Saturday, January 30, 2016

My ugly duckling

I decided this piece was done for now so I tacked it on the wall.    I left some parts unquilted.  I may go back and do more.  It has a very sampler look to it.  It certainly did not turn into a swan.  But I shall persevere on this technique because I really like doing it.

I started the quilting with a shorter needle which made for smaller tighter stitches.  I switched to a a longer needle and my stitches got looser and freer.  The fabric tended to pucker more and I like that.  

This is the same photo. In the second one I adjusted the color in Picasa with the neutral color picker.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Quilting along

Still can't get decent photo colors which is frustrating.   I sure am having a good time doing this.  It just feels good to do.  

I got  one of these color cards, as recommended by Vicki Welsh although I can't find the post where she talks about it.  Anyway, I took a photo with the color card and adjusted the color in Picasa.  I think I am supposed to put the color card to the side.  I think it helped with the colors.

Friday, January 22, 2016

What a beautiful day

I think it got up to almost 60 today and it was sunny and lovely.  We pruned and cleaned up the garden a bit.  It was my first gardening of the year.  And it was nice enough that we had coffee on the porch.

After coffee we went for a walk... we went out for lunch and stopped at Whole Foods to pick up a few things for dinner.  Here are some of the things we saw along the way.

Compost bin with wonderful whimsical decoration.

Tiled toilet in yard with miniature garden in the bowl.

This is John eating lunch outside in the warm sun.  French fries!  Yum.

This house has an amazing round corner.

A railing made of bamboo.

I like all the detail below this window.

I swear there is another house just like this one less than a mile away.    It's an unusual style.  I wonder what the story is?

 This is a BIG house with a lot of interesting roof lines.

Bird with a paper towel

This bird is having so much fun with this paper towel!  Makes me wish I had a bird to share a paper towel with....

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Quilting progress

My focus has been on the hand stitching.... the kind of thread, how many strands, color of thread.  I have the best success with perle cotton size 8.  Sometimes I double it to make it stand out more.

I don't think I will ever like this quilt.  I am not fond of the colors.  But then, that is what happens when you don't want to use your best fabric.

I started another one.  I am working on my curved line construction.  Some of these are sewn and some are just next to each other.   And this is not a final layout by any means.  This is just play time.

And no, the colors are not right.  I miss my old camera so much.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Average Portland Winter Weather... finally

The weather has been mild, just the way I like it.  It's lovely for walks.  We walked even when it wasn't lovely but I certainly enjoy it more now.

Portland gets an average of about 40 inches of rain in a year, most of it between October and May.  The "water year" starts in October but this year we didn't get any rain until Halloween.  We've had almost 34 inches since then, which is 85% of our average rainfall in a year.  So we are way ahead on rain  this year.  I like this site for rain data (I pay attention to Sunnyside School, our closest gauge).

The witch hazel is blooming in the park.

We sat outside on Hawthorne and had coffee.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Wartime Kitchen and Garden

The BBC did a series about how people in England cooked and gardened and lived during World War II.   It's a well done piece.  It's hard to find but it pops up from time to time on YouTube and it is there right now.  I can't recommend it enough.  It's great watching for quilting on a dark day.

Wartime Kitchen Series

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The robot who lurks in the basement across the street

The mad tile lady across the street made a tile robot.  She was inspired by some of the existing piping and brackets.  Isn't he fun?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Working on my new quilt

I really am inspired by Beth Aten's big stitch quilting.  I felt that thrill and KNEW it was for me.  The first part of a trial project always stymies me because I have to use my precious fabric.   I like the process of figuring out how I am going to construct something but I fear wasting my precious fabric while I am figuring it out.

The colors are better than they look in the photo but my reluctance to use the most precious fabric interferes with the color choices (as in can't use that, I love it too much).  But I did use that one red that I love too much and, yes, it was difficult for me.   Sigh...

The quilt is small, about 12 inches square.   I decided to use my old favorite the nine patch design.   I figured out a construction process that works for me.   Not too fussy.  No jibber jabber.

I am especially enjoying the big stitch quilting with perle cotton size 8 with a size seven needle.  I don't use a hoop (dislike them).  This quilting feels good to do and I like how it looks.  I can do it in fairly low light which means I can quilt while we watch videos.  This type of quilting really is for me.  Hooray!

Incandescent light

Natural light on cloudy day

Mount Hood looking fiery

 This is quite a photo of Mount Hood.

Wanda's Quilt

I hand quilted a small quilt for my friend Wanda.  I like to hand quilt but I don't do enough of it to have really good stitches.  I hope she is satisfied.  I don't think my quilting is nearly as precise as her piecing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Queen of Versailles

I have another documentary to recommend.  It's called the Queen of Versailles.

The Economist called it "an uncomfortably intimate glimpse of a couple’s struggle with a harsh new reality," concluding that "the film’s great achievement is that it invites both compassion and Schadenfreude. What could have been merely a silly send-up manages to be a meditation on marriage and a metaphor for the fragility of fortunes, big and small.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Gum Trees

My friends Dave and Nancy just went on a little (for them) bike tour.   They saw these marvelous gum trees.

I love this tunnel of trees.


This is the work of Beth Aten.  I love the colors and the stitching.



Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A simple wall quilt

I finished this one, maybe....  I didn't intend to quilt it that way.  I was going to quilt diagonal parallel lines.  I quickly drew some free hand lines with chalk when I was thinking about what to do.  I decided I liked the uneven bent lines better than I would like perfect lines.

Right now it is pinned on top of a purple quilt.  I kind of like the dark purple.

The awful icy mess outside

I haven't been outside since I shoveled snow on Saturday.  By late Saturday it had turned to an icy mess outside. I saw on the news that many people were not as cautious.  There are many many injuries from falls on the ice as well as cars that are abandoned, stuck, or banged up.

I think in a few hours I'll be able to go for a walk.  I get cabin fever pretty quickly.

This is how it looks here.

Back yard with iced up plants..

Pippin wrapped up on the curtain watching outside.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hand cut lap joint

John made a light bulb heater for the other bird bath.  He cut the lap joint by hand and he was very pleased with how tight the joint fit.

Assembling the parts...

Tah dah!!