Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July

We had a rousing 4th of July celebration at the Gardens yesterday. As the dogs and I were walking in the park at the northern end of the grounds I began to hear marching music. I thought one of the residents had their stereo on really high, but realized later that the music was coming from the southern edge of the grounds.

It was a full and planned celebration - flag raising, national anthem, pledge [which I led], God Bless America, 4th of July address by Harriet Johnson [the president of our resident's association and missionary for more than 40 years to Japan], America the Beautiful and a benediction. The couple [Dick and Barbara Hettish] who put on the ceremony also offered us a continental breakfast afterwords. [photo of the table with juice, coffee and sweet rolls]

Since I moved in the middle of July last year I didn't know what to expect for this ceremony. It was worth getting up early for [7 a.m.] and I will go again next year.

Now for quilting:

Here are photos of my mystery quilt [Orange Crush]. I found the outer border at theTreasure Hunt quilt shop in Carpenteria, CA. I put a tiny inner border of dark purple between the border and the quilt [I had to stop the quilt somehow]. I will bind in the dark purple also.

I finally bought some clotheline rope to tie the dogs to so they can play out in my "back yard" [well, it is a common area - but it is outside my back door]. I can put them out there late in the evening and let them roll in the grass for a while as I sit just inside the door and play on the computer. The first day I did this I went out with them so they knew it was ok [but they both just sat and looked at me like I was nuts]. The 2nd time, though, they had it figured out and went running out to play. I think this will work.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Central Coast Quilt Shop Tour

I went on the Central Coast Quilt Shop Tour [one of the California shop hops] last weekend. I managed to go to 4 stores before I made it to Morro Bay and my son and dil's home for the weekend [actually to Motel 6, since they have a very tiny apartment]. The 3 of us went to the rest of the shops. For those of you who are interested, the web site is

My dil had asked if I would make a quilt for her 30+ year-old son who had been badly injured in a motorcycle accident. So we went shopping for [what else?] motorcycle fabric - with skulls, a bright swirly and lovely ladies sprawled on the motorcycles [maybe that one will be a pillowcase for him]. I'll find more down here to add to the collection and make him a quilt between a twin and a double. I think it will be fun.

The fabric above is the fabric I purchase for MY project. The dark colors are a variety of dark blues and with the tans and golds I think it will be every bit as stunning as the quilt in the magazine. It will have lots of 1-1/2" squares [strip pieced, of course], but I will put the fabric and pattern away until I have time to do this one [maybe I will start cutting some of the pieces as my cutting table clears so I don't have to do them all at once when I'm ready to make the quilt].

And, last but certainly not least] here is my mother's day present from my son and dil in Temecula. The chair couldn't have been more right for this table. It is comfortable and sitting down to have breakfast and read the paper is so much easier now that I don't have to balance the dog on my lap. Well, back to sewing.

Our quilt group in the retirement community is making quilts for 4th of July - and will hope to have them hung really soon. We have several tops ready for quilting, so I will get busy with them as soon as they are layered.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

This is this year's Thangles Block of the Month a group of us are doing at our local quilt shop. We did not want to use the same ugly fabrics [well, we really didn't like the early American fabrics they chose for last year and this year] so they are cutting special for us. I think this quilt is going to be fantastic.

Here is the Orange Crush quilt - when I laid it out on the bed for the photo I was instantly dizzy!! I don't like triangles at all, but I used the Fons and Porter triangle ruler and my blocks lay flat on the bed and floor. I'm going to put a 1/4" border of black [or maybe my very dark purple] between the quilt and the border. I'm going to look for a Halloween stripe [since this is purple, orange and lime green] for the final border and am going to do diagonal corners with it.
That is Little Bit standing on the quilt [he misses very few chances to get into the photo - or just to stand on the quilts]
I'm on my way to Morro Bay [250 miles north of Duarte] this weekend for the Central Coast Quilt Run [that is in California]. I have a son in Morro Bay so I will go to the shops between home and Santa Maria and he and my daughter in law will take me to the rest of them.

I found a quilt in the August 2007 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting that I am going to purchase fabrics for. It is Blue Moon of Kentucky and is med/dark blue and tans. If I go on the run with a plan, I don't come home with scads of yards that I don't have a plan for. I will, of course, find some cat fabric that is just to irresistable [sp?] to leave in the store. With gas prices, I expect this years trip is going to be expensive - but I received and deposited my "tax incentive?" so that will pay for gas/food/lodging.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


I won this bar at our Cinco de Mayo auction yesterday [actually the third of May]. It fits perfectly into my kitchen as my "dining table". I even put a placemat and table setting on it to see how it looks [I did eat on it last night, but not quite so formally]. I think the stools either need to be cushioned or I may just look for a couple chairs to replace them with.
I donated a quilt for auction [check the March 13th post. It is the lavender and wild print quilt]. It brought $175. Not a spectacular amount, but the woman who purchase it was very excited. We talked for a few minutes afterwords and I think it has gone to a really good home.
One of the nursery wall hangings went for a much better sum, so I will make a twin and a crib sized quilt for the next auction. After all, there are lot of grandparents here who will buy for their grandkids.
The monies raised at the auction will go 3 places: our Living Tapestry [which is a fund to support folks who have outlived their retirement monies], chairs [or tables] for our dining room, and money to the City of Duarte for a Teen Liaison project. We don't have a final count yet, but I'm looking forward to finding out what was actually raised.
I finished the first step of the Orange Crush mystery [142 4 squares] and am working with the Fons and Porter triangle ruler for the half 4-patch blocks. I haven't even started step 3, but will need to pull out more light fabrics from my storage unit to start those. I am NOT a triangle person, so it will be a miracle if these blocks end up size-wise well enough to be put together.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Orange Crush fabrics & finishes

Here is the fabric I've chosen for the Orange Crush mystery quilt to start on Tuesday, April 1st. All my friends are
going to Asilomar [a week-long quilting retreat in Northern California] so I have to amuse myself this week.
I found a really rich purple [to the left of the pinks] and more oranges, pinks and lime greens than I thought I had.

I don't know what to cut into 2" strips as the lights, but since I won't be starting the mystery until after lunch I'll check a couple of the posts and see what might look best. I'm also going to try out the Fons and Porter triangle ruler and see how that works [because you know she's going to have triangles in this quilt].

This quilt was made from several packets of Hawaiian flower fabrics that was given away at guild for charity quilts. I added the window panes to the 4-patches and made a 2-1/2 sashing between the blocks. I quilted around the flowers [took way to long to do], but it really looks great.

This quilt top was given to me, along with a pieced backing, by one of the women I quilt with in a Tuesday night class. After piecing it she was so sick of it she didn't want to see it again. I showed it to her after I quilted it, and she didn't think it was so bad after all.

This quilt was pieced by 4 of the quilters who meet here at Westminster Gardens. I was saved for the quilting. It is hanging in our dining room now, and will be replaced with a 4th of July quilt at some point.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Finished quilts

I started and finished this quilt January/February. It is hanging in the dining room at Westminster Gardens [WG] near the coffee area. I think they plan to have it hanging for some time.

It has all different coffee cups with what looks like Starbucks coffee names under them. It was a fun and easy kit to work on.

This is one [below] of my UFO's from the mid '90's [last century!!!!]. I found it in the storage unit and quilted and bound it in February. The scary thing was that it had been pinned - but there was no rusting of the pins [thank heaven]. I'm going to donate it to our fund raiser at WG for our Cinco de Mayo festivities. I even tried some miniature feathers in the border [I had taken a class, but hadn't been brave enough to try them].

I haven't posted for awhile - at first I didn't have much, but then got whatever virus is going around and could barely walk the dogs for a couple weeks. I'm finally sewing again on my granddaughters quilt [blocks are still being cut and I'm looking for the pattern again - in a
magazine somewhere in my collection].

I'm also enjoying the spring here in Southern California - it's fantastic to hear the birds [and leaf blowers : ( ] and see the iris's[?] in bloom.

Now back to my row robin - this is my row [there are 5 blocks - 3 patience corner and 2 snowball and 9-patch]. We have 8 in our group [with one in Pittsburgh] so will have fairly large quilt tops when we get them back.

I have my friend Sandy's rows right now, but can't post anything on the blog until the end of the year. My friends read this and we can't see our rows until the unveiling in December. Most of the folks are easy about their blocks, but we have one who wants paper piecing with each row matching the row above or below [not my idea of fun]. We meet about every 6 or so weeks to exchange rows and do a show and tell of other things.

Open your windows and listen to the birds while you quilt [for those of you in sunny climes] or turn on the t.v. and listen to fun movies for those of you who are in colder areas.

I wish you happy sewing with no ripping.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Superbowl Mystery Quilt

Quiltbug decided she was going to host[ess?] a mystery quilt today, Superbowl Sunday. Her website is Instructions were terriffic and I finally finished the blocks at 7 p.m., California time. I didn't start until after 10 this morning: needed breakfast and took the dogs for a walk between the rain storms.

The pattern used browns, blues and cats [which I have lots of], but I used reds, greens and dinosaurs [not quite sure how that happened]. EVERYTHING came from my stash or store.

There were cutting instructions prior to Sunday, but today we had to cut and make 80 [arghhh!] half square triangles, 20 each from 2 different sets of fabric. I made the first set and then went to lunch [had great porkchops and saurkraut and even better company] and then took the dogs for another walk, then did the 2nd set of half square triangles.

Here are the finished blocks laid out on the kitchen floor [best light in the house] with a closeup of border fabric. I managed to get lime green in one triangle set and it is also the outer border [the dinosaurs are the inner dark border]. The borders show better in the photo below this one.

As much as I love Superbowl commercials, there is WAAAAAY to much football in between, so will keep my eyes out for the hour special later this week that shows the best of the commercials.
I have also made and finished a quilt to hang in our dining room. For you quilters, it was shown in one of the Keepsake Quilting catalogs - coffee cups with bright colors around them. I can't put a photo here, yet, because it's going to be unveiled later this month in the dining room along with another quilt [hearts] that is still being made by other quilters in our group here at the gardens.

Hope your team won today! Stay warm and dry.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I was at my storage unit the other day, and thought I would let you see my stash. It's only in tubs [most of them are labeled] because I moved in July and my friends helped me get the fabric/WIP's/books sorted.

I have to say that the end of that sorting day must have been 'just enough' since every once in awhile I open a marked tub [maybe 'blue'] and find a Christmas print in it. I have to say I get a kick out of that, because the day was really hectic so I know they were not starting a tub just for some small pieces that were left.

This is a quilt top I made for my sone and daughter-in-law in Cayucos, CA. It is from the Stashbox quilt pattern and I have made 3 of these now. This one is queen/king size and needs to be layered and quilted [will try to get that done by June when I "do" the Central Coast Quilt Run on my way north to see them].

I need to get a minimum of 4 UFO's quilted this year so I don't end up as UFO queen on the Stashbuster list. I've finished one, so that helps for this quarter, and will try to time them so at least one a quarter is finished.

They are located at and the group is a fun way to get motivated to get through your stash.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Finished a UFO

At our sewing on Friday night, I got a quilt from my mini-group on Friday night. They have been working on it for several months - it is for my new 'home'. I specified colors and they did the entire quilt without my seeing it along the way. It is a row quilt, with each row easily identifiable as done by one of my friends.
I put the quilt on the bed when I got home at midnight, and that's Little Bit giving it the "seat of approval". Chico added his approval a little later.

FIRST UFO FINISHED THIS YEAR. I finished a Christmas tree skirt that I had started sometime last year. It was done as string piecing on a muslin background, and I did fine, except I used the bias that should have been the ties as the binding sewn to the cut part that opens to the hole in the center.

Lots of rain last night [Saturday]. When the dogs and I went for our walk this morning there were branches down on the walkway. The boys let me attach their leashes to a water faucet while I cleared the walkway so we could get through. I just pulled everything over to a section in the parking lot for cleanup by maintenance tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year - New UFO

Well - it's 2008 [after reading all those science fiction books in the '50's and '60's I thought the world would be different by now, sigh]. I hope you all had a safe and/or fun New Year's Eve. I sewed with Sandy all day yesterday and her daughter, Deb, made us a special dinner [lamb chops - even better than the lamb at Westminster Gardens] and brought home a sinfully chocolate dessert.

Stashbusters had a challenge for New Years Eve and New Years Day to make a Sudoku quilt top. I actually [surprise to those who know me well] found 9 fat quarters in my house to make the quilt from.

I spent New Years Eve day at Sandy's sewing like a maniac. I finished the basic top [I still don't see any rhyme nor reason to Sudoku puzzles] and will add the red cat border today - after, of course, walking the dogs. I cut my squares 5-1/2" x 6-1/2" and the black sashing is 2-1/2". The border was cut 6-1/2" so will have a large lap robe [or sofa throw].

After the sinful chocolate dessert last night I couldn't get to sleep, so got up about 1:30 a.m. and pulled fabric for a mystery quilt that started even before I got up this morning.

Now, on to breakfast [yes, the boys have been fed] and our walk, and then to more sewing.

Happy New Year all of you, and not only do I hope no bad things happen, I hope for lots of good things for this year.