Friday, March 23, 2018

Another UFO bites the proverbial dust

Among my other activities and in my spare time (HAHAHA), I belong to a knitting club called CHIX.  We meet once a month and last night was my turn to host.

Food first!!  I whipped up some chocolate chip biscotti over the weekend which were a big hit.

Since I really don't love knitting and didn't have anything ready for working on last night, I decided I should find a hand-sewing project I could substitute. You might ask WHY I belong to a knitting club if I don't love knitting... that's for another blog post! In my defense, there's another woman who also isn't much of a knitter who was sewing down a binding on a charity quilt!. 

I also didn't have anything in process so I did a quick survey of my piles and found a mini quilt I'd made and quilted some years ago (I must confess that I have ABSOLUTELY no recollection as to where, when or why I made this!) which needed a binding. ( I do have a very vague recollection of deciding on the variety of reds for the setting triangles, but that's about it!)
What's the lesson here?  Don't leave things "almost done"?  Be sure to use labels?? Not sure.

So I quickly found a fabric, sewed on the binding and I had a hand sewing project for when my fellow CHIX were visiting, sewing down the binding.  It kept me busy the entire time I had my friends over, so it was perfect.  And it is now hanging on my wall with  other small quilts.
Can't say, though, that the completion reduced the pile size by much nor did my stash get reduced much...the gold for the binding was maybe half a yard! ;-)

What next??? hmmmmm. I did start that mini I showed you earlier this week, starting to cut out my squares and backgrounds for the snowball blocks! Stay tuned...  I'm feeling in the mini mood and completing things is sounding really appealing to me!

And in typical Randy fashion, here is the back:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sewing along

My friend Claire came over yesterday to sew with me and I have to say that having a friend sewing along makes for a more productive me!

She likes to hand sew--she's been working on a blue work quilt for a long time!  My sewing machine is just next to the couch where she lounges.

Yesterday I worked on a couple more of the triangle gathering blocks.  Still trying to get them done!

You can see that I don't stress at all about ensuring that my points are perfect.  In my book, done is GREAT!!

When Claire came over, I showed her a new book I just received by Cyndi Black in Maine (Busy Thimble) by Betsy Chutchian.  As I was just thumbing through the book, I passed a page with some mini quilts on a wall and decided right then that I was going to sew one.  No pattern.... just tried my best to figure it out.  I also scrounged around to find some orphan units...found some quarter square triangles and a couple of half square triangles.  Everything else I made for this project.  Next time I'm going to limit myself to units already done.

I've been coveting this Di Ford bird fabric ever since I got it and really love it.  I even pieced the binding because I didn't want to have to cut an extra strip unnecessarily!  Mind you I have two yards!! ;-)

The book is called Quilts for All Seasons.  It's a Quiltmania book and is therefore FILLED with one quilt after another that I want to make.

We'll see what's next!!  I'm getting the Oh Scrap book delivered today!!  Of course it's kids weekend starting tomorrow so I might not do much until after they leave.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Basket backing etc

I promised I'd show you the backing I pieced for the basket mélange that I put together for that sew along.

The basket blocks were orphans from years ago;  the friendship stars were from a swap years ago, as well.  I filled in with fabric I KNEW I would never use in a quilt so VOILÀ.  Can't say it reduced the stash any but in terms of numbers, there are a few less orphan blocks!

I also went back to my triangle gatherings, needing less than 10 more to be done with the entire project.  Starting to think about how I'm ever going to set nearly 100 blocks all in bright colors!  I think they go up to 93!  I've already sewn a few others--just need to assemble the pieces.

I saw this little mini quilt on Instagram, and I think I'm going to make this for my latest (or for February...ooops) mini... I have just the fabrics in mind, too.  Stay tuned...

I may have to buy that book!  I did order the new book "Oh Scrap" because I thought it looked so cute... as if I need another book, right???  I have a pile I'm trying to get rid of!! ;-)

We're having a wet and rainy week, which is just perfect!!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A little quilt show in Bend

You will remember that there's a quilt shop in Bend, Quilt Works, which has their own little show every month in their upstairs area.  I made time before I left this week so swing by.  I am never disappointed!

Very dramatic ocean waves quilt.  This month's primary quilter was Ruth Kinane.

Having just assembled my basket quilt using many orphan blocks, I found this very inspiring!  Or course she put like-sized blocks together in a row.

Cute variation on a log cabin pattern.

This was obviously a different exhibit in their upstairs gallery.  Too cute, I thought.

We had the kids this weekend and my husband always wrestles with them on our couch.  Someone always winds up crying but they loving playing "body slam" with him.  Here was poor Emma, who insisted on a bandaid on her forehead!  No blood, mind you.

Tomorrow I'll show you my pieced back for the basket quilt.  I had fun using some old fabrics I didn't care for as well as orphan blocks...

Have a great Sunday.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Baskets DONE

I spent a lot of time working on this basket quilt.  I had the input of my old friend Bonnie, inspiring me to use old filler pieces... quarter square triangles, four-patches, old basket blocks etc etc.

Making quilts like this is challenging, although I find it so rewarding once it's done.  It's a challenge to put something together without a specific pattern, but I love  doing it.  I need to do this more, especially with all my orphan blocks, which are quite voluminous!

One thing about this quilt that I'm proud of is that the blocks are SO varied.  At the same time, I wish they were all the same so it would have been easier to put together!  Oh well.

Vegas?  Great fun.  This is our gang! Let me let you know that my flashing red sunglasses were from an Elton John concert 4 yrs ago.  My friend and I had to replace the batteries, which was pretty challenging.  The concert was fabulous.  He's a great performer and musician.

There were many quilt patterns along the way in Las Vegas, which I couldn't resist.

When we were in Las Vegas, we went to the Mob Museum for a very interesting experience.  Las Vegas was the home of many gangs and they established a fabulous collection of memorabilia and photographs.  Of course, this section was my favorite, about a very prominent defense attorney!

Loved this picture about prohibition!

We also walked around to some of the other hotels (which are quite a scene) and found these in one lobby!

And this in celebration of the Chinese New Year.  I couldn't resist this!!

This tell you something about my sense of humor~!!

I flew up to Bend to check on my mom, who is slowly doing ok at the assisted living.  However, yesterday she started to cry when she was lamenting about her lost identity from her past life.

On the other hand, her cognitive abilities really are declining.  I have to explain things to her over and over and she still doesn't remember or grasp what I'm saying.  She has had trouble with her cell phone so today I tried to get her a landline.  I'm not sure she'll be able to figure out how to use the phone.  So terribly sad... she manifests to me the expression, "the lights are on, but no one is home".  Tomorrow I'll meet with the staff to get an updated assessment.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Great visit with my old friend

I don't know where to start.  It's been a very eventful week!

My old friend Bonnie Hunter was teaching at Asilomar this week and she was able to fly in a couple of days early and spend some time together at my house.  We had a blast.  The weather wasn't great but we managed nevertheless to enjoy the time.

On Thursday, when it was really pouring, we decided to pamper ourselves (did I need much convincing?? NO NO NO) and we went to my favorite local place for massages and then an outdoor hot tub!!  WOOHOO!!

Many of you know that I have extremely curly hair and I've recently been having it blown straight about once a week.  Well, I wasn't about to let that rain curl my hair so... picture this... we are out in the hot tub, pouring rain, and there I am with a SHOWER CAP on!! Anything to preserve the hair, right??!!  Good thing there were no cameras!!  It was a sight to see.

We had lunch when Bonnie first arrived in the charming little beachside town of Capitola.  There are these adorable houses with the most beautiful colors...

Bonnie was hard at work with her blog posts and her hexies while I was busy working on my basket creation!  It's almost done..
I'm happy to report that I dug into my orphan block piles and found several blocks that are at least 15-20 yrs old and incorporated them into this project!  I am shaking my head wondering WHY I couldn't have just made 16 blocks that matched each other in pattern and size... UGH.  I guess that's just not my personality... if only...

Sadly I wasn't able to take Bonnie down to Asilomar myself as we had tickets to see Elton John in Las Vegas and my other dear old friend Claire offered to take Bonnie there.

I'll post pictures from Vegas... there were quilting patterns everywhere!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

January's mini monthly done etc.

Wendy Reed has inspired me to try to get rid of some of my ufos, by doing a mini each month.  My minis will not be anything like the quality of certain GREAT mini-makers (ahem... Janet O!!)... but they will be done.

I went first to my collection of orphan blocks.  I made this little piece a few years ago, just as an experiment.  I put batting, backing and quilted it over the weekend.  I also used Janet O's process of binding it--I used single 1-1/2" binding and I sewed the corners at 45* as she showed in her demo.  I have no idea what I will do with it, nor did its completion reduce the pile of UFO/orphan blocks!  But one down is more than I had done before!  Now onto February's submission!

I think I mentioned that I've been participating in Céçile's little sew along -- this year it's basket blocks (last year was log cabin blocks).  I love that you can make them however you'd like.  What's amazing is how creative some people's have turned out.  Mine are pretty basic but I did play around with different sizes and patterns.  We need to have made 16 by March 15th and have them assembled.  I haven't yet decided how I'm going to put them together. that'll be the challenge since they are all different sizes.  I used many different resources, so that was fun.

All my churn dash swap blocks went into the mail as well so I do feel as though I've accomplished something but honestly---looking around at my mess of a sewing room isn't making me feel very accomplished.  It's almost an obstacle course getting to the sewing machine, with boxes of projects strewn on the floor.... Maybe that should be my next project! CLEANING... vbg