Friday, May 29, 2009

It's a LONG way to Oklahoma! (and back)

We had a good trip to Oklahoma and back, but my, did it seem long! It is a good 2-day drive, one way.
My husband does most of the driving, so I basically sit and sometimes navigate. I try to plan things to do while I'm sitting that long.
I took along a knitting project, but I just couldn't get into that. Maybe because it was hot outside???
I took along some hand applique. Depending on how bumpy the roads were, I was able to do some of that. It's definitely harder to do in a moving car than when I'm sitting in my easy chair at home.
Mostly I found myself in the "observing" mode. I was using my eyes and ears to look for color and design ideas as we drove along. I had my notebook ready to jot ideas down that came to me as I watched billboards and road signs, read slogans, listened to songs on the radio, etc. If you let your mind and imagination work, it's amazing what you can come up with!
The clear blue sky, brilliant white clouds and various greens of the foliage I saw from Arkansas into Oklahoma gave me a color scheme to think about as I plan a quilt for my graduating niece!
Hope you find inspiration in what you see around YOU today!
Happy Quilting! Carol :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pit Stop, plus. . .

Wow! What a difference the "pit stop" made! I can't believe how easily my rotary cutter glides through the fabric now! And my sewing machine is a little bit quieter now that it is clean and oiled. And the new ironing board cover looks great. (I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find a new ironing board cover...guess not enough people iron any more, so they aren't being made????) I'm still working on weeding out the dull and bent pins, however. That may take some time.
Since I was giving everything a tune-up, I decided to also do some cleaning up. I don't know about you, but when I make scrap quilts, my whole work area turns "scrappy". There are bits of this and that all over: extra spools of thread I pulled out to find just the right color for an applique; a pile of scraps I decided not to use but hadn't put back in the scrap bag; rulers of various sizes; buttons and ribbons and pearl cotton and embroidery floss for possible embellishments; etc, etc. I took the time to put all of the excess away, I dusted off my work space and I vacuumed the area. That, too, made a big difference, not just in the way things looked, but also in my attitude. I feel rejuvenated and ready to start in again on my projects, and yes, to make another mess! :)
That will have to wait a while, though, because we're off to Oklahoma again. Savannah will be baptized on Sunday. I can't wait to see how much she's grown in the past month and my husband is looking forward to finally meeting his newest granddaughter! (Yes, I have some hand-sewing projects packed--I'll work on those when I'm not holding the baby!)
Happy stitching...Carol :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Time for a "Pit Stop"

I need to take a lesson from the race car drivers. When their car is not running at peak efficiency, they make a pit stop.
For the past three weeks I have been on a mission to sew up all the projects in my design notebook. I've done nothing but cut out and sew. Yesterday I took a GOOD look at my tools--there is a big hole in my ironing board cover (I've just been ironing over it...); my sewing machine is full of fuzz and the needle is surely dull; my rotary cutter skips a thread every now and then (I think I tried to cut a pin a while ago); and many of the straight pins I've been trying to use are bent or won't go through the fabrics! I've had my eye on the finish line and have just put up with these little irritants.
Today I decided to do something about these things. The short time it will take will make a big difference in the joy I get from sewing, not to mention the quality of the finished projects!
Hope you have a joyful day of sewing today!
Carol :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Green Diversions

Like everyone else, after the long winter we had, I couldn't wait for Spring! All the flowering trees have been beautiful, and with the rain we've had, the grass is really GREEN. But, so are the weeds! We have a brick paver patio and the moss and weeds love to grow in the spaces between the bricks. I hate looking out my kitchen window and seeing that. But I also don't enjoy yardwork! Given the choice between yardwork and sewing/quilting, guess which one I would choose?
Last Friday was a perfect day to be outside. And I was at the point where I needed a break from my sewing. So, bucket and digger in hand, I sat down on the patio and went to work. I have to admit, being out in the warmth and sunshine felt good. While I weeded, I figured out what to do next on the project I'd left at my sewing machine. In a matter of a couple of hours, I had the patio looking pretty good!
Guess the best way to get the yardwork done this summer is to just take a "green" break every once in a while! Who knows, maybe I'll get some new scrap quilt ideas while doing so! Happy stitching!
Carol :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


With all the talk lately about the flu bug, I think I've come down with a different disease--Scrapitis. Not sure it is contagious, tho.
For my latest project, I have been working with vintage fabric scraps. My problem is that I cannot bear to throw away the tiniest cut-aways from these fabrics. The cut-aways are not good for anything...they are barely 1/4" wide! But I just can't put them in the trash. (I did that, but found myself pulling them back out!!!) And I'm wondering WHY? I have no trouble throwing away similar sized pieces of "normal" fabric. There's just something different about the vintage stuff.
Is it that I searched so hard to find this fabric?
Is it that I know that I will not be able to replace it? (Maybe I shouldn't be using it???)
Is it that it's a reminder of my ancestors? (But Grandma would love it that I'm using it!)
But what I do know is that I found a lovely little jar and put all those bitty scraps into it. It will go on a shelf in my sewing room and I will thoroughly enjoy looking at it. I'm thinking of adding some of Grandma's buttons and bits of old lace and rick rack to the jar, too!
Hope you have a wonderful day of sewing planned!
Carol :)