Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bears and bunnies

Just a bit more catch-up, sitting up very tall in my desk chair to spare my back and neck.  So far so good.  :-)

A few weeks ago my bee went on a five day retreat up in the North Carolina mountains.  The house is in Blowing Rock, not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway.  (For those familiar with Jan Karon's Mitford books, this is the place.)  The weather was quite nice and as you can see, we had lovely mountain views from the rear of the house.

One of the best things about this house is the huge dining table.  Plenty of room for six sewing machines.

And it also helps to travel with folks who love to cook.

We eat well!!

There were some quilt finishes.  This one was from a Victoria Findlay Wolfe workshop.  It's quite complicated and I'm glad it wasn't me trying to keep the blocks sorted out.  :-)

We kept watch for wildlife and were rewarded with the sighting of a bear strolling through the yard.  I didn't capture a good photo, but it really is there.

Another quilt finish.  Actually it was two quilts.  This is the one made from leftover blocks, believe it or not!

This flimsy was so pretty.  I'm sorry my photo doesn't do it justice.

And a baby quilt.  These ladies are prolific!

I worked on my little house blocks.  I started the project in 2011.  Really??  Good grief!  I had 119 already made, finished 25 at the retreat and now I have "only" 220 more to go.  Yikes.

We also watched groups of wild turkeys wander through the property.  Not something I'd seen before.  One of our group has a house in Florida and sees turkeys all the time.  She showed us some amusing videos of them frolicking in her backyard.  Deer showed up each day as well, but I wasn't quick enough to get a photo.  The irons were set up in front of windows overlooking the yard and it was pretty amusing each time someone yelled, "Wildlife!" and we all charged to the windows.  Don't ask how many times we went back to our sewing machines and sewed the next piece on the wrong way because we had dropped everything to run to the window.  Too funny.

Before the retreat I spent several hours printing small family photos on fabric to insert into the windows and doors of the houses.  This is Dad.

And Mom.

The Viking in his Minion costume.

The Tramp.

And many others.  Here are the 25 I finished.  Sooooo many more to go.  No family member will be left out.

On our last evening the sunset was spectacular.  Both before and after the clouds moved in.

Also before the trip I made a Gadget Guard for my new iPad.  Fabulous pattern.

And I made another one to protect my birthday present to myself.  It's a Daylight Wafer Lightbox and the cutting mat to go with it.  :-D  I just had to have one after I saw a video on how it can be used to assist foundation piecing.  Very cool.

 The Sailor Son has been out to sea for a short underway and Sweet DIL and Precious came to visit for a few days.  The weather was HOT so we spent part of Sunday at the lake.

After a session of jumping in the water, someone was tired out.

Too cute!

Not so cute, but at least I can prove I was there.  lol

I have two Indygo Junction Kitchen Charm aprons in process.  The one on the right will be mine and it's made from a feedsack charm pack.  The one on the left is for my apron swap partner in the colors she requested.  I was a bit short of fabric so it's waiting for more squares.  The Viking spotted them on the design wall.
Viking: "Nini, what are those things?"
Me:  "They're aprons."
Viking:  "Well they don't look much like aprons.  They have ears!"
Oh how I laughed.

I've been car-less this week while the mechanics struggle to figure out what is wrong with it.  So since we were stuck at home, he played with Lego on a corner of the cutting table while I sewed.  I gave him the leftover strips of star fabric I was cutting for a baby quilt.  He was thrilled with his "desert at night."  :-)

He decided his glass of water was actually vampire squid juice.  No so far-fetched when you know Octonauts is one of his current favorite shows.  Not my favorite to listen to, but he loves it and learns quite a bit about ocean creatures.

Never leave a cute pattern around where a kid can see it unless you really want to make it.  He's been asking and asking and asking for me to make him a Bunny Peep (pattern carelessly left on a sewing machine table) so I broke down on Tuesday and whipped one up. He insisted on a pink one so good thing my fleece bin had a scrap of pink!

In the meantime I'm working on a quilt for Precious.  It needs the outer border of the white print, then I can get on with the quilting.

So now I'd better get to bed.  Another day tomorrow of no car and a boy to keep amused.  I'm sure we'll have fun....despite the lousy weather forecast.  :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


This is an experiment in trying to post from my iPad.  For various frustrating reasons, it’s easier not to sit at my iMac at the moment.  So anyway.....   The weather has been spectacular.  As the summer heat and bugs haven’t kicked in yet we’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible on the deck soaking up the breezes.

The sunsets haven’t been too shabby either.

The other morning I managed to spot a baby bunny in the yard before the dogs did.  Yay! Bunny was over in that corner jumping at the fence trying to escape.  So at 7 am I was outside in my pajamas, still bleary-eyed and slow, herding the bunny back out under the gate.  Hmmmm....  Peter Rabbit maybe??  I’m very glad I opted for a 6 ft fence on the street side of the yard!!

After breakfast I tackled mowing the lawn.  There is poison ivy everywhere! Ugh! So out came the spray as well.

The oak tree is looking better as the vines are dying off.

Birthday wishes were received.  

Now this is where I gave up on the iPad experiment in frustration.....about two weeks ago.  I couldn't scroll to write more in the browser and I couldn't find an app I liked to do the job.  So here I am back at the iMac.  The problem is the new desk we found for me.  Well....a used desk, from Craigslist.  It looks great, but it's too high and the monitor is way too high and I get spasms in my upper back after just a few minutes.  Even with the "computer glasses."  Anyway....

I took a picture of the kid and had a bit of fun with a photo altering app on my phone while he played  in the mall play area.  His mother took one look at this photo and said I should make a quilt from it.  Hmmmm.  Not a bad idea.

Precious gets cuter by the day.

And The Viking gets taller and taller.  Look how long his legs are in those shorts!

He will start school in July and he's very ready.  He disappeared upstairs one day, "I have to make a card for you, Nini!"  And this is what he presented to me.  It says "I like everything about you."  Awwwwww.  Be still my heart.  With a drawing of the two of us "by the side of the road." :-)

And speaking of tall, knowing how very tall my daughter is, Stardust is looking tall indeed.

Looking for a small project one evening, I dug out a pattern for making tissue box covers.  Cute and simple to do.  I should make more for around the house.  

I also delved into some garment making, trying to finish up a few old projects I'd hidden away.  This project ended up in the bin.  The pattern too.  Now I know why I didn't finish it.  Too frustrating!!

I made this top last year.

And had been saving this fabric to make one with sleeves.  Not bad.  Possibly not the best match of fabric weight and style, but it's wearable.

I dug out another pattern and fabric.  This shirt has darts and in an effort to get the dart in the right place I dug out my Fitting Finesse book by Nancy Zieman, there in the center of the shelf,

and played with altering the pattern.  

Success!  The darts look good, but the neckline of the finished shirt is way too high and snug.  I'll be able to cut it lower and re-finish it though.  Maybe tomorrow!