Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Springtime in the Almond Orchards

Springtime in the Almond Orchards is beautiful.  We are surrounded on all sides by acres and acres of Almond Orchards, and this time of year they are all in bloom.  It is like a fairy land.   I always like walking the dogs through the orchards, but springtime is definitely my favorite.  The weather is beautiful, warm days but not hot yet, so it is darn near perfect.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate your company.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What I am working on now

I received an application in the mail to a "Choc-Full of Fiber"  Chocolate Festival. This is a  fiber show and competition of chocolate inspired entries.  I thought I might try to make something for this event.  Inspired by chocolate.  Should be an easy one, but I found myself somewhat uninspired.  I am one who cannot force inspiration or creativity, when it hits I feel lucky.   What came into my mind was my fondness for Chocolate Covered Caramel Apples..  Then I "remembered" that I have always wanted to make a Storm at Sea quilt, and now I have an idea.  A CCCA Storm at Sea.

I did a lot of coloring trying to come up with my own interpretation of a Storm at Sea.  Who knew this design could be so versatile?  I finally came up with a plan, and here is my start.

  Hopefully the colors represent Chocolate, Caramel and Apples.  I will keep you posted on my progress.  Wish me luck.

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Applying my lessons from the Road

At Road to CA, I took several classes, and on this little denim quilt I was able to put some of it to actual use.

One of my first classes was with Angela Walters, called Beyond Feathers.  This is my take on her designs.
Waves and swirls, with straight lines to set it off.  Also my attempt at wood grain, which would look better had I SID.  Yep, it seems SID  is necessary even on a picnic type quilt. 
Large pebbles, concentric circles and swirls.  I found that large pebbles were much more difficult for me than small ones.
And another swirl design designed by Angela.

A class from Dawn Cavanaugh was Feathers as Fillers.  Here is what I did with that.

I had so much fun applying my lessons, and seeing them stitched out was encouraging to me.  The samples I stitched out in class did not look good, most of them looked pretty bad.  I struggled with this for a bit, then I decided that it was due in large part to using different machines that I was not familiar with, and a learning curve.  Either way, it was good to get home and stitch them out with success.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your company, and your comments.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Not much new

Everything is going smoothly around here, but there isn't much to post about.  I have done a few Jane Blocks,

And, I want to show you one of my favorite sewing tools.  I use wooden manicure stick as a stiletto to help hold seams, guide fabric and act as an extra finger.
These little sticks work so well for me, they fit my hands, are easy to use, and they are inexpensive if and when I loose them.  I have tried other types of stilettos, and actually used this manicure stick by accident, and liked it so well, it is now my go to tool.

That's all I've got for today, thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Ethan's Sugar Cookies

Open two cubes of butter,
mix with two cups of sugar
mix well and add 2 large eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla. 
Add in 4 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt and mix well.
 Roll out dough

 Cut out cookies with assorted cookie cutters 
Bake at 325 for about 15 minutes
Wait patiently while cookies bake.
Cool on rack and prepare frosting
 Confectioners sugar and water
Add food color and divide into decorator bags.
Lots of sprinkles and let the fun begin

And done.

Happy Valentine's day to you,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Star Quilt finished and gifted

 The Star Quilt is finished, and I can say that I loved everything about this quilt.  I loved making stars from a Jelly Roll, something I learned from a class.  I loved the fabric, Morris Apprentice from Moda, and I loved how I quilted it.  I think the underlying joy in this quilt was knowing that it was being made for someone special.
 Kristen is one of Ethan's teachers, and she has worked with him daily for the last year.  My daughter and I wanted to give her a thank you gift, so we thought a quilt a great idea.
Her dedication to her job and to Ethan goes above and beyond.  Kristen was a gift to Ethan and all of us who love him.
 Here she is reading the label of her quilt.
I think she looks good with her new quilt.  
And here is Kristen playing "where is Ethan?" in the new quilt.

Thank you Kristen, and to all of you sharing this journey with me.  I appreciate it.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Ethan

Not much explanation needed here.  Ethan is three years old.  Life is so very good.

Thanks for sharing this special day with me.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Star quilt progress

I am loving this quilt.  While it is taking longer than I thought, (don't they always take longer than we think they will?) I  am enjoying every aspect of the quilting progress.  I have put many of the things I learned on the Road into practice while quilting this, and I can see progress in my own quilting.  Here are several pictures to share with you.
Showing off the ditch work, and the before quilting shot.
The after shot.  I love how the texture shows up in the angle shots.

The star design was inspired by my class with Jamie Wallen at Road.
 All feathers were done freehand, so they are all different.
 The general pattern of the feathers is the same, but I added variations to them.  I just felt that with so many feathers, if they were all exactly alike, things would look too predictable, and it would loose interest.

An overall shot.

Here is a tip I learned at Road from Dawn Cavinaugh when doing feathers as fillers or in a border.
Pick a direction you like to work with.  I like clockwise, so that is my new standard.  All the feathers in each individual block spin clockwise, so I didn't have any feathers going backwards.  This is helpful when doing feathers in a border also.  I have done feathers across the top of my quilt from left to right, gotten to the bottom of the quilt and repeated that same direction, so that somewhere I have feathers running into themselves.  If I now stick to my rule of having feathers move clockwise, when I get to the bottom border I will stitch the feathers right to left.  This "rule" also saves confusion if you turn your quilts to do your borders. Apply the same principle when turning your quilt, always turn it the same direction.

And on a completely different topic, but just for fun here is Micah and her baby brother Zeb.
Micah's mom asked her to get a toy for Zeb to look at.  We think she picked the toys that could look at Zeb.  All the cars have faces and they are all facing Zeb.

Thanks for reading and sharing my quilt journey.  I appreciate it.