Sunday, June 30, 2013

What the heck is Google Reader?

OK, I have ignored my ignorance as long as I can. What is Google Reader? I have no idea whether I read blogs using Google Reader or not. Will I wake up tomorrow morning and find that I can't follow blogs anymore? The only way I have any idea that Google Reader even exists is because people are announcing that they can now be followed on Bloglovin, or something like that. If I am using something that is going to disappear, wouldn't the company let me know about it?

My blog is on Blogspot. I know that is somehow connected with Google, but what does that mean for me? 

I will continue to stumble along in my "ignorance is bliss" state of mind and see what happens tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lots of Sewing Going On

I've just been sewing and sewing. This is the last week before my online course starts. Beginning next week, I'll have lots of teaching time and grading work. I have really managed to make time for my sewing in my summer break. It will soon be at an end.

I have sewn together the Woven blocks made with Kissing Booth by Parson Gray. The directions didn't indicate which way seams should be pressed. I didn't really give it much thought. I pressed all of them toward the colored strips. Before sewing the blocks together, I pressed the seams of the last strip added to the block in the opposite direction (Thanks for the suggestion, Kitty). The assembly went great. I was surprised at the inconsistency of my seams, however. Really need to work on that. OK, yet another top ready to be quilted.

I completed the latest installment of the Amish With a Twist BOM (only one more to go!). There were 28 dark/medium log cabin blocks and 8 light/dark log cabin blocks. I just couldn't help myself. I had to throw them up on the design wall to see how they would look.
I didn't have enough room on the wall to add the top row that I have completed so far. I am really thrilled with the way this is coming out. The real trick to this quilt is the selection of light/medium/dark fabrics. I can sort out dark and light, but throw in those mediums and I am at a loss. I can't tell you how many times I had to refer back to the color chart sent with installment #1. It also helped that each installment was very specific about the colors to be used. If I were to try this on my own I am afraid I would be a dismal failure. I really need to learn a lot more about color and value.

I also completed block #1 in the 2013 Designer Mystery BOM. This is going to be a row quilt. The first row will be baskets. Here is #1:
I had a bit of a blip on the basket's 'feet.' The fabric is Avalon by Joanna Figueroa. I really like the soft colors.

I have also begun to quilt this Pine Tree wallhanging.
I am using 30 wt. Sulky1071 to stitch in the ditch. I will also use it for my background quilting in each block. I am going to be brave and do feathers in the setting triangles.
I will be using 30 wt. Sulky 1149 for the two borders and cornerstones. I don't think you can tell from the photo, but this is a tan color that goes well with those fabrics.
Here is where I would like some suggestions. I will use 30 wt. Sulky 1234 to quilt inside the pine trees. It is a dark gray and it mostly blends with the fabrics in the trees, but it will show so I want to do something nice in the trees. I don't want to just stitch in the ditch.
It doesn't really show well in this photo. I draped it across both of these trees. Those of you who have quilting experience, how would you do these trees? Any suggestions? I have been sketching out samples to try to suggest the bows of the pine tree. Any other ideas?

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

This Weekend's Progress

I am having a great weekend of sewing. I have packed up four quilt tops and backs, ready to go out to a long armer, but DH says, "Hold up." He is shocked by the amount that it costs to have a quilt quilted by a long armer. Actually, that is good news. Maybe he will be more amenable to having me purchase my own long arm machine. Ha.

Just biding my time.

As soon as I got the Swoon quilt top off the design wall, I replaced it with these Woven blocks.
The pattern is found here. I just stuck the blocks on the wall in the order they were in the pile. DH looked at it and had me make a few changes. I have to agree with him. I think it is better this way.
I think he has a good eye. I think this is the way I will assemble the blocks. I would really like to make this again. I am thinking about my grandsons. Maybe with solids or just some more manly looking prints. It was a fast quilt to sew. Really fun. You should try it.

Tomorrow, what to do? Sew these blocks together? Or sew the next installment of my Amish With a Twist? Or sew the first installment of the Designer's Mystery 2013? I'll see what strikes my fancy tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Good to be back in my sewing room

I had a great day in my sewing room yesterday. First I rearranged the furniture. I've been thinking about this for a while. I solved one issue, but created another. I'll live with it for a while before deciding whether or not I will return it to my original arrangement.

I completed the sashings on my Swoon quilt. Here it is on the design wall.
I have the backing fabric ready to piece together. I now have three tops waiting to be sent out to be quilted. I have another wall hanging waiting to be quilted (I am thinking and rethinking how I want to quilt it), and a smallish quilt top that I am on the fence about sending out or quilting myself.

I put the binding on my Blue Ridge Beauty. I really hate doing the binding. I just threw it on a king sized bed for this picture.

I used a new (to me) method for attaching the binding. Instead of machine sewing the binding on the front, turning to the back and sewing it down, I sewed it on the back of the quilt, wrapped it around to the front and used a fancy machine stitch to finish it off. It worked pretty well. I like the look of it. I used matching navy thread, so it doesn't really show up anyway. You can see it where it crosses the label.
I still have to add the quilter's info, but I waited to do it because I didn't want to sew across it when I attached the binding. I have to do that today.

Look at the fabric I used for the backing. I have had it for...ever. I really loved it. That is why I bought so much of it.
I won't have much time for sewing today. I have to do two presentations at a Teaching American History conference tomorrow. Time to think about getting those handouts pulled together. I guess I will have to go into the office. Sigh. Summer is disappearing.

I am linking up today at Show and Tell Tuesday here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm back from Ireland!

What a trip. It was great. I am not ready to post about the trip yet, though. You can check out Bonnie Hunter's posts at Quiltville. She traveled with her laptop so that she could post on her blog as the trip went along. I only had my iPhone. Typing on that little screen really doesn't work for me. I will get my head pulled together and post some pics and ruminations about Ireland and the quilt festival in a few days.

When I last posted on June 1, I mentioned that I was going to a surprise birthday party for my big brother. He is in this photo on the left, with his hands on the shoulders of my younger brother.
This is actually the only photo that was ever taken of all six of the Larsen kids. It is the only time we were all together at the same time. Ever. I was too young to appreciate the moment when this picture was taken. My brother joined the Marines when I was six months old and before my younger brother was born. Older brothers moved out on their own when us 'tag along' kids were still growing up. You can see that I had four older brothers. Two are now deceased.
Here we are together on his birthday (Campbellsville, KY June 1, 2013). I think he is still handsome. You'll notice that he still insists on the Marine haircut.

His wife said 'no gifts' for the party. How could I not give my brother a gift on his significant birthday? That just wasn't going to happen. What do you give to someone who has everything he needs? I couldn't think of anything that was appropriate, until...

My Star Struck quilt returned from the longarm quilter. Perfect.
The color scheme is very patriotic. There is no one I have ever known who is more patriotic than my brother. In our family, he is a war hero. In Korea as a teenager, two tours of duty in Vietnam. USMC, retired as a Sergeant Major. We have always been so proud of him.

He was thrilled and speechless (and if you knew my brother, you would appreciate how significant that is) when I gave it to him.
You will notice from these pictures that the party had a Hawaiian theme. He lived in Hawaii for many years.
 I couldn't be more thrilled with the way the timing worked out. The quilt was in my hands for less than 48 hours before it was given as a gift. Happy birthday, big brother. I hope you have many more.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Today is the first of June. Time for another Rabbit, Rabbit. Today is my big brother's 80th birthday. I can't believe it. I'm sure he can't either. Later today we will drive to Campbellsville, KY for a surprise birthday party. I don't know how it will really be a surprise since this is such a significant birthday. Anyway, I am really looking forward to it. I am hoping his 'kids' from Iowa, Maryland, and Hawaii might be there. I haven't been in communication with any of them so as not to spoil the surprise. I'll report on the big doings tomorrow. I have a surprise gift for him that I will share with you tomorrow.

I have finished all nine Swoon blocks. I love them.
Swoon 8

I didn't take a close up of Swoon 9 (top row, right). I guess I was just too anxious to get it up on the design wall. Here they are all together.
I might still move them around, but I am going to look at it for a bit before adding the sashing.

I don't have much sewing time left before the trip to Ireland. We practice packed yesterday to make sure everything would fit in our luggage and that our bags aren't too heavy. I am beyond excited to go.

I am linking up with Fresh Sewing Day (see button at right).

Thanks for stopping by.