Thursday, May 21, 2009

Need Help from You

As you may be aware if you're following my blog, I'm working on a Spring Bloom Mini Swap project. I finally got the tulip pieces cut out and somewhat put together.

I've been planning on mounting them on the background fabric in straight lines, but I also kinda like the scattered approach. What do you think?

Of course, the scattered approach will be a big pain to applique'. Maybe I'll reduce the number of leaves.

We're going camping this weekend, so tonight I've got to mow the lawn, buy the groceries, pack food, pack suitcases, etc. So I won't be able to get back to this until Monday after we get back (assuming I'll have any energy).

What do you think?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spring Bloom Swap Quilt

Here's the fabrics that I'm using for the swap quilt. I love the colors. I picked them specifically because they remind me of tulip colors (one of my favorite spring flowers). The floral with the white background is for the backing.

I'm going to take the idea from this magazine example (McCalls Quick Quilts, I think) and modify it (no purple, and needs to be much smaller). All tulips. What do you think?

Well, I'm packing up to go to Dad's for the weekend. I'll get to use my new quilted tote!

Have a good weekend, all.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Quilted Tote Done!

Here's my quilted tote, DONE! Well, I'm supposed to but a button on the flap for decoration, but will wait until I can find one I like (a wooden one to match the dowels, I think). The tote is huge, big enough to carry a couple of quilts in. It's for carrying projects to retreats and classes, so it has pockets for rulers and cutting mats and stuff. I'm so glad it's completed. I love the colors, so bright and warm.

I've got two projects that I need to start next. One is a wall hanging for the Quilting Gallery Spring Blooms Mini Quilt Swap that I signed up for. I received my swap partner's name and color preferences yesterday so I have some direction on which way to go. I have a couple of ideas running around in my head and need some time for that to percolate.

My other next project is using the Fruit Ladies fabric that came out a few years ago and make a throw for a friend of mine. I saw this fabric for the first time over Christmas this year. It really makes me giggle. Pictures of the fabric coming soon for those of you who don't know what it looks like.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you.

Here's a picture I took in my garden Friday morning of my flowers in bloom. As you can see, here in Wisconsin we're rather behind on the garden. Some of my friends in Indiana are already seeing flowers on their strawberries, but here we're just getting daffodils (and the beginning of one of my peonies). In the upper right hand corner you can see what's left of my tulips. The deer got in my beds about a week ago and ate most of the tulips and the crocus. We have a herd of about 7 deer here in town that just go after anything they can get their hands on.

Here's my pink bleeding heart. Gotta love this sweet little plant. Its about 12 inches tall and every year I wonder if its going to come up and every year it does. I'm waiting for it to get bigger, but it seems perfectly happy at its current size.

I was home on Friday morning because the men came to install my new patio sliding door. My house is 40+ years old and the slider to the back yard was original to the house. Well, as we all know, heat efficient windows were not all that great in the 60's and that aluminum slider sucked enough heat out of the house to keep my back deck warm all winter long. So I bought a new slider and it was installed on Friday morning. Here's some (bad) before and after pictures.



Ignore that deck that needs to get stained (again) this summer. Its something else on my list of things to do.

I'm very happy with the new door, although I didn't realize that the glass (super duper efficient) was going to be shaded (not clear glass). But it's wonderful and beautiful. I guess now I'll have to think about window dressings for it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Busy Weekend Camping

Sorry I haven't blogged all week. It's been really busy around here.

Last weekend DD (and a friend) and I took the camper out for our first campout of the season. We have a pop-up trailer that I pull behind my car. We went to a campground called Duck Creek in Pardeeville, WI. Nice, clean campground. It was too cold to go swimming in their little lake/pond, but we all had a good time. We went with our camping club. I like doing that because it gives me someone to hang out with when the kids are out playing somewhere and enough activities to keep us all busy, but not too busy.

Saturday morning the camping club had crafts for all of the kids and encouraged us parents to leave our kids with the adults in charge of the activity and leave the camp ground to go to the Amish shops in the area. Who I am to look a gift horse in the mouth? So, off I went, map in hand, to see if I could find a fabric shop.

I found the rug maker hard at work making rag rugs (she was weaving them on a loom - which was so cool -- I stood and watched her for a while) and then went back to the front of her store where she had fabric. She had all the Amish solids, in both poly/cotton blend and 100% cotton. I picked out a bunch of each and when I was ready she came and cut it for me. We had a really nice conversation about her business and how concerned the Amish community was about their businesses with the long, hard winter we've all endured plus the current economy situation. They wondered if us "English" would come spend money in the current economy. I think I did my share of stimulation! She had no electricity in her store and added up the bill by hand. Her store was an addition onto the family farm house.

Then I went to a hand-crafted wood furniture store. Wow! They had some really beautiful stuff that I would have loved to have. Unfortunately, my stimulation abilities didn't go quite that far.

Next I went to the General Store - they had lights, but did all their adding of the prices on old manual adding machines (not electric, nor battery charged). I bought some home made jam and some dried cranberries. The store was very busy and I had to wait in line about 10 minutes to get checked out.

After the General Store, I wanted to find the bakery. I had heard really good things about the baked goods from other campers and wanted to check it out myself. I found the location and knew I was in the right place due to all the cars parked out in the road and in the driveway. I was able to park in the driveway, up close to the house. When I walked up to the house I found out that there was a line about 40 people long just to get into the bakery. No wonder there were all those cars! I got in the back of the line and pretty soon there were people behind me and we were all talking about standing in a "bread line". Pretty funny. There was a lady a few people behind me that turned out to be a quilter and we talked back and forth about our quilts and quilting experiences. It took about 30 minutes to make it from the back of the line into the bakery. The bakery was in the basement of the farm house (a walk out) and the "store" section was a tiny space about 10 feet by 15 feet with shelves on 3 sides and a counter to get rung up on the 4th side. Behind the counter there were around 4 - 5 people constantly baking (men and women and older girls). They had about 6 different kinds of bread, cookies, pies, rolls, donuts, tarts, noodles, etc. I bought a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread (when I picked it up, it was still hot), 2 dozen oatmeal raisin cookies, and pan of cinnamon rolls, and a little raspberry turn-over tart. As I stood waiting for the person in line in front of me to get her items rung up, I saw a sign about another fabric store and the directions to that store. So now I had my next destination!

I went to the second fabric store; it had less fabric than the rug maker. But what was really interesting is that it shared space with a harness making/repair shop. The woman who apparently ran the fabric store must have been out because the man from the harness shop came and waited on me. It was obvious that he didn't cut fabric very often, although he did use a rotary cutter. Anyway, I talked to him while he was cutting the fabric and turns out he grew up in Indiana, too, about 50 miles from where I grew up. Small world!

After all this time, it was nearly lunch time and I knew I need to get back to the campground and find the girls and take back over my motherly duties.

The bad news is that even though I had my camera, I didn't take a single picture all weekend. I would not have taken pictures of the Amish out of respect, but I saw some really cool things that I would have loved to taken a picture of (I left the camera in the trailer). So this post is without any pictures.

On the quilting front, I sewed some more on the tote that I've been working on for the past several weeks. I think I'm almost to the assembly stage, so hopefully, I'll get it done on Saturday when I get a chance to work on it. More to come on that.