Friday, February 26, 2016

Light shows...

Took a little road trip yesterday and took some photos.

This old building use to be the New Liberty School house.   It is a few miles east of Midway, AR.   I believe it was opened in 1900 and closed in 1949.










 Continuing east, this pretty scene came into view and I took a shot.



I stopped at a Hobby Lobby in Russellville and there were a lot of water birds in the parking lot.  I was able to get these few in a photo.

It's been awhile since I've seen one, but they looked like sea gulls to me, and I'm guessing they are migrating back to the south coast.

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It got pretty breezy as the day went.  On our way back home in the afternoon I snapped this shot of the U.S. flag and the Arkansas flag flapping in the wind.

The Arkansas flag is lowered in honor of Antonin Scalia.

As winds grew in speed, clouds rolled into the area and out again... but there were some beautiful light shows going on.

These sun rays are just beyond Dardanelle Lake, but you can see some are hitting the lake too.


I stayed in today, just chilling out.  Read my Bible and my morning devotional, had a few cappuccinos, braided some cotton twine for a necklace idea, but then decided against using it for a necklace, watched a little t.v., baked some cookies ... yeah that's pretty much it... just chilled out.

Until next time...
Hugs,
Sonia

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Getting out of the safe box...

What a great way to start a day...

A chocolate cappuccino and a devotional.



Today, I decided to step out of my "safe quilting box" and work with some blocks I acquired last week.  The measurement on the bag, the blocks where in, said they were 6 1/2 inch blocks.

I could tell they were more or less than that.  Each block was roughly cut and there were different types of material used too.  But I decided to use them as they were.  I'm trying to break free from the rules of making sure each piece is the same size, same type of fabric blend, etc.  I want to do a scrappy quilt for my daughter and though I know I will use the same fabric blends throughout her quilt, for the type of quilt she wants, I need to be able to not get hung up with the sizes of the pieces used.

Here is a close up of a block to give you an idea of what I was working with.



Here is the center of the quilt top. You can see it is a little wonky.














I took several of the blocks left and sewed them end to end making a long line of blocks and will trim them down to border the piece.  I'm not going to try to match the seams as I border it, to help with the wonkiness of the piece.

I know this is a baby step, but I've been in the "safe quilting box" my entire quilting life (since 2001)...  Except for the one time I went home from work totally put out... that time I sewed a lot of strips together, cut them up, sewed them together again, cut them up again, and did it all one more time. My frustration and anger was gone and it turned out pretty.  You might remember it...


It was done with a lot of high emotion and not much thinking.  But I honestly don't want to have to get mad or upset to get out of the "safe quilting box" each time.  So, I will continue to integrate broken quilting rules in my quilts, until I get the hang of it.  :)

Sonia


Friday, February 19, 2016

Under cover

The weather has been warm and the trees are budding.
A tree behind my house
Today, I noticed the small steno book I use was a little ratty around the edges so I made a cover for it.

I started with two small blocks I had pieced earlier. I folded each piece around the front and back cover of the notebook and pinned.

Then, using an upholstery needle, I whip stitched the seams using a contrasting color.


The two pieces were stitched together to create a binding around the spiral of the little book.  Now the small steno books I have can be put in my handbag and be protected from wear and tear.


Sonia

Monday, February 15, 2016

Overcoming a glitch...

The first signs of our veggie garden are beginning to show.  My husband started seeds for the garden and today we noticed they are up and have vented the top of the seed starter tray.

We have cabbage and iceberg lettuce.


The beets and basil have started too.


I think they will do well.

I was needing a single vase a week or two ago and didn't have one.  I was at a flea market last week and found this pretty vintage milk glass bud vase.  It is diamond cut in the pineapple pattern.  


I finally finished one of the small quilts I've been working on.  It didn't happen without a glitch though.  Here's the quilt finished.

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Here's the glitch.  I had to stop and have some repair done on my machine.  I was sewing along and then the casing that holds the needle just dropped out of the machine.  


Thankfully my needle was not broke or bent, amazingly.

So that's Monday for me.  It started good, had a glitch, then ended good.  

Isn't that how life goes?

Everything is going along good, then a glitch happens.  How you overcome that glitch depends on how you face it.  In the case of my sewing machine, I turned to my husband.  I have never had my machine do anything like it.  He repaired it, and showed me what I need to do if it ever happens again.  I am now prepared  with the knowledge and the tool to take care of it next time.   

But what about bigger things in life?  How do you overcome glitches then?  I personally rely on my relationship with God.  I search my heart and pray asking God to reveal what I should do, and at some point, either through discernment or Scripture, I know what needs to be done or what to expect next.  These verses sum it up nicely.

Psalm 16:8-11 (NIV) 
I keep my eyes always on the LORD.  With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will You let Your faithful one see decay.  You make known to me the path of life, You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.


Hugs, 
Sonia


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More UFO's

Hi, hope all is going well.

After taking care of some business this morning, then taking a nap this afternoon I decided to work on another quilt top today.

This one is a simple 16 patch to begin with.  I will border it with the darker fabric shown and back it with the lighter one.   The blocks were found in the same hatbox I found the "Farmer's Daughter" blocks in.  They were 7" cut squares and finished 6 1/2".  I'm not sure where they came from, but I think they must have been left over blocks from another project because there were only 19 blocks, an odd number.  I don't remember doing a previous quilt using these blocks, so they must have been given to me or were in a set of blocks I found at a flea market or something.


I also decided on a backing for the "Farmer's Daughter" blocks quilt top.  I've decided to back it with a white fabric.


I plan to get both of these finished and quilted by the end of the week.  I feel like I will get one done tomorrow.

Until next time,
Sonia




Saturday, February 6, 2016

UFOs...

I've been trying to catch up on some UFOs I've had waiting to be finished for some time.

 I finished this wall hanging today. The heart blocks are made from members of the quilt guild I belong to.  We use to have a block challenge each month, then in the next meeting we would all put our blocks in a bag and the person who's block was picked won them all.  These blocks are part of a bag full of blocks I won several years ago.



Then I went through my hat box full of vintage, some antique and other blocks I've acquired over the years.

I found several "Farmer's Daughter" quilt blocks.  This pattern was an original pattern in the Kansas Star paper on March 20, 1935.

The blocks I have are all hand pieced and scrappy, with a finished size of 10".  You can see by the fabrics they have been around for a while.  I pieced them together to make a small quilt top.  I trying to decide if  I want to put borders on it or not.  If I decide to, then I have to figure out what color to use...  I'm leaning toward no border, just binding after I quilt it.  If I just bind it, with no additional border, it will finish at 30" X 40".

 

Hugs,
Sonia

Friday, February 5, 2016

Blending colors...

It's a beautiful day, today.  There are wispy clouds highlighted against the beautiful blue of the sky.


It's a little nippy outside, so I decided to finish up a small afghan I've been working on little by little as I've had time this week.  

 It is 28" x 32" in size.

I used a size Q (16 mm) hook and two strands of yarn for each stitch.


It's made up of alternating two rows of single crochet and one row of double crochet through out.

I changed colors, adding one color to a previous color, making it so that the colors blend as they go up and still have a color block definition too.  Each color combo had 8 - 10 rows, depending on when I wanted to change colors.

Here are the colors/color combinations I used.
  • Dusty rose with light pink
  • Light pink with bright pink 
  • Bright pink with hot pink 
  • Hot pink with dark purple 
  • Dark purple with medium purple 

It's a great way to use up yarn if you find your yarn stash overflowing.


Hugs,
Sonia



Monday, February 1, 2016

Free

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24

My weekend end started out great, though I'm still trying to get over a major sinus cold.  I haven't felt as good as I do, spiritually and emotionally, in a very long time.    One word to describe how I feel.... FREE.

I've been able to catch up on some things. 
Here's the butterfly wall hanging.  I finished it today and practiced my free motion quilting on it.


My free motion quilting isn't pretty, but the more I do it, the better I will get.



We have cold weather moving in Tuesday night and the black birds have been gathering in droves.


Seeing all those birds prepping for the cold, made me want to bake.  I guess you can say I've been doing a little nesting of my own.  Anyway I baked some cookies.  Lemon cookies to be exact.  The recipe was on the side of a lemon cake mix.  They are yummy with a lemony drizzle on top.


One of the challenges I have set for myself this year is taking the antique and vintage blocks I have collected over the years and put them together into quilts or wall hangings, depending on how many blocks are in each set.   Here are the latest blocks I have acquired.  They are octagon in shape.  These blocks were all hand pieced and scrappy.


I have searched for this block on the internet and have had no luck on the name for it.  Tomorrow I will look through two books I have that document quilt blocks from the 1800's forward.  I hope to find it in one of them.

Do you know what it's called?

Sonia