Saturday, May 31, 2014

Not Yet Done with Green!

Our Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for May was GREEN, and I finally managed to find enough time to put together my little GREEN Hootie Owl to add to the growing flock....

And then there were FIVE  *wink*

I washed GREEN fabrics until I began to feel like a stalk of broccoli!!!  I wonder if that is the reason I ate so few salads this month?  Hmmmm..... oh well :*)  Honestly, I had no idea I had so many GREEN fabrics!!!  And it's not even my favorite color - go figure :)

I did start pulling out some fabrics to audition for my Soul Searching block....

..... but all plans of working on that flew out the window when My Guy announced he was ready to set up my Sizzix station in the studio!!!  Yippee!!!  I was almost as excited as Gypsy gets when she hears me yell "Treats!"

Up to now, my Sizzix Big Shot Pro - which is extremely heavy! - has been stuck under a table.  I really haven't used it as much as I would like because it is too much trouble to get it out and find a place to set it up.

We had a HUGE legal-size, five-drawer lateral filing cabinet in one corner that I was anxious to move out of there, and we decided it would be the perfect place to give the Sizzix cutter a permanent home.  Here are the file drawers in the middle of the TV corner of my studio....

And here are the cabinets we planned to put in there instead - two 24" base cabinets in white.....

And here are the same cabinets all boxed up again and back downstairs so they could go back to Lowes!

I didn't realize until we got them set up that my dies didn't fit in them - oops!!!  I have the extended tray cutter which uses 25" long dies, so back to Lowes the cabinets went.  Ask me what My Guy thought about that little miscalculation - especially considering he is moving all these cabinets up and down the stairs with a bum knee!  (with my capable help of course *smile*)

And FINALLY, here are the new ones - one 18" and one 36" base cabinet.....

The cutter has to have all that space on each side for the tray to clear on each end
as it moves through the machine.


And just in case you were wondering how BIG a MESS two people can make in one morning in a sewing studio.....

Yep, it looked like 10 bombs dropped in there!  

But have no fear, by this evening all is back in order, and my new cabinets look absolutely divine, even if I do say so myself :*)  Cutting fabric is now going to be such a pleasure!!!!

So I suppose I will be working on May's GREEN for a little while into June.  Hopefully Angela won't bounce me out of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!!!  I promise to do better in June.... which by the way is tomorrow!!!  Wow, how time does fly, doesn't it?


Hope you are finding fun, quilty ways to enjoy your summer!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ahhhh..... It's Good to Be Home!

I really enjoyed my recent adventures at the Red Rooster Retreat and then visiting with family in North Carolina!  But it's always nice to come home again, isn't it?

This is how I spent yesterday morning .....

I love this view from our covered side porch :)  My Guy put up the hummingbird feeder (yes, we are a little late!) and repotted some luscious red summer geraniums while I was gone, and my favorite oriental lillies are blooming - everything just looks so relaxing and inviting!!!

I got SO MUCH done at retreat!  In addition to finishing up and hand-delivering little man Hudson's carry-around blankie (see post HERE), I also had tremendous fun playing with Jacquelynne Steve's lovely Cottage Charm fabrics!

Panel square from Cottage Charms - designed by Jacquelynne Steves
Everyone was ooooohhhh'ing and aaaahhhhhh'ing over these fabrics!  Which, by the way, are NOW available on her website - !!!  Fat quarter bundles are HERE and the cute panel prints are HERE.  Go see them now!!!!

I also am happy to report that I have my June Bertie all stitched down and embroidered!

Machine stitching around the pieces.....

Hand stitching the embellishments .....

And the top is now a finish!
Now I just have to find time tomorrow to get it sandwiched and quilted so it can go on the wall June 1 :)

 I also crafted a removable Luggage Strap for my Vera Bradley bag that My Guy gave me for Christmas....

I didn't want to check any baggage on the plane trip to Carolina, so I packed my smallest suitcase and carried my essentials in this bag - it worked out perfectly!!!

And On the Needles, I finished up my Purple Kroy Socks!!!  This is my second pair in this yarn because my daughter claimed the first pair before they were ever even off the needles LOL!!!  They are just Plain-Jane design, toe-up, two-at-a-time with Magic Loop.

This bright and happy yarn is going On The Needles for my next pair of socks!!!

Not very shapely yarn cakes are they?  LOL!!!

The day after I got home from retreat, I had to be at the airport at 7am for my flight to Carolina!!!  While there, I got lots of time with the sweetest grandkids in the universe!!!  I was blessed to be able to attend this granddaughter's performance of a lead part in her school play.....

Sara with her mom (our daughter Christy) after the play

And we all came together as a family to celebrate our oldest granddaughter's graduation from high school - GO EMMA!!!!!

No, she is NOT happy about the cap-and-gown get-up!!!

Watching my son giving his little first-grade soccer players an impromptu bible lesson on the field at half time was a blessing I won't forget soon either..... notice there are players from both teams in that huddle :)

It was a lovely short visit and I miss them all already!!!

Thanks to all of you who asked about My Guy's knee - he's doing great and getting around with barely a limp!  We'll be finishing up the studio redesign soon and I'll share pictures as we do :)  Several of you also were curious about the tables in the picture I showed of our sewing area at the Red Rooster....

As nice as that would be, the Sew-Ezi tables were not provided by the Red Rooster.  Most of us at the retreat sew together often, and when one finds a tool that they love (like the Sew-Ezi table!), we all have to have one!  You know how that works, don't you?

Hope you have a HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Checking in from the Rooster.....

It's Retreat Time!!!!!

It is always such a pleasure to walk through the front door of the Red Rooster!  

We had to pack creatively to get three quilters and all our "stuff" in the back of my car....

I had that one little hole that I could see through the back LOL!!!!

We stopped in Hartselle AL to meet up with the rest of our group and have lunch here....
(hint - the chicken salad was divine!!!!)

Then we traveled on to The Red Rooster...

There is eye candy everywhere!  My favorites are the quilts of course :)  But then there are all these marvelous Jim Shore figures.....

They're everywhere!
My favorite is this colorful pineapple..... look at that adorable horse & carriage :)

And the food - Oh YUM!!!!

Supper last night....

And this morning, I can hardly breathe after this luscious feast...

Believe it or not, there's actually some sewing going on too ......

We're working on teaching Cookie to sew the fabric instead of her finger!!!!

And here is Lynnie Lou who flew all the way from Seattle to Nashville so she could come with us... she brought a little friend with her :)

Before bedtime last night, I worked on Hudson's little carry-around blanket.  I had just enough left of the minkee I had put on the back of his original crib quilt to cut 2 pieces 12-1/2" x 18-1/2".  I layered them with a soft polyester batting and did a quick line quilting for stability.  This diamond design is very "little boyish," don't you think?

I even had enough scraps of the original binding to cut up strips and bind it just like his original :)

And it was done by bedtime!!!!

Hmmmm, I wonder what I will get into today......

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching? Probably not today.....

You all know how much I love sitting on Sundays and slowing stitching something beautiful along with my friends over at Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching party.  Alas (I just love that old-fashioned word!), that's probably not going to happen this Sunday, because today is Red Rooster Retreat preparation day - we leave early tomorrow morning so I've got lots to do today!  However, I will of course be taking several hand-stitching projects with me to retreat for quiet, relaxing evenings.

I'm steadily making progress on my last block for The Blue Collection.....

The vase itself is done except for a space in the top for the tree to slip down inside when it is ready.  Applying the leaves is really fun now that I have all the preparation done and they are ready to just stitch down in their proper places....

I started with this.....

Then using the starch method, each piece was prepared like this...

And then it's a simple matter of using a few tiny drops of glue to hold them in place for stitching down ...

I really enjoy this method of applique!  I shared this technique with a group from my guild last week at our monthly sit-n-sew.  They all did great!  I'm hopeful that a few of them will finally begin to enjoy applique after learning this method, as I did :)

Carole brought the CUTEST little cup for holding her starch.... I heard a group of students all ooohhhing and ahhhhhing, so of course I had to go over and investigate :)  And there was Carole holding up this tiny cup - the most adorable little starch holder in the world!!!

I'm sure you all know someone like Carole.  She is one of those people who always looks beautiful, no matter what she's wearing, and she always has the perfect accessories ... if she weren't so sweet and lovable I'd probably hate her :*)  She loves laces and ruffles and everything girly!  And she always finds the perfect little tools and accessories for her quilting adventures too.  So I wasn't at all surprised that she had come up with this cute little cup - the perfect "Carole" accessory :)

I told her that I had seen someone use a small child's tea cup in one of the blogs I follow, and that she had used the handle for a rest for the brush.  I have been keeping my eye open for one like it with a handle in thrift shops ever since.  Well, in typical sweet Carole style, she came up to me at the end of the class and presented it to me!!!  I was thrilled of course!!!!  She says she has another one at home, but I have a sneaking suspicion that she just told me that so I would accept it :)

I'll also carry the June Bertie BOM block along for some quick embellishments once the center is assembled....

I love that pop of red in this design :)

So what will you be slow stitching this week?  
Share it at Kathy's Quilts!

And just so you all know what I have to put up with around here ..... while I'm running around trying to do a blog post, pack things up, and take care of a million other things in order to be ready to leave in the morning, this is how my faithful companion helps out!

Well, come to think of it, isn't this what you're supposed to do on Sunday - rest?  
Good girl, Gypsy!!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole......

Spring is rabbit season!!!!  I know, because we have them hopping about all over the place in our backyard, and there are even little babies in our neighbor's yard - those little babies are just too darn cute!!!!

Some of you may have been thinking I had fallen down one of those rabbit holes LOL!!! 

Down the Rabbit Hole
Original Acrylic Painting by Carolee Clark
Credit Source - Etsy

I know!  
I've been gone from Blogland for WAY too long!!!

There are - as always - lots of reasons for my absence, and I promise not bore you with them all.... pshew!!! Aren't you relieved?  :*)  Suffice it to say that things have been a-hoppin' and a-jumpin' at the AQAP household!  Well, all except My Guy, who is doing NO hoppin' or jumpin' for a little while....

Nothing like a little knee surgery to slow a guy down, right?

Our upstairs Heat & Air unit finally bit the dust, which of course required lots of men in jeans and boots tromping up and down the stairs for a few days.  No getting in the sewing studio during those days!  Then, when the HVAC guys did their survey, we discovered there was no insulation in the outside walls or the floor of my sewing studio (over the garage) - and that's why it's colder than a .... (well, you know the rest of that phrase) .... in there every winter!  We had to cut holes in the walls .....

.... for them to crawl through and stuff in the insulation.  And then they punched a million holes in the ceiling of the garage (with hammers!!!!) in order to pipe the insulation between there and my studio floor .....

My sewing room was a wreck with my stuff piled everywhere!!!
(This was the only picture fit for public viewing!)

I couldn't find anything or get to my machines for a week, so no sewing for me.  We decided since everything was in an uproar anyway, it was time to do a little rearranging and reorganizing.  This wall used to have a long table with fabric and projects loaded up on top of it, and boxes of projects stuffed to bursting underneath it - pretty messy!  Now it looks like this.....

Of course, I still can't find anything LOL!!!  It may take me a while to figure out where I've put everything in the new organization :)

You should all thank your lucky stars I don't have any "before" pictures to show of my studio closet - it's a wonder we didn't find fossils in there!!!  But here are a few pictures of the wonderful shelves My Guy put in for me.....

And before anyone gets the bright idea that all this work is what caused My Guy's injury, let me put your minds at rest!  Actually, he did a lot of this after his injury and before the surgery.  I never cease to be amazed at what that man can accomplish, even on a pair of crutches!!!

Unfortunately, things aren't going to settle down any time soon around here either.  I'm preparing now for a much-looked-forward-to retreat at Red Rooster next week with a group of my bestest friends - yippee!!!!  And the day after I return from retreat, I'll be heading out to Carolina to see my 16-year-old granddaughter perform in her school play.  So, I apologize in advance for being away from the blog for so long, but LIFE in capital letters sometimes simply takes control of our days.

However, while I'm at Red Rooster next week, I'll be working on some fun stuff....

The June Bertie is in the house!!!

And because I'm such a lucky girl, I get to play with these beautiful fabrics from Jacquelynne Steve's newest collection, Cottage Charm - YUM!!!

Little Man Hudson has grown very attached to his quilt I made for him when he was born and wants to carry it everywhere, so his mom asked if I had any of the minkee fabric used on the back left, and could I make a small quilt for him?  I was delighted to find just enough in the scraps and just need to decide which fabric to use for binding....

That will be a quick finish at retreat, and then I hope to find time to play with a new project.....

It's from this book by Piece O'Cake Designs...

I've been wanting to make something out of this book in quite a while, so I'm really excited about this little wall quilt project :)

I've washed greens for the May Rainbow Scrap Challenge until I feel like Elphaba - you know her, right?  The green Wicked Witch of the West?

Hey, wait a minute... you are laughing, aren't you?  
Okay, just checking!  

No blocks done yet though and it's not looking good the rest of the month either.  I may be doing a lot of RSC catch-up next month.

I'm taking my knitting along to retreat for relaxing in the evenings.  I got quite a lot done on the purple socks while waiting for My Guy to come out of surgery, and now they are almost done .....

..... and I've popped this fun spring-colored yarn in my bag for my next pair!

I'll do my best to send post some updates from retreat to show you what I'm working on.  Really looking forward to checking out your blogs too, to see what you've been up to while I've been gone :)

Hugs & Blessings!

Linking up with Judy's On the Needles

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