Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mission Accomplished!

I finished the baby quilt before the little one is in college!  This was a fun project and it is quite beautiful in person.  Up close there is a lot of "movement" in the design and the eye keeps moving.   I had fun with this one.  Now it is ready to be packaged and sent on to cuddle the new little recipient.  I think I will present it like this with a big grosgrain ribbon wrapped around it.
I was impressed because my sweetheart was marveling over the quilt.  He told me that people just do not realize how much work goes into something like this.  It was a labor of love but it was nice to know that he observed that it takes weeks of effort.
I have another quilt project lined up after this.  I am going to make Liesl her very own quilt.  Liesl is the queen of comfort so I think this will be something that will make her happy.  I was going to take some time between projects, but her daddy reminded me that it will be cold at night in about three months.  I have a Moda Frivols kit that looks so beautiful and colorful.  The Moda Frivols come with a collectible tin and are so adorable.  The one that I am doing is Frivols 8.  It has great colors and some really cute retro fabric cuts.  It makes me happy to think that she will have something made with love to cuddle up in at night. 
Hope you have a wonderful week filled with many blessings!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Baby Quilt WIP

Please pardon the wrinkles.  I got the top of my baby quilt pieced, the layers pinned together, then started to quilt.  I had the intention of having it quilted this past weekend, but I had a small quilting disaster.  You will notice in the lower right hand corner there are two lines quilted.  The yellow and light border fabrics were too light to use my white chaco liner (Clover) so I used the neon pink chaco liner and tried it in the corner.  Usually in the quilting process the white chalk comes right off.  Not so with the pink, sadly.  The pink would not come off.  My heart sank when I saw it.  I had rolled it up for the quilting process and left it that way.  I could not even look at it for the past couple of days, I was so upset.  I googled solutions for this (apparently this has happened to others, with the pink and blue chaco liner.)  Some involve vinegar, oxy clean and something called Sew Clean, (which I promptly ordered on Amazon.)
I was telling my sad tale to a master quilter at my office today and asked her advice.  She told me to move on, and not to try to fix it.  She said that experience has taught her that it usually causes a bigger mess when you keep trying to fix something.  She reminded me that it is a baby quilt and worse things than pink chalk will end up on the quilt.  She said to give the gift, and let the parents know that the pink will come out with the first wash.  I think that is pretty good advice.   
This is what it looked like before I pinned and rolled the quilt for quilting:
I am pretty proud of how well the corners lined up! 
So this weekend, I went over to my favorite library because they had the new Phillipa Gregory book on hold for me.  (It is awesome!)  I had a few extra minutes so I decided to poke around in the needlework section.  That is when I laid my eyes on "Hardanger Embroidery" by Frederique Marfaing.  This is one of the best books on hardanger I have ever read, with lots of photos and diagrams.  There are some obscure decorative stitches that I have never seen before.  (I have a self imposed moratorium on books, but I may have to ask Santa for this one this year.)  I highly recommend it for any hardanger enthusiast! 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Happy Weekend!

We took a long weekend this past weekend.  We both were in need of some serious R&R.  It coincided with Liesl's 9th birthday so we had a festive time.  My sweet baboo is originally from Chicago but went to high school in Santa Barbara, so I get to see some pretty cool stuff when I am there.  He is a great tour guide.
No trip to Santa Barbara or Southern California would be complete without a stop in Solvang.  We had to have a yummy pastry and walk around this amazing little Danish town in California  We walk around the town and look in the little shops and get some yummies.  I poke around in Thumbelina because they carry nice hardanger patterns by Permin and Oehlenschlager, and Bill likes to look in the Thomas Kinkade gallery.  He is a bit of a romantic.  :)  After a couple of hours we were on our way to Santa Barbara. 
It turns out our little trip coincided with one of the biggest weeks in Santa Barbara.  It was Fiesta Week, which has a number of cool festivities.  We walked down to see the big equestrian parade which was amazing.  Beautiful horses and donkies and people decked out in their festive best, calling out, "Viva La Fiesta!"  Members of the crowd shout back, "Viva La Fiesta!"  We had to laugh because one man on a beautiful float saw Liesl and yelled out, "Look a schnauzer!!!"  A typical day with Liesl. 

Apparently it is a custom during Fiesta to break a confetti filled egg over people's heads for Fiesta. It is supposed to be good luck.   So everyone walks around with confetti in their hair during Fiesta.  We did not find a vendor to buy our cascarones from so my hair was confetti free.
My favorite day of the trip we started in the rose garden at the Santa Barbara mission.  It is such a beautiful and peaceful place.  There is a very special energy there and we like to sit and be silent for a while on one of the park benches after we look at the pretty roses.  Then we took a little drive around the city.  The nicest surprise was that we ended up at the leash free Hendry's Beach.  Liesl was so excited.  She went swimming (walks into the surf up to her belly), played with her daddy, then ran with the big dogs.  Bill went and got us a couple of hot dogs, which got shared with her.  Liesl is not a demonstrative dog, she will give us a couple of kisses when we come home from work, but otherwise this is not something she just does.  It was so funny because she came running out of the water at one point onto the blanket I was sitting on and just kept kissing me.  I guess that meant that it was the best puppy day ever.  She slept for 10 hours straight last night!  PS:  When we were trying to put Liesl and our stuff in the car to come home, she walked right up to the door of the hotel to let us know she did not want to leave.  She wanted to stay for more fun. 
We were driving up State Street yesterday on the way back to our lodging, when I saw a Dunkin Donuts!  I am a Jersey Girl transplanted to the previously Devoid of Dunkin Donuts state of California.  It has been over 10 years since I had my last Chocolate Crème filled.  We were too exhausted yesterday but I was promised a stop on the way out of town today and here are my treasures!  The Chocolate Crème filled have been my favorite since I was nine years old and they taste exactly the same.  I ate one immediately in the car and had a nine year old moment.  It was awesome.  I looked like a nine year old, too, because I had unwisely worn a black shirt and spent the rest of the day covered in powdered sugar. 

So we are back in the best place in the world - home!  I love travelling, but I really love coming home to the cozy cottage.  Liesl is happy to be home now, too!  She ate her dinner, took inventory of her toys, surveyed her queendom in the backyard and went to her puppy bed.  And Bill, well, Bill found out that his little grandson decided to make an early entrance into the world this morning, a couple of weeks early!  So he is floating on air...