Monday, April 29, 2019

Movin' It Forward Monday

Today's weather (and for most of the week for that matter) calls for rain so I'm singing "Rainy Days & Mondays" but it doesn't bring me down. Lol! Part of the reason I'm happy is because this is soup weather and I've got a lamb (leftover from Easter last weekend) & barley soup simmering on the stove. It will also have carrots, potatoes, and parsnips in it. YUM!!!

I worked this weekend on my cross-stitch while watching all kinds of sports:  NC State softball Friday evening and Saturday & Sunday afternoons, St. Louis Cardinals baseball all weekend, and St. Louis Blues hockey Saturday. Got quite a bit done. Here are my before & after pictures.
March 15

Doesn't look like a lot but, you have to remember, these are tiny, tiny Xs!

Of course I've also moved along on the RSC19 Tiny Tuesday blocks as well
I think I should have made the background fabric the spinner and the spinner blue the background. Not a very pretty block all by itself with the confetti frame but I figure it won't matter in the grand scheme of the final quilt. If it truly bothers me later, I'll re-do it but for now, it stays!

Have a great week and pick a project - whether crafty or organizational or gardening -- and Move It Forward!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Scrappiness Happiness

On Wednesday I grabbed my box of blue scraps and pulled all the aqua and aqua-ish scraps I could find. Then I sewed and sewed. Introducing my Aqua String-X block!
Do you see that aqua poodle fabric? ❤
And here it is with its friends from the previous Rainbow Scrap Challenge months.
This quilt is going to be amazing! Thanks, Em, for Scrap Happy Saturdays!

And thank you to Bonnie Hunter for the FREE String-X Pattern!

Also linking up with Lori atHumble Quilts!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Movin' It Forward

For this week's Movin' It Forward, I have a couple of things to share. First up, I finished Block #1 of Hospital Sketches from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts

I have totally decided that these blocks are too intense for me so I'll finish this quilt-a-long doing the smaller versions of the next blocks. They will surround this monster! Lol!

I also moved along on the Bloom Quilt-a-Long. I finished the applique on the block on the right and am diligently working on the block on the left.
I also set up the next two blocks and will try to get them finished up this week sometime.
You can look in on Em's Scrap Bag HERE to see what we've all been up to this past week. Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

FNSI, Bloomers, and Tiny Tuesday

Good morning! The weatherman has given us the prediction of a beautiful Easter weekend with chance of rain again ALL NEXT WEEK! And so Spring begins ....

Tuesday the Tiny Tuesday block was revealed and wow! Was it ever a cute one!!! Special thanks to Mari at The Academic Quilter for bringing us the spinner block directions! I downloaded the directions and set to sewing on TUESDAY!!!
I want to thank my friend Diane W. for sharing oodles of polka dot fabrics with me. She generously gave me a Jumbo Baggy filled to the rim with fabric and they were all polka dots! Some of her gifted fabrics make up this block. You're sure to see a lot of dots from me over the next few months!

While I was at the sewing machine, I figured I could also put the border on the previous churn dash block.
From this ....

To this!
I was also looking forward to sewing with my global friends over at Friday Night Sew-In. I knew I'd better get some prep work done first. I also knew the Bloomers Party would be Saturday so that made up my mind on what I would be doing on Friday night. Catch what the other FNSI ladies were doing here. Wendy hosts a lovely party every month from Australia and we stitchers gather monthly from all over the world. Such talent and generosity!!!
I matched fabric with pattern and interfacing pieces. Then I sewed around all the pieces in the afternoon. Isn't this a lovely pile?

So what did I do all Friday night while watching the Cardinals play baseball? Turned them all right side out and got them finger pressed. Here are the individual parts per block.
Block #9
Block #10

Block #11
Block #12

So now to add the stems and press these to the background blocks. I'll certainly be busy stitching it all down between this weekend and the first weekend in May when the next Bloomers Party will happen!

One last thing. I thought I'd share this picture with you from my walk yesterday. I just love these little umbrella plants. They make me wonder if they  could have once been an inspiration for some of David Chihuly's artworks. 
Have a Happy & Blessed Easter!

Linking up with Cheryll at Gone Stitchin' for the Bloomer Party here and Em at So Scrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday here .

Monday, April 15, 2019

Gone again!

Having just returned from another, but short this time, vacation, I will look back on last week and share with you what I managed to get done last week. Thank goodness I have my pictures to look back on to refresh my memory.

On Tuesday, I was down at Mom's because she was getting a new back door installed. With this new door, she was also getting a storm door and a dead bolt. I can't believe that this is her first dead bolt. Back in the day you could trust your neighborhood but she's been living in the same house since 1970 -- that's 49 years this summer! Here's a picture. Doesn't it look nice? I told her I'll come down with a bucket of paint and give that kitchen a fresh look! 
As I walked around her backyard, look what I spied down in her basement window wells!
One bunny in the left well

Two bunnies in the right well. Look closely!

So that left Wednesday to sew since there would be vacation preparation on Thursday. We were leaving Friday morning.

Tiny Tuesday for this week was Courthouse Steps. We could choose whatever we wanted in the middle so I went complementary. As you can tell I don't have a lot of aqua but everyone seems to be using "colors of the ocean" so this is mine. The colors are off a little but not really that much. Good enough for me!

I found this project partly started. The wool applique was done and the pieced fabrics had been chosen. Not sure what order I was going in but they were chosen. Managed to sew up the pieced block and get the light yellow borders on. I also have the batting & backing cut. I just need to find some time to quilt it up and sew a little button eye on!

On Friday, we drove to South Bend, Indiana. Most of you may recognize this town as home to Notre Dame University. My niece was playing softball for NC State there and we told her that was a location that we could make .... and so we did. Boy! Was it ever cold with the "winter cyclone" getting ready to blow through! Thankfully it was mostly sunny. The games were supposed to be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday but, with the impending storm and cold about to hit on Sunday there, we played one game Friday and a double-header on Saturday. We drove home Sunday in drizzly, miserable rain.
Notre Dame Softball Stadium
Mom in between Saturday's
double-header games
Kelli up to bat!
My brother & his wife will be passing through here after dinner. They'll spend the night with us and take off to return home tomorrow morning. I'll make a breakfast casserole later this evening, "Elvis Presley" cinnamon rolls in the morning, and serve oranges & coffee in the morning. I always look forward to company!

Have a great week!

Linking up late with Movin' It Forward Monday!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Tiny Tuesday Catch-Up & Winner-Winner!

This morning I woke up bright-eyed and ready to finish off last week's Tiny Tuesday. That would catch me up to tomorrow's post and make me happy. So I did!
April's RSC color is aqua and I surprised myself by finding a good amount of this color in the stash. This week's block was a modified churn dash and we must thank Be A  Quilter for drafting this up for us. My center is actually a very dark aqua so just squint your eyes and imagine that! I know it's hard since that little square measures only 1/2"! I'm sharing my block with Em and all on Movin' It Forward HERE.
Couldn't resist sharing another dresden plate pieced together while sewing up my churn dash! If you don't already, you really, really, really need to take advantage of leaders & enders.

Winner-Winner is just that -- two winners to report. First off a BIG THANK YOU to Becky Goldsmith and her blog Piece o' Cake. Every Wednesday there's a giveaway and, while I was gadding about earlier this month, the random generator picked me!
Have you ever heard of these needles? I hadn't but I'm very excited to try these side-threading needles. I think they'll come in handy for tying off ends while quilting and also when I'm embroidering and don't quit until I'm at the very end of my thread! Ha! Lots of sizes for different projects and gold eyes to help these old eyes thread the needles.

The second win came yesterday afternoon in several ways. I had picked up tickets at Scott AFB for Military Appreciation Day at Busch Stadium yesterday. It was the Season Home Stand Opener at Busch Stadium and the St. Louis Cardinals had already dumped the first two of a three game series. First of all, the tickets were only $16 each. They included a free jumbo hot dog and soda. After checking the food prices at the stadium, the seats were practically free! Yikes! Also the weather forecast earlier in the week called for a rainy Sunday and yet once again they were wrong! It was a beautiful day -- 80 degrees with a cool breeze.
Our view pretty much

Mom & Fred
Did you know there is Happy Hour at Busch Stadium? I'm not sure if this new or just new to us but, if you go to the Budweiser Burger Bar, 12 oz cans of Busch, Bud, or Natural Light are only $5 --- but only until first pitch! Since we were thirsty from walking from the Redbird Express bus to the stadium, we took advantage! It was also Cardinal Windbreaker giveaway day. Check out Fred sporting his already!

Let me sum up our Cardinal Day for you: $16 got us a shaded seat with a nice view, a jumbo hot dog and drink, a Cardinal Windbreaker, and a firework celebration for the win! What a fabulous day!

And on that note, I wish YOU a fabulous day today!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Friday Night With Friends

Last night (and actually even yesterDAY) I made sure to spend some time with fabric. I'll try to catch you up with my fiddlings.

Thursday I woke up early -- as in 3:15am -- just needing to get into my sewing room. As I laid in bed I thought back and knew I was 3 blocks behind in my Tiny Tuesday blocks. I managed to put together this scrappy owl. Isn't he adorable??? Just 4-1/2" tall, there were lots of little pieces but I managed. He still needs his frame and I'll get to that in the next few days. Don't you think a whole quilt of owls would be cute? But I'd recommend doubling his size!
Tiny Tuesday Owl
As we all know, leaders & enders allow you to accomplish more quilting in between your current project. I got these two dresden plates sewn up while piecing my owl with the crazy eyes! Lol!
The red dresdens will join my green ones. The centers aren't sewn on yet but they are prepared. Going to be a pretty quilt as I sew along with Susan & friends HERE. As you can see, I'm very much behind but I'm assured that there is no pressure! Ha!

Yesterday afternoon I managed to squeeze in a little more time in the sewing room. Here is the last of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge green blocks for Tiny Tuesdays. This was a super easy block to piece after Mr. Owl and look! I even got this one framed! April's RSC color is AQUA. I'm not sure I have enough scraps of that color. May have to either dig deep or pick my own color this month.

Check out that third red dresden plate with the polka dots! Got it assembled while sewing together the Green Umbrella! Did I tell you how much I love the leaders & enders concept?
This brings me to last night, Friday Night With Friends. I happened to be reading Bonnie Hunter's blog and she reminded her readers about Quilt Cam at 8pm EDT (7pm here in the Midwest!). I thought how that was perfect timing -- I could sew with ALL my friends, including Bonnie Hunter! As the hubby was doing his thing, I plugged in the headset to my laptop and sewed with Bonnie too! You can watch last night's Quilt Cam HERE.

I don't know if you can see it, but I prepped the rest of the centers for the dresden plates for the Merry Christmas Sew-a-Long. Not a hard project but lots of tiny stitches in a circle means you can't just whip along! Eighteen centers done, which includes the five that were done earlier sitting on the green plates, and only eight plates ready. Must.keep.sewing.dresden.plates!
After Quilt Cam was over, I suggested we watch an episode of NCIS on-demand. With our travels we had missed the last one and hubby was in favor. I decided to work on Hospital Sketches. Again, it doesn't look like much but I'm satisfied.

My needle is sitting on a leaf that I was working on after finishing the three leaves above that pink flower. When my thread runs out, I'll go back and get that flower!
Hospital Sketches, of Barabara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog, is coming right along and looks really pretty. I plan on following a little different plan. I think that is a wise decision since I'm having trouble even remotely keeping up. This 18" block will go in the middle and I'll applique the Bloom Blocks to surround it. They're smaller, less complicated versions of the intended blocks.
I'll leave you with one more picture from our vacation. This is Mom & me enjoying a little sunshine during Amanda's baby shower. We are sporting our special ribbons that Amanda got for us. Mom's says "Great Grandma-to-Be" and mine says "Grandma-to-Be". That daughter-in-law is so thoughtful!
Linking up with Scrap Happy HERE and Friday Night With Friends HERE.

Friday, April 5, 2019

I'm Baaa-aaack!


It's been forever since I last blogged but I had good reason. We went on a little trip - twelve days gone! And then there was the prep days ahead of it and the returning-to-normal days afterwards. On top of that, I got our taxes done just before we loaded up the car plus did a bunch of work for my guild's quilt show, including getting car signage ordered and picked up and my progress report written since I wouldn't be attending the quilt show meeting. Whew! Exhausted just remembering all of that!

I'd like to take a moment to tell you about our taxes. We, like a lot of folks, got a bigger return on our federal moolah. Maybe it was because my husband retired last year and started drawing his pension plus social security. I don't know but it made me happy. What didn't make me happy was ALL THE PAPERWORK this year. We rolled all of our 401k funds over, bought out his military retirement and transferred the time to civil service, and probably other stuff too. Anyway so much paperwork was involved this year. I hope 2019 filing is only half this bad!

On with our trip! I was surprised to see snow in eastern PA since it was the end of March.

First stop was Spring Lake Heights, NJ for my cousin's daughter's bridal shower & luncheon. It was quite the shindig! Can you say fancy??? There were approximately 75 of us to celebrate and it started out with an antipasto platter and make your own Bellinis with a champagne fountain. Next was spring salads and entree choice between Chicken Marsala, Crab-Stuffed Sole, and Penne Regatta. There were platters of Italian cookies (including cannolis!) and a pseudo wedding cake for dessert. There were also games and I came in 2nd on one of them. Here's my "Win-Win" picture.
Grapefruit Bellini with strawberry and my prize: Figi White Sands Hand Soap with Coconut Oil
One of the main reasons this was an important event to attend (besides it's all about family) was for my mother to see her older sister. It's been over a year since she saw her and my Aunt Jinny's health was in question. Here's a picture of the two of them with Katie, the soon-to-be bride.

Mom (85 YO), Aunt Jinny (90), and Katie (?)
Megan (Billy's Girlfriend), Billy (brother of the bride),
Shawn (bride's father), Katie (bride), & Theresa (mother of the bride) -
Bride's Family in the Back Row
Ellen in the front row
Ellen & Shawn (Brother & Sister) are my cousins
The next day we packed out and visited with another brother/sister duo of cousins. Spent a few hours visiting and catching up with them. Sadly I forgot to take any pictures! Loser!!!

We then drove from Spring Lake Hgts NJ to Aberdeen Proving Grounds MD. We checked in at the TLF (temporary lodging facilities) which is currently contracted out to Holiday Inn Express. The building has been there a while but the beds were comfy and we had a full kitchen. There was also a full breakfast served every morning. We stayed there three nights and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Maybe we didn't get the cinnamon rolls that Holiday Inn Express is famous for but we also got a substantially reduced rate. Not a bad compromise!

The reason for the visit was to see where Aunt Jinny was now living -- Caraway II Assisted Living in Elkton MD. The staff seemed very nice and quite efficient and caring. Unfortunately as we were leaving Aberdeen heading south, we received notice that Aunt Jinny had been admitted into the hospital due to fever and possible pneumonia. Mom was very concerned. However, the next day we received word that my aunt was on the mend, no pneumonia but the fever was due to an UTI. (On our drive home, we received further word that Aunt Jinny was out of the hospital and back to Caraway.)

Next stop was Waldorf MD. I was very excited to see Sarah, Jared, and Amanda of course, but it was Brody Charles Hoover that I really wanted to meet.
Selfie with Brody! Lol!
We enjoyed four nights with the kids. First day I ran down to LaPlata to one of my all-time favorite quilt stores: Material Girls Fabric Boutique. I bought a couple background fabrics, a pair of matching Moda Candies, and these:
I loved the basket-weave colors and those plump chickens & polka dots just HAD to come home with me! Lol! That night Sarah joined Fred, Mom, and me for a seafood dinner at Captain Billy's. Crabs are not in season yet so we had to make due with scallops, tilapia, rockfish, and shrimp. Poor us! Hahaha!

The 2nd day there was Amanda's baby shower. It was quite a full house and she received a lot of gifts for the baby. Jared was up bright & early to start smoking two pork butts for pulled pork sandwiches. Later he grated two heads of cabbage for the accompanying cole slaw.
Let the shredding begin!

Jared working hard yet enjoying it!
Baby Shower Table of Goodies
My Cupcake - YUM!


Stuff, stuff, and MORE stuff!

Jared & Sadie enjoying the gift-opening
Family Portrait 2019
Amanda, Jared, Sarah, Me, Mom, & Fred
On our last day, the guys relaxed while Amanda put together the "family cradle" for Brody and washed & put away the clothes & blankets she received at the shower. Mom, Sarah, and I went to a winery located not even 15 minutes away from where Jared & Amanda live. We enjoyed getting out and tasting some local wines and just enjoying each other's company and conversation.

We left the next day, making sure we stopped in Lewisburg WV for lunch at Arby's. Jared & Amanda recommended it as one of the nicest Arby's they've eaten at and food is fresh, hot, and plentiful. We totally agreed!

After spending the night in Ashland KY. we were on the road again making time to stop at a Rest Area. I had made chicken salad before leaving MD and we ate the sandwiches that I made. It was chilly but nice to eat al fresco.

Sheep farm located behind the Rest Stop. Beautiful!
We made it home that afternoon around 3:00 with just enough time to get Gracie from the kennel, pick up milk and salad fixings at Aldi's, order pizza for delivery at 6:00, and grab a glass of wine to watch Jeopardy. My brother & sister-in-law arrived  at about 5:15 on their way through to MO so they could enjoy pizza & wine dinner with all of us! Cheers!

PS: I WARNED YOU THIS WAS LONG!!!! Sewing pictures will be posted tomorrow and I'll be linking up with Friday Night Sewing with Friends!