Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June and a New Guy

June has been a busy one. At some point I thought I would get a quilt sewn but that simply isn't happening. I started working with Aviary fabric by 3 Sisters (fabric from quite a few years ago) using a pattern from Blended Quilts by Marsha McCloskey and Sharon Yenter called Four Patch Strippy. I only got a little farther than this...
My attention has been pulled away though. Sabra was sick for a couple of weeks after eating some grass and who knows what. That was stressful but she finally cleared it all and is happy and back to normal.  Then I declared war on some ground cover that has taken over my yard, I helped my sister settle into her new home a bit, and then everything changed! This past weekend we welcomed (or some of us welcomed...) this cute guy into the family.
This is Sammy. He's 10 years old and very sweet.  His owner has moved to a Memory Care Facility and is no longer able to care for him.  Sammy has had some different experiences in life. Some that we don't know about.  He was found stray and sheltered about 3 years ago.  Advertised in the paper and adopted by my neighbors.  The past 3 years, he's been living the good life here in my Cambria neighborhood but then was sheltered again for the past 3 months with people in 2 counties trying to find a home for him. He came back to Cambria and was going to be surrendered (with apparently little chance of finding a home) to the local shelter but another neighbor called Thursday to tell me Sammy's story...and well, now he is a part of our family :-)  I didn't know about Sammy's plight but apparently the rest of the neighborhood did. As we walk around the blocks, we keep meeting up with people that knew him and are so happy he has found another local home.
This has been a bit of a challenging adaptation process. Sabra and Sammy both seem to have some issues with each other but I think we are moving forward. Luke who has been a trouble child in the past is getting the Good Citizen award.  My cats have been sequestered in a "room with a view" where they can be safely up on my large cutting table while Sammy comes in for some cat orientation. Marianne ( my grey kitty) is more comfortable socializing...both with people and dogs....so she is doing the bulk of the orientation and training. Sammy has never been around cats before.  He is a little too interested at the moment but seems mostly interested in smelling and doesn't show any aggression.  I'm sure chasing would be an immediate hobby though so there will be no free rein for some time to come and only after behavior testing has shown success. Elinor ( my black kitty) will simply join in later when she is good and ready.
So hello chaos! Things are calm enough this morning that I can leave the dogs in the other room and enjoy some quiet time with the cats. I miss them having the rule of the house. They will declare order again someday!
Next post...Seven Sisters Quilt Show pictures

Monday, May 30, 2016

May

May involved completing my quilt for Hands 2 Help and making a baby quilt for a new niece due to arrive in the next couple of weeks. While looking through my fabric stash I found enough fabric of the same that I used for the very first baby to make my brother a grandpa. Kian was a boy and got blue detail to complement the zoo animals.  This new little girl is getting pink and yellow added.
I fussy cut the animals and framed them. The backing shows the novelty fabric uncut.
I used a pattern for a giraffe by Bunny Hill for a little extra fun.
I hope she likes it :-)

Yesterday I had the fun of meeting Susan Branch at a book signing for her latest books, The Fairy Tale Girl and Isles of Dreams. It was a fun gathering in Morro Bay.  Susan lived in San Luis Obispo area for several years and much of the writing is about her time and connections there. It was fun to even read of Cambria's charm. I recommend both as well as checking out her blog. She's a creative and uplifting soul. It was fun to have my picture taken with her.
I'm accepting another challenge ...or just a good idea :-)  to work on some fabric I purchased "I don't know how many years ago" made by 3 Sisters called Aviary. It's lovely soft colors of florals and came in a kit with a free pattern that doesn't really call to me like the fabric did.  So I'm thinking of going with something that I think will showcase the fabric better and hopefully fit the bill for the 10"squares, jelly roll and yardage that I have. For some reason I bought about twice the amount I would need for backing so I may have a little room to play. I'm also wondering about size and what I would do specifically with this quilt so we shall see where it leads me.  This next picture shows one idea from a book by Marsha McCloskey and Sharon Evans Yenter called Blended Quilts. I'm thinking it's the one I'll use. 
Linking here To Confessions of a Fabric Addict for her Friday Can I Get a Whoop!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hands 2 Help finish

Here's my collection of 2" squares that I have sewn together into sets over the past year as leader/ender sewing.
From this I sewed 16 patch blocks again.
And with these I used a pattern I saw sewn last year into a quilt.  And then I had fun with the quilting and stitched leaves and sunflowers allover it. The blue thread was probably an odd choice but then I am odd :-)


This will be sent off to Em for Chemo Cozies. It measures about 55" X 62" and will hopefully cheer someone faced with health challenges.
For fun...this quilt is lifetime quilt #iwishikeptcount :-)  and has 1280 pieces in it. I used Superior Threads Sew Fine and Bottom Line for the stitching. And Hobb's 80/20 for the batting.
I'm linking to Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict for the Hands 2 Help charity quilt challenge.  Thank you, Sarah and Em for organizing us and getting these quilts to people who can enjoy them.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Late Friday Linking

Late because I couldn't get my pics to load yesterday. Better late than never :-)
I've been sewing up 2" squares for the Hands 2 Help quilt. I finished the top and have it loaded to quilt. I started with one idea but took the stitches out. Will start again tomorrow.

 Other news I'm happy to share is that I won a book called Quilt Batik! from Cheryl Brown. She has written 2 books. This one looks full of inspiration for batiks and even some of the lovely scrappy remnants I have saved up over the past year of batik quilt making. Head over to her site and check out her designs and inspirations!
Thank you, Cheryl! I will enjoy this :-)
I'm linking here to Confessions of a Fabric Addict for her Friday Can I get a Whoop!
Check all the blogs linked there with great quilting progress happening!

Friday, April 29, 2016

yikes! almost missed April

Way back in February while waiting for batting to arrive, I worked on some small projects. At some point... I put together this little bird quilt made from a panel cut and framed with some wood look fabric. I bought this from vendors at our local quilt show a couple of years ago. Still not quilted but on the design wall for the cats to enjoy :-)

I also sewed up Fig Tree's Mini Twirl and got it quilted this month.
In trying to work on my quilting design skills, I actually pulled out a stencil to use for the border. It was relatively painless :-) though I need more practice with that pounce powder in marking.


Next on board was the Red Cross quilt...also called Blue and Gray from the book by the Country Thread ladies called The Blue and the Gray. I made mine bigger by making more blocks and forgot to round the quilt edge corners like they did...but I really like this quilt.  I used only fabric from my stash ...front and back...which feels like a feat! It was very fun to make this and I want to thank Julie at JulieKQuilts for spurring me on to join her in making it!
Specially visiting quilt holder help here :-)
This quilt was also hanging up at my favorite Quilter's Cupboard quilt store with a double clamshell pattern quilted on it. It's a pantograph design that I attempted duplicating using a clamshell template I have and then going back over it with a second line using a circle template. I have mixed feelings about how it turned out but it is definitely not going to fall apart ;-)  I seem to always have mixed feelings about the quilting designs I choose! I will keep working on that.

For a start and finish for the month, I worked on a quilt for the special fire fighter in my life...quilter holder's DH :-)   He made lieutenant in the past year and also finally gets to call one station his home with his own bed.  So this called for a quilt to put on it.  So here we have the colors of his favorite football team (Oakland Raiders) with some fire engine red to celebrate.


Here are the quilt blessings in action.
So this is a way too long post! but I'm now starting on a quilt for the Hands2Help quilting with my 2" squares I've collected over the past year to sew as leader/enders.  I'm going with 16 patches again with a bit of a different setting.


I want to thank Norma Whaley of Timeless Traditions ( one of my most favorite designers!) for treating me to one of her gorgeous patterns.
I follow along reading her blog and was able to watch as she made up blocks for this quilt. Then at PIQF last year, I saw the quilt hanging in the Sew Cherished booth. What a treat! Thank you, Norma!

Linking here to Confessions of a Fabric Addict for the Friday Whooping it Up :-)
Have a sweet weekend everyone!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

March

Two finishes to show so far this month. The first is another repeat pattern use   for more Hoffman squares of Sparrow. This one is for my brother and I hope he likes it. We are gratefully having rainy weather here on the central coast of California which makes for less than perfect indoor photos.

I used the pattern from Carrie Nelson's Schnibbles Times Two called Scratch. The book has each quilt in two sizes. The larger version using 10" squares and the smaller version using 5" squares.
Scratch is a fun pattern to sew up but boy does it leave a lot of leftover parts. 
Since this was my second time to use it and with the same fabric, I had a lot leftover. So I trimmed some two patch squares down to sew into four patches of the largest size I could get and also trimmed leftover bricks. I added all the leftovers together and made a smaller version of Scratch...still bigger than the smaller Schnibble but smaller than the large version. The larger quilt is about 68" X 80". The smaller one is 48" X 63".
The smaller one is for a friend from work.

The larger quilt has a square spiral quilting design and the smaller one has a variety of leaf designs. I'm getting less than excited about my choices of quilting so I'm watching some videos and trying to get braver with some freehand work. The density of the quilting designs still keep me guessing as to what in the world do I really like! Fortunately, there is a vast treasure of teaching videos available now to take advantage of for learning. 
I still have 3 quilt tops ready to be quilted so hopefully I will be back soon with those finished. Thanks for checking in.
I'm linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict for more show and tell :-)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February

It's too soon to leave January but here we are in the second month of the year already. I have been able to sew quite a bit. I completed two quilt tops that languished while I waited for some batting to arrive....pics later!  While I was waiting I picked up a couple of smaller projects and had fun completing those.
First up.... an iron caddy

 I had purchased a mini iron and my friend at Joyful Quilter shared a pattern to make the caddy.  I "shrunk" the pattern down a bit to fit the mini iron. Had to make some adjustments with button placement to keep it closed.  Now I'm ready to travel  :-)  where I'm not sure!

Then I made a bag using Purebred. I love these horses!



 I used kind of a mixture of ideas but the original inspiration came from Carrie Nelson  of Rosie's Quilts and Moda fame. She blogged about her purse here.
I bought a charm pack then decided I liked the yardage on the outside better. I used the charm pack to make a liner and to make a couple of pockets.  The faux leather handles were a purchase at PIQF. The handles are pre-punched but are still a bit of a bugger to sew on trying to match the holes in the base piece on the inside. I also used a new to me product of foam fusible interfacing. I watched a video from Missouri Star Quilt company for tips on how to sew with it.

Then the batting arrived but with other things going on around here...like house cleaning and company...I decided to go ahead with another small project. I'm making a mini quilt of a Fig Tree pattern that I purchased at PIQF as well.  No pictures yet...sorry.... It is the Mini Twirl made with my Fig Tree scraps.  A very fun pattern but I had to laugh when I read they thought this could be made in an afternoon.  Appliqued leaf stems are taking me a lot longer than an afternoon! 
I've linked this post to Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I get a Whoop Friday :-)