Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Covid 19 Quilting in Place

We started hearing about Covid 19 around the time of my brother's wedding.  By the time my kids left Arizona (and Kathy's sister arrived for a visit the same day) I was convinced schools would close and we would be quarantining.  People thought I was being dramatic or overreacting.  I had that gut feeling it would be like nothing we had ever seen and so far that seems to be so.
We never went back after Spring Break but instead taught online.  I had cleaned my room out during Spring Break in anticipation of this.  When the announcement came they would not let us back in the school without appointments, so I am glad I did this ahead of time.  I did go back one last time to empty out papers and remove the last things from the wall, etc.
Working from home has been nuts.  Lots of work to teach a visual language online.  I am glad it is almost over.  I was still napping in the late afternoon half the days!  Of course, also did packing...usually in the morning a box or two.  It is coming together and there is not much left.  Truck comes in two days and we hired someone to drive our truck (Kathy has a torn rotator cuff) and tow one of the cars.  We will caravan with my mom and stepdad across the country. They have two dogs and we have three dogs and two cats...should be adventurous!  
So Bonnie hooked up with Gudrun for the Quarantine Quiltalong of Elvira so I made two of these quilts.  Why did I make two?  Well I was following along on the video and did not catch her saying that half the blocks had to be cut the opposite way.  You can actually put the fabric right side together and make that magic happen but she did not tell us this.  Several people made this mistake.  ACK!

 The second one goes all in one direction.  I would up throwing in some different fabrics in the first one since I had cut wrong.  I used up my Asian fabric which I really did not care for and had just never used because of that.  Think I donated these to Quilts for Kidz, I had a whole pile and now I am not sure what is packed and what was donated!
Bonnie decided to do her first mystery medallion style quiltalong.  I decided to change up the colors and used yellow for her neutral.  Not sure I would do that again as it changes the look of it so much, but many people like how it turned out.  I am not WOWED by mine though as I usually am with the Quiltville quilts.  I am wowed by others, just not mine.  Just finished it...actually kept up each week since I am working from home and could get in a little sewing or cutting or ironing during meetings online and such.  Mute sound and camera is an amazing thing!
I also decided to make one itty bitty house each day of the quarantine (started several weeks in) and now have over 70 of these houses (design wall is tossed at this point) and a good start.

A Half a Year Later...

So I really need to get back to blogging and reading my blogs.  I miss it.  I have a few more days until the school year is over (teaching from home due to Covid 19) and we move to Milwaukee!  My daughter Hannah is pregnant with my first grandbaby (Coleman's wife has six kids and one grandkid but we never see them and well it is a long story...) and due the end of September.  We found a house about 15 minutes from her and less than ten from my video relay job (I am transferring).  I am so fatigued these past two years that I do not think I can work full time any more.  Took a lot to get through this year.
So let me share a bunch of pictures of quilty stuff that I have been up to.
 Serpentine Spider Web.  Love how it turned out but it took about an hour per block and it will take me awhile to work up enthusiasm for another huge string pieced quilt!  I do have plenty of strings though so I am going to need to find that mojo.
 Made another Eye Spy (and cut lots of squares, etc for my bin).  Lombardi is here modeling with it.  He loves to sleep near me while I sew.  His favorite thing is guessing where I will need to walk so he can lay right there.
Barb and I bought matching quilt kids again this year and we made them.  This is the third snowman quilt kit/pattern I have bought and made with her I think.  They turn out so cute.
I did several New Year's Mysteries this year.  Becky and BJ came over to sew one and I did another one alone.
 BJ finished hers and it gorgeous too!
 Sunshine (our new rescue) is posing with this one.  I already cannot remember the pattern name (and it is packed) but I think this is the Merry Mayhem...yes it is Case #143: MM's Mystery Quilt - Just Around the Corner.  
This one was donated since I was super not happy with my contrast.  It was also a mystery quilt (I forget where from already) but I enjoyed making it...and using up some crazy fabric that has been in my stash for a long time!

I was lucky enough to take a day off work and go to Bonnie Hunter's workshop at 35th Ave. again this year.  Several of my friends also went and we sat together and had the best day.  I perfected my log cabin and it is now one of my favorite blocks!

She took a few of us to breakfast that weekend too!  So good to catch up with her in person.
My brother got married March 9th right before the Covid rocked our world.  Hannah and Jeremy and Jay were able to come for the wedding.  They were only here like five days but we made the most of it.  Besides the wedding, we went to the Snakes and Lattes and played games, the Botanical Gardens (on free day!) and played a TON of games at home.  Bang was such a favorite that they bought the card game and we bought the dice game (and the card game for Buck).
The Botanical Gardens had a recycled plastic installment. It was fun to see all the animals all over the place.
 I joined a Mystery Quilts Anonymous facebook group.  The lady who writes the mysteries on there is PROLIFIC!  There are several in progress at any one time.  I love mystery quilts so I have made a few.  I made two table toppers with her tulip pattern blocks.  Super fun and uses up scraps. I am sure I will be making more.  I have one quilted as of a few days ago and one ready to go.  Not sure it will happen before the move, but we shall see.
I really enjoyed Warm Hands, Warm Heart (Quiltville pattern) too.  Hand stitched the mittens and found lots of scraps to make the blocks.  I quilted it by machine (which was not wanting to cooperate) and finished the binding by hand.  Think this is part symbolizes moving back to Wisconsin like out Arizona Dreams did moving here!
Kathy and I finished our final 35th Ave BOM quilts.  Andi Williams quilted them for us and did a fantastic job!  One went to Ben and one to Christian (nephews) since Christian is Ashley's son he did not have a quilt from when he was born.  They share a room when at the house (they go back and forth between their respective parents) so thought matching quilts with different colored backgrounds (their favorite color) were in order.  Just gifted them for their birthdays this past weekend.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Sewing Storm Before the Mystery

 Here is Limbania's Good Fortune.  Done!
 Actually made sixteen towels for Christmas gifts.  Bought an automatic buttonholder for my Bernina and it is super easy to use compared to the button holes I made several decades ago!
 Started making some Christmas ornaments by hand....doing some in Packer fabric too.
 Quilted and bound this table runner for my mother.   She has a giant table and I think she will love it!
 This one has been waiting for about eight years to be quilted.  I finally did it and actually enjoyed it. 
Kathy and I are both doing a set of these for 35th Ave. BOM.  We will be gifting them to my nephews when they are done.

 I added a border and some feet to this turkey from years back.
 Finally got this UFO border fixed and Barb quilted it for me.  This was the 35th ave BOM from several years ago.
 Quilted and bound this one myself too.  This one was from the Quiltville Cruise!
 Laundry Day Mini is also quilted and bound by me.  I was killing the UFO's!
 Barb gave me her spiderweb blocks from the Bonnie workshop last year.  I decided to make a few more and then used leftover HST's from a prior BOM to make a baby quilt for donation to AZ Blankets for Kidz.  In all, Kathy and I donated eight!
 Made another Betsy Schnibbles, quilted and bound it myself.
 Made another Packer's quilt...quilted and bound it myself too!
 Used up a bunch of leftover parts from Pineapple Blossom to make this quilt and donated it.
This was one of two Shoo Fly tops I made as part of the Quilville Leader and Enders Challenge this year.  Also donated to AZ Blankets for Kidz. 
I am sure there is more I missed but I wanted to share the ones I could still find pictures for!  I am down to about six or so UFO's!  YAY!

7th Annual Quiltville Mystery Kickoff: Frolic Edition!

The 7th Annual Quiltville Mystery Kickoff Party happened on Saturday in Chandler, Arizona! Our group has grown from the original five who met on Black Friday eight years ago and brainstormed the idea of having an official party each year to inviting close to 50 people!  This year 24 were able to come and some were new so more quilty friends were made and plans to get together and find each other on facebook took place.  SEW much fun!  As always, there was cake (and this year things are spelled right!) and plenty of food too.

Kathy is taking the selfie this year so we can get everyone in the picture--24 all together this year, one had to come super late and missed the picture.  You may notice one man in our picture this year--this is Limbania's husband Mark.  We invited him to come on down around noon for pictures and a special something.  His wife Limbania was part of our group from the very first party and lost her battle with breast cancer a few months ago.  She was a sweet spirit and loved all things Bonnie!  She had several unfinished mysteries and several ladies are now finishing them.  I was the lucky one who wound up with Good Fortune (by accident it was mislabeled "On Ringo Lake") and decided to finish it up in time for the party!  My friend Andi Williams saw I was finishing it on facebook and graciously volunteered to quilt it for me before the party!  We then gifted this quilt back to Mark for his oldest daughter who is fourteen.  Limbania had hand dyed the fabric in this and it was precious to her so I knew it was meant to be for her daughter to have a one day wedding quilt just as my daughter got one this year.  Good Fortune is the perfect name for a wedding quilt!

Andee, Mark and Andi with Limbania Quiltz' Good Fortune
 Bonnie always says she does this mystery quilt during the busy holiday season to help keep those who may be alone or sad due to loss or whatever.  The clues give us something else to look forward to and new friends to share our love of quilting with.  I love how our quilting community came to Mark's aid to organize and sell Limbania's things, finish them off etc.  I know she is looking down on us all.  She has forever touched us and made us better for it.

 As always, the party favors were labels for the back of the quilt.  I try to get my signed by Bonnie each year to make it even more special. Victoria brought door prizes this year three lucky winners (the oldest, the one who came from the farthest away, and the one with the closest birthday) won!  Turns out it was Victoria's actual birthday and she brought the gifts!  It was nice celebrating it with her!
Marguerite, Laura, Andee, Deone, Kathy, Sheila, Mark in for Limbania, Kathy, Jill, Celeste, Betsy and Tina
Becky arrived after pictures but hers is a flimsy too! 
That makes thirteen Good Fortune tops/quilts to show off this year!  Beats our previous record of twelve.  We had everything from traditional Bonnie colors to Halloween!    Sew much fun to see all the variations of this one.  If somehow you missed doing the mystery with us you can still purchase the pattern here!  Of course people brought other Bonnie quilts and we shared them too!
Pretty sure this is the first time I have completed the clue while at the party!  I normally cannot get it done and host at the same time.  Since this was an easy clue and I pulled the right size strips from my scrap savers system (thanks SEW much Bonnie for sharing yours--it works so well) that I was half way there before I started!  The card in the middle was a thank you from everyone to Kathy and I for hosting every year (we got chocolate too) and I was astonished to see that BJ found a card that has my color choices on it!  Love it!

Marguerite always surprises me with a fun gift each year.  She made me this gnome!  I collect gnomes and had just seen some that looked like this and made a note to buy one...this one is cuter and makes me smile!  Thanks Marguerite!
Me with my Good Fortune--my daughter is already asking if she can have her wedding gift back yet!
Hannah and Jeremy with their wedding quilt last summer!

If you want to see the entire parade of mystery quilts click here! and you can see them all!  I have made every  one and several of them more than once. I love Bonnie's mystery quilts and have become a much better quilter from all her tips and tricks and clear directions with lots of pictures!  Thank you Bonnie for sharing your life and love of quilting with us!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Limbania's not so Good Fortune

My quilty friend Limbania passed away from breast cancer recently.  She was a sweet spirit who saw the good and light in everyone.  I knew she was ill almost immediately after I met her at the Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild.  We made this Chemo Quilt for her back in 2013.   Her cancer went away and came back.  She always tried to attend our Quiltville Kickoff parties if she was in town and I have good memories of her helping me with my fabric selections when I was unsure.  She had a great eye for color and was truly an artist.  She leaves behind a nice husband and two young teen children.  Her daughter plans to come to our kickoff party this year as she is wanting to continue the quilting tradition in her family.
Two weekends ago her husband had a sale of her sewing stuff.  I bought the lot below.
 Just after I arrived at the sale I opened up this container and saw our "On Ringo Lake" label.  I assumed that was the unfinished quilt parts inside. I about started crying thinking of how Limbania loved to join us and do the mysteries.  There was another container with En Provence.  I did not have it in my budget to purchase these and silently hoped they would fall into good hands for Limbania.
 After sharing several stories with her husband, he told me to choose one of the partially completed mysteries and take it home and finish it.  I did start crying then.  I chose the original one I saw because it was first.  In the car I told Kathy I wish I knew what happened to her Good Fortune.  Would have been nice to finish it and share it at our party.

 I got home and saw that she had a few blocks made and lots of parts. I got out the pattern and discovered it was not On Ringo Lake as I had assumed due to the label.  It was GOOD FORTUNE.  I could hardly believe it and knew it was serendipity!  Now the race was on to finish it before Kickoff!  I did a search on Quiltville and found Limbania's post from last year in which she said she was using her turquoise, lime and magenta hand dyed fabrics for this quilt....then I remembered a whole conversation with her about her fabric.  Even more special now.  So I started sewing...and sewing...

It should be completed this weekend.  As I have all the borders made.  I had to add some of my own fabric for the final turquoise/aqua border as there was little fabric with the parts and so not enough of her fabric.  There was also no eye break border (you see my floor here where it goes) so I made one from a light aqua fabric I had and decided I would rather use a sparkly white (like she has in the quilt) but I had trouble finding it online.  I ordered one that may not work as it turns out--so if it does not, I may just use the white I had to buy to complete the borders.  Looking forward to getting it made and hopefully quilted before the party!

It is sad that Limbania's not so good fortune to die so young allows me to complete her Good Fortune so she can be at one last kickoff party.  I heard Celeste is completing her Allitare quilt too.