Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quick catch-up note

Hello-o-o-o-o!!  From the unseasonably foggy Oregon coast!  The sun seems to be playing 'hard to get' this month.  At least at our house - maybe in town it's got a better record?!?!

We got back from Sisters and I was fired up to start on Miss P's kindergarten quilt.  Just so there's no mix-up ... kindergarten does not require a quilt for naps or anything.  I just make my kids [and grandkids] a baby quilt, a 'big boy or girl' quilt when they move out of their cribs, a quilt for their bed when they go into kindergarten.  Another one when they are 12 and a HS graduation quilt ... we'll see if I keep this schedule for GKs!  They're just so darn cute when they want one!!  LOL! 

A friend in Lincoln made 20 quilts for her first grandchild.  She said "DON'T DO THIS!"  There will be more grandchildren and their parents will expect the same treatment for all of them!!!  Good advice, well said!

I think Miss P's quilt is going to be adorable!!  Our friends C&L are here for their summer vacation and when C saw the pattern, she's making a smaller one for her GD too!!  But September is speeding up on me, I'm done with the blocks and am started to make the sections - 9 of them - not complicated, afterall, it's just a twin size quilt!!  It's just that the design zig-zags across the top and I don't have anyplace I can layout the entire quilt easily.  So-o-o I'm building sections of 5 or 6 blocks by 5 so I can keep the flow of colors correct.  Hopefully, picture soon!!!

We were lucky enough to stop and see Mr D on our way to Sisters - guess who's walking!!

Here's some pictures of Sisters - just for some eye candy! It was hot and breezy. And there was actually an afternoon thunderstorm that blew thru! A first, as far as I know!! A good time had by all!

We were early enough to see the firemen put up the quilts on the Stitching Post.

Met some fellow Stashbusters at the Library.  Here we are, sitting in the shade, near an indoor bathroom, comparing notes of what we "have to see"!!  Thanks gals!

Ahh, Sisters!  A little bit of hot weather and sun for us 'coasties'!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Use it up ... make it do ... feel triumphant!!

We moved from a large house in Nebraska - 4+ years ago - to a very small condo here on the Oregon coast.  I'm a quilter - and we have stuffed the condos to the max to get in my treasures!!!  Don't tell DH I admitted this!!

I was going thru quilt storage last month ... okay, I admit it - I was looking for a certain quilt and couldn't find it.  I had to unstack; sort thru and cuss a little [a lot] before I stumbled on the right pillowcase filled with summer wall quilts!  Yes, a pillow case STUFFED!  Too much!

So when I was putting them all away, trying to come up with a better storage system I made a pile of "I don't love you any mores."  What to do with them?  These are obviously not my favorites - and boy, are they in the way. 

My daughter always said she wanted all my quilts because 'I made her sit quietly during tv shows when I was working on them' LOL!!!  ... but seriously, with a 'thrifting hobby' in a house with little storage; a sweet husband, 2 adorable preschoolers and 2 rambunctious dogs ... I don't think she's interested in the ones I don't want ... we DO have the same tastes!!

The bulkiest were some old pillow shams I made to go with my sunflower quilt.  Here is the picture of this wonderful ensemble in our bedroom in Nebraska ...

I miss that bedroom.  But those shams were the project from Hades!!  Making ruffle; adding wide eyelet, coming up with my own pattern; with my attention span and retention!!!  Well, I admitted it was the 'Keystone Cops doing shams!!'  at the time. But lovely on the bed, nevertheless!!

We now have a lovely soft blue bed.  The yellows and olive greens do not look lovely on it.  I love the quilt - but it's the quilt under the bedspread now.  Those shams were never going to be used again!

And, man, were they weird-looking things off the bed!  They were king-sized and that double ruffle was awkward.  They looked like, well - coffin covers!  Enough to give you nightmares.  Nobody was going to want them - ever!

Maybe I could put them together to make a wall quilt?  I ruthlessly cut the ruffled edges off - whack - with a rotary cutter.  But then, laying on our green kitchen table, I noticed it was a nice size for a table runner!!

So back to the drawing board ... prepare seam ripper!!  I ripped all those strips of ruffle apart.  I saved the eyelet for Miss P's kindergarten quilt's matching pillow!  And I un-ruffled yards of the green; ironed it flat, trimmed it and used it for the binding.  TaDa!  Two table runners.  One's on the kitchen table and one's on the coffee table - for now!  I remember how much I love those sunflowers - and I feel soooo triumphant getting them out of the closet and usable again!!

On the coffee table - had to be - it's just the right size for it!!

On the kitchen table - you can see our weather is still foggy and grey out there today!
Now if I can just figure out what to do with the rest of them!!!  Anyone interested in a 'doni original'??

On a side note - is anyone watching "Boss" on Starz??  Just read about it in a magazine FIVE days before it gets wiped off "On Demand".  There's only 8 episodes in the first season - easy peasy without commercials - if you're retired!!  The second season is starting next month.  It was pretty good!  If you have the technology - watch it!!

Just saying!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Baby Quilt on it's way!! Whoo-hoo!

We have a new great-nephew and I'm glad to say his gifts are on their way to him.

When we heard the great news, I went to Amazon and ordered our kids' and grandkids'favorite books. So along with the quilt and the name banner, there are books!  Yummers! and April Rabbits - old favorites of A & L .  Pout Pout Fish and The Giant Hug - favorites of Miss P and Mr M.  Mr D, being only 14 months hasn't really picked his favorites yet!!  I love adding our favorite books to baby gifts.  And Amazon makes it so-o easy to find the older books from private sellers.  If you don't mind 5 different packages coming to your house!!

And by the way ..., thank goodness for flat rate boxes at the post office!! Everything fit in the large flat rate, I did email them and tell them to be careful opening the box because there is a quilt STUFFED in it!! No sharp blades, please!

They have a jungle theme for his room and since I just made a jungle quilt for DGS; I knew what fabrics were available locally and picked them up.  Then I wiffle-waffled about what pattern to make - for 9 months, apparently!!

When I finally figured out the problem was the large patchwork animals fabric I'd bought for the front stripes was too big and uneven.  I simply moved it to the back and moved the back to the front for the stripes and it went together like a dream.

I used 'quick strippie' quilt pattern to make it. All her patterns are listed down the right edge of the website.  There are loads of good ones - check them out!   I did add borders because I wanted it a 'skootch' bigger.  I also put the narrow stripe on the top and bottom - mostly because I didn't notice I wasn't supposed to!  Sounds like me, doesn't it!!

The back is the large print and I think you'll see why I switched it!

These animals are adorable ... but, at least on my fabric, not printed exactly straight!  There was at least an inch drop in the lion's placement.   My DH joked that the monkey was a baby picture of him.  He did have those ears when young!!  So I wrote on the label, "Uncle R says the monkey is his baby picture ... he just wanted you to know!!!"

When I measured the border, the inside measurement was 37.5" x 59.25".  Hmmm, have I mentioned how much I HATE math???  But I remembered the old method of using adding machine tape for borders.  You get a roll of it [this is the hardest part!!!], roll out the length of your border.  Then simply fold it in half again and again until you have the size you're looking for.  No measuring or math!  If you have an even number of sections your border will start and end on the same side - /\/\/\/\ if it's odd you end up with /\/\/\/\/\/

I laid the tape down the middle of my border and then marked the segments with Washable Crayola Markers on the sides.  Then using the same washable marker I drew my lines with my ruler connecting the dots.  You can 'eyeball' it but I like the safety net of having the line marked.  When you're done - throw the paper away!!!  You've got plenty in reserve with the rest of the roll!!!

I LOVE ice cream cone shape borders because they are continuous!  When I get to a corner, I sew from the inner border to the corner and back up the same line.  Cheating a little, but then I don't have to start and stop with more knots to deal with.  And it frames any quilt so well!

The last thing for our new family member was a name banner.  I've made 4? of these and just love them.  Scrappy, bright and cheerful - what's not to love!  The parents can hang it on the baby's wall, door, on a wall with lots of pictures of the baby.  Or they can tack it to a pillow.  OR-R in my daughter's case, they can be in the doll drawer, used for doll blankies!!

I love this alphabet - it comes from an out-of-print book "Everything Quilts".  I sized it down to have the background squares be half of a nickel square.  So those background squares are 5" x 2.5"  You want your letter to pretty much fill the square.  Large letters, W and M for example can edge over into the next square too.  You just don't want the backgrounds too big or the letters are little islands and don't make a word!  Ask me how I know this!!  And by the way, did I have to learn it on lengthy names?? Yes, I did!

If one name is longer than the other; just fill in the extra space with a star or a toy shape.  Something simple and easily recognized.

I machine blanket stitch around each letter with a matching thread. Through all 3 layers so I'm quilting it at the same time.  And I love these little banners!  It's a fun and easy gift to give!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


This morning was all grey and misty and we almost decided not to walk the beach.  But there were dozens of pelicans fishing our bay.  Some were really close so we headed down to see them close-up-and-personal!

With the phone camera delay - very frustrating to try to catch them diving!!  You have to click the camera when the bird 'looks' like it's going to dive!!!  Beyond me!  So we just enjoyed them for awhile and then headed off down the beach to see what else we could see.

There was a great sunburst star fish.

They are so much fun to watch.

There were loads of regular star fish.

And then there was this ...

An Iced Tea bottle - Japanese label and 2011 date on the lid!!  There's ocean 'things' growing on it.  Could be from the tsunami - we'll never know for sure ... but so exciting to find!!

Guess we'll be walking the beach, whether it's grey and misty or sunny!!!  What fun!