For those of you who like to peer into other people's homes, this link is for you. Beautiful model homes to inspire your decorating efforts--one could spend hours just surfing through them. I save any that are truly inspirational to me. . .
Why do weekends go by so fast? I did not work on either quilt this weekend. Instead I played around piecing small nine patch blocks (just 3 1/4" finished size). I am probably going to make a double nine-patch with these tiny blocks at some point. I quickly estimated needing over 400 of them. I guess right now I am wanting to piece and not quilt. I hope I get back in the hand quilting mode this week. I am getting so close to finishing the log cabin. I did make a pretty good vegetable/beef/lentil soup which we will have for dinner tonight. I went shopping and got some incredible bargains (75%) on sweaters. I bought 5 of them. Saturday night I went to a casino. It was an all around good weekend and I hated to see it end.
I thought I would try using quilt blocks as wall art, so I made log cabin blocks and framed them. I have not yet put them on the wall, but I am contemplating making a gallery wall of quilts down my hallway. I may work a bit more on that this weekend.
Is it just me or do you all not like music on a blog? I hate it when I am just surfing through new blogs, hoping to find a good read and music starts blaring out at me the moment I enter. The first thing I do is hit the X!
I have added the backing (muslin) and batting to my jeans quilt. I used quilting pins rather than basting as I have found this to be so much easier and I have not had any problems with puckers on the back side. I just could not bring myself to tie any part of the quilt (I just don't like those ties sticking out all over). I decided to hand quilt a simple star in each corner and center of the pieced blocks. In the plain blocks I will quilt a large star in the same shape as the pieced blocks. Eager to see how difficult this would be, I marked one block and began...............while I wouldn't say it is easy, it is doable, but not something I will do for long periods of time. My fingers are a tad sore and I have only quilted 3 small stars. It will be a long slow process, but I am in no hurry. Did you notice the crocheted afghan on the chair? My Mom made it for me several years ago. I just noticed yesterday that it is in the same Ohio Star design.
I have a confession--a sort of deep dark secret--I enjoy cleaning. Ah, having admitted this I feel so purged, so clean, so refreshed...I have spent the last two days in a cleaning frenzy. I know not many people will believe this, but at 4:30 a.m. I was cleaning under the kitchen sink. Yes, I removed every bottle of cleanser, took a bucket of water and Pine Sol and happily removed every trace of dust, and built up gunk that so readily accumulates under the kitchen sink. I wiped down the tops of each bottle and then put them all back in neat tidy rows. Finishing this project only left me wanting more--I glanced around looking for more dirt to conquer. Ahhhhhh, those air vents on the wall--I noticed a bit of dust in them last week. A trip down to the basement yielded the proper screwdriver and within minutes I had it off the wall and into a sinkful of soapy water. A few scrubs into the vents with a toothbrush and it was sparkling clean. I felt so good! I did two more. Then I looked into the living room and my eyes landed on the bare wood molding around the entrance door. We had a new door installed and had not yet painted the molding. Let me be more precise. The door was installed in April of 2003. Yes, nearly TWO YEARS ago. Off to the basement I went. I found some Kilz and a 2" paintbrush. In less than 20 minutes I had it primed. A 20-minute task and it had gone undone for nearly two years! I was feeling so darn good, I remained in a state of domestic bliss all morning--cleaning kitchen cupboards, vacuuming, putting ice cubes on carpet indentations from the furniture I moved yesterday. Ah, life is good. By the way do you all know about the ice cube trick? If something heavy has left indentations in your carpet, just put ice cubes on it. By the time the cubes melt the carpet nap will be normal. Really. It works. I do it all the time.
Oh, and just for the record...I enjoy cleaning only when I don't have to go to work. (remember, I have taken the rest of this week off from my paying job). It takes me back to when I was a stay-at-home wife and mother and my house was always clean because that was where I spent the majority of my time and all of my energy. I can guarantee you that when I go back to work next week, my domestic talents will greatly diminish!
I decided just to use the Ohio Star blocks around the bottom (sans the checkered denim squares as I ran out of the fabric). After spending so many hours on this the last two days, I am just happy to be done with it! It is now neatly folded and on top of my "to do" pile awaiting the batting and backing . I have decided to use batting because the lumpy seams need some padding and a quilt just isn't a quilt without that middle layer. I may go out today to find some backing fabric--and then again, it may sit there for months. I am only mildly enthused about this one.
I am taking the next 4 days off work and spent all morning working on the jean quilt. I found some checked denim fabric in my stash and decided it would be perfect as alternate blocks. I centered the 4 black jean blocks and I will probably use 4 more to anchor each end when I decide how to finish it. I know I need a 12 inch border, but not sure what. I am thinking about hand quilting the unpieced blocks (someone slap me aside the head! I must be insane to even consider hand quilting denim). I will have to spend some time thining about it. I am not fond of tied quilts, so I thought if I quilted the checkered blocks and tied the pieced ones it might be a good compromise. Anyone have any ideas for the border?
At the moment this is where I am cutting out my pieces--right on the family room floor. I am sure it is not very good for the back and it sure does make a mess. I really should take the time to set up a cutting area on a table.
For a long time I have been saving old jeans thinking I might one day make a jean quilt. This week I decided to start. With no plan, I just began cutting jeans into squares (I just happened to have a plastic template in a 5-1/2"size, so that is what I used). Once I had a stack of squares, I thought, now what will I do with these?I did not want to do all squares (just too boring), so I decided on this Ohio star. It is a simple design and the 5-1/2" squares were perfect for the triangle portion (just had to slice them diagonally). When I got home from work at 3 p.m. today, I made a quick cardboard template for the 4.5inch squares that I needed for the light colors and cut out just enough to make these four blocks to see if I liked it. I am happy to say that I do--much more than I thought I would. So now I will make many more - I have not yet decided if I will make a king-size quilt (I was considering a much smaller Christmas tree skirt which would look nice with the denim stocking ornaments I made in December). At first I wasn't too keen on a denim cover for my bed, but right now I am liking this design, so who knows what I will end up doing (maybe both)! I will keep you posted as I progress. . . Looks like the log cabin quilt will take a bit longer now that I have started another project!
I like chickens. I have been collecting them for years. The past few years I have been into less clutter and have tried to break the collecting addiction, but, as you see, I have had limited success. I have pared down and have tried to arrange them into tasteful vingettes scattered around my kitchen. I have kept only those that are dear to my heart--which amounted to about 95% of them :) .
I am using the new Picassa program that Google recently released (free!) for these pictures collages. This program takes all of your photos from anyplace on your hard drive and puts them all in one place. I love it! Have you ever tried to find a picture, but can't remember where you saved it? This will end all those hassles. It is also super convenient for posting pics to your blog. Here is what it says on the Picassa site:
Picasa is software that makes it easy and fun to view, organize, edit and share the digital photos on your PC. Picasa won't delete your pictures or put them online without your permission.
The download itself contains only the Picasa 2 software. Picasa will not uninstall other programs or add any non-Picasa programs or files to your computer.
They have a page of system requirements which you may want to check to see if it will work on your system.
One of my passions is collecting dinnerware. I have been taking pictures and logging them into the computer. I thought it would be a good idea for insurance purposes. It is quite a bit of work to photograph them all and count how many of each plate, etc. This is a collage of about half of the sets.
I am so glad you stopped by to visit my garden. I garden in lower northern Michigan (zone 5) in far less than ideal conditions. I have too many pine trees, too much shade, too many rocks, herds of hosta-munching deer and rabbits who think my lilly buds are gourmet appetizers. I am by no means an expert in horticulture or garden design--just an amateur with a shovel and a passion. My garden changes daily during the summer and I will be updating frequently.
During the winter months, I blog about my favorite cold-weather hobby--quilting and just my everyday musings.
I hope you enjoy your visit, and that you will come back soon.