Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Brown Bag Quilt Retreat

I just returned from attending another Brown Bag Quilt Retreat in Buellton, our third retreat this year. (We are hoping to go to the November retreat, but we are only on the wait list right now).

We had so much fun as we always do, sewing pretty much non-stop from 8:30 am on Friday till 3 pm on Sunday. Ok, we did go back to our RV's or homes for some sleep--but not much. We sewed until 12:30 am Friday night and returned by 8:45 am. Saturday we sewed till 1:15 am and returned on Sunday morning by 8:30 am. Our husbands (Lynn's and mine) still think we are crazy, and they can't understand how we can stay inside sewing or quilting for that much time. We've told them it's not near enough time--we'd love a week long retreat!!

Here's a look at my Quilting BFF's from the retreat:
Nancy (also the Retreat Hostess with the Mostest!)
working on her Floral Block of the Month, preparing the blocks to be hand appliqued using the freezer paper method. She does beautiful applique work!! Here's her first two blocks:Lynn,

working on her Mystery Block of the month (her husband and mine hang out at the RV park, play darts and cards, and miss us while we are at the retreat!).

And, Dolores, another local,
sewing her blocks together on this very pretty quilt!

For this retreat I decided would work on finishing a few WISP's rather than starting a new project (another thing about sewing and quilting our husbands don't understand--starting a new project before finishing one!) So I pulled this project out of my closet, Love Ya Oodles, by Quilt Soup. I think I started it 4 years ago. I had gotten all the squares done but needed to put them all together. It took me a while to figure out where I was. (Note to self: make notes as to where I left off, should I leave a project to finish for years!!!)

Although the pattern calls for doing the applique prior to sewing the whole top together, I plan to use paperback fusible for my applique, so I chose to sew the top together first.It is still a WISP but I am much closer to finishing this quilt. I'm now in the process of choosing the fabrics for all the appliqued flowers and hope to get them sewn on in the next two weeks.

I also made two pillowcases and three more Batik Strippy Totes for friends. I just love making these bags for gifts!! Each one turns out so cute and I'm tempted to keep it.
With these 3 I have now made 19 of these pretty totes!!

I designed this quilt for a friend's first grandson. Her daughter's theme is turtles, so I made these happy turtles to applique on the quilt and I am so pleased with the way it turned out.
I just need to quilt and bind it, (again hopefully in the next two weeks!) and it will no longer be a WISP!

I felt very accomplished at the end of this retreat because I finished what I had planned to finish, a first for me! I usually try to finish way too many projects. (I did take a couple of additional projects just in case I had extra time! Wouldn't want to run of projects!) I'm sure I'm not alone when I say it's a great feeling when a quilter gets closer to completing a project, especially one that has been lingering in her "stash" closet!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

4th of July

To celebrate the 4th of July we had a BBQ and Pool Party. The weather was hot, and a bit muggy, but we had a great day filled with family and friends!
Flags were all around...These paper pinwheels were fashioned by Angelina, our creative daughter-in-law!
Sydney wore a red white & blue scarf to honor the 4th.

Even a sleeping baby Hallee (almost 4 weeks old!) wore a red white & blue bow!
Micah enjoyed yaya and papa's pool--usually he doesn't much care for going in a pool,
but since ours was 86 degrees, he seemed to love it, as did Brody...Alex, Micah and Angelina enjoying the pool...

Nicole and Angelina enjoy some time in the sun....while Gigi, Micah and Brody had fun on Micah's splish splash pool, too!

Everyone enjoyed Nick's tasty BBQ'd chicken (which had been marinated in his special secret sauce-recipe from his mom!), salads and chips & dip...
[L to R: Susie, Jenna Angelina & Micah, Papa Nick, Nicole and David]

Best part of the meal, of course, was Nicole's Yummy Patriotic Star Blueberry Cheecake, made from scratch and oh so yummy!!

After dinner Gigi and Brody drove the "John Deere" around the backyard--what fun!

At 8:30 we all headed to Bradley Park in San Marcos for the annual Fireworks show and it is didn't disappoint. Who doesn't like a fireworks show!

Micah seemed to like the lights but he definitely didn't like the noise. Gigi watched the fireworks with her hands on her ears, while Brody just chilled watching them from his stroller!!
As we celebrated Independence Day, we thought of those who have fought for our country to give us this day!
God Bless America!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Where I sew

It's "Where I Sew" month over at the Pink Chalk Studio blog and during the month of July they will be doing virtual tours and "sharing a peek at the sewing spaces of some of [their] favorite designers and sewing enthusiasts. Real spaces where real people sew. "

So I thought I would share my sewing room and add it to their "mosaic of sewing rooms!"
I must say I love having a sewing room of my own. For most of my adult life, I sewed on our dining room table, as many sewers do. I didn't have an extra room to use for sewing or crafts, not until we moved into our dream house almost 10 years ago. I love the bright blue walls; they are so cheery.

A few years ago I got this wonderful sewing machine cabinet and table. It makes quilting so much easier and really any kind of sewing easier.
As you can see I sew in front of the window. I love being able to utilize the natural light during the day and being able to look outside while I sew.

I have a bookshelf to the left of my sewing table where I keep many of my patterns (in the baskets) and lots of quilting books. I also have a TV which I often have on, more for background noise.
To the right of my sewing table I have a 6 ft banquet table that I use for cutting my fabrics for clothes and for quilts. I also use it to pin and baste my quilts together before quilting them. I can easily move my chair from my sewing table to my cutting table which is really convenient.
Under my cutting table I keep projects I am working on or plan to work on, my Tutto rolling bag I use to take my sewing machine to quilt retreats, as well as my large bag that keeps all my quilting rulers.To the right of the cutting table I have a basket shelving unit that I keep lots of fabrics in, and to the right of it is my ironing board.My sewing room has a small walk-in closet where I have shelves for more fabric, batting and more projects in project bags--ready to take to a quilt retreat! Just last week I spent two days reorganizing and straightening all my fabrics. It feels so much better now that they are nice and neat.

For my birthday last month my wonderful hubby bought me a new sewing machine, a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0, which I love! It is going to make quilting those queen or king size quilts so much easier to quilt with the large 10" opening. I'm heading to a Brown Bag Quilt Retreat this week and am so excited to be taking my new sewing machine.
I have plans to add a design wall and to hang a couple of small quilts in my sewing room.
For now, I use my cutting table or the floor when designing a quilt's layout.