Monday, March 31, 2014

A crochet finish....

I started this baby afghan last summer while I was visiting Vermont. It has sat at the bottom of the hand work bag since then... just waiting. Occasionally I'd pull it out and work 4-6 rows and then put it away. I pulled it out last week and added a few more rows and then decided it was big enough. Time to work around the edges. I watched the video again, and then gave it a shot. Not too bad for my first attempt at this pattern. Thanks Amy for posting the link last July. It was fun to do and now will sit in the closet until a baby blanket is needed. I think the next attempt will be a granny square as you go.

Slanted Shells Variation 2 - I used Simply Soft Caron yarn in off white.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday

I made some progress this week on the Quilt Square Along Block. I had taken out the straight lines on the inner border and added the wavy mountains. I like them much better. I followed along the creams in the hst border and did an x in the corners.

All of this is free hand quilting - I'm too lazy to plan things out =). I searched in a book to find a cable and then I just drew them based on the picture. I have two sides with the five cables that I hand quilted already. The other two I drew were the first ones and had six cables.... I need to use a damp cloth to get rid of those marks and rework them as five cables so I can finish it up today.

Next in line is this little T wall hanging that I did through the 'Lets Book it' Link Party over at Vroomans Quilts. This is from The Civil War Sewing Circle by Kathleen Tracy. I love the hand quilting on the one in the book and will follow that for my quilting.

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what other slow stitching projects are being worked on this week.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kaleidoscope progress....

I think I have decided on a layout. This will be it.

They are as half blocks now and are picked up for piecing together to make blocks. I tried a different layout of alternating the purple and blue but it just was not what I was thinking. I'll settle on this layout and now get this one into a top over the next week. I won't be sending this home with my parents..... so the deadline is the beginning of June so I can ship it up to the recipient for her HS graduation.
Now I need to go color some Easter coloring pages with the kids on this very rainy and thundery Saturday. We are planning to head out to a Japanese Steak House for the Hibachi table this evening. I hope my Mom can make it. We went bowling with the kids yesterday afternoon and she took a bit of a spill and is pretty sore today. That is going to make for a very long ride in the car if they do leave tomorrow as planned. I'm hoping they will stay another day or two =).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Last week of teals......

Since this is the last Saturday in March, I had to finally finish up the last 8 churn dash blocks to join the collection of blocks this year. All 12 of my teals.

Here are the blue, pink and teal/aqua churn dash blocks for the year.

I also added one more sampler block. This one posted briefly and I could never find it again on Angela's blog, but I do remember 1.5 inch as the fabric size, a four patch in the middle and a courthouse step for the pattern. This is what I came up with.

Head on over to SoScrappy on Saturday morning and see the other Rainbow Scrap Challenge links and projects in pretty teals. I do wonder what color will be chosen for April? I'll have to wait and see what the background of her blog changes to.... and try not to stalk her too much =).

After a very cold week here in Florida - it looks like it might actually warm up today. Much better than the 52 degrees it was at our playground yesterday morning where we had to go home and have some hot cocoa to warm up. The kids had a good time playing with some friends. Aidan's friend Cadi wanted a play date and since they go to different schools this year they don't see each other much. Her Mom and I had a good chat while the kids played. Em's teacher Ms. Tori also came with her 1 year old daughter, her Mom and her three brothers to play. We are thinking of going bowling today with the kids and I know I need to get some new soccer shoes for Emily before practice on Tuesday. We'll try and do that today too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Triangle Quilt along....

No, I don't need a new project BUT... I have always loved all those triangle quilts and decided to join in on this one. I just happen to have this lovely bundle of fabrics I won from Ellen last year that I think would make a marvelous baby throw in triangles.

I think I will add in a few solids in pink, blue, green and white and see how it comes out. You can check out the Triangle sew along here - or click on the picture to the right and read all about it. Anyone else want to join in? This looks like fun.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lets Book It....

Sharon over at Vroomans Quilts has a neat link party each month called Lets Book it. This is to encourage us to grab a book off our quilting library - one that we just 'had' to have for a certain project but have yet to make it. This month she is doing a cute little quilt of hexie flowers from the book 'The Civil War Sewing circle' by Kathleen Tracy. My hubby got me this book for Christmas a couple of years ago along with my requested 'Remembering Adelia'. I do love looking through both of these books.  I'm in process of making my version of the orange peel quilt from the 'Remembering Adelia' book but had not made anything from The Sewing Circle yet.

 I was always drawn to the T is for Temperance quilt. I think mainly because I love blue and the quilting on that one is simple but it speaks to me. This month, I decided to join along and made my version of that little quilt. She is 19.5 square and I plan to find some batting and a backing and work on hand quilting this over the next little bit. Maybe I'll have it done for the next link party! It's not too late to join in the fun.

Today - Mom and I went for pedicures. Her first one! We both have pretty pink toes right now.

For all those up north - I'm throwing in a picture of my roses that are in full bloom out front. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

6.5 Inch Cat - for the Rainbow Scrap Sampler

I had modified the pattern for a 8.5 inch cat last week to make a little teal cat in the RSC Sampler size - 6.5 inches unfinished. I figured I'd put a little tutorial out there in case anyone wanted to add a cat block to their sampler. The original pattern is free here.

For a 6 inch finished block.

Cat fabric - 1 - 3.5 x 6.5 inch rectangle
                   1 - 3.5 x 2 inch rectangle
                   2 - 1.5 inch squares (ears)

Background fabric - 1 - 3.5 inch square
                                 1 - 3.5 x 2 inch rectangle
                                 1 - 1.5 inch square (tail)

Mark a line from corner to corner of the small 1.5 inch triangles and attach the white to the large cat block and the two cat colors onto the white 3.5 x 2 inch rectangle as seen below.

Sew the face to the ears and then add the 3.5 inch background square to the side.

Sew the top of the cat to the body. You now have a  cute cat to add to your collection of 6 inch squares.

Sorry about the bad photography. I had just quickly moved my sewing machine into the play room table since the 'sewing room' is occupied as a guest room right now. I was also in a hurry as two little ones wanted to ride bikes and they have to have an adult out front if they ride in the driveway. I volunteered so they were waiting for me to finish sewing and go watch them. Hey - if it tires them out so they go to bed better I'm all for it!

Since it is Sunday...... I'm going to pull out the same block from last week and work on some hand quilting a little later. I have not made any progress on this because I did not like those lines I made in the inner border. I will pull them out and do a nice rounded curve of some sort. I think it will look better. I'm thinking of trying a little cable in the last border so I wanted a curve of some sort in the inner border. We'll see how it comes out next week! 

To see some beautiful hand work head on over to Kathy's Quilts linky party, put your feet up and enjoy the show.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another week of teals...

It has been another busy week but we are headed into Spring Break next week (starting today for Aidan) and my parents came back Wednesday to help out with watching kids and will be able to stay through the 31st when they head back to a cold and snowy Vermont. They got to see the kids first soccer game this week - and Emily got the good sportsmanship medal after the first game! All the kids will get one by the end of the season. She left the light on in her room shining on it so I could see it after I got home from bowling last night.

I had prepped some hexies last week and got them all done to join the other hexie flowers for this month. You can see how I prep them for hand piecing here.

A shot of my 'flower garden' so far this year.

I also cut and made four of my churn dash blocks. Hopefully I can sneak in a little sewing this next week so I can cut and sew the other 8 churn dash blocks needed for the month.

I also made a 6.5 inch cat to add to the sampler quilt. Let me know if you'd like the measurements to make this. I'd be happy to do another post with the measurements.

I really need to also finish up the graduation quilt top sometime this week - most are in half blocks at this point so I just need space to lay it out - decide on the final layout and get that sewn together.

    I picked up some eggs at the farm stand this week. They were green shells! Those chicks must have been in the mood for St. Patricks Day! I showed Emily when I picked her up from school Tuesday and she said she had to have green eggs and ham for lunch... and then proceeded to chant all the parts in the Dr. Seuss book 'Green Eggs and Ham'! 

In between all that we'll try and find some fun things to do with the kids on their week off. We'll probably hit Uncle Donalds Farm later today, bowling, maybe the fair in Inverness, walking on the nature trails, picking blueberries if the pick your own signs come out, putting them to work making a new veggie garden with me - the two little ones we have need to be shored up on the bottom fence so the rabbits don't eat all my peas, lettuce and beets which are now up! Really need to get some beans, corn and cukes planted along with my tomato and peppers. Not sure if we'll head to Orlando or not.... walking for long periods is not on tap for my Dad with his knee. All in all - a fairly restful week is on tap. Now to get the kids to sleep in past 6:30AM!

Head on over to SoScrappy's link party on Saturday morning and see what other teal projects are being worked on.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Leprechaun Traps for St. Patricks Day...

Aidan had a family project last week to make a leprechaun trap for school today. This picture is missing the Lego steps leading to the top of the box where the coins are. The leprechaun left some foot prints on the top but did not get caught!

Emily had to make one too for our house - notice the Kleenex 'bed' for him to rest on after he was caught? Well, he is just too cleaver and did not get caught but he did use the bathroom and forgot to flush! Green water in that bowl when we got home from picking up the kids =)

Corned beef is in the crock pot with the onion and carrots. I'll grab some of the liquid (trying some Guinness in there with a little water this time) and add that to the pot for cooking off the potato and cabbage later. I think it is time to make some Irish Soda Bread with the kids....and then some green rice krispie treats. What else is there to do on such a rainy day?

Irish Soda Bread - recipe from Rita Bixby. a.k.a - Margarita Rita! When I lived in Colchester,VT - I remember she had me and Michelle come over one day and we all made one of these and she sent us home with them and the recipe card that I pulled to make it. Great memories! I really miss our walks each evening (yes, she will be 80 this year but I only have half her energy!) and then certain nights we'd stop back to her house after our 7PM walk for margarita's and home made guacamole or salsa made by her hubby Jim for snacking and chatting.  No worries - Michelle and I both walked back to our houses - mine was three houses down and hers was a little further around the corner. Onto the recipe.

Set oven to 375 degrees
2 1/4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oleo
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 cup butter milk (or Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and milk to measure 1 cup)
1 Tablespoon oleo or butter for top.

Grease 8 inch round cake pan.

Mix dry ingredients. Mix well. Add oleo and cut in with a pastry blender. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Add milk and blend well. On floured surface knead dough 6 times. Press dough in pan. With a sharp knife point cut an X 1/4 inch deep on the top of the loaf. Brush with the oleo. Bake until done - 25-35 minutes. Remove immediately from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Slow stitching Sunday....

This morning I did a little prep work and figured I'd show how I prepare my hand pieced hexie parts.

First I grab some 2.5 inch strips - They are a little big but are handy. I need 17 inches for 6 hexes.
I made a template using my 1 inch hexes adding 1/4 inch all around. I trace 6 of them lining up the sides for easy cutting.

Then I stack my fabrics - 5 today and cut them out. The way I line them up it is easy diagonal cuts each way.

Then I flip them over and place one of my 1 inch hexie parts on the middle and trace around with a pencil.

Once that is done - I put them in groups of 6 matching prints and add a yellow for the center. Hand work all prepped for the week!

I also did a little hand quilting this week and have made a little progress on my 12 inch block. I hope to get a few more stitches in on this tonight. For now - it is off to work to give one review and interview another. At least it is a short day. Kids are in route to Grandma's for the day. Hope Greg enjoys his peace and quiet this afternoon! We had a nice family day yesterday and all went to a birthday party for one of Aidan's friends at the park yesterday afternoon. After a walk around the park in the afternoon and then an evening walk for us while the kids were on their scooters it was a wonderful day. This morning - the earliest up was Aidan after 7 and he just took an iPad into the play room until the rest of us got up. Emily woke up around 8 - the last one up today. Much better than their usual 6AM on weekends!

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what other slow stitching is being worked on today.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The dangers of blog reading......

you tend to start new projects instead of finishing current projects (or cleaning the house like I should have been doing this afternoon!). I'm going to blame Sheila on this one. She makes some lovely 8 inch blocks each week in the rainbow scrap colors and then she'll arrange them into charity quilts. Well, these cute little cats showed up a bit ago and she shared the link to the free pattern. I use a Mac and that has a 'top sites' page when I log in where I can place 12 web pages and I put that free pattern cat on one of them. Every time I got onto my computer, I saw it. As my Mom can tell you, I am on the computer way too much during the day. I saw that cat a lot!

I had my stack of teal and aqua fabrics just sitting on the cutting table. I also had to finish cutting some parts for the Kaleidoscope quilt today after I made some decisions and had some deep blues on there too. I needed a purple in the middle side and blue in all the other spots.

Well.......... instead of cleaning the house I popped into the sewing room and cut out 12 cats. 10 or 15 minutes here and there during the day and I now have 12 - 8 inch cats. They need some sashing..... and I think a border of little mice with some embroidered tails on the end would be really cute! Now... to find a little mouse pattern =). I had seen a quilt with cats and a mouse border years ago at The Vermont Quilt Festival and it has stuck with me as a neat idea. See, I told you reading blogs is dangerous!

Edited : Found this free link at Fons and Porter that has a cool mouse paper pieced pattern in it. That will work for my mouse border. You can find it here.

Rainbow Sampler in Teal

This week I managed to make three rainbow sampler blocks.
Spool, Butterfly and Soul Searching.
And then she posted another one! Here is Anvil. I love these fabrics. I picked them up last Saturday at Nana's Closet in Brooksville, FL. 

I also had cut some 2.5 inch squares to make a 16 patch block in between sewing other things.

Now it is time to lay out the Kaleidoscope quilt on the living room floor and figure out the final layout so I can cut the rest of the triangles and start getting that one put together. It is much easier to do that when no one is home to 'help'.!

It has been a long week - when someone in the household is sick it just throw's the whole week off! This time it was Greg who came down with a flu bug on Wednesday morning. That left me to drop kids to school Wednesday and Thursday and then work at the store, getting there just in time to open both days. Then home to make sure homework was done and tuck them into bed. Today he headed into work and hopefully will last the day. I'm going to do some much needed sewing to get the above done and relax a bit, then...... pick up kids and run errands. We have a birthday party tomorrow that we need a gift for and Aidan has a leprechaun trap to make for school on Monday. I am scheduled to work on Sunday but we hopefully will both have tomorrow off for a family day before the hectic pool season starts down here. My hope is that I can sneak off to the gym first thing Saturday and Sunday and get a much needed workout in. It lost the coin flip today to some relaxing sewing on the Kaleidoscope quilt.

Saturday head on over to  SoScrappy on Saturday morning and see what other aqua and teal projects are being worked on.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tiny Tuesday

I did manage to make a quick block this morning after mopping floors and while the garden was watering. Here is a block called Pleasant Campaign. Don't mind that little bit on the bottom that doesn't line up.

Off to bring Emily to her speech lesson and get the next set of HIPPY lesson plans for next week. Then to pick up Aidan and back home for a few hours before soccer practice tonight. A busy Tuesday.

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Lori Smith 12 inch blocks.......

Since I pulled out the last block I have made to be hand quilted this weekend I figured I'll pull them all out and see how many more there are to make before I can start putting this one together. I know I have two more applique blocks to work on and after checking the patterns I have one more pattern block to make from the third pattern. That leaves one block for me to come up with! That will give me 20 - 12 inch (ish) blocks to sash and put together as a Quilt as you Go quilt. I used a big FQ stack of Kansas Troubles fabrics that I purchased years ago before kids at the Vermont Quilt Festival. I have some left in the drawer but I am not sure if I want to go scrappy for the setting or bite the bullet and find some online to purchase for sashing and a border treatment. I started making these with a group of people on-line back in 2012 with Jo at JosCountryJunction as the host. 

The backs are all different colored homespun prints in the maroon, blue and green range and I think I'll use a brown or black to connect them on the back.

I also finished off the blue dish cloth on Saturday. I've started another one in blue but have a skien of pretty pink waiting in line. I am guessing I need to make some crochet towel tops for Mom to go home with her to Vermont, too. Those can easily be worked on at night if the cat's don't play with the yarn too much!

While I was preparing this post, Emily got some of the Birds in the Air blocks out to play with. This is what she came up with and then took a picture of. Just like her Mommy! They are now all picked up and tucked back into their drawer. Someday that one will get put together and I really want to do an allover baptist fan - freehand and hand quilted. Someday....

And yes Mom - I did go to the gym this morning and got a good workout while the kiddo's were at school. Now I just need to remember to water the garden every morning =).

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday

After working today and then coming home and cleaning up the house a little I am really looking forward to sitting down this evening after the kids are tucked into bed with a glass of Moscato wine and this 12 inch block for some hand quilting. I put a few stitches in last night to start it and hope to get a bit more done tonight.

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

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Teal and Aqua Hexies....

I had prepped a few hexies to work on this week and have managed to make all of them! I think it is time to dig into the scrap bin and see if I can find some more of these colors to play with. Don't mind the pink one.... I found those hexes at the bottom of the busy bag. Must have missed it from last month. The round light is Aidan's 'nightlight'. He loves deciding which color to select with it on the remote. I have it as a teal to go with this months color.

Head on over to SoScrappy and see what other teal projects are being worked on. As for me - I'll be driving a bit today. Dropping the kids to Grandma and then heading another hour further to meet up with my parents and all my Dad's siblings for a family reunion. Have a wonderful day.

Friday, March 7, 2014

On the needles....

Not too much to post about this week so I figured I'd show the dish cloth that is currently on the needles today. I have one done in this color which immediately got put into service in the sink. This is the second one. I hope to get four of them out of this ball of yarn.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tiny Tuesday - Severe Fighting

This week I planned ahead and made this block on Thursday while I was cleaning up a few things.
I just made some paper templates for the elongated flying geese and it went together very easily.

I also got the handle stitched down to the pink basket yesterday. It was very easy to stitch down once I had it placed. I used Angela's tip and unstitched a little by the edge of the basket and tucked the handle end in and then restitched it up. Easy Peasy. Now maybe I have the confidence to try that curved Century quilt applique block.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

RSC Sampler Blocks

I managed to get a little bit of sewing in today before cleaning and dusting the sewing room for company tomorrow.
I pulled some pinks and made most of the basket block. I hope to put a few stitches in tonight on that handle. Then I pulled the only real teal I have and made a friendship star block. I'm going to cheat a bit and use the blues that I think are ocean colors this month.

Head on over to SoScrappy and see all the links with amazing projects people are working on through the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

For all those up in the colder climates...... we had smores cooked on the grill for dinner tonight. Late lunch of gyro brats so no one was really hungry for dinner. Sugar cone (ice cream), Hershey square of chocolate and a marshmellow. Yummy!

The kids are having their showers, then some family game time and books before we tuck them into bed tonight. I'll work on that basket handle and then continue with my orange peels.

Slow Stitch Sunday....

I'll slowly work on finishing the last 9 (I hope) of the orange peels needed for the border of my hugs and kisses quilt today.

I really want to hand quilt this one but the thought of such a big quilt being on me in the summer in Florida is not something I want to think about. So... I went searching on YouTube and found a nice tutorial on how to quilt as you go without sashing and I think I may give it a try with this quilt. I have it in rows right now and I think I'll sew sets of two rows and one set of three rows and attempt to hand quilt them. I'm just going to echo quilt around them I think for the X and O's. Probably a squiggly line in the frame or multiple straight lines? Maybe some simple circles or elongated ovals for a cable? I'll figure that one out after. This will be a great way to use up those extra strips of long batting from previous quilts.

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what other slow stitching is being worked on today.

Yesterday we headed to Magic Kingdom and met up with my brother and his family. This was the kids at the end of the day - she picked out the ears with tulle and he got goofy. Next time I will grab the GPS.... I didn't plug it into my phone to get home figuring I knew where to go. Nope - took the wrong turn and headed to Tampa before heading back to Ocala. Oh well - it was a very scenic route home and Em slept most of the way. Aidan kept me company while playing with the ipad.

I never knew of Tom Sawyers Island with the wilderness forts, barrel bridge and all the other fun things  for little boys to do and get their energy out.
A picture with their cousins Sarah, Aidan, Emily and Becky.

A great time was had by all. Wishing them safe travels back to Vermont on Monday.