Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Finishes

It’s Friday Finishes time again, and I really didn’t have finishes for this week…or this month. What I did accomplish this week was to complete the 16 houses for Merrily…

Along with the eight tree blocks…

…the Merrily top is ready to be pieced. I have started on the first row (of four) and hope to complete at least that one today. I have a trip to make to the library and then I plan on spending a bit of time on Merrily.

I hope you had a productive week, and a great weekend ahead. I will be linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! Head over for some wonderful projects!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ready for the Last Week of June

It’s been busy, busy, busy around here, and that will continue this week! But I’ll get to that later. Since last we spoke, I was able to put together two of the houses for Merrily…

There are 14 more to go. They go together rather quickly, so I am hoping to make some progress on them today. I have to make some decisions about these houses though. Per the instructions, I was to cut some light fabrics for the inside of the houses (where the critters are in these two blocks). I made those cuts and have those at the ready. I think there were four of the 16 houses that were supposed to have the light fabrics, then 12 of the houses have the critters inside. When I was cutting apart the critter panel, it worked out best that I cut out 16 critters – it leaves me with a nice rectangular piece of the critter panel for part of the pieced backing. So, I have 4 extra critters. I think I will just put critters in all the houses and use those four light pieces of fabric for something else – or make a four-patch for the pieced backing. I already have the 8 tree blocks done, so once the houses are completed I can start piecing the rows. Once it’s all together, it should look something like this…

As busy as this week is, I should still be able to get some houses completed.

I also finished up some more crochet sunflowers for the afghan I’m making for my sister…

I have the first one completed with the green background, plus 10 more flowers completed. Forty more flowers to go! This is my current project for our quilt guild Tuesday Bee, so I should be able to make some progress tomorrow.

I have spent most of my time the past week and half working on some family history. I’ve gotten some things organized (which I desperately needed!) and I found a few papers I haven’t seen for a while, but have been looking for. I need a big organizing party! I think I will just do some more organizing this week, and less research, so I can get some work done on Merrily.

This week is a busy week. Today I get to stay home all day. Yay! I have to unpack my sewing bag this morning. We had our first Ronald McDonald House Quilts Sit & Sew of 2017 for our guild yesterday afternoon. My machine is still in its travel bag. We are making fabric Bingo cards (from Fons & Porter) for our guild meeting in August, then all the Bingo cards will come to us for quilts for Ronald McDonald House. Then in November, we will have a Quilters Roadshow up in Townsend, TN, where people can come and sew the Bingo cards into quilt tops. It’s a fun way to spend a fall day up in the Smoky Mountains.

Tuesday is filled up with Bee and then I need to take my m-i-l to an appointment. I will get to work on my crochet project at Bee, but I won’t get any sewing done.

Wednesday, I should be able to spend time working on Merrily. Then in the evening I am heading out to a Quilt Class Reunion at one of our local quilt shops. I took a Gypsy Wife quilt class there last year, and the teacher has a couple of reunions each year. We will have door prizes and food, and 30% off! I will be bringing my (unfinished) neutral Gypsy Wife…

I also completed a batik version which I gave to my niece, so I won’t be taking that one to share at the reunion…

Thursday is my birthday – woo hoo! So, it should be busy. Hubby will probably be home most of the day and my daughter is home from school now. They both have appointments in the morning, but we are headed out for a birthday lunch, then we’ll figure out what to do in the afternoon.

Finally, on Friday I plan on sewing all day. Yup, all day long. Let’s see if it works out that way!

For today, I have linked up three finishes for the Second Quarter of the 2017 Finish-A-Long. I’m excited that I was able to get three items completed. My three finishes are:

And Jol:

It’s nice to have some good finishes.

I think that’s about it from here. It’s time to get a move on. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. It’s lovely here today…low humidity and a high of about 80 today. Tomorrow should be a couple of degrees cooler. This is VERY unusual for East TN in late June. But we’ll take it!

I will be linking up with Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt and Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts. I hope you head over to see what everyone is up to! Have a great Monday!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Moving Merrily Along

I spent some time this past week putting together the trees for Merrily…

The pattern uses only one green fabric per each tree, but I mixed them up and I think I like it better this way. Yesterday I finished cutting the fabric for the houses, so now all the fabric is cut and I just have to piece it back together. I hope to get to work on the houses today.

There is quite a bit of leftover fabric from this kit that I can use to piece part of the backing. Next week I’m heading back to the quilt store where I bought this kit, and I would like to have the top pieced before I go so I can pick up only what I need to finish piecing the backing (they have the fabric line available by the yard and fat quarters). That will be much easier to figure out if the top is put together!

Gotta go run some errands this morning, then I get to spend some more time sewing. I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

I will be linking up with My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday. Head over for some great projects.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Week is Finished

And that’s about all that got finished. Not much happened in the sewing room here this week, but I was plenty busy.

On Monday, I spent some time with my family research. I had recently borrowed a couple of genealogy books from the library and it inspired me to spend a little time organizing some of my information. I really hope to spend more time this summer in our spare bedroom where I keep all my family history “stuff” and get things in order. Of course, I say that all the time!

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent helping with the judging portion of our quilt guild annual quilt show. I was helping transcribe the judge’s comments and it was an amazingly interesting experience. I have never entered a quilt show (and I doubt I ever will), but it gave me a lot of insight into the details that I need to consider when making a quilt. I would definitely do this again if given the opportunity. The quilt show is today and tomorrow, and I will head over there later tomorrow to help give back quilts to the entrants.

The rest of the time this week I got some 2-1/2 inch squares cut for “bingo cards” for our August guild meeting. We will use the blocks for Ronald McDonald House quilts once the meeting is over. I plan on making a dozen or so to have ready to put some quilts together.

I also completed the next lesson in the FMQ QAL at The Inbox Jaunt

This is the Fabulous Flower motif. Not the best, but it’s another motif to add to the quilting arsenal.

I also (finally) started to work on Merrily…

I’ve just been cutting fabric, but it’s started and I always enjoy starting a new project 😊

I also finished a couple of more sunflowers for the crochet afghan I am making…

I need to spend a bit more time on these in the evenings. I could probably get one done a night if I worked hard at it. I still have 45+ to go.

I’ve spent a little time in the garden. Some of it is doing fine; other parts, not so well. We will probably have a gazillion cucumbers from the two plants we have. The tomatoes appear to be growing fine, but the peppers are all lagging behind. We got a handful of peas, but now those are dying back and need to be pulled out. We had our first meal with green beans this week. Hopefully those will stick around and produce for a while longer. The strawberries also look like they are going to give us some more fruit soon, but the blackberries aren’t producing many blossoms this year. It’s always hit and miss with a garden. The good thing is that we have had enough rain off and on that we haven’t had to water the garden in quite a while.

I also have been doing a bit of reading this week. I got through the genealogy books, and ran back to the library this week to pick up a few more books I had on hold. At the moment, I’m going through The DK Illustrated Kitchen Bible for some new recipes, and on my Kindle I am reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The jury is still out on that one. For fun, I’m reading one of Parnell Hall’s Puzzle Lady books…A Puzzle to be Named Later. A fun and quick read.

And just FYI…like most of you, we live in an area with critters that venture into our yards. We have had dogs since we moved here and I have always been concerned about them tangling with these critters, particularly skunks. Though I had never seen a skunk (not even a dead one) in our neighborhood until a couple of weeks ago, I knew they were around and I had wanted to be ready in case one got in the backyard. Though I’m not an avid or doomsday prepper, I do like to be prepared for certain emergencies and situations, and one of those is a close encounter between my dog and a skunk. So, I have a “skunk kit” in my laundry room of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn dish soap. This is a recipe I have seen posted on the internet and I have read anecdotes of how well it works. So, I have kept it on hand for quite a while just in case. “Just in case” happened a couple of weeks ago when the next-door neighbor’s dog got into it with a skunk in their backyard, right by our fence (our house reeked for a couple of days because it was a pleasant evening and we had our windows open at the time). We headed over there to help her out and she didn’t know what to use, so I brought her my peroxide and baking soda (she didn’t have any). Though the recipe calls for blue Dawn, she had Platinum and used that. Well, it worked. I’m so happy to see it work in person. She called the ER vet because her dog was sprayed in the eyes, and the vet gave her the same recipe to use to clean off the skunk spray. The smell wasn’t completely gone with one application, but our neighbor was able to put the dog in the car with her to take her to the ER vet (for her eyes) and the smell wasn’t too bad in the car. That dog had more baths over the next week than she probably has had in her life! But, she smells fine now. The recipe calls for 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon blue Dawn. Mix all of this up in a bucket and sponge it all on the dog and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off. Keep it out of the dog’s eyes. Don’t save any of the solution (I believe the baking soda and peroxide may react and your container may erupt.) Just use all of it on the dog. After you rinse the dog off, then wash them again with their normal pet shampoo. The vet suggested adding 1 teaspoon of vanilla to help mask the skunk smell. Also, the recipe calls for blue Dawn (as does every “home-made” solution using Dawn), but my neighbor used the Platinum Dawn and it worked fine. I think as long as it is Dawn. I have since restocked my skunk kit, so now I’m ready to go – and hopefully I won’t ever have to use it again.

That’s about all the excitement from here. We will have a little Father’s Day celebration this weekend for my hubby, and we will spend the weekend making sure my daughter’s room is cleared out and ready for her to come home from school next week. She will be home for about 7 weeks doing research at the local university. It will be good to have her back for a while – we’ve not seen her since Christmas.

I will probably spend the day cleaning and continue working on these same projects. Tonight is pizza night and we have all the fixin’s, so that will be easy enough. For now, I will be linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! I hope you head on over to see all the great projects everyone has been working on…and have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Yellow Kittens

Yesterday I took a little time in the afternoon to piece two more Kittens blocks.  I made a cute little polka dot Kitten…

…and a feisty looking striped Kitten…

I’m really happy with both of these blocks. I love these Kittens more each month!

That’s about all I accomplished in the sewing room the second half of the week. I will probably spend some of this weekend sewing a hanging sleeve on a quilt.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you stop by So Scrappy to check out all the great yellow projects at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wonky Halloween Blocks are Done!

I actually completed my One Monthly Goal for June this week. I finished up the last 27 blocks for the Wonky Halloween 9-Patch

Each of those 9 stacks on the left have 3 blocks. Here’s a stack of all 42 blocks done…

I took some time to put some of them up on the design wall, and this is what they are looking like…

Now I should have time to add some sashing to these blocks and get it that much closer to a completed top.

I also finished the third and fourth lessons for the Spring FMQ Quilt-A-Long at The Inbox Jaunt…

These are the HST Flowers. And following are the HST Suns (broken up into two photos)…

The Suns didn’t turn out all that great and I’m only doing a short practice row before I commit it to the project. But, I’m learning new motifs and that’s a good thing. This QAL will at least give me some ideas for future quilting and I will practice a lot on certain motifs before I commit them to a “real” quilt.

Today is an “at home” day, so I should have plenty of time to head down to the sewing room. Yesterday I cut the pieces for two yellow Kittens blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so I will try to get both of those pieced today. But first up, I’m going to do a bit of genealogy work. It has been a long time since I did anything with that, so it’s about time!

I will be linking up at Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, and at Elm Street Quilts for the One Monthly Goal June Finishes when it goes live at the end of the month.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday…and Go Preds!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday Finishes

Another week has gone by and I worked on a few things. Let’s take a look.

Last night I completed the first hexagon block in a crochet afghan…

Now, only 50 more to go. It turned out better than I expected it would. I have the remaining 50 centers completed. Next, I will get the petals done on all of them, then put them together with the green. This will be interesting.

In sewing news, I finished a couple of small quilts for my cat…

Exciting, right? Originally, I made these to be Kennel Quilts, but then realized I wasn’t positive about the fiber content of the flannels. I’ve had the solid ones on my shelves for about 30 years, and I really don’t know if they are 100% cotton (which they need to be for KQs). Also, one of them is too big for a KQ, and my cat also needs a new quilt for her carrier. So, it just seemed easier to make them up for her and I can get more KQs made this month.

Yesterday I started on a project I’ve been wanting to get to. I started a practice piece for the Picture Piecing technique from Cynthia England. Here are some of my pieces…

It doesn’t look like much now, but it will become a train engine (if I do it right!)

And the big finish for me this week was finishing up Jol

This was so fun and I’m happy it is completed.

That’s it from here. I am planning on a sewing and baking day today, so I better get to it. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I will be joining Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop! Whoop! Check out all of the great projects linked up on her site.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Moving on to June

I made a bit of progress on some sewing room projects in May, and none on many of them! No matter. They are all still sitting there patiently waiting their turn. June may turn out to be a very busy month here, but I will spend some time in the sewing room when I can.

I have several more items on my list for the Second Quarter of the 2017 Finish-A-Long at She Can Quilt, which ends at the end of June. I have my neutral Gypsy Wife…

This is probably the only one I might come close to finishing, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m still stitching “every stinking seam” on this one, and it is a long process. I have finished up with the strips at the bottom…

It’s a little easier to see the quilting on the back rather than the front. I still have many of the blocks along the top to ditch stitch. I will continue working on this through June, and hopefully the ditch stitching will be done by the end of the month. I am anxiously awaiting the day when I can finally start the “real” quilting on it.

I also have the Wonky Halloween 9-Patch on my 2Q FAL list…

As you can see, I just have some of the blocks done (15 now). I have 27 more blocks to go. I’m not planning on finishing this one for the FAL, but I do want to make it my One Monthly Goal for June to complete the remaining blocks.

I have a few additional projects for the FAL, but I don’t have any plans to work on them this month.

I will be working on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Kittens blocks. The color for June is yellow and I have selected these fabrics to choose from for my Kittens…

The fabric in the upper left is actually a deeper yellow than it looks in the photo – it is nearly the color of the polka dots next to it.

For handwork in June, I will continue on with the Snowman Collector project. Here is the block I am currently working on…

I have made some more progress on this since this photo was taken, so I think I should be able to at least get this block done in June.

For portable handwork, I am working on a large crochet project. Here is a peek…

Yes, it will be a sunflower. Once I finish up this first one, I only have 50 more to go! This will be a project I can take with me to our weekly Bee as well as working on it in the evenings. I’m looking forward to this one taking shape.

So, that’s a whole lot of stuff! I’m way behind on some QALs for this year, including the following:
Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery @ From My North Carolina Home
Have a Jolly Little Christmas @ Sew Fresh Quilts

If I feel the need and I have the time, I may work on some blocks for these Quilt-A-Longs. Mostly likely though, they will have to wait until later in the summer.

And…I’m a glutton for punishment. I really have missed the NewFO parties that Barbara used to have at Cat Patches. I think she stopped doing them about a year and a half ago. But I LOVE starting new projects. It’s so fun and exciting (that’s probably why I have so many UFOs!) But since I have completed some of my UFOs this year, I feel like just maybe I can start a new project or two (or three) in June if I find the time…or if I just feel like it! And some are gifts, so I figured that's OK...right? I have a few projects in mind…

First, I want to at least work through a practice project from Cynthia England from her book Picture Piecing

I picked up this book along with a pattern and some kits at the quilt show in March, and I’m antsy to work on them. I have traced the practice project onto freezer paper…I just need to grab some fabrics and get started on it. And just so you know, the guy at the booth recommended doing the practice projects first (they are free on her website), so you can get the feel of the process before committing to the “real” project.

I also want to get started on Merrily…

I was going to start this in May, but things got away from me these past two weeks and it didn’t happen. Maybe in June.

And finally (yes, finally!) I have decided to start on a special quilt for my daughter that I have been wanting to make for a while now. I was going to wait until 2018 to start, then realized she will graduate with her Master’s Degree (fingers-crossed!) in one year, and this might be a great graduation gift. I have wanted to make her a library book quilt (Google book shelf quilt or something similar and you’ll see what I mean). My daughter has always loved books and reading…in fact, when she was really little (like 2 years old) she wouldn’t sleep with stuffed animals or toys; she would fall asleep hugging whichever book we read to her before bed, and with her free hand she would thumb the pages of a tiny Little Golden Book (“Big Bird’s Busy Day”) to fall asleep. I think she was about 7 years old before she stopped sleeping with books and started sleeping with a stuffed animal. When she started third grade we started homeschooling her and I have kept a list of all the books she has read for school and pleasure. It’s a LOT of books! So, I want to make a quilt with the books on her list. At the moment, I’m planning on embroidering the titles/authors on the spines on the books, but things may change as I go along. I also plan on having our two cats hanging out somewhere on the bookshelves. This will be a big project, but I don’t think the sewing will be very hard; mostly placement of books, etc. But I do hope to get started planning and selecting some fabric in June. I’m looking forward to this project!

OK, now that’s it. Really. Way too much stuff, but fortunately I don’t have any deadlines. I will just keep plugging away at it all and (hopefully) enjoy the process. I guess I need to get to it! Have a great Thursday!

I will be linking up at the following:
Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

One Monthly Goal @ Elm Street Quilts