Sunday, June 30, 2013

Slow Stitching Sunday....

I did a bunch of prep work yesterday so I would have some hand work ready to go for the next few weeks.  Four Midget blocks ready to go.

Tonight, everything should be packed and ready for vacation so I plan to do a little hand quilting on my firework's quilt. No progress has been made on that one since I last showed it. Poor thing is feeling neglected.

Head on over to Kathy Quilts and see what other projects are being worked on slowly today.

Friday, June 28, 2013

X and O's....

I've been working on orange peels this year as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I believe I have decided that I will group four of one color together and make some X and O's out of them. I still have quite a few yellow's to work through from this month but they travel well and will be taken with me on vacation to work on. I'm going to cut out some maroon, red,  brown and maybe some blacks to take with me as well since none of those colors have come up yet in the challenge. It can't hurt to get ahead a bit on these..... right?

Here are the five yellows I have gotten done and some blue ones I finished off this week from last month. I'm also including a dish cloth I finished this month. I finally found it hiding under some baskets that I had set aside while I was trimming up the bricks and cornerstone quilt. I have enough sugar and cream yarn left from this skein of green and cream to make another one which is in process.

We had a great time at SeaWorld today with Erin and her girls Hope and Ella. Hope was in Aidan's PreK class last year and Erin and I helped with making some of the costumes for the dance recital in April. We left in a downpour but the kids had a great time. We got there around 10 and left a bit after 1 I think. Emmy fell asleep on the way home. I just love watching them when they are sleeping.

I think all I need to do now is pack me and the kids up for the carryon bags for Monday night, grab a few more snacks to take with us on the plane and prep a few Midget blocks and cut and prep my orange peels for travel. Oh - I also need to box and ship up the Bricks and Cornerstone quilt tomorrow so I can finish the binding while I am up there. That will go to my nephew Charlie. I plan to get a shot of the completed quilt on the bench swing down by the lake. I don't think I will get the log cabin quilted in time so I'll work on that one when I get back. I think that one may just have to stay down here and live on my bed.... he he. Sorry Mom. I really like how it came out. Maybe I'll do a green and cream one and that one can live up at camp.

Head on over to SoScrappy on Saturday to see what other yellow projects are being worked on.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Log cabin top is finished. Now to get it pinned and quilted!

Thanks for all the comments last week on the border question. I decided to pull a slightly darker tan for the inner border and then used the brighter firework fabric for the outer border. Not a single piece of fabric was purchased for this quilt - completely out of the scrap bins. I have a feeling this is about 86.5 square. I love how it turned out and my big pile of blue and cream scraps has gone down considerably. I may have to do one in green to tame that pile later this year! Now to get this one pinned for some quilting..... it's a good thing I have a kid free day on Saturday.

Grandmothers Choice - week 43 - Gentlemen's Fancy

I had fun picking out the fabrics for this weeks block. This would make a great Amish type quilt with alternating black background with some solids or brighter colors.  I could also see this as a pretty stash buster quilt with lots of scrappy fabrics. For me, I pulled some green and purples from the closet and came up with this block. I have it sitting on a fully pinned Bricks and Cornerstone quilt that is all set to get quilted on Wednesday. I found a brown linen backing fabric at Joann's on Sunday and used my 50% off coupon to get it. No piecing since it was a 108 wide fabric.

I also picked up this cute bright blue butterfly print to make a pillowcase for J to go with her graduation quilt. It was 50% off a one day sale. I must really like this print since I have it in pink and purple already!

I also picked up a nice soft feeling cotton solid at 30% off in cream for the backing of the blue log cabin quilt. That one is 90 inches wide. Just wide enough so I don't have to do any piecing. I just need to put the last borders onto that quilt (the second firework fabric is all pieced and ready to be sewn on) and then it can be pinned once the B&C quilt is done. I think the lady cutting the fabric must have thought I was nuts... I tried a white solid first and the feel was so nice and soft. Unfortunately there was not enough of a single cut on the bolt. I went back and was feeling all the bolts and found a cream that was soft. That one had enough for my needed cut and came home with me.

Time to get moving... I think I'll go throw the borders onto the log cabin and then change to the walking foot for quilting this afternoon....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tiny Tuesday - 125 - Betty's Choice

This week I selected an easy one. Eight paper pieced sections in two colors. This one went together very quickly on Friday while I had a sewing Mojo going on. I've pulled some applique and hand piecing ones from the bunch. I just need to prep them and get them into their baggies to take with me next week.
Swim lessons again this week and I really need to clean up the house, prep a package of clothes for vacation and ship it up to VT so we don't have to wait in the check baggage line at 5AM with 2 kids that I am sure will be cranky from not sleeping Monday night in a hotel. I'd love to also pin and quilt a quilt or two. I'm throwing in a trip to SeaWorld on Friday with a friend and her two girls... just cause I am crazy! Oh - I also get to do my month end at work next Sun/Mon and mail that to the accountant. Yup - another hectic week at my house. For now - we have 30 minutes before I need to head out to swim lessons. I think I'll go press the backing  that just came out of the dryer for the bricks and cornerstone quilt. Straight line quilting is planned for the inner part so that should go quickly once it is pinned.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Your opinion please.....

Ok, so instead of working on the backing for B&C quilt from last post I decided to finish the last 8 blocks for the wonky log cabin since they were half way done. I now have a 6x6 setting which should be about 72x72 when I sew them all together. I like the layout like this. The question - would it look strange if I just add a blue border around all the sides to get it to the size I want? Maybe a cream/tan and then a plain blue border? Thoughts?

I found 2 yards of these two fabrics in the closet.
A medium light with flowery prints on it.

The firecracker print with medium bright blue and fireworks in white and red and silver. I think I like this one better...... Hmmmmm

Bricks and Cornerstone top is finished.

Now to get it quilted! I wish I would have done cream for the inner border but it is done and I'm not taking it out. I really wanted to hit Joann's to get a backing but I'll either steal one from another project or attempt to piece one together today. I'd love to get this one pinned later today so I can try and quilt it on Sunday night. This is a twin size quilt and is finishing at 82x60. I have a plan for the quilting already so that part won't hold me up like it usually does. It has been pressed I just didn't take the time and spread it out before snapping  a quick photo of it last night.

Now to get everyone dressed and find something to tire them out today. No swim lessons today but I have a feeling we'll be spending a bunch of time in the pool.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pillows for Mom and a very old UFO!

While clearing out the closet this winter I found this kit from Joann's Fabrics from back in the year 2000!

 I had purchased all 12 patterns plus the finishing kit and I'm sure I hit the sale rack later and picked up duplicates of three of them. I have sewn months 1,2,4 and 7.  I know that month 3 of the applique stopped me on this one since I had never done applique before.

 I decided two of those duplicate blocks would be made into the pillowcase covers Mom requested for camp. Well, I pulled them out yesterday and got them sewn together and pulled old curtains I made for my sewing room up in VT back in 2007 and used those for the backing. The result - two pillow covers all set for Mom.

I believe these will cover some pillows on the couch. For some reason I did not put this one on my UFO bar....... me thinks I will be adding it as number 13 and I'll bring the four applique blocks with me for a little hand work in Vermont if I have time! Now I just need to make a pillowcase for the graduate to go with her quilt. Easy peasy lemon squeezie - as my kids would say.
Off to swim lessons and then if the kids listen to their instructors we get to go bowling after. Mr A did not listen to one of his instructors yesterday so we didn't get to go bowling after swim lessons. We'll see if he learned his lesson today.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Grandmothers Choice - Cat and Mouse.

This week's block was really fun to pick fabrics out for. I had done my selection and cut everything and then laid it out.

Nope, I didn't like it. How about a darker green like I originally was thinking....

Yes, I like that one a lot better. This is my finished block for the week, Cat and Mouse.

A shot of all 42 blocks so far in this BOW.  I believe there are just seven more weeks to go!

No fabric has been purchased for this quilt - all from scraps in my stash. I do think I will purchase a sashing for it and plan to somehow embroider the names onto the sashing below each block. I'll play with that card on the sewing machine after the kids start school in August.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tiny Tuesday

Today I paper pieced block number 93 - Cross and Crown. It is currently free over at the sentimental stitches website. This was paper pieced in four sections with the middle rectangles and square rotary cut and pieced. It went together very easily.

Time to wake the kiddo's and tire them out in the pool again. They were in this morning and then had their swim lessons at the college. Home for lunch and a forced nap and now they can go back into the pool. Early dinner tonight and then off to a Pajama Party at the library this evening. A fun filled day and I got my sewing time in!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Slow Stitching on Fathers Day.....

We had a nice day at home as a family today. Dad got to sleep in until almost 8AM (that is very late with two little kids in the house), of course I'm sure he kept hearing the 'can we wake up Daddy yet, it's light outside' every 5 minutes or so from 6:30 AM on!
My FIL was able to come over late morning and got to see the video of Aidan's graduation from pre-school and then we had a BBQ for lunch. While the kids napped (one napped and one had quiet time) I got to sew on my sewing machine and now have matchstick pairs all set for my Bricks and Cornerstone quilt. The pattern is found here over at I think it will get a black or cream small border around and then a blue/black mottled bigger border to finish it off.

I hope to get this one into rows later tonight after some time in the pool with the kids.
Once they are in bed, I get to do some slow stitching on my fireworks wall hanging. I finally started it this week and so far so good. I've got it in a hoop but am still resisting using a thimble.

Head on over to Kathy Quilts and see what other hand work is being worked on today.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Scrap Happy Saturday in Yellow

After dropping the kids to Grandma this morning, I got a pedicure and then ran some errands and finally made it home around 1PM. That allowed me a very quick lunch and then it was off to the sewing room for me.

First I pulled from the little pile of yellow and made these four crumb blocks. Since I had the blue pile out still I also made four blue ones. I seem to have issues with my pink blocks disappearing since there are only three in the bin with the others. I need to go back and make some orange and green ones to catch up. Here are all the crumb blocks so far.

I have been busy working through the blue and cream scraps from last month and have 28 of these wonky log cabin blocks. Each will finish at 12 inches. I have 8 more started for a 6x6 set..... but I'm not sure that will be big enough. I may have to make a few more.

Option one layout (I really like this one)

Option two layout. I've done this layout before in blue and yellow.

Time will tell as to how this one ends up - size and setting. I'm shooting for a full size - so 80x80 would be great. I hope to get it done and quilted with a machine binding to one side by the end of the month. I don't know if it will happen or not but that is my hope. I am also plugging away on another scrappy quilt - same hope for that one - to get completed and quilted and binding attached to the top. I'm trying to give myself something to do in the evenings in Vermont AND keep warm! It does get chilly at the camp in the evenings - down anywhere from the 50's to the 60's. They of course will stay up there when completed so no shipping back to Florida. I'm hoping to get the other one to a top form by tomorrow night. It is the bricks and stepping stone pattern from in homespun, checks and solids with a cream/black four patch. I just need about 14 more four patches and then I can sew the matchsticks together.
Now I'm off to change and head over towards The Villages to pick up a gift card for my FIL and then meet G for dinner out after he finishes closing the store. Then I get to go pick up the kids from Grandma's house..... oh, I need to grab their jammies so they are ready for bed when they get home.

Head on over to SoScarappy and see what other yellow projects are being worked on today for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I've been reading Kathy's Hodgepodge for a while and decided to join in this week. Click on the picture to be taken to other answers for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. What do you think makes a good dad? Patience. Lots of patience! Someone who will love their kids unconditionally but is not afraid to teach right from wrong. A great Dad is one who will  interact with their kids after a long day at work - reading, talk to and play with. I'm lucky to have had a Dad like that and so are my kids.

2.  What's something you learned from your own father? To recycle and take care of our environment for future generations. 

3. It's your birthday-what kind of cake will we be having? Chocolate with chocolate frosting of course!

4. When you're faced with a big decision are you more of a go with your gut type of person, or are you someone who reasons it all out, weighing the pros and cons? I reason it all out for a long time but ultimately I always go with my gut on the big decisions in life. It has served me well so far.

5. June is National Dairy Month. What's your favorite dairy item? Most often purchased dairy item? 
Being from Vermont where we have Dairy Festivals in June....... and Cabot Cheese I'm going with cheese as my favorite dairy. My fridge seems to always have lots of cheese on hand. 

6. Explorer Jacques Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910....what's something you've recently discovered or something you'd like to explore? I'd love to travel a bit more and explore Alaska and the western parts of the United States and Canada. Some day I will also get to visit Australia for about a month!

7. Are you typical of your generation? I don't think so. I had my career and travelled a bit before settling down and having my family in my mid 30's. Once my kids were born I became a SAHM and loved it. Now I mostly stay home with the kids except for a couple of days when I run the store that we own and G stay's home with the kids. I also love to quilt and craft, and I don't tend to see a lot of people my age doing this.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
In three short weeks we get to fly 'home' to Vermont for a visit with my family. I can't wait. The kids are counting down each night and crossing the days off the calendar.
Today was day three of swim lessons. They are both doing what their coaches tell them for the most part. Jumping in so they get their eye's wet is the hardest part for my kids but they are both doing great. They should be fish by the end of the summer.
Must go clean up the house a bit for a play date this afternoon. Two 5 year olds and a 4 year old. Too hot outside so it will be loud inside my house this afternoon. I hope he likes playing with trains.... that has been keeping mine entertained a lot over the last few weeks.

Grandmothers Choice - Contrary Wife

This weeks block went together much easier than the contrary husband block a while ago. I think it will be time next week to pull them all out again and see which colors I need more of for this BOW sampler of my green, purple and cream scraps. That means a picture..... so I'd better get that star appliqued down to the background this week.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tiny Tuesday - Sea Star

Today I got Midget block #90 Sea Star completed. I started the hand piecing of the center on Sunday night and finished the paper piecing this afternoon after a lot of running around this morning. Today is day two of swim lessons. One will put his face in the water a bit... the other is not happy at all.

Sea Star
I now have 102 of these 4.5 finished Midget blocks completed. Some were not true Midgets but resized from other projects. It it is going to be fun to get these all the same size..... some are big (not trimmed down yet from applique) and some came out a bit smaller. Oh well, I'll deal with that later this year.

102 Midget blocks

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Slow down Sunday.

Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts reminds us to slow down on Sunday's and enjoy the process of quilting or other hand work. Today I am going to sit back and relax a little bit with some hand piecing of a midget block. The middle parts will be hand pieced and then attached to some paper piecing later. This block is called Sea Star and is free over at Sentimental Stitches in the Midget section if you want to try it. I believe she is planning to retire another set in July so if you'd like to do some midgets go save them off today.

Head on over to Kathy's and see what other hand work projects are being worked on today.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Graduation quilt is FINISHED!

I was able to get this all quilted on Tuesday and then made and attached the binding that night while the kids were watching Alice in Wonderland. The next two nights (and parts of the days) were spent hand stitching the binding down and adding that label I keep forgetting to put on when I machine stitch the binding! This is called Kaleidoscope from Don't call me Betsy's blog.

I took a couple of pictures of how I quilted it since there were a few inquiries and I don't think I described it well in my answers. I started each 'line' off from the quilt
Did a straight line up until this spot and pivoted. You can see where I turned on the black side here.

Straight through this part which helps to push down anything popping up there. Hey - that is a pretty good middle =).

I pivoted here again to follow the line about 1/4 from the seam. 

Then I finished the line across off the edge of the quilt. Hope that makes sense. I figure it took me about 4.5 hours to get this baby quilted this way but I do love how it turned out.

The back 'stars' are pretty cool I think. This fabric is much more teal blue than the washed out grey in the photo.

Finished quilt. Oops - looks like a little bit was bunched up on the side. 

The results after a nice ride through the washer and dryer. A nice little crinkle to the fabric.

I hope she likes it. Now to just make a quick pillowcase to store it in and it will be ready to ship up for her graduation party next weekend.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rain rain go away.....

Since the weather is not listening to me I decided to pick out some nice sunny yellow to play with today.

Here are two yellow snail trail blocks along with the others from this year.

I also made my 16 patch block with the 2.5 inch squares. I think I need to make a pink one to add to this bunch.

Then I cut a few lemon peels out for hand work this month. I have a couple of blue ones to finish off first from last month.
Since the kids were going stir crazy inside, I remembered when I was younger Mom making cream puffs and then putting pudding in them. I had to call her this morning to get the name as I could not find   it looking through my Betty Crocker cookbook this morning. It is amazing what water, butter, flour and egg can make. Then add some packaged pudding and you have an instant dessert after lunch. Doesn't it look yummy? I got the leftover chocolate and vanilla from the kids.

Saturday I'll hook up with SoScrappy for the RSC challenge of yellow. Come back tomorrow for a finished reveal........

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Grandmothers Choice - Art Square

This weeks block over at the Grandmothers Choice BOW is called Art Square: Women in a box.. It is amazing that not too long ago women were not mentioned in art history of any kind, and yet I see some amazing quilt artists around in blog land every day. I know they have been out there for centuries and yet there never is a mention of them in history. Very sad.
This block was a very easy one to make up this morning while the kids are 'finding' things in the play room as they dig through the bins for something to do on a rainy and dreary day.

Yesterday afternoon as the rain was pouring down and his sister was napping, Aidan designed this little rail way system all by himself without having to have anyone in there with him (major change as he always wants someone with him.) His request was for more of the male/female connectors since you usually only get one with a set. I found some online and they should be here tomorrow for future building projects this summer. Excuse the mess - this is the garage area that was finished off into an office before we purchased it. It is the kids play room, which they are finally starting to play in!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tiny Tuesday

I went ahead and picked out a quick one that is rotary cut and machine stitched. I need to take a day and prep a bunch of them for hand stitching and applique as a lot of my next ones are calling for that.
Today I did #99 - Rope & Anchor. Only two colors to select this week and some easy cutting and sewing and I can cross another block off my list. There are 150 blocks so far on the Midget page over at and 51-150 are free right now. Head on over and give one or two a try. I'm warning you though... they are addicting! This block is 5 inches and will finish at 4.5 inches.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Slow down Sunday.....

After a wonderful day without kids and having a fixed sewing machine I was able to get started on the graduation quilt. It is much bigger (60x83) and taking much longer than I was thinking.... but I'll keep plugging away at it a little bit at a time over the next few days. I am just doing a walking foot straight line stitching 1/4 inch from each of the seams. I saw that in one of the finished quilts from the original quilt along with the Kaleidoscope quilt and loved how it looked. I went to start the quilting and realized..... what thread can I use? I only had a teal that was anything close to blending and so far I really like how it is working out. I'm using a new batting for me - Fairfield low loft 80/20 from Joann's Fabrics. So far I love how it is coming out. The test will be after washing it when it is all done.

When not working today or being in the sewing room adding a few rows of stitches to Jillian's quilt, I will be hand stitching some stars onto the white spaces of the QOV quilt. That one is all machine quilted and hand bound, it just needs some stars in those open spaces.