Monday, January 29, 2018

Storage in the Studio {scour and scrub}

I've wanted to do a little cleaning in the studio for a while now. The problems of stuff piled and stacked in every inch of real estate overwhelms me. Additionally, there are things that simply do not belong in the studio. Period.

The new cabinet the middle part
with drawers is what we started with.

I started working on the problems a few weeks ago when I asked Richard to help me. Now, Richard is one of those people who is patient and loving and truly wants to help. Now. Right NOW.

After painting, there's lots of storage in this baby

I tend to forget that he's a "get it done" guy, because he often anticipates my needs, and they just sort of appear when I need them. In this case, there's no way he could anticipate what was happening in my head. Let's face it: my head. 

Right next to the long-arm, it holds all of my thread, rulers, and tools
for the long-arm and a few other items like interfacing and Heat and Bond 
So I asked for help: please take this little bench with the drawers  and build it up so there will be a base with more cabinets on the bottom and a few shelves on the top of the cabinet.  The base came in that afternoon, and I had to stop everything to get it in place. The following day we had plans or an appointment, so it took two days to get the shelves in, but then he had to take them out and do some more work. He's OCD about things being "right." 

I convinced him to help me paint, which means he painted most of the cabinet because I was too slow and didn't do it correctly. But they got painted and look great. 

Oh my! What a little paint will do! I haven't completely finished putting things away in this cabinet, but Richard almost filled it with things he decided needed to be put away. Let's hope I can find it! No matter, I have a wonderful, loving husband.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: Easy Squares

Patchwork Quilt Quilted Blanket Traditional Quilt by PeppersAtticWay back in 2013, when I started this series, I wrote about making quilts from simple squares. You can find that very popular post here. But it's been a while and I've discovered many more quilts made of squares, so I thought it would be nice to revisit the idea. I won't go through the directions of how to make a quilt like this; you can easily go back and read that.

Instead, I thought I'd give you a few reasons for making a quilt using one square blocks. 

  1. they are easy to sew together
  2. you can use coordinating fabrics 
  3. you can burn through a pile of scraps
  4. no difficult circles to sew 
  5. matching corners is relatively easy
  6. any edge can be the top (so you can choose your favorite)
  7. any size block will work (so big blocks make for a fast quilt)
  8. using blocks of different colors, you can create a design (without difficult blocks)
  9. it's easy to move up to other shapes (rectangles and triangles are easy next steps)
  10. it's easy to move to two- and three-square blocks

Funky Random Patchwork Quiltpicnic/double by secondsanctuary


HUOT, share, promote, share the love :) by renee leary on EtsyPink vintage sheet quilt - The Vintage Sheet Blog

Absolutely gorgeous!! by Bobo Bun

My quilt | Flickr - Photo Sharing!Rainbow Quilt by Rae | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

It's simply 12" squares - nothing complicated. I just needed something that would come together fast and easy. I picked out all the springy and bright fabrics. It measures approximately 92x92".

Sunday Afternoon Quilt - Two Brown Birds- Creative Card PatternSECONDARY_SECTION$6.00: Fabric Patch: Patchwork Quilting fabrics, Moda fabric, Quilt Supplies,�Patterns

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Something for Jake

Back in November I wrote about a family in our little town who lost their son, Jake, when his friend accidentally shot Jake with an assault rifle. Steve and Mike (Richard's brother and Jake's dad, respectively) have been best friends since they were young men. Steve and his wife, Shannon, were Jake's godfather and godmother, babysat him when his parents worked, and hired him to work in their lawn business. They are taking his death very hard. 

Just a few weeks ago, they celebrated what would have been Jake's 21st birthday. Steve and Shannon wanted to do something symbolic for the occasion and asked me to make a small quilt with his name on it. Jake was an avid hunter, so they wanted a camouflage background with his name in purple. Both his mom and his godmother love purple. 

I knew I couldn't get the quilt finished in time but Steve and Shannon preferred that I make it even if it would be late. I finished turned it over to Steve this afternoon. Gratefully, he seemed very satisfied. 

I supposed I should call it a bed runner since it's too small to be even a lap quilt. It's meant to lay on his bed as a reminder of Steve and Shannon's love for Jake. I can only hope it will serve them well. 

Rather than just stipple or use some edge-to-edge quilting, I decided to follow the tree and limb edges. It was relatively easy, except in keeping track of where I was in the woods. Really, the camo effect is so good that even though I'd step back and look at the design repeat, I got lost a couple of times. I've decided that's the way I added character to the piece. 

Because the purple letters seemed a bit out of place against the grays, greens, browns and black of the camouflage, I decided to add a small piping at the binding. I like this much more than the original idea of using just the camo. 

Link Ups!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Pin It Weekly #231

Meet  m ore  followers!

Carol Corey KerKhoven is from Pennsylvania and has almost 500 boards. How is that possible? She must be a professional Pinterest pinner. Just kidding Carol. I am actually a big fan in part because you have accomplished so much with Pinterest. Congratulations!

Here are a few pins from Carol. Her "Sloppy Joes" board has 43,000 pins. Yes, sloppy joes!

Philly Cheese Steak Cheesy Bread with just a few ingredients is the taste of Philly for a crowd!

Life as I know it: Foodie Friday: Sloppy Joe Tater tot Casserole I will use a GF bbq sauce instead of ManwichPizza Sloppy Joes Recipe - hamburger or sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, pizza sauce - top with mozzarella cheese. Our new favorite way to eat sloppy joes! Ready to eat in about 15 minutes!

Another of her boards is "Making Space and Time," which she says is about "organizing and cleaning our homes." This one I like...lots!

Kitchen Composure: Small and Easy Upgrades To Organize Your Kitchen

this is the wooden crate organizer on my this piece!

Divide your pantry in zones to keep your food organized and to reduce your meal-preparation time. First, identify food and cooking categories that suit your lifestyle (weeknight dinners, portable lunches, baking, etc.) Next, designate an area for each, with the most often-used zones in easy reach. Finally, label each zone.Shoes

Lichens on Trees" board has only a few pins, but wow! These are spectacular.
lichens, moss and Herrania sp, Sterculiaceae - Amazonas, BR

Fungi ~ Wow! Just Wow! After Turbo Charged Reading the code seems to come out of my head's Mane Mushroom Pruikzwam

A mushroom walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender says, "we don't serve your kind here."  The mushroom says, "But I'm a fungi!"

Photograph Magic Mushrooms by Dominik Schön on 500pxNARANJA TRES TAMAÑOS

Image result for mushrooms on trees

Have a great week of pinning! 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Brown mutt for sale

A few days after the kids moved into our house, a friend recommended that we go to a comedy show to cheer ourselves up and relieve stress through laughter. Dealing with the fire stress, Christmas holidays, and kids has been different and difficult at times.

Then it occurred to me that my family provides a good bit of laughter. I could put on the rosy glasses and adapt a better attitude, therein find some funny. (And take my meds. Those are important.)

So I'm going with the cheaper version of a comedy show: almost middle-age kids, teen grandchildren, child-size grandchildren, and a
 great-grandie trying to learn to crawl and walk at the same time. Almost all of us living on the same house lot. 

Let's add to that menagerie of people, the menagerie of pets: three Maltese pups in the small camper; one Maltese in the big camper; and in the house a sweet schnauzer named Lucy and the newest member of the menagerie: The Mutt.

The Mutt, aka the brown dog, the stray dog, that damn dog, has one or two irritating habits. His moniker depends greatly on his antics and the amount of cleaning required of the the adult dealing with him. His bad puppy habits are so despicable that I decided that we needed to "rehome" him. To that end, I put a small ad on Facebook:

Brown mutt for sale. Real cheap. Answers to every command he knows. Trained to clean trash cans. Will self-load into any vehicle. Eats anything. Can dig trenches and make gates. Loves everyone, good with small children (able to teach them how to fall correctly and rebound quickly). Paying $5 to come look at him, plus $5 if you take him home. 

Thus far I have received no takers. Will, however, defended Mutt and insists he is part of the family and Jolie loves him. Therefore, he cannot be rehomed. Uhm, that's coming from someone who doesn't have to pick up after him, repair the fences he breaks, refill the holes he digs, run him out of our camper, or walk in the dark with Mutt jumping on knees, thighs, and ankles. I just know that Mutt is determined to see me fall in the gravel just for the fun of watching me roll. No doubt he will help me up and kiss all the boo-boos. 

By now we've gotten used to him and expect him to come bounding into a set of knees at any second. His favorite pastime is to tease the Maltese puppies when they are outside. We built a small yard for them right outside the camper. It's where we feed them, let them get some exercise and take care of outdoor business. 

Mutt has been trying for weeks to dig into the yard, which shows his IQ level. Few animals work to get in a cage. We can't allow that because Mutt weighs more than the three Maltese together. Translate that into every day someone has to shovel dirt and rocks back into the holes he's created. When he not escaping his freedom, he's using it to annoy the Maltese by running around and around their yard so that they feel the need to bark and chase him. It's a mean game of "Not It" that no one can win, not even the humans who try desperately to chase him away.

Cotton is my forever dog, so he comes with me almost everywhere, which requires walking from place to place. While Cotton was out few days ago, Mutt ran back and forth in front of him trying to engage a game of tag. He bomb-rushed into Cotton and rolled him into a couple of cartwheels. I barely snatched up Cotton before the second assault and tossed him into the camper. 

Believing he's a big boy with a full set of teeth, Cotton was somewhat miffed and wanted blood.  He bounced back out yapping and snarling, so I caught him again this time in midair and received a nip on the arm for my efforts. While I dealt with the maniac in my arms, Mutt bounded past me into the camper. You can't imagine the joys of playing hide and seek in a small camper until you play with a mad Maltese and a crazy Mutt, who is actually good at all of his games. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Neutrals and reds and math

Oh my heavens, y'all, I do not know a bit of math. Nothing. Nada. Puh. How do I know? Because I needed math all day. Know what I got? Puh!

I've continued working on the neutrals scrap quilt top. Thanks to your encouragement, I decided to keep going with the red scraps because, I wanted to make it work. I'm hard-headed that way. Besides, I had sewn some of the scraps into fabric blocks. 

I have a 15" square ruler and cut the beige pieces into uniform blocks to match the ruler. That was easy and helped me with the math. I'd made about nine of the blocks before beginning with the red. As I added red chunks to the beige blocks, I re-cut the blocks so that they were back to 15". But I have more creativity than good sense, meaning I abandoned the one thing that made the math easy.

I started adding red to the beige blocks and didn't make the extra cuts. Instead, I made bigger blocks and tried to match them up. That didn't work. I rearranged the crazy big blocks. No. 

I rearranged and made strips. Then I rearranged those strips, adding more beige in places, thinking there was now too much red. No! 

Then finally. Finally! I arranged the pieces on point. Yes. That somehow did the trick. I liked the angles of the individual pieces and small strips. 

So what's the problem? Well, math. As long as I had uniform blocks, I could do the multiplication and division. But now things were happening on an angle and in an unsystematic manner. The biggest blocks were all about the same 15 x 20, so I made one strip of those. Sewing them on the 15" edges? No. That would make the strip match the others. 

So I have one strip that is 20" wide; none of the strips are equal in length; and everything is on an angle. Yes, there's a chance that this quilt will unravel me! 

When I decided to phone a friend, I considered calling my sister Lee. She teaches high school math. The hard math. But I figured that I should ask Richard first. I called him and tried to tell him what I needed to know. Turns out I couldn't really explain it to him. Regardless, he was stumped. Okay? So then, I'll call Lee. He laughed at me! How dare he? 

Then he told me why he was laughing. I didn't know what to ask. Honestly, at the time I couldn't even think of the words equation or formula. How do you tell a math teacher what you need if you don't know any of her math words? 

In the end I decided to keep adding pieces and triangles until the 15" strips match the 20" strip. But they have to match on an angle. 
Check out this last picture. I have two sides with straight edges! And know what? That crazy 20" strip is in there! It IS the upper left corner and matches up with the other strips. If you look on the bottom right corner, I have another corner. Whew! Math is stressful!

Link Ups!