Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bearing Gifts from Afar.....


No, not the 3 Kings.....the postman!

Okay, I've been a bad, bad, girl. I saw the Christmas paper wrapped squishy inside the box.

I saw that the box was from Gotham City.....my fave!

I knew who it was from.

Could I wait? After all it is only a week away. Could I?

Well, your answer is right here.

Yessirreee Bob, I snatched that paper off in about two flicks of a bobtail dog (which in Maya's case is lightening speed fast) and what to my delight did I find?

Awwww, my heart is full and Christmas arrived officially at my house anyway!

Thanks V. I love it and it is perfect for the table isn't it?

When I moved here, I chose this table because I knew it would have to do triple duty. It is my cutting table, and it is the table where I pin baste my quilts, and finally it is where I host a dinner party or two.

That I have my stash in the dining room (in that lovely red cabinet at the end of the table) seems not to faze my guests and they love looking at all the fabric there.

I'm a lucky woman.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Katie Did.......


I got an email today about an earlier posting on my blog from Katie at the Katie Did blog.
Bless her heart for writing and I'm going to try to answer her here because it requires pics.

This is the quilt she was asking about and what she asked is ~ Can you share the size of the larger squares?

Simple enough request and I probably should be able to whip out a number, but I'm not there yet. I don't have the pattern for this quilt and don't even know who to give credit to. I liked it and wanted to make it and saw the picture somewhere and while mine will not be exactly like this....it will be somewhat like this.

I decided to figure out the pattern by working backwards from the outside in.

I resolved to cut my strips 2 1/2 inches wide for the sashing and thought that I'd make the corner squares first. Those are the squares at the intersections where the big squares and sashing meet. I made them with the smaller squares (2 1/2") framed with 2 1/2" borders like you see in this picture. They measured out at about 6 1/2" as you see here.

Next I would make the rectangles that would be on each side of the larger squares.





Here they are all laid out and ready to go. I know that they will be 6 1/2" wide by approximately 10 1/2". Once I know how long the rectangle sashing blocks actually are, I will be able to cut the large squares. Then it's just a matter of assembling the quilt top.

I have no idea what kind of border I'll finish this with...I might float the whole thing in the plain off-white fabric that I used for the sashing. Not every quilt demands a frame and I'll have to see what this one calls out for when it's assembled.








These are the fabrics for the large squares. There is some yellow and some brown prints, but I think it's an awful lot of pink, don't you? I had originally thought I'd make this quilt for my bed and am making it full/queen size. But, I'm not feeling it so much. So maybe it will be gifted.

By the way, go on over to see Katie's blog, it's full of goodies.

Happy sewing.

Recognizing Generous Crafters and Other Stuff......


The Sew, Mama, Sew blog writes today about recognizing those crafters who do charitable work and asks for nominations. I've participated in a joint effort or two, and follow the work of a very talented artist who has encouraged many of us to do just that. They're going to gift 15 of the nominees, and I would love for her to be one of them, but more than that I just wanted to publicly acknowledge her generosity. This is what I wrote:

I'd like to nominate Victoria of the Bumblebeans blog. (http://bumblebeans.blogspot.com/) She has organized some "block gather" projects for quilts that she assembled, quilted, and donated. She issued the call to action on her blog, sent out fabrics to be used in the blocks, and encouraged us along every step in the process. She also set up a separate blog for one of the projects (http://sisboompow.blogspot.com/) so we could see each others blocks as they were sent in before being assembled, and for us to talk about our process. It was an incredible amount of work, done joyfully.

Since I'm writing about V, I swiped the photo of that fabric you see from her blog. I hope she doesn't mind, but it is a direct link to my first ever sewing memory. When I was about 7 or 8, after watching my mom turn out clothing, home decor, and upholstery from her skilled hands and sewing machine...I too wanted to sew. Mostly for my dolls, but the very first thing I made were pillow cases for my mom on Mother's day. My Godmother showed me how to make them on the sewing machine at her house and the fabric you see there in that picture is the fabric I remember using. Now it may not have been exactly like that, but it was yellow and it was roses and it was a border print. I can't describe how accomplished I felt and it was the start of a long relationship for me and the machine.

I'm sewing blocks today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh so thankful for....


* Friends and Family, far and near

* Quilty Gurlz in North Carolina at the LQS who still count me among them

* Blog Buddies who encourage and inspire me with their creativity and good humor

* Needs are met and so are most of my wants

* My sweet girl, Maya, and her constant companionship....woof!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's in the works?

Not in these colors. Not with these fabrics.
Not with this border.

But you get the idea. It's all cut out and some of the sashing is in progress. Those little squares are 2 1/2 inches and I'm using a dozen different fabrics. The last to be cut will be the big squares, and assembly should be fast.

I wanted a quilt that would showcase some of my favorite fabrics that I collected in 2006.

Can't wait to show you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wow ~ where have I been?


I've been squirrely.

I was gonna move and was half-way into packing when it occurred to me that I was happy in this apartment and didn't want to leave. So I had to undo all I had done, cancel all I had arranged for, and settle back in.

In the meantime the clock was ticking on finishing the Sis Boom Pow blocks....done and in the mail.

The clock was ticking on finishing some pillows for my cousin's daughters who are both away at school....done and mailed.

And I was anxious to get back to a quilt I had started piecing months ago and then abandoned.

So, how are you?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Eenie Meenie BumbleBeenie

I love getting envelopes in the mail from NY, NY!

That is where the lovely V (of Bumblebeans blog) lives. She's assembled another group of quilters to do a quilt for charity and the fabrics arrived today. YAY!!! Now, just to put the old thinking cap on and see what I can come up with.

Also in the package was a little itsy-bitsy quilt she says is a mat for my tea cup or coffee mug. Oh man, I'm not sitting any hot liquids on it ~~ I think it's going on the wall in my sewing room. I love it. Thanks V, my heart is glad.


I love it especially because it has one of her favorite fabrics (see the turquoise flower?). I've seen it in many of her quilts and she must be running out of it, which makes it so precious to me. It reminds me of Mexico.





























I'm supposed to be photographing and listing stuff to sell on Craigslist in prep for my move next month.
I'm supposed to be working on my cousin's pillow covers.
I'm supposed to be making a gazillion decisions on what to take or what to sell.

But guess what I'll be doing? LOL

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No, You're Not seeing Spots....It's Snow!!


I found a blog or two with snowfall and thought I'd like some too.

After all, for about 5 months of the year our temps here in Sacramento are in the 90's/100's and I'm ready for some snow!!! (Just to clarify, it never snows here....so this is all wishful thinking.)

This was the view from my porch in N.C. when I lived there. Before the snow plow passed. Lovely, quiet, soft-falling snow.

I miss it.

The temps here have lowered to the high 70's which lets me know that the two weeks of fall (or of spring) has arrived. So, that means that winter is on the way.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sis Boom Pow!!!!


Lovely V, my buddy from the Bumblebeans Blog is always doing something wonderful, and now she's asked me and a bunch of talented quilters to join her. She will be gifting us with some white squares and some pieces from Jennifer Paganelli's Sis Boom line of fabrics for Free Spirit. We are to make 2 blocks and send them back so that she can assemble them into a charity quilt.

Now, I'm just a little intimidated by the company I'll keep, but I'm game and excited to see what those fabrics say to me. Those are her two blocks......see what I mean?

She has started a separate blog to keep everyone up to date on our progress. You can follow along with us HERE.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday.....

She's the sweetest girl and even though she's 8, she still looks like a little girl. That is, until you look up under her chin where she has lots of white hairs (just like the ones I have up under my chin!).













Anyway, I thought I'd show you so you could admire her great beauty along with me. Did you notice that she has thick eyeliner on? She is channeling her inner Cleopatra, or maybe it's Nefertiti.

I also thought I'd show you that I've put up a flannel sheet to serve as a design wall near the sewing machine, and there are 4 blocks up there. The only part that shows up on this pic is the center, cause the frame is the same color as the sheet.

Hey, every little bit of progress counts. I also put some snazzy red legs from IKEA on my sewing table, because the original legs were wobbly.

I had to run errands earlier and didn't finish because I had to get home and out of the smoke. My asthma is giving me fits and there are fires in the foothills to the east and also to the west, so it's all coming here. Oh Happy Day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lovely Squishy In The Mail....YAY!


Hey, I might not be consistent in blogging, but I'm consistent in reading blogs and one that I read daily is Wanda's "Exuberant Color" ~ doesn't that title just say it all? Lately in addition to quilt making she has been making journal covers. She featured one recently on her blog made with selvages and Kaffe Fasset fabric and I was a goner.

I sent off a quick email asking if she would make another and sell it, and she was kind enough to agree. Paypal handled the transaction and the mailman brought this to me today!!!

Ta-Daaaaaaa!! She even sent me a "seed" block to encourage me. I love it!!

It is just the best. I am not much at journaling, but I have wanted a little notebook to keep notes in about the quilts I make. Stop laughing! I do make quilts....just haven't made many lately. But I have big plans and so that counts, doesn't it? LOL

Thank you Wanda for making my day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Iraqi Bundles of Love

"It is a project intended to help people who are just trying to get on with their lives–clothe their children, make a living, create something beautiful. And best of all, it is in a language I totally speak–the language of fibers."

I read about this effort a month or so ago on someone's blog (sorry, I can't remember where) but ran across it again today on Sew. Mama, Sew! Blog. Click on the link and go read about it.

I wanted to participate when I first read about it, but was held back by having to decide which fabrics I wanted to send....lol....which of my lovelies would I part with?

No worry. Sew, Mama, Sew has taken all the worry out of it. For $15 they will send a bundle containing all this!!!
  • 5 yards of new fabric
  • 16 sewing needles in a case
  • 32 pearlized pins on a wheel
  • 1 tomato pincushion
  • 1 pair folding scissors
  • 1 150-yd spool white thread
Not only is it generous, thanks to their partnership with wholesale fabric vendors, but the price includes the shipping! It's easy to do, just Click on the this link which takes you to the SMS shop and you can purchase your bundle there. So easy.

Not much going on sewing-wise here ~ but soon. I have stuff cut and ready to go. The dining room table is covered with pieces and parts, so I need to get going on it. Soon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Please Take a Minute to Read This....



Those of you who have been quilting a little bit may recognize the name Kathy Sandbach, author/teacher/machine quilter recognized for her machine quilting talents and her willingness to share them. I ran across some disheartening news about her recently and wish you would take a minute to read on and do what your heart leads you to do.


Here's a link to one of her books

and here's something her son wrote ~~

Hello, this is Ken Sandbach, Kathy’s son. As some of you know by now my mom has been diagnosed with a nasty type of dementia, called Frontal Temporal Dementia. If you were around her the last few years at all, you may have noticed some behavior changes—slight at first, and then progressing to downright bizarre. It took the kids some time (unfortunately), but this last December we finally got the diagnosis, and began putting all the pieces together. Her symptoms these days are too numerous for this email, but if you’re curious Google Frontal Temporal Dementia or go to www.mayoclinic.com and search there.

The reason for writing is to let you know after a long conversation with my sister we have decided to begin selling my mom’s quilting legacy. We are down to about 6 month’s money left for Kathy’s care, and have found that Social Security and Medicare just don’t cut it. Assisted living care is running 7k/month, not including her insurance and mortgage payments (her Oregon house in on the market, but no one is buying these days).

As a test experiment we have put 3 of her quilts on eBay to test reception (check them out soon, they won’t be there too long). If this eBay auction proves to be worthwhile, there are more quilts that will make their way to you—her fans. While this is a tough time, and even tougher decision to make, we’re hoping that the people who love them most will be willing to adopt them.

Please, PLEASE, forward this information to your address books/quilt lovers, and ask they do the same. Kathy has traveled all over the United States and UK teaching, so I am hoping this information will make its way around the entire quilting universe!

If you have any questions feel free to email me at ken.sandbach@beamglobal.com or my sister at kristine.sandbach@wachovia.com. Also there is a guestbook at mom’s old website www.machinequiltlady.com. Please go there and sign the guestbook. It would mean a lot to grasp just how many people Kathy has touched through quilting.

Sincerely,

Ken Sandbach

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two More Finishes


Yes, I know ~ they're just alike!

I used up the last of my racecar fabric to make these two cuties for two cuties. My great-grandson Kyle just got his first big boy bed and it's one of those race car beds. The little boy across the hall, Jesse, who is a month older than Kyle just got his first big boy bed too and it's a race car bed too.

So, in celebration of this momentous event in their lives, I hit my stash up and made two. I've found that making two is as easy as making one, if they are both alike and use the same fabrics.

I sewed the binding on yesterday and today washed them and dried them...I love that moment when I take them out of the dryer and see them in all their crinkly loveliness.

Ahhhhh.

Now I have some blocks in progress that I'll pick up and work on tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Satisfying Finish ~


love this quilt!

I've been saving these fabrics for more than a few years knowing that I wanted to make a scrap quilt using these colorways.

Then a year ago I started cutting into the fabrics thinking I would make a scrappy mountain majesty quilt. But, I needed to stop so I could pack for my move to California.

Then I hit the wall, once here, and was in a creative slump and little depression.

Finally, I pulled the pieces out and thought about it a while and changed my mind. I wanted a zig zag quilt.

More cutting and playing around with the fabrics....trying some and then setting them aside. This is the result.

My cousin Ted who is a fine artist who loves to tease me and always asks if I'm still making "those pot-holders" will get this one.

Pot holder? I don't think so.



This fabric is my favorite. It has script which I can't read (is it me in my old age or is that how it was designed?) and scattered throughout are some images. I love the horse. I hope it will remind Ted of our Grandparent's farm.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sally Bramald's Wonderful Feathered Star....

If you are not familiar with this blog (Feather on a Wire) you need to go have a look. I started reading it oh at least a couple of years ago. I initially was attracted to her wonderful quilting....Sally is the queen of feathers and I love feathers. For several months she has been working on a feathered star quilt with some swags on the border to die for. Go have a look. Go on, be envious, it's okay. And while you're there, say hi.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Direct Link to the Quilt....

is HERE
Go Bid it Up!!!
Remember it's called Nothin But Kisses......Muah!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Love Without Boundaries


The live auction of the quilt that many of us contributed to will be up on EBay Here tomorrow. Be sure to bid on it to help raise as much money as possible to this worthwhile cause. If you don't remember the quilt.... Here it is.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Last Week it was Susan Boyle....

But this week on Britain's Got Talent it was a 12 year old...check him out!

Has he got amazing pipes or what?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I've gone missing again!

I realize that I've been gone, but haven't felt up to blogging as it is serious allergy season here in the valley and I've been gone for 10 years and now that I'm back for my first spring, it's like I'm fresh meat to all the pollen! Yikes! Hack, hack, wheeze, wheeze, and all the lovely other bits. So, I'm out of it. This too shall pass, but in the meantime, I'm out of it.

In the mail today I got a card from Victoria of the Bumblebeans Blog. She put a picture of her Nothing but Kisses quilt that she made from 9 patches gathered from friends. I sent her some, but they were the wrong size...doh!
Anyway, this quilt will be auctioned at the Born in my Heart Art Auction. You can read about the non-profit group sponsoring this auction by clicking HERE.

The auction will be online on April 23-28, and I hope you will bookmark the link and bid up the quilt. It will help a lot of children.

I've got a couple of things in process, but going is slow. And now, I'm back to the couch!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Squishy Envelope in the Mail....WaHoooooooo!

I love it when the mailman brings me a squishy package that nearly fills the mailbox. I didn't immediately figure out who sent it....I ordered fabric and a book yesterday, but they wouldn't be here yet. I turned it over and saw that it was from South Africa, and then I remembered that Heather Moore had a giveaway on her blog Skinny laMinx. Heather also blogs for Elle Decor, S.A. and a lot of people read her. I knew there would be fierce competition just from sheer numbers, but I entered a comment and I was one of the lucky people selected to receive goodies.

I opened it the envelope as soon as we got in the door. I found a wonderful note card she had designed, a lovely velvet heart sticker she created, and one of her signature tea towels made from fabric of her own design. She has a towel she designed that has images of IKEA furnishings, so you know we are kindred spirits. I'm so happy because the red is the same as the IKEA red that is my accent color in every room. Made just with me in mind, right?

Thanks Heather for the lovelies in the mail today! I love them.

I'm always excited by the generosity of the quilt/blog community. Someone is always giving something away. Hmmmm. I'm thinking there are some things I could give too.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just A Temporary Lull in the Action

Even though we are in the midst of a terrible drought, this week promises to be a drizzly one. When it rains, everything becomes a little more complicated here on the home front. Maya still needs to be taken out for her walks and for toiletting ~ we come back soggy and even though I leave a towel by the door we still track in.

Yesterday it was errands all day and just taking care of the "stuff" of life ~ today promises to be some more of that. Meanwhile it's wet out as you can see from this shot of the patio off of the living room.

Blocks are waiting and fabric for the next project has been pulled and is looking at me too.

I like that I have all those choices, though so I leave it out to bless my eyes.

Drizzly or not, it's good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The first block, in the upper left corner was made by Sherri-"Sue" who works at the Quilt Shop where the quilty girls meet weekly, oooh and aaaah over fabric, pull bolts and play, plan our quilts and help each other with design issues. Sherri is calm and maybe that tea she drinks has something to do with it.

Block 2 was made by Debbie-"Sue" and her Sue is Wild (see the black and white dress) and loves travel. Her Sue is holding an actual little bitty quilt with an itty-bitty angel charm in the corner. Debbie has moved to South Carolina but still gets back to the group from time to time. I was sad to hear that she was leaving too.

Block 3 was made by Sonja-"Sue" and is probably the most traditional of all the blocks. Her bonnet is embellished with lace and Sue is carrying her fabric in an actual little basket with a little scissors charm tied on! Isn't that the sweetest! Sonja always came to our Wednesday work group with her latest project and supplies in a big basket. I remember when I wandered in to the Quilt shop on a Wednesday for the first time and saw that small group working at the tables in the back...Sonja invited me to sit down and that was the beginning.

Block 4 was made by Sandy-"Sue" and says Shrimp Boil Sue in reference to the wonderful meal that she and her husband put together for us. A traditional Southern Shrimp Boil is a layered meal of Potatoes, Corn on the cob, Shrimp, and I forget what all else. Oh my gosh, it was not only beautiful, but we hurt ourselves eating it. Her Sue has braids and a little ribbon rose on her bonnet. I love the detail!
The Center block is "Stripper Sue" and was a collaborative effort. I can't remember if it came about because I told the girls I had once worked as a stripper. (I stripped cars in a salvage yard in my younger/stronger years when work was scarce) But I love this block because it shows Sue in a whole new light. In the audience are skeletons from some Dia de los Muertos fabric I had and had shared. The stripper pole is 3 dimensional from really shiny fabric. Sue has a tattoo on her hiney that says "Slappy" which is in reference to my imaginary boyfriend, "Slappy the Bait Shop Guy".

Block 6 was made by Ann B and is all about making a home a wonderful place. We refer to her as "Martha-Sue" (she is the most like Martha Stewart) and her SBS shows all of the traditional home making things that she enjoys and does so well. Martha-Sue is my bread guru.

Block 7, was made by our fearless leader and local quilt shop owner, Tod. She chose to make a block representing Sunbonnet "Slappy the Bait Shop Guy" who featured largely in my stories about "love gone wrong" that I shared with the group. Tod is a Kaffe Fasset Groupie and you'll notice that the overalls are from his line of fabric.

Block 8 was created by Annie-"Sue" and features her love of gardening, nature, comfortable birkenstock shoes and unshaven legs (hey, I only report the truth!)

Block #9 was signed by all and reads:
"Made by the Ladies at Tod's Sweet Tater Quilts, Funeral Parlor, and Tea Room."
There is an image of the cover of the book, Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love by Jill Connor Browne which is a collection of stories that we received "readings" from. They're a hoot and are decidedly "southern".I will never forget them. Never. And just to make sure, they made me this quilt...lol.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sun Bonnet Sue ~ Love from the Quilty Gurlz

Do you remember that lovely package I got earlier this week? It was a much-anticipated box from the Quilty Gurlz in Boone, NC. We met together every week on Wednesday and by the time I knew I was leaving, I was already sad to be saying goodbye.

They threatened me with a Sun Bonnet Sue quilt! I had let it be known during one of our meetings that I didn't care much for that much-loved iconic quilt and that I knew I'd never make one or even have one in my house. Gleefully they set to work and I got sporadic reports when I'd call back there on Wednesday! Oh, they were having waaaaaay too much fun with Sue.

I opened the box on Wednesday, while I was on the phone with them....thanks Tod, for letting us be on speaker-phone! We laughed, giggled, hooted and I knew whose block was whose even without seeing the signature.

On Thursday, I went to Tap Plastics to have a clear plastic rod made and drilled so I could hang it. My neighbors, Mike and Dana, said that they could come down on Friday after work to put it up.

After figuring out how far down from the ceiling I wanted it to hang, Mike got to work and in about 5 minutes it was up.

I think I got up 2 or 3 times last night and had to turn on the light just so I could admire it all over again. There is significance to each block. I'll share them with you tomorrow.

Thank you Quilty Gurlz ~ I love you back!