Saturday, November 26, 2022

Getting Things Done

We had a lovely Thanksgiving gathering--we were 22 for dinner  and got to catch up with my brother Tyler's kids,  whom we had not seen in some time. There was a lot of furniture moving and cooking for the big meal.   I took zero photos but we did have two baby announcements! One was of our nephew and his wife who were not able to make it, they live a 12 hour drive away.  It is their first baby and my brother and sister-in-law's first grandchild.  So exciting for them  The other announcement we can now share is of our own son and daughter-in-law's pregnancy!  Dane will have a baby brother or sister next year.  Very excited about another grandchild!  It was great to have a big family gathering again.  Plenty of leftovers to enjoy too. I gave the Windham Challenge pillow cover to my sister-in-law.  

I did kind of "squircle" quilting, which is not perfect!  Though I like the colors and prints, it does not go with anything in my house. 


Extra parts landed on the back.  I had the text print in stash to use--only Windham fabrics were allowed.  The stripe navy print made a nice accented binding. 

My sewing room became a sitting room for the big Thanksgiving event--the annual furniture resetting was accomplished pretty easily.  I first worked on the quilt top of the moment, Beachside Bungalow. 


I had the bright blue solid and the purple print in stash.  This long and slender quilt will be great for naps. I will look through stash fabrics for backing options first.  

My sister's longarm machine may get fixed soon, but until then I decided to quilt some smaller projects on my own to ease the crowding in the "to be quilted" closet. 


Curved organic crosshatch with the walking foot for this small quilt/baby quilt.  I used pink thread for three of the corners, and black thread for the last one, just for fun. 


During the burying of thread tails in one section, I lost my grip on the needle.  My husband and I were searching my sewing area for about 25 minutes with flashlights without success.  Finally, I went to pick up the quilt from my sewing desk and the magnetized needle was sitting on a pair of scissors on the quilt!!  So glad the search ended well. 


Backing made from leftovers from other quilts.  I love the monkey print that came from grandson Hunter's baby quilt.  I'll use black for the binding.  Tomorrow I plan to get another smaller top quilted to end the nice long weekend.  

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Setting Triangle Woes

The Beachside Bungalow tablerunner project occupying my small sewing room floorspace needed its setting triangles cut.  I used Kona Shale for the neutral and decided to continue that as the setting triangle color.  There was a decent length of fabric left for this job.  I checked the Scrap Basket Beauties book by Kim Brackett for the setting triangle size.  I prefer using Bonnie Hunter's Easy Angle Ruler to cut QSTs from strips, but after drawing out the square on paper and measuring, it was an odd size.  Therefore I just cut squares per the book.  Unfortunately, I was looking at the wrong pattern in the book!! I was just able to eke out the  correct sized 18 large QSTs out of my now smaller chunk of leftover Shale. 


It was a puzzle to put together.  I had not noticed initially in the pattern that there are no "corner" triangles, they are just two setting triangles meeting there. I think that is very clever and time-saving. I don't care a whit if there is a seam there!


The pattern for the quilt has a different print for the setting triangles, which I do like for its border effect, but for my smaller project I wanted to feature the rings and keep the background the same.  These triangles on the cutting table are the wrong sized ones....

...versus the correct size.  I was WAY off, lol!  Today's project is to get the rows off the floor and all sewn together.  My sewing room will become a sitting room for the Thanksgiving Day crowd.  Hoping for good weather--without the strong East winds we have had for days...

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Sewtopia Palm Springs, Part 4

Sewtopia project #2 was a tablerunner, a cropped portion of the Beachside Bungalow quilt by Kim Brackett, in her Scrap Basket Beauties book.  I had all the block pieces cut and ready to sew.  I needed my husband's help to take a photo of the layout directions in the book, as I had only written down my changes on a piece of paper.  Eventually he got back to me after golfing! By that time I had finished all the blocks. 


Very scrappy but fun.  Most of the fabrics were from a JoAnn's store jelly roll, with some additions from stash.


The "corner" blocks alternated with a "twist" block. There was no further assembly as I will have to figure the  the setting triangle size for the sides.  I am glad all the center pieces got sewn, anyway!

My third project was the Four-patch X by Bonnie Hunter, but I was only able to get one block completed before the end of the last day.  

The pillow cover I made did not win the Windham challenge; I am not sure who won!  The winner was chosen when I was busy elsewhere, I suppose.

There was a great trunk show from Latifah Saafir as well, with lots of HRTs.  She was selling her new HuRTy ruler afterwards. 

Sewtopia swap gifts were on the tables in the morning.  I received a very clever zippered folding tray with goodies inside. 


When opened, it was full of loot. 


A needle minder, needle book, needle setting tool, magnetic pin holder, and mini charm pack.  Thanks, Mandy!


Look at all the Sewtopia loot given and some I took home after we played games.  I did buy the strawberry print yardage and couple of fat quarters in the Sewtopia shop.  


An ironing board cover and several bottles of Soak spray, with a Kona color book were also gifted. 

Finally, I got a couple of birthday gifts, since mine fell during Sewtopia. My sister made me an H-bag. 


Love the sewing theme and the Lucite handles. Kathy cut up and covered used campaign signs for  a sturdy base inside the bag.  Our sister-in-law gave me a beautiful lipstick holder and thread winder butterflies. 


Finally, next year's Sewtopia was announced as NASHVILLE, TN!  I have never been to Tennessee.  Kathy is excited as her daughter and friends from Missouri.can easily visit.  We look forward to another great time put on by Amy and her SEWtopia crew!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Sewtopia Palm Springs Part 3

Sorry for the break between posts! Sewtopia Palm Springs outings on Day 1 ended with a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum.  We had a little trouble getting in to the museum--there was apparently a miscommunication about payment and we had to wait about 25 minutes before it was sorted out.  There were lots of great art pieces--I'll just share a few. 


The San Jacinto Mountains looked very quilt-like in this very wide and narrow painting. 


Interesting bio for this 1960 painting. 



I left the bit of the museum floor to show how large the Pueblo painting was.  Love the colors of this painting. 


There were also sculptures. 


One could not exactly tell what this was at first glance, though I did have an idea before reading the bio. 


Can you see the horse now?

Upstairs were lots of modern art pieces including one of my favorites...


A very large sculpture by Alexander Calder. 


I don't really see a lizard, but I liked the shapes!  It would be fun to see this in motion. Okay, just one more to share...


This huge basket sculpture was made from an usual group of materials. 


Crushed aluminum cans mounted on a satellite dish!
 


There were many more pieces of art I enjoyed--and there was also a turn through the museum store--but later I learned from my sister that I missed the basement treasures, including glass art by Dale Chihuly.  Oh well!  
Finally we returned to the hotel and at last entered the sewing room for some actual sewing.  I started with my main sewing project, Sidewalk Chalk (pattern by Meghan Buchanan), sewing together all the HRT pieces before calling it a night. 

The next morning we had buffet breakfast in the conference center and then got back to sewing.  It was great to have a design wall close by and I slowly filled it up with the blocks over the hours. 


It was slow going to keep track of my different fabrics versus the pattern colors for each block, but I managed to get them all done.  then I made my task longer by sewing each of the block pieces  together individually, but I wanted to be sure of my placements!  

 I ended Friday night with the individual rows sewn and packed them away to assemble into a top at home. 
One more post to finish off Sewtopia 2022--and share the destination for Sewtopia 2024!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Sewtopia Palm Springs--Part 2

Sewtopia Palm Springs started off Thursday 11/3 with checking in to the large conference center, which we had all to ourselves. We picked out lanyard colors for nametags, got our Sewtopia goodie bags, and found our assigned tables.  My sister, sister-in-law and I were all together, and we met our fourth tablemate soon after.  Then we piled onto the bus for several outings that were all on Palm Canyon Drive, the same as our hotel.  There are no quilt shops to speak of in Palm Springs, so they got creative and took us first to Moorten Botanical Garden, a family owned desert native garden and nursery.  The son of the founders--who looked to be in his 80s--presented a short background history and some anecdotes related to his parents and the many artifacts around the area. He was very knowledgeable about the plants, and entertaining, too. 


This wagon disintegrated decades ago beneath this large ocotillo. 


Agave and cholla cactus among large pieces of ancient petrified wood found in the desert. 

Lava flow and native cacti. The founders went on many forays for plants in the Southwest and into Mexico. 


Moortens' Spanish style house looking lovely through the huge cacti and palms. 


I really liked this species of cacti---Totem Pole cactus. Very old Saguaro towered behind. 


This unusual hummingbird was hanging around the old wagon and resistors on a wire. It was hard to get a closeup...
 

See his purple beard?  Very pretty hummer, among many that were flitting around.  

We then got back on the bus to the main retail district where there were lots of quirky shops and plenty of places to eat.  


I was curious why they kept the long beards on these palm trees. They are trimmed off here!


It was Pride Week but we were there before the weekend parade, so it was busy but not crowded.


I had to take a shot of this pillow in the restaurant we where we ate lunch.  I had the most delicious crab chowder there, and my sister and sister-in-law also had great meals. 

The last stop was the modern art museum.  I'll share that in the next post, as this is getting too long. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Sewtopia Prep

Hi there!  It has been a busy few weeks.  I will have to travel back in time to fill in all the fabric and fun leading up to and during Sewtopia Palm Springs.  I previously showed all the fabrics for the first of three projects I planned to work on during the retreat, which was the Sidewalk Chalk pattern by Meghan Buchanan.  Cutting was a little stressful given that I was using color groups rather than single fabrics, but I was so happy to pull from stash. 

Blue fabrics are limited in my stash, but I found a good mix of print, scale, and tone. 


This late night pic of the greens turned one of them brown. 


Reds, yellows and peaches rounded out the groupings. I prewashed all the pieces to prevent running colors...look at the sink with the reds!


It required a number of rounds of soaking and rinsing before the water was clear. 


I also did a lot of cutting and sewing for a secret birthday gift for my sister, as her birthday fell during Sewtopia. 


Kathy loves blues so I put those in the middle.  Most of the pieces were cut from 5" charm squares. I used two different white on white prints for fun. The pattern I bought from a speaker at guild a few years ago. 


As you can see, I chose to do only one row and make a tablerunner size of the Mini Spikey pattern. While I got the binding sewn on by machine, I had to finish hand-sewing it down while at Sewtopia. The border and binding are Kona Navy, which is near black, it is so dark!


I participated in the general Sewtopia blind swap; I made this reuseable gift bag and filled it with a few fat quarters, a pattern, and other goodies. This is about 9" tall in real life.  I put it in another gift bag and added a notebook sized graph paper book as well. 

We were able to be less choosy about how much to bring to Sewtopia  since we were driving;  I brought my own sewing machine.  The drive was not short, but everything went pretty smoothly through LA and we got to the Margaritaville Resort in good time.  As we walked into the lobby, our brother was at the desk checking in his wife!  Too funny.  This was Laura's first Sewtopia, and she brought her  brand new machine, a fancy Quilter's Edition Bernina.  More about that later....

Our 3rd floor room overlooked the pool...



I caught a UFO cloud near sunset :)  It was nice to be settled into the hotel before the big event started the next day. More about that in the next post!

Design Wall Monday--Matching Up the Mats and Storm Damage

 Design Wall Monday--see more great quilting projects on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  All the pieced mats I showed last t...