Friday, January 30, 2015

Road to California (Part 2)

A continuation of quilts I liked -- it will be immediately obvious to those of you who know me one reason why I liked the next two!

"Georgetown Wedding" by Ann L. Petersen of Surprise AZ was entered in the "Traditional Pieced" category, although my opinion was that her design flirted with tradition more than embraced it. I loved the use of color -- well, yeah, it is PINK!

Loved the reds, pinks and greys in "Organic Pink Pickles" by Karen Williamson. This was entered in the NYC MOD and Victoria Findlay Wolfe's Double Wedding Ring International Quilt Challenge and was the Best of Challenge Winner! Karen stated that this quilt was made entirely from stash fabrics, which leads me to believe that her stash may look a lot like mine!

I love that in her artist's statement, Karen mentioned that she just started making blocks from her stash and that the quilt "talked" to her throughout the entire process until "Organic Pink Pickles" was born. Sounds like she was totally absorbed in the creative process.

"Going Green" by Patricia C. Robertson of Reedley CA was also entered in the "Traditional Pieced" category, although I was attracted by the unusual block placement as well as a good deal of applique! This was an original design made in strips with each strip quilted separately; Patricia stated that the pieced stars were made using patterns in one of Carol Doaks' books. And would you take a look at that quilting???

Who knew grey could be so interesting?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Ontario CA

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Road to California (Part 1)

When my camera died last year, I didn't miss a beat and just kept taking pictures with my iPhone. Of course, in order to take a lot of pictures, one must remember to charge the phone the night before. And, also of course, I didn't, so consequently didn't take as many pictures as I normally would. The good thing about this is that I didn't have a lot of stuff that I sort of liked, I just had pictures of the quilts that I loved.

This pointed out that my tastes are definitely changing -- I am much more attracted to the modern quilts than I thought I would be and also much more interested in the quilting than the piecing, applique, etc.

So over the next two or three days, I'll post what I shot:

"Pyramid" by Colleen Jensen Carlson of Grand Forks ND was entered in a category unfamiliar to me -- "Modern Negative Space". Loved the colors and the quilting. When I took Angela Walters' "Quilting Negative Space" class on Craftsy, I very much liked the way she divided up the space and filled it with various quilting patterns. This quilt utilizes those principles to excellent effect.

In the same category, "Jello Shots" by Jenny Chiovaro of Bacliff TX. In her artist's statement, Jenny mentioned that her quilting was inspired by many of the quilting fillers based on Leah Day's classes.

"Floating Jewels" by Tanya Heldman of Los Angeles CA was entered in the "Modern Piecing" category. Between the colors and the quilting, I just fell in love with this one. I have some neutral fabric about the same color as Tanya's background -- now I have some inspiration in how I might play with it.

This quilt was also entered in Modern Piecing, but now in reading the artist's statement that I photographed, I think I have the wrong description and maker for this quilt. According to my photos, this is "Modern X" by Christa Watson of Las Vegas NV, but I'm not sure this is correct. Can anyone yea or nay this one insofar as who made it? Would appreciate the help!

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Location:Ontario CA

Monday, January 26, 2015

Do. Not. Do. This.! Ever.!!

Today's Chest Day -- usually my favorite day of my gym week, although I like back and shoulder days, too. But today I dropped a 35 pound plate on my right foot....from shoulder level....

So I said a couple of unrecordable words and Shelly hauled me off to the locker room. I should have taken a pic when I first took my shoe off, but my toes hurt too much to think about reaching for my phone! The whole toe area was bright purple, so Shelly rubbed it out, I put the shoe back on and, being the beyond stubborn person that I am, did a few more sets. Then Shelly said "Stop it -- we're done!", followed me home (she is such an awesome trainer!!) and we started icing it. If she hadn't worked with it right when it happened, it would have looked and felt a whole lot worse. As it is, I think I'm down for the day.....

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Location:Palmdale CA

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Field Trip to a Museum?

This was in the Calendar section of this morning's Los Angeles Times -- an exhibition of quilts made by men called "Man-Made: Contemporary Male Quilters". It's showing through May 3 at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. This could be very cool -- anybody want to go?

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Location:Los Angeles CA

Saturday, January 24, 2015

This Morning -- Color Vibe 5K

My friend Tami and I have been walking together each weekday morning for years and years -- since 1998! When we first started, I don't think we missed more than four or five days in a whole year. At one point, we even did the 60 mile Avon 3 Day together to help raise money for breast cancer research. Until a few years ago, she still had kids at home and I wasn't traveling as much for my teaching activities.

Now I'm out of town a lot more and her kids are grown. Tami is a high school teacher who travels a lot in the summer to visit her girls and her grandchildren so we're not nearly as consistent as we used to be. When we were walking earlier this week, Tami told me she had signed up for a color run on Saturday morning, so I did, too....

We started out pretty clean, although people were opening packets of powder and throwing them all over each other so that didn't last long! We were in the first group to start and when we finished there were still groups waiting. Tami heard somewhere that there were about 2000 people there! It was a fundraiser for a children's classical music educational project here locally, so this was a very good thing...

You could walk or run -- we did both -- and as you passed through each of four stations, you ran through a gauntlet of people pouring color on you. There was a pink station, then a turquoise, a green and the finish line was purple.


The clean didn't last long! We took a couple of pictures at the end of the race, one in the car (which, being a smart girl, Tami had lined with trash bags) and the last one was taken by Dan in my kitchen after we got back.

It was fun, we got our workout, but -- I'll tell you what! -- that powder gets in the strangest places!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Friday, January 23, 2015

Road to California 2015

It was awesome to go to Road to California yesterday with my friend Linda and now my two new friends, Sandy and Lisa. We looked at all the vendors, then quilts, then more vendors, then quilts again, then more vendors! The vendors were in three different areas and there was a wide variety of goodies.

So since I seem to be vendor obsessed, I'll start there and then I'll go through my photos over the next day or so and post those.

What I bought:

A few days ago, I posted pictures of the red, white and blue baseball themed fabric I bought in Reno to make a baby quilt for my husband's nephew who is expected in early March. When I saw this kit and it was in the same colors, I just had to have it. Because the border print was much wider than the size I would want for a baby quilt, I was thinking of making a row quilt rather than one composed of blocks. This kit should work right into that idea.

There were a lot of Christmas themed fabrics/kits at the show, but I'm always Halloween obsessed -- something to do with that Batts in the Attic thing! Wool embroidery appears to be a big deal right now, too, and I think it might be fun. Guess I'll have to figure out how to hold a hand sewing needle!

Found a pattern that I think might work well with the grey and yellow prints I bought last October from Bernina Sewing & Design in Las Cruces. I wanted something modern looking; don't know if this is it, but it's intriguing....

...and this piece of handdyed fabric from Charlie's Sew Unique inspired me -- looks like sky and trees and maybe reflections in water. Love it!

My other friends were looking at (and buying) wool goodies, too -- they're all excited that Primitive Gatherings is going to open a new store in Murrieta CA in a couple of weeks. 3000 square feet of wool and threads! Sounds like a field trip!

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Location:Ontario CA

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What a Gorgeous Morning!

If you follow me on Facebook or see all the health stuff posted to my Pinterest page, you probably know that I'm somewhat of a workout fanatic. My friend Tami and I have been walking 3 miles almost every weekday morning since 1998 and for the past year and a half I've been working with my trainer, Shelly Joseph, three times a week. My goal in all of this is to be able to keep up with my workload, flying 40 times a year and slinging around those 50 pound suitcases even though I'm past a lot of people's retirement age.

But there are also those unintended side benefits, like getting home from my walk and getting to see this out my back window!

These were taken just a few minutes apart as the sunrise colors developed -- looks like the sky is on fire! After seeing that and having a couple of cups of coffee and some quiche left over from yesterday's baking binge, I was ready to start my day.

About that quiche! I saw in one of Mark Sisson's cookbooks, Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals, that you could use either coconut milk or heavy cream in the Broccoli Quiche recipe. I've always used heavy cream, but didn't have any on hand. I had a 14-1/2 oz. can of Trader Joe's Coconut Cream (they explained in one of TJ's Fearless Flyer why it was named that, but it is actually coconut milk) in the pantry, so decided to give it a try.

It was kind of slow going getting it whisked in because the coconut cream collected at the top of the can has a Crisco like texture, but it baked up nicely (although it took 40 minutes rather than the 20 stated in the recipe) and tasted really good. I'll see if I can find the recipe on his website and Pin It to my Paleo/Low Carb Yummies board.

I've been going through the cookbook and finding all kinds of yum things to make -- getting to cook is one of the cool fringe benefits of being in town for a bit!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Batts in the Attic? Where'd That Come From?

I started quilting in 1990 (that was Dan's fault, too, but that's another story!) and by 1993 I had quit my day job and was machine quilting for customers, teaching and designing patterns. In 1994, Dan and I made the decision that I would go to Quilt Market in Houston that October and see if store owners would be interested in carrying my patterns. First obstacle: Thinking of a good name for our company -- one that people would enjoy and remember....

When I was a stockbroker, we had a group of women working in my office who were all about the same age. As each of us turned 40, we were given our very own pair of bat earrings and welcomed to the International Society of Old Bats. A very irreverent way of dealing with our age issues and a constant amusement to Dan, who is 13 years younger than me and never once in the last 28 years has let me forget it! And, no, he wasn't a teenager when I met him....

So one afternoon in the spring of 1994 when we were still floundering around with company name thoughts, I was working in my sewing room upstairs. I was expecting a call from one of my other batty friends, so when I heard the phone ring, I stopped sewing and stepped to the doorway so I could hear my husband when he answered the phone downstairs. I heard him say, "Oh, sure, the old bat's in the attic!" And I yelled, "That's it! That's it! Batts in the Attic! We'll spell it with two T's like quilt batts."

So Dan designed my haunted house logo -- and there you have it! Do you have fun stories about your quilting journey? Come on, share!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Craftsy FLASH SALE!!!

What do you want to create in 2015?
Get better at what you love to do and save up to 50% off popular online Craftsy classes for this weekend only.
(35+ new classes included!)
Click HERE for the sale!!!

"Machine Quilting Negative Space" with Angela Walters is AMAZING! 
She is a longarmer but she gave me so many great ideas for patterns I could sew on any machine! 
If you haven't taken her class, now is a great time as it is on sale too!!! 
Click HERE for the sale!!



Friday, January 16, 2015

Trip to Reno (Including Windy Moon Quilts)

My husband's sister Sam is having a little boy in March, her first! And, of course, we are all so excited! I did something I thought and said I would never do and went to a baby shower in Reno last weekend. Forty women, probably nine infants and a couple of little girls.....and not one baby cried for the whole 2-1/2 hours. A miracle has occurred!

Before the shower, though, Sam and I and her friend Katherine were at Windy Moon Quilts promptly for the 10am opening. Sam had told me that Tanner's room would have a baseball theme.

A few days before I had been shopping at Quilt'n'Things on Honolulu Street in Montrose CA and found this cool print that I thought would make good binding if cut lengthwise to show all the colors. Didn't know if it would work with Sam's decor, but threw it in the suitcase just in case.

When we got to Sam and saw Tanner's room, the print went perfectly, so off to Windy Moon so Sam could find other fabrics she liked.

This is what we found -- perfect! And I can pull other colors from my stash to use for the piecing.

So, my question to you is -- what should I piece? This will be a well used quilt, so I don't want to make this what I call a "museum level" piece; need something simple that will show off the prints. Any ideas?

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Location:Reno NV

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Craftsy Blogger Awards 2015

Alright everyone, how much do you love me??

Voting for the 2015 Craftsy Blogger Awards is in full swing!!

It's super quick to vote, just CLICK HERE and enter my blog name...

THANK YOU and I love you all!  ;)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Meal of the Week? Meal of the Moment? Really Good Food!

One thing about being home for a bit is that I get to cook -- yeah, I'm one of those who think "get to" rather than "have to". Fortunately, Dan is an enthusiastic eater (who sometimes even does clean-up duty), so I can improvise away.

Today was a bacon-y kind of day. We started out by having bacon, scrambled eggs and pumpkin pancakes that I made from a Trader Joe's mix.

The first batch, the one I served to Dan, turned out perfect, but the pan got too hot in between and mine got a little browner than I normally like them.

But they tasted so good and smelled so cinnamon-y that I ate every bite!

So on to dinner: I buy boneless skinless chicken breasts at Costco and roast up a batch every so often. I usually have leftovers stashed in the fridge because I roast four at a time and we only eat about 1/2 of one each the day I roast them. They're great to have for snacks and impromptu meals.

I had 4 oz raw bacon left from this morning, so I chopped that up, cubed 2 leftover chicken breasts and opened a can of artichoke hearts and cut each heart in quarters. Browned the bacon first, then drained off about half of the drippings and sauteed the chicken cubes in the pan with the bacon. Next I added a 15 oz jar of Classico Creamy Alfredo sauce and tossed in the artichoke hearts when everything else was nice and warm.

Served over Dreamfield's spaghetti (that's a high protein, low GI-index pasta brand) and with a green salad made of romaine, arugula, cucumber, green onions and yummy Girard's Light Champagne dressing -- Yum! A lot of company has said that my salads are awesome and I owe it all to this dressing. It is the best one I've ever tried!

Because my house is the home of the Continuous Kitchen (in other words, I make leftovers, then make new things from those leftovers and get more leftovers from the new things), I have about 3 cups left of the alfredo/chicken/bacon/artichoke heart mixture. I was hoping to have more so I could grab a piecrust and make chicken pot pie....does anybody have any ideas of what I could add to bring the volume up enough to make that pie? It would be awesome for lunch tomorrow!

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Location:Palmdale CA

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Quiet night last night -- went to bed around 10. I never go to New Year's Eve parties because I can't stay up that late! Didn't even wake up at midnight to the sound of shots being fired into the air in celebration -- do people do that where you live? This is the first year that I can remember not being startled awake at midnight; maybe the people who were shooting moved....

Quilt update: After being away from the machine for a couple of weeks with a sprained ankle (again! same one!), I put all the blocks together and added the first border, which is pieced.

So now my quilt top is at the same point as Dawna's -- it's 72" square with this first border. I'm going to add a 2" finished red border and then a 6" snow/reindeer print border. If you enlarge the photo and look at the top center, you will see the fabrics I'm using -- or I could stop being so lazy and go upstairs and take a pic!

Here they after adding these two borders the quilt will be 88" square. I think it would be a good quilt to go on top of the regular quilt on the bed in the guest room during the winter months. Even though we're in southern California, we live in the high desert. Gets very cold at night; it was 34 last night and 28 earlier in the week.

After I get these borders on, I'm going to take a break from this quilt and work on a quilt given to me half a million years ago by my friend Millie Kaiser in Columbia MO. She owns Appletree Quilting in Columbia, an absolutely beautiful shop! If you haven't been there and happen to be in the St. Louis area, it's only about a 2 hour drive to Columbia and well worth the detour.

Today I'm settling in with my coffee (of course, I'll switch to wine after noon!) to watch the college football games. The Rose Bowl, of course, but this morning there are a couple of games well worth watching; think I'll go for Michigan State vs. Baylor....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Palmdale CA

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