Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve

All around blogland I've been seeing posts that reflect 2014.  Quilter's are such a generous group of people, who share and inspire, motivate and create, compliment and critique.  I am blessed to call myself a quilter and a blogger. 

While I feel like I've accomplished a lot this year, I know that 2015 is where the work will really be done to continue to move forward making my way in this world as a full time quilter.  I caught up with an old friend over the holidays and she asked if I was still quilting.  She pops in and out of my blog and I was a bit caught off guard about this statement.  Then I realized I have not shared much of my work this past year.  I've been submitting projects to magazines and that has kept much off my blog.  I hope to show most of it this coming year.

I'll leave you with my favorite project that has been in the works for 4 years, yes, 4.  My goal is to have it bound and washed by this day in 2015.  However, there will be a move this spring, but I'm carving out time for this and making it a priority. 
My Beyond the Cherry Tree quilt

I hope to show a finished quilt this day next year.   And to all my friends, I'm wishing you all the best that life can bring to you in 2015.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Help with Hand Piecing

Poof, and it's gone.  That's how I feel about Christmas.  One day the radio plays carols, next day, back to the usual.  thank goodness for cd's!  I've been driving around with Faith Hills Christmas music in my car and shall until new years. 
Lights are down, yard décor cleaned up, left overs finished, right?   Not in our house.  The tree stays up until the weekend after new years, that's been my parents tradition every year growing up and I continue the timeline.  Stock pot on the stove this morning which means a few dinners of hot soup and biscuits in January, nights which can remind of this these past few days.

OK onto my quilting question.  I've been working on this block, it's the first time I've made this pattern and this part is all hand pieced.  I have NOT pressed any seams in any direction and here is my question.  Do I press this out before stitching it to the background piece? It is not appliqued, but pieced in to two separate background pieces.

I'm pretty confident this will lay flat once it's pressed as we stretched it out by hand on the table yesterday at my LQS.  So what's your expert opinion?  Do I press before it gets the outside attached or after the whole block is finished? 

Thanks for taking the time to ponder and reply, it's appreciated. 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

My Christmas gifts came a bit early this year, and quite honestly, very unexpected.  My guy has taken 1 day off from work in 2014, has worked many 60+ hour weeks and many of his "days off" have been spent at his business.  He came home on a Sunday, told me he was looking at flights to Maui, then Monday he told me the condo had been booked, along with the tickets.  I asked when we were going and the reply was "We fly out Thursday at 7:00 a.m."

Holy hanna, that's not much time to prep some hand work for the flight in and out. I know, most people were asking how I was going to 'pre tan' but me, I'm thinking hand work.  A big bottle of 30 sunscreen is as good as a tanning bed!

We arrived in Kihei, Maui on Thursday afternoon.  We were booked into the condo complex that my sweetie grew up in.  Tough teen years, lighting the tiki torches for his part time job!!

The hedges are trimmed and continue to send out the most magnificent flowers!

Shooting right into the sunset gave me my favorite photo of the trip.  From our lanai.

When was the last time you saw a phone booth, let along a phone that worked?  I had to pick up the receiver to see if there really was a dial tone.  Yes, indeed.  I saw one close to most beaches.  Yeah for that, just in case you needed to call 911 with a surfer down.

Christmas pedicure was not on the list for the beach, but with last minute plans, no time to change to a beach color. Toes in the surf, amazing.  The best way to get soft feet, walk in the surf every day, twice a day.  Hmmm, I wonder if the doctor ordered it????????????

Fresh picked papaya from Pukulani Street.  We dropped in on parents of Tim's school buddy.  They are in their 90's and have been married for 67 years.  They picked these for us from their yard.  We ate them every morning.......

....along with fresh pineapple, Lily Koi, and apple banana's. How can you have a bad day when it starts like this

Tim got to spend some time with his school buddy.  Pure joy for me to see these two together.

Sunsets from the lanai, every night.

The original life ring from when Tim moved into this complex.  It resides at pool side.

Palms swaying in the afternoon trade winds. 

Last view of Maui as we flew back to reality. 


Christmas came a little early for me, but a surprise none the less. A trip of a lifetime and one that I will always treasure. Memories were made, old friends were reconnected and LIFE IS GOOD!

Thank you for popping into my corner of blogland and commenting once in a while, it's appreciated.
I have learned so much from all of you who let me peek into your quilting lives and for that, I thank you.

Have an amazing 2015!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

It's Beginning to Look.......

A lot like Christmas around here.  We had a blast of snow, then a few days of cold (for us) weather and now we have the Pineapple Express bringing high, warm winds and rain.  The tide is also high and being right on the ocean had been fabulous with this weather.  I know we are far enough back to not get flooded or damaged, but to see the force of Mother Nature has been fascinating.

The tree is up.

My Christmas sampler is hung on the wall.  I love this piece.  It's a bit askew, but I pull it out every year and enjoy it.

The carolers are out, ready to sing their songs of the season. Every year I add a few new cd's to my Christmas collection of music. This year Faith Hill made the cut, along with Alabama. It's a hard choice when there are so many good cd's to pick from.

Stockings were made by my dear friend LP.  She gifted them to Tim and I last new years and this will be the first year to stuff the toes.  Our initials are stitched on and they are hung by the chimney with care.

Baskets of poinsettias adorn the table, along with some pine scented PartyLite candles.  I think I should have shares in that company.  Their candles are the best.

The little led lights along the window sill add a bit more charm to the décor, without being over the top. We keep it mostly contained to this one room, and enjoy the lights and candles every night.

And if you don't have room for a big tree and lots of decorations, how about making a glitzy tree like this one. Can you believe this? I think it's fabulous. Isabel brought this to the monthly tea party at Fabric Etc. this December. A tree from all her old vintage rhinestones and pearls. She's had holes drilled in from the back and clear mini lights adorn her tree. it's set on black velvet.  Simply stunning!

While you partake in the hustle and bustle of the season, I shall be soaking up some sun ........


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

This and That

I've been a blogger slacker, but not a sewing slacker.  Here are my blades for the Sacagawea Sampler that I'm still working on.  This was pretty fast and makes into an 18" block.

Every year I bemoan the fact that I don't have any Christmas pillows, so this was the year to make it happen. I pulled out this tray of red and white strips and got busy.  How fast things go together when you don't' have to do any of the cutting.

So it almost happened.  I do have the pillow top quilted, the backing has been pre washed and pressed, the zippers are purchased.  The only thing missing is the time.  We all know that story.  There is a second red/white star pillow that is 3/4 quilted, so things are looking good for pillows Christmas 2015!

My friend PK made this table runner and never got back to the quilting part of ti.  I grabbed I from her sewing room in the summer, and now just need to post it back to her.  That's on my list of tasks for today.

I'd like to keep this one, it's simple, yet does the trick for a quick pick up in the decorating department.

Along with these projects, I've got customer quilts done, ready for them to bind and gift out over the Christmas season.  I've been poking away at our January What Not samples, good grief, could she use smaller pieces?  And staying the course on my hand quilting.

Hope you have time to sew during this busy season.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

What Nots Samples

I've been meeting with a dedicated group of quilter's on the first Sat of the month at my LQS, Fabric Etc. We have been working on a series of small quilt patterns designed by Kim Diehl, the What Not's patterns. First off, I love the fabric line. I can see it blending in with Civil War prints and other groups of fabric that have a vintage/country look and feel to them.

Photos are from my phone so not the best, but it's what I have. Yet again, my camera has gone AWOL.........grrrrr.  It's probably in the same place as my little scissors. (I'm sure a few of you can relate to that statement.)

First up is the cutest little piece with 42 yo yo's around that 2" border.  I love this and it is the pattern we will work on for December.  Yo yo's are a super project to pick up when you have 5 minutes and they make a great take along project as well. This pattern also contained a few lessons for me.  First off, read the instructions!  Who would have thought of that?

The lower piece was our first month, and it's the only one I have quilted and bound.

This was last months piece and I love how it turned out.  No matter how fussy I got with color/print placement, I still ended up with like fabrics together.  I also got the orientation of the segments turned around so I ended up with 64 sets all with the same direction.  Instead of picking them apart, I continued to piece and I got the second sample top completed.  I've been trying to have one pieced for the demo day and another one as a work in progress to use for tutorials in the demo.

This pattern was chosen for October because it has such a great look for Christmas.  There is some applique still to be done on this piece, and I won't have mine ready for this year.  E will, she came in November with this pieced, quilted and bound.  Yeah for her!

Since there is always pieces of fabric left over, I've made a few samples to give the group a few ideas to use up some of their left overs.  I've tried to incorporate some of the piecing or techniques we have learned along the way, and I couldn't resist using some more yo yo's. 

I've got the cream piece quilted, yo yo's attached, but haven't made a scrappy binding.  That's on my list for this weekend.  The green one with the strip piecing is quilted and bound.  I hope the group will like to add these into their collection.

2015 will bring a second round of 6 new patterns along with a new collection of fabric from Kim.  I've taken a peek at them and they look pretty cute.  This customer list has already started for these kits.  If you missed this first round, jump in for round two.  They are pretty stinking cute!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Applique Group Review

Sat was my monthly Applique Society meeting and was there ever a lot of show and share for our little group.  The turnout ebbs and flows like any other group, as we have several snowbirds and busy lives.  Although only 8 attended this meeting, those eight have had busy hands.

First up is M, the daughter of our leader, JB.  This mother, wife, f/t employee, cannot sit without something in her hands and her work is fabulous.  While doing some cleaning/reorganizing in her sewing area, she found this block from the Carrie Hall Sampler.  So much had already been done on it, so she has continued the journey.  M likes the back basting method of appliqued.

Hexis with embroidery anyone?  What a terrific table topper and done in time for Thanksgiving.

To top off her show and share, look at the amazing sweater those busy hands of hers have knit.  Looks like it came out of a specialty high end store in the big city.  Absolutely amazing.  The opening is faced with a fabulous ribbon that M ordered online, sorry I missed a photo of it.

Next up is our fearless leader, JB, showing us her selvage bag.  I believe she said she sewed the strips to a foundation and then pieced it all together.  Again, I missed the detail shot.  She used a Moda selvage for the facing of her bag strap and it was so perfect.  These two both work the details to the max.

 Here is her applique, a Christmas block that appeared in our TAS mailer.  I saw the line drawing and though, hoe, hum, kinda boring.  Now that I see how J has started to bring this to life, I have put this on my to do list.  We all thought it has a great retro look, a flash back to Christmas cards from days gone by.  Does anyone still send cards?  I do, and they say Merry Christmas! 

A BOM that J is working on, monthly birds.  Love the black background on this piece.  The colors really pop.  Look at those bleeding hearts in the top right block, so cute!

A finished top and perfect to show and motivate us to get out those Christmas pieces that are not finished.  I still cannot believe that I don't have Christmas pillows, I remember saying that last year and promising myself I would have three pillow covers to put out this year.  Hmmmm I best get busy. I think J said this was a gift to her and she is giving it back to the person who gave her the kit.

K has been busy with English paper piecing, using little wedge shapes to make Pies and Tarts.  Love how she has done some Pies with two fabrics and others have been fussy cut.  The fabrics are all Asian and this is gorgeous.  Its a perfect 'take along' project as it fits into a little zip lock baggie.

Last, but not least, is CO's rendition of Di Ford's Mystery quilt being offered through Quiltmania.  C ordered the chintz to get started and the rest of the fabrics have been pulled from her stash.  Oh my, can you imagine what her sewing room looks like?  I'd love to go play in it for an hour or so.  The next round is appliqued petals and C has a start on that.  She says the last round is going to be slow going as it's lots of little stars.  I'm sure it will be beautiful.
Thanks for visiting my Applique group, it is such a joy to meet with these talented stitchers every month and peek into their sewing lives.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Time Marches On

I've finally got a finish for myself. This quilt has been in the works for a very long time. There was a lot of cutting, see this post from 2010 and a lot of stitching to get it to this point, shown here

Where did the 4 years, 7 months, and how many days go?  I have no idea why it took this long to get to this.  I'm just very pleased that I now have a new quilt for my bed.

There are so many quilts stitched into this quilt.  Sewing the binding down gave me time to reflect and reminisce about all the previous quilts that were the foundation of this Log Cabin.  I've not kept a decent record of my quilts, but so many of these fabrics brought back memories of many quilts I have made and gifted out.  That makes this one all the more special for me to keep for myself.

Feathers seemed to be the way to go for the quilting and I wanted to try this new to me version of feathers.  I worked out the kinks, and I LOVE how it turned out.  I just know this is going to be one of those quilts that I will use and love even more as time marches on.

I still cannot believe it was March of 2010 when this was a completed top.............. but the past blog posts don't lie.

Are you working on a blast from the past?  If so, share it, you just might motivate someone to finish one of their own.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Resolved and a Return Ticket

Hi everyone,
I have got my website and email issues resolved, thanks to Amazon.  Yes, Amazon.  I could not give the Domain help desk the last 4 digits of my credit card because I have a card I only use for online purchases and it was at home.  I finally remembered it was on file with Amazon for all my Kindle purchases and I was able to log into that account, see the numbers and have tech help believe I really was me and fix my problem.

I have been on a road trip with my 79 year old father.  Blaine, WA to Casa Grande, AZ in 2 1/2 days.  We had a blast and I was so happy to be able to help him with the driving.  His neck got all locked up just days before our departure day, so it was just terrific that I had planned to join him on this road trip.  Twin Falls, ID and Las Vegas NV and no quilt shops in between.  Just a lot of highways and stories of days gone by.  How lucky was I to have this uninterrupted time with my father.

Heading home now, just waiting on my plane.  Stitching on a block for this quilt.  The block I have with me is the branch with the birds nest.  I did a lot of back basting prep work so I wouldn't have to deal with pins while traveling and that idea paid off.  Leaves have been appliqued, and I got the branch back basted at Dad's last night, so I shall sign off, pick up my needle and thread and make a little headway on this beautiful quilt.

Hope there is sunshine or stitches in your day today.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Technical Issues

If you have tried to email me or access my website, you will have found it unavailable.  I'm on the road right now, I've called my guy who hosts everything and it's not at his end.  Now I'm on hold, 41 minutes and waiting, to get on to the domain company.  GRRRRRRR

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Hallow'een

Its a foggy rainy day here in the NW. Perfect for trick or treating, right? Well, not so much. But I'm sure the kidlets will persevere and go home with a pillow case full of loot. I like the "trunk or treats" that go on now, but as for us, we won't see one ghost or goblin tonight. The house is too far off the road, and being a gated community, they have a big event at the community hall for the kids.
Here are a few pieces I have enjoyed looking at this month.

I love these blown glass pumpkins.  I pull them out every year and leave them out through Thanksgiving.

My favorite hallow'een piece.  This has a flannel back and was perfect to take to the local Friday night high school football game.  School colors here are orange and black. 

some spiral quilting.......
bias strip borders............

and a happy black cat who LOVES to sleep on this quilt.

A beautiful sunset over Birch Bay this month, but I'm now looking forward to sunrises here.  November and December are the best time for sunrises.

Hoping you all get lots of treats this weekend!