Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quilting Bee Swap - January

I joined the 2010 Quilting Bee - one block per month swap on the Quilters' Message Board. The concept is pretty neat - I pick a theme for the whole year, but each month a different person makes me a block with my theme. I then get 12 different partners for whom I make a block with each one's chosen theme. My partner for January - and we've already sent and received - was Mary. Her chosen theme was snowmen/women, so I paper-pieced her one of each for her block.

My theme for the year is the out-of-doors (mountains, desert, etc.) so Mary did me a moon over mountain block. Isn't it pretty? Thanks, Mary!

Happy Birthday, John Denver!

He would have been 66 today.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 1973

My senior year of high school. I'm the one in the middle with the cool shag haircut. Eileen was a sophomore, and Toi Lynn was in the 4th grade. I was reading "The Night Before Christmas," a Floyd family and then a Holman family tradition for Christmas Eve.

I was so proud of this brown corduroy pantsuit! Brown and pink - great colors for 1973!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ten in 10 - I'm Taking the Challenge

After choosing to just skim past the posts about this on recipe girl's blog, I slapped myself upside my head and realized that I really need to do this.

My goals:

1. Lower my blood sugar.
2. Lose a little weight.
3. Eat and cook "healthy" - which for me, means low carb.

I'm going to have to make Kenny and Don finish the holiday treats, right? Well, I know they were good.

If you're interested in joining in, go HERE.

Monday, December 21, 2009

November STUD swap

This adorable little mini was from Kimmie, my partner for the November swap on STUD.

Included in the package were some post-it notes, chocolate, and some green rick-rack (which I forgot to put in the picture).

This is what I sent to Kimmie - it's Donna's Block by Carol Doak - all paper-pieced.

At least I remembered to put a border on it. Have you ever gotten into a series of mistakes - like forgetting to put borders on your minis before you quilted them? I did 5 in a row - finished the block, then made the sandwich, then quilted it, and THEN realized that it would really look a whole lot better with a border. I think that I've done it enough times now that I won't forget any more. But now I have 5 little unbordered minis that would make great potholders!

Paper-pieced bookmarks

America the Beautiful - finished quilt

I finished the binding on this last week, and got it mailed off to _?_ for Christmas. (I'll put their names in after Christmas!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why I didn't go to work this morning

This is what happens when a) it snows all day; b) it rains for an hour; c) the temps go down to 15˚ during the night; d) two inches of ice are created under the snow; and e) the snowplow scrapes off the snow.

We watched the gal up the street try to get down - she slid all the way. She couldn't stop at the bottom, where our road hits the main road through town, and slid all the way across into the garage on the other side. Our neighbor Tom C has a small bulldozer - he put the chains on it, and then tried to get going. He got no traction, even with a bulldozer, and gave up.

We put heavy plastic sheeting over the bedroom windows with duct tape - even our heavy duty thermal curtains couldn't keep out the cold.

Don worked for two hours to clear the berm from behind my Jeep - so that later, if the cinder truck makes it up our street, I can try to get down. I need to go to the school board meeting tonight. But first, it will take an hour to scrape the thick layer of ice off the Jeep - I'm going to have to try to break it just to get the door open to get in.

This is southern California, believe it or not!

More Handmade Ornaments

These three little ornaments are also paper-pieced, and the patterns are from the same old Quiltmaker magazine as the Santa in the previous post. I plan to make more of these as they'll make wonderful gifts.

This little stocking is 3 inches tall.

This little one is only 3 1/2 inches tall - see those teeny weeny triangles?

The tree is about 4 inches tall.

Ornament Swap

I signed up for the Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap hosted by Robyn on Daisy Quilts. My partner was Cheryl, who sent me a cute tree made with felt. She said it was the first time she'd done something in felt - she did fabulous job, don't you think? She has a great blog, The Stitchin' Chicken - and does wonderful work!

This is the little Santa I paper-pieced for her. The pattern was from a very old Quiltmaker magazine. I used a teeny gold jingle bell for the pompom on his hat, and a scrapbooking brad for his belt buckle.

I signed up fr

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mini received from Deborah

This cute little mini came in another swap, from Deborah. We were to keep them smaller than 6" square. I love the lace and buttons! Isn't this cute?

Minis sent out in swaps

This little quilt is for Kimmie, my November partner in the STUD (Swap Til You Drop) Flickr group. I used "Donna's Block" from the Carol Doak book 40 Bright and Bold Paper-Pieced Blocks.

This one went to Dee - who had sent the fabric as part of her package for me. I used some of the fabric and made her a second little mini. The block is #294 from Carol Doak's 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks.

Laura also sent fabric with her October mini - some orange with black spider webs. I used a little of that orange to make her this little witch, block # 89 from Carol Doak's 300 Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks.

Table runner and coasters for my daughter

Theresa requested these, saying her table in her apartment "needed some color." She went with me to the Quiet Mouse, where she picked out the two red and black batiks. I told her she needed a good contrast for the third color, and we found this rich blue/black batik. The two coasters are from Carol Doak's book Easy Machine Paper Piecing.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Raccoon Mini

(I forgot to take my own picture before I mailed it, so I've borrowed Laura's!)

This little raccoon was my second attempt - there are 6 different parts to put together, and it still doesn't look as good as the original. But he's still cute. The pattern is from Piece by Number's Etsy Shop. I think that when I make him again I'll add a border before I add the binding. I don't know why I didn't do that. I'm very proud of this little guy since it's was so intricate and time-consuming. I sent it to Laura for the Woodlands theme/October STUD swap.

Swaps Received - Wow!

I received from both partners this past week for the October mini-quilt swap. (We're in the Flickr group STUD -Swap Til You Drop!) First was the package from Dee - who included this adorable little doll-like guy who sits on the edge of my tv cabinet.

Her package also included a pincushion, a handmade card made by her nephew, some autumn-themed fabric, and a lovely New York Beauty mini-quilt.

Arriving the same day was this package from Laura, who sent me a mini-quilt for the "Woodlands" theme. See the cute owls? She also sent a sticky-note pad, a pencil pouch made from a recycled pretzel bag, and some Halloween-themed fabric and stickers.

I love the colors in this - and since it's woodlands-themed, it'll be going up in our trailer.

Thanks so much, Dee and Laura!!!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quilts for my great-nieces

One of my goals when I started quilting was to follow the rule of the icon on the right side of the page (Buy Handmade) and give handmade gifts. I also decided that as often as possible, the handmade gifts would be made by me. But thirdly, I made a pledge to myself to make quilts for all my great nieces and nephews. Right now there are three - two little girls in North Carolina and a little boy in Lubbock, Texas. The two little girls in NC are the daughters of my nephew, and I've been developing a nice relationship with his wife - who is, get this, an English teacher like me! We've learned we have a lot in common, and keep in touch via our blogs. Hers is called Perpetually Creating, and you need to go visit it if you want to see some great ideas for vegeterian, vegan, and sometimes raw cooking. Right now she's busy with an infant, but the recipes will soon return. Anyway, the two quilts are below.

This one is a small rag quilt, which is just right for Baby J to lie on. I plan eventually to make her a larger quilt, but for now this is the one I chose to make for her.

The pattern for this quilt is called 5 and Dime, and I chose a set of cute little girl pinks that has large-eyed deer, mushrooms, ants, and other cute designs. This one is for Little J, since she's older and bigger than Baby J.

If you'd like to see photos that B took of the J's with their quilts, go to her blog, Perpetually Creating.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Carol Doak's Holiday Mini Challenge

Carol Doak designed this mini-quilt for her Yahoo Group. Since it had a blank white square in the middle, I thought it would be nice to add a design - and I had an already-stitched Santa ornament just waiting to be placed there.

The Santa has a garland around his head that has pretty red beads on it.

A few new paper-piecing converts

Last week I taught paper piecing to some ladies in the quilting class I take on Tuesdays with Nancy Fraley. I asked Carol Doak for her permission to use "Donna's Block" from her book 40 Bright & Bold Paper-Pieced Quilt Blocks. I felt that was a simple block to start with, and I was thrilled with the colors everyone chose - they were all different. Of the nine pictured above, I'd say that 7 are "converts" to paper-piecing. The other two were glad to learn how to do it but don't like it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mother's Christmas Quilt

When I saw the black paisley print at my LQS, I immediately knew I had to make a quilt from it for Mom. She loves what she calls "jewel tones," and this one has them. She'll be able to use this as a lap quilt during the cold northwest Texas winters.

September STUD Sent TO Jennifer

This was a mini I sent to Jennifer for the September STUD swap. The theme this month was "first anniversary," and the pansy is one of the flowers suggested as a first anniversary gift. I found this cute pansy pattern on Four Twin Sisters.

STUD Mini-Quilt from Jennifer

I received this cute little mini, along with the goodies, from Jennifer in Texas. It's for the September STUD on flickr. The travel-themed background fabric reminds me of scrapbook paper. So cute!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day and Night Star Flowers Mini-Quilt

Designer: Carol Doak
Measures 12" square

STUD Mini-Quilt from Mari

This adorable little quilt came last week from Mari, who was my August partner in STUD (Swap Til U Drop!). It's all paper-pieced, and I hope I can find out who designed it so I try a few like it.

Great Book to Read

Birdhouse Mini finished

I finished the binding on this mini-quilt this morning. It's from Forest Quilting, where you can find lots of great free paper-piecing patterns. The finished mini is about 15 x 10 inches.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yucaipa Fire Photos

For those of you who don't live in the US and/or have not seen the national news stories, we've got some pretty big fires going on here in California. Two of them are right here in the town I work in, Yucaipa.

The Oak Glen III Fire started Sunday afternoon - we smelled it first. We were watching some sports on TV and smelled the smoke, and when we went outside we saw the plume overhead. It had blown over Yucaipa Ridge and was above Forest Falls. I got on the website I always go to for up-to-date information, and learned that the fire had begun in upper Yucaipa about 2 miles east of the Stater Brothers. We were naturally a bit nervous since the wind was (at that time) blowing towards us. It later shifted, though, and this fire burned mostly eastward and a bit southward. The town of Oak Glen had to be evacuated.

When I came down the mountain Monday morning to work and turned on to Bryant Street, this was the first thing I saw. Oak Glen is to the left of the highest peak (Pisgah Peak) in the center of the photo.

As I continued down Oak Glen Road, coming up the hill from the freeway were strike crews from Alpine, Lakeside, Growlersburg, and about 12 other Northern California towns. One of the helicopters was from Mendocino.

From a different angle, this is the Oak Glen III Fire burning all around Pisgah Peak and towards Oak Glen.

Monday afternoon, Ingrid and I were working in the office. Jimmy called her and told her about a new fire - at first I didn't believe him - but as soon as we walked outside, this is what we saw. This is the beginning of the Pendleton Fire, about 2 miles southeast of the Oak Glen III Fire - and this one was apparently started by arsonists. Since Ingrid lives in upper Yucaipa, and this fire was burning towards her home, she left immediately.

I soon followed, and as I got to the top of the wash on Bryant, this was the view I had of the Pendleton Fire from the south.

I stopped at the Stater Brothers parking lot to take some photos - the flames were really high but I didn't capture any from here.

There were seven helicopters, a DC-10, and a 747 (from Canada) on the air attack for this fire. The helicopters were getting their water from the lakes at Yucaipa Regional Park as well as Crafton Hills Reservoir.

My friend Kate's husband Roger took this last night at 7:00 as the Pendleton Fire came down the ridge towards them. They soon evacuated.

My friend Aimee took this one at about 8:00. The Pendleton Fire started over on the left side and burned towards the right. Pretty scary. About this time we got the phone call from the District saying school would be closed today.

If you'd like to see some more great photos of the two fires go here: