Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gardening and thank yous...

First off I want to thank Marsha & Judy for giving me ideas of where to find those yellow stripe petunias! I had success finding them at a new to me local nursery, Bloom and Berries in Loveland Ohio...here is a link to their web page.

I snapped up 10 plants and I will say they looked a bit nicer when I bought them yesterday, than when I took this picture today.

I gave them some water right before I took this picture as they are at bit bedraggled. I know I talk complain a lot about the weather but really...last week we had night time temps near freezing and today is it 80! Tomorrow is suppose to be even hotter... and this is only the beginning of May. Not our normal weather.

I also got these plants to mix in with the petunias...

the purple ones are Angelonia in Angelface Blue, the orange ones are Diascia in Flirtation Orange. I hadn't seen either of these before in these colors. They are also Proven Winners. Blooms and Berries is Proven Winner nursery and had lots of plants I hadn't seen before. I think I need to visit them again...soon.  Tomorrow I'm going to get some potting soil and plant them in the new pots I have in the garage. I'm going to put them on my front porch railing.

I will say the warm hot weather has made me raring to go with planting. I'm going to do lots of pots and I want to edge my beds with marigolds and I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new 6 foot long PVC window box. The one I have now is wood and it is split and cracked...it won't make it through the summer. I will have to paint the new one when it arrives but it is suppose to last forever...or at least for my forever...LOL!

Also I want to thank Carol who identified my text fabric and sent me a link where to find it. You gals are all great... my own personal shoppers!

Well the neighborhood is abuzz with lawnmowers and edge trimmers...you'd think it was summer! I refuse to turn on the AC this early in the season so I have all the windows open a fan going. Poor Big Dude...

I'm wearing capris but he has to wear a fur coat. He's catching the breeze through the screen door and a few zzzzzzz's.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, May 4, 2015

Totally random thoughts that run, run run...

Somehow I had convinced myself that this past weekend would be an easy, relaxing one... and boy was I wrong!  I finally dragged myself out to the garage on Saturday where I spent over 6 hours going through boxes and boxes and boxes, which were cousins of Pandora's box. Each one contained a myriad of items that I wish I had never seen. I have no recollection of when I purchased these items, nor do I want to do anything with them. My first instinct to get them out of the garage without opening them should have been followed. I've got a handful of items to go to the garage sale on Friday, the rest of this stuff with be donated -- gone gone gone!

On the up side... my garage has never looked better!

To reward myself for all my hard work on Saturday (and I'm all about the reward) I planned to spend a leisurely afternoon going to greenhouses in search of some David Austin rose bushes (I want 3)...I ended up with one and I think it may be the last David Austin rose bush for sale in Cincinnati.

And I want,  need,  MUST HAVE these petunias...

These are a Proven Winner called Lemon Slice Million Bells. I first saw them on someone else's blog... who lives in Oklahoma...no where near Ohio. I did find where I can order them online for home delivery but I really want to get them locally. More searching today.

While I did get to 2 greenhouses, I really wanted to visit more, but ended up run run running my younger son here and there and everywhere. Plans for a friend's birthday celebration were discombobulated which had me driving, driving, driving...but in the end all the birthday participants were happy and that is what matters.

So are you still with me... I actually have something quilty to show too!

I started this sometime last week...I have no idea when... but I'm liking it a lot! The pattern is TV Dinners by Modern Quilt Relish and you can see it here. You have to scroll down to see it and they have lots of interesting patterns. This pattern uses charm squares and really showcases a big scale print for the borders. You can see some other examples here.

The fabric line is Paint by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics which you can see here on Fabric Shack's site. I chose this fabric because the designers had done a version using this line, and right now I'm really into adding more turquoise into my living room decor. I think my DIL is rubbing off on me as it is one of her favorite colors. Turquoise is a nice addition to the taupe and yellow I already have. I envision this quilt gracing the wall of my living room and when I get it done I'll show my new decorating updates...hint...I got a new rug!

Oh back to the quilt, I LOVE the typography in many of these prints...

Now I could leave well enough alone... and should leave well enough alone... but I can't!   I'm going to do some improv piecing on those rectangular blocks. I want to insert more text and I think this fabric will work nicely.

I only have a third of a yard of this and I've got nothing on the selvedge to tell me who's fabric it is...hmmm... I see more running around to track this down.

Sooooo with all the running around I did this weekend and the running I have planned this week I should probably drop about 10 pounds...OMG... I am truly delusional! LOL

Anyway off to check out another greenhouse or two and later today pick up the newlyweds from the airport...their week is sunny Spain is over...so sad...but I know they made great memories.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, May 1, 2015

The fiber in my diet...

sooooo... since the wedding is behind me I've been contemplating the other projects I want to tackle this summer. Some are things that I won't actually get my hands dirty over like the plumbing issue and the new carpet, but others do involve a more personal commitment. I want to get back to walking more and I'd like to add more fiber to my diet... the woolly kind...  which would produce results like this....

the yarn is Blue Moon Socks That Rock Lightweight and the colorway is Chickabiddy. You can check out their yarn here but I don't see this colorway listed at the moment. They dye lots of different batches so colors come and colors go, which is why when you see it you have to snag it!

And there was this fiber in my diet too...

this yarn is a Paton Kroy I picked up at Joann's or Michaels... I forget which. Love the different width stripes. I did the heels and the toes in a gray yarn from my stash as I didn't want to mess up those lovely stripes.

And I wanted you too see the scarf/shawl I wore to my son's wedding. The pattern is Reverse Psychology and you can see the pattern here on Ravelry...

and the yarn is Kimber's Fiber Optic Paintbox Gradient which you can see here. Now the website says she's sold out but if you contact her I'm pretty sure she has the inventory in her shop. I used the Neon colorway for this. My friend Cathy blocked this for me and it is about 6 feet long...perfect to wrap around your shoulders, all drapey and swoopy! Thanks Cathy, you did a fabulous job on this! I will definitely be knitting this again. I used a ton of beads on this one and I will probably use less the next time around but it will still be a wonderful scarf.

I made the first step toward my commitment of walking more by sauntering the two blocks over to my son's house to feed his cat, and I ordered 2 more skeins of the Blue Moon yarn - A room without a roof and Pitterpat to add more fiber to my diet.

I also planned to work on cleaning out the garage today so I could gather some stuff for a garage sale next Friday, but that wasn't quite as successful as I would have liked. My day got off to a slow start, and then I ended up bringing my younger son's friend over so they could hang out, and I piddled and putzed and shuffled stuff around and generally bemoaned the fact that I really am not into garage sales. It is a lot of work and I never make that much. Several times today I changed my mind as to if I want to go through with this chore. I'm going to give it another shot tomorrow but I was this close to picking up the phone and calling 1-800-GOTJUNK and having them come and empty out the garage.

The weather this weekend and for the upcoming week looks wonderful - temps in the 70's and 80's. Makes me want to go buy flowers, which would be waaaay more fun than cleaning out the garage. I know I shouldn't put anything in the ground until Mother's Day but I did buy a bunch of pots that I could plant up and if the weather gets too cold I could drag them into the garage... oh that garage!

have a great weekend!

carol fun

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

and exhale...

Well, the wedding went off wonderfully and the happy couple is honeymooning in sunny Spain...and I am happy that they are happy!  I was told I would feel let down after the event but really all I felt was tired. Everyone seemed to have a great time. It was a fun wedding. No pictures to share yet, but when I do get some I will post them.

However in thinking about this perhaps the let down phase was the last 2 days where I just didn't seem to get anything done. Oh, I returned some shoes, and some capris and a lampshade but I didn't even go into my sewing room... until today!

I sewed up some more of these hexagons and pondered what I want to do with them. During the initial gung-ho phase I was going to make a really BIG quilt. However those feelings have dissipated and I'm contemplating just working with the 60 some odd blocks I'll get out of cutting the one 25" repeat. That many hexagons will make a nice size lap quilt, or if I use this kind of layout...

I could make a BIG quilt with the amount of pieced hexagons I already have. I found that layout in a new book called The New Hexagon by Katja Marek - Bev's Modern Vintage Hexies and you can see the book here.

I also like this layout which is also from The New Hexagon book...

It takes more hexagons than the first layout but it is different and interesting. I need to mull it over a bit. These are two of the blocks I made today... LOVE the spin!

I have a ton of things I want to get done now that the wedding is over... there is still the plumbing issue in the basement that needs attention, and I want to have some carpet installed in my son's room and my sewing room, and I have to clean out the garage which I should attend to this weekend as I could unload some of that stuff in a garage sale next week,and I need to make eye exam appointments for me and my son, and there are about a bajillion quilting, cross stitch and knitting projects I want to get to. When I think about everything I want to do I'm tired before I get started...LOL...I think I need a nap.

It is going to be a busy summer! Bring on the warm weather!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, April 20, 2015

This probably isn't what I should be doing...

but I am!  This is THE WEEK... my older son gets married on Saturday.Over the last several months I've worked on several projects for the wedding... there were the invitations, and then I worked signature blocks for the guests to sign... I made 120. After that I worked on runners for the dinner tables and some little squares to top the round hi-top tables. It felt really good to have all this finished. After that it was on to some alteration work on the groom's vest, hemming my younger son's pants and hemming the slacks I want to wear. As of 9 pm EST last night all of this is DONE!  Now the week still has lots of errands but I don't think there is any other jobs that require a needle and thread.

Okay in the interest of honesty, I did sneak in some quilty time during those wedding preparations. I HAD to make some more of those hexagon blocks with the new Phillip Jacobs Spiral Shells fabric. You can see the fabric here. I've got 30 partially made and I played with them on my design wall. This is the layout I began with...

vertical rows... all lined up...hmmm...not really doing it for me. I wanted to use a different layout than I normally pick when I made these hexagon Stack N Whack blocks, but they just seem to mush together. I like each block to shine like the special little snowflake that it is... in my eyes...LOL!

So I moved a few things around and reverted to my standard design and they look like this...

and I really really really do like this better. Each block sparkles and shines... okay... that may only be how I see them, but that what counts!

Did you notice I used a yellow fabric as the background? Again I was going to go in a different direction. The darkest color in the blocks is a chocolate brown and I went to Fabric Shack intent on finding a nice brown tone on tone. Now if you know me even a little bit, you know this is crazy talk. I am not the person who buys brown fabric... if I did, my friends would have me taken in for a psychiatric evaluation.  I did actually lay some of the blocks out on a brown background and well... it was blah... very blah... very very blah. So I perused some of the other tone on tone fabrics and well this one just jumped off the shelf and said "please pick me"... and how could I not acquiesce to its wishes. (Yeah... this is still making me sound like I need a psychiatric consult, isn't it? LOL)  But the yellow fabric knew what it was talking about. I love how it frames these blocks.

So far this is one of my favorite blocks...

It is fun when people look at the blocks that they "see" different things in them. There are a couple where my younger son "sees" vanilla/chocolate swirl ice cream. I actually "see" pineapple slices in a couple of blocks...and a bunch of them remind me of those cheap special effects from the original Batman series with Adam West (yeah I'm showing my age here... POW!!! BAM!!)

I can make about 30 more blocks from the first stack of this Stack N Whack. I still have the other half of the yardage to play with. I'm thinking of pinning it and then cutting strips parallel to the selvedge rather than perpendicular to the selvedge. I think I'd get a bunch of other design and my curiosity is killing me to see them. Really, it is all the fabric's fault...it pushes me around all the time...such a bully! LOL

I had a couple of comments last week asking how you get this effect and I would refer anyone who wants to know more about this technique to research Bethany Reynolds, Magic Stack N Whack. You can see the book here. She wrote this book and several other books on the subject back in the late 1990s. I have ALL of them and Amazon has them too and you can see them here.

There are probably some videos out in the world wide web showing how to do this technique too. It isn't hard. You do have to take your time when you pin the fabric. Accurate pinning gives you great results. And you have to use those flat head flower pins. I've noticed that some people do this technique using 4 repeats of fabric and cut squares. I've made one this way myself. I call it a 4 patch version of Stack N Whack but others refer to it as a 4 Patch Posey...it is the same thing and Bethany Reynolds showed this in her book Stack N Whackier. Also there are lots of quilters doing the hexagon version I'm doing but they don't add the background like I do. They arrange one hexagon next to another, letting the colors flow and it is called One Block Wonder. Maxine Rosenthal wrote a book with that title and you can see it here. I also have that book.

If you want to play with this technique large scale prints work great. I like a print that has a bit of a curve in it... a flower petal, a curved stem, a swirl. I would caution you to stay away from large scale animals... you know those cute novelty fabrics with cows and sheep and pigs and maybe a chicken or two. I know I've mentioned this before but I think it bears repeating. The very first Stack N Whack I ever made involved an adorable children's print featuring a barnyard full of animals. I made an Lemoyne star block and I couldn't wait to see them develop... and then it hit me...oh my goodness... somehow I all I got were butts and udders!  Keep this in mind if you choose a fabric with animals... the resulting blocks can be quite disturbing... LOL!

Don't know if I'll be posting anymore this week. This is the calm before the storm. My list of things to do today is short so perhaps I can sew a few more hexagons, but every day for the rest of the week gets progressively busier. Hope your week is a good one!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


So Monday morning my local crack dealer quilt store sent me an email to inform me that the latest Kaffe Fassett Collective was in the shop. I swear they are psychic as I had just mentioned to my son, mere moments before the email pinged my inbox, that I wondered if this collection had arrived. We left posthaste for lunch and a stop at Fabric Shack to drool over the new goodies. You can check there out here for yourself. There are lots of prints in this collection that I want to add to my stash (including a fish print that BEGS to be stacked and whacked) but one in particular had me hypnotized... you  are getting sleepy...sleepy...

this is Spiral Shells by Phillip Jacobs in the multi colorway... darn it looks like Fabric Shack is already sold out of it... I hope that is just a glitch on their website as I think I need more of this one. I purchased 4.5 yards. It is a BIG repeat...25"... and I wanted to have 6 repeats so I could make my favorite hexagon block. I couldn't wait to get home and whack this. I'm cutting the triangles at 3.5" and I will be able to get 7 strips from each 25" repeat, and 9 blocks from each strip for a total of 63 blocks. It took over an hour to get it pinned and while I had other projects I need to get to, I rewarded myself by cutting one single solitary strip.

OH MY GOODNESS..... what wonderfulness appeared... I can hardly stand it!!!!

There are 3 ways to orient each block...

I LOVE every single arrangement of this one...

This one has great swoop and spin...

particularly this version...

Here are the first seven blocks on my design wall...

I'm sure that some of them will get changed around when I have time to sew them together but boy do I like looking at them.

As for the tulip blocks I had on the design wall on Monday, this is as far as I got...

This is the layout in Quilty Fun and it will be a lovely lap size that should fit nicely on the wall in my living room if I want to hang it... whenever that time comes...which may be next Spring as I have been totally distracted by something new and shiny... AGAIN...LOL!

I hope to link up to Freshly Pieced later today.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, April 13, 2015

Blooming in the basement ...

We've had some nice Spring-y days... my daffodils are blooming and the grass was about knee high until it got cut yesterday. The tulips I planted in the yard have buds but nothing has bloomed yet...except for the tulips in my basement sewing studio. Remember these from last Spring? Every tulip is a different dotty fabric. You can click on the picture to see more detail.

They are my version of Lori Holt's tulip block from her Quilty Fun book. You can see it here. When I was in the throes of infatuation with this block I planned to make a quilt for my double bed... I have since realized that I do NOT need to make that big a quilt from this pattern. Making a quilt like the one she calls Tulip Patch - about 57" X 67" - is plenty big enough. Then I could take the leftover tulips and make a table runner or use them to edge some cute pillow cases...oh lots of other new projects...shiny things...boy I hope this ends well - LOL!

Anyway they sure look Spring-y on my design wall. I can admire them as I finish up the tablerunners for the wedding and my son's vest. There is less than 2 weeks till the date...ackk!!! Taking deep breaths now...

And I wanted to show you the quilt top I was working on last week. I got it all put together and bordered and whisked it off to Terry who will quilt it for me. I found an adorable panto with little birds that is perfect for this one.

Can't wait to have this one on my bed!

happy stitching-
carol fun