Monday, July 28, 2014

A Family Visit

First an unusual occurrence  - I did not arrange these snippets   I think it looks like a sad Frenchman with a cigarette hanging from one corner of his mouth. I had to call my Hubby to see it.  Page down for the good stuff.

This is my Grandson the Tree. We are calling him the tree since he is only 18 and about 6'2" and still growing.  The shirt is about music, he said, but I know not of such things. Just that he is blood of my blood and a wonderful guy to behold. What a lovely legacy I have left.

Here is my Son - the Dad of the Tree - another wonder to behold. He is retired after 20+ years in the Air Force. Retiring as a First Shirt... a lovingly bestowed name for a Master Sgt. who has studied extra in order to help the guys  and girls in the lower ranks when they have troubles. He has lots of stories.

We took then to Fanny Anne's for lunch in downtown old town Sacramento. It's a fun place to visit and find souvenirs. I loved this little pink shirt, and my very excellent Grandson obliged me.(Not many 18 year olds would do that for their Grammies. He's a sweetheart.)
   You have to read this shirt. It says
Go Ahead
Push me around
But you ought
to know
I've got the Biggest,
Baddest, Meanest
in town
    Sacramento, CA
Look at my hand and my Son's - I wear a large man's size in gloves... wonder what size for him? It's like holding a bear paw.  I remember when his whole hand fit in mine and I could cover over with my fingers to encase it. Ahhhh, the good ole days.

Here I am with the Tree. Yes, I am standing tall and not in a hole.

The handsome Menfolk.

There is a picture on her marvelous camera of the whole group including the photographer, Mother of the Tree, but my camera didn't get a picture of her. (She is the bestest woman for my Son. He's wonderful, in his own way, and she knows how to handle that all. Love her, too. Safe journey, Family. Wish you all the best.
P.S. Grandpa loves those Big Foot shows where the witness tries to show how tall the furry person was .... here a comparison to the show. LOL  Hope to see you all again soon.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tomato Tornado and the Carrot Cluster

Here are the latest tomatoes laid out on the ironing board. No Squeezing!
 (I got 3 pair done this week and the business end of 6 carrots, too)

Here's all the maters together on the portable design wall. (Big foam core board.)

Here's the Carrot Cluster - next week it's tops and sides.
I'm using the tomatoes as Red blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge
It's a fun challenge, and just interesting to see all the different blocks in red this month.
So have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

In Carrot Mode

This is what Carrot Mode looks like...
Orange fabrics everywhere.

 What's on your sewing machine today?

I did say everywhere.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Guess what came in the mail!

Just now we got our mail... I got this...

 Two, count them, two full BIG bags of strips from my Buddy Terri Bohling (who blogs over at Quilting Nonnie - Nonnie means Grandma, but you knew that.)   I sent her some I Spy snippets and now she has upped the ante. There must be hundreds of 2 inch X WoF strips!!! Wow! I gotta say it again... WOW!
Now some close-up shots of about 1/4 of one of the bags...
and again another 1/4 of one of the bags. (You know, I don't see any repeats!!!!!)
How generous, Terri. You did it now. I'll have to get you back somehow. (Heart) I'm going to watch TV tonight and fondle these. I've got a big night ahead.
Thank you soooooo much. You made my week, maybe month even! I've gotta figure out something special to make out of  these.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's not very pretty...

Here's my vessel for the Piggy Bank Challenge at Val's Quilting Studio.

Some of my favorite orange fabrics surrounding a nut tin Costco size. (Being I am trying to sell my house, and all my prettier things are packed since last October, I'm lucky to find anything for this challenge. I felt it would be goofy to buy some bank to do the job, when we're trying to save money. So this is it.


I cut a large sized hole so I can fit bills - although I hope not to use them. I will have to hide or take the bank with me when our house is being shown. In this area visitors like to take things - even little things as souvenirs. I've hidden my little owl that usually sits on my sewing machine. Wouldn't want to lose him.
Even though right now it isn't Wednesday I want to wish you all a Happy Hump Day, especially if you have to work tomorrow.
Happy Birthday to my Rachael. Love you, Honey!

Monday, July 14, 2014

More 'Matoes

Strictly speaking it's not a design wall, more of a cork bulletin board...

I made more tomatoes....

Did I show you the best summer purse of all time? Love this one. It goes with anything.

Felt like a little retail therapy today. Here's what I bought - 1/2 yard pieces for my stash. (Stash eats well.)
So go and sew, and have a wonderful week.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A butterfly quilted - just one!

 Can you see it? It's one wing is that light blue square....  (It was just too much work to make very many.)

 Before and after of it I've planned some zigzag in odd shapes like the flight pattern....

Other quilting done. Slow, but progress.

Since it's Friday I want to wish you all a Wonderful Weekend! Thanks for stopping here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I started (again for the third time)!

I chickened out! I was going to free motion quilt on this one, but I just couldn't do it. I tried then I ripped out. I even used the darning foot! Still it looked icky, so I ripped again.

Then I got out the old reliable straight stitching walking foot. (My crutch!) I just needed my walker. We "done" good together before.  I made a few paper patterns to follow so the sequencing between motifs would be similar, and the job would look more professional...
Here's the ZigZag in place. I quilted next to the paper, so I can use the pattern over and over. It worked out great! (If you do this bury the end of the pins... you'll save yourself lots of wounds.)

Sorry this is so blurry. Just showing the end of one pattern piece and having to add the next. (Later I added it as a strip and saved the stop while quilting.)

A superfluous  picture.

Lined up and ready to quilt.
(Sheila from Sew Cook and Travel might recognize these fabrics. They aren't the ones you gave me. I cherish the one you sent me strips to make. These are purchased afterwards and with added stash pieces I made this because I love your color sense and wanted joyful colors for this quilt. )

Zig Zag done (and I actually liked the results - success!) and now a scallop - I would like each line of this (almost) Jelly Roll Quilt to be quilted in different patterns, but I haven't counted the lines yet, and I really haven't a large repertoire of designs. Any suggestions?  I do have a book of designs for anything, but you know that thing is packed since last October, so it's anybody's guess  where it is. (I hate living with all my things in the wrong places.)

Anywho, I'm at the quilting now - soon as I finish this post.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday makes me think of Val... did you see her linky party today? Edges and English Paper Piecing are the themes. Her link is in my side bar - have a look, link up, it's fun.

Today I'm showing the star I made for Astronaut Rhianna Griffin for her Star Block Challenge.
If you want to make a 9-1/2" unfinished star for her send it to:
Star Block Challenge
Attn: Rhiana Griffin
7660 Woodway, Ste. 550
Houston, TX 77063

Edit: She wants you to add your name, city and state to the front. Sorry I forgot to add that part earlier.

They are due August 1, 2014

Here's mine: Paper pieced, of course, from a free pattern at Sewhooked . Lots of free patterns for paper piecing there.

Hope she likes it.

Monday, July 7, 2014


Design Wall Monday... a bit of paper piecing while away from home a few weeks ago, I did some to keep me busy on the down times. By hand!!!!!!!!!! Yes you can!

These have a purpose, just not for a quilt.... It's a secret until I give them away... still lots of work to do on them.  I may have messed up the coloring at the top, but that's "individuals may vary" kind of stuff. The patterns for tomatoes are from American Quilter Sept. 09

The carrot was machined - all oranges are a different fabric, and still I didn't use all my orange pieces! Have I got a stash or what?  I do have to change the design for the top. Those seams all come to one point, and make a bunch. (You know I hate a bunch.) The free pattern for Crazy Carrot is from Deb Karasik. Here's her link. if you want to make one.
Linking to Design Wall Monday - see the side panel for a direct route. (Use Patchwork Times by Judy L.)  Also linked to Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge - also on the side panel.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Aftermath of FMQ Try and the Giveaway Winner Announced

Here's how my FMQ try turned out:

And from the front

In other news - the Magpies are back! They nearly died out here from West Nile Disease a few years back, so we are happy their numbers have increased to this bunch. They played nicely with the crows and took turns eating the old bread we threw out for them all. You don't see that very often in nature.
 They are quite camera shy. I tried to get more pictures this afternoon, and every time I raised the camera (even from inside the kitchen) they flew away. Given a few minutes, they were back, and again as the camera went up.... off they went.
 See the crow in the neighbor's yard. They feed them, too, and another neighbor next door to them.

Now down to work!  Here's the hat. (We do things low tech here.)

Filled with names.  All the comments and all the followers, too.

Here's the name picker....

Jean (from the follower list) is the winner!
Congrats to you. Thank you for being a follower. Your 14 fat quarters goes into the mail tomorrow, if I can determine a snail mail address for you by that time.
Thank you all for playing along. I had fun and learned a lot of new tips for FMQ. I hope you all had fun here, too.
Have a fun rest of your weekend.

Winner named later...

The winner of the Fabulous Fourteen Fat Quarters will be named later.... this afternoon. Here it is now 10 a.m.

I just wanted to tell you about Val's latest idea. Go to her blog - you can use the Piggy Bank link that is currently at the top of my right side bar. She'll tell you all about it. I'm saving my coinage for something big... My hubby promised that when the house sells, I get a long arm quilting machine!!! (Sell, Baby, Sell!) There will be other costs having one of those. Extra thread, maintenance, etc. So I'll be joining Val in her Piggy Bank Challenge. (My rule will be "No Bills") That should take a load out of my purse.

So in anticipation of the name of the winner....

Friday, July 4, 2014

FMQ Another Try!

Sorry but the giveaway here has closed. You can still try at Shay's blog.
Shay from Quilting in My Pyjamas  (in Australia) and I (in CA of the U.S.A.) are retrying Free Motion Quilting, together today, that far away. Have you tried FMQ yet?  I have an old 1960s home sewing machine that doesn't drop the feed dogs,  doesn't have needle up or down choices and probably a world of other apps that the newer machines have... but I love it. It works. It's one of the machines I learned to sew on, oh so long ago!

So I'm showing you my practice piece. I sandwiched a rainbow block from about 4 years ago. I thought, if it turned out well I'd make all the blocks for that quilt in this method called Quilt As You Go. (Melody Johnson has a tutorial for you.) It was quite new in the 80s, I think. It would be a great way to start out in Free Motion Quilting, too, because you only quilt one block, or a smaller portion of your quilt, at one time.

I pin basted from the center out, and tried to leave as much space for maneuvering as possible.

Here's the luscious orange I'm using for the back of this block. If I use the contrasting colors on the back of each block, I'll have another rainbow on the back, and not need a big piece of fabric.

(Who's old hand is that?) I pulled up the bottom thread. I figured I didn't want to start with small stitches. (I really don't like the look of that starting method.) If the FMQ turned out lovely I could always fasten the ends later. If it looked ugly - ripping would be easier.

Set the machine for 10 stitches to the inch.

At the last second, I remembered to put on the FMQ/darning foot, and raised the throat plate so the feed dogs wouldn't be engaged. That's how you do it with an old machine, I guess.

You know I was procrastinating when I got out the sewing machine owners manual to see if there was something I'd missed. (Went to the kitchen for water, bathroom and talked to the hubby for a few... anything, anything to put it off... are you like that?)

Finally I did start, in the center. At first I was really slow, and moving the piece instead of allowing a flow of movement... Then the thread broke, still wondering why. (Figured the fates thought I should get my post done.)  I don't like what resulted, but you know what? It was fun! I will try it again - and again. (That's how I got to be as good as I am at paper piecing, and so I'm determined to get good at FMQ.)
I can see that smaller stitches would be good, and more and more practice... maybe a plan of action ahead of time. (Here I thought just a meander would be the way to start.)
Do you have any advice for me?  a tip?  Leave another comment here for a chance at the giveaway in yesterday's post.  Shay and I will be grateful for any thoughts.

The giveaway is still in effect today. See the previous post to see requirements to win 14 fabulous batik fat quarters.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^    * * *   ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

So here in the U.S.A. it is Independence Day! Hurray!
 Our neighborhood has a parade through the streets from the grammar school to a central circle where ice cream and popsicles are given out. It's such a sweet tradition started by our neighbor who ran a day care at the time. Here are some pictures.

 This one was a particularly good waver.

This is my hubby's favorite part - the dogs.  (I think he was one in a former life.)

So that's it for my portion of the QAL... Check out Shay's FMQ over at Quilting in My Pyjamas
She will be showing her FMQ results, and taking comments for a giveaway there, too.

(You have at least 4 ways to win... please take full advantage of us.)
Thanks for your tips and comments. The giveaway has now closed -
Happy 4th of July to everyone, and Happy Independence Day to us in the U.S.A.!