Monday, October 28, 2019

Design Wall Monday--Churn Dash Baby Quilt Finish

Design Wall Monday with a finish to share.  See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts Blog


I finished the quilting a couple of days before the baby shower for my niece by marriage, but got the binding on the night prior to the event.  I decided at a late-night hour to hand stitch the binding down, which I seldom do.  I almost went blind sewing with black thread on black fabric (!) and had to stop and go to bed before the last side was done. 

I finished it up the next morning before we had to leave to help our son-in-law with the boys at soccer--he was tasked with bringing the team banner and the halftime orange slices as well as getting the boys ready and at the field on time.  Mama left for work early as she was going to the baby shower too. 


It was a gorgeous day in Ojai, though hot, and we all sought shade and plenty of liquid refreshment.  The shower at a winery was lovely and elegant, with delicious food, fun games, and plenty of dessert choices.  Three sets of sisters are in this photo--four cousins and two great-aunties of the coming baby :)  So glad all could make it.

The beautiful Mama-to-be with the quilt.  I included a gift for the new daddy to play with until baby is old enough--a toy workbench.  He showed up toward the end of the shower and obligingly took a selfie with us. 

A few more weeks until due date, but I think they very ready to meet Baby E, especially Mama, who has been taken off work to rest due to some early contractions.  

Now I'm in full Sewtopia prep mode for the week, finishing off the challenge project and getting things set aside to bring and pack.  Meanwhile, we watch and wait for more fire news here in SoCalif.  Tis the season...

Lastly, a birthday shout-out to my best friend Toni.  Have a lovely day!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Design Wall Monday--10/21/19

Another week to see more Design Wall lovelies--check them out on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts. 

I spent more time with the baby quilt for my grand-nephew and got the top finished Thursday night. 

The Churn Dash blocks were from Barb's (Fun With Barb blog) swap in 2018.  I shopped my bulging stash yet could not come up with a suitable backing or binding, so off to Superbuzzy I went on Saturday.  Several Guild members were there to visit with and I showed off my design. I chose a black with white print that I will use for the backing and the binding.  The quilt sandwich has been made and I'll do simple quilting on this 38" square quilt.  It needs to be finished by Friday!  

I also got started on the Michael Miller challenge for Sewtopia Seattle, which is coming up fast in early November.  The fabrics were so pretty.  I chose a pattern from APQ magazine that I have wanted to make for some time. The basket handles will be fused and topstitched down.

I've since sewn all the pieces together and added the plain borders.  I did make one change to the bottom row of the basket, mostly because of the print's repeat--I cut it one inch deeper than the matching section so I didn't lose the flowers.  I plan to add ties to the quilt to make a sewing machine cover.  We also have the option at Sewtopia to do a Secret Swap and I joined in, so will need to gather some fun stuff for my person, and a special gift to finish up with.  

My little cross-stitch project started in Cambria is almost but not quite finished.  I'm not entirely happy with my latest additions. 

This was a free download from Lizzy Kate, I reversed the cup colors and added more white detail.  I see an oops on the cup handle where I need to add one.more.stitch where it touches the cup. And don't you think another cookie is in order?  Two cookies is never enough :)  Also I added the border but am considering extending it down both sides to perhaps make my initials and date a little less loud.  

And because there is not already too much going on in the sewing room, I started a new project!  In my defense, we have an upcoming Guild Sew-in of baby quilts and I got a bug to make up a kit ahead of time.   This is a charity quilt design by Jo Kramer and her daughter, free on APQ website, called Make the Connection.  The pattern includes four different sizes. While their design used 5" charm squares, I pulled out the mini charm packs that seem to sprout from nowhere. It was not hard to choose 100 charms.

These 2.5" squares sure differ in size with each manufacturer, with Moda's being the smallest.  I therefore had to do sliver trimming but it went quick and made pretty confetti.  I sewed sets of four  2.5" squares together and cut all the background pieces for the 25 blocks I'll be making for a 44" square quilt. It will be nice to just sit and sew blocks :)

Monday, October 14, 2019

Cambria Getaway--Lots of Words and Photos

Our short getaway to Cambria started off as any vacation for us usually does, leaving later than planned due to unexpected last minute errands and shopping, but traffic was fairly light as we made our way up the coastal route on Wednesday and we made good time.  Our hotel, booked the night before, was right on the cliffs in the most popular area of Cambria, Moonstone Drive. Off season pricing was very attractive.

The tide was going out and it was quite windy, but we luckily were very close to a beach access staircase from the boardwalk on the cliff.  This boardwalk goes for miles in either direction.

We had a nice view of the ocean from the hotel. Cambria holds a Scarecrow contest in October and this lady scarecrow posed outside the driveway.

Down on the sand, kids were climbing the rocks and there were a number of strollers enjoying the late afternoon on the packed sand.  Dogs were not allowed on the beach, which I appreciated.

Told you it was windy! We wandered on the beach and then rested a bit before thinking about dinner.  Luckily an internet search showed a good option 100 feet away--a dinner house called the Sea Chest.


We sat outside at the firepit with our drinks while we waited for a table--it was a very popular place at peak dinner hour. I popped across the road to get another shot of the ocean and setting sun.


Terrible lighting for photos but I wanted to show the business cards people have stuck up on the ceiling for decades, so many brown with age.  They were also stuck in the lampshades over the tables.  We had a lovely dinner including dessert.


I caught the sunset with a crescent moon and a gull before the light went.   

We enjoyed the free breakfast the next morning before heading into Cambria proper--the town is not large and we parked and poked around some of the little shops, had lunch in a Mexican Restaurant and then drove around the area a bit, revisiting the Cambria Pines Inn, where we had stayed 30 years before!  In the afternoon we drove further north--I had wanted to tour the Las Piedras Lighthouse, but we were too late for the guided tour.  We passed by Hearst Castle and saw the zebra herds, and the great house on the hill, which we had toured before.  We turned off the road to stretch our legs and see the elephant seals north of San Simeon. 


These were all juveniles, according the the Park Ranger,who for whatever reason had all crowded onto this smaller beach.  Beyond the rocks seen at the upper left there was a much larger and wider stretch of beach. 

There were some animals in the water at the surfline and nearby in the kelp beds, but most were lying about on the sand, using their flippers to throw sand over themselves as they lounged.  There were some who became irritated with other seals getting too close and some posturing and barking by the larger males, but no fighting.   Fortunately the seals were many feet below the boardwalk on the cliff so we were not in danger.  However, in the parking lot we did observe some clueless tourists who were feeding the squirrels and gulls and allowing their toddlers to pet the squirrels!  Incredible luck no one was bitten.  We returned to our hotel and I had a long nap before we found a local grill for dinner and watched the Dodgers on the big screens.  On our last morning, we went back into town for breakfast.   I chose the Creekside Restraurant.  While there was no actual creek visible, we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed a good meal.  

These Dias de la Muertas scarecrows saw us out.

Grant had to do some computer work before we finished packing up and I took another stroll down the boardwalk, heading south.
 The tide was in and there were a couple of surfers out.

I walked far enough to come to an estuary.  Lots of different birds were visible.  A flash of white caught my eye...

A long-legged heron or crane was busy hunting breakfast. As I made my way back toward the hotel, I got a shot of the typical rolling hills of the central California. coast, covered in dry brush and Oak trees.  Cambria has stayed a small town/resort area due to the lack of fresh water resources in this isolated area. 

 Grant joined me for one last selfie before we checked out.
It was a lot less windy!  On the way back home, we stopped in Pismo Beach to visit my best friend Toni and her husband Dan and give them the housewarming present I made, a little quilted tablemat made from four patches (which I have shown before but share again). 


They said they loved it.  Dan always expressed amazement at how I come up with the colors and arrangement.  Experience and good designers to learn from, I'll always say!   These were leftover four patch square in squares from the Go Four It quilt.  It was a wonderful getaway and coming home on Friday meant two more days to enjoy before the real world called again.  I'm hoping more short breaks like this are in our future.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Design Wall Monday--10/7/19

Just under the wire for Design Wall Monday--see more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.  She gave me a shout-out for suggesting a name for an apple core doll quilt she is making, so sweet.  Thanks, Judy!

I did play with the orange scraps shown last week and made a pumpkin block from the cover quilt of APQ magazine's  October 2019 issue, Fall Dash by Sherri McConnell. 


The brown fabric was from a fat quarter, but all the rest was from the scraps and strips drawers.  I cut out a bunch of small squares to make the other block version of a pumpkin but it isn't finished yet.  

Hubby and I got away for a short vacation last week--a rare occurrence indeed.  We scored a room at a lovely hotel right on the oceanfront in Cambria, CA.  Off season pricing and no crowds, no fog, and no heavy traffic--it was terrific. I brought the never-ending blackwork embroidery to work on, and a free pattern I printed out from Lizzie Kate. With all the embroidery floss I have, none of the charted colors were in my stash. There was a yarn shop in Cambria and luckily they carried Anchor floss as well. 
The pre-mounted cross stitch blanks are so great.  I got a small start on Cozy Christmas Wishes.  Ball&Skein and More is a lovely little shop that has lots of samples and supplies for knitting and crochet, so great to find in this tiny town.


Coming home on a Friday leaves a whole weekend to play before having to go back to work. I did actually finish the Blackwork embroidery!  The four panels are now ready to be trimmed and framed together with CW prints in a small quilt. 

Daughter Elaine asked if I'd like to help her decorate their new home for Halloween after grandson Cove's soccer game on Saturday.


Grandson Hunter started with this box, haha!  We made a trip to Michael's and I bought foam sheets to make googly eyes for the shrubs in front of the house, while Elaine hung cobwebs and ghosts.

Next post, I'll share some of our vacation adventures. Happy October!