Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Bag For A Day At The Beach

I think the colors and flowers on this bag that I just finished are perfect for a casual beach day.

It may not be as wild as the last two bags that I made, but it has a secret. See what is hiding on the inside?

This should be just perfect for someone who likes to spend time at the seashore.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday In The Garden

What a gorgeous day today was! While Second Daughter took herself to another Memorial Day Ceremony, I was able to find time to walk around the garden. The Butter and Sugar Irises are in full bloom.

The nameless purple irises that came from my Mother's garden are almost done. I've always loved the soft color of these.

And the Immortality Iirises are almost done for the spring, and probably for the year. They are supposed to rebloom in the fall, but we usually get a frost that spoils the blossoms just before they open.

Second Daughter's yellow rose, which almost died last year, is making a comeback.

First Daughter's garden was full of Lupine this year, after having almost none last year. It is pretty much hiding the pink rose on the trellis.

And, I had to move the Lupine to find the poppies that are starting to pop up. Aren't they strange looking?

This phlox was called Ozarkana in the catalog I bought it from many years ago (I haven't seen it anywhere since then). It's kind of weedy, but I think it is beautiful, so I let it grow where it will. It doesn't stay long, but I look forward to it every year.


My favorite sight in the garden this week is the rugosa rose flanked by the Purple Nine Bark shrub. The first flush of roses is passing, but the scent is still heavenly, and I love these colors together.

And in a preview for next week, the yucca buds are sprouting, and we should soon have a nice bunch of tall white blossoms glowing against the dark brown of the house.

It is supposed to be a perfect gardening weekend around here. Hope you have a fine holiday weekend as well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Hot Time To Celebrate Veterans

It reached 97°F in the shade on our deck today. One of those rare occasions when we miss the condo we used to live in (it had central air). I spent the morning moving between this

and this.

The bunnies spent the day snuggling their frozen water bottles.

When my Second Daughter came home from school, she jumped in the pool with her clothes on!

But in the afternoon, the Tuba Player (Second Daughter) had to be with the band for the first of several Memorial Day events. She didn't want to be there, can you tell? These uniforms are wool/polyester blends.

The tuba players warmed up, as if they weren't hot enough already.

The National Anthem was played.

Speeches were made. They were much shorter than usual.

Service songs were played.

And then the water bottles were empty, and it was time to go home.

This man's shirt really says all that needs to be said.

I'm So Proud Of My Girl

We are just about recovered from a weekend of this.

Our First Daughter graduated from Massachusetts College of Liberal Art, Magna Cum Laude.  Both sets of grandparents were there, and her two best friends from college (soon to be graduates themselves) came back from summer vacation to witness the event.

Aren't they a beautiful bunch? During the ceremony she received this:

A piece of paper that says you will soon get your diploma, but only if you have no outstanding bills!

She received many graduation gifts, including this skirt from The Birdlady of Wool on the Brain who is the mother of one of her friends. The colors are perfect, and it feels so nice.

And, it twirls really well!

With all this excitement, she might almost have been excused if she had forgotten Second Daughter's birthday this week, but she didn't. She had these for her. Yet another reason to be proud of her.

This is my mother, admiring the flowers. The next day, I took her  to the playground (First Daughter, that is, although Mom was there, too!).

Still a kid at heart. Next stop, grad school.
Congratulations, Sweetheart! We are ALL very proud of you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weasley's Song

A while back, The Rabbit Guy posted songs for all his rabbits, and he does have a lot of them (hop over and check out his pictures-they are adorable!). I had thought that I was the only crazy person who sang to/about my rabbits. Anyway, here is Weasley, acting out his favorite song.

Weasley, as you can see, is wasting away again in Margueritaville.

He sleeps like this a lot, and he won't move, or  twitch an ear, even if he's about to be stepped on. I often have to touch him to be sure he's alive.

The spell check suggested "regretfully" as a substitute for Margueritaville. I think that comes later. Hope your weekend isn't leaving you with regrets!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another New Bag, And A Bunny Picture

I finished another handbag. Making these is like eating chocolate or potato chips. It's so hard to stop!

I wanted the ties on the side to match the bottom, but I ended up piecing scraps just to get enough fabric for the handle. I have hoarded this fabric for 12 (?) years, and there isn't any more!

A couple days ago, I walked into the kitchen to see this.

"Ginny, I think something has come between us."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sunshine!

Hard to believe, but my Second Daughter turns seventeen today! She is definitely a ray of sunshine in our lives. Don't get me wrong, she can be a storm cloud, like any teenager. But, she has eyes sparkling with humor, a huge grin, and the biggest heart around. She can really light up a room.

I remember when she was 6 months old, telling her pediatrician that she was making jokes. I know the doctor thought I was nuts, but my girl was trying to make people smile, even then.

She asked me the other day why we had her, after having her sister (a little sibling dig there). I told her we just wanted to see what was behind door Number 2. For some reason, she found that hilarious, and has been going around the house repeating it to herself, and cracking up.

Who knew that behind door Number 2 was a soft-hearted, wise-cracking, music-loving, hockey stick wielding bundle of joy? Here she is playing her tuba.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie! Here's to another great year!

And now I'm off to get her and "The Boy" from school. They do grow up fast!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Creative Cue: Mother

This week's Creative Cue over at Three Creative Studios was Mother. Here is a sketch that I made of mine when she was down on Sandbridge Beach in Virginia in October of last year. I had tailed along on a vacation that she and my father, and another couple take each year.

I'm sure she will be thrilled to see this here, especially if I tell you that the rag in her pocket is covered with squid juice from cutting bait! This crew does love to fish.

I also made another stamp, more in the earth-mother vein. It still needs some work, but here it is as it stands now.

And on a silly note, some graffiti art by my Second Daughter. She "tagged" the thawing blackberries as she left the house this morning for a Marching Band event.

She was quite happy about it. The "tagging". and the band event, both.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Purple Horse Bag

This new bag is finished. Well, almost. It still needs a button, but I don't have the right one on hand, I will get that this weekend. The pattern is the smaller version of this bag that I made for myself.

The fabric on the front pocket is from a vest that was given to one of my girls many years ago. They had no interest in it, but I could not let go of the fabric. Now a piece of it has found a home.

It gets a little wilder on the inside, and has lots of useful pockets.

I'm working on two more, which I hope to show you soon.

Now I am off to North Adams, to pick up a load of stuff from First Daughter's apartment. Hard to believe that she graduates from college next week. WHERE does the time go?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sesame Chicken

Yesterday while the Bat Man was here working on our house, I cut out fabric for a couple new handbags that I was hoping to sew today. I can't show you though, because I had forgotten  that I needed to cook for tonight's high school Band Gala. Back to a tried and true recipe, Silver Palate Cookbook's Sesame Chicken.

Really, how can you go wrong when you are basting with butter throughout the baking process?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Three Complete And Ready To Be Delivered

These three quilts are now bound, sleeved, and labeled, and ready to be off on an adventure.

Blue Roses

The Four Elements

Fireflies and Roses

A friend has arranged for the guild that I belong to (The Material Girls Quilt Guild of Leominster, Ma) to have quilts hanging at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Ma. this summer. These three quilts will be handed off to her for this event. This guild has a lot of talent, so if you are in the area this summer, it will be worth stopping by to see them. I will publish the details here when I have them.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Some Creative Cues, And A New Box

Disclaimer: Second Daughter is playing an old Bill Cosby record at high volume, so if this post becomes incoherent at times, please excuse me.

I have been catching up on my Creative Cues. While I have been enjoying the free-motion sketches, I wanted to try something new.

I have only carved a stamp once before, and was not very successful, so I thought I would try to improve that skill. Two things I know:
  1. Carve away from yourself, and
  2. Turn the block, not the knife thing (not sure what it is called).
It's just hard to remember these things when you get excited about what you are doing. Luckily, my hands are intact! So, let me show you what I made.

Creative Cue 16, FULL  I decided to do the rabbit in the full moon from the old folk tale, and this version includes the cooking pot.

Creative Cue 17, POCKET  For this one, I made a stamp based on the pocket of Second Daughter's jeans. It should make an interesting border.

Creative Cue 18, BREAK  For this cue, a stamp of a breaking wave.

There are a few things I would do differently. On the Full Moon stamp, I forgot to reverse my image, so it is backwards from the actual formations as you would see them on the moon. On the Pocket, I would change the way the lines interlaced in the center, for a more balanced look. For the breaking wave, I would adjust how the wave joins the circle. But overall, I am pleased with the experience, and plan to do more.

I have a question  for anyone reading this who has carved these soft rubber blocks. The blocks tended to crumble at the edges. Is this because I was using too much pressure, or is it a directional issue, or something else altogether? If you have any tips on this, please leave me a comment.

Now, for something completely different.

This is Ginny and Weasley dissing a box that some new goodies arrived in. I can't show you what it was just yet (even though I really want to), because it might spoil the surprise for someone who reads this blog. But for a hint, check out Suzanne's beautiful work at the Flying Pig. I love her soft colors, and they are even prettier in person.

Hope all your boxes have treasures (or at least that they taste good).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Creative Cue: Side

I have gotten way behind on my Creative Cues, but I'm trying to catch up. Here is my sketch for Week 15 Creative Cue, Side.

Ginny and Weasley, side-by-side, as usual, enjoying a fresh, organic apple stick from our tree. With apologies to Nuage, we think these are the best apple sticks around. But since you can't get ours, you might try the apple sticks at Potentially Crazy. Every bunny needs apple sticks.

As for the drawing, it is another free-motion sketch, done on my sewing machine. This will be the last of these for awhile. I plan to try something else for the next couple of words. Hopefully, I won't lose a finger in the process.

Hope you are having a sunny day!

Happy International Tuba Day!

Ye, it's that day again. The one you wait for every year with bated breath. Or maybe, huffing and puffing breath. Anyway, to all the tuba players that I know and love,
Happy International Tuba Day!
Keep On Blowing! 

(OK, I know it says Valentine's Day. Ignore that part. I made this for Second Daughter last year.)