Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jane and Laurie

Last night i glued some applique blocks together for the Dear Jane quilt....and this morning i machine appliqued them down. i did three...



and, C11

I am trying not to put the same color side by side....but am not doing too good at it. in the first row i have 3 or 4 browns next to each other. and now i have done B2 and B3 both in browns. sheesh!!   that is one reason i decided to start doing them in order....so each block would be a different color.....it doesn't seem to be working out yet. i better pay more attention.

This is what i am working on now.....a beautiful blue and white quilt from my friend, Laurie..

She always does a great job....

I'll show you the whole thing when i am finished with it....i just started yesterday. it is a pattern that my friend, Marilea, designed. it is called For My Sister, Jewel, Who Loves to Dance. all the different blocks have names of different dances.

This morning i went out while it was still cool.....about 6am.....and finished trimming up the trees so we can get the riding mower under them without getting whacked by a branch. every year i go around and whack off the lower branches. .... but they all just grow back. why doesn't the tree just grow taller and quit putting out those lower branches?  we have a hissy fit every year .... me and those trees..... but i am determined to win. LOL

I still have more yardwork to do....perhaps tomorrow morning. it took 2 hours to tame the trees today. maybe i'll tackle some flower bed weeds tomorrow.

But right now.......back to Jewel.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June UFO Challenge is finished

JudyL picked #8 for June's UFO Challenge. i was worried....it was a quilt that was in pieces in a bag. i had pieced the 4 patches but that is all. there was much to do. i considered switching it for another one ..... but, NO....that would just put off the problem. so i dug in and pieced and pieced some more. and quilted. and here is the result.

It's a 4 patch posey with black and pinks. i don't like it as much as i did when i started it. i guess that is why they wind up being UFOs. LOL

But i stuck with it and got it finished.

I think it looks better in person than in the photos. i couldn't seem to get a really good picture.

But done is good. the back is pieced with some pink, red and black that i had. quilted with the Baptist Fan templates from Quiltazoid. and i got to use up some pink thread...lighter pink on the top and brighter pink on the bottom. what was i thinking..buying pink thread.

I have no idea what that yellow dot is. i used the flash on my camera....so i think it has something to do with that. maybe its gremlins....who knows.  and, no, it is not a yellow flower head pin. LOL

I am pretty proud of myself for sticking with the challenge and getting things done. half the year is over....so it is all downhill from here. most of the rest of my UFOs are already pieced....so it will just be a matter of quilting them. i hope Judy does this again next year.....i have boxes more of UFOs to do...but they are very first stage...pieces just cut.....or maybe just fabric and pattern in a box. much more work to do.

So, i am ready for July. it will be a tough month, too. i will be out of town about a week....and then there is the dreaded mowing and yard work. but, somehow, it all gets done.

Are you in the UFO challenge......is your June project finished?   if not.....you better give up sleeping and get with it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I need help deciding.....muslin or color

Whenever i get an hour or so.... and remember....i am trying to work on my Dear Jane blocks. it doesn't look like i will get my 25 blocks done for June....but i have a few.

This is A7. it is all appliqued.

This is A10....it is appliqued, also. still has pencil marks on it...but they will wash out. it looks smaller but is the same 5" as the rest. some of these seem to be sort of optical illusions...depending on the size of the pieces and how they are set. interesting.

B4....this one is paper pieced... quite easy

This is B5....the block was paper pieced and then the tiny diamonds appliqued on top of it.

D6...very simple. i actually reversed the coloring on this one. i didn't like it the other way.

D12...a simple paper pieced block with applique arrow shapes on top.

I1...another simple paper piecing...just tiny pieces.

This is I4...paper piecing once again. the middle piece is appliqued on top.

This is another of the border pieces....in blue....top row, second from left.  

This is the two border pieces that i have put together. i find it strange that she pieced the border pieces that point to the outside of the quilt but just used plain fabric for the pieces pointing to the INSIDE of the quilt.

Now i'm thinking.....should i use pieces of muslin instead of the plain fabrics....where the pink piece is?  i think i would like the muslin better......it would match the background of the blocks.

What do you think?
Would you use the muslin in place of the pink or different colored fabrics for each triangle....like Jane did?

Have you done a Dear Jane quilt?  have a picture you want to share?

I gave away 4 quilts yesterday

When Judy Laquidara went to Joplin to give away a dozen quilts i thought it was a great thing to do.....i even thought of doing it myself. but she lives much closer to Joplin than i do.

But yesterday i took quilts to our own tornado victims. friends of ours got their home demolished last week by a tornado. the only home in the area that was destroyed.

All their friends and neighbors and relatives showed up to rebuild their house. it reminded me of the Amish when they all get together and build a barn in a day. there were about 30 people working on the house. as of yesterday it had walls, a metal roof, 1 window and they were working on the porch. i am just amazed at how quickly they can build a house. it was awesome.

So i had hubby take me out last night with a tub full of quilts so they could choose their favorites.

The little girl chose the puppies. i didn't know if it was too babyish when i packed it.....but she pounced on it first thing. her mom says all the kids like dogs....they have 3 of them....dogs, that is.  well, kids, too. LOL  isn't she just the cutest thing?

The middle boy chose the 1600 inch quilt in batiks. i was surprised but he said it was 'him'. LOL

Although the oldest teen wasn't home....his brother picked the red, white and blue for him. he and his mom both said that it fit him. hope he likes it.

And mom and dad got a scrap quilt with applique flowers and vines. they were all very appreciative and it made my heart feel good to know that i contributed a bit of comfort to them.

When i was speaking with her she said they hadn't found all their clothes yet. there were some things that she saw hanging in the trees way across the pastures but hadn't the energy to go after them. she said perhaps some animal could use them for a bed.

It is so sad to drive onto their property. there is a couch sitting in the yard....a chair sitting over on the side of the driveway...the dogs just wandering around - looking lost. but everyone is smiling and seems to be as well as expected. the two youngest kids slept through the whole thing until their parents woke them up to go to the basement.

I think her greatest regret was her wood floors. the water just warped them all up and they had to be torn out. she said they saved their money so they could pay for them in cash and hadn't had them very long. her basement was ankle deep in water but she has it all cleaned out now and dry. she had clothes hanging on the lines. the washing machine has been working.

Although Joplin was horrid....it just seems so much worse when it happens to someone you know. hubby went over to help build the last 2 days...i figured i wasn't a carpentar...i'm better at demolition....but i could quilt ....so that was my contribution. i hope this family never has to live through this again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Indigo challenge is finished

June's monochromatic challenge color was Indigo. the only fabric i had that was indigo was a 3 yard piece. so i decided to do something different this time. i cut the fabric in half...used the back side for the front...and the other half for the back.

I got out some rulers and templates and drew out a pattern and then quilted it up....wholecloth style.

It's about 40" square. sorry about the fold lines.....it was folded up overnight. i took it for show and tell for my quilt class.

I like how it turned out. i started out with a darker blue thread but didn't like how it was looking. so i switched to a pale baby blue. then the darker blue didn't show at all...so i went over all of that with the pale blue....much better.  took me a day and a half to quilt.

It was rather fun to just play and see what came out of my head....scary, i know. LOL

I had an even number of spaces around the center medeallion, so decided to do them alternately with curved and straight line quilting.

I was sort of running out of ideas after a while and had to pull out some books to jog my memory.

I think it turned out pretty cool and will hang it in my studio for a while.

I used a black thread on the back and you can see absolutely nothing there. if you look at the binding on the front....you can see what the back looks like. it has tiny, tiny white leaves.

Now i need to finish piecing the #8 challenge and get it quilted up. i just need to add 2 more borders and it is ready to go.

I am just so lazy and uninspired these days. i think i'll go to the house and take a nap. LOL  don't laugh...naps are good for you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3 Hours is a long drive

It takes me 3 hours...actually closer to 3 1/2....to get from the farm to the Duck.  it seems like a really long time while you are driving it....especially driving back home after working out there for 2 days.

I went out Tuesday morning with my truck bed full of barn wood and my mower. and the passenger seat full of my dog.

I basically went out to take the mower and cut the grass. might as well take some barn wood, too. then i had to take the dog because Jim was going to be gone for a couple days. my poor dog does NOT like to be on a run in the yard. she is used to 'free range'. but there is no fence. after about 10 minutes in the yard.... she proceeds to wind herself around the railing of the back steps and just sit at the door and cry. she sounds so pitiful. so i relent and let her in. i put a rug on the floor so she could lay on it. she walked over, gave it a sniff and a couple circles and then went and laid in a corner in some plaster dust. then after a while she turned over....to, i assume, make sure the plaster dust was evenly distributed all over her body. sigh!

i took it easy this trip. i pulled what seemed like thousands of nails.....although it was probably just hundreds. i pulled nails for hours during another visit....perhaps i SHOULD have counted them all. i still have lots of them to pull. would have been interesting to see how many nails were in the interior of this house....or not! LOL  i worked on the ladder for a while....then sat on a milk crate and did easy work for a while....then did some stand up work.  there were many more slats pulled off .... some day i will be able to say that ALL the slats are down. and i pulled up some baseboards...these are tough because for a reason unknown to me....the baseboards extend down below the level of the floor. so they are a bear to get out. i have given up  trying to get them out in one piece. it is not worth the aggravation.

My sis came down to the beast Tuesday night....and that is when my dog abandoned me and pretended she was my sis's dog. of course, she lets her sleep in her chair and feeds her meatballs.....so it is understandable. but she played nanny today and Suzy stayed with her.....snoozing her day away in comfort and not getting plaster dust all over herself.

I stuffed 10 trash bags of insulation and junk into my sis's trash bins so the trash people will earn their pay this week. LOL  but she usually doesn't have much trash so i am helping her fill them up. luckily they have a truck that comes by and picks them up to dump them as my bags were rather heavy.

While i was sitting on the back steps taking a break....a little gray and white kitten come climbing out of the pile of slats by the garage......in a couple seconds another one came out....they looked like twins. i never saw any more...or the mother....so perhaps they are living in the slat pile. they are so cute and adorable. big eyes and very inquisitive. when i went back in the house i closed the back storm door so they wouldn't roam into the house without me knowing.

Now i am all about the laundry and i guess i should do some kind of quilting....perhaps piece on my #8 Judy Laquidara UFO challenge for the month. probably hit the bed early tonight.

Take care....stay cool....later

Monday, June 20, 2011

We had a tornado

Not WE specifically.....we just got a storm and lost electricity for 18 hours. thank goodness for generators. but then once i figured out that we spent $32 for gas for the generator for those hours....it wasn't that great.

But friends of ours lost their home. around 2am....it took SECONDS....and the house that they just finished building less than a year ago was gone. every stick of it....roof, walls, furnishings...everything. Randy got a few stitches in his back and is bruised and sore and a nail in his heel. the kids and Myra are ok.

They have ceramic tiles on the floors. all the tiles were fine except 2 of them cracked. how do you explain that a house explodes and all blows away but the tile on the floor is fine. the tornado sucked up the sewage from the cistern and spew it through the toilet all around the basement bathroom. the computer was found and it still works. amazing.

The cows survived fine....no casualties. the dogs survived fine. the chicken shed was demolished....1 chicken was killed and 2 disappeared....the rest are fine. we can thank God that the only real casualty was a chicken.

Someone brought over a 5th wheel for them to live in for now. A cousin, who is the manager of a lumber yard, put in an emergency order for trusses and 2x4s and walls. he says by the weekend they will have rebuilt the walls and have a roof on. and they have full replacement coverage in insurance.....so it will all work out in the end.

As adults, we can cope and be glad no one was seriously hurt and know that we can rebuild. but children don't have a full grasp of this. their 'stuff' is gone....their clothes are gone....their room is gone. i know the devastation in Joplin was great....but when it happens to someone that you know.....it seems so much worse. nothing else in the neighborhood was hit. was it because his house was in a clearing and on a hill. would trees have saved it?  i guess we'll never know. 

I pray i never have to experience a tornado personally and pray that our friends will be back in their new home again real soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Open floor plan

I had one wall taken out by my workers the other day. now i have to have a carpenter take a look and see if i can take out the other wall that i want out. and move a third wall. we are making progress.

They totally got everything out of the bathroom.  whoever had remodeled the bath some time back had used 1/2 plywood on the walls and ceiling. if that wasn't bad enough...there were nails every 2 inches going down every stud. who does that? there were about 60 nails in a 4 foot square of plywood. talk about overkill.

There's the bathroom...all gutted.  under the bathtub was a hole right on down to the basement.

The floor is basically all rotted out and will need to be replaced. the bathtub was the old fashioned cast iron type. it was set in there tight between the walls. they had to take off the knobs and faucet, disconnect the drain and pull out the back wall before they could muscle it out of there. and it took all 3 of them to get it out. that was one heavy tub.

Once they had the tub out and into the yard...i was teasing the young boy....telling him it sure would make a good fish pond and would he like to dig me a hole so i could drop it into the ground. without blinking an eye he says....."i could dig the hole...but it would be a lot of work". LOL  bless his heart.

Most all of the plaster and slats are gone except for a couple areas. the office area

3 rooms to the back

3 rooms to the front

Dining room to kitchen...it still needs some work. the cooler is in the laundry room. i am going to leave the laundry room alone. it is another part of the newer addition and has 1/2 plywood on the walls. it is going to be covered with corrugated tin anyway...so i just need to clean the walls and it will be ok.

Living room...air conditioner gone from the middle window. little bit under the windows still to do.

All in all....a fine job accomplished in a couple days. i got my mower back and all put together so i will make a day trip down there in a few days to cut the grass. i had my push mower converted to an electric start so i wouldn't have to pull the cord. i'll try it for a bit and see if i survive without a riding mower....i've been spoiled with my rider at the farm. but i only have a quarter acre there so should be able to keep it up. i can do it in parts and just do a bit every day or so. i plan on putting in lots of flowers and such so that will cut down on a lot of grass cutting.

It is getting exciting to see it coming together.

Duck Mountains

Bet you didn't know there were mountains in Illinois.....in Centralia, Illinois....specifically...at the Duck.

I have a mountain of plaster...

A mountain of trash... insulation, ceiling tiles, linoleum...., etc.

And, a mountain of slats...along with the toilet..LOL. in the bottom right corner you can just see the cast iron bathtub.

I had 3 1/2 men (one was a 15 year old boy....who worked as hard as the men)  working on Monday for 10 hours....they didn't even take a lunch break. 

And 3 men on Tuesday for another 10 hours.

There was so much plaster dust showering down from everywhere that a couple times i had to go outside for a bit till it all settled down. Here is my main guy (although you can't see him)...sitting up in the attic on the beams and knocking down the slats and insulation with his feet.

He found 2 beams up there that were cracked and will need to fixed.

Here it is after he was finished....amazing.

I have kept some stuff in hopes of re-using it....interior doors and whatever door and windows frames and baseboards i could get off intact. you see a couple of tables there, too...they were found in thrift stores. all this is sitting in the garage office.don't you just love that orange and green carpet. LOL

There were 12  4x4 fence posts that i wanted pulled out. it rained like crazy monday morning and i figured the fence pulling wasn't going to happen since they were going to use the truck to pull them out. but i didn't want ruts in the yard. so one of the guys just went out and muscled them out of the ground....they were in concrete. he said the rain helped. most of them got pulled up and the remaining 2 or 3 were cut off with a chain saw. now i just need to fill up the holes and i can mow without having to go around them.

Check out what i found under the plaster wall in the entryway. it looks like they had some sort of window there or just something hanging in that little niche. i am going to have some stained glass window made to fit into that space. i envision a long table sitting under there with a couple lamps on it.

When i arrived on Sunday i only had about 10% of the demolition finished. now there is about 90% finished. i am so happy about that. it would have taken me a year to finish all that myself. it's amazing what a few guys can do in a couple days. but they sure earned their pay...they were all filthy by the end of the day. but they were still smiling and laughing...so i guess it was all good. they were all out of work so i contributed a bit to the economy. LOL

One of the guys wanted the metal to sell and i told him to help himself to whatever he wanted. so he filled the back of his truck with the air conditioner out of the window....it was huge and gross. and he pulled the kitchen sink. and took the medicine cabinet out the bathroom, the light fixture, several ceiling fans and the metal boxes that held the fuses. also an old office chair. he is coming back for the bathtub that they pulled out. that much less i have to throw in a dumpster.

I plan on having a dumpster delivered on july 9 and spending a day or 2 filling it up with my mountains. well, i am hoping the GUYS will fill it up...not me myself. LOL

I got a LOT accomplished....along with sore feet. i fell in bed tuesday evening at 7pm and slept for 12 hours. LOL  3 days of demolition was all i could handle. Then once i got home on wednesday and got a shower....i felt almost human again. can hardly wait to go back.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Progress on the Duck

I am back from 3 days at the Duck.  i hired some awesome guys to help me with demolition and clean-up. tomorrow i will show you pictures of our progress. two 10-hour days of progress. lots of plaster dust and lots of floor sweeping.

My sis has spent the week at the beast....she is still there....tiling her upstairs bathroom....it is almost done....and scraping wallpaper off the ceiling in her bedroom suite. she invited me to the wallpaper party but i declined in favor of my own party at the Duck.

Talk to you tomorrow....come on back for show and tell.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The barn wood saga continues....

I have discovered i LIKE pulling nails from old barn wood. ..... HA!!  .... who'da thunk it?    

I now have 30 boards in the back of my truck....ready to make  a trip to the duck on Sunday. this old wood is really thick and heavy so that is all i can carry at once. i put a stick under my mud flap and watched it so i could judge just how far down the truck had sunk. 30 is my limit.  i still have to get up the looooong hill going into st. louis and my truck does NOT like hills. i seem to have no power going up hills......i might be in 3rd gear....struggling to retain 45 mph.....but once we reach the top.....woohoo....we do downhill really well. LOL

And i have pulled nails from about 25 more boards that are ready for the next trip. i am reorganizing the trailer that the boards are sitting on. stacking the boards with no nails all nice and pretty on one end. it's the only way to insure i get all the nails from all the boards. i have become an expert nail puller and figured out the tricks of getting out the bent nails and the broken nails.

And i've been making myself work on my #8 UFO challenge for this month. it's a 4 patch posie top that is about 42 blocks and they were not all assembled yet. i think i might have the square in a square part finished up tonight....then have to put 2 borders around each block before assembling them all into a top. it's a lot of black fabric with pink, white and red flowers and ferns and butterflies and birds. and i threw a bit of beige in there, too. it will get done....i'll just be bitching about it all the way. i don't know how to stop myself from making UFO's.....how do you do that? i like the excitement of the start but if another idea pops into my head.....boom.....i'm off on another tangent. i need control. i need a keeper. i need......something.

OK...i'm off to the studio to work on a fun little girl quilt. hope to finish it up tomorrow before i leave town. and still have to mow the grass at the studio, too.

Stay cool

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rugs and barn wood

I finally finished crocheting my tshirt rug. it is a heavy thing but very colorful. it will live at the Duck when it is ready for prettying up. now i can say i made a rug from tshirts. it was easy enough to do but made a big mess when cutting the tshirts into strips. and was very warm when it was on my lap while crocheting.

A lady that is in my quilt group volunteered to weave me a rug from tshirts. i thought that was a fascinating idea so i gave her some cut up tshirts and told her to go for it. she asked if i would like some extra bling in the rug, too. so i happily said yes to that idea also. last monday she brought my rug to class.

It is surprisingly soft and light in weight. i really like it.

It has all these pieces of yarn sticking up that make it 'me'. LOL  not sure how i will use it....i think it is too lightweight and delicate for a floor rug. it may become a coffee table rug or sofa table rug. not sure yet. i tied off all the fringe last night and trimmed it off evenly. i wonder how it will survive a round in the washer and dryer.

We brought home a trailer load of barn wood yesterday. my goodness, oak wood from years ago is very heavy.....and much thicker than today's wood.  we had a time getting that trailerload home over the hills of Missouri. i don't know what that trailer weighed but it was a chore for hubby's truck to pull it.

There looks like there are about a 100 boards on here. average about 6-7 foot long. and different widths. they still have the nails in them....so i am on nail pulling duty in the evenings.

My plan is to use this on my living room walls at the Duck. some of the ends will need to be trimmed. since they are shorter than i wanted, i think i will do a zigzag sort of pattern on the walls...cutting the edges at 45 degrees. i'll probably draw out a few designs and see which i like.

I pulled nails last night from about a dozen boards. some of the nails just fell out and could be pulled by hand...some pulled pretty easily...and, of course, there are always some that you have to fight for.  i got this many pulled from the boards i did last night.

SO, my days will be at the studio trying to catch up on quilting and my evenings pulling nails and getting grass mowed. in high 90 degree heat. i've been taking afternoon naps. .... there is nothing worth doing in afternoon heat except napping.....the dog agrees with me. LOL

Do you have an idea of how to install my wood on the walls?  let me know.

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