Saturday, October 18, 2014

Greetings from the Queen of UFOs - oh, NO!!!

Yep, I've reached the top of the UFO list once again.  This year has been a bit of a PIA and I sure didn't pay any attention to how fast I've been ascending that list!  Oh, well!  It is a good chance to boss people around!!  The Queen Says... do this, do that!!!

I told my DH that I was Queen.
DH:  Is that a good thing?
ME:  NO!  If I don't finish something this week, I have to pay a FQ!
DH:  Well, that seems reasonable - but I know how much you hate to give up FQs!!
LOL!  And I thought he wasn't paying attention!!

I did have a successful finish this week - my DDs 10th anniversary is this month.  She wanted a "family portrait" and I made one.  I was very scared about her reaction!!  She can be a little opinionated about home decorations!  And no, I don't really wonder where she got that!!  BUT I'm relieved to say, it was a big hit!  What a relief! Sorry for the reflection in the glass!  Guess it was sunnier than I thought!

Even Meg the Dalmatian was interested in it!!

I had added lots of personalized details and my daughter found them right away!!
Meg had a "heart" spot when she was younger.  M loved purple, so he's in a purple shirt.  L has a favorite necklace, twists her hair over her shoulder when it's drying, is always in jeans and flats.  J has 2 tattoos, worked for Ohio Northern baseball out of college.  Miss P had fake glasses that she loved, is usually in a dress and leggings.  Tonka is of course, the middle dog and Poor Rocky - this is the only time he ever had a halo!!  That chocolate lab loved chewing on stuffed animals - I had to repair alot of them!!

Here's how the family portrait developed: 

I made the people and dogs individually; then appliqued them to the background.

If I do another one - I would make the background darker - the faces tended to blend too well.  I ended up re-coloring the faces - that was nerve wracking!!  And then outlining them in black to get them to show up!!

There is both machine quilting and hand quilting on the piece.

I tried Jo Morton's framing technique.  Sewing the quilt to the matting!  It's scary to start but I liked how it turned out.  The tip that helped is - do all your figuring and drawing on the back of the mat!!  Duh!!

On the back, mark the center, vertical and horizontal.  Measure the quilt, divide by 1/2 and then mark the lines from the center to where the quilt edges will be.  Double check, okay then check one more time!!!  

Start poking holes through the mat from the back with a large needle.
Poke those holes just inside the drawn lines - it helps keep the stitches from showing and the quilt from stretching!!  Your thread should match the MAT!!  Seems backward, but it helps to float the quilt!  

Lay your quilt on top of the mat - check the placement of the holes.

Start from the back of the mat - I know, backwards! Make a BIG knot and tape it to the back of the mat.  I used a L*o*n*g thread doubled and knotted.  Go into a hole, take a stitch on the edge of the quilt, go back down the same hole.  Keep a little pressure on the quilt so there's no floppy edges.  

Go to the next hole ... and so on.  At the end knot the thread and tape it down.

Remember you'll need spacers in the frame to avoid squishing the quilt.  But. in general it was the easiest part of the whole project!!  Trust me!!

So, as Queen, I started straightening the sewing room today - OYE VAY!  Where did all this stuff come from??  I thought I was being really good this year, not buying much!  Apparently not!!  

DH is golfing in CA this weekend - so I have until Monday to sort and shovel it all back into place.  I'm hoping to find a UFO that I can finish within the week - I do hate to fail as Queen!!

So far I've found:  a wool jack o'lantern project ready to pillow; a wool Christmas mat; baby quilt tops, a machine stitching sampler piece the right size and color for a Veteran's wheelchair quilt; and a Grandmother's flower garden quilt - waiting for it's binding for at least 7 years!!!  

Well, you see how I get into this mess!  I really haven't been able to face that darn binding!  AND the quilting group offered to bind it for me, and I turned them down!!!  We'll see - this could be the week!!!

Your adorable queen, sweating under the ermine cape!!  doni 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Back in the saddle again ?????

Summer really ended with a bang!  I had a quick trip to Nebraska, and while I was there, my sister had a medical emergency.  I stayed almost an extra week.  She is still recovering, but stable. I was glad I was there to help my other sister and Mom.  But it sure is good to be home.

I got home just in time for Miss P's and R's birthdays.  We had a birthday breakfast in Portland to celebrate.  Miss P is EIGHT!!  How on earth????

Then we had two wool applique classes at guild - taught by Cathy Ware of WildHareFiberonline.  Such fun and don't you love it when the projects turn out oh-so-different!  This is my bouquet - to be worked on FoReVeR!!  Hand embroidery to finish the top!  Can anyone stand to have another UFO??  Hopefully, it will be finished before long - cuz I love it!!

 This weekend, the fun continues!  A and the boys came over for the weekend.  J is busy with the new school year and is busy working at home!  A little mist doesn't keep the likes of us off the beach!!  A lot of rocks were thrown into the stream!

Once I got home, well, life sped up in a hurry.  Just try staying away a week longer than expected ... there's a whole lot of life waiting for you to get caught up!  Just the way we like it, of course!

Monday, August 18, 2014

And as the summer zooms by ...

Hellooooo! It's been super busy at the coast, apparently, but man did that summer zoom by!  We're in the foggy section of our summer, but it's good quilting weather anyway!

Fun has been had by all. Let's go backwards ... I've been working on a top secret anniversary gift for my DD.  Definitely out of my box, but I'm enjoying it.  Let's just say thank goodness for a friend that has the same general type of project going and we're able to encourage each other.  Last friday we sat and made faces together!!  And I'll leave it at that!  Don't worry - all will be revealed when the magical date comes.

I'm also working on Mr M's kindergarten quilt.  He drew me a picture of an alligator (with some help from Miss P too!) and I'm appliqueing it to a checkerboard quilt top.  Hoping to machine quilt it next week, we'll see.  The way the time has been flying by ... well no time to dilly dally - which is my favorite activity here on the coast!

Tonight is the kick-off of the Fractured Round Robin in my Mini's group.  Hope I got the premise right!!! Cause my kit is ready and packed, but my fingers are crossed!! 4 out of 5 of us are participating and each member has each project box for one month - I'll know more about how challenging this will be after our introductions tonight!  The suspense is killing me!

The first weekend of the month I traveled up to Newport for the Annual Guild Quilt Show.  My these women are so-o talented!  The show was wonderful and I got a 2nd place ribbon on Mr D's big boy bed quilt!!  Yea!

I never expect a ribbon up there, but as DH puts it - I'm easier to live with if I do get one!! LOL!  It did put a spring in my steps!

There was a country music festival between Brookings and Newport that same weekend, so I headed to Portland to see L and the kids to keep out of the traffic.  We had fun, went school supply shopping, out to lunch with the kiddos - just the 3 of us!  And made pillows!

Google "5 minute pin cushion" or follow this link to the Youtube instructions.  I've made many of these cute pin cushions but they make darn cute small pillows too!  Just increase the squares to 6".  the kids picked their fabrics; sewed the 4 patch with their hands on top of mine; stuffed it and I finished the opening seam.  The pincushion has a button holding it together.  I got out the buttons and asked Miss P what color she wanted, here's the conversation:

P:  Where does the button go?
Me:  I showed her - in the middle.

P:  Well that wouldn't be very comfortable when I lay my face on it!!

So we didn't sew buttons on them!

On the way home I had a dentist appt down by A's house.  They were on a camping trip and it was very strange staying at their house without the boys tearing it apart!!  And 3 and 1 yr olds can do a good job of mayhem!!  A said no to worry, mayhem would be back next time!

My birthday happened to be on Martini Lunch Thursday!  These flowers were brought from a Friend's garden and they were the hit of the party!  Yep, 62 now!  Big decisions - to get the money or wait???  Stay tuned!

A friend is gathering 65 presents for her sister's 65th birthday ... and I made this mug-rug to give her.  Her sister lives in Alaska so figured bright colors and a bear's paw was needed!  Double sided and I liked it!  Hope she does!!


That's all for now.  I'm thinking of what to blog, even when I don't actually blog!!  But hopefully I'll be back in less than a month!!  Thanks!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fun weekend!

DH was golfing this week and a good time was had by all - here and where he was!  He left Wednesday, mainly because card group was at our house!!  It's a small condo and it's just better all around if he goes golfing on any day I'm having quilters or friends over.  Yes, I do have friends that don't quilt ... but not many!  But we all giggle and cackle all day!

We sat and giggled the whole afternoon long.  I got to win one game - first time in a few weeks.  We play "Hand and Foot" what a great excuse to sit around and eat munchies!  And there are a million variations of it - so there's always some confusion as to what the rules are this time!  It was a good time.

A quick trip to the library to get a Janet Evanovich book and take another look at the wall quilts hanging there.  I have several there - the Friends of the Library scouted out our quilt show in May and then called and requested certain quilts!  I sent a few extra to help fill the space when some people backed out.

My 2014 challenge - "Bucket List" and a slice of my little button Christmas tree!

Pine Tree - very appropriate out here! 

Thursday I invited 2 friends over to sew.  I finished some baby receiving blankies that were languishing in the sewing room corner.  Just in time for the announcement of two new babies in the family!!  Then I went on into my log cabin blocks mode.  I love mini log cabin blocks, just two rounds - 4.25" unfinished; 3/4 inch logs ... all from the scraps that are "too little to use and too big to throw away"!  And those are usually favorite fabrics!

I had many blocks at various stages of creation.  But by Sunday - I had finished 98 of them!!  Probably have 50 some blocks still started but not finished.  But they all got put away until next time.  I have a piece of paper with hashmarks in groups of 5 on it to keep count.  At the top it says I need 900 and I have no idea what size that makes!!  Since I'm only at 400 some - I've got time to figure it out!  I do miss my brain.

Friday we sat and giggled all day at "Woolies".  You probably notice a theme in this retired lady's life.  Yep, more giggles and less work, please.  We brought all our goodies bought at the Sisters show and compared "LOOT"!

Saturday, a quilting friend who's birthday was last week came over for a walk on the beach and lunch on the deck.  Then we tried to come up with a "fractured" project for one of our small groups.  I think we found a winner for her, but I'm back at the drawing board for mine. Anyone done one of these??  Ideas, tips???

Sunday was the Quilts in the Garden Tour for Habitat.  Some of my quilts hung in the garden - so 3 of us headed down to the Fort Dick area.  A quilting friend of ours was in charge and she did an awesome job.  The signage was superb!  And the gardens ... well, who knew those awesome gardens were tucked into the redwoods!  Great fun and lunch out too!

My sunflower table runner on display

Oh Glory Bee quilt

All throughout the tour there were all this redwood stumps on the property, of course.  And they are hard and expensive to tear out.  Most people added details all around and designed them into the garden.  They are so-o big - it's amazing when you are standing next to them.

The three of us - by the hollyhocks! That flower remindes me of Nebraska summers!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ahhh! A summer day to laze about!!

The marathon that is "summer" is resting right now!  Time to sit and relax for ever-so-shortly!!  Ahhh!

July in Oregon - the weather is often overcast.  Heavy fog can be the norm in the morning.  It often doesn't clear until 1-3 in the afternoon.

Every morning is water aerobics in our own city outdoor pool!  Generally, it's awesome, but this morning it was cold water, fog and a cool breeze!  Not my favorite.  But there were 29 of us iron-women in the pool!  And you do feel so much better after you're done!

And believe it or not, my hairdresser told me today that I have one of the best tans she's seen this year!!  - all from water aerobics at 8 in the morning!  Often in the fog!! Seriously, even my thighs are tan and believe-you-me those only come out in the pool!  LOL!  I do tan fairly easily - but generally lose it just as fast.

Gosh - remember the days we laid out at the pool, the lake, just in the backyard, slathered with baby oil trying to get the tan of our dreams???  Let's hear it for Vitamin D!!

My sewing room is cleaned up for the first time in a long time.  A large computer armoire moved out of that room in June.  In theory it was supposed to give me more space.  In practice, that little beauty held a LOT of stuff that I now needed to find room for.  That was what made us think of having a garage sale! There was no room for anything - every flat surface was stacked!

My DH asked "where in the world" does all the stuff that's on the bed in there come from??  Well, from the chair and the ironing board, generally.  Then it all gets moved to the bed when I'm working; and back to clear the bed for my dearest insomniac's 2nd choice for nightly sleeping!! There's a lot of rearranging in my day!

AND I decided that our little garage sale would be a great time to un-muffin-top all the stash drawers!! Honestly, if you need a shoe horn to get yet another piece of fabric into the drawer - you may have too much fabric!!  Don't be one fat quarter away from being on the Hoarder's show!!

I piled the extra scraps :-) and the rejects from the drawers into gallon zip-lock bags.  I finally used my food scale!!!  Did you know that they think a pound of fabric is 4 yards!!! I sold them for $2.50!  I know that sounds cheap - but we were pricing so things would G*O!  I had over a dozen for sale!  Last five went to my fellow garage-seller for $1.00 a bag.  But I knew they were going to a good home!

Most of the garage stuff went and stayed gone!  That was a giant pile in the way in the sewing room!  We had a successful garage sale - people in and out all day long.  Only a pick-up full to go to the charity store!  We didn't make as much as we'd dreamed - when do we ever??  AND we all decided - that is the L*A*S*T one; surely we'll remember how much work they are!!  Yea, we'll see.

Then the last of the work on the quilts to be hung at the Newport Quilt Show the first weekend in August - finished!  They get delivered tomorrow; sleeved and labeled!  AND that tall kitchen bag of trimmings that will be used for pet beds goes with them!

The American Girl doll clothes were finished and some sold to online friends.  Others given to friends with AGD loving family members.  Several are going to Miss P this month for her AGD - apparently a lot of stuffed animals are also sporting Nana's doll clothes! As long as they get played with ... it's worth it.

I straightened the sewing room, surprised DH! Nothing on the bed or the chair!!  And not many piles on the floor!!!  And believe it or not, I'm not sewing today!!  Amazing - I hardly ever take a day off!  But today's the day - guess I'll laze out on the deck with a book!!

Hope your summer is going well too!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Oh dear - time flies!! Here's what keeps me busy this summer!!

Happy 4th Of July!!

It seems this summer is especially busy!  I keep putting off projects until 'next week' when it will surely slow down.  It doesn't!!  After my last post - yikes! almost a month ago!! [Bad blogger! No biscuit!]

After the Memorial Day Weekend Quilt show but before my Portland trip we decided the kids could come home with me for a visit.  School was getting out on the day I arrived!  All you Nanas out there know how much prep-work is needed to have small guests - especially if they sleep in the sewing room!

Major cleaning of that area.
Special activities lined up, movies ordered!
Special grocery shopping
Other duties as thought of!!

I was able to see "Once" the Tony-winning musical of last year with my DD.  We were up in the rafters but as always a great time.  While we were all together, we had to go get Menchies - it's close enough that we can walk from their house.  Good thing I don't live up there!!  I meant Portland, but I'm really thinking - good thing I don't live that close to Menchies!!  Or I'd live THERE for sure!  They already recognize me!!


I drove the kids back from Portland all by myself!!  DH and I usually 'tag-team' the grands.  But Miss P is 7 and Mr M is 5 so it's pretty easy these days.  A 6 hour drive (without stops) turns into a much longer drive, but it went extremely well.

Here are the stops I recommend between Portland and Brookings!!

Gas and snacks, of course!!

Elkton - Butterfly Pavilion.  It's free.  A greenhouse that they hatch butterflys.  We didn't see any but we saw the caterpillers; the eggs; the larva and the flowers!  They were very kid-friendly and we sat at the picnic tables and ate popcorn and apples for a snack!

North Bend - Visitor's Center playground. This is the old fashioned playgrounds that we grew up with. Swings, merry-go-round and a fairly high slide!  Sand based so we had to dump shoes out before getting back into the car - and I managed to leave one of  Mr M's BRAND-NEW shoes in the parking lot!!  Oh dear!  I did keep track of two kids, and 3 of 4 shoes!!  A few phone calls from Brookings and leaving my contact info ... I'm happy to say that we were able to collect it on our way back to Portland - and we had a spare pair for him to wear!!  It was so funny getting the call from the desk.  "Oh, you found my shoe!"  "Well, I don't know if it's yours!"  How many kid size 12 black shoes with bright green stripes and a marbled sole do they find???"  Just to be safe, I carried in the mate to claim it!!

Port Orford - Prehistoric Gardens This is a campy little 50s style park.  Statues of dinosaurs built to scale from skeletons.  Miss P had been there before and I was a little worried that she would be bored.  Didn't happen!  They had a ball.  The park really knows how to engage kids.

First while standing at the window you get a peanut to feet the jays; squirrels, and chipmunks who are happy to see you!!  Then they give the kids a map to follow.  With pictures of the dinosaurs.  Then there's the footprint signs pointing the way!  They went thru it twice at top speed!! Both having a really good time!

Then home - a simple 8 and 1/2 hours later!!  Followed by a fun-filled few days before we headed back up the hwy to meet their Dad at the Newport Aquarium.  What fun we had - those two are whirling dervishes - and they slept 11 hours every night!!  Thank goodness!!   Thanks for the good time, kiddos!!

I volunteered to have cards this month - cuz it was going to be such a slo-o-ow month, don'cha know!  Then 3 of us quilters decided to have a garage sale together - how hard could it be???  Yep, I'd forgotten how hard!

Then Habitat for Humanity is raising money with a Quilts in the Garden tour.  A friend of mine is the chair and of course, I volunteered some quilts, and a raffle quilt!  Just turned them in today - still smoking from being bound, of course! This is the raffle quilt I made.  Turned out so cute.  It's an old pattern by Pieces from My Heart.  I usually make it with antique button flowers ... but found those large bright flower buttons at JoAnns [on sale too!] and had to step up my colors to keep up!  I hope it does well at the auction - all the extras for sale are gone - in a flash!  Darn cute and too cheap is that lesson!

Then the library called,  Friends of the Library is having a display of wall quilts in the meeting room.  She had a list of my quilts, which she saw in the show that she wanted!  She mentioned some people had said no - so I sent 7 quilts total, for fill-ins if needed.  I'll just pick up anything you don't use - they're all hanging!  And they Look G*O*O*D!

Last weekend went over to Medford to babysit for A&J2 for a night out and to see the Medford Quilt show.  And I'm sticking to that order of importance too!

Those boys - D is 3 and K is 1- are so busy; it's impossible to get them to sit still for pictures!  But a Nana has to do what a Nana has to do!  This was the best of a series of 20!!  Had great fun Sunday morning in Lithia Park while it was still cool.  Thanks for the good time, kiddos!

Here was my favorite quilt in the show - houses!!  I know nobody is shocked!!


Saturday is the garage sale ... I'll have to post pictures of what I'm selling later - alot more work to do!!

So "Happy Independence Day!"  Who else always watches that movie every year??  It's always good!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Catch up time!!

The Brookings quilt guild has a show every year during Memorial Day weekend, celebrating the Azalea Festival here.  We had an excellent show this year!  Lots of fun and great quilts for eye candy and we won't even mention the awesome vendors we had!

I'm happy to report that "Birds of a Feather" is finally DONE-DONE!  Oh-so-many years in the making!  It was practically still smoking when I turned it in!  And look-ee what it brought back home with it!!

It all started with a BOM sponsored by Quilted Moose in Gretna.  Debbie has a way with kits and BOMs.  I don't even like applique and I was in!!!  A group of us went to Gretna on BOM Saturday, got our blocks, stopped for lunch and then gathered in Lincoln to work on them the rest of the day.  We had such fun.

As you well know - I CANNOT follow a pattern exactly!  And this project was no different.  There was no blue fabrics in the kits.  Who can stand to have eggs in a nest that aren't blue??  So I started changing it around from the very first month. And of course, I fell behind, years behind!!  So I didn't like the last blocks, didn't make them!  C and I made up our own layouts.  I added an initial block.  In the star, in machine embroidery, I optimistically said "2007" - hmmm, it wasn't finished then!  Not ripping that out and seriously, who's going to notice or care? I used fusible and machine blanket stitched the applique.  I hand quilted it.  there were several 'time-out' periods for it.  But it's done-done now!!

I've been busy with Fabric Post Cards this spring.  Here are the latest ones.  "Childhood Memories" where I featured all the games we used to play.  I remember endless nights of Hide n seek.  Hopscotch and especially sitting on the cool garage floor on hot summer days and playing Authors and practicing shuffling!!

For  "Traditional Blocks" I made the 3" schoolhouse featured on the web this year (last year?)  It needed a little something to fill in the block, so I added trees.  I loved how it turned out.


I had to head for the laundromat this week.  Kingsize quilts do NOT fit into household machines! And it was way-past time for a washing.  I went to Harbor and I found that I can never get front loading machines.  At least not with glass doors.  I was fascinated by the quilt going around this way, then that way!!  Did you ever read Corduroy??  The artist in the laundromat getting inspired and sketching???  It's like that!!  Even when you're almost 62!

This spring I got busy making Quilts of Valor.  I made 4 with help from friends.  Here they are!  The first was a disappearing 4patch, quilted by Cindy Young in Brookings.  We had a display at the Brookings show - It's on the quilt rack, on the left.  That quilt went to the Quilts of Valor organization.  The next two are disappearing 9patches, quilted by Martha Lane in Lincoln NE.  They went to my BIL and a good friend's husband.  The fourth is a spider web UFO, quilted by Wilma Roles in Newport and it was presented to my SIL's dad.  It was great to present these.  They were well received and I highly recommend you get involved with this great cause.  I already have blocks started for the next one!



This spring at Finishing school we had access to an AccuQuilt machine.  I cut a bunch of 2 1/2" strips from kids prints.  Tried my hand at a lasagna quilt.  Well, first of all, I had way more than just a jelly roll!!  I think I could have wrapped the first strip around our whole complex!  It made almost a double bed quilt!  So I cut it into 3 baby quilts and a doll quilt!  All were donated to charities supported by my quilt guilds.  I watched the Missouri Star You-tube video and that was helpful.  If I ever did it again, I  would separate boy strips from girl strips!  If you don't, you do end up with a mish-mash that doesn't fit either!!


Here is my Brookings challenge - theme was "Bucket List".  From the start, I pictured piles of finished quilts!  Talk about a dream!!  It won a 3rd place ribbon in the Challenge Quilts at the show too!


Here's Mr K!!  He's one now and oh-so-busy!!  I think the other two pictures were complete blurs!!