Monday, April 30, 2012

The Garden is Open

Over the week-end, we spent a great deal of time in our yard and garden, getting ready for the growing season.  We weeded, dug, got the irrigation up and running, fixed trellises, and got out the tomato cages, as well as the "Wall of water" protectors for a dozen or so tomatoes we bought. 
I also stubbornly dug up yet another 10-12 foot section of "rock-scaping" that is in our yard and started turning it into usable dirt for edible plants.  Last year, I dug up a big chunk and planted blueberry plants.  Now we have a 2nd strawberry bed, and room for something else that is yet to be decided.  The rest we'll dig up next year!  The seed and plant catalogs have been deployed, and an order already placed. I'm sore, tired, and stiff, but the promise of yummy home-grown goodies keeps me going.  I love reading about gardens as much as sewing, so please let me know what you're growing this year!  We always like try something new each year.  Some of our past favorites, that have now become staples in our garden are pink banana squash, and Asian yard long beans.  We ordered some Edamame beans this year.  What else would you recommend?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Finish: Another New York Beauty

Lately, I've been really falling hard for these paper piecing quilt blocks.  These "New York Beauties" take so gosh darn long, but they're so worth it!  It may take me the rest of the year to get through the series, but I plan to!

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday today.  She said this will be the last one for a while, so be sure to head over there to see what others have finished!  With kids getting out of school soon, Spring in the air, I can totally relate to that decision.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Postcards, Awards and Thanks

First of all, I want to say thanks to Monika and other bloggers who have recently mentioned me on their blogs!  Kit, Marlene, Lisa, H2O Girl, and any others I may have accidentally omitted have also nominated me for various blog awards.  I really do appreciate the plugs! 

I've recently had quite a few flattering nominations for the Libster Award, and a few others, and one of the requirements of these is to nominate 5 more, so those lovely ladies above would be wonderful nominees.  I've been blogging for over 2 years now, and these awards, while very nice and appreciated do take an awful lot of time and energy to respond to, so I hope people forgive me if I don't always respond, and I certainly don't ever expect anyone else to feel like they need to as well.  There's part of me that also sees these as a sort of blog-version of a chain letter, which I've never been too fond of either, but I know the intent is good.

Usually they also ask to tell some things about yourself that readers might not know.  So here's a story about me that you may not know...  Many years ago, I used to be quite the piano player.  I was actually personally selected by the head of my college piano music department, Fiana Lusktak to be one of her students, after she heard me perform.  That was one of the biggest honors and pleasures in my younger life, to be selected and taught by such an incredible musician and performer.  It's funny how life works though.  I was told by her many times that I had an incredible skill that needed to be shared, but I had one of the worst cases of stage fright of anyone.  I would literally be physically sick for days before performances, and often froze up mid-performance, which never made things easier.  I was her only student at the time, who wasn't a music major or minor, and that was primarily because the thought of doing the full or half recital required was horrifying to me.  So biology major it was!!  My very first music teacher was my mom, who still continues to perform in her church and to teach private piano lessons in her "retirement".  Music is her true passion, and I'm so grateful to her for teaching me this skill.  She also taught me to sew, and of course many many others things as well.

OK  'nuff said.  I'm a pretty private person in general, a shy introvert.  Blogging suits me well, as I love to communicate, but am too shy to do so in a big group LOL!

I did manage to get these postcards sent off to the Sisters Quilt Show, for their Wish Upon a Card fundraiser for cancer patients.  The first cards are for my "May Flowers" Swap :-)  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIP Wed: Vintage QR Code Quilting, mail

I'm getting back into the quilting mode this week.  I have my Vintage QR Code Quilt almost quilted.  I also added some borders, to make it bigger, and to use up more of my vintage sheets!  I'm not sure if it's my machine (a very good possibility), or the sheets, but quilting has been a bit frustrating... lots of broken thread again.  I'm hoping to get another long-time UFO quilted this week as well, and am hoping my machine cooperates.

I also wanted to share the postcards that came in the mail this week!  ALL of them are from outside of the US.  The blue bells are from Ireland, the 2 plants are from South Africa, and the bottom blue one with the buttons is from Canada!!  I love them!

Also, my "Oh Snap" block made it into the finals of the Sew Out Loud contest!  I wasn't expecting that, as I wasn't able to write up a pattern, so didn't think it'd qualify.  I've been trying, but still need to learn some computer skills.  I'll try to do a write-up here soon, and if nothing else, I'll show you how I used old-school graph paper to make this!  My favorite is 1/4 inch graph paper.  I have a notebook full of it, but you can print it off from sites on the Internet.  Stay tuned!

It's Wednesday, so I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced WIP Wed.  Come over and see what every one is up to!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Temporary Insanity? Sew Out Loud Entry?

I really don't' know what made me do this.  Maybe it was the admiration of the other blocks I've been seeing in the "Sew Out Loud" Quilt Along.  Maybe it was the challenge of learning something new.  Maybe it was temporary insanity. I guess I figured that I could learn my QE7 program, and paper piecing design at the same time.  I did neither really well, but did come up with a late entry in the contest.  I still haven't figured out how to made it into a pattern, or how to even get it out in PDF form, but I sure did learn some things, and I'll put it out there to share, since I've loved watching this quilt along evolve.  Computer skills are definitely something I need to work on, so if I figure out how to do a pattern on this, I'll let you know.  Until then, feel free to copy and make one of your own, if you know how :-).

Spring Fever

Last week, I did manage to get some Kindle covers finished, and listed on my Etsy shop, but with the weather finally getting nice, my attention has been wandering more and more outside.

Our fruit tree blossoms have so far have escaped frost (and deer).
The strawberries are blooming.
The blueberries will be next,
followed by the raspberries.
We even have some baby vegetables coming up.  Our local birds find them irresistible too, thus the chicken wire.

I can't wait to eat the first food from our garden!  So much promise, so much anticipation!

We had a week-end full of trips, a birthday, and chores, but hope to get our main garden started by the end of this week.

I did manage to get a long-time UFO (all made from a fellow quilting friend's fabric stash) pin-basted, and I remembered to register some of my quilts to show in the upcoming Krazy Hose Quilt Show!!  I love this show, as it is full of beautiful quilts, many made by people I know and see regularly!  But I'm afraid my quilting will soon be taking a back seat to our garden and the great outdoors.  I hope your week-end was just as pretty and promising!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIP Wed: Postcards and Kindle Covers

Yep, I'm still working on postcards.  Those above are for this month's "May Flowers" postcard swap.  It's the first time I have worked with rhinestones.  I used a simple sheet of heat-fix rhinestones that I got in the craft section of a local store.  Unfortunately, when I went to use my iron next, I noticed that despite the fact that I used a press cloth, it left a yucky film on my (very new) iron.

I tried a few different spray cleaners, with no luck, then remembered a post that I'd read on a blog about using a "Mr Clean Magic Eraser" sponge to remove iron-on adhesive from an iron.  I just happened to have one under my sink.
AMAZING!!  I just had to re-share this tip here!!

I'm thinking about buying one of those rhinestone applicator "wands".  Has anyone else used one of these?  Are they better than an iron?

I also recently was made aware of a postcard fund-raiser that I decided to participate in.  Sisters Quilt Show, in Central Oregon, is "the largest outdoor quilt show in the world".  I was lucky enough to be able to go a few years ago.  It's spectacular!  They hold a fundraiser every year selling postcards that anyone can make and donate to raise money for cancer patients in Central Oregon.  You can find more details here, at Sisters Quilt Show Website's Wish Upon a Card details.  The deadline has just passed to be considered for the silent auction cards, but they're still taking cards to sell to raise money up until July 1st.  So I decided to make up a few cards for them too.
I still need to finish the edges of all of these cards, and get them in the mail.

Speaking of mail, look at the 2 cards I recently pulled out of our mailbox from Monika and Darcy!  Aren't they beautiful?!

I also got all of my latest batch of Kindle Covers all sewn up this week.  I quilt each one, and often, the backs are just as pretty as the fronts!
As usual, I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wed.  Come see what others have been up to!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rhinestones, Grannies, Hell's Canyon and more...

First of all, THANK YOU for all of you who have already followed me over here from my old blog to this one!  I appreciate it so much!!

While I was experimenting with heat set rhinestones this week-end, setting up my new blog, and trying to get a new Facebook page set up, here's where my husband and 2 boys were:
That's Hell's Canyon, on the border of NE Oregon and Idaho.  It's the deepest river gorge in North America.  That's the Snake River below, with Idaho on one said, Oregon on the other.

I love to camp, love to hike, but I'm kind-of a wimp when it comes to cold weather camping (something they also do without me), and backpacking (that's my son in the bottom right below).  But after seeing these pictures, I now wish I'd given it a try.  I told them that next time I'll go if they pick a flat, short, hike-in.  The boys said they were kind-of glad I wasn't there, because I would have been freaking out as they stood on all sorts of rock precipices and steep cliffs the whole week-end, uncorrected by their dad, and the other dads and boys who were with them.  I'm glad they got some important male-bonding in too :-).
Over the week-end, other than enjoying my rare solitude, watching a chic flick, and going out with some girl-friends, I made up a few granny squares (I LOVE that black center fabric),
and dusted off supplies for the Kindle cases that I make for my Etsy shop.  I've been neglecting it for a while now, and need to get my store back in shape.  I hope to start listing things there soon!
I'm linking up with "Sew Happy Geek's" Manic Monday Link party!  Be sure and hop over there to see what others have created over the week-end!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vintage QR Code Quilt

I finally decided what to do with my vintage sheets!  I decided to make a "QR code" quilt out of them!  I've been wanting to make one for a while now, but the process seemed quite daunting.  It seemed daunting that is until I realized that I really didn't have to make a "real" one.  The lines/pixels on this quilt didn't exactly turn out as "crisp" as I'd hoped, but I just love it.  It's made from "recycled" fabric, is geeky, AND pink, plus I love the old/new thing going on!

I had a totally different design all planned out and drawn up for this vintage sheet quilt, but a math error, and subsequent cutting error (as in I cut up the whole entire sheet before realizing the error, error), left me with a block that was way too big.  I realized this after I sewed up the first 3.  I also had a smaller "test" block that I'd made, all from the striped fabric.

Being the frugal person that I am, I decided to come up with another plan, instead of cutting them down to size.  I must admit that I've come to my own personal conclusion that when it comes to vintage sheets, it's a lot more fun to buy them than to sew with them, so I decided I wanted to make something small... crib or lap sized.  Don't ask me how I decided to do a QR code.  Maybe it was because of the 3 big "bullseyes", and one little one that I had, maybe it just jumped into my head while I was surfing the internet looking at other quilts made from vintage sheets.  I certainly haven't seen any other QR code quilts made from vintage sheets, but must have come across both in a search somehow.  Don't you love the internet?