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!!


Yvette said...


What an amazing, productive post. How in the world did you get all that done? I need to know!
I just love it ALL. The cross stitch is WAY out of my league and you piecing is exceptional.

Your pup is just a doll. I just want to give him a big hug.

Giovanna said...

What an absolutely magnificent finish - congratulations!

Margaret said...

lol! Yup, those threads are a dead giveaway. lolol! Congratulations on your Ann Smith finish! I loved stitching her as well. Now get her framed and up on the wall. :D Looooove your quilts!!!! Just so beautiful! Love the Dear Jane and Sylvia blocks as well! You have been busy -- maybe the long winter is a good thing? :D Bailey is so cute! And French General. Sigh.......

Sally said...

Congratulations on a stunning finish!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Your Ann is gorgeous. Congrats on your finish. Love the BBD quilt top and I agree with you about the French General fabrics. There hasn't been a collection I haven't loved.
Your Sylvia blocks look wonderful...all your quilting looks wonderful. I always enjoy your blog posts. So much wonderful eye candy and inspiration.

Vickie said...

Wow! Look at all your gorgeous work! Good for you.
Bailey is so sweet.

~Narita said...

You did an AMAZING job!!!!!
And you've been so busy! lol Good for you :)

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

you have one BUSY PRODUCTIVE girl!

Ann Smith is beautiful! Glad she survived, I have a few samplers who have heard some colorful language coming from me!

Love French General fabric my friends say I am a fabric snob

Bailey what a sweet adorable face!

Judy said...

Congrats on the Ann Smith finish and all your other accomplishments. I LOVE the nine patch quilt. Nine patches are my favorite. Bailey is adorable. We have a yellow lab and she is so much company along with my walking motivation. Still Winter here too in Colorado. Received more snow on Monday. Today will be sunny and in the 50's, WOW.

Evelyne said...

Wow,your Ann is gorgeous!A lot off stitching over one!
I love the quilts too.
French General is such a beautiful fabric.
bailey is adorable!!!

Diane (di) said...

Everything looks absolutely gorgeous, my dear! Ann, Sylvia and Jane? Simply stunning. And Bailey is looking fabulous as usual. :)

Confused though as to the comment that Siobhan and I are somehow 'quilt-enabling' you. I have absolutely no idea what you mean. ;) (See you Friday at the Quilt Show!!) lmbo

Kim said...

DEB!!!! DEB DEB DEB!!! I LOVE Ann Smith! LOVE it! And your quilts...well they're all FABULOUS!! You've gotten so much done! LOVE it all! Can't wait to see what you do with all of those French General fabrics. The hubs conveniently "FORGOT" our 20th wedding anniversary Saturday (story for another time), but am thinking perhaps the Millennium frame might get HIM out of the doghouse too...somewhat...maybe. ha!

Kathy said...

Deb, you really have some beautiful quilt projects in process. And, your Ann is absolutely gorgeous!! And, Bailey, what a handsome guy he is. He is so cute laying there on the bedspread. His expression looks like "mama I didn't do it", lol.
Can't wait to see what you do with all your French General fabrics. Hope the weather in your part of the country soon realizes it's Spring. I know you must be tired to death of the cold!!

pj said...

DEB, What a great finish! Congrats on Ann Smith...I LOVE the colors and it is amazing finished. I can't wait to see it framed. You were a busy lady getting all that done in 4 months.

Your quilts are beautiful too. Great job keeping at the sewing. I love French General fabrics too but do now quilt so save some $$$ there. HA!~ Bailey is so sweet and has been good company for you as you sew or stitch.

Thanks for sharing! Pam in Iowa

Mouse said...

well you can certainly tell you have been busy with the needles :) gorgeous finish and love the quilts and fabbie too :) and awwwwwww Bailey looks like he is in the dog house .... and trailing threads means you have been busy love mouse xxxxx

Annette-California said...

Ann is Beautiful and Spectacular. Congrats on finishing her. All your quilts your working on are Magnificent. Love all the color combinations. love Annette

merumo said...

Congrats on Ann's finish!! She is absolutely beautiful in such bright colors.
I've been on the same boat as you - stiching and quilting!! I love FG's line and still have a couple of bundles hidden somewhere deep in the closet. We just have to have more fun and grow our fabbie's collection for our mental sanity, right?

merumo said...

Forgot to say hi to your cute pup Bailey! Look at that innocent face!!

samplerlover said...

Wow Deb, Anne is simply wonderful. You know how much I love her.

Your quilts are really beautiful. So much beautiful work. I like them all.

Mr Bailey has such a beautiful face.

Grit said...

Wow !!!!
Your work is so wonderful. I love all of them.

Grit from Germany

Rugs and Pugs said...

Spring has left Ohio...yet again :(
Oh, I do love Ann, too. I'd say that's a LOT of stitching for only 4 months. And your quilts...OMG! You are just too talented. Now you've got to get hooking.
Sorry you can't make the Ann Arbor hook-in. It would have been fun to meet.
Pug hugs :)

Busy Lizzy said...

No other words than your work is gorgeous! I am impressed that Ann was stitched in only 4 months keeping in mind that you have done so much quilting too! Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration.

Jackie said...

Deb, Ann is just beautiful! Not only is your stitching beautiful, but your linen selection is just perfect.

You have an enviable collection of French General! You know how I feel about your DJ blocks - and all your quilting.

Faye said...

Every single photo just takes my breathe away!!!! All the over one was SO worth it!!!! Love your helper too...

Annie said...

Of course there was no blogging time with you producing all of that crafty goodness! The sampler is just superb. Those colors alone would brighten anyone's day after a long winter. And I can't believe how much quilting you've done. Just lovely and amazing at the same time.

Katrina said...

Pretty quilts and sweet puppy :-)!!!! And OMG Ann Smith is just stunning!!!! Love, love, love her.

Melissa said...

Awww, look at that face! Bailey is so cute.

Love your finish of Ann Smith! What a gorgeous sampler! Well done on the over one's!

Deborah said...

Ann is stunning! There would be no stitching at my house without the magnifier. I learned to embrace it. The quilts are beautiful and I do love the french general fabric.

Cari said...

Oh my gosh Deb...Ann is BEAUTIFUL !! I love the colors and your stitching is awesome !!! Your quilting projects are over the top. You are inspiring AND enabling. Bailey is such a lover....I can tell from his sweet face !! Hugs dear friend. Hope your weather turns nice soon!!

Loraine said...

Holy moly girl! You've been smoking on the projects this month. Ann is so amazing, and I'm so glad that you pushed through and finished it. It's a sampler to covet, and I'm sure that it will always be one of your favorites.
DJ and Sylvia are coming along wonderfully as well, and the Chippewa nine patch is a gorgeous quilt!
I really like the Blackbird quilt as well. It doesn't look too scrappy to me. The colors are fab.
Can't wait to see progress on French General fabrics. They are my favorite fabrics in the whole world too!
TTYRS dear friend. Have a great week.

Sherry :o) said...

Boy you have been one busy lady! Anne is is Jane and the other quilting... Just think,if we joined houses and collections, we could have a brothel. I, too, am a f.g. whore and boarder. I so hesitate to cut into my stash...sigh! Hope all is well with the family, your son must bet getting ready to come home for the summer.

Sherry :o) said...

Hoarder....not boarder

Ellen said...

Congrats on Ann's finish! I am still struggling with the over 1 stitching ha ha!

Wonderful quilt blocks, love them!


Ellen said...

Congrats on Ann's finish! I am still struggling with the over 1 stitching ha ha!

Wonderful quilt blocks, love them!


marly said...

My head was spinning from thinking about all the over one in gorgeous Ann, and then pounding from all those tiny pieces of fabric sewn into fabulous squares, and then I saw Bailey. It all melted away and I got all mushy and fuzzy. Great post.

Nancy M said...

First off, congrats on the colorful finish! 4 months?? Wow, you must have been hibernating to get all that over one done so quickly! Your quilts and blocks are amazing and mind blogging for us Non-quilters! Well for me, at least! LOL Maybe this week we will finally see 70 degrees! I would really like to see some leaves on the trees though.

Lois said...

Love your Ann finish so much .....those vibrant colours and your over one is wonderful! The magnifying glass is my friend and I'm talking even on 32ct over two!!!! I used to find it awkward to work with but now couldn't do without it.

Keep up with the quilting addiction as I'm loving seeing what you're working on. You do know that I'm still coveting the Chippewa nine patch!!!

Susan said...

My last dog loved to raid the laundry basket also. I'd find socks in the strangest places. The colors in Ann are great - congratulations on your finish. Love the piecing also. I fully understand the not wanting to cut into it on the fabric. I have several pieces like that - hopefully I find something worthy of them before I"m too old to finish it.

Sharon said...

Your Ann Smith finish is fabulous! Congrats. Love your quilting-it's wonderful. Now that is something I can't do!

Anne said...

Fabulous post Debbie!! Lots of eye candy!! Love your Ann Smith finish and she is WORTH every swear word!! Stunning colours and that 1 over 1, although a real pain, is lovely. Your quilts are amazing too. I love French anything fabrics too!! Can't wait to watch your quilts grow!

Samplers, Silks and Linens said...

such a lovely vibrant piece, congratulations on the big finish, I love the colour of the fabric you used to stitch on too - must keep that in mind :)

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Carol said...

Wow! What a stunning finish, Deb! I can't imagine all that over one on 35 ct. (and I even enjoy stitching over one, but not on that high count fabric!)... It adds so much to the final look though so I'm glad you hung in there (and your hair is still intact!!)...

Karoline said...

Congratulations on finishing Ann, she's stunning

Ellen said...

Wow--Ann is exquisite! I certainly have been enjoying watching your progress on this beauty.

And your quilting--do you eve sleep?

Catherine said...

Fabulous post!! Loved seeing your stitches and quilting goodies!

cynthia lee designs said...

What an amazing quilt!!
Bailey is so cute!!

Barb in Mi said...

Fabulous - where to start? Love the stitched Ann sampler - will it become your new blog header? It is stunning! Something like this would probably take me years - if not a lifetime. Congrats on a fabulous finish!