Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Comfort Quilt Completed

I'm pretty happy with this latest comfort quilt I've finished. I posted about it previously here. Now I'm finished with the quilting and binding. All that remains is to add my label and our guild's "Comfort Quilt" label.

The quilt measures 42" by 55".
I really enjoyed working on this quilt. The Disappearing Nine-Patch is a wonderful pattern to use. It's incredibly easy, because all you're doing is making nine-patches, then cutting them into quarters and reassembling them. I'm sure I'll use this pattern again.
Found this nice backing fabric from the "fanny basket" that our guild keeps. It's nice and soft, and subtle, with some small bits of color from the quilt front.
Then I found some cute binding fabric with the help of Christine at The Loft.

San Francisco Marathon

I am so, so very proud of these three people.

Today (l to r) Ben, his wife Brita (my niece), and Molly (their friend) ran the San Francisco Marathon. I was there, watching runners pass the finish line and, I have to tell you, it was so moving. People of all ages and shapes and sizes and abilities were running this race. Personally, I can't imagine running solid for 26 miles. (I rarely, if ever, run!)

Seeing the determination and satisfaction on the faces of these runners was very inspiring.

Did I say that I'm very proud of them?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beautiful Things Came in the Mail!

I had a very pleasant trip to the Post Office to get my mail the other day. Two very nice packages. The first was the quilt shown above, which my SisterStitches sent to me. I couldn't believe it when I opened this package. My poor photo doesn't do it justice--this is an absolutely beautiful quilt. The goldfinch is the state bird of Iowa, my home state, so she chose goldfinch fabric. The borders are various green fabrics sewn together, with a little "shades-of-green" log cabin in each corner. I was overwhelmed by this quilt (still am!).
(I didn't measure it, but I think it's about 36" x 36".)

The quilting is just amazing. First SisterStitches outlined each goldfinch, then did the awesome McTavishing between all the birds.

This shows the beautiful leaves quilted into the borders of the quilt.

Another, even closer view of the McTavishing.

I think I have the best sister ever, to make this wonderful quilt for me.

+ + + + + + + + +

The other package contained this book that I had ordered, Jane Austen's Sewing Box by Jennifer Forest. It talks about many of the sewing projects that are mentioned in Austen's books, with beautiful illustrations, and directions for making the projects. I'll let you know when I've made something from this book!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Reading

I've never before written about the books I'm reading, but I can assure you that I do know how to read! It seems that a lot of us quilters enjoy this pastime. At least we sure seem to pass around a lot of books in my quilting groups.

Well, I'm finally joining the ranks of the many who are reading or have read The Girl With theDragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I'm not the biggest fan of mysteries, but after I heard this book (these books) praised so much, I just have to give it a try. Only read a few pages so far.....

The last book I read (just finished) was The Sweet Life in Paris by David Liebovitz. It is about a San Francisco pastry chef who goes to live in Paris. It's quite a funny book, in which talks about his
problems (and the pleasures of) adjusting to French life, some of his faux pas with the language, and what not to ask someone whom you've just met.

After every chapter is a recipe or two for some fabulous-sounding dishes, not just desserts! I highly recommend it.

Monday, July 19, 2010


We've had a great trip to Disneyland! We went with BabyStitches, her parents (DaughterStitches and
S-I-LStitches), and SonStitches and MrsStitchesJr.

It was BabyStitches' first time there, and as she is just over 2 years old, it was a good time for her. She was very brave and had a lot of fun on the rides, eating snacks, and getting to know the characters.

The first photo shows BabyStitches with her Daddy and her Papa.

Here is BabyStitches trying to pull the sword out of the stone with her proud uncle. Come on--pull a little harder!

BabyStitches with her mom on the Dumbo ride--she really had a lot of fun on that one!

Here are SonStitches and MrsStitchesJr. Since they got married within the past year, MrsStitchesJr chose to wear a Mickey Mouse style wedding veil.

I can't wait to go back to Disneyland again!

No sewing to speak about here, except that I did get a lot of hand sewing done on my tumbling blocks quilt on the drive there and back. Keeps me out of trouble in the car!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Green Bag Giveaway

Here we are, at our green bag giveaway, hosted by the Green Bag Lady herself, Teresa, who came all the way from Nashville, Tennessee. The top photo shows myself and Harmony helping her with the giving away of the bags this past Wednesday. Doesn't my new Green Bag Lady t-shirt look fantastic! I was so excited to receive it.

At the two grocery stores in town, we gave away about 100 bags in about two hours. It was a lot of fun. We would try to catch people as they were going into the grocery store and give them a free bag first. Then when they came out of the store with their new bag full of groceries we would give them a big cheer!
Here are Harmony and Teresa having a good laugh over something!

It was a fun day, and I hope we made progress toward the goal of no plastic bags in our small town.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Latest Comfort Quilt

Earlier I had shown you this comfort quilt-in-progress, the Disappearing Nine-Patch. Here it is all basted, and I machine quilted it. I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt it, but I knew that I initially had to at least anchor the blocks.
Usually that means stitching in the ditch. Did I tell you that I really dislike stitching in the ditch? And the reason is not because it's boring or unimaginative. The reason is because I think it is extremely hard to do! I can never stay accurately enough in that little ditch.

Sometimes I do s-in-t-d using a decorative stitch, maybe a curving S-shape. That way it doesn't matter whether I keep to the straight and narrow or not. And it still looks nice, I think.
The above photo shows what I did this time. I stitched 1/4" on either side of the seam lines. I should have taken a photo of the back, because it makes a nice grid on the back. (Alas, I should take more of an interest in my quilt backs, and piece them sometimes. Use a little more care in them, rather than just slapping something on!)

Also in the above photo you can see a glimpse of a polka dot that I am going to use for the binding. I have the binding sewn on now, and just need to trim off the excess fabric and sew down the binding to the back by hand.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Green Bag Lady

Tomorrow will be a special day.
The Green Bag Lady will be in Gualala, California.
She will be giving out free shopping bags at the two grocery stores in town in the afternoon.

If you haven't already, go visit her website/blog and read all about her. She makes fabric bags to give away. That's right! She just gives them away! The only "string" attached is she asks that the recipient use the bag instead of paper or plastic.

She has a good heart and great bags!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nine-Patch Variation

We had an all-day comfort quilt workshop for our June guild meeting. We all worked on comfort quilts or Quilts of Valor. Someone in our guild said, and I quote, "Comfort quilts are the best thing we do."
We give away many, many comfort quilts and Quilts of Valor every year. Seems there is a never-ending need for these quilts.

I had a new (to me) pattern to try this time, a pattern sent to me by SisterStitches. To tell you the truth, I couldn't quite figure out how the block was formed from looking at the pattern, so I had to try it for myself!

It is a variation on a nine-patch, and it goes together really easy--very slick! I love this block, and it is deceptive; the block looks like a lot of cutting and piecing of different sizes of fabrics, but it's not at all! I simply cut blocks all the same size for this quilt.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me at the "sew-a-thon," so I can't show you the quilt in progress. But the photo below may help a little.

Above you see a finished block. The block started out with nine squares (all the same size) of fabric. I sewed it into a nine-patch, then cut the whole block into four pieces. The first cut was in half horizontally, and the second cut was in half vertically. If I tell you that the block started out with a red center and gold print in the four corners, does that help any?

There are many different ways you can put these squares together.

The next photo shows the quilt layers being sandwiched together on the floor. It's not a huge quilt, sort of a lap quilt size.
And I love the fabrics. They've been in my quilt stash for quite a while. I bought them as a collection. Wouldn't you know--I had just exactly the right amount of fabric! The maroon-ish fabric has a texture to it, which I like. There is also a matching gold textured fabric, so I used it for the borders.
Now it is all basted and ready to quilt. I think I will do some straight-line quilting, and then put some kind of motif in the larger, gold print squares. I'll keep you updated!

Of course, MisterStitches fell in love with this quilt pattern and colors, so I'll probably have to make another one for him!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sewing Progress

I am working away on my tumbling blocks quilt. This shows that I'm putting on row #7.

And already I'm finding areas where I have too many similar or same blocks near each other! I tried so hard to avoid that. Oh well, that's the way a scrappy quilt goes.

I received a package in the mail last week from DaughterStitches. Apparently one of the Great Danes had gotten hold of Sock Monkey and decided to play with him. Thus requiring some repair.

Here is the note that was attached to Sock Monkey. I guess these are BabyStitches's words, as told to her mom.

"Nana, Trigger did. Broken. Help please. Love you, Aurora"

I neglected to take a photo of Sock Monkey before I started repairing him. Most of his wounds were in the seam line, so they were easy to fix. This owie on his "knee," though, is a little more serious, and may require some bandaging, as well as a little extra stuffing.