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!!