Sunday, July 28, 2013

Random Notions - Nikko's Outer Space Quilt is finished!

Well, in between just doing nothing lately, I finished Nikko’s Outer Space quilt!  I am so happy with how it turned out –
And I love the fleece I found for the back-
I tied it off last night as I watch three episodes of Star Trek – The Next Generation.  I thought it was only fitting. 

So what’s next?  I will be making another gift quilt – it will be all blue and white.  Will have more info on that in the next week or so.

Well, that is all I stopped in to share.  I hope you are keeping cool during this hot summer! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Random Notions – Corn in pots and other stuff

Things have been crazy the last few days.  Had trouble focusing on anything, but I did get a couple of things a little further along-

I have been waiting to hear back from Janet the longarm quilter that the piece I gave to her last month is finished so I can give her the green kaleidoscope quilt, but I figured in the meantime I would just do the pillow- after all, it’s not that big, right?  And I just planned on stitching in the ditch around the block-
My walking foot has become my new best friend, or maybe I already said that when I put the binding on the blue quilt. (I sometimes think I am losing my mind.)  It actually worked quite well-
I thought it was going to fit an 18” X 18” pillow form I already had, but it was a bit bigger than I thought it would be, so I had to get a 20” X 20”.  The pillow looks very nice on Alexis’ pink chair in her bedroom-
I don’t think Lex actually likes red, so she was surprised that it looked good. 

Then, I have been working on the blocks for Nikko’s Outer Space quilt.  I got two more rounds of logs on them and I’m ready to figure out how to put them together.  I used a hand dyed fabric that reminds me of the pictures you see of the gas clouds in space for the final round-
This is just two of them, and don’t worry, they don’t all have so much pink in them!   They look really cool.  I think I am going to use the teal color for the sashing and border.   I need to hurry up because Nikko’s birthday is the 28th of this month.

Speaking of birthdays, yesterday, the 16th, was Harry’s 3rd birthday.  Adorable kid-
Looking at that angelic face, would you ever believe he can be a holy terror at times?  I took him and Layla to see Monsters University yesterday, which was Harry’s first movie in a theater.  He was pretty good, just getting restless in the last 20 minutes.

Mini monsters review - Monsters University – fun movie, but the soundtrack is not near as good as Monsters Incorporated.  Hey, Randy Newman, wherever you are- epic fail on this one.  I did not come out humming the theme, in fact, I have no recollection of what it even sounded like.

I’ve been out enjoying the hummingbirds more.  I don’t know how, but I got a blurry shot of an in-air fight-
It seems that it is the smaller one that has been chasing off the others.  I have two feeders and I’m trying to figure out where I could put one farther away from the other, so perhaps more birds would be able to feed.  Had a terrible time with ants crawling up the frame they are hanging from, and when I cleaned them, there would be dozens of dead ones inside.  Found something that seems to be working – chalk.  I had always heard that ants will not cross a chalk line.  I found some of the kids’ sidewalk chalk and scribbled all around the hanger like this -
It seems to be working – I haven’t had ants in the feeders since I started doing this.  The weird thing – when I was going out in the morning, the chalk would be gone from one side- it was still there on the other.  I couldn’t figure it out, until I was telling my mom about the mystery this morning, and my brother Casey, who grows corn in pots–
said, “Oh, I’ve been hosing the feeders off when I water the plants- I didn’t know you were putting that there on purpose.”  Okay, mystery solved.  This rather reminds me of the time when we were living in another house that was located on a corner.  On the side of the house, near the sidewalk, I planted 3 Texas sage bushes.  Just when it was time for them to bloom, I went out to water one day, and all 3 plants were gone!  I freaked out – I figured someone in the neighborhood had dug them up and took off with them.  A day or so later, when I mentioned to Casey that they had been stolen, he very sheepishly said he thought they were weeds and pulled them up.  He had tried to revive them when he found out, but it was already too late.  argh.

Anyway, I think that I will pulverize the chalk and try to pounce it on the frame so that it covers more completely.  I’m happy it is working so well, because I hated having to take them down covered with ants.

Gonna go.  Hope you are staying cool!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Random Notions – So glad it’s quiet again!

I hope everyone had a safe 4th and enjoyed the fireworks.  Usually, I watch the fireworks over the Las Vegas Strip from my 2nd floor bedroom window that offers a great view, but I kind of didn’t feel like it this year.  Instead, I sat and sewed together my Tumbling Blocks block for my BOM group. 

I live in a circle and across the street lives a man with what seems like a bazillion teenage sons.  I’m sure only a couple are his, but there are always any of them out there, and every 4th of July, they are out there shooting off fireworks, of which I believe many are the not legal type.  While I was sewing, they would set stuff off that just made me jump in my seat.  They scared Lhasa so bad she was hiding and I couldn’t find her, and Sheme sat right next to my sewing machine – every time one went off, she tried to crawl in my lap. 

I have never made Tumbling Blocks before.  There are 7 blocks, which I originally wanted to make each one out of three shades of a different color.  However, upon going through my big bag of batik and hand dyed fabrics, I decided it would take me 4 days to put the colors together.  Instead, I just chose 3 colors for all of them and this is how they came out-
I don’t know why I used the white background – every time I do, I’m sorry.  I had to photograph it against black because you can’t see the white against my cheap design wall.  So here is how I am doing so far on the quilt-
I am so glad that next month is finally the appliqu├ęd basket- I have been really looking forward to working on that.

Now I will go back to the outer space quilt.  I squared up the blocks so they don’t look so crooked anymore-
I’m going to try really hard to not make the next round so crooked.  Maybe I should quit drinking while I quilt – way too much coffee!  LOL

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Random Notions – Checking in

Thought I would just pop in and ask, “Is it hot enough for you?”  Argh, I hate the heat!  My clock has an outside temperature reading – the sensor is in the backyard in the shade.  This is what it said the other day-
I don’t care what The Weather Channel tells you – they lie, and especially about Las Vegas.  I mean, would you plan a visit to Las Vegas in the summer if you read that the temperatures would be in the 130’s in the shade at 6 in the evening?  I wish I had seen it earlier because it had to have been higher around noon – 2pm.  This is no glitch – there are 3 other clocks like this in the house that read the same at this time, and at other times of the day, like early morning and late evening, they pretty much match what the Weather Channel says.  Is it any wonder that I always feel like I am melting?

I have been trying to work on the outer space quilt for a friend’s grandson.  The problem is, in order to quilt, I need to be able to iron.  I hate to put more heat into an already hot room.  Plus the only place I currently have for the iron is next to the window.  There is an insulated black out curtain up, but as soon as you get within about 6 feet of the window, you can really feel the heat – the window is on the second floor and faces directly west.  I have a Mylar curtain to hang, but there is only one panel and it is too long, so I have to sew a pocket along the side – it will cover more of the window turned that way.  I like the Mylar panels – they really work, letting some light in and allowing you to see out, during the day, but after you have them hanging in a hot window for a couple of years, they start to disintegrate.  The last ones I had up there turned to tiny bits of silver all over the sill and floor after 2 years.  But still, I guess 2 years is a pretty good run for plastic in the direct sun, right?

So everything is kind of slow going right now.  For the outer space quilt, I decided to use a variation of the log cabin block, with fussy cut centers.  I have loads of outer space materials, so I just started cutting and this is what I have so far-
They really came out crooked.  I was shooting for 7 ½” square, but I think I will square them all to 7” before I continue on.  There are about 10 different fabrics in there so far, and I will be adding a couple more as I go.

I also need to make my block for the BOM I’m working on through Craftsy.  It’s a Tumbling Blocks block, something I have never done before, so I am anxious to get it done.

After that, I will be making another kaleidoscope quilt for a gift in September.  It will also be predominately blue like Mom’s.  I need to get it done kind of quick so I can get it to the longarmer in time to get it finished up by the middle of September.

And speaking of kaleidoscope quilts – the green and brown one I made for Alexis- I got the backing fabric for it and pieced it to make it fit, only to find out I cut it short and wound up having to add an 8 inch strip down one side!  I was so annoyed – I have no idea what I was thinking!

A few weeks ago I got new hummingbird feeders for the back yard.  I used that nectar mix you can buy just about anywhere and hung them and waited – no hummers!  I finally tried a good old fashioned mix of sugar and water and now they are showing up!  Of course, there is one bully who runs all the others off – here he is- 

I was shooting against the light so I really had to lighten them up to get any detail.  One of these mornings I need to go out really early so I can shoot from the right angle.

And that’s about it for me right now.  Have a fun and safe 4th of July!