Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Rule of Three

This month's Island Batik challenge for the Ambassadors was to make a quilt that had a secondary pattern in the design.  As you can see in the logo block, there is a four point star and it is part of a heart.  I had to think for a bit about what I would make and, as is usual with my designing, I start with a basic idea and just let it evolve.  The end result is Rule of Three.
In this wall hanging, you can see bow tie/hourglass, square in a square and a large star. I quilted the blue fabric closely so the lighter shades give a 3 dimensional effect which isn't noticeable in the photo.  Thank you to Island Batik for the lovely fabrics.

The month of August is another blog hop.  There will be draw prizes and lots of lovely quilts to see.
With thanks to Alison, the blog schedule is below.  Mine is on Aug. 7th and I am using the wonderful fabric that was included in my box earlier this year.  I just love the Birds N' Bees fabric

Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Yellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde
Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen
Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting
Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Desert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created
Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - MooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter
Monday, August 13 - Safari - Sew Incredibly Crazy, SweetGrass Designs
Tuesday, August 14 - Spring Blossoms - Mary Mack Made Mine, If These Threads Could Talk
Wednesday, August 15 - Victoria and Albert - Bejeweled Quilts, Clever Chameleon
Thursday, August 16 - Wild Things - Freemotion By The River, Kauffman Designs
Friday, August 17 - Petting Zoo - Den Syende Himmel, Sarah Goer Quilts
Monday, August 20 - Ocean Odyssey - Gateway Quilts, The Quilt Rambler
Tuesday, August 21 - British Rose - Busy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts
Wednesday, August 22 - Dear William - The Inquiring Quilter, MMM Quilts, Living Water Quilter
Thursday, August 23 - Dragonfly Dreams - Inchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter
Friday, August 24 - Fur-ocious Friends - Quilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter
Monday, August 27 - Globetrotter - Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations
Tuesday, August 28 - Jungle Cruise - Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday, August 29 - Lavendula - Carole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting
Thursday, August 30 - London Calling - Quilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting
Friday, August 31 - Spirit Rhythm - Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore
Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Tuesday, September 4 - Whatnot - heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts

Friday, July 27, 2018

An Unexpected Gift

This lovely creature and his family are regulars at our feeder.  The little ones are now big enough to be getting their own feed but they are still a little nervous of us.  The parent birds pretty much ignore us and flit around our heads as though we were just another tree. The colours on the birds is just spectacular and we are so privileged to have a front row seat.
I got a bit closer to being caught up on my scheduled projects today.  I sent off my magazine article, took some  items to the Art and Crafts Centre for our Saturday yard sale and did a bit more stitching on the quilt which is on the frame.  I also made some freezer jam.
I have only got a few more days to get that quilt done so I need to stay off the computer and get at it.  Also need to stay indoors.  I can't remember when  I have spent so much time outside in the summer.  It is so nice to walk out onto the deck and sit in one of the chairs.  The houseflies are bad right now so a tent of some sort would be nice but there isn't any rush this year.
We are gradually getting our plants moved around to the back of the house.  It will be easier to look after them if they are in one place.
I had the nicest thing happen yesterday while at the 4th Thursday quilting get together with friends.  The husband of one of the women came to see his friend and went downstairs to do their thing while we sewed upstairs.  Some time later, they came back up carrying package.  I didn't pay a lot of attention because I knew one of the couples had just celebrated their anniversary and assumed the gift was for the wife.  Turned out it was mine.  It took me a while to get through the ribbon, paper and box to find a lovely mug.  It had a tape measure on it and a message that said "You always measure up".  It was a thank you gift for me doing the web site for the local jamboree which the two men operated.
It was completely not expected and very appreciated.  People are so nice.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Garden Visitors

Thank you, Barb and QuiltE for your comments.  My mistakes were fairly easy to correct which was good as I found a couple more blocks with errors.  Basically, all I had to do was remove a row from one end and sew it onto the other.
I have started the final step in putting the quilt top together now.  It took me quite a while before I decided on the fabric that looked best.  I auditioned quite a few and then narrowed it down to two of them.  I then took photos, looked at them on the computer and decided.
I won't be sharing any more photos now until the blog hop and then you will see the finished quilt.  Sorry, you will just have to wait.  If I remember correctly, my post goes up on the 7th of August.
 We have had a couple of turkey families visiting us for past few weeks.  We usually only see them as they are disappearing into the berry bushes.  Yesterday, they were in the open for a bit so  grabbed my camera.  I was able to get this photo of one momma and her young.

This youngster was just ducking out of sight but I was able to catch some of it before it disappeared.  It was easy to follow the progress of the birds as they moved through the bushes as the movement of the plants gave them away.  One of the young turkeys jumped up onto a rural mailbox we have in the wildflower garden.  I think it was trying to see when everyone else had gone.
Lovely having wildlife so close.
We had a really good rainfall today which was really needed.  You could almost hear the plants breathing a sigh of relief.

Friday, July 20, 2018

A Lot of Unsewing

I got all my strips sewn together today although there was a lot of unsewing involved.  My first mistake was adding the wrong strip, then I put pairs at the wrong end of a group and, finally sewed the back of a strip to the front of another.  Each error resulted in me taking my seam ripper, a hat and the strips outside to unstitch.  
I think everything is correct now so I can press, cut the strips into sections and sew them together. Hopefully, that is the last of the mistakes but, I doubt it.

I had been using some partially filled bobbins on this project so I can get them ready to be reused.  Fortunately, most of the threads were light coloured so I have quite a number empty now.  There are about half a dozen which will have to be used on darker fabrics.
I did a bit more web design work today as well.  I don't want to let a day go by without doing a bit as I suspect it wouldn't take long to forget all that I have learnt.
Hope you all have a safe and fun weekend,

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Quilting At Last.

I have just finished sewing the last of 50 two and a half inch strips into pairs.  The next step is to sew the pairs  together to make a piece 6 strips wide.  Then, of course, the strips get cut into sections.  I have been using my Juki which is very fast so those strips went together in record time.  I just have to remember to keep my fingers out of the way and make sure everything is lined up.
It is so nice to be quilting again.
This top is a make it up as you go along project.  I have a basic idea but then work out the steps as I progress.  That may drive some quilters crazy but it is the method I prefer.
I have done a bit of work on another customer's web site.  This one has been started and I just have to refine it a bit.  I have to learn another program while doing it but as this one is just templates, it isn't difficult.
The weather was nice again today but it is supposed to get hot on the weekend.  I am thankful we do get some breaks from the extreme temperatures.  Not my favourite weather.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lovely. Lovely. Lovely

Brenda, of Songbird Designs (For the Creative in You!)  mentioned that she didn't think she would like to do a web site for someone else.  I think, Brenda, it is much like quilting for another person:  scary at first but also really rewarding.  There are some things I wouldn't tackle, like climbing a ladder, but  I usually like a challenge especially if it involves learning something new.  I am sure my husband wishes I were less adventuresome at times but at least I keep my feet on the ground.

I have had a lovely day quilting.  Did some work on my own web site, a little gardening and a little housework but the majority of the day was spent cutting and sewing.  As I have mentioned a few times, I just love the line of fabric that Island Batik as just released to the stores.  Entitled Birds and Bees, it is in a lovely range of colours with prints consisting of birds, butterflies, flowers and other designs.

These are the fabrics.

This is some of them sewn into a block so you can see how they look together.

I think this fabric will sell out quickly so if you like it as much as I do hie thee to they local store.  To find a quilt store in your area, click on the Island Batik above the first photo.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Web Site is Live

QuiltE asked what my next goal is?  I am planning on trying my hand at ghost writing blogs for businesses.  They are very important on any web site and most companies either don't want to or can't write them.  I can do that for them.  I just need some training as to how to promote and where, as well as what to charge.  (If you know anyone who is interested in hiring a blogger, please pass on my name)
In the meantime, I am working on my own web site and have a couple of small business owners who need a site.
I received word today from my client that their site is now active.  I have some spelling errors to correct and a few things to change but if you would like to see my effort, you can go to:Web Site
Of course, if you are interested in the event, you can also buy tickets while you are on line.
I was able to get in a full day of quilting at our local quite group today.  It has been so long since I used that machine, I forgot how to wind the bobbin.
As soon as I get some photos taken, I would like you to see the marvellous fabrics that I am using right now.  Island Batik, of course.

Friday, July 13, 2018

I Passed.

After doing some baking this morning, I have spent the rest of the day sewing.  I finished the lap quilt top I was working on-it is for someone in a wheelchair and I will get started quilting it this evening. The garden has been getting out of control so I did a bit of trimming around the rock wall so we can see the garden gnomes that are hiding amongst the boulders.  So much more to do.
I got some great news a few minutes ago.  I have passed the web design course that I have been working on for the past 6 months.  I has taken a lot of time and my sewing machines have been complaining of neglect but now I will be able to get back to them.  I will also be able to work through what appears to be a fabric explosion in the studio and put things where they should be.
I am itching to show you the fabric that I am  going to be using for the upcoming blog hop.  Island Batik has just released the line for showing and sale and it is amazing.  I really liked the Blue Moon fabrics but these are my new favourites.
Stay tuned.
Have a good and Safe Weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Reveal.

When you are a cute little white dog, you have a right to your own pillow and space on the couch.  Everyone else just has to learn to share.

My new box of Island Batik fabric arrived yesterday.  I made a video of the great box opening and posted it to Facebook.  It is too large to upload here so I have posted the link in case you want to check it out.  The fabrics are, of course, gorgeous and I love the extra items we received.

Hope you enjoy the video.  It is the first one I have done.

I sent in my last course submission today so was able to do a lot of quilting.  I have almost finished a top and have chosen the pattern I want to make for the blog hop next month.
We have been really enjoying our new deck.  I took a few of my quilting books outside this afternoon to find inspiration for the blog hop quilt.  Yesterday, I put my smaller cutting mat on the patio table and finished cutting the pieces for the one I was sewing today.

Enjoy the rest of the evening,

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Turkey Talk

Today was a lot less eventful than the weekend. I have completed the web site for my course, pulled a few weeds, cleaned windows and made supper. I haven't got my sewing machine turned on yet but I hope to rectify that tomorrow as I have a quilt to finish before the end of the month and another to complete before the 7th of Aug. The latter is for an Island Batik blog hop and you know what that means. Prizes, prizes, prizes.

We had a couple of turkey hens and little ones wandering the back yard this morning. We haven't seen any of those in a couple of years so nice to see them doing them taking advantage of our ripening berries.

I am going to be adding a feature to the blog.  If you comment and have a blog or website, add the link.  I will post the link to my blog with a little blurb.  Here are the first two.  Take a look at these sites.  I am sure you will be inspired.

https://sbdembroidery.com -embroidery designs.
 https://pamelaquilts.blogspot.com/-a quilter and fellow Island Batik Ambassador.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Boring can be Peaceful

My weekend turned out to be a bit more exciting that I had planned.  On Friday, as it was a bit cooler, I got hubby's assistance in moving a plant.  Not the best time of year for that but it wasn't doing well were it was.  We got the plant over to the new location but the hole we made wasn't big enough.  Hubby enlarged it and then took the clippers to some roots that were left over from a removed tree.  He made a few clips and then, uh, oh.  I asked what was wrong and he replied that he didn't think the last snip was through a root.  He was right.  Some bright child had run the cable for our internet across the lawn and we now didn't have any service.  I called the company, they said they would send a work order to the local guy and he would call and set up at time.
Saturday morning, I took my tablet to the library to alert my friends that I hadn't died but didn't have any internet.  While I was doing that hubby waited by the phone.  No call by the time I got back.  It was probably just as well as we decided we could probably replace the cable ourselves.  Which we did.  It took a bit of figuring out to get the old cable removed from the house and the new one in but we did it.
Hubby was fastening the cable to the house while I stood (sat) by on the deck  in case I was needed.  A sudden gust got under the umbrella and it started to do a Mary Poppins.  I grabbed it but unfortunately the pole was angled sideways through the glass patio table top.  The next thing I knew the glass exploded and the dog levitated from my lap leaving a couple of nice scratches.
Everything is now cleaned up with a wooden top replacing the glass.  The internet is functioning perfectly and I didn't get anything serious from the scratches.
Sometime boring is peaceful.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Poached Fish?

Thank you to Kathleen and Farm Quilter for their humorous responses to my post on reading patterns.  You gave me a chuckle after a long hot day.
I took a quick trip to Huntsville to get a couple of things including some goldfish for our little pond.  I got them before doing my other shopping and was concerned I would have poached fish by the time I got home so popped their container in a cooler bag.  They survived the trip and the jostling and now are happy in their new home.  They look quite pretty swimming around  and hopefully are also eating the mosquito larvae as well.
It has been so warm that the chickens have been reluctant to get back inside the coop in the evening. Tonight, one was particularly stubborn and after going around the coop after her a few times I gave up.  Hubby went out as it was starting to get dark and she was more than willing to scoot inside.
It would be lovely to just leave them outside and that would certainly make our resident raccoons and other critters happy.  We are going to see about installing a fan in one of the walls to help air circulation.
I am really looking forward to the cooler temperatures tomorrow so I can finally get some quilting done.  The studio gets up to nearly 90 even with a fan running.  All those south facing windows are lovely in the winter but not with these temperatures.  Closing the blinds only make the room darker so you have to turn on a light which adds more heat.
Oh, well.  Better than a hurricane.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Read the Instructions

"Please read all pattern instructions carefully before starting."  All designers give that advice and I include it on my own but, do you do what it suggests?  I don't.  And, because I don't, I struggle, make mistakes and waste a lot of time trying to figure out what I am supposed to do by looking at the diagrams.
I have just done it again.  I started what looked like a simple pattern, no need to read through all those cutting and sewing bits.  As soon as I started sewing, I ran into problems.  I did discover a diagram on the back page that helped but I have promised myself I am going to sit down and read those instructions.  Right through from the cutting instructions, which I have done , to the bit that says, "quilt as desired". While I am reading, I will make notes.  Use blue for this section, navy in this area etc. Perhaps, I will even start a personal trend.
It is odd that I don't read instructions when I generally read every other bit of print I see: cereal boxes, bumper stickers, highway advertisements and so on.  I know the value of the written word.  I am aware of  how important it is to use the correct one  to convey meanings and feelings.
I got another example of how not reading instructions can lead to difficulties.  I was trying to do something on the computer and couldn't figure it out.  I finally called the service chat person and he reminded me, nicely, that the information I was looking for was included in the email that had been sent with the program.  Ouch.
Perhaps I should print this blog and place it in a prominent place near my sewing machine.  I will be sure to read that.  Won't I?

Monday, July 2, 2018

Purple Finch

This has certainly been our year for birds. This little bird has become a regular feeder at our little dollar store plastic tray.  Either he or his wife sort through the millet for the choicer sunflower seeds and them come back for the former when that is all that is left.  His colours are so vivid that he is almost like a flying rose.
It is marginally cooler today and I am feeling a bit better as well.  I did get some quilting done so perhaps life is, somewhat, returning to normal.
It was hard sleeping last night.  I was either waking up because I was too hot or I was coughing.  I was a bit worried about wee Heidi as she was panting so much that I could feel the movement on the bed.  I wiped her with a cloth dampened with cold water in the hopes that would help.  She hates having her feet touched but I did them too.  Today, I trimmed her hair quite a bit.  She still has a inch or so in length to protect her from the sun.  Hopefully, she will feel better today.  I also put a cold pack next to her water dish.  It is important to be extra aware of the needs of our animals and pet friends in this weather. We are trying to leave the chickens out as long as possible as there is a lot of shrubbery for them to hide under and stay cool.
It is supposed to be closer to normal temperatures by Friday.