It’s Always Something

It’s Always Something

My mother was right, especially this year. The west is kind of a mess right now and I find myself ready to spill online. If you want to skip a bit of whining, you are welcome to go to the next paragraph. 1) I’m pretty much over hearing ads that begin with how they feel our pain at this challenging time. I would be fine if they skipped that and went on to the usual shameless self promotion. 2) Playing tennis with a mask sucks. It’s too smokey for tennis today anyway, so never mind. 3) We’re at level 1 evacuation which basically means get you stuff together just in case. We did that yesterday and the house now looks like a goat exploded. Also, everything smells like smoke.

Sometimes it’s good to just get it out there. In actual fact, we’re in pretty good shape – the wind has stopped and we’re across the river from the bad stuff. While the sun is just a little orange ball above the smoke, it is there. Also, friends have checked in on us, which makes me feel good. The interesting thing about this is that it makes you think about what’s really important. I’m finding that photos from before the digital period are a thing and that I’d be really sad to leave 40 years of quilting and decorative painting behind. There is more help coming from out of state and on the federal level. We’re keeping evacuees and those who’ve lost everything in our prayers.

The cookie jar below was started about 20 years ago and put aside halfway finished for about 5 years. Once I got myself to just read one instruction at a time, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

The other really cool thing that happened was that the hole in the ceiling and one wall of the quilting studio got fixed and the whole room repainted. It made me get serious about thinning the herd and while there are a few things still stashed in another room, some will not make the cut to get back into the new room. Sweet Husband did all the painting.

One thing that happened as I was moving stuff and cleaning out – there are more UFO’s! I’m working on a couple, but stopped to make this little cutie:

I used the small Circle Magic template from Missouri Star and a stack of Halloween 5-inch squares. I wanted to try the technique without risking a lot of time and fabric. I think the bigger template would’ve been easier, but this little guy turned out pretty cute. It’ll look better when it’s well pressed. It was a pretty quick project, which I was really ready for.

I only have one more block to appliqué for my block of the month wool quilt. Well actually, there are four little appliqué blocks for the corners but finishing the larger blocks is a big deal. I’m only about a month behind and I’m pretty proud of that. I have the black printed fabric that goes between the blocks so the end is in sight.

I hope that this blog finds everyone home and safe. When I find out what we can all do to help after the smoke clears, I’ll pass it on with the Facebook page. Right now the news tells me that the best way to help is to stay out of the way.

Take care and stay safe,

Candy

P.S. Anybody want cucumbers? I only have one plant and it went nuts. There are only so many cukes two people can eat!

Quilt for Fun – Early Fall

Quilt for Fun – Early Fall

I think it might be almost fall.  I’ve got lots of tomatoes and squash and the weather is cooler and cloudier.  We’ve even had a bit of rain, which we happily welcomed.  I baked our traditional First Week of School cookies yesterday.  My mom used to bake these early in September either to ease the drama of a return to more structured school days or (more probably) as a celebration of peace and quiet.  I baked them for my kids for the same reasons and still do just because I can.  The good news is that they’re yummy.  The bad news is that they’re made of butter, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut and sweetened condensed milk.  Since they’re mostly sugar and fat, how could they not taste great?  I only make them once a year as Sweet Husband and I can chow those babies down in record time.

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In an attempt to improve my piecing skills, I bought a kit and pattern by Elizabeth Hartman called “Aviatrix.”  I don’t do kits very often but since this pattern called for 25 solid fat quarters, I decided to get to the part I really wanted to work on.  (I pretty much have the shopping part down.)  The cutting alone is quite a project.  Apparently, I’m also working on patience.  Here’s the picture of the center.  It actually went together more easily than I thought it would.  There was a minimum of ripping and swearing.  Now there are six more pieced borders.

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I went back to a helper that I thought I didn’t need anymore.  I put a small piece of moleskin on the ¼” line in front of the needle on my machine to help me stay on the straight and narrow.  It really helps a lot.  It seems to work better for me than the ¼” foot.

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I’m also finding that I like the wide foot for small pieces.  The beginnings just go more smoothly.

 

Since Labor Day isn’t until next week,  “Halloween Housing” will be available until next week.  Then it will go away for a while until the pattern that goes with it is available.  It’s a fun way to use up those cute Halloween fabrics that you didn’t want to cut up into little pieces.

Quilt for Fun

Candy

 

Catching Up

Catching Up

The last month has whizzed by, mainly because I took four plane trips and spent the time in between catching up.  I spent most of the last week in October at the International Quilt Show in Houston.  The last time I attended that show was in 2001 and again it was both inspiring and intimidating.  Also, lots of fun.  Saw old friends, made new friends and, as always, found quilters to be wonderfully friendly and helpful. There were 1200 vendors.  A person could go really nuts.  I exercised amazing self control and only bought what would fit in carry-on.

I’m pretty sure that every one of the 60,000 people expected to view the show took this picture:

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And here are a few of my other favorites:

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“Fire Chief Rain Boots”  Cheryl Culver, Portland, OR

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“Straight From the Horse’s Mouth”  Cindy Garcia, Racine, WI

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“Royal Thistle”  Helena Scheffer & Marion Perrault, Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada

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“Waratah”  Melinda Bula, Eldorado Hills, CA

Loved ’em all!

It’s a totally gorgeous day — autumn on the cusp of an early winter.  It’s supposed to freeze tonight, which is early for the Willamette Valley.  There are still lots of leaves on the trees, making it hard to get into getting ready for Christmas.  Since sunshine makes me energetic, I actually created some neatness in my little office.  Even the dogs seem a little shocked.

I’m ready to be home for a while, working on the website and quilting.  And with the growing season being over, and a chilly wind blowing, outside is not so tempting.  Time to snuggle in and get some stuff done.

There’s just the last dahlia of summer, basking in the sun.

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Quilt for fun

Candy

It’s a Website!

It’s a Website!

Our website, mob quilts.com, is now up and running.  Thank you to Laura at Mosaikweb.com for all her work designing and setting up the site.  We love the new look.

Some of us are into instant gratification.  As in, “That looks cool; I want to have it now.”  There’s also the idea of trying to be kinder to our little blue planet.  As in, “Do I really want more paper to store or file or recycle?”   With this in mind each of our patterns is (or soon will be) available as a PDF.  Many are already good to go.  A few of the older ones are fighting back, but I’ll get them done as soon as I can.

 

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For some reason, Citrus Salad is being particularly feisty.  I dream of a day when all my electronic minions learn to work together.

Barb and I also want this site to be responsive to what you, as quilters, are looking for.  All your input is welcome.  Even though there are lots of guilds and quilt groups and friendly quilt shops, quilting can still be a solitary undertaking.  We’d like to offer friendship and support to all quilters who come to our site both because it sounds fun and because the quilting community has been good to us.

I love that we’re launching in October.  It’s pretty much my favorite month.  Tomorrow is the day I’ve appointed to put out my Halloween decorations.  It’s a time when it’s socially acceptable to be a little “out there” and I really love that.  In honor of that, our first pattern, Colors of Fall, is on special this month.  It’s pretty quick and easy to make and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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One of the things I like about this one is that it’s appropriate from September through November.  As much as I love my Halloween quilts, hanging them up in the house before or after October kind of creeps people out.

Now that the days and nights are cooler and the garden is mostly finished until next spring, I’m loving the idea of doing more quilting.  If only I didn’t have to cook and shop and pick up the house and  . . .  well, I’m guessing you get it.  Sometimes life gets in the way of my fun.  Still, I don’t think I’d want to have it any other way.

Please sign up for our newsletters.  We promise not to flood your inbox.  We’ll talk a bit more about quilting techniques and welcome your input and ideas.  We’ll also email you the patterns for two postcards just for signing up.

Keep having fun,

Candy