Sunday, December 28, 2014

My mystery quilt blocks

Last year I participated for the first time in Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt Celtic Solstice.  It became a quilt for Don.  What a wonderful way for me to stretch my abilities, REALLY know how important that seam the perfect size is, and although I probably wouldn't have worked with those colors....I love the finished product.

Now it's the end of another year, time for a NEW Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Grand Illusion.  This one honors her visit this year to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  She shared MANY photos of the Hotel while she was there and was mesmerized at the beauty of the hotel and it's surroundings.

I know I'd be in for doing this year's mystery quilt as I so enjoyed, and learned from, last years.  Well, here are my completed squares for Parts 1-5 - all finished, in the box, waiting for the next instruction.  Last year I did the Bonnie Hunter "thing" - scrappy!  This year I wanted the laying out easier so I simply used one fabric of each color - no scrappy.  I'm now hoping this quilt top won't be too boring!!

 Some of the link up photos I've seen have the quilters guessing just what the pattern will be and what the quilt will look like.  For me, that just ruins the entire process.  I want to let Bonnie TELL me what it will look like!  I do love the colors for this year:  yellow, turquoise, pink, and green, with white and black accents.
Last year we received our final "put it together" email just before New Year's Eve.  I'm hoping that happens this year, too.  That way, you'll know what I'll be doing on New Years DAY!!

Curtains for Mindy and Kyle's restaurant are finished - hoodies cut out and ready to sew.  Then the curtains for Carin's living room (started way back in the summer sometime) HAVE PRIORITY!!!

At that point, my JOBS should be finished and I can get back to just doing WHAT I WANT TO DO!  Actually, as you can see by my timeline, I pretty much probably do that anyway.

Mom is getting slower now.  Doesn't like to converse much, and seems to need to rest more and more.  That gives me more time to sew as long as I'm close enough I can keep an eye on her.  I hate that she's spending so much time down but Stefani assures me it's normal.  These life normals aren't my friends!!!  I don't like them.  But then, they are what they are.

Mike and Peggy leave Maine tomorrow for their trip West and South for the winter.  We are lucky enough they will be visiting sometime in February.  I SAY I'm going to leave for a few days (like a week) to go visit Mindy and Kyle and see that restaurant....but we'll see.  I'd love the time off as we haven't been away from Mom for over 2 years now, but then I'm not so sure I can leave her.  In any case, safe travels you two!  Enjoy the trip!!!

Off to sew those hoodies now.  Back to enjoying my day.  Can you believe it's already the END of 2014?  I remember when I was young, doing the calculations to see how old I would be in 2000!  Now I'm 14 years older than THAT OLD NUMBER!  Amazing!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

More Christmas photos

We had planned to have left-overs in the way of French Dip sandwiches yesterday.  Pat was even here with his new doggie, Lucky.   (Beau was pretty well-mannered - I'd give him a "B".)  HOWEVER, like all good plans, we had our kitchen drain back up and so...Pat bought In & Out burgers and fries for everyone and they took the left-overs from Christmas  home to enjoy!

Here are some photos of the group.  Nan enjoyed her day with all the busy-ness and then we had a quiet evening. 

Today I finished up Part 4 and Part 5 of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Grand Illusion.  It's in honor of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan.  There are NO motorized vehicles allowed on the island, so everything (including people) are delivered by horse-drawn carts.  I must add this to my bucket list.  I've been close.  Anyway, I'm looking forward to the reveal - when the top is finished I'll let you see it.  Colors are turquoise, yellow, pink and green with white and black accents.  I think I'm going to like it!  I decided NOT to make this one scrappy, instead using one fabric of each color.  I hope it's not tooooo boring!

Actually, I have about 5 or 6 quilt tops waiting to be quilted so after curtains are finished for Carin's living room and Mindy's restaurant, I plan to get started on nothing but finishing up quilts!  Wish me luck!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying Christ's birthday.  We had 10 for dinner last night - Carin's friend Tom and his boys Jackson and Connor joined us plus Carin, Zach, Amanda and Josh.  It was a full house and since Josh arrived to help with dinner, all went well.  I think even Nan enjoyed the evening!!
Amanda and Josh brought crab and sourdough bread from San Francisco to add to our prime rib.  It was wonderful!!  I think Carin, Zach, Amanda and Josh will be coming back tomorrow for french dip sandwiches  - so we'll enjoy the left-overs, too.

Stefani (Nan's caregiver) brought over a suitcase a few weeks ago.  It contained squares and pieces her great grandmother had sewn.  She asked me to make a quilt for her Mom from some of them.  There was a large, completed top too.  I quilted it and bound it for a completed quilt for her Aunt and then the real work began.  There was a top started - only a couple rows.  There were lots of started and completed squares also in the suitcase.  She helped me completed enough squares (lots of seam ripping here) and I finished up a quilt for her Mom.

Aunt Kelly's completed quilt

And one for Stefani's Mom!

It was a pleasure making these quilts and I know her Mom and Aunt will cherish the work started by their grandmother and finished by Stefani and me!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My design wall today...

So, I've finally pieced the 36 blocks together, just finished as Stefani left for the day.  At this point the quilt will measure about 48" x 48".  I think that's too small.  I have enough strips left over (I saved the repeat strips from the jelly roll to use for the binding) that I think I can make an additional 12 squares (16 pieces each square).  That would make the quilt more like 48" x 60" - I think that will be better. 

This jelly roll has been in my stash for awhile.  It's Paula Nadelstern's Palindromes line from Benartex.  She also designed the fabric I used for purses last fall.  LOVE the jewel tones of this one.  I also used a jelly roll of whites (lots of different whites here).   

I penciled out the design on graph paper and I'm happy with the layout - just don't think the square size will be enough.  

I've wanted to do a half-square triangle layout for awhile.  I must remember to remind myself HOW MANY POINTS HAVE TO BE JUST RIGHT here.  Actually, I learned to double check my 1/4" seams to make sure they were correct.  The seams (so far) have come together nicely.  But then, look how many seams must meet just so, with joining all of these blocks!

I need a rest!  Today I cut out a fleece top for Nan, a fleece vest with hoodie for Carin and still have a long sleeve jacket with hoodie for Stefani to cut.  Can anyone say "crazy"?  I think these will be quick though (I hope).  I'll let you know tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ice Cream, anyone??

Yeah, another quilt finished!  This one is from the Disappearing Hourglass tutorial at  I love this site - have found many tutorials I'd like to follow someday - when I have time....but this one grabbed me right away.  I used fabric called Ansonia by Denyse Schmidt for FreeSpirit.  It's in a brown/pink/cream combination and reminds me of neopolitan (how do you spell that?) ice cream, or a banana split!  I even had a cone of King Tut variegated thread in brown/pink/cream to MATCH!  How about that?  Thanks Carol!!!

This was a fun block to make - although I incorrectly cut many squares in the beginning....they became part of the back of the quilt.  There was an interesting stripe in this collection - I love stripes, especially for binding, and this one is no exception.  However, I didn't like the blocks I made with the stripe fabric - they went into the back of the quilt, too.  As Peggy would tell me, "it's all good!"

This one is a rather large lap quilt - 64" x 75", large enough for a couple laps.

I finished up a box of microwave-a-bowl sets to send to Jamie for her craft fairs and yesterday I almost completed another top.  I had my Bernina serviced this month and it's been wonderful being able to sew with it again.  My Brother 1500 is getting a well deserved rest.

However, rests are sometimes short!!  Stefani asked me to put together a quilt for her Mom for Christmas using blocks made by her Great-Grandmother.  She brought the suitcase over the other day and we found an abundance of blocks, some partially completed pieces, a couple fairly large hexagons and even a LARGE 80" x 96" completed top.  We'll be putting together a quilt for her Aunt, one for her Mom, and working on shadow boxes for her Grandma and Grandpa and another Aunt, I think.  Anyway, the suitcase will be pretty empty when we're finished and it should be fun taking these pieces that have been sitting for so long and helping them come to life and bring a little of her Great-Grandmother back.  Wish me luck - I'm already dreaming of what to do, oh, what to do!!

Mom continues to do well.  All of our home health providers are gone now, and I worry a little when she coughs...but we'll have to keep an eye on it.  Stefani is now only going to be here 4 days/week as she needs a weekend day to spend with her fiancee (how dare she???).  We're taking the hours from Sunday and adding them to Thurs/Fri/Sat so that will give me a little more time on those days.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jobs are finished!

Okay, quilts for Weed and 20+ microwaveable bowl sets are off to Jamie and aprons are off to Mindy.  Now I can get back to something else.  Stefani has been sick since Wednesday (when she was going to work to replace this coming Saturday as she wants to go to Six Flags) so I haven't really had much time to concentrate on anything.  Hopefully, she will be better by tomorrow.

I have some quilt tops that have been sitting, waiting for backings, etc., so they can become QUILTS - I'm hoping to concentrate on getting a few of them completed.  I've really been trying to get the "piles" under control lately - this should help!!

Our weather has been crisper - it's about 60* now with some "saucer" clouds outside.  Mom is sitting at the front window enjoying the warmest spot in the house - right under a heater vent.  We have Pandora playing and she's "resting" her eyes.  Ah, what a life!!

Don's going to watch Nan for me so I can get to the quilt store.  I need to find a yellow fabric for Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt.  This one is pink, blue, green and yellow and is in honor of the Grand Hotel in the UP of Michigan.  It'll be 88"x88".  Nan of course thinks EVERY quilt is for her - and if not, she'd like to be in line for it if whoever doesn't like it....quite funny.  This one just may go on MY bed - one never knows????

No photos today, everything's boring..but I'll get back to work now!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Margie's Quilt

Finally, photos to share of Margie's quilt.  Margie has been Nan's O.T. since we've been here.  I think she's actually been with us for over a year of that time.  It's probably understandable that the people you have helping you become like family - but then I think the people have to be super special, too.  And that Margie is!  

Her plan from the beginning wasn't to actually make Nan "better - like she was before she fell and broke her hip".  Her plan was to make the new "normal" the best it could be.  I appreciate that!  And Nan gave her best always!  Even when she was too tired to really do the work!

 I made the Harry Potter quilt for her  - to give to her son and daughter-in-law for their first Christmas as a married couple.  It was fun to do and certainly challenged me.  When it was finished, she decided she'd really like a quilt of her own to remember us by.  So, here it is!

Now, I'm off to finish up as many microwave bowl sets as I have vinyl to do.  Hopefully, Jamie will be able to add them to her stock at Craft Fairs this fall and we'll have some extra cash to put away for fabric!!!  I'll publish a photo of them when they're done.

Oh, and I have a few aprons I just cut out to do for Mindy and her "girls".

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quilts Ready for Weed, CA

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday.  I was able to purchase a new Ott light floor model yesterday at 50% off minus 25%.  Great buy!!  Once we figured out how to get it to work (Don, of course, came up with a way to "snap" in the light bulb thing.)  Anyway, it works GREAT and I can see so much better at my sewing machine now.

Here are photos of the quilts I have finished to send off to Jamie for the people of Weed, CA.  This first one is a scrappy bargello, one of my all-time fav designs by Bonnie Hunter.  It's backed with FROGS and lilypads.  So cute - I had to return to Craft Market to purchase the last 2 yards on the bolt.

The second is like the one I did for Zach except really scrappy.  The back fabric is puppy dog paws!  Love the bright colors here...and check out the binding - doggie bones!

The third is a scrappy front and CATS, CATS, CATS on the back!

And this little one - a "girly Ballerina" - It is adorable however, the fabric is much coarser than 100% cotton should be.  I bought AN ENTIRE ROLL of it for our ballerina project back in the day...and I have a rather large roll left!  I did wash this small quilt though and it does seem SOFTER.  This fabric has a silver sparkle to it - which became part of a couple of Don's shirts, too.  Don't tell him...but I'll bet it's REALLY CUTE on him!
The hearts are appliqued onto the quilt and are made of chenille.

I finished the top for Margie yesterday.  Hope to get it sandwiched and quilted tomorrow!  I'm liking it...hope she does too!

And as a final note today, I checked with "Tony" the mobile repair guy.  He's coming to check out my Bernina.  The needle has been offset since I caught the cord with my foot and down we both went - that was probably a couple years ago.  I'm looking forward to being able to zigzag again (funny, I know).  Tony thinks it'll be fixable as part of the overall cleaning, etc.  I hope so!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Harry Potter finish, and Reef Plus...

Two new quilts to show today.  I finished my Harry Potter piece, made for Margie's son and new daughter-in-law, as Margie (our O.T. for Mom) leaves us again today:(  I always have a heavy heart as she leaves us but know that she'll return if/when we need her again.  This time is different though, as she is moving on to a new company!!!  She purchased  some Harry Potter OOP (out of print) fabric that we found on Ebay and I designed around it.  Of course, I put the piece out of my head for a couple months because I knew it would be a challenge.  Not sure just why I always do that, I do SO enjoy the challenge once I get to it!  Here are a couple photos:

And here's the back - I used the balance of that really expensive fabric!!!
I must say I'm pretty pleased with just how it turned out.  I added a hanging sleeve to the back and a label for William and Victoria - it will be a Christmas gift from Margie and her hubby!  She's promised to let me know if they like it. 

The next finish I'm calling Reef Plus, as it is a Tonga Batik fat quarter pack called Reef plus some (7) colors from my stash.  It's going into my Etsy store.  

Here's the back - again I used up all of the scraps (although part of me wishes I hadn't!!
Margie now thinks she needs a quilt for herself so my next quilt will be a throw sized one using the Wine Tonga Treat 6-pack I have.  More on that later.

Actually, with all the fires in Weed, CA, I'm making up a few small scrap quilts to send to Jamie so she can get them to groups helping those affected by the fires.  Both the Catholic and Presbyterian  churches there have burned to the ground, but I'm sure there will be centers somewhere in town to help those affected.  I actually attended the college in Weed some almost 50 years ago.  What happy memories I have of that town.  I hope those who have lost so much will soon be on their feet again!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

No New Quilts?????

What, no new quilts to share?  That's right!  I've been making lots and lots of Aprons - both for Mindy & Kyle's new restaurant wearing, and some, too, for sale.  I kinda got carried away with them - fully lined and ready for work!

On my design wall to finish is a wall hanging/tablecloth/small quilt (46"x46") for Margie to give to her son and new daughter-in-law for Christmas.  Their wedding was all in Harry Potter colors and theme - so we found this fabric (really expensive as it's out of print) and I've had fun designing this:

AND I had a special order of two crocheted rugs (believe it or not!).  Don wasn't too happy with me for accepting the order but I had TWO weeks to finish them and didn't rush.  My hands did well, no pain.  And they are beautiful....I may have to do a heart one for at my kitchen sink and a large oval for in front of the stove.  BUT, I'll be sure to take it slow and easy.
NOW, I'm getting back to quilting.  Here's the latest (only two rows on my design wall in this photo but I'm adding borders to the completed top today.  
I have a thing for batiks at the moment.  I couldn't help myself from purchasing a few "6-packs" of batiks in colors called "Boysenberry", "Cabana",  "Napa",  "Harvest" , "Punch", and this one is "Reef".  I have great plans for each and I just purchased a roll of batting (on sale at 50% off minus 10% plus free shipping) so I'' have plenty for some new quilts.  

Oh how the stacks grow - I'll have to find some of these for charity quilts.  That'll be fun.... 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Whoa! It's been awhile...

I can hardly believe it's been sooo long since I've added to my blog!  Sometimes things just happen to make life go by so quickly..

I've been making lots and lots of aprons for Mindy and Kyle's restaurant - fun!  Some have been for the wait-person (Connor) but most have been for Mindy and Cheryl.  Actually, I haven't stopped yet!  Yesterday I put 4 full aprons up on my Etsy store - had real problems taking photos (my phone actually took better photos than the camera!). 

I'd like to say I'll have the occasion to try to sell them at craft fairs this fall...but I doubt that will happen.  

Mom has been doing well and keeping us busy.  Stefani has been taking time off here and there to have some fun but will be doing some Wednesdays in the next couple weeks to make up the time.

Here are photos of the aprons I placed on Etsy

I actually cut out a couple that will be made from oilcloth I purchased at Craft Market yesterday.  They'll be for washin' dishes and I think they should work well...I'll keep my fingers crossed. 

I also found a cute, bright vegetable/fruit fabric there and cut a couple aprons out from it today, too.  I'll have to get back to quilting soon but for now this has been a great "break" plus I haven't really had time for much quilting.  More later - 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Another few finishes....

How time flies!  I've been busy with Mom and other things lately but I've finished up 3 more pieces.  This first one is for Stefani's sister for her 30th birthday (oh, how very young that sounds!).  It's another string quilt ( like Amanda's) but we centered each square with a strip of red ladybugs on a black background for this one.  Ladybugs have special meaning to these girls, reminds them of their Dad who passed away a few years ago.  I quilted it with a black/red variegated King Tut thread and I love the way it looks.  

My photos are terrible...especially the one of the overall quilt - I'll try to take more when Stefani is working on Thursday as I really need to take them outside!  The red looks black!!

I already know I MUST do another of these string quilts - and in black and white - they are so striking!  This one measures 60" x 76".  A great lap quilt.  I hope Sabrina will like it.  

These next 2 quilts I made with the leftover fabrics from Zach's quilt.  I used the same pattern but one is made with 4.5" finished center squares and the other is 3.5".

This is the smaller of the two - it measures 44.5" x 53.5".  A great lap quilt.  I think I'll also advertise it as a wonderful wheelchair size. 

Here's  the third.  It measures 55" x 66" - just a little larger but still a great lap quilt or "cuddle up with a good book or movie" quilt.  I really love the back of this one.  I used a great "autumn trees" fabric I found last Christmas time.  I made Mindy a totebag with this fabric but still had lots left over, almost enough for the back of this one. You can see from the photos I needed to add a strip to the backing fabric - I used a burnt orange piece I had from ????  I think it finishes well.

I've also been doing some aprons - both full aprons and utility aprons for Mindy and Kyle to use at their restaurant!  I'm having fun making some different things and Mindy and Kyle are liking them and they should get lots of use!!

I'll try to post photos of some of them soon.