Sunday, June 30, 2013

Finish-A-Long Q2...the results

When I made this list I knew I was being way too ambitious, but I did manage to finish 4 of the 9 quilts on this list.

she can quilt

1. Siblings Together quilt. If you don't know about this project you can read about it here.
My inspiration for this quilt came from this book.

I need to baste, quilt and bind it before it can be shipped off to England.

Siblings Together Quilt
2. Flower Girl: I have starched all fat quarters and begun to cut all the pieces for another Flower Girl Quilt. This will be a quilt for my granddaughter, to match the one I made earlier in the year for her sister.

Flower Girl Quilt

3. Over a year ago I sent off this starter block to my bee mates in the Stitch Tease Bee. I hadn't seen what has been added to it until today when it arrived as the most touching quilt top. I will finish it in time to take to FQ Retreat, I promise. I will also write a separate post about my fabulous quilt, we are just waiting for one more person to receive hers.
Stitch Tease Strip

Wordy Friends Quilt
4. Hexie MF: This one is a hopeful finish. Since this quilt is completely hand-pieced, I want to hand quilt it too. I still need to add the stems and a few more hexie flowers to it before I can even begin thinking about that. Wish me luck on this finish.
This is still in the work in progress pile

5.Flying Geese: I am obsessed with flying geese right now so I chose them in any size or configuration for my month in the Modern Stitching Bee. Providing I receive all my blocks from the members, I hope to arrange and finish this quilt, too.
I did receive all the blocks but all I did was take these blocks out, look at them,play with an arrangement and put them back. This is at the top of my list for the third quarter.

6. The Medallion-Along has slipped to the bottom of my priority list, although I love this quilt and it will be for me, there is no rush to finish, but I am hopeful.
No progress! I hope to get to this soon. 

7. I forgot the things from last quarter's list that went unfinished. Two Giant Star quilts made with my Fat Quarter bundle of Indie prints. This one with a teal background.

Finished and donated to Oklahoma Tornado relief.

Indie Star Quilt

8. The other with a grey linen background.
No Progress!

9. And let's not forget the quilt top I made with all the leftover squares of Indie set in a background of Kona Coal and surrounded by Summerville Weave in Coal.
Another one with No Progress!

Well, 4 quilts finished is an accomplishment. I know now not to make such an ambitious list for next quarter.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Getting Ready for Fat Quarterly Retreat

I have to say the whole reason I chose to go to the Fat Quarterly Retreat is to meet "my girls". That's what I call all my blogging buddies and quilting bee friends. I am giddy with excitement to meet these European and UK friends in person and Fat Quarterly Retreat is the place to do it.

So this is me, you can call me "di". Please say hello when you see me. I am kind of shy until you get to know me and then I love to talk, talk, talk. I am looking forward to laughing, chatting and getting to know everyone a little better.

I live in California where I love to garden when I am not sewing.

Some of my favorite projects that I have completed recently are pictured here. I have a lot of time to sew now that we are empty nesters and so I am gradually getting my sewing studio organized and decorated too.

Mr. Romance and I are going on a cruise before we arrive in London, so you might be spotting him too. He will be hanging out with Mr. Quiltova and taking the manly (pub) tour of London while I am at the retreat.

When I signed up for my classes I had my fingers crossed that I would get to use a spare machine, since I won't be bringing mine with me. But just in case I don't get a machine I have chosen most of the classes accordingly.

The classes I have are:
Crochet with LauraJane
Machine Quilting with Trudi
Photography with Judith
Blog Design with John

We are staying at a B&B with a few others and looking forward to a delicious dinner at an Indian Restaurant called Tamarind.

I am most looking forward to meeting everyone and learning from each of the teachers that have been so carefully chosen for each class.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sew Sew Modern Swap

My new friends, Lee and Karen have put together a fantastic swap. This is actually the third round for this swap but the first time I am joining it.
I met Lee and Karen at the Sew South Retreat and they are seriously talented.  I can't wait to see who joins this swap and who my secret partner will be.
I have put together an inspiration mosaic full of beautiful creations by quilters that I admire.
sew sew modern mosaic

To say that I am a little in awe of all the beautiful creations in this mosaic would be an understatement. This should give my partner a good idea of the things I love but never make for myself.
1. The quilting close up., 2. PTS10 RECEIVED!!!, 3. Cross Block Pillow, 4. Pillow Talk 10 Front, 5. #freshminiquiltclub march 2013 using @artgalleryfabrics pure elements, 6. Starter block for circle 7 traveling quilt bee. This with the solids herringbone piece will be going to @lrstitched next!, 7. Sorry you all. It's mine!, 8. Mother's Day Crafting, 9. potholders, 10. Fabric Shelf Block for Amber!, 11. Patchwork Bag for Kerry ;), 12. finished, 13. Christmas Tree Skirt, 14. FLQS- Birds Fly Over the Rainbow, 15. Hourglass block: Travel tote, 16. Fresh Mini Quilt Club | April 2013 (take two)

The sign-ups are open until July 5 and the mailing date isn't until mid-September, so this is a good time frame for me. Let the Flickr stalking begin!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Harvest 2013

We planted our garden in mid-March...a few weeks early for us. We are really glad that we did because we are reaping the benefits of an early harvest and the timing is just right for our vacation plans. This way most of the work is done before we leave and the various family members, who will be staying at our house while we are gone, won't have a lot to do to keep it maintained.

Every few days I go out and pick whatever is ready.
It can be as small as a few zucchini, one peach and a pint of blueberries...

A handful of green beans and a couple of tomatoes, and more blueberries...

Or a whole basket of treasures including rhubarb, tomatoes, patty pan squash, white dumpling peaches, several zucchini and artichokes.

This day there were a few eggplant and radishes along with the blueberries, green beans, zucchini and tomatoes.

Sometimes there's just one perfect squash...

or a lone Armenian Cucumber...

or some French Breakfast radishes.

I can always be guaranteed a good harvest of tomatoes. I just love planting heirloom varieties and to see all the colors and shapes growing in the garden.
My favorite days are when I get a big basketful of lots of different, delicious fruits and vegetables.

This week I used about 8 pounds of tomatoes and basil from the garden and combined it with some purchased onions, leeks, garlic and carrots and made some tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce is one of those questionable safety in canning issues, so just to be sure, after a boiling water bath to seal the jars I will be storing them in the freezer.

There is nothing better than a fresh tomato sandwich on homemade sourdough bread. This has been my go to lunch all week.

With the mountain of zucchini that I have been picking I have made Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread and muffins. The freezer is full right now.

I've recently planted more green beans and the butternut squash are almost ready for picking. When summer is over we have big plans to expand our garden area. There is just something so gratifying about growing your own food.
As the nursery rhyme goes...
Mary, Mary, quite does your garden grow?
My answer to that would be, "Quite splendidly, thank you"!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fat Quarter Retreat Name Tag

Now that my partner has received her name tag I can post about it here. My partner is Ruth, whose Flickr name is  Two Hip Hippos. I came up with this little embroidery. I hope she likes it.

I hope my name tag arrives before we leave for vacation. Otherwise, I will be using my name tag I made for myself for other retreats.

Sewing Summit name tag

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Refashioned Skirt

I was cleaning out my closet and pulled out this skirt. It's a white linen skirt with pintucks around the waist and some inset lace near the hem. It's always been too big and just not that cute. I could never find the right top to wear with it and now that I have lost weight, since this photo was taken, I can no longer wear it.

I was trying to figure out how I could refashion it into something else.

And then I had a brainstorm while my granddaughter was having a sleep over at our house.
I cut off almost half the skirt and then used the inset lace at the bottom to make some straps.
I took it over to my son's house for a fitting, to get the straps placed just right.

It still needs a few tweaks, but I think she's pretty happy with the dress.
It's so much cuter on our granddaughter than it was on me.
Now to attach the straps and it's finished.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mixer Cozy, Patchwork Please Inspired

I am picking and choosing the projects from the Patchwork Please book to those I think I will use. The tea cozy is so cute but I don't even own a teapot so I thought why not take that idea and make a mixer cozy?

I got to thinking about this when I awoke this morning. I quickly drew out some letters to spell M*I*X so I could paper piece them. The M gave me a little trouble, but it is ok for this time. If I were to make another, I would work a little harder at it. I made the letters 5" square, but after piecing the M a few times it turned out a bit narrower.

It was fun to just make it as scrappy as possible, trying to keep Ayumi's style in mind.

I added a few squares from a Kumiko Fujita panel on either side of the word and then some text print to make the word panel wide enough. I then sewed a piece of linen to the panel and made a quilt sandwich with Thermolam Plus and this Monaluna print from the Metro Cafe line for Robert Kaufmann fabrics. Quilted with diagonal lines spaced 2" apart seemed the right proportion for this project.

I have the really big Mixmaster so the finished size of this cover is 22" wide x 19.5" tall. 

I had a few pieces of different black and white bindings left over so I sewed them together and used it as the binding on the bottom of the cover. That little print at the bottom says "Home Sweet Home", with laundry hanging on the line. I've had it in my stash forever.

It looks so pretty sitting on my kitchen counter.

I am linking to Lindsey's blog for the Zakka 2.0 project of the week.

Friday, June 21, 2013

June Bee Blocks

I am in two monthly bees and also two Block of the Month Virtual bees.

I have finished the blocks to be sent away, but am running late on the blocks that are for me. I am two blocks behind in the Virtual Quilting Bee and have not started the Hop, Skip and Jump blocks yet. But since these are for me, I can always catch up.

Katy wanted brightly colored paper pieced feathers and flying geese with low volume backgrounds.  Katy designed her feathers so that everyone will be making one just slightly different than the others are making. These were fun and fiddly easy, and only took me a few hours to complete each one. The most time making scrappy blocks is spent choosing the fabrics and then putting them all away again. I am almost giddy to think I will be delivering these blocks in person next month at the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London.

My other monthly bee is the Modern Stitching Bee. We are almost through the first year and I think almost everyone has signed up for another round. These are a fun bunch of talented quilters led by our fearless queen, Rhonda.

June is Susan's month. She asked for fussy cut centers in a Rocky Mountain block. Susan gave us the choice of lemon, lime, light blue or pink. I just love the bike. It's a Spoonflower print. And who doesn't think a little beach box is cute? These blocks will be flying off to Australia with the hopes that someday Susan and I will meet in person.

On the receiving end, I have received all my blocks for my month as May queen in the Stitch Tease Bee, but they all need to be photographed. That's a post for another day.