Saturday, December 27, 2014

Catching Up

Back in early November, I know, I know....almost 2 months ago but hey, I was sick for 4 weeks with lingering aspects of the awful crud even now....Anyway, BEFORE I got sick I met my quilting "partner in crime," Alaska cruise roomie, Janet to "look at" the Innova long arm. You guessed it, there is now a lovely, 26" Innova taking up the space where my ancient old HandiQuilter 16 used to reside. I really was going to get the smaller one, the 22".....but the Bearded One along with the Innova rep pushed me to go larger.....

Here's Fiona, all happy in her new home complete with her hydraulic lift table and PantoVision.

Due to some "issues" with our dealer who is actually just a rep, and misrepresented several things, Fiona has already taken a trip south to McMinnville, Oregon to Boersma's exceptional shop to be upgraded and have the "issues" ironed out. I foresee a long and happy relationship ahead of us now. 

Meanwhile after a brief stint playing around on boring old muslin I quickly loaded my first quilt, a top I had completed for Project Linus. 

Once that was completed the Christmas Sister's Choice from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville was loaded up and completed. Nothing like waiting to the last minute. 

Every block has two different Christmas fabrics with no two repeated. I had started these blocks back in 2013 in between steps of the Celtic Solstice mystery. Once the blocks were complete and on my design wall I decided I wanted some sashing. Remembering the trunk show that Debbie Caffrey had given at Block Party in Portland back in 2012, I used her skinny sashing idea between the blocks. Yes, the sashing between the blocks has a finished size of 1/2" complete with cornerstones. 

I also reversed the two colors for the binding and piping. Since we had a lot of car travel time a good portion of the binding was completed then. Luckily for me, my sister doesn't come in from Denver until December 30th. 

I apologize for the photos, they were taken with my iPhone and the lighting at Dad's house isn't the best. Linking up with Bonnie's Linky Christmas Party. Maybe I will be a better blogger in 2015 -- we will see but don't hold your breath. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Shame on You Quilter's Newsletter Magazine

Back in November of 2012 when our double move fiasco started I very dutifully changed my mail address from our home of 22+ years to our temporary PO Box address. All was fine and 5 months later we moved yet again. Once again I very dutifully changed everything to our new address -- not an easy task mind you. Do you have any idea just how many things need to be changed? Yeah, I didn't either until I did it twice.

While moving my extensive collection of fabric and quilting magazines I also decided it was time to start going to digital subscriptions for the few magazines that I was going continue to receive. You move 30+ years of quilting magazines a couple times.....

Among the subscriptions I had decided to keep was Quilter's Newsletter. I have been receiving this magazine for over 30 years. Yes, you read that correctly. This happened to be the only one that I was keeping a print subscription for, deciding to go digital down the road. 

It finally occurred to me a couple weeks ago that I have not been receiving this magazine. The last copy I actually received was June/July 2013 which had been forwarded from the PO Box. Strange, because when I go checked my account yes, there is my new address, yet in another spot on their multiple screens of navigation there is my old PO Box -- hmm.....Multiple emails and phone calls have resulted in the fact that they have not been sending me my magazine and they had put my account on hold. Mind you, they never contacted me yet they gladly took my money in January for a 2 year renewal when they sent me a renewal notice. Now they will not/cannot send me the back issues I never received -- 8 in total plus the current issue making 9 not received. For my trouble, they will add 3 months to my subscription which is paid through August/September of 2016!!!! I think not. I finally told the last person that I spoke with that if she couldn't make it right, then she needed to refund my total money for subscription paid plus issues never received. Sadly, all they were willing to do was to refund my $34.99 that I had paid in January 2014. They will not compensate me for the 3 issues from 2013 that I never received.

I admit that I should have picked up on this sooner but moving twice in 5 months was a huge upheaval in my life. Add to that all the changes that I did make to subscriptions, it quite literally did not come to my attention until now. But that's no excuse for Quilter's Newsletter to not make it right. 

SHAME ON YOU Quilter's Newsletter. This is NOT how you treat long time, loyal subscribers. Take their money, don't deliver the product, don't make any effort to contact me. Personally I consider that criminal. At the cost of magazines today that's outright theft. Your magazine will NEVER darken my door again and you can be sure that I will share my story with any and all quilters that I can. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

My How Time Flies

Ok, so it's been over 3 months since I last blogged. I have no excuse. It's been a long, hot, smoke filled summer here in central Washington. We were inundated with smoke from multiple forest fires in the area, one of which set records for it's size and number of homes destroyed.

Have I mentioned that it was hot?
The middle number is the temperature in my studio (above the garage -- ac was set to 73). The lower number, the temperature outside....

This is what one of the worst days looked like outside my window.
And sunsets that looked like this:
Then there was the evening we went outside to plant this lovely rose mallow....

....and had my first encounter in the yard with a reptile of the slithering variety -- my biggest fear. Yes, I'm phobic about them. Will not even look at a picture of one.....I was told by the Bearded One that this was of the harmless variety. Doesn't matter, I don't want it in my yard! It took me a month to get off the patio. I'm still not venturing onto the upper bank area where all my garden is....

But then we went camping. First it was here, absolutely wonderful after all the triple digits.
Then it was camping among the Ponderosa pines in Eastern Oregon.
And presenting a quilt to a special camping friend....

And that is what I've been doing for the past 3 months......

Monday, June 02, 2014

This and That

My how time flies. It sure has been awhile since I've been here. Oh well, I'm definitely not be the best blogger in the world.....if only I could figure out how to get all those posts I've created in my mind to magically appear here.

Anyway, I've been busy....some of this and some of that. Everybody seems to be having babies lately. I've been busy with baby quilts and have even forgotten to take pics of some of them - acck.

Here are a couple quilts for Project Linus. The small one has since been quilted and the 4 patches will be quilted after I complete the current baby quilt.

Would you believe all the 4-patches were leftovers from a quilt-along I did a few years ago? I was rummaging through boxes and ran across them. Pulled the green from stash and by the time the weekend was done so was the quilt top. 

This next top was completed last year, shortly after taking Julie Herman's class at Block Party in Portland. This is Northern Lights. The top has been waiting to be quilted. I looked at it one Monday and realized it would be the perfect 80th birthday gift for a special friend. (Her birthday was that Saturday.) I completed the quilting and got it in the mail on Friday and it arrived on Monday.....Not bad for a last minute idea. 

Finally, yesterday's finish. Way back in 2009 I won some leftover 6" apple core pieces from Terry Atkinson . I created a plastic template from the pieces and started sewing. Those convex and concave curves of the apple core pieces were quite a challenge. So much so that I actually tried piecing some by hand to see if it was any easier. It was, but was also much slower. Needless to say, I plugged along over the years. Back in March of this year I ran across that box that held all the bits and pieces and realized I was just a few short rows of having a completed quilt top. A little bit of work and the top was completed. The quilting was completed this weekend and the bias binding was made and applied on Saturday. All the wonderful curves that caused me such grief sewing them together made the hand stitching of the binding an absolute breeze. The binding just seemed to want to roll over into place all by itself. After a mere 24 hours the binding was completed and the quilt was washed, dried and placed on the bed. A true record for me. Binding a quilt, especially a queen sized one like this usually takes me a week or more. 
And now, I will bid you all a good day and happy sewing as I head upstairs to sew those last few rows together on the current baby quilt in progress. 

Monday, March 03, 2014

Lucky Me

A couple weeks ago I was the lucky winner of this lovely jellyroll from The Slow Quilter's blog.

Felicia added the charm pack as a nice little extra. Thank you Felicia.

I've contacted the local Project Linus coordinator about helping out with their need for quilts. If it ever stops snowing on the group sew days I will actually try making it to a sew in. I will use Felicia's jelly roll for either a quilt for Project Linus or a quilt for our guild Comfort Quilts which are often given to hospice patients.

Meanwhile, the QB's had their yearly challenge reveal 2 weeks ago. We used to have the reveal at our Christmas potluck party but too many people are busy with Christmas projects and asked to have it moved to February. Unfortunately, the mild weather the Pacific Northwest had all winter took a turn in the opposite direction. We're getting all our annual snowpack in February and now March. As luck would have it, the pass was closed and I was unable to head over the hill. So we had to settle for FaceTime. The challenge was wide open, basically to do whatever you wanted. I struggled with this -- I really do need more guidelines. So, at the last minute I ordered A Judy Niemeyer table runner pattern, Geese at My Wedding,  that was on sale. Two weeks was seriously not enough time. But I squeaked in at the last minute, finishing the binding the nite before.

The pattern actually called for 4 rings. I chose to do 3 because a) my table isn't THAT big and b) I never would have finished it in time if I did 4. 

Meanwhile, I'm trucking along with baby quilt number 3 and using the other half of the jellyroll for baby quilt number 4. Pictures to come, soon. 

Here's what my view outside my window looked like today. We had no snow until February. In the last month we have had snow off and on every week. The only nice thing about it is that it will snow and then the temperature will get up to around 50. Then it will snow, again. 

And lastly, here's the poor unlucky Spotted One. We discovered a couple fleas on him, in the middle of winter! Unfortunately he's deathly allergic to fleas and he proceeded to chew the base of his tail until it was bloody. Don't feel too sorry for him, he has just been relieved from having to wear the blue ring of shame and is behaving himself and not chewing at his bald spot. 

Until next time, 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lest You Think I've Been Slacking.....

....Yeah, I know, I'm a terrible blogger. Lately I just don't seem to have any blogging mojo. Anyway, I thought I'd pop in and share a few of the latest projects I've been working on.

First up is Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery. I ended up enlarging mine to a 7x7 block setting to give me a larger quilt for our queen size bed. I still need to put the borders on this but I'm mulling over what I want to do. I'm not sure I want to go with Bonnie's design for those.

In between clues for the mystery, I've managed to get 2 of 3 needed baby quilts worked on. The first one is from one of the "Quilts From the Heart" books by Karen Renaud. (She has two and I don't have the book in front of me to tell you which one it's from.) 

This quilt is for a friend I've known since she was a little girl. I used to work with her father and I believe the twins were about 6 when I first met them. Her twin told me she loves polka dots and blue even though she's having a girl, due any day now. 

I backed this with a wonderful, soft Minkee also in polka dots and quilted it with a feathered pant. Even the white squares are a white on white polka dot. It's a fun quilt. 

Next up has not been quilted yet. This one is for some friends we know through our VW camping group. They're expecting a little boy on my birthday. Everything except the border fabric came out of my stash for this I-Spy. 

A VW bug since they have one in their fleet. 

A VW bus -- another vehicle in their fleet. 

And, as close to a Greyhound as I could find in my stash in honor of their late, much beloved Bridget. 

So, that about does it for now. There are a few other projects in the works that I can't show yet so stay tuned to that. Meanwhile, it's back to more Olympics and knitting or hexagoning.....Hope those of you in the path of this monster storm are safe and warm. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Celtic Solstice - Reveal

New Year's Eve those of us participating in Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice mystery quilt along were gifted with the big reveal. For the most part I had managed to keep up with each clue as they were published. The only one I didn't finish were the 4-patches of clue #4. Since I had changed my colors from Bonnie's, I knew I was in trouble when this clue had me putting together my reds and mossy greens into 4-patch units. They started giving everything a Christmas look which is not what I wanted for this clue. So, I put them aside and continued on with the rest of the mystery.

Once the final quilt was revealed, I tested a couple blocks. Here's what my original color choices looked like:

I didn't like the red and green surrounded by the brown. First it has too much of a Christmas look to it. Second, I felt the circles formed were too dark and heavy. The green squares are almost washed out in one direction. So, I mulled things over, discussed it with a friend who is also doing the mystery and settled on a new option. Replace the green in the 4-patches with more of the yellow/gold from the  alternate blocks. 

Here's what the result looks like: 
Much better! The overall look is lighter and brighter and doesn't scream Christmas to me. So, now I'm plodding along putting more blocks together along with making more units of all the clues as I want to make this larger than Bonnie's small size but not as large as her king size. I'm hoping that I can keep with this and finish it up before I get bored with it and put it aside. Considering the amount of ufo's that I have reacquainted myself with during our recent moves, I'm hoping that should be sufficient motivation to keep me plugging along. 

I've enjoyed quilting along with everyone else and love seeing all the different color combinations and ways people have tweaked things to add their own special twist to things. Quilters are a very creative bunch.