Friday, August 22, 2014

Family Friday: Ballet Edition

 Last week was ballet camp for my eldest daughter. (no tents) The girls spent the week studying the ballet, Giselle.  There was lots of dancing, choreography to learn, French terms to learn/review, some snacks and a bit of craftiness.  By the end of the week they had two dances to perform.
 Fourteen Giselles with their medallions.
 Apparently these two pictures capture a very classic part of the dance from the ballet.

 In the white skirts the girls are doing the Dance of the Wilis.  They are spirits of girls who have died of broken hearts.
 E is on the left here.

 E and her friend.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Really Random Thursday 8.21.14

 I was supposed to take pictures of these socks for my Aunt.  She knitted them for me.  It took me forever to remember, because I don't generally wear wool socks in summer!  Do you see the river running through them?
 I was driving to pick up my kids a couple weeks back.  The sky went from grey to brilliant in about 2 seconds.  Just beautiful.
 We were in Iowa a couple weekends ago.  Celebrating a bit of Dutch heritage here with some giant wooden shoes.
 Spending some time in the pool. Do all boys take every picture with mouths open?
I know this is a funny shot, but it shows off the fact that all of M's hair can be put into a pony tail, now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WIP Wednesday 8.20.14

 Nearly all of my sewing the last week or so has been for the 100 Blessings Quilt.

I started with 10" squares from each fabric.  I then cut two inches off each side. That gave me a 2" square for the scrap book and two 8" x 2" strips.  This little quilt below is made from (most of) those left over strips.
 I was laying out possible combinations, and sort of ended up with this.  I could have cut more strips, but decided instead to fill the center with a red.
 Today I added a red border to tie it all together. 
 I will be quilting this one after I finish the official blessings quilt, but this one will be a nice lap quilt/drag around size.

Linking up with Lee for the first time in a while.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fabric Acquisitions and More

There has been much sewing around these parts, just not much blogging.  I'm sure I will become a more consistent blogger once school starts next week.  Not only will three of them be in school all day, it also forces me to get up earlier in the morning!

 About three weeks ago my Local Quilt Guild had its annual picnic and sale.  Most of the items are "bid" on by placing a purchased ticket in a bag for an item.  Then one ticket of the bunch is drawn. 
 One of the items I "won" was this cheater Dresden plate panel with some matching fabric.  The plate part has already been hand quilted.  At first I was thinking a pillow, but now I'm thinking a bag.  It would probably get more use.
I also won this stack of fabrics that was bundled together.  Mostly I put my ticket in because of the strawberry print, but there are some other pretty prints in there.  Some dated ones, too. :)
Patterns were 5 for a dollar.  I'm bad about using patterns, but hey, for $.20, why not?
And really, I must make one of these ridiculous pheasants for Mr. Riley.
This week I picked up some prepackaged fabric at IKEA.  At less that $1 a yard, it was hard to resist.  Even bugs and tumbling blocks.  I figure they will make good backings.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Odds And Ends Wednesday

 Temperature quilt.  This is July.  It really hasn't been that hot.  Only two days above 85 degrees Farenheit.
 The top so far, January through July.  E was holding it backwards.  I didn't notice until editing.
 I mentioned we were in Galena, IL last week.  There are a handful of antique stores there.  In one I found some hexies that I had to rescue.  They are strung together on thread with a rusted needle, complete with cardboard template.  It was with the instruction sheet. 
 The instructions are not for English Paper Piecing, but that is probably what I will do to complete the top.  It is obvious that the yellow is for the center of the flowers.  I will have to count the other patches to see what is supposed to be petals vs. background.  Actually, now that I think about it, probably the patterned fabric is the flower.
There were also two orphan Dresden Plate blocks that I didn't rescue.  And a ton of quilts and one beautiful top.  None seemed outrageously priced, but I certainly couldn't buy them all, and at this point they would just live in the closet, so I thought it best not to buy any.
And a bit of happy mail for me.  Haven't even cracked it open yet.  Can't wait to read it.  Don't know if I'll ever make a house, but they are so stinkin' cute.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weekend Getaway, Galena

Last week our oldest two kids were at camp and my parents offered to take the younger three for a couple of nights.  So, Mr. Riley and I hightailed it out of town and headed to Galena, IL.  It is a small tourist town on the banks of what was once a large river and important steamboat stop.  President Grant also used to live there for a while. We stayed at a lovely B&B that we had been at 8 years before.
The wall of clocks was the same,
 but I immediately noticed some changes.  Quilts!

 and cute little sewing vignettes.

 Turns out that the ownership changed hands a couple of years ago. 

 And one of the new owners is a quilt maker.  We had a nice chat about quilts. 
 All those pictured were made by her!
 And, the Inn offers quilting retreats throughout the year!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Studies in Contrast 1, 2, & 3

 After I decided to do the contrast between the Milwaukee Skyline and Lake Michigan, I searched for a black and white skyline of the city. (even if slightly inaccurate)
 Got it sized and cut out and traced onto black fabric with wonder-under adhered to it.
 The I carefully started cutting.  Actually after just a few snips I decided to do it carefully and tried to preserve the skyline and its opposite.

At this point, I thought I'd see what I could do with the opposite skyline and try out my ideas and techniques before proceeding with the 'real' quilt. 

 I went ahead and fused it down to the orange, straightened it up and sewed the seam to the blue.
 Then I got completely distracted, let the first two skylines sit and started improv piecing.  If you've read my blog for any length of time, this isn't really something I do much of, if ever.  But I started playing around with the orange and blue contrast pieces and ended up with a piece that I thought would work for the back of one of the skylines.  I've got two shots here to try to show the color contrast.  It is pretty bright!

 So once the back was done, I tried out the straight line quilting for the upper half and the wavy quilting for the bottom half, and also tried out the satin stitch edge - matching colors along the sides.
 And so, Study in Contrasts 1 & 2 were done.
On to number 3.
 I did the straight line quilting in orange, with a purpose.  My plan was to color the the areas in the skyline with a sharpie, so I didn't have to change thread.
 Coloring in progress.  It worked. 
In this shot, you can see some of the orange actually came back, but I'm pretty OK with it.  If I wasn't, I'd just go over it again with the marker.
And so, here we've got the final version of Study in Contrasts: 3.