Kimberly Crest in Redlands

I’m always looking for interesting things to see. I’m finding that there are people on IG who are sharing good information about things here in Southern CA. This is how I found out about Kimberly Crest in Redlands CA. I planned to pay a visit on our trip back from the desert. Unfortunately there aren’t many times to take a tour, so we had to plans carefully.

What happened? Were we transported to the Loire valley in France? First of all, traffic on the 10 was very slow, so Waze sent us through Beaumont and on a backroad into Redlands. That was actually nice, seeing the outskirts and farms. Then we drove up a hill and as we walked up, this is what greeted us. WOW! Yes, the woman who commissioned this home wanted a Loire Valley Chateau. She got it.

You would think that my previous image was the front of the castle, but no, that is the back. Here is the entrance, through a gate, then drive up to the Port Cocheres, so people can get out of the carriage or car, while being protected from either hot sun, or rain.

A very unassuming front door. Well, it is made from quarter-sawn oak, but still, average size, entry way is very plain. Right now, it’s decorated for Halloween.

A view from another angle. We couldn’t take photos inside, so I’m sharing a lot of the outside.

In France these decorations would be carved of stone, here, they are made of concrete. The original owner only lived here a few years, then she sold the home to the Kimberly’s. Of Kimberly Clark. At the time their business was lumber, later, they would convert cellulose to bandages in WWI, and then develop Kleenex and other paper products.

The original interior was very rustic, not to the Kimberly’s taste. So they hired designers from Tiffany Co and oh my, the interior is amazing. One reason why is that one of the daughters, Mrs. Shirk was widowed in WWI, she had no children, so she came to live with and care for her parents. So Kimberlys’ occupied the house from 1906 until early 70s. At that point Mrs. Shirk made sure the home was run by a foundation and that the city became the care takers. So there never were young children, she was probably in her 30s’ when she moved in and lived until 100. Another sister came to live there as well, but they were old school. Why change decor that worked so well?

The home is in great shape, the furnishings and decorations are in great condition. It is so rare to see that in an old house. Usually, things change, even if the same family stays there. So I highly recommend, if you are coming or going to the desert, stop by on a Friday or Sunday, there aren’t many tours – but boy is it worth it. I understand why they don’t want photos, which is all the more reason to go visit yourself.

What a gem! the gardens are beautiful as well. Oh, and in discussing the family, the name Bergstrom was mentioned, a son in law, married to another sister. He designed the terraces, pools and the hardscape of the gardens. We were told that is big claim to fame is that he designed the Pentagon. I immediately asked if he was in partnership with John Parkinson in LA. Indeed he was, so many of our famous buildings downtown were designed by him. I love small world stories!

Since Mrs. Shirk didn’t have children, she loved having them around. So at least once a month there would be a tea party at her expense on the back lawns. The tradition continues, this weekend they had a Star Wars cosplay event.

The foundation supplied lemonade and cookies as well as some lawn games. How fun is that!

The gardens are available for photography as well. We saw a Quincenera, as well as what looked like an anniversary photo. I don’t know if this is a magazine shoot, but it sure looked interesting.

I have stopped in the past to see the University of Redlands, downtown looked cute. We were tired and wanted to go home, otherwise, I’d have stopped there for coffee. If you have the time, get thee to Redlands. Just driving the streets we saw a lot of Victorians as well as a few Craftsman homes – all in decent shape. This is a town that takes good care of itself.

Best quilts have a baby on them

I finished these two quilts months ago. Three weeks ago, a friend had her fourth daughter.

Nothing better than a baby on a quilt. Even if she doesn’t appear very happy here.

Much better! Yup that is an incredible head of hair!

Trust Mama to get the best picture of all. This little peanut is only 3 weeks old but very alert. I know she’ll love the quilt.

Sisters on the quilt!. Through the years I have made them dresses, another quilt and a knit blanket. They are delightful sisters.

I started appliquéing the clipper ship. You’ll notice the two long masts? Ooops, I had to remove them to make way for a sail.

That is more like like. I’ll have to share closer images of the sails. The fabric isn’t solid white, there is a very faint blue batik there. I think this will be much easier than I thought.

It’s that time of year, making items for my friend Roberta. In true workshop manner. She designs, I sew. Works for both of us. These projects are pretty quick and not up to my standards of perfection. She is happy, so it’s all good.

A visit to the desert

It was our 41 wedding anniversary. I can’t wrap my head around that number, but there you have it. We have a big trip planned later this year, so we decided to get away. Went to visit a friend in Palm Desert. More on that later. Now I simply want to share mid-century homes from the Twin Palms neighborhood in Palm Springs.

We didn’t have as much time as I had expected. Since we needed to be in Redlands by 12:30. So instead of getting out of the car and walking the neighborhood, we just drove around and I snapped most of these pictures from the car.

The neighborhood got it’s name because every house had to have twin palm trees. I missed the famous ones with the trees growing out of the roof. Anyway, today, there are all kinds of palms, or not.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, the only place where I find Mid-century modern homes attractive, is places like this. Palm Springs, the weather is perfect for these houses. The streets are wide, there are no tall buildings around. Oh, and people probably spend more money on maintenance than the original house cost.

Quirky, someone took the mid-century and did some funny things to it. Which is fine, some of the houses have been torn down and a 1980s’ house replaced it.

Like this one. At least they did a good job decorating for Halloween.

What intrigued me here was that beautiful pot by the entrance. You can hardly see it. You can see the reflection of our car in the glass of the garage…

LOVE this door! It’s not square and the graphic element of it is amazing. I also like the side door that is simple but follows the same principals. I may be wrong, but I bet that door was not an original part of the house. That is a lot more planning and design than was done in the 50s.

More Halloween!

How cool is this?? Also, look at the backdrop, even the 1980s’ house wouldn’t look too bad with that back drop. I love that people go all out with the decorations. Unlike the planned golf club community where we were staying…. The uniformity was too much. I think I saw one small pumpkin.

The two tall thin palms may be the original twins of this house. Now they have a lot of company as well as that incredible view.

More on the trip later.

It’s October!

I am once again wandering the neighborhood looking at all the fall decorations.

Is it just me? Am I seeing more pumpkins and less scary stuff? Probably not, but I’m not taking pictures of the scary stuff, I prefer the symbols of fall.

From plastic jack-o-lanterns.

To real ones that are already rotting. I wonder if they will carve more or this is it?

From pumpkin signs.

To real pumpkins. So far all I have is one orange pumpkin, it’s nice to see the neighbors went and bought a variety. I may yet do this this year, since I keep them out until after Thanksgiving.

Ok, Mickey is taking over everywhere.

I do love all the pumpkins at his feet.

I find these skeletons whimsical, not morbid. I don’t like the body parts strewn over a yard, these guys are cute. Btw, someone I follow on IG, bought one of these and half buried under the newly renovated deck. She is hoping that 20 years from now, when she no longer owns the house someone else will need to repair the deck and will be surprised. Not sure how I feel about that one.

This is the kind of decoration I really love.

See, even here in SoCal, nature is showing fall colors! I’m one of those who loves summer, as fall arrives, at least I have a reason to enjoy the change of seasons.


I finished the silhouette block!

I’m very pleased. As a break from hand appliqué, I am making pillowcases for foster kids. I took my friend to our local quilt stores, Quilt Emporium and Candy’s Quiltworks. She had a fabulous time. I bought a few fat quarters as well as sale fabric for pillow cases – for boys of course.

Close-ups of the tulips. I am very pleased with how these came out. I’m getting better at those sharp corners. I know, by the time the quilt is finished, no one will see those corners. But I’ll know how good they are

It 7 months after my birthday, so what, a heartfelt gift is always welcome. I adore this owl.

Very cute, without the ribbon. Also very heavy, this is one heavy rock.

He’ll be living outside with these other outdoor owls.

Yup, he came from the famous Roger’s Gardens. The flowers from my sons are way past their prime, look how perfect they look in this bag! Oh well, into the trash they go.

I think it’s just going to be a Baltimore Album

There will be some twists, the final layout will most probably be different. The more I Appliqué, the more I just want to do those really complicated blocks.

Here is the first corner.

I’m enjoying it so much, I got to corner three very quickly. So here is where my ‘improvisation’ comes in. I’m playing with the colors, not all the corners repeat exactly. The stems, the inner part of the flower, staying exactly the same. But other colors are added and moved around.

Final corner! That will be it for this block. I do need to remember that less is often more. I will probably end up signing on the block, that will happen when the whole quilt is together. For now, its’ time to think of the next block.

I mentioned a ship right? These are the few images that keep popping up. Luckily for me, I bought Elly Sienkiewicz books years ago. I only own a few, but they are great.

The only color image here is on the cover, but it is chock full of patterns. So I found the ship, went to Kinkos (or is it the Fedex store these days, I can’t keep track) and. enlarged the pattern. All my blocks are bigger than 12″, I think that is one reason why I’m enjoying the appliqué so much.

This is clipper Ship. Elly gives a whole description of the block. I’ll share more when I start working on this.

Elly designed this peacock block. Another one I would like to make.

Also enlarged. I notice there is a butterfly here, not sure that I like it, but hey, when I get to this block, I’ll decide if I’m including it or not.

Another book has a lot of Papercuts. So now you know where the Hawaiian quilts got their style of Papercuts. Wives of those whalers came from New England. They brought this technique and adapted it to the local flora. Yes, I’ve made my Hawaiian quilt, but will probably include a more traditional Papercuts. In January I’m taking a class with Rosa from Apliquilt. It’s about designing a large Papercut. So who knows, maybe I’ll wait until after that class and design my own.

And then there are these baskets of plenty. The first century was very hard, but with time, and certainly by the 19th century, America was the land of plenty. There are many paintings of the bounty of Americas’ agriculture, of course there would be quilt blocks as well, so one of these will appear as well. I have plenty of patterns’ in Ellys’ books.

My messy table with a pile of fabrics. This is how I work.

I love the slow growth of projects

There is a trend out there of making things quickly. As in Quilt in a Day, or knit a scarf with yarn that is basically still roving. That is not me, many people probably think that I work fast, and I do. But I don’t have a deadline, I love handwork. I guess I just have a lot of time to do the work, which is why it goes so fast.

This block is now done. Someone mentioned how they love the black background. It is actually a very dark almost grey purple.

Three blocks done. I was going through my books of Baltimore albums, looking for a ship. There is a ship, but now I’m not sure that is what I want, what I did see is silhouettes. And that was a lightbulb moment.

A few years ago, at a party, there was a gentleman who sat with black paper and tiny scissors and cut out silhouettes. He did an amazing job. I’ve had this hanging on a peg board in my room for a while, so I pulled it out.

I was concerned about making this. Would the nooks and crannies make it impossible? I got a lot of good encouragement on IG. So I went ahead, enlarging the image a little bit and using my favorite method of appliqué. When I share Rosas’ Appliquick method, people always share their method. I think it’s great that there are many ways to do a thing. For me, appliquick it is!

Here I am, appliquéd onto a white background. I added a touch of embroidery for the fine details

I also decided to mix up my background color, use some very pale purple, that here looks grey.

Here I am, hand sewing the border. I did sew the white to the purple on the machine. This border covers those raw edges.

And now, to appliqué the corners. Btw, I will probably sign my name and the date this is finished on this block. So instead of a label on the back, this will become the quilt label. I have to wait until it’s done. Don’t want to put down 2019, when I probably won’t finish this year.

Knitting tools, a friend gave me this tube that secures the ends of a circular needle. Loving it! As the shawl grows it is much easier for the stitches to slip off. This prevents that happening.

It’s growing!! I think I’ve made some mistakes in the last two rows? Can you tell. No, no will see, so I’m soldiering on. I love the rhythm of sewing, I will love the shawl when completed. I am not a machine.

Living up to the name of this blog.

I have a new knitting project on the needles.

I’ll be honest, this wasn’t the first pattern I wanted to use. Problem is, there was another designer, I love her work, but she only sells on Ravelry. I will never use Ravelry again. I was one of the early users, but with the recent attack on free speech over there. I deleted my account and will never buy a pattern there again. The online knitting world has gone crazy – they are attacking and destroying people because the cancel culture is going off the deep end. Unfortunately this is happening in the modern quilt world as well. Guess what, these crafts existed long before cancel culture and they will outlast them. It’s not the internet that is the problem, it’s a certain set of people who use the internet for evil.

So I found this pattern online, I was surprised that it is free. I would have happily paid for it.

I’m knitting away, using my lovely yarn bowl. I will not be changing colors. Also, I think the designer probably used sock weight yarn and I am using lace weight. So I am modifying the pattern. I probably could have designed something myself, but I’m lazy when it comes to knitting patterns. I like to start somewhere, even if I am modifying a lot.

I do love the subtlety of this yarn. I enjoy knitting with it and I know I’ll love the shawl.

More handwork. I’m back to working on my ‘modified Baltimore album’. I really love hand appliqué.

Flipping the block over to make sure there is balance from all directions. I started with a very balanced pattern and it’s getting a little freer as I go along. Some of the blocks will be very structured, others like this, won’t. I still think I want a large block with a boat in it somewhere.

I am still not a huge fan of Judy Niemeyer. Except, I fell in love with this pattern. It is out of the box for her and it uses jelly rolls, which means not a lot of wasted fabric. Of course, this one has been out of print for a while. I finally wised up and looked for it on Etsy. There was a seller in Kentucky!! She no longer does complex quilting patterns. This was the only one I saw and I grabbed it! No, this isn’t my next project, but one of these days I will make it.

Out walking and finding the beautiful flowers of fall.

I love it when cacti bloom.

This is weird, why did someone paint this blue?? No, this cacti does not come in this color, it’s not that this color isn’t found naturally in nature, it is, but not on this plant.

Here we have an even deeper blue purple on a morning glory. Nature provides us with plenty of color!

It was a tough week for these guys. Nothing out of the ordinary, just life with babies.

So by Friday, when I was babysitting for this beauty, Dad forgot to bring some things, like a change of clothing. Which gave me the opportunity to spend way too much money on this cute outfit. The joys of being a grandma, I can buy expensive items for her – because I can.

In thanks for the extra help this week, my boys gave me flowers, ah they know me well!

Arizona cactus quilt

… and I’m quilting. Mostly using a light grey Aurifil thread. I tried to use Sewfine from Superior, it kept on breaking. I did switch to dark purple for the large purple area, but when there was some more of that fabric later, I stuck with the grey.

I decided to do some dot to dot quilting, which meant, marking the dots. I tried to be consistent with the spacing, but to be honest, with this fabric, it’s not the the quilting shows up that well.

Quilted and ready to bind.

I’m proud of my quilting. On a smaller piece like this, it is easy to do, no struggling with a weighty quilt.

While visiting a friend the other day, she showed me some antique quilts – late 19th century. These days we usually bind the quilt with separate fabric, or we make a facing. Another thing that I have done in the past is wrap the backing over the front as binding. What I saw on these antiques was folding the top fabric over the back as binding. So I marked and left an inch unquieted and I folded it over. Also, no miters, just a square corner.

Here’s what it looks like.

The final border is harrower than the pattern. First because I didn’t have enough of the orange fabric. Second, because of that binding. It looks good to me. I’m going to toot my own horn. I am very good at color placement.

I am also really enjoying this garment rack. It won’t work for some of my bigger projects, it’s great for the smaller ones.

I am so happy that I ordered labels from Spoonflower. It’s a pleasure to fill in some info and sew it on the back. Some quilts deserve a lovely hand embroidered label, others don’t.

Here is one way to showcase it on the table. I will probably leave it this way at times.

Here is the other way. Also very nice.

With a few decorative items on top.

This weekend is Rosh Hashanah. Having the family over for dinner, I think I’m leaving this on top of a white table cloth. I haven’t washed it yet, but I will probably have to after that dinner. I want this to be used, not just be pretty. Also, because my son in law is allergic to red wine, I won’t be serving any, which means that white wine doesn’t stain as much.

I am seriously thinking about a larger quilt as tablecloth. You may have noticed that very few corners of my house don’t have something quilted in them. Yeah, that is what happens when one quilts all the time.

Conejo Quilt show, the gardens

Not every house had a remarkable garden, but it was a lot of fun seeing them.

Funny, Nadine really doesn’t have any ‘garden’ to speak of. She has some hibiscus and dirt. But the home itself is lovely with the porch and the quilts.

As a collector, it’s more than just quilts. The old time tools are here.

Another quilt on the exterior of the house.

A lovely little fountain. There were other water features in other gardens. I must confess, I took more pictures of quilts than gardens.

Last time I saw pineapples growing, it was in Hawaii, these look very happy here.

Different angles of the same plant.

Handmade garden sculpture.

Not handmade garden sculpture.

I love this one!! So creative.

And finally, elephants, I like elephants.

My son in law made a similar baby quilt to this one. He must have seen the pattern on Pinterest and just made his own.