One of the ways to piece a  flying geese block is as follows……


Place a square on the end of a rectangle and sew along the diagonal….


Now, move about 1/2 inch out and sew another line……

Picture2 Cut the pieces apart between the sewn lines……


This produces another small square…..


….also know as “Goose Poop”

Here is a quilt made almost entirely of goose poop…..


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Good tips from Pat Speth

Pat Speth was the speaker at our guild meeting last week and we spent about an hour enthralled with the 30+ quilts that she showed and the tips that she gave.


Her newest book is about making pieced borders and she had a wonderful demonstration where she showed over 30 different border ideas for one quilt.  Here are a few of my favorites….



DSC02385  DSC02393  DSC02396 DSC02399

The absolute best tip that she gave was to not worry if the inner borders were different sizes.  She suggested that it was more important to make the border pieces easy to work with… 7/8ths of an inch measurements!!!

I had always stayed away from different sized borders because I was afraid that it would make the quilt look weird. 


But, does THIS quilt really look strange??  I found that I never noticed the quilts where the borders were different sizes until Pat pointed them out to us!!!

Here are a few other quilts that are made with 5 inch units….

DSC02329 DSC02403  DSC02410 DSC02419 DSC02335

I left the meeting quietly planning borders in my head!!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A few stitches on a Saturday…

Yesterday I was able to find a few minutes to do some sewing, so I pulled out the “Tillie’s Treasures” quilt top that I started with Pat Speth this past week.

Here is where we are so far…..


I am not too sure about the pink blocks…they may end up on the back instead of  the front.


Last night I was restless and wanted to do something else in the creative vein so grabbed my sketchbook and had a little fun….


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pat Speth Workshop…

Today I had the privilege of spending the day with Pat Speth of “Nickel Quilt” fame. 

 DSC02460 She is a wonderful teacher, with the perfect mix of organization and improvisation!!  She gave us lots of excellent ideas, advice  and techniques and then set us lose to work on our own quilts.

Her “Nickel” method is this…..

Start with two 5 inch squares, one light and one dark..

Draw a diagonal line on one of the fabrics and then sew a scant 1/4 inch seam on each side of the diagonal….


Cut along the diagonal…..DSC02459

Press open to form 2 half-square triangle blocks and trim them to 4-1/2 inchesDSC02461 Now for the important part…..slice this block in half from top to bottom at the 2-1/4 inch mark….


And, without moving the two cut pieces, cut horizontally  at 2-1/4 inches…..DSC02463

And look what you get…..DSC02464 …..two PERFECT 1/2 square triangles, one dark square and one light square.

The VERY best part about this method is that you only square-up ONE square and yet end up with four perfectly sized patches.

These can be used for any block that uses this combination of squares.

My first block came out looking like this…..

DSC02457  and Pat sweetly pointed out that I had a rogue patch facing the wrong direction.  Oh well, I know how to un-sew!!

At the end of the day, I had put together 10 blocks and am happy with this start to my next project…..DSC02493 Pat also showed us how to use her 5 inch squares to make picket fence blocks, hourglass blocks and combination blocks with half square and quarter square blocks.


In looking at this technique, I really like the idea, but think that I might prefer to start with 5-1/2 inch squares, trim to 5 inch and make the sub-cuts at 2-1/2.  This seems to be a format  and size that fits me better.


Now for this next photo, we couldn’t decide if this was cute or just creepy.   Sherry had a stuffed bear that her Mother had made many years ago.   Not really knowing what to do with it, she turned it into a pincushion……


Saturday, March 10, 2012

A trip to the top….

This morning, Michael and I joined our friends, David and Lyn, in a hike to the top of Springer Mountain in Georgia.   The purpose of this trip was not just to do a bit of hiking, but instead to see Lyn off on an epic adventure…..she is planning to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail that starts in Georgia and ends in Maine!!!  The trip is about 2200 miles and normally takes about 6 months!!

This is a busy time for thru-hikers as most take the plunge in March and April, but we were totally unprepared for the number of cars in the parking area…..

_3105816 ….but soon realized that there were several Boy Scout groups hiking this weekend and many of the cars were for their groups.

We got ourselves organized and headed out for the approximate one mile hike to the top of Springer mountain. 

It was easy to know that we had arrived by the number of people who were congregated there…..

_3105836 There was a volunteer there making  note of how many hikers were beginning their journey.

_3105855  He told us that there were over 40 on Thursday, 25 on Friday and 11 had already set out on Saturday morning……I think that the trail is going to be REALLY crowded!!!

We met one hiker, Patrick, who had arrived yesterday  from England and was starting the hike today.  I can’t imagine fighting  jet-lag AND hiking at the same time!!!


Lyn signed into the AT log……


….checked out the scenery…..


…..took a photo with her “Hello Kitty” mascot and her hiking headdress…..


…..prayed with us and took a group photo…..


…..and she was off…….


Happy Trails Lyn…..see you in Maine!!!!

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