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

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Books for sale

I was looking through my books for a simple quilt pattern book for my grandson who has taken to sewing and I came across a group of books I know I'm never going to use.  So, following my friend Lori's lead, I'm going to sell them here.
I will mail them using media mail...those prices range from $2.63 - $4.10 max. If you buy more than one, I'll combine postage.

All these books are just about brand new, although some are old.

I have a PayPal account and can mail them out this week only.  We are going to Las Vegas to see Elton John on Friday for the weekend and then Hawaii with my son and his family.

So you have 5 days to claim them:

1.  Farmhouse Quilter's Companion by Cabbage Rose (1998)

$3.50 plus postage

2.  Wildflowers, Patchwork from the Meadow (Little Quilts, 1996)

$3.00 plus postage

3. Fields of Flowers, Kansas Troubles Quilters (1998)

$5.00 plus postage

4.  Fabulous Feedsack Quilts (1999)

$5.00 plus postage

5.  Favorite timeless Patterns for Today's quilter (1999)

$3.00 plus postage

6.  Farmhouse Quilts, Into The Woods by Liberty Homestead (2000)

$5.00 plus postage. SOLD

7.  Pennies from Heaven (Gretchen Gibbons  2010)

$15.00 plus postage SOLD

8.  Quilt in a Day Delectable Mountains Quilt (Eleanor Burns  2001)

$3.00 plus postage

9.  Borders, Bindings & Edges (Sally Collins 2004)

$3.50 plus postage

10.  Four Seasons in Flannel (Jean Wells/Lawry Thorn, 2002)

$3.00 plus postage

11.  No Sweat Flannel Quilts (Beth Garretson 2004)

$5.00 plus postage

12.  Czecherboard Quilts (Rose Ann Cook, 2012)

$3.50 plus postage

13.  Thimbleberries In Celebration of Quilting (2008 hardcover)

$3.00 plus postage

14.  Quilts, 1700-2010 Hidden Histories, Untold Stories (V&A Museum 2010)

$10.00 plus postage

Baskets are done and I'll post pictures tomorrow!  Just need to decide how to set them, since they are all different sizes!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Churn Dash blocks DONE

In a moment of weakness, I signed up to participate in Barb Vedder's swap involving what seemed like a small number of churn dash blocks.  I also decided to branch out and do modern ones rather than my usual reproduction fabrics.  It turned out I needed to make 54!  They were fun, and I did enjoy using these bright modern fabrics.  They were not quick, though. VBG

I did have a couple of times when I had to undo my sewing!  I did this while watching some olympic skating so I think I was distracted!

When I signed up, I had planned to use my stash of modern Kaffe Fassett fabrics;  when I saw the rules, I found that the brights needed to be solids, of which I did not have a single one! UGH.  Oh well. time to shop.  I found some gorgeous solid fabrics which I am hoping to find a use for soon!  Definitely do not want to add to my stash.

I had hoped to go with my friend Claire to Quilt-Con down in Palm Springs this week but it just wouldn't work with getting my mom settled.  Hopefully Claire will have a great time.

I did have a chance to meet up with Lori, before she jetted off on her mission to Columbia.  We had a fun lunch together last week.

We did have a bit of snow while we were in Sunriver this past week and it was just beautiful.  Of course I don't live in this weather full time and I didn't go out and shovel or use the snow blower so it's easy for me to say how beautiful it is!

My mom seems to be doing ok, although I haven't even left yet and I have to take her to the doctor tomorrow morning.  We are driving back to California tomorrow, as we have the darlings this weekend!

And I need to get back to my baskets!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day

I wish everyone a lovely, fun loving Valentine's Day, regardless of how you spend it.  I think even just wearing a red sweater makes the day sweeter!

I have a quilt to share with you.  This was made from a swap I think I hosted many years ago.  It's perfect for today!

I don't think you can tell that the border is red hearts that are shiny!  And my binding is wavy white lines on black.  Probably should've cut the fabric the other way, but oh well.

Here is the back, which was a way for me to try to use extra blocks and extra fabrics!

Getting my mom settled in her new Assisted Living has really relieved me of a lot of stress I didn't realize I was living with.  I have finally been able to do some sewing without it feeling like work!

I am trying to finish up the swap being organized by Barb Vedder... I need to make 54 churn dash blocks that are BRIGHT and MODERN!  I decided to try something different.  My plan is to set the block using my Kaffe Fassett fabrics I've been collecting.

Here are the beauties I picked up at Rosie's last weekend:

I had to buy solids as well some lights that seem more modern.  It's kind of fun sewing with completely different colors and themes.  I'm enjoying it, honestly.

When I joined the swap, I had thought I could use up my Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  I later learned the fabrics needed to be solids!  YIKES.  I didn't have a single one that was all solid (not even mottled would work)... so shopping was required!  Just what I needed... more fabrics!

My mom seems to be adapting very well to her new home.  She's been walking all over the place, excited to be free from the confines of the board & care place she has been in for the past 2 months.  She's getting fed regularly and someone will clean her apartment every week.  I think she will have a much better life than she had previously, even without the driving.  She just couldn't handle the independence any more... new life stage which she is embracing.  Gotta give her lots of credit for her positive attitude!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Baskets to go

I did a little sewing tonight getting ready to fly tomorrow with my mom up to Bend.  I spent the day getting organized and finally sat down to the machine.  I whipped up 3 new baskets for the Bea et Cecile challenge.

Hope to have good news about my mom tomorrow!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

quilt shop heaven

I had a business trip this weekend down to San Diego and was quite eager to get to Rosie's, which is truly one of the most amazing quilt stores I've ever seen.

I borrowed a car from and friend and made my way over there as soon as I was able.  I just had to share with you some of the aisles of fabric that they have.  This is a store that you really need to have a project in mind when you go there.  If not, you'll be completely overwhelmed with all the  possibilities!

I did buy fabric specific to the swap being handled by Barb Vedder and the baskets of Cecile in France.  I also found some more fabric for the rest of the triangle gatherings project.  

I saw an adorable pin cushion/pattern they were selling so while I have many more pin cushions than I need, I couldn't resist this.

Monday is the day I am flying my mom from California up to Bend to move her into her new home at the Assisted Living Facility.  I think she's very excited and it's really cute to hear her gush about her excitement at starting her new life -- at 90 yrs old!  Gotta love her spirit.  We took her to her mobile home and thought there'd be tears and sadness at choosing what to take with her, and leaving the majority of the rest.  But instead she was pretty good about selecting only her favorite things.  My car is packed with her stuff... and that's IT!

I'll let you know how it goes!  Fingers crossed!

Thanks to all of you who sent me such kind thoughts.  Caring for elderly parents really is a difficult experience under any circumstances and I know that there are a lot of you who have devoted years to your parents.  Bless you all. ;-)

Sunday, February 4, 2018

a budding quilter

I think I mentioned to you that my 8 yr old grandson has decided that he's old enough to sew on my machine by himself (I do insist that I am in the room with him).  This weekend, he wanted to play with my charm squares and sewed up this cute little piece.  He is finally starting to sew right sides together!

We had my daughter's 3 kids for the weekend and my son came over as well so we had all 4 grandkids.  I went and picked up my mom from the board and care home so she'd have a chance to spend some time with the kids before I move her up to Bend in a week. Here she is with the kids.

I did a little sewing while my grandson was sewing and whipped up another bag.  It was a friend's birthday recently and I'm going to give her this Hawaiian bag!  I hope she likes it!