Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sophie Grace's Debut

Sophie Grace made her debut into this world today! She weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and was 20" long! She is busy meeting her extended family. She is healthy and strong and appears to have lots of experience sucking her fingers.

Grandma and Grandpa are very proud of Sophie's Mommy! She did such a good job!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Run, Don't Walk!

Run, don't walk on over to Canton Village Quilt Works! Jackie is having a great giveaway. Some beautiful fabric will soon find a new home! Hope mine is the new home!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bag Ladies

At the aforementioned quilt retreat my friend Jeanne and I made some bags in between our other projects. Making bags is what I call productive procrastination. Sometimes you just need to make something that doesn't take very long and gives you almost instant gratification. The eye glasses are just for perspective.
These are cute tiny boxy bags. The thread is again just for perspective. We have collected lots of charm packs over recent years giving them to each other as gifts from trips we've been on and such. These bags are a great way to use these charm packs!

Jeanne is a very prolific bag lady! Aren't these bags cute!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Retreat, Part Two

These are some more quilts that were worked on during our retreat last week. Above is a quilt that Janene was working on. It is the result of a block exchange. Click on it to see the beautiful dahlias.
Patti put these alphabet redwork blocks together. They are so cute! Her granddaughters helped to draw the owls and ice cream cones. It is further personalized by signatures in the appropriate lettered blocks. It really was precious.

JoAnn's quilt top finished! No matter that it was 16 years in the making, it's timeless.

Another quilt by Janene.
There were so many pictures that I took, it's hard to remember who did what. I believe this quilt top was made by Kate. Kate is our officially blind quilter. She has macular degeneration and is in fact legally blind. She is also a very prolific quilter.

This is another quilt by Kate. She used old phone book paper foundations for the strips.

Patti's friend Lou picked out the fabric and pattern for this sweet quilt top with the intentions of making a quilt for Patti. The two worked on a block together, sewing it the wrong way. Lou became ill with breast cancer and asked Patti to finish it for her when it became apparent that she would not be able to. Lou has since passed on but Patti will forever remember her through this quilt.

This is what happens when your fabric is so yummy, your machine just has to eat it!

You get a throat plate attached to your quilt top! Good job Katie!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Retreat, Part 1

I organize retreats throughout the year for a group of quilting buddies that have been getting together for retreats for over ten years now. This past weekend we had such a great time sewing, talking, laughing, creating, and giving and receiving inspiration. These weekends are pure bliss for me. The following are some of the pictures of projects that were in various stages of progress.

Here's Jane with a couple of the quilt tops she assembled. I caught her on the downside of her smile (sorry Jane!). She really was happy : )

This was an old quilt top that Jill backed and had our friend Shari quilt on her long arm machine. Shari does a wonderful job!

This is another quilt by Jill.

You just can't help but smile when you're around this happy quilt. Pam sure knows how to work with color!

This is a challenge quilt that Pam started and completed with binding attached and all. The only thing left that needs to be done is the hand sewing of the binding to the back and possibly a label.
Did you notice the fun zebra border?
Stay tuned for Retreat, part 2!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baby shower fun!

First of all, I need to point out that I'm having problems with the way my pictures are uploaded. If I upload a picture after uploading one prior to it, then the second picture appears above the first when I want it below. I used to be able to move them around and put them where I want them, but blogger isn't letting me do this. As a result this post, containing lots of pictures, might seem a bit disjointed.

Last weekend we attended the Co-ed baby shower for our Son and Daughter in law. It was like no other baby shower I've ever attended! It was a Moroccan theme complete with belly dancer and henna tattoo artist! Bravo Autumn and Genna for a job well done!!!

Above is a picture of the pillows I made for the baby's room. The Baby's room decor is vintage. My DIL purchased an old fabric baby book at an antique fair and wanted to turn the pages into pillows. The middle of each pillow has a page from the baby book. The prairie points were done with a continuous piece of fabric. A new technique for me that I really enjoyed implementing.

This is one of two fabric garlands that I made for Sophie Grace's bedroom. Only one has her name on it. In the background you can see the large scarves that were hanging overhead. They were very appropriately decorative and gloriously shade providing at the same time.

This is a little dress I made for Sophie Grace. There also is a little matching headband.

This is a blanket (not quilt) that I crocheted the edges of. This is something my grandmother used to do and I thought someone in the family should still be doing this work so I taught myself how. I also made a burp cloth and a bib to match. The bib didn't get crocheted edging, I used ric rack for decoration instead. The flannel fabric has little kitties on it and the words 'daddy's girl' on it. The back is a yellow minkie type fabric with raised hearts.

Here is an example of the henna tattoo artist's work. She was busy working on everyone for four hours. She is an amazing artist!

The Los Gatos Creek runs right next to our host's home, AKA "The Creek House". It's just spectacularly beautiful. The perfect place for this special event.

So many in attendance not everyone fit in the shot. A good time was had by all! Sophie is a lucky girl. She already has a very large fan club!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cute little ruffle butt baby clothes!

These two pictures are of the same outfit. Neither picture is the true color of the fabric which is a soft peach color. Unfortunately I couldn't get the better pictures to upload correctly.

This outfit was one of the outfits I made to give to my DIL at the baby shower her grandmother gave her. My sewing machine thought this fabric tasted great, so much so that it tried to eat it several times. With all the headaches the fabric gave me I just love the outfit. The ruffle butt was so fun to make! In the bottom picture you can see a headband with a bow that I made out of the same fabric. I also made a bib to go with this outfit and another item you can't see until after the next baby shower!

I loved making this sweet nightgown with a little hat and bib.

These pictures uploaded in the wrong direction. They should have been horizontal instead of vertical. The item above is a portable diaper changing pad. Below is a coordinating bib and burp cloth.

The fun/sewing continues. More will come some time in October.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Sewer (future quilter?) is born!

Last Monday was my dear friend Jeanne's birthday (happy birthday Jeanne!). We celebrated the following Thursday by shopping at a couple of quilt shops near us and a lunch at ClaimJumper. I asked my daughter in law if she would like to accompany us and she said yes! Now, I couldn't ask for a better DIL. She is a sweetheart and truly loves my son deeply. She's also going to give me my first granddaughter!
After our fun shopping day we returned home and she wanted to make bibs from the strawberry fabric and the green pea fabric she purchased. After successfully making the strawberry bib she decided she had enough time to make the green pea bib.

I told her it would be cute to do peas on one side and carrots on the other side. She liked that idea but hadn't purchased any carrot fabric. I told her I would take a look in my stash upstairs and sure enough I found the perfect carrot fabric to go with the peas!

It was so fun to see her so excited about creating these cute bibs. She had such a great time that she was up early the next morning waiting for it to get a bit later so she could go to shopping for more fabric. She found some really fun fabrics for more cute bibs. She asked if she could go upstairs and look at my stash once again. She's seen all my fabric before and probably couldn't understand why I needed so much fabric. Now she's seeing it all with new eyes. I think she's caught the sewing bug!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

For the past three weekends in a row my hubby and I have gone to our teeny, tiny cabin in the Stanislaus Forest. We're making up for lost time. When I say this cabin is small, I really mean it. It consists of two rooms, one is a bedroom and the other is a living room/kitchen although there is no sink inside and no stove. The sink is located just outside the front door and instead of a stove we have a two burner electric hotplate. Oh, and the bathroom you ask? That is in the shed about 20-30 feet away from the cabin. There is running water and a flushing toilet along with an ancient shower. It still is a shed and houses the boat motor and tools and such. The benefit of our cabin being so small is that there is very little upkeep required. We get there and can just relax there or go to the lake or many reservoirs to fish and/or swim.

I told my hubby that this last weekend I needed to stay home and get some things done. Canning and sewing was on my list.

About halfway between our cabin and our home is a fruit/vegetable stand called Fisher Farm. I bought some delicious yellow freestone peaches and made some wonderful peach jam with them. It's my new favorite! I also made blueberry jam, which is yummy too, with blueberries from the grocery store that were a great price.
Our tomatoes are ripening and I've just finished canning my first batch of salsa. Last year I made a few batches of this salsa and I think it lasted until January. Now my husband grows our tomatoes just for this salsa. He calls it his salsa and tries to control his inventory by hiding it. He doesn't like it when I give it away. : )
I made a sweet little outfit for our granddaughter that will be born in November. Sorry, I can't show a picture on this blog because it's going to be part of a shower gift. The fabric was very stretchy and difficult to work with. For some reason, my sewing machine thought it was delicious and kept eating it! Just a bit frustrating!!! One thing that also was a bit frustrating was that the pattern for the little pants said to measure the waist of the baby and cut the elastic accordingly. That's a bit hard to due when she won't be here for three months!
I promise, after the showers, I will post pictures of everything I make for this little girl.
Now I think I'm going to see how that salsa came out with the help of a couple of tortilla chips!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lovely Colorful Dishes

About four years ago, we remodeled our kitchen. It's really beautiful. We have dark granite counters and Mission style cabinets custom made from quarter sawn (hope that's how it's spelled) oak wood that is stained a warm red wood tone. Our walls are as my husband calls it, Chevy's orange. I prefer to call them Pumpkin spice. I would post a picture, but it's a mess right now from canning peach jam and making peach muffins. Anyway, ever since the remodel, I've wanted to change our dishes to Fiestaware. I just love all the colors! The only problem was that I had perfectly good dishes in my cupboards already. They have served my family well for quite some time, probably the good part of 20 years. Here is a sample picture of the Pfaltzgraff, Tea Rose pattern dishes that we've used for so many years now.

They are very pretty dishes and I have loved them for a long time. They just aren't colorful enough for me now! Also, how can I justify spending money on dishes when I already have this set. It occurred to me a little while ago that I could have my family gift me a dish or two on my birthday and Christmas for the next 10 years or so along with a gift or two from myself from time to time. It's definitely not necessary for family to give me any gift let alone these dishes, however, if they would like to give me a gift on these occasions and can't think of anything to get me, now they know!

So, here is the start of my new collection of fiestaware! I hope to have lots of different colors so I can mix and match. Maybe not so much matching!
Color makes me so happy!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Think Rectangle

I've been working on some blocks using Judy L's Peaches and Dreams Pattern with some changes here and there. I'm using the Tina Givens Zazu fabric line that my friend Beth carries in her new online store. Be sure to check out her blog where you can find links to her etsy and ebay stores as well as all things elinor peace bailey.
This is a fun design and I'm using crazy fabric so it should definitely be colorful! I think it will become a present for our nephew who married last year. Better late than never!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another job well done!

Awhile back I was searching for a specific flannel fabric online. I searched in all the conventional places to no avail. I think this fabric line has been around for awhile. I found it in a different color, but that wouldn't do. You see, it had to match an item I purchased while in Idaho. I bought a burp cloth with 'ready to finish' edges. It had the holes punched on it around the edges and all I had to do was to finish the edges with a crochet pattern of my choosing.
My Grandmother used to do this kind of handwork. She has been gone for a couple of decades now and I would love to carry on the tradition she has given us.
I finished the burp cloth but cannot picture it here until after the baby shower at the end of September being held in honor of the upcoming birth of our third grandchild! This is the fanciest 'burp' cloth I've ever seen and thought it would be nice to make a few other items to go along with it. Thus the search for the fabric ensued. Having been unsuccessful in my search, I turned to Etsy and did a search there. I found it in one of the Etsy stores called Tattletale Boutique. This is a link to the store not the item. She had sufficient quantity of this fabric and after sending her a message letting her know how much I needed, she set up a special order for me which I then purchased.
Now, I have purchased probably hundreds of yards of fabric either online or through mail order and never did I expect what I received in the mail a couple of days after ordering. This is what I found after opening the box!

A perfect bundle of fabric wrapped carefully in tissue paper, tied with a cute blue polka dot fabric ribbon, complete with swirly lollipop, red curling ribbon, and custom thank you card! I didn't want to unwrap it, it was just too pretty!!! Sherrie at Tattletale Boutique went above and beyond to make my order extra special. Thanks Sherrie! Oh yeah, the fabric was just what I needed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Favorite Quilting Tool

There are a few quiltmaking tools that I just can't live without. One is my Roxanne Thimble. I've had my Roxanne Thimble for probably 15 years now. Mine is sterling silver, which they no longer sell because it was quite cost prohibitive, but they do have gold and silver plated bronze along with polished bronze thimbles.

Pictured above is by far my favorite rotary cutter. I cannot cut without this cutter. Oh, sure I have other rotary cutters, but none of them hold a candle to this design. It does take some getting used to. It took me a few months after I bought it to even take it out of it's packaging and try to use it. This was all psychological hindrance. Once I actually started using it I found that it was highly superior (in my opinion) to all the others I had tried. I took the above picture from Martelli's Website. It appears they are having a sale! This is the website that showcases all their products. They have an online store where they offer them for sale too.

I believe this is a family company and my personal experience is that they have excellent customer service.

What's your favorite quiltmaking tool?

Editor's Note: I sent an email to the Martelli Company to let them know I was posting about their product and give them the opportunity to correct anything I may have posted in error. The following was their gracious response:

[The Martelli family would like to thank you from the bottom of our heart for the support!!!!! We hope the cutter will help those who desperately need it. My Dad designed it for my grandmother who was in desperate need of an ergonomic cutter.Thanks again for the kind words]

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jackpot! The blog lives!!!

I've been AWOL from this blog for quite some time now. It's been a busy time for the past few months. Above is a gratuitous shot of my grandson posing with his jackpot on our antique slot machine. This kid is a master at expressions. Even though we have a slot machine, we are not the type to gamble at all! I think this machine actually taught our kids that gambling doesn't pay. In the 15 years that we have owned this machine, I think that there have maybe been a handful of jackpot winners.
Brandon hasn't yet learned this lesson. He discovered the joys of the slot machine on his family's visit from Idaho on the occasion of his fourth birthday and during their stay he hit the jackpot.

Brandon is obsessed with "Emergency Men". Actually, he calls them emergency men, but he loves anyone that is in the armed services or is in public safety such as Firemen and Policemen and Sheriff Deputies. He can play for hours with his little plastic Emergency Men (Army guys). This is the cake we came up with for his fourth Birthday Party.
I've been away from posting for awhile mainly because I've been busy with my mother with Alzheimer's Disease. After having her live with us for over 7 months, I have placed her in a board and care home close by. She could theoretically live for another 15 years and I really do need to be able to have my own life. When she was here, I couldn't go anywhere without having someone here to watch her. She made it difficult because she didn't want anyone else here watching her. She would argue with me about this and it just became easier not to go anywhere. It was a bit depressing to say the least.
Now, I have my life back and my husband has his wife back. She still takes up a good portion of my time making sure she is okay in this new environment. She won't be getting the level of care I gave her, but she's not going to die if her clothes don't match. : ) It's terribly hard watching the slow deterioration and dealing with her realities that have no basis in actual reality. I just hope that the home she is in will be able to care for her for awhile. People with Alzheimer's don't do well at all with change.

Now that I can take a deep breath and feel somewhat free, I can concentrate on posting a bit more regularly and more importantly, enjoy some colorful creations!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Retreat projects

It's taken me awhile to write about the retreat I returned from almost two weeks ago! Better late than never. We had such a wonderful time! Some of us arrive on Thursday afternoon and on Friday we rejoice that it's only Friday. Come Saturday evening I start getting sad that it's almost over. Sunday afternoon is so, so sad because we have to leave. : (

Above is a quilt I'm working on for my youngest grandson.

Adam will be two in July. The pattern I used called for the big fishies and I just had to add the baby fishies (as cornerstones) too. Because I'm a glutton for punishment that way. Most of the big fishies are swimming to the right except one because there's always one in the bunch that marches to his own drummer. Some of the babies are swimming to the right and some have turned around to give their mommies a kiss. The babies still need big french knots for eyes and the whole quilt still needs a border. Unfortunately the fabric I had in my stash isn't big enough so I won't be able to use it. Maybe it will find it's way on the back!

Above is a close-up of one of the babies (kissing it's momma) and the fabric for the border that I don't have enough of. Below is a picture of the actual border fabric that I just purchased online at

This tablerunner is another project that I worked on at Retreat. I started on Thursday evening and finished quilting and attached the binding to the front by Friday evening. I really need to thank Kate for the great shoulder massage she gave me! The stippling I did on this tablerunner is teeny tiny. I gave this tablerunner to my son and daughter in law. She loves the old fashioned reproduction fabrics. I never did get a totally completed photo.
These are some of the Easter treats we made today. I had plans to make sugar cookies and dye eggs but the kids (family friends) that I thought were coming over couldn't make it. I definitely don't want to make a bunch of sugary stuff and have no one around to eat it.

My grandkids live in Idaho and I live in California. The good news is, they will be visiting in 2 1/2 weeks!