Monday, September 9, 2013

Where Do I Begin??

Sounds like the beginning of a song, doesn't it?  This morning I saw a formation of geese flying south and it hit me like a ton of bricks that Fall is about to arrive (that is after tomorrow when it's suppose to be 90+ degrees!) and that the last time I blogged was before Summer started!   I have to say first that I've missed everyone and being able to keep up with what has been going on out in Blogland.  It's been an incredibly busy summer and we had a lot of things going on.  Hopefully now that everyone is back to school, mom can have some time to catch up with everyone and everything! So anyway, where do I begin?

I guess with a finish!  Only about 5 months in the making (such a slacker), but I finished Mary Gail and she is such a pleasure to look at!  Oh and a disclaimer on pictures - some of the following pictures were taken with my iPhone as my camera is still going through bad and good days.  And I haven't gone out looking for a new one yet.  But here she is:

Mary Gail
The Scarlett Letter
40 ct. Vintage Autumn Gold and AVAS Silk

I veered off the path on the chart directions and did not fill in the entire background on this piece.  I figured that if I were to do that I'd be at it for another five or six months, and I was getting antsy for the finish line on this one.   Probably because stitching all that grass was very slow going and I was ready to add her to the Finished pile.  I understand that the silks really stand out when you fill in the background with the called for wool (according to Marsha of the Scarlett Letter), but I tried to recreate the same look with the fabric I used.

So there you have it - what I did over my summer this year.  Pretty pathetic, huh?  Well, I did work on a quilt which is far from finished:

This is what the quilt will eventually look like this (God willing):

I was going great guns on this until I started putting the thing together only to find out that the instructions for the setting squares were off and I couldn't put it together.  After sitting and staring at the thing for a day (or two, or three) and measuring every piece 14 times over, it finally dawned on me that there was a cutting error and not something that I did.   Whew that was a relief because it's usually my error and not someone else's.  I always blame myself because I'm not known for reading the instructions as well as I should.  But as luck would have it, I just get the whole thing figured out and things get crazy around here and I haven't touched it since.  I am anxious to get back to it though.

And I had my Ann Smith and a couple other samplers finally framed.  I'll show Ann Smith this time.  I look at her as my great accomplishment of the year and she is truly a favorite sampler now.

Here's a close up of the frame that I chose for her.  In real life, the blue in the frame really works well with the blues in the sampler:

So as far as crafty things that I did - that's it.  Three months and not much to show for it.  But I did have some excitement.  I was the Grand Prize Winner of a boatload of fabric compliments of Pink Castle Fabrics.  If you're a quilter or just love fabrics, you definitely have to check out her on-line shop.  She also has a shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan and it's definitely worth the visit.  Anyway, they had a contest where you would get a Golden Ticket with your order.  I went out to the shop, picked up a couple things and was given a Golden Ticket.  My first ticket was for a percentage off, which I used up pretty quickly - love collecting those quilting fabrics.  When my order came, there was another ticket.  I didn't pay any attention to it, but there was something funny about the package.  When I pulled the fabric out - it was sealed in two plastic wrappings - a lot of confetti-like fabric came out with it.  Well, I didn't even look at the ticket - saw it there, but didn't read it.  It wasn't until three hours later that I looked at the packages again and discovered this:

I had won!  What did I win?  Well, 144 fat quarters of fabric!!  Woo Hoo!!!!  I let out a whoop and my kids thought there was something wrong and were oddly disappointed that there wasn't - just mom having fits over winning a lot of fabric! They don't understand that winning that kind of fabric stash is something to Whoop over and Whoop loud!!   Like were they hoping I was having a heart attack or something? Well, I just about did when I saw that I was the winner.  The prize was the entire collection of their Stash Club for the year.  If you're in the Club you receive 12 fat quarters of fabric of each month.  But they held one bunch of it aside and now it resides in my house!! Here's some pictures:

My husband groaned when he saw that and his first question was if I was going to have to purchase another large Rubbermaid bin for those fabrics.  LOL  (I'm thinking to myself, don't complain too loudly or I'll go buy another house for me and my stash - only kidding).  But as you can imagine, I was doing a happy dance all over the house.

Hmmm, what else?  Oh - a fellow blogger came into town and we were able to get together, but I'm so lame and even with an iPhone camera at my disposal I didn't take pictures.  But Nicole from Nicole's Needleworks came into town with her family and we were able to get together.  It was a great time and so wonderful to meet her after "knowing" her for a long time.  We met up in Fenton, Michigan where her father lives and made a trip to Stitches N Things, Quilter's Garden and had a great lunch at Sagebrush - great Mexican food.  I hope that we're able to do it again the next time she's in town.

Then recently, I became the proud owner of another sewing machine compliments of my son.  The week after he went back to school he went to the Salvation Army for something (probably to buy things to make costumes or something for school - those college kids love the Salvation Army for some reason).  While he was there he sent me a picture of a sewing machine asking if I was interested.  When I saw the picture I definitely was, but I had to check it out for myself.  So last Friday I had took a ride up to see him and he took me to the SA and when I saw the machine in real life, I stopped in my tracks. Here she is:

A Singer Redeye.  And she's in wonderful shape.  Someone must have loved her very much.  She's very dusty and her table needs a good refinishing and my first urge was to get rid of all the dust, but Mr. Sewing Repair man says that I have a beauty and not to touch it for fear of dusting off the decals.  He'll have her looking as new after he cleans her and seals the outside and adds a new belt.  I looked up the Serial Number on the Singer site and she was born on January 8, 1910 making her 103! I think that she looks good for being 103, don't you?  And I won't even tell you what I paid for it, but I've spent more on the toy sewing machines that I've collected!

Well, I think that's about it - three months condensed into a few paragraphs.  I actually have some more things to show, but that will just give me an excuse to blog again soon.  I'd like to try to do that on a regular basis again.  I've missed everyone, and a big thank you to those who emailed me asking me if I was still walking around!

And I should mention that if you're on Instagram, look me up.  I'm threadgatherer there also and I tend to post a lot more things there.  Oh, the ease of the iPhone!!  And if you're on Instagram also, let me know so that I can look you up!!

Hope that everyone has a wonderful week!!

Monday, June 10, 2013


Hello Dear Friends - I feel like I'm confessing to the Priest when I say that it's been a month and a half since my last blog post!!  I can't believe it!!  Seriously!!  It seems like it was May 1st just last week!!  The month of May went by like a blink of an eye.  And it went by so fast that I didn't get all that much accomplished.  But between my son coming home from college and the weather finally starting to warm up, it seems that the days have just slipped by.  As a result, not a whole heck of a lot to report on the stitching or quilting scene around here.

After my last blog post it seemed that the house not only was invaded with my dear son coming home, but with a rash of viruses and nastiness.  UGH!!  I was down for the count for about two weeks and doing much of anything definitely didn't float my boat.  I kept wondering why that didn't happen during the winter when you can snuggle up with a blanket and watch old movies instead of wishing that you could get outside and do something.  But whatever - I'm better now and I've managed to get a little accomplished.

First off Mary Gail - she is such a joy to stitch!

A large flower - the whole time I was stitching this I kept singing The Star Spangled Banner with the line, "the bombs bursting in air", because it reminded me of fireworks (and excuse some of these pictures -  I still haven't purchased a new camera yet).

A pretty red/pink flower.  I wasn't singing anything with this - I was gnashing my teeth because I kept counting wrong.

Love this vine, but again gnashing teeth because I kept putting the leaves in the wrong places.

And the whole piece so far.

Mary Gail
40 ct. Vintage Autumn Gold and AVAS silks

Not a lot of stitching for the past month or so, but seriously, it was hard to wrap my head around this when I wasn't feeling good.  I should mention that the fabric is a much warmer looking fabric.   I should also mention that this pattern was charted so that the entire background is filled in.  I chose not to do that and used the Vintage Autumn Gold.  A better representation of the fabric is in the picture below from my last blog post:

On the quilting side, after finishing the Chippewa Nine Patch, I didn't know what to work on.  Well, I did, but everything that I wanted to work on needed to be cut out and with my head feeling like it was going to explode and not thinking that I could wrap my head around cutting something out without slicing myself to bits with the rotary cutter or cutting things out totally wrong, I thanked the Quilting Gods that I'm one of those people with Startitis!!  Sometimes it does pay to start things and not finish them (sometimes I think I could be the Queen of Startitis - don't know if that's a good thing or not).  So I dug around in the craft room and pulled out a box with a quilt that was already cut out.  Although with the project that I picked up, it was a serious WIP.  Over 10 years ago I started this quilt for my children - thinking back it might have even been 12 years.  But no matter - it's done now!  Everything was cut out and so it was just a matter of sewing it together.  Doesn't take too much brainpower to do that!

I Spy Quilt
from the book, P.S. I Love You Too

You should be able to click on the picture to enlarge it, but some of my favorite blocks are below.  I ran pictures through the printer and put them on transfer fabric to include in the quilt.  And ignore the seams that don't line up quite right in the pictures.  Some of this was a bear - probably the product of using two different sewing machines to piece this and I swear that the 1/4" feet are never true from one machine to another.  But as Brenda Papadakis of Dear Jane fame says, "It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be done"!  I like her way of thinking!  I should probably cross stitch that saying and put it over my sewing machine!

My son celebrating a birthday (bad pic, I know).

My daughter trying to look like her father going to work with glasses and holding one of my son's little boy ties under her chin - upside down I might add.

Me and the kids on the beach near the Mackinaw Bridge.  Please ignore the crazy permed hair on me!

Then some fun blocks - a hog on a hog:

And we can't forget a Pokemon character - my son's favorite when he was little.  And a pig eating pizza!

Since my children are now 16 and 20, I guess this quilt will now be awaiting the first grandchild!!  Although both my children are calling dibs on the thing, so I might have to make another.  With the rate I go, hopefully they won't give me a grandchild for another 10 years or so!  

Now what should I work on?  

I seem to have a few things to choose from.  Ms. Sylvia's Bridal Quilt is going to get the attention first as I'm down 20 blocks and the next installment of the quilt is probably on its way to me now, so I need to do some serious catching up.  The other things are projects that I'm finally taking the bull by the horns and doing something with all the pre-cuts that I have.  I love buying those pre-cuts!!

But then, of course, while I wasn't feeling well, I had to do a little shopping.  It doesn't take a lot of effort to troll around on the computer!!

(Disclaimer:  not all stash purchased during illness, but you would all think I had a serious problem if you saw the entire pile of stuff that seemed to find its way through the postal service to me)

I'm so excited with all these patterns!!  Di Ford's book in the upper right is a true gem and I can't wait to make something from the book.  And darned Instagram for seeing pictures of the Steampunk Quilt (in the center).  Totally not the type of quilt that normally floats my boat, but now I have to make one!!  

In other news, I had a wonderful Mother's Day.  Not only did my son come home from school for the summer, but he presented me with a wonderful surprise.  My husband did also, but I think that my son's surprise topped my husband's, if that's possible.

My husband presented me with a dozen roses and a beautiful pearl necklace - something that I have been wanting for a long time.  Of course, you know I'm going to look stunning wearing them with my workout gear and sweats!  LOL  But the true surprise is that my son presented me with his acceptance email to Business School at Michigan State University.  That, in itself, was the best thing that I could have received.  I'm so proud of him.  A perfect Mother's Day!

And speaking of my son, he's doing landscaping work for one of the larger nurseries around here.  He's lost almost 20 pounds in just a few weeks and comes home filthy dirty and tired!!  Some weeks he works seven days - great for the paycheck, but it's exhausting work.  Or so he says.  Seems that one of his co-workers took a picture of Nick on the job:

Looks like he's working real hard, doesn't it?  LOL

Well, that about does it for me.  I have a lot of other things like finally some framing, etc., but I'll save it for the next post.  It will inspire me to try to make blog posts a little more often.

Thank you for all your lovely comments and thank you for keeping up with me when I've been such a bad blogger.  I truly love reading each and every comment you send!!

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Start, A Finish and a Stupid Human Trick

Hello again everyone!  There must be something wrong here - two blog posts in such a short amount of time?  But I have another finish and a start so figured that now was as good of a time as any before things really start getting busy around here.  DS is going to be coming home from College on Friday (I can't believe that Year 2 is done - and a 4.0 in his major - yahoo!) so things are going to slow down once again on the project completion.  Although he has a job for the summer - it starts on Monday - at the wonderful time of 7:00 a.m.  Can you just hear his grumbling now?  LOL  It's good for him though, don't you think?  I just told him, "Welcome to the real world!"

First off the start:

Mary Gail
The Scarlett Letter
40ct Vintage Autumn Gold and AVAS 

I decided to keep going with the Scarlett Letter theme since I have so many of their charts that have been languishing around here for quite a long time.  After finishing Ann I wanted something else with some bright colors and I think that I've found the one - Mary Gail.  You can see a picture here:  And notice the scissors?  A beautiful pair of Sajou scissors that I won on the Scarlett Letter Year blog.  I was so excited and a huge thank you to Nicola for picking my name.  I love them and they'll be a wonderful reminder through the years of Nicola and her fantastic idea to set up these Scarlett Letter blogs to commemorate her year.  It is so much fun seeing all the different Scarlett Letter samplers.  I think that it makes you more aware of their beauty when you see them actually being stitched!

Now, you will notice that there are some empty spots in the flower?  Well, that's where the Stupid Human Trick (SHT) comes in.  I know that on a few trips to the LNS I slowly picked up the AVAS threads.  I thought that I had all of them, but when I went to use a color the other night I didn't have it, nor did I have the next color.  This resulted in me pulling everything apart searching for the threads.  Well, I think I know what happened.  Head smack!!  I usually visit the quilt store near the LNS, probably bought something at the quilt store, put everything into one bag, came home, emptied the bag of the quilting things and then promptly threw out the bag forgetting the threads.  Definitely a Stupid Human Trick and one that I am sad to admit has happened before!  UGH!!  Hopefully my new order (which I will attach to my body with Velco) will show up today and I can get a move on!

And the finish?  Well, it's the Chippewa Nine Patch quilt - Finally!!  I was excited to wrap this one up!

Ahem!!  Here we go again.  Mr. Bailey claiming whatever is on the floor as his own.  He does this every time!!  I hope there isn't mud on his paws!  But here are a couple other shots.  I have to say that my lame camera isn't capturing the real beauty of this quilt.  I really love it!

Outside shot:

Inside shot:
I can't wait to get this quilted and the binding on it.  I think that it will go well in the family room since the room is predominately reds, golds and browns.  

After I finished with Ann Smith and this quilt, I've felt at some kind of loss as to what to work on.  Have I picked up the Sylvia blocks?  No - ironed the fabric and prepared the foundation piecing sheets, but nothing past that.  Talked to Dear Jane?  Not a whisper!  Do you ever feel at a loss when you finish something?  So I've been digging around to see what else I could come up with and this is what I have somewhat settled on - always subject to change - I change my mind about 5 times a day.  If you saw all the projects that I'm planning you'd probably have me committed:

The fabric triangles are left over pieces from the Snowball blocks in the Chippewa Nine Patch that I thought I would sew together and make a table runner for the family room.  And a Tilda doll.  I've been wanting to make one for the longest time.  And then a scrappy quilt.  I''ve been digging through my fabrics to see if I have enough for the look I want and I think that I do.  I was going to start working on a Pineapple quilt, but I'm holding off a little bit waiting to see if I'm going to need to use some of the fabrics I had thought of using on another quilt.  This quilt:

Evening Bloom by Blackbird Designs

Isn't it beautiful?  I have lusted after this quilt for a long time.  It's a Blackbird Designs quilt done in French General fabrics.  I have seen this quilt made before, but in a different color way.  This weekend I was in one of my favorite quilt stores and saw this hanging on the wall.  I loved this version of it so much.  I stood there drooling over it for the longest time and the shop owner must have known that I was in some kind of lust zone because she came over and whispered in my ear that kits would be available in about three weeks!!!  I almost kissed her!!  Do you think that it took me long to say "Sold"???  Happy Dance.  Now this is the reason why I'm not going to start the Pineapple quilt just yet.  I want to see exactly what fabrics are going to be used for this quilt and pull those from my bundles because.....well, I pull more Stupid Human Tricks than just throwing out floss and tend to make a "few" mistakes when I quilt, so I'll pull the fabrics from my bundles that match this quilt, and make the Pineapple out of the rest of them.  I can't wait to get started on this quilt!!

So that is it for me this week.  Now I better get cracking on working on something.  Problem is that the weather has taken a glorious turn for the better and it's hard staying inside.  I knew that this would happen, but I'm so happy to see green grass and flowers coming up and trees budding.  I just know that I won't be sewing as much for a while.  

Thank you everyone for your kind comments on Ann and to more new followers!!  I'm so happy to "meet" you.  I hope that Spring has finally arrived where you are, although I think that some of you in the west are getting another snow storm.  My heart goes out to you.  I'm sure that all of you have said "Enough already!"

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ann Smith is Finished!!

Hello everyone.  I know that once again I've been a bad blogger and seemed to have managed to disappear for another month.  Shameful, I know!  But the weather here in Michigan has left a lot to be desired over the past month (like it actually snowed on Saturday and Sunday - hopefully for the last time) and that meant that if the weather isn't good, then what better place to be than home getting into trouble with fabric and threads.  I know - I could be home and blogging right?  But doing crafty things has really won out over the past month.  And also there have been some family issues and being hit with that nasty virus going around and feeling like some kind of walking zombie for a while, so I've been AWOL.  I have been lurking through blogs though and am inspired by everything that you're working on (and even left some comments!).

Ann Smith, the sampler that I almost threw in the corner a few times (okay, maybe more than a few) is finally finished.  Woo Hoo!  She took me just short of four months to finish!  For me, she was somewhat of a challenge because I don't like doing over one, and especially over one on 35 count fabric.  And I hate using a magnifier - or did hate it.  Now the magnifier and I have become close friends so I don't think that over one is going to be a deal buster on future samplers that I pick out.  And I couldn't get the tension right on my scroll rods making the over one a PITA!  Luckily my DH did a wonderful thing and ordered me a Millenium frame and it should be here any day.  Didn't help for Ann but will help for my next sampler.  The DH knows how to get himself out of the dog house!  And he was in the dog house, but I'll spare you the details!  LOL  Actually it's an early birthday present and I'm hoping it will show up any day for my next SL project.  But, anyway here is Ann in all her glory - and the pictures are not the best - I think that my camera is doing a slow death act (pictures are clickable):

Ann Smith
The Scarlett Letter
AVAS Silk Threads and 36 ct. Magnolia 

She's such a colorful girl and I'm so happy that she's finished.  She was worth every moment of wanting to throw her in the corner, feed her to the dog or run over her with my car.  Every swear word (yep, I toss a few of those around at times) when I had to pick out over one threads.  Here are a couple more shots:

Over one words and over one birds

The over one Adam and Eve scene which almost caused me to pull my hair out, feed it to Bailey, run over it with the car - you name it, I wanted to do it.

A majestic lion (more over one) and a colorful bird!

I love, love this sampler!!  But now I feel lost!!  Every night, whether she was acting up or not, I wanted to stitch her - it was like some obsession.  I got over my fear of over one and actually (well, most of the time) enjoyed working on her.  I can't wait to get her into a new frame.

And the other thing that has been keeping me busy and has become an obsession is quilting.  I'm blaming my friends Di and Siobhan for this.  Well, you have to blame someone, right?  But, I can't seem to get enough of it for some reason.  I know that now that the weather is warming up I probably won't spend as much time on it - that and with having the kids home for the summer and things that we have planned to do, but for the time being I'm in quilting heaven.  I get up in the morning, exercise, take Mr. Bailey for a walk, shower and then hit the sewing machine or cutting table.  Oh yeah, there are those pesky errands and heaven forbid that the family has to be fed, but I've been like a crazed woman!  That's a good thing sometimes.  

I pulled out a kit that I had picked up on one of my quilt runs that was easy.  Made from Blackbird Designs Antique Fair line.  I needed something easy after working on the other three quilts that were more difficult and time consuming.  With this quilt you basically cut out three shapes and put them together and made a scrappy kind of quilt:

Antique Fair by Blackbird Designs Fabric
No pattern name

I thought that this quilt would be great for snuggling up with while I'm stitching at night in the winter and if we have a winter like what we had this past year, I'm going to need it.

Then I worked on my Sylvia blocks for the month.  I love working on these, but at times the directions are a little challenging:

And here are all the ones that I've done so far:

Sylvia's Bridal Quilt

The next months' worth of blocks showed up on Friday so I guess I'm going to have to get cutting.  I want to stay on track so that when the last blocks show up in about 8 months, the quilt will be ready for quilting and not languishing around in a drawer.

Then I did some work on the Dear Jane blocks:

Actually I have five more of these blocks in some form of finish.  They have applique work on them and since I've been so wrapped up with Ann Smith I haven't done the handwork needed, but now that Ann is done, I can get those finished soon.  This is another quilt that is really a challenge.  I've had to refer to the That Quilt site a few times:

Looks pretty bad, doesn't it?  Actually the block just needs some corners appliqued down on it and it will look fine.  You can see where my scissors are is the edge that I have to applique down.

But these blocks certainly can prove fussy and challenging.  But it's so good to have an online reference to help me out.  Thank goodness for the Internet and Ipads.  And while I should probably be pulling my hair out with these blocks, I have to admit that I'm loving the challenge of doing them!

And then I finally got my rear end going on the Chippewa Nine Patch:

I sat on those nine patch blocks for the longest time.  Actually, I was procrastinating because I had 19 of the blocks done out of 25 and ran out of some of the fabrics due to width variances on the pieces of fabric that I had.  Most of the fabrics used for this quilt are from French General lines.  I love me some French General!!  Since I hate working hard on anything and didn't feel like trying to figure out how to piece the rest of the nine patch blocks, I shoved them in the drawer, but finally decided to pull them out again.  As you can see I needed a little bit of chocolate to get me through the whole process.  I love those Pretzel M&M's!  LOL  Actually a margarita or a glass of wine might have gone well with the piecing, but I settled for the M&M's!  The quilt is finished now, but I'm still clipping threads and making sure that all the seams are going the right way.  Seems that not matter how hard I try when you're sewing nine patches some of the seams get sewn the wrong way, so I'll post the finish next time.

Now I'm scrambling for the next quilt to make around Dear Jane and Sylvia.  Did I mention that I love French General fabrics?  Well, I'm a French General fabric whore (doesn't sound too good, does it?) and every time a line comes out I have to buy a bundle of the stuff.  Seems that I have a few bundles:

And that's not all of it, but I don't want to embarass myself.  I love these fabrics (yes, I know that I already said that) and have feared cutting into these babies, but I finally found the quilt that I want to make out of some of them - actually two quilts, but one is all applique so that one will have to wait for a little bit.  I found the quilt that I want to make on a blog and since I haven't asked the blog owner for permission to talk about her quilt, I don't have a picture for now, but it's a Pineapple quilt and I'm giddy with excitement.  I'll try to get her permission and post it the next time!!

And since I didn't get the normal picture of Bailey hogging the new BBD quilt, I thought I'd post a picture of him since it's been awhile.  Ignore the mess in the background.  I lay out a bedspread for him so that dirt isn't all over the carpet.  I hate bringing out the vacuum if I don't have to.  Why vacuum?  There's quilting to do!  And the washcloth in the background - well, his favorite thing to do is raid the laundry basket!  What a face, uh?

So that is what I've been up to!!  Seems that I'm walking around these days with threads hanging all over me - certainly living up to the Threadgatherer blog name.  My DD says that she always knows what I've been doing during the day when I pick her up.  One glance at my shirt and the threads and she knows!!  She makes me pull them off if we go anywhere so that she's not embarrassed!

I want to give a warm welcome to some new followers that have contacted me lately and thank you to all of you that leave me such nice comments and emails.  I truly love receiving them!!  And I hope that you have a wonderful week and that Spring is finally making an appearance where you live.  For a lot of us, it's been a long, long winter!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hanging with Ann, Sylvia and Jane

Hey kids - I figured that I should make a blog post before another month ends.  Who knows, I might be able to squeeze in another one before the end of the month.  Although that's probably a lofty idea with the way I've been blogging lately.

I've been furiously working on one thing and another, and not a lot of results in any of them.  I'm still mired in the over-one land of Ann Smith.  Oh, how I love this sampler, but oh, how I hate me those over ones!!!  Well, I guess I don't really hate them as I love the results, I just hate that it takes so much time to do and leaves me each evening with eyes that don't want to focus for a hour or so.

Adam and Eve are finally in!  What a relief!  After that point, things went downhill quickly as far as stitching time.  I only stitch at night and had my son home for a week on his Spring break, so things were a little hectic.  Add to that the fact that frogs visited a couple nights to reek havoc in the Garden, and I didn't get too much further:

I've had a bit of  trouble with the leaves on the right-hand tree.  So much so that a couple nights were lost as far as stitching goes - lots of frogging.  And I kept making mistakes, wised up and just fudged the whole thing.  I want this over one section done so that I can move forward.  Stitching over two is going to feel like I'm stitching on 14 count Aida after all this over one stuff!  But the end is in sight - maybe another week?

When not hanging with Ann, I've been hanging with Sylvia and Jane.  Those two girls have a few tricks up their sleeves also.

Now when you look at these Sylvia blocks, please don't look close (of course, with me saying that you're all going to clicking away like crazy to get the picture to enlarge, so please ignore threads).  Whether you enlarge the picture or not, put your hand over the one on the bottom right.  That block was like some kind of unruly kid and it's going to be done over.  It involved a lot of Y-seams which I'm not knowledgeable about at all.  I did use Y-seams on the flower basket block next to it without too much of a hitch, but what happened with that one on the right is only one's guess.  Could help if I went out into the land of YouTube before I tried to put the block together.  Okay, that would be too easy and so I just went for it.    That was a mistake and I ended up going into YouTube after and then it all became crystal clear.  Still doesn't explain why the flower block came out fine (whatever!!).  I guess I'm like a guy whose lost that won't ask directions sometimes.  Or I get a smart-assed attitude and think that I can do it, and prove myself really wrong!  LOL

Then because I love to give myself headaches (not really) we decided to have a visit with Jane.  She's another ornery one too:

Four blocks and two rectangles.  Some blocks I'm just sewing, others I'm using foundation paper for them.  Or actually tracing paper.  Makes it so much easier to see your guidelines through the back side of the paper.  Those rectangles practically left me with a bald spot on the side of my head!  Fiddly little things, but I'm bound and determined to make this quilt.  I've only been sitting on the fabrics for this quilt for ten years.  It was a BOM and each month I have five blocks and one or two border triangles to do.  As much as it gives me long moments of pause trying to figure out what I'm doing and then making sure that I'm doing it right (or wrong and it still looks good - I'm not picky here), I am really excited to be working on this quilt.  I still have another block to do, but it's applique and I haven't sat down with it to sew it together.  One thing that I found with some of these fabrics -  there are fabrics out on the current market that are just like these fabrics that I received 10+ years ago only in different colors.  I was kind of stunned by that, but I guess that what they about everything that goes around, comes around is true - at least in this case.

After that I decided that I needed a break and just make something easy and fun.  I spied these kits at a quilt store not long ago and picked them up.  I sit on a pillow when I stitch and I thought that these would make the perfect covers for the pillow:

While the kits came with instructions, I found it much easier to do them following a video that I discovered on Pinterest (yep, finally got the clue about the benefits of videos).  I think it took an hour to knock out both of these!!

And last, but not least, I don't do the TUSAL, but the threads were piling up in the ORT basket, so it was time to dump them again.

That's a lot of thread.  But just in time for Spring.  I like to put this out on one of our bushes and let the birds make their nests out of them (no metallics in this pile).  Of course, that is if the birds start making their nests.  We're still in a deep freeze here in Michigan with no end in sight.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it warms up soon!!

So that's it for me!!  Thanks for stopping and paying me a visit.  I love receiving your comments!!  Hope that it's warmer in your part of the world and that you get lots of stitching time in!!