Saturday, May 26, 2012

Shell Shocked!

After two years of working on my clamshell quilt off and on, I'm happy to say that its finished!

Measuring approximately 88x89 inches, it turned out a little larger than I'd expected.
All the applique and piecing has been done by hand. I even hand stitched the binding on to the quilt. There have been a few things done by machine though. Before I knew that I wanted to make the quilt by hand, I basted the edge of the clamshells using my sewing machine.
The big stitch quilting was done with orange perle cotton #8 in the clamshells and border and green perle cotton #8 on the scalloped sashing.

The sleeve and label have been sewn on just in time for the quilt to be shown at the Common Threads Quilt Show in Wichita, KS next month. I've entered it into the judged portion of the show but am wishing I hadn't because I've found so many things the judge will not like. In fact, I'm thinking of making a list of things I wish I could do over to compare with the judge's show comment form.

My quilting bee was stunned to learn that I plan to use this quilt as a wallhanging and not a bed quilt. I have the perfect spot for it - over the open staircase to our basement. I think it will brighten up that wall which I've been ignoring for the past 12 years. Now if only my husband can figure out how to rig a scaffolding over the stairs to hang the quilt!

Monday, May 14, 2012

the Hollyhock Bride

Did you make these when you were growing up?

My only memory of my paternal grandparents' farmhouse involves me and Delia, a neighbor girl, sitting on the wood front porch steps making a hollyhock wedding party. The wedding colors were whatever colors were blooming. We'd line them up and march them in while humming the wedding march. Fun memories!
My white hollyhock plant is blooming but unfortunately, my hollyhock bride has no attendants because no other colors are blooming right now.

I hope you all had a good Mother's Day! I was able to spend the day with my daughter and husband, visit with my son and daughter-in-law in Florida and spend some time with my mom. I don't think I've shared this yet but I'm going to be a first time Grandma in fall!

In response to Linda of Flourishing Palms encouraging me to post more photos of myself on this blog, here is a 3 generation photo taken yesterday of my daughter, myself and my mother. My goodness, how did my hair get so gray? I'm actually comfortable with my hair being gray but am always surprised to see just how gray it is. In fact, I hope it turns totally white someday!

PS - Quilting, oh yes I still am! I'm half done with the clamshell quilt border and have decided to split my days between working on it and the Rocky Road to Kansas quilt. I hope to have photos of the finished clamshell quilt soon!

Later this same evening - OK, this is really strange. Go to the first picture and click on it to make it large. Do you see my hollyhock bride's happy face?!?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flower Therapy

If this post doesn't make sense, its because I'm tired of quilting! Can't believe I wrote that but yes, I'm tired.

The quilt show is in roughly 5 1/2 weeks and I'm still quilting the clamshell quilt. Am working on the outer border now and still have some of the sashing to do too. Everything is taking longer than I thought and there seem to be a lot of interruptions but I keep at it.

Instead of showing you yet another picture of the quilt, here are some photos of flowers growing at my house and one more of Charlie. In other words, flower therapy. But first, a disclaimer. I'm not very good with plants except for weeds. This year seems to be a banner year for bindweed and sunflower plants, even more so than last year.

This poppy is growing on the north side of our garage. Apparently a bird planted the seed for me because last year, they were growing on the south side of the house.
They never seem to grow where I scatter the seed but they love to come up next to the foundation, in the lawn and this year there are several under the evergreen tree. I love their color and try to transplant them to a better spot when I can. Sometimes they even live after I transplant them!

Part of the Clematis vine - Jackmani, I think. By the way, the Butterfly Bush in the background is Charlie's favorite plant. ???

The Help.

For some reason, Charlie likes the garden hose too. I think we keep him around just because he has so many interesting quirks. He fits in fine with our family!