Dec 31, 2010

Looking Back

It has been an interesting year on many fronts. 2010 was the year I became totally and completely in love with grandmother-hood. How can one not, when you have a devilish little imp that delights you each and every time you walk in his door (or he into yours). It is the year our revolving front door saw one daughter move home and another move back to Chicago. I celebrated "the big one" (yes,the 6-0) and survived. There have been ups and downs as family members continue to age, as things change in the work arena and as friends found less and less time to get together. But over all, 2010 was not terribly traumatic.
Many of the quilting blogs I read have been showing a round up of 2010 projects that have been completed. Some have a very impressive list- complete with photos. Makes me wonder what it was, exactly, that I managed to accomplish in my sewing room (other than creating a complete and utter mess??). I could say "not much" but what I did complete made me extremely happy. Here are some glimpses of completed quilts as well as some in need of quilting. Now bring on 2011- I think I just may be ready to face it.

1.This spring, I pieced several projects from the book Remembering Adelia. This top was one of my favorites. It is earmarked to go to the quilter soon.

2. This full/queen Yellow Brick Road was an overdue retirement gift for a friend. She got it on her birthday this year, and absolutely loved it.

3. I hand stitched my first full wool (on flannel) wall quilt- Festival of Trees from the book Juniper and Mistletoe. I am completely thrilled with it as is my family. It hung on the foyer landing this Christmas, and because it doesn't scream Christmas Quilt, it is going to remain up until spring arrives.

4. I caught the small quilt bug. This is just one of several I completed this year, and the only one I could find a photo of. I love that I am able to quilt these fairly easily by either hand or machine. I've done both and realized just how much I love hand quilting. I hope to do more of it in the coming year.

5. Another Yellow Brick Road was a collaborative effort by Youngest Daughter and myself. She chose the color scheme and did the block designing. Since she was on a very tight deadline, I did the sewing as she handed me blocks. Once she had the layout just the way she liked it, I put the rows together. It was machine quilted, and DD bound it over a three day time period, then it was packed and off to Poland with her to give as a gift to her boyfriend's mother on Christmas. It was very well received!
(*Note- the lighting was harsh so this picture doesn't do the quilt any justice. I do wish I had gotten a better photo before the quilt left the USA)

6. This Stars on Point pattern was originally going to be the quilt I kept for myself. As I was sewing I decided that my sister might really like it and that I would give it to her as part of her Christmas gift. I was right! She really loved it, and I have found out that she doesn't want it to be destroyed by the cats. She plans to hang it in her bedroom on the focal wall. I feel quite honored! Again, I'm not sure what is up with the camera, but this photo is rather dull in comparison to the "real deal"!

6. This is my latest project begun in 2010. It is also the project I spend 6 hours (round trip) in a car to sew with a great group of girls. Quilting has brought much into my life. I'm looking forward to the new year, more sew-ins, and catching up on my Folk Art Gatherings.

I have made a promise not put any pressure on myself this coming year. I will enjoy each and every stitch I take either by hand or by machine. I will make time to reconnect with the girlfriends whose company I enjoy so much-who make me laugh, who remind me of the good times each and every time we get together. I'll make the most of this new year on my own terms.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you out there....
may you greet it on your own terms, and find the joy in each and every day.

Dec 27, 2010

Snowy, Snowy Day

With over a foot of snow on the ground and more still falling, both our house and the juniors' house have decided to wait it out a few hours before taking to the roads.
Probably a very smart move as son and daughter-in-law live east of the city and have gotten even more snow than we have here. The few extra hours of down time this morning means I can actually catch up on some blogging. Life gets really crazy in December, and this year was no exception. I do hope you all had a very happy holiday and that this next week leading up to the new year is one where you too can find a few minutes of solitude.
I am hoping that for 2011, I will find more quilting time than I did in 2010. I've already determined which 4 projects will be the focus this year, one being The Civil War Bride Quilt from Threadbare Patchwork and Quilting. I have been accepted to blog about my progress here and intend to post my first completed block very soon. My (monthly)Sunday stitching group has already decided we will finally work on Welcome To the North Pole by the Piece of Cake gals. We have been talking about this now for about 2 years. I'm glad that we are finally going to put our fabrics where our mouths are (so to speak!). I did make up one little block yesterday, just to see if the back basting method is the way I want to go with this project, and the answer is a resounding YES! Many of the pieces to be appliqued are quite small, so doing this method helps me be as precise as I'd like to be. I'll be embroidering the "impossibly small" pieces, and others in that category will have wool or ultra-suede as the fabric. I'm excited. I do love Christmas quilts and this will be such fun to work on with the other girls. We do have one non-quilter in the group, but maybe we can change her mind if we carry on enough. If not- we will just appreciate her cross stitching masterpieces! My other 2 projects for this next year will be from the "Finish This" vault! One is Birds of a Feather by Blackbird Designs, and the other is the long overdue "Wedding Quilt" for my son and DIL: Vintage Valentine. Most of the blocks are either done or in the process of being done, and I would really love to cross it off the list of things that need to be finished! I will have to be really organized to accomplish these particular goals over the next year. I also have Cheri Payne's Folk Art Gathering ( see Cheri's blog!) started and will continue to work on that as well. I do so love my applique- thank goodness!

Now for just a few catch up items! Remember the stars in this post? Well I can finally show you the finished project! It was given to my sister on Christmas day and she was thrilled with it! I'm so glad. I loved this lap quilt and since I still have another unused jelly roll sitting around gathering dust, I just might make one for myself!

Here is a close up of a star. I hope if you click and enlarge the photo you can see some of the fabulous quilting done by my machine quilter. The photos aren't the best I've ever taken. I will have to take my camera along next time I visit the sister and see if I can get better shots.

And for now, that is that! I should go find my boots and go help the hubby make headway with some of this snow. I at least need to find my car in the driveway and get it shoveled off....but before I go face the elements, I want to leave you with just a glimpse of this Nana's special little Elf. This is truly what Christmas is about- the joy of a child's discovery. This is my favorite of all photos taken over the holiday, and probably the best reason of all to go out into this snowy, snowy day.
Until my next post- stay warm, stay dry and above all, stay well.

Nov 25, 2010

Wishing one and all a very happy turkey day! Here at the house we are filling the space with the most amazing aromas! These were made totally from scratch by the Youngest Child and are cooling on the back table- I am not sure how much longer I can wait to cut into them.

Turkey breast is in the basement oven, cranberry relish is chopped and ready to put into pretty bowls. Stuffing and fresh yams need to go into the upstairs oven. Last minute- the fresh greens, raspberry and goat cheese salad. Oops- better not forget to make the sour dough croutons! Come noontime, it is over the river and through the woods to (no, not grandmothers!) sister's house we go. We are all looking forward to spending time with the family and friends who will be able to join us this year. For those who can't- you will be missed. I hope each and every one of you reading this post find the same joy in your day.

Nov 6, 2010

What I've Been Up To

Besides nurturing my first bronchial disaster of the year, I have managed to accomplish a few things here at home. Today youngest child, the father and I loaded a 10' U-HAUL and managed to get the furniture that has been in the garage since the Kentucky move off into a storage unit not far from home. It will be nice to be able to put one of the cars into the garage now that the colder weather is becoming the norm. I'm not so sure I'm at all ready for this. I know my immune system isn't. Ahhh, well! Flu shot in another week and then maybe I can rest a bit easier. But for now, I'll continue to cough, blow my nose and just generally feel sorry for myself (smile).

I am on a bit of a sewing roll, however. This little lovely is my homage to the holidays and will be the featured little quilt at the shop. Several months ago, I had proposed starting up a club where ladies who would enjoy making smaller projects could come once a month and begin (and if it is a good night-complete!) a project. October was a fairly packed house- seven lovely ladies came prepared to sew, laugh, make new friends and share a fall treat in our small, but cozy classroom. I taught them a simple square in a square project- about 16" square, and every one was completely different, each was lovely and all the ladies were thrilled to go home with a completed top. They will be bringing back their projects to our next meeting (which has picked up 2 more ladies!). The girls are excited to begin making this next project:

I am calling it my Ode to the Holidays as it is not the usual Christmas fare. The colors in this piece are not your typical holiday prints, but the I found them rich and quite lovely. I know it will look nice in my home, and several of the girls have asked for kits of the same fabrics for their own project. I have baskets up my sleeve for them to make in February, and I think I am going to start off the new year with a bit of a larger project- 30" by 36". A nod to the 150th anniversary year of the start of the civil war that 2011 brings. Stay tuned. I promise to tell you all about it.

I also got to enjoy doing some "continuing education" by taking a class with my workmate, Mardi. I told you all about it in this post. I've been working on my star blocks as time permits (and there hasn't been much to spare these past couple of weeks) and am so happy to report that I have gone from this:

to finishing all 13 blocks. I am ready to set them on point and put the top together. Since I have definitely decided that this is going to be a Christmas gift, I'd like to arrange to bring it to my machine quilter next week. Can you tell I am positively excited?

In the mean time, my other October projects have suffered. The "block of many parts" begun last month during Friday Night Sew In is still in pieces (but there is another night of sewing scheduled for the 17th), and my Paganini Schnibble by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company is still only a single block! It's all cut out, I just need to sew it together. Maybe it will become my November small project instead of starting a new one. Think that could be a good move. Once the holiday season gets underway, I think my free time will become even less that it is now. Que Serra, Serra so they say. At least I'm getting somewhere....

Oct 23, 2010

My Own Sew-In

It was a dark and stormy night....
oh wait, that is another entire story......

It was a quiet and peaceful Friday night here at "Mi Casa". Youngest was winging her way to London for a long weekend with boyfriend. Hubby was off at a hockey game. Just me and the 4-legged creatures. It was a perfect night to sew!! I had joined my favorite comrade-in-crime last week for a class she taught at the shop. The class used a jelly roll pattern by a new- to- me pattern company- Whistlepig Creek . If you take a look around, go to their jelly roll patterns for Stars on Point . It is just the most fun, and extremely easy to put together. I have 4 more blocks to go before it can be set together! I am feeling very proud of myself; this is going to be a Christmas gift for a family member who right now will remain nameless. I shopped the stash (Imagine!) and chose a jelly roll of Madeira by Blackbird Designs. I am loving how it looks. I have another Blackbird jelly roll in the stash- Harvest Home, and yardage to go with it, so I see another star project on the horizon. This time for me! Of course I said that about this project- at least until it began to take shape- and then got hit by the idea of gifting my labor of love.
I'd show you pictures of the finished blocks, but my camera also took a vacation to London, so I'll just have to let you wonder for a few days.
I hope you all have a productive, happy weekend! I need to do some general housekeeping and then I am rewarding myself with another date with my sewing machine.
I love this!!

Oct 15, 2010

Friday Night Sew In for October

As I mentioned in my earlier post, tonight was the October Friday Night Sew In.
I was excited to continue working on my stalled Civil War Tribute blocks. I am way - very way- behind! Tonight I intended to make at least one of these:

I need 4 of them in total!

Here is how the night began:

5:30pm- leave work

6:00pm- arrive home to pick up the DH for dinner at our favorite neighborhood pub.

6:30pm- order is in, Youngest Child is pulling into the parking lot. We catch up on each others day over yummy-ness.

7:30pm- return home. Check mail, love on the dog a bit (it's been a long day), have a cup of coffee.

8:00pm- finish cutting the last of the 300 triangles needed for blocks. Yes, you read that number right- at my calculation, it will take a total of 300 triangle units to complete all 4 blocks:

8:30pm- begin construction of the 3" (unfinished) half-square triangle units:

10:00pm- begin squaring up the half-square triangles. Tendinitis is setting in!

10:30 take a break from squaring up and construct the beginning of the 4 needed blocks using these instructions:

and get this far- 4 square in a square units, addition of Flying Geese units to two sides (x 4):

11pm- call it a night- these blocks can be a bear and definitely need fresh eyes and a clear head. Besides, I have a class at the shop tomorrow at 10am sharp!

At least I got something done this time around!

Oh yes, and forgive the quality of the photos- it is late after all, and shadows are just bound to happen. I know y'all will get the essence of the blocks!

And another Friday Night Sew In comes to a close for this girl-
I can't wait to see what some of the more productive gals got done.

Good Night all!

October Sew -In

It is time for another sew-in night! you can read all about it over at Heidi's blog
This time around I hope that I can actually get myself into my sewing room and participate. Always have the project, don't always have the time. Tonight I will continue working on my Civil War Tribute blocks. They aren't easy! Very time consuming blocks here, tons of cutting and even more piecing- multiple blocks with many construction techniques that can test one's patience. I'll carry on. I love this project. If I'm too tired to think about precision I am sure there is lots of applique that needs to be done!
It is a rainy, gloomy day and it isn't supposed to clear up anytime soon. A sew-in is just the thing for this evening, I think.

Oct 7, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away!!

Another rainy day- will it ever stop? Managed to get some fabric cut for month 2 of my Civil War Tribute Quilt, but no sewing done last night. My evenings rush by way too quickly!! Since there is nothing new to show today, I thought I'd share this with you:
I would love to spend the day doing this...and I think I have a perfect companion. Oh wait! I'll be in MA that day, and my perfect companion is in Chicago. Ah well, maybe another time. There is always the Ghosts of Albany Tour or Haunted History. Maybe I can make one of those walks!!
In the meantime, I'll just hope for a day in the near future to catch up on some stitching.


The rain stopped! Just around noon today the skies turned a lovely shade of blue between the fast moving puffy clouds. I could kick myself for not having my camera in hand. Not for the clouds, but for a photo to answer this question: what do you get when you mix a big mud puddle and a 16 month old little boy?? Bad Nana for forgetting to get that one on record!! Let's just say I had to get said little boy naked right there on the front porch before we went in for an afternoon nap!
Happy night, everyone...I know I'll fall asleep with a smile on my face tonight.

Oct 5, 2010

Hiding behind the Fabric Piles

I have signed up to participate in a local Quilter's Treasure sale. I have way too much fabric. I have way too many books and patterns. I have come to the tough conclusion that I do NOT have the time to ever be able to make, read, dream about it all! I have always lived by the adage: one man's trash is another man's treasure, so off it is going to go- hopefully to a new home where things will get read, used, quilted, loved.
Now I have to deal with the aftermath of tearing things apart- the reorganizing. Urgh. I thought giving things up was hard, this stage of the plan is worse. I still have "too much" and feel as if I should take a tougher stand on several keepers. It's hard. Very hard. But things have to get done, and I'll make the tough decisions, or at least will attempt to!
I did decide to reacquaint myself with my sewing room and sat at the machine last night. I am 9 months behind (how did that happen??) on my Civil War Tribute block of the month from my local quilt shop. Actually, I made the 18" and the 12" blocks for month one some time ago with disastrous results. Both blocks ended up a full inch larger than they should have been. How I did that I have no clue! At the time, I decided to just trim them down, and then was immediately sorry as I would now lose all those points I carefully made. Darn!!
What would you do in a case like that? Are you comfortable in leaving it as is, or (like me) would you decide to seek out replacement fabrics and remake the blocks??
I finally got the final 2 fabrics I needed last Tuesday night, so I decided that I would organize a tad and then treat myself to remaking the 18" sized block #1 again. Success!
I am pleased too say this one came out 99% perfect. I think there will be one iffy point connection when constructing the entire top. I also think it will be barely noticeable, and for an 11pm construction point, I am more than pleased. I think Miss Molly is too- she is quite quick to give her opinions, but I keep her around anyway. Here she is sitting in front of the finished block:

and here is a block close up:

Doesn't look too bad after all. For tonight, the 12 incher is a go.
Happy Stitching.....

Sep 26, 2010

Ahhh--It's Time To Relax

Relax. Just for a minute at least. I've finished. FINISHED! Three more quilts are sewn, quilted (thank you, my wonderful, loverly machine quilter!), bound (at least 30 hours of binding over 5 days) and given to their new owners. I am thrilled. They all turned out well, and I am now able to think about getting back to my Cheri Payne project, and begin seriously collecting fabric for my big 2011 project. The joy of it all. You can read about the fun we had meeting and getting the Cheri project off the ground here
As for the quilting frenzy back here at home, here is the very LARGE Yellow Brick Road quilt. It was a long over due retirement gift for a friend. Hey, she heard all about how I'm on the "Five Year Plan". I was only 6 months behind on this one, but I got brownie points for giving it to her at her birthday celebration. This picture really doesn't do it justice, but it is as good as it is going to get:

Here is a small close up. The colors are off here too. I used the Blackbird Designs fabric line, Aviary by Moda Fabrics. It is much prettier than these photos show.

The backing shows a bit better. I just love this graceful bird toile. You may see some of the cabbage roses that were quilted:

Next is the lap quilt I made for the hubby. No particular reason other than I am trying to make sure each family member has a quilt from me. Both girls have one; my mom has one. Now the hubby. In the works are quilts for son and DIL. The baby got his at his shower (amazing! something that was early!!), but the "2 year old quilt" is planned and fabrics ready for the making, and he is only 15 months old right now. I have plenty of time, lol.
Anyway- back to the husband quilt. He is quite pleased with it! I'm glad.

And last but not least, I did tease a bit in this post by showing you my little red birds and a silly tree. My flannel and wool applique project is done! I love it, the family loves it, my partner in crime at the shop loves it and the shop manager thinks it is spectacular. That is a very good thing as it is my new Block of the Month offering. It has been selling just by word of mouth and by my working on it during down times at the shop. I think it is going to sell out soon. That too makes me happy. It is always nice to have all your hard work appreciated. So here is the finished wall hanging, Festival of Trees from the book Juniper and Mistletoe:

and a small close up of just part of the top. Hopefully you can see the quilting in the blocks. I love it. I love everything about this one, and hope it can come home to roost very soon. I'd love for it to be hung on the landing as our winter quilt. What do you all think??

and so now you know why I'm ready to relax just a bit. Not long...I would certainly get bored. So in the meantime, I've decided to do a purge of the quilt room and the overflow in the attic. Too many patterns, too many books way too much fabric. I'm hoping to get a table (or two) at the local Quilter's "Garage Sale" held each year at a local high school. It will be a good thing. Maybe then I won't feel so guilty or overwhelmed by all the projects that are going no where. I just bet there is a quilter or two out there that would love a new book, pattern or half finished project that needs a good home!

Sep 11, 2010


I know I promised myself not to blog on weekends, but reading this post just brought back so many happy memories! When I was growing up, my family lived in a two flat house- my grandparents and aunties downstairs, my parents, sister and me upstairs. Our street was lined with large, beautiful American Chestnut trees. One of the favorite seasonal past times of the neighborhood children was collecting those big, lovely brown chestnuts! We didn't just want the ones that fell naturally to the ground . That would be much too easy! We would gather fallen sticks and then spend hours throwing those sticks into the trees knocking down the spiky green covered chestnut fruits. Even more fun was stomping on the outer hulls to release the beautiful brown nuts and see how many we could collect. Sometimes we'd get lucky and have a double chestnut!
I remember sitting on the porch steps stringing chestnuts into necklaces and bracelets.
Childhood times- so simple, so fun, so many wonderful memories. All good things!

Sep 10, 2010

I Was A Bad Girl

I was a bad girl yesterday, a very bad girl. I had an unexpected day off, and instead of staying home and getting some last minute work done for the shop, I decided to play hooky for the (entire) day. First Born and I jumped into the car and headed off here.
It was a beautiful day for a drive into the Catskills, and well worth the trip. From the minute I walked through the front door of the shop, all I could say was OMG!! I think I repeated that phrase at least 5 times in the first 3 seconds!!
The store is bright, large, extremely well stocked, played great music in the background (come on! Simon and Garfunkle right as we walked in- my kind of place!!). Most of all, what can I say about Fran and Murray!? They are so adorable- I think they are going to be my new best friends.
I went armed with a fabric list "just in case". While surfing the net I came across this blog and thought: "I was a child born in 1950. I love stars! I think this could be fun...and it would be really fun to do in fabrics that might remind me of the 50's. That led to the fabric list- you know, "just in case". Well that is when the bad girl in me set in. In case?? Heck, it's a quilt store- and a quilt store that has a collection that is really cute, and it reminds me of the 50's AND it is on sale (the entire collection!) at $5.00 a yard!!
Score! So I bought this:

There were lots of samples that I have patterns for. Just in case no one noticed, I love reproduction fabrics, and the shop had some beautiful samples hanging from patterns I had previously downloaded from the free pattern page at Windham Fabrics. I am definitely going back with some of my print outs in hand. Actually I have to. I signed up for the new historic Block of the Month: Patriots in Pitticoats which starts in January. I'll be driving to Windham once a month as long as the weather cooperates. You can read about the BOM here
The shop also has all the Presidential Fabrics printed in commemoration of the upcoming anniversary of the Civil War. We decided that I'd make placemats and napkins for my nephew who is a bit of a history buff, and lives and works in D.C. We chose this after seeing some made up:

the bottom fabric with the large postage stamp type presidential print was a must after we saw it framed! The portraits were cut out and then feather stitched to an aged muslin with red pearl cotton. The entire thing looked very antique and both The First Born and I wanted to reproduce our own framed piece of fabric art. Simple project with a lot of bang for the buck.

I also couldn't resist these fat quarters and a Renee Plains pattern:

After all the fabric merriment, we drove home through the back roads of the Catskill Mountains, stopping in Woodstock for an early dinner at our favorite bistro.
My French Lentil soup and Chicken Avocado sandwich were beyond yummy!! The stop gave us the fuel to continue our drive. We arrived back home early evening, tired,happy and fabric laden. I was so pleased with my hooky day!! I should take one more often.
Smiles and happy stitching

Sep 9, 2010

Off The Worktable and Onto The Rack!

Since I posted a rather long post yesterday, I thought I'd hold my Workspace Wednesday post for today. I mentioned in this post that I would be traveling to MA this Sunday to begin a journey of new friendships and stitching. Our project Folk Art Gathering has large pieced backgrounds to which we will add our applique at our monthly get-togethers.
Here is month #1's finished background! I just love it. I especially loved trolling through my rather extensive stash to pull fabrics. I have made it my goal to use what is on-hand and not buy anything (OK, I'm only human, not buy much )for this project.

I am especially in love with these little half Log Cabin blocks. Not exactly sure why- I just think they were fun to piece and are quite cute!

Later today, I will dive into my collection of wool. I intend to mix wool and cotton applique in this project. I need to be prepared for the weekend. Can you tell I'm excited?

Happy Stitching

Sep 8, 2010

October/November Goals

Kelly wrote a very inspiring post as to her self-care goals and how it can add more stress to one's life. She learned life lessons that I think are quite commendable, and should be something many of us, me included, can learn from and incorporate into our day to day lives. I know I tried to do the self-care thing. It didn't work. Well, it worked some- for a bit, but fell apart miserably towards the end of our two month goal period. I need practice, and am not sure that it is in my nature. A goal worthy of keeping in the forefront of daily living. We'll see what happens down the line. Our next challenge, so to speak, is "Quilting the Quilt". I had to smile at that one, and will definitely be checking in with the other Charming Girls to see their quilts, hints, techniques. It is always interesting to see how others handle the "quilt as desired" that comes once all the piecing/applique is done. I've taken hand quilting classes; I've taken machine quilting classes (thank you, Harriet Hargrave). I don't have many personal tips to share, but I do know one thing. I am a hand quilter. I don't have the right set up to machine quilt comfortably, and I am a tense machine quilter- not good for the body. I adore the calming effect of sitting with a quilt in my lap and hand quilting. I also know I don't do enough of it. This is going to be one of my goals for October/November. I have had a pink and brown churn dash quilt I named The Slave Quilt ready to quilt for several years now. I hang my head in shame. I love this quilt. I would love to have it see the light of day again. I made it using blocks swapped with girls from a monthly sewing group that meets at the shop where I work. When I put these blocks together, I was inspired by a book about the Underground Railroad and a photo of a slave bed with its churn dash quilt. Simple. Unassuming. It was love at first sight. I will also make it a goal to finish my bigger than big applique project! It was intended to be my son and daughter-in-law's wedding quilt. It is three years in, and it is still not finished. You can see the pattern here
Two big goals, but goals I would like to meet over the upcoming months. Vintage Valentine will go to a long-arm machine quilter. It needs to be given to the kids before more time goes by. Another anniversary is coming up in October!!
I'd not want it to look as if I haven't accomplished anything! If you have read this far and would like to visit (or re-visit as the case may be) a few snippets of what I've been working on (and a planned quilting trip for this weekend!), you'll see I'm still practicing the concept of self-care by taking a fun day for just for myself. I'm excited!
Happy Stitching!

Sep 6, 2010

Fun Packaging

Just when I thought I'd be done sewing for the day, I remembered I had promised to do some creative packaging for The Youngest. The child (ok, ok, young adult...who am I trying to kid) had spent countless hours creating a mini scrapbook of memories for her BFF back in the beautiful state of Kentucky. The girls had worked together at the Equine Hospital at Louisville and there were many hours of work, play and general moments of merriment to put into tangible form. When it came to making sure it was safe and sound in its packing box, I came up with a bright idea. What else would you use to cradle and create another surprise element for the birthday girl?? A pillowcase of course!

A quick look through some old stash I had planned to part ways with, 20 minutes of cutting and sewing (french seams and all!)time, and this is what we came up with:

I wonder if I have enough fabric to make one more?? I think there is another stylish young lady who would like a matching pillowcase!


So Where Have I Been Exactly?

I'd like to say I've been hanging out with other wonderful quilters, stitching my fingers to the bone, enjoying laughter and companionship. I'd like to say I have gotten so much done no one would believe me. I'd like to say...
what exactly?? Maybe the girls know??

I may not have hung out with the girls, but I have been stitching my fingers to the bone. It is September! How did that happen?? The heat (oh, the heat!) was pushed aside by a Canadian cold front (thank you Canada!) which kept Hurricane Earl from causing too much havoc, and today I woke to a balmy 48 degree morning. Actually it was loverly. I am surely hoping that the 90 degree days are behind us. Schoolchildren return to the classrooms of NY this week, so naturally we will get a mini-heatwave. It's tradition. But, Fall looms in the air, and it excites me to no end. Fall is my favorite time of year!! You can tell by the work I have been stitching on. Would you like a sneak peek? Yes? Ok, here goes!

What could these little cuties be looking at?

Could they be looking for a roost like this little guy has?

Maybe they are worried this one is too lop-sided for all of them to call home.

Stay tuned,I'll let you in on their secret in just a little bit!

I've also been constructing a house! Yes, a house. Ok, so not a cut the lumber, drive the nails kind of house, but a house none-the-less. Next Sunday, I will be packing my house (and the needed construction tools: needles, threads, fabric scraps...) into the car and heading off to The Quilted Crow in MA. I am very excited to meet "Simply Libby" from blogland! A small group of us will be working on Folk Art Gathering, a new pattern by Cheri Saffotti-Payne. We will be working right along as Cheri designs. I have parts 1-3 in my possession, and even Cheri isn't sure how many parts there will be in the end. I love a good mystery!
I'll share a peek at my house-even if it is still under construction. Just a few more timbers to top and bottom and I'll be set to get to the applique next week at "The Crow".


has become this:

and I hope to get to little log cabins this week!

And there you have it! Where I have been- besides soaking my poor sore fingers!
Are you curious to see where all this goes?


Aug 26, 2010

Not so Wonderous

Remember her?

Nothing was too much for her, she could make anything right. She did it all...and then some.
Surprise! I'm not close to being Wonder Woman....
Maybe next week I'll done my WW costume, maybe not. But for now- I'll settle on being ordinary. Out of time, ordinary. Too much to do ordinary. Deciding to procrastinate ordinary.
Yup- sometimes ordinary is good. I'll let Wonder Woman solve the problems of the world at large.


Aug 22, 2010

Not Much Stitchin'

Not much stitchin' was done over the weekend, but that was fine. Just fine, mind you, because we partied on Saturday and I relaxed quite a bit on Sunday (wow, who knew how nice lazy can feel on occasion!).

Saturday, my sister and I threw a "post birthday" luncheon for my mom, who found herself another year older on August 17th. She claims she never thought she'd make it to 85! I had no doubt she'd get there and she will no doubt greet a few more.

Family and friends gathered to celebrate (otherwise known as "eat"),catch up with each other,and just spend a few fun hours with the b'day girl. We descended upon a local Italian eatery that opens by noon (a must when Mom is involved), serves family style, would give us a private room and whose food is generally quite good, considering. The room was dark- with strange lighting so photographing was interesting to say the least, but we have lots of fond memories in shades of orange/red tint(even after photo editing!).
The party wasn't technically a surprise, but since Mom suffers from dementia, to her it was a complete surprise- and she loved being the b'day girl....she was having a good day. I have proof positive (see below). Happy Birthday, Mom (even if it is a bit belated):

(waiting on Grandma: The Husband, The Youngest, The Son and The Little Man)

(Arrival of the Birthday Girl- notice the delight as she waves to her adoring fans!)

( Birthday Girl and her Sisters-smiling pretty for the camera)

(Great grandma gets a very big hug from a very important Little Man)

(Applause for a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday to You!")

A good day was had by all!
Happy Stitchin (and look for a sneak preview come Wednesday)

Aug 20, 2010

To Russia With Love

My first born traveled to Finland to participate in a history conference being held in Helsinki this week. Since she was "so close", she and Travel Companion decided they would take a three day side trip to Russia. It meant the girls needed special visas, but when she sends me a photo like this....well all I can say is "I die!".
This has to be one of the most beautiful Russian Orthodox Churches I have ever seen!
Having grown up in the Orthodox Church myself, I'm sure First Born knew how much I'd love this photo.
The interior shot she sent was equally amazing (I neglected to download the interior photo- something I should do immediately!).
Such adventure!

What ever happened to...

What ever happened to the Lazy Hazy Crazy days of summer??
Mine have just been crazy of late. No time for much blogging.
I'm hoping to put aside time to sit and download some photos from the camera, and just take a bit of a personal breather. But not just yet- the crazies are continuing!
Stay tuned, I just know things are going to slow down! Right??
I hope your end of summer days will be nothing but Lazy....

Aug 12, 2010

My Workspace

Once again, it is not technically Wednesday, thus the omission of that word from today's post title! You know the old adage: A day late/A dollar short? I'm one up as I'm not a dollar short for a change, and I think any one reading this blog can forgive my being a day late. Life happens, you know!
So without much more fanfare here are two of the current projects on my work table (and the ironing board- which accounts for the weird angle of the quilted piece).

These little (5" finished) blocks are a group challenge from Kathy Tracy's yahoo group. She had collected floral FQs and decided to do some "Romantic Stars". They will be quite lovely. I don't often do lovely, and had a charm pack of Miss Jump's Scrapbag I had forgotten about. I pulled some of my favorite pieces and set to work making Miss Jump's Stars:

I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to set them yet, but I do know the piece of fabric they are lying on will NOT be used *smile*! Stay tuned.

Next up is a little quilt- frankly just a cute square in a square. I had a small piece of a bucolic farm toile and wanted to do something with it other than just sit and pet it. Since I've spent the summer playing at city farming. and being somewhat unsuccessful- darn squirrels. I thought I'd just throw it into the center piece of a little quilt. I love playing in my sizable stash. It's about time I did so. Collecting fabric for years is great- but if it never sees the light of day,it becomes a waste. I get that now!! Won't stop me from collecting, but I've promised myself I will use it not just love it from afar. This little goodie needs only to have the binding finished; I think it needs some defined quilting in the outer border as well. I'm not sure what just yet. It can live in it's present form for awhile, don't you think??

And there you have it! Workspace "Wednesday" on a Thursday no less! But I'm sharing...yes indeed, at least I am sharing.

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