Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kate's Sandwich Shop is Open

Well, well, well.................  my holiday time has been wonderful - a LOT of sewing, a little cleaning... this morning I attacked the cookbook shelf - a HUGE stack to try to either sell or donate... 

AND - I opened a Sandwich Shop !!!! 

Well, not a real Sandwich Shop...  a quilting sandwich shop...

For  years a while now I have had a giant stack few flimsies stored in a closet until I could sandwich them... for a while I couldn't sandwich because I didn't have good sandwich skills , then for a while I didn't have good tables, then I didn't have clips that fit my tables...and forget crawling around on the floor - these knees just won't take that any more. 

WELL, I AM A SANDWICHING FOOL NOW.
 I found these handy-dandy tables at Home Depot............. and here is a little charity flimsy I made for the Sunshine Guild - I love the happy blue and yellow and that great stripe...  I am always stumped with how to use stripes...








 I can clip down my backing fabric with these little tablecloth clips from Camping World...  fit all size tables... yipppe - a recent find from quilter Cindy Needham.  I can also use tape if the piece is too small, or on the sides, like this one, if smaller than the table..


 Add batting, top, and a goodly supply of safety pins - and voila - a stack of flimsies becomes a stack of sandwiches!!!!  In this stack is everything from little charity tops to my "treasures"...  Once they are sandwiched, I find that the chance of being completed goes WAY up !!  Pardon the mess...

 
 And, of course , there are some more BACKS available if I run short....



........... oh, no, those aren't ALL backs - just some newly-organized 'deep stash'...  DH helped me color sort for three days... it's the best organization I have ever had!!

So - have I sandwiched ALL my flimsies???  Well, not quite - I have maybe six or seven to go - but once upon a time I had around 25... so - MAJOR PROGRESS...

Maybe one day I will have no flimsies awaiting sandwiching... don't worry, if that happens, you will be the first to hear about it !!!!

Is sandwiching the part where you get stuck, too?  What if your LQS had an occasional "sandwich-making" day - like a class, except you bring your flimsy, and the 'teacher' assists you in putting together your sandwich, getting it pinned, etc.  Would you be interested in that???  

Happy Saturday to all,

Kate








Thursday, December 27, 2012

A New Project

Happy Thursday, everyone!!

My fantastic quilty week continues - today I have no plans to leave the house - if possible, I'd like to spend the entire day in the sewing room itself!

I have been working on a fun, fun project...  I have fallen in love with the work of Cyndy Needham, a California quilter who does a lot of work with wholecloth quilting , sometimes on vintage linens.  That, of course, meant I could play on EBAY buying old tablecloths, etc.  I learned pretty quickly that doing a tablecloth was a HUGE time drain, so am working more on napkins and table runners...

Oh but this is fun, fun.  The top is a damask napkin, and some of the design is traced from the napking itself.  The other designs are either stencils or tracings from some of the Dover pattern books.  I have lots more to do now with filling in some of the background areas.

Oh this is fun -  but even more fun is looking at Cyndy's own work - which you can do at her WEBSITE,  cindyneedham.com.   She also has a Craftsy class, which is really fantastic.  In a couple of weeks I will be able to take one of her classes at "Road to California" in Los Angeles... and then I am doing a week-long workshop with her in February...

I truly love that quilting has so many directions one can go - all of them exciting, creative, and fun !!  And I love that there are so many fantastic teachers out there who help us all learn new things!

oh, i must get back to the sewing machine!!

Kate



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Quilter's "I Spy"

....... IN MY QUILTING STUDIO, everything is neatly stacked
 - all the works-in-progress are laid out, each neatly stacked with the fabrics to complete them.
Beside each project, the thread for the project sits patiently, for the turn to be put on the machine, taking the project on the next step of its completion.

AS THEY SAY - a place for everything, and everything in its place.

well - NOT QUITE !!!!!

I don't know how it happens - I have no real "staging" space, so I just lay one thing down on the floor, and then ten other things jump on top of it... and pretty soon................ UGH !!

 But, hey -  within that pile, I SPY some great stuff... Let's see...

First, here is a RWB quilt that is in the process of quilting.  It is awaiting location of the perfect red and gold quilting thread.
 A little charity quilt - the binding just got stitched on, and next will be flipped and stitched down.
 hmmm - anybody recognize the colors of the current Bonnie Hunter mystery "Easy Street"???
 And a spectacular wall quilt of Shadow Trapunto...  about half quilted...
 and, oh, my, what do I spy here ????  a small wholecloth quilt, in progress - doesn't that look yummy???? 
Well .......................   now if I could just sew on them ALL AT ONCE!!!!

or maybe I'll just tidy them all up and vacuum the floor !!!!  egad...  I need a better system or a bigger room!!!  OR BOTH!!

Hoping everyone had a lovely holiday,

Kate




Monday, December 24, 2012

A Quilty Christmas Eve

Merry, Merry Christmas Eve to everyone.  To all who are in snow, I hope you enjoy the wintry wonderland...  Here in California it is rainy and cool - this is our "yucky weather" time of the year - it is short and not very severe.  But the hummingbirds do not migrate, so I have been watching them eat this morning... 

We are having a quiet Christmas - decided not to fly back east cause the airfares were just astronomical - we can go for half the price in just a few weeks...

So - lots of time for sewing...  I've been working on these little beauties - they each measure 5 inches... take forever, but oh boy are they cute!!  And the perfect use of small leftover pieces...  the tiny bits that go in the trash make me very very happy!!

 The new kittens have grown up into toddlers, and got limited access to the sewing room this weekend... egad!! Lots of ways to cause problems there - like stealing my chair...
 Trying to press those strings!!
 oh no - an empty space in the 'whites' - I will do my best to fill it in!!
 As for me - I am determined to work on this pile of batting - just got to piece it together and use it - have some small charity quilts to sandwich, so pieced batting will work just great... 

I do hope everyone enjoys the holiday ,  and has safe travels and great meals!! 

My best present is lots of time to sew, so stay tuned for progress photos!!!

Happy Holidays to all,

Kate






Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Fun and Finishes!!!!

Oh WOW , the Quilting Professor is a happy girl today !!!  My 'day job' is getting quiet, and the days are short, so I have more quilting time - yippee...  And then there will be ten whole days off - - heck, I'll probably get my whole stash sewn away !!!!

DH and I made gumbo today - - we lived in Louisiana for ten years, and learned to cook a good Cajun dish - today is chicken and sausage gumbo - here's the roux in the early stages - not done yet!!  Have to keep stirring and cooking until it gets medium brown.
 I finished up this quilt - which is good since it's a Christmas present for my mom...have to send it out by UPS tomorrow since I won't see her this Christmas... hope she loves it.   And yes, I labeled it - I have sworn on a stack of fat quarters that all my quilts will get labeled!!  Merry Christmas, Mom...
 I finished quilting this little 9-patch kids quilt for the Sunshine Guild... fun colors.

 And then I lost my mind completely and started a quilt made of these little beauties - will you believe me if I tell you this block is FIVE INCHES????  And, yes, the color pattern is correct - you will see when there are more to go together... ugh these take a long time, but use up my small scraps very nicely, which feels GREAT!

And Kittens Gloucester and Mystic, named for two great East Coast seaports, just don't understand why they USED to fit in this basket together so much more easily !!!! HAHA too much kitty kibble!

Hope you are all enjoying holiday prep or travels, or QUILTING!!!

Kate


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's a Quilt... It's a Cape.... It's Super Boy !!



Hello everyone...  I hope you are all either enjoying or surviving the pre-Christmas frenzy.  I'm just not much of a partier, so I find all these events a bit of a bother - and would just as soon be at home sewing in my jammies... but I will survive the frivolities - another party at work tomorrow. 

Here are some photos from my Guild Holiday Party - we give away approximately 900 quilts each year in our Community Quilts initiative.  And every Christmas we invite the agencies who receive the quilts to join us in celebration...  Of course, being quilters, FIRST WE EAT !!!



 And then we parade around the quilts, pack them up, and send them away with the recipients.

 The best part, though, is the STORIES.  The recipients tell us STORIES of what the quilts mean...

This year we heard about a little boy, age 5... he came to the foster home from an abused situation.  He is way too quiet, doesn't laugh, doesn't play.   No five-year old should be abused... 

When this little boy got his quilt, he first took it to his bed.... then the next day, he tied it around his neck, and declared he was .... SUPERMAN !!!!

For months, he wore his cape every day - as a symbol of his strength - strength that allowed him to laugh... to play.... to trust again... 

Yep, we all teared up - and remembered that it's not about the physical warmth that our charity quilts provide - it's about the message they send.


So - Happy Quilting to All - and for those of us who make charity quilts - take a moment and reflect on how much those quilts mean to those who receive them... and then fire up your machine and finish up some UFO's and give them away !!!!

Fondly,

Kate





Wednesday, December 5, 2012

JUST SHOOT ME NOW !!!

oh my goodness.................

I have a stack of UFO's...
a pile of sandwiched quilts to be quilted
several tops near completion

and a GINORMOUS hexagon quilt underway...

So - you might think I would not begin anything new............... WRONG

or I might start something simple ...........................WRONG AGAIN

instead, I started this little lovely.............. a 5-inch square, with 9-patches inside 9-patches... this is a practice piece... I don't think the yellows work as a dark...  so will not use them... 

 And the good news is I only need to make 110 of them !!!!  Yikes...........

And these lovely linen coasters arrived today - I bought them on eBay. a little bleach and a little ironing, and they make just beautiful labels for quilts...  the quilt I am making my mom for Christmas will get one of these as a label ...  I just have a bit more binding to hand-sew!!
Well, Happy Wednesday to all of you...  the weekend is on it's way!

Happy Happy Quilting,

Kate

Sunday, December 2, 2012

DECEMBER STATUS REPORT !

wow - it can't possibly be December 1.... although I love the month of December, it seems like it should still be October...

So - it's time for a photo update of the Great Hexagon quilt - - drum roll ...................................................................................


 My Dec. 1 goal was to get the right corner completed - as you can see, I didn't quite meet that goal... those corners are just frightfully slow...  I'm estimating four more months and the top will be done..  so let's see... that means:  TOP COMPLETION GOAL:  APRIL 1.   I'm so damn sick of this thing, I'll finish it or throw a hissy fit.  Why I'm sure I'll be done by then...  :)

Meanwhile, the new kittens are growing like weeds...  which is good because as you see below, Gloucester is hard at work with quality control on a quilt that will be a Christmas present...  I'm still sewing binding down, and she decided to give it the softness test... I think it passed...

 Meanwhile Mystic spends a lot of time doing what he does best - just looking beautiful...  he is very fond of having his photo taken... 

Happy December everybody!!!

Kate

Sunday, November 25, 2012

EXCITING NEWS!!!!

Hi all - it's a no-photo day... 

I just learned that one of my little quilts has been accepted into the juried show at Road to California " in January !!!  yippee!!! 

Sorry not to post much just now - am having some technology problems that must get ironed out... 

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend...

Boo hoo on going back to work tomorrow!!!!

How many days til Christmas????

happy quilting to you,

Kate

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hello and Happy pre-Thanksgiving to you all!

Since DH retired recently, he is in charge of Thanksgiving dinner - I told him we could go out and eat, or even get a pre-done dinner from Boston Market, and I would be happy, but he has decided instead to do the whole thing - turkey and trimmings!!!  yippee... actually the leftovers will be fabulous...  for a long time... :)

First a couple of photos of my whole-cloth work - not great photos... I have not mastered photos of this yet...  but I am loving this -  the colored part is from the original fabric - a vintage linen with hand-painted flowers on it... this is so much fun...  my new favorite thing!!

 
 

AND NOW - my bizarre kitty photo - now, I ask, does this cat have its head on upside down???

Don't call the Humane Society - she just did this herself - turned over half of her body and slept in this amazing position...  awoke and righted herself, and put her head back on the right way!!
 My new kitties are learning to be quilting helpers... although it takes great self control not to jump up and grab the thread!!!
 This little charity quilt got quilted yesterday - it's a lovely soft yello - not this screamin yellow!!! 
 andI am framing some crumb blocks - I have bins of crumb blocks - well, why have them if I'm not going to use them... stay tuned!!

Happy Thanksgiving prep to everyone !!!! 
I can't wait for four days off from work... yippee...

Kate


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Surprises !!

Hello and Happy Veterans Day Weekend to Everyone...

Well, sometimes life bring you surprises - but first, a little quilting....I am sending this little block to Victoria at Bumblebeans.  She sent out some Santa fabric to some friends, and we all made blocks - and this one is what i am sending her back for her Christmas fabric.    It was fun, fun, and she has a bunch of great blocks to go with it...
 And I started this wholecloth quilt , made from a vintage linen napkin.  Stay tuned for progress photos as this develops!
So - now for the 'GOOD STUFF'...

My kitty family saga goes on...  just when we were reconciled to accepting the loss of our adopted kitten, Gabriel, and having only one cat - one cat who was a little bit lonely...

Well - then we got a call from the Maine Coon Adoption place, and she said "I don't know if you are ready for another kitten, but we have a wonderful little boy that we think would be a perfect buddy for Gloucester."  
AND THEN....

What's in there??? I know there's something fabulous in there???

isn't he a beautiful boy?  His name will be MYSTIC

I GOT HIM.  I won't let him get away !!

So - we have spent the past two days adjusting - Gloucester got put in TIME OUT about fifteen times for being just too assertive, but finally today she calmed down a bit...

OH HAPPY TIMES!!

Kate






Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Quilt Kitten

Meow, everyone - I am Gloucester...  kitten of the Quilting Professor.   

Don't worry if you don't know how to pronounce Gloucester - no one does except people from Massachusetts...  someone in the rescue shelter must have grown up on the East Coast, because I got an East Coast name!

I prefer to be called BIT... like 'little bit'.  or 'bit o honey',,   or my favorite - I BIT YOU !!!!  



Ma says I need to be a Quilt Kitty.....
What does that mean????

 hmmm - is this what I am supposed to do???


Mom says this quilt is a "Bonnie Hunter"... did someone say HUNT????

Or maybe i am supposed to do this???  Mom says these are 'leftover bits'... BITS??? That's meeee! I'm a BIT - I can nap here.















What on earth is that big machine...with moving parts - I have to work very hard not to jump on it.


ooh, this is my favorite - the kitty tanning bed...

Maybe I will be an Afghan kitty... this is really really soft - - nighty night!!

Bit












Friday, November 2, 2012

Only One Cat "in the Yard"

Hello, my friends

Remember the song "Our House"?  and the line... "with two cats in the yard... "..

. we have always had two cats .... and enjoyed watching them snuggle and love each other...

So, after our long-time kitty family passed away last summer, we planned to adopt TWO kitties... and recently did - you have seen them here.

Sadly, one of them got sick last week, and today we got the dreaded diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis - one of the most deadly feline diseases - always fatal.  So, we had to say farewell to Gabriel this afternoon.

It was so hard - and I cried and sobbed like a little girl.  Why don't I have a stoic upper lip I can put on... saying goodbye is just so very difficult for me.

Gabriel  May  - November, 2012

Kate








Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend, Wonderful Weekend

Oh I love the weekend...  Friday night's wonderful promise, a long Saturday at home, the Sunday morning newspaper ritual, even the sunday night preparations for the coming work week...

There was some serious napping going on.    Gloucester, the Little Bit, is getting big  :(   .Growing like a week.











and there there was some chewing on the Big One's ear with the tiny Kitten teeth - ouch!!!!


I did some quilting - first a few Lotto blocks that were mailed off to Tammy in Texas... I love these colors - so crisp and bright...
And, here is my November 1 picture of the Enormous F'ing Hexagon Quilt - sorry...

I had set a goal of finishing the top left corner by Nov. 1 - as you can see, I am nowhere close to having the left corner finished...  now I can see its three months or even maybe four before this whole thing will be done...




AND - I HAVE ANOTHER FINISH TO SHARE TOMORROW - IT IS ON THE DRYING RACK RIGHT NOW, SO CAN'T SHOW IT... I'm excited about finishing this, as you can see by the size of my print!!!

Happy Saturday night to everyone ... and just wait, a great Sunday is here for tomorrow!


Kate
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