Monday, November 24, 2014

Cuffing a Christmas stocking

I know I promised more about the Houston show in my last blog post but I'm on to other things right now and am excited about a tutorial from Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I've been making Christmas stockings out of silk scraps from a project my former quilting buddy and I made eight years ago.

I've been embroidering them in the style of Victorian crazy quilts and embellishing with sparkly clear glass beads.
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Orange crazy quilt stocking - the cuff will be solid range.
The first two have antique lace as the cuffs but the one I am currently working on is more masculine and I didn't want to put lace on it. The tutorial above showed me how to easily attach a cuff.
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stitching detail

This is my second foray into Christmas stockings this year - I made a magic one for our new granddaughter during the summer. It is six inches long but when Santa fills it on Christmas eve it magically grows to hold all the gifts.

Magic stocking - Santa brought us a new grandchild!
You may be wondering why I need so many stockings. Our young man and his parents have them and the new baby has one, the Big Guy and I have them. So here's the deal: our Church, St. Basil's Greek Orthodox Christian Church, along with all the other churches in our archdiocese, have a Christmas luncheon which uses the proceeds to support and help pay off our seminarian's school loans upon graduation.  This year the luncheon is here at St. Basil's and I am helping the chair stock the boutique.
The sachet will look like this without the beak and comb!f
So I will donate these to the Boutique at the luncheon along with some home grown, pesticide free, oregano and some lavender sachets our youngest daughter taught me how to make.  The sachets will be made from orphan blocks. The shape of the sachets is from the chicken pincushion tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s tutorial sans beak, comb and tail feathers!

The boutique is being set up on Friday the 5th of December. If you have any items you would like to donate contact me for the address.

Friday, November 7, 2014


I am sitting in Hobby airport in Houston waiting for my flight home after spending the past five days with my Texas cousin and attending the International Quilt Festival.  I was also lucky enough to connect with another cousin on my dad's side of the family. The two cousins and I went out to lunch and spent a good part of the afternoon together. The trip was a gift from my daughter artquiltmaker who also came with her college roommate.

Part of the Ruby Exhibit celebrating 40 years of IQ Festivals

My mom's side cousin invited the three of us to stay in her very lovely home in The Woodlands, north of Houston. The stay turned into a big slumber party. We were a super compatible group.

Lunch with the cousins was Thursday (I totally pigged out at the Cheesecake Factory. They have a great gluten free menu, including 'Godiva' cheesecake).

My 'Carroll' cousin
Friday cousin V came with us to the IQ Festival with the attitude "I have no interest in quilting". We walked around looking at quilts for the morning, had lunch at Papasitos Cantina in the Hilton (Gluten free menu, didn't like the rice or refried beans - Tex/Mex doesn't please my California palate) then visited the vendors. About half an hour in V decided she was going to do the "Learn to Quilt" session with West Houston Quilt Guild. She's hooked! Bought fabric, ruler, rotary cutter, and mat (not all at the show - more later).

Our newest quilter!

We stayed at the show from open at 10 a.m. til close at 7 p.m. and we probably only saw one quarter of it!

Enough for now. I have places to go and things to do. Will continue in a couple of days.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I haven't blogged in a very long time - I have thought about it, does that count?

The summer flew by! It finished up with our second annual trip to Montana to see our youngest daughter, her husband and new baby girl. I fell in love with our baby girl! Being a grandma is second only to being a mom. I love it! We spent three weeks in Montana and worked really hard, if you can call helping to take care of a baby hard! We loved every minute of it and look forward to our next trip.

Of course a big part of getting ready for the trip was making a quilt.

Really bad picture of finished quilt

Much better picture of quilt top
I quilted it myself and did get the binding on before we got there but couldn't find the picture of it finished! The center section inside the small black border was a challenge at Manteca Quilt Guild. It is the answer to a sudoku puzzle done in fabric. I added the black, red and green borders to make it 'drag around' size for the baby. It is currently a 'tummy time' mat.

While we were there we visited the town of Whitefish - a touristy and cute town with a great quilt shop. Left the bag with the shop name at our daughter's - sorry but am sure I will be back there before too long. I had seen a quick quilt on one of the Missouri Star quilt Company's great tutorials and figured out a quicker way to make it. My version of a 'quilt as you go'.
I picked a line of Moda fabric including a pack of 2.25" precut squares, five 1/4 yard WF pieces, a yard and a half of backing (the orange and yellow piece) and instead of batting I used white cotton flannel. I sewed the quarter yards together along the WOF for the top, then the quilt sandwich along the top. I placed the precuts on point along the four seams and sewed them down along the pinked edges of the little squares from top of the quilt to bottom and back up the other side. when those were sewn on I sewed a big zig-zag line down the center of each color of fabric.

I used another color from the same Moda line for the bias binding. I made the binding using another tutorial on continuous bias binding from Missouri star. It was really slick! I got more that enough binding for the forty-four inch square quilt.

When I started this quilt I thought I would finish it in a couple of hours - HAH! I did get it done before we left and probably only spent about eight hours on it which really isn't much. and I think it turned out well. Our daughter liked it! So now the baby girl has two quilts.

Back on the home front I have been making basket blocks from the 'Buck-a-Block' club at Quilter's Quarters.  I realized that I was just fooling around as I had three quilt tops in the pipeline that really need to be finished. So here is a picture of the basket blocks and look for more to come on my adventures in quilting (as opposed to piecing).

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Surprise Visit!

Yesterday, about four o'clock, I got a phone call from apaperaddict. She and my granddog, Beene, would be here to visit for a couple of days in two hours! She is the daughter who thinks nothing of mopping the ceiling - while just yesterday morning I had mopped my kitchen floor for the first time in forever! Was so glad I had as that meant I only had to vacuum, clean the bathrooms, empty the trash and pick up the stuff I had pulled out of the closet earlier this month and thrown on the couch. Oh, yes, and get rid of the spider webs as it is not yet Halloween, nor time to sprinkle them with Christmas glitter!

Well, I got it all done before she got there and still had time to go to the store and get food for dinner. I didn't think a sliced apple with peanut butter on it, my usual fare (as the big guy is dieting and cooks garbage - I mean food - I find inedible) would do for company dinner ;=)

I really should have worn my glasses while cleaning. I missed many spider webs. Apaperaddicts only comment was that I needed her cleaning lady for about a month! I had no argument for that - but really, one day after madly vacuuming one can't even tell I did it. At least when I sew I have something to show for it for years!

I helped her with a project last night, too.

We are calling this her car angel because she is on a road trip in her new car. She has a month to spend traveling.

Tomorrow we are going to wedding number three in the last six weeks! I have given up making quilts as gifts because of the time they take and the cost.  I want to concentrate on quilts for me for a change. But I still love making gifts for my friends and just completed the third set of pillowslips for our friend who is the bride tomorrow. I unfortunately forgot to buy wrapping paper and a card. Apaperaddict had a great idea. She suggested I fold them like fancy napkins and just put a ribbon around them. It worked out great!. There was even room to slip the handmade card in.

Isn't that cute?!

So, now I get to work on the sudoku wallhanging. And putting together the block of the month blocks, and the Saturday sampler blocks. And the quilt for our granddaughter.

I also finished the raggedy quilt and washed it and took it to artquiltmaker's and put it in her dryer.  Had to iron the elephants parading border as it got very wrinkled. The colors are not good in this photo, either. I just today figured out how to turn on the flash. I am slowly beginnng to understand the blankety blank smartphone.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hooray! I'm sewing again!

After about three weeks of no sewing I got out of my car and out of my big comfy chair and back into my sewing room last night. Just before going to bed I started digging around in my unsorted stack of fabric looking for something appropriate for a raggedy  baby quilt border.  I found some  elephants on parade that is perfect!

Sudoku Tiny Quilt

Got up early, made coffee and went in and started sewing. On a new project. Just to get myself energized. Only one block. Can't wait to get back to it. Incorrigible, I know.

If you have made a raggedy quilt you are probably wondering why I need a border. Weeeeelllll, once again, it is a measuring failure. The quilt was just a tad too small to be useful. I used my Viking to join the border and batting (as you may know raggedy quilts are quilt as you go). Am not happy with the back side stitching but not taking it out and will use the featherweight to do the other three sides. Sorry, I haven't taken any in progress pictures of this one.

Tomorrow I am sewing with my guild micro group (only two of us) on the ribbon baby quilt for Roller Derby Daughter who will give us grandchild number two the first week of August - a girly one.
Still on my design wall 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Munsel Color System once again.

I haven't blogged about the Munsel System in quite a while but this morning while sitting in my BFFs garden with artquiltmaker Jaye shared a tweet with me that had beautiful pillows which used the Munsell System, either on purpose or intuitively, to good effect.

New York  Beauties by Alex Veronelli, via Twitter

This is red and teal, complements with green-yellow and purple as discords.

I love the Munsell System, the colors always work!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tutorial Glutton

I made "At The Farm" in a MNAG class with Gwen Marsten eons ago.  

Neither of the pictures in this post are related to the post! Decorative only (coludn't post without pictures!).

I recently started watching tutorials by the Missouri Star Quilt Company ( I  love all the different quilts Jenny makes and how simple they are.

My current two favs are the foundation pieced Spider Web quilt and the disappearing four patch.

I tried to put the pictures in but can't lift them from MSQC's website. Go there to look at them!

Jenny uses a lot of precuts. That makes the prep for one's quilt so much faster - not much cutting! That being said, the spiderweb quilt is a stash buster so I would use my scraps instead of buy a charm pack. I would purchase her foundation piecing paper as the pack comes with about 250 pieces and appears to be quite easy to remove from the completed patch.

This has been a short and sweet post. I have to close and go watch MSQC's tutorial on pillowcases. Want to make some for a wedding present.

    This is a Christmas quilt I designed for aetquiltmaker about 13 years ago

Friday, May 16, 2014

Scrapitude - mystery revealed

I finished the mystery part  of Scrapitude finally! It was hellish to cut out but quite fun and easy to sew together. I only made two mistakes which I didn't notice but artquiltmaker saw right away! They are not getting fixed as I am not a perfectionist. Now I need to figure out what I am going to do for a border. AQ had a good idea which I am going to try out. But it is secret til finished :)....

My current project is quilting the donation abc quilt. It is not going well. I ripped out the first try and am now in the process of ripping out the second try. Third time's a charm?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

More Scrapitude cutting!!!

Started putting the corner posts on the scrapitude sashing and found I had cut only half of them!  Considered cutting the rest from the batik  jelly roll I got at the Manteca show but then realized I have a box of 2 1/2 inch scrap blocks. So have pulled that out and, other than measuring each one, it has been an easy solution! Phew! (Visualize me wiping my brow in relief!)

This is my sewing table! The box at the bottom is my 2 1/2 ich scrap box. The computer - a little notebook - has the scrapitude directions up so I do it right. The boxes behind my Featherweight have the different pieces of scrapitude in them.

A Day in San Francisco

I went with Artquiltmaker to San Francisco the other day.
Union Square from the fourth floor of the Macy's building (Starbucks kiosk)

We had intended on going to the Asian Art Museum to see the Yoga exhibit. I misread the web site on hours of operation and when we arrived we found that it, like most museums, was closed on Monday. So we decided to do a little fabric therapy and got on Muni and took ourselves to Britex. What a candy shop for sewists! We went up to the fourth floor and worked our way down. Any fabric or notion one could possibly need or want was there. I thoroughly enjoy fondling all the fabric and notions while artquiltmaker found some fabric she needed.

We stopped by the Westfield center to scout out lunch possibilities but decided we were not hungry so toodled up to Nordstroms for sox and cocktail dresses (not to be worn together!) for a big do AQ has this summer. We found two very satisfactory dresses - wish I had taken pictures - and several pair of sox, none of them cashmere.

We had delicious chicken, wild rice and mushroom soup for lunch - hearty, healthy and gluten free!

We then wandered over to Crate and Barell to look at lamps for AQ's living room. The one she had in mind looked way too big for the space so we looked at others but without satisfaction. On our way out we saw my dream, water saver drought watering can!


 Ad AQ bought it for me for Mother's day!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dyeing for eggs!

Couldn't stop thinking about the brown phase the eggs went through while dyeing them earlier. So, hauled out my half dozen brown eggs and plopped them into the left-over dye and cooked them for fifteen minutes. This is the way to go!

The egg on the left is from the first batch.

Red Orthodox Eggs for Pascha

Orthodox Christians call Easter Pascha. We dye all our hard boiled eggs red. Last year (our first in Orthodoxy) I helped dye the 700 eggs we made for the parish celebration. I was appalled when I saw that Rit dye was used! It makes a great red for the eggs but theoretically also makes them inedible as the Rit is toxic. I created a bit of a stir between the older women who have used Rit forever and the younger ones who are in the know, so to speak, regarding healthy, natural eating.

My dye changing campaign didn't change things this year, but did get the idea out and talked about. Change takes time.

In an effort to find a good alternative The Big Guy researched Orthodox dye for Pascha eggs and a friend from church got some powdered dye from an Orthodox store in Sacramento. My Latvian friend at church said she always uses the skin from yellow onions and TBG found a recipe for onion skin dye on the net.

I only had six white eggs and didn't think the brown ones would turn red, so I used the white ones and the skin from two very large yellow onions. I put the eggs in raw.

The eggs first turned a lovely shade of yellow! Not the result I was looking for but good reference for possible future fabric dying!

Then they turned the brown of the fresh eggs I had in the fridge! Maybe I'll use brown eggs next time.

Then they got even more brown.......hmmm. So I splashed in some rice vinegar like the ladies at church do. The poor eggs had cooked about twenty minutes by this time. Not being the most patient person I cheated and put a little of the store-bought, natural dye, in.

Pretty messy stuff but a great color - at least on my hands! BTW - it doesn't wash off. Gloves would have been a good idea.

I've turned off the pot and am letting them sit. Final picture coming up soon!


As you can see from the peeled egg, the shell is porous. One should not eat Rit dyed eggs. The color I got with onion skin and natural dye is very good. I did not oil my eggs like we do at church. Perhaps if I had the color would be the same as Rit.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Scrapitude Progress

This is one of the seven blocks I have completed in the Scrapitude project. I showed Artquiltmaker and she had positive things to say about them.
Hope you like them.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Quilting On!

Tuesday I washed our kitchen floor so I could use it to pin the ABC donation quilt. Once again measuring-challenged-Mary mis-measured and bought batt that was just about too small :(  I am using it anyway since I am doing the quilting myself.

Tuesday night I couldn't sleep so cleaned up the sewing room. I hadn't straightened it out since returning from Mom's and dumping a bunch of stuff in there.  I did a poor job of it but at least now I can sit at the drafting board. Oh, once again I knocked over my sewing toolbox! But I found my bone presser that I couldn't find after last time I dumped it at mini-group - yippee!

Speaking of mini-group, the day they meet has changed and interferes with my schedule so I can't go any more. Have joined the Manteca guild so maybe there is a group there I can join.

Still struggling with my new 'smart' phone but am going to go take pictures for this post. Hope I can send them to my computer.

OK, back from taking and sending pictures so will add them to this post!

Have just spent an hour trying to add photos to no avail!  Ah, well.  Maybe next time

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Next Top

Have been catching up on blog reading tonight and that has prompted me to blog! As I mentioned in my last blog, Birthday Blooms went to the quilter last Saturday. I was dithering about which quilt top I was going to put together next of the four that I have the blocks done for but that decision was, happily, made for me.

I had blocks for an ABC donation quilt for one of the charities sponsored by my guild and run by a friend at church. My friend, Dessie, pulled me aside, urgently, during fellowship last Sunday to ask if I would drive her to our church camp in June where we would distribute the quilts and spend four days with the kids and families who would be there. Well, I jumped at the chance. So I am working on the ABC quilt top and have it 2/3rds finished. I have chosen the back, a piece of yellow which has been in my stash for eons and which I don't have any plans to use for blocks. I will quilt it myself using the method Ricky Tims  taught at the great seminar artquiltmaker sent me to in February (and I promise to blog about it soon - finishing the cleanout of my mom's house interfeared with that -and I still can't spell interfeared).

Monday, March 3, 2014

Back among the living!

Birthday Blooms

I am  indeed back among the living. Delivered Birthday Blooms to the long-arm quilter Saturday after show-n-tell at Saturday Sampler Block of the Month meeting at Quilters Quarters in Stockton.  I have to say that I am sick of this quilt but everyone who has seen it says it is beautiful so I am ignoring the head voices and believing others.

I realized when trying to photograph this top that when it is raining, there is no where big enough to take a picture in our house. The big guy did his best! He dug out an extension pole used to paint the ceiling (not used in my lifetime, however ;] ) and I pinned the top to it. Worked pretty well, I thought.

Sunday The big Guy and I went to the Manteca Quilters Guild annual show. It is a small show but with quite good quilts.

This is a RickRack quilt that caught my eye. I collected rickrack for a while after getting a bad review of a quilted vest I made where the judge hated the rickrack. I threatened to make a  quilt of rickrack in response. Maybe this will inspire me!

This was The Big Guys favorite. Go to to see why.

My find of the day was two batik jelly rolls for only 14.99 each! I got them from the vendor Merrill-Lee West Quilts & More (916)208-8801. I'm pretty tickled with them. I see a baby quilt for our future granddaughter in them!

My next project is to finish Shoo Butterfly which is for ME! I am going to make a hex braid for the border. At the Boutique yesterday I got three yards of fabric for the back with a large floral print on it. Should be beautiful.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Final Trip to Mom's

Woke up at 5 a.m. (again) with brain going forty per (as my grandma used to say(. Made coffee and ran the dishwasher. As the post title says, I am in Santa Clarita, doing the final pack-up of my mom's house. I wish I could air lift it home and set it in the back yard so I could visit whenever I wanted! But that is magical thinking so I will have to buckle down and be 'surgical' in this sad work.

I have managed to arrange an estate sale for this weekend. This is a meant to be event as the company happened to have this weekend open. Their next opening is not til March but our escrow closes at 5p.m. on the 21st - a week from Friday. So you can see by how late I've left this how I so much do not want to do it.

Today I have to get the sisters and daughter -apaperaddict - to get the last of the stuff they want out so it isn't sold on the weekend. Then I have to CLEAN the house - yuk!

And, once again as happened last time I was here, missing mom is so hard.

Friday, January 31, 2014

More Scrapitude Whining

Just when I thought I  finished doing all the (s)crapitude cutting I looked at the net step and realized I hadn't cut the 32 -5 1/4" squares! I have been obsessed with this elective quilt I'm doing for fun(?) to the neglect of the wedding quilt which HAS to be done.

So next time I go to my studio I will still be CUTTING!!!! On a brighter note, I have finished all the four patches :)

I've also cleaned off my drafting table, kind of.  And  am getting stuff together to give away. While working on cleaning out the guest room earlier today I thought I should go through my purses and get rid of a few. I must have at least 20! That made me think about how many purses one really needs. Let's see, black (4 - 2 handmade by The Big Guy)), brown (3), tan (1), red (1), white (1), navy(1), little evening bag (2), hand made by apaperaddict purse (1), raffia summer purse (2) - not as many as I thought! But that is not a true inventory because I am not looking at the mess of them, just thinking. Maybe I should have a purse raffle!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Inspired by Artquiltmaker

After reading artquiltmaker's blog this week I was inspired too push myself, quilting-wise. Here is a run down of  what I accomplished since Monday:

Strips cut for the 2 1/2 x 12 1/2 pieces for the scrapitude mystery quilt

5 1/4 squares (64) cut for mystery quilt

32 mystery quilt two patches sewn  -  sorry, no pictures.

Blocks Birthday Blooms block of the month (2013) quilt together, border and binding fabric chosen and purchased

Shoo Butterfly blocks finished


Trial  "Grandma's Star" nifty nine patch block of the month completed

Blocks for donation quilt complete.

Went to my first mini-group meeting Thursday. We made a Sawtooth Star and a Friendship Star using a technique that keeps all the pieces parts together while sewing. Pretty neat!

All in all a productive week.

I also raked leaves and vacumned half the house!