Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Celebrating Continues

Hello Everyone,
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We certainly did.....but wait....there's more.  The last party is tonight at our house. 
Yesterday while I was getting ready for a visit from our friends, I passed through the living room and saw the sun on my Lil' Orphan Scrappy quilt.    I stopped and starred at it, then grabbed the camera.

The binding is finished on Spoken For.  The quilting showed up a little bit in this picture. I'm very pleased with this little quilt. Now it's pattern writing time.

I'll be updating my calendar for 2017 soon at the top of my blog.  When I look at my calendar, I am wondering when I'm going to have time to quilt!

We are celebrating Christmas with our twin granddaughters tonight.  They spent Christmas at their dads house.  Divorce sucks!  The entire family will be here for the girls while they open their gifts, and we'll do Christmas dinner all over again.  HOWEVER, this time it's pizza and salad.  I can't pull off three major dinners in a week!  I'm ready for my long winters nap!

Tomorrow, Christmas will be boxed back up and stored under the stairs for another year.   Then next year when I drag everything back out, I'll say to myself, "Didn't I just put this all away?"


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Everything

Hello Everyone,
From my house to your house, have a very Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Journey's End Block of the Month

 Hello Everyone,

I just picked up my fabric at the shop yesterday for Kim Diehl's Journey's End block of the month.
The delicious fabric is called Katie's Cupboard.

I will be teaching this quilt in my Let's Make a Diehl class at In Between Stitches on February 7th.

If you are interested in signing up for the six-part block of the month, click HERE for more information at In Between Stitches.  I think this quilt is going to appeal to many of you.  I love it!!  If I wasn't so busy getting ready for Christmas, I would be in my sewing room all day long working on this beauty.

I had an extremely interesting Sunday with my granddaughter.  I was privileged to be at a birthing at the pig farm.  To see this new life come into the world was quite an experience.  Harleigh has delivered many piglets and has many more to come as 13 sows are all pregnant, and will deliver in the next two weeks.  She could have a very busy Christmas vacation.

The FFA (Future Farmers of America) students are "on call" and drop everything, to get to the pig farm outside of town to assist in the birthing.

It was an extremely cold morning on Sunday. I'm sure this heat lamp felt good, after the piglets got cleaned off then had some cuddle time.  They are treated with dignity, kindness, and love.

I went from the pig farm, to home to get myself cleaned up, then off to watch our grandson play basketball.  Jess scored the teams only points of the day.  That would be "2".  It's been a frustrating season for the team, our son the coach, and our grandson.  They are learning to lose with dignity.  They keep smiling and playing their little hearts out game after game. 
Christmas preparations continue at my house.  Grocery shopping today which includes the dreaded run to Costco with a million other people.  Mr. Joe would gladly go for me as long as he has a list.  The trouble with sending him to Costco alone, is the volume of "extras" that just find their way into the cart.  He can spend hours looking at everything and deciding we need every condiment known to man.  I have to go with him and be the Costco police.  It still amazes me how many things he sneaks in the cart when I'm not looking.  He's just like a kid in the candy shop.
Enjoy your first day of Winter.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Ready for the binding

Hello Everyone,
Binding and Christmas Cards are on my to-do list today.   Spoken For is now off the long-arm and ready for my arms to begin the binding process.  The binding is going to be the polka dot of course!

I'm letting the quilt "rest" and unwind from the long-arm to see if the background fabric around the Dresdens settle down.  I stitched around the Dresdens and around the two center hexies. Then I added some little squiggles in some of the fans and blades.  The quilt was on my design wall all night.  I just checked it for droopage, (a Sew'n Wild Oaks technical quilting term) this morning. Droopage is also a term referring to my girlish figure! Enter smiley face here. Some stippling may be called for in the background to quilt them into submission. 

If I do the stippling, this quilt will be able to stand at attention as stiff as a board. Oh, the trials and tribulations of machine quilting!  Remember, I tipple while I stipple.  Eggnog anyone with a healthy dose of brandy?  I don't even like eggnog.....unless you soak my French Toast in it.   On that note, it's time for me to go fix a French Toast breakfast.  This could be a long day and I need sustenance.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Let the machine quilting begin

Hello Everyone,
I have a hundred other things to do to get ready for Christmas.  But.....what am I doing?  I'm machine quilting Spoken For instead of what I should be doing.  My original plan was to load it on the machine, and just peck away at it when I had the time.

Instead, I spent the entire day machine quilting.  When you're on a roll, you don't want to stop.

I'm quilting a 3/4" band around the entire quilt which I think will act as a nice frame.

Then I'm filling the space on each side with a double row of feathers.  The good thing about the light border is the quilting really stands out.  The bad thing about the light borders is the quilting really stand room for any errors.  I can't wait to get it off the machine to see the whole quilt.  That is what motivates me to spends hours in the quilt room.

I'm doing a simple cross hatch around the blocks.  I'm also outlining the Dresdens.  I plan on leaving the background alone.  I'll see how it looks and make that decision later.  It is always easy to add in more quilting, and a real pain in the patoot to take it out!  I learned the hard way and once spent 8 hours removing an entire row of Baptist Fan stitching. 

Mazey got her first Christmas present for the season from quilter Doris. Doris doesn't have a computer, so this thank you picture is in the mail to her. 

It's going to be a stormy day here in California....a good day to quilt......or a good day to write Christmas cards by the fire.  Maybe I'll do both!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class Was In Session

Hello Everyone,
Some days have a touch of magic to them......yesterday was one of those days in the classroom at In Between Stitches.  My Sew'n Wild Oaks girls gathered for the last meeting of the year and shared in the magic. 
Our show and tell starts off with Judy's, Grammy Squares quilt, all quilted and now for the binding.

Irene modified the Twinkle Trees pattern.  She now has a beautiful table runner.

Valery finished her little kit made with Vintage Onyx fabric.

Here is Melody's Christmas Morning Delight......front......

and back.
Gail is binding her table runners.  Now I don't know if I should tell you this or not, but these have been in the works for a few years.  This is the year folks!  They are going to be finished.

Barbara's little Santa is adorable sitting atop a bed spring.  Barbara purchased this kit at Ladybug's in Manteca.

Mary finished an adorable baby quilt, perfect for any baby beginning to set sail into life.

Nancy is a real star when it comes to quilting!

Jeannie is working on her checkerboard binding for her Homemade Holidays table runner.

 Pat's Scrappy Leaves is coming together beautifully!

We had a wonderful potluck.  My girls can cook!

The classroom was so full.....

 .....we had to set up two additional tables out in the shop.

Here are "my girls".  I treasure their friendships.  I look forward to every minute we spend together.  They make the world a happier, and better place with their faith, friendship, and creativity.  Love you girls.

I'll leave you today with this picture and quote I saw on Facebook.

My girls are always weaving their nets, and cast them out in love.  I feel it, I see it, and we all benefit from the power and influence of their nets.  Start weaving today.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Bordering On.......

Hello Everyone,
Just briefly touching base with you today.  The borders are now sewn onto Spoken For

The fabric I selected is the same as the background in the blocks, even though for some reason it looks darker.  My blog reader, Jacqueline, hit the nail on the head when she suggested I use the background fabric for the borders.
I'm going to fill the border with elegant feathers separated by a narrow, plain, straight lines.

Some of you probably aren't going to believe this, but I placed my first order with Amazon this week.  I now have my own account, and boxes are arriving daily, sometimes twice a day. This efficiency somehow seems so inefficient.  My poor mailman, and UPS delivery man rolled their eyes out loud at me yesterday!

It was easy to shop from my computer, but I do miss the hustle and bustle of shopping for Christmas, hearing the Christmas music in the mall, and seeing Santa.  I may have to make a trip to the mall just to get my Christmas shopping "fix". (That fix is going to last all of 5 minutes and I'll be ready to flee to the solitude of my own home).  I'm still a huge fan of shopping local.  I will spend a day in downtown Livermore looking for specialty gifts to compensate for my Amazon shopping. 

Here's to the environment.  Park the car and take a stroll through downtown in your own hometown.  Shop Main Street USA!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Let's Make a Diehl Class Was In Session

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday this beauty filled the classroom at In Between Stitches.  Suzanne finished her super-sized Walk In The Park.
This quilt is 114" x 114".  That's a lot of backing and binding!  This quilt is absolutely stunning.  It was beautifully quilted by Lora Zmak.

The classroom was filled with Kim Diehl fabrics, blocks and projects.


Some of the girls are working on Kim Diehl projects using different fabrics.

 This is going to be a completely different interpretation of Walk In The Park.  I can't wait to see it.

My least favorite part of the quilting process is on my to-do list today......borders and backings.  I wish someone would magically appear and make them for me......sigh.  What I should do is make the backing before I start a quilt, and tuck it away until I need it.  But, knowing me, I'd forget where I put it!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Decorating is Done!

Hello Everyone,

I like you, have had a very busy weekend.  It is so nice to be able to walk through the house without having to navigate between trails of boxes.  The house is about those Christmas cards, shopping, and then wrapping.

I managed to get Spoken For together and the flange sewn on.  I won't be able to tackle the borders until tomorrow since I'm off to class today at In Between Stitches.  The fabric I planned to use did not become reality.  So time to switch gears, think outside my normal quilting box, and switch to Plan B. 

Would someone please tell me what Plan B is????


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Spoken For

Hello Everyone,
I've been working really hard this week on Spoken For, my newest pattern. You know I'm loving the plaid.

The fabrics were designed by Karen Styles from Marcus Fabrics and are called Elizabeth's Dowry.

All of the sixteen blocks are unique.

When I got back to this quilt on Tuesday, my design wall looked like this.

 Now it is starting to fill in.  I can get so much accomplished when I have days of uninterrupted quilting.  My only distraction is watching the birds in the bird feeder.  Then there was a herd of about ten deer gently walking through the snow.

Speaking of snow, it has now turned into Sierra Cement.  The temps have been down in the low 20's during the night, which turns our world into an ice cube.  It is worth your life to take a step outside.  I'm staying inside with my sewing machine running full speed ahead.

Speaking of cold and snow, I can now share a piece of news with you.  It's official......insert drum roll here.......I've been asked to teach on a 10-day Princess quilting cruise to Alaska in July of 2018!!  I will be teaching the four days when the ship is at sea.  The rest of the time, I get to have fun will all of the quilters at the ports of call and additional excursions.  I'll be posting more details as they become available. I do know the ship will be leaving out of San Francisco.  It will stop in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Victoria, British Columbia.  Start saving your money now, and get on board with me and make plans to quilt and cruise.  Mr. Joe has his bags backed and he's ready to go!  

"To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world."  John Muir