Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Week

It was a beautiful Easter in our area with perfect temperatures, sunshine and lots of fun family time.  Our youngest son and his family have been home for Easter so there has not been a lot of stitching going on here.  Time spent with family is much more valuable.

I did participate in Gosia's SEW ALL AROUND six part circular sewing QAL.  This last week was application of the binding to our mini quilt.  I really like the way this piece finished.

As well, I did some embroidery for some of the grandchildren so they always know which washcloth and towel belongs to them.

April has seen a lot of birthdays so I've had fun with fabric postcards.  I've forgotten to take pictures of most of the ones I have sent, but here are a couple of them. 

Spring continues to produce some gorgeous blooms.  It's always a delight to see them reappear each year. 

Just one last photo of the grandchildren at Easter.  Someone even created photos of the two who were missing due to spring break at college not tying in with our Easter celebration.   Boo! 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Continues

Beautiful spring days continue here.  Along with warmer and longer days, there is so much about spring that is refreshing.  We had grandchildren for several days so there were baseball and volleyball games in the warm sunshine.  Sewing was non existent while we were active grandparents, but it felt good to get some free time to play once things slowed down again. 

I am in the Gridster Bee this year and Elizabeth's blocks last month were little pigs.  I sent my two off to Elizabeth and then made one for myself.  I think I need to do more of these.  She should soon be posting her adorable finish on her blog so be sure to watch for it. The pigs are a slight variation of the pattern found on The Objects of Design blog.

Spring also means the arrival of the fair pigs.  Two of the grandchildren will be fattening these pigs up before August.

My April Gridster Bee blocks were finished and sent to Nancy.  This is her own design and it is really fabulous.

One of our granddaughters turns sixteen in June.  They have each asked for a "grown up" quilt for their 16th birthdays.  I've had a layer cake for some time that she has loved.  Researching patterns for layer cakes, I found a fun one on the Missouri Star tutorials.  I really love the colors and how the design shows off the great fabrics.

March geese are flying to join the flock in my Temperature Quilt.  The temps are moving more into the oranges with a red one in there too.  Yesterday saw another red one with our high of 90*.  I'm glad to see the blues disappearing.  My sister in Alaska is doing this project with me and she is happy that April has seen some temps above freezing so her geese can fly upright.  She has no blog, but you can check out her glorious colors on her IG account (@alaskanquilter)

To close off, I will share a few more fun spring photos.  Springtime brings new little hatchlings.  My mom had her resident hummingbird lay two more eggs in her porch plant again this year.  In the last month we have gone from eggs to babies nearly ready to take flight.

Meanwhile, at our house we also have new hatchings.  We have three little yellow balls of fluff and one white one.  Since they hatch two days apart from each other, the little white one is much smaller than the one who is a week old, but I love how the littlest one manages to crawl into the middle of the pile. 

One final spring picture.....our son and DIL went to see the poppies blooming and sent me this photo.  It's amazing what a normal rainfall year will produce.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Flowers and Birds

It's such a great time of the year for walks around the gardens.  The rains this year have made such a difference for all of the plants.  Everything just seems to be bigger and better with water from the skies rather than a faucet.

As promised, I grabbed the camera and headed down the road to my BIL's home.  His little hobby of cross pollinating clivia has become a bit of an obsession for him.  He currently has over 6000 plants!!!!  I thought it was about 3500, but I guess I underestimated.  They are growing everywhere in his yard and then he has a HUGE shade cloth covered area for a double level of others. 

Most of us are familiar with the orange ones.  I have a number of those that once belonged to my father, who loved his gardens.  Just look at the wonderful colors and different shaped blooms that we enjoyed.

This is what greets us at the front door.

Some of the petals appear to be shaped more like a lily. 

GREEN.....now we're talkin'!

Practically red!  It looks like Christmas.

This was such a prolific bloomer.

Around the pool area.

Loved the hint of peach on the petals of these.

More around the pool.

The classic orange.

This is the shaded area.  Clivia for as far as you can see and this is only the top level of them.  There is another whole level below these that is just as full.
I couldn't leave without him "forcing" me to load a few in my car!  I wish I had more shady areas in my yard as I could have helped him unload a lot more.  I may have to make a shad cloth area so I can bring all of the ones I loved home with me.  It was the perfect time of the year to go see them in bloom. 

Meanwhile, my own garden is in bloom as well.  I was able to pick the first bouquet of roses - always a welcomed day.

The citrus is in bloom throughout the area and the smell is absolutely intoxicating - especially in the early morning and evening hours.

As well, the jasmine vine and cymbidium orchids are each vying for their own moment to shine.

We had a couple of new visitors to the yard this week.  I was drawn outside by the rat-a-tat-tat I was hearing.  Look what I discovered in the palm trees.

I am assuming they are a pair. 

Next post will be back to stitching...........

Monday, March 27, 2017

A VW Moment

Some time ago I saw a pattern for a throw pillow called Coastal Cruiser.  It featured a VW "bus" and I knew that I would eventually have to make it.  If you have ever had a VW you will understand.  My first car was an aqua colored 1961 VW bug.  I named it Quaddle since the license was QDL400.  I loved that little thing and did all my own engine work on it.  Of course, that was when engines were simple and no computers were involved.  It didn't even have a gas gauge - only a lever that you kicked over to give you one extra gallon of gas when you ran out! 

We still had it when we were first married, but had to sell it when we moved overseas with the Navy.  It was a sad day.

Once we returned home - with several children in tow - a new bug was not an option.  We upgraded to the "bus".  Traveling up mountainous roads was slow going, but it loved going down.  ;-)  I made cute little floral curtains for it.  Every well loved bus had curtains!!!  Our very good Navy friends also had a bus.  Theirs was orange and for years the two buses would head up to the Sierras for our annual camping/fishing trips.  Such wonderful memories! 

This past week was my friends birthday and I decided it was time to make that bus for her.  Rather than doing a pillow, I resized the image to a postcard size.  These pieces were tiny!  I still think I may do a pillow sized one someday.  Maybe I will do one of a bug too.

A little spring sewing also went on around here this week.  Our son and DIL always host the family Easter party.  They have a large farmhouse table and it was calling for a table runner.  This one measures at 20x60".

The egg fabric that I used is a piece that is at least 15 years old, but it worked perfectly with the colored rabbits.  The pantograph, Morning Song, is a cute spring one with flowers, birds and butterflies.  The bunny pattern is from The Objects of Design.

Yesterday we took two of the grandchildren to Santa Barbara to see the stage show of Peppa Pig.  It was quite cute and we had a fun time with the girls.

Later this week I will share photos of some amazing Clivia flowers.  We stopped by my BIL's home yesterday on the way home from church to take some pictures of his flowers.  He breeds them as a hobby.  Last time we were there he had over 3500 plants, but it is now closer to 6000!!!!  You will be amazed at some of the colors he has created with his cross pollination.  Of course, he wouldn't let me leave without helping him reduce his collection somewhat!  My gain......

Linking up with Midweek Makers this week.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring

Isn't it a great time of the year?  I love spring with its promise of longer and warmer days ahead.  As well, the flowers are stunning this year with all of the rains we have enjoyed.  The clivia are blooming in the yard and the hills are filled with wild mustard. 

My mom's hummingbird nest from last year is back and filled again.  The first little one hatched today.  It's hard to see with that feathery nest the mother has created. 

This week has been about sewing curves.  I finished the last of the NY Beauty blocks and now it is a matter of arranging them into a quilt top. 

After all of that curve work I ventured into even more curves with the Sew All Around QAL hosted by Gosia at Quilts My Way.  She has an excellent tutorial of quilting curves.  Like Gosia, I have always been a heavy pinner when sewing curves.  However, after all of the curve sewing I have been doing lately I managed to sew these curves with only two pins each. 

We had a fun St. Patrick's Day celebration over the weekend.  Our daughter made the children such cute cupcakes complete with rainbows and pots of gold.

My Blogger problems persist.  Is anyone else experiencing the same problem of not being able to access their reading list?  Every once in awhile it will work, but for the most part I am unable to scroll down.  Bloglovin has been my go to for reading blogs, but I know that my full list is not on Bloglovin.  It is very frustrating.  If I have not been commenting on your blog, please understand why. 

Happy Spring to all.