Friday, April 22, 2016

Springtime

I have been a terrible blogger lately.  Springtime is always busy with family events and this one has been no different.  Trying to squeeze in time for stitching proves difficult.

My BIL is so good about saving his shirts for me when he is finished with them,  As a small token of thanks to him and to my sister I used some of his shirts to create a scrappy quilt for them.  The pattern is a variation of a  Bonnie Hunter freebie, Scrappy Mountain Majesties.



The gals in the family are in charge of a big dinner dance and auction tomorrow night.  They asked if I would make a table runner that reflected a "vintage-y/romantic" feel to go with some dishes they also have.  I added a hint of lace without the real lace by stenciling a lace motif on the linen looking background fabric.




This month for our Spelling Bee Carla requested words that had a knitting theme.  She has just opened up a knitting shop and wanted to reflect her love of quilting and knitting.  These are the words I sent off to her.



A dear friend whom I have known for years came up for a few days visit.  We had such fun reminiscing and visiting the Reagan Library.


The gardens continue to bloom beautifully.  My orchids and Epiphyllum (orchid cactus) are the show this week.



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The other excitement in the garden was the arrival of the tortoise eggs.  She laid them a month earlier than normal, but I assume it is because of the warm winter we had.  This is an all day process.


Monday, April 4, 2016

LI-GA-ST

How's that for a title?  It's just what has been going on around here for the last few weeks - living, gardening and stitching....in about that order too.

The weather has been gorgeous and much too nice to be inside, but I have managed to get some stitching in here and there.  Our Mid Century Modern Bee block this month was really fun.  Our bee queen, Stephanie, sent us the fabrics to use and then we got to play with our our color arrangements.  Aren't they going to be fun in one big quilt?


Every once in awhile I come across a tool that I find invaluable in my quilting.  There are many that I can do without too, but I have had one for about six months now and LOVE it.  Have you heard of the Quilter's Sidelock?  It is amazing!  One went home to the UK with my friend.  Another went home to Alaska with my sister so I thought I would rave a bit about it here.  If you are frustrated by slipping rulers in your cutting, you are going to love it.  There is absolutely NO slipping.  They are a little pricey, but well worth it.  I found mine on Massdrop.  It had the lowest price and the shipping was free.  This is my own review and not sponsored by anyone else.


We had a great Easter with the family all gathered.  It seems like it was just yesterday.  The bunnies have all hopped away and the grandchildren have moved on to their new 4-H project.  Meet Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!


The second hummingbird nest at my mom's has a new little one in it.  It has been several days since the first hatching so I hope the second egg will soon follow.


A walk in the garden yesterday sent me in to grab the camera.









The vegetable garden isn't nearly as exciting at this time, but I'll share pictures of that later.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Little Bits

Spring is finally here although I really cannot complain about our mild winters.  It is always nice to see the new life coming to the gardens as well as blooms bursting forth on fabrics.

The Block Lotto blocks for this month called for posies in blues, purples, pinks and reds.  This was a really fun pattern and will make a great quilt.


A walk around the garden awakens the sights and smells at this time of the year.





The kumquats get the canning season off to a productive start.  Yummy marmalade awaits.




I've been sewing as well, but not a lot to show for the time spent.  I've been working on a Round Robin and thoroughly enjoying it.  Since it is a surprise, I cannot show it yet.

March has brought lot of fun blocks to my mailbox from our Spelling Bee.  Can you guess the theme of my requested words?  The used fabrics are just as exciting as the words.....such clever participants!


I am one of those people who have always loved batik fabrics and I was fortunate enough to recently win a giveaway of some of the Island Batiks from Jocelyn's giveaway at Happy Cottage Quilter.  These batiks are so soft and unlike many other batiks.  They will be fun to sew.



Linda is this month's Mid Century Modern Bee queen this month and requested some mini Churn Dash blocks.  I popped mine in the mail and completely forgot to photograph them before I sent them on their way.  This is going to make an amazing finish.  You can check out her blocks HERE on Flickr.

Our youngest son and his family will be home later this week for Easter.  The computer time will be limited while we enjoy their visit so I wish all of you who celebrate a very Happy Easter.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Resurfacing

We have had such a fabulous two weeks with our house guests, but all good things must come to an end.  As they flew back "over the pond" overnight, our household seemed very quiet this morning.  It is now time to get back to the normally scheduled programming.  I feel as though I have been out of touch with blogging and will catch up as time allows.

While the guys were away on the links, the gals were home and busily sewing up a storm, shopping and just having fun catching up.  I must say that I worried that all of the fun would not fit into the suitcases at the end of the day, but with bags bulging at all corners we bid our farewells.

So.....what did we sew????  Quilts, quilts and more quilts - all completed except the binding which can be done at a relaxing pace in England.


Goodnight Irene - a quilt she has wanted to make for sometime and it was lovely.


This one was gorgeous in a pink/green batik.



The hearts were for her niece who will be getting married this year.  It was a Moda Bake Shop pattern that we were both terribly discouraged with it in the end.  The hearts are designed to be sidewards if you follow the instructions.  A small twist would have made them upright as the photos on the site show.  Also the measurements were way off - a full 12".  The heart rows were also 2" off in their measurements - a much bigger challenge than expected and very disappointing.



This zig zag quilt is done with squares and really gave us another challenge, but turned out so beautifully.  We were both seeing zig zags by the time we were finished.

While our friends were here, their daughter Skyped with them on Mother's Day (in the UK) to tell them they were going to be grandparents again.  Of course we had to add another quilt with soft minky fabric on the back.



As well, during the last week my sister who lives in Alaska came down and we had a fun day quilting her scrap quilt.  The colors (pinks, purples, blues and greens) in the photos do not do this one justice, but it was gorgeous - both front and back.  She did an amazing job on it.



I have loads more to post, but will close this one off with some final pictures of the growing hummingbirds.



They have now "flown the coop", but low and behold, a new hummingbird nest was discovered in a plant on my mom's back patio so the fun begins again.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Adios February

I can't believe how the past week has flown.  Here we are approaching the end of February already.  I must be getting old!

A week ago today I had the most delightful day at Quilt Con.  The quilts were amazing, but even better than that was meeting up with so many quilters whom I have followed through their blogs, bees and e-mails.  I was terrible with my camera as I was enjoying the company way too much, but you will have to trust me when I said I loved every minute of it.  Lunch and dinner were both fabulous and gave us such a good opportunity to chat with each other.  I hope Pasadena has recovered from all of the fun.

This week has involved a lot of yard work so sewing was on the back burner.  My cacti are all blooming.  This is a special one as it is a section from a plant that once belonged to my grandmother.  Aren't the colors beautiful?



Right below the cactus are two pots of cyclamen.  These pots are probably 9 or 10 years old, but are just as pretty each year.  I know that I should divide them, but that tasks also keeps being placed on the back burner.  That back burner is getting crowded.



My mom has a birthday tomorrow and my sister's is next week so I got busy and did birthday postcards for them.  My sister may read this post so I can't show hers until she receives it, but here is my mom's.



As an update to her hummingbird nest......two little hatchlings appeared last Thursday.  Notice how short their beaks are.  The nest looks big here, but it is about 2" in diameter.  You can imagine how tiny the little birds are.




This is five days later.  They are filling the nest quickly and will soon be flying off.  ;-(   You can see the beaks starting to form a point,



As well this week I quilted my Hillside Houses quilt.  I ended up doing a Wiggle Worm quilting pattern on it.  I had wanted to do special quilting on each house, but I just wanted to get it finished.





 Loved the little houses for the backing....


It is now residing at the foot of the guest room bed.


Speaking of guest room.....our guest room is going to be filled for the next few weeks with our dear friends from the U.K.  They arrive tomorrow so I will be away from the computer as we enjoy our time together.  Stay well and enjoy your stitching while I am away.