Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas! (ornaments)

I had a wonderful Christmas with my family.  I got way behind on my sewing due to illness.  I wasn't able to finish my ornaments until Christmas Day, but I was able to deliver them to everyone before I left to come home.  This should teach me not to wait until the last minute, but I know I'll do it again next year.  I can't break tradition.
The red Santa in the upper left was my first prototype.  I found these on
Pinterest, but the directions were not in English so I had to build mine
by looking at the pictures.  Everyone like them.

I am way behind on my Bonnie Hunter mystery, but I will get caught up.  I have a quilt top I need to get done before January 7 for our guild so I want to work on it first.  I have friends coming over for 5 days of sewing!!  Our own New Year's retreat.

I hope your Christmas was equally fun with your family and friends.
Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bonnie Hunter Mystery Grand Illusion Part 3

I'm behind with total pieces, but I've managed to do some of each clue.  After my disappointment with clue 2 I changed my neutral and I'm much happier.  I decided to use my focus fabric.  (The one I used to pull colors and fabrics for the entire quilt.)  It means my neutral is not really neutral - it's rather busy, but I'm excited to see how it will turn out now.  This also means I'm more excited about actually constructing the clues.

Clue 3 and my new units for Clue 2.

Compare these units with the one around the perimeter above.
Don't the new ones look more interesting?!  These looked boring!
I'll get those red dots in somewhere.
I have a lot of Christmas sewing to complete in the next 6 days.  I can't see to get into my Christmas sewing in July . . . or even October!  I'm a last minute kind of gal.

Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bonnie Hunter Mystery GRAND ILLUSION Part 2

I'm having a hard time with part 2 of the mystery.  I can't seem to get my blocks to come out the right size.  I've made several, unsewn several, and at this point have 6 acceptable ones to keep.  I've even redrawn the block to make my own template.  Nothing seems to make it easier.  I'll keep at it and get them done . . . . eventually!  Right now I'm not excited about my fabric choices.  That may have something to do with my mental attitude.  Not sure whether to cut my losses and start over or carry on and see what happens????

Thanks for checking in.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Vintage Moments (almost) complete

I accepted a guild challenge to finish one project this calendar year.  I selected my Vintage Moments which only needed to be quilted.  The challenge started in January, due in November.  Of course I started quilting late October!  I finished all the ditch quilting and even got the binding done.  I admitted to the coordinator that I would be adding more quilting, but she kindly let me stand up in front with my "finished" project. 

I don't know how I'm  going to lay this out for blocking.  It's too big to fit anywhere.  Suggestions?

A lot of the quilting does not show well in a photo, but here you
can see one of the triangles filled with a feather.

Outside border quilting. 
I had some lines in the center area so I continued that design in the border. 

The binding was attached by machine.  The piping is attached to the binding strip
which is then sewn to the back.  Bring the binding to the front and stitch between
the piping and binding.  I knew I did not have time to sew the binding my hand!
I'm excited to get this far.
Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Finished baby quilt

I finally quilted the quilt for my great nephew and gave it to him Friday.  He turned one in August so I'm not too far behind.  Of course another nephew announced they're expecting their second child . . . . now it all starts again.

The original pattern had another block in each corner.
I decided it really needed the Bear Paw block.

Thanks for checking in.

Bonnie Hunter Mystery Grand Illusion PART 1

I'm excited to finally start my second Bonnie Hunter mystery.  Like last year I used one fabric to pull colors, but this year I'm not using scraps.  I'm not sure if I'll like this as well, but it's what I decided to do.  There's no going back at this point.  I have clue one finished!

The royal blue is replacing black.  My neutral will be white with red dots.
Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Central CA Quilt & Sew Retreat - new machine!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a 3-day seminar sponsored by Thimble Towne.  During one workshop we were able to use Babylock's newest machine - Destiny.  I purchased one and brought it home.  It is amazing!!  One feature I'm looking forward to using is that I can scan somthing directly into the machine, digitize, and embroidery.  I figured out the scanning, but haven't done the actual digitizing.  I guess I'll have to go on line and watch some of the instructional videos.  Ha!
Right now it's sitting on a 4-foot table.  Next purchase needs to be a
table of some sort that puts the machine at the proper height.  I also
need a flat surface for quilting.  I'm looking into that.

I was so excited when I got home I immediately unpacked the machine.
Now I have to do something with the boxes!
 Tonight I made an in-the-hoop project, small bag.  Even the zipper is inserted while the project is in the hoop.  I only made one error that I had to take out.  Pretty good for the first time on my own.

Pattern is Monogram Zipper Bag by Missy Billingsley.
The pattern called for ribbon.  I didn't have any that matched so I made
a "ribbon" from coordinating fabric.

Sorry the photo is not focused well.  I wanted to show
the inside of the bag.  Everything is finished off. The
front and back are also quilted.

I stayed with family during the event so I brought along my sewing machine.  I finished almost all of my ditch/foundation, monofiliment quilting on Vintage Moments.  I really need to have it done in about 2 weeks.  I have a retreat coming up so I'm hoping to get the fun quilting done then.

Thanks for checking in.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bonnie Hunter's 2014 Mystery

Last year was my first Bonnie Hunter mystery.  I was able to pull fabrics from my stash and put together a lovely scrap quilt.  This year I'm planning to participate again, but I purchased fabrics instead.  The quilt will not be scrap.  It will be interesting to see how this works out . . . and I'm anxious to see if I like it as well.

I did find one focus fabric and used it to coordinate the other choices.

Here's the link if you want to participate this year.  It's fun!

Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall Quilt

For the first time I put my fall quilt on the wall.  I want to use the border fabric in some other pieces so I have to determine how much of that fabric is available.  I need to decide what to use for the sashing as well. 

When I completed Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice mystery the quilt was so busy I didn't add a border.  Now that I've looked at this one I'm not sure if I want a border.  I'll have to think about it.

Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Melinda Bula workshop

I had an opportunity to take a guild, two-day workshop with Melinda Bula.  I remembered how much fun I had at a 5-day workshop with her at Empty Spools in 2010, so I gladly signed up to work with her again.  This time I concentrated on her Renegade Thread Play so I can overcome my fear about quilting the rose I created with her 4 years ago.  Once again she inspired me to "go for it!".  Since the class was really not about the thread work, I worked through the exercises with the class, then waited patiently for times she could give me some individual assistance.  It was well worth the two days and her guild lecture was just as inspiring.

This is what it looks like from the back.  I used
black so the stitching would show clearly.  It helps
when I analyse the stitching.

I need to work on being more "free" with my free motion.
Notice how my stitches seldom cross over and blend into each other.
This is why I want more practice before I start my rose.

Thank you for checking in.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Past due baby quilt

My latest great-nephew will be one in a few days and I still owe him his first quilt.  I've been working on it for the past few days . . .  and the top is finished.  Yea!!

I will stitch around all the applique pieces.  I took a class with
Sue Nichols at Empty Spools so I've been using her method of a
small blanket stitch around each piece.
putting the fish together

Lots of bears!
The pattern is "We Bearly Made It" by Karen Brow, Java House Quilts.  I made a few modifications.

Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tulip Table Runner - update

The tulip table runner is together.  Now I get to quilt it.  There's not a lot of room so I'll probably echo the applique then use a filler design.
I'm happy with how it turned out.  I think
I'll use the dies and make a quilt with this pattern.
What color tulips??

Thanks for checking in.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tulip Table Runner

I've been working on a table runner.  The tulips and leaves are die cut then fused and stitched.  It will be three full blocks set on point, then 4 half blocks for the setting triangles.  I'm excited about how it's turning out.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Thanks for checking in.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Class: Hip to be Square

My guild offered a class by a local teacher, Bobbi Porter.  She developed the pattern from an embroidery design.  Once you get the hang of the process it goes well, but there are lots of partial seams.

I didn't like my final product from day one but thought I'd like to try it in solids.  Very different look.  I don't usually work in solids so this was also a learning experience.  Of course on the way home I had to stop by one of our local shops and purchase solids at their storewide sale!  The poor sales person.  I picked out 15 different solids.  She kept encouraging me to go back and look for more.
Day 1.  I tried using scraps.

Day 2.  I think I'm OK with the solids.  I do
know I like it more than the scrap project.

It was a good two days.  I always enjoy classes; the instruction and the fellowship with fellow quilters. 

I came home and used the die cutter to cut tulips and leaves to be used on a table runner.  (More on this later.)  I'm happily tired!

Thanks for checking in.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Solstice (Bonnie Hunter Mystery)

I just finished attaching the binding to my Summer Solstice quilt.  Bonnie Hunter called it Celtic Solstice in her Mystery.  The photos don't really show a lot because the quilting is in the ditch - or as close as I could get!  The binding is attached 100% on machine.  I found a flange, binding technique on a blog that I had done years ago but forgot.

I tried to show the ditch quilting.  I first did horizontal and vertical,
then quilted around the brown pieces to accent the curve.
I did not do ESS - every single seam.

I'm thinking about quilting the 4 patches.  Maybe an arc
around the edges.  Most of the quilt could be done in
continuous "lines".  One diagonal green, the other pink, with
only a few spares to pick up individually.

Back of the quilt.  I used up pieces of leftover fabric.
The brown print is what I used to pull fabrics. 
It does not appear on the front of the quilt.

The binding is attached to the back and pulled to the front.
You then stitch in the seam connecting the binding and flange.
Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Storm at Sea quilt top

Today I attached borders to my Storm at Sea class project.  (Wendy Mathson, May 28)  I decided to practice my skills by adding a pieced border.  It was a good review of the technique learned from Wendy.  If you look in the corners, I added extra squares in the corners to get the border the size I needed.  My first attempt was too small and not enough of the white showed.  I wanted the interior section to "float".  Now I have to decide how to quilt all that white space.  FUN!!
The white fabric pieced into the border is
different than the background fabric.
Thanks for checking in.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Soroptimist Convention, Vancouver

This post is not about quilting.
I just returned from 5 days at the Soroptimist International of the Americas convention in Vancouver.  It was a great time of learning and visiting with Soroptimists from US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines.  Even though we're only 1/4 of the federations that make up Soroptimist International, I always feel like I'm attending an international convention because of the language differences
This was in the lobby of the hotel connected to the convention center.
Soroptimist is an organization whose mission is: improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.  We had some very moving moments.  It's very obvious that situations for women and girls need to be improved world wide.  One speaker brought out the idea that to improve the world situation we need to educate girls.  Her film about 9 girls from around the world was impressive, "Girl Rising".
Saturday evening after the convention I walked a path that followed the
shore line.  The views were beautiful.  From the hotel to Stanley Park and
back was about 5 miles.  After all the sitting it felt good and added a
lot of steps to my Fitbit!
While the convention was educational and fun, the excitement was my trip going and returning.  I were held up on the first leg of the flight because President Obama was in San Francisco and we couldn't get in to land.  Once I arrived in Vancouver I took public transportation to the hotel.  Sounds great, but when I come up above ground I had no idea were I was.  So pulling my two suitcases piggy-backed together, I walked the streets stopping often to enter a store/business and say "how do I get to ___".  I eventually arrived.  It was much easier to take public transportation to return to the airport because I knew where to go.  however, the last leg of my flight was CANCELLED.  Not late, just not even going.  So once in SF I wildly went to United and begged them to get me anywhere close.  For those of you who know me personally, I got to Bakersfield.  And family to the rescue . . . they picked me up and I met other family half way to complete the trip.  We were a tag team.  My family is wonderful!!  If one of us needs help, we all help out.  One sister, actually on her way to Las Vegas, was also involved as a middle person to keep us all connected.
Oh yes.  My luggage had no idea where I ended up!  It arrived in Bakersfield this morning.  They're sending it to my original airport, so hopefully I'll get it tomorrow.

It was a great 5 days!!!

Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I'm back.

For the past couple of weeks I have done almost no sewing.  Yesterday I needed to get back in the swing . . . sew . . .  I worked on block of the month for two of my guilds.

One guild makes quilts for "Quilts of Valor".
This will be part of a group quilt.
BOM for one guild has a theme of half-square
triangles for the year.  This is the pattern
for the July meeting.

This was the second month in a row I won the BOM blocks.
I'm pleased with the result. This will be quilted and donated
for the guild's sale September 26.

While pulling fabric for BOM I found two tops I had started in a class with the same guild.  I added borders to one.  This one is ready to quilt - I even have the backing ready.

This was a class with Jan Krentz.  I used a stripe and
it was all fussy cut.  I'm not as pleased with the final
result, but I did learn a new technique in class.
Close up of the top.  Can you see the block?  Visualize this as 5 across and 2 down.
This was the original fabric.  I started out trying to match the pattern,
but the fabric is so busy it was a lot of work and didn't look any
different when I just cut to best use the fabric.  Lots of bias edges!

It felt good to get back in front of the sewing machine.  I throughly enjoyed the day!

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fall BOM Applique update

I now have the perfect example of things getting done if you just keep working on them.  My attention span is very short, so I was dreading stitching around the edges of the applique center.  I kept working a few pieces here, a few pieces there, and . .  tah dah . . . the edge stitching is finished!  Now comes the fun part - putting it all together.  I haven't even thought about what I'll use for sashing and borders. 

It's amazing how the eggplant changes color in the photo. 
The fabric is a very deep purple not blue.

Close up of the blanket stitch.  I actually zig-zag around the stem of the
acorn.  It was just too small.  I had a hard enough time with the larger stems.

I used 3 different threads for the grapes.  I'm not sure about the lightest,
but maybe I can tone it down when I quilt it, or add a little paint?  It
doesn't look to bad in the photo but it's pretty shiny in real life.

There will be curly cues connecting the leaves.  I'll probablly use thick threads.

The sunflowers are not my thing, but they were part of the pattern so I included them.
Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fall BOM applique center

I just fused the applique center for the fall block of the month.  Now I start the stitching around each piece.  I'm going to use the blanket stitch technique I learned from Sue Nichols at Empty Spools last March.

I like the fabric I found for the corn.