Lately I’ve been working on little bits of things.
Mending has been going on – I finally fixed a jacket that has been hanging there seemingly forever, plus a few little things for a friend.
My finish was some more baby receiving blankets from some super cute flannel I found:
I say finish, but I still have a decent amount of flannel to make more. I should count how many of these I made and give away in a year. It’s tough keeping up with all the new babies!
I’m quilting on a quilt – nothing exciting to show yet.
I signed up for a summer embroidery club over at Wild Olive. I did the workshop last summer and it was so fun. This year it’s a small design a week for 12 weeks and they all fit on a hexagon. Naturally this led to a little shopping. I bought some paper hexagons and found that now they make acrylic cutting templates, so it’s easy to cut out the fabric perfectly; naturally I had to add that to the order too:
I had a charm pack of 5″ square that have been sitting around waiting for the perfect project. I decided to use them to mix with the embroidered hexagons and got to cutting. It was so fast with that template!
All those perfectly sized hexagons ready to baste. I picked a plain white to embroider on, but that won’t get cut up until after the embroidery is finished.
Go see the other quilt finishes at Crazy Mom Quilts today.
- – marcella
For a long time my husband and I have been wanting to try Thomas Keller’s famous fried chicken. It’s served at his restaurant Ad Hoc every other Monday night. However, getting up to Napa for dinner after a long day at the office is not really workable for us.
Sure, we tried his recipe and made our own and it was delicious.
But, there’s something kind of wonderful about eating a dish made by someone else particularly if that means someone else is dealing with all of the fryer grease instead of you.
We decided that the best way to get our hands on some of that fried chicken was to venture up for a box lunch instead. The garden behind the restaurant has become Addendum and box lunches of either chicken or bbq are served a few days each week.
I also learned that lunches can be ordered in advance so we were able to skip the long ordering line and have this in front of us in very short order. It was a really lovely day we went. Very clear and sunny and the car said it was 94 degrees. A bit hot for eating outside but we did get a couple of mostly shady seats at a picnic table so that helped.
We also each got two little paper bowls – one contained coleslaw and the other potato salad. Really though, all I cared about was the chicken.
Three pieces of hot and crispy chicken. I did quite like the little rosemary leaves on top. The cornbread was honey soaked and ….just no. Each piece had one bite taken and that was it for us. It was quickly ignored for the chicken.
On the way home we stopped at Bouchon Bakery for a few treats and bread, and by the side of the highway we stopped at a cherry stand. Then in Tiberon the weather changed with the temperature dropping quickly down to 64.
Not quite the view we’d hoped for over the bridge.
- – marcella
It’s been a bit crazy around here. I’ve had a few comments that I haven’t been posting much. Seems like there’s never time for everything. But, here are a few tidbits to catch you up.
A little bit of sewing has been snuck in between things. I’ve made a few baby receiving blankets and done some mending for a friend and also sewed a bit on my quilt project of the quarter.
Then we zipped off to Portland. My husband had a conference and I decided to tag along. I had great plans for wandering downtown and had packed a hand sewing project. However, my hands broke out in a creepy, blistery rash that was high on both the ugly scale and the uncomfortable scale. Fortunately there was an urgent care place two blocks away and I got a prescription which helped greatly. My plans had to change a bit to involve things that I could do with my hands in my pockets so I didn’t creep people out too much.
While wandering the neighborhood (with hands in pockets!) I wandered upon a full square block of food trucks. I got a really delicious Cuban sandwich for lunch.
Another day found me at Voodoo Doughnuts. They have quite the welcome in the parking lot.
Inside they have a HUGE menu board with more doughnut varieties than you could imagine. See the voodoo doll one? It is jelly filled to increase the ick factor.
I kept it simple with the “official doughnut of Portland” which was a custard filled doughnut with chocolate frosting. It was very good.
I also visited the art museum and the science museum and a couple fabric stores a yarn shop and a bead and button store.
I’m back involved with scouts again. Seems once they have you trained they hate to let you go I have the daunting title of Unit Commissioner which they assured me just means that I work with both cubs and boy scouts, but I have my doubts that it’s that easy. At any rate, I helped out with a three pack pinewood derby and was tasked with coming up with awards and a little something for participants. A little clip art and a glue stick turned a box of candy bars into a treat for each boy who raced.
Then we were off to Las Vegas to visit family.
It is surprising all the unexpected things you find in a casino.
I wonder if I had one of these if we’d get kids to come trick or treat at our house?
We went to the Desert Quilters show and my quilts did surprisingly well.
Then we headed to the Bellagio to see their flower display. The conservatory was filled with tulips and giant butterflies, swans and mushrooms. They also had some really big ladybugs that were awfully cute.
It was prom night so it was super crowded with kids in formal wear and parents with cameras.
Then we went next door to the Cosmopolitan. They have quite the chandelier inside.
It’s two stories tall and there’s even a bar inside on one level. I did wonder what would happen if one of those strands broke and beads came raining down. We had dinner at their Wicked Spoon buffet. I love it because they individually plate most dishes so you don’t feel like you are eating the picked over things that others have left behind after digging though a chafing dish. Love their fried chicken in the little fryer baskets.
And the desserts are always so pretty. There are too many to choose from but at least they’re mostly tiny so you can try a few.
Home again after those two quick trips. Starting to feel like I’m catching up on all that got pushed aside while traveling. Right now I have some very pretty anniversary flowers to admire.
We have done a bit of cooking too. I’ve been making this stromboli pretty frequently. I love serving it with little dishes of hot pizza sauce on the side for dipping.
And now you’re all caught up on what we’ve been doing. Hope you’ve been having a fun and busy spring too.
- – marcella
I decided I wanted to start something brand new. I’ve been playing with a block in my head and wanted to turn the idea into a quilt. We’ll see if what I’m thinking is anything close to what I’m imagining right now.
For a long time I’ve been collecting fabrics from various collections by Denyse Schmidt. I decided to use some of them along with a big piece of Kona ash that’s been sitting in the fabric drawer.
Not my usual style of prints but there’s something fun about them that I like.
I’ve been cutting, cutting, cutting and have pieces for 12 blocks cut out.
Now I need to turn most of those squares into half square triangle blocks. That could take a while. But, boy is it fun to work on something new!
Visit FreshlyPieced today and see what others are working on this week.
- – marcella
At the start of this year I saw that Leanne was hosting a “finish a long” to encourage quilters like me with lots of half done quilts to get them finished. The idea is each quarter pick which projects you’ll work on and at the end of the quarter blog about them.
I liked the idea of working for a quarter at a time rather than trying to finish a project a month. Sometimes my projects take longer and I don’t like to rush them just to meet an arbitrary deadline. However, it only counted for finishing completely projects that had already been started. My to do list includes that but also projects I want to start from scratch and projects I just want to get to the next stage.
So I decided to play my own version by myself. The projects I chose were: make the heart baby quilt for a friend; finish that old Moda club top for the quilt show; finally sew those hop scotch triangles together into a top.
Today I finished sewing that triangle top together, and it’s not even the last day of the quarter!
It’s pretty bright for me, but I do like it now that it’s all together. It’s time though to take a break from this project. One of these days it will get pulled out and quilted.
This next quarter? I’ve got a quilt of my own that I’ve been dreaming about that I want to try to make, another old Moda club quilt that I might tackle finishing, dining room curtains to sew and a whole stack of flannel to turn into receiving blankets.
That should be enough to keep me out of trouble. Also, I’m sure other little sewing things will distract me along the way.
Today I’m linking up with FreshlyPieced; hop over there and see what other quilters are working on.
I know I’ve mentioned before about my sisters very productive meyer lemon tree. Years ago she planted this itty bitty tree in her backyard. Then came the big freeze that winter and the little tree looked very sad and brown. I took some snips to it and cut off everything that was dead and we all hoped the little twig would come back.
Did it ever.
But things have been getting out of hand for a while with this tree. This year I offered to give the tree a pruning and last Saturday was the day. This is what I was facing:
Huge. More of a hedge than a tree. I dug in with my little japanese tree saw and secateurs and started taking care of the dead branches and the crossed ones and it started looking pretty good. It still needs quite a bit of shaping, but I figured I better stop before I stressed the tree and my sister who was having visions of a lemon-less winter next year.
At least now it looks like a tree and not a giant bush.
They had harvested most of the lemons off the tree before I came to prune. My sister had posted to facebook for friends to come over and she said many, many pounds of lemons were taken. When I arrived there were still four of those computer paper boxes filled with lemons. I brought a box home with me and am passing them out to friends. Some will become lemon pie for dessert tonight.
- – marcella
This is a really long term unfinished project that I finally, happily finished this week. I’m so excited about it that I decided to link up for the first time to Crazy Mom Quilts finish it up Friday.
Back in 2006 I was a member of a Moda fabric club at my local quilt shop. Each month we received a post card with a block pattern printed on it. Each month I dutifully made my blocks. That’s where it stopped.
At the end of the year we received the setting pattern for the blocks and I thought it was really unattractive. So I packed up the blocks for “someday”.
A year later I got a quilting magazine and when I saw the cover quilt I thought it would work with the blocks I had hiding in the closet. I pulled them out and put together the quilt top.
Then I spent another year sewing the hand appliqué border on at club meetings.
Once that was done the top sat back in the closet waiting for quilting inspiration to strike.
Fast forward to last year when the Desert Quilters guild had a fun finish up your old projects challenge and I decided to finally finish up that quilt top. Except the quilting I decided on took much, much longer than the month I had to finish. So I got behind.
Then I set a new goal to finish it up for my local quilt guild show.
Then I ran out of thread and had to mail order more.(Because I cannot seem to make a quilt without running out of quilting thread) This put me behind schedule again and I realized I could not finish the quilt in time for the show. Back into the closet it went.
I’m starting to see why other quilters have new quilts to show all the time and I have this happen only a couple of times a year.
At any rate, in January I received in the mail the entry forms for the Desert Quilters show and thought that maybe this would get me back to finishing that never, ending quilt project.
And it did!
I’m thinking you can click on the pictures and see them larger.
In the border I quilted around the appliqué and then filled in with itty bitty stipple quilting. You can also see that I bound it in two different yellow prints which I thought was kind of fun.
In the sashing I did a pumpkin seed design.
I decided on four quilting patterns: stippling, straight parallel lines, a wavy line and an arc and used those elements for quilting the blocks. Here are a couple of my favorite blocks:
Now, fingers crossed that it doesn’t get lost in the mail!
- – marcella
We’ve been having some lovely weather so that has inspired a few adventures this past week.
First a drive south for just picked artichokes and a stop at the farm for some eggs.
Also a drive north to see some wonderful food photography.
Outside things are starting to bloom. The blueberry bush is covered in little globe shaped blossoms.
Inside the house I’ve been quilting. I’ve entered a couple of quilts in the Desert Quilters show and one of them needs to be finished. I’m quilting each block differently and it’s taking a bit more time than I thought it would. Here’s the latest one completed.
Given that today is National Quilting Day, I’m hoping to get some more work done on my quilt.
Hope you’re having some fun adventures wherever you are!
- – marcella
I’ve been following along with Pam Buda’s Orphans and Scraps project. Rather than Civil War era fabrics, I used my scraps of 1930′s reproductions.
When the final project of a little runner was revealed, I took my blocks in a different direction. I added some borders to them and turned it into a little quilt instead.
Eventually the top will be quilted and donated to the NICU at the local hospital for a tiny baby.
Meanwhile, I’m working on finishing up the quilting on an old project. I’m hoping to have it done very, very soon so I can enter it into the Las Vegas guild quilt show in April.
See more beautiful things over at Freshly Pieced today.
- – marcella
This years quilting adventure was to QuiltCon in Austin, TX. While I’m really not a modern quilter per se, I do enjoy seeing what those creative quilters are up to and it looked like the show was going to be really fun. So, I packed my bags and met up with my quilting friend.
My flight arrived rather late in the evening but we had decided to go out to dinner when I got there. We found a good restaurant near the hotel and enjoyed a delicious dinner. On the dessert menu was pecan pie – a favorite of both of us – so we decided to split a slice. The waitress said that it wasn’t a slice but a little pie and with her hands she put her fingers together into a little circle. Then it arrived:
Hello! This pie is 6-7 inches across and would feed four to six people easy. We took one look at it and started laughing. Honestly, we couldn’t even eat a bite because we were laughing so hard. The waitress came back to check on us and asked if we needed anything. I told her we needed her to grab a fork and take a seat and help us eat that giant dessert, but she wouldn’t. What we ate was delicious, but we left a lot of pie behind.
One of the things we’d looked forward to about the conference being in Austin was the food. We were really not disappointed. I think we need to go back since we didn’t make it half way through our list of possibilities. And while I liked the sign, we didn’t eat at this place:
I have no idea what a “flapjacket” is and I for sure don’t want to know what their jackalope dog is made out of.
Friday I had a lecture pass and enjoyed the lectures quite a bit. The day started with a yoga class and the teacher was very good. I was sore though because I am really not a bendy person at all. Craftsy has put some of the lectures from the conference up on their site for free, so jump over there and check them out.
For lunch I went around the corner to a little BBQ spot. It had quite a line which is always a good sign. When in Texas, have the brisket. It was really yummy.
Saturday we walked the show floor. We collected free fabric and other goodies and enjoyed wandering the vendor booths.
There were lots of demo’s going on so we watched a few of those as well.
The quilt exhibit was much smaller than expected. I counted only 240 quilts in the program which is about what my little local guild shows. I had thought it would be twice as big particularly since they had so many entries. They do, however, win for the cutest show ribbons ever.
I have no idea how they got all those ribbons made, but they were really adorable. Each category was a different color.
Also the people whose quilts were in the exhibit were also given smaller versions of the ribbon and printed on the button was “my quilt is in the show”. People wore their ribbons or had them pinned to their bags. A very nice idea.
We did think though that I should have made up a bunch of buttons that said “my quilt was rejected by QuiltCon” to hand out as well. I wish I had thought of that before the show because I think it would have been pretty darn funny.
Sunday we went out for a nice breakfast and I just had to order the pecan waffle. Now, I know people in Texas are very proud of their state but I have to say I was quite surprised to have my breakfast look like this:
Really, now I have to go in search of state shaped waffle irons.
I spent the day in a workshop with Denyse Schmidt learning about Improvisational Patchwork. I am a planning girl who has a great love of graph paper. Learning to just sew and go with the flow was a challenge! The teacher was so encouraging and really made it easy for us to play which made a stressful class much more fun. Here are my four wonky blocks arranged in my design wall:
The white fabric with the little houses was the fabric I brought. All the rest was from the class scrap bags. I don’t know that I’ll ever become an improvisational piecer, but it was a fun exercise.
As fun as it was, I’m glad to be home and back in my sewing room ready to work on my next project!
- – marcella