October is here which means we have been in our new house for almost six months. Seems like one would have all the boxes unpacked at this point but nah… there are too many other fun things to do.
For instance, we had my mother in law here for a visit last week. She had not seen the house yet. It was super fun to show her the area. Like me, she is a fan of beach combing so we spent a lovely afternoon wandering at the water’s edge picking up shells and sea glass. The weather could not have been better.
Just before she came, I put the finishing touches on this mini. I worked in slow motion when attaching the binding so I could minimize any issues with the hearts. I just didn’t leave quite enough room for the binding. All is well though and I hardly touched the little hand quilted hearts.
It looks so cute on the wall. I already want to start a new mini. They are super satisfying because I can finish them quickly.
These photos make me laugh each time I look at them. Julia and her buddies at the swine unit were making a social media post to welcome the students back to campus. She was trying to pose with one of her favorite 500 pound boars, Leopard. He was feeling frisky and wanted to play rather than stand still. Hahaha.
My son built an electric bike with two seats on it for the girls. The three of them love it and cruise all over with it. It helps for him to have a little boost of power to cart the weight of two kids behind him.
Yesterday Andrew was trying to keep the girls out of the house. My DIL has to work nights for a couple of days so she needs to sleep during the day. They found a festival they could ride too. The girls waited in line for quite a while for this fancy cotton candy. It was huge so they shared it. Isn’t it cool though? I haven’t seen anything like this before.
I had my own bit of fun yesterday. One of the local quilt guilds held a fabric sale as a fundraiser. Fabric was $3.00 per pound so shoppers just filled their bag, it was weighed and then calculated. I told myself not to buy any small pieces as I just don’t need them. Instead I looked for stretch knits to make t-shirts and larger pieces of cotton for potential backings. I also needed some fusible batting for a project I am going to make (more on that later). I was so successful! I bought 20 yards of fabric, a large unopened package of fusible batting and a new triangular ruler for $27.00. I am in the process of washing the fabric now. What fun!
That is it for now. Today’s plan is a long walk this morning and a bit of yard work. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
I started the month off by working on two scrappy projects. Kind of nice to play a bit and use up a few pieces from my scrap bins. Besides what else was I to do while the Super Bowl was on??
The first block I made is for the 2020 Monthly Color Challenge. The color is blue and the block was a quick make. Coincidentally, I used polka dots again this month (I used them last month too, but in yellow).
These look so happy and it is making me wonder if I should try to go for a polka dotted theme with this quilt. I need to check the bins and see if I have enough dots though. I am NOT going to buy dotted fabric to make this happen. Sort of defeats the purpose of scrappy quilting, doesn’t it?? Jen does have the colors she will be focusing on listed on her blog. I will take a look and see how many dotted fabrics I have to decide if this might work.
After this block, I decided to pull my orange bin as that is the color for February over at Angela’s RSC2020 challenge. I had absolutely no idea what I was wanting to do with them but thought I should make something just to use some of the scraps up. Plus, I was in the mood to play around.
Somehow it popped into my head to make a Dresden block. I have seen lots of minis or wall quilts with a series of Dresdens of various sizes and colors, made to look like flowers. I think I will do something like this. I like the Dresden’s with the curved tips and might alter a few to look like that as well. It will be a fun thing to work on here and there.
This week was our monthly guild meeting. My friend Sophia encouraged the guild members to make tree blocks for Australia’s fire victims. The result was fantastic. There was a sew day with one local church group of quilters and quite a large stack of blocks was created.
The variety of blocks showed a great deal of creativity. It was fun to look through them since I didn’t attend the sew day. I did make two blocks though and you can see those here if you like.
There were lots of appliqué, many strip pieced trees and an assortment of traditional tree blocks.
This tree was drawn on the fabric which I thought was quite clever. If our little guild came through with all of these, I cannot imagine how many the Wollongong MQG is going to receive. Wow!
Now that my scrappy projects are wrapped up for the moment, I am finishing up the assembly of my Mosaic Quilt top. The main portion of the top is put together. I keep looking at it to see if some portion is flipped the wrong way before I put on the borders. It is much harder to take apart once the borders are on. It looks good to me but I am going to stare at it a bit more before I take that last step!
I recently had a conversation with the chairperson of our Community Service team within our local quilt guild. We were talking about the recipients of the quilts we make and the quantity of quilts she had available. The discussion came around to our local Children’s Protective Services team. This team includes officers of our Sherrif’s Department who have the very sad task of removing children from home’s where they are not in good, safe situations.
These officers like to carry blankets in the trunk of their cars so they can wrap up a child if needed when removing them and taking the child to social services and a foster home. The officers asked for blankets or quilts without batting. These kiddos are often put into carseats and the quilts can be too thick.
Thinking about this need, I decided to make some blankets with quilting cotton and flannel. These would be cozy and so easy to make. Plus they wouldn’t take up much room in the carseat. To do this, I looked at my stash as well as the fabric in the shop and selected some pieces that worked together nicely.
The sizes of the blankets were somewhat dictated by the pieces of fabric I wanted to use. The first blanket I made turned out to be 42″ square when finished. I cut pieces of flannel and quilting cotton that were each 1 and 1/4 yards – so almost a 45″ square, depending on the width of the fabric. I pre-washed everything because flannel is known to shrink a bit. After pre-washing, I pressed all of the fabrics and laid them out, right sides together. Then I squared up the pieces. A quick stitching around the perimeter, leaving about five inches open to turn it right side out, took little time. Once the corners were popped out nicely, I pressed the seams and top-stitched around the perimeter at a 1/8″ margin. I top-stitched again about two inches inside of that first go around.
I have a number of yards of gray flannel in my stash that has been sitting for a long while. It looks great with these silly animals. I am sure it will work with other pieces as well and will try and use more of it for these sorts of blankets.
For each blanket I cut one piece of flannel and the other woven cotton. However this could be easily adapted according to the stash a person has to use. Stretch knits would work and be really cozy. A woven cotton backed with minky or cuddle fabric is also a great idea. All of these are thinner than a typical quilt.
On of the blankets I made is quite a bit smaller because I had a little piece of flannel I wanted to use. It finished at 32 inches square. The navy flannel with sweet little daisies is so soft and the size will be perfect for a smaller child or toddler.
The need for these blankets makes me so sad. Last year these officers had to remove about 100 children from bad situations within our county. I couldn’t believe that number. It is much more than I would have guessed. If the blankets are helpful in this awful time for a child, I am happy to make them. They take little in the way of supplies or time and might be soothing during a scary time. I plan to bring these to our community service group and check to see if other guild members might want to make one or two. Really, they take so little time and most likely we all have one yard cuts waiting to be used.
OK – Let’s talk about the Trash to Treasure giveaway now! I have mentioned before that two of my sisters have an Etsy shop together. It is called 6 Monkeys & Co and they make and sell custom children’s clothing and gifts. One of my favorite things they make are traditional baby bonnets. They are soooo sweet and make a wonderful (very affordable) handmade baby gift for a newborn. Please take a peak here to see them. If you find yourself in need of a fantastic gift for a grandchild, niece or nephew, be sure check out their shop.
Anyway, when my sisters are sewing, they are inclined to toss their scraps. When you are a garment maker, it doesn’t make sense to keep these pieces of fabric if they aren’t big enough to cut into a useful piece (sleeve, skirt, collar, etc) for a piece of clothing. But as a quilter, I want all the scraps, ALL THE TIME! So Cathy and Patti save them for me. At the moment, I have accumulated tons. Sometimes I cut them into 5″ squares and figure I will make an I Spy quilt. But let’s be real. This pile is growing and I think it is time to share the wealth. If you would like to have some of these, please leave a comment. I will pick two winners and each will receive a great package of assorted scraps. Some are novelty fabrics, some blenders and lots of little florals and stripes. My sisters only save the larger scraps as I explained I wanted to be able to cut five inch squares with them so the pieces are really usable. The fabrics are great quality and would make a really fun scrappy quilt. Giveaway open through Friday, January 31st.
NOTE – Giveaway Now Closed. Thanks for entering!! Congrats to Sam and Sharon – winners of all these fun scraps!
I have almost finished my January goal which was to quilt and bind my Squared Away quilt. I will share that later this week. For now though, how about some scrappy treasures?? Happy sewing all.
Sharing at some of my favorite link ups. Check them out at the top of the page, under link-ups.
While I don’t have any work of my own to share this week, I do want to pop in and show you something pretty! As program coordinator for our guild, I have scheduled Cindy Needham to come teach a workshop in February for us. I scheduled this a long while back and felt fortunate even then to be worked into her full teaching/speaking schedule. Luckily for us, Cindy lives only two hours from here which made her very affordable for our guild.
Anyway, on to the good stuff! When I schedule someone to teach, I always request a sample of the project they are going to teach. Guild members love to see the samples, as opposed to a picture, when deciding if they want to take the class. I believe most guilds provide samples for this reason. Cindy will be teaching a workshop on planning quilt motifs and quilting feathers. The sample above is pieced with silk. The mini measures approximately 20″ x 28″ or so (I didn’t actually measure it.) This particular piece is labeled as a Gaudynski sample as it looks to be stitched in the style developed and taught by Diane Gaudynski.
This sample is just incredible. I knew Cindy was an extremely talented quilter. But seeing it up close is such a treat. She free motion quilts and for the life of me, I cannot imagine ever quilting like this. I thought it would be a fun thing to share this beautiful stitching with you.
The motifs are so tiny and so detailed. It is hard to imagine having this sort of control. I tried to watch her lines, where she traveled to and from. Jaw dropping work!
The feathers are beautiful but to me the most impressive are the petals to the right of the feathers. Those tiny spaces between each petal are stitched down with minute stitches causing the petals to pop. Same for the flat space between the feathers. Such teeny tiny stitches!
These look like tulips to me. I love them because they show off the silk beautifully. The whole effect overall is elegant. Pale colors of pink, rose and a really light gold all worked together. Cindy collects vintage linens and textiles and works them into much of her art. I am so looking forward to her trunk show and listening to her lecture. I will post an update in a couple of months after our February guild meeting.
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks to so many of you who shopped my Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sales! The last of those shipped out yesterday.
I am still cutting kits for the Push Pull QAL. My customers have been really patient as I ran out of the darker fabrics for both kits and had to re-order. An interesting thing of note – I offered four kits. Two teal blue kits where the quilter could choose a light or dark background and two orange kits with the light or dark background.
Every single kit sold so far has had the dark background. Not sure why this catches my attention but it does.
I am curious what your thoughts are? Maybe the transparency effect is shown better with the dark background? I like them both but clearly that is not the opinion of most! I still have a few kits left if you are interested. Click here to check them out.
It is going to be a rainy weekend so tomorrow I should be able to find some time in the sewing room. I have several holiday gifts I am working on and I need to make some progress with those! Sunday we are driving over to my son and his wife’s house for lunch. We haven’t seen them in a long while so I am excited about that! How about you?
I think I have mentioned that I am the program chairperson for my local quilt guild. I really like this task as it allows me the opportunity to learn about so many great teachers and speakers. I talk and email with them and then choose who might come to the area and talk with us or teach a fun class. About a year ago, I was told that Meg Cox would be doing a West Coast speaking tour and would be in our area. She has a friend here she wanted to visit and it worked out she could schedule her visit with her friend around the time our guild met.
Meg Cox is a writer, journalist, and a quilter. She has had a really extensive career which includes authoring five books, being a reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 17 years, a quilter for about 30 years, and has written many articles on family traditions and rituals for lots of trade magazines. I felt really lucky to be able to work this out. Our guild is fairly small and wouldn’t have been able to pay for her travel out here and back as she lives on the east coast. This was a gift dropped in our laps, so to speak.
Last week Meg spoke to our guild about the value of family traditions. We heard about how traditions and rituals give family members something to look forward to and create a stronger feeling of connection. She shared some fun ways to build tradition within the family, whether your family be a traditional one or a creatively built family of friends and/or relatives. She also talked about the wonderful quilting traditions we all immerse ourselves in. Memory quilts and making quilts for those in need is a huge tradition in our arena and she shared all sorts of beautiful examples of these. Her lecture was really timed perfectly as we go into our holiday season which is rich with tradition. I encourage you to check out her website. Meg also has a wonderful monthly newsletter, titled Quilt Journalist Tell All. I subscribe to it and enjoy reading it quite a bit.
Listening to her made me think about the rituals my family has. Some are common and others maybe not so much. But these are the times we all look forward to and look back on fondly. These rituals keep us connected. For example, in my family we made birthdays special in small ways. The person celebrating their birthday chose the meal for dinner that day. I remember when my kiddos were small, they would choose the same thing over and over. Julia went through a stage of wanting hot dogs with dill relish. Not my favorite meal (by a long ways!) but when she was 6, 7 and probably 8 that was her birthday meal. My son Ian chose chicken and tortilla casserole over and over for a couple of years in a row.
Growing up, my family had lots of rituals to observe, both within our family and our religion. I was raised in the Catholic church and attended parochial school through 8th grade. Catholicism is heavily steeped in ritual, as are most religions. But the traditions I really remember are from within our family. Watching Christmas TV specials was such a treat each year. Living before DVD’s and DVR’s, we really looked forward to watching Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My sisters and I looked forward to watching these cartoons.
When the six of us were old enough to know the hard truth about Santa, my mother decided we would draw names and fill each other’s Christmas stocking. I think this was one of my favorite things about Christmas; filling a stocking for a sister of mine and opening my stocking that was filled by a sister. We were supposed to keep it a secret and not tell each other whose stocking we were filling. I doubt we were very good at that.
We filled each others stockings with things like nail polish, 17 Magazine, lip gloss, Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers, and Love’s Baby Soft perfume (because what girl doesn’t want to walk around in a cloud of baby powder scent?) and candy.
Were you a teenager in the 70’s? If so, do you remember this lip gloss?? It was an incredibly thick goop that we applied with a ‘roller ball’ applicator. Ugh. By the way, what is this girl doing kissing Roger, Richie, Fred, David and Bob – hmmmm…
There was also the lip balm style that came in all sorts of flavors. I have such fond memories of our secret Santa stockings we made for each other!
After the lecture I was visiting with some guild members and it surprised me to hear that some didn’t really have strong memories of family traditions while growing up. This made me a little bit sad. I very much enjoy these connections and hope my kids have fond memories of our Christmases, birthdays and other family times.
I would love to hear about your traditions. Let’s share them in the comments. Maybe we can inspire each other and learn some ideas for fun ways to build our family celebrations and holidays. If this has not been something you have done, I urge you to take just one idea and implement it. Your kiddos or grand children will love it. It is a wonderful way to enhance family life.
I started a new project! Over a year ago I received a stack of Kaffe Fassett florals from somebody. It was during the first round of #getyourquiltywishesgranted on Instagram. I wish I could give proper credit but I just can’t remember which kind quilter sent them. She had offered them up if anyone wanted to use them and I was the lucky recipient. Then, as often happens, they sat on the top shelf in the closet for about 18 months!
At the April guild meeting, they announced a class to be held for using up scraps. I have no shortage of possible ways to use scraps but this pattern looked cute and what is better than a day sewing with friends? I signed up. Yesterday was our sew day. A woman, Doris Javier, from a neighboring guild, had designed the pattern and she was there to teach. The pattern itself is extremely simple to construct; basically cut lots of rectangles and sew together in pairs. Then arrange in one of a number of designs and stitch into blocks. When I first started joining the rectangles, I was not consistent about the direction In which I placed the floral fabric and the background. Of course, it needs to be consistent so that the angles run the correct way. Luckily, I was eager to see how the block would come together and tried to lay some out right after I pieced the first couple. So I have a few that are slanting the wrong way and will have to be used in something else. Maybe I will piece the backing and use them for that. Because the rectangles are sewn together on the bias, much like binding strips, I now have a large stack of triangles to use up. They are all stacked in pairs and I will chain stitch them into HST’s to be used at some point down the road. Love those little bonus HST’s!
It has been a long time since I have sewn with a group and I had forgotten how much fun it is. Even with people you aren’t well acquainted with, there is already a common bond with our shared love of stitching. One of the best things about making a particular pattern with a group of people is seeing all of the different fabric combinations created by each of us. Each unique combination gives the quilt a whole new look. When I gathered my fabric together, I based the pull on the Kaffe Fassett scraps but didn’t have quite enough of them to make the whole top. It was very easy to add other brightly colored floral scraps to round things out. For the background, I selected a textured solid made by Red Rooster – it was the last bit I had in my shop and works perfectly with the florals. The look is so summery.
I made significant progress yesterday. I have a large stack of rectangles made and paired into blocks. It takes four of these to make a full block. I didn’t sew too many complete blocks together because I want to lay them out and check the distribution of color. At this point though, it shouldn’t take too long to complete the quilt top. I would estimate I have half of the rectangles pieced. With one more session in the sewing room, I should be able to chain piece the rest of them.
The group in class yesterday agreed to try and get at least the quilt top finished before the guild meeting in September. I am sure I can complete the top but would be even more pleased to get the quilt itself completed. We shall see how my projects go this summer!
Quick side note: I am thrilled with the number of readers joining in with the sew along that is just beginning. If you haven’t read the post yet, click here. We will be making a simple shirt to wear and I will break it down into a few simple steps. We are just getting started so I t isn’t too late to join in. Read the post, order your pattern and select your fabric. The next post will be up on June 15th! Let me know if you have any questions.
This weekend I had the pleasure of working at the quilt show up in Downieville. I recently joined their quilt guild, Mountain Star Quilters, so that I could meet some of the women in town and get to know more quilters. One cannot possibly have enough quilting friends! The MSQ guild holds a quilt show every other year. On the alternate year, the guild hosts a quilt retreat in Downieville. It was at this retreat last fall that I found the little house we bought and have been renovating. (You can read about that experience here and here.)
This quilt show is such a nice event. MSQ is a small guild located in a charming small town. There are about 25 active guild members. This year’s show held over 100 quilts which is impressive considering the size of the group. In addition to local quilter’s showing their pieces, we also had the treat of hanging a traveling collection of challenge quilts from a 2014 Hoffman challenge. This is the second show we have had where we shared a traveling collection. I think it is really wonderful to have access to collections like this in such a rural area. It is a long ways (maybe 2 hours?) to the nearest large city so it isn’t easy to attend the larger shows that might feature quilting from artists such as these. Here are two of my favorites from this collection.
This one, titled Big Top, held my attention for such a long time. The quilting on it is spectacular.
Some of it must have been done with an embroidery machine but other parts were thread sketched. The precision of her stitching is fantastic.
Titled, Free Floating, this piece features appliqued jellyfish that sparkle. The quilter used great thread choices and placed tulle over the top of this piece. It exudes a peaceful feeling. I especially love that the coral extends into the border. Just lovely.
Looking at the quilts, I was surprised that my favorites were really the simplest quilts. This blue and white quilt with clean, crisp lines is gorgeous.
The quilt below won Best of Show in its size category (visitors voted for their favorites since this was not a juried show.)
The quilter appliqued small. roughly circular pieces of floral fabric and then hand stitched embellishments and outlines to define them into flowers. The entire background is hand quilted with random stitches which provided a great texture. The background thread was lightly variegated for a fantastic effect.
I kept coming back to this piece to look at all of the hand work. I can’t really imagine doing something this intense. It was gorgeous and the viewers kept returning to it as well. There was a short story posted alongside of the quilt explaining the the quilter made this while sitting with her father who was very ill. He helped to pick out the floral fabrics and shapes with her. I am sure this quilt holds a great deal of emotion for her.
The show was a lot of fun and I met so many appreciative people, wandering the show and oohing and ahhing over all of the work put into the quilts. One thing that really impressed me was when I went back to the show at the end of the day to help tear it down. As I said, this guild is quite small. I was truly surprised to see how many people came to help at the end. There must have been at least 25 people (including many guild members’ husbands) there to take everything down and sort the quilts for return to the owners. It took about 30 minutes to do. Amazing.
While we were up there, Ray and I took a hike. It was a gorgeous fall day. While walking along the river, Ray spotted this Blue Heron standing oh-so-quietly off to the side. He was gorgeous.
We watched him for a long while and then I asked Ray to make some noise so he would fly off. It was spectacular to see his wingspan. The picture below doesn’t do him justice, but I am sharing it anyway. 🙂
Wishing everyone a wonderful week with some creativity mixed in!
Linking to Connie at Freemotion by the River and Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts. Both sites have links above, click on Link Ups.
Yesterday was a busy day so to balance that out, today is not! I am not a fan of jam packed weekends. This morning I was up early and spent quite a while in my sewing room cutting pieces. I cut everything I need for the May blocks for my RSC15 row quilt. The color is dark green and I am hoping to piece those blocks (at least some of them) later today. I also cut the binding strips for the Alison Glass miniquilt that I am trying to finish up. I should easily get that binding taken care of as the quilt is only 24 x 24 inches. Then I cut the pieces for a cute little zippered pouch using the scraps from the AG mini. I will send that along to my swap partner with the quilt.
Yesterday was a little crazy. Julia had a science/math competition that she took part in. She did well, placing 7th (they did a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4 ‘honorable mentions’) She was happy to place within the honorable mentions. The test was really difficult. After that we spent the afternoon at a picnic for the incoming freshman at her new high school. She had a great time meeting her new classmates.
We got home at about 4:00 and I was wandering around the garden, letting the dog run around a bit since she was cooped up all day. So many things are blooming right now. My garden is definitely a spring garden. It really peaks in May. Looking at the peonies and iris, I nearly tripped over this huge snake. It startled the heck out of me. Because of it’s color and the pattern down the length of it, I immediately looked to its tail to be sure it wasn’t a rattler. We have quite a few snakes around here and a somewhat large number of rattlesnakes. (The mascot for Julia’s middle school is the “Rattlers” if that gives you any indication.) The garter snake on my grass was a good four feet long. While snakes don’t scare me too much, it is somewhat disturbing to nearly step on one. I went to get my phone from the car (we’d just gotten home) to text a picture to Ray but by the time I returned the snake was gone.
Deciding it was time to go inside, I called Lady (our dog) to come in. She came bounding over to me and had the head of a rabbit hanging from her mouth. Snakes I can handle, dead animals – not so much.The sight of this made me gag. Honestly, I just didn’t know what to do about it. I yelled for her to drop it and she looks at me like, ‘are you kidding?’ She ran to her crate in the garage and put her treasure in the crate. Yuk. To be honest, living on acreage, we have our share of dead animal tasks to deal with. But that is Ray’s job. I want no part of it. Unfortunately, Ray was up at the house in Downieville. I texted my advisory board, aka my sister’s, for their advice and hmmm…. surprisingly, it wasn’t all that helpful. A lot of ewww, gross, and call the neighbor for help. Gagging all the while I managed to deal with the yuk in La dy’scrate. But the visual of my dog’s trophy piece stuck in my head for a long while (it’s still bouncing around in there, if you must know). I went inside and had a glass of wine which is unusual for me (hypoglycemia = no alcohol). Julia was teasing me; dealing with the horrorific experience with alcohol Mom? Eighth graders think they are so wise.
Enough of that nastiness, I need to move on, get over it, clear my mind! Let’s talk about quilt shows and silent auctions instead. That topic is much more pleasing. Two weeks ago was our guild’s local quilt show and I worked at the silent auction table. We had so many wonderful donations and I bid on quite a few. I wasn’t there at the end of the day to actively try to outbid people on the items I wanted but I did manage to win two items.
Below is a stitchery of bamboo done on dark green batik. Green is my favorite color and I have quite a bit of it in my home. I love the simplicity of this piece. It is hanging in the dining room.
The other piece that I took home is a whole cloth mini quilt. It was made by a friend of mine and I love it. She did a lovely job with the quilting. The fabric has a wonderful shimmer to it. I use a lot of lavender in one of our bathrooms and plan to hang it in there. I need to put a sleeve on it first though.
When I was working the silent auction table it surprised me how little activity there was. I think it wasn’t in the best place as far as traffic goes. Also, I noticed that most of the activity came at the end of the day when people would actively try to win items and out bid other people. It seems like there must be a way to encourage more activity during the day. I would really appreciate hearing how other guilds handle the silent auction at a show. Would it work to have the bidding for certain items end mid-day rather than at the end? Seems like that might encourage that active bidding process to happen at different points throughout the day. Plus people that don’t stay at the show all day long could have the fun of trying to win items before they left. Thoughts? Please leave me some hints on this in the comments section.
We’re home! My husband and Julia and I spent a long weekend up at the Downieville house working. It was really productive and, consequently, tiring! We made so much progress though.
Over the weekend Julia and I painted the basement level bedroom. It had dark paneling on the walls – ick. It made it feel like a cave in there. We primed the paneling and then painted it a sage green. It looks wonderful. I forgot to take a finished picture but do have this (iPhone) picture which portrays the wonder of having a 13 year old that is already 5′ 7″ tall. She did a great job rolling the top half of the walls. Made me jealous of her height.
Also got the valances and pleated window shades installed in the kitchen.
Another project that I tackled was painting the picket fence that runs along the front yard. (Yep, I felt like I belonged in a Mark Twain story.) It was in terrible shape. Most of the fence needed to be scraped paint and then primed and painted. This took up the better part of two afternoons but was well worth it. Here is a before picture.
It looks so clean and fresh. We did a relatively good job of not getting paint all over the little rock wall. See the little orange tulip peeking out? It is the only one in a sea of iris. Gorgeous though.
Photo credits to Julia for the three pictures shown above!
The best part of the weekend, and my gratitude focus for this week, was the new friends we met. You might remember that this is a tiny town. At it’s peak, during the California Gold Rush in the 1800’s, the population peaked at about 5,000 people. Now there are about 300 people that live there full time. From what I can tell, the school district there has about 50 students (grades K through 12). Pretty tiny. Spending the afternoons outside working on the fence gave me the opportunity to meet a few new people and everyone was kind and gracious. They seemed to truly appreciate that we were fixing up this little house.
The day after painting the fence, Julia and I checked out the library. It is adorable. Tiny but with a reasonable selection of books and because it is part of a larger library system, the patrons have access to a much larger selection. People can “order” books from the larger library and they are delivered to the local library. But best of all was chatting with the librarian (Cheryl) and guess what? She is a long arm quilter. What do you know! Immediate connection there as we talked all about quilting. The local guild, the Mountain Star Quilters, keep a library of quilting books in the public library which is a fairly impressive collection considering the size of the guild. As we talked quilting (and bored Julia) another woman (Linda) came in. I remembered meeting her briefly when I attended the quilt retreat in Downieville last October. (I posted about that here.) The three of us visited for a bit and and Linda showed me a book she had brought in. It was Tula Pink’s City Sampler book. We talked about it and she said she had decided she didn’t want to use it, and would I like to have it? I love Tula Pink and have looked at her beautiful book numerous times, wondering if I would ever really make the blocks in it. Seems like fate, right? There was the book falling into my hands. Clearly I am meant to make these blocks.
This adds another project to the list. I will use the 1/2 yard collection of Floriography, a Riley Blake fabric that I won from Doe Street Fabrics a few months ago.
I need to add a few solids to it but no problem there. I think making a block or two a week will be a fun way to use the book and the fabric.
Back to the kindness of these women. It never ceases to amaze me what a friendly group quilters make. Meet a quilter in the store, instant rapport. Run into a few in the library, new friends. Both women talked about the local quilt guild. They have about 30 members and meet one afternoon each month. I am going to attend the April meeting and see if I can start participating in their guild. I belong to our local guild as well and it is a challenge to get myself to the meetings, so we shall see. Luckily the schedules of each of the guilds seem to be opposite of each other (quilt show dates, challenge quilts, etc) so that will help. For sure, joining this second guild will be a great way to meet new friends and for that I am thankful.
Finally, just so you don’t think the weekend was all work and no play, here are some pictures from a hike along the river that Julia and I took. It was a gorgeous morning.
We are fortunate to have found our place on the river. It is a treasure for which we are so grateful.
Linking to Quilting Jetgirl’s Thankful Thursday and Needle and Thread Thursday and Let’s Bee Social (links to these are at the top of the page under Link Ups.)
A few weeks ago I posted about a quilt retreat that I went to located an hour north of my home. Remember I was describing the story of the lynching of Josefa Segovia (aka Juanita) and how her ghost now haunts the town? If not, you can read the post here. Well, while on breaks or taking lunch during the retreat, my friend Sophia and I would walk around the tiny town of Downieville. It consists of a few restaurants, a post office, hardware store, gift shop and a few other shops. It is a cute little town that attracts hikers and mountain bike riders (and quilting afficionados like me and Sophia!) As we wandered about the two block radius that is “town”, I noticed a little, worn out house for sale. I looked at the price and joked with Sophia that we should buy it and come up here to hike the river and go to the quilt retreats. We laughed and that was the end of the discussion. Or was it…..
When I got home I kept thinking of that little house. I looked at the listing on-line and showed it to my husband. He immediately got excited about it. The house is reminiscent of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It just needs someone to love it! The owner was elderly and after passing away a while back, the house has stood empty. We decided to make an offer on it and after minimal negotiations, we bought it. Escrow should close this afternoon!! We are soooo excited about this project. Everything about the little house speaks to us. (Best part…. there is even a tiny room off the only bedroom that will be a sewing room where I can keep my old machine and some supplies!! Yay for weekend sewing up at the river.)
It needs to be completely renovated. However, it is so tiny with basically four rooms (the living space is just shy of 700 square feet) that it is a manageable project. It was built in the 1930’s and we plan to keep the vintage feel to the house. Here is the kitchen:
Isn’t that floor gorgeous? All of the flooring in the house is hideous and will be replaced. The colors are odd, to say the least, and really dated. The walls all have wall board and need to be updated. I like the vintage look of the cabinets and will just refinish them. Buy why is the paper towel roll on the outside of the cupboard??
The living room…. again, oh the flooring!! There is dark hard wood under that ugly carpet so we will peel it up and refinish the floors. I like the little built in cabinet and book shelf but need to refinish both of them. They have about 138 layers of paint on them.
Now for the real reason we bought it. This is basically in our back yard. Walking about 100 feet brings us to this:
The view upstream is wonderful.
Look at our tiny neighborhood library, which is just a few doors up from our house.
We start working on the house this week, soon as we get the keys. It will be a long project but a fun one. So….lesson learned. Quilt retreats can lead to all sorts of unexpected expenses. Be careful when attending. On the plus side, I will have a place for Sophia and I to stay at the next retreat. So really, that is a money savings, right?
In the interest of keeping the house’s vintage feel, I have been thrifting and collecting vintage dinner ware and kitchen items. Yesterday I was out looking and while I didn’t find much for the house, look what I came home with:
I was so excited. Most of the pieces (with the exception of the upper left corner) are at least a fat quarter or larger. The fabrics were about 25-75 cents each. The top four on the right side are from an older Mary Engelbreit line for Moda. Score.
Looking out the window now and leaves are blowing off the trees like crazy. It is supposed to start raining soon. It is shaping up to be a nice day.
Linking to Freemotion by the River, Let’s Bee Social, and Sew Cute Tuesday. Links to these and other link ups can be found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.