Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Seminole Table Runner

On Saturday, Cindy, from my local quilt shop, The Fabric Patch, gave me a kit to make up a table runner for display at her shop. It's an Atkinson Design called Seminole Table Runner. It's very simple to make. In fact, I had the pattern already and had made it up as one of the first quilt projects I did. That was back in about 2004.

Then last year I bought this same kit from her. It came with the pattern (that I already had), so I gave the pattern to Charisma. And then I decided to use the fabric to make Christmas placemats instead of the table runner.

So I thought it was really cool to get to actually make the table runner again with the fabrics I had used for the placemats.

Here is the beginning of the piecing. You make 4 patches and then sew a two patch to each end. Then a 6.5" piece to the end of that.

I placed them on my design wall. It's the diagonally laid fabric below. Also, along side of it I put my as-yet-unfinished placemats. They're really a nice match.

When I blog tomorrow, I'll show you a close up of the fabric I'm using. The green is a batik with different trees on it. The two reds are batiks and the white is just white with red polka dots on it. After I sew the rows together on the table runner to make the large diagonal piece (yes, it's not sewn together yet), I'll trim down the ends and allow it to stand "on point". Quilters language for placing a square on it's point. Also, remember, clicking on the photo greatly enlarges it.

Thanks for the nice comments on my kitchen re-do. DH loved it. He returned home from the property after working Friday and Saturday there. Remember I told you about all the tons of mosquitos there? Well, he sprayed himself down, but apparently missed a spot because he returned home with about 300 bites on his back near the shoulders. OUCH!!! I've soaked them down with baking powder and water paste. Takes the sting/itch right out of them. He's been trying not to scratch.

So, while I had a great time around the house by myself, he had a miserable time scratching bites!

Such is life. Take care everyone!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

While DH Was Out, Part II

Ta Da! Done! Well except for the wood trim that goes on top of the countertop splash board thingy...what do you call it??

Charisma was absolutely right. I LOVE the color. It's funny, it's the exact color of the switchplate covers. But I am LOVING it!! It feels NEW and CLEAN.

The above picture shows my new CLEAN kitchen. I took the liberty of taking the stove apart and cleaning it (which I normally do). Scoured the sink. Mopped the floors.

Cleaned the windows inside and out. The sunlight on the counter in front of the microwave is from a skylight that is just above it. (If you click on the picture to make it larger, you'll discover I took this shot BEFORE cleaning the windows and you'll be able to see why we need the trim on top of the countertop back splash.)

I even took the liberty of buying a NEW papertowel holder! Yeah, I know. But the other one was a blue plastic ugly OLD thing. I tossed it and got a new METAL cool looking one. Yeah, I know...it's still a paper towel holder! But it's new for my new kitchen.

I need to find some artwork or some plates to display or maybe sew a small wallhanging to go over the sink. I actually was thinking of getting some fabric that matched the painted walls, the counter tops, black for the appliances and white for the sink and my window blinds are an off dark red. That would make for some interesting patchwork, huh?

But that's another project. For another day.

Hope you are having a great weekend! Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

While DH Was Out, Part I

This is what I do when DH is gone for a partial weekend. I remove the wallpaper from the kitchen walls and paint. Of course, he knew about it before he left. He just doesn't realize what's transpired, that's all.

To begin with, we bought this house June 1999. The couple who lived here owned it for 25 years and raised their family here. Then they were empty nesters who wintered in the south with their motorhome.

Fastforward to 1999. DH and loved the house the first time we saw it. Well, I loved it the first time I saw it. But, hey, I had been living in an apartment for 4 years. So, we bought the house.

The lady who lived here must have loved wallpaper, because it's in about every room but the living room and one bedroom. She did a pretty good job, but it's now 8 years older and it's starting to wear on me. A couple of years ago, I re-papered the bedroom (one wall only) and repainted the other walls.

This year it's the kitchen. I decided I was tired of the wallpaper and wanted to take it all down and paint. So, in the picture below, here I am in progress yesterday. As you can see, the wallboard underneath the wallpaper has been painted green. (yuk) The wallpaper came off in two layers. First the wallpaper and then the paper backing. Not too bad a job. I used a commercial product and it took me 2 hours total to clear the walls. Notice some of the scraps on the counters (which I love, btw-the counters, not the scraps!)

Here's a more complete picture, still in progress. Note the wall above the cupboard. It will be painted, too.

Now for color... The living room and kitchen eating area are a nice light blue, courtesy of DH. I'm not crazy about it, but it's there, nonetheless. I knew I didn't want blue on the walls in the kitchen and I knew I didn't want an apricot color, because the bathroom, our bedroom and my sewing room (a former bedroom) are all in that color. Don't ask me how that happened. I did that painting and haven't a clue how I did it. They aren't all the same exact color, but you can't tell that by walking from room to room. They look the same. (I smell another project coming!)

Anyway, I digress. Sorry. My friend, Charisma, has excellent taste and I have none, so I picked up some paint chips at StuffMart and she said "this one". She said I would love it. It's called....get this....Hazelnut Creme! How great a name for a kitchen, eh??? I love it! Thanks Charisma.

Now for the good part. When I removed the wallpaper, I discovered that the walls weren't textured (as in the rest of the house). They were pretty smooth with the normal defects. So, I spackled the defects and then set about buying two cans of spray on texture. Not the cheapest form of texturing, but the easiest and most popular (according to the gal at the hardware store who sold me the stuff).

So, last night about 10pm, I was spraying the kitchen walls down. The texture literally dries in like 5 minutes. I couldn't believe it. But I let it sit overnight. A girlfriend from my office brought me about 6 chick flicks to watch while DH was gone. WOO HOO!

The picture below just about shows you the entire kitchen. The dark units on the right are my black fridge and black built in oven. When we bought the house, all the appliances were black, so we had to have a black fridge. The sink is white though. You would NOT believe what HD wants for a black sink! We "settled" for white. The kitchen in whole is not a bad size. Nicely laid out. Nice cupboards, still. DH installed new kitchen sink and faucet in 2005. I'm loving my kitchen. But, wait. I haven't even painted yet.

Hence, Part I in the title. Stay tuned for Part II!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pattern Review Website

As you can see from my blog links, Pattern Review is a website for sewers. I have been a member for two years now. It's a great site. I can't believe how much I've learned from the ladies there (and some gentlemen, too).

One pattern everyone recommends is Simplicity 4076. There are three views and a TON of ladies have sewed them all up and reviewed them on this site.

I have attempted and am in the process of sewing view A/B, the cross over top. I haven't gotten it done because I'm also trying to finish sewing two western shirts for my son, who will be 19 on July 5. So, views A/B are sitting there waiting to be finished.

In the meantime, I've gotten really excited about view C/D. I've read up on all the reviews of this view and printed out tons of helpful hints. Now if I can just find the time to sew them up!

I'll attempt to post pictures of my progress. That way, this will be a sewing blog, which was my main intent when I started this. Hasn't happened yet, but I have squeeked in a few quilt pics! :)

The prosecutors at my office are all at a conference this week and won't be back until Monday. I haven't alot to do, so I may be working on altering this pattern for a possible FBA (full bust adjustment, to you non-sewers). I'm not convinced I need one. I'll have to flat measure the pattern first to decide.

And, my friend Charisma and I are going to be making a heart bargello quilt. It's third down the list actually called Melinda's Heart, but most of us call it a heart bargello. Charisma has her kit in the colors on that website. Pink to burgundy with greens. I want to make this a wallhanging (albeit a large one) out of blues to white and cream. I need to go buy my fabric. Then she and I will sit and sew! Ladies, this is not a quilt to be making while enjoying, say a glass of wine! Too complicated and will require some concentration on my part. I say "my part" because Charisma is going to leave it up to me to decipher the instructions! It will be easy, once we get going. I'll try and post the results as we go. We're waiting for a weekend where she and I can be alone at my house to sew until we drop. Knowing us, that will be the wee hours of the morning, because we can sew until 3 or 3:30 am!!

So...it's off to the races!! Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

Well, today is Father's Day and so I thought I'd write alittle about my Dad.

He was born in Rothimay Montana, the oldest of 8 kids (a set of twins died as infants). So, I only knew he was the oldest of 6 kids. The family moved to Hillsboro Oregon where my grandfather died when Dad was eleven. At about that time, he became the "bread winner" for the family and his mother.

He told me that he got his license shortly after this and learned to be a mechanic. He worked in various gas stations and the like.

He said he was the third man drafted into WWII. He also said he was a Master Sgt and and active First Sgt. Artillery. Phillipines. I didn't know it was Leyte until I read it in his obituary. You could never get Dad to talk about the war. He would only tell you how he was a mechanic for the military in Texas. Apparently, this was before he was shipped overseas.

Mom and he got married in October 1943. They settled in Olympia. My brother came along in 1956 and I joined the family two years later.

Dad and I were always especially close. My fondest memories of him are when I was in high school. Dad was the first one up. He would start a pot of coffee and get the morning paper and be reading it when I came down for breakfast before school. I would make myself a lunch and then fix myself breakfast. Usually, I just scrambled an egg and once in a while Dad would ask if I'd scramble one for him. Then we would sit quietly and eat or visit before Mom and my brother got up.

I always kissed him goodbye before leaving for school.

Many years later, I presented him with his granddaughter. He was in love! I was always "Daddy's girl" and my daughter soon became "Grandpa's girl".

Sadly, Dad was diagnosed with cancer in April 1988. I was then pregnant with my son. They gave Dad two months to live. When I heard that news, it was the absolute worst day of my life. It was harder to take that he had two months, than to hear he was dying of cancer. He told me, "it's the hand I've been dealt".

Thankfully, Dad accepted Jesus as his Saviour before he died. You could often find him listening to the Bible on tape during the days before his death.

As the New Testament says, he went to 'sleep' on June 19, 1988. It was Father's Day when he died... He is now awaiting the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. Thank you, God, for such giving me such a caring and loving earthly father! He taught me so much about life.

As an aside, my son, Levi, was born three weeks later. My Dad was a left hander and so is my son. They are the only ones in the family. Interestingly, one is gone and the other is born.

Thanks Dad! Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Friends, Tiger Lilies and Paint, oh my!

Friends are a Godsend! Let me tell you that today, MY friend, Charisma came over and showed me how to seperate my Tiger Lilies so that they run the length of my back fence. Ok, I said, but what I was thinking was "what is she talking about" She said my lilies were overgrown in one area...crowding each other.

You can see in this "before" picture, the liles are on the far right up against the blue fence. They are just now beginning to bloom. They weren't in the above picture.

So, she dug up a bunch for me and we piled them up and then when she left, I went out and had to weed that fenceline and then I planted them along the length of the fence.

So, here are two "after" pictures. Ta Da!!

You see, fabric I know. Flowers, I don't know. It's very simple.

Oh, and while she was here, I showed her several paint chips to get her opinion on which color to paint my kitchen. You see, there's ugly wallpaper on it from the previous owners. (Note to self: take before pictures of wallpaper in kitchen). We've lived here for eight years now. It's time. Anyway, Charisma easily picked out the best color and said I would be very happy with that choice when it's done. I totally believe her!

I haven't an ounce of decorator's blood in me, nor landscaping. I can plant plants. I can paint walls. I just need someone to show me what would look good where.

So, the weeding is mostly done. The Tiger Lilies are transplanted and I now need to go buy a gallon of paint (and take pics). The work never ends!

Thanks Charisma!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Waiting for the Weekend

Well, it's pretty quiet around here (the office). My prosecutor won't be back in until tomorrow, so I've been tying up loose ends around here and thought I'd blog a bit.

Tuesday, DH was planning on spending a few days at our property but twisted his back, so that didn't materialize. I had planned on sewing while he was gone! Instead, I haven't even been able to sew because he comes home early from being so sore/hurt and instantly falls asleep for the night. Now, I'm not loud when I sew, but the room I use is adjacent to the bedroom and the wood floor in my sewing room creaks so that's not conducive to sleeping. (insert "bummer" emoticon here)

So, last night I started a jigsaw puzzle on the kitchen table. A nice quiet jigsaw puzzle! Ho-hum. But it kept me entertained. You see, DH and I unplugged the TV cable almost 7 years ago. What a godsend that was! Now we live instead of veg. But I have to admit, jigsaw puzzles on the kitchen table it not my idea of "living".

Too windy and cool here to sit outside on my patio in the evenings. I sure will be glad when Summer decides to park it and stay a while.

My friend, Charisma, and I had a nice lunch yesterday and gabbed until we dropped. Sewing mostly. We are both wanting to do a Heart Bargello quilt. She has the kit complete with fabric and pattern. I have nothing. We are going to plan for when DH is gone to the property and take over the house! I'll get my fabric and in Charisma's words "you can read the pattern and tell me how to make it". HAHAHA...she's real funny! Little does she know...! We'll stay up all night long and piece. We usually do this when we attend quilt retreats. Long after the others have retired for the night...there's Charisma and I with her quilt top spread out on the floor, measuring for borders and pinning them on. What memories. 3 am borders. When we start to pin them on, I start on one end and she starts on the other end and what usually happens is I can pin about 10 times faster and by the time I'm done, she's put in say...TWO...pins to my 22! Oh well. Those retreats are fun! Don't go if you plan on sleeping, though.

Well, this is as boring as boring can be. I had better sign off before I put myself to sleep!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Patio - After

Flowers. Just to show you "all" that I know what they are: (clicking on photo will open it up larger)

The pink are called Impatiens and the white are Alyssym. They love shade. Which is a good thing because that's what I have plenty of on our patio. I bought two bags of potting soil that will feed up to nine months. (Or so the package says). That should be enough to get these babies past the summer, huh?

These, of course, are marigolds. I love marigolds. The bugs hate marigolds. Another reason why I love marigolds.

All colors of them.

And just to show you I can do this...here is the "before" shot.

I know, I know, the flowers aren't much in the photos, but they're really bright and colorful in person. Had dinner out there the other night. I asked DH if he liked eating outside like this and his answer was a very simple "yes".

That's all a gal can ask for, right? Adios!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Quilt Show---2007

And the winner is....Chocolate Heart by Judy Rector.

Allow me to begin at the beginning. We have a little festival here (operative word...little) called Sage N Sun. It's so named because that's what we have a lot of here...sagebrush 'n sunshine.

Each year there is a quilt show at the high school gym. Last year I was asked to be one of 6 judges. This event is sponsored by our local quilt store. The owner wanted someone from the community who quilts, but doesn't have an entry. That would be moi!

The owner asked me again this year to be judge. I was one of seven. We judged last night. The winner of the show is the picture above. I personally know the quilter of that quilt. It has nothing to do with my decision because I didn't look at names. I looked at quilts. Anyway, dear Judy runs a B&B in Wenatchee and from time to time my girlfriend, Charisma, and I attend quilt retreats at her B&B. It's awesome there...but I digress.

This beautiful "Lone Star" quilt was my personal favorite of the show. I just loved the colors and the angles of the stars. To each his own, right?

And this one also was a favorite. In fact, I think I will do a Double Wedding Ring. The reason I really liked this one is because...

The "rings" are made using batiks!! And I have been collecting batik fabric for a year or so and wondering what to do with them. When I saw this quilt, I knew what I was going to do with my batiks. Isn't it beautiful?

I took a ton of pictures and will post them from time to time here so you all (all? Is there anyone out there?) can see them. They are just lovely to look at and very inspiring.

So..conclusion? Quilter or no...if you ever get the opportunity to see a quilt show, GO! The quilts are beautiful. Even to a non-quilter.

Incidently, one of the judges last night was a co-worker from my office. He is a retired Detective with the Sheriff's Department and knows NOTHING about sewing, let alone quilting. He was impressed with what he saw. So there!

Please...if you read this blog and actually get through it all without falling asleep...leave a comment! I would love to hear from you.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sewing Assistants

I thought I'd introduce you to my "sewing assistants". These three are very able bodied, to say the least. They certainly keep us on our toes!

This gray beauty is Gizmo. As you can see, she gets bored with sewing. So she mopes about until we move on to something more fun...playing with string!

This is our older lady, Emily. She loves my sewing room and is helping me with the pattern instructions. We ALL need help with those once in a while, right??? She's very capable. She loves to be petted but watch out! She will just as soon swat at you than look at you...then she's back to nice-nice. Go figure! I'm told some cats are like that. The vet said it's a "trigger" with their brain. Emily is also great when my iron goes on the blink. I just put the fabric on the ironing board and voila, there she is pressing it for me! Wonderful.

Lastly is our newest critter, Gadget, aka the Brat Cat. This kitty is one live wire! The runt of the litter. (But so was Gizmo) This shot was taken during the end of December, about a week after we had received her. Pretty small, but trainable, right??? She's not too interested in sewing right now. She'd rather spend her days chasing Gizmo, much to Gizmo's displeasure. They sound like two kids running through the house when one is chasing the other.

The only interesting thing in my sewing room to her is my very large spool of thread on a cone holder behind my sewing machine. I can tell she's been in there, because she has unthreaded my machine and the thread tail is somewhere in the room. She loves "uncoiling". She perfected this art with the toilet paper.

Oh well...gotta love them.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Main Street USA...Small Town America

This is part of property we own in a small town in Washington state. The building you see used to be a blacksmith shop that (at one time) DH's great grandfather owned/operated. As you can see, it's seen MUCH better days! But it's all ours! The motorhome on the left is used by us when we decide to go and cut grass and clear the land a bit. Eventually, we'll be taking this "landmark" down to the ground. Until then...we admire her. Ain't she a 'bute!!??

Behind the building and to the right you see a utility pole. That marks Main Street!

That utility pole is now on the very near left side of this shot...out of camera range. This photo shows DH way in the back cutting grass with a sickle mower. The building above is now on the left of the shot. This is standing on Sunset Street looking down...Main Street! Can you believe it??? It's elbow deep in grass and I do mean elbow deep. There is no street.

History tells us that at one time back in the 1920's or 1930's, there was a fire on Main Street and the fire truck (heavy) drove down this dirt road to put out the fire and made HUGE ruts in the road. Since that time, it's never been repaired. Now, you can't actually find the ruts for the grass, but they're there. We intend on cleaning up the property so we can actually see what we've got! It's going to take alot of work...but the sickle mower made it alot easier on DH.

The best part about this is owning a piece of land our ancestors owned. This ancestor came over from England and we have a copy of the ships manifest showing their names. Cool, huh?

The worst part about this land...other than the work involved...is the bugs. When we retired for the night, DH discovered his back covered in mosquito bites and I had two on my legs. (Shows you how long I was outside :) So...we're investing in good bug spray to take down on our next sojourn.

I'll try and keep everyone posted on the progress. There should be a lot of activity there for us this Summer, which takes me away from sewing...but, oh well. It's our history!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

My Private Retreat...aka The Patio

Ok...I'm going to post some pictures and I thought I'd start with our back patio. I love the hot weather and I've wanted for some time to make our back patio a "retreat". So, a couple of years ago DH and I bought two chairs and metal table at StuffMart. The chairs had one single seat pad. That's it. And the table was wobbly. So this year I went back to SM and bought a nice set of chair pads.

This is looking from the alleyway. I cleaned the BBQ, table and chairs off AND I wanted a nice cozy area rug to really finish it off and make it seem more like a ROOM. Well, yesterday, I thought I'd go back to SM and find a nice blue braided oval area rug. But then I thought that I remember buying DD a small area rug for her college dorm and that it's rolled up and stashed in the garage, so out it came yesterday morning. A good vacuuming (probably the first time it's seen a vacuum) and it was like new! It's not blue, but it works. AND, the table isn't wobbly any more! As you can see the patio is covered and during the day when I'm going to be out there, I usually roll up the privacy screen for more of a view. But this was taken early this morning, so I didn't roll it up.

As you can see, I'm no decorator! I got a small rather nice looking clock for over the door leading into the garage (because there is NO wall space back there) and a large thermometer for the wall to tell me how much I'm allowed to sweat while back there!

So-far-so-good. DH and I had breakfast there this morning and this afternoon, I've put up a small table near the back door and I've got my roaster there cooking a nice roast for dinner. The roaster is really nice AND I don't have to heat any part of the house to cook dinner. I don't know about DH, but I'll be eating dinner there, too. In fact, I could practically live there, I love it so much. Even undecorated.

So, you decorators out there...what does it need to be more "sanctuary" like? And I don't mean "church" sanctuary! I'll gladly review any/all recommendations! Thank you.

Sewing and Racing...or is it Racing and Sewing??

Well, here it is. Early Sunday morning before DH is up. Two of the three cats are outside enjoying the 79 degree weather already.

Yesterday was a busy day for me. I finished all 12 pieced blocks for that quilt due in October. I also stitched borders on all the 13 blocks cut from a panel. Now all I have to do is square them up and trim them down to 8.5 inches each. (The panel squares, not the pieced squares). I don't know why, but I always have a difficult time squaring something up. I'm afraid I don't have it square and when I go to trim it, I've trimmed too much.

DH and I went to the races last night here at our local speedway. It's a Summer event each Saturday night that we (mostly me) enjoy. Last night when we left the house, it was 94 degrees and DH said it was too hot to go. So after I pouted, he relented. It was great. The stands are in the shade and there was a very gentle breeze and I went sleeveless all night long. That's a new one for me, because I'm the first to get cold at events like this.

The racing was great. Especially the hobby stock class. The race started with 13 cars and finished with about 8. A couple hit the wall, and one dropped it's front (fiberglass, fortunately) bumper and then proceeded to run over it!

They had the Faster Teacher Race last night and one unfortunate young man who races well loaned his car to a teacher who put it into the wall and from what we amateurs can tell from the stands bent a tie rod. He was out for the night and he was mad. Probably the last time he loans his car for THAT event. I wonder if the teacher offered to help him pay for the repairs.

Well, we're off to get ready for church. I have no idea what the plans for the day are. Probably to stay inside and stay cool. Which translated means: MORE SEWING!!!

Note to Charisma: You comment on this entry and I'll comment on yours. We seem to be the only two reading each other's blog, huh? Love you!