Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Life is Just a Bowl of...

Strawberries!!!
That's right, I said, "Strawberries", not cherries!
We live in Orange County, where you can't drive more than a mile or two without passing a farm stand selling freshly picked strawberries.
The fields are lush and bursting with bright red berries.

There are advertisements and signs on every corner.


Manassero  Farms has fields all over the county.
I'll often stop at this stand and buy three baskets for $10.
I remember when I was a child  and the cost went up to $1.50 for three baskets,
 my parents thought that was outrageous!
You can buy them by the flat or the half-flat, too.
Don't they look delicious? 
We are so lucky to be able to have fresh strawberries from the middle of January until well into August.
I am so spoiled, I won't eat a strawberry unless I know it has not been refrigerated
and it comes from a local field.
But this is a post about a quilt.
This is Strawberry Fields Picnic Quilt.
 It is made from Moda fabrics designed by Joanna Figueroa.
I think they have a vintage look to them because of the soft, feminine colors.

It is the first quilt I pieced and quilted completely on my new machine.
It went together really fast because it is made with charm squares 
and some yardage for the borders and binding.
It was a breeze to maneuver it through the longer arm of the Bernina 820.
I quilted the large center square section with diagonal lines that intersect
and then quilted wavy lines up and down the sides and across the top and bottom.
I just love how it looks now that it has been washed and has all the puckers and softness 
ready to be snuggled under.
The official first quilt finish of 2012!

For the backing I used a few of the remaining charm squares and a print from Bonnie and Camille's Ruby line. I added one of my custom labels in the row, too.
The colors matched perfectly.
This quilt is a generous lap sized quilt measuring 68 inches square.


And this is the recipient of the quilt, my friend, Mim.





It is a thank you gift for her many years of friendship.
I am in Gig Harbor, Washington,  right now, staying at her lovely home.
We are having a girl's scrapbook retreat, an annual event.
Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Modern Mini-Quilt Challenge




I gave you all a mini hint that my friend , Jennifer, has dreamed up a brilliant mini-quilt challenge.
I am so excited that she asked me to host one of the days of the blog hop. 
My day is February 16th. That's a very special day for me, it's #2 son's 35th birthday.
I'm not really old enough to have a child that age, let alone one even older than that, but anyway...
back to the mini-quilt challenge.
Get your thinking caps on because there are some great prizes to be had.


Modern Mini Challenge

Starting next week there will be a blog hop with some big name bloggers leading the pack and sharing their mini-quilt ideas with you. I am honored to be chosen by Jennifer to host one day.



Here are the all important dates:








 Each of these bloggers will be sharing their ideas on making a mini.
I still can't believe my name is in that list.

February 6- March 9 Start sewing and get a mini completed.   
Enter the contest March 5-9! 

Link up to Ellison Lane Quilts



 A mini quilt is a great idea to try something new, test out that special fabric without cutting into the whole precious stack of drool-worthy fabrics, or throw caution to the wind and go completely outside your comfort zone.


The Modern Mini Challenge is generously sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop.









The five winners:

James’ choice (Jen's lovely husband will pick a winner)

Viewer’s choice Mug Rugs

Viewer’s choice Mini Quilts 

(mug rugs and mini quilts- the viewers choose from a selection chosen by a panel of judges) 

Luck of the Draw (Random Number Generator chooses 2 winners)

There are some amazing prizes, too!

Prizes: 

Both Viewer’s Choice Winners will receive a fat quarter bundle of the FULL LINE of Flea Market Fancy reprint by Denyse Schmidt.

photo courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop








James’ Choice Winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop


Both Luck of the Draw Winners will receive a $75 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop

See, I said there are some amazing prizes!




Contest Requirements: 
1. Create a modern mini quilt or mug rug - only one entry per person 

2. Enter your mini quilt or mug rug in the linky party at Ellison Lane Quilts on Monday, March 5.  

You do NOT have to have a blog to enter. You may link a picture from your Flickr account. 

3. Your entry (blog post or Flickr description) should include the size of the item.

4. Don't forget to grab a button for your blog.

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quilt Chronicles, Brooklyn's Quilt

I haven't done a quilt chronicles update in a very long time.
This baby quilt was made for my best friends' first grandchild.
I can't believe we will be going to his 4th birthday party next weekend.
The nursery was planned to be light blue, dark blue and white so I made this pinwheel quilt
and added some nine patch squares with a cute little duck print. 
 The little button print seemed to be fit for a baby boy.
I love the swirly quilting the long arm quilter did for me.
I like making labels on the computer and printing them on printable fabric with the ink jet printer.
They seem to hold up nicely in the wash, too.
 Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 Week 4

As the first month of the year comes to a close
I can officially count January 2012 as a success.
I finished my zippered bag for the Mouthy Stitches swap.
I have received positive feedback from my secret partner. 
She doesn't know this is for her but she did say she likes it, so I am happy about that.
I will share more photos of the inside and the back when I am ready to send it to her, 
filled with scraps of fabric.

Do you remember this quilt that I worked on last year?
It's the Rockin Robin QAL quilt.
I made the binding and attached it by machine this week.
All I have to do now is sew it down on the back.
I thought I was unhappy with the quilting
but when I see it in this photo, it's growing on me.
Cujo seems to like it, too.
My friend, Jennifer, has a special announcement on her blog tomorrow.
You'll want to check it out.
She has secured some great prizes for a Modern Mini Quilt Challenge.
Modern Mini Challenge
Jennifer and I have bonded over a lot of things, not just quilting.
Our latest passion is watching Downton Abbey.
We are both a little late to the game on this Masterpiece Theatre series running on PBS.
It has everything I love in a series,
historical fiction, beautiful people, costumes and scenery, scandal and passion.
It is an early 20th century "Peyton Place".
If you haven't watched it, search for it on Netflix. I bought season 1 on iTunes 
and have already watched all 7 episodes, twice.
Now I am catching up with season 2 on the computer.
It runs live on Sunday evenings on your PBS station.
This is just another thing to add to my new found love of all things British.
So back to Jennifer's mini-quilt challenge.
She's asked me to be a stop on her blog tour.
So I'll be telling you more about this next week.
Meanwhile, I've been watching Downton Abbey as I worked on a mini.
Heck yeah, I am going to submit an entry, too.
Do you recognize the fabrics?
I'm using some of my Stitch in Color to make a Malka style mini.
There won't be any sewing for me next week.
My friend, Monika, and I are going on our annual girls' trip to Gig Harbor, Washington,
where we will work on getting our scrapbooks up to date,
between drinking wine, eating and laughing.
We stay with our friend, Mim,  who used to be in our scrapbook group here in California.
We stay in her beautiful home where we are spoiled by having our own suites.
Her home is in a lovely neighborhood and we are surrounded by tall trees and beautiful skies.
We are excited to go somewhere cold and wear our cute winter clothes
and have some rain.
This will be my first time to only work digitally while we are on this little "retreat".
That's good for me, I'll only have to take one suitcase.
Have a great week!


Thanks for stopping by,

"di"
Linking with Megan today.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Friday, January 27, 2012

Be Careful Not to Twist Stitches

Most people, when they are learning to knit, pay attention to the instructions. Not me, I learned the basic knitting stitches as a child and am re-learning all over again. I made one honey cowl and decided to make another, longer version, with a bunch of leftover
Manos del Uruguay yarn.
I had all sorts of colors from when I made a bunch of slippers last year.

So I decided to practice the pattern a little more and make a nice, cozy wool cowl.
It's 79'F here today, so a wool cowl is not really what I need, but I am going somewhere cold next week, 
so I hope to wear it there.
So half-way through the making of this cowl I noticed it seemed a bit twisted.
Duh! That's what the pattern meant when it said,
"Be careful not to twist stitches".
Well, I sure wasn't going to rip out the whole thing so I just kept knitting.
Here's is the final result.
A cowl that is not twisted once, but twice!
But, you know what? I rather like it. 
Once you put it on and wrap it around to keep your neck warm, 
no one can tell that it is made wrong.

I love the colors all together. 
So allow me to introduce to you
THE TWISTED COWL
pattern available upon request
Just kidding.





Thanks for stopping by,

"di"
linking up with Amy.




and Sew Happy Geek


Sew Happy Geek

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Stitching Check-in

A while ago I linked up with Sarah FairyFace Designs to say what my plans for my Winter Stitching would be. Being accountable, this is my mid-winter accountability post. Although by my calendar mid-winter isn't until February 4th.
So here is my list, in no particular order:
1. Finish binding my Across the Seas QAL and mail it to my sister-in-law. Natasha received and loves her quilt. She has completed her 3rd of 4 rounds of chemo and will be so glad when it is all over.
2. Make a mini quilt for my secret partner in the Post Sewing Summit Swap. I made my first ever mini-quilt. It was well received.

3. Make a block with the beebolt fabrics we were given at Sewing Summit. The blocks will be made into a charity quilt and displayed at the Summit next year. Done

4. Refashion our Sewing Summit canvas bag into another bag for a contest on Flickr. Just blogged about this here. Not only did I finish this project but I won the competition!
5. Make a practice block and choose fabrics for my month (January) as queen in the NewBee on the Block bee. I want to make a "X and +" quilt like this one. I am becoming a bit of a Leila fan. I love everything she makes! I mailed out fabrics in December and have already started receiving some finished blocks in the mail. This deserves a separate post when they are all received.
photo from Where the Orchids Grow

6. Finish my Swoon quilt. I have 3 blocks finished, 6 more to go.  Katy I'm a Ginger Monkey started a QAL on Flickr and she has 600 members. This was just the incentive I needed to get back to this quilt. I have made 2 more blocks.How cool is it that there are 600 people all over the world making the same quilt at the same time?




7. Finish Baby Carrot's quilt. She's due in a month. Harper Nowak was born 11-11-11. The quilt was mailed off a week or two after she was born.

8. Make Drunkard's Path quilt following along with Kate's QAL. NOPE, didn't get to this.
9. Keep up with the New Bee on the Block bee. I'm the queen this month, so no sewing for me.
10. Make 3x6 bee blocks for the new quarter. Finished and mailed last week.

11. And let's not forget all the sewing projects I will be adding at the last minute for Christmas gifts. Lots of pouches, purses and little clutches. I ended up making something small for everyone on our Christmas list. 
Winter Sewing Round-up...I give myself a pat on the back.
I have joined several swaps, QAL and agreed to participate in 2 blog hops in the next month. I'm going to be a busy gal. Throw in a girl's trip getaway and a visit to our son in Arizona and February is already gone!


Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Last 24 Hours

The last 24 hours have been so fun. First, after waiting about 6 weeks, I found out that I won the refashioned bag competition. Do you remember this bag? I blogged about it here.
I won a $50 Gift Certificate to spend at Fat Quarter shop. That won't be hard to do. 
Thank you to everyone that voted for me and thanks to Sewing Summit for the challenge.

This morning when checking Flickr I saw that Ayumi posted the photos she took of the 2012 Partnership Quilts at the Tokyo International Quilt Festival. I blogged about my contribution here and here. This was the block that I sent. I was happy with it but wish that I would have done a better block.
But when I saw it sewn into this quilt I got chills. All those beautiful house blocks and mine is among them. I am so happy and honored!
photo courtesy of Ayumi
photo courtesy of Ayumi
You can see more 2012 Partnership Quilts here on the Flickr site.
Thanks for stopping by,

"di"