I'm loving big quilt blocks ~

It all started here:  when I took another pledge to self to reach out and learn new techniques.  When Sew, Mama, Sew! and Pile O' Fabric teemed up for a big block BOM, I couldn't resist joining in on the fun.  Each block will finish at 24".....there will be six of these big blocks.....large enough for over-sized pillows or all put into one quilt top. 

No. 2 BOM  ++ Stained Glass

Sew, Mama, Sew! BOM 2 - Stained Glass big sized quilt block

No. 3 BOM +++ Hour By Hour

Sew, Mama, Sew! BOM 3 - Hour By Hour big sized quilt block

I'd rather be in a room filled with all people who are different than one filled with all people who think or act just alike.    Just imagine what I could learn from your differences! 


Modern Quilt Top: Zen Chic 'Juggling Summer'

I wasn't going to start another modern quilt top until I completed a few unfinished projects; HOWEVER, when I saw what Lee from Freshly Pieced had done with her Kate Spain 'Terrain' fabric for her first Moda Bake Shop project, I heard my Zen Chic 'juggling summer' screaming my name to get out of the fabric cupboard.    Lee used a jelly roll and added background fabric.   I used 36 of the 10" square layer cakes along with a Kona Snow background fabric to get my modern quilt blocks constructed. 

Here's just a taste of this cake...lovin' it!  Once I get all the quarter blocks made, I'll probably stir it up a bit by using a different fabric in each corner of the block as Lee did in hers.   An added design element for this great fabric.  And so, I go sew ~

zen chic 'juggling summer' fabric


Inside Out

Musing on happiness
And every one of my insides is very happy with this back I built for my latest quilt.
A Half-Square Triangle Quilt
 Kitty is happy with the view too!

Will you be my best friend?

How to add borders to an already loud/bold mystery quilt?   When one starts out on a mystery ride....one doesn't know where the road will end until one arrives at the end of the road!  Having said all that, it's the same way when beginning to work on a 'mystery' quilt.  The nature of the game is for the outcome to remain a mystery until the last clue is revealed. 

I was given the fabric clues and pulled some fabric from my stash that seemed to fit the clue's description. 

The next clue told me how and what to cut.  Then still another clue gave me the block construction then the placement of each block.  I cut all my fabric and stitched it up as prescribed  each month and it was getting wilder by the month until I was clueless as to why I chose these fabrics for this  mystery quilt.  It's finished.   Mystery solved?  No, not yet. 

Piney Hills Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt 2013
I want to add borders and nothing seems to be just right.  I've auditioned every possibility in my stash so my solution will be to compound the loud and bold with three skinny borders, then add the wild print as the final border.  Mitered corners, of course. 
Piney Hills Quilt Guild Mystery Quilt 2013
I'm sure they'll all be best friends before this mystery quilt top is completed.

.....and while on the photography subject of Italy

ColorBoard No. 26:  The Colors of Italy

Using the picture from previous post for ColorBoard No. 26
picture cropped, colors picked and applied with soft round brush


Photoshop Play - from Italy (last year about this same time)

I'm still remembering the good time spent in Italy last year....wishing I could go again.   Still enjoying the pictures taken and loving the Photoshop play, Rad Lab and a Kim Klassen texture. 

Padua, Italy, 2012 (before photo alteration)
I can't remember if I took this picture for the cyclists or for the architecture...the shuttered doors and windows or the beauty of the over-flowing flower-filled window boxes.   Doesn't matter.  It was fun editing/enhancing and it brought back the pleasure of the company of the Italians in Padua. 

Padua, Italy, 2012 (after photo alteration


Playing Favorites ~

Yes, we do.  We have our favorites.  I have my favorites.  I have a favorite car....dress....shoe....
I have a favorite room
A favorite picture
and recipe
A favorite movie
A favorite tree and flower.
I even have a favorite way to bind a quilt
 knit a scarf
hem a skirt
and make the bed.
I have a favorite color
coffee mug 
and pajamas. 
I have a favorite toothpaste
toilet tissue
way to have fun
fruit salad.
Playing favorites?  Yes, I do.    That's what I'm thinking this morning as I decided on how to complete my Quilteroo's Fruit Salad Challenge Quilt.   The final words on the official rules is "Keep it fruity and make it fun."    It has to be in the hands of Quilteroo's Quilt Shop by June 15 and I only picked up the challenge bag yesterday!  So, it goes without saying that this will be my favorite challenge of the day -    "Keeping it fruity and making it fun." 


Pardon the noise....ma'am!

The noise is beginning to be deafening.  At first spring, we would walk out and enjoy his music.  And we still do....really!  It's beginning to make for quite the conversation for me and the HuMan.

However, his singing has been relentless.  Morning 'til night, night 'til morning.  We think he's looking for a fine feathered woman and after all these weeks, there are still no takers.  He's tried his high notes and his low notes, fast dance and slow.  He's looked far and wide.   In the words of "bobby magee"  he's sung all those songs that trucker knew.   I must admit, I love his attitude.  Never discouraged, never losing hope.  Out there claiming his space. 

We've encouraged him to find a new neighborhood.  Perhaps ours' doesn't offer what he's looking for.
But he won't budge.   Yesterday on my stroll around the back garden, looking for solitude from the pleasure of a full day,  I just lost it!  I caught myself shouting to the sky hoping he would hear me over the pipe organ he seemed to be playing, 

"this isn't the red light district you are in, now move on!  There's gotta be a fine feathered lady bird out there somewhere.  Go get her.  Give me some peace."   

He just fluttered a wing, turned his back on my suggestion and continued to sing.  My hope for the day will be that if he can't get his woman, he'll sing a different tune! 

Smile with me and enjoy the day.

What's not to love about half-square triangles?

Step 1:

Half-square triangles left over from a past project arranged on point on design wall.

Step 2 and 3:
Little red border added
Brandon Mabley border added

Step 4 and 5:
Amy Butler black and chartreuse border added
Anna Maria Horner poppies border added

Stepping back to take a look: 
Me and Kitty like all that remains of those left-over half-square triangles in this modern setting.

Now, I've started on the back for this quilt....first, you build a house!

Stay tuned ~


Quilting the Harley-Davidson T-Shirt Quilt ~

I didn't go exercise yesterday, but I sure got my exercise......lifting and shifting the heavy Harley-Davidson T-shirt Quilt I started here
Tight zig zag stitch quilting on t-shirt quilt
I've been doing more of my own quilting on my domestic and decided to tackle the T-shirt quilt yesterday.  But, let me digress.  I don't like to baste large quilts - primarily because my table isn't large enough to work on a large quilt and secondarily, because my back and knees won't allow me to crawl around on the floor.  Or, maybe I have that backwards.  Okay...truth is, my back and knees are a major culprit!   So, I had one of my favorite long-arm quilters baste the layers.  Now, I have the stability I need to get the quilting job done myself. 

Tight zig zag stitch quilting on t-shirt quilt

Now, let's keep this in perspective:  It's a T-Shirt quilt.  Okay?  The T-shirts are old.  Okay?  I've already invested lots of time, money and energy in getting it to this point.  Okay?  Now, I'm ready to move on to another quilting project.  Okay?   So, a tight zigzag stitch randomly stitched in each block is working beautifully.  I'll come back after all this is done and quilt in the sashing and borders. 

While I'm not a fan of T-shirt quilts, I'm liking this one.   Here's  a pic from the design wall back in November auditioning the mustard color sashing and blue cornerstones. 



ColorBoard No. 25: Plate of Fruit

ColorBoard No. 25 - Fruit

Honeydew Melon, WatermelonPineapple, Cantaloupe, surround Grapes
A Sweet Treat

Gen X Sisters' Ten Modern BOM ~

The May, 2013,  Gen X Sisters' Ten modern  BOM is on the design wall:   Let's welcome Aunt Eliza's Star Color-way No. 1

Gen X Sister's Ten BOM - May, 2013
and Color-way No. 2 

Gen X Sister's Ten BOM, May 2013 - Colorway 2

as they both join the January thur April blocks. 


A road trip back in time ~

We took a few days off - a road trip to Natchitoches, Louisiana, where they are gearing up for their 300th anniversary.  It was a trip back in time.  Our close friends moved away a couple of years ago, so this was our first trip back since their move.  Things haven't changed much, but it was still nice to re-visit a beautiful town and countryside where history abounds. 

Church outside Natchitoches, Louisiana
We were going to Melrose Plantation and stopped at this church for a picture and a prayer. 

Outbuilding on Melrose Plantation

On the road at P. Phano Prudhomme general store

What once was the gas pumps at P. Phano Prudhomme General Store ~ now closed!

Blue Door
Blue door at Melrose Plantation

Shuttered and Barred:  The Roque House on Cane River Lake

Shuttered and Barred at the Roque House on Cane River Lake in Natchitoches, Louisiana

Wrought iron fence surrounding family cemetery plot
 Seems that every family has a cemetery plot....many surrounded by these old wrought iron fences.

Cane River Lake, Natchitoches, Louisiana

The Cane River was formed when the Red River flooded and took another direction: 
 What a beauty it is. 

Broken Cross

Levy-East House Carriage House

All that remains after the fire that destroyed the Levy-East House Bed and Breakfast....the carriage house.   Thankfully it wasn't damaged and remains on the property as a remembrance of what once was and what might have been. 

On the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast front porch
 A place to sit a spell on the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast front porch.  And we did!

May, 2013

I could not resist making my May desktop calendar using this picture I took of the ancient live oak tree with limbs so long and heavy, they bent to the ground.