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!!


Vickie said...

ooOoo! Is every basket going to be from a different fabric, no repeats? Or maybe that would be crazy!

Kim said...

Deb I LOVE Ann Hall...she's going on my list! And your Elizabeth Clayton start looks fantastic! Perhaps the trick to long bouts of stitching is silks!? I'll have to invest in more! ;o) The baskets look wonderful! And Mackinaw Island....my most favorite vacation memory ever! Loved the ferry ride over and of course the FUDGE!

merumo said...

Love your red basket blocks!! What a yummy view :O And of course I love Cotton Club project as well as Ann Hall is looking so pretty as finished. Elizabeth looks very nice, too. You aren't helping me to decide which way to go - sewing or stiching!?!?!?!?!?

Mary said...

Deb, you've definitely had a busy summer. No wondner you've been MIA!

First off, I'm loving all the red baskets and how the fabric patterns play on one another so well.

Ann Hall - amazing! It's so fun seeing how a pattern I may not have noticed on the designer's website come to life when it's actually stitched.

And I always love seeing pictures of lighthouses, no matter where they're located. Looks like a lovely getway.

Rugs and Pugs said...

Deb ~
Summer sure has flown by!
I'd say you've accomplished quite a bit this busy summer.
Oh, the smell of horse poo and fudge! That's what I remember most about Mackinaw Island.
Hugs :)

Margaret said...

Well you already know what I think of your red baskets. Love them! Love Ann Hall -- another one I'd better get stitching. Charlotte Clayton is looking good too! And Mackinaw Island -- what fun! I knew about this place from 1. Dirty Jobs, and 2. a novel I read -- the setting was based on Mackinaw Island. Don't ask me what novel though. I don't remember. lol! Glad to see a post from you!

Parsley said...

I love the quilting you are doing. WONDERFUL! And the stitching BEAUTIFUL.

Looks like a fun trip.

BrendaS said...

Great to see a post from you Deb. Looks like you really enjoyed your vacation. LOVE your quilting projects and of course your stitching is just beautiful! You certainly have been busy:)

Annie said...

Red is such a wonderful color. It looks like so much fun to do that quilt. Is that needle-turned applique or the fused kind?

And you really have some beautiful stitching to show too. Your finished sampler is so gorgeous.

The Island looks like what summer is all about. Love that Grand Hotel!

Laurie in Iowa said...

You already know I love your red baskets. Glad you and Siobhan are enjoying making this quilt so much.
Congrats on finishing your beautiful Ann Hall. Nice start on Charlotte too!

Teresa said...

Ha! Someone ELSE working on the Blackbird baskets! Yours look beautiful in red. Mine are made from all colors of reproduction fabrics on mostly reproduction backgrounds...I'm up to about 170, but I am SO addicted to them! They are my take along project. Seems like I get more sewing done away from home when I am waiting for people (school, doctors, etc.). You sound like you are a fellow Michigander...I am in Ypsilanti.

Your stitchery is beautiful as well. I had sort of given up on cross-stitch. But, now I am wanting to make a couple of heirloom-type pieces (not the stupid little Garfield/Ziggy wall hangings I used to make eons ago, LOL!). It was your stitcheries that made me put you on my blog list so that I could see what you were up to!

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

samplerlover said...

You already know that I think your red quilt is wonderful. Love what you have done so far. I so admire you and Siobhan tackling this one.

Love your Ann Hall. It is really lovely and will look wonderful with your other A&E's. Elizabeth is really lovely. Have always liked this sampler. It is always a joy to stitch with silks especially when you mainly work with DMC - Sandra.

Merry Wind Farm said...

Hi, Deb,
I'm glad you are back to blogging...I missed you!
The red basket quilt that you are making is wonderful. I have that Cold Wind book, and never even noticed that basket quilt...just shows what difference a color makes. Can't wait to see it all made up! And the Cotton Club...oh my, I love those repro browns and reds. Is that a block of the month quilt? Where did you find the pattern?

And lastly, Ann is gorgeous too. Sounds like a wonderful trip to Macinaw, Did you stay at that famous hotel?


Yvette said...

Hi Deb!
Good to see you back. I am also in basket making mode with a few of my friends. I love the stitching part, its the prep part that kills me.

marly said...

I like this quilt! I've always seen larger basket blocks and this is so much nicer. Ann looks great and Charlotte has always been one of my favorites.

Gabi said...

Love love love your 50 shades of red baskets. It looks now already great.
Ann Hall is simply stunning. Congratulations. Just added that one to my always growing list of samplers to stitch.
Charlotte is of course a beauty too. Isn't she fun to stitch?
Love the snaps of your vacation and your daughter is a beauty :)

Anne said...

I figure most people are busy with summer type stuff, vacationing, family, etc. I like the smiley face bit :D

It works see!! Had to laugh at your 50 shades comment. Gorgeous quilt you and Siobhan are working on together. That's loads of baskets to make! Looks fab!

Big congrats on your Ann Hall! This is such a great sampler! Adam does look concerned about being swallowed whole by that bird. Beautiful new start on Elizabeth too!

Looks like you too had fun at Mackinaw Island!

Anne said...

Two* in that last line

Gabriele said...

Wow that Quilt is a dream!

Chris said...

It looks like a great summer!
I love Ann. That bird is wonderful. Charlotte is looking great too.
Your quilt is going to be amazing. I love the baskets.

Ineke van den Akker said...

Wow! I love your little baskets!
greetings from Holland!
with love,

Kaaren said...

So many gorgeous things and so little time!!!

I just love your Ann Hall, Deb. Another project to add to my "to do" list.

I've been wanting to make that basket quilt ever since I bought the book a couple of years ago. Your red and white version is going to be gorgeous. You've definitely managed to inspire me to start prepping some baskets of my own to work at while keeping an eye on Ollie, our new puppy.

Siobhán said...

Your baskets look fantastic!! Every time I see them I think I need to throw mine aside and grab a bunch of French General fabrics. ;) SOOOOOO pretty.

LOVE your Ann Hall! I need to get mine started. A good friend gave me the chart and I feel bad that I haven't stitched it yet. Your Charlotte Clayton looks great, too. You've gotten a lot done on it despite being a basket case. ;)

Beautiful photos of your beautiful daughter and your trip to Mackinaw!

Carol said...

What an amazing red quilt you'll have, Deb, and what fun to be working on it along with Siobhan :)

I've always wanted to visit Mackinaw Island--it looks so relaxing and I love the idea of no cars!! Not to mention all that yummy fudge!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer--I'll be glad to welcome fall after the heat we've had this year...

Cari said...

When I saw you had updated your blog I was afraid to open it because I was sure you had finished the center appliqué on the Phebe quilt !! LOL...you're the best. I love you red quilt blocks...too much fun. Your stitching, of course, is beautiful!! Have fun with your needle and thread...and HUGS !!!

Cathy Lloyd said...

What??? You said "not much accomplished." Are you kidding me? You've done lots this summer and everything is so fabulous! Keep it coming Deb! Always love visiting your blog!

Jenny said...

Deb, I LOVE your red baskets! They are just wonderful! I too am on a red craze...only mine is being made into little red schoolhouses...must be the teacher in me...grins...Ann Hall looks good and your pictures of Mackinaw Island were wonderful. A definite must visit. Glad to see you back...I love your posts! Happy basket making.

Katherine said...

I missed you Deb, but it sounds like you were having a wonderful time! And I knew you were busy on about ten different projects. It's so nice to have you back again.

Loraine said...

Oh Deb...so great to see your fun pictures! I absolutely love your 50 shades of red basket quilt. It's going to be stunning, and I like it better in red. Can't wait to see it all finished.
Your sampler is beautiful. I don't remember seeing this design before, so I'm glad you posted a picture.
I'm glad you have managed to get some sewing done this summer. It's been so exhausting, hasn't it? Although your trip to Mackinaw looks pretty darn relaxing. I hope we can go there someday!
I had to take an emergency trip to AZ, so that's why I've been MIA. I'm in the process of e-mailing you about it, so don't give up on me.

Big hugs to you dear friend! I am looking forward to school starting so a routine can be started again. Hopefully!

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

Merveilleux, beautiful pictures my friend,

bisous de FRANCE

mbroider said...

Hi Deb,

Must be telepathy that you blogged - just when i was wondering where you have gone. I have been very bad at blogging too, and do hardly any stitching these days. Was blog-hopping today and some stitch pics have brought that fire in me back! Hope to stitch for at least 30 minutes - let me see how it goes.

Nice to see you back!

Nicky said...

Lovely to read all your news Deb - you have had a very busy summer! The basket quilt is going to be a stunner, you are both very brave girls...... have fun with all those shades of red!

Isadarena said...

Hello Deb, please, don't worry for not blogging : I think you aren't alone :-))
Your blocks and your Sampler look beautiful but your landscape photos are wonderful and I'm really happy for you about this nice trip :-)
I wish you a very nice day,

Joy said...

Oh, what a beautiful post!! Love the red baskets and your applique is perfect. And the stitching...how on earth have you accomplished so much?

Your dreams are right on:) You just stop by and leave a smile any time you want.

Sherry :o) said...

I stalk lots of blogs without comments...I think we know our visitors come by, even without leaving a comment, don't you? Love your finish - and your start...I did notice they both have big birds - a theme perhaps. Glad you had time with your kiddos, I didn't see mine much this summer at all and I miss him! Mackinaw is one of my fav places in this great state. See you soon :0)

Marnie said...

Welcome Back Deb! You've been a busy lady!! I am addicted to the color red and simply love your quilt. It's fantastic! Stop in and leave me a smiley face anytime. :-D


Karoline said...

Ann Hall is gorgeous, congratulations. Great start on Elizabeth.

Your red baskets are lovely and it looked like you had a great holiday

Patty C. said...

Love your sampler , your baskets, your WIP -----Your blog ;)

Marsha said...

My DH and I had a wonderful day riding bikes on Mackinaw Island a couple of years ago. The fudge is yummy.

Your stitching and sewing is wonderful. I am just sewing on the binding of my 2nd quilt. Those baskets look complicated - I'm very much a novice. The title of your post cracked me up.

Susan said...

Mackinac Island is one of my favorite places to visit.

I love the reds of your quilt - it will be stunning when done!