Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Home Improvement On The Sly

While DH Grant was away on a weekend with his buddies earlier this month, I secretly planned a painting project, and corralled DD Erica into giving me a hand.   Friday I spent doing all of the boring prep--the cleaning, washing of walls, and patching.  Naturally, it was a hot and sticky weather period and I was thoroughly sweaty and tired after all that.   Luckily I had the paint and all other supplies on hand.  I set up a banquet table in the garage with all the supplies we needed.  Erica joined me on Saturday-- she is the best at taping.

Counter surfing prone...
..and supine.  Look at those hipbones!
Low, behind the refrigerator...
..and high above the doorway.  We got the first coat on, took a late lunch break, and fairly quickly the second coat followed. 
Waiting for paint to dry is really dull.  Erica helped me pull off all the tape and clean up the edges of the cabinets. 
After a couple of hours I had the room reassembled and restaged. I also climbed into the garden window to clean the inside and then on a stepladder to clean the outside. Isn't the hardest part the final clean up and putting away all the supplies and paint?   That got done late on Sunday before I collapsed.  Grant came home Monday while I was at work and was happily surprised to see the Terracotta paint gone at last.  We are enjoying the lighter, brighter look in our East facing kitchen.  Next room to conquer is my adjoining sewing room (former family room),for  which Erica and I mapped out a paint plan.  I'm hoping to get that done in September and have a carpenter add new baseboard trim in October.  Best laid plans!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

More Log Cabins

I spent a good deal of time over the weekend pawing through the scrap drawers and sorting out pieces for the Log Cabin Loonies blocks for Julie K's sewalong.  I sewed up the first batch with the 18 red print 2" squares I had. 

I then sewed up the first batch with 18 red print 2" squares.  While Julie's directions said to assemble these counterclockwise, that didn't really happen in my case.  But the result is overall the same so I am not concerned.   My photo is a little blurry, sorry!

I got through the first two rounds of all 18 blocks before pooping out for the day.  More cutting ensued over the weekend and I'm ready to add the final two rounds on these.  I'm just concentrating on scrappy and not particularly a light to dark gradation in the colors--that requires more thinking than I'm willing to expend!  Linking to Julie's blog  HERE.

Also over the weekend I washed the Adornit Mason Jar embroidery project, which I had taken the last few stitches in at last. 
The Solvy dissolved much faster than I expected it too and after some drying time and then pressing, it is ready for a frame or hoop.  I'm planning to start some small Christmas Lizzy Kate designs next. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Log Cabin Loonies--Julie's quilt along

Well I didn't mean to disappear for so long, there was a lull in the sewing room after the Fair frenzy and a secret home improvement project I'll share next.  

But first, sweet Julie of  Julie K Quilts is having a sewalong making Log Cabin blocks, she calls it Log Cabin Loonies.  I decided to jump into the fun, but upsize the block to suit the size of scraps I trim down and save.  She is using 1" strips and mine are 1.5".  I started out making a test block, as she suggested, before I cut the logs to size in abundance. 

I'm really glad I did that because my original numbers were way off--I was figuring on paper adding only .5 inch to each round but needed to add 1"due to my larger width strip.  I made a cheat sheet for cutting the rounds from 1.5" strips, starting with a 2" center block. 

Julie's measurements using 1" strips are HERE.  I'm linking to her Log Cabin Loonies linkup.  

It has been a long time since I made any Log Cabin blocks, though they are one of my favorite old blocks and can be set so many different ways.  Looking back in my photos, the last Log Cabin blocks I made were for a Quiltbuddies swap way back in 2007.  This was for a Yahoo Group I belonged to for some years.  We made 12" finished black and white blocks and from mine I made a quilt for my Mom and Dad's guest room--Mom was calling it her Paris Room then.

I accidentally matched the quilt--this pic makes me want to buy another red jacket, I loved that one.  The blocks came from many states and a few countries and it was amazing how many different prints there are in that color combo.  The barn raising setting is also a favorite of mine, I've used it many times for different blocks. 

Some sweet prints accompanied leftover blocks on the back.  As I remember, I bought the toile bird print from a shop in Bakersfield when we were visiting family.

I recently inspected the quilt I made my Dad, also in 2007, and it needs replacement.  He uses it every day so it gets a lot of wear.
This was during the Turning Twenty craze.  Some of the fat quarters Mom and Dad bought while traveling in Montana/Wyoming and Yellowstone Park area.  Now the flannel binding is worn, and the thin fabric that shows as pink but is actually a rusty red is shredding.  I've got another scrap project  going from the 1.5 and 2.5" bins, a Bonnie Hunter design called Chunky Churndash.  

I think these would make a great scrappy quilt for my Dad.  They finish at 6" but are set with an alternate hourglass block that sews up quick.  Pattern is free on Bonnie's Quiltville site under the Free Patterns tab.  Back to sewing!

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

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...