Monday, January 30, 2023

Four Family Birthdays!

Three generations and four birthdays!

January has always been the time I come to Arizona - since the time my boys were little.

It was a way to celebrate our January/February birthdays while my Grannie was still alive, and of course it gave us a well needed break from the winter doldrums when we lived in Idaho.

Starting at the left - My dad is turning 83 in less than 2 weeks.  My niece Emilee has her birthday tomorrow.  Then there is me, with my birthday last week.

Next up is my new brother-in-law Todd who has his birthday in just a few days.

Not seen - Melissa who was at the other end of the table, celebrating her birthday on January 1st.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Baby, it's Cold in AZ!

It's 8am.  And it's 34 degrees!  

Not exactly the pre-spring-break that I was hoping for, but at least unlike the white stuff that is currently falling at home in Virginia, there is nothing here we need to shovel.

Because it has been on the chilly side, we've basically stayed in and relaxed - until yesterday afternoon when we broke away to catch a matinee showing of "A Man Called Otto" featuring Tom Hanks.

Hooray for outings!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Adventures in Just Being.

I've been told that I was 'high strung' from the time I was 5.

Even within the last month or so I enjoyed a pleasant chat with someone I have known since the 3rd grade who reminisced things like "Your house was always known as the 'Crafty House.' There was always SOMETHING being made."

That made me smile - and I started to recall the summer I was 10 or 11 and started up my own business of making sand candles in our old sandbox - now that we were all too grown up for sandbox playing.

I melted the wax, dug the holes in the sand, poured it all in, wicks tied to sticks balanced over the holes to keep them upright and in position while the wax cooled.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Journey to Sun Lakes!

Good morning!

After a good night's sleep I'm feeling a bit more like myself this morning, and as I look around at my dad's place - I am so grateful to be here.  

It has been a long 3 years since I've made this trip and now that we are permanently in Virginia, it's not as easy as it used to be.

I took this photo at 7:30am yesterday morning as the defroster on the van was blowing hard to clear the frost that had settled overnight at 22 degrees. Brrr!  

Monday, January 23, 2023

Something Happening Here!

Well, I went and did it.

I emptied some totes full of UFO pieces, looked at some projects that weren't going anywhere and put the remaining fabric back into the stash while putting the completed-thus-far blocks into the orphan bin of pieces and parts that will become something at some time.

And then I opened up this tote:

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Friday Out & About!

Knowing I was going to be heading to Phoenix on Tuesday, friend Martha suggested an "outing day" with a new lunch destination to try, and time to wander a couple of antique malls.

You know she doesn't have to ask twice.  I'm game!

Antique mall wandering is still a favorite pastime - the thing that has curtailed the frequency is simply the fact that I've been home for the past 3 years since Covid happened.

Tuesday will be my first time on a plane in 3 years!

With my travel life at a stand still, that only leaves local malls - and their merchandise has been slower to turn over, so things start to feel a bit hum-drum if you get my drift.

Friday, January 20, 2023

When Ideas Blossom!

That project I talked about yesterday -

The one I said I needed to revamp and maybe go bigger because the size I was sewing was insanely small -

It's going to work!

I have switched up my color plan though and put the aqua away - I have used that quite a bit and decided to pull in some vintage looking greens.  

Why greens?  Because I had just sorted a bunch of them and they were hanging out on the long arm rail!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Sew Much Fun!

Isn't this texture great?

The quilting is where the magic happens - whether by hand, or by machine - it's the icing on the quilt!

I'm quilting it with Pinwheel 4  from UrbanElemantz.com.

I was so excited about finishing Triple Treat, getting it off the machine, trimmed and binding on that updating yesterday's post just slid by me.  I'll take care of that today.  I promise.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Quilting Up A Storm!

This happened, as it often does.

This is the whole point of having a quilting machine - to get those tops quilted!

I have to admit I have never had a binding queue this long - I don't think EVER!

But I am happy as a clam, and loving how our Triple Treat Leader & Ender challenge is coming together.

To be honest I thought I was going to be one of the LAST ones to actually finish this challenge.

But the truth is we've got months to go - and there really isn't a deadline so jump in at any time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Bindings & Birthdays!

Doesn't it feel so great to finish a project?

My Wonky Log cabin quilt made from "mostly" strings from recycled shirts was supposed to be a fairly quick self-indulgent escapade into making something for myself - just because.

It had no deadline - no reason for making it other than "I want to."  (Sometimes we need that! Believe me!)

The top came together quickly - and then we went through the whole debacle of the blown circuit board on the APQS Millennium and the subsequent stress of waiting for a new board to arrive, hoping that was the only issue - and getting everything put back together.

ALL of that unstitching of the row that went wonky when the board blew and the machine went haywire!

And then the big decision of 2022 - deciding to replace my old CompuQuilter with IntelliQuilter.

This finish took much longer than I thought it would!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Unchained PDF Pattern & Fabric Roll Gift-Away!

Oh happy day!

It's PDF pattern release day - new projects to begin, scraps to pet and play with and so much fun in the coming months ahead!

I love that here in the states today is also a Holiday-Monday. No USPS service today so there is nothing for me to rush off to the office for.

I can take my time, get this posted, and think about the man behind this holiday and why it is important - to me and so many others

But we are here also for the release of my Unchained PDF pattern, and yes - a gift-away including fabric color rolls from Cotton to Quilts .

Read on!

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Four-Patches Found!

The other day while searching for something else entirely, I found not one - but TWO sandwich-sized baggies full of four-patch pairs, already right sides together, seams opposed and nested and completely ready to sew.

How did I forget that I even had these in my "orphan" and left over block part stash??

GOODNESS!  What a windfall!

And I know just where these are going to go.

Yesterday afternoon I settled in to some "In With the Old" on HBO Max - a series I've fallen into with much interest.

"Designers, builders and old-home enthusiasts transform abandoned structures across America by preserving their history while giving them new purpose."

Oh yeah, this is SO me!

So I'm watching away and happily sewing these four-patch parts together - can you see where this is going?

But where did they come from?

Friday, January 13, 2023

The Cat's Meow!

I'm not sure what it is about quirky fabric combinations - they make me giddy with pleasure!

Do you see the partial cat face in this block?

While pulling neutrals out of the string bin for the light side of my wonky log cabin blocks - this piece made me laugh and think "Do I dare!" Of course I do!  And in it went!

These are the things I hope bring a smile to people's faces long after I am gone - if the quilt survives that long.

And until then - if it makes ME smile, all the better.

It's as if that partial cat face is saying "I spy with my little eye....."

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Things That Zazzle!


The fabulous Forest Jane has entered Chilhowie items to the Quiltville Zazzle Store!

Every year my friend Forest Jane creates our wonderful mystery badges –  I send her some images of the quilt, and away she goes - 

You'll find the images at the bottom of this post so you can right click and save them to use as your quilt labels, or wherever you want to use them to show your participation.

And then she goes one step further.  She places the logo on things that are useful and needful in our Quiltville Zazzle Store – marking items at the LOWEST possible profit margin, and then thanks to your purchases, all proceeds go to benefit those in need – from children to adults, in giving them the gift of creativity.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The Very Last Stitch -

I'm just going to sit here with this morning's photo of the sunrise for a bit.

I need a moment.

I'm having a bit of "What Now?!" anxiety.

No, really - it's kind of anti-climatic.  

The last stitch was taken in my seemed-like-forever hand pieced and hand quilted hexagon quilt. And I'm on the fence on whether I want (or dare?) to start another.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Bind a Little, Quilt a Lot!

This happened yesterday - bringing the total of "Quilts in the binding line" to three.

I have loved this blue print since it first came out - the delicate leaves and dotted background - so classic.

Alas, this is the last of it!  

There was just enough to bind this quilt, leaving a 2'' strip left over to find its way into something via the Scrap User's System.

Do you get a bit sentimental when you finally use up the last of something you've loved forever?

Monday, January 09, 2023

Quiltmaker Jan/Feb '23 Gift-Away!

Happy Monday, Quiltvillians!

It's been rainy and yuck on the mountain - and to me there is nothing better to chase away the winter blahs like flipping through a delicious quilt magazine full of spring projects!

I'm particularly excited about this one as there are several projects focusing around our love of sewing machines and notions - and a great way to use up our scraps!

The whole issue is about celebrating our machines, and there are articles on vintage machines as well, so you know I was soaking up every photo and every word!

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Triangles Off The Rails!

I am in love.

I'm still learning - but the sparking romance with my IntelliQuilter is blossoming into a full-fledged love affair.

Learning from my last foray with the wonky log cabin quilt and my overzealousness of choosing a tall design so there would be less advancing - you know "Cover as much ground as you can at one time..."

This time I scaled a design that wasn't too tall enabling me to easily quilt two rows before I had to roll the quilt.

And you know what I did for the first time?

Friday, January 06, 2023

Chilhowie Mystery, Part Seven - The Reveal!

Happy FIRST Friday of 2023, everyone!

And there is no time to bring the reveal to our Chilhowie Mystery like today.

It's time!

We've made "Most" of the units.  There is some more cutting of fill in pieces to do - and it is time to pull it all together.

Are you excited?

I know that I am!

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Quilt Before I Forget!

Like many creatives - I am happiest when I am doing at least two things at once to maximize my time.

Do you find yourself in the same boat?

When I decided to remove the blue outer border from New River Star (The blue & chartreuse number.) and replace it with another round of 80+ more flying geese, it put a wrinkle in my plan to keep on quilting with the new IntelliQuilter so I wouldn't forget what I learned just last week.

I am not a "one and done and know it all" kind of girl.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Back To The Drawing Board.

When you know it's right - it's right.

It's right for YOU.

It might not be right for anyone else, and it is crazy how people's opinions will fly suggesting all kinds of things that to you are NOT right, but are right to them.

This was my progress over the weekend on this quilt - and let me tell you  something.(and you may already know) 

Don't trust a computer diagram because what looks good on quilt software on the screen may NOT translate well into a real quilt.

Trial and error and seeing things in real time apply here, too.

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

New Year's Eve Side Trip!

What's another fun way to celebrate New Year's Eve?

Well - it didn't start out as a celebration kind of thing, but the maintenance light on the van has been on for a while indicating it's time for an oil change and tire rotation.

The van uses synthetic oil, so it can actually go a bit longer, but it was time.

I thought to myself  "The oil change place wouldn't be too busy on New Year's Eve, would it?"

And it turned out that they were slammed, and half of the staff were out sick.

So what's a girl to do when she finds herself free wheeling in town on a Saturday morning, New Year's Eve or not?

Monday, January 02, 2023

Welcoming In 2023!

What a difference a week makes!

We spent New Year's weekend on the mountain - just puttering around comfortably on things at hand.

No big celebrations - no parties, dinners, entertaining.

I have only made it to midnight a handful of times since we were married in 1981.

When we were first married we lived on Mountain Standard Time and that meant that the ball dropped in NYC by 10pm and that was good enough for us.

10pm is STILL good enough for us!