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

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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

 

 

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

And Summer Begins

And Summer Begins

Is May getting away from you?  Welcome to the club.  The time is going so fast, I feel like I can’t keep up.  So my answer?  Take the week.  I did a little sewing, a little gardening and some general messing around last week.    I also took a couple of naps.  Except for Monday, I wasn’t very efficient.  I didn’t begin to get through my to-do list.  And guess what?  The world is still turning.  Yes, this week I’ll be catching up, and I’m ready for the challenge.

It actually looks like it’s snowing outside right now although the temperature is in the high 60’s. 

What we have here is cottonwood.  We have a couple weeks of this every spring.  These little fluffs get on the dogs, in the house and stuck in the screens.  Apparently about half of humanity is allergic to the stuff.  It’s kind of a mess, but it should be over soon.

Strawberry season is here and they’re marvelous! So far I’ve made strawberry pie, strawberry shortcake and strawberry/lime jam.  Barb and I did the jam last Saturday and we’re looking forward to raspberries and apricots as they both make fabulous jam.  I’m not fooling myself this year – summer will be busy and tasty.

    

A couple of weeks ago my small quilt group, Quilters on the Edge, had the reveal of our latest projects.  To see all the finished tops, you can go to Quilters on the Edge on Facebook.  We each made a center and sent it off to be added to by each of the other members of the group.  Seven of us participated.  We don’t get to see our own top until the last meeting.  I was so tickled with mine and want to show it off.

It’s cutting the line to be the next top quilted.

I’m already looking at my Halloween fabrics to decide what I’ll work on for this fall.  I have enough Halloween fabric to last for the rest of the 21st century.  I tell myself every year that I don’t need more and it’s so true.  Yet nearly every year some designer comes up with something I just have to own.  I’m sure this is a sign of something, but I honestly just don’t want to know.  I want to just wallow in the fabric.

Yesterday was Ella’s eleventh birthday.  She has no understanding that she should be a quiet, dignified older dog.  She runs up and down the stairs like a puppy and is known as “the instigator.”  If there’s trouble, she started it.  Happy birthday to forever young Ella!

Now I have to go work on the catching up part of my day.  Share us with your quilting friends and browse the rest of the site.

Quilt for Fun!

Candy

And Then There Was Sun!

And Then There Was Sun!

Today is springy and it feels so good.  I actually sat outside in the sunshine and took in a bit of Vitamin D.  I’m always surprised at how much more energy I have on sunny days. It’s nice to have the windows open and I can hear kids playing outside and imagine their mothers sighing in relief.  There’s a leaf blower in the distance and by tomorrow the air will be alive with the sound of power washers.

The house repairs are finally finished and what a relief.  I am really enjoying the quiet.  The only sad part is that I have no excuse to put off housework!

I’ve been quilting this quilt

which has been nameless until now.  I looked up the name of the block and was disappointed to find it unimaginatively called Double X #4.  That is just not cutting it.  I’ve decided to call the quilt “Birds Heading Home.”  The birds are the little green triangles and the birdhouse has a bright pink door.  I’ve quilted the top right corner.

It’s a lot of quilting, but since the piece isn’t really big, it won’t take too long.

If patriotic quilts are your thing or you do Quilts of Valor, there’s a lot of red, white and blue fabric out there now.  I love the colors and am ready to do at least a runner.  I have some older runners I’ve made and looking at them now reminds me how long some of those pieces have been around.  Many of the blues I used before the turn of the century have faded to gray.  The newer dyes are much better and I now have windows that block the UV rays that bleach out carpet, draperies and even wood floors.  If you’re looking for patterns for patriotic quilts, I’d like to recommend our Blue Star Mothers pattern.  If you want a good sized quilt in a hurry, Fall Into Halloween would be great in USA prints.  Also, for some cool patriotic fabrics, Mother Goes Mod works well, especially if you have a red, white and blue layer cake.

Blue Star Mothers

Blue Star Mothers

After a long, hard winter, get outside and get a little sun.  Then quilt for fun!

Candy

PS  Newsletter coming out next week!  Sign up at the top right of this page.

 

Something Springy

Something Springy

Spring is  here.  We know this in the Northwest because we’ll have a sunny and 70 degree day followed by a rainy 50 degree day followed by a dry, mixed sun and clouds day.  It’s confusing, mostly because whatever I choose to wear, it’ll be either not warm enough or not cool enough.  The trick here is layers.  Lots of layers.  BTW, these hyacinths smell lovely.

A couple of weeks ago AQS had a book sale.  The quilt library is already stuffed, but there’s always room for one (or four) more.  My biggest problem is that I want to do ALL the quilts.  Time is a bit of an issue here.  The good news is that no matter what, I’ll never be bored.  The big question is, what do I do next?

“Sewist’s Delight” has the quilting finished and the binding attached.  This one comes under the heading “better finished than perfect.”  I like the idea of the quilting better than the reality.  If I were to do it again, I would quilt each of the four big blocks individually and then put them together.  I’ve done this before with some large projects and it would’ve been more appropriate for this one.

The narrow quilting went fine within each block, but got kind of hairy between the blocks.  Live & learn.  The plan now is to finish the binding and wash the quilt.  A bit of shrinkage may help the overall look or make it way worse.  Only one way to find out.

One of my spring favorites is “Tulip Field.”  The pattern is on sale through the end of April for $9.00.  Treat yourself when the taxes are done.  Or any time, really.  Click on the shop button and have some fun.

 

There are actually tulip fields not far from here.  I haven’t visited them in a couple of years and it’s about time.  As soon as they’re seriously blooming, I’ll take a field trip.

Quilt for Fun!

Candy

Working with Scraps

Working with Scraps

We’ve been having dry and partly sunny weather and tulips are coming up. And the crocus are flowering.

I even went next door to sniff my neighbor’s daphne. (They know about it.) This makes me want to start planting things.  I want flowers and veggies and . . . wait a minute! It’s the second week of February.  There’s still time for a lot of weather before real spring starts.  At least it’s still light at 5:30 pm and that’s really nice.

You may remember a photo I posted here last week.

At some point I just couldn’t bear to throw out “reasonable” sized strips.  Some years ago I made this with leftover strips.

I haven’t done that for a while and I might make another one, but not this month.  So I decided to take my own advice and do something about the strips.  Here’s what I got.

I picked greens, yellows and a few dark blues and just started sewing strips together.  I didn’t worry about how straight the strips were – some are really straight and others are wonky.  The ones that were too wide I sliced in two with a rotary cutter but no ruler. The only thing I was careful about was cutting 8½-inch squares to make it easy to sew together.  The binding will be dark blue.  My only regret is that it didn’t make as big an impact on my scraps as I’d hoped.  I think this will be a great way to play with color combinations.

At 40 X 48 inches this would make a good baby or toddler quilt or just a bright hanging.  It speaks to me of spring, which is always good.

On a completely different subject, here’s a picture of Ella Puppaccino Face. She got this treat after her checkup at the vet’s.  And yes, we saved some for Toby.

For the next three days, I’m taking a class at Art & Soul, Portland.  It’s not about quilting and that’s a good thing.  I really think that any art or craft class helps with quilting design and decisions.  The sewing machine may be lonely for a few days, but I will return with lots of enthusiasm.

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Quilt for Fun

Candy

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This year is starting out with a bang.  Sweet Husband and I have spent chunks of this week helping Barb move into her new house.  We got lucky with the weather – mostly dry and sunny. It’ll be great when she gets everything unpacked, sorted out and put away.  For now it’s a bit chaotic.  Whether you move next door or to another continent, it’s about the same amount of trouble.  Between that and the updating we’re doing on our own house, my quilting plans for this week pretty much got put back a week.  Such is real life.

I’m thinking about quilting goals for 2018, and this year I’m taking a shot at realistic plans.  If I can do more than I planned, that’s great.  I just don’t want to be annoyed with myself if (when) I fall short of goals that could only have been accomplished with the aid of a miracle.  I have enough good UFO’s and ideas for new things to keep me busy.  As always, I’ll make a list and then pare it down to be more realistic.  Quilting is kind of like going to a buffet where my eyes are always bigger than my stomach.  In this case, I like almost all the quilt ideas I see, and all the fabric, and all the notions.  I could use most of them if I didn’t have anything else in my life.  There are a LOT of other things in my life.  So the final plan is to be as efficient as possible and enjoy everyone in my life.

My studio still looks like this:

It will probably be like that for another month.  Just out of the picture to the right is a plastic wall that I have to sneak by to get to the cutting table.  The long and short of it is, it takes more time to find things, and I trip a lot.  Now to collect my perseverance and stubborn qualities to just go in there and get it done.

My son and daughter-in-law (aka Dan and the lovely Catherine) sent me these scissors for Christmas and they are wonderful.  They are Tim Holtz Non-stick Micro Serrated Scissors from Tonic Studios.  I love them because, not only are they sharp, they have big handles that don’t mess with arthritic fingers.  This pair is 7 inches long (2″ blades) and also come in 5-inch scissors and 9 ½ inch shears.  They are available on Amazon and Blitsy and probably lots of other places.

I used them to cut out the wool pieces for this cute project:

It’s not finished (big surprise), and I’m not putting it away until it is.  I will stitch the pieces down while I watch TV and it’ll be all ready for next year.  I love old pickups, so this project has a special place in my heart.

For those of you who are having a very wintry winter, stay warm.  For the rest of us, stay warm and do not gloat.  It’s not nice to tease Mother Nature.  The longer our snow shovel remains hanging in the garage, the better.

Keep quilting for fun!

Candy

 

Halloweening in the Studio

Halloweening in the Studio

Here in the Northwest, fall is at its most colorful.  The reds and oranges seem especially bright this year.  Or maybe it’s my imagination as I try to take it all in before all the leaves fall and we head into the gray and dark green months of winter.

Brightly colored trees were the only colorful thing on this dark and rainy day.

 

Maybe that’s why many of my quilts are made with the bold colors of fall.  Think deep and rich colors.

                  

 

 

Harrys Halloween

Mother’s Halloween

 

There’s still time to make a quilt in fall hues.

A friend brought me this panel, knowing I would get a kick out of it.  I’m not Mother on a Broomstick for nothing.  It’s called The Queen of ‘Ween and is right up my alley.

 Not only is it very cute, but it gives me an opportunity to practice my free motion quilting.  Since the panel design doesn’t need any additional activity, I’m using matching thread and following lines that are already printed.

I have several tops waiting to be quilted and this is the perfect way to get in the rhythm after a couple of months of piecing (also some traveling, and Halloweening and generally goofing around).  Although it’s hard to show it in a picture, this kind of quilting mostly adds depth to the printed picture.

Come visit our Shop page.  We have lots of fun designs to choose from.

Enjoy the beauty of fall and we’ll try not to mildew.  Seriously, we may have 4 inches of rain today!

Quilt for Fun

Candy