Just my musings about life, quilting, my family and my dog.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quilters Run

In Southern California we have an annual Southern California Quilters Run. It's a lot of fun but there are 38 shops to see in two long weekends.  And So Cal is BIG.  Two of my good friends and I decided to tackle three shops.  Can we say weak? 

The map is not to scale but to give you an idea the distance between 37 and 38 WAY at the bottom is about 12 miles and the distance out to #24 is about 110 miles.  We managed to spend a little money at Amethyst Quilts, Memory Lane Quilts, and Cozy Quilt Shop.  Just those three shops (OK, we might have stopped at a shop not on the Run, and we may or may not have stopped for the most delicious tacos ever!) took us 5 hours.  I can't imagine how much time it must take to visit all 38 shops.

Have you ever gone on or completed a Quilter's Run?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Son #1 redo

I got to thinking that it wasn't really fair to leave an impression that Son #1 never smiles for photos.  So, I as was looking through photos to post today, I found this one of him just before he left to study abroad in China a few years ago.

He no longer wears his hair that shaggy - although I liked it that way also, now he wears it in a more professional, cropped style. He is posing before the quilt I made for him to take to China.  It's a simple log cabin that I made to replicate quilts I made for his grandmothers.  Both of those quilts got used to death - as they were meant to!  But DS1 always commented that they were "quintessential quilts."  Never clear what he meant, I assumed he meant the simple style and classic colors.  For some reason, he's never been that crazy about this quilt.  He took it to China but he brought it home and it now lives at my house and not with him.

Last weekend he spied a mystery quilt I made that has 5 different fabrics, lots of fiddly pieces and I quilted it with a BIG flower motif.  He fell in love with it and took it home!

Here he and DS2 are holding it for me to photograph.
There is just no figuring them out.

I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of a gift 
as to the spirit in which it is offered. 
                                                   --- Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Working out

I know my husband thinks all I do is work and quilt.  Most of my friends think the same thing.  Sometimes I think the same thing.  It's not really true, though.

Sometimes I do a load of laundry - not often but sometimes.  I cook the occasional meal - not fancy and no more than 3 ingredients, but sometimes I do.  I make granola.  I do this as frequently as I need to because it is an integral ingredient in my breakfast.

The other thing I do regularly is exercise.
Who wouldn't when you get to see things like this on your walks:

The top photo is one of the many gorgeous views I get to see in my neighborhood. It's fuzzy but it is the bay as seen from the top of a hill in a local park.
The second photo is Izzy making friends with a puppy we met.  Fuzzy again because they wouldn't hold still - imagine that!  But what could be cuter?  I think at least 4 people took this opportunity to get a photo and it was 6:45 AM.

For the last 10 years I have been meeting a friend and walking about 4 miles 4-5 days a week.  About 1 month ago I decided that wasn't enough because I'm not as strong as I think I should be.  So, I joined a boot camp.  OMG!!  It's hard but I am discovering muscles in places that I only faintly remember.  It's good, though.
If you don't exercise, look into something like this.

Fortune favors the brave.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

WARNING - Brag post to follow

If you are in the least easily nauseated, you might want to pass on reading this post because I am about to sound like one of those mothers that I usually can't stand.

My younger son graduated from UCLA this weekend!

Here's the happy family at the reception following the ceremony.  The son on the right isn't UNhappy, he just finds it difficult to smile for photos.  Do any of you have one like that?

Here comes the braggy stuff.

First, Son #2 graduated with department honors, the first honors graduate in his very young department.

 Second, he won Service Student of the Year. The presenter read his impressively LONG list of accomplishments, made all the more impressive because he only declared this major at the start of his junior year.  I was SO proud. 

Third,  Son #2 and his good friend are planning a to bicycle around Europe for a few months starting in July.  And, no, mom and dad are not paying for the trip although a Christmas gift from his Grandfather didn't hurt.  The push pins represent where they plan to spend longer periods of time.  They are starting at the gear, in Helsinki.

Fourth, Son #2 has turned down his appointment to the Peace Corps in favor of returning to Haiti to work on a reforestation project there.  If you think it is hard to keep up with him, you would be 100% correct.  He is an amazing young man and we could not be prouder of him, his accomplishments, and his huge heart.

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right path, 
but the final forming of a person's  character lies in their own hands.  
                                                          -- Anne Frank

You all go out and enjoy your day,

Monday, June 13, 2011

Design Wall Monday

This one is coming out again.  I got the top finished a few months ago and it has hung, not without a LOT of company, in my finished TOPS closet.  You know the place where all your tops wait while they age gracefully until you finally decide to quilt them.  You don't have a closet like that??  Dang!

Anyway, my cousin who has a lot to do with the San Diego Quilt Show sent me an innocent email musing that while she was going through all the entrants to date, she hadn't seen anything with my name on it.  SIGH.  I can recognize an arm-twisting when I read one!  I agreed to enter this little (actually quite large) gem so I have to get right on quilting it.

This is a mystery quilt I made along with all of Bonnie Hunters followers.  You can still get the pattern online here.  Just click on Roll Roll Cotton Boll on the top banner.  I named mine "600 1/2-Square Triangles."  Not original or witty but VERY descriptive.  I love all of Bonnie's patterns but she does love her some SMALL pieces.

Go on over to Judy's blog and see all the luscious design walls people have posted today.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ta Da!

I wrote that I wouldn't post another Toucan photo till the quilt was done.
Here it is:

My photo is a little shaky but I still wanted to write a post about it. 

I made this quilt in response to our annual guild challenge.  We all got the same instructions:
1. start with a center block of your choosing in whatever size. (I chose a mola from my MIL)
2. First border is five inches and much have something curved (in mine, sides, and top)
3. Second border was two inches and something dimensional (bottom border)
4. final border, 3 inches and it had to contain letters of some sort. (mine reads, "If Toucan, Three Can")

I had so much fun with this.  It challenged me to do things I normally don't do: applique, printing on fabric, dimensional flowers.

AND!  It won an award. The "I wish I'd thought of that" award.

Here are photos of the other entries.  Remember, we ALL had the SAME instructions/guidelines.

This one won the "Warm and snuggly" award.

This one (It's sideways, I hate it when Blogger does that) won the "One I'd like to have in my home" award.

This one won the "WOW!" award

Aren't they all fabulous!?  
Do you belong to a guild?  Do you ever participate in their challenges?

Here's a nice quote:
“ Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others 
without getting a few drops on yourself. ”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go splash some perfume around.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I have this sweet baby quilt hanging on my design wall waiting for a backing and a good quilting.
There is no baby in the wings waiting for this quilt.  I like to have several on hand "just in case" someone needs a quick present. It's from the book "Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts" by Mary Hickey.  I am in LOVE with this little quilt and can't wait to see it all quilted.

Check out what magnificence others are creating on Judy's blog.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June's UFO Challenge

Well, Judy pulled number 8 for June.  Here is what I have ahead of me:

I am actually very happy to have this quilt pop up.  I think Maddy will be happy to receive this unexpected quilt made from her husband's Hawaiian shirts. I  added the black sashing and blue border and I think they complement the shirts perfectly.  I still need to find a backing, quilt and bind it.

I have to admit that this challenge has pushed me to get over my fear of quilting.  I've finished more than the five challenge quilts this year and I am feeling much more confident on our Tin Lizzie machine.  At first she and I fought a lot about tension and breaking threads.  As I've grown more secure in my abilities, she seems to have given up asserting her dominance.  Hmm, this is reminding me of raising dogs.

Have a great day and remember,

It's not who you are that holds you back, 
it's who you think you're not.  
                        ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May UFO Finish!!

I can't believe that I have finished FIVE old UFOs.  Judy's UFO challenge has really helped push me to get things done so I can post my success every month.  Does it make me shallow that I crave the acknowledgement of others?  Shouldn't my own praise be enough?

SIGH.  It's not.  LOL!!  I really like to be able to post my finishes for everyone to see.  In fact, I don't think that, as adults, we get enough credit.  Who is telling us "Good job!" I fear that too few bosses do that.  Certainly our kids don't do it often enough.  It never occurred to me how hard a job parenting is until I had my own.  SO, I am on my own bandwagon to pat myself on the back and let everyone else do so too.

Try it on yourself.  Give yourself at LEAST 10 "Good Jobs" today and see how you feel tonight.  Did a load of laundry? Good Job!  Cooked a nice meal?  Way to go!  Finished a report at work?  Fabulous!  You Rock!

It's fun. Go out there and sing your praises.  Then go over to Judy's blog and drool over all the fabulous finishes.