Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Third night of Chanukah or Christmas Eve~

We are lighting the third candle tonight on our menorah!  There are 8 nights and the menorah glows when all the candles are lit.  We are having 3 of our grandkids coming this week to our cabin up in Oregon, along with another family.  Every child gets their own menorah so it's quite the scene!

I did some sewing recently.  My happiest achievement is to have given my Moda Blockheads 2 over to my long arm quilter for her magic!  I really obsessed over how it looked, feeling like it was too busy.  I consulted my friend Claire and we ultimately decided that adding a couple of borders would fix the chaotic look, and I am quite pleased with the results!  First I added a skinny gold border; then I added a 6" bright blue (from stash!), although I had wanted navy but didn't have enough of one kind.  I wasn't going to buy anything more for this border.

I am ultimately quite pleased with the finished product.  I think the solid borders calmed it down.  I am now actually getting ready for Blockheads 3, which starts mid-January.  Scouts honor:  it's the only block of the month I'm going to do in 2020.  

I have been busy working on Barb's 40 star swap;  I brought the remaining blocks with me to the cabin to finish up but you know the saying about seams being different on different machines?  Well my Juki here at the cabin needs to be serviced because I realized the needle is a fraction off center so 5-6 blocks are 1/8" too small.  UGH.  Need to redo those;  I think I'll put the smaller ones into a small wallhanging.  Chopping off points won't matter in that project.

I also recently put bindings on two kid quilts for the small quilt group I belong to that makes quilts for needy kids.  The first quilt was my own;  the second one I offered to bind.

I am all caught up on my Cheddarback quilt (I started this in 2019 so it's okay to continue with THIS BOM, right??!)

I love the fall colors and even though I live in California, I do have deciduous trees which put on a beautiful fall display.  I have many Japanese maple trees and always love the fall colors!  This is right in front of my front door/porch.  The second picture is in the front of our yard.  Amazing how different the colors are, don't you think?!

Then the contrast to Oregon is remarkable.  I went snow shoeing this past week, even though there's not a huge amount of snow.  It was fantastic!  You can tell that there isn't much new snow since the trees are bare but we still had fun.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas or Chanukah.  Hope you get to spend it with loved ones or loving friends!  

Much love to you all in blogland!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Progress, at last

Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  Can't believe we are in December already!  And that it's been a month since I've posted--  EGAD... 

I have done some sewing, I'm happy to say.

I'll call this my November mini!  It's the baby quilt I decided to make for our newest grandson, Aiden.  This was a panel I found over the summer;  I sashed each block, although you'll probably note that one of the blocks doesn't match.  I RAN OUT of the panel blocks... so I scrounged around.  Can you find it?

And I found this great boy fabric for the backing!  Kids love to play with cars and now he'll have a track!

I went to my small quilt group last week and worked on a quick quilt I saw at my LQS so I bought some cute dalmation fireman fabric and whipped this up for a small boy.

I've also been plugging away at Barb's star swap (funwithbarb) and am half-way done!

My tuffett has been getting lots of use from the grandkids.  They sit on it, lie on it;  Eli even turned it over and sat on the bottom!

I had promised to post pictures of inspiration I found in beautiful paintings in Paris.  There was a fabulous Dégas exhibit at one of my favorite museums, the D'Orsay, which was a former train station in an earlier life.  This is the entry hallway!  There are spectacular statutes up and down that are truly breathtaking.  Even look at the ceiling!

The colors that Dégas interspersed amongst his dancers was fabulous, in my opinion.

Quilt patterns everywhere:

I'm still struggling with my Moda Blockheads II, not feeling happy with the "finished" product... hope to get to that this week...and will definitely post more this month!

Friday, November 1, 2019

October mini just finished and a Paris visit

Under the wire... I just about finished this little quilt last night. I had made the top before (I think it's a Pam Buda design) but it needed quilting and binding.

 This was my first attempt at baptist fan quilting.  I used a Sewline purple washout marker -- started with Pounce, but that just wiped off.  Supplemented with white pencil on the dark fabrics.  Used my Juki free-motion and it seemed to work pretty well.  So, Wendy Reed (constantquilter), does it count as my October entry?? VBG

I also was working on donations for the Hawaii auction I always make things for.  This time I opted to make little purses. I made them large enough to hold an iphone and added a little hand-strap. Cute, don't you think?  I have one more to make. 

Another Cheddarback block is also done.  I had seen someone else's in similar colors and I really liked it.

I promised I'd show you pictures I took from my afternoon with my friend Will in Paris, who is truly one of the most talented quilters I've ever met.  I love when we are able to meet up and she is so free to share her latest accomplishments, which are always just amazing.
Here we are, being silly--note it was very humid and my hair was super-curly.  Also, I think the fact that I mixed up the shampoo and the hair gel probably didn't help!

Here is quintessential Montmartre, where Will lives:

We were trying to find a particular thread I was running out of and we passed by this iconic Paris site.  Merry-go-rounds are very common in Paris at parks and other sites.  This is Sacre-Coeur.

This is Will's hexagon quilt she's been working on, from a photograph in a small book:

This is the quilt she's also been working on.

I loved the center so took a close up.  You can probably see some of the fabrics she chose as well.  One of her many talents is that she has such an eye for choosing fabrics.  And she fussy-cuts like no one else!  And she does a lot of hand-piecing!

I also snapped a few pictures of some little quilts she has hanging on a wall.

Next time I'll share pictures of inspirations I saw, from walls in the Metro, to tables, to floors, to paintings!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Without power again!

This is going to be a quick post, no pictures, just to let you know I'm alive, but we have been part of the very large  population which had our power cut off to hopefully prevent fires.  We had the power cut off about 4 days earlier in October.

And then they did it again on Saturday.  

Really hard to get much sewing done without electricity.  My treadle machine is at the cabin!   I did manage to prep a bunch of things which I intend to work on in the next days.

My dh and I decided this weekend that we were going to flee California and head up to the cabin in Oregon for the week.  So I'm on my way (he drove;  I'm flying today since I babysat overnight last night)

My October mini is ready for completion!  Just need to get to my machine.

Earlier this month, we took a trip to France spending a few days in Paris (I did get to spend an afternoon with my dear friend Will...more on that to follow) and then we went to the burgundy area of France where we relaxed for a week, tasting some wine, hiking, touring castles and churches.  We had a great trip.

So I'm hoping tomorrow to be able to get some sewing done!

Happy Fall!

Friday, October 11, 2019

A couple of FINISHES

On the eve of October 1st, I did complete my September mini (yeah, Wendy Reed--constantquilter-- for keeping me honest!)

This was a Primitive Gatherings pattern for an adorable pin cushion.  I used leftover fabrics from my Moda Blockheads, which is DONE, except for the borders.  I'm going to put an inner gold border, which I've got cut out.  I have a red/white/blue stripe I might use for the outer border, if I have enough.

As you can see, I opted to leave out the sashings between any blocks.  I also added initials and the year in the appliqué basket block, which I'd seen in someone else's quilt.  It's a massive quilt and I'm very happy that it's done.

I also rearranged a couple of rows to be sure certain fabrics didn't touch;  in so doing, I wound up making my flag upside down (I'll fix that)!

We have been without power for two days now.  VERY annoying, if for no other reason that I can't use my machine!! UGH.  I don't know when we will get ours restored, although it seems that everyone has gotten theirs back!

I also finished a top I've been working on for a while.  It's using one of Bonnie Hunter's blocks and I had fun fussy cutting the fabrics.  This quilt is going to be for another cancer patient I know about from the memory care place my mom is living in now. It's going to the long arm quilter today!

I think it's a fun quilt.

A very wise friend recently posted a charming fence sign which I really like.
I have recently been cut off from a couple of quilting friends I've known for decades and it's pretty painful.  But I  try to remind myself that I can't control what others may decide to do.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Moda Blockheads II just about done

I mentioned before that I've been working almost exclusively (when I've had a chance to sit at the machine, that is!) on finishing up the Moda Blockheads II project.  Mine is red/white/blue.

I couldn't even tell you how many blocks there are.  I fell a bit behind (of course) but decided recently that I wanted it finished.

So I've got all the sections pieced together (I must admit that I substituted some blocks and made other quilt, right??!!).  Now I'm debating whether to add sashing (a very light fabric with small red/white/blue stars) or not.  I originally thought YES I wanted it.  But I photographed the sections with and without.  I'm not so sure I want the sashing now!
What do you think??

with sashing vs.

I haven't worked on anything else in a while, although I did go back to Washington, DC twice in September, so that counts for something, right?

I'm going to try to get my September mini done today, though!  Have to decide what to use.  And after I finish a long project, I always find it difficult to transition to another project.  So I'm now currently "unattached"!! vbg

I am pretty sure I mentioned that in January, my son joined the Marines to be a reserve officer.  He just completed the second phase of his training and we went back for the graduation last week.  We are sure proud of him.  He gave up his entire life at 30 yrs old to give this a try. He was one of the "oldest" in the group. Such a rigorous training they put these young men through.