Monday, December 19, 2016

Vacation Thwarts Sewing Progress :-(

It's that time of year when our time is not necessarily our own. It's a HAPPY time and a FESTIVE time but as far as getting time to SEW, ahh, no. . .

My hubby and I traveled out of state to visit a dear friend and his big orange kitty, Oscar, for a few days. Decided not to bring my Featherweight or any of my En Provence paraphernalia on the plane and am missing it terribly! In fact, when we return home Wednesday (my birthday, BTW) we leave the next day on another more family-oriented trip. (When I get THERE though, my sewing stuff will be available!) So, that means I won't be able to work on Clue #4 until the day before Clue #5 is released. Boy will I be behind!

Oh, well. I wouldn't have missed this face for anything! See that blue dot? It's one of the catnip toys we got him. Hope all our gifts are as well-received :-)

Linking up with Bonnie Hunter's En Provence Monday Link-up--take a LOOK at how others are enjoying this Mystery Quilting experience!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A (somewhat) Modern Take on a Block Exchange

 I belong to a wonderful group of 15 quilters who exchange blocks in June of each year then 'reveal' the quilt they've made at a fun, all-day party in December. We are called the Calendar Girls and we've been together for 15 years. 

For our block this year, we were supposed to make 10" blocks using a white background color with batik prints in "tropical fruit" colors. I've had this quilt finished for a couple of months but couldn't reveal it before our party which was last week. I wanted to try something modern and this is what I came up with. 

Look closely and you can see that I cut up several of the blocks which I hoped my quilting buddies' wouldn't mind! I incorporated the leftovers into the backing fabric and everyone was OK with that--LOL!

Here are a couple of the other quilts that were made with the same blocks. Kim and Diana's quilts are BEAUTIFUL and so very different from mine. Don't you all want to try a block exchange now? 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I Can't Wait!

You know, I'm at that age when time has begun to move ridiculously fast. My mother always had that complaint and I couldn't understand what she meant. She told me I would find out when I got older. As with everything else, she was right. I realized the other day that I find myself saying "I can't WAIT" a lot.  Like, I can't wait for Bonnie's next clue! I've been looking forward to every Friday morning as though it was Christmas ever since Bonnie Hunter started her newest mystery. I think that's what's making time move so quickly!

I've always loved quilts made with the Tri Recs ruler as it makes an outstanding star. However, getting it right is HARD! It's an ornery little thing. That eensy-tiny corner that you have to take off on the smaller unit and its placement on the larger triangle is crucial to the success of the block as is the necessity of having an exact 1/4" seam.

Bonnie Hunter's second clue in her "En Provence" mystery was to make 100 of these neutral/magenta units which will finish at 3". DONE! I've used over 45 different neutrals from my stash so far in the 2 clues and I'm hoping that will make for a really nice look for my quilt.

By the way. . . I'm keeping track of the time when I work on this mystery. I have a spread sheet with date, time in and time out and project description. The last Bonnie Hunter mystery I made took 39  hours just to piece the top!!! Totally worth it as it's one of my favorite quilts! Let's see how long this one takes. I'd be interested to see how long other people are taking to get through these clues.

Happy Quilting!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

En Provence--It's HERE!!

I LOVE this time of year: Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas (in that order) AND Bonnie Hunter's Winter Mystery!! I couldn't rate the order of these 4 events for ANYthing--I love each and every one of them.

Since I became aware of BH's mystery, I've made 3 of them and did NOT make 2 of them, which I regret. The three I made, I did in MY colors rather than what Bonnie chose--a big risk and not always successful. . . En Provence is the epitome of MY COLORS!!

As of Sunday at 8:00 pm, I've made 120 of the 221 4-patches required in the 1st clue. As you can see, I've included kitties as well as chickens! I used about 35 of the 'neutrals' in my stash and have the 2" strips cut for the remaining 4-patches ready to put together before the next 'clue' on Friday December 2nd.

I've pulled from my stash at least 25 different fabrics of each color for the remaining fabrics of the mystery (except for the 'magenta' for which I'm using the suggested 'single cut'). I only bought a couple of new fabrics with kitties on them because Bonnie saw  so many cats on her trip.

My admiration for Bonnie is immense and I wonder on a regular basis if she actually sleeps! Seriously, she is a dynamo! Long Live Bonnie Hunter!!! See more link-ups at Bonnie's blog:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Two Finishes!!

 It isn't often I finish something. I START new projects all the time but finish? --Quilted, bound and with a label? Oh boy--that doesn't happen often. I blame my penchant for  going to quilt shows and subscribing to a myriad of quilting magazines. They inspire me and make me go "SQUIRREL" all the time! So, I decided I needed to finish these 2 small projects which will be a new class for me to teach.
On the right is, "I'm Your Kitty" and on the left, "Who's Your Honey". The title of the class will be "Charming Silhouette" because they use one Charm Pack, less than a yard of border fabric plus a silhouette I provide. These wall-hangings measure about 35" x 40", a nice size to finish and hang for all to enjoy!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Yolo County Fair

It's county fair time where I live and I entered two quilts to be exhibited. It seemed to be a 'blackbird' year for me for some reason and I really love both of these quilts although they're quite different. I earned a 1st in my division with my "Birds on a Wire" quilt,  but was very pleased that it also got a "2nd Best Over All" ribbon the best ribbon I've ever gotten!

My other quilt got a 4th place but the placement of the quilt within the show made up for it. Here's a view of it as I walked up to the entrance of the hall--the 1st quilt you see when you walk in! I adore this Lorna McMahon pattern of Sew Fresh Quilts!

I'm quite happy! 

Sunday, June 5, 2016


I hope you have experienced a quilting retreat. Two, three or more days of concentrating on nothing but your favorite pastime--quilting!! For 15 years now, about 10 of my quilting buddies and I have been traveling about 4 hours north to attend a "Linda Ballard Mystery". You bring the amount of fabric she suggests not knowing what you'll be making and take one step at a time until the quilt is revealed!

I've done over 30 of these mysteries so I don't always participate and this was one of those times when I did my own thing. I brought 5 projects that were at various points of completion from not started to ready to quilt. . .  and wouldn't you know it. . .  I bought a kit from the vendor present (Morning Star Quilts from Chico CA) and made that too!

Aren't these cute Halloween placemats? There's a hexagon table-topper too! Took me less than 2 hours to make the tops and backs before quilting!
I watched a tutorial on Missouri Star recently on how to cut striped fabrics to make "T" and "O" blocks. I tried it at the retreat and it worked so well I shared it with the rest of the retreat participants. You can see it on the "Quartered Stripes" tutorial here.

Every one of us put deposits down on next year's retreat starting 360 days from now!

Now go check out what everyone else has to show on Judy's blog.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bird Seed

I follow a few quilt blogs and one I really love is at SewFreshQuilts. "Let's Bee Social" is written by Lorna McMahon who has a wonderful spirit and wit and obviously loves animals, as I do. Her patterns are well-written and, best of all, they can be (very reasonably) purchased and immediately printed on your home printer--instant gratification!

Her Blackbird pattern really caught my eye and I just had to make one. Here's my pre-quilted rendition. Isn't it cute?

There are a LOT of tiny pieces in her pattern, the blocks of which measure 6" square !! I have to admit that I drafted a larger version so mine are 9" square. I call the quilt "Bird Seed" because the background fabric is 'newsprint' advertising seeds and flowers--something I didn't realize until I was cutting it up.

Seriously, check out Lorna's blog!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

An Obsession


 [uhb-sesh-uhn] noun the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, imagedesire, etc.

I think most people have obsessions, at least in the minimal sense. You might be obsessed with a delicious food you believe you can't do without (although, I'll bet you could), or a sports team, (Go GIANTS!!) or a physical pastime (I know some really "dedicated" cyclists).

Personally, I've always been ga-ga for alphabets and numbers. Anything with a digit, word, name, especially if it's a fun or unusual font. Last year I happened upon a Moda blog hop. Three blogs a day for a couple of weeks and a pattern for a letter of the alphabet at every site--Yippee!! I rose early every morning to download the patterns, kept them in a pretty pink folder, collected striped and polka-dotted fabric from my stash waiting for them all to be revealed before I began.

As an added bonus, they included patterns for not only numbers from 0-9 but several punctuation marks too! I had to make the quilt even though I had no earthly need for an alphabet quilt. I know no one having a baby, don't even have a sister OR a SIL to anticipate a niece or nephew. Yes, I have grown children of childbearing age and they even have spouses (7 years each) but, nahh, that's too much to hope for.

Still, I made this adorable quilt anyway and I enjoyed the process SO much! Those blocks are 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" and were pretty darned tedious to make--but I loved every 1"x 5" border strip on every block and every 1"corner square to round out some of the letters. Those 4 non-letter blocks are tiny hand appliqued critters designed by me (I didn't like the pieced block in the pattern).

It's now pinned and ready to quilt (with, what else? a 'cheater' alphabet fabric on the back!) Who will be the lucky recipient? One can only hope.


This is my finished alphabet quilt, only 40" x 40", winning a blue ribbon at my own Valley Quilt Guild's quilt show in March. The title of the quilt is, "For When A Grandbaby Comes Along". When our daughter saw this quilt, she fell in love with it. I raised an eyebrow and told her it could be hers one day. Her reply was, "I think we're going to have to seriously discuss having a baby!"