Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Canstruction" was at the local mall today, and my friend Jerry and I went to see the displays. The structures were made by local high school students and the components were all canned goods.

I'm not sure what this one was supposed to be, but I liked it. Kind of an exploding clam, a broken egg......whatever.

This one was pretty obvious. They had actually put some sort of light in the top of the lighthouse.

And this one was my favorite. Simple, but well done.

All of these cans of food will be donated to the local food banks. My pictures don't show much in the way of scale, but this can was probably 10' tall. Many of the structures contained over 12,000 cans of food, so this was a very worthy effort.

This is the carousel at the mall. Just thought I'd throw this picture in too. It's a really spectacular carousel, with every kind of animal from a rabbit to a dragon. Plus, it's a double decker!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another pinwheel block. Again, not much contrast between the three fabrics but I'm still happy to be using fabric from my stock.

Now I'm heading outside to mow the yard. I needed to wait for the dew to dry up a bit before mowing and decided to put this block together while I was waiting. Thankfully, my yard is tiny and I'll be able to get my work done pretty quickly. Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One of my recently added sidebars is for an organization called Kiva. It is a program that loans to small businesses, usually in impoverished areas. I've been a member for a couple of years and have been able to help three women entrepreneurs build their businesses.

When I first joined Kiva, there were hundreds of people asking for loans. As this very successful program has continued, they actually have to look to find entrepreneurs that need the additional help. At times, there are no loans needed, which is a wonderful problem to have.

Once you pick the person that you would like to help fund, you choose the amount that you would like to donate. I picked $25, the most that I could afford, and once the money is repaid to you, you can turn around and loan that same money again. I've loaned to three people and they have very diligently paid their loans back. I just keep my $25 in motion and it continues to help others at no further cost to me beyond the original donation.

Just wanted to throw this out to you in case you hadn't heard of Kiva. I highly recommend this organization and, selfishly, it gives me a nice feeling knowing that I've helped a person in need become successful.

Now go and check out Kiva for yourself! Find the entrepreneur that speaks to your heart and help them reach their goal!

(Just wanted to add that in the time that it took me to write this post, the woman that I funded, received her full funding. I was the second to donate and within 15 minutes, her entire loan was funded. That's how widespread this program has gone and how quickly people step up to help others! Now see if there is someone else that could use a little help from you!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's been awhile since I've completed a Psalms block, but I had some free time today and jumped in. I've done this block before, for my own personal quilt with different fabrics, but this block will go into a charity quilt that several of us are working on. The charity quilt will be made with all hand dyed fabrics for continuity.

This is Psalm 16:7; I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

Spring brings thoughts of gardening and this is my little indoor succulent "garden". I really enjoy these types of plants. The succulent on the left is blooming and the next picture shows the tiny flowers.
Aren't they pretty and delicate? God's creativity is amazing!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Yesterday was a three-way birthday celebration! Life, is seems, always gets in the way of our time together, and my quilting friends had missed three birthdays. Getting us all together at one time can be a challenge. We decided to have all three birthdays at once and celebrate their special, although belated, birthdays. I baked the cake, which was a simple carrot cake.

Now you don't see my name on the cake, do you? Well, Lois, one of the birthday ladies got all of us, even the non-birthday ladies, special gifts too. She got me ALL of this fabric and the fabric in the next photo, plus the quilt book below.

More beautiful fabric!

This is the quilt book that Lois got for me. It has several great patterns in it.

This is the pattern that I will be making. Lois has provided all of the fabric needed to make this quilt top. I love basket quilts and she couldn't have picked out a more pleasing pattern or fabrics.

I feel so blessed and grateful for this wonderful gift....and for no reason except that Lois is an exceptional friend, full of love and generosity! Thank you, Lois, for this special gift and for your priceless gift of friendship!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Block of the Month time..... I did finish my March block in time. I made it the night before it was due. I've never waited that long to complete these blocks, as you have to have the previous block completed before you can pick up your next month's block without a charge. (It's complicated, but trust me, it's worth having your block completed.) This one is a 12" block.

And while I was on a roll, I went ahead and finished the block that I picked up, the April block. It was a super simple block and didn't take much time. I'll certainly be ready for my May block now. ;) This little block is 6".

Thursday, April 2, 2009

After two weeks of playing nurse for a sick friend, I was finally able to get back to my sewing machine and complete my paper pieced wall hanging and catch up on a few things.

This is the hanging before sewing the blocks and borders together. I like to lay things out, see how they look, arrange the directions of the blocks, etc., before sewing. This saves a lot of seam ripping, which is not my favorite thing to do.

When you have a wonky quilting line or just something that you want to cover up, yo-yo's do the trick. This quilt was absolutely square until I started to machine quilt it. Somewhere along the way, it became distorted on a couple of seam lines. Being rushed on time, I didn't have the opportunity to take things apart and fix the distortion. Anyway, the yo-yo's help to cover up the rough spots and even add another dimension and focus.
This is the final wall hanging. It's 25" x 25". It isn't my finest work, but I'm still feeling a great sense of completion. I've been working on this hanging off and on for months, and just seeing it to completion gives me satisfaction. Every project that you work on will teach you some sort of lesson or tip that will be valuable on your next project. We are always our worst critic and need to enjoy the ride with less stress and expectations on ourselves. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and this quilt screams "amateur"! Nonetheless, I'm fairly pleased with the end result, plus.....I'm glad it's done! Whew!

This isn't the best picture for detail, but in the large purple borders, my quilting pattern is a picket fence. It turned out pretty cute. The majority of the rest of the quilting was simply stitch in the ditch. With blocks so tiny (3"), quilting in the ditch seemed to be a good choice as most other patterns would just get lost. The purple borders were my only large areas to highlight quilting, and I took advantage of those open spaces.