Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quilts and Wearable Art in Watsonville

Off to Watsonville this morning, for the Pajaro Valley Quilt Guild's show!

The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds are charming. I'm sure there is a story behind the house and tower that greet you at the entrance, but I don't know it. Yet.

Please be kind about the rather wonky order my pictures have been uploaded in. I don't (yet) know how to rearrange them in this app.

So here's the view from our hotel room.

See the church on the hill? We wondered if it was this one...and it is.

Holy Cross Catholic Church. The more modern version of Mission Santa Cruz.

The joke's-on-me story from the last time I was here is that I spent quite a bit of time trying to find a listing for the mission, and we finally settled for Holy Cross. Dawned on me, when we drove up to the church and saw the little mission on the grounds, that Holy Cross = Santa Cruz.


The other view out of our window. That's Highway 1 over there.

Back to the Fairgrounds. Here's the little tower again. Did I mention it was a perfectly gorgeous day?

Sadly, the show's guidelines on photographing the quilts and garments was pretty explicit about not posting anything to a blog or other public media without explicit permission from the artist. So you will have to take my word for it that the quilts were lovely, the vendors friendly, and the fashion show was delightful! Well, with Rachel Clark in charge and narrating, how else could it be?

You did not see this picture here. But isn't it a great idea for using up scraps of Civil War repro fabrics?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, February 22, 2013

On The Road Again!

Ready or we come! Here's our packing ready to go!

We stopped at the Apple Farm for lunch and saw some pretties.

Tonight we are relaxing at the hotel in Santa Cruz, with a glass of wine apiece and our iPads. This is my first blog post from the Wonder Tablet!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ready or Not!

Spent a good part of today getting ready for my class at Asilomar with Judy Niemeyer

Lots of cutting to do. You may h ave seen in a previous post where I was cutting paper dolls foundation papers. Well, today it was the templates and the fabrics to go with them.

Lots and lots of decisions to make, and I kept changing my mind about what colors would go best where.

In the end, I finally decided to just go for it, and hope for the best.

I mean, all my fabrics are gorgeous batiks, so what could possibly go wrong?

Famous last words, right!

Oh well. My reds are really bright, my greens are really dark, and my lights--well, my lights are all over the place.

Some of them are pretty dark, others are very light. In one instance, I even subbed in a pale green instead of a cream color.

It's all experimental, till the sewing starts and then I can see what it will all really look like.

I'm excited to try this. I've had a really poor track record with traditional paper piecing, and this method is as traditional as it gets.

But I've had my freakouts and meltdowns and spells of tearing out my hair, and now I have seven bags full of neatly cut and labeled and clippied pieces, just as the instructions told me to do.

Look how neat this all looks:

And there's even a pretty good picture of the pattern envelope there to give you an idea of the pattern.

You can see all the details here.

And now for something completely different.

I put away the Valentine's Day decorations, and decided while I was at it to give the living room a little more springtime feel.

So there are some different, bright quilts on t he sofa and love seat, and some bright cheery pillows and even a new lime-green throw.

It has ruffles. It was on sale at Target. It's a very fine gauge knit and it's sooo soft. Perfect for curling up with a book on a chilly spring evening.

Not that spring is really going to be springing here soon, but I do have my first daffodil blooming, and there are some little green sprouts all over the place.

Lastly, here's a little quilty eye candy for you!

Reminds me of those valentine candy hearts!

This is one that Anne made for a friend to give to a new baby girl.

Had to do a close-up of the border fabric, which is also on the back. The binding is a pale peachy-pink that exactly matches some of the hearts on the border/back.

Stay tuned for  the next chapter in what is going to be Louise and Marie's Great Adventure (in Paper Piecing).

Here's hoping that I can blog from the iPad. I have installed the app for that, so this will be my "test."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Family Fun Times

Meighan, Caitlin, Jeffrey, Courtney
The birthday girl takes a swing
This post might just as well have been titled "Scenes from a Birthday Party" since that was nominally what was going on.

Worked in with a little semi-impromptu family reunion. It's been a while since Jeff has been caught hanging out with three of his sisters.

So they made the most of it. Sadly, for some reason my camera was not taking good pictures--I may have dropped it on its head once too often, or something.

Maybe frosting on the lens? Anyway, here's a little sampling of what went on at the party.

Abby wanted a butterfly party. Since her mom is a butterfly lover, that wasn't a  hard sell at all.

Butterfly pinata. Not easy to crack it open with a foam bat. Each of the four kids got a couple of turns swinging at it, and as expected, Slugger G was the one who brought it down.

There were butterflies on the birthday cake, too.

Cousin N8 wanted to be sure everything was perfect for his little cousin.
Butterfly cake!

That's a rather suspicious look to be giving your favorite Memere, N8!

Paparazzi everywhere. Yes, some of t hem had put their cameras down for a minute--but there was a lot of snapping going on.

And I seem to have a thing for taking pictures of people taking pictures. Too good an opportunity to pass up!

Uncle Jeff helped Abby put together her new Lego set. Cinderella and  her carriage, in case you wondered. Lego has figured out that little girls like to play with blocks and bricks, too.

And Uncle Jeff is the Original Lego Fanatic in the family. He passed his love of Lego along to his son John, who's been spotted (and photographed) helping his cousin G build Lego sets.

Audrey got into the act with the Legos too. One nice thing about these little sisters is that they have little concept of "mine." Even if it's Abby's birthday party, her sister is free to share and play, and vice versa.

They can almost even share clothes, although Audrey has gotten so tall and slim that Abby's things don't quite work on her.

That hooded person is not the Grey Monk, nor any other sinister character. That's my oldest grandson, who was doing his best to be social in his own inimitable way.

The pretty girls in the next picture are Audrey and Casey.

All the girls and boys were having fun. I wound up with a total of 69 pictures for the day.

These are the best of them.

I think tomorrow is going to involve some work with the camera to make sure it's all right.

I'll close with  this cute picture of Jeff and G--

there's just something about electronics that's so fascinating. A new or different game--or even the old standby Angry Birds--can get a ball of energy to calm down for a little while.

I did manage to come  home and spend a little time with the templates and foundation papers and purple post-its, but I was too tired to concentrate.

Tomorrow is another day. Today was spent doing some redecorating (Valentine's Day is taken down for another year), moving recyclables to a new spot, and meeting up with my friend Amy, who's in town for work. We met at New Moon with another quilter/knitter friend, Lisa, then went next door for coffee and soup and good bread and chat. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Getting Our Kicks on Route 66

Continuing the saga of what I'm beginning to think of as Jeff And Marcia's Big Adventure--met up at Flappy Jack's in Glendora, along Route 66. Yes, that Route 66. The one I drove out to California on mumbledy-mumble years ago...

But that's another story!

So here's Big G deciding on his breakfast--of course, he already knew what he wanted.

Pancakes, eggs, bacon...lots of ketchup.

Plus a little help from Dad getting that big ol' pancake cut up!

   When you get three camera-shy people in one picture, it definitely is "one for the books."  Jeffrey (aka #2 Son) always wears his Red Sox shirts when he comes out here, because he has to "represent" for the team.

We do have a good bunch of Red Sox fans in the family. It's not too much of a stretch for the Dodger fanatics (like, for instance, the G-man!) to also root for the Sox, since they're in different leagues.

And of course when the Sox are playing the Angels, it's a perfect excuse to go down to Angel Stadium for a night of impartial cheering. Personally, I like it when it doesn't matter to me which team wins... I know, I'm a pretty disgraceful fan. Oh well, I can live iwth it!

After all, I grew up cheering for the Aldenville A's, my dad's 4-A team, which actually won the national championship one year--they went to nationals three or four times. Good team!

An uncle and his nephews. This gives  you a good idea of the size difference between the boys--they are less than 2 years apart in age! (N8 has just turned 5, and G will be 7 at the end of May.)

They are playing on the same "Shetland" league team this year. Should be a fun year of cheering for this memere. G has played T-ball for the last 2 years, but N8 is a complete rookie.

The morning wound up with a session in the boys' back yard, with Dad and Uncle Jeff pitching to them. G is an  impressive hitter--his coach is impressed, anyway, and he hits lots of "home runs" over the fence at  home. The sad part of that is that the neighbor on the other side of the fence is the kind of grinch who won't return balls that land in his yard--he puts them in his trash.  We had a similar grinchy neighbor when we lived on the cul-de-sac: he wouldn't allow the kids to step on his lawn to retrieve a ball.

So I would generally do it. He would glare at me, but I could glare back too. He had a poor little tree in his front yard that was trimmed down to 8 branches, and he'd shake it in the fall to make all the leaves fall off. I caught him more than once trimming the tree in my yard that hung over our fence--at 10 pm ot night!!

Anyway, this was my breakfast today: lemon blueberry pancakes. So yummy! And no, I wasn't able to finish them all, and I never used any of that syrup.

We won't discuss that whipped "cream."

Tonight I worked a bit on getting ready for my upcoming seminar at Asilomar. First step, clear the decks and get organized.

Cutting mat and tools--check.
Baggies for the foundation papers and templates--check
Okay... time to start! At least I got my foundations and templates cut and put into their respective baggies. Then I got out the purple post-its (if it's srs bsns it needs purple post-its!) and figured out what colors would go where, and labeled them all accordingly.

Cutting is for another day.

I'll leave you with this one last image. It's one of the flannels I'm going to be cutting into squares for ragg quilts. Check the copyright date on that pattern.
Yeah. 2005. Now, I'm sure I bought it after that date--in fact, I can almost say for sure it was 2008--but still.
The ragg quilt project has been put on the back burner. Right now, I'm going to concentrate on getting ready for Asilomar, and finishing up some of the binding projects and doing a little knitting too. I'd love to get Debby's ragg quilt snipped and washed and off to her this week.

We'll see how well that goes. Tomorrow is another stage in Jeff And Marcia's Big Adventure--an afternoon with the whole SoCal crew!