Friday, January 15, 2021

A 2020 Finish

 In looking through my "recent" posts, I see that I never posted about a fun Zoom class that our guild offered back in November.  The class was with the Material Girlfriends, and was called "Rosie Runner."  We had planned our annual guild retreat, but since that was cancelled?  We met together online via Zoom instead.

It was great fun to dig through my scrap box, rather than cut into new yardage.  I found that I had a LOT of scrap reds to play with.  woohoo!

I think I got this far on the project during the course of the day:
Here is the finished table runner:
Here is is, in context:
When a friend saw that I was making this, she called dibs.  I sent it to her, and she sent a picture of the runner in use.  I smiled when I saw that they liked the fabric on the back, as much as the top.

Other than that?  We continue to do work on our new property.  This week, the termites are being dealt with.  Next week?  The Mold Doctor will see what he can do to rid us of the icky stuff.  The job will involve removing and replacing dry wall and insulation.  Fun stuff!  But his expectation is for it to take a mere 2-3 days, so perhaps it is not all that involved after all...if you know what you are doing.  He comes highly recommended.  I'm so excited!!

And I guess that's going to do it for now.

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Estate Sale Treasures

 One of my favorite things to do on a weekend is to poke through an estate sale, or two, or three.  2020 was a horrible year for them, what with the lockdown and all.  But I keep my eyes open and my ears to the ground, and every once in a while, one will come to my attention.  This happened last month...or was it the month before?  It's kind of blurring.  Anyway, one of our dear guild members passed away in the Fall, and her house was cleared out.  I heard about the sale, and off I went.

I was most interested in her quilts, primarily because I had quilted one of them several years back.  I put hours upon hours into it, and cringed when I gave her the bill.  But she LOVED it.  It was in the estate sale, for about 10% of what I charged her to quilt it.

Oh, look at that.  It HAS been years since I quilted that quilt!  This is an old picture, taken when I finished the quilting.  In the years since, I've peeled off that wallpaper, and painted the wall...purple!  I hadn't even thought about putting it on our bed yet.  I should try that and see how it looks.  wow!

Above is a close-up of the quilting.  It is an over-sized queen.  As I said, it took hours to quilt it.  I couldn't believe it was up for grabs at the estate sale.

Next is another quilt of Phyllis', that I bought at the sale.  This one is flannel, and oh, so cozy!  I had just washed it, dried it, and was letting it dry even more in this quick photo.  (A friend wondered if this was a quilt she had quilted for Phyllis.  It wasn't.)

On her bulletin board were her ribbons.  Beautiful memories!

And finally, the piece de resistance:  Her President's Quilt, from 1993.

Each year, our outgoing guild president is presented with a box full of blocks.  When Phyllis' year ended, I had been in charge of her quilt.  I had asked everyone to make their favorite 12" (finished) block, and to sign it on the outside, so that we would know whose block it was.  Then I set them together, in a way that would give us some space to quilt.

I love the variety, don't you?  The only problem with the plan, was that Phyllis did not do much hand quilting.  We began quilting it at one of the first Best of the Valley quilt shows, and I hadn't seen it since.  When I would ask her about it, she would shake her head and say she didn't know what happened to it.

Once I finish my "current" - and I use the phrase loosely - hand quilting project, this is what I want to tackle next.  It is actually close to half done.  Quilted in the 90's, it does not have the sort of elaborate quilting that you usually see nowadays.  It's more functional quilting, to hold the 3 layers together, with little more than stitch in the ditch.  I may finish it with that, and then decide if it needs a bit more.

So, that's what I've got for today.  Some older quilts, once again seeing the light of day.  There's nothing better than a quilt made with love, to wrap up in, on a cold winter's day.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!!

 wow.  2020 is in the can.  It is certainly a year that got away from me!  I don't quite know what happened to the last few months, except that we continue to be blessed with good health and family nearby.  The days were filled with a LOT of babysitting, with grandchildren coming and going and lots of hugs shared each day.

Quilting?  Definitely ended up in the backseat of 2020, which is quite a surprise for me.  I took stock of my UFO list.  Here is what I completed in 2020:

6 quilts, 5 valentine toys (stuffed hearts), 10 potholders, 23 fabric postcards, 24 quilted cards

Apparently my priority was not finishing quilts, but finishing quilted projects.  My 2020 UFO List began with 40 quilts, and ended with 36.  My 2021 UFO List has 39 items on it so far.  I am looking through my piles of projects, so see if there are any others begun and then set aside during the year.  Not TOO many, so that's good.  I don't know that I've ever begun a year with fewer than 40 UFO's.

2020 was less about my UFO list and more about prioritizing the things that are most important.  I spent a LOT of time with our sons and their families.  I spent a LOT of time with the grandchildren.  I spent more time with my husband, and less time bemoaning the hours he spends working.  Instead, I've chosen to be grateful for all that we have been blessed with, rather than bemoaning desires unfulfilled.

The result has been more than I ever would have imagined for 2020. No more unrestricted travel, no more luxury dining, no more this, no more that, no more the other thing.  Turns out, the time was right for us to invest in a second home, something we've talked of for over a decade.  

The new home needs a lot of TLC, which has already begun.  The roofer has sealed the leaks, and I meet with the plumber, and, hopefully electrician this week.  The termite man is on call, as is The Mold Doctor.  As I said, lots of TLC.  But with the state of things in the State of California?  It's not like we have anything else with which to fill our days.  This new Project is just perfect!  And when the work is done?  We'll have a delightful getaway for our family and friends, for years to come.  

As to resolutions?  I resolve to post more frequently.  I resolve to sew more, to take more pictures, and to share them with you.  Here are some Christmas presents that can be shown, now that they have been gifted:

There was a 4th set of potholders.  Somehow I lost a set, plus a potholder.  If I ever get the Studio under control, I hope to find the missing items.  One thing I did find was the panels to make these books.  I bought them at PIQF 2019, then promptly forgot about them.  I daydreamed about in person quilt shows while I stitched these darling books.
But what I've been daydreaming about the most, is the coast.
Expect to see more pictures like this in the coming year.  I plan to spend more time renewing my relationship with the Pacific Ocean.  And there you are:  Goals are good!

This sign was given to me by my daughter-in-law.  I am hopeful that there will be a lot more sewing taking place this year, in my little kingdom.  Again, goals are good!  In looking at this picture, Clean the Studio should be high priority!

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

This n That

 Ahhh.  Another post before the end of the month.  That is good news, because it means that I've spent at least a few minutes communing with my sewing machine.  I don't have a lot to show, but I have finished a few quiltlets and postcards.

First, the postcards:

For these sets, I cut up a panel, added a back, and zigzagged around the edges.
This one was made from scraps in my scrap pile.
These quiltlets were quilted and embellished, before adding the self-binding backing.
Yesterday, we celebrated two birthdays.  One for Henley, one for her mama.
Other than that, last weekend, I hit another estate sale.  I do love to find good embroidery, and I'm a sucker for pillowcases.
And these Sunbonnet Sues?  What was the quilter thinking, when she chose that orange for the arms?  What was it called?  Coppertone QT?  for quick tan?  In high school, I remember a lot of girls with that bright orange skin.  Then again, I do not remember them dressing like this!
Finally, I found 5 beautifully embroidered basket blocks, sporting pink ribbons.  I'm hopeful that they will wash up beautifully.  I might also put them in Retroclean, if the background remains discolored.
And I guess that's going to do it.  I am happy to report that I've been interacting with fabric.  I'm hopeful, that with the holidays ahead, I'll get even more studio time in the not too distant future.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Still Here

 This COVID stuff.  The days run together, along with the weeks, and now months.  Days are filled with this, that, and not a lot of anything.  It is hard to come up with content for posting.  One would think that with all of this time on my hands, I would be uber-productive.  Not me.  sigh.

I did make a couple of little pillowcases this week, for two little pillows that had been on my studio floor for almost a year.  Imagine how much space that left behind!  yay!

My DIL asked for a green mask, to match a dress she plans to wear to a wedding.  She indicated that embroidered flowers would be really pretty.  I made a plain mask, an embroidered mask, and a third mask with a floral print.  I'm sure she will find the opportunity to use them all.
Over the past month, I learned to cure olives.  yummy!
I made my first cheesecakes in decades.  I mean, since Costco, who bakes their own cheesecake anymore?  I have to say, these may be ugly, but they were tastier than Costco's!
I was quite happy when estate sales began opening again.  Lots of mask and entry restrictions, but sometimes?  The amazing deals are still available.  I bought this shell collection for $5.
Last weekend, I stumbled in at the end of a sale that had a table full of shoes left.  The shoes were all size 42.  If you've ever looked for 42's, you know that they are not easy to find.  When I chose the boots and a pair of flip flops, they offered me the entire collection for $25.  wow!  I feel like Imelda Marcos now!!  Only a couple of the thongs are uncomfortable.  The other shoes?  Are now residing in my closet, waiting for an opportunity to be worn.
I've also spent a lot of time with our local grandchildren.  Tea party, anyone?
These cousins are 2 months apart.  They are as different as can be.  One is all into physical activity, the other will sit for hours, as I read book after book after book.
And our grandson?  Is a busy boy.  Here, he's helping his dada by loading the tractor.  Such a good worker!

And finally, the project that keeps my attention.  I have been hand quilting this one since April.  I am closing in on the last portion, which is just amazing.  I truly thought this quilt would always remain a top.
Happy quilting!!

Monday, September 28, 2020

A Little Bit of Progress

I've gotten back to hand quilting.  Yesterday, I was excited to quilt my way to the second corner of my current project.  woohoo!!  Perhaps I will be able to finish the rest this year.  I am SO excited to make visible progress!

Huh.  I thought I'd taken a picture last night, but I guess not.  Hopefully I will remember for my next post.

This year, our county fair had a drive-through fair.  My son took his family, and reported that it was "okay, but really short."  He prefers the in-person fair, where they can spend hours and exhaust children, rather than have them stuck backwards in a car seat, trying to point out the "sights."

They had a quilt competition, with 14 entries.  I entered two in the Professional Quilters category.  I had the only quilts in that category, so was awarded 1st place and BOS, Professional on one, and 2nd on the other.  I have not received any ribbons, though they said they would mail them.

"Sunset Stroll," 1st place and BOS, Professional - Tulare County Fair 2020

"Two Beauties," 2nd place, Professional - Tulare County Fair 2020

I really wish I had more to share, but I've been spending a great deal of time babysitting.  Our oldest local granddaughter turned 3 today, so I thought it was worthy of note.
She received a brand new bicycle, and tools.  Apparently the bike wasn't up to snuff.  She spent the evening working on it, before it was ready to ride.  Happy Birthday, little girl!!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Busy, Busy

 I don't know about you, but I am currently challenged to keep track of the days.  I know when it's Wednesday, because I babysit my grandson.  I know when it's Sunday, because of church.  Other than that?  I have to check my phone.  And the date?  Why is it even important any more?

Oh!  Dates are important, because birthdays are celebrated on them.  September we have three birthdays, so we're in the middle of celebrating. I've made a few cards, but, as usual, have fallen behind.  I feel like most of my time is spent with grandchildren.  With 4 locals, aged 2 and under, well, I need to pay attention when they are here.  No doubt about it!!

I've made more masks, for Fall.
And I made my first potholders, as a gift.
I quilted some Komforters for Kids, our guild philanthropy.
I baked baklava.
My husband's garden keeps producing, which keeps me busy making Mediterranean stuffed bell peppers and ratatouille.
And, finally, we had our first shake of walnuts.  If you've ever wondered what a good year looks like, take a gander of all those nuts!!  I've never seen so many before.  Outstanding!

As you can see, there has been plenty to occupy my time, though nothing overly exciting.  I guess the biggest news is that my hand quilting project is 19/25 of the way complete.  I've got about 6 square feet of hand quilting left to finish.  I've been quilting on this project since April, so I am excited to think that I might actually have another finish before the end of the year.  Goals are good!!

Saturday, September 5, 2020

And, It's September

 Talk about the days rolling by with no signage.  It's hard to know which day of the week it is, let along which month.  I don't know about you, but I seem to have hit a bit of a malaise.  Without deadlines, it's hard to stay motivated to do anything.  sigh.  I've been reading a lot, not sewing much.

This past month, I've finished a few cards.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take pictures of all of them.  Here are some of the highlights:

They are all birthday cards, for friends and family.  I like the palm tree on the last one.  It was carved from a coconut shell.

I've also made a few postcards:

This is the only one finished and sent.

Yesterday, I made some masks.  It turns out that the first masks that I made were defective.  I used the elastic I had on hand, and it recently lost its stretch.  I guess it's good that it lasted this long.  Who would have thought we'd still be wearing them?

Other than that?  I've been doing a lot of babysitting, and not much else.  I am hopeful that I will post more, because I will have more to post.  But for now?  Who wants a selfie of me reading?

Hopefully, you have all been more productive than I!
Happy Quilting!

Friday, August 14, 2020

It's Been a While

 huh.  In the past month since I've posted, apparently Blogger completely revamped itself.  I hope I know what I'm doing.  It's so strange to look at.  I feel a bit lost.

Let's see, what has happened in the last month?  We went to Cambria again, and delighted in the cooler weather.  I wish I could go back today, since it's predicted to hit 105.  It's just a prelude to a week of 109.  ugh.

When at home, I watch my grandson every Wednesday.  He's a very busy boy, and playing in the dirt is one of his favorite things.
This past week, I've also been watching my granddaughter.  Her birthday is next week.  She's a real sweetie.
My husband has been tending his vegetable garden.  We've been delighting in the abundance of fresh bell peppers and tomatoes, as well as cucumbers, cantaloupe, and eggplant.
I found a great recipe for Mediterranean stuffed peppers, which I've been making fairly regularly.
I've continued to work on my handquilting project.  Well, I was, until August hit.  I need to get back to it.  I haven't done much sewing at all this month.
Yesterday, I made a birthday card, but I'm thinking I should wait until after the birthday before sharing it here.

And I guess that's it for the update. 
I hope that you all are staying safe and finding time to create.  Creativity is good for the soul.
Until next time...

P.S.  In looking at the preview, I see that only portions of my photos show up.  I hope that you can see the full shot if you click on them.  Obviously this upgrade is going to take some getting used to.