Monday, April 28, 2014

Sound the Retreat…..

Last Tuesday I packed up the car and headed to my guild retreat at the FFA (Future Farmer’s of America) camp in Covington, GA.  It was a gorgeous place, set on a large lake, with comfortable rooms and only a short walk to our retreating room……DSC02160

There were 19 people in attendance and the room was well set up for our work…..DSC02128

….with an adjoining room that held 2 cutting tables (raised to waist height) and three ironing setups.

The dining hall was just up one flight of stairs so we were never hungry.   The timer that was set to remind us of meals was a Duck Quack and we all responded like Pavlov’s Dogs and immediately headed for the stairs!!

Most people brought several projects to work on, but I single-mindedly worked on ONE project…


…..quilting the Aussie Fabric top.

I worked fairly steadily during the 3-1/2 days and actually started doing the hand stitching on the binding before I packed up for the return trip.

I did take one break from quilting when it was requested that each of us piece a block that would be used in a Charity quilt.  This was my block…..


…..and here is the completed top…..DSC02179

There were lots of other fun projects…….


The food was very nice, but way too much,  the fellowship was encouraging and fun and the time went by way too quickly!!

On the drive home, I passed several fields of Rapeseed which is used to make Canola Oil.   They were gorgeous…..


The quilt has been washed, blocked and is now on our bed and we are looking forward to sleeping under it tonight.   I will try to get a good photo of it and post later in the week……

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Here’s to the return of creative time…..

On Saturday, I officially declared an end to tax season.   It has been a good time and my clients were wonderful as usual, but it is truly wonderful to know that tomorrow I don’t have to sit at my desk all day long!!

Even better is the fact that my quilt guild is having a 4 day retreat starting on Tuesday and I am going!!!   It is a UFO retreat where everyone works on their own projects and I am looking forward to several days of quilting on the Aussie fabric quilt that I made back in December.

So, on Saturday, Michael helped me to move the furniture out of the way and I got organized to baste the quilt.  I use a Hobbes Heirloom Fusible Batting and love that I can baste a quilt in less than an hour, just using my iron.

The first step was to lay the batting out on the floor and iron the backing fabric to it……..


The batting sticks a little to the carpet but doesn’t seem to make much difference.

I then turned it over so that the batting side was up and ironed the quilt top to the batting….


So, in about 45 minutes, the quilt sandwich is ready to go.


Then I headed upstairs to get everything ready for the retreat.   As I said, I am going to be quilting on a large quilt, so this meant that I want to take the drop-in table for my sewing machine, the board that sits under it to bring it up to the correct height, another folding table in case I need an extra, my swivel chair (so that I can raise it to the right height),  my 16 inch square ruler and 24 inch rectangle ruler (in case I get it finished and want to square it up before I add binding),  oh yeah, I need to take the binding that I made to go with it.  I wonder if I will need an Ott light….better take one just in case.   Now, am I REALLY going to be happy just quilting for almost 3+ days….maybe I should take along a hand project, but that requires at least three more boxes of stuff…..

Anyway, after an hour of trying to figure out what I would need, my stack looked like this…..


I guess that it is good that I am driving by myself!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tulip Time

Last Fall I bought a box of mixed Tulips and planted about 75 bulbs in my little flower garden.

As they started coming up and blooming, I was unhappy because they were all red…


…..beautiful, but only one color!!

Then, as the red tulips started to fade, a new crop emerged….this time a bit more toward a purple color and a little spikier…..

Then came the beautiful white ones……


….that suddenly started turning to a lovely pink…..


So, for Easter Sunday, we had a beautiful bed of pink tulips to remind us of God’s love!!

The other wonderful plant in our yard is a Snowball Bush…..

photo 2

The blooms are outstanding…..

photo 4

AHHHHH….. Spring at last!!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A new painting for the wall

Many of you know Elizabeth Barton and enjoy her beautiful quilts as well as her wonderful blog.  If you have followed her at all, you will also know that she is a Watercolor painter!!

A couple of weeks ago, Michael and I visited an art show put on by the “Osher Lifelong Learning Institute” at the University of Georgia.  When we first entered we saw Elizabeth standing by her beautiful quilts and immediately went over to say hello.  

After finishing our greetings, we started looking around the show and both of us were immediately drawn to this painting…..


As we were getting ready to pay for it, I realized that it was painted by Elizabeth….that made it even MORE special!!!

It is now hanging proudly in our home……

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Two quilts in one day!!!

This post has to start with the way that I decorate my house.   I have lots of stuff that I like to put out, but too much to have out all at once.  So, over the years, I have sorted all of my bits and bobs into seasons and have enjoyed changing things up as the year goes on.

Now, with the new house, I have needed to add some bits and pieces to fill in the spots, and thus begins this post….

Last year I didn’t have time to really decorate for Spring, so the Winter blues had to hang around until May, but this year I had time and energy to redecorate at the start of April.   However, I simply couldn’t figure out what to put on one of the mantles!!

I knew that I wanted spring flowers and first decided to use one of the photos taken in China at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden…._6294724

I remembered reading in one of my blogs that you could get photos printed onto a wrapped canvas, so I enlarged the center section and sent it off to be printed.   I was thrilled with the result….


The next addition to the mantle was a funky metal bird that I had found (cheap) at a local store….


I added a brass pitcher of yellow flowers and the mantle looked like this….


It was ok, BUT I felt like it needed something….maybe some more birds or something yellow???

Then this afternoon, I had time to do something creative, so I decided to make a yellow bird quilt, modeled after this one  that I found on the internet…..


In about 45 minutes I had this “quilt” finished…..


….but after placing it on the mantle, it was still lacking, so I went back upstairs and made another one…..


And, now my mantle decorations are complete…..


AND….more importantly…..I made TWO, count them, TWO quilts in one afternoon…..AND during tax season!!


I can see my busy season coming to an end and am now excitedly thinking about upcoming creative projects, including a quilt based on a photo from inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul!!   CANT WAIT!!!

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