Monday, December 31, 2018

A great finish to 2018

I think I become more nostalgic at the end of each year than at any time in the year.  This was a tough year for our family, with my mom's declining health and her move to the assisted living facility.  Sadly, she is going to progress to the memory care portion of the facility this week, on her 91st birthday!  

We've had the chance to spend time with our grandkids up at the cabin although there hasn't been a lot of snow.  That didn't stop them!

I grew up in NY and played in the snow as a kid so I do remember how much fun it is.  Right now, they are all bundling up to go shovel the little bit of new snow we got last night.  It's just adorable.

On the sewing front, my November mini is almost done.  I've even been hand quilting it...I made this little top years ago so it's nice to get it finished.

Speaking of finishing old ufos, I pulled out this kids quilt and put the binding on this week.  It's been waiting for the binding for at least a couple of years.  

My oldest grandson likes to sew with me so this week we've spent some time in the sewing room.  I showed him how to string piece!

He enjoys mostly sewing charm squares together, so he kept busy and I worked on a few of the Moda Blockheads II project that I've fallen behind on.

Here is the crew hard at work with their shovels and winter gear!

I wish everyone a wonderful end of 2018 and great things for 2019!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Fabulous swap received

I think I told you some time ago that Wendy Reed  (constantquilter) and I were doing a little challenge.  I chose a pattern by Kim Diehl and we were both going to make one and swap them.  Wendy wanted to try her wool applique skills out again;  I thought the pattern was going to be fun.

Well, I finally finished mine this week and just mailed it out.  I won't be showing a picture until Wendy gets mine in the mail.  But once mine was finished, I felt it was the right time to open up Wendy's package. (I had resisted the temptation to see what she made until I finished mine!)

WOW!  I feel so lucky that Wendy did this swap with me.  She does such beautiful work!

You can't see the beautiful wool appliqué work that she did in this picture but it's just fabulous.  You can see a sliver of mine next to it;  I took a picture of them side by side!  Once she gets mine, I'll post a picture of them together and you can see the difference!  We both modified the pattern a little, which makes it even more interesting.  Thank you, Wendy.  I love it!!  I love the colors!  I love the design!  The quilting is wonderful (of course she did a little hand-quilting!)

I also want to show you the top I finally finished recently.  This was a Primitive Gatherings summer sew-along.  I absolutely love it.  I especially love that some of my houses are STILL crooked! ;-)  I'm going to need to quilt it myself although I don't think it needs much quilting. Isn't this just a fun top?

Now that I finished my swap, I will have the time to work on other projects.  We have been at the cabin in Oregon since mid-December and have had grandkids and kids so I've had little to no time to sew---which is just perfect for me!  This is little Eli helping my husband shovel the driveway!

My daughter and her 3 kids are arriving today!  We feel so lucky that we get to enjoy the kids in our cabin!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas...

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Little Miss Muffet sat on her Tuffet ...

Remember the nursery rhyme?

Does this remind you of that??
Remember I showed you one small segment of this project a month or so ago?  Well, It's DONE!  I actually finished something!  WOOHOO!

This is something I've wanted to make for a long time; and I've been looking for a way to use the Kaffe Fassett fabrics I've been collecting. (And Tula Pink as well) 

I made this in a class at the nearby LQS.  The pattern is made by Tuffet Source and is called Pieced 18" Tuffet.  I don't think it'd be easy to make with just the pattern.  I'm pretty sure you can buy a kit, which I'd highly recommend because there are so many odd things you need (ie, the legs?  The base?  the large foam for the body?)...

I have also been working very diligently on a swap project with my friend Wendy Reed (constantquilter).  She is more diligent than I and already mailed me her version, which I'm not opening until I finish mine.  It's a Kim Diehl pattern, which proved to be much more work than I originally thought (wool applique and piecing).  Stay turned for the finish-- I'll show you Wendy's once I mail mine out to her, hopefully next week.

Hope you're all having a nice holiday season.  I'm heading tomorrow to the cabin for the holiday and plan to stop in Chico to drop of 15+ quilts for kids and adults who lost homes in the Paradise fire!

Our Channukah with the grandkids!  We got back after the last night but still had them each light their own menorah, which they love doing every year!~  You'll probably notice that Emma is still wearing her uniform, from the Catholic school they attend.   Ironic, no?? ;-)) (and they are all standing on stool, btw... not that tall!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

quilt patterns in unexpected places during my travels - where in the world is Randy??

This is right, don't you think?? vbg

This was in an entryway!  Pretty impressive.

This was on the floor of a restaurant.

We saw hearts painted on the walls of buildings!

Hawaiian quilts high up on the wall in a museum.

Where am I?
On an island.
Very large island.
English is the language.
It's below the equator! (check your atlas!)
It was formed by volcanoes!
The country has two islands!
The slang name for the residents is a fruit!

This is an easy one!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

a new quilt group

The winner of the cross-stitch giveaway is Sandie.  Please send me your snail mail address so I can send it out.  Not surprising was the fact that almost no  one does cross-stitch anymore.  I am keeping two cross-stitch patterns that I started decades ago that are almost finished...

I had the great opportunity recently to meet someone who lives near me who was a blog follower.  Brenda and I met at the LQS and then had coffee. What a treat!! A new quilting friend! During that get-together, she mentioned that she's active in a local group that makes quilts for kids.  So she invited me to come along, which was where I went today.  I dug out an I-Spy quilt I must have started maybe 10 years ago and worked on it...I don't even know where I got the pattern from nor where I got the very heavy-duty acrylic templates.

Here are some quilts that were done by members of this very productive group! I think this doggie quilt is adorable.  The woman on the left was the machine quilter and I thought she did such a beautiful job, I wanted to take a picture of some of the quilting. 

I loved this very bright one, too, which wasn't complex but so fun.

Of course, the quilter who was sharing this one made sure that we all noticed her little boo-boo... We are so critical of our own work, aren't we??  Who cares?  Definitely not the child who is lucky enough to receive it, right??

I have been collecting more fabric to take with me to Chico in mid-December for the quilters in Paradise, California, who lost everything in the fires.  Brenda gave me a pile and the All-Star Quilters (which is the name of the new group I went to visit today) is going to give me 10 quilts to deliver!  Quilters are so generous!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Donations and a GIVEAWAY

Our air here in Northern California finally cleared with the arrival of rain.  At last!  We've been anxiously awaiting the rains!  The air is clear;  my grandkids went back home yesterday and we are back to our lives. 

However, the people in Paradise are clearly not and I was motivated by Lori's (humblequilts) suggestion that we send fabric to the quilt store in Chico (Lori has graciously offered to drive to the quilt store to deliver things sent directly to her).  I went to work, pulled out fabrics I hadn't looked at in years and quickly made an enormous pile of fabric to send.  I wish I could say that it made a dent in my stash, but in all honesty, it did not.  

I bought a large box at FedEx and filled it up... then found it is TOO heavy to lift!!  Okay, I'm going to have to go to Plan B... I might deliver the fabric myself on our way up to Oregon in mid-December.

Then, in the spirit is giving, I sent off a quilt to the friend of a friend who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.  I made this quilt a few years ago and have always loved it but sending it off for someone to cuddle under is the best.

It has a fun pieced back which I had to photograph before mailing.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons--not hot or cold and I just love the fall coors.  Even though we don't live where you get great fall colors, I have planted many trees over the years which are deciduous and I enjoy my splash of fall color.  This one is right outside my front door.  Japanese Maples are also one of my favorite trees.  Trimming trees is not my strong-suit, however!  VBG

We had our grandkids for the past week so my sewing had been put on hold.  I did want to show you something I've been working on in a class-This is one of 8 sections.  Any ideas?  It kind of looks like an ironing board cover...I've been collecting Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink fabrics for a while and have been yearning for a project.  This seemed just purrfect.  (funny, right? )  But, again, hardly made a dent in the stash.  I will say that I was able to move that fabric into the cabinet space made available by my donations to the fire victims so I guess that's something. 

Now for the giveaway... I cleaned out a drawer and found a pile of cross-stitch patterns.  I used to do that but haven't in ages so I'm ready to pass them on to you if you enjoy that and have the time to do it.  There's also a pattern for fingertip towels (their words) and a large piece of beige Aida cloth for cross-stitching.

I'd like to mail these out by Wednesday to whoever feels they'll really sew them so please send me your email address along with one great Thanksgiving story. 

I was in such a good mood, feeling lucky beyond words... went to gas up my car yesterday (Black Friday), and started a conversation with a woman at the next pump, asking her how her Thanksgiving turned out-- she sure shocked me by telling me she had a terrible day, was all alone and really had wanted mashed potatoes and gravy.  What can you say to that?  

I do hope you all had a better day than she did, whether with family or friends.

Much love and thanks!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Much to be thankful for!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I wanted to post a quick check-in to make sure you know that I haven't forgotten you nor do I want you to think that I am not thankful for you.  I have made many friends through blogland, people I'd never have met but for the internet.  You are as special as the friends I see who live near me!

I also want to share how thankful we are to be safe from the fires in Northern California.  It's a good 150 miles north of us but we nevertheless felt the impact of the horrific fires.  The air in San Francisco was so unhealthy that everyone was wearing masks when walking around (and people had to line up to buy the masks, mind you).  The air was so bad that my daughter asked us to pick up her kids last week and keep them with us, where the air has been so much better.  Today it finally rained so the air should be much better!

bitter sweet!  We got to have our 3 grandkids for a week but only because they couldn't safely breathe the air where they lived.  Such a weird phenomenon. To me it's surreal.

So I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving, whether you are celebrating with family or friends.

I have many pictures to post and since I won't be having any grandkids after Thursday night, I'll have lots of time to post pictures I've had forever!

Much love and thanks,

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Loved Aix en Provence, south of France- travel pictures!

We were recently touring the south of France and stayed in the charming ancient town of Aix en Provence. We took the TGV (which is the high speed train in France) from Paris to Aix;  the train reached speeds close to 200 mph (they post the speeds along with a map!)  It is one of those cities which has fabulous little cobble-stone streets barely wide enough for one car.  This was the main street in the old part of the town.  This was one of the wider streets!  I took this early one morning before it got filled up with people.  Immediately on the right is a bakery called Paul, which is everywhere in France...great breads and pastries.  I think I even saw one in London once.

One of the things I love to do when traveling in Europe is to go to 
the local markets.  I love seeing all the fresh veggies and fruits which are a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy.  This was a squash/pumpkin vendor's creativity!

It's a typical site, and there were fountains everywhere in Aix.

These flowers smelled as gorgeous as they looked.  Those lillies?? Luscious! The prices in Euros were much less than we'd pay in the US for flowers.  Can you see the pillar in the back? Note the carving.  I am going to guess it's from the 1500s.  there's a fountain in the back of this market, below.

Look at the size of those leeks and cauliflower!!

My dh and I enjoyed great weather, good enough to dine outside by a fountain one night.  I thought it was just amazing to be able to do that.  What ambiance!!

We did not rent a car this time but instead opted for a couple of tours.  We went on a walking tour of the old part of the city and saw some great sites. This giant fountain is in the middle of Aix and was actually in the middle of being remodeled.  Our tour guide pointed out that the figures on the top were each facing different directions relating to the adjacent areas.  I'm sending you some of the more amazing things I saw for your opportunity to experience some of this history.

This is an organ in a church dating back to the 1400s!  Sadly we were not there when they were playing it.  Interestingly, they replicated the look of the organ on the opposite wall, making it seem like there were two.

any sewing?  Not a whole lot...trying to catch up on my Moda blockheads II!  And I am reposting the picture of the top I made for Lori's little sewalong, Sajou.

On another note, I am committed to paring down my sewing machine collection.  I'm trying to sell a Bernina 1130 that's in great shape.  If you know anyone interested, please let me know.  I'll sell it for $500 plus shipping.  It comes with everything (original accessory box, hard case, knee lift, extended sewing surface, extra feet).  If you've never sewn on one of the older Bernina machines, you're missing something.  They are solid, heavy and extremely reliable.

Many more travel pictures to follow!