Sunday, June 29, 2008

It was a good thought . . . :-)

I was doing something productive while enjoying the sun and water...tracing words and pictures on pieces of fabric on their way to becoming postcards. I was standing in the pool and using the surrounding conrete as my worktable, something that Beth and I frequently do. Well, truthfully it's a resting place for books for reading with your top half nice and dry and your bottom half comfortably in the lovely water more often than it's a worktable, but . . . anyway, I was working away when the rather brisk wind blew my first drawn-upon-with-water-soluble-marker fabric into the water along with several sheets of paper which had the various texts and drawings on them. AAAACK!!!!!! When was the last time you tried to hurry in 4 feet of water? Grab the fabric here...."dash" to grab that paper there...."dash" in the oppposite direction to grab another paper....several more "dashes" and then I saw the little blue pen floating merrily away - it was down in the deep end near the ladder. After rescuing everything and laying each sheet out flat to dry on the hot concrete including the now blank piece of fabric, I resumed my labors with another piece of fabric from my plastic Wal-Mart sack and a different page of text that had been safely residing under said plastic sack. Whooosh!! There everything went again. And went in as many directions as there were flying pages. I had thought the wetness of each sheet would safely keep it nice and flat on the concrete. That proved to be a completely incorrect thought. And not the only incorrect thought, either. Such as the one that lead me to watch over the sheets as they dried until the wind completely died down before again resuming my labors. The wind stopped. I started again. Whooosh! Another gust of wind sent the almost dry pages flying over the water only to drop them midflight. In my ridiculous optimism, this scenario was repeated in about 5 slightly different formats. But, guess what - I had taken the camera out there with me, so I was able to record some of the results of my folly.

However, I did get a few other pictures that might be of interest....they are taken from down inside the pool looking up in different directions - fortunately all have trees, even the side toward the barn.
east and then south

west is a large red maple and northwest is another one...and you can see a bluebird house on the outside of the fence

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's hot. No, make that HOT. And sticky. The humidity is so high you feel like gills would help the breathing process. When you start sweating - oops, no, that's glistening - at 6:00 a.m. while watering flowers, you know it's full-blown summer. Not that I was watering at that time this morning - it's Saturday! (but I have been doing that) This morning I mixed up a little plant food at half strength and poured it in some potted plants. I'm always so afraid of burning them. I even put a tiny bit in the geranium-from-2-years-ago where little mama wren has her nest with 5 eggs. I really appreciate her MO this time, because - wonder of wonders - she built the nest facing out so you don't have to be a contortionist to see inside it. You don't even have to bend over unless you just want to get really close.

I haven't done anything on the quilt front except help Beth, who's now at the quilting stage of her newest venture. This time it's a lap quilt she's doing, and she machine-pieced it. She and Joshua are going to Mississippi for a long weekend to visit his family since he doesn't have to work next week, and she wanted to have the quilt to work on while down there. I can't wait to see what she's done by the time she gets back Tuesday!

There are several folks I really need to get embroidered/quilted postcards done for, so I have one started that I can work on in the evenings when we're piled up on the bed watching tv and on my today's list is tracing off several more. That's the part I don't care for, because it's so tedious to trace words. I think I may prowl around at to see if I can find something a little easier than the ones I've been using. That's a really cool site if you like playing with fonts and dingbats and suchlike.

I tried a site linked from Feelin' Stitchy where you can print text of your choosing for cross stitch (wish I'd had it back when I did a lot of that!!!) or backstitch. There's only one for backstitch, and because it's still done with cross stitch type fabric in mind, it didn't give me the effect I wanted when using it one of my postcards. My trial with it is the one I'm currently working on, and I'll finish it, but don't think I'll do any more with that font. If you do cross stitch, you really might want to check it out - here's the place for charting text.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tagged! ?

I've read all sorts of interesting things as folks have participated in various memes (how is that pronounced, I wonder?) and now Caroline actually tagged me! Of course, it's taken me a week to get to it, but . . . that's kind of how things go sometimes. And probably my answers could be helpful to anyone suffering from insomnia . . .
What was I doing 10 years ago?
Specifically for June, I was canning green beans from the garden and counting the days till I could pick that first wonderful cucumber! I was working at the same doctors' office where I work now, although then I was Office Manager and now I'm Administrator. Daughter was in college 85 miles (hour and a half) away in Nashville. Hubby was working long hours 6 days a week as a utility contractor. (this year we're hoping he'll make the transition back to teaching and be able to start a band program at our Christian school)
What 5 things are on my to-do list for today? (no particular order)
Only 5??? Teehee - I love lists and making lists and few lists have only 5 items. However, the reality is that most lists have served their purpose simply by being made. Where does it say you're supposed to DO what's on a list?
1. Cook the fresh beans bought at the local farmers' market yesterday since we have no garden this year
2. Mow the yard before it gets too hot (no riding mowers here)
3. Do lots of laundry
4. Do something quilty - hmmmmm, cut more squares for the quilt patis or iron and cut strips of the lovely 30's fabric I got yesterday at the LQS sale?
5. Work on lesson and find a great handout for tomorrow's ladies' Sunday School class that I teach
6. Think of some cool something to do for dear sister-in-law's birthday coming up July 1st as she's been down in the dumps lately
Yes, I know that's more than 5, but I'm reminding myself that I really want to find that just-right something to do for Donna!
Snacks I enjoy:
Crunchy, munchy stuff - more toward the salty side than the sweet and NOT chocolate
Things I would do if a billionaire:
Definitely quit work to have more time for gardening and quilting and crafting and volunteering at school. Buy all the big instruments that schools have to provide for a band and start a music library for our Christian school. Build a separate building for the preschool program to give more space for the K-12 kids in the existing building and then add several other buildings like a separate chapel and theatre, a restaurant/meeting facility overlooking the river that winds along one side of the property, a camp in the wooded part of the property for us to use and to let other church groups use and so on and so on. Buy a farm and build a house for Beth and Joshua. (Not too far from our farm)
Places I have lived:
I have always lived in Tennessee. Grew up in the eastern part,in a beautiful valley in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and now live in the southern middle part, in rolling farmland. It is very beautiful in this rural area, but I confess I still miss having the mountains all around me.

This is all still pretty new for me and I know some folks definitely do not like to be tagged, so how about this - if you think this would be fun, consider yourself tagged! If not, just ignore it.

The blog world really is a great place to get to know some neat folks you couldn't meet any other way.

Have a quilty day, everyone! Or at least a good day!

and yes, that's a bulb on a string of Christmas lights beside the fuschia in the hanging pot in the picture - I leave them strung on the porch, unlit, because all the birds love to perch on them in between visiting the feeders or flowers. Both Evan and Beth think they should come down, but I like to help the birdies!

Friday, June 13, 2008

This is an old quilt from my childhood. No matter what cute matching bedspreads and pillow shams my mother made me (usually coordinated with curtains she made, too), I always wanted this quilt on my bed. On top. (no silly bedspread covering it up) I have no idea what my reasons were, but I well remember loving this quilt and spending endless hours looking at the various diamonds and counting the ones of each color and loving the fabrics. At the time, I thought my grandmother had made it, because she was always doing embroidery and she had given it to me, but I really think her mother had made it. I don't think she ever did any quilting. I have another quilt that her mother, my great-grandmother made, and it is really a scrap quilt - string pieced from various plaids and such.

A few folks have had questions about the quilt patis and the difference between them and traditional English paper piecing and also how they work, so I took a picture of some of the backs so you can see that a few sloppy backstitches do the trick. I included a pati on a square of fabric just to show what it looks like before you start wrapping and backstitching. The ones with bigger flaps on the back are ones I cut from a leftover strip I had that was 2 1/2" instead of 2" and I sure wasn't going to bother cutting off that other 1/2", so they're done with rectangles instead of squares.

It's been another hot day, and around lunchtime the black clouds made it almost night-time dark while the thunder rolled in the background. However, by the time the rain actually got here, it was much lighter, and the worst of everything appeared to go around us. I think we're set for stronger storm activity in about an hour or so. Who knows? This time of year it's pretty unpredictable. (this is looking over the barn roof at the first clouds)

I've made a trial run with a handy little tool - the Quick Starter. You use it to draw on the back of squares destined to become part of triangle squares. You get both stitching lines and the cutting line in between. I'm kind of copying a quilt done by Creative Little Daisy that I just fell in love with, using the Wee Play charm squares. When I get a few stitched, I'll take a picture of them.

In the meantime, hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.


  • living in such a beautiful place
  • handy gadgets
  • clever folks who design wonderful material

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just a quick post before heading out to water flowers. I got started with the Quilt Patis - and this is the kind of thing that could become addicting. I really wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, but I do like it. She's right - 7 little backstitches and you have a perfect hexagon. So far my biggest problem is keeping the material from scooting around. You take a tiny bite of fabric with a pin in the center hole, but it doesn't keep the fabric from sliding a bit. I've pondered a drop of glue but haven't tried it yet. Don't want to make it hard to get the little pati out when it's time. Right now I'm just playing with scraps to see if I can even do it and have no clue as to how to finish the edges. I found a cute picture online of a way to put the "flowers" together that would make a cute table topper, so I think that's what I'll do. But those edges . . . hmmmm
Beth is doing incredibly well with her hand piecing and quilting - she just did 3" blocks and then a border, quilted with simple x's in the boxes and she's almost through with the binding. All by hand. I'll try to get a picture of it. We're thinking about doing one together for a winter project - probably pieced on the machine, but we want to hand quilt it on Evan's mother's old quilting frame. We thought we could set it up in the living room and work on it on the weekends and maybe have a puzzle going on another table for the guys to piddle with and for us to work on for little breaks.