Monday, November 19, 2012

I've Been Tagged!

So I was tagged in a game of blog-tag. by Marlene at Kissed Quilts.  If I've tagged you, you are supposed to state 11 things about yourself on your blog.  then please scroll down, there are 11 questions I am asking about you for you to answer on your blog.. - then you in turn tag 11 people (but not me).

I'm supposed to say 11 things about myself, then answer 11 questions, as well... so here goes...

11 things about myself.

 1.  I'm older than dirt lol... I turned 60 this year.

 2. I own a long-arm quilting machine that I never use.

 3. After 30 years of marriage, I still love my husband.

 4. I love to travel, especially cruising.  I love to be pampered, and I especially love room service.  I really want to go to Australia and New Zealand someday.

 5. Nothing is better for breakfast than a bagel and a cup of tea.

 6. I am addicted to Starbucks mocha drinks.  OMG, they are good.

 7. I play Dungeons and Dragons with friends every weekend.  I've been playing since 1974 and still enjoy the hobby of gaming.

 8. I love to quilt in my pajamas.  I'd live in pj's full time if I could!

 9. I collect Matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls).

10. I learned how to quit in 2004 and have been piecing, appliqueing and quilting ever since.  I love learning new techniques, but I am all about speed.  I discovered early on that I'm not fond of hand applique or hand quilting.  (Don't get me wrong - I love the look of them, but the actual doing of them isn't for me).  I fuse my applique and quilt on my DSM.

11. I have college degrees in Archaeology and Film History, though I don't work in either field (though I used to be a working archaeologist, I haven't worked in the field for over 30 years).

Eleven Questions about myself from Marlene:  

  1.  What time of the day or evening do you do most of your crafting?
    Hmm, Good questions.  I used to do most of my sewing and quilting late at night, but lately, I've been doing most of my sewing during the day when my husband is at work.
  2. If money was not a concern, what would be the next machine or toy you would buy for your craft? 
    I don't tend to buy a LOT of toys for quilting.  Though I did buy a longarm I never use, so I guess I am guilty of this.  I'm not sure what I'd buy next if money weren't a concern.  Maybe a Bernina 500 series sewing machine, though I'm really happy with my two Bernina 440's (one for my studio and one for travel). 
  3. How long have you lived in your current city? 
    I have lived in my current home (and city) since 1994, I'll let you do the math, but I think it's something like 18 years.
  4. How many states and/or countries have you resided in?
    I was born and raised in California... never really lived anywhere else for any length of time.
  5. Do kind of pets do you have (if any)?   I have currently have 3 cats, one an elderly long-haired sweetheart named Oodles. The second is a short-haired tabby named Pandora (Pan for short), and our third is the baby of the family, Squeak, who is all black and also short-haired.  Pan is my 'quilter's companion', having to approve every piece of fabric brought into the house, and every quilt during the creation process and before it leaves the house for its new home.
  6. What is your favorite TV show?  That's a tough question.  There are a few good ones this year.  I love NCIS, and I really enjoy Project Runway as well (though in general I hate reality shows, this one is about sewing, so I watch it avidly).  I also love Dr. Who!
  7. Where is your favorite place to vacation?  I really love the Caribbean, esp. St. Kitts, though any place away from home, with room service and WIFI, works for me!
  8. Do you prefer to dine-in or go out to eat? I definitely prefer going out to eat!  Although I enjoy ordering in as well and having food delivered.  Anything where I don't have to fix it or clean up afterward myself works for me!
  9. What is your favorite recipe you like to prepare? I love making brownies and also spice cake with maple frosting.
  10. What did you eat for breakfast?  This morning I had a bagel with garlic & herb cream cheese.
  11. Do you set aside time weekly to craft/quilt or just do it whenever you get a chance? I don't generally set aside time for my quilting except for open-sew days at the local quilt shop.  Usually, when I sew at home, it is whenever I feel like it during the day.  Some days I just get the urge to sew so I do, other days, I don't feel so energized, and I stay out of the studio on those days.

    11 questions for the 11 bloggers I'm tagging....

    1. What time of the day or evening do you do most of your crafting?
    2. If money was not a concern, what would be the next machine or toy you would buy for your craft?
    3. If you could choose anywhere, price not an issue, where would you live?
    4. Do you enjoy traveling and what is your favorite place you've been? 
    5. What is your favorite animal and why?
    6. Do you consider yourself a traditional quilter or more of an art quilter?
    7. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
    8. Do you prefer to dine-in or go out to eat?
    9. What is your favorite food? 
    10. What is your favorite quilting/crafting toy or tool that you have ever purchased/used?
    11. What is your computer of choice - desktop? laptop? or tablet?
      Blogs I tagged:  If you're on this list - please tell 11 things about yourself, then answer the questions I posed above.... thanks for playing!

      1. The Patchery Menagerie

      2. Me & My Quilts - Exploring the Possibilites
      3. Lazy Gal Quilting
      4. Scraps and Threadtales
      5. Dordogne Quilter
      6. With Strings Attached
      7. Indigo Threads
      8. O'Quilts
      9. Library Gal Quilts
      10. Baumcat
      11. Crazy by Design     

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bloggity blog blog... from the beach

Retreat is/was wonderful this year.  Three days of fun, sewing and camaraderie at the beach.  The ladies I sewed with were a hoot, every one of them was congenial and fun to be around, even when things didn't go quite right.  Z. forgot her machine's power cord, someone touched M. in her sleep, V. sewed all her strips wrong and had to rip, rip, rip, C's bobbin tension was wrong and sewed 800" of strips with big loopies on the bottom... There were lots of little things that went wrong, and still, everyone had a great time.  There was a lot of joking around, lots of wine, margueritas, dolphins swimming by the house, more wine, much accomplished in the way of finished quilts, more wine, some new techniques learned and mastered, oh, and did I mention the wine?

Anyway, I managed to get a lot done myself.  I put borders on my first hidden wells quilt.  I took a pre-printed border print fabric, separated out the single stripe that I liked and mitered the corners.  Now it looks like this:

I'm happy with the outcome, I think the border sets it off nicely.

Then I made my second hidden wells quilt.  The pictur above is of the strats I used for the strip piecing part of making this quilt.  I tried to make a 'rainbow' of colors from red through blue with a black print on one end and a black fabric on the other.  The finished hidden wells quilt (sans borders) looks like this:

I had a vision of what I wanted the quilt to look like and while the black diamonds pretty much fit with my vision, the prominence of the yellow x's is a bit bolder than I was expecting.  Still, I  like it and I will finish it up with a green (I think) eye-stopper and a border using the focus fabric (the black print with all the colors in it).

When I made my first hidden wells quilt, I had 4 blocks left over, and I made a table runner out of those 4 blocks, and bordered it in orange.  It is now ready for quilting:

I also made a baby quilt for a co-worker of my husband.  The top is done, just needs to be quilted.  It is made from Minkee, satin, flannel and cotton.  The first two fabrics (Minkee and satin) are NOT easy to work with.  The satin frays really easily and the Minkee is very stretchy.  Both require a lot of  pinning to 'get it right'... I hate pinning, lol.  Making this quilt was NOT a labor  of love.

I also made a strip quilt from a pattern called Strip Joints by GE Designs.  I used pre-cut jelly rolls and bali pops, so all I had to do was cut them up to the right lengths and sew them together.  Very quick and easy to do and it went really fast.

The two 'colors' of the strip collections were pale neutrals and a Wild Berry bali pop.  (Not sure what the pale neutral collection was called).  It's mostly purple which I like, but with a little too much pink, which I'm not so fond of, but overall, I'm happy with it.

I also pieced two blocks of my Northern Wilderness  quilt.  Northern Wilderness is a wonderful quilt that is on my bucket list but not a high priority - one of those projects that you know will take a long time to complete with it's mix of piecing and applique.  I will use it as a filler project like I did this weekend - completing blocks a couple at a time.  Once all the blocks are pieced, I will start on the applique.  Wish me luck - that's a LOT of applique! 

Overall, it was a good and productive retreat for me.  Most important, it was fun and relaxing.  I will miss the pounding of the waves on the seawall, the smell of salt air, the sharing and caring and laughter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


So, I'm packing for another retreat and my cat decided to claim my sewing chair.  She climbed up on the back of it and clung there, her claws in the chair, protectively proclaiming 'MINE!' on the chair.  I needed to pack that chair into my car and the cat was having none of THAT nonsense.  It took me and my husband both to extricate her from the chair and get it out the door with both it and ourselves in one piece.

Now, normally, she sleeps in my sewing studio at night, so that chair is 'hers' when I'm not using it, so I guess I can't blame her for claiming it even when it was brought out into the living room, but it was kinda cute and funny that she did so literally within a minute of me bringing it out of the studio.

It is finally in my car and except for my suitcase, I'm all packed and loaded for retreat.  Tomorrow after the laundry is all done, I'll finish packing clothes and be ready to pick up my friend Marlyn for our joint drive to the beach house for the retreat.  I just need to fill my gas tank and we'll be on our way!

We're planning on stopping for lunch along the way, but we're being good and not stopping for fabric shops along the way.  We'll see how long THAT resolve lasts.  *cough, cough, ahem*

I have SO much to work on at retreat.  I have my Northern Wilderness quilt to work on, as well as 2 versions of Strip Joints - both using batik jelly rolls in darks and lights.  I also have another Hidden Wells quilt to work on - this one in rainbow hues.  And I have to put the final border on my first HW quilt, as well as border the table runner I made from my leftover blocks.  I have a few other miscellaneous projects to work on as well, like finishing up a baby quilt for my DH's coworker, who just had one (a baby, that is).

So, tomorrow is the big day... I'm off to shower and relax for the evening, my last night at home for 4 days.  And my DH is gonna do the laundry and other chores tonight - I guess to get him in the swing of things, cause he's in charge of the house for 4 days.  OH NO!!!

A Mysterious start to the year

Well, I finished one of last year's mystery tops... The Meadow Mist Mosaic Mystery.  I have to say I really like how this one came out.....