Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm Still Alive (although getting moldy. . . )

I think the lousy weather we've all been experiencing has affected me.  I haven't felt like blogging, haven't felt like drawing- I've just been feeling blah.  And we've had so much rain this spring (???) I'm beginning to feel moldy too.  So, no blogging- who wants to read depressed, whiny rants??

Nothing has changed on that front over the long weekend.  Lousy weather, that is supposed to improve once we go back to work. I have been hibernating in the studio.  I have a smallish- challenge piece that I need to get moving on, but somehow I can't get myself to start working on it until I get this sampler quilt pieced.  I do have a design in my head, really I do!  And I've picked out the background fabric and done some drawing.  Maybe I'll get to fabric choices later today, who knows.

I sewed most of Thursday and Friday morning, then most of yesterday afternoon.  When I got to the final quadrant, I realized I'd made a mistake somewhere in the drafting of the full-size pattern.  I still haven't figured out what I did wrong, but with some tweaking and judicious cuts with the rotary cutter, I think I'm back on track.  I had to re-draft the final section that needs to be sewed onto the quilt, but I think it will work fine.  And glory be, I had enough gridded freezer paper left to use for this section.  So much easier than graph paper with glue dots!

I think I drafted that pattern at night while I was watching coverage of the royal wedding.  Mmm, note to self-you don't do your best work at night, you are usually brain dead.  Do your drafting and work that requires thinking IN THE MORNING!!  Early, with a cup of coffee in hand!!

Here's the quilt, with only the last section of flying geese missing--

It has been interesting working on a quilt that I actually started six years ago.  In the interim, I quit working in a block format, and mostly started using my own hand-dyed fabric.  I've also become a lot more confident about my ability to quilt my own pieces.  I think if I'd finished this six years ago, I would have panicked and handed it off to a long-armer to do.  I've been thinking about how I will quilt this while I've been piecing, and I'm really looking forward to it.

If I were to do anything different, I would use the same fabric in the background of the blocks.  I think it is too distracting with those different prints.  One of my goals with the quilting will be to tone down those differences, and make them blend better.

So my goal for the rest of the long weekend is to get that last flying geese section pieced, and sewn onto the quilt.  I should be able to do that this afternoon. Tomorrow, I definitely won't be in the studio in the morning.  My favorite thrift store is having a half off sale all day, and I plan on being there when they open the doors at 7 am.  You never know what treasures could be there!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Home Again

We are back from Reno- an altogether too-short vacation.  I'm just not ready to face the workweek tomorrow.  And, to top it off, we both came back with colds, albeit mild ones.  But it has left me feeling less than energetic.

After getting the laundry done, and unpacking everything, I've finally made it into the studio.  I dyed a piece of linen/rayon (destined for a summer jacket) Friday, and added another layer of color today.  I've also been at work on the sampler quilt, which is coming along nicely.  I've got the top part all pieced, and am working my way down.  

I'm already seeing things about this quilt I would do differently- but I'm not about to change it now!

I have more wild horse pictures.  They were close to the house almost every day we were there, and one day we had two different herds within easy walking distance!  The second herd had four babies, a couple of them only a few weeks old.  Here you can see how 'at home' they feel in my sister's neighborhood.

I learned the hard way that you don't try to sneak up on them- it spooks them, and they run.  So to get these pictures, I very slowly moved towards them, making sure they could see me the whole time.  I really wanted pictures of the babies, which took some maneuvering.  But I was rewarded with some good shots.

This was the only time we saw this herd close up.  The other herd was a regular visitor.  Here they are, just walking in the neighborhood.  

I don't think I'd ever get tired of watching them!

And of course, there was the best part of the trip- seeing Michelle.  She is growing up so quickly, and turning into a real beauty.

I have more pictures from HMQS to show, but that is for another post.  Dinner is calling, and best of all, I didn't have to cook it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Where the Wild Things Are

Shannon and I arrived in Reno on Sunday morning, and have been having fun with family.  We've also gotten some good looks at wild animals that roam my sister's neighborhood regularly- herds of wild horses!

The first day, they were on the hills in back of their property, so we walked up there.  I was floored by how close they let me get.  At one point, I was within fifty feet of the herd's stallion, and got some great pictures with my telephoto lens.

I love these next photos!  The dark chestnut standing in the first photo is the herd's stallion.

 This morning, my brother woke us up to see the herd on the road just below the house.  They came up and said hello to my sister's horse Chance.

They came up even closer to the house, then took off further down the neighborhood.  They obviously feel right at home here!  I took these from the family room in the house, leaning out the window.

They are beautiful, majestic creatures.  There were a couple of babies in this herd, and at least one mare who is close to foaling.  Hopefully we'll see more of them while we are here!

Saturday, May 07, 2011


I haven't posted a lot lately, because I haven't had much of interest to post.  But after yesterday, I have enough quilty content for several!  I did my usual two-hour volunteer stint at HMQS yesterday- it gets me free admission.  I also met a couple of friends there, and we walked the show.  Interesting, on a couple of different levels.

I saw a number of quilts I really liked, although there weren't that many art quilts entered.  There were also some special exhibits.  Today, I'm just showing some of the quilts that grabbed my attention.You can click on the photos to enlarge them and get a better view.

I loved this rooster that Cheryl Lara did with discharge.  After discharging the rooster, she went back in with dyes and added color- pretty subtly, for the most part.  The sun and rest of the image are done with thread.

This one was quirky enough to capture my interest.  I don't get the Sushi reference, but I liked her use of color and value, and the oddball shapes of the blocks.  Rather reminded me of amoeba!

This gorgeous flower image was also painted.  We're so hungry for spring that isn't wet and cold that any flower image was bound to attract.

Joanne Baeth's depiction of sand hill cranes against a sunset sky was beautiful, in a subtle, soft way.  I loved her use of color, her perspective was well done.  I found the image very relaxing and soothing.

Andrea's sunflowers were a knockout!  Her background is all done with small scraps of fabric.  Her use of color and value was fantastic!

And for a touch of whimsy, I loved this take on old McDonald's farm.  I liked how they used values to create the animals, and colors that were not true to life.

That's it for now, lots more pictures later. My pictures aren't as clear as I'd like, but the lighting is not the best at the Expo Center, and I didn't have a lot of time to fiddle with camera settings.  I hope the makers' names are all readable.

Later- I have house cleaning to get done today, and packing for a Mother's Day trip to see family in Reno.