Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September NewFO and Scraptastic Tuesday!

End of September already????  Not possible!  

But the slight nip in the morning air and sudden turning of the leaves outside tells me different.... methinks Fall is on its way, whether I'm ready or not. =^..^=

This summer has been like a blur for me!  So many great experiences - the best of course was the visit of our granddaughter Sara and the privilege of helping her begin her sewing journey :)

I did start one new project this month which qualifies for the Cat Patches' September NewFO.... My Patchwork of the Crosses blocks are so much fun - but then I've been telling you all that now for a month, haven't I? :*)

Here are two more I have in progress.... Yes, I kept my original fabrics in this one - thanks to all of you for helping me make up my mind :*)

I've wasted too much time  had tons of fun pinning a lot of beautiful POTC blocks by other quilters to my Pinterest board too - you can see it HERE if you are thinking about making some of these blocks yourself.  They are definitely like potato chips - there's no way you can make just one!  I dare you ... try it ... you'll see!!!

One thing I am committed to accomplishing in the coming year is reducing my overflowing scraps and crumbs.

I've been invited to give a talk and trunk show on Scrap Quilting next week, so scraps are on my mind a lot lately as I've been preparing for that.  I was actually kind of surprised at how many scrap quilts I have made over the last few years once I got down to listing them!  I've participated in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at SoScrappy for 3 years now, and that has really helped to keep my scraps from taking over my world.  Now THAT is a fun linky party!!!

Blues Crumb Jar

However, since I still seem to have scraps of all colors and fabric types coming out the wazoo (don't ask me where that is - this is a CLEAN blog!), I am excited about joining Leanne at She Can Quilt and Nicky at Mrs. Sew and Sow for their new Scraptastic Tuesday series.  Starting today and then each Tuesday thereafter, they will share projects and ideas about scraps - how they store them, cut them up, use them.  And they would like us to join them by sharing our thoughts and scrappy projects each Tuesday, with a fun linky party on the second Tuesday of each month!  Check it out - you know you have something to share that we all need to learn, right?

I saw quite a few creative patterns for using scraps up while at Runaway Retreat, and I plan to try out a couple of them today.  My Scrappy Love Pinterest board is HERE if you would like to see some of the cute scrappy projects I've seen across the Web, as well as a few of my own.  I also have quite a few books in my personal library that I think may be super resourceful in my quest to turn my scraps into a beautiful work of art..... these are just a few ♥♥♥

What about you?  Care to join in the fun and move some of your scraps out of the scrap bin and into a few beautiful quilts in the process?  The more, the merrier!!!!

I'm off now to play in my scraps - yippee!!!!
Also linking up with Connie at Freemotion by the River!

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I Ran Away -- and I Liked It!!!

Runaway Retreat was the BEST EVER this year!!!

Let the retreating begin!!!

We started out huffing & puffing - it's hard work packing THREE quilters and all their stuff for FIVE days into one car....

Yep, it took an extra luggage carrier to get it all to Kentucky!!! :*D  

Friend Carole has a large SUV, but even it wasn't big enough for all of us - and I packed light!  (Don't laugh - I really did!!!  I have witnesses!!!!)  Of course, it was even more full on the way back LOL!!!
We made a few new friends on the way ....

There's nothing quite like a road trip with quilting friends - you never know what might happen!  On the way home I called 911 for the first time in my life because of the drunk driver directly in front of us on the interstate!  He was going at least 80 mph, weaving all over the both lanes and even several feet off the shoulders.  Then he lost control completely - we knew it was inevitable and were just praying he wouldn't hit anyone else!  He veered wildly all over the road before he went all the way down into the middle of the median and almost turned over - but he never even slowed down, just turned it around and headed back up on the highway - straight toward us!!!  Thankfully, Carole was calm under pressure and kept our vehicle a safe distance from him.   Prayers sure kept us safe that day - and believe me, we were all praying!!!  We never heard if the highway patrol got him, but I sure hope so!!!

So.... back to Runaway Retreat 2014..... What could be nicer than spending five days with great quilting friends, many of whom I don't get to see very often?

Norma, Judy S & Barbara

Ruth, Carole & Betty

Terry greeted us in full "LET'S HAVE SOME FUN" mode!!!
(Love the Scissors through her head LOL!!!)
Terry and Margaret put on this retreat every year and do an EXCELLENT job!!!!
I didn't realize until we got home that I didn't get a picture of Judy L & Brenda :(  They live in Kentucky, so it's always special to see them every year.  (Judy L gave me the precious Kitty Pincushion I showed you yesterday ♥).  Sorry girls - you know I love you!!!!

The Retreat Center is always like returning to an old friend .... 

View from the 3rd floor my last morning -
Ahhhhhhhh what a view!!!

This quilt hangs on the rails of the courtyard to greet us every year....

The Courtyard leading to the cafeteria and classrooms -
Such a peaceful place to find a relaxing few moments :)

Mornings at Runaway this year were especially beautiful and serene.... 

The Auditorium where we sewed is on the right

The first evening, I put together the ORANGE Soul Searching block, and then sewed up the flimsy quilt the next morning.... you can read more about that HERE.

It feels GREAT to finally have something finished this year :)  After that, I concentrated on getting my Blooming Nine Patch rows together ....and I still have a ways to go!

On Wednesday, I taught a class on my new pattern, Amish Beauties, to 20 students ....

..... and then on Thursday we took a little side trip to Boonville, Indiana, to visit one of our favorite quilt shops, The Village Mercantile.  This excursion is one I look forward to all year long!  What could be better than going on a day trip with great quilting friends???

I sat in the third row on the way and knitted
After shopping, we stopped at this restaurant to eat
(I kept looking for Dolly Parton but she never showed up!!!)

Then we had to stop at our favorite ice cream place for real ice cream cones!!!
Mine was a double scoop of butter pecan in a waffle cone -
Can we say "Oink Oink"???????

                                              Carole was trying to be "good" so she got a "Baby Cone"
                                                Really????  This is just WRONG on so many levels!!!!!

                                       Where does this thing get the nerve to call itself an ice cream cone???

Our last stop was at an antique shop on the way back.  Now I'm not a big antique fan, but even I found a couple of things I couldn't live without....

Antique yarn spool, twine holder & cast iron pressing iron

Won't this be cute with a ball of yarn instead of the twine?  It even has a surprisingly sharp pair of scissors that sit in the top!

And I always loved my grandmother's little black iron - I believe I actually remember her using hers. I do remember that it weighed a TON!!!  This one does too :)  It is in pretty good shape and has a lot of nice markings on the handle.  I'll think of Granny every time I see it, and that's worth any price!!!!

Oh, and I know you are wondering .... what did we buy at the quilt shop?  I'm not sure you could handle all that today!!!  Let's just say that fabric acquisition was accomplished by all of us - and lots of it!  I mostly bought some cool tools that are hard to find, but I also found some great pieces that will work nicely in a few of my projects :)

Carole and Judy L even visited a couple little antique shops on the square while waiting for the rest of us to finish up our purchases.  I almost choked when Carole said she bought TWO sewing machines!  I figured I would have to be tied to the roof on the way home, because there sure wasn't any room in that car!  But then she smiled and said they were toy machines :)  Yeh, she's real funny.....

We made it back that afternoon just in time to get in line for dinner - and we were all stuffed!!!  But we knew we had better eat something or we'd be starving at midnight LOL!!!  After that, it was time to start thinking about going home.  That was tough, because we had so much fun and weren't really ready for it to end.

My first morning back home was a shock to the system - I actually had to COOK MY OWN BREAKFAST!!!!

Boy did they ever spoil us at Runaway:*)  The old saying, "Wish you were here!" was definitely true for me - it could only have been better if all of you had been able to be there too!  I'm already looking forward to next year....

Hugs & Blessings!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sad to See ORANGE Go!!!!

My first priority at Runaway Retreat was to sew up my ORANGE Soul Searching block.....

Here's a little sneak peek with my newest pincushion addition :)  Isn't this little kitty just ADORABLE???  Judy is one of my favorite people, and I don't get to see her very often, so you can imagine how tickled I was when she gave me this at Runaway ... and of course you know I treasure it!!!!

I forgot to take a picture of the block by itself, so this is a little rumply :*)

Once the ORANGE block was done, I happily zipped through putting all nine blocks together to finish up this fun and colorful top!!!

This is one of those quilts where you just keep seeing new and wonderful fabrics everywhere the eye wanders.  I couldn't resist draping it over the chair on the porch this morning and enjoying it's vibrancy, along with the peace of the morning and my first cup of coffee :)

Just to remind you - the Soul Searching pattern is designed by Kathy Doughty at Material Obsession and can be found in this book.........pssstttt - it's only $9.99 on Kindle!!!

I'm linking up today with Fabric Tuesday at QuiltStory

Tuesday Linky Party at Freemotion by the River, and

SoScrappy for the final ORANGE Roundup Saturday .....


Look for a post on my Runaway Retreat happenings a little later :*)

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I'm Gonna Runaway!!!!!

Runaway Retreat starts tomorrow & I can't wait!!!
I'm packing up projects and tools!  
And getting ready for my Amish Beauties class - Woohoo!!!!

Since I'll be teaching one full day of the retreat, I've only packed a few personal projects to work on.  My main goal is to get the Blooming Nine Patch assembled.  Do you even remember what it looks like?  Here's a quick reminder.....

Simple, mindless sewing together of rows :)  

Yesterday, I played in my ORANGE fabrics to put together my final Soul Searching block so I could stitch it up at retreat, as well ....

    Isn't this little orange fox too, too cute?  

Unfortunately, that fabric stuck out like a sore thumb, so it didn't make the final cut :(  

Here are some sneak peeks at the fabrics that DID make the cut....

I just love the variety of black/white's in these blocks ....

Some of my favorite fun prints in ORANGES :)

The last of my Kindle Case fabric scraps - what will I do without them?????

I found an excellent use for those new Marilee's Numbered Pins picked up at AQS.  I was nervous about keeping all these pieces in the right order and right-side up from my house to retreat - so I pinned each one on the line with it's row number, right on the line where I will stitch - EASY PEASY!!!!

The rest of the blocks are all packed to go so I can assemble the quilt top when the ORANGE block is done!

I also worked on making sure I have the makings for another couple of Patchwork of the Crosses blocks to take with me.  Even though I won't have time to do any Slow Sunday Stitching today with Kathy's Quilts, I will most definitely be doing some hand stitching on these at Runaway :)

This one is in progress - I got the center stitched together this week....

I had been looking for the perfect project to use this vibrant Oriental border print.....

Here are a few of the color options I looked at for the outer row petals.....

I ended up going with the darker pink :)
That stripe would have been marvelous, but too much trouble to get it just right!!!

The next block uses one of my favorite fabrics for the focus print....

Here is a down-and-dirty layout of the center pieces before stitching ....

And here are a few color options I am considering.  I had pretty much decided to go with this layout....

But then I had to try it with the gold on an outer row to see what that would look like, and I rather liked the glow it makes...

Not sure that I like the aqua pieces in that particular place though.....but I think it needs the aqua somewhere..... Decisions!  Decisions!!!  I think I'll cut 4 more gold pieces and lay out the whole block to see what I think.  Maybe even look for a different aqua?  What would you choose?

I'm off and running folks!  
Still lots to do before tomorrow morning!

Before you leave, be sure to go over to see what's shaking at:

Hugs & Blessings!

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