Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April 2018

It's kind of hard to believe it's April already. It has been busy here. The furry creatures of the household have continued to give us some challenges but are doing better for the most part.  Luke likes to run around on our ranch land town park and stick his head in bushes, squirrel holes and wherever.  So though we have not encountered any rattlesnakes, Rattlesnake Avoidance Training still seemed like a good thing for him.  I was dreading it but the company we trained with, Ma and Paw Kennels, were wonderful....relaxed, skilled, gentle and offering a safe, good training session.  Luke picked up the skills to recognize the smell, sound and visual of a rattlesnake quickly and gave the reaction of avoidance they wanted to see. We are headed for a generalization and repetition course in a few weeks to promote our safety.

Marianne, my 13 year old grey long haired kitty has been diagnosed with an early stage of kidney disease. She seems to not be feeling the symptoms of this at present so I'm focusing on the prescribed diet.  To encourage her fluid intake, I splurged on a pretty water fountain from Thirsty Cat Fountains.  I was sure she would LOVE it (Ha!) but it actually took a few days till she would use it. We finally won her over though and she's a pro now. I don't have a good video of her using it but this is what it looks like.  Quiet and easy to clean. 

So any sewing or quilting has still been in the back seat.  I have finished a few small projects though. 
The baby quilt for some friends.


Another mini baby quilt with the leftovers for the Grandma to keep at her house for baby visits.

A small table runner from the black and white leftovers.

And from a recent giveaway win, I received a kit to make this cute table runner from Pam Buda. Her blog, Heartspun Quilts is showing new patterns and beautiful new fabric designs she is presenting. I especially love some of the tiny prints she includes. It was very fun to sew this up. Thank you, Pam!

Last but not least, there was a giveaway on Instagram and I won a lovely pattern from Piece by Piece Quilting.  This would look lovely with some of the fabric from Pam Buda!


I'm going get going with the quilt for Hands2Help (see button at upper left corner of this blog page) and then get back to my Lil' Orphan Scrappy.  I hope you are having a beautiful spring day!




Sunday, March 11, 2018

Springing Forward into March

It took me awhile to get sewing again but last month I was able to complete a quilt that I had started with Sabra's help. We were making a little quilt to celebrate the addition of a new pup to a neighbor/friend's family. She wanted it black and white so I looked to Pinterest for a pattern inspiration and found one I'd already sewn before.  Familiarity can be helpful sometimes.  So with some cute novelities thrown in, I sewed away. Here's the quilt and the beautiful family enjoying it :-)  It will be cherished. I love sewing for pups.


Caleb, Bella and Brielle

These pups are the sweetest friends. I have another picture of them after we went walking.  Brenda got a new car and for some reason, Luke wanted to test it out! 
It is so good to have these fur creatures to comfort and cheer 💜

I finished the quilting on a little baby quilt yesterday and just need to add the binding. Here it is in progress...sideways :-/


I'll show when it's completed.  And I will get back to a couple of other projects in progress.  Today, however, is the beginning of another charity quilt season at Confessions of A Fabric Addict.  There are giveaways for participating and great tutorials starting soon for quick quilts, scrappy quilts and just plain fun inspiration.  The button is up above in the left hand corner.  Click through to see what is going on!  I have 16 patches sewn up that I think I'm going to use for a pattern I recently saw on a Missouri Star Quilt Company video. More to come on that later. 
So happy spring forward day...though I would love to be able to do away with this crazy time change.  It sure messes with the animals (and all of us)!  Spring isn't too hard on them as they LOVE to get up early but come Fall and they are not happy!  Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Whoop Whoop Fridays.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sabra

This is a picture of one of my favorite memories with Sabra. We were walking through our forest. We lost our fight against cancer this last week. She was my dear girl. I cherish every moment we had together.
                              June 25,2008- January 9,2018

Sunday, December 31, 2017

December 2017

A good part of November and December were kind of a blur for me.  My sister had major surgery and I calmed my worries to some extent being there to help with her recovery. I was kind of a mess actually.  Broken hearted that she had to go through this but it helped somewhat to be there. It also helped that many were praying for her and for me as well.  God has indeed been faithful to hold us close and to give healing and courage and a superior medical team as well. The road ahead is still full of challenges so we really appreciate the continued support and prayers. 
My girl, Sabra
continues to do pretty well.  Her only symptom that we see from the cancer is back pain, presumably from a growth attached to her spine.  So with regularly scheduled pain meds, she is still very interested in eating her special diet and going for walks around the neighborhood and out to the bluff.  The walks are shorter and she sits and rests when she needs to.  I am thrilled to have more time with her still enjoying her life. 
As for sewing, I have snuck in moments here and there and have managed to complete the 72 Ohio Star blocks needed for my Lil' Orphan Scrappy.

Today I sewed up 2 sets of blocks that will be going for quilts to be given to those who have lost their homes in the huge Ventura fire this past month. I am sending two directly to the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild (see link for more info if you want to join in).  The other two are going to Carole at From My Carolina Home who is going to make two quilts. One for the Ventura guild to give away and one for a family who lost their home in the Santa Rosa fire earlier this fall. It has been a devastating time for so many in California. I hope these blocks and quilts bring comfort and warmth to someone.





So this year ends with many things still in transition. I'm grateful to have more time with my sweet Sabra and look forward to hopefully having my sister live close to me before this time next year.
I'm switching gears to sew up two smaller quilts...one for a new baby coming and one to celebrate a friend's new puppy!  These will be fun and cheerful sewing.
Thank you all for reading along on my not so exciting blog. It's fun to connect with many of you as I keep track of what I've been sewing. I managed to finally actually enter a quilt into our guild show and quilt my Double Wedding Ring quilt this year. I hope to tackle some more long awaited challenges this year as well.
Happy New Year 2018 to you all.  I pray that you see God's faithfulness and love in your lives. My hope is in Him!



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On to November

There was a small amount of sewing going on here last month. I have pieced almost 60 of the star blocks needed for my Lil' Orphan Scrappy.
And the leader/ender 16 patches are totaling about 30 now.
But I haven't been able to sew for several days now.  Sabra, my beautiful red Golden Retriever has been diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer and all my attention has been for her.  She is doing pretty well although a bad reaction to acupuncture nearly finished us both off yesterday. Fortunately, she recovered and we are fighting the good fight again.  As more health issues in my family are needing attention, I will be switching to some handwork to sooth my soul.
We could use some prayers from those who pray. And as Thanksgiving comes next week, we can be so grateful for the God who hears us and holds us in His hands.  God bless you all with His saving presence and peace! Psalm 121

Monday, October 2, 2017

Backing up to September

Summer seemed to get busier and hotter! I'm quite happy to move into Autumn. In August I made some table runners and a little quilt for my sister ♥
They were made with some fabric purchased from Connecting Threads that I liked. A nice feel to it and wouldn't it have been nice if I had taken pictures?!
I then sewed scrappy mostly black, some brown and one maroon selection of 2" squares to make a table runner for our family room. This was wonderfully mindless and relaxing and I could squeeze in sewing time for just a few minutes and still accomplish something. It's hard to photograph black but here it is doing its job.
The last week of September brought some better sewing time as I headed northeast to Arnold, California and joined about 20 other quilters at a retreat hosted by Lynn Wilder of Sew'n Wild Oaks. I shared a cabin with Joy from Joyful Quilter and enjoyed the beautiful mountain setting. We sewed, ate delicious food and chatted 3 full days.  I worked on a pattern from Lynn called Lil' Orphan Scrappy using some beautiful fat quarters of Wild Orchid by Blackbird Designs. My progress almost completed a heart...which has nothing to do with the pattern it just looked fun on the design wall.
My first block
I have been busy sewing since I got home and am up to 20 blocks.
While at the retreat I did a little gift sewing as well so pictures of that might show up in December or January. I'm happy to be home again but this was such a great time with wonderful people. I hope to do it again next year.
Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Metro Rings with probably too much commentary!

Inspired by a couple of quilts at my local quilt store, Quilter's Cupboard (Atascadero), I purchased the Quick Curve rulers by Sew Kind of Wonderful.
After all that curved piecing with the smaller quilt, I was ready to give this a try.


Initially, I was really impressed with the instructions and with what you could do with this ruler, getting the arc consistent and not wasting much fabric.



There was a lot of squaring up to do after sewing all the blocks together and I think it was here that I started seeing a problem. I had followed the directions closely though and couldn't see what I had done wrong. The background pieces were not the same in each block and I couldn't really figure out what to do about it though I tried trimming to get them uniform and then tested sewing them together. That wasn't helping but I plowed ahead since all the blocks were already sewn together. 

I went on to sew on the corner connector pieces hoping this would fix some of the issues I was seeing. No, it didn't and the pattern's squaring up instructions were a little too "casual". Fortunately, I realized that I needed to figure out a consistent measure for the corner pieces so that when the blocks were sewn together, the triangles would meet to make up that square. 

The pattern had said to watch a YouTube video about curved piecing that I had watched but it was at this point that I also found one specific to Metro Rings. It mentioned not pressing the blocks until both sides of the background pieces were sewn onto the rings.  This may have been the defining mistake I made but I'm still not sure. The overall effect of the design is still clear in the finished quilt but I am really not happy with the inconsistent points (or complete lack of) in the inside rings as well as the inconsistency of the how the outside pieces come together. After looking further on their website at blog post comments, apparently I am not alone in this frustration.  I am going to try again with the added information that came from the Metro Rings video.  I have added the measurements that were not included in the pattern for keeping the connector triangles accurate and I will see if I can't get this to look like it was designed. I do think there is hope! but you really need all the information before you start working with this ruler.
I used Hobb's 80/20 batting and Feathered Curls pantograph for the quilting. 


And with that, it will be off to my oldest sister who has yet to receive one of my quilts. Hopefully she won't be bothered by the inconsistency.  Thank you for reading to the end of this long post. I hope the information helps someone.
I have moved on to sewing simple squares together :-)