Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Winter Has Arrived

Hubby and I made a quick trip to Houston for a family wedding. When we left last Wednesday our yard was void of much color as all the leaves had fallen off the trees. We drove home from the airport on Monday in a snow storm. I'm giving myself a major pat on the back for getting my snow tires on before our trip. We had great traction for our horrible road conditions. 

Since the snow storm on Monday we have had chilly but sunny weather.

The dogs just can't stand to be inside with new snow on the ground.

I got the smocked dress for my grand niece done in time to give her at the family events last weekend.

Even smocked some socks for her. 

I also bought a denim dress and did a little ribbon embroidery. My attempt at a Texas Bluebonnet. And some little socks to go with the dress.

I am a quilter...really. But this quilt picture below isn't my project. This is the pattern the Breakfast Club group is tackling in November. I will miss the meeting again but I ordered the pattern today because it is too cute! It is "Peppermint Lane Block of the Month," by Sew Emma. 

I'm rather panicked that Christmas is so very close.
I am really hoping to finally quilt some of the Christmas quilt tops aging on my studio shelves. 
If only the house was self-cleaning!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Last 2018 Landscape Post....I Think

We had one of the warmest Septembers on record in our part of the world. I have been in heaven. Fall is my favorite season. I have no idea why I love fall since it means winter is coming...cold and darkness. But usually it only seems to last two weeks and I am always frustrated when it ends. This year I'm feeling tired (a good tired) and ready to move onto "indoor" projects.

I did not expect to tackle this little area along our driveway until next summer but with the gorgeous weather the first week of September, I went for it. The ground around theses trees doesn't get much sunlight and I just didn't have a good solution for plant matter to fill it. I like the rocks. This is one side of our septic drain field so I couldn't change the topography except to add to it. It will work well with winter snow plowing.

And my handsome dog Logan...who follows me everywhere.

And then I still had a huge pile of gravel in front of my house to contend with before freezing temperatures. So I bought some landscape edging and started tackling another project I didn't expect to start until next summer...

I plan to add this black plastic edging back-filled with gravel around all the rock work in our yard. I got a little start this year. 

I also used the gravel to create an extra-deep parking area at our front door. It will be a good place for some big pots with flowers in the summer.

Another view of my garden on the side of the house.

In the evenings I've been pecking away at a simple Bucilla stocking kit, Nordic Snowman. It came with an ornament. So cute. Nothing too complicated which is exactly what I needed to wind down at the end of the day. 

It will be nice to get back into my studio...but not so yard isn't winterized yet. All of my flower pots are still looking great and I have veggies still growing in my garden. Such a wonderfully odd bit of weather we are having. One morning I will wake up to frost and have to get into a frenzy of cleaning up the yard.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Non Quilty Projects

A little recap on my rock work projects.
I met my goal of finishing the rock work on the hillside of my house. I even managed to get a few plants in the tubs.

I'm ahead of schedule on another hillside area I want to cover in rock. I didn't expect to tackle this until next year. This is the last major rock area I am putting in my yard.

I did a little walk around my garden. I still have some artichokes growing. I have harvested two so far and they were yummy. A little salt and lemon juice was all they needed for a delicious treat.

I was surprised to see some broccoli heads. Most of my plants I have let go to flower. I think I will eat these for my lunch.

My green cabbage was a disaster but my red cabbage did great. 

I have some tiny brussel sprouts.

I worked outside everyday last week but before I went to visit my parents in Washington we had almost two weeks of rain. I took on some blouse sewing. I had great success with this pattern in a size 10. I like version "D" with the long sleeves but made a straight edge instead of the diagonal cut. I made a new pattern with white tissue paper. I also took out some of the flare in the hips.

Here's a selfie of the top I made in a rayon batik. You do see a dog trying to photo bomb me. I can make this top in 2 hours. It just slips over my head. No buttons or zipper.

I saw another quilt blogger's blouse she made from this pattern and decided to try it. I went right for a size 10 and found it much too tight. Yipes! I have broad shoulders that can be a problem area for me in clothing but this was also very tight through the bust.

I really liked the pattern and went to Walmart and bought some fabric for 50 cents a yard. Made up the top in a size 14. I just made the short-sleeved version to get the fit right. 

I had a stash of a solid eggplant colored rayon batik that I bought from Cherrywood Fabrics twenty years ago. Really! I hope they will start making their rayon batiks again. Anyway...I found a printed batik rayon at a local quilt shop that I had to bring home. It matched the Cherrywood fabric. Sometimes that stash really comes in handy.

Love my latest top. 
I also added solid batik cuffs to the 3/4-length sleeves in the pattern since I prefer a full-length long sleeve for our winters.

I was definitely on a roll...
I've got another pattern to try. This will be a bit more time consuming. Buttons and collars. I am going to make the basic long sleeved blouse without pockets.

I made a mock up of this pattern too and turns out I needed a size 12 for it. Again, the mock up is just a short version that covers the areas I need to fit...shoulders and bust. Another cheap piece of fabric from Walmart.

It's not often my cutting table is clear so I took the time to cut out a dress I would like to smock and make for my niece's baby girl. I'm using a fabric with Alaskan forget-me-nots. I did a lot of smocking...very many years ago. I still have my pleater.

On my visit to my parents I gathered a few things to bring home. One was a quilted jacket I made for my mother at least 20 years ago. It fits me rather well...funny how that worked out! My mom found it a little on the hot side. I think it will be perfect for running around on my errands when the weather temps start dropping.

This was another project made from Cherrywook fabrics only this time with cotton. I have a lot of the cottons in other colorways in my stash too...maybe another jacket is in my future.

I was a garment seamstress before I started quilting. I even lined this lovely jacket. Button holes are very easy to make on my Bernina. Also did the fabric covered buttons to match. 

I still have the pattern.

I also found six other jacket patterns that are 20 years old...I made one of them and it was a flop. I bought all of these patterns at the Houston quilt show. I used to live in San Antonio so I made it to the quilt show every year.

None of the styles interest me anymore. Probably time for them to leave my stash.

The pretty day is calling to me to get off the computer.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Welcome to Alaska

 I was so pleased to get an invitation to join the fun of a blog party. I look forward to meeting some new folks in the blog world and introducing myself to you!

I'm Debbie Bailey. Mother of two grown sons who are professional pilots and wife to a professional pilot. I am a homemaker. I have sewn most of my life and would spend everyday quilting if life's responsibilities didn't demand my attention

I have been living in Eagle River, Alaska for 20 years with an unexpected 3-year stint in Paris due to a great opportunity for my husband with his job. It was a great experience to live in Europe but I missed Alaska. 

We have spectacular mountains and snow...

Glacier Tour for my birthday with my son, Zack, as my pilot and tour guide.

I can look right outside my door and see all kinds of unique scenes from wildlife. This is a grizzly that we have seen several summers. She was dubbed Fabio on our neighborhood Facebook page until she showed up with this cub last summer. Not a "he" as most assumed, but a "she" that is now called Fabia. 

We also see moose pretty regularly. Both of these wildlife photos were taken on the road in front of my house. You might be surprised to know that moose are more deadly than bears in Alaska. 

But these are my favorite critters, our Gordon Setters, Logan and McKinley.

But you came here to see quilts!

My preferred quilting designs are patchwork with batiks. I have a 17" Nolting Fun Quilter that I use for machine quilting. Here's a little look at a quilt I designed on the software EQ, titled, "Paris Flower Shop." I made this in my little Paris sewing room. My intention was to design a quilt involving 2 1/2-inch strips. 

I'm rather known in my quilting sphere for being a bit obsessed with taking the scrap Half Square Triangles from quilt projects with 2 1/2-inch strips and making a new quilt. The finished size of the HSTs are 1 1/4-inches.

One of my current favorite quilts came from a panel challenge my Material Girls quilting group organized last year. Below is a peek of it getting blocked. I had a set of Hoffman Batik Hawaiian Applique-looking 10-inch squares. I had been coveting them for years trying to decide how to put them in a quilt. The background fabric was a batik piece I had in my stash for even longer that I bought at an adorable quilt shop on Kauai. The challenge was just what I needed to marry everything together. 

I use my blog as a journal to keep track of my projects.
I do more than quilt. 

Gardening and Landscape Projects

Bucilla Christmas kits

Santa cross stitch ornaments

And every now and then a little travel adventure.
 Hard to top my Bali trip in 2013. 
Black plastic bags full of batik fabric I bought at $2 a yard.

Now it's time for you to meet more bloggers in the quilt world. And don't forget to enter the fabric give away. Just click on the linked box below to visit with more fun quilters.

And click again to enter for the Grand Prize.

Hope you will visit again.

Friday, August 24, 2018

State Fair Results

The Alaska State Fair opened yesterday. It was really the only afternoon I had free to run to the fair this year...and it was the worst weather. Good thing quilts are an "indoor" activity.

I was very excited to see my Radiant Zinnias quilt won its division. Love getting a division ribbon.

My Hawaiian Faux Applique quilt got an Honorable Mention and my other little wall hanging was nicely ribbon.

It is always so fun to see all the beautiful quilts. 

Though I have not attended Breakfast Club this summer, I immediately recognized one from the club. In May, the group took a set if flower panels designed by an Alaskan artist as the inspiration for their quilts. This is Marge's quilt. I have a special connection to her now...her grand daughter is marrying my son in November.

I really enjoy all the landscaping that is completely new every year at the fair. There is a large circular area that was very appropriate for our record-breaking rainy August...a water feature. Orca whales with a kayak adventurer. 

One of the longest lines at the State Fair was a coffee vendor. It was downright horrible weather.

Eli was nice and warm. He always has to be in the middle of any sewing room project. I am trying to get some blouses made.

Hoping to finish a few sewing projects this weekend. I'm traveling to Washington next week to visit my parents. I sure hope I see some sunshine on my travels.

Monday, August 13, 2018

I'm Working On It

Almost time for the state fair so I spent a few days last week blocking three quilts and making sure all the dog and cat hair was removed. My quilt, "Radiant Zinnias," has definitely been my favorite quilt I've made in the past year.  Hope she does well at the fair.

I used the insulation boards that are my design wall to get the blocking done. I laid two boards on my cutting table and pinned the quilt in place after spraying it with water on both sides. 

We have rain in the forecast for much of this week and boy do I need to spend some time attending to "inside chores." Big on my list is to update my blog banner. I'm taking part in a Blog Hop for all of September so I really need to address some issues!

I hope to get some sewing done but am not doing any quilting until I get some new tops sewn for myself. I have such pretty cuts of rayon batiks. They shouldn't "age" like most of my quilt fabrics. I need to make some muslin mock ups first...not fun but I already wasted one cut of fabric on a pattern that didn't work. 

Just a quick update. Need to get back to work.