Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas Season Afternoon

a little dark so the quilting can be seen

I worked on this quilt in the hoop this morning.  It's nice to be quilting something Christmasy and not be in a hurry to finish.  This one stays here when it's done.

The weather has been so warm that one of our iris' decided to bloom.  My DH brought it in before the snowstorm last Monday.  And, yes, I live in the northern hemisphere.

It was a day to make Christmas cookies.  I haven't made sugar cookies for 2yrs.  It was way past time.

I think I'll make a batch of fudge before I completely poop-out.
My energy just doesn't last like it used to.
How's you're day?


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Highs and Lows in gift giving.

I finished this quilt months ago but I have been holding it back because it looks Christmasy to me.  It is covering my navy blue couch.  It still needs some tweaking because the blue toile curtains look out of place and fortunately the "U" flag is coming down because they lost yesterday and that is the end of season.  I'm really not upset about the flag coming down (not at all!) but it is sad.

I made two mini quilts for Christmas gifts.  I fell in love with the dark print of the forest scene in this line called Juniper Berry.  This little quilt got aqua borders and a red Christmas mouse backing.  I also embroidered little star outlines around the dots.  I did minimal machine quilting.

The other little quilt had red borders and red lettered fabric from the same line on the back.  It also had a different arrangement of the four patches and solid blocks. I did more machine quilting on this one.  I really like this one the best but, it's already wrapped so only the recipient and I will be able to see it -ha!

A few posts back I was so excited because this little quilt turned out so well.  I carefully handquilted the whole thing and was pleased with the way it turned.

It's a case of "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" because I put it into the washer for a cold rinse to get the blue marker out and it bled.  I rinsed it again, I  used "color catchers" both times. But, not only did it run but the batting I used shrunk excessively.  It is the same batting I have on many of my little quilts.  It was the batting suggested in my Jo Morton class, Mountain Mist all cotton batting.

I guess I won't be washing the other minis.  That, or I'll have to block them to dry.  I couldn't do that with this mini with the chance that the red fabrics would bleed even more while drying .

The pictures below are after I pressed it with steam on the back side to get it to lay flat.

These pictures show where the red bled into the white.

 So. . . I couldn't give this little quilt away with it's flaws.  I had to make another one.  I decided to do something different because the quilt above was tricky to sew and I was determined to not add any red fabric.  I also needed a project that I could finish quickly.

This is what I came up with.  I used a lot more of the knitting fabric and bought a FAMILY hanger to use.  I don't like it as well as the other version but it's done and it's bright and cheerful.

The colors are truer in this picture.

I used "Big Stitch" on both this quilt and the one below.

I also made this cute little mini.  I really want to keep it as it would go in my red, white, and blue living room very well.  But, it will soon be wrapped and on it's way.

My husband decided he wanted to get solar panels for our roof.  Then he remembered that we needed a new cooler.  He knew the it would be better to get the cooler before they solar panels were installed.  So, here it is November and we bought a new cooler that our son and SIL helped install.

The next 3 pictures were the progress of the sunrise on Friday morning.  Sometimes it pays to get up early.

Thanks for checkin' in,

I'm going to link up with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Are the rest of you like me?

While I am busily preparing food ahead for tomorrow's Thanksgiving meal (like homemade cranberry relish) I am also busily trying to finish some of the homemade Christmas presents that need to go home with  my out-of-town guests. 

Love this tiny quilt 

My husband brought in bouquets of chrysanthemums.  He gathered them before they froze .

Don't they add nice color to the room?

AND, I'll close with my view of the " Super Moon" a week or so ago.  It was simply dazzling!

The camera captured the true colors.

Hope your day turns out to be very satisfactory.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

It was certainly worth it~

When I started the 1857 QAL - I always knew I wouldn't last making all 64 blocks.  I figured I'd make 32 and then put in an alternating block.

I made a uneven 9-patch block and didn't like it at all.  I made a square in a square block and it didn't do anything for the appliqued blocks so I put it into the orphan box.

I then decided to make tiny (2") shoo-fly blocks to use as sashing between all the squares.  It turned out to be too busy and I lost the cute secondary pattern that is created by all the diamonds in the corners.

So when I finished 30 blocks I decided that was enough.  I made 22 side fleur de lis' and 4 corner fleur de lis' to finish off the border.  It measures 62" X 72".

At the beginning of the year I needed something to fill all the long waiting hours at the cannery where I volunteer.  This was a perfect project.  The only problem is that I have two more months at the cannery and my project is done.  (As all of you know, that isn't really a problem, there is always another project waiting - ha!)

I really enjoyed participating in this QAL.  Thanks to Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches for all her work in providing the free patterns.


I'm linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Two more and Halloween/Christmas

Two more blocks for  the 1857 quilt.  I think I have reached my limit.  I have appliqued 30 blocks so far in this QAL and 30 is enough for me.

The lower triangle is a bit wonky and that is after repairing it.  You should have seen it before the tlc.

I am in the process of sewing them in one unit, 5 blocks by 6 blocks.  I have already appliqued the fleur de lis border units.  Soon I will be able to show all that I've completed in one whole.

October went by so quickly.  I still haven't decorated for Halloween.  I don't think it's going to happen this year.

Cute crocheted decorations my daughter Tina made a few years ago.

I need to get busy on my Christmas Shopping.  I like to shop this time of year because the stores are full of merchandise and not too many shoppers.  People are waiting for the DEALS that come on Black Friday and afterwards.  I don't have very many people to shop for since I just give my grown up kids $$$$.  That has simplified the shopping for me.

Notice the quilt made into curtains.

I decided that some people are true gift givers.  My sister is one of those amazing people. She loves to shop for just the right item and is so delighted to present the gift.  To me, it is just too much stress to be responsible for all that happiness.  I'm not a Grinch, I'm simply not a natural at this.  Although I descend from the greatest gift giver of them all - my mother.  Nothing brought her more happiness than figuring out an idea, hunting for just the right item at the right price, carefully wrapping the gift, (she had a knack), and then offering her heart wrapped up with the bow.  She was terrific and she made Christmas magic.  Instead of inheriting her ability, I was carefully trained to become a gracious gift receiver, trying to give her the reaction that would please.

(It's crazy what we figure out when we analyze things.)

Back to Halloween, I hope your day is filled with fun surprises, great costumes, yummy treats, and family.


I'm linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Seldom happens. . .

Every once in a very long while, a project turns out exactly as I had envisioned.  I am so tickled with the way this little quilt looks.

It measures 24" unfinished.  It is based on a pattern from a QAL on Lori's blog " Humble Quilts.  She called it Cheese and Crackers.  The link to part 1 of the instructions is here.

This is a picture of the one I made at the time, it looks nothing like today's quilt.  I wanted to sew it in just blue and cheddar.  My blues are too close to the same hue.  I loved making it and knew I'd make one again someday.

This picture shows my hand for scale.  The small squares finish at 1 inch.

I wanted to make something for my friend who knits.  When I found this focus fabric in Kansas on our way home from seeing grand kids in Kentucky, I knew it would be perfect.

The fabric has balls of yarn and knitting needles on it.  I tried to match some of the colors on the selvage edge.  I ended up using two different reds; one is and orange red and the other a blue red.

I'm going to hand quilt it.  I better get busy because there are additional things in the queue for Christmas gifts.

Grandpa was a hit with the grand kids.  This is a picture of our grandson trying to get between Grandpa and the harmonica to figure out what he was doing to make that sound.

This is our sweet granddaughter, look at all those dimples.

We went to the Nashville Zoo one day while we were there.  We saw a baby sloth (picture turned out dark) and pink flamingos.

We stayed in a motel on the way home that was behind the Ozarkland building that was right out of a Charles Wysocki painting.

 Image 1

Except, technically, Charles Wysocki didn't paint things from the south.  But if he had, it would have looked like this with all the signs all over it.

We left before it opened the next morning.  Tsk tsk!

Off to layer the little quilt.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I am having so much fun

working on the next Grandmother's Choice - Votes for Women quilt.  I am big stitching around the larger parts of the blocks.

It is so relaxing and is going fast.  It's like coloring in a coloring book.  Just wish I could spend more time at the frames.

Here are two more blocks completed for the 1857 quilt.  The block below was a stinker.  I had to really concentrate to make sure I was turning a curve and not a point as I went around the leaves.

This is a cute little block.  I didn't do the more complex lids for the bottles.  It turned out fine.

And here they are with a few of the other blocks.

We had a 'make n' take' at my quilt group "Bound Together" last month.  It is a little mug rug block.  The fabrics are Fig Tree which I don't have much of but I was able to find the plaid (from another line) to bind it.  I think it turned out pretty cute.

I thought I would have the two little doll quilts finished to show you today.  But, alas, I am still working on the binding of the first one and haven't started the quilting on the 2nd.  So, here's a sneak peek and hopefully they will be finished soon.

I also made two little house ornaments yesterday.  Another challenge from my quilt group.

I think they turned out pretty cute.  They were very easy to make.  There may be more in my future.

Here they are together hanging at the mantle.  It is hinting at the holidays.

As I was working on the binding yesterday with the crispness of the morning, it felt like fall to me.  It was Saturday and it felt like it was time to go to the music store to pick up the new music for my daughter.  I started going to the music store in the fall right after my oldest son started playing the French Horn (he was already playing the piano).  Then the next child, a daughter, began the saxophone.  The next two tried drums, violin, piano, but mostly preferred more physical things like football. . .  My 2nd daughter played piano, trumpet and drums in middle and high school, and received her BA (or was it a BS?) in organ performance.  She's the one that really got me going to the music store on a regular basis.  And then, finally, our youngest began violin at age six.  Choosing his music became quite difficult in later years.

So, here I am, ready to peruse the racks and files with no one to buy music for.  It's a sweet feeling not a sad one.  It finally feels like fall.

I am linking up with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday here.