If you are a "non-responder or OpenID-er" which to me means I have no way of responding to a comment that you've left, please leave a way for me to get in touch with you, especially if you're participating in a Mug Rug Thursday Give-away, blog give-away or if you are asking for information or links. By leaving your email within your comment, I can find you. I realize that this is sometimes a scary thing to do with scams and all but if you disguise the email as say..... me at yahoo dot com this is the perfect way to hide from the unwanted eye. So please help me out if you are one of the non-responders. Thank you, in advance.....Ravelly Rhonda!!
I was invited to participate in a great blog hop by Angie N. who was invited by the Karen Miller. In fact this is a worldwide blog hop. Isn't that exciting. I know I'll meet all sorts of talented crafters, artists, quilters, and many more. This summer has truly been a lazy one for me. All I've managed to do is loads of canning, baling hay and tending to critters here on the farm. With that said, allow me to tell you about my true passion. I love making quilts and drafting my own patterns and designs which I love to share with others. The designs I'll be talking about are free to try out.
1. What am I working on?
At the moment, I'm working on getting some of my projects ready for quilting. I'll share a few photos of the more urgent ones below:
Animal Kingdom is a BOW (Block of the Week) that I designed a couple of years ago when my mom had heart surgery. I needed something to keep me busy as I sat with her in ICU. The hand embroidery kept me sane. It took about three to four hours to embroidery each block and I was a little sad when I had finished them all.
I had a package of animal charm square I used to separate each animal. My granddaughter helped place the animal fabrics and place each animal in alphabetical order.
The designs can be found on my BOM page near the top of my blog.
"Tea Time" is a BOM design that I drafted out several years ago. I love tea and coffee so this was a great way to honor that little morning ritual.
The designs can be found on my BOM page, too.
Since I live in the country on a farm, I decided to pay homage to"barns" as they are all over the place in this neck of the woods.
This was yet another idea that I drafted and had a blast hunting through my stash for just the right fabrics. Just click on the work barn above to get the designs. If you have any problems or questions just leave a comment about it and we'll connect via email.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre and how does my writing/creating process work?
I pondered this question for a few days and finally decided that most of my inspiration for designing a quilt comes from the fabric first. Most of the time I have a piece of fabric that I love dearly and build a quilt idea around it.
For example, below is a fabric I'd had in my stash for months. As I pulled it out time after time ideas began to formulate but I held off until I could dedicate my full attention to it.
I knew that this fabric reminded me of a lake. So with that in mind a solid idea formed.
I pulled more fabric to audition with it and settled on the greenish brown and then the sky fabric.
I used the backside of a bold fabric for the mountains because sometimes the backside works much better.
I then built up the distant trees and landscape.
Foreground and background are important and this is something I really have to work on to get it right. That concept is still a work in progress for me.
As you can see, I have a sense of humor with the crane about the eat the fish that is
going for an insect.
I loved finding the fabrics in my stash to complete this project, which needs quilting....sigh. There's not enough time in my day!!
This is a free design for all to try.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I create because I enjoy the concept of thinking out an idea, drafting or designing it and then sewing it out. I'm not necessarily worried about the finished (Quilted out) product. I just want to see if I can get what's in my head onto fabric. And the fabric is usually my motivator.
"In These Shoes" was made for my love of shoes. High heels in particular.
"Howdy" was a Fons & Porter challenge to make a mini quilt. This was my attempt. The quilt measures 23 X 27 inches & was my first silhouette type quilt.
I got Honorable Mention and was very happy because there were many talented quilters judged in the challenge. I think it is important to try new things that make us uncomfortable or challenged. It's a great way to grow and learn new of different things.
I designed the pumpkin and the houses because of the wonderful fabrics I've collected over the years.
"House Haunters" is a BOM that is free to anyone who wants to try it out.
I call these four "Fractured Diamonds" which I demonstrated in a very short picture tutorial here. It was amazing to see the variations I could get just by adding another row or in the color change. As you can see, I got a little obsessed with making them.
The Texas Seal quilt had been tumbling around in the back of my head for five years. I'd purchased the gray fabric way back then. Gray is a tough fabric to work with at times for me so I knew I wanted to do something special with it. Since I'm a Texan, the Seal was a good idea so I started placing fabrics in a bag that might go into the project. Occasionally I'd use some of the fabrics for other projects......who has ever done that....(smile) but finally I got it all together and created the seal quilt. As you can see I used the silk purse method to applique the flowers around it just to add interest and I used some half fractured diamonds to jazz us the border around the seal. That pop of reddish color is a great zinger!!
The "From Tragedy To Hope" mini was done as a challenge from Project Hope Online Quilt Show 2013. I decided to participate and to go a step further, I donated the mini to the town of West, Texas as they had just recently gone through that terrible explosion. I'd hope the mini (12 inches sq.) would lend some peace, hope and knowledge that people were pulling for and praying for them.
This isn't a good photo but it is one of my first BOM designs which can be found on my BOM page and is free to try out. "Lazy Hearts" was fun and really pushed my thought process. I used 100% cotton fabrics along with wool and silk. I embellished with beads and buttons and used embroidery floss to stitch out the months.
I was asked to make a donation quilt for our local school which I graduated from way, way, way back when. I was to use parts of the band uniforms which as we all know was not going to be easy because of the thickness of that polyester blend. Also, the color orange was so strong that I had to use colors to tone down its brightness. I drafted designs for band instruments, basketball, football, tennis and other stuff that would compliment the school's activities and would probably bring more interest to the donation process.
I was very happy with the way things turned out and was told that the quilt was a booming success.
This little quilt measuring 24 inches sq. was made using a half square triangle quick making method. There are tons of ways to make HST, you just need to find one that works best for you. This is yet another of my designs that I named "Radiating Star." All of the fabrics came from my stash.
I'm also into making mug rugs which are coasters for your beverages. I love giving the away just to make someone smile. The Spider's Web was machine embroidered the other day (5 1/2"). When you leave a comment on this post, I will place your name in the old "hat" for a random drawing. I'll announce a winner on Sept. 15th. Please make sure that I can get in touch with you or the mug rug will go to the next person. (see my "non-responder reminder near the top of my blog for understanding)
Well, this is just a small part of what I love about quilting. I hope you've enjoyed the little glimpse into my world. Thank you for stopping by.
It's also Design Wall Monday so pop over to Judy's to see what others are up to.
Can you believe that it's already September? Wow, this summer is zipping by quickly. I have been so lazy these few days after doing a lot of canning, baling hay and other farm stuff....I've worn myself out. All I want to do is read and sleep. I haven't even been motivated to blog and that's a big surprise to me. I love blogging....I must have a fever....LOL
The temperature has been divine. Here where I live in central-ish Texas, we have yet to reach 100 degree weather and I doubt we will at this point. This is a first in quite some time.
Enough chit chat.
The Random Picker number is Five!
Congratulations to Jacque! As usual, just leave a comment so that we can communicate via email.
The next mug rug is a teapot. This is made from one of my machine embroidery designs.
I'll announce a winner on September 18th. Leave a comment to be counted.
Ayden's first day of school was a great success. After dropping her with her teacher, her parents stood at the door for some time. When Ayden noticed them hovering she mouthed, "You can go now, I'm okay!"
I'm so happy she's had a great start.
On another note......
Lucky & her new mom are getting along swimmingly. Of course the mom has no real choice but is happy to get to eat all the hay & range cubes she can eat. Lucky is very perky & upbeat because she gets all the milk she can drink! All's well at the farm!!
OMG....I have to share this recipe with everyone.
The family came for dinner the other day and I was pressed for something filling to make. We were having a delicious butt pork roast (I'll give that recipe another time), a mess of turnip greens, cornbread, apple pie and iced tea. But I needed something else......what to do......Mac & Cheese came to mind.
Here's what I did:
In large pot, I cooked 2 cups of macaroni, drained and set aside.
In another large pot, I melted 1 stick butter along with l pkg of Mozzarella (cubed); 1 pkg Cheddar (cubed...I used the mild but sharp works as well); 1 pkg Monterey Jack (cubed & my favorite). Each cheese package is 8 ounces. Sorry I didn't say that in the first place. You could use Goda but I didn't have that. Cubing the cheese helps it to melt faster.
Add milk as needed to lend a smoother cheesiness. I don't have a measurement for the milk. Just pour small amounts at a time while stirring. The mixture will become more smooth and creamier. Hope that isn't too confusing. I also added about 2 tablespoons flour to the mix sometimes if the mixture becomes to watery.
Pour cooked macaroni into cheese stirring until well coated.
As a kicker, I also added 1 cup of cooked shrimp but the Mac & Cheese is good without that!!
Grease a casserole dish and pour mixture into it. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and Smoked Paprika over top. (You can find Smoked Paprika in seasoning isle) I love Parmesan cheese so I use a lot but if you don't like it, use very little or none at all. It really doesn't affect the taste one bit.
Serve immediately or whenever.
Note: Sorry I have no photo of the results. When I thought about taking a photo, the Mac & Cheese had already been devoured.
Wow, I'm back from hay baling, canning and battling wild, crazed birds!!! (see previous post for details)
I am very excited to get back to mug rug give aways. It's much safer and not hard work at all.
Here's what's I've chosen for the first give away of August.
Heart pounding, heavy breathing, sweating profusely.....that's what happens after chasing a fledgling bird from my garage. I'd just come home from grocery shopping, which in itself is a torture.
With the last load of bags hooped on each arm, I noticed something from the corner of my eye I thought I saw something. But at my age I chalked it up to those floaties that break loose & float across the iris. I closed the garage door & went inside to put up all those groceries. When I went out to do a load of laundry.......once again, there was a blur of movement just out of my line of sight but this time I could have sworn I saw something. And then it happened........a bird flew by my head. Mind you, the garage doors were closed so I'm in an enclosed area with that little bird.
Let's just say I went one way and the bird went the other for the time being. Of course I raised the doors and you'd think the little critter would fly out those doors but oooooohhhhhh nnnnooooo!
We went round and round and round until I was dizzy, the bird flew up into the loft to perch and looked down his beak accusingly at me.
That was it, I had had it!!!! What to do, what to do???
Granddad's shotgun??? Too brutal, plus there's not guarantee that I'd actually hit the little birdie. The pepper spary???? Too over the top and who's to say it wouldn't blow back somehow on me.
Think girl, think.
Lightbulb!! (from Despicable Me - movie)
Out came two cans of canned air (one of each hand cause I'm an old western fan.....six guns and such).....and it was on again. When all the air was gone, my blood pressure through the roof that little birdie decided to flitter away. I ran for the down buttons and thank goodness, the doors closed and I crawled into the house.
Can you see the sweat on my brow????? I hope not because after 10 minutes with a cold ice pack on the back of my neck, my blood pressure and breathing finally under control, my shoulders unlocked and my spine relaxed.
Did I mention that I don't like things that fly, crawl, slither, hop, flutter, gallop, lope, meander, etc.....you get the picture!!
Note to self: Remember, you live in the country with wildlife so always drive into garage and immediately lower door!!