Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Not only did I lack enough fabric to complete the binding on Debbie's quilt, the local quilt shop where I purchased it just last Friday was sold out.
I was able to find it on the Internet, and hope the dye lots will match. Probably close enough for this scrappy quilt! So that quilt will not be finished this week.
I have the piano/guitar quilt ready to pin on the machine, so wish me luck!
Tonight we head to the mountains to visit our cabin for the first time in a month. Perfect- the temps and humidity are rising here in the North Carolina Piedmont! We may indulge in a little creek-floating with an adult beverage in the cup-holder! We are taking a nice big picture of a mountain scene up with us to hang in our little one-room cabin. We have been very slow to put any nails in our lovely wood walls, and only have one other piece on the wall.
Here is another blog referral for today: an unbelievable Bernina sewing machine that has been "blinged" by art quilter Laura Cater-Woods. I had seen photos of a long-arm machine that was decorated and "quilted" by Nichole Webb. Apparently, Laura's is a new machine that is being offered in a fundraiser. Check it out!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I also sprayed my schefflera, which has developed a sticky coating on the leaves called "honeydew." Even Avery noticed it when he was here before the beach trip. He has always loved this tree, and can never resist giving it a tap to bounce the branches. This time his hand practically stuck to the plant. It has an insect problem called "scale." Then some ants moved in to eat the honeydew. It now resides out on the screen porch instead of the kitchen. Hopefully, after another spray in two weeks, the problem will be solved and "Betty Lou" will be bug-free.
Here is another blog referral: I spent WAY too much time fascinated by the photographs and posting from the San Francisco whale watch company. I have never seen a whale except at Sea World, and if we ever go to San Francisco again, I'm going to sign up for this adventure!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Anyway, I loved my book and his thoughtfulness.
Fast forward a year and six months to my birthday yesterday. One of my gifts from Charlie was a matted print of my favorite piece from the exhibit, The Garden at Sainte-Adresse. (1867, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.)
He bought it at the same time as the book, hid it in his closet, and forgot about it. Hey, that's usually my trick!
Perhaps one reason I loved the jewel tones on cool blues of this delightful seaside view is that is reminds me of a painting hanging in my living room. It is actually a print of my father's painting, Wildflowers on the Blue Ridge.
I am off to my favorite frame shop!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I still like my list of favorite blogs, although I now use Google Reader to update me when there are new posts online. I would like to share a few interesting posts I have recently enjoyed.
One is from the delightful Aussie embroidery and pattern designer, Natalie Lyiner of Cinderberry Stitches. In addition to providing tutorials and sneak previews of new patterns, Natalie is one of the most talented photographers I have found in the fiber blogging world. Some people just know how to arrange elements in a photo to make it mouth-watering and charming. In June she devoted her column to "5 colors in 5 days," a fabric artist's enviable tour of jellyroll collections, ribbons, dishes, colored pencils, and other objects in her studio, with each day devoted to a specific color. I am already thinking of starting a similar color-themed series of posts. Well, mine won't be selecting charming objects from my sewing studio, the previously self-described "wreck." But I have quilts, pottery, fibers, flowers, plants, and artwork that could easily fill a post on a day when there is not much quilty going on at Chez McBrayer.
Another blog that I also enjoy is named "Spool." It is written by the owners of a new Philadelphia fabric shop by the same name. I like the look of this blog, its clean lines and lovely photographs of featured fabrics and projects. Okay, so they are trying to sell fabric, but they often give instructions for projects that have been made with some of the new fabric lines. They seem particularly partial to Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett, who admittedly are not my two favs, but their projects look very inviting. Check out the bird mobile project with free instructions. Would have been a good addition to my All Things Birdy post!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
When I got home and checked the mail, I got a wonderful surprise: my MQX photo DVD! I ordered this since I did not get to attend Machine Quilters Exposition in New Hampshire this year, but two of my quilts were juried in. Photographer Jeffrey Lomicka took a full photo and several detail photos of each quilt and garment. I was pleased with the pictures of my quilts, and drooled all over the keyboard at the images of the quilts that were on display at the show.
DH and I decided to go to an excellent cafeteria in downtown Wake Forest for supper. We almost always select their Brunswick stew, a yummy homemade chicken stew with vegetables and potatoes in a tomato base. This must have been my day to re-connect with old friends, for there was my friend Cathy G. from the Wake Forest Middle School. She was the media assistant during my last few years there. She came over and sat with us for a nice little visit.
After supper it started to rain. This is always a good thing here in drought-stricken North Carolina. It was a gentle but steady rain, so we headed out to the front porch rockers to enjoy the cool weather and a glass of wine. Eventually there was a fiery sunset against the dark storm clouds. Maggy was sitting there with us, very bored that she had to stay on the porch and watch it rain. We were enjoying the sunset and the hummingbird who was buzzing us, chatting on the phone with Charlie's sister, when suddenly two deer appeared as if by magic on the lawn right in front of us. I bet they were not ten feet away. Suddenly Maggy sprang to life and took off after them across the yard. She was back shortly having successfully chased them off.
Both Charlie and I got wind chimes while we were at the beach last week. Mine were an early birthday present from my in-laws. Charlie's were a Father's Day gift from Dave and Emily. We hung them both on the front porch. Charlie's are an amusing set of fake beer bottles that contain tea candles. They looked nice all lit up in the darkness.
Here is my funny flamingo. Well, that's enough posting for one day!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
But, oh, the back! I am so much happier with it now. Once I work on some of the stains and sew down some of the pleats, this could almost be a reversible quilt with a beautiful white backing!
The sashings are not any straighter, but they sure are prettier!
Now I must go shopping either in my stash or at the quilt store for a binding fabric. I am thinking of the light mossy green in the sashing leaves, but will audition several possibilities.
I have a new project for a customer who is a member of the Cyberbee, a local quilt group to which I have belonged for about fifteen years. I am not ready to post photos of this art quilt yet, but I hope to once she has given the quilt to her son for his (late) birthday present. This lady is a quilt artist, but due to getting on in years, she was having trouble maneuvering the quilt under her sewing machine for free-motion quilting. Here is what she wants me to do: quilt music notes in plain white areas, put wood grain on a guitar, and write the names of both rock musicians and classic composers around the border! How fun to add "Van Halen" and "Rochmaninov" on the same quilt!
Challenges: this quilt is partially quilted and has practically no extra backing or batting on the borders. Does this sound familiar? This is the second quilt in a row with those problems. However, JoAnn's quilt is lovely and flat and even so I am not expecting the pucker problem. I will have to sew some muslin strips to the borders in order to write the names.
By the way, in yesterday's comments, my friend Cathie (Cleveland Girlie) referred to those puckers on the back as "kisses from Grandma." I love that image!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I made a couple of templates by tracing the quilting motifs, then marked the designs with a blue washable marker. Helen had used pencil for her markings, which is still showing behind her quilting. Basically there is outline around each butterfly, a big cross through the center, and a fan design in the plain corners of each block. She also did a quarter-inch quilting line inside each square. Below is a block quilted by hand by Helen.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Then, Amy showed me another quilt she inherited that was in a plastic bag waiting to be hung. This one was finished, but had no hanging sleeve. Since she has two babies and no sewing machine, I brought it home with me to add a sleeve. It smelled musty and moth-bally, so it is airing out on the lawn between two freshly laundered sheets. This one has very graphically pleasing bright butterflies on a white and mint green background. Check out the calico and some wild old prints.The butterflies have blanket-stitch around the edges, and black stem stitch antennae. Here and there are little embroidered yellow circles.
Upon closer inspection of the hand quilting, I thought at first that she used variegated thread. Then, I realized that she used white thread, but never removed the blue markings from the quilting motif.
It is nice that Debbie and her family value her grandmother's creations. I have one more to do for her that is partially quilted by hand. I think I am going to attempt it on the Gammill and pray to St. Quilta the Comforter to make it smooth and pucker-free. Debbie says there are many more still back in Indiana, sitting in bags and waiting to be quilted. I told her to bring 'em on!
While I was outside to air the quilt, I noticed a lot of activity on my giant lavender plant near my garden pond. If anyone is wondering where the honeybees have gone, they are in my yard! Some of these little guys had so much pollen in their pouches, I don't see how they can fly. Notice the huge yellow spot on the leg.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
This is the row of cottages on the inlet side of 40th Street at Sunset Beach. At low tide, the inlet is rather murky-looking, but very attractive to the herons and gulls searching for crabs in the sand. One morning we saw a deer calmly walking up the inlet past all the cottages.
Here is a nice oleander shrub at the edge of our lot. They have glorious tropical color. Granddaughter Lily turned two years old during our week at the beach. She loved the surf and having so many relatives to play with this week!
Grandson Avery was lots of fun to play with at the beach and in the cottage. He actually caught some silvery little fish in this butterfly net.
That's it for now. Today we have to put away all the beach stuff. We drove my dad to Durham to my niece's house to meet up with my brother for the drive back to the mountains.
Now that I am no longer employed and back from the beach, I will try to make All Things Quilty actually have more posts about actual quilts!