Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pink Perennials

Most of my weekend posts have been garden-related, and that works for me ...
These are blooming in my front flowerbed, and I love them!

Last summer, my family bought me a bunch of flowers for my birthday. They decided to get perennials only, so the flowers would keep coming back. 

And all my perennials are blooming early, it seems. I'm loving that!
Blooming early, and abundantly. These verbena flowers are certainly more abundant than last year!

I've developed a funny habit of suddenly rushing outside with my camera at different times of day, when I see the light hit the flowers differently ...

It's fun to catch the flowers from a different angle, and in different lighting.

What's really fun is glancing out my front window any time of day, and seeing cheery flowers.

~ * ~ 
Consider the lilies of the field,

how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you,
That even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe
the grass of the field,
which to day is,
and to morrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you,
O ye of little faith?
Matthew 6:28b-30
~ * ~ 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Jeans

Since jeans quilts are so fun, and I just can't help myself, I've started another one! 
The green one is still in progress, but yes, this is another one.

I've had a stack of black jeans and white jeans for a while, waiting for the perfect project. Some sort of bluejeans quilt, with a twist.

I thought about a barcode quilt (saw one here; way cool), but wasn't ready to try that one. Even though there are barcode-generating websites. Even though you can type words or a web address and it will generate a barcode (that a smartphone can scan!). Even though I went to this website and generated this code, which is the web address for my blog:

So, yeah. Might have to try that sometime in quilt form. So people can scan the quilt with their smartphones. Or whatever. 

But not right now. I wanted to make a jeans quilt, and couldn't figure out what I really wanted to make.

My husband had the perfect inspiration a couple weeks ago: he asked if it would be possible to make a jeans quilt with a Carolina Panthers logo sewn into it. Genius! 

Yes. I could make that happen.

Perfect idea! So, I took the idea and I'm running with it.

This is going to be fun. Already is, in fact.
Fun fact: I discovered that the Carolina Panthers just introduced a new, updated logo. (Who knew? I hadn't noticed yet. But sure enough ...) 

Here's my rendition ... the teal and the white, to be put onto a black jeans background.
The big one is the actual size my panther will be, about 40" wide.

Right now, I'm at the stage where I've traced and cut and ironed Heat'n'Bond pieces on my fabrics, so they're ready to iron on to the black jeans background. Then I'm going to sew the edges of the appliques down securely. I briefly considered trying to stitch all the teal stuff and white stuff into the black jeans, patchwork style, instead of applique. Briefly. 

So, sometime soon, I'm planning to iron these on, then sew them on, then add the rest of the jeans around the Carolina centerpiece ... It's been fun. 'Round here, we'll enjoy a Carolina Panthers jeans quilt. Not to be confused with the OTHER Carolina Panthers quilt, which is also still in progress. :-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

In my Etsy Store ...

My Color Splash Quilt Top is listed in my Etsy Store

(Yes. I have a new Etsy Store. Still listing on eBay, but, since Etsy has a different audience, it makes sense to try it, too.)

I had a lot of fun making this quilt top ...

And I'm thinkin' somebody will have fun quilting it!

One of my first blog posts EVER ("Made Fabric Blocks") was about starting this quilt top.

A couple of progress reports while the process was ongoing are here and here

And a "finished it!" post is here.

This was a fun project, and it's been inspiring similar project ideas!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Purple Springtime ...

It's feeling like spring here for a while now, even though the calendar is just getting around to admitting it.

Purple is a nice color in the flowerbed ...

It's been fun to see some crocuses popping up ... I planted them a couple years ago; I think I've already seen as many blooms this week as I saw in all of last spring!

I've enjoyed bits of color in my flowerbed even during the winter, with a few of these ornamental kale (kales?) that I planted in the fall. 

Like I said, purple is a nice color in the flowerbed.

~ * ~
... He did good,
and gave us rain from heaven,
and fruitful seasons,
filling our hearts
with food and gladness.

Acts 4: 17
~ * ~

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Leaders and Enders Again ...

A couple of times on my blog (here and here) I've mentioned my ongoing "Leaders & Enders" project. Surprisingly, a lot of progress is happening.

I've had a lot of these ...


... becoming a lot of these ...

... which should (with a trim?) end up the same size as my stack of four-patches so that they can all be combined into a quilt. 

So far, I'm liking this process! I mentioned a layout idea for these in this post ... I'm still liking that layout idea, and I'm still thinking that I could make this quilt huge!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Embellished Pot Holders

A while back, I started my very tiny hexagons ...
(Remember these?)

I thought they might be cute made into tiny Christmas ornaments, but I wasn't sure if that's what these were for. Then, my husband pointed out how nice it would be to put these onto something that we'd be able to see more often than just a few weeks a year. Good point.

So, I kept thinking. And occasionally making another little batch of hexagons.

I tried a mini-wallhanging idea, but I wasn't that impressed with it.

The other day, it hit me: I had some plain, storebought pot holders that I could really use in my kitchen, especially if they got some cute quilt-y embellishments on them.

And so, my kitchen is now glad to have quilt-y embellished pot holders!

The beige pot holders are the perfect color to be practical in the kitchen ... and the tiny embellishments are just enough color, but not so much quilt that I'll be afraid to use the pot holders.

I don't know if I'll make pot holders with all my mini-hexagons, but this is a great start!

And, the great thing about these pot holders is ... They make me smile! (Not just any pot holder can do that!)

And, next time I need a quick gift, I now know that an inexpensive storebought pot holder looks great dressed up with a little embellishment!

Now, I'm thinking about all that extra denim I've got, and those crocheted potholder-backs that have been sitting around for ages ... You know, plain denim with tiny hexagons would be great sewn to those potholder backs! So would khaki denim! 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Daffodils ...

Daffodils have been growing in the woods at the edge of my back yard for ever, I think. From time to time, I remind myself to go dig up some of the great bulbs that insist on growing in the back of the woods, so we can enjoy them in the front flowerbeds.

These daffodils aren't too happy with me right now ... (I took these pictures of the ONE flower that's standing up - the others are laying down in protest), because I transplanted them RIGHT before they bloomed, which, I'm sure, is a big no-no. But, if I don't transplant them when I have the chance, I will FORGET about them, and then I'll LOSE the plants in the woods because their leaves and flowers will be gone. (I know this, because this is the first year I've touched the daffodils & irises that I've seen in my bit of woods.)

SO, I'm pleased that these are now in my flowerbed.

And here's another variety - the much brighter yellow, much tinier little daffodils.

A bit of trivia: Narcissus is the Latin name for the daffodil family of bulbs ... and apparently, dictionaries have at least three accepted plural forms of the word "narcissus". The plural forms I've seen listed are "narcissus", "narcissuses", and "narcissi". (To me, none of those sounds like a usable plural, so, I'm sticking with "daffodils"! Just sayin'.)

Once again, I'm grateful for the seasons God gives us to enjoy!

~ * ~
Thou hast set
all the borders
of the earth:
thou hast made
summer and winter.
Psalm 74:17
~ * ~

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tiny Trash Can

Several weeks ago, I saw a post about a tiny trash can on one of my favorite quilting blogs. When I saw the idea there, I decided that making one of those would solve my problem of all those little threads and fabric snips that pile up (or fall on the floor ...) when I'm handsewing.

Since I had some favorite fabrics left over from my Green Kaleidoscopes Quilt, I decided to give it a try. Mine's not quite as neat and tidy as Amanda Jean's, but I love it, and it can squash into my handsewing bag with no problem!

More recently, I came across a picture of a fabric bucket that looks like a bigger version of this one ... so, I'm getting inspired to maybe try a big version sometime. But for now, I'm enjoying the cute tiny-ness of the little bitty fabric "trash can" that's just right for all those threads and fabric bits! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Starting a Sudoku Quilt

Here's a project that's gotten from the "in my head" stage to the "on paper" stage ... This is the preliminary work, even though it'll probably be a while before I get this cut out and sewn together.

I'm going to make a Sudoku Quilt. Or quilt top. Or, most likely, mini quilt top. Sudoku Mini Quilt Top.

Here's my stack of 9 fabrics.

I like the neat organization of the numbers in Sudoku puzzles, where every group of 9, every row of 9, and every column of 9, each contains the numerals 1-9 in without repeating within the group, row, column. 

So, to turn the concept into a quilt, the trick is, assign each of your fabrics a number, and arrange them like a solved Sudoku puzzle (or, to be on the safe side, the answer-key to a Sudoku puzzle!)

Here's my layout ...

I'm still thinking about sashing/border colors ... so we'll see what kind of look we end up with.
So far, so good!

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Twist on Old Patchwork

A while back, I made this cute quilt top. Figured it would be a simple one to put together and sell on eBay for somebody to quilt.

It didn't sell, after being listed umpteen times. But, I didn't feel like spending more time on the quilt top, either, so, I just left it there not selling ...

But I recently had an idea, and I got the idea to work, so I've given this quilt top a new twist!

Several weeks ago, I read this blog post by Elizabeth at Pieceful Life, and I was really intrigued. I had to try that process. Seemed like a good way to spruce up the (cute but) plain quilt top.

Elizabeth's blog post does a great job of explaining the how-tos, so I'll mostly just show you pictures ...

Not having the exact tool Elizabeth used, I improvised (read: I measured and drew lines on a square ruler with a Sharpie marker). Then I lined up my marker-lines-on-ruler with my seams, and (gasp!) cut little square holes out of a perfectly good quilt top.

(Takes a little getting used to ...)

Pretty cool, though! 

It's fun to watch the layout come together!

Lots of fun! (Lots of little Winnie-the-Pooh details, too!)

My original quilt top had a narrow border, so Elizabeth's (much more impressive) border option (wide border worked into the pinwheels) didn't work for my quilt top. So I added some coordinating fabric. And some little postage-stamp-y scraps that were left when I cut holes in the middle of the quilt top.

I like it! This was a fun project. Even though, after all that sewing, the quilt top is still about the same size, it's much more nifty. 

I'll probably list the new version of this quilt top on eBay. Or Etsy. Something like that. 

Anyway, I'm linking this post to this week's Little Quilt Monday at Elizabeth's blog ... Check the link for some really great inspiration!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spring has sprung!

Spring has been springing where I live!

I was delighted at the end of January to discover these cheery flowers blooming in my flowerbed!

It's March now, and I've still got more blooming!

These flowers remind me of Lilies of the Valley, but, as it turns out, they're something different, called Leucojum. Whatever they're called, I like them, and I've seen lots of them growing in other people's flowerbeds, too!

I discovered a big clump of leucojum growing happily on their own a couple of years ago in my back yard. And, I figure, if they grow on their own, without much attention, they sound like a great addition to my flowerbed!

Anyway, it's fun to have spring coming back!

~ * ~
While the earth remaineth,
seedtime and harvest,
and cold and heat,
and summer and winter,
and day and night
shall not cease.
Genesis 8:22
~ * ~

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