manual labor

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This week I have been waiting for the ground to dry out so we could participate in Chainsaw Saturday, or what is commonly referred to others as spring clean up in the yard. We raked, cut branches and hauled it to the road for pick up. Yesterday was the perfect day to do clean up 50 degrees and sunny. I put sunscreen on just in case my very pale skin wouldn’t burn. The vit D I soaked in felt good.

I did a little clean up a couple of weeks ago on the flower beds so the work wasn’t as intense as usual. More work is needed on the gardens but I have all summer, It is too early to get the fairy garden stuff out. We get snow and freezes up to the end of the month. I will slowly get the fairy garden things out first. Then add the annuals I want. We have some other manual labor projects to do, fill in holes in the driveway and possibly mulch. So my legs ache today from all the bending. I had a sense of pride over investing in our little patch of land with the 110 year old house. It survived the winter pretty well, needs some replacement on trim on the front. It stands solidly. Made me feel like I can too. This old house and I we made another winter with just a few things that need work.

I am working on WIPS. I have been knitting my hand towel. I have crocheted edges on my granny squares that aren’t joined. I started a little bit of tatting. I have tested a block for quiltmaker. doing my birds in the air blocks for an exchange, I have been longarming the super king and planning my block in an exchange for ello….. but nothing pic worthy. I have my Tula Pink city sampler calling me. And I have found podcasts make my workday go so much faster so I can get to the fun stuff listed above!

I have to say I need to back off on all the pictures on the blog because WordPress has decided to put a limit on how much they will host for free. Jerks. So I am going to be more judicious as I have used over half of my space and it is only May 1. I may need to focus more on the writing aspect vs pics and reporting what I am up to. Wanna see tons of my pictures go to my Instagram account or Ello!

Overall, I think over the next week or so will be working with yarn vs. sewing.

Vicki

I have been quilting curls and loops on this really big king. It’s is made up os 5 inch signature blocks. I love my 90 yr old friend. She painstakenly set these swap blocks with a white setting. They are from all over the world. They are very interesting. Some are embellished with lace , beads and embroidery.  I feel like I am travelling the world quilting this!

It’s over halfway completed , I will show more pics when it’s done!

This week I find myself dreaming of fairy gardens and spring. Rain has jumped started the green things to grow. I have taken the time to be relaxed and enjoy.

Hope you do too!

Vicki

 

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A perfect spring day, we spent a night at this hotel. I is a vintage hotel Henry Ford built for the people that flew in to his airport. It is very …. well high end. The special reason we stayed here was to have dinner at a very fancy restaurant , downtown Detroit. I have not ate a meal served in courses since I was a child and my grandparents took up to these types of resturants.

We ate at the Republic Tavern. It is all gourmet. It has a short menu that changes often. They use local sourced ingredients and it is very fresh. We ate Chef’s choice and has samplers of many items off the menu. It was the best food and an adventure. I ate foods I have never had before. Such fun. I am not a foodie but this would be a place for one!

I have to say that this reminded me of eating out with my grandparents. We ate at a fancy restaurant in the 70’s that you had to wear a tie or a dress too. I remember that it took a very long time to eat the meal in courses. And my little cousin was a very picky eater. He would only eat a pb and j. They didn’t have that so they sent someone out to get one, locally sourced lol. And it cost my grandparents $5. And he wouldn’t eat it!

Vicki

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I have been making some birds in the air blocks for a online group I belong to. I think I will make about 40 so everyone gets one. I will get 40 back and they will be signed. I am not sure what setting I like for these but it’s fun to play around on the design wall to see some options.

 

 

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I found some cute things for my fairy garden. I will add a little each year and spread out the plants I have. I keep looking for dwarf plants to add to the raised boxes that have been converted to my fairy gardens. Veggies just didn’t grow there. I have a patio, so I will get my lawn chair out more this summer and enjoy it. My neighbors who all smoked have either moved or quit smoking. I can enjoy my yard!

 

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Here are all the spool blocks that were entered in my quilt groups block lotto. Did I win them? NOOOOO, but I love these so much that I want to make them. I will . Later. Need more white for back ground.

 

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Pat made this jean quilt at quilt group. I really love the layout and those turquoise jeans really pop. I love the skinny black strips and I need to perfect a way to cut out and sew them without wonk. I have some ideas. Starch the strip fabric before cutting. Cut them in shorter blocks and not the width of fabric. I will try these next time.

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Here are some Zentangles and coloring I have completed this past week. I am going to work on more Zentangle for the Zen and as a lauching pad for creativity as well as long arm ideas.

Vicki

Found my people

I have to say that I am so glad I was able to find a group of people locally who like to quilt. I have never been part of a quilt group before and I didn’t like the formality and rigidity of a guild when I visited. This group of ladies meet regularly, do challenges and have fun. We met last fall and did a collaborative quilt challenge. I talked about it here so you could read about the rules of the challenge. It was one of the more difficult challenges I have been a part of and maybe that’s why I feel it is so good. And I am really attached to it.

Stats: It is 60 x 60.  It has quilters dream batting. Shot cotton, solids, cool prints and a batik were chosen to work with. Golden colored thread from Superiors Sew Fine was used in the long arm quilting.

This quilt is finished. It will be donated to raise money for to a local group that wants to keep a skate park in our little town. The parks property sold and the equipment must be moved and set up again, all costs money. . I hope that we can raise some money. Lots of money,  I am so in love with the quilt that I had a hard time seeing it leave my house once I took it off the long arm frame. I have to say this quilting was done after my 100 day project and I think this is probably really the culmination of all the skills I was working on for the project. My nearly wholecloth quilt was a little practice quilt that prepped me for this one.2016-04-05 17.31.51

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So the group saw the finished project tonight for the first time. Everyone was so happy to be a part of it, the sum of all the parts made one great finish! I think that is why I like being a part of a group that gels well together. It reminded me of when I was able to play violin or bass in the orchestras back in the day. Playing solos are ok, but to be part of a large group and literally make beautiful music together is a special feeling. The sum of all parts makes something together that is greater than each component. And that is how I feel about this quilt.

I am also happy to have found my people, my tribe locally. I have some of these people virtually but it isn’t the same. I am really crazy about quilting and they put up with me. They liked my show and tell. They thought the scrap vomit quilt turned out well. We weighed in on lots of topics on quilting and art and family and controversies and life. We sip a little wine, share about how to make quilts but so much of that all applies to life too…. Looking forward to our next meeting.

Vicki

Quiltmaker 100 Block Vol 13

 

I have had the privilege of testing about a dozen patterns for Quiltmaker 100 block magazine for about 6 issues now. The latest issue has or will hit the stands and I have had a wonderful time piecing these blocks. I had a good time doing the applique because as you may know…. it is not where my skills or enjoyment lie.

I have to say it is a great magazine! There are some very creative blocks and they have great instructions. There is a block for every skill and experience level and a little something for everyone’s esthetic!

I keep testing blocks to push me to try different ways of piecing. It forces me to read patterns and practice. I keep in touch with what’s trending. But the biggest reason is that it is a challenge … I love the deadlines, checking for problems and really keeping myself immersed with the quilt world.

THANK YOU Quiltmaker, you really have a winner in this issue! I will be testing blocks for next issue…. looking forward to it.

Vicki

Stars and Birds

I love quilting for octogenarians and the star quilt is not exception. I love how it is really fearless in fabric choices, and it is a very clever pattern. The setting is one I really really like. The whole quilt is swirls but in different sizes in each color to give a water effect. I did a ribbon candy stitch in the outer white border.

So what’s up with the little orange and white Birds In the Air block? I signed up for a couple of blocks exchanges online. This block is 8.5 inches and the background has to be white. It is an exchange that is due in June.  You make as many blocks as you want, send them and they get mixed up… and you get as many back as you sent. I think it will be a fun exchange.

I also signed up for another block swap that is one block  a month. It will be more challenging because you are trying to make a block that an assigned partner sends you preferences on. I hope this one turns out to be ok. I am getting a little nervous about it now, lol. The first month is you make a block for yourself to get the ball rolling.

Another week of work done. Weather is melting the snow so little yard jobs will start. I think I will pick up sticks and branches blown down over the winter. I may try to rake out a flower bed. My husband is going to start practicing Highland games this weeked. So the hibernating phase of winter is over !

Vicki