Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making Progress

Go ahead, count 'em. That's 54 hexie flowers all made and ready to go; only 20 more to go. All the fabrics are cut for the remaining flowers and I have started basting them. I am hoping to start sewing the flowers in rows next week.


I haven't even begun to think about what fabric I will be using for the background of this quilt. Maybe after I get a few rows sewn together I'll start auditioning background fabrics. 

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy Mail and Decisions to Make

Yesterday, I received this lovely stack of fabric from Intrepid Thread. 
I was the lucky winner of a giveaway a few weeks ago, so it is possible to win.

Star Flakes and Glitter by Tina Givens is a really fun Christmas collection. What shall I make?

Intrepid Thread has the absolute B.E.S.T. prices on any fabric as long as you are willing to wait a few extra weeks to get the new lines coming out. It's not that Julie takes her time sending the fabric. In fact, she is just the opposite and has the best customer service. She tells me because she is a smaller vendor she doesn't get the fabric as early as the larger vendor. So you make the choice...do you want to be the first to have a new fabric or do you want more money to buy more fabric? I know what my answer is...

That being said, I am crushing hard on several new lines in Julie's shop and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Bella by Lotta Jansdotter. But I am also thinking about these lines, too.

Chicopee

Indie

Lily Belle

Help me please. Somebody find me an endless source of CA$H $$$

All photos are from The Intrepid Thread shop.



Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Monday, August 27, 2012

100 Quilts for Kids


Last summer I quilted along with Jennifer and Sarah in the Across the Seas QAL and I made this quilt.

I tried to make a different backing than described in the instructions and ended up with this (U)n (F)inished (O)bject. It just had no character or flow so I folded it up and hoped that some day an idea would come to me. 



Flash forward to this summer when I read Katie's 100 Quilts for Kids post.  I knew I wanted to participate this year since last year I had to drop out due to my mom's injury. 
I found what remained of the Kate Spain Terrain layer cake and cut it up into 5" squares and made some disappearing 9 patch blocks. Then I cut up the already pieced quilt back that I had stashed away in the closet. 
I sewed them all together and ended up with this.


It's a large lap sized quilt, measuring 60"x67". I think it will make a teenage girl very happy with all the pretty pinks, greens and purples in the fabrics.


The backing is one of the Kate Spain prints from the Terrain line with a pieced stripe of what remained of the layer cake.
I used Brigitte's perfect teal print from Juggling Summer as the binding. It is the perfect color and compliment for these fabrics.

I quilted it using my untrained free-motion design. It's just a bunch of squiggles and as long as you don't look too close, it looks ok. But after a run through the washer and dryer it is all crinkly and cozy and I hope whomever receives it will be happy.


I'll be donating this one to the cancer ward at the Orange County Children's Hospital.
Thanks, Katie, for hosting this project and encouraging me to get involved.

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Sunday, August 26, 2012

This Week in 2012, Week 34

The highlight of this week was meeting and hosting two young attorneys from Poland. We are members of Couchsurfing, so when they asked on Monday if they could arrive on Wednesday, we jumped at the chance to host these women from Krakow, where we had just visited. They were bright, considerate and lovely to talk with. We only wish we would have met them a few months ago, BEFORE we visited their homeland.
We enjoyed taking them to one of our favorite restaurants in Laguna Beach before going to see the Pageant of the Masters.


We walked on the boardwalk in Laguna after dinner before the show started.


They really liked the Pageant and if you have never been to this show it is truly amazing. Painting, sculpture and other art forms are re-created using real people and it is hard to imagine but you would swear you are looking at the artwork and not real people. If you are ever in Laguna Beach, California in July-August, make it a must see.
We also had a nice, relaxing dinner on our patio on a beautiful evening.

Our garden harvest is dwindling down to the last of the tomatoes and most everything else is finished except the carrots.


I made this drawstring bag for our granddaughter's birthday and added a few sewing tools to start her off with own sewing kit. 

I also worked on Helen's block for our Stitch Tease Bee. It's a secret so I can only show you this sneaky peak. Helen wanted wonky stars in bright colors with Kona Ash as the background.



If you haven't already left a comment to try and win this stack of Fat Quarters, you can do so on this post. I will draw a winner on September 1, 2012.



Here is my favorite iphone photo that I took this week using ProCamera and manipulated with the Kyoobik app.


I have decided that September is going to be the month that I learn to free motion quilt, so please help keep me accountable. I really want to learn to do a better job on finishing my quilts. I am going to use the exercises in Angela's book. 


Have you set any goals for September?


Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Giveaway for MyTwo Year Blog Anniversary

Two years of blogging have come and gone in a blink of an eye. I started this blog as a travel journal in August of 2010 and it has evolved to include all these topics and more.

bees 
friends
quilt-alongs
food
canning
swaps
gifts
challenges
quilts
bags
grandchildren
fabric
gardening
photography
family
recipes
travel
contests

In looking back over some of the projects I have shared in the last two years, these are among my favorites.


1. DSC_0102, 2. edens outfit, 3. Bloom/Sunflowers, 4. 3rd quarter bee blocks, 5. Circle me back to Amsterdam quilt, 6. Little Apples ensemble, 7. refashioned swag bag.after side 2, 8. post sewing summit swap, 9. Hexagon Park, 10. side 1, 11. framed clutch, 12. Made in Cherry QAL



  1. Almost finished, 2. Rockin Robin quilt, 3. Simple Clutch, 4. Retro Flower QAL, 5. Fabric nesting bowls, 6. 241 tote and matching wallet, 7. Patchwork Chevron Quilt, 8. tomatoes, 9. Sunflower, 10. an Heirloom Swoon Quilt, 11. disappearing nine patch pillow, 12. momma's got a brand new bag

Through all this blogging I think the best part has been the friends I have made and the techniques I have learned.  I was fortunate to have met several people last year at Sewing Summit and look forward to meeting even more blogging buddies at this year's Sewing Summit. 
I have also been able to meet a few of my blogging friends in person, one on one, from as far away as Germany and the Czech Republic and in my own part of the country, one state away in Arizona.
One of the friends I have made is Julie from The Intrepid Thread

Do you buy your fabric from Julie? If you don't you are missing out on fantastic customer service and unbelievable prices. Julie always sends a hand written note with your purchase and really makes buying fabric easy and quick.
In honor of my two year blog anniversary Julie has generously donated a Fat Quarter bundle of the much anticipated Indie by Pat Bravo in the Sunlight Bazaar colorway. That's 10 fat quarters, enough to make some lovely projects.

So because I love my readers so much I am going to give you four chances to win. Remember if you are a no-reply commenter, you must leave a valid email address in your comment

1. For one chance leave me a comment telling me why you blog.
2. For a second chance follow my blog or tell me you already do.
3. For a third chance check out the Intrepid Thread shop and tell me what you want to buy next.
4. And for a fourth chance blog, tweet or Facebook about this giveaway and come back and tell me you did.

I try to always reply to comments, but because I am anticipating  300+ comments, please forgive me if I do not reply. I will read all your comments, promise. Thank you! I will draw a winner on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 9 am California time.

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Double Digits

Our eldest grandchild hit double digits earlier this week. I have been writing a lot about Makenzie lately because we have been spending Mondays together teaching her to sew.
On Sunday, we celebrated with family and birthday cake. The perfect birthday celebration.



Then on Monday, Makenzie started making her disappearing 9 patch quilt. She was able to finish 3 squares and she is becoming a natural seamstress.



Since she is doing so well with her sewing lessons, we decided she needed a little sewing kit of her own. So in addition to the birthstone earrings we gave her for her newly pierced ears, I decided to give her the cathedral windows pin cushion that I made last week.  

I made another one of Jeni's lined drawstring bags, and added the pockets using Terri's tutorial. We added some flat head pins and sharp, small scissors and she is on her way to having a portable sewing bag to bring on our Mondays together.

Today she had about 20 of her closest friends and local cousins to her house for a swim party.
Happy Birthday, Makenzie.

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Monday, August 20, 2012

WinterKist Blog Hop



Welcome to my stop on the WinterKist blog hop. If this is your first time visiting my blog, I hope you will enjoy what you see and come back to visit often. Thanks to Katie for organizing this wonderful hop and inviting me to join. I am very honored to be included in this hop and to be able to work with these wonderful, new Lecien fabrics designed by Monica Solorio-Snow, The Happy Zombie

I have made this trio of coordinating Home Dec accessories with the fabric. I am so glad Katie sent me this color scheme. I just love the white, greys and black with it's pops of raspberry and pink! Be sure to check out the other posts to see all the colors available in this fabric.




I made another of Nova's wonderful nesting fabric bowls. I loosely followed the pattern for the 7" size bowl. It is a good sized bowl that I can use for bread or rolls on my Christmas buffet. 



I think it looks great combined with Essex Linen in the putty color and top-stitched with a heavier weight thread in raspberry.


I knew I wanted to make two pillows and so I decided to make two patterns I have never made before. Can you believe I have never made a disappearing 9 patch block?  It's a beginner's block, right? Who knew it would look so great in these fabrics? The only fabric I added to this range was the grey polka dot. Then the Gnome found a perfect home in the corner of this 20" pillow. I quilted it in a simple grid with stitch lines about 3/4" of an inch apart. 

The other block that I have never made is a Dresden plate. This one was so easy, too, using the Dresden plate ruler. I asked my friend, Susan Canadian Abroad for ideas on how to hand quilt it. In the end, I got lazy and just did some echo quilting with the sewing machine, following the lines of the Dresden plate. I wish I would have listened to Susan because I am not as fond of this pillow as the other. This one is also 20".


So there you have it. My little trio of WinterKist Home Dec accessories.

Now here's the good part for you, my lovely readers. Just leave a comment and you will have a chance to win a Fat Quarter bundle of fabric of your choice donated from the Fat Quarter Shop. A winner will be drawn from all comments from the 5 blog posts of this week's WinterKist blog hop.  Katey will pick a winner on Friday night. Be sure to leave your email address if you are a no-reply commenter.

Be sure to check out the rest of the posts this week for more chances to win and to see the other projects created with this fabric.

Aug 6  Katie at There & Back
Aug 7  Rachael at imagine gnats
Aug 8  Jennie at Clover & Violet
Aug 9  Courtney at mon petit lyons
Aug 10  Sara at Sew Sweetness

Aug 13  Bianca at Sweet Diesel Designs
Aug 14  Chelsea at Pins & Bobbins
Aug 15  Rebecca at Sew Festive Handmade
Aug 16  Diane at from blank pages
Aug 17  Allegory at {sew} Allegorical

Aug 20  Kim at My Go-Go Life
Aug 21 Di at Random Thoughts...do or "di"
Aug 22 Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts
Aug 23 Jenelle at Echinops & Aster
Aug 24  Katie at There & Back 

Thanks for stopping by,

"di"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

This Week in 2012, Week 33

As you read this post we are enjoying an after wedding brunch in Portland, Oregon, where we have witnessed the marriage of our friend's youngest daughter. I'm sure I will have more to tell you after we get home. This is our first trip to Portland.
I have 40 hexagon flowers finished. I have taken this project with me to work on in the plane. English Paper Piecing is such a great travel project to carry with you. I have worked on this project at the doctor's office, the hair dresser and traveling on a train through Europe. This quilt will be well traveled by the time it is finished.

Earlier in the week I saw this huge dragon fly at my son's home. It had been clinging to the wall for hours, so we thought it was dead. But when I touched it, it flew and we all screamed and dodged it so as not to let it in the house.



My favorite Instagram photo this week is this one I snapped of our one and only sunflower this season. I don't know why they just did not do well in our yard this summer. I took the photo with my ProCamera app on the iphone and then enhanced it with the ColorVu app. 



We've been getting lots of figs from our fig tree this week so I dried some in the oven and then froze them. Here are the before and after photos. They are like giant raisins and taste great as a snack or served with a cheese board. Sometimes I add them when I am making a roast pork dish.
They are super easy to make. Just cut the figs in half, lay them on a tray and roast over night in a slow  (120-130'F) overnight.
 Our tomato harvest is dwindling down and I am working on a Tomato Tasting 101 post. It's more for my benefit so I will know which ones to plant again next year. 
But, my harvest is nothing compared to this haul pictured below. My son sent me these photos of one day's tomato harvest from the restaurant's farm. I want to try planting some of those black ones next year.


I also got in a day of scrapbooking with friends this week. I managed to make 5 more pages to add to our 2009 vacation album. These photos were taken on the Istrian peninsula in Croatia.









Thanks for stopping by,

"di"