Sunday, July 17, 2011

Generous and Talented Bloggers

IMG_3295Generous and talented and eager to share…there are many of you out there, but one lovely lady shared a wonderful mug rug with me and included 2 generous sized mugs to go with it.  Thelma of Cupcakes and Daisies was posting for a blog tour to promote the Fit to be Quarter ruler for Monique of Open Gate Quilts.  The mug rug I received has the most amazing piece work in the middle with the tiniest little star.  I was admiring the table topper when I visited her blog, but now seeing this mug rug up close and personal, well let’s just say I am amazed.  Talent and generosity are just a small part of what you can find on Thelma’s blog there is a lot of inspiration and even cupcakes!    Now that inspires me as to how to use this mug rug…IMG_3296

Thanks Thelma!


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Learning to See

IMG_3278 It is summer and I have not been doing as much sewing as I would like, but the activities I have been doing are definitely building some skills that I will use in future projects.  Yesterday I spent a little time with my fisherman at the local pond called Grace.  The fish were jumping and the people were lined up at the little bit of shore IMG_3276available to fish from.  Fish were being caught by young and old a like, but not by me so the search was on for the bait the fish would want to eat.  To find it I have found that have to look around you and boy did I see a lot.  I saw reeds where fish could hide to stay cool, the different colors in the water let you know where the deep sections are and this is a place fish like to hang out.  Someone thought the fish might like IMG_3284 Cherrios and I heard another person mentioning that she had been using Velveeta Cheese and that didn’t like that either.  I saw when I really looked that the fish were jumping up to catch a certain bug that must have just hatched and they were like little white mayflies.  Changing my lure to something that most resembled the bug got the fish biting my line and when other fishermen see that they all want to know what you are using, this is where fisherman learn to lie because in order to keep your status as the guy catching the fish you can’t give away your secret. IMG_3279

As the fish weren’t biting much I got bored and started looking around me and thinking about how fishing is not really about catching but more about taking in the environment where you are fishing.  Listening to the sounds of the  birds, the fisher people, the buzz of bees and mosquitoes, and so much more.  IMG_3280Butterflies don’t make any noise, but they are always there and so beautiful to observe, but hard to catch on film .  Being a gardener I am always admiring the flowers and plants and how nature is such a better gardener than me, she knows just what looks good together and grows well together, it always amazes me.

I also enjoy the movement on the water.  This was helping us see just where most of the active fish were which was also where the water was deep and cool and the bugs were hanging out.  So casting into just the right spot with just the right lure IMG_3286and dragging through this spot with just the right speed to look like one of the bugs and the fish were biting on my line.  I really don’t care if I catch a fish and we usually let them go anyway, but the thrill you get when one tugs on your line always gets my heart racing and wakes me up from the fishing trance.  Of course, I am always thinking this is the big IMG_3277one I have waited my whole fishing life for, but it usually is not and that is okay.  Fishing for me is not all about catching the big one though my oldest son totally disagrees with me, he claims that if he doesn’t catch fish and if they are not of a decent size he has wasted time.  I tell he to rethink that and take a look around him and soak in the environment around him.  That is what fishing is all about, but catching is always fun too, because the elusive fish is a beauty to behold and natures color combinations are always an inspiration to the artist side of me and could show up in a quilt or a painting project some where in the future.IMG_3289  

Catch a little inspiration by looking around you!


Saturday, July 02, 2011

Favorite Quilting Tools

IMG_3220 One of my favorite quilting tools was introduced to me by Harriet Hargrove at a class I took at a local quilt shop last year.  It is the Perfect Piecing Seam Guide by Perkins Dry Goods.  My picture is a bit fuzzy, but I think you can get the idea of how this works.  You place your needle in the hold on the guide and then I stuck a piece of thick sticky tape onto my bobbin case only so I can change my bobbin without loosing my place.  That combined with my new quarter inch foot for my Janome and I am getting really accurate quarter inch seams.  The foot I am using is not the one that came IMG_3217with my machine it is one I bought extra from my dealer and I love it.

  Another new tool that I just recently got was a new cutting mat.  I got a Gingher 36” mat from the recent JoAnn’s sale and they only had it available online.  It is so thick and I am loving the larger size.  I did have to get a new table though to accommodate the larger size, but got lucky when I found a nice sturdy plastic table on sale at Home Depot for only $39.99.  I love my new set up.  I spent all day yesterday working at it since it was rainy, foggy and cold outside.

IMG_3214 On my new cutting board is my newest fabric purchase from Green Fairy Quilts sale.  I got some Moda Cotton Sateen and the colors are looking like fall to me.  I have been wanting to do a falling leaves quilt for a while now and these will be perfect for that.  What you can’t see in a picture is the way this fabric feels…wow!  It does feel like satin.

Having the right tools makes quilting easier and more accurate.