Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It has been a busy week...... like always! Monday the kids played outside while I got to sew a little and came in with two handfuls of wildflowers they had picked. Very sweet kids I have.
Tuesday we carved some pumpkins and then had their last soccer game of the season. The kids did great and have learned so much in the two months since they started.

Yesterday after a morning meeting at work I got to have a special lunch date with my son at his school. They have two tables set aside - one on the stage and one by the windows in the cafeteria. Guess which one we had to sit at? Yup, you guessed it. He took us right up on the stage. Just the two of us with our Wendy's lunch bags (his choice!). Another Mom and her son moved up and joined us after a few minutes. His classmates kept looking and waving and I got to put a few more names to faces and meet a few of them. His question when I was leaving - 'Mom, Can Dad come and do this too.... and then you come every day?'. I am going to enjoy this since I am sure it will not be too long before they want nothing to do with us! As Emmy can not go with me for lunch dates at school (school policy) I will just try and do this once a month and have Grandma pick up Emmy for a special lunch date. A big thanks to my MIL for collecting Em yesterday and taking her for lunch at IHOP - her choice!. My kids are too funny.

Photo at our local farm stand this month.
Today Aidan has  a little party at school and so does Emily. I am a parent helper at her school today so it should be interesting. The kids looked so cute dressed in their costumes at VPK this morning. I can't wait to see all of them around 10AM. I know my tinkerbell loves her costume.... and I'm sure she will be wearing it a lot for dress up.

Kids in costumes 10/25 for the PTO trick or treat at the school.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tiny Tuesday... Lucky Star

This week I paper pieced Midget Block #108 - Lucky Star. This one was very simple to put together and I love the purple fabrics in this. These are from the free pattern section over at Sentimental Stitches and each block will finish at 4.5 inches.

This weekend I finally finished the binding on this purple pineapple blossom quilt. It was gifted yesterday to Ms. Tammy at VPK. I hope she likes it.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Slow stitching Sunday....

Plans changed. Instead of taking the kids to Sea World (they have not figured it out yet) we will have a relaxing day at home. We might head over to the trail head and take a walk in the woods, maybe a bike ride around the neighborhood and hopefully they will do some playing outside in the back yard and get some energy out. Everyone is still sniffly and I think a day at home with no real plans is the perfect thing. Maybe I can even get them down for naps? A girl can dream. I fear nap time for Emily has come to an end =(. She tends to sleep too long (2-3 hours) and will not wake up to tickling, kisses or talking. Then she is not tired until after 9 at night.

For me ......I have an applique block to prep for hand applique this week. I pulled the first block for the Century quilt and it has bias vines..... so I just had to stop at Joann's after bowling on Thursday and use my 50% off coupon to purchase a clover bias seam maker. It was so easy to do... now to follow the directions and glue everything down onto the fabrics. I'll have my hand work for the car line wait this week all set to go. If this works.... then I can try the  border I really want to add to the birds in the air quilt! Baby steps. This pattern called for the 3/4 inch bias maker. I'm thinking if this works well, maybe I'll have to get a 1.5 inch one to make a nice big vine for a border. Any tips for me on using bias vines? I'm a newbie at this and any and all tips are wonderful.

Head on over to quilter Kathy and see what other slow stitch projects are being worked on today.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Finish up challenge!

 Jo at Jo's Country Junction has issued a challenge to finish a Bonnie quilt up before Thanksgiving. Bonnie's  new mystery starts the day after Thanksgiving... so if we finish one we can start something NEW!!!!! Right?
I'm joining in her link up party on Saturday's to see progress.

My goal is to get this monster of a quilt top quilted and bound in the next month. I have a plan for the quilting using my walking foot and some squiggly lines. I have the backing 104x108. The batting is cut and just needs to be pieced (why oh why didn't I just buy a king size?). Then it will be time to roll it onto the boards for pinning. That means I need to clear off the sewing table so I have space to do that. That is the goal for next week - get it pinned.

Looking back - I have made a few of Bonnie's patterns. These are in no particular order and the patterns can be found at in the free pattern section.

String X - a boo boo made it very unique. Gifted to Ms. Dawn - Aidan's VPK teacher.

Bricks and stepping stones- clearing out homespuns - gifted to my nephew Charlie 

Pineapple Blossom - binding will be finished this weekend and gifted next week.

Star Struck - scrappy - for Chrystal, the kids sitter at the gym in VT

Star struck - brights - for my niece Mindy as a graduation gift.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween peels in black....

This week was spent doing some applique and I have added a couple more X and O blocks to the pile.

I do love how these are turning out and I wonder what color we get to play with for the month of November.... brown, pastels, white?

Head on over to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge on Saturday morning and see what other black and grey scraps have been worked into this month.

Have you seen that Bonnie Hunter at has posted the colors for the fall mystery? Is anyone else joining in this year? I am! It will be my second mystery with her - which means that I really do need to pin, quilt and bind my Easy Street quilt in the next few weeks. The 97x97 dimensions to quilt on my little Viking machine are slowing me down from starting it, but since my deal with myself is it must be finished before I start the next mystery means I really do need to 'just do it' already!

I do know it will not get started this weekend. The kids are outside playing (I do love the cooler temps - 70's - so they are willing to go out and play!) before we head back to school this evening for the PTO trick or treating at school. Tomorrow I get to work and the kids will be at Grandma's for the day. It is the Cooter festival in her town and she will be bringing the kids there for a bit. Sunday.... if everyone is better and no relapses with colds/fever/ stomach bugs..... I'll take the kids to SeaWorld on Sunday for a few hours for the Halloween Spooktacular. I hope to get in to the Penguin exhibit. It was a 2 hour wait in 96 degree heat the last time we went - no way would we wait that long for it with 4 kids under the age of 7.

Next week will be busy as well - Monday night is a Math night for K+1st grades at the local Public Supermarket, Tuesday is the last Soccer game of the season, Wednesday we need to carve pumpkins and roast pumpkin seeds and Thursday is handing out candy for Trick or Treaters. Wow, that is a busy week. I think tonight after everyone is home and the kids are in bed, I'm going to curl up with a movie and finally finish the binding on the purple pineapple quilt.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A completed top!

It seems I will do anything to avoid something I don't like to do. That would be pinning a huge quilt for quilting. Easy Street from Bonnie Hunters mystery last fall really needs to get completed before I start the next one Celtic Solstice..... but instead I cut and added the borders onto this bright little quilt. I found a yard of a cute dragonfly print in the closet that just works great with this bright and cheerful quilt.

It has been kid approved.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A new project.....

When I was working on the borders for the black checkerboard quilt I had cut out lots of 2.5x5.5 inch rectangles of bright colors. Since they did not work as a border for that quilt, I was left with lots of scraps of bright colors. I decided it was time to make a coin quilt with them and got them all sewed up this week. I didn't have enough of any of my black prints to put in between them, so I went with a creamy white from the closet. This is currently 45x49 for a little quilt. I think it will need a simple 5 inch border to make it a wee bit bigger (55x59). I have some yards of kids prints that should work with it.

It has finally cooled off a bit (70 degrees) and the kids actually went outside to play after dinner for an hour without any whining or complaining. They entertained themselves on their play set and I got a little time to finish sewing these strips together. I really could get used to this! Now they are eating some pumpkin moose (I had the cream as antlers!) and then we'll finish their last hippy science experiment and call it pajama time.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tiny Tuesday...

Today I finally got an applique block completed that has been prepped since June! Yikes. Thank goodness that little bit of cream is in the seam allowance and will be taken care of once I start sewing things together.
This is block # 129 from Sentimental Stitches Midget blocks and is called Springtime. Blocks 50-159 are free right now if you'd like to join in the fun.

I have also won some things or been gifted things over the past few weeks. Carla was so nice to pass along some silk YLI thread and I won a Kona charm pack from Connie. I have been working on a little thank you gift that I will post about later today..... if I can steal away into the sewing room for about 30 minutes to finish things off.

As for me - The boy is off for teacher in service today and is still snuffly. He so kindly passed it along to his sister who keeps trying to get the frog to jump out of her throat! (Mommy might have started that by putting my hand in front of her mouth and asking the frog to jump out!) Since he won't - she was 'ribbeting' and hopping around on the floor! Too funny. Her school called and a few VPK teachers are out sick today so that tipped the scales to keep her home today with a slight fever and sniffy nose. I see movie watching in our future today - as long as I don't have to have someone sitting on me, maybe I can get some stitches in on the apple quilt.

Yesterday we spent some time decorating cookies. The recipe for these wonderful sugar cookies can be found here - I use half the recipe and put about half of the baked but unfrosted ones into the freezer. Pumpkins and witch hats!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Design wall Monday....

Today on my design floor are my birds in the air blocks that I made last year through the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Our host Angela selects a color each month and the goal is to use up some scraps in that color.  It was so fun to make these blocks each month and I can't wait to put them together and then hand quilt (my first big hand quilting project) these over the winter. I know one or two are turned wrong and they will be moved around a bit before I sew them together sometime later this week. For the next two days I doubt I will have sewing time as the boy is home all day from school with the teachers having an inservice day. Today is errands while his sister is in VPK for three hours and tomorrow is a play date after we pick her up around 11AM. I also have some sugar cookie batter waiting in the fridge that needs to be baked and decorated sometime over the next two days as well. Today I'm hooking up with Design wall Monday over at Patchworktimes.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Slow stitching Sunday

After a slow day working at the store it is time to give Dad a break and watch the kids ride bikes in the driveway. It is the perfect time to get a little slow stitching in on some applique.

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

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Another Saturday in Black.....

I had some partially made crumb blocks so I just added a little bit to them to make four - 6 inch squares to add to the collection of colors. I missed a few months so I need to make a few more.... or I'll just wait until next year and get them made when the colors come up again!

I also got the checkerboard quilt completed this week. I decided Mom was right and just left it and added a colorful binding. This was easy straight stitching through the squares and then I did a little curve in the sashing and cornerstones. This one is now a completed quilt from the RSC challenge last year. Sorry for the bad picture - it is around 7AM since I got the binding finished off late last night. It just needs a wash and it will be ready to go.

Now to start playing with all the birds in the air blocks from last year!

Head on over to SoScrappy and see what other projects are being worked on to use up the black scraps this month.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

UFO Wednesday....

More progress has been made on UFO's.
One not listed on the sidebar is the black dot checkerboard blocks that I made last year in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at Angela's blog. This week they were put together, decisions were made and the quilt was pinned and quilted this morning. Binding was made and attached to the front. I should have it all finished after a couple of nights in front of the tv sewing down the binding! Mom got a sneak peak today but I'll show the completed quilt on Saturday. Thanks so much for all the helpful comments and ideas. This was what it looked like on Monday before I made some decisions and got it finished and quilted.

I did another block on the Century quilt this weekend. I now have all 8 of the pieced blocks completed. Yes, that leaves 4 applique blocks. I really do need to prep one so hopefully I have another completed block to show next week. I am down to applique on both this UFO and the Quilt Square Along blocks so I guess it is time to buckle down and do them!

Here are all eight blocks so far. I would love to get this one done by the end of next month.... but there really isn't a deadline other than her brother got a quilt this summer seen here, and she has not got one since she was a baby.

The last two days on the way home from picking up Aidan at school we have seen a turtle walking on the road. Today I got a picture of him and he only ducked into his shell once. We also saw the whole bunch of wild turkeys yesterday - all 7 of them. Today we only saw three. I swear I see more wildlife down here than I ever did up in Vermont and that is just so strange to me. Of course, I could live without seeing another snake .... if someone could pass that along to the snakes around here I would appreciate it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tiny Tuesday - English Ivy

This week block 106 - English Ivy was completed. I think it came out pretty cute! It was a paper pieced pattern from Sentimental Stitches. It will finish at 4.5 inches and will fit in great with all the other little blocks I have made over the last few years.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The bossy checkerboard quilt on the design floor.....

I did get a chance last night to make some decisions and put this together while the hubby went and collected the kids from Grandma. That gave me two more hours in the sewing room =).

I had asked for comments on this one in Saturday's post and a lot of good ideas were provided. I really liked the on point idea.... but was too lazy to create another of the blocks. In hindsight, I should have just made the block. Someone also mentioned matching seams....... that let me decide to do sashing and cornerstones. I went with black for the sashing. It is currently 55x 42.

Now the decisions. The quilt kept telling me it wanted a colorful piano key border. So, I cut a bunch of rectangles and sewed some together this morning. Put it next to it ...... and I really don't like it.

My original thought was the black dot print for a border. I don't really like that option when I see it.

Another option is to go with a bright color (green? yellow?) and then the black dot for the outermost border. Somehow I see a colorful binding all around it to tie all the colors together.

I sent some different pics to Mom this morning and she asked if it even needed borders.... so maybe just a dot binding or a variety of colors for the binding?

Too many decisions. What would you do if it was your quilt to finish it off?

Thanks for the help and ideas.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Slow stitching Sunday

After a nice block of time in the sewing room today without any interruptions, I was able to finish off a Midget block that was nearly completed. Then I got to work with a quick press of the top and bottom of the Nabby's Dowry quilt. I pinned it and then got to actually quilt it, make the binding and sew it onto the front. That leaves me with a nice binding to slow stitch tonight after we have collected the kids from Grandma and gotten them settled into bed for the night. The quilting did not go as I envisioned (I wanted to do three loops in each of the setting triangles) but I think I came up with a good solution with my walking foot. My Fons and Porter flying geese ruler really came in handy with marking my quilting lines.

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what other wonderful slow stitch projects are being worked on this weekend. I also want to wish our Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Scrappy Saturday in black.

This week the 16 patch block got made from some 2.5 inch squares. This nice black and grey one will join all the other rainbow colors.

I also decided to finally sew together the blocks that I was making last year as 2 inch pairs, with no purpose, which ended up as these fun 12.5 inch blocks. I think I am just going to add some of that black dot print all around it and make a little quilt that will get donated. I used it as a backing or two and have those nice bits that you cut off around all the sides that will fit nicely onto this little quilt. Do you think it needs some of the black dot print in between each one to calm it down a bit?

Head on over to SoScrappy's blog on Saturday to see what other fun black and grey projects are being worked on this week. As for me... I work Saturday but I hope to get a little machine quilting in on Sunday if I can ever get some time to pin a quit or two for quilting. Who knows, maybe this black one will get finished off this weekend! I would love to have a quilt to snuggle under on Sunday night while working on a binding.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Century Quilt....

A little more progress has been made on the Century Quilt from a BOM at Joann's Fabrics way back in the year 2000.
I now have seven blocks made for this quilt. This one will be heading up to Vermont whenever it gets done and will live on my niece Sally's bed. She is wanting to paint her room blue with a little yellow. We'll see if her Mom allows that and if she does, then this quilt will fit in really nice on her bed. Now to prep those applique blocks.... they always throw me but once the prep work is done they are fairly easy to do.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tiny Tuesday - Night and Noon block 109

I grabbed a quick block to make this morning as I only had about 35 minutes to play in the sewing room. This one went together very easily and I didn't need to think as I pulled scraps to make this one.
I could see this as a bigger block made into a real quilt.... Hmmmmmmm.

I have to thank Cathy for letting me know how she makes the turnovers she posted about a few weeks ago. Last night was the night - I made some apple filled ones. They were very yummy! I just cut them up into chunks and put them in a skillet with some butter for a few minutes. Added some cinnamon and brown sugar and a little corn starch and cooked until soft for a few minutes. At that point, two kids popped their heads up in the living room asking what smelled so good and could they have some! After letting what was left cool, I put a spoonful into the puff pastry square, folded it over and crimped the ends. Baked in a hot oven for 20 minutes and added a powder sugar glaze to the top. Did I mention how yummy these were?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Slow stitching on a Sunday afternoon....

After a productive morning of weeding, cleaning screens and furniture on the back porch  and the litter box it was time to rest and take a break. Two were napping, one is with Grandma still and I got to sit in the recliner with Sophie (my white kitty) and get some hand quilting in on my apple quilt. I had recorded the movie Hocus Pocus last week (I just love this movie around Halloween!) and got to watch that while the house was quiet. Two are now in the chilly pool (too cold for me but Daddy is braving it with Emmy) and I suppose I need to figure out what is for dinner.

I also have to give a big Thank You to Carla for passing along some silk threads to me last week for my applique.
Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what others are working on during this slow stitch Sunday.