Monday, March 27, 2017

LOTS of Zippered Pouches!


How many zippered pouches can I make in an afternoon? 14! I made them 'assembly line' style and it went very quickly. It helped so much to have the pieces cut and the zippers picked out for each. When I finished I packed up my sewing machine with it's cords and it's ready to go for it's 'spa treatment' this week.




Hubby planted a couple of dogwood trees in our backyard a few weeks ago and one is in full bloom - so pretty!

Last night we had a lovely sunset golf cart ride with Mickey. We had heard that there is a community garden in our neighborhood but had never seen it. Off we went to search - it's tucked away so it can't be spotted from the road. We did find it - more about that later...

I've had a couple of questions about the books I've read this year. I have them listed on the right sidebar of the blog with a link to Amazon so you can read about them. I'm not doing book reviews here, but maybe you'll see one of interest to you.

Okay. So today is Machine Quilting Monday and that's not going to happen without my Bernina. I could work on the neutral four patches for En Provence though. And I think that's just what I'll do. Now that I've got that decided I think I'll get to work!

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Bird 7 and Tiny Cooper



Bird 7 is complete! Last night I began work on Bird 8.


I never did make it to my sewing machine, but I had fun painting several tiny paintings. This is my favorite - Cooper running with a big stick. 


Here's the original photo...taken at the lake, running beside the water. Such a sweet boy. 

As for today, I will definitely get to work on zippered pouches. I want to get all the ones I have cut out finished. And that shouldn't take long. On April 1 I'm participating in an 'Art in the Park' event in our neighborhood and these pouches will be available. I'll be displaying many of my quilts and a few of my paintings, too. Hubby will be helping me. There will be 21 other craftsmen there along with a wine tasting. 

I've been really making it a point to read more this year. I love to read, but never seemed to fit it in to my week. My goal was simple - read one book per month. I thought that was very doable. Well, last night I finished my fourth book of the year. I'm ahead of my personal goal!

I feel we should always strive to learn new things and better ourselves, even if it's in small increments. I hope to be lifelong learner of new things! 

I wish you a happy day! 


Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Bit of Painting...



I finally got my paints out yesterday! I'd had a hankering to work tiny after seeing an article about an artist who paints tiny little watercolors. So I gave it a go. This is a cup of coffee (looking down on it) if you can't tell...my husband thought it was an eyeball! Haha! I put the pencil beside it so you can see how small it is.


This is Fritz - a friend's sweet dog. No, this one is not tiny!


I did sew hexies yesterday, but I haven't taken a picture yet. I also worked on Bird 7 and it's almost done. Yes, Cooper photo bombed this!

I was determined to spend some time reading on the front porch and I made that happen, too.

So what's on tap today? I'm thinking I'll try to paint more tiny pictures while I have all my supplies out. And I want to make some zippered pouches. And there will be hand sewing done!

Hubby has an appointment and a golf game in Montgomery Monday - I won't be going along, but I think I'll send my sewing machine with him to drop off for servicing. I'm not sure how I'll survive! But I know it's overdue, so I must. So that means no machine sewing next week unless I can do it on my Featherweight. Actually, I can do most of my projects on my Featherweight - just not machine quilting. I will survive!

It's shorts weather today! And I'll be wearing mine! But storms are coming in this afternoon. Not a problem - we'll just walk Cooper a bit earlier. Have a fabulous day!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Dresden Centers



When I purchased the Gardenvale kit at Houston last Fall, the vendor included a free charm pack with my purchase. I'm using it for the dresden centers.


Luckily I had the perfect size Accuquilt die (4 inches in diameter) to cut the circles! I also cut circles from plain white fabric to use as the facing for the circles. I'm trying to decide if I should put this project on hold until the quilting retreat I'll be attending in May. This would be a perfect project for retreat!


I also pulled fabric for more zippered pouches. I did a bulk order on zippers, ordering a variety of colors. So I pulled fabrics from my stash that would match some of the zipper colors.

One long zipper will make two bags, but you need a second zipper pull.


I bulk ordered a variety of zipper pulls, too. I've already cut the fusible fleece and have fused the fleece to the fabric pieces. Now I can make these pouches quickly with all the prep work done.


Much to our delight, our patio did get poured yesterday! Yippee! In a few weeks a stone border will be laid around the outside edge. This will be home to our fire pit and some chairs. We plan to add some lights on the back of the house along with an electrical outlet. That will allow us to have a TV out there, along with a fountain at some point.

Today is hexie day!!!! I hope to finish the round on the current star for The Bee's Knees. Have a great day!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Twosies...



I tackled the neutral four patches for En Provence yesterday. First I cut the strips. Then I sewed strips together and cut them up. Now I have lots of twosies! I think I'll make more of these before mixing them up to make four patches. This quilt is getting done!


Here's another little doggy painting. Meet Henry, the dog of a friend. He's a cutie, no? I finished this several days ago, but am just now posting it. I wanted it to be in my friend's hands before I made it public. 

I had to run a few errands yesterday - one priority was to buy some new shorts and t-shirts. The warm weather is here! And I had no summer clothes that would fit me! And now I do - I'm happy. 

Good news! We both got our lab results from our physicals - we are both very healthy, indeed. It's amazing how much our numbers have improved since losing weight - though we were never at risk even then. Always good to have good numbers! 

Okay, Thursday is Autumn Garden day, and this quilt is now being machine quilted on Mondays. So what to do? I'm thinking I may work on more twosies (En Provence), maybe some circle centers for the dresden (Gardenvale), and hopefully I'll finally pull out my paints. Sounds like a fun day! 

Have you noticed I have a LOT of quilt tops that will finished soon! My machine quilting Monday will have a queue. 

We may (or may not) have our new patio poured today. They are pouring the driveway next door, so we are hoping to wrangle them over to do our little job at the same time. We'll see how that works. Hubby is outside hoping to make it happen. Fingers crossed. We been trying to get an estimate for weeks now and it's so hard to track down the correct people and get them to call back. So we may get the price quote five minutes before the concrete is poured. Or not! 

Wishing you a fun filled day!



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Done With Dresden Wedges!




I finished the last of the wedge sewing yesterday for Gardenvale. Boom! Ready for the center circles!
Boom!





And then I set about stitching a few zippered pouches. I'm still addicted to make these! Here's my stash of pouches so far. I'm trying to make a few every day this week.

Our physicals went well, except for having to go without breakfast until almost 11 am. By then I was starving and ate way too much lunch. I ended up going over my calorie allotment for the day by about 75 calories. Oh well. One day over won't kill me...


We both had to get a Tetanus shot - just to keep up with our immunizations. Owe! Sore arm! Sore shoulder! Headache from lack of breakfast. I'll be glad to get back on track with meals today. But it is always a good idea to get checked out and worth the discomfort! Blood work results will be available in a few days. By late afternoon I was ready to kick up my feet and read on the screened porch.

We both have dermatologist checkups next week. And then I'll have my mammogram a week or so after that. And then I'll be done with checkups for the YEAR! Yay!

Rodan and Fields News!

Guess what?! There's a Luxury Shopping Event put on by my team at R and F beginning Thursday evening on Facebook! There will be several Consultants featured explaining various products. AND I'M ONE OF THEM!!! And there will be prizes for viewers! Don't you want to see me in action? LOL! I'm no video star, but boy does my neck look skinny in the video! Haha!

So anyway, if you'd like to view it, send me an email (juliacwood@mac.com) or Facebook message and I'll add you to the private group. If you're busy Thursday evening - no worries! The event can be watch through the weekend - at your leisure. Maybe you'll win something!

Happy Hump Day - I'll be working on neutral four patches for En Provence!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Back to Machine Quilting



Autumn Garden! It's always a bit intimidating to begin machine quilting a quilt. The first thing to do is the ditch quilting - around every block and the sashing. Today I finished all the ditch quilting in one direction. Next time I'll stitch the other direction and begin quilting each block. I did quilt one block (free motion) to try an idea - I liked it. I can quilt a block without a single stop - a very good thing! 

I don't think this quilt will take too long. Another good thing!



Bird 7 of Bird Dance is well underway. I'm loving the blue of the birds in this kit. 

This morning Hubby and I are headed out the door - we both have our yearly physicals this morning. I'm always glad to get this behind me. 

And then, today is for dresdens! I should be able to finish the last of the dresden plates for Gardenvale. Next up will be preparing the center circles for appliqué. Getting excited about this project! 

I hope to paint a bit later today, also. I have another doggy to paint...

Wishing you a warm Spring day!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sewing!!!



Looky, looky! I sewed dresdens! I made two full and two half units. How many are left? Only two full and two half! Woohoo! (I'm not thrilled with those half dresdens - the dots line up in a weird way...)


What else did I get done? I pulled out the kit for the next three birds for Bird Dance. I cut all the pieces and have them divided up in plastic baggies, ready to go, ready to sew! 

This is such a time saver for making these blocks!




We've had such dreary weather as of late, but the sun FINALLY came out! And Cooper found the sunny spot in which to relax...ahhh...

I must run to the grocery store this morning, but it will be a quick trip. And today is machine quilting day!!! Autumn Garden will be under my Bernina and we'll see how far I get.

The weather is warming up around here again. I'm so ready for Spring, as I know you are, too. We are planning to have a new patio added to the back of our house soon - I picture myself sewing or reading out there before long.

Okay, peeps! Let's all have a wonderful day!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Good Intentions...


All my good intentions yesterday? They went nowhere fast! I guess I was a bit tired. I sat in my chair and chilled most of the day. And yes, this block was close by so I grabbed it to work on. I finished a few leaves and a bow. And now I'm tired of looking at it!

I vow to get up out of the chair and work on more projects today! They have been calling my name and today I'll answer them, I promise!


Remember that I said I bought a couple of additional Craftsy classes recently when they were all on sale? One of them is a creative t-shirt class taught by Marci Tilton. This was a great deal at only $19.99 because it even came with a Vogue pattern (retails at $30 by itself!). The pattern came in the mail yesterday. The class is more than just a walk through the process - it teaches ways to use multiple fabrics in the same shirt and tips for sewing knits.

Yes, I have another project...haha! But I have no fabrics to use for this yet. I may be placing an order soon though.

I neglected to mention yesterday that it's National Quilting Weekend! Today I'll do the holiday proud, I promise!

Rodan and Fields

Some of you have given it a go! Blessings to you who have tried the products and even purchased them! No one has EVER regretted taking better care of themselves! Personally I have never used a skincare product that provided visible results - until NOW! I'm so thankful for discovering the Rodan and Fields line of products; they make me feel so much better about myself!

I got my paycheck last week for my first full month as an R and F Consultant. Wow! It was more than triple my first paycheck - in full disclosure, it was enough to purchase a ruby and diamond necklace at our local jewelry store. Actually it was enough to purchase almost TWO of these necklaces! Or I could have used it to buy dozens of yards of premium fabric for quilts. But I didn't use it for that. I'm just using it to get my own skincare (making my stuff FREE) and donating the rest to various charities. So what are you waiting for?

I would love to start a group of quilters sharing the skincare love - we can do it, I know! And very little time is involved, I promise! I have not missed a beat in my quilting schedule because of R and F.  If you might be interested or want to hear more, just send me an email - juliacwood@mac.com

Now let go enjoy the remaining National Quilting Weekend! Go sew!

 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

It's the Weekend!



Okie Dokie! I got my hexie on yesterday - making my way around.



And I back basted all the leaves in place on The Rowdy Flat Library quilt. Boom!

So what's on tap today? Hmmm...

I'm thinking I may work on dresden plates (Gardenvale) ...or neutral four patches (En Provence)... or I may pull my painting supplies out. Or maybe all three???

Are you still keeping up with April, the Giraffe? I am - I'm so ready for her to give birth! But I'm guessing it will be a few more days. I'm predicting March 21. Let's see if I'm correct!

A Message for Quiltingbean! I'd love to reply to your comment, but you are a 'no reply' commenter. Please send me an email at juliacwood@mac.com so I can communicate with you. Thanks!

Let's make it a great Saturday!




Friday, March 17, 2017

Fingers Finished!


Can you tell I sat around and visited A LOT yesterday? Ha! I worked on the fingers for The Rowdy Flat Library Quilt all day long...using approximately 8-10 different fabrics.


These are tiny little things! Itty bitty! That circle is only 5 inches across!

Daughter 2 and SIL 2 are leaving this morning - we will miss them! And so will the doggies!

Today is hexie day - and I plan to pull them out and work on The Bee's Knees. Hoping to make a bit of progress here. Other than that it will be a quiet day.

So what are you working on today? Ready for the weekend? I am!

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Few Fingers...


Not much sewing to report yesterday - busy with the kids here. And having fun! We did get out to run a couple of errands...nothing exciting.

While we were relaxing at home I began to appliqué these 'fingers' - at least that's what I'm calling them. There will eventually be another finger in between these. LOTS of fingers!

Today will be a repeat with family. Daughter 1 is coming over tonight - we're grilling burgers and cooking baked sweet potato 'fries'. I can't wait to see how my new spiralizer does its job on the sweet potatoes! That process will be an event in itself! (I'm easily entertained! Haha!)

Did I get the Autumn Garden quilt basted??? NO! (We ate in our laps...maybe today?)

I hope you have a fun day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Back Basting



Did dresdens happen yesterday? No.... I got busy and never got to them. It happens. With family here this week I'm not worrying about sticking to my schedule! 

I did trace some of the motifs on the backside of my Rowdy Flat Library Quilt block. I like to back baste when doing appliqué. I trace the images on the back. Then I place the fabric (oversized) on the front side and baste it from the back using a thick thread - hand quilting thread or button thread.  

Then I return to the front side and trim the appliqué to a scant quarter inch  from the basting. 


Last night while we talked and watched TV, I got this far. Hand work is always good to do while we have family or friends here!

Today I hope to pin baste Autumn Garden so I can clear off the dining room table (again). I'd like us to eat there tonight...might be nice.

That't it! Have a happy day!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Let the Basting Begin!



I stitched the backing yesterday morning and pressed it. Backing, backing, quilt top, BOOM! Ready to baste!  Did I mention that Daughter 2 and SIL 2 are arriving later today to spend a few days here? Unless I get this basted quickly, we'll be eating in our laps...which would be okay I think! Maybe I should put them to work with the basting??? Haha!

                                                

Have you heard of this quilt pattern? The Rowdy Flat Library Quilt? I just happened upon it recently on the Internet and well...I had to have it! It's a block of the month from Susan Smith in Australia. I've received the first month's pattern and I think I'll be getting the next one soon. It has lots of appliqué and some pieced blocks, also.

I had planned to use my Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the the appliqué, but I have this fat quarter pack that I purchased not long ago. Hmmm, I think I'll shift gears and use it. The fabric line is called Garden Notes by Kathy Schmitz for Moda. Yes, there are bees here and there in the fabric! And there will be appliquéd bees on the quilt. I have a little thing for bees lately... Oh, and there will be hexagons on the quilt also!



And so, here are the fat quarters posing on top of the dark gray Grunge that I hinted about purchasing recently.


 Yes, I think this will do nicely!


I cut the background for the first square and machine stitched bias strips into two concentric circles as called for in the instructions.

I hardly start basting one finished quilt top and I begin another. And so it goes! The life of a quilter. There's always another quilt waiting to be made!


The pattern calls for a feature fabric in the center of the smaller circle, but I'll put a small hexie flower there instead. 

TV Update: I know some of you enjoy my TV recommendations, so I'll continue giving them. We started watching The Crimson Field on Amazon - love it! It's about a group of nurses caring for wounded soldiers at the front during war time. Also, we've started Last Tango in Halifax on Netflix. This is another good one; it's about two dysfunctional families who are brought together in a funny way. Both shows are British.

Today is Dresden plate day! I plan to stitch a few of these together AND I'll get to work on the Autumn Garden basting. I think I'll put a batch of chicken and sausage jambalaya in the slow cooker for tonight - sounds good!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bird 6!



I finished another bird yesterday for my Bird Dance project. Making progress!

While I was busy at the grocery store yesterday, Hubby finished our taxes. He's been working on them for weeks here and there - they were complicated this time - we sold two properties and bought another one. Plus we both retired. But the dirty work is done! So glad he doesn't mind doing this - I'd rather go to the grocery store any day.

Today is machine quilting day - Autumn Garden is up next. But first I need to finish clearing off the dining room table. It is covered with my painting supplies including two paintings in progress. But quilting will wait for no one, right? The painting supplies will have to be put away for now.

So the goal is to clear off the table, press the backing (found in my stash), layer it all up and be ready to pin baste. 

R and F 

One of my favorite Rodan and Fields products is the MicroDermabrasion Paste. SO many uses...including part of your own at-home facial in minutes! I personally use this once per week - it puts any other grainy cleanser I've EVER used to shame! My skin has never felt so soft and smooth!

I get asked frequently: how much is this R and F stuff? It's not cheap, but it's no more costly than Oil of Olay products you buy at the drug store. This is PREMIUM skincare and you are worth it. The microdermabrasion paste (which will last me MORE THAN A YEAR!!!) is $80. Preferred Customers get 10% off PLUS free shipping, bringing the cost down. That's really not that expensive when you get down to it - how much do you spend at the quilt shop for fabric for ONE quilt?

First three to comment here will receive a FREE mini facial so you can try this product along with the night serum and lip serum! juliacwood.myrandf.com

Sunday, March 12, 2017

This and That



I continued to go around the mulberry bush on the Pine Burr block. Once I started this, I became a bit obsessed. Can you tell? I plan to make 4 of these and stitch them together for a wall hanging. Once I finish this first block I'll put it aside for a bit though. All I have left is to fill in the corners.


And here is sweet little Arwen...she belongs to Daughter 2 and SIL 2. I'm happy with her from the neck up. The neck down...not so much. But I've done what I can do and will move on. D2 likes it, so that's what matters.

We enjoyed the pop up art sale we attended yesterday. It was very small and very crowded. We didn't buy anything but it was a nice outing.

Did you notice that Craftsy is having a big sale this weekend? All classes for $20 each...I purchased 2 more. One is another watercolor class and one is about making cool t-shirts.

Today I must brave the rain and the cold to go grocery shopping. I have a LONG list and must get this taken care of.  But for now I will sit and enjoy my coffee and the fire in the fireplace and the two sleeping doggies. (Shhh...hubby's still in bed...)

My fingers are itching for stitching...there WILL be hand sewing happening today!

Stay warm and dry and enjoy your day!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Making Lemonade from Autumn Garden Border



You know the old saying about life giving you lemons? When I ripped off the border from Autumn Garden I had an idea - a light bulb was poised over my head! Why not make a quick table runner from this? I think it turned out quite nice - ready for quilting!


Hubby and I both had errands to run so we joined forced and went together. Our last stop was the local quilt shop so I could do some stash enhancement. These will be cut into strips to make four patches for the final border of En Provence. I plan to cut the strips over the weekend so they'll be ready to go.


I framed my paintings of Cooper and Mickey so that hubby could hang them. I'm still painting a bit each day. I finished Daughter 2's cat - I'll try to remember to share it tomorrow. Now I'm working on a friend's dog. I try to paint a bit each day.

I didn't get a lot done on hexies yesterday, but plan to stitch on them more today.

We plan to get out later - a local art show is happening and we want to stop by. And I MUST clean my sewing room - that's what you get sometimes when you work on multiple projects at the same time. And let's not even talk about the dining room table - painting supplies are COVERING it! I'll be ready to baste Autumn Garden on Monday - machine quilting day - and I baste on this table. So looks like some clean up is in order.

Wishing you a lovely day!   

Friday, March 10, 2017

Well, That Didn't Work!



Okie Dokie. I finished one border and stitched it to the mother ship. Nope. NOPE. Not working for me. This border has got to go! Immediately! 

Sometimes ideas don't work out. So plan C is: take off that border. And call it a day! No border! It will be a wonderful lap quilt AS IS! Another quilt top is finished...I'd planned to quilt En Provence next, but it seems Autumn Garden is ready first. And so it is next up for quilting! 



In addition to a bit of painting, I also played with this new quilt yesterday. This will be a wallhanging and won't take too long. Did you know that the Pine Burr block is the official quilt block of the state of Alabama...where I live. It's about time I made one, don't you think?


We have Camellias blooming! Aren't they gorgeous?!

Today is Hexie Day! Yay! I'll be making my way around the hexie flower.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

One More Border...




I worked my tail off on En Provence yesterday. All the sashing is DONE. The first border is DONE! One more border to go - and if you are familiar with the pattern then you know that the last border is all neutral four patches. I will need to make LOTS of them - over 100. I will have to do some stash enhancement for this to happen - I need more white neutrals! I've had to buy so few fabrics for this quilt since most of it came from my stash, so what's a few fat quarters? 

I'm so glad I've trudged through this quilt - I really do love it. By the time the last border is on I think it will be a nice twin size. I'm not sure what I'll call it...maybe 'No Yellow' since I left all the yellow out that was called for in the instructions. Haha...we'll see. I was really not expecting to get this far yesterday!


I bought a new toy! When I opened the box it looked darn intimidating! It's a spiralizer attachment for my Kichen Aid mixer. The little hand held one I had was fine for zucchini, but it was no match for sweet potatoes. And we do like baked sweet potato 'fries.' With all the healthy eating going on around here, I'll put this to a lot of use!

I haven't weighed in over a week - need to do that soon. Have I mentioned that we don't have a scale in our home? I think a scale is a dieter's worst enemy. We have one buried in storage, but I really prefer to leave it there. When you have a scale under foot, you tend to use it too often. And of course, everyone's weight fluctuates day to day. The minute I weigh and the number is UP I get discouraged. That's when I give up. So we head to the gym at the hotel in our neighborhood occasionally to weigh in. I like it like this!

So the clothes are loose - I bought a few new things last week. I know it will be months before I actually reach my goal and I needed some new things to get me through. What else is now too big for me? Can you guess?

My thimbles! I have a several thimbles I use, none of them fancy. I'm happy with the cheap ones. But they are all falling off my finger! Yesterday I had to run to the craft store for some additional paints (acrylics, anyone?) and I picked up a new thimble - size SMALL! Yes, you can lose weight in your fingers!

So today is Autumn Garden day. The border is taking some time, isn't it? I'll get cracking on it this morning. I'm hoping to finish my cat painting, too. 

Here's wishing you a happy day!





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