Saturday, February 23, 2019

Finishing Up Some Things

Isn't it satisfying to finish something! To claim that you have finished seems to imply that you faced challenges and overcame difficulties. Sometimes it just means that you showed up and persevered.
Lately I have finished a couple more Interleave quilt designs, a jigsaw puzzle, and some yard tasks.
Moon Over the Mountain Interleave

Interleave #4-Buildings
It helps to iron after adding each strip, and this miniature iron was very handy
 by the sewing machine
Tarbaby demanding attention
Azaleas are starting to bloom. We'll hope for no more frost. The loropetalum bush is about to be covered in color.
Early azaleas

 On some rainy days, a puzzle was entertaining; however, puzzles can be so addicting that a few spare minutes would often lead to hours into the night. And I had to discourage cats from napping on it.
The finished puzzle

Rahrah staying out of the way

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day brings about a multitude of feelings of what it means to love and be loved. It is so much more than only romantic love, and I am blessed that my life is filled with love. Love for and love from people and cats.
While friends up north are enduring blizzard conditions, my geranium is happily putting on blooms. I brought it in for two nights but it seems to enjoy these 40-70 degree temperatures.

My friend Leanne Green taught my Southern Fiber Artists group her technique for making cord bowls using fabric-wrapped cotton clothesline cord. Here is a beautiful bowl she made for me last fall. It is about 15" wide by 8" tall, embellished with bugle beads.

I decided to see if colored nylon cord would also work. Here is my small bowl made with camo-colored cord.

I've been working on an Interleave design called Moon Over the Mountain. It is ready to trim the edges and add a black binding. My friend Jackie Watkins is a master at these, and she shared her technique with me.
Winter weather (either here or on TV) seems a perfect time for a jigsaw puzzle. A friend shared this cat-themed puzzle with me and it has been fun to make. Tarbaby tried to help. Puzzles are a real time suck and I can avoid all sorts of necessary activities like cleaning and sleeping when there is one on the table.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Cold January

During Quilting
After my cat bite injury, surgery, and IV antibiotics, it is great to get back to quilting. This is the second "jelly roll race" quilt that Linda and I are working on. I have it quilted all but the borders and binding. The beginning of it is pictured in my blog post of November 28, 2018.

The first of the two is made of jelly roll bandana fabrics with black squares placed randomly.

Quilted all but border

Here is the bandana quilt ready for quilting:
Bandana Quilt with Linda and Mark

I was given a box of sewing supplies dating back to the 1970s and 1980s. There were the expected spools of thread, pins, scissors, bobbins and one curious plastic jointed tape labeled Sleeve Former by Roberta F Bush, who had patented this tool in 1976.

Old Sewing Tools
Sleeve Former

Sleeve Former stretched out

Linda and I have had fun with hair color this fall/winter. My blue is several weeks old, but Linda had her purple done just before this picture was made.

Colorful Hair 
Tarbaby in his favorite place

Thursday, December 27, 2018

December Is a Blur

My usual Christmas decoration
I usually try to recap my year and celebrate with reports of quilts and art I have made. This year December seems like a bad dream.  On December 1 my precious cat Tarbaby bit my L index finger when I picked up a bag of crackers he mistook for his treats, and I developed a terrible infection with severe pain, doctor visits, antibiotics, until I was hospitalized for surgery to clean out the wound. IV antibiotics will continue for several weeks at home and I am hopeful of regaining flexibility in the finger. So quilting has come to a screeching halt.
What an innocent face

Home from hospital with bandage under 5 stitches
The IVs take two hours at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Luckily I can move about with the yellow ball in a zipper purse on a lanyard around my neck. No IV pole! The medicine is in a yellow ball in a pouch. Here's a full ball and an empty one. I learned how to get these started on my own. I've binge watched lots of Cary Grant movies on the Turner Classic Movie channel.

Elizabeth trying to help
My tree was a shaped Rosemary plant which I will set out in the flowerbed to replace the overgrown bush I had cut down. It has a delightful scent that I really enjoy.
My Rosemary Tree

A rare sharing of my lap
 Oh, yes. . . I turned 83 today! (I see it is past midnight, so it was yesterday.) I am looking forward to a healthy, accident-free year of quilting and art in 2019. There's a quilt just waiting for binding.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving--Mark's Visit

Son Mark came for a pre-Thanksgiving visit. He gets so much done when he is here. An unexpected achievement was making friends with Tarbaby--which is HUGE if you know Tarbaby!--tying up the wisteria bush, petting Elizabeth, planting pansies, power washing the flowerbed stones, getting my TV/DVD remotes sorted, getting my blog to accept comments, getting my computer information and passwords into a safe storage instead of on bright pink pages beside the computer, getting PBQ stuff to storage unit, dealing with frozen Kindle Fire PaperWhite, canceling Norton that I was paying for but not using. All this along with giving Elizabeth lots of demanded attention. I wish I could have photographed all the little tasks and problems he solved for me. He even helped Linda and me get two quilts layered and ready for quilting.
Tarbaby accepting Mark's petting

tying up wisteria vines
Roy used to love to pick the flowers to bring into the house to me
Lady Banksia rose and wisteria 

power washing flowerbed stones

My password filing system--bright pink pages--no longer

Computer tasks with  Elizabeth's help

Layering quilts help
For many years my family celebrated Thanksgiving at my brother's home in Austin. Roy and I would drive from Mississippi through East Texas and pick up our parents to go on to Austin. Terry Weeks and his wife Kay still host and invite any family and friends who can come. It is a great time to get to see my nephews and nieces and other friends who love to go to Terry's. Such happy memories and so much to be thankful for!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Fall Gifts

I'm loving this 60-degree sunny weather! It follows two nights of freezing temperatures when I covered a few treasured plants--Crotons and Geranium and Blue Daze. The leggy tomato plants that are still producing green stems and leaves I did not even think about. To my surprise, today I am seeing buds and one tiny tomato. Not getting my hopes up after an entire summer without any tomatoes.

Blooms and one tiny tomato
There is beauty in a dead limb with curly lichens that I hope to use in an arrangement with holly berries and nandina berries. Decorating is quite simple for me and the cats.
Curly lichens on a dead limb leaning against a pine tree

Daughter Linda made me a beautiful table runner that I will enjoy. This fall I will alternate adding the pilgrim dolls and the pumpkin made by Susan Carlson's mom, Oma, from my trip to Maine in October of 2017. The variety of colors in the table runner make it adaptable for all seasons. 

Elizabeth prefers the pumpkin
Linda has become an avid quilter, and I asked her do one of the lectures at the show. Her title was "It's never too late to start, or, blame it on the barn quilts." Her interest was finally captured when she began researching barn quilt signs she wanted to make for her front porch. This led from painting to actually sewing, and she has become quite proficient at it, even entering two quilts in the show--quite admirable for a less-than-two-year quilter.

Linda Ginn and her barn quilt signs
Another lecture was presented by Leanne Green and her mother Polly Thomasson. They told of the joy of sharing the making of quilts over many years. As they gathered quilts from their closets and walls, they relived precious times of planning and making these quilts that their families treasure. As a thank-you for asking them to tell their story, they gave me this exquisite string fabric bowl. Leanne is demonstrating the making of these bowls to the Southern Fiber Artists group at their November 2018 and February 2019 meetings. My bowl is about 15" in diameter and 6" high/deep. It is embellished with seed beads and bugle beads around the outside trim. How I will treasure this unique gift! Most people complain when asked to do a job; I have never been thanked in such a beautiful way for asking someone to help! This is an example of how people share their time and talents with a willing spirit to make a successful event like our quilt show happen.
String fabric bowl by Leanne Green and Polly Thomasson