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.

Handwork

Oregon 2008 029

Many years ago, the local community college offered more classes in the arts.

I had the time then to take a class in needlepoint. This is one ribbon pattern we were given.

The nice thing about any of the handcrafts, you can make these items on your own or sit in a class and work on them. Being in a class offers the opportunity to meet people, learn other techniques from them or just get an impromptu lesson on colors.

The same thing goes with quilting. One comment can lead you towards a whole new color combination or a new technique. With needlepoint, you can have it turned into a pillow or have it framed.

But my favorite, it is the best way to keep from snacking. It kind of goes along with the old saying “Idle hands are the Devil’s playground.”

Thanks for reading – have a terrific holiday season. Remember to shop small stores as it helps out your community. Not everything needs to come from the Big Box stores.

Creativity

We inherit many things from our families – hair color, eye color, height, etc. We also inherit creativity – some people it is a natural thing and for others, it needs to be developed.

Moms press release

This is a press release for my mother’s next book. Gloria Stiger Linkey has already published a book “Native American Women – Three who changed history”. Her next book will be a children’s book “Abbey’s Rescued Animals”. The picture used, Mom thinks she is about 7 or 8 and she is posing with their dog, Honey Bunny Boo.

So here is the line of creativity – Mom writes, Darci blogs. Mom’s Aunt sewed a lot of our clothes, I quilt. Mom also sewed a lot of our clothes and costumes for school stuff.

Don’t be afraid to try a new craft or hobby. Somebody in your family lineage gave you something for your to take and make your own.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that breast cancer will strike 1 out 7 women? Look how many women you know at work? At church? In your neighborhood? And men can also get breast cancer!

Well I lost a very dear friend who was an amazing teacher, dancer, practical joker and great gal. The first year a bunch of us got together and did the Susan Komen Orange County Race for the Cure, she was there but did not walk or run. The next year, she did the 1 mile with the promise that the following year, she would do the 5k with us.

She didn’t make it. Her cancer was progressing so rapidly that she decided to forgo her cancer treatments and just travel.

It is because of her that I got involved and became the Team Captain for Fire Walkers. Sometimes when I am running and get really tired, I can hear Karen’s voice saying “Stop being such a slacker. Our dance group used to dance for 8 hrs and then party for 10. You can do this!” So at that time, I pick up my pace.

This will be my last year as team captain since I am retiring from the Fire Authority next March. To raise money for our team, we hold an annual bake sale and raffle.

I picked up our team t-shirts and bib numbers and one of the survivors asked me if I minded if she turned in the quilt I made that was presented to her. No problem. For one thing, I was taught that once a gift was given, it was up to the recipient to do whatever they wanted. So now the quilt is being raffled off.

Pink and Chocolate 002
The pink and chocolate colors had an impact when I saw them. The background fabric has a nice silver sheen to it. And Pink is the color for Breast Cancer.

What I am trying to say is Cancer can be beaten by early detection, monthly breast exams, diet, prayer, exercise and the support from your “sisters”. Join a local walk to help fund to find the cure. Or come join us at Fashion Island, Sept 22 and meet over 25,000 of your new closest friends.

So when you see someone fighting breast cancer, look at them and think “There goes a healthy, strong person who will beat cancer.”

Thanks for reading.

My Bernina is back home!

I purchased this fabulous machine (the 440) at the Ricky Tims, Alex Anderson, Libby Lehman Super Show in Downey in 2009. It has enough bells and whistles that you can really add some great embellishments to your quilt. The reason it was away from me was I hit the 2,000,000 stitch mark.

I have been a Featherweight sewer for so long that I actually left the Bernina in the box for over a month mentally telling myself, “Oh that machine is too much for me.” Finally, I took the plunge and started up my new machine.

Now it is time to try some new techniques.
new techique
With all those great Bali Pops that are out there, this is a quick and easy pattern for gifts. You just take the precut 2 1/2″ strips and sew 7 together (either do 2 at a time or start at opposite ends of each new addition – that way you do don’t get the curve).

Mark from the edge 1 1/2″, then in increments of 1″ to the other side. Pinch on the line and stitch 1/4″ straight down, then 1/16″ from the edge. Iron to one side and stitch in the ditch the rows facing down. The next seam stitch the rows the opposite way. Add some fabric in the middle and then another wavy end and you have yourself a nice placemat.

Many of us are working long hours and usually end up eating at our desks. Why not make a nice placemat for your office or for your office mates? Quick and easy! Pattern found in April/May 2012 The Quilter Magazine. I found it as I am starting to weed out some of my magazine collection. The ones I don’t want to keep will be past along to a local Senior Living apartment complex that displays quilts on their walls.

Again, thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments.

Quilt shows

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One of my favorite things is to attend local quilt shows or national shows. I have been attending Road to California for over 17 years. I always stop by “Come Quilt With Me”, Pat Yamin’s booth.

Pat lives in Brooklyn and has been a long time participant, both as a vendor and a teacher. Her templates are the easiest to use and she has a terrific teaching style – very open, very helpful and is always prepared for anything.

If you see a flyer in your town or at the local fabric store about a show, take a moment and attend. Quilting has changed – it’s not just little old ladies anymore. The patterns are bold with color and shapes but there are also the traditional quilts displayed.

It’s a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. Road to California will be opening up registration for the 2014 conference and Long Beach Convention will be held at the end of July. Wear good walking shoes and bring your camera. Lots of great ideas and color combinations to enjoy. I’m wearing my Martini In The Morning Race for the Cure Shirt.

If you like great music while you are quilting, check out http://www.martiniinthemorning.com for Michael Blube, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and so many more.

Thanks for reading.

Red and White

Red and white

This pattern was in one of the quilt magazines. I do have an electronic reader but I prefer to have the magazine in my hands, a good cup of coffee and my feet up.

Now sometimes you can order a kit which is an easy way to start the project. However, I love to shop in a small store, get some personal help and be able to show the end result to those that helped me. Two of the ladies at Quilter’s Garden assisted me by pulling together 8 fabrics for this quilt. We spent about 45 minutes deciding which fabric would go next to each other.

Saturdays are known as “Shop Small Stores”. Yes, the internet is great and I occasionally order items, but reall prefer to shop and touch the fabric. Today I took in 5 tops to get backing and more thread and was able to book one of the long arms.

Please keep shopping in the small stores, take some classes, and maybe even join a guild. You make some awesome friends.

Thanks for reading.

Italian Marble

Italian5

Sometimes you see a bolt of fabric and just have to purchase a couple of yards. You think to yourself, “I don’t know which pattern I’ll use, but this is something I have to have.” So you buy a few yards – with me it is usually around 4 yds. I the main fabric at Center Diamond in Cannon Beach, OR.

This pattern is called “Twist around the Garden”. I think the designer called it that because they used a large floral print and used green to frame it. My main fabric looked like it belonged in an Italian palazzo so I named my quilt “Italian Marble.”

Previously I have made this same pattern with cowboy fabric and the addtional fabric was done in bandana farbic and some with horseshoes. The accent (which would be the dark green in this picture) had fabric that looked like hay bales. It makes a cute kid quilt. If you use “baby” type fabric, use Minkee as the backing – makes it super warm. I used the longarm Gammil quilt machine at Quilter’s Garden in Anaheim to finish off the top. Someday, I will take the plunge and use my Bernina 440 – but that’s another story.

Thanks for reading.

Star Quilt

star quilt 2010
Points were never my friend. As hard as I tried, my points sometimes got cut off, sewn over or were too far from the seam.

I tried a paper piecing class at a Road to California class and loved it. My points are perky and the instructor (whose name escapes me because I’m typing this before work and the pattern is at home) made the class so easy.

So if you are a novice quilter, try paper piecing. There are some great products out there that don’t dull your needle while sewing.

I love the color purple so that is usually somewhere in my quilts and I found this fabric at Bear’s Quilts in Garden Grove while waiting for Earlene Fowler to start her talk. Earlene Fowler is a local author and writes the Bennie Harper mysteries.

Not much else to write – have a great Christmas and a wonder New Year. Do what you like, learn what you don’t know and be a nice person.

Thanks for reading.

Items that would make great quilts

While visiting a dear friend, I saw her chess board set up.  I thought, what a great  pattern that could be turned into a quilt.

I do have other projects waiting-a few UFO’s (unfinished fabric objects) or PIGS (Projects in a Grocery Sack) but this photo will be placed in the “I will get to it”

I figure I could just fussy cut one set of squares for one block and then square in a square for the other.  This could be either a bed quilt, wall hanging or a cloth chess board.  Keep a camera handy for that unexpected design that beckons you.

Thanks for reading.