Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Green Day

When I loaded the photos for today's post, I noticed how much glorious green they contain.

I decided that I needed a new paper piecing project. Linda at Paper Panache posted a new mystery block this week. I haven't done one in a while, so I printed it out. I have a confession to make. I'm a cheater! I color them in and figure out the design before I cut into any fabric. The blues in the current piece appealed to me, but the finished block wasn't something I wanted to work on this week. It could make a nice gift for a certain family member, so I'll add it to the list. Since it's a mystery, I can't tell you what it is.

On to my next source for paper piecing inspiration: Carol Doak. I signed up for the postcard exchange on her Yahoo group and started looking for a fun block. I played with some different blocks and layouts and liked this one the best. It's a free pattern on her website: Introduction to Paper Piecing. The little blocks are about 1.75" square. I was in a hurry to finish before Pete's track meet, and I messed up the color placement I had planned. The magenta and red are reversed. It should have a color wheel effect. I guess I'll keep this one.

On to the track meet. Pete's discus-throwing technique is improving. His goal is to qualify for the state meet in discus, shot put and turbo jav (it's like a Nerf javelin). He likes throwing stuff!

While I waited for him to take his turn, I worked on a prayer shawl. Gotta love all that green!

My TV watching project last night was the March basket block. The prep work was done so I could just sit and start sewing. Four hours later (Red Sox game, American Idol, The Mentalist and Without a Trace) my block was done.

What color will today be?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sprint to the Finish

Only three days left in the Spring to Finish challenge. The border is on Jess's quilt, so I plan to prep the backing and get it layered today. Maybe start quilting? I want to do some "custom" quilting, not an all-over stipple, so I probably won't finish by Thursday.

I think I can finish my first quarter wall hanging with the January, February and March Tisket/Tasket Baskets. I just finished the embroidery on the February block. The bright sun makes the blue birds appear even brighter in the photo than in reality.

I'm having trouble with the handle and top corners of the baskets matching up, which I think I can fix in the next block. Maybe I can catch up before the May block is posted. A girl can dream!

The big magnolia next to the driveway is much healthier this year, thanks to the Jobe's tree spikes. I love how the leaves sprout from the base of the buds.

I saw a great photo on someone else's blog of a bee polinating a flower. There were three bumblers on this PJM rhodedendron in the late afternoon sun. Again, I think the bright sun did weird things to the color. Maybe I'll put one of these on the top of my Mother's Day wish list and see what happens...


Monday, April 27, 2009

A Glorious Weekend

It couldn't have been better. We watched (played) some baseball/softball, sewed a little, gardened a little, went to the beach (sort of) and the Red Sox swept the Yankees.
All is right with the world.

While all this fun stuff was going on, I was not documenting it for posterity or the blog. Pete took the sunset photo last night. It's not bad for his first attempt. I should have given him the tripod.

Let's see what I can piece together for the rest of the weekend. Julia made herself a top with this cute fabric from Joann's. She's always loved the Little Mermaid. It's the stuff that's shirred at the top like a tube top. I taught her how to do a French seam and she had a new top in under 30 minutes and $12.

After I hemmed her concert dress (more on that later this week) and while Obsidian was rehearsing in the basement, I added a row to Jess's Confirmation quilt. We decided the proportions were just not right with 20 stars. I only had to pick out one seam to add the "row". I stuck it in the middle because it was a slightly different mix of fabrics from the rest of the top. I had completely used up some of the blues and most of the creams. I thought it would blend better this way. I'll try to get the border added today and maybe piece the back.

We were plastered to the TV for all 3 Yankee games this weekend. You can watch a video of the most exciting play of the series, Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home, here.
Yeah, that's right. He stole home!

This is the current color in front of my home. The flowering trees are amazing this year. The bleeding heart should start blooming in a few days.

Since it was summer-like yesterday, we found it necessary to have dinner at Iggy's, Rhode Island beach food at it's best! We had chowder, clamcakes, onion rings, a fish sandwich for Bill, Iggy's root beer for Pete and no trip to Iggy's is complete without...

They are the most incredibly delicious fried dough product I have ever eaten
(with the possible exception of New Orleans beignets).

On that note of deep-fried guilt, I think I'll go for a nice long walk!

Have a happy Monday,

Friday, April 24, 2009


I made it. The raffle quilt was quilted, bound, washed and photographed just in the nick of time. As I was leaving school, I think the bell rang for the end of the day.

I included care (washing) instructions on the package and a blurb about the eco-friendly batting made from corn. I think I like the bamboo batting better, because it is blended with some cotton. The PLA fiber made from corn feels like polyester. It washed nicely, though.

When I arrived in the office, I wrote a note to the teachers with a description of the quilt for the raffle tickets. Of course, on the way home, I thought of more clever wording. I didn't even mention the title of the quilt. I don't know how much space they'll have, but this is better than what I gave them:

Broad Rock Goes to Washington, a lap quilt made by Tina Craig of Seaside Stitches. At a generous 45" X 60", it is the perfect size for cuddling on the couch, taking on a picnic, or keeping warm at sporting events. Eco-friendly batting made from renewable corn is nestled inside 100% cotton fabrics, making the quilt red, white, blue and green!

Now I'm ready to go play outside. Have a great weekend!

A Beautiful Day

Finally, we're having a stretch of good weather. I hope the sun and heat burn up the winter germs. I'm sick again. I've had enough! Just a sore throat this time, but it prevented me from doing any quilting last night.

The raffle donations are due at school today (they didn't specify what time!). I managed to get the back pieced, the label drawn on, and the layering and pinning done before I crashed on the couch last night. Since I slept well, thanks to the ibuprofen, I was up and quilting by 6:15am. And I'm not a morning person.

I did my usual swirls and loops with a few stars thrown in for fun. I used 4 bobbins on this top that is 45" X 60". Pete is disappointed that I'm donating this quilt to the raffle and not the log cabin. He'll get over it.

I have good news...I made my first Etsy sale! Thank you, Jodi and Carmela! So I'll be taking a trip to the post office when I go out to deliver the quilt. The binding should take me less than 2 hours, and I'm hoping there will be time for a quick wash. I want to make sure the reds don't run.

The view from my bedroom window, looking down on the magnolia stelatta.
The flowers are gorgeous, but the tree is not in great shape. It only flowers on the top. Anyone have pruning tips?

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Pins in the Shop

Welcome, Friends of Jodi! It is an honor to be featured on such a well respected blog. Thanks Jodi!

I listed some new Spring pins in the shop this morning.
I had to use lots of bright colors to combat the gray skies.

After three days of rain and yucky worms on the driveway, the sun is finally out. We're expecting temps in the mid 70's this weekend. Yeah!! I can't wait to get into the garden.

The deadline is fast approaching (like, tomorrow!) for raffle items for Pete's class trip to Washington, DC. I'll be layering, quilting, binding, and labeling a red, white and blue lap quilt today. It's a very simple piece, and nothing to write home about. I'd better get to work.

I hope the sun is shining on you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hooks & Art

I wanted a quick, easy project yesterday and found this cute bookmark pattern on Ravelry. You can find it at crochetroo. It only took about an hour to crochet. I soaked it in liquid starch, pressed with a hot iron, and attached it to Julia's birthday card.

It seems that I've been turning to my hooks a lot lately. There is no crocheting without my reading glasses and good lighting!

My nephew Eric, who is in art school, landed a summer internship at Fisher Price. There are so few jobs to go around this year, we are so proud of him! The only piece of art that I have of his is the troop logo he designed a few years ago for my Girl Scouts, which is too cool.The sun is burning through the fog. Hurrah! I'll be sitting in the sunny dining room window today, stitching up some new pins for the shop.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Julia!

I'm so proud of the young woman you've become.
I hope you have a wonderful day!
<3 Mom

Monday, April 20, 2009

Patriots Day Memories, etc.

Today is Patriot's Day in Massachusetts, which means the running of the Boston Marathon and an early Red Sox game. Twenty years ago, Bill and I were living in the Boston area and were newly engaged. He gave me a ring the Friday before Patriots Day. (I don't remember the exact date. Is that bad?) Anyway, since we both had the day off, we headed into town on the T and watched the start of the marathon on the big screen at the finish line. We walked along the race route until we found a place to sit and wait for the runners. Bill watched the race and I watched my new ring, glistening in the sun! My hand isn't what it was 20 years ago, but diamonds are forever. And so are we!
I got a little sewing done on Saturday. I was determined to get caught up with the Geese in the Forest and succeeded. Have I mentioned that I reduced the block size from 6" to 3"? That's more my speed. I'm thinking about going even smaller: 1.5".
I forgot to show you my Moo stickers that arrived last week. Love them! I will definitely be ordering more from them soon. Maybe mini cards or note cards.

When we went to Federal Hill last week, we bought a deck of Italian playing cards. I remember my grandfather playing Scopa with his friends, drinking homemade wine. So we googled the instructions (the ones that came in the deck are in Italian!) and took some time to learn the game. Julia kicked our butts. I'm blaming my poor performance on bad cards. Yes, you can play Scopa with regular cards, but how cool are these?

It's game time. Go Sox!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Linus Quiltathon

Our guild held a Project Linus Quiltathon today. It was our first ever Saturday charity quilt event and we were pleased to have 11 quilters participate. We got at least a dozen tops finished.

Laurel finished the sweet top behind her.

Sid tried to finish a mystery UFO from a getaway weekend several years ago. It would be nice to get mine done and out of the house, too! It is a sailboat with a sun in the sky and fish in the water. It was a true mystery in that we were told to bring light and dark blues, brights, yellows, white, etc. But there was no indication that they would become sky, water, sails and fish. So some people's fabrics were just horrible in the finished piece. I don't say that to be snarky or snobby. Not every light blue fabric translates well as a sky. Not every dark blue looks like water. It was such a waste of fabric for them.

This is Roberta- or should I say Roberta's hands and feet! I found out today that she was a Girl Scout leader for 15 years, just before Julia and I started. So we had lots to talk about.

I think this was my favorite top of the day- Cowboy prints.

Julia came to help after sleeping late and going out to lunch with Dad. We put together a little top with leftover twisted happy blocks. I'll need to look for border and backing fabrics.

Julia needed to sleep in because she went to a Red Sox game last night. It was her birthday present from Josh. Lucky girl! She doesn't remember her first trip to Fenway when she was about 5. Fenway is like a shrine to our family, so she was wicked excited. They texted me at least a dozen times! The weather was great, they were on TV (NESN) during the pre-game show, and the Sox won! A perfect day at the park.

I need to unpack my machine and get back to work. I'm glad to finally be sewing again. I didn't tell you I had a cold last week (it seems like everyone was sick last week!) so I didn't get anything done. I think I'm finally feeling motivated to get something finished and cross some things off the list.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter & Federal Hill

I only have a few minutes for a quick Easter re-cap.

The kids are so cute! Josh, Julia & Pete.

My Sister & Mother

We're embracing our Italian heritage. Antipasto with prosciutto and provolone.
The wine is German, but it's yummy and matched the color scheme!
My dishes are Pfalzgraff Villa della Luna.

Before my sister and brother-in-law headed for home, we made a stop in Federal Hill, Providence's Little Italy. My favorite shop is Tony's Colonial. It reminds me of the Italian store where I grew up. Gotta love the cheese hanging from the ceiling!

Venda Ravioli is a Rhode Island legend. A gorgeous store with tin ceilings and home made specialty pastas. Have you ever seen olives so beautifully displayed?

On the way home, we saw a Maserati Quattroporte, to continue with the Italian theme!
We're off to Girl Scout camp to spend the day with the Brownies.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Flowers have been arranged...

See the two identical bunches of orange tulips? I bought some for myself on Friday, and my sister bought some for me on Saturday. Great minds think alike!

Eggs have been dyed...
I had exactly the right number of these tiny baskets in my craft stash to turn into place holders. Stash is good.

Breads have been baked...
This is my first ever Easter bread. No, it doesn't look right. It rose a lot in the oven. And I chose to not add the eggs on top. It smells right, so I hope t tastes good. There's a banana bread, too.

Still much left to do...

Have a Happy, Holy Easter!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Artgirlz Visit Ninnies

Last night, the Argirlz provided the program for the Ninigret Quilters, affectionately known as Ninnies. Allison and Tracy are so cool and fun! That's me in the middle, hoping their style will rub off on me! I'm wearing the pincushion they taught us to make. Visit their website and buy lots of stuff! Julia tagged along, even though it was a school night. She loves the Ninnies! They've known her since she was born. She had a blast sitting next to sisters Patty and Peggy. What is it about sisters who quilt? They are so much fun!

Julia loves handwork. (Her crochet scarf is almost done. Will show you soon!) She had so much fun adding beads to a small wool felt bead, that she didn't stop until she had completely run out of thread. Which is a problem when your thread is doubled and there's nothing left to knot.
What to do? Turn it into a dangle! It is a pincushion after all. We're slipping in our production of Artist Trading Cards. The last couple of months we had 8 participants, but only 5 last night. Come on, Ninnies! Have some fun, make some mini art!
I met my deadline and delivered these basket pins last night. Kate is a fabulous basket maker and teacher. She sells these basket-theme pins at basket shows.
I'm not sure why I'm showing you this. Maybe because I stumbled across a new blog that showcases craft failures. Not every idea works. I threw this together with scraps and thought it could be a table topper. I love the fabrics, but hate the quilting. Hate the sashing. Hate the whole thing. So I pawned it off on an unsuspecting quilter by leaving it on the Ways & Means table at the guild meeting. Maybe she'll think of some fabulous way to fix it and make it into something usebale. A tote bag, perhaps?
How many times did I use the word FUN in this post? I need a thesaurus!

Have a fun day!