Sunday, February 23, 2014

Carol’s Summer Garden

We could use a super-sized dose of summer cheer. Unfortunately, our weather in the north is unwilling to play by the rules - "Hello! It's supposed to be in the 20's in February and 30's and 40's in March!" Clearly Mother Nature did not get the memo this year.

So, how about some cheery pictures of my first finish of 2014? Besides the cats, of course.

Warning: Lots of pictures ahead! If you are reading this blog from a reader, you may want to go to the actual website as sometimes readers will parse some of the pix.

Carol's Summer Garden is for my sister who has THE most beautiful perennial gardens this side of the Mississippi! I do believe she is one of my biggest cheerleaders and besides all her other wonderful qualities, she's a super sweetheart!  You can read about my progress with this quilt here and here.

I was hoping for a reasonably warm day to snap some pictures outside. That wasn't happening but we had some nice sunshine on Saturday so I bundled up and gave it a whirl. Our household enjoys irony and I thought it a bit ironic that I should photograph Carol's Summer Garden in the snow.  :P

Despite the blustery wind gusts, I got a few shots before moving back inside. The sunshine really made the quilting stand out though.

The pattern is Do Si Do designed by Faye Hoch with Twin Cities Quilting - a fabulous quilt shop in Minneapolis. It is an easy pattern that is fat quarter friendly and fun to put together. (I have already purchased material to make another one.)

I added a pieced border of my leftover blocks and strips to make this quilt a whopping 110"x95". The fabric collection is Snap Pop by Sandy Gervais for Moda which I purchased through the online quilt shops Burgundy Buttons and Old South Fabrics.


I adore the striped binding fittingly called Snap Pop Cloud Rain Squiggle Stripe.

I added a little "Snap Pop" into the backing using Mosaic Rain from the collection and Bella solid Lime. I quilted it at The Quilting Connection in New London with a lot of help from Angie there.

The colors are amazing and just squeal Summer!!

In the meantime, can you just picture curling up with this on a sunny window seat right now with a good book? Hopefully watching the snow melt outside?
Random Thoughts

  1. I gave up caffeine in a very small effort to improve my (women's) health. I still drink coffee but choose decaf instead. I really miss how I just didn't get tired during the day. Now, around 2:00, one may find me napping at my desk. 
  2. I'm going to try making some black bean brownies today. Not really sure why other than I want to get rid of a can of black beans that has been sitting in the cupboard for about 6 months. I'll let you know how this one goes. With beans the primary ingredient, literally, I'll let you know how it goes.

Life is good! It just is!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Keeping the WIPs Under Control

I don’t think I am unique as a quilter when I say that I typically have several projects going on at one time. Most of my peers are on board the same ship. The quilting community even has some clever acronyms for our plight – WIPs or works in progress, UFOs or unfinished objects. We all know that it is because we get bored with a particular project or it may not be going well so we ditch it and start a different one. Picking out fabric and starting is often the most fun part of the process. It’s when you are in the middle of it and realize you need 672 of those pesky half-square triangles that it all gets a bit mundane and you lose a bit of focus.

I currently have 4 projects in varying stages of completion but you already know that I have several others that I have fabric for but haven’t started. You may not think so but it takes an awful lot of discipline to not start those too.

In 2013 my beautiful and talented daughter started a Christmas tradition I hope she continues. She bought me a quilting book. Owning quilting books is another secret passion. They are beautiful to look at and touch – especially the matte finish covers (I’m a very tactile person) – and they provide an amazing amount of inspiration. Continuing her tradition, I got this book from her this past Christmas:

It seems only fair that I make this said daughter, who adores Christmas, a quilt from the book she gave me. I had an Amazon gift card that was burning a hole in my e-mailbox so I picked up this.

Now I just need to decide, should I make this one:

Or this one:

Of course, it is taking just about everything out of me to NOT start just yet. Sensibility tells me I HAVE to finish some of the other WIPs – primarily because some have deadlines. In the meantime, I would love to know what you think. Which one should it be? Do you have parts of your daily life – hobbies or to-do items – that become WIPs or UFOs? I would love to hear from you.

Random Thoughts:

1.  Sadly, I said good bye to a great co-worker last week because he took a job elsewhere. He’ll be missed. I know this because I’ve worked at enough places to realize you say you’ll keep in touch but over time the things that bound you in common interest are lost. I truly wish you all the best Mr. F! The place is already not the same without you!

2.  The chicken rice soup from The Pioneer Woman that I spoke of previously was phenomenal!

Mr. LB made her perfect potato soup while I was away with my sisters on Sister Weekend. Equally as good! I could get into this whole soup for dinner gig! More importantly, I could definitely be down with Mr. LB cooking dinner!!

TTFN! Life is good – it just is!