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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This scrappy strippy quilt is called "Sakiori" and is one from my new quilting book,

"Japanese Quilt Inspirations" by Susan Briscoe.

The book is wonderful and I am inspired to make a quilt similar to this one using pinks, reds and aqua. [this is the 3rd scrappy quilt I have recently started....I hope to have a top ready to show you before too long! LOL!]

Still on the "aqua and red" kick, how about making these?

"Little Cottage by the Sea" blogger has a free pattern and tutorial!

I found fleece (anti-pill, the better choice) on sale at work yesterday.....

so I got enough to make a front zipper sleep sack for each baby. This is the first one, going out to Baby Wesley in Idaho. The pink ones are for the twins in Georgia. [There is a wonderful tutorial here on making these wearable blankets.]

More projects to come.....and some Japanese inspired quilts too!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Under our tree are wonderful packages waiting.....

our real blessings and gifts have arrived earlier this year, 3 new grandchildren!!!

Here are some recent (December 2011) photos of the little darlings...
looking like a snowbaby is 3-month-old grandson!

Nina Kate is sparkling like her Christmas tree!

Twin sister, Sophie Jane, is enjoying the peace of the season! [the twins are now 5 months old]

Listen! Do you think that could be Santa coming now?

[the beautiful innocence of babies' first Christmas!]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Simple, humble, yet somehow wonderful.....

the frugal Japanese make things out of discarded, worn indigo cloth. These are called boro, and were often used as futon covers.

Portland Oregon Japanese Gardens has recently hosted a show about these, called "Mottainai: fabric of Life." This blog post from Willy Wonka Quilts has wonderful photos of the show....and there is a catalog available from the gardens. [ NOTE:"mottainai"="waste nothing"]

Artist Melanie Testa is leading a group working on "boro" clothing, here! it is fun to watch her progress or join in if you have interesting fabric bits in your stash, an old garment which could use updating, and feel happy doing hand stitching....


Last February, I worked on something similar...raw edges and hand stitches with a bird included. It is a wall piece, not clothing, though!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last Sunday afternoon, we had reservations for a visit to the new Crystal Bridges art museum
near our home.
The setting, in the Ozark town of Bentonville, AR is wonderful! The architecture and environment work together so beautifully!

The galleries flow from one century to another, covering American Art History. There is plenty of room to see each painting at your leisure.

This whimsical work by Maxfield Parrish is currently on display....

A contemporary "winged victory" in essence, this beautiful molded glass draped dress is life-size and beautifully captures the lights nearby. It was one of my favorite pieces!

My least favorite was probably this pile of molten metal....

Mary Cassatt and other American Impressionists are well represented. Here is Cassatt's

"Woman Reading".

One wing had a temporary show of very current 21st century art and here I am in front of one thing which I loved..... this yellow "lace" piece made from disassembled silk flowers which were stitched together...I love the shadows it casts too!

You can see from my smile that I was delighted to be there. Thank- you Alice Walton!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas mice? All creatures great and for the children!

You can find the recipe and links to more here .

The dangers of surfing the web [I was researching Alexander McCall Smith] are that you will find treasures, which in turn you must seek...LOL!

I had no idea that there was a cookbook "out there" the original hardcover of this one is very rare and is listed at $350.00-$500.00! .... but the paperback is available for about $ sure you order from the correct side of the pond though, or you could be in for some shipping costs!

He also has some children's books....

These quiet, cloudy late autumn days are perfect for some reading! I am enjoying this McCall Smith novel, # 8 in a series set in Edinburgh, Scotland.
...and if I had an "e-reader" I would be getting this one too! I love spending time with these characters and this setting!


A "Grandma" post--

Here is a video of our 3 month old grandson, giggling with his mom!

Mary & Andrew's Baby News: Wes and his kicking giggles. Nothing better than ...: Wes and his kicking giggles. Nothing better than a happy baby. Even better when you get some giggles. Here is a recent video to enjoy. W...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A perfect plan for me! [from Cat Patches blogger, click the button]

Occupy Sewing Room

I needed to spend a day down there and it was great fun....with a book on tape and NPR.

First I made more of the Union Jack pillows....

Then, I managed to make 9 bibs and one terry bathmat with a border....all for the children and grandchildren!

These are made with fingertip towels....and rib knit fabric. Tutorials (not mine) are available on-line for these wonderful, easy to use bibs!

Since I had the rib knit neckbands going so well, I cut some scrap denim and made some raw edge (so they can fray over time!) bibs out of old blue jeans.

This terry bath mat is from a remnant from work and some fabric in my stash!

Now, these things are definitely "loving hands at home" but I think they will be quite useful!


Not pictured but fun to do, I managed to make several more paper foundation string-pieced diamonds for a scrappy star quilt!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A few minutes ago in our front yard.....the Red Sunset Maple tree was planted and watered.

It is our Christmas gift for each other and one day may look like this!

It replaces a huge elm tree with we lost last year! I feel so good about having a thing of beauty to


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Yesterday's project......

A Union Jack pillow, perfect for an armchair traveller!

I made the pillow by the dimensions of the bag of fiberfil....18"x 13". Then found wonderful ribbons to sew on for the crosses....

Before starting this, I had seen many creative take-offs on this idea by using Google "Images"...some were even done in soft pink and green shabby chic colors and floral fabrics. One was by British artist, Ann Carrington, and was made from worn blue jeans....create and "fly" any "flag" you like! The flags which feature "crosses" certainly will work well....Sweden? Norway? [I do have ancestors from the Yorkshire I suppose I can claim this one!]

My current knitting leggings for the twin infant granddaughters from Bernat's "Baby Jaquards" yarn.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

A wonderful winter salad! *

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6
1 package mixed baby greens
1 large ripe pear (Bartlett or d’Anjou)
3 oz. crumbled blue cheese
3 oz. walnuts, chopped
For Vinaigrette Dressing:
4 TBSP Extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
1 TSP Dijon mustard
½ TSP sugar
¼ TSP salt
Divide the mixed baby greens onto six salad plates. Peel and slice the pear thinly. Top the salad greens with pear slices, dividing the slices among the 6 plates. Top each salad with ½ oz. of the crumbled blue cheese. Next, top the salads with ½ oz. of the chopped walnuts. For the dressing, combine 4 TBSP of extra-virgin olive oil with 2 TBSP of balsamic vinegar. Mix in the Dijon mustard, sugar and salt. Top each salad with the dressing and serve immediately.
Note: May substitute plain chopped walnuts for candy coated ones, if desired.

*This is a Stemilt Growers LLC recipe and photo.

It is so cold and rainy that we are missing church this morning. At 88, and using a walker, Mom
decided not to "push" it!
So, I have a day to cook, and work on quilts and knitting~~~ back later with photos, if the sun comes out I get better photos....I'm listening to the divine Etta James..a sampler of her newest, comprehensive double CD...."The Essential Etta" is on Amazon. This would make a perfect Christmas gift!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blogging in the SLOW zone!

Today, I have tried to upload a photo.....took a shower while waiting for it to finish uploading... (and no, it was not a large digital photo). It still hadn't finished when I came back just now.

So, how do I show you ruffled diaper covers (like you really want to see them even thought they are CUTE! LOL!), all the latest projects from my sewing room, photos of my grandbabies, my art work.... and recipes, etc.?
Our "new" computer has been nothing but a headache. DH ("Bless his heart" and mine too!) has worked for hours, removing and re-installing data and software programs. This is not progress!

I was perfectly happy with my old computer....and may try to set it up again. I miss posting and visiting your blogs. [If things don't improve, I will have to go back to doing my art journal scrapbooks which I was faithful to before I was blogging!]
Now, off to read some blogs and then to yoga class.....and to my part time job.
Hope you all have a good day, free from technical difficulties!


Later...I WAS able to upload the photo (lots of pink, bibs, sleep sacks, fleece stroller blankets) of my latest sewing for the twins just now. Good!

One last piece of trivia....for those of us who are always reading British novels and watching the BBC.... here is an article explaining the origin of the expletive "Bloody" which has always puzzled me. (note the article was from 1914!)

"Bloody" is a centuries old corruption of the oath "By our Lady!". Makes sense!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finished at last!!!!

The "Mitered Crosses" blanket ( pattern available as a PDF download for a donation to help with the Japanese Tsunami victims) is finished! I used all wool and silk for this blanket. It is put together with whip stitch since it was worked in garter stitch. Then I added extra horizontal bands of garter stitch in the back ground yarn (lavender). Edges were lavender crochet, single then double. Ending with a single crochet row of the variegated Silk Garden ( by NORO) and a double crochet edge of worsted weight hand-dyed by Brown Sheep Company.

Here is a view of the blanket showing the beautiful crosses made from the "Silk Garden" skeins!

This was the most fun thing I have ever knitted! It is going as a gift to my BIL and SIL for their birthdays.....I may have to knit another one!

Monday, November 14, 2011

twin granddaughters are now almost 5 months old...

Their mom just sent me this photo from today....I have been sewing for them. Hope to be here soon with photos of the sleep sacks I am making from onesies.....pretty cute!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Artists and colors we love.......

Above, Pierre Bonnard rendered a landscape near the caught my eye because of the lime (yellow green) and wonderful blues...indigo, turquoise, aqua, cobalt...

notice too how his sky is yellow and lavender, we'll get back to that later...

Recently, my friend and fellow quilt artist, Paula gave me two photos. The first (underneath in the scan) is of an "ocean waves" quilt which she is working on. [I had given her the tote bag from old blue jeans]. It had wonderful blues, limes and a little bright yellow to "pop" and excite the eye.

Then, last month, I received the second, a post card from her trip to Colorado.

They were lying together on a table top and I realized that the colors were repeating again! She had selected a postcard true to the month of her visit to the area, and the colors were right there! I think this shows how an artist is subconsciously organizing and reacting to colors most of the time!

Now back to the yellow sky and lavender, here is a landscape art quilt which I made last spring. It is of our Ozark mountains on a misty morning.....(donated to a silent auction last week. )

I was so happy to stumble across two recent books in the Maise Dobbs mystery series....

I just read "The Mapping of Love and Death" last week, and have the next in the series on reserve for me at our library...

I recommend this series ( which I was introduced to by my friend, Paula, LOL!) for anyone interested in an accurate portrayal of English life from the early 1900's as Maisie grows up...and especially the period between the two World Wars. The first book of the series, by Jacqueline Winspear, is simply titled "Maisie Dobbs".

Monday, October 31, 2011

Family, friends and fibers.....

Yesterday, Mom and I went to our friend, Sally's home for a visit which included good food (apple cake, thanks, Sally!) good conversation ( we have known each other since we were in junior high school) and stitching! Mom worked on the quilt top she is making by blanket stitch appliqueing some flower garden blocks which were made by HER mother to a print background (idea from Kaffe Fassett's PASSIONATE PATCHWORK book).
We love how they play "hide and seek" on the busy background!

Sally picked up her knitting.......

a colorful cotton yarn which was quickly becoming a new dishcloth! Sally's hands were so fast they left a only a blur! LOL!

While there, I finished the last of my "Mitered Crosses" knitted blocks....and am now considering how I should put them seems to be rather small....I still have almost two skeins of the hand-dyed lavendar background maybe I could "sash" them as I would quilt blocks....

[Find the "Mitered Crosses" pattern on Mason Dixon knitting....pattern is a PDF which is raising funds for victims of the Tsunami in Japan...the block feature hand-dyed NORO silk garden yarn, a joy to work with!]

Fall color??

I took up my camera hoping to capture some of it ( the colors of autumn!) but first wanted a more current seasonal photo of myself. This was as good as it got. [Just try photographing yourself in a mirror and you will see....especially if the camera (or the one taking the photo) is a little "off" !LOL!]

I really like the "JUST BREATHE" quilt in earthy colors which is behind me! It is one of my favorites! I have made it at least 2 times!

One reason for taking this photo....I have been trying to get another "tossed collage" of my digital photos to use as a header on this blog. I can make the collage on Picassa, but can find no way to save and publish it....(it was SO easy the last time it did it!...ever since we changed to this newer computer, I have struggled....BTW I read many more blog posts than I can now comment on....sometimes, the comments just don't "take"!)

I know that I need to be better with the camera and the computer!

Next, I took the camera outside to find color. We are about at "peek" for our fall color this week. I took a photo of our yellow maple beginning to turn....and then the battery was dead in the camera....!!!

So, that is enough photographic frustration for today I'll just get out my paints and apply all the colors I want!.....meanwhile and full of color.....

You can read more about this rural knitter and her designs here . The colors in yarns and fabrics are a little easier to capture today than the colors of autumn!

And thinking of color, I can't overlook my purple Mary Janes with the red straps and indigo knitted socks......yes, I did manage to get these in my size! Some of us never grow up!


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