Wednesday, May 30, 2012


  • Rose of Sharon bird block wall hanging is now ready for quilting! Found some Stonehenge fabric for the final border--keeping it rustic ;-) This block was originally submitted as part of the 2009 Rose of Sharon block challenge coordinated through Nine Patch Media and EQ. It was selected to be included in the NPM DVD that can be purchased separately. My basket block was included in the book. Nice to finally make this up in real fabric (the challenge was only created within EQ) and design some borders to accompany it. The block is 15" x 15", the whole quilt is about 37" x 37".

  • Skill Builder Sampler Update –major progress; individual blocks that I have made while here in California and then at the bottom there is a collage of the 3 sections I have now put together and their placement in the quilt.

Below is a mock-up of the final quilt sans unmade blocks. There will be 36 blocks in all. The center section is a surprise. I need to get home to create the center and two more rows at the bottom. Leila still has 3 blocks to 'issue' in this 'We Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler quilt-a-long. It looks like this will wait until I return from Ireland to get finished up. I am learning things!! Happy to make this much progress while in California though. Our time is getting short just a couple more days and we'll be on the road again headed home in time to start the trip to Ireland.
  • Storm at Sea
Wanted to get a lot done on this....was making good progress last night and this morning, I have the big SIS blocks done (see photo) and the little SIS blocks almost done. Then I realized I was running out of my grey sateen as I was cutting the fabric for the diamond blocks. I'm hoping I have more at home, but have been thinking a re-design if I don't. Not sure what I'll get done this afternoon, so for now, check out my makeshift design wall with these curtains (yikes). Lots of pins required and I'm running out of those too (HA!).

Until Next Time
  • Pam Bono’s Out of the Darkness (ready for June block)
  • Oddie’s Wild Nature (O.W.N.)
  • Alaska 2007 Shop Hop (up to date through June)
  • Snowflake BOM win/Blizzard quilt

Waiting for Quilting

·       McCall’s Mystery Quilt – Spring Time; I pieced one of the McCall’s Mystery Quilt Backs that is ‘awaiting quilting’. Tried to use up my scraps from the quilt. Had to buy the bottom swatch of green and had fun matching it up to the left upper portion so that it looks seamless--got it pretty close.
·         McCall’s Mystery Quilt – Hot Jazz (backing needs to be made)
·         Irena Bluhm Colored Pencil Class Project –decided I need to do the background quilting before adding background coloring.
·         WWVQG 2006 Basket BOM

2012 Stats
Completed: 11
In Progress: 11
Planning To Start: 3 (Peace Park, Shop Hop the Blues 2007 & 2009) I'm going to put off these starts until I get some of the other small projects finished.

The next two WIP’s I’ll be in Ireland---follow along via my blog. I'll do a post daily or as often as I have wifi!
**I will be giving a lecture on EQ on Friday, June 8 at the International Quilt Festival of Ireland 2012. If you're there be sure and let me know that you follow my blog!
**Just got an email that "Spinner" was juried into the Pacific West Quilt Show which takes place in Tacoma, WA in August. A Semi-Finalist!! WHoo Hoo...Just honored to be included.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Design Wall / BOM's Away Monday

On this Memorial Day....
Thank you to those who have served...including my cousin's two children Philip and Stephen who are currently serving. We so appreciate our freedoms...let us not take them for granted.

Excited to show you what is happening on my design wall and it is a one step at a time quilt too, so I'm reporting this one for both linkups. I have gotten 7 new blocks done in the last few days. The top two rows have been put together. The left center section is sashed and put together now too. I've got one more block on the right center section and then I can get it put together. That might be all that gets done though before I leave for Ireland. There are two more rows to go across the bottom and then a surprise for the center ;-) Still happy about my progress!

More Design Walls at Judy's
More BOM's Away Progress at Lyn's

Week 5 of 6 on the CA Adventure

Sunday started out in Mammoth Lakes with a wonderful breakfast provided at the Cinnamon Bear Inn B&B.

Duncan got the idea to try and be at the highest and lowest points possible by vehicle and since Mt. Whitney and Death Valley are within the days driving distances, he added this to our itinerary.

The Forest Service Ranger had recommended a look at the Bristle Cone Pines, the oldest trees on earth. This was up about 10,000'. We did a short walk to get to these two 'Sentinel' trees.

Amazing how they just continue to grow after thousands of years.

We then went to Manzanar --a memorial to the Japanese Internment Camps that happened during WWII. They had quite a 'city' within the camp.

We drove further south and then up the mountain to Mt. Whitney Portal. The furthest you can drive towards the tallest mountain in the continental US. Now listed at 14,505 feet. (yes it keeps changing as technology gets better to do the measuring). There was a beautiful waterfall at the trailhead (end of the driving capability) but it is only about 8500 feet.

Next we headed towards Death Valley.

Here we are at Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level. The salt formations are behind us in the upper left portion of the photo. The sign mid-way up the hill (photo below right) is sea level.

In my quilts I find a variegation of colors very appealing. I tried to capture this photo as we headed out of Death Valley. The mountain side variegates in color through the different soils. The variegation continues around the curve but you can't see it in this photo. This all reminded me of my quilting!

To say it was HOT is an was 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using our 'Gas Buddy' app found a gas station that appeared to be much cheaper, but we were nervous if we'd make it or not. Duncan coasted down several long grades of freeway to conserve fuel. Upon arrival at the gas station we discovered it was ONLY diesel. So much for accuracy on the app! :-p Fortunately there was gas just down the block even if it was more expensive. For the weekend we clocked over 1000 miles.
Exciting to work on details this week to confirm that my husband will come along with me to Ireland. I so wanted this to happen, but logistics didn't seem possible in the original planning. But, now we can! YEAH!!
I also got some personal quilting projects worked on (blogged about earlier) and met up with Pam Tarango a classmate from high school. Had lunch with my mother's roommate from college who has orchestrated our accomodations. What a blessing this has been, and I even got a girls night out with Lollie.
One of the teachers at BAA served in the Army as a chaplain and I believe is still in the Reserves. He was able to arrange for a Blackhawk Helicopter to come in honor of Memorial Day. The school put together a little program, honored veterans in attendance, etc.

A local quilter that I met at the Kern County - Cotton Patch Quilter's Guild meeting last week, invited me to go to the local quilt shops. I was in need of a few extra fabrics to put the backs together I was working on, so I called her to take her up on her offer and make the rounds. Got to Threads and Bolts, Strawberry Patches and a stop at Beverly's too. She even took me to her home and showed me her quilts and current projects as well. Thank you Sandy! I look forward to seeing her again when she comes through Walla Walla to see her friend on her trip to Canada. She knows all about Stash and visited it before they moved to the Main Street location. I got to see a quilt that she had made from fabrics she purchased there. Small world!
Several of the days this week have felt like my own personal quilting retreat. I'm getting lots accomplished. My trip to the fabric stores has yielded me fabrics so I can finish up a couple of projects and continue with another. No Moda Terrain fabric in this town though, so will have to wait until I go home and hope I can find the remaining bits that I need. I'll report on all of this progress next week on Monday and Wednesday blog posts.

Duncan has finished up the final week of regular classes. Next week is final exams.

This weekend we celebrate my cousin's graduation from University of Redlands. Joe is the youngest of my cousins (my father's half sister's son) and is getting a Bachelor of Science in Business. He was also inducted into the Whitehead Leadership Society. My parents came over from Arizona for the occassion as well. We're all very proud!

Here he is being congratulated by the President of the University of Redlands (under the 2nd facing flag set from the left)

Coming back to his seat.

Congratulations Joseph Edward Hewes!
Sunday included an open house at my aunt's home. Here are a few photos from that occassion.
Joe with girlfriend Janae

The Hewes Family (Gordon's father ..also Gordon...sitting)
Ronnie, Nathan, Diana Hewes Ortiz--proud sister and her husband and son; Joe; Gordon and Jean--proud father and mother

The weeks have clicked by fairly quickly. Just a few days left and we'll be headed home.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012



The 5th of Pam Bono’s--Out of the Darkness Block “ Star Flower "

Rose of Sharon top probably one more final THIN DARK BROWN border. Need more fabric though.

McCall's Mystery Quilt Back(s)

Here are my 'maybe' layouts for the backings.
Still needs another big swatch of green at the bottom.

I think a big hot pink swatch across the bottom on this one.

BONUS: Charity blocks for "Just Us Quilter's" Facebook group - Shriners Children's Hospital
Accordians Block:

Eccentric Star Block:

I'm enjoying the format of doing a block or two that will be organized into a specific quilt for charity. Looking forward to being the recipient of blocks myself in a few months when my chosen charity comes up on the list and the group will provide blocks that I choose.

Until Next Time
  • Storm at Sea
  • Skill Builder Sampler
  • Snowflake BOM win/Blizzard quilt
  • Irena Bluhm Colored Pencil Class Project
  • Oddie’s Wild Nature (O.W.N.)
  • Alaska 2007 Shop Hop (up to date through June)

Waiting for Quilting
·         McCall’s Mystery Quilt – Spring Time (backing needs to be made)
·         McCall’s Mystery Quilt – Hot Jazz (backing needs to be made)
·         WWVQG 2006 Basket BOM

2012 Stats
Completed: 11
In Progress: 11
Planning To Start: 3 (Peace Park, Shop Hop the Blues 2007 & 2009) I'm going to put off these starts until I get some of the other small projects finished.

Two weeks away from arriving in Ireland!!!

And.....after being told they could not find me a roommate...I convinced my husband to go with me!  Whoo Hoo!!

Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival is happening. Nominations are open right now! Feel free to check them all out and I hope you'll nominate my quilt #398.
Check out other WIPpers progress at Lee’s.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Design Wall / BOM's Away Monday

I've been working on the Rose of Sharon - Bird Block. Got the applique' stitched down (photo is from the backside, I thought it looked pretty good!! :-) and now working on borders. Two done, auditioning a few more. This block was selected as part of the Rose of Sharon EQ Block challenge to be included in Nine Patch Media's DVD in 2010. Finally getting around to make a 15" version of the block.

BOM Block #4 (Orange Blossom) done last week and now #5 - Star Flower. Back up to date!!

Tuesday-Friday (5/22-25/2012), Nominations for the Blogger's Quilt Festival are happening at Amy's Creative Side .com
I've entered "Spinner" hope you'll check out the quilt festival and make some nominations for various categories!  Thanks! You can check out the quilts now!

More Design Walls at Judy's
More BOM's Away Progress at Lyn's

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week 4 of 6 on the CA Adventure

Although in my rushing around at home, I forgot to print the label for the commission quilt....alas you can buy these materials at retail prices wherever (just about!) But, I did save the binding for California since the domestic sewing machine I brought along with me has a great walking foot that assists with the binding so nicely. Photos of this quilt can be found on my posting last week.

On Monday, after dropping Duncan at work, I took off north of town to visit a couple of different friends. One the mother of a high school classmate of mine who had just gotten a new sewing machine. How fun was that to talk with her about some quilting basics since she says she'd like to try to make a quilt now with her new machine. The other friend was wishing for some strategy advice on creating a company, I'm always up for that! Good times!! I even got paid in cookies! ;-) Her FB page is These samples she did up real quick for me don't tell the whole story....but I personally appreciated them very much. One thing is for sure, Sue wants the cookies to be special for your specific occassion.

The accomodations that we have graciously been blessed with are technically challenged, so the rabbit ears that convert the digital signals don't get ABC. Well, if you know what is on Monday night's on ABC, this is not a good situation since the Bachelorette season premiere was this week. Fortunately, I have friends in town with cable and we were able to convince them to let us crash at their place for a couple of hours ...much later than anticipated, but none the less with popcorn taboot! Thank you Lollie!

Also, Duncan told me that tomorrow (Tuesday) we'll be going to the beach! WHOO HOO....I hadn't had a chance to walk on the beach when we had gone to the coast the first weekend, so this would be great to work on those heels!! Yes, those are quilt magazines in the lower left corner as I enjoyed the sunshine and sand at Grover Beach (south end of Pismo)!

Here is Duncan's handywork for the day:

After getting our car load of students back to the school, Duncan and I enjoyed a night out of Thai food.

I got a few WIP projects done (posted last week) and on Thursday went to the local quilt guild's meeting. The guest was one of their own local quilter's, Cindy Seitz-Krug, who has had many quilts in the big shows, including Houston, MQS and AQS locations and won ribbons there too! She quilts on a domestic machine and gave tips on what she has found to work well then shared a trunk show of several of her quilts. Here is her website: and hopes to create a retreat location in Arizona in the next few years. My pictures won't do them justice, so check out her award winning quilts page. Her "Bluer than Blue" can be seen at the right edge of the photo below.

When googling about her, besides finding winning quilts, I also found the above photo--Apparently, she is quite a hunter too!

During Show and Share -- I thought this flag was very clever. The 50 white stars are pockets that hold the state quarters.

Nice to have a stage area like this so that all the show and share quilts are easily seen by everyone.

This weekend at Quilting Gallery is 'Wind, Earth, Fire & Water' themed showing....I entered my 'Mother Earth' quilt which was a practice Disappearing 9 patch during the first few weeks after getting my long-arm machine. I had collected Fatquarters in a selection of rainbow colors, but when making this D9P it started to feel real 'earthy', thus the name. I tried several types of quilting designs in each of the different colored shapes.

I had this milk and cookies fabric in my stash and decided this was just perfect--total comfort, right? !!

So...hop on over to QG and check out the quilts, there are some stunning ones! Vote for your top 2 through Sunday May 20.

This weekend we're enjoying the high sierra's once again. This time we went to Yosemite from the south side on Friday, seeing another grove of GIANT Sequoias at Mariposa Grove and making a quick stop at the Summer Camp (Camp Wawona) where I spent many weeks as a junior camper and one week as a teen camper. We made it just in time to take in a beautiful sunset from Tunnel View. Many photographers were camped out waiting for half dome (in the far distance center of the photo) to turn pink and everything else be in shadow. The falls is Bridalveil. We returned on Sat. morning to see beautiful El Capitan and saw several climbers on the wall. We drove through the park and I pointed out the usual haunts that our family frequented all the times we would go there when I was a child.
Then headed across Tioga Road (open really early this year due to the low snow fall). At Olmstead Point you get a view that few see. The east side of Half Dome. Many years ago my family hiked to the top of Half Dome and camped overnight. A treat that apparently people are not allowd to do any more. I really didn't think I'd see this side of Half Dome again, so it was fun to have this vantage point today.

We continued on to the eastside of the Sierra's getting to Mammoth Lakes by mid-afternoon. Neither of us have been to this area, so it was fun to explore it WITHOUT snow. It included finding this 'earthquake fault' which is really a fissure from molten lava hundreds of years ago.

This tree stump is all hallowed out. A fun photo taken looking up through the stump.
Just at the end of the road where we stayed at Cinnamon Bear Inn, was this restaurant called "Slocums". When reading about its history we discovered the name comes from Joshua Slocum (not plural). Joshua was the first round the world solo sailor. I have relatives with this same last name! Not sure if it is a direct relative, but could be related in the long lineage of the family, but fun to see it anyway. Made me Google the name and found my grandfather who ran track with Frank Wycoff (a 3 time Olympian) now part of the online world.

It will be fun to see where all we get to on Sunday! 'til next week......