The Dog with the Cute Smile

The Dog with the Cute Smile

After a very foggy start, we have sunshine and blue sky.  And it’s a good thing – it’s been a tough week and and any cheerfulness is gratefully accepted.  If you follow us on Facebook, you know that our sweet Toby passed on Monday.  He was a very large poodle, 85 lbs in his prime and the gentlest of dogs.  He got to enjoy his last Halloween; Toby loved kids and he and Ella were always great with little trick or treaters.  He also had a really cute sense of humor and “beep in the nose” was his favorite game.  Today is the first day I haven’t spent in tears.  Dogs do take up residence in our hearts and are true friends.  Toby would’ve been 15 in two weeks, so it’s nice to know that he had a long and happy life.  He will always ride on the back of my broom.

Ella is feeling a little subdued as she’s never been an only dog.  There will be another companion in her future when we’re all ready.

I’m going to take some time to finish projects (and Christmas presents) and not worry about new patterns until the first of the year.  I need to do some upgrades on the website (or more likely find someone else to do them) and this will also take a little time.  And okay – a little destress time is in order.

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is only two weeks away.  Sweet Husband and I are spending it in Southern Oregon with my mom and since this week seemed kind of overwhelming, I made a dinner reservation for the big day.  Mother doesn’t cook anymore ( she just turned 89) and her kitchen drives me crazy.  There will just be the three of us and I’ll bring a pumpkin pie.  Luckily, everyone is fine with that.  It’s only taken me 65 years to figure out that it’s okay to give myself a break.  So let me pass this wisdom on to you:

IT’S OKAY TO GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

In the meantime, there will still be Facebook comment and of course some talking here.  Our Christmas runners come together pretty easily, so have a look on our shopping page.

Keep quilting for fun.

Candy

 

 

The Colors of Fall

The Colors of Fall

We’re having a bit of a funky fall.  The trees seem unsure about what they’re supposed to do.  Many have not begun to turn to their usual fall colors.  Others have green branches, some red branches and some yellow branches.  Even the individual leaves seem confused.

This poor tree has no clue what it’s supposed to do.

We’ve finally had some rain which relieves me of the chore of watering flower pots.  The idea of watering is so exciting and zen-like in the spring and gets really old by the end of September.  By October it’s just a pain.  Yet next March I’ll be looking forward to it.  How quickly we forget.

The cooler, wetter weather also removes the temptation to just sit outside and sip iced tea, which is an activity the calls to me in the warm summer months.

While I’m waiting for my sewing machine that I quilt with to come home from the shop, I’ve been working on a Halloween scrap quilt. The idea was to make some inroads into the tub of Halloween scraps I’ve been hoarding for more years than I care to share.  I found a good idea in a book called “Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts” by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms and decided to make one quarter of the quilt so it would only finish at 39 X 39-inches.  I wanted to be finished with it while I was still young.  The pattern is called Pumpkin Peel, which seemed appropriate.  I’ve made 6 ½ of the 8 sets of these:

Organizing the scraps into color groups and making the paper foundations makes a pretty big mess.

I’m getting to the point where I’m pretty sure the scraps mate and make new scraps while I’m not looking.  I feel like I’ve used a lot but the total pile doesn’t look appreciably diminished.   I just started without really reading all the directions, but if you’re going to go scrappy, you might as well go all the way.  I may live to regret that, but what else is new?

This one goes up on a wall as I decorate for Halloween this week.

This pattern is not yet on the Shopping Page.  If you’re interested in buying it, it’s $12.00 and you can order by emailing us at motheronabroomstick@gmail.com.  We think it’s very cute and hope that you do, too.  Please check out our other quilts on the Shop page.

Barb and I finished out our summer by canning applesauce yesterday.  By that I mean that Barb made the sauce and I ladled it into jars and put them in the canner.  This is not a money-saving endeavor but we know exactly what’s in that applesauce and it’s really good.  And it makes us feel proud of ourselves.    This is what Toby looks like when he’s trying to make apple pieces float themselves down into his mouth.

Look at that intensity!  It pays off, of course, with a few little bites of apple.  Ella only begs once, spits out the apple and walks away.  She’s not really that into fruit, but wants to try anything Toby’s having.

We hope you’re enjoying whatever fall projects you have going and would love for you to send us pictures.  Fall projects are always the best.

Keep quilting.

Candy

Enter Fall, Part II

Enter Fall, Part II

I just realized that the Fall Equinox is only two days away.  If someone knows how that happened so quickly, please let me know.  It feels like it was mid-summer about fifteen minutes ago.  With that in mind, it must be past time to make a Halloween quilt.  Or even a general Autumn quilt.  It’s time to snuggle under your favorite or create a new favorite.  Here are a few patterns we’ve created for this colorful time of year.

COLORS OF FALL

A little piecing and some fusing in your favorite fall colors and you have a small quilt that sets the tone for the season.

 

 

HARRY’S HALLOWEEN

Got a great print you don’t want to cut into little pieces?  “Harry” is the perfect solution.  We used a favorite Halloween print and lots of scraps.

 

 

AUTUMN LEAVES

AUTUMN LEAVES

Take some traditional blocks, a fall palette of colors and you’re ready for a bright and scrappy snuggler.  We’ve also made it Halloween style:

 

 

And here’s our newest:

THE MAGIC PUMPKIN

What magic is escaping from our favorite squash?  This pattern will be ready next week.

We have lots more that lend themselves to the season.  Just click on “Shop” at the top of this page in the purple banner to see them all.

Enjoy the last bits of summer and keep quilting for fun.

Candy

Enter Fall

Enter Fall

It suddenly feels like fall.  We had a little rain over the weekend and the air is clear and the sky blue.  The sun is out, but a little weaker and the evenings are cool.  I even put an extra quilt on the bed last night.  I’m hoping for some more warm sunny days to keep the tomatoes ripening up.

 We have one cucumber plant that must’ve produced more than 25 cucumbers.  I like cucumbers, but there is a limit to how much two people can eat.

Luckily, this one is still young enough to have very few seeds.  A couple that got away from me and I later found under the leaves were big enough to be classified as weaponry.  Given how dry the summer was and how fouled up our sprinkler system was for a while, I’m impressed.

I also have a bunch of dahlias.  I really love them because all you have to do is plant some bulbs in the spring and stake them up by midsummer.  And unless it’s a really harsh winter, they’ll come back bigger and better next year.  That’s my kind of low maintenance garden.

                                                                          

 

We’ve had one of those summers where the words, “Hi Honey, guess what broke today?” were too often spoken.  I’m glad to report that the refrigerator responded to a reboot, the sprinkler repair guy found the leak and got it fixed and the vacuum is working again.  My sewing machine is making a squeaking sound that makes my ears want to bleed.  I took it in last week and the tech tweaked a couple of things and sent it home with me.  It was not fixed.  Naturally, it didn’t make the sound when the tech was testing it.  This time, I’ve recorded the sound on my phone so he can hear it when I take it back tomorrow.  It’s this sort of stuff that makes me nuts.  Of course I have several tops I want to quilt this fall and I’m hoping we have a quick fix tomorrow.

This is one of my favorite quilts.  It’s called Pumpkin Blossom and came from a book called “Treats, No Tricks”  from Thimbleberries. I made it ten years ago and it still makes me smile.

The original in the book, didn’t call for such bright colors, but this is the perfect example of making a quilt from a pattern your own.  As you may have noticed, I tend to like livelier colors.  Making any quilt the way you want it to look is part of the joy and creativity of quilting.

I had a good time playing with my machine’s blanket stitch and some free-motion “seeds” in the flower centers.  Most of our machines have some cool stitches that we seldom, if ever, use.  I’m working on checking them out and using them when appropriate.

I rarely put up pictures of us, but I just got a kick out of this one of Barb and Ella.

Ella’s trying to convince Barb that nobody really loves her here.  That dog is really a piece of work, but she keeps my feet warm at night, so I guess we’ll keep her.

 

Please share us with your quilting buddies.  We’d love to hear from all of you.

Quilting for Fun,

Candy

 

 

One of Those Weeks and Something New

One of Those Weeks and Something New

SOMETHING NEW

We’ve added a new page to our site.  It’s called “What We Found.”  When we take a break and mess around on the internet, we sometimes find some really cool things that we can share.  AQS has planning pages on its website that can be shared on sites like ours.  The September one is already on our Something New page which will go up as soon as possible.  Until then, try this:

2018 AQS Creative Organizer: September

 

Ever have one of those weeks?  Sweet Husband’s car battery died, as did his (still under warranty) printer, not to mention the sprinklers that wouldn’t turn off.  The last thing was just too weird.  I unplugged the system and the water just kept coming.  SH finally turned off the valve to the whole sprinkler system.  Now my sewing machine is making a really horrible noise, but just sometimes.  (Insert a giant sigh here.)  Some weeks are just like that.

Our neighborhood is very quiet this afternoon as school started her a couple of days ago.  After a record-setting string of days in the 90’s, it’s a fall-like 65 today and the wild fire smoke has pretty much cleared out.  Summer went by so fast, I feel like I missed half of it.  Fall is often really beautiful here and I love the colors.  AND I have more time for quilting.

I’m currently quilting this one:

With the exception of the flowers, which I quilted from the front, I’m quilting from the “wrong” side, using the backing as a pattern.  This method works well (with the right backing) and allows my mind to wander off to new projects I want to start.  The original pattern is called “Autumn Sunset” and has been updated to include “Summer Sunrise.”

I need more minutes to do all the things that are in my head, not to mention the UFO pile.  There is just so much to learn and try, and so much fabric to do it with.

At this time of year, the local and regional produce is wonderful.  Yesterday, Barb and I peeled, sliced and froze a whole bunch of peaches.  We put a little sugar and Fruit Fresh on them and then bag ’em up and freeze ’em.  Come December and January, the taste of fresh peaches is just fabulous.  The only thing left to can this year is salsa.  Sweet Husband really likes it so we try to make enough for the whole year.  Oh, and apple sauce.  Guess I’m not as nearly finished as I thought.

With Labor Day weekend coming up, we want to wish you a safe and fun holiday!

Keep quilting for fun!

Candy

 

Ella’s Work

Ella’s Work

Ella is our eleven year old girl poodle.  She’s sweet and snuggly (especially with Barb) and a little bit pushy.  I’m told she was the boss of her litter and I believe it!  In colder weather, she sleeps on our bed, curled up at my feet, which is fabulous.  Also, any time is treat time and she’s not shy about reminding me of that.

However, it seems that when I spend too much time at the computer or sewing machine, she feels the need for a bigger statement.  Kind of like this:

Curiously, I don’t find this very amusing.  She’s also turned her teeth to my mother’s electric bill and a receipt from the vet.  The last one I get.  These are the times when she wonders if her last name might be dammit.  Ella is currently lying in the hall so that she can see in my office and down the front and back stairs.  Toby’s just sacked out next to me with his little piece of batting.  The Mother Goes Mod pattern has been reprinted and is ready to go.

Barb and I will be spending some days at my mother’s this week down in Southern Oregon.  We’re hoping that the recent cooler weather has helped with fires and smoke.  The climate there is significantly drier there than in the Willamette Valley so the fire danger is higher as is the chance of smoke inhalation.  I’ll sleep in my old bedroom and hang out where I grew up.  For Barb, it is the heart of the family since we moved a lot before she started middle school, but Nana and Jack were always in the same place.  The point of this is that if you order a pattern this week, it’ll go out next weekend.

This week I did some sewing, but also finished this:

:

I wish I could tell you that I drew it, but I’m not there yet.  I did, however, paint it.  I love the look of old pick-ups and this touched my heart.  When I win the lottery, I’ll get one.  I also confess that acrylic painting happens in my basement, mainly because if you splatter or spill, it stains for life.  Because it’s marvelously cool down there in the summer, it tends to call my name more than in the winter.

Our weather the last couple of days gave us a little taste of fall.  It really tried to rain, but Mother Nature just couldn’t quite do it.  A few misty little drops didn’t water the pots but managed to up the humidity.

This fall quilt will be on special for a couple of weeks.

AUTUMN LEAVES

One of the things that I like about this quilt is that it looks a lot more complex than it is.  If you don’t have a stash of fall fabrics, there’s lots to choose from right now.  If this picture looks too busy, it’s easy to tame it down with quieter fabric choices.  When you go to the Shopping page, it will automatically charge the sale price.

Whether you’d like summer to stretch out for a longer time or are eagerly awaiting the start of school and cooler weather, be sure to enjoy these last few weeks of Summer 2018.  Time flies by quickly, so enjoy the little moments.

Quilt for Fun!

Candy

 

 

 

To Plan and Replan

To Plan and Replan

Sometimes the best laid plans just get up and run away.  Last week was like that for me.  No matter how well I planned, things just happened.  Some things were wonderfully pleasant, like an overdue visit with a friend or a few hours on a boat floating around on the river.  I can always make room for stuff like that.  It’s getting to an appointment and hearing, “We’re running a little late today.”  Or, and this is my personal “favorite,””I know our email said your order would be here today, but actually it won’t be here until next Friday.”  In my mind I’m thinking, Thanks for the update.  That’s an hour I won’t get back. 

There were, however, some things I did get done.  The new Mother Goes Mod quilt, “Mod Halloween” is all pieced and the pattern has been updated.  I also made a couple of short help videos for the pattern that will be on the How To page.  Nothing in this pattern is actually complex, but I like to show as well as tell sometimes.

This quilt that generated so many ideas while I was making it.  I though it would be a great kid’s quilt with children’s prints or sports prints.  It could also be a great Christmas or other holiday quilt.  I love it for prints that are too cute to cut into tiny pieces.

The warm weather has really encouraged the vegetable garden.  The one cucumber plant has gone crazy.  If anybody has some good ideas for cucumber recipes, I will be eternally grateful.  The dahlias got in a bit late, but are starting to bloom and look lovely, as always.

 It’s a bit smokey today, but not bad compared to lots of other places.  The West has been so dry this year and we’ve had lots of fires.

And now, since I haven’t sewn in about two days, I must get at it before my head explodes!

Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to Quilt For Fun

Candy

PS

Please recommend us to your quilting friends and let them know about our Facebook Page.  The more, the merrier!

 

The First Tomato

The First Tomato

19 July

The first tomato of the season is always a big deal around here.  I picked these little cuties this morning and am looking forward to the first taste.

The name of this particular plant is Bloody Butcher.  Who thinks this stuff up?

I had a great time in Sisters last week.  As usual, the week went incredibly fast.  Five of us rented a house for a week and had this view from the back yard.

 Sisters is located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains just outside of the Deschutes National Forest.  How about this view?

I took one three-day class from Katie Pasquini Masopust called Watercolor Painting to Quilt.  We spent the first day playing with paint.  I have a pretty good stack of watercolor paintings that will give me lots of ideas for future quilts.  The one I finally chose to work with was this one.

And here’s the little piece that was enlarged for the actual quilt.

I’ve been working on it whenever I could since I got home.  I’m learning a lot as I go and will post it when the top is finished.  Will I ever do this again?  Depends on how it looks when it’s quilted.

The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show was Saturday and here are a few shots:

 

                              

                               

 

The quilts are hung all over town and it was a beautiful morning.  Lots of people (and dogs) and fabulous quilts. The last shot is Barb and me on the way to the car.  This sort of thing happens when we’re tired and silly.

23 July

All I need is just one little distraction.  After that my best laid plans go to pieces.  I spent the last couple of days at my mom’s.  The southern part of Oregon is fighting several wild fires and the air is quite smokey.  It wasn’t as hot as I’d expected, but the smoke makes it seem hotter.  The Portland area isn’t having smoke issues at the moment, for which we are very thankful.  We’re looking at fairly hot weather (for here) over the next week or so, but it’s cool enough in the morning and evening to sit outside, which I love.  Sitting out with a bit of handwork in a warm, but gentle breeze is wonderful.  At least until I think about the weeding that needs attention.

Since I’ve been traveling for the last three weekends, my plan this week is to sew and sew and sew.  I’ll get back to it so I can show you the new fall hanging ASAP!

Our newsletter is emailed every month or six weeks.  If you’d like to subscribe, you can do so at the top right of this page.  We talk more about specific books and patterns and tools.

Have a relaxing week!

Candy

 

 

Midsummer Quilting

Midsummer Quilting

Independence Day 2018

We hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday yesterday.  The fireworks smoke from last night has mostly blown away and it’s a lovely day.  We had a pretty noisy evening and luckily our dogs don’t really mind it.   Poodles are actually retrievers and a gun dog who doesn’t like loud noises doesn’t work so well.  I will never understand how they wound up in the non-sporting group, but I guess it’s just one of those things.

                    

                    “I can be sporting.”                                   ” I’m a good sport.”

I’ve been working on a Jaqueline DeJonge quilt, off and on, for several months.  The pattern is called “Enchanting Stars.”  I bought the kit from Jaqueline in Houston at the quilt show almost three years ago and it took me a good two years to open the instructions without wigging out.  I’m proud to say I’m just attaching section C to sections A and B.  Section J seems so far away.

I’m currently getting ready for a week of quilting and relaxation at the Quilter’s Affair in Sisters, OR.  Barb and I, along with three of my quilting buddies have rented a house for the week and everybody seems ready to “get outta Dodge.”  I’ve been going since 1993 and only missed a couple of years – once when I was on vacation and the other when my son got married.  I’m taking an art quilt class from Katie Pasquini Masopust and looking forward to it so much.  I’ve taken other classes from Katie and always had a good time and learned a lot.  I’ll post some results in a couple of weeks.

I’ve noticed a couple of ads for new Halloween fabric.  I can’t quite manage Christmas in July, but my love for fall and Halloween fabrics knows no season.  Actually, the last thing I need is more Halloween fabric, yet it calls to me.  Here’s the beginning of a new pattern that’s been in my head for a long time.  “Magic Pumpkin” will be finished and written as soon as I can get it done.

 

Watch our Facebook page for pics of the Quilter’s Affair next week.  The weather forecast looks perfect and the high desert at the edge of the Deschutes National Forest is beautiful.

Please pass us on to your quilting friends.  The more the merrier.  And do some quilting for fun.

Candy

Summer Fun

Summer Fun

School’s out!  As a kid, there were few things more enjoyable than summer vacation.  Long sunny days stretched out in front of me with swimming, bike riding, and playing with my friends.  One of the perks, back in the day, was the fact that Oregon didn’t do daylight savings time.  Therefore, some TV that I wanted to watch that was on too late during the school year was now available an hour earlier.  Sometimes, the simple joys of goofing around for hours on end and playing outside after dinner, even in the warm dark, are special.

While those carefree days are gone now that we at least pretend to be adults, we all need to squeeze in a bit of summer fun while the days are long and sunny.  On the really hot days, breakfast outside is a wonderful treat.  On cooler afternoons or evenings, I like to take my handwork outside.  Our neighborhood as seen an influx of younger families in the last few years so I hear lots of loud play through my studio window which I really enjoy.

The only trouble with summer is that it’s harder to squeeze in quilting time because the kids are home (for some of us), or something always needs to watered or fed or trimmed, and lots of outdoor activities are calling.  And we need to enjoy the summer stuff while we can.  This is the perfect time for smaller, faster projects so we feel we’re keeping up.  May we suggest “Lemonade Stand” and it’s smaller quicker iteration, “Limeade Runner.”

        Lemonade Stand                   

Look for them on our shopping page and also “In Full Bloom.”  which is mostly fused.

These patterns will be on special for the next few weeks.

Barb and I are going to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and some classes the week leading up to the show.  Because the show is the second weekend of July, and this Sunday is the first day of July, the show is a bit later than usual this year.  If you order during this week, your pattern(s) won’t go out until the following week.  This show has been held yearly for over 35 years and has become a tradition for some of my quilting buddies and me.  Sisters, Oregon is a charming little town that really throws it into high gear for Quilt Week.  Traffic is detoured around the highway that goes through town on show day so it’s easy to get to all the quilts hung outside throughout the town.

 

 

Our Toby (who rides Mother’s broomstick) is now 14 ½ years old.  He’s a bit slower than in years past, but still full of fun.  (He woke me up this morning by bumping his nose into mine.)  He has claimed a small piece of batting as his own and naps on it while I work in my office.  Toby also guards me while I’m in the shower.  I’m not sure what that’s about, but I find it sweet.  Wouldn’t it be great to know what’s going on in their minds?

Enjoy your summer and keep quilting!

Candy