Quilts And All Things Fabric...

As an avid fabric enthusiast, a blog about quilts and all things fabric just seemed the obvious thing to do.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Busy, busy, busy....Need I say more?....Busy!

For whatever reason, being retired seems to take up all my time! It's just work, work, work at something all the time. Unfortunately, it never seems to be sewing, sewing, sewing  (playing, playing, playing) all the time anymore!

With such warm weather this March, we got an early start on preparing the garden for spring planting (work OUTDOORS). And of course got the early plants in. That just includes the onion sets, carrots, beets, sugar snap peas, spinach, lettuce and radishes. The strawberries are already in full bloom and setting berries. Really hope we don't have a late freeze! The asparagus is already popping up. The weeds in the flower beds are prolific! I spent an hour and a half weeding one section this morning.
After all the rain we had last week, (about 3" all totaled), I really thought the little weeds would just
The dark line meandering down the lake is DEBRIS flowing .
 pop out of the ground. Right. Well, that's what I thought anyway. Seems they just put all that water into new root growth and anchored themselves deep into the earth!

The photo at right was taken on March 21 and shows the debris floating down the lake. It was so grey and cloudy that day, the picture looks like it's in black and white except for the little bit of green showing in the tree tops. The water looks so greyish-white it appears frozen in the photo, but definitely not. We don't get cold enough here for the lake to freeze.

(Maybe next month I'll post a garden photo.)

However, as much as I complain about doing other 'stuff' besides sewing (playing), I did manage to finish another of the floor pillows for one of my little granddaughters. And made another of the "Professional Tote Bags" for her mother. :-) (big happy face there)

I think the little floor pillow...ok, so it's not so little at 24" X 24"....came out really cute.

It has been a very long time since I worked with ruffles. That ruffle strip is 5 yards plus long. It took me more time to position and gather up the ruffles than it did to make the other parts of the pillow sham. There is a zipper with a cover placket on the back of the pillow to make it easy to remove and wash.

I have 4 other young grandchildren that will be getting pillow cases with their names embroidered on them.
Another project for the 'to do' list!
Just need to jump right in there and DO IT!

The two oldest are just going to have to put in a request if they want one!

AND last but definitely not least, the fabulous "Professional Tote". I love this bag. I have one I use when I travel. The pattern is from The Creative Thimble and I purchased it at my local LQS a couple of years ago. I originally made one for myself and one for two of my daughters. One of my daughters requested another one because she uses hers all the time. And you know we moms just can't say no when our children ask for something and tell us what a good job we do, and that they could never make it look as good and on and on....Yeah, it's a bunch of "bologna sauce"  but it works every time. Ok, ok,...shame on me....I really don't mind doing it! Actually, I love making this bag. It's a lot of fun. Even with its 30 something + pieces...actual count depends on if the optional pieces are added.
Professional Tote pieces all cut and tagged  & ready to sew.
I did not get shot of the finished inside of the bag, but here are the pieces constructed and ready.  It has a big center zipper pocket (upper left in photo) with an optional pocket on one side and a vinyl business card pocket on the other side (vinyl pocket not showing in photo), a sectional pocket with flap covering center section(bottom left in photo), another sectional pocket (upper right in photo) and a small pocket with a key fob (bottom right in photo).


 I did make a change to the original pattern and used elastic on the outside side pockets instead of the draw strings per my daughters request. Here are the pictures of the front and back of the bag.

So, that's what I've been up to for the last couple of weeks. 
Right now there is fabric waiting on the ironing board for two more bags for myself and another daughter. Different pattern though.
I also am supposed to be working on a quilt-along, but am waiting on some fabric ordered for it. And I finally ordered the backing for my King quilt. As soon as it arrives, that will take priority. 
Hey, looks like I am finally getting to sew some more!
Whoopee! Off to the ironing board!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

'Bout Time....

Salt River Canyon - Arizona
 It is definitely about time I posted again....We had a wonderful visit with our daughter and grand kids on our little 'spur-of-the-moment-getaway' to Arizona in February; but we both came home with some nasty 'crud' and still aren't back to 100 percent.
Wondering if people our age can ever get back to 100 percent???? LOL 

Besides all of the personal family photos we took, there are several beautiful shots taken at the Botanical Gardens that I wanted to share with you. Not just because they are pretty, but because they show colors in nature that can be reflected in our quilts and crafts. Keep in mind that the plants photographed were in a semi-natural setting in the garden. There is no retouching to the photo colors; they are as mother nature painted them.

While going through the photos, it became obvious that it wouldn't be possible to post them all. So here are a few selections chosen for there natural beauty.

I LOVE purples and lavenders.

Although this is beautiful as is in a garden setting, if we used this in a quilt it would definitely need other colors to make it stand out. Otherwise it would just appear a wash of grey.

Here is something to consider. As much as I love this color, would it be better used as the main focal color or as an accent to something else.
It goes in the photo/color file as 'food for thought'.

How about something a little more contrast? I really like this...well, I like them all, or I wouldn't have taken the photos, but that's neither here nor there.

It's purple/violet against grey again....as nature created and I love it.  But there is a lot more contrast in this photo than the last one. Beautiful flowers. This color combinition could work in a two color quilt if you used the very darkest violet and the lightest grey as in the very center of the photo. But if you were doing anything more than two colors, would you want this as your focal color or a contrast color. Border? Block sashing colors? Just splashed in here and there for dramatic effect? There is a lot to think about when picking color isn't there?

What colors would you want to add to this to really make it pop?

How about a little bright orange?                 
Now that's VIVID!
Do you like it?

Maybe if orange isn't your color how about a little bit of  bright yellow?

Yes the little bee is cute! And, no I did not get stung taking the photo. He was much more interested in the flower than the camera.
How about this yellow already mixed with the orange and grey?  Yes, I agree, it's really cool in nature but boring in a quilt by itself.  And YES those things are really sharp!     

 Did someone say...'what about some Green?'

How about Pink?                                  Or more Yellow?                                            Blue?


And, yes, that really is a bird's nesting hole in the cactus. Cool, huh?

I could go on and on, but don't want you to get too bored here.  These are colors found in a desert setting in February. It's a limited color pallet, but beautiful all the same.

All I wanted to do today was share some fun pictures with you, and get you thinking about the colors you see in nature around you everyday. Appreciate the beauty of nature, and file those images away in the back recesses of your mind for future use in one of your quilt or craft projects.                                

 Now, I'm off to work on a couple of other projects that I will blog about in the next few days. Working on another of the "Professional Tote Bags" for DD#1 and practicing my free motion quilting. Lots to talk about on those two subjects.

Until next time, have a great time sewing and watching for ideas in the nature around you.