Monday, January 27, 2020

Road to California

Yesterday, two friends and I took a road trip to Road to CA.

It was particularly exciting this time because, not only did we have a quilt hanging a quilt in the show, the quilt had a ribbon hanging on it!!  Another friend sent this picture to me on Wednesday, during Preview Night.
 Will you look at that?!!  Best Group Quilt!  Congratulations, Sew Eclectic!!
 When I arrived on Sunday, I was a bit disappointed by the quilt's presentation.  It was hung about thigh level, and the signage almost blocked it from view.  I am grateful that Linda was able to get such a good shot for me!
I hadn't been to Road in several years.  This year was the best presentation of quilts that I have ever seen there.  As the years went by, the vendors grew in prominence, and the quilts?  Well, I often had to work to see them.  But not this year.  This year, the quilts were set apart, with decent lighting, good signage, room for viewing, and piano music playing in the background.  It made viewing them pleasurable, rather than some sort of athletic competition to swim past other attendees to see the quilts.  oh yes.  This year's show was wonderful.  I am certain that we will be returning next year.

I did a bit of shopping, but just a bit.  My big purchase was perle cotton, to work on that little roses piece that I've been giving you glimpses of.
We drove down to Ontario and back yesterday.  As we came over the mountain, my friend commented on the "smog."  I told her it wasn't smog, it was fog.  This is what fog is like in SoCal.  They rarely have the clouds-on-the-ground type of fog that we experience in the Central Valley.  Instead they have "haze" and "overcast" and "marine layer," which are all ways to refer to that above ground fog.  We spent about 15 minutes talking about fog.

Imagine our absolute shock a few hours later, when we learned that the fog that we had been discussing and debating played an active part in the loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the others aboard his helicopter.  While we thought we were just commenting on the weather, the lives of others were ending because of it.  

Every day I remind myself that every day is a gift.  The events of yesterday illustrate that more than any words I could come up with to underscore that truth.

Every day is a gift.
Live your best life.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Bit o'Stitching

Our Sew Eclectic "challenge" for 2020 is to "make a bit of art every day."  We can do whatever we like to fit that broad definition.  My "bit" is a teeny tiny bit.  I am making some progress on my roses, but they're not done yet.  And they won't be done today, either.

A huge storm just blew in.  I thought they were joking, but the sky is black and the rain is pouring and the wind is blowing the dead wood out of the trees.  whoosh!!

I don't want to get started on anything when it feels like the power is going to go out at any time.

Which makes me think that blogging isn't such a great idea right now either.

Just wanted to check in and let you know that stitching is happening here, bit by little bit.

Happy Quilting!!

P.S.  Don't forget to enter Best of the Valley Quilt Show.  Entry forms are available for download here.  Be sure to download both the entry form and the guidelines.   We look forward to seeing your entries!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

It's Our Blogiversary!

Yes, indeed.  Twelve years ago today, I began this little blog.  I began in earnest, looking forward to each post.  Over the years, I've gotten so busy that, well, the blog has fallen a bit by the wayside.  So much for my resolution to "blog more."  I'd hoped for once a week, but here we are, creeping up on the end of week #2.  I guess this counts?  I hope to do better.  Goals are good, doncha know?

I don't know what is going on, but Blogger is not allowing me to load photos.  weird.  Earlier this morning, Bible Gateway wouldn't let me search for Bible verses.  Is it them?  Or me?  So strange.  oh wait.  Now it's working.

P received her pillow.  She found it to be a bit on the wild side, but she likes it.  yay!
 Yesterday I began working on a challenge for our Art Group.  We assigned the challenge a year ago February.  The assignment was to make a small flower quilt with green in the background.  Yesterday, I pieced together my background, then went to work on my applique pattern.
 Here it is, with the petals all cut from a piece of Kristin's hand-dye.  I am excited to see how this will come together.  Did I or did I not successfully place the freezer paper to show each petal to perfection?  hahaha!  I'd best get stitching if I want to know the answer to that question!
Happy New Year, Happy Quilting!  I'm hopeful that this year will be a productive one.  Goals are good!

Friday, January 3, 2020

A Belated Happy New Year!!

oh, my goodness!  I can't blog and stitch at the same time.  And I have definitely been stitching.  I think I told you I set the goal of making 8 stockings.  I began the first week of November, and finished a couple of days before Christmas.  It was more of an undertaking than I realized, until I hit December 15.  Then I knew I was in trouble.  But, perseverance, and all that!  (I made 2 of them a few years ago.)
 They provided the perfect backdrop for pictures with the grands.  (The older ones were a bit squirmy.)
We had a wonderful Christmas, full of making good memories.  I think the boys and their families are all coming back next year, so I'm thinking they had fun, too.

I spent the week working on a gift for my older granddaughter, who was not able to join us for Christmas.  I just finished it, and shipped it off.  I am hopeful that it will arrive on Epiphany, which is a fitting day to receive a gift.
I have really been enjoying playing at crazy quilting.  I am hopeful that there will be more of it in my future.  Goals are good!

And with that, I'll confess that one of my goals is to blog more this year.  It should not be hard to beat last year's activity, since the blog was in the lower echelons of my priorities.  Hopefully I'll be able to fix that.

Happy New Year!!  Here's to setting goals that we can actually have the potential of achieving!!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Tick Tock

The lights are hung and the deer are on display.  Hubby took care of the outside of the house.  He got it done over the course of two days.
I, on the other hand, am in charge of indoors.  I'm working on it.  The living room is still in disarray, but the Christmas quilts are on the wall.  yay!
 I took time to visit an estate sale that resulted in an over-indulgence of Longaberger baskets.  After seeing how many I chose, it was completely appropriate that I also purchase the little sign.  Apparently it's one of the maxims I live by.  Who knew?
I continue to work on stockings.  I finished this one for my daughter-in-law yesterday.  I have one left, of the original 8 I had planned to make.  I have begun the embroidery, so I think I might actually have it hanging before the end of the weekend.
 It's going to be a tight squeeze, when the out-of-towners arrive with their stockings, too.  I am more than happy to try to make space.
 The tree is partially decorated.  It is much smaller than usual, so most of the ornaments are remaining boxed this year.  So sad, but also a good idea.  We will have 4 babies in the house this Christmas, which will more than make up for hanging fewer ornaments.
We put the tree on pallets, since we were too late to purchase our usual tall tree.   The extra height from the pallets is a good idea.  I might want to do this every year.

We've made time for a few Christmas parties.  This is the Itty Bitty Christmas brunch.  We have a yearly tradition of meeting at Valhalla for fellowship and gift exchange.  Notice the cute packet of fat quarters, folded to look like a Christmas tree.  Isn't it clever?
 Sew Eclectic also got together.  Our group quilt, "Broken Shell Beach," was accepted into Road to California.  It is our first group quilt, so it's pretty exciting to be part of that show, come January.
I don't have pictures of our guild Christmas party, but we had a bazaar.  I was the lucky winner of this darling wool quilt, made by Itty Bitty Leslie.  I love it so much, I think it will stay up year round.
In a couple of days, the out-of-towners will begin to arrive.  I have many things that need to be finished/wrapped up before they get here.  I highly doubt I will be posting anything more before Christmas, so I will leave you with this:

Merry Christmas, and may God's blessings be with you, throughout the coming New Year!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Stitch Faster! Stitch Faster!

The days of December are drawing closer and closer to Christmas.  This year, I set a grand goal to make stockings for those children and grandchildren who were still using store bought.  I'd made 5 stockings in previous years.  That meant I had 8 to make this year.  And that's just if I want to make stockings for my kids/grandkids.  Husband?  I guess he can wait.  After all, he's been waiting for 38 years.  ;)

Fiona was first on my list.  Not because she's first, but because I'd already made stockings for her parents.  I worked on piecing some of these stockings at retreat last month.  Hers was the only one I finished.
 With her family stockings complete, I moved on to the next smallest family.  Kind of a Dave Ramsey sort of stocking snowball attack of the list.  My grandson was first,
 followed by his mama.
 Daddy was last.  Why the Rudolph print?  When my son was 2, I would hear noises in the night.  Invariably, I would get up, walk out to the living room, and find him running the VCR and watching Rudolph.  This happened almost every night, for months.  He loved his Rudolph!
Next on the list was the family of four.  I haven't finished yet, but I did finish the stockings for the girls.
 I guess I neglected to get a picture of this one hanging alone.
 This is what my work station looks like, when I'm in the middle of the embroidery.
I went ahead and hung the completed stockings, though there are still more to finish.  I'm hoping that they will inspire me to get back to work and finish the rest.  Goals are good!
I hope that all of your plans are coming together as well.  This is a wonderful time of year to treasure friends and family.  I hope that God blesses you, one and all, throughout this season of Christmas.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Here Comes Christmas!

I spent the past 24 hours in the kitchen, cooking up a storm.  The boys and their families arrived in time for a bit of feasting.  These are our local "kids," though the youngest cannot be seen.  She's safe in a "bouncer," on the floor between her parents.
 I caught this picture of my favorite 2 year old, modeling her latest sweater-wear, knitted by dear friend Ann H.  Beautiful!!  She has been wearing them since their arrival.  Favorite clothes, we all have them!
 Last weekend, my husband was at a Men's Retreat.  I fired up the Tiara, figured out how to fix the tension, and got this quilt quilted.  It had been basted for months.  Not only quilted, but completely finished.  Hurrah!
 It's nearly invisible, but I quilted Scripture in the green strips.  It is for a friend, who has been terribly ill.  It's yet to be delivered, as she's been too ill for visitors.  Hopefully a snuggle with quilted prayers will help a bit.
Other than that, I continue to work on some special items for Christmas.  Once they are finished, I'll do the "big" reveal.

I pray that you all had a Thanksgiving filled with blessings, and that you are preparing for Christmas with hope and joy.

Now, back to the Studio for me, for the rest of the day.  yay!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

I Forgot!

I also completed my challenge quilt, for the guild.  The challenge was as follows:  Make a 12 x 12" block depicting something you see "Around Town."  The initial description had been something one would see along a street downtown, but the parameters seemed to loosen with each passing month.  There were 8 quilts completed.  Here are the beginnings of mine.  I needed something simple, yet to the point.
 I'm not sure you can see it, if you just glance at the quilt, but the background shows the Sierras.  They are always there, looming 30 miles away, but with the haze of most days?  You can barely make them out.  I've taken quite a collection of pictures over the years, but this one?  Definitely showed that I was in town when I took it.  The name of my quilt is "A View from 198."
And that's all I have for you at this time.
Back to stitching.  Stitch faster!  Stitch faster!!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Two Finishes

Since I returned from retreat, I've been busy, busy.  Last week, I was able to finish binding two baby quilts that I quilted while at retreat.  Here is the first:
 Here is the second:
Both quilts were made from leftovers of other baby quilts.  If you think I've made a lot of baby quilts, you are correct.

I also put together the block of the month for December, inspired by the leaves at Wonder Valley.
Here is the block for December, made in "Fall" colors.
The block for November was a crazy quilt block.  I was concerned that the amount of handwork included on the block would decrease participation.
 I was quite pleased to find that I was mistaken.  Look at the wonderful blocks that were turned in!
Since then, I've been doing more crazy-quilt-type work.  I can't show you what I'm working on yet, not until I am finished.  I have a few weeks of work ahead of me, if it's going to be ready before Christmas.  Goals are good!

I hope you all are looking forward to a meaningful Thanksgiving next week.  I doubt I'll be posting much.  My days seem to be overly full with things not related to computer work.

And with that, I'd best get back to stitching.  Goals are good!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Successful Retreat

 This past weekend was our Valley Oak Quilt Guild retreat at Wonder Valley.  wonderful!!  Four days of laundry, no cooking.  Absolute bliss!  Fewer people than usual attended, so that meant that those of us who were there had plenty of space.  Here is my workspace:  an 8' table, plus my Sew-Ezi table to hold my machine.
 I always have trouble deciding what to bring.  I brought 4 boxes of thread, along with BINS full of fabric and projects.  Deciding what to work on is always a challenge.
The first thing I did was finish three postcards that have been half-done on my sewing table for  months.
 The above card was made using a linen purchased at an estate sale.  I think it came out very cute.
 These next two were leftovers from various projects.  I love using the scraps, rather than tossing them.
I also finished Day's End, my umbrellas quilt.  I redid the facing, and it looks square now.  It's still too small for any AQS show, but it makes me happy, and that's the main reason for quilting, right?  right!
 The quilt was based on my photo, taken in Oceanside, CA, a few years ago.  I was very careful with my machine quilting, but in the close-up?  I suddenly notice a tension error.  grrr.  It's just going to have to be fine, because I'm not going to take it apart again to fix it.  That's just too much work.  It is what it is.
Here is the close-up.  I am particularly happy with the chairs.

And that's it for now, though several other things were worked on and finished over the weekend.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Not Much to Show

 The above picture shows that I've done a bit of stitching.  Not much, just a bit.  This is a birthday card, made for a friend.  I used to try to make them for everyone, but the past couple of years?  I just don't seem to make the time.

Instead, I do crazy stuff like clean the rain gutters, hoping that this will be another bonanza year for rain.  hahaha!  Anyway, when I was in Missouri, my son had just finished cleaning out his gutters and filling them with Gutter Stuff.  It is a triangular wedge that keeps leaves from entering the gutters, and allows water to rush through and flow as it should.  I bought some at Home Depot, then found it to be much more affordable on Amazon.  Of course it was.
 This is the "before" of my gutters.  They'd been cleaned about 2 months ago, and it's not yet time for leaves to drop.  Then again, the camphor tree drops leaves year round.
 Here is the "during" shot.  I have one high area that I just couldn't reach with the regular ladder.  After I hoisted the extension ladder up against the house, I realized that it was just too heavy and awkward to use.  My son had to help me attack this part of the gutter system.
 Here is the result, with the gutterstuff newly installed.  I am hopeful that the days and dollars invested into this project were worthwhile.  It also says it discourages mosquito breeding.  We've had more mosquitos this year than the past 5 years combined.  Anything to combat mosquitos is worth a try.
As to the quilt I was quilting for Daytona?  It shrunk so much that it no longer fit the size requirements.  Isn't that the way of it?  The quilt is finished.  Or was, until I realized that one side swoops in.  I need to take out the stitching and try again, to make it square.  Perhaps, eventually, I'll have a picture worth sharing.

In the meantime, I've been cleaning, cleaning, trying to prepare for the holidays.  hahaha!
or perhaps I should say ho ho ho!

Lots to do between now and then.  Stitch faster!  Stitch faster!