Thursday, March 30, 2017

Really Random Thursday, 3/30/17: Some weeks are just really busy...

I think after so much going on with a move to a new house, and just being part of a very busy family, Ella was ready to watch a movie and cuddle with her favorite princess quilt.
After school, Gabe and I tried to make some woven potholders. The loom I had purchased from Joann's was awful, and the loops kept popping off. I'll search for a better loom.
Flowers at the memory care facility where my father resides. This time of year, the air is so fragrant, and flowers are everywhere.

Mark and I went to the country where my cousin, Cathy, and her husband, Terry, live. I consider myself a total city girl, but when I am at their house I want to move to the country. Not just anywhere, but specifically I want to move into THEIR house. They were hosting an ice cream social for the volleyball team members coached by their daughter-in-law, Shannon. The teams were in town for a large weekend tournament. Here are some snapshots around Cathy and Terry's yard.
 Terry and Cathy grow lavender and make sachets, along with jam from their berries.

This was a great photo op location, right in front of the berry vines. That vintage quilt, with its pop of orange, was such a bright spot on a rainy day.

This was Cathy's playhouse when she was small.
Speaking of berries. I find berry pie nearly irresistible.

 Still frosty...

Mark helped Terry make homemade ice cream in this gas engine-powered ice cream machine. Each bucket makes five gallons.

I didn't go to the tournament the next day, but Mark did.

Mark, Shannon and Cathy--photo courtesy of Cathy.
Saturday: Levi turned 9 on Monday, March 27, but the family celebrated on Saturday night. In case you can't tell, he is a huge Golden State Warriors fan. He received several t-shirts, team jerseys, etc., and decided to put them on all at once. I made him a pillow case (wrapped around his neck) and a duffel bag. Mark and I also went halvsies on a new in-ground basketball goal. He seems pretty happy with it all. He's the very best combination of sweet, smart, goofy, and affectionate. And cute. Did I mention cute?

My mother has been teaching piano lessons for 52 years! Once a year, some of her students participate in Piano Celebration, where they play two pieces for memory in front of a judge. This year (probably her last), Charlotte was the only student. Levi had been prepared, but Sunday morning he woke up feeling sick. Charlotte did so well--earning an Excellent, with some really wonderful comments from the judge on her playing.
Four generations

Every year I take a picture of this clever logo for the Music Teachers Association of California. It seems like there should be some way to turn it into a quilt.

We are so proud of Charlotte.
My friend, Terri, and I have been exchanging postcards weekly for the last few years. A long time ago, I purchased a sheet of stamps that had a stamp of each of the states. I had them matted and framed for awhile, and then decided I should just go ahead and use them. By the time I decided that, postage had risen, but these stamps were just the perfect rate for postcards. So I started using them in alphabetical order for the postcards I sent to Terri. I'm sorry that they are all used up. I will have to find something fun and special to take their place.
I've been participating in a March Madness competition, structured like the basketball championship. It is put on by Paintbrush Studio to draw attention to their great line of solids, Painter's Palette.

The first round of voting was on Monday and I was paired with Stephanie Palmer of Late Night Quilter. She had chosen a beautiful palette of fabrics and the votes were neck in neck.

I was shocked to see that I had won the first "game."

Tuesday: Now that football and basketball seasons are over, Mark is umpiring softball. I went to watch him for a couple of innings. It was so cold on Tuesday afternoon because of the wind ("cold" and "wind" of course being relative terms here in California, compared to other parts of the country), so I didn't last very long. But it was fun to see him in action.

Wednesday: We had to drop off our new Subaru to get the windshield replaced. A tiny rock hit the side of the windshield--you couldn't even see it from the inside. But it caused a crack clear to the middle of the windshield. (Insert sad face.) We decided to have breakfast out, after we dropped off the car. Remember, Mark makes my breakfast nearly every morning since he has been retired. This sign was on the restaurant wall. Mark probably needs one of his very own, as he apparently is the early bird around our house now.
I hope you stop by tomorrow--I think I'll actually have a Friday Finish to show.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Mad for Solids: 2017 Edition

I don't normally follow college basketball. Until March, that is.

Every year when it's time to fill out brackets for March Madness, I get that excited feeling. Can the underdog beat the number 1 seed? There are always surprising upsets--it happens every year.

I was invited again this year to participate in March Madness--the Mad for Solids 2017 edition, a fun event for Paintbrush Studios by Fabri-Quilt. Solids have become my go-to fabric choice for nearly all of my quilts.

A few weeks ago, while sitting in church and nearly at the end of the service, I suddenly focused on the shirt the man in front of me was wearing. It had beautiful colors and such a lovely sheen. I took out my iPhone and covertly snapped a picture.

When I received the invitation to choose  Painter's Palette Solids again this year for the Mad for Solids event, I knew exactly where my color choices would take me.

There are 16 of us altogether in the competition (you can follow everyone's progress on Instagram by using the hashtags #madforsolids and #solidsbracket2017).

Aside from choosing our eight colors, we choose the name for our palette, and I chose Magenta Madness.
My colors are:
(Top row): 121-046 Royalty, 121-030 Bordeaux, 121-150 Wine, 121-028 Red Violet
(Bottom row): 121-107 Wisteria, 121-085 Thistle, 121-021 Mauve, 121-018 Petal
I hope you will check out the competition--as always, there are formidable contenders. And please vote. More details are on the Inspired by Fabric blog and voting will begin on Monday, March 27, both on the blog and on Instagram (@pbstudiofabrics).  I will be in Round 1, Game 2. If I win, I move on to the next round, very much like the NCAA March Madness.

The winning bundle’s creator will receive an additional 6 yards of solids—in our choice of colors—in 1 yard cuts. Even more, two randomly drawn voters from the championship game will receive 1/4 yard cuts of the winning bundle. bundle. So vote for your favorite and you just might win some fabric for yourself. Go team!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Really Random Thursday, 3/23/17

So. Where was I? Oh, yes. When last I wrote, I was at a quilting retreat put on by the local quilt shop, Quilters Paradise. It was such fun and I actually got something accomplished. Jennifer always makes place cards for us.
The quilt shop gives us a few little things. One was a journal with the cover that looked like a vintage pattern. Isn't this cool?
Usually we stay at the cabins which are part of the resort where the retreat is held. However, a good friend, Marilyn, attended the retreat for the first time this year. She has a beautiful cabin just down the road, and that is where we stayed this year. We sure hope she attends every year from now on, as her cabin seemed so luxurious.
Mark had remodeled the kitchen quite a few years ago--just when high-gloss white cabinets were available. It still looks so clean and modern.
She has a beautiful view of the lake.
The retreat ends about 2 p.m. on  Sunday afternoon. However, this weekend, snow was in the forecast for Sunday. In the years we have been fortunate enough to have snow during the weekend while we are sewing, it is like being in a snow globe. However, I'm a fair weather driver. I was hesitant to think about driving home on Sunday in the snow, so I bailed and drove home Saturday night. Marilyn sent me pictures of the cabin from Sunday morning--a virtual postcard.

But I was happy to be home when I received these pictures.

At both retreats, I gave a trunk show of my solid quilts. It was such fun. I'm always shocked to say that public speaking is fun, as I have spent my entire life actively avoiding public speaking of any type. However, when the topic is something you are passionate about, it seems to make all the difference in the world.

Some of the quilts I showed:
 Neon Ninja Star
 Amish Charm
Under the Big Top
This is always everyone's favorite.
Animal Planet (on loan from grandson, Gabriel)
Aftermath of the trunk show--

One of the few known pictures in existence of me with a microphone in my hand.
Kona Color Card

Our group--we had such fun.
L to R: Jennifer, me, Marilyn, Vicki, Dotty, Jullie

My 2008 Honda Pilot, purchased in January 2008, turned over to 62,000 miles.
We went to Morgan Hill, California, not too far from Santa Cruz, a couple of weeks ago so Mark could ref a game. It was such fun. I don't normally get to see him in action.

Time with these two is always fun. Snack time at the bookstore is even better.

My brother lives in Washington, D.C., and one of these years Mark and I want to go during cherry blossom time. However, D.C. has nothing on us when it is time for the fruit trees to blossom.
Aaron and Christa recently moved to a new house. It was a little stressful for a few days as they had to be out of their house on a Saturday but didn't get keys to the new house until late the following Tuesday afternoon. They seem to be settling in nicely. I found this on the whiteboard calendar in our laundry room, written by Charlotte.
It has a pool too. The water sure isn't warm yet, but that didn't stop the kids from jumping in that first afternoon.
 Some neighborhood mallard ducks seem to enjoy the pool too.
Snack time with Gabe.
Snack time with Charlotte.
You might remember that people have a hard time spelling her name correctly. We were both impressed with the guy at Starbucks. He got it right without asking. We had to document it. We think he must know a Charlotte in real life.

My friend, Elizabeth, googled "medallion quilts" the other morning. This is what showed up in her search and she shared it with me--my Marcelle Goes to the Circus quilt!!
Do you ever feel like this?
The clouds the other night were so beautiful.
Don't forget--it's not too late to go to Instagram and comment on @tokodots and @liveacolorfullife for a chance to win a set of notecards:
My final thoughts:
The reason is because:

Great cross stitch pattern by Elise Ross of Spruce Craft Co.--she has instant downloads here.

Check back tomorrow. There just might be some March Madness mayhem going on around here. :)