Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SPEED-not all it's cracked up to be

Another week, month, year has sped by and leaves me in it's wake wondering what I can say I have accomplished. Whatever it is, it is not enough, I can tell you that. 
I have been working on a little hexagon treat that I shamefully copied from Jo Morton. Well, I did change mine a bit. Jo made the most darling little tree skirt! I hope she won't mind if I share her photo. She is amazing! Follow Jo's blog!
 I added another round of hexagons to mine and made a table topper. I think it will look darling with some greenery on my round kitchen table. The hexies are 5/8 inch. I learned that you measure hexagons by the length of the side. I was able to purchase a couple packs of them at a quilt shop over the summer. It is enjoyable stitching in the evening while watching TV. But let me tell you, these babies take forever! This project has been every evening for a month! In this case speed is not involved. Just consistent stitching!

 Somewhere on line I saw where someone finished the edge of their project by adding hexagons all around the underside of the quilt. Again, tedious, but what a nice edge you get. I should have stopped there because I am not at all happy with my hand quilting on this project. Maybe it doesn't need to be quilted. Can I get a hands up for that?

 I happened upon this project in the December 2012 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine while sorting through my magazines. The design came from a vintage project that Ann Hermes adapted. This is one I wanted to make when I first saw it. I always have scraps, and they prompted me to get to work. I enjoyed this scrappy, wonky project so much that I just kept making blocks, and now I have a much larger quilt like this that I adore! Plus it feels so good to find yourself at the bottom of the scrap box!

 On another note, I have been having a terrible time posting to my Facebook for Patchalot Patterns. Things just don't seem to show up. It is very frustrating. And you know I don't post to my blog like I used to. But I am on Instagram and also on Pinterest. In fact I just noticed that I have 91 boards on Pinterest. Someone please save me from myself! I do think it is a great way to catalog photos of quilts and things that you like. I would prefer to fine tune it a bit, but so far making more boards is my only option. I have so many boards now that sometimes I am not sure where to pin an item. So I make another board.

In reference to my last post, I am now into season 12 of Midsomer Murders and they have become a little spicier and perhaps a bit more graphic. I hope I didn't recommend something that you find offensive down the road. Oddly, it didn't seem as provocative to me as American TV. Then again, my head is down stitching for a good part of the program!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Midsomer Murders

Somewhere in the past few years I have really become hooked on British TV. I love most of the programs on Masterpiece, especially Sherlock, and of course Downton Abby. I watch these and many others, but my primary watching is focused on Midsomer Murders. It has become my "go to" TV show. One reason is that I can never run out of episodes! If I can find nothing else of interest to watch I can always go to Netflix and settle in for a nice Midsomer Murder. Maybe it's my age, but I am really sick of the pulse racing shows and the vulgarity. The networks have allowed too much vulgarity into their programs. I think that when people, especially children, see it on TV they think it is acceptable. Yup, I've become a prude and proud of it! Where I come from they call it standards of morality. It's not that I never watch programs containing some of that stuff, but why immerse myself in something that I find distasteful. Consequently I find myself tagging along with DCI Tom Barnaby investigating the latest murders in the fictitious county of Midsomer in England. 

I heard that Netflix has recently added seasons 15 and 16 to this ever popular program. I am only in season 5! This program is also available on Amazon Prime. The program began showing in Great Britain in 1997. And the series is apparently still filming! It is amazing that they can create so many diverse murders in this beautiful rural county. 

I think part of what I enjoy in the program is the beautiful small villages  and the lovely old homes and the ever blooming gardens. Come to think of it I have never seen an episode filmed in winter! Or in the rain! It's like Camelot!

The main characters are, I guess you could say rather vanilla. Not in a bad way, just nice, normal folk who have a job to do and do it in a nice way. The stories are very creative. Last night I watched an episode about orchid fanatics and three deaths that occurred over a rare orchid worth one hundred-fifty thousand pounds (being American I have no idea how the Brits write that). I also learned that the word orchid actually means testicles because of the way the bulbs hang when removed from the soil. Hmmm. 

Another episode I remember an older couple raised marijuana in their greenhouse and made brownies, which they shared with DCI Barnaby, whose disposition improved considerably for the rest of the day! 

Yes, it must be my age, at least in part. I can sit and stitch while I enjoy this program as I relax at the end of the day. Once upon a time I was young and danced wildly in the rain for as long as the music played. Now I watch with pleasure as my grandchildren enjoy that stage of their life. Meanwhile, I am quite content to be a rather vanilla grandmother doing what I enjoy now. Just give me a Diet Coke and, um, pass me one of those brownies with the little green flecks will you?  (Ha ha. yes, just kidding!)

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Good Old Summertime!

What a great summer this has been! We have had fun and it has gone fast. Doesn't it always? Below is this really cool horse I found at an antique shop in Minnesota. It is heavy rusted iron. I love it!

I flew from Arizona to Virginia the end of June with a layover in Minneapolis. I was home for a week and my husband and I packed up and drove to Minneapolis! Well, I didn't want him to drive alone. And... we drove through Wisconsin and stopped in Menasha to visit Primitive Gatherings! I was delighted to get to see Lisa Bongeon's shop, tho Lisa was not there. She was off teaching somewhere, of course. Sorry to have missed her, but I did get a couple photos. And you can visit her at her blog by clicking her name. Lisa always has the best stuff!

This is my quilt pattern, Prairie Fire, that was hanging in the shop. It was quilted by Linda Hrcka at The Quilted Pineapple. Check out her blog, she is amazing!

I have to share this cute display. It is an old ladder with little nails on the rungs and primitive designer Cheri Payne's patterns are hanging there. How appropriate! 

We left Menasha and drove a short distance to Appleton, Wisconsin. I went to high school there and haven't been back since. 

We drove by the old house, which I still love. It looked happy and well cared for! I could move right back in! We loved Appleton so much!

From there we drove on to Minnesota and up to the Brainerd Lakes area. We spent about two weeks with family there and loved it.
Here is our darling Katie with the twins.

Here is the darling August James with me! 
My great-grandson!

I will end with a cute little wool pumpkin that I worked on while traveling. I was a fun design to work on and is free from American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. You can find it on their website, All People Quilt.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Change, or not so much?

After my last post and the funny photo of my grandchildren, their mother produced some recent photos that I really need to share. 

 These kids are so funny! Well, to me at least. They are my blood, make no mistake! Some people develop humor as they grow, and some are just naturals! These kids are just goofy!

The first photo is reminiscent of this one from two years ago. Seriously, they make me laugh. (My life is an oxymoron)

Next we have our darling Kathryn, who just turned nine years old. Her mom just got a used freezer and painted it. Kathryn, or Katie as she now prefers, is modeling beside it. Love the color coordination!

Saturday I visited Olde World Quilt Shoppe. It is located in Cave Creek, AZ. I first visited the shop in February when Lisa Bonjean was there teaching. This is a wonderful shop! Perhaps one of the loveliest I have been in, and that is saying something! A bed laden with beautiful quilts is in one corner and in another is a big comfy couch, with old looking chandeliers adding a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The owner, Dee Grantham, above, is responsible for the beauty and style of this shop. I am very impressed with Dee. Not only is she talented, she is really a sweetheart!  
Now my friends, do you see anything familiar in the photo? Yes! my Button Bandits quilt with the crows is hanging in the back. The shop has been making kits for this and also Medallion Doll Quilt, on left, and they must keep selling out because they keep ordering patterns! If you want a kit for either of these call the shop (480-473-2171), I bet they will ship!
As you can see I am still in Arizona, where the temp is around 108 degrees and the grass is crunchy; the A/C struggles to keep the house cool and I struggle to not adjust the thermostat lower. Things change. Kids change, temperatures change and we try and keep up!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Favorite Things

Maybe I should write on my blog today. I have fallen into the habit of stalking around on Instagram these days. If you find yourself short of time but still want to stay in the loop, Instagram is the place for you. It's just photos with a brief note attached. You can find me there under "Patchalot". 

I have actually been sewing! I am back in the swing of it now and feeling really good about it. I have done a few wool projects. 

This is Warm Winter Blessings, from Primitive Gatherings. I chose to make the mini version. Those blocks are 4 x 5.5". The 9-patches are 1-1/2 inches. I altered the borders to make mine smaller than the pattern shows. That's what we do right? Adjust according to our own needs. 

The above is a free pattern that I have wanted to make for several years. Again I adapted mine for my own use. I used wool for the appliqué and made mine scrappy. I love it! Thanks to Joanne the Threadhead blogger. Follow the link to her pattern! I pinned mine on PINTEREST for quick reference!

This one I am working on right now. It is a Cheri Payne design. I just love Cheri's primitive style. Especially the wool appliqué, which is so forgiving for someone like me who doesn't really do hand appliqué. Cheri calls her patterns Wednesday's Best Quilt Patterns. The link will take you to her site and you can browse around to your hearts content!

While I am at it I need to post a photo from my trip to San Diego and my visit to Temecula Quilt Company. A very tiny quilt shop with a very big presence! The owner, Sheryl Johnson, is full of clever ideas and projects. Look at that cute display of Valdani thread in canning jars!

Sheryl and me!
The quilt behind us is a beauty and from the book History Repeated by Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle

This cute iron bed is front and center when you enter the shop. Loved the shop and Sheryl is delightful! 

Previously I showed a perfectly staged photo of the twins. At my son's house the staging is not quite so perfect. This is the best I could do for a group shot of these three grandchildren of mine. There are not many sit still moments at the Patch house! They are hilarious and I am nuts about them!

We did get a cute one of Olivia on her quilt. And another of her hoping to get a swig of Grandma's Diet Coke! (didn't happen)

This week Danielle was center stage as she graduated from high school here in Mesa, AZ. We are so proud of this girl! She has grown into a lovely young woman. She is charming and entertaining along with being kind and thoughtful. 

Well there is a little sample of my life in recent days. I always say my favorite things are grandchildren and quilts; chocolate and Diet Coke. 

Have a great Memorial weekend!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Good News!

Guess who has a new baby brother? If you guessed the twins, Grey and Micah, you are right! I didn't give it away by the photo did I? This little guy is August James. His weight was 8 lbs 9 oz, about the same as both twins together when they were born. 

Isn't he the cutest little bundle?! I can't wait to snuggle this little guy!

I have been having great fun working on the APQ Quiltalong. Have any of you joined in? The pattern is in American Patchwork and Quilting magazine, February 2014 issue. If you can't find this issue it is available to download.
This is Lissa Alexander's quilt, Tone It Down, as shown in the magazine. It is beautiful! For a real treat go to Lissa's blog for a display of several of these quilts completed by various designers. They are unique and awesome! You may recognize the design as a  pattern called Burgoyne Surrounded after a general in the Revolutionary War. Historically it has been a two color quilt, like red and white or blue and white. This scrappy version really appeals to me!

This is my version. Naturally I stuck with my traditional repro fabrics. I have all my blocks completed now and I'm working on the 9-patches and sashing. 
Follow this LINK to find info and to find the list of designers who are involved in this quiltalong. You can also find a hashtag board on Instagram at #APQquiltalong. If you follow me on Pinterest I have a board for APQquiltalong also.

The above is Burgoyne Surrounded that I made many years ago for my son and his wife. It is basically the same pattern. I added a checkerboard border to it. It has been well loved and used! 

Have a great week my friends, and I hope you get some quilting in! I hope I do too!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Fun Visit At Libby's House!

I know some of you are waiting to see my photos from Libby's house. As afore mentioned, I got to spend some time with
Libby is so much fun! It was a delight to meet her after all these years and all those promises of getting together.
The first thing you see when you arrive at Libby's house is the quilt hanging on the gate next to the house. Yes, it is outside! This is California, and I hear things are different there. And this IS the house of a quilter! Of course I love that, don't you? 

I hardly know where to begin, there were darling little vignettes and quilts displayed all over the house. Look how cute on this old ironing board!

A quilt ladder is becoming almost a quilter's 'must have' and Libby has one. 

She also has a fun quilt rack made up of curtain rods. Love it!

This is the bedroom and her gorgeous hexagon quilt that we watched her make on her blog. Also this beautiful log cabin with really small strips--it's to die for! And LOVE the pillows! She is a folk art genius!

Libby is also a big Cheri Payne fan and has made numerous projects designed by Cheri. Wonderful stuff here! 

Libby also pulled this little Christmas quilt out of the closet that I designed and she made a few years ago. Love her version. This is a free pattern on my website,

This little basket is stuffed with little quilts with the crow and flag taking the center stage. So Cute! 

I felt so inspired after leaving Libby's house. But most of all I felt so happy to have spent the day with this wonderful woman! It was just like meeting up with an old friend, even tho our whole relationship has been through blogging. Thanks Libby for a great afternoon! 

If you want to see Libby's projects from over the years be sure to visit her BLOG and just peruse her posts. If you haven't been there before you have a lot to catch up on!

 I forgot to post this picture of Michelle Joyner from Fat Quarter Quilts Shop in Vista, CA in my last post.  She is a doll! By the way, her shop has free shipping on their website. Good stuff!