Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oh, What a Beautiful Day!!!

Days like Sunday( 64 degrees and sunny) are few and far between in January so I got out on my recumbent trike and took off on a ride. While riding on the road next to my house, I saw this cloud.

It was quite amazing, but it reminded me of the pictures on TV of the Challenger Disaster which happened 28 years ago today. I remember it so well. I was in the hospital with high blood pressure awaiting the birth of my last child.

My 10 and 12 yr old boys were not allowed to visit, no phone calls—all in order to keep my blood pressure regulated. So there I sat, excited to watch the lift-off mainly because there was a teacher, Krista McAuliffe, on board. I was a teacher and we were all so proud of her!. When it exploded I remember thinking, "Surely they ejected or something". I couldn't imagine that they were all killed, but they were. That did wonders for the high blood pressure! The nurses came in to find me in tears. I thought they might remove my TV. I promised to not watch it anymore.

That night I made my husband sneak my boys in. It was great to see them, but they had not had a bath in 3 days since I had left! While the Kat's away...... The other interesting thing was they were remodeling our wing of the hospital, using jackhammers, drills, hammers, etc. Very relaxing.  For some reason, my blood pressure did not go down and on January 31, they induced and Dylan Hall was born.

Does anyone know what the cloud is? A white tornado? Ha! Ha! Around here in the spring that would not be at all funny!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

It Snowed! I Dyed!      

Wow! A couple of weeks ago The Polar Vortex hit Arkansas! Snow, below zero temps, Ice, all kinds of lovely things! I basically stayed inside in my jammies, keeping warm, with no desire to step outside until I read a Facebook post by Lynn Krawczyk about snow-dyeing. She mentioned a blog with more info, bloombakecreate.com by Lynda Heines so I  checked her blog out. I had a lot of dyeing paraphernalia, but had not done any dyeing since the summer of 1988 when I taught crafts at a boys camp. I kept making plans to dye, but never got around to it. My word for 2014 is "RISK" soooo I decided to just do it!
I had several kinds of dye, but decided to use red 221 Dylon cold water dye(snow is, after all, cold!). I scrounged around for 3 containers, platforms to put inside the containers with holes so the fabric would not sit in the dye, prepared for dyeing fabric, plain muslin, and a measuring cup and spoon. I got ready to mix the powdered dye, but the directions said I needed to wear a face mask and gloves. Found the gloves, but no face mask until I remembered my mask I wear in cold weather(it is, after all, cold!) Enchanting!!!!
  I was ready. I mixed the dye, cutting the water by 1/2. I also had to mix a combination of salt, dye fixative and warm water. When those were all mixed together and I put the mixture out in the snow to cool(it was, after all, cold!) I cut the yard of Robert Kaufman Kona PFD fabric into fat quarters and had a small piece of plain muslin. I scrunched and pleated these and laid them in the containers

Next I piled snow in the containers and poured the dye over it. 
After that I went off and left the containers outside. After a few days, 
when the snow had melted in the containers, I brought them in, drained the dye, rinsed the fabric until the water ran fairly clear, hand washed it in hot water and detergent, dried them a bit in the dryer and ironed.  There was a Whoopsi! I forgot to put the gloves on before I rinsed out the fabrics! You might say I got caught red-handed!!!!!


             They look like stained glass on my door!

Here is a close up.
Look at all the different colors!

Notice the piece of fabric on the right in this pic.

That was the plain muslin.
It is not as vibrant as the PFD.
I really love it all and am so glad I DID IT!!!!

As you can tell in the pic, it is now Sunny in Arkansas, but if it
snows again, I will do some more of this! RISK! Risk! Risk!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

UFOs No Longer!!!

This is a big step for me. I am a brand new blogger(since December 31, 2013) but a longtime quilter and crafter. My biggest concern is not completing these projects, but being able to link up correctly! Well, here goes! These are my first quarter UFOs.

  • Celtic Soltice Mystery
I actually have more done than this, but I've been working on it since Nov 29, 2013. I will complete it.

  • Retreat mystery 2002

This is over 10 years old so it's about time to finish, don't you think? I need to add borders, quilt and bind. It will go to a soldier!

  • Chenille Blocks circa 2007
My friend Dorothy started these blocks. There are 10 done and I'm not sure how many cut out. She died in 2007 at 90. I owe it to her to complete them!

  • Suns wall hanging
Started this at our Quilt Guild Retreat in 2012. It needs to be quilted, embellished, finished. It will hang in my Sunroom, which my grands call the Playroom. My favorite lullaby to sing is "You are my Sunshine", my son also sings it to my grands.

Well, there it is!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

First Quilt of the Year!

This is my first completed project of the year. I started it in Stashbusters, a group that meets at an area quilt shop, Sager Creek. I started it over the summer and used fabrics totally from my stash.

In December it dawned on me that I had never made a quilt specifically for my husband. I've been married to him for 43 years! What was wrong with me? The plaid, scrappy quilt seemed perfect. So I loaded it on the longarm on January first and got it done last night.

I have had my Gammill for 4 years, but have used it very inconsistently due to teaching school, an accident that left me with a fractured pelvis, cracked hip and broken thumb(requiring surgery), 2 total knee replacements, and rotator cuff surgery. One of my goals for this year is to get more proficient with it, which means practice, practice, practice! I used this quilt as a sort of sampler and just played. Well, Dan liked it. Surprised him, though! 
Today I started putting the blocks together of my Celtic Solstice mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter. It's the first of her quilts that I have done. I'll talk more about it when I get it done.

Here's the view outside my sunroom. It's pretty, but.......I don't care for it at all!!!!