Tuesday, January 31, 2023

In the event you've been wondering where I have been, it's nothing overly serious at the moment, just a bad case of bronchitis. Apparently I was more run down than any of us realized and so... it just seems to be something that won't shake easily.

I was pretty sick for awhile, but now am just mostly doing the coughing thing that will NOT go away. After trying to hand quilt off and on for a couple weeks and just over-tiring myself, I finally just took a break from it all. So sorry for being MIA on the blog browsing and commenting etc. All I am doing at present is trying to fully recover and not drive everyone in the household stark raving made while doing it. Sitting around twiddling my thumbs, taking extra care with my health and being 'patient' {so as to regain some strength} is definitely not one of my stronger personality traits! Will probably still be off-line for another couple weeks so don't worry if this takes awhile or I don't return a message. And just for the record, this has been a lousy way to lose some of that weight that I've steadily been gaining for the past several years....

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Closing Down 2022

Well, 2022 is going out with a whimper. I got sick the week before Christmas, barely pulled it together in time to enjoy a few good days with family and then, bam. Relapsed and now, probably bronchitis. Uggh. In my defense, it was super, super cold here for those weeks and I probably overdid things for the holiday.

All finished!
Anyway, real quick post here. These are my last finishes of the year! Moody 9-Patch which was started clear back in November of 2020. You can check out the antique inspiration on that post if you like.

Looking cozy
I worried and worried about how to hand quilt the large sashing pieces, but in the end, did something super simple. You can obviously see it better on the brown tone on tone fabric than on the floral.

Maybe not the best hand quilting?
But it's done, all done....
The entire quilt was machine quilted in-the-ditch between all the blocks and then the hand quilting followed after.

This one has a very rich, warm look to it
It was a great this particular quilt laying across my lap during these cold winter months! I'm thinking it's close enough to the original inspiration to make me feel happy and yet, not so carbon copy as to be boring.

Our adorable granddaughters
Here's a quick pic of a pile of puppies kiddos we found by our tree on Christmas Eve this year! Such a joy to have grandkids. Wouldn't trade it for the world!

Vintage T is a true blue finish!
And here is the very last finish of the year. If I hadn't machine quilted this late in November or early in December {I so forget the details now}, it would have never happened. I got my machine back and wanted to test out the dual feed thingamabob right away. Works perfectly, thank goodness!
A slightly older look
I ended up putting the binding on in little pushes of effort while sitting around being a couch potato. Still am doing that in fact. Just trying to get better every day.

Machine quilting for the win!
This isn't my fave quilt ever, but I'm very pleased with the way I was able to use up some of the oldy moldy orange fabrics languishing in the stash totes. Playing with these colors was hard. The look and feel of the quilt is definitely not as joyful as some others that I have done though the years!

Loving this soft looking finish
The backing was a mishmash of anything that was big enough to throw together and make into the proper size! I haven't had to buy backing now for almost two years with the last two fabric donations from my family. That is coming to a screeching halt though as the found pieces are getting smaller and smaller. 

Calling this one'Revised'
One other thing that I've been very slowly working on {everything has to be couch work these days while I huff and puff and/or cough}, is the #AHIQColor Palette challenge. I'll share more of the inspiration details over at the AHIQ blog some other day. For now, this has been a lifesaver having it mostly prepped and ready for hand stitching. Happy New Years to all!

Friday, December 9, 2022

Moving Things Along

 Trying to get a couple more finishes in before the end of the year. Moody 9-Patch has the initial phase of binding sewn on, all the clips on and now is waiting on the hand stitching time.

Moody 9-Patch getting a binding
It was a huge relief to get Country Stars all finished up and ready for gifting. I even managed to get the label stitched on! 

Country Stars all finished up!
Next up will be making the time to deliver it. Gotta wait on my husbands schedule as we want to do it together. Sort of a 'Merry Christmas' and also a housewarming gift. 

The compass stars are never a bad idea
It's kind of funny how it ended up with a vaguely holiday vibe, which was never intended at all. I just hope our friend likes traditional look quilts as much as she proclaimed to. Kind of a trip down memory lane for me and though I don't LOVE this quilt, I'm happy with the way it turned out.

So happy the hand quilting grid proved out
The applique could have been a little bit more exciting, but then it would have been difficult to give away. Right?

Should be a good couch throw!
Next up in the hoop is the #AHIQStringTulipsQal project. This is the top that I thought was done and then  months later, had to pull it back out of the quilt top drawers and add on an applique border. So much better looking now. I thought surely, surely I would want to hand quilt the one and only Christmas quilt top left in the drawers, but nope. Absolutely no interest at the moment. For some reason this one thinks it needs to be next.

On to the next quilt
Oh well. It should be very easy to jump into and get started. I went ahead and machine stitched in-the-ditch around the large center area and also, at the outside border. Not necessary, but something that will make the overall stitching move just a little faster. And it won't ruin the look of the hand quilting one iota. Win, win.

Ready for the next step
All the applique for the thirty Primrose Path applique blocks is done now. The little flower centers went lickety-split. Now I will be adding little corner triangles to the blocks. Just need to decide on the right color for that. Originally I thought to do a white texty fabric, then I moved on to a mixed palette of pastels. Now I'm leaning hard toward shades of the med-pink used in a couple of the blocks. I never intended for this to end up a 'pink and black' quilt, but hey, what do I know?

A quilt that refuses to be taken seriously
You can see that I've sewn together eight of the nine blocks necessary for making the 25-Patch Hst quilt. Of course it doesn't seem like nearly enough {color me shocked} and so I will be changing it to a sixteen block quilt. I started out following the original quilt look for block colors but eventually just sort of gravitated toward changing things up here or there. Now I'm in good shape to make up the next eight blocks willy-nilly and then afterward I'll probably have to mix all the blocks up to make everything make sense once again. 

I'm crossing my fingers this will be a joyful, happy looking quilt, not a sad hst vomit type thing. I went ahead and cut out more of the darker brown and medium blue fabrics for more units. So far the green is the very hardest to introduce into the quilt which is pretty on par for normal around here. Don't want to leave it out though as there will be more green used in the sashing pieces. Probably. It's been a lot of fun though and coming together without much trouble. In my head, I'm calling it a 'palette cleanser', but I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's a quilt that refuses to be treated as precious?

Friday, December 2, 2022

A Little Quilting and A Lotta Family

Would you be shocked if I said that life had been busy lately? What was it that I read the other day, something about our 'hustle culture' being the new norm? Yeah. Not by choice for most of us. I managed to squeeze in a few good minutes trimming off the points of the hsts and then throwing a few of them up on the wall. This isn't sewn together yet, still in full-on contemplation mode.

25-Patch Hsts
All those hsts sewn together properly would represent four blocks to the 25-Patch HST quilt. The look is overtly {almost obnoxiously} scrappy, yet somewhat vintage in look and feel. Most all of the fabrics used are in a 15 year range though. There is probably only one fabric that would truly be of vintage era though. I'm absolutely loving the mishmash of colors and sheer unpretentious quality that's already shining through. The Inspiration quilt has nine of these 25-patch blocks so I'll start with that, roughly following the original makers lead as to value. After those nine blocks are sewn, then we'll figure out the rest of the quilt. Pretty sure there will be lots of leftover units to play with.

Primrose Path blocks
I seem to be in this rut lately of making myself finish up one applique project at a time. So weird. For years, when I got bogged down mentally, then I just pushed the project off to the back burner and started stitching on another. Now I'm acting like Sally Steadfast and keeping my nose to the grindstone until it's ALL done. 

Figuring out the centers
Can you see the snow piled up outside on the deck?
It was really exciting to finally figure out the little centers of the primrose flowers. I knew the fabric needed to be a in similar tones of faded black, but the fussy cut flowers in the this black fabric is exactly right. Don't you love when that happens?

Moody 9-Patch in the hoop
Still hand quilting on the Moody 9-Patch quilt. It's only been a finished quilt top since February of 2021, but it seems like it's been in the quilt top drawers for much, much longer. I machine stitched-in-the-ditch between all the blocks before my sewing machine was fixed. Basically, the dual feed wasn't working properly which makes for all those stitching lines being less than fully in-the-ditch and more of a meandering trail of thread. Even with using a standard walking foot. Oh well. Made me a little mad at the time, but now I don't even hardly notice. Or care. Am sort of laughing at myself for expending so much energy doing hand quilting on a quilt that barely shows off the effort involved though. It's been lovely having it in my lap though! Such a pretty, deep fall look and feel going on here!

All the Wilson Siblings in one place and 
lightning didn't strike...
The entire family didn't end up being altogether on the big day after all, only about 45 persons or so. But by Saturday, all of my siblings were present at my mom and dads for 'pizza night'. It's become part of the holiday weekend to have one pizza night, an Asian food night and also a taco bar in the days following Thanksgiving. Anyway, on impulse because its so rare we're all together in one place, we found ourselves taking a few family photos of the siblings. Some smart-alecky person suggested we arrange ourselves in order by birth, and of course people started snapping pics for posterity. It was pretty funny getting it all sorted out and then later on somebody mentioned that half of us pictured here are Gen X kids and the other half are millennials, Whatever that means? 21 years between oldest and youngest in case you were wondering. My baby brother was only four months old at my wedding! lol

I don't really talk about this much because we got a lot of flack about it growing up. People have SO MUCH to say about people having more than four or five kids in their families. I always had to laugh when someone would say my four kids was a big family. Right.... You wouldn't believe all the things total strangers and/or supposed friends would say right in front of us kids or my parents too. And not expect anyone to get offended. It was crazy and really rude at times! You learn really quick who the real friends are! Once in a great while someone would have wonderful things to say to us and we'd all sort of relax and lose the defensive posture. Not that we care now, but as kiddos, it was terribly hard to take at times.

Mom and dad had 12 kids in all with 11 kids raised to adulthood. Let me just say that they were incredible parents to us all and never lived off of anyone or expected anyone else to pick up the slack. Two of my siblings {right smack in the middle and pretty much the bridge between 'older' and 'younger' families} have passed now and this is what is left of the tribe. We still feel their loss every time we do something like this but know it will only get worse as the years fly by. And the numbers undoubtedly shrink even more? Such is life unfortunately so we cherish the good times while we can.

I am the shorty, second to the left in this picture. Fun times and yes, I was bossy growing up. What can I say? As you can see, a few 'what are we doing here?' looks because of the relaxed attire, but who really cares in the long run? I actually think the pictures turned out better from not being overly scheduled and planned to the nth degree! We don't always get along super, magically, wonderfully well, but I know if ever I truly needed anything, I could call any one of them and they'd run to my aid in a heartbeat. You know how it is with well adjusted siblings, blood is thicker than water, but ooh... we also have memories like elephants! I had a great time telling one of my nieces this last weekend about a much younger version of her sweet mama.*wink
Wintertime in Brewster, Washington

In other news, we've had snow and then a little bit more snow on top of that. The first two pictures were snapped by my husband a couple days ago. The first one was taken at his current construction/remodeling project approx. six miles from where we live {which is a whole lot closer to that mountain in the background}. It was such a cold, clear day, the distance looks much, much shorter than what it really is!
This next picture was taken just as he was driving through the outskirts of our little town of Pateros {less than half a mile from where we live}, but looking off to the left across the Columbia River instead of straight ahead at Billygoat mountain {seen in the previous picture}.
The sun is shining in Pateros, Washington
This last picture was taken by a friend of ours here in town who owns a little Airbnb. She snapped this picture while taking a walk along the Methow river, right where it dumps into the Columbia river {pictured behind the railroad bridge and also in the background of the previous picture. This is where our little town of Pateros sits, right at the junction of those rivers and nestled in the foothills of the mountain shown in the first picture. We really do have gorgeous views year around here, but in wintertime, after a fresh snowfall and  then the sun comes out? It's just incredible. So pretty.
Love the steamy look to the rivers in the wintertime
And mostly we do love the winters here, but wowsers, it did come early this year! I have shoveled snow off and on in short little spurts for about three days now. Yesterday I slipped and fell splat! on my left shoulder, elbow and hip, thankfully only getting slightly bruised. Normally my husband would do more of the shoveling, but we all got hit by a stomach bug on the Monday after the big weekend and I'm the one who recovered the fastest it seems. I'm just way too impatient to wait around for him to do the work, even though my back and shoulders are crying out the entire time I'm shoveling. I am soooo out of shape! There is a huge difference between a needle and a snow shovel, but I hate having snow fall into my boots every time I head out to the garage, the dumpster or to the car. Ughh. Don't tell them, but I always miss my boys a little extra this time of year...

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Simple Projects

First of all, so sorry to everyone who is having trouble posting comments on my blog! I just don't have the energy to switch to a different platform and Blogger seems to want to be extra difficult these days. You can email a comment directly and I'll always respond. Otherwise, thanks for reading anyway! I figure there are lots like me out there, reading the blogs but doing a terrible time leaving feedback. I said never, never, but these days it's tempting to switch to Instagram where all you have to do it click on the 'heart' to engage.

The new vintage look 25-Patch project
I took an online personality test the other day and was completely appalled by how low the score came back in Openness {and creativity}. Part of the test was spot on and super interesting. The other part? Uggh. I must have been feeling very self critical and down on myself. Whatever, it made me realize that apparently I'm more 'stuck' that I realized! Time to dig back in and see if that can change eventually. According to the test, color doesn't seem to move me at all??? I started small with a basic project. Just dipping my toes back in the water. This is an idea that's been rattling around in the quilt room forever. 

Starting something new
It's a picture of a vintage quilt made out of scrappy hsts. I took one of those infamous {marinating} stacks of fabrics and got busy. All the hsts are cut out, ironed open now and all that's left to do after yesterday is the trimming. Just trimming the points. I really don't care if the blocks are a little wonky for this quilt. Imperfection will make it more interesting. 

Okay, it probably sounds like I just went after it like crazy, but believe me, I've been having to force myself to work for even a half an hour or so. Take a break. Come back. Making progress has been like pulling teeth, everything feeling like a huge effort. But I've been here before! Just have to break through and get back on track.

It's a true blue finish!
Finally got the binding sewn down on the Improv. Strips quilt {No Wasted Pieces}. Was kind of surprised by the fact that the quilt wanted a pink binding, but oh well. Just glad that I had something suitable languishing in the stash totes!

Loving the texture
My favorite part of the quilt is the added strips in the bottom left corner. Really adds an element of make-it-up-as-you-go to the quilt and helps make it a little bit more quirky. Always a good thing in my book.
Gotta get the attitude on the quilt
I kept the hand quilting super basic of course, don't I always? But then went ahead and stitched a few tulips into the wider border area there at the top of the quilt. Adds a little bit of sweetness to an oddly colored quilt! Overall, it was a good finish and crumpled up very nicely after washing. This one is a good example of how simple shapes can show off and/or disguise older fabrics. Whichever is needed. They all just sort of disappear into the quilt and nothing stands out as too stale or too obnoxious when they're cut this small.

A bit sweeter with flowers
I have also been tentatively playing around with these abandoned hourglass blocks from an older AHIQ quilt. There is a vague design doodled onto a piece of paper and all the potential fabrics for the quilt jumping up and down shouting YES! I know the color palette may be unexciting to some of you, but it's doing something for me. Uh huh. Seems like the Personality Test was taken on a bad day? I learned a long time ago to try not to question the whys and wherefores of current color curiosity and just roll with it. Never know where things might end up!
Hoping to kickstart this one after Thankgiving
That being said, I'm getting flashes of interest, excitement and yes, even trepidation just trying for a start. Can I make this happen the way that I'm envisioning things? The reality is: Probably not. And that's part of what's been holding me back. A general feeling of negativity about sparking real creativity. About making good things happen. Or NOT. The journey is so much fun regardless and I've sort of let that slip this past year, pushing my expectations to unnecessary places. I need to TRY for the idea first, then everything sort of falls into place along the way. If I don't even try, well then. Nothing happens. Duh. Obviously!

In other news, I got my sewing machine fixed! Yay!! Ended up with a way too quick trip to Spokane, dropping someone off at the airport, doing the sewing machine service, going Christmas shopping and then driving back home feeling a bit sick from exhaustion. Now it's Thanksgiving {already!} and there are more things still to bake and fix. We're gathering at my mom and dads this year with all of my siblings. Whoa...... It's going to be A LOT. Only one of our kids will be there though as they all have other obligations. I count it very fortunate to still have my parents and know these years are fading very quickly. Hope you all have the best of holidays filled with lots of good visits, turkey and pie!


Friday, November 11, 2022

Catching Up

Somehow I've managed to drag it out to a solid two weeks between posts again. My dryer broke down, my good Bernina has been having problems and oh yeah, we left town to attend a very good friends funeral. Ughh. That pretty much knocked the wind out of me as she was very close to my age. Such a good person. We were friends for years starting with the fact that I happened to share the same name with her mom. Then our husbands were wild and crazy friends and somehow that brought about an introduction. We got married the same year, had kids in the same timeframe, etc. etc. So many shared life experiences. Sometimes the world is just not fair.

4-Block Tulip Medallion quilt is a true blue finish!
In the realm of quilting, which I know you're really all here for, things have been plodding along in fits and starts. Finally got the 4-Block Tulip Medallion all sorted out and finished up. Yes, the flowers in the baskets are much more 'Carolina Lily' than tulips, but the outside flowers are more tulips than lily.

Loving the plaid basket
I can't find the exact starting date to this quilt, but it was probably in the year 2019. {The top was finished up last year}. The fabrics were stacked up and waiting for love for at least two-three years before that, so yeah, it's an old project. Goes with that old fashioned vibe, right? Totally don't regret putting in the time though. I am in love with the end result. So sweet looking.

Lots of older fabrics used up in this quilt!
I could always tell that there was just too much goodness in that mix of fabrics to give it up completely--as I randomly do sometimes. It's not uncommon for there to be 10 or more stacks of fabric marinating all at once in the quilt room {sometimes 15!} and how can I possibly get the point of using every single one of them? After a long period of time with zero action taken, then I often find myself questioning the potential for ending up with something amazing. This time my reluctance to give up was a good thing.

Still happy with the graphic-look border addition
I've been especially slow this year in brand new quilt starts so I know it's probably time to throw a couple of those percolating stacks right back into the stash. Must make time to dig through them all and start second guessing how good some of those ideas are. I'm just not sure if it's the fabric stacks or the endless amounts of distractions slowing me down recently. Will look through the stacks soon and see which ones still have sufficient zing in them to continue taking up prime real-estate in the quilt room. And in my brain? No sense pondering for ideas if the fabrics aren't doing it for me anymore.

Tulips are never a bad idea
This quilt looked so good hanging out in the quilt room that I almost didn't get the binding on it right away. Such a cheerful view when I first walked in. Too bad it's not smaller or I'd definitely be putting it on the wall! I wondered about putting the year '2021' on the quilt top when finishing up last year, but I'm not unhappy with it at all. Just gives it a nice little folky touch.

Sometimes I just wanna take a nap in my quilting room
We had also had made plans to fly out to Oklahoma to visit our daughter before everything got sidetracked. Totally a bummer that isn't working out for right now. I was well on my way to getting the applique prepped on the #AHIQColor Palette challenge though, thinking it might be a good visiting project. Oh well. I probably wouldn't have gotten much done anyway, other than in the airports!
Doesn't look like much, but it's a start!
These blocks are quite large and so I kept raiding the newspaper basket for templates. At some point my husband noticed and offered up a roll of protective sheeting he occasionally uses in his construction business. Umm, really? This could be a mistake when he can't find the roll where it belongs in the garage! It's a super nice product though and worked really well for my purposes. Who knew?

These flowers will NOT be brown
One of the highlights of the past two weeks was this package that arrived in the mail one day. Terry from California sent me oodles of perle cotton #8 and #12 for use in my quilting. Some partially used and lots of them brand new. Apparently she has moved on to using another thread and offered these up if I was interested. Uh huh. VERY interested! I'm telling you, it was like Christmas, I was feeling so enthused. Just couldn't quit smiling that day! Thank you Terry, you are the best!!

Quilters are so generous!
A while back one of my nieces posted a pic on Instagram of her new decor in the hallway of their new-to-them little house. I'd always sort of worried that this quilt might be a bit 'too yellow' for gifting, but this just made my heart sigh with pleasure. Now I want a sunny quilt hanging in my hallway too!

This is one of the reasons why I gift quilts to 
the right people. She did not do this for me!
There's currently two quilts with the binding machine stitched down and ready for the hand stitching effort. One of them will be gifted fairly quickly after finishing up, but there's no rush at the moment. I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of doing another set of quilt meetings at our church, starting in January 2023. It feels like a ton of extra work, but I always come back to the camaraderie involved. That part is fairly irresistible. I'll probably try to find out what the level of interest is before I wade in too far.

Getting closer and closer to the finish line!
My daughter almost talked me into making a spur of the moment baby quilt in the last couple weeks and thankfully I resisted. After working on the beginnings of the #AHIQColorPalette quilt and dreaming up all the applique motifs, it dawned on me that this is what I need most right now. Something new and challenging, open-ended and bright with possibilities. Nothing made to order or any pressure to please. Crossing my fingers for enough time to get something interesting going!

Thursday, October 27, 2022

In The Works

 Okay, things are extra hectic here lately so this post needs to be short and sweet.

Primrose Path--the alien looking flowers
After the hand quilting series, I've found myself betwixt and between projects. Nothing really looked amazing to work on. What I'd like to do is to start five new projects, and well... hand stitching wins it all. In the picture above you can see approximately half of my Primrose Patch blocks are mostly finished. Still need to figure out the color for the inside wobbly center. Obviously I'm thinking black.

Who says I can't make a guy quilt?
I've also bitten the bullet and put in some hand stitching time on Tag's Quilt. It's been hard to get in the mood, 'cuz I'm not really a lodge, outdoors, deep-in-the-woods sort of gal. I'll probably put a tree or two or three on this centerpiece and then call it good. Next up will probably be some cheesy machine pieced words around the centerpiece. Ughh. So not looking forward to that! Love the look, but don't always enjoy the process.
Starting a new project
It feels really weird to only have two applique projects in the works. So of course I had to start another. This is the fabric for the #AHIQColorPalette prompt. Apparently I'm taking my inspiration and tossing everything up in the air for a completely different look. Got the background pieces cut out {pieced together} and next up will be the applique prep work. The new name for this quilt will be 'Revised'.

The vintage block pillow project
Off on a tangent with the pillow making too. The blocks that started this particular project were vintage, hand-made blocks picked up at a second hand store somewhere. I needed something personal to add to an end-of-the-year gift exchange thing I take part in. Didn't want to make a quilt, but home-made sometimes feels a bit more special. They might be brighter than this persons decorating can handle, but I'm sure her rowdy kids will maul them half to death and shorten the pillow life expectancy! 

Country Stars
I also got another quilt in the hoop. Another one of those 'don't wanna' projects that need to be wrapped up before the years end. Went ahead and did the stitch-in-the-ditch around the compass blocks and now I'm hand quilting everywhere else. Finally made the decision to do a loose cross-hatching all around the outside of the quilt. It would probably look marginally better with echo quilting on or around the applique vine, leaves, berries etc, but I just want it done! I made so many quilts in these colors back in the day and now I don't find a lot of joy in working in this particular palette. Am surprisingly pleased with how much better it looks with the addition of hand quilting, but then.... don't I always say that? lol