Saturday, October 22, 2016

With a Heavy Heart I Write This...

Hello friends,
In August my husband and I drove to Washington state, while my daughter and grandson flew there. It was a family reunion that gathered for my mom's 90th birthday, which we celebrate early in August, rather than September when her real birthday occurred. My sister and her family live close to mom and my brother flew there from CA. Mom looked great and was her usual self. We all thought she would easily make 95, if not 100 years.

On her real birthday in September, which happens to be the same day as my brother's birthday. Yes mom's very first child was born on her birthday. Mom took the train to CA to celebrate her and my brother's birthday. She complained of not feeling well and having some pain. When she got back to WA, my sister took her to see the doctor, who gave her meds for what the doctor assumed was wrong. Still the pain was there. So off to the ER she went, waiting for hours! Finally they put her in intensive care. She had several issues going on it seems. These things inside of her could have been happening for weeks, months or even years before they started to bother her. Well long story short, mom refused any meds to keep her alive. She wanted to go without pain, so they gave her a morphine drip. It took a little over a day and she was gone! I can't believe how this all happened so fast. Mom was the picture of health 2 months ago and then on October 16, 2016 (the day after my daughter's birthday, mom's first grandchild and only granddaughter), she was gone. I was in shock over all of this.

I couldn't travel for the service, since I have had awful sciatica pain for 9 weeks now!!! The sciatica came on after we got back from the trip to WA due to sitting in a car for thousands of miles. While my pain is lessening and I am starting to feel better, the pain of losing my mother so soon and so quickly was heartbreaking. My daughter needed closure over this and went to the service which was yesterday. She will fly back today. This is the first loss my daughter has had in her young life.

Once I am over this sciatica pain, I will try and blog again. It has been hard to deal with this and the loss of my mother. So love your family and friends while they are still here and tell them how much you love and appreciate them while they here too, because life is so short. One day they are here and then the next they are gone.

Hugs to you all!!!

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Monday, October 3, 2016

The Road Home Row Along: The Colorful Sky of New Mexico

Marian Pena of  Seams to be Sew asked me if I would like to participate in her row along for this year called, The Road Home. After reading about it, I decided I would like to join in and challenge myself to create a row block. The idea behind the designs was to create a quilt row of something that you would see on your way home. Living here in New Mexico, hot air balloons are a very common site to see in the blue sky above almost daily.  Then of course annually starting the first weekend in October is the International Balloon Fiesta where hundreds of people around the globe come here to fly their balloons during the festival. The sky above Albuquerque is filled with balloons of various sizes, colors and shapes during the 9-day Balloon Fiesta. It's always fun to see what special shapes will be flying each year. So my Road Home row is all about hot air balloons flying over the Sandia Mountain range and the Rio Grande.

Thank you Marian and Amy (of Sew Incredibly Crazy) for all the work in getting this Row Along to happen.

My row pattern was going to be on, but Craftsy is making all kinds of changes and my pattern store has disappeared on Craftsy! The Craftsy link on my blog to my pattern store is gone too! So since I cannot add my pdf to Craftsy now, please leave a comment if you would like me to email you my pdf row pattern. If you are a no-reply, then I won't have your email and you will not receive the pdf. So if you aren't sure if you are a no-reply, then leave your email in the comment too. If you don't hear from me, then you probably are a no-reply. So please email me if you do not hear from me. *See Update below.

I hope you enjoy making The Colorful Sky of New Mexico row quilt. And please be sure and hop along to all the other blogs that are participating in this row along to download their row patterns too. Combine the rows that you want to into a quilt. Plus there are giveaway prizes too.  Happy row quilting!

*UPDATE: I finally was able to add my pattern on Craftsy. I am charging a small fee for the pattern on Craftsy, so if you would like the free pattern, please email me, or leave a comment and I will email you the pattern for Free. (Leave your email in the comment if you are unsure if you are a no-reply). The pattern will be free here only on my blog through October 15. Once it turns to October 16, then I will not be emailing any more free patterns, but you can purchase the pattern on Craftsy. The time will be on Mountain Time, where I live.

Two giveaways to enter here are Calibre Art Mat and Anita Goodesign Embroidery.


 Anita Goodesign

Anita Goodesign

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Allie-Oops Sweet Happy Life 
Harrisville, MI Sunrise Coast
Cynthia’s Creating Ark
Adelaide South Australia
Kissed Quilts
Grand Coulee, Washington
Renee's Quilting Addiction
Alberta, Canada

September 8
Just Let Me Quilt
Las Vegas, Nevada

Quilt in Piece
Amanzimtoti, South Africa

September 13
Tweety Loves Quilting
Edinburgh, UK
Heber City/ SLC
Seams To Be Sew
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Pine Valley
New Zealand

September 15
bdieges designs
Road to Tehachapi (CA)
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Worcester County in Central Massachusetts
Patti’s Patchwork
Toronto, Ontario Canada

Seacoast Quilter
New Milford, Connecticut

September 20

September 22
Words & Stitches
Beaches of California
Quilt Art
I Can Quilt 2
Baltimore, MD
Any Pattern
Port Angeles, Washington

Patchwork Breeze
West Michigan Shoreline

September 27
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Dodge City, Kansas
Sue Griffiths Featured At Just Let Me Quilt
Northern Rivers Region, NSW, Australia

Seams To Be Sew For Batts In The Attic

September 29
Quilted Fabric Art
Burlington Vermont
Westend Quilter
Manitoulin Island, Canada
Pamela Quilts
Quilt Fabrication
Silicon Valley, CA

October 04

October 06
Cloth and Paper Studio
North Georgia Mountains

October 11
Show 'N Tell Day 

Seams To Be Sew
Quilt in Piece
                                       Just Let Me Quilt (Carol made my row. Check it out)
Cloth and Paper Studio
                             Moosestash Quilting (Joan made my row too)
WestEnd Quilter

I personally wasn't able to hop along and see the other blogs participating, due to having a very difficult time dealing with sciatica pain for more than 6 weeks! Then to top it off my pelvis got out of alignment (an inch off!) and needless to say, the pain has been too much to bear. It's taken me weeks to get this blog posting written, as I cannot sit or stand for more than a few minutes at a time. So my apologies to the other Road Home participants for not commenting on their blogs.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Road Home Row Along Has Started

I wanted to tell you that the Road Home Row Along started on September 6th. There will be a few blogs posting their rows twice a week. There are giveaways too, so be sure to visit the blogs and leave a comment to be entered. The row designs from each participating blog are offered for FREE for the duration if the Row Along, so be sure to download the free pattern while you can because some may charge for their row patterns after the blog hop ends.

The entire schedule for The Road Home can be found here.  My day will be on Oct. 4th.

On another note, I haven't been able to blog because for the past 3 weeks I have had sciatica and the pain has been very intense. Lots of sleepless nights too. I am finally feeling better (even though the pain is still there). I have been sleeping through the night thanks to the meds that I am taking that are helping. This sciatica can take 3-6 weeks to run it's course. It's been 3 weeks now and I am hoping that I will be pain free within the next 3 weeks. I haven't been able to sew or do much of anything. It's so hard for me not to be able to be creative and productive. I have so many thing to finish and start making too.
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dream Catcher Quilt

My quilt guild had a doily challenge because one of the members had a couple of bags of hand crocheted doilies that were given to her. So the challenge was born. We could add a doily to a quilt in any way we wanted to. The suggested size was 18"x 18" or 18" x 20".

I had used cotton doilies in the past under a teacup block, but I wanted to do something different with this crocheted doily. I decided to paint the doily because plain white was just too boring for my taste. At first I thought of just making a Dream Catcher by sewing it onto a wooden or metal hoop, but I didn't have the right size hoop. Next I thought I could tie 4 small branches together and then sew it in the center of the branches and add strips of fabric and ribbon on the bottom branch. But when I tried doing that, it just didn't look right. And while neither of those ideas were quilts, I figured it would meet the challenge of using a doily at least.

But the Dream Catcher idea was still rolling around in my brain, when I thought why not do a Dream Catcher Quilt? Black fabric was the obvious background color so that the painted doily would pop. Since most Dream Catchers have ribbons and/or feathers dangling from the bottom, I thought I would quilt my feathers with variegated thread colors. I like how the quilted feathers looked, but you couldn't see them very well. So next I brought out the Shiva Paint Stiks and painted the feathers with metallic paint. That is just what it needed. I hand embroidered the "strings" and added a lot of pretty hot fix crystals for bling. I also added some beaded trim to the bottom of the quilt. Finally I used my Kumihimo disk to braid the hanging rope and thought a branch looked more organic for the Dream Catcher, rather than a wooden dowel. I really love how this came out too. I didn't follow the suggested size of the quilt for the challenge, but this is my quilt, and I wanted something that would please me.
Painted the doily and added hot fix crystals.

Quilted the feathers and then painted them.

Beaded trim at base of quilt.

I used a variety of paint colors as well as variegated threads for quilting the feathers.

The stick with the braided hanging rope (which I made with my Kumihimo disk).

I dotted more hot fix crystals around the feathers too.

There was only about 7 people who showed their doily challenge quilts on Thursday at our quilt guild meeting. I forgot to bring my camera to take photos of them and I guess the person who does our guild blog didn't take any photos either. Oh well, at least you can see mine here.
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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bloom Quilt Top

I finished my Bloom Quilt top. These are the Bloom blocks from Lori Holt's sew a long. I told you that I would set my differently than Lori did. I had a gradient green fabric that I used for the sashings and border. I added 4 applique butterfly blocks.  Not sure if I will add another border around the whole top or not. What do you think?

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Prickly Pear Quilt Top

I made the blocks for this top several years ago. I actually made an extra 2 blocks for some weird reason (maybe I can't count, lol!). These blocks got buried in a pile of UFO's for years. I have no idea if I had a plan with the extra blocks or not. I decided these blocks needed to be put into a top and the extra blocks I can use for something else. This is a pattern by Karen Stone, called Prickly Pear, which is perfect since prickly pear cactus grow here. I think this pattern must be out of print now.

I used batik fabrics for the prickly pears and a commercial black cotton and purple cotton for the background fabrics. I machine blanket stitched with variegated threads on some of the shapes and solid colors on others, to sew the applique pieces in place. This is a positive/negative quilt block. You have to be careful when cutting the shapes out, because you mix the shapes up so that you have different fabrics on each block. I found this to be fun, although a lot of work too. Now I just need to quilt it.

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Quilted Notebook Cover For Patterns

I made a quilted notebook cover for knitting and crochet patterns and gave it to the Stitch Club I belong to. Their notebook was looking pretty sad and I had been wanting to make something like this for a couple of years now. Well wouldn't you know it as soon as I brought this to the last meeting, a shiny new larger notebook was now housing all the patterns. Since that notebook was much wider, this cover wouldn't fit it, but I took out one section of patterns to put inside this notebook. I made this cover with batik scraps. Then I painted the text on white fabric and painted around it so it wasn't so stark white. 

The back of the cover.

I painted the words.

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