Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer Projects

My big project this summer has been to get my 91 year old father to stop working, and more importantly, to stop driving before he killed someone. It has required heroic persistence and patience, but I am glad to say that we have succeeded! I think he has finally accepted that retirement is not that bad.

With all that going on, I have not done that much sewing this summer. Brinton Hall has made very good progress, and I'll show you that on Sunday. When I had machine time, I'd put together a block or two of Allietare. The bright Kaffe prints are really invigorating to work with:

I love the red blocks. I am less sure about the black star blocks:

I have been so tempted to sew a few together, just to see how the secondary pattern will come out. But I do want to lay out and balance the blocks properly when they're all done, so I've held off. I only have about 10 left, and then the fun will really start!

I am not sure now if I will do Bonnie Hunter's mystery again this year. I have a colour scheme in mind already, but I also have so many other projects that I really do want to finish, and some to start! So, we'll see.

My box of Kaffe fabrics has been getting a good work out with Brinton Hall. While the fabrics were out I also made one lonely butterfly for Down in the Garden:

This butterfly was going to be gold, and I had the wings fussy cut 18 months ago already. But, I lost one! The one thing that became crystal clear this summer is that I have too many things happening at the same time, and that is hurting my projects. I have made new resolutions --

  • Fewer current projects
  • No more BOMs
  • More original work

-- and we'll see how that pans out!

But in any case, this new pink butterfly matches the purple and pink/orange flowers in the block surprisingly well too:

And I still have all the wings for the second butterfly:

Then I can get back to some stitching and finish the block. I had a lot more stitching planned for this project, but I've changed my mind and decided to fill in with some extra pieced blocks instead. It's time to move on!

I bought a couple of those adult colouring books this summer, as part of my effort to get my Dad refocused on something positive. No luck! "Silly stuff," he said. He used to draw well, but maybe colour was never his strong suit. My Mom did this nice one, though:

It is totally different from how I would have done it, which is very interesting! And better, I think. I was very impressed with her turquoise and green roses. I have to see if I can use this colour scheme for a future project.

I coloured a couple too:


To me it seemed like a low-risk opportunity to try a more radical colour scheme. I've been obsessed with orange and green leaves lately. The one above is ok, but I like the second one better:

It seems like it could be a nice quilt, couldn't it? The round drawing is from Flower Mandalas by Thaneeya McArdle (New Design Originals, 2016), and the two square pages are from Magic of Flowers & Birds (Barron's).

There are two link ups on today. Please check out Ann and Cathy's Kaleidoscope of Butterflies right here. The brave Gwennie Medallion quilters are still at it too, right here. My medallion went to the basement at the end of June, and just came back up a couple of days ago. But, I've dealt with the road blocks on that one, and I hope to catch up over the next month. October 1 will be the final reveal, but I'll have updates before that.

Finally, for two days this summer we had a new lodger:

You can barely see the brown rabbit in the brown grass there. Hottest summer ever! This was right after a heavy rainfall, and the green comes back quickly. I was out checking the eavestroughs and foundations at the back of the house (still dry!). I turned around and he was right there, less than ten feet behind me. So still, he didn't even blink. Was he there the whole time? Hopefully he's moved somewhere safer now.

A week later I was taking the garbage out at dusk, and I noticed the neighbour had a new chimney. I looked again and there was not one, but two raccoons way up on the roof of the second level, with all four ears pointed straight at me! We are just grateful that they like the neighbours roof better than ours!

So, that is me mostly caught up now. As I said, Brinton Hall is well along and I'll post that on Sunday. I may need some advice...


  1. I always like your color schemes. Wonderful reds, gorgeous soft butterflies!
    Like you, there are too many WIPs (or UFOs) in my sewing room. I so wanted to join Gwennie's Medallion but knew I didn't have time. Completely agree: no BOMs and more original work. These outside projects do keep me from working on my own ideas.
    Thanks for linking with Kaleidoscope of Butterflies.

  2. I completely agree with your new resolutions except for the "more original work". Just the thought of it makes my brain hurt. I'm more of a replicator, but that's fine by me. I just got an email from a local quilt shop announcing a new BOM! It's lovely, but no thanks. Love the bunny. We have one living under the fireplace bump out in the back yard.

  3. I think it is okay to wander back into a BOM if the pattern/timing is right. I hear you about how many projects are hanging about! I would have thought that I would have been able to finish way more than I have; but, the important part is we are still playing with fabric and enjoying what we are creating. I love your work and bright joyful colors. What work was your dad doing? I hope he has found an activity or two that can keep him busy as it is hard to get out of the work routine for some!--Terry

    1. Yes, I am just reading this morning that Sue Garman will be doing the next TQS BOM. Uh oh! I know a lot of people will want to participate in that one.

      Thanks, Terry! I wish my Dad had some kind of hobby, then he would have quit work long ago and things wouldn't be the mess they are now. But it is a big relief to know that he won't be driving, at least.

  4. Allietare is coming along beautifully. The alternate blocks look great and will really set off the star blocks once they are all set together.

    I remember when we had to get Dad to stop driving. Never fun. But we approached it from the perspective that Mom was always in the car with him and if she were injured in an accident, he would be devastated. It helped that they lived in a retirement community that included transportation to doctor's visits, shopping, etc. And five of us kids live in the area, so they always had a ride if they needed it. Still the loss of control and freedom that comes with a driver's license is difficult to cope with.

    I have several coloring books but my stuff doesn't come out as nice as yours. Don't have the patience, I guess. Once I see where the colors are going, I lose interest. A lot like quilting in that regard. What do you use to color with? I have colored pencils (good ones) but am not always satisfied with the color saturation. There are artist's felt tipped markers, but, oh gosh, a set is quite pricey.

    By the way I took your advice and tossed the two offending Dresden plate blocks into the orphan/scrap bin. Looks better already. Thanks again for the push.

  5. I'm glad things have been working out for you and your family. I hope when I reach the age when my children ask for my car keys, I remember earlier times with my Dad as well. And gladly, but probably reluctantly, hand them over. Despite your reduced sewing time, you've still been playing and working with color. It's good to some set boundaries on projects new and old, but the main idea is to enjoy what you're doing where ever that leads you.

  6. Your Allietaire blocks are very pretty, especially the red ones, though I think the dark stars should make a good contrast. I totally agree about too many projects; I resolved to curtail myself earlier this year and it worked for a while, but things are creeping up again - the result is just a scattered mind!

  7. I really like the black star blocks - I think it blends and will look great when seen as a whole. I also like the second of your colouring pieces - it would make great fabric. I am about to start stitching a Zen colouring drawing printed on cotton.

    The butterflies are very Springy!

    1. Yes, I imagine you're in a springtime mood around now. :D Thanks, Jillian! I know Bonnie's pattern for the black stars works, I just hope I have not changed it too much. We'll know soon, I hope!

  8. Oh, gosh! Lots of eye candy. Yummmm.
    And I Spy another butterfly.

    My dad is 86 and was just hospitalized with severe infection and then sepsis but is out now and he's back to work! Sheesh! He walks to work since no one lets him drive. He lives in FL and me in IA so have to skype with him and scold him from afar!


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