Sunday, August 30

Good Old Southern Fish Fry

Yesterday was the annual Fish Fry at my hubby's gun club.
There is always a big turn out and so much good food.

My sister and her hubby.

Getting ready to serve dinner. This whole serving area was full of food. Everything you could possibly want. The long foil lined thing was full of corn on the cob - with lots of butter.

There were activities for the little ones and
this mini shooting range was set up just for them.
They shoot little bb guns.

These hard working guys cooked fish, onion rings,
and home cut fries. They really had this big fryer going.

While the cooks were cooking and many hands were working on setting up the buffet, some got to relax and fish. That's my sister and her hubby on the far end, they didn't catch anything, but it was fun. The area is so beautiful this view is from the deck over looking the fish pond (not were our fish for eating came from) One person caught a turtle that was about a foot long, but of course let it go.

That's a lot of frying going on.

This big thing was full of corn, and it was oh so good.

We really had a good time and of course the talking always gets around to sewing. I took a new purse I'd made that morning to show to Paula and we talked over how to best edit the pattern. I really didn't like the way it went together. A real sweet lady came over to see what we were looking at and gave me a great idea of how to assemble it differently and we were all smiles. I'll try it today and it should make the process much easier/faster. Thanks! After the good dinner, oh and did I mention the tons of desserts - whew. They had a drawing for prizes. The kids drew the tickets out and read the numbers it was so funny cause they would get so excited. Every body had a good time. I just moaned on the way home cause I was so very full. Really shouldn't have had that cherry pie...couldn't help myself.

Monday, August 24

Oriental Lap Quilt Almost Done

I worked on my oriental lap quilt for several hours on Sunday and got a good bit of it done. I needed a break from all the quilting and thought I'd make a little crazy quilt greeting card.
It's a birthday card for a friend. I seldom use all the fancy stitches on my machine and thought this might be a good place for them.

I've wanted to make a crazy quilt for a very long time. Way before I even started quilting I thought I'd make one by hand. This little test showed me a lot I'll need to figure out prior to making anything as big as a quilt (even lap size) but I did learn what not to do. This was just put together with no forethought and even thou the stitching is machine done it turned out pretty. I also need another way to attach the mini quilt to the card stock. Glue left the interior of the card a bit wavy. Not a good thing.

The lap quilt I'm working on has a panel in the middle that I just loved when I saw it. I put the top together a good while back but wasn't real good at quilting then and wanted to hold off on quilting it till I got better. Even thou I still have tons to learn about machine quilting I felt I was ready to finish this quilt. I just have the outside 6" all the way around left to quilt and then I'll get the binding done.

Already have my next quilt drawn up. This made me wonder how different people plan their quilts. I make a pencil sketch first to work out the layout then move on to the computer and draw up the final pattern. This is where I work out my colors. I use Illustrator for this. I also design all my foundation piecing patterns in Illustrator.

I'd like to hear from you on how you plan your quilts.

Wednesday, August 19

A Wonderful Fun Saturday

Saturday was a day of sewing, shopping and good friends. Paula and I went out shopping and I ended up sitting in somewhat of a haze over this machine. I try not to even look at the machines and just run in and buy what I need and quickly get back out...well that didn't work. Before I know it I'm head over heals in love with this wonderful baby. When I found out I could draw up my own embroidery designs on my computer then transfer them to the machine on a memory card, it was over. Will I come home with it any day now, not likely. But for me it's the dream machine for sure. The hoops to the left come with the machine and you can get one more even bigger. Oh dear. Yes I love my current Phaff and she is a good friend and does a great job. She knows she'll not be replaced anytime soon, oh but if I won the lottery I'd be out there tomorrow getting this big girl right away.

We hit the used book store after the sewing shop and I found a nice book on log cabins. That is my favorite traditional block. They we stopped by the craft store and I got a new ruler for cutting and a few other necessities. Then we went back to Paula's for sewing. Paula gave me a lesson on cutting strips so that they ALL come out the same, without all the hassle I normally go threw. I got the back cut out for my oriental lap quilt, which is now on the machine ready to quilt. We also watched a few episodes Paula had recorded of Quilting Arts TV (with Pokey Bolton) I love that show. I don't get that channel and have to get out to Paula's every few weeks to see these. We had such a good time looking over each other's fabrics and just general quilt talk. We're both planning on making a sunflower quilt here in the near future. I've not even drawn up my pattern, it's just a sketch now.

Paula isn't limited to just quilting thou and I just love this lamp she made from some old kitchen items. The light coming threw the colander at nigh is like stars.
I've been out of the house all week doing the "work" thing so not much sewing. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get on that lap quilt. When I get this finished I'll only have one UFO left. I'm just determined to get them done. I know all quilters may say this but I'm really going to try ever so hard not to have more than 2 projects going on at a time from this point on. I see you rolling your eyes -

Friday, August 14

Swaps Ready For Their Journey

Well I have the 2 swaps I'm doing in boxes and ready to march off to the post office. I always like to get them ready ahead of schedule. The Birthday Block swap is my first block swap so that is exciting and this is my 2nd ATC swap. I of course love all things ATC. I've still not determined how I'll showcase my ATC collection. I need to make up my mind while it's still small, but want to have room for it to grow. Any suggestions?

It's very hot today and a good day to stay in a be creative. I have a lap quilt that I finished the top a good while back and it's been gathering dust in the "UFO TOWER OF SHAME". So I've got it tossed into my sewing bag and will take it to Paula's tomorrow and hopefully get the back cut out and pinned together. It's a pretty little lap quilt with a nice oriental panel in the middle which should be very fun to quilt. Quilting is my favorite part. My least favorite part is cutting. If only those die cutting thingies were cheeper. I have to drive right by Salley's Superstore tomorrow on the way to Paula's (oh what a shame) will drop in and get more needles for the machine and a 1/4" foot. MIght just have to stop at JoAnn's too...

Wednesday, August 12

Thinking of Fall Already

Fall Theme ATC Swap

The whole time I was designing this little ATC and looking threw my fabrics thinking Fall my mind kept wandering towards the Holidays. I just love fall and it brings with it the joys of Christmas. So I guess I'm just a little loopy to be thinking of Christmas in August, but I just can't help myself. Even thou it's 87 out now I'm in the cool house thinking, now that I've put this big sewing cabinet in my living room where the heck am I going to put my Christmas tree? Hum...that may take several months to figure out.

Sunday, August 9

A Fun Saturday With Friends

Yesterday morning we teamed up with some friends and had breakfast at one of our neighborhood meat & three's, The Nashville Biscuit. We then headed down to 5 Points to check out the Tomato Festival. I'm not sure how many years they have been having this festival but it's sure grown. Last year only one street was closed down and this year it was two. Lots of crafts booths and other vendors fill the street edges and float into parking lots. This area is filled with lots of restaurants, bars and wonderful little shops. We have several favorite shops we visit there and then hit the art gallery to view all the tomato art. This is one of the pieces I made this year. It's the photos I wandered around taking a few weeks ago and the drawing in the middle was done digitally. I was born and raised in East Nashville so it's dear to me.

Below is the Tomato Queen, we missed the parade,
but she was out looking at all the booths.

Not sure why this was in the closed off street,
but it was just to nice not to take a photo of.
Some one really put some love and dollars
into bringing this pretty girl back to life

And the whole area is very dog friendly as you can see
by one of the vendors putting out water.

Paula made very cute tomato visors for she and I that sure helped to keep the sun off our faces. She even traded one for a very nice vintage apron at one of the booths she was shopping at. I got a small hand made pottery pitcher for microwaving our maple syrup, for those yummy Sunday waffles. This is about the time when our men were getting tired of tromping around so we stopped in for the traditional Bloody Mary's or other such cool refreshment. The temp in the 90's kept us from seeing everything, but we did see our favorite places and visited a few shops in the area. All in all a very good day. The photos above were taken by Paula's hubby.

Saturday, August 8

Quilters Need A Stimulus Program Too

I found another nice quilter's blog this morning and wanted to share that she is having a give-a-way. Her name is Elaine and she is calling this a "Quilter's Stimulus Package" give-a-way. So go over and check out her blog and enter to win.

We're off to the Tomato Festival today it's close to our house and lots of fun. I'll have some photos tomorrow. They have a race and tomato customs are encouraged, if that tells you how wacky the whole festival is. We may not be able to stay too long cause the forecast is for mid 90's. Whew can't handle the heat. Rather be inside with ac quilting or painting. But it's a must see if you live in the area. The street vendors are worth the visit alone. Then there are 2 galleries in the area less than 3 blocks apart. Good fun and good food.

Friday, August 7

A Good Creative Day

This has just been a really good day. You know some times you look back over what your day has been like and it just seems almost too good. I didn't win the lottery or anything like that but after breakfast today I got right on the Birthday Block Swap and now have all the blocks sewn together and have the signature sections completed. They are all pressed and sitting on top of the box they will be shipped in. I have an ATC swap coming up very soon and did sketches of some ideas and think I've decided which one I'll do for that. 

I'm doing all new art for the kitchen and I'd painted the background of the canvas for a new painting and had set it aside for over a week but got back to that today and now have the drawing done on it and it's ready to paint. Didn't really want to stop working on that, but I knew it wouldn't get finished till much later and sweet hubby will need dinner. So all in all a very productive day. Chatted with some of my good internet quilting buddies and read some blogs. 

We got a lot of beautiful veggies from my in laws and I spent the bulk of the day yesterday getting them in the freezer. I've never had a separate freezer before just the little one on top of the frig and having this chest freezer is really nice. So all those pretty green beans and yellow squash will be so yummy later this year when the pickings are so slim at the store. One lesson I did learn yesterday was WEAR GLOVES WHEN CUTTING HOT PEPPERS. My finger tips were still burning when we went to bed. I'll sure try to remember that in the future. 

But now the kitchen calls and it's time to cook dinner. 

Tuesday, August 4

The Good Things About Hot Weather

I'm not a big fan of hot weather and don't long for the great out doors during the summer. I lived in Florida for a while and was a mere 3 blocks from the beach, but didn't go down there except first thing in the morning and mostly on cloudy days. I ride around in the car with the windows up and the air on freeze. I just don't like hot. If it could be summer and not be hot I'd like that - but it would kind of mess up the whole point for the rest of the world, huh? But there is one thing about summer I just love and that is the fresh veggies. Tomatoes being my all time favorite. You just can't get a good mater in the winter. I don't remember who sang this song, they were a band on prior to Joan Baez many years ago. The song said there are 2 things money can't buy and that's true love and home grown tomatoes. Kind of silly for a song but oh so true. I look at the tomatoes in the store year round and they don't even smell like a tomatos. They are pretty thou. But I long all year for the big ugly non round tomatoes that smell like heaven and taste like a tomato should. I try real hard to eat my fill when they are growing locally.

This coming weekend is the East Nashville Tomato Festival
which is all things tomato.
If you are down in the area drop by
Art & Invention Gallery and see the 
wonderful tomato art.

I have been working on the Birthday Block swap today. I was planning on making my blocks in sets of 3 different color groupings, but I've changed my mind run amuck with all different colors. Just couldn't help myself. They are all cut out and I just need to get a few more put together and they will be ready for the second part of the signature (this goes in the muslin part in the center) and a little extra stitching. For the details about this swap just click the block to the left and it will take you to a very nice blog and you can find out all about it.

I did finally finish DH's 3 Stooges lap quilt this past Sunday. No Grannie I wasn't sewing on Sunday I promise. I've had this great sewing cabinet for months now and had never opened up the back part. Not quilt sure why... Most of the things I work on are smaller than 24x24 so I've not really needed it, but we opened it up and WOW. It was wonderful. So Monday I made several things with heavy upholstery fabric that would normally have given me problems but the fabric just floated out across the cabinet and it was great. So now the big roll of fabric in the corner is gone and my dinning room chairs will soon have new seats. I've already made small pillow for your back. I like these chairs a lot but the seats have kind of lost there softness over the years. This is the fabric I made window treatments out of in the kitchen so this will pull the 2 rooms together even more.

Saturday, August 1

Sewing and Haircuts

This is an ATC I made yesterday. I'm happy with the way it 
turned out. It has my first "inchie" on it too.  
The inchie was made with my Embellisher.


When I was taking this photo of the ATC (I take my photos outside when possible) my little dog always goes out with me. I had been thinking he really needs a hair cut but when I saw him from the back I knew I needed to come in and do it right off. He's just a big fluff ball. To get him in a good mood for the hair cut I give him tons of rubbing and petting. He'll roll over and then I trim his tummy and then I'll rub his ears and then he'll let me trim them. It's a spa treatment as far as he knows.