Saturday, April 27, 2013

Glorious Saturday! and Quilts from My Sewing Machine #2: 42 Stars & NH quilt

Things are going swell in my neck of the woods. TGS & OSLW here. Gardening happening.

Hubby putting in shower in 2nd bathroom. Finished a great read and started another. It's just like laying in a hammock under a canopy of trees.

We're having a little down time here. OSLW is reading, TGS & Hubby are working on his car. I've been reading blogs and now am writing mine.

I thought I'd start sharing quilts I have made every once in a while. I don't want to tie myself down with an uncompromising schedule. It'll happen. Sometime or other.

TGS holding quilt I made in 1977
I'll start with one of my earliest quilts. A little back story. My Aunt Marie (read about her here) was a quilter extraordinaire. I grew up with her quilts on my bed. I was taught what it took to make a quilt. Aunt Marie was born in 1905, learned to quilt at eight, so everything part of making the quilt was done by hand. Lamentably, I didn't learn to quilt from her. However I always felt a part of quilting because of her.

A Quilt I Made for Noel Heart in 1979
I made "quilts" when I was in college and when I had babies. They were single fabric front and back and tied. My first real quilt rolled around when I had my first grandchild. Four years later, Nancy Drew got married and I started on a wedding quilt for her. It took me two years to make and it arrived on her doorstep on her first anniversary.

In August 2005, Nancy Drew and SWH became engaged to be married March 10, 2007. Of course I planned to make them a wedding quilt...but what timing! I was working on Nancy Drew's Christmas present: the Kimono quilt and then when it was finished it was three months to their wedding.

I had a time finding a quilt pattern, as Andrea does not like flower fabric or overtly feminine fabrics. I chose a beautiful quilt from an Australian Quilting Magazine and chose the fabrics with as little flowers and emphasis on green, yellow and cream colors.

While I visited Nancy Drew and future SWH in Germany during the summer of 2006, we happened to find one quilt store. I paid attention to what fabrics Andrea liked. I realized my first choice wasn't going to do it. I decided to do a quilt with Amish colors because I felt it would fit with Andrea's taste.

I found a pretty block on Quilter's Cache called Amish Star. It is a variation on a Sawtooth Star. Unwittingly I had chosen a time intensive block for a beginner. In fact I have avoided quilts with flying geese or half square triangles until just the past year!

I worked fiendishly through the Fall and into the Winter until I realized it wouldn't be done in time for their wedding. Nancy Drew, who had seen the first few blocks at Christmas, was understanding.

During Spring Break 2007, I spent every single day sewing blocks and got all the 72 blocks finished. I also got burnt out and it lay around until the end of summer. I got it together and a local FMQ quilter and friend quilted it. She did a wonderful job quilting it loosely and with curving pattern as I had asked.

I finished the binding at the end of February 2008 with time to show it to my guild on the March 5th meeting. Right before I packaged it for mailing, I realized I had no pictures of it. Being made for a California King bed, it was indeed substantial.

I decided to lay it out on the lawn and take a picture of it by standing on a ladder. On the right you can see the sheets I laid down to protect the quilt from the grass. If you peer closely you can see the cat-helper Daytona.

Once I shooed Daytona off the sheets, I laid the quilt down. Daytona immediately saw that I needed her immeasurable help and quickly came. Daytona to the rescue!

As I started to put the binding on, I had noticed one defective star. (Manufacturer's fault). It was the corner block. Now that the quilt was quilted, finished and bound it was a done deal. But not for enterprising me. I embroidered the block to look like a house. Put in some flowers, some curtains and embroidered on the roof: House of Bleak (pronounced like the ea in steak) and their wedding date. SWH refers to his daughter as a princess from the House of Bleak. Worked well for me.

Left to right: Redesigned star to house block, House block zoom out, close-up of an anonymous block and quilt detail.

42 Stars Statistics
Started: November 2006
Finished: March 2008
Size: 122" x 98" (King)
Pieced by myself
Quilted by JP

Friday, April 26, 2013

Whoop di doo

Lovely! Another Friday. TGS & OSLW arrived Wednesday evening--beauteous! Yesterday, I was like someone who had a nickel stuck in of my mom's great descriptions. I chattered and talked and babbled all day. I definitely did the TMI ad nauseum. I was so keyed up, I couldn't shut up. Terri, I would mutter to myself, STOP talking. Terri, TMI. TERRI--SHUT UP!

Today we're going to Armstrong Woods, a favorite of the kids and I. It's a redwood state park and so enchanting. It has sublime picnic areas, shady and serene. There's an amphitheater that the kids loved to perform in when they were little and run up and down the benches. There's two trees that are spectacular: 310 foot Parson Jones Tree and the 1400 year old Colonel Armstrong tree. The Colonel Armstrong is a fallen tree and you can see the multitudinous rings. All this gloriousness just 45 minutes away from home! Now that you've seen a few pictures I know you are drooling and wishing you could come see it for yourself!

 I'm sharing my grand park news on Whoop, Whoop Friday. Click on their badge in the right column to see loads of Whoop Whoops, guaranteed to make the start of your weekend truly awesome.

I titled this post Whoop Di Doo because of an experience with my grandson, Firstest, when he was almost two years old. Here is the story from a book I wrote of Firstest Stories as a one- and two-year old.

Editorial Note: I do not know WHY the font is so big and the bold is in effect....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I've tried to change it but to no avail. I know others of you with blogger have had the same problem. Please bear with this ugliness. Maybe TGS can fix it later but, for now we're off to Armstrong Woods!

April 24, 2002

Bryce and I when he was around 9 mos old
He was around 18 mos old when the story happened
Noel Heart and I went shopping for material for the quilt I’m making him for his birthday. At one fabric store Firstest was about worn out with the whole shopping thing. I put him up on my shoulders and he started singing this song and messing with my hair. He was singing whoop di doo, whoop di doo. Noel Heart didn’t know what whoop di doo meant. Firstest was so happy messing with my hair, sticking his finger in my ear and singing. It wasn’t until he came to stay with me that I figured out what the whoop di doo was. When I picked up Bryce I'd say, "Up you go!" Translated into "Bryce-ese" whoop di doo.

Okay so you might have to be a grandmother...enchanted by everything your first grandchild says and does...but I think it's cute.

And here's a quilty reference, the first real quilt I ever made, for Firstest. I named the quilt, Chris the Fireman, after my dad. He was a fireman and captain of a fire station when I was very young.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How Random Can I Get?

It seems that if I only post once a week, it's either Random Thursday or Whoop Whoop Friday.

Couple standing in front of two red doors and ringing a doorbellThis week has been everything except for quilty. Preparing for my son and his wife to come has been the household past-time for two weeks! I started in about three weeks before their arrival. I had to dig out the guest room, uncover the living room and prep the garden, plus forge my way through the back porch. Guest room and living room are recent occurrences, but the porch is actually the same as the last time TGS was here, two years ago, and I asked him to help me clean it up! Click here for the post on my euphoric list of endeavors and before-pictures.

View detailsAs the three weeks moved along, I lost two highly anticipated cleaning Saturdays. One to illness and another to "something that could not be avoided". Each day I swore that I would come home after school and do x amount of work. When I stumbled in from work, I was too bushed to do anything. If this sounds familiar to you, join in on the second verse!

The closer we grew to the target day, the less concerned I became about how much was going to get done. Isn't it wonderful how amazingly flexible I am in lowering my standards?

Meanwhile, my brave, noble, talented and incredibly fantastic Hubby was trying to get a shower put in the 2nd bathroom. That bathroom only had a tub. With just the master bath having a shower, it's a bit difficult when four people only have one shower!

But, good has been done here!

A quick glimpse of the shower progression:

L to Right: Tearing out the ugly 70s backsplash, Hubbing tearing up wall to put in pipes for shower head, Bathroom with cement board, Our hallway during the "project"!

I'm sparing you all the rest of the pictures, including the one of my hubby's hand with 6 camo bandaids on it from taking the cement off the walls. And the cement dust. *cough*cough*

I was trying to still use the sink and do my hair and make-up in there. Last night I walked in the bathroom to get a glass of water. I looked at my glass innocently sitting on the counter, open side up...yummmmmmy! Water with cement dust. I toddled off to the kitchen.

This morning I went to brush my teeth. I looked at my toothbrush innocently sitting on the counter, bristling waving in the air. Well, wouldn't that be a brand-new experience for me? Cement my toothbrush to my teeth?

Back to the good stuff: I'm so excited...a shower! It's our first ever home improvement project! We've lived here nine years and it's the first time we've been able to afford a "project!"

Tomorrow's a Whoop Whoop Friday...tune in for happy garden news and the emergence of the guest room (almost).

Check out more randomness over at Live a Colorful Life and Patchwork Times. Click on the buttons in the right column and relax and see some goodness.

Same blog time, same blog station (with a tip of the hat to Batman!)
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