Friday, May 31, 2013

The Pie Maker

Monday was pie baking day.  It was a toss up, did I want lemon pie or rhubarb pie? Such tough questions while visiting Dad.  I went with rhubarb, as it's fresh and growing in abundance in my Dad's garden. Plus you can't beat a fresh fruit pie.  No longer is the crust made from scratch in this house, but it's pretty darn good out of the box.
Dad sliced and diced a big bowl of fresh picked rhubarb and we were in business.
Carefully he crimped the edges all around, then got out his cook book and verified the cooking time.
Voila, a beautiful fresh pie.  We've eaten this pie every day since Monday.  Dad had surgery on his hand on Tuesday in the early evening.......
....and we have been here every day, twice a day, for about 2 - 3 hours each time, since the next morning.  Somehow, within 18 hours of surgery, he got a raging infection that ran up his arm to his elbow. We rushed down to emergency on Wed morning and were there by 11 a.m.    He's been on IV antibiotics at 7 am and 7 pm daily and we don't see this ending for several more days.
It's a good thing we had pie all week..........

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wreath Appliques

It's time for a new start so I've started on my Sacagawia sampler by Minick and Simpson.  I haven't seen this around blogland, so I thought I'd share my journey.  I'm doing this with my friend Louise and joining us is another blogger, Sue from Simple Piece-ful 
Louise and I started with the running red horses, and in no time, this block was done.

Since I'm showing horses, here is the update on Dad's horse.  Digi has worked this week and the trainer called Dad on Saturday and said that this race did not phase her in the least, he has worked her several times and she just wants to run.  If she stays healthy, her next race will be in mid July.  There are a few more races that she qualifies for over the summer, but it will all be based on her health.  We won't run her if she is not 100%.  We don't believe in that.....ok, onto quilting news.

I needed something to work on while at Dads this week, so I prepped the wreath block.  I've never done an applique of this design and it's always been a little intimidating to me.  This, and the Princess Feather pattern, always seemed to be above my pay grade.  My biggest concern was doing the applique and having the wreath fabric migrate in a circular motion and then not lay flat when I got to the end.
We all know there are many ways to tackle your applique, and on this one I decided to use the back basting method.  I drew the wreath onto my background fabric, 20 x 20, and then overlayed a FQ of the wreath fabric.  I did the back basting with bright yellow YLI hand quilting thread. You can see in this picture above, on the bottom left that the thread is blue.  That's where I've started the applique.

After the backbasting was done, I trimmed all around the outside and inside of the wreath.

Now this block is totally portable, I don't have any pins holding anything down, and I took this to the hospital while my Dad has his surgery on Tuesday.  He was having work done on his hand, and hopefully this doctor can fix the damage that happened from the surgery he had on this hand last year.  We are positive and optimistic all will go well.
Spending the week with Dad is like being at a fancy B&B, except it's the dinners that are amazing.  My dad loves to cook and we have a week of meals all planned out.  Roast chicken, roast pork, enchilada's, fresh salads and veggies and there is even a fresh rhubrarb pie on the agenda.  Yummmmm. 

Life is good!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Using Downtime Wisely

aka......quilting your butt off when you loose your job!

Here are a few more quilts that I've got finished. Here is Norma's Liberated Stars. I taught Norma how to make these stars last summer when we all got together in The Dalles, OR for a few days of quilting and visiting. She took the 30 minute lesson and really ran with it.
I told her I would like her to will this one to me, I LOVE it. She did such a great job and I'm happy that she is keeping this one for herself.

Here is a great quilt Muriel made with jelly rolls, this pattern was on the cover of AP& Q a few years ago.  It calls for a 60 degree ruler, but it's easy to make with your regular 6 x 12 ruler.

It is fun to make, the piecing is a lot of what I call 'production work' and the fun comes when you start putting it up on the design wall.  The piecing is the same as a One Block Wonder.

Look how cute this row quilt is.  It came about because when M went to purchase a kit and some of the fabrics were sold out and she had to improvise. I think this is the cutest darn quilt and it just needed some texture.
Popcorn is the name of the panto, it's an oldie but a goodie for a quilt like this.

When I think about the time off I've enjoyed, I sometimes think the time has just rolled by.  I do know it's been a lesson in retirement and I'm going to have to plan or at a minimum, have a  bit of a schedule.  The days can just slide into the next and all of a sudden, the week is winding down. In retirement, I'll have to make sure I have set tee times on the local golf course so I can remember what day of the week it is.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Saturday Sewing

I love my TAS group. We meet the 3rd Sat of the month and we usually have 8 - 10 members show up each month. In the summer months, we get to visit with our snowbird members and J came home from AZ with some great work to show us.
This was a workshop J took and I got lucky with this photo. Her grandson showed up at the end of the meeting so he is holding the photo of himself while his Grandma shows off her blue ribbon work.

This bird is part of the Caswell quilt pattern.  JB, our fearless leader, has started working on this pattern. It has 30 blocks and a very interesting border.
Don't you just love the fabric choices for the birds eye and wing? Fabulous way to have the fabric work for your specific piece.
OK, I admit it, I dislike possum.  I think one is living under my garden shed, I've seen it's beady eyes pop out from underneath once or twice.  However, this is the cutest darn applique block, and again, JH has found the perfect fabric for this rodent!
Some lovely applique going on here, look at all those cherries!
Here is the start of her Hawaiian applique. I'm glad I'm not the only one with lots of projects going on.
C.O. also brought a fabulous Hawaiian applique from her workshop with the Pacific Rim Quilters, Nancy Chong.  Sorry, I missed that photo op.  But we are not applique snobs, we love seeing any quilted work and C brought in her finished sampler that was put on by Two Thimbles.
Look at this sweet little piece.  I love all the purples and mauves that she has used.

Well, until next month........we are going to do a pattern/book swap at our next meeting.  I have a few already organized to pass along to another quilter who might need another project to add to their list!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sisters Choice Revisited

I've looked around my sewing room and decided it was time to get these blocks into a quilt top.  I think I used up my piecing mojo in Feb and March when I was frantically making two class samples.  I kept the petal to the metal and now I'm finding total zen in my hand applique and hand quilting.  However, sitting on my butt for hours and hours does nothing for the old joints and bones.

last week

This is just loaded with glorious colors and prints, I've said it before, a swap is the best way to get all these great prints and colors. Or one could just go sewing at Kathie's house!.

First half together
 I'm making headway on piecing the second half.
Second half on the design wall this morning
I had to make a few more blocks, that's because the 81 blocks I had weren't enough as I got a little carried away in the setting of the blocks. I'm not sure how big this is going to finish at, but I'll keep you posted. 
I am lucky have some of Kathie's fabric in a few blocks. 

 Don't you just love these fabrics?  The two pieces in the 9 patch came from Kathie, I think this is now my favorite block. Every time I look at the blocks, I find a new favorite one! Is it possible to only have one favorite when there are 85 blocks in your quilt?  I think not.

 And a final picture that I had in my files.  Here is my dad with his baby. She is such a sweetie!

I'm still poking along with this Sisters Choice top, and I think this one will be called Unemployment Enjoyment!  My goal is to have this into a top by the end of the day and cross it off my list.  This, and a plethora of other things are on that list.


Monday, May 20, 2013

....and they're off.........

What an exciting day today. It's a holiday in Canada today and since I'm unemployed, I was able to get up to Vancouver. My dad has a horse. It's his baby. Her name is Hey DidjaNotis, but we call her DiGi. He didn't want to leave her home in Vancouver BC over the winter this past year so he shipped her to AZ so she could spend the winter in the sun and get her training to race during this time. She was brought back home this spring and today was the first race that she qualified for.

She came out of the gate and never looked back. We were screaming and cheering and I'm sure everyone in the box seats wondered what train track we had to cross over to get to the races today, but it was so exciting for my Dad. The first time his horse runs, it wins. Notice there are no other horses in the photo when she crossed the finish line, they were all coming up behind. The odds were 18 /1 which means it paid pretty good, and I bet her across the board.  She had the second highest odds, as there were other good horses in this race.  How exciting to run down to the winners circle and get our picture taken, what a thrill! Dad took us out for dinner to celebrate the big win.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Storm at Sea

My friend MF and I took a work shop about four years ago.  She now has a finished quilt to show off, and me, well, I have parts and pieces tucked away in a box.  Here is M's fabulous Storm at Sea with medallions, it's 88 x 88 so that's a lot of piecing!

She used blue, yellow and white and then added a little touch of purple in the medallions.

I did a free hand swirly wave throughout all the piecing, then added a little ruler work in the focus blocks.
This block was all ruler work as well. 
My friend is gifting this quilt and I hope that the recipient treasures this.  I say this as mine still stays tucked away in a box.  I think this would be a good retreat type project, as you really need time to focus on all aspects of working this pattern.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dresden Plate Workshop

It was a fun filled day at Fabric Etc where six of us got busy cutting and sewing and pressing. What a blast, nothing like going to teach a class where some of the students have already made the project! This is S.G.'s interpretation of the pattern.

Everyone got a full plate completed and appliqued onto their background, except for one student.  That was because she was having so much fun making blades.  K had several pieced in advance of class, and made a few more great ones with stripes and dots. This is going to be fabulous when it's all together.

A printed background was Y's choice, and we were loving this once it was all together.

Another one of KM's plates.
Some students loved the green and grey sample and worked right off of that, what a compliment that was.  I always assume something needs tweaked in the second version, but these gals were happy with my decisions

There were also lots of blades prepped for their next session in their studio.

.Since the teacher needed to demo the steps, I've started another top.  Mine is, so far, in blacks and whites.  I might add in some red and whites and see where it takes me.  I have a drawer of black/white prints, maybe I'll stick to that. You'll just have to stop back again to see where the wind takes me with this one.

Thank you, ladies, for a fabulous day.  It poured rain outside, a perfect day for sewing inside.  No minds were wandering to their yard work.  That would wait for another day!

I've since taught this class a second time, everyone was using the grey and green fabric collection and here is Marjorie's center plates.  They pinned it over top of my class sample to see the finished effect.
Love the bottom center plate, using the spine of the fabric motif is excellent, and I love the mix of centers. Great job, Marjorie


Friday, May 17, 2013

Nice Puppy

Don't touch my paws........
Seriously, don't touch my paws.......I know you feed me,
but really, DON'T touch my paws.
I'm really a nice dog, just don't touch my paws.

Gotta love the personalities of your pets. Annie made the road trip to Dads and we will be heading out again later this month. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not working right now.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tennesse Waltz

Now that I'm unemployed, I am keeping myself busy at the longarm machine. MB sent me this last month and it was a joy to quilt. We went with a leaf motif in the center of the open centers and extended the quilting out into each point.

What a great pattern done up in batiks!

I used my oval templates for the curves in the patchwork.

The border got a trailing leaf motif around the outside of this quilt.

Here is her second quilt.  It is bright and busy and lots of piecing so an edge to edge pattern was the best choice for this one. 

I used a variegated thread................

...and the backing was this amazing flannel.

Fabulous! This is the joy of quilting for others, I get exposed to so many different fabrics and styles of piecing.