Monday, May 30, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away! Come Again Another Day!

This morning we slept in.  We shouldn't have.  We woke up to full window wells in the basement windows and the back yard looks like this:

While the weather here has been cool and so far there isn't a lot of flooding from the 200% of normal snow pack in the mountains, I think the worst is still too come.  I didn't hear rain last night, and it was a gentle, steady rain, but oh, how I'd love the sunshine.  Good thing it is predicted for tomorrow.  Still, it'll come as a mixed blessing because when it comes the snow in the mountains will melt.  We live on a flat plain of what used to be the Old Lake Bonneville that once covered this area.  ...could it be starting again?  
I suppose griping is normal.  At least we haven't lost our house to a tornado, or a hurricane or some other fact of nature.   ...And most important for me is that we do have a house.  So, quit yer griping, Pattilou!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why Graduation Quilts???

Years ago when I married my husband, I experienced many things different from my lens of perspective.  One was a gold/brown plaid wool quilt.  It wasn't very big, but it was well worn.  It still offered many years of use to him.  The blanket was about 3 feet by 5 feet and had fringe around the sides.  Many would know it as a stadium blanket.  For him it offered warmth during nights of study when he found himself away from home going to college.  It provided nap times when he would catch up from missed sleep finishing a paper or studying for a final.  How do I know this, as we have become best friends, he has told me.

I don't think he knows that his stories have in fact influenced me in my quilting.  In fact, I haven't realized until finishing this quilt for a graduation gift, did I realize how his story touched me in many ways.  I didn't have such a blankie and I wished I would have had one.  I didn't really have anything like that until I started making quilts.  Many of my quilts are of the lap sized variety, because of the perceived comfort I saw them giving, just from listening to my husband share his blankie story with me more than once.  We still have the blankie.  It's been replaced with more color/design acceptable quilts made by myself.

The quilt pictured is one of many I've offered to graduating teens.  I've not shared this story with anyone until now.  I think I'll figure out a way to print it on a card and include with my donation quilts.  I really want to share warmth through my quilts--the warmth that I perceive that my husband received from his old college blankie.

For a high school grad, life begins for a teen, often away from things familiar and schedules and such in a foreign environment for that teen.  Life begins for the young adult as they begin learning how to express themselves and find an occupation.

Cheers for new beginnings---with a quilt--quilted by pattilou.

This quilt was actually begun as blocks for a lotto exchange and then I played with them a bit and feeling a bit inspired from the book Freddy & Gwen Collaborate Again I added some black and white to spice it up.  See original post I was bored, HERE:

The green fabric is actually, if you look close, a resemblance of a map.  This could be quite metaphorical for a high school grad pursuing dreams to further an education.  

After speaking with the mom of this particular grad--I decided this quilt would be perfect for her.  I certainly hope so.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Liberated First Border Complete!

After auditioning the colors, I've selected these
for the first border: triangles.

 These were the guidelines:
1st Round-- TRIANGLES
Using liberated triangles, add one or more pieces strips to your initial block. All four sides do not have to be the same design.
You might opt for asymmetrical borders, adding only 1 or two sides to your block. Add plain borders between the rounds, as desired.

Triangles include HSTs, a dog-tooth border, tall & skinny or short & squat...stars made from triangle units...Exquisite blocks...etc.

Other participant's blocks can be seen HERE:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wrapping Up a Week

This photo shows the various boxes and packages ready for mailing.  They include tops and fabrics to Iowa, tops and backs to Oklahoma, Lotto blocks to Texas, and Vintage Dresden Plate cut fabrics to Norway.  (and other miscellaneous mail).  It felt good to box up those things and actually get them mailed out.

Yesterday was just one of those days.  The coughing has kept me from fully functioning now for almost a month.  I couldn't get into my regular doctor, so I went to a clinic within the block of my house.  Don't know why I didn't go sooner, but I really HATE taking antibiotics.  But, now I'm on them and hope to spend less time on the couch.  I did get the instructions for our Liberated Round Robin and spent the time mulling over the fabrics that I have that would include triangles:

1st Round-- TRIANGLES
Using liberated triangles, add one or more pieces strips to your initial block. All four sides do not have to be the same design.
You might opt for asymmetrical borders, adding only 1 or two sides to your block. Add plain borders between the rounds, as desired.

Triangles include HSTs, a dog-tooth border, tall & skinny or short & squat...stars made from triangle units...Exquisite blocks...etc.

I'm not quite sure how I'll border the main block, but I have an idea.  Now for the energy to do some sewing!  The sun may come out today which will work miracles for my attitude, and general well being, I'm sure!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Choice Was a Great One!

The movie won over all options yesterday!
 The acting was superb and the movie added romantic images into the depth of the book!

 And of course one of my favorite actresses was in the movie, Judi Dench:

So, with that still in my head, I'll sew a border on the "braid" quilt since I've already made an appointment with the quilter (I do this to keep me on track)!

I'll visit a new to me chiropractor!  Can hardly wait to get some relief there!

And I'll add some triangles onto the coin/scrappy quilt!  tee hee and enjoy my new shoes

and bra (sorry no pic for this!)   that I also found.  Does this mean since I found some comfortable shoes I can buy fabric again???  (remember my self imposed buying moratorium?) found here   Well, I'm adding this rules:

"* Fabric specifically required for a swap or challenge
"* Gifts, inheritance, and/or donations
"* Gift certificates that you may use for Fabric
"* Notions and thread (they aren't fabric, after all!)
Since I found some hand dyes that will help me with my challenge for a round robin.  I've picked this for the center block:

I just might need some fabrics for the next borders.  May 20 the new rules will be added to the challenge.  see here  I've got a shopping basket ready and waiting, just in case!

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Cold, Wet, and What Should I Do Today?

Looked outside and saw cloudy, cold weather and DH's productive work over the last few weeks:
 And my small contribution:

The plants are loving the moisture--but I'm sick of it!  I WANT SUN!!!  Mind you, the area isn't in a drouth, or a flood--yet, but I'm complaining about the weather.  Cold today and I'm in no mood for the cloudy, cool weather.

I could put the final border on this and send it on to the quilter:

as I've already decided I don't want to quilt it!

Or I could work on this:
From a sewing area that looks like this:

Or I could call the chiropractor and get my body adjusted as it REALLY NEEDS it!!!
Or I could avoid it all and go into Salt Lake and see Jane Eyre--we've been talking about that and the weather has been so good the past few days that we didn't want to take the time away from the gardening to go to a show and yesterday we spent with DMIL for her 94th birthday and she's just getting too old to go to the movies anymore--so what will it be?
I'm thinking call the doctor first--get an appointment, fill in some time with the strips, take a long bath and go to the movie.  A little self indulgence never hurts and it just may help this old body!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

 Guess I really don't know how to use Mr. Linky!  If you got here from                                                       

Please go here for the post about my donation quilt to be in the 100 Quilts For Kids.  My donation of this quilt will go to the local Family Connections Center.
 Sorry for the second link.  Maybe next time I'll figure it out!  LOL!!!  Thanks for the visit!

I really wasn't going to enter a quilt this time.  Didn't think I had anything worthwhile to add and then I remembered this fun quilt that now hangs in my sewing room:

I had been saving the cute quilter fabric and the blue pinwheels for quite awhile and then I decided to just sew them together.

I quilted it on my DSM.
I love this fun quilt.  It seems like a liberated quilt to me and I had lots of fun blocking it out.

 Amy's Blogger Quilt Festival is HERE

I Just Can't Make Up My Mind!

My design wall looks like this
 This is because there's some fun going on HERE!

So which should be my center block???  Some are some new requisitions from Clare in France in a recent swap.  The stars are left over from an E Bay purchase years ago and the iris is another E Bay purchase probably 6 years ago,  I've already made one quilt from them:
 And the liberated baskets were in a quilt:

Maybe all four each in a quilt of its own--as my sewing room has only one quilt on the wall
It really is time to have some fun in quilting and just not worry about outcomes--but which one should I start with???

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Cows Aren't Only in California

These cute blocks are being sent off for Sunshine Lotto Drawing for July.  I'm getting ahead of myself, but I had just enough gold to do these blocks.  I'm saving 12 of the "cow" squares for a quilt--later.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cure for the Pastel Blues--and Laundry Soap Update

I've had this Laurel Burch fabric for years.  I really hated to cut into it, knowing I could never buy it again--but wait, what good is fabric in a drawer?   I needed to make some pink/green blocks for a lotto and didn't want to use pastels.  I found my hand dyed fabric--actually it's more of a deep rose color than the red shown in this photo.  I'm not sure I'm happy with the block, but I have a few more pieces cut for this and I'm on to some pink polka dot next since I've used up my pinkish-red hand dye.  I wanted to cut as big of pieces as possible as the print is a rather large print, but it doesn't show the butterflies as well as I would have liked, but I'm using it up and it's going to kids quilts and that is my object.  When I bought it, I had been dubbed "Butterfly" by my friends and this seemed to capture that nickname well, but I've moved on and claiming just plain old "ADHD".

 Six blocks now ready!

On the subject of laundry soap, so far I'm liking my home made laundry soap.  The Fels Naptha soap is working well, and the smell isn't pungent, in fact I can hardly even smell it.  I've not used fabric softener in my sheets or towels or cotton loads like jeans and the clothes are coming from the dyer soft and non static.  So for the price of the soap, I am pleased with what I'm seeing at this early juncture.  I am still adjusting downward on the amount of soap I'm using per load as we have soft water.  I've been using about 1/2 cup and maybe I can go to 1/3 cup.  It really doesn't seem to take a lot to get things clean.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Impulse Buying and its Consequences, No Buy Challenge and Odds and Ends

The life of a quilter lives on through the quilts made.  The buying purchases of our past sometimes plague us for seemingly endless hours!  

I seem to have difficult relationships with pastels.  When I see certain pastels, I seem to fall in love with them and sometimes even purchase them.  But, by the time I get ready to use them in a quilt, that love affair has ended.  This spring I've been trying to use up some of those ill fated purchases.  This last week, I've made two tops I'm donating to a beginning long arm quilter for her to practice.  Some of the fabric used was donated to me from the stash of Helen who was an avid quilter for Wrap Them in Love Foundation.  It's a blue/white print and I'm oh so sick of it.  There was I think maybe 7-9 yards of it.  I now only have small bits in my "crumb" stash.  In that box there's enough of that blue/white for backing for both of these tops.

I will gladly box these up and bid farewell to them.  I am sure that someone will love pastels more than I do.

I also boxed up some blocks given to me and I dutifully intended to make them into quilts.  Respectfully for the person who stored them, they were her UFO's for a reason.  She'd fallen out of love with them or had found more fun fabrics to work with.  There is a quilter in Ohio who makes lots of "pigs" into beautiful quilts for many organizations.  I know that my "pigs" (projects in grocery bags) will find their way into a useful, practical quilt.  One more for an adult.  I will send along some fabrics that have lost their zest for me--ones not specifically for me, or kids, but fabrics that someone might just love.  Gladys has a way of making ugly fabrics beautiful and if they won't fit into a quilt nicely, she'll make them into a bag/tote.  I also sent on to Gladys were two tops like this one:
I didn't get a picture of the second one.  It reverses the blocks with the big squares in the off white mix and the dark squares around the edges.

Also an impulse purchase was a block of the month commitment.  I've made a block each month from some of these fabrics.
  I love the fabrics and have been especially drawn to red lately--but what am I going to do with another quilt.  This is a BOM from a local quilt shop and so the fabrics have a $ price tag above what I usually pay.  That being $9 a yard.  This store is usually a bit lower retail than others, but now I have $135 into just a top--that's with the fabric purchase, my late fee for not being in town on the 2nd Saturday and the purchase of the borders etc.  Nothing in my stash compliments this well for the backing, but I'm going to wait to finish the top before I decide.  I have 9 blocks made and 3 more months to go.  I don't think I'll ever do a BOM again!!  The store midway through can't get more background fabric anywhere and I'm wondering if I have enough for those three blocks.  

I suppose every quilter has a story like this one...

So, for me for the remainder of the year, I'm on my own "no buy challenge." 

I may find myself getting into some bins that have coordinating fabrics and come up with some unique or scrappy quilts.  I may get tired of what I have and send more off to someone who will finish up my mistakes in buying.  Personally, I could use some new shoes instead of quilt fabric, so I'll be looking around for a hard to find 9.5 N shoe that feels great--that could take up to 9 months!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pattilou's Soap Opera

Recently I got an email of how to make laundry soap.  Having made good old fashioned lye soap in the 70's I was interested.  This looked much easier.  Now, I have to say that I loved the laundry when I made my own soap.  The downside was when I had to get a small amount of hot water in the washing machine to dissolve the soap.  I could do that, but when my kids started doing their own laundry, I had to go to store bought laundry soap to make it easier for them. 

Okay, I started the process
 I grated some Fels Naptha soap from a bar--easy peasy.  Regular bar soap can be used, but I've used this soap for cleaning spots from laundry for lots of years.  The bar lasts forever for doing this and I still had part of a bar left.  I used that and then half a bar of the Fels Naptha soap.  (found in the laundry section of some grocery stores--I couldn't find it at Wal Mart and went to the local Smith's)

Next I boiled the soap:
This soap was a bit fragrant and I may not use it next time.  We'll see.  I'll give this a good trial run.  The soap doesn't smell too bad today:

Kind of a lumpy, gooey soap.  I'll try to break it up and use it from an old laundry soap container from Costco.  If not, I'll scoop it from a smaller container I'll put in the laundry room.  Right now this is in the garage, while I use the end of my prepurchased  laundry soap.

Heres' the link to the complete directions with pictures and prices and visual guide

That's all for now.  I've got to do a few loads of wash to use up all the old laundry soap and try out my new soap.  I'll let you know how I like it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Into Strings Again...

Still not able to do gardening--still coughing--so I'm back into strings.  I found some fabrics I thought might go together and in the process get them used up without not too much thought from me.  I decided to do four squares alike and then put them together and so far I have a set of three done.  I'll need twelve of these for a quilt.  Some of the fabric--the tiny blue flowers on the white background is from Helen's stash of Wrap Them in Love, so this quilt will go there.  I think there will be enough of the blue/white for the backing.  If not, I'll find something.