Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back in the Blogging Saddle!

Gentle reminder.... Google Reader shuts down tomorrow!  
If you have been following by GR, I'd love for you to switch over to Bloglovin' so I don't lose you as a valuable follower!!!  Just click on the link on my sidebar to continue following along ♥♥♥

I got home late yesterday afternoon from my "world tour" - aka, visiting a few days with my daughter and then at the TVQA Spring Seminar in Murfreesboro for 3 days :*)  It's always such a delight to spend time with Christy and Emma.  I don't see them nearly enough now that they are three hours away from us in Savannah.  During this trip, I got a special treat ---- Warning!  Serious cute alert coming up ....

Brand new baby kittens!!!!

Adelaide ("Addie") with her newborns =^..^=
 Emma's cat Addie gave birth to these little sweethearts while I was on the road to their house.  Four shiny new faces greeted me upon my arrival!

Sweet little baby face!

Who can resist a newborn baby kitten?  Mama's got a protective paw over this little fellow
Addie is only about a year old herself and this is her first litter, so we were really happy to find that she is an excellent mother and doing a fine job with no help at all.  The proud papa, Harry, is not so sure what is going on, and he's pretty sure he's not happy about it because his playmate is not coming out to play anymore.  So he's finding other ways to keep himself occupied, like playing with my scraps as I was trying to iron them LOL!!!

He's such a ball of energy that it was hard to get a picture that wasn't blurry!
After I left Christy's house, I headed off to Murfreesboro TN and the TVQA Spring Seminar.  I took 4 classes in 3 days, and it was truly a blast!  Actually, I feel a little "blasted" this morning LOL!!!  Pooped and just plain worn out!  But I learned a lot and had so much fun!   I'm sending a shout-out to my friend and great roomie, Lisa!  This was our first time rooming together for anything, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to get to know her better.  She's such a great person and wonderfully easy going!  We got along famously and very quickly came up with a routine that allowed us both to enjoy our stay and each other's company - so lovely!!!

I'll share pictures and adventures from my classes tomorrow for Design Wall Monday.  For today, first up, I just have to share this wonderful fabric sent to me by my wonderful friend, Cheryl who blogs at Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting.

OMG!!!  Cheryl said she saw this fabric and just knew that I would LOVE to have a piece of it because of my love of text fabrics - was she ever RIGHT!!!!  Oh my gosh, I squealed when I opened it!  Not only do I love text fabrics, but I also love crosswords - any kind of word puzzles are special favorites of mine!!!  Cheryl, I can't thank you enough!  This will go in a very special project, something I can look at often and think of you!!!  =^..^=

I also want to share my Slow Stitching Sunday progress and link up at Kathy's Quilts - one of my favorite blogs!  This is a Ta-Da moment for me.....(pardon the wrinkles!)

Yay!!!  I finished the final block for Promises & Borders!!!!
Yes, indeed, my friends, all my whining about these blocks is now officially over!!!  =^..^=

I'll look up my pictures for all of these blocks and try to post them together sometime later this week.  I'm so excited to be done with these stitchery blocks, and I can't wait to trim them down to size, sash and assemble all of these lovely blocks and make them into a wonderfully inspiring quilt!!!

Since I knew I was very close to finishing P&B, I traced off the 3rd block for Winter Wonderland in case I needed another handwork project while I was traveling.....

I also took along my socks, but somehow never got around to working on those.  I understand there was an amazing Knit Shop right around the corner from where I was staying, but I never got a chance to get over there.  I have to find my yarn for the Dreambird Knitalong with Judy and Denise!  (You can go Patchwork Times or Justquiltin with Denise Russart to check that out if you're wondering what I'm talking about.  They both have links to this KAL on their sidebars)  I'm thinking a day trip with my friend Joanne is going to be in order very soon :*D

In closing today, I'll reward you for sticking around to the end by showing you some pictures of stash additions - very little actually - I'm quite proud of myself!!!

First, I found a good-size bottle of Best Press in the Unscented version in Hancocks....

Several of you wondered if the lavender scent in the smaller bottle I was using was bothering my allergies.  That particular scent did not bother me, but then I tried using the peaches and cream scent, and that one did bother me!  It really did a number on my lungs and I began coughing quite a bit.  I also didn't like the hair-spray-type sprayer on those small bottles, so I was happy to find this bigger bottle with the super-duper sprayer and no scent!  Now that I'm home, I'll be continuing my Stash Washing Adventures.  Thank you to so many of you who offered great suggestions and ideas for helping with that - you're the best! - and I will be trying each and every one of them !!!

And now for the Stash Enhancements you've all been waiting for
 - and very patiently too I might add  =^..^=

Pat Sloan had a box of half-yard cuts for $2.50 on her book table, a great price I couldn't resist, especially with some of these lovely colors and prints!

Aren't they wonderful?  Totally irresistible!  Fortunately, I did manage to resist all other fabric offers... unbelievable, I know!  Especially when Hancocks had an entire wall of fabrics in every color and print imaginable for 50% off!!!  I only picked up two pieces of solids in the remnants bin there for peanuts....Yes, I'm good :8)

Be sure to come back tomorrow for some pictures from my classes at Spring Seminar!

I hope you all have a lovely Sunday ♥

Hugs & Blessings!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cleaning up the Stash!

I have had a lot going on this past week, plus dealing with recovering from a sinus infection, so you haven't seen much of me here. I've been very busy though!

Here are my final blocks for the YELLOW Rainbow Scrap Challenge in June...

Hatchett blocks and resulting HST's

On the Needles, my Hibiscus Serenity socks have taken flight!  We traveled to Kentucky yesterday for a family gathering to honor my husband's father on his birthday.  Three hours there, and three hours back, so I took my knitting with me since I can knit in the car without getting carsick - Oh happy day!!!  The socks started out like this at the beginning of the trip....

All the increases were done in preparation for the heels and I had worked one heel.  On the trip, I finished up the second heel and got quite a bit done on the stockinette stitch for the leg on both socks - whoohoo!!!

I'm liking this method of Two-at-a-time, Toe-up, Magic Loop.  I would have made a stupid mistake and shorted the second heel if I had not had the first one on the needles to compare to.  And of course both socks will be the same length without worrying about counting rows or careful measuring.  You can click HERE to see the post where I show the pattern I'm using.

I really like this heel treatment called "Eye of the Partridge"!
I will be traveling all this week too - visiting with my sweet baby girl and granddaughter in Savannah TN for a few days and then in Murfreesboro for the TVQA Spring Seminar, where I am scheduled to take 4 classes in 3 days - I'm tired already just typing that!!!  But I figure I should be finished with these socks by the end of that trip and hopefully will be able to share a finish on next week's On the Needles!

In preparation for my classes, I have had to do quite a bit of unexpected work.  Pre-washing all the fabrics for the classes!!!  Why would I do that, you might ask?  I have been seeing a natural medicine practitioner to figure out some of my health issues, and we have determined that chemicals in my system are playing a huge part in my health woes.  That's really not surprising, is it?  Not in today's world.  But unfortunately, we have pinpointed the most likely culprit as overexposure to the chemicals in fabric.  Yikes!!!!  Since giving up quilting is not an option, I am now faced with having to rid my considerable stash of all those chemicals before I get to play with them :(  This is a lot of work my friends!!!!

I have to admit, I had been kinda wondering if this could be the problem for a while now, but I kept ignoring that warming voice because, well, for one thing, I am lazy!!!  Okay, that's probably the biggest reason :*D  But, the other reason is that I really don't like working with washed fabric that much.  I love the bright colors and sharp look of a crisp new piece of fabric!  I can't ever seem to get it as "sharp" and wrinkle free after washing.

See the wrinkles on the blue fabric on the right?  That's been ironed twice!!!
I'm using Best Press to put some starchiness back into it because it is supposedly chemical free.....

I'm not sure of that because I couldn't find the exact ingredients online, but that's what I'm told.  Not that I believe everything I'm told, but .... anyway.... you get the idea :*)  It helps, but I miss my crisp new fabrics!!!

I've decided on a plan of action.  All new fabrics will be washed before they go into the stash - period.  I plan to wash and dry them, then simply fold and put them on the stash shelves - I'll iron when I'm ready to use it.  Because I HATE ironing!  For my existing stash, I'll take a color at a time and wash them as I have time.  However, with FOUR classes coming up this week, I have a lot of fabric to get chemical free, fast!  One class project uses 30 different fabrics, and another uses mostly scraps - a ton of scraps!

I tried using a mesh lingerie bag to wash the smaller pieces, hoping to eliminate some of those dreaded strings....

..... but as you can see, that didn't work out so well...

These scraps....

Became this mess to untangle!!!

Here are some more pictures of my Washing the Stash Adventure for your viewing pleasure.... =^..^=

Stacks lined up by color family and waiting their turn to be washed....

Stacks of fabric for next week's classes to be ironed - YUK!!!
A huge basket of black scraps to be ironed for one class...
I'm using my Sizzix cutter to cut the strips for the class that calls for 30 fabrics, so all those have to be done before I leave on my trip.  The fabrics for the other classes are washed and will get ironed and cut while I'm at my daughter's house.  

So, I still have a lot of work to do today before I can get on the road.  I will probably not have a chance to blog between now and my return, so I will wish you all a wonderful week, filled with all that you love most!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mixing up the Stars!

I finally did  manage to finish up my YELLOW Lone Starburst yesterday.  And I couldn't wait to start putting some of the pieces together to see what a scrappy version is going to look like.  So on my Design Wall this morning, I give you ......


Whatcha think?
Do you love it?
I think I love it!!!

Of course, this is with only six colors done so far, and there will be six more colors to add to the mix by the end of the year.  I had been wondering if I would rather just keep all the colors together and  make large stars of each color.  But I'm really liking them all mixed up like this.  I suppose I'll make the final decision at the end of the year when all the different colored sections are done.

Here is the final photo of the finished YELLOW block pieces for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week....

These block sections have been so much fun to sew!

Have a great week everyone!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Also linking up with:
What a Hoot - BOMS Away!
Freemotion by the River - Linky Party
I Have to Say - Show and Tell Tuesday
Freshly Pieced - WIP Wednesday

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Easy Like Sunday....

Just a reminder to all my wonderful followers.... if you haven't already, please be sure to go over to the Bloglovin icon on my sidebar and click there to follow!  Google Reader is going away very soon, and I would really hate to lose you ♥♥♥

It's a hot one here in Music City today!  The sun is shining brightly .....

I couldn't resist using the last scrap of my little YELLOW suns fabric for one of the Lone Starburst blocks this month!  All I have left now is a tiny piece - and it went into the crumbs jar.  I just can't throw away even a scrap of this sweet fabric - it has brought me so many smiles  :*D

Here are the blocks I managed to get done yesterday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I'll finish up the remaining two sections today, and maybe put some of them up on the design wall to see how they will look with the colored sections all mixed up scrappy-style!

Also today, I plan to do some Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy's Quilts.  I'm almost done with the LAST Promises & Borders block - hooray!!!!  This is a banner-type block that spans the width of the quilt....

I did have to make one little adjustment to Jenny's pattern on the "o" in each of the promise tracings .... can you see the original line tracing at the right of it in this picture below?  When that was stitched out, it looked more like an "a" to me, so I took it out and moved the transition line to the top of the "o" - now I'm much happier with it!

Aren't these little birdies SO cute????

All that remains to be done is the green leaves and the centers of the flowers.  When this block is done, I'll be able to sash these blocks and put them together for a great UFO floppy finish - WhooHoo!!!!


What are you doing on this lovely Father's Day?  Although when I was growing up there were few good father figures in my life, the good Lord has blessed me today with many wonderful Fathers!  And I will definitely take the time to let them know how much I appreciate them and thank God for their hard work as Fathers!

My husband has shown me time and again what a true Father really is.....

And now both of our sons are Fathers, and we couldn't be prouder of the wonderful job they are doing raising the next generation!

Josh and his family
Todd and his family

This is what I made for my sweet hubby yesterday to celebrate Father's Day....

YUM!!!  Meatloaf made from my momma's recipe!  This is his favorite meal!  Of course, most of you know that cooking is NOT my forte, but when the Best Father in the World asks for meatloaf - he gets it!!!  For side dishes, I made mashed potatoes, green beans, broccoli cole slaw, pickled beets, and toasted garlic-butter ciabatta bread!  Yes, we chowed down!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful & blessed Father's Day!!!

Hugs & Blessings!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Socks and a Few "Oh Wow's!!!"

My newest sock adventure - Two at a time, Toe up, on a circular needle using the Magic Loop (whew that's a lot of new stuff !!!!) - is coming along very nicely so far =^..^=

Of course, my weird sense of humor can't help but notice that this looks a little like I'm knitting a bikini top for a couple of saggy boobs :*D  Sorry - yes, I just had to go there LOL!!!

All foolishness aside, I believe I am almost at the point of beginning to work the increases to prepare for the heel flap.  You may notice that there is a slight decrease in there along the foot where there normally wouldn't be a decrease.  As I tried the socks on (one great advantage of doing the toe-up method) they were a little loose, so I decided to take off a couple of stitches to make them a little more snug.  They're still a good fit, not too tight at all, and I definitely like the feel of the fit a lot better.  I debated whether to pull it all out to the toe and work that part again with fewer stitches, but that was a really scary thought to me, and I quickly discarded that idea!!!

I really like the red yarn!  It is soft but thicker than the yarn I used on my first pair of socks.  These are going to be really comfy come cold toes weather!!!

I bet you're looking for the "Oh Wow's!!!" aren't you?  
I know I would be!!!  

At our Piecemaker's Guild last night during Show and Tell, there were a couple of quilts that I just had to share with you!  Now bear in mind that there are some really talented ladies in this group, so every Show and Tell is pretty much amazing.  I know I missed getting pictures of a couple of others that were gorgeous, but I thought you might really enjoy seeing these two quilts in particular ....

Susie Cole made this quilt for a pastor who has taken a vow of poverty and has very little to decorate his home....

Wholecloth quilting!  Isn't this beautiful?!??!!!

Close- up of the Cross area

Close up of one corner - love that feathery bird!!!

And then Karen Clark, a new member to the Guild shared a couple of her quilts - and one of them was this quilt called, Omigosh!!!!

Those are 1/2" squares my friend!!!  

Yep - we were all saying Oh my Gosh!!!

See how teeny tiny???  Wow!!!

I'll be linking up with On The Needles at Judy's Patchwork Times today.  
Why not go over and see the marvelous work of some real knitters LOL!!!

Hugs & Blessings!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Whole Lotta Preppin' Goin' On!!!

I haven't posted in the past few days because I don't have that much to show.  Nothing really flashy, anyway.  Basically, I'm in the process of finishing up a few projects and preparing to start a few others.  For instance....

I finally decided how I want to do the borders for Amish Beauties....

I saw this border treatment on a quilt in a Kim Diehl book and loved it!  I don't remember which book, but I came home and sketched it out because I thought it might work for this quilt - and I think it does!  What do you think?  I like the soft edge it gives the quilt after all the spiky points in the center.

To make the petals, I got out my newest tool, the Leaves Galore ruler by Sue Pelland .....

and laid out several layers of my solids to cut some petals....

I wanted to get a nice variety of colored petals to test the look...

The only problem is that I forgot to put the fusible on the back of the fabric before I cut the petals!!!  I ended up having to use some leftover pieces of fusible from another project (which I'll share in a minute) and using my teflon applique sheet, try to get the fusible on the pieces without making a huge, sticky mess on my ironing board!

See all those little fabric "hairs" around the edges?  Those wouldn't be there if I had done the fusible first.  But it wasn't really a problem - I just trimmed them off as I cut the fusible away.

Since I liked the design and have decided to go with it, I now need to cut a bunch more petals out of the remaining solids - backing them with fusible first LOL!!!  And I also need to get some more of that black solid.  The border is going to be much wider than I expected and I've run short of fabric!  I'm pretty sure this is a piece I got at Joann's so I'm holding my breath, hoping I can find it again.  You know how it is to try to match blacks!!!  Yikes!!!!

The other project I am busy working on is Miss Genevieve's baby quilt!  Remember this photo?

This is Denise's (Count it all Joy!) photo of the cute little baby quilt she made for her little granddaughter - isn't it adorable???  I shared in an earlier post that my DIL has chosen this pattern for Miss G's baby quilt, so I'm in the process of working on that now.  As a reminder - here are my fabrics....

I traced the banners on fusible and cut them out with my ruler and rotary cutter .... easy peasy!!!  I also "windowed" out the middle 1/4" away from edge to remove excess fusible so they would be really soft on the quilt....

Leaving these fun little shapes to fuse to the fabrics....

This "leftover" fusible from the middle of the banner shapes is what I used to get fusible on my Amish Beauty petals!

So those are the "In Process" quilts that I'm working on - - - - -

For the fun "New" projects, I have a couple in the works ....

I decided to take part in Joanne's Christmas QAL, and I have two projects that I want to work on.  The first should be fairly easy.  It is Jovial, a free pattern by Moda....

A group of us got together last year and exchanged Christmas fabrics so we could get a nice variety in this scrappy quilt without having to break the bank buying it - great idea right?  Here are the fabrics I contributed...

And here is the lovely bounty after we put them all together!

I may add in a few more blues and limey greens since these are really predominantly red and green, but overall I really like these and I think it is going to make a great quilt!

The other Christmas quilt project is going to be much harder to do and will probably take me forever and a day....

This is Holiday Sampler, a Block of the Month pattern.  I took this picture of a quilt I saw on the wall at one of the shops we visited last year and fell in love with all the fun, bright colors, not to mention the cute blocks :*)  But the shop was totally out of the pattern and only had one fabric kit left.  The kit was discounted, so I grabbed it!  But now I'm finding that the pattern seems to be only available as a part of a BOM program - bummer!!!  So I have begun the process of drafting it out and drawing these little babies myself - UGH!!!  This may take a while so bear with me :*)  I also realized that the gorgeous Bracelets fabric in the border was not included, so I'm tracking that fabric down to see if it is still available.  I really love it - it's has just the perfect playfulness for the border!

As if that were not enough ..... really !?!  .... I plan to join in on Sew Kind of Wonderful's Medallion QAL ..

Click HERE to see more about this fun QAL and how to get the Quick Curve Ruler!
...... although I am only planning to make a few blocks for a wall hanging, not a full quilt.  I love playing with my Quick Curve Ruler and all the wonderful shapes it makes!  This is the ruler I use to make those soft curves in my Fantasia blocks...

TODAY they have a sale going for 20% off the rulers and any of their patterns, so if you've ever thought you might like a QCR, now's the time!

Now it's time for me to get off this computer and get busy on at least one of these projects!  What are you working on?  I hope you're finding time to get into some quilty fun!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

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