Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lots of Studio Time

Sorry my resolution to "post more!" kind of bit the dust so quickly.  I meant to write, really I did, but I was too busy sewing to tell you about it!

I finished my granddaughter's quilt, finally.  It was only 3.5 months late, so I guess that's not too awful.
 She seems to like it.  This was the first time she saw it.  Her hand is a bit of a blur, as she was trying to grab at it.
 Have you tried those red clips for binding?  I LOVE them.  I kept poking holes in my finger tip, and when I dug around in my bag of tricks, I discovered this unused tin of Poke a Dots.  I love them, too!  The rest of the binding went on without any more holes in my finger.
This year I am in charge of our guild's Block of the Month.  For January, I passed out patterns for a "Garden" Rail Fence block.  The response was quite invigorating, making me excited about the months to come.
 For February, we're making the Perkiomen Valley Block, being distributed by the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild.  They are collecting blocks for the fire/mudslide victims.  Our guild members have been asked to make one block for the victims for each block they make for the drawing.  It's a very speedy 12.5" block, and will make some wonderful comforters for hurting people.  I told my guild to "make it with HAPPY fabric."  I can't wait to see what they come up with.
Our primary philanthropic project is Komforters for Kids.  We supply police/sheriff's patrol cars (and other groups) with comforters for children in distress.  I usually make a number of tops or finish the quilts each year, but in 2017?  I did nothing.  In an effort to seek redemption, I made five tops this weekend, which I will turn in next month.
 This morning as I drove by the Farmer's Market, I saw the truck for the scissors sharpening man parked on the premises.  I went home and got three pairs of scissors which have been out of commission for a LONG time.  For $8/pair, I have what seem like new scissors.  Totally worth it, to have them working again.  yay!!  Can't wait to put them into action.
And that's what I've been up to this week.  I was so busy sewing, I missed our Blog Anniversary yesterday.  On January 12, this blog turned TEN.  wow.  I should go back and see what I was doing ten years ago.  I am certain that my life is very different today.

And I guess that's going to wrap it up for now.  I have three projects lined up for finishing, but I have no idea which one I will tackle first.  The goal is to tackle something.  And we all know that goals are good!

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A New Year and a First Finish

Happy New Year!!  Happy Happy New Year!!  I was so ready to be done with 2017.  So much happened last year, it was enough to exhaust a person.  But here we are, safely into 2018, with a newly updated house and a blank calendar.  What could be better?  I can't think of a thing.

I tried to have a final finish for 2017, but I got as far as stitching on the facing before I had to put it aside.  My son and daughter-in-law came down with the flu, so I babysat for the bulk of New Year's Eve (6am-7pm).  We are all blessed that she is such a GOOD baby.  Even when she's a bit snuffly, she has a hard time complaining.  She gave me her snuffles, so we snuffled together.  kachoo!
Such a cutie pie!  She's always smiling!

We had our son and DIL from MO out for a week.  I spent time in the Studio with both DIL's.  The one from MO, put together an apron panel.
 She finished it just before they headed out to meet up with friends.
 My local DIL received a pattern for placemats.  After "shopping" in my stash, she set right to work.  She has never quilted before, but she's got two placemats ready for binding.  She'll be quilting on her own before we know it!
Just being in the Studio was enough to get me going.  Yesterday, I finished a birthday card, that should have been finished in October.  It went into the mail today.  The binding looks terrible in the photo.  It's not quite so awful in person.
 It took three days, but the facing eventually got stitched in place.
 And, ta da!!  Today I had my first quilt finish of 2018.  It feels fantastic!!
I am very excited about 2018.  I may have already said that.  My hope is that I will replicate what I did back in 2009, setting monthly quilting goals.  I hope to finish at least one UFO each month.  Goals are good, right?  Right!!

Who knows?  I was able to finish the first one on January 2nd.  I doubt I'll be finishing a quilt every 2 days, but hey, you never know.  The next one is pressed and waiting to be basted.
With the Best of the Valley entry deadline coming up on February 14, I don't want to be left behind.  I always feel like it's up to me to set a good example.  And with that, goals are good!

Happy Quilting!!


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Like New

Sorry to be such a horrid blogger.  So much to do, so little time to blog.  But I have news!  My walls are done!  The wallpaper is gone, the walls are textured, and now they are painted.  Most of the walls are painted with semi-gloss Great White Way (Lowe's), but each of the rooms has at least one accent wall.

The dining room has two walls of PPG's "Cloudberry."
 As you can see, we've moved right back in and made ourselves at home.  I think we ate one meal in here, before pulling out the computer and Christmas cards and everything else.
 One wall in the master bedroom is "Magical," I think it's a Sherwin-Williams color, from Lowe's.  It is a red-violet, that sings to me.  Sorry the room is so rumpled.  When it is nice and neat, my camera is nowhere to be found.
Here is a better picture, but I'd just stripped the bed after spilling windex in the middle of it.  (I had cleaned everything, in preparation for a glam shot.)  *sigh*
I chose "Rain Dance," another Lowe's (maybe Valspar?) color, for two walls of the master bathroom.
 As you can see, I still need to put the towel bar back on the wall.  I really miss that towel bar!
 The kitchen was tricky. In 2008, I painted an accent wall in the cooking area.  I used an Easy Living paint from Orchard Supply, called Cottage Garden.  Between then and now, OSH broke up with Sears, and my paint rotted.  Trying to match it was difficult.  I went first to PPG (self-proclaimed to be The Best), and then to OSH, when I saw that the PPG color was much too dark.

At this point, I have to mention that I painted the dining room and bedroom.  I hired a professional to finish the kitchen and bathroom.  I would have been happier with the results, had I painted it all myself, but I must admit it was a relief to have the last two rooms done in two days.  (Each wall required a coat of primer, two coats of paint.)  Unfortunately, the painter was horrendously sloppy, as witnessed by this corner.  You can see the 2008 paint on the left, and the new paint on the right.  I cringe, every time I see this.
 My son suggested trying the Lowe's paint match experts.  I had no hope, but I stopped by.  The woman in the paint department was FANTASTIC.  "Easy Living?  Isn't that Martha Stewart?  Cottage Green?  here you go!"  Not only was she able to match it perfectly, but she sold me a $2.48 sample, instead of an $18 quart like the other stores!!

Look at that match!!
I quickly went back for a quart, and proceeded to repaint the new green area.  Such a difference in color!!
 Did I mention that I added wainscoting?  Chairs kept hitting the wall and knocking off texture.  It is so easy!  It cost about $30, when all was said and done.  (The middle and bottom slats are to help the Liquid Nails hold.  I didn't understand the instructions, and didn't apply it liberally enough.)
 Looks like it's always been there!
So, yes, I've been busy.  busy, busy, busy.  But not with fabric.  Instead, I've given this tired 80's house a desperately needed facelift.

We didn't bring the tree in until 12/17, though we had it in the backyard for two weeks.  First, I had to finish the painting.  Having the 10' ladder in the house made decorating the tree easier than usual.
I'm calling it "done" though I still have a tub of ornaments that I've yet to dig into.
 And on that note, the important things are done.
Wishing you and yours a most Blessed Christmas, and the Happiest of New Years.  I know that I, for one, am truly anticipating 2018.  Resolution #1:  Quilt!!

Goals are good.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Life

Well.  Long time no posting, eh?  I have missed you.  I have missed quilting.  I have missed my sewing machine.

I have been playing sherpa.

One month ago, my DIL was admitted to the hospital with severe upper abdominal cramping.  Later that day, they removed her gallbladder, and did a hernia repair (necessitated by the gallbladder surgery).  She was prohibited from lifting anything over 10 lbs for a month.  Little Addison weighed 12 lbs at the time.  (Today, she weighed in at 13 lbs 12 oz.)  I put on my cape and played SuperGrammy for the month.  wow.  What a month!!
 We took a few baths, and we picked out a Christmas tree.
 We taught Mama how to English Paper Piece, and she made a couple of ornaments.  (I made one too, as I demo'd technique.)
 We did have a bit of a mis-step, but it was easily corrected.
 Addy's tree was decorated, and the stars hung with care.
 Back home, the gingkoes glowed yellow with the changing seasons.
The Christmas lights went up, and we added deer!
We've never had anything so grand.  I wonder if they will last the season, or if they will be stolen.  They were there again this morning when we woke up, so that was exciting.
Today was our guild meeting and annual Christmas party.  I began my term as Block of the Month chairman.  I introduced the first block, which was a Rail Fence.  I wrote the pattern and sewed it up this morning, then raced by FedEx Office on my way to the meeting.  I am excited because I made 40 copies and sold every one of them.  I am hopeful that next month's return will be stellar.  For each block turned in, you get a chance to win them all.  My directions make two blocks, so we have the potential of receiving 80 blocks back.  That would make a quilt 64" x 80", which would be quite a nice size.
As long as you keep the segments oriented correctly, this goes together very quickly.  (4-1.5" strips, stitched together then cut into 4.5" segments, can be sewn together to yield 2-8.5" blocks.  easy peasy)

And that's what I've been up to this past month.  I love my family, but I'm looking forward to a bit of Happy Quilting!!!

P.S.  The texture is on the walls, and I've painted the dining room and half of the bedroom.  If I can get some good pictures, I'll share them next time.  Goals are good!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Quilt Retreat!

I have finished stripping wallpaper.  I have washed down the walls, all but the four in the kitchen.  I am ready for someone to come texture the dry wall.  I may be waiting for a while.  The earliest I've been told is "end of November."  November looks to be a long month.

I finished the wallpaper work Wednesday night, and headed for the foothills on Thursday morning.  Valley Oak Quilt Guild had a retreat, and boy, was I ready to retreat!  I got more quilting/sewing done in those four days than I've done in the past ten months!

On Thursday, I pieced the bulk of a baby quilt for my new granddaughter.  I finished the top before breakfast on Friday.
 I spent Friday cutting and placing 1.5"x3.5" rectangles to make the frame for this 2016 quilt from the Katie Pasquini Masopust online class.  It looks so finished, I am ready to finish it!
 On Saturday, I pieced together some Grandmother's Flower Garden pieces.  I have a top that I began back in the late 80's, so the flowers were already assembled.  I added leaves and pieced them together.
 My plan is to add them to the bottom corner of a quilt that I have been working on for the past 3 years.  I started it in a David Taylor class.  I am excited that it is finally coming together.
 And finally, on Sunday, I finished quilting this Tartan landscape.  It was another project from the Katie Pasquini Masopust online class. 
I may end up adding a bit more quilting in the sky, with Sulky, to add some shine to the implied rain.  I've thought of adding the car and road sign from the original photo, but they might distract from the landscape.  This quilt is all about the landscape.

And there you go.  More quilting in four days than I've done in ten months.
I've been back since Sunday afternoon, and I've yet to get the urge to get back on that ladder and wash down the walls in the kitchen.  I will, eventually, but most certainly not today!

Friday, October 27, 2017

A 6" Finish

After yesterday's post about stripping wallpaper, I felt guilty.  I should be sewing something, anything.  I want to be sewing something, anything.  Our Itty Bitty friendship group met at my house yesterday morning, so this time, I pulled out a piece of handwork.  It is the recent edition of our 6" mounted quilt challenge.

 I finished the beading on the piece, then painted another group of canvases black.  I use glossy paint, and let them dry overnight before attaching the quilt.
 Here is the finished piece.  It has quickly become a favorite.  Actually, I like most of the little pieces quite a bit.  There's only one that I'm not happy with.  I may have to do another improved version of that particular one.
 In the meantime, I've moved into the last room.  Yesterday, I made it past the door on the right, and one third of the way across the adjacent 8' wall.  Today's goal is to finish that 8' wall, turn the corner, and make it up to the last remaining 14' peak.  I will be SO glad when this project comes to an end!
If nothing else, having to move every piece of furniture and every piece of clutter in 4 rooms has been enough to convince me that I either need to have a serious yard sale, or take a major donation trip to Rescued Treasures.  Goals are good!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Trip to PIQF, and Stripping

I'm sorry I have not been posting.  I've sewn on a button, but I don't think you're interested in that.  Quiltwise?  I made it to PIQF.  We took a day trip, up and back, zoom, zoom.  I really wanted to see Sherry Reynolds and her new quilt, Eternal Beauty, at its debut.  I knew it would be a stunner, but up close?  It was more incredible that I could possibly imagine.  Just incredible. 
 Look at that amazing detail!  You might think that those silk wedges are large, but they are not. Oh no, they are not.  Look at the full image, to see the scale.  I was entranced by the border.  All those little squares were pieced together with sashing.  With sashing!  And that strip, between the squares border and the quilt?  Those are pieced 1/4" squares.  really.  They are.  I think she might have been a bit obsessive?  Then again, this is why she won Best of Show.  This is why it took her 4 years to make/finish the quilt.  It truly is a Beauty!
 And I really do know Sherry.  I met her years ago, when her first quilt debuted at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival.  We primarily touch base at different quilt shows, but we always make a point to visit for at least a few minutes.
Sherry was not my only friend to win big at PIQF.  Sharon Schlotzhauer won two awards with her quilts:
 "Jars of Clay" won Best Wall Quilt.  I'd seen pictures, but I think this was my first time to see it in person. 
 Licorice Ribbons won Machine Workmanship, in the Modern category.  The quilting on Sharon's quilt is exquisite.  Sharon was unable to make it to the show, and was quite surprised when I texted photos of her quilt.  She was in the midst of babysitting, and did not know that she won.  woohoo!  I'm guessing she did some happy dancing in front of the grands.  :D
Not all of my quiltie friends live in other states.  Judie Fleming lives across town.  Her quilt, A Nighttime Garden, won Best Handworkmanship in Wall Quilts.  Congratulations, Judie!!  Congratulations, Sharon!  Congratulations, Sherry!

I walked around the show beaming, like I was the winner.  I didn't even have a thing in the show.  Just very very talented friends, getting the recognition they've worked hard to earn.

I also shopped.  oh my, yes, I shopped.
 Lots of King Tut thread, perle cottons, olfa blades, painted lace...and two pieces of fabric.  I have a plan for the thread, but the rest?  Just stash building.  As if it needs it.

The thing that has kept me from sewing is stripping wallpaper.  We've been in this house for 24 years.  When we first looked at it, I told my husband I hated the wallpaper.  He told me I could change it out, but wow.  No money, no time.  FINALLY, I have both, and I'm doing my best to make progress.
 The master bathroom had 4 walls, covered with two kinds of wallpaper.  Two of the walls have 14' peaks.  Not easy to reach, but I did it.  Yes, it is a mess.  You're supposed to be looking at the walls, not the mess.
Once the bathroom was naked, I moved to the kitchen.  Again, two 14' peaks.  But with crazy angles.  This was not easy, but I finished.




Twenty years ago, I knew I didn't have time to strip the walls, so I found a strip to cover the pink border.  oh, look.  There's that pink again.  When we first moved in, EVERYTHING was that pink.  Even the beige carpet had pink tones.  Hated it.
 There.  Isn't that much better?
The dining room was easy.  It only had two papered walls, which I had stripped and repapered back in 2000.  Eight foot walls?  Piece o cake.
 Before, and half of after.
I think I began this project on October 7.  Fourteen walls to strip.  12.5 down, 3.5 to go.  I am down to the master bedroom, which again, has two 14' ceilings.  I spent 8 hours stripping on Tuesday, and was unable to finish the first (biggest) wall.  I have grand plans to be done by Sunday.  After that, the contractor sends his texture crew to texture the walls, then they need priming, and painting.  The plan is to have it done by Thanksgiving.  Goals are good!!