Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blind spot?

I don't know about you but sometimes when I'm driving I find myself higher up, which I generally like. That, however, can spell disaster if you're backing up and don't happen to see low-lying obstructions. Like a fire hydrant, for instance!

No, I didn't knock this one over. But that's not to say that I never have. In fact, some years ago, on my way to pick up the baseball team for a game, I stopped at Safeway for Gatorades for the boys (that'll teach ya).  I backed up and knocked over a hydrant. Honestly, that thing was almost invisible!  I of course called the police as it was creating quite a hazard in the street, much like this did today near my house.  My insurance company wound up paying, not only for the repair of the hydrant, but for the WATER. Remember, this is California and water is precious and very expensive.

Anyway, when I saw this today after getting my pedicure (I had an air-tight alibi!), I found this and had to snap a photo. 
SEE, I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE!! My kids still think I may have done this one, too,  actually.

Love to you all,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vacation for everyone, sort of

Do you remember that I had to reschedule our family's vacation in February when my mom got sick? Well, we reset it for next week. So I am leaving for a week tomorrow.

How does that benefit you? Well, I am not the most organized person, juggling too many things at once (sound familiar?) and I just didn't get all three sow-a-long blocks done.  I have two done.

So, you get a little vacation, sort of. Next Wednesday instead of three sow-a-long blocks, there will be only TWO.
But don't get comfortable. We're going to make it up right after I get back!! Don't want anybody falling behind!!

Hope everyone has a great week!
Love to you all,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And the winner is...

You win!! (hey, your name is perfect).
Please email me your snail mail address so I can mail out the book.

Thanks to everyone who offered their opinions and advice on which (if any) device to get. I wound up getting the Kindle Touch 3G with ads.  I actually got it on sale (well, with a $40 gift card..that's on sale to me!) while in Oregon.  I decided against the Kindle Fire because I really only wanted something to read books on.

I have also found that my local library has lots of ebooks I can check out and am now enjoying something for my upcoming bookgroup rather than having to shlep around a 5 lb book everywhere I go. And you can switch to "text to speech" and listen to a book while sewing. How much better does it get than that? Well, actually...

So I'm a real convert... Lovin' my Kindle Touch already. Now if I could just figure out how to use the darn thing.

Don't ya just hate having to learn how to use something new? Maybe I'm jut getting old.

Hope everyone is having a good week..
Love to you all,


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Bonus Block

I know you've been anxiously awaiting my posting of the Bonus Block today. I'm sure you've got nothing else to do... vbg

We are making a modified Lemoyne Star. NO set-in seams! WOOHOO. Once you have it pieced and pressed, you'll never know the difference. No quilt police here.

Background:   Cut (4) 2" squares (corners)

Background:   Cut (4) 2-1/2" squares (for hsts, 1-1/2" fin)
Medium:        Cut  (4) 2-1/2" squares 
Dark:            Cut  (4) 2-1/2" squares

You are making 12 hsts (2" unfin, 1-1/2" fin):
4: background/dark
4: background/medium
4: dark/medium

We are driving back to California tomorrow so you won't hear from me until Tuesday... I'll announce the winner of the book. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Love to you all,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hawaiian applique

I recently showed you a couple of Hawaiian applique wallhangings I purchased.  I've always loved those blocks but thought them too labor intensive to be my type of project.

However, when we were cruising through Kansas checking out the little quilt shops in very small towns, we happened upon a shop which was selling pre-cut Hawaiian applique blocks. Now that's more my style.  We agonized over which one to get and for a whopping $11, I picked up a gorgeous red/purple block ready for my not-so-great handiwork. I do wish I'd bought more!

I started right away while Pat was navigating through Kansas and Missouri and then brought it along while driving up to Oregon for the weekend. I actually finished it!!

Now on to another hand sewing project: my wool flowers for the Lori Smith quilt.

what are you working this weekend?
Are you ready for the next Bonus Block? It's ready and will be posted tomorrow!

Love to you all,

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quilt Market pictures

Quilt Market is an opportunity for shop owners to order fabrics, patterns, books, gadgets, etc and to see new things. It's also an opportunity for show owners' friends to accompany them and feel incredibly lucky to have been invited.

So I went to Kansas City feeing really incredibly honored.  That being said, I walked up and down every one of the approx. 35 aisles filled with vendors, designers, patterns, name it. Let me tell you that these fabric lines spare no expense in designing and setting up their booths. 

Probably the most imaginative fabric line set up a circus theme:

Alexander Henry also had a very cleverly designed area:

American Patchwork and Quilting had a display filled with quilt on quilt, which I just found myself wanting to fondle! (and maybe stuff into my bag...vbg)

My friend Pat brought along the Lori Smith top she recently made which included wool applique in the center, since I figured I needed a new project! Her work is absolutely beautiful and she is a great teacher. I can't wait to get to work on my flowers. The colors of wool are amazing. I'm now a fan!~

Speaking of Lori Smith: she had a most amazing booth filled with absolutely gorgeous quilts, both small and large. (I'm not trying to be a tease: no way to photograph it)  I have bought so many of her patterns and am constantly in awe of her designs and skill.  In fact, there is going to be a BONUS BLOCK this weekend from one of her quilts.  So check back.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.
Love to you all,

Sisters block challenge

I'm definitely not a designer. Give me a pattern and I'm good to go. Give me fabric and tell me to design a block and I'm going to struggle!!  Some people have that skill (my dear friends Bonnie and Claire are great designers).  Me not so much.

So when Lori suggested we both do the Sisters block challenge, I was quite worried I'd fail miserably.  They send you a selection of fabrics and you are limited to ONLY those fabrics and the block has to be 9" fin.  The fabrics were, how can I say this nicely, not exactly fabrics I would've chosen for a block! Bright! Loud! And definitely not coordinated. Aqua, orange, purple, lime green swirls...

I didn't take a picture of them but let me assure you that they were quite the challenge. I stared at them for a long time and gradually started playing around. And played around I did.  I finally finished my concoction today (after receiving a little bit more background fabric)...  Hopefully you can't see all the seams and missed corners.

I think there's a place to see the other blocks submitted but I can't find it. They eventually hang them all up against one wall during the show (and shoot!!) and judges pick a bunch of them to be entered to win a group of the blocks.  I don't have any expectation of winning but am kind of proud that I was able to actually come up with something. Mind you, I ran out of every single fabric. Cutting 1" hsts uses up a lot of fabric... or I would've extended the design.

So that's what I made. You might wonder why there's such a a large block was too small at first (only 6")... Oh well. We designers go through such pains to create, don't we??? HEHEHEHE...if only ...

Love to you all,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Answer a survey question and win a book!!

Quick question and then I promise I'll post pictures from Quilt Market.
Do you have a Kindle? Or Kindle Touch? Or Kindle Fire?
What do you think of them? Do you have wifi, 3g, ads,  no ads? 
I'm thinking of getting one, which is a big step for me, as I'm a BIG library fan, always carrying around library books on every trip I take! But I can't decide which one to get. I need help (well, that's an understatement...)

Give me your opinion and win a book.....
Judy Martin's Cookies 'n' Quilts.

But you need to comment by Saturday, please...

Love to you all,
ps: I have to show you a picture from my morning with Ryan:

Monday, May 21, 2012


I came home from Kansas City on Saturday night and spent the day yesterday with friends wine tasting in Napa. Now that's a great way to spend a Sunday. But that means I'm terribly behind and a bit overwhelmed. Not to mention tired.

While traveling to KC, I did work on the latest JT4vr applique block and want to show you what I did.

I actually used fabric from the Cotton Club block of the month (oops) because I just love their reds. Lucky for me Pat brought me more fqs! Dont look too applique leaves room for lots of lessons.

While we were together, Pat had brought along her Lori Smith top she just finished with a fabulous wool applique in the center. Both Debbie and DarLynn are wool applique-ers (as Lori is, too), so I figured it was time to start. What better place than Quilt Market to acquire the tools and a weekend with fabulous experienced wool applique-ers to endeavor to learn?

Here is my first flower. Not overly exciting. But I'm excited to make more...This is one little flower in the whole quilt. If you want to see what it should look like, check out Pat's blog.

I wanted to show you that I really did exercise some restraint in my purchases at Market.  Of course, we HAD to go out to Kansas and several other shops in Missouri to see if there was something we couldn't find at Market but had to have, too.

All the wool is at the bottom left.  All the packages of fqs are tied together and most are Moda and Andover. Now to find someplace to put them!! :-) I see a giveaway in my future!~!

I have pictures to show you some of the things I saw at Market. I'll post those later.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and is having a wonderful Monday.
Love to you all,
Chief Sower, who is planning a BONUS block this week, by the way!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Heading home

I had a fabulous few days in Kansas City at Quilt Market with my dear friends DarLynn, Pat and Debbie. We shopped till we dropped and ate lots of great food. We even got to hang out with my Paris friend Valerie! I will share pictures from Market in the next day or so. Looking forward to seeing my sweetie, though!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Goin to Kansas City

I'm lucky enough to be going to Quilt Market this year with my dear Wisconsin friends Pat, Debbie and DarLynn (she's really from Illinois but we love her nonetheless)! We started out with a fabulous barbecue dinner in an old train station.
Today the fun starts- we are quilt shopping all over Kansas City!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's the Third Wednesday in May...

I can't believe May is half-way gone already. Anyway, today is the third Wednesday in May and it's SOW-A-LONG day! YEAH!!!  Is everyone ready and all caught up? Or caught up enough?


Background:   cut (4) 2-1/2" squares, making 4 flying geese
Dark:            cut (1) 4-1/4" square
The geese are 2" x 3-1/2" unf; 1-1/2" x 3" fin.

Background:   cut (2) 2-1/2" squares, making 4 hsts, 1-1/2" fin.
Dark:            cut (2) 2-1/2" squares

Background:   cut (2) 2-1/2" squares, making 4 hsts, 1-1/2" fin.
Medium:        cut (2) 2-1/2" squares


Medium:   cut (4) 2-1/2" squares, making 4 flying geese
Dark:       cut (1) 4-1/4" square
Making 4 flying geese, 2" x 3-1/2" unf; 1-1/2" x 3" fin.

Background:   cut (4) 2" squares
Medium2:      cut (4) 2" squares


Background:   cut (2) 3-1/2" squares, cut on the diagonal TWICE
Dark:            cut (2) 3-1/2" squares, cut on the diagonal TWICE
You are making 4 quarter square triangles. These instructions have you cutting everything and then resewing. No shortcuts included. They are 2-1/2" unf. When you sew all 4 together the unit is 4-1/2" unf. Feel free to use any of your favorite methods.

Background:   cut (1) 4-1/2" square, cut on the diagonal TWICE
Dark:            cut (1) 4-1/2" square, cut on the diagonal TWICE.
These are the outside triangles. They are cut oversized to allow for fudge.  Please sew 1 dark/background together on the short edge.

All blocks come from Teach Yourself Blocks from the Past.

That's it for this week. Let me know if you have any questions or need help. These are really pretty blocks and I hope you enjoy making them!

Love to you all,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Applique giveaway

I'm still trying to clean up my sewing room (an endless project, really) and came across a small pile of ufos.  In the pile was a pattern I am never going to use again and would be happy to send it to someone who really does do the A word. it's a Verna Mosquera pattern and is very lovely.

If you're interested in making this pattern, please send me a comment with your email address. I'll draw a winner on Friday.

Hope you are all having a great Monday and are READY for Wednesday.... There are a few fabulous blocks coming your way!!

Love to you all,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

So annoying...

Does anyone have an expression they almost always use? One that becomes synonymous with you?  Something that, whenever you say it, your friends kind of roll their eyes because you always say that??

Well, anyone who knows me in real life knows that I seem to always identify something that's bothersome or irritating as "ANNOYING".  If you think about it, though, it's a great, descriptive term. Someone cuts you off?  Really long check-out lines?  Trash can full?  No one replaced the toilet paper? Annoying, right?  

Well, imagine my surprise when my 2-1/2 yr old darling grandson, who is still not speaking a whole lot of words, starting saying today "...nnoying"?? He and I often take little walks around their neighborhood in SF, where parking spots are at a premium.  I, of course, talk non-stop, commenting on everything we see, including how annoying it is when small cars take up an entire parking spot; or a scooter takes up an entire parking spot.

Today, on our walk around their block and to the park, all of a sudden he pipes in with "...nnoying", "whole spot" and "nice".  I thought it was kinda funny, although I can't say that my daughter and her husband were laughing much when we got back to their house and he was still saying "...nnoying"... But seriously, don't ya think it's a great word??

What're ya gonna do?? If that's the worst thing he learns from me, it won't be bad, right?

So, what are you most favorite expressions?? I want to hear them...and I promise I won't say that anyone's expressions are annoying!

Hope you all have had a wonderful Mother's Day.
Love to you all,

Friday, May 11, 2012

I have a confession....

Okay, it's possible that I'm just getting old and having trouble remembering everything. In fact, I'm sure that's true. BUT, has anyone found it hard to remember where they've parked their car at the grocery store (or some other shopping area)???  That is happening to me frequently these days at the grocery store. Maybe the parking lot is so nondescript that it's hard to distinguish one row from another. I mean, sometimes I'll look around and have absolutely NO IDEA where my car is. One time I had to have a friend drive me around looking for my car. We're not talking about the airport parking lot (which is immense), folks. Just the grocery store. OMG.

My idea (when I can remember) is to make a mental note of where I parked so I'll be able to find my car when I come out (assuming I can remember which door I came in).

There must be an app for that, isn't there?? vbg

Hope everyone is having a great Friday.
Love to you all,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Do you do the "A" word?

I wouldn't call myself an appliquer but I do enjoy a project now and then.  The latest Just Takes Forever red/white project has an applique block which I initially figured was too complicated.  I looked at it carefully and decided it wasn't that complex and actually worked on it during this past week, on a short vacation with my husband.  I really like how it came out.

If you are curious about where we escaped to, let me give you a couple of hints:

Still stumped?

I bought these two applique pieces from a woman who does them as a fundraiser. I love them but don't imagine doing them myself... Anyway, where are we?

We're in Kauai (Hawaii) which is absolutely as beautiful as it looks! Back Thursday!

Love to you all,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

BONUS block - Battlegrounds variation

I know you won't want to wait until May 16th for more blocks, so I'm treating you to a bonus block! It's a variation of the Battlegrounds we just did. I'm calling it Variation of the hsts:

You'll need 16 hsts which will finish at 1-1/2" (that's 2" unf)! Please do it scrappy!

Hope you're having a great day.
Love to you all,

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's the First Wednesday of May--- SOW-A-LONG day

FINALLY! I've been so excited to post the blocks for the First Wednesday of May. At last it's here!!

1.  FRUIT BASKET (makes 2)

Background:    cut (1) 4" square (making 2 hsts, 3" fin)
Medium:         cut (1) 4" square

Background:   cut (4) 2" squares (corners)

Background:   cut (4) 2 x 3-1/2" rectangle

Background:   cut (2) 2-1/2" squares (making 4 hsts, 1-1/2" fin)
Medium:        cut (2) 2-1/2" squares

Background:  cut (1) 4-1/4" square (making 4 flying geese, 1-1/2 x 3" fin)
Dark:           cut (4) 2-1/2" squares


Background:   cut (4) 1-1/2" squares

Background:   cut (4) 2" squares (making 8 hsts, 1" fin)
Medium:        cut (4) 2" squares

Medium:        cut (4) 1-1/2" squares

Dark:            cut (1) 2-1/2" square (center)

Background:   cut (1) 3-1/4" squares, cut on the diagonal twice (QST)
Medium:        cut (2) 3-1/4" squares, cut on the diagonal twice
Dark:            cut (1) 3-1/4" square, cut on the diagonal twice
You are making 4 quarter square triangles, 2" fin


This is a scrappy block--you will need 16 half square triangles, 1-1/2" fin. 
(2" unf)

**Found this in one of Lori Smith's patterns
Hope you enjoy this week's installment!  There will be a bonus block coming up with more hold that thought.

Hope everyone is having a great week.
Love to you all,

Block of the month isn't my cup of tea, BUT...

I'm not usually a block-of-the-month type of girl.  I have tons of fabric and I love the freedom to pick my own fabrics.  That being said, however, I saw the most beautiful quilt in my favorite not-so-LQS some months ago (Life's A Stitch, Janesville, WI) that I relented and joined up.

I'd have to say these fabrics are absolutely gorgeous.  They are by Bonnie Blue Quilts (Paula Barnes) and are the richest reds I've ever seen.

I made the first three blocks from this Cotton Club block of the month. I'm not sure you can see the colors in this pictures but seriously, if you can find this fabric, have a look at it. GORGEOUS!!!

Y'all know what tomorrow is, right?? :-)

Love to you all,