Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful Christmas with the whole family! And we had fun in spite of the storm on the way home! Meandered our way through our favorite places on the coast. Even if there was a three day storm!

Celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary - WOW! Time flies - we've now been with each other 2/3rd of our life! [And they said it wouldn't last!!!] Had an awesome dinner at the Italian restaurant in Coos Bay - one of the top 10 meals ever!!

Weather just weird here! Sun, then storm, then sleet, then sun, then snow!!! If the sun comes out - watch out!! Snow or sleet shortly!! Who knew Nebraska weather was just a taste of Oregon change-ability!! But enjoying the sun - if only for a few minutes at a time.

Gave sewing cards to Miss P - getting her started early! She looks like a future quilter - don't you think??

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all...

... and to all a good night!

Monday, December 20, 2010

FIVE DAYS TO CHRISTMAS - yes, I am yelling!

Hasn't this year zipped right by? I'm almost ready for Christmas. The presents are made or bought ... most are wrapped ... the pile to go to Portland is gathered. Of course, there are a few last minute things I'd love to get - but the winter storm has settled in on us and we're not even leaving the condo, so much for a 'quick' trip to JoAnn's!! And, of course, the nearest JoAnn's is 2+ hours away!!

A quick trip into the grocery store to get one more bag of kisses and I'll make another batch of peanut butter kiss cookies to take up the the family. I made a batch last week and discovered "help" from a DH is different "help" from my girlfriend G!! DH unwrapped all the kisses ... that is help ... but then left for the golf course! Leaving me alone with the unwrapped, ready to pop in your mouth, kisses!! He was supposed to stand guard!! G always did!! We delivered those cookies to our favorite haunts - the swimming pool, Matties Pancake house and Poncho's Mexican. It was fun to give them the box and watch the staff 'sneak' by to get another and another!! They ARE good!

After the last of my Christmas presents were done - [yep, I'm bragging!! It doesn't happen that often - gotta celebrate!] - Last year I made a selvedge-used quilt for the shop-hop challenge and loved the look. I'd been saving selvedges for years and I wanted to make my notebook cover with them. I used a Sisters Quilt Show panel for the inside and started sewing on the selvedges.

What a mess that can make!! Piles of 'with words' and 'without words' everywhere! But very addicting! I even used selvedge for the binding! But I practiced putting that on to determine how wide to cut it [1 inch]! And I'm happy to announce that the notebook fit in with a skooch to spare!

Last year - I made notebook covers and had to go out to buy new notebooks to use in them - cuz the designated notebook would not squeeze into them! Don't want to relive that mess - so I have a hard time cutting it close!

After finishing the notebook cover - I had the fever!! So I started making 6" string blocks with them. Very addicting!! I found out last year that you don't have to have a seam allowance with selvedges. You just lay them flat, right side up, on the foundation and be sure to sew the selvedge edge over the last raw edge!

And when you 'just miss' catching the raw edge - sew it again with an embroidery stitch to catch it in place! And move on!! It was so much fun - I already have a wall-quilt in mind for these. Just what I needed - another UFO for next year's list!!

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas. And a Quilt-y New Year!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho - last package in the mail!

10 days to Christmas ... oh my!!

Yesterday I was finishing my last presents for family in Nebraska and I had so much fun!!! Unusual to hear that this close to Christmas, isn't it. I highly recommend the project to everyone!

I wanted to make notebook covers and I found a 'circular' quilting tip that was so much fun! Both tips are at the same site!! Thanks to ThreeCreativeStudios for their wonderful free projects.

The notebook cover file - [I did a variation, you know me!!!] is 'compbook.pdf'. I like that the composition books can be found everywhere and when one is filled up; the fabric cover fits the next one. And I really like that they have graph-paper books! I love graph paper for designing quilts, drawing out patterns to figure the math and making lists!! My lists are a wonder to behold!!LOL!

The file 'circle.pdf' is where the fun began!! How simple is this - and what fun to use your embroidery stitches! I bought my thumbtacks at the Dollar Store - but, they are rather thick. I have 99 more that I will kindly share!! I'll have to look at office supply stores and see if they are 'finer'. BUT - these were notebook covers and I 'scrubbed out' the little holes, in general.

90% of my stitches ended joining up pretty darn good!! I left my tack in the same place but kept switching the stitches and loved most of them! Next time I may do circles with different diameters!! And I'm going to try to figure out how to get a name in the correct spot with the correct orientation!!! I promise!!

A&J2's Christmas tree skirt is done. I lost the pattern I wanted to use somewhere during the last 6 years! But A graciously said a checkerboard patchwork would be fine.

I like to put a light backing on tree skirts. We always had fun drawing hands on the back of our tree skirt - adding paw prints when needed. But keep in mind - it always looks neater in your mind - the actual circle of hands is blurred with mistakes permanently placed!! But I love it just the same when I get it out each year!

Wishing you the best memories this Holiday! ... and if you want to save them, can I recommend a great little notebook with cover!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Report from Santa's Workshop

2 stockings for L2 - check!

The cuff with his name has been cropped out. It looks better with the additional length!! It seems that L2 is double dipping, doesn't it! He was born last December after Christmas and his mommy and daddy want a stocking for their good little boy this year. BUT so does Grandma!

My niece, LL, [the grandma mentioned above] asks me to make a stocking for each addition to their family. Started out easy!! But now those kids are getting married and having kids of their own. I've made 13 stockings since 1992!!! Think about it! 13 stockings from the same pattern, the same quilted muslin fabric, and they need to hang at the same angle!!! Ho, Ho, Ho!!

Needless to say, I've come up with a method!! First of all, don't think you're going to remember how you did them!!! I have a file folder "Christmas Stockings" and in it are these items: A freezer paper stocking shape - with whose stockings have been made from it. [I have two active ones - LL's family and my own kids' stocking shape.] The applique shapes (reduced to right size if needed) for the stocking. And a picture of at least one stocking!

You really should take a picture of the backs too! I never remember what they are!There used to be a cotton 'chamois cloth' available at JoAnns - it was the perfect weight to balance the front design and worked great. Alas, I've haven't been able to find it the last 10 years!! It also made awesome card table covers!! Should have kept those - I could use the yardage now!!

Find a fun alphabet with upper and lower case letters - you'll know it when you see it!! I don't remember where I found mine or I'd tell you! Take it to a copier and reduce it. 90%; 85%; 80%; well, you get the drift. AFTER you have reduced it - then mark the size. [90%]. It doesn't help to mark it, then reduce it farther ... you'll never know what size it is!!! You can also enlarge it for wall quilts! I have a fat file folder marked "Alphabets" too!

This year I lucked out!! L2 only has 6 letters in his name! I've done up to 8 and it's a squeeze across a 6" cuff!! With different sizes of the same alphabet the name may be smaller but at least it looks like the others.

The secret of the stocking angle is: To make the hanger I cut a piece 2 x 6.5. Press a crease lengthwise-center, fold each edge into the center, press. Now you have a 'double fold' tape look. I stitch a 1/4" top stitch down each long side to strengthen it. When your stockings are ready to put together, fold the hanger in half. On the heel side of the stocking, place it at 2". Angle it to 2" in from that side along the top. Pin well, and back stitch over it when seaming the stocking. Putting that hanger on was the hardest part of stockings. It needed to be strong and it always was a mess on the outside of the stocking. I tried everything. sewing a button over the mess - that was hard!! This method, gives me a basic hanger, it stays on, and hangs at the same angle. Not glamorous - but stockings get alot of use!!

When A - our first born went to college, I for some reason thought it would be cute to make Christmas stockings for the room mates. It was wonderful, but do you know how fast roomies come and go??? Then L, our daughter, went to college and darn! she remembered those stockings. I got suckered into it again. I've made dozens of stockings over the years!! Including 6 for pets!! At any rate - this year's requests are done!! In the mail tomorrow.

Next on the list is a new tree skirt for the newly-weds! What's on your list??

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving is over and you know what that means: Happy Holidays!

I HAVE to get my cards out early this season - because we moved this year and hardly anyone has the new address! Yes, we're still on PO forwarding - but that doesn't really get the address to those sending us cards!! So today I 'bit the bullet' and worked on our Christmas letter and decorated the condo! We don't have our artificial tree here. It's at A's - 3 hours and a mountain pass away!! Just in case the weather doesn't cooperate ... I think I can live without it. BUT if we can get over there, all the decorations are in one box - and it's on top!!

Here's our card. I've gone with nicknames here on the web!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

Happy Holidays from the Boyds
This year went so fast – we moved to Brookings Oregon – our favorite place during vacations from Nebraska. And although it does seem a little far from kids [6 hrs or 3 hrs & a mountain range!] we love it down here. We have a wonderful view of the ocean just 200 feet below us. We can sit in front of the window or out on the balcony for hours and be totally entertained watching the ‘show’. Especially when whales are hanging around!

When we can tear ourselves away from the view, we also stay busy golfing (DH), quilting (Doni) and walking the Pacific Coast Trail together. Who knew retirement could be this busy!! And fun!

July 2010 was A and J2’s wedding. It was a great party! Whether you just chatted on the deck or danced the night away. Wonderful – and the weather was summer-y (not always the case on the coast!) Miss P was a hit as one of the flower girls. A good time was had by all! Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate with us!

Wishing you and yours the best in 2011

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the blustery great NorthWest!

We drove up the coast in SNOW yesterday! Yep, it snowed at sea-level. At times, it was snowing very heavily! We had a mini 'white-out' at one point. And they were Big, Beautiful, wet flakes!

When we went past the Port Orford school - the kids were outside for recess and were running across the playground with their tongues out, catching the snow! Of course, they weren't in proper coats! They probably don't own snow gear! It was fun seeing them, because we did the same thing - didn't you??

Farther north, at Bob's Creek Viewpoint, a van of college-age students had stopped and were having a giant, riotous snowball fight!! We were hurrying to Newport to be in time for a doctor's appointment, but R wanted to stop and join in!! Now he says I owe him a snowball fight. Rats! He used to pitch for the HS team and he's way too good to play snowball fights with. I can't throw with beans and he tags me 20 to 1 of my pitiful throws. The best part of any snowball fight is to go back inside and have hot chocolate!

We headed inland via Hway 20. It was like driving thru a magical winter wonderland. Every tree, branch and plant was coated with the snow. They must not have had any wind or sun yesterday for it to stay all day. The road was clear and we loved the view all the way to Philomath!

Mr M seemed to like his new quilt. He smiled when he opened it. We laid it out on his bed and called him in - he squealed when he saw it!! A man of few words, so far! I'll post a picture of him with the quilt later.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Busy week!!

Hooray - Mr M's big boy bed quilt is done! Number 1 is done, at any rate [darn bunk beds]

It all started with a kit I bought 3 years ago on a shop-hop. I was saving it for the 'big boy bed quilt' I knew was coming. But when I got it out - it was too small for a twin. Hmmm, now what? I couldn't find another panel to add to it, that UFO aging process worked against me. So I redesigned it - cutting the kids border into alternate blocks. And of course, buying a new border. Don't you love the fireflies?! I don't collect brights so I tried buying just enough ... I'm hoping I have enough bits and pieces to finish the second quilt!!

I also made my first pair of pillow cases to go with it[them]. The large animals on white was supposed to be the back of the quilt. I had just enough to make two pillowcases.

My DD asked me to make 'initial' post card type things to mark cubbies they now have. I didn't think they needed to be that big - and I had some strips that were just 3 1/2 inch so I made 3 1/2 inch squares. I love them - and would love to figure out a way to use them as luggage tags - but they're too flimsy to stand up to the wear and tear!

We're heading up to Portland for Thanksgiving Tuesday. I have a doctor's appointment in Newport on the way up. A & J2 are joining us on Thursday - it will be fun to have everyone together for the day! Happy turkey day to all!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Told you I'd get back on schedule!!

First - this is a picture I took from our balcony after watching an airplane do this silly maneuver! I title it "what the heck was he doing!! The doe-see-doe??"

Today is busy! Brookings is having their annual Holiday Fair. And I'm sitting with the raffle quilt this afternoon. The raffle quilt is gorgeous so that should help, but our guild has been loosing money and tough times on the coast doesn't help. We are boosting raffle quilt donations by having a special: Buy $10 worth of tickets and pick a free gift; $15 and you get two! The 4patch wine glass coaster is the majority of gifts; but some of my sweatshop pin cushions are available too. Hopefully, it will help boost sales. It would be just too sad to have the guild fold when I move here!!

I need to get myself in gear. Mr M turns 2 next week - we'll celebrate on Thanksgiving - and his big boy quilt is not done. I've been playing with an adaptation of a F&P Eric Carle quilt in Sept. 2010's issue for the 2nd quilt. [Why, oh why, did they buy bunk beds????] But I'm not happy with it. So put number 2 out of my mind and got the final border on number 1 and the back ready to baste.

Hope to have our beautiful weather [66 Friday!] continue over the weekend so I can get it framed and spray basted outside. Our condo is WAY TOO SMALL to frame a twin quilt inside!

Then I finally got busy on the round robin quilt that's due MONDAY!! We had one less week this month between meetings because of Thanksgiving in two weeks - and I SWORE I was not going to wait til the last minute on these ... yeah, that's the way MOST of my resolutions go!! LOL!

The middle block of this one [there are 5 participants in our group] is a silk-screened lighthouse, I'm the first round, I 'paper-less paper-pieced' a 'ice cream cone' border around it. Happy with the 3 sides I have done. But afraid I have to hit the quilt store today for some varigated thread to machine quilt Mr M's quilt and some pinkish-red batik for the round robin. Blue batiks came in the kit but we could add other colors. I think adding colors should start in the first border ... but I only have a few batiks in my stash and all are blue!! No help here!

I'm happy to say my 2nd new pair of glasses arrived Friday. Got new glasses in September and couldn't see a thing in them!! Of course, I got them up in Portland - we're there so often and there isn't much choice down here! And what could go wrong?? LOL!

Picked them up - are they going to work?? 'Madam [really???] - there is a breaking-in period!' Ick - back twice in three days - adjustments - but then I had to come home.

Three weeks later - yea, these aren't working!! Dizzy all the time, can't see to sew. So back up to Portland. After HOURS between the eye doctor and retail area at LensCrafter(!?) it was decided I needed to have them remade. So for the last 3 weeks I've been making do with old glasses or reading glasses - headaches every day! [I don't know what happened to the ones I was replacing - they look like they'd been drop-kicked off the balconey and kept falling off my face every time I looked down!!]

The new-new ones arrived yesterday, I gingerly put the them on - wowza! was our computer screen that crooked before?? ... but I got used to that and I could see to sew again!!

All day - without a headache!! Happy Days are here again!!

Over the last 3 years ... R has been perplexed why I can't get an over-king-sized quilt made to his very particular specs done [men!!!] But this fall, I did it!! LOL! Right there in Pottery Barn was exactly what he'd been talking about!! So I ordered it, it looks great and he's no longer crabby about it!! I refuse to feel guilty about it!! You too can have this awesome quilt!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yikes!! It's been over a month!

Sorry! Time is speeding by this year and especially this fall. I'm sorry to say that I dropped my camera after taking the picture of the fabric postcard group. Bummer - so it had to go to the 'doctor' this month. Luckily for me, it was just a lens mounting bracket that needed replacement ... of course, it was on backorder. But it's back now.

Last week I was traveling for 5 days. Went up to Portland to pick up the camera lens; take back the new glasses that make me dizzy and see the kids. It had been three weeks! I got to Portland Nov 1st so was able to hear all about trick and treating.

We listened in when Miss P told Beachpapa about Halloween:
BPapa: "How was Halloween?"
Miss P: in very soft voice, "I was saared." [scared]
BPapa: "What?"
Miss P: in slightly louder voice, "I was saared."
BPapa: "what?"
Miss P: in very loud voice, "All right, I freaked out!"

At the 8th house they went to - 5:30 in afternoon, man answered the door in a very scary mask! Miss P screamed and ran with Mr M - the elephant - trying to run too.

He took off the mask and offered her 10 candy bars if she would come back. NOPE! She went home and enjoyed opening the door for their T&T-ers. But she's already planning what she will be next year! So I don't think anyone was permanently saared!!

Wednesday I headed for Newport and a visit with S - a quilting friend. We'd seen the Crabapple Hill pattern "Over the river and thru the woods" and loved it. S does marvelous hand embroidery but didn't want to do the piecing. So-o she did the embroidery for both quilts and I am doing the piecing for both. We didn't stick with the original browns and blacks - S has fresh red and green and I went with scrappy.[no surprise here!] I had done this type of exchange years ago and didn't realize that getting both parts done at the same time was so special! Thanks C for your wonderful applique!

I had S's blocks done and she had just my embroidery done ... so nothing to put together yet!! But I'm working on my blocks and hope to get the top together yet this year. I'll keep you posted!

That's all the news today - I'll save some so I can report in on the weekend and get back on schedule!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Home again, home again!!

A week without a computer! It's amazing, but I survived ... of course, I have a LOAD of emails to sort thru and hours of reading Stashbusters digests ... one bit at a time!

Left last Friday - October 1st and what fun!! I headed up the coast and got to Bayshore early enough to stop in and see all the quilters at my favorite group! Friday evening 4 of us worked diligently on a lap quilt for our hairdresser who remarried in August. It ended up that 6 of us and 1 husband go to her!! So we organized a nickel quilt "Sunny Lanes" throw for her with everyone contributing blocks and time! We didn't get as far as I'd hoped, but we took the blocks to retreat with us [5 of us were there] and got the top and back together Monday night. We handed it off to our LA quilter with glee!!

Saturday, V and I left for Salem where Quiltopia was this weekend. We both have children in Tigard and had arranged to stay with them Saturday night. We meandered thru the country-side, from quilt store to quilt store!! Ate an awesome lunch at a local burger joint ... Burgerville! When you're out in our area you've got to try it!! They buy locally and change the menu to reflect what's in season! Yummy!!

Quiltopia had a boutique ... oh boy! We had fun there - scraps, FQs, yardage and books and magazines galore. We attended a lecture showing an awesome antique quilt collection. Then headed up the road for our lodgings with family that night!

V had it alittle easier than me!! Her family was out at a party. I was babysitting Mr M while mommy and Miss P went to a birthday party!!! We laughed and laughed about her phone call to me while I was chasing him down! He's a busy boy!! We wheeled everything with wheels back and forth between us. I rarely get him alone so this was a bonus visit.

Here's a picture of Miss P and Mr M with her princess quilt - she's also in her princess nightgown from us too! Notice the other pink blankie to the right ... yep, that's the one that's falling apart! Never very far from her.

Sunday morning V and I headed for the 'mother lode'! Yep, we went to Fabric Depot and enjoyed looking thru their acres of fabrics! Then we found "Cool Cottons" in a funky little neighborhood that we wished we had more time in. But on to IKEA for a lunch of Swedish Meatballs and a quick look-see thru their showrooms. Women on a mission, indeed!!

Made it to the Menucha retreat center with 15 minutes to spare!! I know you're all wondering what made it to retreat ... Mr M's big boy quilt blocks was number 1. I had a kit from years ago - Eric Carle's Brown Bear fabric line. Thought it would be perfect when the time came but it was too small for a twin bed quilt. So revamped it and did the cutting before leaving. I'm happy to say that I got all the blocks made! THEN I found a different Eric Carle quilt in the Fons&Porter Sep/Oct magazine that I like better. Oh well, there are bunk beds in his room ... two quilts from the same fabric could work - for twice the work, of course. How do I get myself into these dilemnas??

I also took the 'Birds of a Feather' hand quilting project and got a few hours in on it. Since the roomies liked sleeping with the windows open - I was glad I brought it, since I used it as an additional cover at night.

Monday morning, I taught 16 women the joys of fabric post cards at retreat and we had a ball. By the time I got the camera out, there were just 12 of us left!! I'd taken a paper ream box full of scraps and the peltex needed for the stiffener and everyone in class made at least one post card! I had also made "Menucha 2010" machine embroidery strips for all everyone at retreat to use in some way over our time together. A lot of them showed up in post cards and labels. I recommend doing a mini-challenge next time you retreat - it was a lot of fun and very little pressure.

Time for lunch ... more news next time!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is it just me or is Fall going by really fast???

We were in Portland for the big birthday bash. Miss P turned 4 a week ago and it was "princess-elicious" all around! There were 5 kids from daycare and it was one of the loudest parties I remember!! There was no shy, getting to know each other - nope, it was full-out chaos from the get-go!! Or, perhaps Nana is just getting old?? Don't answer that, I prefer to be oblivious too!

I made Miss P a Disney princess panel nap blanket - it was a big hit. UNTIL it was time for bed and the beloved blankie was gone in mommy's car. Then we didn't like it quite so much! I didn't get a picture of it - yet - but I'll see her this weekend and try to remember to take one.

Stashbusters online has been interesting lately. A member suggested using up whole categories of stash that you are tired of. Some used all the holiday, or all the homespun and waved 'bye-bye' gleefully. I'm not at that place quite yet. I cleaned all the "I don't love you any more" fabric out of the stash when we moved two years ago. HOWEVER, I had some yellow and white 4patches I got in an exchange some time ago. Bright yellow's not my favorite - but I really don't like WHITE! Have you ever noticed that white on white fabrics kind-of glow in the dark??? I'm more of a beige-ings type of girl. Everytime I came across those blocks - guilt struck. So that was the category I used up!

I read in Nancy Goldsworthy's book "Quilter's Guide to UFOs" about a baggie of 4patches she found. Hmmm, sounds very familiar. I started out with a blue w/yellow-ish polka dots. It was in a kit I'd gotten at a garage sale. Started to make a baby quilt - not enough of the blue. Then my water aerobics bag fell apart. They tend to do that after years of chlorine dripping in them. So I switched to making a tote. It's very cheerful looking, isn't it! Not my style but it's growing on me!!

Of course, I lost some of the 4patches in the deep piles in the sewing room - made some more and after the last seam was taken ... found them along with some blue and green 4patches too. Just enough to make a small [very narrow] wall quilt to hang my ribbons on. Hmm, too narrow - but if I add a cute scrappy border of yellows and blues - perfect!! And those just happened to be sitting in a basket, left over from the wedding quilt this summer!! The blocks are G*O*N*E!! Whether it's the size or just the accomplishment of using all those darn blocks ... I like the wall quilt!

While I was in birthday party mode, Gold Beach - the next town north of us had their quilt show. I missed it, but Brookings was putting some quilts in it and 3 of my quilts went. My lighthouse, the antique pine tree and the new ABC quilt. S took them for me and brought them home. We were in Gold Beach last Sunday eating breakfast. R bought the local paper since there was news of the proposed golf course going in. He read the first page and then opened it to continue the article. I looked over at him and thought, 'that looks familiar!' And it was! Pictured in the Banner area of the paper was my lighthouse quilt telling people where to find more pictures of the quilt show!! How fun! When I got the quilts back and finally unpacked them again ... the lighthouse quilt had won the "Fire Chief's Award!" Surprise!! You can see the kite-shaped ribbon hanging on my new wall quilt!! Along with 2 ribbons I got from Newport. I still have to find my NE State Fair ribbon - Lord, help me, it's here somewhere!!

This weekend I head for Portland area for the Newport Quilt Guild's retreat at Menucha retreat center on the Columbia Gorge. I love retreats and this one is in a beautiful area. Since I can't really pack up everything I need for the project that is calling me right now ... Reminisce is back up on the design wall. I've been trying to figure out what to take. As of now it's the itty-bitty log cabins and the Birds of a Feather quilt that has sat too long in the middle of hand quilting. It would be wonderful to have the handquilting done for the October guild meeting ... there's prizes for finished UFOs!!! It's pushing it, but within the realm of possibility ... depends on how it goes at retreat!! IF I actually stick to those projects ... it's still two whole days away ... anything can happen!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Photo Opps

Hooray - the camera to computer to blog or email is connected! Honestly - sometimes I just put it off too long, anticipating problems - which usually don't occur!!

I guess the secret is to wear your lucky socks and not be in a hurry!! So here are some photos from last month ... 1st - I know I mentioned the ribbon I got on A&J2's wedding quilt. Beautiful ribbons this year!!

Here is the Back to School Block Exchange kid's quilt I finished - just in the nick of time to be in the Newport show. I love just bordering on 2 sides of the blocks and have the letters zigzag across the quilt.

I didn't tell you about our night visitor ... a bear walked across our parking lot leaving these paw prints! YIKES! We don't usually see bears between the highway and the ocean ... too small of a territory. Our manager here said he thought it was a youngster - under 100 lbs - and the CC construction noise probably got it turned around. He minced across the lot at first, then started hauling bear butt. Feet came together in this photo before jumping the 5' retaining wall! He apparently cleared that because there were no prints on top of it. Yep, tracking bears like Indians - pretty exciting!

When Miss P came to visit we broke up the car trip by stopping at the Bandon lighthouse. It's a river lighthouse - short and squatty. So Miss P and I climbed the steps ... I'd forgotten about the ladder at the top, but she was a trooper! We survived - and there were even smiles when we got back down.

This is the entrance to the cave on our beach. Anyone here for the wedding won't recognize it ... because then adults could walk into the cave with room to spare. What a difference a month can make on the coast!

Summer Postcards were made and mailed. I loved these little beach scene cheater squares.

AND ta-da here are the itty-bitty log cabins I've been having so much fun with. The logs finish 3/4" and there are 78 here. Blocks will finish at 3 3/4" if I don't add another round. Should keep me busy for a while!

Well, that's it - you're all caught up!! I'll have no excuses not to include photos from now on ... everything's back to normal on the computer!

Monday, September 6, 2010

It doesn't feel like fall today!!

We've had stellar weather the last few weeks. A little windy at times - but sunny and blue. The last week of water aerobics outside broke our hearts!! It was perfect and it ended for the year!!

Last weekend we scurried up to Portland to get Miss P. The weather and the tide tables looked promising for entertaining a 4 yr old Granddaughter. And we had a great week. Miss P has grown so much. She's much more adventurous now. Climbing the playground equipment and climbing the rocks and logs down on the beach.

Oh yeah - and she has grown into that chatterbox stage. Not Papa's favorite trait!! She announced that she was getting a new baby sister for her birthday - she was going to trade in Mr M! I told her that all brothers and sisters want to trade in their siblings ... but she convinced me she was really serious about it!!

To celebrate this long weekend I moved my sewing space out into the diningroom - with the view. I got into my bag of "too small to use but too big to throw away" scraps and pieced 4" log cabins. It's an addiction - I want to tell you!!

I started making these little blocks back in Nebraska - yes, I moved them and the bag of scraps - get over it!! But the bag was in the way during this new rendition of my sewing space and I was trying to decide if they should just be tossed! The answer was a resounding "NO"! Some of my favorite fabrics were in that bag - and it was like sewing with 'old friends'! I had 21 blocks from Nebraska - I now have 78!

The bag is maybe 2/3 of it's former glory! And there are strips sorted by size in little boxes ready for the next sweatshop session ... I have no idea how many blocks the bag will make!! I did have to break into a few nickel squares for that last log. I was running out of dark choices in that size. But everything else is from the bag! I'll keep you posted how many blocks come out of the bag!

What am I going to do with these blocks?? No clue!! I have a 48" size wall hanging space here - if I run out of steam I can make a wall quilt for that space. That would be about 144 blocks - easy peasy!! If I'm still on a roll - it could be an almost twin size lap quilt for watching tv OR a kingsize quilt for the bedroom!! If it ends up king size I'll add another round of logs to make the blocks almost 6". Then it would take only 400 blocks compared to 900 four inch blocks!!

Oh, by the way, don't think I can't do it!! [insert seriously evil laugh here!] I can probably do it without ever touching what I consider my 'regular' stash!! I have nickel squares and assorted size squares and strips and scraps galore - not counting my 'too small, too big' sack!! And remember - I moved 2 1/2 years ago - I gave away alot of scraps and strips and squares then!!

What can I say - I'm a scrap quilter!! And it's so much fun!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summertime is fleeing!

Just settling in to normal life again after wedding rush. My computer had to go into the shop - he said to bring any computer programs I wanted him to load - and silly me, I thought, I have everything on here I want. Oh--h, he meant RE-load after he wiped the drive clean!! The computer is still not running well [crap!!] - and I have to find my photo software so I can load all the pictures from my camera! Until then - you'll just have to make do without pictures.

We were in the Valley last week - traveling from Newport to Portland to Talent ... and it was really, really hot! We are simply not acclimated to 100+ degrees anymore. The average temp in Brookings is 58 in the month of July! [I know - we were amazed too!]

We took the Portland grandkids to the park early in the mornings while it was still tolerable. Tried to interest them in movies in the afternoon after nap. Miss P is almost 4 and she has changed so much. She loves climbing the playground equipment now - that's new - before she was pretty much a big chicken! Mr M wants to do anything Miss P can do. He wound his way up and thru the equipment to slide down the 7 ft slide so many times he was staggering on the last trip!

We ate out and shopped too. I ordered new glasses this trip - should be here next week. DH doesn't like the wire rims I've had for 3 years ... the next ones are black plastic rims. [Hello, Buddy Holly!!] But I'll be glad to get them. These have been a pain lately - falling off every time I lean over!

In Talent we stayed with the newlyweds. We went out to dinner and breakfast everyday. DH went golfing and J2 and I went shopping in Ashland for a whole day! Two quilt stores and an awesome consignment store we both love. Bargains were had!

After six days out and about in the heat - coming home to 63 degrees felt wonderful. It's been grey [but cool] ever since. I'm putting back together my sewing space. I've got to get that under control soonest!

I need to 'spread out' enough to work but not so much that I can't quickly stash it all away to bring back in the twin beds for company. We hung the quilt racks in there this week - two of them that fit perfectly along the long wall. So I got my design wall back up. I thought I'd need it ASAP for Miss P's new nap blankie - and I might have IF I hadn't made a cutting error with the rail fence blocks. [For goodness sakes, how long have I been doing this?? Long enough to know better!! (or not)] I had a weird size block I needed to make - due to wanting to use every inch of a focus fabric I had - and figured the size out BUT forgot to add the seam allowances. I frog-stitched all of them [grumpy, grumpy] and will recut the middle rail tomorrow. It's the only fabric I have enough of to recut bigger!

Honestly, between making a 'non-scrap' quilt and using stash for most of it ... I think I need to go back to my usual: Carefree scrap quilts that grow like zucchinis in August!! Enjoy!! Photos soon, I promise.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The wedding of the year is done!

No, no - not Chelsea's!! A & J2's wedding!! We had a blast! We had lots of company to guide around our new home state. Two couples have promised to come back and one other couple hasn't even left the state yet!! So I think it was all a success!

Miss P was adorable as a junior flower girl - oh wait - that's Mr G from Nebraska!

Here's Miss P!

Mr M is not much of a wedding kind of guy! To remain calm, he and his dad mainly strolled around the perimeter of the wedding.

The proud dad [DH] and mom [me] of the groom. There was beautiful scenery, Hawaiian Luau food and dancing all night. Family and friends helped make it a wonderful party - a real celebration! A good time was had by all!

The wedding quilt was a success! They don't read my blog - so it was a grand surprise!! And I grabbed it back that same night so it can be in the Newport Quilt Guild Show this weekend! I really didn't get much done this year - and HAD to put SOMETHING in the show!!

AND back on the coast, we made commemorative pin cushions! We didn't remember to take a picture of the first one - but here is the second 'sweatshop's' results.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Countdown to the wedding's speeding up!!

Hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend. We had lovely weather and did a few odds and ends to finish up getting ready for company!

I've been busy here - but unfortunately, not working on UFOs! I finished the row robin table runner. We were to designate a 'holiday' for a theme. My holiday was "May Day". I remember all the excitement of May Day as a kid. Finding your friends' favorite candy, picking flowers out of the garden [oh, no - not that one!!] putting it on their porch and ringing the doorbell and running! And of course, hearing your own doorbell and finding treasures!

There were 5 in our group (6 groups in all!) and we each set the theme and made our center block. The gals in our group did wonderful!! But when I got the row robin back - it definitely needed strips of color between all the yummy 'beige-ings' in the blocks. Which of course, meant that all the rows had to come apart to insert said strips! Bummer! I turned it like a pillowcase because I was under the gun to get it back up to Newport before the July meeting. For a 'time saving' step - it always takes me longer and is a pain to get it straight! Why oh why don't I remember that??? Machine quilted with invisible thread. But I think it turned out awfully cute! LOL!

And TODAY I finished the last of the small totes for the wedding party for DS's wedding! What a relief - we see the happy couple tomorrow so I can simply hand them off rather than mailing them. I used the free pattern on the web 5-6-7 tote by Windham Fabrics. It's so easy and I think it comes out cute! These are 4-5-6! and about 8" on a side.

I had yards of the VIP Pine tree print. I used 5" strips of that! I was lucky enough to find a great mottled jewel-tone green to match it - but not lucky enough that it was on sale!! Oh, never mind - lucky to find it at all! There are 3 little girls in the wedding - including the amazing Miss P! So their bags have fish, deer and iguanas on them! Miss P loves fish; Loon Lake feed deer every afternoon so the kids are bound to see them. And the iguana fabric because it was fabulous with the green!! I think A&J2 are putting bottled water, a flashlight and some trail mix in each bag! Should fit just right! Tried to make them the right size for a library book or two.

We're headed inland tomorrow. Quick stop overnight with A&J2 and then on to Sisters for the Outdoor show. Then on up to Portland to see Miss P and Mr M ... and pick up a piece of furniture that's done. Home for 2 days and then off to meet friends from Arkansas who are coming for the wedding. You may not hear from me much this month - it is filled to the brim with fun, fun, fun!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Miss P came to visit!

It's official - we live here. Miss P came to visit us and it is a LONG way from Portland with a 3 yr old in the car - no matter how good she is!! It's 2010 - why don't we have teleportation as promised!! Oh, they decided to develop the internet instead!?! LOL!

Our first stop on our way to our house was the Prehistoric Gardens by Port Orford. Very low-tech but the dinosaurs are recreated as big as their skeletons - and let me tell you - some of them were very BIG! Miss P loved it.

Once we got home first matter of business was to inspect the bed and night-light situation! Then, inventory the toy basket, make sure everything moved with us. Then the small binoculars came out - didn't really get the idea that we could look outside with them. But she really kept her eyes on Nana!!

We made waffles for dinner that night and Nana got the night off - cause Papa had a new sous chef.

We went down to the beach and discovered the crescent beach we can get to in 'other than low tides' is interesting enough - no need to worry about tide tables! The last scramble over the rocks was hard though on little legs. So later that day we drove to Lone Ranch for a walk on the beach. Easy access and Miss P brought along the "Oregon Ducks whistle" or rather duck call. Very entertaining.

There's a certain march we all had to do whilst following our leader! Each night before bedtime we watched movies ["Up" and "Bolt"] and ate cake and ice cream for bedtime snacks. Is there any doubt why grandchildren need to come and visit???

After just one full day and two nights here we took off for the aquarium where met L&J and Mr M - who had never been to the aquarium before. He loved it just like Miss P does!! It was fun to watch him toddle around trying to see everything at once.

On our way back home - we stopped in Gold Beach in our never-ending quest for good pizza - and we hit the mother lode!! Yes, for the first time in Oregon, we liked the pizza at Panther's Den. We're definitely going back there for more! And a beautiful drive of just 25 miles up the coast to get there!

Friday, June 18, 2010

It started out foggy today - but WOW!

I just had to take a picture of the view today. It's not foggy now! There has been a group [club or pod officially] of seals fishing our bay today.

I first noticed a flock of seagulls diving toward the water. Then I got the binoculars out and there were at least 4 seals there.

They've been up and down the bay - so much fun to watch. Needless to say, I haven't gotten as much done as planned today!! But, what the heck - this is why I'm retired!! Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The sun ... the sun .... it's in the sky again!!!

The sun has come out for days on end! Okay, it gets dark at night, but sunny days in a row!! It's a miracle! Now granted - it hasn't been sunny for more days than it wasn't ... but it sure feels good!

Our couch and chair were delivered on Saturday! So no more wicker deck chairs for watching tv and oh, my, so much more comfortable! It's starting to feel like a home! I'm still trying to crowbar everything into the sewing room! And I've machine quilted the ABC quilt around the blocks and sashes. I decided to hand quilt around the letters - my free motion quilting really isn't up to following the design I had in mind. I'll have to practice with something a little busier - too much white space on the ABC quilt. I've got much more to do with the house - especially the sewing room - in fact, I should be doing it now - not fooling around on the computer. But what the hey! or is it 'what the hay! LOL! I can sit and see the view while on the computer and it's blue out there!!

The watermelon quilt is done-done and handed in for the Newport Guild Silent Auction. Turned out cute - knew it would because I'd made one just like it back in March! But a relief to have it done.

Have you seen that commercial [Hallmark I think] that the daughters discover their dad has been saving every card they gave to him ... well, the men I know don't care much about cards. It would have worked with moms --- anyone have a male in their life that saves cards or even doesn't grouse about the cost of them??? Inquiring minds want to know!

We've been having very civilized low tides. Not before the crack of dawn ... so we've been walking the beach every morning. Had an encounter with an otter - not sure who was more surprised!! I saw him walking up the beach from the surf so I stood still and watched. He crept around a rock and next I saw him peeking around the rock at me like a cat would! Yep, I was still there - so off he ran, back to the surf. FUN!

I know I promised pictures - but I found myself NOT blogging because I don't want to take the pictures! I guess there are some things I want done before the pictures. I figured a blog entry without pictures is better than no entry until the pictures!

Next week Miss P comes home with us for 2 days - then her mom follows. I'll be taking pictures of that cutie - so it shouldn't be long before you see the place. Until then!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

'Winter' weather continues here!

Last week we had 2 blue sky days, 1 grey sky days and 4 days of monsoons!! We got 5 inches of rain in 2 days!! Unusual weather for June - or so we think!! Probably only because we're here! And it IS a small condo with a golfer stuck inside! On the 3rd day of monsoon, DH turned and asked, "and why did you drag me here???" LOL!

Today I gave up and went to the grocery store to buy supplies for soups! If that doesn't bring the good weather - nothing will!

Having my sewing machine set up all the time has been so much fun! Since I haven't had a dedicated sewing space for 2+ years ... I'd forgotten the joy of 'popping in' and sewing for a few minutes. Someone on Stashbusters suggested that at the end of your sewing time, however short, you quickly set up for the next session. Amazing tip! You're actually anxious to get back in there because you know that within a minute or two, you'll be whizzing along!

I'm ready to bind the (2nd) watermelon wall quilt, this one is for the Newport Guild Show Silent Auction in August. I'm hoping to hand it in Thursday when I'm there for the June meeting. But I have to find the green binding I 'put somewhere safe' Lord, help me!

Next up - or should I say - still up - the alphabet quilt from the ABC back to school exchange I hosted last year. I can't find the fabric I'd like to use to enlarge the back. Then of course, there's the problem of a dry space outside to spray baste ... BUT if I can find both the fabric and the green binding today - I'll be doing a happy dance for sure!

I went to water aerobics this week - in an outdoor pool for the first time. The weather has been so rotten, and water aerobics is at 8 am - there's only been one day it wasn't pouring at 8 am. I'm glad to report that the water was warm; and the teacher was a young man with an exercise science degree and he worked all muscle masses. Not bad at all. Hoping for clear mornings the next two days - so I can do it again before heading back up to Newport for a few days.

Off to the sewing room, to see what I can find! Sorry for the lack of pictures lately - hopefully next week. Haven't got my desktop computer set up and storage space is beginning to be an issue on this laptop ... I know, excuses, excuses!! But at least I feel guilty about it!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

No more excuses! We're H*E*R*E!!

As of yesterday, we are official residents of Brookings Oregon. The last month was a blur of cleaning, sorting, packing, hauling and unpacking. Hard work - we may be too old for this!! And for sure we have too much stuff - and I'm even talking about quilting stuff too!

We showed up at the Goodwill drop-off so much that the gal started saving good boxes for me! Now that's a full service charity!!

A week ago - we loaded the truck and moved the furniture. We had our DSIL come down from Portland to help us load and our son from Ashland come to help unload. Unloading was harder - we had to carry everything up to the second floor. And the old folks were wearing out by then - as DS said, "That's okay - this is only the first time I've moved this today!" Got it all crammed into the condo and the garage. Slept overnight and then took off for Ashland with the couch and chair we were giving to DS. Thus started the grand tour week!

You think you were ignored, we hadn't even seen the grandkids for 4 weeks! We needed some serious 'hug-pats'. So stayed in Ashland overnight with A&J2 and then drove up to Portland to L&Js for 2 days and 3 nights of no sleep! Mr M has a bad cough and is sleeping even less than usual! We had lots of fun playing and watching 'The Princess and the Frog' which is Miss P's favorite now. We also took time out to go find a few things we needed at the new condo; we saw Ironman 2 and ate at a favorite Italian restaurant.

Then off to Newport to clean and finish packing all the last minute supplies at the condo. Mr Clean Magic Eraser - if you don't have them - get them!!! That's all I have to say! We also watched alot of favorite tv shows on DVR - before we turned in our cable box! Would you believe the landlord said he'd never seen the condo left that clean and gave us back our full deposit! Hip hip hooray! Great drive down the coast to the new digs. Unloaded both cars - and fell into bed!

This morning woke up with a headache and it was all overwhelming. Boxes everywhere. DH pitched in and we got the kitchen all stashed away. Then all the clothes and linens ... now I'm in good shape except for the sewing space. Oh well, it will come!

You all know I belong to Stashbusters online. Now I told those girls to slow down with the UFO finishes - there's 79 of us in the challenge. I finished A&J2's wedding quilt in March and here I am at the top of the list already!! Yep, you may refer to me as Queen Doni this week! I've belonged to SBs for 5-6 years and have never been Queen before. As queen you have to finish an UFO during your reign [a week] or pay up a FQ! I may have to pay the penalty. We'll see! I am making the most of my queenly-ness! I may not have time to sew, but I have time to type! So they are getting daily royal decrees! I told my DH that I had to use the computer because I was queen of the UFOs. And I heard him mutter, "I'll say!" What! Off with his head!! LOL!

I'm back - and should be able to have weekly posts again. See you soon.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

News from the moving front!

First let me tell you if you have a chance to see a Cirque du Soleil performance - run to it!! I know they are expensive - BUT it was worth every penny!! Kooza was a hoot! And it was so much fun to go to it with my daughter - who is an expert on Cirque. The four of us [DD, DSIL, DH and me] sat mesmerized for the whole show! The grandkids are too young yet - but I can see they will be coming with us when elementary school age!

Then I was able to go right to our Bayshore Quilt Retreat in Bandon. The rest of the gals gathered on Sunday night - I joined them Monday morning and apparently brought the rain with me! It rained the next 3 days! I pieced together my Alphabet block exchange quilt into a top. It needs to be done by August for the show. And since I ran the exchange I think mine better be in there! Then worked all day on my quilted sweatshirt - it looked so easy - but I found out it's time consuming! It's supposed to be done by May meeting - but I still have to fit it and sew the final seams and 'bind' it. Tick tock, tick tock! The retreat was so much fun and we got alot of sewing done and lots of laughing and way too much 'eating of chocolate!' LOL!

Wednesday, when I got home from retreat I actually fell asleep at 6 pm! I woke up after the news and read for a couple of hours, but then slept thru the night. R got back up to Newport Thursday night and we decided to follow the good weather and turn around with 2 more carloads headed to Brookings Friday! Another trip like that and we may have 1/2 our stuff here!

It was misting here Saturday morning when we were unloading the cars. But it cleared up to be a gorgeous day. I worked most of the day - I've gotten all the non-sewing room boxes emptied and stashed. Whether I'll be able to find stuff without looking thru EVERYTHING remains to be seen. We brought our second bookcase this trip so - was able to unpack those boxes. I even sat out on the deck with a "Coastal Living" magazine in the afternoon! Beautiful blue ocean as far as you could see!

Last night I had the best hamburger I'd had in a very long time! We went up to Whaleshead to watch the spout in a sea stack there. It was the first rock spout I ever spotted back on our first visit to the Oregon coast and hence - one of my favorites! After the cool breeze chased us to dinner we went to the Whaleshead Restaurant and I got the only seat in the house with a view of the spout!!! On top of that ... it was a great hamburger with 6 pickle slices!! Bacon, cheese and homemade bun!! Just what I was craving!! R said the fish and chips were excellent too - so we have a second hangout! Our first has to be Ponchos Mexican - also discovered on our first trip!

I have my little Featherweight sewing machine here so I just may do a little piecing while Rick is playing golf today. We head back north tomorrow for haircuts and appointments.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back home - Newport and Brookings

I'm back from Nebraska and I had a marvelous time. Lots of time spent with my mom and sister and her whole family. Between Easter, mom's birthday and baby's christening ... we saw alot of each other! It's so much fun getting caught up with everyone's lives. It's really hard to keep track of 20 some relatives long distance! The great nieces and nephews are growing, the new great-great nephew is adorable; the older ones are matriculating and everyone I saw is doing great.

All the 'girls' went out for a manicure/pedicure for mom's birthday. What a blast that was! Then perfume shopping for mom. We smelled dozens of perfumes. Did you know you smell coffee beans inbetween to clear your nose??? 6 of us taking turns sniffing up the samples! Mom ended up with "Armani Mania"! Tres Chic! And because she and my great niece were so cute [ 92 and 5 yrs old] they both got freebie bags! Mom ended up with Queen Lativa's gold lame bag - I think it's big enough for mom and her dog to fit inside!!

As my dad would say, "Thanks to the 'whole fam-damly' for the great time!"

Here is a picture I took of mom with her dog, Keisha. I'm not a big fan of that bark-y little dog and I think the feeling is mutual! I'm sure she sees me as a disruption of their schedule - and she likes change about as much as I do!! But we made it thru the week without biting each other!! LOL!

Even Nebraska weather was on it's best behavior. Didn't need more than a sweatshirt jacket after the first couple of days. In fact, it hit 80 several days - so typical of Nebraska - go from furnace to air conditioning the same week!

I stayed with a quilting friend and we had lots of laughs and lots of quilting - just what I also needed. We had other quilters over and had outings to the International Quilt Museum; and four favorite quilt shops. I caught up with good friends at the University - got to see the quilts they've been working on. Went to my small group - Scrap Happens and to the guild meeting. It was a rolling show and tell - just glorious!

Last year I flew into to Omaha on a red-eye and ended up at Gretna in "The Quilted Moose" store parking lot - snoozing until they opened! [Never go to a favorite shop when overtired! Enuff said!] This year we went to the shop 6 days after I arrived. The owner said - and you haven't been here until now??? I told her DH flew me into Lincoln instead of Omaha - hoping to save some money and I told him "Don't be silly, I know how to get to Gretna!!"

My flights went fairly well - I wasn't sitting in front of any demon children this year! LOL! Got home and an hour later I was cooking dinner for the grandkids! It was easy - IKEA meatballs, but still - cooking! The next morning we headed for Newport. After 2 days there - 2 packed cars later, we're in Brookings. I have the feeling that vacation is OVER! And the move is beginning! Our barrister bookcase filled with my quilts is now here - so it feels alittle more like 'home'.

DH's plan is for us to move at least 2 carloads to Brookings each week. Hope to get the DSIL and DS to coordinate loading and unloading the truck with us towards the end of May. What a mountain of stuff to move!!! I reminded my DH that I love him - before we start moving the sewing room!!! It shouldn't be bigger than the move from NE - but I think it's "fluffed up" some!! LOL!

Back to Newport tomorrow for 2 days of sewing. Then up to Portland for a quick babysitting gig and tickets to see Cirque du Soleil's tent show. I've only seen them on TV - so I'm anxious to see them up close and personal!

Life after vacation always seems 'sped up' some how - just getting back in the groove. But I'd better get my act together - cuz here we go!!