Sunday, August 30, 2015

This Week in Stitches

I was able to do a bit of stitching this week. I usually get hand stitching done in the evening while hanging out with the family watching television, but we haven’t been watching much TV lately, so stitching time has been sparse.

I was able to start on the next layer of applique on my Butterfly Sampler.

Right now I’m just working on adding the applique to the upper part of the wings. I may also put some additional applique on the lower wings. If I add additional applique to the upper wings before I start the embroidery and beading, I will probably just add some small circles of leftover wool.

I also started the next HocusPocusVille block.

It’s coming along…slowly but surely. I won’t have any time this afternoon to work on HPV because we have a Ronald McDonald House Sit & Sew for our guild, but maybe this evening I’ll be able to find some time to work on it. Maybe I’ll suggest a good movie to watch!

I will be linking up at Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching and with Super Mom – No Cape for the Stitchery Party. Head over for some lovely projects.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

RSC – August

I didn’t work on anything for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month until I sat down earlier this week and made the three Sampler Blocks for August. I doubt I’ll get anything more done this month for RSC, so I will need to play catch-up in September with my paper pieced cats and paper pieced trees. Hopefully that won’t be a problem.

I decided to use dark blue, gray, and black for the Sampler Blocks. I am pleased with how they turned out, and I am getting excited to see what the quilt top ends up being once I get my alternate stars done and everything laid out on the design wall.

For the Bullseye Sampler Block I went with some darker blues…

I don’t really have much indigo in my fabrics, but I do like these two dark blues in this block.

For Mr. Roosevelt’s Necktie I used some grays.

There is also a little bit of purple and green in there, but that’s fine. I have had those lighter grays for quite some time and just never found something to use them in. I decided this would work.

Finally, I used black for the Road to California Sampler Block.

I have a lot of black and white prints, so I decided to use that instead of a black on black or solid black. I was thinking with all the color in the quilt, the black might stick out too much.

So that’s it for me for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for August. I will be linking up with Angela at So Scrappy. Head over for some lovely projects.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ALYOF August Finish

I finished my August goal! I was #2 on Goal Setting Party.

Here is my finish…

And here is my helper who inspected it when it was done…

This is a flannel 9-Patch quilt top made from shirts from my dad. He passed away in April and when I was out west for the funeral my sisters mentioned I should make a quilt from his shirts. So, I brought a bunch home (he had tons!). The lighter squares in the quilt top are a purchased flannel, and I just received more of that lighter colored flannel that I will use as the backing. I hope to get quilting on this sometime next week after picking up some batting. I’ll have to find a lighter weight batting for this because it is already heavy and it is going to one of my sisters and they live in California and Arizona. It doesn’t get nearly as cold there as it does here in East Tennessee. And, I have a second quilt top started from his shirts (with a different light colored purchased flannel), so that will be a high priority on my list of to-dos in the next couple of months. I hope to have both ready to give to my sisters at Christmas.

I will be linking up at the ALYOF August Finishes Party at Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fabulous Fabrics

This past Saturday I spent a few hours at my guild’s quarterly Saturday New Members Lunch and Bee. I had a really nice time, and one of the ladies brought some fabrics and threads from a former member who just didn’t have any time for sewing anymore. I was able to pick up some great threads for $15. I don’t have a count (dozens!), but I need a couple of more 12" by 12" thread boxes to store them in, so I got a LOT! All but a few are brand new, still in the package. They include lots of metallic and variegated threads, including King Tut, Aurifil, and Superior/Bottom Line. I’m so excited that I was able to get so many different threads at such a great price. I can’t wait to use them in my embroidery and quilting.

I also picked up some fabric. The fabric was being sold for $1 for 2 pounds. I brought home 17 pieces of fabric and only paid $1. There were a couple of pieces I liked that I didn’t buy, but later in the Bee the lady getting rid of the fabric told me to just go ahead and take one of the fabrics I liked (but hadn’t bought). Before she left, she then walked around with the remaining fabric and told everyone to take one as a “door prize” J Seven of my 17 pieces are half yard cuts (width of fabric) and the remaining fabrics were either fat quarters or quarter-yard cuts. They are all amazing pieces. Here is what I brought home…

These were just some pretty fabrics I liked. The one on the left is the one she told me to take later in the Bee. The one on the right has little goldfish swimming, like you are looking down in a pond.

And these are tree bark fabrics.

Here are a couple of more tree fabrics and some pretty leaves.

These are some landscape fabrics. She had quite a bit of landscape type fabrics. I could have bought them all! They were so nice.

Here are some snowflake fabrics. I make a lot of “wintery” quilts, so I like to pick up snowflakes when I get the chance.

These are the remaining fabrics. Something about the one on top screamed, “Take me home!” I really like the colors in it. I will probably make a paper pieced cat with that fabric. The one on the bottom left is just because I rarely have some nice neutral/cream fabrics, and I really liked the feather pattern on the fabric at the bottom right.

This was a great opportunity to pick up some lovely new fabrics to use in my projects. I’m ever so grateful to the generosity of fellow quilters!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Slow Stitching

Yesterday was a fun day with a guild bee working on Ronald McDonald House quilts. A good time with good people. I really enjoyed myself and we got quite a bit done for Ronald McDonald House. Next Sunday will be our monthly RMH Sit and Sew at Joann’s, so we’ll get more quilting for charity done.

I was pretty focused on Halloween this week, and I was able to get a bit of hand stitching in. I finished up the HocusPocusVille block I was working on…

I have the next one ready to go. It is a pretty big design with lots of detail so it may take me a while to complete it. I may start heading to the Tuesday Bee our guild has just so I will make the time to work on it!

I also did some more work on my Butterfly Sampler…

I only have to put the antennae and do the antennae embroidery on four more butterflies. Once that is done I will start adding some cotton applique on top of the wool butterflies. I hope to finish the antennae this afternoon.

I will be linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching and Super Mom – No Cape on Monday for the Stitchery LinkParty.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Perfect Day for Sewing

Wednesday was a great day for sewing. We had mostly clouds and rain (with quite a few thunderstorms) all day. The sun tried to peak through the clouds a few times, but the rain kept coming back. It was a great day to take cover downstairs in the sewing room. And I had help most of the morning…

This sweet girl hung out with me for much of the morning while I was finishing up the first of two flannel quilt tops made from my dad’s flannel shirts. Finishing this was my goal for August for A Lovely Year of Finishes, so I will be talking about this later in the month.

They actually go together quickly (when I put my mind to it) so hopefully I can get the second one done in September. Here’s my helper checking to make sure I matched the seams and that it’s good to snuggle…

Now I just need to find a backing, quilt it (not sure how yet), and bind it.

In the afternoon I headed back downstairs and decided to see how far I could get on a table runner I wanted to make for Halloween. I saw this made up in a local quilt shop last month and thought it was so cute…but they were out of the book that the pattern was in. I finally found the book and picked up a jelly roll of oranges a couple of weeks ago, and decided to get moving on it yesterday. It is a quilt as you go center and borders, with the appliques added afterwards. I’m happy to say I got everything done on it except for the top stitching of the appliques…

Those little ovals in the center will turn into spiders once I do the top stitching. I think it turned out pretty nicely, and I really like my spider border print…

The original pattern called for a black border, and I had black but really wanted to use this print. The problem was, when I held it up next to the oranges it was a bit washed out. So, I made little flanges with solid black to go between the oranges and the border print. And since the binding will be a striped black and white print, I will put another solid black flange on with the binding. The backing is a solid orange I have had on the shelf for a couple of years.

I’m really pleased with how quickly this went together, and I will hopefully get the top stitching done next week. I have a table runner kit for the fall that I bought a couple of months ago and I have been hesitant to start it, but I think I will pull it out and get it done soon too.

Today will be an errand and computer day. The rain isn’t so bad today, so I’ll run out here when I’m done with this post and get that stuff done. Then I’ll come home and work on the computer for the rest of the day. If I have time I will try to finish up the current HocusPocusVille block. It’s getting close. If it’s not finished today, then I should finish it up tomorrow.

That’s it from here. I need to get on with my day. Have a wonderful one!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Time to Ge Back to It

It is time for me to get back to sewing! I spent a couple of weeks clearing out and cleaning up the sewing room. I finished up last Wednesday, then on Thursday morning the hubby and I both woke up with horrible head colds (courtesy of our daughter who came home from vacation with it!) Anyway, I actually spent most of Thursday through Saturday in bed…yes, it was that bad! Ugh! I started feeling a bit more like myself yesterday, so I was able to get into the sewing room to do some work. More on that later…

For now, I need to show off what I accomplished in my cleaning spree. I don’t have “before” photos because it really was just TOO embarrassing to show what it looked like. Suffice it to say it was a disaster and I could not get anything done. I did clear out about 15 plastic grocery bags of fabric (!!!!) and a few more bags of scraps and orphan blocks. And…I even threw some stuff away that was just too awful to give away. So now, my fabric shelves look like this…

I have fabric on 2 or 3 fewer shelves now, and they are now neatly stacked and in some semblance of order…and nothing is overflowing and hanging out. Imagine that with 15 more bags of fabric! It was a sight. I also have my wool and embroidery items stacked neatly on these shelves, along with my other crafting supplies. I cleared out several shelves full of magazines also. I really will never make all those patterns! I really am pleased with how it looks now. I also have project boxes and thread boxes up on the top of these shelves. You can see that I have way too many UFOs happening!

I also cleared out the shelving unit under the window to the right of my sewing machine…

This is so neat and orderly now. This is where I have my sewing tools…scissors, seam rippers, etc. It now also houses my serger and more project boxes (again, way too many UFOs!)

And look at this!

I can close the closet doors! I haven’t done that in forever! Here is what it looks like inside…

The top shelf and the shelves on the sides have stored family items, but the floor space is pretty much mine. The closet used to be open with stuff sticking way out into my sewing room…but not anymore! I still have a couple more UFOs in there (big surprise), plus I have my AccuQuilt Go Cutter, a quilting frame, wrapping paper, and rolled up patterns and pattern paper in old 6 gallon buckets. That blue thing in the front is my new travel bag for my sewing machine. And it all fits!

But, it’s not all fun and games. There is still a bit of work to do. I have the counter top that needs to still be cleared off and sorted…

And I have a lot more scraps in bags on the floor to cut into 1 ½ and 2 ½ inch strips and squares (but at least my bookshelf is neat and tidy!)…

I also have some bins and bags with my bed quilt I started a few years ago, along with a bin of batting…

That bed quilt is a top priority item for me to complete in 2016, so I think I will leave all that stuff there so I can work on it. I also need to find a home for the two ceramic pumpkins I picked up for Halloween J

Finally, I need to straighten out my painting area…

This shelf has paints and supplies, painting magazines, and my Snow Village Quilt & Pie Shop (those are cat toys on the floor in front). I need to clear out the shelves and make it neater. That should be a quick job I can get to any time.

So here is my (mostly) cleaned up sewing room (the quilt on the table is where the cat hangs out with me)…

As I said earlier, I was able to spend some time there yesterday and it was so pleasant to not have stuff all over my sewing tables and the floor. It is such a distraction! The items you see on my table are actually what I was working on at the time...and the sewing machine cover gets put away when I work. 

I was able to get 10 more blocks made for my ALYOF goal for August, and I was able to work on my current HocusPocusVille block. My goal for this week is to finish the HPV block and get the remaining nine 9-Patch blocks done and at least start putting the 9-Patch quilt top together. I also need to work on the quilt guild newsletter to get it out by the end of the week. Not too much to do, but plenty with the way I’m still feeling.

Looking forward to a productive (and healthier!) week!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What’s Up on Tuesday

I got loads done yesterday, so today may be a little quieter. I never did get out to run errands, so I’ll do that this morning and be back home before it gets too stinkin’ hot. I am ready for fall!

I was able to spend a bit of time in the sewing room and I cleared out a bit more fabric, and I tossed some stuff. There is something about dismantling a quilting project that has stalled and is never going to go anywhere. So, that’s a little more fabric put back on my shelves, some stuff thrown away, and a couple of empty project boxes. Mostly, it’s items off my mental to-do list!

One thing I did accomplish yesterday was getting the blocks all cut out for the new Halloween quilt for this year. Last year I made some foundation pieced black and white strip blocks and decided to use them for a Halloween quilt. We have two that I’ve made over the past several years, but they get used ALL THE TIME and they are wearing out. That’s a good thing J. So I started squaring up the strip blocks on Sunday, then finished them up yesterday. Then I went through all my Halloween novelty fabrics and cut a square from them to set as alternate blocks. Then I put it all up on the design wall…

This is an awkward angle because the design wall is at the end of the long arm frame and I can’t really get in there to take a nice head on photo. But you get the picture. So it’s all ready to sew the blocks together. I think I will put a border on it to make it a bit larger than it is, and hopefully I can complete this by October…fingers crossed!

I was also able to spend some time with HocusPocusVille (I must be in a Halloween mood today). Here’s where I left it yesterday…

Today I have a few things to do around the house, then I hope to be able to get some more cleaning done in the sewing room and start on some 9-Patches for A Lovely Year of Finishes for August. I have 19 to go, so I know it’s doable. That’s the plan, so I better get to it. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Busy Monday and Stitchery Link Up

Today has already been a busy day for me. I’m hoping to slow down a bit to get some stitching done sometime today.

I already made some chocolate espresso whole grain muffins. Yum! One of my favorite things. I also have some homemade English muffins sitting in the kitchen rising. I’ll get to put them in the oven to bake in about 20 minutes.

I’ve also been able to clean up the kitchen for the day and I’ve put in my time on the exercise bike. Yay me! I still need to grab a shower, do laundry, and maybe head over to the store for a quick errand…but that can actually wait until tomorrow if necessary.

I just wanted to share that I have been doing some stitching around here…

I made a little progress over the past couple of weeks on HocusPocusVille…though not as much as I hoped. I have done a little bit more than when this photo was taken on Friday. Maybe I’ll take the time this week to finish this block up.

I also put the antennae on a few butterflies and added a little embroidery to them. Not much progress here, but I haven’t been focusing on it much in the past week.

What I have been doing is cleaning up the sewing room. It had been a disaster. I have now cleared out about 15 plastic grocery bags full of fabric from my shelves…everything from wool to knits to cotton, and even some mystery materials which are probably Polyester. I had fabrics on my shelves from the 80s and early 90s that I knew I would never use, so they are (mostly) gone. I saved a few pieces that I know I will use for bindings or other projects in progress. It is starting to look a bit better in there now. At least the fabric on the shelves isn’t falling out and I can actually see what I have.

I’m also clearing out my scraps (again!). I have come to the realization that I am not at heart a “scrappy” quilter where I can take every little piece that I save and turn it into something wonderful. Now, I could, but that’s just not where my heart is. So, I have been going through my little scraps and cutting them into 1 ½ inch strips and 2 ½ inch strips. I’m also cutting some pieces into 1 ½ or 2 ½ inch squares, depending on how big the scrap is. These are the sizes I use most, so that’s all I’m going to start keeping. And (gasp!) I’ve even bagged up some units for quilt blocks for a couple of projects that I know I will never complete (I really lost interest in them), so they are going as well. I know I will be much more content once these have been wrangled and managed.

I need to get off the computer now…I have to get muffins in the oven, then I will be working on a bit of genealogy and “office-y” stuff this morning. This afternoon I will head back down to the sewing room to do more cleaning up (and out). I hope to get back upstairs by late afternoon to do some hand stitching. It’s an easy dinner night here, so I should be able to carve out about an hour to stitch before making dinner. In the meantime, head over to Super Mom – No Cape for the Monday Stitching Party and check out the lovely projects everyone is working on. See ya soon!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

It’s Been Quiet Around Here

A little too quiet…I haven’t done any sewing this week. I have actually been clearing out and cleaning up the sewing room. You know what that means…make a horrendous mess before it gets better. I also have been cleaning the house and running errands. This morning we had to do our health screening for health insurance through hubby’s work. Ugh! I hate doing that. But it’s done, we both passed all the health indicators, so we saved ourselves $100 per month in premium costs.

While cleaning the sewing room, I am finding fabrics from so long ago it makes my head hurt trying to figure out how old they are. So, I am getting rid of a bunch of stuff, including fabric. Fortunately there are some fine ladies at my quilt guild who love to go through the items on the free table at our meetings, so I’m sure I can get rid of all the fabric necessary. I think I am also going to bite the bullet and get rid of a bunch of my scraps. First I am going to go through and cut 2-1/2 inch strips and squares, then toss the rest. I rarely make “scrap” quilts…I tend to be too matchy-matchy and need to have things “just so”, and I usually just use the fabrics on my shelves. So, I will go through them all once, then off they go. I only have so much space in my sewing room and it has become so unmanageable that I can’t enjoy going in there to sew. Time to fix that!

I did squeeze in the sewing room last week to make one project that I haven’t shown yet…

This is an iPad cover for my husband’s new iPad. He bought himself one for his birthday this past weekend. Here is another shot of it with the Pad in it…

I like how this one turned out. I made one for myself a few years ago when he bought me an iPad, but my cover is not as nice as this one is J

In between cleaning the sewing room and cleaning around the house this week, I also sat down with HocusPocusVille on Tuesday.

I haven’t worked on HPV for several weeks now, and I really missed it. This particular block is a bit time consuming, plus I have been spending my hand stitching time working on my Butterfly Sampler, so it has been ignored of late. When I get off the computer, I plan on heading downstairs to do a bit more cleaning in the sewing room, then some time on the treadmill, then I will sit down with Netflix and HPV for a while later this afternoon.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August Goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes

I hope for another finish in August. I want to finish the top for this flannel 9-Patch…

I haven’t worked on it for a few weeks now, so it’s time to get back to it. I need to complete 19 more blocks, then I can put the top together. I don’t have anything for the back right now, but I do hope to have a completed quilt before Christmas.

I will be linking up with the August Goal Setting Party at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew BitterSweet Designs. Stop by for some wonderful projects.