Friday, September 19, 2014

Not about quilts, but

I am so excited about something my younger daughter is doing. Some of you may know that she and her BFF, Doug moved to LA three years ago. This year they started a screenplay. I went uh huh, like Mom's sometimes do. I am so proud of them. They have finished it. They have hired cast and crew to make the movie. They are really excited about making their movie.

Of course I am really excited that they work full time and stuck to a schedule to finish the screenplay. And they are really making a movie.

Check out this site to see them and hear what they are doing:


Sunday, September 14, 2014


It always seems to surprise me when I see how long it has been since my last post.  I am not sure why, I am really not busy so I have no excuse.

What is the ouch about in the title?

Four weeks ago I was taking some hangers down to the basement when I half missed a step. Just enough to twist my ankle and fall down the last two or three steps. I tried to get up but that was not happening.  The hubby was outside so I crawled up the stairs and called out the door for him. I crawled up the next flight of stairs to the apartment. The hubby wanted to help me onto the couch. It was too much for me. I stayed on the floor. He wanted to head to the ER but I said wait a while. He went out to clean up what he was doing. I crawled to the bathtub thinking a little soak and I would feel better. NOT Poor hubby had to help me out of the tub and help me get dressed. Then we did head for the ER.

The ER DR came in and said he didn't think he would have to reduce the  ankle (put the bones back in alignment) but he needed the xrays first.  A few minutes went by and the nurse came in and announced that the Dr would need to reduce the fracture and she started getting everything ready.  About 3 minutes later the DR came in and said no reduction. The ankle is fractured in three places and surgery would be needed. I am not sure which was worse news.

I was sent to the ortho unit with surgery to be done the next day. I said "on Sunday?"  They said yes. The ER had put a soft cast on my ankle and that helped a bit. So did the medication they were shooting into me. Normally I am not a fan of strong pain meds but just then I was like "yes pain meds please".

Surgery went smoothly I am told. Plate and screws on one side of my ankle and screws only on the the other side. A new soft cast was on my foot and ice packs on top of that. On Monday I was released to go home. With instructions of no weight bearing for 6-8 weeks. And also no walker, crutches, wheelchair nothing. Just a referral to a lending closet in my area.  On the way home we went and borrowed a walker from my dad. He doesn't use it.

I am healing but still non weight bearing. The apartment I live in is on the second story of a non elevator building. I can not leave the apartment on my own. My big activity of the day is bumping down the stairs on my bum then kneeling in the doorway to let the dog out. And then crawling back up the stairs. I do have a knee walker which is sooo much better than the walker so inside is better.

I can hardly wait to walk again. And drive. And not crawl.

I have done a little sewing, mostly just the BOM. I will show you the newest pics in another post.

Happy stitching.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday Sewing

I have been in a bit of a sewing funk lately. I did start leading a block of the month group this month.  I made this top from Tula Pink's book "100 Modern Quilt Blocks"

 and we are using the book to do this BOM.. I selected three colorways, one is Kaffe and Kona cottons, one is all neutrals, and the last is more pastel-ish. We are working on color, combining colors, and accuracy. This is geared more toward beginners, in fact last year when I discussed the idea during (last year's) BOM they were excited to try it.  We will be doing 5 blocks a month for 6 months. At the first meeting they picked up their bundle of  FQs and every month they pick two more FQs. I am available to assist them with picking colors if they would like help.

The first session I was explaining everything to them and one lady asked "an we pick any FQ in the store"? I said yes and she said "Oh NO". I replied oh no? and she said too many choices. LOL

Since I already finished one top, I am using another layout in the book to make another top. It is all neutrals and is called Skyline. I kind of gravitate toward lots of color so using only neutrals is a challenge for me.

These are the blocks we are doing this first month.

More to come....Happy stitching!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Walking in Los Angeles

I spent time with my sister in South Gate and I spent some time with my DD in LA.  My DD wanted to take me somewhere that I would enjoy so we went to a sewing shop. It turns out the shop was only 3 miles from DD's apartment. The shop really specializes in garment sewing, but it was a good visit because DD has been wanting to learn to sew. We had a great time talking to the owner of the shop. Before we left my DD signed up for the beginner class where she will learn to use her machine and about the basic notions. She will also make a tote bag. She is really excited and I am too.

On another visit with DD we went to downtown LA. Our first stop, my DD's favorite shop...The last Bookstore. It is crazy in there. On the main floor it is like a regular, orderly book store. Upstairs is full of fun stuff. First of all there are no straight rows of books. All the bookcases are on angles to make a kind of maze through the books. There is an old vault with mysteries in it. There is an arch made out of books. And my favorite, the section where the books are arranged by color. It seriously looked like a fabric shop to me.
The arch

The colorized books

There is a small yarn shop up on the second floor too. And above the hall outside the shop is this amazing piece.

Along one side of the building there are small galleries with local artist's art on display. Lots of fun in one place.

 We walked through the historic district. We wandered down to the fashion district too. As we headed back toward Angel flight, my DD asked if we could go to a vintage resale shop that she follows on instagram. She googled the address and we were really close so we went to look for it. We couldn't find the shop, but as we were looking DD saw the owner walking to the post office. We went back the way we had come and looked again. Still no luck. Just then, the shop owner passed us and I said we will follow her. We did. DD found a really cute dress and some black shorts.

After walking several blocks,and up a giant hill and back down it, we found out the Angel flight was closed. :(  It is a trolley up a big hill with a park at the top. DD was so excited to show me the park that I walked up the million steps to see the park. Which was also closed. I needed oxygen.

Our last stop of the day was a foot massage in Chinatown. DD always wanted to go get a foot massage, but felt strange going alone. (This from the girl who packed her stuff and moved to LA. Without me.) Turns out they soak your feet while they massage your head and neck and arms. Then they do the feet and legs. Finally they have you lay face down and do some stretching on the back and arms. This lasts for an hour and costs $20.00. REALLY!!! It was awesome.

What a day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sunset at the beach

One evening my sister and I headed to Huntington Beach. The plan was really just a drive down Pacific Coast Highway  (or PCH). As we got along Huntington Beach there was a lot of parking so we decided to park and take a walk.

We got out and started to look out at the beautiful water. It looked like we couldn't get down to the water from where we parked unless we took up rock climbing. (Have I mentioned that I am a klutz?) The sun was getting lower in the sky and we just kept walking and enjoying the view.

As we traveled down the path we saw that we could get down to the beach. Yeah.  And it was a dog beach too, so we saw lots of dogs playing in the sand.

I had to put my toes in the sand.

I wanted to put my feet into the water so I went closer. One wave came and washed over my feet. It felt so good. Another wave came and washed over my feet. Then my sister called my name and I turned around for a second, looking back at the ocean in time to see a bigger wave coming. I managed to move a bit, but I still got wet up to my thighs. In jean shorts.  That does not feel good like waves on your feet let me tell you.  My sister laughed and got my picture, which is still on her phone.
Now it was her turn to get her feet wet. Ha ha ha she got hit by a big wave too. She had on Capris. Now we were wet, and it was cool by the water so we started back toward the car.

That is when we saw this sign:

Between being wet, and that silly sign we laughed all the way back to the car.

Happy stitching

Southern California

My sister and brother in law and my DD#2 all live in Southern California. I went west for a visit. I have been back a week and I am barely getting myself functional again.  Maybe the reason I stay home a lot. :)

My DD took me to Griffin Observatory (That might not be the exact name ). We went up a twisty road to the top of a mountain. Scared me. You gotta remember that I am a flat lander. I live in Illinois, and we don't have hills let alone mountains.

Inside the observatory there was a really cool instillation of 'space' jewelry. In one long hall there were so many pieces of jewelry that were stars, moons, and sun shapes. It was so cool, but too dark to get a good picture.

There were also many different views of L.A.  all around the observatory. Complete with smog layer.

And of course a selfie of my DD and I up on top of the mountain.

Outside of the observatory the different orbits of the planets were identified by a small plaque and a circle etched into the concrete. I had to take the picture of the one for Pluto. Is Pluto a planet again? I think it is.  In any case Pluto was identified by Clyde Tombaugh, a distant cousin of mine. We never met but Pluto became my favorite planet (after earth of course) when I learned about Clyde.

I have more of my trip to show and tell. And I never got my Aurifil blocks posted so that is coming up as well.

Happy Stitching.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Pat Sloan is always tempting me

A few years ago I found Pat Sloan's quilt forum. Even though I wasn't sure how  it  all worked, I jumped in. There are so many wonderful quilters on that forum and we talk about most everything. When I went to Market I was lucky enough to meet Pat (and Gregg) and get to chat with them a bit. Last fall Pat  came to the guild I belong to and I took both of her workshops. (Great time BTW) She has so much energy and is always coming up with projects and sew- alongs for us to do. There are also  free patterns  available.  This year she designed a Mystery block of the month, that she calls Globetrotting.
How could I not join in?
The first block: Washington D.C.

Second block: Venice

Followed by:  Chicago

Last year we started working on a pattern as a block of the month project. It is from the book "New Ideas for Applique. I need just a bit more fabric to do the borders. The applique for the borders is traced and ready to fuse to fabric.

Pat is also hosting the free Aurifil Block of the month this year. Come back and I will show you those blocks.

Happy stitching

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tula is a top

Last year Tula Pink's "City Sampler's 100 Modern Quilt  Blocks" book came into the shop. I resisted. I have so many books and so many projects waiting to be made that I just could not get started on anything else. Some time went by and I saw a sew along was starting using the book. I held firm, for about a day. I thought I would get a pile of solids and sew along. I bought solids and the book. Then I pulled out my Kaffe stash and I liked it all together.
Three blocks a week were posted and I started out a few weeks behind. I made a plan to do 6 blocks a week  until I got caught up. I did the current weeks blocks and then the first weeks blocks. Eventually I caught up and stayed caught up. Once the blocks were done I had to find sashing and borders. I didn't want to use white. I looked and looked and nothing spoke to me. I finally decided that I was just going to pick something that worked, even if I had to do white.  (There is nothing wrong with white, it is just always my go to and I am trying to breakout and be more daring. Sometimes I like it sometimes I am not sure.) The fabric I picked is a white background with black and gray tiny circles on it.

I put the top together and I like it.  I hope I do not dither as much about a backing.

I am also at the end of the Beginners BOM that I have been running at the shop. You remember this picture. We had to delay the start of the program because there were so few sign ups. :( I made the first row and more people signed up when they saw the colors. They have been a fun group to work with. I will never have an award winning quilt, but it is really so much fun to share what I do know.  I must say that the applique was not well received by all. I did have several design ideas to replace the applique for those that chose not to try it. . It is fused and either hand stitched or machine stitched.

I over heard one of them tell  the boss that she would never try a pattern that had HSTs in it and then she said " And now I know how to do them. I can do all those patterns  now". I was stupid happy.

I did finish the dresses for Haiti. When my friend posted a picture with her daughter and one of the little girls I was happy to see one of the dresses being worn.
Sorry about the pictures, there isn't really good light anywhere in the apartment. Maybe when it warns up I can get the hubby to go outside and hold quilts for me.

Happy Stitching everyone.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April catch up

I feel like I spend most of my time playing catch up. And I never seem to actually catch up. Do you? As usual with the beginning of a new year, I made plans to work on that UFO list that never ends. Following the tips from Pat Sloan I actually donated fabric, broke up fabric I put together to make specific quilts, and (gasp) tossed a couple of tops that I just did not want to spend anymore time on. I also attempted to be more realistic with my planning. Projects never go as fast as I think they will. (shocking right?) Of course getting a pile of quilts back from the shop (unquilted) did not help.

Last year I taught a class on string quilts. I showed them the basics and my sample was just the strings put together (cause I was making lots of samples). I got my strings back and I bought some border fabrics to get it finished. I finally pulled it out of the closet and got the top finished. I thought I liked the colors I picked for the borders, but I am not really sure. BUT it stays and I will it finished.
Here is the strings quilt top:

My youngest daughter, saw a quilt she loved in the book "City Quilts". I picked out the fabric a while ago and put them neatly in a bin. :)  Once they were suitable aged I pulled them out to start that quilt.
the first little pieces ready to start putting together looked like this

Some of the little pieces became bigger units

and then even bigger units. I had the last 12 rows together and was clipping threads when I clipped a hole in the sashing. So I had to unpick and unpick some more. I cut out the hole and pieced it back together.

The quilt still needs a small gray border but I need to get more gray from the shop.
Poor quilts look so lumpy on the bed, guess I shouldn't pile them on top of each other to get pictures.

I feel like I am getting some things done, but the pace is way slower than I would like.
Happy stitching.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Works in Progress

You might remember seeing some of the Bunny Hill blocks that I did a while back. I printed the pattern off when it was offered as a free Block of the Month from Ann at Bunny Hill. While I was spending time on Pat Sloan's quilt forum, I learned that a bunch of us had this quilt on our want to do list.
We decided to do it as a sort of a block of the month project. We were going to do 2 blocks a month and get this cute quilt done. I kept up with my blocks.

Of course, as it often happens, once the blocks were done they just stayed in the project box waiting to be finished. On the day that I bought sashing and border fabrics I must have been very creative. I usually tend to be a bit 'safe' when choosing fabrics. Every now and then I really just go crazy.

I have the top together now. Here it is in all of it's wildness. I am not sure how I feel about it, but I do think it is anything but 'safe'. I even got some fabric today for the backing. So I have no excuse for not getting this done, done ,done.

I have also been working on a Block of the Month that I have been running at the shop. You saw the first couple of blocks. Here is a favorite block.

The hubby held it up for me once I got all the blocks together.

I now have two of the three borders on it. I am hoping to get the remaining border on tomorrow and layer it for quilting. I am following McKenna Ryan's instructions for quilting, which is quilting and securing the edges of the applique in one. After that I can finally put on all the really cute embellishments. I will show it once it is all done.

Happy stitching

Friday, January 17, 2014

One Crazy Pinterest Project

I have been having a lot of fun playing on Pinterest. Sooo many ideas and sooo little time. Of course I don't limit myself to just quilt related items. I have also been trying to get my sister to get set up and check out Pinterest. Near the end of November my sister and my older daughter were over visiting me and I pulled up Pinterest and handed the laptop to my sister. I heard "Oh that is cute" many times. One of the things she liked hit me as a good project for me to make for her. The project : a small battery operated clock with colorful mice surrounding it.  Of course the original link was gone so no instructions for knitting the mice. I went to Ravelry and looked for tiny mice and I found a pattern
The mice were actually supposed to be knit in the round, but I did not have size 1 double points so I decided to just use straight needles and sew up the mouse once I had it knitted. So I bought some DK weight yarn and got busy.

Once the body is knit, stuff with fiberfill. I found out the hard way that the mice look better a bit overstuffed.

Then of course each mouse needed two ears knit. Little, tiny ears.  And a tail that is just a crochet chain.

Embroider a little nose and a couple of eyes.

Add the tail and ears and one mouse done. Yeah!!!! Repeat....
The finished clock.

I will not even tell you what my sister said to me when she saw it on Christmas eve, but the word nuts figured in there. ;) In case you are worried, this was not her 'main' gift.

I will be have some quilty pics to show you very soon.
Happy stitching

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014, how did that happen?

I do realize that we are nearly half way through January already, but let me say Happy New Year anyway. On New Year's Eve day I got the cold/flu that I had been fighting. Like BAM. I am finally starting to feel better. Of course I had big plans to get back to UFO busting and really finish some of those quilts. Might have to rework that schedule a bit. LOL

Just a quick catch up. After having foot pain for weeks after the quilt show in September, I went to the foot Dr. and found I had a stress fracture. I was in a post op shoe for 5 weeks and that wasn't doing the job, so I got a lovely boot. I wore that for 3 weeks before I got my foot liberated. It seemed like forever.

During this same time, DH left for Portland, Or to help take care of his mother. He was there for 2 months.While he was there both of our girls flew to Portland to see Grandma too. He came home the first Saturday in December and his Mom passed away December the 10th. I know he was glad that he had spent so much time with her.

Last January I started knitting for my co workers for Christmas. I made cowls and scarves for them. It felt good to have that much done since I spent so much time off the fractured foot. Shopping just wasn't on the approved list of activities. (Of course DH was gone so I couldn't even enlist his help.)  These a few of the cowls that were gifted.

I am once again joining in on Pat Sloan's UFO busting challenge for the year, so hopefully I can get a bunch of those tops quilted and done. Then of course there are the other UFOs, like unfinished BOMs. Why am I such a sucker for a BOM? They always seem so innocent. Just one block or two a month. Easy right? Only if you don't end up doing a half dozen or so. I am still trying to resist some new ones that are starting up. 

Stay tuned and see how many I end up working on. And if I make progress finishing those pesky UFOs.   

Happy stitching.