Friday, January 29, 2010


The first year in our new home is full of surprises.  The latest is the frog cacophony.  After dark, they start in--the noise is amazingly loud.  We are trying to find a way to describe and convey the effect--what kind of decibel level to compare it to.  They can't be seen, and as far as we know they are not particularly big.  They have to be up near the house as well as down in the pond.  It's a curiousity that has us shaking our heads.

I went to the Valley Quilt Guild meeting in Yuba City Wednesday night.  Mike MacNamara, just "Mac", showed his fabulously fun and crazy quilts with unusual picture fabrics.  He tells some great stories and great jokes, and it was hilarious.

The rest of the time we are trying to coax the sun out to warm us up, which it has done some.  I am on my mad quest to stay at the top of the Overachievers list.

Finished--2 Naptimes--kits by Susan, with additions and backs from the PT closet.  1  6" 4 Patch, a little throw in pastels--PT closet helped with back and batting, so it will also go back to them.
BUSTED!  More 6" squares, the 4 patch border and binding fabric, 2 kits, and several pieces from the PT closet.

Today's best....sharing the frog serenade with family on the phone, although they must think we old folks here have lost it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Raining Quilts

It's been nothing but cold and rain here, so nothing to do but quilt---and quilt I did.  Totally inspired by the storage closet at the Community Quilters of the PTQG, I quilted 12 for them.  And I worked on the quilts I had started from my own kits, plus my 6" squares, plus started working from the pile of purple fabric that I took home.

A workshop was going on at the facility today, so I delivered the quilted quilts and picked up BBBB (Borders, Bindings, Batting, Backs) from the PT storage closet.  The Community Quilters have also committed to helping Project Linus reach their goal of 10,000 blankies for Haiti.  So, oh boy--another obsession for me.  Being afflicted with Quilter's ADD, I could not just pick out the backs and borders I came for.  While digging through the fabric baskets, cheery fabric combos just kept jumping out at me and I had to adopt them and take them home.

Today I quilted and bound these three.  This first one is 4 Patches from the 6" squares pile--earthy tones.  The border is from Grandma Pam's stash, back and batting from PT.

This is mostly blue 4 Patches.  Since I only had 12 blocks, I used anything close to blue and made a last round of random squares.  BBBB all from PT's closet.

The Big Fat Star is from the purple pile that I raided last week.  All fabric is from the closet--most of the pieces are used up.  See, I am help them with stash busting, too.

BUSTED!...2 border pieces from Grandma Pams,  many 6" squares, and lots from the PT closet.

Today's best....going back into the closet.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Community Service...Nevada County Style

I spent most of the day participating in a sew day with the Community Service gang from the Pine Tree Quilt Guild.  At a lovely Church facility in the pines--it was a perfect place to be on a winter day.  A lot was going on--cutting, sewing, designing from the huge closet full of fabric.

I love doing this kind of thing.  I brought some of my own projects--Susan kits--and got 2 1/2 little tops sewn.  Many quilts were ready for quilting, so I took a bunch home--already did 2 of them tonight.  And I raided a basket of purples--got some designing to do--my own personal challenge.

It was my kind of day--lots of sewing, much accomplished, and met new people.  After a lousy day yesterday, waiting in Drs. offices, losing power, and other aggravations--today was a perfect antidote.

Finished up 2 of the 6" squares projects, and have more in progress.
Today's best....sewing in the pines.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rainy Work Day

Yesterday was, well, Monday--even in "retirement" they still happen, where nothing quite goes right and you feel like you get nothing done.

With the pouring rain again today, it was perfect for getting things done.  Finished an old quilt top--a mystery quilt I had designed years ago.  So the old top and binding fabric used up--BUSTED!

I finished 2 donation quilts.  This first is one that I made from a box of 50's fabric triangles--pretty homely ones at that.  I put a feedsack border, and even used up some vintage fabric in the stash for binding and back.  Everything in this quilt used up--BUSTED!

This other is another from the 6" squares pile.  I made the center one row longer than the first one, and added a 6" border.  It finished 55"x 66"--very nice size for something this fast.  From Grandma Pam's stash, I used some back fabric.  And the border and binding, also from her stash, completely used up.  BUSTED! 

Today's best....watching it rain and getting quilts done.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tops to Quilts

It rained today as predicted, so it was a good day to finish some things.  Two quilt tops became finishedquilts--they were old samples to try out patterns.

I took out a batch of 6" squares designated for charity quilts.  This is the first quilt from it.  I like doing these Boston Commons type layouts.  I created a center of 4x5 squares.  Then a background border--in this case some pale pink solid squares.  Then an outer round of print squares to create a pieced border.  For the back and binding, I was able to finish off a piece that I had used for backs before--BUSTED.

Today's best....tops to quilts while watching it rain.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quilting and Comedy

I took a road trip to Turlock yesterday, shopping my way down and back.  Scored at the 70% off racks at Coldwater Creek.  Saw quilting friends Kim, Dorothy, and even ran into Cookie at the Apple store--great minds and all.  And visited Grandma Pam--sorted some of her quilts that will be up for sale at the Turlock show.

Trees are all planted, and we're enjoying the last of the sunshine for a while--rain for a week is forecast.  

Today I finished off a few things I have been working on for the last few days.  One is a little flannel baby quilt, to be donated, from some leftover 5" squares.  Actually the patchwork was done--just needed a border and finishing, which I did.  BUSTED:  leftover top, the border and binding fabric, batting scrap pieced, back--all completely gone.

Finished off most of the Hawaiian fabric pieces with this latest version of the Take 5  5".  It is only 12 blocks--extremely fast, and the border lets the patchwork breathe. 12 blocks is barely more than half the work of making 20.  With the border, it finished up a very nice 53"x68".  BUSTED:  nearly all of the Hawaiian prints, the border and binding fabric totally gone.

 Then I have another variation of the Band Block.  It is still dark and light blocks alternated, but both have a contrast on the end.  I was going for the red, white and blue theme here.  And in this one I used 3" cut band pieces--from leftover bindings.  I like the size it finished--51x62.  It would have been bigger, but I only had enough for a 4" border.  I'm very happy with the look of this version.  BUSTED:  Slices of 5x9. binding scraps, border fabric gone, binding scraps for the binding.

Today's best....a fun show in town with political comedian Will Durst.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Bloom

It's only January 13, and we have our first bloom on the bulbs the resident gardener planted. Wow, when the bulbs are planted, it seems that it will be forever until they poke through, or Spring at least--and here we are. We even had an almost warm day, mostly sunny.

Meanwhile, I am just trying to finish up old things. This Cheese and Crackers top has been done with the back prepared, so it was easy to quilt and bind.

I've been doing more Pam Cakes variations. This one is pairs sewn with a little cross bar on the top/bottom of the block. I put dark bars on the dark pairs, lights on the lights. The little bars were some odd 2 1/2" strips from the scrap bags. The border was a scrap of extra wide fabric, that I cut into fourths. So it made a nice 5" border, and that piece of fabric is all gone. So is the binding and a major chunk of the 56" wide back piece.

Today's best....blooms in the sunshine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Sewing

Quiet Sunday, catching up on listings and finishing up some old projects. Got the binding on this sweet little snowball baby quilt.

Quilted and bound this colorwash quarter of a quilt--I think it was supposed to be a big quilt, but I just wanted this piece done.

And then I assembled the blocks on another Hawaiian Take 5-5, using 5"and 9 1/2" with all of my precuts. Got it quilted and bound, too.

Today's best....3 more finished and on the shelf to sell or give away.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dreary days, Cold water

Dreary winter days, and we've had even more fun--no hot water. The pilot wouldn't work and we had to wait for a part. Got good at boiling water for a bath. It's fixed today, thanks to handy hubby.

Not too inspired to sew, just want to cut up fabric. So I'm making 3 yard bundles and 6 fat quarter bundles of the remaining stock. It is fun putting the fabrics together, and working with Kaffe Fassett and friends' glorious colors is a good antidote to dreary days.

Got a little quilting and binding done on some old projects. This big bright throw using one of Lisa's patterns in the Sole fabric from Valori Wells. And then, going the opposite direction, the sweet little baby quilt from little calico 9 patches.

Today's water.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thoroughly Modern Dresden

Great guild meeting at PTQG. Program Speaker Anelie Belden showed us many ways to use the traditional Dresden pattern from her book "Thoroughly Modern Dresden". Entertaining and inspirational--I wasn't prepared to be dazzled and I was.

Today's best....guild program.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunshine on the hillside

Today is the kind of day when we are glad we moved up on the hill. We're looking down on the fog in the valley, and we're sitting in the sun, pretty smug here.

Business done, some quilting done, I finished the latest Pam Cakes variation.

Today's best....walking in the 55 degree sunshine.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I escaped today--out shopping. Nothing special, just felt good to get out. Scored another great 99cent tote at Home Goods--they are huge and showy.

Also managed to get a couple quilted. And I finished the top on this variation that I started last night. I found the 2 1/2" green strips in a bag--they cut up into enough 5" pieces to do the usual Patty Cakes size.

Today's best....getting out.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Sunshine, in the 50's, side door open, downright pleasant in the workroom--January?

Made some of the 3 1-yard bundles, did a little quilting.


Today's best....sunshine.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Back to Work

The holiday trip passed in one big blur of highway miles, cute kids and a cold. All went great, except the health breakdown, and seeing the kids was fabulous.Now, back, it all hardly seems real. The sun hasn't shone, and yet it won't rain. The only thing that makes sense is getting back into a work routine today. I have scheduled a beginning quilting class at Crafters Cottage, so I need a sample ready for that. With a short term class and limited fabric selection, I decided on a little 4 patch. It can be done from a pack of 3 1 yard pieces, which I will now stock--it's the next 5 1 yard pack.

PATTERN~~The numbers for mine: From the 2 4 patch fabrics, Cut 5 3 1/2" strips. Sew 5 strip sets of the 2 fabrics. Recut into a total of 56 sections, make 28 4 Patches. Measure some of the blocks--they are about 6 1/2". Cut 5 strips this size, then 28 squares from those strips. Alternate blocks and squares, and lay out 7x8. It will finish 42"x48". The leftover 1/2 yard from one of the 4 patch fabrics can be used to bind. The other could maybe be used for a 3" border if desired.
This would be a great big little stash buster for service quilts--figure 1/2 yd each for the 4 patches, 1 yd for big squares---or 3 1/2" and 6 1/2" scraps.

This other quilt here is on oldie that I quilted and bound. It's a sample for 5 1 yard packs--I think I used a pattern by Tracy Brookshier called Shoji.

Today's best....Happy New Year.