Friday, May 31, 2013

Toyland Tree Class in is Session

Hello Everyone,
I totally forgot to post the pictures from my Toyland Tree class that was almost two weeks ago!  Sorry girls.  Here's a panda parade to start your morning.

This little marionette wanted to get in on the fun also.  The fabric for his collar is just perfect.

This month the girls are working on the swags.  Azalia is attaching her swags with a beautiful blanket stitch by hand.  It looks perfect!

I've had a busy week with kids and car shows....and I don't have any pictures to show for it.  I took the camera to the car show and the battery was absolutely deader than a doornail.  So you will have to take my word for it that we were at a car show at the Veteran's Hospital on Wednesday in conjunction with Memorial Day.  We were at another mini car show last night at a The Carvery.  The restaurant owner generously donated 10% of all the proceeds to Relay for Life.  Since I'm a cancer survivor, this was an important event for us to attend.

I'm teaching my Nostalgic Pillow/Quilt class tomorrow down at In Between Stitches.  I'm putting some more samples together with Thanksgiving and Christmas in mind.  It's never too soon to start thinking about AND making things for Christmas. If you start making gifts now, getting ready for Christmas will be so much more fun.....and less expensive.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Plaidliness Pumpkins

Hello Everyone,
These pumpkins have been genetically altered to grow into a plaid design.  Candace, from Squash House Quilts is going to grow some for me.....aren't you Candace?  The new pumpkins are from the "Plaidliness" variety.  My version of an heirloom pumpkin.

This one is going to be Cinderella's coach when it grows up.

This pumpkin just wants to grow up since they are only 4" blocks.

They may go here.....or not. I'm still drawing and still playing around with the arrangement of the blocks. 

This combination may work by the flower basket.

Don't forget this section too!  This section is 36" across so it's bigger than you think it is.

I also have to work in with the section next to the scarecrow. Now I've let the cat out of the bag and you know there's going to be a scarecrow in the quilt.  My scarecrow is giving me a few headaches.  He is looking too scary, and I want him to be friendly.  I'll work on him another day.

It's like putting a puzzle together.  The original layout is long gone.  Some of the main 'bones' are still there, but I've arranged and rearranged many, many times.  I'll know it when it's just right.  Here's hoping YOUR day is just right.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

Hello Everyone,
My little flower basket is together.  Now it needs to be stitched before any of the little pieces go astray.


I'll add the embroidered touches after all of the pieces are firmly secured. Do you see the little checkered grape, and the plaid grape?  Now wouldn't that be fun.  I'll work on some plaid pumpkins today.

Here is the fat quarter that I cut up for the flower petals.  It now resembles Swiss Cheese.  I still see some usable petals.  No piece of fabric goes to waste in this house.  I've been saving (hoarding) this piece of fabric for years, just knowing that someday it would find the perfect home in a quilt for Fall.

Here is the view from our picnic spot yesterday.  This is Mosquito Lake up in the high country of the Sierra Nevada.  The elevation is about 8,000 ft.  It was chilly and there were some patches snow on the ground.  We hunkered down on a rock to shelter from the wind and watched the clouds sail past.

It was a great picnic spot and a beautiful day to be in the mountains.

The following is my Memorial Day post in 2011 and I think it is worth repeating.

Are you old enough to remember when Memorial Day was called Decoration Day? I remember my Grandparents calling it Decoration Day, but to me it was always Memorial Day.

I should call today Decoration Day, because I always put up a patriotic display in my bay window and I'll keep it there until the 4th of July. This years display is my rendition of what it is to be as American as apple pie. I did not make the quilt, but I loved it as soon as I saw the plaids in red, white and blue.

We received the flag when my father-in-law, a veteran of WWII and the Korean War passed away. My sister has the flag that was given to our family when our father passed away. He served in WWII. My uncle, and my second cousin also served in WWII.

My dear husband enlisted in the Air Force just as the Vietnam War began. He was a jet mechanic and volunteered to go to Vietnam, but at the time, helicopter mechanics were needed. All of his buddies were being shipped to Vietnam while he remained stateside, many never returned.

Patriotism runs strong and deep in our family. This is our day to say thank you to all of the men and women serving our country. This is our day to say thank you to the families who have suffered the loss of a loved one while serving our country. This is our day to remember our own family members who served our country.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Flower Basket

Hello Everyone,
I'm making a little basket of flowers for the Fall quilt.  Here's the beginning of what I completed yesterday.

I prepare the flowers one at a time.  I use just a drop or two of Roxanne's glue to hold it together then I'll glue it to the basket once all of the flowers and leaves are finished.  I'm cutting out the flowers and leaves from the same fat quarter that is screaming the colors of Fall to me.

This is my chicken scratch that I drew yesterday.  I draw with the Frixion pens that erase better than pencil. Sometimes when I want to erase a lot.....and I do often, I just iron my drawing away. When I decide on the final drawing, I trace over the whole picture with a permanent marker.  Once I left one of my drawings in a hot vanished in the I learned my lesson the hard way.

To make the braided border stand out, I'm going to embroider an outline stitch around each of the little pieces.

I hope all of you have an enjoyable day.  I see a picnic lunch and hike in my future.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Quilt Moving Day

Hello Everyone,
This week I went on a fun trip to Prairie Queens in San Jose to move quilts around again.  Here's Buttonwood on display.


Here's Party in the Garden on display.

Last, but not least here is Winterset on display. I have my quilts on a rotation schedule around California and Nevada.  Like I said before, keeping track of the quilts is like herding cats.

April, the shop's manager made a Country Charmer quilt from pink and green fabrics.  So pretty!

This is what you see when you walk in the front door of Prairie Queens. This shop is extremely inviting.  My granddaughter and I had fun looking at all of the quilts and the fabrics.

This quilt, Provence & Beyond stopped me in my tracks.  It's gorgeous.  April made the quilt and Debbie, the shop's owner, masterfully quilted this beauty.

They have kits.....available by clicking HERE.  Do you know how tempted I was to buy one of these kits and take it home with me?

The fabrics are yummy.

This would be a great summer project.  I think I'm talking myself into making this quilt. 

You probably think I haven't been quilting.....and you're right! With our son and his family moving into town, I've been busy with the grand kids until their day care program gets underway. In the meantime, the family is pitching in and we're on a rotating kidlet-watching calendar.  My granddaughter, Harleigh, is old enough to stuff patterns for me.  I also have her learning the accounting program for my little business. She's learned how to process orders, receive payments and enter bills into the system. She wants to start cheerleading, swim team and guitar lessons this summer.....all of which cost money that she is going to earn while helping me.  She's also learned the time card system and she watches the clock like a hawk while calculating her earnings. Don't worry, I haven't broken any child labor laws....yet. 

Harleigh also loves to draw and she takes her sketch book with her wherever she goes. She worked on this drawing one afternoon. I'm starting her on the long-arm next week to see if she can do some "thread painting" and bring her drawing to life on a quilt block.  I've always said, "If you can't draw it, you can't quilt it."  She can draw it....and she's only 12!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Country Charmer Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
I spent yesterday in the classroom at In Between Stitches with three wonderful women.  Such a nice group ready to dig into their fabrics and start some Country Charmer blocks.  After some instruction and discussion about color, Jean finished her day with a beautiful block..

She selected her fabrics, cut her pieces, and put them out on the block layout sheet....then started to sew.

I call her fabric selection, "I think I've died and gone to the south of France."  Some of her fabrics came from France, and some are the new Savonnerie by American Jane.  The rest of her bin was a beautiful collection from her stash. I'm looking forward to seeing this quilt, and Jean is a finisher so we will all get to see her creation.

Elaine purchased one of the Country Charmer kits that I put together last year for the shop.  She had fun going around the shop and added several fabrics to enhance the kit.

Here are some of the fabrics from the kit, and Elaine is going to introduce gold to the mix which I think is a great idea. Elaine also purchased the newest Country Charmer kit in the Civil War fabrics.  She was a little hesitant to start this quilt.  The 53 pieces in the block seemed a little daunting along with what fabrics go where.  Well, those feelings are now gone, and we are going to see some beautiful blocks come out of her sewing room.

My sister and pattern tester Gail, came to class with a few blocks finished and more cut out.  She is using red and green, but they are not overtly Christmas colors, so her quilt will be on display throughout the whole year.

 Her blocks look great together. She's selected her sashing, border, and9-patch fabrics, it's going to be a wonderful quilt.

This block is so close to being finished.  My love for plaidliness has rubbed off on her.

All of the girls were so precise from beginning to end.  They cut well, they stitched to perfection and they each have a good eye for color.  My job is done here.  My babies are ready to fly the coop and create on their own.  Thank you girls for the wonderful day. I'm looking forward to seeing your fabulous quilts.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry #1 - Butterscotch Baskets

Hello Everyone,
It's that time of year again, the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side. I decided to enter Butterscotch Baskets in the Quilt Photographer category.  I am by no stretch of the imagination a professional photographer. Where I go, the camera goes.....always, and occasionally you get one good picture sprinkled in with the 500 not so good pictures! 

I took these photos at Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Northern California in February 2013, the day that I finished the binding. Reflecting back (no pun intended), there should have been several feet of snow at the park in February.

The stump behind the quilt is enormous.

The quilt is propped up on an 8' ladder leaning against the base of the tree.  The trees are massive.  When you stand in the center of a grove of giants, it is like being in a cathedral.  The birds are singing in the choir, yet there is a profound silence that surrounds these majestic beauties.


Many thanks to Amy for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival that offers up tons up inspiration.  There are many different categories, many other blogs for you to visit and enjoy.....and there are many prizes donated by her generous sponsors.  You don't have to enter a quilt to become a winner!  Now you can't beat that!

Quilt Stats:
Size:  76" x 93"
Over 200 different fabrics were used.....a great way to use up scraps
Machine quilted by me with Dream Wool batting on my HandiQuilter....all free-motion