Friday, November 26, 2010

Where Has This Month Gone?

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are not chastising themselves for eating too much! Hard not to do, isn't it?  Then you get to face the leftovers the next day.  Ymmm!  But I hit the treadmill full speed running today.  Between Thanksgiving and my trip to New York and all the food I ate there, I feel like a whale!

I realized today that I've only made one post this month, but there has been so much going on!!  And none of it really stitchy.  This time of year is always busy.  I went on my annual trip to New York:

No, I didn't see the Statue of Liberty this year, but if you can believe this - I didn't take one picture!!!  I think that I was just running around too much with my sister and then running all over the city, that I didn't take a single picture!  Oh, maybe one of my sister's cat, but I'll spare you that one.  The doll was sent to me by my mother - another Barbie to add to the collection!

Sis and I had a wonderful time.  The weather was wonderful while I was there - in the 60's.  I only had two days with her, but we combed the North and South Forks of Long Island for antique treasures.  Treasures are not the same there as in Michigan, but I did come up with a couple things:

Another flower frog to add to my collection.  This one is quite large, made in England and perfect for all the little things I have around my sewing machine and keep misplacing while I'm sewing - like being knocked down on the floor or hidden under what I'm sewing.  Now they have a home.

I also found the wooden spools, cheap I might add, for putting lace on, a half doll to make a pincushion out of, and the angel plate.  Not huge scores, but antique shops aren't quite the same in LI as they are here in Michigan, and these came from the North Fork (the less affluent side of LI).  But we had a wonderful time driving around, eating calamari and seeing the sights.  I always hate leaving, but look forward to the next year.

After that I spent a couple days in the City and those are always wonderful times too.  The weather again was perfect - 65 and you didn't really need a coat!  I can never get enough being there and all of the great sites to see, and the things to do.  If you have some money you'll never starve or have a hard time finding things to buy in New York.  But I never go into stores and shop - I just love wandering the city and seeing the sites - like the window displays, all the billboards and the people.  I did go into St. Patrick's Cathedral - beautiful - and a few other places, but mainly just walked around.  I can't wait to go again.

A few weeks before I left, I made a trip to my not so local LNS and on the way home stopped in the town of Holly for a quick run through in one of the shops and walked out with these:

These were all from one store and ridiculously cheap!  I always love a good find.

Because of all the activity over the past few weeks, I haven't made much progress on Frances Eden:

Pretty pathetic!  I'm starting to get used to the colors of this though, but as always happens when I've been away from stitching for a week or so, my mind starts to wander around for something else to work on.  I'm trying to be good, but I have this bad desire to dig through stash and see what else I can come up with.

And of course, like a pesky relative, my Farmer's Wife blocks showed up for this month!!!

I guess I have my work cut out for me, although reading through the directions, there doesn't seem to be any template cutting, so maybe I can make short work of these.

So that's it - a rather boring post!  Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of things now that I've recuperated from my trip.  I always come home exhausted, over fed, but smiling!!

I haven't even looked in my Blog reader to see how far I'm behind on reading - I think that I have a lot of catching up to do!  Thank you so much for your comments on my last post and for the congratulations to my son for his college acceptances.  We're still waiting on the coveted U of M letter, but I think that we have another week or so before we hear anything.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!  And thank you to all my new followers!  I came back from my trip and saw that I now have 407!!!!  Wow!  I'm shocked, but also humbled that you stop by to see what I've been up to.  Thank you all so much!!  I hope that the rest of your holiday weekend is great!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Finishes (Lots of Pics)

No, this isn't going to be a weekly event - Friday Finishes.  I'd love to do something like that - like Kim's Thrifty Thursdays, etc., but in the real world, I'm lucky to get a finish a month or so.  But it so happened that this week I have Friday finishes - three of them!  Woo Hoo!!!!

First up, I finally finished one of the samplers that I've been working on here and there - not a biggie, a small one, but a finish is a finish, right?

The Apple Tree Sampler
Hawkins House
DMC Threads and 36 ct. Buttercream

I didn't know what I felt about this sampler as I was stitching it.  All I can say is that stitching the tree was a PITA.  I made so many mistakes on it and frogged so much that I'm surprised to see it finished.  But here it is.  I think I'm going to do something different with this one and make it into a pillow instead of framing it because it's not very large.  I'm still sitting on the fence about that.

The rest of my time has been spent putting pedal to the metal in the sewing room and trying to catch up those pesky Farmer's Wife blocks!!  And I'm all caught up!!   I really have to learn not to leave the trickier ones until last because they just about drove me nuts.  But I'm all caught up (at least until the end of the month when one day I'll open the mailbox and that crazy Psycho music will start up again).  The first batch:

If you blow the picture up, that block in the upper left - well, that one may be a redo.  When I was finished with it, it stood up like a cone!  AUGHHH!!  A lot of pressing got it to settle down, and it measures the right size, but I'll probably redo it.

Second batch:

The block in the lower right still is not completely finished.  I have to miter the points of the red strips, but that's hand work.  I tried to cheat on the machine and that didn't work out too well.  It's also the only block that I've paper pieced so far because the first one looked like a train wreck when I finished it.

All stacked up and waiting for the next month.  Only seven more months to go!!

Once those blocks were done, I felt like I had a huge load off my back and finally, after having a few problems with the instructions, whipped off my sister's quilt:

If the instructions hadn't been so poorly written this would have been done a long time ago.  But in my usual fashion, I got a little too frisky with this one and cut the striped border wrong.  The stripes were suppose to go lengthwise, not from center to edge.  But I like it so much more this way - I think that it gives the quilt more character (and I'm hoping my sister thinks so too - well, there's not much she can do about it now, is there?  LOL).  It won't be completely finished by the time I see her (next week), but it will be at the shop being quilted.

Then it was time to move to something else.  I finally started on the Bliss quilt and managed to get sixteen blocks done.  Here are just a couple of them:

This is a really fun and easy quilt to work on.  It will look like this when it's finished:

(courtesy of Cluck, Cluck, Sew)

I should have these blocks done in no time.  They work up really fast.  So, what should I work on next?  I picked a couple things and I hope that I can get them done.  But with my trip to NY coming up next week and the holidays, who knows.  But I picked one new and one old project:

The new project is another jelly roll project (I'm just loving these jelly rolls) with fabric by Three Sisters. This one should work up fast.

Then I picked another one that I've had in my stash for years.  This one will take some time, but I figure that if I work on one old project and one new project, then I'm not only having the joy of working with new fabrics, but I'm also cleaning up stash at the same time.  Years ago I made a Jinny Beyer quilt, Mirage, as a shop model.  It's hanging on my staircase now with the hopes that DH will hang in in our foyer (I'm probably dreaming on that one):

I think this would look much better hanging it's full length on the wall (someone poke DH for me please).  LOL  This is one of my favorite quilts - I love Ms. Beyer's quilts, so I decided to start working on this one:

I'm doing the pink version since that fits in more with the decor where I'd like to use it.  This one is going to take me a while, but it will be so worth it in the end.  I hate fussy cutting border fabric!!

And then I went back to an oldie stitching project:

Frances Eden.  I laid her down quite a while ago because the colors were just so wonky to me.  But I've been seeing this pop up here and there on blogs like Laurie's, and decided to give it a whirl because I love how hers looks.  

I have to thank everyone for your comments on my trusty assistant!  He is a handful.  But he did actually come downstairs the other day with me, plopped himself on the couch and asked me to turn on Animal Planet!!  No, not really, but I did and he seemed to enjoy it for a while until he fell asleep.  Good Dog!!

You'd think with the bazillion toys in the house that paper he found blowing in the yard would be the last thing he'd want.  But he's like a kid and toys - give them a paper box and they're happy!!

In other news that's not stitching or quilting related, my son got early acceptance to two universities!  Indiana University and Michigan State University.  He's still waiting for two more responses.  I'm thrilled, but secretly hope that he picks an in-state college (if U of of M doesn't accept him, he tells me that Green (MSU's colors), don't necessarily suit him.  He's a diehard U of M fan and he has all fingers and toes crossed in the hopes that they accept him.  But you know, mom and dad would love that In State tuition - more crafting money for mom!  LOL  No, not really, whatever he decides is fine - I'm just thrilled for him.  

Once again, thank you so much for all your wonderful comments.  They mean the world to me.  Hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!!