Praise !

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? I Corinthians 3:16
Psalm 31: 7, 8
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy; for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a large room.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ribbons and Redo

Well, a week has passed since I entered my quilts in our local county fair.  I was excited to go to the fair on the first night and find out if I had won anything.

THEN............I had mixed feelings.  Walking into the exhibit room, I was THRILLED to see ribbons on my quilts.........but disappointed to see that there were only TWO other quilts, a wallhanging, and 2 sets of placemats entered into the competition.

But, hey, it's a start, and hopefully word will get out that our fair is doing this once again after many years of NOT having home exhibits,.........and hopefully next year, there will be LOTS of beautiful handwork to admire !

In the meantime, here are my awards.....

I asked a young man who was standing in the room to take my photo,....it's a bit blurred, but better than not having one at all.


the GardenWalkQuilt won first place in quilt, pieced, hand-quilted.

the TropicTriStarQuilt won second place in quilt, machine-quilted

and then the Best in Show Ribbon was awarded to me for the Green Garden Walk Quilt !

When I went to pick up the quilts on Sunday, they gave me a check for $30.  $10 was for a first  place ribbon, and $20 was for Best in Show.  Not bad return for the $5 entry fee !

But, in the meantime, I've been busy changing my bedroom into a bedroom/sewing room combination.  Now, I know that I may regret this change when the room becomes a wreck while I am in the throes of a magnificent quilt-making revelation/machination !  But, for now, it allows me to make the other room into a sitting/late night can't sleep room.   We'll give it a try and see how it works out.  With it being just the two of us here for most of the year, we can make changes whenever I'M up to the work of it.

Here are photos of the newly painted room.
I also painted my old wooden chest of drawers to go with the white bedframe.  Having lived with it the other way for over 30 years, I am happy to see this new look.



I now refer to this as my 'princess and the pea' bed, as I have taken an extra mattress that I was storing, and added it underneath my memory foam mattress, so that I no longer have to take up room with it in a corner of the room.  It's actually quite enjoyable being up so high.  Lottie and I FEEL like princesses !  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Fair-entry day !

While living in Oklahoma for over 30 years, I learned how to make quilts.  A fun part of many years was spent preparing entries for the county fair.  I always hoped to someday move back to my little hometown and get to enter quilts here.

Well, when I moved back, I found that they had discontinued the wonderful room full of exhibits that I remembered from my childhood.  I was SO disappointed !

But this year, the fair board has decided to bring back the old tradition, and I am going out today to enter 2 quilts.  They have started out small, wanting to re-learn how to do this, and have even mentioned that I might be able to suggest ways to improve things in the coming years.

Right now the two categories for quilts are "quilt, pieced, hand-quilted", and"quilt, machine-quilted".

So I entered my Garden Walk quilt,


and this one that I can't remember the name of.  This is the one I made when I won the new Melody BabyLock sewing machine in the Blogger's Quilt Festival drawing.








Here's hoping that the next time I see these quilts, one of them has SOME KIND of ribbon on it.
It's been YEARS since I won one.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Short (visit),but sweet

I got to see my daughter and her family a couple of days ago.

She was headed to Oklahoma for her 20 year high school reunion, which I think I mentioned in a post in the last couple of weeks.

It's such a long drive for them now, starting in Virginia, stopping over with us in Tennessee, and she suffers terribly with pain in her hips and back when she has to sit for that long a time.  In fact, she can't sit in one position long enough to do much of the driving, so Tim blessed her by taking over that chore.

They stayed overnight, and drove on for the other half of the trip the next morning.

My grandbabies are growing  up.  Zoe is nearly as tall as me (she's 12 1/2), Seth (7) is nearly as tall as Tim, jr., who is 9.

I gave the kids my bedroom, but Seth wanted Nana to sleep on the living room floor with him instead of on the couch or in the recliner.  So I lay down with him there until he went to sleep, and we enjoyed a good long chat of this and that.  So fun to finally 'connect' with my youngest grandchild.
















Tim, jr., and I bonded over coaxing Lottie dah out from under my bed, where she inevitably winds up spending any time that the kids, and especially Sophie, the Westie, are in the house.  She's declawed and knows it, so she hisses and scats when she sees what she perceives as a threat.
















They should be driving back this way on the 3rd of August, heading home to start the new school year, with my daughter Kelley starting her new position as third grade teacher.  They've said that they'll spent TWO nights with us this time !

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Finished all 63 string blocks

I put a rush on the final blocks, because my daughter and family are coming over the weekend, and I need the sewing space for sleeping. 

No photo yet, I'm still in the process of removing the papers from the back side now that the entire thing is pieced.  I even stay-stitched around the perimeter so that I can add borders without stretching out the bias edges of these blocks.

No one told me what a labor it is to maneuver the top through the machine as you're sewing the last of the long seams with all that  paper still attached.  I'm kind of enjoying removing it, though.

It now measures approximately 63 inches by 81 inches, so I'll probably try to bring it up to atleast full-size, 72 .x 90.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

61 blocks made ! String Quilt

Was thinking of making 63 blocks.  I've trimmed these down to 9 1/2 inches, from the 10 square papers I started out with.  7 blocks by 9 blocks would give me a top measuring 63 x 81 inches before adding borders to make it fit a twin/full bed.

Not happy with the selection of strips I'm down to new, so I don't know that making more blocks would be a good idea.  Then, again, I don't really want to be left with a bunch of strips...........unless I want to make a piano-key border.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

String quilt update

No photo tonight.............but I have string-pieced 29 more blocks.  That brings today's total up to 45 !

But the basket of strips is waning fast !  So, I don't think I'm going to get to make this top as big as I had hoped...........unless I enlarge it some other way than with string blocks.

Another note.........I basted the I SPY + quilt last weekend.  It  is just waiting on an opportune time to quilt it by machine.  I'll probably take it to quilting day and work on it there.  I backed it with flannel AND used a cotton batting, so it's fairly heavy for a baby-sized quilt.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Just a quickie..............

..............before collapsing into bed !

I've begun a new project.

After cutting strips for DAYS, I starting sewing strips onto these 10-inch foundation papers that I purchased from Missouri Quilt Company.  It is slow going, mainly because I am having trouble with the strips that are cut widthwise of the fabric, you know, from selvedge to selvedge.  They want to lump up, stretching ahead of the presser foot, and  a walking foot didn't seem to help.

MAJOR TIP:  Cut your strips on the lengthwise grain !   Why haven't I read this anywhere lately while doing my string quilt research?

Anyway, it's a GOOD START.  I'm dying to stitch together the 16 squares that I finished today, but I'm afraid that I will run out of these colors and have to add in a bunch of new fabrics, and then the next part of the quilt would be noticeably different.  So, I really need to wait until I've pieced ALL the blocks, and THEN put them together.  YUCK !

But, it's looking so good to me, that I really DO want to make it some kind of BED-SIZE.

So.............PATIENCE is called for. Praise the LORD, this is fun, though !

Well, I also mowed the yard today and cut the hubby's hair, so I'm done.

Night all !

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I SPY + baby quilt top

I put together a small yard sale two weeks ago, and was disappointed that my fabrics and quilts and tops didn't sell.  My prices were RIDICULOUSLY low because I was desperately trying to free up some room in my sewing room and shed. 

I personally made a total of $68. at the sale, and some of that was not quilting-related.  This past Tuesday, I went to the senior center to quilt with the local gals, and I took my leftover yardsale goodies.  The girls were TICKLED PINK to get to purchase quilt stuff, and I came home with $76 !  And, even at that, I had slashed prices even further.

But, I still have quite a few leftovers from what I had gathered up to sell, so I spent the morning at the center cutting out pieces for a plus quilt.

I started out cutting kiddy prints, and without a specified size in mind, I wound up stopping at babyquilt size.  Because I have to lay out the whole design before piecing it, I always wind up stopping at that size.  I SO admire people who follow through all the way to making a BED-SIZED plus quilt !  But, that ain't going to happen as long as I don't have a wall or some other place where I could lay out something that big and be able to leave it until it was totally pieced. 

After finishing this one, I realize that it is way too bright and busy for my current taste anyway, so I am glad that it didn't grow any bigger.  SOMEDAY, I would like to make one in softer, low contrast colors.

Back to the fabrics.........
....I still have much more to go !  So I'm studying what shape to cut next, hoping to make better choices as I go !

In preparation for my quilting day with the gals, I finally bound this little quilt that I made from the piecing I bought at the Food Bank for $1.00.
I'm very pleased with how it turned out, but I hung it on the quilt rack in the living room to admire it, SO NATURALLY, I WENT OFF TO THE SENIOR CENTER WITHOUT IT !   Duh !

That's my Lottie - dah .....and the back of the quilt.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sibling Saturday Picnic

For the first time in nearly 3 years, all 5 of my daddy's kids were together in one place !  We celebrated with a Fathers' Day picnic.

I'd have to say that a good time was had by all, and I'm so glad that we got this shot that shows that too ! I praise God that we are all alive and healthy.  My love goes to my half-brother, who lives in Murfreesboro,  and my half-sister who lives in California, as well; I wish that we could have ALL been there !




In other news, (big to me, if not anyone else)  I took the plunge and cut off all that hair !  Phew !


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Satisfying Saturday

Well, it's VERY hot now, but this morning was nice enough for a bike ride around our little town, looking at yardsales.  I came across a nice laptop case for this new baby of mine, for only 25 cents, and got my morning's exercise in the process............not a bad hour's activity.

Yardwise, my Poppies have started blooming...
.......much better than previous attempts to raise them. I have the most of them out in front of my storage shed, including some double poppies that were shared by my neighbor, Rose.  
Each one is just such a perfect work by the Master gardener, our Lord, maker of Heaven and Earth and all therein !  I get such joy from my morning forays to see what's new out there !  

The lovely Nasturtiums are  such bright spots around the yard, and I am eating around 2-4 blossoms per day, for all the amazing benefits that the plant is said to offer.

The entire plant is edible, but I'm not much on greens.......still having trouble swallowing them.........but I enjoy munching the fresh blooms, which taste like the leaves of a radish plant....YUM !
My Sweet Williams have gone to seed for now, 
but the Hardy Hibiscus are just getting covered with buds (and the occasional Japanese Beetles). 

 My giant Daisies are in bloom in the mailbox flowerbed, and the Cannas are growing nice and tall.

The Easter Lillies that I purchased post holiday, last year, have come back wonderfully well.  This picture reflects what's left after having removed 3 or 4 spent blooms.

These Lillies were given to me as a gift last year, and have multiplied enough to be able to share with Rose.

And here's a shot of the other side of the driveway, with the Black-eyed Susans in bloom, among the Hardy Hibiscus bush, the Rose of Sharon and Crape Myrtle bushes, and the yet-to-bloom Gladioli.
I almost forgot to share this photo of my favorite new Morning Glories.  They are a branching, rather than vining type, and I have them growing in window boxes off of my back deck's railing.

And the Phlox are budding this week.  They have really filled up this spot beside the back steps, and there are a few started out in the shade garden.

Our trip to Nashville went wonderfully well last Sunday, with the LORD blessing us with beautiful weather for a picnic on the nursing home's grounds (lovely park-like setting), and good health and attitude for all the family attending.  
Considering the ages of the three siblings, this is a MOST PRECIOUS photo.  Praise God for this wonderful reunion.

Friday, June 3, 2016

I'm still around !

Springtime finds me out in the yard all the time, and having been put on a low-dose blood pressure medication, I just can't seem to concentrate enough to work on piecing or quilting right now. 

But I'm in my element watching things grow and come into bloom, so time is passing quickly.
My old computer bit the dust, and I'm currently using my new laptop.............loving it.

I don't have my old editing program for my photos, so I haven't resized this one.  I want to figure out how to do that again before I post more photos.  I also haven't learned how to highlight text so that I can change the font or size or color.........or copy and paste.  Learning..........it'll come !

  I haven't loaded many photos onto it yet, so this post will just be sharing the picture of my newest plant obsession, Nasturtiums.

I'm planting them everywhere, and having learned of the health benefits that they offer when consumed, I have tried eating the blooms and the leaves.  My health is strangely rough right now...........nothing I can put my finger on, (nor can the doctor), but seemingly more than just the aging process. 

Sunday, we're driving up to see hubby's two sisters, so that will be sortof a stressful day, driving in traffic more than I'm used to.  Lord help !

Anyway, I just thought that I'd better check in here before I lose all of my lovely blogging friends.   Hopefully, I'll have more to share in my next post.

Blessings to you all !

Dolly

Monday, March 28, 2016

Old quilts and new.......

It's been awhile since I've posted.  I am still plugging along on the Orange Peel quilt top, having hand-appliqued close to 150 of the little peels.  I try to do 5 at a time, but don't always meet my quota.  I'm loving the look of it, but don't have enough on the design wall to look much different from my last photo.

In between times of working on that, I pieced up another little project.  Digging around at our local second-hand store, I came across a bit of hand-piecing and some leftover patches that had not been worked.  It was all in a zippered clear vinyl pillow bag.  They charged $1.00, which I was happy to give, so I took it home.  Pulling out the finished part, I found that it was set into 14 rows of 5 blocks per row, making a long skinny piece.  Well, I picked it apart with a seam ripper, between the 7th and 8th rows, and then placed those pieces side by side, piecing it back into a top that was 10 rows of 7 blocks .  Here it is laying on the fabric that I chose for a border.

Looking through the bag further, I found about 10 more finished blocks, and pieces to make more.  I made enough extra blocks (I pieced mine by machine) to be able to piece a backing with a strip of blocks down the center.  This way I only had to buy a 2-yard piece of fabric for the backing, a wonderful peucy-green solid.  Adding a 2-inch strip of the border fabric on each side of the pieced blocks, I had enough width for the backing.

I basted it out underneath my carport a week ago, thinking I would quilt it by machine, probably immediately.  But life, and SPRING, intervened, and it is still beckoning to me from the back of a chair sitting alongside my bed.

It is very roughly handpieced, and had a lot of bagginess to the blocks.  But it is just TOO LOVELY to not be made into a finished little quilt to be loved and admired.  I just wish I knew who made the blocks, and why they gave up on them.

Adding to my quilty enthusiasm is my latest project request from JoAnn in Oklahoma.  She sent me a kit of the Swoon Sixteen Quilt, and asked me to piece it for her.  Over the last few days, I've managed to get the fatquarters cut, and one block pieced.  Tomorrow I hope to drop in on the local quilters at the senior center and maybe get the rest of the white background fabric all cut.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Quilt A-Peel....progress report

Today is March 1st.........HOORAY !  And it is time for an accounting on this Orange Peel top that I am attempting to make.
At this point, I actually like the look of space between the 'peels', instead of edges touching, but I didn't cut the squares big enough for that (because WHO DOES?)  Maybe, NEXT QUILT !

I think that I have appliqued approximately 56 or so 'peels' at this point.  I had some good momentum going , getting about 6 done per day, but then I went and donated blood........that afternoon, as soon as I started using a needle again, the end of it found it's way into the hole they had pricked while checking my hemoglobin level !!!!!!!!!!!  NO.........no,.....can't go THERE !

So, I set the appliqueing aside for the rest of the week.  Finally, last night, I was able to do 3 more blocks.  I need 140 for the center of the quilt, 60 for the outer border.........and then I'll piece in empty squares for the 'inner border'.
I think I'll have to sprinkle a red or pink in here and there....what do you think?
I've run out of background fabrics, with NO new ones to be found locally.  I also needed atleast 3 more turquoise fabrics.  I was counting on hubby's eye checkup today for a chance to visit the Hobby Lobby in the town 45 minutes away.  But they had NO backgrounds that I wanted to use.  I want WHITE with grey or sparse black print.  I WAS able to buy 3 new turquoises, and they are waiting to be dried right now.  And I am looking at a text print that I spied on Etsy......the dealer is going to send me a scrap, to be sure it is one that I can happily use.

So, for now, I'll just keep appliqueing on the ones that I have prepped.

In gardening news, I jumped the gun about a week ago, and raked leaves out of my flower beds.  A couple of days later, I discovered that the deer had nibbled away the new sprouts that had appeared when the leaves were removed ! ! !
















But in the front yard, the beautiful Crocus are blooming around the base of the Oak, and a few Buttercups(that's what I've always called Jonquils) are blooming too.  Lilys have sprouted, and the Maple trees are budding.










Now.................

yesterday,............ I attempted to burn some of the many Oak leaves that have accumulated at the edges of the yard.  I made the mistake of raking a pile too close to my burn barrel, thinking that it would be easier to just reach down and grab some to add to the barrel as they burned down.  Uh.........I didn't realize that a huge crack had been rusted through the bottom-side edge of the barrel, and suddenly there was fire all AROUND the base of the barrel, spreading quickly into my huge piles !   Hubby and I made quick work of stomping out the fire (we haven't reconnected the water hose yet!) before it could spread............PHEW !

Yep, you just see it coming, can't you ?  And I didn't HAVE A CLUE !
 So, additional leaf-burning will have to wait until I can buy a new barrel.....AND, I will not surround the base of IT with piles of leaves !  LESSON LEARNED, and praise GOD, catastrophe averted !

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Quilt A-Peel

I'm setting out upon a new quilting adventure.

For many years now, I have been all about making quilts as quickly as possible, including switching over almost exclusively to machine-quilting.

But I am starting a new quilt that I intend to keep for my own bedroom.  It will be hand-appliqued, and may take a LONG, long time.  Then again, maybe NOT.  I don't know, but I'm fine either way.  I would even like for it to be hand-quilted, but that decision can wait awhile.

I've collected white/grey, and white/black backgrounds for awhile now, thinking that I was going to make some kind of PLUS quilt with them.  But now I'm cutting out Orange Peel pieces, and I am hand-appliqueing them to 5 inch squares of these white background fabrics.    

My main color will be a range of turquoise fabrics, but I intend to mix in some greens and blues along the way.

Here is my EQ5 mockup,


and here is my meager beginning.

I've spent the afternoon readying several blocks for needle-turn applique, so most of the blocks in the mockup are not finished.  I have a better mixture of fabrics than what are seen here, too.  I hope to have blocks ready for anytime I have a few minutes to sit down and work on mindless applique....including trips to doctor's offices, or whatever opportunity presents itself.

So..........here I go !  I'm EXCITED !

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Scattered Stars........Use it up !

When JoAnn asked me to make two of the "Hero's Tribute" quilt tops, she sent me an OVERLOAD of fatquarters to use.  Many of them were medium-browns that were too dark to be used for backgrounds.   When I finished the second top, I found that I still had about 15 good new pieces of these browns.

So I asked her if I could put together one more top for her.
Here is the design that I came up with, using EQ5.

I used the few pieces of reds, blues, and golds that were leftover from the earlier stars construction.  And I am amazed at how well the colors from EQ5 match the colors I had to use.
This is what I came up with, finishing the piecing today.  The final measurement of the top is 51 x 71 inches.  It could be quilted as is, or have a border added to it.

 Either way, it makes a generous-sized couch/nap quilt......my favorite type of quilt !  I hope she likes it.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

UPDATED WITH BACKING PICS.....Golden Goose , small quilt

It's funny how exciting it is on the day that the snow is falling, atleast here in the south where we don't get a lot.  The beauty of those huge flakes coming down at a 45 degree angle is just awe inspiring to me.

We wound up finishing up with about 3 inches, just enough to quench my desire for snow, but not enough to be really aggravating (for me, since I'm not going anywhere until the roads are clear again, LORD willing !)
The one thing I forgot to stock up on before the snow was BIRDSEED !

And, it looks like the sunshine is already taking care of that detail.

In the meantime, I am happy about a recent finish of a work that I began after the first week of January was past.  I've had a sketch of this little work in my graph pad for a year or more, and it finally beckoned to me loudly enough that I gave in to my great desire to produce it.

Seeing how all of the yellows and gold light up on the wall when the sunlight comes in, I am very happy to have it to decorate our little home.  It measures approximately 46 by 51 inches, just right for the quilt rack that hangs on my living room wall.

Now, I sit and look at my new charm squares, and my black friday fabric purchases..........and don't want to cut into anything until I'm SURE that it is JUST THE PERFECT project for these pretty pieces !  Ugh, it is so BINDING to my creative process !

I finally got enough light in here to take a picture of the back.  I used a creamy yellow solid and stripes from the inspiration fabric.