Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ah, weekends!

I could sure use another three day weekend, but unfortunately my office will not be closed tomorrow for Cesar Chavez Day, unlike some government offices in the state. I tried to make the most of the weekend, though, with spending time in the sewing room high on my list.  Friday night I finished sewing down the last few inches of binding on the little tablemat I showed last week.  It's had a bath and is currently in the dryer getting crinkly.

Saturday morning was spent working on the doll quilt for the swap I joined on Lori's blog, Humble Quilts  where 61 people signed up to swap small quilts. I am so excited about how mine is turning out--the top is now complete with sashing.  It's hard not to share photos, but I think this is a secret swap so it will have to wait.

After a short shopping trip and some lunch, I picked up my 95 year old mother-in-law so we could take her over to see her new great-grandson.

Four generations in this photo.  Frances was very happy to get a chance to hold Cove and welcome him to the family.  Special times!

Saturday night I worked on this tablerunner I pin basted a week or two ago.  The poor thing has been languishing unfinished for at least a year.  

I used my walking foot and a three-step zig-zag stitch spaced about an inch apart.

I think it goes well with the more modern fabrics (Sandy Gervais line).  Simple and quick.  I got the binding attached last night and finished the sewing it down this morning.  Then I worked on the backing for the doll quilt and got that finished.

 Lastly, there were some more pieces and parts cut for the High Cotton quilt from Kim Diehl's Simple Comforts book, and one more block sewn. 

Some of these hoarded Bonnie Blue Quilts fat quarters will join the scraps and leftovers.  Man, it is hard to cut into them!  Hope you all had a good weekend as well. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Santa Barbara Annual

Correction:  The below description of lilac bushes should instead read wisteria vine. Thanks to Patrica for noticing my error!

It has been one year since I got my job out of town, making me a bus commuter to Santa Barbara.

This is my view as I wait for the bus ride home in the afternoon: the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.  It is a beautiful building and the grounds are lovely too.  Let me take you around the back...

I wanted to get some photos of the big and beautiful lilac bushes in bloom on the back ell of the courthouse, which frame this entrance.

The translation is "Having been warned, learn justice".  Apropos to the old jail side of the courthouse.  The arch is about 25-30 feet high.  Quite elegant, don't you think?

This lilac bush was even more spectacular.  I wish there were smell-o-vision so you could catch the heavenly scent.
Each of these clusters was about 12 inches long. 
Look how beautiful up close. 

 On another part of the grounds is this lovely flowering tree.  No idea what it is, sorry! I disturbed a mom with her baby who were relaxing in the shade on a quilt. 

The blooms are as large as my palm.  Next to it is another Trumpet Tree like I showed last year.

 It is nearly done blooming, but the remaining daffodil-like yellow flowers are still pretty. 

There are these very long and fuzzy seed pods all over the tree--each about 8-9 inches long.  I wonder what the seeds inside look like.

One final closer photo of the rather impressive-sized bougainvillea at the base of the clocktower.  It isn't blooming as prettily as some around the city, but is nice to look at anyway.  And now, more baby spam.

Grandson Cove is one month old today!  I held him for an hour this evening after work while my daughter caught a much-needed nap.  Love that Mimi time!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Design Wall Monday

On my design wall are more blocks for the Kim Diehl cover quilt "High Cotton", from her Simple Comfort book. 
Scraps and leftovers from previous projects, plus a few well-aged fat quarters make up most of the blocks. Also, I suddenly recalled a fat quarter stack of CW prints purchased years ago at the International Quilt Festival, which we stored elsewhere. The hazard of a sewing room with no closet!
Some 6.5 plain squares for the border and another scrap in the wings. And now, baby spam. 
Grandson Cove and his Papa having a staring contest. We got a little cuddle time Saturday morning. See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

Since it is now much lighter in the day when I am taking the bus home from work, I can actually stitch again.  Those overhead LED reading lights on the bus weren't really meant for handwork!  

This little scrappy table mat is getting its binding stitched down.  I had fun quilting it with some free motion loops in the center section and then used a scalloped stitch on my machine to make a sort of ribbon in the borders.  Totally imperfect but simple--no need to over think :).

I originally brought this little quilt (Pink Lemonade from Lori's Doll Quiltalong) to handstitch on the bus, but when I looked at it again, I realized those plain squares really cried out for some sort of motif and I didn't have one in mind, so I brought it back home to ponder.  Please excuse my poor nighttime-bad-light photo.

Also in the pondering pile is this scrappy table runner I put together a couple of weeks ago.  Machine or hand quilt?  Hmmm...

I had very little left of that Jo Morton caramel print in the star blocks and Janet O was kind enough to send me a half yard that was resting in her stash.  The runner used three of the four star blocks I had made, so now I can cook up a few more stars to join it.  Thank you so much, Janet O!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday.  Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Still Playing With Orts

I love Kim Diehl's scrappy style and the great color mix she uses. I found one of her books at Joann's and used a coupon for a great price. 
That's the last of that CW print but there are a lot more to cut up. The cover quilt is first on my list but several more from this book are equally wonderful.  I did some MATH to figure what the minimum length 2.5" strip would be, and 25" is it. 

Speaking of 2.5" strips, that is what I cut my binding strips. I like to have my binding all made and ready to apply before I start quilting. 

I can't tell you how many times I've made the above mistake!  This is NOT  right sides together. Rookie errors are annoying!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Design Wall Monday--March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day this DWM!  On my design surface are a number of little projects that are getting follow-through attention. First is the quilt-along top I showed last week, Pink Lemonade.  I picked up this brand new magazine at the grocery store the other day.  While it is a aimed at more modern quilters of the beginner and intermediate type, there are always things to be learned.

 Lots of great projects and interesting ideas. 

This cute flannel baby quilt design showed a two color binding that made it's own piping and, since I had so little to work with for binding options for the Pink Lemonade, the idea was intriguing.

Here's my two color binding, something I've always wanted to try but never did until now--this simple method is genius:  When the binding is applied to the back of the quilt and brought to the front, the piping of yellow will be created when machine stitched in the ditch between the two colors to complete the binding application.  I'm going to big-stitch hand quilt Pink Lemonade and it is all set in sandwich form for my bus commute.

Another little sandwiched table mat from last week.  This one got machine quilted since the photo and binding is on.  On the actual National/International Quilting Day, my sister and I didn't sew, but we did shop. 

I bored my sister by buying a bunch of bolt ends of neutrals--but I needed them!  This great cheddar print met her approval, however.  It is a Jinny Beyer print.  The other 1.5 yard piece was a good sale price and will get used sometime.  Our LQS was looking mighty barren and I'm worried it will be closing if more folks don't frequent the store.  The owner had a "staying in business sale" that I missed because it was the day my grandson was born, so I definitely wanted to spend some dollars there. Support your local independent stores, folks! 

One final sandwich made for the day.  This poor tablerunner has been waiting at least a year and a half to become a "real quilt".  The binding got made too!

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Design Wall Monday--3/10/14

A late posting for DWM, but here goes!  On my design surface are still more CW repro scraps and partially completed objects (PCOs).

One of these things is not like the of these things was just made wrong...
This was an experiment in leftover HSTs and a pack of precut squares.  I was not happy with the size of the coping strip I had to cut in order to make the odd size of the squares (4") fit the HSTs I had trimmed to 2.5".  MATH again!  Therefore I was not paying attention to the fact that the star I was aiming for turned into a square.

This was what I was aiming for :)  I cut down the precut square for this star to 3.5" and then the coping strip was cut at 1", making a more pleasing proportion to me.

I so wish I had more of this caramel Jo Morton print and the subtle print neutral.  But, alas, I do not--only a few square inches of scraps are left.

Turns out I liked the second layout better.  I saved the center star block for some future playtime. Since these photos I have added borders to what will be a nice sized tablerunner--these are 8" finished blocks.  I turned my attention then to a couple of  PCOs (partially finished objects).

These tiny bits I had sewn together were left over from strips sets made for Julie's 9 patch swap of a few years ago.  I thought this would make another cute table mat and since this photo I've added borders to the long sides only.  I have just enough of this purple print for a backing, and disassembled a strip set to get enough of the leftover shirting prints to make a binding.  Sort of spring-like with the purples, maybe?  Finally, this doll quilt-along top from Lori's blog from a couple of years ago progressed no further until now.

Lori even liked my suggestion for the doll quilt's name, Pink Lemonade.  Those churn dash blocks are  small--I think they finish at 5".  Yellow and pink are very scarce in my stash and acquiring both required a couple of trips to the fabric store at the time of the quilt-along.  My iPhone photography is making the yellow rather more lemony than it is in true life. Also, the pressing job after the photo improved the top's looks.  Someday I'll get better at thinking of that before I start taking photos!

I'm going to back it with this pink print and then do big stitch hand quilting to finish it off.   See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

And now, some baby spam. 
Some Sunday evening Mimi time with Baby Cove!  I put him to sleep while mom and dad were trying to eat their dinner.  Check out those duds :)  He's 12 days old today.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Birdies have a new home

TGIF!  And to end this week, the following poorly lit photos document the drawing winner for the little Blogaversary quilt.

Grant drew the winning slip from the vessel. 

And the winner is....

Janet said, "It turned out lovely, Annie. I would be thrilled to win it!
I think you made the right choice to get rid of the "Stop Signs" and just quilt the corners, and it is nice how the birds are circling on the quilt.
Good job!!"

Congratulations, Janet!  I'll be dropping you a line for your snail mail address.  Thank you to all who expressed their kind thoughts about my little quilt made from orts, and for stopping by and looking in on my little corner of blogland!  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Orts on Thursday, and giveaway

Orts--bits and scraps of thoughts and events that land here semi-regularly.
  • Isn't it funny what associated life events some calendar days never lose.  To me, March 6th will forever be the senior high school day that I got my braces off after six long years. 
  • Remember that sewing instruction book I showed last week with the mod bedroom? Well, there are patterns for clothes in that 1976 published edition too.  My sister and I laughed hardest at this one:
Wouldn't you love to sport one of these coverups this summer? The model looks like she can barely stand another second of wearing it :)
  • Our lovely rainy few days over last weekend have yet to show visible sprouted grass on our brown, brown hills.  But the weeds in my planting beds sure are perky. 
  • Only one more day to enter my blogaversary giveaway, HERE. Deadline is 6 pm tomorrow night.
  • The new family came over last night to help celebrate DD Erica's birthday.  Despite fears of having to eat and run, they lingered for a couple of hours and it was great to enjoy Cove's first visit to Mimi and Papa's with them.  As is to be expected, traveling with a newborn is a production, which was proven when it was time to get settled into his car seat.
 The car seat dwarfs him now, but that will change all too soon, I'm sure!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Design Wall Monday

On my design surface are more CW scraps. In cleaning up the sewing room I came across a baggie with some leftover HSTs and fabric from my Caramel Blues quilt. 
I had even sketched out an idea for a table runner. There wasn't enough fabric for the centers but I remembered a charm pack I picked up at the International Quilt Festival in Cinci a couple of years ago. But the CW squares are 4" so I need to add coping strips. As I've mentioned before, quilt MATH gets me all the time!  My coping strips are too wide at 1". Well, at least I can cut them down :).  See my last post for a blogaversary giveaway I'm having of a little CW scrappy quilt I finished over the weekend. 
I also put away all the random spools of thread and bobbins hanging around and found five nearly bare ecru spools. I use these spool ends for hand stitching but sure don't need five of them!  Wrapping all the leftovers on one spool freed up room in one thread box :)
See more design walks on Judy's Patchwork Times. 

And now, some baby spam:
I got to hold my 4 day old grandson Cove for a good hour yesterday and he was awake the whole time. Sweet baby!  The new family is happy to be home from the hospital and creating their own routine :)

Design Wall Monday--Catching Up

 Design Wall Monday --See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  I disappeared for awhile, due to computer issu...