Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Horizons

This is my 2nd finish for 2015 - a retirement quilt for a very dear coworker and mentor. She said she liked peaches and corals, and when I saw this kit from Connecting Threads, I knew I was on the right track. I backed it in orange, and bound it in brown, since those are the school colors for the university we work at.
 






 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

First Finish 2015

This one was a quick and easy donation quilt for Munchkin's Odyssey of the Mind team Trivia Night fundraiser. Nothing fancy.  Just big blocks and wavy line quilting.  The fabric was gears and circuits and resistors and robots on the front - alphabet letters on the back - so good for a school activity.

60"x60"

(oh - and the trivia night??  We won!!!)

 
 
 
 

 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Off to a good start

After a deep clean of my craft room and some "chaos recovery" from pre-holiday sewing and wrapping and craft shows, I started in on some new projects.  I had 11 days off, and a few were spent cooking, taking down Christmas, tending to a sick child, and running errands - but I still managed to complete one 60" square quilt start to finish - all but the final washing!  I also started and assembled one top - creating a new layout once I oopsed on following the pattern. (tutorial may follow - it was using a specialty ruler and I want to check with the ruler designer first so I don't step on any toes).  That one was speedy as I used a "jelly roll" so it minimized the cutting needed.  The best part - both were made with fabrics I had on hand!

Pictures of both to follow when I get some better lighting - it was pretty dreary today and the house seemed too dark for photos.  Maybe it was that all the Christmas lights were down.

It is a good start to the year (all but the sick child part).
Back to work tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Endings and Beginnings

I don't know that I have blogged enough in 2014 to do a "year end recap" though it has been a productive year.  Planned projects were finished (mostly), unplanned projects were finished, and even a few UFO's were ... well... moved further along in the process.  I even did two craft shows!


2015 starts another trip around the sun.  I wonder what lies in store for the year ahead. More frequent blogging, perhaps?

Happy New Year! (and now I am off to bed - well before midnight - to remain in earshot of a child who is ringing out the old year with a stomach bug - may his new year be healthy!!! And yours, too!)

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Collage of the heART

This is a post I didn't really want to write about - but I want to document this quilt, and tell a bit about the very special person I made it for.

Bruce Greene was THE art teacher in my school.  His wife Susan taught elementary school art, and Bruce taught Junior High and High School.  We are talking small school here - graduating classes of approx 55, and K-12 all in one interconnected building.... often riding the same school busses to and from school.

Everyone had the Greenes as teachers - even if you didn't study art in High School (like I didn't), you at least had 2 years with Mr. Greene in Junior High.

And he was good! He was one of those teachers that left a strong impression in his students.

Unfortunately - I learned about a month ago that Mr. Greene was very ill and not expected to live much longer.  3 months, I was told.

My immediate response?  Make a quilt.  My next thought? Make a quilt and ask my siblings to contribute their own thoughts and blocks to it.  Then I got this crazy idea to jump on Facebook and ask all my classmates, my school mates, Mr. Greene's former colleagues, friends - anyone who wanted.

Send me your blocks.  Send me your names.  Send me whatever you want - and I will be sure it gets into this quilt.  Just send it FAST!!!

And they responded.  The depth of emotion, the creativity, the trust they put in me to put together their words into a tribute to a beloved teacher... it was a surreal couple of weeks as I put this together.

I mailed it out on Monday, June 23rd and it arrived on the 24th.
12 days later I received the news that Mr. Greene had died.

But he spent some time wrapped in our "Collage of the heART" - wrapped in gratitude, admiration, and love.

Thank you, Bruce and Susan Greene - you planted the seeds of my art, gave me roots - and then gave me wings to fly.

Soar high!


Monday, May 26, 2014

The Front Porch Back Story


Today my husband finished replacing the steps on our front porch - and there was much rejoicing.  Ostensibly, this was the completion of a 2 year project - started July 2012 - when we prepared to replace the decking on our front porch, realized the porch was rotted through, and ended up tearing out the porch AND the concrete steps AND the entire front sidewalk.

True to our usual style, we jumped in to DIY mode and figured it all out - or so we thought.


The porch was rebuilt the first season - but we ran out of warmer temperatures here in western NY and could not pour the new concrete for the sidewalk in time... and the stairs could not be replaced until the new concrete was down.

The concrete took us ALL of last summer.  Granted we ran into a few snags - like the mold we used to make our cobblestone looking walkway only held 40 lbs of concrete - but the instructions had said 60 - so we had extra from every batch that had to be cast into something or thrown away (no - not that!) - so birdbaths and stepping stones and more were made... it was a slow process.

And again - we ran out of good weather before we could stain and seal the concrete.

Finally - this spring, after ridding the sidewalk of thousands of baby maple tress, we got it cleaned and stained and sealed - and the step replacement began.

The true significance, however, is not the steps.. or the porch... or the sidewalk...

It is that during this time, hubby also replaced the front door AND installed a new lockset.

See - when we purchased our house in 2001, it came complete with a gumwood door and the original 1929 lockset - which was broken.  Because it was vintage - the door was cut differently than you would for a modern lockset - so it was either get that lock fixed ($$), buy another vintage lock ($$$), or replace the entire door ($$$$).  We opted to keep the door deadbolted (with blue painters tape holding the latch open) and come and go through the side door - which was the cost-free option.   We had never been able to use our front door as our main portal - we'd go in and out when we were home -but never had we come home and unlocked the front door to go inside.

Finally, after having a home heating assessment done, we realized that the old door was a liability and opted for the total replacement.  Finally - a lock that worked... but that happened while we were still without steps...

... so today was a first.  We left the house to go out for a Memorial Day picnic - exiting out the front and closing and locking it behind us - then coming home, up the steps, and opening up our front door to go inside.

It felt really really really good!



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Garden 2014

With 80 degree weather today (unusual - though welcome) I think we have finally shaken off the long cold winter that hit us this year.  Yesterday I was able to open up the house and wash 24 windows, and the windows in 3 doors - plus clean all the curtains.  AMAZING what a difference that makes - the fresh air, the clear view... who would have thought that cleaning would be so theraputic!
Today found me cleaning out the garden beds.  I didn't make it all the way around - if you've paid any attention to the pictures of my gardens - you may have noticed that I nearly have more garden than lawn.  Lets just say that Munchkin and I filled SIX big paper leaf/lawn bags today -and that didn't count the two that got filled last weekend, or the big pile of sticks we put at the curb.  I got the leaves and debris raked out of the front and side beds - everything from the back of the house to the back fence still has to be done - but truly isn't as bad.  The front beds collect the maple leaves - the back beds not so much.  It is mostly trimming out the dead flower heads that I left in for the birds.

It was also a good time to do some trimming - as with no leaves on the small trees and shrubs I was able to see where the crossed branches were and cut away to open things up.  I even tackled the rosebush - though I did not escape unscathed.

Not too much is blooming - crocuses, flag iris, snowdrops (lots and lots and LOTS and LOTS of snowdrops), and one little tiny daffodil just getting ready to open (snow forecast for Tuesday, Mom - right as always!)  The hyacinths are ready to burst out, and I can see the beginnings of the rhurbarb, strawberries and hops, along with many many other sprouts and buds and signs of life again.  YAY!

I even got busy with some planting!  I didn't do anything outside - I need to do some tilling in my raised beds and my garden claw has disappeared - so hopefully when we return from some Easter travels I will be able to get a new one and get in some of those early spring "cold weather" crops.  In the meantime, I have some lettuce and basil already sprouted and moved up to the next sized container in my "greenhouse", and I put in some seeds today.

It was 'thyme."