Sunday, March 25, 2007

Queen bed quilt pieced!

Although I haven't been blogging, I have been quilting. In bits and pieces over the past two weeks I have been piecing my bed quilt top. I finally finished it yesterday. See?
Queen bed pieced 1
I am slightly underwhelmed at this point. I like the way it turned out, on the whole, but right now I just can't see the beauty in it. I think I need to step back from it awhile until I fall in love with it again. So... I'm going to fold it up and tuck it away till later this summer. I do think I made it big enough though, don't you?
Queen bed pieced
It hits the floor on all three sides... !!

Now it's on the Quilt of Valor. (I'm having trouble linking tonight so will try and put it in tomorrow.) I'm starting with a panel by Laurel Burch from her Mystical Horses line:
I'll put a border around it using these colors and fabrics:
Right now I'm thinking several layers of color, possibly with some striping... we'll see what appears!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Desert Botanical Garden

On Sunday we went to the Desert Botanical Garden. It was 88°F (31°C) so it was pretty warm but we soldiered on. Mom pushed her wheeled walker around, with one of us ahead of her and one of us behind. It worked pretty well but we all got tired fast. It was the Flower Festival last weekend, although there weren't a lot of wildflowers to see. Usually, Phoenix gets winter rains that really get the wildflowers growing; however, this year, we hardly got any rain at all. We also had several very heavy frosts in January that did some significant damage. Since they don't do any supplemental watering, the flowers were rather sparse. Anyway, here are some pictures I took so you can see what it's like in the Valley of the Sun.

Here's some golden poppies with just a few owl clover blossoms peaking through:
Poppies Poppies close

Here are some penstomen, verbena and a couple others I don't know yet (sorry) snuggled up against a huge agave:
Agave with flowers Texas lupine

Here is a saguaro cactus with it's "nurse" palo verde tree:
Saguaro with palo verde
Many times, in the desert, saguaros begin growing in the protective shade of palo verde trees, and after many years they tower over their "nurse's."

We also walked through the Butterfly Pavilion. It was alive with butterflies of many species and these two (a Zebra Longwing and a Julia butterfly) posed nicely together for a picture:

We got to see the Patrick Doughrty sculpture. I should have taken a picture with someone standing nearby so you can get a good idea of the scale. These wondrous things are large enough for several people to stand inside!
Dougherty sculpture 1 Dougherty sculpture 3

Here is what it looked like from the inside looking out and up:
Dougherty sculpture 4 Dougherty sculpture 6

I hope you enjoyed the tour and that this wasn't too picture heavy for dial-up users! More pictures can be seen on
my flickr site .

Quilting content in a day or two!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Barred chain stitch

No... I didn't fall in and the aliens didn't come and get me! Mom arrived last weekend and it has taken me a few days to adjust.

I have been having trouble with getting myself to sit down and stitch on the samplers for Sharon Boggon's Take a Stitch Tuesday. I have come to the conclusion that I am just not a sampler kinda gal, so I made some crazy quilt blocks out of the scraps from my queen bed quilt to use for my stitches. I'm not sure how I will use them in my bedroom but it sure was nice to get back to embroidering a crazy quilt block!

Here's a 10.5" block:
Block 10-5

and here's a 5.5" block:
Block 5-5

and a 3" block:
Block 3

I sat down yesterday (finally) and played with the Barred Chain stitch and the Alternating Barred Chain stitch and here is the result on the 3" block:
Barred chain001
This picture is a scan, whereas the others are photographs, but I think you can see it pretty well.

I really like the Barred Chain Stitch but I think the Alternating Barred Chain stitch is going to take some work to move into my bag of tricks. On the last seam I did on this little block (the shortest one up on the upper left corner of the center piece) I used the Alternating Barred Chain stitch and made the regular chain stitches much shorter than the Barred Chain stitch and I really like how that came out. I'll be playing some more with that idea in the future.

Regular posting shall resume. Or at least as regular as I ever post! LOL!!