Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Brown bag Challenge

My guilds 2nd Brown Bag Challenge. I had to use a natural colored coffee filter...traced the birdcage on it and stitched using as pattern, left inside cage. An unusual fabric was the second prompt we included...the gauze under the bird. I used green floss to cover the washers that were also in bag. I used the wine cork (in bag) to stamp the black circles.
A tassel, the cat fabric, the dryer sheet (I dyed with DynaFlow dye), were in the bag. This is also where I worked in the 1st prompt...Add a straight line. Oh, and the whiskers are from a gold cord in the bag.
I was one of the people responsible for gathering all the unusual bits for the challenge. Elaine and I admittedly made it quite a challenge. We had over half of the participants finish and what an creative bunch of projects! Seeing what others do, especially the ones I know that have a hard time going outside the box, is just thrilling for me! I give kudos to every brave woman!
I did hand quilt it..you can see a little of it in the sun streak. My sister likened it to Sylvester and Tweety. I don't like cartoons, so it will just be called "Harmony".

With the quilt show coming up in October, I think we will wait for the new year to run another challenge. We all have much finishing to do!

I have made much progress in the Leaning House challenge Thearica is hosting on HGTV message board. Loving it! I have quite a bit of work to do yet, but this could be a favorite for me. I have til August 15.

What a beautiful summer we are having. My little deck has been my living room every day, sitting out there reading. The bee's and hummingbirds are frequent visitors, checking out the trumpet vine blooms. 

Waking early and stressing about going back to work is already plaguing me. Being away from the unfortunate management treatment of employee's has made me realize how hard it has become to deal with the daily grind. Literal grind. Like a mortar and pestle. 3 years, 8 months and 1 week, minus vacation and holidays...til I am retired. In my 33 years I have never known the company to harbor and encourage anyone like this guy. I do however, remain hopeful he will get what comes around. 

I have learned:

  1. Michael will be deploying to Afghanistan on September 3rd or 5th. He is glad to do his job. I am thinking like the mother of the boy that I comforted years ago.
  2. Melissa had an interview in Buffalo for Special Ed in elementary grade level. Hopeful one of the many schools in the city call her.
  3. Good Friday evening really talking with Sandy. She continues to feel well. 
  4. The Glass Castle. Good read. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

creating my own free-form quilt

I have been looking at this book, create your own free-form quilts,  by Rayna Gillman for a little while now. Well, I bought it and read it from front to back. I already work the way she encourages us to...intuitively....improvisationally...with no plan when you begin. I was first exposed to a similar process in Nancy Crow's class 2 years ago, the making of "fabric" from other fabrics. Nancy Crow actually had formula's and we were more precise, using width of strips measurements. Rayna Gillman is more carefree. I love carefree! I love that she asks you to combine commercial fabrics, hand dyed and your own painted, altered fabrics. I grabbed all of them and sewed a dozen segments up in no time. If you look closely, I have used my own hand dyed fabrics, discharged fabric, painted and stamped fabric from a workshop, Nancy Derse fabrics and hand dyed fabrics I bought. Don't know what I will do with them. Rayna calls sewing these segments, therapy. Stitch some up and save them for just the right project.

Thearica challenged us on the HGTV message board, to do something with this picture...
Hmmmm. I signed on many months ago. Then I UNsigned up two months ago. Well, my name was still on the list, so I thought about it. I did have an idea. Will it work? I'll try. Trace, enlarge....and.....I can't say what I did next! I can say I like what I have done so far. The stickler here was that it had to be 36" x 36" minimum. For me, that is large. I do have the top done. I rather like it!

So You Think You Can Dance has stared another season. I love this show. Every show has at least one memorable routine. Shazam, the free iPhone app, is called in to duty at least 3 times per show. Good music. I love Amelia for the female winner. Will is adorable and I am hopeful he improves each week to be the male winner.

My foot is healing nicely after my heal release surgery to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis a month ago. I have a shoe on at all times now, no more big, luggy boot. I am still using crutches, but can put 80% of my weight on it. When I don't put my shoe on for my nighttime bathroom run, the incision pulls and I walk on the outside of the foot. The heal is still very sore and tender. I am attributing that to the trauma of slicing a bit of the muscle out.

Michael and Jenn are getting in to a routine as newlyweds at Fort Campbell. Michael has been informed he will be deploying in 2-3 months, to Afghanistan. This is his job.

Melissa has an interview next Tuesday with Buffalo public schools for a Special Ed position. We went shopping to get an interview outfit today. In my heart I know she belongs in an urban setting. She would be an asset to their program.

I have learned:

  1. Project Runway starts another season tomorrow night! Yay.
  2. How to use itunes and download a CD to itunes to put on my iphone. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vintage Quilt & More...

This is just a portion of a vintage quilt I have hanging on my clothesline, airing out in the yard. It is truly beautiful. I ended up taking it home after our guild meeting in May. Someone had left it on our "Free" table. No one took it. I did. I left it in that bag for weeks, til one day I thought of it and pulled it out. It does have an unpleasant odor. I need to check out ways to clean it and purge that odor. If you know of a way, let me know. This quilt may be the inspiration for my next quilt using....these hand dyed fabrics!

Yesterday my guild held a dying workshop with Val Schultz. It was awesome! I have not dyed fabrics using Procion dyes before. I have used Rit Dyes and Koolaid! Each piece is approximately 1/2 yard, so I have many yards of very usable fabrics. I can understand how people get hooked into the dying thing. Some people used Mason jars and were able to get two colors in a piece of fabric. Mary Lu made a most wondrous piece that had a mustardy yellow and aqua. I covet it! Val left the remaining mixed dyes with us so we all are going to gather again soon to make more delicious fabrics. Thanks to Tracy and Lori, our workshops chairs, for scheduling this inspiring class.

I have been off work for a couple weeks. I had Heal Release foot surgery to hopefully eliminate the painful affects of Plantas Fascitiis. I am lugging around a glamorous black cast with crutches. My bathing routine is interesting, as I have had to keep the foot out of water. But, I can drive! It is not my right foot, thankfully. Using crutches is a tiring endeavor. I have weeks of recovery left. Yay! 

Jenn's 24th birthday was this past Friday. Her and Michael celebrated in nearby Nashville. After buying her a pair of  cowboy boots, they spent the night visiting the honkytonk's, including Coyote Ugly where Jenn danced on the bar and somewhere else that drew Michael to the stage 4 times to sing country karaoke! Jenn sent a video....it was the best thing I have ever seen! 
I finally made Jenn the bag she has been asking for using the fabrics I bought in February. They were Old World. I made the Charlotte (called this because she's the one that has shown all of us how to make the bag at guild)! bag. Not a good picture since I had to use my phone. Apparently I left my camera in Pam & Jim's car last weekend. 
I especially love the surprise of the lining fabric. These bags are relatively easy to make, but look complicated. Very useful. Jenn loved it.

I am taking advantage of my time by finishing my many UNfinished quilt projects for the fall quilt show. One quilt bound and sleeved....check. A couple more sleeves to tackle, a little more binding on my jacket and a few quilts that need more attention. I also have at least two items to complete for out silent auction. Tracy and I are in charge of that. The proceeds from it go to the VA in Batavia. We accept any handmade items. 

Mary Lee showed us her latest picture quilt a bit ago. It is her and her sister when they were young. It is incredible. She is a master at this technique. I love this. Notice the dimension on the dresses. 
There are pics of Noni & I floating around that look just like this!
Check the shoe detail.
Mary taught us the process earlier this year in a guild workshop. I need to revisit my piece.

I have learned:
  1. Phoebe in Wonderland a charming movie.
  2. Kill the Irishman, an excellent movie based on a true story in the mid 70's Cleveland. Mob wars.I love Mob stories.
  3. Machine Gun Preacher, another story based on true life. Gerard Butler was the catalyst for picking that one, but a very interesting movie.
  4. I need a couch. I have had a loveseat only, for over a year. Found one on Macy's on sale. I am a little hesitant however since Fiona tends to scratch. Thinking....
  5. Finally closing on my refinancing tomorrow. I began the application in March. Going from 6.25% to 4.1%. Happy in the end. 
  6. Your reminded you live in the country when awakened by a fox/coyote catching/killing a rabbit outside your bedroom window. Disturbing.
  7. "Somebody That I Used to Know" Love this song...more for the playful sound than for the lyrics, but the lyrics are universal...we have all been there.