Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Frozen in Michigan

Hello Everyone!!

I hope that all of you are staying warm considering that most of the country (with the exception of my sister in California who I'm thinking evil thoughts about as it's warm there) is experiencing some pretty bizarre weather.  Global warming??  I think quite the reverse.  It's been miserable around here - lot of missed school days, subzero temperatures, snow, but the big thing is the miserable cold - days and days of it!!  We've already hit an all time record for snowfall for January and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't hit the coldest month on record either.  Spring just can't get here fast enough.  I've barely left the house, but instead of having cabin fever, I've been having crafting fever.

I finished up the Hitchhiker Scarf and I'm really pleased with the way that it finished up.  I was concerned about the yarn, but I love the end result:

Hitch Hiker Scarf
Crystal Palace Salsalito Yarn

And if anyone is interested, the quilt hanging behind it is a Schibbles Pattern called Recess that I made a while ago (and it still has to be quilted).

I also managed to get a couple quilts finished!!  The first one is an older quilt that I started a while ago and then ditched in pursuit of something else (I have a bad tendency of doing that).  But it's finally finished:

Wisdom of the Heart
Sophia Collection Fabric, Windham Fabrics

I'm not sure why the pattern is called Wisdom of the Heart as I don't see hearts in the pattern, but that's the name.  You will also notice my trusty pal, Bailey, waiting for me to turn my back so that he can lay on it!  He thinks that the things that I make are for him!!

I also finished up my Peaks and Valley's quilt:

Peaks and Valleys
Pattern in American Patchwork & Quilting - October 2013 issue
Arcadia Fabric
Pattern and Fabric by Tula Pink

This was really a quick quilt to make - although as usual I dragged my feet with it.  I'm deciding if I should add a border or leave it as is.  The finished quilt in AP&Q didn't have a border, but I'm still on the fence.

Stitching still isn't happening around here - Sigh!!  I think about it, look at the few things that I have on rods, but it's just not calling my name yet.  I seem to still have my knitting mojo going on and have been working on the Rococo Shawl:

Rococo Shawl
Pattern on Ravelry
Crystal Palace Merino 5 

It's growing slowly.  There are a lot of stitches in those rows.  I also started another scarf - the Linen Stitch Scarf - but as you will see there is no picture.  I've been having one problem after another so no picture unless you want to see a tangled mess of yarn.  After three attempts (dropping cast on stitches and not getting them back on right), someone pulling half the row off the needles (I won't mention names), I really got going on it only to discover that something was off on the gauge.  Well, a lesson learned - while I thought I was using the correct needle - and the package said it was the right needle - it wasn't.  Seems that needle companies aren't uniform with their needles, and what I thought was a Size 6 was really a Size 5.  And a trip to the knitting store confirmed this after we tested a half dozen needles.  So advice here - check your needles!  So now I'll cast on again - the darned thing isn't going to defeat me!!

So that's been my January.  Maybe I should be happy that it's been so cold around here and I've stuck around the house more.  The winds are still blowing and the temps are still miserable (all of 14 degrees with a windchill of -4), so I think I'll tackle something else.  Up next - cutting out these lovelies!! 

Left - Vanilla & Blooms w/Fig Tree Breakfast at Tiffany fabric
Right - Nantucket by Minick & Simpson with Midwinter Reds fabric

The Midwinter Reds fabrics seem appropriate for this time of year, don't they?  Vanilla and Blooms makes me think of Spring, so I think I've got some fun quilting time ahead of me.  Maybe it shouldn't warm up after all!  

Hope you're all staying warm and thank you for stopping by and for your wonderful comments!  I always love hearing from you!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Almost Four Months to the Day

Hello Dear Friends:

Yep, it's been almost four months to the day since I last posted!  In September it was 90 degrees, and today - well, it's been a crazy few days with huge snowfalls and currently the temperature is 2 degrees! And with the winds whipping like they are, I don't even know what the real feel temperature is.  I don't think that I want to know.  We got at least a foot of snow yesterday and it's still coming down.  Such a difference from when I last posted.   I don't know where the time goes - but I've missed blogging, keeping up with blogs and I'm going to try to be better - promise!

Although to tell the truth, I haven't gotten much done in the past four months - sad, but true!  Not for lack of trying mind you, but for lack of time it seems!  It's been a busy past four months, but I think that things are finally calming down (knock on wood).  It doesn't help that for a month (during the Christmas season, no less)  I was almost flat on my back from the flu, but things are better now.  Seems that I caught a little bit of a bug from a wonderful young man that was sitting next to me on a flight back home from New York in late November.  Nice boy - bad cough - nasty bug. And the bug decided to come home with me!  Figures!

But my trip was great nonetheless (I visited Purl Soho and City Quilter among quite a few other places) and I came home with a some really unneeded stash from both them (although we all need stash right?), but also came home with a wonderful surprise!  My wonderful surprise was acquired at a Tag Sale on Long Island.  Now I've always heard of Tag Sales and equate them to what we call Estate Sales here, although things are taken a step further there.  Like sell the contents of the home - everything that you can remove from it - doors, windows, floors, kitchen cupboards - and then tear the house down.  Why? Because the owners are bored with the house!  Must be nice to have money, right?  And the antiques! OMG, are there a lot of them!!  I plan on going again in the summer with my van and loading up! Anyway, my Sister and her SIL's are avid Tag Sale shoppers and they dragged me out in the wee hours to stand in line at a Tag Sale (in 20 degree weather for a good hour) as my one SIL was eyeing a dresser.  Well, thank goodness she did that as we were 2, 3, and 4 in line.  And what did I find?  There were a lot of wonderful things, but one was this sampler:

She's Charlotte Kinsley, Aged 7, stitched in the year of 1800!!  I can't tell you how thrilled I was to come across her!  Poor Charlotte needs a little bit of work.  I need to take her out of the frame and unmount her (a scary proposition) and then I received the name of a person at The Henry Ford that I'm going to have look at her.  See about cleaning her up and whatever else I can find out about her.  I've been trying to track down her information, but haven't come up with anything yet.  From what I understand she's a New York Sampler in the federal/biblical genre, but need to get that confirmed.  It appears to be though by referencing Betty Ring's two volume set of books on samplers.   I'm anxious to look at the back of her to see what colors were actually used as I think that I would like to chart her sometime down the road.  From this picture it's hard to tell, but there are a lot of pinks that are faded, but I should be able to see them better when I look at the other side.

As far as getting things done in the past four months, I haven't had one finish!  Well, I had one and I'll show that in a minute.  I've had a lot of starts though.  After I finished off Mary Gail, I was kind of at a loss as to what to do.  Don't we all go through that?  Have tons of stash and then don't know what to work on?  But I decided to start on Jane Atkinson:

Jane Atkinson
The Scarlett Letter
DMC threads and mystery fabric

I worked on some quilting and managed to knock out blocks on some of the BOM's that I've had around here:

These blocks are for four different BOM's that I've been working on over time - Civil War Tribute, Women's Voices Civil War Quilt, Harvest Song and one other BOM whose name escapes me right now.  Tells me I have too many things that I need to finish if I can't remember the names of them!  LOL

And just because I love confusion and also a new project, I started on Tula Pink's Peaks & Valley's quilt:

And have a few blocks done:

I got about this far before I went to New York, and then came down with the flu two days after I got home and somehow working all that over one wording on Jane and messing around with quilt blocks just didn't appeal to me.  What did appeal to me for some reason was knitting and crocheting.  I started an afghan for my daughter:

Flowers in a Row
Free pattern on Red Heart Yarns

Then I started a Wiggle Wrap and actually finished it:

Kauni Wiggle Wrap
Done in two color ways
On Ravelry

A little closer shot:

This shawl was so much fun to work on!  And loved, loved the yarn!!  It was the perfect thing to work on when I wasn't feeling well.  Sit in a chair with a cup of tea, a blanket over you and the TV on a good movie - doesn't get much better than that!!  Although I think that I ended up falling asleep more than I knit for most of those days.  And I never sit during the day, so I almost felt like I was getting away with a crime doing that!  The shawl needs to be blocked, but I'd almost like to make another one in another color way.  Well, maybe not - this shawl has been called the Never-Ending Shawl by a lot of people, but it was so fun to watch the colors emerge and I have another project using similar yarn in the knitting queue!

From there I went to the Hitch Hiker scarf:

Hitch Hiker Scarf
Sausilito Yarn by Crystal Palace Yarns
On Ravelry

This one is so much fun also, although I still have quite a ways to go.  I'm about half way by the number of "teeth" at the side, but it increases in size as you knit it width-wise so I still have a ways to go.

Then if this wasn't enough, I decided that I needed to start something for New Year's, so instead of one project, I started two:

Mary Gibson
Haslemere Museum
done in a variety of silks - mainly AVAS

And then the Rococo Shawl:

Rococo Shawl
Merino 5 yarn by Crystal Palace
on Ravelry

So there you have it.  The last four months of my life in review.  At least with the crafty side of things. There is more, but I'll save that for another time!

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment if you do.  I have missed blogging, not only because I feel that I've missed so much, but also that I love to use my blog as kind of a diary of the things that I do over time.  It's fun to look back over the pictures and see what you finished or didn't finish during a year (in my case, what I didn't finish!).    I hope to get a little better about posting and commenting in this new year. Sometimes it's hard though with so much going on.  I never realized that a 16 year old daughter could be so much work.  And also, on a more serious note, my FIL was diagnosed with bladder cancer a few months back so that has been a big concern.  He's gone through treatment and we're now waiting for the results. Prayers for him would be much appreciated.

Hope that you're surviving the cold where you are.  I understand that a great portion of the US is shivering in their boots right now!!  Good reason to stay inside and stitch!!  Or knit!  Or quilt!!

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!!