Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend's end

You know, when I was working I always dreaded Sunday nights.  It meant the end of the weekend.....5 days till it rolled around again....days full of busyness and stress and, well, WORK!  Now I can hardly tell the difference between weekends versus weekdays.  My DH tells our friends that everyday is Saturday except Sunday.  We love it!!!

On Friday my quilting group, The Sew Crazies, met at the LQS to work on our Quilt of Valor and enjoy each others' company......and to share the lovely bottle of wine that Sandra brought from the Amish country along with the yummy pound cake that Micki made.  Might I add, that the day was a bit merrier after the refreshments :-)

While at the quilt shop I picked up this video by Sue Nickels.  I am hoping that it will give me a much needed nudge to get busy learning more about machine quilting.  I have far too many quilt tops to be able to afford to send them all out.  I have a wonderful machine (the same one that she demos machine quilting on in the video, which should also help), and there is really no reason for me not to get busy and improve on my skills.  We will see........

I continue to work on these sweet little applique blocks.  I started them many moons ago and I have twenty two of them finished and several more prepped.  I am doing needleturn applique on these.  They make a great portable project due to the small size.  I really don't know how many I will ultimately make.....probably enough for a lap-sized throw.......I am thinking about 80 or so when you figure in the nine patches interspersed amongst them.  The original quilt, Trick or Treat, by Blackbird Designs used 291 basket blocks.  I know of people who have done that many, but I don't believe I will be one of them.

I am using Bonnie Hunter's Leaders and Enders technique to make this scrappy red nine patch.  I have made about seventy of the 5 1/2" squares thus far.  I am amazed at how quickly they stack up.  Totally from scraps and stash, and I have yardage in the stash of a yellow and red print similar to the one she used (which I love).   Thanks, Bonnie!

Grandchildren..........and their families!
Sunday night singing at church.
Sweet, old doggies.
Hot vegetable soup and cornbread.

Take care,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On my magazine stand

are these magazines.  Funny, isn't it, how the doldrums of winter make the chores of summer seem so provocative.

I had another needlework finish for the week.  This one is a little stitchery by Macadoo Designs.  I bought the pattern and frame years ago at Little Quilts in Marietta.  The frame was navy blue....the only one they had for this particular pattern.  It did not fit in with the decor in the area I had in mind for it.  It would have to be painted.  And so, it sat on the shelf for all that time.  Finally, I painted and distressed the frame to match my basement cabinets, but just couldn't get the impetus to forge ahead with the stitchery.  THEN.....two weeks ago at Scott's Antique Show I saw these adorable buttons (the lady said they are very old and are called calico buttons) that just screamed to me....."We can be flowers on your cute little stitchery".  And so, they are, and the stitchery is finished and hung.....and I love it.  End of story!

Tonight we went to church.  We are members at a small Baptist church in our rural community.  It is warm and loving and we like it.  I have been a member of a Methodist and Presbyterian church in the past.  I am basically a Christian.  I really don't get hung up on a lot of doctrine.  I have found, however, a huge difference in being a Baptist.  They can cook........and they can eat.  Every occasion involves food....dinner on the grounds....and it is good.  No wonder it is hard to stay on a diet!!!  Just saying.....

Time to sign favorite show, Criminal Minds, is on.


A wonderful friend who makes me laugh, who listens and understands and never judges.  I hope I am as good a friend to her as she is to me.
An afternoon nap.
Providence Baptsit Church.

Take care,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today just slipped away

Today was one of those days that just slipped right through my hands.  Not to say that I didn't do anything....I did....the day was just gone before I knew it.

This morning was my third weaving lesson, and I think I am "getting it".  My weaving looked much more consistent today and I really enjoyed it.  My teacher, Ann Lynn, is very laid back and encouraging.  She is around my age, which helps, as she understands the senior mind :-)  I really meant to take my camera and capture a photo of what I am doing.....maybe next week.

I completed the second set of Just Takes 2.  I must say (not being a real fan of foundation piecing),  I found that these blocks were not quite so much fun as the first set.  Nonetheless, I am pleased with the results.  In this set I used four different reds and two different backgrounds, pulling once again, entirely from stash. 

I also completed the first Lori Smith Mini Quilt in the Quilt Square Quilt Along at Jo's Country Junction.  Despite the tiny strips, it came out just right.......and I hand quilted it.  I used 50 wt. crochet cotton for the quilting; I think I had read somewhere that Jo Morton uses that.  At any rate, I like how it turned out and I would use it again.

The mini log cabin (above) is now hanging over a darling little primitive cabinet in my sewing area.  I purchased this cabinet at the Country Living Show in Atlanta this past fall, and just got it hung.  Right now it holds some vintage pincushions from my collection and has my mother's tin button box and another little vintage button box on top.  I think the little quilt compliments it perfectly.

I also thought I would share a couple of my favorite vintage dogs.  Being a dog lover, it is only logical that I am drawn to all things "dog"......particularly old things "dog".  I just couldn't resist either of these funny guys.  They reside in my basement kitchen.


A husband who understands and indulges my passion for handcrafts.
The sound of much needed rain falling on a tin roof.
Time to do the things I really enjoy.

Take care,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Christi.....

Today is my firstborn's 41st birthday.  I can hardly believe it.  We had a wonderful birthday celebration on Sunday and I took some really great photos...........which I accidentally deleted from my camera while attempting to download to my computer.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.......a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  Anyway, I love you, Christi!

I know that I said I wasn't going to reorganize my sewing area.....just use things up and let it "reorganize itself" by depleting the amount of stuff that I have.  Well, that wasn't to be.  It is my other daughter Ashley's fault.  You see, she had bought these cubbies, and she ended up not being able to use them.  The result is a much better organized sewing area for me; it makes me smile when I walk in to use it......and it is so much easier to see my fabrics.  It is easier to be productive.  So, it was worth the better part of the day I spent doing it.

It started here.....

So much better!
Then, on Saturday, my sister, niece and I went to Scott's Antique Show in Atlanta, and I found this wonderful wire basket which is just perfect for holding my scraps as I cut.  I figure that when the basket is full, it will be time to press, sort and cut the scraps for recycling into scrap quilts.  The basket (I really don't know what it is or was originally used for) was a little rusty, so I ran by Family Dollar on Monday and found a laundry bag which worked perfectly!  How cool is that?  (I know, it doesn't take much, does it?)

 Yesterday I completed the top for the mini quilt of the month from my Yahoo Small Quilt Talk Group.  It is Crosses Mourning Quilt from Kathleen Tracy's (the list mom) book Prairie Children and Their Quilts.  I used a tiny bit of blue and white seersucker from my mother's morning coat in the block in the lower right hand corner. (The borders are really not wonky, I just didn't crop it evenly.)  I ended up tea dyeing the whole thing in order to make it work. No one else would ever notice this little odd scrap, but it gives me a warm feeling to know it is there.  I can't decide if I will hand or machine quilt this one.....maybe hand since it is special.  It is all from scraps and stash.

I also finished the first block in a BOM challenge for my primitive group.  I started getting Over the Meadow from Jan Patek last year.  I absolutely adore the blocks in this quilt thus far.....they are sweet and naive.   The BOM challenge for the year was the nudge I needed to get started.

A lot of bloggers that I read have chosen a word for the year...something to live by and reflect on.  After much pondering (and seeing how it works for Jeanne on her blog), I have decided on GRATITUDE.  I have so very much to be grateful for.  More than I deserve.  I plan to journal some of my gratitudes at the end of my blog posts.

Today I am grateful for:  My beautiful daughter, Christi, whose birthday is today.
The sweet chirping of our little finches.
Our warm home on a chilly day.

Take care,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chugging along.....

I am chugging along on my projects and feel pretty pleased with my progress.  The little Twelve Days of Christmas Quilt is machine quilted and bound.  Now just have to find the perfect place to display it. 

The first set of Just Takes 2 is done.  I used 4 different muslins and 4 different reds....I am mixing them up right from the start since I have pledged to make this quilt entirely from stash.  Instead of redwork on the 9 Patch Variation, I chose to fussy cut a toile print.  I added a redwork bird's nest (yes, it really is dark red, though you can't tell it in the photo) to the Square in a Square.  The design is from Simple Pleasures in Redwork by Kathy Schmitz.

The Disappearing Nine Patch is growing.  It looks a little wavy in the photo, but that is because the blocks are just on the design wall, not assembled.  I am doing the 4 patch units as leaders and enders as I assemble the more complex units, which is speeding up the work a bit.

On Tuesday I started a beginner's weaving I need another hobby.  It was, however, something I have always been interested in and just never had the opportunity to try.  Well, the opportunity presented itself, and I just couldn't turn it down.  Mind you, I know nothing about weaving other than you do it on a loom and I love the results.  The first lesson consisted of familiarizing ourselves with the equipment, wrapping the warp and dressing the loom.  Next time I will actually start weaving a little sampler.  I am excited!

Yesterday I helped Blake (mostly I cleaned up behind him) while he made homemade brunswick stew, BBQ pork and sauce.  He used his father's old recipe which he had recently located.  The recipe was for enough to fill a washpot, so we had to figure out how to cut it down.  It was pretty darned good for a first try!


The doggies got new toys from Dollar Tree this week.  They were plush-type stuffed balls.  I know better.  Poppy sees plush toys as prey..........she gathers them all together and then goes for the kill.  It must be exhausting!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday already!

The weekend has been busy, as usual.  Stayed with three of the grands on Saturday morning so that their parents could go to a training session for a spiritual workshop they have coming up.  The girls entertain themselves pretty much, but the little man is full of "busyness" and likes affirmation....he is a mess :-)  Retirement has really opened the door to my enjoying them more......I have the time, and more than that, I am not exhausted from work and dreading going back.  It is a good thing.

Finished the little Twelve Days of Christmas top that was sponsored by Temecula Quilt Company.  It came completely from my scrap basket except for the setting strips, binding and backing, which came from stash.  It is ready to quilt, and I think that I will just machine quilt this one.  I went for a blended, chintzy look with my suits the area where I plan to use it.  Hope to be done today.    

I don't know what came over me with this project.  I saw this disappearing nine patch block, which for some reason really appealed to me, and immediately thought of a one color quilt.  Didn't want to do red, as I am doing that for Just Takes 2.  For some reason, green was calling my name.  I had a plastic shoebox overflowing with random greens (not my CWs, mind you) that were perfect candidates.  Lots of those "What was I thinking" fabrics from a decade or more ago, begging to be something.  So, I almost emptied the box, and then pulled various backgrounds from my laundry basket of this, that and the other backgrounds......voila....the disappearing nine patch is cut and piecing has begun.  All from stash.......and there will be plenty of backing, binding and batting for this one from stash, too!  Don't know what I will do with it, but it will be done and my stash will be lighter.....and I really do like that pattern!  Oh, I have to confess.......the fabric on the completed block.......a Villager fabric from my late mother's stash; it was scrap from a shirtwaist dress she made for me in high school!!!!!  Yikes!!!!

Got my first Just Takes 2 Block done last night.  That, and finishing the Twelve Days of Christmas are on my list for the afternoon........and my Bible Study.  I received a wonderful and thought provoking little devotional book from a friend for Christmas, and I am loving it.  The name of it is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  If you are looking for fresh inspiration in your daily walk, I highly recommend it.

Time to get busy,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I can't believe that it is already the 4th day of this New Year!  Today would have been my mother's 100th birthday.  She has been gone for 5 years this month.......I still think of her almost daily.  I can see her mannerisms and the things she did that were so "her".....I will always miss being able to pick up the phone and share my day with her.  I love you, Mother.

Like most of you, I am trying to feel successful .... getting into my projects full steam ahead.  I am making progress.  Last night, at my monthly hooking group, I was able to pull up the last loops on Hidden Garden  by Crowhill Primitives.  I started this rug at Caraway Rug School in June with teacher
Anita White.  It reminds me of our home and I love the way it turned out.  I now need to block it; I think I will add a braid to finish the outside.

On the quilting front, I pulled out a pack of Moda Turnovers....which are really just 6" squares cut in half on the a Jan Patek line....can't remember which one.  Then I added some triangles, background and border from my stash to create this quilt.  I used a You Tube from Missouri Star Quilt Company for the instructions.  I felt rather righteous pulling the whole quilt from stash!

That being said, I do have some stitching goals for the year.  I want to focus on my projects, not just jump from one thing to the next.  Not to say that I can't have more than one thing going at a time, just that I complete what I am working on.  I would like to buy only things that I need to finish projects that I have on hand........borders, know what I mean. 

 I would like for my sewing area to look neat and tidy.  That does not mean hauling everything out and straightening it all up again.  I have done that several times recently.  What it means is using things up......those kits and BOMs, etc. that I have stockpiled.  

That will mean that my workspace becomes less cluttered.  I really don't need any more books, patterns or gadgets.  I have plenty of that stuff.  I just want to get the things that I purchased with such high expectations done!  

I do plan to participate in some online challenges, but I will pull the fabrics to do those from stash.  One that I am going to join in on is Just Takes 2.  Yesterday I pulled some fabrics and plan to get started on this project tomorrow.

This spring we added two new family members.......they are finches, and we named them Fred Astaire and Frank Sinatra.  Frankie is a green singing finch (yes, he is really yellow), and Fred is a Cordon Bleu.  They are quite delightful.  Both are very active and singers, but Frankie sings like a canary.  We are enjoying them.

Whew!  I guess that is enough rambling for tonight.

Take care,