Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Other Stitches--What I'm Working on Wednesday

There has been some other stitching going on besides Winding Ways.  Two of the projects I can't show, but am having an interesting time with. As noted in this post here, I joined a Round Robin in my  Modern Quilt Guild.  So far I have worked on two member's projects, both very different, and last night we swapped again.  The quilts will have four rounds only and there are no specific steps for each round, though a border of about 5" at most is suggested.  Being modern, it is all about improv and design, using either fabrics provided or adding your own.  It is really challenging me!  We will have the big reveal in June. Can't wait to see what mine ends up looking like, from this:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Winding Ways Commission Finish

At last,  Winding Ways is a completed commission!   My sister Kathy helped me make my deadline by burying threads (there was cursing) while I sewed on the label.  I was still stitching it when my client friend Sarah arrived for pickup.  She was very pleased with the quilt and looking forward to sending it off to her sister and brother in law in Arizona--a gift for their 50th wedding anniversary. A few photos were quickly taken with my phone before she departed. 

Amateur shot--footed wavy quilt with shadow and chimney hat.

I emailed her the next day to ask if I could come over to get better photos and also to fix an error that would bug me forever if I didn't correct it. 
Much better!  Click to enlarge.

Here is Winding Ways with the scrappy binding and threads all buried. And the Minky back:

Spot the Rookie Mistake?

Of course, no one would know looking at the quilt back in the photo, but the label is sideways.  I wanted it to be in the lower right corner and somehow it ended up in the upper right facing the side.  This is what happens when you are rushing at the end of a long overdue deadline!  Luckily, it was an easy fix and I got to spend time chatting with my friends and some last minutes with the quilt while I resewed.  I love the extra shapes the quilting brings out.

My friend will give the washing instructions and also tell the couple about the meaning of the turquoise circle--the heart of the quilt and a sign of the two becoming one.  I hope they love the design as much I do, and that the quilt gives them many years of happy use.  One final photo I await sharing--a picture of the couple with the quilt.

Quilt Facts: 8x10 layout, 64x80", 960 pieces, 8 different copper prints, 8-9 different cream prints, 1 turquoise print.  All pieces cut with Accuquilt Go Winding Ways die.  Minky backing from Pieced, quilted and bound all by domestic sewing machine.  Started September 2014--Finished 4/5/2015.

Monday, March 30, 2015


The Winding Ways quilt has reached final stages at long last. Over the weekend I got all of the quilting completed. 
A hunt for the proper sized circle ended with this charger from the craft store. I used a water soluble pen, which I've never done before. I read some online reviews and although some people said they had problems with the pens running dry after 5 minutes, mine lasted for the whole quilt. 
I've copied the APQ magazine cover quilt's use of simple circles--great way to avoid all those thick seam intersections. 
The Minky backing shows the quilting nicely.  I've removed the marking pen from about half the quilt top, and have a lot of threads to bury, but am pleased with the way it turned out. Binding and a label and this commission is done!

And now, some baby spam:
After bath hair :) 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

National Quilting Day

What I did:
Crawled around on the floor a lot measuring and cutting the Minky backing and batting for the Winding Ways top. I went to five local stores this past week looking for quilt basting spray but finally found some. I enlisted my sister's help for the chore. 

She swept off my back patio while I gathered my prepared top, batting and backing. Naturally, the wind picked up just as we started laying out the backing and she sprayed the can. Sticky and with sore knees, we celebrated our success. 
It took the two of us about half an hour to get the three layers assembled. I'm guessing that it would have taken me about 2.5 hours to layout and pin baste by myself. And now I don't have to take out any pins while I wrestle this large throw through my small sewing machine!

I also quilted a tablerunner that's been ready for months. I promised this to my dad for his birthday--in October--oy!
Some very casual and imperfect peaks and valleys. I've got the binding stitched down and ready to turn to the back. As usual, I'll machine sew the whole thing. 

Today I'll start quilting the Winding Ways quilt--about an inch or so inside each of the 80 circles with cream thread. Excited to finally get to the finishing steps.  My client has been very patient and I'm eager to get this job to completion. 

What did you do on National Quilting Day?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Getaway Weekend

Last month my darling husband and I had a fabulous getaway--and it was practically free. Grant was one of the winners of a sales promotion at work and was awarded a free weekend stay at the Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara.  The prize also included the valet and resort fee charge and a gift card for expenses.  Thank you, Hormel. We were upgraded to a wonderful suite when we arrived, yay!

  Isn't it lovely?  The other half of the suite was the luxurious and huge bathroom. 

Soaking tub, separate shower, generous vanity.

Opposite the bed was a console with TV and amenities, and a fireplace in the corner, with these double french doors leading to the private balcony.

 Our view was unobstructed since we were at the edge of the resort.  Ahhh.

The occasion was our 30th wedding anniversary.  We took this selfie right after arriving, and, I think, before Grant surprised me with some lovely diamond earrings and made me cry!

Before dinner we took a nature trail to the beach (I posted a picture of a bridge on the trail previously).  This shot is looking back to the large resort on the cliffside. 

Some local old dudes were freestylin with a Frisbee while the young surfers headed out to the waves.

Breakfast on the restaurant's outdoor patio was fantastic in the morning. 

This pier is privately owned and boats that service the offshore oil platforms moor here.

The next afternoon we took the Cliff Walk  that passed the restaurant patio--it was steep!  But charming scenery. This is looking south towards home.

We hung out a lot on the patio with our peekaboo view of one of the two pools.  Construction going on just below us was no bother. They were expanding one of the three restaurants on site and building another bar.

I brought some handwork and improvised a Hera marking tool with an iphone and a room keycard :)

This is my long term UFO, Pink Lemonade, from Lori of Humble Quilts' quiltalong a couple of years ago.  Someday I'll finish all the big stitch quilting.

"Fountain" in the resort entrance courtyard. There's a drought here and no water is running.  The reflecting balls are about 2 feet in diameter--gorgeous.  The grounds and Spanish-style buildings were stunning, and the staff could not have been better.  I don't think there was a single time that a staff member we encountered did not greet us or offer assistance.  We finished our anniversary weekend with a real treat, massages at their fantastic luxury spa.  It was a wonderful weekend and since it's just up the coast from home, there was no tiring long return trip.  We did give ourselves another day off on Monday which made the getaway glow last a bit longer :)