Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Charity Quilt...and Another Win!

Here is the little Yellow Brick Road charity quilt that I finished quilting yesterday.  It will be donated to the Capital Quilters Guild of Raleigh, probably for their Quilts on Wheels program.

I used swirls and sometimes flowers.

The backing is a solid pink donated fabric that is quite slippery.  The black thread shows up handsomely.

Mary Nennstiel sewed the top together at my bee's sew-in day earlier this month, and I am going to drop it off at her house on my way to PT this morning.

I got a great surprise when I scanned Facebook this morning...I was one of the monthly prize winners for the January Sketchbook Challenge!  I will be receiving a $25.00 gift certificate to Joggles.com!

Joggles is a great vendor for all sorts of artsy embellishments and supplies.  They also have an array of online classes that makes me drool every time I read their newsletter.

When we got back from our walk on the greenway this morning, there was a large red-tail hawk swooping down on the viburnum bush in my side garden where the songbirds gather to reconnoiter before visiting the bird feeder.  When I walked around the yard, he was sitting very low in a tree by the little creek that runs behind our house.  Hope he did not dine on one of the tweety-birds that I attract to the house by putting out bird seed.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Communing with Nature

Not too much quilty news to report today.  We have been going to movies (Girl With the Dragon Tattoo- GREAT!; Sherlock Holmes-Pretty Good)  and also went to see Memphis at the DPAC.  I thought that was better than any of the three shows I have seen on Broadway.  And I am so glad that some social customs have improved over time, race relations being the issue in the musical.  The performers were amazing with fabulous voices.

I got tired of waiting for my sprained ankle to get back to normal since it has been six months.  I started physical therapy two weeks ago, and joined the Rex Wellness Center last week.  So far I have only participated in the water fitness classes, which I love because there is no stress on the joints.  On Wednesday I have an appointment to have a personal fitness routine mapped out for me on the gym equipment.

And of course, I have been faithful about taking the beautiful Kasey on walks every day.  I cannot believe the warm January we have had, with temperatures in the sixties.   We have been hitting the greenways and enjoying glimpses of nature.

Here is a large hawk perched on a branch,  looking for his lunch along the Smith Creek greenway.

The bluebirds love the open spaces at J. Carroll Joyner Park, and they often follow along as we walk, flying from tree to tree.

There is a beautiful nature trail around the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.  Various sculptures and other works of art are visible along the trail.  Between 2005 and 2007 there was a remarkable structure by Patrick Dougherty called Trail Heads.   It was made of woven sticks and branches.  Children of all ages loved stepping inside this wonderful little house-like area.

Sadly, it had to be removed when it deteriorated, but I was reminded of it on our walk past the piney woods behind Heritage.

Mother Nature created this one on her own from fallen branches and pine needles.

Kasey about got herself in trouble this morning.  She is trained to walk up our long driveway with us when we get the mail or the newspaper.  She stops about three-fourths of the way and waits for us so she is not close to the road.  But this morning, there was a gray fox in the neighbor's yard next door!  She gave chase, and was just about on it when the fox doubled back and hid under the neighbor's machinery behind his house.  I'm glad she did not catch it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Charity Quilt

I brought home several quilt tops from my bee's Sew-In Day in January, got a new customer quilt, and found one more that I had brought home from guild to quilt.  So, yesterday I warmed up the machine and got busy.  I finished this little one made from bright five-inch squares.

Some of the squares were left over from my grandson's quilt that I made before he was born.  His mom picked out the pattern and helped me choose the fabrics.  I called it Jungle Boogie.  I think the stars are from Jan Mullen's book Cut-Loose Quilts.

I even drafted my own border quilting pattern with jungle animals marching in a row. I quilted it with variegated thread.

Anyway, Kathy Miller completed the top from the leftover squares at our sew-in day, and I quilted just circles and loops with a pale yellow-green thread called Bamboo by Signature.

I started a second charity quilt made from leftover Yellow Brick Road squares from a previous charity quilt I made.  This time Mary Nennstiel put the top together at our sew-in. 

This one is still on the machine.  The quilting shows up rather dramatically on the solid pink backing because I am using black thread.

Tonight we are going to see the musical Memphis at the Durham Performing Arts Center as part of the Broadway South program.  Excited!

Monday, January 23, 2012

And the Winner Is...

Today I drew names to choose the winner of Georgia Bonesteel's first quilting book, Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel.

And the winner is...Pat!

Years ago I used to check that quilt book out from the library for weeks on end. I get a little thrill just seeing the cover. I'd love to win it. Thanks for the chance.

January 20, 2012 6:34 PM

I am glad this little book that no one purchased at my guild's silent auction will be going home with some one who will love it!

Congratulations, Pat!

BTW, I am coming up on my four-year blogiversary, and my 1,000th blog post.  I will be thinking of some ways to celebrate with you.  Thanks to all who drop in to visit at All Things Quilty! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What to do on a Gloomy Winter Weekend

From last weekend's beautiful snows and blue skies in the mountains, we have transitioned to a cold, rainy, gloomy weekend at home.  We have seen a few movies (War Horse in the theater, Great; the new Planet of the Apes on DVD, Not bad; and Charlie's pick of DVD, Cowboys vs. Aliens, so bad and loud that I retreated to my third floor craft room to work on journal pages.

Nothing like getting absorbed in a riot of color to improve the mood on a wintry day!

I usually subscribe to the "Pages in Stages" method of journaling.  You paint a background and add collage elements, then later go back and add text or artwork.

Here is a previously painted background on watercolor paper.

I added a beautiful little watercolor that I found in print, added some doodled lace and text, and am imaging a nice cheerful summer day on the porch!

Here's a funny little scene that I made from a Trader Joe's package.  When the newspaper did an article on apples, it worked out perfectly!

I liked the photo of this little girl in my husband's old college French textbook.  Also inside the book was a ticket stub from a 1970 basketball game, NCSU vs. UNC!  I had to stick that on there, too.  I tried to use paint colors that were similar to the colors in the photo. The blossoms behind the little girl are formed by throwing salt on wet watercolor paint.  The white doodles are done with a Bic White-out marker.

The next one was made with paint plus collaged napkins and tissue paper.  I added marks with India ink and Speedball pen.  I am growing fond of using the India ink, even though it can be a bit messy. 

The text does not refer to the Creek Indians, but rather to the community  along Peak Creek in Ashe County.  I like being part of the Creek People!

The next page is all doodles, inspired by Sandy Steen Bartholomew's book, Totally Tangled.

I created a few new backgrounds

and started a new lady who will later be adorned. She is done in colored pencil that I smudged with a little water on my finger.  She needs a little work.

Today is the last day to get in the running for the Georgia Bonesteel quilting book that I am giving away. There are only three comments so far, making your odds pretty good if you are interested in winning this classic book. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Little Daisy" Makes Her Debut (and a Give-Away)

Last night, I attended the Capital Quilters' Guild meeting in Raleigh...where we all got to meet "Little Daisy!"  Our next Heritage Day quilt auction (on Oct. 6, 2012) will help to raise money not just for the guild, but for the local Girl Scout council.  There will be two raffle quilts.  This one is "Little Daisy,"  a smaller version of "Daisy of Savannah."  Both quilts will feature the same fabrics and quilting, but the larger one will have five rows of five blocks each.  That one will probably be ready by the February meeting.

Here is a close-up of the beautiful quilting by The Quilting Cowgirl, Cathy Kirk.  Look at those splendid feathers!

If you look at the back side, you see that this could serve as a wholecloth quilt.

This is the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts.  The founder, Juliette Gordon Lowe, was nicknamed Daisy.  Everyone knows that the Girl Scouts are expert at sales- we have already had several knocking on our door for the fabulous annual cookie sale!  They will be helping to sell tickets for the raffle, so we should have record-breaking sales!

Also at last night's meeting, there was the annual Silent Auction.  Quilters bring in books, fabric, patterns, and other miscellaneous items that they no longer need.  Bids start at only twenty-five cents!  You would not believe the stuff that was available.  Since I need to start purging my personal "stuff" prior to putting our house on the market, I brought twenty books to donate to the auction.  Fortunately for me, they all sold except one.

The orphan from the auction is Lap Quilting With Georgia Bonesteel.   Georgia is an icon of the quilting world, at least in North Carolina, where her TV show on PBS has been airing every year since 1979.  I took a sun-printing class with Georgia at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium a few years ago.  What a generous, classy lady!  I was so impressed.  She told us that this first book was, ironically, also her best-selling EVER.

So, if you would like to have this book, leave a comment or drop me an e-mail by Sunday night.  If more than one person is interested, I will have a drawing to see who will be the winner.  Make sure I have your e-mail address.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Lucky Day!

Earlier, I posted about a fabulous give-away by talented quilter, teacher, and artist Carla Barrett of Feathered Fibers blog. 

Last night, I found out that I am the lucky winner of one of Carla's Freeform Crochet necklaces!

This is the beautiful example that she used to illustrate the give-away. 

Stunning, yes?  But that's not the one I will receive.

Get this...I got to select my own colors for a custom-made necklace!

So hard to choose.  I eventually went with jewel tones in blue-green, blue, and violet.  Won't that be beautiful! 

Carla is going to make this for me once she finishes her current online class called Quilt Whisperer 101.

I still cannot believe it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Doodles

I got caught up on Week 3 of Traci Bautista's online workshop, "Doodles Unleashed."  It's part of the free online classes from Strathmore.  This week began with writing text in large letters with markers.  Then we made a juicy background painting with acrylics, and added stamps from found objects.  My found objects were a plastic lid and a spool, but I decided to stencil with my favorite fern stencil.  This piece was looking very tropical.  I like the colors and the way it glows!

A bonus activity this week is to fill a sheet of paper with India ink doodles using a paintbrush.  I have tried doodling with India ink and a Speedball pen before

but had not used a paintbrush until the first week's doodle lesson.  So, I made several sheets with various "theme" doodles.

Like my flowers?

How about stars?

A doodled alphabet?



Doodling is lots of fun.  These bold ink paintings will be cut up and used in collages or other mixed media projects.

Next week we will paint a face on the background we prepared.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wintry Mountain Weekend

I had not been to our mountain cabin since early November.  Since this is a three-day weekend, Charlie and I loaded the dog up in the truck and came up here to the North Carolina mountains.

As you can see, we got a bit of winter white stuff while we were here.  It started snowing Saturday night, and we woke to a nice blanket of white the next day.

We rode around a bit and took some pictures before it started to melt.  Some good potential paintings....

Here is something "quilty" at our neighbor's place.  They have added one of the popular quilt squares to their shed.

That block looks an awful lot like one that my Cyberbee used for a block swap a few years ago.  I made this quilt with those blocks in the border.

Back to our ride.  There was a hawk sitting on a tree branch near the road.  I think the snow must make it easier for birds of prey to find their next meal.

By the afternoon, the snow had melted in the open areas that get sunshine, but the mountain ridges in the distance looked beautiful covered with white.

When you zoom in on the mountains, it's hard to tell where the sky ends and the mountains begin.

In the late afternoon, the sun is quickly obscured by the mountain.  That time of the last golden sunlight is one of my favorite times to take pictures.

Kasey did not hesitate to take her usual dip in the creek when we got to the bottom.  She looked so shiny with the water and snow sparkling in the sunlight.

Peak Creek looks very pretty in the winter.

This is our most photographed view of the creek from the bridge to our place.  You can see the dam that once powered a copper mine on the top of the mountain.

Today we will stop at Katy and Kenny's in Kernersville on the way home, for a visit with them and my father, who is thriving on the excellent care from my sweet sister.   I am looking forward to the visit, but hate to leave this beautiful mountain land.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What a difference a day makes!  Today was warm and sunny.  We did a couple of laps around Forgotten Pond, which was all sparkly in the sunlight.  Love the reflections of the puffy clouds!

Today's re-organization chore was our way-too-small pantry in the kitchen.  Most of the time, you have to push the door shut with your foot, and pray it will close.  Much better now!

I went back to yesterday's Strathmore Online Workshop project for Week 2.  Here is my watercolor painting with lots of scribbles and marks made with ink, watercolor pencils, and water-soluble crayons.

I kind of preferred the way it looked before all the scribbling when the colors were more clear.  But, this is supposed to be cut into smaller pieces and used for other projects.  So, let's see what it might look like in small sections.

Now I wish I had left more white space!

One of the workshop participants made a color photocopy of her Week 1 piece and used it to make journals, note cards, and tags.  Visit Roben-Marie's blog, Every Life Has a Story, to see her video and samples of what she made with her Doodles painting.