Sunday, June 30, 2013

How to Spend a Saturday

One of my goals since moving to Montana is to see more of Montana - to take advantage of all the different parts and to explore the state.  Yesterday was no exception.  There was a one day, outside quilt show at the Daly Mansion in Hamilton and since the kids were suppose to be gone camping, I decided to make the 2.5 hour drive and check it out.  The plan worked out, except I had company.

The weather in Challis, Idaho ranged from 40 at night to 90 during the day.  Within 24 hours Lady K had a bit of sunburn and wasn't sleeping.  So I had driven over and picked her.  As it was, the day was suppose to be in about 90 at the quilt show and I wasn't really looking forward to the heat.  Forget Lady K's discomfort, I was worried about mine.  As it turned out the weather was overcast and in the 70's while we were at the show, a perfect day.

Daly Mansion is in the Bitterroot Valley area of Montana and in the middle of nowhere.  But how can you not love this entrance?  This is worthy of any Southern plantation going.

You drive down a long lane up to the grounds of the house.  As soon as you enter the grounds, the magic begins.

First off, how can you not love a quilt show which decorates the restrooms with quilts!

I have taken tours of places where the 'facilities' are less than stellar if they exist at all.  These were very nice, clean bathrooms at the edge of the property.

Once I paid my entry fee, I stepped onto the perfect setting for a quilt show.  Huge old trees with dozens of beautiful quilts hanging between them.  Lush green grass, wonderful little seating areas facing the quilts throughout the grounds so you could sit and chat or just try and take in all the colors and patterns and wonder how many of these works of art you could attempt to recreate.

Meandering through the grounds, you strolled from quilt to quilt. 

 One thing that surprised me (and it was a good surprise) was the lack of vendors selling at the show.  There were only 3-4 vendors there, which made the emphasis of the event on the quilts themselves.

Lady K was about the only baby there and while she was nice and smiled at those who coo'ed over her, she wanted to be held.  It is hard to push a stroller, hold a baby and take pictures, all at the same time.  I really missed Texter not being there!

There is no way to even begin to show all the quilts displayed at the show.  As you can tell, my interests lean more toward modern quilts at the present time.  Nor is there any way to really show up the quilting done on some of the quilts.  The whole show made me want to run home and work on my Judy Niemeyer pattern I have started.

Couple of regrets about the show - (1) I didn't have someone with me I could ooh and ahh about the quilts and the mansion with and (2) we weren't all in white, long lawn dress with large hats, strolling about drinking tea from a china cup.

I can definitely say this is one show I will keep my eye open for their next one.  It was fantastic.  This is also a trip I would make again to just tour the mansion. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday June 26

The past week has been a little strange.  I couldn't seem to get into my 'groove' and get things accomplished.  However, Gibbs, Texter and Lady K are now in Idaho camping with other Marine families and I am here with the dogs.  So while the grass is drying so I can cut it, I am working on a project Texter and I started.  

I had top-stitched the letters and this morning I started putting the blocks together.  All the blocks have all six squares together.  After mowing the yard I will start sewing the block sides together to make the blocks.  This way, when Texter gets back from camping next week, she can stuff the blocks.  A trip to Joann's Fabrics, coupons in hand, are in order to get more polyfil.

Also on my sewing table is this large project.....

This is a Judy Niemeyer pattern which is being taught at Creative Stitches in Helena by a certified instructor.  Since I have fallen in love with her designs, this is giving me the way to go with the patterns.  They are paper pieced, very intricate and to die for.  Once I get a little more done (and a little more organized) I will share what is going on in pictures.

A non-sewing WIP is limoncello.   What could be better on a summer morning than the smell of lemons?

A nice yellow bowl with nice yellow lemon peel in it.  And the smell is wonderful and invigorating (well, maybe not THAT invigorating).

So they are swimming in vodka for the next week.  While they are doing their thing, I have to figure out how to get a bottle of limoncello to Savvy in Arizona.  And question is, what do to with 'naked' lemons.

I know lemonade' would be the logical answer.  However, I would like to do some lemon curd, but I need some lemon zest to do that, which would mean going to buy more lemons.  A lemon meringue pie would be another answer, but I really don't need a pie (want and need are two different things for my waistline.)  They will probably get juiced and go into a container to add to my tea.  There is some mint out in the garden.....minty lemonade?  On the patio?  While waiting for the limoncello to age?  Works for me!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Patio Gardening

One of the very few things I miss about North Carolina (and probably the only thing at this point in time) is my veggie garden.  If I was still in Raleigh, I would be picking tomatoes from the garden, the lettuce would be well over and the Farmer's Market would be filled with peaches, corn and a ton of other fruit and vegetables.

However, I could not go without planting my tomatoes.  And our patio has a planter on two sides with nothing in it except soil.  So I grabbed some tomato plants at both the local natural food store and Lowe's Hardware and stuck them in the planter.

I have about 12 plants in the planter with some cucumber seeds in the far corner.  They had to be replanted as Mojo thought that corner was made for digging.  Thus I have a 'fence' of sorts on the planter to keep the dogs from walking on the plants. It's working about 95% of the time.

With the cool, early morning temperatures, Amani enjoys sunning on the stones of the patio.  

And despite the cool temperatures, the tomato plants are blooming and some have baby tomatoes on them. 

This had been a water feature container which was abandoned.  I didn't want to make a water feature which would only be viable for a few months, so I turned it into a planter.  Nice pink petunias, mandavilla and nicotiana.  They are all starting to spread out in the planter and looking nice.  If we could get a little more warm weather it would be great. 

And I found a large pot of blooming lavender.  It is small enough I can bring it in for the winter and hopefully keep it going.  

There are a lot of existing flowers in the yard which are starting to bloom nicely.  But that's for another day. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WIP Wednesday 6.19.13

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

For some reason......

I seem to have gotten distracted this week and really haven't gotten much accomplished on my projects.

The alphabet blocks still need some stitching to doubly hold down the letters I fused on the block.

I dumped the idea of blanket stitching around all the letters, mainly because Texter was demanding a quicker finish.  So I am experimenting with all the special stitches my machines does.  Only problem is that I now see them decorating little sundresses for Lady K.

I also added to my projects by signing up for a "Bag Lady" class at Pam's Knit and Stitch in Great Falls.  It is an entralac bag and I picked my five colors needed based on the colors used for Spicy Spiral - neon green, yellow, black, white and grey.  I have to cast on 144 stitches and knit an inch by next Tuesday, which is very doable, as long as I get out of this seeming nonproductive phase.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mid-month Checkin

So far I have been pretty much on track completing the things I want to do for the month, including the things that Texter has thrown at me.  My exception is the Marcelle Medallion.   That is on the back burner for now until I feel up to tackling y-seams.

But my Tula Pink QAL is on track.  I have finished a total of 10 squares, 5 a week.  Here are a couple of the blocks. 

My only change on the block is I strip pieced the small red and black blocks.  I didn't see the need to cut out 1.5 inch squares and sew them together.  So I sewed two long jelly roll strips together and cut and rotated them for the blocks.  Since I used the same colors on 2 blocks and they both called for the same type of pieces, I killed two birds with one strip.

I completed the floor pillow Texter wanted me to do and have a good start on the alphabet blocks.  She got a little impatient with the whole idea of a blanket stitch around the letters, so I decided to experiment with some of the different stitches on my sewing machine.

Texter helped by tracing out the letters and fusing them to the fusible interfacing.  I cut out 36 squares of 6 different flannels and the two of us ironed them onto the squares.  I have a few more letters and numbers to stitch on the blocks.  They are fused, but I wanted to be sure they don't come off while being played with.  The coming week will be putting the blocks together and stuffing them.  Texter, Gibbs and Lady K head off into 10 days for a week of camping with other Marine families, so we have this week to get them together before she heads off. 

So things are on track and I am pleased with my progress over the past two weeks.  Looks like I will be well on track for getting things accomplished this month. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Finish It Friday 6/13/13

Have a lot of projects in the works and a couple that I finished this week.  I am working on hexes as a handwork project to carry upstairs to work on in the evening.  The same thing with an alphabet I am doing a blanket stitch around for blocks for Lady K.

My finished works is my "Spicy Spiral".  I love these colors and I consider the top being done 'finished'.  I have to decide if I am going to keep it as a table runner or appliqué it on a quilt top.

I love these colors so much I think I am going to use them on an entralac bag I will be starting the end of the month at my LYS.

The second thing, which is completely finished, is the floor pillow for Lady K.

Before filling with polyfil and then with Lady K enjoying the cushy 'ride'.  I made it out of flannel, so it is really soft and great to lay on.

Now onto my blanket stitching!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

June In The "Art Room"

All my traveling to/from North Carolina and Arizona is finished!  I only have to set up shipping my stuff from North Carolina, but all all the work is done.  Or it is until my things come from North Carolina and I have to put it up.

In the meantime, I have turned my attention to the 'art room'.  I still have some books and a couple of bags of fabric and patterns to add to the shelves, but this is what it looked like as we were unpacking and I was just setting things in the room.

So, with my return from North Carolina with some things in the car, I now have 2 sewing machines to use.  Both are Singers and not all that fancy, but I have my machine and then a really basic Singer as a back up.

With the shelves fairly organized, I have selected some projects for June to try and complete.  Actually, I have so many projects that I needed to narrow down what I was going to work on.

I am starting the Marcelle Medallion Quilt from Liberty Love.  This is what I pulled from my stash for the center medallion.  If you haven't seen the finished quilt, it is a wonderful complex and bright design.  I am pulling from my stash for the fabrics.  I am not tuned into buying complete lines of fabric (yet) to use for a quilt.  So right now I am pulling for what seems to fit from my current stash.

I am also participating in the Tula Pink 100 Modern Quilt Blocks QAL.  My goal for June is to do 5 blocks a week or 20 for the month.  And once again, I am pulling from my current stash for the blocks. What I did notice however when pulling for the blocks is that I don't have very many solids.

I also have a BOM from Wish Upon a Quilt in Raleigh which I signed up for before I knew I was moving.  They are kind enough to let me continue and are mailing me the blocks every month.  I had gotten behind with the move and managed to 'catch up' the end of May.  It will be a bright and colorful quilt when finished.

Those are a couple of the blocks.

So for June my list of 'to-do's' is as follows:

  • Marcelle Medallion Quilt - finish center block
  • Blocks 1-20 of the Tula Pink blocks
  • finish up 'monkey hat' (knitted) for Lady K
  • BOM from Wish Upon a Quilt
  • blocks for block swap on Facebook
Of course, Texter has her agenda.  I found a pattern for fabric blocks and she wants to work on those.  I want do to them in flannel and blanket stitch the letters on the blocks.  This will give me a handwork project.  Also, I have a couple of quilts for her with a Batman theme we have the fabric for and the fabric for some 'animal' throws and a pillow.  We will see if I get those fit in too.

June is bustin' out all over!