Friday, April 30, 2010

Call Me Irresponsible

It's been a while since I had quilts to share.
I've neglected the puzzles.

But I've been living the good life with my friends.
Tonight I'm sharing the progress on a quilt I showed you some time ago.

This is the quilt as I showed it to you quite some time ago. I was not happy with it.
I knew it needed some changes. I made several changes and am pleased with it now.

In this photo you can see the difference between the before and after. I also have quilted it.

This is a closeup of the quilting. If you click the image it will enlarge so you can see it better. I used Oliver Twist thread in a green/brown blend of colors. It shows off the quilting but doesn't jump out at you.
I chose a curve quilting design in this part of the quilt to emphasize the movement I created with the applique pieces.

The quilting on the right of the quilt is vertical curved line quilting to emphasize the design in that area.

All photos are clickable to see the detail better.

And for your pleasure puzzles are back!
Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Good Life

To me living the good life has nothing to do with money or things.
It is all about friends and family that enrich a person's life beyond measure.

Just as I hated to see Sharon and Fred leave yesterday I hated to say Goodbye to Suzie and Kerry today.
The entire visit was just the best.
There is nothing like long time friends. We laughed, we talked, we ate, we reminisced, we caught up on what has been happening in our lives, we ate, the men golfed, the ladies shopped, we ate, we relaxed, we spent time on the lanai talking, eating and relaxing, we explored the area a little, went out for ice cream, and so much more. No one can pack more into 4 or 5 days then we can.

It's always hard to see good friends leave, but I prefer to spend my time thinking about the good times we had and the next time we get together.

I am so fortunate to have these long time friends. I look forward to a short visit from another one of those long time friends on Friday evening.

Yes, the time goes by so quickly and it creates more memories for my memory bank in my head and my heart.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On a Clear Day

Sharon, Fred, Suzie and Kerry are enjoying breakfast on the lanai. Today's menu was Door County fried eggs, bacon, juices, homemade wheat bread, fruit bread, cherry and black raspberry preserves and coffee.

This is my plate and I chose black raspberry preserves for my bread - delicious.

After breakfast Fred and Sharon had to leave as they had obligations at home later in the day. We were sorry to see them go and hope it won't be as long before we all are together again.

Kerry had a tee time and played 18 holes of golf.

Suzie and I went to our local quilt shop and each found some very interesting fabrics. I can't show them to you because some of them are for some secret projects!

We all then watched my niece Madison Richards appearance on C-span that I had recorded earlier. We we all very impressed with Madison and her two friends. These are girls to watch as I am sure they each will go far.

After dinner Kerry took Suzie and me to The Villages for ice cream and then we listened to the music and watched people dancing to a while. We were home before 9 as we all have had a busy most enjoyable visit.

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing. Suzie looked through my 3 books I have had made from my blog and was able to see many pieces of her work as they had been posted on my blog.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A lovely ending to a perfect day in Paradise

Last night we had a "huge" thunder and lightning storm. We were expecting an overcast day today with possible rain.
We were pleasantly surprised with perfect temperatures and a breeze.

We had breakfast on the lanai and spent most of the day out there.

After breakfast the men played 18 holes of golf and the ladies just caught up on what has been going on in our lives.

A friend had brought me a newspaper article about a new restaurant that had opened quite near here. Thanks friend, we really enjoyed our visit.

Taverna Red describes it's fare as Mediterranean fusion.

This is the outside of the restaurant. Barely visible at the right is the outdoor covered dining area. It boasts a fireplace for chilly weather or just for atmosphere.

We are anticipating the food we each were just served before the waitress snapped our photo. We were not disappointed. I definitely will be returning to this restaurant often. I am on a quest for the best calamari in the area and while I didn't have it tonight, I will be back soon to sample it.

We came home, watched Dancing With The Stars and the the last half of 24.

I then received a message from my sister that my great niece Madison Richards will be appearing on C-span tomorrow morning between 6 and 9 a.m. CST. Here my friends are watching Madison's video on Sharon's new Cherry Red computer.
Madison (with 2 Friends) was the Grand Prize winner in the C-span video competition. Our family is all very proud of her. If you read this before the show airs you can tune in and watch her and her two friends. Last year they won first prize.

You can see Madison's video here:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Comfort Foods

It's strawberry reason in Florida.
Strawberry shortcake is one of my all time favorite desserts.

Sometimes I just have the strawberries and the whipped cream. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!
One can never have TOO much whipped cream!

Sometimes I use those individual sponge cakes to make it.

Sometimes I use angel food cake from the grocery store.

But for real "comfort food" strawberry shortcake there is nothing like home made sweet biscuits.
I use Bisquick to make them. It had been so long since I had bought a box of it I didn't even know where to look in the store!

Here is everything ready to assemble the shortcakes.

And that is what I have been serving when I have guests.

Be sure to let me know when you are coming so I can make strawberry shortcake for you too!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I definitely have a color signature! Rerun

I am looking over the fabrics I dyed in both Carol Soderlund and Jan Myers-Newbury's classes these last two weeks.
Since I went into both classes with no agenda other than to learn all I could I was slightly surprised how well the fabrics from one class worked with the fabrics from the other.

These were the fabrics I dyed for our Thursday project in Carol's class.

This group of fabrics started as a dark to light gradation of yellow fabrics. I overdyed them all with the same olive green using the same technique on all of them. These were done in Jan's class.

In addition to having the same olivey color this piece picks up the blue from the fourth example in the first photo. This was done in Jan's class.

It was a surprise to me that the fabrics we dyed and then discharged had my olive palette color when discharged.

Even these silk fabrics have the same color signature. Jan's class again.
I always am attracted to greens and blue greens.
In addition to these I also love fall and the colors Mother Nature provides to feast our eyes on.
But if I want to be honest I think I really love all colors and enjoy working with them, changing my palette I use from time to time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Temperature in the 90's today

Funny Pictures. Mermaid
When the temperature reached 91 degrees today I had to decide whether to turn on the air conditioning or drive over to the ocean.
When I looked in the mirror and saw how pale my skin is the beach won.
Like my friend Oprah I really don't want to be seen in a swinsuit in public, but I decided I'd grin and bear it.
I'm just glad I'm here where the weather is so wonderful.

I think those bird puzzle pieces are sea gulls!
Click to Mix and Solve

I Don't Know Why I Love You Like I Do

I don't know why, I just do!

What is it about patchwork furniture that makes me love it?

Is it the varying fabrics with their complementary textures?

Is it the sophistication that is unexpected with patchwork?

For this chair they have actually pieced a diamond patchwork fabric and used the buttons to emphasize this.

I thought this was a very interesting chair. It appears that the triangles are pieced and then added to the upholstery. When I look at this I can't help but think about how this would be a great solution if you got a hole in the fabric of a piece of furniture. It is a very sophisticated look.

While you could say this is just a blue chair, it takes the meaning of a blue chair to a whole new level.

This chair looks like it is a companion piece to the double wedding ring couch I showed you yesterday.

I still have so many other pieces of patchwork furniture to share with you. If you are interested in seeing more, let me know.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Me and My Shadow

When we start to quilt all we want to do is make quilts, quilts, and more quilts. Then many people discover wall quilts, art quilts, miniature quilts and wearable art.

For me I have transferred this love of fabric and patchwork to the furniture on my lanai. Each cushion on the couch and chair is covered with a different chintz decorator fabric is cheery floral prints. The unifying factor is the edges where I used the same fabric on all of them.
I felt I was being so creative and also thrifty.

I'd like to share with you other patchwork furniture I have seen. It seems to be very trendy right now, although not necessarily inexpensive.

Like my couch, this corner sofa has a different fabric on each cushion. I feel like this is the shadow of my creation!

This is a very country calico look on this couch, completed with applique pillows.

This sofa has a more elegant formal look.

This sofa is upholstered with a quilt. Although it's a traditional quilt this could be at home with many different decorating styles.

This sofa uses a lot of different fabrics and is very bright and cheerful.

You can see that there is no limit to what you can use for patchwork on a sofa. You can purchase one ready made, reupholster or slipcover what you are using or have your own professionally reupholstered of slip covered.

For maximum impact I would suggest only one or two pieces of patchwork in a room. Then it becomes a focal point. It is also a great way to start a decorating scheme. Choose the patchwork sofa first and design the rest of the decor around it. This does not mean you need to go out and purchase everything new. It can mean refinishing or painting things you already have.

Decorating should be fun and your house should make you happy.

In the future I will be doing more posts about decorating with patchwork furniture.
The sky is the limit!

Another puzzle for all you puzzle fanatics among my followers!
Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rags to Riches

I have had so much fun playing with my Embellisher machine.
I am going to share some small pieces I made with it on this post.

When I went to a fiber art retreat I took my Embellisher machine with me.
At the retreat there was a large collection of fabric we could play with. Much of this was fabric I would never touch or look twice at. Sleazy shiny polyesters and nylons, ugly cottons and linens, sheers, reject hand dyed or painted fabrics, etc..
These were the perfect fabrics to experiment with. I truly was going from rags to riches.

By the time the retreat was over almost every one there wanted one. It is so much fun to work with.

This piece used some cut offs of silk fabrics I painted along with other fabrics. It also includes some wool roving.

This one uses commercial fabrics of varying weights and textures.

I used a lot of sheers and semi sheers on this piece. I also used the selvedge part of the pink fabric to provide another texture.
Nothing goes to waste, even the smallest scraps when you have this machine!

After layering a collage of different weights and types of fabric, including some metallics I added the silk textured yarn for an additional texture.

Metallics, sheers and wool roving are the basis for this piece.

An Embellisher is a machine with several barbed needles that "fasten" the various fibers together.
There are several different brands. They use NO thread.
I would suggest a google search to find out more, and then a trip to your local sewing machine dealer.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baubles, Bangles and Beads

Today was another clay day for me. I tried to use up some of the canes we started yesterday, along with using some of the finished canes Terry sent me.

My supply of amulets I share with my guests is getting low. I completed these to help replenish the tray of amulets. As soon as I get the proper pen to sign them, these will be added to the tray.

To see a larger version of either of these photos click on them.

I had lunch with a friend and told her how I made bowls for my family for Christmas last year. That got me thinking and I realized the finished canes I have would be the perfect way to make some bowls.

I made this small bowl today. It is about the size of a sauce dish. That is what I used to make it. It was made entirely from Terry's finished canes.

The round puzzle cut is perfect for this bowl. It is also one of the easiest to do.
Click to Mix and Solve