Saturday, December 31, 2016
I'm making my way around this hexie flower - made a bit of progress yesterday. I'm loving this unit! I'm using my Lap App to hand sew and I love it!
I mentioned a few months ago that I purchased some of the new Aurofil 80 thread - a very fine thread for hand stitching. I finally tried it last night while stitching these hexies together. My opinion: I'll save this thread for another use - maybe appliqué - I found it wasn't quite sturdy enough for hexies. It broke on me a few times and I stopped using it.
I realize I STILL haven't selected a name for this quilt! Or given away the rulers to those who made suggestions. I promise I'll do it SOON!
I also cut out all the pieces for yesterday's En Provence clue. I even started sewing them together. I will most likely work on these more this weekend because I'm guessing Bonnie will release the next clue tonight or tomorrow. We still haven't used the yellow fabric yet...
We're running a quick errand this morning. I bought something last night on our local Facebook yard sale group. Hubby is going with me to make the transaction. I'll share it tomorrow - a fun home decor item. And it came from an old sewing factory!
Of course, there are football bowl games to watch today - that means lots of hand stitching for me! I still haven't finished binding Allietare - so some of that might happen.
We had planned to swim this morning, but we slept too late to do so before our errand - maybe later? Or maybe a hike? We'll have to bundle up - it's cold out there!
As usual, we're having a quiet New Year's Eve at home - the best kind! Do you have exciting plans?
Have a wonderful day!
Friday, December 30, 2016
Winding Ways Blocks
After much searching yesterday morning, I finally found these blocks that I'm hoping to combine with the basket blocks into one quilt. I'm still not sure about this plan, but we'll see how it goes.
I've selected a coordinating yo-yo to put in the center of each block. I just love the look of the yo-yo's here! These yo-yo's all need to be hand stitched in place. I have 30 of these blocks. If I had 18 more I could simply make a Winding Ways quilt with a nice border.
One challenge to combining the baskets and the winding ways blocks is the differing block sizes - the baskets will finish at 4.5" square. The winding ways blocks will finish at 8" square. So how would I combine them? These two sizes don't seem to be related at all. But I did discover that they both go into 72 evenly. Interesting!
I could actually sew the winding ways blocks in columns nine blocks long, alternating with baskets blocks in columns of 16 blocks long. Hmmm...
After an hour of math and some graph paper sketching, I've come up with another plan. It could work. It would work. Do I want it to work? I'm still undecided if I want to combine the blocks. I think I have further work to do...
Until I decide I'll just hand stitch the yo-yo's. And then I'll make the some 4.5" nine patches to add to the baskets. Then all will be laid out on a bed or the floor to see what I think.
Gosh, it's been long time since I made these blocks! I remember working on them at a quilt retreat when we lived in Birmingham. I even remember who I was sitting with (miss you, BB!) It's about time I did something with them.
We ran lots of errands yesterday, too. (New shoes for me and lots of groceries!) In the afternoon I was lucky enough to see SEVEN deer munching on grass just across the street. And then we saw two more just outside my sewing room window last night. And I didn't even have to take a step outside to see them!
Today there will be no errands! I'll be home ALL DAY! Yay! And it's hexie day! (But I might be tempted to work on En Provence since a new clue is out...)
Sending lots of love your way!
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Caught up on En Provence!
I had already cut these Tri-Rec pieces, so first thing yesterday I stitched and pressed them. Clue done! And then I realized I need a few more dark purples and white neutrals...
A quick shopping trip was called for! Some 'Stitch Therapy', if you will. Here's what I came home with.
This was my favorite - Tula, of course - what a shame to cut it up! But I did!
I used the Essential Triangle Tool for the first time - worked great.
And then these were sewn together - I'm all caught up and ready for the next clue!
While I was out, I went to the mall and found a new purse, too - success!
Today is scheduled for my UFO with the baskets and the Winding Way blocks - I'll pull those out and decide what needs to be done next.
We have a rainy day today. It's a great day to stay in and sew and watch TV. (And pack up Christmas decorations.) It will clear up later so we can get a hike in with Cooper. And we hope to swim today, too.
Have a great Thursday!
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
I Was a Slug....
So yesterday? Those Dresden Plates didn't happen. That hand stitching...didn't happen either. Here I am sitting in my recliner wearing my new leggings - yes, Mickey loves them, too! Yup, I was a total slug.
Okay, not totally. I did swim laps. And I did go for a short hike. But that's it. I guess I needed another day off?
Today is scheduled for En Provence and I think I have enough 'get up and go' to get in there and sew! Hubby is playing golf this morning so I have no excuse. I'm looking forward to getting this quilt caught back up - do you think this Friday will be the final clue?
I used some of my Christmas money to buy some sewing (not quilting) books yesterday - I'll share when they come in. I also want to buy a new everyday purse - maybe today I'll get out and shop a bit - we'll see.
Hopefully I'll actually have some progress to report tomorrow.
Have a fabulous day!
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
No Sewing, But a Fun Day!
Yesterday we headed out EARLY to Tuscaloosa to spend the day with Daughter2 and SIL2 (and their kitties). We had a wonderful day! We visited and laughed and opened presents. (I got a LuLaRoe outfit!)
Then we went out for lunch at the Cypress Inn on the river...
...and fed the fish!
We made a stop in Birmingham on the way home to visit Hubby's father grave.
It was a great day! Daughter 1 and SIL1 stayed behind and spent the afternoon with our doggies (THANK YOU!) - there was a hike and lots of playing involved!
I was so tired last night - went to bed at 8:45! Of course I woke up before 6 this morning, raring to go.
Today I'll get back on my schedule - Gardenvale is up - stitching dresden plates! And I do have plans to swim, also - I've only been swimming a couple of times in the last three weeks. I need and want to get back in the pool! Oh, and the Christmas decorations need to come down - maybe later this afternoon? Time to get back on track!
Wishing you a wonderful day!
Monday, December 26, 2016
A Quilt Finish!
A finish on Christmas Day???? Yes! All that was left was to machine stitch the binding - remember, this was the one where I wrapped the backing to the front for a quilt binding? I don't know why I hadn't already done this finishing - it only took about 15 minutes.
I wasn't thrilled with my quilting, but once I washed and dried it, it was wonderful and crinkly and soft. Success!
Here are some of my Christmas gifties. You may see my new Lap App (the black blob in the middle) - I haven't used it yet, but will do so this week. I got a book (The Magnolia Story), a necklace, some new Pyrex I wanted, a few cute storage containers for pins, etc., a new lap counter for swimming, a new decoration for our front door, and some goodies to eat.
I also got a really fun document! Hubby (with help from Daughter 1) sent off Cooper's DNA for testing. We've always had a suspicion that he was not 100% Labrador Retriever... I got him from a sketchy home on a bad road that had warning signs for 'sudden and catastrophic sinkholes' - he was ridden with fleas and ticks. I only paid $45 for him - typically pure bread labs go for hundreds of dollars.
His DNA report was so much fun to read. All that was sent to the company was a swab from his mouth - no photo or other information. It was a spot on result! They was Cooper is 7/8 Labrador Retriever and 1/8 Golden Retriever. One of his grandparents was a Golden Retriever. How cool is that? Of course it doesn't make me love him any differently, but it's fun to know! The report even said that he is yellow! Amazing!
Hope you had a lovely holiday weekend!
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Merry Christmas! From Our Home to Yours...
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Hubby and I are having a quiet Christmas day, just the two of us. We're planning a nice hike with Cooper (Scout has gone back home), movie watching, and grilling steaks later. We'll see Daughter 2 and SIL2 tomorrow. And we'll see Daughter 1 and SIL1 soon, too. When kids grow up and get married they have to split themselves between two sets of parents. We've never pressured our kids to be here for any certain holiday - we don't want to stress them. We were so blessed to have EVERYONE here for Thanksgiving!
Hubby surprised me with lots of fun gifts - I'll share them tomorrow.
Yesterday after our hike I made miles of scrappy orange bias binding.
And I machine stitched it to the quilt. Last night I hand stitched the binding down one of the long sides (while we watched Jason Bourne). Making progress!
Today's movie will be Love Actually - nope, we've never seen it! There will be more hand stitching to come!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas day!
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Six Loaves A'Baking...
Yesterday I ended up baking SIX loaves of bread - this should get us through a few weeks! Yay! This took all morning because I did two batches of three loaves.
Needless to say, I didn't get much sewing done.
But in the afternoon I did get Allietare trimmed - scalloped edges!
I marked half the quilt with a soap sliver and cut on the line...
Then I folded the quilt in half and cut the other side the same.
I hope to make the bias binding today and stitch it in place.
Last night I did hand stitch a bit while we watched Sully via Amazon. Fun evening!
Today we'll have a quiet day - we're planning a long hike with dogs. We were going to a movie, but have discovered many movies on Netflix and Amazon that we haven't seen. So we'll hunker down and relax here while we watch.
I'm thankful for all those who have to work this holiday weekend - including Daughter2 and SIL2. Health professionals and musicians are both in need on Christmas Eve!
Merry Christmas Eve!!!
Friday, December 23, 2016
Done with Quilting!
Satisfaction! The last few stitches! Yay- I'm done with this one except for trimming and binding!
You know what the front looks like - let's take a look at the back so you can see my quilting! Yes, I'm quite satisfied - it's not custom or computerized, but I did it myself and that makes me happy! And NO TUCKS!!!!
Wish you could have joined us on our hike yesterday morning. One and a half hours of woods, and leaves, and loveliness. 7500 steps!
The dogs LOVED it! When we got back home they slept for hours...while Hubby golfed...and I quilted. The perfect day.
My days are so mixed up - is today Friday already???? What! Where has this week gone? I have a few more gifts to wrap - just a few - and then I'll be Christmas ready. Today I think I'll catch up on En Provence - never got the last clue sewn together. And maybe I'll cut the next clue - did you see that Bonnie posted it early - last night?! And maybe I'll make some bias binding for Allietare - orange, of course! I'd love to get the binding machine stitched on, ready for hand stitching over the holiday weekend.
Wishing you a happy Christmas Eve eve!
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Slowly, But Surely
Since my schedule seems to be off kilter this week, I decided to machine quilt yesterday. I didn't quite finish the final corner, but I certainly will today. Yay!!! Do you see the empty lot out the window? Someone has bought it and will begin building their home early next year. We are thrilled! They seem to be very nice people and will make a great addition to our neighborhood.
And I did a bit of this last night. It's coming along! I will always think of Doc Martin when I see these pieces - we've watched this show a LOT during this process. I'm sad to say that we only have two episodes left and will probably finish them today. Will miss Doc and Louisa...
The doggies have finally realized that they don't have to play non-stop. They now take nap breaks! Of course they remain side by side! Today is the day the pine straw crew is spreading fresh straw in all our yards (it is included with our HOA) and the dogs are keeping a close eye out the windows.
And now it's time to take these buddies out for a hike! The weather is warm and sunny and we should have a great time. And then back home again to quilt! And a quick run to the post office to mail something off. Should be a wonderful day!
We are expecting warm (70 degrees F) on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Yes, that's unseasonable warm for even us way down here in Alabama - this is winter! But that's fine with us - more hiking opportunities!
Make it a great day!
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Sweet Scout is our houseguest this week - he arrived yesterday. What fun he is! Cooper never leaves his side. In fact they are constantly playing, rough-housing, wrestling, and playing tug-of-war with their toys. The dog hair is flying! Mickey is hiding out under a quilt - trying to stay out of the way.
And so my sewing schedule may be a little off this week, and that's fine with me!
I did do a little hand sewing yesterday, but that's it. This morning I hope to machine quilt a bit...
I also wrapped Christmas presents yesterday - except for one - I realized I bought the wrong size - ugh! And so one exchange needs to be made, hopefully today when I go to my hair appointment.
Have your quilting projects been put aside until after the holidays? For the most part, mine will keep going with little family breaks here and there. This is a quiet Christmas for us. I miss baking Christmas cookies, but there is really no point. I did buy some Honey Baked Ham for us - that will have to be our 'treat'! And I'll be making some egg and sausage rolls for us to enjoy over the weekend for breakfast. Hubby and I decided we need to do something special so we're going to a movie on Christmas Eve. Any suggestions?
I've already been on a nice hike this morning. The weather is cold, but with a coat, hat, and gloves it's not bad at all. At least the sun is shining!!!
Have a happy day!
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Quilting, Quilting, Quilting...
I machine quilted another quarter of Allietare yesterday - no photos though. One quarter left! Yay. Machine quilting is not my favorite, but it must be done to have a finished quilt! Since retiring, I've decided to quilt all my tops myself...unless it's something REALLY special. Like maybe a 'bee' related hexie quilt. Ha! I do all my quilting on my domestic machine - Bernina 750.
I'm planning to quilt En Provence 'quilt as you go' - using my quilting rulers. It will be fun to try a different method.
As you can see I did a bit of hand sewing last night. To Doc Martin. Sad that we are now watching the last season...
Today: dresdens! Gardenvale! And I may sneak in some machine quilting or some En Provence. We'll see.
Some of you may wonder if I spend all day long, every single day, sewing. NO! I do other things. Cook. Clean. Wash clothes. Swim. Hike. Run errands. I do try to devote 2 hours per weekday to machine sewing. That's just 10 hours per week! My hand sewing is relaxing time - watching TV with hubby.
I wish you a happy day!
Monday, December 19, 2016
Tips for BLISS Fabric Selection!
You asked for it - some tips for BLISS!
Firstly, I tried to include images of things I love in my quilt (hence the name, Bliss!). Bicycles, flowers, dogs, etc. I was open to ANY colors - no limits here for me!
The quilt is basically overlapping hexie flower units. I did try to make each unit cohesive by using color. For example, I decided one unit would have lots of green (see it in the upper right of the picture?). I went through my green stash looking for cool images and patterns.
I tried to include fussy cutting throughout the quilt - so I wanted fabrics that worked for this - look at the repeats on your fabric (how often the pattern repeats itself. I found it was helpful to buy quarter or half yards of fabric (not fat quarters) to get plenty of repeats of an image.
Throw in some solids! I used solid fabric here and there to give the eye a place to rest. I would coordinate the color to the unit on which I was working.
Black and white! I also placed graphic black and white prints here and there throughout the entire quilt. A bit of black and white pulled the variety of colors together.
For those newbies to my blog, the instructions to Bliss can be found in a tab at the top of the blog - Hexie Love is Now Free. You will need the Curved Hexagon Ruler to make the quilt. If you'd like to purchase one ($24.00 with free shipping to USA), email me with your Paypal email address- I'll be shipping them beginning January. You will also need 2" hexagon papers (2" per side!) - I no longer sell these.
The finished size of the quilt (without borders) will be 58" by 78". Of course you could add borders as you like! This is a bit smaller than I'd originally planned, but is a great size I think.
I hope this helps as you begin your Bliss journey!
Yesterday was all about hand cutting. Fussy hand cutting. I cut out the next Farmer's Daughter block - I love to fussy cut the pieces - there will be surprises throughout this quilt! Love the little dog face! (For those non-quilters who read my blog: 'fussy cutting' is cutting the fabric so an image or pattern is centered in the piece.)
And then I did LOTS of fussy cutting for the no-name hexie quilt. I even got some basting done on this.
Today is machine quilting day - let's see how much I can get done on Allietare. I would LOVE to finish the quilting this week, if at all possible.
Let's make it a great day!!!
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Last night I finished another Farmer's Daughter block - I haven't pressed it yet...
And I finished up this section.
I also worked on machine quilting Allietare - slowly but surely - AND I cut the pieces for Clue 4 of En Provence. I'd call that a productive day!
Today I need to cut out another Farmer's Daughter block - I cut all these pieces by hand (scissors), individually. I also need to cut more fabric for the next round on this hexie piece. Lots of scissor cutting today!
I received MANY great quilt name ideas yesterday! Y'all are so creative! Keep it up!!!
And have a blessed day!
Saturday, December 17, 2016
The Hive is Buzzing!
I made some progress yesterday on hexies. No, the title of the post is not the name of the quilt! I still haven't decided on one... still thinking on it. Keep the ideas coming! And I've decided to send out TWO prize rulers - one to the person who picks the best name and one to a random draw winner from all those who are sending name ideas. I plan to pick the winners on Christmas day. Feel free to send as many suggestions as you like!
Have you noticed the text fabric? This weekend I want to actually read it. I can tell that it is all about bees, but I'm not sure exactly what it says. Maybe that will also give some ideas about a quilt name? We'll see...
Yes, Hubby is back at playing golf. He took this spectacular hawk photo at the course - really cool!
Today is the first day of college football bowl games. Yes, we'll be watching football! I hope to machine quilt a bit - want to get Allietare moving forward a bit today. I need to wrap some presents. And I know I'll do some hand stitching.
Hope you have a happy day!
Friday, December 16, 2016
More Baskets Galore!
Yesterday was a HUGE day as far as baskets go. I just kept going and going and going! And guess what? I'm done! I've stitched down ALL the handles! So next week I'll move this quilt along to another step. I'm considering making some little nine patches to add to the mix...
Last night I worked on basting more hexies. I'm going for the black fabrics for this section.
One of my kind readers let me know that there are more possible names for my quilts that I haven't seen! I get the comments via my email, and apparently some were a bit delayed in arriving. I assure you I have see them all now!
I listed them for Hubby yesterday as we drove to Montgomery and he came up with one of his own: Honey, I'm Home! So everyone is in on the act!
Keep them coming! I still haven't made a decision!
(And in case you are wondering...Hubby was released to play golf! He is still not allowed to swim for one more week though...and I got compliments from the doctor for caring for his wound so well!)
Yesterday afternoon we noticed THREE deer just across the street from our home, feeding on tender rye grass. Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE living here?
Today is HEXIE day!!! So I will be basting and stitching and cutting more fabric - what fun! AND I still have fabric and pattern pieces covering the dining room table - I'm determined to cut out that dress today!!!!
Wishing you a wonderful day!!!
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Name My Quilt!
Last night I finally began stitching the next Farmer's Daughter block. Stitching to Doc Martin - which has quickly become our favorite show. So funny! (We finished Foyle's War...)
Yes, I machine quilted yesterday. No, I didn't quite make my goal of finishing another quarter of the quilt. But since my schedule has me hand sewing today and tomorrow, I've left Allietare in place in the machine - so it's ready to stitch at a moment's notice. I'll probable get it caught up over the weekend, if not before. I didn't want to bore you with another picture of my meandering pattern...
Today is basket day! And doctor day! We're headed back to Montgomery for Hubby's follow up appointment for his skin cancer removal. So I'll pack up my basket blocks and take them along for the ride. And maybe later this afternoon I'll get that dress cut out - ready to get my dining room table back yet again. Fingers crossed that Hubby is released to golf again! And swim! I'll have to admit that during his two week period of inactivity I've been more inactive too - need to get back on my swimming schedule! I've only swum once this week. :(
On Naming My Hexagon Quilt:
Thanks for the suggestions! So far we have-
All A Buzz
The Path to the Hive is Always Full of Curves
All great ideas! Let's keep them coming! I can't say that one is jumping out to me just yet. I'd LOVE to have more names to pick from! Remember...someone will receive a free Curved Hexagon Ruler! Y'all are awesome!
Have a special day!
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Dresdens and Hexies and a Deer!
Two Dresden Plates made yesterday! With two more in progress. As you can see, these aren't as perfect as the first one I made. That black line is not is a perfect circle. Ugh!
This one is a little better, but still a bit off. This is a result of my cutting, not my sewing. There is not a lot I can do about it at this point, other than ripping it all out - trimming some of the blades and resewing. Then I would need a larger circle to appliqué over the center.
I vote to leave it as is! And my vote is the only one that counts!
3 done...25 to go!
Last night I finished the star points on my curved hexie project. I'm happy now - so glad I remade these. Someone asked it I have a name for this quilt yet. NO! And I NEED one!
Want to help a girl out? Here are the facts:
1. Made with my curved hexies
2. Using Bee Creative fabric line featuring bees and hives and honeycombs
Please send me your ideas! If I choose your quilt name, I'll send you a FREE Curved Hexagon ruler! Get your creative juices flowing!
And what is that under the hexies???? Oh dear...another new project? I have to confess - yes. I'm attempting to make myself a dress. We'll see how this works out. This will involve LOTS of hand sewing - it will be a slow going process. More about this later...
Yesterday as we left the house for a hike we had a deer sighting just across the street - always fun to see these beautiful creatures. Cooper never barks at the deer - he just reverently stares. What a sweet dog.
Today is another machine quilting day for me - more progress to be made on Allietare. And maybe I'll get that dress cut out? We'll see.
I've had a request for a post about fabric selection for Bliss - good idea! I'll work on that for the near future. At the rate I'm going on Allietare, I'll be ready to baste and begin quilting Bliss the week after Christmas! Unless I want to add a border...hmmmm...need to think about that.
Christmas preparations around here are easy this year. I'm not making any Christmas cookies or cakes. I miss doing that, but we aren't eating them so there is no need to waste my time. I never got around to sending out Christmas cards either. I'm not Bah Humbug - it's just that this year was so filled with moving and a wedding and moving and a death and moving. We're relaxing and enjoying the season quietly. Just what we needed! The gifts have been purchased - just need to stick them in gift bags and call it done!
Don't forget to send my your ideas for naming my newest Curved Hexagon quilt!
And have a creative day!
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Machine Quilting and Preserved Lemons!
The quilting went splendidly yesterday. I would estimate I am one fourth done with the quilt.
You might need to click on the photo to see it closer...but here's another shot. I'm getting more accustomed to my stitch regulator - I was correct...the key is to move the quilt slowly! Since I am allowing myself another day of machine quilting this week I'll be working on it again tomorrow. If I do the same next week I'll have it ready for binding by Christmas. Yay!
Last night I made the Preserved Lemons. This lemon was almost too big for the jar mouth! But in she went!
I have to shake or tip the jar a few times per day. They need to sit on the counter for 3 days and then I'll move them to the refrigerator. The lemons will be ready in 3 weeks after that. Don't they look pretty?
We hiked yesterday before the rain hit. Look at this pretty moss we spotted on the Crepe Myrtle trees in the neighborhood! Such a pretty color!
I did get my En Provence purple four patches pressed yesterday - a good activity while talking on the phone!
Today Gardenvale is up - I'll be sewing Dresden Plates! The rain will be back soon so it's a good day to stay in and stitch. Which is exactly what I'll do!
Best to you and yours today!
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