Saturday, February 18, 2017

Oh No! I broke my toe!!

Remember me telling you about stubbing my toe HARD last weekend?  I heard a weird little noise when I did it and said to myself, "Don't panic - that was your sandal."  It wasn't my sandal.  ICK!  I've never broken anything before and there's something in the movement of the part that makes you queasy!!

CY a good friend who suffered a broken toe last year came over with the right tape (3M Transpore) and showed me how to tape it.  But it's been a disheartening week!  Getting old - hard to ignore when you're hurting.  And trust me, when you're babying a certain part of your body ... everything else hurts!

People said, well, at least you can stay home and work on your 'little projects' LOL! Well, you are supposed to keep the affected area above your heart.  Hmmm, not even going to try to run the sewing machine in that position!! LOL!

A friend in Nebraska sent me pictures of the International Quilt Study Center's Nebraska Sesquicentennial Quilt contest - Inspired by Nebraska's Diversity. They brought back great memories of growing up Nebraskan!  Sure, it was a different time, but it's also a different place.  Isolated, yet central; plainspoken yet caring ...

Don't tell my husband, but I'm still Nebraskan in my heart - and I miss the clear skies. The Coastal Marine layer can sure grey things out, even when it's not raining - and the layer is flat!  Not fluffy clouds racing across a blue sky. 

In Nebraska I can remember going to the grocery store at sunset, pre-cell-phone cameras, and just sat and looked at a Cecil B DeMille worthy sunset over Holmes Lake. Yes, dinner was a little later because of sitting and enjoying that - but I can still see it.

I remember the sun sparkling endlessly off the snow - best enjoyed from inside the warm house, looking out, of course!  

I remember driving west at sunset and and watching the sun 'bounce' as I went up and down small hills! There - it's down, nope, there it is again!

And of course, the people.  Definitely people with the best hearts!!  

Although I couldn't go to the pool (tape in the water is a no-no) or TaiChi (I couldn't see all the twisting and balancing) I did get out to the other activities this week -  presented the idea of having a QOV presentation at the quilt show for the Vietnam Veterans meeting.  There were a lot of people at that meeting!  Looked like a BIG crowd through the nerves.  But it went well. I haven't heard back yet, but hoping for their support.  It went well enough that I'm presenting to the Marine Auxiliary today.

And our first "Mod Squad" was a success!  We had 9 participants (2 came in with reservations but we won them over!!) We did an exercise from the book - looking at a photo or magazine picture and studying the lines, colors, the shapes and the composition.  

I got the magazine ad of a Toucan.

I found that I look at colors as a whole.  And I saw his beak as 'orange' but there was yellow, pink and gradations in it.  Likewise, I didn't catch the greys shadowing his white chest. But I did notice his feet were blue!

Shapes included triangle beak, round eye, diagonal line branch, half circles body ..

Patterns - there are vertical lines in his bill as well as the horizontal opening.  There's wood grain in the branch.  And the background was mottled - great for stippling!

Descriptions included:  sun-dappled, speckled, opposites, spotted and 'birdy'!

Everyone shared their exercise and since our homework is just a 15" square composition - most, if not all, are going to go for it.  I told them to look at it as an opportunity to try out new ideas.  If they don't work ... you can throw away a 15" square without guilt!!  I'll let you know how many blocks come to the next meeting to be gently critiqued!

Three day weekend here - hard to tell when you're retired!!  But hope to get the jungle baby quilt finished.  Just have the borders left to quilt; and then que up the 'beach balls' baby quilt to machine quilt too. Those quilts need to be handed in a week from Monday.

And Finishing School (March 5) is headed toward me with the speed of light!  So I need to get those 9 presents done.  I always swear I am NOT going to wait until the last minute ... but every year it's a race to the finish!

We got 4 of the 6 QOV quilts back from the long-arm volunteers and I have 3 more handed in to be sent out.  We're hoping for 15 this year - double last years!  And since we're arranging a Presentation I'm toying with the idea of making one more - just in case anyone backs out.  I'm pretty much counting on ALL 15!!  But time is the problem, as always!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Well, that week didn't go as planned!

It was the best of times, it was the worse of times ... more of the latter!  Sunday night I had a little episode of "Keystone Kops get a let cramp!" Ended up bruising a rib and 3 other points on my body!  It's just ridiculous how getting old is not that fun!!

But I made the best of it.  I was unsupervised - DH was on a golf trip!  I had all this stuff already out from the retreat, so why not get ALL the rest of it out and stir it up a bit??  So out came to bags, bins, boxes and bushel baskets of scraps that live here and there in the condo!  And it just exploded from there!!!  By Wednesday, even I was appalled at what a mess I had made!!!

I had a short list of projects I started gathering for retreat. No I didn't get to all of them, still haven't!!!   - but now it's time to get organized (in order to create loads of chaos in our condo!)  If I'm going to get all the scraps out, I need a list of what needs to be cut.  There are 10 projects on my list and I need sizes from 10" squares to 2.5" squares!  So - cut cut cut! Stack stack stack and keep it organized!  We're going to need chocolate!

First up is a smaller version of that awesome asymmetrical rainbow diamond.  If I cut the squares at 5.5" then the HSTs will finish at 4".  That will work !!  Should I pair it with a white on white fabric again?  Or something with more pizzazz?  Time will tell!  First I have to find all those bright fabrics I used before.  Oh-oh!

Another project on the list is 'Slash a Stash'.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it!!  It's not what comes up with Google - I tried.  In fact, it's surprisingly hard to find online.  So I pulled out the blurry printed instructions from 2003, designed by Susan Fuquay for American Quilt Retailer Magazine. It was a free give away pattern at a Quilt Store.  Here's a link to someone else talking about it!  It's a scrappy asymmetrical Bento Box.  6" square surrounded by 3.5" strips of one fabric, like a Happy Block.  Make many of these blocks.  Then cut them asymmetrically - shuffle and rejoin.  Turns out darn cute - or at least I'm hoping it will!

The printed pattern just uses 6 pairs of FQs.  But let's face it - all fabric goes together, right?  So choose your favorites and start sewing them together.

There's Angles and Squares from the book "A Thread Runs Through It" by Barbara Dieges. A variation of Road to Oklahoma?

There's Many Scrappy Trips by Bonnie Hunter.  16 x 2.5 strips

There's a Moda Bake Shop pattern called Basic Math.

Most of what I like this year is asymmetrical!  Goodness - that's kind of quirky!!  But I'm going with it!

Big news - I also finished an UFO this weekend!!  Hoo-Rah!  I was Lady In Waiting #9 and headed toward UFO Queen at the speed of light!!  What a relief to be back in slacker heaven! Hmmm, I mean the bottom of the list!

This quilt is a QOV quilt.  Based on the 'Mystery at the Tea Shop' which our guild ran as a mystery this last year. (We didn't know the name of it at the time, of course!!)  The mystery was smaller than required by QOV so I made 10 extra blocks and put in sashing strips that made a secondary pattern.  

SS, a QOV long-armer in Eugene quilted it for me and I put the binding on it, ran it through the wash and labeled it.  Done-done!!  I even had a sunny day to take a picture of it outside!  I haven't said that very often lately!

Taken in the side yard of our condo building.  The sun was so bright off the ocean, I couldn't even get a good shot of the ocean as backgroud!

I also topped and made a back for this baby quilt for the famous Brookings Yearly Baby Shower - I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it!!

                                    Front                                                 Back

Made from some jungle prints I used in a strippie quilt for a great nephew's baby quilt years ago.  But a fellow Stashbusters member- a Yahoo online group -  posted this baby quilt.  That is one clever design!  I've already been thinking about the next one(s) I want to make!!

I used 8" blocks.  4 1/2" squares for the 4 patches. Top and bottom borders to lengthen it - easy peasy.  Yep, it's an addition to the cutting list!

This week is busy.  Haircut, Valentine's Day.  I have to make a presentation to the Veteran's Group here.  We'd like to make QOV presentation at the quilt show.  If anyone out there (yes, you my invisible friends) has done this before, please let me know.  I have a few questions!  AND just between you and me, this type of thing makes me very nervous!  I don't know enough about how QOV works to tell someone else, especially a room full of non-quilters!  Yikes!  

And Friday is the first meeting of "Mod Squad"!  Showing my age, but a group of us would like to learn modern design methods for quilts. And that name just makes me smile!!  When I was at Houston last fall, I met Deborah Boschert.  Her quilts are fabulous!  I bought her book "Art Quilt Collage" and talked a few like-minded quilters into working through the book as a workshop.

It's a case of the blind leading the halt!  But we have a few really good teachers in the group.  We'll take turns leading the sessions.  I lead on Friday!  We're going over page 20 - getting inspired from photographs.

Our goal is to make a 15 inch square example of the designated design each month.  We are to 'sneak' it into the shop where we meet before the next meeting.  The owner is going to keep our anonymity, hang them in the classroom area.  We're going to gently critique them and try to guess who made what!!  We'll see how long that lasts!  Next year we hope to have an 'endcap' at the quilt show showing our process and what we've created.  Another reason to be nervous - but of course, everyone in the class knows we're all beginners ... and hopefully will be bringing their patience along too.

The last new-to-me technique that I got hooked on this week is "Magic Numbers" quilt method.  Yep, it's also asymmetrical but 'cubist'???  I had hauled some leftover fabric and blocks from a YBR I did 8 years ago for a DGS. (8 years???) I wanted to use it up, it's darn cute, but not make another YBR.  

I love YBR - but the blocks are quite big for a crib quilt.  I wanted it the same but different!  This afternoon I had my second boo-boo this week. (I stubbed my little toe HARD putting furniture back in place. Yowzer! 

 I was just cleaning all the quilt supplies, piles and tools back into the sewing room before DH came home!!  Well, I had to ice the toe.  So I started playing with all the pieces I'd cut at retreat.  It's so very addicting!  I did cut additional shapes.  4.5x6.5; 3.5x3.5; 3.5x6.5; etc.  And yes, it is magic - they do all go together!  So fun!

See what I mean about 'cubist'?!?  It's currently 22 x 25.  Since I gave myself more part sizes, I haven't worked out a new 'block' pattern yet.  It's been fun to add to one side then the next.  I'm going to need more parts cut and ready to go!  I think I'll aiim for 36x45 for size.  Unless it's so darn cute I'll dump the baby shower idea and make it king-size for our bed!!!!

Oh, that is so me!!  Tee-hee!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Can anything "TOP" a great Retreat??

Just came home from an awesome retreat with our Brookings Quilt Guild.  It was perfect quilting weather because it was storming outside for 3 days!  When the rain broke today, we all ran out and loaded our cars like there was free fabric somewhere!!  There wasn't that many breaks in the rain ... gotta move those machines out to the car when we can!!!

On Friday, CY came up with her serger and we made 130 pillow cases from white sheets to transport quilts for our Memorial Day Show.  We were pillowcase sweat shop machines!!  For 5 hours we were cutting up sheets, hemming the parts that needed to be hemmed and serging those puppies together! WTG gang! Thanks for all the help!

My DH makes fun of us, because we leave our town - with 3 quilt shops and we retreat 25 miles up the coast.  And there isn't even a quilt store in that town, or a Dairy Queen!!  But we stay at the Gold Beach Resort and they treat us oh-so-right!

We take over the conference center but get to sleep in hotel rooms at night!  We provide the food. There is a lot of "crock pot" foods; salads and sandwiches.  I'm not going to describe the 24' table of Snackies we bring!!  We do not starve!  Not by a long shot!  And a washcloth creature in our room!  I think it's a slug - they are rampant here!!

Here are some tops I did at retreat.  They were less than half of what I packed and I thought I packed light!!  I really could have stayed there another week and still have projects to start!  And Lord knows, the Snackies Table would have supported us that long too!

I made the center panel after I finished my "Pies and Tarts" quilt a few years back.  I thought they looked like beach balls and wanted to check it out.  Yep, beach balls.  

I don't know why it was in "time-out" for so long.  I was looking for the perfect border fabrics, I guess.  Found them!  Hope to get it finished for the Soroptimist Brookings Baby Shower in March.

I saw this cutie online - gave you the source last blogpost.  I went with a white background instead of black.  I love it!!  It's 48 x 60.  A little big for a baby quilt!  Must work on my math skills!!  But good for a toddler bed??  Too cute to languish - hope to quilt it before our show Memorial Day Weekend.

This is the center of a Christmas table runner.  6" Fabric borders are added at each end.  It's going to be a great size 18.5" x 39".  

The pattern is "Split Log Cabin Table Runner" by Needle and Thread.  I made 24 green log courthouse steps-like blocks.  Then I turned them into a HST with light fabric squares.  

I didn't want to repeat blocks so I have enough HSTs to make one more.  Since I didn't follow the pattern (who me??) Next time I'll start with lights in the center.  You can choose your favorite.

This is a wonky 9 patch!!  The 9 patches are purposely off center with no lines  continuing from block to block "Wonky".  I found a baggie of the 24 blocks for $1 at a guild garage sale many moons ago.  I like it - it reads very modern!!  I have to find a splotchy fabric for a border.  It'll be another cute baby quilt!

So I'm home - DH is on a golf trip and I'm sitting here in front of the SuperBowl.  Not really paying attention to the game, but want to see the commercials!  It's very hard to "come to attention" when the commercials come on.  Goes against the grain!!  When do you head for the bathroom???

So far I like the talking yearbook ad the best. AND all the diversity / united together ads.  Hope they help!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Making Quilt Kits

Lat weekend I went up to Portland, the weather was coooperating and Miss P had her first basketball game of the season.  I started at the crack of dawn and arrived just as the kids got out of school.  Our schedule was a moving target but we had fun.

First on the to-do list was to finish a special project that I was too sick to help with over the Christmas visit. (Thank goodness, that episode is over!)

We often make presents for their mom and dad.  One year we made "52 reasons we love you".  The kids dictated the reasons to me.  I wrote them down, printed them off and we all glued them to cards.  I punched holes in the cards and they connected them all by yarn ... I was there a week that visit and we just barely got it done!!  Pinterest is the best and worst place to research these "nifty gifties!"  If you love Pinterest - you know what I mean!!

This year Miss P saw some plaques made with Scrabble tiles.  My first thought, was "Good Grief, who taught this kid about Pinterest!"  Oh, never mind - it was me!

I didn't like the columns of letters next to each other because reading across was NOT words!  But I refined it with crossword puzzle assembly.  We were doing this all long distance!!  She'd send me a pin, I'd send back an idea ... great fun because there were snow days before Christmas and this helped!  It was all very hush-hush!

It was time to pick words.  There were names, hobbies, favorite teams, dogs ...
Miss P was picking things she's like to do!  Ice skating!!! No, we have to pick things that will remind you of all the times you did that, it's not a to-do list!!!

I had an old scrabble board, found and bought new scrabble tiles on Amazon.  You know, there are only 99 slightly oblong letter tiles in every game.  AND you can't spell much with them!  Especially names!  We have a lot (relatively speaking) "Y"s and "K"s in our family!  But not a lot of them in the games!

The kids were still coming up with ideas.  There are crossword puzzle makers online.  You put in the words, they come up with a layout.  I started with that. Longest word first when making these!  BUT sometimes the words were not placed as you would like.  So I got out the graph paper and started adjusting.

It's quite addicting! In the end we had 21 words.  We had to spell Lego with 2 "G"s to fit in "Gus" the new German Shepard!!  We figured it was worth it!

I got home Monday afternoon - tomorrow I go to retreat.  Yikes! What was I thinking? Two days to get ready for retreat??? AND I have to make soup for one of the meals??  So I've been oh-so-busy getting 'quilt kits' made to take with me.

Ideally, I would have Mary Poppin's carpet bag.  Any supply you need, any fabric from home, even any snack, photo, comfy pants ... just reach in and grab it!  But, it's not to be.  So you have to think "What will I be in the mood to work on??" and take 50 of your favorite choices!  Well, it is a 4 day retreat!!!  LOL!

I tried to add a picture of the scrabble project, but Photo Shop is not following my artistic ideas today!!  I need to blur out the proper names ... better look next time!

But here are some of the kits I'm making for baby quilts for retreat!

               Geometry                                               Log Cabin Table Runner


Yes - we have a scrappy theme --- AGAIN!  I always have a scrappy theme!!