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Showing posts from June, 2010

Another Clue, Patriotic Fields

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Clue #5 of Judy's Mystery Quilt was posted yesterday and I got right to work sewing my pinwheels and matching flying geese to the specified parts.  Along with the pieced bars, Judy cleverly turned them into stars (hey--I just rapped!) and I am loving them in all the different fabrics. Next week we'll get the layout for the top.  I'm hoping the chains will intersect in a beautiful way around these pinwheel stars!  On other fronts, the Strawberry Fields quiltalong project is a completed top, which I am calling Patriotic Fields.  I would have liked to have this done for the Independence Day holiday, but with my plan to hand quilt it, I'm not seeing a finish in the next four days! This watermelon-y fabric was a gift some time ago from my newly married friend Tanya, with whom I'm having dinner Thursday night.  I might bring the top to show her.  Although not entirely in keeping with the vintage idea of the little quilt, it was the right color and was on hand! I thi

Don't say Fire

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See why I should never mention fire? We've had our first one of the season, and it was of the beloved landmark hill behind Ventura , Two Trees, so named because of the two Coast Live Oak trees gracing it.  I noticed the smoke on Friday when I went to lunch about 2 p.m.  Later there were helicopters and planes making water and retardant drops (photos courtesy of my mom).  This fire was started by a 16 year old who was hiking with some friends from a local park and "found" a lighter. Stupidly he decided to see if it worked and the fire got started accidentally.  He tried to stomp it out but couldn't so called 911 and then warned some other hikers nearby about the fire.  There were 150 firefighters who battled the flames for about 4-5 hours until it was out, with some staying overnight to make sure there were no hotspots to flare up.  The 16 year old was cited by police and released to his parents. The trees were not damaged but there is an ugly black scar on the hil

June Bugs

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We actually haven't seen ANY June bugs this month but it has been too cool here yet, I think.  Not that I miss them, but that snap-squish they make when you smack 'em can be satisfying!  However, I digress from the purpose of this post--sewing progress!  First up, all the flying geese borders are on Erica's quilt top.  I only had to adjust the seams on a couple of the geese on one side to make them fit properly. That was one bug squi shed! A close up of one of the corners.  This happens to be my favorite block (but not Erica's, which is why it is not in the center!).  I like how the corners came out.  The next border will finish at 7" and is a deep purple.  That's my next bug to squash, cutting that slippery suede-like material into 87" lengths.  Scary!  Here's part of my Clue #4 pieces for the Mystery Quilt.  I love the large block.  How serendipitous that it turned out to be my favorite colors mixed in the one block for this Mystery Quilt.  Half

Garden Tour and a Cat on a Mat

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I am not much of a gardener but these plants are like iron and even I can't kill them: Mexican sage and daylilies.  I love orange! This peachy orange is just yummy. Golden Rain tree, just about to bloom.  This tree is less than 10 years old, I think, and started out as a stick no wider than my thumb in a 5 gallon pot. Someday it will shade the front of the house, though now it only its the driveway and garage! Covered with yellow flower spikes. Mini holding down my cutting mat for me. Tonight is the once a month Bunco night again--the last four weeks sure have flown!

Jimmy Crack Corn and a Quilt Show

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Saturday I picked up my mom to accompany me on some quilty outings.  On the way I was making up my own lyrics regarding my outfit, to the tune of Jimmy Crack Corn..."My legs are white and I don't care, my legs are white and I don't care, my legs are white and I don't caaarre, I'm wearing a skirt anyway!"  Seriously, wear your sunglasses.  Sorry, due to surface glare, no pics are possible.   We went first to a charity quilt show/sale and silent auction fundraiser for a maternity home, with Amish style quilts by an acquaintance of my mom's.  Ardelle, who must be in her 80's, told us she went to an Amish exhibit in San Francisco several years ago and was inspired.  She has made over 400 table topper sized quilts since then--all hand pieced and hand quilted.  There were close to 200 quilts displayed around the church hall, all for sale for $25 or less.  I was stunned and wished I'd brought my checkbook, but did immediately plunk down my $20 bill for t

Bad Company

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Friday I left work a bit early so Grant and I could have a date with Paul Rodgers.  Well, there were several hundred other people there too, but it was still just the two of us together.  We drove about an hour and a half north to the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez.  The Indian casinos are everywhere in California now and are hugely popular.  The Chumash were the Native Americans who lived in much of the Southern California coast when the Spanish explorers arrived in the 1700s.  It was a beautiful drive along the coast from Ventura to Santa Barbara, then we turned inland over the San Marcos Pass.  We took this road home from our trip to Pismo Beach for our anniversary in February and I shared this picture: It was very green and lush in February, which is typically our rainiest month.  This is what it looked like on Friday, four months later: All that green has turned golden and dry and the deep green of the Coast Live Oak trees really stands out.  It has not been too hot yet

Design Wall and other orts

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My design wall is up!  I have been meaning for months to buy a flannel-backed tablecloth to use as a design wall.  This one I purchased at Big Lots for $3.50 and it is 52 x 90 inches.  I used those 3M stick on hooks and some curtain clip hangers.  Sorry the photo is a bit fuzzy. I hung it on the wall behind where I sit at my machine, so I can just turn and slap things up there as I sew. By some mini miracle I hung it at exactly the right height to clear the floor.  If I had tried to do this on purpose, I'm certain it would not have worked out as well!  My return trip to the store also resulted in exchange for the right length curtain panel.  I also used the stick on hooks for the tie backs.  Luckily the curtain rod was already at the right height! Clue #2 sewing is nearly done for Judy's Mystery Quiltalong .  Although her instructions didn't include it, after sewing background and accent strips together and ironing to the darker fabric, I nested the strips in pairs and di

Plugging away at production

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Another productive couple of days, though still not enough sewing to satisfy me!   Even if I am a little tired on weeknights and sick of sitting, which I do entirely too much of at both my jobs, there is enough getting up and down to iron and cut and trim that I find my "at least 15 minutes" of sewing per day stretches longer.  My Clue #1 pieces are nearly done for Judy's Mystery quilt. The flying geese and pinwheel blocks are completed for two of the colors... ...and not yet completed for these, but close!  My goal is to cut for the rest of the Clue #2 after completing the pinwheel blocks.  I am liking my color choices so far.  The no waste method for flying geese is terrific  (click on the link for a downloadable pdf some smart person shared!).  I also completed two more flying geese borders for Erica's quilt, only one left to go and then I have to do the next part which is trimming the quilt top to 66 1/2" square before adding said border.  Scary! Yesterday

Strawberry Fields Quiltalong top

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Lori has put up her Mr. Linky for all the quilters who played along for this doll quilt project.  I have let mine stew for a week and I'm not going to change the corners.  I like the "make-do" aspect, in vintage fashion, though I do know where I could get more of this fabric line ( Bonnie Blue Quilts website has it, for inquiring minds!).  Lori included in her post the EQ drawing she made originally, in which she included a narrow border.  Oh my.  Now I have to rethink my finish.  How great would this look with a narrow red border?  Hmmm , pondering. Anyway, it was great fun to play along and I plan to hand quilt this with Baptist fans, a pattern which I have never tried before.  I'll use a perle cotton and probably just freehand the fans.  People like Bonnie and Tonya and Julie make it look easy.  You're right, I haven't trimmed the corners yet!  But pop on over to Humble Quilts and see the many different versions of Strawberry Fields.  Thank you fo

Early June doings

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It has been a good weekend.  Friday night I stopped at the mall and did some clearance rack shopping at Sears.  Their store brand is decent and some of the lines they carry are really nice, a Liz Claiborne line, Lands' End, etc.  Plus they sure know how to mark down things!  I got a couple of light cotton tunic-length shirts for only $12 apiece.  We are starting our typical weather pattern here for southern California beaches.  AM fog and low clouds, burning off to a nice mid 70's temp by early afternoon at the beach; much hotter inland.  Sometimes the fog comes back again around 4-5 PM, but since we live about 5-6 miles inland, it stays nice and sunny afternoons for us most of the time.  So you have to change your clothes about four times a day.  I like to throw on a tank top and lightweight shirt with my jeans so these were perfect. When I got home it was nearly 7 PM and Grant was taking a nap since he had a band gig that night.  Mini was hanging out there with him.   She wa

Strawberry Fields Fumbling

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The 1/2 yd cut of navy print I bought at my LQS turned out to have a surprise inside.  This lovely scalloped border!  I got very excited about using this scallop in the corners of the quilt.  After cutting the larger setting triangles from the field of the print, I carefully cut the size squares I needed from the scallop for the corners.    Ooh, pretty! Let's see what the other corner looks like.   Bummer, it's going the other direction.  OK, let's rearrange.  Then I thought I would use the larger setting triangles with the scallop on the outer edges.  Dang!  Not enough fabric to cut six triangles--only enough for one side.  That won't look good.  Discard that idea.  T ry as I might, the corners would not match and I did not like the horizontal/vertical distraction.  So I ended up using some of the larger flowered portion of the border to make my corners.  So disappointed that my great idea didn't pan out!   The corner pieces have n't been trimmed beca