Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I realized this morning that I have been quilting up a storm since the spring when I joined the 'Block of the Month Club' at Quilters Quarters in Stockton (their site is under construction so no link).

We (cousin Donna and I) started the quilt pictured above by purchasing fabric at Beverlys in Carmichael on December 1st. I spent about three days on the design, discarding the first because each square had 66 pieces and there were 20 squares! We were looking for quick and easy and that was definitely neither!

This design has three sizes of patches, 20", 10" and 10x5 1/2" and is queen size. I had about a quarter of it sewn together by Sunday night but had made an appointment with a new quilter for Wednesday morning (yes, tomorrow!) so told the Big Guy he was on his own and sewed non-stop pretty much all day. Started at nine in the morning, stopped for lunch, stopped about four to help cut wood (as that is how we heat our house and there is another story there, check facebook), then again at six because the Big Guy offered to take me to dinner at Black Bear. Continued sewing until eleven when I had the top and back finished and ironed!  So, will take it to the quilter and hopefully get it back ASAP. Then Donna and I will sew on the binding.

Artquiltmaker said that I sew well under pressure and she is right!

Here are the rest of this years quilts, only one still not finished.  Well, actually the new one isn't finished but it will be before the end of the year

Solid challenge "Grafix"

Colby's quilt "For the Love of Dogs"

Spotlight pattern, shop sample top

Kestrel's quilt "Kestrel Cousins" Unfinished

Storybook quilt top, shop sample

San Joaquin County Fair "A Bountiful Harvest Challenge. "Picnic Guests"

Wow, six finished and one being quilted. I think that might be an all-time record for me!

Friday, November 23, 2012

On Life and Blogging absence

I became so frustrated with typing on my computer and concurrently blowing away that which I had just typed that I stopped blogging.  Yesterday, at a lovely family Thanksgiving dinner, there was so much talk of blogging that I became inspired to blog once again. So, I'm back.

I may or may not have mentioned on previous blog entries that housekeeping is not one of my strong suits. I did, however, within the past week, evict all spiders and their cozy homes from the house. Yesterday I was sitting in my comfy chair and noticed that there were three (count them - THREE) layers of thick spider webs going from window to bookcase! I felt totally invalidated in the spider web eradication department.  At the same time, the Big Guy and I had been discussing Christmas decorations. I flashed on a fantastic idea for decorations! Now don't laugh until you see pictures because I really am going to do this...

Since the spiders have failed to desist in their web building I am going to have them join in the festivities by sprinkling their webs with either red or green glitter! A Paper Addict suggested that using red would also have the house decorated for Valentines day and the Fourth of July!

After a brief search, I could only find silver glitter. It works great! My spiders have stars in their eyes :-)

Martha Stewart eat your heart out!
Starfall off the fridge cliff

Waiting for Abe Lincoln to step out into the starry night and speak!

Stars over the barn

Spidey checking out the new decor

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A beautiful Sunday morning. Only need to quilt and bind my 'solids' quilt for the Quilters Quarters contest.  Will deliver it late tomorrow.  I found the directions after I had the back made and it pinned and ready to quilt. It is 6 inches too small, width-wise!  Played around a little with possibly adding another border. It didn't look good and I didn't have enough fabric. So will just turn it in as it is and see what happens.

My next project is finishing The Big Guy's santa jacket for his stint as the Lathrop santa this December. It is mostly done. He has a few ideas about it which I will try to happily accommodate. Pictures to follow!

It is Tuesday already! Was able to finish the solids quilt which I am calling 'Geometrics'.  I took it to  Quilters Quarters yesterday, then went to the fairgrounds and picked up the 'Bountiful Harvest' quilt. We decided to hang it in the kitchen since it has a food theme.

This is the border preview picture. I forgot to take a picture of the finished quilt.    

Thursday, September 6, 2012

July report (I KNOW, it is September)

The silly sense of humor is family-wide! Papa showed the grandson how to make paper hats. They were so funny I had to send a picture to roller derby daughter. She sent the one on the right back to us!

Hats seemed to be July's theme!  Our (adopted) Austria granddaughters needed hats for camping in the hot weather so we took them shopping.  The big guy really got into shopping, much to the delight of our Austrians!

After shopping we took our Austrians to the local Tower mart where an alien space ship crash landed. They were quite amused.  Together with the Bass Pro Shop, the Tower mart is the only point of interest in our area.

Our Austrian granddaughters at The Bass Pro Shop

We also took the young women to the Manteca 4th of July parade and to breakfast at The Mangy Moose.  Later when we were all talking about the visit they said eating at The Mangy Moose was their favorite outing!  It is our favorite local outing, too.

Later in the month The Big Guy, the Grandson and I drove down to SoCal to visit Super G.

Super G and the grandson  playing Jenga

The puppies getting treats after their outing with the best neighbor in the world. The park where mom lives is full of lovely people. She is very happy there.

And finally, The July block of the month.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Busy Week

The past week was busier than any I can remember in a long time!   Starting out fairly early, 8 a.m., I went for a check-up blood test at a lab. Didn't get out of there until 9 a.m.! Everyone else in town decided to go early on Monday for blood work too, I guess.

After that I went to AAA for maps as my big bag of maps of everywhere I have ever gone was also a victim of the Christmas burgler. Unfortunately I didn't realize that until I was lost in Sacramento the previous Saturday.

It was already 9:45 when I got on the highway  to drive to The Grandson's. The weatherman threatened rain and the report I had early from artquiltmaker  was of rain on the peninsula.  Sure enough, as I crested the first pass, rain started and traffic stopped.  Being pretty much intolerant of stop and go traffic I got off the highway and got onto surface streets, made great time, got lost, and got back on the highway. Right behind the truck I had been behind when I left the road in the first place!

So I stayed in the slow traffic to the second pass where the rain was so hard I couldn't see five feet in front of me! Good thing everyone was driving 15 mph! At the junction wher I decide which bridge to take I actually picked the nrthern  one and everyone else took the southern one! Yea for me.  But by then, 11 a.m., I was frazzeled. My Starbucks radar kicked in and I stopped for a cuppa. Caffeine was probably not a good idea but the comfy chair, pleasant music and happy baristas calmed me down.  After a few minutes of Starbucks therapy I hit the road again  and made it to TGS in a half an hour.

By the time I got there driving was the last thing I wanted to do. The rain was very light so we decided to walk down to the shopping center to have lunch. On the walk home, before we were even off the shopping center area, I took a header, landing on my knees and right elbow! Perhaps this was a day when I should have stayed in bed!

TGS got me up, we got home, he got to use his scouting Red Cross skills and with an ice pack and a sit down, I survived!

Tuesday was election day and I had signed up to work in our precinct. Together with the three others from our precinct and four from another precinct, we arrived at the fire station around the corner at 6 a.m. and converted the firemen's den into a polling place.

Voting was mostly slow with pockets of frenetic activity.  My co-workers were a lot of fun. Except for the long hours (I got home about 10:30 p.m.) I enjoyed participating in the electoral process.

Wednesday morning we got up early to drive to Roseville so we could pick up Roller Derby Daughter.  She was going to visit us for two days.

We did really well finding her in an unfamiliar place - yea maps! Got home about four and sat around playing cribbage and catching up.  We remembered that Wednesday was Farmer's Market day in town so hopped in the truck and proceeded to  buy goodies, geegaws and comestibles.  Great fun!

Back at home we BBQd, cooked fresh beets, and pigged out on cherries. Then more cribbage until oh dark thirty at night.  I fell asleep as I hit the pillow - no communing with the goddess Insomnia that night!

In spite of planning an early day, we didn't get out of the house for breakfast at The Mangy Moose. After the usual excellent meal, we headed off to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf.  We ate, walked around, went in attractions and shops, ate again, and walked around some more.  Did alll the fun touristy stuff.

Around five we headed for the beach, having alerted artquiltmaker that we were going to descend, en masse, on her. RD had never met her nephew, TGS, and really wanted to.

After that we took the southern route to the east bay airport area where RD was spending the night in a hotel so she would make her 7a.m. flight.  And got lost. Again. No map. Drove around for 45 minutes trying to find the place. Finally did, despite the bad directions from the desk clerk and the wrong address on the reservation (H loop instead of H place).

We got back home around 1130 p.m too wired to sleep.  So I beat the Big Guy three games to none in cribbage!

We vegged Friday.

Saturday we were signed up in a booth at the senior center parking lot sale.  TBG was selling his concoction of 'Uncle Buck's Wood Butter' and I was face painting.  He did well, coming home with a profit. I had four customers which left me in the hole after the cost of the paints. But it was fun to be outside and talk to so many people.

We are vegging again today. Except my studio exploded! So I put away all the stuff which had accumulated and fell when I walked near it, last week while I was running around having so much fun.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Computer whining

Here is my spiffy new computer.

I have found the best way to use my new computer is to sit next to my grandson, who seems to know exactly how to fix what I mess up and to have my email up so artquiltmaker can rescue me too.

I've had a computer since they were first readily available. My first one was an Radio Shack with two disk drives.  I planned to become a programmer and was signed up at the local JC (that's Junior College for you youngsters) to learn Cobol.  Due to an emergency I missed the third class and was totally lost after that.  I dropped out shortly after.

I eventually began using computers at work and became quite comfortable with them.  Two years ago I retired and had just my ten year old laptop to use.  I no longer used business applications, had Word 2003 on it and generally that was all I needed.

I used a little HP notebook for email and pictures and the old laptop for word processing and watching DVDs.

Well, a ten year old laptop is an antique in all respects except the fifty year requirement for antiques.  So, of course, it died.  The power cable plug broke.  Then on Christmas day 2011 my HP notebook was stolen.  My own fault as I had forgotten to take it out of my truck while visiting relatives in Sacto.

So there I was lost in the information age with no computer.  I scraped together the dough to have the plug fixed on the laptop. When I got it back the plug was great but the hard drive only ran about thirty seconds before turning off the laptop.  The technician said he just fixed the plug and didn't even turn the thing on.

Here is the computer illiterate who owns it!

So I was reduced to one hour a day at the library.  On the days it was open, if I got there before school let out and there was a computer available. Ugh.
I stewed about that for almost a month.  One day I figured what the heck the thing doesn't work so slamming it around a little won't change anything.   So I bounced it on the floor three times, took it out of it's case and set it up. Miracle of miracles, IT WORKED!

The other problem we had was that or internet provider went belly-up with less than a weeks notice right around the time all this bad computer karma started.  So just before I received this cool little computer we signed up with another internet provider.

My old laptop decided it wouldn't go on the internet anymore. Something about a proxy server. But little Acer goes on just fine. It just won't read any documents done on the old LT.  

So, I can load one more copy of the Word 2003 I bought with the old LT.  Except that program is one disks and the little guy hasn't got a disk drive.  I see two choices: purchase a new and current word processing program or a portable disk drive.  I think a new program is the best bet, any advice?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Toby the Tram Engine

Somehow I just blew away two paragraphs and a photo.  I have a great new computer that I love. I, however, have not quite gotten the hang of all the bells and whistles, yet. Hence, I tend to lose work.  Must remember to save more often!

Original Toby - about 12 years old

Back to the subject I intended to blog about.  The Big Guy loves a project.  Last week, A Paper Addict phoned and asked him to build a "Toby" toy box like  the one he had built years ago for our grandson.

In Progress

He made the box then bought some foam for the seat.  I had a piece of red leather in my stash that works perfectly for the seat top.  He also purchased wheels so it can be pulled around.  

Toby's Face

I used a clay made by Crayola that air dries for the face and, of course, gave him googly eyes.
We have worked on it a week or so.

Waiting for his number to be painted on

Toby is the number seven engine.  It is taking some experimenting to get the paint on because the The Big Guy rubbed the wood down with his concoction of wood butter before I had a chance to paint it.  The paint won't stick to the wood butter. I also don't have the right color of yellow for his number.

But Toby is coming along.  And he has been fun to make.  Orders happily taken.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Easy Acccess to Blog and Quilting thoughts

Artquiltmaker fiddled around with my new computer this afternoon and now I can get to my blog without needing to remember how!  That has been a little problem for me as my computer literacy has stayed in 1992 and computers have progressed to 2012.  Amazing.

But on to more interesting stuff.

I mentioned in my last blog that I would tell you how it came about that I was hired to make a store sample quilt top for Quilters Quarters.  About three months ago there was an article in the paper about the shop.  Debbie, the owner, mentioned she was having trouble finding part-time help.  I went over a few days later with a resume on disk to apply but she had already hired a couple of people. While I was there I signed up for the Saturday Sampler class.

The Big Guy came with me for the first class as did Roxy Dog.  They explored the little mall where the quilt shop is while I went to the hour-long class.  They ate cookies from the Dutch bakery, found a Japanese shop with gluten free soy sauce, and rifled through all the sale fabric in front of Quilter's Quarters.  

The quilt we are doing is called "Birthday Blossoms" Each square is the flower of the month. April's flower is the sweet pea.  If we made two blocks we got entered in a drawing for a fat quarter.

 Kestrel Cousins
 I was so inspired by spending time with other quilters and lots of fabric that I did the first block, a second in different colors and a third at half size.  I did all the day after the class! 


The next week I made a pillowcase for the small block but it didn't look good on it so off it came.  

 Colby's Doggy Love quilt

 Then I finished the baby quilt "Doggy Love" I had been working on forever for Colby Butler, grandson of some dear friends. And also finished the quilt top for Colby's big sister, Kestral, whose infancy I somehow missed! Big brother got his quilt (an I Spy) almost the second he was born.

Official Class Block

At the May Saturday Sampler class I proudly did show and tell of all my stuff and Debbie pointed at me and said "You, stay after class!".  Which, of course being well indoctrinated by 13 years of catholic school,  I did. Whereupon she hired me to make the shop sample.

My Variation Block

So that is that story.

My half-size variation

Oh, yeah - the $60 worth of fabric I bought...story for another day, I think.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Okay, I really am back in the blogosphere now! We once again have internet in the house. I have a working and reliable computer and maybe something to blog about!

Last week Debbie of Quilters Quarters aske me to sew a store sample quilt from the "Fairy Tale Friends" collection.  How that came about is a story for anothe post.  Sufice it to say I surprised myself by getting it doe in 5 days, only 2 1/2 of which were spent sewing!  Unfortunately I neglected to take a picture after I put on the borders. But the first border was one inch solid red and the second border was black with all the fairy tale characters on it. 


Quilter's Quarters is my new favorite quilt store.  I love novelty prints and batiks and they carry tons of them.  I am usually able to resist buying fabric but I have not resisted the last three times I have been there.  But I am also sewing more so I will be using lots of fabric. So it is reasonable to buy more, right? Sure. Right. Uh huh.

In June I will be teaching a sewing camp for children 8 years old and up at A Work of Heart in San Jose.  I have designed a tote bag and have made two samples.   Have to find a place to stay near the shop because it is REALLY too far to drive everyday.  Anyone have an idea?

The Big Guy and I had our quarterly (it seems) Friday night date at the VA Emergency Room last week.  Lost half of Friday and all of Saturday. Friday was the drive to Sacramento - we went to Mather VA instead of Palo Alto (won't do that again) - because it is closer by twenty miles and no bridges to cross.  But the treatment left a lot to be desired in my opinion and the facility is not state of the art like Palo Alto.  Lost Saturday because I drank so much coffee to stay awake driving that when we got home at 3:00 a.m. I couldn't sleep.  Got some knitting done, read a little and got to bed about 5:30 a.m. Got up at 11:30.

BG had been up for hours. Of course he slept going, coming and while he was at the VA.  We went to lunch at The Mangy Moose - best diner in Manteca - then to Home Depot for supplies. Big Guy is making a Toby toy box.  For those of you without little boys, Toby is one of the engines from the Thomas the Tank Engine Series. I will post pictures when it is finished.
Thomas and Friends coloring pictures
Have I mentioned that Home Depot is my least favorite place in the shopping world?  The only thing they have that interests me in the least are paint chips.

I received a great book from artquiltmaker for mother's day.  It is A.J. Munsell's Notebooks.  What a fantastic book!  I like the Munsell color system and have used it for years.  Reading this book is giving me a more complete understanding of the system and the language of color.  If you get the chance, get a copy of this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in color theory.

Plan on posting three times a week from now on.  I look forward to your comments.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lost week

Had a relapse of the miserable cold that I had three weeks ago.  Yuk!  On top of that The Big Guy got it, too.  So not only was I sick as a dog, so was he.  The last week has disappeared in a haze of cold medicine, dirty tissues, coughing up lungs, hot tea and all the other accroutrements of a virus.  In the meantime, I was/am also dealing with an infected eye - can  you say "poooor baaby!".

I have managed to read four books and start two new quilts (don't mention that in front of my pile of WIPs!).  As I mentioned last time I was really inspired by  the silk quilts on exhibit at the EBHQ show.  So I am cutting silk for a "Patch-it" wall hanging.  The hard part of that is the directions are on my stolen computer so I am relying on my memory - uh oh.  Am going to see if I can find them online while I am here at my daughters\'s and have internet access.

The other quilt is for my friend's granddaughter.  I made one several years ago for her older brother and the one I just finished is for her younger brother.  So she is next in line.  Her name is Kestrel.  I found a fabric panel with hawks on it.  The closest to a Kestrel is a Peregrine falcon so that is what she gets.  It is pretty scrappy.  I am using mermaids, monkeys, chickens, kittens, maybe puppies if I have any of that left, maybe food from my two food quilts.  I want to have lots of stuff a four-year-old will like and recognize.  The beginnings of it are up on my design wall and I have started piecing it.  The back will either be Disney Princess fabric or tea party (as in china cups and teapots, not the politics).  Haven't decided yet.

I'm also trying to draw more.  Our town is having an art show and sale and I want to enter it.  I have been doing a couple of sketches in the sketchbook the grandson gave me for Christmas and driving over here today I had an idea.  So will work on that and hopefully finish it in time to enter it.

Our town had a big trash pickup today.  Yesterday afternoon we went through a big pile of stuff on the patio and tossed out a lot of it.  We also found my cast iron griddles!  I have been fussing about them since we moved.  When I couldn't find them I thought I had left them in the trailer.  But no, they were in with stuff on the patio.  Now I can make more than one pancake at a time!  The patio looks so much better.

It is raining again.  So glad, we really need it.

That is it for the week.  My camera is on the blink, poor old thing so still no pictures.  Soon I hope.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A finished quilt!

Friday night I finished the "Doggy Love" quilt which I intend to give to our friend's grandson, Colby.  Did the whole quilt myself - from the design through the piecing, machine quilting and finally the binding.  Pretty proud of myself :)

Went to the EBHQ show Saturday with Artquiltmaker artquiltmaker.com and two other friends.  This year the show broke with tradition and used the Craneway Pavillion in Richmond as the venue.  Other than being a little harder to get to it was an excellent venue.  The light is fantastic.  Often no flash was needed to take pictures.  Three of the walls are windows with a spectacular view of the bay.  The Pavillion is quite an old building which was designed by Albert Kahn as a  Ford Assembly Plant, the largest on the West Coast, in 1931.  It is now part of the Rosie The Riviter National Historic site as it was used during World War Two to build tanks.

The space is large but not as big as the hotel/convention center where it has been held in the past.  I think there were fewer vendors and quilts/wearable art on display, too.  A sign of the times, I guess.

The catering was done by the Boilerhouse Restaurant, which is next door to the venue and part of the building.  The food was excellent but the wait, even at two o'clock when we ate, was an hour long.

I was inspired by the "Silk Club" exhibit to pull out my silk bin and see if I can come up with a quilt.  I will either make a stripe triangle or the "Patch-it" pattern I tried out when I was thinking about the Grandson's food quilt. See the 3-13-11 blog post for a look at that pattern.  It is perfect for a pillow top or a small wall quilt.  It does waste lots of fabric.  I don't mind so much for the stripey fabric because I have LOTS of it and it was free.  But the solid color I bought.  I do have lots of it, have had it for years, and have no other plans for it.  So GET OVER IT, SELF!!!! Just use the stuff.  Then you can buy more :)

One of these days we will get internet again and I will be able to add pictures.  Probably not for a couple more months.  Then I will do an all picture blog post with a blog reference for each picture!

A sad note.  All the pictures of the Big Guy as Santa were on my stolen computer.  So I have none of those great, fun photos anymore.  Oh well....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rain, rain......

Started raining this morning about 10:30.  We are supposed to get two inches this week!  The winter so far has been very dry - only .5 inches in two days of rain up to today.  So I am glad we are having a good storm.  However, I do wonder why it had to start today, the only day of the week I have to drive over hill and dale to do my grandma business?  Murphy's law, I guess.

I have good new!  My old computer is working again!  The other day I decided to see if it would start.  I picked up the case it was in and smacked it on the floor a few times.  Then I took out the computer and turned it on.  Lo and behold - the mailto:d@# thing worked!.  So now my mission is to get wifi into the house again.  I'm thinking about getting one of those mobile hotspot thingies.  My main concern is price, second concern is reliability.  Don't want an inexpensive service that will go bankrupt like our last one did.  Any suggestions?

Had a good weekend.  Sunday the Big Guy and I went to Turlock to the Carnegie Art Center to see the Yvonne Porcella retrospective.  It was a small show, small venue, excellently done!  My overall impression is of lots of red silk!  The quilts require time to view them and benches were provided to give the viewer a place to sit while looking!  As everyone who is familiar with Porcella's work knows, it is exuberant!  And mostly very large. And, as I mentioned, red.

My camera was out of battery so I took pictures with my cell phone until the ticket taker came and told me no pictures were allowed (oops!).  I tried to send the pictures to my e-mail but my phone is still somewhat of a mystery to me and I couldn't figure out how to do that.  Need to talk to my techno nephew in Santa Barbara for some help.

The exhibit was inspiring for me, too. I remembered all the silk I have and am thinking of doing something with it. Something small that is easily finished.  I have had a quilt on my sewing table that I haven't worked on for a couple of weeks.  Yesterday I sat down and almost finished the machine quilting.  I have one more row of design at the bottom to do.  Needed a reference so pulled out three of my binders with reference material in them and looked through all of it.  That was fun.  I found lots of stuff I had forgotten about and lots of inspiration but not the reference I wanted (machine quilted water).  So then I searched through my small library of quilt books and found the Kathy Sandbach book I bought when I took a class from her years ago.  It had exactly what I needed but it was time to make dinner so never got back to it yesterday.  May work  on it tonight when I get home and can't sleep because I will have drunk at least one large cup of coffee on the drive back over hill and dale!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A little whining and the Manteca Quilt Show

Well, Boo Hoo...I still haven't been able to replace my stolen computer.  Am at my daughter's house using one of theirs.

This year I was able to purchase health insurance! So I dutifully made an appointment in January for a physical.  It is now March (as we all know) and I am finally finished with all the specialists my new physician sent me to.  I also have the mother of all cold-sore throat- fluish sicks I have had in years.  Going on week three!  I blame it on going to doctor's offices and hospitals multiple times.  I am never sick and I hate this! 

Oh well, no one likes a whiner so I'll stop.

We've started planting our garden.  This morning, before coming to my grandson's I put in two different kinds of lettuce in our former herb garden.  We were going to put it in a garden box but we haven't managed to get that built yet.  So the lettuce is in the herb garden (which is cool and shady) and the onion sets are going in the ground.  We haven't decided where the blueberry bush, the blackberry vine or the tomato plant are going yet.  Maybe the Big Guy will have them planted when I get home.

I read something in the Chronicle this morning about blackberries.  The author said he thought there was one mother of all blackberry vines circled underground around the whole earth and they just pop up where ever you don't want them! But the plant was on sale and the berries are so good!  We will do our best to contain the plant.  Our plan is to have a trellis for it and keep it trimmed!

We also planted (last month) an apricot tree and a cherry tree.  They are about three feet tall and each had eight or ten blossoms and now have eight or ten leaves.  Very cute!  Maybe we will be eating eight or ten apricots and cherries later in the year!

The Big Guy's doctor sent him (at his request) to physical therapy.  It has helped him quite a bit.  He can now ride his bike.  He and Roxy dog go out every other day or so.  Roxy dog runs and BG rides.  They both love it and they both need it!  Roxy has lost  her little waist and is getting neck wrinkles so the exercise is good for her.

I went to the Manteca Quilt Guild show on Sunday.  It is a small show - only one hall of quilts - but it was very nice.  The featured artist, Jan Ayers, is a guild member.  She is very prolific.  There were four rows of her work.  I neglected to see the dates of the work so don't know what the time span was.  Her color choices for the quilts were lovely.

For the first time ever I did the show Make-n-Take.  So now I have a cute new pincushion!

I also went to two demonstrations.  The first was by Judy Mullins.  She showed the audience how to make a strip pieced quilt in a day with 800" of 2 1/2" x 40" strips.  She suggested a jelly roll or leftover fabric.

The second demo was on dolls and a really easy vest.  The dolls were really cute but I don't stuff doll arms!  The vest was just an oval with two circles.  The one shown was two pieces of jersey but I think fleece would be nice if the edge had some decorative feature.

The guild always has a jumble sale, too.  This year I bought some buttons and got ideas for Christmas presents.  Looked at all the books but nothing caught my fancy.

Found a piece of fabric for a quilt I have planned.  It has a hawk on it. The quilt is for my friends granddaughter, Kestrel.  And I think I will do the strip piecing bit I learned at the show.  I am in the middle of machine quilting the one for Kestrel's baby brother, Colby.  Almost done with it - just the bottom border to go.  Then the binding - which is already cut.

Well, maybe next time I am able to blog it will be on my own computer!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Have been working on a quilt for our friends Hugh and Consuelo's new grandson, Colby.  I call it "Doggy Love".  It is made up of 6 inch squares of alternating doggy fabric and a nature pattern with die-cut hearts machine appliqued on each square.  I have the quilt sandwich made and am in the process of machine quilting it.  I am actually enjoying the machine quilting!  I already did the top and am now working on the borders.  The sides are leaves and I will possibly put a long tree trunk behind the leaves.  The top is going to be clouds and the bottom border will be waves and possibly fishes.  I have lots of leftover binding from my previous two food quilts and plan on using that to bind it.  I am in no hurry so there is  no stress to get it done.  Perhaps that is why I am enjoying doing the machine quilting!

On another front have I mentioned all the concerts (3) we have been to this year?  Most recently we went to the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley to hear Woody Hanks and Deborah Robin.  They sing old time folk music a la Woody Guthrie.  The new Freight is a lovely venue.  There is parking right next door and they serve COFFEE!  And you can drink it in the auditorium. 

Well, unfortunately my time at the library computer is up so I have to close.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Well, I finally got my ten year old laptop back from the repair person and it came home with a different problem!  The hard drive comes on, I get the first screen then the hard drive stops!  Bummer.  I have decided not to spend any more money on it but that leaves me without a computer.  Saw one at Office Max that I just love but can't afford so have been shopping for a cheaper one.  In the meantime, I am using the computers at the library. 

The downside of the library computers is I cannot download pict ures (which really doesn't matter as all my picutres were on my stolen and broken computers anyway.

I have been quilting!  Had a top that was finished and am machine quilting it.  Halfway done and my sewing machine foot pedal bit the dust!  My very handy man husband tried to fix it but it is caput and unfixable.  So, I have pulled out my little feahterweight and will finish it on that machine.  Good thing I have more than one sewing machine!

As I may have mentioned I visit my grandson every week.  We had been visiting on Thursdays but when he joined tennis club and stayed at school til five on Thursdays we changed to Tuesdays.  Now he is preparing for a tennis tournament and stays at school til five every day.  So we saw each other for about five minutes yesterday.  So we will see how next week goes and then re-evaluate my 164 mile weekly drive.  I love watching him grow up but don't love watching him grow away.  A natural thing, though.

On a brighter note, The Big Guy and I have been going to concerts!  The first one we went to in January was The Sons of the San Joaquin.  They sing western songs, most of which they wrote.  Very mellow and upbeat.  We went out to Angels Camp to the Bret Harte theater for that.  It was lovely.  Afterwards we had dinner in Copperopolis at an Italian restaurant whose name escapes me.  But they had gluten free menu items which were delicious!

February first we heard Judy Collins at the Gallo Theater in Modesto.  We were in the nosebleed seats, third balcony, second row from the back! But the sound system there is wonderful and they have an elevator.  If possible, Judy Collins, at 72, has a better voice than she did in the sixties and seventies!  The warm-up act was Amy Speece, a new artist from Nashville.  Her voice was gorgeous and her patter was hilarious!

Tomorrow night we are going to the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley with friends, Dave and Sandy.  Can't decide if we will drive or take BART.  Am afraid The Big Guy will not be able to walk the two or three blocks to the venue.  We will see how he feels tomorrow.

Thursday will be a late night.  I have a Birding field trip to go on Friday morning at eight a.m.  I really want to go but will give myself some slack if I am not up to it.

So you are now caught up with my life to date! I hope to soon get my own computer so that I can blog regularly again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

She's Baaaaack!

Yes, I am indeed back.  My blogging ability is quite curtailed, however.  My mini computer was stolen and our internet provider went belly-up so I am using my daughter's ancient desktop once a week when I visit.  I sent my antique laptop to be repaired and should have it back in a few days.  Then will have to find a reasonably priced internet service provider,  I looked at ads for Clear 4.  Has anyone heard of that company?  It seems to be reasonably priced and have the service I want.  There is also an office for them in the next town over so it is pretty convenient.  Am going to check it out when my computer comes home.

No pictures for this blog as they were on my computer.  Also, my yahoo password seems to have been changed because I can't get in with any of the passwords I use.  Probably the skinny bums who stole it.  I say they are skinny because they got into the truck (where I had stupidly left my computer) through the shell window which is only about ten or twelve inches wide.

We had really nice holidays.  Spent Christmas with our NoCal family and New Years with our SoCal family.  Everyone is well and seems happy.  A nice thing this year is that gifts were not excessive. I was glad to see moderation abound!

Our puppy has a  hot spot so The Big Guy got a cone for her so she wouldn't lick it.  She hates it.  Refuses to walk around.  When I left to pick up the grandson today I realized I had forgotten something and went back home.  The Big Guy gave in and took her cone off. :(

The grandson gave me a sketchbook for Christmas.  It is my favorite kind - black hardbound with acid free paper.  I painted the front cover and spine and have started applying gesso to the pages.  I plan on painting in it and the gesso will keep the paper from falling apart.  It feels like painting.  Anybody remember the artist who paints everything white?  His name is not on the tip of my tongue but I remember seeing his work at SFMOMA years ago.

Well, it is late and I have to make the 82 mile trek back to the Central Valley so I will sign off.  Will try to blog again soon and will hopefully have sketchbook pictures to show you (not all white!:})