The 31st

Our one and only Trick-or-Treater:
DGS#4 as Luke Skywalker
I did send home treats for DGS#1.  We live on a hill in town with around 25-35 homes and almost no kids.  Oh, well.  More candy for me --hehe. I always buy what I like to eat.

Getting back to that bag of scraps.  I guess I'll just have to give in and sort the monster.  I'm going to take Ozzypip's suggestion and try a Bonnie Hunter String X quilt.  Here are four I made  and put on my design wall today after some trimming and sorting.
For the life of me, I can't figure out why they are coming out 7 1/2 x 7 1/4.  ??? I don't think I'll put them together just yet to be able to spread out the various pieces used that have multiples like the green that stands out so much. This scrap thing is a lot harder and complicated that I thought - it will have to be my brave quilting for this month -lol.  Go on over to Julie's and see what others are bravely trying to get  a handle on.



Some of This, Some of That

Hey!  I got three quilts sandwiched for quilting and have started on one.
I'm doing the stitch in the ditch first. Then moving on to some FMQ in those big blocks.  All three smallish quilts (between 30-36" square), so they should go pretty fast.

I have a large white garbage bag of scraps, and I"m trying to find a super fast pattern to use them up with.  So far - not happening.  I made this block hoping it would work as such:
Not an easy pattern to do by chain stitching with all those ends of strips in the way and ironing after each one. Also, to me a thread waster. If you could give me some ideas, I'd truly appreciate it.  Not crumb blocks, though - I'm too fussy for those.  I know some of you will say to sort that bag first - I just don't have time!  Maybe I'll just give that bag away.  Tell me what to try, please.

On the de-stashing front - used 3 yards for the backs of those baby quilts and 1/2 yard for leaders and enders and the block above.  I"m happy with the amount I used this week. My new YTD total is 47.05 yds  gone.

What are you up to?  Giveaway still one - see top sidebar.  Hope you have some time to quilt today. I'll be linking to some linky parties as seen in the tab above.  Blessings.


WIPs Be Gone

The two baby quilt WIPs are in the final stages before quilting.  I had to piece together batting and find/iron the backs.  More on those later.

I did some applique:
Tell me what you think this is, and I'll see if I got it right color-wise.  This is for a Christmas gift, and it has to be a rectangle so I'll have to figure out what to do to make it the right size.  This is as far as I've gotten.

Are you going to Road to California, January 19th-22nd in Ontario, CA?  They are having an outreach event.  You can read about it here.  For that event I've made two blocks so far to contribute. Really like the pattern they have chosen - it's made in a neat way and was developed by Anita Grossman Solomon.  This will be a very worthy event.

These are really the light pink you can see in the blocks.
What are you up to?  Would love to see.  Link up for a chance to win some hexagon papers. Usual guidelines apply:   Leave me a comment for one chance.  Link your eye candy for another (link button below). Follow me and let me know for a third chance. Remember if you don't have a blog, you can always post a photo from a photo hosting service.  Please be sure there is some way for me to contact you. Ends next Thursday, midnight.

I'll be linking to some linky parties, including Creations...Quilts, Art...Whatever. See the tab under the header.  Oh, and I'll pick this week's winner tomorrow. Blessings!


On my Design Wall

Doesn't look much different, but I did add a couple of sawtooth star blocks and those are all new hourglass blocks, so a bit of progress.  I haven't made any progress on my hexi flower blocks because they require me to set up the machine with invisible thread and I never seen to get around to it.

And listen to this (you might have to turn up the sound).  It's dark cuz I just pointed my camera out the window. The sound is what was amazing for me - hehe.  It doesn't take much to make me feel giddy.  I tried to get a photo of what was going on, but no luck.  Here's one a friend took. Thank you God for the refreshing rain.


Some of This; Some of That

Made four Splendid Sampler blocks with this one:
#70 - I'm naming My Rose Garden

Plus the binding on the BAMA quilt adds .37 yds toward de-stashing and brings me up to a  YTD total is 43.53 yds .   I either have to give away a lot of fabric or sandwich a bunch of quilts to reach my goal of 100 yards this year. Which will it be?  Have til after Christmas to decide this drastic measure.  Well, I consider it drastic when I'm thinking of ways to get rid of fabric - lol.

I now have enough SS blocks of pink and red to begin the next section of my sampler.

I realized I didn't show you the back of the BAMA quilt.  A friend and fellow member of St. Anne's gave me this very appropriate fabric to include.  I really like it. Would make a great row of a row by row quilt - I mean the leftovers of this fabric - but I gave the remainder back to her.
Going to try to sandwich those baby quilts I never got to, and do some more slow stitching on my ancient WIP.  It's the perfect weather - cloudy and cool. Do visit Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.  She has some fabulous examples of English Paper Piecing for your viewing pleasure. If you've never given this type of hand stitching a try, go link to my WIPs Be Gonner post. I'm giving away some hexagons, so can try one form of it. You vets of EPP are welcome, too.  And speaking of giveaways, last week winner is Laurie of Laurie's Place.  I've sent her an email.  Blessings!


WIPs Be Gonner

Good thing I wasn't given a deadline - it took me 4 months.  The BAMA quilt is done!
39" square.
I hope he likes it.

And here's a WIP made by my 90 year-old Mom.  She's back in Houston visiting family and going to the International Quilt Festival, and yes, she took some embroidery,cross-stitch with her for the few moments she not on the go - lol.  I call it her novela quilt as she worked on it 3 hours a day, five days a week as she watched her evening novelas (that's soap operas in Spanish).
This wall hanging is all cross-stitch.  What will she be buying at the Festival?  Cross-stitch kits, more likely.  Measures 36" x 43".

What are you up to?  Would love to see.  Link up for a chance to win some hexagon papers. Usual guidelines apply:   Leave me a comment for one chance.  Link your eye candy for another (link button below). Follow me and let me know for a third chance. Remember if you don't have a blog, you can always post a photo from a photo hosting service.  Please be sure there is some way for me to contact you. Ends next Thursday, midnight.

I'll be linking to some linky parties - see tab under header. Blessings!


Applique Tuesday on Wednesday

Had a guild meeting so couldn't post this yesterday.  I'm using Lara Bucella's method of raw edge applique and loving it.

Off to start another.  What are you up to?  Leave me a comment and I'll come by to see your WIP.
Giveaway still one, top sidebar.


Design Wall Monday

I'm playing with a setting layout for my Splendid Sampler blocks.
 I've decided to group them by the overall color (or what color the block reads).  Way up in the air right now as to final layout, however I do know it will be a 4 part quilt as you go. It will be up on my design wall for a while.

Finished another Splendid Sampler block. This is #71.  I chose to piece it rather than paper piece it.  Getting the right sizes for the pieces was the hard part - the rest was just simple sewing.  None were smaller than a 1 1/2" strip.

I'm linking to several linky parties today. See the tab under the header if you'd like to, too.  Giveaway for hexagon papers still open see top sidebar.  Blessings!  We were blessed already. We woke up to a light rain. It's a blessing in our drought state.


Some Slow Sunday Stitching

My goal today is to get these two blocks done during this Slow Sunday Stitching.

Only have about 4 inches to do on the Dresden one and the two leaves on the flower. I had forgotten all about the flower block as it was in my traveling kit. I haven't had to go to a Dr appt in so long, it wasn't getting finished. But first I need to sandwich two baby quilt tops, so I'll have something to quilt this week.

I'm working out a setting for my Splendid Sampler blocks and used .39 yds so far.  Also made three leader and ender blocks, so there went another .15 yds from my scrap stash.   I'm up to YTD total of 43.70 yds de-stashed.

Linky party and giveaway still open - see side bar.  What are you up to this fine day? Leave me a comment and I'll come by to see what you shared.


WIPs Be Gone Harvest

Fall is finally here in SoCal. It was 56 degrees this morning. And with fall comes harvest time. Here's what my husband harvested from our yard - another luscious pineapple!
We're looking forward to this one.  May be from one our
non-acidic plants.  See the little plantlet at the bottom of the pineapple?  That's another plant ready to start making another yummy fruit. But DH has so many of them now, he'll probably toss this one.  If you buy one at the store, you can save the top, peel off some of the bottom leaves, place the trimmed end in water, and once it has sent out roots, you can plant it and have your own pineapple plant. Mind you, takes about 2 years to fruit and if you live where it freezes, keep it inside for winter.

And a finish for my Harvest news is another Splendid Sampler block. I'm calling this my harvested bowl of flowers.  It's #69 of the released blocks.

Our winner for last weeks giveaway is Michele Timms of Canada.  I've sent her an email. 

The giveway this week is again 105 hexagons papers.  Enough to make 17 flowers.  The hexagons will have 1" sides.   Usual guidelines apply:   Leave me a comment for one chance.  Link your eye candy for another (link button below). Follow me and let me know for a third chance. Remember if you don't have a blog, you can always post a photo from a photo hosting service.  Please be sure there is some way for me to contact you. Ends next Thursday, midnight.

I'll be linking to several parties. You can, too. See tab above below header. Blessings!


It all Started with...

It all started with Felix – Felix Continental CafĂ© in Orange, CA that is.  We took the Metrolink train to the city of Orange one day while my cousins from Texas were here, and had lunch at this Cuban restaurant in the downtown area.   

And what a treat it was.  I’ve been three times,  and I always order their “Lechon Asado”.  That’s Roasted Pork, readers.

Served with white rice, black beans and fried plantains, it very much tastes like the dish I use to have occasionally at Sunday dinners with the family (yum!).  As we’re Puerto Rican, the beans were red , but the rest of menu was the same.

So when I saw this new book, ¡Cuba!
I knew I wanted to read it and see how the two cuisines differ or are alike.  Is there a lot that is similar? Are there more differences other than the beans?   I saw right away as I read the recipes that our kitchens have a few different spices for certain dishes (like the Mojo – theirs is green while in Puerto Rico the mojo is white with less spices, both equally tasty). The first chapter clarified that the basics are pretty much the same – rice and beans (as a dish), sofrito, plantains (both sweet and green) and yuca.

Besides the recipes, the content of the book reflected the love affair the authors – Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn, and Jody Eddy, are having with Cuba. There’s a lot of information about the country. They went to true Cuban home kitchens and found the real cooking of the country.

I learned a lot about the island,  and how the people cope besides the included 100 recipes.  One could feel the amiability of the people in all their encounters and the resourcefulness such as seen on their farms (fincas) on land deemed worthless.  “The fincas are being studied by farmers around the globe for their innovative agricultural practices.  Instead of relying on expensive equipment, they emulate the traditions of past generations, who listened to the land and used what was around them to cultivate flourishing fields of abundance.” (p.178)

I showed the book to my 90 year old mother and she exclaimed and sighed as she went through the book reminiscing about this recipe and that. So to answer my questions, the foods of these two islands are more the same than different, and it’s all delicious. 

I received this book (published by Ten Speed Press) from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. And I’m so glad I did.  I look forward to trying out the recipes.


Some of This and That

Have been machine quilting most of last week, so my de-stashing didn't move very much - .10 yard for a SS block and .3 yard for the border of my Gwennie inspired.  I'm up to a YTD total is 43.16 yds .

Today, I prepped another Splendid Sampler block.  I'll be hand appliqueing it down for my Slow Sunday Stitching today, plus hopefully a couple of motifs on my ancient one.

Hope you get some time to quilt today.

PS: Hexagon papers giveaway is still open - see top, sidebar.  



WIPs Be Gone with Giveaway

Machine quilting the BAMA quilt, but before that I finished the 2nd baby panel and a Splendid Sampler block.
This block is called Bobbin Case.  I now have 44 of these.  There are going to be 100, however, I may stop at 48 - we'll see.

The baby panel turned out cute, especially with the coordinating fabric for the backing.
The St Anne ladies who sandwiched it used a fleece like batting. It made the quilt a bit more puffy than I'm use to. I machine quilted with my FMQ foot around the prints, animals, flowers and the lines delineating the inner squares. As I mentioned before - this was practice for getting the right "hum" from the machine to produce even stitches.  The inner border was done with a walking foot.

I waited til this morning to post this WIPs Be Gone, so I could announce the winner of the $10 Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate. And the winner is Margaret.  I've sent you an email, Margaret. Congratulations! I hope to hear from you soon.

This week's giveway is again 105 hexagons.  Enough to make 17 flowers.  The hexagons will have 1" sides.   Usual guidelines apply:   Leave me a comment for one chance.  Link your eye candy for another (link button below). Follow me and let me know for a third chance. Remember if you don't have a blog, you can always post a photo from a photo hosting service.  Please be sure there is some way for me to contact you. Ends next Thursday, midnight.

 I'll be linking to several parties including:
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts



It's time to post our final (and fishy) round of the Gwennie Inspired Medallion.  I had no clue  how to interpret it. I thought I'd make pieced fish to go around the quilt. Here's a sample surgeon fish I made as a possible solution.
It might have worked if my star round had not been so busy. I would have had to add a plain border to separate them. That or my mind just couldn't see beyond the flower theme I was absorbed in, although many of my fellow participants proved me wrong with their fabulous interpretations.  So in the end I went with a very basic interpretation - water, and to keep my quilt to the size of a wall hanging. It finished at 39" square - just the right size for where I want to hang it.

When I quilt it I'll add sea life motifs to the water border.

This has been a wonderful experience letting the quilt grow as it would. Thank you so much Lori and the rest of the QAL contributors  for providing such a liberating experience.  And to the other quilters who participated - you are all amazingly talented and creative.  What wonderful quilts you have made!

Dear readers, if you'd like to see them, click on the link at the top of this post.


Being a Brave Quilter

What does that mean?  Well at Julie's Pink Doxies, she challenges us to try something new, out of our comfort zone, experiment, have fun with our quilting.  I took the challenge last month - we have a month to meet our goal.  Then we report about it.  I'm a wanna be applique enthusiast who does a lot of piecing (lol), so I set my challenge to try a new applique technique I'd seen online.  It  is suppose to make doing raw edge applique easier and with hardly any fraying. That was for me! Mind you, I love to do hand applique, but it takes so much time and I have so many quilts I'd like to do. I started out by buying the book, Crafted Applique...New Possibilities by Lara Buccella when she had her blog hop.  After reading it and obtaining a few supplies I got started.  I had already started a quilt which would have applique (my Gwennie Inspired Quilt Along) and hoped this new method would help me keep on track with it as I wanted to add another round of applique.
Here's the medallion center done with normal raw edge applique method:
background is really white
I do the stitching as part of the quilting after the sandwich is made.   Then I made the other rounds. Once I was ready for the next applique round I began to experiment.  Made a few test pieces (which I forgot to photograh) and felt it would work just as Lara said.   I then made this block using her method - easy peasy.
 So got out my tablecloth (which I'm using for my flowers) and started cutting.
I laid the cut pieces with their wrong side up and applied the Mod Podge for Fabric, and let them dry.
Next I cut out the flowers with very sharp scissors.

Above are some extra flowers above that I will use later. You can see that these would be difficult to turn a seam allowance under to make Broderie Perse in the traditional way - all those tiny stems and curves.
Then the hard part - deciding what the order of my flowers would be.  But once decided, placed and ironed on, I was done.  I'm so glad I tried this new method.  I'll be using it again. Oh, and you can go here to see that finished applique round.

Do visit Julie's - link above, and she'll be opening a linky for this month's challenge on the fourth. Now what shall I try next??

PS:  The Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway is open. You can find all the details at the top of the sidebar. Look forward to seeing you there.