FMQ Challenge/Project

Phew, got it done on the last day - my FMQ Challenge/Project ( I'm using my challenge project to also fill Leah's project as my days have been thrown out of wonk with my surgery earlier in the month) done for June!  I'm very pleased to say every bit of it was done by free motion.  I can hardly believe it my self - no markers, pencil, freezer paper or tissue paper or templates.  Thank you SewCalGal and Leah for motivating us with the great tutorials and to practice, practice, practice!  I'm linking at both of their blogs. Check out the great work done by others. 

Saturday Summary 6/30/12

It's the end of the week, so I'd like to share some of the happenings that came our way here in Riverside, or of things shared or seen.
First off, my DIL posted this photo of our cherubs  - a moment of peacefulness for Frank and Lily:

 Then there's Alan brushing his teeth.  He loves to brush his teeth.  Oh yes, his casts will be off in another 2 1/2 weeks.  Alan is 19 months.
 And here's Leo - doesn't he have the bluest eyes?!
Then,  here is William (front left) with Dad (behind him), GrandPa, and half-brother, Gavin.  This was taken last Sunday before they (the three of them, not GrandPa)  headed back to New Mexico.  Will is visiting for 3 weeks.

My online friend, Billie posted of all the animals that visited recently.  We had a visitor too.  Not one I want to see coming round often - can't even call him snake in the grass - more like snake on the patio:
This guy was big!  I estimate 4 feet, but you can check that out yourselves by watching this (little kids might actually like to watch this - LOL) . Our steps are 3 feet wide.  He kept trying to climb our plumeria plant and the siding on the house.  Strange.  We guess it is a gopher snake. Two friends think so too.  Are there any herpetologists out there that can verify that?  He finally slithered under our breezeway door.  Good bye snake.  Don't come back - well unless we have a mouse problem.


Favorite Flower Friday

I was walking down my hall and looked out my window and saw through the screen:
 Grabbed my camera and took a shot through the screen.  Eeeeks, our Echi was blooming.
 Rushing outside for a better shot.  This is a variety of Echinocereus.  Isn't that a beautiful bloom?!  This is a night bloomer, but the flowers usually last untill noon.  Here it was about 8 am when I  noticed it.
 And here is a closer shot.  I love these flowers.

Have a great weekend!


Urban Mistake

I got a new ruler!  I was admiring Sue Dario's wonderful Urban Nine Patches that I decided to learn more about it and before I knew it, I had ordered the ruler.  It came yesterday and I was bound and determined to make a block today after watching Sew Kind of Wonderful's videos - they are so good.  Made my nine - patch and in my haste cut it wrong.  Okay thought I'd use a solid fussy cut piece.  Found one I liked and cut that out.  Messed up again -so back to the tutorial.  This time I got it right!  Then to start sewing.  Three of the 4 curves turned out nifty - but the fourth one wasn't cooperating, so after taking out the seam twice, figured out where I was placing the two pieces wrong together.  Sewed the third time and all was good.  Now to square it up - It's too small - YIKES!  Now what?  I decided to make a miniquilt with it.  Here's how far I got:
I may add another border.  As it is now it is 11 1/4" square.  I went to close the tutorial and realized, Jenny said to square to 8" not 8 1/2 = grrrrrrrrh - I didn't mess up after all!  Moral of story, don't try a new ruler when your tired and in a hurry.  Say Jenny - I see a whole quilt out of blocks like this one - maybe you can design another quilt.  Thanks for a great ruler and blocks.

Applique Thursday 6/28/12

I finished my third block of Esther's BOM:  Forget Me Not.  I am really liking the blocks she gives us - you know how much I like flowers, and each month we have two different ones to pick from.
It is fused down, and I need to embellish it, but essentially done. I'm finding applique really reminds me of my cut and paste days playing with paper dolls.  Do you find it so also?   This is Jacob's Ladder - a flower I'm not familiar with, but when I looked it up on the internet found lovely examples.  Mostly blue and light purple flowers.
Charm winner for this week is Marcia W.  Congrats, Marcia, your charm is on its way to you.  There will be another winner next monday - just leave a comment or link to win. If you want another chance, leave a comment and a link.  Good Luck!

So I would love to see your eye candy - applique or otherwise - whatever you're working on, finished a while back, or planning.  See blue button below.


VA3 Continues

Here are the two columns of the VA3 quilt I showed you the blocks of yesterday.  I'm liking it more - it looks like a modern plaid to me now.  What do you think?

I'm linking with Connie's Linky Party Tuesday (even though this is Wednesday) as I posted the blocks there yesterday, and I thought you'd like to see how they are shaping up.  Hope a VA will like it, too.


Fabric Tuesday/WOW/WIP WED

blks for 3rd VA quilt
1st VA quilt
It's still tuesday here for a few hours and here's what I have been working on and will be my WIP tomorrow on Wednesday.  I'm assembling another VA quilt.  These have to be around 36 by 42-45" as they will be used on laps and wheelchairs.  Any bigger and they caught in the wheels.  The first one I made was using the tube method.  The second was from a pattern our challenge chair at the LQG gave us (it's at the quilter now).  This third is an adaptation of a baby quilt made by Natalia of Piece n Quilt .  I had to make it differently because I had to cut the fabric in order to get the most pieces out of it that I could.  There wasn't enough of the green,  so I went scrappy.  It looks better with the black - I'll show you some rows tomorrow.

What's your fabric story?  Go over to Fabric Tuesday by Quilt Story, Connie's Linky Party TuesdayWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and Esther's WOW to see what others are doing.


Design Wall Monday 6/25/12

This is just prepped.  And I need to add 5 circles (which I dread).  Hope to get rid of the rough edges around the curves as I needle turn this.  I think I'm going to make each block with a different applique technique and once and for all see which one I like (and likes me-LOL) as I make Anna's Garden.  The original was in reproduction fabrics, but I've decided to go a little brighter than that.  The central blocks are mostly 7" square finished.

What's on your design wall?  Go on over to Judy's Patchwork Times, Lyn's BOMs Away, and check out the other postings.


Stash Report 6/24/12

Well,,, I did it.  Bought 6 yards of Kona Cotton Solide from Hobby Lobby.  The closest one is 45 miles away. But I bought them online - less temptation you see - hah!  They had free shipping and 40% off and I needed white.  I bought banana - don't ask me why -??? It's already come so I have to count it.

On the plus side, and despite burnt fingers, I did manage to use/donate some yardage:  Used 1 1/3 yards for the back of that VA quilt. Pulled another 2 2/3rds for the next VA quilt.  Used a fat eighth of scraps for a Log Cabin blk. Donated 2.5 yards (a Santa Panel and 1.5 matching fabric), and 5.42 yards of fabric for LQG thrifty corner.  I also used up about a fat quarter of fabric on my Forget Me Not block and 1.75 yards for Anna's Garden [A reminder - I count it out of stash when I've removed it from the stash and cut into it. From then on, it's in my working pile].
Here are my numbers:
Used/Donated last week: 14.36 yards
Used/Donated YTD:        85.34 yards
Added/Bought last week:    6.0 yards
Added/Bought YTD:         33.5 yards
Net Decrease YTD:           51.84 yards   Woohoo!  I'm past my 50 yard goal for the half year!! and still have all of this coming week to up the numbers.
How's your stash busting coming along?  Go on over to Judy's Patchwork Times and see how others are doing.


Favorite Flowers Friday

LOL - these are favorite - but they may be the only ones too. I'm happy to have any to show in our arid place. Don't get me wrong - we could have tons of flowers, but we're trying to conserve water and so we don't water as often as some of these annuals require, so sparse garden. So here is my view from my kitchen at the moment:

A closer view.

A closeup of the rose.  Looks like some bug may have damaged the stem (actually to my favor) as I am getting a head on view of it instead of the usual side view of the flower.

I'm linking to Shay's Favorite Things Friday and Tootsie's Flaunt your flowers.  Go on over to see other lovely stuff and have a great weekend.


Applique Thursday Barely

I've begun assembling my applique block for May at Esther's Forget Me Not BOM.  I got this far and then badly burned two finger pads of my left hand. I immediately applied ice water to them until the pain went away - over an hour.  Silly me - haven't done something that thoughtless in a long time.  What did I do?  I pressed down on my Clover mini iron on the rod.  Don't ask me why - I wasn't thinking.

Our winner last week of the 5" batik charm was Marcia W.  I've sent her an email.  There's another waiting for someone who comments or links.  You get two chances to get the charm by commenting and linking.

Would love to see you eye candy - applique or not!  Blue button below. 

And for more fun, visit Melissa's TNT Thursday for more great projects. She has some neat living room curtains today and of course links from others.  Enjoy!


WIP Wednesday

My new piecing tool came in the mail and I had to stop and try it.  It's the Log Cabin Trim Tool by Jean Ann Wright and Creative Grids.  It make making a log cabin block in about 1/4 the time it use to take me.  I love it, especially as I can use strips from my scraps and not have to cut all those strips.  Here's my first block:
This was made just grabbing some strips and sewing them on.  I'm sure I'll be using this to whiddle down my strip pile in just making scrap log cabins.  Here's a video you can watch about it.  I've now got my project NewFO - LOL.


Fabric Story on Tuesday

My star is done.  I'm trying to put together twelve wall hangings for my living room above the fireplace, so I can change them monthly.  This practice piece for Judy's Feather quilting lessons is my second wall hanging done this year.  It was scary at first to get that needle going, but with Judy's excellent directions and videos, I got there.  Practicing on paper sure made a difference. I recommend it. 

You can't see them well on the front side, but I did quilt a continuous feather in the outer border.  See the back below.

Now that I've broken the ice on this quilting motif, I'll have to practice, practice, practice to remember it.  I can say my last feathers came out pretty good, but that was after 30 of them beforehand and all the ones on paper.
Go on over to Connie's Linky Party Tuesday and the Fabric Tuesday, by Quilt Story to see more stories.


Design Wall Monday 6/18/12

My star is quilted.  Here is the front: 

Here is the back.  Now to bind it.  Thank you, Judy for those lessons - don't know if I would have attempted feather quilting without them.  What's on your design wall? Go on over to Judy's http://www.patchworktimes.com/ to see how others are doing.  And you can see the feather video lessons and posts under the tab Tutorials.


Stash Report and FMQ

Okay - some progress to report on two fronts.  First, I used a yard to back my carpenter star.  I used another yard to back my VA quilt.  Then I finished making those nine-patchers and cut up anothe 1.5 yards. Then I used a fat eighth of green for my Jacob's Ladder block for a total of 3.75 yards used this past week.
Here are my numbers: 
Used/Donated last week: 3.75 yards
Used/Donated YTD: 70.98 yards
Added/Bought last week: 0.0 yards
Added/Bought YTD: 27.5 yards
Net Decrease YTD: 43.48 yards  Little more than 6 1/2 yards for me to meet my half year goal.  Yeah!
The second progress front was in my Learning to do Feathers by FMQ.  I'm half way done quilting my carpenter star as per Judy's fine instructions for FMQ feathers.  I first practiced on paper.  And for the life of me I couldn't get the left side of the feathers to look as they should.  So I decided to try them on the quilt top using freezer paper.  I found a feather I liked in Quiltmakers Quilt Motifs vol. 1 and traced it on the FP.  Then, since I could do the right side of the feather, I used only one side of the motif.  I ironed them on the diamond shape and off I went.  Don't look at my first ones, but by the 4th I was feeling better about them, and the last two came out okay. One of my problems was I kept getting loops in the top thread.  I changed the needle twice, rethreaded the thread, checked tension, checked bobbin - pulling my hair out!  Turns out it was the thread!  On to the feather wreaths - back to training wheels and used FP.  In keeping with the spirit of the lessons in FMQ, I decided to do the centers as fmq - first two - awful; last two - pretty good if I say so myself.
I've decided I'm not going to take all the loops out.  This will be a wall hanging and essentially it is a practice piece and I'm just learning to quilt this way, so it stays to remind me of what problems I can have.  Hey, it'll look a bit hairy on my wall.

Here's the back.

This patch is not black.  It is such a dark purple, my puny camera couldn't tell the difference.  One of my better feathers.  Phew now to finish it.
I'm linking to Judy's Stash report at http://www.patchworktimes.com/.  Go on over and see how others are doing on their stash.


Favorite Friday Flowers 6/15/12

Here a crown of thorns that has been always in bloom since the day I brought it home 21 years ago. Isn't it amazing?
Next is a spot of color that came as a complete surprise.  I think these are Indian paintbrushes.  Haven't had them in my garden for 3 years.  They are tiny plants - the flowers aren't more than an inch and a half across, but they look so sweet.  Started to bloom while I was recouping.   I am blessed by their persistence and beauty.

I'm linking to Tootsie's Flaunt your Flowers and Shay's Favorite Things Friday - check them out.

Applique Thursday Not

I found a new blog for us.  It's Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting.  She has a great blog, and a Thursday linky, too.  Check her out here.

Where did the days go?  I meant to start a new applique project - I did at least finally find the green I need for Esther's block - but wound up free motion quilting yesterday and before I knew it the day was gone.  But I'm determined to have something started today.  It will be that block for the Forget Me Not quilt.  LOL - I"d better start on it as the next month's block comes out tomorrow! Yikes.  Well, while I was convalescing, I did find this pattern (I bought it several years ago)- mostly applique with a little piecing - just what I like:

I hope to start this one also to take the place of my Jubilee Album blocks which are ready to be put in a top. 
And our winner last week was Debbie in NC again!  Debbie, your batik charm is on it's way to you.  So, we'll do it again, shall we?  A batik charm to one reader who leave a comment or a link - two chances for a comment and a link.  Good luck!

Lastly, won't you share some eye candy - applique or not, just finished or a treasured one?  Look for the blue submit button.  I love eye candy!


Another WIP for Wednesday

Ready to quilt - all back pieced, batting put together, and top ironed forming a sandwich that is now pinned.
Now am I ready?  I've practeced feathers as per Judy's instructions, but for the life of me I can't seem to get the left side of the feathers to go correctly, so am using a freezer paper guide. One ironed in place on quilt.  Off I go to try it.  Hmmm, maybe I'll have lunch first.


Fabric Tuesday WOW

It feels so good to be able to sew a little bit again.  Yesterday I got to make 4 nine patchers from the charm pack I created from my stash.  They're going to be a new charity quilt made from this really cute Piece and Quilt pattern at:  http://www.pieceandquilt.com/2009/09/9-birdie-baby-quilt.html   Here are the squares cut into fourths ready to start assembling the top once I find the yard I need to do the sashing and one border. Stash diving here I come!
I'm linking to Fabric Tuesday by Quilt Story, Connie's Linky Party Tuesday and Esther's WOW on WIP Wednesday.   Go on over and see what everyone is doing and join in.  We'd like to see what you're doing too!


Design Wall Monday 6/11/12

Okay!  New on my design wall are the four Jubilee Album Blocks.  Yeah!  Ready to start thinking about putting these together in a top.  The original quilt featured in the Fons and Porter magazine had 12 blocks.  I'm only doing the wall hanging version.  These blocks are 13 " square when finished.  Only the cherry block is squared up so far.  I've got to go stash dumping and find fabric for the borders.  They may be on the wall for a while.  I want to work on Esther's May block now.

Go on over to Judy's Design Wall Monday, and Lyn's BOMs Away  - oh and Esther's WOW, too -to see what others are up to.


Stash Report 6/10/12

Not much sewing going on here.  I'm happy to report feeling better everyday.  Today is the first day I've felt more myself since the surgery.  It will be a week Wednesday.  I did have a finish of sorts.  Here's my 4th Jubilee Album block.  When I can't do much, I appliqued.  That had me use a few scraps.  Today I did cut up a yard's worth of 5 inches squares to make a charm pack I will use in the next charity quilt.  Here are my numbers:
Used/Donated last week: 1.01yards
Used/Donated YTD: 67.23 yards
Added/Bought last week: 0.0 yards
Added/Bought YTD: 27.5 yards
Net Decrease YTD: 39.73 yards   Have to use 10 yards in these last weeks of June to be on target for my goal.  Will I make it?

Go on over to Judy's Patchwork Times and see how others are doing.


Favorite Flowers Friday

Hi, there.  I'm recovering from gall bladder surgery Wednesday, so I haven't been out in my garden much in the last three days - actually I'm up walking and eating tiny bit of this and that that has no fat and mostly sleeping.  So all I have to share is
1) a get well plant my very kind neighbor gave me:
Isn't this a lovely pink anthurium?  I love it.  Now the trick is how to keep it alive in this arid area.  Please leave a comment if you know how to grow these.
2) from my hall windows I can still see these lovelies:

Don't these tunas look lite from within.  They sparkle when they're back lighted.
I'm so glad they are around to brighten up my view.

What are your favorite thing this friday.  You know my flowers are.  I'm linking up to Flaunt Your Flowers and Favorite Things Friday - visit them for more fun and fabulous.


Applique Thursday 6/7/12

A bit more progress.  Because I like that blue fabric so much, I'm not going to add the cross hatching on the basket. Three more flowers to go!

Would love to admire your eye candy, applique or not.  Last week's batik charm winner was Rita.  Rita, I mailed your charm Wednesday.

Another batik charm waits for someone who comments or links. You get two chances if you comment and link.  Look forward to hearing from you and visiting your blogs.


Fabric Story WOW

Here the last of three charity tops I finished for St. Anne's Sewdality:
This was a pillow panel I picked up at a yard sale for a pretty large pillow.  I used the intended backing material as the first border and then added the lavender border.  My job is to make flimsies and the group does the rest.  That way each quilt is a group effort before they are prayed over by all of us and then sent on to a first time low income mother in our city.

I'm linking at Fabric Tuesday, Linky Party Tuesday and WOW.  This will be my last post for a bit as I have surgery on the 6th.  I'll try to do Applique Thursday before then, so do come back and see what I added to that block.  Your eye candy will be ever so appreciated on that day.

Take care!


Design Wall Monday 6/4/12

Nothing on my design wall although I have a lot of ufos and wips.  I'm greening some batts right now to go with the charity quilts and then they'll be ready for the 14th.  I was going to be quilting with Judy, but she is long arming her quilt in the free feather tutorials, but mine will be on a DSM and I need to start in the center.  So will have to wait until she gets there to continue on that project.

So what is greening a batt? It's my way of dealing with left over pieces of batting to use it up instead of throwing it away.  I learned this method from Marti Michell in her machine quilting in sections book. Way faster than basting the batting together.

Essentially, you find pieces that together will provide a batt for your top.  I overlap them at the side they will be joined and cut a squiggly line through both of them.  In the photo you can see them after the cut.  I threw away the two pieces resorting from cutting them.  Then I cut 1" strips of fusible interfacing.  I push the two pieces together and lay the strips on top of the edges and with a Teflon sheet or a piece of fabric I press the joint closed with the interfacing. (you can see a more detailed post here).  The batt is now ready to sandwich with the top and back.  Have one more to go after this one.

What are you up to?  Visit Judy at Patchwork Times and link up to let us know.


Stash Report 6/3/12

Worked on several things last week, most importantly two BOM blocks and three charity quilts which used up yardage - yeah! Here are my numbers:
Used/Donated last week: 4.75 yards
Used/Donated YTD: 66.22 yards
Added/Bought last week: 6.00 yards   Couldn't resist an online special of Liberty Fabrics.
Added/Bought YTD: 27.5 yards
Net Decrease YTD: 38.72 yards  Gone down a bit, but not by much!  And I love the fabrics I bought - they will be for applque.

How did you do?  Go on over to Judy's Patchwork Times and let us all know how you did.


In My Garden this Friday

It's still coolish around here and things in the garden are again surprising me!  Some of you would say the 90s aren't cool, but low 90s in this arid climate are great to enjoy.  Here's what I found in my tour of the garden as I watered:
This is a Datura Purple Double.  It's in a pot.  I got the seeds from a friend in Hawaii who didn't know what it was. I love how the white trumpet comes out of the purple.
Here is a closeup.  It was too sunny to get the center which is also interesting.

 Out on our front patio, the bouganvilla and the geraniums are still blooming. Here they flank an octopus agave which my husband planted in an old stump of a pepper tree.
 Here's my view of them from inside my kitchen window.  You get a good idea at the size of that octopus. This window faces west, so we have two screens on it to cut the glare of the sun.  The double pane windows cut the heat.
 Just to the right of bouganvilla is my Cecile Brunner rose.  You can see how small the roses are compared to my hand.
and on a different note, yesterday we had this yummy dish.  This is for all of you who have an abundant crop of zuchinni squash.  I jazzed it up by adding garlic and onions -good!  You can find the recipe here .

I'm linking up to Tootsie's Flaunt Your Flowers and Elizabeth's Show off Friday.   Do visit and see what others have in their gardens.
Lastly, I leave you with a cutie from my husband's collection - a Notocactus.  Its flower is a tiny purple flower, but it grows these cute, colorful seed pods.  I think they have a tuft of fat hair on their heads. They make me smile.   Have a great weekend!