Wednesday, January 31, 2024

2 more long seams to go!

 I have 2 long seams to hand stitch before the 4th and last Harmony block is done. Then I can sew the 4 blocks together for a completed top!

This was Bear the other night while Aidan was watching an old F1 race from 2012. The new thing this week, Aidan got braces put on yesterday. He had them for a year when he was younger, but when you don't wear the retainer things move and his front tooth was getting pushed and crooked and his bite was way off. He is in a load of hurt today but went into it knowing what to expect. One year and then they will put permanent wires on the back of the top and bottom so it should last into adulthood.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching.

 Yes, it will be a slow stitching day for me! I have a 3 hour timeframe to sit at a Gold Awards workshop with Emily, so you can bet I will be stitching. I did a little prep work yesterday. I had to recut and mark some parts for hand stitching after I swapped the colors and stitched them up a few days ago! Mistakes do happen.

I'll be working on stitching the correct triangle in a square units (with the white triangles not red like I did a few days ago!). Those will be added to the flying geese I stitched last night.

They go in the middle sections.

Might this 4th and final Harmony block get completed today? We will see.
Just in case, I finally prepped one of the string of beads blocks with my consistent green and red for February in the RSC. I am debating if I do a green in the middle one or not. We will see. For this month, there will be 2 reds done I think.

I had posed a question on Facebook - the Celebrate Hand Quilting page yesterday. I have had my cat and mouse on the frame for hand quilting for a couple of years. I tend to use the hoop more than the frame right now, so I had asked about basting the rest on the frame (I really only did the bottom 2 borders and started on the mouse border for hand quitling) and taking it off to work on in the hoop in the living room. They assured me it should work, so my plan is to work on that this week and get that one off the frame and start working on it.

Linking up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Back to square 1


Wednesday night I cut out the needed parts for the rest of the last Harmony block. I hand stitched these 8 blocks and then pulled the directions to put them together. Attach at the big white triangles. Oops! I switched the fabrics. The red was to be the outer part and white in the middle. Back to the drawing board, or cutting board if you will. At least the flying geese are fine, but these will need to be cut and marked for sewing. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

2024 Table Scrap Challenge.

 Joy is hosting the Table Scrap Challenge again and is spicing things up with a theme this year. January is snowflakes....and the RSC color is Green. An interesting combination. 

I just happen to have some fabric with snowflakes on a green background. How lucky is that?

I was playing with my tri recs rulers last night to prep the last parts for Harmony... and I decided to use them with this fabric. I made 4... thinking I would make them into a star. Then got thinking and remembered some trees I had seen. Hmmmm.  I had just enough of the green to make the middle tree in reverse colors. A quick grab of the brown from that scrap bucket and a set of 5 trees were soon stitched and placed together. I decided it needed to be a little bigger, so I added a 2.5 strip all around it in white. 

I picked up the pile of batting from the floor (shhh. yes, my studio is a mess!) and tossed the little bits and zig zagged these two bits together to made the size I needed.

I did just some outline stitching with my walking foot around the trees and outlined the outer area around the trees. Would you believe, I pulled this fun snowmen with snowflakes out of that mystery box I got for myself for my birthday back in November 2022! How perfect is that? I can use the trees in December for Christmas, then turn it over for the snowmen in January for decoration! 

I do love these snowmen!

So, for the challenge I managed to find some snowflakes, green and used some scrappy batting to make this cute little topper. It finishes at 10x25.
Linking up with the RSC on Saturday and the Table Scrap Challenge on Friday.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Harmony - block 4

 I have been doing a little stitching this week. I have the four corners all stitched. I need to cut and prep the flying geese and triangle in a squares for the middle sections. I should be able to do that later today. 

No riding tomorrow as I managed to tweak my back and pulled a muscle. Good news, I was able to sleep fine last night and today it is not bad, but I'll baby it for a bit. Seems if you bend and reach across your body to grab something from the floor, you can pull a muscle in your back and ouch! I might have done it twice within 2 hours. The first time was not bad, the second I really felt for a while. I guess the hexagon quilt will not get pinned tomorrow, that would be too much bending and stretching. I should be able to play with the machine though! I need to work on my table scrap challenge project - green and snowflakes. It should be fun!

Sunday, January 21, 2024


Last Sunday's stitching got these into a top. I was planning a small yellow border then my black butterfly one, but I thought it was too bright. I went with a 2 inch light/bright blue instead. It will finish at 1.5 inches and then I'll add a 5.5 inch of the butterfly fabric around the outside today. I'd love to get it pinned for machine quilting, but I doubt that will happen today. Progress at least! I believe it will finish at 85x 97. 

I love this butterfly fabric I found. I think it will be the perfect border. Yes, Bear was helping to hold down the quilt. He is really waiting on a walk.

I did get some surgery stitching in this morning with a dog snout through the kitty door looking into my sewing room to view the process. Bear's pickle, snowman and gingerbread cookie are all restitched from their gaping wounds from the tugging game with Aidan or ripping to get to the stuffing. They each got a beat down as soon as they were fixed. I think he is happy everyone is now in the rotation to play rather than being on top of the tv hutch waiting for surgery. The snowman and gingerbread were $5 finds right before Christmas. 

He has been snuggled in with either Greg or Emily this week in the evenings, so I shut their doors and let the cats explore the house. That lead to 2 kitties on me in the recliner. They were happy.

I pulled the parts for the 4th Harmony block. I cut and prepped the twisted triangle -the cream one - and got that stitched up this week. I started assembly but need to make one more of the 'house' units since it is hiding really well somewhere in the sewing space. I have the fabrics, so it is easier to cut and piece it at this point.

I plan to cut out some orange peels today for the String of Beads blocks I'll be working on this year. I got the background and it was a long decision on what consistent green I wanted. I had originally pulled a sage green, but then wandering around I saw this darker hunter green. I held both bolts along rows of various colors and decided the darker hunter green will make the selected colors pop more. We will see how it turns out! For a 60x60 wall hanging, I'll need 25 blocks. The inner 4 peels will be colors other than green. The green will be the outer 4 peels.

linking up with Slow Sunday Stitchers and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I did get the 3rd Arkansas Traveller block completed for the month of green. I wonder what color February will be?

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Thursday update

 I spent much too much time working on my day off today. I did get my walk with the dog, my riding lesson and was able to pull Aidan from school for his orthodontist appointment. Not a bit of sewing or prepping yet today.  I'll add a few stitches into Harmony after I finish this post.

I decided I needed help coming up with recipes for meals this year, so everyone gets a week to come up with a few meal ideas. Some went with tried and true and some went with new things. 

Greg had his Birthday week which was back on the 11th. He mentioned tacos and my Mom's spaghetti meat sauce. I added meatloaf one night that week as well. A leftover night and a take out from Pig and Cattle (birthday boy choice).  I had gotten a roaster chicken Saturday at Sams that week after picking up a kid from volunteering at a robotics tournament. It was dinner that night and chicken chili the next night. There were no leftovers of the chili! I guess they liked it on a cool night. The corn bread disappeared as well!

This week was Emily's ideas. Aidan had picked out pork chops at Sams, so I have 3 meals of them sealed in the freezer and some were cooked Monday night with garlic mashed potato and peas. Tuesday was Emily's selection of Pepper Steak, which I had peppers that needed using. It was good and added to the rotation. I had gone to the Farmers Market Saturday and got some eggplant and brussels sprouts. I had brussels sprouts and bacon one day for lunch. Wednesday, I did an eggplant parmesan for dinner and Em and Greg made pasta and finished off the spaghetti sauce. Tonight, Aidan was a big help cooking while I prepped Emily's second recipe of the week - Japanese Chicken Curry. Who knew they did curry in Japan? I read up a bit on it and it turns out it is a common meal there! We even had the curry roux in the international aisle at the store! It took a good hour to make it and we had it with the recommended rice. We all agreed it was really good and we should make it again. Aidan didn't like the carrots in it, but I thought they were really good. There is enough for another meal. It is not spicy at all, more like a savory/slightly sweet stew over rice.  Aidan is looking at recipes from the Georgia/Polish regions. We will see what he comes up with. 

While trimming the skin on bone in chicken thighs for the recipe tonight, I threw those extra parts into the crock pot with some water, onion, carrot, celery and garlic with some frozen parsley stems. A little salt and pepper and thyme and it is in the crock pot for the night on low to make some broth. Some sort of soup will be made this weekend with it as a cold front goes through. I'm thinking potato leek, but we will see. Maybe a Zuppa Toscana? I'll see what I feel like tomorrow or Saturday.

Harmony - I cut and pieced these twisted triangles a couple of nights ago, the only tricky one to piece in this project. I had a set of 4 of the other parts needed, except one of the houses with the triangles at the top. One of those stacks only has 3. I made 4 based on my blog post in 2021, so I have no clue where he is hiding. I'll cut out another one tomorrow to stitch up this weekend. I can begin making the other 3 corners, so I'll work on that tonight. 

Time to stitch!

Monday, January 15, 2024

Flower garden hexagon progress

There was a lot of sewing yesterday! 168 blocks were sewn together into a 72x84 top. I need it a little bigger to fit my bed, so it is shopping I will go to find an outer border. I think it will get a small yellow one, then either black or a black with butterfly's if I can find it and a yellow border when done. All subject to change of course!

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

 Sunday is the day we are encouraged to slow down, take a deep breath and do some slow stitching. I want to thank Kathy for encouraging us every year by hosting this wonderful Slow Sunday Stitching link up

I took the final stitches last night on the third hand pieced Harmony block, from a sew along back in 2021 with Patty Dudek and Kristin Esser. 

This is the first 3 blocks all together. They each finish at 28 inches square. I did find some of the parts for the last block and have them moved to their baggie. I need to cut out some parts that are missing so it will be all set to pick up this week and make some progress. 

A new project for me this year with the RSC (Saturday link up with Angela), is doing some orange peel needle turned applique. I did this quite a few years ago (2015+2016) and made this one that I call hugs and kisses. Needle turned applique and hand quilted. I had a lot of car line time! I could get a few done each day!

 This time I will be doing a block called String of Beads. I saw a quilt of this in green and purples back in the 90's and loved it. I think I will use a consistent green in the outer 4 peels and then the color of the RSC Challenge for the 4 inner peels each month. I'm thinking I want a 60x60 quilt to hang on the wall, so I'll need 25 blocks for a square... or more for a rectangle. My template fits the photo perfectly!

I've been working on getting this one ready for assembly. It was hand pieced (not epp) and hand appliqued down to the black background back in 2014 and 2015. I finished the last block I needed for a 12x14 layout this week and laid it out for machine piecing Saturday. 

So a little machine work and then prep work for the last Harmony block is on my agenda today. Oh, I need to search for a green for those string of beads blocks as well. I have a fabric in mind, but I'm not sure I have enough for the year. Plenty to keep me busy on a 3 day weekend! 

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Rsc 2024

 Sorry about the order and orientation of the photos. At horses with Emily, will fix later!

The third Arkansas Traveler block parts are ready to get stitched this afternoon.

I knew I wanted to do something with orange peels again this year. I've been searching and decided to do string of beads. I saw one of these in green and purple back in the 90s. Time to try one this year. I think I'll have a consistent green around the edges and have the inner 4 match the rsc color of the month. My trusty orange peel template even matches the one for this pattern, so it is meant to be!

The first two AT blocks. I think there will be 3 each month of these. 

I have a pattern for chickens and sheep in my cart at fatquarter shop. Still deciding on which one to do with the rsc.

Linking up with the others this Saturday at the rainbow scrap challenge.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Assembly time!

 I got a little sewing time in on Thursday. 

I was able to mark these 8 flying geese for hand piecing and got them pieced together into their sets of 2 for the final parts needed to assemble the 3rd Harmony block. I also found parts for the 4th Harmony block. I have a little more work to get that one assembled. A few parts are missing, so they need to get cut out and pieced. I was happy to find the majority of the parts and the extra fabric that goes with them. I think this one will get worked on until it is a top at this point.

I also found a black background for the hexagon, and that got stitched down yesterday as well. That means that quilt can get machine stitched together on the long weekend. Turns out the kids and I both have Monday off for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day. 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

More hand work

 This is the Angel trumpet in bloom out back.

The girls - they all come running when I go out back.... or even walk through the living room! They have great vision. 4 of the 5 are laying. Two greens (Poppy and Eggnog), a light brown (the black and white ones - DC is laying) and a dark brown (Buttercup the Rhode Island Red). The other black and white one - Maple, seems to still be having issues with her shells. She is one of the 3 year old ones, so she will just live out her life happy here. They are more like pets after all!

I was laying out the blocks I hand stitched the last couple of days to make the star in the center. Bear needed to help out.... sigh, with dirty feet from a soccer match outside this morning after his walk. Oh well, it will wash out.

I just need to mark the 8 flying geese units I need to stitch up to finish up this block, then I can assemble it. I'll have to go searching for the 4th blocks parts. I am thinking that one was not as far as the rest were, but we will see. Those are hanging around in the sewing area somewhere.

I have horses later today and am waiting to see if work needs some help this morning. If not, I'm going to be playing with the Arkansas Traveller blocks to figure them out. I have 2 patterns in my cart for purchase that might be other RSC blocks this year. I am still thinking on it.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

A stormy day

 The kids will be home today with the storms that will be going through Florida. They cannot run the busses with winds over 40 mph, and the gusts are to be 45-55 mph. We have a wind advisory from 4AM through evening. It appears it is going to be going through with all the rain right when the kids would have been getting out of school, so that is nice. Both are enjoying sleeping in today. Teenagers! 

I got a little hand stitching in last night and got the four corner pieces of Harmony stitched together. I'll be marking the sewing lines on the next parts later today. Always good to have hand work ready to go, just in case we lose power later.

I had made some sugar cookie dough about a week ago and I finally baked them off on Sunday. I was planning to do snowflakes but darned if I could find those cutters in my sewing room. So, I dug out all the cutters - I have a box of Christmas and a box of Fall/Halloween and then have acquired various other ones over the years. I decided to grab a whale and did 2 sheets of those. Then I found a crab and turtle for the second batch of cookies. I hear Emily is tapped to frost them today, but they are pretty good without as well. The recipe is in my recipes tab about half way down the page. I half it when I make it. 

I can see the branches moving on the trees as I look out, so I guess they are correct about it being windy today. I guess I will fill up my drinking bottles with water just in case. We have a well, so no power then no water!

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching in a new year

 A new year is a great time to regroup and start new projects and finish up some old ones. This year I plan to add a little more counted cross stitch and crochet or knitting back into the mix and some needle turned applique. (Orange peels!)

For today, I'm sharing an old project that is a hand piecing quilt block called Harmony. It was a quilt along back in 2021 from Kristin Esser and Patty Dudek. I opted to use some red fabrics and decided to make 4 of the 28 inch blocks. Well, I got one done in 2021 for the final link up to the sew along. I pulled the parts for the second block at the end of last year and got the second block completed. I had some parts of the third block completed and pulled them out this week and made some progress. I stitched the 4 parts in the lower right hand corner together and then added the white rectangle on the left side yesterday. I'll be adding the top HST/rectangle to the top of each block today. I know I have the next parts cut, but they probably need their sewing line drawn and then will be ready for their assembly into the flying geese and triangle in a square units. I added a photo of the completed block so you can see what this will turn into. 

Linking up with the Slow Sunday Stitchers and a big Thank You to Kathy for encouraging us to slow down, breathe and stitch. 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

2024 RSC in green!

 It's hard to believe how long the RSC has been running and yet I still have tons of scraps hanging around! A big thank you to Angela for hosting it all these years and encouraging us to play with our scraps, one color at a time.

I've been in the finishing up mode with 2 finishes this week, Bear Paw and Green Tumblers. It has me selecting my next UFO to work on and it happens to be a RSC one! I made hand pieced (not epp) hexagons back in 2014 I believe. Another year, I basted and appliqued them to a black background. I am one shy of a 12x14 setting. So, this week I found the hexagon template, cut out some green and a yellow center and got the last hexagon stitched so I can finish this quilt! My Thursday car line time had this little guy all done! Now to find some black to cut a 6.5 inch square to applique him down on then I can lay them out and start the assembly. 

I've been inspired by Karens Arkansas Traveller quilt she quilted last year and made my first cuts to make one block in green. I need practice and those seams need some unpicking and fixing. Progress though! This will be one of my RSC blocks this year.

Linking up with the RSC. I'm off to help out at a girl scout cookie rally - where the littles get trained in cookie sales since pre-orders started on Wednesday here in our area. Cookies will arrive the beginning of February! Support your local girl scouts... and if cookies are not your thing, a few dollors donation to the troops (which they can not ask for) are always appreciated to help defray costs for fun troop activities weekly. 

Thursday, January 4, 2024

2nd Finish of 2024!

 Sorry for the dark photo. I was too excited to wait until tomorrow to take this photo and post it. I finished the binding on this Thursday evening. The hand pieced tumblers are 70x75 inches for a nice size quilt.  I cut out these tumblers in June 2018 and hand pieced them together that year. It has been waiting patiently to get quilted. I decided it wanted to get done, so machine quilting it was. I pulled it on Saturday and found a backing and batting. I pinned and quilted it with a squiggle down each line on Sunday and made and attached the binding to the front of the quilt. A few days of hand stitching down the binding and it is happy to be completed. 

I seem to be on a roll, might there be a 3rd finish later this month? We shall see...... 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

First Finish of 2024! Bear Paw is completed!

 When I don't have an animal laying on me, I am able to get a little binding stitching in!

The binding is completed on the Bear Paw. It decided the hand quilting in the HST's was not needed and it is happy as is! 

Started in 2000 with a class at Yankee Pride in Winooski Vermont, waited for hand quilting skills and is finally finished in 2024. Machine pieced; hand quilted. Finished size 35.5x53. It still needs a washing and drying so it might shrink up a bit.

I took Emily to the dentist yesterday. Note to self, bring the drug store glasses for close up to thread a needle or find a good needle threader! Boy, my eye's were feeling their age trying to thread needles! I did get these 4 parts sewn together on the Harmony block #3 though, before I gave up. I have all the parts ready to make these 4 corner units for the block. Then I'll have to stitch the flying geese and triangle in a square units for the middle sections.

Ending the day with heat in the house is a nice feeling! I woke up to a chilly house yesterday. Turns out the thermostat unit died! A service call and a new unit and my feet are much happier today sitting in my office working. I had to dig the wool socks and slippers out yesterday while working!

Stay tuned.... the second binding is about halfway done on the Green Tumbler quilt! I also pulled and counted the black hexagon blocks from the 2014 RSC. Looks like I need to make one more hexagon flower and applique it to the black background to have all the blocks needed for that quilt. When the finishing bug hits, you run with it!

Monday, January 1, 2024

Ravelry Winter 2024 Challenge

 Let's see how the Fall 2023 quarter finished shall we? The goal was to have 3 finishes. 

The reality - 2 finishes, one 28 inch hand pieced block completed and lots of hand quilting added to the bear paw, so a finish is in sight.

The purple hearts and the Civil War Love Letters quilt were finished.

*** Edited with Winter Quarters Finishes - 
#25 - Green Tumblers
#26 - Bear Paw

The list of UFO's - 

 1.) I know I have at least one more cut somewhere to fill that open spot for a 7x6 setting. *** found the parts in a baggie!  These are hand pieced.... and might need a little fixing along the way on some of those middle joins. Just ordered some kona solids for an alternate block for these to become a quilt. From Inklingo lemoyne stars.

 2.) Hexagon flowers on a black background. These are a stack of blocks I hand pieced a few years ago then hand appliqued to the black background a couple years after that!  Not sure if they will become one or two quilts.... I also have the black heaxagons I cut out of the block when I appliqued them on.... those might come out to play this quarter! Unfinished block size is 6.5 inches. Right now with 12x14 setting it will be 72x84. If I add a border - 5 inches all around it would be 82x94. Fit a double bed. 

3.) Midget Applique quilt from Sentimental Stitches. I need to add more flowers and leaves and the vines... and the bottom yellow border. This one is completely hand pieced.

4.) Ella Maria Deacon blocks - make a few more and finish them off into a top. I believe I was making these by hand. Patterns from Sentimental Stitches.

5.) Split Nines - RSC Challenge 2023.

6.) Kites RSC Challenge 2023 Completed 3/18/24.

7.) flying geese leftover from another project 2022 RSC quilt I believe. Well, the triangle of the geese actually!

8.) Midget block collection - I started these in Vermont in 2010! I have a light blue for sashing.

9.) Birds in the Air block collection

10.) Harmony - hand pieced project started March 2021- two 28 inch blocks completed - 2 to go. Progress!

2/5/24 0 it is a top!

11.) Erin's Butterfly - I made the wings in 2021.  Need to add one more set of wings... thinking 9 is a nice number?

12.) Full Stop Sew along.... 2021 . Re thinking this one - might eliminate some of the white space and make a few more of some.....???? Or add some Alphabet or numbers to the mix?

13.) mostly cut out and some 9 patches are made. Hehe... from the first quilting book I had and made a quilt from. Introduction to Quilting 101 - the basics by Sharon Hultgren. I think this was Sunrise Surprise! The four patch from this book is at my Mom's hanging over a crib still!

14.) I forgot I had this. It is a cute birdhouse wall hanging but is foundation pieced, which I dislike. Maybe I can deal with it enough to get this done? Or rework it?

15,) This is a kit I purchased mid-90s - butterfly's. I think all the parts are there and I did start arranging them.

16.) Quilters Patch. A sew along that I completely did not meet my goals on in 2022. One block is done.

17.) Scrappy Flowering Snowball - I started cutting these with my accuquilt from scraps with the color of the month in 2020. I think it is time to start stitching them together. I see I need some orange added and purple and lots of lights!


18.) Bittersweet Briar - pattern in Kim Deihl's book and kit of fabric.

19) Brimfield Awakening EPP. I did start this and have the first fabric thread basted in purple!

20.) Bonnie Hunter Mystery - On Ringo Lake - maybe step #2?

21) Bonnie Hunter Mystery - Grassy Creek (2020) Think I am on step #4.

22.) 30's log cabin tulip quilt.

Quilt Tops: 
23) Cat and mouse is on the frame in process of hand quilting but has been sadly neglected.

24) Vermont Quilt Festival Booth Hop from either 2008 or 2009.  it is 71x71.

****25.) Green Tumblers - a hand pieced top.  A surprise pull on December 31,2023 for pressing, pinning and machine quilting! Binding is attached to the front and waiting on hand stitching down. This quilt is about 70x75.  Finished 1/4/2024!

****26.) Baby Bear Paw quilt top. Made back from a class in 1999 I think from Yankee Pride.  Hand quilting started 9/27/22. Nearly done - just need to quilt the hst border and bind it. Finished Jan 2,2024!

27.) Trip around the World - 2 inches hand pieced. 60x60.

28.) Y2K Joann's BOM - quilt top

29.) 1857 Quilt Along Top

30.) Spring Hexagons - not sure if this wants to be bigger or not.... 

31.) Triple Irish Chain - green. 80x80 I think. I did find both fabrics extra with it... Might need a green or cream border first or both... Made in the early 2000's. circular feathers in open spaces.

32.) Christmas Cactus Wreath.