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Three weeks ago…

… I drafted a post and rescheduled it three times. Then I unscheduled it–some posts just don’t make the cut.

LATEST PROJECT. My art quilt group, the Van Go-Go Girls, chose an architectural challenge. Take an actual building or a piece of architecture, design a quilt 30×30 to 40×40, add some orange, finish by November. Some years ago, we were in Puerto Rico and I took pictures of the tile floors because they were quilterly and chose one for this project.

I started by drafting a 12-inch block on paper, adding some extra lines to accommodate the size I wanted. Then I drew templates and added 1/4-inch seam allowances. I cut out a lot of pieces incorrectly (pesky angles) and my pencil marks were showing on the white pieces–I see another improv piece in my future. I used a scrap of black Grunge (why didn’t I buy a yard?) and cut out one strip 1/8-inch too narrow. I managed to use it anyway for the 2-1/2 inch squares, one side being 2-3/8 inches. Here are the subsets before piecing together for all four blocks.

I partial-seamed the black square to the subset on the left, sewed the diagonal, finished the black square and then added the corner triangle. Remarkably, it all fit together. The center grey square was a little wonky but I managed to straighten it out when I quilted it.  I decided to add mitered borders to mirror the angled lines and they came out perfectly; however, they did get slightly distorted during quilting–and so it goes.

Quilting is straight lines with black YLI 100-wt. silk on the black border pieces following the inner piecing line and white Mettler Seralene polyester in the white pieces, traveling into the grey at times. I was able to quilt each quarter without breaking thread. After I started quilting, I woke up one morning and realized I had used no orange. I really didn’t want to blast in orange applique, so I quilted with a variegated orange Sulky 12-wt. cotton on the black in two places. You have to get up close to see it, but it’s there. You can see the print-out of the tile above, which was actually in black, grey, and white.
P1130056I have now taken a break for two weeks, redecorated the spare bathroom and have started making some new florals and freshening up existing wreaths and arrangements. I finally found more refresher at JoAnn (Panacea Decorative Accents Silk Flower & Foliage Cleaner), spraying outside. All floral sprays seem to work equally well, but some the flowers bled, perhaps because I forgot to shake the bottle. Here is the wreath for the bedroom. I wanted to maintain the wildness of the wreath while adding the colorful foliage.


Here I’ve auditioned placement, starting with five large sets of leaves, adding five smaller leaf sets and then three longer pieces with curlicue and berries–I took all the foliage from a large swag. I don’t have a wreath stand so I took a photo from above and then hung it on the door after hot gluing, filling in the blank spots. I used an old sewing machine needle for hanging.

I finally put the snowmen away and replaced them with a new arrangement.

The rest of summer I’ll be sprucing up the house so it looks like someone here actually cares, collecting things for Goodwill, and doing a general purge.

DIET AND EXERCISE. I quit exercising the middle of July–it was just exhausting me so that I couldn’t do anything else–and went off the South Beach diet. I have no appetite for hours after exercising and end up eating two meals a day. This is not effective. So, I’ll be resuming the exercise at an easier pace, adding Tai Chi for stress management, and going for a low-carb diet with lots of fresh veggies, fruit, and lean protein. I can’t quite do Keto or Atkins because I don’t tolerate fat very well. If this doesn’t get me to my goal, I am pretty much out of options.

RECYCLACRAFT. I lined these large lids with sticky-backed felt for bead trays.

THE HUMMER GAMES. We have had a lot of hummers even with the heat. They are so fun to watch and they have the sweetest peep. The males chase each other off the feeder, then one sits in the Bradford waiting. Then they chase each other off again and finally one will get to feed. They were buzzing me while I was cleaning the florals on the landing. Till next time…