Friday, December 19, 2014

These were quick and easy gifts to make!

I used this tutorial to make these cute quilted needlecases for my Tuesday group of friends. I would have loved to make one for each of my Thursday group too, but I just ran out of time. When thinking about fabric choices, I tried to match each "style" to the person receiving it, which was fun, but a bit challenging too.

I wish I had thought about taking a photo of the inside of each one, but I already had them wrapped up and was out of time when I realized I didn't have a picture. I'll try to get photos after they've been gifted so I can show them to you.

If you need a cute, handmade gift for one of your quilty friends, you might consider making one of these. I think they are great and when I get a spare moment, I'm going to make one for myself!

Take care,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sex in a pan!

This is such a wonderful time of year, isn't it? All the fun parties, good food, and great friends!

We are having are holiday pot luck at quilting today with a handmade gift exchange. It should be very exciting and different since we usually do a dollar store gift exchange and although that is lots of fun this will be better. I can almost guarantee it! As you know there is a lot of talent in our quilting group of 20-22 gals. I'll try to get photos of some of the gifts, but if I don't it's because I'm having too much fun!!

Anyway, I went through my usual process of trying to decide what to make/take. After several other options, I decided on this...


I used fusible fleece in this boxy pouch and it's nice and sturdy and keeps it shape quite well, even when empty. It's an Amy Butler fabric and I think it might appeal to more in our group than the two that I've made since, which helped in the decision making process. It will be fun to see who ends up with it at day's end.

We play that game where each gift may be stolen up to three times. I can't remember what it's called, but it is soooo much fun if you have a good group of people who are not too timid to steal.



I used Philip Jacobs fabrics for both of the more recent bags and even though they are a bit smaller than the first one, they are still a great size. I quilted the fabric using batting (rather than fusible fleece) before assembling and I like the way they turned out. They'll both be in the shop in a couple of days.


And, then there is all that wonderful food. We never assign categories so we all bring what we want and usually we have a very balanced selection of items. Everyone is a great cook so it's a real treat to try everything (and collect recipes)!!

For the pot luck, I'm taking Sex in a Pan. I've made it for years (since 1975) and always knew it as plain ole chocolate pie. Just recently, I've discovered that it's called Sex in a Pan. A much more interesting name for sure, but it doesn't change the fact that this is one of the BEST desserts out there. It's not fancy, it's just really, really good! The recipe was originally given to me by a good friend at the time, a very good Mormon girl, which explains, I think, why she referred to it as chocolate pie! :)

Take care,

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Look!

We've been very productive at our Tuesday meetings and I haven't talked about our group for awhile. I think I've mentioned before how diversified we are. We have modern, traditional, quirky, arty, experimental and fun all in the same little group. I never know what to expect from these ladies, but it's always exciting and inspirational.

Here's a peek at what was happening week before last. Remember, we meet in a garage so last week when it was pouring down rain, we decided not to attempt carrying all of our gear up the driveway and into the garage. Wise choice in the end!

Pat made wedges and since then has made even more. I think she told me on Thursday that she needed 15 more! It's going to be a gorgeous quilt.

Karen does the most beautiful embroidery and these owls prove it! She's got all the blocks completed and now she's piecing the rest of the quilt. She's using black, yellow, and white if I remember correctly. It's going to be really stunning!

Katie has the most incredible stash/collection of neutral fabrics. I've never seen some of the beautiful taupe fabrics she's got and I would love to steal some of them from her! :) She was finishing up the binding on this quilt and truly, this photo does not do it justice.

Stacey was just getting ready to start making this collection of "softies." She's the only one in our group who does this kind of work so it's always fun to watch her little figures come to life.

Pat A was working on Christmas gifts so I didn't want this photo to reveal too much about her project. Suffice it to say that her gifts will be works of art and the word "perfection" will definitely apply.

Jane was also working on a Christmas gift and when I saw her on Thursday she had added four or five more borders to this. It's a raw-edge woven center with borders being added to get it to the size she's wanting/needing. I wish you could see it in person as it's truly lovely. Made with batiks, the colors are stunning.

I worked on making some more zipper pouches for the shop. I've got five or six I think and will aim for tomorrow for photographing them and getting them listed. Today I finished up some small Christmas gifts that I decided to make yesterday morning. I thought it would take me longer to make them, so it was a pleasant surprise when I finished up about 3:30pm today. Once they've been gifted I'll share them here on the blog.

Hope you're all enjoying this wonderful -busy- holiday month!

Take care,

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Looking for Christmas gifts?

If you are looking the the perfect Christmas gift for a quilting friend, mother, sister, etc. in your life, remember that these lovely fabrics are available in my shop!

Amy Butler Glow

 Tula Pink Moonshine

 Joel Dewberry Birch Farm

 Anna Maria Horner Pretty Potent

 Kaffe Fassett Spring Collective 2014 Light

There are other items available as well, but after all these years, I still get more excited about fabric than anything else!!

Take care,

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

It was a lazy weekend... and now it's raining!!

Our Thanksgiving weekend seems like it was ages ago. I can't believe how quickly the time is passing... soon it will be Christmas and I'm not sure I'm ready. We're hoping to go get our tree tomorrow, but if the wet weather continues as is predicted, we'll end up putting that off for a few days.

Last Saturday, after eating essentially two Thanksgiving meals, we drove up to Channel Islands and took a walk at one of our favorite places.



It was a lovely, warm day with just enough breeze that we were comfortable walking along the water's edge in our short sleeves.

I didn't get any sewing done over the four days, but today I managed to work on my cargo duffle just a bit, while it was raining outside. It was a good day for staying inside. It was lovely rain and you know how badly we need it here in California. Just hoping it lasts another couple days. I also completed a second Vintage Tin block while watching my husband sleep in front of the TV during the evenings.

Take care,

Saturday, November 22, 2014

More... :))

Both my friend Pat and I cannot stop making these blocks. I tell you that it's addicting and I'm not kidding. We've even converted a couple of traditional quilters in our group into thinking about making some of these using wilder and crazier fabrics than they ever do.

At the end of the day and at Jane's prompt, we pinned our completed blocks to the wall to get an idea of just what we had accomplished. Pat really got a lot done on Thursday during class... she just kept making one gorgeous block after another. She's going to put them together in the square format and she's keeping to a pretty strict colorway. I love, love, love them.


Especially this one...


Aren't her fabric choices wonderful???

After taking another look at all of mine on the wall, I think I'm going to rethink how I was going to put them together. I went crazy with fabric choices and colors and didn't stick to any kind of theme. It's fun because now it's another challenge. I just need to step away for a bit to think.

That Modern Wedge class is one that keeps on giving!

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend. I'm doing chores and believe it or not, I' enjoying it immensely.

Take care,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

They are addicting...

Once I got started in our workshop on Saturday, I found I couldn't stop. It is addicting to play with fabric combinations and it's an easy block, both to cut and to sew.


These were done yesterday at Jane's house. I already had them cut so it was easy to get them all sewn as we sat and visited. They are sewn into halves (and pinned on the design board to see what the whole circle would look like) since I'm still deciding how I'm going to put them together.

Pat ended up bringing more fabric combinations and got quite a few cut and ready to sew. I'm hoping she'll work on them tomorrow at quilting group so I can see them come to life!

Take care,

Monday, November 17, 2014

A good day all around...

The Modern Wedge workshop with Kathy Doughty last Saturday was a blast! I had such a great time and learned so much. I also got a lot accomplished for such a short period of time.

Kathy's lecture was kind of an eye-opener for me. I've heard many theories about contrast, color, value, etc., but never in a way that made more sense to me. After listening to her talk, I'm rethinking my stash and the various opportunities that are probably lurking there that I've never considered before now.

As I sat and listened to what she was saying, I realized that I had brought all the wrong fabrics. In fact, I think most of us in class felt that way. But in reality we were all being challenged to see our fabrics in a new way and to use what we brought to class to create some really stunning quilt blocks.

In the end, I was so happy with my choices. And, I loved what the others in class did too.



These are the fabrics I took to the workshop with me... all large-scale prints.


And this is the first "block" I started to make.


Here are the rest of the "blocks" that I got done. They are not complete circles because Kathy gave me an idea/direction that requires only half-blocks. I won't divulge it now, but as I progress, it will become apparent where I'm going with it.


Such a FUN day! Thanks to the BCQG for providing Kathy the opportunity to teach and for the wonderful classroom facilities. And, last but certainly not least... a big thanks to John for carrying all of our heavy sewing machines from our cars to the classroom. That was a real treat!

I also want to thank my friends, Pat and Johanne. Johanne made it possible for Pat and I to attend, but I wouldn't know Johanne if it wasn't for Pat. I'm so lucky to have these wonderful ladies in my life.

Take care,


P.S. I do apologize for the quality of the pics. They were taken with my phone and although the phone has a great camera, I don't seem to be able to hold it steady enough to get good photos.

Friday, November 14, 2014

I played "hooky" yesterday...

As much as it pained me to do it, I decided to stay home and work on this Zenith quilt top yesterday rather than going to my quilting class. I missed seeing all of my friends, but it was the right choice since I finished getting it assembled.




I plan to work on finishing up my Midnight at the Oasis quilt and I need the design wall in order to do that. Now that the Zenith top is finished, I can take it down and put it into the to be quilted pile. And, the MATO can go back up on the wall. I'm more than half way to being finished and what I do have left is easy.

I'm still working on the cargo duffel. I had to lay off for a couple of days since I was waiting for my zipper to arrive. I wish I could have found a zipper I like better, but the one I got will work just fine. I was looking for one with with two pulls so that I can open it from either end and this one does, but it's not pretty. I hope to have time to work on it this weekend, although...

On Saturday I'm taking Kathy Doughty's Modern Wedge class in Orange County. Yippee! To tell the truth, I don't even care if I get much done in terms of starting/making a quilt. I'm more interested in meeting Kathy and listening to her quilting and fabric philosophy. I've been following her on her blog for years and greatly admire her fabulous ability to combine interesting/unusual fabrics. To say that I'm excited is an understatement. :)

Take care,