Sunday, December 31, 2017

A New Heritage

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year's Eve!
I'm spending the day in my quilting room and in front of the TV watching football.  This is going to be a great day!
I'm going to be teaching Heritage at Friends Around the Block quilt shop in Colusa in a few weeks, so I wanted to pull a couple of scrappy Heritage blocks together to show what can be done with the pattern.  Plus, I needed to brush up on the block so I don't appear to be an idiot while I'm teaching!  The shop is located in a former mortuary.  I hope the attendees don't die laughing during class! 
I've always wanted to make a scrappy Heritage.

The log cabin blocks will all be the same for consistency.  All of the star blocks will be different.  This is a great way to attack the ever-growing scrap problem in my sewing room.  I find I can use any color in a quilt if I separate them with black.

I love to select the fabrics for a scrappy quilt.  It can be painstaking, but it is so worth the effort taking your time and fussy cutting to get just the right look.  This quilt will be a combination of reproduction fabrics mixed in with eclectic mix of color and patterns.

Here's the original Heritage.  The scrappy quilt is going to look entirely different. 


P.S.  If you are interested in the pattern, it is located on my Etsy site HERE.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Back to Normal Life

Hello Everyone,
The little boys have gone back home to their parents.  Now these grandparents are returning to our much slower way of life.  It is too quiet here!
To fill the void, I started cutting up this yardage for my first quilt show of the year held in Folsom the first part of February.  I purchased all of this yardage at Debbie's Quilt Shop in Paradise, CA in November.  Debbie has the best selection of reproduction fabric under one roof!

I'm making fat quarter towers of this assortment.  The bundles are comprised of fabric from Moda, Marcus and Windham fabrics.  I selected fabrics that fit my style from Prairie Basics, Antique Cotton, Shenandoah Valley, Party of Twelve, On Maple Lake and Old Cambridge Pike just to name a few.

I may put a couple of the bundles out on my ETSY site once I get them all cut, folded, and priced.  The Folsom Quilt Show runs over three days, so I have to have a ton of product to fill my booth.  I have to start now to get ready for the show or else I will be a mad woman at the end of January.

This weekend, my to-do list includes updating my calendar on my blogsite.  I hit the ground running in January with lectures and workshops.  I've had a wonderful few weeks off, and now it's time to start in again on my travel schedule.

We had so much fun with the little grandson.  They are 10 and 9.....the perfect age for adventure in the mountains and using their imaginations.

They were hit with gold fever while panning in the little town of Columbia.

They road shotgun on the Pony Express stagecoach.  The stage was also held up by a bandit during their ride.

They sang along with a country western singer that resembled Ed Harris.  Maybe he's adding to his retirement fund.

They went bowling.  Only the best and most modern bowling alley for our grandsons. 

They played in the snow at Bear Valley.  Two boys and a dog.  What could be better? 

We binge watched Diary of a Whimpy Kid movies.  I am now completely up to date and well versed on the bathroom humor of a 10-year-old.  OMG!  I can see why the boys like reading the books and enjoy the movies. I only dozed off once and they caught me!

It was three days of no video games, no phones, nothing electronic at all.  It was Lego's, playing Monopoly, sledding on pine needles and in the snow, building forts, and family time around the kitchen table.

Mazey is missing her boys.  If a dog can be depressed, I think she is.  If a Grammy can be depressed.....I think she is.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Sons of our Sons

Hello Everyone,

I got so busy with the family for Christmas, I forgot to post and wish you all a Merry Christmas.  Now I'm wishing you all a Happy New Year!

We spent three wonderful days in Livermore with the entire family and enjoyed lots of eating, laughing, games, presents and hugs......let me mention eating again.  Now we are back at the cabin and we brought the two youngest grandsons with us.  After unloading the car, the boys immediately wanted to start assembling their new Lego kits with 1,000 pieces.  They each have their own table to carry out the construction.

Mr. Joe went outside to check around the property and saw these large, what we think are bear tracks, leading up to the deck.  I guess the animals partied on the deck while we were gone!

The boys wanted to roast hot dogs for we did. Hot dogs with macaroni and cheese is the dinner of champions. Tonight pizza or spaghetti......whatever their little heart's desire.

We watched the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Long Haul movie, then the little guys headed off to bed.  They were tired after playing outside and working on the construction of a fort in the woods.  Mazey sticks with them like glue, and is their early warning defense system when it comes to critter alert.

As soon as the sun comes up, I'll head outside and bring the game camera inside to see what was wandering around last night.  Mazey was going ballistic around 5am so we know something was prowling around.  We've learned to recognize her different barks, growls, and howls for different four-legged and two-legged animals.  This morning I think her bark signified something bigger than a bread box!

Today we are headed to the little town of Columbia.  It is a nicely preserved Western town complete with blacksmith, and a Pony Express office offering stage coach rides.  The boys don't know it yet, but the stagecoach always get "held up" by bandits.  The entire main street of town is a State Park and is completely closed to traffic.  We'll wander around the old buildings and also do some panning for gold.

The little boys are 10 and 9.  They are the sons of our sons.  For us it is like stepping back in time to the days when we had two boys.  For some reason, these two are much better behaved!



Monday, December 18, 2017

Seasonal Hexie Toppers

Hello Everyone,
I made good use of my "football watching time" yesterday, and put four Seasonal Hexie Toppers together.  The games were so exciting, that I kept getting distracted.  
I started by cutting a large hexagon center and strips from four coordinating fabrics in varying sizes.

By the end of the second game, I had four tops together.  I want to use an 80/20 batting in this project.  Do you think I have any at the cabin?  I have lots of wool batting, but these are most likely going to be washed a lot, so no wool for me in this project.

I also didn't have any green or red thread!  I have tons of spools at home, but none at the cabin. The closest quilt shop is about 40 miles sigh.  These are going to have to wait to be quilted later on this week since the shop is closed today. 

Today I will work on my Christmas cards, and maybe do some baking......which could be dicey.  We are having a generator installed today.  I don't need to have a batch of cookies in the oven, and have the workmen turn the power off to connect something.  I have a hard enough time baking at this  elevation.  Seriously, I have  major baking issues, with a great many flops.  Mr. Joe will eat anything, but once he passed on a layer cake the size of a pancake!

Snow is predicted for Tuesday night into Wednesday.  I can't wait to get some actual winter weather.  The high temperature is supposed to be in the 20's during the day.  I'll put my studded shoes on so I won't start ice skating around the outside of the cabin without giving me prior, written  notification!


P.S.  The pattern for the Seasonal Hexie Topper is located HERE in my Etsy store.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Wrapping It Up

Hello Everyone,
If you've been following my blog, you know I love to watch football.  Yesterday, I set my wrapping station up on the table in front of the fire and TV, and wrapped until I was done.
I found the perfect gift tags at Home Goods.  You know me and my love affair with plaid!  In their excitement of opening gifts, do you think I can have the little kids save their tags so I can use them again next year?  It's not that I'm cheap, I just LOVE these tags!

After I finished wrapping, I sat down and enjoyed looking at the fruits of my labor.  We will load all of this up in our red sleigh next weekend and head to the city for Christmas.  Mazey may have to ride on top of the car, better yet, we'll put a red nose on her, and she can help guide the car out of the mountains.

We have really been enjoying living in the mountains.  Life is just different up here, and we are adjusting well.  I'm not a shopper, which is a good thing, because there are very few places to shop up here in the pines.  Like so many others, I shopped on Amazon for the little and big kids.  We do not have mail service directly to the cabin, so we go to the Post Office almost on a daily basis. Let me tell you, the Post Office is the gathering place for the community.
If you get a yellow slip of paper in your box, you go to the main lobby with a cast of thousands, (actually maybe 10 people), and give the clerk your PO Box number, and within a few minutes, they return with your packages.  I am so impressed with the ladies at the Post Office.  Many of them have memorized box numbers and don't have to ask for your number.  Some of the ladies will memorize up to five PO Box numbers that people in line tell them, and they go in the back and return with a cart full of packages. They don't even write them down.  I have trouble memorizing my own number......let alone four or five others!
Those in line will open doors and graciously help others out to their cars if it's a big package day.  I have seen such kindness when I'm in line.  This helpful, heartwarming spirit is year-round, not just during the Holidays, here in our little community.  I'm so happy to call this little piece of heaven my home. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class Was In Session

Hello Everyone,
I'm so caught up in preparing for Christmas that I forgot to post pictures from last Tuesday's class at In Between Stitches.
Mary started a new medallion quilt.  This is going to be amazing!

Nancy isn't going to loose her mittens!  They are just adorable with so much detail in each one.

Patty whipped up some really cute placements during class from this Early To Rise panel.

Barbara G. is finishing up her Kim Diehl table topper.  She has used only scraps left over from other Kim Diehl projects.  What a great way to put them to work!

Lynette is ready to add her borders to Walk in the Park. I really like the addition of the quarter-square-triangles in the five, center blocks.

Kristi is moving right along with the Moda Blockheads program.

Barbara B. made great headway with her umbrellas.  She is going to be ready for those April Showers.

Suzanne took a quilting with rulers class at In Between Stitches and applied the techniques to this adorable quilt.

The Baptist Fan is the perfect, all over design for this quilt.

Pat is making pocket pillows for her granddaughters.  A book fits right into the pocket when you're done reading for the day....or night.

More seasonal hexie table toppers are getting completed for Christmas.

Rows together! Yay for Kristi.

Isn't this one sweet!  Tiny, tiny little blocks are going to be set with a beautiful stripe fabric.  Perfect.

Janie is working on her Homemade Holiday pattern. This was a kit at In Between Stitches.


I'll be working on more Christmas projects and preparations this week.  We get to stay at the cabin for the entire week!  No classes, no workshop, no nothing except total focus on Christmas.....and a few long Winter naps thrown in for good measure!


Monday, December 11, 2017

Ravenswood Victorian Yuletide Event

Hello Everyone,
I was so honored to be asked by the docents of Ravenswood Historic Estate to put my quilts on display during their Victorian Yuletide Christmas.   A beautiful, crisp morning in the vineyard greeted us as we arrived early to stage the quilts.  The first quilt I placed was my very first design, The House on Edgewood Lane.

Second up was Country Charmer.  It fit right into this country setting.

Spoken For is very shy, and preferred to be in the corner.

This quilt is called Christmas Windows by Brandywine Design.  I love putting it out every Christmas.

Mr. Joe marveled at the wood in the doors above Heritage.  So beautiful!

Madrigal was singing a song along with the Victrola.

Every bathroom needs to have a Grammy Square quilt to cover up the commode!

The master bedroom was decorated with For the Love of Baskets, and Emilie Elizabeth.

Lil' Orphan Scrappy had a bedroom all to herself.

The living room was so cozy.

Toyland Tree has it's own bed too.

The shoes under the bed was an amusing touch.

I spy a Party in the Garden quilt!

The house is charmed and charming.  It sat vacant and run down for years!  During that time, not one stained glass window was broken before the restoration took place.

The cottage is so inviting.

Mr. Joe and I walked through the Ravenswood grounds once the quilts were all settled in for the day.

This is the main house on the property.  I can only imagine the events held at this house throughout the decades.

This road leads to one of the old buildings from the original winery.

Not a cloud in the sky.

 The leaves aren't giving up their hold on the vines just yet.
I hope you all have a wonderful week preparing for Christmas.  I so enjoy the days leading up to the Holidays.....except for the shopping!  I'm headed out to finish that off today.  I love to wrap the presents, do some baking, send out cards, and listen to Christmas carols.  It's the most wonderful time of the year!  I feel a song coming on.