Thursday, December 4, 2014

It's Been About 5 Months...

since I added anything to my blog.  I last wrote just a few days before the movers came to finish packing up and put my "stuff" on the truck for my move from Los Altos, Ca to Reno, Nevada.  Here are just a few of my sewing related boxes ready to be taken away:


My new sewing room looked like this for several months as I unpacked and tried to make sense out of where to put my "stuff" in the new house:

 
As part of this grand scheme, I also retired from the practice of law, hopefully to allow myself to enjoy life, explore, observe, learn, create and grow.  All things I felt were lacking in my life while practicing law.  I also wanted to be nearer my two grandkids, who are now 5 and 7:


So, I now live down the street from my son, DIL and the 2 boys.  I am enjoying new experiences through the eyes of the boys, such as Pumpkin Palooza at Victorian Square.  I'm also getting involved in the community here and volunteering with several organizations as I decide what if anything I will do with myself from a work perspective.  

The sky here is quite delightful.  Here are a couple of shots I took from my backyard in October and November:





We've had some snow in the mountains (none in Reno).  Here's a shot from my bedroom window:




And I have gotten my sewing room up and running!  That was quite a job!  I had no idea how much fabric I had squirreled away...now I do.  I found projects that I had started years ago that are screaming to be finished (o.k., they may need a little work around to modernize them, but the basics are good).   More to come on that topic.

I have also been FMQ my Gee's Bend quilt and working on an improvisational "15 Minutes of Play" type quilt trying to use up some of the mounds of scraps I have accumulated.  



Oh, and let me show you a shot of my neighbors:

 
Wild horses roam around the neighborhood in herds as large as 8 or 10, although this mom, dad and baby seem to particularly like our little neighborhood for hanging out, munching on the grass and, of course, leaving piles of, well, horse poop!

O.K. - I've brought you up to date with most of what I have been doing in the last few months.  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are getting into the spirit of Christmas.  Boo is getting there:

 And I've even started decorating my house!
Nothing like some sparkling lights to make a person feel festive!

 
Aaaaaanyway, that's it from Robertsonville!

 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Last Blog Before The Move and my Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt is finished!

Come Saturday my life here in the Bay Area is being put into a truck and moved to my new home in Reno. 
My last day at my office is Friday.  Things seem to be falling into place with transitioning of clients and a couple of local attorneys who want to not only lease my space (my lease isn't up until the end of September) starting July 1, but want to purchase all of my office furniture!  Fabulous win, win for both of us.  I don't have to liquidate my furniture or worse, pay someone to haul it away and they don't have to buy new furniture.

On Saturday, the movers come to my condo and pick everything up for the trip to Reno.  Then I have to find a place for everything in my home in Reno, but hopefully, it will all work out. 

Meanwhile, I completed my Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt for my international partner.  Here is a look at the finished mini quilt:

This is what I consider the front of the mini quilt.  I actually quilted it myself (and as many of you know, quilting is not my strength!)





This is the back of the quilt.  The front is made up of 12.5 inch blocks and the back is one large block. 

 
I think the quilting works for both front and back.  Let me know what you think. 
 
So off it goes to its new owner along with some little gifts.  Hope she likes it!
 
Are you participating in the Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt swap?  If so, what are you up to?
 
 
Aaaaaanyway that's it from the Robertson California household.  Next time, I'll be blogging from my new home!

Monday, June 16, 2014

So Much Has Been Happening!

Only 12 days left before the movers show up and take all my things to the new house!  I am just a little tired of packing, sorting, donating, throwing away and doing it all again the next day!  It has put a real kink in my sewing - mostly because I have packed a lot of my stash.  Also getting the office closed down and my clients transitioned to new attorneys.  That's been a challenge!

Then my laptop froze up, giving all the symptoms of a dead or dying hunk of junk!  Luckily, my wonderful IT guy was able to fix the problem and restore this baby to good health - yahoo!

So what have I been doing?  Well, I went to the San Mateo County Fair to see the quilt show.  I had 3 quilts in the show and many members of the guild did also.  Here's a sampling.

Two of my quilts in the modern quilt category:

 
 I won an Honorable Mention in the Modern Quilt Category:
 

A panoramic photo of BAM guild quilts:


My friend Jaye's quilt called Fresh Fruit.  She won an Honorable Mention for this beauty. 

 
 
It was nice to see so many modern quilts in the show.  This was the first year that the organizers had a category called "Modern Quilts" (humming Times They Are aChanging). 
 
The other project I've been working on was the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap.  I didn't have a lot of info from my partner, so I jumped in with both feet and an + and X mini quilt, using the Sew Retro fabric as my guide:
 


I thought I'd make one big block for the back instead of a plain back so that my partner can use the mini quilt any way she chooses.  This morning I made up my mind about the quilting and will get started shortly.  My partner is international (I think it's o.k. to say this in my blog!) so my mail date is coming up.  Also, I have to get this done prior to the movers showing up and rolling me out the door hanging onto my sewing machine!

No progress on the last 6 Steampunk blocks.  They will have to wait until I get relocated. 

What are you working on?

Aaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Steam Punk Saga Continues!

One of the benefits of being in "getting ready to move" mode is that I packed up most of my fabric and projects.  I left out Steam Punk and a Gee's Bend project.  Since I don't have other options to distract me, I have been making quite a bit of progress on my Steam Punk blocks:



I have 29 blocks completed!  The pattern calls for 41, so I'm within striking range of finishing this puppy.  Now I have to go back to cutting out pieces as I have put together everything that I had assembly line cut out previously. 

Some of the blocks are more successful than others.  I think once all in their proper place, it will be a quite attractive quilt.  As I look at the blocks I can't say that I stuck to my "neutral palette" idea - there's alot of color in these blocks!

Are any of you working on steam punk blocks?  Am I the last remaining slacker, er, maker on the steam punk wagon?  Love to hear from some other steam punkers.

Aaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Who Knew?

I visited Barnes & Noble bookstore when I was in Reno last weekend (the brick and mortar stores have all closed in the Bay Area) and started in the magazine section.  $87.00 later, I left the store with 4 magazines and a book.  Oh, I purchased a "membership" for $25.00 so I could get a 10% discount on my purchases.  $17 more dollars of discount and I'll break even...

What I didn't know was how many quilting magazines there are.  I must have looked at 15 different magazines.  To my surprise, I saw that there were 2 brand new Modern Quilting magazines.  And they're pretty good:
          Fresh Quilts published by Harris Publishing
          Modern Patchwork published by Interweave

I also purchased The Quilt Life by Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson and received my subscription copy of Modern Quilts.  



I saw several great ideas in the magazines for future quilts, as well as some pretty good reading on a variety of topics.  AND, they are looking for contributors to future editions.  So, if you have a quilt or pillow or bag or table runner, both magazines want to hear from you, or me, or us. 

I have been somewhat disappointed in Modern Quilts Unlimited as the projects seem to be a way to call attention to specific fabric lines rather than a quilt that was made with fabrics that spoke to the quilter.

I also purchased Gwen Marston's new book, Minimal Quiltmaking.  I have not been disappointed in any of her books.  This was no exception.  Gwen provides guidance as to her process, but does not provide specific directions or patterns.  She does go into some detail about the artists who were the source of her quilting inspiration for this book.  Someday I will take one of her classes...

As soon as I read her book, I knew that I would make a minimalist quilt.  I  pulled a pile of fabric to start on my first project.  (Most of my stash is packed in anticipation of my move next month, so I have a really good excuse to purchase more fabric.  After all, I can't be expected to do no sewing for 2 more months!)

I don't think it will take long to put the top together.  I'll start cutting tonight...
I'm really revved up to make this quilt.  Do you get that way?  Where you just can't wait to get to work on a quilt? 

And, I'm still steam punking.  Two more blocks completed (I'm up to 15 now) and after 5 hours of cutting out the various shapes needed for more blocks at Bay Area MQG sew day, I came up with this:


I'm hope there are 8 more blocks in these piles!  The pattern suggests 41 blocks...sigh.  After I assemble these blocks, I'll be about half way there.

Aaaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gorgeous weather and a little Steam Punking Going On!

Spring or maybe even summer is here in NoCal.  Rain is predicted this evening.  Unusual time of year to rain but I'm sure every drop will be welcomed!  I'm just enjoying the sunshine, birds singing and roses in bloom.  I would normally have my garden in by this time, but with the sale of my condo and my impending move by June 30th, I will leave gardening to the new owners.

I will miss tasty homegrown tomatoes.  Not sure if I can successfully grow them in Reno.  I will be there this coming weekend and will go to the nursery and see what they recommend.  There are so many rabbits visiting my yard (even with the rabbit fence I put up - go figure!) I question whether there will be any tomatoes for me.  That is, if rabbits like tomatoes...maybe they only eat grass or other similar vegetation?  Hmmmm, so many things I don't know!

Speaking of Steam Punking (I have deemed the act of making Steam Punk blocks as "punking"), I got a few blocks made over the weekend.  My hands are a little tied, as I packed all but a small selection of fabric and it's in a storage unit.

Here's what I have so far:

 
I'm finding these blocks take quite awhile to come together.  Even with an assembly line approach, first cutting enough for 8 or 10 blocks (5 templates involved in this step), then piecing the 2 curved sections on each blade, then putting the 8 wedges together and squaring up the block.  

Biggest problem of all - I was trying for a more muted palette and my stash is just not cooperating!  I don't buy much in the way of neutral prints it seems.  I buy bright!  Very bright!  Neon bright!  Now I need soft neutral prints, stripes, and plaids. 

I guess I need to do a little fabric shopping...

Aaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.  Hope you had a great Easter weekend!


 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Here and There and Everywhere

I'm truly not sure how I drifted away from blogging for such a long time.  It was no one thing.  It was a little of this:

 

That's Santa Cruz beach and boardwalk with my youngest grandson and my DIL.  It was a gorgeous spring day.  Have no idea why we are crouched over...

And a lot of this:

 





 
These are a couple of photos from my birding trip to Cuba.  The 1950s American cars are amazing!  Actually, Cuba is an amazing place to visit.  I was only there for 2 weeks, but I think that had something to do with my blogging absence.
 
 
The next excuse erh.. uh.. reason I have for not blogging, is that I came back from Cuba and then put my house on the market.  It sold right away and I have until June 30th to move.  To get the house ready for sale, I had to de-clutter and pack up and empty out.  Yea, my stash had to be packed up...I thought I kept out everything I needed to finish a few projects, but I seem to be missing some critical fabric for my Gees Bend quilt.  And I packed the Robert Kaufman Kona solids card, so I'm not sure what the name of the missing fabric is for purposes of ordering more.  I could head to the storage unit to try and find the box that has that fabric in it, but it might be a needle in the haystack process.  Ordering sounds easier!
 
I did get a couple of finishes.  I was participating in the Q1 2014 FAL and had hoped to get 4 projects finished.  I am quite pleased, under the circumstances, that I got 2 projects finished.  Here they are:
 
The first project I finished was the second in a "study" if you will.  I'm thinking a third one is needed to round out the study.  No, I don't know what I am going to do with these babies - wall hanging?  gift?  Yes, I did quilt it myself which is not at all like me!

 
 

 





My second finish is a very long standing project.  I am quite sure I made the top in 2012...  Here she is - my improvisational quilt.  It's a fun little quilt made with scraps.  I like including the central fabric from a prior quilt in little bits and pieces that show up in a later quilt.  I did quilt this piece also.  I really need to learn to be a better machine quilter if I'm going to keep this up!



Whew - I think I have caught you up on everything that has happened in the last 3 months.  Let's see if I can actually get some sewing done before I move.

Aaaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Q1 Finish Along

Finish Along 2014
 



      I am in need of finishing projects and seem to find so many, many reasons why I should do something else, start something else, think about starting something else, buy more fabric...well, I think you get the idea.
 
     So, I said to myself - join the 2014 Q1 Finish Along and get a few long standing unfinished projects completed.  My list is rather modest, but I think do-able as I'll be out of the country for 2 weeks in February and I do so like to meet my goals!
 
     Let me introduce you to my hit list:
 
1.  Quilt and bind my Improvisation quilt top that has been waiting way too long for some attention.  You may be able to see that I've started some straight line quilting:  
 
 
2.  This little wall hanging is the second variation of this theme.  I need to quilt it and bind it: 

 



 
 
Here is the completed original wall hanging in this series:
 
 



 3.  My string quilt top needs a back, quilting and a binding.  This puppy has been hanging around my sewing room for a really long time!

 
 
4.  Last but not least is my Gee's Bend quilt (saw this in the most wonderful book:  Gee's Bend The Architecture of a Quilt)  I started this quilt top last year and I came to a screeching halt for some reason I don't recall right now:
 


 
 
     That's my hit list for the first quarter of 2014 Finish Along.  I'm going to link to Katy's blog here The Littlest Thistle and join the fun and games for this quarter.  Why don't you sign up also?  Great motivator for finishing a reasonable number of projects.
 
     Aaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.
 
 
 




Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year and a Brief Reflection on 2013 Completions

First, let me wish you all a Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday, took some time off from work and recharged your batteries.

I don't know if you typically make New Year's resolutions - I typically don't.  This year I spent a little time thinking about what and who was important to me and vowed to spend more time appreciating (and spending time with) my family and friends.  Less work and more play is on my 2014 agenda.

I have also implemented a plan to finish UFOs and not start new projects until I have completed or discarded existing projects.  It's so hard not to buy new fabric, jump into new swaps or see a quilt that someone has posted on their blog that I just HAVE to make

2013 was not a particularly productive year for me in the sense of finishing quilts.  I looked back on my post at the beginning of 2013 and I see that I have only finished 2 of the listed incomplete projects, made some pillows, aprons for the little boys, a table runner for a swap, a wall hanging for my studio and finished one quilt that I started in 2013.  Not sure why I was less productive in 2013 as compared to 2012, but it is what it is I suppose.

So here is what I managed to complete in 2013:

 1.  Mod Mosaic Quilt  2. Pillow Swap 10 pillow  3.  ABC Challenge Quilt (it took 2nd place in the Group Challenge 
  category at the San Mateo County Fair quilt show)  4. Version 2 pillow for me  5.  Stash pillow  6.  Wonky Log Cabin 
  quilt  7.  Mid-Century Modern table runner for guild swap  8.  Wall Hanging for my studio.

I also made these aprons for my grandsons:

They were simple to make.  The boys seem to like wearing them and they should hold up to washing frequently.  

I'm working on one of my unfinished projects from 2012 today.  I am quilting it, which is something that I don't usually do.  I also quilted the Mod Mosaic quilt that is shown in the mosaic above.  Maybe that's why I'm making less progress - I'm actually doing the quilting rather than sending it out to my favorite long arm quilter?  Hmmmmm...

I have to head back to work on Monday, so I need to make the most of the remaining time here in Reno and sew, sew, sew!

This is the beginning of my 3rd year of blogging.  I hope that I will have more to report to you in 2014 than in 2013!

Aaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.