Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Finished Quilt

I am very happy with it.  John says he thinks that Oregon's geology with all it's visibe layers is having an impact on me.  

It's all hand stitched and quilted.  I surely do like hand work....

Friday, March 25, 2016

John's step stool project

The parts are supported like this so he can do the finishing.  Since I took this photo, he sealed the parts and put on some stain.  You can see the top of the stool in the center back (it is square and has a hole for the handhold).

I can tell you that all the pieces are silky smooth.

When it is done, it will look like this.  But better.  On the other hand, I can have this one in 9 days for only thirty bucks..... hmmm.  It better be better.  And soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sights on today's walk

 This is a yellow magnolia.  Isn't it cool?

A riot of spring.... I bet the Easter bunny comes here.

 What a pretty face this house has.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mardi Gras

I don't generally name the quilts I make.  But I've had this desire to make a quilt called Mardi Gras for at least a year.  I want it to be purple and green and orange and joyful and MAGIC.  I play with blocks and make blocks and maybe someday I'll make the Mardi Gras quilt.

Here is its current incarnation.  I like that the blocks don't line up and are differing sizes.  This isn't it but just a stop along the way.

Why I want to go hiking

Isn't it beautiful out there?  Here is the trip report from Oregon Hikers with more photos.  Actually, there are lots of trip reports and great photos.  Check it out.

Garden in March

We have a lot of hakonechloa and I am always glad to see it reappear.  It's just the best plant and if you don't have some, get some.  I like its punk hairdo look when it first comes up.

I have a little garden on each side of the front walkway.  It's my favorite place to putter.  It's small enough to change plants often.

This is cameo quince.  I got it about ten years ago and didn't have a home for it.  I put it under the viburnum (in the pot it came in).  Now it has grown through the pot and over the sides.  I guess it IS home.... It has such beautiful flowers.

These are california lilac buds.   I think it is Ceonothus Dark Star This plant blooms a long time.  In my tiny garden, I need plants that look good a long time.  I don't have room for plants that sulk or bloom in a flash.  This climate has so many choices.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Pieces in progress

These are the pieces I've been working on stuck on top of my wonky quilt.  It's a perfect place to look at things since it is across from where I sit and work.  

All the wonky patches except the left top one are covered by things I am working on.  None are finished.  They may or may not go together.  The skinny line pieces are all new.  The others have been around for a while but recently have been big stitch quilted.

Except for the center block the skinny line pieces were made by rotary cutting half inch strips and running them through my quarter inch binding maker.  Torn edge pieces are hard to put through the binder.  But I love torn edges.  It's very hard for me to cut a torn edge.

Yes, I am having fun.

I like the big stitch quilting with this background.  The colors and textures work for me.

This is probably my favorite.  The strips are torn skinny strips.  I like the fringey edges.  I also like the simple stitch down the center.  However, this method would not be good for heavy use objects.  Always a drawback....

My goal is to enhance the background.  Not sure I made that happen with this one...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Trip to Portland Nursery

The displays at Portland Nursery are so beautiful.  It's like being at a flower show and it changes all the time... this is today's show.

John catching some rays and looking blissful.

The base of a big old tree I saw on the walk home.  A magic place for sure.

Calendula blooming along the sidewalk

Glorious bleeding heart

We've had this bleeding heart in a pot in the back yard for years.  It's beauty when it blooms always amazes me.  We brought it inside for the big wind storm because it was too beautiful to subject to that.

Quilts in progress

I am doing a lot of handwork, which makes me happy.  I am still obsessed with big stitch quilting and skinny lines.  I have several skinny line pieces (not sure if they are blocks or pieces) in progress plus my green and red wavey piece.

I put on the back by hand tying it.  I had already done the big stitch quilting through the front and batting so I just needed to attach the back.  It is completely sewn by hand.  The ties look good on the backing fabric.  First I tried some additional handquilting but I didn't like it as well as the ties.

I also trimmed the outer edges so they are wavy and I am hand sewing on the "binding".    I love the green batik on the edge.

This one has its skinny lines attached by hand.  I guess you'd call it appliqued.

This one is pinned but not sewn.  My goal is always to enhance the background, make it look dimensional.

Here you can see some of the hand sewing.  Sometimes I use a contrasting thread and I make it show.  I think they look like tiny cleats holding the fabric on.

I have three more pieces that I am big stitch quilting.  Today the sun is coming out after a long dreary wet time.  I am going outside.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Progress on John's stool

It's starting to really look like something....

There will be a square top with a hand hold and I think he said the legs get more shaping.  I kind of like them like they are now, maybe with a little of the edges taken off (softened)...

Saturday, March 12, 2016


I love quince flowers.  There are big old quince bushes blooming with bright flowers everywhere now.  Here is our delicate Cameo quince looking very pretty.  Look at all those buds!

We may have a terrible wind storm tomorrow.  Not looking forward to that.  Rainfall in Portland is measured by the water year, which starts in October.  Normal rainfall for the year is about 40 inches.  The rains didn't start until Halloween and we've had  more than 46 inches since then.  That's a lot of rain.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Skinny lines

My skinny lines are really fun.  The narrow strips are made with my quarter inch bias maker, though they are not cut on the bias.  I hand sewed them to the background fabric with batting underneath.   The batik fabrics are especially nice to use with the bias maker.   I like how the fabrics look in such narrow bits.   I want to make more.  I really like how this looks.  The background purple is a Vicki Welsh fabric.  

My friend Wanda sent me this link on how to do skinny lines by piecing them.  I think that is beyond my skill level.  I don't think I would enjoy the process as much.  I really like playing with my skinny line pieces,  moving them around until I like how they look.  I couldn't do that if I were piecing.  But it was really fun to see how it is done.  Thanks, Wanda!

However, I am having doubts about big stitch quilting the background.   I would really enjoy doing it but I am not sure it would enhance the background.  I think the narrow strips DO enhance the background but I am not so sure about the big stitch quilting.

I think most quilters struggle to finish things.  I struggle to have enough hand work.  Hard to believe, huh?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Soap box on light bulbs

I don't like the new lighting.  I am a strict incandescent person.  My neighbor Lori, who feels the same way, asked me if I was hoarding "real" light bulbs because they are going away.  I hadn't thought about that.  So I did a survey of every light bulb in our house and then we bought enough of the right kind of bulbs to get us through our life time.  Yes, I actually did that.


Do they use more energy?  Yes, but not compared to say your refrigerator or your computer or many many other things.  Worrying about your light bulbs electricity usage is like taking your shoes off for the TSA.... it's theater.

I do have hopes for this, though....

Projects yesterday

John is making stools.  These are the legs.  He is having a pretty good time figuring it out.

A pile of stool parts.

Playing with my strips on a purple background.

The basket of reds waiting for a home.