Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Not Disappeared



I just want to let you know that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I haven't been feeling too perky, and had to go to see my Rheumatologist. She is three hours away, so it takes all day for a visit. I don't hate going because it means that I'm VERY close to my favorite quilt shop Thimblecreek . So, of course I had to stop by. It would have been rude if I hadn't. Right? I didn't buy very much, because I have four quilts currently in progress and I have everything I need for them right now. I picked up a few fabrics for another pieced quilt and some new between needles. 

Be back soon!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

One more tiny post this gorgeous Spring morning...
I have discovered Bloglovin and if you don't use it, you are missing out on a great site for blog lovers. If you are like me and love to be updated on your favorite blogs, you can keep a list of your favorites, and receive an email each evening with the links to them when they have been updated. Easy-peasy! See that Eiffel Tower icon to the right of this post? If you click on it you can add my blog to your list of favorites

Another





I just adore the covered porch on this rustic old cabin. It was available when we were house hunting, but just needed way too much work. It is also across the street from a very busy church. A bit noisy... But lovely! Happy Sunday.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Blossom



The dogwood trees are in full showy bloom. They are just so breath-takingly beautiful that I think you need to see them in person. Whole trees covered with the gentle white flowers bobbing in the breeze just let you know that winter is truly over.

My parents had quite a few dogwood trees on their property, and before they passed away they invited us to take some of the small ones that were seeding themselves broadly throughout their garden. We waited until autumn, when they were dormant and took five or six of them. That was about eight years ago, and I'm so excited to announce... that one of them is blooming for the first time this year! My Dad would be so happy. He used to wait for the large trees in his back garden to bloom every year, and make the announcement to one and all when the flowers arrived.

This one's for you Dad!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By Hand






I'm quilting a very simple baby quilt. By hand of course. I have a deadline so I'm quilting every spare moment. Of course the other projects that I'm working on have no bearing what so ever about my speed. (Wink, Wink). I also have new patterns that I bought at the quilt show that are calling my name. Have a fabulous day, I'm going to be busy.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Quilt Show












I went to a quilt show this weekend  which was presented by the Amador Valley Quilt Guild. It's a two hour ride from home, and I went with two of my very good friends. We always stop at Barnes and Noble on the ride to buy magazines. Good magazines. Inspiration. We also had a lovely lunch in downtown Pleasanton, and stopped at a new outlet mall for a stroll. 

 There were many quilts that were wonderful. Most of the quilts that I liked belonged to the featured quilter, Alex Anderson. I love her bright colors. I was slightly disappointed by the lack of hand quilting, but I'm getting used to that. I seem to be one of the few hand quilters left. In fact our local quilt shop is no longer carrying hand quilting thread. 

What a great day. Shopping, a nice lunch and quilts. A perfect day, actually...  



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cabin Day





I realize that this isn't a cabin, but I love it anyway. It is a home crafted greenhouse near where I live. I wish it were at my house, because I think it's fabulous. It is made of rocks, and recycled windows. It has a very cute screen door as well as a glass door.  Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hostess With The Mostest




Do you belong to a quilt group? Not a guild, but a group of friends who get together frequently to share and stitch? I am lucky enough to belong to a group. We just call it Bee. We meet every Wednesday, as I have said in other posts. Today Bee is at my house. It's a love hate relationship. I love Bee, and I love having my friends here. I don't love the major house cleaning that comes before the fun. Three Golden Retrievers and company only go together when the cleaning fairy comes. I guess I'm the fairy. Anyway, here are the photos of my house ready for company! Have a great day. I know I'll have fun with my friends...








Monday, April 15, 2013

Thread Storage

I was going to show you two more completed blocks for my Birdsong quilt, but we are covered with grey clouds this morning and I don't think it would be a great day for photography. Probably not great for photographing thread either, but we'll see.

I store all of my applique thread in a very inexpensive tackle box that I purchased at a hardware store. The little compartments are the perfect size for the spools of thread that I use. There are enough different compartments that I can organize my thread by color.  You know, the long skinny spools from Mettler   ?  It also has a bigger compartment at the bottom for my very sharp applique scissors, applique pins and a tube of straw needles. It has a handle, and it fits in a tote bag. It's the perfect size, and shape for transporting to "Bee" every Wednesday.
 
 
That green plastic is rather awful, but I bought it for its usefulness, not its beauty.
 
Have a great day. I'm off to walk a Golden Retriever and then on to stitching.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cabin Sunday





I said I was going to focus my Sunday blog posts on our local cabins, and I have failed. Let's start again. Isn't this an adorable cabin? It's near our Twain Harte Lake, and it's a rental. A rental? It must have been purchased by a real estate company. I can't imagine renting this if I personally owned it. It's just way too cute and has a great location. You can see the "Rock" from that deck!

 

Early Spring In My Garden









We have been enjoying our beautiful crystal clear Spring mornings in our mountain garden. We have lovely green grass covered in crystal dew. Deep blue skies with marshmallow puff clouds. Our daffodils are pretty much done for the season, but my dear hubby (who plants them all) has already placed an order for more. You can never have too many daffodils. We just purchased these rusty giant flower sculptures for the garden. Do you like them? I do. Garden art. You can never have enough art, anywhere. The quince is almost done blooming. We are waiting for the dogwoods. Ours haven't bloomed yet, but when they do, I'll show you the photos. Have a lovely day. I'm off to walk the Golden Retrievers, and then on to the stitching.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Coloring


This first photo is from Birdsong, and the following two are from Sugar Kisses.

I used to love to color when I was a little girl, and I think that led to my applique addiction. It's still coloring, but now with beautiful colors in fabric rather than waxy crayons. I just love art in general. I always have. There was a time when I was about ten years old that I had my own art business. I used to make greeting cards. They were hats made out of felt, glued to card stock, and decorated with beads and sequins. I also sold three of my paintings when I was in an art class. They were on display in the school office, and a teacher asked to buy three of them. Maybe I should have continued to take classes, but I discovered sewing, and became totally engrossed with it. My Mother was an artist, and so is my Sister.




I've been stitching away with my straw needles and rainbow of threads. Since I now have
two applique projects, the progress seems to have slowed, when actually I have finished three or four large blocks this week.  I've also worked my way around many, many four inch leaf blocks. When I have the finish line of 144 leaf blocks, I need to work in increments. It seems to be a never ending chain of those leaf blocks. Thank goodness I have a variety of fabrics to use. If I weren't a scrap quilter, I think I'd be pretty tired of those leaf blocks. Is it still considered scrap quilting in applique? To me, it's coloring with fabric.  
 

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Mere Whisper





It is definitely spring in the mountains. This past weekend we had the windows opened, and the heater off. I was contemplating getting the deck furniture from the basement. BUT, I just woke up to snow outside. The clouds are gone, and the sky is clear. As I write this, the sun hasn't peeked over the pine trees yet, but I can see that it is going to be a clear day. I don't think that the snow will be on the ground long. We always say that it isn't officially summer until there is snow on the dogwoods, and they haven't bloomed here yet, so I don't know if this counts or not.
We had a fun day yesterday. We took a ride up to Amador county and wandered around the little gold rush towns of Amador City, Sutter Creek and Plymouth.  We had delicious pastries and coffee at Andreas' Bakery in Amador City and enjoyed the spring day sitting on the patio. Our destination was the Amador Flower Farm in Plymouth, where my husband was interested in adding to his daylily collection. We bought other plants as well.
I'm off on another adventure today, so I won't be doing any quilting. I am planning on spending tomorrow on a project or two.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Birdsong Applique Quilt



An update on my Birdsong applique quilt is due.

It's a lovely, quiet, rainy morning here in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and I'm sipping a cup of tea and taking a peek at all of the blogs that I find inspiring. It makes me wish that I could sew and knit twenty-four hours a day. I just can't do everything I want to do...

I've been stitching away, and having a great time doing it. Actually I can't think of anything better than watching a good movie and sewing the afternoon away. Oh, and checking out those inspiring blogs...  The preparation for stitching however isn't one of my favorite things. I wish I had an assistant to trace all of the shapes onto the freezer paper and especially to cut them all out. Using the scissors on paper cutting just makes my fingers hurt... Thankfully, there are rotary cutters for fabric, or I wouldn't like cutting out quilts either. I do enjoy placing the fabric shapes on the background, and seeing my fabric picture emerge. One square at a time.

Have a great day.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sugar Kisses Quilt

 
 
 
I snapped this photo when I was at PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) last Fall. It is "Sugar Kisses" by Verna Mosquera. I collected the fabrics, and I've got two squares ready to start stitching. I seem to be on a roll with quilting projects. I'm so excited, and I wish I could just stitch away every day all day, but this house needs a touch up with a vacuum now and again, and we need to eat.
 
I just love the clear colors. They took me a while to gather, as I tend to choose more subtle color pallets. Colors that are more yellowed, rather than clear. It's time I branch out a bit, don't you think? Of course I will be using polka dots, because I just love them. The candy and sweet goodies remind me of my quilt group, where we always have dessert. Who doesn't love candy and cake?
 
Off to do an errand or two, so I can spend the afternoon with my needle and thread.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Eggs

 
 
Yesterday was such a fun day. We drove to the S. F. bay area early in the morning. We spent the day with all three of our sons, and some of our Grandchildren. My adorable niece was there with her fiance and gave us a sneak peak of her wedding gown... Shh, my lips are sealed! It would have been a perfect day if our other two Grandsons had been there, but we hope to see them soon.
 
 
We had a lovely potluck brunch, and I'm sure you will be happy to hear that my cakes were good. They turned out well. Nothing stuck to the pan or was over or under baked. Dare I say it...? They were perfect. The crunchy hash brown casserole went perfectly with the sweetness of the cakes. We had lovely fruit salad, and two egg casseroles.
 
The best part was the Easter egg hunt with "our" kids! While the searching was done quickly, there was enough candy for all. There were even bubbles for blowing.
 
We were home for dinner, and I think the most exciting part of the day was the thunder and lightening display. At least I enjoyed it... The dogs not so much. At least this storm, none of our neighbors homes were struck by lightening and set on fire like happened two years ago.
 
The most special part of Easter was spending it with such a large and close family. I hope that you, my friends were able to have a special day as well. Now, I'm going to spend this April Fools Day with my applique needle and a good movie. What should I pick?