Thursday, April 23, 2015

A SNAP SHOT OF MY WEST COAST TRIP

My busy week long trip to San Francisco, Clovis, CA, and Eugene, OR, left no time to blog......and frankly, since this was a fiber free time.....most of you wouldn't be interested in my activities anyway!

So, I'm only sharing a snap shot of a tiny portion of my week.
 I love being a Grandma......despite living across the country from this little one, thanks to the efforts of our son, DIL and Facetime.....we are able to stay connected with 3 year old Raiden.  

Getting to spend real time with family is so valuable. Here, Grandma and Raiden were having quiet time reading books, which turned into a tickle fest......Rai is VERY ticklish.
 My DIL has wanted to visit this unique bakery ever since she learned about it.  Happily we had the opportunity during my recent visit.  
This Fresno, CA store has been in business for over 100 years......learn more about this family's story here.
It's a tiny store with limited product.....the atmosphere is a mixture of old and older decor......and oh so fascinating.
 These old world sweets are made of a sweet rice flour dough wrapped around fruit or bean paste.  There's even a version stuffed with ice cream. The 'baker' begins her work in the middle of the night to make the treats in the traditional manner, rarely done outside of Japan. Only a limited number are made each day....when they are sold out...the doors close for the day.  
In no time at all, our son and DIL filled their cooler, ready for the drive back to San Francisco.

Another reason for the 3 + hour drive to this area was to visit our long time best friends who moved from the midwest to CA several years ago. They gave Rai this truck (Rai LOVES trucks of any kind).....he slept with it that night and insisted on holding it in his lap all the way back to San Francisco!

Just another memory for me to treasure until I can hug him in person again..... 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

INSPIRATION FROM BLOGGER FRIENDS

Last summer, blogger friend Jo Anne from Ontario, Canada shared a whole bunch of embellishments with me.  Her mixed media skill is evident in these goodies. 
 One of which was a stamped piece of 'black' Lutradur....several areas had been burned which added to the lovely texture!
The package of treasures has been at the top of my 'to-do' pile for the longest time.  But....you all know how that goes!  The other day I dug out a piece of ice-dyed silk noil that hopefully would be just the right companion.


 Here's the start....  The basting lines are my guide as I plan to wrap the finished piece onto a 8" x 10" canvas.  I'm liking it so far.
Now after two days of daytime hand stitching (which I rarely do) it's NOT working.  How could I have gone so wrong?  Plan B: most of the embroidery will be removed and I'll regroup.  Oh well, it happens sometimes.....making the successes a reason for a big happy dance.  Stay tuned.....

However, it's now on hold since I'm pausing for some family time.......  

My friend Kay (check out her blog....she's an amazing artist!) sent me step by steps how to blog from my ipad...so if my older model cooperates, perhaps I'll share grandson photos.  You all want to see them I'm sure!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I-SPY QUILT - COMPLETED

Though I showed the top recently, here's the completed quilt.  I didn't feel it called for a lot of fancy quilting (NOT that I could execute that very well anyway).  Instead, machine straight line quilting was sewn 1/4" of either side of the seams connecting the blocks, as well as in the ditch on seams of the center square.

I've had numerous comments and two requests for specific dimensions. The cutting instructions are below.  Think about trading fabrics with your quilting friends to increase the variety of theme fabrics.    Have fun!!

I-SPY QUILT  -  42.5" X 56"


CENTER SQUARE - CUT 4.5"
STORT STRIPS - CUT 2" W X 4.5" L
LONG STRIPS - CUT  2" W X 7.5" L




Monday, April 13, 2015

PTA - APRIL MEETING

Our April PTA (Professional Textile Artists) meeting was held at Gen's....she's pictured below.....  A limited number of members were able to attend, yet our show and tell was as inspiring as always.  
Gen has been sewing forever.....and she is skilled at every technique....really she is!  Her goal (like so many of us now) is to attack her vast stash and simply create with the materials at hand.  What's not to like about this outcome!!
She explained she's wanted to try this method for quite awhile....basically one selects a base fabric (in this case batik which is stabilized).  Lines of programed embroidery stitches are sewn vertically.  Spaces are left between, where hand embroidery has been added.
I liked everything about this piece.....especially the overall texture....which provided eye-candy without being too much.
Gen is also a member of a group I started years ago; Fiber Junkies. Our last meeting was spent microwave ice-dyeing....here are her successes.  Great, yes??
We were thrilled that long time member Mary B. was able to join us.  She's been dealing with family health issues for quite some time so it was a genuine treat to see her.  

Of course she hasn't been idle......What an excellent reminder of how effective simple 9 patch blocks can be! 
Mary has also been spending time English Paper piecing.........
.......very impressive!!
Here's Mary (left) showing her English paper pieced hexi quilt.......
We are quilter's......it's in our DNA.  So what better way to display our sense of organizing 'pieces' than with Gen's fruit tray.  
We were treated to dessert as well.....ice cream which everyone knows I adore.....topped with crunchy treats.....one being a chocolate covered pretzel thin.  DO NOT purchase them if you find snack self control difficult!
Kate brought a gift from her sister......an ironing board cover.  Gen had one sometime ago that provided a 'reveal' when heated by the iron.  As we all stood there waiting to see how hot he really was....... well....nothing, absolutely nothing happened.  So, perhaps we had a dud?!?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ENCOURAGEMENT

It's such a compliment when a fellow artist and follower of this blog purchases a quilt!  Really, it is.  I'll admit to becoming somewhat discouraged at how difficult it is to find a market for my work now that I'm no longer on the quilting highway. 

I investigated Etsy and was shocked when over 2,500 items came up when I searched for wall art quilts.  Yikes.....  Over and over and over I've been told photos do not do my work justice.....embellishments make that difficult, even for professional photographers.  So, placing work in galleries is helpful.  However, most not only charge 50% commission, but some also charge a rental fee for their space.....  That certainly elevates the price of ones' work!  What's a gal to do??

Well....I'm going to pull up those big girl panties and keep working at finding venues!!
SEA SHELL  
Thank you Lucina for selecting this quilt to purchase as your own birthday present!!

Preparing my quilt inventory paperwork and updating my shop has been on my 'to-do' list for awhile.  I've added quite a few more pieces to my online shop.....here's a sample of just a few.  Jump over there to browse.......



Monday, April 6, 2015

ON WISCONSIN!!!!

Okay.....so I live in NC...been here for nearly 9 years (hard to believe).  There are many wonderful things I can say specifically about our location.  However, my heart is still in Wisconsin (and if the weather was more suitable for my old age.....I'd still be living there.)

With that said.......Whoop, whoop.....the Badger's did it....they ended Kentucky's winning streak on Saturday night....and are we ever proud of you "Sheboygan Sam!!".

Good luck tonight in securing the national title against Duke.....

        ON WISCONSIN                                                  GO BADGERS     

Sunday, April 5, 2015

REMEMBERING

NANCY.....Another Easter Birthday.....You are missed.
Mary - Nancy  appx. 3 years old
              Nancy Theobald Willmas                   Mary Theobald Stori
                      1946-2002                                     1946-

Saturday, April 4, 2015

WISCONSIN BIAS

Okay.....so my Wisconsin bias is showing...... GO BADGERS!!!  GOOD LUCK TONIGHT.

Wisconsin Badger's Basketball coach Bo Ryan (L) and "Sheboygan Sam" Sam Dekker......

And while we are on the subject of Wisconsin sports.......The Green Bay Packers are now officially 'America's Team'......not a surprise to this Packer Backer.  A quarter of America roots for the 'The Pack'.  (Thank you Lynn for the heads up!)  Of course you all want to learn more....so click here.

Friday, April 3, 2015

I-SPY BABY QUILT

Three of us, Judy, Kate, and myself have cut and pooled a lot of our fun theme fabrics to make I-Spy quilts.  We keep the patches together in a 'community' plastic storage container.  This is so handy when one of us needs to make a baby quilt!  In order to keep the variety fresh, new fabrics are added as necessary.
 This will probably make all you patchwork quilters really laugh out loud, or shake your head after seeing my assembly process.  However, it works for me.

My desired quilt size required 48 - 4.5" patches.  Happily, I was able to select all of them from the squares already cut in our bin.  Each was positioned on my design wall. 

We had precut 2.5" strips in the bin, but most weren't long enough.  So, since I had to pull fabric from my stash, I decided to use 2" strips instead....any leftovers went into the bin.
Yup, this type "A" personality cut and arranged the pieces for each block prior to stitching.  WHY??  The center square is directional, so in order to eliminate matching more seams than necessary, the piecing alternates the location of the short strip, either on the top/bottom or the sides. For me, it was easier to keep track of that placement by chain stitching one row at a time.

It will do simple straight line quilting and probably a multi-color binding. There's really need to post another photo, but perhaps you'll enjoy seeing the top.
I-Spy  -   42.75" x 57"



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

THOUGHTFUL FRIENDS

Not only am I fortunate to have so many extraordinary girlfriends......they are thoughtful too!!!  When I learned what they planned for my upcoming birthday lunch.....I was grinning from ear to ear.
 A fellow Wisconsin pal knew of my passion for Culver's (a fast food restaurant based in Wisconsin BUT that is now expanding across the country).  I've blogged about my visits there many times.  

Sadly, the closest one for us is about 1.5 hrs. away.....but what the heck...a birthday celebration warrants the trip!  Here Arlene (a newbie to Culver's) is being guided by Lynn about what to order.  The server is......get this.....a gal who grew up about 10 mins. from our last residence in Brodhead, WI.  Small world!!
 I hope this won't be too boring for you....but here's an explanation of this restaurant's popularity.  Most folks love it for their famous 'butter burgers'.....I did tell you this is a Wisconsin based company!
 I thought I caught Lynn mid-bite, but it's mid-mouth at this point!
We thought Irene's unique onion ring needed to be put for sale on Ebay! 
I go right for the high calorie, little nutrition treat.  And when I say high calorie....I really mean it.  It's a 'concrete' (thick) custard.....and I order - all chocolate...not only custard but chocolate sauce as well, and double malt.  It's sooooo thick normally diners eat it with a spoon.  I prefer to pucker up and use a straw....it takes a LONG time to consume it.

My pals ate more sensibly so they had dessert too!  

Thank you dear friends for such a great day......

AND.....now is the time to say......GO BADGERS!!!  (Sat. night.....Wisconsin vs Kentucky).  Our secret weapon:  Sheboygan Sam -  the pride of my (and Lynn's)  home town.