Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Big Surprise

One of my goals in quilting is to have a small wall hanging for each month. I am close but still have a few more to go. August is kind of a weird month. No holidays, nothing much going on except heat. This month I put up this chicken wall hanging, just because.

Today I was driving downtown and there next to the curb was a horse trailer carrying a camel. I had a good laugh and drove on by. It was parked a half block from our church, so I called the preschool coordinator and let her know so she could bring the kids out for a quick peek. What a great day when you can experience a complete moment of joy so unexpectedly.

Hope your day is full of surprises too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's Raining Buckets

We had a huge storm on Friday afternoon and evening. Our power was out for 8 hours. The photo is of our church during the high water. The basement of the church flooded. The water came in under the doors and flowed right down the basement stairs. After the floor was mopped and vacuumed up, the water kept coming up from the base of the wall. Fortunately there was no damage. Apparently this is the rainiest summer in our area since 1914. Based on the number of mosquitoes, I can believe it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's a Sad Day....

in the Emerald Woods. Our son left this morning for college. When his little red Chevy pulled out of the driveway, I could feel a big old lump in my throat. We quickly headed for the Y to get busy so I wouldn't have to think about it. He is starting his sophomore year the the University of Illinois in Nuclear Engineering. What a smartypants!

We will see him in two weeks so I am trying to not be sad. I've already scrubbed out the bathroom and stripped his bed and cleaned up his room. Wish I had that much energy everyday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

What are you reading?

I just finished a good book called The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. The story is about an artist who ends up in a psychiatric hospital and refuses to speak after he tries to attack a painting in the National Gallery. His psychiatrist decides to find out why by delving into the artist's life. The story includes some great info on the art world and in particular the Impressionist period. This author also wrote the Historian which was interesting from a historical perspective, but dealt with vampires, not really my kind of book. Fortunately The Swan Thieves stayed away from the supernatural stuff.

What are you reading? I am always looking for new books for my book club. Anybody read books by Jennifer Weiner? I saw a book review in the paper yesterday about one of her books. I had not heard of her before.

I have been busy canning and freezing which is always fun. I love seeing our garden go into the jars and containers that we can use all winter. Plus I love applesauce. Can't make enough.

I have finished 10 blocks for my Pine Burr quilt. I should have them all done this week and then it is back to Dear Jane.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My kitchen is overflowing with zucchini. I made relish already this summer and now I think I may need to make another batch. I have taken lots of squash to the church food pantry and will have lots more as the heat of summer continues here. I am finally starting to get a few tomatoes, but something has been gnawing on them. Gross.

The Overall Bills pictured today are me - the quilter, an uncle who has a farm, my husband who is from Arizona - can you see the little A on his hat? and my son who is a soccer player.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Today's Pine Burr block seems to be having a problem. It won;t lay flat, so I am thinking I will have to redo it. This is not my favorite thing to do, so I am going to ignore it for now and hope it will go away or fix itself while I'm not looking.

Tomatoes are starting to ripen on the vine. I picked off quite a few orange ones as I read in our Sunday paper that there is some new blight making its way thru the area.

The first Overall Bill is for the dad who likes to fish, the next is an airplane for the grandpa (my brother) who is a pilot, and the bottom one is for my dad who loved to garden and plant flowers.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's Bill's Turn

As I mentioned several posts ago, my niece had twins and I made quilts for them. The Sunbonnet Sue quilt is for her little girl and I made an Overall Bill quilt for her little boy. It's the same pattern from AP&Q magazine. Again I personalized each of the blocks, this time for all the men in the family.

I think I like this quilt a little better because the colors are so bright and varied. Both were a lot of fun to make and I had fun thinking of clever ways to personalize each block. The yellow fabric has John Deere logos all over it and the border print has tractors and trucks. Perfect for a little boy in our family.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday Night Out

Seems like yesterday was a quiet day for some reason. We went to a new restaurant that advertises Soul Food. The owners were really nice and friendly and glad to have the business. The best news is that they had fried okra. It was almost better than mine. Which is saying a lot. I love fried okra. They also had great barbequed ribs. The place is very small, but I hope they do well.

I have finished the 5th block of the Pine Burr quilt -- one a day is all we ask. The blocks are supposed to finish up at 17 inches. I am wondering now about how to square them up before sewing them together. My largest ruler is a 12 or 15 inch square. Any suggestions??

The Sue with the cello is my daughter. The pennant is for a friend who went to Purdue with me. The bottom one is for an aunt who loves lady bugs. That concludes the Sunbonnet Sue parade.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lots of Squash

Our weather has cooled a bit and it is wonderful to be outside. Today I am reading to the day care/ preschool kids at our church. I am reading Chicken Little in Spanish and then we are going to act it out. Should be fun.

No sewing yesterday, but I did get some Chocolate Zucchini bread made. The food pantry at our church handed out seeds in May asking us to grow different veggies and return half the produce to the pantry. I have been taking a few squash for the last couple of weeks, but this week has been a bumper crop. The photo is just yesterday's picking. The zucchini are a really pale green. They are called Ishtar. The yellow squash are really tender. I love them with a little butter and parmesan.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm almost done with another Pine Burr block today. There are so many pieces and I somehow manage to get something going the wrong direction in every block. I carefully lay everything out and then Shazam! like magic there is a block marching off the wrong way. So far, I have caught it each time before there is too much serious ripping to do.

Here are some detail shots of the Sunbonnet Sues on the baby quilt I showed yesterday. The flamingo is for an aunt (my sister) who lives in Florida, the dog is for the mother (my niece) who had several dogs, the painter's palette is for the grandmother (my sister-in-law) who is obviously an artist, and the heart is for the great grandmother (my mom) who was the Queen of Hearts.

Today was my day to work at church and then out to lunch with my friends. In our downtown area, there is a boardwalk along the river and restaurants set up tents one day a week and sell lunch items. It's only about 5 blocks from church, so off I went only to discover I was a day early. LOL. So typical for me. Well, now I have something to look forward to tomorrow!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Baby Quilt

Our weather is very hot and humid, so we are staying indoors. I finished the second block of my Pine Burr quilt. Since they all pretty much look alike, I'll wait til I have more finished to take pictures and post them.

Instead, I have pictures of a quilt I made a couple of years ago. My niece has two beautiful twins, so I made them quilts of our family. I found a pattern in AP&Q magazine that featured some pre-printed panels. Since I didn't know where to find the panels, I made Sunbonnet Sue blocks to replace them. Then I personalized each block for a member of our family. It was really fun to make. Since we live all over the country and now Canada, the twins really don't get to see their family much. This was a cute way for them to get to know us better.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lost in the Bermuda Half Square Triangle

How can it possibly take so long to make HST's? I think I have completed the 450 hst's required for this quilt. I have counted them all and sorted them by color so I can try to randomize their placement. I have cut more than half of the remaining pieces required for the quilt, so construction should start any day now. Since I am trying to use up scraps, it seems to take much longer to find pieces of fabric that will go with this quilt and then cut them up. It is a great lesson in patience. The bad news is that I have not made any Dear Jane blocks since I don't want to create any more fabric piles until I have this one pieced.

We watched Pillars of the Earth on Friday night, at least the first two episodes that are available over the Internet. We plugged the computer into the TV and Voila! we are at the movies. The first two episodes are great and follow the book pretty well. Since the book was huge, they have cut out most of the detail and tried to capture the basic storyline. It is always interesting to see how the characters are cast. I envisioned Prior Phillip to be a bit older and the mean guy whose name I can't think of was kind of wimpy looking, but played the part pretty well. Anyway, tune in if you can. Very entertaining.