Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Spring or Winter?

DH and I decided to slip away for a few days and hit the open road - one of our favorite things to do.  One of our favorite roads has always been the 395 with amazing scenery and little traffic.  Spring weather can always be risky and this time was no different.  Once we hit the Sierras we were in snow flurries - in mid May!  It was not sticking to the road, but it made for such pretty sights around us. 



We drove as far north as Walla Walla, WA.  Delightful spring weather surrounded us there with everything in bloom - tulips, iris, dogwoods, lilacs, azaleas everywhere.  While in Walla Walla, I had a fabulous day spending time with Stephanie (IG sadunphy) of Loft Creations and Candace (IG mrssquash).  We had lunch, visited their local quilt shop and then I was treated to a visit to Maple Cottage.  It was such fun to see it in person after following the progress on IG and her blog AND I got to meet the well loved Abby.  Following that we took a short drive to Candace's and saw her beautiful home and stunning gardens.  She and her husband have amazingly green thumbs.  Those two gals have so much fun together and I discovered they are both black licorice lovers like myself.  Who knew???





Leaving Walla Walla, we headed east to Stanley, Idaho.  The scenery was glorious with lots of full streams and rivers, snowy mountains and lush meadows. 







At one of our nightly stays, this greeted us on the tub.

What stress???
 

Heading back south through NV, we enjoyed still more open roads and a desert in full bloom until we reached the I-15.  UGH.  It was back to the dreaded traffic again. 




What we enjoyed for five days!

UGH!!!!


We arrived home in time for Mother's Day weekend where we celebrated with everyone here for a BBQ.  Even momma tortoise laid her eggs for Mother's Day.



We always need a "grandchild fix" when we get home so it was nice to have a few little ones come visit. 

Pretending to sleep.


While in the car, I was able to hand stitch the binding down on En Provence and get a photo of it with a snowy mountain backdrop in Idaho.  Of course, the wind was blowing and DH and I were laughing at ourselves trying to grab the picture while it was calm.  He eventually stabilized it with rocks but it was still blowing. 



The only other sewing that has gone on was my Mother's Day postcard for my mom.  I am hoping to make my way to my sewing machine later today.




Saturday, May 6, 2017

Happy May

Here we are in May!  How did we get here so quickly?  May also means that my month for being the queen bee for our Gridster bee is NEXT month.  That means I need to get my act together and make a choice as to what I want my fellow bee mates to stitch for me. 

I have so enjoyed each of the blocks that have been chosen this year.  We've had pigs, bees and pineapples in the mix.  Such fun!  I've been playing around with a couple of blocks that I thought might interest me.  I admired the kaleidoscope block from Crazy Mom Quilts and made a few to test them out. 

Crazy Mom Quilts Kaleidoscope free block in her Craftsy shop.

Next up I tried a Confetti Star block that was a choice in our bee from last year.  I loved it when we did it and found all of the completed stars stunning together. 

Confetti Star free block by Amy Friend, duringquiettime.com

I finally tried a totally scrappy strip block, but it did not do much for me.  I think it would be a fun strippy block pattern, but not for my bee choice.  In the end I decided that I will use the Confetti Star block.  It will be fun to get different stars from fabrics not in my stash.



One more month of geese is completed for my Temperature Quilt 2017.  As you can see, there were no blues in this month - definitely a warmer month.  May is also looking good so far with the oranges in there, but today is cooler and drizzly.  ;-(

Temperature Quilt 2017

I managed to finally get my En Provence top quilted this week.  The binding is stitched down and I will now spend some quiet time hand stitching it down.  This was such a pretty Bonnie Hunter QAL this year. 


May is always such a busy month in our household with seven birthdays, Mother's Day and our anniversary.  There will also be five graduations as well as a Confirmation and First Communion.  It will be endless celebrating here. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Small Works

My days this week have been so full that my sewing has just been bits and pieces. 

I have a couple of swaps that I am enjoying.  One is our Sewing With Friends group.  For this round we are doing mug rugs and this is my summer themed mug rug for Irene.  What says summer better than flip flops? 



Another really fun bee that I am a part of this year is our Gridster Bee.  May's Queen Bee is Rachel and her request is for paper pieced bees with a blue background. 





Many of us are also doing one extra block of each month's choice to keep.  I did my background in a neutral instead of the blue. 



Block Lotto blocks this month were potted cactus.  I made three to be donated this month.  This was a fun block to make.



My days have also been filled with feeding baby birds.  Since the parents were pulling their pin feathers, I removed them and have been hand feeding them.  Initially it was every 3-4 hours, but they are now on a three times a day schedule - much more manageable!!  They are growing nicely, gaining weight and cry when they see me.  Have you ever read the child's book, Are You My Mother?  I think I can relate to it.  They actually look like birds instead of little vultures now.

Before


Now...with feathers and full crops.  Their faces are starting to turn yellow with the orange cheeks. 

While the grands were here for Easter they found a monarch caterpillar on the milkweed.  They collected it for observation.  It was very much the very hungry caterpillar appearing to double in size each day. 



This week it formed its chrysalis.  We are now waiting for it to emerge as a "beautiful butterfly".


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Week

It was a beautiful Easter in our area with perfect temperatures, sunshine and lots of fun family time.  Our youngest son and his family have been home for Easter so there has not been a lot of stitching going on here.  Time spent with family is much more valuable.


I did participate in Gosia's SEW ALL AROUND six part circular sewing QAL.  This last week was application of the binding to our mini quilt.  I really like the way this piece finished.



As well, I did some embroidery for some of the grandchildren so they always know which washcloth and towel belongs to them.



April has seen a lot of birthdays so I've had fun with fabric postcards.  I've forgotten to take pictures of most of the ones I have sent, but here are a couple of them. 




Spring continues to produce some gorgeous blooms.  It's always a delight to see them reappear each year. 











Just one last photo of the grandchildren at Easter.  Someone even created photos of the two who were missing due to spring break at college not tying in with our Easter celebration.   Boo! 



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Continues

Beautiful spring days continue here.  Along with warmer and longer days, there is so much about spring that is refreshing.  We had grandchildren for several days so there were baseball and volleyball games in the warm sunshine.  Sewing was non existent while we were active grandparents, but it felt good to get some free time to play once things slowed down again. 

I am in the Gridster Bee this year and Elizabeth's blocks last month were little pigs.  I sent my two off to Elizabeth and then made one for myself.  I think I need to do more of these.  She should soon be posting her adorable finish on her blog so be sure to watch for it. The pigs are a slight variation of the pattern found on The Objects of Design blog.


Spring also means the arrival of the fair pigs.  Two of the grandchildren will be fattening these pigs up before August.




My April Gridster Bee blocks were finished and sent to Nancy.  This is her own design and it is really fabulous.



One of our granddaughters turns sixteen in June.  They have each asked for a "grown up" quilt for their 16th birthdays.  I've had a layer cake for some time that she has loved.  Researching patterns for layer cakes, I found a fun one on the Missouri Star tutorials.  I really love the colors and how the design shows off the great fabrics.


March geese are flying to join the flock in my Temperature Quilt.  The temps are moving more into the oranges with a red one in there too.  Yesterday saw another red one with our high of 90*.  I'm glad to see the blues disappearing.  My sister in Alaska is doing this project with me and she is happy that April has seen some temps above freezing so her geese can fly upright.  She has no blog, but you can check out her glorious colors on her IG account (@alaskanquilter)


To close off, I will share a few more fun spring photos.  Springtime brings new little hatchlings.  My mom had her resident hummingbird lay two more eggs in her porch plant again this year.  In the last month we have gone from eggs to babies nearly ready to take flight.






Meanwhile, at our house we also have new hatchings.  We have three little yellow balls of fluff and one white one.  Since they hatch two days apart from each other, the little white one is much smaller than the one who is a week old, but I love how the littlest one manages to crawl into the middle of the pile. 


One final spring picture.....our son and DIL went to see the poppies blooming and sent me this photo.  It's amazing what a normal rainfall year will produce.