So much has happened in one year!

Well, it has been one year since I retired from the Fire Authority.  Since that time I took an extended visit to see my mom in Oregon, had the house fixed up (popcorn ceiling removed, professionally painted, new flooring, new window treatments and new dual pane windows).

I also downsized quite a bit – all furniture got donated to Goodwill/Salvation Army, bags of gently used clothing and books donated to Goodwill, fabric was donated to my guild to either sell or raffle off and a few other things.  It’s great to clean up and start fresh.

Fan Dance With that said about starting fresh, this was the first quilt from Road to California 2015 class that I finished.  Some class projects get done in a year or two or just get shelved.  This one is called Fan Dance and the teacher was Nancy Mahoney.  Nancy has a great technique so the quilt was assembled quickly.  Since I purchased the fabric in La Mesa at Rosie’s Quilt, I named mine La Mesa Leslie.

It was quilted on the long arm, binding on in record time and then shipped to my friend Sharon Elsensohn.  Sharon and I had a fabulous friend named Leslie.  We have known each other for more than 25 years.  Well, that damn cancer took Leslie away from us.  Knowing that Sharon was feeling the loss, I sent it to her.  When she’s down, maybe she can think that Leslie is nearby watching over her.

So Leslie, farewell.  Sharon, enjoy the quilt.  Any quilt guilds, think about having Nancy as an instructor.  Quilters could also use this pattern and use the panels of the fans for signatures. When finished you could use it for a gift for a bride, a retiring member of your company or church or a family gift.

More later as I need to put some binding on another quilt.

Thanks for reading.

Featherweights for sale!

Well, it is time to downsize. We are redoing the house and I just realized that I have to start eliminating “stuff”. Now I love my Featherweights – they are great for taking to class. But I went a little nuts on eBay and now have 6. Plus a couple of other portable machines.

I know – that is way too many unless I have a studio, set up each machine with different color thread and have the space. So, if you are interested, please let me know. Here are some pictures of my 1948 that was listed.
??????????????????????????????? Cat is not included in the sale. Elwood just likes to have his photo taken.

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Singer 7

All my Featherweights have cases, bobbins, foot pedals and are in working condition. Please email me if you are interested. Thanks

Purple Maze – Purple Haze

I recently retired from a government/county job and let me tell you, retiring through the system is like going through a maze. So as I was perusing through the American Quilting Society (AQS) magazine, I found a pattern that caught my eye.
pattern

I ordered the pattern was happy to see “NO Y SEAMS”. Yea, my favorite term in quilting. To do a “Y” seam, you have to stop 1/4″ from the end, tweak the fabric and then sew it to another piece. I’m not fast at it and my seams end up a little wonky. So, it was off to the Calico House for some fabric. Sometimes I will use fabric out of my stash but this one needed to be selected from the store. I love purples and found 3 fabrics for the maze. bulk fabric maze All I needed was some black.

The cutting instructions were super easy and fast. I cut, separated into piles and then pinned so they wouldn’t get messed up when my cats jump up on the table. Cut maze. The other great thing mentioned is it is a “Two Block Wonder” meaning there are only two types of blocks to make. I just needed 5 of one type and 4 of the other. I finished up this top on Sunday, was able to take it to my guild meeting (Orange Grove Quilt Guild in Garden Grove) on Wednesday and will quilt it in a couple of weeks at Quilter’s Garden on the long arm.

So here is the finished top. unquilted mazeThe actual pattern name is Labyrinth Walk, designed by Christopher Florence and is published at The Guilty Quilter in Portland, Oregon. It is 84″ X 84″ and I can’t wait to get it on the long arm machine. You can check out more patterns at http://www.theguiltyquilters.blogspot.com. I also purchased Christopher’s other pattern San Marco Square which I will do in greens. More on this one later.

With retirement, I am no longer relegated to just weekend sewing. Thanks for reading about the quilts I have made.

Family History – ask about it – save it

This will be a slight detour from my quilting but it does go hand in hand. Frequently, quilters will just make a quilt and give it to someone without a label on the back……. For my future quilts, I am adding a label on each one.

The label will have the following:
Who made the quilt
Who quilted it (I sometimes have my quilts custom quilted)
The date finished
Who the recipient is

Keep a picture of it in a file so you can also remember the art. Now with family history, please talk to your elder family members. As a kid, I never asked my grandfather about his service in World War I, how he met Grandma, his family or anything else. I just knew he had served in them Army, liked his golf, his cigars and his family.

I remember he was normally gone in the summer months but always remembered my birthday (July baby) with a little something when he and Nana returned.
grandma This picture is of my Nana and the ladies she lunched with. Lydian Marie Stiger is 3rd from the right. Great clothes and beautiful hats. That was an era of great fashion.

Recently, my Mother was given a box of old letters and files from one of her cousins. It seems that he asked my Grandpa about his father and the other uncles. It was amazing reading about where the family settled, what companies hired them, the earnings, etc. Grandpa typed a 5 page letter, single spaced with very little margins and gave a detailed report about the Stiger family history. My Mom is taking the information and writing a book on our past.

When you come across photos, find out who is in the photo and approximately when it was taken. I remember being with my paternal grandmother decades ago and describing the photo and she could tell me everything about it. Now Grandma was blind but she remembered everything and everybody. The sad thing was I didn’t write any of this down thinking that other family members would receive the photo albums. Oddly enough, my cousins did not want the albums and I ended up with them. My dad, aunts and uncle I recognize but am at a loss as for the background.

So ask your grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles about your history. Write it down or do some research but keep the memories to pass down.

Internet, Tools, Quilting

First let me say that if any of you received an email from darcelona3@aol.com regarding a link taking you to a weight loss page, it wasn’t me. I purchased a new computer from Best Buy and while they had the computer to transfer data over, someone hacked my account. I have had to change the password about 7 times so hopefully, you won’t receive any more.

Tools – I have to say that I have become a scissor junkie. I start to salivate at a Kai display or a Gingher or Bohn. Since retiring from the Fire Authority, I have been rearranging and organizing my sewing room. Found numerous packets of needles – everything from quilting, crewel, tapestry, to multiple packets. But needles go dull so that is an absolute need. I also found about 10 pairs of scissors. Everything from embroidery, 6″, 8″ size and even pinking shears. Plain handles to floral. Just gotta have them.

There was a vendor at Road to California this year that sold wood handled seam rippers, stillettos (not shoes, sigh), hair picks and thimbles. Their work is so beautiful that I bought a stiletto and a seam ripper. Then I told them that I had seen a blurb on their product in one of Mark Lipinski’s magazines. To date, I had already purchased knitting needles, a thimble and a seam ripper/stiletto set. Check out Bella Cotton in Esty – she carries some beautiful items.

Quilt shows- big or small, please support them. I attend the Orange County Quilt Guild’s show in Anaheim last week and the quilts were beautiful. Many members participated and they had some great vendors. There was one vendor that had a plethora of hand crank sewing machines. Almost bought one but had to stop myself. I had purchased a hand crank, Lady Washington machine years ago just in case we lose power and I just have to finish up a seam.

That’s all for now. The new computer has been letting pop-ups appear and tells me that my browser, Media, Flash Drive, etc are all out of date and need to be updated. Why? Everything should have been done before I picked this up. Oh well, back to Best Buy. The nice thing is since retirement, I can go and be there first thing in the morning to get answers.

Thanks for reading.

Twist Around Hawaii

This is the name I gave my last quilt. As I have stated before, going to Road To California is the highlight of every January. Held in Ontario, it is a week of classes, shopping, meeting up with old friends and making new ones.

I have also previously blogged about Breast Cancer, Race for the Cure held in Newport Beach and the quilts I have raffled off to raise money. Some quilts I give away, but some are donated for a raffle.

Well a co-worker, who is so awesome, recently told me that not only had she just recently had her thyroid removed due to cancer, but her latest mammogram came back with signs of breast cancer. She had thanked me earlier because I sent out an email to our office staff that said when getting dental x-rays or mammograms, to ask for a neck guard. So to be told that she was facing potential cancer treatments, I did what I could do. I made a quilt.

This co-worker loves Hawaii and visits there when she can. So while running around the vendor mall at 2014 Road To California, I had to stop by Beyond the Reef. They have the most extensive selection of Hawaiian/surf/turtle/palm tree fabric. There was a bolt of Hawaiian fabric with a pink background. I immediately bought 3 yards, came back the next day with a Judy Martin pattern book. Twist around the Garden was the perfect pattern. I’ve made it before so it would be snap to make. The next day (yes, I took 4 classes at Road this year) I went back, and their staff help me select 2 colors for the Twist part plus I bought 2 more yards of the pink background. Look, when the fabric speaks to you, purchase at least 4-6 yards.

This would be my next project – I put away the class projects and started cutting. Here it is:
Twist around Hawaii

Happy to say, she loved it. I would like to close with if someone tells you they have breast cancer, tell them they can beat it. By keeping a postive attitude, getting second opinions, talk to others that have gone through it. Another co-worker found that when going through treatment, she was often cold, thirsty, dry mouth, etc. So she put together bags for others that included a lap blanket, Jolly Rancher candies, water bottle, socks and positive affirmations.

This is one of my long writings but just be there for those going through cancer treatments. Look at them and think “THAT PERSON WILL BEAT THIS!”

Thanks for reading

New York Beauty Simplified

Image

Linda O’Riley Hahn, instructor

First let me apologize for the photo as I should have checked the phone to make sure the lens was clean or asked the lady to take a second one.  That being said, this quilt is called New York Beauty Simplified.  Linda O’Riley Hahn taught at the recent Road to California Quilt Conference.  Paper piecing made so easy.

Now I have taken numerous paper piecing classes where you would have to rip out the paper or I would use freezer paper.  Linda has a method where you leave the paper in.  No, it doesn’t make the quilt stiff or hard to use.  When you wash your finished quilt, the paper ends up being more like a stabilizer.

Linda is from New Jersey and has an engaging way of teaching.  Plus her books are easy to follow and they have some great color combinations.

I am currently finishing up the class I had at Road which was titled “New York Beauty Diversified”.  All I can say is if you want to try her method, you won’t be sorry.

I’ll try to post another picture when I can find my camera.  Every year I vow not to buy a lot of items from Road but end up with a basket full.  Then I need to find time to put items away, reduce my stash along with old magazines.  Now where does that stuff go?  To a local senior living facility where they have a small contingency of quilters.

Thanks for reading – now go get creative.

 

It’s Show Time – Road to California in Ontario

Well, Road to California started off with a bang! Extra tent for more vendors and lunch seating. Great Teachers! Beautiful fabric! Wonderful staff! So far, here are my comments:
Thanks to my first two instructors – Linda Ballard for Harmony Square. Also, thanks to Linda Hahn who taught New York Beauty Diversified. Great tips on sewing curves and copying the pattern. Usually if you copy a pattern, the distortion will show up in your quilt – especially if you use 2 different copiers. Both instructors brought in their quilts for layout ideas, colors and quilting the finished product.

Class squares from a 2006 class with Roxanne Carter

Class squares from a 2006 class with Roxanne Carter


Vendors – Thank you Beyond the Reef for coming over with great rolls of fabric – best Hawaiian fabric ever. ‘Quilt in a Day’ – Eleanor Burns is at her booth and I have to ask “Does this woman ever get tired?” She is one of the most upbeat vendors. “Come Quilt with Me’ and Pat Yamin who does triple duty this year – has a booth, judged the quilts and also taught. Another powerhouse vendor/teacher – she is awesome on handstitching. Kai Scissors have a terrific booth with some great show prices, Tracey’s Tables, Bohn from France with needles, scissors, etc, Island Batik and some many more. Tons of sewing machines – both regular machines, long arm, and every attachment possible.

Today is another class, Stacked Hexagon Stars Quilt with Norah McMeeking, and Saturday will be handstitching and learing new decorative stitches. I will be able to post more pictures later. I wasn’t going to do that much shopping as I need to reduce my stash of fabrics but couldn’t stop. Plus I found the most comfortable thimble that is absolutely gorgeous. She told me it was a JL Lane.

Ontario Convention Staff/Road to California Staff – all super helpful.

A few tips for those who attend – wear comfortable shoes. If you are taking class and want to sit with your friends, then get there early so you can sit together. And lastly, have fun and don’t forget your “P’s and Q’s”. That phrase, as I was told, means Don’t forget your PLEASE AND THANK YOUS”. There is a lot of work that goes into these shows. This year, Road is dealing with one teacher that had to cancel due to illness, one vendor broke down in Texas, one instructor woke up with the flu,,,,,, meaning cancelled classes. But you could not tell from their faces. All staff, both paid and volunteer, have smiles on their faces. So head out to Ontario as the show will end on Sunday at 4p.m.

What’s the Point? Where’s the Point?

I love to sew a quilt on a machine. Some people will tell you, always in a serious tone, that unless you do the entire project by hand, it is not a quilt.

Seriously.

At that time, you really just have to smile and walk away. Now I will do some hand quilt but usually ends up as PIGS (Projects inna Grocery Sack). Here is one project that I started on a machine but would probably work out better being done sans machine.
nosegay

By stitching the parts together, my points have “mushed” into each other instead of gracefully coming together. The pattern is called “Nosegay” and the instructor is Pat Yamin. She is the owner and founder of “Come Quilt With Me” headquartered in Brooklyn. Pat is one who will handquilt and does beautiful work.

Pat also hosts a retreat in Hawaii and is on the road constantly. In fact, she will have her booth at Road To California, January 23-26, 2014 in Ontarior at the Convention Center. She carries some great fabric and has some of the best templates for her patterns.

Back to Nosegay, I have lots of fabric to make this as it is a great way to use up your stash of fabrics. This one was done on the Featherweight but the rest will be done on the Bernina.

Thanks for reading and try quilting. It is a great craft and you do meet the nicest people.

So how was your 2013?

We always hope that the new year will bring wonderful things.  Well, here is what I have:

  • a new radio station KOCI is in Orange County at 101.5 and they play regular music, some classics, some killer old stuff and it makes me smile.
  • Retirement is just down the road.  People ask what is the first thing I am going to do – well sleep in comes to mind if the cats will let me.  They are used to being fed quite early.
  • I had some terrific quilt classes at Road to California and can’t wait for the 2014 classes (I have 4)
  • Great weather – not too hot and not too cold. We could use a little more rain but if we have some nasty fires, OCFA has the best trained firefighters around. 
  • A wonderful holiday time with family
  • BB King in concert

Here’s what I didn’t receive:

  • winning Lotto, Power Ball or Mega ticket – but probably just well as the taxes would just annoy me

That’s about all on what I didn’t receive.  I have had a very blessed year. I work with some great people. No major catastrophes happened. My last year as Team Captain for Susan Komen Breast Cancer “Race for Cure” brought in my highest amount to donate. 

So for 2014, I will work on the house – time to remove the popcorn ceilings (really, that look is never coming back), new flooring and a new coat of paint done by a professional.

May 2014 bring you joy and happiness.  Try to make each day your best – listen to other people’s opinions without interrupting them – if you can’t agree with them, smile and walk away.  Drop the negative comments as it will do you more harm if you keep harping on it.

Smile more – drink more coffee – and adopt your next pet – don’t shop.

Thanks for reading.