Southern CA quilt run used to have 40 shops participate in the annual shop hop. It would take the full 2 weeks quickly hopping from shop to shop to finish. Now not so much. In 2012 or 2014, the theme was mysteries or something like that. Each area (there are 4) had a mystery quilt. Each shop gave a clue and when you completed an area you got the final instructions. You could also buy a kit to complete the clue. I think this was Area 2 and I didn’t get the final clue. I bought a kit at each shop and finally over the last several years worked through each kit until I had all the blocks made. At one retreat, my fellow retreaters helped me put it together as best as possible without the final clue or instructions. This is what we came up with. and finally this year I quilted and finished this up.
I’m working my way through my finished tops this year and hope to clear out that spot in my craft room!
My life has been a whirlwind recently and I’m finally forced to shut down. We got back from Florida last week and I’ve been on catch up mode for work and all my self-imposed tasks. In addition, I’ve been preparing for upcoming commitments. My mental and emotional state finally said enough with this and I’ve decided to back off those things that won’t matter too much. Like a guild workshop I’m supposed to attend today.
I can’t back off my garden! I’ve been spending evenings watering, picking, watching and it’s given me such solace over these hectic times of mine. There’s so much to do right now for it. As our temperatures rise I won’t be able to do much but there’s always planning for fall.
Above is my first pomegranate baby. One of my mom’s friends gave me this. From what I understand, she had this in a pot for 10 years and it hadn’t given fruit. She finally decided to let it go. I got it earlier this year and transplanted it to this planter. And now I have a baby fruit! I think it needed space to stretch its roots.
I’m using strawberries as my ground cover now and it’s a contest between me, pillbugs and whatever bugs right now. I’m able to pick 1-3 strawberries a day! I have a strawberry tower that I started last year and it’s doing fine. The patch I started earlier this year and I’ve slowly added strawberries to increase it’s space. It’s really slow because I’m busy with other stuff and can only do so much at a time. I’m hoping as it gets established I’ll be able to supply myself with as much strawberries I want! I’ll get a bunch of bare roots in the fall and plant more for next year.
I’ve also signed up for a permaculture course in the fall and I’m excited about that. There is stuff on YouTube but not a lot of urban permaculture which is what I want to focus on. I’ve also been taking classes at Theodore Payne which focuses on CA Natives so I’d like to incorporate that as well. I can see my life getting busier once that starts and my crafting time is what will suffer. Unfortunately, I still need to work and pay the bills. So I can’t spend less time on that front.
This quilt is finally finished. It’s been under several machines as for some reason I had it in my head to use different quilting motifs on each clam. That got old real fast and after several started repeating them.
I took a ruler work class at a local sewing machine shop in town and started quilting with the techniques I learned in that class. I also took a Mel Beach class and did some quilting on my domestic with some painters tape and creative placement. But in the end, it was taking way too long that I finally threw in the towel and repeated a few motifs in order to get this done.
I love choosing interesting backs with interesting designs. I couldn’t cut into this fabric for piecing unless I did some fussy cutting.
I used to do my labels on my embroidery machine and if I still did that, this quilt would still be waiting for a label and wouldn’t be done done done. I skip that and simply use fabric pens to write up my label. It’s simple and not as pretty as what I could do on the embroidery machine but I’m okay with it. I love the added detail of the crosses I hand embroidered.
I heard from my framer yesterday that my pieces were done so I ran over and picked them up.
Here is Mama’s Bukid – finished in March, 2020 right at the start of Covid. Thank goodness for this blog because if I relied on memory I would have thought I finished this a long time ago. And while it has been 2 years and for some that is a long time ago, my thoughts were more like 2018 not 2020. Anyway, I gave this to my mom that fall for her birthday unframed. My thought was that she would have it framed. But I know my mom would cheap out on a frame so I took it back in 2021 with the intention of framing it. I didn’t get to that task until last month. I chose a really good quality plexiglass because with real glass it would be really heavy. We didn’t want it to be heavy. And by really good, it is supposed to prevent 80% of UV rays from getting to the piece. There is museum quality glass (plexi?) that would prevent 100% but that would cause the price to skyrocket and while I think my piece is awesome, I don’t think it’s that awesome. 🙂
I’m sorry for the picture quality but the reflection of the light cannot be helped at this point. You’ll find better pictures on it’s personal page when it was not framed. Anyway, this is a finish and for that I’m thrilled. Can I count it as a finish for 2022 even though I counted it in 2020 as well? I will because I’m the boss of my blog. 🙂
I do plan to put a label on the back. While I’ve been very good at putting labels on my quilts, I’ve not labeled any of my cross stitch pieces and I’m planning to be better on that end going forward.
The picture really is bad here and I apologize. I was gifted on 2 occasions a number of UFOs from recently deceased crafters needlepoint projects. This one, while not complete, was practically finished. And without the pattern I could not do more unless I did more research. And with my own projects who has the time for that? I decided it was good enough and had it framed. I plan to give this to my mom who is bemoaning all her empty wall spaces that I am happy to fill. I will also put a label on the back with the stitcher’s name.
I always loved gardening but prior to 2020 we rented and moved often -every 1-4 years. So after several attempts early on I gave up on gardening. But since moving into our forever home I felt confident to try again. While I love the tomatoes and seasonal veggies, I want to have long term, semi permanent plants. So over the last year and a half I planted fruit trees and berries. Not pictured are some CA natives that I’m trying to add into the mix. The backyard will house my edible plants while the front yard will have non edibles but also hopefully pollinator attracting plants.
Behind each fruit tree are 30 gallon grow bags with blueberries. 3 are a year old while the 4th is new this year. In SoCal we have to be careful and get varieties that have low chill hours so that we can have a successful harvest. Mine are still new but I have high hopes!
I’d never sent a quilt to be long armed before and I’m thrilled with the result and experience. I started this quilt at a class with Linda Ballard at PIQF in 2013. Linda is speaking at my guild this month and I wanted this to be done in time so I gave it to one of our local long armers. It was fabulous. I won’t be doing it often but now that I’ve done it I feel comfortable doing it again.
This is my first needlepoint project. I attended my first needlepoint workshop Halloween weekend 2021 in Las Vegas with Margaret Bendig. I was told she would be an excellent teacher for my first project ever. And she was wonderful. She explained everything and came around checking on all of us students and made sure me and the other newbie in the class were understanding what we were supposed to be doing. The problem, I found, (and it’s a totally me issue), that my lines above are off. Reading needlepoint is a little different than reading cross stitch. It’s hard to explain. I’ll have to try to one day but suffice it to say I read the pattern wrong and my lines are all off above. So, I’m working my way from left to right to make sure those from left to right are correct. Then I’ll work my way down. Each of those blocks correspond to a number on the pattern and the blocks from left to right do not go in numerical order. So I have to figure out what number it is and then go to the appropriate page in the pattern (there’s over 30 pages) to determine what I’m doing. So far, I’ve been working on things that we learned in class.
In class, the instructor can’t go through everything. She started us off, and then went over the blocks that were different than “normal” stuff. So Margaret went over techniques that may be new for the average class attendee. Since it was all new, my brain exploded and I just kept going on what I knew. Also my lines were off and I didn’t want to jump to a different block and potentially put the stitches in the wrong place. During class I kept going with what I was doing. I tried to pay attention but I’m sure I didn’t catch nearly enough to get me started. Margaret was so nice and friendly. She told me to get in touch with her if I have any questions. Which really pleases me since I am positive I will need help.
I went to a cross stitch retreat last fall and was invited to a workshop with Needlepoint designer and instructor Margaret Bendig.
Here’s what I’ve done.
I’m just getting into needlepoint and this is my 2nd project. I’ll show the other one on a different post. That one is not done either. I’m loving how this is coming out and I’m learning a lot. As with all the crafts I enjoy doing, there just isn’t enough time. So I just do what I can every day.
I’m still quilting but I just forget to post them. And my weekly lists and to do’s and monthly goals – gone to the wayside. I’m just doing what’s next on each project when I get to them.
I know it’s already February but here is a snapshot of all my finishes from 2021.
It’s so easy for me to forget about my finishes. I remember all my WIPS and projects that I work on and I’m sad that about that. But when I see all my finishes I am happy with what I was able to accomplish.
I have plenty of tops to quilt through and I hope to get all of them quilted in 2022. 🙂