Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last Quilty Project for the Year

 It's the end of the year, and I've got one last blog post for 2018.

I hope everyone had a happy Christmas and have been enjoying the holidays.  On the 20th we watched our granddaughters dance in their ballet school's Nutcracker selections.  They both dance on-point now and they each had their first solos!  A very exciting time for them!

We had a great time Christmas Eve at our oldest son's home with his family, and then a quiet day on Christmas, just the 3 of us at home.  It will be a quiet New Year's for us too.  We're going to watch the Dr. Who special and play board games.  I'm looking forward to it.

Fortunately, we had some honest-to-God bright sunlight this morning for the first time in days, so I could get some photos I've been wanting to take for a while now.  It's been so very dark and rainy here, and just terrible lighting for photos.  So this was a wonderful opportunity!  Plus, sunny makes us happy here!

 My last bit of quilting this year was a gift for the Tacoma MQG Christmas gift exchange.  It was secret sewing, so I couldn't share with you until now.  I made a tablerunner in my recipient's favorite colors.  She requested tropical blues and greens. (some of my favorite colors!)

This is based on a couple of quilts in Alexandra Ledgerwood's book Improvising Tradition.   I had to use mostly batiks to get the right tones of tropical blues and greens.  Fortunately, I have a small bin of batik scraps, which came in very handy!  I just sat down and started doing some improv log cabin-y blocks, which is my favorite kind of creativity!

When I liked what I had with the blocks, then I had to figure out the right proportions for a tablerunner.  It wasn't too hard, and I'd like to do another one of these.  I made notes so I could repeat this!

The quilting design was courtesy of my DS.  He drew a sketch and then was kind enough to draw it on the quilt sandwich with a hera marker, making the quilting very easy.  

Leigh Ann seemed very happy with this!  

side 1
This was gifted to me, and made by LaDonna.  A great tote bag!  I love that off-set pocket!

side 2

inside view

I love all the pockets on the inside!  Those are always handy. I think all tote bags should have multiple pockets - LaDonna must have read my mind! And the fabrics she chose are so fun!  Kitties and then goldfish swimming in bowls for the pockets.

I don't talk a lot about myself on here, but I will say that I'm glad to see 2018 end.  It has been a tough year.  Dear Son was sick for a lot of it, Dear Hubby was traveling for a lot of it and I got to take up the slack.  Which didn't leave much time for quilting.  :(  Then I broke 3 toes in July and found out I have osteoporosis.  DH retired the end of August, which he really needed.  All that world traveling was taking a toll.

Fortunately, he's around now that I need him, because in October I injured my foot.  The doctor thought it was a sprained ankle.  I rested it and used a cane to walk with and then in November I started physical therapy for it.  But by December, it was much worse!  So I quit P.T. and went back to the doctor.  

I've been staying off of it as much as possible and using a cane to hobble around.  Wednesday the 2nd I'm going to have an MRI to find out what is going on and how bad it is.  I'm kind of dreading finding out - I don't want to have surgery!  So, I'm hoping for good news in January!  Cross your fingers or say a little prayer for me, please!

Goodbye 2018!  Hello 2019!

Since I made my tablerunner with a bin of scraps, I think it qualifies, so I'm linking up with Oh Scrap! over at Quilting Is More Fun Than Houseworrk.

And Happy quilting!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Just Poking Along

Still not much going on around here, but I did manage to get some sewing accomplished.  Yay for me!

My quilt guild was having a workshop on the Falling Charms quilt (which I first saw on Crazy Mom Quilts blog here, and then found out that Missouri Star's Jenny also has a tutorial here), so I decided to play along.  After some consideration, I realized that I didn't have 2 packs of charm squares that weren't already spoken for, so I decided to use my 40 Crumb Blocks that have been languishing for a few years.  At 6 inches, they were an inch bigger than the pattern calls for, but if you know me, you know that I don't do well at following patterns anyway!  So, after some quilt math and a few adjustments, I knew what I was doing and was hard at work getting fabric ready for the workshop!

Here are some of my blocks - just easy peasy!
Needless to say, I didn't complete my project at the workshop ( I just don't sew that fast!), but I kept working when I got home and eventually I completed the top.  I have to say, as easy as the blocks were. it was surprisingly difficult to get the blocks in the right position!  Suzanne, who led the workshop, gave us the tip that the white on the blocks should be "L"'s and "7"s.  That tip saved me some grief!

At that point I started thinking about borders.  I also had some 8 inch Crumb Blocks that I thought I should use up too.  They're not my favorites somehow.  So I considered how best to use them.

First I thought of slicing them into rectangles.  Ok, but not what I wanted.

Then I thought of cutting them into smaller squares.  Better, but not quite IT either.  But I like those crumb blocks once they're cut smaller! *grin*

Eventually, after looking at all of this laying on my "design floor" (the living room) for a few days, I got the idea to offset the squares some, just like in the body of the quilt.  That was IT!  More math was involved and I figured out how I wanted to accomplish that effect.  I'm no math whiz but for some reason, I can usually do quilt math!

So I've been sewing.  I went to my sister's and did more sewing there!  No photo yet, but soon!  I'd like to have one border on before my quilt guild meeting this Friday.  And then I can show you my progress. *fingers crossed*

Right now we're having a terrible heatwave and I cannot sew up in my quilt studio as we don't have A/C.  It's just too hot to sew anywhere at the moment! I'm crossing my fingers that the heatwave will break soon, hopefully on Wednesday, and then I can do some more sewing.

Recently my DH traveled to Israel for work.  He brought back some candy bars for us to enjoy.  We've eaten two of them and they were both excellent!  A little different from American candy, more like European candy but not quite the same either.

What was really interesting, to me at least, was the contents labeling on the back.  If the flap is folded one way you can read the Hebrew words.

But if you turn the flap the other way, you can read the label in Arabic.  Very clever!  It's always interesting to see how other countries are just so similar and yet different from Americans.  And bonus!  The candy is yummy!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Long Time Gone

I haven't blogged since February.  Wow, time flies.  I hardly know where to start.

 It's been a very long 6 months.  I mentioned in my last post that our son was ill and had surgery.  Well, his recovery took way longer than we thought.  He finally came out of it by May/June.  During that time, my husband was traveling a lot.  And when he was home, he was sick.  (one of the joys of flying these days)  I got something too, that took me too long to recover from.  Like I said, not a good 6 months.  And I was so busy and/or sick, I couldn't get any sewing in, or blogging or anything to blog about.  So, I was quite frustrated.

However, in May I took the trip of a quilter's lifetime!  I took a trip with my California friends and guess where we went?

Yup, we went to Missouri to visit Missouri Star Quilt Company, and about 6 or 7 other quilt shops, some in Missouri and a few in Kansas.  OMG, that was sooo fun!  Needless to say, I've shot my fabric budget for the year!

This was one of our 1st stops.  Harpers Fabric & Quilt Company, in Overland Park, Kansas.  This was a great shop and we all bought fabric here.  Actually we all bought at least something in every shop we visited!  I love the quilt on the bed.

I think our last stop on Thursday was Angela Walters' shop Quilting Is My Therapy in Liberty, Missouri.  If you've seen The Midnight Quilt Show, you've seen Angela.  We were hoping to get to meet Angela in person, but sadly, she was at Quilt Market at the time.   

This was our group at breakfast on Friday as we were about to go to Missouri Star.  I think you can tell how excited we were!

When you first walk into the main building of MSQC in Hamilton, MO, this is what you see.  A display of the latest weekly tutorial from Jenny, as well as any Daily Deals.

And this was the new display on Saturday.  We were hoping to meet Jenny while we were there, but again, she was at Quilt Market.  Bummer!

This was the stairs up to one of the shops in another of the MSQC buildings.  I thought it was real cute.

By the way, we found out that JC Penney grew up in Hamilton.  His childhood home was just down the street a little ways from MSQC's main building.

We stayed at a hotel in St.Joseph, MO.  We learned that it is the home of the Pony Express.  It ran from St. Joe all the way to Sacramento, Calif.  This is a mural across the street from the museum.  The museum was fun and also educational.  Just down the street from here was Jesse James' childhood home.  We didn't get to see that, as we had to head back to the airport.

If you ever get the chance to go to Missouri Star, I urge you to go!  It was so fun, everyone was so nice and Missouri is a beautiful state!

I know I mentioned in my last blog post that I was doing an on-line swap of wonky stars.  This is just about half of the stars I received.  Aren't these fun?  I haven't yet gotten a photo of all of them together.  I've got two quilts to finish and then I want to start working on this.

I mentioned on my last blog post another swap I was going to do this spring, the 6 inch Churn Dash block swap with Barb of Fun with Barb blog.  

Here are my 4 different fabric runs for the blocks made for the Modern group.  We had to use at least 2 different fabric pairings.  

After lots of cutting and sewing, here are all 54 of my Churn Dash blocks ready to swap!  

If you're interested in making some 6 inch Churn Blocks for yourself, here is the link to Barb's tutorial for them.  Actually, the tutorials for all the blocks for all the swaps are on this page.  The Churn Dash blocks are at the bottom of the page.

Here are all of the blocks I received in the swap, laid out in color order.  Aren't they wonderful?  Rainbow order always makes me happy!  A huge Thank You to my swap buddies!

I plan on being back soon, as I still have more to share with you.  Have a creative week!

Monday, February 05, 2018

10 Years!

Today is my 10 year blogiversary!  Yay!
Count 'em - there's 10 candles on my blog cake!
I can't believe that I've had this blog for 10 years!  That's a lot of blogging.  It has been one of the most fun things I've done.  I'm always thinking of what to put on the blog, and I take way more photos than I ever use.  *grin*  I've met so many wonderful people (even a few in Real Life!) and made a lot of friends.  And I've learned so much from my readers and other bloggers that I read.  Blogging literally changed my life - for the better!

Thank you all for being my readers!  Your comments make my day!  I love to read your thoughts on what I'm blogging about.

I know it's been too long (again) since I blogged.  December got away from me due to the holidays.  Then, the first week in January, poor old Shade, my cat, got Obstipation (Obstructive Constipation).  He got to spend the first week of the year at the vet's - I had to drop him off in the morning and then pick him up in the evening. The vet wasn't sure he was going to make it, and all the vet techs were rooting for him.  They fell in love with him because he's a big cuddle bug and he kept purring while they were working on him.   Poor kitty, that was pretty tough on him since he's almost 15 now.  But he came through it and is thriving now.  He's got prescription foods, and I have to make sure he gets enough liquids and hopefully this won't happen again.  *fingers crossed*

Then on Wednesday that same week we found out our son would be having surgery on Thursday.  Son got through the surgery fine, but that evening we had to take him to the ER.  (We left home at 11 pm and were there in the hospital until 4 am.  I'm not as young as I used to be, and it took me quite awhile to recover from that all-nighter!)  Son was in a lot of pain.  The ER folks were wonderful and he got lots of different tests.  They decided he needed to be admitted and he was there until Saturday.  Son is having a long, difficult recovery and still has 2 more weeks before he can pick up more than 10 pounds.  He's sleeping a lot.  I hope he gets better soon.

Two weeks ago we took a trip to New Orleans, something for DH's work.  He had to work, but I got to have fun.  Some of the wives get together and do stuff. We took a tour of 2 of the sugar cane plantations along the Mississippi River.

One of the Live Oak trees at the Oak Alley Plantation.
I was really impressed with the immense Live Oak trees - note the person on the left of the photo, to give you a sense of how big these trees are!

Laura Plantation, a Creole home.
The tours included lots of history, which always fascinates me.  I learned quite a bit!

DH and I managed to find time to go on a carriage ride around the French Quarter, which actually is the original city of New Orleans.  Here's "our" mule that pulled the carriage (with 7 people in it, no less!).

Lil Liza Jane

She's all decked out for Mardi Gras, which actually lasts 2 weeks in New Orleans!

Here's her sweet face.  And check out her glittery hooves!  She was a sweetie - she really liked getting her pets and scritches!

I joined two Instagram sew-alongs in January.  The first one is the #wonkystar2018 swap run by @bylancer.  I was in a group of 14 swappers, so I got to make 13 star blocks. Here are my first 4.  My favorite one is in the upper right.

Here's a better picture of it.  I found a leftover star I had made for my Liberated Medallion quilt.  It was 3 inches across and worked perfectly in a 9 inch block. 

And all the rest of them!  You can see that some of them were pretty calm and then a couple of them went wild and crazy!  This was probably the most fun swap I've ever done.   @bylancer is probably going to do another swap sometime this spring, and I'm ready to do more!

Now I'm going to do a Wonky demo at the Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild this month, so I have to get busy and make some more examples of Wonky stuff.  It'll be fun!

The other swap I've committed to is the 6" churn dash block in the Modern Group of swappers with Barb of Fun With Barb blog..  #fwb2018blockswap, if you're on Instagram - check it out.  You can also see Barb's tutorial on how she makes the little blocks.  I haven't started my blocks yet, but I'll be ready in the morning.  I hope they won't take me too long - I have to be done and have them ready to mail by the end of the month.

That's all for now!  Happy quilting!