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.