Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No Sew Day

Can't believe I've gone a whole day without sewing--not sure what happened. Just business and kit cutting. Floragraphix is history on the bolt--now it is lovely little bundles.

Went down to the Yuba City Valley Quilt guild meeting. What a great group--literally--nice people, large guild. They started up in 1981, the year I opened my first quilt shop. Add that to the list of reasons this new area feels like home. Speaker Sherry Werum told some great stories, with help from husband Mark and friend Mary. Oh, and she showed her interesting Mosaic Quilts, too. I donated 5 of the charity quilts recently finished--5 fewer on my shelves--and the Guild was very appreciative.

Hubby is off for 3rd and final round at the cabin.

I may have to sew a couple strip sets before I go to bed, so I don't have withdrawal symptoms.

Today's best....Valley Quilt Guild meeting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

No sweat...Sweatshirt

Spent most of the day in a sweatshirt--how crazy is that after complaining about the heat for days.

Got the 2 strip quilts quilted and bound, and got busy cutting kits for them.Actually started my car today, for the first time in 4 days. Discovered the toy department in the Foothill Mercantile gift store--what a wonderful toy selection.

Today's for a certain six year old boy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cool Down

It finally cooled down to the 80's today. Another good excuse not to leave the hilltop. A great day to cut kits, work on web listings, and finally sew a bit. And breathe.

Tonight I added the top and bottom border to the Floragraphix stripes--big improvement.

Since I wanted to try a little variation on the block, I pulled some Garden Party. It sewed up so fast, too. I am piecing and laying out following a formula, for those of us who struggle with the random concept. I like Take 2, but I may still do a Take 3 as well. I should do all of this on EQ6 first, but I can sew so much faster, and I just design better with the real thing.

So the Bare Roots on Take 2: From each of the 6 Fat Quarters cut 2 9 1/2" x 8", 4 5"x 4", and 2 9 1/2"x 4". Decide on an order for the 6 fabrics, and number them. Conveniently, there are some nice little pieces from the cuttings. I laid them out on my window sill, right in front of the machine, and near my notes. Pair up and sew the 5"x4" along the 4" side. Make 2 combos each: 1-2, 2-3,3-4,4-5,5-6,6-1. Sew 2 blocks with a #1 8" on top, 2-3 in the middle, 4" #4 on the bottom. Then sew 2 blocks with a #2 8" on top, 3-4 in the middle, 4" #5 on the bottom. Continue on in the same fashion to complete the 12 blocks.
Blocks are labeled by the large piece on top. Row one is 4,2,6,5. Row two is 1,5,3,1. Row three is 6,4,2,3. The stripe theme fabric should be cut at least as long as the rows, which theoretically are 58 1/2" at this point. Cutting them 60" or the entire 1 3/4 yd, 63" is a better idea. Cut 6 strips 7" wide, but measure your fabric width first--if it doesn't look like you have a generous 42" to work with, cut the strips 6 3/4 or even 6 1/2". Sew 4 strips down the length on the sides of the patchwork rows, then add the last 2 to the top and bottom. Select and place the strips so they look balanced. (I did that on the Floragraphix--failed to do that on Garden Party, and wished that I had).

Today's best....real September weather and no air conditioning.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bolt over

Hadn't planned to spend much time in the hot workroom, but when I walked out there to quilt this morning, I discovered a shelf that had crashed last night. The small plastic shelves that hold the bolts right now are not strong enough--always knew it, but hoped I could make do. So I spent the first half day restacking and rebuilding. But it at least inspired me to cut up 6 packs and Little Bloom packs of the Pop Garden line to lighten the load.

Decided not to go off the hill in the heat, so I worked on packs, photos, and the binding quota. There's an old baby charity quilt, a purple quilt that was at one time going to be a jacket, and Grandma Pam's lovely large quilt.
I finished, or thought I had, the top from the Floragraphix 6 pack. The plan was a basic Chinese Coins type of columns quilt. Now I am thinking it needs a top and bottom border, to elongate the quilt, and float the patchwork. I do love how the Jason Yenter's border fabric cuts up, and how it just dances, even in the simplest of settings like this. And the colors are absolutely gorgeous.

The hunters broke camp a day early and came home tonight--nothing moving in this heat. They will go back up the mountain midweek, and by then the weather should change.

Today's best....the lovely purples in the Floragraphix.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Enough hot

Enough with the heat--today should be the worst, and maybe the end of it. I just couldn't get motivated to work or get out.

I did quilt a couple, hot room and all, including the 5 and Dime. And I got it and a couple oldies bound as well. The 2 oldies were projects made from orphan blocks and mis-starts. The turquoise was made from late 60's-70's fabrics, stretching the 3 odd blocks into a lap/throw. The kitty panel quilt was put together by a friend, making something out of the small patchwork section.
I pulled a 6 Fat pack of the purple Floragraphix II and am designing a project for it.

Today's best....a cool evening.

Friday, September 25, 2009

House shopping

Did a little running around this afternoon looking at rentals for Grandma Pam. Nothing yet, but always interesting to look.

Meanwhile, about all that was accomplished is the 5 and Dime top. Was it ever fast to piece. I really like how that Centerpiece looks in the long panels--the bouquets just jump out.

And that little black speck on the wall here---a bat! Where is my hunter husband? Darn thing refuses to shoo out of one of the doors I've left wide open.

Today's best....driving around our lovely countryside.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Easy, lazy day

An easy lazy day, still a widow--I can do whatever I want, whenever. Quilted a couple, shipped orders, worked on the web site, bound three, and wondered where the day went.

I liked seeing these charity quilts bound, and up on the shelf ready to give away. For the two Nap Times I used binding scraps. The busy border just has denim blues. On the one with the quieter plaid border I put bright pieces on. I usually like to use zippy bindings when the border is on the plain side, and especially when there is no zippy inner border, as was the case here.The little yellow and turquoise is another aged UFO. It was made from 4" squares, left from at least 2 projects. There are 88 squares in the middle, 8 x 11. Then a 2 1/4" border, and 46 squares for the outside border (I am always amazed that the border takes more than half the number of squares that the interior takes). It finished about 38"x 48".

Cut and laid out the 5 and Dime Garden Party--looks pretty good on the floor.

Today's best....finishing, finishing, finishing, and putting away.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Job

Daughter Leann Rose got the new job she was planning on--hooray for her. She will be working for Tex DOT--on the road (so to speak) toward a permanent position there.

I got some quilting done. This included the 2 Nap Times from yesterday with some quick meandering. I ran them one after the other on the same back, to save some loading time.

I bound a couple oldies. One was this classic Jewel Box that I am sure Grandma Pam had made.
Junior is off to the cabin again. And I got in a cleaning and organizing mood--don't know where that came from, except that the piles in the sewing room were getting to me. I even cleaned up and fixed a tissue box that I have be using for bobbins. Emily Rose would be proud of me. Oh, for the day that she can join me and put them in color order, too.
Today's up the bobbin case and sorting quilts.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Hot Day

Just a day of web work, quilting, unpacking, sewing. It's hot again, so spending time outside was just not appealing.

Got to quilt a friend's wallhanging, one she sent with the cabin couriers (her husband to my husband).

Then I pulled out this half quilted scrapper, and got it completely finished. It is simply a Just Can't Cut It, using up odds and ends. I even found the heart fabric that was in it while looking for something else, and it was just the right amount to bind.

The Nap Time quilt tops got done. I found at least 3 different ways the blocks could be pieced and laid out. I thought the way I chose gave it the most scrambled look, which I wanted since I was using scrappy cross pieces ( made from old binding scraps). For borders I was forced to use anything I could find that was not too feminine and had the right colors. I really don't have much in the way of primary colors, and I think these will be boy quilts--so this is as good as it gets.

Today's best....talking to the kids in Minnesota.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The day after

Unpacking is the order of the day after. Got most of it put away, updating inventory on the website along the way. Boy and dog arrived home this afternoon, after a long weekend of cabin activity.

I pulled another 6 pack from the Garden Party fabric, thinking I might start a 5 and Dime with it.

To feel like I actually got something done, I bound 2 oldies. The little old 1800's looking one is a special quilt by Grandma Pam, with fabric combos only she can accomplish. I'm putting it up for sale, for you Pam Howland collectors.

Then I pulled out a bag for charity quilts, another kit prepped by Susan. This little Nap Time quilt is usually strips that are all the same 3 fabrics. It takes 5 sets, made from 2 1/2" strips. I made 2 batches of 5 sets each, because that was what was in the bag. I am thinking I will use both in 2 quilts, rather than each in a quilt. The recuts are 6 1/2", 6 from each set, for a total of 30 for one quilt of the same 3 fabrics. A fourth fabric is added next, which will be another installment.

Today's best....unpacking less than I packed on Friday--thank you PPQ.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Los Banos Show

Best little show in the Westside. Only their second show, only their first year of existence, the Pacheco Pass Quilters are a class act. The Arts building, as you can see from the picture, is a sweet old church. I couldn't begin to get the steeple in the picture--I would have to had to walk at least 2 blocks away.
The people were terrific hosts--helping haul and feeding us vendors--could not have been nicer. Many are old friends from the shop. And all were supportive in every way.
I had a great time seeing friends come through. And I had dinner Saturday night with Debi--it was great catching up with her. She is still working Saturdays and teaching her fabulous Mystery Quilt classes at Cloth and Quilts in Turlock. And I got to hang with Grandma Pam, since I was lodging with her.

So now that I have had a good people fix, I am glad to be back up on the hill.

Today's best....wrapping up a great show.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Trying to do just a little organizing and finishing of kits before I pack for the Los Banos show tomorrow. Finished the Little Pink Riley Star. And then realized I have never quilted the sample for the Floragraphix quilt that Dorothy made up. It really should go to the show, since it shows best in person. It's a king/queen size, bigger that our usual kit. In fact, it has been on sale at half off, since it is a pricey project.I posted quite a few quilts for sale. Time to move out some of the stacks of quilts that are piling up here. There are some real bargains, if anyone should need a quickie to give.

Just another golden day, with a very golden sunset on the grounds, as the sun changes to a lower position here in mid-September.

Today's best....enjoying the wonderful air in September.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Roseville and back

Made a run to the Antique Trove to work on my booth there. Added valance and straighened up--much better.

Back home at the ranch, I quilted 3 smalls and bound 3 smalls. The six star baby quilt is a UFO that I quick put a border on, with GPS (Grandma Pam's Stash) fabric. The back and binding were GPS also, as was the binding on the 9 Patch.
After chores were done, I still had time to do another Little Baby Star, the original size. I used a little Bloom pack of Anna Griffin's Riley. From each of 8 pieces for the Star, I cut one 7 7/8" and 2 4 1/2"x 5 1/2". The 9th and 10th fabrics were used for the side borders and bottom borders. I like how this worked out. I even like my kooky Martini background from Amy's Midwest Modern.
Today's best....roadtrip--did I mention that I checked out the Galleria shopping area in Roseville--holy cow, it's huge.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Quilt, bind, sew

A perfect weather day, perfect to raise the roll-up doors, and quilt, quilt, quilt--which I did. Quilted the little baby star, friend Debi's quilt that I've had for a year, and a little stray made from leftover blocks.

This little yellow and blue quilt was blocks left from a watercolor Irish Chain. I cut them into triangles, added triangles cut from a print that I liked with it (what's not to like--it's an Amy Butler). I like the effect, and it's got a lot of depth now that it's finished.
I got 3 bound, so I could start sewing another. I wanted to try the Little Baby Star in a larger size, to maximize use of the fat quarter. I succeeded using the fat quarter, and the quilt is bigger, but I am not sure I like it any better than our original. Plus, in the smaller size, I was able to make the binding with the 6th fat quarter and scraps. For the bigger size, I now have to find a binding fabric.And, once again, Grandma Pam's stash to the rescue. I found 2 backs and 2 bindings to finish the day's projects.

Today's best....finishing Debi's quilt.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fresh Air

It rained last night, so we had lovely cool fresh air all day. All of trees just look so much greener, as though one little bit of rain could make a difference. We had a spectacular sunset--a variation
where the sun created a silver edge on the clouds over the western range.

Our indoor critters have their favorite places in the house--the princess on a lace tablecloth and the guard dog not about to miss anything out front. So nice that the window ledge is that perfect height.

I pulled out a quilt top made long ago from fabric donated by Free Spirit. I remember using a Sew Biz pattern, sans triangles, and making all the fabric work to use it up. It was fun to quilt with a big double flower. I managed to bind it and finish the binding on Just Strippy, too.

For a 6 Fat Pack quilt, I pulled out our old Little Baby Star pattern. It uses 4 of the fats for the star and pieced border, one fat for the inner border, and I think I can bind with the 6th fat plus scraps from the 4. The background is 1/2 yd.Some "Bare Roots" numbers for this quilt----Triangles: 2 7 7/8" squares, sliced once, from each of the four star pieces, plus 4 each of 4 1/2"x 5 1/2" for the border. Background: 4 7 7/8" squares sliced once for the triangles and 4 7 1/2" squares for the corners. Inner border: 6 2 1/2", which will need to be pieced. That's it--I think it took about an hour to piece.

And look at this fab pen from Sole Mates in downtown GV.Today's best....the Little Baby Star, although the pen score is a very close second.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Nursery

We checked out a new plant nursery today, nice country setting, great place. Plant nurseries are hubby's quilt shop, and we did not leave empty handed. Roses and citrus trees--we'll see how it goes.

Quilted yesterday's Get Strippy. Then played around designing some new little packs and quilts. The only thing I have to show so far is a new 6 Fat Pack.

I did throw a quick border, using some of Grandma Pam's stash, on a charity quilt top I had made out of scraps who knows when. It looks like I used the block from Take 5 by The Teacher's Pet. I just made it scrappy and changed the sizes of the pieces. The small squares are 5" cut, the big square 9 1/2", and the rectangle 5"x 9 1/2". Those are the sizes I am playing with a lot lately. And they will work from 10" layer cake squares or our Baby Cake 11"x 22" or my new Blooms 12"x 22". I have loads of these pieces around--will have to do this again.

Today's best....buying more roses for the "Villa".

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Going, Going

The stacks o'stuff in front of the garage are going, and gone. There were thunderclouds this morning out west, and I thought I should get serious about clearing the deck. I was making good progress, but when drops started falling during lunch--well, the job got finished, in a hurry.

When I tired of scrunching things around to make them fit in the already full workroom, I quilted the fabulous quilt that Grandma Pam made from a GE Designs pattern that I told her she just had to make (bossy kid, huh?). Got it and yesterday's bound, too.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, what is this man doing--he wouldn't tell me.
And what is this dog doing--who knows--frogging?

Today's best....finishing Grandma Pam's quilt. Is it ever going to look good on my couch.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Leann

Today Evan's little sister turned 24. Oh my gosh--my baby is 24--it just can't be. She will be celebrating with friends on a nice rainy day in Austin.

I celebrated by making up a pattern I bought on my birthday a month ago--it's the way quilter's think. My favorite stop was Prairie Point Junction in Cozad NE, where I bought a couple fun and fast patterns from Julie. This one is Get Strippy With It and uses 8 Fat Quarters with some additional accent fabrics. I pulled some Garden Party for the occasion--it's a bright, end of summer, colorful group.

Totally fast and fun. I'll have the patterns, packs and kits up on the website shortly.

Got one charity quilt quilted. And the best thing happened--I think I finally came up a rose design for a logo while I was doing some very loose and fast freehanding. Now to digitize it so I can use the image.

Hubby was out this morning doing his nature explorations on a local refuge, but I had fauna visit me right here at home while I worked. She was grazing just outside my quilting workroom window.

Today's best....celebrating with my daughter--got to talk to her on the phone while she bought her gift from us at the Apple store--hint: it's very small and purple.