Monday, September 30, 2013

First finish on my new sewing machine!!

 I got my Alaskan "I Spy - With a Twist" kit completed!!  I made this top up at our retreat, and am thrilled that it is done.

I found out that "machine quilting" thread is not to my new Elna's liking!  When I went back to the thinner Aurifil, she sewed like a dream.

This was a kit, purchased at the Rushin' Taylor in Skagway, Alaska.  It measures 39 x 39 completed and washed.  I meander quilted it, and machine stitched the binding down.

The back was sale fabric from Hancock.  I thought that with all of the moose and went quite well!

I had to share this darling little quilt that hangs just outside the NICU where my grand daughter is staying.   Each bear is appliqued on.   His nose is also appliqued.   The eyes and mouth are embroidered.  Whom ever made this quilt, did a great job. It is pretty faded, but it hangs just inside a very large window with full afternoon sun.

For those of you who are praying for Charlotte...she is doing so well. She is now 2lb. 8 oz. Eating well and on room air! We all appreciate your continued support and love.

A sneak peak at the gift I received from my son and daughter-in-law! I am so excited. It is the 100% cotton number fabric from Ikea. I have been wanting this fabric forever.....8 1/2 yards of numbered goodness!!! Thank you my dear sweet children!

If you have a little her on your knee and read here the story "The Tale of the Dolly Peg"!!!  It is the absolutely most imaginative story ever!  Thanks for sharing this great adventure with us, Kim!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Another new baby?

Well...she is MY new baby!


OK, she purrs instead of cries, but I am so excited to welcome her into the family.

First, I had to pack up my old Elna and all of the accessories to get them ready to go!

Then I had to clear away all of the dust and cob webs to get everything ready for our new baby.

I tell you what, it is like Disneyland for quilters!!!!!

And then....there she was....AAAAAHH!! My new Elna eXcellence 720!!!!!!!!!!!!


I left my old Elna Quilters Pro 7200 there, snatched up my new Elna eXcellence 720 and took her home. How exciting to open all the packages and set her up!

Here she is all neat and tidy...

...and here she is, already hard at work! Thank you Larry (our local Central Valley Elna dealer) , for all of your help and your kindness. I am so excited to get this machine a smokin'!!!

What kind of sewing machine do you have?  I'd love to see and hear all about it.  Dreaming of a new machine?  What kind would you get if you could have any machine?  Would keep your old machine and just add a new one?  I love talking about stuff like this.  Share your story!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More retreat fun!

I absolutely must brag on some of the other quilters at last weeks retreat! Yes, they are my wonderful friends, and their work is just outstanding. First of all, a reminder of how beautiful it was up there at Camp Keola, Huntington Lake, California. Elevation, 7000ft


So very beautiful. This is just below one of the big wild fires that burned this summer. Fortunately, this particular area was spared!

This stunner was made by the wonderful Jennifer!

This Christmas gem was made by Dotty!

A fun little quilt also by Jennifer!

Barb just finished prairie stitching this fun little quilt herself!  Such a great job, Barb!!.

Dotty brought this one back for sew and tell! She pieced this at last years retreat, had it quilted and tee-dah!!!

Barb made this denim stunner! Yes, these are denim fabrics. So colorful and fun!

NOTE: The week before the retreat, Dotty made a trip to the MCC headquarters in Reedley, California. She turned in the first van load of quilts for next years sale! We are so happy to announce that there were 57 quilts turned in that day!!! We are almost 1/2 way to our goal for the 2014 sale. (Only 80 to go to match our 2013 count)  The next "West Coast Mennonite Sale & Auction for World Relief" will be held on April 4 & 5, 2014. It is held annually at the Fresno Pacific University campus in Fresno, California. We'd all love to see you there. I'd be happy to answer questions if you have any!!

I am linking to Needle & Thread Thursday with the wonderful Kelly as our hostess with the mostess!!  She is an inspiration to all who are fortunate to meet her.  Thanks Kelly, for your friendship and generosity!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A house of lemons!

When a friend asks for a house block that represents make one!

My friend Deborah from Simply Miss Luella was 'Queen Bee' with her bee group a while back. She requested original house blocks from all of her bee friends. I was not part of that bee, but I wanted to join in the fun.  The block had to measure 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 I set about making a house block that represented me. I was given some lemon fabric for the house and of course, had to use striped fabric for the eves. What home is complete without a quilt on the line?


Every home needs a furry friend, so I added the pup behind the quilt.

And a hand lettered signature block so that she won't forget who made this for her! I had so much fun creating this little house.  My dear sweet Deborah....enjoy!!

Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday over Better Off Thread.  Wait until you see the bicycle quilt she has on her site!  What fun!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A High Sierra's Retreat!!

I am so excited to tell you about my time up at Camp Keola, near Huntington Lake, California!   We had a small retreat with a group of 24 women.

It was a stunning setting.   About 7,000 ft. elevation, and the weather was dreamy!  Highs in the low 70's and the lows in the upper 30,s.

When we got there, the room was empty.  We got right to setting up all of the tables and getting ready for a great time of sewing.

And before you could count to was all a flutter with whirring machines and chatter about what projects we were each working on!

Can you guess which of my friends gave me this little gem?    Her style is distinctive...YES!!, Cindy from Live A Colorful Life!!

The first night, I made my first Alaska quilt.   I bought this fabric from my visit to "The Silver Thimble" in Ketchikan in May.

The second day, I made my second Alaskan quilt!   I bought this kit from "The Rushin' Taylor" in Skagway.   The name of this pattern is  "I Spy Alaska - With a Twist" by Lisa Moore.

On the third day, a couple of the girls wanted to know how to make a collapsible thread catcher, so I gave an impromptu lesson!

After lunch, we had a "1600" quilt sew off.   I finished mine in 47min., 37 sec.!   I didn't set any records, but what a thrill it was to try.

 I took my "1600" a few steps further.  I split it, flipped the smaller strip and added some extra borders!  If you are still with me....bless you!   I am pleased with the way my quilt tops turned out. Now to must get to the task of quilting them!   I have a lot more pictures, but I will stop here.   All in all, it was a wonderful weekend of sewing, fellowship and great food!   I hope to have at least one of these tops completed for the Whoop Whoop Friday hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict!  We shall see!

Don't you wish (me too) that you had this backdrop for all of your photo sessions?

Please, link on over to Sarah Lizzies to get a look at a true artist!! She has done some fantastic work that I have personally never seen done before.  Prepare to be amazed!!!!

Linking to: Tuesday Archives at Val's Quilting Studio!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Here and then gone!

Here is a look at my first finishes of the year!  Our quilting season with the NFQuilters just started 2 weeks ago, and I have already hemmed 6 quilts and finished up one quilt top.  Nothing like hitting the ground rolling!  Here are two of the quilts that I hemmed.
This little gem is prairie stitched.  My wonderful friend Lori did this one over the summer.  You go girlfriend!
I just love this "Dick and Jane" fabric!  It brings back a lot of memories of learning to read.  Oh my, I think I just gave away my age.  I didn't want to take away from the text, so I used it whole cloth and off set it with 4 borders on two sides.  This quilt is tied.
Not sure why this picture turned out so blurry, sorry!
I started this top at the end of last quilting season. It is now completed.  The back has a strip of the car fabric to break up all of that red.  Great for a boy or a man with a passion for hot cars! I will turn it in next week, and it will wait its turn to be either prairie stitched or tied!
She's as snug as a bug in a rug.  Yes, my machine is in her trolley and waiting to be whisked away to retreat!  I leave tomorrow for a 5 day retreat high up in the Sierra Nevada's!!  What a great chance to get away with friends and get some serious sewing done.  Lots of surprises planned and don't forget the great food!  I'll takes plenty of pictures and let you know all about it when I get back!

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced hosted by the wonderful Lee!!  Make sure to click on over to see what the rest of our quilty friends are up to!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Doll blankets for a REAL little doll!!

When my husband and I left the hospital last week, my son asked that I make some small blankets for Charlotte to use while in the NICU.  Of course I jumped at the chance, but asked what size to make them.  He stated that they needed to be really small and showed us a sample of the size.
That is indeed my husbands lap and hand, and yes, that is the real size of her new blanket from the hospital volunteers!  That hat actually fits her tiny head!!
So, grandma was off to Hancock to find the perfect flannel for our little (tiny) princess!  He requested 2 teeny and 6 tiny blankets!
Here are the two teeny ones.
And the 6 tiny ones.

Now, these instructions will work with any sized receiving blanket, these just happen to be teeny and tiny.  Cut out your flannel 1 in. bigger then you want the final blanket to measure.  Press in the corners 1 in.  Press all sides in 1/4 in.

Turn all sides in 1/4 in. and stitch.  When you come to corner, trim as above.  Continue to sew mitered corners and all sides.  DONE!  Yes, it is that easy.  I think it took me a total of 45 min. to make all 8 blankets.
Here are 4 of them (there are 2 of each fabric), folded and ready to be shipped.
I put her name on all 8, I free motion sewed her first and last name. I think that these will make excellent doll blankets when she is older!  The "Daddy's Little Girl" purple blankets are 11x12.  All of the pink blankets are 14x17. 

I made 6 receiving blankets this summer, but they are 40x40....she'd get lost in those!  Mommy is sleeping with these blankets to transfer her smell onto them.  As soon as Charlotte is no longer on oxygen, she gets to have 'personal' items.

She is doing well!  Mommy got to hold her this weekend for the first time!  Thank you for all of your prayers and support, don't stop!

I'm linking to Val's Quilting Studio for her Tuesday Archives.
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