Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hand Sewing Day

Once my errands and chores were done, I did hand piecing. I sat on the front porch and listened to a book while I stitched. Then this guy walked by...

He marched right down the center of the street. 

Last I saw him, he was moving rather quickly (for a turtle) toward the end of the street.

I finished another Farmer's Daughter block (made from Gardenvale scraps).

I also worked on another Bring Me Flowers block.

All in all, a lovely and relaxing day.

Today's plans include more progress on the Bring Me Flowers block. I'd also like to cut out more hand piecing - a couple of Farmer's Daughter blocks, for sure. AND, I'd like to pull out the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt - haven't worked on it lately. I think I'll find a movie or documentary on Netflix to watch while I sew.

I hope you have a nice day, also!

Friday, June 23, 2017


All I have to show from yesterday are puppy pictures. But aren't they cute?

Sammy and Cooper got along great! Mickey liked him as well! The cats? They didn't really like our dogs, so we did our best to keep them apart.

What a sweet boy he is! At just over 8 weeks, he's very young. But Sammy is growing and learning every day. He'll be such a good companion!

We tried to help them as much as we could get their house more settled feeling. That meant putting together a couple of beds, assembling lawn equipment, hooking up the washer and dryer - that kind of thing. 

Birmingham had tornado warnings during the day - eek! - but no damage done where we were, thank goodness.

Today I'll get some laundry and some sewing done. And a couple of quick errands, too...

Have a nice one!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Machine Quilting Progress

I quilted FOUR dresden plate blocks yesterday! And then I put them together in rows. Neither row is complete, but I'm pleased with my progress. These are going very quickly!

Today we're headed to Birmingham - I'll get to see Daughter 2 and SIL 2's new home and meet their new dog. Can't wait! I have a fun day ahead!

Of course we're on day 3 of rain - parts of Cindy. But nothing severe here, thank goodness. Our dogs are going with us today so they can meet Sammy, too.

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Autumn Garden is Finished!

Yesterday after the movers left...I decided to hand stitch the binding on Autumn Garden. And I finished it at 11 pm last night. Boom! Another finish, at last!

We are happy today that both our storage units are HALF empty! In fact, Hubby is heading over there this morning to work on sorting. We are DETERMINED to get these COMPLETELY empty very soon and make this monthly payment GO AWAY!

As for me...I plan to sew all day. I need a good sewing day! I'm thinking machine quilting? Maybe a bit of piecing? We'll see...

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Machine Quilting

I machine quilted one block and a half block. It's not as much as I wanted to do, but my day was super busy. Before I quilted too many of these, I decided to put two of them together to make sure my plan would work. Here they are from the front.

And here they are from the back. I still have to hand stitch the back opening. This will work great! But I did learn that I'm quilting too close to the edge - I need to stay a bit further away. And that is good to know!

I ran some errands and also did a bit of baking - applesauce bread. I had some applesauce that needed to be used and this seemed a good solution. The house smelled like pulled pork in the am and apples and cinnamon in the pm.  Both are nice smells!

I also cut out another Bring Me Flowers block. And I finally filled up my new caddy. A good and productive day.

This morning we are meeting another set of movers at our storage unit to supervise them while they load piles of stuff in a truck to take to Daughter 2 in Birmingham. That shouldn't take too long. Daughter 2 and SIL2 will have a busy and fun day as they watch all their stuff coming into their new home. We'll go later in the week to see everything - can't wait!

Wishing you a wonderful day!

Monday, June 19, 2017

I'm Running Late!

I got up really early this morning to get Hubby off really early - he's headed to Tuscaloosa to help with Daughter 2 and SIL 2's move to B'ham. They both had to work today, so he's meeting the movers and supervising everything.

So if I got up early, why am I late posting? Well...I went back to bed! And slept 3 more hours... I should be well rested now!

Here's a block I finished over the weekend - another Bring Me Flowers block - more baby carriage flowers.

And I must share this cute little boy. The day after they closed on their new house, Daughter 2 drove to pick up this little fellow. They've named him Sammy. He's an 8 week old Golden Retriever. I get to meet him later this week - can't wait! I LOVE PUPPIES!

Last night I put a Boston Butt in the Crockpot with lots of seasonings. It cooked all night long and is still simmering. The house smells so good! Some baked beans and cole slaw and we'll have our dinner. I've been craving pulled pork...

Today is Machine Quilting Monday! Let's see how many dresden blocks I can quilt! Have a sweet day!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Finished Caddy!

You started like this.

And now.... I LOVE it! I'm so glad I added the legs!

Aren't the new knobs adorable?????

And here it is opened up. This was a LOT of work, but so worth it. All the screws (and there are a lot of screws) are new, also. The knob bolts were too long - a neighbor helped Hubby saw them to a better length. I'm a happy camper!

Now it's time to fill it with all my necessaries!

Happy Father's Day to my hubby!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Moving Things Around...

Did I sew all day? No... Did I read all day? No... Did I swim? Again, NO!

I got up yesterday morning and felt like the walls of my sewing room were closing in on me. I can clean and put things away and reorganize all day long, BUT I knew there was simply too much stuff in there. Something needed to give. Something needed to go.

The photo is my new and improved and streamlined sewing room. I can breathe!

Can you tell what's missing? Cooper's crate! The table OVER Cooper's crate! The Accuquilt!

Cooper's crate is HUGE and took up lots of cubic feet. I decided the Accuquilt could live in the laundry room when not in use. It can come out to play anytime I need it. I don't use it to cut fabric every single day. I don't even use it every week. So this makes sense.

Cooper has matured so much and though I can't trust him completely (he turned the oven on a couple of nights ago - 350 degrees, to be exact), I hope he can learn to sleep on his soft bed without his crate.  I'm happy to report that the first night went so well!

This was a big upgrade for Cooper - he's never had a soft bed in his crate because he always chewed it. But he doesn't destroy his soft bed if it's NOT in a crate. He slept great on his soft bed and did not bother anything in my sewing room! This will provide extra incentive for me to alway put things away in there before he goes to bed at night.

All this rearranging took All. Day. Long. All day. I plan on making it feel more personal by hanging some quilts. So that was my day. I did listen to a book while I worked, so that's good anyway. And I'm almost finished with my little caddy - a few more screws and I'll be done with that.

Let's have a TV update. I recently watched the documentary series, The Keeper, on Netflix. Very interesting. And we also recently finished Lark Rise to Candleford - a show on Amazon set in the late 19th century in the countryside of England. Really enjoyed this one, too! We need to find another longterm series to watch.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Another Day, Another Block

I finished another Farmer's Daughter block - this one made from New Bedford scraps. I believe this is the 14th block.

I didn't sew much yesterday. I needed to reorganize a bit in my sewing room. I've finished a few tops so I had to move the empty bins out of the way. I also finished waxing the sewing caddy - today I'll put all the pieces together!

Last night I spoke at my local guild - a fun evening! I don't speak at guilds anymore, except occasionally my own. Retired! I talked about curved hexagons. Of course.

I'm looking forward to today! Why? I don't have any plans! The laundry is caught up. My sewing room is clean. And I have a dish in the refrigerator for dinner tonight. Hmmm...what will I do?

Of course there will be sewing. And maybe some reading. And maybe even some swimming? We'll see.

Have a great one!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New Bedford Top: DONE! (And a Marinade Recipe...)

I had two borders left on New Bedford. I got it done! The sun was streaming in...

Here are two photos of the finished top - one in the shade...

...and one in the sun. You know I love to make intricate, complicated, hand stitched quilts. But there's something to be said for a machine sewn 'quickie.' And as I've said previously, I plan to make this pattern again, maybe in Christmas fabrics. You can find the pattern HERE.

And progress on my sewing caddy? Yes! I finished the painting - 4 coats in all. And I put the first coat  of wax on. I plan on 2 or 3 coats of wax before I call it complete and put the pieces together again.

Are you ready for a recipe? Daughter 2 had grilled chicken with this marinade over the weekend and raved about it. So of course we had to make it, too. Yes, it's delicious!

Chicken Marinade (also good on pork chops)

3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp powdered mustard
1 tbs onion flakes
Sprinkle red pepper

Marinate chicken overnight before grilling.

Here's a shot of sunset a few nights ago - I love that bit of orange peaking through the clouds...

Hope you're smiling today!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Bit More Work on the Sewing Caddy

Yesterday didn't quite go as planned, but that's okay. I had a little stomach bug that slowed me down a bit. I did sit at the dining room table and put the second coat of paint on all the pieces of the sewing caddy. At least one more coat will be needed...maybe two. I'm pleased with my progress, though.

Other than that, all I did was a bit of hand sewing in my recliner.

I feel better today, thank goodness! So I'm definitely having some fun with my machine - I think I'll get those borders on New Bedford this morning. Hope so, anyway!

I'll also work on the sewing caddy, because I'm ready to get it DONE! (...and off the dining room table...) I want to finish it by the end of the week. I can't wait to put stuff in it! I alway seem to have a messy table beside my recliner - I'm hoping this will hide some stuff and look good while it's doing its job.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Machine Quilting Monday!

I finished basting the big dresden blocks for my Gardenvale quilt yesterday. I've been basting one or two here and there so I didn't have too many left.

And then I moved on to baste the six half blocks. I used only batting scraps to do all this basting - and that is a happy thing, indeed. And I used all stash (black/white) fabrics for the backing. Another happy thing!

And there you go - 16 full blocks and 6 half blocks, basted and ready.

And you know I couldn't stop there. I quilted one block for good measure. I'm doing a free motion Spirograph type design on the center and stippling on the background. I'm going to enjoy quilting all the other blocks, I know. It was good to be back behind my machine!

I did get out yesterday afternoon for a haircut and followed that up with a trip to the grocery. Today I'll be home and I plan on getting more sewing done. Maybe I'll get the final borders on New Bedford? We'll see.

Have a great one!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Painting and Staining and Sanding...Oh My!

Just a bit of sewing yesterday - I finished this baby carriage flower block - love it! The flower pot is Tula Pink cat eyes.

I worked a LOT on my wooden sewing caddy though. I finished sanding all the pieces. Then I put a first coat of paint on almost all of it. I also sanded and stained two wooden cheese box lids (remember those) that are now the tops on the old cylinders I bought months ago. I prefer painting over staining, just saying...

I hope to get a coat of paint on the legs for the caddy today. Then I can do another sanding and be ready for the second coat of paint. And I may put a coat of wax on the cheese box lids. I'm being so crafty, aren't I?


Here's my new toy that arrived Saturday! Oh, I love it so! I listened to The Woman in Cabin 10 on cd's a few weeks ago - I had checked it out of the library. I loved it - my first book on tape - wonderful experience, EXCEPT...listening on cd's was a real nuisance. There were TEN cd's. I felt trapped because I had to play it on my computer. 

So now I'm checking out audible books via my phone and using my new head set to listen. I don't even have to be really close to my phone - I can get up and leave the room and still get reception. Yesterday I listened to a book while I walked Cooper and also while I was outside painting and staining. LOVE it! I'm not sure why it took me so long to get into the new century, but I'm glad I finally found my way here!

Happy 87th Birthday to my sweet mother today!

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A TINY Bit of Sewing

I think a few days off from stitching did me a world of good - a nice little stay-cation. But I did do a bit of hand stitching yesterday. I finished another Bring Me Flowers block - the second of the two double pinwheel flowers - and I started a new one. This one has 'baby carriage' flowers. Sweet, aren't they?

I'm thinking I may redo my schedule - I think it's gotten me discombobulated a bit. When I look at it and see two, or even three choices of projects to work on in one single's just too overwhelming. I think I may re-think today. Ha! I'll figure it out. But I know something may have to be put aside for a bit. 

Yesterday afternoon we went to the pool. We didn't swim, but we enjoyed sitting in the shade and watching kids in the 'family pool.' We saw some of our neighbors and visited with some nice hotel guests.

And then spent a few minutes in the hot tub before we came home and grilled burgers. A nice day.

Later today I plan to work on my sewing box. I bought legs and knobs for it yesterday. I'm almost ready to paint - just a bit more sanding to do.

Have a relaxing day!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Another Day Off...

I had a little headache yesterday and ended up taking yet another day off from sewing. And I think it was probably good for me. Who knows...I may not sew today...we'll see! (But I'll bet I will...)

I did get out for a bit to our local quilt shop to visit and buy a pattern - yeah, I know what your thinking...don't really need another pattern...but I now have another pattern. Haha! I also made some cookies that didn't turn out so well - but Cooper loved them - he stole SEVERAL!

And in the late afternoon we took Mickey for a golf cart ride - one of his favorite activities. We don't take him for walks in the neighborhood because he's too yappy - he barks constantly at everyone we see. So this is his occasional treat.

And we spent some time battling these little bugs. They are the size of ladybugs, but their backend is squared off a bit and they are a mottled black/green color. They are EVERYWHERE outside our house, especially in the back. They seem to be attracted to light colors as they congregated on the light trim of our house, hubby's white car, and the white shorts I was wearing - UGH! Hubby had his bug spray and went after them with a vengeance. They seem to be mostly gone this morning.

We are going for breakfast this morning at an open house around the corner - it's the first 'smart' house in our neighborhood - our last house was 'smart' though we decided we like unintelligent houses better. 'Smart' houses (we found) can be a challenge. And if something doesn't work correctly, it can be the devil to find someone to fix it. Ha!

Have a great day!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Chuck Nohara

Today was supposed to be hexie day. And I DID get the hexie box out. But my left hand was a bit sore and stiff so I decided I needed to give my hands a day off. But I did lay out the pieces and figure out what to do next. I've decided to make this into a table runner. Even though it won't be a full quilt, there is still much work to do. I hope to get back to it soon.

Since I didn't stitch, I decided to work on another project. I made a trade for this sewing caddy while at retreat. My friend had gotten it in a box of other items at a garage sale. I've been wanting one of these! Yes, it's seen better days, but no worries there. Today I took it completely apart and began to sand it down. I'm planning to paint it and add new knobs. And I'm going to see if I can find some little legs to screw in the bottom. 

Have you heard of Chuck Nohara? I had not until today. I saw a post on Pinterest that led me to look further on the Internet. I've been behind the times - Chuck Nohara has been a THING in the quilt world for quite some time! And now...I'm afraid...I I found this blog post from a few years ago and became even more intrigued. Oh dear. I think I'm trouble. 2001 blocks. Two thousand and one! 

I think this book will be my birthday present to myself. (My birthday is not until July...but I've already ordered the book.) 

Today is another hand work day - and my hand feels great! I did the right thing by resting it yesterday. I plan to stitch a bit, but I also want to get out of the house - I've been home for too many days in a row and I know I need to get out a bit. 

Enjoy your day! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Jen Kingwell Day (And NEW BEDFORD Pattern Link!)

I finished the latest I'm A Farmer's Daughter block - this makes 13 out of 25. I still think I have a few of these blocks buried in storage somewhere - hopefully they'll turn up this summer.

Then I decided to lay the blocks out on a bed to see how they look - that orange one stands out like a sore thumb, doesn't it? I think I need to make another bright one (or two) and scatter them throughout for balance. What do you think?

Then I moved on to the next Bring Me Flowers block. I used template plastic to make templates for this one.

I set out to cut fabric for two more Farmer's Daughter blocks and two more Bring Me Flowers blocks. For the next FD blocks I grabbed scraps from the dresden plate quilt...

...and scraps from the New Bedford quilt.

Next I cut out the next BMF blocks.

Four baggies. Four block kits. This took me about 3 HOURS! Luckily I enjoy this tedious hand cutting. AND now I have plenty of hand piecing at the ready for my evenings. And that's a good thing!

Okay, on to the New Bedford pattern. I don't know why I couldn't find in on the Internet, but my reader, Betty, DID! (THANKS, Betty!) Here's the LINK. For someone who really doesn't enjoy piecing (like me...) this is a wonderful quilt - the pieces are big and it looks like you did more work than you actually did. I plan to make this pattern again...maybe in Christmas colors.

Have a sweet day!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New Bedford - Only Two More Borders Left

I fixed the block that was turned sideways first thing yesterday. Then I went on to finish sewing the blocks together. Boom! And then I added the first border. Boom! Two more borders to go...I'll save them for another day.

I have no problem almost finishing something and then stepping away. Crazy, right? I'll be reading a good book...get almost to the end...and put it down to save for later. I'm the same with grocery shopping. I'll come home and put almost everything way...then stop. I might wait hours to put the final few things away.

Maybe I know that when I finish this top it will be added to the list of quilts waiting to be quilted...if I put it off a few days maybe I can finish binding Autumn Garden.  Who knows what's going on my crazy brain? All I know is New Bedford is almost done, but not quite!

I've had a few people ask me about this pattern. It came with the kit I purchased in Houston last Fall. As far as I can tell it's a free pattern, but I can't find any sign of it now. Let me do a bit more research on this. If it is a free pattern, I would be glad to send those interested a copy of the downloaded pattern. I'll keep you posted on this.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Purpose and Direction

Purpose and Direction. That's a mantra in our family - these words were often spoken by my late father-in-law. And even though I'm retired and can do anything I choose on any given day, I like to be productive...even in my quilting hobby. With so many projects in progress at one time, I really needed to revamp my personal schedule so I can move my quilting projects forward.

Here's my new schedule:

Monday-Machine Quilting
Tuesday- Machine Piecing Day - New Bedford/Marmalade/UFO
Wednesday-Jen Kingwell: Farmer’s Daughter, Bring Me Flowers
Thursday- Hexies
Friday-Hand Work – Bird Dance, Rowdy Flat Library Quilt

Weekend – Machine Quilting/ my choice

As before, Mondays will be for machine quilting - I began yesterday by basting 6 blocks of my Gardenvale dresden quilt - you may remember I'm machine quilting this one block at a time. I'm using different black and white prints for the backing.

Tuesdays will be for machine piecing. I have two piecing projects underway, New Bedford and Marmalade. As I finish these, I'll work on UFO's or other piecing projects on this day.

Wednesdays will be for my two Jen Kingwell projects.

Thursdays will be HEXIE DAY! I'm anxious to get back on track on The Bee's Knees.

Fridays will be my handwork day on Bird Dance and/or RFLQ.

If you noticed...Wednesday, Thursday, AND Friday are all hand work days. I do love hand work...

I work so much better with a schedule and PURPOSE AND DIRECTION. As always, I'll take days off as I choose. But this will give me a starting point each day.

Lest you think I sew all day long...this schedule is for my mornings only - haha!

So that means today I'll be machine piecing! I need to pull out the seam ripper and fix that New Bedford block that is turned the wrong way. And then I'll sew more of these blocks together.

It's such a small thing - having a schedule. But I can't tell you how much better it makes me feels! Without it I would 'forget' some projects (The Bee's Knees) - not happening now!

Have a great day!