Monday, April 19, 2010

Mystery Tree

About a year ago when we were walking by the lake I picked up some berries on the ground under one of the trees and stuck them in a pot. This is the result, it is about a yard high and made it through the winter. It seems to get some small violet flowers (very small) and has a very sweet smell for a time in the spring (mine didn't, but the big one by the lake does). The problem is, I don't know what kind of tree it is. If any of you know the name of it please let me know, I don't know what range it has, but I'm in central Florida so it tolerates heat and as I said it made it through the winter and we did have some freezes this year.

Yesterday was overcast and drizzly, but I wanted to take a picture of my bottlebrush. It isn't a good picture, but you can see that it is absolutely full of pretty red bottlebrushes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Second Quilt for 2010 and Second Finish for the Week

I don't know if anyone remembers my four big boy quilts which I thought were quite homely.  This is the first one finished (finally; the back says Robert 2009) and I'm actually very pleased.  The pattern doesn't show up well here, but each block is a medium strip, a small strip and a large strip.  I copied it from a quilt on another blog, which I thought looked quite good, and easy.  The four are all basically the same, although the blocks are random, except each has a different border.  Now, only about ten more tops and I'll be caught up, lol.

I have decided that although I'm not good at it, I do enjoy the free motion quilting.  I don't know if I'll progress to much more than meandering, as I don't have any artistic talents, but I am improving a bit, and it is fun as long as the machine cooperates, and my Juki has been doing well.

The part that hangs me up and makes me procrastinate is the basting.  Boy do I dislike basting.  I tried pins, not so good, as I tended to run over them now and then and break my needles.  Next, I tried Sharon Schamber's board method, which I rather like.  I tried it with basting spray instead of thread, and it worked wonderfully except for the sticky mess.  Also, my DH got pneumonia and I felt that the spray could have contributed.  On my GGD's baby quilt, I used Sharon Schamber's method with the thread, and it worked well, except it is so time consuming.  I guess, unless someone has a better suggestion (other than a frame, lol) I'll keep doing the thread.  I have a goal to get my backlog done, and then to not do tops unless I finish them right away.  On one of the Yahoo Forums someone was talking about unquilted tops being closet clutter, and it sounded right to me, lol.

Here's a link to the board method:

P.S.   I hope the boys (ages 13 to 17) find them manly enough, there is nary a pink, purple, or flower to be found.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Winner, Baby Quilt, Schnibbles, and Leaders and Enders (In Short, Misc.)

 Whew, I'm finding this new way of doing pictures on blogger very challenging, but I think I've got them in the right order now.
I saw a really neat giveaway on Heidi's blog "Handmade by Heidi" and you've probably guessed by now, that I was fortunate enough to win it!  I've followed and enjoyed her blog for quite a while now, and if you haven't visited her she has a new tutorial on a curling iron holder that she has just added.  Here is the information on my new block tool
I'm really excited to have won it and since I just received it I haven't had time to really look it over, but it looks like it is just as awesome as I had hoped.  Thank you so much, Heidi.

I'm ashamed to admit that this is my first actual quilt finish for the year.  I have finished other things, but not a real quilt.  This is my new Great Grandbaby Mackenzie's quilt, she just turned 3 months old, that's pretty good for me, lol.  The top is sock monkeys, and the back is assorted baby flannels and nice and soft and cozy. 
It's sitting on the back of my nephew Robert's quilt, I hope to have it finished by Monday, as he and his dad and my other brother are coming to visit and I'd like to give it to him then.  I just finished pressing the top and back with my new spray that I got the recipe for on one of the yahoo groups.  I like it a lot, it smells good and does the job.  I'll put the recipe at the end of the post if anyone is interested.
The picture above is of my new leaders and enders project, I haven't finished the old one yet, but this one came to mind.  It is the little leftover half square trianges from the Iowa (Carolina) Christmas.  I am going to make doll quilts with the little 3 inch pinwheels alternating with plain blocks.  I'm thinking either more of the neutrals with the prints, so the pinwheels float, or the gold below.  What do you think?
I've been seeing the Schnibbles quilts on different blogs and decided I want to play, too.  I was hoping to have this one done this month, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards, as I need to do other things first.  I have several of the Moda charm packs, Hollywood and Vine by 3 Sisters, as I got them about five years ago thinking my granddaughters might be interested.  Alas, only one showed interest, and hers seems to have waned.  I think they will be perfect for a Schnibbles though.

Here's the recipe:


2 cups distilled water
2 ounces vodka
6-10 ounces essential oil
1/3 cup liquid starch

Saturday, March 13, 2010

First Nine Blocks Amy's 2010 BOM

I didn't realize until I got these onto blogger that i used the identical fabrics in the two plainest blocks.  Oh well, I'll have to make sure when all's done that they aren't too close to each other. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

March Amy's 2010 BOM

Finished my March Amy blocks.  No ripping out this month, either I'm getting a bit better, or they weren't as tricky as the Florida block from last month.  I think it's the latter, lol.  I saw some participants last month who took pictures of their 6 blocks all together, and when I get the energy I plan to do that with my 9 blocks.  I think it'll give a bit more perspective.  Not now though, I have to talk myself into getting out a chair so I can reach.

We've warmed up, but now have had non-stop rain for 2 days.  It's ok with me though, we need it.  I feel sorry for those who aren't as high and dry though, I think there has been a bit of flooding in some areas.  

Yesterday my daughter's fiance passed out at work, and is the the hospital now.  They think he had a seizure, and his father has epilepsy, so I'm sure he is very worried.  We are going to go with her this afternoon to pick up his car, don't know if they will be letting him out today.  It's always something, but I guess it could always be worse.   At least he has insurance, and is getting care.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not Doing Much

Not too much going on around here, but it has warmed up finally. I printed up Amy's blocks of the month for March, but haven't done them yet. Probably not today either as plans are to get a haircut and then do a little running. The errand type, not the good for you type. I've been dealing with medical things the past couple of weeks, and DH felt a little sorry for me (the calling and getting the run around) so he picked up the roses on his last trip to Publix, they look very pretty.

My brothers grandson liked his blanket and pillowcases, and his big sister (4 years old) has a birthday coming up in a few days too, so it's her turn to get a set too. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Carolina (Iowa) Christmas Before Borders

I had to unsew about 100 inches, but I have finally gotten my Iowa Christmas top together. I have all the little blocks done for the borders, just need to sew them in a long row and sew them on. Hopefully, no fudging will be necessary.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Super Dooper Cutting Mat

I've been using 2 mats, small and smaller on my table, and not without frustration. My husband saw my troubles and told me to get a cutting mat to fit. I only found one place that had 2 foot by 4 foot mats Cutting and so I put in an order last week. They are fairly expensive, but as soon as the box arrived today and I picked it up I knew it wasn't your usual cutting mat. The first picture is so you can see that it is very thick, I would estimate about 1/4 inch., the second picture is of the cutting mat on my table, I think it will be just fine when it learns to lay flat. I requested grids, and the third picture shows the grids. I didn't understand that they are a separate piece, but I think that it won't matter. It is either laminated poster board or plastic, not sure which.

This is a picture of my dirty little corner of the world. Underneath my 2 x 4 metal folding table are the risers that my brother made me to make it a less back breaking height. The boxes are files and the bucket is full of cherry pits waiting for me to make cherry pit bags, and then the step stool and wastebasket. My little folding table is leaning against my sewing machine cabinet, and the cabinet on the left is storing assorted stuff, and holds my TV. The last picture is my ironing setup. I just covered a wooden shelf about 14" by 4 feet from Ikea, and I take it on and off when needed. In back is my design board (an approximate 5 foot by 5 foot flannel), which like my ironing-cutting table is not full sized, but mostly does the job. Having an efficient sewing space is an ongoing project.
PS The little electric Drill-Driver stays there all the time, it occasionally comes in handy around the house, but is specifically for the hoops to my embroidery machine. My favorite embroidery tool of all time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Last of the Pillowcases

Now to wash, press and mail.