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.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!  Are you going to be making a pie today?  Possibly stitching circles?  Eating a pizza?  Have fun with anything circular.

To acknowledge Pi day I am posting all of my completed circles in my NY Beauty project. 


These are the new pieces added this week.  Slowly, but surely, I am getting this UFO finished.  Why did I wait so long?  Once I finish all of the blocks I will arrange a layout.


My sister from Alaska (IG alaskanquilter) has been in town this week and we have shared some fabulous quilting hours together.  She brought some of her completed tops down to quilt.  First up was a top that her daughter made.  She is a brand new quilter and this is her first quilt top made in a class she took.  Isn't it lovely?


We then moved on to a dog quilt for one of my sister's furry friends.


Lastly, she brought along her En Provence mystery quilt.  It was fun to compare hers with mine before she got it quilted.  This turned out beautifully.  I need to get mine quilted next.


We celebrated her birthday with a trip to one of our favorite quilt shops.  She was able to take advantage of their 30% off birthday discount so significant stash building was accomplished. 

This was the birthday postcard that I made for her this year.  The cactus are in bloom in the desert so thought this fit the season. 



Our days have been glorious with temps in the 80s for the last week.  It has felt fabulous - especially with the longer daylight hours.  Spring is definitely here with the migrating birds back and the tortoises out of hibernation.  I'm ready for it.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.  Corned beef with cabbage?????






Monday, March 6, 2017

Marching into March

Another month down in 2017 and now we march into March.  Spring is definitely in the air.  Although I have not spotted one yet, I have heard the orioles in the yard.  I love it when they return.  Their sunny yellow color brings back the memories of long summer days.  As well, the clock turns back next weekend....my favorite time of the year.

Blogger has been frustrating me lately by not allowing me to access my reading list.  If I have not been visiting, please understand the reason.  I have been using Bloglovin, but my reading list is not complete and it will occasionally not allow me to comment.  Blogging is a love/hate relationship for me. 

.....BUT......I've had such fun stitching lately.  Several years ago I started making the NY Beauty blocks for the QAL.  Instead of doing one of each, I decided to do four of each!  I believe there were a total of twelve different patterns.  I just finished my 9th block of four.  Three more to go.

 

My bee blocks this month for our fabulous Gridster Bee were cute little piglets.  Elizabeth shared a fun pattern with us and I LOVED these little guys.  I really need to do some for myself.  Hmmmm.....I have wanted to make a quilt from each block I have made so far.  Do you think I might have a problem?????


The background for this little piggy is medical supplies chosen because Elizabeth is recovering from shoulder surgery.



My Temperature Quilt is growing too.  February saw some really warm as well as some quite chilly temperatures.  I am still hoping to have more oranges soon.  I am doing this quilt along with my little sister (IG alaskanquilter) who lives in Alaska.  Needless to say, her temperatures and colors are quite different from mine.



Is it possible to do some Christmas stitching in February?  Absolutely!!!  The kindergarten class was in need of a stitcher for their blocks they created.  This will be auctioned off at their annual school fundraiser on March 18th.  The little ones did such a good job on their Christmas trees.  I hope it brings in a lot of money for the school.  I'll update you later.




My youngest sister ( the quilter) is coming into town this week.  We both enter a new decade this year and she has been celebrating hers in Hawaii this week.  I am looking forward to some fabulous days of stitching together while she is here.  Life is good!!!! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Soul Searching

In my attempt to finish some long ago started projects around here, I am happy to say that one is checked off of the list.  I believe that the blocks were completed several years ago for one of the RSC projects.  Then they sat there.  After seeing Teresa finish hers lately, I dug the blocks out, stitched them together, quilted and stitched the binding down yesterday.  I am so pleased with it.  The finished size is 76x84" so it is a good bed size.  The pattern is called Soul Searching.





 It was such fun getting reacquainted with some of the great fabrics.  The low volumes included bats, ants, shoes, chickens, bikes, cats and just about everything else one can imagine. 


Many of the colored fabrics included scraps from the children's clothing that I have made in the past so there were a lot of good memories as I stitched this one up.






The days of late have been so rainy and dark.  Today the sun has finally decided to make an appearance,  Just seeing it again boosts my spirits.  The persistent rains that we have been having are so beneficial for our years long drought.  The hills and fields surrounding us are so green and beautiful.  It is quite spectacular with the sun shining and blue skies.



The farmers are having a lot of problems with their flooded fields, but I am certain they must also be appreciative of the moisture from the skies rather than the irrigation.


This, however, was what the view outside my sewing room has been on too many days.

I was ready to grab a raft and float around a bit.  There was just too much water for the drains to handle.

We are dry for a couple of days with more rain coming in this weekend.  I will enjoy the drying out - even though it is only for a few days. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Still Here

Yep, I am still around despite the fact that my good intentions to be a better blogger seemed to have flown away as quickly as February.   

The weather has been so nice and that tends to take me outside more than staying inside and stitching.  It has been the calm before the storm as I hear we are in for another big series of storms starting tomorrow.  What is it that they say, "Make hay while the sun shines"???

I managed to finally get my Allietare quilt finished.  I put the binding on and them remembered that it was suppose to have a scalloped edge.  Dang!  I may eventually take the binding off and redo it with the scallops as I love the look of scallops on quilt edgings.  Of course, that means that I will need to redo the binding with a biased binding too. 




Before I do that I need to get Scrap Dance Waltz and En Provence quilted.




As those of you who have followed my blog for awhile, it is the time of the year for the grandchildren's school auction.  That means it is time to get my 18" doll uniform made.  Have I ever told you how much I love sewing doll clothing????  ;-)



See those perfectly matched plaids?  TOTAL accident, but don't you love it when that happens?

As I mentioned, we've had some really nice temperatures lately and my Temperature Quilt is "heating up" nicely. 



I'm part of a couple of bees/swaps this year.  The first is our Gridster Bee.  The block this month was a pineapple block for Sherri.  I really enjoyed this block and can see a pineapple quilt at some point in my future. 


Using the same design I made a little garden flag for Jeanna



The second bit of fun was a mug rug swap with a group of gals who have sewn together for several years.  This is the block that I made for my partner's request for a Halloween mug rug. 



Ida made me this darling Valentine's mug rug.  I really like the scrappiness of it.  I love swapping out my mug rugs throughout the year and keep a little quilted box of them on my table.



We went to our eldest son's for their Super Bowl party.  What a game!  Taco Man came again this year.  I am fascinated by how this is done.  It is thinly slicked meat skewered with pineapple.  It is then cooked from the back while rotating.  As it cooks, they continually slice off the cooked part into nice little shreds for the tacos.  Can I tell you that it is delicious?



Several of my orchids have started blooming with lots more to follow.  They must know spring is quickly approaching.



As well, the Christmas cactus is finishing up with its blooming.  They stay outside all year so their bloom depends on the weather each year.  This is a special plant as it is an offspring of one that belonged to my grandmother.  I have started so many new ones from the initial piece she gave me. 



I'll see if I can do a better job of blogging.  No promises!


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Good Bye, January

Holy cow....how can January be gone already?  They say time flies when you are having fun so I guess I must be having a LOT of fun.  My month has zipped past at a crazy speed.

Other than a lot of mending, my sewing has been relegated to finishing up some of the projects that I have in the works.  I have managed to complete all of the blocks for the Scrap Dance Waltz.  I have concentrated on doing it in two colors - blue and light gray - but of course my blues are all scrappy.  I just couldn't make a two color quilt with just two fabrics.  Now I need to consider what I will do for  borders on it.


We've had some summerlike weather this week.  I love the heat so it makes me really happy, but I am most excited about the high temps because that means I get to dip into some of my oranges in my Temperature Quilt (link on sidebar). 




The temps ranged from 32 - 86 degrees this month.  See that nice bright orange that go added? 



My sister who lives in Alaska is doing the Temperature Quilt as well.  It will be fun to compare them at the end of the year.  She, very cleverly, is including upside down geese on the days when the temperatures are below freezing.  She had ONE right side up goose for the month of January!!!  Although she has no blog, she can be found on IG under alaskanquilter. 


The temperatures have really confused my iris this year.  It is unusual that we should get blooms at this time of the year, but hey have been blooming since late October.  Guess they are just a bit mixed up. 


Time marches on.....enjoy the short month of February.

Linking up this week with Midweek Makers and Tuesday Linky Party at Freemotion by the River.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Snowy Trip

This past weekend we made our annual trek to the Sierras for our winter family trip.  Little did we know that we would be there for the largest storm to hit the Sierras in over a decade.  They have had an incredible amount of snow this year so our chains we kept handy and were needed early on the way up.  They never came off.

Although it is always a bit nerve wracking to drive under those conditions, the drive was spectacularly beautiful.  We were scheduled to leave Sunday morning, but we were snowed in after receiving 4-5 feet of fresh snow between Saturday and Sunday.  All roads were closed in and out.  We thought Monday was a no go as well, but they managed to avalanche blast and clear the southbound route by 4 p.m.  It was a very slow go down the mountainside with a CHP caravan and chains, but the drive was phenomenal.  It was just in time as the food supply was dwindling as well as the wine!!!  There were many Donner Party jokes passing about as we checked out the fat content of each person.  lol










The chains came off just as the sun set and we were more than happy for that.  We have for years thought it would be fun to get snowed in up there, but now we can say that we have "been there and done that".  I'm okay with not repeating the thrill.

While we were there we celebrated one of the little one's birthday.  Our daughter made the cutest cupcakes for a hamburger loving little guy.



Today I finally managed to get into the sewing space for a little stitching time.  The Temperature Quilt QAL has been calling my name this year.  I have dutifully keep a record of our temperatures and have caught up to date using a Flying Geese pattern for it.



I'm looking forward to adding some of the oranges and reds as it warms up a bit here.  Right now I seem to be very green!!!