Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fifty Shades of Red

Hi everyone!! Sorry for the long absence in blogging.  I have missed keeping up on what everyone has been doing.   I have to admit that I have been lurking around the blog world here and there, but have been really bad about leaving comments.  I actually thought of just leaving Smiley faces when I did manage to find some blog time so that you would know I was there, but I thought that was a little bit lame.  I guess that my lack of posting (and commenting) kind of turned into an unplanned sabbatical from blogging.  It's been a rather hectic summer and I'm just coming up for air.  But I have managed to get a few things done!!

Now, lest you think that this will be a post about a new trilogy of erotic books like Fifty Shades of Grey, put your minds at rest.  Although I wouldn't mind writing something like that!!  I could make lots of money, have liposuction (okay maybe not - the whole idea of that scares me), bury myself in tons of new stash from all the royalties from the books, and snap my fingers and say, "Here Boy", when I dropped my quilting/stitching needle or needed a little liquid refreshing, all while I'm sitting in my lounge chair looking out over the Mediterranean/Caribbean, etc.  Lovely thought, right?  Such a dream!  But no, this is a PG rated blog. But lately I've been obsessed with the color red.  Lots of shades of red - fabric that is!  I dream about them, obsess about them and this is what I'm doing with some of those fifty shades of red:

Okay, I know - this is only 15 shades of red, but I'm working on the other 35 and then some.   276 more (actually 273 more - 3 were off having coffee or something and did not make it into the photo shoot) to be exact, but I try not to think about the number that I still have to do.  And I'm working on this with Siobhan from across the pond.  Actually, I jumped on her bandwagon and when she mentioned this quilt and that she was working on it, Trick or Treat, from the Blackbird Designs book, When The Cold Wind Blows, I just knew that I had to do it.  Crazy, yes, I know, 291 basket blocks, another 48 border blocks.  Truly insane, but they are so much fun, and it's fun having a partner in crime to work on them with!!

I had tons of reds in my stash and never knew what to do with them.  But now I know.  These babies are like eating candy - addicting.  And this is my first foray into hand applique (well, okay I'm lying - I tried it a long time ago and absolutely hated it).  But times have changed - I had so wanted to make the Phebe quilt,  really didn't trust my applique skills, but knew if I wanted that quilt I had better learn how to do it.  This is a great portable project and I drag them everywhere when I have to sit waiting for the kids!  Everything is in this box and I just pick it up and go!!  So much fun!!

I also managed to machine sew one lone block on my Cotton Club quilt - poor thing.  I still have about nine to do and then I can start putting the quilt together.  It's the one on the right.  There hasn't been much time to sit behind the sewing machine this summer.  :o(

Now, in case you think that I had given up stitching during my unplanned sabbatical from blogging, that would not be the case.  I've still managed to put needle to linen and actually have a finish:

Ann Hall
The Scarlett Letter

It was good to finish up this old WIP!!  But the whole time I was working on the bird under Adam, I kept thinking that the bird was so large that he could probably swallow Adam up in two bites - ymmm:

And once dear Ann was finished, I decided to start a new one - Elizabeth Clayton:

Elizabeth  Clayton
35 ct. Meadowrue
NPI Silks

I love working on her.  I don't know if it's the silks or what, but she's a joy to stitch.  It's always a toss up what I work on at night - Elizabeth or quilt baskets. 

Like I mentioned, it's been just one of those summers where I haven't had a lot of time to myself, but I did manage to take a small break when my sister came to town.  Even though she had lived in Michigan for 20+ years before she moved to California, she had never been to Mackinaw Island, so I surprised her and arranged a couple day getaway:

 You get to the island via ferry:

You grab a bike - the only mode of transportation besides walking or horse drawn carriages:
(DD makes bike riding look good!) and you ride around:

The Grand Hotel:

On the grounds of the Grand Hotel:

Arch Rock:

On the main street:

And a trip wouldn't be complete without some fudge which the island is known for:

There were more pictures taken with a phone, but they didn't translate well when I tried to post them here.  So there is my summer!!  Not a lot accomplished as far as stitching and quilting, but I spent a lot of time with my kids and that's always a good thing.

I'm anxious to catch up with everyone!!  I've missed your posts!!  I hope that everyone has had a great summer (can you believe it's almost the end of August?) and I'm going to catch up with everyone.  I can't wait to see what I've missed!!