Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A MAJOR breakthrough!!!

I've only had my smartphone for 355 days.  Not only did I break it the day after I got it, but the learning curve was off the charts.  BUT finally I figured out how to post onto my blog from my phone.
   Please stop laughing.  I'm not a complete loser, I've been on instagram for a couple months. (Check me out, 9 patchnurse)
     So this is my inaugural 'smart post'.  Get it?  The true test of course will be getting a picture on the post.
     Here goes, and stay tuned for more posts !

Friday, March 8, 2013

It's my home and I'll paint it if I want to.

Blame Pinterest. 
 Browsing Pinterest has gotten me itching to slap some paint around lately.
For YEARS, I have said, "I would rather give birth than paint."  And I know what I'm talking about because I had both of my children without one speck of pain medicine.  I do, however, love a nice coat of paint on just about anything.  When the job is big enough, I am happy to pay someone to do it.  Once I even paid my son $20 to paint the front door a bright yellow.   Sometimes, though, I just have to do it myself. 
Preparation is key, right?  That means collecting paint chips and spending days and weeks fondling them and dreaming of dripping brushes. 
 I had a specific project in mind but, before I got started, I decided to have a little warm up.  I rummaged around in the basement and found a can of  'espresso colored' semi-gloss then painted this antique wooden ironing board.  It fits perfectly behind the sofa.
Lousy pictures but I'm sure you get the idea.
After the warm up, I started prepping for the real project.  My son's cat, Mrs. Puff, was very interested.
So far, so good. 
Ta dah! 
I thought about stenciling or maybe wallpapering the stair risers, but in the end I figured paint was a good place to start.
This is the view from the from door.  I really love it.  Now don't freak out over paint on nice hardwood.  I'm just fine with it!
While we're talking about DIY, do you remember this little injury before the holidays?  The wicked hot glue gun mishap?
Here is the instigator,  a fantastic family heirloom.  A gorgeous rosewood chair that's solid as a rock.  When I was a newlywed, my mother gave it to me and I found someone to replace the caning.  It held up for years before a big hole mysteriously showed up in the seat.  Our annual family holiday party always gets me thinking about where 40 or so people are going to park their butts in my house.  So I came up with a genius fix for this chair. Temporary of course until I get someone else to cane it. 

I got my brother to cut some sturdy plywood to fit and I covered it in a nice velvet.

It seemed like it would be easier to use the glue gun then to dig around looking for my staple gun.  Except for the problem with the hot hot HOT glue dripping on my finger, I think it worked out well.  As long as no one looks under the chair.

And check this out.  The family name is Howard and  someone years ago put name tags on the furniture.  I also have a table with one of these tags.

And in case you think my house is full of hoity toity family antiques, here is a side table I brought in from the yard 15 years ago.  It's from a tree we had cut down. 

I went on retreat with my quilting buddies last weekend.  That means I have lots of  'almost finished' projects.  My sewing machine is still packed up but I hope to get it plugged in and running this weekend. 
Have a nice weekend now, y'hear?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's My Birthday!!

Are these ponies cute or what!
I grew up on a Shetland pony farm and they are the nicest, most perfect ponies for children.  I don't know why we didn't make them sweaters.
I will have some pictures of quilty goodies later.  AND a peek at a Pinterest inspired project I did this week.  I have always said I would rather give birth than paint but I actually did some painting around here. 
One of my birthday pressies from my mom is the 9 inch hexagon Accuquilt die.  Wheeeeee!  I have an idea that I can't wait to start on.
Stay tuned.  I promise I will be back later.  Right now I have to wash some paint brushes and go to a quilt shop with my friend.  (because it's my birthday!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Howdy Neighbors!

Hello and welcome.  Marlene over at Stitchin By The Lake has been posting a weekly series introducing other blogs so we can get to know our bloggy neighbors.  If you have come to visit via Marlene, then thank you and make sure to enjoy your visit.
How about I just share a little bit about myself?
I have been a pediatric nurse for years.  I have worked in the Pediatric ICU, Labor and Delivery, Pediatric Oncology, and currently in the Pediatric Operating room at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.  I love taking care of kids and their families.  However, when I'm not at work, I want to spend all of my time in my sewing room making quilts.  I am constantly rearranging my sewing space and trying to find the magic formula for staying tidy and organized.  Somebody needs to smack me on the head and clue me in that it just ain't gonna happen. 
Here is a picture of my sewing room midway through it's most recent renovation.  Yup!  The floor is spotted.  So now you know I am a little wacky.  Since this picture, I have put wooden blinds on the windows and I have big sliding doors on the closet to the left.  They are covered with cork and batting so I can use them as my design wall.  I moved the light fixture too.  I love this space and spend a lot of time here.
I live on a family farm and all of my neighbors are family.  A couple of weeks ago, I looked out front and there was a HUGE flock of birds out front.  What a ruckus.
Out back we have trees.  The last few years have been hard on the trees.  Twice we have had little tornados come through and take out a few trees (with our power lines).  This past fall, Hurricane Sandy blew this one over.  I just happened to be standing at the kitchen door and saw it go over.  So lucky it fell the way it did.
Oh yeah, it was a big one!
Like most quilters, I have UFOs.  This year I have committed to trying to get a few done in addition to just having fun trying new things.  A few years ago I started this quilt along and got 36 of these round blocks done.  All hand appliqued, eesh!  Last week I sewed four of them together, again by hand.  I am SO SO tempted to just finish it up by machine.  Until I decide, I'm just going to leave these on the design wall to taunt me.
Here is another UFO whose days are numbered.  I usually refer to it as 'The Orb quilt' and I found the pattern here.  I didn't intend for it to be so dark so I stalled.  Very soon I will commit to some kind of border and git er done.
Another plan for this year is to keep playing with my scraps and use them up.   Lol, ha ha ha ha, guffaw guffaw!  Use them up!  Good grief,  let's just settle with using them.  I put this top together a couple weeks ago using this tutorial.  So much fun and shockingly easy.

I picked out these fabrics for borders and can't wait to get it finished.

I am also having a love affair with half square triangles.  I finally got this wallhanging funished and hung.  Two inch finished HSTs.  The wall is pale yellow and now I think it needs to be painted.

I am weak when it come to fabric.  I have such a hard time resisting.  In the past month, I have gone on two delightful daytrips with some pals to the Lancaster, PA area where there are awesome quilt shops.  Great prices just add to the fun.  Wanna see what I got?

 I seriously consider this yellow dot to be a neutral.  I think it goes with anything.
I love the Tammis Keefe tribute fabrics by Michael Miller.  I had to have this.

Text fabric.  Gotta have some at all times.
Couldn't resist.  Just couldn't.  I mean, seriously........... lime green, crosswords, and the school tablet stripes.  Delicious!
Enuff said.
Oh my!
I want to pet this.
And this.
And while I'm at it, let's just throw in a few fat quarters. 

So now you know a little bit about me.  What I like to make and what kind of fabrics I like.  And here's a few more fast facts....just because.
-we have 4 cats (and one doesn't have a tail)
- I can't whistle
- I am a Ravens fan, whoop whoop!
-I read every single night before I go to sleep.
- I can wiggle my ears, and so can BOTH of my kids.
Thanks for coming by to visit.  Toodles!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What I did this week.

Yup, I put this whole thing together.  Last Saturday at my sewing marathon, I put together one block because I wanted to try out Bonnie Hunter's cool technique.  It was Eeeeeeeeee Zeeeeeeeeee!  When I got home,  I couldn't resist  dumping out my basket of 2 1/2 inch strips and putting together strip sets for more blocks.  Flickr is so handy for getting ideas.  I went to the Scrappy Trip Along group to see how the blocks went together.  I really liked the look of the quilts when the center diagonal of the block had a stand out color.  I had lots of reds.  Yesterday I got 24 blocks all sewn together into this top.  I can't believe how quick it went.  Sadly, it did not put enough of a dent in my basket of strips.  I think I will need to make another one or two.  A great way to stash some gift quilts in the closet don't you think?  I think I have the Wild Threads talked into making one for the church that lets us have our marathons there. 
Have a lovely week and stay warm in you live in my neck of the woods!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sewing Marathons are 'Da Bomb'

We all know this.  Sewing with friends is better than therapy.  The Wild Threads get together every couple of months for a day of play.  Right before one of our marathon sewing days, emails usually start circulating asking, "what are you bringing, what are you gonna work on?".   Lately I like to take a project that needs to be finished.  Last time I finished quilting a quilt that I had been working on for years.  This weekend I got TWO projects finished.....sort of.  I quilted my yellow HST wallhanging with close straight lines.  After I finished, I remembered that I had thought about parallel lines in the yellow from the center out like a spiral.  Oh well, maybe I'll make another.  I do like the way this kind of quilting looks. 
I decided against a border or a visible binding.  I have never done this kind of binding before.  I pulled it all the way to the back before sewing it down.  This picture doesn't show the trouble I had with the corners.  I like this nice clean look and I am sure I'll try it again and hopefully get better at the corners.  I looked around the web for a tutorial but couldn't find one.  If anyone knows of one, lemme know.  Thanks.

Wah lah!

 I got the binding all ready for hand sewing before the Ravens/Patriots game on Sunday.  I got all comfy with my feet up and everything within reach........and look who came along.  Rosie! 
She kept my lap warm.  And the best part?
Here comes Festivus Maximus people.  Not only are we going to the Super Bowl, but this year it's Harbowl.  How cool is it that the Harbaugh brothers are both going to the Super Bowl?

Okay, back to some quilting.  The other finish this weekend was the borders on this quilt.  Finally.  It's huge too, 100 by 114 inches.  I am going to let my friend, Shirley, quilt this one for me on her longarm. 
 I raided my stash for light colored scrappy fabrics to make the borders.  I chose to put them together on a diagonal for just a teensy bit of interest.
This is going to be a great quilt for everyday use on my bed.
I know I've shown some of these blocks up close before but I just can't help more little peeks.
 Made fabric' for the center.
And a tiny little pinwheel block snuck in there.
Fabrics with words, yippee.
When I put the border fabrics together, I ended up with a bunch of large HST's so I put them together for the back. 
More stash busting for the back.  Yeesh it's big.  So so glad I'm not going to quilt this one.
Here they are, top and back, all folded and ready for Shirley to get home from vacation. 
  Hmm, what is that to the right in the picture?
 Ugh, I gotta keep it real here.  My work table is messy again.   I did say trying to keep it clean was a fail before it even started.  Let's just delete that resolution shall we?
But this is why it's messy.  I spent last evening playing with my 2 1/2 inch strips.  See this little pile of strips?  All ready to whip up 19 blocks.   For a while now I have seen the Scrappy Trip Along  blocks on the web.  I wasn't too interested at first because of all the 2 inch squares.  I'm still in recovery after the Great Granny Quiltalong.  Then I saw this tutorial
Pretty sneaky little technique.  I had to try it so I whipped this block up on Saturday.  Nineteen more are coming and I'll have another scrappy stash quilt made.  It will be interesting to see how it looks because I am working mostly with strips that I have had for years.  They aren't very bright which is what I like now.   

And I'll leave you with this shot of my friend, Pat.    She has a crazy headband  on with flickering purple lights.  This was Saturday, the day before we won the championship.   In Baltimore we love our Ravens' purple.