Tuesday, April 25, 2023

I'm back... it's really me

Hello dear friends,

Don't we all constantly ask where as the time gone!  Well, I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted.  I'm well;  we traveled a good amount;  I got Covid;  we traveled some more.  I do hope, my dear readers, that you are well, healthy and happy!  

Thanks to the many bloggers who did check in with me to make sure I was ok.  It was very much appreciated.  I realized that blogging is one avenue of communication with the outside world.  I did enjoy it!  I just labored over the pictures;  hopefully now it's a bit easier!

I'll share a photo of a quilt I am giving away to the husband of my grandson's favorite teacher who was just diagnosed with a brain tumor!  For those who don't know me well enough, donating quilts to people I've never met who have been ill is one of my favorite things to do.  I also recently sent a quilt to a woman in Bend who posted on Facebook about juggling her cancer treatments with a new-born baby.  She got a quilt right away.

The quilt I sent to the woman in Bend was a fun quilt with lots of hidden fussy-cut images to keep her busy!

As far as new projects go, I haven't been super productive.  I did work on a mystery through EQP textiles, which is at the quilter's now.  And I did make the houses for Cécile's sew along!

There was another outer border per the instructions but I was so done with the quilt that I opted to finish it with the solid border.  Both are ready to be picked up from my long arm quilter extraordinaire, Sandy Lachowski in Bend!

I will try to post on a regular basis.  I did just figure out that I can air drop the pictures from my phone directly to the blog post so that'll be a lot easier.

I do hope you are all well; that you've been healthy;  that your families are healthy and that you are enjoying life to the fullest.  The train seems to speed up with age so let's savor every moment.

Much love,

Randy and Zeke

Monday, August 15, 2022

Maine quilts, part I

 I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Maine quilt show two weeks ago in Augusta, and not only go to the show, but spend time with Wendy Reed (constantquilter) and Barb Veder (funwithbarb).  It was a week of incredible fun and sharing of talents!  I loved every minute!

I flew in and was picked up by Wendy and her sweetest husband Gordon.  Last time I visited a couple of years ago, they took me to a bbq place (BBQ in Maine?? Seriously??!!) which had the best Bloody Mary.  We went on our way to the airport this time, but I have to show you the cocktails.  Who ever heard of a rib on top of a drink??  It was pretty darn good!!

For me, honestly, one of the highlights of the show was seeing our Community Supper quilt that Wendy put together from all the blocks she collected from people all over.  She did a super job and it really was great to be able to see what we contributed to.  Sadly, the organizers of the show did not put any explanations or stories with the quilts so no one was able to understand what was behind the quilt.  I was sorry about that in many other quilts.

I was also able to view the back, which (you may remember) Wendy pieced each block using one of her favorite toiles or cheater cloths, along with the labels that everyone made.

It is a beautiful quilt filled with so much meaning.  Kudos to Wendy for organizing this and putting it together so beautifully.

I loved this quilt which greeted quilters at the entry.  It's simple... seems like the circles were string pieced and then appliqued onto the great green backgrounds.
And each block was quilted in a different pattern, which I think is fabulous

There were some stunning quilts.

This was a Sue Garman quilt pattern, "Halo Medallion", which I love.  I think it even received several ribbons!

Another ribbon winner.  Isn't this applique gorgeous?!!  The quilting is also pretty spectacular.  I love the brown background--I'd never have thought to use that.

I've been a fan of Jan Kingwell's quilts.  There were a bunch in Maine (as in Sisters, as well)...another ribbon winner!

I love all these circles.  So simple but yet so striking!  Great use of colors, don't you think?

Here is it in a different color way:

Here's a Barbara Brackman pattern done by none other than my dear friend Wendy Reed, who truly is an appiquéer extraordinaire!!.  Stunning.

Here's another of Wendy's:

I have many other quilts to share but I really wanted to show you how delighted Wendy was when Barb Vedder (funwithbarb) and I presented her with the quilt we made for her to help her heal from her current medical issues.
I took orphan blocks from my stash and Barb's and put the quilt together.  It's very much like doing a puzzle, which I really do enjoy.  My friend Sandy Lachowski (here in Bend) was kind enough to get the quilting done for us literally overnight after the quilt show.  Barb attached the binding and made a beautiful label.  Wendy was cuddled under the quilt while we were all together, which was awesome.  It was a true labor of love by both of us!

We are three peas in a pod and we always enjoy it when we can be together, although it's a little challenging with me being across the country from them.

Quilting friends are the best, aren't they??

Stay well, stay safe and be grateful.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Blockhead progress, inch by inch!

 I'm missing my sewing machines as my husband and I are traveling this week.  I did manage to get one more Blockheads block done, though, and I'm happy about that.  It didn't come out exactly as I'd hoped and I may take it apart when I'm back home but for now, it'll do.  I had intended the stripes to line up perfectly and they're not.

The exciting news is that I'm heading to Maine on Tuesday for the Maine quilt show.  Our dynamic trio (Wendy Reed, Barb Vedder and myself ) is going to be together again.  Barb is teaching (very exciting) and Wendy and I will be taking her classes as well as seeing the show.

I'll be excited to report back next week.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Be kind, be generous and be well,


ps:  I'm just finishing a great book-- Frank Bruni's "The Beauty of Dusk".  He's a great writer, so the prose is exceptional.  The story is extremely interesting as well.  Let me also recommend another great story by John Grisham called "Sooley".  It's not a legal thriller.  I don't think he's a great writer but the story is also very compelling.  Enjoy.  I always welcome book recommendations, by the way.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

And the answer is ...

Hi dear blogging friends,

Can't believe how long it's been since I posted.  Anyway, the answer to the question on what to do to fix the piano bench?  I ordered a new one!!  It's contrary to my goal to recycle and reuse but one morning, the sun was beaming across the kitchen to my piano bench and I saw that the legs were totally beat up.  They looked awful. No new seat cover would have fixed that.

So I found a very nice one on Overstock and plan to deliver the old one to the Second Tern, which is a goodwill-type place near our house that benefits the Nature Center.  Win-win, right?

First of all, I need to share my June mini!  Yes, it was done well before the end of June.

This was a Kathleen Tracy pattern and I had fun whipping it together.

Then, I finished my July mini, again well in advance of the deadline!

There were orphan blocks I had and tried to get a placemat together in time for July 4th!  it's a bit large than a placemat, but it works.  So now I'm done with June and July!  TADA!!

In other sewing news, I did do the Blockheads appliqué block, bird on a branch.  In fact, I had so much fun doing it, I made two more!  I'm not going to show you the other two yet--they went into a quilt that is a gift that's not yet gifted.

I did go to the Sister's Quilt Show last weekend and was treated to some wonderful quilts.  There's no doubt that the trend is towards modern fabrics and patterns rather than traditional.  I found many I liked and had to take pictures.  We got there early (as I like to do, before it's hot and crowded) and we were able to get access to the Teacher's "tent" (it wasn't in a tent this year!) and we got to see some fabulous quilts;  our favorites were those by Tula Pink, who had a whole section.  Her use of fabrics is terrific.  Here are some quilts and a close up!

Take a good look at the fussy-cutting in these hexagons.  Fabulous job!

Here are a couple of Jen Kingwell quilts- there were lots at the show this year.

I really liked these, using selvages, of which I have many many bags!


I really liked this house quilt by Lawry Thorn, who works at the Stitchin Post.  I ran into her at the show and am going to get the pattern from her.   I love the variety of houses interspersed with trees.   She apparently taught it during Covid as a mystery--I'm very sorry I wasn't aware of that as it would've been the perfect project during that period of staying home!  The Stitchin Post, which puts on the show every year, has a building with a huge outside wall that they always put their employees' challenge quilt on.  It's quite a sight.  I only took a picture of this one, though.

I thought this was a great use of lights with words printed on them, one type of fabric I've been collecting.  I might put a different dog or maybe birds, but still cute!

I'm presently into using orphan blocks (I was quite surprised at the number of blocks I have laying around from quilts I started but gave up on for various reasons!!). This was one quilt I thought was really nice, depicting the Three Sisters Mountains, which sit right outside Sisters and are the big part of the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon.

Here's another one:

Assembling a quilt with different sized blocks is a challenge, which I do enjoy.  It's almost like trying to make a puzzle.  I've been working on another one, which I'll show you soon.  But it was truly eye-opening to see how many quilts I have started but quit before they were done because I either didn't like them or got bored.  Know what I mean??  I think it's a bad habit I need to break.

so you will likely see more quilts finished up, using blocks I thought were insufficient for a quilt or because I didn't like them.

Hope you are having a great summer!  Take care, be grateful and generous, and be happy!



Monday, June 20, 2022

Put on your thinking caps!! ADVICE needed for a GIVEAWAY

 One thing about me that hardly anyone knows is that I used to play the piano.  In fact, I have had a piano since I was a little girl.  We have a beautiful grand piano in our home in California that I have hardly played. My grandson loves playing it, so that's good!

When we built our cabin here in Central Oregon, I had asked the builder to make sure there was space for my piano.  Fast forward to 7 yrs later and I learned that moving a piano from California to the High Desert in Oregon isn't smart so I needed to find a piano here.  I have been looking periodically but last week I hit pay dirt and found the most beautiful old upright nearby for sale.

It was owned by a young woman looking to drive around the country unencumbered by "things".  Her dad was a concern pianist and bought her this piano!  So I figured I couldn't go wrong. The brand is Tokai, which I hadn't heard of.  No matter--it sounds amazing and hasn't even been tuned yet (after it acclimates to its new home!)

The help I need is for the bench!  It's a bit tattered and is covered with a cheap vinyl.  So I of course checked out the LQS and my stash and found some musical fabric.  I'd like to recover the bench and I am stumped as to what to do!  It measures 13 x 34.  I was thinking some blocks but I'm not sure what to use.  I'll obviously put heavy batting under my "top".  Here is my "pallet!!"

The person who offers the best alternative will win a load of fabric!!  Deadline?  Friday June 24th.  THANKS.

What have I been doing since I've been stuck with this giant boot on my foot?  Well, listening to lots of books!  And sewing.

I unearthed two quilts waiting for bindings.  Don't ask me why I waited so long to get them done.  They are two favorite quilts of mine, really!

This was a Primitive Gatherings kit from a few years ago.  Lots of small flowers done by wool appliqué and put together with the tiniest of half square triangles you can imagine!!  I am trying to figure out if it's washable or not since it has wool.  No idea what I'll do with it.  I do love it, though.

The second quilt was a Bonnie Hunter block design that I really love.  In fact, I was thinking of using that block for my piano bench with musical notes in the center.  Block is called "Diamond Tile".

I had great fun fussy cutting the centers, which you can see by these blocks:

These few centers are from Tula Pink, Di Ford and French General!  Such a fun block and quilt to make.  The border is also fun, with flamingos throughout!  Just a fun quilt!

Hope you have a great week.  it's finally warming up here in Central Oregon and my foot has improved enough (in my eyes, anyway) that I'm going kayaking on Thursday.  CANNOT wait!!  I'll probably change my header photo with lake and snow pictures!

Take care, be kind and be grateful,



Tuesday, June 14, 2022

I'm losing to scraps!

 I'll bet you all feel that scraps seems to multiply overnight!  I am inundated and decided to try to organize some of my scraps here in Sunriver.

I've been cutting 2-1/2" strips forever and had a huge bag filled with them so I decided it was time to organize them.  So I sorted them between lights and darks.  Easy, right?  But then the question became what to do with these sorted strips?

I went to Joann's and Walmart and bought a couple of containers but I can't say that I'm happy with them as a solution.

This is the bag (in back) with the lights in a Tupperware-type container.

The darks:

Here are other ineffective solutions:

So here is my question:  how do you organize your scraps?  I know some people keep colors separated but I'm not thinking that's the best solution for me. I like having strips separated by size but that box with the dark strips seems absolutely useless to me!  


Still being pretty stuck in the house with my boot, I'm getting lots of sewing done.  I added another border to the red appliqué/stars quilt and laid it on the carpet to decide on a border when my small (HA!!) puppy decided to plop down on it.

I'm still not convinced I want to do a border with purple vines and leaves, thinking that'll take be forever.  Might take it to the LQS to see if there is a border fabric that might work.

Not much else going on around here.  Still pretty cool and rainy, which I'm not minding.  My foot is feeling a little better--I've been icing it every day for at least an hour and I think that's helping the swelling.  I'm thinking next week I might try to kayak...will keep you posted.

Hope you're having a great early summer.

Stay well, be kind and be grateful,



Friday, June 10, 2022

I got the boot!!

 I'll bet that got your attention!!

I was careless while I was walking last week and wasn't paying attention when I fell.  The road wasn't flat and my foot landed on an uneven portion and I went forward, landing on my knees.  Oh and I broke my foot!  It's a small fracture and I should be good as new quickly.  But what a drag!  I am trying to be positive--could've been so much worse, right?

The good news is that it's given me a lot of time to sew.  I can't go hiking or walking the dog very far.  Definitely not getting into my kayak (fortunately it's still a bit too chilly here in Central Oregon for that).  So I've put together two tops and have been working on more appliqué blocks!

These are some of the blocks from the Splendid Sampler I did during Covid.  It's not even all the blocks; I still have more.  I dropped it off with my long-arm quilter friend this week!

I also pulled this out and put the blocks together.

I had a lot of star blocks to catch up with so I got them done and then decided to add another row.  I am on the last appliqué block and still need two more stars.  I am thinking about the border...I was going to go shop for a border fabric but I'm thinking a simple red border with a purple vine and leaves might add to the overall look.  Of course that's a lot more appliqué but I've really enjoyed working with the red and purple.  I have a lot of red leftover so it'd be a good way to use it up!  It's a fun quilt, don't you think??  What would you do with the border??

My twilight garden center is all ready to finish up.  I pressed the last border into place and it's now just waiting for me to finish the sewing!  Such an amazing quilt, I think!

One might conclude that I'm an appliqué-er but that'd be inaccurate.  I'm not great at it but good enough.  I do enjoy it, in all honesty.  The "A" word is not a bad word, in my world!

Hope you are all healthy and have a great weekend.

Be safe, be kind and be grateful.