Thursday, September 28, 2017

National Coffee Day?

Hearing that Friday is National Coffee Day reminds me of my favorite teeshirt! There must be a Starbucks run sometime tomorrow for those of us who choose to observe this holiday!

Continuing on with the circuit blocks as my block of the day...
...then pressed the one semi-completed Matrix block from yesterday.

Today I finished the comic book border on the pinwheels quilt, got the back pieced and made the binding from the turquoise grunge fabric.
Here's part of the back -- I like piecing scraps into a quilt back; it's kind of like putting a puzzle together.
I was in the hair salon today and my friend Tina Neal, manicurist extraordinaire, showed me the wreath she made from ribbons and things she bought at the dollar store and attached to a frame from Hobby Lobby. This is so cute! Tina's already planning wreaths for Christmas, Valentine's Day and Just Cuz.

She thought I should make some, too -- I can just imagine the look on Dan's face if I come home with crafting supplies! LOL!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Looks Like a Cyclone Occurred!

That's probably a big exaggeration -- I totally cleared off the work tables so Destiny would have room for her king size quilt and she moved right in. Her Turning 20 quilt finished at 101"x113".
She bought some of the fabric from Spoonflower; these panels represent her favorite things in some of the video games she likes, so she put them in a strip for the back of the quilt and surrounded them with leftover fabric.
Destiny still has quite a bit of fabric left, so I taught her how to make pillowcases yesterday. I had some Paris themed fabric on hand for a pillowcase that I was going to make for her, put away and forgot about.
So she took a break from back building and made this very French pillowcase -- great job!
While she was doing that, I made more blocks of the day....
...and then put the turquoise inner border on the pinwheels quilt. Wasn't home much yesterday in that I drove to Pasadena to have lunch with a friend and then had an appointment with the doctor who did my foot surgery. Got the all clear to go back to nornal activity -- hooray for that!
Today's plan is to get the superheroes border on and think about what to do for the back.

Have a happy quilty day!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sew Sampler and a Giveaway!

First a catchup with what got done this weekend:

Four blocks of the day -- this is going really fast!

Look at the cute selvage on one of the prints...

And -- ta da!! -- ready for borders!
To make the weekend even better, the September Sew Sampler box came.

Even the inside of the empty box is fun!
Inside -- a charm pack and a pattern for a table runner that works with it. I cut a yard of a white print and gave these to my goddaughter Destiny. She just got a new Brother machine and needs a project to go with it.
Then there was a storage tin and a Pop Socket for my phone -- of course, Destiny put it on for me since I couldn't decide where I wanted it. I am greatful for this smart young person in my life to guide me through the techno maze.

And the giveaway!

This Matchbox Quilt kit has bright yellow and white fabric, batting and floss to make a 6" square mini quilt. It's a beautiful shade of yellow that always makes me think of kitchens and sunrooms. You could use it for a potholder, a trivet or frame it to hang on the wall.

Want it? Leave a comment about the color yellow. Love it? Hate it? Use it in your quilts? We'll pick a winner October 15!

Good luck!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Have You Tried a Meal Delivery Service?

First, let's define terms! In my culinary corner of the world, there are two types of meal delivery. One is dinner already made and ready to reheat -- thank you, Jamie! The other is delivered with recipes and just about everything you need to cook them. All you have to provide is olive oil, salt, pepper, and once in a while an egg or two.

We've used three of those services; the first one we tried was Plated because the daughter of a friend of ours works for the company and sent us a free week. I loved the concept, we enjoyed the meals and I learned to be a better cook. I've done several posts on various Plated meals.

Somewhere in the beginning, we took advantage of a discount offer and tried Hello Fresh. After two weeks, we decided we preferred Plated because the meal choices were more to our liking. At least for the weeks we participated, Hello Fresh food was simpler and more "down home". We don't have kids eating with us so usually choose dishes that are spicier and have more complex flavors.

If you're thinking about trying one of these, has done a fair and thoughtful job of comparing the most popular plans out there. It's a good read and definitely worth the time to peruse it. Just go to to get the total scoop.

Meanwhile, after a year of enjoying Plated, we've moved on to another company called Sun Basket, but that's a subject for another blog post! Last night's dinner was SO easy! Dan grilled the steaks while I tossed together organic baby kale, artichoke hearts and pitted Kalamata olives in a bit of balsamic and olive oil. Thank you, Sun Basket!

Accompanied by a really good red!

Got where I wanted to be yesterday; I had set a goal of getting the top half of the quilt together. Today I would like to get the three remaining sashings pieced, so we'll see how that goes. I don't have all day to sew because we're having dinner out with friends tonight and the restaurant is in Los Angeles, about an hour and a half drive.

We're enjoying a few days of cool fall weather, although temps are going to steadily increase next week until we're back in the 90's. But it was really nice to have the first fireplace evening last night. A glass of wine, a fire, good dinner with my hubby and a productive day of piecing -- does life get better than this?

Friday, September 22, 2017

First Day of Fall

Yay! I am SO ready for fall! Not a hot weather girl and living in the southern California high desert area I'm usually ready for fall by mid-June. We've had exceptionally warm weather all summer long, but yesterday the high was 67 and it even rained a little -- special treat!

It was chilly this morning so when Dan got up at 5 he threw this leaf quilt on the bed so I wouldn't wake up cold. He's totally a keeper!

Got into the sewing room around 8 and started the blocks of the day....

Two more finished!

Then started pressing and trimming yesterday's leader/ender blocks.

Now that I'm close to being done with this step, I realized the cutting would be a whole lot easier with the rotating mat. I have the 12" and am considering investing in the 17". I'd love to hear your thoughts on this as it is truly an investment.

Pressing and trimming done...then Dan wandered upstairs and declared today a Scone Day! Gave him the choices of lemon ginger, pumpkin spice and mixed berry; he decided today felt like a very berry day.

The dish to celebrate the change of seasons is from Longaberger pottery collection.

Next up, pressing the three sashing strips to make up the next row of the quilt I'm making for Rhonda.

I did have time yesterday to get the sashing strip unit made and attached to the top of the second row. My goal for today is to piece and attach the next two strip units and sew half the quilt together. I know, I'm getting ambitious!

Again, thoughts on the 17" rotating mat -- do you use yours enough to make it worth the $?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Changed My Mind

I know -- that never happens to you, right? You decide to work on one project and then somehow your head gets turned by something else?

Finished the last block in the minions quilt and temporarily set them aside since my floor is still covered with my main focus of the day quilt that I'm making for Rhonda. Had picked Pixellations to work on as my next block of the day project and then started thinking about ordering the two white fabrics in the line -- what if they don't match the two 1/4 yard cuts I already have? Then I wouldn't be terribly happy about getting started now.

So I picked this quilt as my Block of the Day, the very first thing I make when I go to the sewing room. These blocks are so easy, I'm going to do two instead of one.

I saw this quilt made up in Halloween fabrics at my local quilt store, Bolts in the Bathtub, so I bought the book, a Halloween jelly roll and some cream polka dots for the background

Made a couple of blocks this morning, then trimmed down the blocks produced yesterday with my leader/ender method. This is only the second L/E quilt I've pieced, but I've figured out some rules.

One of those rules is that the stitching can be done with any of the five thread colors that I normally use for piecing. It wouldn't be a very good leader/ender quilt if you had to keep changing thread! I would think that would totally defeat the purpose! Another rule is that the quilt should be fairly simple and not take a lot of pinning, etc. The first one I did was perfect for that, just a bunch of squares...


And above is the layout of Rhonda's quilt and what I got done yesterday. This is slower than a lot of the piecing I do, so all I got done all afternoon was the top sashing unit and getting it sewn on to that top row. I just finished piecing the three long sashings that make up the unit that goes between rows 1 and 2, so now have to piece them together to make that unit and then sew them to the bottom of row 1 and the top of row 2. Would love to get that done today, but it's already close to 3:30, so......

Back to the machine!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

October 7-8, Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show

Fun home sewing time is almost over! My next trip is to the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show, held at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie NY. I'll be demonstrating the Westalee rulers in the Sew and Vac booth; love this kind of demo because I get to meet and talk with a lot of people during the two days.

Two things make this a trip I'm especially looking forward to: 1) My lovely and talented friend Teri Lucas will be there sharing her free motion quilting magic, and 2) It's fall! Leaves should be glorious in upstate New York, right?

Teri and I first met as teachers at an AQS show in Knoxville several years ago. I love her work, her dedication to our craft and her snarky sense of humor. You can check out her blog HERE!

Yesterday, I made the 11th of 12 minion blocks, just one to go!

Then pressed and trimmed the blocks for the latest leader/ender quilt. This quilt may be a little complex to use as a L/E, but this is only my second one, so sort of learning as I go here.

Got to work on the main focus of the day; rows are sewn together, although I still need a few more pieced sashings for the ends of some of these rows. My latest calculations reveal that I have to piece approximately 72,605 plus signs to finish this quilt. And did I mention they're not quick to piece? I was planning to give this quilt to Rhonda for her birthday; well, that was in thinking about Christmas.

Cleaned up all the black fuzz and thread bits and changed to my favorite light colored piecing thread, Mettler Silk Finish 100% cotton 60 weight thread in color 3000, a versatile off-white. Then I played with scraps from Paper Pinwheels to start piecing the back. Still haven't decided on border widths for the quilt yet, though.

Today is a "no appointments, no plans" day, so off to the sewing room I go!

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