Saturday, August 8, 2015

Back to Batiks

Batiks are still sitting here in my sewing room and more gift quilts are floating around in my head. My last one didn't get a lot of awes from anyone (except me) so I figured I'd better change it up a bit since I had 3 more sets of the same fabric! It is Hoffman's Sparrow in Bali Crackers. 
So I found a different pattern and added more of a muslin from Primitive Gatherings that actually went well with the batiks to maybe tone it down a bit.

This is a pattern from Carrie Nelson's Schnibbles Times Two which she called Scratch...because of the Chinese coins blocks.
This quilt has a story with it. I was thinking if I had smaller pieces of this fabric it would be more palatable to others. But I really didn't read the quilt instructions very thoroughly I was just kind of excited that I found a pattern in my cupboard that was specific to 10 inch squares. So as I'm cutting this up (with a fervor and not second guessing my commitment!), I finally noticed that the pieces weren't really that small. I started sewing anyway. I was grumbling because the pattern didn't really make good use of the 10 inch squares. There was so much leftover in cut pieces that aren't readily useful for another project other than scraps. I was also looking at the blocks thinking that this wasn't anymore toned down than the one before. Oh my...well, either it's going to be a dud or I will be pleasantly surprised...I wanted to give it as a gift to someone but maybe I could sell it cheap on Ebay and get at least some of the cost of fabric back. Finally the muslin was added and I started to get hopeful. Yes, it did help quite a bit. Whew!
So I quilted it with just a meander and called it good especially since quilt holding DH also gave it a thumbs up....though his arms were hurting after holding it up. It's kind of heavy. Measures 68 X 80. 
The moral of the story...don't give up. Sometimes the completed project looks better than the parts.  Which I certainly hope is true after starting a project in a quilt class yesterday with some wild color Kaffe and others prints! 
more on that later :-)
PS. I'm linking to Confessions of A Fabric Addict's Whoop it up Fridays.

Monday, August 3, 2015

July Finish

Lots of stitching this month but only one finish. Here is the flannel Basket Weave quilt that I kitted up about 10 years ago (!) and started last September. It measures 71" square. The pattern came from a copy of McCall's Quilting April 1999. It was inspired actually by the red paisley flannel backing that I purchased from JoAnn's in probably 1997 down in Laguna Hills near where we used to live. Some things are a long time in the works!
So all this but No Pictures. Blogger is having a glitch with me and it is not letting me add photos. I'm trying to get help with the Blogger Help Forum. Have tried to use other browsers but no success yet.
I'll try to re-post if I can get the pictures loaded.
Thanks for checking in  :-)

Wahoo, I'm back! and I'm linking up to Julie K's Binding Blitz :-)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hot Summer Daze

It's actually warm here on the central coast and we're having beautiful summer days. Quite a large number of grey whales ( I think ;-) are putting on shows for us right off our little shore.
I've been spending most of my mornings sewing together these homespuns and flannels and finally have some unpressed progress to show.
I've been a bit bored with it for some reason. I think I'm not sure how I'm going to like it when it's done and perhaps am holding back my enthusiasm. I think the border fabric will add some interest and make me happy with it...I hope.

The mail delivery has been a little more exciting though :-)
I won a giveaway from Brenda at Pig In A Blanket Wools!  A rather generous giveaway, I must say.  She sent me the new book by Pat Wys called Homemade Christmas Cheer and four beautiful cuts of wool to use for some of the designs in the book. Pure Christmas in July fun!  The wool is gorgeous and soft.
Thank you, Brenda! This was quite a treat!
So I'm linking here to Confessions of a Fabric Addict for her Friday links of "Whooping". She gets so much done in a week, she really does deserve a good dance!  Me...not so much, but we get lots of dog walking done :-)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June no gloom

It was kind of a fun, busy month here. Right at the end of May we had sent my boy Luke off for some dog training that from the Facebook videos of the trainer at Rajun Kennels seemed an awful lot like a fun dog camp! So we had a lot of learning to do when Luke came home. We have been amazed and so grateful for a more dog friendly boy that is going to be free to enjoy a much bigger life. Marty the trainer is wonderful and really loves the dogs. I think we also owe some credit to Pudlin, another dog boarding there at the time. She seemed to take to Luke immediately and would not leave him alone. They played hard and I think Luke just plain got over some anxiety about other dogs. I have enjoyed long walks with Luke all over the ranch preserve/park that we live by. Both on and off leash, Luke is doing great!
Then there was a tedious extra traffic and long trip to San Diego that turned much better once we got there. We attended one of the sweetest weddings and a very fun dinner with DH's brother's family. Young ones growing up is sure heart warming and inspiring.
So the sewing was minimal but I completed this one itty bitty quilt per request for my friend using scraps and stash.
I'm linking to JulieQ's  Binding Blitz for the monthly fun :-)

I'm almost forgot....we got some new furniture this month. The new chair appears to be a hit!

Life is grand :-)

The Hands2Help participation came along with prizes and I won a rather nice one. I won a signed copy of Country Girl Modern from Jo Kramer and Kelli Hanken.

 And I zoomed right to the first quilt I would like to make...
Thank you Jo and Kelli for a sweet gift. And Thank You Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for inspiring us all!

So I'm happily back to September(!) and working on these plaid pieces.
 And enjoying more time walking my dogs.
Have a wonderful celebration this weekend. No fireworks here as we are a tinder box for a forest fire but there will be lots of friends and families in the neighborhood enjoying the ocean air. Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Truth According To Us

Not much going sewing going on here because I came down with another fever! Yuk! but fortunately short lived. On the mend yesterday, I finished reading a book that was headed for publication this month by Anne Barrows. It was a wonderful read and I'm including a short review here.

The Truth According To Us
The siblings, some offspring and a few extras are the characters in this enlightening story set in the 1930's in West Virginia. An almost 2 decade old tragedy is buried in their lives. The course of their lives set by the response to those younger years is unknowingly challenged by the sweet Willa, the precocious 12 year old who sees herself as a "natural sneak". and wants to learn what the grown ups won't tell her.  Willa grows up in a family that has love, constancy and support mostly because of her Aunt Jottie  who pretty much keeps it all together.. Aunt Jottie is described as a saint at one point and I think I have to agree to that. She is true to her heart and her people..
The rich description of these people living through a hot summer in the south is the backdrop to truth coming forth that both hurts and heals.
Anne Barrows has written a story with rich, sweet and flawed characters that charmed me deeply. I loved reading it and put it up with my favorites.

This book warmed me like Charms Eor the Easy Life, and The Secret Life of Bees. Rich characters and strong connections. I highly recommend it for an enjoyable read.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Three Finishes

A gift, a charity quilt and one for me.

Off kilter and blowing in the breeze, this quilt is for a friend's son who is graduating from high school. I used a Bali Crackers set of Hoffman's Sparrow...which I got from Fat Quarter Shop at a really good sale price. A sale price which led me to buy 4 packs which means I have more of these quilts to make...or something very similar at least.
This second quilt is the completely scrappy quilt for Hands2Help. Two inch squares that I was sewing together into 4 patches and ran out of time to do anything new. So out came some blue fabric and a scrappy border.
Tulips for the backing.
I have gotten away from free handing quilting and using mostly pantographs. I'm getting a little tired of looking at the pattern and not the quilt while I'm sewing. So with this quilt I did kind of meander feather pattern which was pretty fun.
I will be sending this quilt and the flannel rag quilt for Hands2Help.
I'm linking to Sarah's blog, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and you can see all the quilts going to their chosen charity. Mine are going to Emily of Em's Scrapbag to be given to patients undergoing chemo.

My third finish is made of some Janet Clare fabric I love called More Hearty Wishes. Whales were my draw here :-)  I lucked upon a layer cake of the fabric from one of Missouri Star Quilts Daily Deals.
Here's the backing showing my upside down clamshell quilting. The backing is my favorite in the collection.
So that's my quilting in May. So far June has been carpet cleaning and window washing. It can only get better from here :-)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The last hours of May

had me stitching a binding down again...
The light is gone so I just took a picture of the bindings. Tomorrow I'll get my quilt holder to help me photograph the three quilts.

I'm linking to JulieKQuilts for her Binding Blitz.
Thank you, Julie for the push to get these sewn up.
Head on over to her blog and see who else has linked up :-)