Saturday, March 25, 2017

In My Father's House . . .

I follow several quilters on Instagram and Julia Davis of redrainbootshandmade made this adorable little banner.  It was so cute I just had to make one for myself.

There is no pattern, but you can read Julia's description of how she made hers by following this link

I made my own version just slightly different than Julia. 

Julia's banner uses Bonnie and Camille fabric, of which I had some scraps, so I used the same color scheme. 

The overall size of the finished houses are tiny, about 3"x 4 1.2" with a roof size of 3 x 1 1/2".  The size of the lattice pieces between the house are 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" (this measurement does not include the seam allowance).

To make the chimneys, I used the raw-edge applique method and sewed a small rectangular scrap, about 3/4" wide and sewed it to a 2" square, which I then sewed to the roof, using the stitch and flip technique.

The red pinnacles are scraps of fabric cut into triangles approximately 1" long.  I used a piece of thread to drape a line for the pinnacles and test how I wanted it to rise and dip, then lightly drew that line in pencil.  I placed the red pinnacles randomly on the line and used my machine to sew a black line across their tops.  I sewed across the line twice.

I liked the style of writing that was used, so mimicked the font as best as I could and embroidered the saying in black with 2 strands of black embroidery thread.


Before binding, I pinned a couple of easy folded loops onto the backing so I could hang my banner.

The completed banner measures approximately 10 1/2" x 19".

These would make adorable gifts for friends and family.  Mine, I think, will look adorable in the laundry room.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spring has arrived

Punxsutawney Phil may have seen 6 more weeks of winter, but it doesn't look that way in California.  Spring has arrived!

Everything is in bloom and the weather is glorious!

No, that's not snow; it's the almond trees in bloom.  The Bird of Paradise in our garden is so colorful.

 Yellow and purple irises are a sight to see.

 And a swallowtail butterfly is getting a good taste of Spring.

It is wonderful to sit on our patio in the mornings and see the beautiful colors of nature.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Where's Levi?

Levi Joseph McCain is due any minute.  His room is all decked out with new furniture.  Friendly dinosaurs adorn the wall to watch over him.  Where is he?

In anticipation, I have made him a cute dinosaur quilt from Michael Miller's Dino Roars fabric.

I also crocheted him a soft blue afghan and made about a dozen flannel burp cloths in boy fabrics.

The little dinosaur bandana bibs I bought online.

To help out, Big Brother Wyatt and I have been cooking all day so there will be plenty to eat.  YUM! 

Where can that boy be?

It's 10 a.m., Sunday morning, January 29, 2017. 
There he is!  Hello, Beautiful!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Quilts for Christmas

When I asked my granddaughters what they wanted for Christmas, they both screamed, "Make me a quilt." 

It's not like they don't have a dozen already, so I asked them what they wanted these quilts to feature.  Lila immediately said she wanted elephants -- pink elephants.  Ashlyn, who is growing up and wants everything in her closet to be black, said she wanted a black quilt.  😶 

And so I set out to find age-appropriate black fabric that was not too austere and pink elephants.  For their little sister, Harper, I knew everything was about Minnie Mouse, so I ordered her fabric online.  

I was so excited to find the cutest pink elephant print and decided to make a panel quilt with a stack of elephants.  Lila loved it!

The black print I finally purchased was a print of white drawn white flowers on a black background.  To offset the quilt's plainness, I added a panel of white in the lower third and used raw-edge applique to stitch her name in large pink letters.  By the look on her face on Christmas Eve, she was pleased.

Harper's quilt was an adorable panel print of Minnie Mouse -- just her size.

Wyatt received a quilt, too, but I failed to get a picture.  Wyatt loves Minions, so his quilt was an orange and blue panel print of Bob, Stuart, and Kevin, which he loves to cuddle under.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wall Murals for Social Services

When I should be thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas, I get a call from my old boss asking me to draw and paint kid-friendly murals in their visitation rooms.  It's for kids.  How could I say no?

Since I am still working, I needed to find simple scenes others could paint.  After searching the Internet 'til all hours of the night, I found scenes easy enough for novice or experienced painters and sketched them out for approval.   

For the first room I drew huge simplistic trees with flowers and butterflies. A whole team of volunteers showed up to paint the walls.  I'm not the only soft touch with a soft spot for kids.  😉

Each of the second room's walls featured a different type of landscape.  One wall featured a city with a lake nearby, another wall had mountains, and another had a forest scene.  A road with cars and trucks tied the scene together.  This was mainly the room I painted in.  Since most of the scenes were angular, I used painter's tape to tape off the scenes, then used sponges to add paint. 

I never got to see the rooms finished because I wasn't there the final week, but I've been promised pictures.  Hopefully the children that use these rooms will find them cheery and bright.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Practical Magick

My Dark Butterfly quilt is finished!  I love its rich tones with the contrasting aqua and mint. This is a large lap quilt for a friend.  There are two prints with butterflies, a tan and a mint green toile, and the aqua has ruminations about a garden in brown ink.

It must be the influence of all the supernatural shows at the movies right now, or perhaps because Halloween has just passed, but this quilt has a magical quality for me.  Although there is nothing mystical about the prints, the writing on the aqua fabric and the little pictures on the tan and mint prints make me think of Merlin's book of spells. 

I'm hoping its recipient is pleasantly charmed and feels warm and loved as she snuggles under it on cool evenings.  Blessed be.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2016 Holiday Hop

 I love quilt shop hops and was especially excited to be able to participate in the 2016 Holiday Hop! 

My good friend Rhea fired up her Denali and we were off to begin out adventure in Fresno, California where we visited Kiki's Quilt Shack.  Kiki's is a new addition to our regular group of shops.  This is a beautiful shop that caters to both quilters and embroiderers.  Their friendly staff is very knowledgeable in the quirks and remedies of embroidery machines and offered me free advice on how I might troubleshoot some of the problems my Bernina has been giving me.  The shop is full of beautiful fabric and plenty of patterns.  As we walked in they gave us an adorable faux fur Santa bag filled with recipes and goodies.  Once we finished oogling all the store had to offer, we helped ourselves to hot cocoa and a variety of cookies.  YUM!  We will definitely be coming back to Kiki's!

Next on our itinerary was Quilter's Paradise in Clovis.  This is one of my favorite shops!  Since I am interested in learning how to work with wool, I spent a lot of my time oohing and ahhing over their wonderful selection of wool and flannel.  If anyone has a favorite website featuring wool designs and such, please give me a heads up.

Besides their wool section, Quilter's Paradise has an extension selection of beautiful fabric which is right up my alley.  I love novelty fabric and this shop has plenty, even several bolts of the Ghastlies.  The entire store is full of completed quilts, many of which have available kits. They also have one of the most complete libraries of books and magazines I have ever seen. It's not hard to imagine why this is one of my favorite shops.

I thought I showed real constraint by not buying everything I saw.  Rhea ... not so much. 

The last shop we visited was Thimble Towne in Visalia.  Thimble Towne has opened a branch of their store in Bakersfield, where we live, but the two stores carry different items so it's always a treat to visit this wonderful little shop.  Their staff always comes up with a cute idea for their hops, and this time was no different.  In their goodie bag they included a recipe and a spiral Christmas tree ornament kit. 

I was really looking for a specific type of Christmas fabric and didn't find it at any of the shops we visited, but I did find at Thimble Towne fabric for a couple of other quilts I am thinking of making, so my resolve to watch my budget flew out the window.  But really, what's a shop hop if you can't buy, right?  Rhea says she allows herself to splurge when she shop hops.  I think that will become my motto, too.