Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2017 Spring Is Finally Happening

Finally, I think we are going to have a Spring around here.

I have started some seedlings of flowers and vegetables in the greenhouse, but it is still too cool at night, so I have a heater going to help them along.

Thank goodness most of my herbs are perennials and come back every year.  I found these glass herb signs while waiting for my Mom's prescriptions to be filled at the drug store.  I thought they would look super cute in the barrels.  

These are planters on my back porch filled with spring blooming annuals to brighten up the place.

My chickens have a new place to play in the backyard.  I fenced off an area of half of the back yard, so they can come and go to lay eggs in the hen house and roam picking at the grass and be more free range.  They are very happy chickens.  

This is a flower bed off my back porch that the perennials are coming up nicely.  

I had a spot up front along my garage driveway that I have been building up for a couple of years, so that I could plant me a mini orchard.  Late fall, I picked these tress up and got them planted, and now they are blooming.  I couldn't be happier.

Rainer Cherry Tree

Peach Tree

Pear Tree (grafted with 6 different types of pears)

I am holding my breath for some warmer weather, but that probably won't be such a good idea, as the Pacific Northwest warm weather can wait to come clear into June.  Waiting....

Monday, April 17, 2017

Another Surgery

WARNING:  Picture could be not for the weak of heart.

When I was 5, I had an aneurysm burst, and I hemorrhaged through my left ear canal (which saved my life).  In doing the repair, they cut all of the facial muscles on the left side and it caused paralysis. My left eye has not ever been able to close all the way, and now that I am getting older, the eye is drying out.

The fix for this was to put a gold weight in the upper eyelid to help pull it down to close over the entire eye.  I understand this is fairly common, and done more often than one would think.

Also, this procedure has been around for over 20 years, as it was suggested that I have this done in my late thirties, but my eyes were not dry, so I opted to wait and see if I would really need it later.  Well, later came and this is what I am recuperating from this week.

Hopefully, between this surgery and my knee surgery of last December (which I am still dealing with the aftermath doing surgery)  I am done with surgeries for awhile.  Age has it's drawbacks.


2017 Finished Quilts - "Mum's the Word" Mystery Quilt - #1

This is my first finish for 2017.  I'm slower this year.

I started this mystery quilt, from a blog site back in April 2013, and all I did was pull the fabric together and started clue one.  Then it got put away until I pulled it out in June 2016 (you can read about the details here)and finished the top and pinned it together to quilt on my machine rather than sending it out to a long arm quilter.  And it sat there on my to do pile, got moved around, and sat some more, until this last week when I was at a point that I wanted to quilt it.  Part of my procrastination in working on this is because I have not done any quilting on my vintage machine, and wasn't sure how it would perform.  Although, I think it was just plain procrastination on my part, because I don't like this part of the quilt making process.  I knew from following a group on Facebook called Vintage Sewing Machines, that this machine would perform just fine.  And, of course it did, and it works wonderful.  

This is the full size, about 40" X 50".  At first, for me, I couldn't really see the pattern of pinwheels, but the camera brings out them.  It is all made from one jelly roll, including the border and the binding.  

For the backing, I used a scrap of leftover fabric from the backing of my Chocolat quilt from last year.  I did just a cross hatch stitch in the ditch following the pinwheels top to bottom, sided to side.

It has been a cold winter this year in the Pacific Northwest, so I am going to use it to throw over my legs while I'm siting at the machine.  But, since it is finally spring and warming up, it will have a place on the back of my sewing chair.

Size: 40" X 50"
Fabric Lines Used:  Moda Whimsey by Fig Tree
Pattern: Mystery Quilt "Mum's the Word" 
Designer:  Heather Spence (
Long Arm Quilter:  Renee Steele
Year Began: 04/2013
Year Completed: 04/2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

2016 Finished Quilts - Thimbleberries Sunset - #18

Sorry this is out of order again, but I gave this quilt away this week(please read all the way to the end for important information of where this quilt was given)  so I took some quick pictures and can now right a post about it.

This UFO is from 2005.  It was a BOM by Thimbleberries annual club program.  Only this year, Thimbleberries started to offer two color ways, and two sizes.  I happen to selected to to both colors.  

This one is the darker of the two, and is called Sunset.  It is the smaller size coming out to be approximately 64" by 64".    

It is a mix of a sampler, with alternating blocks that are the same.  Interesting concept, but I don't like the size.  Not long enough to put on a bed, so it just is a simple "couch throw".

This is a picture of the blocks up closer showing the house in the middle, and a tree in the corner.  Not exactly what the other blocks are supposed to represent?  Your guess is as good as mine....

Most, if not all my Thimbleberries quilts are backed with a light fabric from any thimbleberries line.  Some of the kits I bought from Thimbleberries always had a light back, so I kept  up doing the same in quilts and kits that didn't come with a backing.  I bound it in one of the red fabrics in the quilt, and now it's done.

Now, for the best part of the post.  I follow a long arm quilter in my state when she put out this post a couple of weeks ago:

Hello fellow quilt lovers! I am reaching out in a attempt of getting some help.
As most of you know, I founded a non-profit "Quilts for Cops" where we make/send handmade quilts to First Responders (Police, Fire & EMT's) who are injured in the line of duty.I Started this in the Fall and at first the numbers were high but not unmanageable. Since then, the numbers of First Responders has truly become overwhelming, often with as many as five or six per day.We now have over 80 on our waiting list for these quilts which are being sent nationwide.If you have time, could you possibly make a quilt top? Heck, we'd even take "mostly made" UFO's that maybe all we need to do is add borders to...or orphan blocks that we can use to throw together in a quick easy lap quilt.Our only requirements are that they be of good quality fabric....size of approx 60x80 (give of take 6 inches)...they are meant to be lap Quilts, not bed Quilts. We are in desperate need of "guy friendly" colors/prints since 98% on our list are men. I have the ability to long arm quilt them, so that's not a problem. If you wish to send a finished quilt it must be machine Quilted...we want these to withstand use & washing.
We can provide a tax deductible receipt to you. They can be shipped toQuilts for Cops7601 NE Blackburn RdYamhill, OR 97148You can like/follow us on Facebook under Quilts for Cops or check out our website www.quiltsforcops.comThank you for any assistance you can provide. It's for a great cause!
After reading this post, I knew I could send one or two of my finished quilts to this cause.  I selected this one to be the first one to be sent, as it is dark colors, and would be very suitable for a man nice couch throw.

Size: 64" X 64"
Fabric Lines Used:  Thimbleberries 
Pattern: Sunset BOM 2005 Club
Designer:  Lynette Jenson
Long Arm Quilter:  Carol Logan Nelson
Year Began: 01/2005
Year Completed: 09/2016


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Quilts of Valor Stars 2017 Project - February Block - Heart

I said I would be back to show you the February block for the Quilt of Valor Stars project.  This block is easier than it looks, and went together faster than I realized.  Actually the cutting out the block pieces took longer than sewing it together!

This is the pattern, if you are interested in making a block for our group.  You can find the information and all about the project here.

This is my first attempt at this block, using the scraps from January.  I need to make at least another one, as the group would really like blocks to come in pairs.  

I have been very busy working on a full complete quilt for this group, so I haven't gotten to getting this other block done.  I will be posting more about the full quilt in a few days.

I have been out of town every weekend since the new year, doing trade shows with my husband.  When possible, I visit a local quilt shop, and I have been able to pick up some appropriate fabric for future blocks and quilts for the QOV Stars project.

I am hoping to get to making some blocks this week and next week, as the weather will keep me inside.  It is and supposed to be raining here for the next two weeks.  Sigh.  I guess that's better than snow, right?

I also have been up to my eyeballs in that four five letter word - TAXES.  Our tax return has 17 schedules and forms.  SEVENTEEN.  I can remember it being only two.  But, that is behind us now and I can get back to quilting, gardening, and anything else that might be fun.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Quilt of Valor Stars 2017 Project - January Block - Friendship

Since last year was the year of getting UFO's done (25 total), I wanted to do something that would give back to the community.  One day I was pursuing FaceBook, and came across a group that makes blocks for quilts that get given to Veterans.  

The FB group is called Quilts of Valor Stars.  They are not the group, but follow their guidelines for making quilts for veterans.  

Each month, members are asked to make a block or several blocks with a chosen block pattern, and then asked to mail them to the organizers who then will assemble the blocks, add borders, donate batting, add backing and then they have long arm quilters who donate their time to quilt the finished product, and then finally they have someone do the binding.  

For each block made, you can donate a name of a veteran you would like to receive a quilt.  When they have a completed quilt, they draw a name out of a hat and make arrangements to present the quilt to the veteran.

You can find out more about this group here, and you can join up as well and start making blocks.

January there was a call put out for the group to make 600 blocks.  The need it greater than the supply.  So they asked that the members make the Friendship block for January's goal.

I was able to pull from my scrap buckets and found some red, blue and white.  I made these blocks, mixing it up a little bit and ended up making 24 blocks.  The blocks are 12.5" square, and it only takes 12 blocks to make a quilt (adding sashing and borders).  

Next week I will be working on the February block and give you a look at it in my next QOV post.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2016 Finish Quilt - Mystery Quilt Grand Illusion - #23

The weather is still overcast and lots of rain or snow here in the Pacific Northwest, so no picture taking available yet for the blog.  I have about 10 quilts that I would like to get pictures, but the weather is being very uncooperative.   

This quilt is from 2014 when I did Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt.  You can read about all the details and the progression of making it here.

This was the last quilt to have the binding done in the last batch of five quilts I got back from the Long Arm Quilter back in November.  I like to do my binding while traveling in the car on road trips.  

Here is a picture of me working on the binding on a road trip a couple of weeks ago.  It was especially nice because it was very warm on my lap while I stitched away.

I was able to get it the binding completed once we got to the venue where we were having a trade show.  The venue building has lots of open space, so I was able to take some decent pictures of the final quilt.  Here it is all flat and laid out.  Remember, this was done from scraps of all my Thimbleberries projects.  It is a big one, measuring 90" X 90". 

This is a close up of a corner, giving you a better look at the border and the block pattern.  I used a green binding to tie it all together.  I think it looks really nice.

I had a good sized brown wide width backing fabric, but I was a little short, so I added some green around the top and bottom to get the backing big enough to cover the top.

The batting was an experiment this time, I found a queen sized flannel sheet at a garage sale.  I washed it up, and contacted my long arm quilter to ask if I could use it as a batting.  She agreed and I really like the result.  The sheet cost me $.50 making it very reasonable compared to the cost of batting. The best part is the flannel sheet makes the quilt heavy and not stiff like some of the batting I have been using from JoAnn's.  

Right now, this one is on my side of the bed, folded in half, keeping me very warm this winter.

PS:  This quilt pattern is available on Bonnie Hunter's site here if you are interested.  

Size: 88" X 92"
Fabric Lines Used:  Thimbleberries Scraps 
Pattern: Quiltville 2014 Mystery "Grand Illusion"
Designer:  Bonnie Hunter
Long Arm Quilter:  Carol Logan Nelson
Year Began: 11/2014
Year Completed: 02/2017