Monday, December 30, 2013

So Much Quilty Funtime!

Oh my, but the weekend was filled with so much quilty fun!!!!


This little bright and happy quilt was all quited and bound - it's for Wrap - A Smile.  Kitty approves.

 DH gave me some "volunteer" time for Christmas - so I put him to work re-stacking stash -  Mystic decided to play along, jumping in the shelves when they were empty... 
 camping out among the reds................... somehow they did manage to get about four shelves beautifully sorted and re-stacked - oh but the clean shelves make my heart sing!
 these are gracing my wall at the moment - they are Sue Garman designs from her quilt "Sarah's revival"... so fun to do. 
And, many of you will recognize these - Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice.  I'm doing a pretty good job of staying with the clues as they are announced -  have to make more of Clue 5.  

Best of all - I have the rest of this week off from work - oh I am enjoying this time at home to quilt, cook, clean...  and be relaxed.   Do I have to go back to work???? Alas, yes, I must.

Off to do something fun...

Kate

Thursday, December 26, 2013

HOORAY! YIPPEE! woW! Three-Year Finish !!!!

I can only imagine those comic book characters with those balloons over their heads, with words like "WOW",  "ZOWEE",  and "HOORAY"   .... 

My Great Hexagon Quilt top is finished...  finished, finished, finished!!!!

For any readers who haven't watched this grow... here is the short 'trip" 
(Pattern adapted from a late 19th c quilt, in the British Museum)
3/8 ich hexagons...
WHEN I STARTED, I WAS JUST GOING TO MAKE THE CENTER MEDALLION - THEN I WENT NUTS!
 

hmmm, how fun it was to draw it out with colored pencils...  just did the center.


so fun, so cute... little pebbles.
oh, fun, fun...

hmm - those green diamonds are really big, and now that I have put one on, I guess I have to put one on every corner, don't I?

oh I love this border... but it's going to be a long way around!


hmmm - I have to make this thing into a square at some point... 

AHA - a CORNER !!


so - can you guess how MANY hexagons????

Well - the name of the quilt will be:

fourteen thousand, six hundred and forty one
 
 
you ask - 'will I hand-quilt it?"
 
of course, because it simply requires it. 
 
I think it is like a good roast - it needs to 'rest' a bit first... me, too. 
 
Maybe I will sandwich it this weekend.  


Kate

Monday, December 23, 2013

WAY TO GO, MACY'S !!!


Just when you get really fed up with the over-commercialization, or the endless news about what someone said who was someone you didn't give a darn about in the first place... 

MACY'S STEPPED UP...............

ok, that's an awful photo I tried to steal off the web............... 

Do you like this one better??
Well - here's how the two are related...

That's the Macy's on Union Square in San Francisco - picture a gigantic store, 8 stories high, a park out front with ice skaters, a gigantic tree, lighted palms, a perfect winter wonderland...

And in the window of Macy's - do you see diamonds for sale?  Fancy clothes?   Christmas elves? 

No - you see kittens... and puppies... 

Macy's gave one window to the Pet Adoption agencies in San Francisco and each day one agency brings animals for the window, and then works with interested adopters...

SO FAR 242 homeless animals have been adopted to loving families...  and there's another week to go........


WAY TO GO, MACY'S !!!!

KATE




Sunday, December 22, 2013

Is the Devil Really in the Details?

 
 
 
Hello everyone.  I'm working very hard on this piece, and enjoying every moment...
 













Since all the large scale work is done, now I can work on the detail...  in this photo you can see some of the 1/2 crosshatching that I have put in all the background areas.








The job now is to turn those open cross-hatched areas into the pattern called "Seven Treasures of Buddha", like this.  These have centers that are stitched down, showing lovely detail...


And the background now seems to recede more against the puffier, 'forward' parts:

There is more work to do on those flowers, and I found some lovely vintage lace that will be sewn on over the seam - I'm not fond of the way the edge of the linen piece looks... so we will see what we can do with that! 

Details, details - I enjoy them, fortunately - and I don't see the devil anywhere!!!!

Stay tuned.... 

Happy Sunday before Christmas.  

Kate





Friday, December 20, 2013

Oh, the Wonderful Gift of Time

Hello everyone - a greetings and Holiday wishes to you all.

Because DH and I have no close family on the West Coast, and because holiday airfares are just unbelievably high, we will not be traveling, but staying here for a quiet Christmas...

and the best part:::: I have almost two full weeks off from work... Just have to go into the office for a few hours on Monday, and then I am off until January 6. 

So - it's time to FOCUS....  it would be so easy just to quilt away willy-nilly - a little on this, a little on that -...  and oh, what fun that would be.

 BUT - I have some really major 'finishes'  coming up, and I really NEED to take something off my list... so here goes an attempt at prioritization::::

1.  This piece has just GOT to get finished... which means just a little bit more stitching, then a hanging sleeve and label.  And a photo to enter it in Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival...  not too much to do, just need to focus and get it done.

2.  Finish this piece.  There is a fair amount of stitching left to do, but I would really like to have this finished. I don't have any plans for this piece, but it needs to be DONE.


3.   The Great Hexagon quilt top is ALMOST, ALMOST finished.   Just 1/2 of one edge row.  I so want to be done with this top and get it sandwiched into a quilt...  focus, focus, I can get this done I just know it.
 4.  The pineapple quilt (on the Bonnie Hunter pattern "Pineapple Crazy".   Since this photo, this is bound, and the hanging sleeve is cut out and assembled - just needs to be sewn on... surely I can get that done - oh , yes, a label,  and a  name... 

IF I CAN FOCUS on these , I can brag about FOUR big finishes, all of gigantic projects.  I just know I will feel so good having these completed...  won't I?  

So - let me go get busy.... cause of course I have at least six other projects ongoing at the same time!!!! 

Stay tuned for updates...

Kate



Sunday, December 15, 2013

OK - The Scraps Have Won !!

Well, my friends, I gave it a good fight...

I did my best....

When I last moved, three years ago, I had several bins marked "scraps"... and I knew that once in a bin, those scraps would most likely never see the light of day again... so far, so true.

So, I resolved then and there not to create any MORE bins of scraps.  I would use up my scraps as I went along.... and for a while, I did.  The charity quilts became more scrappy, and I became the master of Chinese Coins, Crumb Blocks, and String Quilts.  Case in point this little lovely that I just put binding on and will turn over and sew down during tonight's TV watching...

DH says it reminds him of DNA... seems a fitting name, doesn't it - sort of like Quilt DNA - a tiny bit of aall the particles... 

Well, a year or so ago, I got a quilting machine, and started quilting up some quilts for other people - now - have you ever wondered why the Long Armer gives you back the scraps, whether you Want them or NOT?   Well, just think - even 4 inches on each side - that's nearly 1/2 yard of SCRAP - and since my 'piecers ' send me quilts by mail - I end up with the scraps!

Oh my friends, the Scraps have won the Victory !!!!

For a while, I made CRUMB bLOCKS - drawer full of them!

Recently Sixteen Patches - - lookie, lookie....stacks of 'em...

and there are still scraps:






oh well - the only question is when I need to shove them in a bin and slam down the lid... 

Mystic says Happy Holiday - he is enjoying an afternoon outside in the Kitty Tent, watching the hummingbirds (apologies to those in the snow storm)...

And I am off to go check on my potato casserole - it's basically potato soup with hamburger, baked... yummy and warm... still nursing a sensitive tummy from the flu...

Happy Sunday to all - and wishing you a good upcoming work week!

Kate





















 
 


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Quilty Retreat - Final Day !

Oh, my friends, what a fun three-day quilty home retreat I have had!  It was cold outside (ok, not like Minnesota, but for the Bay Area, the forties is really cold - so fun to snuggle in the house and sew. 

I ran around like a hummingbird in a garden of red flowers - a little here, a little there.... 

Three charity quilts were washed, boxed, and are ready to ship to an organization collecting quilts for Midwest relief.  These have been ready to give away for a while, but I wasn't sure where to send them until the Midwest tornados hit... now I know.  The middle one has a bit of a holiday theme - hope it finds a hope just in time for Christmas morning... 



Let's see what else I can show you: 
 I finished Clue 1 of Bonnie Hunter's Mystery quilt,


sandwiches a couple of charity tops that were made by a friend; 

and my Jade plant BLOOMED.   I had heard they bloomed, but had never seen one do it...  WOW. 

 

So, now it's back to work tomorrow -  better go make some money to support my quilty habits!!!!
 
Kate
 
 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Quilt Retreat Day #2

Oh, fun, fun.... quilty retreat day 2...  Let's see how I did with yesterday's goals:
1.  Finish two kids charity quilts and wash - DONE
2.  Finish the binding on an adult heartstring charity quilt - Done, and in the washer.
3.  Pack up the "Mystic Glacier" quilt for shipping to Road to California - PROGRESS BUT NOT FINISHED.
4.  Clue 1 Bonnie Hunter Mystery - STILL PLUGGING ALONG.

So - here's what's 'doing' today:

1.  Charity top, made by my friend Valeria - QUILTED
 2.  Clue #1 Bonnie Hunter -  50% of Clue 1 is Finished...
3.  Extra quilting books put up for sale on eBay - DONE

4.  Quilt packed up for shipping - PARTIALLY DONE.

hMMM, that doesn't look like a lot for today, does it?  Well, some days are just like that...  you plug along, but nothing finishes... it just 'plugs along'.  And there were those other things like cleaning out the refrigerator of all the last vestiges of Thanksgiving, and a few other household chores.

I'm off to hear a choral holiday concert, then will sew some more tonight and tomorrow. 

Perhaps tomorrow will be a big finish day !!!!  well, probably not .... but I will have fun anyway.

DH ordered pajamas for one of the kitties who is struggling with the chilly temps -  that should be interesting - anyone putting a bet on whether the cat will wear pajamas???

Kate

Friday, December 6, 2013

Class Cancelled - Quilt Retreat !!

Well - my class was unfortunately affected by the 'big storm', which in California means that the foothills and Sierra Nevadas will get snow.  The class was to be held in an area in which snow is predicted, and some of the ladies don't go out in snow, so it was shortened from two days to a half day class - which isn't worth it for me to drive to ... so I opted out and will

QUILT RETREAT AT HOME!!!   fun, fun

Let's set some goals...  hmmm

1.  Finish a couple of charity quilts that needed binding and washing (ok, I am cheating, I did these last night:  


 The first one is made from Lotto blocks won from the Sunshine Quilt Guild  the second is a Mystery Quilt I did online last New Year's Day - anyone else remember doing this?  I really thought it was ugly ugly - and way too bright - but now, quilted and bound, I like it a lot - isn't that the way it goes!






2.  Package up my "Mystic Glacier" quilt for the Road to California show - just need a label, and to do the paperwork - I hate doing the paperwork and packing...

3.  Sew down a binding on a heartstrings quilt that will get shipped to the group collecting quilts for the Illinois floods - have a set of three almost ready to ship -

4.  Clue 1 (and start Clue 2) of Bonnie Hunter's mystery.

OK, let's see if I can get those things done before I go nuts and set a whole list of goals I have no chance of completing (but I enjoy doing that so much!)

All day - quilting only - soup is in the crockpot - it's a bit cold here and a great day to hide in and quilt. 

Everybody stay safe from the cold and storm.
Kate








Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's Off to Class I Go

Oh, I am getting very excited - I'm going to a CLASS ! 

I have two fabulous days in the town of Paradise, California (yes, there really is a town called Paradise) with teacher and quilter extroadinaire Cindy Needham.  I have studied with Cindy before, and each time I come away inspired, informed, and improved! 

Here's just one small example of the work Cindy does on vintage linen: 

 
 
The class is on machine quilting heirloom feathers and backgrounds - more than anything, I just need a couple of days of retreat - am so looking forward to it!  I'll be taking a camera, so will have some things to share, I'm sure.  
 
My work with the Bonnie Hunter mystery hit a wall when I realized I didn't like my colors, after making around 70 units...  hmmm, why couldn't I see it sooner???? 
 
Well - here's the original colors:
 


So, back to the drawing board - the reddish brown became a camel brown, and the green became a bright blue... 


and now I am much happier to move forward on the mystery !   Wonder what I will find to do with those other squares?   Hmmm, charity quilt... 

So, better run and pack up my class stuff - see how little I can forget this time!  

Happy Happy Quilting,
Kate



Monday, December 2, 2013

A World Gone Mad


My mom, who is 92, seems to dislike a lot about how the world works these days - Black Friday drove her over the top - even just watching it on tv - -  "too commercial",  "people acting like fools"... 

and, while I clucked and thought 'ok, she's 92", I had to agree with her to a point...

and then, in the midst of the world gone mad... 

Bonnie Hunter offers her annual FREE mystery quilt.  And she goes to the trouble to offer two sizes, and all the instructions made for a special ruler, and not made for the ruler, and templates, and Inklingo.... next year she is just going to make the quilts for everyone. 

Thank you, Bonnie, for your generosity, and for resisting the "what's in it for me" mentality of our world... for just a bit...

My parts - well here they are.  not sure about the colors, but here I go...

I am trying to use mostly 'soft ' colors, with the brown being the single dark color.  Can't tell yet if this will work.   Am also using a couple of non-scrappy colors, since I tend to like things a little more controlled... 

I'm not finished with clue one, but am already eager to see what clue two is!!!! 

Happy Quilting,

Kate

PS - IMMEDIATELY AFTER POSTING THIS I REALIZED I HATE THAT BROWN... TRIED A COUPLE WITH A SOFTER CAMEL COLOR AND IT WAS LIKE SAYING "AHHH"... so much better!  Oh well, better to change now than after I did them all !!!!


















Saturday, November 30, 2013

I GOT JURIED IN !!!

Happy Friday, everyone... 

The quilting Goddesses have once again been kind to me... my small quilt, "Mystic Glacier" has been juried into the Road to California quilt show in January.  Oh I am so honored.  

"Mystic Glacier" is made from a vintage damask napkin, mounted on a piece of Radiance fabric, and then quilted a WHOLE LOT, following the pattern in the original linen as a guide.  I also found some vintage lace on eBay to edge it with... 

This is the second year I have had a piece in Road to California - and I was simply dumbstruck when I got the acceptance...  oh this is really fun!


 
Of course, now I must put on a hanging sleeve, a label, pack up to mail, fill out forms, etc.  But that is fine - so fun. 
 
 
Besides getting this ready for mailing, everyone at my house is trying to relax.  So far, Miss Bit seems to have mastered relaxation more than anyone else!  
I did score BIG this morning at Jo-Ann's - a very early morning run to see what the Saturday Doorbuster's were - and they had ArtBins at the fabulous "Buy ONE, get TWO free" - so I got SIX bins - the better to store unfinished projects in!!!! 
 
I truly hope you have all had a fabulous holiday, and have found both some laughter and some rest.  One more day - let's see how much quilting I can get done!!!! 
 
Happy Happy Quilting!
 
Kate
 
 
 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Afterglow

Oh I do love Thanksgiving...  a perfect holiday - a few traditions, but not so many that you are overwhelmed like Christmas.... 

DH and I did not travel, thankfully - it is both too hectic and the airfares simply overpriced at holiday time.  So we had a quiet day with some good food and some relaxation.  He worked on his hobby (stamps) and I worked on mine!

Tomorrow I will drive to Tracy, CA, to hand over a box of charity quilts that will go to Wrap-A-Smile.  Here is a photo of all the quilts on my porch fence - aren't they bright and cheery?   Many were pieced by friends in the Sunshine Guild, and I did the quilting.  Some are all mine - but I love them all equally.


I have been working very hard on my "Linen Quilts", and making progress.  This first piece is now bound - there is still a little bit of work to do in some of the gridwork, and then I think I will add some beads... but it is one of my favorite pieces, and I love having it all neatly bound.   




I am also working on this larger piece.


Still lots to do on that one !   Hallelujah, three more free days before going back to work on Monday!

Happy quilting to all,

Kate


































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