Monday, December 21, 2020

Handmade gifts galore!

This year the majority of my gifts are handmade.
For the littlest grandkids...quilts.
First, Fancy Forest by Elizabeth Hartmann for the baby.

My youngest granddaughter gets Le Jardin by Bunnyhill.
I even wrote her name in the corner. 
Both of these quilts were hand guided free motion and ruler work 
with Le Jardin having some computer borders.
The baby also gets this quilt from my daughter. 
She designed, drafted and pieced it using a purchased pattern for the fox.

And details of the quilting I did.

My daughter's family will receive this cuddly quilt backed in minky.
Quilted it using one of my favorite edge to edge patterns.
                                   I made two of these collage quilts from Laura Heine for my sister and one for my DIL.

The hardest things I made were these pencil cases with a pattern ByAnnie called Flipping Out.

I am still working on charity quilts; but alas, with the pandemic, no one will accept them.
 I will hold on to them to gift in the future.
So what is next...
I am piecing a sampler quilt using stash fabrics for 
A Year of Stars,
a year long tutorial on free motion and ruler quilting by Natalia Bonner starting Jan. 1st.
I'll have a red and green quilt to gift next year!

Wishing you all a happy holiday season! 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Productivity during the Plague!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I did. 
I got to be the guest for the first time in many years.
                                              Bringing Home the Tree by Buttermilk Basin.
A hostess gift and early Christmas present for my DIL.
She hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the first time and it was delicious.
We even had Jalapeno stuffing, which was the best!
She always appreciates the quilts I give her
and loves to display them in their home.
Makes me smile.

Lori of Humble Quilts posted info on how to donate to the Oregon fire victims.
Wanda Joy quilted up a bunch of charity quilts donated by Monica J.
 and then my quilting teacher and good friend, Betty O., bound them for me. 
I will mail them Monday after 2 more get their bindings sewn down. 
If you would like to learn how to contribute,
here is Lori's post.

Since I spend so much time in my sewing room these days,
I am finishing up most of my UFOs.
Harvest Moon by Heart to Hand is quilted! 
My first all wool quilting job.

Botanical Sketchbook by Dawn Heese of Linen Closet Designs.
This is wool on homespun and was my first attempt at free motion quilting.
Of course, they both need their binding, which is my least favorite part of the process!
So I guess I cannot officially call them a finish,

What is next?
Fancy Forest by Elizabeth Hartmann
for my new grandson.
Yes, one thistle is missing. 
Today's goal is to get this guy finished up.
I have this darling fabric for the backing.
I can hardly wait to try ruler work on this one.

Then there are several more modern quilts in my queue.
Oh, how my tastes have changed!
I even purchased some Tula Pink fabrics and a special ruler for a quilt with curves.
I don't do curves or notions, so this is something new for me! 
I know Jan is smiling right now.

Finished up Sue Spargo's Squash Squad this week. 
Waiting to see what she designs for the borders.

As my friend Betty says, "Thank goodness for my sewing! Without it, I think I would go crazy."
All I know is the pandemic, which I have gone to calling the plague, has made me productive. 

Stay safe, and sew on!

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Circle of Life

 My longarm machine is in its new home. 
I named her Wanda Joy, after my mother.
This used to be her bedroom when she would come to visit.
My next goal is put a few pictures I inherited from her on the walls.
She loved modern art and had the most eclectic collection.

Right now, I am just learning how to load the machine and do edge to edge quilting.
I pieced some simple quilt tops and will donate them to LINUS...a good way to use up stash.

I plan to take some classes soon on free motion quilting and ruler work.
This edge to edge stuff is very useful,
but I feel more like a computer operator than a quilter.

Still embroidering...
6 of 9 Squash Squad blocks.
I am so thankful for projects like these on social media.
Without them, I think the anxiety and isolation would overwhelm me.

I said goodbye to my mother this year and 
welcomed another grandchild.
The circle of life.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

 Remember that wedding quilt I added to my priority WIP list?  

It is a flimsy and will be one of the first quilts I quilt on my new longarm once I gain some confidence. I pieced the majority of the hexie blocks the year my daughter was married (just to refresh your memories and mine, that was 9 years ago.) My DIL isn't planning on getting her wedding quilt anytime is still in the box. 

I still do a ton of embroidery. I finished my Rock Gardens pouch, a variation on a Japanese Rice Sack, designed by Ariane Zurcher. 

Then I did a challenge project I am calling Lichen. Ariane Zurcher presented a few of her followers a picture of lichen on a tree branch and challenged us to interpret it in any way we desired. I am so representational; therefore it, hopefully, looks like a tree branch covered in lichen. Then I delved into the world of drawstring bucket bag making. Just warning you...bags of all sorts seem to now be on my radar.

Including this tote made from one square from the Aussie Stitch Along on Facebook.

Next up on my list of projects is to work on both of my lifetime projects...Yoko Saito's Vases of Flowers wall quilt and Edyta Sitar's Sunrise hand appliqued and one machine pieced.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Bag Lady

Well, actually a pouch lady.
These little charmers are about 8" x 8" finished.
My first River Rocks Pouch,
designed by Ariane Zurcher,
It stores all the special tools I use for these embellishing stitches.

My daughters pouch.
She wanted an octopus and a jellyfish on hers.

Rock Garden by Ariane Zurcher, 
modified into a pouch for my sister.
I am currently stitching 4 panels of rock garden scenes
 that will eventually be assembled into a Japanese Rice Sack,
the original pattern designed by Ariane.
I have been obsessed with these projects!
Not much else to do now that we are stuck indoors in AZ.

During our last few days at the cabin, my son and his children came to visit.
The cousins loved being together!
Just to have other children to play with was such a simple joy.
And who can resist a puppy in a flower bed!
Aspen is an Australian Labradoodle, which translates into designer mutt.
They have 6 different breeds in them, including Cocker Spaniel, 
which makes them calmer.
Sweetest, softest little creatures!!

Guess what I am getting?
A longarm quilting machine.
No job anymore at the quilt shop and I cannot stitch 24/7,
so I am going to try something new.

Oh, and a new grandchild! 
Our grandson will make his appearance the first weeks of October.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Yikes...130 sewing days until Christmas!

First order of business is to apologize for not replying to several of the comments left on my post about my mother's passing. I thought all comments were going to my email; however, that does not seem to be the case. Thank you to all of you who took your time to offer condolences. It means a lot to me and I will be more diligent in responding to comments in the future.  

Yes, isn't it surreal how fast this year has gone! 

However, lock down has me better prepared than ever for gifting this year.

Debbie Busby of Wooden Spools offered this kit during the Christmas Mystery Sew Along. I could not resist purchasing it as it was very reasonable and included that darling fabric, the charm and ric-rac. They are bowl fillers that will be stuffed when I get back to AZ.

I purchased this sampler many years ago from Vicki McCarty. The lettering intimidated me, so it was a WIP. I recently subscribed to Mary Corbet's Needle n' Thread. She showed the split backstitch, which has made my lettering much more acceptable to me. The edges of each block will get a pinked edge, again when we go home, and then placed on a red flannel background. 

I finished the wool applique on Bringing Home the Tree and have started the HST borders. I actually completed all the WIPs I brought with me. They are not all flimsies yet, but I need supplies I have at home to make them so. So to occupy myself for the next 3 weeks, I ordered a new collage self control! 

We have been very entertained and busy with this little girl. Aspen is so sweet. We tease that she is Ridley's puppy (Ridley is her big brother, actually her blood uncle.) And he loves his puppy! At first, he wasn't all that happy, but now he will not let her out of his sight. 

Hope you are making progress on your holiday sewing projects. As fast as time is flying by these days, it will be just around the corner.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

A little progress each day...

leads to a flimsy!

I consider myself a connoisseur of the UFO and WIP!

My mom used to ask me why I had so many unfinished projects.

My answer was always,

"I have to do housework. When it comes to my creative side,

I don't have to finish anything. When I am done,

I am done."

She never understood that.

After all, I am in what I call my midlife of quilting...

I contemplate whether completing a project will truly enrich my life.

Not with this project...

started and finished in less than a week!

Of course, mine is an abbreviated version of 

Laura Heine's Cactus Collage Sampler.

My granddaughter played along with me.

She made the whole quilt...LOL!

The front of my Tidepool Pouch is also finished,

but I will save it for when it is actually a pouch.

Connecting with my quilting community helps me combat isolation,

so thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Stitching soothes the soul and mends the heart!

This past week I lost my mother.
She passed peacefully in her sleep at the age of 89.
It is a blessing.
This whole CoVid thing had profoundly changed her life.
She was a very social person, who loved people, travel and dancing.
She was literally locked down in her independent living apartment
in California,
 frightened, lonely and depressed.
I was supposed to go visit her right when all the closures occurred.
I will miss my mom...
especially her love of laughter.

I got the news while camping just outside Silverton, CO.,
where we had taken an OHV road 
to this stunning lake at 12,000 ft.
The wildflowers were amazing!!
Whenever I am feeling blue, 
I reach over and give one of those two beautiful children a big hug!

We are back at the cabin now and I have lots of  work to do as executor of her estate,
 but I calm my mind with my stitching.
My progress on my River Rock Pouch,
designed by Ariane Zurcher.
Making it my own!
For me, a pattern is just a suggestion. 

Mothers hold their children's hands for a while,
but their hearts forever.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Life is good!

An update,
Hocus Pocus is pieced.
I need to sash it before it goes to the quilter;
but I have restricted cutting space here at the cabin,
so it will be a flimsy when I return to AZ.

Botanical Sketchbook is a flimsy!!
This is so me!
I have a degree in Biological Sciences and Botany was one of my favs...
no secret with my love of wildflowers!

Desperately missing Sue Spargo's daily sampler circles,
I decided to do my own Colorado wildflower study.
This study is of the wildflowers I see on my hikes up above the treeline...
Purple Fringe, Snowball Saxifrage and Cushion Phlox so far.
Waiting on some yellow ribbon that is on a slow boat from China to finish it up 
with a cluster of alpine Sunflowers,
known as Old Man of the Mountains.
I have plans for a study that includes Colorado Columbine,
but it is that same slow boat that is holding me up.

Next on my list of WIPS is my Cactus Sampler by Laura Heine.
Background fabrics are sewn together.
Now to start the cacti. 

Also started a pouch by Ariane Zurcher
called River Rocks.
Hopefully, pictures next time, 
but I am waiting on threads for these projects too. 

We are gearing up for homeschooling.
High speed internet due to be installed Aug. 6th.
A printer has been installed.
I enjoy teaching my granddaughter.
She gets a kick out of me being the teacher.
We have been doing some review with telling time, reading comprehension, 
spelling, money and math problems.
Her mom is the principal and computer teacher.
Grandpa is the science and shop teacher.
Hammer and nail skills are a must!

All I know is that we are so blessed to be in the cool, safe mountains.
Next week,
a camping trip to Ice Lakes near Silverton.
I cannot wait...
tons of wildflowers to see.

Monday, July 13, 2020

One step forward and two steps back!

I was buzzing along with Hocus Pocus,
piecing the individual pumpkin blocks together until I got to Row 3.
Oops, pattern designer asked for too many medium gray pumpkins,
and now I need another large gray pumpkin.
So I cut the component parts, started sewing them together, 
and oops, put the corner squares on the wrong corners!
Time to take a break and revisit on another day!

I have made progress on a Christmas present for my son and his wife,
Bringing Home the Tree
by Buttermilk Basin.
Block 1 is stitched and block 3 is almost done.

With the closing of The Olde World Quilt Shoppe,
I got all my samples back.
I brought several of them up to the cabin and
I love how they adorn the walls of the cabin!
An all time favorite Lori Smith quilt that I added a little something to the borders.
This Norma Whaley project is perfect for the hallway.
A great patriotic project by Lisa Bongean.
This Heart to Hand project fits perfectly over the back doors.
My miniature sampler that won me a blue ribbon from the AZ Quilters Guild
now hangs in my bedroom.
Added to my wall of small quilts too!

Finished the last 3 circles of my Toned-Down Sampler.
A flamingo of my own design.
Had to put his feet in a flower bed since I did not plan too well.
The jellyfish at the bottom is my own design also.
Will need to quilt and bind it when I get back to AZ.

Speaking of going home...
School had been pushed back to September for my grandchildren,
so my daughter and the girls will stay here with us through August.
My son and his family are looking to join us as well.
A safe, cool place to wait and see what our lives will be in the future.

Progress and Painting

 It is so gratifying to finish things!  If the Hat Fits by 1894 Cottonwood House has been gifted. I had fun 'Spargoing' it.  This Mc...