A View of My Quilt Life

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Santa Came Early This Year!

Santa Claus came a little early this year with one of my Christmas gifts. Probably because it took up quite a bit of room in his sleigh.

I was out and about one Saturday morning early in November, doing some errands and having some me time. I decided to check out an estate sale. Nothing there. Then I got a wild idea to head up to the Restore - Habitat for Humanity shop.  Just to look around. I mean, what could it hurt - I was just unwinding from a busy week. 

And then I found these!

Oh, my stars! These are HON steel lateral filing cabinets, in really great used condition, clean, with smooth action - with no price on them.  I tried to contain my excitement while the associate found the manager to price them, hoping she would be gentle, but fair with her marking pen. 

$30 each! $30 each! $60 for the pair! OMG!!! And to top it off, they were offering 20% off everything in the store for veterans, as it was Veterans Day weekend. $48 for the pair! And buying them helps support a good cause. 

The DH had had a bad night, with quite a bit of pain and was safely ensconced on his couch, trying to get some rest.  This was worth getting him up & out to the store. In the meantime, I literally sat on the cabinets until the very nice associate put SOLD tags on both of them. It took a while for the DH to get there, and get them loaded and home but they are mine!  

For my Studio. 

For my Stash.  

Several years ago I bought plastic carts with drawers that fit under my cutting table. And they worked for a while. But plastic is not sturdy enough to withstand time, the weight of all that fabric and constant use & abuse until they looked like this. 

The new cabinets fit under the cutting table, placed back to back. 

The whole stash fits in their four drawers! Previously, it took four of the old plastic carts, 12 drawers plus four other drawers. 

Loving the new clean look of these cabinets! I told DH that they are part of my Christmas gifts from him.  Their acquisition has kickstarted a cleaning and reorganization of the Studio - something that is long overdue around here. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Mini Mystery!

I'm doing it!
I'm doing the Bonnie Hunter Mystery...in miniature!

This past weekend was a dog show weekend so no sewing actually got done.  What I did manage to do was convert all three clues unit sizes to mini (half regular size) and discover the little HSTs from Clue# 3 are going to be challenging. Those I haven't figured out which will be the best way to make them without making myself crazy or the machine eating tiny points. I'll get there!  I have two other clues units to make while I figure them out.

Since I'm not about to cut into the larger yardage pieces I posted last week, I needed to jump into the stash and find my colors/fabrics. 

I'm changing them up from Bonnie's like I said I was going to do.  Her green is my turquoise. Her red is my hot pink.

Interestingly, two of my batiks weren't washed - weird since EVERYTHING gets washed before going into the stash.  But I figured out that must have happened when I was re-housing my entire stash.  That will be another blog post.

Hard to believe there are three clues released already - I need to get busy! Thankfully, I only need to make a quarter of the number of the units than I would if I was making a full size quilt. If I did the math right, my mini should finish around 18 inches square.

Check out all the other Good Fortune mystery quilt makers progress HERE

Monday, December 3, 2018

Mystery Musings

It's time to get back to stitching something - anything!

I've been dealing with several issues in my life, one of which I would classify as Quilting Inertia. I've had nothing even remotely creatively quilty going on for months now. Nothing.  If anyone out there has some extra quilting mojo - please send it my way. Thanks!

In the meantime, I am bound and determined to get my fabric stash and my sewing machine back together for some quality time.  What better way to do this than to tackle a project that I don't have to design?  Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery quilt kicked off on Black Friday. I'm a little behind but if I do it as a mini, I can quickly get caught up.

This year's Mystery is called Good Fortune and the intro post can be found HERE . The colors reflect those from Bonnie's trip to China.  

While they are pretty, I'm going to change things a bit to reflect my stash.  

These are end bolts I bought over a year ago, just hanging out together waiting for a project.  

BUT (there's always a but) I had them earmarked for a quilt to match the wall hanging in the Michigan bedroom. 

And they are fairly large yardage-wise and I'm not keen on cutting into them for a mini or lap size quilt. Not to mention, they are as still unwashed. YIKES!  Going to have to remedy that, regardless of whether or not I chose to use them now. 

But ultimately, I think my colors for this year's mystery will be closer to these batiks, rather than Bonnie's selections. We'll see but a decision needs to be made and some sewing started - SOON!  Check out all the other quilters are doing for their version of this year's Good Fortune Mystery Quilt via this Link Up.

Monday, August 13, 2018


Switching things around, around here.
I went from this

to this.

This is the DH's 2017 van. It has fewer bells and whistles that the wine van, which sparked a bit of jealousy in DH. I don't need bells, whistles and back up camera doodads. That, coupled with that fact I'm going to racking up some miles here, there and everywhere, it made more sense to just switch vans.  

Except it's grey.  Dark grey. With a black interior.

Too boring and too dark. I plan on adding color to the inside.   I dislike the normal seat covers available to buy. They are stretchy, nylon, polyester, icky fabric.  Only slightly worse than the seats themselves. 

The only thing to do is to make some myself and of course, I needed to get fabric to do that. YAY!! And excuse for shopping - with a coupon, of course and sale fabrics. I wanted something fun, bright and turquoise. 

I found this great outdoor fabric for the front seats, since they will get sun.

Don't you just love it?  The pattern is large, not super busy and fun. The middle seats will spend a lot of time stowed away so I don't have a plan for them yet.  I need to figure out how to design them and allow the seats to fold down into the floor.  The back 60/40 split seat should be easier to figure out but still folds away.  Rather then use the same palm fabric, I opted for a plain turquoise canvas duck. 

I found some bath rugs to put under Odie's crate and/or in front of the middle seats, to add extra color.
It's brighter in real life.

Oh - and the majority of the miles I'll be racking up will be from my daily commute to my new job!  I started last Tuesday. So far, so good.  It's a change that will take some time to adjust to - time, schedule, tasks, errands, etc. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Garden Project: Step Three - Relocation

In my previous post, I talked about relocating this daylilies and hostas to make way for the raised beds and new perennials and grasses. But I never showed you where they went. 

Outside the fence!  In a mud space/nasty ground cover area created by the removal of two trees over the past 10 years by the HOA. 

The clumps of daylilies were a challenge to dig out as they were up against the fence and could only be dug on 3 sides. I spread them out in the new area to give them plenty of room to multiply.  

Half of the daylilies relocated
I was convinced they would not bloom this year, given the move and the excessive heat during the first couple of weeks. But they did.

The hostas had been happily growing in the garden for about 10-12 years, with only a little setback from harsh winter weather.  One green hosta clump I dug up was divided into FIVE new clumps.   They did suffer some heat and transplant stress but I know they will be fine over time.

The variegated hostas were only marginally newer to the garden and yielded ten good size transplants that I did not subdivide.  I thought I had taken pictures of them but I can't seem to find them at the moment.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Garden Project: Step Two - Planting the Raised Beds

Now that we had new raised beds, totaling 20 feet in length, ready to go, the planting could commence!

Perennials and ornamental grasses, some native prairie varieties, would be the primary focus of the garden going forward. 

Left Bed

Center Bed

Right Bed
These pics were taken June 6th - right at planting time. I planned space at the front of the beds for a few annuals to be added each year. You can just see the verbena on the left side of the picture above.

Below are pictures of the raised beds taken July 14th.

I had added in a few more perennials and annuals, along with some rocks and metal sculpture to the garden by then. Quite a difference! Still to go - the garden formerly known as the Hosta Garden.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Garden Project: Step One - Removing Daylilies and Building Beds

Early this spring, DH was watching one of those 'consumers gotta have this new product' shows.  The item that caught his eye this time was a raised garden bed starter kit. Basically, plastic corners into which you insert boards to create the framework of a raised bed.  DH had grown tired of our tired looking backyard with overgrown hostas and the floppy leaves of the daylilies. 

The Hosta Bed

To him, it was messy looking. To me, it was easy gardening and an unfortunate reminder that the hostas should have been divided at least 3 years ago. 

Okay - so we had a Spring Project at the ready. We just had to wait for the Ides of May and the blasted rain to stop.  In the meantime, we picked up the fancy corner things and, in a stroke of brilliance, composite deck boards to use instead of treated lumber. 

Supplies laid in, a loose plan for the plants and the corner things stood at the ready for our new raised beds along the back fence line.  The rain kind of stopped, but not really.  The May temps soared into the 90's!  Crap!  Oh, and the DH was suddenly busy elsewhere.  His sum total of this joint project was to cut the boards to length and slide them into the corners.  

Kind of Level
It was my job to dig out the daylilies, level the frames on the site and fill the new beds with organic material. Granted, we both picked out plants for the beds - perennials and ornamental grasses, for the most part, with a few annuals for more color and texture.  I was to be responsible for the actual planting, mulching and care. 

The raised beds are on two different levels, with the center section at eight feet long and six inches high. The two end sections are six feet long and a foot high.  In case you are wondering, YES, that's a lot of space to fill by hand with organic material!
A variety of soils and fill
Ready for planting!
By the time I got them to this point, it was 11 am and way to hot to even think about planting.  

Review of the plastic corner things - meh. They are not as rugged as I had hoped; a few of the flanges snapped off as DH was assembling the beds.  Had I done some additional research, I would have found concrete ones available and advocated for those.  On the other hand the composite decking boards worked great!