Category Archives: Uncategorized

PNW College trip, day 2

We headed out Sunday morning a little later than we wanted. But after a day with family and eating, I was okay with it before getting in a car for a long drive. Our goal was Eugene, OR to see University of Oregon.

The furthest north we’ve gone together was Redding, CA and there was a burger place we discovered. I found it and we enjoyed ourselves for lunch.

The drive went on and on. California is really big. But we finally made it into Oregon

Oregon has a lot of trees and small communities from what we could see off the freeway.

I found it very beautiful. I would love to come through and enjoy the campgrounds and trails at a more leisurely pace.

We had dinner at Bao Bao House really close to our hotel. We had watched the Disney short, ‘Bao’ on Disney+ the day before and we were in the mood. The food was exceptional. The flavor explodes in your mouth with every bite.

It was about 8:30pm when we drove into Eugene so we found ourselves a hotel along the river and decided to save the college for day 3.

Melanie.

College Trip with youngest, day one

My youngest is a junior in high school and with Covid we’ve not been able to do the things we did with my daughter. So we packed up the car and headed up to the PNW (Pacific North West). But first we took a pit stop in the Bay Area to wish my mom a happy 70th.

She would not appreciate a picture of her here so instead you get a cutie picture of my niece and my doggie.

It was nice being with family again.

This was yesterday. And today we are getting ready to head up to Portland.

🥰

Melanie

This orange quilt

Finally Finished
Back of the quilt

I finally finished this quilt.

As a reminder, I didn’t make the top. I bought it at a guild treasure hunt many years ago. Someone gave the top away. I thought it was a great way to practice my FMQ. I do not make a lot of quilts each year because life is busy and I enjoy the process. This particular year I was very much into FMQ and I was intent on practicing my FMQ. Practicing on a quilt top I purchased seemed like a great idea. I think I bought it for $5. I can’t remember. But I thought it was cute and now I have a quilt ready to gift if I need a gift. Well, many years later and it was still sitting in my bag of quilt tops.

This was the year that I put it in my queue to quilt. It was quilted with my Bernina Q20 (sit down long arm).

I pieced the back and I used fabric from my stash. The only thing I couldn’t find in my stash was a good binding fabric. I decided I wanted an orange to match the darkest orange in the top and I didn’t have anything in my stash. So at the last anniversary sale from my LQS (the one just a few weeks ago), I purchased this fabric.

I’m really happy with it.

And now it is finished. And I took a picture and posted it so it’s not just finished, it’s finished Finished FINISHED!

Happy celebratory dance all the way around.

I tried hard to get this done in time for Sunday Stash but I didn’t so it will be in next week’s post.

~Happy quilting!

Melanie

This cushion class, Tuesday night update

Monday was supposed to be a night at Mindy’s putting together her new-to-her frame and long arm. But after exerting ourselves Saturday to disassemble and then on Sunday at our cushion class, she didn’t have time to get the new home of the long arm cleaned. So we decided to hold off until that was done. Instead I worked real hard on my cushion class..

Becky McDaniel Cushion Class Star of Jasmine step 1 3/14/2021

I got all the blocks done Sunday evening and lost one of the blocks. I found it Monday underneath one of those other blocks. And I was able to finish putting this little top together.

Becky McDaniel Cushion Class Star of Jasmine step 1 3/15/2021

It took all of my sewing time Monday evening to put all these blocks together. I couldn’t believe how long it took. Isn’t that always the case?

Becky McDaniel Cushion Class Flying Geese step 2 3/16/2021

Tuesday evening (tonight), I started on Step 2 – Flying Geese. I was able to get 2 of the 4 geeses sewn down.

Here’s what they will grow up to be:

Becky McDaniel Cushion Class Flying Geese step 2 3/16/2021

You may think I’m speeding through and that I’ll have it all done by the next class. But, once the geese are done, I need to do a pineapple block little top. Then, I’ll need to sandwich all 3 pieces (separately), machine quilt them, then do some decorative hand quilting. So you see why I’m a bit stressed to get this all done. I hope to finish geese tomorrow night. Thursday is knit night so no quilting then. And then Friday night start on the Pineapple block. Depending on how long it takes to do one block, I may just do that one and have background fabric all around it. Or continue to do all 4 pineapple blocks. I don’t know. I’ll need to sandwich everything and do the machine quilting, and decorative hand quilting all next week.

Happy Crafting!

Melanie

Moo Creamery in Bakersfield, CA

A couple of months ago, the hubby and I and some friends trekked ourselves up to Fresno to check out the Blooming Trail. I’ll talk about that experience another time. But on the way up, we stopped at Moo Creamer in Bakersfieldm CA for lunch.

My friends and I found this spot while on a quilt retreat in 2019 (before all hell broke loose and all our retreats got cancelled) and we’d been dying to go back since.

The food was excellent and it was nice to know that it wasn’t just a fond memory and wonderful quilty weekend that made us feel like it was a great place to eat. It actually was a geat food experience. It was a little uncomfortable because their mask adherence and social distancing standards were not the same as in LA so we were a little uncomfortable. (they had indoor dining). We chose to sit outside in the far corner with about 6′ to the closest person. Thankfully our waiters were somewhat compliant with the mask wearing. Most of the patrons were not wearing masks and I felt like an outsider.

On to the food.

Moo Creamery French Toast

Hubby got French toast with honey butter (extra) and a side of eggs. The French toast was so very good. If we were not in public, the hubby would have done his happy food dance.

Moo Creamery Sticky Toffee Pudding

I got a couple of dessert stuff. I wasn’t hungry for lunch as I had a late heavy breakfast. I’m not so attached to Moo Creamery’s regular food (lunch dinner breakfast) – Don’t get me wrong, it’s good. It’s just not worth the calories, the money, and the room it takes in my tummy. Espeially when I can fill my tummy with desserts. So I got the sticky toffee pudding and the affogato.

was very similar and also very good. it had the same bread used on the french toast with pecans cinimmaon whip cream

Moo Creamery Affogato

affogato was our top choice our first time coming and it was

as good as expected. a definite pleasing sensation.

Moo Creamery Spicy Garlic Fries

spicy garlic fries – was also good but I could have done with out it. i can’t eat spicy so …

2021 Crafty Plans, February Update

February is almost over and I’m finally getting to my crafty plan update. I went into extensive detail on my plans here, for quilty here, for knitty here, and for cross stitch here.

Here’s the short list:

Quilts –

  • Jan Krentz – Diamond Star
  • Bonnie Hunter – Grassy Creek – this is the only project I’ve made any progress on and I’m on clue 4. See here for the most recent post.
  • Scrappy Stars Around the Corner
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Radiant Jewel
  • Gardenvale
  • Allietare
  • Civil War Diary Quilt

Hand work

  • Hawaiian block – finished top. At the moment, it’s hanging around where I can enjoy it. I think it will be a pillow but for now I’m letting it sit while I contemplate what I want it to be.
  • Raining Cats and Dogs – I work on this every week but it’s a slow slow process. I’m stitching the buttons on and doing some laborious hand quilting. This is going to take forever.
  • Rainbow Garden – I’ve not touched this in about a year.
  • Simple Days BOM – I started this and you can see my update here.
  • Halloween quilt – I’ve not touched this in many years. 🙂

Handwork was not on my crafty list at all but it seems that is what I’m drawn to at the moment. We have to go where the creativity takes us. 🙂

Knitting

  • My Weasley Sweater – my Q1 goal was to knit the back and I finished that. So I’ve set this aside until Q2.
  • 24 days of Christmas Shawl from Jimmy Bean – finished! I’m working on weaving the ends.
  • Water Lily
  • Beanie for Kayla
  • Tranquil Mist
  • Orient Express
  • Blue Hat

Cross Stitching

  • Gamer Nouveau – I’ve worked on this almost exclusively and I’ll need to provide you with a more current update. I worked on it so much I have no urge to stitch on this at all. But I’m so close to a page and row finish that I’m feeling like I may just keep going until I do.
  • A Stitch In Time
  • Shades of Red
  • Autumn Owls – a bit of work on this. Not enough to see much of a difference
  • Titania
  • Tsuru kame – a couple hundred stitches put on this one. Again, just not enough to actually see change. 🙂
  • Unicorn

And I realize that I didn’t even mention my to be quilted list… here.

  • Staycation is done… practically. The binding has been sewn on by machine but I’m working on applique’ing the label. My goal is to get that finished before we head out of town on Friday.
  • Good Fortune
  • Glam Clam
  • SoCal Quilt Run Area 4 Mystery Quilt from 2012
  • SoCal Quilt Run Area 4 Mystery Quilt from 2012
  • Provence
  • saved top from the august treasure hunt some years ago

I hope this isn’t so boring for you as it’s simply a short (but very long) list to quickly refer to everything I’m working on.

Happy Crafting!

Melanie

Mask making in my house

Last Sunday I posted that I really don’t enjoy making masks. Early on I tried a bunch of different kinds. I can’t tell you what they were called but some had 4 different templates to cut out and took forever just to make 1 mask. I don’t have a lot of crafting time and I was very against using my little bit of precious time doing something I didn’t enjoy doing. Later on I saw this mask tutorial on Facebook and while not perfect was much quicker to make than others. And my daughter likes this mask than any of the other masks I made. My husband will use what I make him as long as he could find them. But he really likes the ones that we got for free from various places. My son doesn’t like the ones I make and that’s why I don’t make him much of anything. He doesn’t mean to be mean. He’s a teenage boy. Enough said.

My daughter is leaving for Boston in a few days so I spent the last few days making masks for her. It’s been several months since I made the last set and I had forgotten some of the tips and tricks that I knew when I was making masks more regularly. I decided to make this post so I had a place to look and remind myself when next I make masks.

I bought some of these fabrics for my nieces and nephews and my daughter will get to enjoy some of them even though she’s 19! But her mask recipe is… 11″ x 6.3″ rectangles. If you looked at the tutorial you would know what these mean. The diagonal she prefers, and actually fits me and my son is 2″ down and 2.75″ at the top (from right to left). Here’s where I have to be careful, the crease in the middle, needs to be .5-.75″ from the center. The tutorial is .75″ but I feel that makes too big of a crease. The .5 might be a bit small so somewhere between would be just right. For my daughter, if I do a quarter inch seam for the top and the bottom, it’s a perfect fit. But I feel like it’s too bulky with all the fabric. I like to sew an eighth inch seam as that helps reduce the bulk inside. But the problem is that the end result makes a slightly bigger mask. It tends to cover her eyes. So, I need to do the quarter inch seam despite the bulk. If I am making it for me I want to do something between the quarter and the 8th inch. If I am making it for my son, the 8th inch seam seems to be fine.

The next issue is the elastic. My daughter likes the elastic at 6.5″ for each ear. This works for me too. This is too small for my son and I really need to figure out how long it needs to be for him. I will get a chance to figure it out since I will need to make my son some plain black ones at some point. He keeps misplacing the free ones he gets from various places.

Happy mask masking, if you are still making masks.

~Melanie

Upcoming speakers at my guild

2020-2021 SFVQA Opportunity Quilt

The speaker for my next guild meeting is Laura Wasilowski “Art Quilts: The Musical”. This is a members only meeting. It’s open to two of our local sister guilds. The meeting is this coming Monday, 1/11/2021. If this interests you our current membership for half the year (Jan – May) is $20 + $20 for opportunity tickets, for a total of $40.

Some upcoming speakers are:

February 8: Pam Holland “My Life Journals in Textiles”

March 8: Becky McDaniel “Appliqué Journey”

April 12: Kathy McNeil “Quilting for Health and Happiness”

These may or may not be open to the public so if any of these are interesting to you, I recommend purchasing a mid year membership from the guild’s website, sfvqa.net. We often have workshops with our speakers as well. Those are $40/workshop and not all of the speakers are having workshops this year. I do not know yet which are having workshops and which are not right now as that seems to be a fluid thing this year. Again, we offer first opportunities to our members and if the workshop is not filled, open it to the public. As you can expect, the Alex Anderson workshop filled up really quick and left only 2 slots available to the public .

What are your guilds doing during these tumultuous times?

~Melanie

Happy New Year!

Weasley Sweater’s 12/25/2020 3 of 4 sweaters done! I’m starting mine in 2021

2020 was a difficult year but there is a lot to be grateful for.

  1. I spent a lot of time with my family. I have 2 kids, my daughter is 19 and in her second year of college. My son is 15 and in his second year of high school. They are both practically grown and while my son still lives at home, he’s in his own world. My daughter lives in Boston during the school year. I am grateful for this little bit of time together. I know as they get older, these moments will be very rare.
  2. We bought a house. We never thought we’d do so. In fact, we were adamant about being renters forever. But several circumstances came together and we did this. There are still a lot of times where I question the rights and wrongs of this thing but, I do love starting a garden, fixing things the way I want things fixed, and buying things on a permanent level rather than a temporary one.
  3. I’m an introvert and I love staying home. I loved not having to make excuses or find reasons to stay home. It just was.
  4. My little community came together to help each other. My closest friends cooked, went shopping for, and helped wherever we could (from a distance). We did drop offs, we zoomed every chance we got.
  5. My quilt guild created an online community. First, my Sunday minigroup moved to zoom. Then we invited the guild. We went from 2-4 people in person to 12- 15 people online. And then we started having our meetings on Zoom and then, we went crazy and started inviting national and international quilt stars to speak and teach. That has been great and I hope we continue our online portion even when we are able to meet in person. Some of our members have moved away and it’s nice to see them on zoom.

It’s easy to point to the crazy stuff of 2020 and be glad that it’s over. But without the crazy stuff, the things I’m grateful for would not have come to existence. I’m grateful for my family, my friends, my community and everything we did to stick together to make it through. We’ve lost some of our members and we will always remember them.

Hugs,

Melanie