Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Hello Everyone,

I'm wishing all of you a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year.  May you never run out of projects to make and may your stash always be full!

Now here are a few words from a special guest "older" sister Gail.

Good morning everyone!  Lynn and Mr. Joe invited me to the cabin for this New Year's holiday weekend and I jumped at the chance to visit.  "Santa Mike" and "Mrs. Mike", their long-time friends, are also joining us.  What a great place to be to ring in the New Year!  This is a special place for the whole family and their many friends.  Of course, wherever Lynn and Mr. Joe (and Zinny) are, is a special place to be, whether it's at the cabin or their home in Livermore.  They always go out of their way to make our time together wonderful.  Lynn and Mr. Joe have a plaque in their dining room that says:  "To invite a person into your home is to take charge of his happiness for as long as he is under your roof."  They always treat all their guests with those words in mind.

As this New Year begins, I am looking forward to spending more time with Lynn and her family.  I have just recently retired and have moved closer to Livermore.  I have enrolled in one of Lynn's new classes, Winterset, and decided this would be a great way to get me back into quilting again.  I feel lucky to have such a good teacher!  Lynn helped me pick out fabric the other day, so I am ready to be the "pattern test dummy."
 As you ring in the New Year today, I wish you all many wonderful quilting days and may you be as fortunate as I am to have wonderful family and friends to celebrate life!        --Gail

Lynn gift to you throughout the year will be a recipe a week.  I added a new category at the top of the blog, where you can go to check the newest recipe.  To get back to the regular blog, press Home.

Our agenda today is a simple one.  Mr. Joe and Santa Mike are headed to the dump this morning.  You know what they say about out with the with the new.  We don't need anything new, we are quite content with what we have.

We are also planning a three-mile hike to the overlook area at Big Trees State Park.  The vista is gorgeous and is a nice reward at the end of the walk.

We decided last night that we don't plan on staying up until midnight to ring in the new year.  We can do our celebrating earlier.  We have to get our rest so we can cheer our favorite football teams to victory tomorrow!

Happy New Year and as always,


Friday, December 30, 2011

Back to Winterset and Blueberry Crumb Cake Fabric

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. We had lots of good times with family and friends for Christmas. Now we are getting ready for the New Year's company that arrives this afternoon for a few days at Wilder's Last Resort. 

Remember this quilt from last month....Winterset?  I had to put her away during the Holidays, but she's back.  I'm teaching this at the shop in February, so I have to get my act together and finish the quilt and the pattern directions.

I decided to surround her with pinwheels to carry the windmill theme out to the borders.  I would take a few minutes each day between all the company and Christmas preparations and make a pinwheel or five and they are almost done.

I took my sister down to In Between Stitches to shop before Christmas, and she found this fabulous little diagonal check that isn't in the Blueberry Crumb Cake line.  This fabric is going to make it into the quilt one way or the other.  My sister is going to make this quilt so she is going to be my Pattern Test Dummy....she thinks that is an honor.....we'll just let her think that now won't we!  She has never done applique.  In fact she is scared to death of applique so that will be the first hurdle.

Our dear friends arrive this afternoon for three days of rest and relaxation. Our friends are Santa Mike and Mrs. Mike.  (Santa is the one with the twinkle in his eye.)  My sister will be arriving today too.  I can't guarantee another post until after New Year's  since we will be busy playing games, hiking and throw in a meal or two. 

There isn't a hint of snow at the cabin.....nothing, zip, zilch, nada.  We should be sledding and snowshoeing this time of year.  Instead all I see are pine needles!  The dreaded pine needles. We have been known to do some sledding down the hill on top of the pine needles, but they can get a little pokey and the needles can travel up your pant legs.....which isn't too pleasant.

Take care everyone and many blessings to you for a wonderful New Year!

As always,


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas To All

Hello Everyone,

Santa really does have a twinkle in his eyes!   Thank you all for your support and words of encouragement.  Life is better and more enjoyable because all of YOU are in it! 

Merry Christmas, love and hugs from Lynn, Santa and Mr. Joe....and to all a good night.

As always,


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Yo-Yo Quilt is Done!

Hello Everyone,

I've been very 'quiet' this week.......and I'm thinking you know why. All of us are in our homes across the globe shopping, wrapping, baking and decorating. In between all of the preparation, I would spend a few minutes a day at my quilting machine and finished the Yo-Yo quilt designed by Kim Diehl. 

Before it goes on display at the shop, I thought I would enjoy looking at it for a few days, and put it on S&B Luckett's Improved Cloth Measurer.  This is one of our antique treasures that we found in an antique store in North Carolina on one of our cross-country junking I mean searching for antiques junkets.  The fabric would be rolled onto the roller, turn the handle and it would dispense a yard at a time.  Here's a view of the side.


Since I work in a quilt shop, am I the New Improved Cloth Measurer?  Just a thought. I can dispense yards at a time....I can also dispense fat quarters!  I'll bet S&B Luckett's Improved Cloth Measurer can't do that!  Can you imagine having only one or two choices for fabrics. I used over 400 different fabrics in this quilt!

I'm all for having choices.  It's making the right choice that is key to all decisions in life and quilting.

So here's to happy and varied choices on how you plan to spend your day. My day will include a trip to the grocery store for all of the last minute items for our Christmas feast.  I have a bit of wrapping to finish and yes, I'll be quilting too with Christmas music in the background......I never get tired of Christmas music.

As always,


Monday, December 19, 2011

Catch Up Time

Hello Everyone,

I'm almost a week behind in posting pictures from my drop-in class from last Tuesday!  Oh well, better late than never.

Let me begin with the Party in the Garden house that Isabelle finished.  She did a wonderful job changing the pattern by making yo-yo flowers growing on the vine.

She finished all of her blocks, and is now working on the corner baskets in the border.  This was Isabelle's first applique project.  Very ambitious for a beginner and she did a beautiful job.

Barbara's Midnight Star is almost finished.  Just a couple more blocks and the border, and she is going to have her Christmas quilt finished.  I love the secondary design that started emerging with each additional block she added to the design wall.

This is a picture of some cute stockings I made from a Moda pattern a few years ago.  I made 16 of these, one for every member of the family.  They started out as napkin holders for the Christmas dinner, now they are on the Christmas tree.

Kaye is working on Sallie's Quilt.  She has about 80 of the blocks made already.  Her daughter likes them so much that Kaye is making two quilts!

Madonna is working are Country Charmer.  Her blocks are coming along nicely.

She has her system down pat and is zipping right through her blocks using the block layout sheet.

Cindy assembled three "Spidey" pillowcases for her grandkids.

Last but certainly not least is a picture of Zinnie on her pain killer medication after surgery on her foot last week.  Running carefree through the woods at the cabin, she ripped her dew claw and she had to have it removed.  I loved her little "camo" bandage.....but she didn't like it too much.  All of the little grandkids wanted to sign it, but she would have none of that! 

I'm off to the shop this morning for my Monday workday.  I hope you all have a great day getting ready for this weekend.

As always,


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Minglewood - BOM - Month #6

Hello Everyone,

Here are the block #11 & #12 for those of you working on the Minglewood Block of the Month.  As luck would have it, this month you get to make two variations of the Christmas Star Blocks.  The blocks look much more complex than they really are.

Just take your time, cut and stitch accurately and you won't have any problems.

The next block is called Double-X.  There is another error in the book on page 62.  Under Assembly, instruction #4, the book says, "Cut each into 2-1/2" squares as shown at right."  Well, there is no at right.  Turn to page 57, and under Assembly, proceed with step #2.  Here is a picture of what you need to do.

This method makes half-square triangles a breeze.  You will be making 8 at a time.

Santa is coming tonight with a bag of gifts for all of the little ones.  I can't wait to see the looks on their little faces!  I'll have a busy day getting the finishing touches done on the house and preparing dinner tonight for eighteen.  I'm making the main dish, a huge pot of Mexican Shredded Pork, and the everyone else is pitching in and bringing a side dish or dessert.  I'll try to post pictures tomorrow of the tonight's festivities. 

As always,


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Christmas Card

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I received this photo from Penny in Oregon.  She made my Country Charmer pattern and displayed it beautifully and lovingly in her home.  To me, this looks like a Christmas card, so inviting that I want to relax in the red chair with a good book.

Here's what Penny said in her email:

"My husband and I have a cattle ranch here in Oregon, and my decorating taste runs VERY rustic country!  I just thought you'd like to see how Country Charmer fits right in here!"
I fit right in with her rustic country also and have already asked if I can be adopted!

Pictures like this make my design process extremely have no idea just how rewarding.  Thank you Penny. 

Busy day here finishing up shopping and working on Christmas cards.  Notice I didn't mention anything about quilting.  Maybe tomorrow I will get back to quilting.

As always,


Monday, December 12, 2011

Machine Quilting Time

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I made the backing for the yo-yo quilt and got it on the quilting machine.  I'll try to get out to the quilting room over the next few days and quilt a row or two a day.  All of the time will start adding up to a quilted quilt this week.....I hope.

I'm echoing around all of the yo-yo's and then move to the inside and quilt around the large yo-yo.  This quilt is very heavy and most likely I'll have it hanging up somewhere, so I want to make sure that it all stays in place.  I may, just may go back and stipple between the rows.  I'll make that decision when I take it off the machine and get to see and evaluate the whole quilt.

I'm off to the quilt shop this morning to work.  Quilters are starting to bring in finished projects for us to see. I can tell you there are going to be lots of quilted projects under Christmas trees this year and many happy recipients!

As always,


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Quilt Along

Hello Everyone,

Today is the last QAL for 2011. Thank you SUE for hosting the day and the year.  Thanks also go to CATHI for hosting throughout the year too.

This is my unfinished version of Scatty Christmas Stars.  If I have time today between other Christmas preparations, I may.....just may put some borders on.

But it looks so good just as it a skirt around the Christmas Tree.

Once I get some presents wrapped and under the tree, no one will notice that it isn't finished unless YOU tell!

Another Christmas project that I worked on and FINISHED this year during the QAL is my Country Charmer quilt.

It is on display at In Between Stitches so it won't be incorporated into this years Christmas decorations.

I got up early this morning to see the total eclipse of the moon.  Zinny thought I was totally crazy, standing outside with her while she was taking care of business and I was singing "Baby It's Cold Outside."  My coffee cooled off in a second and did nothing to warm me up.   Mother Nature is pretty impressive and it was worth seeing. 

I hope all of you have a fun weekend preparing for the BIG day.  Remember to take some time for yourself, and stop and smell the Christmas tree.

As always,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Treats Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,

Yet again, another wonderful day spent in the classroom at In Between Stitches with a fun group of talented quilters working on Holiday Treats Table Runner by Laura Nownes.  Here is my first version of Laura's pattern.  I've made several more and given them all away.

It is very easy to change the length of the table runner by the number of packages.  It is a great pattern, well-written, and easy and fun to make.  So much fun that it is just like potato can't eat make just one!

I had a full house in the classroom yesterday and we had an explosion of Christmas fabric on every table.

After a bit of instructions, packages and bows started appearing.

You know me, I was lusting after several of the plaid fabrics in the room!

Marie decided to use her legs to layout her packages!  This was just too funny and had to be captured for posterity. 

Beautiful packages graced the wall in the classroom.

Along with Gingerbread men and hearts.

The group will become experts in the buttonhole/blanket stitch when their packages are completed.

Then we started laying out the center sections along with the packages to get an idea on what the final table runner would look like.

Mary dropped by to display her finished runner.  She cleverly used an apron panel for the center section.

At one point in time during the session, I just stepped back and enjoyed seeing all of the fabrics, the packages and the beginnings of beautiful projects and friendships.  I also just listened to all of the chatter, laughter, the sharing of ideas and inspiration.  That is what quilting is all about.  Thank you ladies for such a wonderful day.

As always,