Sunday, December 27, 2020

Words of wisdom

 I can't say that I've done much sewing since we got back from California.  Our daughter who is living with us decided the time was right for her to get a dog (mind you, in her real life, she's in a tiny studio apartment in SF... this will no doubt change once she returns to her life in SF whenever that will be).  

Let me tell you that finding a dog is quite a challenge these days.  I'll explain how I personally know this later this week.

But she found a tiny golden doodle and got him on Saturday! Meet Cooper!  He's very sweet, adorable and keeps us busy too.

The words of wisdom I want to share with you follows.  This was from Jenna Wolfe:

" This year tried its very best to beat us all, at every turn, in every which way imaginable....To those who have lost, my heart goes out to you.  To those who haven't, cherish what's important...because life is short.  So be grateful, be generous, be the bigger person, don't compare, don't stress the insignificant , pick up the phone, write a letter, surprise someone, surprise yourself... and say yes."

Much love to you all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Am I twisted?

 It’s that time of year in our house where we celebrate Chanukah by lighting a candle each night in our menorah for 8 nights.  We have made it a tradition with our grandkids (who are celebrating Christmas instead) to light candles with us. We make sure to have a menorah for each child. This year we had 4 of the staying overnight and we enjoyed our tradition with them!

Our tradition has always been to give our kids a small gift each night.  I’m a huge reader so I always buy the kids books!  It was really exciting to cuddle on the couch while each one read to us from their new books!  

What I have done of a sewing nature?  Not much 
My daughter gave me a mask she got from work and I decided it needed embellishing, a la RBG!

Friday, December 4, 2020

A bit chilly

 I wish I could explain where the time is going but it's whizzing by and I can't account for it.  UGH.  I know others are feeling the Covid Buzz as well.

I did get another sprig block finished and changed it up a bit by adding little circles at the bottom of the stems.  I thought they looked weird just being there.  I used the Karen Buckley little plastic circles to make them.  I would even call them almost perfect!

I also worked on something I found online that's supposed to be a table topper.  I am almost done with the piecing but am honestly thinking of using the blocks in a placemat instead!  Or something else.

I've also been thinking about replacing my very cheap (and not very comfortable) Target office chair I've been using for 10 years.  I'd read recommendations and when I was in the Bay Area a couple of weeks ago, I went into The Container Store and decided I liked their bungee chair so I ordered one.  And, of course, blue is the perfect color!

It also affords you a peak at my mess of a sewing area.  HEHEHE

My dh liked the chair so much, I ordered another one (with arms this time) and I'll give him my blue one.

I did go out snow shoeing again this week and here's an idea of the vastness of the forest, snow and open feeling.  It hadn't snowed in over a week so no snow on the trees but still amazing nevertheless.

In another example of how things are so upside down this year, we decided to put up outside lights.  Mind you, we are Jewish and we have NEVER had outside lights.  But I figured this year is so messed up anyway, why not go all out?  I'm not sure a video will work but I'm going to give it a try.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Much to appreciate

 Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  I hope you had a lovely day regardless of what you did or ate.  Even if you spent it by yourself.  We have our middle daughter (who's been living with us since June) but our other two kids and 5 grandkids were together in SF.  I have to admit I was quite sad not to be there with them -- hopefully this year will not be repeated.  But we are extremely grateful that our middle daughter has been staying with us!  What a gift that's been.

With the world in such turmoil, just being able to breathe normally, not wear a mask (indoors our own houses) and relax is a gift.

We spent the morning going snow shoeing since it snowed a little bit two days ago.  What an absolutely glorious time we had.  It was chilly when we started but there was no wind and we got warm very quickly! To me, walking in the woods that look like this is absolutely magical!!

I know I post a lot of pictures of where I am living;  I admit I love Central Oregon.

Lest you think I don't sew, I did finish another block for my sprigs and springs.  This one was made while catching up with The Crown.  I love watching a show while I sew and then I can remember what I watched when I sewed one particular block (at least for a little while--then I will have no memory whatsoever!! vbg)

I am still using the back basting method, although there is lots of room for improvement! I will admit I don't miss having to mess with those tiny pieces of freezer paper for the leaves.  So the jury is still out on that.

The WINNERS of my giveaways are:

Janine and Heather.

Please send me your snail mail addresses so I can zip those out to you.

have a great weekend.  Stay safe everyone!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

I am thankful for you

 In honor of Thanksgiving and to demonstrate how much I appreciate my followers, I'd like to offer you some free pattern --truth is I bought them TWICE.

All you'll need to do is share your favorite Thanksgiving side dish.  Winners will need to share a recipe!  I'll chose the winners Thursday morning

Lady's Scrap Basket from Bits n Pieces Pattern Company,

a 51x64 beautiful appliquĆ© and pieced quilt.

Honoring Our Quilting Heritage by Lori Smith

a 59x79 beautiful scrap pieced quilt made from 6" pieced blocks on point.

Gobble gobble gobble


Sunday, November 22, 2020

A low volume kind of day

 This will be the first Thanksgiving we will be spending apart from all of our kids  so it's just not the same.  We decided to follow the protocols and are not traveling back to the Bay Area this week.  Fortunately we saw our grandkids last weekend.  We will have a small dinner with just 3 of us; we feel lucky to have our middle daughter staying with us!!

Anyway, it's putting me into a strange kind of funk I'm calling "low volume"!! :-)

I did do a little fabric shopping recently and found what might be called "low volume".  Well maybe the definition is a little murky.

No idea what I'll do with these fabrics but they bring a smile to my face just looking at them.  So what the heck, right??

Last weekend, Barb Vedder (funwithbarb) and I took a zoom class on back basting appliquĆ©   Now you know that Barb could've taught the class, along with Wendy Reed (constantquilter) but I've never learned how to do it.  So I have tried a block of my sprigs and stars using this technique.  

Fortunately I have a decent light box.  But my [latest] problem was the marking pencil I was using to trace the design.  UGH!  I've been using a purple "pen" that washes away but that seems to be drying up.  I tried a pencil for this one.  We'll see how it turns out.  So far it seems less labor intensive than the freezer paper method I was using, especially with the smaller pieces.

So my question is which method do you like to appliquĆ© and why.  Now I know some people absolutely never do the "A" word... but I rather enjoy it.  

You've no doubt noticed I changed my header (thanks again to Janet O for the lesson!!) to reflect the latest weather here in Central Oregon. BRRRR.  That was one early morning last week.  Very picturesque.  And we went to check out the snow parks yesterday and I am ready to pull my snow shoes out of the garage and get my gear ready for that activity!!

We are still missing Max terribly and I've been searching and searching for a new golden doodle (smaller and less shedding than a golden retriever).  Getting a puppy these days is NOTHING like it was when we got Max 12 yrs ago.  It's all online, of course;  and there are scammers out there who take your deposit and disappear.  So I'm really struggling. Many places are asking for deposits for litters that might be born in 6-12 months!!   I would be quite content if someone showed up at my door with a puppy in hand!  If you happen to know anyone who breeds golden doodles, please let me know!! 

I wish you all a wonderful week.  Even though we will most probably not be with the usual family gatherings, we still have so much to be thankful for.  I certainly feel that way.  I can't see my mom again (everything has shut down again in Oregon) so I am grateful I did see her a few times last month.  We are healthy;  my children and grandkids are healthy.  I have a good life and feel very fortunate.

So I am sending you warm, loving hugs (virtual of course) at this time!  And thanks for being there for me via blog-land! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Too quick on the publish button

 I had a bunch of pictures to post with my last post but I was too quick (or just incompetent...) and the pictures didn't make it.

So here I will share with you my latest block that I finished from the Primitive Gatherings Twilight Garden.  I have TWO more blocks to make before I start on the center and borders, which will probably take me forever.  I am loving this project and quilt but no matter how hard I try, I always seem to have parts off-center.  Being perfect is just not in my make-up!

I made more sprigs and stars as well.

I have been getting some great ideas from comments and have changed my methodology somewhat.

I'm trying to be a little less random so am staying with a certain fabric for groupings.  I'm not sure it'll be noticeable but it's fun to try something different.

I say why not have some fun.  Scooters and roosters?  Heck YES!

We went back to California for the weekend to see the grandkids and had a wonderful time.  I started my 11 yr old grandson on a jelly roll quilt.  Here is where he sews!~

He can reach the foot pedal as long as it's on a foot-stool! ;-)

Popsicles on our front porch steps has been a tradition since they were very small.  On Saturday the weather was beautiful and they helped me wash the snow residue off my car from our drive!
What a fun time we had!  No water fights, though! Air was too cool. ;-(

Hope you're having a great week!  Stay safe!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Life does go on

 I can't tell you how much I have been touched by so many sweet comments about my poor dog's surprising death last week.  Thank you very much for taking the time to share your warmth and love to us.

It's probably been hardest on our grandkids who haven't head to deal with any death.  Even little Eli, who just turned four, said to me before falling asleep on Saturday, in a whisper that he misses Max.

We are on the fence about whether to replace Max.  We had been thinking that we'd get a golden doddle rather than another golden retriever to reduce the shedding and opt for a smaller dog.  Finding a puppy is quite a process that's pretty overwhelming.  The breeders are all over the country;  finding a puppy online is an entirely different process than when we got Max 12 yrs ago from a small breeder nearby.  You don't just pick out a dog from a breeder;  breeders frequently require a deposit months before a puppy is born and there's a "picking" day.   If you happen to have recently gotten a golden doodle or a puppy, I'd love to hear any advice!

Throughout the past week I have been sewing on my stars and sprigs quilt.  I signed up for a back basting appliquĆ© class with Barb Vedder over the weekend but wasn't able to watch so I intend to educate myself on perhaps a more efficient method of sewing my pieces down using the freezer paper method.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

A quick ending

 You all know we have had a Golden retriever who (a)loves my fabrics (b)loves our grandkids (c)loves treats and (d)is getting old.

Well, this week marked the end of his nearly 12 years in our family. ;-(

On Wednesday night, he was acting strangely--wouldn't lie down at bed time.  When I woke up he was on our bathroom floor instead of our bedroom.  He also didn't want to eat and barely wanted to go out to pee in the morning.  He was just stretched out on the carpet under our dining table.

I knew something was wrong so I made an appointment at the vet to have him checked out.  By the time we were ready to leave for the vet's, he was unable to even stand up.  My husband and I had to carry him out of the house into the car.

Long story short--the vet took one look at him and gave us the bad news that he had to be put down because his spleen had burst and his abdomen was filled with blood.  We stayed with him until the end,  so very sad.

I have many quilting stories to share but felt I needed to give you the updated sadness permeating our house now. 

Dogs sadly have short lives and they become such a big part of our lives.  I can't walk from one room to the next without expecting Max to be following me.  So the moral of the story is still that life is short and we need to enjoy every precious day we have with our furry loved ones as well as our human loved ones.

Take care and stay safe.

Much love,


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween

 Well it's a weird Halloween,  isn't it?  This is the first year we won't be with the grandkids, who used to trick or treat at our house.  There's nothing going on here in Sunriver and it's pretty chilly so I'll probably sew and finish my October mini. The kids are going to a friend's house for an indoor, private party.  My how things are different this year!

I am excited to share with you the little pin cushion I was lucky enough to purchase from Kelly Cline. I love it!

My October mini is something I made years and years ago!  It just needs some quilting and binding.  I promise to get it done today!  There are the Cascades, seen from Bend.  I can't even remember when I paper pieced this pattern!  It has to be at least 10 years ago...maybe more.

My daughter and I took a drive into Sisters today and it was a sad reminder of past events. My quilting friends and I  were there for the quilt show nearly 18 months ago.  We went into the Stitchin Post, usually the center of the quilt show and hub of activity.  Sadly they were selling bags from the quilt show -that wasn't! ;-(. And the story was pretty empty.  There wasn't even a lot of fabric!

I did buy some fabric of course...and thought this one was too cute to pass up!

I have no idea what I'l do with it but it seems like. one of those fabrics that is too great to cut up.  Maybe I need to cut it into strips using the sayings in various places.!

Here's an update on the sourdough bread-- it was interesting to see that probably half of you who commented thought I shouldn't accept it.  Well, karma works in mysterious ways.  My bread did not rise and after baking, I  literally had two hockey pucks!  UGH...  Now it's possible that my kitchen is just too cold for bread to rise.  I'm going to stick with that story!  In the meantime, I went to a bakery yesterday and bought a loaf of sourdough bread already perfect (and sliced).  

There's a full moon tonight.  I read that it's called a Blue Moon because there are two full moons in October.

Have a good one! 

Monday, October 26, 2020

The kindness of strangers


Are you noticing that selvages have the most interesting sayings?  I found this one over the weekend while working on more stars for my Sprigs and Stars quilt.

I've been agonizing over the alternate star blocks and I think I've finally decided to use a variety of soft neutrals. I found some unusual ones at a quilt store in Bend.  I'm going to eliminate the one with the dark purple background;  the one in the top right corner is BLAH so it's going onto the back as well.  If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!~

My favorite flying geese ruler is now the Creative Grids one.  What do you use?

We went to Whole Foods on Saturday and I was hoping to purchase new sourdough starter since mine was tossed last month.  The store doesn't sell it but a woman overheard me asking someone and she offered to give me some of hers!  Really!  For a moment, I hesitated in light of Covid and our complete change of habits.  But I decided that I'd wear a mask and maybe meet her at Starbucks.

We met and she gave me the best smelling starter!  She even named it "Randy's Little Monster" since I guess hers grows like crazy!  I thought that was so kind of her.  My daughter thought I was INSANE to accept it, suspecting it might be poisoned or full of virus particles!  What kind of a world have we become?

My first loaves are rising as we speak. And hopefully the oven will kill the virus! ;-)

Hope everyone has a great week.  It's very chilly this morning in Central Oregon (down to about 19*) but it should warm up mid-week for a bit anyway.

Back to the stars!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Change of seasons

Well, summer is definitely gone and fall was over in a blink.  Central Oregon is now getting cold!  Yesterday I went hiking with a friend along the Deschutes River (sadly no more kayaking!) and my new header photo was from our hike.

I'm busy trying to make headway on the sprigs and stars quilt.

 I have to admit that they are a lot of fun.  I'm experimenting with color choices.  I started off being completely random.  Now I'm trying to do some organized chaos!!

I've also been working on finishing up this donation quilt for the children.  This has been fun and I really just want to get something DONE.  Know what I mean?

You know how much I love sunsets!  This was from Saturday evening.

Just breathtaking!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Back in Central Oregon and thrown out of hospice

 We took the past week to go back to the Bay Area to check on our house and visit with the grandkids. The drive enabled me to finish another wool appliquĆ© block from the Primitive Gatherings Twilight SBOW 2018.

I will admit that I added little feet to the birds! ;-)

 It was a great weekend.  We had the 3 oldest grandkids for the weekend and the 4 yr old just for Sunday night, which we totally enjoyed.   Great story:  the 4 yr old didn't come for the weekend but we went to my son's on Sunday.  As we were leaving, the 4 yr old climbed into my car, into his car seat, buckled up and said he was ready to go.  "Bye Mommy"!! Never asked if he could come over.  He was ready.  Fortunately my daughter in law was on board and got his overnight clothes and away we went.  so we got to have Eli by himself on Sunday night!  Love the time we spend with the kids.  We even went to the pumpkin patch and got them pumpkins!  


Last week I also participated in an online workshop being led by Maria Shell through the Brownstone Quilt Guild (my friend Barb Vedder alerted me to that).  It was called "kitchen sink" and was based on utilizing orphan blocks!  I have quite a supply but pulled a handful to start with.  This is what I first put on the wall:
The center 6 blocks were made following Moda Blockheads 1 but I lost the patterns I had printed out (no clue where they went to!) so just gave up.

I played around with them and added a little bit and got this much done:

Janet O may recognize one of the larger blocks, as she'd sent it to me years ago and I decided this was the time to use it.
I left the blocks on my design wall in California since I hadn't sewn them together and they'll be my project next time I return there in a few weeks.

It's gotten quite chilly in Central Oregon and I think my days of kayaking are over for the season.  Next up:  hiking until the snow falls.

Funny story:
My mom has been on hospice since she got Covid 19 back in July.  They really didn't expect her to live.  Well, she sure showed them.  She "graduated" from Hospice this week and they "kicked her off" their program.  That's a huge step.  Who gets to be kicked out of hospice?? VBG
But it meant they were reclaiming the hospital bed they'd set up for her.  What does a 93 yr old say about her comfy hospital bed being taken away?  NOT HAPPY, to say the least.  I had gotten my mom a nice queen bed when she first moved into assisted living, nearly 3 yrs ago.  She has NO recollection of ever having slept in that huge bed "for 3"! And she wanted NO part of that bed!  So I went today and bought her a twin bed and bedding to try to make her happy.
So it's a good week for my mom, getting thrown out of hospice!
I'll take it!!
Have a great week!
Stay safe!  Mask up! oh and VOTE!


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Making progress

1st of all I can't believe it's early October.  Honestly this year has just been a complete blur, and continues to be that way.   I am trying to make the most of it!

Best news on the Covid 19 front is that my mom's facility finally allowed in-person visits this week so I was able to see my mom from 6' away outside.  She's healthy, which is a miracle.  She's a bit more confused than before but still, for almost 93, she survived Covid 19 and is moving around.  I'd say it's a win-win!

We went kayaking yesterday probably for the last time this year.  Weather is going to change this weekend.  We went to the second largest lake in Oregon called Waldo Lake.  These lakes were all formed by volcanic eruptions so the depth of the lakes is amazing and the water is aqua blue!  The air was perfectly still so the water was like glass.  I have to show you the reflection of this rock formation!

My friend took this of me in my boat.  It's a bit far away but you can get the idea.  It's been a great year of kakaking and I'm sorry to have gone on and on about it.  All I can say is if you ever have the chance to go out on a kayak, do it!  There is something incredibly serene about sitting in a boat in the middle of a body of water with mountains around.  It makes all of the rest of the world disappear for a short time!

I've been plugging away at my Stars and Sprigs quilt, still not convinced what my alternative block is going to look like.  I've been doing the appliquĆ© blocks and enjoying that!

I've made two more and have tried to be a little less chaotic in the fabric choices.

You'll see I haven't washed out the purple marker yet for the placement lines.

To top off my week, a very special friend sent me a package of purple scraps (!), some great selvages, special glue for my appliquĆ© AND a beautiful large mug rug which can hold my cheese and cracker plate at happy hour!  Thanks for thinking of me and being so generous, Barb!!

Have I told you about the visitors we've been having almost daily?  They seem to like our yard for resting!  They are quite large, except for the little fawns.  I think deer are really pretty creatures but I wish they'd stop eating my plants!! vbg.  I also keep my distance away from them. This area we live in is their country and we are the interlopers!

This is the view towards the back of our house from my sewing room window!  We head back to California tomorrow for the weekend so we'll get a chance to have our grandkids visit!!  WOOHOO!  Stay safe!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Trying to get back to appliquƩ!

 I was so very enticed by Gladiquilts job on the Stars & Sprigs quilt  that I ordered the pattern, bought some great background fabric and got started.  I have done a lot of appliquĆ© but it's been years.

I'm doing a bright version and using a great red background!

These are the first two blocks I finished.  The pattern alternates with pieced stars.  I made one but I think the contrast is too great between the red background and the light background.  So I'm not sure what I'll use for the stars.  Don't you agree?

There are many different methods to appliquĆ© the leaves;  for this project so far I've been cutting the shapes out of freezer paper, sticking the freezer paper to the back of the shape, cutting out the shape with the seam allowance and then pressing the seam onto the shiny side of the freezer paper.
I've done it where I've used spray starch and a firm brush, which also works.  Needle turn is another method I've used.  I think it depends on my mood!

I got a fabulous package of fabric last week from Wendy Reed (constant quilter) who went shopping for me at Cyndi Black's shop in Maine.  Boy did I get some fabulous fabrics.  And I mentioned to Wendy I was looking for some purples!  She did a fabulous job as my personal shopper!

I think these fabrics will keep me busy for a while!

I'm trying to take advantage of the last days of warm weather here in Central Oregon.  The leaves have started to turn and the mornings are a brisk 32*!  Last week I kayaked with my friend at a lake where we were able to see 3 mountains from the Cascade Range.  

You're looking at the South Sister which is a huge peak.  The snow hasn't even completely melted.  My kayak is an inflatable one, which means I can fold it up and throw it into the back of the car.  No need to kill myself putting it on the roof.  No thanks.  Has to be easy for me.

But let me tell you a couple of weeks ago, my dh and I went to go kayaking and we got all the way to the lake, and I unloaded the boats and pump when I realized I had forgotten one of the paddles.  UGH.  

I'm going again tomorrow as this week is gorgeous here in Bend!  And I will be sure to bring my paddle.  My husband says I should have a check-list but I'm not a check-list kind of girl.  :-))

Hope everyone is having a great week and staying safe.