Sunday, January 30, 2011

Interesting Week-end

Aren't they so lovely and springy?  Makes me happy just looking at them.  We have enjoyed four bicycling vacations in the Netherlands in the past - fabulous.  Thursday evening some friends came over to talk about a bicycling vacation this summer.  They brought these sweet flowers.

And then, as I said, I left on Friday for the Women's Retreat.  It turned out not to be quite such nice weather as once predicted - mostly rain.  There were about 80-85 women there and we spent much of the week-end reflecting on gratitude and appreciation.  {not exactly what I was expecting, but. . . . .}  We did quite a bit of singing and as a result next Sunday there will be something of a flash mob at the beginning of the service.  Fun.  Here are a couple of shot of the local - really a lovely place on Lake Flora

As promised I worked on my flower wreath.  Because this was done as needle-turn applique, I was advised that it simply HAD to be hand quilted.  I followed the advice of two long-time hand quilters and outlined all the features of the piece.  The next challenge is to determine what I can use to mark the background in order to do grid quilting.  The few things I tried don't come out all the way.  Hmmm.  What do you use for just this sort of situation?

And there you have it. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Yeah Paula

OK - you were the one.  I will email you with details.  It is interesting that other folks read the blog but chose not to leave a comment. 

I am off this afternoon to what should be an interesting week-end.  I am a member of a Congregational church and this week-end is the annual women's retreat.  Our speaker this year is Peggy Taylor, one of the co-authors of the book "Chop Wood, Carry Water", subtitled 'A guide to finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life'.  Here is an interesting blog entry speaking to this whole topic.  I so enjoy having my normal, everyday assumptions challenged.   Hmmmmm.

I have some hand quilting all ready to take along and work on this week-end.  I will bring a photo on my return.

Just in case you are feeling down, here is what 71 years old can look like,

I should look so good!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tell me you've been here

This is the third re-start on the blog visitor counter.  So if you are #10000 - perhaps there should be a small reward for that.  Leave me a comment and I will follow-up with a give-away thank you.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stashbuster's retreat - Day 2

We started shortly after 9 this morning and continued to have fun with thread and fabric.  It is really quite inspirational what some of these folks are creating.  So here you have a sampling of things to be seen around the room today,

It's fun to see all these, some of which are experiments.  Many of our folks are making pieces for a challenge that will be part of our upcoming quilt show.

And some more,
Snowflake not quite finished

Such variety.

Patty was busy today, too,

[Are you dizzy yet with these left and right and left and right sides?
Clearly my skill does NOT lie in online publishing.]

My good quilty buddy, Alayne, was busy,


Ronda wanted greens from everyone, so she could work on her tree project,

A delightful, productive day.  Many thanks to Ann, Sharon, Beth, Patty, Gabrielle, Becka, Sheila, Donna, Judi, Nancy, Jean, Colleen, Alayne, Kathy and Ronda.  Great!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stashbuster's is having a retreat

We are so fortunate that one of our Stashbusters is also an employee of a nearby church.  That means that we are, a couple of times a year, able to use one of their "halls" for a retreat.  We just set the room up for several cutting stations, bring in 2 or 3 ironing boards, hang 3 (or more) design walls and our own machines and we're off.  Patty was there today at 9am.  We finally left about 9pm.  We are able to go over tomorrow morning at 9am and sew all day.  So here are a sampling of things that people are working on.

Everyone is just able to work on whatever has been demanding attention in their sewing room.  A great time to finish up lots of UFO's and consult with our fellow quilters.

The strips for this are cut at 1".  Oh so small

Here are the things that Patty is working on:

She has a really keen eye for color and design, I think.  I'm impressed.

And here is what I was working on:
Efforts at needle turn applique.  It's cheerful.

Adding corners and a center square to make a star with crumb blocks.  A fun idea.  Will probably do more of these.

Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll - my Bonnie Hunter mystery.  These are just pinned up and tomorrow they will be sewn.

More photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday tidbits

Dull title.  Help with title ideas gratefully received.  Last week at CTA one gal had been clearing out bits and pieces from her stash.  One of the items she brought for "re-assigning" (to me?) was this sewing  themed fabric.  As I was due to make something as my next exchange, for Rita, I decided to do the placemats I have done before.  A made several groups of them for Christmas '08, but not much since. 

Such fun and so easy.  Cut, re-sew and a bit of decorative stitching (or even just ordinary zig-zag) along the seam lines.  These will be finished envelope style.  [and the cost of the fabric was just great! - FREE]

I joined the Mug Rug swap.  If you click on the link over on the right side, you will get directed to the site.  I think the exchange closed today, but you could make these anyway.  They are quite addicting - they are small, fun and fast.  I have made 3 so far - 2 for the exchange, and one for my friend Caro.  Here is one I made for the exchange (she said we can show them)

Now it may not be apparent, but this is an item that makes me feel most satisfied.  These little drawers are filled with fat quarters or other pieces of less than 1/2 yard that I want to save, sorted by color.  I haven't been able to shut the drawers for quite some time.  Finally today that was accomplished.  HURRAH!  And I have been following Bonnie Hunter's suggestion for scrap control and have a drawer with 2" and 2 1/2" squares and a basket filled with seamed one light and one dark.  "Two-zey"

And there you have it for today.  Life is good.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday things

I laughed when I read the latest blog from Jossie, sometimes I really DON'T know what to title the blog entry.  It should be something catchy and fun - but on a rainy, old Thursday night who is that clever?  Guess it's not me.

So here we go with what's happening today.

I finished the 25 "red" squares for Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll.  Phew!!!  They took quite a long time, each, to make up.  A number of my points are not perfect, but oh well - they are done.  I have the string-pieced squares done - now to look at what is required to put the whole thing together.  You will notice that I signed up for the Rug Mug swap.  I needed something else to be working on and they should be fun and quick at 6" x 10" (approx).  Check out the website.

 This is my CTA exchange return gift from Jan F.  Cute, huh?  She does really nice handwork.

Not sure what this will be for, but I enjoyed sitting and working on this little stitchery.  My only disappointment was that the colors are so close together than they don't really stand out.  I may do a bit of research to figure out if I can change the colors and still have them "sort-of" in the right ballpark.

And there you have Thursday.  Keep warm!  Keep dry!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Isn't today's date funny?  1-11-11  I don't put much store in the meaning of various numbers but that one is rather fun.  I have started a gift exchange with some of my fellow CTA's.  We are having a fun time with this.  My gift back to Susan was this table runner, which I finished up for her.
I used my Bonnie Hunter "Leaders and Enders" for my multi-colored squares - easy, peasy.  You might want to check out her website as her latest book is due for release next month. 

I have been continuing to make my squares for my Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll.  They are slow going.  I think I have all the neutral string pieced squares done and have completely finished 7 of the colored squares.  Just 18 to go.  Phew!

And then just because it was fun,
Can you see my little car out there in the cold?  I know I have said this before, but Seattle is not really much of a snow city, so this is unusual.  And it does cause havoc because we have so many hills.   However, my favorite weather man says it is likely to be gone by morning.  That will make my drive to QA (big quilt guild meeting) easy to do. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Crafty Christmas and beyond

Dear friend Ronda made two delightful things for me for Christmas and I was sure you would want to see them.  The first is a seasonal pin cushion with some quilting needles ["betweens"] as we used in our class at Houston.  Oh so small!!!!!
Funny little back story:  I first found this fabric in August in Idaho, while on our road trip (in the RV).  I bought enough to make a few sets of pillow cases as Christmas gifts for some of our RV pals.  So then, this arrived:

Isn't it so cute?  Of course, it will have a home in the RV - perhaps for maps or some such?

I have been practicing hand quilting on a whole cloth piece that I bought in Houston - I think I'm improving.

And as you have heard me talking about my Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll mystery -here are the beginnings of completion.  I'm not entirely sure how enthralled I am.  It is difficult to know if you have chosen the "right" colors when you begin.  And as this was entirely from stash, who knew?

I do think the string pieced neutrals is pretty OK, but the others?  We'll have to wait and see, I guess.

When I was in Antwerp a couple of years ago, I purchased a piece of Zweigart fabric.  I couldn't afford too much (it was very expensive) so I got a piece that was approx. 5 feet wide (normal width) and I bought approximately 20 inches.  (Aha - table runner-esque).  This is done in cross stitch.  I pulled it back out and took it with us over New Year's.  I'm enthused to work on it some more.

It's a lovely lavender color.  I hope I still like it when it's finally finished.  Ah those UFO's!!!!