Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Back to the usual

I am a devoted Bonnie Hunter fan. Now, mind you, she wouldn't know me if she ran me down, but we have at least one friend in common and so it feels like she is also MY friend. Today I read about her charming scrap quilt with the checkered border. I love it! I am headed to a friend's this morning to audition some fabrics for a border. Friend has made the center and I will do the border(s) that will turn into a house-warming gift for a mutual friend. Nice, huh?

It is very quiet around here. Caroline telephoned yesterday to say that she managed to stay awake all day yesterday for work (difficult after a 10 hour transatlantic flight). She helped me begin (again) the process of "weeding" out my sewing room. It is such a small space and I am such a "we might need it one day" sort-of gal. I must admit to chafing a bit under her chiding but I now have 4 bags for the Goodwill, 2 bags to donate to my sewing friends in CTA, 1 bag for the garbage can and the start of a bag for friend Ronda's late summer garage sale. Good, huh?

Getting the shelves tidy (again). Organized by color, mostly, except for the things that are put aside for backs. Also have my flannels separate from regular cottons. What I don't have nearly enough of are rather plain, 'blenders' - but I'm doing my best with what I got, mostly. I did find (and buy) some Benartex cotton 90" wide at the Outlet store last week (with Caroline - I'm sure it's all her fault) one dark blue and one yellow/gold which was sold for $4 per pound. I think I ended up with about 7 yards for $21.

Next chore is to clear off the sewing surface [which becomes the staging place for everything!] I did get enough space free last night to cut a few 2 1/2" strips and some squares. I'm doing a B.H. thing and making 2 patches as my leaders and enders (instead of a little scrap of thread catcher fabric) and it surely is an easy way to get lots of squares ready to go for my next project. Did I tell you that I had to bring the machine into the shop for some attention? It was not performing and while I really love Pfaff's, they may have crossed the threshold for too many whistles and bells in this model. So we are now in a try it out (again) mode to see if she can actually DO all the things she is supposed to. I'll let you know. [check out that tidy table top!]

Friday, June 26, 2009

Holiday adventures

Sadly, tomorrow Caro leaves to return home to the Netherlands. I guess I will have to resume responsibility for all the photos from now on until she comes again (currently planned for March 2010). We have to be sure to remember to 'charge' her camera so she can record all our adventures. It really is so delightful to just clear the calendar and then she and I can be busy with all our activities. Caroline is so garrulous that she is very easy to take anywhere - she can always find someone to talk with (or they find her) [like the Scottish tourists on the ferry boat]. Yesterday was a quiet day, finishing up some of the sewing projects she began after arriving. Then lunch with my friend and long-armer, Alayne. Last evening was the last of the BBQ's in the back yard, although the weather wasn't the greatest.

Today, Friday, we must pick up the RV, to get ready for the week-end and then this afternoon we have a tour arranged at the Boeing 747-787 plant, north of Seattle. We're planning on dinner at a fun local "joint" and then the last of the packing. Saturday morning we all climb into 'Priscilla', stop at the airport to drop her off and then we head down to our RVW event, in Kelso.

More to follow.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vacation times

Caroline and I are still enjoying our multitude of activities. Let's see, since last Wednesday, . . . . . . .
While I got a haircut, Caro found a few neutral scraps in my sewing room and started a project. In the afternoon we made 3 batches of freezer jam with the fabulous new-crop of strawberries, from a local farm. In the evening we went to my local quilt group, Stashbusters. Friday morning we drove north to the LaConner Quilt Museum and then after some lunch headed to the Burlington Fabric Outlet. Of course, we managed to locate quite a collection of "needed" items. Saturday we attended the Block Party Quilters Quilt Show in Issaquah. A very, very nice show in a comfortable facility - is there a lesson here for Quilter's Anonymous? Sunday was rather quiet with church in the morning. In the afternoon some friends came for tea and cookies - their daughter will attend a college in Middleburg, the Netherlands - so we chatted for some time about all things "Dutch".

And so we begin again today: Stone Soup Quilting this morning, half-priced books for some quilting books, delivering some fabric to a church acquaintance (for the youth to use to make prayer flags at family camp, in a couple of weeks). A few groceries are needed, then this evening we are off to a church-womens' supper. So we are keeping ourselves 'out of trouble' most of the time.

For photos of all this, see Caro's blog:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I don't want to be redundant

so, check out http://www.caro-en-rob.blogspot.com

She and I are going everywhere together and you will see me in many of the photos on her blog. Great fun at the Carriage Country Quilts in Des Moines - beautiful repro. fabrics, Civil Way fabrics in the most charming little yellow house. Beautiful kits and patterns - all terribly deserving of their inclusion in the Quilt Shop Sampler magazine a couple of years ago. Such a terrific shop.

Wednesday included a jaunt to one of the Jo-Anne's Super Stores. Quite the adventure for our international visitor. Actually we were able to find some fun, little gifts for some folks at home as well as utilize our 50% off coupon. Very fun! Of course, it was fun to bring a "real" native speaker to my Dutch class, last night.

Today we have a couple more outings and events planned. Details to follow.
We are having a great time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Caro is here

And even though her flight was delayed we managed to fit in a brief visit to a wonderful quilt shop after the airport and before coming to the house. I'm sure there will be much more to come, starting tomorrow.

Friday, June 12, 2009

We're at it again!

My sweet friend Caroline is arriving from the Netherlands on Tuesday. It's kind of a long story, as she had originally said, "no, not until March" when she is coming with two other friends and we'll have the "mad" quilters for a week or so. Then an additional trip moved into September -March was such a long time away. But that date became unavailable so ba-boom ba-bing here is June. For those of you who might remember last September, we have a wonderful, busy quilty (and touristy) time while she is here and are hoping for the same again.

I have a calendar made up for which activities happen on which days. This time we are trying to also fit in a quick trip to Eastern Washington - so different from Seattle. No doubt you will see lots of photos and stories of our quilty adventures. She said she is coming with two suitcases and a shopping list. We do have such fun!

Life is good!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stashbusters again

My quilting group, Stashbusters, gathered on Friday night and Saturday for a "week-end" sew. We haven't done this for a few months, so it was great to have this specially set-aside time for our own projects as well as beginning the work on our group quilt. You may remember that the means by which we pay for our regular space, where we meet to quilt every other week, is through the donation of a quilt. This is then raffled off and is considered to be our annual "rent".

This year we are making a row quilt with one common fabric, a yellow background with circles of various primary colors - I think you can find it in some of these photos of rows being completed:

I think those happy dancing children are just the cutest - and the gal who did those (Ronda) says they really were such fun to make and not difficult. These were made primarily from the stash that each person has.

As usual, we had to have a potluck dinner on Friday with left-overs for Saturday lunch. We also enjoyed a previous guest, Abby (she hates cameras so I was lucky to get this one)

Of course, several folks also brought along other projects to work on, so here are some of their fine works:

Great fun, loads of marvelous conversation over the hum of machines and inspiration from and for everyone. What a great way to spend the week-end.

Monday, June 1, 2009

We keep on learning

While on my visit to the Netherlands, Caroline and I visited the Westhoffen stoffe factory store in Meunster, Germany. I had seen a quilt that I just adored on their website and wanted to get the fabrics they had shown. Almost never do I make a quilt in the exact same colors as shown in a public pattern - but I loved this cool, comforting green quilt. I figured (silly me) that I could probably figure out the pattern and could ask for help from my German speaking friends.

And so with metric tape measure and American rulers, I began to make the blocks. (oh how I wish I had a metric rule to cut with - for this little 'dear' proved to be a major challenge!) The pattern indicated (all in German) the sizes I would need for the various pieces. It required a bit of tweaking, but I got the two windmill blocks complete:

And then I began the challenge of making the log-cabin blocks. They should be simple, thought I. Simple me - when I read the sizes as listed it didn't occur to me that I had to add seam allowances to those sizes. I made two log cabins of the green fabric and they kept being too small. They were supposed to finish at 20cm and mine were smaller. I re-did the math to be sure that there wasn't an error there. I kept making my strips longer and still they were too small. It was only by about 4pm yesterday (after working on this since noon) that I realized that not only did I need to add seam allowance to the length, but must also allow additional fabric for the internal width seam allowances. DHHHHH! (oh yes, and I made 3 scrap fabric ones to test out my slow-to-learn process.) And so, word to the wise: when you are using a metric pattern be sure to check if seam allowances are included in the measurements given.

I still love it, it is just a bit slower in coming to be than I had envisioned. And I will have 14 smaller log cabin blocks to use on the back. "So soon old and so late smart" :-)