Monday, November 28, 2011

Orca Bay and Dryer Lint

Well - that title caught your eye, didn't it????

Here are my units so far for Clues 1 and 2 of Orca Bay.  I think they play nicely together... don't you??

 They don't go very nicely with my dining room rug, but that's no matter...

DH brought this in to me last night - over the Thanksgiving holiday, I prewashed a lot of fabric I bought recently - mostly big pieces I got on great sales, that will be used for backs for charity quilts... 
So this is what my dryer lint looked like...  now tell me, does anyone besides a quilter have such lovely dryer lint?  Look at the value contrast and the complimentary colors!!!!  too funny.


I am looking forward to sharing a new photo of the Great Hexagon Quilt...  I have fallen newly in love with it with the completion of a new section - can't wait to show you - will take the monthly archive photo on the first of the month... come back to see!

Happy quilting,

Kate 















Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Little Inspiration

Have you seen the movie "Made in Dagenham" ???  It was released a year or so ago...

It's a story of some cheeky women who - well -  who SEW...

These women worked in the Ford factory in England in the 1960s, sewing together the seats and other cloth areas of cars... and they had this crazy idea that they should be paid as much as men who were doing similar jobs...  so they went on strike - unheard of for - - well - - - you know - - WOMEN.

It.'s a great little movie about standing up for what you believe in - and about women...  and what we can achieve when we set our mind to it.

I love long weekends cause DH watches movies, and I do handwork... and sometimes I get to PICK - and we watch something like this instead of a shoot'em/swear at'em/chase scene movie... 

So - this weekend, do something radical for women who work, or who own businesses - buy something from them - - go to Etsy and buy something from one of our fabulous crafty friends...

............and Happy Quilting, of course.

Kate









First Quilts with Bonnie Hunter


Bonnie Hunter is having a Linky Party to people's First Quilts - so here's one of mine...  my 'real' first quilt was stolen many years ago - but this is around the same time.  A very traditional Dresden Plate, made during graduate school in the late 70s...  you can see I got 'fancy" with my sashing and cornerstones...
This quilt is still very much in use - the dresdens are coming loose occasionally, but other than that, it keeps me warm when I am cold!! 
  
This one was made with the leftovers - the beginning of that pesky "Stash" issue!  Oh, I really got fancy here - I put piping between those center blocks... oh my...

Another 70s quilt:  my first log cabin
And a "just squares" with those Smiley Faces - no quilt historian will have trouble dating this quilt!!
And, an early Bear's Paw - I seem to have moved to a controlled color palette - I think this was the first quilt not made from scraps;;;  the Bear seemed to have blunted most of his nailtips in this quilt!!  I had not yet figured out how to avoid chopping off all the points of triangles!!  I remember I thought putting a sheet on for backing was a novel idea at that time!!

So - those are some of my early quilts:  they may not be perfectly pieced or quilted -  but they have kept me warm for more than thirty years - and these are still the quilts I sleep under...  they are old friends now!

And some new friends are awaiting me in my sewing room, so let me go and make their acquaintance!
Happy quilting,

Kate








Thursday, November 24, 2011

Little Cooking, Lots of Sewing !!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone - and to those of you who are having beautiful, traditional meals with china, crystal, and candles - I salute you!!

We have chosen a simpler day -   there IS a bird in the oven, but it will make sandwiches.
 and the pie is thawing  (as opposed to cooking, lol)... sandwich and pie - sounds perfect to me...

So, bird cooking and pie thawing, I can sew::: First, the binding on this charity quilt is finished - that print fabric is of sneakers - so DH says this is a certifiable "boy" quilt!! 
 And the binding is partly done on this other charity quilt...
 so now I can turn my focus to marking the quilting on this beauty, which will go into my permanent personal quilt collection...  I had hoped to sandwich it tomorrow, since the LQS will be quiet and the classroom open, but , alas, the back fabric I ordered did not arrive - the store is tracking the box... but at least I will get it all marked.

After that?  Oh wow, lots of possibilities - maybe drag out an UFO and make some progress - or work on one of the many WIPS in my sewing room!  Fun, fun...

I'll call you when the turkey sandwich is ready...

Happy quilting,

Kate

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Darling Little Charity Quilt

Hi all - I just had to share this darling little charity quilt...  I did not piece it, just quilted it.  It's part of the Sunshine Yahoo Guild's initiative to make quilts In Memory of Bev, a former member ...  so I don't know who pieced it - but it is oh so beautifully done...





Isn't it amazing that someone went to so much trouble to put in those tiny sashings, and that teeny inner border...  it's beautiful sewn, too...

Some lucky kid is gonna get a lot of love in this one!

Happy Quilting,

Kate








Sunday, November 20, 2011

Orca Bay Step One Finished!


So, here are my Step One hourglass units: 220 of them. Actually I need 4 more - I dropped them, and they didn't get in the photo!! LOL.
My colors are pale yellow for the neutral background, lime green, navy blue, and the rust that you see in the little units... It's my most adventurous color choice, so we will see how it works out!
Tomorrow is the day for the cleaning lady - so for one short moment, all the little "bits" of fabric and thread will be picked up off the floors... except for the sewing room, which I do not allow her to clean - or should I say I don't allow her to SEE !! Too much stuff everywhere to have her try to clean - once in a while I vacuum and dust...
I am SOOO looking forward to Thanksgiving. DH will be working (you know, he is one of those wonderful medical people who work on the holidays) - but that's ok, I will have great wonderful quiet time for sewing.
I ordered some back fabric - if it comes in time, I will pop in to my LQS and use the tables to do a bit of sandwiching - I have two larger quilts that I can't sandwich on my own small tables - need the big size! Need I say that sandwiching is my very LEAST favorite part of quilting - - although it is a lovely excuse to visit the LQS !!!
I wish everyone who is cooking up giant feasts the best of luck with your preparations! I am cooking a small turkey, mainly for the leftover sandwiches - perhaps I can eat a sandwich while I MAKE a sandwich !!!!
Happy Quilting,
Kate

Friday, November 18, 2011

FROM A TINY BEGINNING...

Well - this is my big accomplishment so far today:
yep - two... Two hourglass units measuring 2.5 inches.

Yes, those are the hourglasses from Step one of Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay... which I am doing with pale yellow, rust, navy blue, and lime green...  I need a LOT more than two of these!!!  lol... tomorrow IS Saturday !!

Happy Weekend to everyone!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Endless Strip Sets

About a year ago, I vowed to stop filling up bins with scraps...  and since I quilt a lot, I seem to make a lot of scraps!!!  And, for a year, I have managed to use up those scraps as i made them, doing things like string quilts.  Recently I've been sewing together strip sets - and looking for interesting things to do with them...  So, here are a couple of charity tops made up from scrap sets...  The first one is a Bonnie Hunter design from her website ;  on the second I just made snowballs out of strip blocks...

I am gradually learning to put more solids with my scrappy quilts so the eye can 'rest' somewhere - progress!  (and don't tell anyone but one row is in there wrong - in the middle - but I'm sure as heck not ripping it out!
 Boy, you sure can see the power of white in that quilt, can't you?  Not sure I would put those in there if I was doing it again...  just trying to use up that piece of scrap!!
Happy Quilting, everyone...

Kate

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Flying geese flimsy is FINISHED - HOORAY!

This is a Linda Ballard center design, with a Seminole pieced border around it just for fun, as if piecing all those flying geese had not been enough of a challenge !!!! 

I hope to get this all quilted by the New Year - hope I can meet that schedule.
 

This sweet little thing is a charity quilt of nine-patch squares - put together like this they make an interesting pattern, don't they? 
A good day - one finish for me, one finish for charity !!

And a wonderful guild meeting with Kathy Miller, the "Singing Quilter" - if you have a chance to hear her, do it - she's really fun...

a great day... and tomorrow the neighborhood has a Craft Boutique, which we can just walk down the street and enjoy !!

.................and, how could I forget - I stopped up the kitchen sink with some leftover spaghetti - now I ask you, how could spaghetti stop up like cement????  DH wants to wait til Monday to have the plumber............ heck, no dishes to wash tomorrow , sounds fine to me... 

Happy Quilting,

Kate

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stash Reality

Welcome to a get-real moment with my stash:
First, there are the shelves of fabric:  here are the blues, greens, oranges, and novelties.

Now the yellows, the stripes, and a shelf that seems to be unsorted.

 And now the pinks/reds/ browns, and the hand-dyes ... 

 and some overflow that needs to be folded and put on the shelves (where??? :(
In storage drawers are strips, squares, some orphan blocks...- and another dresser full of this kind of stuff that I didn't photograph, and some bins of fat quarters - plus several boxes of UFO's and UFO parts.

 In the garage - finished charity quilts, unfinished charity quilts, unfinished personal quilts (yes, that's a RRCB Bonnie Hunter you see folder there, awaiting quilting)
 Sorry, same photo again - but imagine the other side of the garage - same photo reversed - more bins of fabric...ha

And, need I say - I don't throw ANYTHING away under 1.5 inches square - every bit is used up.  Right now I am making these from tiny scraps...
Oh boy are they cute - but let's get real - are These TINY pinwheels gonna use up that gigantic stash????  oh good grief no...

This morning I cut backs for ten charity children's quilts - and I didn't even see a dent!  

Oh well - IT'S AN INVESTMENT............
IT'S A HEDGE FUND AGAINST INFLATION...........
THE MONEY COULD BE IN MY 401K LOSING VALUE EVERY DAY.............

truth be told - I just LOVE having all this fabric, and envisioning myself cutting and sewing it...

SO - I SHALL HAVE IT............

IN FACT - I SHALL HAVE MORE OF IT...............

happy quilting,

Kate






Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Returning to those Roots



Wow - isn't it interesting how our lives turn full circle...??  In ways you never dream.         Growing up as a girl in the SOUTH, I remember the black cast iron frying pan that 'lived' on top of the stove.   I say it "lived" there because it was NEVER put away...  I mean, why would you put it away?????


For breakfast, mom fried eggs...  for lunch, she fried up some cornbread with collards, and then for dinner, fried chicken - or country fried steak...  every meal, the frying pan was center stage...    and, because it was a lovely cast iron pan, you just wiped it out with a paper towel, and left it sitting on the stove top for the next meal.

Well - when I left home and went away to college, I wanted MODERN cookware - so I got me some of that non-stick magic cookware - you remember - TEFLON !!!!  It was great til it flaked off...Then I had some T-FAL - stuff - magic, that was...  til it got yucky... and then there was some decent copper bottom frying pans - and I don't know what happened to them...  and , of course, a few pans that warped and nothing would cook in decently...and then I bought some "new" cast-iron and it was awful - nothing like I remembered.

Well - I've gone full circle now - just bought this on eBay...  it's a Griswold, and a beauty - all cleaned up and ready to fry up some Sunday chicken...and I've become an expert on "vintage" cast-iron... and its wonders...



You may ask why I didn't just 'get' my mom's cast iron?  Why, of course, cause she is still using it - at 86, it is right now sitting on her stove, I am sure, awaiting breakfast tomorrow morning..

I wonder if I can find any decent lard in San Francisco????  (teasing, teasing...  although chicken WAS better cooked in lard - but I will spare my poor arteries that torment)...  and will try to find more healthy options to cook in my new pan...

TILAPIA - lightly pan-fried...  yes, that's just the thing...must keep my strength up so I can quilt.

Kate 

















































Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quilty Sunday

Hi all - - it was a great quilty Sunday here...  sweatpants and a big pot of coffee kind of day...

I finished up two charity quilts for my Guild's Community Quilts project...  I don't know who made the tops - my job was to quilt and bind them... so these are ready to turn in on Saturday at the meeting.  They are both nice and snuggly, so I am sure someone will enjoy them!


I got a box of scraps from my friend Betty in Southern New York, and I'm having fun going through those.  I recently started a postage stamp quilt, and some of Betty's scraps are already cut into small squares for that purpose...  why are OPS (other people's scraps) so much more fun than my own???


Well, here's to another Monday morning, coming all too soon.... 


Kate

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Them's Whales

Whales - until today I never saw one - and now I have...

they are amazing, fabulous creatures. 

We went out whalewatching from Santa Cruz, CA.  It was a bit cold, and very choppy, and more than a few of the bunch left their breakfasts over the side...

BUT WE SAW WHALES - they came up close to the boat - in groups of two or three - fabulous, fabulous, fabulous...

disclaimer;  these aren't my picture, cause I don't have a telephoto lens - but this IS what it looked like!!

 And we saw sea lions...
 and adorable sea otters...
a fabulous day for DH, me, and some friends...

and tomorrow I'm staying home all day and sewing...

Kate

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Little Cuties

I am having sooo much fun playing with these little HSTs, which were bonus triangles from some snowball blocks...  I have become obsessed lately with using up even tiny scraps (since those same scraps could be part of a jelly , a honeybun, or whatever nonsense Moda is dreaming up to get an obscene amount of money for a yard of fabric... but I digress...
So, I am trimming up these little HSTs...

 which then become the very cutest little pinwheels you ever did see... 2 1/2 inches each.
 Meanwhile, I am still learning how to use my camera correctly to get better color...  Look how different these look...



My class in camera technique has now enabled me to take different types of photos - now I just have to figure out what it will look like BEFORE I take seven pictures of the same thing..!!  Oh well, I DID learn a few things at class!

Oh - what will I do with the pinwheels??? Well, at the moment I have no earthly idea.. that's the fun of it!

Happy Quilting,
Kate








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