Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's A Wrap

Three hours from now, 2016 will be over and 2017 will begin.  No time like the end of the year to finish up one last UFO, right?  This is String Quilt #6, and should be delivered tomorrow.  wow.  What a year!  I thought it was a doozy, but when I think back to specifics?  It was more than I imagined a year could contain.  As in the past, I clung to my quilting as an outlet for stress, creativity and motivation.  When I totaled up this year's finishes?  I have to say that I am stunned.  Simply stunned.

I made two costumes (Captain America & Jasmine) and a flower girl dress.

I finished and sent out 18 quilted cards, and 26 postcards.  That is, assuming my numbers are correct.  I checked what I had posted in this blog, compared it to handwritten notes, and double checked it against a daily diary of sorts.  That's a lot of fabric in the mail, isn't it?

It was a good year for finishing UFO's.  Of the 43 listed on my official 2016 UFO List, I crossed off 10!

Not only that, but I began - and finished! - 14 new quilts!! I think 2016 was a personal best, when it comes to finishes.  Twenty four quilts finished!  Of that 24, 14 were baby quilts/lap quilts.  All were given away shortly after completion.  Six more quilts were made in response to calls for entry.  Granted, some were quite small, but they were finished, so I count them.  I finished my daughter's wedding quilt just before she celebrated her 8th anniversary.  And the remaining three quilts?  I made those in the online class with Katie Pasquini Masopust.

Twenty four quilts, and seventeen were disbursed as gifts.  In all, it's been a very good year.  If I can be half as productive in 2017, I will be pleased as punch.  Goals are good, and I'm hopeful that I will have mine set and ready to share by tomorrow.

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Things Change

We had a lovely Christmas this year.  Hard to believe it's been over for 3 days!  Merry Christmas from us to you!  I set the 10 second delay, and almost made it to my spot.  ;)

Over my shoulder, you can see my dad.  He's been having a bit of a rough patch, and will be staying with us for at least the next 10 days.  Then we're back to SoCal for further testing.  Memories...they're precious when you have them, and precious when you make them and when they begin to fade?  It's a hard thing to watch, and even more difficult to experience.  He said, "It's a difficult thing to realize you're less than you used to be."  indeed.

And so, my days have been filled with things other than quilting.  It's still on my list, but actually getting anything done?  Well, goals are good!  I have finished quilting the last basted string quilt, it is just waiting for binding.  If I can get it attached today, I can probably have it tacked down and finished by tomorrow.  One last UFO to check off of my 2016 list.  That's my goal.

And speaking of goals, have you set any for 2017?  It's still a bit early for me, but I'm beginning to put on my thinking cap.  Time to set goals, because, as you know, Goals Are Good!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 17, 2016


I was kind of proud of myself, knocking out more than one call for entry at a time.  Unfortunately, I neglected to click to find the fine print.  This is what I finished yesterday, for the upcoming SAQA Spotlight Auction, at their 2017 Conference.
 I call it "Sail Away."  Here it is, using those handy clippy things to make sure the facing doesn't peek out around the front.
 Here's the back.  Measuring a mere 6"x8", I wanted to be sure that the facing didn't overpower.
Silly me.  I'm always one to read the fine print.  But everything I saw said "little quilts, 6x8"."  Nothing in the request for quilts said anything about not finishing the edges.  They don't want binding, they don't want facing.  They want the quilts nice and flat, so that they can be mounted behind matboard.  Which is fine and dandy, but I didn't see that part until I called up the submission form, to submit my quilt.

huh.  oh well.  Looks like I'm up a gift for Christmas, eh?
Ho, ho, ho.  I wonder if this is how Santa's bag gets stuffed?  With oopsies? 

And on that note, I have a triple of things that do need to be made for specific people and finished quickly.  Goals are good.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas is Coming

It's less than 2 weeks away, and I've yet to send out Christmas cards.  I've yet to make Christmas cards (I usually give out a dozen made from fabric.)  I've yet to make ornaments.  I am behind.  And yet, I am ahead.  My tree is decorated.  My house is more than 50% decorated.  At this time last year, I suspect I didn't yet have a tree!  And last year?  My house never did get more than 50% decorated.

Our Itty Bitties had our Christmas breakfast on December 1.  Nothing like an early beginning to get a jump on the holiday season!  Unfortunately, one of our small group was at Dizzyland on the first, so our Itty Bitties were itty bittier.
 I loved this sign at Valhalla restaurant, and would have snapped it right up, had I a place to hang it.
 Last night, our art group, Sew Eclectic, met for our annual Christmas party.  The original plans went awry, and we ended up at my house.  It was a delightful surprise to find that I can host a successful Christmas party.  My mom's Spode helped set the mood.  :)
 Two of our group were unable to attend, but the rest of us had a delightful time.  oh, ouch.  I really need to replace that springtime tulip quilt with something red and green!
I've been making lists, and checking them thrice, and finding myself ahead of my usual schedule.  It's all good!

Well, no, actually, I'm still behind on the quilting front, but goals are good, and I have some.  I even made the first Christmas card, and delivered it in person yesterday.
I hope that you are finding this Christmas season to be as blessing-filled as I am.  The Lord is good, and it seems to be especially obvious during this particular month of the year.  May He go before you and bless your days!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Moving Along

So, I finished decorating the tree, and it is beautiful.
 Then I cleaned the dining room, in preparation for a dinner party next week.  I moved the dining room chairs into the living room, and, poof!  The place was again a shambles.  Good thing I had a meeting the next day in the living room.  Everything was put back to rights.  Well, at least the walkway was clear and the chairs easily accessible!
That's Pearl, up front.  Oh, the stories she could tell!  She's been in the family for years, and has had many starring roles in high school videos, etc.  She kind of hangs out in whichever corner happens to be available at the moment.

I haven't done much sewing, other than to make a block for our outgoing Valley Oak Quilt Guild President.  It was to have a green background and a flower.  I went with simple, because there's simply not enough time for anything.
 Notice the little bee in the flower's center?  I thought it was pretty cute.

I don't know if I ever mentioned the summertime drawing I won from Vicki Welsh, hand-dyer extraordinaire.  I'm not even sure what I did, maybe liked her on Facebook?  But she drew my name, and sent me this amazing selection of her hand dyes.  I've been meaning to at least make a postcard to thank her, but time is running faster than I am these days.  You should click on the link and check out her shop, because she has a lot more than just fabric.  She is one talented woman, that's for sure!
The only other quilting thing I've got to share is that I signed up for the next Katie Pasquini Masopust class, which begins in January.  This one is on working in a series.  I'll have 15 weeks to create 5 new quilts.  If only I had the time to finish the "old" ones I put together in the last class!

So much to do, not enough time.  Spend it on the things that matter.  Hug your family, smooch your pet, smile at a stranger.  The world is better for it.  And on that, I'm off to the next thing.  (Boy is the next family member to walk in the door going to be surprised.  I might just grab them and give them a great big hug.  After all, it is the season!!)
Joy to you!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Work in Progress

If you look carefully behind the clutter that was once contained in an organized room, I wedged a tree into the corner of it.  
 Yesterday, I added lights and a star. 
Today's goal?  Maybe a few hundred ornaments...give or take another hundred.

Not much sewing going on around here, but we are definitely busy.  'Tis the season.  Here's a music link, to help get you in the mood.   Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Another One Done

I think I've mentioned before that I am a member of SAQA.  Studio Art Quilt Associates.  I'm not a terribly active member, but I love reading the weekly updates and keeping up with the yahoo group.  Every once in a while they have a call for entry that I know I can do.  The most recent is for the 2017 traveling trunk show.  The deadline is tomorrow.  I started my quilt yesterday.  It needs to measure 10"x7", in portrait setting.

You know how I love ocean views and ocean sunsets, right?  I have lots of strips leftover from one of the Katie PM lessons back in July.  Time to whip out another one!
I finally had a chance to dig into the King Tut variegated threads that I bought during the summer.  ooh aah, nice!  :)
 Once it was quilted, I trimmed it to 7" wide.
 Then I pinned on my sails.
Once they were secure, I cut it to 10", and added binding.
The corners of the binding kind of bother me, so I might have to remove them and try again.  But other than that?  "Sunset Sea" makes me want to sail away. 

And now, it's on to the next thing.  Goals are good!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


 Well, I finished that baby quilt, bound it, labeled it, wrapped it, and sent it off to the office with my husband.  Hopefully it was delivered today, and I won't be thinking about it again.  You can see the errant blocks in the upper left quadrant and the bottom right.  But they're all fish or lures, so it's all good, right? Check one more thing off of the ToDo List.

Over the weekend, I got a new-to-me cabinet from a friend.  I filled it with things from the room I have been referring to as The Sewing Annex.  It is no longer the annex.  Okay, so the Tiara is still in there, and a design wall, and the closet is full of sewing machines, but other than those details (and the bins under the bed and under the window seat)...well, it's now a Guest Room!  For now.
 We have company coming for Thanksgiving, in the form of my dad and his new companion Tutti.  He's had her for four days, and already, she's booked on a road trip.  Tomorrow I head down to Escondido to pick them up.  The plan is for them to stay through Saturday.
I've also been sewing out some labels, and attaching them to quilts.  I have several deadlines before November 30, but whether or not I will be able to meet them remains to be seen.  One day at a time.  Goals are good!

Thursday, November 17, 2016


So I've got yet another baby waiting for his quilt.  He was born at least 6 weeks ago and, though I cut the strips in advance of his arrival, I had yet to put the top together.

Yesterday I set to work.  I sewed strips together, I made 4-patch pieces, I combined them into Double 4-patch blocks.  I've made this quilt so many times, I thought I could do it in my sleep.  But, apparently not.

Today I laid out the top, since I had a slight variation in some of the fabrics.  I wanted to be certain that they lined up properly.  I could not figure out how I came up five blocks short.  That never happens.  What usually happens is that I have two blocks too many.

I fussed, I fiddled, I looked for lost blocks.  I actually did find one that was half-pieced, but I was still four short.  I finally made some substitutions, laid them out so they worked, then stacked the blocks to begin the finally piecing.

I sewed together two rows of six, then realized, uh oh.  I still had four rows left.  Oh, good gravy!  The blocks are supposed to line up 5 x 6...and I'd laid them out 6x6.  That explains the lack of blocks.  unbelievable!

I ended up leaving the odd-ball blocks in place, since I'd already pieced one in the body of the quilt.  I put the extra sixth row into my orphan block box, snapped on the lid, and finished piecing the top.

Tomorrow, when I'm a bit calmer, I will quilt it.  Goals are good.

In the meantime, I will leave you with this picture of my latest successful creations.
Banana bread.  One has pecans and craisins, the other has chocolate covered dried fruit.  yum.

I think I need a piece.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Oh My

I don't know about you, but I spent Tuesday evening glued to my computer screen and the radio, listening to the election results come in from around the country.  I ended up going to bed around 10:30pm without knowing how it would end.

I spent Wednesday glued to the radio, listening to the things people had to say.  oh. my. goodness.

Coincidentally, our guild had a 2-color quilt challenge set for today.  I'd wracked my brain for months, trying to come up with something.  I had nothing.  Until Wednesday.  After listening to the reactions for a couple of hours, I was spurred on to one of my own.  Five hours later, I had this quilt.  I call it "Shock and Awe."

Some of my friends thought I might have begun it before Wednesday, or at least had pieces of it already finished.  No, I did not.  It was all done on Wednesday, in response to the election results.

oh. my.  I am still speechless.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Busy Busy...I Do

When last I left you I was...working on the flower girl dress for my granddaughter?  The dress was finished a few days before the wedding, and here she is, trying it on for the first time.
I think she likes it!
 And then, it was November 5, and my baby was waiting for his bride.  In an unheard of turn of weather, the sky was blue, no fog to be seen, and it was warm enough to enjoy...unless you were the bride and groom, staring into the beating sun.
Here she comes, escorted by her grandpa:
 And here's the handoff...
I stopped taking pictures about this time, and picked it up again for the first dance.
All in all it was a beautiful day.  On Monday, I was able to relax for the first time in a long time.  One of these days, I'll pick up and get back to work, but for now...I'm enjoying the beautiful memories.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Couple of Cards

 I put these cards together and into yesterday's mail.  The upper card has a swath from the Jean Wells class I took in May.  Both cards have "reject" Grandmother's Flower Garden flowers that were as far as I got when trying to do Lesson #1 for Katie PM
Other than that, today I am found sitting in clouds of white satin, as I make the flower girl dress for next week's wedding.  All that is left to do is to stitch together the overskirt, baste it to the skirt, gather, attach to bodice, and insert zipper.

hmmm.  More than I thought when I walked away 15 minutes ago.  I'd best get back to work!!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wrap Up

Now that the Katie PM class has wrapped up, I thought you might like to see the debris field it left behind in my "sewing annex."  You can see most of the projects from the 8 lessons (7 on the board, 1 on the bed), as well as the fabrics I'd pulled to make said projects.  The green quilt and the kelp quilt have their sleeves hanging across the front of them.  oops.  To date, 3 quilts are finished, 5 are waiting to be quilted.  I will be finishing each and every one of them, hopefully before too long.  :)
 I was in Target the other day, and saw this display.  I may have burst out laughing, because this is the silliest thing I've seen in a long time.  Organic candy?  Really?  Do Trick-or-Treaters really care?  I don't think so!
And that's all I've got for today.  Gotta go make that flower girl dress.  Goals are good!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ta Da

This is the top, as submitted for my final project.  I'm not sure if it's finished or not.  Last night, when I headed to bed, I thought that it needed a brown 3" "picture frame" around the edge.  Or not.  For now, it is set aside.  We have a wedding coming up in...11 days?  And I still need to make a dress for the flower girl.

Sew, sew, sew.  Better get on it!!  :)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Still Here

wow!  I hadn't realized the time gap since my last post.  Sorry about that.  I've been...busy.  Is that what I've been?  Since I last posted, I made another card.
But I still haven't made the labels for those baby quilts.  groan.

I made Penny's Halloween costume, and sent it to her.  It arrived a few days ago.  She is Princess Jasmine.  Always a princess.  :)
I have the makings of her flowergirl dress waiting for attention.  My youngest son's wedding is November 5.  Better get sewing, Gramma!

I added the binding to the green Lesson #7 quilt, from the Katie Pasquini Masopust class, so it is finished, except for the sleeve and label.  Those labels.  They're holding me back!  ;)

Lesson #8 - the last one in the class - is due on Monday.  A day or two after it was assigned, I enlarged a photo from Oban, Scotland, thinking I was going to focus on boats for my final project.  When it got to Friday, 10/21, I realized the boats would never be finished by 10/24.  I made a much smaller enlargement of a much simpler photo, and I am now in the middle of sewing Harvest Barns.  Here is my photo:
 This is what I had by about 5pm Friday afternoon.
I have since filled in all of the pieces, with the exception of the bottom 2 x 7 block quadrant.  I should be able to finish the piecing today.  Goals are good.  I highly doubt I can have it quilted by tomorrow midnight, which is its deadline.  I'm not sure if I will even try.

In other news, I now have a new dishwasher.  The door kept falling off on the old one, and the handle broke.  I have yet to use this one.  It seems to hold a lot more dishes than the old one did.
Also in other news, the local Joann's closed their super store and opened a cleaner smaller store in a different shopping center.  I may have gone hog wild when they marked apparel fabrics down to 90% and 95% off, when you finished the bolt.  I "saved" over $2000.  Such a thrifty shopper!  Most of my haul consisted of tulle and costume fabrics, in pink, purple, and turquoise.  I also got some "grown up" glitz, which I sent to my teenaged nieces.  This is some of what I sent to them:
 Within 24 hours of its arrival in Alaska, my eldest niece had made this pillow out of the grey roses.  For $24.99/yard?  I never would have purchased it.  For $1.25/yard?  I bought the whole bolt!
I was not the only one bargain hunting at Joann's.  One of my sons bought dozens of fixtures, which he is using to organize his garage.  When he was leaving with the last load, the liquidator asked, "Don't you think you could use the cash register counters as well?"  Yesterday we were over there, dismantling them and hauling them off.  Seven register cubbies, plus the electrical, plus the huge customer service booth are all now fighting for space in the garage.  Such a deal, such a deal!  Who could pass up free?!  I am thrilled to know that my thrifty ways have been passed along to the next generation. 

And with that, this has just been too long.  Stay tuned for my finished quilt top from Lesson #8.  It's definitely not my usual, though you can probably tell I made it.  :) 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

check, check

I am so behind on baby quilts.  I think baby Adali was born in February.  I finished her quilt last week, except for the label.  Once it is labeled, I will be happy to deliver it.
 How do you like the yellow bird fabric on the back?  I absolutely LOVE it.  I bought it years ago in Napa, but didn't know what I was going to do with it.  The bird fabrics on the front were purchased at Best of the Valley at least 2 years ago.  They've been set aside since then, waiting to be cut and pieced.  It feels good to put them together, but unfortunately, I pieced them with half of the 2" birds upside down.  oops.  The baby won't care, will she?

Lesson #7 for Katie Pasquini Masopust was turned in last night.  The assignment was to do a study in analogous colors, with one complementary color thrown in for pizzazz.  It is hard to tell, but all of the fabrics used are either bluegreen, yellowgreen, red, or 7 shades of green.  The way they butt against each other makes them look white and blue and all sorts of colors in between.  It's incredible.
This quilt has been quilted.  All that remains to do is to bind it, and I think I will bind it in the usual way.  I don't want those little strips to fall off the edge, which I think would happen if I faced it instead of binding.

I have another baby quilt pieced and ready to go.  Perhaps I will be able to get it quilted today.  Goals are good!

My eighth and final assignment from Katie PM has arrived and is under consideration.  I've got two weeks to complete it.  wow.  I don't know if you can tell, but this has been the most amazing, intensive, productive class that I may have ever taken.  I've taken wonderful classes that have taught me new techniques and others that stretched me, but this one?  It's run the gamut and shown me that I have good quilts within me.  All I needed was the incentive to sit down and sew them out.  I can't wait to see wait I come up with for Lesson #8.  woohoo!!

Saturday, October 1, 2016


Two very belated birthday cards are in the mail.  Two more check marks on my Guilt ToDo List.  woohoo!

The little houses were from a class I took sometime during the past year.  The class was a bust, but I did walk away with a couple of free form houses.  They look okay now, in fact, I think they're kind of cute!

Two baby quilt tops are half made on my sewing table.  Today's goal is to stitch them together.  Goals are good!