Sunday, July 31, 2011

Glimpsing heaven through the clouds

I've been working on this 3 block project lately, and the embellishment is nearly done.

And this afternoon I looked out at the sky and saw this:

A sign from heaven?

Monday, July 25, 2011

I finished something!

I finished the bird blocks from my recent bird round robin into a wall hanging for the kitchen. The bird print cotton fabric that forms the center patch of each block is the same fabric as my kitchen curtain. I sent out six 6" blocks to the 4 other stitchers, and got back 5 beautifully embellished blocks. We originally began with 5 other stitchers, but one had to drop out immediately, so the others collaborated on the fifth block. The 6th one was left for me to do, but I decided the quilt would be too long for where I wanted to hang it if I used all six blocks. I did add a few touches here and there to the blocks, especially where the joining seams are, just to have my own hand in there.

The other stitchers were Connie K., Cathy L., Cathy K., and Nicki Lee. That is the order, top to bottom, of who stitched which block, except for block #4, which was the communal block.

And yes, it's a bit crooked. I haven't given it a final pressing since adding the binding, and I'm hoping that will help.

You might not be able to see them in the photo, but in the lace around the border, there are little picot dots. I used some large pink seed beads in each picot. They are some beads that were sent to me by Norma H. a long time ago, and I'd used some for other projects. When I began stitching them on this, one by one, I thought surely I had enough. As I got closer to the end of the line, I wasn't so sure. Finally, I dumped the final contents of the vial into my hand and stitched them on. I was short 6 lousy beads! But I knew I'd dropped a few into my lap, so I stood up and looked on the couch. I found two more and stitched them on. Then I got a flashlight and combed the carpet at my feet. I found two more and stitched them on. But that was it. I'd emptied the vial into my hand...or had I? I looked at it more closely, and there, stuck in by static electricity, were the last 2 beads I needed. Talk about luck! Or was it just meant to be?

A couple of days later, Michaela found one more pink bead on the couch. I have no idea what that means.....

AND, I also started and finished my name badge for the retreat. It was Kerry L.'s job this year to make the name tags, and she crazy pieced them with our names printed on silk in the center. I loved the colors of mine, and wanted some good contrast on the small surface, so I did some variegated purple cast-on stitch roses (a technique that Lauri B. taught me and which I make frequent use of). It's fun to work on such a small "canvas", and makes for a quickly finished project. The lace edging came from a yard sale, and was tea-dyed just enough to take the brightness out of the white. And it just had to have a spider!

Monday, July 18, 2011

More moss rose and a block for Japan

Sorry to bore you with more of these flower photos, but every time I think these plants have peaked, they go and outdo themselves again. Don't know what it is about Sundays, but they seem to bloom especially brilliantly on Sunday mornings. And the coleus are starting to get a foothold too.

This block is one that was pieced by another stitcher who wanted to contribute to the Hearts and Hands for Sendai project, but didn't have the time to embellish a block. A group of blocks were sent from Australia to Leslie E. here in Colorado, then she sent them out to those of us who volunteered to embellish.

This block is so different from my usual style as to be almost unrecognizable to me. The first element I did was the yellow rose spray in the upper left corner. Maybe because it was vaguely circular, I found myself repeating the circular motifs all over the block, from the double button stacks to the single buttons, to the triple ring set (those linked rings were thought to represent friendships or familial relationships on Victorian quilts). In this case, they might represent Australia, for the piecer of the block, the USA for the embellisher and the project originator, and Japan, for the recipient. Now that this one is done, I can get it and my first Sendai block off to Leslie for finishing.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Growing in my yard

Last year I got a potted moss rose for Mother's day that was so beautiful. They were the biggest blossoms in a hot pink/magenta color that just bloomed their little hearts out all summer. This year I was a bit late in getting to the green house, and couldn't find the same flower, so I bought some small 4 packs of various colors. I also got some coleus, which I've loved forever. They all looked so spindly when I potted them, but the moss rose have taken off like crazy! The poor coleus haven't had a chance.

I got some of the variegated pink ones; they're my favorites this year. None of them are as big as the ones last year, but the variety of color makes up for it.

I also bought 3 tomato plants. One is a super huge giganto something-or-other, one is a yellow pear tomato, and one is a grapette. I filled a plastic tub with potting soil and planted them all together, and they are looking wonderful and blooming and setting on little tomatoes. Today we ate a couple of the yellow ones and one grapette.

In the evenings, I've enjoyed watching this little garden spider set up housekeeping between two of the moss rose pots. She builds the most intricate and perfect webs. The spiraling strands are only about 1/16th of an inch apart, so even though the whole orb is only about 6" across, it takes a good long while to spin it. Then she takes up her place in the center and waits for supper.

Second hand store finds

I've found some goodies lately at our local second-hand stores. We have a Goodwill, which is a very nice and clean store, and several Salvation Army locations, and also a Habitat for Humanity Restore, which sells used housing fixtures along with the usual stuff, but no clothing. I like to shop there, as the proceeds go to helping people have homes of their own. I'm very grateful to have our home and would like to see others have the same advantage. The following items came mostly from the Habitat store.

I absolutely love the little serving bowl. It literally looks like someone laid a white lace doily in it; so dainty and pretty. The purse frame will be part of a CQ experiment at some point, as it came with no directions for use. I can probably find some online. And the old frame has a convex glass in it which currently holds a real butterfly and flower arrangement. Not sure what's going to happen with that....

These are hankies with cute motifs on the corners.

And the hankies above and below I bought for the tatted or crocheted or lacy edges.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Celebrating on the 4th

Just a sampling of the cute children in our family. Brown-eyed boy is 4 year old grandson Zack, blue-eyed girl is 4 year old great-niece Kiera. They are the best of buddies.