Saturday, May 19, 2018

New Project

This past Friday was FNSI -- my favorite time of the month! Love doing handwork and relaxing while watching my needle stitch fabric, so calmly, so beautifully. A few weeks back I just couldn't resist a new project. Jinny Beyer has a new mystery quilt called Miyoto and the fabric selections were gorgeous. Jinny Beyer, if you aren't familiar, is very big into hand-piecing quilts. I learned to quilt this way a LONG TIME AGO and, since I've been enjoying the hand work of Mosaics so much, I decided to sink my teeth into this project and ordered up a kit. She offered four colorways and I chose blue/teal. Here is a picture of the first unit of this quilt. I'm trying to remember just how to hand piece again! The weather was so nice that I pulled up a chair outside and gave it a go.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to sew on a daytime retreat and managed to get together all six parts going one way and 2 &1/2 pieces in the mirror image. This morning I finished off all twelve pieces. Loving this process again! Tomorrow I'll return to retreat and work on Mosaics!
I had a very nice Mother's Day last weekend. I heard from both of my kids PLUS a nephew. My sweet daughter Sarah also sent me sweets ... Wockenfuss candy. This chocolate company has been in business in Baltimore MD for over 100 years and, let me tell you, they are so DELICIOUS!! I was certainly feeling the love!

Speaking of mothers, here is a very unusual picture of both my kitty Polly & my dog Gracie sharing space in front of the door together. They were both very interested in the sightings out front. Oops! I do believe I've been caught spying on them!

Gracie & I have been enjoying our walks each morning lately. The temperatures have been pretty nice even if Gracie thinks they're too warm. Recently she found a friend just off the trail -- a turtle!
And with that, I'll close this post. I was up early this morning to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Megan Markle. Then it was time to get Mother ready for her flight to NC. We dropped her off with time to spare and returned home. I climbed out the upstairs window to gain access to the first floor roof and cleared the rain gutters on the house. I had noticed yesterday that the rain we received the day before was still in them and we were expecting more rain today. Ugh! My reward was to work on getting Miyoto Clue #2 ready. The afternoon wrapped up watching Justify win the Preakness (after winning the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago) and to get a text from Mom saying she arrived safe & sound in NC and that she also managed to see the Preakness. Very exciting stuff and we'll anxiously wait to see the Belmont in June to see if we can get a Triple Crown winner!

Good night for now!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

New Laptop, Mother Nature Returns, & a Red Ribbon!

Good morning! I've been a little behind in posting but the reasons for that are twofold: 1) Anthea @ Hibiscus Quilts had put on the calendar that this was Piece Yourself Together week but there wasn't a link-up and I was waiting for it to post; and 2) I went to register my Zagg phone screen for my new phone and apparently my laptop decided to fry its hard drive with no warning! So, besides trying to adjust to a new phone, I had to buy a new laptop yesterday as well. UGH! Yes, the cost of these two purchases are going to kill the budget BUT the learning process of two new devices is going to kill ME!!!! Hahaha!

Now on to the post at hand ... Mother Nature decided to go from a cold Spring to a hot Spring overnight. We had exactly one day with windows open meaning 24 hours between the heater and the air conditioner. And in that one day span I discovered that I, like so many other St. Louisans, have developed allergies. Now I'm taking a pill every evening to get me through the days of excessive pollen count. I am not a happy pill taker so this is not good news for me other than I can now function a little better.

In case you were wondering, I am still walking my "Little Gracie Girl" each weekday morning in spite of the pollen. Here are a couple of pictures I took this week on our walks. 
The two dark spots ahead of Gracie are
Mr. & Mrs. Mallard (ducks)

What is startling my little Gracie?

A turtle!

The honeysuckle is just starting to open
and perfume the air
I wish I could have also captured a picture of the little bluebird that was following us one morning too!
As for my sewing, I'm still working on my leaders & enders project (more on that another post) and I'm on my last diamond row of border #1 of Mosaics. My big news, and I hope you're still reading along with me, is that I won 2nd place at our guild's President's Challenge! The rules were easy enough - 1. No side larger than 45", and 2. Must represent a song title with a color in it. Here's my version of "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue".
Ta Da! Marvelous Mini Monday complete with Red Ribbon!

Close-up of my quilting on the alternate blocks
As I was sewing this up at the January retreat, I was singing this song in my head. I didn't want to let the cat out of the bag that I was sewing this for the challenge. I love everything about this little quilt, from the cute little 4" blocks to the beautiful fabrics to the half-and-half colored binding, and also to the way I quilted it -- ditch-quilted little blocks with pretty quilting on the alternate blocks. Besides getting the ribbon on Tuesday I also got a $20 gift card to a LQS. Then on Thursday I shared this quilt at Tips & Techniques at Rosemary's Quilt Shop and won a $5 gift card in the Show 'n' Tell door prize! My little quilt has practically paid for itself!
So now I need to pick up my knitting and get the sweater to a finish. I'm just about done with the second sleeve and still have a brioche-knitted hat to finish by the end of the month.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers this Sunday and every day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

April Recap

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt: One night in March I couldn't sleep so I decided to cut fabrics for several of these blocks. After cutting seven kits, I've since then sewn up six with the seventh (#28 - Dolly) in progress as of today. Here's a look at my pile of kits:

Here's a look at the blocks I got done in April or earlier (marked with an *) when I first started this project a few years ago. I believe #18 - Carol was the last block posted:
#19 - Carolina

#20 - Caroline*
#21 - Carrie
#22 - Cat

#23 - Charlotte*

#24 - Coral*
#25 - Crystal
#26 - Daffodil*
#27 - Dinah

#29 - Doris
Angie of GnomeAngel is the fearless leader of this quilt-a-long. Our goal is two blocks per week. There are a total of 99 blocks so we should have this top finished by the end of the year if we keep up. That is totally my goal. She has a Facebook page where she keeps us on track and she has Blocks 27-35 were to be done in April and Blocks 36-43 for May. As you can clearly see I'm a little behind but I'll catch up ... I hope.

APQ 2018 UFO Challenge: Try not to fall over but .... I got my borders on! April's chosen number happened to be my 2nd & final Float Month so in all honesty it took me two months to get this one to the finish line. Still not sure how I'll quilt it, several ideas swirling in the gray matter.
Ta-Da! Blowin' In the Wind Completed
The number chosen for May was 6 which coincides with Big Gold Star. It is a completely pieced large wall hanging. I pulled it out of its bin and discovered that it's actual name is Miss Millie's Mystery! I did remember that it was another mystery quilt run by Rosemary's Quilt Shop but I'd totally forgotten the name. If you recall Blowin' In the Wind was also a mystery quilt from Rosemary's. Love me a good mystery!!! Anyway, here's a picture of the Big Gold Star top. Let the quilting begin!
My knitting hasn't really been inspiring me lately. I'm still working on Rocio. I've got the body done and a good start on the first sleeve. I really should get working on it because I have a May 31 deadline plus anything using Brioche Stitch. I've got a hat pattern that I plan on using. Knit, Sue! Knit!!!!

My favorite take-a-long project right now is still Mosaics. I'm appliqueing down the first outer border. So easy, so mindless. I can talk and/or watch TV while I'm working on it making it my go-to project.

Spring has officially sprung here it seems and the gardens & yard need attention. Here are a few pictures from my morning's work.

My beautiful Olga Azalea with gigantic, chartreuse hosta.
Ugly ladder in background been laying there & never
touched for over a year. It's gotta go!

Give this woman a drill & a ladder. Hooks in
place and ladder up off the ground.Good job!

This post ended up being pretty long so I'll end it for now. Enjoy your world!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Coming Right Along ....

... just not very quickly. I suppose I should be happily stitching but I'm sensing the end of this Mosaics project.  Besides I love the applique part of EPP so much more than the stitching them all together. Oh well, I suppose one must have a little rain to appreciate the sunshine.

I went from this photo on the left of the diamonds laid side by side to the photo on the right of the diamonds tacked together.

This morning I woke up around 2am with the awful feeling that I didn't have enough of my background fabric for the diamond borders plus the cornerstone hexie globules. That's what I call them anyway. I guess it would be nicer to call them the large clusters. Anyway, after tossing & turning for a bit, I went to my sewing space and measured. Sure enough, not enough. Then I looked at the pattern and saw that the borders weren't as long as I was thinking. Hooray! I have enough fabric. I believe I actually have JUST ENOUGH FABRIC! Pshew!

So what did I do? Do you think I started cutting the borders so I could get right on to appliqueing those diamonds? Nope!!! I had actually started sewing on the first borders of my APQ 2018 UFO Challenge yesterday afternoon! I know! Who would have guessed! I had gotten started while doing laundry but got interrupted while sewing on the second border due to Jeopardy coming on. I ♥ Jeopardy!

So anyhow, I now have 3 whole borders sewn on Blowin' In the Wind and the last side pinned. Again, why did I stop? Because I could hear the 4:30am alarm going off for Husband to get up for work. Another stopping point to go make his lunch and scoot him out the door. But that's OK ... this quilt top is close to done and is at a point that's so easy to pick up and finally finish it off.

Linking up with Anthea for Piece Yourself Together at Hibiscus Stitches. You should check out the itty-bitty hexies she's working with. I'd need stronger glasses, I'm afraid!

Sew on!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Linking up with Anthea of Hibiscus Stitches this morning which is actually evening in beautiful Australia. Piece Yourself Together is keeping me in line for getting my Mosaics to a finish. I had neglected it a bit and Anthea has given me motivation once again to Keep.On.Stitching! Just look what I've accomplished these last two weeks!

Thirty-six diamonds prepped and ready to be stitched together and then appliqued down to the outer border This final border has hexie cornerstones. Here's the first one completed. During guild meeting last night I managed to get a good start on the next one. Did I mention that I also got all the hexies prepped and organized, ready to stitch them into their final configurations? Yes, I did all that!

As for APQ 2018 UFO Challenge, March's number was 3. I believe I mentioned that I got my border fabric starched earlier. That was my entire March progress. Pathetic! Well, for April the number pulled was 5 -- Float! Perfect since I really ought to concentrate on March's #3, Blowin' in the Wind. The other day I actually pulled it out, ironed it, and got it measured. That's the first step for borders. I then ironed the border fabric and started measuring it. I actually got the two long sides cut. Just need to clear a space on my sewing machine to sew it on. It's 85" long and will be heavy if I don't have room to rest it. In case you forgot what this top looks like, here's a refresher picture.

While pressing the top, I was trying to figure out how I was going to quilt it. Pretty sure I've got plenty of time to contemplate that one! Ha!

That's enough for today. If you'd like to see what some of the rest of us have been up to, visit Hibiscus Stitches and click on the links on the right hand side of the page. Thank you, Anthea, for the incentive to keep on stitching!

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hexies Galore!

PYT Report: All of my hexies for the four borders are done on my Mosaics! Yippee! Put the last stitches in the last border piece this morning. Such a great feeling. Check out that gorgeous picture on the right. Two shorties and two long ones. Now to trim them up and attach them to the medallion center. The diamond borders are next and should not take as long. We shall see!

Thank you, Anthea at Hibiscus Stitches, for keeping us all on track with our EPP projects!

Thought I'd share a picture I took of Polly recently. I went to Wild Birds Unlimited and bought a bird feeder that sticks on the window. My cute little kitty discovered the birds eating and is totally fascinated by all the activity. Most afternoons I find her on that perch where she can keep a close eye on her new friends. *wink*

I plan on knitting this rainy evening as I breathe a long sigh of relief. My taxes have been filed and I don't have to look forward to that laborious process again until next year. Have a lovely evening!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Linking Up with FNSI

The rain continues to come down and, besides tomorrow, shows no signs of ending for the next several days. I changed out my header picture to bring a happy note ... Spring Is Springing! Can't really say that it has actually sprung yet but I'm sure all this rain will help things along. Here's the full picture of my Tulips. I finished it yesterday (Friday) morning. Can't wait to quilt and hang it -- so cheerful!

Yesterday I hurried through my chores so I could have a good report for FNSI, which stands for Friday Night Sew-In. I'll be linking up with my friends HERE. You should take a peek and see what all we've been doing. So much talent everywhere!

Here's my current progress on my projects. First, I got the  binding sewn onto my Clam Shells wall hanging. I rinsed it out to get my markings out and it's laying out to dry. Hopefully the shadowing will go away once it's dry and will look like it did before I wet it down. Otherwise I'm going to wish that I had faced the clams with a white fabric. UGH! I also noticed that the red clam in the middle of the 2nd-from-the-top row bled into the clam to the left below it. Hmmmm ... Looks like there will  be another rinse with a Color Catcher!

The other thing I wanted to mention about the Clam Shell binding: I listened to the way Edyta Sitar does her wall hanging binding on The Quilt Show. Do you know her? She's a designer for Moda fabrics and is an incredibly talented lady. Anyway WOW! Do my corners ever lie flat!! Think that will be my go-to method in future. Love to learn new tricks.

As always I continue to work on my Mosaics. This is currently in my lap, the final hexie border being appliqued down. YIPPEE!

This morning I had my monthly Applique Group to attend. So much inspiration. One of the gals enlarged her 4" blocks to 8" and then reverse appliqued them. I never think to enlarge OR shrink down the original blocks. I can usually manage to think outside the box when it comes to color but size? I have to remember that size truly does matter! *wink*

When I got home, I made up this Mediterranean Yogurt Cake. It smells delicious and has two mandarin oranges zested into the batter. All I need to do now is to brush a honey glaze on the top. It should taste good after the marinated flank steak, risotto, and wilted spinach dinner I've planned.

Don't forget to check out what everyone else did at FNSI and have a great rest of your weekend. I'll be busy sewing down that last hexie row in my usual spot in the den!