Sunday, January 30, 2011

No Title Post

Okay, I didn't know what to come up with as a blog post title today because it's a little bit of a mixed bag - well, really only a couple things, but like, what do I title it?

I've been good on my projects for the 15 Day Challenge - well, specifically good on one project - poor ole Ann Medd.  This poor ole girl is going to be the death of me.  I want her finished - I want her on the wall.  But she's a big ole girl and obviously this isn't going to happen overnight.

When I started back on her, she looked like this (obviously there was something on my camera lens when I took this picture a couple weeks ago:

Now she looks like this:

I got through the verses K through N and you know what, that N verse with just those two words is the bottom of the sampler - OH HAPPY DAY!!!  But all that fill in - UGH.  It's not hard - it's just time consuming.  Same with the verses - not hard, just time consuming.  And I have a lot of backstitching to do in this.  Right now the fish looks like a blob.  Funny thing is as I'm working on this and looking at this fish (looks like a salmon to me), I'm singing this song in my head about fishies having fun - makes me think of a song that was on one of my kids tapes when they were younger and seemed to play non-stop in the car!  "Hey, little fishies - we're having some fun, we're going to swim 'til the day is done".  OY - that keeps going over and over in my head!  I need to get off this part so I can sing Baa Baa Black Sheep because the next portion is filled with sheep!  But we'll change that to Baa Baa White Sheep because the sheep are all white.

Part of the reason for my lackluster stitching accomplishments this week or so was because I finally got hit hard with the bug the kids had.  Even though I didn't feel good at all and slept most of three days, I figured I'd try to take advantage of having no steam in my body and sit and stitch.  Problem was, every time I'd sit, I'd doze off, so no stellar accomplishments this week.  It also resulted me in being way behind in blog reading this week - my eyes always seems too tired to stay on the computer too long.

Nothing really exciting going on around here besides the Ann accomplishments (or lack there of).  I finally escaped for a day to myself yesterday.  I started feeling like myself and even though we got about four inches of snow, I didn't let that stop me and I went for a drive.  Not a good thing as my car ended up taking me to some new quilt stores.  And because you all know how I need more stash (yeah, right), I came out with this stuff - had to take advantage of the end of the month 20% off sale:

A whole lot of repro fat quarters.  Actually these came from two different stores but I decided to show what lovely surprise was put in the bag at Jennifer's - CHOCOLATE.  Her shop was the second store I went into, but thought I would give her credit for raising my blood sugar up a bit.  Shopping is hard work, I'll tell ya and the chocolate hit the spot.  Especially after the damage I did in the first store - I SAW RED!!:

Yummy, yummy red and white fabrics!!!  Actually this is a kit made up for the Yellow Brick Road pattern, but when I saw it hanging in the store, I swooned.  I had to have it.  And luck was with me - they had just one left!!!  Rotary cutter - here I come.

I met a wonderful woman in this shop - Lake St. Mercantile - who does a lot of Marsha McCloskey quilts and it just so happened that I brought one of my Marsha patterns in with me to look for fabrics.  When she saw it in my hand, she started pulling out fabrics like a crazy woman and this is what I ended up with - some more red fabrics:

I should have spread all the fabrics out, but I'm trying to get this post in before everyone comes home and finds out that I've done nothing but playing with fabrics all day!  LOL  But it's lots of reds and creams and browns - it's going to be wonderful.  And the charge card is in ashes!!  Just crumbly bits in the wallet!!  There was more, but I'll save that stuff for another time.  Let's just say if I keep going like this, my poor son will be going to community college!  I'm also thinking that my husband may be seeing red when he sees the bill.  Oh well, he'll get over it!  He usually does!

To add insult to injury, I went by a couple antique places, so I thought I'd stop in.  Not a good thing.  Actually didn't find too much but a couple things - another flower frog.  Actually this was a real deal.  They had one with the top and bottom for $19.00, but I found the base for $4 and the top for $5 so saved myself $10 - had to save somewhere after that card burning in the quilt stores.

And a pin cushion - is there a particular name for these?:

I'm getting quite a collection of these.  I thought that she was very sweet.

So that's it for me.  I understand that we're in for a heck of a snow storm here on Tuesday into Wednesday.  Late report - double digit snowfall.  Means a day where I won't venture out of the house and maybe can have some quilty love.  The kids will be home too I'm sure, but they're teenagers and want to sleep until noon - and guess what?  I'm going to let them!!!

Thank you again for all your wonderful comments especially on my UGLY block last time.  I think that at this point I'm going to keep it in the quilt.  Not all blocks are beautiful, and it will probably look fine.  If not, it will be destined to be a pincushion.  I would never throw it away.

Have a wonderful week!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Framing and What's Your Definition of UGLY??

I don't know about where you are, but it's colder than a witch's broomstick around here!  A great weekend to hunker down and get some crafting done.  Which is exactly what I did.  A great weekend for it - too cold to venture out (at least for me), and football games on to keep the boys occupied.  So I got busy.  But first, I picked up some framing recently.  Excuse the pic - I'd take it outside for a better shot, but like I said it's cold out there:

Sarah Seifer
The Goode Huswife
36 ct. Pearled Barley and DMC Threads

I just love the frame for this and would like to use it again on something else one of these days:

Not the best pic with the flashback, but you get the idea.  

While in my craft cave this weekend, I think that I finally came across my definition of ugliness.  I spent some quality time whipping out some quilt blocks this weekend, but this block offends my senses:  

Farmer's Wife Quilt
Four Winds Block

Now, I should have realized when I started sewing this block that my first mistake was not paper piecing the thing because it has 64 pieces in it - and it's only a 6-1/2 block.  But I'm not the biggest fan of paper piecing (although Dear Jane will probably be paper pieced), but I think that the block warranted me doing that.  But this block is UGLY!  Maybe my fabric choices are wrong, I don't know.  Maybe because one of the striped pieces leans to the left and doesn't quite line up right.  I tried to tell myself that it was okay - I like the color brown, but not in this combination.  I tried to talk myself into liking the block by saying that the light color looked like an old shirting material, and the striped fabric was like a pioneer's dress material.  I tried to make up a story in my head about who would wear those types of fabric back in the Civil War days.  I tried to talk myself into liking this block.  But I don't.  And I think that at certain points members of my family heard me blabbering to myself - not a good thing!!  So maybe I'll redo it - maybe I won't.  Not all blocks have to be beautiful, do they?  And in the whole grand scheme of the quilt, no one will notice, right?  Probably not!  But the darned thing will probably laugh at me every time I look at it - so maybe I will.

But I did have some successes:

Civil War Chronicles
BOM - Month 1

Oh how I love this block!  Love, love it!  I could have made many more of these and loved every minute of it.  Love the fabrics, love the design (and Yvette, it measured exactly what it was suppose to - a shock to me!!).  I can't wait until Month Two arrives at my doorstep.  Probably soon.

After I finished that one, I went to the next BOM.  Chain pieced a lot of triangles together:

Then I whipped up this:

Civil War Tribute BOM
Month #3

I don't have months One and Two yet - the shop started me with #3 and #4 followed a couple weeks later.  I haven't gotten around to cutting out #4 yet.  Anyway, the CWT block is just one of four that I have to make for the month's requirements - 2 -18" blocks and 2 - 16" blocks.  I was going to work on those and have the whole month complete, but I realized that the Farmer's Wife monthly blocks were going to be showing up any day, so I started working on those.  The UGLY block above was the last one that I did on the FW quilt.  But before that, I did these:

I still have one more block to go in this month's BOM, but it is a pesky thing and as the UGLY block was a little too pesky in it's own right, I called it a day.  Hopefully, I can finish up the last block today.

On the stitching front, I have going full speed ahead on Ann Medd!!!  I flipped the page over the other night and what do I see???  The bottom of the chart.  OH HAPPY DAY!  Of course, before I let myself  get too excited, I realized that I still have a long way to go - that center portion has a lot of fill in, but just the fact that I saw the bottom made me giddy with excitement.  So I worked on her the past couple of nights and now only have two more lines of verse on the left and I'm into the middle again!!!  I'll post a picture in my next post.  Just seeing a lot of verse and a little bit of the center that I did wouldn't be too exciting at this point!

Well, that's about it for me this week.  Stay warm and safe.  Hopefully, it's a little bit warmer in your part of the world.  And I understand that the East Coast is in for another storm!  I can't believe how much snow you're getting there!  Stay save and warm.  And thank you once again for all your wonderful comments.  My body may not be warm lately, but your comments do warm my heart!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

On the 16th Day I'm Resting.

Happy Sunday everyone!  Well, the 15 Project Challenge is over and I don't know if I'm sad or happy to get back to some regularly scheduled stitching.  Quite frankly, I breathed a sigh of relief yesterday knowing that now I can just get back to stitching one thing.  Well, at least stitch on one thing for a little while - I am known to be a project jumper!!  LOL  But in going through my stash, I found a bazillion other things that I would love to stitch, so in a rather sick way, I wanted to keep going - adding new projects with reckless abandon.  But I decided to just stop before I drove myself crazy.  I have come to the realization that I don't need to ever buy another thing EVER (yeah, like that's going to happen!!!!!).

Anyway, here are Projects 9 through 15.  And again, before you chuckle over my miserable progress on anything just remember I have had a husband trailing me around and Mr. Bailey went for his little operation this week and is sporting what is known as the Cone of Shame (pic to follow).

Last Sunday, Day 9, was a new start - Sarah Esch - I just had to get something that was a realistic size into this crazy mix.  You know, something that I'd was sure that I could finish before the New Year rolls around again:

Day 10 was back to a WIP and it was Hannah Lancaster day.  I was suppose to be stitching this with Sandra, but in my true slacker fashion, I took a different road and went sight-seeing by myself.  Sandra's been barreling along on hers, and me - well, I've been driving in the slow lane:


Again, not a lot of progress, but now that I have a little bit more color in this piece, I'm really loving it.  It seemed rather drab on the cover, but is so much prettier in real life.

Say 11 was a new start day and I picked Miriam Chilvers:

Now, I'm really on the fence with this one.  I have seen this sampler done on this fabric - Vintage Meadowrue, I think - on another blog, but I'm not sure that I'm going to like it.  It actually photographed better than what it looks like to the naked eye.  I may have to revisit the fabric on this one.

Day 12 was back to an oldie - Frances Eden:



Okay, no chuckling here - not too much accomplished!!!

Day 13 was a new piece - Sovine Palphreyman:

I like this one a lot.  The colors are funky!!!  And fun.  On 34 ct. Cafe au Lait linen.  I just realized as I was typing that, that three of my new pieces are single women - not the traditional A&E's.  Hannah, Sovine and Miriam are all women alone.  I think that I'd like a wall devoted to samplers with just women in them.

Day 14 - well, I was suppose to go back to a WIP and finish on Day 15 with a new piece, but I decided to reverse that because I wanted to spend some time on my last WIP in the challenge, so I went to another new piece - Stories to Live By - Eve.  Another smaller project that should work up fast.

I think that if I had this one and Sovine on scroll rods I would have made a lot more progress on both of them.  Working on a hoop or in hand really slows me down.

So now we come to Day 15 and I wanted to end it with a bang - with the piece that I really, really hope that I can get finished this year - Ann Medd.  When I last took a good picture of her, she looked like this - like a darned bedspread:

Then I worked on her some more here and there:

And on the fifteenth day, I got almost the entire verse done on the left:

Doing the verse is actually a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, there are twenty six verses in total (I think) divided between both sides of the sampler - the first verse starts with the letter "A" and each verse works it's way through the alphabet.  This is "I" and the next one will be "K"  The letter "J" is skipped as it wasn't used in older samplers for various reasons.  This is going to be my focus piece for a while.  Poor Ann was my New Year's start back in 2006 so I think that I really should give it the old college try here.

On the quilting front, I didn't do too much so don't have pictures.  Which is unfortunate because another Block in my Civil War Tribute showed up this week.  UGH - I can't sew fast enough!!!  I hope to spend some time today and tomorrow, while I have a dog sitters around, to put the pedal to the metal and get some sewing done.  But I did add another stash project into the pile (thanks Loraine!!!!).  Many years ago, I joined a BOM for the Dear Jane quilt and then right after that life just got too darned busy and I stopped quilting.  These little bundles have been waiting for me for over eight years.  With the encouragement of Loraine, who is working on this with her mother and SIL, I'm biting the bullet.  No time like the present, right?

You would think after working on the Farmer's Wife quilt I'd be tired of little blocks.  Well, not so, and these are even smaller - 4-1/2"!  I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.  But how fun this is going to be?

Well, with the aftermath of the past 15 days, this is what my stitching area looks like.  DH has raised his eyebrows a few time and DD asked numerous times what I'm pulling out now:

24 project envelopes full of Challenge projects, a couple new ones and few others that are WIPs (yes, Michelle, Provence is in there!!!):

And a huge mess around the stitching chair.

But now I'm breathing a sigh of relief!  But it's been a lot of fun and made me go through stash and, of course, I made a huge list of other things I'd like to stitch and quilt this year.  Although, truth be told, I'll be one happy camper if I can get through half the things that I've put into this challenge.  (Oh, and a note to my sister Cindy who I know stalks this blog - the Mermaid isn't part of the challenge even though I probably should have added it as one.  She's on her own and I haven't forgotten about her.   She is seeing some stitchy love too!!) 

On the home front - everyone will be out of my hair next Tuesday!  Ya Hoo.  Well, that is if we don't get a winter storm that they've been predicting for Monday.  Fingers crossed it misses us!  DH is doing well with his shoulder, DS is recuperated although still coughing to beat the band - he's had one vicious bug!!  The only caveat to this whole thing is Mr. Bailey.  He had his "little" surgery this week and is none too happy about it, but would you be happy if you had to wear this?

Yes, the Cone of Shame and it's driving him absolutely nuts.  This dog usually runs on high octane, but that cone has really hampered him.  But he'll be able to get it off on Wednesday.  I can only imagine how he's going to be when it's taken off.  He'll probably be bouncing off of walls!  LOL

I have to say that I've had a great time following everyone's challenges these past couple weeks and again, have only had time for a few hit or miss comments.  Hopefully, my life will return to normal this coming week.  But, it's been a lot of fun watching what things people have pulled out of their stash to do, and unfortunately, reminded me of things that I have in my stash! LOL  But that's a good thing!

I want to thank everyone for your wonderful comments to my post on first half of this challenge.  They truly mean a lot to me and do keep me going!!!  I hope that everyone has a wonderful week and can make great progress on their own Challenge pieces!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Finish in 2011 and Challenge Follies (Pix Heavy)

Happy New Year everyone!  I wanted to do a day by day posting of projects this week, but things have been a little hectic around here.  DH is recovering from shoulder surgery and following me around every minute (What are you doing now???) so that has cut into my blogging time, and then DS has been terribly sick with something that has required two doctor's visits and is still running a fever after six days!  I think another trip to the Doctor's is warranted tomorrow.  So I never got around to posting every day or commenting on blogs, but here you have what's been going on in my neck of the woods with stitching this week.

I started off the new year right - with a finish!  And then promptly started something new for a New Year's start.  Then I kept going and before I knew it, even though I said I wouldn't, I joined in on the 15 Project Challenge, or as I call it the 15 Project Follies, but with my own twist on it.   But here's my finish:

Mary's Best Handwork
With Thy Needle and Thread
30 ct. Parchment and DMC Threads

I started this piece when I was in Utah for the Shepherd's Bush retreat and can't figure out why it took me so long to finish it!  It was a really run stitch.

Now comes the fun part and the follies.  I decided to do the challenge my way, and the further I get into it I'm wondering what the heck I was thinking.  But here are the first eight days with before and after pictures (where applicable).  And on days the progress was quite pathetic have pity on me - with DH and DS home, well, you probably understand!  LOL

Day 1 - After finishing Mary since she was a WIP, I went to something new - Elizabeth Sheffield by the Scarlett letter.  She was my New Year's Day start.  I love working on this one:

Elizabeth Sheffield
The Scarlett Letter
DMC and 40 ct. Mystery fabric

Day Two - I picked up And All Was For An Appil.  In looking at my notes as to when I started it - well, as I hang my head here - it was my New Year's start last year!!!!!!!:

Okay, let's keep chuckling to a minimum here!  Not too much progress - but I'm a slow stitcher on 40 count fabric.

Day Three - A new start and one I wanted to start last year - Ann Rayner:

Sad, but a start.  Again on 40 count fabric.

Day Four - Back to a WIP and this one I did get some progress in - Susanna Lane - I love this sampler a lot and it will probably be my next finish:



Day 5 - A start and a disaster at the same time - Jane Atkinson by the Scarlett Letter:

Not much stitching on this one.  The light thread so closely matched the fabric (again 40 ct and I have to ask myself what I'm thinking with all these 40 ct fabrics)  that I was having a hard time seeing it, so I decided to start filling in the flower and then do the lighter color.  That's when I found that I had made a mistake in outlining the flower with the lighter color.  As you can see, I was working it in a hoop to just start it.   Not a big deal with the miscount - I hadn't gone very far, but when I took it out of the hoop I realized that I started on the selvage edge and not the top edge!  UGH!!!  I called it a night and it will be revisited later - on scroll rods - and stitched in the right direction.

Day 6 - A WIP - Angel Song - again, not much progress:



Day 7 - A new piece - LHN's Traveler's Companion:

Is this not pitiful or what?????  But again, I don't think I sat my rear end in the stitching chair until almost 9:30 or 10:00 some nights and I go to bed about 10:30 - not much time to stitch!

Finally Day 8 - I actually got a lot of things done yesterday.  I decided to hide out in the craft cave and get some quilting things done.

Worked on a WIP - cut out this month's Farmer's Wife Blocks:

Started a new Project - cut out the first installment of Civil War Chronicles (love, love, love the fabric):

Worked on another WIP - put the next couple borders on the Red and Black quilt and cut out the next set of borders:

And started another new quilt - Civil War Tribute:

So now I'm faced with this - Piecing Happiness!!!

Later in the day I literally ran out of steam - unfortunately I think that I'm getting what my son has - finger's crossed that I'm not - but I did get in some stitching on Elizabeth Clayton:



Again, not much stitching, but a little bit.  

So there you have it - the first week of the challenge.  Only 7 more days to go.  I'm not sure what new ones I'm going to add into the mix next week.  I find that having all these projects going on at one time has been a real challenge to organizing!  But the one great thing about all this is that I haven't bought anything new except for a few fibers to round out a project.  That's a beautiful thing.

I've also enjoyed watching what people have been doing with this challenge and the projects that they are coming up with.  Some I had forgotten about and some I've never seen before.  I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I seem to have made quite a list of projects that I'd like to do in the future.  In the far distant future!  Very far distant future!!!  LOL  I think I have enough on my plate right now, and we're barely over the half way point on the Challenge (or Follies).

I hope that everyone has a great stitching week whether you're doing the Stitching Challenge or not.  While I haven't left many comments this week, I have been doing quick glances into everyone's blogs to see what they're doing before DH comes in and asks "What are you doing?"  LOL  He goes back on the 18th!  I love him dearly, but.................the 18th can't come soon enough!!

Have a great stitching week!