Monday, January 26, 2015

Sew Sweet Simplicity QAL and GIVEAWAY!!!

I'm excited to share with you my newest 
Sew Sweet Simplicity Block!

Block #4

I didn't get to play along on Catching Up Day a few weeks ago, because that was the weekend I was at the hospital with my mom.  But I did peek in a few times and it looked like you were all having a great time.  I especially loved seeing Jacquelynne dancing!!!

It felt good to get home and finally be able to work on my Block #4 :*)  This little Laurel Burch kitty has a little bit of a sad face, don't you think?

But I fell in love with her colors, and she kept telling me she wanted to be surrounded by bright pink.  Now everyone knows that when a cat tells you something it wants, you listen and obey.  Period.  So I did.

...... and I think she already looks happier, don't you?  I'm pretty sure Gypsy would be proud of me =^..^=  

And speaking of Gypsy, the other day I went outside to pick up the mail and saw our neighbor's white cat sitting smack dab in the middle of our rose garden - right on top of our sweet Gypsy's resting place.  I asked her if she was visiting Gypsy, and she calmly sat there looking at me as if to say, "Well, of course.  Duh!  What else would I be doing sitting in the middle of your rose garden?"  Yes, she had that look on her face that all cats wear signifying their universal opinion of our poor human intelligence :*)


So ....... Even though this is the last block in Jacquelynne's fun QAL, I still have Bonus Blocks #1 and #2 to be done.  I want six blocks at least for this quilt, so I'll be working on those soon.  Next month we are supposed to be sharing our finishes with you, so I better get crackin' don't you think?  Yep, me too!!!

But before I can start on them, I have to make a decision.  If you look at my design wall below, you can see the four completed SSS blocks all together on the bottom right.....

Do you notice what I see?  The block on the bottom left really does not fit with the others!  The corner squares are black instead of a color like the others.  Hmmmmm....

So, I have a few choices here.  I've already decided to redo the center section with the cat, taking out the color bands around her.  It just takes away from her sweet face too much, and I think having just the black around it, like the other blocks, will bring it out visually.  Then I can either redo the corners of the block and call it good, or I can make at least one of the Bonus Blocks have black corners as well.  *cue Final Jeopardy music*  Tune in friends to find out the conclusion of this nail-biting mystery !!!!

GIVEAWAY!!!!  As with each of our previous three Sew Sweet Simplicity QAL events, Jacquelynne is offering another wonderful PDF package of her patterns for a giveaway to one lucky reader!!!

I just love both of these patterns!  Jacquelynne has such a wonderful sense of design, so sweet and feminine, but with lots of color and visual impact!  If you'd like to win this package, just leave a comment on this post telling me if you have ever done wool applique and whether or not you like it.  Easy-peasy!!!  The giveaway is open to all readers, domestic and international, and will be open until midnight on Monday, February 2, 2015.  BE SURE I HAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!!!

If you are sewing along with us, please share your blocks on Jacquelynne's Facebook page HERE.  You can also share on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #sewsweetsimplicity.  We all want to see them so we can oooooohh and aaaaahhhh, right?

Have a lovely week my friends!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Loving Me Some Rainbows!!!

Pretty little BLUE crumb blocks in the SNOW!!!!  Yes,  my friends, we got SNOW here in Nashville last night!  Oh JOY :*)  Okay, so it was only about half an inch, and it was gone by noon, but it was a real, true-to-life, bonafide, honest to goodness SNOW!  And it was so lovely on the ground when I awoke this morning, I just had to run out and take a picture of my crumb blocks in it before it melted :*)

RSC 15

One of my favorite blog parties is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge with Angela at So Scrappy, and I was delighted when she said she would be hostessing again this year.  I decided that the crumb jars would figure in my plan of attack, so I dumped out this month's color jar - BLUE! - and got to work (or should I say play?) ....

Every jar in every color is full to overflowing, so something's got to be done with them.  I love the freedom and mindless sewing of stitching up all these fun leftover pieces into a serendipitous quilt that will be loved and cuddled up in just like the planned quilts that were made from the original yardages :)

I love the "anything goes" mentality - stripes and solids, plaids and florals - throw them all in there and make something sparkling and new!

These are a great start, and we have another week yet to play with our BLUEs before a new color is announced.  All my pieces are still poured out next to my machine, ready for any spare moments I may find to churn out more lovely little crumb blocks :)

And speaking of RAINBOWS- I made a good start on the first block of my Arcadia Avenue quilt this week!

Click on the button in the sidebar to learn more about this quilt :)

I hit a little bump in the road as I started to cut the pieces for this first block - one of my fabrics was only a fat quarter instead of a half yard!  Apparently I had never unfolded it to be sure.  Duh!

So I had to go back to the stash and on the right is the fabric I chose to replace it.  I loved the orange elements in the first fabric, but I wasn't sure where I had bought it (I suspect in NC), and the online pictures were not close enough for me to be sure I would be ordering the same exact colorway.  As small as these pieces will end up being cut, I'm thinking it will be fine.  I actually ended up exchanging several fabrics for those I had originally picked ....

I'm using all stash for this quilt except for the Dark Raspberry which will be my medium constant, and the soft gray polka dot, which is my light constant.  The black is my dark constant from my stash.

I'm loving the fact that this project is paper pieced!  It's been so long since I had the pleasure of making a paper-pieced quilt.  I think one thing that appeals to me is the flow of it.  I always work on multiple sections at a time and chain piece ....

..... and having all the pieces laid out ready to stitch appeals to my organizational soul :)

Of course, I was quickly reminded that it is not very wise to try to watch TV and chain piece a paper-pieced project .... LOL!!!

This is going to be such a fun quilt and I am glad to finally get started on it :)  Sassafras Lane is hosting a Quilt Along for anyone working on this quilt, so if you're interested, you can go HERE to get all the juicy details

In the meantime, be sure to go HERE to see all the other lovely BLUE blocks shared in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week!

Also linking up with BOM's Away HERE and Tuesday Linky Party at Freemotion by the River:)

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday .... and Football!!!

Today will find me joining my friends at Kathy's Quilts doing some Slow Stitching and watching the NFL Playoffs with My Guy.  I can think of few better ways to spend a lovely Sunday!  Well, maybe if the Panthers were still in the running and playing today it might could be better *wink*  But as I've learned the hard way, you can't have everything - where would you put it all????

I've got everything ready to work on stitching together the pieces for the first round of my New Hexagon - Millefiori Rosette #1 ...

Kathy challenged us to include a picture of our hand in the photo actually hand-stitching on our projects.  Here is mine of my stitching together the center hexagon - notice my nail polish growing out - Ugh!!!

There are only about a million pieces in this first Rosette .....

But I have to say, this is GREAT fun!!!  What could be more exciting than digging deep in the stash to find just the perfect fabric to enhance these amazing designs?  You can see the web address of Katja's Quilt Shoppe on the Paper Pieces package or go HERE if you are interested in looking up this Quilt-Along to see what it's all about.  There's also a wonderful Facebook page HERE, chock full of eye candy where everyone is sharing their progress - such wonderful Rosettes!  I really need to get caught up because Rosette #2 is released on February 1!

For those who may have missed it in my earlier post, below is a picture of Katja's actual Rosettes that she is making for the original quilt .... aren't they simply GORGEOUS???

While in the hotel in the evenings in Asheville, I managed to stitch a tiny bit on a few of my Patchwork of the Crosses, which I'm also doing by the EPP method ....

I am determined to not ignore these lovely blocks while working on Millefiori :)  There are quite a few pieces already cut and ready to stitch - which as I have said before is the only way any of my projects tend to progress.

I also shared in THIS POST that the ClearStamp Quilting Template really helped with that preparation.  This stamp is made of a clear flexible rubber material, which makes it so easy to work with and allows me to see exactly where my motifs will end up on my finished POTC pieces :)

I've had quite a few requests about how to find these stamps.  They were designed by Marita, owner of  The Quilters Path, and can be purchased from her. Click HERE to go to the website and get her phone and email info.  I'm sure she will be happy to get those out to you right away :)  And don't forget to order the ink too - it's the perfect color and lasts forever!  (Yes, I forgot to get the ink when I bought the stamps - *conks self on forehead* - duh!!!!)

pattykf - I could not respond to your comment by email because you show up as a No Reply blogger, so I hope you are reading this post today :)

So that's my Sunday in a nutshell.  What's on your agenda today?  Hope it's something relaxing and totally enjoyable!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Also linking up with:
HeLP for Hexie-aholics!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

2015 Finish-Along - Q1 List

I just had to share some of the beauty that I enjoyed while I was in the North Carolina mountains with my mom.  This is a picture I took just about a mile before reaching her home....

Isn't it just so peaceful and nostalgic?  
The fog coming in over the mountain was simply magnificent!!!

I really would like to thank all of you who sent such lovely get-well wishes and prayers to me and my Mom!  We are very, very blessed to have received wonderful news - as of right now, she is considered cancer free!  Her surgeon is confident that he was able to remove all of the growth on her colon during surgery, and the pathology reports on the lymph nodes were ALL negative!!!!  Halleluiah!!!  She will probably need to have some preventative treatments of some sort just to make sure there are no cancer cells hiding out anywhere, but we are thrilled with this blessing!

As you can see, she was able to go home earlier this week, and she was very happy about that!  The staff at Mission Hospital in Asheville were superb, and I can't say enough good things about her surgeon, Dr. Bradshaw.  But nonetheless, we were definitely ready to blow that taco stand!!!  Of course, that meant that I was able to come home too.....  Nashville, here I come!

Can you see my angel who goes with me everywhere?

I took a few days of down time when I got home, but I've slowly begun to get back into the swing of my quilting schedule.  One of the things I really wanted to participate in this year was the 2015 Finish Along with Adrianne over at On The Windy Side

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I'm pretty sure I'm sliding in with my list right under the wire!!!  But here goes ....

2015 Finish-Along – Q1 List

1.       MCQG - UFO #10.  Bind Indian Summer.  

This quilt was started in 2007 and quilted last year.  All it has needed for the past year is the binding – yikes!!!  Time to finish ‘er up!

2.       Finish quilting Montego Bay and bind.

This is actually quilted, but there’s a section with some tension issues on the back.  It’s been sitting because I've been avoiding making a decision about whether it’s bad enough to tear out that section and re-quilt or keep it as is.  It’s time for it to move out of the studio and into the Finished Quilts stack!

3.       Quilt and bind the Bargello Baby quilt for Downs Syndrome Association from 2014.

This was such a fun quilting day with my Guild friends!  I made the quilt that first week – and then never found time to get it quilted and bound.  I really can’t think of any acceptable excuse for taking this long to get this sweet quilt finished up!

4.       Quilt and bind Whooooooo's Your Daddy?

I started this one last year as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  I kept up with making the owls each month, but then got bogged down in life toward the end of the year.  I need to finish the applique stitching on about half of the Hooties, perch them in the tree and attach their little clawed feet, then quilt and bind.

5.       Finish a secret gift for a blog friend – she deserved it long ago!  I can’t share pictures now, but I’ll be sure to do that when it is finished and gifted.

6.       Complete five Bertie’s Year wall quilts that need to be embroidered and quilted.  This will leave only the December kit to do later in the year.

7.       Quilt and bind Amish Beauties.

8.       Make a tabletopper quilt from this orphan block for display in February.

9.       Finish Sara’s Shark Pencil Case.  All the fabrics are pulled and the pattern downloaded from Patchwork Posse- I just need to sit down and make it!

10.  Complete my Peacock See-N-Go bag.

This has been on my ToDo list since early summer 2014.  You can see more about this bag I designed for Jacquelynne Steves HERE

That should keep me plenty busy don't you think?  Of course, I do have three months to finish these up, and I'm not obligated to finish them all - which is a good thing I'm thinking - LOL!!!  I have several new projects I've started too, so look for some fun posts coming soon.  I'm also looking forward to catching up on all of YOUR news!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Also linking up with Angie at WIP's Be Gone!

WIPs Be Gone

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mommies Come First

I know you've all been wondering if I fell off the face of the earth. Well, actually I've been climbing mountains! My mom lives in the lovely North Carolina mountains, and she had surgery last Thursday to remove a cancerous growth in her lower colon, so I've been in Asheville helping to take care of her.

She's been a great patient and is recovering nicely :) They removed all the wires and tubes yesterday, and we got a beautiful smile from her....

We are hoping she will go home today or tomorrow. She will still have quite a bit of healing to do at home for the next few weeks, and I don't want to leave until I am sure she and her husband are comfortable with her care.

I brought lots of sewing things with me, but to be honest I just haven't been able to concentrate on anything but her. I'll have lots of catching up to do when I get home!

Thanks for your prayers and patience my friends!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday ... and Every Day!

It's been all Slow Stitching around here lately!

The holiday season is always a busy time with all the preparations and get-togethers with friends and family.  We barely got home from our visit to Carolina at Thanksgiving when it was time to start decorating for Christmas.  Over the past several weeks, we've enjoyed visits from several of our children and grandbabies - what a joy it is to hold them in our arms and see their sweet smiles!

Of course, those busy days usually mean very little time at the sewing machine, right?  I have managed a few stolen hours here and there, but not much - certainly not enough to share.  However, handwork has been happening!!!  

Here is my latest Patchwork of the Crosses block.  I love those bright oranges!  This one reminds me of fireflies and stars :)

Several other blocks are in various stages of completion as well.

As I have said before, having everything ready to stitch is key for me to move these little puppies along :)  One thing that is helping make them go faster is using the ClearStamp Template from The Quilter's Path.

I finally went by the Quilter's Path and picked up the ink pad to go with the templates which I purchased quite a while back.  In addition to the 1" Honeycomb stamp, the package includes a 1" square and 1" Half Square template.  So far, I've only used the Honeycomb template, but the others will come in handy when I start joining the blocks together.

I love using this stamp!  It is flexible and you can clearly see where the design will end up on your patch.  It has two lines that stamp onto the back of your fabric, the stitching line and the 1/4" seam allowance cutting line .....

You can stamp a lot of patches very quickly!
It sure beats drawing around templates over and over :)

Can you believe this is the back of that gorgeous orange????

I've also started work on Millefiori.  I really struggled with fabrics for this project, even though I have tons of fabrics that lend themselves to kaleidoscopes very nicely.  I had three issues to address while picking my fabrics:
- I wanted to keep this first month's rosette in the yellow/orange/pink ranges, and I discovered that my "wild" fabrics are limited in that color range - oops!  
- I had to be sure there was enough of the chosen fabrics to make the needed number of motifs.  For the center I only needed six of each motif, but going forward the numbers multiply.
- I had to make sure I had enough variety to put together each of the rounds in the Rosette to give it a lot of interest and value.  I was surprised at the number of fabrics in my stash that I thought would be perfect for this Rosette, but which didn't work at all with my Center block!   

I finally chose this wonderful Australian print - very aboriginal and funky :)

and it made this very interesting Center for my Rosette #1 ....

This is an english paper-piecing QAL with Katja's Quilt Shoppe.  Katja uses glue instead of baste prepping the pieces for each block.  I love the simplicity of it, but I'm not happy with the way I can see each of my stitches in the final block.  I'm hoping that eases when I take the templates out.

 The intricacy of each of Katja's hexagons is quite remarkable, and  she puts them together to make the most marvelous medallions!

Photo from The New Hexagon - Millefiori Quilt-Along on Facebook
We are working from her book, The New Hexagon.

The New Hexagon
See it HERE
I thoroughly enjoyed stitching on these hand projects today while watching my Carolina Panthers win their first NFL Playoff game!

We Panther fans feel like we won the lottery or something, since our team had only 7 regular season wins, while all the other teams in the Playoffs have at least 11.  We'll take it though and enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts :)

Have a lovely Sunday my friends!!!!
Linking up with Design Wall Monday
WIPs Be Gone & Kathy's Quilts

WIPs Be Gone

Slow Sunday Stitching

Hugs & Blessings!

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