Thursday, March 24, 2011

Leaving very soon

There isn’t much time left before I leave to visit my daughter in Washington state. In addition to Saturday night’s special event, we plan to go to a improv comedy show as well as spend a couple of days in Canada. I’m excited about my trip and about seeing my daughter!

Nearly done

I did a pillowcase finish on the Nurse quilt last night, turned it right side out and edge-stitched to close the opening. I put a few safety pins through the layers to hold them together and brought the almost-finished quilt to work to show off. Tonight I’ll tie knots and the quilt will be done.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Researching ferry prices

I almost said ferry “fares” but that was a little too redundant. Anyway, last night I checked into ferries from Vancouver to Victoria. Per person rate is about $13 each way. Not bad. However, to take a car is another $60 each way. Yikes! My daughter Lisa and I have agreed to park the car at the dock and take public transportation once we’re in Victoria. Taking the bus will be a stretch for Lisa, but fortunately I’m used to using local transporation on my travels.

Quilt top assembled

Last night I sewed together the quilt top for the Nurse quilt. I had hoped to get the backing pieced and the quilt sandwich put together. The backing felt funny, though, and when I checked my receipt I found that I had bought a poly-cotton blend, not 100% cotton. I almost went ahead and used it, but decided not to settle.
Tonight I’ll stop at Joann’s and pick up backing, do a pillowcase turn on the quilt, and tie a few knots to hold it together so can I show off the nearly-finished quilt at work tomorrow. I can finish the rest of the knots on Thursday night.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Turquoise Strippie Given

Turquoise Strippie

Last year I made three quilts and donated them to my church, to be distributed as the visiting pastor saw fit.  Yesterday I got an email from church member Nancy G., whose young granddaughter Kate received Turquoise Strippie.  Kate is undergoing treatment for a very serious illness.

I was really touched when I read the email.  I made the quilts in the hope that they would be given to people who are going through difficult times.  Pastor Cliff has done exactly that.  (Another quilt, Blue and Yellow Crumb, was given to a lady battling breast cancer.)

I hope the quilt brings cheer and comfort to Kate.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Almost there

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be in Victoria, BC this coming Sunday when I visit my daughter Lisa, who lives near the U.S.-Canadian border. My 30+ year old dream of returning to Victoria is about to become reality.

Blocks almost finished

I’ve been working away at the blocks for the Nurse quilt for my daughter Lisa. The paper-pieced corner sections of the Red Cross 2 blocks are done and the 4.5” squares have been cut, ready for assembly. Last night I drew the large paper-pieced patterns for the King’s Cross blocks and finished the second of those four blocks. Tonight I hope to have all the blocks finished, and maybe assemble the quilt top.
On Friday I bought backing material, a dark red similar to the one found on the quilt top. I picked up batting, too. I’m getting close to the end!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Looking for pink and white striped fabric

On Saturday my friend Lena and I went to Quilters Corner in Sacramento. While I was browsing, I thought about the pink and white striped fabric I needed for Wanda’s quilt. I could have kicked myself for not bringing the sweater along with me. I looked around the store but didn’t find anything that seemed to fit the bill.

Tonight I spent some time looking online. I found a few possibilities, but I’m not in a big hurry, and I’m going to check locally before I commit to an internet purchase.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Liberated Shoo Fly Quilt Finished

"I hope it brings a child some cheer."

How I did it: Last fall I had made some blocks for a charity quilt. Then I decided to give the quilt to an orphanage in Mexico through my church. The quilts needed to be a certain size, and I had to add lots of big squares of fabric to make mine big enough. After I finished the top, I gave it to the ladies who were coordinating the church project. They machine quilted the top and gave the quilt back to me to finish.

I took the completed quilt to work today to share with the co-workers who contributed money and discount coupons to help purchase finishing supplies. Tomorrow the quilt will be picked up from my house, and later this week a team of members of my church will take my quilt and many others to the orphanage in Mexico.

Lessons and tips: To save money, use your fabric stash as much as possible. My quilt top is made entirely from stash. Don't be afraid to ask for monetary help. Post flyers at work, asking for cash and discount coupons to finish your quilts. This gives non-quilters a chance to participate even if they don't sew. Try Wal-Mart for cheap but durable sheets for backing.

Resources: Joann's fabric store: batting
Wal-Mart: inexpensive sheets

It took me 3 months.

It made me Happy

Extension granted on doll quilt

Originally the challenge doll quilt was due at last Saturday’s quilt guild meeting. I’ve been concentrating on my daughter’s Nurse quilt, so I opted not to do the project. Most of the guild members didn’t get their quilts done, either. So we’ve been given an extension, with the new due date of the April meeting. My daughter’s quilt will be done at the end of this month, so I should be able to participate in the challenge.

Guy Fieri's Tex Wasabi in Sacramento

After Saturday’s quilt guild meeting in Sacramento, my friend Lena and I had lunch at Guy Fieri’s Tex Wasabi restaurant, near Arden Fair Mall. I’d been to Tex Wasabi in Santa Rosa a few years ago, which seems a bit smaller.

I didn’t want to have to choose between sushi or barbeque, so I had a little of both—as I did in Santa Rosa. This time I ordered a Margarita Chicken sandwich and a California roll. They were good. I especially enjoyed the fried onion in my sandwich. I considered trying the Jackass roll for sushi, but there’s something about french fries in a roll-up that doesn’t do it for me. The California roll was inexpensive.
Lena and I had a nice lunch. No, I didn’t see Guy, but I didn’t expect to.

Three blocks done

I finished the three different blocks of the Nurse quilt in time to show them off at Saturday’s quilt guild meeting in Sacramento. I’ve got 6 blocks to go. I’ve paper-pieced four corner sections, so it’s more like 5.5 blocks. I’ll keep plugging away at them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More corner sections

Tonight I worked on another set of four corner sections of Red Cross 2 blocks for the Nurse quilt. I got about 2/3 of the way through them and quit because it was so late. By the way, I’m paper piecing most of the blocks for the quilt. I get nice, sharp, clean angles and I don’t have to be super-precise in cutting the fabric pieces. I cut the fabric over-sized and it all works out in the end. Love that technique!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Picking up quilt tomorrow

I called yesterday asking about my quilt, Liberated Shoofly. It’s been machine quilted and is ready to be bound. I’ll pick it up tomorrow and bind it this weekend. I’ll take it in to work on Monday to show to the people who contributed to help with finishing supplies. I’d like them to see the result of their contributions.

I finished one quilt for the orphanage. I received $25 in donations for finishing supplies and I have $7 or $8 left. All of the quilts will be taken to Mexico next week—about a month earlier than any of us quilters expected. I could try to crank out another quilt really fast, but I’m working on my daughter’s Nurse quilt and I have to stay on that task to get it finished by the end of this month. So I’m going to donate the leftover money to the ladies who are doing the machine quilting. They still need batting for the last couple of quilts. I’ll tell the contributors. I’m sure they won’t mind.

First four sections done

Tonight I put together four corner sections of the Red Cross 2 blocks for the Nurse quilt. I’ll put another set together tomorrow night. My quilt guild meeting is on Saturday, and I’d like to have a sample of the quilt’s three blocks for Show and Tell. So Thursday and Friday I’ll work on the other two blocks—one of which is a simplified version of Red Cross 2 and the other is King’s Cross. Both of them are pretty easy.

I feel like I made pretty good progress tonight.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Mardi Gras Dinner

Wall at Mimi's Cafe

Tonight was Mardi Gras.  For the second Fat Tuesday in a row, I went to Mimi's Cafe for dinner.  Mimi's Cafe is a French country sort of restaurant, but is has a dining room with a New Orleans/Mardi Gras theme.  I love to be in that room.  There's so much fun stuff to look at.  There was no big party at Mimi's, not that I need one; like last year it was pretty quiet.  But I enjoyed my meal.

I think I'll make it a tradition to eat dinner at Mimi's on Mardi Gras.  Why not?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Practice blouse finished

Saturday night I finished the practice blouse. I hate it. It’s way, way, way too big. It looks like a choir robe or a beauty salon apron. At first I wanted to toss the whole pattern. Later I decided I might give it another try, leaving out the gusset which makes the armhole so big. I’ll cut the front and back narrower, too.

Some fabric pieces cut

Last night I ironed most of the Nurse quilt fabrics and cut most of the pieces for the corner sections of the Red Cross 2 blocks. I need to cut pieces of the Nurse/Doctor theme fabric, and then I’ll start paper-piecing the 16 corner sections. I hope to get at least half of the corner sections done tonight.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Last fabric bought for Nurse quilt

I just bought the last two fabrics for my daughter Lisa’s Nurse quilt. The lady at the Beverly Fabrics cutting counter was the same one who had loaned me her personal coupon a few days ago. When I tried to pay her back with my own coupon, she said to keep it. She could find another one in the newspaper. That was really nice, and gave me the chance to buy both fabrics at her store. Otherwise, I would have had only one acceptable coupon and would have had to either buy the solid burgundy fabric at Joann’s or wait until later. Beverly’s accepts Joann’s coupons from flyers and mailers, but not those printed from emails.
I’m washing the fabrics now, and will start working on the quilt in a little bit.

I have the sweater

Wanda brought her pink sweater to work the other day. She wondered if I wanted to snip a thread as a sample of the pink color. I asked if I could keep the sweater for a little while to take it to the fabric stores to try to match up the pink. She looked a little panicked at first, but then she said it was okay. She wouldn’t wear the sweater (sleeveless) until it gets warmer.

Golly, did I fail to mention to Wanda that I was planning to make a quilt for her partly based on the sweater’s bright pink color and thin white stripes? I think I did! Shame on me.

Going to Victoria BC this month

My daughter Lisa lives in Washington state, very close to the Canadian border. I’m going to visit Lisa at the end of this month. She and I plan to visit Victoria and Vancouver during my trip.

It’s been over 30 years since I first saw Victoria. I was on a church choir trip, and during the brief three hours we were in the city, I fell in love with its European feel. I’ve been wanting to go back all these years. I’ll be there in less than a month.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Have a design, bought some fabric

Nurse Quilt EQ6 Sketch
Floral areas represent Nurse/Doctor theme print

Tuesday night I created a design for the Nurse quilt. I like to tie in block names with the individual’s personality and interests. My daughter Lisa is studying to be a nurse. I chose Red Cross 2 block because it relates to nursing, and the block will be used in five of the 9 blocks. I used King’s Cross block for the corners—not because it has anything to do with Lisa, but because it looked good and it created a frame around the quilt.

Tonight I shopped for fabric. I found a mottled medium dark olive, a medium dark pink with a subtle dot, and a solid burgundy. I needed a background, and considered several tone-on-tones and prints. After a long search, a very bold jungle leaf/animal print caught my eye. Did I dare use it? My daughter told me to go crazy with the quilt. Okay!

I had one discount coupon on me, and the gal at the cutting table loaned me her personal coupon. I don’t like to pay full price for my quilting supplies, so tonight I ended up getting only two fabrics: the olive since there wasn’t much left of it, and the bold leaf/animal print. As for the other two fabrics, there was plenty of each of them and I can pick them in a few days. I have to go back anyway to give the cutting table gal a replacement coupon from my own flyer.