Thursday, May 28, 2009

Are we having fun yet?

Wow...Thursday already! We had a glorious Memorial Day weekend here in Central Oregon. Papa Toad and I went to 3 nurseries on Saturday to load up on plants and supplies. The rest of the weekend we planted our 11 planters and 4 hanging pots. We'd also built a 5x12' raised bed recently so we got that loaded with a few veggies. Living in the "High Desert" (at the foot of the Cascade Mtn. range) brings with it a few challenges. The biggest test is how to keep the veggies warm enough at night when our clear air releases all the heat gained during the day. I'm trying "water walls" around tomatoes this year that are supposed to solve that problem. I'll let you check out the results as the summer progresses. Our day temps are in the 80s now and in the 40s at night.
Having so much fun outside was awesome! Trying to be somewhat disciplined, I tried to go up to The Ark every afternoon to focus on Willow Creek Quilts stuff.....and every time I got up there, I looked around and promptly turned around and went back out to the deck to look at our handiwork. R & R time is good for the soul too...............
It was back to real life on Tuesday when Son called to remind me that we're focusing on getting the website "living". The WCQ site has been languishing in deadsville, poor thing. Now the fun has begun....decisions, decisions, decisions....all in an area that I don't know diddly about. But I'm trying to learn. Am I having fun yet? Hmmm, I think not....I'd rather be sewing!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack and Reconnecting!

Does anyone else notice that coming home from a time away makes you want to run away again? We were visiting our daughter and her family in Canada for a couple weeks. We enjoy "road trips" so we take a couple days to drive there and a couple more to drive back. The country is beautiful (sorry, no pictures...the camera was buried!) so it's a fun trip. When we left to come home it was 27 degrees at 5:30 a.m. and we drove through snow showers for 4 hours. By the time we arrived in Sand Pointe, ID that afternoon it was 83 degrees! I love Sand Pointe. Coldwater Creek clothing has their headquarters there so I always pay a visit. This time we also visited their upstairs Wine Bar and had an awesome panini sandwich and a couple Blue Moon beers. Great atmosphere, food & perfect after a long drive.
Then reality smacks you in the face when you get home: Unloading a very full Explorer, laundry, mowing, 2 weeks of MAIL, messages, & then Safeway & Costco. Oh, is it time to cook again? And our next time away is?
Grandaughter Jordan loved her bonnet and immediately decided she needed the rest of Laura Ingels' outfit...a prairie dress, apron & purse. So "Grammy" has her assignment that I need to add to my Focus List! Her brother was happy enough with his remote truck! Daughter Allison liked her batik tote and began using it right away. It didn't come as much of a surprise though because she'd seen the totes I'd shown y'all here on my blog and phoned with: "So, which one's mine?" She guessed the green batik one immediately! (Note to self: Do not show surprise gifties on blog.) Guess I'm not used to anyone actually reading this.
Going and coming I worked on my Wool Garden BOM that Karen (isn't the Lakehouse beautiful?) at Farmhouse Woolens offered. I'm loving it! Whenever we're on a road trip I'm stitching away (witness the pins in my car sun visor!). It's during these times that my design mode kicks in big time so I always have my design journal ready. I sketched a new baby quilt for a new grandaughter coming in July and wrote down some ideas for a couple other projects. One is a monthly project I'd like to offer free here once I get that process figured out.
Time to focus and do some more Stitchin' for the Soul!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Blubbering - Yahoo - Cute Little Kitty

What's with the wind? I really dislike wind with a capital D! Yesterday and last night we had a bunch of it...blew a patio chair off our deck and must've blown some mood swings in with it! When Papa Toad (DH) got the mail he called me down from The Ark (sew room, so named because I'm sure I have 2 of everything!) to open a package I got from my Aunt Shirl.
Opening it, I found things from Aunt Jean's stash and there I stood in my kitchen, blubbering as I opened each bag and had a flood of memories. You see, Aunt Jean died November 2003 from Multiple Myeloma and she was my true Soul Mate. She was only 10-12 years older than me and we'd always had a connection...beliefs, dreams, humor, gardening, cooking and Quilting! Although were were always separated by many miles, we kept tabs on our families, what we were working on and what we just "had" to have! And now 6 years later I could feel her spirit stronger than ever in each little piece of fabric she'd cut and stitched...and yes, even in the "First Saturday Club" packets that were UFOs. Yes, we were true Soul Mates...and I still miss her.

After all that blubbering I knew I had to re-focus so I dove into the "Let-Us-Tote" pattern instructions I'd been writing. Could this pile of notes turn into something I could finally send to the printer?
The magic wind did blow all my handwritten, computer and sticky pad notes together and I think they're finally ready to send off. Yahoo! Then I finished the little kitty purse to match the bonnet. The pattern is "#45 Cat Purrses" from "The City Stitcher Design Collection" by Janet Miller. Isn't it a cutie? Kind of little but so is my grandaughter!
Happy Stitchin' for the Soul....enjoy making all those memories,


Monday, May 4, 2009

Bonnet to Go!

The "Little House on the Prairie" DVD series is a huge favorite of my 7 1/2 yr. old grandaughter (& of course her mother!) So when a bonnet was requested I knew exactly what she wanted. It was easy and came out pretty cute, don't you think? My only concern is that although it's a Girl's size Small, she's such a tiny munchkin that I might have to add some tucks here and there so that it fits her....we'll see.

I decided I also needed to share some other things I've designed and made other than Totes! This is "Aunt Elsie"s Apron", a true repro design from the 40's & 50's that has complete coverage for those times when the sauces are flying and the mixer becomes overactive.

These are my "Summer Pillow Trio" pillows that were shown in "Quilt Sampler" magazine Spring 2008 in their review of "Sew Many Quilts", a Top 10 Shop in Bend, OR.

"All Squared Out" was designed for a monthly sewing group I taught to them teach machine applique one month. Those are pointsettias in the corners but it would look good with Sunflowers in the corners and all yellows/oranges/browns.

Last picture of the day...."County Fair Picnic Plates", another Willow Creek Quilts design that shows my love of 30's repro fabrics. Good thing I have a good stash of those to "use up" so I don't have to "make do or do without!"

And guess what: I have the "Let-Us-Tote" instructions 99.9% done! Now to proof and hand them over to friends to see if the directions make sense. Yahoo! And let's see if I can't get the matching Kitty Purse done today...and oh yes, get that baby quilt machine quilted, or at least get it started. Saturday didn't have 33 hours in it afterall :( .......

Have a great week Stitchin' for the Soul,


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Learning! and not getting Cocky!

Quilting is easier than this Blog Stuff! Here I was, starting to get a little cocky thinking "Wow, here I am blogging 2 days in a row!" That feeling left very quickly. I think it just took me 45 min. (or longer!) just to get the baby ticker thingy added! And Anne even told me how to do it! Whew! A huge congratulations to all of you who have become such masters in this area.

Our 4th grandchild will be arriving in California to join her sister (who will be 21 mo. then) in July. That will be a busy household, eh? I haven't begun to design that baby quilt yet. Sister's was pink and brown. This little munchkin's will be lime green and deep purple. Hmmm, better get thinking on this one. Any thoughts out there in Blog Land? Any fabric lines coming to mind?

Today I have to finish the "Let-Us-Tote" instructions, make a Prairie Bonnet for the 7 1/2 yr. old Canadian grandaughter (found a McCalls pattern #9424 that should do it), a matching purse, and start quilting my nephew's baby quilt.....did I tell you that this Saturday has 33 hours in it? Did I make my To Do list too long????? Talk with y'all soon and maybe I'll have some bonnet pictures to show you!

Happy Stitchin' for the Soul,


Friday, May 1, 2009

Use It Up...Make Do...Do Without...

We've heard it before..."I'm using up my Stash." What a concept! When my mom grew up, that was just the norm and the "Use it up, make do, do without" mantra was standard. Earlier this year I decided to give it a try and use up some leftover stuff I had hanging around. It wasn't a struggle since I usually buy more fabric than I know I'll need. I grew up in rural Upstate New York and we always had a pantry that would last us through several snow storms in case we couldn't get to town. I've always had a pantry/freezer like that...even when I lived in California, Ohio, Florida and now Oregon! I guess my Stash is just an extention of that same thought process. What if I get snowed in and don't have any fabric?
Anyway, back to using it up...My nephew and wife are having their first baby next month and I decided to use up the little extra blocks that came on a Michael Miller transportation panel. I'd used the larger blocks for a twin size quilt and pillow for my grandson. These smaller versions of the blocks were just too cute to pitch so I designed a crib quilt around them. Now to get it quilted.
Are these wild and crazy or what? I knit 6 pairs of these Felt Clogs (by Fiber Trends) a year ago as Christmas gifts. They were pretty in 2 colors but I had leftover yarns from each pair. Last week I came across my knitting basket with all the leftover colors and thought, "What the heck. I'll make up a crazy pair for myself." Here they are waiting for the 2nd felting and then they'll be ready for my tootsies...ever so comfy and wacky!
I promised to show you another colorway for my tote pattern. Here it is. Pretty in Pink and Green don't you think? Now to finish the instructions! (Not my favorite part of this designing business....anyone know if there's a way to put a USB stick in my ear and just suck out the info?)
This one was made from a Moda's Woodland Bloom fat pack I bought at Quilt Market last Spring. The darker version (previous post) was from a Moda's Wildflower Seranade II fat pack I purchased the same time. "Using it up!"
Today I need to make a little kitty bag (out of scraps of course!) for my grandaughter in Canada...I'll get to see her soon. Yahoo!
Have a great time playing with your Stash!