March Cross-X Blocks

February CrossX Blocks

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It’s Cross-X Blocks time again!  The last Friday of every month, Krista of KristaStitched and I post about our swaps that we’ve done.  Above are the eight blocks I made for February, four for Krista and four for me.  Our Flickr group is *here* if you want to see what everyone is doing.

February CrossX blocks_2

Here’s mine, all alone after sending my blocks off to her.

BLocks as of Feb 2014

My organizing fetish surges to the front at times like this, as I like to see our progress.  Krista’s ahead of me, having sent me two March blocks.  I have to get going to keep up with her!

All Blocks Feb 2014

And here they are, all together.  I can’t believe the number of blocks is growing this fast.

Fav CrossX Block_1

I like playing with the blocks because I get to look more closely at what Krista’s been up to.  Here are four of my recent favorites of hers (above and below).

Fav CrossX Block_2

Fav CrossX Block_3

Fav CrossX Block_4

February CrossX blocks_Madrona Road

And one last shot of the blocks, made up in Madrona Road (with a few oldies).  I hope Krista has her sunglasses!

A Quiet Week

AMH tote bag

AMH tote bag pocket

After the big TaDa! moment of getting Santa and his blocks and his neighborhood all done, it was a quiet week.  No bee blocks.  No quilting.  No sewing, unless you count the samples that I put together to teach my Pleated Tote Bag class on Tuesday night.  Tonight, I finished the bag that I’d used as a teaching sample (above), putting the pieces together, arriving at completion.

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And because I have a quiet week, and I’ve had a chance to reflect on recent events, and because we are approaching the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s time to count my blessings, quilt-wise.  In the photo above, Cindy, of Live A Colorful Life is seated at my dining room table, sewing on my little featherweight.  This was the second year she has come down for our Good Heart Quilters Potluck Event, and I’m so glad she did.  One of the blessing of modern quilting is the internet, the connections we make through Instagram, through blogs and their comments, through emails, and through bees (Cindy organized the Mid-Century Modern Bee, of which I’m a part).

Pho and Flatbread

When she arrived, on Halloween Night, we turned out the lights on the porch and went out for Pho and flatbread from a new restaurant in town.  She was pretty adventurous, even so far as to have the Korean-style flatbread, with kimchi on top.  Later, we came back home and talked and sewed (my husband was out of town, so we had the run of the place).  Cindy’s gift of collecting people and connecting people has greatly blessed my life.

TAble setting

After sewing all day Friday, we set up the tables in my dining room, and hosted the Good Heart Quilters, or about half of them.  It seems it was a very busy weekend, and we were missing a good number of these fine quilters.

Cooked Stuffed Pumpkin

Stuffed Pumpkin_open

This was what I made for my contribution to dinner: stuffed pumpkin (recipe found *here*).

Quilt Night_1a

from l: Carol, Laurel, Janette, Leisa and Tracy

Quilt Night_2a

from l: Simone, Caitlin, Cindy and Lisa

Quilt Night_Laurel

We always start (and usually finish) with Show and Tell.  This is Laurel’s finish–a quilt for her sister.  It’s very tall, so the angle isn’t the best, but as always, Laurel combines piecing with appliqué to create something we all want to sneak off with, into our cars.

Quilt Night_Lisa

Lisa got her borders sewn on tonight–a Hallelujah! moment because she’s been busy getting ready for her daughter’s wedding in about three weeks, and she has sewn her own dress and most of Bridget’s trousseau, amidst working all day.  We were thrilled for her.

Quilt Night_Simone

Simone started coming this spring for the first time, and has her first finish: an apple core quilt done in modern fabrics.  It’s fabulous.

Quilt Night_Simone2

But she didn’t stop there–she used the scraps to create a table runner.  A clever quilter, wouldn’t you say?  Last year, we ate and then just chatted, but this year we ate and then got to work and everyone made progress on their projects.  Next quilt night is at Simone’s, on Saturday, December 7th, a shift from our usual Fridays (the church Christmas supper snagged that Friday!).  In counting my blessings, this quilt group is one of my big quilty blessings.  Sometimes we’ve been only a few ladies gathered at a house for munchies and sewing, sometimes there’s been a lot of us, but after meeting for sixteen years, roughly 8-10 times a year, we’ve all become close friends, and are always ready to welcome in a new quilter (like Simone and Caitlin).

Hello Kitty on Ceiling

I don’t know if you can see this, but when I went to Arizona to spend time with my daughter and her family while her husband was in Tonga doing free dental work, I got to sleep in her daughter Keagan’s room.  I turned out the light, pulled up the covers and was greeted by a giant pink Hello Kitty and the time, all broadcast to the ceiling.  It made me smile, and count my blessings of having grandchildren who like to know what time it is.  Even if it is in the middle of the night.

Santa Backing

While I was there, Barbara took me to a giant fabric/quilt shop store where they had tons and tons of great quilt fabrics: 35th Avenue Sew and Vac, in Phoenix Arizona, where I found a piece of Ann Kelle’s Christmas trees for no good reason.  Ah, but the very good reason became apparent to me after I finished off the Santa top.  This will be the perfect backing (and I got it on sale!).

Friendship Quilt

And lastly, about fifteen years ago I started this Friendship Quilt. At that time I wanted to remember lots of women in my life who had been my mentors, my friends, my sisters and sisters-in-law, my daughter and daughters-in-law.  Some of these women: two of my aunts, and my mother-in-law have passed away already.  It’s time to get it done.  I have put it on my Finish-A-Long list nearly every month, but hadn’t done much about it.  Recently I laid out the squares in what I thought I remembered as my original design.  Holes in the pattern were apparent.  I realized that I had just enough missing blocks that I could gather my granddaughters’ signatures, as well as the my most recent daughter-in-law.  It’s tempting to keep it going, to add those friends who are close to me now, but I decided some time ago that with the exception of adding those related to me, I would leave it as it was: a snapshot in time.  But because I am counting my quilty blessing on this post, from new friends and far-flung internet friends and old friends both near and far, and all those related to me, I must end by counting these sweet blessings in my life:

Signatures

These were the signatures I collected last week, from the three-year-old Dani to the eldest granddaughter Keagan, and all the others in between.

I am beyond blessed to know these little women.  They make my heart sing.

Cool quilt square from IG

Happy Thanksgiving week, every one.  Don’t let the cooking interfere too much with the sewing (although, judging from what I see on Instagram (photo above), things are proceeding apace! (Nice quilt block, Leanne!)

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Finish-A-Long, Q3 Wrap-Up and Quarter 4 Goals

fal-q3 goals_2013

These were the goals of Quarter Three of the Finish-A-Long, hosted by Leanne of She Can Quilt.

1. Hunter’s Star is finished, and is renamed At the Bandstand, Under A Starry Night — Quilt #47 on my 100 Quilts List.  I had started in 2002, and finished it up this year.

2. Rhonda got her hot mitts, and then I made a second pair for my daughter-in-law Kimberly, who liked them so much.

3. The colorful tote, made in Keiko Goke fabrics, is finished and I’ve been toting it around as a purse, I like it so much.

4. Lollypop Tree is still a quilt top, hanging in my closet.

5. Ditto the Friendship Quilt.

6. The so-called Facets quilt is finished, and has been re-christened as Juxtaposition, quilt #121 on my 200 Quilts List.

7. The Four-in-Art quilt with an owl theme was completed, and is named Congruence, quilt #119 on the 200 Quilts List.

8. The Citrus quilt was quilted together, quilt #118 on the list.

In addition, I completed a quilt for a new grandson: Charlie’s Quilt.

FAL Q4_2013

I’m taking off most of the oldies and adding three new quilts: a Christmas Quilt, a Schnibbles that I never quilted, and the Map-themed project for our Four-in-Art group (that’s the preliminary sketch there in the middle).  I left on the Friendship Quilt just to keep it alive–if I can just get the top together, then I’ll take it to my quilter to finish it up.

Santa Claus Center

(Well, at least the center is done!)

It’s good to set goals.  It’s also good not to turn them into sticks to beat yourself with.

FinishALong Button

Linking up with Leanne’s 2013 Finish-A-Long.  Do you have some things you’d like to finish?

FAL Progress: not much

This is one of those I-think-I’ll-beat-myself-up posts.

I’m participating in the Finish-A-Long this quarter, after having such a gang-busting last quarter.  Really, I was hot hot hot.

FAL Q2_2013These were my goals.

1. I glimpsed the Hunter’s Star quilt top when I was finishing up the vacuuming after my sister and her husband left (they stayed with us for a few days and we had great talks).  It’s still hanging there, waiting for a border or two and then a trip to the quilter.

2. Hey! I finished something–the Four-in-Art * Fire quilt, titled Doloket.

3. Hey!  Something else was completed.  Guess I might not have to hate myself so much.  Yes, I did finish the Italy quilt — a Schnibbles quilt — part of Another Year of Schnibbles on Sheri and Sinta’s blogs.  Title: Take Me Back to Italy.

4.  I can’t finish this one, as the sample is hanging in the shop — the shop owner likes it unfinished so she can show people what machine appliqué looks like from the back.

5.  Oh, right.  Next.

6. Finished this one, woohoo!  Title: Lollypop Treat.

7.  What was I thinking even listing this?  Next.

8. Sigh.

Spoolin Around1

So, I guess it’s not total loathing here in Riverside, just partial.  But the one good thing about this FAL is that keeps me honest, and usually focused.  But I had to add in another Schnibbles (above, as I know no post is good without photos), and I slipped in Christine’s Philadelphia because the idea was burning in my brain.  Okay, confessional over.  I guess I should get to work.