Sunday, June 28, 2009

Seeing Spots

I worked on my liberated stars while I was at the beach. I discovered that I did not have enough of the dot fabric but I found some similar fabric in my mothers stash. My aunt said we are liberated so you can use the two fabrics. I feel like it creates more visual interest to use both fabrics.

But now I have a problems. I wish I had made the squares a bit smaller. I wanted 4 X 4 and strip it with orange and yellow but I now realize that will make it much larger than I want. What do you think about no strips, just sew the stars together and make a neat border with all the fabrics? This is the squares on my make shift design wall that by the way works just fine.

I read Belinda'sblog all the time and I love her attitude and ideas. I got the idea for the liberated stars from her although mine are bigger. I am not as good at the small ones as she is. I love all the folks that follow my blog. I do not intend to show anyone how to do anything, only show you what I am doing. When I left my classroom I didn't want to teach any more. I can do some teaching, if you want to learn some Algebra I can teach you. I can complete the square, graph exponential functions, I can even solve word problems!!! I am not trying to sell you anything or to be an expert.

I enjoy blogging. I love seeing what you are doing and sharing a bit of your life. I do not intend to take your ideas as my own. I am just having a good time. I am enjoying developing my creative side that I have supressed for years. Once again thank you to all my readers. And a special thank you to all the bloggers.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Name and New Fabric

We have been at the beach most of the week. I brought my little Janome so I could sew in the afternoons. We had a great Fathers Day visiting our daughter and her new BF. I made her name to take to her. I think I will do her a wall hanging but I could not wait I had to show it to her. I used the balloons for the A because she is so upbeat, the Tarheel fabric for the first N because she is true blue, beach fabric for the second N because she loves the beach and world fabric for the second A because she loves to travel.

And of course I had to take a picture of the King, my constant sewing companion.

Sunday afternoon she took me to Thimble Pleasures in Carrboro. I love love to go there. They have the most fabulous quilting fabric. They are building a new store that is much bigger. I may have to rent a room in the new store I love it so much.

I have so many ideas running around in my head. I am making the liberated stars for my daughter in laws friend. I am going to do a disappearing nine patch for another friend of theirs who lives in England. I have some cute fabric. I also want to do some more houses "I Spy" houses. I thought this fabric would be great for those.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Building Houses pt. 2

I cut a triangle in the shape of the roof I want. The sky is the hardest part for me. I lay my house on the sky fabric and line up my ruler and cut.

I sew on one side of the roof, trim it off and sew the other side.

I decided to square these up to 12 1/2 ".

Finished house. To be honest I don't like the way this house looks. It is too long and there is too much yellow fabric.

So I made another house.
I like this one much better. I like more sky and less house or roof. Somehow this one is more pleasing to me

But opps, when I try to square this one up it is too short.

So this one gets a nice green lawn! I really like the way this one looks.

I have lots of things going. We had a great Fathers Day. We went to visit our daughter and her new boy friend and to pick our oldest son at the airport. He took his family to Pennsylvania to visit her family. I have some neat things to show in my next post.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Building an "I Spy" house pt. 1

I was reading Belinda's blog Brown Dirt Cottage about how she works. I decided I would attempt to show you how I work when I am improvising. I started with the idea from Sarah at House of Krom of I Spy houses. I made a simple sketch.

You can see that I am not an artist.

I chose some fabrics. I like the polka dot that Sarah used. I found this at our local quilt shop. It is shades of navy blue.

I cut some strips of the house fabric of different widths. It is helpful to use a fabric that is not directional.

I started by sewing strips on either side of the piece I wanted for the door.

This piece is one of the windows and I wanted it up and to the right of the "door". I sewed a strip the the bottom so I could place it where I wanted it.

I wanted to other window to the left and up a bit.

This time I sewed a strip to the side of this window. That is why it is easier to work with fabric that is not directional.

You can see that there is a gap but you can easily fill gaps with more fabric. You cannot be afraid to cut or to add to if you need to.

Almost done. I put a strip on either side and at the top. This house is a bit wider than I would like but that's ok. I can either trim or adjust the border to make it fit.

Now I need to add the roof and the sky. I really like to have some sky on either side, in this case it will be a narrow strip.

I hope you find this interesting and/or helpful. Let me know how you work.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fun Weekend

We had so much fun this past weekend. Lots of time on the beach, lots of laughs, lots of food, lots of family. Our two sons and their wives and two grandsons were with us. It was wild at times but we prevailed and enjoyed each other.

Our little one got to enjoy the beach.

Sunday night we had my aunt, uncle, another uncle and cousin from Tennessee and her family for hamburgers and hot dogs. The children had so much fun. They came back on Monday and we all went on the beach together.

My daughter in law is out of school for the summer so it is my vacation too. She is taking the boys to her mothers for a while. I will miss my babies but I have so many ideas swirling in my head. My other daughter in law has several baby quilts she wants me to make. I plan to sew myself silly.

These liberated stars is the first one I am going to do. I love looking on the internet and stealing ideas. Sarah at House of Krom has a fabulous idea of "I Spy" houses. I just had to visit my local quilt shop yesterday to find some more fabric. My next project will be the houses with novelty prints. I think this is just a great idea and so much fun. I love the interaction that we bloggers have. It is fun, creative and we are always learning new things. Everyday is a school day!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fresh Veggies

We have been visiting our local Farmers Market and finding some delicious fresh vegetables. We have gotten some wonderful tomatoes and today they had butter beans and string beans. So I spent most of the day cooking.

I usually put corn in my butterbeans but it is a bit early for corn. Won't be long though. Fresh is so much better. I cook my butterbeans the southern way with fatback. They are sooo good. We also got squash and blueberries.

I had a little time yesterday to get organized.


I found these cute little plastic drawers at Target. I wonder how long I will be able to keep it looking this way.


I also did a little sewing, some liberated stars. This will be a baby quilt for a friend of my daughter in law.

A big family weekend coming up. Our son and daughter in law from the other end of the state are coming to the beach. Our other son and family will come on Saturday. The only one missing will be our daughter who has a weekend planned with her sorority sisters from college. My cousin from Tennessee and her family are coming on Sunday. My other aunt and uncle will be there too. All of them will eat with us Sunday night for grilled hamburgers. It should be fun.

Monday, June 8, 2009

First daylily

I found my first day lily bloom in the backyard this morning. Isn't it beautiful? I just love my day lilies. Some of the first ones I dug up from my uncle's yard. The ones from his yard are the
big double orange ones and they bloom a bit later. They are the ones at the top of my blog. Yes they are from my yard. I love the ones along the side of the road this time of year.

Then I went around to the front yard and found a gardenia bloom. I usually have so many blooms on this bush I have to stake it up. I must have pruned it too much last summer because so far I only have one. I miss my gardenias. They smell so wonderful in the mornings.

I had such a pleasant and productive weekend. I had two machines going. I brought my machine that I use for machine quilting downstairs and put it on the dining room table. That worked great. I could go up and sew on borders and come down and quilt.

I am getting much better at machine quilting. I set that as a goal a couple of years ago. It honestly just takes practice. Somehow I get better when I am not uptight about what I am doing. I finished my neighbors quilt and the baby is not here so I am doing good.

I have found a really cool, nifty tool for cutting strips and blocks. I am clumsy with a ruler and this makes it so much easier. A woman at a quilt shop showed it to my aunt and me and was gushing over how easy it made things. I thought there was no way it could work as well as she said but it does. I used it to cut the borders for the baby quilt and cut them in no time.

I am still pondering what to call myself. My aunt calls herself a quilt maker rather than a quilter. I am going to call myself a quilt designer and maker. I have only one quilt from a pattern. All my quilts are one of a kind, some more unique than others. Why shouldn't i call myself a designer. I am a designer if I create what I am doing!! Will someone arrest me and say you can't call yourself a designer? They better not. I actually got two commissions for quilts this weekend. I think I will be busy this summer.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Last night at my Bible study we were talking about how we label ourselves. I have been thinking about that issue lately. A couple of weeks ago I met a man casually. I could tell you that I met him at a bar, which I did. I don't hang around bars! My oldest son was a bartender for years and my husband and I got in the habit of eating at the bar in a restaurant. You can meet some very interesting people. Anyway my husband asked this man what he did and he said he was a potter! He sure didn't look like an artistic person much less a potter. Then he said he was an engineer but now he is a potter. I thought to myself. Will I ever have the nerve to identify myself as a quilter? When someone says what do you do I usually say I am a retired math teacher and I now keep my grandsons. I should say I am a quilter because I am. What do you say when people ask you what do you do?

I have been stuck for a while but I was reading Sarah's blog and she got me excited about making placemats. She has great houses by the way. This is perfect for me. I can make small quilts and have fun doing it. I am not into doll quilts. When I was teaching and the kids got bogged down I would do a series of short assignments and we all felt like we were accomplishing something. I can make a placemat and feel like I have completed a project even though it is only one!!

I love this fabric and it looks great in my orange kitchen. I decided on a disappearing nine patch for the front and my wild fabric on the back. I have no idea why I bought that fabric except I love it. The print is too big to use for anything but a backing.

The orange is actually a batik with a hint of purple. It is great with the print.

It feels so good to get back in my studio (I am trying to think of myself as an artist). I put on the Elvis channel on the Sirius radio and have a wonderful time with my fabrics and machine.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

JOY at last

Believe it or not I have been sewing and working in the yard. I planted some impatiens with my grandson yesterday. He got soaking wet as usual. He said you watered me Nana. The weather here is hot hot, might as well be summer.

I reworked by JOY for Tonya. I like this Y much better. It was a challenge but so much fun to do. I really enjoy letters. I should do it more often. Don't you just love the balloon print as a background?

My neighbor is pregnant and due at the end of the month. Her husband is a medical resident and on call this month so we are on stand by to take her to the hospital. Wouldn't that be fun! They don't know if it is boy or girl so I had to use green and yellow. I have shown this before but it is now together and I need to quilt it soon so I can get it done before the baby arrives.

And this is the cute print that will go on the back. I found both prints at Walmart. The one for the back is a larger version of the one I fussy cut for the front. I really like the old nursery rhymes. Kids still love them.