Life gets busy

Right now that feels like the understatement of the century! It’s been a bit since I’ve done anything that I feel is worthwhile blogging. Lately all I seem to do is work and mindless clicking on facebook after work. I’ve not really been to inclined to even hand sew after work to do my bindings as I just want to veg and do mindless sit still stuff .. But that’s all right .. I know that I’ll feel the urge and then jump all over it like I normally do πŸ˜€

I do have some quilty stuff to share tho ..
hpim2807.jpgRemember this quilt? I entered it into a contest to be the pattern cover for the National Quilters Day Mystery Hunt by Anilee Creations. Well I finally heard the other day .. No I didn’t win, BUT, what they are doing is going to publish a book with the pattern and the quilts that everyone made .. isn’t that cool! I’m just rather awestruck by it all!! I just have to supply the backing and the binding. Since this quilt is so feminine, I think I’ll do some hand dyed yellow for the backing and see what I can come up with for the binding .. maybe more of the same?? Not sure as this was a scrappy quilt, and am unlikely to have anymore of my lighter colours kicking around .. or even the darks that I used .. so I’ll have to lay it out and fiddle with fabrics … ohhhh ahhhh playing with fabric!!! Sweet There’s 7 quilts that are going to be included .. not sure if these were the runner ups or everyone that entered a top – either way .. I think it’s awesome!

HPIM2899HPIM2897For the past month, my days off usually consisted of rain .. so my back veggie garden didn’t get worked on at all! I sure didn’t feel like playing in mud puddles on my day off, that’s for sure! Poor thing … not sure if I am going to plant anything in there .. but I’m not going to leave it weed choked which it seriously was But before I was even going to consider tackling this, my front garden needed just a few more things done to it before I would be happy. As it stood, the 8 o’clock’s i had planted from seed were coming up nicely, mum’s lilies are about to bloom and my goldmun speria is all flowered. I needed a border flower so I picked up some light purple (yes I said purple .. shock surprise), and wanted to lay some cedar mulch down. Happy happy joy joy .. I got that done today πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Yup that made me VERY pleased to say the least.

HPIM2900Now for the back .. while reg did the ribs on the grill, I started to yank out the weeds in the back .. Reg jumped in and helped too! Thank God for small mercies! heh .. and course we saved some for Kyle too πŸ˜‰ This was supposed to be his job 2 weeks ago and for some strange reason (known only to a teenage mind), it just didn’t get done .. so I put him to work πŸ˜€ Muhahahahahah – Doesn’t he just look THRILLED! He’s a bit left to do, but he’s got the rest of the week to do it.

HPIM2898So I’ve managed to get a lot done today, including watching Kyle’s baseball game too … oh and they won .. I’ve not a clue how they managed it, but they did .. woo hooo … so now I get to watch my garden fill out and bloom with dark purple, (gee there’s purple again!!), light purple, dark pink, white and yellow (mum’s lilies) I think that it’s going to look GREAT when it’s finally all in bloom and growing nicely. Curse this stupid weather .. today was the first ‘hot’ day we’ve really had and it was a great to work outside in it .. and of course ‘something’ is growing and driving my allergies to distraction – so while our summer appears to have started about 5 weeks later, I’m sure hoping that the fall and winter start later as well .. I LOVE spring and summer and am seriously starting to feel like I’m being robbed πŸ˜‰

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I did this to my blog ;)

Today as you can see I was busy with the look of my blog .. I was tired of the templates that blogger offers .. they have a good selection, but it’s limited .. They idea actually came to me when I saw, I think it was Cissy’s Quilts blog, and really liked it .. well i had been wanting to do play with the layout and look to make it more “ME” .. but with this that and the other thing .. plus I’m not all that conversant on xml .. but it’s a LOT like CSS so that part was okay .. just no clue on how to structure a document .. So I googled blogger templates and got a mess of hits .. well after frittering thru the results for about 2 hours I was getting frustrated .. all I wanted was a clean simple design that reflected me in some way .. cats, purple, blue, quilting, whatever .. nothing .. then I did find one that I really liked .. it was a reversed shadow of a lily – all i had to do was use their generator to change the text and colours and boom, copy and paste it .. well I generated it, previewed and copy and pasted it over .. then I get a message that it’s going to delete all my widgets .. (those are those neat lists and links that i have off to the side .. ) I’m like NO way .. so I try to alter the code .. well it didn’t like what i was doing, which was basically replacing one sidebar coding with another .. tried for a few more times and started to search again .. I was about to give up when I found this one .. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

I spent the next several hours learning to read the code so I could change it more to my tastes – bullets on the side, blockquotes standing out from regular text, the post footers more of a definitive separator between my posts, the text colour and size and the actual text itself ..

So I learned a lot today .. next attempt (when I’m sick enough of this one) is to make my own πŸ˜€

I ended up going over to my dad’s to deadhead his roses, grab the other hanger for my box planter, borrow a saw to take off a tree limb – etc etc etc etc ..

On a quilty note, I cut out the strips and hsts for the next underground rr block .. I might even sew that one up tonite .. but if I have to start .. I will have to keep going .. Pix has been taking to attacking fabric and batting pieces left ‘lying around’ .. yeah right .. he pulls the scrap batting out of the bags, and my strips for string quilts out of bags .. and pulls fabric strips off the cutting table .. I swear I’m going to tie his whiskers to tail one of these days .. crazy cat!!

During daylight I will HAVE to remember to take picks of my front flower bed, and the GRASS in my backyard as well as the planting that I have done .. You’ve all heard about it .. but not seen it πŸ˜‰ soon ..

trees, yard(age), I’m whacked!!

Good news on my quilt math πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ .. I’m right – thankyou everyone that downloaded my pdf file and checked it for me … it has been suggested to change the usable width to 40″ as the newer fabrics aren’t as wide anymore .. what’s up with that .. they increase the price per yard and give us less .. BAH! .. A lot of my yardage is older, but that is great advise and I will measure my widths just to be sure.

With checking my math, I’ve realized that I don’t have enough yardage to do the background all the same .. what I can do is have the inner blocks one background and the outer blocks a different one .. I do have more than enough for that .. And I think that it would look great too and I have enough to do the backgrounds all the same this way. For the inner ring and the Underground Railroad ring, I really want these backgrounds to be the same. The foregrounds I’ve already decided will be scrappy – quilts back then were made from scraps of this and that, so this would be more to the period – i have some nice yellows and reds that would be perfect for the foreground for this ring .. and &#189 yards of each colour, so getting 4 – 5 blocks per piece won’t be an isssue ..

I am bloody tired today! I woke up to my dad knocking on the door (the man has a cell phone, he could call (@@)), and he asked for my help with shopping for a tree for him and doing the plot at my mum’s gravesite … we spent all day it seems running around going here and there .. didn’t get the plot done .. needs to have some maintenace done on the ground there first, but we did buy a hanging basket to hang on the shepards crook he had already bought at the gravesite, so that was really good .. and it looks really great too .. I think that mum will like it.

We ended up coming back here to get the dog and then go to his place to cook supper. We made a beef stir fry together that was pretty good!! .. We were missing a few things that makes it just perfect like fresh ginger and broccoli, but we made up for it in other ways with garlic and lots of other veggies ..

I got home and finally got a chance to beat the snot out of the weeds that have been growing in my backyard. In mid to late April, we dug up, leveled, raked, rolled and planted grass seed in our back yard. Well the grass was finally long enough for me to cut it. I wanted to do this earlier this week, but Monday I was busy with other stuff and it’s rained just about every day since then. Well I could have done it yesterday, but Kyle broke my weedwhacker so I needed to fix it before I could use it. Didn’t bother .. got a new Black & decker one today at Home Depot for like $15 πŸ™‚ .. so it was late when I got home, but nice and cool. Took me bout 30 – 45 mins to whack thru all the weeds in the back .. they were half my height and I’m a shorty πŸ˜‰ .. then to cut the grass. I went over it twice and am pretty pleased with the result. I’m happy enough with it that I finally let Orion out the backyard for the first time since we did all that work πŸ™‚ .. she was pretty happy too. But now I’m pretty bloody whacked .. being outdoors today in nurseries and at home depot then at the gravesite twice, THEN doing my backyard .. Yup I’m tired. I’ll have Kyle rake up the weeds and grass tomorrow, then toss some more seed out there and we should be good to go .. all I need to do out there now is to hang my box planters, lay some stone next to the deck and move the old bbq off the deck – just basically rearrange some stuff.

Yard work, other needle work, quilting again ;)

Things have been interesting to say the least. There’s been a lot going on, but on the other hand .. there’s not been much going on .. i know .. sounds rather ambivalent doesn’t it?

Shortly after my last post, we got super busy with yard work – spring clean up outside and the like – just not here, but at my dad’s too .. Reg, scalped a tree for my dad, and he and Kyle did a lot of weeding and whatnot there. Then the next day, my neighbour decided to scalp his lawn as he was putting in sod and needed to remove the grass. In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the lake / moat / swamp that my back yard becomes when it rains – well waiting for the landlord to get us some dirt was getting irksome .. my neighbour offered the top layer of dirt from his front yard and we gladly accepted. What followed was 3 days of Reg digging up our yard by hand and me leveling the dirt after that with a rake .. then rolling it and then laying seed and rolling it again. 2 months later, I’m about ready to cut the grass .. I’ve more seed on hand now for the patches that will need it .. there are a few spots that didn’t take so well – but that’s only because I didn’t water those enough .. those spots got sun most of the day and needed more water .. course you don’t see that immediately .. but after the fact.

I’ve since gone back to my dad’s to weed out my mum’s herb garden . (3 years of weeds there, but not to bad) and just last Sunday I did her rose bushes .. now THAT was bad .. the grass had taken such deep root that it was waist high on me and very very thick .. my hands STILL hurt from that – that was another 3 years of weeds. My mum was to sick to do anything with her gardens before she died. But it now looks a LOT better and it’ll be easier work when I’m there to keep it up for him. I did some yard work here as well … planting some cucumber, tomato plants and some seeds for flowers. Since I don’t have an actual vegetable garden set up, it was mostly hauling bags of dirt to the box planters. But after doing 4+ hours of weeding at my dad’s, my plantings might as well have been a whole bloody acre LOL

I’ve not done much (read any) quilting until a few days ago .. I was feeling rather disenchanted by my lack of success – altho the scrunchies did do okay considering the crowd at the last table I had – I had 8 hours notice to get ready and stayed up most of the night to prepare them .. I hadn’t done the dishcloths yet (I have them now) or the mini coasters. While I working on them over several weeks, I kept having in my head, “why am I bothering .. it’s not like i can get a table right now and even if I had one, how much of this would sell???” so I was pretty discouraged, but I did get a stack of knitted dishcloths done – bout 14 of them .. I’m thinking of selling these $3 each or 2 for $5 … I’ll have to let you know how that works out .. altho my aunt and cousin were here the other day and they both just raved about them .. i did take a few of my earlier ones and use them in the house as i hadn’t knitted in over 8 years and my tension was a wee bit wonky at first .. but that worked out in short order. I even got adventurous and ‘drafted’ my own patterns .. They turned out quite nicely, but by that time, I had knitted about 18 cloths and had had enough .. I was more than willing and beyond ready to move onto the coasters.

My dad picked me up the Summer 2008 issue of Quilts and More, and here are a ton of cute projects in there that look like they make up super quick .. They have these english paper piecing coasters that I just had to try .. they made up super quick and are cute. Of course I made a few changes in the directions .. the sizes they offered the templates for were either to large or to small .. so I adjusted the templates for a size that is just right .. they also wanted you to blind stitch down the hex flower to the circle base; to me, that just seemed so unnecessary when you could appliquilt it down all the same time .. so I did that instead .. what is really nice about these is that it’s very quick hand work .. I did one with batting and said no more for that(!) .. with all the seams, it was just to hard on my hands to quilt thru all those layers .. I really do like the affect that doing it this way has as well as the adjusted size.

Reg has been talking about how warm it is at nite and I’m kicking myself for not getting started on our summer bed quilt .. the one I had been plotting to do with the reproduction fabrics – I’ve designed my quilt and have made my notes for how many pieces to cut for it – My issue is that I don’t have enough of one fabric to use as the whole background; so what I’ve done is created a ‘ring’ so to speak and looks like I’ll have enough to do it with that .. I’ve several different types of fabric in minimal yard lengths so that while I do have enough fabric to do my quilt, I don’t have enough to make it all of say 2 or 3 different fabrics .. but that’s alright actually .. in civil war days, quilts were made with odd bits and pieces anyways, so this will be more true to the time .. I’ve picked out 5 blocks from that era that I’m going to use .. Ohio Star, Simple Star, Underground Railway, Basket and a version of the weathervane .. Reg saw that block and said he liked THAT one .. so after the railroad block, this one became the ‘focus’ of my layout. The colours that I used in my layout were more to create the pattern and the separation of the sections .. I have a lot of blues and greens – which is great .. our favourite colours and our room has dark blue trim in it .. I need to do my test blocks and then i should be ready to go.

I’ve almost got my sewing room set back to rights .. it had gotten to the point where a bomb going off would have been a great improvement .. with getting ready for the shows and not having an interest due to my sense of failure . .I’ve not done much in here but check email .. even then .. very little of that .. so once that’s done . .in the next day or two, I’ll be doing the test blocks .. the basket and the weathervane block ..

Next planned steps

  • finish cleaning sewing room
  • test blocks
  • baste kyle’s quilt; kitty quilt
  • finish handquilting border on small wallhanging
  • binding on doll quilt
  • finish Michigan left
  • etc etc etc …