Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rattlesnake Ridge

What do you do on your last day of daylight savings time?--buy your summer barbecue, of course. All of the moving and traveling kept us from going out and getting one. We also had a tough time figuring what would fit best in our space--so decision made, we packed it home. And it fits.

This morning was absolutely beautiful--shirt sleeve weather. We also finally got around to checking out the Saturday morning farmers markets--again, on this last day of the season. The one at the fairgrounds in Grass Valley was a lot of fun. We managed to buy enough to make up for all of the Saturdays we didn't go. Olive oil, chips, wine, chutney, peppers, stuffed scones, and even a maple tree--almost didn't have enough room in car for the grill. We sure had a great lunch out on the deck.

Later this afternoon, I am working on one of the three quilts I quilted, when Hubby stops me to announce that he had another critter. A baby buzz worm in his shovel. So much for our great day. I am not sure fall is my favorite season anymore--apparently these guys start looking for a warm place for the winter.

Today's best....the GV farmers' market.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Soft and easy

A very soft, lazy fall day. It took a bit to warm up and get in gear--both me and the weather. A few chores and errands, and actually 3 quilts quilted. This one from Paula of the Bremerton bunch, looks like it might be a Yellow Brick Road, with the framed panel squares scattered amongst--great idea.

The cats are done--next to put them together for the quilt.

Today's best....soft and easy day.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wine Country Trip

We took a quick 2 day trip to Napa Valley, always a good thing. Wil went hiking on Fryerland yesterday with the usual three suspects, and Mom and I took a trip to Antioch to visit her sister. The evening was wine and dine with sister's family. The valley was exceptionally beautiful and green after the rain two weeks ago, and the vineyards just starting to turn colors. I was so completely busy gawking at the picture perfect scenery that I didn't stop to take a picture .

All I have here is the dog's dismay at having to share the back seat with the Ikea purchase on the way home.

In the spirit of the colors of wine country, I quilted a lovely green and grape Log Cabin for Jackie in Poulsbo. I also started a cat quilt--sold 2 in Houston and need to replace them to sell. I have plenty of pieces from the days we were in high gear producing cat quilts for the Carmel store.

Today's best....stunning scenery in Napa Valley.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Among other chores and delivering merchandise to Crafters Cottage in PV, I determined to finish the service quilts from Saturday. I quilted two Wounded Warrior quilts, and quilted and bound the other two small ones I pieced Saturday.

The first is another of the 20/30 quilts. That's 20 5 x 9 1/2 and 30 3 1/2 x 9 1/2, sewn into 10 each 2 rail and 3 rail. Alternate the blocks in a 4x5 layout, add a border and done in about an hour.

The second is Patty Cakes--dark jewel tones this time. Laid out 8 x 5 again, with a border. Another quickie, since all of the pieces were precut. All 4 quilt tops were done in an afternoon. This is why I cut all of my scraps into nice big, usable pieces.

Quilting aside, I hear from Husband and MIL that rattlesnakes travel in pairs. I am not willing to test the theory. Husband now enters the shed/reptile house with a big stick--looks innocent enough, doesn't it?Today's best....delivering quilts to sell at the new Crafter's Cottage.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Spoke too soon

My new friends yesterday at the guild sew day were talking to me about living in rattlesnake country, and all of the great ways to control their population. Well, we haven't seen any rattlesnakes on our property. That was yesterday.....

Today I came home from errands, and Husband tells me we just added a new critter to our list. Before he could even tell me what, I thought--rattlesnake. Sure enough, in his storage shed, he heard a hissing sound, and he was quite sure there were no leaking containers. He got to employ on of his favorite methods of pest control, so he was amused. I, myself, was much happier being in denial about the hazards of our hillside living.

So meanwhile, I just opened up the rollup doors to enjoy the perfect 77 degree day while I quilted. I finished 2 of yesterday's service quilts.

This first is a pattern I handed out in classes past--Underlines. The bare roots on this one--9 12 1/2" squares and 9 2 1/2" strips, plus a border. Randomly sew 3 strip sets of 3 each, cut into 3 12 1/2" sections for a total of nine. Sew 3 vertical rows--the 2 on the outside with the strip sets below the squares, the middle with the strip sets above. With a 6" border this finished up a generous 47" x 65". It took little more than an hour to sew, and it's nifty for showing off a theme print. It is also very flexible if you can't cut squares exactly 12 1/2"--these were in fact, just 12", so the strip sets were cut 12". The squares don't even have to be perfectly square--for instance, if you have only a yard, you may need to cut 12 1/2" wide x 11 1/2" tall or maybe less to squeak it out. Nothing has to match, so the exact size is not critical.The second quilt finished is our Patty Cakes. It's simply made from 40 5"x9" Pam Cake slices. Laid out 8 wide by 5 tall, adding a 3 1/2" border, it finishes up a sweet 42"x49". I have drawers of these pieces already cut out of scraps. This also makes up from the Little Bloom packs of 10 11"x 22" pieces.
Actually, I have decided to change the size of the Pam Cake slices to 5 x 9 1/2". This will make the Patty Cakes quilt a little longer. It is also a better size to do more layouts and to combine with 5" charm squares--two charm squares sewn together makes a 5 x 9 1/2" section. So now all of my scraps are cut into 5"x 9 1/2" and 5" squares. The only size smaller I might consider is 3 1/2"--but that's another program.

Today's best....being gone when our latest critter was discovered.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Make a Difference Day

Houston Festival was fabulous, and the trip home was good, especially the visit with Daughter in Austin and Auntie in Laguna Niguel. A day to unpack and update the sold-out merchandise on the website, and now it is time to sew.

I had a great place to start--joining the Valley Quilt Guild's Make a Difference Day. What a wonderful day it was. The gang there put together a fabulous sewing set up in a vacant storefront downtown Yuba City. Quilts were hanging everywhere, plenty of sewing stations, and snack support from local eateries. Much was accomplished by all.

For me it was a perfect opportunity to get to know people in my new area and jump start my quilting again. I don't think I've sewn for more than 3 weeks. At least I haven't forgotten how. I did 4 tops in the afternoon sewing session. Two were from kits friend Susan had made for me, two were from the Pam Cakes slices I brought (5 drawers worth). And then I couldn't stop when I got home this evening, and did another one from a kit--grand total 5 tops. Whew, I feel better.
I've come home to perfectly warm Fall weather. Since I've been away from it, I can smell the pines on the property. While I was away, we had our first campers--Pam and Rick stopped by on the last day of a trip through Oregon and beyond.
Today's best....sewing!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I love Houston

Quilt Festival has been wonderful. I am busy selling all day long, which it totally fun. The people are fabulous and patient with my little booth. I think everyone realizes what a great deal all of my colorful bundles are. I tried to take a minute to photo the booth after one 6 hour rush--boxes tumbled and merchandise everywhere. Most of the merchandise is in open bankers boxes, and shoppers get to dig through like a treasure hunt. Remember all of those wonderful remnant dump tables that some of us grew up with?

Meeting all of the Kaffe Fassett fans is fun. We are a special breed. The Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner fans know a great style when they see it also.

My neighbors at the show are terrific. I've especially enjoyed working with Maggie of Bolt Over next door to me. She is the original 5 1 yard pack vendor, and does a fabulous job with it. You've seen her at shows, and can see more goodies at her web site

My web site is going to need much work when I get done. I will have to work hard to get new things ready, because much is being sold out at the show.

Today's best....rush hours--I love being busy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I stopped Kaffe Fassett in his tracks

So I am busy at the checkout counter, making tags, and someone is commenting on the the orange quilt draped on over the my counter. The man himself stopped to complement my choice of color and pattern, and we had a lovely conversation about color.

Needless to say, my evening got off to a great start. Sales were good. Everyone loves our color and so happy to see the fun designers.

So here is the booth, before and after, and there will be more rearranging to come.

Today's rave review.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Arrival Houston

I got in so late on Day 2, that I skipped the post. I woke up today to rain, and the drive today was about half rainy, but not bad.

My car let out a huge sigh when I unloaded it this evening at the Convention Center. The car and I both don't know what to do with our new zippiness and visibility.

I had my first Tex-Mex meal, and did the usual last minute Wal-Mart run for things needed for the booth, plus snacks and bottles of Diet Pepsi to get through the long days.

Today's best....unloading the car, worth every one of the 15 trips in the humid evening.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Houston or bust--Day 1

I thought I might never say it, but I-5 through the San Joaquin Valley isn't all that bad compared to my trips through Nevada. Google Maps is spot on with their time estimates. I was able to plan to get to Blythe, California state line, and darned if it didn't take exactly what they said. My reserved motel room was waiting and I even caught a local fast food Chinese still open that sure beat the MacD's next door.

My poor little loaded down car handled beautifully. I was able to tune into 3 baseball playoff games for most of the trip. The lights in the Palm Desert are beautiful on a clear desert evening. Traffic to and through LA wasn't bad. So all in all, a good day on the road.

Today's best....catching most of the baseball games while driving--sorry, Minnesota.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cutting Out

Cutting out in the workroom is all I have been doing. I haven't been posting, because in my infinite insanity, I have decided at the last minute to go vend at Quilt Festival in Houston. I leave Sunday. So all of the kits and packs are in boxes, and I am cutting Fab Fives--the five one yard packets. They were a huge hit in Long Beach, and they are a great way for me to package and sell groups of fabrics.

I met with Julie from the soon-to-be-open Crafters Cottage in Penn Valley. I'll be selling quilts and kits in her new place starting Nov. 2 (nice date). I'm looking forward to having my kits available in a store.

With my new travel plans, my husband and I will spend our 29th anniversary Sunday passing each other on Highway 5 near Lodi. Since he is leaving tomorrow for a show, we did our dinner tonight--the Tack Room in Penn Valley--great steak grilled on the barbeque right in the middle of the room and about the best baked potato I've had anywhere.

Today's best....celebrating the better half of my life.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Drive

So I went for a drive up highway 49, to see more of our pine forests. And, by the way, a little quilt show in Downieville. Put on by the Mountain Star Quilters, a self proclaimed "small but mighty club".

Upstairs in the entirely wood paneled and wood floored Community Hall, they had a nice variety of quilts.

My favorite was from the Twinkle pattern by Sew Be It. I have the pattern around here somewhere--this has inspired me to find it and make it.Not much in the way of wildlife sightings these days. Just the domestic grazers.

The weather has definitely turned. It was just 50 or so today--almost hard to believe it was twice that last Sunday. With clouds and a little threat of rain, the sunset had some different colors tonight.
Today's best....the small but mighty drive to the quilt show.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Six today

Someone in our family turned 6 today. His parents hired a sitter for baby sister, and took him out for a special day all his own--brilliant. They went to Mall of America. Specifically, Lego Land and the Bodies exhibit. A great time was had, and we love this six year old as much as the old five year old.

I went on a Home Tour today. It was a great opportunity for me to see other neighborhoods in our new county. We found our perfect place so fast, we really didn't explore too many other areas. Not that anything I saw today was in our league. I don't think many of today's 7 homes were valued less than $1M. The organization that did the tour picked a very nice mix of styles--a remodeled 1850 home in downtown NC, a new Craftsman, an artists studio/modern inlaw quarters, a new Georgian, and some lovely traditional custom built and remodeled homes. All set in our lovely Sierra pines. I saw great decks, gardens, and views--all very California. My house seemed a little plain when I got home--but I got over it. My sunset would beat any of theirs any day, and tonight was a stunner.

Today's best....talking to the new 6 year old Austin.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cut and Quilt

Cut packets, and quilted 3--not too much to show for it. Just another lovely day, beautiful sunset.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

No Sew Again

I just realized I didn't sew again today. Got so busy cutting up fabric, I think I forgot.

And the weather was a perfect 72--all I wanted to do was sit in a lovely sunny spot. I took a quick shot of the azalea garden--pots among the family heirloom rocks. The plants are about to bloom like crazy--it will be nice to have more color than just green and gold.

Leann started her new job today--simple review tasks to start. The commute is going to be rough, so she went looking this past week, and found, a new apartment much closer. She'll take possession Nov. 1--so she will only have a month or so of the tough commute.

Today's best....sitting in perfect sun while talking to Leann.