Monday, March 17, 2014

Another Attempt

Computers have not been my best friend lately so yesterday with all the "issues" (I hate "issues"!) I was having posting I just had to step away. Earlier this morning I was having more issues...finally I walked away from the PC which is in The Ark, and went to the Mac in the bedroom. I think the PC is destined to just be a slave for my Bernina software and not live online anymore. And I see a MacPro in my future! Yippee!
Let's try to post a couple more pictures...
Aaahhhhh, Blogger's not being quite as rude this morning! The block above is one of 10 in Piece O' Cake's "Walk in the Mountains" pattern. I started it in 1998 when we lived in Ohio and had visited Lancaster, PA for the Quilt Extravaganza. It's all needle turn appliqué and a little embroidery with many, many tiny pieces...maybe that's why after I finished the first 2 blocks it sat languishing in the hidden spots in The Ark's Closet! All the pieces fortunately found their way through moves to Florida, Oregon and finally made it here to California. Here's how it looks now...
I started the final block yesterday and then it'll be ready for the pieced border. Upward and onward to getting another UFO DONE!

Back to Stitchin' for My Soul (much happier activity!),

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A New Adventure and Another UFO DONE!

     Soooooooo......entranced by Crazy Quilting...I've loved it for a long time, gazed longingly at any Crazy Quilt I've ever seen, taken a class or 2, played around a bit, and made a CQ Vest years ago. Recently I came across a blog featuring the work of a gal in Australia, Sharron Boggon, . This is her last year teaching classes online so I jumped at the opportunity to learn from this master. Her work is simply incredible! When you see a block of hers you want to just keep looking and looking at all that's presented.....Like when you walk into a wonderful quilt shop and just stand in the doorway totally and wonderfully overwhelmed by all you see from that one spot!
     The class is 6 weeks long and I just completed week 1 of making the foundational block. I pulled apart a vest kit I had purchased a zillion years ago and began to flip and sew pieces together, adding some lace here and there. It's really strange to work in PINK! I'm not at all a real "pink" person, nor am I a phoo-phoo person...I tend to lean to a simple tailored fashion style avoiding gobbly gook. (So much so that when I needed a "mother of the wedding" dress when our daughter got married, I asked if the clerk had anything in "Elegant Denim" because I didn't want to wear "Old Lady Lace"!)
     So here I am starting something new, feeling excited about all the stuff and bling that I'll be playing with and also feeling a little overwhelmed at the same time. I'll keep you posted on this new journey.


     Meanwhile, back at the ranch...Boyfriend, aka Papa Toad, is making great progress with his broken leg. I no longer have to shadow him with his walker because he's more trustworthy using it now...except when he hops into our walk in shower. Then it's rubber mat, shelf liners on the tile, shower chair etc...and yes, I get a shower too! It'll be 4 weeks this Wednesday since he overzealously went for that tennis shot and on Thursday he'll see the Orthopedic dude again. When he saw him 2 weeks ago the Dr. thought he might be able to start weight bearing soon. We're hoping "soon" will mean this week!
     I've gotten another UFO finished! This is a 50x50" wall hanging that I made in 1999 that was just waiting to be quilted and bound. "Cabin in the Woods" I believe was in a magazine...maybe American Patchwork and Quilting (?). Amazing how tops can just hang marinading in closets until I make up my mind to just get them DONE! I'm sure some of you can relate!!!

 I was going to show y'all a couple more pictures but it seems that BlogSpot is acting rude again so I'll get this post up and try again in a few minutes. Why, oh why, do computers sometimes become so rude????



Monday, February 24, 2014

You did What???

It was last Wednesday 9:30 a.m...Mom and I had gone for our haircuts...and Suzie had just started to cut Mom's hair...and then I get a call from my boyfriend, aka as Hubby Papa Toad...."I think I hurt myself..." Long story short: while playing tennis and running full boar to get a shot he slammed himself into a steel bench and broke his femur right below his hip. Sooooo, he had surgery to get some hardware installed so now he can test airport security alarm systems. He (We!) finally got to come home from his hospital visit Saturday afternoon. Whew! So my planned stay at home quilting retreat to join my Stashbuster buddies quickly became a stay at home retreat playing with a walker, wheelchair, physical therapy exercises and other personal care items (use your imagination!)
It is now Monday. Our weekend: He and I managed to get him into the house (a huge WHEW!), tried the bed to sleep and then figured out his lounge chair worked best. Each day will get easier...Aaah, the adventures of Life!
Meanwhile I did finish a Valentine's Day quilt. It was a kit from The Pincushion in Davis, CA. For many years they have vendored at many shows and always have really luscious fat quarter packs of 8 called "Sweet Treats". This pattern is called "Easy Peasy" (53 x 65") and the "Sweet Treat" pack that I chose was yummy.
I also finished the last 2 BOM of Kathy Schmitz's embroidered seasonal set. These were really fun with a combination of embroidery and piecing. For January:
A Valentine for February:

All ready for March Winds:
The rest of the year's BOM are finished and ready to display. Here's some leftover blocks from a quilt that has rail fence blocks. The larger quilt has these blocks set on the diagonal. It's waiting to be quilted. The leftovers became a Table Topper.

Yay! Another few UFO finishes for 2014! Now on to finishing an appliqué block for the month... I'm sure I'll be having plenty of stay at home time since Papa Toad can't do any wt. bearing for  at least 4-6 wks!!! Oh, but wait....we get to go to the orthopedic dude in 10 days to get his staples Outing!
Meanwhile, enjoy your Stitchin' for the Soul!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Do I remember? Maybe!

Good Golly Miss Molly! Looks like I haven't been here for almost a year! Posting....I don't seem to be doing a very good job at this blog stuff. But I will make the attempt...once again! I have a specific purpose this year. I've been following Stashbusters on Yahoo for awhile now and right before Christmas I decided to stop lurking in the closet and join a group (or 2 or 3!) because listening, or rather reading, about these lovely ladies was interesting....who lived in what state,country, what issues they were having with what quilts, who was snowed in and getting a lot done, etc....girlie chit chatter. It became amusing, thought provoking and helpful. Then I read about a few challenges....and there it was: UFO Challenge for 2014! Ok, I got hooked! Sounded like fun to report to a group rather than just my little Journal of my personal Yahoo Finishes for 2013.
I joined and now my race was on...I had to turn in a count of my UFOs, send 2 FQs and a $1 that would go to a year end winner. I did it! I found 21 UFOs hanging in my closet, hiding in baskets and buried elsewhere....hopefully I looked deep enough so I don't find any more! I also did an accounting of my WIPs...things that I was actively engaged in....ELEVEN! Ai Yi Yi! And now you know why I chose "Carpe diem and Focus" as my theme for 2014...
For my first UFO to finish I chose what I think is my oldest. Before we left California in 1997 I was involved in a small quilting group that gathered together I think every Wednesday or maybe it was every other week. I think there were 6-8 of us and 1 was Tina Gully, a sweet sweet lady who rescued quilts from basements, attics, garage sales, thrift shops everywhere. She told how she would take a stained quilt outside, spray it down and leave it topside down on the grass under a shade tree and Voila, the chlorophyll from the grass would safely remove any stains but not bleach any colors. She also loved Pineapple Quilts and taught a class I took using an Eleanor Burns book. I decided to make a Gi-normus one because the technique was fun and precise. As a result I ended up with a zillion (maybe it was only a million)  blocks...3 values of purple (must've been in my pre-1995 purple phase) with red as my accent color. Finished the zillion and realized in a more sane moment that I didn't want any purple toned quilt on my king sized bed. What had I been thinking? Flash forward a few years and another Finish UFOs Moment...I took a large portion and made a twin size quilt, grabbed 18 more and made two 9 block table toppers and had 4 left that I pieced into this table runner that never got quilted until this last weekend. Aaaaah, the first finish (19 x 49") "Done Done" for 2014!
And it feels good! I'm in the race for real! Now to get the next UFO finished....and to start the Trail Mix Challenge Group.....and Shakespeare in the Park Group.....
Sending y'all in the East some warm Western wind to warm you up while I go do some more "Stitchin' for my Soul!"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What's Next? Too Much!

It must be the time of year. You know, the start of a new year when I take an inventory of what needs finishing! So here's where I started...The Stash Closet! See those wonderful project boxes all nicely labeled? All WIPs (works in progress) just waiting to be loved again. All the fabric pieces needed to get the job done, all in one neat little box...or so I think! 
 Such treasures abound! One box has some antique Dresden Plate blocks that are from a quilt my auntie made in the 30s (I have those trimmed and ready to go into a Roman Shade in a bathroom). Another has pieces my mentor auntie started before she passed away some years back. Then there are a few boxes with WIPs waiting for me to finish the embroidered sections.
Some WIPs were already cut and ready to be pieced...such a heavenly find! After completing "Comfort and Joy" I wanted to visit my "bright side".  I pulled out "Gerbera Daisy" (59x59") from Lakehouse Quilts. It was a kit that Sew Many Quilts in Bend, OR had put together a few years ago (like 7!) All the pieces were all cut and ready to assemble along with the border/binding fabrics so it went together quickly.
I had 11 daisies leftover....Hmmmm, had to go off my Fabric Diet and get some more fabrics to finish 3 table runners....and 2 potholders. I'm quilting those now. I'll share those when I finish.
In another project box I found "Bento Box" (50x65") by Tracey Brookshier. It too was already cut and ready to go.
 And here's my wonderful gift to myself...well, half of it! Moving "The Ark" from a 400 sq.ft. play area into a 12x12' room has had a few challenges, but I'm loving the consolidation and being closer to the rest of the activity in my home. I needed to rethink cutting and pressing areas so I ordered this "Cut 'n Press" piece from Nancy's Notions. They're made by "Tracy's Tables", very good quality, come all assembled except for the drawer pulls and casters. It's awesome! It consists of the 2 side cabinets and the BigBoard that interlocks on the top. (The center cabinet I already had sitting next to my serger cabinet (both from "Tracy's Tables" and it fits perfectly!) It arrived last Thursday and I LOVE it!!! Now I'm waiting for its twin to arrive. It will go back to back to these pieces for my cutting area. Yahoo!
That's all for now kids. I'm off to begin a Terrific Tuesday. Today I'm dealing with scrapbooks for my 41 year old twins.....
I'm only up to First Grade so I better get crackin'! Wish me luck! (Papa Toad knows we won't be doing any Formal Entertaining for the next few months!)
Have no fear, I'll be sure and take a few breaks so I can do a little "Stitchin' for my Soul!"

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Comfort & Joy....DONE!'s done! Except for quilting, and then adding all the buttons, ribbon etc. embellishments! The trick will be to get that all done in a timely other words, before December 2014! Now that the monthly "Anne" pressure isn't on....will we all stay on target????? Thanks Anne, for helping me get it completed to this stage!
I kept with the wool theme for the appliqued borders....added cotton YoYo's for the berries with wool vines and leaves.
I had to smile at Anne's last post about procrastinating about blogging.....I completely agree! I've had Comfort and Joy complete now since the middle of December thinking we were all going to post the final border in December (I know, idealistic and a cock-eyed optomist leftover from the song from South Pacific!). And yet, here I am at the last minute posting my results. I guess it might be because I feel that no one's really listening to me (reading me) out there, so why bother! And I'd rather be quilting!!!
But....till the next post......I'll be stitchin' for my soul!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Design Walls...An Adventure!

Finally Papa Toad and I have figured it out...After trying to use the flannel backs of picnic table clothes, push pins in walls, trying to deal with slanted ceilings, portable "built it and move it" types and various coverings and surfaces, I'm in love!
Papa Toad remembered making some speaker covers at our church years and years and years ago and decided to go with that technique. The boards themselves are aluminum backed foam insulation boards that you find at any DIY place, like Home Depot or Lowe's. They come in 4x8' sheets and are easily cut to size. The next step was to take 1x2" boards and built a frame within the perimeter on the back using metal L brackets at the corners. This completed frame was then attached to the insulation with a hot glue gun. From the other side of the insulation, the "front" that will hold the designs, the frame is not visible.
Next I smeared a UHU glue stick all over the "front" and laid down Pellon Fleece, wrapped it around the sides and stapled it with my mighty staple gun (be careful!!) to the back of the frame. For the final covering I used a pale, pale, pale yellow (cream color) flannel. I find it easier to see true colors on an off-white, cream color than if I used a stark white. I cut lengths of the flannel and laid each one on the Pellon (no glue needed), stretched them taut around to the back of the frame and stapled again. I used the Pellon Fleece first so that I wouldn't see any insulation brand labeling through the flannel. It also adds a nice little bit of cushion to the boards. Here's what it looks like on the back side:

Up at the top you'll see some eye screws screwed into the wood frame to hang onto a hook:
 When we lived in Bend, OR our walls were less textured than they are in this house and we used 3M Command Strips on Quilt Hangers with great success. We decided to give those a try again with 3M hooks using their Command Strips......Hmmmm,

Up it went......3 weeks later it slid to the floor along with a couple other quilts I'd hung....too much wall texture. So, on to a another system. Hercules Hooks! Our new best friend!!!
They're awesome! The tall side has a sharp point that you pierce through your wall board and then slide it up behind the wall board. The only part that you see on the outside is the short little hook end that you can hang a picture or in our case, those eye screws on the back of the design wall. We used one on each top corner. Voila!
Kind of hard to see but it's there. We hung two 4x8' design walls vertically next to each other. "Comfort & Joy" is shown here straddling them:
And then I I did a redo on my first older 4x4' one. Here it is just waiting for something other than a calendar and pin cushion!
We use a Hercules Hook and the "Hang It, Dang It" quilt hanger rod wherever we hang a quilt on the wall. It is a fabulous and easy systerm that involves a 3/4" adjustable metal rod that slides into the quilt sleeve. Then a 3" bracket with a nail/screw hole is clamped in the center over the sleeve. By placing that clamp in the center, the quilt balances and levels itself on the Hercules Hook. Here's how it looks with Bunny Hill's "Rabbits Prefer Chocolate".
It's a great system with nothing showing except the quilt!

Till next time, Happy Designing! And Stitchin' for the Soul!