Thursday, July 30, 2015

Really Random Thursday, 7/30/15

Whew, the last Thursday in July! That means it is probably time to start Christmas quilt sewing, right?

There are two Christmas quilts in this pile. The binding is already machine stitched on each and just needs to be hand stitched down.
 So it turns out we needed a new refrigerator. Ours lasted 14 years. I guess these days that is pretty good. The sad thing is that we spend all the money to get a new one and it will look just like the old one. 

 Old refrigerator

New refrigerator

See what I mean? When I spend that much money it's nice to have something noticeably different. Does anyone else feel that way?

I got a new battery-powered alarm clock. The display also has date and year. And temperature. It came factory set to centigrade. These were the instructions to switch it to fahrenheit.

According to the tone/day/temperature knob, temperature and degree of Chinese type conversion functions.

Um, okay.

I would like to have a quilting retreat here, the Nature's Inn B&B about an hour from Fresno.  

Friends are coming from Minnesota the beginning of September. We will meet them in San Francisco. So we bought tickets to Beach Blanket Babylon? Have you heard of it? Have you seen a performance? It's so iconic San Francisco, dating back to the 1970s. It's a musical parody on the day's headlines. There is a basic storyline, but each day's performance is different based on what is current in the news. See what I mean?

 So much fun and SO funny. And then there is this. The hats!

It is helping to write down everything in this paper planner (the Get to Work Book--this school year version is sold out, but the 2016 version will be out soon). Using my phone just has never worked for me on a consistent basis. Do you use a paper planner or your phone?
Raspberry sorbet from Ampersand. One of the new businesses in town and so delicious.
A mini tutorial on Fresno: Population 509,924, the fifth most populous city in California, behind Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco--and the 34th largest in the country. Lots of people, including those in California, think we are just a tiny little town somewhere between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

 Amazing deals. What? Maybe if they included free shipping. Ha!



My friend, Michelle, posted this on Instagram. So the back story on this. We had a Keurig machine at our Gruber's quilting retreat. I had never used one before. Somehow my cup got overfilled...and she took a picture. That's what friends are for.

More truth.
Share the randomness.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Finish It Friday, 7/24/15

In January, I joined Katja Marek's New Hexagon Millefiore Block of the Month quiltalong. Her New Hexagon book is wonderful and highly recommended. I know a lot of people are doing the La Passacaglia millefiore quilt but it just looked too intense for me. All of Katja's hexagons measure 6 inches and are arranged in rosettes, which will eventually fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

I don't have a completed quilt to show, but Rosette 1 has taken me since January and I'm so happy with it. Each rosette will use only Denyse Schmidt fabrics. Last week one day, I spent the afternoon on the couch watching TV and sewing the hexagons together for the first rosette.

Ta da! It is 36" from side to side.
I might have done a happy dance when Denyse reposted the picture in HER feed!

Rosette 2 is coming along nicely as well.
And then Denyse commented again. Talk about motivation!

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Really Random Thursday, 7/23/15

Welcome to this week's edition of Really Random Thursday.

Quite a few years ago, my good friend, Jennifer, handed down this toy telephone. It has lights and lots of fun sounds. But what has fascinated each one of the grandchildren, all at about the same age of about 1 1/2 is the fact that the telephone cord can be pulled apart and put back together. Such good practice for fine motor skills--and I'm sure it was simply a safety feature for the toy.

Last week the youngest Wiens grandchild figured it out. Kept her busy for the longest time.
Lately it seems I get the best life lesson quotes from @ryanwalshquilts in his Instagram feed.

I find it fascinating to ask people what single food is their least favorite. Mine is cucumbers, followed by cilantro. So this will never be on my list to try.
It seems to be taking over a week for me to recover from traveling. Consequently, there is not much randomness to share. I was able to catch up on bee blocks, however.

The first is a July block for Susan in our Mid Century Modern bee. She used the Stepping Stones tutorial from Sew Fresh Quilts. Red and white is such a classic look.
The second is a July block for Mary in our Sew Sisters bee. She is also in the Mid Century Modern bee and we made this Union Jack block for her last year. She needed a few more. I love her color combination of orange and aqua. The tutorial can be found on Molli Sparkles blog.
And I saw this in Kim's instagram feed yesterday. Haha. My shipping and handling fees are higher than I would like, that's for sure.
What's going on with you?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Finish It Friday, 7/17/15

When I left off yesterday's post,  Mark and I had just returned to Denver on Monday night. On Tuesday morning, he flew back home to Fresno and I flew on to Minneapolis to attend the annual quilting retreat at Gruber's

For the last three years, my brother-in-law Leon has picked me up from the airport. I had a short wait at baggage claim, but fortunately they have a Starbucks right there so I grabbed some coffee and a newspaper. This was pretty close to my table. 
Quite a few years ago, there was a display of Snoopy's houses all around St. Paul (Charles Schulz grew up in St. Paul), each one decorated differently. I snapped pictures of nearly all of them. It makes me happy to see one of them again.

For years I had wanted to go to Mickey's diner, which is legendary in St. Paul, so Leon took me there for lunch. It was quirky in the most awesome way.
We sat right at the bar, pictured above
The next morning, he and my sister-in-law, Sharon, drove me to Amanda Jean's house, where I always spend the night before the retreat starts. I have always stayed in her daughter Abby's room. Abby is nearly the same age as my granddaughter, Charlotte. I just know they would be great friends and I sure hope they will meet each other.

This was on my door. Isn't it great? 
And of course, I always look forward to seeing which quilt is on the bed.
I always get to choose a quilt to take along for the retreat. Such a hard choice.
This was filled up shortly after I gave it to Amanda Jean. Oh Scrap!
Purchased here
The trip to Gruber's is only about 20 minutes and it didn't take long to get settled in.
For the first time, I didn't travel with my Featherweight. So SEW nice not to have to lug a sewing machine around the airport. Amanda generously loaned me Hello Kitty, and one day I happened to match my machine.
Mark was following along on Instagram and wondered why we kept posting pictures and then commenting on each others'   Instagram feed when we were just two or three feet from each other. Haha.
By the way, this is what Mark was doing (other than nearly nonstop working at his office) while I was away--attending a beach-themed 13-year-old birthday party.
Each year we make "happies" for each other, just a little something to make each of us smile. The bar was set quite high this year. And we briefly discussed not making them next year.'s too much fun.
 Mine. All mine.
This is the first year we had movie night. No big screen, but it was still fun. I would like to know how many times Rene' and Michelle have watched Pitch Perfect.
When you stay up late sewing, and then even later chatting with your roommates, by the third day things start to get ridiculous. Anything can sound just hilarious. So when Amanda Jean came up with the brainiac idea to sew a micro quilt, it seemed like such a great idea. Her parameters--it had to be less than 4" per side, and definitely smaller than a coaster.
"Please hold up your end better so it doesn't sag in the middle."

  "Do you need charm square for the backing?"
"No, I think you should piece the backing...."
"Are you going to make a scrappy binding?"
"Are you going to pin baste or spray baste." 
See what I mean?
 Oh scrap!
I sewed on a larger scale--making some blocks for a charity donation quilt for next April.
"Moccasin" by GenXQuilters
We usually go out for dinner, although this year we ordered pizza in on Friday night. And we dress up a little for Saturday night dinner.
Everyone left on Sunday afternoon, except for Rene', Michelle and me--I hitched a ride back to the airport with them on Monday morning. But Sunday night---we were under a tornado alert, with constant thunder and lightning flashing. So what did we do? Watched Pitch Perfect again.
It was such a great weekend--with so much sewing and sharing, laughing and eating, our friendships get better and better with each year.

Oh, it's Finish It Friday: My happies were one-hour baskets for everyone, using the license plate fabric from Timeless Treasures, fussy cutting so each person's state was front and center on one side, adding big stitch quilting in red around the license plate.
I had some Gruber's ribbon from a previously purchased fat quarter stack, so I cut it all apart and added a little tag to each basket.
The other finish for this week is a completed Flora supply case for Amanda Jean for her friendship throughout the year and her hospitality when I come to Minnesota. (And this might be a little sneak peek at her upcoming fabric line for Connecting Threads!--she had a milestone birthday on July 4th so the red, white and blue was the obvious choice.)

One of the best weekends of the year. Until next year...

I'm linking to Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.