Feb 25, 2012

The North Wind Doth Blow...

It is crazy here in upstate NY today. The wind is swirling around the house fiercely (so much so, I had to "secure" the trash container with a brick!), icy snow pellets are blowing in one direction and then the next (before disappearing as fast as it began), and the sun is trying ever so hard to break the quickly racing clouds this late afternoon. The kitchen is warm with the heat of the oven, and the house is smelling ever so good from the pot roast I'm cooking for tomorrow's dinner (on the hope that I'll be spending a few hours with some quilting buddies). The dog is napping happily, the husband is watching golf televised from an oh too warm looking Arizona- I guess all is right with the world for now. I even forked over an entire $1.99 to my Amazon Kindle account to rent The Help and will add my name to the list of people who LOVED the movie! I did, I absolutely did. Loved the book too...

I've checked email, updated Facebook, and read a few blogs- and lo and behold- how EXCITING! Temecula Quilt Shop has announced on its blog that it is doing another sew along in March!! I have a new "little quilt project" in the making. Now the decision, raid the stash as I have been doing, or treat myself to the new fabric kit they put together. What's a girl to do??

And with that decision rolling around in my head, I am almost set to get the dutch oven out of the oven, bundle up for the afternoon dog walk and then come home and tear into an envelope from Jan Patek Quilts...I had enquired as to the "mystery" she was offering- her Collections design that I fell in love with years ago, and lo and behold- I guess it has shown up on my doorstep today. I can't in good conscious send it back now can I (it's the Collections pattern- remember!!), so I'll have a bill to pay :-)
Maybe it will be stash for the new Temecula sew along, lol.....
Hope everyone is as happily engaged in their Saturday activities as I am. It's nice to have this kind of day- I needed it.


Feb 24, 2012

February Little Quilt- "Check!"

I am just about tearing my hair out tonight- the Internet gremlins are hard at work making my little bit of quiet blogging time less than enjoyable. Shut down...disengage wireless. Re-engage wireless. Start up again.....
slow, slow, slow....iPhoto doesn't want to do anything either. Urgh....I know there are days (evenings) like this, but seriously?? Can you just give me a bit of a break.

So what does that mean for the proof that I did indeed live up to 98% of my goal of finishing this month's little quilt?? A couple of really BAD cell phone photos under really bad lighting conditions and no editing program, lol. But guess what? I'm going to subject you all to the horror anyway.
As to the 98%-- well it is pieced, layered, HAND quilted (that was a joy!) and bound. I do want to do some wavy quilting in the outer border (the 2%), but I also want to know that I am going to line up those corners as I come to them. I've looked high and low for my chalk marker and do you think I can find it (and I know I had several at one point)?? So, I'm declaring February pretty much done for the month- I think the hand embroidery and the hand quilting let me pat myself on the back for today, and I'll finish up next week after getting a new marking utensil this weekend! It is still February until Wednesday after all, so I'm not cheating all that much.

So here it is in all it's horrid glory! I did get to give it a vignette setting before the computer had its hickups (and I decided to run MacKeeper to make sure it is just the wireless/weather/human error and not some real gremlins playing on the hard drive!). It really is softer and prettier than this:

I had an equally horrifyingly terrible close up of the embroidered center, but seems that never made it into iPhoto- probably a good thing!

So, February's Little Quilt is about to be history. Now on to March. In case you are all wondering, the projects are coming from the talented mind of Kathleen Tracy, author of some of my favorite quilt books. She does have a Yahoo Group, and this is where she issues the monthly challenges for 2012. I veered in January by doing the Temecula Quilt Shop's 12 Days of Christmas project, and chose Kathleen Tracy's alternate suggestion for the broken dishes blocks for February. I must admit, really enjoyed this one- even if I did go "girly".

Hope you are all working on something that makes you happy!
Keep stitching.....


(OH! LOOK! it was in the trash- I am now laughing hysterically 'cause that is where this photo truly belongs! )

Feb 23, 2012

Meeting Goals and Spring Time in NY

Saw my first fat and very happy robin yesterday on the morning dog walk. Hopping, chirping, finding lots of goodies in the barely frozen ground. Winter never really came to New York, and since it was going to hit 50* I came home and decided that I was going to banish winter from inside too. Living Room shades went into "summer position"- the tops went up followed by half of the lower shade- exposing sunshine streaming through the lower panes. It was heavenly. The dog found Mr. Sunshine- like the little tyke in that newspaper comic "Hi and Lois"- and basked happily. The husband watched golf on the telly, and I found the warm spot on the couch and worked on hand quilting my February Little Quilt project. My hope for today is to get the binding on, and then show it off via a photo. Phew...it is only the 23rd of February and I am looking forward to the March project!

And in other news, Lynne did me the honor of naming me for a Liebster Award as she paid her nod forward. Go visit her, it is a lovely blog!
Of course, I need to pay this forward myself, so here goes- blogs with less than 200 followers that are worthy of recognition:

my dear friend, Noel is quite the artist (and writer). She was one of the competitors in McCall's Design Star contest, she paints and she writes beautifully. It is always a joy to read her posts.

Sharon always has something fun and will time and again give me a smile!

I've followed Nancy for a very long time, and enjoy her primitive style as well as her wildlife photos. The stories of her (wild) animals visits are sometimes quite funny- not that I am sure I'd want a huge black bear munching at MY bird feeders!

Linda shares my love of wool work and has a delightful blog

and then there is Annie who can be counted on for some fun. I feel a certain kindred to her as our lives sometimes leave us missing in action. *smile*

I have others that delight my reading times, but they are tres popular, and have large followings!! I'm sure many of you have already found them. I am also sure you will enjoy some of my (above) lesser known blogging (and personal) friends if you have a look.

And now it is time to officially start the day. My coffee cup is empty, and I have a little quilt that is calling my name after I reacquaint myself with the dish towel and the vacuum. Have a wonderful day, one and all!


Feb 16, 2012

Farmer's Wives

No, I'm not going to philosophy about being a farmer's wife- the closest I get to farming is being an "urban gardener"!
What I am going to do is jump back on the bandwagon with all the help I can possibly get. I went along swimmingly on my Farmer's wives blocks up until just before December, and then put it all away while working hard on the wedding, Christmas and the like. Now there is a sew-along on the Internet (see my sidebar), and it gives me the push to pull out all the blocks and get working again. The sow-along began on Feb. 1 with several blocks and I had 2 already done- since I'm not working in order. Here are my Basket Weave and Big Dipper:

I am working strictly from stash and will make my sampler totally and completely scrappy. I may repeat a fabric choice in the blocks (I'm making all 111- or are there more for the queen size?? No matter- there are a lot!), but then again- maybe not! A Farmer's Wife would have made-do, no?? The third beginning block is Contrary Wife. I'm pretty sure I did that one- but can't find a photo in the files! The second group of blocks were supposed to be posted yesterday, I believe, so I'm off to check Randy's blog. This could be just the kick-in-the pants I need to fire up the machine once again! I also need to finish up a little quilt for February- one of my "little goals" for 2012- one small quilt a month.
Oh so much to think about....and been so lazy the past 2 weeks. But heck, it's been a good thing! I may not have been exercising my sewing brain cells, but I have been reading- a LOT! Sometimes a girl just has to do what a girl has to do!
Happy sewing (or reading, or what ever it is you chose to do today)!

Feb 8, 2012

When Did It Become February?

Wow- January just flew by- or maybe it was hijacked by "the birds" or our neighborhood skunk, who makes the evening walk with the dog not so pleasant!
But aside from pesky crows, stinky skunks and life in general, things have been fairly quiet here. I had to put aside the applique for a bit- my right elbow has had a touch of the old tendinitis this past week and a half. Instead of sewing, I've been organizing and purging 30+ years of photos that were in boxes and drawers. It feels good to know that I have what I want to keep, and had quite the trip down memory lane in the process. By yesterday I was ready to spend quality time in the sewing room again. So what did I accomplish? Well, first off I got my exchange HST's sewn, cut and bagged to send off to Southampton Quilts.

Since we send the blocks with the papers on you can see my choice of fabric combinations for this month next to the cut paper triangles. For a reproduction kind of girl, funny how many batik fat quarters I'm coming up with from my stash. What's with that?!

Then, because it was there and calling my name since summer, and because I can't comfortably applique, I decided to build a few houses from this:

I originally bought the book thinking it would be a fun Block of the Month for the quilt shop I used to work for. Now it will be a "for me" project- with no time frame. Kind of like everything else here- no time frames! Going deep into the older recesses of my stash I've built two houses so far. What do you think about the construction sites? Have a favorite? There will be more houses to come in this little suburb of course so maybe your favorite will show up at a later date *smile*.

House #1:

House #1 with its connectors:

House #2

What I SHOULD be working on are my 3" nine patches for this month's Jo Morton Club. But then tomorrow is another day! As for that Jo Morton Club project, another sincere note of thanks to all who commented on my disappointment with the chosen background and the way the project was looking at it's onset. I humbly admit to being too much of a perfectionist, will try harder to go with the flow and am happy to announce that I will be finishing it up as planned- and enjoy the process! I guess it all depends on my mood as to how I look at those blocks sitting on my flannel board. I do have to admit there are times I'm not happy- but I also feel that in the end it will be a lovely project, and I WILL be pleased. Heck, if not- it can go to the one who raises their hand first lol!!
Stay tuned...the "best is yet to come" as the saying goes. At least I hope it is...
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