Thursday, December 28, 2017

Goodbye 2017

It's hard to believe that we are saying farewell to 2017 already.  It sounds like many in the states are sending it off in a deep freeze.  The snowy pictures have looked beautiful, but I am not envious of the temperatures.  They would, however, add a new dimension to my Temperature Quilt project.

I love this quiet time after all of the holiday entertaining.  The house is all decorated and there is no preparation that I should be doing.  I can look around and enjoy this Christmas season completely guiltless.

This week has been a lot of clean up from Christmas and houseguests, but I have been determined to try to stay on track with my Bonnie Hunter QAL.  It has taken me the full week to get the clue done this week, but here they are - with 11 to spare!

I think we should soon be assembling all of these parts and I am looking forward to seeing them all come together.

We had another wild and wonderful Christmas with everyone here.  There was not a lot of time for pictures as it is rather chaotic, but I will share one picture that I took mid-room as we were gathering to open gifts.  I know crowds like this are not for everyone, but it is a joyful part of our life.

I wish for an exciting, fun and blessed 2018 for everyone.  I'm looking forward to following along with all of you in the upcoming year.  You are each so inspiring and never cease to amaze me with your creativity.  Thank you so much.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice

December 21st.....winter solstice.  Not being a winter lover, I love this day as I know my days will now be getting longer.  I know there is still lots of winter days ahead, but it is reassuring that summer will be here before we know it.

As with others, the week has been super busy as we prepare for the arrival of Christmas.  The wrapping is finished and the baking has started.

With stolen minutes here and there throughout the week, I have managed to finish Clue #4 and am ready for the next one.

A few small gifts were also made this week.

Little boxy bags for carrying little items.

A couple of Crazy Cat potholders.  Pattern by Made By Marney.

With guests arriving tomorrow, I doubt that I will be back on the computer until next week.  I wish all of you a blessed Christmas.  I hope you can enjoy the time spent with family and friends in peace and love.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sew All Around

Over the last few months, Gosia from Quilts My Way has been sharing patterns and tutorials for some circular quilting.  Initially, the circles were intimidating, but with her tutorials they became much more comfortable.

This week is the time to link up our finishes.  There were three different designs to stitch.  I managed to get the first two done, but busyness through the holidays did not allow time to get to the last one.  I did, however, keep the pattern instructions and hope to add the last one once life is quieter after the new year.

This was the first design with quarter circles.

This was the second one with half circles.

The third project is for full circles inserted into pieced backgrounds.  You can see other completed pieces at the LINKY post.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Mid December Stitching

Life seems to be settling down a bit from the crazy pace of the last few months.  The days are drawing closer and I'm finding a few spare moments here and there for some stitching.  There is something relaxing about the time spent sewing.

I still have a few small projects to finish before Christmas, but I hope to get those done in the next few days.  Meanwhile, sewing a few minutes at a time helps to get the clues to the Bonnie Hunter Quiltville Mystery, On Ringo Lake, done.  I have managed to keep up - so far.  Clue #4 came out today and I had to give it a try.  I love these pieces - both the design and the colors.

The last few weeks have used the salmon color so I was happy to move away from that color.

A friend of mine had started a lovely quilt for her newest grandson.  She did such a nice job on the applique and was in the process of hand quilting it, but has been knocked down a bit by some medical problems.  Knowing she was not going to be able to complete it for Christmas, she asked if I would machine quilt the borders for her to finish it off.  I wish that I had the time to hand quilt it to complement her work, but the quilt is now finished and ready to be gifted.

It's hard to believe that the year is almost over and my Temperature Quilt is now in its final days.  November was a colorful one with some record breaking temperatures.  December has been exceptionally warm too.  I don't know why my one blue is showing up so dark in the photos, but I'll try to capture the whole year when the lighting is better.  It surely looks different from my sister's geese since she lives in Alaska.  You can see hers at IG alaskanquilter.

Puppy time is also consuming a lot of my free time.  One of us is definitely getting trained.  This little guy is such a love and wants to be wherever I am at all times.  Writing my Christmas cards, he was right there with a nose on my knee.

Sewing.....he sleeps in his bed right next to the sewing machine.

Computer time??? lol  It's tough to use the keyboard when he is sleeping on my wrist.

I'd say he is adjusting to his new home quite well.

The Thomas fire is still burning in our area with nearly 1000 structures now burned down and two deaths - one of a young firefighter yesterday.  Full containment is not expected until January 7th.  Our quilt guild and many others are joining the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild in making blocks for quilts for the victims.  It is an easy block to make if anyone is interested in participating.  This is from their website.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Make it STOP!

I'm so ready for the winds to stop and the fires in the area to get under control.  It has been a couple of wild days around here.

The home that was my parents for many years burned to the ground yesterday in Ventura.  The heroic efforts of firefighters stood no chance with the incredible winds we were experiencing.  So many memories are now left in our minds and in the ashes.

I am just so grateful for the fact that my mom chose to move closer to my sister and myself.  To get that middle of the night phone call to evacuate would have been terrifying.

Tonight is suppose to be even worse as far as the winds go.  I am praying for the safety of the firefighters and for all of those who have lost their homes, including my niece and nephew.

Needless to say, sewing has taken a back seat this week with all that has been going on here.  I did, however, play around a bit with some geese and nine patches.  I was just trying to see what another colorway in Bonnie Hunter's mystery would look like.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mystery Time

It's that time of the year again when we get to sew along with Bonnie Hunter and her MysteryOn Ringo Lake is being done in the colors I love so I am thrilled to be sewing along.  The first clue came out last Friday.  I could hardly wait to start, but we always celebrate our Thanksgiving here on Saturday.  Setting tables, cleaning and cooking for 50+ took precedence until Sunday.

I decided to do just a couple of 9 patch blocks on Sunday before the cleaning started.  Somehow, once I started it was like eating potato chips and I couldn't stop.   They went up quickly and I had them all done before I knew it.

After that, I still did not want to face the cleanup so I sewed up my Gridster Bee block for December.  That finishes up the bee blocks for this year, but I am so glad the bee will continue next year.  I'll be linking this up with Quilt Fabrication's 100th Midweek Makers celebration.

Yesterday was a day for cleaning.!!!!

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving with the kids all home from college for the long weekend.  The weather was unbelievably warm too.  It was in the mid 90s on Thanksgiving and still in the mid 80s for our celebration on Saturday.  It felt especially good to those students returning from the Midwest.

We did our annual group photo of the kids and grandchildren - missing just one grandchild this year.

Us with our five chidlren

Son #1, DIL and family

Son #2, DIL and family

Son #3, DIL and family

Son #4, DIL and family

Daughter, SIL and family

Now it is time to transform the house to a Christmas d├ęcor.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Here, There and Back Again

It has been another bit of traveling for us last week.  We flew to Omaha, rented a car, took one granddaughter out for dinner, drove to Kansas and took two more granddaughters out for another dinner before driving up to Iowa to spend some time with my relatives.

One thing I love about traveling at this time of the year is the beautiful colors of fall.

Since my roots are from the Midwest, it was fun to visit some of the old homesteads.  Both of these homes were built by my father and it was nice to see them still looking good.

We also took the time to visit Boys Town while in Omaha.  They have a fantastic museum on the grounds that was fun to visit.  If you have never seen the movie, Boys Town, you should consider watching it.  The original Oscar for the movie was displayed in the museum.

We avoid busy roads while driving so we can enjoy the countryside and this trip was no different.  One small road landed us in the middle of Hamilton, MO.  I had no idea until we had arrived in the town that it is home to Missouri Star Quilt Co.  Wow!!!  It was amazing.  They had great murals.  We only stopped for a few minutes as we were working our way to Iowa.

A nice spot for DH to bask in the sunshine as it was 29* outside.

While in Iowa we stayed with my cousin on their farm.  Again, it was quite chilly for us with highs in the mid 20s and low in the teens.

My cousin's farm in the heart of the Amish community.

Sunrise over the cornfields.

Driving back to Omaha for our flight home, we passed through Madison County - home of the covered bridges.  This poor one had seen better days before burning.  

Winterset, IA. is the birthplace of John Wayne.

John Wayne birthplace

This week has been an exciting and busy one for us as we added a new member to our family.  Needless to say, he is getting lots of love.

I haven't had much of a chance to sew this week.  I can't imagine why, but I have made a couple of pulls for the upcoming Quiltville Mystery QAL which starts next week.  I'm leaning towards pull #2 as it is a bit more green.  What do you think?

Saturday, November 4, 2017


I have been MIA for so long on this old blog.  The longer you are gone, the harder it is to come back because there is too much to catch up.

October is gone like a blur and November is upon us.  It always seems like once Halloween arrives, Christmas is right behind.

October was a milestone birthday month for me.  It passed so fast that I didn't even notice a difference!  It just sounds much older.  ;-(  It also helped that I brought the new decade in on a riverboat cruise on the Rhine.  The trip was amazing with positively picture perfect temperatures for the entire two weeks we were gone.

Once I got home, it was pedal to the metal catching up while adjusting to the nine hours time difference.

One project that I have wanted to finish were two Quilts of Valor.  These two quilts are for two very special vets - my two uncles.  One is 90 and one is 92 years of age and I am looking forward to presenting the quilts to them in person for Veteran's Day.  The pictures were taken in bright sunlight so are a bit overexposed, but the colors are truer on the lower photos.

The last one was a Fons and Porter pattern, but there is a major measurement error.  The red and blue star fabrics should both be cut at 9 7/8 inch rather than cutting the red at 6 7/8".  Fortunately, I figured that out before cutting it.

Another important and fun project was a footprint quilt for the K-1 class at the grandchildren's academy.  They have their big gala auction in a few weeks at the Reagan Library.  The little ones were so much fun to work with as they made their blocks.

One last bit of October sewing was a late request for a mallard duck costume.  The head would typically be green, but the green scarf gives a suggestion of a green head.  Right?

Halloween was crazy here with a Dodger World Series game on and the kids heading out for trick or treating.  We had a total of four little ones in one group come to the door.  Now.... we have lots of leftover candy.  Oh well.  Someone has to deal with it.

Our son showed up in a great costume.  It was hysterical when he flung those two extra legs around.

These are three of the little Ghostbusters that fit into the costumes I made for them.

Tonight is the night to turn the clocks back an hour.  Check out this fabulous clock that I picked up on our trip for my sewing studio.  I love it!

Linking up with Quilt Fabrication and Freemotion by the River.