Archive for April, 2009

Catching Up

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Oh, gosh! Has it really been 10 days since I last posted? Rose asked “What is Spring Cleaning”? and all I can say is “Lucky Rose”! Move to the muddy country and get two big dogs and you will know!!

It has been raining so long I have lost track of how long, but the ground is saturated and squishy the ponds are overflowing but the flowers are loving it. Too bad we can’t get out to enjoy them. Last fall I planted two yellow Crown Imperials and they are blooming now. I was able to grab a photo during a few sunny moments.
y_crownimp

Such an elegant flower with it’s jaunty cap of green leaves! I will be sure to plant more and hope they multiply.

I finished the Bluebird quilt but need to charge the camera batteries to get a picture later. So far we have not seen any real bluebirds in the area. It seems like they should be here by now. The first Hummingbird arrived last week.

Tuesday evening I had a guild presentation an hour and a half away. Thankfully the weather did clear for that one day and so I had a lovely drive, and a great visit with the Starlight Quilters of Shawnee, KS. – though it was a late night, arriving home at 11:30. Yesterday was spent putting patterns away and figuring out the monetary stuff, shipping orders and running errands, followed by an evening of theater. The show was “Death of a Salesman” – a real downer and another late night out.

Today I MUST put the quilts away.

Spring

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Spring is good, but I think I like Fall better. Fall doesn’t have Spring Cleaning. We had the perfect day for washing windows, overcast, cool but warm enough to have windows open and even to be outside cleaning, so I did the four windows in the studio. Of course it is not just the glass……you have to take down and wash the curtains as well, and the venetian blinds too, which may be even worse than the windows! But it is done and that feels good. The whole room seems brighter! Now I need to do the rest of the house!

i did try to take some flower pictures today on my walk, but it is so windy they are all blurry. It looks like it has snowed under the crab apple trees there are so may petals on the ground.

I have about half of the bluebird quilted and it is looking good.
bbirdquilting

I want to get back to it, but I really need to get the books caught up and get the sales tax sent in as the deadline is fast approaching. The business side of things takes so much time away from the fun side of things…..

Bluebird Top Finished

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

The bluebird top is done! I did have to make a few changes and tweak some bits – like the white on the belly. White was too white. Off white was too white. I ended up using a piece that was cream with shadings to beige and gray, but it looks pretty white. I also ended up taking that piece out and adding a bit more rust to make a better shape. And a piece on the shoulder needed to be taken out and replaced with a darker blue. It is hard to find that wonderful electric bluebird blue in fabric!¬† I pulled all of the brightest blues I had, some were too green, some were too purple, but I think these work pretty well – you just can’t duplicate the brilliance of the real thing! some of these fabrics were printed as water, one had nice linear effects. One was even a blue cabbage! Be open minded when searching for fabric. Everything is darker in real life than what I am seeing on my monitor, but I have learned that my screen tends to be a little on the light side so I hope you are seeing it correctly!bluebird_31

Many of the seams are not yet sewn in this photo, and before the final sewing I changed some of the background. It seemed like a darker border on the left would enclose it better.¬† I think that making use of the design wall is so helpful¬† but you have to be willing to toss a piece of¬† fabric or unsew a seam – really it doesn’t take that long and is SO worth it! Often the fabric isn’t even wasted – in this case I used the lighter piece inside behind the tail where it was more effective. After quilting, I will probably bind this in the dark ferny fabric.

bluebird_4He still needs a twinkle in his eye, but that will come later….

Bluebird Progress

Monday, April 13th, 2009

It was a rainy weekend so I stayed inside and worked on the bluebird. Here’s a progress shot.
bluebird_2

My husband made three more bluebird houses that need to be put up asap whenever we get a break in the weather. So far I don’t think they have arrived but it should be any day now!

The Amaryllis has also been busy! Here is it’s second bloom shaft that had four buds with two open so far.
secondbloom

You can see where I cut the first one off. I can’t tell yet if the other shoots will flower, but if not this year, it should be quite fantastic next year! It will need a bigger pot for sure….

Starting the Bluebird

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

The Bluebird piece is underway! I want to enter this in the Aullwood Audubon Center’s exhibit with a May 15 deadline.
bluebird_1

Thursday I had to do some shipping so while I was in town, I visited the exhibits at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery and at the Warehouse 414 which both had art quilts on display. the pieces at the warehouse, by Leslie Jenison of Texas were very nice and I enjoyed seeing them in the setting of Mid Century Modern furniture, architectural salvage and antiques. One of my pieces at the TAG, Bathsheba, received a first place ribbon!

Yesterday we drove out to collect a printing of 2000 more Third Weekend In October patterns – that was sure a good decision to go ahead and write a pattern for that quilt! It is my best seller with nearly 30,000 copies sold!

It was nice to see that the redbud trees are starting to bloom and recent rains have really greened things up – time to look for morels!

But today I sew!

Checking In

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Another acceptance letter from Mancusos came Saturday so “Packrat Palace” will be joining “Lazy Afternoon” In Denver!

It was a dreary weekend with cold rain mixed with snow in the mornings, so we enjoyed a fire in the fireplace and just visiting as we gathered to celebrate a family birthday. I used the time to prepare a class sample.

So far I have not done anything with the bluebird idea Рit needs to percolate Рbut I do need to get sewing! Lucky you, Gwynette, to have bluebirds year around!  I have not seen any yet.

Springtime

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

daffodils

These are just a few of my daffodils that came through high winds, freezing temperatures and even snow, such a tough and cheerful flower! They did look a bit bedraggled, but quite good considering! I need to get the mulch spread, perhaps today, as it should be up to sixty degrees later.

The reupholstery project is finished and since it is going to be a very nice day,¬† maybe I will get the furniture out of storage today and set up the deck for use. I’ll be ready to enjoy it after I spread that mulch!

Yesterday’s mail brought news that “Lazy Afternoon” will be going to the Mancuso’s Denver show at the end of April¬† and I shipped “Chicory” off to AQS on Monday. Guess I need to update my website!¬† One of these days, I will be caught up enough to get back to creating.¬† There is a bluebird quilt wanting to be made….

Reupholstery

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Last summer we had an extended rainy spell during which time the deck furniture cushions were piled on the settee and covered up with a special cover, which, as it turned out was the perfect spot for a packrat maternity nest. the resulting damage was pretty extensive. It seemed like a good idea to reupholster them when I found some nice outdoor fabric on sale last fall. So that is what I have been doing lately.

reupholstering

The tan is the old fabric and the blue is the new. So far I have four backs finished and will start on the seats today. It actually goes pretty fast and I think it’s going to look pretty good when I’m done.

By the time the weather gets good again, I hope to be ready to be able to sit out and enjoy it!

I’m starting to NOT think packrats are so cute anymore.