Sunday, September 29, 2013

Slow week

This week has been an odd week for some reason.  As I look back into my quilting journal, I know that I have been busy dong things but I just needed a refresher as to what I was doing?  And then the everything started to click into place.  On Sat., I spent the day doing several things.  I decided that I would try my hand at the Bird Brain Design Red Work  Challenge that they announced in their newsletter about a special Exhibit at the Road to California Quilt Show come January 23-26 of 2014.  You could find more information Here. So then I started to trace out the rest of my choice and that took some time. I had one element already traced and had stitched most of it up.  I once again pulled that paper piecing project and made another block only to put it away again in frustration.  The block came together okay but once the two halves came together that become wonky.  Ggggrrrr!!!!

Come Sunday I spent the day on the computer before getting motivated to get busy @ 6:30pm.  Yea that’s right that is pm. LOL.  So I decided that it was time to start prepping more dolly dresses by grabbing some little calico prints. From there I managed to get 22 dresses traced & cut out from about 3 yards of variety of prints. So once theses are sewn, that would give me 32 dresses in towards the 60 needed. Which isn’t bad in the couple weeks that I have been forth since I started cutting them out.  Which is a good thing with the Holidays right around the corner and Secret Santa swaps in the works.

After waiting all day for Mrs. D on Monday; her, me and another quilt buddy went to Elm Creek  so that I could show some samples of my stitchery for a chance to do some store samples.  They took my info. and I’m hoping that I can do some work for them in the future.  From there we went up the road to the Amish Store… “Surrey Rd. Quilt Shop” just after I spent time looking through the new McCall’s Quick Quilts (Oct./Nov.)  where the quilt cover grabs my attention.  Oohhh… Oak leaves and HST’s!!  As we are going along, Mrs.D announces that she brought me a little something back from her trip in the Upper Peninsula.  Oh baby!! Charm pack, buttons and a Sweet Pea petit four… oh my!

DSCN3702 So I flip to  page 55 where I read “My Autumn View” is lap quilt size.  Huhhhh! That is too small for the bed.  It calls for 2.5” squares but has me thinking  & ask my self- “Self - why not use 5” charm squares ?”  So with a small purchase of 2 pretty prints on black background and a Moda Marble print for the “light” side of the HST’s for a uniform look.  I’m looking forward to get started on this project.


I know that I will be able to put this on the bed as it is gender neutral and prefect for the cabin in the woods theme that pops up in places. I can slowly introduce my own personality into our space. But that is a whole different subject that won’t be addressed here.  i still need more fall/leaf prints in order to have enough for this beauty.  And we all know how I just swoon over anything of Oak Leaves & Acorns… ooooooo swoooooonnnn.  LOL. This also makes it as “non-girly” as I can be and makes my heart go pitter-patter. Later on I finished my little redwork  apple block .


Tuesday was laundry and Mrs.D said “bring it over here” . As the machine runs and the pinning of clothing on the clothesline, we start discussing projects. I up dated her in the search of fall fabrics, which finds me following her to one of two trailers where she has part of her stash in it. A large tote, a paper box and a grocery sack , have some more fabrics that she is thinning out.  SCORE!!! But more details on that on another day.  I started the next block in my Redwork  project.  This time it’s a strawberry.

Wednesday was quilt group and I took a quilt in to be sandwiched, taking up a good put of the afternoon. I come home and to find another package which turns out to be my second table runner from the swap where I showed you the ones I made last week.  Here is a nice collection of eye candy for the both table runner packages.

DSCN3684   DSCN3686  DSCN3687  DSCN3688

This beauty was from Mrs. A. made this one and also made a 8 count of matching napkins rings that will look great on my Thanksgiving Supper.  I really love “dressing” my holiday table and my company love the effects. The back is a lot brighter than the picture depicts. I’m love the way the front marries into the oak table and walnut walls.  A prefect fit and welcomed addition to my small collection.

The second set is the table runner set that Mrs. N. made.  She hit the mark on my love for oranges and leaf prints. The canter of the blocks have a Cathedral Window effect.  I found it to be an appealing effect to my eye. On the back she used a flannel fabric that is super soft & pet-able. As an extra she made this really pretty hot pad  that I actually placed my little cottage table top clock on. 

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Both these lovelies found their way to through the Quilting from the table runner swaps and I’m looking forward to doing another one come spring.  I have had a wonderful experience with this swap and ended up two wonderful  examples of the great work that happens over there.

Thursday finds me gathering up an arm load of books, patterns and magazines along with a notepad as I head for my comfy spot and start perusing through the stack looking for some ideas for a QB’s Chat non-swap Challenge for the month of Oct.  This is a new thing that started this past month where I gave you the sneak peek of “Autumn’s Trails” last week.  But anyways, we have a monthly theme to our own interpretation. This new month is “Harvest Time” and must include either a vegetable, fruit or nut somewhere in the piece.  I finally chose a design that fits the requirements and pull out the scrap bag for this one.  This is a hint of things to come but I can’t show you anything beyond that as it will also become a gift.  I love when I can do something that can function with more than one purpose! 

DSCN3696 Friday actually sounds boring in comparison as I finish cutting out the needed pieces from the pull of scraps pictured above.  I did some sketches of future challenges, and continued to stencil on a couple of projects getting them ready for hand quilting and of course stitching on the RedWork that is currently in the hoop.

Saturday was a mixed bag of things… Myself & Mrs. D head back to Crossroads Quilt Shop as a show of support for the shop keepers as we learned both of them have each a form of cancer.  After she makes a purchase of assorted needed Pellon’s for her projects.  She finds a “Flag of Valor” kit in the 35% bin. So a $59.99 kit becomes a $20.99 steal. Mean while I’m very good and didn’t purchase a thing but took the opportunity to peruse the large number of panels, to fondle the flannels, stroke & dream about new cotton fabric lines and lust over the newest batiks. Upon leaving, I’m handed a bag with the Valor kit in it (oh sweet!! ) and off we head for the little bakery half a block up for a sweet indulgent of home made yummy-ness.  I had a lemon Danish and an Apple cider fry cake. Ahhh - the flavors of falls.

Once I get home I receive some saddening news in which has me wandering listlessly between projects. I spend some out stenciling more leaves on my “Autumn’s Trails”, the baby quilt and the redwork.  And today I sat down to put this together after reading emails, responding to things on my forums that I’m part of and decided what I might do for dinner. 

I do want to thank Ms. Pat for her comment that left last week  and was pleased that she enjoyed seeing all my pretty’s on my blog.  Having said that, I just wanted to say that I love comments and look forward to see more of them.  I'm slowly catching up on my reading and will have some reviews in the future again.  Please be patient with me on that front.  I think it’s time for me to get busy in making my little scissor carrier case. I’m looking to make a few of these to give as gift to my crafty friends.  It’s a fast & easy project that I can do in a short matter of time.


Friday, September 20, 2013

My Mojo has come home.

My Mojo has returned over a week ago and boy did it make up for the time that it was missing.  I have been super busy and. On the 8th I spent the day with my friend, Ms. D. came over to help me trim & ready the Kitten quilt so that she could help me quilt it since I don’t have a walking foot for my machine.  Once I got home, I pinned the binding onto the brown & orange table runner and pinned the hems on 8 out of 10 little dolly dresses that we are making for the “Santa” program in the local village; all the while I was watching “Killing Lincoln” that Tom Hanks had narrated.


On the 9th, I spent the day at Ms. D’s house learning how to can what will become spaghetti sauce.  This was an interesting experience for me and I was able to take 11 quarts and 1 pint home as my bounty from the bushel  minus the few that I ate for lunch.  I spent the evening doing my Hostess duties in pairing up names for a Secret Santa that I’m running on the Quilt & Needle board.  From there, I proceeded to finished pinning the last 2 little dolly dresses so they are ready for the sewing machine.


Come the 10th - I sat down determined that I would iron & cut out the fabrics needed to work on the 2nd table runner.  I am still using the pattern that I drew up for the 1st one that I made with just a small change to it.  While I’m making my cuts, I realized that as I start to sew my HST’s together that I messed up the cuts making them too small.  UGH!!! GRRR!! Wait…hummm …maybe… YES!!  I can still use them!! Yeah … do quick “Happy Dance” .  I’m doing a Non-Swap Challenge featuring a Maple Leaf on the QB.  Instead of getting mad & frustrated … feeling like throwing the machine out the window… I grabbed some graph paper and started sketching out a quick design.  Okay deep breath… this looks like it might work … and cut more HST’s for the new design.  Guess working on the table runner wasn’t in the cards that day. From there I cut the batting for my Canadian friend’s grand baby quilt so that I could take it to quilt group on Wednesday morning. At TV time I work on hand quilting a little wall hanging for a Santa Sack Swap project that I’m also in. 

The 11th finds me at the library, but upon looking at it; I put it away as I have some questions for  my friend before proceeding.  After group and lunch, I spent the day cutting, ironing & prepping fabrics for several projects that are slated for the week.  In  the evening, I managed to get half way around the little Santa piece as I try my hand at doing a meandering type stitch by hand on the border.

So the 12th has me actually sitting down to piece that 2nd table runner and trace out some more dolly dresses. And of course more hand work - but this time I picked up the Challenge top again. 

Friday found me once again at the library with a multitude of things to do there.  I called the friend that had me make the kitten quilt to meet me so that I could give her the finished product.  I also took the time to write out all of the Farmer’s Wife Blocks that we have been given from the Q&N group into a notebook to serve as a logbook.  I had the ladies help me print out all the templates for the whole quilt. So now I’m really ready to get back into the groove again.  When these started I was sort of on track & I really want to get back on track now that the BC has gone back to dad’s for school. 

Sunday I spent the day with Ms. D. as a passenger on a road trip, where I continued on hand quilting and we ended up with another half dozen quilt magazines to read on the way home, but in the evening I spent the time working on appliquéing the challenge top inching my way to the half way point on that one side of the border that I’m working on. Once I finish that last half of the flower bud … let the trumpet’s blare & I’ll rejoice as the first stitch goes into the tri-level full flower.

Monday was spent assisting Mr. S. with an outside project that has been looming at us as we needed to finish this project before the winter settles in.  Ms. D & Hubby are over to help and stay for dinner.  She also brought with her an assorted mix of reds & yellows as possible binding for the Santa wall hanging that I hope to finish later that evening.

Tuesday had me flipping & trimming the 2nd runner and I’m so happy that it looks like I won’t need to use pre-made binding to hide some shifting in the fabrics on the edges.  I started stitching my “non-swap” maple leaf project when Ms. D. came over – who made a comment about how “messy” my multi-purpose room.  Once she left – I went into “cleaning” mode to the room. After several hours of straighten & re-stacking fabrics, books & assorted odds and ends,  I finally finished the wall hanging …yeah!

Last week I had read an e-mail from Bird Brain Designs about their “Red work” Challenge.  I had contemplated it a while and decide that I would try very very hard to finish a project and submit it.  So come Wednesday I printed out the needed patterns while at the library.  We went to lunch at The Rock Cafe on the Ferris State campus and made a trip to a little quilt shop in Paris.  I was really good and bought nothing but was able to take two vintage Aunt Martha’s hot transfer pattern packages for free.  I don’t know when these came out but it’s nice to the packages in such nice condition and the prices. 

Vintage Iron-ons

It was a nice little reminder that I had my Red Work challenge and I was looking forward to getting started.  I had gotten the 1st pattern traced and started stitching it.  But thinking about what I had read in the rules & e-mail I had decided that I needed to clarify a couple of things before proceeding.  So Thursday morning I made a phone to Carol Bledsoe of BBD who was very pleasant & took a few minutes out of (what I am sure) her busy schedule to help me with my questions.   The up side was I got the green light to continue with my BBD.

I also managed finish another wall hanging by finally getting the label on it. So that was another item off my “to do” list and that is always a good thing.  I got the Maple Leaf top finished yesterday and it waits for sandwiching and hand quilting.  I got great maple leaf template when I was with Ms. D. on a road trip on Sunday in the most unusual place.  This came from a hanging display at Bath &Body.  After the purchasing some really nice smelly things that was gifted to me… Ms. D. asked for one of the leaves and the clerk was more than happy to clip one for us to take home.  I laminated it and I’ll scatter them out on the top when I hand quilt it in brown variegated threads.  I’m calling this piece “Autumn’s Trails” at the moment.   I think the brown thread will look interesting as contrast against the red & green. It should really look nice  with the brown crackle frame that will  go with the brown in the leaf print.

Autumn's Trials leaf

So here are the two table runners that went into the mail this morning for the swap on the Quilting Board. This was a design that I drew up myself and I really like the way they came out. 

DSCN3673                      DSCN3676

Well I need to think about signing off for the day since dinner is calling my name.  I’m thinking a nice taco salad is what I want. So ‘til next time.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

This an APB…All Points Bulletin … be on the look for My Mojo

LOST: My Mojo has gotten up & left me at the worse possible moment.  It kind of looks like the picture below so If you see it please ask it to go home.  If you have been harboring it for safe keeping until it’s owner could be found, well here I am and My Mojo is sorely missed.  No questions asked!  The funk that was caused when My Mojo disappeared has had some dire consequences that almost depilated my love for not only quilting, but handwork and reading too!!  This just can’t be allowed!!!  So here I am pleading & groveling for My Mojo to come Home.  Whaaaaaaa - just like a cranky & tired 2 year old toddler, who has lost their favorite blankie; I really want it to come back to me.

white rabbit

Okay I know I’ve been missing in action the last couple of weeks – fine , the past month … but it’s for a good reason. I only had a couple more weeks before BC went home to his father’s in order to get ready for school.  It’s been a long summer and there were days I couldn’t wait for him to go and there are days that I didn’t want it to end. BC went home yesterday so now is the time in which I need to put the metal to petal and try to catch up!  Oh Vey!! I feel like the White Rabbit with his scurrying about as he continues to look at his watch.

 And having the computer giving me such fits that I wanted to toss it out the window doesn’t help at all.  So here we go with another scrub and reloading of the Operating System. I have lost several files and some pictures.  Thank goodness I haven’t downloaded the many, many pictures that was on the camera or those would be gone too!! Oh the horror!!

Two weeks ago, I started off on the right foot in my sewing world.  I spent Saturday running errands and spending time outside of the house time with Boy Child (BC) but in the evening during TV Time, I worked on the Challenge Top that I’m still working to enlarge it. I also spent an hour or so on the phone with my Canadian Friend Ms. D. just catching up and discussing where we are in Phase 2 on our tops.  We are still exchanging bits & pieces of fabric to be added to our “Make Do” theme of the quilt that we had chosen back when we were partners during Phase 1.

Sunday, I choose to finish making the Thangle blocks that that my other friend from Wisconsin.  Mrs. M. has been sending me a Buck-A-Block  program through the mail.  I love the colors in the block kits as they are sooooo me.  I’m really proud to have gotten all caught on them.  Want to see the pictures of blocks 4 & 5.

     DSCN3347    DSCN3639

From my experiences with these; I can’t wait to work with them again once I get the chance.  I think I have a set from a 2007 that I haven’t started yet.  They are a bit off my normal color way as they are pink , green and white.  I know I have all the blocks but not the settings for it.  I’m sure I can find a wonderful collection of fabrics to finish it off when the time comes along.

From there I moved to working on a little panel doll and her dress that I’m actually hand stitching since it’s so small that it would be a fight to do it on my machine.  I spent several nights working on them during TV time.  I’m ready to stuff the dolly named Polly and I’m have one more seam to sew to finish her dress. Then I can work on the larger doll named Sarah with her apron and kerchief.

I still trying get back to quilting so I signed up for a swap. This one is for a Fall table runner.  I tried something new in the world for me and tried a chevron print for the 1st time.  I found the chevron fabric @ JoAnn’s.  I thought it was small enough of a zig-zag that I thought I would give it a try.  I designed this runner myself and from tip to tip, it’s 66” long! The hardest part of me was figuring out the end points.  On the last possible cut was I was able to finally get them right after 4 tries.

I used solids that recently was sent to me and some light fabric scraps that I had in the stash.  For the back I knew I had the prefect fabric for this runner.  I found this vintage fabric in the Goodwill. I didn’t know what I wanted for  but I knew that I had to have it.  It was around a yard and I think it was maybe a whole $1.00.  So it languished in the stash until this runner came along. It had all the right colors that my partner requested and it’s durable as it feels close to canvas but softer.  All I have to do is put some mocha colored binding around it and call it done. 




I still have another table runner that I need to make and after 2 fabric purchases, I finally decided to with the second group so that it was a better fit to what my partner wished for.  This one is also a Fall themed but my partner likes dark tones of reds, blues and greens.  The hardest part was finding the prefect balance between the lights and darks.  Which is the reason the first group of fabrics had failed the test.  So I’ll use the same pattern that I drew up for the earlier runner but I just realized that I had one more fabric in this group than I did in the 1st one.  But I’m happy to show you the fabrics for this one. 


Although the sewing mojo is oh-so-slowly coming back, my desire to read is gone on a walk about of it’s own.  I’m hoping that it too can find it’s way home so that I can share more book  reviews with you.  So be on the look out for those in the future. 

Well it’s been a long time since I posted and I can only give you my sincerest apology for that and hope that you will continue to be a follower.