Sunday, September 27, 2015


Hello Autumn...I wish!  We are still having heat waves here on the central coast and it's messing with my favorite season. Hopefully October will bring on cooler temps and oh please Dear Lord, some rain. Lots of it would be a blessing!
I have been happily stitching though. I finished a quilt for my DH that he is quite pleased with...though it is so huge I'm not sure what he's going to do with it.
This is made with a line of fabric called Stonehenge and the pattern is called Smokey River. It was kit that I purchased on impulse while browsing that dangerous website called Pinterest. When I got the fabric...I wasn't excited as it looked, boring or something. However, sewn up and quilted heavily, it looks a lot better to me now. It measures 76X97 and is heavy with the Quilter's Dream supreme batting that I used so I'm not making DH try to be a quilt holder with it...thus saving his shoulders from injury!
I chose a dense quilting design of fall leaves...still trying to bring on the season!
The backing is a batik from my LQS that I thought complimented the colors.
I'm zooming through my next project which is a pattern and fabric that I purchased last year at PIQF in Santa Clara. I've sewn the smaller version of this several times this year for gift quilts and one for me but this version and fabric is the one that caught my eye and started the whole thing :-)
It has lime green, sunflowers and cats in it. What's not to love!
And for some reason...all I can think about is PIQF! it's about two and a half weeks away and I'm ready to start packing already.
A week late but I'm linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict :-)

Friday, September 4, 2015

August...a few days late

It was a busy month and I'm grateful it also included some days to sew and one to actually take a quilt class too. At Quilter's Cupboard in Atascadero, I happened upon a quilt I liked and found that a class was offered teaching the use of a curved template. I'd been wanting to learn curved piecing and with this template coming in two sizes...I was set for some fun :-)
Here's the larger version

I went "modern" and left off borders ;-)
And did some freehand quilting with Rainbows thread from Superior.
For the smaller version, I used just a charm pack that was gifted to me and backed it with some fun girlie fabric for a young friend at church.

The smaller quilt measures about 36 by 45 using one charm pack and fabric for a 1 inch inner border and about a 4 1/2 inch outer border.
I have forgotten the size of the larger version but it is roughly 60 by 70. I used 14 fat quarters for it with 9 inch squares to cut from the template. It is different from cutting for a true drunkard's path block in that you cut both pieces with one cut of the curved template and then just sewn them back together centered on each other. There is left over at each edge and you just trim it for about an 8 1/4 size block. Fast and easy. For the larger version, I used the leftover strip from the fat quarters and made a scrappy binding. 
So I have two finishes with bindings this month. Wahoo!
Another big WAHOO! was that I was gifted an early Christmas present from MODA :-)  A big WOW here!  Carrie Nelson blogs and inspires from their website and picked some names to share some rather awesome goodies. I was overwhelmed when I opened the box! A huge party inside!
A layer cake, charm packs, a new book and notions! WOW!
What really made me squeal was the Splash rotary cutter! I had heard these were nice and boy is that true. I can't really tell you exactly what the difference is from my still well functioning 45mm Olfa cutter but I sure feel it. It just feels good in my hand...and is a lovely turquoise :-) I have put it to good use and can't seem to go back to my old ones. 
A big THANK YOU again to Carrie and MODA and also to "Ducky" who pulled my name out of the hat :-)
I'm linking this post to Confessions of a Fabric Addict to join in her Friday happy dance :-)

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.