Saturday, May 23, 2020

Time for a change and a giveaway

You will no doubt notice the change of header on my blog--of course it's completely the wrong size but I wanted to try to change it.

Thanks to Janet Olson for helping me even get this far~  Now I need to figure out how to resize the picture.  I remember doing it originally but that's a long-gone memory.

If you know how to resize a picture on a blog, PLEASE give me your email address so I can pick your brain.

Now for the fun part!!  I was cleaning my sewing room here at the cabin and realized I have TWO of the QCR Mini quick curve rulers.  I bought it twice (I have to admit that I haven't used either one!)

If you're interested in owning this ruler, please leave me a comment and tell me what's the best thing you've gained throughout this quarantine, shelter in place, period.  I have found many "silver linings" during this period and I'm curious to hear yours.

I'll draw a winner on Tuesday.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A silver lining

I have always had more of the "glass is half full" type of approach to life so even though I'm not enjoying all the restrictions, I have found many reasons to appreciate the time we've been forced to shelter in place.  You'll not find me complaining about any of this, honestly.

One such part of my enjoying this period has been my walking.  What a friend and I devised was a walk and talk time every day at 2:00 where we talk on the phone (she's in California) and I'm still in Oregon.  We've been doing this since we first left California on March 16th, so two months.  That's about 25 miles/week.  Our cabin is situated in a resort area surrounded by woods so my 5 mile walk every day is around the perimeter of the property.  It's literally a walk through the woods.  I do the same walk every day, although I vary which direction I walk and where I enter the woods!  Never feel tired of it.

Last week I felt like my feet were feeling super flat before I set out.  Finally, I realized, AH HA, I may need new shoes.  So, now that Bend has opened up a bit, I went into town on Sunday (actually went into a store) and bought myself a new pair of shoes. WOW!  What a difference!
And I won't likely lose them any time soon!  BRIGHT!!

A girl's socks should match her shoes, right?  So fortunately I have orange socks to match the shoes!  Aren't they great?  They are the Hoka brand and I've really enjoyed them.  HUGE difference.

Not only me but my friend, who I've been "walking" with these past 2 months, also realized her back and leg aches might be due to needing new shoes and she, of course, got the SAME ones.  If only we were walking together in real life, right??  VBG

On the sewing front, I've worked on my next mini.  I am not sure if the one I just finished was the April or May mini, actually.  This one just needs to be sewn together and quilted.

As part of my effort to use up leftover pieces, the center 4-patches were from that same quilt project with the teeny-tiny 4-patches I just posted.
There is another pile of 4-patches left over from the same project so I'm also making log cabin blocks out of them.  Unfortunately the centers don't pop out, but I'm trying to use up some ufo/orphan materials so I'll live with it.

Did I show you the cute little house I made?  I printed out the free pattern but only made one.  Of course I kind of screwed it up and put the door upside down.  Oh well.

And my trip around the world is done for now.  I'm making this for the small quilt group I belong to as a donation for a child.  It'll have to wait until we can meet again but I'm going to put it together and set it aside until we head back to California in June.

You will remember that I've been working on a Primitive Gatherings wool applique giant quilt, mostly sewing in the car.  I had a brilliant idea (actually I heard it from someone else) to hand sew, even just 15 minutes a day.  So I pulled my car project out and set it on a chair by the window and have been working just a few minutes each day on a little hand sewing.  We just put up a bird feeder outside on a tree and I'm enjoying watching the little chickadees (they are the only takers so far!) fly up to the seed, nibble, and fly away.

The project is sitting on a wool throw quilt that I knitted some years ago.  I lay under it in case I need a little nap in the afternoon! ;-)  And the weather here in Central Oregon is still pretty chilly so I had the fireplace going this morning!

Hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and feeling good!  I wish you all good things, feelings and health!

Friday, May 15, 2020

It's a good day in the neighborhood

The sun is out.  WOOHOO.
And, best news yet, Oregon is starting to open up. I'm not sure what to do first! VBG.  I think the local quilt store is requiring reservations to come and shop.  I think I'll wait on that one.

I was motivated this week by the Mini Maven Mainiac, Miss Wendy Reed [constantquilter], to get my May mini done!  I found some orphan blocks in a drawer and decided to set them using some DiFord fabric (I believe it's her design) I had.  I have accumulated a fair amount of border/stripe type fabrics that I've yet to use.  VOILA!!  

What's interesting about this mini is that I have the original quilt here at the cabin.  Same blocks that are set differently.

I'm not sure you can see the binding fabric very well.  This fabric had two different prints side by side:  the floral and the ribbon.  I decided to use the ribbon for the binding (well, I had to cut them off anyway to get the floral strips cut).  I'm calling this Tic Tac Toe!!

Here is the original quilt.  The blocks are 4" finished, by the way. So each little 4-patch is 1".  I made this as part of a swap maybe 5-6 years ago.  The original pattern was called Dipped in Chocolate.  I can't remember where it came from though.

I think it's so interesting to see the difference between the two with just the setting.  Same exact blocks!  I actually prefer the setting with the floral print.  The quilting on the larger quilt is very tight so it's not a particularly soft cuddly quilt.  Oh well.  I have already hung up my mini on my wall and I think it adds lots of perkiness, if that's a word!

I have also been making more of the trip around the world blocks and the album blocks.  I'm hoping to get enough done to put them together into a quilt maybe this weekend.  I'm meeting my long arm quilter friend next week so hope to give her one.

Do you see the horseshoe in the upper right corner?  That was a project little Emma made last summer in horseback riding camp so I decided to hang it on my design wall.

We did go back to California over last weekend to see all our kids.  I hold Mother's Day very dear to my heart every year so I didn't want to miss it.  We had our grandkids staying overnight and they loved that too.  No one is sick so we feel okay about being together.  This is me with all 5 grandkids;  the baby wasn't too happy about being in the picture!

Hope you are all well and healthy and safe.  This too shall pass--hopefully sooner rather than later.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

This n that

I hope everyone is staying healthy and handling the shelter in place without too much stress and/or anxiety.  I know this entire situation is just so odd and different and can be difficult to handle.

I think I mentioned that my favorite stress-reliever (aside from quilting) is to take a long walk every day while talking with a friend.  Walk and talk!  It's been a highlight of my days, even with the weather being lousy in Central Oregon!  Now it's warming up.

I have gotten a lot of sewing done and should have been sharing more frequently.  I finished the Temecula Stay at Home little sampler but I haven't decided how I'm going to set the 28 little 3" blocks.  This was my tentative plan.  I even thought about using this as the center of a larger quilt.  I didn't sew it together yet so I'm open to ideas.  What do you think?

In the big finish of the month, I put the binding on my Moda Blockheads II quilt.  It's a big quilt--fits on the top of my king size bed!  So you can imagine how long it took.  I do sew my bindings down by machine most of the time with an elongated "S" on my Bernina machine (or Janome, depending on where I am).  It looks fine to me and I don't have to worry about the stitches coming out!  This was a huge project and I am really pleased with the final quilt.

I set aside the blue/white/yellow blocks I showed you and decided to play with other fabric I had at the cabin (my stash is kind of limited here).
First thing is I took out a pile of 2-1/2" strips and started playing around.  I think I'll make this a kid's quilt for my small quilt group's projects, if we ever meet again! ;-(  This is a Bonnie Hunter pattern.  I am trying to use a darker blue as a constant.

At the cabin here I have an Accuquilt Go, which I have just about never used (I bought it used at least 4 yrs ago).  In keeping with not using it, I bought a die for a quilt I've wanted to make (stash enhancing, right??!!).  So I decided I was in the mood for that block and quilt.  I started with the pile of Kaffe Fassett fabrics that I have at the cabin and a solid off-white.  This is a really fun block.  Accuquilt calls is "Chimney Sweep" but I've always thought of it as an album block with signatures in the middle sometimes.

Feeling limited by my meager stash here, I went online and ordered some more fabrics and I have already received a great variety of gorgeous Kaffe Fassett  fabrics which I started cutting up right away.

You might notice on the right side of my design wall a bunch of little postage stamp units.  That's my leader-ender project--I cut extra fabrics into 1-1/4" squares and sew them together.  I have them in units, waiting to be assembled.  They are pretty darn small!!

I've shared photos of Mt. Bachelor before but I thought this was so pretty, seen on my walk last week.  I never get tired of this view.

You know that this shelter in place has been very difficult for us with respect to our grandkids.  You remember that we had them staying over at our house in California at least twice a month, sometimes more often.  Every time we talk on the phone, the first thing they ask is "When are you coming back"!  Imagine our delight when we received this postcard from Emma, 7 yrs old.  We thought it was amazing that we even got it, considering the way she addressed it!

Stay safe and healthy.
Much love to you!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Checking in

My little Temecula stay at home sampler is really fun.  I'm doing it in blue/white/yellows.
They are precious little 3" blocks that take about 10 minutes to make each day! My kind of project!

My plan is to combine these blocks into a quilt with these blocks I had put aside.  This was a project I started but didn't get very far.  So now I'm incorporating them into a new project, which will hopefully get finished this time around!

My dh drove back to California today to pick up some of our things and our mail so I am going to have several days on my own!  I will probably have him bring me more fabric and ufos!  This is looking like it's going to be a while!

What can I do when I'm alone??? Besides sewing??
BAKE.  I saw this recipe on Facebook and decided it sounded perfect for a Sunday morning.  What could ever be wrong with a coffee cake??  this recipe called for using Bisquick, which I didn't have so I found a way to make my own.  PERFECT.

I have also really been in the mood for making sourdough bread but I don't have a starter so I found a recipe for that and have been making my starter little by little.  Today is Day 5 so it's almost ready to use.  I've never had my own sourdough starter.  I'll let you know how that goes.  I could definitely eat an entire loaf of sourdough bread, right out of the oven. With butter!  And being alone will make it my entire dinner!!

Hope everyone is staying safe and is healthy.  We have been staying in place for 5 weeks now, here in Central Oregon.  It's a great place to be quarantined;  each day I go for a 5 mile walk with a friend (we talk on the phone!!);  it's perfect.  if I didn't eat so much of the coffee cake, I'd probably lose a little weight. ;-))

Be well.

Monday, April 13, 2020

A finish and more masks

Hope you had a fun Easter in whatever form you got to enjoy it.  

I've been sewing more masks as I'm getting more and more requests for them.  They go quickly and it's kind of fun.  I will say that I wore mine last week and didn't really enjoy the experience. ;-(  I guess it's a necessary evil.  I'm not going out very often so fortunately I don't need to wear it very much.  Do the masks count as a mini, Wendy Reed??? vbg

I did finally finish the Cheddarback quilt!  YEAH!
I'd like to add a border but I don't have any fabric here at the cabin that'd work (all my large scale florals are in California) so it's going to the longarm quilter today as is.  I wound up substituting some blocks since my print outs for several weeks are in California so I had to just make-do.  I have that very old book, Around the Block (and ATB Again), which is one of my favorite go-to books for block patterns.  Finding blocks the right size is easy with that book.  If you have it, don't you love it??!!
Also, I realized one basket block is facing down, which will be just fine!

Next up??  I think I'll do the Temecula little project they're doing with 3" blocks;  I'll also start back on the Moda Blockheads III.

I also had a thought that I might take a pile of orphan blocks and put them together into a quilt.  I have three large baggies with blocks I started for 3 different projects.  I'll post my progress.

Today I'm bringing pizzas to my mom's memory care facility for the staff;  I also bring her the newspaper.  They've been in lockdown for over 4 weeks and happily no one has gotten sick!  So I haven't seen her in a while.

Take care.  Stay safe and healthy!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Making masks

I have really resisted the idea of wearing a mask but having read the latest warnings, I have decided that it's probably smart to wear one.

I've kept many patterns but finally settled on a very simple one.  I made one for myself and a friend, who doesn't sew, asked me to make them a pair.  There is also an organization in Bend that is collecting masks so I'll be making them a pile as well to drop off.

I had fun digging through fun fabrics.

I'm almost done assembling the cheddarback quilt - have had a little interference, though.

Once this is finished, I'll start on the Moda Blockheads as well as the Temecula latest little project.

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.  The weather has finally gotten warmer here in Central Oregon so we are able to bike ride and enjoy the warmer weather.