Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Still Here

Yup, I'm still around. I've just been dealing with rabbit and kid related things. We've had another vet go around with Ginny. More lumps have popped up on her face, these ones around her eyes.This led to a blocked tear duct and conjunctivitis, then she had a bad reaction to the meds, and on it goes. She seems to be on the mend again now, so hopefully that is it for awhile!

Second daughter's music activities have begun for the fall, and her work hours  at the farm stand have increased because of college kids going back to school, so we have been driving alot. This past weekend, she played her guitar at a downtown street festival with her instructor.

Of course a string broke on the first song, and since she didn't have others with her (she had just replaced them), a bit of instrument trading went on. She had a good time, and it was a beautiful day.

And then she volunteered to paint the platforms for the color guard for the marching band. She didn't realize that the skill set and time would be different from doing the designs that she draws on her books and clothes. I have been teaching her about scaling up her designs, and making templates, and helping her paint. Unfortunately, with her time issues, I am doing more of the project than I would like. Here she is making placement marks.

And tracing a template, with a little help from the lion next door..

Luckily he got distracted by something else, and ran off before the painting started.

Not a lot of sewing has been happening, but I did print out these, and started working on some fabric collages with them.

And the neighborhood lion came back and helped out with this project, that is now decorating my clothesline.

Most of the pieces turned out more solidly colored than I wanted. Since I like to work with prints, these will now need to be painted, stamped, screened, or maybe all three. Its nice to use your own fabrics, but is it really cost effective in terms of time, when so many great prints and colors are available commercially these days? What do you think?

And on another note, why are my favorite colors to dye, not colors that I quilt with very often (i.e., the reds and pinks, and purples)?  Has anyone else out there had this experience?

Hope you are all enjoying these last days of summer, and that none of you get sideswiped by Hurricane Earl.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Band Pants!

Quilting has been temporarily set aside, because it is the time of the season for hemming band pants. It's actually a small pile this year, as we have more sewers, and the people fitting kids to uniforms have gotten better at it.

This fabric is a pain to stitch, and is very thick, so it's best done by hand. The hems are often very long, or a thick roll, because we can't cut the fabric. The pants may need to get longer for a different kid next year, or the same kid may grow 5 inches in the next couple of months. Believe me, it has happened! I can't complain too much, though, since it's our last year with the high school band. And,  it really is great to see them looking sharp on the field.

Hope you are all having a fine weekend.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Russion Icon Rabbit

(EDIT:  Of course I only noticed the typo in my title after I linked to it from Sewcalgal"s blog, so it's too late to fix it now.  I really did mean Russian. I apologize!)

OK. My quilt for the Pets On Quilts Show  isn't finished, but I wanted to show it to you anyway. Ginny was helping me baste the quilt this morning. She wasn't too sure about the process. 

She thought it looked sort of interesting, maybe a closer look?

Then she decided the project needed a little paws on attention.  One pass,

and a second pass,

and a whole hearted disapproval. These feet are flicking in distaste.

Maybe she thinks I didn't portrays her as being as beautiful as she is?  Here is the full quilt,  basted with pins.

When I first heard about the Pets on Quilts project, I thought it would be a good place to use the portrait of Ginny that I had made using Shiva Paintsticks in a class with Elin Waterston last year. This had been pinned to my wall, and I had had no idea what to do with it.

Then I thought about our recent trip to the Museum Of Russian Icons, and decided to add a halo, and make Ginny into an icon. From there, the project grew, and life happened, and between those things, I have only reached the basting stage.

First I decided to put her on a chair (throne). Regular readers may remember that Ginny's chair is brown, but that wouldn't be enough contrast, so it got changed to white. I added lettuce,  as many of the figures in the icons carried corresponding symbolic objects. And of course many of the icons had smaller (adjunct ?) saints or religious figures, as well, so I added a smaller Weasley.

The scroll, with scientific names of her favorite plants was added, because I noticed many of the icons had scrolls on them. I also added smaller figures, coming to honor and bring tribute to, the great rabbit.

The landscape background was similar to some of the icons, and I added the giant parsley "trees" to also correspond to some of these features.  The moon is from my own "rabbit in the moon" stamp, and then I finished it off with the larger words stamped in gold. Since I don't write in Russian, I fudged a little here, and used Latin (sort of). The words are the scientific name for rabbit, along with the Latin word for "rule".

This has been a real blast to work on so far, and I am excited about adding detail with my quilting. Miss Ginny, however, seems to be looking down her regal nose on the entire project.

And for anyone wondering, Ginny seems to have gained her weight back. We are still waiting on the pathologist's report from the new vet at the Littleton Animal Hospital. If our old vet's diagnosis were correct, Ginny would be gone by now, so we are hopeful. We found this new vet through the House Rabbit Society, and we are very grateful for all the help that they have provided us with through our rabbit years. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Some Beauty for a Good Cause

If you like spending time with some of these guys,

or just enjoy beautiful art, check out this post over at  Notes from the Rookery. Danielle has been part of a round robin sketch book project that has been in the works for a couple of years. An international group of artists has contributed to this sketch book, which is being auctioned off to benefit a horse rescue and sanctuary group.

This book has some absolutely stunning artwork that I covet, so I probably shouldn't tell you that it is available HERE, for what is currently way too low a price. Check it out, it won't be available much longer.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Building People

Working on a new project here. Making some rabbit slaves. And struggling. The fusible will not release its glue from the paper to the fabric. I've never had this happen before. What a pain. I would switch to Misty Fuse, but you should see the mess that I can make with that!

Those are carrots, that they are carrying, nothing more.

All ready to apply to their background, if I can just figure out how to build that. The fabrics I have aren't quite right, and I have left my self no time to create others. Time to improvise.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Crossing Bridges

Late Friday night I returned home to find a package waiting for me from The Raspberry Rabbits. I was too tired to open it then, but on Saturday morning, I discovered this inside.

And hiding underneath all this brightly colored fleece was the bunny and mug that I had won in her recent give-away. Thanks, Shell. I love it all, and it made me smile at a time when I'm feeling down.

We had just returned from Pittsburgh, where we left our First Daughter. She will be there for the next two years, for graduate school. I had forgotten how big and overwhelming, and confusing Pittsburgh is. This is quite a change for a kid who grew up in a small city, and has spent the last two years in a rural town. I might not have been able to leave her if it were not for her Aunt and Uncle who live about a 30 minute drive from her apartment.

In Pittsburgh, you are always crossing bridges. What more can you expect in a city based around the merging of three rivers?  This is from a bridge.

Upstream are more bridges, and downstream are even more.

Some of the bridges are very fancy. This has horses leaping in every direction, carrying what look like earths? Not sure, and the picture isn't great. I'm wondering if they do bridge tours, maybe from the water? I'll have to look into this.

And here is my girl, unpacking in her new apartment.

I guess she will be crossing lots of bridges, literally and figuratively in the next couple of years. I just wish I weren't a 12 hour car ride away! But I know she will be working hard, and achieving her goals. Good luck, Sweetheart. We are pulling for you!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Cuddle and Some Goofiness

First Daughter and her favorite guy.

Second Daughter's alien sandwich.

I would think it wouldn't be too easy to eat a sandwich that is sticking its tongue out at you, but apparently it was no problem!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Little Bit Of Happiness

Well, the music festival is over (I was dishing up hotdogs and hamburgers in the Music Boosters booth for hours), and the Grandparents are safely on their way home from a visit, and we have a little bit of downtime to relax here.

That's Ginny, with the ears up. Weasley doesn't bother waking up, unless food is involved.

So, I got on the computer to check my mail, and found out that I won the give-away being held over at The Raspberry Rabbits!  Hop over, and take a look at the cute green bunny who will be coming my way, in company with a  pretty bunny mug. Green is my favorite color, and I do love a good cup of tea, so this is a nice treat.  Thanks, Shell! You made my weekend.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday In The Garden

This week in the garden, it's all about the yellow. The birds planted this sunflower in my lettuce.

The vegetable garden is also awash with blooming dill plants.

We have lots of squash blossoms this year, but I waited too late in the day to take the picture.

There is zucchini. Usually I am the only person in the world who can't grow zucchini, but it's growing this year.  We also have spaghetti squash, which is a pale yellow, even though it looks white in the picture.

I would show you the wax beans, but we ate them!

Outside the vegetable garden, we still have daylilies,

and Black-Eyed Susans.

We have a tall  coreopsis, that looks like the regular shorter coreopsis, except it's 6-8 feet tall.

We also have this really cool plant called a Cupplant, that is a native prairie plant. It looks similar to a sunflower, but it grows much taller. It's about 12 feet tall this year, but in past years it has been much taller.

The interesting part about this plant, is the way the leaves join the stem, forming a small cup.

These cups collect rainwater. Supposedly birds will drink from the cups when they can't find other water. I haven't seen that, but I have seen these plants absolutely swarmed by Goldfinches when the seeds are ripe!

Another splash of yellow in the garden is the large patch of Goldenrod blocking the view of the birdbath.

Perhaps I should actually do some WEEDING? Probably not happening this weekend, though.
Have a fun (and full of yellow sun) weekend, everybun!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reunion, Art Center, Ginny, and PEARS!

Taking a quick break from produce here to catch up with you. It has been a crazy week, and will only get crazier for awhile. To start with, last weekend I went to my 30th high school reunion (you do the math). I almost didn't go, but I am SO GLAD that I did. It was wonderful to see everyone. Its amazing how good we all look, and how well we get along now that high school is well past! The event itself was just a picnic, but it was held in the most gorgeous spot in the county, right next to the airport and the landfill.

Seriously, its beautiful up here. You can see across the entire county from the pavilion. I just forgot to turn around and take that picture, because I was too busy talking.

From there I hurried home to hang some recently finished quilts at the Leominster Art Center. Well technically, the man of the house did the hanging.

Here they are all together. The only one missing is the gear quilt, which is still fighting me.

This is a nice little space, sponsored by the city,  for local artist to show their work. There is an amazing variety of talent on display here.

And then yesterday, Ginny had a follow-up appointment with the new vet. Her weight is increasing nicely, and the vet wants to send the lump samples to a different pathologist. She thinks Ginny's initial cancer diagnosis may be wrong. We are keeping our fingers crossed. Ginny, meanwhile, is thinking she might like to trade her brown chair for our couch. 


Not so sure I like that idea.

In the garden, we are still getting all those blackberries, but now the pears have come ripe 2 weeks early.

Ignore the fact that they are in a litterbox. These boxes have been repurposed since Ginny developed a digging habit. Anyway, I have been doing lots of stuff with pears. Some have been frozen, some have been turned into pear butter.

Some have been dried.

Some have been made into cakes.

And of course there was a pear photoshoot.

This box of pears will be refilled at least twice this week. And my in-laws are arriving this afternoon for four days. And the blackberries are still getting ripe, and the green beans, and the zucchini. Oh, and its less than a week till we take First Daughter to Pittsburgh! Yikes! Send some sanity my way, OK?