Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas

 Wishing everyone a very
Merry Christmas 

and Happy Holidays.

Enjoy the time you 
spend with family and friends.
Remember that
all the effort it takes
to make the holiday special 
is worth it 
when it brings smiles 
to young faces.

Me and my sister, Jane

Merry Christmas-

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Rawr Means Happy Holidays in Dinosaur

Generally, this isn't the time
of year when our thoughts go
to dinosaurs. 

But if you're a 5 year old
and a 2 1/2 year old boy

you're searching for them constantly.
Maybe,  just maybe, you'll spot one.

We were lucky.

Not a dino, but a mastodon
with a dinosaur quilt!
What a lucky sighting.

The boys were hoping
this big guy would be friendly and 
be willing to part with his quilts,
just for them.
 Funny, this mastodon's Nana
uses the same pattern that this Nana
uses for her quick and easy kiddos quilt.

And she even made them extra long.
Of course, her little mastodon would 
need that to keep his toes covered.

How perfect.

Every quilter must love using a 
striped fabric for the binding.

And look, even dinosaurs quilted in the corners.
I guess it just goes to prove
that dinosaurs are popular 
no matter the time of the year
and with those big and small.
"Fa, Rawr, rawr, rawr, rawr"
Until Next Time-

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Gentle Lapping of Ocean Waves

After reading my title
did you think I had escaped to some
exotic warm tropical island?

I could only wish, but instead
with the busy holiday season and
a dilly of a holiday season cold,
I've been working on my 
vintage ocean wave blocks.

Minus one block
the center blocks for the quilt 
have been stitched.

You can tell right away 
these 30's and 40's prints
do not create the same graphic design
that you typically see with this pattern.
 The fabrics are not very high contrast.
So there isn't the dramatic distinction between lights and darks. 

As compared to
  this antique Ocean Wave 
with early 1900's fabrics
I repieced and quilted in 2011.

The 30's fabrics make more
of a mosaic pattern with all
of the prints and colors meshing together.

I have more half blocks to piece
and then I think I'll have enough leftover pieces
for a simple border.

Hand piecing has proved for me the only
way to handle the inconsistent seam allowances.
After marking the finished size triangle
on the wrong side of the fabric 

the seams have varied from 1/16th to 3/8".

It's simple been the matter of 
carefully matching and pinning 
the marked sewing lines and
stitching on the line on both triangles.

I don't stitch the seam allowances down,
but rather allow them to flip
 to one direction or the other.
This allows me to get right up to the spot where
I need to match points.
I'm in the habit of making a couple small
back stitches with a knot on one side of the seam, 

passing through to the other side, 

 doing two back stitches with a knot
 and then continuing on sewing.

It may seem like a lot of extra steps
but it adds some extra security that it
won't come undone at the seams and it
keeps the seams snugged up tight together.

It's the rhythm of my hand piecing.
Just like the soothing sound of the waves
lapping on that warm sandy beach.
Until Next Time-

Monday, November 21, 2016

Over The River and Through The Woods

With Thanksgiving just around the 
corner here in the states,
there's a whole lot of prepping going on.

Quilt wise, the same thing.
Prepping needles
for more stitching on
my vintage ocean wave.

Last week I was basting like this.

 This week I'll be basting like this.

I've got daughters and their husbands 
and grandkiddos coming my way

minus the one horse open sleigh,
so quilting will have to wait.

But that's okay.
Just two little thoughts 
for our Thanksgiving Day.


Until Next Time-

Friday, November 11, 2016

Quilters Love to Share

One thing I know for sure
is that Quilters love to share
their finished quilts.

And why not!
Each is a work of art,
a labor of love,
a creative expression
using color, fabric and thread.
We're proud of those 
have you figured out 
I have something to show 
that I've finished?
"La Fete De Noel"
a Moda pattern by French General

This quilt has a story.

A while ago, one of the Quilty Buddy's neighbors
unexpectedly passed away and my friend was
asked to come to the house and take and share everything
that was in this gal's sewing room.

One of the items I took was this kit.
It had been started, but there were some
sewing mistakes.
That's possibly one of the reasons it 
was unfinished.

Another reason might have been that
the pattern was no longer with the kit.
There's no way of knowing when
the kit and pattern became separated.

I could find a photo of the pattern cover, but 
it was no longer available from Moda
and the French General just had
a couple of corrections for the directions
on her website.

So using some math skills,
I figured out the pattern based
on the few things I knew.

The red and green does have
a Christmas feel to it.  The fabrics were
a Christmas line from French General, but I think 
it could be enjoyed anytime.

Because this quilt was gifted to me,
 I plan to share it with someone else.
I think the neighbor would be pleased. 
On another note,
watching Running Man 
yesterday reminded me of the 
importance of using the right equipment for the job,
quilting or otherwise.. 

If you decide to stain the trim on 
a house, 

make sure you 
get the right kind of "safe" equipment.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Time to Vote

 November 8th is 
election day here.
It's the day to make your voice heard.

Quilts are also a way of making
your voice heard.  
They can be be made for any reason,
to celebrate any occasion or
to commemorate any event.

 On the eve of this historic
Presidential Election,
this is a quilt that I made
to commemorate and remember
 the presidential election of 2000.
"Our Next President is...?"
 40" x 54"

We all watched history unfold
that evening and for several days after
as different media reports 
came and went.

Was our next 43rd  president,

Republican George W. Bush or
 Democrat Al Gore?

Over the course of time,
 we all learned more about 
butterfly ballots,
dimpled ballots,
dangling chads, and
absentee ballots.

 We all tried to remembered from
our American government classes
the difference of the popular vote verses
a state's electoral votes.

We watched as our country
worked through various conflicts and procedures
in a peaceful way to determine the 
outcome of that election.

With another close election
on our doorstep,
take the time to vote.

Your vote does matter.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hula Hoops?

 Many of us might remember
this craze.
The hula hoop fad started.

It took some waist and hip action
to get the plastic hoop rotating, but

once you got the momentum going
just a slight movement of the body 
kept the hoop going round and round.

A couple of  months ago this project
came into my sewing room.
The fabrics were in pristine yet fragile condition.
It was just that the sewing was way off
and the pieces would never fit together happily.

It was like stepping into a hula hoop,
gripping the hoop firmly with two hands
and starting it spinning around my body. 
The momentum has gotten faster and faster.

That's what's happened with these
innocent vintage blocks.
I can't seem to stop.
It's pushed it's way to the top of the pile,
and I haven't been able to work on anything else. 
I knew if I put them away in a cupboard,
there they would stay until someone else had
the chance to figure out what to do.

So, I've just gone with the flow.
Taking 60 blocks apart...

laying out the triangles and

getting them all pressed.

With no consistent seam allowances
I knew it would have to be a hand stitching project.
That has required marking the sewing line 
 on each triangle piece.

The real trick comes now

Keep up the momentum and
all the hoops spinning.
I'm ready to start hand piecing.
Until Next Time-

Thursday, October 20, 2016

When In Florida...Watch Out for Hurricanes

This week I've asked my daughter Kate,
who lives in south Florida, to share 
her Matthew experience.  
Being a Hurricane Rookie  and 
watching a category 4 hurricane approaching 
 is nothing to take lightly.

Growing up in Colorado 
the only storms I was familiar with were
 the occasional tornadoes that swept across the plains during the summer 
or the winter blizzards that would dump tons of sparkling snow
 and turn our yard into a winter wonderland.  

When I made the move to Florida 7 years ago,
 I remember trading weather "war" stories with my co-workers 
and soon realized that my snow storms didn't seem so daunting 
compared to the Florida hurricanes.

I've counted myself lucky
 with just one Tropical Storm under my belt, 
and even that storm was nothing compared to the daily thunderstorms 
I encounter on my way home through the Everglades on July afternoons.

Summer storm over the Everglades

Starting in June,
 I begin checking the National Hurricane Center on a daily basis, 
wondering which small disturbance off the coast of Africa 
might angrily hurl itself towards Florida.  

And then, 
on the week of October 2nd, a little storm called Matthew 
appeared on my computer screen.  
Usually the predictive models shift dramatically and
 you can't put too much stock in its path.  
However, the next few days the storm strengthened and
 the path became more focused and seemed to be heading our way.

Storms a 'comin

I spent the earlier part of the week at the beach 
with my older sister and nephew 
who were visiting from Colorado.  
(And yes, she left for home two days before!)
We watched as dark clouds loomed over the ocean and
 I knew what was brewing out there: a Category 4 hurricane.

A hurricane kit is an essential part of becoming a Floridian. 
 It's equipped with nonperishable food, candles, matches, flashlights, 
duct tape, plastic, and other emergency gear. 
 I double checked our kit and 
found that we were missing the most important item:  Peanut butter. 

So on Wednesday morning, 
before work I naively went to the local Walmart at 6am thinking
 I would have the aisles to myself and 
browse the 100 different types of peanut butter. 
 However, the  parking lot was pure chaos. 
It was like Black Friday only worse 
with people literally running into the store. 
Entire shelves were empty and
as I grabbed the very last jar of creamy peanut butter 
I really expected to have to fight someone off!

6am at Walmart the day before a hurricane...never again.

Wednesday morning sunrise on my way to work

As I finally headed out to work,
 I felt nervous and unsettled.  
The sunrise, although peaceful, seemed out of place. 
 Matthew was strong and powerful and headed straight for Haiti,
the Bahamas and then Florida. 
 I spent the day with my staff, de-installing our Museum
and moving all of the fragile and priceless objects 
into the safety of the vaults.

We were sent home early 
so everyone could do last minute preparations.
Gas stations were running out of gas and
 those that had gas had at least an hour wait in line. 
I can't imagine what Walmart was 
like then.

Thursday was D-Day.  
I spent the morning watching the news in a panic.  
The storm was heading straight for us, 
after devastating Haiti.
(my heart breaks for the estimated 1000 people who have  lost their lives).

Last minute preparations
included finally closing the hurricane shutters.

Making last minute preparations

All morning we continued waiting...

Snuggled under my Florida quilt, made especially for me by my mom, made me feel comforted.

Someone wasn't too concerned

The storm continued to come closer and finally
 the bands of rain began making landfall.
The whole county had shut down and
a 3pm curfew was now put in place.
We hadn't been under any mandatory evacuations
so it was important to stay put and stay safe.

And then over the course of a few hours,
 the storm shifted.
 Its path moved a little bit more north instead of northwest
 and that was it.
  We were left with some rain and gusts of wind
as we watched the storm move away from us,
 praying for those in its angry path.  

That evening my husband and I listened to the lessening bands of rain,
 watched CSI: Miami and
 indulged ourselves with some of our hurricane kit treats.
  We felt oddly tired from the anticipation and stress.
I had never experienced anything like this before,
 waiting for a Category 4 hurricane storm to hit.
 With the slightest change in course,
this horrific storm missed us and
we were oh so thankful!
 The worst thing that happened to me the entire day
 was that my cookie didn't fit into my cup of milk...but
I think I count that a blessing!


Thanks, Kate for
sharing your perspective.

I'm glad your first experience wasn't
as bad as it could have been.
So many others have
 terrible stories to tell.

Now that you've gone through your first real hurricane experience,
many of us here in Colorado
feel that it might be time for you to move back
and play in the snow!
Until Next Time-