April Short List

Now that I’ve lived three months with The Short List, I’m ready to evaluate it. I like that it keeps me focused on a few projects instead of lots of projects. I do think five is too many. Three would be better, but I’m not going to reduce the number of items on the list. As long as I can live with never finishing the list in a month, the five can stay.
As a reminder, the Short List is something old (UFO), something new, something painted, something abstract and a handwork project.
Something old: The still life from the Esterita Austin class.

still-life-2
Something new: The batik challenge from my Art Quilt Group. I’m still working out design issues. I’ve dropped the appliqué idea and decided to paint the designs.

batik-challenge-mock-up
Painting: Layering color. I found some inspiration in the paintings of Gerhard Richter. The background is painted. Now it needs….more.

paint-layering-R2
Abstract: The first Playtime method is called Hopscotch. Think of little blocks of fabric sewn into little logs of fabric with funky angles on both the logs and the blocks.
Handwork: Sunflower by Zebra. All the machine work is done. I just need to stitch down the binding and add stems to the leaves.

fused-sunflowers
I’m also adding a plastic bag holder to the list. We use the plastic produce bags to clean out the litter box and store things like chicken bones in the freezer until garbage day. I’m tired of having a wad of them on the kitchen counter.
Maybe I should have a sixth category for those crafty projects I don’t much like making. They seem to be growing on me.
I will finish two, maybe three projects this month. I can live with that.

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Books, Paints And Stash

No fabric in or out this week. I’m almost done quilting the Sunflower quilt and expect to finish that one by the next report. Slow progress is better than no progress.
I made a trip to Joann’s the other week and picked up a book and some fabric paint.

book-and-paintThe book was one of those sale plus coupon deals that made it too cheap to pass up. I only own one other free motion book, and this one had a lot of patterns in it I haven’t seen before. I’ll have to add practicing to The Short List.
The fabric paint will be an experiment. I haven’t used Tulip paints, but the small container makes it a good try-me product. They definitely have the widest selection of colors I’ve ever seen in fabric paint. More later when I’ve play with it a bit.
I’m linking to Patchwork Times.
Fabric In: 3 2/3 yards
Fabric Out: 6 yards
Net Fabric Used: 2 1/3 yards

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Sunflowers And Surprises

I took a day off from work today to spend time with DH. Our 30th wedding anniversary is in a few days and the only way we get time together is to take a break from the same old. To my surprise my employer sent flowers.

30th-anniv-flowersThe owners believe in traditional family values. They both take time off with their spouses for their anniversaries. It was a nice gesture in an age where marriages, to some, are disposable.
I’m a super early rise, so I even spent some time in the sewing room. Here’s a progress picture on the Sunflower quilt. Ignore the stray threads.

appliqued-sunflowers

All the appliqué is finished. I figured out how I want to quilt the background and the borders, and I picked the binding fabric. I have a real shot at finishing the quilt this month.
I’m linking up to Whoop Whoop Friday because 30 years of marriage definitely qualifies For a Whoop Whoop.

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21 Day Creativity Challenge

Last week I signed up for the 21 Day Springtime Creativity Challenge on Rose Hughes’ Facebook page. Every day she posts a word that becomes the inspiration for all of us to draw for 5 minutes. Here are my sketches for the first four days. An artist I am not.

Creativity-sketchesFive minutes is not a lot of time to draw. Some words speak to me and I could sketch for an hour. Some words make five minutes seem like forever.
I believe challenge signups have closed. You can catch the first three days on her blog, but the rest of the challenge is restricted to the Facebook group.
I realized on day four that my sketches are too stiff and formal. I need to loosen up and create more flowing shapes. If I don’t learn anything else, it was worth the exercise to learn that.
Thanks to Rose for hosting a great challenge.

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Stash Report And Quilt Guild Weekend

No fabric added this week. A miracle, considering we went to our favorite thrift store and a quilt shop yesterday. The thrift didn’t have much quilting fabric this time, or many quilting books. Even at the quilt shop nothing jumped out and screamed take me home with you.
I donated a couple cuts to the charity fabric table for 1.5 yards out. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was baby quilt fabric of the little boy variety.
Sign ups started yesterday for classes through the guild as part of a three-day class event they have every other year. Members within the guild teach most classes, but they do bring in a couple of nationally known teachers. There were three dozen classes to choose from. I spent most of my time before and after the meeting looking at the class samples. I signed up for a class with Rose Hughes, and I’m considering another one taught by a guild member. The classes run in late July.
If you live near Ann Arbor, Michigan you may want to check it out.
I’m linking up to Patchwork Times.
Fabric In: 3 2/3 yards
Fabric Out: 6 yards
Net Fabric Used: 2 1/3 yards

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Happy 86th

My mom turned 86 today.
She isn’t very mobile anymore, so I picked up Wendy’s and drove over to eat lunch with her. The nursing facility usually puts us in a private room so it’s easier to visit while we eat. The place was total chaos today, so we ate at a conference table in an administrative office.
Mom really enjoyed it. She doesn’t get fast food much. Her and dad would “go out for a sandwich” when he was alive so I think it brought back happy memories for her.
Wendy’s sandwiches are messy and mom got it all over herself, but she didn’t care. When we were done eating I took her back to her room and helped her change into a clean shirt. Then it was back to work for me.
Sometimes with dementia patients, it’s the little things that make all the difference. As days go, this was a good one.

mom-late-1940s

Happy Birthday mom.

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Gluten Free Snacking

When you eat a lot of rice and vegetables, you need to eat a little something before bed to keep your stomach from growling in the middle of the night.
My snack of choice is often cereal, with a little granola added for interest.
I recently tried these two versions.

gluten-free-granolasI don’t remember much about the McCabe’s. I picked it up on clearance at Kroger, so I may never see it again.
I liked the Udi’s because it had lots of chunks of fruit and nuts and no flax seed. The no flax seed part rocked. This one I would buy again.
I also had a hankering for brownies, so I made a batch using this recipe. I substituted gluten free baking mix for flour and added a tablespoon of water because the batter was a little thick. I used the first recipe with the chocolate squares. Maybe next time I’ll try the one with cocoa powder.
Just like the wheat version in texture and taste.

GF-brownies

Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

I’ve moved away from the recipes with specialty flours and adapt my favorite recipes instead. I don’t have a lot of time to bake and find this easier.
Whatever works.

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