Friday, December 28, 2018

Traditional Bright Sampler Quilt Flimsy Finish, Queen Mary Tour, Happy New Year Almost Here!

My traditional sampler quilt with final border sewn on, now 74" x 84".

Final border is about 10" wide.

We toured the Queen Mary in Long Beach after Christmas.

There was a Carnival cruise ship at dock loading passengers.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes where....

It's almost the New Year, 2019!
We had a Merry Christmas with family and good food. I hope you too enjoyed your Christmas.
And best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Before Christmas week I managed to sew the final border onto my Traditional Bright Sampler Quilt, inspired by a free sampler block of the month in 2018 by Piecing the Past Quilt Shop , they called it  'Times of Refreshing.' It now measures 74" x 84". Then I went on break and unplugged my sewing machine.

Christmas week we toured the Queen Mary , a retired ocean liner, maiden voyage 1936, docked in Long Beach, CA. There was a lot to see, models, historical info, a skating rink, restaurants, and Christmas lights and decoration, etc. There were cruise ships at dock loading passengers too. We got lots of walking/exercise in.
Beautiful scenery.

That's the news from the rancho where the holidays are being enjoyed and I'm staying in relax mode.
How about you and yours? Are you still on holiday?

I'll be by to visit!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Quilt Basted, Clover Thread Trimmer, Long Beach, Border # 3, Rejoice!

Cathedral Window square ready for what I call step 2.

Another square in process for my Cathedral Window project.

I ordered Clover's thread clippers, perfect for trimming stray threads.

'Uneven Thirds' machine basted.

Long Beach and San Bernardino Mtns in the background, 9th St. San Pedro, CA.
This week I worked on 3rd border for my sampler.


From Rancho Palos Verdes where we have sun and cool temperatures.

This week I had time for piecing the 3rd border for my traditional quilt and putting together more squares for my Cathedral Window project. Putting together borders are tedious for me but I like the look so I put the effort in. I think part of it is that I'm almost done and so I get impatient.

I'm going to get my Cathedral Window squares all to what I call the second step and then I'll post the process of sewing the squares together and adding the color insert.

Also this week I machine quilted my 'Uneven Thirds' quilt and it did not turn out well.
It's small and even though I had pin basted it, it didn't quilt flat and had puckers.
So I unpicked all of it and machine basted it in a grid to get better stability. 
It will wait until I've recovered my bravery.

We took time on Thursday for a little sightseeing and drove south to San Pedro where there's a good carwash. We could see the San Bernardino Mtns and they had a light dusting of snow on them.

Now the Christmas Cards are mailed out and maybe I'll make up some sugar cookies.

That's the news from the rancho,
 where we are Merry and Bright and remembering to be thankful.
I'll be by to visit!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

More Fancy Quilt Stuff Cathedral Windows, Blog Friends' Sewing Projects and Sun Along the Coast

This is my first try at 'cathedral windows' and I'm making more.

This is the first part of my cathedral window process, started with 7 1/2" sq.

Folded in edges 1/2", press.

Folded in half, press. 

Fold in half again, press. The press lines are guides.

Then fold in the corners to center, press.

All corners are folded in. Now fold these corners into the center and press.

Fold the last corner in and press. These squares will be sewn to other cathedral window squares. That's part two, next post.

Looking north from Palos Verdes, Ca, across the Santa Monica Bay, toward Malibu, where the wildfires burned out of control a couple of weeks ago.

North Los Angeles, there were surfers in the small cove below.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes! 

Where we have clouds, wind and light rain.
Last week there was a stretch of mild weather and sun. I managed to get some photos of North Los Angeles and the Santa Monica Bay. That's the view I see driving into 'town'.

Last few days I've been working on more Cathedral Window blocks, a little here and there.
I'm in no hurry, this is for fun, 'tis the season to be merry!
I enjoy the hand work. It reminds me of when I learned to sew. 

I learned to sew when I was 14, and I loved it. First I sewed an apron, then a blouse, then a jumper etc. It was everything fun, color, fashion, the excitement of process. I kept sewing for myself and then for my little ones as they arrived. Then things got busy and all I had time for was dreaming about projects. And time passes and the art quilt thing got hold of me and still has me.
As I was saying I like sewing, the planning, the process and Cathedral Window blocks are that to me right now. 

I have blog friends who also like to sew and I love their projects. Julie @ justjulielou recently made a gorgeous dress. You must see it! She's made a lot of other projects too, beautiful finishes.

And Bernadette Banner has enjoyable videos on You Tube  showing her historical costume projects.
She hand sews most of her work. Her attention to detail is amazing. Her enthusiasm is catching.
She's just finished an historical reproduction of a dress fashioned after a garment in a painting in the Washington National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC . Then she went into the gallery and made a video of the garment next to the painting with her sister modeling it. Brilliant.
How fun is that!

And that Friends, is what's happening on the rancho.
Where I'm taking time to be thankful and merry.

Hope you have a good week, I'll be by to visit!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Quilt Sampler Progress, Holidays on the Coast, Scott Hansen's 'Reykjavik'

My traditional sampler quilt with second border.
Clockwise turn.
It's starting to look like Christmas around here!

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes!
Thanksgiving was wonderful, family and good food.
And the Christmas holiday is right around the corner, that came fast.

Today I finished sewing the second border onto my traditional sampler quilt. One or two more borders to go, I want it to be full size, now it's 53" sq.

I'm still reading my current favorite books, 'East Meets West' by Patricia Belyea , full of great improv and color use ideas. And Kaffe Fassett's newest book, 'Quilts in America', full of beautiful quilt photos.

Simply Moderne  quilt magazine, fall issue, by Quiltmania Inc. is an issue worth having. There's an interesting article on Okan Arts: artisan quilts and Japanese textiles
And Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios has a fabulous quilt featured, 'Reykjavik", directions are included! You've got to get that issue, it's that good and nobody's paying me to say that.

That's the news from the rancho, where we're remembering to be thankful and getting excited about Christmas.
What's my favorite part of Christmas? Well, one of my favorites, is listening to a children's choir. The lights, the happy voices and faces are so heartwarming, a slice of heaven. 
What's one of your favorites?

I'll be by to visit!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

'Uneven Thirds' Small Improv Quilt Design Progress, Thanksgiving Week, 'Quilts in America' by Kaffe Fassett and 'East Meets West.'

'Uneven Thirds" borders laid out.

Borders sewn on, approx. 22" x 24".
Rancho Palos Verdes coastline, looking south from Terranea Resort.

Path along the Pacific Coast, I take my walks here.

Yesterday I stopped at a scenic park, along the coast, next to the Trump National Golf Course, north entrance.

Looking north from the scenic park. We live on that point ahead in the fog.

Hello! from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
Where it's been foggy and misty the last couple of days. Today the sun is shining through the mist. 

This is Thanksgiving week and we'll be sharing a good meal and enjoying family.
My mom and dad would always tell us on Thanksgiving, 'We have a lot to be thankful for.'
And we do, good times, bad times, there is always something to be thankful for. Just turning your thoughts that way lightens the load.

This week I finished borders and made up corner blocks and sewed them all onto my improv small quilt, 'Uneven Thirds.' I enjoy the design challenge, taking a center medallion or theme and going out from there. 
I work small because I don't have a large design room all to myself. Every time I need to sew or cut or iron, I need to set up and then when I'm done I need to tear down and put it all away. I've worked at a fabric store teaching quilt block construction and it was the same there for me. I had to set up the class before it started and then tear down, put away everything when it was done. So I've had to do this before and I'm quick at it.

And I'm still reading 'East Meets West' by Okan Arts owner, Patricia Belyea  and getting 'improv' inspired like crazy.
I'm also reading through 'Quilts in America'  by Kaffe Fassett, the quilt photos are stunning.
Two books I highly recommend and again, I'm not being paid to say that.

That's the news from the rancho, where I'm remembering to be thankful.
I hope you have a good week, and I'll be by to visit.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cathedral Window Project, HST Borders and Okan Arts.

My cathedral window project, hand stitching done.

Borders coming together for my 'Uneven Thirds' improv small quilt.
Blanket of smoke in the air over NW LA, November 10.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes! 
Where the winds and temperatures have cooled down.

Yes, a couple of days ago, NW LA did look very apocalyptic.
A strong unseasonably warm wind blew a wild fire into an inferno.
Rancho Palos Verdes is on the west side of the coastal range, which is between the Pacific Ocean and LA, and so we didn't get as much smoke. We could look NW and see that most of the smoke was north and over the Santa Monica Bay.
Today the air is much clearer. The wind has died down and temperatures have cooled down.

This week I visited Okan Arts, located in Seattle, Wa., on line. I saw that Patricia Belyea's  book, 'East Meets West', had recently been published and looking at the reviews and seeing that it had a lot of great ideas, I purchased a copy for myself. And I was not disappointed!
She has a great method for improvisational design that I think is brilliant. Her explanations are accessible, easy to grasp. I think the best instructors are the ones that communicate well.
She, of course, uses beautiful Japanese fabrics (because that's what Okan Arts specializes in) and solids in her projects, but that could easily be translated into using prints and solids of your choice.
I highly recommend this book and no, I'm not being paid to say that.

I've had time to finish hand stitching my cathedral window project. I used a red calico Liberty of London fabric for the color inserts. 

And more half square triangles have been sewn together for the borders that will go around my 'Uneven Thirds' improv project. It's small and will sit on a table to brighten the atmosphere.

And a quick note, this area, in the past really was divided into huge ranches, or ranchos. And free range cattle did keep the brush and low level leaves trimmed, which in turn did keep the chance of wildfires a lot lower. The old timers were smarter about some things than we give them credit for.

That's the news from the rancho where projects are getting done and good books are being read.
And I'm remembering to be thankful and praying for those who've lost family and homes.
I'll be by to visit.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Half Square Triangle Borders, Yo-Yos, a Ceremony and an Adventure.

I managed to get a photo before the wedding party started.
St. Jarlath Church, the ceremony was held here.

I got to see my littlest grandson! Here he is playing with his cars.
On the drive home we stopped in Buellton, CA and visited this fabric/quilt shop.
This is one of their beautiful sample quilts.

The Creation Station Quilt Shop front entrance

I bought some colorful, already made yo-yos, the owner's grandmother makes them.

And I've started work on borders for my new improv sample quilt. I love this look.

Hello! From Rancho Palos Verde.
Where it's sunny, warm and the Pacific Ocean sparkles.

We drove to Oakland, CA last week for my son's wedding. The ceremony was wonderful, held in the beautiful St. Jarlath Church. What a great way to start a marriage. It was fun seeing and visiting friends and relatives and it was all over too soon.

On the drive home I got to visit  The Creation Station Fabric & Quilt Shop , in Buellton, Ca. I enjoyed their sample quilts and they specialize in quilt retreats. I bought some already made Yo-Yo's, the owner's grandma makes them and they're well made! I've sewn them together and they're just the cutest thing.

This week I've been making half square triangles for borders for my new sample improv design quilt,
'Uneven Thirds.' I got the idea for the border from one of Jordan Fabrics' YouTube tutorials in which Donna made a similar border. Their tutorials are full of good ideas and exciting color use.

That's the news from the rancho, where I'm remembering to be thankful.
Have a good week and I'll be by to visit.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Improv Quilt Design Experiments and Cathedral Window First Try.

Two coasters and a table topper from improv block experiment.

Table topper flimsy, vertical.

Cathedral window process, there are good tutorials on YouTube.

Here's my small sample ready for color inserts.

Hello from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
The temperatures are cooler this week, staying around the 70's.

This week I worked on experiments. I was in an experimental mood!
I made some improv small blocks a while ago and then added to the number last week. At first I was going to turn them all into coasters or mug rugs but then I thought some would look good sewn together for a table topper to go with the coasters.

I first made the block by doodling in my sketch book. I wanted a block divided in uneven thirds, vertically.
And so I pieced it together from the sketch, in a liberated manner. Three vertical strips, first from the left, from the top; orange, lt. grey, turquoise. The middle strip, yellow green, Kona cotton solid, Wasabi. And the last strip on the right, turquoise, egg shell, set of three colors and dark grey. It was fun to stay within the 'boundaries' and yet keep hold of liberated piecing.

Then my next experiment was inspired by my friend Carin@ Queenie Patch. She began a project using Cathedral Windows and her's are beautiful. I've always wanted to give them a try so why not now?
Carin has a good tutorial and there are a few on YouTube that made sense to me.
So I made a small sample starting with 7 1/2" blocks in Kona cotton solid Snow.
I think it's a little bit like origami. The color inserts come next.

This weekend road trip to Oakland, CA for a wedding. Lot's of fun and busy stuff.
So that's all from the rancho.
Where I'm remembering to be thankful.

I'll be by to visit.