Monday, September 24, 2012

When will I learn? Sigh...

Last Thursday, my wonderful Busy Bees friends helped me chose the right colors for this next owl. I love the belly swirls! The pink base went down well. I was pleased with it. The belly also went on beautifully.

The eyes went on wonderfully. Again, I was pleased. Until... I got my little owl completely finished and realized that, once again, I had forgotten its beak! No problem. One beak to add.

Shoot. This beak was supposed to have gone on before the blue part of the eyes. I keep forgetting to check my piece numbers and sew them on IN ORDER!

The blue, the green inner eye (not shown), and the pupil (also not shown) were now all in the way. I had to remove the right eye entirely (I got the beak on slightly crookedly and had to make adjustments). Now I have the blue part resewn, and tonight I have to resew the lovely green. When I'm done, - again - I'll take a photo of the finished owl. It's really cute.

Next comes a rather complicated owl, and I'm still picking out colors. It may be a while before you see any progress on it.

In the meantime, I also spent quite a lot of time this weekend sewing on my Day and Night quilt. I have 24 blocks sewn together. I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to shoot for the entire 42 (6 x 7) or stop at 30 (5 x 6). It depends on how well my green fabric holds out. I'm already trying to come up with original ideas for the borders. Let's see, what do I want...?

For my kitty loving friends, Sinbad is now on an allergy testing diet. This means that he has to eat synthetic food for at least two months and see if he stops scratching and overgrooming. Fortunately, he LOVES the duck and green pea fake dry food. He has needed some persuading over the venison and green pea canned food, though. He finally ate a good portion of it this morning.

The other cats are still on their regular food (except for the yummy canned food - if Sinnie can't have any, neither can they . He would know!). I feed Sinnie in the sunroom and close the door until the others have finished their food and I can let him out without fear of his stealing their food. It's actually working remarkably well so far. I have my fingers crossed that he'll start showing some improvement soon. I'll take belly shots if he ever grows some hair back!

Until then,

Friday, September 21, 2012

Minor ear adjustment

You may recall that in my last post I mentioned a small ear mishap with my latest owl. It seems that I forgot to sew on his ears before I sewed on his face! Oops. That meant that I had to unsew a large enough area to allow me to slip in the ears, sew them down and replace the face.

Here is the completed right ear. I notice that I even sewed in a little something extra - a little cat hair on top of his head just above his face (you can just see it about an inch to the left of the ear). This owl gets embroidered eyelashes, so it will be finished later.

Since I gave some purple fabric to Mom to complete her Day and Night quilt that I showed you last week, she decided to thank me with some new purple fabric she found on sale the the Rabbit's Lair in Rogers, AR. Isn't it absolutely beautiful? One of these days I'll go back to taking pictures with a real camera instead of my phone and you can get a better sense of color. I don't have any concrete plans for this fabric yet, but I know I will find it the perfect quilt home sometime soon! Mom bought the whole bolt, so we shared it with six yards each. Mom already has hers made into a back for her Day and Night quilt. She had been wondering what to use when walah! There it was! The perfect piece of fabric!

I have finished another owl since I took these picture. This latest one is on a nest. I rather messed up the eggs it's "sitting" on, so I may try to fix those before I take a photo to show you.

Until later,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

THREE new finishes! And not one of them mine...

Five of us signed up for a class to learn Eleanor Burns' Day and Night pattern from Sharon at Guthrie's Fabrics in Colcord, OK. I have heard from four of us students - guess which one of those four has not yet finished her quilt top? Yep. Me. But I have photos of the other three!

Stephen and his mom both signed up for the class and Stephen just sent me photos of both of their quilts.

This is Stephen's block on the day of the class. Lovely, isn't it?

Here is the finished quilt top. Great job, Stephen! I love the motion that these colors bring to this quilt.

Stephen's mom, Ruth (I hope I'm remembering her name correctly), chose a quiet, elegant approach to the same quilt. Here is her first block.

And here is her quilt top on the long arm machine. Just lovely! Maybe we'll get an update when it's finished. I'd love to see what the borders look like. Thanks for sharing these photos, Stephen. : )

The last Day and Night quilt top finish is Mom's. Looks a little different from the other two, doesn't it? Mom ran into my favorite situation when making this quilt - she ran out of purple fabric. Redesign time! How fun!

First, Mom picked out a different, complimentary purple fabric. Next, she used the scraps from the pattern (you're supposed to use them for a wall hanging) to make a small center rectangle. She surrounded that with the second purple fabric and then started sewing on the actual Day and Night blocks.

Then she started on borders and matching pillow and foot panels, again using the scraps.

The colors in the upper photos are truer than the one below, but I wanted to show the entire quilt top laid out. (Should I mention that once she was finished, she found a yard of the original purple fabric that she had apparently mislaid? No. I'll keep that secret.)

Here are the two blocks that don't have matching finishing photos. We may never see the finish for the first block (unfortunately), but the second is mine. I'll get it finished some day. I have 20 blocks sewn together so far.

We've had rain for the last two days, so we're finally starting to see some green for the first time since May. Of course it's almost fall now...

We took the dogs for a walk and saw a few flowers and lots of poisonous toadstools.

Those toadstools popped up overnight. And in some strange places. Yes, that's exactly what that looks like. Yuk.

And here's a pretty little flower that we saw along the way. I'll take flowers any time I can get them.

I'll try to get some more owl quilt photos for you soon. I ran into a little problem with some ears. Don't ask...

Until later,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Binding finished!

I would love to announce a complete finish on a large quilt, but I still have the label to do. Darn. Last night I got the binding finished on my blue and cream quilt.  I'll try to get the label finished tonight.Then I'll be done! : )  I'll take a final photo of it this week and post it. I really like the finished (oh, all right, almost finished) quilt.

In the meantime, I did very little sewing on my owl quilt last night. My latest little owl now has feet.

Later tonight or tomorrow my little owl should gain some lovely, large, lavender eye patches. I hope. Or else a lot of my students will get their papers graded. One of the two will happen anyway. (I hope it's the sewing!)

Until later,

Monday, September 10, 2012

More owl progress...

Hoppy Monday, everyone!

As you can see, we received some much needed rain over the weekend. I found this happy hoppy toad in a storage container my husband had put outside. What a nice froggy smile this little fellow has as he enjoys the rain! : )

Now, on to owl progress... As you may remember, this was the stopping point the last time I worked on my owl wallhanging. I was not happy with the eyes on my colorful owl. I thought they would tone down his colors, but instead they almost washed him out. And I could barely see his beak! Not to worry - Sis to the rescue! My sister told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to strip off his face and start again. Done!

First, to the face stripping. If you don't find this picture disturbing, you must be a Picasso fan! It makes me shudder! Poor owl!

Once I got the inner eyes removed, I chose a bright blue for contrast against the lime green markings. I liked this much better. My circles weren't TOO wobbly. My work is still very inconsistent. Practice, practice, practice.

Definitely looking brighter!

Next, for the inner layer of his eyes. I'm not sure this was the best choice, but here it is. It's still on the bright side and carried through some of the orange in his "plumage," but it's a trifle wilder in pattern than I should have used. Oh well.

And I love his beak! Isn't this brown beak so much more visible than the orange one was? This is a far more interesting face. I think Colorful Owl is pleased.

Next door is my toned down owl. I got his face finished and added his wings. I love how these colors work together.

Add a face, and wah lah! One cute little calm looking owl. I really like the white portion of his eyes. Maybe I should have tried that on Colorful Owl... Oh well, too late now. I'm definitely not tearing him out again! Unfortunately, you can see that I did a much better job of keeping the green part of his eyes round on the left side than on the right. I might try to redo that one. Or maybe not.

Here are our two buddies completed. I do like their beaks. Now on to the little owl on the left. I feel some green coming on. Unfortunately, when I view the entire wall hanging, my owls all seem to be tipping in toward the tree trunk. Either they're drunk or I am. ; )  Maybe it won't look so pronounced when I get some owls on the other side of the quilt. So far, I have only worked on the left side of the tree.

 Okay, so I couldn't resist adding two more African Violets to my collection. The first photo actually washed out the colors of the flowers. They are really much deeper and richer in color than in the photo. Maybe I can get a better picture another time.

More hoppy grins as you leave to do your own quilting...

And remember to take it easy and enjoy the day.

 Until later,

Monday, September 3, 2012

Catch up time!

Whew! What a week! My last post was on the day before my birthday. I won't tell you how old I am, but I will say I skipped my 30th school reunion this weekend. I thought about going to the reunion, but then decided that friends 30 years ago are complete strangers today. I wouldn't know what to say. That does not mean that I didn't do anything with my birthday and holiday weekend though.

On my birthday my husband and my mother agreed to take me to the local fair where Mom had a number of her quilts entered. She won a blue ribbon on every one of her quilts! AND the award for Best of Show for Applique! Go, Mom!

We had glorious, much needed rain in the days surrounding my birthday (thanks to Hurricane Isaac), then, on our way to the fairgrounds, we saw this beautiful sight. It was a full rainbow in a beautiful sky. What a lovely birthday present.  : )

Then it was on to the fair itself. I took this photo of a very young Jersey calf to show to my office mate. She saw a Jersey calf a couple of months ago and was convinced it was starving. Nope. Jerseys just look like they are. This is a perfectly healthy baby.

And right next door to the Jersey calf was this little fellow. He was playing Hide and Seek with us. What a cutie!

For my birthday Mom bought me some beautiful pieces of metal art to hang on my new fence. Exactly what I asked for! Except that they never made it to the fence. I carried them into the house and leaned them up against the wall inside the sunroom for the night. When I got up the day and saw this piece against the brick, I knew that I had found its new home. My husband agreed and hung it up this weekend.

He then decided that we needed to balance out the other side of the door with another piece. We chose this one so that the wall wouldn't look so crowded with the shelving unit below the light fixture. Aren't they both beautiful? Mom also gave me a wonderful iron gecko, but I do plan on hanging it outside on the fence. Since the temps are back near the 100's, I think I'll wait until next weekend for our anticipated next cool front before I get outside with a hammer and nail.

And speaking of the sunroom - I was sitting out there with my kitty pals the other night when Maxie went crazy and started attacking the window. I went outside to see what was exciting her and found this lovely, large moth. I took a picture of it so show to my husband and managed to get a good shot of Maxie's attack at the same time! It's a good thing there was a window between the two! Sorry about the flash in the window.

A short time later, our next door neighbors set off fire works to celebrate Labor Day a little early. Due to the fire bans brought on by the drought, people in my county were allowed to set off fireworks now instead of for July 4. Anyway, Sinbad hates loud noises, so I was surprised that he stayed on his kitty tower. I was even more surprised - shocked even - when he was joined by Maxie! Those two rarely ever get within five feet of each other without hisses and threatening poses. Sinbad was watching out for more fireworks, and Maxie was watching to make sure her moth didn't fly away. They had each other's backs!

Nope, no pictures of sewing projects. Sorry, but my elbow is extremely painful, and I'm still trying to rest it and let it heal. Maybe next time.

Last but not least, Stephen - for some reason your last comment to me does not show up on the blog, but I did get it. In case you did not get my reply, I'm sorry I don't know enough about computers to figure out how to allow you to add your pictures but I do want to post them. If you'd like to send me pictures of yours and your mom's quilts, I'd love to post them on the blog for everyone to see. Just email them to me at The same goes to any reader who would like me to share pictures of their work. I'd love to share what everyone is working on. Email me the photos, and I'll add them. Thank you for being willing to share, Stephen!

Until later,