Saturday, June 30, 2012

Whoooa - July, tomorrow? already???

It's hard to imagine that it's the middle of 'summer' here on the Oregon coast.  Even on days that it's sunny [not that many full days!!] it's in the 60s.  And we've really had our share of grey or fog lately too.  A friend commented it was 'cozy' in the fog ... maybe I'll use that as my mantra!!

An UFO finish!!  Start up the celebration!  Presenting "Bento Box Meets Broken Dishes"!!

I gave up trying to take a picture outside!! You can just see a corner of the livingroom chair in the lower right corner of the picture.  Proof that this quilt DOES match the couch!!  LOL!

Bento Box meets Broken Dishes was started at a Quilters Night Out, celebrating Natl Quilting Day, March 2010. It's inspiration was "Sliced Bread" a free internet pattern at Willmington Fabrics. The projects are alphabetical down the left side of the page.

I saw the quilt at our retreat and there was homework to do before the workshop. I didn't remember correctly and started it out wrong right from the beginning!! Typical!!

I made all my HST with black fabric and the black was supposed to be the outer strips to calm the whole thing down. Oh well!! It was patch, patch, patch from the very beginning! Finally, last summer, a visiting friend and the best consultant available for a cup of coffee, and I came up with this alternate version. Of course, I needed more blocks - but luckily, it was all sitting there, still together, hoping for a finish!!

It's funny how you use all your own fabrics; right from your favorite part of your stash and it doesn't look like 'you' at the end!! This is the closest quilt I will ever make that 'matches the couch!' [High on DH's want-list!]

To keep it from being too hodge-podge, I made two block variations - one block is red/blue and the other is yellow/green and there are two of each in a larger block. It was both fun and maddeningly to work on. I do love how it turned out.

I quilted it myself on the rental LA at our local quilt shop. But 'la-machine' and I weren't getting along that day - I had TWENTY thread breaks!!! BUT worth it at the end - when it's finished and I don't have to 'fight' it any more.

It's 54 x 75 and manages to get up to DH's chin while still tucking in under his feet!! Very important at the Oregon coast!!!

Meanwhile I'm working on a kid's strippie quilt from  Our new great-nephew baby snuck up on me!! [I don't dare mention that to the new mom!!]

I had all the fabrics and couldn't choose a quilt pattern for them. The problem was my favorite fabric was just too big and had 'patchwork' boxes of different sizes and shapes and it just didn't look like it would cut up well. So once I decided to use the smaller print backing I bought for the front and piece the cute large animal print together to make the back - all was well and fast!! It's turning out darn cute.

In fact, I have some cars fabric I'm going to use for the next one!

Isn't that always the way. You have this long and involved list of projects to make/finish and then a good idea comes to you and it butts right into your plan!!

Well, I guess I honestly have to say I LOVE that about this hobby! It's just the bottom of my list that doesn't love it!!  But that EUREKA! moment is what keeps us going and going and going ...

So off to sew - til next time.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Outing in the Valley

Last week DH had a golf date in the valley and we headed off.  It was nice and warm and we finally felt like it was summer!

First we went up to Portland to see Miss P and Mr M.  We had a great time playing outside and playing rousing rounds of Alphabet Bingo inside.  We take turns 'calling' and we do have some pretty dramatic callers!  DH, Miss P and Mr M all practiced their golf swings too. 

Thursday was the TIMS golf outing and I'm sorry [not] to say we did not bring home the trophy this month.  What a relief!! LOL!  Let's let everyone have a chance at it!!

While DH was golfing, I got to meet Miss S and Miss J in Corvallis.  They were on a garden outing and I got to join in.  There is a Buddist Garden outside of Corvallis and we descended on it with our "Market of Choice" lunch.

But first - do you have a 'Market of Choice' by you???  I'd never shopped one before.  Very interesting!  They have  "Sweet Potato Potato Chips", mmm, mmm, good!  And I hesitate to mention the tart-sized cheese cakes that are to die for!  We had both the Chocolate Truffle and the NY Style [we shared bites] and both were EXCELLENT!!  I'm still craving them a week later!!  The chicken panini was also great and we each had fun building salads from the salad bar.  Our food was packed - on to the garden.

We went to The Garden of Gentle Breezes.  It's at a gentleman's home and he was so gracious to us.  We'd brought our lunch and let me tell you - when Miss S and Miss J go to lunch, it's always an elegant affair.  We had a tablecloth, ribbon centerpiece, two choices for paper plates and napkins!!  And of course, the best company around.  The owner even came out and took a picture of us - didn't know his 'tea spot' could look so elegant!!

It was a perfect day.  A gentle breeze as advertised :> and just the right temperature - 70s.  It was so much fun.  Thanks Ladies, it was a pleasure as always!

Thursday night we stayed in Newport at our friends, D&JH.  One of the best private B&Bs around!  We had a wonderful steak dinner with  T&L joining us.  Lots of fun laughing and sharing stories.  After a good night's sleep - I got to join the Bayshore Quilters for the usual Friday morning work session.  It's always fun to get caught up with everyone and see the great show and tell that have been worked on.  Everyone's getting ready for the August show.  Time went fast and soon DHand I were on our way back home in rain and fog.  We're not in the summery valley any more!!

Water Aerobics in the outdoor pool has been a tie this week.  15 of us were there Monday in the rain.  And it was really rain - organized drops and everything!!  Not just a soaking mist.  It took me two days to get warm again!!  Tuesday was also rainy and windy, this little chicken stayed home!!  But Wednesday and today were perfect days there.  The pool is warm and the sun was out ... everything you hope for!!  Tomorrow is the tie breaker ... hope I haven't jinxed it!!

I made a couch quilt for DH for Fathers' Day - just waiting for the perfect day without wind to take a picture.  Also his nephew and wife just had their first baby - so a baby quilt is being worked on.  Hopefully pictures of both next time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book Talk on a Foggy Day

Last week I bit the bullet and started going to Water Aerobics at the Brookings pool. It’s an outdoor pool and while it’s heated .. it’s outdoors! One morning I decided to go to the Crescent City pool, my reason was it was only 39 degrees at 6:45 – how warm could it get by 8 am?? LOL!

So Friday I went to the outdoor pool, even though it was nicer when I decided than when it was actually time to go!

Yesterday – oh my!! It was one of the top 100 days ever! 70 degrees by the afternoon, almost 60 and sunny during WA class! Exactly what you hope for and rarely get on the Oregon coast!

Today – not so much!! C*O*L*D and foggy. To keep ourselves distracted we talked and got caught up with our ‘summer pool’ friends! And after a while, we came around to "Read any good Books lately??"

I keep track of the books I read – I even rate them – 1-4 stars. And there are those occasional 5*s – but not many!! And I have to say – if it doesn’t grab me from the beginning is set aside and returned to the library!! Life’s too short to waste time on a bad book; too many good books out there.

I’m pretty eclectic in my tastes in ‘books’. – I wouldn’t go so far as to say ‘literature’ – I read a lot of mysteries; sci-fi and yep, even some ‘fluff’! And I adore a good “Nancy Drew for adults” book! A good female character is my fave!!

So-o I’m making a list to give to my friend tomorrow … but you might be looking for a good book too!

Some Stand-Alone [non-series, at least so far!] books from the last year are:

  • The Sweet By and By -Todd Johnson
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand -Helen Simonson
  • The American -Andrew Britton
  • Extremely Loud and Incredible Close -Jonathon Safran Foer
  • The Highest Tide -Jim Lynch
  • The 12th Imam -Joel Rosenberg
  • Keeper and Kid -Edward Handy
  • The Way Home -George Pelecans
  • The Silver Ship and the Sea -Brenda Cooper
  • Ready Player One -Ernest Cline
  • Spiral -Paul McEuen
  • Ape House -Sara Gruen – so much better than  “Water for Elephants!”
  • A Land More Kind Than Home -Wiley Cash
  • Remarkable Creatures -Tracy Chevalier  About the woman in England that discovered the first fossils

Series I love [along with some favorite authors] – I grab them as soon as I can!!  I try to read series in order because even if they kind-of stand alone ...  there IS character development that builds!

Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games - well I was addicted!

Janet Evanovich!! I loved the movie “One for the Money” now on DVD. Even though DH was unimpressed with the movie!  Love her Stephanie Plum series

11-22-63 Stephen King  This was a great book.  Not horror, more SciFi - I really liked it, and of course, I'm old enough to remember that date!

Lee Child – the Jack Reacher series

John Sandford – great series about detective in Minneapolis; one even ‘featured’ a quilt group!

Jonathon Kellerman – series about child psychologist in LA

Faye Kellerman – Jonathon’s wife – series about Jewish community life

Nevada Barr – Anna Pigeon, series set in National Parks as she transfers between them

Thomas Perry – old series of a 'one woman witness protection '

Dana Stabenow – Kate Shugak series set in Alaska

Sue Grafton – ABC series of private investigator in So Cal in the 60s

John Larion – Oregon author and boy does he have us down!!

  • Northwest of Normal
  • Holding Lies
Jack McDevitt – SF – The Engines of God series. Love his characters

Erica Bauermeister – just found her!

  •  The School of Essential Ingredients
  • Joy for Beginners
Douglas Preston – very good mysteries dealing with natural phenomenon – or are they?? LOL!

  • Impact
  • Tyrannosaur Canyon
So - now you're all ready for some summer reading!!  Enjoy!  And please, tell me what you've been reading lately!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ahhhh, June weather - at last!

Living on the Oregon coast, well, it's hard to determine which season or month it is!!  There's not that big of a swing in temperatures throughout the year.  In general, that's a good thing.  But when we have rainy weather extend into summer, it just feels like March for 3 months!!  TODAY, however, is a bird of a different feather!  70 degrees!!  Wheee-hah!

We had a gloriously 'civil' mid-morning low tide!  It was a little windy down there, but we were able to walk a long ways today.  Not to the end - yet, but a football field or so farther than yesterday!  We had a lot of sand washed away this spring by stronger tides [maybe?]  But little by little it's filling back in.  Getting the beach higher than the water - so we can walk farther!  It is amazing how much the beach changes day to day.

My DH is a golfer - hmm, that may be an understatement!!  Like saying I'm just a quilter!?!?!  He joined a traveling band of golfers when we lived in Newport.  "Turf Inspection and Marching Society" or TIMS  They had to give it an acronym so when it was on their calendars at work, it sounded work-related!  Well, DH has been playing really well lately - you might think that's a good thing - even great.  Improves his mood, etc.  All is good until he comes home with a trophy!!

Oh, yes - that's the beloved TIMS trophy.  Yep, it IS an old, extra large worn-out golf shoe that has been spray-painted gold!!  And let me tell you, DH gets a little cranky when you suggest that he have a good game, but ease off if he's going to win the trophy!!!

The trophy is to be displayed prominently in your home when you have it.  When we lived in Newport, we wives made a point to 'pop in' on the winner's wife when they least expected - just to be sure the darn thing was out.  I'm happy to report, no one in the group lives close to us here.  Draw your own conclusions!!LOL!

My beloved Janome is in the shop.  I've been without it for over a week now.  My feather-weight has been set up, but I hate to mix piecing by different machines in the same project.  No good ever comes from it - at least in my experience!!

I've mainly been on the computer, or reading some very good books. I took a day on the Long Arm at the local Quilt Store. But I'm not moving at my usual purposeful speed in the sewing room!

Yesterday I finally got 'off the pity-pot' and got out quilt books to look at and came across the OLD [1993] 'Little Quilts' series - American Crib Quilts - Welcome Home Quilt. The blanket stitched letters fell out, Yep, it's gotta be one of my oldest UFOs! It's only 45" x 45"; surely I can get the top done with my trusty Feather-weight in the next 1 1/2 weeks!! That's when we'll be able to get up to Albany [5 hours away] where my now fixed machine is. Yeah, I know, I have to come up with a better location for my repairman.

Little Quilts were/are known for their scrappy looks - using "Magic Fabrics" - black, plaids and stripes, bubble gum pink, purple, brown, mustard gold and tan!! Hey - I've got those!!! So-o I'm raiding the shoe
boxes with the cut scraps. Squares and strips - we've been talking about them lately on Stashbusters! Wondering if the effort to set up a 'scrap system' is actually worth it.  How often do we use it??

Well, I love my 'scrap system' but can't say I've done much with them lately!! Probably because they are stacked INSIDE each other on the top shelf of the closet!! Kind of 'out of sight, out of mind'.

Well, they are down now!! And I already have the first 4 blocks - up on the design wall - ready to be sewn!!! Anyone else still have this booklet?  Anyone out there made one of these??  Well, there's no time like the present!  Especially if your other machine is in the shop!

Monday, June 4, 2012

June??? Seriously??? Where does the time go??

Hi all!  The last two weeks have apparently flown by at the speed of light.  And now I find myself  scratching my head and wondering how on earth it could already be JUNE???  Of course, this rainy, windy weather doesn't seem like summer ...

Memorial Day weekend we had both the quilt show in Brookings and A, J, and Mr D come for a visit.  The show was awesome and we had some really interesting quilts hanging.  We'll hear all about the statistics at our June pot-luck next week.  Let's just say, fun was had by all and the vendors had some fun things to buy.

No ribbons for me this year ... competition was stiff!  But I was one of the ballot counters and I'm happy to say, my quilts were voted for!!  Brookings takes a picture of you with your quilt and prints it on the quilt tag hanging by the quilt at the show.  Fun concept - but of course, you can't hang about eaves-dropping on anyone - they know who you are!!  LOL!  But it's fun to put the person together with the work and you can congratulate someone on their quilt when you run into them at the show.  And that happened to me several times~ so fun!

Mr D is now 14 months old and does he like the ocean!!  It was our typical grey, cool day and the minute his toes hit the sand he was headed for the waves.  He's not walking yet, but getting ready to.  You remember that stage that they crawl faster than you can walk!!  So we had to scurry to beat him to the waves!  Even 50 degree water didn't discourage him!!  Cuz the minute you put him down - off he went again, at the speed of light!!  DH compared him to a just-hatched sea turtle heading for the ocean!  Such fun to have him and his 'entourage' come to visit!  A fun time was had by all!

It seemed pretty quiet after everyone left and the quilt show was down.  So I finished the last border on my sister's quilt order.  When I was back in Nebraska, my sister wanted to have 3 twin quilts made for some of her Great-Grands for Christmas.  Friends who made 2 twin quilts for her last year couldn't fit her into their schedule - a sign of success for sure!  So I volunteered to make the tops and then mail them back to Nebraska for one friend to machine quilt them and other friends to bind and monogram them.  Hopefully it will all go smoothly!

My sister and I shopped for fabrics when I was in Nebraska.  I washed and sewed backs and left them in Nebraska with the quilter.  I started these tops back in April at the retreat.  My first thought was - of course - double slice.  And the girl quilt, using 'Twirl' turned out darling - don't 'cha think!

I love this pattern.  I basically used one Layer Cake and then added pink borders.  Just the right amount of lights in the Layer Cake.  Cute as a button.  I did add a few fabrics of my own in each quilt like the Eric Carle Caterpiller in the lower right corner on the pink top.  Sometimes I just needed the a few more for the numbers to come out right or the fabric was begging me to let it join in!!  That happens to you too, doesn't it??

Then I made another Double Slice using 'A Stitch in Color' layer cake. I made the blocks - ooo, kind-of wild in a 'nobody's going to sleep under this one!!' kind of way.  So I added a sashing to calm it down.  Remember - same pattern, just sashing added!

Completely different look - don't you think?  And it really calmed it down.  I'm going to remember this trick!

The third quilt was going to be the  "Yellow Brick Road"  pattern, but do you think I could find mine??  Nope!  But I did find the "Wicked Easy" download from the web and it IS really wickedly easy!  The fabrics are a mixture of lines; picking our favorites on the run at Cosmic Cow Quilt Shop in Lincoln.

I'm pleased at how they all turned out.  Remember - brights are not my usual!! Now my friend will add her magic with LA quilting to make them come alive!  Can't wait to see pictures of the finished projects!!

It is hard to pack and mail your projects - but all is well, they arrived right on schedule so we can relax now.

Last week we took a short trip up to the Eugene area for DH to play some golf.  We stayed overnight there - we're usually traveling straight up to Portland, so it was fun to explore a little.  I found the two quilt stores that are in Eugene.  And we went to the movies that night.  "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was pretty darn cute!  Lots of big names in it - and well worth seeing.  I'm even going to plan to see it again on DVD when it comes out!

Then while DH golfed I explored the Albany area.  I had to drop off my DSM at the shop - it's making the most annoying 'chirping' sound after I've been sewing for an hour or so.  And the darn thing was just in for it's 'well baby checkup'.  I'm going to have to switch repair shops to somewhere closer - they had to keep it,  it wasn't done by the time we were coming home. 

Horrors!!  Life without my Janome!  I do have a Feather Weight ... but, you know, when you don't have a buttonhole stitch or FMQ capability - that's all that you NEED to do!!  We aren't scheduled to return to the area until June 19th.  DH is hoping that my whine isn't more annoying than the chirp!! 

Has anyone else had this problem with their machines?  What was causing it?  And was it 'fixable??'  Let me know before I worry too much!

Today's 'Day1' and I'm already in withdrawal.  Believe it or not - while I was at Portland, Miss P needed darts in two new 'skorts' I bought her.  I had to put them in by HAND!!  Yes, it was possible - but really, it would have gone so-o much smoother by machine!!

Well, I have to sign off - only 4 days until I'm due to post again!  So I've got to DO SOMETHING to write about!!  LOL! See you soon!