Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me...

I never really had any trouble with my age until last year hit and I turned 45. That one hit rather hard, as if I was no longer in my 40's but rather speeding toward 50 with no brakes! Of course the alternative is worse, so I'll take 46 with a grain of salt and resolve to be a better person, focus on what makes me happy and gives me joy and do some good things this year that I enjoy doing.

After all the days off, hubby had to work on my birthday, but I have loads to do today and time has passed quickly and he's due home in a few short hours. We are picking up a nice dinner of ribs (salmon for hubby) to bring home and I have several movies lined up to watch over the next few days. After today he's off again until Monday.

I got everything on my list for Christmas including Sue Spargo's EQ6 software program, a bobbin winder, and the complete Jamestown line of civil war FQ's. I've already started to wash those so I can make some swap blocks. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their family and friends, and you all have a joyous New Year. I'll see you back here in 2008!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

I hope that everyone has a healthy and Happy Christmas Day with your family and friends, and that your New Year is one full of the love and joy you all so richly deserve.

Happy Christmas to all! tree at night all sparkly and glistening.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Month One Done...

First months section done! There was a tiny issue with some pieces not adding up in equal amounts but after doing a few of Cheri's quilts before I understand that this can happen and it's often the nature of primitive design quilt patterns. I'm easy with adding or taking away any fabric pieces...although *I* usually do check to make sure I haven't made the mistake in something. I didn't..why do I feel the need to say that? So anyway I added my extra bit just as Cheri did on her quilt and off I went assembling.

Just in case you wanted to see the house close-up. After the first 2 blocks going so quickly it seemed to take quite a while to get the tiny house with many windows done! Luckily all those tiny windows are done with wool felt. They gave us fabric but I would have lost my mind doing quarter inch windows with quarter inch under turned on 4 sides and I figured they would be 5 layers thick and look like blobs by the time I was done! So wool felt to the rescues.

Speaking of my wool felt, I got my current order just Thursday. All the colors I was missing to add to the reds, greens and browns. It's so nice at times to not have to turn under a seam allowance.

Just in case anyone reading doesn't know I stupidly deleted my entire blog...yes I did..I am slowly still adding on the old posts. So if your bloglines has tons of posts show up, simply check for any new ones and delete the older ones. Sorry for the hassle.

Now back to fix some dinner and wait for hubby to wander home. Poor thing has been working since 7am and it's 8:47 pm right now. He should be home soon. Have a very nice Christmas everyone if I don't get back before then.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Checking in...

When I finally got to sit down last night and sew it was almost 8 pm and I was tired. I had such great plans when I got up and then Christmas shopping and hitting the grocery store took over and all those plans went out the door. After falling asleep on the sofa, I spent the late afternoon making a pot luck dish for hubby to take to work. I still have a few gifts to get, mostly for people who won't say what they want, or more importantly, I can't think of what I want to give them. I finally figured out something for my Mom but now I have to go and buy it...which involves leaving the house...yuck!

On the quilt related front, there isn't anything new to show really. Nothing with any great progress. I'm working on the third block from SLOL and waiting impatiently for the black wool I ordered to come in the mail. It will be used for tons of tiny windows on the house, and a nice black bird on the roof. I'm working on stitching all the embroidered parts and then will sew down the red chimney.
Since I often do more than one thing at once, I also have the last pocket almost done for the tote bag. Just the round flowers left to cover and I'll be able to put it all together.
On to decorations, this will be the last I show...don't want to overload everyone with non-quilt related stuff. But I promised a while ago to show you what my Mom gave me this year from her Christmas collection. These are decorations that I remember as always being there during my childhood and are so special to me. Please enlarge them to get a good look.

5 little Pine Cone Elves with all their stockings and bundles. Some have cotton beards and some have beards made from pipe cleaners. Each has a pine cone somewhere, whether as his body or somewhere on his pedestalA tiny glitter village complete with 5 tiny houses and a very big Christmas tree. I love how these are the old fashion glitter that looks more black than colorful. It simply wasn't Christmas until theses guys were put out for decoration.

a close up view...every one of those tiny balls are REAL glass balls!
Lastly, someone asked in comments where they could find the new Pinwheels BOM quilt I was drooling over. Click on this link and it will take you to the page. Read down and you will see a link for a larger image. It's stunning, but I think I simply have too much on my plate to get involved in another BOM. I'll have to drool from afar on this one.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I should be at a company Christmas party right now, but we both have the sniffles and hubby's head is raging so we stayed home. It's cold, wet and pouring rain...not a good night for going out with the beginnings of a bad cold.

I've almost got the second section/pocket embroidery done on my bag and then I'll be ready to assemble the bag and can show the finished project. I did get the red bird basket section of the Sweet Land of Liberty BOM done and I'll give you the same peek I gave on the team blog on my sidebar.

I'm waiting for some more wool felt to place the star in the field and then I have another block to complete before I sew the section together. Good timing since the next month arrived today.
Once I get the last bit of embroidery done the hoop will be free and I'll start hand quilting my Red Schoolhouse quilt. So many cool things to do and so little time.

I sat thinking today about all the possible quilts to start next and then it dawned on me that I had quite a list going of currently being made and things waiting to be finished and maybe doing those was exactly where I should let my focus stay for a while. So I made a list...I do like my lists!

1. Christmas Sampler - 2/3rds done.
2. Sweet Land Of Liberty BOM - just started.
3. First Pinwheels BOM Tumbler quilt still needs to be put together and quilted.
4. Second Pinwheels BOM that stopped on month 2.
5. Stars of Yesterday top waiting to be made into a quilt.
6. Patriotic Kit #1 - not yet touched.
7. Patriotic Kit #2 - not yet touched.
8. Sue Spargo Needle Roll Kit - not started.
9. Sue's Flower Bed quilt - one block done.
10. Pink and Brown doll quilt 2-9 - You guessed it... not yet started.
11. 2 Prairie Children quilts cut and ready to assemble and quilt.

I know there are more and quite frankly I don't want to remember them right now. Heck I'm still salivating over the new Pinwheels BOM quilt and trying hard NOT to order that one too! I don't need another! So for the time being, I think I am going to sit and stitch and move along all the projects I have dangling around in my head waiting their turn to be finished. They are all great quilts and more than enough to keep me very interested in whatever seems to suit my fancy.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Busy, busy...

I still have a few things to pick up for the holiday, my Mom has no idea what she wants, and finally at least the house is done and all decorated. At least as decorated as it's going to get this year. So now I get to do some more sewing!

I am going to work on my BOM for Sweet Land of Liberty today and try to finish those blocks. I need to wash some CW fabrics for swap blocks, finish the second pocket embroidery, pin a doll quilt for hand quilting, and make a back for the tree quilt. Yes, the poor thing is still waiting. I went right into the tree skirt, decorating, and all those house things and it's patiently waiting. It won't go on the hanger this year, but it might make the back of the chair. Speaking of Cheri Payne (SLOL pattern maker) When I showed the stocking the other day, boy did others come out of the woodwork! I had no idea it was Cheri's pattern until Libby mentioned it! I used her old patterns to make fabric pieces years ago and my friend make all the wooden stuff. I even used her Santa to paint on of the slates I hang next to the front door. The wooden Santa was made from a very old fence post by the same friend. I painted the slate. I have 5 or 6 that rotate for the seasons. Sorry to block out my last name but I somehow recently got inundated with the "my late husband left me millions and you can have it for just the sum of $$$...I am from a bank in Nigeria and want to give you money" fraud letters and they just stopped.

A comment from Mquilter the other day sent me to a wonderful blog called Cinderberry Stitches. Her work is exquisite and so full of detail and personality. I couldn't resist and ordered 3 patterns for Christmas stitchery. I'll show them when they come in from Australia! She does have one place in the USA that carries them too. If you visit her site, go through some of her tutorials and enlarge the pictures, the work is just wonderful. Thanks Mquilter for the tip.

Since I don't want to make this post a marathon, I'll save Mom's decorations for the next one! Hopefully by then I'll have more quilting to show! Happy Christmas everyone! I think I'll watch Harry Potter 5 again while I eat lunch!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's so fun to decorate...

...but I definitely need a bigger house with more rooms! I have loads and loads of ornaments that I don't presently use. Most for trees that don't get put up at the moment. They are waiting for the larger house again patiently. For now I am perfectly happy having up what I do and enjoying remembering all the things I tuck away around the house and all the special things I've collected over the years.

It wasn't until I saw Libby's new banner that I remembered the Christmas stocking above that I always hang. It's 3/4 inch thick and painted, darkened with brown glaze and sanded to look old and worn. It stays tucked away on a nail inside my craft closet with the front door wreaths I change all year. It was made years ago by a good friend. I love Santa on the toe.

This simple white church is another item that means a lot to us both. My hubby bought it from the gal he works with about 15 - 20 years ago I think when she brought it in one day. He immediately loved it and brought it home for me. I stays every season on the kitchen counter and stays lit from sundown to bedtime. It just wouldn't be Christmas without this church.

This view is what makes it super special! This year I also got a few things from my Mom that I'll show in a later post. Special things that I have enjoyed all my life and will cherish using for years.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Trees Up...

My fingers are bloodied and battered, but the tree is up and the lights are on! Seriously, blood was drawn! This new tree is so much fuller and has a lot more branches than my simple old one, but it looks nice and cost next to nothing so I'm happy. I also got the tree skirt down on the floor and it took about 6 seconds for Pixel to find it.

After all that work the ornaments will have to wait for tomorrow. Should be fun. I love finding them all again each year as I open the boxes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Still plugging away

I'm here, but spending time decorating and getting some thing finished up around here. Hubby started vacation last Thursday and is off until the 17th so we are laid back and fancy free for the whole next week. Finally after a few minutes here and there I finished the first section of the needlework bag I'm working on currently. It the same bag Libby brought to Primitives last year and I fell in love with it! It's a pattern from Bare Roots.

It's been on the hoop since July and I grab it every so often and put in a few stitches here and there when I have nothing else to do... or nothing else I want to do. It's good tv work. This makes the outer most pocket, and I still have another pocket/edging to make before I can assemble the bag.

I also finished the tree skirt and I'll show that when I get it around the tree base this afternoon...after the tree goes up. That's the last thing to be put up and then I'm done for the year. I really don't have lots of Christmas related quilts to put up so I've been looking, thinking, and planning my quilts to make through the year for display next year. SO many ideas to pick from...and a whole year to find the time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Creations...

Well the Christmas Tree quilt top was done Monday night and I still haven't made the backing yet. See, as I sewed the tree quilt I was also stitching a few things here and there for the tree skirt. The one cool thing about the FQ's used is that you will have a nice wide strip of pieces left over from the sides. I even cut mine a tad larger than the estimated 12x18, instead adding another half inch or so to the size on each side. So as sewed I made some pieces out if the smaller strips so I could start the tree skirt trees. I continued to sew yesterday until I had the regular Tree Topper pattern and then I put it on the design wall to decide how to enlarge it even more so I wasn't square, and was a little bit bigger.
Then I got the idea! Make it more octagonal and use more of the left over strips!! After making a freezer paper template I started making pieces and the tree skirt is all done, except for quilting and binding, of course! I left open the flap on the bottom all the way to the center and once I see how big the new tree center is, I'll cut a circle and bind it up. This is Marcie's pattern just jazzed up a bit by me!

Now I better get back to finishing my tree quilt. I sewed it together Monday, leaving off the last side row, thinking about just how wide I wanted it to be. It still seems far wider than needed and too wide for the length, but I'm satisfied. My cut blocks turned out to be 9 3/4 x 14, but they looked so leggy that I trimmed them to 13.5". Now I wish I had kept the extra 1/2 inch, but what do you do afterwards, huh? It's still a cool quilt.

Thanks so much for all the comments! I am really blushing! Next picture...all quilted and on the hanger! Next to the tree and the new tree skirt!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tree's a poppin'...

After a sewing debacle yesterday that involved several hours of un-sewing 3 sections to get back to where I goofed, I have finally finished the tree blocks. So much for quick sewing! If you make one of these make sure to keep the parts in order...the right order! Not backwards order. You'll be sorry if you goof...I promise you! You can't just reshuffle the fabrics. *S*

Imagine another row on the bottom. Didn't quite fit on the design wall! Now off to sew the rows, then stop and rest for the night.

Z&S bundles...& paper piecing...

Wow, am I glad I ordered that bundle when I did! Sorry for those who didn't get one. When I went to look right after posting they were gone and 2 of the fabrics were gone too! Never fear...Homestead Hearth still has bundles. FQ, 1/2 YD, and Full Yard for a little more than Z&S, but worth it. They are gorgeous fabrics.

Mostly what I wanted to explain with this note was about the Tree quilt. Alison from My Little Stitching Corner said she loved the pattern, but never liked nor got the hang of paper piecing. This pattern is NOT paper piecing. The top paper is only to guide you where to make the cuts. You pull that off once you get to that section and you are then sewing just 2 pieces of fabric together. All you need to know is how to measure a 1/4 inch tip...and that's not even needed really. You are simply assembly line sewing. Sew A to B, press. Sew C to A+B, press and so forth into the last 2 big chunks and you have one large block.

I just didn't want anyone shying away from a pattern thinking it was paper piecing when it's not. Oh and Alison, you might want to think about turning on your email. I could have answered you right from your comment. If you don't want a public email listed, get a free hotmail account or something. It's simple.

Now back to sewing!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Answers and goodies...

First the goodies! I ordered this FQ bundle Wednesday at 3:30pm and the UPS guy brought it Friday at 5:00pm. How's that for service! Yummy!! Scarlets from Old Sturbridge Village collection! Some are the same pattern as the blues, but lots are new patterns and so pretty. Z&S is the place for the best bundles!

Now answers...Yes, leave it to me to complain first and find answers later. Thanks Mary! Mary said that the picture thing is a problem they are working on, so I'll give them time. I don't always open the larger view, but sometimes it's kinder to use smaller pics in big posts and let you open them if you really want to see the details and this makes it a bit harder to do that. So hopefully they will get it worked out soon.

The tree pattern is from Pieces from the Heart and called Trees UP! Light's ON! I think it was on about page 18 - 20 of the pattern pages. You have to scroll through them , but it's worth seeing all their great patterns. I loved the old fashioned spools!

Sew Create It - Jane asked how I got the tree blocks so even and uniform looking. Well, mostly I suffer from a curse called pickiness and I keep my little 2.5 inch ruler square next to me and make sure that when I put the 2 sides together I have that 1/4 inch tip hanging exactly off the edge before I sew. YOU don't have to line them up so well. It won't effect the pattern, you just get a smaller block in the end. One thing about sewing them is that you trim off the straggling edges before you add the next section. Plus, you make them all at the same time. I chose to do the colors as three batches, but you could do them all at the same time. You sew them in A to B, then add section C. Sew D to E, press and then sew to ABC. Get it?

When I made the first batch, I was matching the outside edges and some of the tree points got chopped as a result. SO for the next batch I followed the pattern directions and worried more about matching the INSIDE edges and not the outside...better tree points, but slightly smaller finished block size. It's a very well designed pattern too.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm still sewing trees...

Libby wrote a very nice post about getting less done than she had envisioned this week and well, it happens to the best of us. I'm still plugging away on the tree blocks. Slower than I thought, but life has a way of distracting you at times and begging for attention. I could still have them completely done and ready for quilting by Monday...that's the goal anyway. I have both the red and white blocks done waiting to be trimmed once I find the final size. I started the green pile yesterday afternoon and stopped so I could make dinner and watch a movie with my sweetie. The rest...cross your fingers...might be done tonight. It's iffy, but possible. Wish me luck.

I picked up some more Debbie Mumm snowman fabric for the back at JoAnns Thursday and bought the last 8 yards of Warm and Natural they had in the place since I had my 40% off coupon. I like it for heavier, machine quilted quilts. But I need to order a 40 yard roll the next time from online instead.

Happily, we got all the normal chores, errands, and grocery shopping, etc. done this morning, so we don't have to brave the stores tomorrow. Except for some online things I need to get ordered for Christmas tomorrow, I'm staying out of the stores and home with my machine!

A much happier place to be!

**UPDATE: I noticed on a few blogs when I tried opening the picture for the larger view that instead of getting the big picture I got asked what I wanted to view it with?? or download it? This isn't the normal choice, but I'm guessing a new thing with Blogger. if you choose to download, it saves it to my desktop where I can open it and then have to delete it off. I can also chose to view it in something like Paint or Picasa..but it's a hassle none the less. So sorry to anyone who gets this new option. Not my fault, not something new I am doing...just something Blogger has evidently decided to do rather than host the larger jpeg picture anymore.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New projects...

It's not like I don't have plenty of current projects going at the moment, but sometimes you just shove a few more in there to keep you on your toes. I knew just what I was going to do next. A Christmas Tree quilt done in the "chop and re-sew" manner. I've had the FQ's already picked out and tucked away with the pattern waiting to be done for this Christmas all year, but I got a late start. Better late than never I say.

Sunday I started ironing all the FQ's and lining them up on top of each other for cutting. 10 FQ each of red, greens, and cremes in my case. Laid out and cut on the lines. These is the white and green backgrounds waiting their turn for sewing.
Once I got all the pieces ready for cutting, I started sewing the group with red backgrounds yesterday afternoon and got all but the last 2 seams done last night after hubby went to bed. This morning I got all the red background pieces finished and ready for trimming. I have to wait until all the blocks are done to find the final block size.

With any luck, I hope to have this tree quilt done and on the wall after this weekend. I realized yesterday I am sorely lacking in Christmas quilts. I put up my only finished quilt last night and thought I would share it again. I think this was one of my very first quilts. I call it Christmas Star.
I have a few more things to make for this year. I need to adapt Marcie's Tree Topper pattern into a new tree skirt. I hope to get that finished next week and under the tree. I also would love to get a copy of Libby's Christmas Angel done. I'm not as confident of getting that one done, but I'll cut the fabric strips and make the blocks while I sew other things. If it doesn't get finished for this year, I'll have a big head start on next years decorating.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

New BOM started...

I started a new BOM called Sweet Land of Liberty today and got the first section done.
I'm using what I call faux paper piecing. You don't sew through the paper, but right next to it, thus not having to rip off pieces of paper. I posted a detailed description of the technique on my blog last summer and also over on the Sweet Land of Liberty group BOM. You can find both links on my sidebar for the technique and the group blog. Now I'm going out to work on my needlework bag for a while and watch some tv. Have a nice Sunday tomorrow!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanskgiving Everyone...

Make sure to pace yourselves and eat in shifts so you don't blow any buttons! We are staying home this year and enjoying ham and all the trimmings. No turkey this year, and I really am not going to miss it one bit. I've got lots of things to fill the void...and the tummy!

Like my paperweight? How can I possibly read anything with that big tub-o-fur on my table...not that I'll read but a few of the ads anyway. Poor hubby almost got a hernia lifting today's newspaper. Why must they get so overindulgent with all the ads? Years ago I would be right there, but you couldn't find me within 2 miles of a mall these days. I stay home and skip the whole thing now. I'm off to do my Jumble and Celebrity Cipher and do some pre-cooking cleaning. Hope you all enjoy the day with your families!

Buckeye Queen finished...

Here's the finished Buckeye Queen quilt. Does everyone name all their quilts? I don't think it's all that necessary on every quilt, so I'll skip it this time. It was a very easy quilt made simple by a good pattern.

I stuck with my plan to just cover it all with a simple medium meandering and it worked out very well. I used an Aurifil color (#1318) that Libby shared about a year ago and blends with almost every fabric color very well.

Thanks Lynda! It's going on the sofa ready for use on cold winter days.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Little Red Schoolhouses...

Cute isn't it? I wasn't planning to sew this today but I finished cutting the background pieces and was so intrigued at what size they would end up, that I just kept going. These are super tiny little schoolhouses! They finish at 3 1/2 inches! I don't know that I'll do all the quilts in the book, but a few of them really caught my eye. This was one of them. Now I'll spend the night getting my binding sewn down on the Buckeye Queen.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Here's where I am this weekend...

I got most of the quilt pinned last night but dinner was getting late and my back was feeling the strain of all the standing. I took this picture before I finished pinning. Now, Buckeye Queen is all pinned and in a few minutes I'm going to start quilting. Hopefully it will only take a few hours to do a nice overall meandering.

My husband got up this morning and was at the Red Cross at 6:30 am for his platelet donation. Normally they give out t-shirts but this morning he got the neatest kitchen apron. I thought it was so clever that you would appreciate seeing a picture.

Can you read what it says?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Top finished!

Buckeye Queen
53 x 62

I know I have so many things in the process of getting done at the moment, but when I got this new pattern from Lynda Hall I just knew it was the perfect thing to get me back in the swing of quilting. A very dear blog friend gave me some great advice to do whatever interested me, not what I should do, to get my quilting mojo back. I think it worked very well. I loved this pattern the moment I saw it in my winning package of new patterns from Lynda's drawing. You can find Buckeye Queen in the pattern section, Page 6. It was super simple to do and will be perfect for keeping my toes and legs warm on the sofa! I hope to get the top pinned and ready for quilting this weekend. Cross you fingers for a weekend finish!

** I'm slowly adding old posts back onto the blog. Changing the date makes it simple to add them without messing up any new post. So if you see 40 or so post pop up, never fear. Anything new will be at the top**

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finally found the change date button!

Thanks the heavens, I knew there once a rumor about being able to change the date...Tonya said you could but I looked and never found anything, until NOW. Look on your page when writing a new post. Right on the bottom left is a link called Post Options. If you click it it allows you to turn off the comments on a particular post and change the date and TIME! No more backwards posts, no out of order instructions. Yippee!

So my old posts are going back... in order. You can catch the archives as they build up. I only have back until April, but that's fine. It's better than nothing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

UPDATE: Thanks to wonderful Leah mentioning that she could see all my post from Jan 07 in Google Reader I realized that Bloglines might have them, so off I went. Good news! I was able to get from April to present and save them all. Now, what to do? Some post are just silly, some are worth tutorials. But the dates will still say today if I restore them because I can't find out how to alter the date in blogger. Anyone know? I can title them by the original dates and that would work, but I might not put them all back in that case. So in the next few days if your counter shows 100's of post, check for any new ones and then mark them all read. Thanks again Leah for the tip!

Looky what arrived today! My very first month of Cheri Saffiote Payne's Sweet Land of Liberty BOM from Homestead Hearth. Can't wait to get started on the blocks! They did a perfect job marking everything for us.

Well most of the stuff is back in the sidebar. Thanks be to the heavens that I saw that nice..."go back to the old version" again and it takes your right back to html code because no way could I have figured out how to do all the sidebar stuff in widgets. Yuck!

Okay, I can't remember where the thing is to click that lets your comments show your email. Anyone? I need to make sure I have to clicked. I have to thank Dawn, although she doesn't know she helped me, but she asked me about the sidebar status pictures and progress bars a while back and put them on her site. Thanks Dawn, this allowed me to go to your site and view the source code and get them back on my blog!

I've got my whole template saved again...hadn't done it in over 10 months...very bad. I can't say I will get any of the old post back but nothing I can do now. Oh well, I messed with this all day and now I just want to sew for a bit.


Yea, make that two of us. YEP, the whole blog is GONE. I stupidly decided to make another blog this morning for a team thing...not important, and when it wasn't working out I just deleted it..or so I thought. Seems somewhere in the mix blogger moved over or open my main blog by default, the cats were screaming for attention and GONE GONE GONE...

ALL gone. SO enjoy the mess. I haven't a clue how to work with these freakin widgets so I doubt I can ever restore the sidebar the way I like. I kept html for a reason. Lord this will take all weekend to get settled. So you'll see changes for a while. I have some of the archives saved and I'll have to get hubby to help me restore those...but much later.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph I can't believe the whole thing is just gone. OH well. Too late now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Book correction...

Passing along something I found this morning while cutting pieces...anyone who has the book Prairie Children and their Quilts...there is a mistake in the dimensions of one section for the Little Red Schoolhouse Quilt.

Under CUTTING... The book says:

From each of the 4 red prints, cut:
2 squares, 1" x 1" (8 total)
4 pieces, 1" x 2" (16 pieces total)
2 pieces, 1" x 2" (8 pieces total)
2 pieces, 1" x 3" (8 pieces total)
1 piece using template 2 (4 pieces total)

This should read:
2 pieces, 1" x 2 1/2" (8 pieces total)

I couldn't figure out why they would separate the same size until I counted where they were and knew something was I looked at the sizes for the blue house and saw the mistake. Pass this along to anyone you know who already owns the book please.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Dance!!

The mailman just delivered my new learning project. Thanks Lynda! I named it that because unless I learn to do it, it won't get made...I'm talking about knitting. Now I have done knitting before but it was a bookmark and I learned in the Girl Scouts. I'm not even guessing how long ago that class occurred. No one else guess either, please! Can't be but so hard, I remember knitting, I remember having tension issues too. I think I'll call the local knitting shop and see if they can set me up with a refresher course and some one on one help to start off the project.

Too bad it's not crochet, I could do that in my sleep I've done it so long. I was reading Libby's list of things her grandmother taught her and I had to think back to my own grandmother...Nama we called her. My oldest sister's G's came out like N's and the name stuck. She taught me everything I know. Not her only mother is severely craft/sewing handicapped, but it dawned on me that I was the only one who ever learned anything from her. I guess thinking about it now none of my 3 sisters do anything crafty. NO interest at all. But I loved it.

Here we all are. That me in the fabulous pink and grey Easter dress standing next to her. I was about 7 or so I guess. She taught me to crochet at about 9 or so and it was tough going at first because I am right handed and she was left handed. We tried sitting across from each other, nope. She tried doing it right handed...nope. Finally I grabbed the hook in my left hand and said just show me. I still crochet left handed to this day.... with the hook she gave me to use. A very heavy steel hook, can't use any other as they don't feel right in my hand.

She taught me crewel and needlepoint, and how to make the most amazing placemats from this weird fabric with a strange weave that we pulled long pieces of floss through to create all sorts of designs...Christmas trees, indian/aztec geometric sort of designs. I really ought to get some of that if they still make the fabric and make some more placemats. Anyone know what that was? I think my mom still has the sets I made for her. Funny to think that with no kids of my own all this stuff will stop with me. None of the nieces care to learn. Maybe one day they will before I'm too old to pass it along. Well I've had my cry for today missing my Grandma, so I'm off to sew and finish a top. Thanks for starting the trip down memory lane Libby.

**Thanks to Vera for the info..It's called Huck Toweling and Swedish Weaving!**

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

As strange as it might sound, finishing that little Christmas quilt, start to finish, gave me a nice feeling of accomplishment that was the kick in the rump I needed to get moving again. I have several things cut out and ready to start sewing as soon as I'm done here. Thanks again Marcie for that super free pattern you provided so graciously. Making one inspired me to get moving on more. I'll make one for my Mom and I decided to make another one for me, a bit larger, to use as my new tree skirt. A few adjustments should make it perfect. Leaving off the center pinwheel...since it will be cut out...and leaving one side un-sewn so I can bind it along with the outside edges.

With those two in mind I took a trip to JoAnn's for more background fabric and some brighter reds. Now normally I don't do a tons of fabric shopping at JoAnn's because I've heard the "stories" about inferior fabrics, etc. Plus they don't carry civil war or much homespun. But inferior?? Well some is, but some is very nice. In fact, the topic for quilt guild this month is by the owner of the local quilt shop. Her discussion is about why her fabric is much better than inferior shops like JoAnns, Walmart, Hancocks, etc. Okay, I'll give you that the $1.99 fabric isn't the nicest. It's rough...sometimes weird, stiff and seems a bit odd. But if that's what you can afford, go for it! Why should anyone discourage someone from sewing for that reason. These days the fabrics are much better at my JoAnn's store. They even have a new line that's what I consider a knock off of the Denise Schmidt, Amy Butler type lines that ranges from $6.99 to $8.99 and that's right in the same range as the fabric store! It's wonderful fabric with very cool designs. What I went to get was more background fabric from Debbie Mumm. Since when did Debbie Mumm become second rate fabric? I don't think so. She has a whole line there in cotton and flannel for Christmas..once again in the $6 - $9 range. 40% off I might add right now. So I picked up enough for two more Tree quilts. The light is the background fabric. The snowmen pattern will be used for fun backs, and the plaid will probably be another border to make the quilt a bit larger. Those were all Debbie's fabrics as well as the lighter print with the darker green and red stars. The others are nice true xmas colors to be added in. I'm not making heirloom quilts here people. They are going to be washed a ton, crawled on by the cats, and enjoyed. Who cares if the fabric came from JoAnn's. Oh yea...well except maybe the quilt shop owner who lost out on the money.

Do you enjoy peppermints? Do you live near a Trader Joe's store? Then I implore you to go try these cookies. I'd easily weigh 500 pounds if these were available all year. They are that good! Real candy cane in the filling, so cool and refreshing. I grabbed a box on a whim and we loved them so much I had to go back for more.

Now, I'll climb off my soapbox and start sewing.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Christmas Sewing...

While I still consider myself to be in a major quilting slump, things are beginning to look up. I often had issues when I was working and found my desk littered with so many tasks that I sometimes considered calling in sick and forcing someone else to deal with them all...(not exactly what bosses look for in an employee)...but I never actually did in real life. Sounded like a plan though. Rather, I would work through it all by making a list, starting with job one and working through them all until they were done. It always worked before, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I'm a big list maker, it just works for me. To that end I mentioned the other day taking the time out to pre-cut the quilts that I wanted to work on and get them orderly, planned out and ready to go with the most difficult part done...the DECISIONS!! Why do I find it so hard to decide what to use for a block...let alone a whole quilt? For example, I agonize over picking the color combos for my swap blocks every month. I want them to be just perfect. Some months are easy, and some, like this month, are worse than hard. But I picked and cut, and today I'll get them sewn and in the mail tomorrow....5 days late. Sorry ladies.

One task I did complete was to make my very first Christmas piece for this year! Marcie was so generous to make a table topper pattern and share it with everyone who reads her blog. It can be found at her pattern website. Just follow the above link. I know Libby made one, and I think others have a well...I put mine together this weekend and finished sewing the binding last night. Marcie this quilt is so cute! I'm gonna have to make another with the green border and Christmas reds! ** Wow, I went to get the link and was shocked! Check out Marice's website gallery and you can see pictures of ALL the wonderful versions of this table topper!**

Now I'm off to finish cutting the last of the triangles for my sofa quilt. My toes are getting colder and colder as our weather finally turns fall! We are settling into the low 60's this week and high 50's next....hubby is less than pleased, but I love it! Finally fall! Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! One of my most favorite holidays, right behind Christmas. I didn't do much decorating this year, but I did put out the basics just on time for tonight. Hope everyone has a very safe and happy night! I miss not living in a regular neighborhood with houses and dressing up to hand out the candy. We don't have trick or treater's here and rightly so. I don't think I'd let my kids go door to door in a strange condo complex either. We have very few kids living here at all, so any that came wouldn't know the neighbors. It's sad that it's just not as safe as when I grew up. But kids today have other fun ways to celebrate and candy is still good today!

I just popped in to say a quick hello before I start the first load of fabric washing. I usually don't wash until I use the fabric, but these are new lights for civil war swap blocks and swap fabrics gets washing needs to be done. Don't they just look yummy?

Don't mind the grainy-ness of the picture. It was either macro and a bit grainy or regular blurry this morning. I got these from Z&S just yesterday after waiting for them to restock and have the bundle again. I can just imagine all the little civil war girls in the dressing gowns made from these fabrics! So yummy! I'm off to get washing and finish cutting out for a new quilt!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Getting back to normal...

First, let me say thanks a million for all the wonderful vacation wishes and the lovely comments about the new wall hanging. I love Cheri's designs and they are so easy to make. The week flew by in what seemed like 2 days! We did absolutely nothing on the list of things we wanted to accomplish and although some really needed to be's perfectly fine. Hubby got some much needed computer work done and I spent my whole week with him. So I'd say it was a good week. Most of the honey-do's got postponed due to hubby popping out his SI joint in his left hip. Don't know what that is? Neither did we, until we looked it up on the computer. Gotta love the internet. SO lifting, bending, and stairs were out...and still are for the rest of the week. He's doing fine now and after this week will be healed enough not to have to worry about popping it out as easily.

On the sewing front, I took a few stitches to finish off the crow for my Christmas Sampler. I started to pull fabrics for the next block and just got stuck in the decisions. I really need to move on this project since I want it up on the wall by December 1st. That got me thinking about how to pull myself out of the quilting slump that seems to be never ending and get to work.

To that end, I let some inspiration from a few blog friends do the trick. For months...or frankly as long as I can remember..I've watched several people get ready for retreats by pre-cutting all the fabrics and packaging them so they are all set to hit the machine running. Dawn has done this numerous times and gets loads done. So does Darlene! Since I seem to be having the worst trouble getting the decisions made about what fabrics to use, and getting all the cutting done, I thought...huh maybe doing that will work for me. So last night I started getting things cut.

I have all the pieces ready and packaged for one small doll quilt and the fabric picked out for a few others. I'll cut those out today.

Then I started copying the templates out for the holiday tree quilt. It's a very simple stack and whack sort of design using 10 FQ's in red, green, and cream. All I need are two more freezer paper copies and I'm ready to stack and well... start whacking. Then all I have to do is store them carefully until I can start sewing them back together.

I can't say this will help the slump, but it can't hurt. At least it's moving in the right direction and getting things accomplished. But first, I'm off to find some lovely combinations for my swap blocks and get cutting those so I can start sewing! Getting those out to my swap buddies is the first priority!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Embrace Each Day...finished!

A finish that is hanging on the wall. With that I bid you all good-bye for the week. Lots of sewing, lots of rest and lots of vacation with my sweetie!

Even more...

Well the presents just keep coming...can you really call them that when you have to pay for them? Okay, so goodies might be a better word. Two more things arrived this week...the book that's traveled the blog rings...Prairie Children and Their Quilts came to live here, and I got my wool from Dorr. These are patterned wool pieces prepared and bundled by the company for over-dying. I've never dyed wool before, heck never dyed anything before so this should be quite a fun experiment. I just know I'll have fun and if it all fails miserably I'll have some great weird colors of something to use for cool projects! Wool is all new to me, but working with it is so yummy. No edges to turn and it's very interesting when added to just the right piece. It should be a fun experiment.

Hopefully, I'll get my binding sewn down on the little "Embrace Each Day" quilt today and share a finished picture tomorrow. My right shoulder..the one I use for into a freak mishap only a clutz like me could produce and is still quite sore. SO I've babied it a bit with rest.

After that post, I'm also taking a one week vacation break from posting. My sweetie is finally taking a whole week off! We have plans for a few fun days and lots of housework chores to get done...painting, cleaning out the master closet, etc. Mostly just spending time together.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Christmas in October...

Yesterday was what I would call the best mail day ever! 4 packages in one day! I knew it was a good day when the mailman came and rang the buzzer, dropping off 2 parcels that wouldn't fit in our 3x5 tiny box. You'd think nothing would fit, right? But believe me, they can bend, shove and sometimes mutilate to get whole bundles of fabric in that skinny box. SO much so that it takes full force to get them out again! Luckily I tip my mail guy very well at Christmas and he rings the buzzer.

Hooray, my patterns have arrived from Cheri Payne! I already have several of her patterns and really love the way that she packages them. You can see the pictures for Flower Basket and Good Things below. Nativity can be found at her website if you are interested.Also arriving at the door was a priority package from an online quilt store..This "n" That. When I saw this quilt being made on Wendy's blog I was really taken by what an interesting color combination she had put together and I thought about it for a long time. Then the finished quilt turned up at Libby's door and I knew that must be a sign *G* that I should make one! After browsing the other day at the fabric site, I come across the blue fabric and it jumped into my cart! Couldn't help it..had to have some. Can't ignore a sign. My yellow is different but the intent is the same.

After getting these two packages I was quite pleased, so imagine my giddyness to hit the mailbox before getting into the car to hit the grocery store and seeing it packed with more goodies!! My patterns arrived from Lynda Hall!!! I actually won something..shocking to me, but I did! I guessed right and won copies of all the new Summer and Fall patterns. I had my copy of the girls, but having the "official" one is icing on the cake. I love them all Lynda! She even signed the Me and My Shadow pattern. I feel so special. I'm thinking Buckeye Queen is just the size for covering my tootsie's this winter on the sofa.

Last but not least was the final installment for the Pinwheels Ping quilt! Sadly the packages have been tucked away lately and left for another day to finish, but I'll get back to it soon. I got all the fabric pieces for the borders, their applique pieces and the binding..all pre-cut and pressed! What a treat. Pre-made binding ready to sew on the finished quilt. Hooray for that!

So all that in one day's mail, not mentioning the 3 bills, 4 cc offers, Trader Joe's flyer, Pottery Barn catalog and an inch thick Instyle magazine.

I told you that guy can stuff a small box, right?