Monday, August 13, 2018

Design Wall Monday--8/13/18

On my Design Wall:  I started a new project, because apparently having 25+ unfinished ones just wasn't enough, lol.  Well, this one came about after I watched a live feed of my nephew's wedding that I couldn't make it to, being 11 hours drive one way.  Now, in some parts of the country you might cross a state or three in that time, but not California!  Anyway, I wanted something handmade to go along with a gift from their registry, and the cutoffs from a recent Thomas Fire donation quilt seemed perfect to start with. 

The aqua print was joined by stash pulls of red, navy, and green for some Tea Time Placemats (by Pineapple Fabrics).  I had to be creative in my cutting as I had fat eighths of the red, and a remnant of the blue to cut the triangles from  rather than the oversize fat quarters the pattern calls for. 

I cobbled together different prints for the backs (not shown).  Though the Tea Time pattern uses a stitch and turn method with no filler, I will quilt these with batting and add binding in the aqua fabric.  I think bound placemats stand up better to laundering/

I used the never-ending scrappy four-patch project as leader-enders during the placemat assembly.  Having spent another bit of time figuring how many are still needed to be turned into square-in-squares for my quilt design, I decided to sort the already made darks into color families.  There was a curious result. 

Some red, a few orange and yellow, brown, pink, a few more purple...

...but the biggest pile was blue! This is a surprise to me since I seldom make blue quilts.  Maybe I was subconsciously getting it out of my scrap piles!  The other half of the square-in-square blocks are various shades of beige, white, and cream. I decided that more "zingers" are needed in the square-in-squares, so got a bunch of 2.5" squares in red, orange/yellow, pink and purple cut and ready.  And more green, since that's my fave color.   My design requires 240 of these 3.5" blocks, so I have a lot more to make as leader-enders.  Perhaps by the end of the year I will be finished making square-in-squares, but there is no rush---25+ UFOs, as I mentioned?

See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Ventura County Fair Wrap Up

My husband and I went down to the Fair on Friday night, it was about 15 degrees warmer that evening than when I went with my sister the week before!  We were roasting in 76 degree temps with no wind, long after sunset, but enjoyed our date night.  After eating our favorite fish tacos and taking in a Led Zepplin tribute band performance, we wandered through the garden displays. 

I liked this planted wheelbarrow, and have wanted to do this with a vintage one we inherited from Grant's dad some years ago.   Grant gave it a thumbs up.
This one was pretty too, in this old pushcart.

The horse barn Percherons supervised a buggy being removed after a performance, on this side of the barn...
..while on the other side of the barn a Stairway to Clydesdale was required to undress the huge  horses.

This chicken named Squirrel had laid an egg but wasn't quite sure what to do with it.
Chanel had a pretty name but wouldn't turn around. She matched her nesting material.  

Grant wasn't particularly interested in taking a turn through the Home Arts building, so I left him to enjoy another band while I spent more time looking at some favorites. 
A very fun flamingo by one of our guild members.  This must also have been a class, as another guild member also made one, with a much wilder background. I liked the quilting on this one. 
Another prize winner by a guild member.  She favors batiks in all her quilts.  Lots of precise paper-piecing in this pretty one.  
I got a closeup of this quilt which was a special prize winning entry, to show the quilting better.  I also went back to the Tomato Pincushion quilt to get a closeup. 
Love all the pieces in the background.  Still can't tell if the flower and leaves in the lower left are painted or appliqued.  Lots of work in this one too. 
The Halloween themed booth was weirdly lighted--I cannot get it corrected.  The cat quilt was a lot of fun, one of the Buggy Barn Ladies pattern?  Check out the Nimbus 2000 broomstick that someone made!  Great cross-stitch projects there too. 


Loved this darling cross stitch, another sort of mid-century style work.


Gourds decorated many different ways were displayed.  The snake was very intricately painted, and deserved that blue ribbon.  The owl is pretty cute too.  I took a quick run through the photography building before meeting Grant at his favorite fair food dessert booth: Cinnamon Buns.  We wandered back towards the fairgrounds entrance so I could choose my dessert before we left.  I settled on a caramel apple covered with English Toffee.  They sliced the apple still on the stick and gave it to me in a paper boat.  Oh. my. gosh. It was delicious!  I was covered in chocolate by the time we rode the bus back to our car, but sure enjoyed it.   Today was the last day of the Fair, and I'll pick up my entries (and winnings!) tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Ventura County Fair--Home Arts Review

As promised, I'm sharing more from the Home Arts department of the Ventura County Fair.  Lots of different crafts are displayed every year.  Our guild had a good number of entries and wins, which was nice to see. 

Sarah designs all her quilts in a CAD program and her piecing is very precise.  She is good at turning out finished quilts rapid fire.  This may be because she isn't married and doesn't have kids :)

This modern quilt by Cathy is very pleasing to the eye, I think, with the limited palette of colors and repeated shapes.  That very close straight line quilting is not easy to do.

This entrant is from the far border of the County but I love this mid-century colorway and the fun shapes likely made with the Quick Curve Ruler (same as I used for my Metro Twist baby quilt). 

On the more traditional side, this darling pieced quilt rightfully earned a 1st place ribbon.  I don't know if this was from a book (Farmer's Wife, maybe?) or self-designed, but I love all the different pieced blocks. with a little applique here and there. 

This beautifully pieced quilt is from another frequent Fair entrant, always with amazing work.

Wonderful scrappy hummingbirds and hand quilting. It may have been hand-pieced, as well.

Another terrific scrappy pieced quilt.  I am not usually drawn to blue quilts but really love this block.  This quilter is also very talented and I have seen her work at many local shows.  

Sweepstakes winner was this HUGE intricate pieced quilt with lots of great colors and a million sharp points.  I can only imagine how many hundreds of hours went into this.  It was hung high on the wall so I could not see or photograph the quilting well.  Not to mention the terrible lighting in this barn of a building. 

A pieced and appliqued beauty won the Special Fair Award.  I wish they had not stacked a bunch of other items in front of it so I could see the whole thing, but it was beautifully made.  The outer checkerboard border was kind of a surprise, but nice and scrappy.  

I loved this tomato pincushion quilt!  I don't know what style to call this, there was a pieced background almost colorwash type, and appliqued pieces and shapes scattered over it.  The pins sure look 3D.  I plan to take another look at this when I return to the Fair on Friday. 

Non-quilted items that caught my eye included this adorable hooked rug of a cat holding a mouse.  A lot of hours were devoted to this project!  

And how about this fun crocheted blanket with dimensional animals.  The walrus kills me.

Weaving and spinning were represented.  These are just a few of the entries in that category.

Again with the bad lighting and reflections, but this was a very well done portrait, in charcoal I think, or maybe pastel?

I also liked this landscape that garnered a first place.  I'll share more pictures from the Fair in  the next post.  

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching--8/5/18

After a long session this morning going through my MIL's photos--we are still trying to reduce the storage unit to zero--I put some stitches in the Adornit embroidery project I've been working on for a few months.  


Getting very close! Only a bit of yellow left in the flower center.  The pattern calls for the center of the flower to be a pink heart, a color I may or may not choose.  I've already changed a few colors along the way!  Grandson Cove was oh-so-helpful getting out threads and using a nail cutter to test out the colors for me, when I babysat the other day.  4 1/2 year olds are very persistent :)

Next will be completing the Chinese/Japanese lanterns on the Sue Goes to the Orient mini quilt.  I didn't try to get that one going while entertaining a grandson.  At our County Fair I saw a dish cloth that I might adapt to my project. 
Mine will all be in black on the string, but I like the lines across the lanterns. 

See more Slow Sunday Stitching on Kathy's  Quilts blog here

Saturday, August 4, 2018

How Did I Do at the Fair?

My sister and I met yesterday and rode the free bus shuttle to the Fair; unfortunately, Kathy received some bad advice about free parking and had to pay $10 to get into the State Beach Park.  The fact that the bad advice came from me was a blow.  I was so annoyed that the info on the Fair website didn't mention the State Beach fee that I parked on the street and walked in to avoid paying. I then recalled that we used to do that when the kids were little, too! The shuttle ride was short.  I bought Kathy's admission ticket in and we headed straight to the Home Arts building.  Kathy had wanted to enter some jam, but had her dates mixed up and was too late to enter.  She didn't enter any quilts this year.  We wandered around looking at everything and spotting fellow guild members' work.  Before we located any of my entries, we saw the Thomas Fire Quilt display up on the wall. 

These are a few of the ways the Perkiomen Valley Blocks can be set (the middle bottom row's bright zig zag quilt is not a Perki).  I love the two lower right quilts that used the exact same fabrics in the Perkiomen blocks but set differently.  I'm pretty sure these came as finished tops, maybe even finished quilts.  

The first of my entries spotted was the Lizzie Kate May Stamp cross-stitch with an Honorable Mention ribbon.  Yay!  Boo for weird lighting through the display case.

My Michael Miller Fabric Challenge runner for Sewtopia was just a few feet away.  I was happy to see 2nd place. 

Next we found the Metro Twist Modern Baby Quilt, with a lovely 2nd place.  A fellow guild member we bumped into turned over the tag to read the judge's comments, which noted that the quilting in the negative space was a little sparse.  Huh??? I thought it was pretty obviously done that way, since I more closely quilted outside the pieced part.  Oh well, hopefully the more modern quilts that are entered, the more the negative space concept will be apparent!  I did get a nice comment on my binding :)

The remainder of my entries were in a display case.  Seems they preferred the back of the placemats, but awarded me a lovely 1st ribbon. 

Sorry about the lighting, couldn't avoid it.  2nd place for the Yarnover tablerunner!

My Dotted Big Bag got a lovely 1st place ribbon.  I was surprised that it was the only big bag entered, as many other guild members have made these in guild classes and on their own (Kathy made at least three herself!).  You can spot my Broken Dishes Pillow in the upper right of the photo. 

Another 1st place award!  How fun is that--a ribbon on each of my entries.  There were lots of other great arts, crafts, and quilts in the Home Arts building, and I'll share more in a separate post.  Kathy and I looked at a lot of animals, ate in the freezing cold wind coming off the ocean mere feet away, toured the midway and watched the teenagers and kids, and finished up with a favorite Fair Food dessert before catching the shuttle bus back to the State Beach.  I will probably go back another time in the next week to see the Photography and Horticulture exhibits and enjoy more Fair Food and music.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Roundup

This past week there was not a lot new happening in the sewing room, but I did join a local craft night at Superbuzzy Quilt shop after work one night, and put a few embroidery stitches in while chatting with some new acquaintances.  One of the other gals was a town native like me so we had a fun conversation; I also learned the shop owner lived in my childhood neighborhood.  Small world, in a town of 100,000!  

I spent so much time chatting I didn't realize until later that I used the wrong color for the butterfly, and those stitches had to be pulled out.  Oh well.

I had Friday off work so I got the last Thomas Fire quilt bound and ready for our Guild's last official giveaway event Saturday.  It was another big quilt that fortunately I found an appropriate binding fabric for in the stash.  We had a good turn out of volunteers, making quick work of setting up tables and arranging about 300 quilts to give out.  We had some early lookers, but held off giving away any quilts until the appointed hour.  Lots of folks who lost homes had registered for quilts, and the huge number of quilt choices was overwhelming to them.  We held up quilts and chatted about the Perkiomen Valley blocks we got from 49 states and a number of countries that turned into the tops and quilts.  We still had a lot of quilts left at the end of the event, but gave away over 100.  Our practically free office space that has been Thomas Fire  Quilt Central will expire at the end of August, and we hope all who are still in need of a quilt will collect one there.  We have been watching news of the other huge fires burning in California, particularly the Carr Fire near Redding in Northern California, where so many homes have been lost, and horribly two firefighters killed, and several residents.  Our thoughts are with them.  

The sewing room is emptier now, without the Thomas Fire quilts and Fair projects filling it up.  Today after some patio time with embroidery, I virtuously mended some sweaters that have been waiting months for a five minute repair job.  Mini caught some rays while supervising. 
Not sure why she thought my flip flops were the best place to rest.

Christmas in July is nearly over, but I'm thinking my next stitchery project will be one of these.  I scored these patterns for 95 cents at the thrift shop a few months ago, along with some others.

Quilt projects in play include the Jewel Box blocks that are ready to assemble into a top, however when stacking up the row I noted that some of the blocks are spinning the wrong way, which means they won't nest properly.  I'll have to take them apart and resew, which I am not looking forward to.  Sigh.  Perhaps I'll skip over to the Christmas quilt I showed last time.  It is ready to lay out and assemble!
I'll leave you with this photo of  Summer Teeth Corn--some 'er there and some 'er not (insert groan here). 




Monday, July 23, 2018

Design Wall Monday--Fair Entries

Off the Design Wall!  It was a sweatshop weekend trying to finish everything I wanted to enter into our County Fair, with the deadline of Sunday at 5:00 pm for turning in entries.  My main project was the Metro Twist baby/wall quilt.  I made the bias binding from a purple woodgrain print and rounded the corners using the Quick Curve Ruler, and even made a hanging sleeve.  

I spent many hours hand stitching down the binding to the back, but I did a lot of it while sitting out on the patio enjoying the summer skies and a nice breeze on Saturday.  I'm happy with the way it turned out.  It didn't get a label, but someday it may be a gift for a baby so I'm okay with that. 

Next were two squirrel projects, a pillow from the Frolic Turnover (Sandy Gervais) made into Broken Dishes blocks, and the Yarnover tablerunner.

I chose a simple stitch from one of the four stitch menus on my Husqvarna and used the walking foot and a Hera marker for the quilting.
I was happy to find this aqua blue flower print and the binding fabric in stash.  I used the same quilting stitch on the pillow back hem.  This is such a great way to make a pillow cover, assembling it just like a quilt with the bound edge.  I overlapped the back pieces by about 3-4 inches. 


I think it turned out well.  The pillow form I used was a bit flat but I thought it would be better for display at the fair. 

 The other squirrel entry is the Yarnover tablerunner (Anka's Treasures) from Mini Charms.

After some simple stitch in the ditch I decided to add the embroidery detail, again with a stitch from the Husqvarna.  I selected it from the "utility stitch" section, but liked the way it kind of echoed the yarnover points.    To these three projects I added the set of four Tea Time placemats, the Big Bag of all dotted fabrics I made a couple of months ago, a modern tablerunner I finished for Sewtopia, and the May Stamp cross-stitch in  the hoop, so 7 total entries.  Sadly I didn't end up finishing Sue Goes to the Orient, but chose backing and binding and plan to make a mini quilt. 

My timing was good for getting down to the Fairgrounds, there were a lot of folks sitting around waiting for something to do.  We all had a laugh when I pulled out the Metro Twist and had a bunch of thread tails still sticking out.  A kind volunteer gave me some scissors to trim them off.  They were pleased that I had already looked up the categories I thought were right for my entries, saving a lot of time.  A few more people trickled in the last 1/2 hour of the day.  I'll look forward to seeing my entries when the fair opens next week.  

See more Design Walls on Small Quilts and Doll Quilts