Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Rocks In My Head?

I have rocks in my head, or at least on my mind. My sister became very interested in rock mandala painting and so I decided to join her, as I love all types of crafts.
First we had to go to the beach where there are tons of ocean tumbled rocks. They are mostly ver smooth and come in all sizes. Interestingly enough, there are more rocks than seashells on this beach.
                                    See what I mean?
I picked up a bunch of long-ish rocks and painted them to look like cactus.  Then, you spray them with a clear coat to protect the paint and they are outside in the garden now.
This is my Cheshire cat. I took this before I used my black Micron pent to give his big grin its teeth.
These are just a few of the very early attempts my sister made in mandala painting. Now that she has been at it for 5 weeks, she is getting very good. If you want to see what some look like, go to You tube. There are lots on there and yo can see how it's done.
These are some of my rocks before painting. Many times I paint them black first. It makes a nice "canvas" to apply color to.
Here a re a few I have done. I like to paint "things" on my rocks. I then paint positive words on the back and we put them in a small basket out fron for anyone passing by to take if they want to.
These are my latest ones. I am always looking for ideas of what to paint, and I couldn't get the gingham out of my mind until I painted it. The other two small mandalas were fun to paint too. My sister's are bigger and much more intricate. So, that's what I am up to over here.
I am still working on getting my crafts together to sell probably here on the blog. Lots to do to make it happen. I am still investigating all of it. Stay well, and I will talk to you soon.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Project Catch Up

So I have been busy with lots of different projects here. I want to share just a couple of them today.
This is the top left corner of my Dropcloth sampler. I am have such fun with this. It's like coloring with thread. It is a slow, peaceful hand project.
I cleaned and reorganized my sewing space recently and I found this fat eighth bundle that I have had for goodness knows how long. I won it when I lived in NC. The color pallet is not really my preference, but it is pretty. My middle daughter loves these deep colors so she will be the winner of a new quilt. There is a picture below of the top, but blogger re-ordered my photos and I can't seem to get it the way I'd like.
This is one of the July blocks for my Penny Sampler Pattern Club. We are now 7 months in and it is getting exciting to see things come together.
I took all my leftover yarn that is either pink or purple to start a blanket for Miss N. Her two favorite colors. This pattern is from Lucy at Attic 24. It is the cosy stripe blanket and it crochets up pretty quickly. I am one third of the way done here.
This is the clover block, the other July block for the Penny Sampler. July was a quick and easy month for this club. The other thing we did was to cut filler blocks, which are mostly 6.5 inch squares to be placed throughout the quilt.
Here, at last we come to the completed quilt top. I made strip sets and was able to get three blocks from each set. This is just a pretty lap size quilt. The borders are some Ombre Confetti Metallic I had on hand. I made the back on Friday, also from fabric on hand. This is a stash quilt for sure. I will pin baste and begin quilting this week.
The last project I have to share is my second Dear Dottie quilt. I have done all the other block combinations of lights and darks and colors. This is the last. The white borders and the colors. I have to make 53 of these blocks, and each one has 4 sections. I got all of them cut out and began assembly last week.
This is what I have so far. This quilt will not be as scrappy looking as the previous one I did. I wanted to do one with a controlled pallet ever since I made the first one. This project got lots of attention this past week, so now, it's going to take a back seat for a bit while I tend to some others.
Talk to you soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Where Has Summer Gone?

I cannot believe that next weekend is August already. The days just keep marching by, as I remain hunkered down here, baking and crafting and keeping busy. I don't think too much about what I am missing. It just makes me sad. Let's see what I have been busy with. First, we had the front lawn dug out and planted native, drought resistant plants. Kind of a good thing to do here in California where water is hit and miss year to year.
The roses all stayed. These are in the back yard, but there are 10 more in the new front yard. They were there before, but dug up until the new space was ready and then replanted in front. They suffered a bit from being out of the ground for so long, so they are still recovering and the flowers are not quite up to snuff.
This yellow beauty is also from the back yard. There are like 7 rose bushes growing in back.

This beautiful succulent is one of the new things in the front yard. It has grown huge already. The tall spikes with the purple flowers are very popular with the bees. The flowers open in the morning and close in the afternoon. There are a bunch of these and they are very prolific.
There were a couple of Plumeria in big pots out back that got put into the ground out front. This is one of my favorites. The flowers smell like butter. Really!
We are enjoying the new beauty in the front yard, now that we are here all the time. There is also some creeping rosemary and a bunch of lavender plants out there. I don't have current pictures of everything.

Like everyone else, I am also baking. A lot. I was a professional baker for about 15 years, so now that I do it for fun, it is more fun. I have always wanted to try brioche. This was my first attempt. The recipe said it made two loaves or one big loaf. Nest time I will be making just a big loaf.
But other than the size, it turned out great. It had good flavor and texture. I made us some French toast out of some of it. It was delicious. I have some projects to share, but I think I will do that in another post. Stay well and I will talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

July Thoughts

I like to come here and post the goings on in my quilty life, and sometimes the rest of my life. It's interesting to go back and read old posts, to see where I have been, when I am not sure where I am going. This has definitely been the toughest year of my life so far, with all the things going on in the world. And yes, I can say that even having had cancer 5 years ago. I had at least some idea of the outcome then. I don't have any idea of the outcome now.
So I hunker down, here at home. I am missing my family so much and there is nothing I can do about it. I am hoping by spring I can finally make a visit there, but there are no guarantees. We video chat, but you know it's not the same. There is always something you forget to say or ask about. And there are no hugs.
I am working on many projects, keeping busy. I have finished Christmas ornaments for the grandchildren and am now working on Christmas gifts and other small things. These are the blocks for my new Dear Dottie quilt. I need to get back to it after a month of making more masks and other things.
I am ever so thankful for Rachel Hauser and the Penney Sampler Pattern Club. I get several MPP blocks per month to work on and I look forward to those so much. We are now at the halfway point.

I watch the news, sparingly. Too much and I worry more and sleep less easily at night. I know what's going on in the world and it's a rough go right now. I am trying to do better and I spend a lot of time thinking while I am sewing. I am reading and listening. I often wish I had a magic wand to make things better for everyone. I do not understand why some people are the way they are. What makes hatred live inside of some, and not others?

My spring craft fair was cancelled. There are two coming up this fall that they say will happen, but I don't feel comfortable with this. Told to bring my own hand sanitizer? Nope. So I have made the tough decision that I am done with craft fairs. It started as a way to make money to support my crafty habits and help pay for plane tickets home once a year. I am over this.

That said, I have a ton of stuff here that I do not want to see sit here and just gather dust. I am trying to work out a way that I can sell this stuff (no Etsy shop, this is a one time deal) and if I can, I will then split whatever I make with a charity 50-50. I am leaning toward the Black Women's Health Imperative. I believe that all women need good health care and black women are so very often left behind. This is my chance to help a bit with that, and I want to.

So, soon I will be announcing the how of the sale of my items. I have bags, pouches, phone stands and many other things I have made. I will probably have to do this over more than one platform, but I will post that here as well. I need to inventory my stock and take some new pictures. And figure out shipping, although flat rate seems the way to go. If you have any suggestions for me, let me know.

I will talk to you soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Lavender Quilt Finished

This is the full story of the Lavender Quilt from Jodi Godfrey's book, The Seedling Quilts. When the book first came out, I was intrigued by the beautiful EPP quilts. I had done hexagons, but was itching to try something else now. I saw a photo of the Lavender quilt on line and that hooked me. There was jus something about that quilt that I had to have it. That doesn't happen to me often. So first, I bought the book. Blogger has re-ordered the photos, so bear with me here.
This is the finished quilt top. I loved the colors Jodi used. I decided to use an Ombre Confetti Metallic for the small triangles. I felt it would give me the color I wanted, but with some subtle variations due to the ombre  effect. I then ordered about 4 yards of Honey color V and Co. Ombre fabric for the half hexies and the border. I thought it would be more interesting. I had a picture in my head, which doesn't always translate to reality. When the top was finished, it didn't look like my vision, exactly. And it was too big by 12 inches. After some searching and requesting help on Instagram, and finally emailing back and forth with Jodi, I discovered the errata that the quilt was supposed to finish at 64 inches square, not 54 as in the book. The extra over that was my error. I trimmed the quilt top to 64 inches square before quilting.
I had ordered 3 yards of this Carrie Bloomston fabric and it was just perfect for the back...except it wasn't quite enough. So I inserted this dark purple stripe and then it fit. With the quilting I wanted to do, I needed 2-3 inches extra for the shrinking that would happen.

I quilted the entire quilt in a grid, one and a half inches apart to start. Then, I went back to the EPP triangle section and quilted again, this time half the distance between the first lines. It was mostly 3/4 inches spaced, but I really just eyeballed it. I am happy with the imperfect results.

After a trip through the washer and dryer to crinkle it, the texture is amazing. The crinkle of it makes the quilt. The imperfections disappear, and the ombre borders have a movement that they didn't before.
When I did the binding, which I decided to do totally by machine, I added my label and the year.
A brief bit about the binding: as I was getting close to done with the quilting, I began to consider what to bind with. I went back through my scraps to find what was left of all the fabrics. I found some strips of the fabric I used for the small triangles, a bit of the same style of a similar color, and a bit of the gold Ombre Confetti Metallic left from something else. So all together, I had enough for the binding. And I love the whole thing!!

For some of the quilting I used this guide to help with my one and a half inch lines.
This is the quilting in the border, before it got washed and dried to crinkly goodness.

A fun fact, this little triangle still had it's paper in it. I noticed it when I quilted over it. I decided to leave it because what else could I really do at that point? It softened considerably in the wash.
One last shot of the entire quilt. I highly recommend this book. There are twelve beautiful quilts waiting to be made in it. Thank you for stopping by today, and for reading this long post. I hope to see you soon.