Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuesday's Orts

Tuesday's Orts--bits and pieces of happenings and general life that end up here occasionally.

This has nothing to to with this post but sure has lots of scrappy quilty goodness!

It has been quite a while since I had an edition of Tuesday's Orts.  But some random assorted things are pretty easily gathered nearly every day!

  • I saw my doctor for an annual physical today.  I had an EKG, a chest x-ray, a shoulder x-ray, a hearing test, a vision test, went over my lab studies, and had a few moles burned off with liquid nitrogen. The EKG was normal, that was the first chest x-ray I've had in 30+ years and it was normal, the hearing test proved I can't hear very well in one ear,  the vision test proved I can't see well without my glasses, and all my labs were declared "perfect".  Sure glad insurance is paying for all this!  
  • My family doc had his residency with the doc for whom I am a Scribe.  They both said to say hi to each other :)  Both have been practicing family medicine here for about 35 years.  My family doc has yet to enter the world of computers and hopes he doesn't have to as a solo practitioner. My employer doc threatens his laptop multiple times a day when he gets kicked off the program, though he does like easy access to patient records and the hospital connection--when they function as they're supposed to
  • TRAFFIC RANT:  I frequently take a nearby two lane road that has farm fields on both sides.  It is narrow and there are ditches and no shoulder to speak of.  A couple of weeks ago in the morning, as I approached the signal at the intersection with the main road, I slowed down while keeping my eye on some idiot riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road, not wearing a helmet, and surely close to being creamed by vehicles that might be turning the corner.  The signal light had turned yellow as I got close to the intersection and I stopped just as it turned red.  I had a second to glance to my left at the large dump truck waiting to cross the intersection before being startled half to death by a big pickup truck that had swerved around me into the opposing lane and run the red light, going straight through the intersection at about 50+ mph. I never even saw the pickup truck approaching.  It was scary, but even scarier later to think what my car would have looked like had the pickup truck not swerved, or if the dump truck had started moving and the truck hit it. Yellow lights mean to slow down but most people do the opposite and I guess the pickup driver expected me to do the same.
  • A morning walk has been added to my routine.  I'm trying to walk every other day at the very least, only 20 minutes or so.  The other morning as I crossed a neighborhood street, a dark colored bird flying my direction caught my eye.  It had a pretty large wingspan and as it approached I eliminated eagle and crow from my guesses.  As it flew over I discovered it was a heron. 
  • A few months ago while oven cooking bacon for breakfast, I noticed it seemed to be coming from a creature other than a pig:
Seahorse bacon strips!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Design Wall Monday--Moving along

On my design wall is another interrupted UFO, as well as one off the design wall that has moved along since last week.  

Our guild had a Philanthropy Sew In on Saturday and I took the completed L-sashed blocks to assemble into a top.  

I like it!  It's a bit small at 40" square so will need some expansion with borders--a problem for another day.   Guild members were working on assembling monthly challenge blocks into tops, and kitting up backing, binding, and batting for already completed tops.  I took some precut squares, extra yardage, and a kit home to play with from donated fabric piles  Funnily enough, in a pile of donated fabric there was one square of the kitty print! 

I set to work later on Saturday making Bullseye blocks.  My brother requested a quilt and I had a small finished top that I'm expanding with additional borders and pieced blocks.  
 I need a whole lot more of these to fit around the quilt top. 

Anyone who has made these blocks knows the circles multiply in smaller sizes as you cut out the centers of each round.  At least I got easier instructions from Mary of Quilt Hollow, who gifted me the original batch of bullseye blocks, to cut squares, fold them in quarters and use scissors to cut the circles, rather than my original method of tracing plates!   Here's the existing quilt, hastily modeled by DD Erica:

 I may duplicate some of the darker print backgrounds just for fun.

 The current outside border is an old Thimbleberries print.

I pulled the brown print and this rusty red to use for additional borders as well.  It should be quite a puzzle to get this all together, but I'll sew on...

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Keeping leftovers can be a bonus or an onus, as all quilters know. I've had this kitty print for about 7-8 years since making a disappearing 9 patch for a co-worker. 
Yellow, red and green solids from this project as well as a baby quilt for a nephew have also hung around. Since making my Scattered Squares quilt I've become enamored of L-shaped sashing and had quickly drawn up a layout for the kitty fabric. I finally finished the 12 blocks in just a few minutes yesterday. But they weren't enough to make a very big quilt. 
Remembering more solids in the stash--and JUST enough yellow to sash my planned additions, I got those cut and sewn last night. 
Here's a small charity quilt that I'll add some borders to and have ready to quilt at our philanthropy sew-in this weekend. I like it!  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Design Wall Monday--High Cotton, Cove, and KonMari

Back on my design surface after too long of a hiatus are blocks for my High Cotton quilt, from Kim Diehl's Simple Comforts--12 Cozy Lap Quilts.  This quilt is available as an e-pattern HERE, I just learned on a Google search.

I had a heck of a time getting the 4 patches in correct orientation at first and had to rip a couple of times for the same mistake--that always seems to happen when I leave a project too long.  I've got several more sets of block parts cut and some fabric choices ready to go for more cutting.

So far I have a little over half of the 63 pieced blocks made.  I'll do a full layout after this next batch of blocks is assembled and see what colors I think need to be added. 

We had grandson Cove for a sleepover Saturday night--well, Auntie and Mimi had--Papa was in Del Mar with his best buds.  Cove, who turns 18 months next week, spent a lot of time playing on the couch with the throw pillows, some coasters, and a table runner, and one or two toys from his toy box.  He found a copy of a book he has at home, Brown Bear (Eric Carle) in the toy box and was endlessly amused by the pictures, especially the page with all the kids on it.  He had a lot to say about it!  His vocabulary grows every day but sentences are mostly nonsense (but adorable!)

 Cove with the table runner. Already learning to prefer handmade!

Auntie Erica took Cove on a walk in the new stroller Mimi bought.  I think he spent more time OUT of the stroller looking at kitties.  This was a great disappointment to his daddy, who dislikes cats :)   He was a very good boy, slept all night, ate all his meals, and had no meltdowns.  What a joy he is in our lives.  After Cove went home on Sunday with his mom and dad, I spent many many hours in my room KonMari-ing all my clothing and accessories. Have you heard of this book?  It's starting to change my life.  More on this topic later...

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Checking off an Obligation

A few months ago, my husband's friend, a woodworker, helped me out by fixing the broken rails on the bottom drawer of my stash chest, and cutting the legs off a folding table.  I offered my sewing skills as a trade.  He requested a pillow cover for a well-used pillow his mom made him years ago. It took some time before said pillow made it to the house, but then I dragged my feet on the project due to so many others that jumped ahead in line ( a common problem around here!).  I knew what colors and sort of what design I wanted to do--finally last weekend it got done. 

 Here's the original pillow, splitting and worn out.  I wanted to use a simple design but not make it too traditional.  I decided on a quilt as you go method for the pillow top and drew out a plan. 

 Since the pillow was not large (finished size cover is 14"), I was able to use leftovers and scraps to construct my modified log cabin-style layout. 

 Pretty easy to stitch and press, adding the next sections. 

The directional print I used for the outer round required close attention, but went on without a hitch.  

I used the same instructions for the construction of the back and the binding as I used for the Moda Bakeshop Scattered Squares pillow that is currently at our County Fair.  This well-aged pine needle print from stash was a good match for the front, I think.

 Even with the extra step of making and applying the binding, this pillow was done in a couple of  hours.  My husband will be delivering it next week, hopefully, but meanwhile I'm letting it decorate a living room chair :) 

This vintage but somewhat distressed folding table now is breakfast tray height, as requested, neatly cut down despite its tapered and angled legs.  That's what an experienced woodworker knows how to do!  Sometimes I like to stand rather than sit and work on things, and having the work surface even higher than tabletop is useful.  Obligation checked off.  I hope our friend likes his made over pillow!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fair Time Happy Dance

My sister Kathy and I met up at the Ventura County Fair today to see how our entries did.  They changed around the displays in the Home Arts building this year so it was more challenging to find all my pieces and Kathy's quilt. I have to say there was a bit of excited dancing happening to my feet today...

I first spotted my Scattered Squares pillow in a case (which is why the lighting is so weird)--1st place happy dance!

 Another 1st on Pink Lemonade!  Happy dance again!

2nd place on my Turkey wall hanging.  So exciting!

Honorable Mention on the Any Witch Way quilt.  The lighting shows up the pebble quilting and the spiderwebs in the corners; quilting was done by our Guild president., Georganna.  The piece in front blocked the photo taking a bit, lol.

Honorable mention on Cove's quilt.  I like that they showed the backing fabric with the way they displayed it.

And another Honorable Mention on the Trees runner, which was displayed in an unusual way!

We then found Kathy's quilt high up on the wall.

She got a 3rd place for her Tree in Lavender Field quilt.  Happy dance for Kathy too!  She wasn't going to enter anything, not thinking it was good enough, but I told her if she didn't enter, she couldn't win.  Once again, Big Sister is right! 

We celebrated our wins with some great fair food.  A fresh grilled chicken kebab that fed us both, some seasoned spiral fried potato chips, and Kathy had a bacon wrapped pork belly street taco.  Then we checked out the Floral displays and the Garden displays.  There were some really fun "mini gardens" in either wagons or wheelbarrows.  Amazing what can be grown in such a small space.  Our favorite larger garden display was very creative and fun: 

It was a mine sluice with the title "Not Yours Mine" and these funny headstones.  My favorite: "I told you I was sick".   Then I dragged Kathy to the Gem and Mineral building to see all the collections that people display in cases.  There were the usual Elvis and thimbles and model cars, but also some fun collections of old "Friends of Barbie" and antique kitchen toys.  I seem to have only gotten one photo of a diorama, which cracked me up. 

Godzilla destroying a city!  Kathy helped with her phone flashlight so I could get the pic :). We finished off our several hour visit with my favorite fair treat: Indian Fry Bread.  I chose powdered sugar and Kathy had cinnamon sugar on hers.  What a fun time!  I did a couple of errands afterward, then came home and had a 90 minute nap after all that walking around in the hot sun and steamy buildings.  Great Sunday!

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Quilt for Sagen

I had a power session yesterday to complete the quilting, binding, and label for the comfort quilt I've been making for our neighbor's 12 year old son Sagen, who has an osteosarcoma (bone tumor) on his leg and has been receiving chemotherapy in preparation for surgery probably later this month.  

Sagen and his mom squinting in the blazing sunset with the finished quilt--he loved it!  He asked me, "How did you make this?" and I told him how quilters buy yards of fabric, cut it up into small pieces and then sew it all back together again :).  Here are some details:

I started with quilting the black chains.  I had seen a fun detail on Pinterest where a quilter had interspersed a few zig zag stitches among straight line quilting.  I used my three-step zig zag stitch for this quilt. 
This is what the zig zag detail looks like on the back. I like it!

I then changed thread numerous times to quilt all the green blocks, using a very simple curvy line in the prints. My sister said they looked a bit like hands.  Originally I was just going to leave the white background unquilted, but it looked so unfinished that I quickly did a large meander through.  I left the white squares in the blocks unquilted for variety. You can see the green print on the edges that I used to for the binding.

The backing was another Pinterest idea, a "zipper" style, with a simple piecing technique.  I had to do this because of MATH problems--I had not ordered quite enough of the striped flannel from Connecting Threads so bought some black flannel from my local fabric store to expand the backing.  I then had so much of the flannel left that I made a matching pillowcase.

Here is Sagen wrapped in his quilt.  I named it "Love and Luck" and told him that the "hands" in the blocks could either be the hands of all the people helping him, or the hands he's going to high five when he beats cancer.  I also told him the significance of the red block, the heart of the quilt where all the extra love is. He loved it and the pillowcase--his mom said he always brings his own pillow to the chemo sessions.  We're all pulling for you, Sagen!

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...