Friday, November 21, 2014

Hootie Races to the Finish Line!

My poor little Hootie quilt has been quite neglected lately -

Hootie?  Are you a little stressed there, sweetheart?????

As most of you know, Hootie is one of my 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, sponsored by Angela at SoScrappy blog.

I've made one cute little owl block each month, using fabrics in the color Angela announced at the first of each month.  Last month was dark neutrals (blacks/browns/grays), and this month is light blue - none of which worked for this project - so I've been taking a little break from it in order to concentrate on some much needed planning and pattern writing for upcoming classes.

But this past week I was able to clear my schedule a little and got back on track with these fun little guys!  As I shared earlier HERE, I was very unhappy with the mushy look to Red Hootie, and decided to change out his feathers.  Here is the new, improved version....

Yes!  I'm much happier, and I think Red Hootie is too :*)

Then, as I was on a roll, I quickly pulled fabrics and dressed Orange Hootie in his feathers too....

Isn't he just simply adorbs????  
(Is that even a word?  If not, it should be!)
I just LOVE that wings fabric!!!

I've also begun stitching down the applique - FINALLY.....

I have to wait on the bottom layers because the little feet need to be added in under there when I get the limb applied for them to sit on.  And I'll do all the eyes and noses together so I don't have to keep changing threads :)

I gave quite a lot of thought about the color for the ninth Hootie.  Gray was just too boring with all the other colors.  Browns didn't work for me either.  Some suggested emerald green, but I didn't have enough of those fabrics to make one that I liked.

And then finally it hit me!!!  What if I made the last one ............ But no, I'm afraid you're going to have to wait to see the finish!  Oh, I know - I'm SO MEAN!!!!  At least I gave you a hint in the first picture, right?  Believe me, it will be worth the wait :*)

As I've shared before in the early stages of this quilt, the Hootie block is a design by Shayla Wolf of Sassafras Lane Designs - one of my favorite designers!!!  She designed this block for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks #7, and I was lucky enough to win her giveaway copy of the magazine that year!  (See her block for this year HERE)

I'm delighted to share that I won a copy of this year's Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks #10 from Teresa at Fabric Therapy!  You'll want to be sure to go over and see Teresa's block - she does some amazing things with applique and hearts :*)

Thanks so much Teresa!!!  I am absolutely thrilled to win and can't wait to drool over all the wonderful blocks inside!  This is one magazine I never miss - 100 great blocks in each issue and each one is an original, designed by some of the most creative quilters in the business today!  

Quiltmaker is hosting a Blog Party with lots of giveaways RIGHT NOW!  You could win your very own copy of this super magazine, plus a lot of other prizes too :)  Go check it out now at Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasures Blog!

Hugs & Blessings!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On the Needles - November 21, 2014

I hope your needles have been more productive than mine this week!

I hit a little glitch in the making of the Hedgehog Mittens....

A little large, wouldn't you say?  LOL!!!

Oh well, I guess I'll be starting this one all over!  These little quills are the dickens to stitch though .....

..... so I hate to just rip them out, but it appears I'm going to have to.  I'll be seeing my granddaughter next week, so I'll measure her hand and figure out how many stitches I need to take out in order to make my next effort fit her :)  No way they'll be done for Christmas, but hopefully before the end of winter.

The Haus of Yarn bus came to Lebanon last weekend, and I couldn't wait to wear my Diagonal Cowl to show Meg!

Of course she loved it!  And she told me that the pattern for this cowl is in Ravelry HERE.  It is called the Ombre Infinity, designed by Cynthia Parker.  I guess I'll have to start calling it by this more sophisticated name, huh?

I couldn't resist looking to see if she still had some of the Wonderland Yarns Mad Hatter kits.  To my dismay, I saw that these are almost gone!  So although I had not planned to buy anything, I decided to pick up a couple of the kits before they disappear for good.  I love making this cowl and these kits make it so easy!

The aquas and purples on the left are SO ME!!!  And I just couldn't put down the beachy colors on the right - perfect for spring, right?

I started this one right away -

......these luscious greens will be so pretty on our daughter, Renee :)

This cowl is so easy, it is the perfect "go with" project when you have errands to run.

As you can see, I enjoyed some quality stitching time while waiting for my car to have it's oil changed and tires rotated :)

I've had a few requests for more of the cotton dishcloths, so I've started whipping up a few of those as well......

All in all, I've been knitting, but not accomplishing a whole lot!  What about you?  What's on your needles?  Check out all the "needle-y" fun going on at Judy's Patchwork Times today!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Little Stitching Here and There....

It's amazing the things we learn about ourselves as we "mature" - for lack of a better word!  For instance, I've learned that I have to give myself incentives in order to put down something I'm passionate about (Patchwork of the Crosses) in order to buckle down and finish up something else (Bertie's Year).

I was FIVE behind on these BOM blocks ... clearly, drastic measures were called for!  

My POTC fabrics have been calling my name in vain these past two weeks, because I've committed to finishing up these five Bertie blocks first.  And guess what?  I'm making great progress on getting them done!

Last week, I showed you the October and November blocks as I finished them up....

This week, I finished up July Bertie and added it to the growing pile for sandwiching and quilting.  That Bertie is rather sassy, isn't she?  She just spits out those seeds any where!  I think she may be just a teensy bit tipsy on blueberry wine LOL!!!

And then I got all the basic stitching done on September - this one is ready for it's half-square triangle border and then the final embroidery around the border.

I just couldn't wait to start on that sweet little squirrel!!!  
I'm so glad Bertie has nice friends, aren't you?

All of her forest friends are so friendly and love to share with her!  Maybe that is because she is friendly and likes to share .... we learn so much from the animal world if we just take the time to observe them, don't we?

I started on the August block last night and got all of the green leaves & stems done ....

All that's left is the pear stem, Bertie's eye and feet, and then some white polka dots in her kerchief.  I'm hoping to finish it up today so I can piece these last two borders tomorrow.  This was the LAST Bertie in my box!!!

Ahhhhhhh - it's so nice to have an empty project box!!!!  

It won't be empty long, however.  I got the notice a few days ago that December Bertie has shipped and is on its way to me.  The plan is to be all caught up when it gets here so I can finish it up this month.  I don't know that I have EVER actually finished up a year-long BOM in an actual year - wow!!!

I've also unearthed my poor little neglected Hootie owls and got busy working on finishing them up....

I'm thinking the last two owls will be orange and gray... (or maybe light brown?) ... what do you think?  The brown fabric on the left is my best stash fabric for the tree and limbs.  If I still like it when the Hooties are done, it can stay :)  However, the Red Hootie is going to need major surgery....

As I shared back when I made this one, I'm really unhappy with my fabric choices.  All the fabrics just mush together.  This is my definition of a hot mess, so, it will be getting a much-needed makeover this week !!!!

I've got a lot on the calendar this coming week, but most of it is fun quilty stuff.
I hope you are planning lots of fun time with your favorite quilt projects!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts.....
Be sure to go over and read her post today about
quilting and the perils of multi-tasking!

Slow Sunday Stitching

Patchwork Times - Design Wall Monday
Patchwork Times
Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Scrapping and Stitching!

Sunday is the day I always enjoy sitting and stitching with my friends over at Kathy's Quilts.....

And today I'm still working on finishing up my Bertie's Year blocks.  Above is the November block - all ready for sandwiching and quilting.  And October is done too.....

I have to say, I'm not as happy with this one.  It just seems dull to me.  I looked at maybe using the orange fabrics for the border, but that was too much.  And with 3 more still waiting for their embroidery and embellishments, this one will just have to stay the way it is!

I'm currently working on the embellishments for July Bertie.....

All the stitching is done except for Bertie's claws in gold.  The seeds and fly stitch on the watermelon were a lot of fun!  If you look closely, you will see that I had already done a decorative fly stitch by machine, not realizing that the pattern would call for that in off-white by hand later.  After the hand work is done, I'll pull out that green machine stitching.  (And then again, maybe I won't *vbg*)

I also did a little touch up work on the berries.  The sample picture shows pretty blueberries in a nice blue-purple color......  you can see the original looks like actual wools, not flannels :)

Original sample quilt by Bonnie Sullivan

But the flannel they sent with the kit is a blah gray.  I really didn't want to have to take them off, find another fabric, trace ..... right - all that nonsense!  Then, last night I spied my colored pencils on my desk - the pencils I paid a fortune for last year because the teacher in one of my classes at Quiltfest required that we bring this exact brand of pencil, and we NEVER TOUCHED THEM! - yes, those pencils :)  And I thought, why not color them a brighter color?

I think it worked just fine!  You can see in the picture on the right where I had begun to color them, first with a bright blue, then a purple over that.  The bottom left berry just has the blue and is waiting for the purple top coat :)

I hope to get the hst borders on this one today, and that will leave only these two for me to embellish.

If I work quickly, I  may even get them done before I receive the last December kit!  Of course, they all still need to be sandwiched and quilted, but that really doesn't take very long.  One day ought to do it :)

I've also done some machine sewing!  I've joined in on the Scraptastic Tuesday fun with Nicky at Mrs. Sew and Sow and Leann at She Can Quilt  - here are the two blocks I made the other day out of my RED crumb jar....

Aren't they cute???

You can read HERE about my determination to empty out my crumb jars.  Since I've discovered that no project ever gets done unless I actually start the process of working on it, I thought it a good idea to pull out one of the jars and get to it .... amazing how that works, isn't it?  LOL!!!  

So I dumped out some crumbs....

..... and began haphazardly sewing a few pieces together - working two blocks at a time so I could chain piece of course :)

And before I knew it, I had sections big enough to trim down to a uniform 6-1/2 inches!

Wow - this was really, really fun!  So freeing!  No worrying about whether the fabrics "matched" or were the "right size" or even about having a perfect 1/4" seam!!!  Just put a couple of pieces together, sew, and repeat.  I loved it!!!

For sure, this will be my Rainbow Scrap Challenge project to use up my crumbs next year!  I may even have to cheat and do a few more before then :)  They are like potato chips, you can't make just one... or two .... or .... well, you get the picture!  Be sure to check out the other projects linked up at Scraptastic Tuesday!  And don't forget the RSC at SoScrappy - November projects are going to be in Baby Blues - and you know I love me some BLUE!!!!

Linking up with:

Scraptastic Tuesday


Hugs & Blessings!

Friday, October 31, 2014

On the Needles - 10/31/14

My needles have been a little quiet lately as I've been focusing on using my TV time for catching up on my Bertie blocks.  However, I have to share what I got in the mail this week.....

Aren't they just darling?????  

This will be a Christmas present for our oldest granddaughter (19 in December - wow time flies!!!).  She loves hedgehogs, so I couldn't resist this pattern when I saw it on Ravelry.  I ordered the pattern, yarn and accessories in a kit from Morehouse.....  Emma is going to love these!  And I think they will be fun to knit as well :)

I've also found time here and there to put a few rows on my current socks - Smooshy Raspberry.....

They're a strange shape at this stage, aren't they?  I just finished the gusset section and ready to start turning the heel.  I really love working heels!

Can you believe these are from the same skein of yarn?  One is definitely lighter than the other.  The sales clerk at my LYS wound the skein into a ball for me when I bought it.  Then when I got home, I split it into two balls by winding the outer thread into a ball until I had two balls that weighed approximately the same.  So basically, one is knit from one end of the skein, while the other is knit from the other end.  It's a good thing I don't mind my socks having personality, right?

And speaking of socks and personality....  How do you like my new shoes???

These are Alegria shoes in the Paloma design.  
Yes, they are wild and crazy - and I love them!!!!   

Michelle told me about these shoes at Red Rooster and said they were the most comfortable shoes she owns.  They are made similar in design to Birkenstocks, which I wear almost exclusively nowadays.  Wonderful arch support and wide toes area.  She said they no longer make this design, so if I wanted a pair I'd better get out there and find them quick.  So I did!  (on eBay)

And the socks are my House of Targaryen socks - love the two together!

So what's on your needles?  
Share with us at Judy's Patchwork Times!!!

Also linking up with Small Things Yarn Along!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Scraptastic Tuesday - Whittling Down the Crumbs!

I've been seeing some GREAT scrap quilt ideas out there in Blogland lately!

As a part of Scraptastic Tuesday, I really want to start emptying out these crumb jars and making something beautiful out of them.  (I know - I've been saying that all year!!!)

Well, it's time to start doing something about it!  Let's see....... I've found some great ideas on Pinterest!  Check out all of the ones I have pinned to my Scrappy Love! board HERE.  What about this GORGEOUS quilt called Shattered Rainbow from My Quilt Infatuation?  Wouldn't something like this be fun???

Quilt by My Quilt Infatuation
Photo courtesy of My Quilt

Or this one - the Omigosh! quilt by Sue Garman - YIKES!!!!

Quilt designed & made by Sue Garman

A few friends have made this quilt and it is gorgeous, but Oh My Gosh - all those tiny little pieces!!!  Several blog buddies are now making it - Kathy's Quilts and Sharon Vrooman to name a few - so I am very very tempted to start one too - it's the perfect leader/ender project to use up all my crumbs... and then some! .....

I also love the idea of a scrappy Chevron quilt..... these quilts are all the rage right now - and I love the idea of no triangles :*)

Photo courtesy of  Dream Patch blog
Free Tutorial for this block on her blog HERE!
It could be done very scrappy, just using all blues for one row, with the background next, then all pinks, etc.  But perhaps this one would be more for the larger scraps?  Hmmmm..... maybe a good idea for next year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

I'm also looking through my books and have found a few that I definitely want to try!  For instance.....  I LOVE this Bowdacious pattern from the Scrap Queen herself, Bonnie Hunter.  The picture here is not great, but I've seen this quilt in person and it positively SPARKLES!!!  Mostly little 4-patches and one-sided snowball blocks.

This is a book by Jan Mullen that I have had for AGES!!!!  I love the idea of making my own fabric out of scraps - can't you just see me making this cute little kitty?  I know you can!!! So can I =^..^=

I was thrilled when I found Gwen Marston's book for $5 in the book sale section at the AQS in Chattanooga!  Gwen makes quilting fun!!!  I really want to try making a few of her funky blocks....

Sew... I think that's enough inspiration to get me started.... what about you?
Come back next week to see if I have actually started any of these LOL!!!  

Join in the Scraptastic Fun over at She Can Quilt and Mrs. Sew and Sow !  
Today is the last day to get in on this month's Linky Party HERE - there are prizes!!!!

Also linking up with Vrooman's Quilts 
for Sharon's wonderful Let's Book It challenge!


Hugs & Blessings!

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