Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's been awhile...

Since fighting the flu, I've not posted for a week--nor have I sewn much.  But this morning I completed two sets of blocks using my African animal fabric.  I received a suitcase full of designer fabrics from my sister and would like to make a crazy quilt from them, so I was trying some techniques before going to those heavier fabrics. 

First I tried making a block on a foundation.  I already had some 10 inch fabric cut for the foundation and I got these four from that.
The next set, I tried using a log cabin type sewing to go for a larger block that I could send to Sunshine for the June lotto which requires pink and green.  I got these:
I like the results of a smaller block, but the practice blocks will work well for the lotto as donations are made from those blocks that eventually go to Rotoplast missions that use the quilts made for children who are coming out of the cleft palate surgery.  I got a little better at the process by the fourth block which is the one on the lower left, but all will be welcome I am sure!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Whoop! Whoop!

It's Friday!  I returned earlier this week from a visit to Vegas with my sister.  I was amazed that it took me a day to recover from the flight and just the trip.  The let down after a trip occurred, but now I think I'm on track!  She gave me a bit of pink fabric and I started playing with some animal print I had.  I came up with just three blocks.  But, I have an idea for either a quilt for my neighbor or a donation quilt.  Anyhow that is still in my head, but these are the blocks.
Alycia over at Alyciasquilts blogged about some tops I made for her.  I didn't get pictures before I boxed them up and sent them on their way.  Luckily they arrived in Colorado safely!
Flannel strips into a kid's quilt top.
Backing I made from some scraps she sent and a two yard piece I'd just purchased in blue!  So glad I had the blue on hand, as my blues are in very short supply!
This one is from the scraps and a few additions from my stash.  Another Wonky quilt top.  She'll quilt and use them for QOV--at least the bottom two.  The little flannel number, I'm not sure how she'll use it.  It's quite invigorating to use someone else's scraps and make a quilt from them!

Linking over to Sarah here

Spring Quilters Festival

 It's time for a quilt show!  I love the fun of a quilt show given through Amy's Creative Side Blog. (See bottom of this post for the link.)
I've chosen my new favorite quilt to enter:
Whrilin' Dervish is the pattern and it started as a color challenge for February, but I didn't get it done by the month's end.

I then sent it to my friend Tommye in Moab for the quilting and just asked her to do her creative stuff and she didn't disappoint me a bit.  I love how she quilted it.

My earlier blog about this quilt and the meaning of Dervish is  HERE

Thanks to Amy's Creative Side for hosting another quilt show!

Hands to Help Link Up Time!

It's time to link on over to Hand2Help for our quilt show.
The quilt I finished is for Happy Chemo.
I have it pre-washed and folded on my banister and I'm not sure I want to part with it!  I love the baskets and all the fun and funky colors!  But, it's time to send it on to a chemo patient through the Hands to Help.

5/27/12   I boxed the quilt yesterday and it will be mailed out Tuesday.  I thought I carry it over to Emily, but I've had a not too friendly visit with a flu bug.

Thanks Sarah, for sponsoring this through your blog!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Home Again!

It's always nice to return to one's own bed!  I enjoyed the blooms in our yard.  Lovely May flowers!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dyeing to Know!

Today I'm practicing my skills at dyeing.
I started with some unbleached muslin that had been pre-washed.  I needed to try a Chartreuse color for my daughter to make some fabric bracelets.  I have some hemp coming this week, so I thought I'd fine tune some of the steps of the dyeing process before that fabric arrives.

First off, a little primer here mostly for my remembering- on dye fixatives.

Vinegar is used to set ORGANIC dyes such as (carrots/hemp/beets/onions/ etc.)  Vinegar has no effect on non-organic dyes like Pricion.  I do however like to use a small amount of vinegar occasionally as I wash quilts for giving as it does clear out any fragrance.  I've not had any trouble with a vinegar smell when doing this.  I often use it when washing my towels too!

Retayne is a dye fixative of the loose dye on the fabric.  If you treat the colorfastness of dyes with Retayne it will chemically encourage the loose dye to bond with the fabric.
     Never use Retayne on a quilt.  The loose dye in the water can easily bond to any color within the quilt.
     Retayne is for FABRIC of one color in one color group.


Synthrapol, is like a dye catcher--maybe even one on steriods.

This is a detergent that is specifically made to bond with loose dye and keep it suspended in water so that it will go down the drain.  Wash each fabric that has been hand dyed with Synthrapol.  This would be one that you could possilbe use on a red and white quilt to keep the dye from migrating to the white fabric the excess dye will go down the drain.  Be careful with Synthrapol as it is quite toxic.  I always use gloves with this.

Today's dyed fabric in Chartreuse.  The fabric on the left is the second dye bath.  The one on the right is the first.  2 teas. dye to 1 1/2 qt warm water.

Can't you just see this with some turquoise beads?   YUM!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Okay--I'm ready to talk???---Vent???

This made me laugh and then think!   I struck a chord deep in my psyche!  Many of you know that I grew up with parents owning a bakery.  I had a secret access to that bakery through my teens and many times when friends visited we made out trek into the bakery for frozen leftover donuts or brownies or cookies.  There was even ice cream bars too.  I was active then and the weight wasn't much of a problem.

The really ironic part is that when my husband and I moved back into the area and I worked in the bakery, an addition had been made--a HEALTH FOOD STORE!!  Now that raised many people's eyebrows and we had many comments about the combination of the two.  We sold donuts and Danish--no coffee because my parents were devout Mormons and didn't believe others should enjoy coffee with their donuts when they didn't!  The mixed messages were abundant in our home too.  If ever we questioned any rule or church teaching the burden was put back on us--"What is wrong with you, even thinking that?"

Interestingly enough there was a comment that I overheard the other night while at a dining establishment, and I heard a gentleman calmly state, "I disagree, here."  There continued to be calm discussion and later even laughter.  A seemingly big clash seemed to ring in my head--I realized at the point in time I hadn't remembered hearing those words spoken in my childhood home.  There were two ways of things my PARENTS--and the opposite, which was wrong.

It's very disingenuous growing up with that rattling around in your head.

The thing that has brought all of this to mind is the life changes my sister has been going through recently.  She is so close to being penniless that it is hard for me to fathom.  It's taken a while to get to the point she now finds herself.  A business going under and a house in a B of A legal battle and wondering just how she is going to support herself.  She's in her 50's and just keeps wondering how she can manage.  Several jobs have gone to someone else and she's in the midst of questioning lots of things.  LIFE, business, religion, money---etc.  All the things that many people are facing in this economy and change of those--well I call them the Beverly Cleaver times--for those readers not of that era, it was the mother stays at home and fixes the meals and always knows just what to say to make things at home run smoothly and make everyone happy!

As my sis questioned where all this leaves her, she asked for some help from our mother.  Well, I've been brought into a lifelong conflict and its ramifications my sister feels between the philosophy that "Families are Forever" and the demonstration of less than that in actuality.  A mother in a 5,000 square foot house is too cramped to offer space to a daughter that may need to make a move to survive.  Well, the offer finally came after Mom repeatedly said that she didn't want my sis living there.  Enter me, through many conversations with said sister she posed this:  "How could a 50+ year old woman constantly be emotionally returned to being a rebellious 13 year old"  I have no answers and my philosophy is to listen, support, but allow her to make her own life choices.  My belief is that life choices are for each individual to make.

All my sis wants is love, acceptance and an answer to her many questions about the religious beliefs of a mother.  Thankfully, Mom did send a check to assist with pressing bills as my sis figures out how to sell household furniture and make the adjustments from there to short selling her house.  (All this while still trying to find employment.)  I find this has been a great drain on my emotions and the turmoil I've had with Mom over religion is still something that will never heal as long as Mom lives, as I am the errant daughter because I left that religion.  I am the "apostate" because I left.  I found that I had to put some boundaries on the conversations that I have with Mom.  Basically no religion or politics can be discussed because there is just too much tension when that occurs.  So, as a result, our conversations are about who has died, and who in my hometown is sick, and the weather.  In order to not put myself into her beliefs many of my conversations are her talking until she cycles out.  I listen, occasionally offering some sort of conversation.  It has become a very surface relationship.  Now, I find my sister going through some of the same things I did about 8 years ago and the difference is that Sis questions.  I learned that I couldn't do that anymore.  But, the sadness of a woman who finds it very hard to give any credence or value to her children because they view life differently that she does, sometimes is overwhelming.

My overall joy in life is returning.  The waves of depression are lifting, but it's been a most difficult month for me!

I've felt like this:
I've had my own health challenges and the dichotomy of dealing with my patterns of loving sweets and craving bread when my health responds so much better when I leave sugar and flour products out of my diet.  I started taking greens in capsules and it took awhile to build up to where I could take the recommended dose!!  I feel that my health really depends on correcting my behaviors and my cravings and eliminate the mentioned food groups from my diet!

I added this to my morning regime:
I had been forgetting my "happy pills" my DH calls them.  So I added them back into my regime so that I can again feel balance.  I needed to try another formula for thyroid deficiency which in itself can add to depression.  The DSF is a formula for adrenal support and I just can't live without that.  The "happy pill" my DH calls them are the Women's Formula by Woman to Woman. So back on track with these:
I am following the Caveman Diet--again.  Started it before Christmas, but the behaviors of Christmas eating and traditions did a double whammy on that.  After talking with sis Monday, she stated she was starting that eating plan and I decided to do the same.  So, right now I'm eating fruits and nuts during the morning, adding a green drink if needed (without the protein) and then allowing myself one meal at night.  For 4 weeks there are no limits on the evening meal, but I've not added bread and I'm feeling much better!!!  The fruit has allowed me to feel nourished with sweetness--a big emotional need right now and the exclusion of bread and flour products has allowed me to feel less inflamed.  So far so good.  I, now feel more in control of my eating and I'm not gorging while waiting for the next round of HCG to start.  I think I have found something I can live with since I have the support of DH.  Hopefully we can get through the summer birthdays without losing control and then by Christmas time this year, I'll have learned a new way of living.  (We'll cross that bridge when it comes!)

About quilting--I'm not sure where I'm headed.

The local Family Connections Center where I gave many donations, has closed due to funding cuts. Another group I sent some quilts to has not responded with the receipts I keep for taxes.  I'm starting a box for Sarah at  I am always working on blocks for  But, I've decided that other than the liberated round robin  I'm taking a break.  I got a few books at the library and I've got some blocks from a Block a Month that are awaiting being made into a top.  I'm waiting for something to really scream at me: "I want you to start ME!"  I'm not worried--its just that with all the stuff going on in my head, creativity has taken leave for the moment.  It will return.  I'm finding peace with being me.  I finding peace at being me!  I'm finding peace with being me!!!  ---and yes Bridget I'm working on staying "in the MOMENT."

I did want to share one more link, this one appealed to my string quilting love.  It's a new way to make some strings into a quilt.  Rose Marie will be adding more to this tutorial next week.  

Now, I'm talked out for today.  Have a great weekend as that is what I plan to do!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Though not banging my head yet, I'm either lacking my mojo or I'm frustrated!  Life is just happening and I'm dealing with it as best as I can.  Not quilting much, either.  Watch for an update---hopefully sooner than later!  pattilou