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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Good time to be a quilter

I have been a very bad blogger.  I am going to be better and I really do appreciate your staying around and being devoted to me.

I do hope you are all healthy and handling this pandemic as well as can be expected.  Sharing finished quilts may be in poor taste..  I hope you won't mind.

My husband and I left California and fled to our cabin up in Oregon early last week so we've been staying home in a beautiful area.  We are both healthy and washing hands constantly!  I'm feeling a lot less stressed here, although you still can't find toilet paper or rice!  Go figure!

The silver lining to all this is that I've been able to finish several quilts that had been waiting my attention.

I want to first thank my friend Wendy Reed who sent me a charming little mug rug months ago to thank me for participating in one of her sew-alongs. Super cute!


I did finally finish my Temecula Scavenger Hunt, which really took me weeks.  I love how it turned out and it is on its way to my long arm quilter.

That is also on its way to the quilter! In reality, it's not wavy.  I pressed it really well after I took it down.

On the drive up to our cabin in Sunriver,  I finished another block in the Primitive Gathering Twilight Garden quilt project.  I had to move the center flower because it wasn't centered.   I need to perfect my skills! While looking at the picture last night, I also realized that I put one of the flower centers on the wrong flower (too large) but oh well!


I was participating in Bea et Cecile's sew along for 2020 (stars) and got them all assembled.  I used a large applique block that a friend had gifted me years ago and I think it works perfectly.  I also had fun using one of DiFord's stripes for the border.


I primarily used a French General fabric line for this quilt and decided that I didn't want any leftover fabric so last night I made a Yellow Brick Road top out of the rest of the fabric.  Sadly, my small quilt group which made quilts for kids has been put on hiatus so I am going to quilt this myself and submit it to Hearts2Help.


I think the good news is that everything is large and the bad news is I haven't done any minis for February or March.  I may work on that this weekend.

I hope this finds everyone handling this well.  I read an article that said that people can get depressed because of the isolation.  I'm sending everyone big virtual hugs!!  This too shall pass.

Much love,
Randy

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is such a fun holiday, I think.  I remember when our kids were little, they'd always bring these adorable cards to school to share.  My grandkids do the same thing now.

We don't go out to dinner;  instead we'll be having a cozy dinner at the cabin!

I'm finally posting a picture of my January mini.  So, Wendy Reed, here you go!  I made this last year, actually , out of leftover half square triangles from the red/white/blue Moda Blockheads II that I made.
I experimented with the machine quilting, having found a cool pattern in a book.  I like how it turned out and I had fun doing it.  You probably can't tell that I used a bright variegated thread!!


I've also been working on the stars for the sew along organized by Béa et Céçile in France.  It's my kind of project because there are virtually no rules.  Here are 4 more stars, bringing my total to 10.  I've been using a layer cake from French General. Only 6 more to go before I need to assemble them into a quilt top.


I am still slowly working on my wool applique project from Primitive Gatherings.  I'm on my 6th block, although one needs some repairs--the center part wound up being off center.  I was just in San Diego last weekend and went into their store in Temecula and snapped a picture of the finished quilt so you can get an idea of the magnitude of this project!  I still love it.  My background is a burgundy red.  So lush.  I pretty much only work on it when we are driving up to the cabin or if I'm on a long flight and watching a movie. I am presently working on the one in the top right corner!

I am not going to think about the borders--I have the patterns and fabrics but am first finishing up the 12 blocks.
Here's the one I need to fix---I did the outer ring first but failed to verify the position of the center flower and it is off-center.  The true color of the red is quite a bit deeper and more burgundy.

Pretty frustrating.

The other project that's been keeping me busy has been the Temecula Quilt Scavenger Hunt.  LOTS of little pieces.  I'm one week behind but am enjoying it.  I always love their projects.


I'm completely behind on the newest Moda Blockheads III but that's ok.  

My goal this weekend is to finish the black wool applique project (just need to add the rest of those half square triangles) to give it to my favorite long-arm quilter/friend next week when we meet for lunch and I get my red/white/blue Moda Blockheads II back from her. 

Have a great weekend! 💖💖

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

It's about time

Yes, I am still alive.  Gosh the time flew by.  We spent 3 weeks at the cabin and also visited our son in Quantico...

Now home and happy to recap a bit of what's been going on in my sewing world.  Thanks to all who asked if I was ok!

First I have to share with you this little project I'm working on this week with a woman from the small quilt group I belong to that makes quilts for kids.  This woman is one TALENTED person.  OMG.  Quilts are nothing for her.  She makes DOLLS.  Not just out of fabric but out of t-shirts!  She gardens in a most gorgeous garden.


This is the one I got last year during our Christmas gift exchange.

This was our model today.  Mary very generously offered to teach two of us how to do this.


These are her other creations.  This dancer is made from t-shirts held together with glue.  I'm hoping for a lesson in this another day!



Quilt blocks I've been working on?  Well, I swore I wasn't doing any more blocks of the month.  That didn't last!  HEHEHE


Cheddarback January blocks... totally kicked my butt.  The one in the bottom left was much too small and I had to add fabric to make it square;  the lemoyne star was difficult and will probably lose its points when sewn together.  Oh well.  Done is great!

Barbara Brackman is doing something called Grandmother's Choice.  How could I not participate?  Her blocks are also giving me lots of grief but challenge is good!

I've had a huge problem printing her patterns to the right size so I've had to draw them out on graph paper... completely out of my comfort zone!


Moda Blockheads III first block.


Temecula Quilts is doing a scavenger hunt!  Weekly installments.  

My biggest achievement was getting the majority of this Primitive Gatherings project put together almost entirely.  I'm almost done sewing the tiny gazillion half square triangles which go around the outer edge.  Putting this together was a huge undertaking, which I did at the cabin (see my portable heater??!!)  That room is a bit chilly in winter!



That's it for now.  I've done many more blocks and maybe even a quilt or two but I'll save those for another day.  Hopefully I'll post before the month is out!

Hope everyone is great and enjoying a wonderful new year!  Can you believe it's 2020??  I certainly can't.  It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that everyone was stressed about Y2K, turning 2000!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Third night of Chanukah or Christmas Eve~

We are lighting the third candle tonight on our menorah!  There are 8 nights and the menorah glows when all the candles are lit.  We are having 3 of our grandkids coming this week to our cabin up in Oregon, along with another family.  Every child gets their own menorah so it's quite the scene!


I did some sewing recently.  My happiest achievement is to have given my Moda Blockheads 2 over to my long arm quilter for her magic!  I really obsessed over how it looked, feeling like it was too busy.  I consulted my friend Claire and we ultimately decided that adding a couple of borders would fix the chaotic look, and I am quite pleased with the results!  First I added a skinny gold border; then I added a 6" bright blue (from stash!), although I had wanted navy but didn't have enough of one kind.  I wasn't going to buy anything more for this border.


I am ultimately quite pleased with the finished product.  I think the solid borders calmed it down.  I am now actually getting ready for Blockheads 3, which starts mid-January.  Scouts honor:  it's the only block of the month I'm going to do in 2020.  

I have been busy working on Barb's 40 star swap;  I brought the remaining blocks with me to the cabin to finish up but you know the saying about seams being different on different machines?  Well my Juki here at the cabin needs to be serviced because I realized the needle is a fraction off center so 5-6 blocks are 1/8" too small.  UGH.  Need to redo those;  I think I'll put the smaller ones into a small wallhanging.  Chopping off points won't matter in that project.


I also recently put bindings on two kid quilts for the small quilt group I belong to that makes quilts for needy kids.  The first quilt was my own;  the second one I offered to bind.




I am all caught up on my Cheddarback quilt (I started this in 2019 so it's okay to continue with THIS BOM, right??!)






I love the fall colors and even though I live in California, I do have deciduous trees which put on a beautiful fall display.  I have many Japanese maple trees and always love the fall colors!  This is right in front of my front door/porch.  The second picture is in the front of our yard.  Amazing how different the colors are, don't you think?!




Then the contrast to Oregon is remarkable.  I went snow shoeing this past week, even though there's not a huge amount of snow.  It was fantastic!  You can tell that there isn't much new snow since the trees are bare but we still had fun.


I wish you all a wonderful Christmas or Chanukah.  Hope you get to spend it with loved ones or loving friends!  

Much love to you all in blogland!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Progress, at last

Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  Can't believe we are in December already!  And that it's been a month since I've posted--  EGAD... 

I have done some sewing, I'm happy to say.

I'll call this my November mini!  It's the baby quilt I decided to make for our newest grandson, Aiden.  This was a panel I found over the summer;  I sashed each block, although you'll probably note that one of the blocks doesn't match.  I RAN OUT of the panel blocks... so I scrounged around.  Can you find it?


And I found this great boy fabric for the backing!  Kids love to play with cars and now he'll have a track!


I went to my small quilt group last week and worked on a quick quilt I saw at my LQS so I bought some cute dalmation fireman fabric and whipped this up for a small boy.


I've also been plugging away at Barb's star swap (funwithbarb) and am half-way done!


My tuffett has been getting lots of use from the grandkids.  They sit on it, lie on it;  Eli even turned it over and sat on the bottom!




I had promised to post pictures of inspiration I found in beautiful paintings in Paris.  There was a fabulous Dégas exhibit at one of my favorite museums, the D'Orsay, which was a former train station in an earlier life.  This is the entry hallway!  There are spectacular statutes up and down that are truly breathtaking.  Even look at the ceiling!



The colors that Dégas interspersed amongst his dancers was fabulous, in my opinion.








Quilt patterns everywhere:








I'm still struggling with my Moda Blockheads II, not feeling happy with the "finished" product... hope to get to that this week...and will definitely post more this month!

Friday, November 1, 2019

October mini just finished and a Paris visit

Under the wire... I just about finished this little quilt last night. I had made the top before (I think it's a Pam Buda design) but it needed quilting and binding.

 This was my first attempt at baptist fan quilting.  I used a Sewline purple washout marker -- started with Pounce, but that just wiped off.  Supplemented with white pencil on the dark fabrics.  Used my Juki free-motion and it seemed to work pretty well.  So, Wendy Reed (constantquilter), does it count as my October entry?? VBG




I also was working on donations for the Hawaii auction I always make things for.  This time I opted to make little purses. I made them large enough to hold an iphone and added a little hand-strap. Cute, don't you think?  I have one more to make. 




Another Cheddarback block is also done.  I had seen someone else's in similar colors and I really liked it.


I promised I'd show you pictures I took from my afternoon with my friend Will in Paris, who is truly one of the most talented quilters I've ever met.  I love when we are able to meet up and she is so free to share her latest accomplishments, which are always just amazing.
Here we are, being silly--note it was very humid and my hair was super-curly.  Also, I think the fact that I mixed up the shampoo and the hair gel probably didn't help!


Here is quintessential Montmartre, where Will lives:


We were trying to find a particular thread I was running out of and we passed by this iconic Paris site.  Merry-go-rounds are very common in Paris at parks and other sites.  This is Sacre-Coeur.


This is Will's hexagon quilt she's been working on, from a photograph in a small book:


This is the quilt she's also been working on.


I loved the center so took a close up.  You can probably see some of the fabrics she chose as well.  One of her many talents is that she has such an eye for choosing fabrics.  And she fussy-cuts like no one else!  And she does a lot of hand-piecing!


I also snapped a few pictures of some little quilts she has hanging on a wall.




Next time I'll share pictures of inspirations I saw, from walls in the Metro, to tables, to floors, to paintings!