Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Finally a String Quilt and My Only Finished Phd

I finally finished a string project! I didn't sew squares as most people did, instead I decided to do strips. This was a tremendously fun quilt to make and fast. I don't know why I waited so long. I used scraps from a quilt that I made for my niece for her wedding. I'm going to hang it in my sewing room. Let me know what you think! 
The other quilt is my one and only Phd finish. Both challenges end today and although I didn't get as much done as I hope to, I'm still very happy to have joined in and finished these quilts. Thank you Stephanie and Myra for hosting!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday's Treasures

Clare from Clare's Craftroom is hosting a new feature called Tuesday's Treasures. You are asked to blog about some thing you treasure and link to her site. Today I choose two things. The first is my Mom's glasses. When Mom passed away a couple of years ago I grabbed her glasses because to me they symbolize something quite intimate. After all she wore them all her waking moments. Wearing them she produced so many beautiful things and today I also choose this beautiful porcelain doll that she made for me. She made it from the very beginning. She poured the porcelain in the mold, cleaned, painted and fired the doll. Then she assembled her and made the clothing with no patterns. What you don't see in this picture is that there is a complete set of under garments on her, including the cutest little bra you have ever seen. Her shoes are also beaded lace. This picture shows a close-up of the beading on the front of the skirt. Click on the pictures if you would like to see them closer. Mom spent countless hours making each of her daughters a bride, all different and unique.
Thanks to Clare for hosting this, it good to look at your treasure and remember why they mean so much to you. Click here to go to Clare's blog and see more.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Finish

Here's my second finish for this month. It's a baby quilt using a Dick and Jane panel that I've had in my stash for some time. I showed it to my daughter-in-law one time when she was visiting and she loved it . When it was still in panel form, I thought it was a bit boring so I wanted bright primary colors to, hopefully, enhance the panel. I hope I didn't go too far with the brightness, but I really like it and hope the baby and his parents will as well.
I pieced the back. This is only the second back I have pieced. I think I was a little intimidated, but found it was easy and fun. I had an extra block in the panel that was suitable for the front, but I only needed five so I decided to put it on the back and will use it for a label. I quilted it using red thread and a decorative stitch on my machine. I had great fun making and quilting this quilt. Let me know what you think.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I finally finished something...and a beautiful flower.

I finally finished a project. It seems like I'm better at starting than finishing and it's good to finally complete something. This is a baby quilt called "Just Ducky". I found the pattern in the Dec. 2009 issue of "American Patchwork and Quilting". I added a border because it felt unfinished. I'm really happy with the results!

Now on to the flower. This is a hibiscus. It is a tropical flower so mine is kept indoors all year. I haven't had any blooms for over two years so I decided to move it directly in front of the patio door. I've had six blooms in just the past week. I guess it's much happier! 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Dad

My Dad was a wonderful father. He was born in 1907, second to the last in a family of ten. Grandma always called him her good boy. In a family with more than one high strung, bad tempered individual, Dad's even temper was most assuredly a blessing. This a picture of him and his sister. Dad didn't want this picture taken because Grandma had replaced his lost shoe button with a white one instead of a black one. The photographer promised to black the white one in. I'm glad he didn't!
This is a picture of Dad as a young man. He told stories of riding his horse to the west desert to find the wild horse herd that roamed in the area. He always wanted to go to college, but finances at the time made that impossible. He went on to become a successful farmer and cattle rancher. Dad used to take me to feed cattle with him. I would hold the grain sacks while he filled them. One summer my sister and I helped him harvest the hay. He purchased a piece of machinery that eliminated our job the next summer, so I don't think we were very good.
This is a picture of Dad as a father. Some of my best memories as a child are sitting on Dad's lap while he read the Saturday Evening Post or Life magazine. He let me sound out the words that I knew. It was a proud day when I could read a whole paragraph by myself. Dad always had wise advise and kind words for all of us. He truly loved Mom and allowed no disrespect from us for her when we were mouthy teenagers,
This a picture of Dad as a Grandpa. All the grandchildren loved him and usually ended up sitting on his lap. He loved to hold babies and they always quieted in his arms. When he was older and didn't farm as much, he became a voracious reader, so we always knew what to give him at Christmas and birthdays. He also like to find and restore old furniture. Dad and Mom gave me two beautiful old tables and a china cabinet that they rescued. 
Dad died in 1993. Mom and I were with him. I could tell he was terribly worried about leaving Mom and fought to stay with her. In later years she always remarked that Dad died way too soon and she still needed him. I like to think they are together now. I miss him and wish I could feel his hand on my shoulder again. So to my kid's wonderful Dad and all the other great Dad's out there "Happy Father's Day"!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Quick Home Decorating Project

 Just thought I'd show you a quick home decorating project I finished yesterday. After painting everything (well almost, at least it felt like everything) the old shower curtain just didn't look good anymore and to tell you the truth, I have never really liked it. It was all I could get at the time. So I decided to get to work and make a new one before I had a chance to get a mental block about doing it. I measured the old one and used it for a pattern. I love the colors and of course the flowers. I also hung some old Holly Hobbie plates that belonged to my Mom. Hope you like it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sorry it's been so long...

All I can say is that we have been painting again. As I have mentioned before, we moved into a new house a few years ago. I wasn't really happy with the paint but knew it was fixable. Well good news, all the walls are finally painted with good paint that is washable. It's been a long time coming, but it's done. We finished off with 2 bathrooms, the guest room, the landing, the laundry room, and last but by no means least, the staircase. My husband did most of the staircase and I tried not watch because sometimes the very tall ladder was in some very iffy positions. During the middle of all this, our little Cocker spaniel got very sick. We were afraid he had a stroke. As it turns out, he had a cheat grass weed in his ear that was making his equilibrium not work. The weed is removed and he is slowly recovering.
Now onto quilting, I have managed to do a very little bit. June 5th was our meeting of the first Saturday of the month block group. I think I had better explain what this is all about, as I had some questions last time I posted a completed block. It is a group sponsored by a local quilt shop. Every September we start a year long block of the month project. At the first meeting you purchase a kit for your first block or as we are doing this year your first set of 4 smaller blocks. Our theme this year is "Along the Oregon Trail". If you finish your blocks and take them to the next meeting, you will receive the next set of blocks for free. We had three choices of fabric this year, neutrals, civil war era reproductions, or the one I chose, 1930's prints. A few months into the project, some of the ladies began to bring their four smaller blocks made into one larger block. Some used an appliqued block in the center and some had embroidered a vintage design in the center. I found them very inspiring but knew I didn't want to do either embroidery or applique, so I decided to design blocks using the four original kit blocks in the corners, with a pieced Dresden Plate block in the center. In each of the outer blocks between the corner blocks, I have designed a block with triangles facing the center to form a star and a different design each month. I have really enjoyed doing this and hope that it will unite the quilt somewhat as the fabrics are not very united. 
Here are the blocks that I received in May.

This is my concept block.

Finally this is the completed block.

Let me know what you think!