Tuesday, September 24, 2013

One Word Wednesday

                       
                         Gardenia. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Design Wall Monday --Sept 23, 2013

Fall has come and soon the leaves will be leaving the trees.  But before that, a family wedding is taking place in two weeks.  Less than two weeks, actually.  I've got the top completed for my nephew's gift and this week must get the backing selected and made, complete the quilt sandwich, and be ready for quilting next weekend.  This Willow Weave pattern is from Aunt Reen's Jelly Roll Sew Along.

My quilt assistant, Mini, came by for an inspection as I took my photos late this afternoon. 

I like to put a "heart" in my quilts to hold all the love and good wishes for the recipient of the quilt.  
See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Quiltfull Weekend

Among the events of the week, some stitching was accomplished, mostly because my sister Kathy insisted on helping.  All the remaining blocks to the wedding quilt were sewn into rows.  While I was doing that job, Kathy basted some quilt sandwiches and cut some binding on another project for me.  I like having an assistant--especially one who cooks.  Grant and I were greeted home from work one night with freshly made, totally fantastic BLTs on grilled sourdough.  Oh, yum! 

Saturday afternoon Kathy and I went to a local quilt guild show.  The Conejo Valley Quilters hold their event at Cal Lutheran University, a clean, bright, well lit space.  Here are a few of the many creative results of their work.




 Here's a version of the cover quilt from Kim Brackett's Scrap Basket Sensations book.  My version is still just a top but I liked this essentially two color variation. 



 Pretty fun chooks made from animal prints.  The snakeskin one kills me.


 Lots of yellows and bright colored prints.  What a happy quilt.

 I think I read this one was a block of the month quilt.  It is just beautiful. I loved the big splashy print around the feathered star center.

This easy star border gives me a great idea for the future.  I love how they "dance" back and forth, just by using that spacer strip and alternating which way the block is turned.  So simple and effective.

 Here's another clever idea, using a decorative stitch for simple appliqued leaves.  I don't have the skills to do good stems but with this technique, a stem wouldn't be needed.  There's an unfinished quilt top in my closet that needs this kind of treatment to really make it shine.


 This sampler type quilt was made cohesive by the rich medium and dark toned fabrics.  I'm not usually a fan of samplers but this one I liked. 


My sister asked me to take a pic of this tomato quilt.  It was only about 18-20" square but really fun and free form.  Plus it echoed a recipe Kathy was already planning to make.  On the way home we stopped at a roadside stand so she could get some fresh tomatoes that pretty much matched this quilt. Today she prepared the Martha Stewart magazine recipe to a T.

 Simple Cibatta bread lightly seasoned and grilled and some amazingly tasty tomatoes.  It was hard to stop at two pieces so that we all got a snack! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Design Wall Monday

Still plugging away on the wedding quilt, with a deadline fast approaching. I have two more weekends!

Luckily my sister is here to help. She re-ironed every other block's seams the opposite way so I could nest them as I assembled the rows. Yesterday I sewed five rows, leaving four to finish that task. There was a little complaining about the boring job I gave her, but it sure was a big help to me, lol!  See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times. 

Over the weekend we had a huge party at our house. There was even a band.
That's my hubby on the far right, playing with some friends at his 60th birthday party. It was a really good time and having the food catered was terrific!  First time ever that we didn't spend all night in the kitchen :). Today is his actual birthday, though, so happy birthday, honey!  Love you bunches!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Revealing News

I'm very very very excited about becoming a Grandma next year.  Have I said very?  We were invited over to Elaine and Chris' house on Tuesday night for dinner.  After we were assembled we each picked either a pink or blue balloon (I chose pink!) and blew them up all at once.  The pink balloons had holes poked in them.  Now I can announce that we are awaiting a....


Grandson!  The happy couple had an ultrasound that unequivocally revealed this fact.  My son in law said the ultrasound tech said she would quit her job if the baby wasn't a boy, lol.    In the DVD of the ultrasound, he was waving, high fiving, and being plenty wiggly.  Only another five months until he arrives and we can all see how cute he is!  Now comes the baby name negotiations :) 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pardon My Rant, and Good News



This photo has nothing to do with this post but makes me go to a happy place.  Port Douglas, Coral Sea, 2009
Is it just me or is time zooming along faster?  That's FREE TIME, I'm talking about, naturally, not working hours.  Hence the rant.  The insane backlog we're experiencing in the transcription department, caused mainly by three new doctors starting at the same time when we were already three weeks behind, has reached critical mass.  All we type for eight hours are RUSH dictations with time deadlines all day long--and there are five of us.  It is very exhausting.  Top that with computer program problems/bugs leading to extra steps, new state regulations requiring a separate document for each Workers' Comp report, a rat in the attached bathroom, and hot and humid temps for two weeks, and you have one tired and cranky staff.  Last week, a short week due to the holiday, two of my co-workers were out on separate dates, meaning even more workload for the rest of us. I have a stack of transcribed but unedited/incomplete charts I just couldn't finish last week. Two days I took no morning break, two days no afternoon break.  Add to that the cacophony of water mains being replaced on the side street and street closure making already scanty parking a nightmare for FOUR weeks, and massive earth-movers at nearby construction leading to no peace even on a walk at break time.  As grateful as I am to be employed, this has been a really hard few weeks! 

And now for the good news--my only sister is here!  After a nearly 30 year absence, Kathy has moved back to her hometown for a life reboot.   Lots of good times up ahead are planned, hopefully that include quilting.  We're already seeing a lot of each other as we are keeping her dog at our place.  Many thanks to my brother Ted and sister-in-law Laura for making the move possible, and to my mom and dad for opening their home to her.  You guys are the best! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Design Wall Monday--Labor Day

I forgot about Design Wall Monday but I do have something to share.  There are less than five weeks until my nephew gets married so today's labor was working on the wedding quilt.  This is from Aunt Reen's Jelly Roll Quiltalong from a few months ago. 

Today's main task was assembling the narrow woven band for row three, stitching the band pieces to each block, and then getting all the blocks in the row stitched together horizontally.  Aunt Reen assembled all her other rows vertically and I decided to follow that method for the top two rows, so got started on that.  A lot of seams had to be re-pressed the opposite direction for "nesting", but it sure helped with keeping the bulk handled.  I may have to do some switcheroo before I stitch these rows into final form, as I'm seeing some too-similar blocks close together.   See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Flying Again

A whole week without a post, what's up with that?  It was a very busy week, too, full of work, a celebration for our son's golden birthday, and a few bad nights of sleep.  There was no sewing but a little embroidery on the bus--very little, and not worth showing!  Excuses, excuses....sorry!

Today's task list was topped by the kite mug mat project for my friend's daughter, for which I made the sample I shared in the last post.  On to the real thing, I cut all the background pieces and prints from the fabrics I was sent.

Rachel requested I use the "busier" of the black and white prints for the kite, so that was piece #1, followed by my choice of the yellow mini dot for the kite's top section. The remaining pieces of background and the bows for the tail came together just like my sample. 

I've had this Paterson's Petticoat Tails Shortbread tin for 30+ years and got it from a dear lady I used to houseclean for.  She probably had it for a while herself--so let's call it nearly vintage :)   It's a perfect bin for my safety/quilter's pins. 


Sometimes free motion quilting is a breeze.  This was not one of those occasions, but not because of thread or needle breakage.  I ripped out several sections of loops, including where I've stitched a straight line through the bows in this pic, due to a clear cut case of the ITIS*  method of quilting, a technique quite prevalent in my sewing room.  (*I'll Try It & See)

 Then I re-did the loop quilting between the bows before adding a line of stitching in black using the "hand stitched" quilting stitch button on my Husqvarna. 

 The thicker black thread has more impact and texture, I think.

 Compared to the quilting, the binding portion was a snap.  The finished kite mug mat is all quilted and bound and ready to head to TCU in Fort Worth.  I hope Rachel likes it!