Update on the little houses…

I've got the binding on and I've started embellishing! If you look closely you can see my thread where I stopped last night.

Houses-04

The details are tiny so here's a close-up:

Houses-05

I think I will add a bead or beads to the center of each of the flowers in the border. I'm enjoying adding bling to this quilt. It is both perky and quirky!

 

24 essential colors…

Martha says they are essential so it must be true, right? I must have thought so because I bought this glitter set the other day. It was on sale, 25% off!

GlitterSet

I admit to being addicted to art/craft supplies. (I also bought the glitter glue.) Luckily I've narrowed my field of interests but glitter falls inside of that area. I don't use glitter often but when I do, I am particular about color. I just couldn't pass this set by.

Do you know why this set is so appealing? Those of you who have heard me talk about color may have an idea. It is the perfect blending of one color into another that draws us in and makes us happy to be looking at whatever-it-is. In this case, it's glitter.

A few of these glitter containers sitting alone on the shelf, out of sequence, would not be nearly as appealing as the full set is. I knew that Martha was getting me to buy more glitter and I bought the set anyway because when I use glitter, I want the option of blending one color into another. Martha is a seriously good business woman.

AND – the grandkids are with Judy and Kelly (the other grandparents). I miss the kids but I know they are in good hands, I'm less tired, and I don't feel guilty that I am enjoying my kid-free space. It's funny but I think of my grandmother differently now. She was my age when I was Elanor's age. She had rules that didn't make sense then but do now. My grandfather was the one who took us to the park, my grandmother had to have a nap in the afternoon. Boy, do I understand that one now!

My grandmother, Nan, made all of my dresses as I grew up. She sewed, not quilts – garments. The arm of her chair was always full of pins. Makes me grin now. This is Nan, on the right, with her sister in her younger years:

Nan-w-cig copy

With the grandkids…

Chris and Lorna are off visiting Jeff and Celia – without the kids! Steve and I have them for a couple of nights and then they are with their other grandparents. I love my grandchildren and we've had fun today. I have to also say that I'm going to be happy to see Judy tomorrow!

We went to park this morning, with swords:

Park

We hit Strbucks for coffer and hot chocolate and a frappacino for Elanor. We went to the pet store to see the ferrets and fish, turtles and lizards. As always, seeing these animals caged up makes both Steve and me a little sad. Steve did his early work on herps (lizards and snakes) and we both like them better in the wild. That said, the chamelion was pretty cool:

  Chamelian-01

Of course that assumes that you can take a lizard.

Chamelian-02

Their fingers(?) are pretty cool. And the swiveling eyes are also fun to watch.

After lunch we built robots. Jack was only mildly interested, Elanor stuck with it better. Mine is on the left, then Elanor's, the Jack's. We'll have to make more, later. Not tonight. I dont' know about the rest of them, but I am already looking forward to bedtime :-).

Robots

Lost and found…

Yesterday I lost my last working sewing machine. Oh my. My 1530 has a fried mother board or something else equally bad. I think it is a doorstop but the repairman will have the last word on that. it died before I left for France and I chose to put off the inevitable until later.

Later happened. My 1130, Linda's old machine, started making really bad noises yesterday. Bad enough that I had to stop sewing. Oh my again. I didn't have a machine to piece on and I really needed one. Today I packed them both into the car (well, Steve did that part) and I drove them south to Plano to the Bernina shop. After doing the repair paperwork, I started the hunt for a new machine. I looked at Berninas in Plano, then I looked at a couple of Pfaffs farther south in Richardson, and then I went to the Bernina store in Dallas where I finally settled on this baby:

220

I found out that the activa 220 is on its way out. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles but it is a good, solid machine that didn't cost a fortune. I need a reliable machine to piece on – no embroidery or fancy stuff. I have the Sweet Sixteen for machine quilting. I think this is going to be the perfect machine for me and I'm happy to have found it.

However, this experience made me realize that this is how I end up with most of my major purchases. Cars, washers, dryers, sewing machines, computers… I wait until what I have fails and then I have to buy one. Usually right then. Forget that slow shopping around – I buy the best thing I can find that fits the bill right then. I should change. I know other people who shop around for these sorts of high dollar items. I know that I should do the same. But you know what? At 55 I also know that this is who I am. So today, when I needed a sewing machine, I found one!

 

 

The early bird….

…is on a really cute mug. I found it in Canada. It traveled with me through France and I managed to get it home in one piece!

EarlyBird

I am back to drinking a cup of coffee in the morning instead of tea. I wish I liked coffee black, but I just can't seem to love that. I'm using vanilla soy milk instead of cream or milk because it appears that I really am lactose intolerant. Instead of sugar I'm adding a splash of sugar-free caramel syrup that I got at Starbucks.

Have you ever read the ingredients on the sugar-free syrups? For 2 tblsp there are no calories, no fat, 25 mg of salt, no carbs – but 29 mg of sucralose. For something with this much flavor it practically doesn't exist.

The little houses are together!

Houses-03

I got the houses set together. I decided to use ribbon for the grass beneath each house to ground them. My plan was to applique words in the borders but that just wasn't working. The scale of the letters was all wrong with the houses.  I didn't want to do a vine… I flailed around for a few days before I went to my drawer of interesting trims.

I've started hand sewing this string of flowers to the borders and they look good. It's coming along! My quilt will be called "I want to go home."

I’m home and home is great!

Four weeks away from home is just too long to be gone. It's true that I did enjoy the places I visited but Dorothy was right – there's no place like home.

I promised to share more from market so here goes. This is what our booth looked like. We featured the new fabric (Treasures & Tidbits from Kaufman) and the new pattern, Fresh Picked Posies. The pieced quilt in the corner is Off The Rail from Jaybird Quilts and the little dresses are from an Oliver + S pattern and are made with our new fabric.

SaltLake2011Booth-01 copy

All of the fabric you see is from our new collection, Treasures & Tidbits, that will be on our site in July, when the fabric ships. I didn't end up taking many shots inside the convention center because I rarely got out of the booth. Here is a new children's pattern that will come from Kwik Sew made from the new fabric. This fabric is really cute!

KwikSew

You know the tags we have on our site that say PS I Love You and Happy Birthday and Sweet Dreams? There are going to be more of them. Wendy showed a variety of ways to use them in quilts – like the birthday tag on the cupcake quilt below. She had them sewn into the sides of zippered bags and pincushions. My photos didn't come out or I'd share them now.

HappyTag-Cupcake

This was a really pretty display of embroidery floss at Anna Maria Horner's booth.

AnnaMariaHorner-FlossWheel copy

Outside the weather was beautiful! It was important to keep your eyes open because there was interesting stuff everywhere you looked. There were art pieces related to flight all around the central part of town. You had to look up to see them. I really liked this one…

SaltLake-FlyingThings-03 copy

My friend, Amy Marson, spotted these birds on our morning walk. That is a quail, isn't it?

SaltLake-Pheasant copy

And there were flowers everywhere.

SaltLake-Flowers-11 copy

SaltLake-Flowers-12 copy

I saw a couple of houses that had sculpted their trees to be flat. This is the way trees are grown in some orchards. It's an interesting idea.

TrainedTrees-01

And there were lions (but not tigers or bears that I saw).

SaltLakeStateHouse-Lion-02

My sister was in the hospital over the weekend but she's home now and feeling better. Life is good!