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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Another GIVEAWAY- block of the month

I am really serious about my stash reduction/cleaning my house program I started a couple of weeks ago.  Okay, it's not house-wide (and very little is being done in my sewing room) but I identified something I would like to give away.

It's a block of the month pattern by Bonnie Blue called Cotton Club.  It has 45 blocks, each 5" in size for 11 months  The only thing I'm missing is the finishing instructions, but I think you could figure it out by looking at the pictures of the finished quilt.  
I was trying to post a picture of the quilt but I don't have mine... no idea where it went or who I gave it to.

But here is the link:
http://fatquartershop.blogspot.com/2011/06/bonnie-blue-quilts-cotton-club-block-of.html

It all comes in a large binder so I'd prefer to mail only to the US rather than international.

Anybody interested??  I'll try to take a picture and post it as well.  I'll draw a winner on Monday May 1.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Back from vacation with the kiddies and small GIVEAWAY

We just spent the past week with our daughter's family, including the three darlings who I frequently babysit for on Fridays and a couple of weekends a month.  We had a great time at our cabin in Oregon, although I can't say we had very good weather.

My 7 yr old grandson has always enjoyed sewing with me, but now he's too large to sit in my lap.  So I rigged up a stool for him to be able to reach the pedal and scooted him right next to me!  He was delighted!


We were working on one of the triangle gatherings blocks.  You might notice the crib in the back right--that's for the youngest~  He's not quite ready for a bed yet.


I actually decided it was a great lesson for him to try to replicate the pattern depicted in the diagram.  He did great!

On the drive up, my husband and I listened to a book through Audible.com (if you are not part of that system, I highly recommend it!).  I was busy sewing another pin cushion.  Seriously, how many pin cushions do I need??


This is a Primitive Gatherings pattern and I mostly used Valdani threads, except for the blue stars, which were sewn with that Sue Spargo variegated thread I bought in February, and just LOVE.  Would you like the pattern?? Shoot me a comment and it's yours.  I'll draw a winner on Thursday!

I got no other sewing done, for obvious reasons. And I am not complaining.

I will show you a priceless (to me) photo, though~!  I rarely get into a picture but here I am with my 3 oldest grandkids (3, 4 and 7).



Now it's back to work this week!

Friday, April 14, 2017

And the winner is... plus Janet Olson challenge is challenging!

The winner of the Mickey Dupre book is:

Rina

Please send me your snail mail address so I can mail you the book.

Many of you may remember that Janet O. and I did a little challenge last year ostensibly to use up my French General fabrics.  I sent her a pile of my extra fabrics with which she made me the most darling little 12" quilt.  That was the only restriction.



It is fabulous... the design is so perfect (stars are my favorite blocks) and her feathers (she's quite the master quilter, if you don't already know) are amazing.  She also is the Queen of Minis!  I love it.  Do you see the fussy cut corners??  And the centers of the stars??

So this year she chose the fabrics and we are following the same general guidelines...12" quilt.  Here is what I have left:


The jelly roll was a Barbara Brackman line.  I added other fabrics  to make my project, which will be within the 12" guideline, with a little variation...
I'm going to finish it up after we return from our cabin in Oregon (we are going up tomorrow with my daughter and her 3 darlings, so I won't get any sewing done...small price to pay to have the kids for the week!!).  I'll post a picture after I send it to Janet.

One of the places we visited in Nashville was a botanical garden.  The flowers were not all in bloom but these little pansies had the best colors.  I had to take a close up.  Wouldn't a quilt with these colors be so striking??


I did a little sewing this week, trying to catch up with the Triangle Gatherings.  I got 3 done...





These fabrics were my favorite of the three, although it's a little hard on the eyes!!

I'm now trying to put together a little hand work for the drive tomorrow.  I really enjoyed the wool appliqué (no edges to turn) so I am leaning in that direction.  I think I have a kit or two of pin cushions that are wool.  

Hope everyone has a great Easter!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Quick GIVEAWAY

Some might call it spring cleaning.  I'm calling it a change of approach.  I've been reading a great book called The Hoarder in You.  It's been extremely enlightening.  No, I don't think I'm a hoarder.  However, I'm more inclined to get rid of things I don't use or need... wait until you see my pantry... EMPTY.  Of course, the food from 2009 probably needed to go anyway.  VBG.

Anyway, I'm ready to give away a book this week:

"Garden Whimsy" by Mickey Depre.  It's applique, very bright and cheery.  Honestly I never opened the book. 

https://www.amazon.com/Garden-Whimsy-Applique-Mickey-Depre/dp/1574329065/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492016807&sr=1-4&keywords=garden+whimsy



The little notes under the book are from my grandson's notes while he plays at my desk!!

Anyway, if you can leave me a comment with your email address by Friday morning, I'll draw a winner and mail it out on Friday!  I know this is quick...sorry...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

More Nashville pictures and stories

One of the must-see places in Nashville is the Country Music Hall of Fame.  It's HUGE and so impressive.  Of course, my eyes stopped on this beauty. It seems to be a treadle and quite old:




Nudie sewed the performers' gorgeous clothing on that old Singer!  And for the record, it seems that Nudie was a MAN!!  What a name!!  And, there was a bar/music venue in Nashville called "Nudie's" which was extremely popular.

Another item I found at this museum was this gorgeous découpaged typewriter!

Isn't that beautiful??!!

I am always on the look-out for old buildings with quilt patterns.  I spotted two, but only had a chance to take the picture of this one.  Brick is everywhere in Nashville, and I thought this one was beautifully done!






You may or may not know that in a former life, I was an English major/teacher.  So of course I love to read.  I had heard of a bookstore in Nashville owned by an author I just love (Ann Patchett).  I found this little framed saying at the entrance and thought it applied to us and our cultivating local quilt shops!  And, if you like to read, don't miss her books.  Bel Canto is one of my favorites, although honestly I love them all.



I had to take a picture of the interior of the bookstore.  So impressive. And so tempting.  I wanted to buy so many books that they were featuring.  Not too different than being in a quilt shop.  Although I have a Kindle, I was mesmerized by the actual books once again!  I did manage to restrain myself and only bought one for the plane and never opened by Kindle!



Another thing I love to marvel at in my travels is wall-art.  Frequently there are painted sides of buildings and Nashville did not disappoint.






Don't overlook that these buildings are brick yet you don't see the bricks very much with the painting.  The first two were at a parking lot;  this one was across the street from the library, where we did go into to see an exhibit on the civil rights movement in Nashville. That's for another post but was extremely interesting!

When we were at the  Plantation which I showed you in the last blog post, I was marveling at the walkways, out of brick, of course.  Great little quilt patterns, again!

This was the original brick walkway from the 1800s, along with the brick lining the walkway.  We were told that the bricks were actually made on the properties themselves!

More to share...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Back from Nashville

My dh and I just returned from a trip to Nashville, a place that has long been on my bucket list of places I really wanted to visit.  We were so pleasantly surprised to have loved every minute.  It completely exceeded our expectations.  If you like music, it's definitely the place to go.  There was live music at every single bar along a 3 block stretch of Broadway, starting at 11:00 a.m.  The food was excellent, and we had a car so we were able to venture out further than just near where we were staying.

We both are interested in history so we wanted to take in what we could.  I'll fill you in on some history that we explored but I'll start with the quilt part of the trip.  What's a trip without a visit to a quilt store?? ;-)

We stopped at a shop that was filled to the brim with fabric -- I mean I was tripping over the bolts! And talk about fat quarters?? I've never seen so many!






Note this was just ONE side of the fat quarter wall!  I didn't even try to find something.



What did I buy?? Some brights!  Still haven't decided what to do with these fabrics, but one of these days!!




These beauties are from Di Ford and are just scrumptious.  I didn't buy the pillar prints they had because I thought I already had some. WRONG... UGH.

I also got two patterns, one of which is a gift for someone.

One of the places we visited was a former plantation that was the scene of a civil war battle and cemetery.  I'll share more pictures on another post but I wanted to share this quilt seen in  former slave quarters.  It was almost on the floor, completely unprotected.  The historian who gave us the tour told me it was from the early 1800s.  Here is the home:






  

This is a close up and you can see that some of the hexagons have completely deteriorated but mostly it's in great shape.

We went into a touristy shop in the town of Franklin and I saw this which I thought was a great use of a quilt that's in very poor condition.  They called it a memo board.  But you could use it in any way you wanted.  It seems to be mounted on a piece of plywood but you could use anything, I think.



I've many more pictures to share... will do it gradually so as not to overwhelm you!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Log Cabin finish - Chef D'oeuvre!!

I participated in Cecile and Bea's little quilt-a-long since January involving log cabins.  What I loved about this is that there were NO rules.  Well, that was also pretty difficult as well.  You could do whatever size, style you wanted.

I chose to make mine mini, and I was using that same French General fabric I have been trying to get rid of!!  These little blocks didn't use up very much, I'll tell you!



Each block consisted of 4 little 3" log cabins.  Two were courthouse steps;  the other two were more traditional.  The strips were 1-1/4" cut;

to set them, I chose 4 little orphan blocks I'd made for the swap I did with Janet O last year which I rejected.  They aren't log cabin but they are French General so I figured that was ok.

I put them on point and set them with two different shirtings I had.

Quilting?  Well that's another story.  Let's just say I should practice more!! My "feathers" are pretty sad!  And my quilting is very inconsistent.  One good thing is how much I enjoyed using my Janome 6600 free motion quilting.  What a great machine.

Here is what I tried to do:





I am naming this little quilt "The French General downsizes to a log cabin"!!

Cute, hunh?  I usually hate coming up with names but this one was fun.

Did you do their little quilt along??

Monday, April 3, 2017

Goose in the Pond finish

The last steps for our sew along !! Finally.

The last units to construct are the little 9-patches. Remember they will be finishing at 3" (3-1/2" unf) and you will need 4 of them. The easiest way to go is to cut strips of your two colors and sew them together in sets of dark-light-dark and light-dark-light.  You'll need more of the former.  Remember the strips should be cut at 1-1/2" wide and at least 18" long




Once they're sewn, you'll sub-cut them into 1-1/2" pieces and then sew them together into a 9-patch.



I like to "twist" my seams in the back so they lie flatter.  Remember to check the size of your units.  I always check once they're constructed to make sure that my larger block is the right size.


Aren't they pretty?  Note I am using two different colored threads...just using what I have near my machine.  I know--I'm bad!

You'll need also 5 solid squares at 3-1/2".

Now take your half square triangles, your rail fences, your 9 patches and your solids and assemble:


This block will measure 15" finished.  What a great project.  You can make more blocks and sew them together using sashing or not.  Or use just one block for a wall-hanging (think Lori's little doll quilt swap!!) or 4 for a nice wall-hanging!

thanks for participating!!!  Hope you had fun. Send me a picture of what you did and I'll post it!!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A child's rambings

This is completely un-quilt related but I had to share this, before I forget.

I was driving little Emma (4-1/2) home from the grocery store this afternoon and we had this conversation:

Emma:   Nana, which is your favorite animal??

Me:       I love dogs, Emma.  Which is your favorite animal,  Emma??

Emma:   Kangeroos!

Me:       (after a little chuckle).  Why kangeroos?

Emma:  Because they jump.


Who can resist a laugh over that one.  A kangeroo???

Her second favorite animal?   A goldfish!!


gotta love the kids!

Friday, March 31, 2017

A little culture is always a good thing

I frequently watch the grandkids on Fridays and today I had decided that I was going to take little Jack (3 yrs old) to a museum that has had a Monet exhibit in San Francisco that I didn't want to miss.  I'm happy to say that he found the objects in the paintings interesting, which is perfectly fine with me!  The collection of paintings is quite different in that it includes paintings I've never seen before in any of the larger museums.  I think there were many paintings from smaller facilities and maybe even private owners!

I find that looking at paintings  often inspires me to see different color combinations.  I wanted to share with you some of the Monets I saw today.  This is not a great representation of the exhibit since it was pretty crowded and I wasn't able to get in front of the more famous paintings.  But I figured that many of you would nevertheless be excited to see any Monet painting!  I certainly am!


One of my favorites.  What was so interesting about this painting was that apparently Renoir did the same picture at the same time.  They had a photograph of Renoir's version on the description.  


This is so clear  It really almost looks like a photograph.







I then took Jack into the porcelain room to see the china from Sèvres, which I just love.  Several years ago when Bonnie and I went to Paris together, we went to the museum in Sèvres with Caroline (Brussels) and Valerie (now near Chicago! She owns The Quilt Merchant, a fabulous quilt shop!).  I find the colors of their china to be so brilliant!


It's hard to believe that all these designs were hand painted!  But that blue is spectacular, in my mind's eye!








This fabulous little museum (The Legion of Honor) also has a great collection of Rodin sculptures.  This great one sits in front of the museum and I thought a picture of Jack in front would be adorable.  A wonderful woman asked me if I wanted her to take a picture of both of us.  Jack is actually quite excited, even though he looks like he's ready to cry. We were going to the fountains out front next!

I'm going to tell you a very personal story about this sculpture, going back 40 years when I traveled in Florence with my brother.  I think I was 21;  he was 18.  I have a vivid recollection of taking a picture of him, sitting next to this sculpture in a pose very similar to The Thinker.  What's so special about this to me is that my brother was killed in a small plane crash when he was 31.  I have the photograph somewhere but it's one that is etched in my memory.

Anyway, I don't mean to be melodramatic.  I wanted to share a personal story with you and explain why this sculpture is so special for me.

I hope you enjoy looking at these Monet paintings even though they aren't quilt related.  I certainly enjoy them and feel incredibly lucky to be in such close proximity to such amazing works of art.  I'm happy to share them with you and I hope you enjoy them!