Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Bye 2008

I can't believe 2008 is done. It has been a very busy time for me of late. The company I work for is going through a lot of changes, and combined with the busy holidays, I've had little time to do anything, let alone quilting. We had a wonderful Christmas. The family all got together in Tracy at my sister's family's house. It's always fun to see my nephews' excitement on the holiday. Sadly, the batteries in my camera were dead, so no pictures there. I hope to be posting more soon. I have the class projects to finish and I have lots of ideas for quilts that I want to make. 2009 will be a fresh start all around. Bring it on!!

Stash Busting Pledge for 2009

Okay, it's the last day of the year and I've finally decided to commit -- in writing, no less -- to busting my fabric stash this year. Last year I kept this goal in the back of my mind, but didn't make much of a actual dent. But then, I wasn't a very prolific quilter last year. About a month ago I was looking for a particular piece of fabric and I ended up pulling bin after bin after box after bag of fabric. It really started to hit home just how much fabric I have. For the most part, I have my colors separated into large conainers, but if something gets pulled out, it usually doesn't go back in -- instead it gets tucked into a corner or on a shelf out of site. It makes it difficult to see just how much I have. Unfortunately, long ago when I would collect fabric, I would only buy small pieces, which are more difficult to use when planning a new quilt. A lot of us bloggers are having the same problem, so Judy Laquidara is trying to help us all out through her blog. She did the same last year and I enjoyed hearing of everyone's stash-busting efforts. This year I'll join in and we'll see how I do. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cookie Winner!!

Last weekend was my nephew Max's 4th Birthday, which we celebrated at Ardenwood Historic Farm. They were having their annual Christmas Days with special festivities all weekend. One of the things they were doing was a Cookie contest. Anyone interested was to bring a dozen cookies with recipe by 11:00 for judging and winner announcement at noon. Well lo and behold, yours truly won first place with my Ranch Cookies, and my mom won third place!! I have to admit that my recipe was originally my mom's which I tweaked just a little. Above you can see us with our prizes. I got a family pass back into the farm (two adults and two children) which I gave to my sister for their family. My mom won an Ardenwood mug which was made by a potter on their grounds. It was brutally cold until a little before we left, when the sun finally came back out and the wind died down, but we all had a great time and Max was excited about his birthday. I'll put a slideshow in my next post with pictures from the day. Unfortantely I need to do this on my laptop which is not available right now. I hope to have those pictures up soon.

I've been trying to get some sewing done, but for some reason I'm just not very motivated. I did, however, get most of the small class project completed and I'm really happy with it. No pictures lest I spoil the surprise!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm sewing finally

Yes, I'm finally sewing at home. I'm not sure why, but I've been in a real sewing slump lately. I just haven't felt much like setting up my sewing machine at home. I mostly have been traveling with my machine and supplies (to class and my mom's house) so it all usually stays in the car. This weekend I finally set myself back up at my dining room table and did some sewing and it was great! Above is a picture of the progress that I've made on the quilt my mom chose (see previous post) and my newly, if not only partially, cleaned off work area. The unfinished projects, patterns, and stray fat quarters were closing in on me. It doesn't look very clean in the picture, but then I didn't dare take a "before" picture for comparison.

And now for a picture of the blissfully happy Bear, whose main happiness seems to be laying on a reclined lap.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birthday Sewing

Every year for my sister's and my birthday, my Mom puts together a quilt project for us to work on at her house. We were finally able to get together this past weekend for this year's project day. It's always a wonderful day with sewing and laughing and eating. The project is a surprise until we get there and everything we need is provided by my mom. We had a great time as usual.

Above is the sample of the quilt that my mom made. The fabrics for our two are different from hers and will look really different. I didn't finish my top, but I can't wait to see how it will look.

I snapped a picture of the project that I mom was working on that day, which I thought was really interesting. She'll cut the strata in a curve and piece in another fabric, if I understand it correctly. I'll be interested to see how that turns out.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Pink Basket

I made this adorable little pink basket this weekend using all fabric from stash! The tutorial was listed on Sew Mama Sew's Handmade Holidays that I posted about earlier this week. It was very quick and easy. Go here for the tutorial, but be sure to check to Sew Mama Sew! daily for new ideas. In addition to the links to the tutorials, they also have a link to something related to the day's theme to buy, a recipe and an opportunity to win a prize each day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day 2008

The time is finally upon us. We've endured over a year of tireless campaigning. We've been inundated with information, both false and true. Millions upon millions of dollars have been spent. Now is the time. I can't urge my fellow Americans enough to go out and vote today. It is an honor and privilege to even be able to vote, and in my mind it is just not an option not to vote. I have strong opinions about who and what I am voting for, but regardless of anyone's opinions, you just need to go do it. I actually find it fun to go to the polls. If I have to stand in a long line today, I might change my mind on that, but for now I like the ritual of physically going and casting my ballot. Go Democracy!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Handmade Holidays 2008

Handmade Holidays is back over at the Sew Mama Sew! blog. Just like last year, there will be links to tutorials every day of the November for items to make for the holidays. I loved looking at the site every day for new ideas. I ended up making many dishtowel aprons as well as crayon rolls. Stop by to see what's new!

Friday, October 24, 2008

PIQF 2008

The Pacific International Quilt Festival was held last weekend at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Oh how I look forward to this event, and this year was as wonderful as ever. I've prepared a slide show again this year. It looks like I took 81 pictures. The worst part of the show is the lighting. I found that if I turned off the flash, the quilts looked closer to real life. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that you have to hold the camera extremely still when there is no flash. Quite a few pictures turned out blurry, but not too bad. I'll have to remember that for next year.

edit: These slide shows tend to show very small in the blog. If you double click on the center of the picture, you will link to the web album and see much bigger and clearer pictures of the quilts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two more practice blocks

I have two more Dear Jane blocks done. These are the practice blocks that I started while I was waiting for my bolt of background fabric to arrive. I'm making four practice blocks that I'll put together for a small quilt for my hubby Lance. I gave him the book and had him pick out a list of about 10 blocks that he liked, and then I chose four for the mini-quilt. I have two that are foundation pieced and two that have applique. They are going well and I can't wait to start the actual quilt!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sewing Republic

I can't seem to grab a picture or icon, so there's not much "visual interest" to this post, but I wanted to let everyone know about a site I just found called Sewing Republic. I don't know much about it, but it appears to be sponsored by Bernina, and it has some really wonderful project ideas with full tutorials. I've got my eye on the coasters and also the wine tote. Hmmm. I'll be needing a project to work on tonight in class... Maybe we'll see some pictures soon after all!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Quilting in the Garden 2008

Quilting in the Garden is an annual quilt show in Livermore, California that is held at Alden Lane Nursery. Every year I get excited about going, and every year I miss it for reasons that are usually not very important. I kick myself for a long time about it and I always say, "well, next year...". Next year is finally here, and the show is this weekend (Sept 27 - 28). The plans are all set, and I am determined to go no matter what. I can't wait! It is such an interesting venue for a show; the quilts are all hung from trees in the nursery. There are featured artists, which this year inlcude Joen Wolfrom and Melinda Bula. And of course there is Alex Anderson, who was one of the founders of the show. I'll take lots of pictures and hopefully have a "celebrity" sighting. See you there!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Aha! I finally remembered that's it is Talk Like a Pirate Day before it was over!! I usually remember a day or two later. Aaarh you hearing a lot of "aarhs" and "mateys" today? Now you know why!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Class starts soon!

So my quilting hiatus lasted a little longer than I intended. With our vacation and my MIL's passing, I wasn't able to get back to sewing as early as I wanted. My mom came to the rescue and I did some sewing at her house last weekend that got me jump-started again. Just in time as the Monday night classes are starting up again. This coming Monday, September 8, 2008 at 6:00 pm will be the preview for the classes starting on September 15th, 2008 (6:00 to 9:00 for 9 weeks) at the Veterans Memorial Building in Redwood City.

I was putting the final border on one of the projects I'll be presenting, and a certain cat decided to attack my feet from under the ironing board. You can see the back view above and the very innocent looking front view below.

He must think he's helping by keeping me moving along! No time to stand around -- there's sewing to be done!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Marlene Murray

My mother-in-law, Marlene Murray, passed away last Thursday at her home. Although she had been ill, her death was sudden, and we believe she did not suffer. May she rest peacefully, free from the pains of her illnesses.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Vacation Day 6 & 7

So we are heading out today. Sad to leave our nice digs! I thought I'd post a picture of our favorite wireless internet spot, the Bean Scene. It's a nice little coffee shop here in St. George. They make the best iced mochas and some really good breakfast food, too. The people have been very friendly here (actually, everyone we've met on our trip has been very friendly). I've got pictures of the place we stayed as well as the quilt shops I visited, but I'll get those posted after I get home. Our flight out of Las Vegas leaves around 6:00 tonight, so we'll be beat by the time we get home. The question now is, will Bear be chew us out, or give us the cold shoulder... Thanks to Steve for watching over him for us!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


It looks like I'm starting to get some weird spam comments. I've turned on the word verification feature that will hopefully stop that. If you would like to leave a comment (and please do!!), you will just need to type in the funny shaped word like you do when you order things on the internet. We'll see how it goes...

Vacation Day 5

Wednesday we explored Zion National Park. At this time of the year you can only drive through the park (which we did on Tuesday on our way to Bryce), but to hike around and explore, you need to take a free shuttle bus (after you pay to get into the park). It actually is a really nice system, where the shuttle comes around every 6 - 8 minutes. You can stay on it all of the way around the circuit, or you can get off at any of the stops and hike on the trails and pick up the next one when you are done. We got off a couple of times where there were shorter trails. It was over 100 degrees yet again, and hiking very far was rough. I don't think I've ever drank so much water in my life!! We did get off at this stop (below) where there was water seeping down the mountains. They made a walkway so that you could walk behind where the water was dripping down. It was refreshing to be behind there in the heat. It was strange to be in the desert-type climate and then see the water slowly falling down only in that one area.

If you drive through in your own car, you need to go through a mile-long tunnel that was built in 1930. They had to make holes in the side of the tunnel for light and air and also to push out the rubble as they were building. We saw the "window" first and couldn't figure out what it was until we got to a sign explaining it. When we got to the tunnel, we all had to stop our cars and wait for the wide motorhomes to come through from the opposite direction. Apparently if you are too wide for two-way traffic, you have to pay $15 dollars and you get an escort through the tunnel. Fortunately we were in the shade when we had to wait.

Today we relax! I'll be scouting out the quilt shops in town -- it looks like there are three right here in St. George! More on that tomorrow!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

View and Rental

Below is a view from one of our patios! The golf course runs outside of the casitas and we have a nice view of the mountains.

Lance took a picture of our rental car. I think we should have gotten an upgrade... :)

Vacation Day 4

Yesterday we drove through Zion National Park on our way up to Bryce Canyon National Park. We’ll spend a little more time at Zion today, but we wanted to get to Bryce because it is farther away from where we are staying. We ended up getting a later start than we intended, and didn’t get to see as much as we wanted. The pictures don’t show just how RED all of the mountains are. The formations are just amazing. We took tons of pictures, of course, but I’ll just post a few here. I’ll try for a slide show when we get back home.

Along the way we saw some buffalo outside of a restaurant serving buffalo burgers. We did not partake, but instead took some pictures for posterity.

Still posting from the coffee shop. I'm not happy about this situation, but the rest of the vacation is going great, so I can't complain too much...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vacation Day 3

Just a quick post - sorry, no picture. We are having a tremendous amount of trouble getting internet access. Constant trouble where we are staying, and a bit of trouble at the coffee shop, too. There is outdoor musical theater during the summer at a high school for the preforming arts located about 5 minutes from where we are staying. Last night we saw Sound of Music and it was wonderful! They utilized the red rock mountain behind them in the staging and it all worked out very nicely. Well, we're off to a late start on our trip to Bryce Canyon today. This is the farthest. Tomorrow we are planning on Zion, which is closer. Hopefully we'll have better luck with the internet tomorrow!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vacation Day 2

On Sunday we made our drive from Las Vegas to St. George, Utah. We ended up driving through the very corner of Arizona, and my plan was to take pix of the state signs. I got a great one of Arizona's, but we flew by the Utah sign and there was no way to turn around for miles. Oh well... It was a desert drive with a lot of this:

We ran around and did a lot of Geocaching -- we found six on one day (four in that tiny bit of Ariziona and two in Utah). However, searching around the desert in 100+ heat was totally exhausting! In and out of the car and slowly searching around was brutal. Lance and I grabbed a couple of pix.

The place where we are staying is absolutely gorgeous. I'll post pix of those next time...

Vacation Day 1

Well we've been without internet access for a couple of days. I even missed my own Blogoversary which was yesterday! We are having trouble logging in from our where we are staying now, as well. Right now I am posting from a coffee shop in St. George... We flew out of SFO on Virgin America. The flight was great. They have a tv in the back of the seat in front of you and you can watch tv or listen to music or even play video games. I'm not the best flyer, and this made the time just fly by. We got into the Las Vegas airport and got our car, which is a Ford Mirage -- a small SUV. Lance is a Hertz gold member, so they had given us a free upgrade! The heat hit us with a blast when we walked out of the airport. It looks like 100+ degress for us the whole time we are here. A short drive over to the Orleans Hotel and we were on our way. We were surprised to find that they do not offer free WiFi service, and since we were pretty busy so we didn't bother logging in. After a few beers and video black jack (Lance won the $10 that I lost), we headed over to the show. We saw the Steve Miller band with Joe Cocker opening. What a great show. Amazing how everyone is aging. I imagine both artist must be in their 60's by now... Most of the crowd was about the same, but I was surprised to see quite a few younger people. I guess good music spans generations.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Stitchery Project

Lance and I will be going on vacation soon and I thought it would be a good idea to bring along something to work on while we're gone. We'll be flying to our destination (more on that later!), so I knew that what ever I brought would have to be very compact. I thought about bringing some applique blocks for my Flight of Fancy quilt, but that would involve a lot of prep work before the trip. There is another project I heard about from several of the quilting blogs I read. There is a blogger named Lynette Anderson from Australia who designs quilting and stitchery patterns. To celebrate her first year of blogging, she has decided to post a free Block of Month with a Noah's Ark theme. These are very tiny stitched blocks -- the smallest one so far is only 2" square! The pattern has us sewing strips around each stitched block log-cabin style. We don't know what the final design will look like, but the blocks posted so far are adorable! Here is a link to the page(s) on her blog with the patterns and a description of the overall project.

Now I know that I have LOTS of irons in the fire right now, but how could I pass up this wonderful project that is perfect as a take-along? There is really very little investment in the one. The pattern is free, embroidery floss is cheap and I'm using all fabrics from my stash. If only I had a stash of time and energy I could pull from...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A5 Cathie's Campfire - practice

So I've finally chosen colors for my Dear Jane quilt, but now I need to buy enough background fabric for the entire quilt, which is quite a lot. Many people buy an entire bolt to make sure it carries them through the whole project. I'm going to head over to my local quilt shop this weekend and see what they have. If I order a bolt, I imagine it will take several weeks, and I'm dying to get started! In order to satisfy my Dear Jane urges, I made a practice block. As with all of the Dear Jane bloggers, the picture above doesn't really give a good idea of the scale of the block. It is a 4 1/2" block (5" unfinished as above). It is very cute, and I may have to carry it around with me for a few days so I can pull it out and look at it at will... Talk to me 100 blocks from now and I'm sure it will be a different story!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Roaring Camp Railroad

This past weekend we celebrated my dad's 75th birthday with a family outing to Roaring Camp Railroad in Felton, CA. My parents had taken us there when we were kids, and we thought it would be fun to go back out there again. I knew my nephews would have a great time. We rode a steam engine train through the redwoods on a trip that lasted about an hour. The weather was beautiful and a good time was had by all.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Have I Gone Mad?

Okay, so it's not like I don't have any projects to work on. Why on earth would I decide to do this? Well, I just don't know. Some things just call to you, I suppose. As you can see from the picture above, I have decided to make a Dear Jane quilt. If you have not heard of this quilt, you can read all about it at the main website, hosted by Brenda Papadakis who wrote the book. In a nutshell, a quilter named Jane Stickle made a sampler quilt in the 1800's around the time of the civil war. It contained 225 blocks, most measuring 4 1/2 inches square. The others are triangular pieces in the border and also corner blocks. It is an astounding quilt that many many quilters have reproduced. There are clubs and on-line groups and all kinds of things designed to help quilters on their Dear Jane journey. I've joined one of the groups, and purchased the book, software and special rulers (see picture). I'm as yet undecided on my colors, but I'll decide soon and then I'll be on my way. This will be a quilt many years in the making. Wish me luck!

More Summer Class

Here are a couple more pictures from summer workshop. Here are some of the Buzz Saw blocks. We put them up on the wall as they were completed.

Here's one of my mom sewing on the first day. The folding chairs in the building are a little too short for comfortable sewing. Everyone had pillows and cushions with them on the second and third days.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Creative Blogs

July seems to be the month for sewing in Blogland. There are two blogs that I like that are celebrating sewing and crafting with great links and tutorials this month. The first is Sew Mama Sew!, which I've mentioned before. A great website that you can get lost in, with all of the links to creative people and projects.

The next is one that I just found recently, called WhipUp. They are having their "how-to month" with lots of links to tutorials. These may not necessarily be sewing projects, but definitely crafty and fun to look around.

I'm inspired to create now -- too bad I'm stuck at work all day!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Workshop 2008 Ends

Another summer workshop came to an end and we had a great time, as usual. It's so nice to spend time with these wonderful ladies. We shared lots of laughs and worked on lots of projects. Below are pictures from the first day of class. In back are my friends Lori and Susan who both take the evening class. In the foreground is Barbara, who teaches the afternoon class as well as one of the projects in this workshop. Aren't they just working so hard!!

Below are a few ladies from the afternoon class. On the wall are samples for Barbara's quilt.

Here are more ladies on the other side of the room. We had 15 students in all.

I have only a few more pictures, but Blogger is being fussy, so I'll put those up in another post soon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Workshop soon!

The summer workshop grows near! This Thursday, Friday and Saturday (06/26, 06/27, 06/28) from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Veterans building in Redwood City. Just show up and register on the first day. Above are the the projects being presented by Barbara Hall and Erna Koch. My project is shown in the previous post. It will be lots of fun!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer Preview 2008

The last Monday night quilting class of the session is tomorrow night, Monday, June 16, 2008 at 6:00 pm. We'll have a pot luck dinner, drawings, and a special challenge that I'll annouce tomorrow. Also, Erna and Barbara will preveiw their projects for the three-day summer workshop. The project that I will present for the summer workshop is called Buzz Saw, shown above. It will be sad to say goodbye for the summer, but it looks to be a busy and fun night, so be sure to come!

Friday, June 06, 2008


What do you mean not everyone likes quilt shows????

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Quilting Bloggers

I recently found out about Quilting Bloggers, a new website that is a directory for quilt-related blogs. I've added Quilt Monkey to their directory and have had fun popping into different quilt blogs that I never would have found otherwise. I added a button over on the right, located above the list of blogs that I read regularly. The Quilting Bloggers website has lots of interesting things, including a gallery and free projects. Use the logo button to get to the website, then click on one of the random blogs, or search for a blog by state or country. How will I find the time to actually quilt anymore???

Friday, May 30, 2008

PQ Quilt Show 2008

I have no picture today, but I wanted to note that the Peninsula Quilters quilt show is this weekend. It is held every two years and it is at the Foster City Recreation Center at the Foster City Art & Wine Festival. The info is here. Looking forward to it!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Back

There hasn't been much quilty action going on around here lately. Once I finished the quilt for the summer workshop, I didn't have much to work on. I may not do too much quilting over the summer, but then again I may get totally inspired and end up doing a lot. I do have this kit that I bought recently. There is quite a bit of applique in it, and although the directions sugguest fusing the shapes with a machine buttonhole around the edge, I thought I'd use the starch method of turned edge applique. I've had very good results with this method and prefer it to fusing. However, now that I've started on the first blocks (above), I'm starting to re-think my decision. Those pears are only a few inches tall and I haven't even gotten to the birds yet... I'll stay the course for now and play it by ear.

I'm looking forward to the Peninsula Quilters quilt show this weekend. I'll post details soon. And I'll try not to be such a stranger!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Women's Clothing Month

It is Women's Sewing Month over on the Sew Mama Sew! blog. I have made clothing in the past (mostly when I was much younger), and it seems like a great way to have the clothes that you really want to wear; it's getting harder and harder for me to find fashions I like. However, I have always had a problem getting them to fit right. It takes time (and money) to make something and then I would put it on and it wouldn't fit just right, so I kind of gave up on making my own clothes. But I may be coming around... Sew Mama Sew! is having a Women's Sewing Month where all posts are about making clothes. From what I've seen so far, it starts from the vey beginning, with taking your own measurements and adjusting commercial patterns to fit them. I'm getting excited about actually being able to do this. This is the same blog that had the Handmade Holidays month late last year, and also a quilting month earlier this year. There are lots of photos to help you on your way.