Alison Glass Feathers Quilt

This has been a long process for me! Since my rheumatoid arthritis really effects my hands, wrists and elbows, I had days that I couldn’t make any progress at all on this quilt. I was, however, determined to finish it by the deadline outlined in the Feathers QAL, hosted by Nydia at the ADD Crafter. The pattern is called Feathers by Alison Glass. The fabrics are gradation batiks from Sew Batik, with the sashing and background made with Kona White. I’ve never paper pieced a whole quilt, so it was quite a process! I love the final result!

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And So It Begins

After much fretting, wich I’m terribly good at, I finally decided that the penny gets lucky today! That is, I’m using the Lucky Penny bundle by Alison Glass, with Kona Bleached White for the background. I want my feathers to look crisp, so on a whim, I chose the Bleached White. We shall see! At least I was productive while fretting. My sewing room is clean, my machine is clean, oiled, and has a new needle, my cutting table is clean, and my rotary cutter has a fresh blade! Let the cutting begin!

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New Year Creativity

There’s something about the start of a new year that always brings me a sense of excitement! A fresh start, 365 days of possibilities, new adventures, unexplored ideas, and the list goes on! This is what I worked on and finished in the first two days of this year.

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This ruffled scarf was a lot of fun to knit, and I loved the yarn! It had a chenille edge, so it gave the finished scarf a little more weight. I bought the yarn at Michael’s, and I used a YouTube video tutorial for the kntting technique. I’ve been knitting for a few years, but not consistenly and nothing more than knitting and purling. One of my 2014 goals is to learn more about knitting, and do it more often. We have a great yarn shop in San Luis Obispo called Nordic Mart. The owner is part of our Central Coast Modern Quilting Friendship Group, and she is absolutely lovely! She has assured me that she can teach me how to knit like a pro!

I also got in a bit of sewing on New Year’s day. It was mug rug madness around here!

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Suzanne at Notes from the Patch, did a tutorial on how to use a Bernina circular attachment to make these cute mug rugs. I called her shop and ordered one. I immediately became obsessed with busting my stash and sewing up a bunch of these for gifts! If you don’t know what a mug rug is, it’s like having a personal little placemat for your cuppa whatever you’re drinking, with room for a cookie or two.

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I need to get a shower and head down to my sewing room. I’ll be cutting my fabrics for the Alison Glass Feathers Quilt Along. I have three fabric bundles pulled, and I still haven’t decided which one to use! I never make the same quilt twice, but I may have to break that pattern with this quilt along! I’ll get some pictures of the bundles and post them a bit later today.

Possibilities!

Over the past two weekends, Open Studios was held throughout San Luis Obispo County. Over 200 artists had their studios open to the public, and many of the artists worked on projects and/or demonstrated their craft. I got to spend a day with some fun new friends, going through studios in Los Osos and Morro Bay. So much inspiration, fun, and of course, laughter! I came home just buzzing with ideas! This is something that is done each year, and I highly recommend it! How lucky I am to live in a community that is so rich in artistic inspiration!

On Saturday, Scott and I went north to visit my niece’s family. We got to see her son play football on Saturday, then celebrated his birthday that evening. Almost all of the kids and parents from his football team came to the party. I had the best time with the young women, most of whom are young enough to be my kids! We laughed, I danced a little, we teased, shared stories, and by the end of the evening, they were all calling me Aunty Lynn. It was awesome! 

Yesterday, we drove on up to Santa Clara to attend the Pacific International Quilt Show. I’ve been two or three other times, and the show gets better each time. I love this show, because it focuses more on art quilts, quilts with unusual embellishments, quilts made from unconventional materials, and always has a special exhibit of quilts from around the world. Scott had never been to this show before, so it was fun to see him see it for the first time! He was constantly saying, “Lynn, come here!” I loved it! We were both buzzing with ideas and inspiration for new designs and fiber adventures! 

Okay, I’m just a little bit excited about the central coast’s first Modern Quilting Friendship Group sew-in tonight! We have 20 confirmed, and who knows how many will pop in! The ladies at Picking Daisies have been so great about accomodating us! I can’t wait to see what this enthusiastic group comes up with! 

For the first time in a very long time, I feel creative, inspired, and joyful, right down to my very toes! It’s been a rough few years, and I’m so grateful for a renewed spirit and so many new possibilities! If I didn’t have a lot to do to get ready for tonight, I think I’d be covered in fabric, ink, dye, beads and baubles by the end of the day! There’s always tomorrow!

Re-Grouping for 2013 Quilt Finishes

This year has been pretty chaotic. When it started in January, I had no idea that by February, my life would be taking a huge turn! February was all about going to Quiltcon for the first time, then March to May was all about packing and moving to the central California coast. Unpacking has taken up a lot of my time since then, along with entertaining a lot of friends on the weekends and getting involved in our new community. It sure seems like October got here awfully fast, and the end of the year is right around the corner! EEEEE GADS!

In order to attempt to fire up my quilting mojo, I decided to post few unfinished projects and list what needs to be done on them. Nothing like putting it out there to be held accountable, eh? That’s what I’m talkin’ about! 

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This zig zag quilt has been in the works for a year. I need to add two more orange rows to it, then I can get on with quilting it! I can’t remember what the fabric line was for the black and white print, but the solids are Kona cotton. I’d like to have it to the point of hand stitching the binding by the time our modern quilting friendship group meets for our first sew-in at Picking Daisies next Monday. 

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This is a wallhanging that’s been waiting to be quilted for at least 2.5 years! I have a hard time thinking of ways to quilt my own stuff. I think I way over think these things! Time to quit thinking and just do! 

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Another piece that has been waiting to be finished for about 4 years, maybe longer. I made this after taking a great class with Rose Hughes. I want to add some hand stitching, and I want the stitching to be random and funky looking. I struggle with letting go and making things look more random, so it sits. I also want to add some beading to it. I’m so close to being finished! Time to let loose and get it on!

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These are blocks from the ‘Curve it Up’ Sew Along with the Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful. I got distracted after doing two blocks. Holidays, Quiltcon, job transfer, moving, etc. I wasn’t crazy about all of the blocks, but there are others I’d still like to make. I think I’ll sew up two more blocks and make them into a wallhanging. 

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I have three blocks made like this one, and one more to go. There’s still lots of applique to do for the rest of the quilt, so there’s no way I’ll get this one finished this year. However, I can get that 4th block done! I wonder if I’ve unpacked the pieces for block #4? If I can find them, I can get this block done in a day or two. As you can see, I love Kaffe Fassett fabrics!

I have two other completed quilt tops and a table topper that are all ready to quilt. I’m not going to worry about those this year, but may put them on my January calendar. That’ll start me off in the new year with a bang! :)

Is anyone else pushing to get some UFO’s finished for 2013? C’mon, there’s still time!

New Modern Quilting Group

Moving to the coast last May was an opportunity of a lifetime. When we got the chance, we jumped at it without giving it much thought. It has been awesome, but there are drawbacks to moving. I’d lived in Bakersfield most of my adult life, and I was very involved in the local quilting community. I met with friends on a weekly basis to sew and socialize. I was involved in the Cotton Patch Quilt Guild for over 10 years, and I helped establish the Bakersfield Modern Quilt Guild. I also ran my longarm quilting business from home, so I had people coming and going all the time. 

Moving to the coast has been wonderful in many ways. The cooler temperatures and consistant climate have helped keep my RA in check. The air is breathable, as opposed to chewable, so I don’t suffer from allergies like I did in the Central Valley. I am surrounded by new sights, colors, sounds, and smells, so it could be very artistically inspiring. I say “could be”, because I’ve struggled with the “inspiring” department. The bottom line is, I’m lonely. Terribly so. It’s hard to be inspired when there’s nobody to share it with. Sure, I can share things with my husband, but it’s not like sharing things with your artsy quilty friends. I try to sew, but it’s kinda sad to sit here by myself and sew day after day. Gathering together to sew is fun, inspiring, and provides the need for fellowship. I need someone to bounce ideas off of. I need to be able to encourage and share, as well as feeling encouraged and taught, by others. To say the least, I’m feeling a bit isolated. 

I’ve gotten acquainted with two lovely sisters who own a wonderfully modern fabric shop in San Luis Obispo called Picking Daisies. I discovered the shop online, and with a name like that, I had to check it out! The sisters started their business by making a selling cloth napkins. Upon opening a store, they began to carry fabric and started teaching classes on napkin making. They now sell handmade napkins, buntings, aprons, and a few other wonderful goodies. In addition, they stock the shop with beautiful modern fabrics and some modern quilting books. The quality of their products is outstanding, and their service is even better! They are both fun, warm, friendly, and very open to the suggestions and requests of their customers. What could be better than that? 

Now comes the big announcement! Picking Daisies is hosting a meet ‘n greet for anyone in the Central Coast area interested in forming a friendship group for the purpose of learning about and exploring modern quilting. The meeting is tonight at 6:30 at Picking Daisies, 570 Higuera Street, Suite 120, located in The Old Creamery building. Parking is available on the street, in the little parking lot within The Creamery, and behind the building off of Nipomo Street. 

Now, must get off the computer and do a little preparing for the meeting! Woo hoooooo!!!

 

 
 

A Fun Way to Hang a Quilt!

We attended Art in the Park in Morro Bay over the Memorial Day weekend. I was excited to see what the local artists had to offer in the way of unique items. It seemed like everything was rich in sound, color, texture, and uniqueness! Beautifully beaded and wire wrapped jewelry, one-of-a-kind handbags, wind chimes and bells, paintings, photographs, wire wrapped and beaded serving ware, hand dyed clothing and scarves, and so much more! 

One of the vendors was Dan Shattuck Recycled Art. When I’d heard about him from someone else I thought, “making things from old silverware sounds cheesy.” Yes, I thought it! Was I ever pleasantly surprised! This guy does amazing things with metal, adding in silverware, silver teapots, plates, antique lamp parts, etc! Different colors of metal, rusted metal, highly polished silver. It was all beautiful, fun, fascinating and whimsical! Since we’d just moved, our pockets were pretty empty. If it had been payday, I’d hate to think of all that I’d have brought home! I know I’d have at least bought a gorgeous birdbath for the soon-to-be garden out back! Not wanting to leave completely empty handed, Scott found these funky hooks made from forks. The curled tines reminded me of my hair. LOL! He suggested we use them as brackets to hold the quilt hanging rods. What a fun idea! That man surprises me sometimes! 

As I hung them up and placed the rods in them, I had this thought, “Art is in the details.” :-)

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The next Art in the Park will be over the 4th of July weekend. I’ll definitely go with a little more pocket money and hit up this booth again! 

Making a House a Home

It’s been five weeks since we made the move to Morro Bay. It’s been wonderful to spend more time with our son and his fiance’, explore a new community, get to know new neighbors, try the local cuisine, and most especially, walking on the beach. All that being said, I have felt like I was on vacation and not quite at home. It really hit me on Monday, while driving towards San Luis Obispo to pick up Scott from work. You see, that’s the direction we’d go when we’d head for home from a day at the beach. I felt a sudden and unexpected pain of home sickness. Not for Bakersfield, but for home. A place you walk into, and you know that it’s your favorite place. Your sanctuary. Your cocoon. It was then, that I realized I needed to get on with making this house our home.

On Tuesday, I woke up with a new determination to get some quilts up on the walls, special things put out, cookbooks on the shelves, and the last of the random boxes unpacked. At least the boxes that were still in the living room. ;-) As I put up or put out each and every thing, I began to feel a bit more at home in my surroundings. As I unpacked each item, I got excited all over again, over a quilt pattern I’d made, the stitching I’d done, embellishments I’d attached, a gift given by a friend, my husband, or my boys. Special cookbooks that contained recipes I’ve used for years. My mom’s recipes. I also found several baggies of sea glass that Zack collected when he took a vacation with Scott’s sister a number of years ago. I took one of my large jars and filled it with all of Zack’s collection. It feels good to see a little bit of him every day.

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Each of the Willow Tree Angels was given to me by my boys and/or my husband, and each has a special meaning. The last one I put out was the one with bluebirds perched on her outstretched arms. She is the Angel of Happiness. :-)

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A Little Moving Excitement!

When it came time to unload the packed moving truck, we had the help of Collin, Toni, and Brady. Collin just turned 23, Toni is 22, and Brady is about 28, I think. Kids. According to Collin and Toni, the story went like this:

Someone carried down a rather large box and sat it on the ground. For whatever reason, someone else gave the box a little shove with their foot, at which time the box began to make an odd noise….a vibrating noise! As told by Toni, Collin turned a million shades of red, and the three of them all looked at each other with startled embarrassment. Collin informed Scott that something in the box was vibrating and that they weren’t touching it. Scott just moved the box into the garage and kept unloading. Curiosity got the best of Toni, and she decided that she was going to solve the question of what it was, regardless of how embarrassing it might be! Leave it to the girl! This, my friends, is what she found….

ImageIt’s Scott’s cordless trimmer! tsk tsk tsk. Sure made me laugh!

 

The Full Moon Wine Bar & Bistro

Since we are now living in a totally new city, I’m excited to try new places to eat and drink! My friend, Pam, was in Cayucos to see her in-laws and her daughter for Mother’s Day. Pam and Caitlin invited me to join them for gourmet goodies and a glass of wine at the Full Moon Wine Bar & Bistro in Cayucos, which is only a few minutes up the road from me.

As soon as I walked into the place, I was greeted with warm smiles and friendly hellos from the owners, Jeannettie and Mika. What a way to make a person feel welcomed!

I started with a glass of sangria. It wasn’t your run-of-the-mill sangria. It was a gorgeous glass of pink liquid, decorated with a variety of gorgeous fresh fruit and sprinkled with a touch of pomegranite seeds! I won’t give away the secret that makes it pink, but it was deliciously refreshing! 

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Next, I was treated to a plate of petite lovlies that included a variety of cheeses, fresh miniature tomatoes, and homemade pesto, all sitting atop a star shaped bit of bread. Absolutely lovely! My favorite was the 5 year aged cheddar, rolled in coffee and lavendar. Divine!Image

The fresh onion soup was fabulous! A tasty broth, lots of onions, and yummy croutons. I should have snapped a pic before I’d eaten the croutons!ImageDessert was a delicious bit of tasty pleasure! A chocolate truffle, a fresh raspberry, a dab of caramel, sitting in a puddle of caramel sauce. I had to eat it very slowly, just because I wanted to savor each and every bit!Image

The Full Moon Wine Bar & Bistro also has wine tasting, a variety of beer, and other lovely goodies to savor. It’s located in the heart of downtown Cayucos. You can enjoy a relaxing time with your best guy or girl, or enjoy time with your friends with great hosts, drinks, food, and a beautiful view of the ocean. I’ll definitely be going back!