Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunrise to Sunset

Hello Everyone,
I spent my day with a group of talented and fun quilters at Whistle Stop Quilt Shop in Auburn yesterday for a Finessing the Figures AKA Patchwork Math class.  Mr. Joe drove me up as I'm still too gimpy to drive.  We left the Bay Area before sunrise, and drove home to a beautiful sunset.
The girls did a great job learning the formulas and making some nice looking components.

The classroom at Whistle Stop is spacious and bright.

Here is a sample of some of the work accomplished by the group.  I walked around the classroom, but I didn't always have my camera with I missed some great photo opportunities.

I think this comparison of the Y-Square component is very interesting.  This is Peggy's arrangement which would make a very interesting border.

This is Rita's arrangement of her Y-Square components.  This little component is so versatile!

This is my favorite class to teach.  The group was very receptive, and soaked in all of the information I had to share.  They grabbed the quilting ball and ran with it!  I was very impressed with their work and precision.  For me, getting out and teaching in a new area is so rewarding.  I LOVE meeting new people and exchanging ideas about quilting.  You girls ROCKED!

Today is going to be a quiet day for me with an elevated leg, computer work, and my grandson's basketball game.  I am getting better, but I need to get 'more better'......I know horrible English but it gets my point across.  Mr. Joe and Gail have been saints to aid in my recovery.  I couldn't do it without them.  I'm usually a human dynamo, and it's hard for me to let go, and turn things over to other people.  I'm turning over a new leaf and turning things over that someone else can do.  The pattern writing and all paperwork for the company needs to be done by me while I sit.  Today, I sit and elevate.



Friday, January 27, 2017

Prairie Flower Progress

Hello Everyone,
I just wanted to say good morning, then I'm off to the shower.  I'll leave the blogging in Gail's capable hands.  Thank you again for all of your good wishes.  I've enjoyed reading them and your kind words make me warm all over.  I am so much better compared to last week at this time.  By next week, I'll be ready for Dancing With The Stars!
Guest blogger Gail here as "Sweat Shop Central" opens our doors for 2017.  As many of you know, "the boss" has been under the weather and sent out a giant SOS for me to come help with "Prairie Flower".  I am glad to report that she is doing much better.

You regular readers know that I work for cookies.  As you can see here, no expense was spared on this tasty collection from Safeway purchased by Mr. Joe.

"The boss" assigned me the job of making all the border blocks.

There are 28 of these blocks, 24 of which are done.

And then I switched to these 9 patch for variety and...

to avoid having to fix my screw up because "the boss" hadn't finished the directions! Note the directional problem with the beige strips, all because I started with the red square in the opposite corner!  I just told "the boss" that this will provide her with an opportunity in her pattern to point out a possible pitfall.  Sounds good to me!

Mr. Joe outdid himself by having a nice tray of appetizers Wednesday night after our first long day.  He said something about trying to keep "the help" happy!  And last night, we had a delicious dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant in town.  Of course, we used the gift certificate I gave them for Christmas!  I shouldn't complain, though, and we have leftovers!

Our efforts are shaping up nicely!  "The boss" has done all the double X blocks and most of the border blocks are done.  On today's "to do" list is finishing the 9 patch with the beige borders so that "the boss" can machine applique the flowers.  Oh, and I have to fix my border block screw ups!

Lynn here again.  One of you asked about what thread and settings I use on my machine when I machine applique.  I use a Mettler 50 weight thread.  On my Bernina I use a number #6 embroidery foot and select stitch #25.  The needle position is 4.5.  Stitch length 2.5. Stitch width 1 tick below 3. The needle is in the down position.  I also thread my bobbin hook.  Not all machines have a bobbin hook.  It does change the tension on the bobbin thread and helps to create a nice even stitch.

Early tomorrow morning it will be time for me to head home and hope my kitties are still "speaking" to me after leaving them for 3 days!  Stay tuned as "Lucy and Ethel" hit the road again bound for our first quilt show of 2017 in Folsom next weekend.  If you are in the area, drop by and say hi.

Gail & Lynn

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class Was In Session

Hello Everyone,
First of all thank you all for your outpouring of good wishes about my current issues with my leg.  I'm happy to report that it is better this morning.  I'm so thankful that the blood clots seem to be stabilizing, and hopefully dissolving. I still resemble Quasimodo when I walk, but I'm not walking very much.
The girls waited on me hand and leg is class yesterday.  Their finishes are a feast for the eyes.  Laurie worked on the binding for her expertly pieced and appliqued Emilie Elizabeth.

Laurie made an heirloom quilt to treasure.  She faithfully kept up with the BOM at In Between Stitches and look what she has to show for her diligence.

It was expertly quilted by Suzie Dillinger.

Mary kept up with the Lil' Orphan Scrappy BOM at In Between Stitches and look at the beautiful quilt she has to show for her efforts!  Her sister quilted this for her, using a Baptist Fan design.  Overall quilting on this quilt is perfect to tie it together.

Wendy is working on her version of the same quilt in black and white.  Many of the blocks have words in the middle square.  Very clever!

Irene is working on her neighborhood for Journey's End by Kim Diehl.  This is currently a BOM also by In Between Stitches.  I'm looking forward to getting back to my house construction zone.

Mary is making Summer's Blush.  She said she is outside her comfort zone with the fabric she selected......but you would never know it.

Rose wanted to use up her one inch scraps and what a great way to put them to work!  So colorful and perfectly quilted by Rose too.

There were many more examples of excellent work in the classroom, but I didn't travel around too much to take pictures.  The girls brought me my lunch, kept my therapeutic heating pad warmed for me in the microwave, and took good care of me throughout the entire day. Being with 'my girls' was the best medicine the doctor could order.  They are so compassionate, so caring, and so loving.

My sister Gail will be with me for the next two days and I'm going to put her to work in my sewing room.  Stay tuned as she will be the guest blogger over the next couple of days.  I'd better have a stash of cookies for her.  She's cheap......she works for cookies.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Where Have I Been?

Hello Everyone,

No pictures today since I have nothing to show you.  But I have a doctor's note, a free pass on why I haven't been quilting, or doing anything of substance.

About a week ago I found a suspicious lump on my shin.  Went to the doctor on Tuesday and he thought I had an infection in my leg and he started me on a round of antibiotics.

By Thursday, my leg was involved from ankle to knee.  It was painful, swollen and I was miserable.  The doctor sent me to the hospital about 45 minutes from home to have a consultation with a surgeon.  The surgeon said it was a cyst and needed to be removed.

Last Friday morning, through a horrific storm, we drove the 45 minutes again to the hospital for out patient surgery.  The doctor cut me open, then said, "that's interesting" and sewed me back up with my lump still intake.  My lump/cyst turned out to be a marble-sized blood clot in a superficial vein. My daughter said she thought I've been loosing my marbles, and I just found one of them!

So off to Radiology for an urgent ultrasound of the veins in my leg.  Come to find out, I have an extensive area of blood clots, all in the superficial veins, from ankle to groin.  I know TMI, but Mr. Joe is tired of listening to me complain so I have to tell someone...that would be you.

At this writing, my entire leg has decided to join in on the party.  The vascular surgeon has me on injectable blood thinners until tomorrow, then I start oral medication for the next three months.  Yesterday my thigh was so swollen I couldn't wear my fat pants! Now let me interject here that Mr. Joe is still among the living after he said, "How can you tell it's swollen? It looks the same to me."  So sweat pants it is for an extended period of time.  Not my style, but I'm so comfortable.

I'm actually headed to Sew'n Wild Oaks class this morning to see my girls.  I will get tons of sympathy from them. They don't know it yet, but the girls are going to be waiting on me hand and leg.  I have to milk this for all it's worth while I can.   I may just as well sit in class with my leg up instead of at home with a husband who thinks I have a fat thigh!

The silver lining to this whole ordeal is that we weren't at the cabin last week.  We would have been snowed in without power and phone, and no medical facility.  The outcome may have been a little different.  Mr. Joe may have stuck me and my leg in the snowbank to bring down the swelling.  Now that I would like to see!



Thursday, January 19, 2017

Prairie Flower is Starting to Bloom

Hello Everyone,
It's been raining cats and dogs here in California which translates into perfect weather for quilting.  Tell that to my dog Mazey who needs to get out and run with the wind and kick up her heals. I've been hard at work on my new design called Prairie Flower.

I'm machine appliqueing the flowers and leaves which is a new technique for me.  Since this is going to be a bed quilt, I wanted these little guys to be securely nailed down. 

All of the Double-X blocks are finished and the directions are written. I had quite the assembly line going during the football playoffs and finished these puppies.  I followed my own directions, and guess what?  I found two boo boos. 

Here's a sneak peak at just a portion of the quilt.  I still have more borders that need to be added.  One of the borders in another pieced block.  So, I'm FAR from being done on this one. The fabric is called Conestoga Crossing by Pam Buda for Marcus Fabrics.  I love Pam's style.  This quilt can transition nicely from Fall into Winter in my house.  Of course once I finish making it, the quilt will hit the road and start traveling.  My quilts get out of town more than I do!

I hope you have good quilting weather in your neck of the woods. You know, it really doesn't matter what is happening's what's happening on the inside that counts.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Memorable Day

Hello Everyone,
Spending the day with friends and meeting new quilters is what I like the most about quilting. On Monday, I spent the day at Carol's beautiful home in the country, with Dolores, her granddaughter Melissa, and their friend Pam.  The goal was to have them work their way through my Spoken For pattern and work out the bugs......they discovered bugs. 
Melissa is new to quilting and take a look at this block.  She was so good at the applique too.  She's a natural, and a pro at fussy cutting.

Carol is making a quilt for Christmas and using an older fabric line.  I love the older, more traditional Christmas fabrics. 

Pan is also making a Christmas quilt with some vintage, Christmas fabric.

We were playing around with sashing and border fabric.  This fabric line is perfect for this quilt.

Dolores made an important discovery for me.  This pattern is going to be perfect using a Layer Cake.  I don't usually buy Layer Cakes.....until now!  She is going to combine the blenders in this fabric line with her extensive Jo Morton stash.  Dolores is the leader of the Jo Morton group that meets at Ladybug's Quilts in Manteca. Her input as an experienced quilter was invaluable.

Carol fixed us a wonderful lunch which we all thoroughly enjoyed in her country kitchen.

I wanted to take up residence and move into Carol's sewing room.  She loves antiques and has many beautiful cabinets to store both her fabrics and her collections.

We discussed the time it takes to dust, as I have the same issues with lots of treasures at my house.

 Such a beautiful, peaceful quilting room with excellent lighting.

Their suggestions will make Spoken For a much better pattern.  They each thought of things I needed to include in the pattern. 

Thank you all so much for your company, fellowship, friendship and your input.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Quilters are the best people on earth!



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class Was In Session

Hello Everyone,
My girls knocked it out of the park again in my Sew'n Wild Oaks class.  Jeanne finished her beautiful border on Walk in the Park, and handed it over to her machine quilter.  She created her twisted lattice border by making a couple hundred Y-squares.  This was spectacular!

She also showed us this quilt which is going to be a gift.  The quarter square triangles make this look very intricate.  Well done!

Kathy made the perfect quilt for a special little boy in her life.  Isn't this sweet!  You have to love the plaid elephants.

Pat finished her embroidered quilt.  An heirloom for sure.

Suzanne finished her flower basket for Madrigal.  Her blocks are finished, so we will be seeing a completed flimsy soon.

Barbara had some leftover scraps from Heritage, so she made a runner for her dresser.  Perfect!

Valery added quite a few blocks to her quilt during class.  The original pattern was made with Civil War reproduction fabrics.  Valery is making her quilt in batiks for a beautiful twist.

Suzanne is almost finished stitching a small Kim Diehl pattern. Love the richness of color.

I'm looking forward to seeing this one completed by Barbara.  So different and unique.

Jeanne finished the borders on her Homemade Holidays table runner. She will be all set for next year.

Cindy is working on Christmas too. 

The blocks are simple and sweet.

Speaking of Pat.

Great attention to detail.

Gail is moving right along on her Once Upon a Vine quilt.  She was determined to get all eight of her blocks finished during class.....and she did!

Kristi is working on her Walk in the Park blocks.  Great color combinations.

Today is my catch-up day.  I've had a busy week with my guild lecture at Delta Quilt Guild on Monday, Sew'n Wild Oaks class on Tuesday, then my presentation at Northern California Quilt Council (NCQC) yesterday.  Today I'll be working in my office, and maybe sneak into my sewing room for a few hours.  I think I should also plan a trip to the grocery store too.  Maybe do some cleaning.....maybe not!