Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wedding Quilt Progress

I wasn't planning on working on this quilt this week, but in a strange turn of events, I was able to sew away to my heart's content!

First off, my laptop for my Day Job has been at the technicians office for almost two weeks now. And it's still not finished with the upgrade. To top it off, it's 150 miles away, so it's no easy task to hop in the car and fetch it when it finally gets all its upgrades. The net result of that is I am limited on what I can do with my Day Job. Funny how we're so dependent upon technology to function these days.

And then, Monday - wouldn't you know this would happen on a Monday - my Gammill longarm decided to take on a mind of its own. Right in the middle of quilting in some clouds on this lovely quilt, the computer board in the control panel decided it had had enough of being told what to do all the time. So it started stopping and going, all on its own accord! And then it wouldn't function at all. Please be fully aware that in my old age I do know how to throw around a vast array of explicatives when warranted! 

Laying out the sewn rows. Not enough room in my sewing studio, so I had to use the space on my longarm!

Then after becoming frustrated at not being able to connect with my sales rep in Salt Lake City area, I called directly to Gammill. Their  technician immediately told me that a new control panel was on the way - oh, joy! It should be here today or tomorrow and I'll be back in business.

In the meantime, I was able to get all the half square triangle blocks sewn in rows for this Wedding Quilt I'm making for my niece.  The big day isn't until the end of August, so I'm feeling quite happy that things are rolling along and it's not a total last-minute effort to get it quilted, bound and wrapped.

I always number my rows - saves a lot of headaches later!

And to top it all off, our son is coming to town today for a short visit. And he's leaving his dog with us for a few weeks. I love it when I get to sit my grand-dog. Big smiles this direction. Hey -  if you don't have grand-kids, enjoy the grand-dogs, I always say.

Quilting with a smile,

Linking up with Linky Tuesday

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Third Quarter Finish Along Goals

I have been thinking about what I want to accomplish over the next three months, in terms of personal quilting projects. The first one is easy because it's a wedding quilt. But I'd like to do more than that. But what, pray tell?

Okay. Here goes. These are my goals to finish for the 2014 Finish Along by Katy of The Littlest Thistle.

1.  Completely finish piecing, quilting and binding this Cowgirl Up quilt for niece and her fiance. The wedding is Aug. 23, so I only have about a month on this one.  I have most of the half square triangle cut, sew, pressed and squared up. Counted last night and find I need 16 more before I can start arranging them.

2.  Make this cute fabric into a bag. I've never constructed a bag before, so I thought I should try. I love the colorful sunglasses, and the purses, too. I found this fabric at Material Girls quilt shop in Redmond. Dh just knew he couldn't keep me away from all the quilt shops on our trip last month. Nope - wasn't gonna happen.

3.  Make a pillow for my daughter. We picked out this pile of fabrics at The Stichin' Post in Sisters, Oregon. Not sure what the heck I'm going to do with them, but something will come to me.  I plan on making about four all together.  But we'll see how it progresses.  I told her to pick out six fabrics she liked, and then see chose the two neutrals on the bottom. But then she threw in the black flannels. What to do, what to do?  I love this PillowPOP book - lots of good ideas in there.

 4.  Nope - I don't need a fourth project to finish. This will be enough. Aside from the all the busy times of summer, this fall will hit and I'm busy with my Day Job. So realistically, this will be plenty.

Looking forward to seeing what you are working on this summer!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Strange Way to Spend Fourth of July

It began as a typical drive to the cabin where we were going to meet family and friends for a Fourth of July celebration. Except for one thing: fire.

We rounded a curve in the highway and saw the beginnings of a forest fire about 12 miles in the distance. Panic set in immediately because we knew the Sawtooth Valley in Stanley Basin so well, and we knew this fire was far too close to home.

The photo above was taken from the bluff above our cabin only two hours after we had seen the first trindles of smoke rising from the forest. Dry conditions and lots of dead lodge pole pines (due to pine beetle kill) have set conditions up for disastrous fire potential.  And this fire was only a mile from our cabin!

We watched the fire spread, and the wind whip it towards us and we could do nothing. Finally, about four hours later, air support arrived in the form of helicopters to drop water and a huge DC-10 that dropped fire retardant around the perimeter of the growing monster. Yeah for the cavalry!

There had been about 30 camp trailers set up at the base of this hillside, and they were successfully evacuated. Behind the fire is a popular hiking trail that let to high mountain lakes, and apparently rescue crews were able to get everyone out to safety as the fire closed the road to the trailhead and the trail itself!  We debated about whether or not to pack our belongings and leave, too, but after the fire retardant drops, the flames subsided somewhat and so we felt more comfortable staying.

WAY too close for comfort!  What was I going to take from the cabin if we had to evacuate? A photo album, a television, and my flannel quilt! Never gonna leave a good quilt behind.

Monday, June 30, 2014

ALYOF June Goal Complete

With the total lack of time I've had in June to do anything Quilty, I am amazed that I completed my goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  I'm still not sure if this qualifies as a 'finish' except I did 'finish' this goal, which was to get the fabric cut out for my niece's wedding quilt.

There it is: a stack of pieces. I actually was able to get all the half squares sewn in half and cut. Now I need to iron them out and trim.  The wedding is the third week in August, so I have some time, but I am going to try to get it finished by the end of July.

And in the spirit of summer, I'll share just a couple of vacation pictures with you.  We traveled to Oregon to help our son celebrate his graduation from college - YES!  Then we took a grand tour down the coast all the way to northern California to see the Redwoods, then back up to Medford to see an old friend, and then over to Bend so I could do a convention for my Day Job. Just got home last night. This was the first time in more than 30 years that we have taken two weeks away from work at the same time. HOW FUN IT WAS!!! Awesome good fun.  I think retirement might be A-Okay.

Here I am in front of the Needles of Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon. I love the ocean!

Hiked along the Deschutes River near Bend, Oregon. Wished we had our fishing rods with us - beautiful stream.

Back to my desk work and then tomorrow is a Quilting Day - hurray!

Always quilt with a smile,

Linking up to ALYOF

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Goal for June

I'm not sure if this will qualify for the Lovely Year of Finishes, but I have it down for my 2014 Finish Along Goal and so I'd really like to get it done. At least, get this step done.

These are my gatherings.  I've been getting fabrics together over the past year, found a backing fabric (the one with lasso ropes) and then I had to come up with a pattern. I know - kinda backwards thinking:  get fabric first, then find the pattern. Well, I guess that's how my feeble brain works because I do that all the time!

So as I was shifting through all my patterns, I decided upon this Dizzying Diamonds. And then I looked at it closer, and it's a pattern designed by our dearly beloved blogging friend, and co-host of this ALYOF, Melissa of Bittersweet Designs. So this will be a fun project!

The quilt is for my niece's wedding in August. She's a true cowgirl, and her fiance's a tried and true cowboy, so they should like it. See? It's high time I get 'er done.  But I have almost no opportunity to work on anything quilty in June, so my goal is to get all the pieces cut out. That's it. Get that step done, and then when I have 10 minutes here or there, I can sit down and start piecing it together. Good plan!

The remaining photos in this post are just random photos of flowers in my garden. The entire garden is doing so much better this year than last - bigger blossoms, lasting longer. Or so it seems. We had some hard frosts last year which I think put a damper on a lot of flowers. Crossing fingers that won't happen this June.

I'm not too prejudice - I let dandelions bloom once in awhile!

Here's hoping everyone enjoys their weekend. It's an excellent one for me - I've finished Seminar Week From H??? traveling the far corners of our state, and now our daughter has come for an impromptu visit from Seattle.  So I've got some quality time to go spend with her before she flies back tomorrow.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hands2Help Charity Quilt to Gift

This spring I decided to participate in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge 2014. There were three great charities which we could donate a quilt, and since cancer has been such a dreadful part of my family history, I decided I'd make a child's quilt for the Happy Chemo group.

This was one of the first quilts I made. Pretty simple.  But it has that really soft Minky backing that makes it perfect for snuggling. Or for a child to cuddle into and feel warm. And cozy. I want to say feel safe, but I dare not go that far for a child with cancer. After all, quilts can only provide little bits of comfort.

It will be a good quilt for the right family.

The colors have always reminded me of a Western theme. Maybe it's those curliques in the red that remind me of lassos?

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with for their donations. 

Definitely quilting with a smile!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ALYOF to Match The Awesome Weather

Yes! In a super-busy month, I finished my May Goal. Yes!

I made it a simple goal because I knew I'd be hoofin' it to get everything accomplished this month.  I'm glad I did. This month's goal was to complete the binding on my Charm Pack Cherry quilt with a black background. I do like the turquoise binding - kinda sets it off.  The print fabric is Moda's Barcelona, and the entire lap quilt takes 2 charm packs of the print and 2 charm packs of the solid.

 It was an interesting process to make the quilt in two different background colors. I like each one.

On a side note, the arthritis in my hands has been acting up.  Not fun. But then last night, I had an unusual thing happen. The ring finger on my right hand (of course, I'm right handed)  decided to voluntary, and without any prior approval from me, snap into a semi-permanent position with the fingertip down against my palm. And it refused to snap back into place.

Owie! So after I stopped panicking, calmed down and took some Ibuprofen, and soaked my hand in hot water and then in one of my flax seed hot packs (gotta love those hot packs!), I was relaxed and the tendon gave way and it went back to normal.  Which is a good thing. Except after a visit with a surgeon today who specializes in hands, she gave me a cortisone shot to reduce the inflammation. Owie again!  At my age, I just don't do 'owie' well, lol.  Hopefully, though, it will give that hand some relief. After all, I have a big To Do List and all of it, every bit of it, involves my hands. Wish me luck so I don't need surgery!

Looking forward to seeing everyone's finishes for May.  And remember: quilt with a smile!


Linking up with Linky Tuesday, ALYOF, Thread & Needle Thursday, and Quilt Story.

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