Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2015

I am sneaking into Blogger's Quilt Festival at the very last minute. I have decided to enter my Kitchen Sink  quilt into the "Scrap Quilt" Category. I think it's pretty obvious why I chose this category.Thank you to Amy Ellis for hosting this always inspiring event and allowing us to show off our creations for all to see.

Here is the blog post I wrote about it last month. It's one of my favorite photo shoots, ever. I wish there was a Quilt Photography Category.

I have been waiting for a day when Mr. Romance and I could schedule a photo shoot for my latest quilt finish. We finally squeezed it in this week between all the home repairs and other things we have going on at our house. It seems when you live in a home for 30 years, all of a sudden everything but the kitchen sink needs fixing or replacing.
This is my Kitchen Sink quilt.  I got the idea for the name from my friend, Chase, who named her scrap/orphan block quilt the same thing. Since it is made of scraps, practice blocks and orphan blocks, that's everything BUT the kitchen sink.The quilt itself is inspired by all the beautiful projects that Amanda Jean makes. I started this when she had her scrap vortex quilt-along. 

There are some PRECIOUS scraps and there are some FUGLY scraps, too.
I am glad I was able to incorporate the orphan blocks on the front of the quilt.

I pieced the 25 Farmer's Wife blocks that I abandoned several years ago into one big block and used it on the back of the quilt. I didn't like my fabric choices at the time, but they look pretty good all together on the back of the quilt, surrounded in an IKEA Alphabet print duvet cover and a strip of the IKEA Nummers print.

I quilted it on my Bernina 820 using a very random and relaxed wavy pattern, alternating the direction of the squiggly lines to give this quilt some great texture.

A scrappy print deserves a scrappy binding. These are all leftover binding strips, saved from other quilts when I overestimated the amount of binding I would need.

I have to say I am so excited to have found the perfect photo opportunity for this quilt. We have a scrap yard a few miles from our house. I must have driven by it a million times in the last 30 years and finally noticed the sign painted on the wall. How cool is this photo?

Quilt Stats:
Name:The Kitchen Sink Quilt
Fabric: precious scraps, ugly scraps, orphan blocks, and practice blocks.
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. white and quilted with Aurifil 40 wt. White
Backing Fabric: IKEA duvet cover Alphabet print in Black and White, IKEA Nummers print, 25 Farmer's Wife Blocks.
Batting:Warm and White
Size:55" x 77.5"

Monday, October 5, 2015


We celebrated my mom's 90th birthday this week. What a blessing she has been to me and our entire family. My mom has always been a positive role model of what it means to be a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. But she is so much more than that. She is an example of the perfect friend, sister, godmother, aunt and all that is good. When you ask her to pray for a special intention, she doesn't just say a prayer or two, see dedicates a whole rosary to your special intention every night until your prayers are answered. When our son, Michae,l was injured on the job last year, she started saying her rosary every night until he was able to return to work a few weeks ago. Now she is dedicating her prayers to a few babies of our family and friends who need extra prayers. SHe really does radiate God's light.
The last few years have been a little more difficult to see her aging. It makes me sad when she doesn't remember things and I'll admit, it frustrates me , too. But I know that deep down in her heart she is always the same person. The kindest, sweetest, most loving blessing to our family.
On Sunday, we gathered to celebrate her. All my kids and grandkids were able to make it. My brother and his daughter flew in, too. My sister, her husband and her son and his family also were able to celebrate with us. We were missing a few people, but were so glad to have 26 family members to celebrate with us.

our own paparrazzi taking photos of the "Stanley wives"

I asked a lot of my cousins to send cards. My mom was so glad to hear from so many of her nieces and nephews.She received many nice gifts of money and gift cards, clothing and even a beautiful Christmas wreath my daughter-n-law made. Her reaction to that was priceless; she said, "Oh, I'm going to win the door decorating contest at Senior Living, for sure!"
My favorite gifts that she received were all the cards my grandchildren made. They wrote letters to her and read them out loud in front of everyone. It was a special day.

While my dad was alive and we would all gather together, he would look at my mom and say, "Look what we started", I wonder what he is saying in heaven as he looks down on all of us now. 

My sister made a beautiful video of my mom's life in photos. Needless to say we were all in tears watching it.

Buon Viaggio

September was a crazy month of home repairs and random sewing. I completed two bags in anticipation of our upcoming holiday. While we are gone, Mr. Romance will celebrate a big birthday. Let's just say it starts with MEDI and ends with CARE! We will be traveling with my high school bestie {who also has a birthday while we are on holiday} and her husband. I made two bags; one for me and one for Debi.

The first bag I made during a sew day with my friend, MaryAnn. We met on Instagram and finally managed to schedule a sewing day a few weeks ago. I pulled some Cotton & Steel fabrics and added some Robert Kaufman double cloth to make a 241 Tote for Debi. MaryAnn contributed the jacks print which was sadly missing from my stash.
I fused Thermolam to the outside fabric to make it more substantial and to help it hold it's shape, then quilted the navy linen print with some straight lines in a crossing pattern. It gave it great texture. I also fused a lightweight interfacing to the lining to help keep the bag from collapsing.
241 tote

I made the strap a little longer and a little wider and also padded it with the Thermolam to make it sit comfortably on the shoulder.

One of V & Company's first prints makes a good lining. At first I was worried that the white lining might have been a wrong choice, but then MaryAnn reminded me that the lighter color helps to be able to see what's inside the bag. An added zipper pocket for securing a passport or money will help while we are traveling.

So here is Debi's bag. I'd like to keep it for myself!
241 tote

For my bag, I wanted a more boxy looking cross-body bag. I just started sewing and this is what I came up with. The bag measures 12"x12"x2" . The outside is Cotton & Steel linen with three additional C&S prints for the lining to all the zipper pockets and the interior of the bag.

cross body bag

This bag has four zippers, three on the outside and one on the inside. Once I get it all filled I know I will need to open every zipper looking for where I put things. Do you do that, too?
Oh and that jacks print...I liked it so much I ordered it in both colorways and used it for the lining in my bag.

To make the print line up at the side seam, I sewed two "phantom seams" on the back to mimic the seams where the zippers are installed on the front of the bag. The exterior fabric is fused to Thermolam before construction to give it added body.

The strap measures 3" and has a double layer of Thermolam for extra comfort on my shoulder. There's also an inset zipper across the top.

I think I'm ready for our holiday now.
I'll also be taking a few of my new favorite fitting t-shirts from Amora Lovely Threads Shop.
cross body bag


Friday, October 2, 2015

Blue Eyes and a Brickless Shawl

Our eldest son and daughter-in-law are visiting with their four children. We always enjoy their visits. They spend a big portion of their time while here at Disneyland or the beach. Today, Davis came home from Disneyland with her face painted, just as I was trying to figure out a photo session for my latest knitting finish. I couldn't resist having her be my model. Her gorgeous blue eyes enhanced with the face painting and my Brickless Shawl made for a fun photo shoot.

Brickless shawl

 Yowza! What a Skein Yarn

This shawl is an easy knit and a fun way to make lace without a lot of crazy counting. It's just three row combinations to make the pattern, repeated five times. I sweated it to the very end wondering if I would have enough yarn to finish. I had to cut the last section of lace short and cast off using another yarn in navy. It works and unless I told you, I don't think it would be noticeable. This shawl is huge, measuring over 100 inches from tip to tip and about 16 inches at it's widest point.
I have to admit that when I finished knitting this shawl I was not happy. It looked very "old lady-ish". But YOWZA! After I blocked it, the lace opened up and I just love it. It's soft and squishy and I am looking forward to wearing it. It will look so pretty with jeans and a cute top.

Shawl Stats:
Name: Blue Eyed Brickless Shawl
Pattern: Brickless Shawl by Martina Behm available on Ravelry
Yarn: Yowza What a Skein in Stairway to Heaven-Babette 8 oz. worsted weight
Needles:Addi Turbo 16" circular needle US size 6
Size: 118" long and 16" wide at the point.