If money were no object!!

Our old worn sectional couch had to go and I looked at thrift store and on Craigslist for something to replace it...  But everything now is so huge and overstuffed and totally inappropriate for our old house....  So I finally settled on a used sofa with a Victorian look for the end of the room... Now there was nothing for the dogs to sit on to look out the window and this would never do. 

Of course something like this old chaise would be perfect except for the price..

Then I ran across a "Victorian sitting bench"....arms on both ends and no back..... perfect except for the price.

So when I ran across this I knew I could make a Victorian sitting bench that would be perfect for the dogs and  off I went to the barn to find 2 old wooden folding chairs that had been destined to be returned to the thrift store from whence they came years ago....

Stay tuned..... to see these chairs transformed for Morris and Molly to watch the birds again.....




Upcoming Fan RR

Several years ago we had peacock as a guest for several weeks...  He had escaped from a nearby farm and the owner tried everything to entice it to come home... which it finally did.  But I enjoyed him immensely while he was with us.  Here he is by the door into the barn shop.  He was either here or by the slider on the house....admiring himself with his reflection....and what a strut... At night he roosted in the apple tree by the bedroom window.

I started a peacock block which had problems and went into the UFO basket... But I want to see if I can salvage it and combine it somehow with the fans from this upcoming RR.  You can see some thoughts on modifying it on Block Talk With Gerry.

I'm choosing traditional peacock colors to use in my RR fans.


Washing, Ironing and Thinking!

My hankies are laundered and need to be ironed and I laid out my table cover to get my brain working... I do like the floral focus off center and since I'm in the bird mode I can even see more bluebirds on this piece... 

My new computer arrived and it has Windows 8 which is very fast but unfortunately most of my software is not compatible with it and most is not even sold any more.  I'm thinking that I will have to keep the old computer going just to use that software.  Also the text on Win8 is so much smaller that it is very difficult to read..  It is a mixed bag...  I'm still trying to figure out where everything is.... 


When the buttons go on it's almost done

When I do crazy quilting there is a specific order...piecing, laces, trims, embroidery, beads and the final step is the buttons.. So when you see me adding the buttons you know it's almost done.  I've been collecting the buttons for my women's suffrage quilt for 3 years.  They are mostly vintage metal and black glass.

I have been doing buttons all week...hundreds of them.
To see the final stages go to http://olderrose.blogspot.com/2014/01/plans-are-shaping-up-for-border.html


My adventurous granddaughter

My 25-year-old granddaughter Madison has traveled a lot in her life but the last few years she has been doing it  SOLO with a backpack, a budget, youth hostels and cheap transportation.  She worked all summer in Alaska and now plans to spend the winter seeing South America.  
This morning I heard from her.

I have been in Columbia for almost 3 weeks. I have been  from the white sand and turquoise water beaches to the amazing jungle. I did a 5-day hike to the Lost City and am now in the city of Medellin.  In a few days I'll head south to the coffee farms to do some hiking and exploring then to Cali to catch a 20 hour bus to Quito, Ecuador.

She has started a blog to journal her travels and to give tips and advice to others with wanderlust.  I usually find out afterwards when she's gone into the Moroccan desert alone or up some jungle river on a raft in Cambodia.    She's much braver than I am...   I chuckled when I read her list of things to put in your back pack and among the very few absolute necessities was a bottle of polish for her toe nails...


Happy Day...

Remember last fall when I called the plumber to come to my aid because I had no cold water in my shower?  He tore out part of the bathroom wall and the pantry wall as well to reach the problem and then decided the only thing to do was to rip up the floor.He's retired and only does smaller plumbing jobs.  This was going to be much more work that he wanted to take on.   I had to do something but in the meantime................

I put a splitter on the bathroom sink.............

ran a garden hose from it up the wall and across the ceiling...............

to a garden sprinkler in the shower...  Since the sink was out of reach from the shower I used the "grabber" hanging on the sprinkler to adjust the temperature of the water.  Well the set up has worked since Sept. and got more than a few laughs.

But it gave me time to get bids to fix it and put in a new walk-in shower.  The bids ran from $5000 to $7000.  The company I chose assured me that their bid was fixed no matter what they encountered.  Very important in an old house.  Unfortunately they were booked up until after the first of the year.

So they finally arrived and began tearing the old tub out to reach the floor.  Their plan was to run new flex pipe under the floor to the cellar where they could hook in a new line.  They only wanted to take out a small section of the floor...they had not counted on the whole section of the floor under the old tub being rotten and collapsing with nothing to attach new floor to..
The wall you see behind this worker is actually the outside wall of the original 2-room house built in 1906.  He is standing on the ground under the house...about 18" deep.  The floor had been attached to a rotten 2x4  which was supported by some rocks... It was a much bigger problem then they had ever envisioned but to their credit they came up with an ingenious solution of "hanging" (cantilever)  the new floor from old wall.  Plus there were a few other unexpected problems as well.  The whole thing used up lots of extra time and material.

But when they finished they had done a great job and I have a lovely new shower and lots of BOTH hot and cold water...


The "fix"

On my last post I showed this rose with crocheted leaves.  I liked the crochet leaves but they didn't come across as leaves or relate to the rose... The rose itself was the wrong color, wrong texture and too stiff as it was out of satin ribbon.  So off it came and............................

I made a new rose from a strip of soft silk and put the center a little "off center" and the color is perfect.  I left the crocheted leaves because I liked the texture but added new leaves over them from silk a slightly different shade than the rose.. plus added a little fluff that picked up the sheen of the gimp.
 All in all I'm much happier as the color is so much better... before and after....
 And I am home all day for a couple days as they are tearing out the tub, the wall and pulling up the floor to try to fix the plumbing problem....



Working with great focus now on the suffrage blocks and making many changes and additions... Most of the beaded fans will be added once it is sewn together but I have added a couple here and there... Here over a problem spot where the tatted lace ended.

Have taken a couple seam treatments out completely but mostly just adding more runs or beads to them.

I had beaded this fan to fit on this specific odd shaped patch and I do like it there... But I'm not all that happy with the crocheted leaves beside it...in fact I'm not that crazy about the rose either....  Maybe I would like the rose with silk leaves.  Some of these things I added over a year ago and I'm seeing them in a new light.... It's all mostly fine tuning now...

I just did a tutorial on stitching birds... Drop by block talk and see it...


Birds are done!

The bluebirds are done and ready to cut out  to add after the hanky-panky quilt is pieced.  These are stitched on a cotton handkerchief backed with fusible tricot interfacing so I can cut them out without fraying.
Their beaks have not been stitched.  I will do that after they are cut out and appliqued to the floral piece.

Marilyn asked if I colored the background on the floral piece and yes indeed I did.   I added a few drops of my all purpose alcohol ink to a tablespoon of water and gave the background a little color.... I was testing on this hanky before I dyed the one with the ribbonwork...


Plans are shaping up for border...

Now it is time to start thinking about the border for the suffrage quilt... and gathering the stuff I had stashed for it...

The outer border will be about 4-5" of  black silk will be topped with the wide black lace...  No need to photo it on black as it wouldn't show up.  There will be an inner border of vintage velvet ribbon... and then this lacy gimp.  I found everything except the rust velvet ribbon but I haven't look that hard yet.

Then I know I want fans in the corners of the borders but couldn't decide whether I just wanted smaller ones in a corner square or full fans that wrap around the corner. So I did a little photoshop magic to see which I liked better.  First I didn't like the wrap-around version but then I put some clothes in the dryer and made a phone call and when I returned to the computer I REALLY LIKED IT...!!  It seems to balance the activity of the quilt.  Remember besides the fans, there will be the lace,ribbon and gimp....plus more glass buttons on the border. Also at the base of the fans I will add more "trim" flowers with beaded leafs. that lap over onto the quilt itself.  This quilt is going to be encrusted and embellished to the very edge...

The lining has always been a given..  It is a piece of vintage plaid taffeta and nothing else will ever do...

I hope everyone is watching Allie construct the fabulous border on her quilt.


A bird, a dress,and a rainbow

I'm making progress on my bluebirds and taking photos of the steps as I go along in case anyone is interested in the process.  I will post them as a tutorial  on block talk when   completed..

Got this vintage (VERY vintage) silk wedding dress at the thrift store last week.  It had a obvious stain on the front so I got it for $8.99.. and will gradually dismantle it. The fabric is lovely and there is a LOT of it even tho the body of the gown is fitteds (1970s style) the train is very long..

There will be about 7-8 yards of this fine quality cotton lace from this dress... Just perfect for my CQJP 2013 cottage project. I doubt I could even buy cotton lace of this quality now.  Not the least bit flimsy.....very structural and finely detailed.

I had my threads on rings on the BACK of a door to my little storage room where they were not casually seen.. Yesterday I put another hanger rack on the living room side and hung a rainbow of rings so I could enjoy them all the time.  There were getting to be too many rings on the back side of the door anyway...


Making Joyful Noises

One of my absolute favorite parts of CQ work is blending threads to create satin stitch flowers and birds, etc. From the very moment I first started adding my threads to rings I KNEW this was going to be perfect system for sorting threads for thread blending/painting....  Keeping threads sorted and in order was always awkward for me.  Yesterday I pulled the colors I want to use for my bluebirds.

The moment I started I was making joyful noises..  Yesterday I began teaching the new chatelaine class at the quilt shop and was commenting on the incredible quilts on the wall.  They were extremely complex and assembled with perfection... I commented I just could NEVER be that perfect.  My student Ginger said she was a "joyful noise  quilter".  I had heard of joyful noise in a religious context but not referring to quilting so I asked her to explain...

She said she had a choir master who told them if they couldn't sing just to make joyful noises and that was her attitude toward quilting..  I love that concept because it goes directly to the heart of CQ which never demands  perfection and embraces endless opportunities to fail and recover and go on.....making joyful noises all the way...  I hadn't thought of my resolution for 2014...but it will be forging ahead no matter what....making joyful noises all the way.


Ready Birds & Lavish Lace

I did have many quiet hours "mother sitting" last night and have the CQ Hanky center ready to add bluebirds.  At this point it can wait until we meet as a group to start the hanky project.

At the request of Diane M.  I did a Block Talk post on being lavish with lace. ..tips and techniques.  If you love lace or would like to use more lace....pop over to see "Being Lavish With Lace."


Hanky center progress

This is how far I am on the centerpiece for hanky quilt.  My husband's plane was delayed last night and I spent three hours waiting in the baggage area.  Luckily the light was good and I had my stitching.

I had originally planned to do this on a damask napkin but the texture was all wrong so I used a high quality men's handkerchief.. With last night plus the sitting during the transition of mother's move back to assisted living, I'll pretty much be able to finish the center... Nothing passes long hours for me like stitching.

The birds are just paper cutouts to help with placement of flowers.

Not only did I have a lot of hankies with red roses and hearts (on the left), I had a lot with blue and pinks to mix in with the rest.

This was my inspiration.  I did this for our marriage in 1976.  The reflection of the glass makes the color weird.

And it is all going on here!

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