Saturday, February 25, 2012

Border Idea

Turquoise Scraps

I'm just about ready to do the borders for Echoes - Frog Quilt. I don't have enough turquoise yardage to do all one fabric, which is my preference. I decided to make a pieced border, or a partial one, using turquoise scraps. I pulled anything that was at least 4.5" long, in any width. I'll sew those together to make scrappy strips that are 4.5" tall. I doubt that there are enough scraps to go all the way around the quilt top, so I plan to buy a bit of turquoise yardage to fill in the empty spots. I'm thinking about wrapping the pieced strips around two opposite corners, namely the top left and bottom right corners, then filling in the gaps with solid. Something like below:

Border idea - Two scrappy pieced corners and two solid fabric corners

Here it is flipped horizontally. I almost like this way better. I'll experiment and see which one wins.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday 2/22/2012

Echoes - Frog Quilt
Main part of quilt top

This week I got the main part of Echoes - Frog Quilt sewn together. Still needed are two borders. The inner border I'm thinking of a turquoise, like in the lily pad blocks. That should help brighten up the quilt, which seems a bit dark right now. Then the outer border will be the same background green.

Remember to Play
Mixed Media Quilt
9" x 12"

Monday night I sewed my first mixed media piece, Remember to Play. I started with a greeting card that had a interesting photo of an old woman playing marbles, and went on from there. I feel that it needs a bit more embellishment. Tonight I picked up some buttons and snaps (substitute for buttons), and I'll sew a few to the piece, probably across the red ribbon and under the photo. The project was quick and fun (a couple of hours), and I'd like to continue making more.

Music and guitar fabrics for a quilt for Darrell, a musician friend.

Block for Darrell quilt
Guitar fabric will be in center, music fabric is in the corners. Alternating blocks will be slightly different.

Electric Quilt sketch for Darrell quilt

I've been wanting to make a quilt for Darrell, a musician friend. While I was out of town on Saturday I bought music and guitar fabrics from two different quilt shops. Both of the fabrics happened to be on my Wish List on Now I won't have to pay for shipping. Woo-hoo! Last night I found a cute block that would show off the guitar fabric nicely in the center and tonight I designed the quilt. It looks like I'll have enough of each fabric for the pattern. I'll get started on the project when I finish Echoes - Frog Quilt.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My week

I've been off work for over a week now. It's been great, but tomorrow I go back to reality. At the beginning of my vacation week I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish, in the hopes of not frittering away my time. I'm happy to say that I got most, if not all, of my list done.

On Wednesday I ate a late breakfast at Mimi's, where I had my favorite: mixed berry pain perdu. Then I drove to Pacifica, just south of San Francisco, for the day. It was beautiful weather, and not as windy as is was at home. I was very tempted to spend the night, but I couldn't afford it and wisely resisted the temptation.

Signs warning of high surf breaking over the sea wall. I've witnessed this a time or two, but when I arrived it wasn't a problem.

The view from near my favorite bench.
After I'd sat by the water for a while, I went to a coffee shop and got coffee and a lemon bar. I had about an hour before sunset and I was afraid to drive anywhere for fear of being rushed or being late for the sunset. So I went and sat in my car.

I parked my car behind the rocks. The ocean is just below the rocks.The tide was coming in and I wanted to stay to see the sunset.

I've seen cars get drenched with big waves coming over these rocks. With a half hour to go before sunset, I wondered if my car would get splashed, and I was kind of looking forward to it. Here's a wave that didn't quite make it over the rocks.

Sunset over Pacifica
By the way, just as I was about to start my car, some spray came over the rocks and hit my windshield. Woo-hoo!

Dinner time at Gorilla BBQ, as seen on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
I always eat here when I come to Pacifica.

Daiso Japan in Daly City
I read about this place on the internet. It struck me as a kind of Japanese dollar store. This the closest store to where I live, so I had to check it out while I was in the area.

Nearly everything is $1.50 and, yes, it is very much like a dollar store. I picked up a basket for my medicine cabinet, a plastic colander to drain pasta, a splitter to accommodate two sets of earbuds on one Ipod or other device, and a set of earbuds. The last two items were for traveling with a friend; since my car radio doesn't work, I listen to Pandora on my phone. $1.50 isn't a bad price for "disposable" earbuds.
Here's the basket filled with medicine. I'm very short, and it's been difficult to reach bottles in the cabinet. Now I can just pull out the basket and reach anything I need. Marvelous!
After Daiso, I went to Joann's. I had hoped to end the evening at the bookstore across the parking lot from Joann's, but the bookstore was no longer there. I don't recall if it was Borders or Barnes and Noble. Whichever it is, it was gone. What a disappointment. I stayed at Joann's until closing time and left empty handed. I found a Starbucks nearby, used the restroom and bought a drink for the road. I got home before midnight. It was a great day.

One of my targets for the week was to alter a sewing pattern and sew the garment. I altered the pattern, but didn't get any farther. I stopped working on the garment in order to work on Echoes - Frog Quilt, another target.  I attached borders to the centers of the Echoes - Frog Quilt blocks, and I sewed the blocks together to form the main part of the quilt top. 

Downtown Winters
Cloth Carousel quilt shop is next door to the Visitors Center, where the quilt guild meeting was held.

Putah Creek Cafe
Just a few steps from Carousel Quilt shop

With the quilt top sewn together I was able to share it at the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild meeting. This month's meeting was in Winters, CA, which is west of Sacramento. I had never been there, but it seems like a quaint western sort of town. My friend and co-worker Sharon E. went along with me. Our guild meeting was held at the Visitors Center on Main Street and afterward we went next door to the Cloth Carousel quilt shop. I found a music-themed fabric that has been on my Wish List at I went ahead and bought a yard, with no clue as to the quilt pattern. I'll just make it work somehow.

After the quilt shop, Sharon and I walked to the corner and had lunch at Putah Creek Cafe, which has been on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. The food was really good, and I got to add another restaurant to my list of places I've seen on Food Network.

One of the items on our itinerary was to drop off fabric with quilting friend Marilyn L., who coordinates Vacaville Binky Patrol. We met up with Marilyn at Quilted Heart quilt shop in Vacaville. I donated a couple of boxes plus a couple of bags of fabric. It helps me reduce my stash, and I know that the fabric will be used for a good cause. While at the quilt shop, I found yet another music-themed fabric that was on my Equilter Wish List. I bought a yard and a half. Again, I'll make it work. The project is a quilt for Darrell, a musician friend. I couldn't believe I found both of these fabrics on the same day. And the best part is I don't have to pay shipping.
Fabrics for quilt for musician friend Darrell

Pin I bought at Quilted Heart. My daughter Lisa has long believed I need to join Quiltaholics Anonymous. She laughed when I sent her a picture of the pin.

After Vacaville we drove to Sacramento, to the South Natomas branch of the Sacramento Library. Sharon got a library card. Much like I do, Sharon can now download e-books to her Kindle, borrowing them from Sacramento Library through I download to my phone and read books using my Kindle app. It's a great thing.

Next we drove to nearby Ikea West Sacramento. This was Sharon's first time to Ikea. She picked up a few things, but I was unable to find the Annamoa fabric I was hoping for, which was supposed to be back in stock in February. The fabric has mountain goats on it, and I want some to make something for my granddaughter Piper, who I call "my little mountain goat." She loves to climb. Oh, well, I'll keep checking each month.
This mirror at Ikea looks like a baby's head with little curls on top.

After Ikea we stopped at In N Out Burger for the restroom and a milkshake, then headed home. Sharon and I had a great time together. I'm so glad she came along with me.

Also on my list of targets was a mixed media project - my first attempt. While I was at the grocery store I picked up a greeting card showing an old woman playing marbles. Tonight I did a little wallhanging featuring the photo. It took me just a couple of hours. I completely winged it, and aside from the greeting card, I used things that were on hand. Here it is:

Remember to Play
My first mixed media project
Mostly from supplies on hand

I like it. I may add a bit more embellishment. I'll write a separate post with details about how I made the wallhanging.

So that was my week. I accomplished just about all I set out to do. I'm really glad I didn't waste the week. I feel proud that I was productive and had fun, too.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Main Part of Top Done for Echoes - Frog Quilt

Main part of Echoes - Frog Quilt top

I got the main part of the quilt top sewn together, about an hour sooner than I expected. Woo-hoo! I'll be taking it with me to the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild meeting tomorrow (Saturday). I'm so happy it's done.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blocks finished for Echoes - Frog Quilt

Quilt blocks for Echoes - Frog Quilt

I just finished attaching borders to the centers of the blocks of Echoes - Frog Quilt. It looks pretty dark, and I'm wondering now if I should have used bright green in some of the plain fabric centers instead of the olive. In particular, rows 1 and 5 look quite gray. Oh, well. I'm not re-doing them. To cheer it up I'm thinking of using turquoise as the inner border. I could do a light green, but it needs a different color.

Next I'll sew the blocks into rows, then sew the rows together to form the main part of the quilt top. I want to get all of that done tonight so I can bring the quilt top to tomorrow's Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild meeting. Good thing I'm a night owl!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday 2/15/2012

I have no progress to report this week. Very weird for me. I know I spent part of two days watching my granddaughter, I spent a couple of evenings working on a sewing pattern, and today I was out of town. I've been off work since last Thursday and I still find it strange that I haven't quilted at all. Oh, well.

During the next couple of days I plan to attach borders to the centers of Echoes - Frog Quilt blocks, then assemble the main part of the quilt top in time for Saturday's Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild meeting.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Targets for this week

I've taken a week off from my regular job. I won't be back at work until a week from Tuesday. I'd like to get some things accomplished during my time off, and not just putter the week away. I've had long weekends recently where I've parked myself on the sofa and didn't get up unless it was absolutely necessary. I don't want this week to end up like that.

Today I spent the morning with my 2-year-old granddaughter while my daughter-in-law (my new housekeeper) cleaned my house. We went to the gas station, PetSmart, Target and Del Taco. That was fun and much more productive than watching TV and dozing. So I'm off to a good start. My targets for tonight and the rest of the week:

Alter a pattern for a top and sew it up to see how it fits. If it works I can apply the adjustments to other patterns. I've had the pattern and fabric for months.

Attach border strips to the centers of Echoes - Frog Quilt, and assemble at least the main part of the quilt top for show-and-tell at Saturday's Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild meeting.

Make something from Sew Somerset, a magazine with projects that combine sewing with mixed-media. This will be my first attempt and I need to gather my courage, quiet the perfectionist in me and just do it - even if it doesn't turn out well. I'll learn a lot, if nothing else. And I'll probably do better on the next one.

Go on a day trip to Pacifica. I can't afford to stay the night this time, but I can still visit the ocean for a day. I'm planning to do that on Wednesday.

On Saturday I'll go to the aforementioned quilt guild meeting. This month we're meeting in Winters, about a 2-hour drive. My friend and co-worker Sharon E. will be coming with me. After the meeting we plan to have lunch in Winters at Putah Creek Cafe, as seen on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Following lunch we'll be dropping off some fabric to benefit Vacaville Binky Patrol with friend Marilyn L., who coordinates the chapter. Marilyn and I are still working out the logistics but there's still plenty of time to figure it out. This will be the second donation I've made to the chapter, which really helps reduce my stash.

Once we've done the Vacaville thing, it will be on to Sacramento. My friend Sharon is interested in getting a Sacramento library card so she can borrow e-books and download them to her Kindle. I borrow e-books through Sacramento library, too, but I download them to my phone using a Kindle app. I'm thinking of going to Ikea West Sacramento, as well, to see if they have some fabric I want. I had my eye on the fabric for months and when I was ready to buy, they were Sacramento and in Emeryville. Darn! I was told that they should have more of the fabric in February. So, since I'm close, I'd might as well look.

So those are the things I'd like to get done this week. I'll try to report next Monday evening on how I did.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

WIP Wednesday 2/8/2012

This week I finished Echoes - Cathy's Southwest. Actually I finished it about an hour after last week's WIP posting. You can see the finished quilt and read more about it here.

Centers of blocks for Echoes - Frog Quilt

Also this week I began Echoes - Frog Quilt, using scraps and leftovers from Frog Quilt, which was completed last October. Like Echoes - Cathy's Southwest, this quilt is a charity quilt for the Redwood Family Center. This group of quilts called Echoes, gets its name from having fabrics and color schemes in common with the original quilts.

Sequence of 35 numbers (representing 35 blocks), created by Random Sequence Generator at The numbers are arranged in seven rows of five, like the quilt design.

Following the sequence above, I laid out the 18 block centers wherever the numbers 1-18 appeared.

I moved just three block centers to find something that pleased my eye. I didn't want to fuss around too much. I wanted to retain the random look.

I filled in with plain blocks, trying to use identical fabrics (my preference) across each row. I had to piece only three blocks (woo-hoo!), and row three is the only row that is "different."

The turquoise/pink lily pad fabrics in the second row had the same frog in both, and it was a little too repetitive so I switched out the top left with the bottom left lily pad blocks. You may not be able to see a difference, but I like this arrangement better.

 Within the next couple of days I'll begin attaching narrow borders in bright green around each block center. This quilt will be very green, like the original. By the way, I considered using bright green in some of the plain blocks, but it seemed to be too much, so I used the olive green. I think the olive will tone down the brightness, so in the end I think I'll be glad I made that choice.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Echoes - Frog Quilt has begun

For co-worker Sara T.
Completed 10/19/2011
Scraps and leftovers being used to create Echoes - Frog Quilt
There were about a dozen units like these, cross-cuts from strip-piecing the original Frog quilt. My goal was to use up these strips first.

Two three-piece units

Sewn together

Not quite wide enough to get two 6.5" cuts, so added a strip to one end.
Cut roughly in the center

Trimmed to create two blocks measuring 6.5" (unfinished)

Two-piece units

Added strip to middle to make tall enough

Sewn together

Trimmed to make 6.5" unfinished block

18 pieced blocks

My design calls for 35 blocks, so I need 17 plain one-fabric blocks. Ideally I would be able to cut lots of 6.5" squares, but it's a good bet I'll have to do some piecing as I did in Echoes - Cathy's Southwest.

I plan to use lily pad fabric from the original Frog quilt. The print is a little feminine, but otherwise the quilt could be for a boy or girl. Like Echoes - Cathy's Southwest, this quilt will be given to Redwood Family Center.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Echoes - Cathy's Southwest Quilt Finished

Echoes - Cathy's Southwest
Charity Quilt for Redwood Family Center
70" x 90"
Original Design
Centers of blocks made of scraps and leftovers from quilt below.

Here is the original Cathy's Southwest quilt. I named the charity quilt series Echoes because the quilts share common fabric and color schemes of the originals.

The last few inches of topstitching the edge of the quilt after a pillowcase finish. I almost made it all around the twin-sized quilt before my bobbin ran out. So close!

Here's all that was left on the spool when I finished the topstitching. Wow, just made it.

I plan to make more Echoes quilts. I have background fabric for quilts made of leftovers from Frog, A Study in Stripes and Cristine's Bosties. When I have a few quilts finished, I'll take them to my church. Representatives from Redwood Family Center, where recovering addicted and alcoholic mothers live with their children, will pick up the quilts and deliver to the residents.

This is a large project, which includes about 50 twin-sized beds. To help defray costs, several generous co-workers have contributed cash, fabric store gift cards, batting and discount coupons to help purchase background fabric, batting, backing and other finishing supplies for the quilts. Many thanks to:

Sharon E.
Misti C.
Tricia T.
Lena R.
Cindy F.
Margarita A.
Thomasina W.

Thank You Note for Exquisite Jewels Quilt

Exquisite Jewels Quilt

This past December I finished Exquisite Jewels from a quilt top that had lain dormant for years. I donated the finished quilt to BASIC Housing in New York City. The quilt would be given to a family coming out of homelessness.

Today I received a postcard from BASIC Housing and Bumble Beans Inc., thanking me for the quilt donation: "BASIC Housing, Inc. serves hundreds of families every year with transitional homeless housing and other essential services. Your quilt will provide one of these families with warmth and the comfort of knowing that people from all over the country care. Your kindness and generosity will not be forgotten."

I hope that whoever received the quilt will enjoy it.

Pandora Surprise

A couple of days ago I was listening to Pandora Radio on my phone. I didn't really like the song that was playing and was going to "Thumbs Down" the song. What a surprise to see what looked like a quilt block! I got so involved trying to get a picture, the song ended before I could push the thumbs down button. Oh, well...

WIP Wednesday 2/1/2012

I'm about an hour away from finishing Echoes - Cathy's Southwest. I'm tying the last few dozen knots. By the time I finish it will be very late and I'll need to go to bed. So I won't get a photo of the finished quilt until tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm posting the quilt top one last time.