Thursday, November 28, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 11/28/13

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US.
 This is a large clam shell on a corner in Pismo Beach, decorated for Thanksgiving

Mark and I were at our favorite place on the central coast of California last weekend. This time there were virtually no waves on the ocean, but the weather was beautiful.
With this weather, it is hard to believe that tomorrow is Black Friday and the shopping frenzy starts in earnest.

Have you already started listening to Christmas music? Our son, Aaron, did some mathematical equation, experimenting with absolute values, square roots, etc., which I don't pretend to understand at all, to determine the best day to start listening to music, since Thanksgiving is so late this year. By the way, he says this equation also holds for when stores should be able to put up Christmas decorations.

So when do you start listening to Christmas music? Do you venture out on Black Friday? Do you wait for Cyber Monday? Do you only give handmade gifts?

I started working on this but since I have never knit in the round before, it is kind of experimental and might end up around my neck. 
Your turn.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 11/21/13

Last week on Instagram, the hashtag #weddingringwednesday made the rounds. I decided to play along. This is my wedding ring. The center diamond is small, about a fifth of a carat I think. When I got engaged, everyone around me seemed to be getting larger diamonds set on tall prongs. I wanted a smaller diamond.  Years down the road I wanted something more substantial. But not a different diamond--by then I was very sentimentally attached to this one. So we added the ring guard. While pretty, those four diamonds are not nearly as sparkly as my lovely original diamond. I still love it. And December 8th will be 41 years since Mark put that engagement ring on my finger. So there are actually times when size doesn't matter.
We visited a different church on Sunday because Mark was running the sound for a musical group. Beautiful quilty windows in this sanctuary. I just love the way the sun comes through the stained glass windows. You don't see them very often in newer churches. 
Levi lost his first tooth this week. And I finished the Batman tooth pillow a day late.(Great, very well-written pattern available here. And you have the choice of making Batman or Superman. Plus I ordered the kit, which was very affordable and well put together.)
Even though it was a late, he was pretty happy with it.

When Mark and I went over to drop off Batman, Aaron and the kids were playing a game called Fibber. I'm not sure how it's played but they all had funny glasses and increasingly larger noses.
Even Gabe tried to get in on the fun.
While scrolling through Facebook the other day, I noticed this post from Pat Sloan (so naturally, being excited that Pat Sloan liked something I made, I turned around and put it on Instagram), linking back to the Selvage Blog, where, unbeknownst to me, my selvage Christmas tree tutorial was posted (with all the proper links back to me, so that was nice, but it would have been fun to know about it).
If you want to make your own selvage Christmas tree, here is the tutorial(from last year).

This mug and ginormous button arrived the other day. The button is so large that there is actually a cardboard easel type thing on the back so you can put it on a shelf.
And speaking of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Carla is the winner of a copy of the magazine. I was so surprised that out of 230-some comments, the winner would be my partner in the X and + block swap, but that's who the Random Number Generator chose. So who am I to argue? 

A little technology before bedtime.

And yesterday morning I was packaging a little fat quarter to send to my friend, Doris. Where did this thread come from on my packing tape?? I tried to pull it off, and then decided Doris would find the humor in having thread stuck to the tape so I just left it alone.
Your turn.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 8: The Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks (Volume 8) Blog Tour.   Each of these issues is such a wonderful resource of blocks, ranging from traditional to modern, pieced to applique. I'm so happy to be able to share my block, Ring Around the Posy, which is a little bit of both.
Although I have been quilting for nearly twenty years, I have never done much applique work, but this year I ventured into doing a little bit of machine applique, using a buttonhole stitch. It is easy and really fun.

Wouldn't this block make a great baby quilt?

Look what you can do with just five blocks. I can even imagine this block in holiday colors for a fun Christmas table runner. Changing the block orientation to being on point completely changes the look of it, doesn't it?

Or maybe you just need a new wall hanging.

I'm thrilled to offer a chance to win a copy of the latest issue so leave a comment here. I'd love to know if you have tried machine applique before, and if you have any special hints to share. I'll choose a winner on Saturday, November 16, at noon PST, so be sure I have a way to contact you. The latest issue should be hitting the newsstands some time next week.

For all the  blog tour stops and more giveaways, hop on over to Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasures blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 11/14/13

So I spent most of the week wishing these little men were actually helping me out. Have you ever noticed that sometimes new software versions, claiming to be "better," really make things totally worse? Yeah, that has been every work day since Friday until yesterday. But things are looking up.
In better news, I have thought of getting a quilt-related tattoo. Something small. However, our daughter-in-law, Christa, knowing that how much I love all things Pantone, sent me this little option.
I think I would like it better in orange or aqua...

In terms of bringing smiles to our faces, these three hung out for awhile the other night. We had a large "boy" area,
and a small "girl" area. It clearly was a matter of percentages: three boys to one girl. I was busy making a gourmet meal macaroni and cheese.
This arrived in the mail yesterday, a whole booklet with the details of our upcoming Disney Adventure.

Oh, and this arrived on my doorstep too. It kinda made me forget all my computer issues. Except I haven't had time to even plug it in yet...
Your turn.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fat Quarterly: The Christmas Issue

A first for me--I have a project in the newest issue of Fat Quarterly, which is available today.

Subscribers need only to log into their accounts to find the links to this issue. Otherwise you can purchase it here.

When I made the project for Modern Patchwork (which reminds me--I haven't even shown you the quilt in that magazine yet, and it's one of my favorites!), I was in a braided herringbone kind of mode. My project in Fat Quarterly is a pillow called Holiday Herringbone. It requires only one small segment of braid, and it was such fun to work with Laurie Wisbrun's latest Christmas line, Holiday Sweet Tweets.
Here is the pillow, which has the easy-to-do look of a Christmas ornament. Since the colors of this fabric line are not the classic red and green, the pillow can be easily transformed for use all through the winter months by eliminating the half square triangles that give it the ornament look.
I used an exposed zipper technique for the back. It's my favorite way to make a pillow back and the tutorial is here.

Head on over to Fat Quarterly and get your issue today!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 11/7/13

I know Halloween was so last month,  but I saw these two on my way to work.
Then I took the train down to southern California to see my friend, Elizabeth. Her monthly quilting group met on Friday night, and they have graciously let me attend for the second year in a row. Everyone brought something delicious to eat and Elizabeth baked a stuffed pumpkin. Highly recommended. The recipe is on her cooking blog.
A couple of months ago, when Mark and I were in Carmel, I ventured into J. Crew and ended up buying a really cute "little black dress." There has been no occasion to wear it to this point, but our son and daughter-in-law were going to a fundraising dinner on Saturday and I had mentioned she was welcome to borrow it. I just hope it will look as great on me as it did on her! (see the cute scalloped hem?)
On the Amtrak bus ride back to Fresno on Sunday, a girl one seat in front of me and on the other side spent over two hours on her hair and makeup. I'm not even kidding. Most of the time was spent curling/straightening/curling/straightening her hair. And yes, most of it DID match the bus upholstery!

This is one of the last blooms of the season in our backyard.
and this one doesn't even bloom every year so it was fun to see it yesterday morning.
Some sneak peeks:
Yesterday I had a bookstore buddy.  A little snack and then we head to the back of Barnes and Noble where they have a Thomas the Train track set up. Always lots of fun.
I had a coupon and found a set of really great Melissa and Doug shape puzzles.
Amy of Diary of a Quilter has been putting quilt tops together from her Virtual Quilting Bee. Have any of you been following along with her great series? She has already put the quilt top together with the blocks made from prints. Here are the solids and there is my block down in the corner. It looks so different set on point. I'm excited to see how she decides to sash this one.
Have you heard of Quilty Box?

You pay a fee and get a box full of cool stuff. You can "get quilty for less than the price of a jelly roll." I decided to give it a shot. The October box showed up this week and included fat eighths of Minimalista by Art Gallery Fabrics, the sidekick ruler and a pattern by Jaybird Quilts, two spools of Aurifil thread, a sharps needle sampler, a custom fabric label, a cool bobbypin, and a paper piecing pattern.I'm pretty impressed.
So Mark bought a bottle of Chardonnay by the Naked Grape. The other side of the cork has their facebook address that might be interesting contain too much information...

I'll leave you with this thought. Which pretty much sums up things around this house.

Your turn.