Monday, October 31, 2016

Another Block Ready to Sew...

I cut out the pieces for the next Farmer's Daughter block last night - a darker gray for the backgrounds this time around.

I'm late posting - busy morning of errands and dental appointment. The laundry is going. Lunch has been eaten.

On my schedule for today is patterning Bliss. I hope to get to that later this afternoon. My schedule might be a bit off this week - leaving Wednesday for Quilt Festival!!! Yippee!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Another Block!

I finished another Farmer's Daughter block while watching football yesterday.  I adore the little gray bicycles in the background. The is the type of white print I'd like to collect to use in my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.

 And here's a shot of four blocks side by side. I think it might be interesting to make some blocks using a darker gray background and make the fabric scraps lighter. I might just cut the next block pieces accordingly. FYI, the pattern calls for 25 of these blocks set on point...I'm getting there! I might do a 'quilt as you go' on the blocks.

This project has really brought Jen Kingwell to my attention. I love her designs! She has two new patterns out that I may look for in Houston.

After swimming (60 laps!), showers, and breakfast (in that order) we took the golf cart over to the Pickle Ball courts. There was a tournament going on and we wanted to see some games being played first hand. There were players of all levels of age, body shape, ability, and fitness. After watching a bit, we decided we could do this. It's sort of a cross between tennis and badminton - much less active than tennis. Once my foot it totally better we're going to give it a try. For now we are studying up on the rules online. 

The stew I made was really good! I used sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Yum! I froze some of it for Hubby to eat while I'm in Houston with my friends. Today is bread making day! I've already cooked a batch of chicken and put it in the freezer for him. Yesterday I taught him to cook his own eggs for breakfast. He will not starve while I'm gone! (Though he needs another egg lesson this morning.)

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Finished Quilt Top!

I got the navy borders on Allietare! The border will not stay this wide - after quilting I'll scallop the edge and use orange binding. 

Then I played with the paint chips. Okay...I like the fabric in these colors much better than on the cards. I'm in with Bonnie's colors! I know that Bonnie called for a single constant magenta, but I'm pulling from what I've got - true scrappy!

 I've pulled some neutrals, too - see them over to the right? I'm thinking I may like more WHITEs though - those tans look a bit blah next to the pretty colors... may look for some white prints in Houston. 

I had ordered some new insoles to help my poor foot and they came in yesterday. These are from The new one is on the right side of the photo. You can see how much more support it has then the one from the shoe...

I got new shoes yesterday after the insoles came. I took them with me shopping to make sure the shoe and the insoles worked together. I've had them on all day and they have done so well. FANTASTIC, in fact. Houston, here I come with my new shoes and insoles! My feet are loving me now!

I've already got a pot of stew simmering in the slow cooker this morning - dinner tonight! As soon as we finish our tea/coffee we're headed to the pool. And then...a day of watching football and sewing!

Hope you have a great day, too!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Paint Chips and Deer Hunting?

Yup, I made a trip to Lowes after my hair cut. (That's my 'no makeup' face, which is the norm for me these days!) I picked up the paint chips for Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt. EEK! These are SO NOT MY COLORS! Purple and lavender and pink? I've done two Bonnie mysteries and I changed the colors for both of them. I made both of them with some orange and blues along with other colors. I had told myself that I'd stick with her colors on this one. But now I'm not so sure!

Well, I think I'll go through my precut strips and lay some things out before I decide. It would probably be good for me to go outside my usual favorite colors and it would also use up some of the colors that are not my favorites. What do you think? Should I stick with her plan?

Yesterday was for Bliss patterning - it's coming along nicely!

We've developed a fun tradition for late afternoons. We drive the golf cart around the neighborhood looking for deer. Sometimes we spot one or several. Sometimes we don't see any. Yesterday afternoon we found three. In this picture you might see two - one had just run away. If you look very closely you can see one deer looking at us and the other with her white tail sticking up, getting ready to hightail (haha!) it out of there.

Today Allietare is up! All I have to do is cut and sew on the borders - I should be able to get that done today and put it aside for quilting. Then I'll have to move something else into Friday's lineup.

I'm skipping my swim today - my body is tired. I'll be happy to swim 4 days per week. Hubby measured the pool yesterday - this indoor pool is half the length of a traditional lap pool, which is typically 50 yards. So when I swim 50 laps in this pool, it's the equivalent of 25 laps in a regulation pool. Works for me!

Hope you have a happy day and that you find time to sew!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hand Quilting

What fun to be hand quilting again - it has been a few months since I worked on this! I finished the second (of four) blocks on this row. 

Today Bliss is up on the schedule - more patterning to do. But I have a 9 am hair appointment and that will eat into my time a bit. That's okay - I think the rest of the pattern will go quickly! 

We are hitting the pool EARLY this morning because of my hair cut. Then hubby will be off to the golf course and I'll leave for my errands. We've been watching You Tube videos of swimming instructions, trying to improve our strokes. (FYI - yesterday I did 50 laps...go me!)

I will have to say that the two best gifts my mother gave to me when I was young were swimming lessons and a love of reading. Hubby really did not get either, but he is athletic and has learned to swim over the years by watching our girls when they were young and on a swim team. He's really gotten very good at it. 

When our girls were young, we spent summer mornings at our city pool. They are both strong swimmers. On summer afternoons we read books. Weekly trips to the public library were a necessity. Summers were all about swimming and reading.

Here's wishing you an active and productive day! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What a Good Grandmother!

Yesterday I went to a friend's house and what a show and tell she had! She has made quilt (BIG quilts!) for all her family members for Christmas. They are all beautiful, but I LOVED what she's making for her 3 year old granddaughter! 

In the picture above its the gorgeous tuffet (stool) she has made. It's sitting on its side here, but it has adorable wooden turned legs. Do you see that quilted gray circle below it? That's being made into a rug. 

The gray top of the rug and the backing are both flannel. She'll be using fabric matching the tuffet to make the clothing in the pattern. And if that's not enough...

...there is a quilt to match!!! OMG! I wish she were my grandmother - haha! The quilt pattern is Gimme Five Supersize. She has a longarm machine and does her own quilting. She also makes beautiful heirloom dresses for the same granddaughter. What a lucky little girl!

I'll have to admit I didn't get any machine quilting done yesterday. I went out to lunch with friends and then there was the visit afterward and then the day just got away with me. Today hand quilting the Lollypop Tree project is up and I already have it beside me. As soon as I hit 'publish' on this post, I'll pick up the needle!

Now, ready, set, sew!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Swimming and Sewing and Patterning!

44 laps this morning!!! I've built my endurance slowly and today I felt like I could swim forever. Hubby went along today and he was amazed at how much I can do. He'll catch up with me before long. I'm truly glad I injured my foot! I would have never rediscovered swimming otherwise. The foot is feeling better, but I'm hooked on swimming now.

A little hand stitching happened last night. Birmingham peeps: do you recognize one of the fabrics???

This one! We had to use this fabric in a challenge for the guild - this was 'way out there' back in that day. But today it feels modern and fresh!

I stuck to my schedule yesterday and made great progress on patterning the last section of Bliss. Yay!
Today machine quilting Summer on the Beach is up!

I wish you a happy day!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sappy Movie...and Another Block!

Yesterday afternoon... a nap...followed by a cup of tea and a Hallmark holiday movie. Ahhh....

I watched Pumpkin Pie Wars - a cute little romance centered around a baking contest. I recorded Fall movies on Hallmark all day Saturday so I can watch another today! I finished a Farmer's Daughter block while I watched. I needed an afternoon like that!

Today is my first day back on a schedule - Bliss pattern writing is up for today! I love being on a schedule - I get so much accomplished on so many projects. But first I need to go for a swim. I took the weekend off from the pool and I'll jump back in today. 

Oh, and last night I cut another Farmer's Girl block out. It's going to be a fun one with some Cotton and Steel fabrics. And another fond memory piece - using fabric from a challenge in the Birmingham Quilt Guild from years ago. And cute bicycles for the background - you'll see it tomorrow I think...

Until then...have a fabulous Fall day!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Organizing and Football!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for football. There was a slight chill in the air, but it never got really cold. I took a sweatshirt with me and didn't add it to my layers until halftime. We decided to park at the mall and take a shuttle bus to the game. This saved me a LOT of walking - good idea, Hubby!

We had a fabulous time! My foot held up well, though it was talking to me when we got home. I'll rest it today. I've got to get it ready for Houston!!!

Before we left for the game I did a bit of organizing - the table beside my recliner was a piled-up mess. I corralled my Farmer's Daughter pattern and current block into the basket and I have all my tools on the tray. Much better!

This morning I ordered one of these:

Have you seen the Lap App? Really cool product! See my post on the Hexie Love Facebook page for more info!

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Storing Completed Blocks and My New Schedule

My nightly hand stitching continues. Almost done with this block! So where am I storing these blocks?

On Cooper's crate! I'm using a pants hanger to hold them together and I have it hooked on the outside of his crate. And do you see my rulers? I've used 'S' hooks to hang the ones I use the most right at my fingertips. And you see my Accuquilt Studio cutter above. Cooper guards them well!

I still have a bit of sorting and organizing to do in my sewing room before I'll be totally satisfied, but it's almost there.

Today I'm testing my foot - we're going to the football game later today. I so hope it holds up! There is a LOT of walking involved in going to a college football game. You absolutely cannot park close to the stadium. Fingers crossed!

Next week I plan to get back onto my daily quilting schedule. It's time!

Monday- Bliss (top is complete, need to write pattern)
Tuesday- Machine quilting Summer on the Beach
Wednesday- Hand quilting Lollypop Trees
Thursday- Bliss 
Friday- Allietare (just need to add final border to complete top)
Weekends- My choice

Are you planning on joining in on Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt? I am! I have ordered her new Essential Triangle Tool, though I understand she has shipped all she has. A new shipment is coming in November and I'll be getting mine then. I'm planning to use my stash of strips to make mine. I have every color in the rainbow, so it should be fun. As usual, I'll be making mine smaller and with larger pieces - if she calls for a 2 inch strip, I'll use a 2.5 inch strip. This worked well on Allietare. 

Hope you have a fabulous day!

Friday, October 21, 2016

I Found It!!!!

You know I've been looking for my Bernina Stitch Regulator for months! I was convinced I'd taken it to the lake when we moved there for a couple of months. But it never turned up. We've searched the cottage high and low (yes, I got Hubby in on the hunt, too). And I only have a few boxes left in storage for my sewing room - I was beginning to get concerned.

I sold my large Koala sewing cabinet to a friend recently. When she and her husband picked it up not long ago, the cabinet was still wrapped for moving. I told her I might have left some things in the drawers and to please put them aside for me. VOILA! She brought me a bag of stuff from the drawers last night and there it was on top! I'm a happy camper!

My next Farmer's Daughter block is coming together - all Kaffe and Brandon fabric! Happy block!

Last night was our guild meeting. I took lots of photos of Show and Tell, but today I'm sharing this little quilt. I don't know why, but this one spoke to me. What a great use of leftover half square triangles! I may have to make one of these...someday.

So yesterday I swam 28 laps! Going for 30 today! I enjoy it so much - one reason I like to swim is that it's the only cardio exercise where I don't sweat. I don't like to sweat - haha! And I can burn more calories by swimming than I can from walking the same amount of time. LOADS more!

But first this morning...I think I'll watch Project Runway.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'm Feeling BLISS Today!!!

This was yesterday. Yes, Bliss was all wadded up around my machine while I stitched the final sections together.

And was DONE!

A few photos on the front porch and then I threw the top in the washing machine to soak away my washable papers. It worked beautifully and now the top is air drying on our screened porch.  A quick press and it will be ready to baste.

All I have to do is finish the patterning and I will do that as quickly as possible.

Today I have to get myself into the pool - I skipped yesterday. My goal is 26 laps today!!! I know I can do it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A BLISSful Day! (And The Oatmeal Pumpkin Bar Recipe)

Yesterday was all about BLISS! (But I did finish this block last night.) I stitched the final section together. Then I stitched two big sections together. Today I'll stitch the other two sections to the mother ship. TODAY the Bliss quilt top will be completed! Yippee!

I save my hand piecing for in the evenings. After I finished this Farmer's Daughter block, I gathered more fabric and cut out another block.

Some people ask why I would want to hand piece when I've got a perfectly wonderful sewing machine sitting a few feet away?

1. Some blocks are so intricate or have such severe curves that machine piecing them accurately is almost impossible.

2. Hand piecing is easy - just stitch along the lines. (Be sure your stitches are tiny!)

3. Hand piecing is relaxing.

4. Hand piecing is portable.

5. Hand piecing is faster than you might think!

I was asked for the Oatmeal Pumpkin Bar recipe - find it HERE! I did not use any sugar substitute as called for - I used regular brown sugar. If you want a 'normal' amount of sweetness you will want to double the sugar. But I like them the way they are! And no...Hubby has not had another one... haha, more for me!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Assembly Required

Yesterday was a wonderful hexie day!!! I'm almost finished stitching the last section of Bliss together. Today I'll complete that process and photograph it. And then I'll be stitching all the sections together - maybe tomorrow? SO EXCITED!

Can't wait to quilt it - yes, with my quilting rulers!

Pattern coming SOON!

I also swam 22 laps (oh yes, I did!) and unpacked 5 bins. Today will be more of the same - should be a good day!

Last night I made a batch of healthy oatmeal pumpkin bars. They have very little sugar. The house smelled so good while they were baking! Did I mention they have very little sugar? We couldn't wait to have some after dinner. Oh, and they have very little sugar. Hubby took one bite and said, "They'd be good if they had more sugar." HA! I told him to imagine it's bread with a touch of sweetness instead of a bar cookie with very little sugar. It's all in your perspective, right?

Have a sweet day!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Bernina- Here I Come!

Last night I stitched the remaining side pieces. These are easy peasy - all straight seams. Boy, this one has been quick! Tonight I'll start stitching the pieces together.

Yesterday I finished getting my sewing room organized! Yay! I will admit that I put the remaining bins to be unpacked in a corner of the room - still need to get to those. BUT, I can now sew at my machine again!

And sew, I will!!!! Today I'll be working on BLISS!!!! And that makes me happy!

Hubby hauled all the broken down boxes to a recycling center for me - we have one very close by. And I think my organizing week inspired him, too. Yesterday he spent hours cleaning and organizing our outdoor storage room. And he washed and vacuumed BOTH cars.

Hubby is off to the golf course this morning. I'm off to the pool. And then I'll be sitting at my Bernina!

Have a happy day!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Swimming and Sewing...

Yesterday I stitched the corner pieces. Doesn't seem like much, but those curves are challenging and I have to take it slowly with lots of clipping and pinning.

I also unpacked a couple of bins of fabric and sorted through them. I now have all my bigger pieces -typically a few yards each - neatly folded and in bins to use for quilt backings in the future. I began the process of neatening my sewing room. I'll finish that today and be ready to machine sew tomorrow. Yay! I feel very good about what I've accomplished this week.

Hubby took me out to lunch yesterday - we had a great time! Then we ran by a donation center and dropped off a pile of stuff.

AND I swam again! I had done 12 laps the previous day and yesterday I pushed myself to do 16 laps. I'm shooting for 20 laps today. I have to admit this indoor pool is smaller than a regulation my laps are not as long as the typical lap. That's fine with me. As long as I keep pushing myself to do more.

One of the main reasons I've taken to swimming again is that I seem to have small issue with one of my feet. It's the foot I injured a couple of years ago. From my research as an armchair doctor using Google, I'm pretty sure I have Morton's Neuroma - the build up of tissue around a nerve. Sounds worse than it is. I'm not limping, but it was bothering me on long walks. So I'm doing what Google says and staying off of it as much as possible. I've ordered some nice orthotic cushions for my shoes. I can already tell it's feeling better after laying off walks for a few days. I'll continue to rest it for now - got to get it ready for Houston! And so I swim instead and Hubby takes Cooper for his walks. (I really miss the walks!) Even when I start walking again, I plan to keep up the swimming - I love to swim!

The best news ever today: it's raining!!!! We haven't had rain for over a month -

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

No More Boxes!

I finished unpacking those boxes yesterday!!! Now I only have a stack of bins left - these are ALL fabric so they might take some time, but that okay. This morning I'm going to try to focus on getting my sewing room back in order so I can resume machine sewing.

In between box unpacking I started another Farmer's Daughter block. I'm learning that the block lays flatter if I press each section as I go along instead of waiting until the entire block is stitched before pressing.

I also took a break yesterday morning to go swimming. AHHH.... It was so nice to be back in the pool. Remember this is a heated indoor pool so we can swim year round. I had the entire pool to myself ---ahhhhh...

Enjoy your day!

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Finished Block!

I finished this Farmer's Daughter block last night! Yay me! This one has scraps from the wedding quilt - these scraps have made their way into a few different projects. This is completely hand pieced. 

After my finished, I gathered more scraps and cut all the pieces for the next block. Ready to go, ready to sew! 

I'm down to only 2 boxes left to unpack! Oh....and these bins. I've made so much progress this week! My sewing room is a WRECK! I can't wait to finish this organizing project and get back to my machine...but I'm so glad I took the week to focus on this. 

Hubby has already hit the golf course this morning. As soon as I finish my cup of tea I'll be up and at it - ready to unpack more boxes. 

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


The electricians were here all morning yesterday. They hung our new chandeliers over the dining room table - love them! I found them on-line. They also replaced the 'builder grade' pendants over the island with some I also found on-line. And they hung two ceiling fans on our front porch. Oh, and they added an outlet on our screened porch. So glad to have this done!

Despite all this going on around me - I did manage to unpack and sort through 3 more boxes. I must have miscounted before - I have 7 more boxes to go. Plus a stack of plastic bins.  My goal is to finish this task by the end of the week. So I've put aside feather quilting, hexie sewing, etc. I didn't quite plan on this unpacking stuff this week, but I'm so glad to get some things out of storage. I know I have a few more boxes still at the storage unit that are marked 'Sewing Room' - but I left them for now.

Today I have a painter coming to touch up a door mid-morning. So Cooper and I need to head out for our walk before then. Hubby has hit the golf course - yay him!

And for me....more boxes!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Two Boxes Down...

Not a great picture, but...maybe it illustrates what I'm doing with all this fabric I brought back from the storage unit. My mother had given this handing shelf unit months ago and it's going to be great for this. 

I'm ironing each piece of fabric, sorting them by color, and placing them here on the shelves.  These fabrics are not as old as all my fabric that I cut into 2.5 inch strips and I've decided to keep them in fat quarters and chunks. 2 boxes down...eight more to go! I am discarding tiny scraps and putting aside some fabrics I just don't want any longer - I'll give those to friends.

Look what came in the mail yesterday! My daughter has been ordering some of these - and I'd been wanting to try them. Hello Fresh sends 3 meals for 2 people, ready to prepare in 30 minutes or less. 

Each meal is in a nice little box (which are perfect to store fat quarters in later!). The ingredients are SO FRESH! Last night we had Sesame Shrimp - I've never seen such fresh shrimp!

Everything you see on the plate was included in the box, even the fresh lime. It was FABULOUS!

Our chandeliers are getting hung today! Yay!

So now I'd better go and iron and fold more... have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 10, 2016

MORE Fabric?

So yesterday....

We loaded a large chest of drawers onto the trailer to take to storage.

We spent about 2 hours moving boxes around, many of them stacked to the ceiling.

We found a many of the items we were looking for:
Throw pillows for our sofa!
Quilting books!
Quilting rulers!
Accuquilt dies!
More fabric! .......WHAT???

I know. We ran across the boxes of fabric I packed near the end - when I was sick of packing. Yes, a few boxes with fabric simply tossed in. A mess!

We loaded 10 boxes to bring home for sorting. I have my work cut out for me this week. Note to self: DO NOT BUY FABRIC IN HOUSTON! (I'll try.)

We came home and unloaded the trailer. Ate lunch. Rushed back over to Daughter 1's house. She and her hubby were nice enough to keep our safe in their garage during all our moves this year. They helped us move it onto the trailer. Keep in mind it probably weighs 1000 pounds, if not more.

We hauled it home. Hubby and I (yes, just the two of us) managed to get it off the trailer, into the house, through the house, and into it's new spot. This process took 3 hours, lots of engineering, lots of muscles. Hubby called me Wonder Woman - I definitely did my part. Let's hope we never have to move it again! We were exhausted last night, but we had no pulled muscles or injuries. SUCCESS!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Waffles for Breakfast!

After our walk this morning, I made waffles! I made this recipe for Sweet Potato Oatmeal Waffles. There was a leftover baked sweet potato in the refrigerator, so why not? I didn't use Almond Milk as called for...just plain skim milk. Next time I'll crisp them in the oven as the recipe instructed - they were a bit soft. And I think I might add a dash of pumpkin pie spice to the next batch, too. But they were SO good! 

Have you heard about some models of Samsung top load washing machines exploding?  EEK! Yesterday I had hubby pull out ours to photograph the model and serial number. Then I went to this  site to see if mine was affected. (You may remember we just bought the washer and dryer when we moved into the cottage a few months ago.)

Oh dear! My washing machine is one of the ones that could explode!

I registered my information with Samsung and as soon as they have a fix, they will let me know. Until then I've been instructed to wash bedding, quilts, and other heavy items on the Delicate cycle.

I hope to do some sewing later, but this morning we've decided to tackle the BEAST. The storage units! The weather is pleasant this morning which will help. I'm determined to get some things in the back moved to the front for easier access. A friend has purchased my sewing table and I'd love to be able to get to it. (Take note, BG!)

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Bit of Hand Sewing...

I hand stitched on my 'I'm a Farmer's Daughter' block some yesterday (while watching Project Runway). I have plenty of that black and white striped fabric and I'm thinking I may use it in the same spots on every block from here forward. The other fabrics will vary greatly, except for the constant light gray scrappy corners. 

Sunset walk yesterday! We are not expecting any rain from Hurricane Matthew - we are getting breezy weather from the storm, but we're just outside the bands of rain apparently.

I have some household chores this morning - laundry and some other odds and ends. And of course it is a football watching day! So I'll find sewing I can do while watching.

Hope you are safe from Matthew and hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Marking Tools for Fabric!

As you know, I still have several boxes of my quilting supplies hidden somewhere in storage. I do have a white marking pencil here at the cottage, but no other marking tools. A few days ago I needed to mark a circle (for quilting) on white fabric. AND I didn't feel like getting out of the house just to buy a blue washable marking pen.

I started looking through a closet and found these. Hmmm. Light bulb moment!

And 48 colors! 

I went to work with my fancy schmancy template (cereal bowl!) and it worked like a charm! The instructions on the crayon box say it washes completely out of fabric - I'll know for sure once I've finished the quilting and binding and give it a spin in the washing machine. I'll keep you posted on this. (NOTE: look in the background and you can see some of my feathers!)

Here's a shot from yesterday's hike - which lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes! We were all pooped pups after that.

I'm almost done stitching the rest of the hexies together for Bliss! So excited! Hope to finish this today and then get on with the pattern writing.

Hoping to find some time for some machine quilting today, too.