Thursday, September 2, 2021

Really Random Thursday, 9/2/21

Hello, September. I always look forward to this time of year. And every single year I'm surprised at how warm the days are. Fall in the central valley doesn't arrive until some time in November. I miss the crisp fall days of the Midwest.

Last Saturday I took a great class from Laura Loewen (@quiltfortco). It was the improv version of her Finger Paints quilt. So improv and I are considered more frenemies than friends, although I'm willing to become friends. :) The improv version of this quilt requires total free cutting--you cut your squares 4"-ish and 4 1/2"-ish. It really requires some discipline to get past the idea of using a razor sharp rotary cutter without the safety of a ruler. 

I was able to complete one quadrant of one block, and initially thought: "Great. I took the class. I learned something. Moving on. I will make the precision version of this quilt." 

But the more I looked at my block, and realized how much I like the slight wonkiness, and the filler strip that was required to make my block 11"-ish, the more I wanted to continue the process. So I am now in the process of cutting more blocks without the aid of a ruler, and combining what I learned with the color concepts I learned from classes with Tara Faughnan. I hope I like the end product. Maybe I will; maybe I won't. But I think I'll enjoy the process.


I just finished crocheting a set of coasters. It was a new-to-me stitch that resembles knitting rather than traditional crochet. I like it--I already began another set. 

I've read that learning new skills is good for your brain so that's my goal this fall-winter--exercising my brain. Fingers crossed.

Good advice from Minki Kim.

I know there are more of you out there than just me...

When your Quilts and Classics calendar and the Kona calendar coordinate. I'll enjoy looking at them together all month long.

Yesterday I did something I haven't done in a year and a half. The weather was SO nice in the morning, a welcome break from the heat. I do not enjoy shopping, but I headed over to my favorite shopping center, bought some coffee, sat outside for awhile and did some window shopping. Sheer bliss.

A friend sent this yesterday. I sent it on to Aaron and Christa, and Aaron replied: "Perfect. That text seems legal and binding in probate court." Maybe. I'll never know.

Hope your weekend is a good one.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Quilts and Classics: Cumbrey Crossing/1955 Chevy 210

Cumbrey Crossing had an interesting beginning. I was in church one Sunday morning. A man in front of me was wearing this beautiful plaid shirt in shades of purple. At the end of the service, when we stood up for the final prayer, I took out my iPhone. Mark nudged me and whispered, "Are you seriously going to take a picture during prayer??" I whispered back, "Nope. I'm going to take a picture as soon as prayer is over."

At about the same time (2017), I was part of Mad for Solids, a fun event sponsored by Paintbrush Studios using their Painter's Palette line of solid fabrics. It's a March Madness type competition where participants choose eight colors, give the collection a name and then compete in brackets, much like the basketball counterpart. 

I have participated three times. For this version I chose these beautiful purples and named my collection Magenta Madness.

Until I saw the beautiful shirt in church, I didn't really have a plan for this collection of fabrics. But of course, I realized I just needed to add some more fabrics and could create a quilted version of the shirt.

I based all the colors off the picture of the shirt. But then by chance, the guy in question was over for dinner. By that time, I was already working on the quilt. I was hoping to not even mention the surreptitious photo, but of course Mark couldn't let things go, and announced it to everyone at the dinner table. Awkward. The guy in question seemed quite taken aback. But then I showed him my sketch and my stack of fabrics and my progress so far. He was then totally on board. He offered to let me borrow the shirt if I needed it. And even asked if he could have the quilt when it was done. 

When it was finally quilted, a beautiful jacaranda tree was in full bloom not too far from our house. I have always loved this photo, especially with all the blossoms on the ground. 

Then I decided to make the calendar. I initially had not considered including this quilt. I mean, what are the chances that I would find a car that would coordinate with it?

And then one day I was picking Gabe up from school; I think he was probably in first grade. I heard a very loud car arriving, obviously someone also doing a school pickup. It was this absolutely gorgeous purple and white Chevy. But it was drizzling and I didn't have the nerve to actually go up to the driver in the rain. By the time Gabe and I got back to my car, the Chevy was gone. Would I ever see it again?

I didn't pick Gabe up for another two weeks. I couldn't get the car out of my head. Lo and behold, I heard that loud car again. This time I vowed to approach the driver and tell him about my calendar idea. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there. It turns out that he lives just down the street from Aaron and Christa. He was completely on board with having his pristine car photographed for the calendar. 
Fortunately I remembered to edit out my bumper reflection for the calendar!

I learned so much from photographing cars and quilts. The biggest lesson learned was to take lots of photos in landscape mode. Unfortunately I photographed this car mostly in portrait mode. So in the calendar one of the best parts of the car is missing--the fun flame painting on the front end of the car.

There were so many fun details.

Purple fuzzy dice!
This is my favorite.

The crape myrtle trees were also very cooperative, blooming at just the right time.
I love revisiting the photos I took of this car. Hope you enjoy the back story as well.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Really Random...Friday, 8/27/21

Thursday came and went. So here we are on Friday.

Before I forget, several people were interested in the Urchin bowl made from 3 mm wool felt, but were no-reply commenters. I purchased the pattern from She no longer has the pattern listed but I'm sure if you contact her, you would be able to purchase the pattern. I purchase my felt from selection of colors and great service as well.

This past Monday was a milestone birthday for Mark, the big 7-0. He is a man who wants nothing more than being surrounded by his family--that is the best gift he can receive. He and I drove over to Carmel on Saturday. While we enjoy going to Pismo for the ocean view from our room, Carmel is a charming little town full of art galleries and shops. Months ago when I mentioned to Christa that although he wouldn't want a party, we needed to do something special, she suggested Carmel for the day--it's a part of the coast they don't get to very often. So the troops arrived on Sunday morning and we spent the day together.

We headed over to 17-Mile-Drive, to a spot where Mark and I have had many picnic lunches over the years. Christa and Jill had brought everything needed for a yummy lunch. It was overcast and sweatshirt weather, but not too windy--a perfect afternoon.

Then we headed back to Carmel, hit the toy store and the candy store. 

Mark and I had searched for a place to eat dinner before they all headed back to Fresno. We walked around town Saturday night and stumbled on a new bakery/pizzeria on one of the side streets. There was a room with a large table--perfect for all 12 of us--and the pizzas were delicious and reasonably priced, which is not an easy thing to find in a pricy tourist town like Carmel. 

I think his entry into a new decade began in the best way possible. 
Handmade birthday cards from Gabe and Ella are priceless.

Flowers seen close to our hotel room.

And this cute paintbrush display in one of the art galleries.
I agree--simply brilliant.

We have a new doormat. Sometimes I feel like I should make our regular mailman a quilt for all the bundles of fabric he has delivered...
Something to keep in mind...
I've been doing the Summer Sampler 2021, hosted by Lee Heinrich, Faith Jones and Katie Blakesley. I am all caught up with the weekly blocks--something that has never happened to me in the history of quilt-alongs when I participate. I'm feeling quite proud of myself.

In my quest to find locally made iced lavender oatmilk lattes, Mark was at this cool coffeeshop with our pastor last week, and guess what?! They make what I was looking for. So after Mark and I got our hair cut this morning, he surprised me by taking me there. He even tried some coffee, but nope, he is NOT a coffee lover.
Cool light fixture.
Any of you mothers feel like this?
Mark's brother Pete lives in Driggs, Idaho. Your little town finally makes it to the New York Times, but not for a good reason... Is it smoky where you are?
I'll end with these.

Hope your weekend is a good one.