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Friday, May 16, 2014

Quickly Now!

You would think, from my lack of postings, that I had quit quilting. Not so! I have definitely slowed down but it's a temporary lapse. The causes are many including a difficult sale of a house, the final days of getting things moved after living on a small acreage (17 plus acres) for twenty years and then just lack of inertia to get started again.

Anyway, even tho' I've not had quilts to share I continue to work with Quilts from the Heart. I only post pictures here of quilts that I personally have made  from start to finish.. The nice thing about QFTH is that you can do as I do, which is create a quilt from start to finish, or you can take on other parts of the quilting process for partially finished quilts. Many people are "toppers" meaning they like to cut and sew the tops only and then move on. You would think I was a "topper" if you looked at all my flimsys!

So while I've not shared quilts, I have helped pin baste many and have sewn bindings on several. Now that I have pretty much mastered sewing machine bindings, I don't mind binding at all. Next I need to work more on FMQ then I will offer to quilt more charity quilts that others have started rather than just pin baste or do borders.

Here is my latest finish for QFTH.


Enjoy!
Toni

Sunday, March 16, 2014

International Quilt Day and Other Fun Things

Just a quick note here. I've had another wonderful weekend living at the beach. I know there are many versions of "If you are lucky enough......." but I can honestly say "If you are lucky enough to live at the beach, you are lucky enough." And it doesn't matter that it has rained all weekend!

I enjoyed sewing on International Quilt day with a small group of quilting friends. Many people that usually sew with us were either working at the quilt show or enjoying the quilt show.  I got "Brynn" my latest "Quilts from the Heart Project" layered, basted and even began quilting.

Today was spent quilting and going to the "Peninsula Quilt Guild" show. Over 100 quilts and it was so, so hard to vote for favorites.  I tried to not be influenced by the quilters, as I knew many of them (again the joys of small town living). My personal criteria was, difficulty of pattern, execution and color choices. The only bad thing about the show is that I was inspired by so many that I have new quilts to add to my personal list of ones I would like to do. As if I need more inspiration!

I did manage to finish "Brynn" today. Unfortunately I am unable to hang this finished quilt. The trailer is too small, the walls are too hard, and the quilt is too heavy. I hope you can get a feel for the calmness that the yellow, blue and white bring. Here are the before and after pictures.


Enjoy!
Toni

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Finding Your HAPPY PLACE!

I am having so much fun. Today I was in my little living room, looking at my little kitchen (remember I’m now in a single wide trailer) and said, out loud,  “I am so happy! I am so happy!”

A big part of this happiness is having found “my people”.  Where I feel I belong. I have long wanted to belong to a charity quilt group. Don’t get me wrong! There are lots of them and I’ve been offered opportunities but I hadn’t found one that suited me! I wanted one that had local ties. I admire everyone who does charity quilts, no matter their destination, but I wanted to support local needs. There are many wonderful church groups and although I know I would be welcome there, I just am not a person that regularly attends church and I wasn’t sure that was a good match for me.

I had been motivated and inspired by Sarah of http://confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/ and had thought that if I couldn’t find a group that was what I wanted I would review her helpful blog for help on creating a group.  I believe Sarah is even writing a book on that topic.   And then there is Beth, if you read her blog   http://lovelaughquilt.blogspot.com/   you will immediately love her.  She does many, many wonderful donation quilts. I’ve helped by sending her orphan blocks and bits of fabric.  I’ve contributed money, blocks, fabric to other groups and calls for help. Quilts of Valor, Katrina victims, and others.  Any time one of the bloggers I followed called for help, I helped where I could. Now tho’, although not forsaking all others. I’m thrilled to be a part of a close knit, hands on local group.

When I moved to Ocean Park, WA I knew there was a quilt guild but I wasn’t aware of the charity group “Quilts from the Heart”  http://www.quiltsfromtheheart.org/ It is wonderful! The people are great! We are fortunate in that we are able to use the Senior Center for our activities. Each person can do a whole quilt, or part of a quilt. We have many who we call “toppers” people who like to piece but never get around to quilting those tops…but never fear! There are people in the group that will do it for you!  Dixie is one of the fastest FMQ quilters I’ve ever seen but there is also Marge and Brooke. And many of use, me included, are happy to do quilting with our walking foot.

Yesterday was a day designated to layer quilts.  This is my least favorite thing to do. But when I got there, the parking lot was full! Everyone was there to help. I have no idea how many tops got layered yesterday but as they say “many hands make light work.”  We had fun! We laughed, we got to know each other and it was like being at camp. We even had a woman who played the piano and we sang old songs as we worked.  Aren’t you jealous?  I came home thrilled to be living where I live and fortunate to have met a group of people that are “my people.”


So am I happy? I sure am! And now that you have read all this and visited the links (hopefully!) You are asking….where is the quilt picture? Pssst---I know I’m talking too much!  I’m taking a lesson from Michelle of Michelle’s Romantic Tangle http://mychellem.blogspot.com/ and giving my donation quilts human names. You will be amazed how many baby quilts Michelle does. She is my idol! So, finally, I present Abby, or Abigail, my first start to finish quilt for Quilts from the Heart.


I hope you all are happy too!
Toni

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Homemade Christmas Challenge

Here I am! Just in the nick of time! To share my pictures for SewCalGal’s Homemade Christmas Challenge.  http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/p/the-christmas-challenge-consist-of.html  I would like to have something bigger and splashy to show but it just didn’t work out.  This last fall I was divorced, lived in North Portland temporarily and then at the end of January moved to my little beach place. And NOW, our home just sold so I will be going there this week to pack.  I’ve managed to keep myself busy but just haven’t been into quilting. Usually my passion.

It just wasn’t the same. I didn’t have a dedicated space whereas I had a whole room before. I thought I was past the point in my life where I would be putting my sewing machine up and down on the dining room table, I just wasn’t motivated. So when I felt the need to do “something” I’ve knitted. Not often. It was easier to lose myself in a book than concentrate on getting anything done. But I did manage to finish these four dish cloths. It will be one present for one person. At least I did four different patterns!



Friday I sewed with a group here on the Long Beach Peninsula and  it was wonderful! These are my people!  A charity group called “Quilts from the Heart”, http://www.quiltsfromtheheart.org/  I’m excited about quilting again. I took the little room, in my single wide trailer, that I had been thinking of as the" tv room", even tho' there wasn't yet a tv in there, and made it my sewing room. Is It small? Yep! Do I still have to cut fabric in another room? Yep! Is there now a quilt on the wall and do I now have a sewing machine and ironing board set up full time? Yep and yep!

My sister said “I know now you are going to be okay. You are back to sewing.” So maybe, even with all the other things I have going on this month, MAYBE I can get another Christmas present, or decoration finished to share next month. Sewn, not knitted!
Enjoy!

Toni

Friday, January 17, 2014

January! And I already have some Christmas Gifts Made!

You might ask. What are these? In general terms they are my January finish for the Christmas Challenge. We are challenged to start making Christmas gifts now. See more information on this link.  http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/p/the-christmas-challenge-consist-of.html.

As for specifically what they are, they are neck warmers for dogs. These are made for little dogs. I will gift them to friends this Christmas and I will continue to make them throughout the year to donate to the Oregon Dachshund Rescue Holiday Bazaar. See the Facebook page and  “Like” the Oregon Dachshund Rescue here:
 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oregon-Dachshund-Rescue-INC/274984542506

It’s a fun, pretty mindless project to work on when you are watching tv or waiting for an appointment. Each one takes less than 1oz of yarn.

My friends really stepped up when I asked “do you have little bits of left over yarn”.  You would not believe how much they donated to this project. Thank you Beth and Dianne!

And please, remember to check out your animal rescues before making a donation. Always verify that they are an actual 501c Charitable Rescue. We hear too many stories about “rescues” that are not legitimate. Those poor dogs suffer not only once (losing their first home) but twice by being put into poor conditions in “rescues” that are unable to adequately care for them.

Cheers!

Toni

Friday, January 10, 2014

WHERE HAS SHE BEEN?

Was she abducted by aliens? Snatched by Sasquatch? Just what has happened? Actually what has happened is I got divorced after many many years of marriage. And it’s not that we don’t love each other, it’s more like not being able to adjust to retirement and spending 24 hours a day together. So we are apart and friends.

But to get there, of course, there were lots of hard times. Negotiating, avoidance of each other, time spent with the attorney and just plain trying to figure out how to live as a single person. For me, I left, without notice, with four dogs. No plan, but at least it was summertime.  For six weeks I camped, yes outside, with bare necessities. I would spend a few nights with family once in a while for companionship, beyond dogs, and civility. I also spent several days at “LaQuinta” and I have to tell you that they are pet friendly, no extra charge, and did not blink an eye when I checked in with four dogs. Albeit, four small dogs in kennels. So keep them in mind if you travel with pets.

I’ve not been doing much quilting. I was spoiled by having a dedicated room with everything set to my liking. Now I will be back to having the sewing machine set up on the dining room table. Well, “dining room” may be an exaggeration! I’ve decided to live in an old single wide that we bought at the beach a few years back. “Lucy” as the trailer is affectionately called, will be my project for the next few months.

No pictures this post. I’m in transition again, moving from Portland Oregon to Ocean Park Washington.

What got me blogging again? First, Sarah of http://confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com/ asked
“What’s made you dance the happy dance? Share with us, we want to dance along with you.”
For me, the answer is, meeting new people. Having lunch this week with some fun, spicy women who call themselves “The Steel Magnolias” and feeling like I instantly have friends in a new neighborhood

And secondly, I want to be part of Sew Cal’s http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/p/the-christmas-challenge-consist-of.html. And I will want to share my projects. This is a handmade Christmas Challenge. My posts this year will probably have less quilting and more handwork. It’s always nice to diversify! Feel free to visit her site and join the challenge. You have until January 15.

It's good to be back!
Cheers!

Toni

Monday, July 8, 2013

Design Wall Monday~July 8

On my design wall is the beginning of a new quilt. Am I supposed to be starting something new this month? Don't I already have enough to do in July? Is it on my July list?  It's not, but there is so much satisfaction in starting a new quilt. Especially one that will use up some of my already cut 2 1/2 inch squares. I deserve it is what I tell myself. Actually I told myself I can only work on this, one block a day 'cause I  have many other projects to finish this month. You may have noticed that I talk to myself a lot!


Here is the website with the directions and measurements for these blocks.

http://toefeather.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/circle-of-squares-block-information.html

Also on my design wall are a few blocks from an earlier Block Lotto. I've just begun machine quilting them. And while I really liked the blocks. I'm now in love with the blocks with the quilting. I have two QAYG projects on my "to achieve" list this month and this is one of them.


Prior to these blocks  I have used two other QAYG techniques. One was a Fons and Porter technique where you actually did the whole quilt in thirds, quilting the center sections and then quilting the outer sections. I used that on "Pineapple Blossom".

When I did  "Swoon" I used another technique that required sashing.

For this quilt I didn't want sashing on the front and I  didn't want to have to hand sew sashing on the back. There are so many techniques available for QAYG. Just look at the Internet. Just look at YouTube. I was overwhelmed and the more I read the more I was confusing one way of doing it with another. So to help me, I did two sample blocks, and wrote my own notes. Now I have a permanent sample and notes.

I have been repairing, or supposed to be repairing, an old quilt belonging to my son. This was tied and is from the eighties. And finally, after almost two years I can cross it off my list.  No more repairs. Next time, instead of saying "this quilt needs to be repaired" I will say "you need a new quilt."

Don't forget to visit Patchwork Times for other "Design Wall Mondays"

Enjoy!
Toni