Monday, August 31, 2009

We wrapped up my stay today with the last of our shopping, errands and eating. I met up with friend Debbie Taylor. Many of you know her from the Fat Quarter Shop--she just finished that Green Piece sampler that you've seen on their website. We've had mutual friends from Davis California for years, and have crossed paths many times in the quilting business.

I dragged Leann along for another day of eatersizing--Krispy Kreme for breakfast, taqueria enchiladas for dinner, and Berry Cool sundaes for dessert. My culinary trip is complete--the diet starts tomorrow after the flight home.

Much of this weekend has been spent blog hopping. What a ride it has been. Can't wait to get to know more of you out there, and see what you've been up to. Look at this cool thing I discovered through another Pat's blog. It's from
Today's best....Berry Cool sundaes to top off the weekend.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wickedly Good

We saw Wicked today. The show is the reason I scheduled this trip--Leann and friend and I had tickets. It was everything everyone has raved about. And it's been so long since I have seen a professional show, probably since London in '05. To make it a proper girl's day out, we did brunch first before the matinee. Can't wait to add the music to my play list, so I can re-live the moments.

Another random family oddity occurred to me. Daughter Leann bought my Wicked ticket for my birthday and son Evan and wife Michelle bought me the Muppet Show DVD for my birthday. Both are the color green. I know, a weird thought, but we quilters think in color.

Today's best....Wicked.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Backwards Day

Leann and I started our day out backwards--dinner and a movie. Or rather dinner and a dinner movie. Or was it lunch and a matinee. Well, in keeping with the Keep Austin Weird theme, we did our day backwards and went to the Alamo Drafthouse for a movie and lunch. A uniquely Austin experience, the Alamo Drafthouse serves food on benches in front of your movie seats. We saw Julie & Julia, which was an excellent, funny, well done movie--we loved it, and I must take hubby to it. This theater offered a special dish with this movie--I had Julia's Beef Burgundy (though I don't have the correct French spelling here). It was the most delightful experience eating Julia Child's dinner dish along with the film.

So continuing on with typical Austin fare, we shopped Vintage clothing and fabric. We shopped at the Book People--the best independent bookstore (not counting the massive Powell's in Portland). And then we had an Austin afternoon treat--Amy's Ice Cream, where they mix up specials and toss them, literally, into bowls.

We caught Jessica at her new job at Delia's, a little shopping at Dillard's, a rest break, and then a walk back to Mexican food across the street (just too convenient). So now it's just a kickback evening--updating computers.

Today's best....Julie & Julia, complete with boeuf.

Friday, August 28, 2009

2 for 2

Two for two--I've had my second Mex-meal. I had the day at the apartment to do web work, while Leann went to her job. Lucky for me, there is a Mexican restaurant on every corner here, so I only had to walk across the street for a fabulous taco salad variation. I even had enough leftover for dinner. So I guess that makes me 3 for 3--even better.

I am totally taken in by the art community here in Austin. And I'm always fascinated by artwork and logos. Like this great little number by Austin Craft Mafia.

Leann has been catching me up on her friends and their online doings. Her fashionable friend Indiana Adams has a classy, fun blog

Today's best....taco salad right across the street.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Waiting in the Airport

I am sitting in the Phoenix Airport, waiting for a delayed connecting flight to Austin. Can't wait to see the girls. At least we have wifi here--love the airports that provide it. And it's faster than the satellite at home.

This week so far has been business, business. I got the little Bricks and Blocks quilted and bound, and dropped off at the Antique Trove with 5 others. I made the stop in Roseville on the way to pick up another load of fabric at the old house. We are in escrow there, so I need to clear that last of my fabric out. Fine with me--I'm anxious to have it all in the new place--better to work with it there.

So here's the car on Wednesday morning, before I started unpacking. Kaffe and Amy are home--hooray. I'm photographing the bolts as I unpack, so I can list the yardage on the website. Editing the photos is the perfect project for the plane flight--so that's what I have been doing.

Meanwhile, Wil is reverting to his childhood at the new place. He put himself through school doing housing construction work in the summers. So here he is, adding some storage platforms and insulation to the attic of the bonus room.

Today's best....I am here, in Austin, with Leann, with a stop for taqueria dinner.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fresh Air Sunday

The weather cooled off--what a treat to leave the house open all day, and to be able to use the workroom anytime today with roll-up doors wide open. I quilted 3 small quilts, one new, two old. Then I needed to catch up with a little binding. I did 4 small ones--now they're all ready to put in the antique mall to sell.

While looking for fabric for binding and backs, I came across some a UFO bag with some 30's repro Bricks and Blocks. This is a little baby quilt pattern we got from a McCall's magazine years ago. The original was with 2 1/2"x 4 1/2" bricks (with 2 1/2" background square blocks). It was made with 100 bricks, 5 rows wide, 20 tall, with a 4 1/2" border. I've also done it with 3 1/2"x6 1/2" bricks using a little Bloom Pack(10 12"x22"). Today's rescued project was 3" x 5 1/2" bricks--a lot of the pieces were from binding scraps. To get the same size before borders, 30"x 40", as the original, I only needed 64 bricks--much quicker, with 4 rows of 16 bricks.

Today's best....fresh air and perfect weather.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More quilting, more piecing, more sunsets

It looks like I am an in a rut here. I quilted two little quilts this morning before it got too hot in the garage workroom--one old project, one new. Later tonight when it cooled down, one more old one--progress at least.

I pulled out a UFO bag, and dumped out the contents on my machine. It looks like an old class sample project of Mom's--the 30's repro's are not my bag. I dug out some white on white print to add to it, finished the blocks, and finished a top.

Then I could start something new. I decided to do the 4th variation on the spacer pieces. This time it is a Bloom Pack of Kaffe Orange, with Orange dot spacers, and Diagonal Stripe Sashing. It sewed up fast, fast, fast, and is it ever orange--and pink. Oh well, it was fun to do and it will be showy.

Boy and Dog spent the day working the land.

Tonight's sunset had it all. Gorgeous color, city lights showing, and a piece of a moon. I don't think my camera is capable of capturing it, but it was something.

Today's best....not starting either car to go anywhere.

Friday, August 21, 2009

We're finally home long enough together to be able to get out to the movies. We saw Harry Potter, a family favorite. A cool movie is a great thing to do on a late, hot afternoon.

Last night I pulled out a UFO--a Bargello strata. I sewed the background on, cut it apart, and resewed the pieces. Today I found some scraps for a border, put it on, then loaded it on the machine.

An old one done, I got to try out something new. I did a 3rd variation on the blocks and spacers. This one is with a 6 Fat pack, plus spacer fabric. And in this take, I put a sashing strip between the rows. These wonderful diagonal stripes make great sashing. It's a bit green, but I love it.

Today's best....the Harry Potter movie with my husband--and the kids in spirit.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Road to Napa Valley

We just can't seem to stay put in the new house, much as we love it. Long overdue for a trip to the Napa Valley, we spent the last 2 days enjoying cool overcast mornings and perfect sunny, not too hot afternoons. St. Helena is Wil's hometown, and his mom and his sister and family are there. Our personal B&B, aka Mom's place, is always there for us. We found Mom in good health, and we had a great visit. I also got in a little pattern writing and fabric bundling.

Yesterday, Wil and his buddies went for a long walk around Fryerland. It has another name, but it happens to be State property, just north of Lake Berryessa, that is used for hiking and hunting. Once upon at time, it was a cattle ranch owned and operated by the Fryer family. It is an amazing full circle turn that my husband is now leading his friends around his family's old land.

Today we got to tour Sis's new property on Howell Mountain. You can see they are busy planting vineyard, after just "retiring" when they sold another vineyard property and winery. Another bit of symmetry in our family's lands--our new house is on Red Lane, their new property is on Red Lake Ranch.

Today's best....enjoying the cool morning trek up Howell Mountain.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Audrey's Tree House Quilt

We've had a bit of confusion on the kits for the Audrey's Tree House quilt with Tina Given's Tree Top Fancy fabric. I may have shorted some fat quarters in the kits. Also, where each fabric goes in the blocks may not be clear. And the placement of the blocks in each row may not be the same in the photo as it is in the quilt diagram. For this, follow the diagram or follow your instincts.

Cut both the Sashing and Feature fabrics along the length so the prints are kept going right side up. The yardage given for the Sashing is not enough for a full length unpieced. You will probably need a total of 12 2 1/2" strips cut the 63" length to be able to piece the sashing and borders to the lengths needed for the quilt.

Block A fabrics a, b, c, d are shown from left to right below. Fabric b is the brown and orange sashing fabric. It is possible you were shorted a fat quarter of this one. If you cut 12 2 1/2"x 63" strips from the length of the sashing fabric first , you should have the 9 strips needed for the sashing and first border. The leftover might be enough to get the b pieces needed. Or contact me, and I will send you a fat quarter.

Block B fabrics e, f are shown from left to right below. Your kit should have a half yard of e, since that is the one used twice in the block.

Block C fabrics g, h are shown from left to right below.

From left to right below, are the Sashing/Inner Border, Outer Border, Binding. Your kit might have a different binding.

Hope this helps. If not, contact me at Pat

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Quilting 1, 2, 3

It was cool enough in the quilting room, aka garage, to quilt 3 small ones today. First, the latest design in Amy Butler, then an old class sample that I put a quick border on, and finally an old top that was in one of the many UFO boxes.

I even got 2 of them bound, priced and ready to go on sale.

Today's new project is not one of mine, but a pattern from Pieced Tree Patterns. It is a charm pack pattern, Square it Up. It uses charm packs, or 73 5" squares. I figured that is perfect for my 10 11"x 22" packs, since they yield 80 5" squares. Kona Bay again, with a wonderful black butterfly tonal for the border rounds. Here is how it is shaping up.

And top done.

Today's best....quilting 3, two old, one new--net gain!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday Sewing

Got quilting done on a friend's little batik heart quilt--fun. The next quilt is loaded for some morning quilting tomorrow.

After some shipping and web work, I get to sew again. Time for Take Two on Thurday's quilt. Can't decide on a name for this design yet. Today's variation is made with 6 Fat Quarters. It's the same total amount of fabric as 10 Sheet Cakes, just need to calculate the numbers different. I chose the Kona Bay group because the big prints cut up with a lot of variety and look like a greater quantity of prints. I also decided to lay blocks out in a repeat order, rather than random. Random is hard to do with just 6 prints, and a little order and consistency might help tame the busy prints.

I did the usual offsetting of the rows. I wanted to vary only one thing in this Take Two. Already I have more setting ideas--tomorrow is another day.

Bare Roots---if you want to try this at home. From each Fat Quarter, carefully cut 2 8 1/2" strips, then cut them into 5 4"x 8 1/2" pieces each. This is a total of 10 pieces from each Fat, 60 total. From background spacer fabric, cut 3 8 1/2" strips, then cut them into a total of 60 1 1/2"x 8 1/2" pieces (you probably will need only 4 pieces from that 3rd strip).
Sew a spacer to the right side of each piece. Lay the blocks out 10 across by 6 down. Sew the rows. To offset the rows, cut 2 1/4" off the right side of rows 1, 3 and 5. Cut 2 1/4" off the left side of rows 2, 4 and 6. Sew the rows together to finish about 45"x 51".

On a final note, another great sunset. The smoke has died down, but it probably contributed to the color of this sunset.

Today's best....the nice little Asian variation. Variations are so much fun to play out.

Area Hazards

Every region has its hazards. Last Saturday night in Minnesota we were watching a lightning storm right over our heads, and heeding a couple tornado warning sirens. This Saturday in Northern California I'm looking out at the smoke in the valley over Yuba City. The smell of smoke is strong enough here at the house that I keep thinking we have a campfire going in the yard. The Dobbins wildfire is about 17 miles due north of us, and it is clearly part of our world here--a reality check for sure. And I thought Wil was being obsessive about using his new weed eater tool to clear a path around the house and watering everything in sight. He is right as always--just don't tell him, please. We do have several water sources on our property, the well for house water, irrigation water, a fire hydrant from second irrigation system, and the pond--all the more reason to love our house.

You can see from the picture that we are not Minnesota green here in the summer. The lower part of the sky there is the smoke settling in on the valley. And the smoke smell keeps getting stronger here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Off to the Yardage Store

Or rather, off to where I have my yardage stored. I went back to the old house today. Most of the yardage is still there. I had orders to fill, held one of the open house sales, and designed new packs.

I am on a 6 Pack binge. Six Fat Quarters is a great little bundle to put together. It is about the same yardage as my Baby Cakes pack, and many of my patterns will convert. A lot of other designers' patterns feature 6 Fat Quarters. I just picked up some tote patterns at Long Beach from A Quilters Dream of San Dimas that all use just the 6 Fats, including the linings--you only have to add fusible fleece. Getting ready to try a couple.

Here are some of today's Cuttings...

Today's best....Picking Bunches of new fabric bundles.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sewing Again

Quilting and sewing and designing--great to back at it.
I am determined to finish projects. I have so much I want to do, and so much unfinished from years and years of sample making. Maybe blogging about it will inpire me to keep up a pace--and generate some ideas for all of us.

First thing today. Quilted and later bound this little throw. It's made from 9 Big Easy Rail blocks that were left over from making a custom twin quilt from 2 Throw kits. There were enough border pieces left to put the little border sections on top and bottom to elongate the quilt. So it finished up about 45"x 53". The binding was even done with back trimmings from the 2 quilts. And DING...IT'S DONE. It's a win-win---used up some pieces and I can post it for sale on the website.

Hubby took off for one his favorite weekends in Reno. We traded off watching the house and the dog, so we haven't even had 24 hours together yet. We should get along great in his retirement.

Some business done, the way is cleared to SEW! Picked a pack of Baby Cakes (10 11"x22", to those who haven't been introduced to my bundles)--an Amy Butler Midwest/Daisy mix in pink (what else). Picked a quick new pattern I had scribbled notes for and itchy to do--hopefully to start off a new line of Rosettes (patterns for Baby Cakes or 6 Packs of Fats).

Got the sections and rows pieced. Now how to jog them. Okay, a little math and a little measuring to double check--cut 3" off either side to get the half/blog offset. Sew the rows--TOP DONE!

BARE ROOTS....By the way, if you want to try this at home, these are the numbers. 40 5"x 10" pieces (from a Baby Cakes pack, 20 10" squares cut in half, or scraps!) For the spacers 40 2"x 10", cut from 2 10" strips.
Sew a spacer to the right side of each piece. Lay them out 8 across by 5 down. Sew the rows. To offset--Cut 3" off the right side of rows 1, 3 and 5. Cut 3" off the left side of rows 2 and 4. Sew the rows together--DONE.

Today's best....Sewing again with a new design--and it worked.