Monday, September 16, 2019

Monday Meanderings 9 - 16 - 2019

You would think I would remember what I was going to put in my blog each time I started to write one.  But that didn't work well for me last week.  I left out several pictures that I'm sharing today. 

First up a big thank you to Nancy who blogs at Wyoming Breezes.  I've read her blog for years.  Her posts aren't long, aren't always about quilting but they are always interesting.  She had a contest last month.  I came the closest to guessing how many 4 patches she'd sewn in a chain.  I was 14 under the final count of 226 units.  EEK that is a lot of sewing and cutting.  The prize arrived over a week ago.  I took pictures, prepped the picture to put into last week's blog and then proceeded to forget about the whole thing.  GOOD GRIEF.  So here's my prize package that was so much fun to receive. I own several postcard quilt patterns but not these two.  I suspect there will be a Voyager in my future. I also send notes and cards through the mail so the gorgeous note cards will be put to use soon.  Thanks Nancy for a fun prize package and a fun little contest. 

Here's what is on my design wall this week. First up is 10 hexagons made to enter a block lottery at retreat at the beginning of October. Each block earns you an entry in the lottery. Colleen, who organizes the whole retreat picks a number of blocks you can win and then draws a fairly large number of winners.  But wait! There's more.  Instead of just picking the number of blocks won, you are blindfolded as are all the other winners and you grab the number of blocks you've won.  It's wild but fun.  Last year was the first year I didn't win any blocks. (Not that I minded -- I always have to make quilts from the blocks so it was liberating.)  Colleen was interested in hexagons this year so here are the 10 I made following her directions.  Must have nature oriented center, a dark ring and then a light ring.  These things took forever to make.  Think 12 fairly short seams and after each seam they needed pressing and trimming.  I was happy to finally finish all of them. 

The other action in the studio centered around this set of blocks.  I started them in January or so. I trimmed them to the same size (13.75") and sewed the vertical sashing in place. I'm ready to sew the horizontal sashing. Note, the top horizontal sashing is just placed there to show what it will be like.  And, darn it! The rows are probably an inch wider than the width of fabric I'm using. Gnashing of teeth and growling. The colored fabrics were from a fat quarter stack my daughter gave me for Christmas.  I'm happy to put some of them to use here. Actually the background fabric, sashing and corner stones were all pulled from my stash. Hopefully, I'll be able to show you a finished top soon.  

I've decided I probably won't do weekly goals for a while.  But there are a few projects I'm trying to finish by the end of the month. I'm posting a list because I don't want to forget what I need to get done before the October retreat. 

Quilt two charity quilts for Faithful Circle Quilters
Cut and package 2 more quilt kits to take on retreat
Clean up the cutting table so I can use all of it again 

That shouldn't be all that hard to get done as there are two more weeks until retreat. 

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, Moving It Forward, and What I Made Monday. I'm planning on spending some time seeing what people have been working on.  Last week I didn't spend quality time with blogs.  I missed that.  So, I hope to do better this week. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday Meanderings 9 - 9 - 2019

I've been busy in the studio and making progress.  Unfortunately it is very slow progress -- partly because I'm still losing energy and partly because the blocks I've been working on have a gazillion a lot of pieces that need to be sewn.  

First up are blocks for Beth, who is a member of the FCQEquilters group.  The pattern is called Rickrack.  It is part of Missouri Star's videos.  Here's the link if you want to make some yourself.  This is going to be a really cute quilt when done.  Beth asked for cool colors.  Because the block is based on a log cabin style it can be laid out anyway a log cabin can be laid out.  Too cool! 

I'm late finishing these blocks off so I should be starting on the next block.  Of course, I'm not ready to yet.  I need to figure out the finished block size so I make sure I get the units made correctly.  I think it is 20" or so and we only need to make one.  Should be fun to give it a go. 

As I've mentioned before, the Country Piecemakers retreat is just around the corner.  I was working on getting a few kits cut out and bundled to make it easier to work on projects.  I have one completely done and another semi-done.  What I'm focusing on now is making blocks for the swap. Here are 5 of the hexagon blocks I've finished. Five more to go. Hum, I may need to use a few more mediums as the final round as the green one really sticks out. (Although I probably won't win any blocks.) 

I realized I haven't shown photos from the rest of our California trip.  We were staying with my brother and sister-in-law in Orinda.  They were the perfect hosts and tour guides.  We went to the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio.  If you are a Mickey Mouse fan or Disney fan this is a must see museum.

It's hard to see all the Oscars but check out the center bottom Oscar.  It was for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Someone had a sense of humor! Mickey Mouse was evident throughout the museum.

Here's a large poster showing Mickey circa 1933. I have to admit I was so busy looking at the artifacts and reading about them that I didn't get all that many pictures. 
The weather was cloudy in the morning.  It's hard to tell but the bay is straight down the sidewalk behind the tree standing by itself. (Well, it probably is farther away than that but that's what it looks like in this picture.) The Presidio is a former Army fort on the northern tip of San Francisco. It's now part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. You can read more about it at Wikipedia's entry Presidio of San Francisco.

After several hours enjoying the museum we went over to Sausalito, under the Golden Gate Bridge. The morning marine layer was still hanging around.  
 We had a great lunch in Sausalito and then went across the street to a harbor.  The sun was shining, the day had turned beautiful. Here are the tour directors: Larry and Jean. 
Unfortunately on the way home the freeway came to a grinding halt. We inched along for a couple of hours.  Argh, it reminded me of the worst of I-95 at home.  Overall it was a fabulous day.  I'll share our last day in San Francisco soon. (Notice that is an open-ended time period!) 

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Moving It Forward, and What I Made Monday. I hope you can spend some time seeing what folk's are working on this week. 

Happy Quilting, Bonnie 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Monday Meandering 9 - 2 - 2019

Yep, I skipped another blog post.  Not much to say then except I came through my surgery with flying colors. (Whatever does that really mean?)  Don't worry -- it was a fairly simple surgery to get rid of unused parts. (GAH doesn't that sound weird...!) Now, one and a half weeks out I'm doing pretty well.  Biggest issue is I don't have much stamina.  So, I can work in the studio but I'm worn out for the rest of the day.  Sigh.  I miss my energy. 

My big goal post-surgery was to hand sew the binding on "With a Little Help from My Friends."  I had finished quilting it and had sewn the binding on the front side of the quilt pre-surgery.  What I failed to realize was it was batik front and back.  Needless to say sewing down the binding went really slowly.  I usually tried to do two lengths of thread each day - I wanted it completely done on August 31.  And, yes, I succeeded!  
As some may realize, I am terrible at naming my quilts.  This time the name popped into my head before I'd even finished it. I participated in batik strip swap many years ago at a FCQ retreat.  (So long ago that we've had the retreat in two different locations which tells me at least 8 years, maybe 10 years ago.) 
This was quilted with "Pipeline" a great design to add texture.  Click on most pictures and they will enlarge.  I used So Fine thread in purple. (Sorry don't know the number off hand.) 

In the top picture, the bush at the bottom right is our butterfly bush.  Unfortunately it is an invasive species so we make sure it doesn't spread too much.  But I really enjoy watching all the butterflies who flitter around it.  Here's another picture of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.  I'm amazed I was able to get such a good photo of it.  This is a female -- see the blue at the bottom of her wings?  You can see the other pic of a female here. Either I've gotten a lot better at taking pictures, or, more likely, the butterfly is so busy she doesn't realize she's doing such a great job of posing. If you look closely you can see her wings are tattered and torn a bit.  Look at the right one -- follow from the two yellow spots near the leaf.  There's a bit missing -- it probably was another yellow dot.  

Once again, I'm not posting goals.  I'm slowly getting things done but the key word is slowly.  I did succeed in putting another kit together for the October retreat.  Still need to finish the other one I'm working on. Beyond that I think I've got two other quilts in progress I can work on which should be enough for a 3 night retreat.  

I'm linking up with the following parties: Oh Scrap, Monday Makings, Moving It Forward and What I Made Monday. Take a few minutes to see what folks are up to now. 

That's it for me today.  I'm off to a hand stitching group where we do all sorts of handwork.  I'll be knitting on a sweater that I haven't worked on for weeks.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Monday Meanderings 8 - 19 - 2019

Some of my sewing mojo has returned.  I did a bit of sewing on a bowl carrier that I wanted to get back to the quilt guild.  I've also been working on getting a new project cut for the Oct. retreat that is just 6 weeks away.  As I've said before I like to have easy projects that are cut out and ready to sew together. 

What I really accomplished is quilting one of 5 charity quilts I received at the May retreat from Faithful Circle Quilters.  Since I'll see a few folks from there in October I thought it was time to get going on those quilts.  One is done and ready to give back. I used a favorite design Ginger Flower by Apricot Moon. 

But what I'm tickled with is I loaded my Batik Rails quilt and have it half quilted.  

I chose Pipeline as the quilting design.  (It was included with my long arm so I can't tell you any more about it.)   The surprising thing to me is it is taking just under 13 minutes a row to get it quilted.  For some reason I thought it would have been faster.  I'm using a purple So Fine thread similar to the backing fabric I'm using.  (The blue mark on the black sashing is a point to line up the next row with.  After I've done all the rows I will remove all the tape.)

My plan is to finish the quilting and get the first side of the binding on.  Then I'll have something to do while I'm recuperating.  Well, there is always knitting on the sweater for one of the granddaughters too. 

My only goal this week is to actually get the quilting done and the first part of the binding.  And, I have the time to do that too. 

As promised here are pictures of our time at the Monterey Aquarium. 
Feeding time in one of the big tanks. 
Sea otter -- looks like he is sucking his hand but I'm not sure what he is doing.
I really didn't do a great job getting pictures at the aquarium.  I was more interested in looking at everything!  I did snap this picture of a wall mural as we were leaving.  (Hum, I guess I have a thing for otters.) 
Hum, looking at the far left otter makes me wonder if they actually have fingernails. 
Next week I'll share some of our pics from the San Francisco area.  I did a better job of getting pictures there. 

I'm linking with my regular Monday linky parties.  Try to spend some time checking out blogs at these parties. I always find such interesting projects being shared.  Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday and Moving It Forward.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Back to Blogging Monday Meandering 8 - 12 - 2019

What can I say, I fell off the blog-wagon for a month!  Yikes. The first week or so of being off was due to kidney stone. UGH.  Never want that to happen again.  The pain was intense but luckily I was able to have it removed pretty quickly.  But, there was a lot of concern about our vacation that was scheduled to start one week after the procedure.  

Luckily, I was feeling ok and was able to enjoy our trip to California.  The impetus was to attend the wedding reception for the daughter of a friend of ours.  She lives in New Zealand  so we weren't able to attend the wedding but definitely wanted to come to the reception.  

Our trip was wonderful.  First up Southern California.  We lived in various locations in SoCal for many years before we decided to move east.  (Sometimes I wonder what we were thinking!) So the So Cal time was spent revisiting old haunts and some new places. 

Our hotel was in El Segundo right next to the Mattel headquarters.  The shared  parking deck was festooned with banners commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Barbie doll. 

The reception was held in an automobile
museum with an In and Out Burger food truck.  What fun!  We've missed those burgers and really enjoyed having some on vacation.  Here are two of the cars: the Model A (left) and Model T, commercial version.  The Model A sold for $455 in 1931. My great grandmother had one in 50's. I'm not sure whether it was an A or a T.   I doubt if I ever saw it but it has stayed in my memory for years. 

We spent a couple of days driving the beach areas and going back to the area where we lived when we first were married.  Everything seems so much more crowded.  

It was a beautiful day in Redondo Beach although the picture shows some lingering early morning fog in the distance. 

I visited the high school I graduated from after attending one year. Yep, we moved my senior year from Virginia to Palos Verdes, Ca.  It was pretty "shocking" to me coming from a one building hs to this new one.  The buildings were separated and had no indoor hallways.  There was no indoor cafeteria -- something I had never seen before.  And, all I remember about the set up is it rained constantly that spring and we got soaked between classes.  Can you say 40 days of rain?  Not my idea of fun.  

We also drove by our old apartment.  Still looked nice. We had a hard time finding the public library that my dad was instrumental in expanding.  There has been an explosion of building in the main part of town and we couldn't figure out how to get to the road the library was on.  

We also visited our college -- Univ. of Southern Calif.  It too has expanded and looks different than when we went there.  The LA Coliseum is being renovated and should be done for the fall football season.  Exposition Park, next to USC and the Coliseum, has changed a lot too.  It all was so different.  Continuing our trip down memory lane we drove past my grandparent's house that was close to USC.  They'd moved in sometime in the 30's (I think.) Yikes. The neighborhood looked great -- definitely California bungalows.    But their house was so overgrown you could only see plants.  The picture I sent to my brother and cousins certainly surprised all of us. 

We left Southern California to visit the Monterey Aquarium.  Here are some pictures from the night before the aquarium visit. 

Long before you could see the seals you could hear them barking.  This fellow was enjoying being king of the rock, so to speak.  We had dinner at a restaurant on the commercial wharf and then took a walk down to the end. 

At the end we could see the seals basking on a jetty.  It was too far away to get decent pictures.  We also could hear seals barking from under the wharf but couldn't really see them. (I didn't want to go swimming with them accidentally!) 

One seal decided to sit where we could get some great closeups.  He was there for at least a half an hour and was willing to pose.  There were seals swimming around but those pictures didn't turn out very well either.  It was early evening and the sky was overcast.  Probably the only less than perfect weather day of the whole trip. (If you click on any picture it should enlarge.)

I'll share more pictures over the coming days/weeks.  As you might have guessed not much has been happening on the quilting front.  Yesterday I started loading a charity quilt.  I hope to get several of them done before I go on my next retreat where I'll see some gals who can take the quilts back to the FCQ guild for me.  

Because I have another medical thing happening next week I've decided to forgo doing a weekly goal list for a while.  My motivation is low except for the quilting above and getting some kits cut for the October retreat.   

I'm linking up with my favorite Monday posts: Monday Making*, Main Crush Monday, and Moving It Forward. * This one is delayed so I'll check back tomorrow to see if it is posted.  I haven't done much blog browsing recently so hope to do so soon. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Monday Meandering 7 - 15 - 2019

I can't decide if I should be saying "It's a wrap" for the week just ended or "Welcome new week."  No  matter, this past week was very quilty.  I don't have a lot to show for it but I am making forward progress on several projects.

First up, I finished a top with 9 sawtooth stars.  I was just using up two pieces of fabric I had.  One was a piece of Hoffman fabric from an early challenge. (Ok, maybe it was like a really early challenge fabric.  I don't remember for sure, and I didn't make and enter anything so nothing I can go look at.)

Here's what the fabric looked like when I pulled it off my shelf.  Yea, it was cut up a LOT.

But look how great it looks as a sawtooth star. 
The pink fabric is an old KP Kids fabric.  I bought some when it originally came out and then found several different colors recently and picked up pink, purple and green.  I really like it but honestly, it's sometimes hard to use older colors with more current colors.  This piece has been sitting for a few years.   Now it is almost all gone.  I probably have enough to do the binding once I find a backing fabric for it. 
Here's the finished top.  I wanted to add a little extra length to bring the quilt to 36 x 42".  I thought adding the extra flying geese worked -- but it might have been better designed so the rows of the blocks with the flying geese were more coordinated.  Who knows, I may take the top and bottom off and change it.  Or not.  What do you think?  Should I change the top and bottom rows. And if so what do you suggest?  I've got a lot of white squares that I could use between the geese. 

I also began prepping more of the fabric to make "Flower Song" blocks. Don't remember from last week?  Here's the link. Scroll down to see the block.  The half square triangles are made from a strip of color and a background color that are sewn together on the top and bottom.  Here's a group of them that I finished sewing this afternoon. (And that is the back side of the fabric!)  I really like these lovely bright colors.  And, I thought I'd show off the "bread board" that Pat made that is right above the first drawer in my sewing desk.  I think my friend Beth called it a bread board when she first saw it.  We used to have bread boards built into our lower kitchen cabinets at several of our houses.  I am not sure they are still being offered in new houses.  And, I don't remember using mine all that often.  But I sure like it on my sewing desk.  It gives me a big space to pile either finished units or units waiting to be sewn.  
Here's what happened with my goals last week.
July 8, 2019
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt✔️
Make more quarter square triangle ✔️
Make some pink Rainbow Scrap blocks✔️
Cut some Flower Song blocks✔️ some strips are sewn together...cutting coming soon 
Finish making Sawtooth Star blocks✔️

And here's my plan for next week.  It seems like a lot but it really isn't too bad. 
July 15, 2019
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt
Finish doll sweater, start second one 
Buy backing for batik rail fence 
Make backing for Donna’s blocks 
Quilt 1 VSQ charity quilt
Keep working on Flower Song blocks 

Here are the parties I'm linking to: Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Moving It Forward and What I Made Monday.  (I'll add the links for those parties that aren't posted Sunday night...yep I really try to get my Monday blog written and posted the night before!  And, I've been succeeding for the most part.)

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Monday Meanderings 7 - 8 - 2019

Did you have a great 4 of July?  We used to enjoy taking our kids to firework shows when we lived in Columbia, Maryland.  Now we sometimes check from our back deck to see if we can see any of the local fireworks.  This year it was so hot and humid that we enjoyed the Capitol Fourth on PBS. Nice air conditioning, no humidity or rain.  

I've spent quite a few days down in the studio this week.  By Friday afternoon I knew I needed to recheck my goals list because I had wandered away from what I really wanted to get done.   

I finished the last of the grand's coverups/sweatshirts.  Sophie chose this cute seaside saying from Designs by Juju.  It is from Beach Word Art 5 set.  It stitched out beautifully.  I bought the large magnetic hoop to go with my  new Viking.  It is so easy to use it -- especially on this sweatshirt.  This week I did get some more magnets so I can attach items with 8 magnets rather than just 4.  It's time to mail the girls their new beach coverup/sweatshirt.

Do you remember this suggested quilt top?  (I'll wait, unless you remember it from last Monday...)  I really wanted to get it to finished top stage so here it is.  I didn't like the hot pink with the blocks I had been given so I tried something else.  Ohio Star blocks. Or at least kind of like an Ohio Star block.  The blocks are 12" finished.  The top will eventually go to a nursing home that likes 36" wide quilts by no more than 42" tall.  I think these quilts need to be longer than 36" so I added the pink strips top and bottom to make it a bit longer.  The odd width is because that was all the pink I had left.  I took apart an extra block to put the multicolor dots on black in the center of the borders.  I've found a piece of backing but it isn't quite wide enough.  So I will be taking the other 7 units from the extra block and adding more quarter square triangle units to make the backing wide enough.  (I don't really like making involved pieced backs but it makes some sense this time since I have several units done already.)  Hopefully, I'll get the backing done in the next couple of weeks and then get it finished up.

And here's one last block I tried before I cut out a whole quilt. The pattern is Flower Song by Cozy Quilt Company.  It's designed to use 2.5" strips and their Strip Tube Ruler.  If you don't have their ruler they give easy directions to cut the half square triangles by marking a diagonal on a square ruler. I have a partial jelly roll that I think will look great in this block.  I'll be kitting this one up for the October retreat.  Lots of pieces to be cut and sewn but I liked the design.  (Hey, and I'm actually using one of the many patterns I've bought!)   

It wasn't the best week for my goals although I got quite a few of them done.  All of the Four Patch variation blocks for the Taps quilt are done.  I started another small charity quilt using the Sawtooth Star block and some stash fabric that was not on my goal list.   Overall I'm not unhappy with what I did get done. 
July 1, 2019

Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt
Make last two Ohio star variation blocks and sew top together
Continue working on patriotic Four Patch variation (Taps quilt)
Finish rest of blue Rainbow Scrap blocks I may make 1 more …
Start doll sweater(s) didn’t even think about this one… 
Possibly start sewing moose blocks I put the blocks up on the design wall but that was it. 

Next week I will be trying to work on these goals. 
July 8, 2019
Hand quilt on old Christmas quilt
Make more quarter square triangle squares for backing for Donna's quilt 
Make some pink Rainbow Scrap blocks
Cut some Flower Song blocks 
Finish making Sawtooth Star blocks
Put border on the batik rail fence blocks 

I'm done with this blog except to remind you to go visit my favorite linky parties:  Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Moving It Forward and What I Made Monday.  If it's not linked yet the blog hasn't been posted yet.  I'll check back and add the links. (I know, amazing that I remembered to do it first thing this am!)  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie