Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Debbie's Wool Crazy and Nick's Quilt

Last week when I wrote, I told you that I would share Debbie's Wool Crazy blocks. She made these as sample's for classes she taught. As you can see she used some of my designs (more in her fall block) and then branched out to her own. I love how people take the initial concept and add their own designs or incorporate designs from other patterns they have made. It makes it so much fun to see them...

I am not sure if she plans on making four, but they would be great just made into small quilts! Keeping with a holiday theme she can incorporate them in with her fall and Christmas decorating..

On Monday I spent the day with my grandson Nick. He had the day off from school and since there was work being done at his house he came over to my apartment. He has told me during the last few weeks that he wanted to make a quilt for his animals....and so when he first got there I had him draw some pictures of them....He picked one with his orangutan as his favorite. So I transferred it to tea dyed muslin with my lite box and then I cut out 14 more squares of plaids. Nick laid them out how he wanted them and then he helped me sew them together. As I guided the needle, he worked the foot pedal.....we hit some land speed records on some of the seams, but he had LOTS of fun! While he sat and played with his Leapster, I stitched his drawing....Then he helped me spray bond the backing, batting and top.....I utility quilted it and today added the binding.....As you can see, Nick is VERY HAPPY with the results!!

Of course all of you know that the attention span of a five year old does not allow for non-stop sewing....so after our "speed sewing" Nick had another first. He had never been on a public bus. Since I don't drive adventures with Grandma require a lot of walking and riding on MAX....but so far we hadn't tried the bus. It was a big success. Since it was a holiday and mid morning, Nick and I had the bus to ourselves. We had a great driver and he chatted with Nick the whole way. We took in a matinee and lunch and then we were on our way back......We topped the day off with a trip to the playground at Nick's school. I don't know if he was tired, but Grandma was ready to put her feet up!

Megan had her last treatment of "IPPY" today.....at least for this session....They will do tests in the next few weeks to see if it is working.....Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers for its success!

My best to all of you and I hope you are finding time to play with your wool and stitch your day away.......My best.....Jo Ann

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An adventure in Portland

Last week I got a message from Debbie Busby of Wooden Spool Designs. We have met many times at Quilt Markets and always had a great time in our brief visits....but for all of you who have gone to market you know that if you are in a booth, visits unfortunately can't be too long! Anyway, she knew I was in Portland and asked if maybe we could get together one day. So....on Tuesday I took the MAX (Portland's wonderful light rail) to it's last stop going east and Debbie picked me up and took me on an adventure. We drove through beautiful countryside and ended up at her home. It was such fun to see her treasures and to visit her studio. Here she is standing in front of one of the old wooden stands in her work area. The whole room was full of wonder.....

....and here Debbie is again in the middle of the room....every where you looked there was a bit of inspiration. Debbie is just like her smile...warm and welcoming. It was such fun to see her new projects that she is developing for Spring Quilt Market....They are still a secret...but I know you will all love them!

Don't you love how she used the stack of suitcases for a lamp stand. I forgot to ask if she uses them for storage too....but I know mine at home are all full of samples,etc. She later took me to her favorite antique store and sure enough she found a smaller case to add to her collection.

The antique paper stands add a wonderful look in her shipping area. I saw one similar to this later that day when we were shopping, but it was a little too big to carry back on MAX....so it had to stay at the shop. I love it, don't you?

All in all it was a great day. I of course found some treasures of my own and plan on sharing them with you. I also took some photos of Debbie's version of Wool Crazy. She has taught it at a local quilt store, Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe in West Linn and her samples are very fun.

We had snow in Portland yesterday morning. It only stayed for an hour, but it was so beautiful to see. My grandkids were very excited!

Visiting Debbie's studio made me come back and work on my mystery stitchery....I only have two more blocks left.....and I think I'll close and get to work....Bye for now, Jo Ann

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Back in Portland

I am back in Portland again. Actually I came back on the 31st of January, but I spent the first 3 days wallowing in a cold! I wasn't much use to anyone....although Nick came home sick from school that first day and he had to put up with me! I finally felt like a human being by Thursday...and just in time, because Megan had planned a girl's weekend at the Oregon Coast!

Before I tell you about that, I wanted to share block #2 of the Folk Branches bom at The Country Loft.....remember that it is a mystery and won't be put together until the end. I now have the first 7 done, but you will have to wait to see them! Of course this is Heart Branch...right in time for Valentine's Day.

....and now onto the coast. I love the Oregon Coast. It is so different than the beaches in Southern California! We were lucky to be staying in Megan's friend's family home just steps from the famous Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. My sister Marlene is walking down the stairs to it. We had overcast, but calm weather during our stay and were able to trek up the beach both days.

Megan planned this trip, because her friend, Val came to visit from Iowa....This is a photo of Megan (on the right), Val (middle) and my niece Margaret. They have all been friends for years.
... and here we are our first night in the beach house. Gene had sent us all a gift for the weekend (head scratchers) and Margaret is showing hers off....It was such fun to spend some time away and just visit, eat, drink and be merry.

Can you see that Megan's hair is starting to grow back. The clinical trial drug that she is on now does not kill hair cells, so she is sporting a fuzzy head. So far it is dark, but she said she is just glad to get some back ! Sophie might like her Mom having her hair color!

Going on this journey with Megan has taught us all to enjoy each and every moment (maybe not the ones suffering with a cold).....but all the special little things of life.

Thanks everyone for all your messages and prayers. We all so appreciate them....

Hope you are having a great day and I send you all a special wish for a special Valentine's Day with those you love......Jo Ann