Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Double Dutch Treat

 Hello Everyone,

This is just a reminder that my Double Dutch Treat pattern is available for FREE by clicking HERE.  The link will take you to Google Docs which makes it is easy for you to print the pattern.

I designed this last year for my project for Mondays with Marcus.

This was my first attempt at combining wool with cotton and I really enjoyed the process and the final look.  If you don't want to use wool, then regular cotton applique would be fine.  I used Lanacot Wool from Marcus Fabrics and my Hearthstone fabric line.

The finished size of the table topper is 30" x 30", which is a nice manageable size and easy to machine quilt on a domestic machine.

I haven't heard yet if the Marcus Designers are doing another Make it with Marcus this Fall.  It's my busy time with two retreats and a quilt show......and making a quilt for Quilt Market in Houston in October.  I don't have the fabric line yet, so finding time to make another large quilt is going to be a bit dicey.  I either burn the midnight oil or throw in the towel.  The towel is starting to look very appealing.

It is finally starting to cool down a bit.  We are no longer in the 100's every afternoon.....the high 90's is fine with us and makes a significant difference in my activity level and sluggishness.  I'm still in the pool every morning swimming laps and doing water aerobics which is my time and I'm reaping the benefits of two hours of daily exercise.  

Do something for yourself today.


Saturday, July 13, 2024

Heritage in Hearthstone

 Hello Everyone,

I absolutely love to receive pictures from you, my cherished blog readers.  A few short months ago, Nadine asked me if I could send her the fabric requirements for my Heritage pattern using my Hearthstone fabric line.  Here is Nadine's beautiful and finished creation. Seeing her quilt is incredibly rewarding to me.

The quilt is also beautifully machine quilted.

I've always wanted to make a Heritage in Hearthstone, and I have added this to my list of quilts I want to make again.  Thank you so much Nadine for making my design come to life and sending me pictures.

Listed below, is the information I sent to Nadine, generated by EQ software. She took the ball and ran with it and scored a touchdown!

The majority of my patterns are in EQ software, and with time, I can recolor any of my designs.  There are also some of you who like to receive templates since you love to hand-piece your quilts.  I can also produce template.

On the home front, last night at 2:27am, we were rudely awakened by the vocalization of a mountain lion!  I shot straight up out of bed, Mazey went ballistic, and Mr. Joe rushed to close the sliding glass door, as there was just a screen between us and the mountain lion. We looked like the Keystone Cops! Thank goodness we never saw the lion, but the hair was standing at attention on the back of my neck.  Mountain lions can be very intimidating, especially since I read that in order to hear their vocalizations, they must be extremely close since they aren't very loud.  We've been sleeping with the slider open, so now we are going to reassess our vulnerability. This is one of those times that I feel like we are living in a zoo without cages.

Just yesterday at water aerobics, the girls were talking about the mountain lion sightings in our area of Blue Lake Springs.  I can now attest to this.

Just like most of the country, the heat wave just won't loosen its grip! We are now under a red flag warning for the next two days because of the prediction of dry lightning storms and wind which is NOT a good combination for our dreadful fire season.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if our power provider turned off our electricity.

I'll just hunker down and continue working on my special projects while praying for rain.


Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Lil' Orphan Scrappy Free Tutorials

 Hello Everyone,

Through the intense heat wave in California, I've have sequestered myself away in my sewing room.  While working on some special projects, I've been creating a lot of scraps.  I have the perfect pattern to use up those scraps as the largest piece you need measure 5-1/4". That pattern is called Lil' Orphan Scrappy and I have FREE tutorials for you posted below. I made this Lil' Orphan from all of my Marcus Fabrics scraps.

This was a fun one to quilt.  I knew I wanted to have feathers running across the quilt.

I love being able to put those scraps to good use to make quilt instead of storing them away in a closet never to be seen again.

In the past couple of weeks, I had the pleasure of seeing two Lil' Orphan Scrappy's.  The first one was made by my friend Mary Sue.

Mary Sue plays the French Horn which made the perfect center for one of her blocks.

My sister also finished up all of her blocks and she's getting ready to sew the rows together.  She would have had it completed if I didn't have her working on a project for me!

I looked through my blog and found some more Lil' Orphans made by my friends.  Here's Jeanne's quilt.

Here is Paula's quilt which she showed us at one of my retreats.

I put some tutorials together so you can create your own Lil' Orphan Scrappy.  The tutorials are totally FREE, and you do not need to purchase the pattern if you follow the tutorials.  

PART ONE is located HERE.
PART TWO is located HERE
PART THREE is located HERE.

Every Lil' Orphan Scrappy quilt is unique to the creator and is a reflection of your quilting style and stash.  Make a few blocks a week, and before you know it, a quilt is born.

We are still in the grip of a massive heatwave here in California which is extremely tiring day after day.  Not to mention the fear of fire as the forest around us is tinder dry.  We don't have AC, but we do have fans and open up the house every morning to let the cool air in, then we close it all up around 10am to keep the intense heat out.

Enjoy the tutorials and stay cool!



Wednesday, July 3, 2024

The Red, White and Blue Sale

 Hello Everyone,

Last Saturday, four quilting friends gathered at Sharon's beautiful home for lunch, conversation, and camaraderie.

Sharon has been quilting for only three years, and she's filled her home with her wonderful quilts in a very short period of time.

This was one of her first quilts.

Her home is so inviting and comfortable.  I wanted to curl up a read a good book in this corner.

There is something beautiful to see on every wall and nook and cranny of her home.

We chatted throughout the meal from every topic about books to politics......and quilting of course.

Quilts are a wonderful way to decorate your home as they add warmth and creativity, and extra insulation during the winter!

Thank you so much Sharon for letting me showcase your home.

We will be spending a quiet July 4th with our neighbors just a couple of doors down the street.  I'm bringing the appetizers.  Once I make them, I'll post pictures for you along with the recipes.

I get pretty nervous this time of year.  Fireworks are illegal here in the mountains, but that doesn't deter some idiots from setting them off.  Our little mountain community is full, and I mean FULL of the summer people.  The shelves at the grocery store were empty on Monday.  Even when we plan on shopping early, our plans evaporate when there's not much available.  We could drive down to Angels Camp to a larger store, and we may just have to do that if the shelves aren't re-stocked soon at our local grocery store.  If you don't get to the store early, the lines for every checker snake through the entire store and you can be in line for an eternity.  There have been times when Mr. Joe stands in line with an empty cart, and I zip around the store and return back with items.  You have to get smart in your old age!

For the past two 4th of July's, the power has gone out, and we are ready if that happens again.  Mr. Joe had our portable propane tanks filled which we use in our generator.  It has been HOT, extremely hot.  This heatwave is expected to last until July 9th.  Our mountain power grid system just can't handle the extra people turning on air conditioners, and poof, no power on the mountain.  Our cabin doesn't have an air conditioner, so I open up the cabin early in the morning to get in cooler air.  Then by 10am, we shut it up and it stays relatively cool.  

To help celebrate July 4th, I'm having a SALE in my Etsy shop from July 4th through July 6th.  All of my patterns will be 20% off.  Click HERE and you will be directed to my shop. 

Have a happy 4th of July and be safe.


Saturday, June 29, 2024

A Tisket A Tasket

 Hello Everyone,

I've been making twenty of this little cutie pie 5" finished blocks this week.

My sister has been making thirty-two of these 5" finished little cutie pie blocks this week.

They are going to be so cute together in my secret project.  Marcus Fabrics recolored my Hearthstone fabric line into a bright colorway, and I have enjoyed working with this new line.  Over fifty yards arrived from South Korea last week and I was blown away when I opened the box.  I LOVED what I saw!  What do you think about that plaid? The new line is called Laurel Ridge, and it will be in shops in the Fall.  

I want to thank the talented graphic artists at Marcus Fabrics who make me look good and bring my ideas to life!  Now if they could just photoshop my picture and make me look twenty years younger!

This has been an emotional week which deserves its own post at another time.  We lost two friends and went to one Celebration of Life, with another Celebration of Life soon. Also, my cousin went to heaven this week.  That's three and that's enough.  I'm almost afraid to answer the phone.

Appreciate this day that we've been given to enjoy.


Sunday, June 23, 2024

Missing in Action

 Hello Everyone,

The sewing machine has been humming along under the oaks and pines.  I'm putting the borders on this beauty this weekend.

This is a large quilt that required an accurate border measurement while it was on the floor.  I can get down on the floor without a problem.....it's getting back up that poses a problem. I have to make sure there is something that I can cling to, to get upright again.  About 6 weeks ago I had to get a cortisone shot in my knee.  My knee was protesting the entire time I was crawling around on the floor.  My knee is much better than it was, and I know the swimming and water aerobics have strengthened it.

Lots and lots of exciting things are going on at the cabin.  A heavy box containing over 50 yards of my next fabric line arrived.  I can show you only a peek at one of the SKU's from Laurel Ridge.  This line is going to surprise you!  Over the next few weeks, I'll be working with the line and can show you little snippets. 

I also have another new line coming out after Laurel Ridge, and it's called Gentry's Mill.  There's never a dull moment under this roof!  

On another note, my granddaughter who just graduated from ASU with a degree in film is going to be filming me while I present my quilting tutorials.  We bought her the video camera she wanted for graduation to help jump start her career.  She has all kinds of wonderful ideas for my quilting tutorials.  We got to laughing so hard on the phone, she suggested she needs to make a 'blooper' video.  All of the filming will be done in different rooms and out on the deck at the cabin.  It would be just perfect if a bear just happened to wander by during the filming. Maybe I could put Mr. Joe in a bear costume...not.  I don't want him to get shot!

We try to go to as many of Jess's rodeos as we can.  We'd planned on going to the rodeo in Oakdale yesterday until the start was moved up to 7am due to the extreme temperature of 104 degrees.  We would have had to leave the cabin at 5:30am to get there.  His time was 3.15 seconds to bring the steer down which is a great time, but seven of the boys posted better times.  Just like the Olympics, a fraction of a second makes a huge difference.

He really wants his own horse, but that's not going to happen, so he has to be content riding his friend's horse.  His friend purchased a retired Mexican Dancing horse which I expect to break out into a Salsa Dance at any moment!

I'm going to be knee deep in borders today.  I'll make the backing tomorrow, then my project is ready to go to the machine quilters on Thursday.  Then on to the next fun project!


Saturday, June 8, 2024

Afternoon Break

 Hello Everyone,

I'm on a roll getting this quilt ready to send off to the machine quilter.  I decided to have a professional tackle this one for a couple of reasons.  Time is of the essence for one thing, and I'm a slow machine quilter.  The other main reason is that my machine quilter is so creative!

I've been getting up between 4 and 5 every morning.  I quilt or applique, answer emails, and do whatever needs to be done before I leave the house at 7:45 and go to the pool for lap swimming for 45 minutes then water aerobics.  The early bird gets to pick any lane of their choice!  Most mornings I have my own private pool.

In the distance, you can see all of the smoke from the controlled burn that settles in every night.  The air quality has not been the best.

Yesterday, I took a quilting break, and we headed three miles up the road to have lunch at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  We'd heard they have an excellent food truck there.....and they do!  I had a delicious Mediterranean Chicken Saled and Mr. Joe had a Chicken Pita sandwich.  

It was so peaceful sitting by the big meadow while enjoying our lunch.  The birds were talking to us the entire meal.  The sky was so blue, and the smoke was gone.

Today we have our annual homeowner's association meeting at Snowflake Lodge which includes a free lunch.  I have a hot dog about once a year and today is the day! Sometimes they just hit the spot.



Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Smoky Mountain

 Hello Everyone,

I can only show you little snippets of my newest project which incorporates a bit of applique with pieced blocks.

I'm so irritated with myself.  I stitched the red block in with the wrong orientation.  The seam ripper will be out and in use today.  Of course, it is almost smack dab in the middle of the quilt!

I'm making good headway on the quilt and on the pattern writing.  This quilt is going to be offered in two different colorways, so the directions need to be written two different ways which is an extra level of effort.

I woke up early this morning to the very strong smell of smoke.......not a good way to start the day. I didn't panic because I knew there is a controlled burn just three miles away at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Unfortunately, the controlled burns have been known to get out of control.  The burn scars are still evident along the highway.  What's so bad about the smoke is that it is warm out and we want to open the windows.....not a good plan today.  The smoke is always much worse in the morning.

Saturday morning, Mazey sounded her early warning bear siren, and I immediately became alert.  A bear was walking across the back of our lot and over to the neighbors.  Sunday morning when I was hanging the bird feeder out, a wild turkey came running over to me for his breakfast.  About an hour after that when I was in our lot next door, two small bucks came over to see me.  I was actually hiding behind a tree as they can be more aggressive than the bears.  Later on that afternoon when we were on our afternoon walk around the track at the elementary school, a bear ran across the meadow by us.  I think I need to change my perfume or change my name to Grammy Doolittle!  I saw wildlife all day long.

I'm finishing up the applique on my project early this morning.  It has been fun stitching the blocks together to see this quilt come alive.

I'm off to the pool at 7:45am.  I swim laps for 45 minutes with my kickboard then I stay in the pool for another hour for water aerobics.  This is something I do for myself even though there are days when I don't feel that I can spend the time in the water.  The exercise really helps my old, arthritic knees and I just plain feel so much better!

Do something totally for yourself today.  Swimming and quilting are a wonderful way to start my day! 


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Machine is Humming

 Hello Everyone,

When I'm not at my sewing machine, I'm working on applique for my secret project. This quilt design is unlike anything I have designed in the past.

I love combining a bit of applique with pieced blocks.  When I get tired of working on piecing, I switch to applique.  The entire time I'm working, I'm listening to audio books.  The hours just fly by and it's time to start thinking about fixing dinner before I know it.  We had company over for dinner last night, so dinner tonight will be the yummy leftovers.

I thought I would tire of working with my Hearthstone fabric collection.....but that hasn't happened yet. I find that it is quite versatile, and the designs and colors play well with each other.

I have bolts and bolts of it in my sewing room and plan on cutting more bundles for my booth at the Independence Hall Quilt Show in Angels Camp in October.  I have to plan ahead in order to fill a booth with loveliness.

I have a ZOOM meeting this morning to discuss the secret project.  I wish I could share everything with you......but not just yet.