Thursday, January 31, 2019

A little progress

Iron update:
I have an old Shark gigantic iron that I pulled out of the attic.  Darn thing turns off all the time!   Maybe that's a good thing. ;-)
Bad part:  I had the little portable heater plugged in tonight as well as the heater and **poof** -- the circuit breaker popped and all the power went out in my sewing room.   ;-(

I did do a little sewing the past two days.  I pulled out a UFO after deciding I want to get it finished.  This is a Primitive Gatherings project that's almost completed but still needs more parts finished.  I am working on sewing the half square triangles, which are pretty tiny.

I also did a couple more Temecula Quilts one block quilt!

And I sewed a couple more paper pieced flowers for the Béa et Céçile sew-along.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fire fire, IRON on fire

I have a little ironing table next to me at my sewing machine and last night while I was sewing I heard a noise from the iron (it's a Steamfast little portable iron) and looked over to see this:

There were a few clicks and then it spontaneously combusted.  This is what was left after:

Good thing I was sitting right at the sewing machine.  I have to admit that there have been nights when I've left the iron on...

I'm trying to find out who to notify about this so others can be warned.  Be careful if you have this iron... don't leave it alone!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Another try...

I downloaded an update on my home computer and it has been horrible.  I was absolutely unable to download my pictures of what I wanted to share.

Now we are at the cabin in Oregon and I'm going to try on my little portable laptop, which doesn't have the new software. GRR I think I'll be using this laptop from now on.  Much easier to download my pictures!

I made another little pincushion from that new adorable book of pincushions, Pin Pals.  This is going to constitute my January mini---gives new definition to MINI, right??

The backing was made with a scrap of fabric I've had for some time.  Thinking of Lori!

Now as for the filling?  hmmm.  I usually like crushed walnuts but didn't have any so I went to the pet store I'd gotten it before but they stopped carrying it in bulk.

So I went to the feed store and bought CAT LITTER made out of crushed walnuts.  Fingers crossed it doesn't start to smell or attract animals!!

I started a simple project being organized by Temecula Quilts--it is a block a week (same block), 12 blocks a week, 4" fin.

This week I also decided to try to use some of my scraps and made some string blocks.  Nothing fancy and I'm not sure I like the way I've arranged them but they certainly do use up the leftovers!  It might be more effective to organize the colors but I was just playing around one day.  My friend Lori (humblequilts) is encouraging string quilts this year so I'm in!

We are heading back to California tomorrow since Monday is Grandparent's Day at the kids' school so we absolutely can't miss that!!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Y not??

My friend Claire is chairing the local guild's show coming up next month.  You know that she is super-creative.  She made up a pattern for the challenge at the show, based on Why quilt... or Y...  I love what she did! She was sewing down the binding at my house yesterday so we had lots of time to catch up.  Isn't this cute??

I may have twisted her  arm a bit but she and I are going to go to the Vermont Quilt show in June!! WOOHOO.  We are in the planning stages so I welcome any suggestions.  We are going to go for a whole week and plan to tour around the area...

I don't know what got into me last night but I decided to organize my light scrap basket.  It was OVERFLOWING and I couldn't find anything.  You can see its dark partner, equally chaotic and untouched as of now.  Not done yet but I'm happy with the results.

My progress so far:

I know many people organize their scraps into sizes of strips (I do have a huge tupperware container filled with 2-1/2" strips in the closet) but I'm just not that organized.  So I separated the really thin strips from the wider ones from the small scraps from the triangles.  Impressive, don't you think?? JK...

I've also been working on my other January Mini, which is almost done.  I'm almost gleeful with it and can't wait to show it to you.  Let's just say that I've taken mini to an entirely new level!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Mini from Pam Buda

My friend and cohort, Wendy Reed (constantquilter), challenged me to make one project a month from Pam Buda's new Vintage Patchwork book.  Wendy followed all the instructions for cutting in advance;  I'm not so organized.

I cut out the pieces just for this one butI feel like it still turned out ok.  Cute pattern, don't you think?

It's not very large so it went together pretty quickly;  also I used my first ever single-fold binding, following instructions on YouTube -- ;-)).  I was happy with how well it went on, as well.  Now if I could just improve on my machine quilting skills!

Next up:  the other mini for the month of January... Trying to start the year off on the right foot and not fall behind (although I am terribly behind on my Moda Blockheads II...).

Hope you're having a productive January as well!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Lucky ducky and inspiration galore

I neglected to tell you how lucky I recently was--- I WON a new book that was being given away by Barbara Brackman!! I wish I could say that my victory reflected great character or decisiveness but it didn't... I was the LAST one to comment and that's how I won. ;-))  I'll take it...  Thanks to Barbara Brackman for her generosity.  I already love it!

I went yesterday to the little quilt group I recently joined, which makes quilts for kids.  Here were some finished projects, which I think are great!  I also really loved the quilting. You can't tell but the "road" was actually pieced.  it is adorable.  

I loved this last one's pattern and its maker had the pattern with her so I borrowed it.  I think it'll look great in brights!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Signs of spring indoors

As I write this, it's been pouring down rain for a few days.  Welcome weather, let me tell you!  Northern California has been drought-sticken for way too long.

One of the projects I'm going to do this year is the Céçile and Béa quiltalong.  This year they are doing flowers.  Lots of flowers.

Rather than appliqué, I decided to paper-piece my lovelies.  I started with an old old book of patterns and am using my Kaffe Fassett scraps from my tuffett!  There are other fabrics thrown in as well but the idea is the same:  BRIGHTS

My November mini was completed, at last.  Hand quilted the whole thing!  Do I get a star, Wendy Reed (constantquilter)??  This was a top I started years ago and I'm happy to have it completed.  I will say that I did enjoy the hand-quilting but am sad to report that my Signature quilting thread was faded on the outside from lack of use!  ;-)

My December mini was the swap I did with Wendy, using the Kim Diehl pattern.  So I finished the year having made 12 minis!

What's up for this year?  I'm going to do the minis again and made something from the Vintage Patchwork book.  Not sure what else.  Do you have lots of plans for the year??

Now I have a question for you:  how do you hang your quilts?  My minis are on the wall with tacks.  My bigger quilts, however, are frequently hung inartfully.  I'm very curious to hear your methods for hanging quilts...

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Big Reveal

I promised to share my version of the Kim Diehl pattern that Wendy Reed (constantquilter) and I swapped once she received it.  Well, much to my surprise, the post office delivered it likitty split (spelling??).

Here is mine!  

Here's a close-up of the center.  You see my imperfections more easily-- the strip across the vase is crooked!  And one of my stars isn't close enough to the trunk.  I also ran out of the orange thread while in New Zealand and had to substitute something else!  I notice all these things AFTER they're sewn down and I figured I like my projects to look handmade (=imperfect!)...  I also had a heck of a time with the machine quilting.. machine issues, operator error until finally my trusty Bernina 1130 was called into action and performed beautifully.  For some reason my Juki wasn't behaving.

Since I received Wendy's before I finished mine, I was able to photograph the two pieces side by side.  I did wait until mine was done before I opened hers so here you go!  I love what she did;  and don't believe a word of what she says about her limited ability to sew down wool... her buttonhole is fabulous!  And the threads all match!! HEEHEE!!  Mine was a bit of a hodge-podge and I love variegated threads. So there you are.

I eliminated the very large leaves used at the end of the stems and substituted various flowers;  I also embroidered french knots on a few and did embroidery on some leaves and the tulip, to jazz them up.

This was a great project to undertake with two people doing the same pattern but interpreting the pattern to our own tastes.  I think I'd love to do this again and will be looking for another victim partner to join me.  Any interest?  This one turned out to be much more work than I anticipated so next time I'd do something smaller and less intricate.

We are back in California tonight with much trepidation.  I left Oregon with my mom in great turmoil over her move to the memory care facility on Friday;  I also have a brother who hasn't been very involved in her care but feels the need to muck things up so that's been a bit stressful.

Also, I haven't mentioned this but our 30 yr old son decided to pursue a dream of his and is joining the Marine reserves officer training for the next 18 months.  He is leaving on Saturday for Quantico, VA for bootcamp and then who-knows-where for the rest of the time.  Sadly our daughter in law is taking little Eli to Germany for the next 3 months while Ben is in bootcamp... and, imagine this:  she is not allowing me to come visit.  GASP!~!!   How will I survive??  Seriously, it's quite an undertaking and we are very proud of our son's determination while at the same time, sad to see him go.  He's very excited to be a Marine, and I can't fault that!   I'll keep you posted.

I am truly heartfelt at what a wonderful group of bloggers I've met and I wish everyone a very healthy, successful, and happy 2019!

Much love,