Monday, May 31, 2010

lazy day

My holiday afternoon nap-on-the-sofa ended when one of the neighbor boys started popping caps on the street to amuse himself. It's such a little boy thing! And I wandered all over the house trying to figure out what was making "that noise" before I figured out that it was coming from outside.

I've been sort of lazy about sewing this week, but I did make a new purse. This is "Margo", the newest pattern from Lazy Girl Designs. I was excited to try it because I like the profile, and it has a neat "hidden" zipper. As with all the Lazy Girl patterns, the instructions are clear and well illustrated.
Here's the inside --tons of pockets. (there are two pockets on the outside front as well) The zipper sits about an inch below the top of the bag.
The zipper was just a bit fiddly to sew but not difficult. The only thing that concerns me is that the pattern calls for a regular nylon dressmaker zipper rather than something more "heavy duty" and I wonder whether it's likely to hold up to a lot of use...

In other news, did you know that it is really cheap and easy to replace the keyboard on a laptop computer? Somehow I had managed to wear out the lettering on several keys on mine, and it was getting hard to see what I was typing! I ordered a new keyboard for about $15 from Amazon (free shipping 'cause I also bought a new sock-pattern book...) and the actual replacement only took about 5 minutes. There are several tutorials on line.

Anyhow, I was about to throw away the old keyboard but I started thinking about the keys that were still "good" and what could I do with them... and could I use them in some crafty way? Here's the answer:
It's an artist trading card (ATC) for the birthday swap I'm in. I used some beautiful handmade paper that one of the swappers had sent me, and some beads from the bonanza I bought a a garage sale a few weeks ago. I might have to start scouting for spare keyboards now...

Bucky struck an interesting pose this morning -- he commandeered the bed about 30 seconds after I vacated it.
Here's the "devil eyes" version...
I spent several hours weeding and working in the garden this morning, which justified the totally lazy afternoon. I'm reading the new Elizabeth George mystery. I used to love her books but... the last couple left me cold, and this one isn't really holding my attention either. Is it just me?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cobblestones

I wrote about the beginning of this quilt here back in March, and here's the finished product:Don't look TOO closely, because I never thought about matching up the lines of the blocks when I was putting them together, (I realized that when I was trying to quilt straight diagonal lines!) and the whole thing is a little bit bias-y... but I do really like the colors and the block itself.

The weather is crisp and clear today, although I think more rain is in the forecast. I'm off for a trip to the farmers' market before an afternoon of sewing with friends.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Blogger's Quilt Festival is back!


I think this is the third installment... maybe the fourth. Here's my entry:

This is a small wall quilt made from a block in Sandy Bonsib's Folk Art Quilts book -- it was one of my first projects, and the first where I tried free-motion quilting! My sister and I each made a few of these heart blocks and I also used some of them for a 4-heart hanging for one of my brothers. The dragonfly border fabric has always been one of my favorites.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

more wonderful mail!

I decided that this was going to be a very good year for finishing UFOs, so a while back I sent two tops off to North Dakota to be quilted by Darcie, and YIPPEE! they arrived home a couple of days ago.I'm going to drag this out a bit and only show you one of them now, because it's the smaller one and I got the binding sewn down this evening. This was a round robin from 2005 that I started with a little packet of hand-dyed fabric from a shop near Coff's Harbour, Australia. It measures about 40" square and it is so cheerful.Darcie did a lovely job with freeform feathers in a slightly shiny multicolored thread.
I think this one might come to live in my office to liven up the dry setting!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

super Saturday!

I'm not a dedicated garage-saler, but if it's in the neighborhood I'll stop for a look. Today there was a big sale at the house behind mine, and I struck gold! First was a set of seven of these cool Fitz & Floyd dessert plates... all for $5. I love having fun dishes, especially for that price!

Then I noticed this tool box with a sticker that said "crafts/beads - $4" -- it is jam-packed with a variety of beads, wire, and little embellishing goodies. So for $9, my day was made!

Then off to one of my little quilt groups. This was show & tell -- some baby quilts for the Downy "Quilts for Kids" project. I had asked them to send me several kits but they only sent one, so I cut a few more from my stash and handed them out last month.

The bright green/yellow/red one is the "official" one, and that's me holding it. The one with the dark blue has trucks, the medium blue has an armadillo print, and the light blue is hot-air balloons. As soon as mine comes out of the dryer, they'll be boxed off and mailed to Pennsylvania.

And I've saved the best for last... I got my round robin back from the series I showed last month. I adore it! I've done a lot of round robins and this may be my favorite ever. The photo doesn't completely capture the vibrancy of the final border -- I need to quilt this and take a better picture outside... soon!
Tomorrow I want to concentrate on finishing a few little things, and then maybe start something new!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Oh Bunnies!

A while back I had a stepmother who said "Oh Bunnies!" when she got annoyed -- in situations where I would be much more likely to use a 4-letter word from my repertoire of foul language.She was a British woman of a certain age... actually not a whole lot older than I am now. Yikes! Is it a British thing?

Anyway, that's the name that popped into my head when I finished this quilt this morning. It started out as "magic rabbits", but only because I think that's the name of the fabric line.
It's the April UFO from Patchwork Penguin's challenge, and I'm only a couple of days late. I don't think she's announced the May project number yet.

Today I took some time out from sewing and weeding to visit some local gardens on the "Bringing Back the Natives" tour. It's a wonderful annual event in the San Francisco East Bay, with 50 gardens participating this year. The organization promotes native plants, gardening for wildlife, and all those good ecological things.

The first garden I visited had this beautiful driveway/patio done in this Yellow Brick Road pattern --Quilts are everywhere!