Thursday, July 27, 2006

Another FPC

A quilter's birthday just seems like such a perfect reason to make a FPC. I mean, who else would look at this little 4"x6" fabric art, mini quilt thing and say, "Ohhhhh, it's soooo cute!" I've shown my FPC's to others and most people look at it quizzically, turn it over to the back, flip it back to the front, hand it back to me and say, "But what do you *do* with it?"
See? They obviously don't get it. :D

So this one is for the President of my quilt guild Cheryl. She's a special lady for a number of reason. In addition to being a wife and mother and commuting over an hour to a job in the medical profession, she leads and guides a diverse group of volunteer women with a wide variety of talents and skills into something of a cohesive group. Together we accomplish far more than we would individually. The group has some personalities and some rebels, and she rolls with their punches. I think personalities and rebels are part of any organization where humans are involved. But maybe they're more noticable in the guild because volunteers don't have to worry about being professional or getting fired.

So Cheryl, my hat is off. This bud's for you. .

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Changing of the Quilt

'Member when I talked about the quilts I hang in the kitchen and change with the seasons? Well I finally got around to putting up the yellow-orange-red quilt I call "Summer's Heat". Seemed appropriate...

This quilt was started about thirteen years ago and I worked on it off and on for a few years before it ended up sitting for a long time. It got pushed to the back burner for a number of reason, not the least of which was that clear prints in yellow-gold, orange, tangerine and cherry red were just not available at the time. When I picked it back up again three years ago, I went to the local fabric store for a 'few more colors' to round out the fabric palette and I was *astounded* by the selection. It made the projcet so much easier. I guess my effort back in 1993 was just ahead of its' time.

We were vacationing in Oregon that summer and hiking in a cool wood. I was taken by all the different leaf shapes, textures and colors. It was July as I recall. This was the picture the quilt is based on.

You never know where inspiration will come from.

My quilty friend Su's been a quilter for about 3-4 years. She works in orange and red all the time. It's practically become her signature color. She sent me a picture of her recent quilt entitled Heat Wave. Talk about brillant minds thinking alike! We sure rub off on each others quilting. :D

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Walk Among the Clouds

I guess it's been hot, hot, hot! pretty much everywhere. Ukiah's known for it's triple digit summers, but even in our valley it's been record breaking - like 114. (!) So I've moved my morning walk from 10 am to 9 am and then 9 am to 8 am. When it's 98 degrees at 8 in the morning you *know* it's going to be a scorcher.

I wanted to share the views and vistas on my walk with you, the goodness of God's green earth, even when it is over a hundred degrees...

Due West

West by Northwest

Due East

Due South

East by southeast

Pretty nice. It's even better when the sky is clear and that muggy haze isn't there. These are a few other sights along the way, if I'm lucky...

Common Blue Butterfly

Jack Rabbit

Red Dragonfly

Great Blue Heron

It's rare that I see the heron, but he winged his way south this morning and I had to smile. They're so large, I can always tell it's a heron by the seemingly lazy flap of the wings. Isn't it considered good fortune to see a heron? Well I had good fortune this morning.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Wonders of Composite Art

When I got home last night Frank showed me his latest creation using his art and mine.
I made the Mariner's Compass wallhanging for him last year as a gift. He used a photo from our recent trip to the coast as the view from the windows of the room he created. This is designed for a dual screen monitor set-up, so something is lost when it's reduced. But you can see a larger version by visiting Frank's World.

It's so calm and dreamy. The view of the ocean through all west facing windows, the clear blue of the surf and sky. You can almost hear the hush of the waves outside. Timeless. Can I go there for a weekend? How soon can we leave?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I did it! I got out of the box, I quilted outside the lines! I did raw edge fusible applique'!

I know for some people this is no big deal, but we each have to take pleasure in our steps forward, our personal accomplishments.

Mavis's Birthday Fabric Postcard, the lapel pin is for scale... of course.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Smells of Summer

Smells are so evocotive. As I walk along the road to the local Post Office, the smell of grape leaves warming in the sun takes me back to other summers. Days lounging by the river listening to the whir of insects as we both try to avoid the heat. The warmer weather brings out the scents and aromas of so many growing things. These are a few of the scents I enjoyed during my walk.

This one I smelled before I saw it. I had to look around and discover the redwood behind a neighbor's fence in among the rhododendrons.

And these rows of lavendar grown in a side yard a few houses down from the redwood. I don't know why; year after year the owner doesn't harvest the blossoms or do anything with the crop. Man! When I think of all the sachets and lavendar water I could make.

The honey bees are all over these flowers. The rows of plants seem to hummm with their industry. I like to reach out and slide my hand along a few stalks and bring my fingers to my nose for the sweetness of the fragrance. But I always check which stocks I reach for. I don't want to disturb the honey -makers, such cute little guys.

The Bar Has Been Raised

Leave it to my sew buddy Su...
She builds a fire under me. She created the first Fabric Postcard (FPC) between us months ago.
I finally made one and posted it yesterday. She said - what a great idea for a Birthday gift for Mavis! And yeah! I wanna make one for Mavis; we'll be seeing her next week at Sew What's.
But Su's on vacation, so she made her's last night. (in an hour!) And I just dropped my jaw!

You know how long it would've taken me to make this?? All that wonderful narrow satin stitch around all those flowers and leaves?? And never mind my machine doesn't even do embroidered alphas.

My FPC looks like a dish of frozen ice milk next to her triple fresh strawberry sundae! The bar has been raised. The design challenge is before me. I will never meet the challenge.

P.S. I love it. I said I did. But pink?? I don't do pink. Sorry, uh uh. :D

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sooo PC

Hey! I finally made one of those illusive Fabric Post Cards, i.e. FPC. See my previous blog entitled: Time Does Fly.
It was so fun! That's what everyone's been telling me, but I just couldn't seem to 'cut loose' and do the fused, raw-edge applique' thing. But for this sort of project, it's GREAT.

The lapel pin is just to give scale. It was fun... I can't say this one was fast though. I used Heat n Bond for the fusible, since I had it on hand, and it was a BEAR to satin stitch. The thread broke every half inch or inch. Took SUCH a long time to satin stitch the edge because the needle kept clogging with gum from the Heat n Bond. I won't use that fusible on the next PC, that's for sure.
So now that my feet are wet and I've re-aquainted myself with a couple of stitch settings on my machine that I haven't used in like a half a dozen years, I want to make more. A woman in my mini group -The Sew What's- is having her 71st birthday next week. What a great excuse for a BD PC!
Hmmm... the design wheels are turning.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Had to Get Outa Dodge

We decided to go for a drive yesterday, and end up at the coast. This is why.

Frank's usually behind the camera lens, so I thought I'd add a picture of him here, just before we headed north to go west.

We drove forty-five minutes north to the town of Laytonville, population: 1130. There's not much there, a merchantile, a hardware store, a volunteer fire department, a bank. But they DO have a quilt store, The Fat Quail Quilt shop, which is what took us there. It is so cute. I don't know how she stays in business but the owner-manager had a good selection of current fabrics and patterns and her prices were really reasonable. This is the outside. It was a hot drive to Laytonville and I was glad to go inside to the coolness and browse her fun shop.

Friday when Jana and Lynn were here for our Sew Day, Jana was talking about reorganizing her fabric collection. As a retired School District Librarian, she wants to buy an old library card catalog and store her fat quarters in the nifty little drawers. What a great idea. And since most libraries have moved to on-line card catalogs, the drawers should be pretty easy to find. Well I laughed outloud when I went into the second room of the quilt shop, for this is what I found.

This is a close-up of the signage. I had to take these pictures and send them to Jana.
So if you're ever traveling Hwy 101 north between Willits and Crescent City, be sure and look for this shop. It's worth the stop.

Finally we got to the ocean. I was near heat exhaustion by that point, it had been so hot in Laytonville. But the temperature at the coast was perfect! Usually our beaches are either socked in with fog or windy, so instead of picnic coolers and water toys, we bring wind breakers and shoes with socks. For the first time in about 15 years it was warm enough to leave the jackets in the car and put our feet in the surf. I was in heaven.

I promptly stretched out and fell asleep on the sun-warmed sand. The sound of the surf was in the back ground and I napped so peacefully. Frank was off taking pictures for us... for me to put on my blog and for him to use as source photos for his art.

We took our time driving home through the redwoods. A great day. It was still in the high 80s when we got back to the valley at seven pm. But for the better part of the day we'd been able to escape the heat. You can only hide in the house with the drapes drawn and the fans going for so long, then you gotta "Get outa Dodge".

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Sew Happy

So my week's vacation at the house is winding down. It's Saturday and I'm going grocery shopping, how un-vacation-like is that?

But I had a wonderful time planning a new quilt, drafting the block in EQ, pulling colors from my stash, making a test block, proofing the pattern. Now I'm on my way! I've made eight blocks out of forty-eight! It's a start. I call the block Snail's Trail, but all the reference books I looked at called it Monkey's Wrench. Go fig. :D

Yesterday I had a Sew Day at my house. So I cleaned the house, baked snacks, schlepped my sewing machine to the large table in the kitchen and invited quilting friends in for the day. We had a blast! We talked and sewed, and ate and sewed, had Sew n Tell... and sewed. It was so refreshing! I sewed more Snail's Trail blocks and completed a couple more blocks on my leader and ender eight-pointed star quilt. I have nineteen out of twenty blocks done for that quilt. I'm getting excited! Half the eight-pointed stars are navy and blue and half are red and blue.

I want to put these blocks on point and do a strippy set. I found the perfect border fabric in my stash to give it that old tyme feeling. But of course I'm a half a yard short!

So I’m putting the word out. Maybe some of the long time quilter-fabric collectors that read my blog can help with my dilemma. I’m looking for more of this 1988 Cranston repeat border print If you’d be willing to dig in your stash and see if you have more, I would be glad to reimburse you or trade for an equal amount of yardage in a color/pattern you’d like. Write me, I'd love to hear from one of you!

P.S. I guess I'm not the only one having trouble getting Blogger to accept my photo uploads. I can upload an image three times and it doesn't appear in the editor. But I've found if I click Save as Draft, then click Edit from the Dashboard and upload the image again, it will appear in the Editor. Has anyone written to Blogger and asked what's going on with the image server? Just wondering.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wood Work

Finally made myself go out and stack firewood yesterday. It’s been sitting where the delivery man dumped it for almost nine months. It’s hard to think about needing to heat the house with wood when it’s July and near 100ْ outside. But stack the firewood I did. Since my sons were visiting for the Fourth of July, I enlisted my youngest son’s help. He has a strong back, he can stack twice the amount I can in half the time; or so it seems. The pile before.
Despite the fact that my husband would say I need to have my head examined, I enjoy stacking wood. I like picking just the right piece from the jumbled pile and choosing where to place it on the stack. The individual logs nest together in niches and nooks, building rows.The rows add up and pretty soon you can stand back and admire your work. Like fitting bricks together in masonry… well maybe not. But I really like tasks that bring order out of chaos and this is one of them.
The stack after.
Lunch sure tasted good after this chore. We'll probably have another cord delivered before fall, so there's going to be that much more to stack, but the one thing I like about firewood? It waits patiently for you come stack it.