Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 2013 End-of-Month Report

December is such a short month!!!  

Don't you think so?  If you figure the time you lose for all the Christmas-related activities - traveling, visitors, shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating, gifting, parties - there's just not a lot of time in there to Get It Done!  Add to that the two weeks I was sick with bronchitis, and it's a wonder I got anything done, right?  I do love Christmas, but the older I get, the more of a hassle it gets!!!

May your holidays be hassle free!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Soooooo, let's see, how did I do on my Get It Done list for December?

December 2013 Goals:

  • Blog:  Prepare and post about TWO Giveaway Blog Hops!!  DONE!!!
  • Quilting (domestic sewing machine DSM): - Mom's Valentine table-topper.  DONE!!!  All that's left for this project is to sew down the binding, which I will finish up today :)
  • Quilting (longarm) - UFO - Indian Summer - Still in the bag - way too much going on this month for me and Joanne to find a day for just play.  It will continue to be next on the list :)
  • Bind Christmas Geese - DONE!!!  Picture below of this wonderful quilt on its frame, decorating our home this Christmas season! :)
  • Finish piecing the Bargello Tree Skirt - Never even got a chance to touch this project :(
  • Make a couple of Christmas gifts, mainly small gifts for stockings - DONE!!!  :*)  A few are still not yet gifted so I can't show them.
  • Yarn Projects: - continue Wingspan; cast on new Red Socks for ME!!! DONE!!!  I also managed a few knitted Christmas gifts :)
  • Guild Prep (new category):  I have agreed to head up a "Bees" Group sit-n-sew after our meetings each month, and I need to have all my ducks in a row for the announcement and roll-out in January.  DONE!!!

  • Christmas Geese on its frame - I SO enjoyed its cheerful presence this Christmas!!!

    Details of quilting and binding for Christmas Geese

    Not too bad, I suppose.  I'm cutting my January list a little short too, because I already know I will be traveling one week of that month.

    January 2014 Goals:
    • January Dinosaur - The Blue Collection!
    • NewFO Project
    • Rainbow Scrap Challenge Project
    • Bertie's Year BOM for February
    • EQ7 - begin getting re-famliarized with the software and start playing with it!
    • Continue washing the Stash :(  UGH!!!

    For 2014, I'm planning to FOCUS on some of my Dinosaur UFO's..... you know the ones....  they're so ancient, their dust has dust!  They've been around so long, they've reached "fable" status!  People are beginning to believe you never even started such a quilt!  You're not even sure where they are anymore!  And they have become big bullies - growling and taunting you, daring you to finish them off......   Right?  Am I all alone in this, my friends?  I don't think so!!!

    Photo courtesy of

    In 2014, I'm declaring all-out WAR on these Dinosaurs!  I'm going to put a "Most Wanted" List on my blog so I can shoot them down one by one!  Each Dinosaur has been assigned a month on my calendar where it will be hunted down and shot given my main focus that month.  I may switch them around according to any timing changes each month, but I think the projects themselves will remain the same on the list.  I'm hoping to finish each one during the month, but of course I need to be realistic and accept that it's not always possible :*D  I'll be disappointed if I don't finish it, but I'll survive and come back another day to attack that monster!  (Aren't you glad?)

    January's Dinosaur will be The Blue Collection.

    Photo & Quilt by Maggie Walker

    You can click on the name to see more about it if you are new to the blog.  If you're not, then you KNOW how long I have been working on this Dinosaur!!!  I actually obtained most of the patterns at least 7 years ago from a friend who was moving out of the state and didn't want to move her entire sewing room.  She sold off a lot of stuff, and three-quarters of these patterns were in the set that I bought.  I got the rest from the designer, Maggie Walker.  It's been a long road, but I'm finally rounding the home turn on this project - wish me luck!!!

    As for my other normal monthly projects in December - some I got to, and some I didn't.  Of course, I did manage to start a NewFO to meet the December 2013 Challenge - Barbara at Cat Patches is hostessing this fun party again in 2014, so be sure to check it out & join in!!!  You can see some of my potential NewFO's for 2014 by clicking HERE.

    This linky party is too much fun to miss!  You get PRIZES for starting something new - what's not to love?  AND you don't even have to finish it!  Yep, my kind of party LOL!!!

    Bertie's Year - January BOM block
    This is coming along quite nicely :)

    I started the Bertie's Year BOM this month for my NewFO, and of course since it is a BOM it will be added to my Get It Done goals each month in 2014.  I think you'll enjoy seeing these fun and colorful wall quilts each month :)  So far, Gypsy is giving this project a Two Thumbs Up ..... um, I think I better keep my eye on her around Bertie!

    I didn't have time to do anything in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for December, but Angela at SoScrappy is hosting this rainbow-a-licious party again in 2014 - and there will be PRIZES!!!!  Come and join in on the fun!  


    This will be my third year in the RSC, and it is always one of my favorite things to do during the month :)  This year I think I am going to have to do at least one block made from crumbs - my crumb jars runneth over!!!   Here are the last two blocks I made during the 2013 Challenge.....Baby Blue!

    Lone Starburst


    Be sure to hop over to Patchwork Times to share what's on your Get It Done list!!!
    (Inquiring minds want to know ☺)

    I would like to wish each and every one of you 
    a very Happy, Healthy & Prosperous NEW YEAR!!!

    Hugs & Blessings!

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

    Slow Stitching, Stash Enhancement & NewFO's!

    I finally got to play with Bertie!

    I spent a great deal of time this week getting my sewing studio cleaned up and organized once again - it was a mess!!! Hubby was a huge help in suggesting innovative ways to organize everything and eliminate the clutter. Sometimes a big job really benefits from a fresh perspective!

    My plan was to attack the January Bertie's Year BOM last week, but that didn't happen until this afternoon.  This is my December NewFO Challenge project, so I had to get busy!!!  Here is the block all sewn together and the applique pieces stitched down ...... don't these flannel fabrics look rich and so, so soft???  It looks a little plain without any embellishment, though, doesn't it?

    Poor little Bertie - she thinks she's just a plain little brown bird .................

    ............ and she obviously would love to be so much more flashy and fabulous!  She wants to be a beautiful red cardinal!!!  (I'm really hoping that by the end of the year, she will have learned that she is beautiful just the way she is ☺)  I love her fearlessness and curiosity!  She's not a bit afraid of this cute little snow "ghost"...... I think she is trying to make friends with him!

    Sunday will find me enjoying some hand stitching to apply the fun embellishments on this little wall-hanging so it can be ready to go up on my wall for January 2014.  You can see below the stitching that is called for - love all those little snowflakes randomly dotting the background ♥  And the buttons for "berries" were included in the pattern as well :*)

    When I signed up for this BOM at Shabby Fabrics, I chose to receive the Presencia threads kit that goes with this series of little quilts.  What is it about shiny new spools of thread that make my heart sing?  Does that happen to any of you?

    What a joy to finally sit at my machine once again and play with beautiful fabrics & design!!!

    Once I'm done with Bertie for January, I'll move on to start preparing the applique pieces for the last blocks for Blue Collection.  They are all drawn out and templates made .....

    Now, how would you like to see some Stash Enhancement?  
    Here you go.......

    I picked up these three fabrics for backings at Connecting Threads' Year-End sale - wow!!!  They have a lot of fabrics still on sale for 40% and 50% off, so check them out if you're looking for nice fabric at a great price.  I got such a great deal, I'm still smiling!!!!

    This batik was one I just couldn't resist!  I have several quilts in progress that could be lucky enough to have this spectacular explosion of colorful daisies for the backing.... I will have to decide when the right one is finished.  I also got enough yardage to use this for borders on a quilt too.... just in case :*)  The colors aren't quite true here - there's actually a touch of lime green too - but close enough.

    Next, these beautiful & colorful gilt-etched ornaments are for the backing for my Jovial quilt.  It's on my list of UFO's to complete this year so I'll have it for Christmas next year :*)

    This is what the Jovial quilt looks like - mine will have lots more variety of color though :)  Several friends joined in together and swapped fabrics, so we have lots of wonderful fabrics for this fun quilt!  This is a free 3-D pattern - you can click on the pattern name above to go to the link.

    Photo courtesy of Moda
    And this wonderful Blue Snowflake batik was back-ordered when I first placed my order, so I really didn't expect to receive it.  That really bummed me out because it is PERFECT for Winter Wonderland!!!  I received the first two fabrics and an invoice for them, so I figured this one had sold out early and forgot about it.  Then a few days ago, I got a notice that my "order had shipped" from Connecting Threads - and it was this fabric - whoohoo!!!  I just love it!!!  Notice the touch of purple in there..... oh, it makes me happy!

    Backings are always the part that I hate spending so much money on.  You know how it goes.... you've spent a small fortune already on the beautiful fabrics for the front of the quilt, and then you have to dish out big bucks for enough fabric to do the backing.  I honestly don't like making scrappy backings unless the quilt itself calls for it.  When I'm done with the front, I'm DONE, you know what I mean?  I don't want to spend hours on getting the back ready.  So I'm always a happy girl when I can find backing fabrics at dirt cheap prices!!!

    We have family coming later this week and then I'm planning to scoot on over to North Carolina to get some cuddle time in with Mr. Cooper, so I'm not sure how much time I'll have to sew this week.  I do have one sew date scheduled, so at least I'm assured some time with my machine this week :*)

    I also wanted to share one last look at Christmas 2013......

    Here are a couple of mini-pineapple ornaments made and gifted to me by my sweet friend, Janet O, who blogs at Rogue Quilter ..... aren't they just adorable?????  Janet knows I love color and batiks :*)  I feel special and honored every time I spy one of these on the tree.  Of course, they will not be put away with the other ornaments!  They hang in my sewing room the rest of the year.  I have a small ornament stand that they adorn quite beautifully ♥

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to sit and enjoy the tree once it is decorated.  I love to look at each ornament, remembering where it came from - each one has a history and is truly special to me.  These new works of art really added a sparkle to our little tree this year :*)

    And speaking of sparkle - what sparkles more brightly than gold????  I won these amazing brass quilt-block ornaments from a giveaway hosted by Barbara at Cat Patches!!!

    I couldn't wait to get them on the tree when they arrived!  You could hear me holler a mile away when I got the news that I had won :*D  Thanks again Barbara - they are unique and I just love them!!!!  I'm thinking these will also stay in my sewing room after the tree comes down ♥  I can't imagine them sitting in a dusty old box for 11 months out of the year, can you?

    Wishing all my blog friends Peace and fun quilty things 
    that make you smile this coming year!!!

    I'll be linking up with the following fun Linky Parties - come and check them out!
    Judy's Patchwork Times Stash Report
    Cat Patches 2013 NewFO Challenge
    Freemotion by the River's Linky Party

    Hugs & Blessings!

    Friday, December 27, 2013

    On the Needles - 12/27/13

    Last On The Needles post for 2013 - Wow!!!

    It's been a fun year for me, getting reacquainted with knitting and adding this fun, relaxing hobby to my daily enjoyment.

    I really want to thank both Judy and Denise for sharing their excitement and encouragement.... if not for them, I would NEVER have dared believe I could make a pair of socks, much less Dreambird or Cloud Illusions!  Today I have 4 pairs of socks under my belt - whoohoo!!!!

    I really don't have a lot to share today with regard to projects in progress.  Most of what I have been working on this week are gifts that are still not gifted, so I can't show them yet :(  Other than gifts, I've only added a few rows to these very-much-desired red socks this past week since switching them out to DPN's instead of circulars....

    But I DO want to share some new toys!!!!

    For Christmas, I asked for a set of interchangeable circular needles so I don't have to buy a new pair of needles every time I start a project.  I chose these Dreamz needles because I can add any size cord to the set (three sizes came with it already), and I LOVE the different colors for each size!!!

    I'm really, really excited about this new set of needles!!!  I enjoy working with wood needles - they tend to hug the stitches better so I don't drop all my stitches when I lose my grip on a needle :*O  (I'm sure that never happens to you, but it happens to me all the time LOL!)  However, I've found that they have to be good quality needles or else they end up being too "grabby" and the yarn doesn't move smoothly along the needles.  And the cheap brands don't have nice, sharp points either.  I've done several projects with Dreamz needles and have been very happy.  The reviews were mostly positive on these - I'll let you know my opinion as soon as I can begin using them :*)

    I also added a Yarn Swift to my tool box.  Knit Picks offered a great sale with free shipping on this one a couple weeks ago so I snapped it up....

    But the BEST toy under the Christmas tree was 
    a SURPRISE from Hubby.....
    A Kindle Paperwhite!!!!!

    Love the "Honey" color cover my Honey chose :*)
    Of course, it was only natural to name her Honey!
    This little beauty is WONDERFUL!!!  It's lightweight and small, with a screen that allows me to read anywhere - outside on a sunny day, in my car, on the beach.  It easily fits in my purse or a knitting bag.  This picture will give you an idea of its size compared to the iPad....

    It's also much, much lighter in weight and easier to hold

    Why would I want to put it in my knitting bag, you ask?  Well, I had no idea how handy this little tool can be for knitting until my hubby started looking at everything it can do.... look at this!

    I can download any PDF to the Kindle - so my patterns are right there in this little handy-dandy device, any time I need them.....

    And I don't have to lug around this huge project notebook anymore!  It's bulky and doesn't fit in my knitting bag and won't stay open to the page I want..... It was a way to carry my patterns all in one place, but I wasn't thrilled with it.  Now it can go away!!!

    And by the way, this is true of quilting patterns, or recipes.... the possibilities are endless!!!

    Oh, yes!  As my husband is fond of reminding me, 
    I got spoiled BIG-TIME this Christmas!!!

    And ......have I mentioned lately my BESTEST Christmas present??????  

    Our newest grandson, Cooper, taking his first snooze on his quilt I made for him - Tranquility...
    Awwwwwwwwww......... ♥♥♥

    I'm looking forward to lots of yarn fun in 2014!
    How about you?
    Share your projects with us at Patchwork Times!!!

    Hugs & Blessings!

    Sunday, December 22, 2013

    The Best Christmas Present :*)

    Cooper is here!!!!!

    We took this picture while Face Timing - isn't modern technology wonderful!!!!

    Born this morning - December 22, 2013
    He's a Big Boy - 9 pounds, 11 ounces - 22 inches long :*)
    Mom and baby are both doing wonderful
    and Dad is proud as a peacock!!!

    I think Big Sister and Brother are pretty happy with him too :*)

    This is the little guy I made this quilt for....

    Tranquility in Cooper's nursery

    Since we live 400 miles away from them, I wasn't able to be there for the birth, but I sure helped pray him here safely :*)  And I'm planning to go visit after the first of the year.  That will give them a chance to get their lives back to the new normal and settle into life with their new little one before I descend for a visit.  Oooooo I just can't wait to get my hands on that sweet little bundle of love!!!!


    I'll probably take a break until after Christmas, 
    so I want to wish each and every one of you the most wonderful 
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!

    Christmas... not about presents or decorations or music or food or even family.

    Hugs & Blessings!

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

    RSVP - 2014 NewFO Challenge Party!

    Yep, I'm sending my RSVP over to Barbara at Cat Patches!

    I wouldn't miss THIS PARTY for the world :*)  What's not to love about permission to start something new and exciting and fun???

    I've already declared 2014 to be my year to finish up some very long-term UFO's.  That will be my focus, and I'll be working on completing as many of those "dinosaur" projects as possible all throughout the year.  But I would wither and die as a quilter if I didn't get to start something new and exciting on a regular basis!  Those UFO's are more like "work" at this point, while a new project is definitely more like "play" - and everyone knows that saying about what happens when we are all "work" and no "play" - right?  I'm doing this for me, as well as for those who have to live with me LOL!!!  You know exactly what I mean, don't you???  Yep, I know you do!!!

    This will be my third year joining in on the NewFO Challenge, and I have to admit, I've been pretty bad about actually making the projects I have listed at the beginning of the year LOL!!!  This year may be no different, but here goes anyway.....

    NewFO To-Do List for 2014:

    January - Flannel Rag for me!

    I have these really fun flannel scraps that I want to pull together to make a happy snuggle quilt for me, for the mornings when I cuddle up with my Bible and a cup of tea and spend time with my Lord :*)  They may not all make it into the quilt once I audition them - and others may be added - but these are my starting point :*)

    February - Develop New Design for fabric line
    I've been approached by a fabric designer to try my hand at developing a few patterns for her latest line - SEW EXCITING!!!!

    March - "A Little Something" Jacket yes clothes!!!!

    This is a pattern I have had now for several years, and the fabric was purchased several years ago as well.  It's time!!!

    April - Smokey River

    I love this Whirligig Designs quilt in these colors!  That raspberry zinger makes my heart sing!!!  It's designed for Stonehenge fabrics, but I have so many batiks and I've decided they will look wonderful in this quilt!

    May - Lost in a Good Book

    Back in 2012 I grabbed up some fabrics from Connecting Threads with a Library/Book theme for a song!  Since my first love EVER was books, I want to make a quilt that will make me think of my childhood, curled up in the massive old pecan tree in our front yard, reading Little House on the Prairie and somehow finding sanity in those pages :*)  This is planned to be a simple quilt, with a panel-type center medallion out of the fabric on the far right, and some simple borders around it.  I'm hoping I stick with that plan!!!

    June - Barbados Bag

    I really, really need a new bag!  This one probably won't wait until June, but I'm slotting it in here to get it on the list.  Pattern is by Pink Sand Beach Designs.

    July - Rose Windows Medallion
    This one was on my list last year but it never had a chance!

    August - Harvest

    I love this border fabric!!!!  I picked it up at a going-out-of-business sale for 1/2 price last year, and I think it will be perfect for the border and color inspiration print in this design!

    Unless I change my mind and use a different pattern, that is.  I've been known to do that a time or two - what, you too?

    September - Butterflies Applique

    Wow!  This was a project that I was SO EXCITED about last year - and I never even touched the first block!!!!  This year I want to at least begin to work on it.  I have to finish Blue Collection first though, because I've decided I want to hand applique this one.  And Blue Collection is one of those "dinosaurs" I was talking about earlier :*)

    October - Hope's Diamond

    If you haven't seen the wonderful patterns by Sue Pelland using her Leaves Galore rulers, let me just say - go HERE and look - you'll fall in love!!!!

    November - Circle of Fire
    Another one that has been on this list before :*)

    December - Calypso Cascade

    And yet one more hoping to make it to The Show this year LOL!!!!  I love this scrappy batik quilt - and what better way to use up some small pieces in the scrap bins?  But it just keeps getting pushed back for other projects :(  I'm thinking it might be a good leader-ender project for 2014 ♥


    So that's my list - and I'd love to say I'm sticking to it, but if history is any judge, then I'd most likely be lying.  I choose to reserve the right to change it up and work on whatever sparks my creative juices at any given time :*)

    What's on your list?  
    Join the Linky Party at Cat Patches
    ......but you better hurry, the Party closes 12/22/13

    Hugs & Blessings!
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