Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Flowers and a Learning Process


Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater. 
~Roman Polanski

I read the book, The Help, way back in 2009.  At the time, I thought it was one of the best written books I had read in a very long time.  And I still do.  Over the weekend we went to see the movie version of the book.  What a great movie!!!  It followed the book fairly well.  You laughed, you cried, it made you think - just like in the book.  My DH thoroughly enjoyed the movie and as we were walking out he said "That has Academy Award written all over it".  You can't give a movie much higher praise than that.  I know most guys think it is a chic flick but it really isn't.  There were actually a quite a few men in the audience.  Even though it has been released for awhile, there was almost a full theater - and this was for the 11:15 am showing.  I know I sound like an advertisement for the movie but I really can't say enough about it.  If you have the chance and would like to be totally entertained, go see The Help.  Oh, and we saw a preview for a movie that won't be released until Christmas time called War Horse.  Now this movie I will be waiting to see until it is released for home viewing where I can cry my eyes out.

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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY

Acorn Squash

Today, September 7, is National Acorn Squash Day.  The acorn squash was a favorite of early civilizations as it could be baked whole in their outdoor clay and brick ovens. Dating back to 4000 B.C., acorn squash, sometimes called Danish squash, is an edible gourd that grows on a vine. Generally considered to be a winter squash, the acorn squash is a member of the same family as summer squash, Cucurbita pepo.
While dark-green acorn squash are the most familiar, new varieties are becoming available, including gold acorn squash, and a white acorn variety which also produce yellow-orange flesh.
The dark green to blue-green squash is acorn-shaped, hence its name. The golden-orange colored flesh offers a mildly sweet flavor and a somewhat dry texture. Usually about five to eight inches long and four to five inches across, the hardy rind has deep, characteristic ridges with a splash of yellow-gold, considered a sign of maturity.

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TWO LITTLE FLOWERS
Once again I was only able to create two more flowers for my Aunt Sarah quilt......

This little 3/4" hexagon flower definitely reminds me of fall and the colors leaves turn on the liquid amber around here.

The shades of blue in this one remind me of a stormy winter sky.  Maybe next week I can get more than two made of the 3/4" hexie flowers.  Can you tell I'm hoping for cooler some time in the not too distant future?

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TWO BIGGER FLOWERS

For One Flowers Wednesday, I made two flowers.......

Anyone ready for the circus?  Where else might you find multi colored zebra :)  The circus was in town a couple of weeks ago but we didn't attend.  Maybe that is what made me go with the zebras this week.

Now this is my favorite for the week.  Red Hot Momma!!!  These are the temps we are still feeling here in central California.  It also reminds me of the flames on the race cars I watch with DH every weekend going around, and around, and around.......... LOL!  Well, not this week, as the race was delayed because of Lee.
Thanks to Karen (Journey of a Quilter), you can go to one spot to see more hexie flowers.  Karen has provided us all with a linky so you can hop all over blogland and see all of the gorgeous creations out there.  Thanks, Karen!!

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WHAT I STARTED

Yesterday I started on a new foundation paper piecing project.

Doesn't look like much yet, does it.  I am working on a pattern from England Design.  In the space of 3 hours, I unstitched numerous seams (I lost count) of itsy, bitsy stitching, wanted to pull my hair out, cried a few tears, and then actually started to create something.  I am still in the learning process with this method.  Thank goodness this is considered a beginning pattern!!  I almost gave up on it but walked away for a few minutes, took a few, good deep breathes, and returned to the machine with a new determination.  I will keep you updated on my progress - this is day one.  Wish me luck!

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FMQ PRACTICE

When I first looked at the practice piece that was next in line, my thought was why bother.  But I gave it a try and found out it was fun.  This piece is called Loopy Paisley

I had so much fun with Friday's practice I moved onto Loopy Flower.  This uses the same basic shape as the one above.  I missed tracing over a couple of my lines and probably could have taken a bit more time planning out my exact design but this was just practice so I just went with what felt right at the time.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow's practice already.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I hope to make more progress on my FPP (foundation paper piecing) piece.

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GIVEAWAYS

Verykerryberry is having a giveaway.  You could win a GO! Baby Cutter and your choice of 3 dies.  This giveaway ends Friday, September 9, at 6:30 am GMT.

Cat Patches is once again having her Fun Fact Friday Freebie.  Answer her question of the week and you could win a fat quarter.  The winner will be announced on Friday, September 9.

The House on the Side of the Hillblogiversary with a giveaway.  You could win A handmade gift each month for a year. So that's 12 secret presents Melody will make just for you, with lots of love and attention to detail. Plus your first gift will be accompanied with a $25 Gift Voucher from the on-line shop Want It, Need It Quilt.  This giveaway will end Thursday, September 15.

Vicrace Designs is having a giveaway.  You could win some digital scrapbooking software from MyMemories.  This giveaway ends Saturday, September 10.

Sew Fabulous Quilt Shop is having a giveaway.  You could win a Going Coastal Fat Quarter Bundle by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller Fabrics.  This giveaway ends Friday, September 30.

Want It, Need It, Quilt! is having a giveaway.  You could win a a design roll by Dena Fishbein for Westminster fabrics called Kumari Garden.  This giveaway ends Friday, September 30, AEST.

Sew Cal Gal is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a $10 gift certificate to MyEQBoutique.com.  This giveaway ends Saturday, September 10.

The Intrepid Thread is having a giveaway to celebrate their 300th post.  There will be three of all sorts of wonderful things.  This giveaway ends Friday, September 9, at midnight.

Tonya's Sewing Room is having a giveaway.  You could win a darling zippered coin purse by ZiaMaria Designs.  This giveaway ends Friday, September 9.

We Love Quilting! is having a giveaway.  You could win a surprise package.  This giveaway ends?

Quilt Inspiration is having a giveaway.  You could win Hoffman California fabric, or a $10 gift card to Joann's, or a copy of At Home With Thimbleberries Quilts by Lynette Jensen, or Valley of the Kings fabrics by Robert Kaufman, or Quilter's Newsletter, August-September 2011, and Quilt Magazine, October 2011.  This giveaway ends Sunday, September 11.

Pieces From My Heart is having a giveaway.  You could win a Sassy fat quarter pack, or a Sassy Layer Cake, or a Sassy Jelly Roll, or a Kit that includes a pre-printed apron and apron lining from Sandy Gervais.  This giveaway ends Sunday, September 11, at 10:00 pm CST.
Blueberry Patch is having a giveaway.  You could win 4 Halloween fat quarters.  This giveaway ends Sunday, September 11, at 7:00 pm PST.

Happy Quilting is having a giveaway.  You could win a sample pack of AuriFil threads.  This giveaway ends Thursday, September 8.

Quilting By The River is having a giveaway.  You could win My Memories, a digital scrapbooking software.  This giveaway ends Sunday, September 11.

Gosh!  I almost forgot to remind you about my giveaway.  If you would like a chance at a GO! Baby cutter and your choice of 3 dies - go HERE.

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FINAL THOUGHT

Have you ever gotten so frustrated with something that you just wanted to throw it away? Never wanted to see it again?  Sometimes learning is like that.  I remember as a kid taking piano lessons, I thought I would never learn all of the scales and the proper way to hold my hands.  But, before I knew it, I was actually playing little songs, followed by songs with cords.  Then I was able to add in the foot pedals and the rest is history.  I've lost the ability to play the piano - that happens when you don't have one in the house to practice on.  I'm hoping it will be a similar experience with the foundation paper piecing.  I'm falling and stumbling, still feeling my way around.  Trying to mold my mind around how to place the pieces together without wasting too awful much fabric.  Hopefully taking one step at a time, I will learn to walk through the process and one day be able to take it on at a full run.  Learning something new is good exercise for the mind, even if it is a little painful at times.

I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. 
~Eartha Kitt


45 comments:

Pokey said...

Your quilting stitches are showing smooth lines, and good progress. I am desiring to try just seeing your improvement! Just like the paper piecing, or teaching printing to cursive to the kids, it's PRACTICE. Thank you for sharing your learning with us ~
:-}pokey

Barb said...

My husband nor son will go with me to see this movie...so I am going alone...

Love your free motion, you are doing super!!

Mariliz said...

I'm getting together with a friend to go see The Help this week. I can't wait. I loved the book.

Sandra :) said...

I saw The Help last weekend - I'm normally a sci-fi/aliens or shoot-em-up movie type of girl - I don't really like chick flicks, but I went with friends and they wanted to see it. It was MAGNIFICENT! I was sobbing by the end, lol. I haven't read the book so I'm going to look for it!

Paper piecing is definitely a technique that takes practice to master (somewhat like FMQing, lol). Ripping out those tiny stitches is a bear - if you have a photocopier at home you can actually photocopy the paper side of the pattern piece when you make a booboo, and then just redo that section rather than trying to get those tiny stitches out. I do it all the time, lol.

Teresa Felgueiras said...

I love your posts. They are informative and at the same tie they share a bit of yourself with us. I love the flowers you've made for Aunt Sarah quilt, the colors are great. you're absolutely right, learning can be a hard process but it's results are always amazing.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love the hexies - can't decide which is my favorite today. I haven't been to the movies in years, but this sounds delightful. Oh, I have those times with paperpiecing and I do it often - sometimes thinking upside down and backwards is natural and other times makes you nuts! AND yes - I have thrown out a piece after much frustration.

Maria said...

Lovely hexies you have stitched Linda but of course the Zebras are just so cute.
WOW!!! Your FMQ is looking great.

Jann said...

Wow! I came for your hexies (are they really 3/4 inches? Holy cow!) but now I'm fascinated by paper piecing and the FMQ challenges. Thanks for making my "Need To Do" list a whole lot longer! lol ;)

WoolenSails said...

I am still working on my christmas hexies, not sure if I can finish in time for christmas, lol.

I am running a giveaway for quilt album until saturday.

Debbie

Hilachas said...

Nice hexie flowers. Those zebras are so cute. And your FBQ is moving right along. You are getting SO good. The Loopy Flowers are so pretty. I've been paper-piecing for a while and I really like it. I find that it makes it so much easier to make the seams on my blocks match up. Have a beautiful day!

Cheryl said...

You are making such great progress on your FMQ. FPP can be frustrating to learn, but keep trying. You will get it.

Barbara said...

Now you've got me seeing "loopy" with your FMQs! Great job! Also, love your little hexies, the zebras especially. Going to check out your movie!

Joanna said...

Paper piecing hasn't grabbed me yet, but I've read bloggers who love that method. I love your zebra hexie - that layout is perfect. I guess that movie is up there with the best of them - not many of those these days.

Needled Mom said...

I have loaded "The Help" on my Kindle for vacation as I have heard such wonderful things about it.

Maybe I should try cooking an acorn squash in the brick oven. That sounds delicious.

Your hexies look fabulous. I love the zebra one...so cute.

I'll bet that your temps have skyrocketed there as ours have been in the 90s. It is suppose to cool down tomorrow.

That is a great FMQ design. You did a terrific job on them too.

The paper piecing is so much fun to put together, but terrible to pull out. I'm trying to imagine what it is going to be, but I have no idea. I hope today's sewing goes better.

Kris said...

Good morning, Linda - Another great post!! We went to see The Help this weekend with my Dad (93) and my brother. We all loved it!! In fact, it was the second time my brother had seen it!! With regard to the paper-piecing, just hang in there!! When I learned to quilt 7 years ago my first pieces were paper-piecing!! Like you said in your final thought, it takes time like any other new thing - I think once you get the knack of it, you will love it!! It's still my favorite!! My scary technique is applique (not machine applique) - may some day!! Enjoy!! Kris

Megan Harmeyer said...

Now I want to go to the library and borrow The Help...but we have a staff meeting at lunch so I won't be able to go today. And I looked up the trailer for War Horse - definitely a renter so I can sit at home with a box of tissue. Your FMQ is looking better and better!

Sallie said...

I loved The Help, too! Thanks for sharing about England Design - there are some beautiful designs there! I recognize a tree in your paper piecing. I also love your zebra hexie - it reminds me of a carousel.

Impera_Magna said...

The loopy paisley is very cool.... you're making a great progress with your FMQ!

Love the "Red Hot Mama" and "Zebra of a Different Color" hexies....

Karen said...

My sister just finished reading The Help and said it was excellent. A nice bunch of flowers again this week and your new project looks very interesting.

Wendy said...

I hear your frustration with learning something new. I did my first Wonky block the other day and I don't do wonky. It took a lot for my brain to let go of straight and symmetrical! Anyway, hang in there with the foundation piecing. I have trouble with that method too.

Oh, I'm reading "The Help" now but want to finish it before I see the movie. Really enjoying the book.

And finally, love the zebra hexie!

Sheila said...

I haven't seen the movie nor read the book but hope to do both soon. Love your flowers this week , the little zebras are adorable .I am really impressed with your FMQ , you have shown remarkable improvement , way to go !!

Jessica said...

I love your FMQ this week! Especially Loopy Flower. I am really looking forward to seeing The Help (though because I'm so busy right now I might just have to wait for the DVD) - thanks for furthering my want to see it!

Sarah Craig said...

You're absolutely right - The Help is awesome, both the book and the movie!!! And it certainly made me think, having grown up in the South in the 60's and 70's. My Abilene was named Frances.....

Erica said...

I loved The Help book! I wanted to see the movie, but it didn't stay very long in the theater here. I'm hoping to either make a trip to the city or will have to wait for the dvd.

I LOVE your zebra hexie! That's soooo cute!

Melody said...

Lots of fabulous sewing again, I adore your OFW zebra hexie, I think it is one of the cutest flowers I've ever seen.
I listed to The Help as an audio book and enjoyed it so much. I'll have to catch up with the movie too.
Thank you so much for mentioning my giveaway. It is very much appreciated.

Belinda said...

Oh Thank You for the movie review!! Of all the trailers I have seen of it I figured it would be pretty good. Our anniversary is coming up so I may want to go see it this Sat.!

Great looking hexies, yours look so neat/tidy and FLAT!!! I finally prepped more so I could add to my ever slowly growing pile!!

As for the paper piecing, well, it's almost a 'mind' thing than anything else. It reminds me of trying to sew backwards, but I LOVE doing it. I think you have the right idea though...just walk away and take a break then come back to it! You'll get it!!

Jeanette said...

Your zebra hexie is so cute. Love the flame one too. Haven't read the book or seen the movie but i'm quite keen to do both. Happy Stitching,

Fiona said...

Oh - I am in love with your Zebra hexie flower.... just too cute.... Your free motion is soooo much improved from you first ones... you will have to show us a comparison....
Hugz

Quilting Chemist (Danette) said...

Your Zebra hexie is so CUTE!!!
Really like your 'loopy' quilting, looks great!

Colleen said...

Take a deep breathe and dont give up on the paper piecing. I love it! Its fun ti draw some thing and pice it without applique(which stresses me!)

Shannon said...

I've never eaten an Acorn Squash before. I love Crook Neck, Pumpkin, and Butternut. I will have to give it a try. Once again yo have made great flowers. The colored zebras look like the zebras on the stripped gum I used to get when I was a kid. I love the flame flower. Paper piecing is a trial. I have done a lot of it. Don't worry about trying to to save fabric. If you cut the piece big, sew it, and then trim it, you can use it again and again. Like you said just keep trying. You will get there.

Becky G said...

Your free motion looks amazing! Thanks for your great post... I'm enjoying your Jedi posts each week. B

quilterliz said...

G'day. I haven't seen The Help, but will try my best to see it. I just love the hexie's you have made, especially the zebra one, it is so, so cute. Take care. Liz...

Gene Black said...

I really enjoyed reading "The Help" recently. It kept me totally wanting to keep reading.
I suppose I will see it when the DVD comes out.

Christine said...

I love your flowers. And hexie flowers are one of my favorite things. The Help is good book, I have not finished it yet. I will hold off on the movie until I finish. And do you enter all the giveaways you list? I was just wondering! I wish you a wonderful day.

Linda in Calif. said...

I love the loopy quilting! The loopy flower is great. Of the flowers my favorite is the zebras. Right now that PP doesn't look like much. And I've been there ready to give up. It feels so good when you finally figure it out. Can's wait to see the what you are PPing.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Still loving your free motion and I'm most happy it's National Acorn Day..............giggle.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Still loving your free motion and I'm most happy it's National Acorn Day..............giggle.

Hillbilly Tonya said...

Yes, I do throw things out. Moving on to better things I figure!

Are you doing the FPP the way they describe in England Design? They do it completely different and I was wondering how it works. I need to download one of those to do next. I probably won't get to it until Christmas gifts are done though.

LynCC said...

Wow! Loopy Flower looks really neat!

Maybe I can get my husband to go to The Help with me tomorrow. . .

Raewyn said...

wow fabulous flowers! They are all special. I can see a great I-spy quilt with your fun hexie-flowers! I love the accuracy of paper piecing but it can be frustrating at times.Those loopy flowers look so fun. You inspire me to get practising on my fmq - I must pull it out again.

Brenda said...

the Help is a great movie, I saw with my MIL and sis, DH stayed home with the kids so we could go He would love it, he and I saw Debt together, it was great too but in a different way.

Brenda said...

the Help is a great movie, I saw with my MIL and sis, DH stayed home with the kids so we could go He would love it, he and I saw Debt together, it was great too but in a different way.

Talin's Corner said...

I thought the movie, The Help, was so entertaining. I went to see it with my daughter, it was a nice bonding moment.

Joanne Lendaro said...

Glad you liked the movie! I haven't seen it yet, read the book early last year. Your machine quilting looks great in all of the post that I've read today! And the hexie's are cutier than ever! My favorite is still the snails. Sorry to see the FPP started so rough, I like FPP, hope you get to that point. My arch ememy is Hand Applique, I call it the "A" word, and don't say it. lol!! Catching up on blog reading, can you tell?

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