Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I finally got the last 24 butterflies appliqued and the buttonhole stitching done around each one. For some reason this seemed to take longer than the first 34 butterflies. Now I am cutting out the bodies from my hand painted fabrics - getting them ready to applique.

hey are just pinned on the butterflies for now - waiting to be cut to shape and then appliqued.

I want to applique flowers and vines on the quilt - as butterflies just love flowers. It has taken me a long time and much searching but I've finally decided on using Grandmother's Flower Garden "flowers" and YoYos for some of the other flowers. I will cut bias stems and applique them down and then add the flowers.

I am doing the GFG pieces in English Paper Piecing - above are some of the papers glued (I use a washable glue stick) to the fabrics - waiting to have the seam turned under and basted. At the top of the photo are a few of the finished pieces, ready to be whip stitched together.

These are some of the papers stuck to the yellow fabric that will be the center of the flowers. This process has many steps but I really like the way the turn out so don't mind the steps.

Here they all are in a tin, ready to go to work with me where I can finish getting them ready to become flowers.

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And of course I can't leave you without some of the pictures of spring time. It is so gloriously green here - even the air seems green on these sunny days. We had an absolutely perfect weekend - sunny and about 78 - and then Monday and Tuesday it was supposed to rain but it cleared off and was almost as nice as the weekend.

It almost seems you can taste the green!!

And the blue sky with the green leaves is amazing - be careful not to tip over while looking up at the sky.

The little evergreen in our backyard is sporting some very pretty green "fingernails"

And one lovely rhododendren!!! Isn't spring grand!!!

Happy quilting and gardening - if you like that sort of thing - to all!! Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


At last - the new plaster is painted - the shelves are in - and stuff is back on the shelves. Yippeeee. We did the painting yesterday - but unfortunately the color of white we picked is just a tad greener than what is currently on the walls, so this afternoon we will have to paint the rest of the wall space around the closets to make it blend in. It won't take long, and then one wall will just be a hair off the color of the rest of the walls and you will think it is the light in the room that makes it look that way - if you notice it at all.

We also got the shelves in last night in the studio - with just one more high shelf to go in - but that has to wait until we buy the shelf. I spent most of this morning putting the bins and boxes back in the closet. It makes the room seem so much bigger with the open shelving. We still have to patch the spot in the carpet where the door came out - we'll do that with a scrap from the carpet we are having replaced in the living room, master bedroom, dining room and den. The carpet is currently the same color throughout the house - but we are having most of it replaced in a couple weeks. The order is in -just waiting for the installer to contact us with a date. We will leave the dark green in the studio and the guest room for now - that is a project for a later date.

We did not put the closet doors up in the bedroom, as they would have to be taken out to install the carpet - they are sitting in the hallway - waiting to scare me every time I walk by.

Then - on one of our trips to town we drove past the ponds in our park and got some great photos of the ducks and geese. The babies are growing up fast so I wanted to get pictures while they were still little.

Daddy goose - he means business when he tells you to stay away from the family.

And here is the family - learning to move in formation. They practice their "V" formation for flying by swimming in a "V". It is interesting to watch the adult ducks keep their babies in line.

And the duck family - swimming in the same pond. The babies still are "peeping" when they talk - it is so cute.

Our weather has been fabulous the last two days - sunshine and about 78 - and no wind - who could ask for more? I'm headed back out to the yard to do some buttonhole stitch on the butterflies - I only have about 5 left to do, then the bodies need to be appliqued and last - the antennae embroidered. Then that top will be ready for some flower applique - for the butterflies to feast on.

When the race is over we are headed out to K-mart to buy some board games for our oldest grandson - Jahn. He asked me last time he was here why we didn't have any board games - and Ididn't have an answer for that. We found Dora Candyland on the computer and played a few games of that - but it isn't the same as getting out the boards and playing together at the coffee table.

Hope your weekend is going great.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Join me in mind boggling trip of a tiny, little remodel!!!

We decided to enlarge the openings to the closets in the studio and the master bedroom. They are wide closets - with very narrow closet doors - so most of the closet is hard to get to. We are putting wide bi-fold doors in the bedroom - and turning the closet in the studio into storage shelves.

We have to get them done this week because the installer tells me that the carpet is here earlier than expected and he will be here Monday to install it.

This is the tiny door in the studio closet - with a view of the top shelf with a few things on it, just a small section of the closet shows - there are about 4 feet on either side of the door, inside the closet. I should have taken a photo of the closet filled with plastic boxes and tubs.

To access any of the tubs and plastic boxes in the closet I would have to first remove the middle stack of them - and then pull the side ones out - unstacking everything whenever I needed something - and of course, I always needed something that was NOT in the middle of the closet.

So our handyman (I can almost call him our resident handyman, he has been here so much since we bought the house) started to take out the doorway in the studio and enlarge it so we could put in bifold doors. As he was taking part of the wall out I got the neato idea to take the WHOLE wall out - and have it just be an open shelf space.

Here it is with NO closet wall - and a funny slanty wall at the end. I will put a wonderful set of drawers that our son built for us, in one end of the closet - tall and narrow with 7 drawers - and then the rest of the area will have shelves - and an extra shelf that we couldn't have put in if there were closet doors, up high, for storage of infrequently used items.

There are tubs and plastic boxes from the studio closet stacked in the laundry room - and in the studio - I'm sitting in a little space left for my chair and computer. There are clothes lying on both beds and more things from the master bedroom stacked in the master bath.

In the bathroom - you can see it all through the bead curtain

We sort of wiggle our way around through things like snakes.

The floors are becoming unbelievably messy - even though handyman is handy with the shop vac and cleans up when he is done at night. He's now been here three days - and I'm about to go nuts living like this.

The bedroom closet - almost ready for the bi-fold doors and new carpet.

Then this morning - after two days here - handyman tells me he can't do the drywall - he has called in a contractor to do that, and the contractor will be here any minute - but - but - but - I'm not paying contractor - I didn't hire him - - - - so we agree that the price doesn't change, and contractor will come in and do the work this afternoon.

But first, before contractor gets here - handyman tells me he went through a red light last night on the way home and hit someone and wrecked his car - so he isn't going to have reliable transportation to finish the job.

Next stop - Crazyville!!

So - next - contractor arrives - says he can't finish the work this afternoon - and can't come back until next Tuesday - but next Monday the new carpet is coming - we have to have the closet finished in the bedroom before the carpet goes in. So we chat and we agree they will both work late tonight - and come back tomorrow morning and finish the job. Ok - crisis averted - for now.

Then handyman steps out on the back porch to haul out some of the old drywall - and this happens.......

He checks the wood and says it is just rotted from water dripping from the roof (no gutters on the house when we moved in - we have since remedied that) Just had to make sure there weren't any termites in there - cuz if there were - some inspector was going to be in a little hot water - he had given the house a termite free certificate when he did the inspection in December.

So handyman is going to bring wood tomorrow and repair the porch. But he doesn't have a ride - so contractor says he will pick him up on his way in to town ( he lives in the next county).

Now things settle down - I've got a meat loaf in the oven (meaplope to our 3 year old grandson) and potatoes are baking. A salad is chilling in the refrigerator and peas are just waiting to be heated up. Seems things are going to work out - I sure hope so - I'm not enjoying this as much as one would suspect. I am anxious to get the house put back together - but I have to work the next two days (10 hours each day) so it looks like we won't get to the putting back together until the weekend. We do have to rehang the clothes in the closet each night and unhang them each morning because there is no place else to put them except on our bed.

Well I thought things were settling down - then youngest daughter drops by with a pair of dark purple velvet black-out curtains that she would liked hemmed so they can get some sleep. Oh sure - I'll just whip that out - now where did I put the box of thread? - and the scissors, oh I can't find the scissors, and the ironing board is behind a stack of tubs and besides there is no place to set it up. My FW sewing machine sits here - just waiting to be dusted off - guess that is the next project.

Don will be home from work in an hour - for dinner - and then he goes back to work until later tonight. Lucky him - he gets to escape handyman and contractor putting in drywall and plastering tonight after dinner. I think I'll go make me a cup of tea and be glad this isn't a whole house remodel.

At least the sun is shining!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I got the butterfly quilt out again and began working on it. It has been sitting and begging me to finish it up - so finally I listened.

Since the blocks are all different sizes there were some places that needed filled in with the background fabric. I got that done - then added 14" on three sides of the quilt - of the background fabric - to make it big enough for my bed.

Today I began cutting out butterflies to fill in all the blank spaces -

Lots of butterflies in 30s repro fabrics. I pinned 14 on the quilt - and still need about twice that many - so back to cutting out more butterflies. I have lots of 30s fabrics so that won't be a problem. I need more yellow butterflies to balance the quilt. After they are all pinned on I will do a quick basting to hold them until I get them appliqued down - then the black buttonhole stitch, bodies and antennaes. Won't be long until this top is finished and ready for quilting. I think it is going off to the machine quilter - so I can have it done before the end of time - and can bind and use it this summer.


A dear friend called and said she was coming over to see our new house - she lives over an hour away and hasn't been up since we bought the house. After a tour of the house and chatting a few minutes - she handed me a package - and in it was this wonderful house warming lap quilt. It was made by the ladies in my small internet group - the same group that has the sew-ins in Anacortes, WA every month or so. Each one made a heart - one lady put it all together and a second did the gorgeous machine quilting, with the binding finally being done by someone else.

What a lovely project - and a sweet way to remember friends and to keep warm. It warms me twice - or three or four times. All the fabrics are my favorite 30s repros - of course - and it goes perfectly with our new living room. It will sit on the back of the love seat, unless I am using it to cover my legs while reading in the evenings. Such a snuggly wonderful surprise. What a great bunch of ladies!!! Aren't quilters just the greatest!?!

I must get back to cutting out butterflies - while the inspiration is still with me. Hope you are all having a super quilty day!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Now that sounds like fence doesn't it? But that is the number of posts I've made since I started this blog. I see others who are having give-aways for their 300th post - like Kristie - at Cowgirl Quilter, and the finished drawing at the Old Red Barn - but I fear I'll never get to those kinds of numbers. Thirty three is such a small number - but I've had fun doing it.

I am still working on the butterfly quilt - seems to go on and on and on. I got a few of the blocks pinned together before my grandson Ben got here this morning - he is spending the day with me. He is napping right now - not a daily occurance any more - but more than welcome when it does happen. We had a great time playing outdoors for a while - then after he went down his slide he said - yaaaay I did it - let's go indoors and have some ice cream - so in we came.

I haven't shown photos of my crazy quilt yet - so now is a good time to do that - since I have nothing new to show.
I started working on this quilt in late 2005, did a lot in 2006, and then it has had some short stretches of work and some longer stretches.

Closer look at the spiderweb. It is traditional for crazy quilts to have a spider and spider web someplace on the quilt.

I work on this from time to time - it is nice for take-along, but is getting so big now it isn't as easy as when it was first started. I am making this out of my hand painted fabrics, which are 100% cotton, so I decided to only use cotton floss for the embroidery. It will be bed-size when I'm finally done.

A friendly butterfly
From time to time I get caught up in the beading frenzy while looking at crazy quilts that are more embellished than mine, but then I calm down and go back to my original plan. So far it is working out well.

I don't necessarily want to work on this project continually - I need time for inspiration to hit so I can do more stitches. I look at other crazy quilts, have one book of embellishing stitches, and make up some of the designs myself. If I work on it too much at a time it feels like I am only repeating stitches - and I don't like that feeling. If I have some time between sessions then I feel that each stitch is new - even though it might not be. I especially like doing the couching (in white in the photo above) and French knots.

Happy quilting all!!