Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2013 NewFO Challenge for July

Whew!!!  I just realized today is the last day in July, and what with all the drama traveling in my life this month, I almost missed starting a new project for Barbara's NewFO Challenge over at one of my favorite blogs, Cat Patches!  Talk about sliding in under the wire!!!

So what did I decide to start?  I wanted something FUN and fairly easy, and I also wanted to keep in line with my new direction of making quilts to add some colorful wall decor in my guest rooms.

 I bought this wonderfully whimsical pattern and a length of the hand-dyed background fabric from Vicki Welsh at her Etsy shop -  Vicki hand dyes some of the most yummy fabrics!  She also blogs HERE showing off her latest creations.  When I saw how she paired her gorgeous fabric up with this design by Deborah Levy, I was a goner!  I hit the "Buy" button before I took my next breath!!!  I'm thinking I'll call this quilt Meow Moon =^..^=  (Edit:  I just thought of the purrfect name!  "Moon Over Meow-mi" - yep, that's it!!!)

Isn't this fabric just mouth-watering GORGEOUS????

I'm so excited about working on this project!  And since it is fairly small, it will be decorating one of those guest room walls pretty soon :*D

In order to get in on the NewFO Challenge for July, I dug all the stuff out of my closet began work on this project first thing this morning!  First the pattern pieces had to be taped together.....the tree was 3 pages and so long I couldn't even get a good picture of it, but aren't these cats just the cutest?!!!!?!!!!

Next I began tracing off the fusible pieces....

All the pieces are now traced off, and I still need to pull the other fabrics I will use.  Will I get any more of this done today?  I'm hoping so!  But I've gotta stop now and take care of a few errands.

Click HERE to go check out all the other new projects started in the 2013 NewFO Challenge Linky Party at Cat Patches!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Finally Putting Needle to Fabric Again!

It was so good to be home this weekend!  Although I did miss my sweet daughter (who still has not passed that @#$%^&$# stone!) and granddaughter, not to mention those cute little balls of fur!  (Click HERE if you missed the Kitten Cuteness Overload post =^..^=)

My Sunday was spent in the sewing room ALL DAY!!!  I cleaned up the clutter which had totally overtaken the room, and then I pulled out my AQUA/TEAL scrap basket.  There was not much there, but I managed to eke out my monthly Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks....

Aqua Fantasia
Hatchett blocks and leftover HST's
Lone Starburst blocks - fabrics picked and foundation papers printed & prepped

After so long away from home, my house was crying out for some attention, so I spent all day Saturday cleaning and rearranging some things in the upstairs bedrooms.  We've decided that our guest rooms look pretty sad - more like hotel rooms, and not very high-end ones at that!  There's a hodge-podge of furniture, and the wall decor is uninspiring, to say the least!  Not what one would expect in the home of a quilter, right?

So in the coming weeks, I will be redirecting my focus toward making these rooms more homey and comfortable.  Not much I can do about the furniture right now, but I can work on focusing the decor around some lovely quilts, both on the beds and the walls.  I have a variety of quilts that I use on these beds, but Moonglow is the one I want for the larger, queen-size bed.....

However, this top still needs to be quilted, so that will move up on my priority list :*)  Thanks to my friend Joanne, I sandwiched and basted this quilt on her longarm (see that post HERE), so it is ready to quilt and hopefully will get some love and attention soon!

First in the line of priorities however is our littlest granddaughter's baby quilt, and I hope to have pictures to share on next week's Design Wall Monday.

What's on your Design Wall?  
See what others have going on at Judy's Patchwork Times!
I'm also linking up with the always-fun Freemotion by the River Linky Party!

Hugs & Blessings!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kitten Cuteness Overload!

If you don't like kittens, then this post is definitely not for you!  On the other hand, if you think kittens are just about the cutest thing God ever created, then hold on to your hat 'cause I've got a lot of "Kitten Cuteness Overload" pictures to show you!!!  I spent the past few days with my daughter, who STILL has not passed that dratted kidney stone!  On Wednesday, the doc removed the stent and told her he thought it would come through within 24 hours.  Not!  But we're hopeful it will be soon, as this is her third week of pain and dealing with this.  Luckily, we had the new baby KITTENS to distract us from all the drama of the kidney stone :*D

At the end of the post, I will show you my progress on my Cloud Illusions shawl, but really, how can that compare to KITTENS?????

NATASHA (the sweetest of the sweet!)

LOKI (Emma has him spoiled rotten already!)

HULK AND THOR (two big boy twins who love to play!)
Can you tell my daughter and granddaughter are HUGE fans of the Avenger movies?  Yep, every kitten has an Avenger name LOL!!!  That's some big names to grow into :*)  But Hulk and Thor are definitely doing their best.  They love to rough and tumble and play!  They are big boys!

You can see how tiny they are by the size of this one next to my hand!

Did I mention how sweet Natasha is?

Who can resist watching kittens play?

And I love how they all fall asleep together suddenly, as if a bell rings to tell them "Time Out!"
They all kind of fall down in a pile and sleep however they fall :*D

How do they manage to fall asleep in these positions???

There were kittens everywhere you looked!
We had to be so careful to watch where we were sitting and walking!

Mama Addie is doing a really fine job for her first (and last!) litter!
She's such a sweetheart!!!

While my daughter and the kittens were sleeping, I managed to get quite a lot done on my Cloud Illusions shawl!  I finished the beginning section - the Garter Stitch Body, and have completed 17 rows of the lace section.

I stopped by the Knaughty Knitter on my way out of town to compare the size of mine with the shop sample (you can see the sample in a previous post by clicking HERE).  Meredith knitted hers using a cotton yarn and following the small size pattern, but my yarn is more of a lace yarn which makes it work up much smaller than her sample, so I wasn't sure whether to stop at the small version like she did or go on with the extended size.  After comparing the two, I decided to go for the larger size in order to get it closer to the size I liked.  Fortunately, I had purchased two skeins of this gorgeous yarn just in case, because she didn't have any more.

So far, I think the lace pattern is working out well....this is really fun seeing the design come to life!!!

You can see other yarn projects over at Judy's Patchwork Times today.

I'm looking forward to some quality time at home!  I need to get my sewing studio back into some reasonable kind of order and get back to work on some of my priority quilt projects.  There is a certain little granddaughter who is already 4 months old and still doesn't have her baby quilt!  Bad Grandma!!!!

Genevieve Rose
And we have another on the way, due the day after Christmas!  They have decided to be surprised when the baby is born, so their baby quilt will have to wait until it is here.  Whew - a little breathing room :*)

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

TVQA Assembly Day 2013

Yesterday was Assembly Day for all the guilds who are under the auspices of the Tennessee Valley Guild Association (TVQA).  When I first started quilting and heard my new friends talk about "assembly day," I thought they meant a day when all the guilds got together and worked on "assembling" quilts - sandwiching and quilting them, kind of like the old-time quilting bees.  However, I quickly learned that nothing could be further from the truth!  TVQA Assembly Day usually boasts a national speaker, some wonderful local vendors for shopping, a program put on by the host Guild, and lots of fun seeing old quilting friends and making new ones!

The Material Girls Guild in Winchester TN took charge of the event this year, and they did a fine job of delivering a marvelous day for everyone!!!

Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts fame was the Keynote Speaker, and as expected she charmed us all with that engaging accent of hers, not to mention her gorgeous quilts, amazing talent and wonderful storytelling style!  There were many ooooh's and aaaaah's as her husband, Michael, unfolded quilt after quilt while she told her stories and helped us all remember the "Reasons for Quilting."

Some of you may remember that Edyta visited our Music City Guild a few years back, giving a lecture and teaching some great classes.  You can read my review and see a nice parade of her quilts in THIS POST if you are interested.

Most of my pictures turned out too light, but here is a fairly passable shot of my favorite quilt out of the ones she showed us....

Those blues and golds just shone up there on stage!!!  
I believe the name of this pattern is Maryam.

Throughout the day, these two ladies from Material Girls Guild - who informed us they are very close cousins to Miss Minnie Pearl - entertained us with the program, telling jokes and giving away some really great door prizes.  At least, I think they were great - I didn't win one, so I can't speak from experience you understand.  No sour grapes there, of course :*D

One of my favorite things about this year's Assembly Day is that I finally got to meet my good friend, Denise, who blogs over at Count it*all*Joy!

Me and Denise!!!
I was thrilled to learn that Denise was planning to come up from Alabama and join in the festivities!  I'm sure many of you know her from her blog, and you know just how sweet she is!  I just can't tell you what a pleasure it was to meet her and spend time together!  We have already planned another girlfriend day in the near future - lunch and shopping in Franklin TN! =^..^=

I had really hoped to avoid buying too much at the vendors this year.  I mean, really, how much fabric does one person really need?  Well, apparently, I have not yet reached my limit, because I did my fair share toward keeping the local quilt shops in business :*D

So, without further ado, I show you my Stash Enhancements ....

Replenishing those black-and-whites!
My black-on-whites took a deep hit from Easy Street this year.

Some fun modern-style geometrics - YUM!
(Did you notice the same design in white-on-black above?)

And Edyta's Over the Rainbow batiks!!!
Now really, how could any sane person expect me to pass up these color-drenched batiks???

If you love eye candy, and I know you do, you can see more stash enhancements over at Patchwork Times!

Now I have to get busy and wash these fabrics up so they can go into the sewing studio.  I saw an interesting article yesterday on Fox News Health that addresses the potentially negative effects of the chemicals in fabrics on our thyroid health, which is right in line with what the natural health practitioner told me last month about the effect of chemicals on my own health.  As I said in THIS POST, we've pretty much identified the chemicals in fabric as one of the biggest culprits to my health issues.  Click HERE to read that article if you are interested.

I hope you all have a lovely, restful Sunday, and an amazing week!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Knit and A Prayer????

No, I haven't given up quilting for knitting!  Although, it kind of seems like that lately, doesn't it? :*)

I have been quite the vagabond lately, on the road practically the entire past month, and so no quilting has been done.  However, for my wonderful quilting followers, I thought I would show you one really great quilt picture, just so you don't go into withdrawal and stop following me!  =^..^=

Amish Beauties - border treatment in planning stages

No, I haven't sewn a stitch on this quilt!  But it is the next project I intend to finish.... after.....
1.  Genevieve's baby quilt
2.  Mom's new table topper
3.  My Hexie Queen blog hop project
.............. and a few other things that need to be finished up and put away.

My Ivory Tower is a wreck!!!  Stuff everywhere, pretty much as I left it a month ago when I was preparing for those 4 classes at Spring Seminar (see post HERE if you are interested in that little side story).

I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the prayers and support you all have given me since my last post regarding my daughter!  I traveled back to Savannah last Friday to be with her and help as best I could while she tried to pass this kidney stone.  I certainly won't go into the details of that, except to say that after a week in pain and her body beginning to bloat to twice her normal size, and NO passed stone, we took her to the ER in Jackson on Saturday where they have a urologist on staff, and they admitted her for the night.  He decided that the stone was borderline in size for her to pass it, and put a stent in on Sunday morning to stretch the passage to help it go through.  During the procedure he saw that the stone had completely blocked her left kidney.  It was a good thing we acted when we did!  She is now almost back to normal size, thank the Lord!  I will go back the end of next week to be with her when she goes to have the stent removed and hopefully this monster stone will pass on away!

The one thing I have been able to work on during all these travels is knitting!  It is so transportable!!!  I really have enjoyed adding knitting to my crafty schedule - it is so soothing and relaxing in the evening while I watch my taped shows.  (Have you discovered "Call the Midwife" on PBS? What a great show!!!)  And I honestly don't know what I would have done with a knitting project to keep my fingers and mind busy during this past month.

I showed you in my last post that I had gotten quite a lot done on my Sugar and Cream Cowl while traveling to NC to visit with family.  Well, all the time spent this past week in ER waiting rooms and at the hospital has produced an almost complete cowl!

Love all those delicious cables!!!  All I need to do to finish this up is the 1" ribbing on the upper edge.  Woohoo!  I really love the soft feel of this yarn, and I can't wait to wear it this winter!  I have found that in recent years, my neck is the thing that really needs covering in cold weather, so this warm little cowl will keep me very cozy and be so decorative at the same time - WIN!!!

I had planned for my next project to be Dreambird, but since I can't start that one yet (waiting on the KAL!), I think I will start Cloud Illusions ....

knitted by mshoneybee - picture courtesy of Ravelry
This is a shawl that Joanne and I saw in the Knaughty Knitter in Murfreesboro.  The shawl knitted by Meredith at the shop looked like this....

You know those aquas caught my eye!!!
I originally bought a bright multi-color cotton yarn to work this up - you know me and bright colors!  But Joanne wisely chose a nice blend of variegated neutrals, and the more I thought about it, the more I decided I also wanted something that would read more solid and be more versatile.  This is my final choice...

I just love the mix of purples and aquas in this lovely yarn!!!!  It is an extra fine merino fingering wool made in Italy - oh so soft - and I can't wait to get my knitty little hands on it!!!!  This project will take quite a while to complete I am sure, especially with all that lace work, but I don't mind that.  It will be my "grab and go" project for the foreseeable future :*D

What do you have on your needles?  
Please share it with everyone over at Judy's Patchwork Times!!!
I'm also linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday over at Better Off Thread
and Connie's Linky Party over at Freemotion by the River :*)

I also want to make sure you all know about the Giveaway going on over at Jacquelynne Steves blog !!!  She is giving away this HUGE prize package with lots of wonderful quilty things ....

....... so GO HERE NOW!!!  This Giveaway ends Sunday, so don't hesitate :*)

Hugs & Blessings!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

On the Needles ... and on the road again!

What a wonderful visit we had with our family in North Carolina this past week!  I really enjoy the trips where I don't have to drive :*) While hubby drove for 8+ hours there, and then another 8+ back, I knitted... sometimes with Gypsy on my lap!  She loves to look out the window, especially when we are in the mountains - they fascinate her.

I finished up two dishcloths for my DIL who fell in love with the one I gave her during my last visit.

She said she uses it, then washes it really quick so she can use it again! I was happy to know I was giving her something she really likes and can use :*)

I also got quite a lot done on my Sugar and Cream Cowl. (Click on the name to see it or find the pattern on Ravelry) This is a fun project! It has been years since I worked a cable stitch, and there are eight each front and back cables on this cowl, so I had a ball playing with cables! I still have quite a ways to go, and I'm enjoying every stitch :*)  This is the yarn I'm using...

I realized the other day that it is the same yarn I used for the Hisbuscus socks :*)  It has a nice soft feel, as well as a denseness that I like.  I think it will make a lovely soft cowl.

Go to this link to see this shawl made by Bienenfresser

Next week is the Dreambird KAL at the Knaughty Knitter in Murfreesboro, and I'm really looking forward to going with a couple of my friends! You can find this pattern on Ravelry by clicking HERE if you are interested in making one yourself, perhaps in the KAL that will be going on in August with Judy and Denise. They both have information on the KAL in the sidbars of their blogs - you can go there by clicking on their names.

There is one possible cloud on the horizon, though, that might keep me from getting to take part in this KAL. My daughter in Savannah TN has been pretty sick the last few days, and they are telling her she needs to see a specialist for a kidney stone - the size of a lima bean!  YIKES!!!  I am traveling back to her house tomorrow (Friday) to see how she is doing with my own eyes and to help her make some decisions. Hopefully I will be able to come home early in the week but we will have to see how things go with her.

Are you working on a fun yarn project? 
If so, please share it at Judy's Patchwork Times

Hugs & Blessings 

Friday, July 5, 2013

On the Needles - 7/5/13

I hope everyone had a safe and joyous 4th of July!!!  We are enjoying spending lots of quality time with our children and grandchildren this week.  And in the spirit of the season, I finished up my bright RED socks!!!  With a white t-shirt and blue jeans, I was well prepared for celebrating the 4th!  Well, at least I would have been if it had been cold enough to wear socks LOL!!!

These are  my second finished pair of socks.  They were done with Hibiscus Serenity Sock yarn, and I used the Toe-up, Two at a Time, Magic Loop method.  My only complaint is that they are a tad large on me.  I'm hoping they draw up a little when I wash them.  But they are really soft and comfortable - I'm going to enjoy wearing them this winter :*D
More pictures of my new socks ... (you can see how they are a little baggy around the heel on this picture)

Isn't it funny how they look like three different colors in each of these pictures?   The true colors are closer to the bottom picture.  I learned quite a few new techniques doing this project - stitch wrapping and the special magic cast on, for instance.
Now that this pair of socks is done, I'm thinking I'll take a little break from socks and work on a couple of other yarn projects.  I'm really excited about doing Dreambird, and today I went with a friend to visit the Knaughty Knitter in Murfreesboro - my very first visit to a knit shop ever!  It was amazing!  So many wonderful yarns and in every possible color!  Reminded me very much of my first trip to a quilt shop LOL!!!
Here is a picture of a Dreambird shawl - not mine of course!!! But you can get the idea of what it looks like...

And here are the yarns I chose for my Dreambird....

The yarn on the left is solid black Heritage fingering yarn and there is a lot of it there, perhaps about twice as much as the fancy Noro skein on the right.  The Noro is a rougher texture yarn, also a fingering weight.  It has the nice long color changes that are needed for this pattern.  As you can see from the picture below, there are lots of these color variations - I'm hoping to get some lovely feather colors for my Dreambird with this!

The Knaughty Knitter is hosting a Knit Along (KAL) on the 16th for anyone working on Dreambird, so I plan to go with some friends and take part in that.  I had planned to make this shawl during the KAL with Justquiltin and Patchwork Times, but I've decided it will be a good idea for me to go ahead and start it with this local knit shop and have the opportunity to get assistance face-to-face if needed.  Perhaps I'll get good enough that I could start a second one with Judy & Denise!
In the meantime, while I'm waiting for the KAL, I'm going to start my Cream and Sugar Cowl.  Mine will be all black, which will mean I can wear it with anything...

Picture taken from Ravelry website - Cowl made by nevernotknitting

If you have something taking shape on your needles, be sure to share it with us at Judy's Patchwork Times!

Hugs & Blessings!



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