Saturday, May 21, 2011

Back in the blog business!

I've been spotty in blogging lately - sorry about that. There was nothing major - just a little sleeplessness, spring allergies and laziness. I'm trying to talk myself out of that routine right now!!

We've had so much fun getting to know Mr D. We saw him 3 times before he turned 1 month old! Not bad for a baby that lives 3 hours away! Of course it does help that DH loves to play golf over there. He gained 2 lbs the first month - the doctor asked if he had any other hobbies other than nursing!! NOPE! But cute as a button and starting to do those involuntary smiles!! Fun to watch him grow.

We were up in Portland last weekend and were surprised to see a giant patio project finished before we even knew it had started!! What a nice job - and so much fun to play with the kids somewhere we can also sit while waiting for action to continue! No seats on the cul de sac out front!! They are going to get so much use out of that space - fun, fun, fun!

But of course, we had some rainy days there too - it IS Portland! But L had a 'rainy day activity' hidden away. A "Mousetrap game-like" marble track toy. Unfortunately, it took two adults to figure out how to put it together while a third adult entertained the munchkins out of sight!! LOL! But very entertaining after that.

Did I mention what I got for Mother's Day from L and DH??? Well, L had found a card catalog built like a barrister's bookcase. [It comes apart for easy moving or rearranging!] Lucky for me L didn't find a space for it in her house and it came to me!! DH was not excited - there was work to be done. We hired a cabinet-maker to make a top and toe-guard for it. Then there was a whole lot of elbow grease to clean it up. [No wonder I was having allergy attacks!] - years of spiderwebs, dust and mouse doo-doo! But I'm really happy with the way it turned out. And it holds a lot of little stuff for quilting, of course, you have to remember what drawer you put it in!!! On top is this month's flowers - Flora Pacific does such a good job with monthly bouquets! It was a great gift from DH.

While I was in the quilt cave - I took a full picture of the design wall [instead of just that tease in the other picture]. That's Pies & Tarts on it. My friend J, back in Nebraska got this pattern as an English paper piecing BOM. She's been working on it for a year and it's fabulous. When I saw it a year ago - I tried to join that BOM but no luck. I did get the templates and one of the fabric packs. But then left it to 'age' for a whole year. Does anyone else do that???

This year I had a workshop on 'paperless paper piecing' and figured this would be a good project for that method, especially since I hate English PP! And it's working out well. I'm aiming for 64 pies - that will be a nice 60 x 60ish quilt that will hang in my quilt display space just right. Let's not even mention my ambitious plan of sewing 3 pies and 3 tarts by machine each day and hand appliquing them onto the background each night in front of TV. We all know that's not going to work!! LOL!

The tarts are just 'patted' on since you don't sew them until the blocks are together. I studied pictures of this project on the web, since I had to make up my own fabric selection. I had to make sure that I didn't always line up the dark wedge with the center top. [gives it a little movement] And some blocks will have darker backgrounds with light wedges. Being me [LOL!] I cut wedges for 60+ blocks and an assortment of backgrounds before I really got into production - but it is addicting to see what the next block will look like!!

We have an unexpected sunny day today, in exchange for an unexpected grey day yesterday. We've been having wonderfully civil [8 - 10ish in the mornings] low tides this week. We were down on the beach yesterday and got to see a young teenage? deer frolic in the tidepools! It was running and splashing and you could see he was loving it!! I laughed and he stopped and looked at me like "What are you looking at??" And then splashed some more. FUN!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Merry, Merry month of May

My goodness, April went fast! Of course, it was visit, visit, visit for 3 weeks - and do wash, unpack and pack again for the 4th week! Besides spending 10 days with my mom for her birthday, a visit with Miss P and Mr M [pictured here in a rare appearance without his sister!],

and we 'accepted delivery' of our new grandson,Mr D!! Two visits to meet and play with him! Here he is 2 weeks old.

I also had a 5-day retreat with the Bayshore Quilters from Newport. What fun that was!Good company and great sunsets!!

Picture 19 crazy quilters meeting in both sides of a duplex in Bandon. Lucky for me, Bandon is pretty much 1/2 way between Brookings and Newport. Although the Newport gals DID leave about 8 am to get there! 4 quilt shops on the way, don't cha know!! I left at 1 pm and we all got there about the same time - 4 pm on monday. Bags were hauled in, sewing machines were set up and let the party begin!!

The projects everyone was working on were awesome. For example, I'd never seen or heard of Lucy Boston's Patchwork of the Crosses. Oh dear, a new category of fabrics to look for!! It's fabulous! A woven log cabin, many sewing kits in an exchange, lots of eye candy - both worked on and brought in from shopping trips!

Tuesday, some of the gals took a crumb quilt class from Nancy Chong of the Pacific Rim Quilting Company. This was the 4th year they arranged a class by her. The renegades - including me - sat at home and worked on our own projects. It was a great sewing day 'while the kids were at school!'

Tuesday, I worked on 'Pies and Tarts' antique reproduction quilt. Instead of English paper piecing, I'm paper-less paper piecing by machine and got several pies and a few tarts pieced and ready for applique that day.

Wednesday was spent working on Sliced Bread - an asymetrical log cabin-ish pattern from Wilmington Fabrics. The link takes you to the index, patterns are in alphabetical order. This was a March Madness workshop we had in Brookings. It's pretty wild, so I'm looking for a 4th 'log' to mute it down a bit. Hmmm, navy? brick red? tone on tones? but 48 blocks later ... it was a very productive day.

Thursday I put my machine away and worked on the Sue Spargo wool applique project from Lincoln's class. And then when I ran out of thread colors I needed, I switched to quilting on "Birds of a Feather." Each year I drag it out of it's corner, I love it, everyone else oohs and ahhs over it and I'm dedicated to finishing it by ... until I get distracted by something else!! Poor UFO! But it's at the head of the list again. [or is it? a shoulder injury from carrying furniture sidelined me this week from any sewing!]

Friday was time to head back home again - with a short stop at Port Orford to pick up some of those missing colors of thread.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. Hope yours includes some leisure time, a favorite activity and a wee bit of dessert!!