Thursday, October 15, 2020

Back in Central Oregon and thrown out of hospice

 We took the past week to go back to the Bay Area to check on our house and visit with the grandkids. The drive enabled me to finish another wool appliqué block from the Primitive Gatherings Twilight SBOW 2018.

I will admit that I added little feet to the birds! ;-)

 It was a great weekend.  We had the 3 oldest grandkids for the weekend and the 4 yr old just for Sunday night, which we totally enjoyed.   Great story:  the 4 yr old didn't come for the weekend but we went to my son's on Sunday.  As we were leaving, the 4 yr old climbed into my car, into his car seat, buckled up and said he was ready to go.  "Bye Mommy"!! Never asked if he could come over.  He was ready.  Fortunately my daughter in law was on board and got his overnight clothes and away we went.  so we got to have Eli by himself on Sunday night!  Love the time we spend with the kids.  We even went to the pumpkin patch and got them pumpkins!  


Last week I also participated in an online workshop being led by Maria Shell through the Brownstone Quilt Guild (my friend Barb Vedder alerted me to that).  It was called "kitchen sink" and was based on utilizing orphan blocks!  I have quite a supply but pulled a handful to start with.  This is what I first put on the wall:
The center 6 blocks were made following Moda Blockheads 1 but I lost the patterns I had printed out (no clue where they went to!) so just gave up.

I played around with them and added a little bit and got this much done:

Janet O may recognize one of the larger blocks, as she'd sent it to me years ago and I decided this was the time to use it.
I left the blocks on my design wall in California since I hadn't sewn them together and they'll be my project next time I return there in a few weeks.

It's gotten quite chilly in Central Oregon and I think my days of kayaking are over for the season.  Next up:  hiking until the snow falls.

Funny story:
My mom has been on hospice since she got Covid 19 back in July.  They really didn't expect her to live.  Well, she sure showed them.  She "graduated" from Hospice this week and they "kicked her off" their program.  That's a huge step.  Who gets to be kicked out of hospice?? VBG
But it meant they were reclaiming the hospital bed they'd set up for her.  What does a 93 yr old say about her comfy hospital bed being taken away?  NOT HAPPY, to say the least.  I had gotten my mom a nice queen bed when she first moved into assisted living, nearly 3 yrs ago.  She has NO recollection of ever having slept in that huge bed "for 3"! And she wanted NO part of that bed!  So I went today and bought her a twin bed and bedding to try to make her happy.
So it's a good week for my mom, getting thrown out of hospice!
I'll take it!!
Have a great week!
Stay safe!  Mask up! oh and VOTE!


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Making progress

1st of all I can't believe it's early October.  Honestly this year has just been a complete blur, and continues to be that way.   I am trying to make the most of it!

Best news on the Covid 19 front is that my mom's facility finally allowed in-person visits this week so I was able to see my mom from 6' away outside.  She's healthy, which is a miracle.  She's a bit more confused than before but still, for almost 93, she survived Covid 19 and is moving around.  I'd say it's a win-win!

We went kayaking yesterday probably for the last time this year.  Weather is going to change this weekend.  We went to the second largest lake in Oregon called Waldo Lake.  These lakes were all formed by volcanic eruptions so the depth of the lakes is amazing and the water is aqua blue!  The air was perfectly still so the water was like glass.  I have to show you the reflection of this rock formation!

My friend took this of me in my boat.  It's a bit far away but you can get the idea.  It's been a great year of kakaking and I'm sorry to have gone on and on about it.  All I can say is if you ever have the chance to go out on a kayak, do it!  There is something incredibly serene about sitting in a boat in the middle of a body of water with mountains around.  It makes all of the rest of the world disappear for a short time!

I've been plugging away at my Stars and Sprigs quilt, still not convinced what my alternative block is going to look like.  I've been doing the appliqué blocks and enjoying that!

I've made two more and have tried to be a little less chaotic in the fabric choices.

You'll see I haven't washed out the purple marker yet for the placement lines.

To top off my week, a very special friend sent me a package of purple scraps (!), some great selvages, special glue for my appliqué AND a beautiful large mug rug which can hold my cheese and cracker plate at happy hour!  Thanks for thinking of me and being so generous, Barb!!

Have I told you about the visitors we've been having almost daily?  They seem to like our yard for resting!  They are quite large, except for the little fawns.  I think deer are really pretty creatures but I wish they'd stop eating my plants!! vbg.  I also keep my distance away from them. This area we live in is their country and we are the interlopers!

This is the view towards the back of our house from my sewing room window!  We head back to California tomorrow for the weekend so we'll get a chance to have our grandkids visit!!  WOOHOO!  Stay safe!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Trying to get back to appliqué!

 I was so very enticed by Gladiquilts job on the Stars & Sprigs quilt  that I ordered the pattern, bought some great background fabric and got started.  I have done a lot of appliqué but it's been years.

I'm doing a bright version and using a great red background!

These are the first two blocks I finished.  The pattern alternates with pieced stars.  I made one but I think the contrast is too great between the red background and the light background.  So I'm not sure what I'll use for the stars.  Don't you agree?

There are many different methods to appliqué the leaves;  for this project so far I've been cutting the shapes out of freezer paper, sticking the freezer paper to the back of the shape, cutting out the shape with the seam allowance and then pressing the seam onto the shiny side of the freezer paper.
I've done it where I've used spray starch and a firm brush, which also works.  Needle turn is another method I've used.  I think it depends on my mood!

I got a fabulous package of fabric last week from Wendy Reed (constant quilter) who went shopping for me at Cyndi Black's shop in Maine.  Boy did I get some fabulous fabrics.  And I mentioned to Wendy I was looking for some purples!  She did a fabulous job as my personal shopper!

I think these fabrics will keep me busy for a while!

I'm trying to take advantage of the last days of warm weather here in Central Oregon.  The leaves have started to turn and the mornings are a brisk 32*!  Last week I kayaked with my friend at a lake where we were able to see 3 mountains from the Cascade Range.  

You're looking at the South Sister which is a huge peak.  The snow hasn't even completely melted.  My kayak is an inflatable one, which means I can fold it up and throw it into the back of the car.  No need to kill myself putting it on the roof.  No thanks.  Has to be easy for me.

But let me tell you a couple of weeks ago, my dh and I went to go kayaking and we got all the way to the lake, and I unloaded the boats and pump when I realized I had forgotten one of the paddles.  UGH.  

I'm going again tomorrow as this week is gorgeous here in Bend!  And I will be sure to bring my paddle.  My husband says I should have a check-list but I'm not a check-list kind of girl.  :-))

Hope everyone is having a great week and staying safe.

Monday, September 21, 2020


I was determined to finish the challenge between two other friends and spent most of my sewing time this weekend finishing it up. I like how it turned out.

I love piecing my backs and decided to use up some fat eighths that I'd gotten many years ago at quilt market.  I also grabbed some flying geese from my orphan block bag. I also always look for sale fabrics for backings and this light French General was bought for that very purpose.  I think it's perfect for this top.  

 Can you see Max's tail in the corner? VBG.  I think Wendy (constantquilter) just finished hers so we should be able to do a display of all 3 of our projects.

Remember the other day when I was saying my wool appliqué isn't perfect?  Well, I don't feel that way about mitered corners.  To me, they have to be perfect.  It's probably the only aspect of quilting that I strive for perfection.  VBG. I ultimately opted for the darker border, which was the definite majority winner!  This fabric looks like a picture frame to me, so the corners really needed to meet up.

So what next??? hmmm.

 Do you find yourself a little lost once you've finished a project?  Not sure what to work on next?  I always find this to be difficult.

Today I was looking for something to work on and my eyes fell upon a UFO from many years ago.  I think it was a Bonnie Hunter mystery.  I didn't get very far, although I did sew tons of the string parts together.  I pulled it out but didn't really want to work on the quilt as designed, which is why I abandoned it years ago. This is how far I'd gotten putting it together:

I found piles of string pieces for the construction.  I think that's why I generally don't quilt that way---as sew parts as I go, rather than in assembly line fashion.  Anyway, this is what I pulled out of the bag, along with the top and a few other stars:
I'm looking for suggestions as to what to do with all those corner triangles as well as the 3" squares!

I decided I was going to use the top for a donation quilt for the kid's group I sew with.  I fortunately had some fabric here at the cabin that worked:  You can't really tell but the inner border is a nice purple.  It'll make a great kid's quilt, I think.

That's it for my sewing.  I'm still at a standstill trying to decide what to work on next.  I'm feeling the urge to do more appliqué so I'm looking at patterns that I might tackle.

Hope you're having a great week.  Fall has come to Central Oregon already!  It's been about 32* in the early morning!  The smoke is finally gone!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Another Twilight Garden block

 I have finished another block from the Primitive Gatherings SBOW 2018 and may have just another 3 or 4 left before I start on the center and borders, which will be very long projects.  These are my hand sewing projects for the car on the trips between California and Central Oregon.

I have never professed to be a particularly talented appliquér so it doesn't bother me too much when my blocks aren't perfect.  I am loving this project and think that none of my inaccuracies will matter when it's done.  It's definitely not machine produced! ;-)

That being said, I'm finishing up my medallion challenge quilt and decided I wanted appliqué in the corners.  Motivated by the master quilters Wendy Reed and Barb Vedder, I decided to do it by hand (the center of the quilt was done by machine).  I found the little flowers in the same book I found for the center. I added a little embroidery for the stems so the flowers weren't just floating!

I've decided to add one final "solid" border after the flying geese and I'm torn between these two.  I sewed one flower in the upper right corner; the other 3 are waiting for the flying geese to land!

What do you think??  
When all 3 of our tops are done, we'll figure out a way to post them together!  They are all so different but have the same basic parameters!

It's exceedingly smoky here in the Bend area and I'm staying inside until it clears.  I am hoping for rain later this week to put out the fires and clear the smoky air.

Take care, everyone.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

A small study of selvages, Part I

 My son arrived with his family this week so my great plans of organizing selvages kind of fell apart.  Back into the bag they went.

 But not before I whipped up a small mug-rug out of some favorites!

Can you make out the sayings on these selvages?  Who knew that selvages had sayings?  I still intend to go through them and organize them and make them into something.  Haven't decided that yet!

Before the kids arrived, I did finish up a donation quilt for the kid's group.  Last summer I bought a baggie filled with scraps... It had two border strips, some squares and another strip.  It's all about glamping.  I wanted to use them up (of course, using up one small baggie doesn't make a dent!) so I found a pattern in an old book I had and punted.  The book is called Block Explosion.  I don't know where I got it from nor do I even remember opening it.  Maybe I picked it up last summer at the quilt show's flea market, when I got the baggie!  This pattern is called Garden Gate

Of course I had to run to the local quilt shop and pick up some go-withs, right??!!  Can you tell there are bananas?  I found a Tula Pink lime green fabric I couldn't resist!  I did mostly use up all the fabric in the baggie!

The true highlight of the week was this surprise package I received from Barb (funwithbarb)!  I recently sent her some puzzles and she decided to reciprocate!  I can't wait to dig into her puzzles.
And as if the puzzles weren't enough, she enclosed some great fabric and Applipops!  And a Barbara Brackman book!  I hit the lottery!! I've been really curious about how those circles work and she had an extra set!
Thanks Barb so very much!

I love sharing sunset photos from our house here in Central Oregon.  Last night, the sun was a huge red ball -- it almost looked like we were in outer space.

Hope everyone is staying well and having a great weekend.  Hard to believe it's the end of summer!  We are heading back to California mid-week to check on the mess the evacuation caused in my house with no power for over a week!  No fires, though, so that's a good thing!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Can I hear a big WOOHOO!!

Wendy  Reed (constantquilter) is not only a great friend, but she's quite the motivator!!  She "runs" the monthly minis and I feel compelled to get at least SOMETHING done by the end of the month.

While this isn't a big deal, I did get a binding put onto a quilt that's been sitting in my closet for months!!

This will no doubt be a donation quilt although not to the kid's group.  Too dark and boring!! :-))

Have I told you the story about my old Bernina that's been in the shop for two months?  I have an 1130 and something went wrong with the bobbin mechanism two months ago.  I took it in to the local repair shop in Bend and they told me they'd order the part.  Fast forward to two months and they realized they couldn't get the part so I could junk the machine, if I wanted.

Gotta love the internet.  I went onto the Bernina Vintage Machines Facebook group and posted that I was looking for a particular part and within half an hour I had two people offering me the part!

I showed you that awesome selvage the other day?  Well now I'm on a selvage mission.  Here is my pile of selvages here in Central Oregon.  Forget about the huge bags in California!
They are very much like scraps... they multiply!  I started sorting them and still didn't make a dent.

My next post is going to be a study of selvages.  Tune in!!