Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Kicking Off August

A few days of rain does a lot for a quilter's time in the studio. 

I completed the quilting on Spumoni Spin #2. I might not get the binding on until the next rainy day...because it is pretty outside. Don't even know why I am on my computer when the sun is shining!



It is because I have been a little obsessed with the scrappy Half Square Triangles (HSTs) that are left over from the two quilts I made from the Spumoni Bali Pops.


No matter how many HSTs I piece together...there are always more!

 
I can't seem to stop thinking about what to do with this little suckers.

In July I finished a set of Sandra Cozzolino Santas


I know you are wondering...how may of these Santas are there left to make from this designer? 

Every time I think I have that figured out the final tally...I find more vintage designs. Sandra Cozzolino has a Facebook page where even she admits she doesn't know the final count.

I am now starting her new designs for 2020.

No wild critter pics to share though I did see a lynx cross our street while working in the yard last week. The lynx was as tall as my dogs...who were very confused when they saw it. I'm sure they thought it was a dog. It made for a nice conversation piece that evening at dinner. 

My big cat, Eli, was safely tucked away inside. He is only allowed to go in the dog run for outside adventures since there are just too many wild animals that would like to eat him...lynx, foxes and coyotes are all in the area.


He would make a good-sized meal.

Time to get on with more gardening tasks.


All of the annuals are hitting peak performance.


Monday, July 20, 2020

July 2020

It has been a month since my last posting. 
So much for my goal of posting weekly.

Here is what has happened lately.

A mama bear with three cubs came to visit.


My neighbor, who was out of town, texted me that her security camera had just gotten a shot of a bear in her yard. Immediately, I looked out my window and there was a mama bear with a cub...


then two more cubs came running behind her and scurried to a tree where one cub hustled right up it. Later that day I did look at the tree and saw the claw marks from the cub's climb.

It was brief visit and I feel lucky to get any photos at all. 

Hubby dragged me on a halibut fishing charter out of Whittier...a very small town that sits on the shores of Prince William Sound. The water is pretty smooth in the sound so no problems with sea sickness for anyone on the boat. It appears my husband expects this to be an annual event. With both sons unavailable and no out of state visitors this summer...he only had me to take on the trip. 


I don't eat fish...have never liked it...this is what makes it even more unexpected as an activity for me. 

And just to be clear...I am not much of a fisherman...I am a "reeler." The fishing charter does everything...has their secret fishing holes, baits the hook, sets the fishing poles in a very sturdy metal support, and gets the fish onboard. I just go out on the deck when the boat anchors and stand behind a fishing pole until they tell me to start reeling.

I was one of the last to get my fish...some people know what they are doing and get their fish pretty quickly. I had to let my last one go...it was my biggest but there are rules about the size and number of halibut one can keep. I am a very good tipper so I'm sure the crew was glad they put so much effort into my day. There were 12 total passengers on the trip and all got one or two halibuts. I think two was the limit per person. 

In case you vacation in Alaska and want do a fishing charter out of Whittier...
go with Crazy Rays. My husband has been fishing with him for several years. He has a nice boat with a good bathroom...very important when one is out on the water for 12 hours...but you have to make sure to request to be on Ray's boat...he has another crew operating his first boat that is smaller.

Bonus sites on the trip...Orca whales...and lots of otters.

Plaid Bucilla kit production was shut down for Covid 19. They are now open and working hard on new kits. I did get a goodie box from them but it only had one felt kit...this adorable Halloween ornament set. I sent a  request for several of the new stocking kit designs but probably won't get any those until September. 


Since I spend most of my days outside working in the yard...and a good deal of time is spent weeding...I have been turning to cross stitch projects. My sore fingers prefer cross stitch over embroidery on felt fabric.

These are not Santas...but elves that were designed by Sandra Cozzolino. 


What's Santa without his elves?

We've had a pretty decent summer in terms of weather. 
There is not a typical summer...or winter...or fall...or spring...

But this summer has been decent.
 A few sunny days and then a few days of rain. 
Works for me.

I took part in a Facebook Quilt Challenge to post a photo of one of my quilts for 10 days. Love show and tell so I jumped right to it. I realized I lacked some good quilt photos so I did an afternoon in my backyard doing a quilt photo shoot.

I had my assistants....


Pretty fun!


The rain has returned...


March 26th was the last time I quilted with my Nolting.
 It's good to be back in front of the machine. 

McKinley was hogging the quilt shots so I had to share one of my mama's boy,
Logan.


I was trying to get them to smile.


McKinley was trying...Logan...just confused. 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Playing on a Rain Day

My social interaction is so limited that I will be sharing my latest shopping purchases. 

The Material Girls retreat for May was cancelled, Breakfast Club has been cancelled indefinitely and my fitness studio is shutting down for good as a causality of Corona-virus. 

Good thing I know how to entertain myself! But I am a bit lonely for some quilting interaction. I am with several groups on Facebook but just not the same...

So...pretty normal for me to do a little spring cleaning in my studio and I unearthed a drawer of rulers and templates...most of which I have never used...like the the ones below that come in two sizes and are still wrapped in plastic. I'm sure I bought a book to go with them but I saw this Carnival pattern and liked the simplicity of the design that could show off some pretty fabrics.


And then another pretty pattern that will give me the opportunity to  use all of these colorful templates; hexagon, triangle and diamond. I'm definitely in a "floral," state of mind. I'm hoping to make a quilt for my daughter-in-law. She is a gardener and married to my son who is in the Air Force so they move fairly often. I want to add the words, "Bloom Where You are Planted." Still pondering which of these two patterns, Hexie Garden or Carnival, will by the chosen one.


I bought this new design for sunflowers as a PDF pattern...it was great to get the pattern immediately...like I was going to start it that day...HA HA...so funny...like that would ever happen in my world.


June is the release month for the annual set of Santas designed by 
Sandra Cozzolino. Every year I say I am amazed by her latest designs and this year I feel the same way. Antarctica Santas. Adorable!


I had a quick set of Sandra Cozzlino's International Santas in my vintage kit stash I work on in June. More cuteness!


I've been a little remiss in sharing photos of visiting critters this summer. Moose are huge but their coloring helps them blend in beautifully. I usually notice I'm driving by a moose at the last minute when they move. 


Both photos where taken through my screen window so they have a nice texture.


The critters are both walking around all my rock area...so funny.These two manhole covers and venting pipes mark my lovely new septic tank. My yard was devastated by that event. Hoping to start tackling that area in July.


Thursday, June 4, 2020

Many Projects Inside and Outside

This is why I blog...to have an accounting of my projects.

It really helps me have a sense of accomplishment when I look back at what happened with my time.

I came up with a design for my latest scrappy half square triangle blocks. I discovered about 100 more scrappy HSTs while cleaning a drawer in my sewing room and now I don’t know what I will do  with those...another challenge.


Two tiny International Santas to add to my collection, Scandinavian and African Santa.


My Snowman family is finished. A difficult set to put in storage so they might stay on display year-round. Very challenging to get some of the arms attached. Thankfully, I had a curved upholstery needle in my stash. 


Summer is here in Eagle River, Alaska. 

Gardening and landscaping are now my primary projects.

Our garden nurseries were just wiped out of inventory this year. So funny how first it is toilet paper and now it’s plants! I just barely managed to find nursery starts of the plants I usually grow. Mostly broccoli, red cabbage and several varieties of kale. Missing are beets and carrots.


My “Tub Wall,” needed two plants replaced. Pretty normal to lose one or two plants a year. One year a moose decided not to use the stairs so that took out a couple of plants. I also like to add a top dressing of fresh potting soil to every tub. The “WOW” wheel my son made me when he was learning to weld...also flips to spell, “MOM.” 


Last summer I really wanted to rearrange the plants in my perennial garden...it happened yesterday. There were several spots where plants never grew well so I spent time amending the soil..everywhere. So happy I got this done the first week of June.


Soooo many other landscaping projects to tackle! 
I must say I have been sleeping well every night with all this physical work.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Few Project Updates

Wow...to my total amazement...May is well underway.

I’m spending lots of time outside but still managing to spend a little time working on projects.


Finished a little ornament, Santa with Cardinal. This is a Mill Hill kit.


Another kit...this one is a Bucilla kit...still two pieces to finish...a snow boy and a blue bird. These 3D kits are a challenge but so adorable.


My scrappy blocks are coming along but boy are they time consuming! I'm using HSTs that finish at 1 1/4-inches. I'm making it up as I go and loving it. 


I am a faithful Jazzerciser and I've turned my living area into a dance studio. McKinley is very supportive and always waits patiently for me to get my workout done.


I was lucky enough to visit with my granddaughter. At four months she has reached the stage where I can play with her! Missing her immensely now that I am back home.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Sweet Christmas

I am a sucker for a project with cute little buttons.

That's how I found myself taking on a redwork project which is definitely not my usual style.

It was a fun project! Since the redwork was embroidered by hand I decided to hand quilt it. 


I do love the bias binding! 


These "Sweet Christmas," blocks were designed by Lynette Anderson from Australia.


Cute little wooden buttons were popular on little quilting projects I saw at a needlework exposition in Paris which also influenced my decision to buy the first two kits I found in a Paris quilt shop.


Each block design was kitted as an ornament pattern with a button. No fabric or floss. 


"Grunge" from Moda was a new release when I went in search of a fabric. This background fabric has shades of light green to turquoise in the coloring.


I used the recommended floss, Cottage Garden Threads #1007. Hugs 'N' Kisses.


My mother-in-law helped me get the other 10 blocks. She tracked down a vendor in Texas who carried the blocks and other designs by Lynette.


I embroidered some of the blocks while traveling. 
Since the blocks are only 3 1/4-inches, they were very convenient to carry in a tiny project bag.


I think I went a little overboard quilting these tiny embroidery blocks.


So many cute blocks.


Love the stocking button.


The details on these tiny wooden buttons is amazing.


Looks like I got the arms stitched just right for the snowman button!


This is the free quilt pattern Lynette offered for the blocks on her website.

 I liked it but I really like stars so I got on EQ and designed alternating star blocks.

 I also like chain blocks so that got worked into my design. 


Saturday, April 11, 2020

And Now for Something Completely Different

Actual...good old-fashioned hand quilting.


One goal I set for myself when the mayor set up the quarantine in the municipality of Anchorage...
with no end date in sight...


was to get some hand quilting done.


This stocking went pretty quick. Three evenings.


I even got a lot of work done on a second project with much more hand quilting.

I got all the blocks quilted on this red work wall hanging.
 I think I had 5 star blocks to finish at the onset of the quarantine.


Still need to quilt the border. I’m going to do some simple diagonal lines. 
Pretty confident I'm getting this one done soon!