Friday, March 8, 2019

Project Updates

Thank you all for the lovely thoughts you shared with me on the passing of my father. 

My father chose to be cremated and asked my sons to fly to a location of their choosing to spread his ashes in Alaska. My father always spent several weeks with us in the summer until last summer when he became too ill to travel. We will be celebrating his life this summer when all of us will be in Alaska together. As we say in Alaska, or actually in Hawaii, we will, "talk story," about GP. 

I'll be traveling soon to spend some time with my mom but I have a few days to organize projects in my studio. Busy work helps the mind sort through thoughts.

My recent Bucilla project is turning into a long term event. I am making a set of 50 Noah's Ark animal ornaments. There are twenty-five different animals, a male and female for each type. I am past the half way point. Ten more sets to make. I filled up a fat quarter with the first 15 sets.

Hubby and I spent 10 days in Palm Springs in February. I finished three more cross stitch Santa ornaments on that trip. We encountered cooler temperatures than normal and a couple of rainy days so I never quite got around to taking photos of our vacation locale. We will try visiting again next winter and give the city a second chance.

Below is the set, Victorian Santas: Saint Nicholas, Sinter Klaas and Father Christmas.

I toted this UFO, "Baby Hono," to the February quilt retreat but didn't touch it. The Material Girls set a challenge at the retreat to work on a UFO before our May retreat dates. I guess this is what I am going to tackle for the challenge. The turtle bodies are 3-D with a shell stitched on top. The body parts are not stitched down. I had the bodies created when I stopped working on the quilt so I officially finished 16 blocks this week.

Next up is to make 14 Monkey Wrench blocks.
 I am already thinking of making changes to the pattern...I tend to do that!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Tough Day

My father, retired Gunnery Sergeant, USMC, Johnny Tex Jones, died this morning.
 He had advanced bladder cancer and was also suffering from dementia, both possibly related to chemical exposure in the drinking water while we lived on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He served two tours on the front lines of the Vietnam War but only told me silly stories about stealing ice cream from the Air Force. My husband and I called him King Putz...he was always working on a project. One of his most successful projects was restoring a 1978 Corvette. My sons called him, "GP," short for grandpa. He loved that special nickname. He took great pride in his two grandsons...they were who and what he talked about the most the last few months of his life. He always called me princess. I couldn't have had a more loving and supportive father. He had many obstacles in his life but he never quit moving forward.

Monday, February 11, 2019

My February 2019 Retreat Projects

It always seems to take twice as long to work on a project than I estimate when packing my retreat stash. I started my retreat by joining blocks to make a twin quilt. I had enough blocks to make two twins but only got one done. I still need to come up with a border to finish this top.

I made great progress on the Bigfoot pattern from Elizabeth Hartman called, "Legend." 
The colors are a little off in this photo. There are 14 tree blocks in total and I did get all of them done. I need to track down more background fabric to work in the quote, "All who wander are not lost." 

And I finished up my retreat by getting this mini quilt top done. These are ornament redwork blocks from the Australian designer, Lynette Anderson. The series is titled, "Sweet Christmas." She did offer a free pattern to set the blocks as a quilt but I made up a different design. I'm trying to talk myself into hand quilting this one. I have done a bit of hand quilting but it has been several years. It is 28-inches square so not too daunting

I took two other projects that didn't get touched but at least I didn't run out of options.

There is just something extra special about sewing in a room full of other quilters for several days. I will miss the next retreat in May and will have to wait until October for the opportunity to attend again.

Retreat Photos

Lots of eye candy from the Material Girls quilt retreat. Some are show and tell and some are projects worked on at the retreat.  I will identify patterns if I know them.

No idea what the name of this pattern is but it looks like a good one for layer cakes.

Snowballs and Nine Patches on diagonal.

BQ 4 pattern.

Don't know this butterfly pattern name.

Jewel Box with a border of 2-inch squares. Another border or two is planned to make this queen-sized.

Norwegian Snowflakes. Here is the free pattern.

Memory Quilt for a bereaved son of teacher.

Backside of the quilt.

Memory quilt for the bereaved daughter of teacher.

Backside of the daughter's quilt.

A Memory Pillow made from the deceased teacher's shirt. The school colors where he worked were purple and white.

We had a wonky tree table runner class.

No pattern info on the rest of the projects

I'm doing a separate posting to my projects from retreat.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Prepping for Retreat

I had some fun making two sets of single-alphabet straight pins and a set of double-lettered alphabet straight pins...and I had my new pincushion to hold them all.

I needed those pins to mark lots of parts to make,"Legendary," from Elizabeth Hartman.

My son who is in Air Force pilot training loves Bigfoot folklore. I want to add the quote, "All who wander are not lost," to the quilt but will tackle making the blocks first. 

The second project I'm taking to quilt retreat is a mini quilt I designed on the computer program EQ8 incorporating my redwork blocks, "Sweet Christmas," from Australian quilt designer, Lynette Anderson. I made a sample of the star block to double check my measurements. Looking good. 

I also have two UFOs tucked in the stash to take. 

In the evenings, I am usually ready to stop working on my sewing machine so I am also taking several of my Bucilla stockings that only need some hand sewing to finish off linings.

Tomorrow I will spend most of the day prepping my food. I am attending three nights and although there is a full kitchen and a small kitchen available, with 14 other quilters in attendance there is never enough room to prepare meals. I have been on a whole food plant based diet for almost a year now so no prepackaged foods for me. It's good food but takes dedicated time to prepare for four days.

And then it will be time to pack my car!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Feeling Great as February Approaches

I'm giving myself a big pat on the back for getting so much accomplished in January.

Yesterday I pulled out a little hand stitched piece I learned to make from my dear friend, Cecile, while I was living in Paris. It is a Boutis piece. Two layers of fabric are stitched together with tiny stitches to create a design and you use a long needle to pull yarn through the channels you've created. I planned to turn it into a pincushion as soon as I finished it but...four years later it has finally happened. 

I found a batik 10-inch square with the perfect colors and a few dark pink scraps.

Just made it up as I went. I also had a huge bag of crushed walnut shells in my studio for four year that were opened yesterday.

Such great memories in this sweet Boutis project.

Thursday was Breakfast Club but instead of working on the official project for January, I brought in a set of UFO blocks to finish. 

I reached my goal of making 30 blocks which gave me a total of 160 so I can now make two twin quilts for my guest bedroom bunk beds.

I spent another half day at home laying out the blocks on my design wall and now have them all packed up for the February retreat.

And speaking of the February retreat...

I started this bright tropical quilt at last year's February quilt retreat. It is 110 x 110-inches so I was struggling with the long rows in the crowded retreat space. And then when I got home to my huge studio...all the parts sat in a box for months. I'm so glad I got it done in time to share my finish a year later. It would be really nice if it was quilted too! Maybe by February 2020 quilt retreat!

A few more critter ornaments got finished last week. Blue critters that live in water.

I still have a couple of  Christmas trees up in my house. I think I will leave one of them up until I finish all the ornaments in this Noah's Ark kit and get a photo with them on the tree. I love that idea!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Winning the Bobbin Race

The quilting is done on Batiki Argyle II.
 The photo above has low lighting to show the shadows of the quilting. 
Below, the lights are on and you can see the vibrant colors in the quilt. 

I planned from the start to make a quilt to throw over my gray leather couch at Christmas time. I'll have to look through my blog to see how many years ago I started this one.

For some reason, Sunday is binding day in my world. It was so sweet to change my bobbin for the next project and see how close I came to running out of thread when sewing on the binding. 

Now onto the hand sewing part of the binding. 
Breakfast Club is on Thursday so I will have it done by then.

I didn't do quilting resolutions for the New Year but I did make a list of projects to tackle for the month of January and broke that down into a weekly list. It is always easier to stay on track and tackle a UFO or two at the beginning of a new year so my second UFO of the year is one I started last February. 

But first I had to get someone out of the way...
Eli had to sit on top of an area I had pinned last night. He even pulled out a couple of straight pins. That is freaky! I spend too much time at vets with my animals...all I need is to explain my cat is swallowing straight pins! But I'm confident he just played with the pins.

This is a king-sized quilt that I do plan to use on my bed in the summer. I still have to make a piano key border. The pattern is, "Gimmie Diamonds," by Four Paws Quilting. It is designed for fat quarters with directions for five sizes. I really like the pattern and could see it looking great with many of the wildlife fat quarters I've got in my stash.

Last week I took down some of my Bucilla Christmas items. I hate putting them away but I also wanted to get to work adding a lining to some of them. I belong to two Bucilla Facebook groups and have learned of a pretty quick and easy way to add a lining to stockings that are already completed so I think it is worth the extra work to spiff up my existing stockings.

New Bucilla projects are always a part of my evenings...but this time it is actually a Bucilla UFO. I "started" a Noah's Ark ornament kit with 50 animals about five years ago. I didn't even finish one animal when I put it away to open another kit. 

Three weeks into a new year and I'm feeling very proud of my progress.
 Of course it has been very cold and dark outside so I am staying inside most of the day...

 and my house keeping duties might have been neglected a little.