Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do you remember your dreams?

I woke up this morning, an hour before the alarm, feeling really well rested–a good thing because some of my old fatigue issues are back and kicking my butt.

But a funny thing this morning happened as I was becoming fully awake.

I don't know what I dreamed about, but I'm guessing I didn't just dream it, I must have been acting it out, too:  my legs were sore, my back hurt and it felt like I had jammed a couple of my fingers on my left hand.

... and neither cat was sleeping at the foot of the bed or coming to wish me good morning (and bug me until I got up and let them out on the deck) as usual.

I usually don't remember my dreams, but my physical side effects make me wonder ... and reminds me of when I was married and talked in my sleep.  Back then, my husband could at least give me a clue about what I was dreaming/talking about.

Do you remember your dreams?  Talk in your sleep? Wake up with mystery aches and pains?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July's Lovely ... Failure

Silly String Blocks from WorkshopThese silly string blocks did not become a tote, as initially planned, nor any other lovely finished object in July.

I finally returned to work and along with the time spent earning a living, I am working on re-finding the balance of work and life, leaving the work stress at the front door and being organized enough to be able to find time to quilt again.

As far as my goal for a lovely finish, the quilt blocks did become something, this color saturated top. I got as far as buying threads for quilting it before I started the new work project. I bought fabric for a quilt backing yesterday.

It will have a plain back and lots of quilting. I'm still undecided on binding fabric ... I have enough of the plaid in the curvy strings, but would it be distracting?

Silly String Blocks + RED
I have shared this before, but am sharing it again, mostly to help me find all my lovely finishes and failures near-finished objects at the end of the year.   I am  not-so-secretly hoping to finish all my lovely goals by year end, even if a couple of them happen after the deadline. 

You can check out the successful bloggers and their lovely finishes in July here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Squirrelly Visitor

It feels like nature week at Sophie Junction. This guy appeared just outside the glass sliding doors in the studio several times today ... as Johnny slept nearby, oblivious to the wild life on the other side of the glass.

Squirrelly Visitor

Standoff at the DoorA few times, though, Johnny WAS awake and aware and appeared ready to charge through the glass to chase away the animal in his territory.

Bizarrely, the squirrel wasn't afraid of the large cat charging at him and they spent a lot of time in a sort of stand-off, simply staring at one another through the glass door.

Small Wonders

They were easy to see in person as 6 of them buzzed about a lavender plant along the walk outside my studio.

Lavender with humming birds

Can you see him now?But when I tried to capture them with the iPhone that happened to be in my pocket, the result was less obvious.  I first thought were some new-to-me variety of hummingbirds, traveling quickly in and out and around the lavender blooms and evading my efforts to capture their image.

I cropped this guy out of the photo above, edited the contrast and shadows and it is still hard to see him ... though he buzzed about in a typical hummingbird way, he didn't look like any hummingbird I'd ever seen and so I did some research ... and found the White Lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moth. They really seemed to enjoy lunching on my lavender.

I found a much more lovely photo of this interesting moth on the blog, Morning Bray Farm.

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Mod-Mod Update for July

Over the weekend, I finished making the 14 July blocks I need for the full/queen-size quilt I'm making as part of the mod-mod quilt-along. The blocks are a little catty-wumpass on the design wall ... but you can get the idea and decide if you think they are playing well together.

Slightly Re-arranged

Spokes Blocks for MMQALAs I was sewing the 14 spokes blocks, I parked them on the wall, on point ... and decided I like them in that orientation.  I also thought they would be a good block to use in a setting where some are straight set and some are on-point. (I blogged about it yesterday on the Block Lotto site)

I'm joining the party for Design Wall Monday.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

It's not much, but it's progress

Scrappy Red Tote in ProgressI've sewn the sections for my new red scrappy tote together.

It will have a black twill bottom and black and red straps.

I changed my mind about making a messenger-style bag and decided on a slim tote that would be good for carrying my iPad, keyboard and some paper files, or a few library books.

I really like the scrappy version of the Spokes block we're making for the Block Lotto this month. The background is constructed from four squares and the spokes were added in a different order than in the non-scrappy blocks. First the four squares were sewn into a background with the vertical and horizontal spokes added.

The trickiest part was adding the correct fabric to the diagonal spokes so that they will match/blend with the background squares.

This is the last of my red scraps projects for the Rainbow Scraps Challenge ... I hope to finish before the end of the month, ready for whatever color comes next.

Cutting for Scrappy Spokes Block Scrappy Spokes Block

Monday, July 21, 2014

Think Snow!

Continued high temperatures have me visualizing snow in my hot, un-airconditioned studio.

Think Snow!

Snowflakes have 6-sides, unlike these blocks, which is why I called my pattern for them the more generic term,  Spokes.  You can download my pattern from the free quilt block patterns page, if you're interested.

Whatever you call them, I was thinking of them as snowflakes on my wall today. 

Some of these blocks are for the Block Lotto, some are the red monochrome blocks for the rainbow scraps Mod-Mod throw, the gray-on-white ones are my start on 14 spokes blocks for my large mod-mod quilt and two, with scrappy red backgrounds, I made on a whim.  They've been added to those tomato-red left-overs on the design wall ... 

Spokes blocks with scrappy red backgrounds.
The scrappy blocks are easy to make–the only tricky part is matching the background fabrics which are added to the diagonal spokes to the squares in the 4-patch background.

Spokes Block with Scrappy Background

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Suspending Disbelief

6 Red Spokes BlocksI had ambitious plans for my FNSI last night, but ... a too hot studio and a head still spinning from my work day resulted in limited results.

I did make the six 7-inch spokes blocks that I need for this month in my rainbow scraps challenge version of the Mod-Mod Quilt-Along.

As I made them, I realized I was a little fearful that the red blocks would be over-powering when combined with the rest. Once I suspended disbelief and moved forward, I was pleasantly surprised.

My ideas of what this version of the quilt–with mono-chromatic blocks in colors not of my choosing–continues to change each month, but ... so far, I'm not hating it.

Today I pulled out all the blocks and put them into their relative places on the design wall.

Mod-Mod Quilt in Progress
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