Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's That Time Again

Hello Everyone,
Didn't we just put all of the Christmas boxes away?  Is it really time to get them out again?  The days and months are flying by at an alarming rate.  I judge the seasons by when we have to put the deck furniture away and drag out the Christmas boxes.
Yesterday, I cleaned out the under-the-stairs-closet, and ended up taking two big boxes of coats and things we haven't used in the past 30 years to Goodwill.  I can actually see inside the closet now! While I was cleaning and sorting inside, Mr. Joe was doing the same in the garage.  What was in our turkey dinner that gave us both the cleaning/organizing bug?  Whatever it was, I need to attack every closet and drawer in this house.....but not this week.
I have my little Mittens With Moxie hanging on the tree.  They will stay on the tree until Christmas day, then they become silverware holders and place cards on the dining room table.

It takes me three days to put all of the Fall decorations away and get everything out and arranged for Christmas.  This is day three and I'm pooped!  This year I put my green and red Madrigal around the bottom of the tree.  This gives me a idea to make a Christmas Tree skirt with a scalloped border.  Am I the only quilter out there that doesn't own a Christmas Tree skirt?  I usually just wrap a quilt around the bottom of the tree.

We've been enjoying some gentle rain here in California.....days of gentle rain.  This doesn't make a dent in our drought, but it has been so enjoyable to see it, smell it, and take Mazey for walks in it, then clean up the muddy paws on the kitchen floor.  The muddy paw prints are welcome sight after so many months without rain.

Enjoy your Sunday and create a little Christmas magic in your home.....or you can clean out a closet!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgivng Blessings

Hello Everyone,
May your blessings outnumber the Autumn leaves.

I am truly thankful for all of YOU!  Now, I have to go make my rolls.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
My girls, the finishers did not disappoint again yesterday at my Sew'n Wild Oaks class at In Between Stitches.  Patty finished a Nostalgic Christmas Pillow.  This would look great at my house! Love the plaid and polka dots!

Barbara, finished a "batch" of Mittens with Moxie.

Once you get the patchwork fabric made, the mittens make up quite quickly.  I love the deep blue fabric.  Barbara is going to put gift cards in her mittens.  My mittens serve a dual purpose.  First I hang them on the tree, then I use them to hold the silverware on the holiday table.  Over the years, I've made about 100 of them!

Irene is making a gift for her daughter. A perfect little clutch bag.

The inside is all little compartments that can be filled with anything you want.  So cute!

Isabelle is making little packages for her Holiday Treats Table Runner.  One after another, the little packages went up on the design wall.

Evelynne is making her baby doll for Toyland Tree.

Just look at this precious face that she found to embroider. It couldn't be more perfect if she tried.  I LOVE IT! 

Barbara is going to town on her Country Corners blocks.  This trio would make a nice runner.

Barbara also made a tea cozy and placemat from some gorgeous Downton Abbey fabrics.  Barbara used my Patchwork Math book.....did the math, and figured out what size to make her components.

Susan, Barbara, Wendy and Doris all worked on their final block for Country Corners.  I'll be posting the directions for this block in December.  Luckily for me, the girls found a boo boo in my directions before I post them!  Wendy and Doris I owe you an apology for not taking pictures of your blocks!
Susan made a design modification from my boo boo, and added a cute little polka dot border!  Perfect.

Judy now has all of her blocks finished for Country Corners.  She is going to add posts, sashing, and a border to this beauty.

I stuck my ornaments on the design wall and they were a perfect match to her quilt!  Don't we have good taste in fabrics?

I told you my girls have been busy!  The walls in the classroom were gorgeous.  This group is so supportive of one another.  They offer up good suggestions, laugh a lot, sing, chat, hug, and whistle.  I enjoy my time with them immensely! 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Quilted Goodness from Marcus Fabrics

Hello Everyone,
Christmas came early to Sew'n Wild Oaks yesterday.  A package of goodies arrived from Marcus Fabrics.  This collection is called Hannah's Heritage by Judie Rothermel. 

I sat at the kitchen table and looked at each and every piece of fabric, multiple times.  Ideas for quilts were swirling around in my head.  I tried not to drool, honestly I did!

The second grouping is called Molly B's Basics.  Molly B makes wonderful blenders which work in beautifully with so many Marcus lines.

I can't wait to dive into them!  Do you think Melissa at In Between Stitches would notice if I didn't show up for work today???  I could just hide myself in my sewing room all day and create something beautiful with my new stash. 

Last night instead of vision of sugarplums dancing in my head, I had visions of quilts dancing before my eyes.

I want to thank our wonderful neighbors John and Ruth for collecting the box from our front porch last week since we were at the cabin.  Ruth is a quilter too.  It's a good thing she didn't know what was inside.  Ruth is so creative, she may have whipped up an entirely new design to show me!

Thank you for your response about what to do with the Grammy Square quilt.  There was a resounding consensus to add a small cluster of flowers and ribbons in the bottom right hand corner.  Your voices were heard and I value your opinions.  I'll start working on another cluster flowers during the next football game.....which is tonight!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Hexi Bouquet

Hello Everyone,
The hexi-bouquet and ribbons are ready for hand applique!

I really should have taken a picture of the blue flower in the bottom row to show you what it looked like after Mazey finished chewing all of the little paper pieces out of it!  Somehow this flower made it to the floor and little eagle-eye found it.  After some pressing and spray starch, good as new.

I knew I wanted something in the border, but nothing that would detract from the center section.  What are you thoughts about putting another bouquet in the bottom right corner?  Should I leave well enough alone, or add to it?  Or should the flowers be in every corner?  I need your input with this one please. But keep this in mind while pondering my mantra is, "An hour per flower."  Yes, it takes me a whole hour to make each individual hexi flower from beginning to end. That's seven hours per bouquet and that doesn't include stitching the bouquet together.  It's a great project to work on during a football game.....and it is football season.....I'm just saying.  Adding three extra bouquets will take me into and through the playoffs, maybe to the Super Bowl!

I see a ton of stitching in the ditch in my future around each of the sixty-three, 5-3/4" hexagon blocks.  I also see a ton of thread changes as I work my way across and down.  I'm going to cross-hatch the borders for a nice old fashioned look.  Chances are good this one won't make it to the HandiQuilter until after Christmas.  I know once I put it out on the machine, I won't be able to not quilt it.  But, if I do put it on the machine, and quilt a row a that might be a good plan to break up the monotony.

Happy Sunday.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Caution.....Scraps Ahead

Hello Everyone,
I'm making progress on my totally scrappy quilt.  While Mazey was napping, I quickly arranged the blocks on the floor to see what I had, what colors I needed, and what blocks I need to make.

This is by no means the final layout or size.  I'm thinking I want this to be large enough to fit on a queen size bed.  If that is the case, I have a lot more work to do!

Have a happy weekend!


P.S. I just spotted a problem Courthouse Steps block in the bottom row....3rd from the left.  Rats! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Grammy Squares Meets Nosegay

Hello Everyone,
I've been playing around with the border for my Grammy Squares quilt.  I think I've got it!  A nosegay made out of hexagons with a few ribbons.  The fat ribbons on the top are going to be trimmed down in the final version.

Nosegay is such an odd word.  Is this cluster of flowers a joyous moment for the nose?  How about calling it eyegay?  Or hexigay?  Whatever I call it, I like the look.

I also made 15 more ornaments for some more table runners.  I've pulled out every piece of plaid fabric I own to add to them.

Today there will be bows!

Now a Mazey story.  Yesterday at O'dark hundred, while I was at the table posting to the blog, Mazey started growling.  She never growls.  She almost never makes a peep except for her excessive burping.  I let her go out on the deck which is elevated high above the ground.  As I watched her from the dining room window, she started to tremble while looking through the railing at the ground below.  Then I started to tremble.  I went outside to get her back inside, and I saw what scared her.  Not a bear as I first feared, but a very healthy-looking coyote.  Neither barked or howled or made a sound.  Their eyes were locked on to each other until the coyote overstayed his welcome then strolled off into the woods with that, "come hither" look.  I think it's time for "the talk" about the birds and the bees.  Mr. Joe called Mazey's veterinarian immediately to make a very special appointment.....soon.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

It All Started With a Flour Sifter

Hello Everyone,
I have a to-do list which keeps me on track, but there are some days when the list goes out the window.  I'm easily distracted, and when I think of something fun to do.....well, the to-do list goes out the window.  These little ornaments are fun to make!

I had just the right fabric to fussy cut a cute center.  Add two plaids and there you go.

I stitched them together like this.  Then I had to find something that was just the right ornament size....hhhmmm

Flour sifter to the rescue!  This flour sifter is ancient, (kinda like me)....but it still works, (kinda like me again!)

One ornament led to two....

Then add a couple of little bows for "cuteness".

Before I knew it, I had five adorable little ornaments.  I'll machine blanket stitch around them today and be well on my way to one vintage-looking little table runner.

Now, the question is......which DIL am I going to give this to?  I think this is just to old-fashioned for my modern DIL's.....I guess I'll just have to keep it!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Girls at Ladybugs

Hello Everyone,
I had a full day teaching at Ladybugs Quilts in Manteca yesterday.  The girls wore and used their thinking caps all day long while taking my Patchwork Math class.  Their blocks look gorgeous together!  This picture shows that "Scrappy" is my middle name.  I love seeing their work together.  Each of the girls made a pile of components, then they started to play with them by making different arrangements.

Linda, took my Madrigal class at Ladybugs last year and she was so thoughtful to bring her finished quilt top to show me.  I love to see the end results!  This is a wonderful combination of fabrics.  Great work Linda!

I loved Linda's basket of flowers.  Wonderful use of paisley in the flower petals.

One of the benefits of getting up early is this spectacular California sunrise. 

We are off to brunch this morning with our twin granddaughters who just turned 12 on Thursday.  Time goes way too fast.  I want to gather them in my arms and make time stand still. Enjoy every single minute of today, make it special by enjoying life's simple pleasures, the gift of a sunrise.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Grammy Squares Quilt is Together

Hello Everyone,
I spent the day getting my Grammy Squares quilts to this point.  I filled in all of the side areas with black to make it rectangular.  I used about ten different black fabrics that I've been collecting.

Then I started in on the borders.


It was together by dinnertime.  What struck me as interesting about this quilt, is the fact that it is made up of scraps from all of my other quilts.  From plaids, to checks, to stripes, I threw them all into the mix to achieve the look of a crocheted, Granny Square afghan.  Since my grand kids call me Grammy, I had to name it Grammy Squares.

Mazey wanted to have all of you see her pose in front of a quilt.  I can tell she is growing up because she didn't grab the corner of this one and run around the house waving it around as a flag of surrender with me in hot pursuit.

She really is golden isn't she?  Mazey is the busiest puppy we ever had. She is such a rascal too.  Don't let her angelic looks deceive you.....she is a handful of constant activity.  She thought it was extremely fun to play with the rain pouring out of the downspout yesterday morning.  I was not amused at 5:30am watching her get soaking wet while consuming every drop of rain flowing off the roof!  But, it kept her busy for a few minutes. before she started chasing after pine cones that blew down during the night.

I left the borders nice and wide for the vine and hexagon flowers.  There is still a lot to finish on this quilt, but at least it is to this point so I can work on the applique at night.  I guess I need to design it first!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Grammy Squares Again

Hello Everyone,
I'm back to working on Grammy Squares. 

 I've been filling in the sides with partial, black hexagons. I was Y-seamed to death yesterday.  Now, what to put on top of that black space?

I'm also auditioning thin inner borders in red with a black outer border.  I think this quilt border needs some vines too.

I've put this quilt on the back burner for too long.  Time to git'er done!