Thursday, May 31, 2012


Peonies have been so beautiful this year.  The buds always remind me of my little boys, when they were 2 and 4 years old they picked all the buds off  the peonies to play marbles but they didn't roll so good because they were sticky and picked up dirt and they had to deal with the ants after the nectar. I love the gentle gradation of color in the buds and outside petals and how the green and red melt together but never get muddy.  How does nature do that?
always in awe of nature --Ann--

Monday, May 28, 2012

Design Wall Monday
The border are on and my fat quarters are almost gone. Now to decide how to quilt it. I could stitch through all the nine patches the green and so a grid and stitch around each star or I could do my old stand by concentric tear drops.  Linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Whats Blooming and reading list

I can never remember if this is a Dutch iris or a Siberian Iris

a volunteer poppy with the volunteer lettuce in my garden and my potatoes are up!!!!!!  My old fashioned peonies are blooming too but the wind knocked them flat. I'll have to cut them all and bring them in to enjoy.
  1. Lovers Knot by Clare O'Donahue
  2. Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Rielly  for book club
  3. An Unlikely Friendship Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley by Ann Rinaldi
  4. Quilt as Desired by Arlene Sachitano
  5. Doc by Mary Doria Russell  there was a lot more to Doc Holliday than the shoot out at the OK coral.
  6. Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas  for book club about Japanese interment in Colorado during WWII
  7. Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas another quilting story set in mining town in mountains of Colorado in late 1800's
  8. Murder on the Rocks  by Karen MacInerey  free kindle book
  9. Quilter's Knot  by Arlene Sachitano
  10. The Secret of Sarah Revere  by Ann Rinaldi  for book club
  11. Georgia in  Hawaii when Georgia O'Keeffe painted what she pleased Amy Novesky ill.Yuyi Morales
  12. Art from the Heart folk artist Clementine Hunter  by Kathy Whitehead ill. Shane W Evans
  13. The Boy Who Drew Birds a story of John James Audubon  by Jacqueline Davis ill. Melissa Sweet
  14. The Amber Photograph  by Penelope J. Stokes
  15. True Believer Nicholas Sparks
  16. At First Sight Nicholas Sparks
  17. A Drunkard's Path Clare O'Donahue
  18. Water for Elephants  Sara Gruen  for book club
  19. John James Audubon  John Burroughs  free book  I'm so glad writing styles have changed over the century very interesting but not very exciting.
 Books I read this winter and spring. School is out; not that I have kids at home but it means summer reading so I will start a new list.  -- Ann--

Monday, May 21, 2012

Y seam tutorial spool block

 Mitered corners, Y seam, spool block          I just love spool blocks

 I cut 2 inch wide strips for this spool and a 2 inch center square. Using leftovers from previous project.  Use the Companion Angle (CA) designed by Darlene Zimmerman to cut the spool ends and background  pieces.

Cutting both strips at once here

For a 2 inch center square line up the strip with the top dotted line on the CA and cut, flip over and cut another.

 The five pieces of the block   the short edge of the spool ends and background pieces are a tiny bit shorter than the center square but it works better that way.

 Mark a 1/4 inch seam for each corner. I made a template from template plastic with a 1/4 inch square cut out. other angles don't mean anything for this block                    Center the square on the background fabric

 and sew from dot to  dot
1/4 inch mark to 1/4 inch mark  sewing second piece to the center square

 sew background, sew spool fabric, sew background then spool fabric  1,2,3,4      
sewing the last piece to the center square
 It looks like a spool sorta but it will background fabrics across from each other and spool ends across from each other so far so good even though they are getting in each other space right now.  ha ha
 Fold square in half diagonally from the corner of the square, match edges carefully. Very important to match edges and fold in half and finger crease.
 Sew from stitching line 1/4 inch seam
 first seam so good so far whew............ wipe brow and on to the next.
 Fold center square exactly in half again match up diagonal edges and sew from the seam to the edge.  We are on a roll here repeat with the last 2 corners you will be an expert by the 4th corner.
Drum roll please                        there should be an X in the center of the spool
 back side pretty messy but its the back side
 I like to press the background over the spool fabric so the spool stands out a little and the square flat.
front side
trim all the dog ears and sew a bunch more.

Happy sewing spools,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2012

 Pink and green, pink and yellow two of my favorite color combinations.   A couple moves ago I was part of a small group of quilters; we met every week for conversation, coffee and stitching. We worked on our own projects but we also did some round robin quilts and sometimes chose a pattern and we each made our own inturpertaion of that quilt. This quilt is from Kim Diehl's book Simple Blessings we each made our own quilt with our choice of fabrics. Kim's directions use half square triangles for the spools. I used the Y seam because it isn't that difficult come back again for a tutorial next week.  There are 100 spools I used more than 50 fabrics, there are pairs of some spools but not all.  When I am old and feeble and curled up in this quilt I will play brain games and try to match all the spools.  I puzzled for a long time over how to machine quilt this and a couple years ago I took a machine quilting class and asked the instructor, a professional quilter, she said I really should hand quilt it in each of the spools. So I am hand quilting. Last winter I hand quilted every Tuesday night during NCIS and White Collar but some nights there was just too much action to get much quilting done,  it is amazing how much I can do during a commercial break. I only have 18 spools left to do but then I wonder if I should quilt the background fabric and I have all those geese to stitch inside. I will probably do a chain design or a rope in the borders.
Linking up to
Happy Quilting,  Ann

Amy's Creative Side

Monday, May 14, 2012

I have been working hard on my vegetable garden the past week. The sunny warm days of March were nice but the weeds wasted no time in growing. so had to rid the garden of  six weeks worth of weeds before I could begin planting. It is a long way from picture worthy except for the strawberry blossoms. I picked up 6 bags of top soil from the garden center and bought bedding plants. I was so glad I only bought 6 bags instead of 10. They were heavy and after I carried them to the various flower beds and got the tools out of the shed I noticed the red wagon which I thought disappeared a couple moves ago it would have made carrying the bags so much easier  but it was wedged in behind the snow blower and the riding mower. I would have had to move the riding mower which I don't know how to start and I have no intention of learning how to start it because I have no intention of learning how to use it.  I got my dirt worked up and planted pansies and violas. There can never be to many of either. I also planted snapdragons petunias.  My Lily of the Valley are blooming and a Mourning Cloak butterfly was enjoying the sunny day as much as I was.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I chose these fabrics based on Vickie's May color palate for Judy's May challenge on Design Wall Monday. The quilt was inspired by a quilt in an ad in Fons and Porters quilt magazine. It is a tri rec star with nine patches and double nine patches. I should have taken the time to sew a practice block but when I have been quilting for over 20 years who needs to do a practice block!?! Or at least checked my math. I cut my strips for the tri rec star 4 1/2 inches wide, I cut the strips for the nine patches 2 inches wide for a 4 1/2 inch block that would be a 4 1/2 inch finished block and my tri rec pieces will finish at 4 inches. I have to trim 1/2 inch off all my 9 patches to finish at 4 inches. I'm working with fat quarters from my stash so fabric is limited and old enough I'll never find the same fabric or that shade of green.
Happy trimmings,  Ann

Friday, May 4, 2012

Birds in my backyard

I had to look twice when I saw the bird with the red breast, it didn't quite look like a robin and oh my gosh it had the most beautiful blue jacket. I had never seen a bluebird before I didn't think they came this far west. So of course I grabbed the camera, I bought a new camera last week a Fujifilm HS 25 EXR and am learning how to use it.  More new material to cram into my head. Sometimes I wish I could delete things from my head so I don't confuse the new stuff with the old stuff. The top 2 pics were taken through the window, I'm amazed that the dandelions are identifiable and can you see the goldfinch at 11:00 in the second pic and 10:00 in the 3rd pic? The bluebird didn't stay long after I went outside but the pictures are better.
-- Ann --

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On the Wall

 I made this little birdhouse quilt over ten years ago. It was a Thimbleberries pattern, I still love the fabrics I chose. I mitered (sewed the Y seam) instead of using all the HST used in the pattern for the roofs and base of the birdhouse. The morning glories and leaves are button hole stitched, there is a button in the center of each flower attached with embroidery floss, the 4 hole buttons are stitched in a square. I remember how sore my fingers were from pulling a large needle with floss through the quilt.
A red winged blackbird, killdeer and killdeer and pheasant tracks in the mud. The killdeer had a nest close by because they were not happy that I was near. The killdeer chicks look just like the adults only small. It must be that birds that nest on the ground have chicks that as soon as they are dry are fuzzy and cute and can walk or run as opposed to the birds that nest high up and have homely babies.
Another book I found in the elementary school library when I was there last week was The Boy Who Drew Birds a story about John James Audubon, written by Jacqueline Davis and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Audubon was fascinated by birds from when he was a small boy in France. He came to America in the early 1800's when he was 18 years old. He would sit in the woods and sketch and watch until the birds thought he was part of the forest. He tied a thread to a birds leg hoping to find out if birds return to the same nest every spring. The bird picked the thread loose so he tried a silver thread, the bird couldn't pick it off so the next spring the bird with the silver thread returned to the same area. The scientific theories of where birds go in the winter was hilarious. The story and illustrations are delightful.
-- Ann --

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Scrap bags

listed on etsy

While my computer was out I sewed more coil bags and sewed more and wrote a  few blog posts in my head.  My woodcarving tools are all in one basket now  much cuter than the shoe box they were in and easier to grab to take outside with my cup of coffee. I still haven't used all the 1/2 inch strips of fabric I cut for the first bag but then I find a little more of something that fits the color palate and I cut away. I've gone through almost 500 feet of cotton clothesline, 2 short 1200 yard spools of thread and a couple partial spools of machine quilting thread and only 1 needle broke. The only thing more fun than buying new fabric is using it up completely!

Scrap Happy,   Ann