Friday, October 31, 2014


I went to the quilting class and had the best time!

We had a wonderful potluck in class.

Everyone brought their food to the student commons, and one lady decorated all the tables.  I should have taken a photo but didn't. Each table had a floor length black covering, then a smaller orange covering with Halloween designs.  On top of each there was a glass rectangle with candle inside and either a spider or skeleton climbing up the outside.

The food was labeled with fun titles:
  • Heartbeat salad was hearts of palm, beet and a piece of cheese on a toothpick.
  • Bone brittle was some wonderful stuff from Costco, little squares of a lightly sugared cashew nut and pumpkin seed mixture.
I can't remember them all.  It was so unexpected that everyone was laughing and having so much fun.  It was great to get to chat with the ladies and find out about their lives.

For my quilting part of the class I continued to sew more of the quarter circles.  A lot of energy was going into party so it was better to keep working on that.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quarter Circles: Day Two

My adult education class was on again.  

I brought more quarter circles to put together.  This time I stacked the pieces so all the same color fabrics were together.  Then I rotated thru the different colors. Some of the pieces went together perfectly, while others had odd stitching on the back or the seams became inconsistent.

I'm not loving working with these pieces as much as I thought I would. It's not just the actual sewing that I'm having a problem with, it's the colors. I really would like to have the background be a different set of fabrics that the quarter circle but the template for the AccuQuilt is set up so both shapes are cut at the same time.

But I have all these lovely pieces cut out so will challenge myself to perfect the stitching!

I searched again tonight to find some help with the piecing:

The Studio AccuQuilt is in the classroom again - hurray - so next week along with food for the potluck, I will bring fabric prepped so I can cut pieces up.  The decision to make will be on what fabrics to bring and what shapes to cut?

Template Name                            Rough cut   Cut results
50607    Super Strip Cutter 5.5 inch       15 x 26   1-5.5 inch strip (double check rough cut)
50047    Strip Cutter 6.5 inch             13 x 25   2-6.5 inch strips 
50062    Super Strip Cutter 4.5 inch      9.5 x 25   2-4.5 inch strips
50058    Super Strip Cutter 3 inch         10 x 26   3-3.0 inch strips
50060    Super Strip Cutter 3.5 inch      9.5 x 25   2-3.5 inch strips
50612    Super Giant Strip 2.5 inch        13 x 25   5-2.5 inch strips

50212    Square #1  5 inch by 5 inch     11.5 x 17   6-5.0 inch squares (2x3)
50284    Everyday Tote                     10 x 15   tote ends up 3"W x 12"L x 9"H (need pattern)
50297    Rag Quilt 6 inch by 7 inch       9.5 x 12   1-6"W x 7"H (15 cm x 18 cm) rag shape with 3/4"L x 1/4"W (2 cm x 1 cm) fringe
50220    Tumbler Block #2                   5 x 25   6-3 5/8"W x 3 1/2"H
50221    Tumbler Block #3                 9.5 x 24   4-6 1/2"W x 6 1/2"H

I cut a bunch of the smaller tumbler blocks a few years ago and found them to be really enjoyable to sew as leaders and enders to my more liberated projects, but I don't want to get tired of them.  Also it seems my friends are all having baby boys so all the pink that I cut out won't be used right now...

I did not prep the fabric last time I used the AccuQuilter so had to spend time ironing and folding to get things to fit.  I think it would be more time efficient to come with pressed pieces at the rough cut size...!

The teacher has more templates including the quarter circle (I think it would be good to add some print materials in my plain mix of yellows and blues), and she may have a whole circle template.  If she has the whole circle then I will make an abacus quilt.

In other things I've finished scanning another bankers box - only 5 million to go!  Ha ha.

My DH and I have been talking about getting new windows, but I can tell it's going to be something I research and decide on really.  Any one out there will experience on this?

Also, this comiing Friday we were asked to bring food for potluck for the quilting class.  I'm scratching my head on this too - ideas welcome!

: )

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mini-Trip to the East Coast

We recently returned from a quick trip back East. It was mostly* wonderful. DH thought we'd be there to see the fall leaves, but the trees were mostly green.  

We started with a visit to WPI to see one of his professors. We attended a social event for alumni - they have about 8 times a year. They have a professor give a lecture on one of their projects then get their lunch at the faculty club and eat and chat. It was an interesting and important project. They are working on not only delivering medicine after a heart attack but repairing the muscle to take away the damage. The professor and his wife were quite nice, and there were other people there too who remembered my husband or who he remembered. It's a social thing for former students, professors and staff. WPI is a very nice environment to be in and to be associated with. When we move there I hope we attend some of these meetings each year.  

Then we went to Mark Twain's house in Hartford and it was on to Waterbury, where DH lived until he went to WPI.  
Exterior Mark Twain House

We had a bonus there as his 'little brother' from the WPI fraternity (who usually lives in Denver) was in CT for his sister's wedding. So we had dinner with him. He is an expert at wines so it's always fun to taste different ones and hear about them.

Painting in Waterbury Restaurant

We got a call from our son during dinner.  He was offered several jobs, decided after chatting with DH on the one that was a little farther away (30+ minutes) but is more about what he is studying for his masters degree. Data scientist for a company that does semantic searches for other businesses. It's also salary with benefits and what not. They will let him work part time until he graduates this December. Sounds like a great fit.  We are very proud of him.  His fiance is working full time as an engineer and has started her MA so they are both very busy.

The next day we went to Holy Land USA, a hill with folk art in Waterbury. In the 60's some guy organized people to create little miniatures of buildings in Israel that were in the bible. We had to go thru the do not enter signs that are posted around. It's something we visit every time we are in Waterbury. DH could see the construction from his bedroom window. A former mayor has just purchased it and says he will rebuilt it with another group of volunteers.  We'll see.  We went to a beautiful art history museum then in New Britain on our way to Rhode Island.  They had a quilt exhibit that was interesting, but photos were not allowed for that exhibit.

Steps at Museum

At this point *DH started feeling ill and was getting a cold.  Still we had a nice time with his friends and got to see their new home.  When we were there the old house was bull dozed and this new one created. Beautiful. Lots of windows and great views of the river and boats. We went to Waterfire in Providence and after a walk to see the fire had a wonderful dinner on Federal Hill. After two nights DH left for Cambridge as he had to work and I got to have another two days with the friends. We walked on the beach, shopped, went out to dinner, watched TV, it was nice. They had come in two cars and the last day he had to work so I had one day alone just with Ba. We went to library and several book stores. It was fun.
Designs friend liked at shops in Rhode Island

We went to their home in Winchester 
Friend's Family Quilt - beautiful and over 100 years old!

and I went thru the boxes we had left there and pulled out a long sleeve shirt and a light sweater that was nice to have on the rest of the trip.  They dropped me off at the Charles Hotel where DH was.  
Charles Hotel - Lobby and hallway decorated with quilts

Details of carpets from Charles

DH was really sick when I arrived.  So I walked to get him some cold medicine and food - he had been working so much and after the first $50 room service meal that wasn't that great he had decided to not eat (other than the granola bars I always put in his suitcase).  Gosh, It was wonderful to walk in Harvard Square again!  I had to keep on task though so just got the benedril and hamburger he had requested from Flat Patties.  The bed and room was beautiful. They had a handmade quilt in blue and white on top of a silk comforter. The desk in the room was huge - just right for what DH needed. Only we had to move out at the prices more than doubled for the third night....

We went to Assembly Square to stay at a more modest place.  DH was mainly coughing or working so I walked over to the stores and looked around. It's the first new T stop in forever and is a huge new development, but in the end it's stores and restaurants with apartments above . Very nice looking but all new. I brought DH food back and stayed sort of close as he was really coughing. I had some books to read that I had purchased in Rhode Island so I was happy do that to be near DH. He started to get better and on the second night he left the room to eat out, so much better than eating in the room!

Assembly Square Designs

Then we moved to a hotel on the Charles by Trader Joe's, a great location.  DH went to the beautiful Cambridge Library until we could check in to the new hotel, and I took a walk after my dental appointment. 

Central Square Designs

Cambridge Library Steps

I ended up at the library and we drove back to Central Square. We ate at an Indian Restaurant we had eaten at several times while there for the sabbatical. The most delicious curried salmon and non with raisins.  Yum!  We walked to a specialty bookstore with all sorts of mystical books.  Then it was back to work for him.  (The whole trip was very last minute as he realized his frequent flyer miles would expire but would get us there so we just paid for the food, car and hotels.  Meetings and projects though were added after the tickets were purchased.  His getting cold didn’t help things…)

The second day there I had a wonderful time as DH was feeling better and I got up early to have a cinnamon roll and egg at Veggie Galaxie, then I just walked and walked (almost 12 miles!) Stopped in some places (Garment District for one) but mainly just tried to go down new-to-me streets.  I ended up in Faneuil Hall Square and treated myself to a lobster roll lunch at Durgin Park.  I walked on to South Street Station and took the T to Davis Square.  I got there before DH (I had called him when I got to the station.)  We met our friends for dinner there at Out of the Blue.
Awards displayed in walking area of bridge to Boston

The last day we just packed and drove to the airport – there was time for a final Dunkin Doughnut before we got on the plane.

On the second leg of the flight I sat in the center so got to chat a little with the lady next to me.  We ended up exchanging phone numbers as we both like to walk!

Back in San Diego we decided to eat at the Phil’s BBQ in the terminal before going home to crash.  It was a good decision, no lines, same food as the restaurant!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Not Quilting: Book Olive Ketteridge and on the East Coast!

I just finished reading the most depressing, but well-written book.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

It really several short stories that are only linked together by the character, Olive. In one she is the seemingly uncaring wife with a husband about to wander (but doesn't). In another she helps someone get care they need. In the saddest she is a mother of a boy marrying someone who doesn't care for Olive and then later her son divorces that women, marries again and doesn't tell his mother. She is left out of his life, misunderstood and there isn't anything she can do about it. Getting sad or angry doesn't help.  Even changing the way you think doesn't change things, just helps you focus on other things.

I got the book at a wonderful library sale in Newport RI. My friend and the librarian both remembered as being a great book. To me each of the chapters ended in sadness, sorry, missteps, misunderstandings. Olive is a strong character who in the end seems to have worked thru all the unhappiness, but well it was a sad, sad story and I don't recommend it unless you want to be sad and dragging your feet and wondering if it will happen to you!

In other news, I'm on the east coast again! Yippee! I have had a wonderful couple of days.

- Worcester visiting DHs WPI at an alumni event - a social event at the Higgins House. Beautiful and nice. We saw a brief presentation on Bioengineering at WPI.

- Hartford to see the Mark Twain House.

- Waterbury to see Holy Land USA and friend who happened to also be in town from Colorado. Nice meal and time.

- New Britian Museum of Art for the Quilt Exhibits (no photos allowed).

- Rhode Island to see wonderful friends and their new home!

- Providence to see Waterfire - very pretty then had a delicious meal on Federal Hill.  A day of light shopping and walking (where I got the book), great pastries too. Yummy seafood. Relaxing morning before driving to

- Wincester.  There I went thru the boxes we left two years ago at their house.  I pulled out two long sleeved shirts and a mouse scanner and intend to return to mail things back to us - it's taking forever to find a place to get here ourselves.

- Cambridge.  Out for nice meal friends then to Charles Hotel to DH.  I got so happy again once we were here.  I walked in the evening to the CVS and to Flat Patties to get things to help DH.

DH is ill so our plans are changing now.  Today we had breakfast at S&S Deli and then I walked around a new complex called Assembly Row but didn't go on the subway myself so I could bring some food back to DH.  Finished the depressing book and now will move on to a different book that I also got in Newport.....

Seeing lots of designs in buildings.  Will post some later on...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Building Blocks: Rail Fence, Basic Building Block, Cheaters Drunkard's Path

I've sewed and quilted the Leah Day Building Blocks Lesson Pattern blocks for March, April and May.

It has been a long time since I have worked on this project.  The initial cutting for all the blocks was done in January, so it's pretty easy to pull the material and quilting designs out of the envelopes and then sew, mark and piece.

My seams for the rail fence were a little off, so I had to adapt the marking a little.  I did the marking before watching the videos and realized that I wasn't looking at the big design for each section, I missed seeing that some of the designs flow from the different sections.
Piecing Rails -
Lines -
Wiggles and Teeth -
Cursive words -
Circles and Stairs -

The building block design is genius!  I didn't appreciate the block or the design or the lesson until watching the videos. Leah was very smart to have us do three designs in 4 different scales.  This was the best lesson/exercise ever.  We did micro stippling in 2012 with the whole cloth experiment, but I wasn't really sure if I was doing it at the correct scale or not.  Once I uncover that piece it will be interesting to check.
Piecing Building Block -
Stippling -
Gridlines -
Circuit Board -
Building Block - front
Building Block - back

The cheater's drunkard's path was interesting.  I had not made a block this way - sewing and then cutting back to have piece appear. The raw edge will fluff up I guess once the piece is washed.
Piecing -
Lines and Grids -
Wiggly Lines -
Spirals -
Cheater's drunkards - front
Cheater's drunkards - back
I'm getting more confident with the machine again.  Relearning to listen to the sounds as I sew and adjusting accordingly.  I have not broken one needle, and have gone thru two and a half bobbins so far.

I am doing most of the blocks with out rotating - the skills are coming back after this long break from sewing!

Leah has finished the quilt now (there are no anchors on this page so scroll down to see her standing with the project) and it looks really nice, much nicer than I thought it would actually.  I am not going to change my thread color at this stage in the game, but I have discovered again that I really like seeing the thread on the fabric.  My choices for this project have the thread blending in the fabric for part of every block and all the backs.  I should have used black thread to really show off the wonderful designs! and I should have used much lighter colors for the other fabric. It's very hard to mark the designs using the fabric I picked.

The mug rug I made husband needs to be washed, so I made up a new little coaster for him at the computer - see the cursive Bernie at the top?