Thursday, July 2, 2015

Really Random Thursday, 7/2/15

Yesterday was Canada Day and in two days we celebrate our Independence Day. I wish we were celebrating independence from heat. It's been sizzling around here

All four grandchildren spent the night on Friday, ranging in age from 8 1/2 to 1 1/2. Over the years, we have had different sleeping configurations, but this year we had a girls room (the spare bedroom) and a boys room (aerobeds in my office). When Charlotte was 6-ish, she wanted to have a break from her brothers so she could read in peace for a bit. She made this sign and taped it to the bedroom door.
I loved it, so it has stayed taped to the door. The other night she made a new version. *sigh* She is growing up.
We have our sleepover traditions. They include always, always having Grandpa make popcorn, enough so that they can eat some at 6 a.m. the next morning when they get up and watch a movie. Also, I usually make hot chocolate. This year I made a recipe called S'Mores in a jar. It turned out to be pretty good, but not the best recipe to make when it is super hot outdoors and it involves turning on the oven.
But I think it was still a hit.
 All that's left is just a little marshmallow on his chin.
She has another tooth almost ready to fall out. But I don't think the S'Mores had anything to do with that.

"Minnesota Hot Dish," the quilt I made for the Minnesota cabin that cousins Cathy and Terry have built, made it to the next stop on its destination. They will be leaving next week for a few months at the cabin. Hope it cools down enough so they can use it.
My sewing room motto (I had to photograph it before this little artist changed things up).
Beer humor.
And bee block sewing.
 For Rene' in Mid Century Modern Bee
For Amanda Jean in Sew Sisters Bee

Anything random happening with you? Please share.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Finish It Friday: My Crazy Mom 36-Patch Quilt

I met Amanda Jean for the first time in July 2011. She had invited me to attend a small quilting retreat in St. Cloud, MN, just ten of us altogether. It was so out of my comfort zone, the thought of traveling alone from California to Minnesota and spending the weekend with nine other women I had never met before. I'm pretty sure my mother thought I was nuts. Mark, on the other hand, would not let me back out--he comes from Minnesota, so of course how could this be anything other than the best experience ever?!

It was life-changing.
Our next retreat is less than two weeks away!
Back row: Doris, Michelle, Rene', Terri, Amanda Jean, Mary, me, Stephanie
Front row: Toni (no blog--what?) and Shelly 
That year, Amanda Jean, who has a 4th of July birthday, had just celebrated her 36th. How does she celebrate? By making a quilt--a 36-patch, of course.

I came home, excited to make my own. I gathered up a stack of fat quarters, half lights, half darks, and got to work. We used to be part owners in a group of rustic rental cabins at Huntington Lake and I began my quilt up there.
I made all 36 blocks and even sewed the top together. Then it languished on a shelf, which is not uncommon for many of my quilt tops.

2015 is a year I have vowed to take as many of those quilt tops off the shelf and get them completed. The 36-patch was one of the first on the list.

While Amanda Jean pieced thirty-six 12-inch blocks together for the back, I gathered up a lot of big pieces, mostly Kaffe Fassett, and just started piecing them together. It is kind of wild, but I love it!
I sent it off to Darby for quilting. There was so much going on and so many colors, but I love the pattern she used--and the pale lavender thread she chose.
  I bound it with solid Kona eggplant which worked well with all the wild fabric.
You are probably wondering what the front looks like.
This quilt represents the best that quilting has to offer--beautiful fabric, good memories, and best of all, great friends.
I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts (of course!), TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Really Random Thursday, 6/25/15

Welcome to the last Thursday in June. That means the year is nearly half over. Does that mean Christmas sewing should officially commence?

Our grandson spent each morning last week taking a BMX class at the local park. Honestly, I did not even realize that the park had a BMX course!
I was super impressed.
His elbows were covered with scabs--a badge of honor, according to most boys.
I'm glad I was able to capture this moment.
Sometimes this one just looks so grown up.
Friday night, Mark, our son Aaron and like-a-son Jason had been chosen to ref the city-county All Star football game. Out of all the refs in their association, it was so awesome that the three of them got to ref a game together.
Jason, Chuck, Greg, Mark and Aaron
 Father and son
Photo courtesy of Sportswurlz
Mark in action
Photo courtesy of Sportswurlz
Mark said my red hair made it easier to pick me out of a crowd. I don't seem to be watching the game at this point...
Photo courtesy of Sportswurlz
I'm making some progress on my hexies. Rosette 1 is nearly finished. The papers for Rosette 7 arrived in the mail this week. I don't think I will be needing them for awhile. This is going to take me a loooong time.
Anybody going to QuiltCon? Registration begins today. As I write this, I'm not sure if I'll get the classes I want or not. I'm only going to try for two classes and then add a bunch of lectures. The first is an all-day class on learning EQ7 with Christa Watson. I've had the program installed on my computer for awhile now but just have never taken the time to learn. I'm hoping Christa will be able to guide me through the process. She's lots of fun and high energy, so I'm sure if anyone can help me learn EQ7, Christa is the one for the job.
Christa is the one on the far left
I have also been fascinated by the "code" quilts by Libs Elliott, so hopefully I will get her class called "For the Love of Y Seams." She will be teaching her trademark code quilts, similar to this one.
The quilt she will be teaching has hex, half-hex and equilateral triangle pieces. I stopped her at QuiltCon in February as she was gazing at quilts, and she graciously let me take a fan picture.

I received the most interesting email yesterday, inviting me to have a trunk show and teach a class at a monthly meeting of a quilt guild on the central coast of California. I DO love the central coast. While public speaking is a lot  a bit out of my comfort zone, I think I'll say yes. And not that I govern my life by the horoscope in the daily paper, but this was a weird coincidence.
Going here soon. Can't wait.
Do you ever watch America's Got Talent? It has gotten so much better over the past couple of years. They don't show as many of weirdo acts anymore--mostly just the really talented acts. Anyway, you've gotta love the coat Heidi Klum wore last night, right?

I'll leave you with this. Mark texted this to me--the introvert's version of the Golden Rule.Anyone else identify?
Anything random in your world?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Really Random Thursday, 6/18/15

Our good friend, Cheri, celebrated a significant birthday this week. She and George were the managers at Lakeview Cottages so Mark and I drove up there on Sunday to help celebrate. There is a couple from southern California, Ed and Melinda,  who spend four weeks there every year. She and her husband have been coming for years, and she is one of the most hospitable people I have ever met.
Melinda (left) and Cheri (right)
Melinda knows how to put on a party, even from a rustic cabin built in 1917!
Melinda knows Mark loves deviled eggs, and she makes them for him every year
Cheri didn't know Mark and I were coming, so it was fun surprising her. I made the cake. I'm including the recipe below because this little guest really enjoyed it. She licked that plate clean.
Strawberry Cake:
1 pkg white cake mix
4 eggs
1 16-oz. pkg of frozen strawberries, thawed
1 3-oz. pkg strawberry jello
2/3 cup oil

Beat eggs and add oil. Add cake mix and jello. Beat well. Add all but 1/3 cup thawed strawberries and beat. Bake at 350 according to package directions.

Icing: 1 box powdered sugar, 1 stick butter, 1/3 cup reserved strawberries. Beat together and spread on cooked cake.

NOTE: For some reason the icing didn't taste like I remembered so I added about 1/3 cup of sugar free strawberry jam. You know, because frosting can never be too sweet.

These quilts returned home this week from the publisher, after being on the road for the last seven or so years. They were my first published patterns. After Mark looked at them, his first comment was, "Wow, that sure isn't your style anymore, is it?" Probably not. But I'm going to wash them up and donate them for charity auction next April.

The smallest pattern, Charm Parade, is still one of my favorite patterns. I have made it in many variations. So one of these days, after I complete the Amish solid version, I'll have a "Charm Parade" parade of quilts.
Mark designs kitchen and has been working on a house in an upscale neighborhood. See that very orange house in the background? It's like a huge quonset building with a metal roof. While I like the color orange, I'm not sure it would make me super happy to see that house from my window every day.
He also assisted with playground structure building.
While he was doing that, I would consider my supervisory task much more enjoyable.
Later today I'm going to start on a fun project with this fabric.

Is there a musician or group you would spend significant money to see live and in person? For me, it's this guy. Such good music.
And that's a wrap.