Monday, January 30, 2012

Practical help

Here is the finished quilt I was working on in my last post. The binding is made of various strips of the left over fabric.  I was too lazy to hang it on my display hanger so that you could see the whole quilt....but you get a very good  idea of the quilt in the photo below.
The pattern is called Whirligigs and came in a kit, as stated in a previous post. If you look at the pattern you can tell the kit followed the pattern very closely in colors of fabrics.  The pattern was very simple and easy to put together and would work well for scraps.

This quilt is going to a gal who stepped in to help me in a very practical way, over seven years ago, at a time when I really needed it. I didn't ask for the help, she just saw the need, stepped in and helped, then got out of the way. She never asked for anything in return, nor tooted her own horn about it.

It's never too late to say, "Thank you".  


Friday, January 27, 2012

Swirling along

Today I quilted on a quilt that I pieced a while ago.  It is quilted with a fun, easy pantograph called
Feathered Curls that mimics the swirling pinwheels in the quilt.
I will repost a picture of the finished quilt once it is bound but this will show a close up of the quilting.
You probably cannot tell in the picture but just about all of the fabric is Kansas Troubles fabric.  This was purchased as a kit about seven years ago from a little shop in the Duluth/Superior MN/WI area and I just got it pieced last September. 
Tackling those UFOs one at a time......

We had big fluffy snowflakes here in MN today; but not much stayed on the ground.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pink Lemonade Pieced

This morning I put together all the parts for Lori's Pink Lemonade quilt-a-long.  
This has been fun to do.  I look forward to quilting it now and will show it again when it is completely finished.  

I have such a stash of fabrics I get to be picky about what I choose to imitate the original piecer's fabric choices.  It is fun to think about what her fabric represented and how little of it she may have had to choose from when making her little quilt.
When I was thinking about what to put on the back I thought about the larger plaid that is on the top because I have a large piece of that and it isn't something I have used a lot.  Yet, I like how it looks in this little quilt and I can see it in other repro quilts.  So, I think I am going to save it and use something else on the back. I have quite a bit of pinks and they seem easy to come by....probably will use that.
I like Lori's binding that she put on hers.  Not sure how I am going to bind mine.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

I know it has been said before....

....but there really is no place like home.  It's good to come in, kick your shoes off, have clean clothes, sleep in your own bed and feel "at home".

I really appreciate the teachers and those who travel all the time to make the shows and classes available to us.  It has to be a hard life.  Not one that I think I could adapt to very easily.  So if any of you teachers/vendors read this - Thank you!
Hezzie stays at a doggy get away place whenever we travel.  He is able to play with other dogs during the day and then has his own bed at night.  He always comes back completely exhausted but loves the doggy socialization.  We don't pay for them to bathe him while he is there so he is ready for a bath when he comes home and that was one of the first things on the list of "to dos" for today.

Time to tackle the laundry...


So long California

We made one last stop before returning the rental car.
 This shop is well known in LA as a great place for donuts.  We each had coffee and a donut and they were both very good - not just because of the location.

It wasn't long before we were in the air looking down and saying good bye to warmth and sunshine....
Flying back gave me time to reflect on my classes, the show and what I had learned.  I purchased a few tools I am anxious to put to work and see if they are as helpful as I hope they will be.  I am looking forward to improving my skills with the knowledge gained and practice.'s cold in MN,


Friday, January 20, 2012

Palm Springs

A beautiful day awaited us in Palm Springs, CA.  Warm, sunny and in the high 70's.

I really did not know too much about this city before visiting here...just heard the name a lot.  Many famous people have lived here, of course, and it seems to have a golf course and country club on every other corner.  We saw bronze statues, one of Sonny Bono and one of Lucille Ball and there are stars in the sidewalk (just like in Hollywood) representing people who have benefited Palm Springs in some way.

The town was really hopping when we got there - at least the little area we were in. After meandering around a bit we decided to get something to eat at one of the local eateries.  Most places were very busy and we wanted to sit outside on a veranda.  We wandered around until we found this place to eat:
Unbeknownst to us, it truly was off the main "drag".  Well known in Palm Springs, but a surprise to us.  The food was very good and a festive atmosphere to boot!

By the time we were finished it looked like the town had folded up and it was only 2:00 PM.  I think everyone went home for a siesta.  We wandered around some more.  It is so pretty here.  I love the desert flora and fauna and the southwestern architecture.  Something about passages like this are always intriguing to me....very inviting.  You can't see the mountains in the background of the picture; but, they were beautiful in real life, just peeking through that entrance.
We drove back just before dark and I snapped these photos of the wind power turbines along Hwy 10.  This picture shows only a small portion of them.  Kind of makes a neat picture.
Happy Trails,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eye Candy

Started my day with a class about rulers for longarm quilting and found it to be quite informative.  After a quick lunch back at the hotel room I walked back to the convention center in the sunshine and spent the rest of the afternoon roaming through the vendor section.  Too bad the vendors couldn't have been outside - it was such a beautiful day!

I have never been to a show that had this many vendors - two huge rooms. I don't need to buy any fabric or patterns so it was easy to pass most things up.  But it is always fun to look and looking is free!
It was most tempting to buy the kits for the little quilts because they are so much easier to whip up and are so charming.
The picture above was taken a few days ago.  This is looking out across the hills directly in front of President Ronald Reagan's grave in Simi Valley, CA.  The photo really doesn't do it justice and the sky was overcast that day.  It really is very beautiful there.
A fun day glad I was able to be here, attend the show, meet some nice people and take some classes.


A long day....

Today I had a six hour longarm class and then attended the Preview to look at the quilts at the Road 2 California Quilt show.  Beautiful quilts.  Such talent.
I am very tired.  Perhaps I will be able to post more tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Venice Beach

Venice Beach was one of the first stops.  Had to get that out of the way before it got really busy.  Of course there were interesting things to see there - but not as unique, I'm sure, as it would be on a hot, summer day when the boardwalk would be wall-to-wall people.
This gal takes patchwork to a whole new level.  She is definitely into using her scraps-but her stash just hasn't grown large enough to meet her needs.
This group of  buildings was so charming.  It appears to be a little group of cottages that look to have been built prior to WW2.  When you walk back in there they are all separate little buildings with about 1.5 - 2 ft between them and windows on each side of them. They lead back to the large building in the back.  So cute.
Edited later:  After googling info about these buildings it appears they were built in 1922 as beach side cottages, have been used in movies and were at one time apartments buildings.
We were told we were the prettiest couple on the beach and if we would give some money we could help feed the homeless people on the beach.  Shortly after that a young fellow encouraged us to come in for an evaluation to get a medical marijuana card because we would qualify for medicaid.  ;)  
Next we headed to Huntington Beach where it was a little colder and the sky was very overcast.  However, it didn't seem to dampen the spirit of those out and about.  Sure beats cold weather in MN.
While we see White Pelicans in MN the Brown Pelican doesn't come that far north.  This adult was atop a building on the pier at Huntington Beach showing his/her winter coloring.
Not sure what tomorrow holds - will keep you updated!


Road to California

Now that it has finally reached semi-frigid temps in MN I am heading to CA!

While there I plan to attend the Road 2 California Quilt Show and take a few longarm classes. I will try to post some pictures each day of something special.  I have never been to California - so everything will be new to me.  I will be in the LA area - any suggestions?  I am not looking to stop at quilt shops necessarily because of going to the quilt show; however, other ideas of something worthwhile to visit would be appreciated.

I have my face to the sun.  :)


Friday, January 13, 2012

Come and listen to a story....

I like to listen to audio books when quilting and doing stuff around the house.  If only I would have started keeping track years ago of what I have listened to - I have "read" hundreds of books this way and enjoyed most all of what I have listened to.

Occasionally there will be a book that I will start and think, "Why am I wasting my time with this?" and back to the library it goes. (That is where I get all of my audio books - never paid for a single one. Well, I take that back.  I have paid late fees occasionally!) But now I can download them through internet - no late fees.

 Usually, I am not drawn to the religious fiction or romance sections; however, I was looking for something different at the library when I spotted the 3-CD set that you see pictured above.  I thought well, if I don't like it I can take it back and if I do, all three were there and I would be able listen to the entire series.

I started listening and I was hooked.  It's a well crafted story about communication, compassion,  friendship and forgiveness. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Let me know if you read or listen to it!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Table Grace

Here is my little runner that I posted about just two days ago (Jan 9th).  It worked up fairly quickly and was fun to make.  It has been quite a while since I have done any quilt binding with corners other than 90 degrees.  I realized I am a bit rusty in that area!

Now that I have the pattern I can use my own scraps to make more.  The little squares are 1" finished.

It's finally cold here in MN....


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pink Lemonade Part 2

Today I worked on the second part of the Lori's little quilt called Pink Lemonade.    I am enjoying working on this little quilt. and anxious to see it all come together.

Monday, January 9, 2012

How cute is this!

Today I stopped by a LQS to browse at their 1800's reproduction fabrics.  They always have a nice selection and samples.

This little cutie caught my eye:
They had about eight or so little quilts that come in a "sack" and are precut - all you have to do is sew!  I couldn't resist this one.  It is so cute finished.  I will post a picture when I am done.  Below is a picture of the contents of my little sack.   Sew fun!  :)

I looked for the pattern maker online and could not come up with information.  The only information with the sack and inside is Scrappy Sacks, Lakeville, MN.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sewing Buddy

Meet Hezzie.  He is my loyal companion, sewing buddy,  most honest critic and confidante. If you want to know my deep dark secrets don't ask him because he won't tell ya! 

He is a purebred Notsure Terrier.  That's because we are not sure what he is.  He came from a puppy mill and the information we received said he was a Yorkie/Silkie mix.  But there is something else in there too.  However, his temperament is pure terrier.

This is my favorite picture of him - when he was about two years old.  He is five now and as time goes on I will post more about him and more up to date photos.  He has definitely matured and become a "real" dog that just flops down and lounges around all day.

You can read more about Hezzie here.

Be sure to give your dog a hug today (and your spouse and kids too! ) -

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Little quilts

I have always enjoyed little quilts and have made a few.

Whenever Lori has posted her little quilt-a-longs in the past I have been tempted to do them.  This year I decided to jump in and do it!  She has an adorable little antique/vintage quilt that she has replicated and has name Pink Lemonade.  Perfect name. Be sure to check it out and join in on the fun. Here are my choices for fabrics and part 1 in the quilt-a-long.

Have a great day -

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tie one on

This weekend I was cleaning in my sewing closet and ran across some fabric I had purchased a few years ago for scarves.

My serger had a problem that I didn't want to take the time to figure out and so I decided to finish them on my sewing machine.  I found the rolled hem foot, looked for instructions in my manual - only a photo of the foot!  I was on my own.  I couldn't get the starts and stops to be neat and the rolled hem part was never consistent.

Thinking there had to be an easier way I experimented until I came up with doing a small zig zag two times around.   I trimmed the edge of the fabric close and used a fray stopping product on the corners.  I am happy with how they turned out - a nice finished edge.

The purple scarf with the red/pink dots will be going to my SIL who is active in the Red Hat Society.

Thanks for reading -


Monday, January 2, 2012

First time for everything......

Having followed many blogs for almost seven years I have decided to join the group. I have learned so many things, been challenged and encouraged by others over the years that I figure it is my time to contribute in some way.

So, today is my first post and I will go from here.  I hope you will join me on the journey.

Below are some pictures of a quilt that I finished in December of 2011.  It is called "Navajo" and is from this book.  I longarm quilted it with an all over design. It is now at home in Arizona with our friends for whom it was made.

Thanks for keeping me in stitches -

Added later:  I did have a blog a few years ago for about 3 months and decided at that time it was not for me.  So technically this is not my very first post.  Occasionally I might repost pictures that may stir your memory-if you followed me at that time.