Saturday, January 21, 2012

Road to California shopping

I did a little shopping at Road 2 California this year.  But first I took a great class by Karen Echmeier called "Let's Make Waves"  It's a technique class on curves.  We didn't really get a finished product but we did get to play and make a "piece of fabric".  Here's what I did.  I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with it yet.  I do know I'll add more to it.
Then there was shopping.
I have been working on a green and white quilt - one I can use on bed (or hang) during St. Patricks Day.  I needed more of the right greens for the quilt.  I also bought a wide batik fabric for the back of my Vintage Moments quilt.
 Here are some misc. items, some flower purse handles, 2 sets of Kai scissors and some embroidery and other small scissors, 3" finished thangles, some yarn (for my mom to knit or crochet me a scarf or show me how to), some DMC floss, a material girl sign and a turning tool.
 Some great fabrics.  Soccer fabric so I can make my nephew Shane a quilt, some aqua and orange because I like that combo, some purples for a challenge I'm working on and the folded set I just loved from Jillily Studio.  (Nice lady too).  Oh and 2 yards of radiance fabric just because.
 Here's two more kits.  The gray kit on the left is for the pattern on the left and it just wasn't going to be big enough for me so I bought some more fabrics to go with it.  The other kit is an applique kit with a blue background and beautiful bright color applique - a last minute, spur of the moment splurge.
 I guess I need to work on my applique because I also bought 6 new applique kits, a redwork Halloween kit and another Halloween wall hanging.  There are some new stencils too.  Some 4th of July ones for the red, white and blue quilts I want to make and some Celtic and clover stencils for my St. Patrick's Day quilt.
 And some thread - the left is Sulky and the right is Superior.
We had a good time but missed our friend Debbie.  We didn't forget her though.  We had her picture with us and we took pictures of her with us everywhere and texted them to her.  Here she is in bed at the hotel.
 And here is Anna and Barbara sampling some snacks before dinner.

Thanks to the wonderful ladies I spend the last 3 days with.  I loved every minute.
Thanks for looking.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh my

Another show and tell from my 2 days at Road to California and one side trip to Candy's Quiltworks in Northridge.  I spent way more than what I should have but oh what pretty stuff I got.  I also saw some very beautiful quilts - very inspiring and took a great class.  Pictures of all when I get home.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Honolulu by Alan Brennert

It's a book I just finished reading.  It's amazing how many references to quilting there are when you really pay attention to what you're reading.  I see more and more in tv shows and movies and now I'm reading about them in books.  This reference surprised me because she mostly did seamstress work so a passage about patchwork took me by surprise.

It’s a story of a Korean girls life from a childhood in Korea and then how she moved to Hawaii in the early 1900’s.  She goes back to visit her family many years later and is talking to her mom about her seamstress work.  As a child her and her mother would have thimble time, an hour a day where she and her mom sewed together.   She was telling her mom about her life in Hawaii and her regrets about leaving some of her friends and family here and what would have happened to everyone is she had stayed.  Her mom said that her patchwork life was “fine and far richer and more colorful than anything you would have done here, and far from completed.”  Her mom then proceeds to pull out a piece of cloth, with a green border enclosing a checkerboard of a dozen little rectangles and squares, red, yellow, gold, green,  brown, blue, and black.  “You see these?” she pointed to a half dozen of the black rectangles scattered randomly across the checkerboard, “ I added these on the day my mother died many years ago because that was my mood that day.  There is no pattern to where I placed them as there is no sense to be made of death.  One’s eye may not go to them first, but next to them the blues look bluer, the red’s richer, the gold’s more brilliant.  Without them, the cloth is pretty but without character or contrast.”  “Yes” I said quietly, “I see.”  She placed a tender hand on mine.  “Look around us child, listen to the sounds of war coming from the east, you could have made a [insert Korean word here which I assume means life] here in [insert Korean town here] but you might have had more patches like these than you could count. “

I listened to this on my ipod through so I didn’t get the words exactly as Mr. Brennert had written them, but I love how he used patchwork to describe life events.  I wanted to keep them somewhere where I wouldn't lose it because I love the meaning of the passage and I'm sure I'll be referring back to it in the future.

Off to Road to California tomorrow.  Will have pictures and stuff to share when I get back.
Thanks for looking.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge - January 2012

I decided to join Sew Cal Gal's Free Motion Quilting challenge.  I love to machine quilt but have always had a problem with background or all over design challenges.  I can do pretty good with stencils and I am fairly good at feathers, but all over designs stump me.  I have a problem keeping the designs consistent in size and look so I thought this challenge would help.  She (Sew Cal Gal) suggested some tops to make to keep all the samples in the same place and because I normally make things  little more difficult, I decided to make a different top.  I wanted to use my neon threads against black and designed this top for the monthly challenge.
My dog Walter who instinctively knows when a quilt hits the ground.
Here's my January sample piece.
I didn't do too bad.  I went slow and tried not to get myself locked in a corner but I did a few times.  Anyway I practiced on paper and you saw my Valentine quilt I made for Anna where I tried to make this design to look like a heart.  Practice practice, practice.  That's what we have to do.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Some little quilts for a friend

My friend Anna. from my art group Loose Threads, wanted small 5 x 7 quilts for each month.  I drew February and December and kept my themes very traditional.

I also finished the latest Whisper Challenge Quilt.  I finished it Monday night because I had to deliver it for the meeting on Wednesday.  I added an "element" lets say to the quilt on Sunday and after my husband and I discussed the piece he brought up a good point and I pondered it all day Monday at work and decided he was right.  Took something off and then added something else.

I was not able to make the Loose Threads meeting because I went to go see My Fair Lady at the Saroyan theater in Fresno.  I am getting tickets for Rock of Ages which plays there in March.

I also finished the top of the Free Motion Quilting challenge top which I hope to pin baste tomorrow night and then start my practicing.  I will show that when I do the 1st block.

So what a boring post - no pictures.  Sorry about that.

If you made it this far, thanks for looking.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What you get when you hate to dust...

2 more table toppers that fit the bedside tables.  Instead of dusting, I just have to shake.  I have some for 4th of July, Christmas and now Valentines.  They are all double sided so they do double duty.  They are quilt as you go patterns I altered to fit from a Scrap-Therapy pattern.  My first finish for 2012 but not on my resolution list.
Side 1 (matches--sort-of--my Valentines quilt)

Side 2 (this matches another Scrap-Therapy quilt I've made)
I've also had two add two more quilts to my resolution list.  A wonderful friend reminded me that I still had to quilt my Vintage Moments quilt and then I also signed up for Sew Cal Girls free motion quilting challenge.   (See link on right).  Been working on my sampler for that today.

Also, I have to show you this cute little book rack my dad and mom gave me.  I'm sure my dad made it.  I found the perfect little books to go on it.
All the above photos were taken with my new little camera (Canon Power Shot A3300IS) my husband got me for Christmas.  We have a very nice Kodak camera but it was so big and hard to carry around to quilt shows and stuff.  This one I can keep in my purse and he got me a red one to match my laptop.  What a guy.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions Quilt List and Jack!

Yep, did it!  Updated it.  Will I get all of them done this year, heck no.  Like last year, I did more than half and I made quilts that weren't on the list.  Life happens and things change* but I like having a list so I don't forget what I have.   I do have a goal to make more scrap quilts this year.  I didn't really make any except for a few small charity quilts with left over fabrics from recent quilts.  I have 5 shoeboxes full of 5" squares, 3 of 3.5" squares and 2 of 2" squares (all Scrap-Therapy quilt cuts) and a hat box full of light strips and a bigger box full of dark strips and I need to use some of those up.

*Like today - putting away my Christmas decorations and putting out my Valentine's Day stuff, I realized I needed some bedroom end table covers (because I don't like to dust).  So out came my scrap therapy boxes, pulled some pinks, whites and browns, and am not making some quilt "mini-quilts".

Now on to some cuteness.  Yesterday we had our Christmas with my step-daughter, her husband and my grandson.  He is such a happy little boy and he was really into opening presents - anyone's presents.   Here's a picture of me and Jack.
The quilt I gave him, the Eye Spy quilt, is in the background.  He liked it and so did his folks.  But notice the box behind me.  Yep - we got Kelly a Bernina 215.  She was so excited to have a big girl sewing machine--and she'll probably be making costumes and all kinds of fun house stuff with it.  She's not a quilter - yet.  I hope she'll have a lot of fun with it.  Chad got some tools - guys stuff.  He was excited about that too.

Here he is coming to give me a kiss for a great quilt.

Loves to read.

But of course, boxes are as much fun as the toys.

"Grandpa, remember the swing set Oma promised, when will you make it?"

This is the annual doxie ornament I get from my husband.
My dog Walter loves to drive.  We take him around the block occasionally and he honks the horn the whole time, so this ornament will always remind me of Walter.

I have another day off tomorrow so I'll have time to finish cleaning and laundry and quilting!!!!  Yesterday the only quilt related thing I did was order from Hancocks of Paducah.

Thanks for looking.