Thursday, January 29, 2009


Well, I took my new bag to class, but didn't open it. We spent the first night deciding what projects we would do between now and June. I have to say I am very impressed with this teacher. Rita has been coming to the nursery for a few years now and we always chat a little. She seems so shy and until recently I thought her hobby was gardening. She organizes gardening classes for Adult Ed. One day we got to talking about quilting and she told me she was teaching a quilting class for Adult Ed. I signed up right away and am very glad that I did. Rita is a wealth of information and so are the other ladies in the class I think I am really going to like it there. They are a friendly bunch, I'm not sure how you get much sewing done with so many wonderful people to talk to. Guess I will be doing some homework of the fun kind!

I am about to wrap up my week of Ferne time. It has been great! I still have 2 more days and will spend them having fun with Michael. We actually spent the day together yesterday fishing, not much catching going on if you know what I mean, but the weather was beautiful and there were lots of birds to watch. They actually stocked the lake while we were there and the pelicans were there ready to feed. They are really fun to watch so big and clumsy in an elegant sort of way. One funny observation was that someone planted a tree at the edge of the lake and even ran a water spicket to it. Maybe this was someones weird sense of humor...see the lake is down quite low right now in anticipation of rain so if it does ever rain the little tree will be completely under water and it should never need to be watered being that close to the lake. I like to see our tax dollars being spent so wisely.

Today I went to have my yearly Breast exam...I actually had waited 2 years and after seeing so many blogs and magazines talking about breast awareness I called on Monday and got right in. Everything looks fine, but it is good to have it done. I rewarded myself with a trip to Prairie Queens (a local fabric store). I was good and only got one small bundle of fat quarters to use on my new class project and then one fabric that I have been using and saw it on sale for half off so I bought a whole yard! I actually used it in the feathered star block that I just showed about 2 posts ago. That is a block of the month so now when the next block comes up next week I will be able to tie it in to the first block.

I have too many complicated projects going on and was looking for something fun and easy to work on today so I pulled out this camogirl fabric that I have had for a while. I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture, but the camo part is made up of some very sexy girls (my boys are in their 20's). The boys were trying to think of things for me to make them out of it so I made Rob two pillow cases with a really great pattern by Bari J. It was fast and easy. There are no raw edges when you are done and no hand stitching either. She has a tricky way to get the cuff on without having to hem it later and there are all french seams on the inside so it turns out really nice and neat. I was more impressed with the inside, but Rob likes the outside. There is still more fabric and Michael wants shorts so I will have to see what I can do about that later.

Tomorrow we are planning to go to lunch and a movie. We will probably see the new vampire movie or something romantic and corney. No matter what it will be fun and I am going to hate to have to go back to work. I am still thinking of things I didn't get done, but on the bright side...there is so much I did get done and really had fun doing it!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

My new Bag -Tutto

I splurged and bought a new bag today and I love it! It is a Tutto and it must be the Cadillac of bags, lots of pockets and zippered compartments, I just hope I can remember where I put things. It is all set up and ready to take me and my sewing paraphernalia to class. It was a bit pricey, but it will hold a lot and protect my most prized possession (at the moment). It rolls and steers so smoothly. It will hold another 150 lbs. on top of it so that means more of my stash can go into a duffel bag and go to class with me too! Now I am ready to travel with my sewing machine or anything else for that matter. That is kind of funny since anyone who knows me well knows that I hate to travel and am most happy right here at home, but we will see where my new Tutto Machine on Wheels will take me - probably just down the road a few miles to a sewing class.

I spent most of the day working on another old friend - Thyme to Water. It was a small quilt top that I put together a while ago. I was having trouble getting it to look just right so I put it away for a while. It was on my to do list for working on this week since I have some time off work. I pulled it out yesterday and decided to totally remove one block that was just not working for me. The block was, of course right smack in the middle. I got motivated somehow to design a new block on my own from scratch. After working on all those 12" blocks recently I felt confident that I could handle it. I got out the graph paper and went to work. I actually paper pieced parts of it right on the graph paper. I really liked it, but it needed a little something. I don't know if any of you have a man in your life who is actually semi interested in your sewing, but I have been blessed with a man who has a real eye for color and he always shows an interest in what I am doing. He gives me advice whenever I ask for it on my projects. At work we pot custom pots and the best pots are the ones we collaborate on. He has this thing he does with "color echos" and today when I asked his opinion for the bird house he said, "It needs something red that you have in all the other blocks, a color echo." That was all I needed to see that he was right and I knew just what I would add...a little red bird to sit on the step of the bird house. This quilt is not perfect and really gave me fits making things go together just right. Some of the fabric was really old and stretchy, but I have it to a point that I am happy with and I will try to get it quilted this week if I can fit it in on my long list of things to do with this little bit of time I have to myself.

Funny thing...I was thinking of how Michael gives me color advice in sewing and gardening, but when we are fishing he always asks me which color lure to use. It is sure nice to have someone to share your opinions with...hmmm...most of the time!

Watch for those color'll be surprised how many you find in nature.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sew Fun

This is my first time to do a Block of the Month. It was a little difficult, but I really enjoyed it. I did the January block, "Stars for a New Day" from the Quilt Show, by Sue Garman. It was a paper piece project and I have done several of these before so I didn't find it too hard though it was a challenging block with a lot of pieces. I am happy with the way it turned out. It is really easy to loose those sharp corners when there are so many, but I think I did pretty good.

I also have still been playing around with the 12" blocks that I am working on using my Michael Miller fabrics and have 2 more to add to my pile. The pink and green one is from the McCall's site where I had gotten the others from the previous post, it is called "Dutch Rose". The blue one is a paper pieced pattern from Carol Doak's website. I have a couple ideas for these, but first I have a few more I want to try. These are blocks that I am using to practice and since they are all from the same line of fabrics I think I am going to be able to piece them together. I am thinking of using white in between them with some different colored blocks in the corners...still working on that one.

Next week I am taking a few days off work and playing at home. I am planning to do a lot of sewing and cleaning and just taking care of things that I have been putting off like getting my car in for it's check up and just maybe I will have some things to add to this blog and my Growing Thymes blog. I want to get my tomato seeds planted and all the heat mats running. I have a big project I would like to work on at the garden also...boy I'm not sure if a few days will be enough. I am signed up for my first quilting class and am looking forward to making some new quilting friends.

I don't spend all my spare time sewing and cleaning...last week I spent a day fishing with Michael and my son Andy at Los Vaqueros. We didn't catch anything until we got off the boat then the guys saw fish near the shore and they caught a few that they released. While they had fun reeling them in I was playing with the camera and just enjoying the scenery. I caught some ground squirrels playing hide and go seek with me, and the beach area was covered with muscle shells. There are such beautiful old oak trees on this property that are home to many varieties of birds. It is a beautiful place and I always find things to photograph when we go.

The weather here in sunny California was exceptionally warm and 'sunny' for this time of year until yesterday when the clouds rolled in and it hasn't stopped raining since. Perfect weather for sewing and cooking. Hopefully we will get a few sunshine breaks next week so that I can get to the garden. That would be the best vacation!

Enjoy your day no matter what the weather!


Saturday, January 03, 2009

More Bug Bites

Well, the bug bit again and this time I got two more blocks made. The pink and red one is called 'Frolic' and the blue one is called 'Thistle Bloom'. These were both from the McCalls site and again I used the Michael Miller Fairy Frost fabric. It is really fun to work with all the different colors. No matter which you pick they all go together nicely. It is like painting with fabric. I can now see why people love batiks.

Our computer is having some real problems so we ordered a new system that is due to come in today. We are anxiously waiting for the phone call telling us to come pick it up. This computer is so slow and it keeps freezing up and just plain forgetting what it was doing. I can relate...I feel a bit that way myself thank goodness I can't just be replaced at the drop of a hat...or can I? Hmmm...anyway we can't wait to see what is new in the computer world and will no doubt wonder why we put up with this for so long. So if everything goes together well I should be able to do a lot more blogging if I can get the computer away from Michael. Oh well, I can sew more while he is gaming.

I have a few more of these blocks I want to try then I have to decide what to do with them. I am doing them just for fun and to perfect my piecing skills, but may have to make something out of them. So far they are all 12 inch squares. I could make a 'Dear Ferne' quilt, sort of like a Dear Jane quilt, but with my creations.

Keep those sewing bugs biting!


Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Sewing Bug

Okay, a little sewing bug bit me and I had to try out one of the many quilt patterns that I downloaded from the McCall's website. They have lots of fun free patterns that are very nicely written. I like that they have rated them Beginners, Advanced Beginners, and Intermediate and they tell you what the block size is for each. I am going to try just one block of several and see what they inspire me to do with them. This one I made with some Michael Miller Fairy Frost fabric that I bought over the holidays at the Fat Quarter Shop. I increased my stash quite a bit over the last month with the 50% off sales they were having. I thought my stash was needing some solids so I bought a few fat quarter bundles of these in several color ways. They have a fun sheen on them that almost glistens. It faded some after washing, but I think they will make a nice complement to lots of fabrics. I am thinking that if I made a block of this pattern out of several pastel colors it would make a sweet baby blanket. I don't know anyone at the moment who has one or who is expecting but, it would be nice to have one on hand just in case!

Now that I have gotten my sewing mojo going the new year is off to a good start already!

Happy New Year, again!


A New Year to Grow

I call today 'Clean Slate Day' it is the day that I give myself a fresh start for a new year. I usually do that by cleaning and organizing. Today I have been packing away Christmas and setting up the grow lights for house plants and to start some seeds that we just ordered from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I thought I was quite creative when I found that I could set up a 4 foot grow light with a 2 foot grow light under it and then even put a 2 tiered stand under the 2 foot light. Now I am set to grow different things at different stages and everything will have the light it needs. Only problem is that I broke one bulb in the process so I will have to find a new one. It needs to be a full spectrum bulb, but shouldn't be too hard to find. So where the Christmas tree was there now sits a growing station. That is one fresh new clean slate and a place to grow.

Now that things are almost all organized maybe I can get back to sewing again. I haven't really had time to sew much with the holiday activities. I am having a hard time deciding what I want to work on though. I have one unfinished quilt that is all pieced and needs to be quilted. I even have the back pieced and the batting is ready to go, but I am just not feeling motivated to work on it. I got an email from the Quilt Show this morning saying that the new block of the month pattern was up and when I checked it out I immediately felt inspired to work on that block. It is paper pieced which I love doing so I just have to decide on some fabric and give it a whirl.

Well, I am hoping that the new year will bring good things to those near and dear to us this year. The past year seemed to have a lot of difficult times in it and I wouldn't consider it to be one of my favorite years as I look back. I believe though that there is much to learn from difficult times so we must take what we learned and use it to make life better for ourselves and others.

I just realized that this is my 100th post...guess that is another reason to celebrate. It has made me think about why I even started this blog and in reflecting back I think it was because I wanted to have a way to record what kinds of things I was working on. I like to create things, whether that would be sewing, painting, gardening, cooking, mosaics and many more. So I wanted to record what I had done to be able to look back at and hopefully feel a sense of accomplishement. I also found keeping a blog to be a great way to share with my friends and family that don't live nearby just what was going on in my life. In the process I found some new friends that have shared interests and I also found some pretty inspiring blogs of others! Blogging has opened up a whole new way to share and I am loving it.

Here's to a new year of growing (and sewing)!