Category Archives: Uncategorized

Getting ready for BFSI

I’m writing this in advance because I know the week of Thanksgiving is going to be busy and I want to continue posting on a weekly basis. Knowing that and if everything goes as planned, here’s what I imagine posting on Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

BFSI stands for Black Friday Sew In. Back in the day, we used to do #BFSI on Twitter. I’m wondering if anyone plans on doing anything this year… I’m not on Twitter as much but once in a while I’ll jump on and see all the missed notifications and comments. My blog links to my twitter page so any blog posts get tweeted automatically but I don’t get notified of any comments or likes until I log in, which I don’t do much. It’s always fun to see who comments and such. There are usually 2 or 3 of the folks still on and I try to respond when I see it.

The Quilter Twitter community became the Twilters and then a group was created on Facebook. I jump in once in awhile to see what’s going on and sometimes I even comment. A few months ago I tried cutting back on my Facebook/Instagram addiction and it worked until the week of the elections. I was on there so much that week. I’m slowly weaning myself off again.

For Thanksgiving this year, the hubby, baby boy, and I drove up last Friday evening. My mom’s birthday was 11/22 (Sunday) and all she wanted was help to clean her garage. So we trekked up North despite Covid and all the risks (I know!). Baby girl joined us later via direct flight from Boston to SFO. She’ll be staying with us until the start of next semester taking her remaining classes online. And we got the garage cleaned. Yay! We decided not to stay through Thanksgiving to avoid the traffic. Who knows if there will be traffic this year but we didn’t want to risk it.

Truthfully, we I wanted to be with my sewing machine and my stash on Friday – #BFSI. As always, I look forward to Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt each year. I don’t always get them done or even started, but I am excited to work on this one. Here are her links…

Bonnie’s Blog

Bonnie’s Website

Grassy Creek Tab

You can see all the details of the mystery quilt under the Grassy Creek link. But the Blog and Website will provide more info on her, what she does and her shop. I can’t imagine not knowing about Bonnie, especially if you read blogs and have been online for years. But I run into quilters in my day to day life who don’t know her so, check her links out if this is the first time you’ve heard of her.

I recently looked at the first mystery quilt I did and it was Easy Street from 2012. I heard of Bonnie through Katie’s Quilting Corner which was one of my favorite podcasts. She no longer podcasts but maybe she still has the old episodes up. I haven’t looked. I’m doing the mystery this year because I enjoy the community around this mystery quilt. This year, most especially, I miss the community around quilting and such. My quilt guild and my quilty friends have helped a lot with our Sunday Zoom days and our mini group meetings twice a month (on Zoom, of course).

Anyway, apparently it’s not enough and I need the online quilting community too. For blogs, we post a picture on Mondays and link to her linky. On Facebook, there’s a friendly group that shares all they are doing on the mystery quilt. For Instagram, we find each other with different hashtags. Usually something like #bonniehuntermysteryquilt2020 or #grassycreekmysteryquilt. This is what I plan to be doing on Black Friday! 🙂

~ Keep on Quilting

Melanie

Update on my current socks

Geeky Girls Knit 5th podiversary Current Status 11/17/2020

I’ve not been very good taking progress pictures and posting them anywhere, here Instagram, Facebook… So here you are. It’s been about 2.5 months since I started which is a really long time for me. Mentally, I’m already done with the project.

What you can’t see in the picture is that the heel is already done and I’m working on the leg. I realized that I can finish this now because I’m not one for a long leg and in fact, really like shorties instead. So, I’m finishing up the pattern and will start on the cuff shortly. I think I’ve got 4 rows or so left in the patter. I am very close to a finish.

You might be able to tell some weirdness in the toe area. The original pattern has you purling and purling and purling but after a weekend of purling the toes my hand/thumb/wrist were in so much pain I couldn’t knit for 2 weeks. I decided to turn the toes inside out and just purl where I needed to in the front to keep the pattern but then knit the back side.

~ Knit on my friends

Melanie

Apple Pie

I forgot to show off the lovely Apple Pie my friend made with the fresh picked apples. Because she was smart and mixed the tart and sweet apples, it was delicious. My family and I couldn’t finish all of this. We tried but only ate half of it. The rest, we cut into 2 quarters and put one quarter in the freezer while the 2nd quarter sits in the fridge for us to snack on.

Oak Glen, CA – Apple Picking

B

Before the end of Apple Picking season, a couple of friends and I went off to Oak Glen, CA to pick some apples. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

I would go every year but sometimes life gets in the way.

We got Winesap, Arkansas Black, Pippens, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious. I found that of these, I really enjoyed the Winesap. Arkansas Black was also very good but Winesap was the best.

I also learned that the sweeter apples ripen earlier in the season around August/September while the more tart apples are later. My friends and I made a note to try coming in August. It tends to be very hot around here at that time, so it’s not usually top of mind to go apple picking in August.
With the apples, I made Apple Sauce with my new Instant Pot. It was delicious but not sweet enough. I’m currently eating a spoonful at a time with my morning Oatmeal. I plan to make more this weekend but mix more sweeter apples with the tart apples to help with the sweetness.

Alex Anderson speaks

Are you a fan of Alex Anderson? The Alex from the Quilt Show?

My guild is lucky enough to host her via zoom this coming 11/9/2020 (next week!) at 7pm Pacific. For non guild members registration is $10. You can register here. But I’ve got a secret. Over the next several months (excluding December) we will be hosting several renowned speakers. I can’t say who yet… The meetings are free for guild members. The annual membership dues is $60 (which includes $20 raffle tickets for the opportunity quilt). Really the dues are $40 and $20 for raffle tickets. I know it’s a little up in the air because I can’t spill the beans on the speakers and you might be able to attend the other speakers as a non member. But, non members might not be allowed for other speakers. Our speaker in October was Jan Krentz (another great speaker) but she limited attendees to our guild and two other local guilds. That is her right to do. I’m just letting you – my friends and readers know- that that is always a possibility. Anyway, if you have the ability and you want to take part in our special series by becoming a member email me at melaniesquilting@gmail.com. If that is not your cup of tea feel free to register for Alex’ event. Here’s the link again. I’m super excited!

We’ve all been sheltering in place for months and while we’ve been able to meet monthly as a guild, and zoom every Sunday, we’re just starting to explore the opportunities of having national and international speakers. I’m proud to say, we have a handful of master quilters in our membership and they have friends who are open to speaking and possibly doing a workshop.

Workshops are definitely first come first serve to members only and we cap it at a certain number (that number changes according to the speaker) so the workshops may or may not be available to non-members. I can’t say whether or not Alex will be doing a workshop… TBH I can’t remember. But, I can tell you Alex does not really speak at guilds anymore and this is a special treat that she is doing for us because she is friends with one of our special members. We are so lucky! and I’m sharing this with you.

If you want to know other perks to join the guild, here you are:

  • Sunday virtual quilt bee
  • zoom sessions with Mini groups
  • Tickets to win the Opportunity Quilt
  • We have a quilt show in odd years for members to display their quilts but that’s been cancelled for 2021. And is probably not doable unless you were a bit local to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.
  • get to know my winning personality more so than this blog. 🙂 (maybe this is not the official perk but something you may enjoy nonetheless)

We are working on updating our website so if you look us up, you’ll get an outdated site – sfvqa.net – This site will be updated soon as the committee in charge of that is finishing up the final details.

Hope you can join us! If you do join, comment below so I can say hi!

~ Melanie

Descanso Gardens

Last week, we were able to spend a couple of hours at Descanso Gardens walking the grounds. I didn’t take nearly enough pictures but that’s okay. It was my first time going. When I moved to LA 25 years ago, Descanso Gardens was one of those places that was on my bucket list. It’s not a tourist spot, I don’t think, so it wasn’t high on my list but it was one of those things. Kind of like Huntington Beach Library. Where I want to go, but for whatever reason, I never go because I could always go anytime. So, I just never went.

With the Pandemic, it seemed the perfect opportunity to check this place out. It’s outside, masks are mandatory, limited capacity. We went on a weekday to ensure even smaller crowds. I enjoyed myself. It was about a 20 minute drive from my house and they have nice paths to walk through. We didn’t see everything so now I want to go back. It’s a $15/visit entrance fee. To become a member, it’s $75/year, which means I would need to go at least 5 times a year to make it worth the membership fee. I don’t know if I’ll actually go 5 times. I know I want to go… but want to do and actually do are two different things that do not always happen. Oh well, this is how I get stuck. I want to do the annual membership because then I’ll be encouraged to go BUT it’s $75 and I don’t want to spend that right now. So then I’ll waffle back and forth and never end up going back. I’m taking control of this now and I’m deciding NOT to do the annual membership. But I will plan a day next month to go and I’ll put something on the schedule for the next 6 months. If I go, then I’ll become a member. 🙂

I’ll tell you how it goes.

Melanie

A special gifts and finds

Over the weekend, hubby found all the fabric and yarn bins that accidentally got put into the garage and I’ve been putting things away. Nothing is organized but that’s ok for now.

In one bin I found a few items I’d been looking for at the old house. For new readers, I lived in one place 2015-2019 and then had to move out for reasons not worth going into. We moved to another place for about a year (Aug 2019 – Oct 2020). Well apparently this bin got tucked away at the last garage and was never unpacked. Until now!

buttons for a quilt I’m hand quilting. and all the special floss and quilting thread and extra fabric I’d tucked away into the bin.
project bin of my finished blocks for my wool applique quilt

And my light box that I forgot to take a picture of.

I had gotten to a point on these projects where I needed these items in order to move forward and it’s been months since I last worked on them. I’m really happy to have found them. It actually forced me to start working on my old Hawaiian block that I’d been hand applique’ing since 2013 or so.

On Sunday, my quilt guild friends were on our Sunday zoom and I used to the time to put things away. During the move I got some hand me downs from some fellow crafty friends. I love all kinds of tins and use them for various things… stitch markers, project keepers, needles, etc etc. So I got a bunch of tins and in the bag I found these:

Aren’t these just awesome!

I got a bunch of books and knitting patterns from another friend and I kept a lot but still passed a few things as well as a quilting ruler that I had a duplicate of to a fellow knitter and friend who wants to learn to quilt.

This item was in a bag full of needlepoint and bobbin lace supplies. I had no idea what these were and showed it to the zoomies. They told me that they were used back in the day to pull shades and things. Well, I’ve been having trouble with this particular ceiling fan. I couldn’t reach it to turn it on and off. So I attached the pull and ta da!

Now I no longer need to call the hubby or the boy to turn it on or off for me.

Lovely…

Happy Tuesday Friends!

Melanie

Birthday thoughts and self awareness

Today is my birthday.

We bought a house and we are finally moved in.  Everything is still in boxes around me.

It’s been difficult the last few months. I’m not going to lie.

But I don’t want to be a downer so I’m not going to go into it.

My family and I are healthy. We have a place to live, food on the table. My company still has income (reduced, yes, but it’s steady). So there is a lot to be grateful for.

As I unpack I want to get rid of stuff.

I want to finish projects – quilting, knitting, cross stitch.

I don’t want to just finish, I want to expand my craft to do things that I’m inspired to do. It’s hard to explain. I enjoy my crafting. I find it meditative. I find it exhilarating when I’m learning a new technique. Or even when something goes right the way it’s supposed to. It’s so satisfying.  But at the same time, I feel like I’ve locked myself in a box to finish the stuff before I can start the stuff. I go back and forth on this all the time. If I have too many projects I get overwhelmed and I go a little insane. And yet, I feel like I have to start things when I’m inspired to start and in the last few years I’ve been pushing that impulse away so I can minimize the amount of projects I have. So I don’t go a little insane.  I don’t know. This goes around and around in my head when I think about what I want to do.

I do want to learn bobbin lace. And I still want to sew garments. And I want to garden. So much I want to do and there’s just not enough time. ugh!

These are my thoughts… as the year ends, I’m preparing for my 2021 goals. I’ll keep rehashing it until I figure out what I want to do. I used to do the Sunday Stash report and I just stopped. I don’t remember why now. For a long time the numbers stayed the same. And I think I was going to report when something changed, but then I didn’t and then I just started adding fabric. I may start doing that post again. It helped to keep my numbers honest. And I was a little more mindful of when I added fabric in.

My favorite podcasts

Here are my favorite audio podcasts and YouTube channels. These are not the only ones I watch or listen to but this is what I am loving right now as I craft.

Audio:

Off Kilter Quilts

Hip To Be A Square

My Creative Corner 3

Simple Handmade Everyday

 

YouTube Channels:

Off The Grid Needlearts

Epic Gardening and Epic Urban Homestead

The Fat Squirrel Speaks

The Dawn of Vanlife

 

 

 

Sewing Room …

We needed a break from moving. The old house is mostly empty. There are a handful of items that can go in a single car load. And that’s it. All we have to do is clean and patch anything up. But we were so tired that we decided to take a break from that today. Instead, I connected all the computers my team and I will need tomorrow for work. I also unpacked and got my sewing room in some kind of order.

I discovered while unpacking that the movers (cuz my hubby would never do this) put some of my fabric and yarn bins in the garage. I was a bit upset. Ok a lot upset but there was nothing that could be done. The bins are all the way in the back corner of the garage with a whole lot of boxes around it.

After I got what I got done I realized in hindsight that it was probably a good thing the bins were in the garage. It probably would have overwhelmed me. I currently have no place for whatever is in the garage but I have space in the moddle of the room. I am thinking of making a pressing board for that area and putting more fabric underneath. Nothing will happen soon but I’m playing with my ideas. I’ve never had a sewing room like this before and Immsioer excited. I really want to start quilting now but it’s late and I got to go to bed.

~happy Sunday

Melanie