Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Do you like to decorate for Halloween?  I do and have so many things, which I usually pick up the day after Halloween and save for the following year!  In fact, I am itching to go to K-mart TODAY rather than wait until tomorrow, but maybe the sale won't start until after the 31st... patience...

One of my favorite things to hang up is this wallhanging I made years ago from a swap I hosted.  Everyone made a number of 6" blocks and sent them to me.  I distributed them to all the participants.  All the blocks are so different.  It actually makes me think of a project for Valentine's Day, maybe!!!

Here is a close up of two of my favorites:

Poor Sunbonnet Sue! and check out the background fabric, too!

I love seeing this quilt hung up.  Anybody interested in doing something like this for Valentine's Day?  

I went to my grandson's school in SF this morning to watch their parade.  Long drive for a very short parade but it was worth it.  Storm trooper was his choice this year!

I also wanted to show you what fabulous little gifts I received from Mona recently!  I love the key chain -- I have no idea how I'd make something this small...  Thanks so much, Mona.  I'm going to use them immediately!  And she enclosed a packet of "Slap Ya Mama" cajun seasoning, which I think will go perfect in the pot of black bean soup I have simmering on the stove.

Monday, October 30, 2017

What can this be??

Does this look familiar?? Any idea what I've decided to work on??  Maybe the second picture will help!

I started out using the companion ruler and then realized that I have an Accuquilt die (that I'd never opened) so BOOM!!  I cut a bunch of strips and rolled that baby over the die and VOILA... I even got the kids to help!~
Quarter square triangles sewn into rectangles = Bonnie's leader/ender project from a few years ago.  Suits me just fine now... Here is the link:

Then I figured as long as I was cutting strips, I might as well pull out a very old UFO, but it's been so long,  I can't even remember how it was supposed to look. I know that I was making 25-patches of green and pink! Since I was cutting pinks and greens, I just cut some smaller strips (these finish at 1")~!  Any suggestions?  I've made a couple of quilts using 25-patches with a sashing in between.  I guess could do that, but these are small blocks!

I did get most of the next border done on my Mount Mellick DiFord quilt... have started working on the corners, which consist of 4 little hexies appliquéd onto a background.  Sadly I cut the backgrounds too small.  UGH... And these hexies are REALLY tiny.  They are the same as the corners of the center, a theme that gets repeated throughout the quilt.  You may notice that my side borders are a little short!  Claire suggested I take out some of the seams from the triangles, which I may wind up doing... GRRRR.

Tomorrow is Halloween and whereas my grandkids used to come to our house to go trick or treating, they're now staying in SF and going around there.  My grandson, Ryan (7) always wants ME to be there for his school's parade so I'm headed up to SF for a half hour parade!  Oh well.  I'm listening to a good book on tape.

Here are my 4 grandkids this weekend, helping me wash my car.  The weather was gorgeous.  Little Eli will be a year in 3 weeks and he is already walking!  The driveway's slant makes it hard for him to do it by himself so his mom is helping him.    I bought three brushes for the kids at Harbor Freight so they each have their own to scrub away on our cars.  Something they definitely don't do in SF! Oh and walking around barefoot is another activity they enjoy at my house.

Friday, October 27, 2017

More France pictures

We spent just one night in Paris before we flew back home last week and I couldn't waste an opportunity to take some historical shots.  This is from a place called Place des Vosges.  It is literally a square block of garden surrounded by these lovely brick buildings. The entire block has art galleries and some shops--it's a covered walkway all throughout.
 Victor Hugo is purported to have lived here and there is a museum in his honor.
That is my husband who photo-bombed the picture in the bottom corner!

The area where we stayed for the week is the burgundy region of France where they grow grapes for wine everywhere.  At this time of year, all the vineyards have been turned gold, as the leaves get ready to fall.  Just gorgeous!

My husband and I enjoy France so much.  We love the breads and cheese and frequently will have a light dinner of cheese, bread and paté (with wine, of course).  The house we rented had a fabulous patio where we'd sit each evening to watch the sunset and enjoy a glass of wine from the region.
We picked up the olives at the farmer's market from a small booth, the cheese and meats from a couple of small stores in the town of Beaune;  the wine was from the adjacent town of Meursault, where they make delicious white wine.

This was the little bakery in the town where we stayed.  My husband just loved his little walk up to the bakery early in the mornings for our croissants and bread.

We love wine tasting and doing it in this area is quite an experience.  Most of the "wineries" literally have caves where they store their wine.  We visited several of them and frequently their tasting rooms were in the caves!

This is my husband with our guide for the day, Pascal, who has been living in the area for over 40 years involved in the wine industry.  Note his scarf!  In France, everyone wears scarves, men and women, hot or cold!

This area of France has a fabulous paved bike path system which runs the entire valley.  The house we rented had bikes so we took a bike ride one afternoon to the next town.  This is what we would see along the way!  The green signs with the bikes were the guides to follow.

This is the town we rode to and we stopped in the center of the town to enjoy the sunshine and a beer!

Look at the roof on the city hall building!  It's not unusual to find one or two buildings in a town with a roof like that.  This is the where we parked ourselves to reward ourselves for our strenuous bike ride through the vineyards! JK

When the weather is nice, as it was when we were in France, it's very common (and kind of typical) for people to sit outside of cafés or restaurants.  This was the view at the farmer's market on that Sunday.  Note that we could not find a single seat at the dozen or so cafés that lined the main square!  We figured that people parked themselves early in the morning and didn't leave until later.  We even saw people who bought chickens from the rotisserie vendors and brought them to the cafés to eat with wine!

This was the church and its organ on the center square in this small town where we went for the farmer's market on that Sunday morning.  The small town was Chalon-sur-Saône, on a beautiful river.

Perhaps you'll enjoy seeing the tiny car we had for our trip. It was really small and perfect to navigate the very small streets were drove throughout our journey.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Triangle Gatherings catch up!

I fell a little behind on my Triangle Gatherings (they seem to multiply when you fall behind, seriously!) so I spent yesterday when Claire was over to catch up.  Well, it took most of the afternoon even after she left.  Remember I am doing them in brights.  Was originally using the fabric I collected for the Farm Girl Vintage quilt, which I wasn't making.  Then I kept adding more fabric... I now have enough for many quilts, of course.

Warning:  if you are looking for perfect corners where everything meets, don't waste your time on my blocks!!! VBG  They DON'T.  But hopefully I didn't make any mistakes.  I have a good friend who has an eagle eye and lovingly points out my mistakes!

There are supposed to be 80 so there will be two more.  I am starting to think about how I'm going to use these 80 blocks.  They will finish approx. 7" (I know, weird number but I started out trying to use up some random triangle papers I had, not realizing I'd need a zillion of them in the end!).  I think they will need to be sashed and I'm tempted to put them on point with quarter square triangles adjacent (like an egg timer), to make them appear to be squared up.  It'll make a lot of quilts, though.
Claire donates all her quilts to a whole variety of organizations so I may defer to her expertise in what would be the best destination for all these bright and fun blocks.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

quick catch up

I'm back from France, after a great trip. I still have more pictures to share but I really wanted to check in on your mug-rugs... I hope everyone received theirs and was happy with theirs!  Please let me know if you have any comments (or maybe you didn't get yours?? that happened with the pin cushion swap last year, believe it or not!)...  THANK YOU to everyone who participated.  I think it was great fun and everyone I heard from has just loved what they received.

Here is what I received from Janet Dickson.  She made hers using the Singer 301 she bought from me recently!

I will quickly show you a couple more eye glass windows from Paris. The translation is glasses for the swimming pool! (prescription goggles!)

 My friend Claire is on her way so I need to get ready to do some sewing, finally!

I think these are prescription diving masks!  As I said before, Paris has eyeglass stores on every single block, and some have the most elaborate displays. 

 Paris also has fabulous florist shops everywhere.  These roses were on display in the street.  Aren't the colors lovely?  And inspiring!  All the florist shops tempt you by displaying gorgeous flowers on the street in front of their shops!

 I have many more pictures to share which I promise to do tomorrow.  It's been a crazy week--right after we got back, we had the grandkids for the weekend;  then I got to spend a few hours with the darling baby Eli (turning a year next month, already WALKING) so it's been pretty busy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

More amazing things to see in France

I think I told you how much I enjoy history.  We always make a point of going to historical places (well, truly, everything in Europe is historical, to tell you the truth)... this time we went to a chateau in Châteauneuf, which we reached by driving through the tiniest villages and roads -- many roads barely had room for one car!  This chateau dates in parts from the 11th Century, although parts of it were added on ("newer additions"!!).

No chateau can be complete without a moat, bien sûr!  This one is now grassed-in, of course!

Look at construction of one of their towers!  This was where the guards watched out over the countryside to look for approaching enemies.  There were still remnants of the armaments, too.

In this particular chateau, there was one room decorated with the most wonderful toile.  I have rarely seen a toile I didn't love.  This one was on the walls, curtain around the bed and the chair seat!

I also have a love of tapestries and they are frequently seen in France.  It's amazing to me to imagine the amount of hours that would have been required to complete these.  I have done some needlepoint in years past and know that to fill every square inch with the stitches is very labor-intensive.  This first one was in the chateau.

We saw this one in a church in a very small town we visited to go to a farmer's market (another favorite thing to do in Europe).

This one was in a winery we stopped at to taste some wine (the area where we are in France is primarily known for its wines).

I feel a little bit bad not showing anything quilt related so I'll share some absolutely gorgeous colors I saw on the buildings in this town where the chateau was found.  Of course we are in France when the seasons are changing and the leaves are turning colors.  I'm not sure you can see all the shades of red in the second picture but as I looked at it (it was just across from the little cafe where we had lunch), I was imagining sewing with those different shades.  I think the colors are spectacular!

Speaking of colors, how do you like these?  This was at the farmer's market.  I have always thought the farmers markets in France were amazing examples of luscious veggies and an explosion of colors.

The architecture of the old buildings never ceases to cause me to gawk at the marvel of them.  This is almost across the road from where we are staying.  I think that house is abandoned.  I'm going to show you some other amazing buildings we spied in our travels.

We found that behind this door is a garden, enclosed in the very old wall.  Do you see how the top of the wall has totally different rocks than the walls themselves??  So interesting.

I loved the color of the shutters on this house.

I don't want to overwhelm (or bore) you with too many pictures so I'll save some more for hopefully tomorrow.  We are taking the train back to Paris for a very early morning flight on Thursday back to San Francisco.  It's been a truly fabulous trip.