Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Simple Pillow

March is my month to be queen in the Modern Stitching Bee. I have been pondering what block I want my bee mates to make for me but have been stumped so instead I made a pillow.
I am loving this color combination. So maybe I will ask for it in the bee. The mustard, grey and white is just so clean and modern looking to me.
The pillow is made with just 5 random pieces of fabric. I love each fabric separately, but together they just sing!
It is quilted in a 1" grid, but on the horizontal piece across the middle I quilted it with horizontal lines about 1/4" apart, in addition to the vertical lines.
The pillow measures about 17" square and fits an 18" pillow form.
For the envelope style back I used the grey Squared Elements print, the same as the upper right corner.

I'm linking this up with Amy's Pillow Collective

Monday, February 24, 2014

Buried in Selvages

Don't faint, but I am blogging three days in a row!
I have neglected this site a bit in the last several months, blogging very sporadically.
But today I want to share about the #selvageblockalong I started on Instagram and how I am progressing on this project. I hope more people will join in. I have also started a Flickr group.
So far I have made 64 blocks.

Thanks to my friend, Coutenay, I have plenty of selvages.

Today, I needed a diversion, so I made a clutch, using selvages. It's a simple pattern, available in  my Craftsy shop. See the link in the sidebar of this post.

 I lined it with the strawberry print from Briar Rose.

Only 36 more blocks to go and I will have the 100 I am aiming for.
I need to make 2 gifts for the Handmade Birthday Club.
I haven't even started thinking about the things I need to make and organize for Sew South.
Plus I signed up for Secret Sister, for Sew South, and need to make something for my secret sister.
I think the selvage blocks are going on the back burner for a few weeks.
Thanks for stopping by and sticking with me and my sketchy blogging schedule.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Birthday Hugs and Kisses, a quilt

We went to a surprise birthday party for a sweet friend and neighbor today.
I put out a call on Instagram a few weeks ago for a fast and easy quilt and Kelly suggested this one.
Hugs and kisses, made with a layer cake and 5" charm squares for the corners of each block.

I had a layer cake of Fig Tree Butterscotch and Rose fabrics.  It was a monthly installment in a kit club I belonged to several years ago. These fabrics are no longer my preference, but I knew our friend would love it, and it was just the right amount of fabric for a lap quilt.
A simple stipple quilting job and this quilt was finished in a flash.
I buy sheets when they are on sale from the Garnet Hill catalog. They make perfect backings for quilts.
So there you have it. A fast and easy birthday gift.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Birthday Hugs and Kisses
Fabric: Layer Cake of Butterscotch and Rose, solid I believe is Moda Bella Cream
Backing: Polka Dot sheet from Garnet Hill Catalog
Binding: Fig Tree print
Quilted: Stippling by me using Perma Core Thread in Dyed Natural
Size: 53"x63"

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Family Fun in the Sun

Last week my cousins from Slovakia visited. This was the photo they sent me when they landed in Toronto on February 8.

We had my mom over to dinner so she could meet my cousins (they are from my dad's side. Oh, how he would have enjoyed meeting them).

And here they are a week later,  enjoying the sunshine and 75'F weather at Newport Beach.

My cousin and his wife have only been married for 5 months. Andrea was so wonderful and we felt like we have known her forever. In fact, I just met my cousin 19 months ago, so we are all getting to know each other. You can read about when I met my Slovakian relatives in this post and this one too. So the entire week was pretty exciting. 
I used the Waterlogue app to edit this photo of Andrea dipping her toes in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in her life.

After Newport Beach, we went to the tide pools at Corona del Mar. The tide was not out all the way, so we did not get to see as much sea life as we would have liked. But, it was a gorgeous day and they just kept remarking how they could not believe the warm February weather.

Then it was time for dinner at El Cholo, a southern California landmark, where we enjoyed Mexican food and margaritas with more family members.

The next day we took them to LA and Hollywood for a real California treat. Tommy's Famous hamburgers are so good and you can't visit without trying one.
Hollywood is not my favorite place. It's dirty and the weirdos are out in full force, but hey, you have to go if you are here. This guy was classic weirdo...

I love doors and this one sort of captured the entire week...I love getting to know extended family.

Monday, February 17, 2014

For a Good Cause

Being a member of the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild has it's perks. We have some incredibly talented and well known members and we also get some great speakers. But one of the things that impresses me most about this group of men and women is their caring and charity driven nature. It seems every month or two we have the opportunity to create and donate to some wonderfully appreciative charities.

A few months ago Purl Soho {the warehouse is in Southern California} donated yards and yards of fabric to our guild and it was randomly divided up and we each took a pile to make whatever we wanted. We are to bring our creations back to the March meeting.

I decided to make some pillow cases.

Pillowcases for LAMQG charity

And I had a bit of fabric left to make a drawstring bag, following Jeni's great tutorial. This will be donated, too.


I'm not quite sure if the guild has a plan of who these things are going to or if we get to choose our own charity, but either way they will be loved by a child in need.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Selvage Block-Along

I don't know about you but I save my selvages. I have been saving them for years and have only made one project with them.

After finishing the piecing of my DS Clamshell quilt, I decided to make a DS selvage quilt.
I started working on it today.
I made one block using both the edge with the name of the fabric and the plain selvage edge.

One block quickly turned into 9 blocks

and then 16 blocks

and finally 25 blocks. All in one day's sewing.

I decided I really like making these blocks, so it will not be dedicated to only using my Denyse Schmidt selvages. I'm shooting for 100 blocks. Mine are 8.5" unfinished.
It seems everyone likes these blocks and we all have selvages that we think we are saving for some great project so lets join together and make selvage blocks. My IG friend, Marcia @imwithcharlie, suggested I start an IG Block-Along, so I did. I have also started a Flickr group, so please join in. Use the hashtag #selvageblockalong when you post photos on Instagram.
And if you don't want to make a quilt, check out all these projects on Pinterest for using selvages.

Here are some tutorials for making selvage blocks

I started with a piece of Vellum paper, cut it to 8.5" square. I drew a diagonal line from corner to corner and started by sewing two selvage strips  right sides together, as if paper piecing, along that diagonal line. Then I added strips, under each edge of the selvage, and topstitched each row.
Tomorrow I will take some photos and show you how I sew mine. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The 5th Grand Niece

On January 30 our family was blessed with a new member. Jocelyn Marie is my sister's 5th granddaughter and the first child of her son, Chris. 
I have not met her yet. I want to give the new family time to adjust and also I hadn't made a quilt for her. You can't be a quilter and not gift a quilt to a new I have been deliberating about what to make for her.

Yesterday inspiration struck and I saw my stack of Posy by Aneela Hooey and had an idea. My sister's grandchildren call her "Bunny" and Posey has bunnies on it so I decided to make a rail fence quilt for Jocelyn. I love the soft, spring like colors in this line and the prints are some of the sweetest I have seen in a long time.
Two strips cut from each of 21 fat quarters and I was in business. A simple layout and the top was done.
I ran to Joann's and bought some Minky for the backing in a lavender color.
I quilted it with a 2" grid, stitching in the ditch both vertically and horizontally, and the quilt was finished in a day. Literally from inspiration to finished quilt in a day. I even impressed myself for sticking with one project for a whole day. {insert A.D.D. quilter here}
I used the stripes from the Posey line to bind the quilt, finishing the binding by machine. I was not happy with the binding, as I was attaching it,  but hoped that after a tumble in the washer and dryer it would look ok. But it didn't. So this morning I ripped out the binding and sewed it down again, this time taking more care to make sure it was attached smoothly.
I think the Minky makes for a wavy quilt, but since it is small, it is not a big deal.
Now I need to make an appointment and visit my new grand niece.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Bunny Hop
Size: 36"x43"
Fabric: Posey by Aneela Hooey
Backing: Joann's Minky in Lavendar
Batting: Warm and Whte
Thread: Auriful 50 wt. was used for the piecing and quilting

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Change of Plans

Plans can change in a minute and that is exactly what happened to Mr. Romance and I a few days ago. We were supposed to go to our son and daughter-in-law's home in Arizona for the weekend to celebrate our youngest granddaughter's birthday, but a case of the flu was making it's way through their home, so the day before we were to leave we changed our plans and went to Paso Robles. 
Lots of photos tell the story of the fun we had and the beautiful bits of nature that we saw.


edited with Snapseed and Tangled FX apps

giant California oak trees
long walks on the beach in Cambria
lots of birds posing for photos
we did some posing on the beach too
the elephant seal beach is something so special to see and hear
the weather was cold, foggy and brisk...perfect, actually
a brewery tour reminded me of the opening credits of the old show, LaVerne and Shirley
we took advantage of the beautiful yellow wall to take some photos of each other
sat next to a newly engaged couple and surprised them by helping to pay for their meal
wine tasting
olive oil tasting
20,000 Monarch Butterflies
Pismo Beach
fun times and silly faces

It was a perfect weekend. This was our first time to Paso Robles and I hope it won't be the last one.
We have rescheduled our visit to Arizona until next month.