Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Great Granny

As in Great Granny quilt blocks.
This month's Stash Sewciety queen is Melissa.
She asked for these fabulous blocks in a beautiful sorbet/gelato inspired palette.

Great Granny blocks

Great Granny blocks

It seems all I have time for these days is making bee blocks. I am looking forward to a break in August from bee obligations. I have two quilts to bind, one to quilt and bind and another one to finish piecing.
I hope you are having a great summer.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Lone Star Pillow

Our guild co-president, Liberty Worth has asked for pillows for a charity she is putting together called The Sunny Room Pillow Drive. They will be given to teens living in a shelter in Los Angeles to help add a bright note of fun to their rooms.
A while back I made this Lone Star block from Lynne and Kerry's book, 500 Quilt Blocks. It was originally planned for Elisabeth's comfort quilt, after the loss of her beloved dog, Wallace. I obviously did something wrong, because my block turned out to measure 10-1/2" square instead of 9-1/2". It promptly went in the orphan block pile, but I knew it was destined for greater things soon.
This week I added the border to it and the backing and made it into a 16" pillow. No zippers, as required, just sewn together on all four sides made a quick and easy finish.
Lone Star Pillow

I didn't make it to the LAMQG meeting last week. I missed our very special guest, Carolyn Freidlander. I hear she did a wonderful presentation. I'm hoping to see Libby in the next month or for sure at the next meeting, where I can deliver the pillow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Scrapaholics Unite

If your scrap bins are anything like mine, they are overflowing. When I saw Amanda's Scrap Vortex QAL I decided I would try to make a dent in my scrap bins and use up some of them.
As I started arranging my blocks I thought it might be fun to incorporate some of my orphan blocks in this eclectic quilt.
I'm squaring up my blocks to 12-1/2". With three more blocks to assemble, I will have a 5x7 layout and a good sized quilt.
I'm linking up with Leanne and Nicky for Scraptastic Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June Bee Blocks

For June I only had to sew for two bee mates, since I get to be on the receiving end in the Stitch Tease Bee. My blocks have been arriving and I m going to have a gorgeous array of intersection blocks to assemble soon.

For Bee Sewcial, Debbie asked for Mid-Century Modern blocks. My son, who is a mid-century fan, suggested using Breeze Brick as ispiration. I found this photo on Pinterest and tried to make two of the blocks. I used the middle, far right photo and also the bottom right to make these blocks.
The fans were a down-sized version of Latifah's Molehills pattern, made into a rectangle block.

Bee Sewcial blocks for Debbie

For Stash Sew-ciety, Lori asked us to make a block of her own design. This was a really fun block to make and Lori got to have 11 pattern testers. I think her colors and pattern work well together.

Stash Sewciety Bee block for Lori

Finding time to sew has been difficult lately. It seems all I have time or energy for is getting my monthly commitments of bee blocks finished. I am hoping a summer break and a little time away from the machine will bring new inspiration.

I hope your summer is off to a good start.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Annual Father's Day Post

It's become a tradition that I share the post I wrote 4 years ago about the fathers in my life, with a few updates.

This Father's Day I write this post not only to honor my father, but also the fathers I admire, who have touched my life. I am fortunate enough to know many men who are amazing fathers, the first of which was my own dad.
My dad was tough. He loved us and raised my brother and sister and I to be independent thinkers, as long as we thought his way! He loved and respected my mom and through him I learned how to choose a good man to be the father of my children. My dad died 10 years ago and I miss him more and more each year. I would love to have him see the intelligent, caring men our sons have become. I wish he could meet his great-grandchildren and see his grandsons in their role as parents and the successes they have had in their chosen careers.. I wish I had more photos of he and I when I was an adult. But here are some from my childhood. Thanks to my sister, who is scanning all mom's old photos, I am able to feature a few here.
Dick was my husband's father. A man who looked nothing like the big teddy bear that he was. He was a rough/tough steel worker but yet he was the grandfather who got down on the floor to play with our boys. He was a man who outlived two wives, raised my husband to be my Mr. Romance, and loved my cooking. I miss him. 

4 generations of first born sons
Father John
Father John was our parish priest who became a good family friend. He performed the marriage of Michael and Jenny, baptized three of their 4 children and came over often for dinner. We loved to hear his stories of travel before he became a priest and appreciated his wisdom and friendship. He died a few years ago and we still miss his wisdom and sense of humor.

Frank was my dad's best friend and confidant. He "got" my dad. They had the same politics and outlook on life. Our family did everything with Frank and Dollie and their sons. I have so many fond memories of Sunday dinners at their home.  I knew if I had a problem I could talk it through with Frank and he would explain my dad's point of view without the emotion I would get from my dad. I could complain to Frank and he understood my concerns because he understood my dad. I haven't seen Frank in a few years and need to make the effort to drive the 90 minutes it takes to go and see him. In recent years his health has declined to the point where he mostly sleeps. I still have not made the effort to go see him. It's selfish, but I want to remember him as the moody man of my youth.

Pat was also one of my dad's dearest friends. He and LaVonne have been my second parents. I love visiting them and even asked Pat to be "my dad" when so many of the dad's in my life had died. I try to visit him every year. He also lives a few hours drive from my home. This saying is so true, "old friends are the best friends". Can you believe these active seniors are in their 90's?  I remember riding my bike to their house to visit them on hot summer nights when I was a young teenager. They thought I was visiting them but I was really trying to get one of their sons to notice me, Ha! Ha!  I remember going  camping with their family at a Boy Scout Camp (how's that for beating the odds when you are a teenaged girl?). I think since they only had boys I learned a lot from Pat and LaVonne about how to be a mom in an all-boy family. I treasure their love, wisdom and friendship.

Last year (2014) it gave me great joy to present these influential friends with a quilt of their own, made by me.

Brent and Michael
Brent and Michael are our 2 oldest sons. They are such good dads. Michael was the first to give us a grandchild and Brent followed a few months later. They each have 4 children and are very involved dads. Their children love and respect them and I love seeing them as fathers. Usually we get them a sentimental card for Father's Day because we are in such awe of their parenting skills. But this year (2011) we got them a funny card. I'm sure most parents can relate when they think of their sons as little boys and then see them as fathers.

Michael, Jenny and family
photo by Diane Stanley

Brent, Molly and family
photo by Libby Jones

and finally my Mr. Romance...
I hit the jackpot and so did our boys!  I think one of the greatest compliments a person can receive is that they are a good parent. We recently had our friend remark that Paul is such an amazing father and wanted to know where he learned to be a good father. He had a good role model but I think it is more than that. He is such a kind and caring person who truly loves his boys and they love and respect him, too! I've always said the greatest gift a father can give his children is to love and respect their mother. So we all win. I have an amazing husband and our boys have a loving and caring father.



One of Paul's most recent favorite photos of us from 2012

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there.