Monday, May 28, 2012

Just Right for a Memorial Day Weekend

I finished the soldier quilt today. It didn't dawn on me until yesterday that this was just the right quilt project for Memorial Day weekend. Here is the front-

And here is the back-

There was nothing on the calendar this weekend so we did a lot of puttering around the house. I also finished painting and waxing this wardrobe/dresser.

I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Versailles.

Here is the before-

Not that bad, but I wanted something big to work on that I didn't feel I could mess up. I use this to store my batting and quilting accessories. Nice to have a change.

This is a little card catalog I found at a yard sale a while back. The woman told me it came out of The Pentagon when it was being renovated just before 9/11. I'm not so sure she has her facts right. Based on the tape and labels on it, it looked to me like it had been used as a workshop cabinet for quite some time. Also, the date on the keyhole hardware says "PAT'D May 7, 1901". The Pentagon was built in the early 1940's. Would a Pentagon worker have kept something in use there for sixty years? Fun to wonder. Here is the before-

A few closeups-

Perfect for storing threads.

I came across this photo of Len. Notice he is hooked up to a stake in the ground. We like to spend time on our porch. Penny and Duke are pretty good about staying close by. They also listen to me if I call them. Well, actually, Penny is so old she doesn't hear me, but she doesn't stray far anymore either. Beagles are known for being stubborn and Len is no exception. I saw this stake and chain thing in Target one day and bought it on a whim thinking I was probably wasting my money. He loves it! He goes right to it when I let him out. Good boy, Len!

It was a hot and humid weekend. I finally got all my porch plants in and my husband built a stone wall around the bed in front of the porch. Here are some photos of the porch and I'll show the front bed later in the summer when/if the flowers fill in.

I painted the porch bench in the background of the photo above with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Grey.
 I got this garden shelf at the Elizabeth and Co. tag sale.
My mom gave me this very beat up little ladder and I painted it with a thin coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Emile.
 My herbs-

I wish you could come sit with me on my porch. All we would need is a tall glass of iced tea and something to stitch on. The furniture rocks or glides and birds would serenade us. Nothing better!

Monday, May 21, 2012

I’ve Been Unfaithful

I’m so sorry. I’ve become obsessed with chalk paint and household updates. I haven't posted in a few weeks and I've done little commenting. Let me explain. All winter I was feeling the urge to update our décor. Nothing fancy, mind you, just some freshening up. I shared our basement update a couple months ago. Earlier this month I went to IKEA and bought new bed linens, curtains and a few other things. I dare you to walk through that store and not buy anything. I’ve been reorganizing and rearranging. Making big messes in the process. I still have a lot to do. I’ve only scratched the surface of what I have in mind. I wish my husband and I had the energy we had 20 years ago. We have big plans, get started early in the day and find ourselves exhausted by mid afternoon. : c /

You can probably understand all that. We all need to take care of our homes. The thing is, I think I’ve found another hobby – painting furniture. I’ve even been visiting blogs about it. Please forgive me. I couldn’t help myself. My household update plans include painting some of our vintage furniture to lighten things up. Most sane people would just pay someone else to do it. Not me. I’m forever saying – “I can do that” – and then getting in over my head. It hasn’t been easy. I want wonderful results right away. I remember feeling the same way when I started quilting. It takes time, practice and patience. I’ve started a few projects and signed up for a class. Oh, no! More projects! How do I get the standard 24 hours in a day changed to 48? I’m very thankful my husband is helping and in many cases telling me how to do things and in some instances, like repair, doing the work himself.

Quilting will always be my favorite. It’s like coming back to an old friend every evening.

I finished this top for a soldier quilt. We swapped nickel squares for variety and then I cut them down to 2 ½” squares. I’d really like to get this done and handed in to the gal in charge of “quilting for others” by the end of the month.

I’m also squaring up my 9-patches from the guild exchange. I counted a total of 270 9-patches and I think I have a design that will use all of them. LOVE my new rotary cutter. It's comfortable to use and releasing the handle hides the blade. So far, I’ve remembered to lock it every time I walk away from it.

Last time I shared my hexies I had 7 “flowers” done. Now I have 12. My hexies are 1 inch.

I feel better telling you. Really, I was feeling guilty!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pumpkin Pie...Will it be ready for Thanksgiving?

I go it back! Here is the beginning of my Jo Morton quilt. It’s her Rhubarb Crisp pattern. I think I’ll call mine Pumpkin Pie because of the cornerstones. Pumpkin pie was my first thought when I auditioned that fabric. When I shared it at the guild meeting last week I mentioned that I didn’t think I had enough of the cornerstone fabric for a lap size quilt. Jill said it looked just like the fabric Judy bought on the Lancaster trip and sure enough, it was! Judy said she already used what she needed and yesterday she gave me almost a ½ yard of it. Isn’t that nice of her! I’ll use what I need and give the rest back to her  - maybe with a little thank you fabric. ; c )

I’m sure the reason I left this little flimsy behind was because I was busy acquiring this from a fellow guild member.
It’s from Michigan c. 1880. I love the use of the striped fabric in the setting triangles and as a border around the setting squares. Some detail-

Here are my 18- 6 1/2" basket blocks ready to exchange with other members of the quilt show committee. 
We were each given this Jinny Beyer red palette fabric and each of us picked a different block pattern. Can’t wait to do the exchange later this month. Our goal is to have completed quilts for the 2013 show. It is a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Quilters Unlimited.

May is always a busy month and this one looks like no exception. The calendar is too full!