Sunday, February 26, 2012

All caught up...

Well, I have had a very productive few days in my little "sewing cave". 

I had promised my husband a cover for his guitar and the fabric has just been sitting there! Saturday I got up and decided the time had come to get the guitar cover off my plate. is done, he is thrilled and I have it behind me!

A few posts ago I mentioned  I was behind in a monthly class I was taking.  Very sad because I was behind for the first class.  Not a good way to start something new. On Thursday I went to class for the second month in the project!  I forgot to bring my "unfinished"  blocks from month one, I left most of what was needed at home and to top it off I didn't have a needle and thread...For those that know me, this was not good.  Friends helped me out with the items I needed but I left wondering about myself.  So...on Friday I did what all smart people do and got it together...
Today I am happy to say I am all caught up with month one and two... a feel good day for sure!

Procrastination - not a good thing but something we can readily correct. I truly believe the stress of procrastination is worse than the chore or task we procrastinate about :)  Lesson learned - :)

So let me share the finished project (no, not the guitar cover) my little Cooper likes to say ta da....

Love these blocks and so far love the colors.  I will share every once in a while my progress (remember, its a year long class).  Look for a splash of "bright" as I go along!
Have a great week and do your best to not procrastinate - it just is no fun!

Remember - SMILE always,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Springtime in San Diego...

Living in New England for so many years, you changed from winter to spring in a dramatic popped up through the snow, the trees lost the gray dull look of winter, the roads started to look like roads again... minus all the dirty salt and sand used to clear them and the sun got brighter and warmer. In many ways you never really took a deep breath to enjoy  because you feared that one last blast of winter, in whatever form, would arrive. Then one sunny day you saw the daffodils and sighed and enjoyed the arrival of spring.

In sunny Southern California springs arrives in a much different way.  The sun just shines brighter, the warmth of the day feels so good on your back and the greens are greener and the flowers just make you smile.  I love this time of year.  It brings thoughts of longer days and  thoughts of so many great things to do.  Today I took a little walk and thought of all the fun things ahead :), I also enjoyed what spring in in my neighborhood...let me share.

This is a tree (I know not the name) but it blooms in February every year. The flowers do not last long but I do enjoy watching it go through it's journey. Once the flowers have bloomed it turns green and just waits to bloom again next spring. I love it! 

The flowers are beautiful and the color is just so bright and strong.

Our neighborhood backs up to Mt Miguel.  It is always so green in the springtime but turns that dry brown as the days get warmer.
There are many paths to walk.  It is great exercise but trust me, it takes everything out of you.  No matter where you walk you know a hill is the only way home.

We have a very small  "postage stamp yard" but if you look out, there is much to see and enjoy. I am a sun person so this is a great time of year for me...warmer days will be here soon! I even like hot!!!

Hope you take a walk and enjoy springtime in your neighborhood :)

Remember - SMILE always,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Way behind...

Way behind with all projects.  Not sure what my issue is but I am ok with me!

I am taking a great class that will continue the entire year with a new block each month.  The quilt is beautiful and uses all quilting techniques.  I have done them all over the years but it will be fun to get a refresher.  I will post the quilt soon so you can see what I am striving for. but for now....I am struggling with block #1.  It is not the difficulty of the block but for some reason I can't find the patience to complete it.

Take a look....
The first months block is Grandmothers Flower Garden using English Paper Piecing.  It's not difficult to do but time consuming.  I only have two more to add and I will be finished!!!

But....I have to make two blocks!!!!  I have forgiven myself for not finishing them by Thursday for class.  I've had a month but I will get them completed...   The good news, I have completed a top for a very simple quilt using up scraps, so my time has been productive.

Scraps - I have found when using scraps that they multiply.  I used so many with the project  I just did but when it came time to clean up the fabrics.... I feel as if I have more now than before.  I do believe they multiply.  The interesting thing is... I continue to buy more and have the feeling I never have enough.  Sound like you?

Have a great day today and....
Remember - to SMILE always,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hand quilting on Valentines day...

Valentines day is always a happy day but it is a bit cool here in San Diego today. I have so many things I could do but I think I will just cook a nice dinner for my husband and do some hand quilting.

During a class a few weeks ago we were asked if we were "quilters".  The entire class had a puzzled look but responded "yes".   We then were told that a "quilter is someone that does hand quilting" ....those that machine quilt are "piecers".  It did create a little discussion but it is true - not many "piecers" today do any hand quilting! I feel it is a lost craft and it would be a shame to see it become a thing of the past.  We do everything so quickly today that the thought of taking the time to hand quilt is overwhelming.
A long time ago I taught a class on "hand piecing and hand quilting".  It was long before we had rotary cutters and all the short cuts we have today.  I'm glad I did that method but I am also thrilled with all the tools and short cuts we have today.  It is all about balance and I like that!

This is the quilt I did all by hand.  Take a look at the quilting.  I doubt I would ever quilt an entire queens size quilt again but it is one I cherish.

This is a small piece I am currently hand quilting. I like to have something to hand quilt at all times.  On a cool day it feels so cozy when you are working on it.

This is a small piece I am doing - I hope it will entice some of my other quilter friends to join me!   

I love keeping things from the past alive.  So much  in our culture goes away - but comes back again.  Hope this art does.

Happy Valentines day to everyone....

Remember - SMILE Always,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

So much fun!

A few days ago I posted Valentine cookies that were featured on "Blackbird Designs" blog.  Not only were they adorable, I found they are really fun to make. I took the plunge this morning to make a batch.  Originally, after reading the recipe, I decided to cut a few corners...not my usual style but after all - they were just cookies :) right?  Well, I caved and told myself  that doing it completely as directed would be much more satisfying! I was right!  take a look....

This was a shortcut I was going to take - the recipe said to re cut them once out of the over. What an unnecessary step! Wrong - look at the difference in the shape! May have to remember this when making sugar cookies again!

The recipe called these "cookie fries" Well, whatever you call them they were yummy!  These are the edges from the cookie when re-cut! My hubby loved them :) so did Palmer our rescue Bichon!

Next step - frost with a glaze.  This was also fun because as the recipe stated, I used a paint brush!  Also used cookie glitter - fun to use! I like using a glaze like this for decorated cookies.

All frosted, glazed dried and ready to package.  These were give to a few very special friends today.

This was a fun project.  I learned that it "feels good" to go the extra mile and not cut corners....I would love to have my little Cooper here to eat the "cookie fries" but not to be so... I will certainly make some for him on his next visit!

Have a happy Valentines day and make these if you can...worth the effort!   Hum, these would be cute shamrocks for St. Patty's Day!

Remember - SMILE always!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fabric do you do it?

Yesterday I had lunch at the local quilt shop (which I will tell you about soon) with my "good friends".  We always have a great time with lots of laughs, but sometimes we have conversations that are thought provoking.  We had a "new quilter" stop in and she was looking for material to go with her new four patch squares she made.  As so often the case, the conversation of how we select fabric became the topic.  Her comment made be think...she said..."picking quilting fabric is SO the opposite of getting dressed".  I find that so true but never really thought about my process of fabric selection....I still don't have a good answer but I do know there are many ways to achieve your results...

for some - it is using a line of fabric
for some - it's about using dark colors only
for some - it's using colors that match (like getting dressed)
for some - it's very complicated and they use the color wheel  (still don't get how to really use it)

but..for me...I just have decided that I like scrappy and like to use fabrics together that make me smile and feel good.  I can't tell you why I think a combination is wrong but I feel it and I feel it when it's right.

So do what makes you happy and if you ask for an opinion listen but follow your heart - you will always be happy with your choice.

Here are a few of mine....
This a selection that is a work in process.  It is a class that I am taking and still have changes to make but my start! I want it be blue and brown with a little "pop"
This is a "finished" selection.  I am making a quilt for our "new" little granddaughter arriving in April.  Her mommy is not a lover of pastels so we have agreed this is perfect.
As you can see...I just like scrappy!  What is your preference?  Let me know!

Remember - SMILE always!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reason to smile...

Today is a rather cloudy gloomy day here in San Diego.  Most San Diegans love it - I do not!  I am a sunshine gal. The warm days and abundance of sunshine is what I am all about!
I started the day visiting a few blogs I love.  Low and behold... I found something to really smile about.  I little bit of Valentine fun.
There are two authors (Barb Adams & Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs), that write wonderful books that include great projects using many different techniques such as quilting, applique, cross stitch and many more. They also celebrate home, holidays and all things that bring  joy.  I love reading their books with a cup of coffee or afternoon tea. Take a look at what I found this morning...

This is a fun recipe but I really love what they did with the scraps.  I have a little munchkin in Seattle (Cooper) that would love some "cookie fries". I plan to make these soon and "IF" they look anything like these I will post a picture. So...a bit of fun on a cloudy day!

Remember - SMILE always!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Geting started...

Our home sits high on a hill in San Diego. I love it up here because the mornings and afternoons can bring such different views. I would truly love a little more land to have a small vegetable garden and plant by own herbs....but I don't :) so life goes on. So let me share a few views I experience...a good reason to always counts our blessings!
This is a  morning shot and it's just beautiful when the fog rolls in.

This is the same view but at sundown.
My goal with this blog is to share many things that bring me joy.  I will share different blogs that I find incredible inspiring and some great quilt shops that are very special, but for today my views from home are my "joy".

Remember - SMILE always...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome new friends and old....

I am venturing into the blog world because I have been so inspired by all I see.  I have traveled around the world (via blogs) and I am so amazed that  no matter where we live we share so many common threads.  A few that matter most to me - love of family, love of home, importance of friendship and a desire to be good at whatever we choose.
I am a quilter at heart but did my time in the big world of corporate America. I am back now enjoying all that brings me joy!
I always say "life is a journey" and the "journey is everything", so....I hope you join me as I continue my travels.

Remember - SMILE always!