Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Lazy?? Days of Summer

Father's Day found us out for a ride through the golden hills . . .

past some crops . . . of windmills?

To the orchards of Brentwood. I'm sure he could think of numerous other ways to spend Father's Day morning, but hey, it's HIS favorite!

2 five gallon buckets (or 52 pounds) of apricots later it looks like I have some work to do. Cherries and strawberries also found their way into the car. So much for having Monday & Tuesday off.

First up, the cherries. See the corner of the bottle in the top left? That would be the special ingredient. Amazing what a little Amaretto does for cherries!

Then lots of apricots - jars of apricot halves, jars of apricot juice and many jars of apricot-pineapple jam. I love that the kids raid the pantry when they stop by but sure hope they save some for us.

This is granddaughter Audrey with her first pie! She washed, pitted and sliced the cherries and then helped mom make the pie for "Crandpa's" special day. We're hoping she will learn the "g" sound in Kindergarden next year.

Now that the fruit is in it's jars it's time for some sewing. June blocks for The Quilt Show block of the month are finished, just in time for the next installment tomorrow. Amazing how time consuming 6" and 4.5" blocks can be.

A quick trip to In Between Stitches last week and look what came home with me. My girls questioned my purchase wondering if I don't already have enough Halloween quilts. But can you really have too many if it's your favorite holiday?

Two blocks are stitched.

Now it's off to pick up the house and then the needle to do some more stitchin'.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kaylee's Big Girl Quilt

Since the original purpose of this space is to document my quilting endeavors I should be more timely in keeping things up to date.

Finished and delivered great-niece Kaylee's "big girl" quilt only a few days late for her 2nd birthday last month. The pattern is from Fon's & Porters "Love of Quilting" May/June 2008 issue.

Some of the leftovers were used to make Kaylee's baby doll one to match.
No pictures, but blocks are complete for 2 upcoming local swap groups and so far I'm staying current with the "Stars for a New Day" block of the month on the The Quilt Show website - lots of 4.5 and 6 inch blocks for that one! I've also been working on Block 6 of Sue Garman's "Night Before Christmas" block of the month.

That should bring me up to date in keeping track of my quilty life :)


June Sew Day

Saturday found the 3 D's, Deb, Debbie and Me, along with Pam gathered once again around the table in Livermore for our Sew Day. Holly and Alex were off on adventures of their own this month.

This month Pam was in charge of the munchie/finger foods. For lunch Deb made a fantastic taco salad and Debbie put together a fresh fruit salad. No lunch pictures to share though - apparently we were much to ravenous to stop for photos.

I shared The Pioneer Woman's apple dumplings for dessert and managed to document them before they too became history.

Here's where we get down to business, but it looks like we're probably off eating again.

Pam came prepared to demonstrate machine applique and had a kit for each of us ready to work on. Since I came with hand work and left the machine at home, looks like I have some homework to do.

Here's Deb. I think she's mildly amused at the fact that I can't count. (Note to self - when asked to pick a number between 1-25, 34 probably isn't a good choice)

Debbie is contemplating the possibility of tossing her machine through the window after dealing with some icky tension issues. Nothing we tried was helping and the window was beginning to look like a viable option. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed.

Pam entertained us with stories from Quilt Market and her attempt to create a rose with the Clover template? tool? thing? Whatever it's called I think it's pretty safe to say we probably won't be seeing any of these roses in future projects.

This month I cut fabric and did some prep work for the June installement of "Stars for a New Day" block of of the month offered to members of The Quilt Show and continued the embroidery embellishment on block 6 of Sue Garman's "Night Before Christmas" quilt.

Our Saturday Sew Days have become a welcome break in my schedule, particularly ones like today where it seems there is more talking and eating going on than sewing. It's good to spend time with friends.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday Sew Day

Saturday was spent with like-minded friends for a sew day. Debbie offered her home, Dan made sure we wouldn't go hungry, Deb drove the furthest and entertained us with critter stories and Pam kept us all smiling with her camera clicking! Alex showed up just in time for lunch and then off again to pack for Asilomar.

I used the time to start putting the pieces together for the Chelsea Cottage quilt many of us came home with after AAQR last year.

Monday I spent part of the day using a friends longarm to quilt a few comfort quilts for parents of fellow quilter/friends. One pass with yucky tension and an even yuckier thread choice and it came off the machine to be unsewed. Sigh.

Then it was off to spend a couple hours with 60+ of my favorite Girl Scouts as they are in the final stages of planning a day long event for Daisy's & Brownies. It was one of our better gatherings and lot was accomplished, but you know what they say . . . It's all fun and games until someone pulls the fire alarm. At least we now know the answer to the age old question of how many firemen does it take to check a pulled alarm. They even made us promise we wouldn't hurt any of the girls before they left.

That brings me up to date and now I'm off to spend some more time unsewing so I can start it all over again tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Back from Retreat

For at least 10 years about 15-20 of us have gathered in spring and fall at the Westminster Retreat Center for a long weekend of sewing, eating, talking, sewing, sharing, sewing . . . .

This is The Big House where we go for incredible home cooked meals at 8, noon & 6.

Then we walk off some of the meal by heading down the path to the Little House and getting back to work.

This is the room 10 of us were working in. Looks kind of messy, but you know what they say about creative minds and boy were those minds working overtime this weekend!

The couches become our storage spaces (and resource centers for anything we may have forgotten).

I am lucky enough to share the weekend with two of my daughters. Here is my oldest with her scrappy quilt created from swap fabrics. She finished the quilting and got the binding attached on this one along with working on several other projects. She knows how to take advantage of a weekend of sewing with the kids home with Dad!

Didn't get a pic of youngest daughter but here is the baby quilt she put together for a co-worker. She even wanted to miter the borders so she'd know how (and only had to redo one!) She spent the rest of her weekend catching up on sleep and working on her knitting projects.

And then there were my projects, most of which I neglected to photograph (but will soon). I finished piecing 2 of these Bunny table runners, put the final borders on the Quilt Along Bears in the Farmhouse quilt and started piecing two Hungry Caterpillar tops.
The hubby made a sizeable dent in the honeydew list I left for him and was busy with his own projects when I returned on Sunday, so I continued my retreat here and was able to finish the Caterpillar tops and baste the Bunnies for quilting before calling it a weekend. Another weekend of power sewing is now a memory and I'm looking forward to our next gathering in October.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not Much Quilting Going On . . .

But lots of sewing!

3 shirts and 3 pair of shorts for my brother. Every year he shows up on my doorstep with a bag of fabric for me to create his new spring/summer wardrobe. At least I've finally trained him to shop at his local quiltstore (and use my name for their frequent shopper program) :) I do need to add an additional training session on why it's not appropriate to buy panels for clothing construction, but I'll worry about that for next year.

Now that my 'sewing from brother' obligation is complete it's time for some real fun. Here is my stuff ready to load in the car and head off for retreat. Some serious quilting and fun with friends until Sunday! Doesn't look like it but there are 6 or 7 projects in the mix and I've given DH a "honeydew" list to keep him busy. We'll see who checks the most off their list on Sunday!

See you next week!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quilt Along - Step 4

Step 4 - finished. Step 5 should arrive in time to finish up at retreat next weekend!