Welcome to my Creative World with quiltmaking, scrapbooking, and most of all family and friends!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

All in A Day's Work...

This is what happens when you take off for 3 weeks in the spring. Much work on our Saturdays in May.
At least you get the rewards of beautiful flowers.
Lovely blossoms in my flower beds. Upper right; Sage, Dragon's Tongue (I think), Columbine and a a mini rose, and a new plant Spanish Lavender.
Oldest DS and part of his family joined us for lunch and then did a bit of work to help out. Above son D wields the weed eater around the veggie garden. Next Belle takes a break in the cool grass to cool off. Last Grson N helping Mr Creative to plant more tomatoes!

I worked in my flower beds to pull grass, add some bark mulch and trim the ucky bushes. DH Mr Creative doesn't want to cut them down or pull them out so they have been trimmed back and are in the ugly stage LOL I love planting pots of flowers for the porch because my flower beds are mostly perennials and although easy to care for and have some beautiful flowers they tend to not be such long flowering plants and the porch is a great place to get that punch of flowers.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Civil War blocks Finish!

Hurrah, a finish!
I am now caught up with only May's 6 blocks to do and since June's are done I can do them next month.
Above are the June blocks I will be presenting next Tues. Very different from each other and mostly my own color/fabric choices not following the book's blocks. The bottom middle one is not my favorite because it is very very busy but maybe with sashing it will be OK.
These are the April blocks and I like all of them. Again I deviated from the colors shown in the book but I figure I have all these great fabrics so I want to use them! LOL

Next quilting is probably a couple of the BOM's blocks so I can be ready to finish up my teaching in June.
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Inch By Inch, Row by Row

Grd C came by the other day and when she saw Papa, Mr Creative, out in the garden she offered to help him plant the tomatoes.
It's a good time to talk when you are doing something together and although C pretended it was "hard work" she had a good time with Papa.

Can you beat those smiles?
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sewing, Sewing Sewing today.

Spent much of today hard at work on the Civil War Love Letter quilt blocks for my turn as hostess next Tues. Because of the many odd measurements most of the blocks are ending up foundation (paper) pieced so as much as I LOVE the technique...
it sure takes longer than usual to finish the blocks. So far the one with the most pieces in this group is 36...in a 6 inch block! LOL It is a log cabin so at least is is easy stitching.

No picture yet but I am planning to get the last two done tomorrow. That will be 12 blocks in less than a week...not bad.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thrift Store Shopping and Rose

Don't you just love what I found at the thrift store today?
I love the 50's-60's juice pitcher. I thought it would be fun to use it for something when my Civil War Love Letter group meets the first of June. The embroidery on the pillowcase is so pretty and just like summer I think. The cherry fabric was at one time a valence in some one's window but I thought I could use it for something else...not sure what but I know I will remove the polyester lace. LOL
This is the first rose of the season and it is on one of my miniature rose bushes. I should have stuck my hand in the pic for a size comparison. The Catmint is spreading all over but I need to "de-grass" my flower beds soon! Oh well at least the flowers are pretty! LOL

Still stitching on my Lemoyne stars and also catching up on the Civil War Love Letter blocks, only 12 to go by the end of June. But I need my next six done by June 2! Yes, that is panic you heard in my voice LOL!!!!
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Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank You to Those Who Died for Freedom

In a day and age of turmoil around the world, we here in the USA are blessed with a relatively peaceful country and that is mostly because of the many who served their country and those who died in the military service.
God Bless them all!
These pictures I took in San Antonio while visiting the San Fernando Church
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hand Piecing!

I am pretty sure all of us have something that we say we will NEVER EVER DO!
For me there are (were) three.
1. Hand Applique, 2, Hand Piecing 3. Hand quilting
As you see there is a theme there LOL Yep, I couldn't imagine why I would want to abandon my machine that was able to do all of those things just faster and to my thoughts, easier, right?
It's time to start eating my words and I hope they are low carb LOL

First of all I was a lucky winner at the Inklingo Blog giveaway for a darling kit with everything I need to make the top of a hexagon flowers place mat or mini runner. Aren't the fabrics wonderful? And this is going to be so much fun! I have to put it on the back burner for now but I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Now for my own adventure into hand piecing. As I have mentioned before I have become part of the Inklingo way of hand piecing. I have a post on the basics so I won't go into all that again but I have finally finished my first hand pieced Lemoyne star using the free Inklingo download.
I will admit that this had been a learning process...I need to match the thread to the fabric and not rely on a neutral when making an 8 point star. I like trimming the points away as I stitch with my scissors rather than try and do them with a rotary cutter. I am still working on finding the "right" needle for me but I am getting closer with a sharp...but I need a smaller one I think.

Here is my block unpressed
And here it is pressed. don' t look too closely and yes I know that I have a stray stitch in the middle but maybe I can find a marker the right color and hide it! LOL
Here is the back before pressing.
I stitched up about 10 or so stars and I will be adding the triangles and squares to them but I know I am going to get better and better. The Lemoyne star isn't the easiest as getting all those points together and staying nice and "pointy" is tougher than I thought but I will persevere. LOL
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May time around the yard

Is there anything more glorious than spring flowers? Ok maybe fall leaves but be that as it may spring is always bursting with life and May is such a lovely time in Utah.
I took some pictures of lilacs and Iris in our yard.

The Iris are kind of special to me and Mr Creative as they remind us of his mother Edith who passed in 1997. She was a lovely woman who was always kind and welcoming to me as the DIL. She had a rather tough life with many illnesses that were chronic and sometimes made it so hard to have a normal life. She was a good homemaker of her times and kept up much of her canning and creating until it just wasn't feasible any more.

Iris were a very special to her...she called them Flags, which I understand came from them being in bloom around Memorial Day, the day we remember the fallen military. She would order special varieties from catalogs and her DH, my FIL would plant them in the large flower garden and every spring they just were glorious. My first Memorial day she asked me to help prepare the bouquets for the graves and Mr Creative and I and his family sometimes, would roam the yard cutting all sorts of flowers but the Iris were almost always the mainstay of the bouquets.

She had them in all shades of purple and pinks but also had many unusual colors as well. I think her favorites were the extra ruffley pink ones with streaks of darker pink. We did try to transplant them to our garden but within a few years these two plants were all that was left. I guess we don't have the soil (ours is very rocky and her's was sandy) nor skill to grow them.

I also just love running water in the yard and since it was the right time to get the fountains going I just rejoiced when I got them all functioning. The froggy was made by my youngest DS for Mother's day 3 years ago. He is just darling spitting water.

The watering can with a spigot was made by my DH for me for Mother's day about 6 years ago and I just love to listen to that can fill with water. I have used it for displays and everyone is so surprised that my DH made it for me. He was not so sure I wasn't crazy but I knew he could "make it work" in the end.

the other fountain is the one I bought last month and it is wonderful. Not only does it have soothing running water but no cords since it is solar and the birdies come and drink too.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Utah Valley Quilt Guild May

You might remember I blogged about a talented designer from Highland Utah, Jill Finley from Jillily Studio Designs a couple of months ago. She is a lovely lady who did a trunk show for my smaller group New Friends. Well, Jill was invited to be a guest at the "big girls guild" LOL, and this time she expanded on the presentation with even more quilts and a peek inside her very own family's quilt traditions in the making.
Jill says all of her sisters sewed except for her until she got bitten by the quilting bug. She and her sisters and sister in laws and Mother started out with a once a year family retreat that has grown to over 30 members including daughters, nieces and niece-in-laws, as long as they are 18.
She shared some special quotes from those retreats...like "I made a mistake, with that be a problem?" or "this is harder than I thought". Along with a lovely sort of an essay written by one of her nieces on why quilting? They have lots of fun when they get together and complete at least one "group" project along with what ever else they bring along. I am so impressed that this family ages 90+ to 18 get so excited for their yearly quilt retreat and plan month's in advance to attend!
She then told us about the round robins that they now do again started by about 5 sisters and sisters in law, that has grown into more than that original group as well. (for those of you who don't know about round robins in a nut shell the "owner" of the final quilt starts with her choice of center block(s) then subsequent rounds are added on by the other quilters in the group until after all has added a round and the final quilt is given back to the original person)
The bottom 4 pictures are quilts made in the round robin...impressive aren't they?
I really enjoyed seeing how a the women of this family have pulled together with an art/craft that is not only fun but helps them stitch their family tighter together with loving bonds.
Thanks Jill!
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New Friends Show and Tell

Lucky me to be part of such a great group of quiltmakers.

The experience level runs from experienced beginners to talented experts but everyone is welcome and is willing to show off what they are making no matter what!

Yesterday's show and tell...L-R
Top M shows us her version of the Strata Star table topper that we did at last year's fall retreat. Instead of piecing the segments she used a stripe...clever huh? all the glory and none of the sewing LOL
JB Shows her mystery quilt top almost finished. I love her scrappy border
Bottom M has done this cute Fishes Two Ways top using a specialty ruler to do the curves. Love her choice of colors...think she might "lend" it to me for my bedroom this summer? LOL
A Is practicing machine quilting by making baby quilts to donate to our yearly project. She says the simple design helps her play with machine quilting without having to follow designs etc. Well done A!
I didn't get pictures of many of the other shows but I will just say my friends are busy quilters!
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Busy Days

I kept telling myself that once my big trip to San Antonio was over then I would be able to do some stuff without having the feeling of being so busy!
Ha! (or as my sister says Huh!)
I have several pictures I want to share from my trip but so far I haven't had any time to edit them to show and I also have a few other things I wanted to share...so I figure I would start with the easy stuff. LOL

Last time I visited Texas I saw this wonderful ceramics/pottery that was beautiful and colorful and reminded me of wonderful summertime for some reason. I found out later that it is called Talevera and is descended from Majolica work from Spain. It is supposed to be only done in this "special" region of Mexico and many of the designs are named and done in many forms such as tiles, pitchers, sink bowls, kitchen and bath accessories and on and on.
When we visited the Market in SA I just loved these blue, red, green and yellow switch plate covers and decided to buy some for the kitchen. Unfortunately I could only find this "three switch" and one "two plug" cover but I was assured by the shop owners that this was a popular design and they would have them in the future for sure. So I will be asking my DD B to look for them when she goes to the Market to bring to me or when I go back I will make sure to bring a picture LOL
I think they look wonderful in the kitchen (don't mind the need to be painted wall) and I think I might get some other accents in the future too!

It's hummingbird season again!
I just love those little hummers and after hearing them on Friday made sure to set out my feeders on Sat during the great trench and trim day. LOL
Yes, I know there is only a feeder in the picture but the birds were hiding and I haven't had the time to "wait" for one to come and have his portrait done LOL
We have mostly Black Chinned hummingbirds and they just love to claim a feeder for it's own and woe be to anyone who tries to eat at his food source LOL I can't get them to understand that I will refill the feeder if it becomes empty so he can share!

You can see the big trench in the background...they are coming to inspect today so hopefully we will pass and it will be all filled in tonight.
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Down in the Trenches

Big A says...If I had known how deep this digging would be I would never have volunteered to do it! LOL
You see,
In our city something new has been going on. To help conserve drinking water the citizens are getting a new pressurized irrigation system that will bring untreated/filtered water to use for non-drinking or household use but to water lawns and plants. Our roads have been bit by bit torn up and the water system added but people have to hook into the system as their own expense/work and so it goes.
The deadline is looming so this weekend was the "big dig" in the front yard.

Here are some construction pictures of Mr Creative and son A as they removed dirt and about 50% rocks from the holes needed. Did you know we are built on the former American Fork River LOL Yep those huge rocks were dug up from the yard. Poor A!
Here you can see the complicated plumbing system DH and A installed in the first picture.

Next was part of my Saturday work in the yard...as I cut the poor rose bush I kept saying...it's for your own good! LOL I love being able to raise roses here in Utah without so much of what my NC family has...no Japanese Beetles munching on the leaves, not many of the diseases that seem to plague southern US rose growers. And as a bonus I can go two years between pruning my beloved David Austin roses because they are meant to be full lush plants with old fashioned flowers and growth. If I could I would have a whole garden of the different varieties. Anyway the plant I show is one that has gone three years without pruning and it was WAY too big. I was waiting for the weather to warm up and all danger of freezing was passed in case we had a late freeze but ended up in Texas when it was finally ready to prune so...it was almost a month into it's growth and so it looks much worse than it normally would. LOL.
I also had to contend with my neighbor's planting of Nightshade which is an invasive grower that is trying to take over my roses and the fence line... sigh...I know I will never get rid of it but sheesh it had grown into all kinds of places including into my strawberries but I did discover a few plants struggling on so maybe I will be getting a few berries soon!
Victory for Mr Creative and son A..as they now have to get the work inspected before filling the holes. All that dirt and rock is now on tarps on the driveway so we can water the grass...we haven't had rain in quite a while so it's time to set the sprinklers. DH will cap the regular water when the inspection is done so we can keep our grass and other plants watered.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Quilting Catch UP...

Well not that I ever expect to be "finished" with all my projects... LOL... but now that I have the house is presentable I spent several hours doing some catch up on ongoing projects.
First is the Spinning Daisies that I "THOUGHT" that the blocks were all done...finally I did the applique and block finishing today and the last of 16 are really done this time LOL So, now I will set them together and start the border. My friend suggested that a checkerboard or Seminole border would be a great contrast with the spinning flowers. I am really excited to see this one done and will move it up in the que for quilting if I can get it done LOL
Next two blocks are from the Debbie Mumm BOM 08 that I am teaching to my own quilt group. The first is very fiddly and was a challenge to my patience LOL. It is a pretty block but not one I will probably do again.

Then is one that I really goofed in my fabric placements and choices...it is really UGLY to me but I will probably leave it and maybe do some embellishing to it in the future LOL Oh well just one more of these 9 1/2" blocks and then the center block which is larger so none of the small fiddly pieces.

I put my new light on the machine and wow! now I have great light by the needle where I need it! Still had trouble threading the invisible thread on the needle but then again what can you expect, after all it is supposed to be hard to see. LOL

It was great to get back to some sewing and I still have plenty to catch up with yet.
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Part 1

Mr Creative wanted to get me a special Mother's Day present to add to HIS special gift he was making and so after some thought I said...
Well, I really want one of those Bendable Bright Lights that I can attach to my sewing machine to help these "old lady eyes" as I sew. So he had me order one online and it arrived today. Yippee!

Just in case you aren't familiar with them it is a great gadget that you can attach to your sewing machine (or whatever surface you choose) and a very very intense light that you can move to the limits of the "bendy part" (very technical terms here) and it is a self contained unit. You don't replace the bulb but the info says that if you sew for 12 hrs a day for 20 years, it will last that long!

There is also the ability to take the light from one machine and use it on another one or two by buying extra holders. Cool, huh?

I am very excited to get it working but today was not the day! LOL Cleaning and laundry a haircut and some shopping needed to be done LOL
I will use and report soon!
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our Last Days in Texas

Yes, we are finally ready (OK, not ready but have to) head home to Utah tomorrow afternoon. We have so enjoyed our time with family in Texas and are so sad to have to leave them behind or send them home to NC once more.
Just a few pictures of our last few days here.
DD and grson A posing at the Mission San Jose in one of the "ovens" You can only imagine how HOT it has been and being in an oven wouldn't be much hotter! LOL
Mr Creative and grandson A in the reconstruction part of the mission
My fun sister P who enjoyed pool time with her Grnephew A at our timeshare...she was always the first in the water as a kid I think! LOL and was happy to show little A the joys of fun in the sun.
At the Alamo with l to r
Mr Creative H, my Mom and grgrma to A, me holding little A and DD B. Another hot hot day and we were so lucky (sarcasm here) to have a ba-zillion 4th graders running around us.
Home tomorrow and back to the real world!
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