Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Win!

I was fortunate enough to win the grand prize for the HSTeria quilt along sponsored by Vicki Welsh a few weeks ago.  It was a package of her hand dyed scraps and a package of Mistyfuse (I have loaned that to my friend as she has never used the wonderful stuff).  I was pretty excited as I am more and more enamored of hand dyed fabric as I have used bits and pieces in my quilts recently.  I thanked her immediately but hadn't gotten around to getting the picture and posting-until today.  Thanks again, Vicki!!!

Aren't they beautiful?

I also won a bag of scraps at the Crazy 9 Patch on the second Friday of this month during scrappy hour where Martha demonstrates a new scrappy pattern and runs a sale on a fabric line or theme-one hour of happiness with door prizes, snacks and special drinks provided.

I had a couple of leftover Insulite hearts so made these the next day out of the scraps and some leftover binding.  Going to tuck these into my Spring box for next spring.  I don't hang mine so don't need a loop.

I have avoided orange since I retired (my school colors were orange and white) but it is sneaking into my fabrics again

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Last Thursday we had to have Bella put to sleep.  Her cancer was making her life unpleasant.  We adopted her 10 years ago and she was 1 or 2 at that time.  She had a great life and we  appreciated her sweet nature-except when she stared Lizzy down and drove her to distraction.  Goodby quilting buddy I will see you on the other side.

Thursday, August 21

Monday, August 25, 2014

Last Blooms of Summer

Been really busy lately.  I am painting the whole inside of our house.  Right now I am so glad I live in 1500 sq ft.  It seems that over the years I have painted rooms and have ignored the trim and doors as they were neutral.  So, since I really hate, yes, hate, painting doors and chair rails and molding, I thought I would trick myself and paint them first before I even buy the wall paint.  I can only do this for 2 hours a day.  I have given myself until Thanksgiving to totally finish painting everything.  It already looks better-got the hall molding, chair rails, and door jambs on 2 1/2 out of 5 doors and 1/2 of a door done over the last two days.  Did I say I hate prepping and putting down painter's tape.

Anyway, "Last Blooms of Summer" from Material Obsession's Making Quilts called "Garden Party" is done and hanging in The Crazy 9 Patch waiting for ladies to sign up and take the class.  I so hope they do-I see new fabric in the store that I need to have.
Original Quilt-  "Garden Party"

Last Blooms of Summer-My interpretation
There is one pimple on this quilt.  When I started the strata I put 3 pieces of white at the top thinking they might look cloud like.  Two got covered up by flowers leaving that gleaming white blob at the top.  I am going to use my Inktense chalk sticks to blend it in.  Blob and all-I love this quilt. Wish the photo showed the intensity of the color. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Buggy Barn Bird Brain

If you haven't done a Buggy Barn quilt-it is a trip.  Seams don't match and you need to be OK with that.
The first one I did was for my sister-in-law who is a cat lover and rescuer.  The original had wool and rick rack for the whiskers.  I did cotton fabric freezer paper applique and stitched the whiskers-just don't like rick rack!

Cattitudes 2012
 This was not a planned class-I saw the quilt at the local shop and several of my friends were taking it so I just jumped in.  I probably need to stop doing that as it keeps me from the quilts I really want to do. 

I will not be using rick rack as stems-don't know what I will be using but it won't be rick rack

I chose red-orange, grays/blacks, yellow, yellow green, and turquoise and about 1/2 are batiks so it will hopefully more whimsical than primitive-we'll see:)

Pat asked me in the Bird Brain class if the pieces could be production line pieced and my response was "no" but today as I was looking at the large box of pieces I thought I would try it.

Traditionally Buggy Barn patterns are put together block by block, piecing together all the pieces in the top layer of the 20 layer stack.  That means you have to store a 24x20 inch stack of fabrics somewhere safe until they are all sewn together.  I pinned each paper pattern piece to each stack of fabrics so I can work with an alpha group at a time.

I took one section at a time and sewed it together in number order

Adding a leader before the first piece helped identify the ends of the pieces

The leaders and enders end up as blocks on their own and a lot of thread is saved

Iron and stack pieces from last piece stitched to first (that is where the leader comes in handy)

just have the bottom to sew on

Last two to iron and stack
I finished two sections  in a relatively short period of time.  This way I can just pull one section at a time to sew-less thinking will make it go faster.   I will be preparing for the Exploring Color Class on Tuesday at Paradise Sewing.  Ten students.  It is a lot of work but I truly love teaching and am getting better at it:)  Adults are really a little harder than 10th graders-they aren't afraid to voice their opinions so you really need to have your ducks in a row.

Friday, August 8, 2014

My First Quilting Retreat

What a great four days.  I went to my first retreat last Sunday and returned Wednesday afternoon.  We were located in the wine country of Temecula at a Catholic Convent and retreat center.  It was lovely-had my own room, great food and got to know 11 other ladies much better than I did before.

Sylvia trimming her finished quilt top

Gloria, mary, Susan and daughter, Ann working

Lou is the organizer and such a sweet lady

Several of the ladies have mascots and they are moved or hidden during the retreat by the participants.  Kimmie's, Ugly Man, was just found.

Cecelia is imitating, Cousin It as she works on her 1.5 in squares

Mary's, Woodland Creatures

Mary working on the Possums of Woodland Creatures

Fran working on a lovely spool quilt

Ann made several beautiful bags

Her mom, Susan working on a gardening quilt

Linda drove down from LA
Roberta catching up on lost sleep
Linda's Tree quilt-still needs applique on the border
Lou's Bag (she is making a quilt that will go in it for a retiring friend
Elinor catching a nap

Baby quilt for my niece's baby boy soon to be born

Cecelia's Red and White
Closeup- look at those points!

Roberta adding borders

Kimmie's baby quilt

I bound 1 quilt, finished the baby quilt top and made good progress on Nickle Lavender Sky

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Travel Tip Thursday #5

I got back from retreat last night and will show pics tomorrow but today is Thursday so here goes!

A tour or plan your own?  Personally, I don't like tours.  However, it was necessary for us when planning to go to 5 countries in Eastern Europe.  We saw things we would have never seen if we had tried to do it ourselves.  That being said, I don't like 5 star hotels, being herded with 30-40 other travelers into a bus everyday, and following someone with a raised umbrella.  I would rather stay in a B&B or a pension with the locals and take my time finding the sights I want to see.

When I went with friends, we all chose one particular place we would like to visit at our destination and did the research to plan that day.  Going on your own provides flexibility-you may not see everything you would have with a large tour but you are the master of your time.  A one week stay in London allowed us to go to the Apollo Theater and see Wicked, a city tour on the double decker bus, a trip to Oxford (CS Lewis home and pub where the Inklings met), the Victoria and Albert and British Museums, Windsor Castle, London Tower, Hampton Court and 7 different pubs for early dinners, Westminster Abbey, and changing of the guard.

Cost.  The Eastern European tour was a once in a lifetime event.  Greg's family came from Warsaw so he really wanted to see the area of his ancestors.  I taught a college class for several years so I saved all my money from a few semesters to pay for the trip that was close to 6,000.00 for the 2 of us.  I saved miles for first class tickets-so airfare is not included.

Both of my trips with girlfriends cost 1,500.00 (airfare paid for in miles-coach).  One was 10 days in England and Scotland and the other was 1 week in London and 1 week in Paris.  We stayed with a lady in the Adventure Travel Club in London and rented an apt. in Paris (split 4 ways made it very affordable and cooking in the apt at night helped with cost as well).  It also depends on the exchange rate of course. Being your own tour guide is less expensive but you will have more research to do.  I have a friend who has traveled a lot oversees and has never gone on a tour-she swears by Triple A.  I, personally, like to do the research.

An oversees trip is doable with advance planning.  next week: museum passes.

View from the balcony of the pension in Berlin-we went 2 days before the tour started and stayed 4 days after-in pensions with local proprietors

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Travel Tip Thursday #4

We belong to the Evergreen Bed and Breakfast Club.  When you are an "Evergreener"  you can spend the night at another club member's home and have breakfast and lovely conversation for 25.00 the first night and 20.00 for the next 2 nights.   My friends and I stayed with someone in Wimbledon (just outside of London) for 12.00 (a piece) per night for our week in England.  The advantage to belonging to a club like this is , not only do you get a clean bed, bathroom privileges, and a hearty breakfast, but the hosts know the area and can give you the information you will need to navigate their area.  Saves time and frustration.

In return for staying in others' homes, you are obligated to host a few times a year.  We have only had one bad experience in the 10 years we have been members.  We have stayed with families in London, Nova Scotia, Vancouver,  Victoria, and Seattle.  I even stayed with a family in Huntington Beach when I went to Camp-Watch-a-Patcher at Vanguard U last summer.  For 15.00 a night I had a single room and bath and a lovely breakfast while the ladies in the dorm fought with their sheets and snoring cabin mates.  It made the class possible for me.  The gentleman of the house even let me use his GPS to get to Vanguard-lovely people.

I can't think of a less expensive or more enjoyable way to travel.   We have met the nicest people and have had experiences we would not have had if we had stayed in a hotel. 

The is another travel club, Affordable Travel Club, that has more overseas and West Coast selections and we are planning to switch over as soon as our year is up.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July's A Lovely Year of Finishes

"Lizzy" is officially done.  Tracy Potter did the quilting and thread painting over the Inktense painting I did.  I was afraid I would not do as good a job and she did a fabulous one. I love that face:)

Lizzy at 4 months

Monday, July 28, 2014

Last HSTeria submission

I started this quilt a year and a half ago.  Pat Speth did a Nickle Quilt workshop in El Cajon and this is Tillie's Treasure (I think).  I have renamed it Nickle Lavender Sky and I have been working on it a little this week but am taking it Sunday on the quilt retreat along with the baby quilt that is cut out and not put together.  Click on the HST button to the right to see what others are doing.  I plan to finish it at the retreat.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

. . .and More Flowers

It really is like watching a garden grow