Monday, March 31, 2014

Staycation Highlights.... Last Day

Happy Monday to you all, and happy Cesar Chavez day !

Well, five wonderful days of quilting staycation - today is my last day... Let's see what's hanging around my house:

Here is my design wall, and those are the blocks from Sue Garman's "Sarah's Revival", so far... I think I am almost halfway... lots left to do!  But oh are they fun...


My linen pillowcase quilt is moving forward, but it is next to impossible to photograph...


 closeups are better - here's the pheasant center - still have some stitching to do in this part...
 More to do around these leaves and the applique and embroidery
 and I have a lovely piece of lace that will trim the sides and top.


And now, I shall snuggle up on the couch with some handwork and watch TV and relax, and think good thoughts about returning to the sweatshop  office tomorrow morning.

A good week to you all.

Kate














Sunday, March 30, 2014

Staycation Quilting Retreat Day Four

Day Four !!!! 

Today I write a bit earlier in the day - just cause I am having so much fun!



I found this wonderful Madeira linen on eBay - at a reasonable price...  sometimes you get lucky...  and I decided it will be one of my "big projects" for the next year or so... 

So - get ready to see this piece OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!






The first step is always a good wash in an Oxyclean product to freshen up a vintage piece - there are still some very faint discolorations - but that just makes it more vintage, doesn't it?  I can imagine this being used for a holiday dinner... 


I just love this cutwork - very ornate, and just gorgeous!!






These are just guidelines - to help me put stencil shapes on the piece that are hopefully straight and properly lined up...






This is one of the stencils I will be using... 














and this one in the center... 















So now I can do some marking...  not sure if I will finish this weekend, but at least I have a start.

Other fun?  Could I be having other fun, too?  Heck, yes..

Finished a little charity quilt from some old orphan blocks - Mystic is sure there is a mouse under any quilt I put on the floor...
 and I found another GIANT pile of string blocks - hidden under the extension arm of my sewing machine table -  I knew I shouldn't have cleaned under there!

So - too much fun, and it's only noon here - time for lunch and then more sewing!!!

Happy Sunday everyone.

Kate















Saturday, March 29, 2014

Retreat Staycation Day Three


Day Three - and I promised I would post at least once each day...

so here goes: 

No photos today... it was what I call a "PREP AND PROGRESS"  day..........................................

the PREP:
1.  Made bindings for three quilts.
2.  Washed three charity quilts before putting them in the magic bag which cat hair can not penetrate.
3.  Sandwiched two charity quilts.
4.  Ordered thread. 
5.  Tidied up the batting storage  area.. 

the PROGRESS;
1.  quilted on the hexagon quilt;
2.  got a lot done on the linen pillowcase quilt - it is wet now cause it was time to wash out all the blue marker;
3.  prepped some applique blocks for my Sue Garman quilt;
4.  Quilted on a charity quilt...

WOW, that's a lot, isn't it????  I started this post wondering what I would possibly find to say...

I'll say I had a lot of fun, and I got a lot done. 

..... 

Kate

Retreat Staycation Day Two

Oh, Day Two - -  and it was just loverly!

The sun shone, the birdies sang.

We put out some old bread, and the large black birds took the dry bread and dunked it in the birdbath before they would eat it...  fun fun to watch!!!

I finished up this charity quilt top.  This will go to the Hands2Help quilt initiative... 


This has been sooo much fun - just my scrap 2 1/2 inch strips, and black squares... I really think black fabric is magic - it just makes everything go together s nicely...  A second top with the same plan is nearly finished as well - and my drawer of strips doesn't look diminished at all - yikes!!

A little charity quilt that came from donated blocks got bound and is ready for a trip through the washer...
yep, you guessed it, it has to go through the washer to remove any WHITE CAT HAIRS.....

And, of course, there are the BIG PROJECTS - yes, I made big progress today on the wholecloth pillowcase quilt - photos tomorrow...

and I quilted a bit more on the Giant Hexagon quilt - coming along nicely.   

Just a bit of sleep and I will be all ready for Day Three !!! 

Happy Weekend to everyone,

Kate






Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Break Quilting Retreat Day One !

Oh my friends - day one is just fabulous... it's a beautiful sunny day, the spring flowers are out and the hummingbirds are gulping down the new food DH made yesterday ...  and I am off work for FIVE DAYS !!!  yippee yippee...

I have flitted from one project to another all day..... here's the speed digest ....

1.  Charity quilt - in the midst of getting borders - will finish tomorrow

 2.  finally got a carrying bag for my Bernina Nova - (don't tell Nova she is in a Singer bag !!)  Now to get one for my Featherweight, too.
 3.  made some sandwiches of small charity quilts for kids
 4.  Sewing on bindings on these -
 5.  Marked up this piece again, now with grids for the background work...

6.  It's getting a basketweave pattern background - can't wait to wash out the blue marker

7.  Binding on this linen piece...in progress

 And added a bit of vintage lace around the edge...  one more piece of lace to add tomorrow, over this seam between the linen and the backing - just you wait til you see it !
Oh I am having so much fun... and now have a good basketball game to watch - Dayton v Stanford...  and some Louisiana Dirty Rice for dinner, too! 

ooh, spring break is just lovely - otherwise known as "practicing for retirement" !!!!

Kate


Monday, March 24, 2014

Special Work for Spring Break !

SPRING BREAK !!!!

I have to work a bit - just three mornings - so I have LOTS OF TIME TO SEW !!!

So, I could finish some ongoing projects...

Or I could start something new......

NEW, NEW, NEW !!!  Well, almost new. 

I shared this one a while back, when it was just in the planning stage...now it is further along.  The vertical lines are basting lines of wash-away thread, so ignore them.  

The first step is to outline stitch all the existing embroidery - even the little wispy stuff...  it makes it pop... here it is almost finished. 


The pheasant is all stitched, and the maple leaf border is stitched, too.  Next I can spray with water and watch the blue lines disappear !!!!  then I have some lovely vintage trim to put along the edges of the pillowcase.  

This is my favorite part of the process - working the 'bones' - seeing the original design come to life.  
What a fun way to start my week of SPRING BREAK !!!!!


Stay tuned - progress it the theme of the week...

Kate, the Happy Quilting Professor

Friday, March 21, 2014

10-Day Quilting Bonanza

Oh, I am a very happy camper !!!!  It is Spring Break in the Quilting Professor's world !!! 

I don't quite have the whole week off, since I have an administrative assignment, but I will only need to work three mornings next week...  So  counting the weekends, and one state holiday thrown in for good measure,  I have 10 days - and only three mornings in the office... yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

I need to quilt like a maniac...................

So tonight I started here: 
 That's my 2 1/2 inch strip drawer -  as you see, it is WAY past full - I either have to put some of these in a container, or USE THEM !!!!    In my quilting life, putting things in a container means I never see them again ...  So, I sewed like a mad woman with these tonight, and got this top partly completed:  


There's more to do tomorrow, but it was fun to see those leftovers turning into a real top.

And the drawer?  Well, it looks the same as when I started, of course...  I would probably need to make 6 or 8 of these to empty that drawer! 


The postman brought me some lovely new thread, just in time for the Quilting Bonanza...


And I finished up quilting a lovely little charity quilt, top made by a friend. 


Tomorrow is Quilting Bonanza Day #1 - yippee...

Kate












Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rescue Pet Linky Party

Hi all -

I'm participating in the Linky Party over at Lillypad Quilting..... and since I love love love to talk about my rescue furbabies, I'm more than happy to do so - and maybe I will win some fabric!!!! 

Our rescue furbabies come from a wonderful organization in Oakland, California, called Maine Coon Rescue - they rescue kitties from shelters, and keep them until they are adopted - no kitty is euthanized - and they manage to place blind, old, and even three-legged kitties. 

Two years ago we adopted these two lovies ;  Gloucester and Gabriel... don't they look so absolutely sweet together?
But then, very sadly, Gabriel left to go to the Rainbow Bridge.... and Gloucester, now nicknamed Miss Bit, was lonely.....  she tried to play with the kitty in the mirror - she flirted with the kitty who lived outside the glass door at night, and she danced infront of the kitty in the black dishwasher door - but none of those kitties would play or snuggle.

Oh, sad, sad, and lonely Bit














One day the "People" brought in a carrying case...  oh, let me at him... she said

"oh, he's mine, and he tastes good too!"""  His name will be Mystic!


Bit tried to learn a trade... 

Mystic tried to learn to quilt - binding was his favorite..
 applique was just exhausting
So, they both decided to become models -  and spend their time cultivating their natural beauty...

And Gloucester and Mystic are living Happy Ever After in their forever home!

and the Quilting Professor and DH are so, so lucky.

Kate





Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy National Quilting Day

oh, I am so happy there is a National Quilting Day

in honor of that, I spent the day - well -  quilting - IMAGINE THAT!!

I quilted and bound a very cute little charity quilt, put together by a friend in southern California, using Lotto blocks that were sent to another friend in Texas - boy this little piece has already travelled!!!!

 Miss Bit spent the afternoon taking a beauty nap...
 I started quilting the Great Hexagon quilt.  I have chosen to do it on my Bernina instead of my mid-arm machine so I can use the walking foot - I think I will get a better result... it will take a while!!
 and I got this new linen quilt all pinned up and ready to start quilting....
 all of this was fun, fun... and tomorrow I can quilt again !!!!

I DO HOPE YOU HAVE HAD A GREAT NATIONAL QUILTING DAY, TOO!!!!


Kate

Friday, March 14, 2014

Get Ready, Get Set - Start Something New!

Hi all...

this is written by one happy, happy quilter.

First, it is Friday - yippee... and I got off work a bit early, too!

Tomorrow is guild meeting - fun, fun.

The weather is just gorgeous, gorgeous - California lovely weather.

And, best of all, I am starting a new linen quilt....

(don't ask, have I finished my other ones that are in progress - just don't ask)

It's National quilt Day - it is obligatory to shop and to start a new quilt - that's how my family celebrates this holiday !!!!

It's based on a pillowcase - a lovely, lovely Madeira embroidered pillowcase...

I'm using a design from a Dover design book of Chinese designs, a beautiful Phoenix on a brnch.


bordered with an oak leaf scroll design...



Here it is all marked - ready to put on the underlayment, which is the next step.  I have a beautiful piece of Dupioni silk I think will work...  stay tuned...I'll show you a pic when I get it laid out.




And, I have been working on a bunch of lovely charity quilts - some for the Wrap-A Smile group, and some for the Hands2Help initiative that is beginning on Sarah's blog...  here's a little Chinese coins that is almost finished, ready for duty!


Oh it's gonna be a fun, fun weekend......
 
I hope you have great quilting plans, too...
 
Kate



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Learning New Things

Hello everyone !

This weekend I decided to learn something new, and took a class with quilters Denise Oyama Miller and Nancy Ryan, at one of the area local quilt shops.  

It was fun - very different from anything I have ever done.   I am not sure even now that it is a technique I will want to do a lot, but I like having a knowledge of it in my quilting experience.

I have always been pretty traditional - cut up the fabric, sew it back together, quilt it.  No gluing, no painting, no embellishments.... 

Here are some of Denise and/or Nancy's quilts , photographed with their permission...




After two days in the class, here are some in-progress student works:





No, mine is not one of those - I wasn't very happy with mine - not to be photographed - more work to do before I could do that... 

Did I like this ?  Yes, but not at all as much as my Linen Quilts !!!! 

But it is always fun to learn something new.

Happy Quilting and Learning,

Kate


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