Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tiny Tuesday....

I remembered it was Tuesday and made a Civil War block today!

This is called The Queen of the West and was towards the end of the book. Yes, I flipped through and pulled an easy one for today. Tomorrow I hope to start with the one a day for the month of October..... we'll see how I do.

After a trip to Sam's Club this morning to stock up the freezer and get lunch things for school I did a quick run through my LQS. I wound the last of my Bottom Line thread yesterday into the bobbin and needed more. I picked up a medium tan since that will go with the backing fabric I picked up for the next few quilts to get machine quilted. I also got a blue pearl cotton that I think will be used to big stitch the Little T quilt. Now to figure out what size needle to use for that.

My leader and enders has been making the orange and yellow hst's for step 3 of Celtic Solstice. I think there are more than 120 in that pile and I need 200 total. The pick up line today will have me snipping these apart and trimming the dog ears and counting them.  

I managed to outline the center of the Maple Leaf quilt and stitch around all the maple leafs this morning with the walking foot.

I think the area around the leafs will be stipple stitched. The geese outlined and then some small maple leafs quilted in the black and tan middle border. Lots of leafs stitched with swirls in the outer border. Then I have to pick a binding color..... Just writing the plans down in case I forget what I was planning when I get back to this tomorrow morning.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Snowalong....

Joanne over at CanuckQuilter has a new sew along starting today! She is offering free paper piecing patterns for some awesome looking snowflakes. She will be offering a new pattern every Monday for the next month with a link up of your snowflakes starting next Monday. Head on over and join the fun. I downloaded my pattern already and printed it out. I am hoping to sew some snow flakes on Wednesday. Right now - I'm headed into the sewing room to pin the maple leaf quilt and then I suppose I do need to run the vacuum cleaner around the carpets and mop the floors before I go pick up the kids from school.

Hope to see you join in the snowflake fun.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday, Sunday.....

I plan to do a little more stitching on some appliqué peels later this evening for the border of the hugs and kisses quilt.

I did a bunch of them last night watching Hocus Pocus. I had taped it earlier this week off Disney since I always love watching that movie in the fall around Halloween. Now, I have seen this movie yearly and was quite surprised when Greg pointed out last night that the boy in the beginning of the movie was McGee from NCIS! I pulled out my Mac and looked it up and Oh My Goodness! I have watched both for years and years and never put that together!

Back to slow stitching. I added borders to my quilt with the thinking that would finish it off with a scrappy binding.

Hmmmm. I like how it looks with the peel border after that calming strip but now I need to do some math to make the borders work or play with it a bit to figure something out. A truly work in progress this week as I try and get this to a top that I like.

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what others are slow stitching today.

Had to throw in a picture of the Tiger scout in his uniform yesterday. See those patches on the arm and above the shirt - 1hour to get three numbers, a chapter patch and the little circle patch above the pocket onto that shirt. Quilts are so much easier than sewing those little buggers on!

Friday, September 26, 2014

September Wrap up

This is a recap of my goals for September in the List Goals, Link Blog - Party. 

1.) Test a pattern Starlight Wishes for my blog friend Joanne. 

This is my completed Starlight Wishes. I just love how this came out. Thanks so much to Joanne for letting me test out your pattern. It is ready for purchase at her Craftsy store here. Here is a post she did with some different color options - a truly versatile quilt pattern.

2.) Applique the last Century Quilt block and put the top together. 
I'm happy to say the last appliqué block is done. I hope to put this top together next month.

3.) Continue my RSC blocks in the color chosen for September.
All completed - a 16 patch block, 13 hexagon flowers and 12 churn dash blocks in orange.
I also made the RSC Sampler blocks for the month in orange.

4.) Tiny Tuesday blocks from the Civil War Diary quilt.
I got a few done this month. I plan to catch up a bit next month.

5.) Step 3 and/or 4 of the Celtic Solstice Mystery.

Step 4 - 120 four patches in orange and green are completed.

6.) Walk every morning M-F for 30-60 minutes after dropping the kids to school. 

I did pretty good two of the four weeks. One week I was sick and had a sick kid home a little. This week - I stubbed my toe very badly on Monday afternoon and have been trying to stay off it for a couple of days. It is the first time I have had a toe actually turn purple from a bruise with swelling on the little toe. I'd say the corner of the coffee table won that round! Much better by the end of the week and I was able to bowl yesterday morning.

Goals for October.....

1. Finish the Maple Leaf UFO - top is done and batting is cut. Needs Quilting.

2. Finish the Snails Trail Rainbow quilt - top is done and batting is cut. Needs Quilting.

3. Continue the RSC Challenge in color selected for October. If black or grey I want to make mice to go around my teal cat blocks. 

4. Tiny Tuesday blocks - I'm going to shoot for one a day the month of October. Wish me luck on this one.

5. Step 3 and Step 5 of Celtic Solstice so I can start making those blocks and get the top completed before the next mystery starts the end of November.

6. Get the Century Quilt into a top stage. 

7. Applique the second December block for a pillow.

8. Start hand quilting the Hugs and Kisses Quilt after I finish putting the borders on.

9. Make two pillowcases as requested by my daughter for birthday present gifts for friends. One this Saturday and on the 11th of October for parties.

10. Steam clean the living room carpet - boy does it need it!

11. Continue walking in the mornings - especially now that it is a glorious temp in the mornings - high 60's and I love it!

I'm linking up with Kathi over at KCDesigns on Friday and Angela at SoScrappy on Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I really hope to have a Slow Stitching Sunday post with the Hugs and Kisses quilt ready for hand quilting... but we'll see how the next two days go!

It is calling for rain today and tomorrow but I hope to run some errands and pull some weeds this morning. Tomorrow Greg is busy with Aidan for scouts (archery in the morning and selling popcorn in front of Publix in the afternoon) and I get to do a birthday party with Emily in the afternoon for a new friend from school. Oh shoot - must sew his patches onto his uniform today too!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A finish.......

I completed the binding on my Starlight Wishes quilt and was able to bring it outside for a couple of pictures today. I went with a blue binding.

A close up of one of the swirls in the stars and the echo quilting in the border.

CanuckQuilter will have this pattern for sale soon on her blog. It was such a fun pattern to make. Thanks Joanne for letting me test out your pattern.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Design wall Monday....

The lawn desperately needs mowing.... I did try to start the riding lawn mower but it did not even try to turn over for me. That told me I should be inside sewing instead of outside doing yard work! =)

I finished the quilting on Starlight wishes - three walking foot lines outlining the prairie points on the outer border and nice swirls in the stars. Then came the binding color decision. I took pictures and sent them to Mom....and the email was not going through. Oh well, the coin toss and enough fabric had one of these three winning - yellow, blue or red. Which do you think won?

Starlight Wishes.
My hugs and kisses quilt has been sitting patiently for the borders to be added for a while now. I counted them up and needed 8 more peels as of last week so I prepped them and did them up last Wednesday. Today I sewed them together and added the top and bottom border......... Now I am not sure I like it! I think it distracts from the rest of the top...... I think there will be a bunch of unpicking in my future of those border peels.... and then I can prep this quilt for hand quilting, without those peel borders. Hmmmm. Maybe a plain border in between the two? What do you think?

With peel border

Without peel border.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday....

I have no clue what I will be slow stitching later today. It might be some hexagon flowers..... the pink ones in the baggie. The orange are all made into flowers already.

It might be some appliqué if I prep that second Century Quilt December block...

It might be some hand quilting - Little T quilt ...

Whatever I choose I am sure it will be a nice relaxing time with just some needle and thread.

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what other slow turtle stitches are being worked on today. As for me - I get to work the last day of our fall sale - a short four hour day but I expect we will be hopping.

I'd also like to wish my darling hubby a Happy 8th Anniversary today. It has been a fun ride so far and I am so looking forward to the rest of our lives together. A big thank you to Grandma H for keeping the kids overnight last night. It was so nice not to be woken up around 6 on a Sunday morning.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A busy week....

Not much to show this week on the sewing front. I am working on machine quilting the Starlight Wishes quilt and have done the out lines of the black in the middle section. I have a few diamonds left to go - maybe 9 or so. Then I'll attempt swirls...... then the outline of the prairie points on the border.

The kids are off school today so I plan to put them to work weeding and prepping a garden this morning... a little late but we should have a few months of good weather to get some beans, peas and hopefully some cucumbers to grow down here.

I got a box of tomato's this week and canned 14 pints of tomato's and then made pizza sauce with the rest. 8 half pints and two pint jars of that was canned. Looks like everything sealed so it just needs a wipe down, marking date and what it is and then put up in the pantry. Em wants pizza tonight to test out a little that did not make it into a jar. The other 7 jars of tomato are already in the pantry. I see Mom's tomato soup in my future next week =).

Aidan had his allergist appointment on Tuesday. He is only allergic to two things - mold and dust mites. We are trying Allegra twice a day and a nasal steroid once a day for a few weeks and we'll see where we go from there. He has been able to sleep without issues and no humidifier and the sneezing has gone way down so hopefully this will work. I do notice he sneezes more after coming in from outside - Florida humidity so I'm sure there is mold growing everywhere out there.

I did get a chance to hand stitch this week and got my 10 hexagons done..... ok I have one more hexagon to add to that leaf one. I did find a jelly roll (2.5 inch strip of width of fabric-  Mom) of peaches and orange in the closet so I'll use that to make my other 3 or so. Just need to cut and prep my 12 churn dashes for stitching next week.

I also finished the latest dish cloth in the car line yesterday. I got a new light pink yarn from Joann's a while ago on sale for $1.99 and it is so soft. Em was playing with it and the tag with information was tossed so I have no clue the name but it is so much softer than the sugar and cream yarns I usually use. I think the rest will be making a crochet dish cloth with a new to me pattern.

Time to use up some of the pumpkin puree in the freezer - I'm going to try pumpkin-apple streusel muffins this morning. This is the haul minus the one I had to eat right after they came out of the oven. All I can say is..... these will be made again very soon. Oh, so yummy! I wonder if any will be left to take into work tomorrow? I'm guessing not. Now... do I dare to make the pumpkin cookie recipe I found yesterday? I think I'll wait for next week on that one. Until then... must not eat more of the muffins this morning - three should be my limit!
The kids are playing 'farm' with trips to the store for creamer, the vet for animal checks and now Emily is baking in her kitchen - a peach cobbler with extra ketchup! It is her secret ingredient =). Think I'll put them outside to pull weeds from the garden so we can plant before the rain starts.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop....

Kathy over at Empty Nest but Full Heart nominated me this time to do the Around the World Blog Hop. I have been asked a few times over the last month or so to do this but life was a little busy. It has calmed down to my 'normal' busy so I figured I'd give it a go this week.

What am I working on? 
I like to have various projects in process so I can work on whichever one I am in the mood for! I always have to have some sort of hand work ready to go since I have five days of waiting in the car line at school for about 20+ minutes. It is amazing what you can get done in 10-20 minutes here and there during the day if you are prepared. There is always some yarn in my busy bag with my trusty #8 bamboo knitting needles for dish cloths.

I do a Tiny Tuesday which originated with Midget blocks of 4.5 inches but this year I am doing a 6 inch block in red/maroon, white/cream and blue from The Civil War Diary book.

I join in with Angela over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge on Saturdays where she selects one color a month for us to play with our scraps and create whatever we like. This year I am making churn dashes, a 16 patch block  - which I seem to be missing dark blue and purples! and hand piecing hexagon flowers in each color selected. I am also sewing along with her to create a Rainbow Scrap Sampler where she will pick a block and post the instructions for us to follow along with.

12 churn dashes a month in the color selected.

16 patch block made with 2.5 inch squares.

Hexagon flowers hand pieced (not EPP) 13 or so flowers a month with yellow centers.
On Sunday I join in with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts and do some slow stitching - either hand stitching my hexagon flowers, appliqué on the Century Quilt blocks or hand quilting. I finished this hand appliqué block last Friday - time to put those 12 blocks together. There will be a dejavu of this one on my blog as I picked up two of this block from the Joann's BOM back in 2000. The extra block will become a pillow to go with the quilt.

Last week I was testing a pattern called Starlight Wishes by Joanne at Canuckquilter. It came out beautifully and I just got it pin basted today so I can machine quilt it the next time I have a block of kid free time - looks like Wednesday morning while they are in school. She will have this on sale later this month through her website.

My leader and ender project is doing one of the steps for Bonnie Hunters Celtic Solstice Mystery from last year. I am doing her color way of green, orange, blue, yellow and creams. I can't wait to start putting my blocks together but I have two more steps to go first. My goal is to have this quilt completed before the next mystery starts the day after Thanksgiving.

How does my work differ from others in its genre? 
Difficult question. I have been quilting since I got out of college back in 1992 and my style has evolved over the years. I have more fun playing with scraps to make my quilts rather than using just a couple of fabrics in a quilt like I did when I first started quilting. I tend to prefer the traditional patterns and fabrics rather than the new modern fabrics and patterns. I am trying out new techniques and ideas every month to try and grow as a quilter. I have gone from simple machine piecing and tying my quilts to machine and hand piecing as well as machine and hand quilting. I've taken the plunge and tried my hand at appliqué over the last few years and once the prep work is done it is very relaxing to run that needle through some fabrics.

Why do I write/create what I do?
I sew to relax and keep me sane! Well, as sane as I can get =). I have been told to 'go sew something in your sewing room' so even my loving family knows that Mommy is much happier after she has had a few minutes to play with some fabric in her sewing room.

How does my creating process work?
 I am just starting to be brave enough to try my hand at 'designing' or getting ideas from my head into a fabric form to make a quilt. I did this last year with my little apple quilt - which reminds me of home in Vermont (I relocated to Florida in the fall of 2011) and is hanging in my dining room. I was coloring with my kids and decided the apple would make a great little appliqué block. The color of the RSC Challenge that month was red so it fit perfectly. I hand appliquéd those onto fabric while waiting in the car line to pick up the kids from school. I love the nine patch so used that as my alternate block. Then I decided to hand quilt it... another fairly new skill. After much encouragement from my blogging friends over at Slow Stitching Sunday I had a completed wall hanging I am very proud of.

Like most others I also troll the web and get way too many ideas from other quilters and magazines. As you can tell from my long list of UFO's on the sidebar I have a lot of projects waiting for a finish (and sadly that is only some of them sitting out there patiently waiting to see the light of day again to get worked on to a finish!). To help me stay focused I have started joining Kathi over at DesignOriginals by KC at the end of the month for her list goals - link blog - party time. You make a list of things you would like to accomplish in the coming month and review how you did for the current month. It is a fun way to keep you on track and don't worry... there is no pressure if you just HAVE to start that new project that we seem to find every month!

Thanks so much to Kathy  for nominating me to do this. I did not tag anyone as most of you have already participated in the hop. If you would like to join in the fun, just leave me a comment and I'll point people towards your post next Monday.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday....

Today I will be doing a little prep work to make my orange hexagons so I can start my 13 hexagon flowers for the RSC Challenge quilt I am working on this year. I am going to have to dig and be creative to get my 13 I think. I've cut out the first six - time to mark my sewing line so I can start sewing. Of course, I'll be next to a Joann's Fabrics tomorrow while I pop into the store so maybe I need to get a few more oranges? ... I'll need them for Celtic Solstice too =).

I finished off the appliqué block from last week and you can see it here. That quilt is ready to be pieced together sometime soon.

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

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Are you feeling Orange?

Another Saturday of orange fun! I did not plan ahead with the orange this week so after work and a nice dinner with Greg I got to sew a little while he went to pick up the kids from Grandma.

My 16 patch block was cut and sewn together.

I also made this week's posted RSC sampler block.

Next week will be hexagon flowers I think and some of the churn dashes. The busy bag is down to knitting so those hexagons need to get prepped for car line and Aidan's allergist appointment next week.

I have been working this week on making this Starlight Wishes top. This is the completed top with the prairie points. My first time at the prairie points and I think I really like them! I went with black borders so I could use all my colors for the points. There was a little miscalculation by me in the amount of black I had so I had to piece some edges from a kaleidoscope quilt a few years ago to get the last 8 inches I needed. Thank goodness for that scrap bucket.

I hope to prep this one for some machine quilting next week. What color binding do you think I should go with? All colors or just one to end it off? I know I have enough of the bright blue, yellow, green or red to bind it with a single color. You can purchase this pattern over at Canuckquilter later this month. All her patterns are so clear and concise they are wonderful to work with.

I'm linking up with Angela at SoScrappy this week. Head on over to get inspired by some lovely orange projects.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Friday Finish.....

The last appliqué block for The Century Quilt is completed.

 I have another of this December block in a package which will probably be made up for a pillow to go with this quilt. All 12 blocks are completed so in the next two weeks I think it will be time to start assembling this into a top. I have not trimmed down the appliqué blocks to 12.5 inches yet so they look a little bigger in the photo.

I now have all 12 of these pattern instructions.... what do you tend to do with them? Do you ever make another quilt or some of the blocks using the pattern and your own fabrics? I could see those four appliqués done as a wall hanging in some batik type fabrics......

The boy was home yesterday with a fever (twice already this year - I think it is time to test for allergies!) . He went to school today and I'll head in and have lunch with him. I had his open house last night. Boy,  first grade down here seems like grade 3 or 4 when I was in school! His teacher also mentioned having him tested for their 'gifted program' but they won't let the paperwork be handed in until week 12 of school. Seems strange to me as both his teacher last year and this year as well as his teacher he goes to for enhancement reading all said he should be tested. Oh well, we'll wait for the process I guess. It would mean he is taken out of class one day a week and sent to a teacher to challenge them more in all their subjects. We'll see what happens with that and hopefully he does not get too bored in class in the meantime. It sounds like they have to teach at one level despite having children at lower and higher levels in their class. I would think they would have grouped the kids together a little better to have like learning skills to make it easier for the teacher, but that is public school for you. 
Ok - time for me to finally play with prairie points and get those attached to the other quilt this morning. I hope to get that one to a top by lunchtime.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tiny Tuesday.....

After dropping the kids off to school and my walk this morning I got to sew. Yesterday - no sewing except some hand work in the pick up line. I had to go into work to open for a little bit and then ran errands while I was near all the stores in The Villages. By the time I got home it was kid pick up time. Last night was the first Cub Scouts meeting. I think all us parents of Tigers (1st grade) were completely overwhelmed but it looks like a fun group and I think Aidan will really like it. Emily found a friend from her class there too so they hung out together. I'm trying to get her into girl scouts as a Daisy - there is a troop that meets at the same church but it is not listed in my available troops so I'm looking into that. If it does work - then we'll adjust schedules at work so Greg can be with Aidan and I'll be with Emmy at their scout meetings. At that age each needs a parent present for the meetings.

Ok - my Tiny Tuesday block is called People and Peaches. A very strange name and don't look too closely at the cut off points. Those were tiny pieces and I calculated wrong. It turned out the correct size so it's staying. Sorry for the terrible picture - my sinuses are killing me and I am too lazy right now to go take another shot of the block.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Slow stitching Sunday - Century Block

On this slow stitching Sunday I am joining the others at Kathy's Quilts with a few stitches on my last appliqué Century Block. I need to prepare the leaves and the green flower stems to be put onto this block next. Then I'll prep the final blue flower for the middle. I changed it up a bit this time and added some color before adding the leaves. It makes me smile when I look at it, especially since I know this is the last block before I can put this top together for my niece, Sally.

Head on over to Kathy's Quilts and see what other turtle stitching projects are being worked on today. This is a turtle I saw walking on the road last year on the way home from picking up Aidan from school last fall. You never know what you will see down here in rural Florida.

Friday, September 5, 2014

First Saturday in Orange!

I actually got some time to sew this week and it feels great. Angela posted two RSC Sampler blocks this week - bear paw and kick. I had fun picking out my orange fabrics for these. I am using a peachy orange for the lights this month. Oops, the bear paw is upside down!

I've been busy working on testing a pattern for Joanne who blogs as Canuckquilter. Starlight Wishes is going together beautifully. I just love when the seams all mesh together perfectly. That rarely happens with my sewing but it sure is working great on this quilt. I went with brights and black as a background. The next step is the first border and then prairie points. I have never done them before but her instructions are wonderful. I am having so much fun playing with this pattern. Wouldn't this look great done up in Vicki Welsh's hand dyed fabrics? Joanne plans to have this pattern available for sale later this month.

As some leader and enders I have 40 of my 120 four patches in green and orange completed for a step in the Celtic Solstice Mystery.

Head on over to SoScrappy on Saturday morning to see what other orange projects are being worked on this month. As for me..... I have a sick boy home (no fever but I know he is congested, sore throat and he was saying his tummy felt off this morning. By ten he was 'fine' and bored. Arrgghhh.) He so kindly shared these germs with Greg and I. Lets hope the girl does not come down with it next since it is her sleepover at Grandma's this weekend. I've got an hour to prep some appliqué pieces for the car line hand work. I'm guessing he won't want to stay home from school again even if he is sick =). He did some math problems on the board in the kids playroom, then some spelling words and shapes. His teacher had sent home some extra work sheets this week which he has worked through. Now he is counting down the minutes until we can go pick up his sister from school. Hmmmm maybe they'll play nice together so I can sew some more?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

This is what is happening in the sewing room. Lots of chain sewing on the Starlight Wishes quilt. I started marking my sewing line on the squares this morning in my sewing room and noticed I was hunched over..... I piled all 156... well 136 since I had done 20.... onto my small cutting mat and moved to the island in the kitchen. Perfect height for me to draw those lines on. I also move out there for lots of cutting although I completely forgot about it yesterday when I was cutting all the squares and rectangles out for this quilt. I lined them up 20 at a time  to draw the line and they went so quickly that way. I must remember this for the future.
As you can see - I went with a black background since I had a bunch in my stash left over from Jillian's Graduation Kaleidoscope quilt from a couple of years ago. I also pulled some brights - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple for the stars. After sewing that first line, I went back and sewed a second line using the original sewn line as a guide for a whole bunch of bonus half square triangles (hst's Mom). I've been thinking of a plan for them as I was sewing..... =)

The boy was all stuffed up last night so the humidifier was in use with vicks on his chest and some children's allergy meds. Greg mentioned he is stuffed up and has a sore throat last night. Both were outside Monday (one did the lawn and the other was in the pool right after the lawn was mowed.) Not sure if it is allergies or a cold.....and lucky me .... I am feeling stuffed up now too with a sore throat. Must be a cold. Don't you love when germs are shared? Oh well, I'll try and take it easy and hopefully this will pass quickly. Time to head out and run some errands - trash and recycle, hair cut and I need to pick up a few things at the store. I think the rest of the leftovers from Monday will be turned into a beef and veggie soup for my lunch. A great way to clear out the fridge.

Hopefully I'll have a bit of time before the kid pick up to cut all those bonus triangles off and press everything. One more side of unit 1 to go and then I can start laying it out. This is going together so easily - did I mention I love Joanne's patterns? So easy to read and understand. Oh - must remember to pin the last four stems onto the appliqué for car line. Those curved ones are all sewn down already.
Is it just me or things move much more quickly when the end is in sight?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tiny Tuesday....

It has been a great day in the sewing room so far. Yes Mom, I took my 45 minute walk this morning first =).
First I made my Tuesday block from The Civil War Diary Book. This is called 'A consoling Thought'. It is 6 inches finished.

Next, I prepped the last appliqué block for The Century Quilt. This is the December block. It has been outlined onto the background with a marking pencil and the stems are made. I put four down so I can start this today in the car line. Hopefully I can do the other four stems tomorrow and then leaves and buds....

Now it is time to reread through my Starlight Wishes Pattern and make a decision on my colors. Better find a coin to toss as I think this would look great in either of my color choices. I can't wait to try those prairie points! A first for me. Thanks so much Joanne for letting me test it.