Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A few cuties (and not tangerines!)

My friends in Wisconsin have these adorable pincushions made from these antique glass figurines that are just adorable. Have you seen these before? DarLynn made me one a couple of years ago but I'd loved to have had the time to shop at an antique store to pick up a couple of others. I mean, there's always room for more pincushions, right??

I'm going to show you one more quilt from that weekend. It's a simple 9-patch but I love how Rose set them. Apparently it was another swap they did together (I'm tell ya-- these Wisconsin quilters know how to swap!!). I love it. So simple yet so dramatic. And so SCRAPPY!!!

So, TOMORROW is Feb. 1st, and you know what that means!!! Start your machines! Put a new blade into your rotary cutter!  Clean off your cutting mat! Pull your fabrics!! Tomorrow is Part 1 of the Farmer's Wife Sow-A-Long! WOOHOO!!!  Get a good night's sleep tonight!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another very quick weekend

I showed you the start of a project I was working on at my retreat last weekend. I finished it and am pleased with the finished product.  My friend Claire found the pattern in the book Piecing The Past, called Peppermint Dreams. I got my pattern from Pat's shop. You'll notice that some of the blocks are "different". That was deliberate. I like to mix things up a bit... heehee

We were watching a movie last night and going to see my darling grandson in SF today so I decided I wanted to do the redwork on the Sentimental Stitches blocks. I had to scour around for patterns but I think the cherries are cute. I'm not a great embroiderer (is that a word??) but from a distance, you can't tell! VBG

Mark and I took Ryan to the park today while his parents had a little breather. It was another amazing day in San Francisco with temps in the 60s. Golden Gate Park is half a block away and is just a fabulous park.  Here he is playing with his train in their house before we left for the park. He's really getting big!!

Just want to remind everyone that Feb. 1st is right around the corner! Are you putting your fabrics together for our Sow-A-Long?? I'm ready!!! Can't wait to start!

Hope you have a great Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Eyes have It

I wanted to start working on my sow-a-long and made one block, using my favorite pink/browns. Once I finished the block,  I realized the brown has 2 big eyes staring at me! VBG. I made another one with different fabric in case I got tired of getting The Eye from my own block. That's surely a Contrary Wife, I'll say (block #21).

I'm sewing this afternoon with my friend Claire, so I'm excited about that. I'm still unpacking from the retreat, trying to find everything. I'm missing all my little leader-ender bow-ties I made. UGH.

hope everyone has a great day today!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Binding of a different nature

So, in anticipation of the upcoming sow-a-long, I went to my local Fed Ex store and had them chop off the binding of the book and install a spiral binding on it. Now it can lie completely flat!! It cost about $5 and was well worth the investment, especially knowing how much use I'm going to be getting out of it. Are you all getting ready to start?? Are you picking fabrics? I think anything will be fabulous! I'm hoping  to set it up so we can link everyone's blogs together. And maybe even have a little icon you can click on to get to my blog. I'm going to have to consult with an expert on that one!

I still have another quilt to show you from the retreat last weekend in Wisconsin. This was a swap organized by Pat at Life's A Stitch. I call it an album block; they're small but just fabulous! I'd love to make this quilt, but will have to put it on the list!

Of course, no one said you have to make all the blocks to make a top that large. So don't feel overwhelmed by the Farmer's Wife blocks. You can make it whatever size you want. Laptop would be great; you can put them on point and alternate them with a solid. Anything goes in this group!

Hope everyone is having a great Thursday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another Farmers Wife to tempt you

Rose made a gorgeous quilt following the Farmers Wife book. Here is another example of how your quilt can look--- getting ready to start sowing??? Vbg

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Inspiration from others

Some of the quilts which were shared at my retreat were absolutely amazing. This wool appliqué quilt, done by Debbie Dodge, is gorgeous! I don't think I am up for doing this type of quilt but it sure is beautiful! I've heard that wool appliqué is "easy" but it still looks very labor intensive and being the type of quilter I am, liking quick results, makes me hesitate to tackle that.
I've also been able to stay on top of the Take 2 red/white project. Here are my latest 6 blocks!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Recovering from retreating

Isn't it always the case that you need a vacation to recover from your vacation? I got back last night from my retreat in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I had a wonderful time with a fabulous group of women who are incredibly kind to include me (a California girl, complete with flip flops in winter!).  It snowed all day on Friday and I was out walking along the lake early Saturday. Isn't this gorgeous?

One of the projects that was organized (and optional) was to make mittens using felted wool sweaters.  I had a great time even though I'm probably not going to get much use out of them in California. Maybe Oregon, though.

We had show 'n tell on Saturday night and I'm going to post pictures each day. Here is Debbie Dodge (behind) showing her Dipped in Chocolate quilt which consists of tiny 4-patches which finish at 1.5"!! Aren't they fabulous?

I have a Farmer's Wife quilt to show you also which was done by Pat's sister, Rose. It's gorgeous and very inspiring. That's for tomorrow or Wednesday, though, along with some other fabulous tops!

Our Sow-A-Long gets started on February 1st.  I'm thinking we will shoot for 6 blocks a month; I'll post them twice a month. You can sow along or not, entirely up to you, or even at your own speed.  So start to think about your fabrics. The blocks finish at 6". So you won't be needing a whole lot of fabric.

Have a great Tuesday!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Quilters

Ok I'm going to figure this out!! Here is something I'm playing with:

And here is our little group sewing away;

Retreat update

Good morning bloggers! I'm in snowy Wisconsin having a wonderful quilty weekend! I have pictures to share but haven't figured out how to upload them onto my blog from my phone and/or iPad. Any ideas??

The Farmer's Wife project is plowing ahead! Our name is going to be the "FM Sow-a-long"!!! Isn't that cool? I am going to figure out how many we're going to tackle and on what timetable. I'll figure it out next week and hope to be starting by Feb. 1st!!!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Farmer's Wife, to be continued

I have to say I'm extremely impressed by the response! In fact, I've overwhelmed. There are quite a few of you in the blogosphere who are interested in doing this quilt.  I'm going to have to think about how to organize our group. First of all, there are 111 blocks! The book comes with a cd which only has templates, NO measurements.  I am heading out to Wisconsin (YEAH!! AGAIN!!) to meet with my quilting friends there this weekend and hope to have some organizational ideas for you when I return.

This week, California enjoyed some really cold weather. In fact, it was so cold that the water in our dogs' water bucket froze!! I don't know if you can see that from the picture. But, seriously, this is California, and it's not Lake Tahoe. So what gives??? We had 60* weather a couple of weeks ago, and still no rain!

Mark and I were in Chicago for the weekend and had a wonderful time. Wasn't even that cold.  But upon my return, I had to make sure I found time to pick up the darling grandson Ryan and take him to breakfast in the morning. My daughter has started a nightly ritual whereby he lies down on her bed, with his bottle and watches Sesame Street. Here he was last night. Adorable, or what???

I'll be back on Monday, with some great ideas, pictures and stories.
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sew a long anyone?

Sew I got to thinking (always dangerous) and think it might be fun to do a group project sewing the Farmers Wife quilt as a group!! There are a number of you who are interested in doing it or are already doing it. And we all need more projects, right? There might even already be a group in progress with a blog but we'd be starting anew.

So let me know if you're interested! I'm wondering if there are other crazies like me!

Off to the old Windy City today!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

My favorite LQS is....

I was recently able to visit my favorite quilt shop of all time in Janesville, Wisconsin. Pat Riley's Life's A Stitch is a fantastic shop located in a 100-yr old home she remodeled.  She even painted her barns with quilt blocks, which I guess is fairly common in the midwest.

She also does amazing work. Here she is showing me her Farmer's Wife quilt, which is really beautiful. Have any of you done that quilt? The blocks are larger than the DJ blocks and I don't think there is any hand piecing. I find it pretty tempting, especially after seeing hers!

Pat does a lot of group block of the month quilts, which are also very tempting. She ran a program a few years ago, before I knew her, on a pattern called Dipped in Chocolate. There are a zillion 4-patches which finish at 1-1/2". I think it's really cool!!

She's hiding behind the quilt top! All these pictures were taken in her new classroom which she also uses for sew-ins a couple of times a week. When I was there, she'd set up a machine for me and I got to join in with all the women from the area and sew on my Ocean Waves quilt, which I'm vowing to finish before July!! And my sweet friend DarLynn pressed my hsts for me, all the while commenting on my (not so great) choice of fabrics, since it was completely random and scrappy. But that's another picture.

I did get to see darling Ryan this week and here he is being fascinated by the ipad! Such a sweet boy!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Mark and I are headed to Chicago (yes, I realize it's winter and snowy) for the long weekend! 

See y'all next week!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Before I went to law school, I was actually an English teacher, although in those days there were no teaching jobs; hence law school.  But I was a lover of books then and still am.  I've decided to include in my blog posts tidbits about the books I've been reading, in case anybody out there is interested.  And, the truth is, I still love the old-fashioned real paper books!

I just finished "The Art of Fielding", which was named one of the 10 best books of 2011 by the NY Times, if that means anything to you.  It's a book that's part baseball, part life study. I loved the writing and did also enjoy the story. I highly recommend it.  Amazon's The Art of Fielding.

I am now reading "Tiger's Wife" and am also loving it. Don't you just LOVE finding a book that keeps your interest from the first page? I love page-turners!
The Tiger's Wife

I'm now going to head to bed and read some more of my book...the real, library version! Please feel free to share the books you're reading and recommend!

Hope everyone had a fabulous Sunday.
ps: aren't you impressed with the links I added? That's a first for me!! :-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

San Francisco was beautiful yesterday and I had a great time being the tour guide.
I have met Caroline, from Brussels, several times before in Paris and Brussels.  She had met up with Brigitte from Germany and Julie from Australia. We had a very international time together! It's hard to take a picture into the sun but I like the backdrop of this photo very much!

Here is a picture facing a little bit East and you can see the San Francisco skyline in the background!

They were anxious to see Lombard Street, which is a windy, flowery, touristy strip of road. We were lucky to find a parking spot at the top and I was able to snap a picture.

It was wonderful seeing Caroline again and meeting Julie and Brigitte. They are winding their way to Southern California for Road to California as well as a class with Bonnie. No, I'm not going down for that, as much as I'd love to. I am heading to Wisconsin that weekend to retreat with my friends there, at Lake Geneva. I'm excited for that.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm hoping to get some sewing in but our weather is just beautiful and it's hard for me to stay inside.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tour Guide for the day

I returned home from Oregon late Wednesday night, went for two long walks with friends yesterday, so got no sewing done.
Today, though, is a special day. My friend Caroline from Brussels is on her way to Southern California (to many quilt related events, including a Bonnie Hunter class...I"m so jealous she gets to see my friend). She met up with 2 blogger friends and they were able to squeeze me into their busy travel schedule so I'm going to head up to San Francisco and take them around. The weather is glorious in the Bay Area so it'll be a great day for sightseeing.
I'll report back with photos tomorrow.
Have a great Friday.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Heading home tomorrow...

I'm heading back to California tomorrow; the whole family has gone and the house is EMPTY.  I really HATE being in the house after everyone has left...know what I mean by a big VOID??

I did take the darling grandson for many walks, especially since it was unseasonably warm.  Only one day of snow.  Yesterday, the bumpy bike path (ice, snow) put the little guy to sleep! Is this adorable or what??

I didn't get much sewing done after our little retreat ended.  I did want to do the little red/white blocks from the Take 2 project and got 5 of them done. No freezer paper didn't help. And I'm such the scrappy piecer that my blocks are quite different.  Anybody else working on it?

More from Santa Cruz later in the week. Have a great week!