Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Report

Over the weekend I managed to get this baby boy quilt finished, just needs its label then I can deliver to little Braedon. This must be the name "de jour" for boys in the USA, I have made three baby quilts for Braedens in less than a year, not all were spelled this way though.
The quilting went fast, the good old peacock all-over.

The back is white minkee and I did not use a batting, this is AZ and it's plenty warm enough.

Now to quilt up a few more flimsies before the client quilts start rolling in again. There are a few QOV tops too waiting but they will be waiting in line a bit longer.

Yesterday was my birthday and the family came and brought lunch and stayed to play some Mexican Train dominoes.

They also brought beautiful flowers.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Andee's Latest Schnibbles

Today, January 26th. is Australia Day, so G'day mates!
I had some Vegemite this afternoon with a nice cuppa!

Andee has been waiting patiently for this, I usually don't take so long to get to her quilts but life has been a bit unusual the past month.
A soft white thread seemed best, and some feather wreaths with Line Dancing for the little houses.
Next I need to complete a baby quilt for a little boy, and perhaps I can get to finish a few of my own flimsies then.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two Finishes

These two quilts came from Cathy in Denver- I received them the week or so before Christmas and hoped to get them out sooner but I sort of lost my mojo for a few weeks with my Dad's death. This week I determined that I needed to get back into gear. Being the rather OCD person and easily guilted by any failure of my own to follow through, I promptly quilted them and mailed them off to Cathy.
The first is large, 77"x92", quilted in an all over leafy design with separate leaf border. The thread is King Tut, a variegated green/yellow from Superior that still doesn't show the quilting until you see it in person. This is the second of the same BOM design that I have quilted, as Carol and her friend Linda both made these blocks in similar batik colors, you can see how different Linda's version looks if you click here. I used the same KT thread in a variegated blue for the first quilt, and custom quilted the whole thing, which almost made me blind-it's so hard to see the quilting on these batiks, which is why I decided to use an all-over design on Cathy's. In order to have the quilting show up more I would have had to use a bright gold and I was afraid that would not be as pretty, too intrusive.

The small wall hanging has 3D Flying Geese blocks and needed only very simple quilting, the piecing tells the story. I used mostly a warm brown Sew Fine thread [except for the sky] also from Superior. Do you get the idea I use mostly Superior threads?!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Saturday AZ Huggy Bunch

Alissa and BJ, came and sewed, I forgot to get a pic of Alissa's project a very cute Halloween quilt. No orange in sight which is probably why I like it.
BJ was working on her Orca Bay blocks, this is one of them.

The block below is one BJ made with the January design from an online BOM that uses a 12" square and some 2" strips, very fast and simple so I think I might try it and if I do I will post the directions. It is very easy, made like a Stack and Slash.

Last week January 18th. was 10th. anniversary of the death of my nephew and godson, Todd. he was 18 years old and has a twin Wesley. I had made a quilt for my brother and decided to add matching shams and this pillow, because it will all be used in a guest room that would have been Todd's room. I used a solid black to frame the photo and make it fit a 12" pillow form, then added the 2" flange in the same fabric I used to trim the shams. The pillow and shams will go by off airmail to Australia this week and I know that my
SIL and my brother will love them.
What a joy it is to be able to make things that bring others joy too.

I think this was Todd's HS prom photo and it was taken only a month or two before he died. The tragic loss of a lovely young man, a delight to all who knew him.
DH and I have an even closer family bond with my brother and SIL, having also lost a beloved twin son our Matthew, for whom our youngest DGS is named.
Our two families' lives have been forever scarred by these losses.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful rest in peace.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kitchen Renovation Finish!

As promised here is the "before and after" post upon completion of our kitchen/dining transformation, as of yesterday it is complete. Wow, how long has it been? I had to look back at last year's posts to confirm that the first day of demolition was November 12th. so two months for a complete "gut" of this area is not bad. DH accomplished a marathon job in all the hidden work, demolition, trenching, plumbing, lighting, electrical, tiling etc, replacing a window with French doors, and actually everything but the cabinets and the granite! I helped with repainting.
The vision was mine and the search for and acquisition of all the "accoutrements" [at the best price of course] was also mine. We had a very talented carpenter, David Kobe from "Wood You Want" in Tempe A.Z. whose ideas enhanced the cabinetry design and ergonomics, and that of the island, and Jesus Ortiz from "City Of Stone" also in Tempe, whose stonework created the beautiful island top and counter tops. Each of these talented craftsmen deserve high praise for the quality and ethical professionalism of their work.
David also "built in" the wine fridge and our small freezer so they are incorporated into the cabinets and the island. The cabinets are a soft white with caramel glaze, the island color is a cherry blend stain. The appliances are fairly new so we chose not to replace them at this time, saving thousands of dollars.
No more messy, unfriendly shelves in the lower cabs, but lots of drawers for pots, small appliances etc. The drawers are "soft close", what a difference!
Together we took a small, inconvenient and dated area and transformed it into a fabulous, roomy, convenient space with more useable cabinets and counters, two ways in and out of the kitchen area, an extra "prep sink" and comfortable seating for ten people. And on a fairly tight budget too, monitored by yours truly!
What follows are before and after comparisons, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!









Here is a view of the corner where by moving the stove 12" to the right, David was able to give us a fabulous corner with a lazy susan underneath, appliance garage on the counter and a huge corner cabinet above, which before was all empty useless corner space! A gain of about 15 cu.ft. in cabinet space here.

This "garage" hides the toaster, stand mixer, coffee grinder and some utensils that I use daily.

I chose dentil molding, more work for David, but he is so obliging, and it is the icing on the cake, sets off the lovely, simple cabinetry perfectly.
The rain glass I love too, and it will be even nicer when we have lighting installed. I have ordered many feet of LED lighting for under cabinets and eventually under the edge of the island granite. More work for my very patient [long-suffering he would probably say] DH.

An unexpected surprise from Jesus, a cutting board from a piece of the counter granite. He carefully planned the cuts for each area to maximize use of the color and "movement" on the granite slabs. About 95% of two entire slabs of granite was used for this renovation. The island granite is "Misty Mountain" and the counters are "White Spring" both from Brazil.

It looks, feels and lives much larger and I am a very happy camper you can be sure, you may hear my yips of glee from where ever you are! I do like to cook and have family and friends around and it's so much more fun now.
Thank you, thank you, David Kobe, Jesus Ortiz and my hard working husband.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Quilting Report

Huggy Bunch met here Saturday, BJ, Lauren and I sewed and visited and shared lunch.

It's a good idea I have found, to sew simple things when you are chatting and can be distracted, so I looked for some easy projects for HB and found orphan blocks that needed to be made into tops. The log cabin blocks above are those left from the KS quilt I gifted to my SIL [picture here]
I am not sure if it will get a border because I don't have sufficient of any of the fabrics.

The other project I worked on is a collection of 6.5" squares left from a long-ago quilt, long since sold! You can see I got as far as two of the stop borders,

and this will probably be the final border.
Now I have two more child/baby quilt tops that will join my collection of un-quilted tops, sigh, therefore upping the ante on my self-proclaimed 2012 goal to quilt all of my flimsies! I guess I need to count them and put the total on the side bar so that there will be accountability!
But enough of my projects.

Lauren is working on construction of four scrap quilts from clothing, mostly denim, using the pockets zippers and everything possible. Above are a few of the 100 or so blocks she has so far.

BJ worked on her Orca Bay quilt and you can see from the blocks above how far she has advanced, almost ready to sew the blocks into a top. I can't wait to see the finished quilt, I will probably get to quilt it so I will have vicarious pleasure since I wasn't able to do Bonnie's mystery this time.
A few weeks ago I showed the finished commission quilt, now I can say who it was for, didn't want to let the cat out of the bag and purchance spoil the surprise for Helen's sister Sue.
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Here she is receiving her gift, which was a huge surprise.

Helen and I are both very pleased that Sue is thrilled with it and that it fits right into her plans to refresh her bedroom.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Dad's Memorial

The family gathered today in our "almost-finished" kitchen/dining area to say our goodbyes to Dad/ Grandfather/ Great Grandfather. We said prayers and committed his eternal soul to The One who is our Creator.
We had made a short slide show from a few highlights of his life that we ran on the TV screen and enjoyed reminiscing about the times we shared those events. If you click on the post title you can see the slide show.
It was helpful to all of us and especially to me since I did not attend the funeral in Australia on Friday. My Dad is responsible for the existence of 30 humans, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. His and my Mum's DNA is in all of us and we are blessed!
We sat around the rest of the afternoon and played Mexican Train dominoes, which Dad enjoyed when he was with us in Colorado.
Here are a few pictures from today.

Mexican Train Dominoes, it's a great game for both kids and adults to play together. Our grandsons have played since they were eight years old, it's a good exercise for their brains, strategic planning and math.

We are still missing the doors and shelves for the island and the glass cabinet doors.
This week I am hoping it will all be done, hoping!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

AZ Huggy Bunch

BJ and Andee came to sew today, they both worked on Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery.

BJ made a long string of these, I am not sure which clue they are....................

while Andee's box is filling up!

These are her boo boo blocks, needing to be un-sewn and re-sewn correctly. Andee you look way too happy to be anticipating the frogging of these blocks! There are always a few of these in Bonnie's mysteries it seems, there are so many tiny blocks with multiple tiny pieces it is very easy to be distracted!

Orca Bay is not on my schedule, too many other irons in the fire like the binding on this quilt, finally done!

Today I discovered that I needed a quilt for another baby boy, and remembered some blocks left from the last baby boy quilt. With some additions they sewed up fast and this will be cuddly comfort once it has a minkee backing quilted on.