Thursday, May 12, 2022

Really Random Thursday, 5/12/22

 After three long years of schooling, Christa graduated Saturday from the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary with a master's in ministry, leadership and culture. 

The ceremony was held at Selland Arena in downtown Fresno.

Aaron is on the board of trustees for the university so he always has to be at graduation ceremonies wearing his regalia. But this ceremony was very special for him.

There were so many people but we had a good meeting location. Of course, Gabe wanted to try on the cap. 

Good friends, Jane and Jamie.

Stacie was here for the weekend.

Aaron and Christa had a great party in their newly redone backyard that evening (taco truck!) and I'm sorry I didn't take any photos of it. 

On Sunday, Mother's Day, Mark and I headed out to the coast for the day.

Spending time by the waves is so restorative for both of us. As much as we would like to leave this state, we would find it hard to move away close proximity to the coast.

After we had been there awhile, we noticed that the blue sky was getting grey and foggy. 

The next thing we knew, it was raining! We both considered that a gift, as we see rain so rarely here in California.

But sky began clearing up again.
We drove into Carmel and had an early dinner at our favorite restaurant, A.W. Shucks. It is a really small place and was crowded but we were happy to find two seats at the bar.

I'll end with this, just because we have an optometrist for a son.

Happy weekend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

WIP Wednesday, 5/11/22

 Let's begin with Moda Blockheads 4. I completed three blocks since last week.

Block 7 is Game Board by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings. I really like the pale pink print with the writing on it: I must have flower always & always, by Claude Monet.

Next is Block 8, Wild Geese by Kate Spain.
And finally, Bonus Block 3, Star Turn, another block by Lisa Bongean.

I'm all caught up with the Riley Blake Block Challenge 2022.

Mosaic Butterly, designed by Jennifer Long of @beesewinspired,  required some concentration to get the fabrics in the right places, as none of the four quadrants was the same.

Block 15 is Tilt-a-Whirl by Cindy Cloward. One more block to go and then I hope they release the setting options!
I've really enjoyed using the beautiful Rosa line of fabric by Crystal Manning, and it has been fun alternating between the pink and blue colorways each week.

Auditioning some ideas for the future.

Today I picked up two quilts from the fabulous Darby. 

They are basically the same. But different. Ha...

In Color Commotion, the center squares are all different colors, and there is also a black border. Darby used variegated thread for the quilting.

Jettstream (named after an Oakshott fat eighth bundle, Jett) has black center squares and no border. It will ultimately be offered as a kit through Oakshott, which I'm very excited about. 
Michelle Bartholomew has been helping me with the pattern and she is amazing. 

And that's it for this week in May. Tomorrow I will be going up to my friend's cabin outside Yosemite for our annual quilting retreat. Spending time with friends in a beautiful location sounds like just what we all need. I'm not putting too much pressure on myself to accomplish lots and lots of sewing. But hopefully there will be something interesting to show next week.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Really Random Thursday, 5/5/22

Let's begin with some cute little pansies. I find pansies to be some of the happiest little flowers.

I particularly adore the little ruffly ones.

Just when they are really blooming, it's time to take them out and plant begonias that will bloom through the summer. It's important to get them started before the heat really sets in.

Saturday I attended Levi's championship swimming meet.

He did well individually, and his school got first place.

Best friend, Mason.

On Sunday, my brother and sister-in-law arrived from Washington DC. They had picked up their daughter, Elizabeth, who lives in San Francisco. At about the same time they pulled up, Aaron and Christa arrived with the kids to drop them off through Tuesday. Christa is finishing a residency which is part of her master's program. She graduates on Saturday with a master's in ministry, culture and leadership after a long three-year program. Aaron was able to attend with her for the first couple of days, and they were headed off to San Francisco. They got a chance to chat with Jeff, Gracie and Elizabeth for about 15 minutes, and we took a selfie.

Their three dogs were along with them, and the kids had so much fun hanging out with Hailey, Moose and Esteban.

My favorite photo.

Finally, books I read in April. I'm still really enjoying the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths. The Kite Runner was haunting. My least favorite was The Chocolatier--the story line was interesting but I was not fond of the writing style. Iron Lake is also the first in a series and I will be continuing that one as well. 

Until next Thursday...

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

WIP Wednesday, 5/4/22

 Ah yes, May the Fourth be with you.

It's been kind of a slow week in the sewing room.  

The Riley Blake Block Challenge has been taking the last week of the month off, allowing for a "catch up" week, so there was no block to sew from them.

I did make Moda Blockheads 4, Block 6, Spinning into Spring, designed by Linzee Kull McCray of @seamswrite, and I really like this block.

And even though I'm doing my best to sew mostly from my stash, I just love that background with the dots in diamond shapes so much that I tracked it down. It's by Maureen Cracknell and I located a yard on Etsy and it arrived today. I'm very happy about that. 

The rest of my sewing time was spent working on the Mischief quilt top, which I'm trying to turn into a medallion quilt. I had this imaginary conversation in my head with the quilt the other day after everything I tried just wasn't working.

Quilt: Hey, remember that 4" striped border you added to me? Yeah, way too wide...
Me:  Sure. No problem. How about if I trim down to an inch? And add some pretty squares all around for the next border?

Quilt (clutches throat): Help. Now I can't breathe!
Me: Geez. What a drama queen. How about a nice skinny solid border first and then a fun checkerboard? Do you like the pretty light purple?
Quilt: Meh. Too wishy washy.
Me: about black? (on the right side)
Quilt: Too harsh.
Me: Dark green? (on the left, although it photographed like it's black)
Quilt: Yes, I believe I like that one.
Me: Any other suggestions? I'm tired of sewing and unsewing. You're so opinionated.
Quilt: Maybe sketch things out first? I hate having to correct you. But you'll be happy you listened to me.

I did a little sketching. I direct messaged Erin Burke Harris, who wrote a book called Make Your Own Medallion. I called my friend, Elizabeth (@opquilt), who always has good suggestions. Interestingly, both Erin and Elizabeth mentioned a suggestion by my friend, Anne @springleafstudios, who thought maybe I should delete the striped border and add a thin border of the yellow to give the blocks a little breathing room. 

So that's what I did. 

Then Elizabeth suggested adding a border of 3" square in a square blocks all the way around. She also thought I should consider using the same yellow as a background, which is a bolder choice than I would have considered on my own. But I think I really like it. At least if I make the required 44 blocks to go all the way around, using my precious Oakshott scraps, there is no way I'm going to say, "Meh...I don't think this is right either." At least, I hope I won't say that...
And for now, that Quilt better keep its sassy little mouth shut.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Quilts by the Water: Flower Bubbles/Salem, Oregon

 I don't actually have very many photos of Flower Bubbles, nor does it have an interesting back story. A few years ago, I purchased a bundle of bark cloth called Outback Wife by Gertrude Made. I purchased both the floral and solid bundles. I had previously made a quilt from square blocks with curved pieces added randomly and I really liked it, so I tried that again with this quilt. 

My plan was then to hand quilt around the circles and add some "shadow" circles as well. 

I'm still not sure what happened. I thought it was basted well, but after all the hand quilting, there were ripples everywhere.

 So I took all the hand stitching out and sent it to Darby for an edge-to-edge design. 

I have thought of still adding some hand stitching, but in retrospect, I consider it finished. 

We took it along last year when we visited our niece in Salem, Oregon. She took us on a tour of Willamette University and it was a beautiful day. I love the photo on the bridge with the reflection in the water.

But my favorite might be the one we took in the arboretum. 

Quilt: Flower Bubbles

Designed and Made by: Cindy Wiens

Quilted by: Darby Myers

Size: 48" x 56"