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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Wonky Wishes Day At Thimble Towne!

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If you’ve never been to Thimble Towne, YOU MUST GO!

This is no ordinary quilt shop, it’s also a wonderful event center right here in Bakersfield, with a second location in near by Visalia.  Just awesome beyond words!

And I came face to face with the poster that has been announcing my arrival over the past many months as we have had this on the calendar for more than 4 years.  4 years, and I am finally here!

And so is the quilt in this photo, as it was a Wonky Workshop Day yesterday, hosted by the Cotton Patch Quilters of Kern County.

I learned many things yesterday – this area was also big in cotton growing for many years, though citrus and nut trees and vineyards have slowly taken over.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bakersfield or Bust!

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I left this idyllic location yesterday morning as Linda’s SUV rumbled up the long drive and toward Betty Ann’s guest cottage ---

I had been getting some steps in walking up and down the vineyard road, knowing they  would HAVE to pass by me to get to the cottage – there was a whole day (or the better part of it anyway) of car sitting ahead of me and I needed that leg stretch while I could get it.

Cool morning amongst the vines?  Beautiful! 

And if you peek closely, you’ll spy an old farm house tucked in between those trees.  And the mountains in the distance?  Lovely!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Talkin’ Turkey Monday!

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Our Monday started with a stop at the renowned Butter Cream bakery and diner in Napa to pick up goodies for our burgeoning class of 50 assembling for our Talking Turkey workshop.

“What? You’ve never been to Butter Cream?” was the cry.  So in we went.  It can’t be missed – this pink and white striped building.

Parking is ALWAYS a problem, and there can be a wait to be seated for breakfast – I understand their blueberry pancakes are not to be missed – a thing of beauty!

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Hawk’s Nest Day in Napa!

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Triangles, triangles, oh – SEW MANY TRIANGLES!

We met yesterday with the Napa Valley Quilters and visiting friends at the senior activities center (beautiful location!) for our busy bustling Hawk’s Nest workshop from my book Scraps & Shirttails II!

I am so tickled that these books that are 8 to 10 years old still have workshop quilts in high demand.  Quilts that have been in cold storage for a while get to come out and play and it just goes to prove that some block designs may be classic in nature, but so variable when it comes to fabrics and layouts and modern up-dos!

We were 44 quilters strong, and with the room divided up into two groups, we doubled up on the demos and got everyone working with strips and specialty rulers like the Essential Triangle Tool focusing on building triangle variety from short strip sets.  

Short strip sets are the best thing when it comes to building variety and variety we needed – each block takes 16 half square triangle units – 4 that match the center “Donut” in the block, and the other 12 randomly scrappy.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Saturday in Napa.

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When you hear the words “Napa, California” What is the first thing you think of?

Probably THIS right here!

And April in Napa is a sight to behold.  Acre after acre of beautiful vineyards, ready for the growing season ahead.

It’s an optical illusion to the eyes as you drive past the rows as rows of grapevines standing at attention – appearing with arms outstretched, nearly touching their neighbor vines, but not quite.  Waiting for new growth to happen.

And I learned something -- some grapevines stand taller (less bending for pruning and harvesting) and some are quite short to the ground.

The ones closer to the ground actually require LESS water and during drought conditions will produce more - because they don't require as much water to be drawn up  from the roots to the rest of the plant.  (But oh, the back breaking to stoop so low to end them!)

We were on our way “over the hill” from Fairfield to Napa to meet with the Napa Valley Quilters and friends for the Saturday morning meeting held at the senior center.

I LOVE a Saturday morning meeting!  What a relaxing pace!  It almost felt like playing hooky.  And what a group had gathered.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Napa or Bust!

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This is what 4:30am at the airport looks like, for a 5am boarding time – Greensboro to Atlanta to Sacramento, nearly coast to coast.

I climbed into bed  = hopeful = that I’d be able to squeeze in 6 hours of good sleep before my 3am alarm went off so I could get myself to out the door by 3:45am to make it to the airport by 4:15 to do the luggage struggle and parking solo again.

Neighbor dogs barking madly at midnight did NOT help.  

There are no sky caps at his hour in Greensboro.  I grabbed their cart however and loaded all of my stuff and wheeled it into the terminal, giving myself extra points for weight bearing exercise on this day of long travel ahead.

Somewhere over Atlanta I dozed off…maybe 20 minutes, but that was enough to get me all the way to California with no extra shut eye.  It just wouldn’t come.

What does a girl do on a flight where her pop-up TV from between the seats in row 10 has NO AUDIO!? 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Could There Be–Too MUCH of a Good Thing?

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Last week I received an email from Peggy who lives in Greensboro.

She was offering up 4 machines, and would I like to adopt them?

“Two are in those round wooden cases, and two look like suitcases.”

Well shoot!  That could be ANYTHING! My wheels were spinning and I knew that I could not just let this go…

So Wednesday afternoon I headed over to Greensboro, about a 30 minute drive from the house to meet up with Peggy and see what was what.

And just as she said.  Two in round wooden cases, and two suit case looking machines –and I knew right away what they were.

The suitcase ones, anyway!  These are 99ks!  And they are wonderful machines.

One of the round wooden machines is a class 15 with a potted motor, circa 1940s.  The other, a reproduction 15 made somewhere in the 1970s.

Oh this could be fun!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Quilt-Cam 4/11/2018!

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Quilt-Cam happened last night over on Facebook Live!  Did you catch it? 

If not, no worries, because it will be archived here and you can always come back to catch the ones you’ve missed, or the ones you want to watch again by clicking the Quilt-Cam tab at the top of the blog.

It’s not just the quilters who get excited about Quilt-Cam, it’s the Quilter’s children!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Kitting Up & Stepping Out!

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And the cutting and kitting up continues!

I just can’t stop myself.

I absolutely LOVE taking batches of random scraps that don’t look like much and cutting them into the parts that will shine next to each other – first in blocks, and then in a completed quilt.

It’s as simple as putting on “Midsomer Murders” on Netflix, and cutting – all of the variety I need right at my fingertips in my own Scrap User’s System!

One of the questions that came in yesterday was repeated more than once, so I thought I would share since “inquiring minds want to know!”