Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Crazy Time of the Year and Some Finishes

I want to thank every one who left such sweet comments and emails regarding my last post about the Top 55 Blogs for 2011.  I can think of so many other blogs that are much more deserving, but I'll take those 15 minutes of fame - I was just tickled (or gobsmacked, really) and your comments just added the frosting on the cake.  Thank you so, so much!!!

As most of you are experiencing, it's a busy time of the year.  The kids are ending their school year and many are going through proms, graduations, parties and the like.  We've been going through that too (more on that in a moment), but I've actually managed to get some things done.  I can't figure out how, but why question, right?

I finally finished the sampler that I've now named Sarah Esh's Frogs.   I probably should have found a little frog pattern and stitched it sitting on the grass (although that frog would probably look like snake fodder if I did that)!  This little piece just about drove me to distraction.  I don't know why something so small throws me for a loop, but I can't seem to stitch a straight line with these things - frogs all over the place.  Perhaps I have a mindset that since it's small, I don't need to really turn the brain on.  Obviously, I better keep it switched on at all times.  Anyway, here is Sarah:

Sarah Esh 1926
Barrick Samplers
DMC threads and Mystery Fabric (lightly tea stained)

The linen color is better represented by the first picture.  The only change I made to Sarah were the eyes on Adam and Eve.  The chart called for a blue that made them look like some kind of aliens with glowing eyes, so I switched them to brown.  The blue just unnerved me for some reason.  Sarah, along with Elizabeth Clayton are currently visiting Framer Tom and I hope that I'll have them back next week.  

I have also managed, around all the mayhem and fun times lately, to finish up another real problem child.  The pesky Hatchet blocks for the Civil War Chronicles Quilt.  I can't tell you how many times, once again, I wanted to fling these blocks against the wall, run over them with my car, or sacrifice them to the bar-b-que gods!  Or yes, take a Hatchet to them.  I would keep telling myself that I couldn't sew anything else until they were done.  So I'd go down into the sewing cave, look at them and walk out.  Not the way to get anything accomplished.  But I had to get them done - because what appears in the mail - the last installment of the Farmer's Wife Quilt - Woo Hoo!!  Month 17 and 18 just waiting so that the quilt can finally be put together.  That spurred me along.

Farmer's Wife Goodies

So I'm happy to annouce that the Hatchet blocks are done!!  Not absolutely perfect by any means, but they're good enough for me.  After making 16 of these:

I now have four of these:

Civil War Chronicles
Month #2
(shot far enough way so that you hopefully don't see that my points don't all match up)

I can't tell you what a mind burp I had on these blocks which is too bad because I am now four months behind on this quilt.  But they were a royal pain.  Partially because I had to make approximately 138 Half Square Triangles.  And wouldn't you know, that of all 138, I think that only 5 were totally squared when I sewed them together.  So there was a lot of trimming going on.  I have now learned my lesson.  Instead of thinking that I'm invincible and can perfectly piece these little devils by the line method, I will resort to other methods.  Below is the line method:

Line Method - Draw a line from corner to corner, put two squares together right sides facing and stitch 1/4" on both sides of the line and then cut apart on the drawn line.  This just didn't work, so I will now use those tools that are out there on the market.  I was just too lazy to think of ripping off little pieces of paper, but that could have been mindless work in front of the TV, saved me a lot of time trimming all those buggers down and I would happily be working on something.  So in the future I will be using these:

There are a lot of HST's in the entire quilt, so these are going to become my best friends in short order.

I've also managed to start another new sampler, but I'll hold off on showing that this time around because it's just border and borders are boring.  

Now for a little family stuff (and you can exit out if you aren't into the family thing).  My son, as most of you know is a Senior in High School (or should I say was - he graduates tonight).  With the end of his high school years coming to a close, there are a lot of things that go on this time of the year.  One was the Prom.  Here's a picture of the whole group and I show this because I loved the girl's dresses - much fancier then when I went to the Prom:

The whole group (my son is second from the left and his date, Mackenzie, is in front of him).

And the two of them together!  I felt so sorry for them because the weather was absolutely horrible that night - driving rain and it was about 46 degrees, but they didn't let the weather get them down.  The limo came and they were off to a great evening.

Last night, Mackenzie (who is a Junior) came over, saw us outside and asked if she could surprise Nick and decorate his car for his graduation.  Here are a couple pics - not the best as it was getting dark:

Needless to say, Nick was a little taken back to see this all over his car.  LOL

Yesterday, also marked the day that my daughter graduated from middle school.  Time sure flies and it's a little bit hard for me to take it all in.  But here she is before her commencement:

It's hard for me to imagine her at this stage in her life.  I still think of her as sitting on the kitchen floor with a Tupperware bowl on her head.  Her favorite cupboard and the only one she could get into was the one that held the Tupperware!  Now she's off to high school (why does that make me shiver????).

So that's about it for me this time around.  As I mentioned, my son has his graduation commencement tonight, a Senior All Night Party and then next Saturday leaves for Spain.  It's hard for me to imagine him going off to a foreign country at this age.  A friend today emailed me to congratulate me on his graduating and said that she was sure that I would shed a few tears.  I probably will, but I think that I'll be blubbering like a baby when he leaves for Spain.  For some reason that makes the fact that he's growing up hit home all that much more.  I know that he will have a wonderful time and it will be wonderful experience for him.  And he has instructions to bring me back a pair of sewing scissors from Toledo!!!

Once again, thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments on my last post, and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!


Catherine said...

First let me congratulate your son and daughter on their graduations! I'm sure when my sons graduate, I'll be a mess!! Good luck to your daughter in high school!!

And congrats to you on your finish! It is such a sweet piece!

Yvette said...

You go! I can't believe you got all that stitching and sewing done with all that you have going on. Congrats to your children for entering a new phase in life.

Don't you worry about the CWC, I am missing a few points too. LOL!

Bertie said...

Sarah is just beautiful, have seen it many times and the brown eyes do it for me:))
Your blocks look wonderful,the explanation on how to is gobbledygook to me, I love your use of fabrics, striking!
Congratulation on your children's achievements, looks like they party hard lol.

BrendaS said...

Your finish is great. Isn't that always the way with the smaller projects? You think you can whip them out and then get hung up with the frogs:)))

Way to go on the quilt blocks. They look very nice and I'm sure you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Congratulations to both of your children. New adventures for both of them:)))

Have a great weekend.

Denise said...

Deb - congrat to the kids (and to you for making it with them) Love the girls prom dresses!

When I quilted and had to make tons of HST I used a method where I took a fat quarter stripped in some way - sewed those strips into 2 new FQ with alt colors and then cut the perfect HST out. Have you ever tried that method?

Don't cry too much tonight or next week!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Sarah Esh looks wonderful! You are just a BAP kind of a gal and those little ones give you fits! Your quilt blocks look wonderful - I can't imagine doing all of those. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Your DS looks wonderful - so happy and handsome!

Your DD is just a doll! Congratulations to both of them.

Wish N well on his trip to Spain; he's going to have such great stories to tell. I can't wait to hear all about it!

Great post!

Sylvia said...

Hey Deb, congrats on both graduations. We just got home from Erika's graduation - it was wonderful. I hope you enjoy your son's ceremony.

It is an extremely busy time of year - I can totally sympathize.

Sarah Esh looks wonderful.

Annie said...

Sarah and the quilt blocks look great. Caused you some grief along the way, but the end result was worth the effort.

Congrats on raising such great kids and seeing them reach these milestones. You must be a wonderful Mommy!

Kathleen From Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Such lovely work! Congratulations on your children's graduations! Just loved visiting here! blessings,Kathleen

valerie said...

Congratulations to your kids on their graduations. Wow! Sounds like you're busy with parties and ceremonies.

Great finish!

robindefender said...

Your Adam & Eve sampler is gorgeous!

Deborah said...

Congrats to both of your kids! Sarah looks wonderful.

Margaret said...

My DD brought me pair of sewing scissors from Spain when she went for a month! It's so bizarre. Our family went through the same thing you're going through 3 years ago. Our kids are the same distance apart in school years. lol! Next year, we'll be going through what you'll go through in 4 years -- one graduating hs, the other graduating college. Now that's a really scary thought! Anyway, congrats on all the graduations and everything involved with that. I remember well how crazy it was! Your son and daughter are so handsome/pretty! Love your Sarah Esh too! And your civil war blocks -- so pretty! Definitely worth the effort to make them.

mdgtjulie said...

Congrats to both of your children on their graduations! That's wonderful news! As for the border, I like to look at any stitching, even if it is boring. Grats on the finish. I can't wait to see it framed!

Alice said...

Oh my what lovely needlework and sewing! Love the quilting. Your son and his date looked so nice in their prom outfits! Your daughter is such a sweet looking girl. I know just how you feel; my baby girl is going to be a junior in HS next year and I get weepy just thinking about graduation. Proud times and tough times all at once.

Joanie said...

Congratulations on the graduations of your son and daughter! You've done well, Mom!
Loved the prom pics too! The girl's dresses were beautiful and your son, wow, what a handsome young man.

You will be fine when you put him on that plane. What an experience for him. Mine's on his way to Afganistan... :(
The go, girl. I tried quilting, couldn't sew a straight line. And I get what you say about smaller projects. Frogs just love them!
Hope to talk to you soon!

Mouse said...

congrats on the graduations for both your son and daughter ... love the dresses of the girls :0 wonderful finish and whoop whoop on those quilt pieces :)you did it :)*passing tissues for next Saturday when ds goes to Spain ... take care and happy stitching love mouse xxxx

samplerlover said...

Hi Deb, thank you for the Prom Photos. Everyone looks lovely and your Son looks quite handsome. Lovely photo of your DD as well. It is funny how times with our Children just seem to fly by. I also see elements of my children when they were small.
Sarah for all the pain and trouble she caused you looks lovely. I am sure that you are so happy though to see the end of her. Your quilting pieces look lovely. I am sure that when you have enough time, that it will all come together beautifully - Sandra.

Gabi said...

Congratulations on the graduation of both of your kids. And both look great. still should ground them!!! For growing up that fast without your permission. I had that too, I didn't look for a sec and both grew up.
Congrats also on beating that frog and finishing beautiful Sarah.
Your quilting looks great too. Love those colors.
Hope you and your son will have a wonderful evening :)

Nancy said...

Great finish! Looking forward to seeing it framed! Beautiful quilt blocks too! Sorry they gave you such a pain though. Congratulations on your son's graduation and your daughter's too! They grow up far too fast...enjoy them!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Congrats on finishing Sarah Esh and those pesky quilt blocks. I'm looking forward to seeing your Farmer's Wife quilt all put together.

staci said...

Congrats on finishing Sarah...she turned out wonderfully!

Congrats to both your son and daughter on their graduations!!!

Valerie said...

Congratulations to both of your children on their graduations! You must be so proud!

Another congrats on finishing Sarah! She is a lovely piece and hopefully those frogs have gone back to the pond where they belong!

Jackie said...

You have a beautiful family! Congratulations to your son and daughter on their special days.

Funny about kids these days going overseas. My son went to Italy in 9th grade and Paris in 10th with his high school. My husband and I have never been - which seems wrong on so very many levels now that I think about that!

Half square triangles like to mess with me. I don't like to trim but I've learned to make them bigger and trim them down no matter how much I don't like it. I agree with you, as many as you need to make for this quilt, going with some type of HST paper is best.

Congrats on the stitching finish. No more frog talk though!!!

marly said...

Congratulations to your children! With all you have going on you still managed to stitch and sew! That CWC quilt is fabulous. What you said about frogging in small projects made a lot of sense. Sorry you had a little trouble, but glad I'm not the only one!

Nancy M said...

Should be a perfect evening for graduation! So glad it's not 90 degrees like the last 2 nights! Is graduation still held at Meadowbrook like it was when I graduated?? I'm sure his trip to Spain will be a trip he'll treasure forever. All the kids pictures look great! Can't believe you are getting anything at all done, congrats on everything.

Katrina said...

Congrats to you and your son :-)! If it makes you feel any better, we let our son go to Europe alone. He went for three weeks after he graduated. I had some anxious times but he was none the worse for wear, LOL. Woohoo for your DD too.

Gorgeous finishes, love Sarah and can't wait to see her framed.

Natalia said...

Sarah looks beautiful, Deb, and I think you did a great job on the blocks !!
Congratulations to the graduates !!!

Carol said...

Such a busy time of year for your family, Deb--I well remember! Love the prom pictures and isn't your soon-to-be-high schooler just a lovely young lady :)

I hope your son loves Spain as much as we did--make sure to tell him that he must, must, must visit The Alhambra!!

Congratulations on finishing the A & E--maybe the frog won't be visiting again after overstaying his welcome on this piece...

woolwoman said...

family stuff first - congrats on your sons graduation - wow spain just out of HS - I would have been scared to leave my county when i graduated but things are different now. your daughter entering HS - whew - I'm glad it's you and not me - the tupperware bowl thing made me smile! Your Sarah Esh is cute - can't wait to see the framing and OH WOW - your civil war blocks are AWESOME! I love them and the colors and all the work you put in really shows. So what if you are behind - just enjoy the journey! Have a great weekend Melody

Giovanna said...

Congrats on finishing Sarah Esh, what a beauty!

Jennifer said...

Congrats on your daughter and son with their achievements!!!
A trip to Spain sounds exciting!

Your son is so handsome ;0

Quilt blocks are looking great, Deb.

I like your Adam and Eve sampler. I agree, I think changing the eyes was a good thing....

till later,

Marjorie said...

Congrats on your son's and daughter's graduation. Difficult time of year for us moms! I've just been through an 8th grade grad. & still blubbering periodically. I hope your DS has a great time in Spain!

dianemi said...

Wow. Just simply wow. Nick and Catie... babies no more. I feel sooo old. :) I'm thinkin' us mommies (margarita) may need a little help (margarita) to get through this very tough time (margarita). lol

Congratulations on your samplers Deb. I'm happy dancing with you!!

Barbara J. Fiereck Hudak said...

beautiful family! isn't it crazy how time flies!!

your blocks look great also. i've had several quilts which has as I refer to a "natural wave".

sending my best.

Pam said...

Your son and daughter and beautiful and I can tell from your writing that you are very proud of them. Howlong will your son be in Spain?

Your quilt squares and stunning. Does it really matter than the point don't all match perfectly? No. That what makes is unique!

Loraine said...

Oh Deb! I'm swooning over everything in here. Sarah is a wonderful finish. So sorry she gave you such fits. LOL with the snake fodder business. I think I should find a frog pattern for you somewhere and you could stitch it over one:). In a hundred years someone would really get a kick out of that bit of humor.
Love your Civil War blocks. They are stunning all together. So worth the effort. I have the perfect thing to send you. I know Thangles are great for HST, but I have something that I just love. Ohhh, I'm so excited.
I was so thrilled to see the Prom pictures. Your son's date is absolutely gorgeous. It must have been a while since you posted a picture of DS, because I thought he had dark hair for some reason. He is one handsome guy. They make a cute couple, and it sounds like she really likes him. Maybe something will happen there!
Your daughter is darling. I just love her dress.
Oh, I get why you are feeling forlorn this week. The idea of the kids getting older and moving on, makes every mother sad. I'm crying a few tears for you.
Have a great day. TTYS. Hugs to you.

Sally said...

Oh wow Sarah Esh looks fantastic! Congratulations on your finish.

The photos of your son and daughter are beautiful. Your DS is so handsome and your DD is just beautiful. I love her dress. My DD's prom is next month and I've already warned her that I'll probably cry!

krayolakris said...

Love seeing the girls' pretty & your son is so handsome. And your grown up! Those frogs can really sneak up on you! Congrats on your finishes.

tina said...

Very Beautifullll!!!!

Lois said...

Sarah is lovely! Congrats on the finish! What great pics of your son and daughter. I hope your son has a wonderful time in Spain. Your daughter is just beautiful. It's scary how quickly the years go, my youngest is celebrating his 22nd birthday today - how did that happen?!?!?!?! Those years have just flown.

Suzanne said...

Congratulations to both of your children on their graduations!

Sarah is a great finish, well done. I look forward to the frame finish.

Nick said...

Sarah Esh looks great! Your Civil War quite blocks look great as well. Congrats to your son & daughter on their graduations! Hopefully this Michigan weather gets with the program soon, I'm ready for summer! lol

Karoline said...

Congratulations on finishing Sarah, she's lovely and so are your quilt blocks.

Also congratulations to your Son and daughter on they're graduations

cmnana44 said...

Just found your site looking for info on an old sampler I found. It is an 1842 sampler with name and date on it. Any idea where I could get it appraised? Thanks for any help you can give me!!