Thursday, May 19, 2022

May Happenings

Happy May!  May is always our crazy month.  We have seven birthdays, our anniversary (53), Mother’s Day and then First Communions (2), Confirmations (2), and graduations (3).  It seems like it is party after party for the entire month.  There’s never a dull moment with a large family.

Sewing seems to take a back seat for the month of May.  I did manage to get my selvedge quilt quilted and bound.  It was a love/hate relationship.  I quilted the entire quilt and was not happy with the quilting.  I spent two days ripping out EVERY STITCH and requilting it!!!  The backing is a great Kaffe wide back that picks up all the colors on the front.  





Our granddaughter made her husband a pair of fleece pants for Christmas.  She left the extra fabric in my sewing room!  Their son turns one this month so I used the leftover fabric to make him a matching pair of pants and a robe that matches the pants.


My niece (in-law) cross stitched a stocking for her mom for Mother’s Day.  She asked if I could sew it into a stocking for her.  This was her first cross stitch project and I think she did a great job on it.  That metallic thread is difficult to use and all of the music is done in metallic gold.



Our momma tortoise celebrated Mother’s Day in her own way.  She laid 12 eggs this year.  


Workmen have kept us on our toes this month as well.  A new a/c unit was needed and replaced.  Of course, it’s never a “simple” replacement.  Ducting had to be replaced so there have been people inside, outside and up in the attic.  As well, we are replacing our sand volleyball court with something more practical.  After 30 years, the softer sand has blown away, leaving the court feeling more like gravel.  It isn’t a lot of fun to play on that surface.  I'll be glad to have them finish.  It’ll be nice to get rid of everyone and get the house back to ourselves.

I had a "new to me" visitor this week.  This little guy was on my path to my car.  The photo is enlarged, but it was really only about 9" long.  I loved the red band around the neck so I had to come in and look it up.  It was a non venomous ring necked snake!  The underside is a brilliant orange.  I am NOT a snake person, but this little guy was kind of cute.  He was much less intimidating than our resident five foot gopher snake that keeps scaring me in the backyard.  Although, he too, is a "good" snake.  

 
There is a field across the road from us.  The crops are rotated in it, but it is mostly planted in lettuces or cabbage.  They recently cut what we thought was a cover crop.  I thought it was such a lovely view with all the bales.  Except for the hilly background, I could imagine being back in the Midwest.



Wednesday, April 27, 2022

April

 I'm not quite sure where April has gone, but guess an update is appropriate.  

While looking through a bin for something completely unrelated, I came across my pile of selvedge blocks.  How easy it is to get distracted!!!  I decided it was time to get them together into a quilt.  I was really quite ready to be finished with all of the selvedges by the time I came to the borders.  I knew it really needed mitered borders so ended up making even more blocks to complete it properly.  




This was my bucket of selvedge strips.  They had settled nicely and really exploded when I started pulling them out.  I was nearly swallowed up in selvedge strips.  


I realized just how bad it was when I stepped outside and saw one of the dogs wearing a selvedge strip.


Several months ago a blogging friend, Soma, had contacted me to ask if I would make an artist apron for her.  I was truly flattered.  She offered to pay me to create it, but I suggested we barter.  She is an exquisite knitter and I have always wanted a pair of fingerless gloves.  Well.....she made me TWO pair of gloves AND knitted hats to match.  I LOVE the colors and the yarns feel heavenly.  Soma works in many mediums and does a beautiful job in each one.  She's also an excellent photographer.  



The Sewing With Friends group that I have been a member for a number of years is doing a row by row this year.  I sent off my first row and will let my friends add to my dachshund body.  The head and tail pattern are from Sew Fresh Quilts.


Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics had a giveaway on her blog and I was chosen as the winner.  There was such a nice collection of fabrics, pinks and neutrals.  As well, design board fabric was included.  I am excited to upgrade from my design floor! Thanks, Jeanette.



We had attended one of the grandson's volleyball games the other night.  On the way home, we decided to stop and grab a bite to eat.  Coming out of the restaurant, we saw black smoke rising behind the building across the street.  We jumped on the freeway to head home and the fire was right on the side of the freeway - a hotel under construction.  The heat coming from the fire could be felt inside the car.  I don't know how the firemen could stand being so close.  We were fortunate to get past the fire right before they closed the entire freeway.  



The epiphyllums are the garden bloomers right now.  So far the pinks and oranges have displayed their beauty.  I still have the red, yellow and white to appear.  




My April block count for the 350 Block Challenge is 84.  


Monday, March 28, 2022

Spring Blooms

 Flowers, flowers...everywhere.  In spite of our most welcomed rains today, spring is all around us.  I've finished all of my little tulip blocks and am now assembling them into the larger blocks to create my Tulip Time quilt.  This is a Bonnie Hunter quilt pattern.  I may not have it finished for this spring, but I'm really liking the secondary pattern that the green stems and leaves are creating.



The outdoor flowers are even more prolific.  The roses are coming into full bloom.  I always love the first flush of flowers.  





The clivias have also shown their blooms this week. 






My Dragon Dreams came together and is ready for gifting.  I loved making this pattern. 






The hummingbird nest in the plant on my mom's front porch is supporting it's second set of babies this spring.  Since escrow closes this week on her home, I won't be able to get updated pictures as they grow.  It has been so much fun to watch these little ones grow and fly off over the years.  I hope the new owners will keep the plant and enjoy them as much as we have.  



As March comes to a close, I can say that it has been a good month for my block count.  With the additional tulip blocks and now making them into bigger blocks, I have added an additional 22 blocks this month.  This gives me a total of 93 for the month of March.  I'll be linking them up with the 350 Block Challenge.  



Saturday, March 19, 2022

National Quilting Day

 Happy National Quilting Day.  I hope everyone has had a chance to get a few minutes of stitching in some time today.  I was lucky enough to spend several hours at the sewing machine today.  I'm working on a slow going project right now.  I'll share it momentarily.  

Project Quilting, Season 13 was all about Flying Geese this week.  I love Flying Geese blocks and I enjoy making them too.  The Bloc Loc rulers make it so easy to trim them.  I've needed a mini quilt to use for this time of the year  - spring green or St. Patrick's Day.  Whichever, it works great as a mini or a mug rug at just six inches square.  





I'm a bit behind on baby quilts for the new grandbaby and two new great grandbabies born in the last few months.  I finished one last week and am currently working on the second one.  Any ideas of where I am going with this one? 



One thing for sure is that I am adding up blocks in a hurry for my monthly total for the 350 Block Challenge by Prairie Moon. My total this month is already at 61.  



I am enjoying the springlike days with everything starting to bloom here.  It sounds like our temperatures will be more summer-ish next week....my favorite.  I know snow is still in the forecast for many places, but I know spring is just around the corner for you.  



Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Spring in the Air

 I know that a lot of people do not care for Daylight Savings Time, but I am so excited for this weekend and "springing ahead" an hour.  I love the longer hours of daylight.  

With several new babies in the family, I needed to get started on some baby quilts - my favorite kind of quilts to make.  I dug through some of my red fabrics to create hearts.  The pattern is With Love from Gigis Thimble.  It is currently in the process of being quilted, but I grabbed a few shots of it on the line before I started the quilting.  I am terrible at following directions these days.  Instead of sixteen hearts, I made twenty five.  I may just have to make a second quilt. 



Lots of time has been spent in the garden lately.  Plants have been divided and transplanted with the arrival of spring.  Meanwhile, the cymbidiums are all starting to bloom.  Many of these are plants were my dads at one time.  It's always nice to see them continuing to bloom.  He had quite the green thumb.  






The roses are also ready to burst open.  These little Angel Face roses were eager to be among the first blooms.


The Gerbera daisies are also prolific right now.  I love this wall hanging vase that was a gift from a dear friend.  


I saw this on the internet the other day and thought it sadly humorous.  While out today the cheapest gas I saw was $6/gallon.  Ouch!  




Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Block Check-In


 It's hard to believe that it is time to do a block check-in for February already.  I know it was a short month, but........

It was a rather crazy month around here, so my sewing really came in spurts.  Most of it was mindless piecing - just to be sitting at the machine with no thinking required.  I have a lot of flower bits all ready cut for that reason.  I tend to use them for leader/enders, but that was my sewing this month.  Surprisingly, I managed to get 48 flowers finished this month.  I'm linking these up with Prairie Moon Quilts.




We had family from Iowa in town last week to celebrate the life of my mother.  While here we visited the Reagan Library and spent some time at the beach.  To us it was chilly as the coldest storm to hit this season was upon us, but they thought it was warm.  Guess it is all relative!  The surf was good so we enjoyed watching the surfers catch their waves.  



In a recent giveaway at Crayon Box Quilt Studio, I was the winner of a delightful book of quilts that use 10" layer cake squares.  Michele Kuhns has a quilt in it called Jeweled Diamonds.  I have followed Michele for a number of years so was thrilled to see her published.  There are a lot of fun looking quilts in the book.  So many decisions!!!


Spring is right around the corner and I am enjoying the longer days.  I'm hoping to see a bit more sewing this month.  We shall see.