Saturday, August 19, 2017

FNSI Welcomes Me Home

After being gone nearly two weeks, I was so happy to sleep in my own bed knowing when I woke up that it was that wonderful day of the month -- Friday Night Sew-In! Thank you, Wendy, for hosting this monthly event and especially this month!
For those of you that joined last night, I am looking forward to seeing what wonderful projects you worked on. For those of you that didn't, I hope to catch up with you next month. And for those of you unfamiliar with FNSI, you only need to visit Sugarlane Designs blog for all the details. You can do that HERE .

So what did I work on? Do you remember this project?

These are the blocks to my Marvelous Mini Monday from Temecula Quilts. That block in the bottom right hand corner, measuring at a sweet 4" unfinished, was a problem to me. The picture is blurry and thank goodness it is! The 1/2" half square triangles are awful. Some of them are WAY off. So I decided to redo it.

Here's a close-up of the original.
And here's the one I made last night. Again it's not perfect but it works better for me! Also it may not look I did much last night but it was a lot of work and it makes me happy. Now to tackle the last 2 weeks worth of blocks I missed while away.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Hello, August!

There are no complaints here from me so far with August. Typically one of our hottest months, this year has brought cool temps. I actually turned off the A/C for a day because the high was only 77 degrees! But enough about the weather. It is August which means all sorts of things have kicked off.

First up is the APQ 2017 UFO Challenge. The selected number was 5, which is my flag quilt. I made this quilt through guild with a teacher they had brought in from Tennessee or West Virginia maybe? Can't quite remember since it was back in 2014. Anyway, her name is Sandi Blackwell and her technique was called Square-agonals. It was quite cool the way we sewed up rail fence squares, then cut this way, relaid out the top, and cut and sewed again to made a beautiful rectangular quilt. Here's a picture of my finished quilt top.
Some of my fellow guild members were unsatisfied with the end result because you will notice that the outside edges get cut off. Doesn't bother me but then again, I'm pretty easy to please!

August 1st also brought the start-up of a couple of knit-a-longs for me. I joined them through two different Ravelry groups. The first group is Loopy Groupies from The Loopy Ewe, a yarn shop that started here in St. Louis but several years ago moved to Ft. Collins CO. The KAL is Summer Camp and I've been assigned to the Loopasaurus Camp. The requirements are strict: Must have bought your yarn from The Loopy Ewe no earlier than July 12th; pattern needs to be dated 2015 or later AND use 800+ yards; and you start the project no sooner than August 1 and it must be completed, photographed, and uploaded to the site by August 31. I chose Colorful Wedges Baby Blanket. I figure my Grandma Hope Chest can't get too full! Hahaha! Anyway, I cast on on Aug 1 and here's my progress so far.


Wedges 1 & 2 complete and the third one is coming right along. The bottom wedge is actually a bit redder than the picture portrays. The yarn balls above in green, orange, & purple are the three wedges after the blue. There is always the gray in between. This is such a fun project and I'm loving it!

The 2nd knit-a-long is a Mystery KAL through Very Busy Monkey, a designer that I found on Ravelry. We are all knitting her Anthology pattern. She has a shawl and a sock one and I could choose one or the other or both. I opted on the socks since it was unusual that I didn't have a pair of socks on my needles at the time. I ALWAYS have a pair of socks going! Anyway, not a lot of progress so far.
You can just make out the pattern beginning to develop after the ribbed cuff. See it? only four rows in of the pattern. Need to get going on this!

The clues to this MKAL come out on Tuesdays in August (1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd). We have until September to complete our chosen project and get it photographed and uploaded to her site. I believe prizes may be involved! Speaking of prizes, I was hoping my beautiful stitch markers would arrive in the mail today. Really wanted to replace that generic green one with a fun one! Oh well, next week I suppose ...

Speaking of next week, have a terrific weekend! I'm going to cozy up with stitching or knitting. Not sure yet which one, but you can be sure I'll be working on something! So until next time ....


Monday, July 31, 2017

Rhapsody Shawl, Scrap Dance Two-Step, & Upcoming KALs!

Not exactly where to start but I know I need to post. I've done a lot lately but not finished a lot. I guess this will be a wishy-washy post.

Here's my Rhapsody Shawl which I completed yesterday. It was a knit-a-long that ended today. Whew! Made it just in the knick of time! When I logged into Ravelry to post my finish, I discovered that I had a message from Mary-Ann Lammers, the shawl's designer. She was contacting me to let me know I was the winner of some stitch markers! Yay!! They are beautiful and I'll share a picture when they arrive!

I also had the opportunity to sew at a couple of retreats recently. I signed on to a Mystery Quilt-a-Long on one of the blogs I follow, From My Carolina Home. You can visit Carole HERE . The MQAL was called Scrap Dance Two-Step and it was fun because each month you got a two-part clue. It finished mid-July and I've been scrambling to get my blocks done. Here's a picture of 5 blocks I got done at one of the retreats. My fabrics are mostly Kim Diehl fabrics but I threw in a few "twinklers"!
Since then I've finished up 18 of the alternate blocks and I'm working on getting all 17 of these blocks done. Of course I'm making a queen-size quilt! I'll be sure to post a picture when I'm done.

Apparently I'm a sucker for new projects. I'm anxiously awaiting for August 1. I'll be participating in a mystery socks knit-a-long through Very Busy Monkey on Ravelry. Four clues starting August 1 and published every Tuesday through August 22. Project must be finished and posted by September 30. Doesn't sound like too much, right? But wait! I'm also on board for a knit-a-long with The Loopy Ewe. I've got my yarn and I swatched to be sure everything will size up correctly. I've chosen the pattern Colorful Wedges Baby Blanket. You can check it out HERE . This one also starts August 1st but must be finished & posted by August 31st. Wait until you see my yarn choices ... so pretty and yet gender neutral!

Both of these upcoming knitting projects will keep me busy but they won't keep me away from my sewing! I'm making very good progress on Mosaics but will have to share that another time.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

FNSI Wrap-UP

Well, what do you know? I sewed all day Friday at retreat and then came home to make a quick dinner. After cleaning up the kitchen, I sat myself down to sew some more. Couldn't pass up the opportunity to put a few more stitches into my Mosaic project by Irene Blanck. After all it was FNSI!!!
Progress on my Mosaic consisted of 8 more leaves sewn down. Here they are:
Impresssive,  huh? This morning I sent myself right on down to my sewing space and glued the stems in place!

I just  now returned from sewing all day with friends again. I'm on track to  make dinner (after my cocktail, of course!) and then those stems are going down!! Haha!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I'll try to remember to take some pictures of my progress at retreat too!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

FNSI, Retreat, & Garden Delights

I have so much to tell you this time! Before I get into some of my projects, let me just remind you know that this Friday night you can stitch with me & lots of friends. Yessirree! It's Friday Night Sew In! Pop on over to Sugarlane's website HERE to sign up. Then hurry on back! Signed up now? Good job!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of going on retreat from Friday through Monday. Four whole days! My BFF Vickie flew in from Cleveland and I had us all packed up for a weekend of fun. And fun we had!!!

I took a few projects, of course. The first day I worked on my French Roses quilt. I had my 40 blocks done but they needed to be sewn together. After that I had to cut out 82 three-and-a-half inch squares for the inner border. I ran out of fabric for the outer border so I'm on the hunt. I visited my favorite LQS but it was a bust. Then I took a 30-minute jaunt to another store that I was so sure would have something I could use. Nope! I'll find it, don't you worry. I do have fabric for my binding set aside so I'll be ready when I can make more progress on it.







Next day I worked on a Mystery Quilt-a-Long called Two-Step that I started with From My Carolina Home. We're getting really close to the finish as far as the release of patterns but I'm terribly behind. Carole is so generous to give you directions for various sizes and no doubt I picked a queen size. Anyway I had plenty to do to start playing catch-up. I'm doing mine in mostly Kim Diehl fabrics that I'd picked out for another sew-along but changed my mind on participating. While I was at my LQS the other day, I picked up several more pieces and got them starched this morning. (Yes, I'm a starcher!) So far all I have sewn for Two-Step fits in a basket. Enjoy this picture! Ha!


The third day I started catching up on Marvelous Mini Mondays brought to us by Temecula Quilt Shop. I follow that blog too and absolutely loved doing 12 Days of Christmas with them a few years ago. I decided I'd give this one a try too. These blocks are only 3-1/2" UNFINISHED! I got myself caught up but I'm not entirely please with the last block and will probably redo it. Check them out! (Sorry about the blurry picture; I'm in a bit of a hurry to get this posted!)

So here's the plan:  Tomorrow I start a retreat where we sew all day for three days but go home at night. It's great because we can leave our sewing stations all set up and not have to break it down each evening. My first project to work on will be to get going on Two-Step. Then I plan on putting together a baby quilt that was a Bonnie Hunter (don't you just love her????) Leader & Ender from a couple of years ago. After that who knows? You can bet your booties, though, that I'll stay busy!


I mentioned that my BFF went to retreat with me. Here's a picture of her quilt before the squares were sewn together. Isn't it gorgeous? There was a bit of laughter when we found out she didn't know the meaning of the quilt title -- Caligula! I'm betting that the designer didn't either! Hahaha! Wikipedia told us all we needed to know! Thank Internet for enlightening us!
















Speaking of learning from the Internet, while we were walking back from a meal, I spotted this huge beetle-thing. I sent the picture to my daughter, the bug-lover, and she confessed to Googling it. It is an Easter Hercules Beetle! That's Vickie's foot next to it so you can get the size of this critter!
One last thing I wanted to share with you. It's a gardening thing. The first is my beautiful plumeria tree. It is really getting ready to bloom. Some years I get a few flowers but it looks like this year will be a bumper crop. And oh! the fragrance!! These trees grew in the park behind our quarters when we lived in base housing in Hawaii. This tree just takes me back every time!

The other photo is of a couple of concrete fowl. They are actually pretty big and HEAVY! I had a hard time making up my mind as to which one to get. I ended up with Henny Penny because I already have a terra cotta rooster. I may have to go back and snag the rooster .... or the adorable frog that was there too!





Have a great weekend and I hope to see what you've been up to on FNSI or whenever!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Plenty of Quilting Opportunities!!

My activity during June is not one that pleases me. I feel like I didn't get that much accomplished. Part of it was due to the fact that my mother came home on the 19th. She arrived with my brother and two of his kids. I was busy cleaning before their arrival, cooking while they were here, and hanging with them when I could. I was also getting ready to leave with all of them on June 24, heading for my sister's house in Denver, CO. My beautiful niece once again had a softball tournament out there June 26 - July 2. That's her on the right hanging out of the dugout to watch the game. Isn't her smile gorgeous?

Our other mission in Denver was to drop my brother's oldest (his son) off at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He was to report there on June 29 at 8:50 am. My brother was having a hard time saying good-bye to his one & only son. My nephew is also the first to leave the nest and the nest is located in North Carolina ... a long way from Colorado!

We had fun climbing around the Rocky Mountains and making our annual trip to the place my parents want to be let loose together for a final time. Dad passed away 7 years ago but Mom is still going strong!







As for quilting, the APQ 2017 UFO Challenge was project #1 - Atlanta Mystery Quilt. Let me tell you, it was certainly a mystery to me. I couldn't remember what this one looked like. Here it is ...

I've got it pinned to the design wall now. I'm trying to figure out how to quilt it. The pattern is pretty cool. It's only 50" x 50". I think I'll do something a little masculine-ish and put it away in my Grandma Hope Chest. One day I may have a grandson that would look adorable snuggled up in it!

I did make progress on my Mosaic quilt.
Before
Now
While I don't have any progress to show on my Clam Shells, I did decide on how big I want to make it and figured out how many more I need to make. I also had to decide on how many of each colors I was short. I'm still planning on keeping the patriotic theme going and will probably have a narrow inner border with a wide outer border. I'm thinking about some applique design out there. We will see ...

This month looks to be VERY productive. At least there seems to be an overwhelming amount of opportunities! I will be taking Gyleen Fitzgerald's class on Wednesday next week through my guild. Then my best friend arrives Thursday evening and off to retreat we go for a 4-day weekend. The following weekend is a 3-day retreat with another group of friends. Surely I'll get a lot accomplished!!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Successful FNSI This Month!


You may recall last month I totally skipped out on Friday Night Sew-In. Almost happened again this month but then I regained my sanity!! This is how it happened ....



There I was sitting in my recliner just knitting away while watching our St. Louis Cardinals. They were playing in Baltimore, a stadium I've been to WAY more than once. We used to live in the area before there were Washington Nationals. Loved going to watch the Orioles play ball back in the day. 

So anyway, there I was knitting away actually rooting against (well, sort of! Ha!) the O's when all of a sudden I actually remembered about FNSI! Thankfully it hadn't gotten very late. I ran downstairs to my sewing space, turned on the TV, switched over to the game, and started working again on my Becca Bags. Here's what happened ... Ta! Da!

Do you see how nifty the zipper is sewn in? It's actually sewn in flat and then you fold your bag in half and put the zipper pull back on! Easy enough for this Quilts-Only-Quilter!

I also added a little ribbon on the pull because at a retreat I was told it looked more professional! Hahaha! Yup! That's me! Pro all the way!

And on this highly successful morning-after FNSI, I leave you with a couple more pictures. I would also like to thank Wendy for hosting this event. You can check out what the other quilters did last night by linking over to Sugarlane Designs HERE!




 Have a GREAT weekend!