Monday, January 31, 2011

so many projects, so little time

Trying to decide what project to start next I decided to pull out the materials for 3 projects and then make a decision. I grabbed the fabrics for 2 quilts and the yarn for one project and then made a decision.
should I use these awesome Country French prints from a few different lines by Moda?

Or maybe this kit called Madeline's Lemonade Stand
that I bought a few years ago?

or should I crochet some cozy slippers from this yummy wool yarn
by Manos de Uruguay?

I decided on the country French prints because I saw these instructions

  by Jamie at Sunflower quilts

Here are my blocks layed out and ready to sew together. I chose some really different borders that you'll just have to wait to see when I get it finished.And I named it Awesome Picnic Quilt because it's bigger than a lap quilt and reminds me of a picnic in the French countryside.
So I will post the finished quilt after I get it back from the quilter. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Makenzie's Garden Quilt

This quilt is a little out of order in my quilting history, but I wanted to enter a contest with it so I am posting about it now.
When my first grandchild was approaching her second birthday I couldn't decide what we should give her for a gift. I wanted to make it special, not just a random toy that she would outgrow or break in the future. I thought and thought and decided that I would make my grandchildren (the number keeps growing) a quilt for their second birthday. Something they would have well into their adult years and would remember me every time they saw it.
Well Makenzie and I love to play in the garden. I love teaching her about one of my passions and so it  seemed only natural to make her a quilt with bugs, flowers and vegetables and all sorts of gardening stuff on it. Here is the end result. The photo is slightly cropped, but you get the idea.

she's grown up so much since this was taken in 2004

her birthday party

I sort of got the idea for the randomly pieced squares from a quilt I saw at a shop in Brea, Ca. Then I added my own take on it with raw edge applique sunflowers, a picket fence and I even made little plant markers  from a fabric with seed packets printed on it.
I love this quilt, not only because I designed it but because it is big and snugly and Makenzie will always remember the fun we have in the garden each year whenever she sees it.
This is my love nest quilt entry. I love my grandchildren so much!

Gen X Quilters

Brain Overload

My brain these days feels like it is being overrun by too many ideas. There is so much out there that I want to learn. Since I started blogging for our vacation last summer, I have changed my blog from a vacation blog for my family and friends into a "random" blog of all the things that I do and love. My family, travel, quilting, scrapbooking, photography, cooking and baking have all been subjects on my blog, not to mention just your average everyday stuff that I feel like talking about.
But since I started my blog I have discovered so many other bloggers and now I realize how much I want to learn about blogging, quilting, PHOTOGRAPHY, crocheting, needle arts, cooking, much to learn and so few hours in the day.
There are so many bloggers who I am "stalking" these days, but special props to 
I spend about 2 hours each morning reading all the blog posts. I am learning so much, now I just need to put what I am learning to good use.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

check out Freckled Whimsy blog.

Check out this great blog and see what she is giving away this week.

Make your own font.

Just go to this link and follow the instructions. Use coupon code CPN2011FUN.
Have fun.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

National Handwriting Day

I just made this font for free. It’s my own handwriting. Pretty cool,  huh? You can make one too. Just follow these rules written below. Thanks to my sister, the ultimate blogger, consumer, for telling me about this!

Friday, January 21, 2011

another quilt in my repertoir

Just got home from Road to California...the annual, amazing quilt show that I attend. Now I am really feeling like a kindergarten quilter...some people are so amazingly talented. Quilts that you almost have to touch (but you are not allowed to touch) to see if they are pieced or applique or PAINTED! A*M*A*Z*I*N*G!!!
But this show is always inspirational. I went with my long time (we're talking 40+ years now) friend, Debi. She has been quilting way longer than me and she was completely mesmerized by the beauty and talent of the quilts on display. 
So here is the next quilt in my quilting history.
This quilt was made for our dear friends, the Buckleys, on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary (August 2003). I knew I wanted to make them a quilt as their gift and they had just bought  a house at the beach, so I wanted a marine theme and knew I would use shades of blue. This is called Storm at Sea. I saw it made up at a quilt store and fell in love with it. They were touched by our gift and it is always rewarding to give someone you love something that you have spent so many hours making.

This was the last quilt I made on my Viking sewing machine that I bought on layaway when I worked at Baron's Fabrics in Woodland Hills, California in 1971! I got 32 years out of that machine! I wish I had a photo of everything I ever made using it! What a treasure that would be now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Old friends, Dear friends...

Yesterday my mom, sister and I visited with some very dear friends for the day. My parents met Pat and LaVonne in 1955, shortly after we had relocated to California from Pennsylvania. The parents became fast friends and  we "kids" did too. Here we are 55+ years later, we're now grandparents and we are still friends. We had such a great time catching up with them and sharing our updated lives, talking religion, politics and everything in between. Of course, there were photos and videos to show off the kids and grandkids, funny stories to tell and gifts to share. All this while eating a yummy lunch and dinner, too. We live about 100 miles from each other but in Southern California, that is a 2-3 hour drive, so we don't see each other often enough.
Here are a few photos of the day.
slippers I crocheted for Pat

looking good for almost 90 years old and married 68 years!

Cheryl and Steven

old friends, dear friends
beautiful day in Ventura

grandmothers plate given to me by LaVonne

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Evan's Quilt

In May of 2003 I signed up for another class at Material Possessions. The method used to make this stack and whack quilt sounded so odd to me I had to try it. Now it seems so simple. But at the time it was something new and foreign to me. The blue, green and purple fat quarters were fun to work with and created a nice palette. I used black for the sashing and borders. My son, Evan, liked the design and uses his snuggle quilt often. I must say, Susie Peterson did a great job machine quilting this for me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011 The first week

The first week of the new year has come and gone. We started it in Arizona, ending our visit with our eldest son and his beautiful family.

 Just a relaxing few days playing with the grandkids.

Next, I started my quest to learn to crochet and I made two pairs of Granny Square slippers. Now I will look for a new project to learn to crochet. I will probably look to one of my favorite websites to find an idea to follow.

I also tried a new recipe this week that I found on another blog/website. Her recipe for Chard and White Bean Stew topped with a poached egg was just what we needed for a chilly winter dinner. It was quick, easy and delicious.

We ended the week with my nephew announcing his engagement to the lovely, Jessa. What was supposed to be a family game night of Balderdash, became a true celebration of new beginnings for Chris and Jessa.  So I decided to make a flower arrangement

 and we toasted the bride and groom to be. 
Then had a rousing game of Balderdash, complete with hysterical laughing and plenty of silly jokes.

The mask is used for hiding your face to keep people from seeing you laugh while reading their answer. Jenny and Julia just cannot keep a "Poker Face".

Evan needs the mask too.

Sis, (Geri) thought she would see if it helps the laughing. But it only makes us laugh more.

 We ended with a "white Elephant" grab bag of gifts. There were a few real gifts in the mix, one being the red, blue and grey slippers I made this week. The lucky winner was my daughter-in-law, Jenny.

We also had to take some funny photos using enhanced digital photography.

Next week I hope to have another project to post. My sewing machine is in for it's annual tune-up. Should get it back on Wednesday.
Finally, we got to see our friend's son on stage in the National touring Company of HAIR at the Pantages Theatre. What a thrill to see the little boy you watched grow up living his dream to perform and sing on stage. So proud of Marshal. But it was even more fun to watch his parents watch him...sharing in their pride!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Learning to Crochet

A few months ago while blog hopping I discovered a link to a site that made me want to learn to crochet. I fell in love with the granny square slippers and knew that I would give it a try after the new year started. So, on January 3 I headed to one of my  local quilt stores that also carries yarn and crochet and knitting supplies. I found some wool yarn, like the instructions suggested, and it was on sale!  I stayed up until 11:30 pm.  on Monday night teaching myself how to crochet. Thank goodness for Youtube and the internet. I learned a lot in those 4 hours. I must have ripped out the first square at least 4 or 5 times.  My first pair of slippers has so many places where I made mistakes and retied the yarn...but it was a learning lesson, for sure. I'm so glad I made the effort to follow through and learn this lovely needle art. The next day I carried my crocheting with me on my errands and whenever I had a minute between appointments I sat in the car and got a square started or completed. Each pair of slippers is made up of 12 granny squares. Tuesday night I stayed up really late again learning how to sew the squares together.So here is my first crochet project. I have already started the second pair!

Tah Dah!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cat Lovers Quilt

For my sixth quilt I discovered this pattern at Tall Mouse. I bought it not knowing what "paper piecing" meant. I bought all the fabric fat quarters and made the paper copies of all the cats. Then what do I do? I had no idea where to start, so I took the instructions and some fabric to my local quilt store, where Kay explained to me how to maneuver the fabrics and pattern. The end result, I think, was my best effort to date. Now, what do I do with a cat quilt, I don't even like cats! My new friend, Tzippy, was celebrating a very special # birthday, April 9, 2003. She loves cats and she had become such a special friend, I decided to gift her with this quilt. She was totally bowled over with gratitude and still sends me a thank you note every that is gratitude! A few months later Tzippy said she loved her quilt so much that she wanted to use it as a bedspread on her bed but could I make it a little bigger? So we went to the fabric store, found some coordinating fabric and added two 14' strips to the side to make it a queen-sized bedspread.
This quilt was the most labor intensive to date and it was so worth it for the pleasure it brings to my friend.
The faces and whiskers are hand embroidered.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A collage of my 2010 projects

Yesterday I read a fellow bloggers post. She had made a collage of all her projects for 2010. Wow! What a great idea. I suggested to my sister that she do the same. She created a beautiful collage called "faces" of some of her favorite art work. My husband suggested I do the same. But, I said, "I didn't make that many things this year".  Looking back, I made a wonderful assortment of creations, from baking projects, to quilts, to canning, to floral arrangements, to growing a delicious array of flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables in my garden. I also made new friends through Couchsurfing and through blogging. Here is my collage, which doesn't even include the 40-50 scrapbook pages that I created this year, too. I guess I was quite productive after all.