Friday, August 31, 2007

To Commemorate

After DH and I'd toured the coastal bluffs we drove to Fort Bragg and the LQS. Sew n Sew used to be downtown in a little postage stamp of a store. About two years ago they moved away from the tourist section of town and into a LARGE space with vaulted ceilings, sky lights, classrooms and an entire room devoted to just machine embroider, thread and software. Not that I'm into that much, but looking always gives me ideas.

I just went in for thread (uh-huh, sure...) but I had to *browse* didn't I? They have a wonderful variety of off-the-beaten path material. In the little town where I live, we have Beverly Crafts and Fabrics, a chainstore, Wallll-mart (bleech) and one small LQS that caters to a certain clientele. Sew n Sew seems to cover more genres of fabric. I was busily eyeing the new Japanese fabric, next to the new shipment of Judi Rothermels when Frank came and got me. "You've got to see these..." He took me to the non-quilting fabric section and wanted me to touch this exquisitely soft, plush yummy. Ohhh... it was nice! Yup, it was minky, in all these fun colors.

We also petted the stone-washed rayons and dreamed over a jaquard or two, the colors and patterns so lush and imaginative. Frank said, "But what could you *make* with it??" Just about anything!
I went back to my browsing... I was trying to find a thread suitable for piecing after all when Frank came over again and said, "Look at those..." There on the high wall were a series of Kona Bay panels in exotic tones. Together we took each one in and discussed which color ways we liked best. They were great, it was fun. I went back to my browsing, we weren't there to buy anything after all.

Next thing I know Frank's asking the clerk at the counter if those panels are for sale and how does one go about getting one anyway? We mutually agreed it would be fun to have one as a wallhanging to commemorate our 28th year. I thought later, if we couldn't travel abroad for our anniversary, at least we could go there together in our mind.

This is the one we chose.

Later back at the house we went stash diving together to choose borders. I added the lapel button in the photo for scale. It was so *quick*, just add borders and the tops done! Wow, I like that.

Thanx for the memories drhrt. It's great to see life through someone else's eyes once in awhile, as well as the LQS!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Fort Bragg Seaside

DH and I took a daytrip to the coast last Friday. It was our 28th anniversary and it was great to get out of town and away from things; even for a day.

It's late August and it hasn't rain in our county for months, so I always find it interesting to see what grows without cultivation. These can be seen along the roadsides:

These are called Naked Ladies. No leaves... interesting.

These are called Red Hot Pokers. They look almost edible.

Then we went to the bluffs overlooking the ocean; always 20-25 degrees cooler than at our house.

I napped, as usual.

But I didn't miss this unique siting:

Fantasy Art by Frank Roberts

Monday, August 27, 2007

Just Peachy

I've been sewing three inch Nine patch blocks for the last few weeks. Not a lot to see there.

Baked with peaches this weekend. The before and after.

Oh it was good! DH and I had it after dinner with vanilla ice cream... and for breakfast with vanilla yogurt and for afternoon snack... Not all in the same day!!

Then we hiked at the lake. =)

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Germ of an Idea

I've been too pooped to piece lately, but I still want color play. So I trimmed a bunch of scraps for the strip bins. My 1 and a half inch bins of lights and darks are *bulging*. That led me to consider a Log Cabin or Dbl Ninepatch. Off to EQ I went to spend some time drafting. After about 11 drafts, this is the layout I settled on:

Then I went stash diving, my favorite part...

Initially I pulled plaids and 'old tyme' colors to go with the 1910 shirting print that'll be the background. But gradually a few brights worked their way in to sweeten the palette. And what's that I see on the far right? Pinks!

Then I located this chunk of Marcus Brothers that I bought *years* ago. I originally bought it to reproduce an Ocean Wave that was a family quilt that was in tatters. But that's another story for another day. =)

Once I found it I was excited to see there were four yards. I got to thinking about the when and where of this purchase. How long ago *was* it? That led me to revisit a fabric swatch book I used to keep.

The shirting is the first entry in this book that I maintained for maybe four or five years. The entry reads:

Marcus Brothers
4 yards
Purchased at Quilted Angel
March 1992

Can you believe it? At the time $25.00 was a large chunk of money for me to spend on fabric. I felt like I was taking food out of my babies mouths. But these reproductions were *just* coming out and I was completely taken with them.

The EQ draft shows 150 ninepatches. I didn't count or plan as I pulled strips from the bins, but I have 75, that's two ninepatch blocks per color. Turns out this quilt doesn't do much for busting the stash bin!

Oh well... Fifteen years later I'm finally cutting into the Marcus Bros shirting. =)

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Amidst all the other recent starts I got my Double Wedding Ring top in the hoop and have been enjoying plying the quilting needle again. The last hand quilting I did was on the Baltimore Album quilt and I am so much happier with this Fairfield cotton batt. It's *much* easier to needle than the Heirloom cotton I had in the BA.

This top was completed in 1996 maybe. But it had to wait it's turn. It's pieced from cottons from the 1930's, 40's and 50's, so I wasn't willing to machine quilt it.

Probably 15 years ago I was talking to a woman that did hand-quilting for hire and we shared our love of vintage fabrics and patterns. She said, "Wait just a minute... I think I have something you might enjoy", and she *gave* me a box of 5" charm squares she'd picked up at an Estate sale. I was floored, she didn't want any money for them. "You'll be more likely to do something with them than I will." So over that summer I hand traced and cut the wedges for the melons from those 5" squares. It's too bad I've lost touch with that quilter, she might enjoy seeing what was done with those charms.

There's just something so delightful about the old patterns, created in the old way.

What Have You Been Working On?

Ever notice that quilty friends ask, "So what are you working on these days?" It's always a great conversation starter. :D

So since I've finished Big Blue I ask myself, 'What have you been working on?' Usually there's the excitement of *finishing* and the crowd of ideas that rushes in to take it's place. But not this time. I've just been sitting... enjoying the sense of a job well done, and... well... *resting*

I talked to DH about it. He understands the dynamics. The excitement of a new project, the time it takes to bring a big quilt to the end, the joy of finishing and the cycle beginning again. So when I said I didn't have any new projects (or even any old ones) burning to be worked on, he just listened. Wise man. I said, "I've noticed it's been about two weeks." "That's okay." "Yes... it is. But when does resting turn into being 'in a slump'?" He didn't tish tosh me, he simply said, "Oh... I'd give yourself another two weeks before I'd start worrying about that."

In the meantime I have been *starting*. I hunted down a counted cross stitch pattern that I'd admired some time ago and made a beginning. There'll be four little vingettes, each 4x5 featuring a quilt and a seasonal item; a wreath of flowers for spring, a bowl of apples for the fall, a gingerbread man for winter, etc.

Well that kept me happy for about a week.

Then because I've absolutely fallen in love with Celtic Memory Yarns and the yarns she spins - double pun intended, I decided to attempt socks.

Socks?? I can barely even knit! But Celtic Memory makes knitting your own socks sound like a romantic journey back to an earlier, happier time. And anything that involves color and thread is okay by me. However, you can see how far I've actually gotten.

Next: Hand quilting

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Gifting My Brother

Last week the family was all here for a semi-annual reunion. I asked them to assemble on the patio because I had a 'presentation' to make. That piqued everyone's interest. (click to enlarge)

What's in the rootbeer box

Reading the dedication

The label


We get to keep it??

Big Blue and creator

The quilting

I think they were pleased. I know it warmed my heart in the giving.

"When you sleep under a quilt,

you sleep under a blanket of love."