Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Due to the Columbus Day Holiday ...

I was temporarily off the grid. But I'd like to play catch up now.
My Kathy Schmitz "Be Mine" embroidery is done. All that's left is the "finish" to make it into a little quilted wall hanging. So far so good! (It could also use a little pressing!)

The Lady Claire socks I was knitting for Loopy Academy have been 100% finished. That means I've also blocked them! That's a very important step that I sometimes do not actually do. Aren't they pretty sitting with that purple clematis? Can't believe it but I've actually got two blooms due to the unbelievably warm weather we've been having here in the Midwest!
I also finished these two steps in the very fun Dresden Workshop Quilt. I actually am just about done with another step but I changed my mind on the little center so the picture will have to wait until next week. Hopefully I'll have an additional step or two to add to this collection by then. Loving how this is working up .... so far!

I still have a slight dilemna: The very first step was a block with the word "Quilts" in it. That's all fine and dandy for some but I want something different. I've toyed with "Family" and "Ooh La La!" since it's French General fabrics. I also thought about "Gracie" or "Polly" for the pets ... just because. Don't want "Faith" or "Bliss". Any suggestions out there?????

And last but certainly not least, I finished up this EPP design that I stitched up eons ago. I love the quilting on it and the spiffy red binding. Here's the front: 
And here't the back. My initials & year are in the bottom right corner. I'll be taking it to guild meeting tonight to donate for the auction next month. I hope it finds a good home!

On my walk yesterday, I spied these "soldiers" all in a row. Aren't they cute? Couldn't resist a fungi photo!
Have a great rest of your week!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Weather: It's a-Changin' and a Few Thank-yous

We've been a bit cold here in the Midwest USA which has been exceedingly nice! Truly felt like Fall last week but Summer will be making a comeback this week. Hoping it's a brief one!!

Before I get into what I've been up to on the sewing front, I have a couple of people that I need to thank. First up are my friends Marion, Nancy, and Rosalee for inviting me to Runaway Quilt Retreat.
I talked about it in my last post here. Thank you, Dorothy, for driving us safely there. Last but not least, thank you, Sharon, for telling me about the benefits of getting tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals last home game of the season -- the giveaways included a refrigerator magnet with the 2019 season PLUS a voucher for q free ticket to a game next season. Also, you were SO RIGHT that the Fredbird Express is the best way to get to the game. Got home from retreat Friday afternoon and hubby & I were at the game Wednesday night!

Another thank you goes to Wendy at Sugarlane Quilts. Wendy hosts Friday Night Sew-In once a month virtually. Participants join in from all over the world. After it is all over, Wendy draws a winner for a prize and I won a pattern a couple months ago. It took quite a while for the gift to arrive all the way from Australia but it finally did get here.
Now that business has been taken care of, let's get down to my weekly creative wrap-up. First up is my Loopy Academy project: Lady Claire socks. If you'll recall I needed to find a project that included beads. One sock done and sock #2 well underway.
The color isn't very accurate but at least I got the shot!

Moving along to the Dresden Quilt Workshop project ... I managed to finish one of the weeks and have a good handle on another. Remember how I'd finished these triangles up earlier:
I finished the other half of these triangles. They now look like this:
The next set of blocks find the plates stitched. I just need to applique the centers. Then I'll sew these star blocks up. One is quite in-your-face, the other a bit more subtle. Remember, it takes all kinds!

Recently I joined a table runner club at my local quilt shop. I didn't do the first project but I was up early this morning working on the second project. I pieced the pineapples, got the background fabrics cut, and ironed the pineapples in place. So glad that I'd prepared the fusibles earlier in the week. Aren't they cute?
The project calls for five of these and I have them ready. I'll get the applique done tomorrow because the next table runner meeting is the first Tuesday morning of the month -- Yup, two days away! Working under pressure as usual!

The last thing I want to share is an English paper-pieced project that I finished years ago but never appliqued it down to a background. And done! Next up is the quilting and then finishing it up. My thoughts are leaning towards a nice red binding.

It's a small table topper, approximately 12"x 15" so far. The pieces are very tiny! If I get it done in time, I'm thinking I'll donate it to my guild's auction in November. Money raised goes to bringing in qualified teachers to the guild.
I think that's pretty much it for this week's progress. In case you're wondering, hubby and I have survived week number 4 of retirement! 😁

Linking up with Movin' It Forward on Monday. Check what we've all been up to here.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Week #3 of Hubby's Retirement

For Week #3 of hubby's retirement, I vamoosed to Maple Grove, KY for Runaway Retreat. The original buildings date back into the 1890s or earlier. The Sit 'n' Sew was spacious and the bedding was adequate. After all, how much time do we actually spend in our beds?? The food was fine and the selections were enough to suit probably everyone. The plus side of that is we didn't have to cook or clean up.

The ladies I went with were wonderful and the other 101 ladies at retreat (yes, that's right! There were 107 of us although some were commuters) were hilarious and friendly. Over all I had a good time and would surely consider going again.

Probably the highlight of  retreat was the class I took on Thursday. It was Machine Applique with Alice Ridge. What a delight! She was very prepared, patient, and never lost her sense of humor. She promised to teach five methods of applique and she succeeded: skinny stem, raw-edge, turned under, fusible, and window fusible. All in her class loved her and I'm pretty sure she got glowing recommendations for next year. Hopefully she can come up with some other classes and/or techniques since, besides the class she taught us, she also taught New York Beauty.

While I didn't get my project 100% completed, here's a picture of my accomplishment, front & back. Isn't the back pretty too?

Sorry about the tablecloth showing through my background. It's a cloudy day so indoor pictures are a must. Blech!

I also worked a tad on my embroidery project. If you'll recall, this is a Kathy Schmitz pattern called Be Mine. The only chance I had to work on this was Thursday evening after class and dinner & program. My sewing machine and supplies were packed up after class since I had to take it to a classroom and didn't want to set it up again at Sit 'n' Sew. Looking forward to finishing this one off soon.
My main project for retreat is a pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew. It's called Simplicity and you know what? It truly is! The pattern is written clearly and includes pressing directions. All the pieces go together perfectly and there is only one square's seams that have to matched up even though it looks more complicated than that. Can I say it again? Simplicity!!!!
I'm using a variety of Kansas Troubles fabric lines for the color and the backgrounds were received in a fabric swap many moons ago at a Todd Hall Retreat. This is a picture of four blocks -- I actually sewed up 24 with 15 more to go! I feel like I made a lot of progress on this one!

After I got home yesterday afternoon, read a few blogs, and unpacked a bit, I picked up my knitting to relax a bit. My Lady Claire socks are coming along. I'm working on the heel flap. There were three ways to go with it: Simple Heel, A Little Bit Fancy Heel, and a Decorative Heel. I decided to go middle of the road with the Little Bit Fancy choice.
Today is the first day of Fall and it actually feels like it today. Took Gracie for a long-overdue walk this morning and it was only 59 degrees. Loved it and so did she! Welcome back, Mom!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Are You Impressed?

I am very impressed with my progress if I must say so myself. Probably the most amazing part about that is we've had house guests coming & going for the past two weeks. My husband retired from combined government service after 40 years and our daughter came in from Virginia to celebrate the occasion. In the meantime, my brother and his wife were traveling by car from North Carolina to Colorado Springs to visit their son on Parents Weekend at the U.S. Air Force Academy. My mother  came up to stay with us also while my daughter was here and then to hitch a ride to Colorado with my brother to visit her cadet grandson. After their wonderful weekend, the threesome (my brother, his wife, and Mom) returned for a few more days before my brother and sister-in-law headed home. The same morning they left, we took Daughter to the airport for her return flight. Whew! It was quite a whirlwind, let me tell you!

But enough of all that, look what I managed to fit in. I prepared Liberty by Kathy Schmitz for embroidering. I figured it would be a good project to work on with company around since I didn't have to count stitches or concentrate too hard. Here was my progress when the dust settled down from company.
Then I finished off the embroidery and crafted up a wool flag instead of the fabric accent that came with the pattern.
Yesterday I crept down to the basement and cut the squares needed for the pieced borders. This morning I was up early to piece the borders and sew them on. Ta da!
This was such a fun project that I decided to start another one. This one is called Be Mine and is again by Kathy Schmitz.
While I was downstairs sewing yesterday morning, I also managed to finish Week 3 of Dresden Workshop Quilt by Suz'n Quilts. This is a fun, fun, FUN project and I would encourage you all to visit her blog here and start this project too. She is so thorough in her directions for the perfectly-flat dresden blocks and these are teeny, tiny dresdens! Here's my progress so far. I'm behind two weeks but should be able to make some headway over the next couple of weeks.
To give you some perspective, the dresdens are sitting on 5" squares. Whoa! That's right! The squares are only 5"!

My brother-in-law was working in Hawaii when that hurricane hit there and he had to hunker down for a couple of days. He missed two days of work and had to make up the lost time the following week. This past weekend we were hit by the remnants of Hurricane Gordon. My rain gauge measured a little over 5.5" in about 24 hours. 

Pictures of the backyard pond from our deck. On the left is our dock and on the right is the neighbor's double-decker dock.

Gradually the water subsided. Here are pictures of the same docks after the rain stopped and the water had gone down significantly. I'll say it right up front -- we got a lot of water!

Now all our eyes are on Hurricane Florence heading for South Carolina, North Carolina (brother) and Virginia (daughter). Jeepers! Creepers!  So much wind and rain everywhere!

Gracie & I are looking forward to drier weather this week so we can get back to enjoying our walks. Enjoy your week too! 

I'll be linking up with Moving It Forward with Em's Scrap Bag on Monday morning.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor Day Progress

Didn't have a lot of time to sit down and sew because my house has been busy with company and my honey's retirement. However I did manage to steal down the basement steps a couple of mornings and managed to accomplish a little progress on my Dresden Quilt Workshop project. 
Here are all my Tiny Dresden blocks with a few strips of HSTs.
Here is my progress on the next step. I've got 3 out of 4 tiny blocks completed with petals in my tool box  for the 4th one. I'll need to determine what the centers and backgrounds will be. I'm really loving this project.

In the meantime, I've been embroidering Liberty by Kathy Schmitz. I think it's going to be very nice when done. After the embroidery is done, there is a quilted border to piece. Got my fabrics picked out so the hard part is done.

While my daughter has been visiting, we went to the St. Louis Zoo. Here are a couple of pictures I took.
 Zebra baby was adorable!
I love the colors on these King Penguins. I keep thinking I'll make a quilt with their colors: black, gray, white, yellow, and a smidge of orange. Took the picture to remind me! *wink*

We also enjoyed a rousing game of putt-putt. Thankfully it wasn't too hot by Midwest Standards. Sarah was the winner. You know how it is, parents have to "let" the child win. Lol!

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Couple of Finishes

Yes, you read that right. I actually finished a couple of my projects. Here's a picture of my knitted socks. Check out the colors on both. Matching up pretty good, wouldn't you say?
The yarn did all the color work but I had to make them match up. You do that at the very beginning. There's no pattern here. I knitted them two-at-a-time cuff-down. The only pattern I did was knit 4, purl 1. Simple, a little stretchy, pretty!
I put them in the flowers because I thought the sock colors  went well with the vincas and zinnias.

I also managed to finish the binding on My Gold Star. I rinsed it, blocked it, and hung it. Yay!
A few pictures of the quilting are also in order.

I really love it. It'll hang in my guild's quilt show coming up next June!

While Week 3 has been posted in the Dresden Quilt Workshop Quilt-a-Long (hereafter known as DQW), I'm still working on Week 2. It's not too late to join in. You can find all the details HERE, including how to buy a fabric kit or how much fabric you'll need if going to your stash. Suzn Quilts is our hostess and the pattern designer. She did her quilt in Jen Kingwell fabrics. I decided to use up some of my French General fabric. I'll need to use some other fabrics as well, being careful that they blend in OK. Here's a picture of my start.
These adorable dresdens are sewn onto 5" squares. Teeny! Our next assignement is due Wednesday but I have company coming in tomorrow right through Labor Day and leaving the following Friday. Yup! Gonna be behind! Oh well, such is life.

I just had a thought: you could click on the DQW link and probably be way ahead of me before I start the next step! Haha!

In the meantime, I figured I'd better get another project lined up, one that doesn't require much thought, one that can be worked on while enjoying my company. I think this little embroidery will fill the bill! It's called Liberty by Kathy Schmitz. I traced it up on my light box, a Christmas gift from my daughter not too long ago, backed it with muslin, picked out my thread, and got a few stitches in. What do you think? Think I'll have it done by next 4th of July? Lol?

Have a great week!

Linking up with Movin' It Forward Monday! Link found HERE!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

FNSI Update & Movin' It Forward

The weekend has flown by and I almost forgot to post my Friday Night Sew-In. Wendy, our charming hostess, reminds us to sign up mid-week of the 3rd week of the month and then it is our duty (yes, duty!) to post what we worked on Friday night and put a post on our blog. So without further adieu, I worked on the binding for My Big Gold Star. Here it is in my lap complete with binding clips: 
In case you forgot what the front looked like, here it is before it was quilted by moi:
I also used my sewing machine to make the label.
It's a little hard to read --
My Big Gold Star
Aka Miss Millie's
Mystery Quilt
Sue Hoover
Troy IL

And now back to finishing up my binding ....

Linking up with Wendy at Sugarlane Quilts. Stop by to see what all of us worked on!

Also thanks to Em for weekly catch-ups on her Movin' It Forward link, to which I'll be linking up, of course. The girls here are incredibly talented also and you can see what they've been up to this past week by clicking here