Monday, July 28, 2014

The Winners Are

A winning smile makes winners of us all. 
Unknown



Well another week has flown by.  Today has been a bit frustrating.  My earpiece on my glasses broke and I so my view of the world is a bit cockeyed.  Makes more eyestrain than usual and corresponding headache.

I have pulled out a couple of older projects.  I'm tired of having so many UFOs hanging about.  They clutter up the studio and my brain.  This one is a modern piece I did at a sewing machine dealer class.  It just needs borders.  I put up several choices.  Which one do you like best.



I think it needs a small black border to start with.  If I use the mottled black that is in the geese I'll have to piece it because I have very little left.




This one I've shown on the blog before.  I still need to add the borders.  This curved piecing was a lot of work and I have been disappointed in it.  I just didn't put enough contrast in the fabric choices to make it visually interesting.  Up close it is OK.  I just need to finish it and move on.  The quilting may help pull it together.




Here's a closeup shot. It has a very African feel.  The masks fabric is an African one.





I have been working on blocks from an old BOM that I designed when I had the shop.  They are in 30s prints.  It's amazing how I have pulled fabrics from the 30s bin for 2 bed size tops and it has not made a noticeable dent and the bin isn't a very deep one.

Moving on to today's news... the Winners as selected in a set of Random Intergers:


Congrats to:  #23 GranChris
                       #29 Jusmom1
 and                #34 Margaret

I'll get your prizes in the mail as soon as I get all the contact info from you.

Thanks again to all my wonderful Followers!  Your comments and encouragement keep me going and give me many smiles.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Color is RED

A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. 
Albert Einstein


For the Giveaway for my Followers CLICK HERE

Now for a look at what I have been up to lately.  I have been on a bit of a reading binge for a few weeks but I have also gotten a bit of piecing done.  I spent some time figuring out how I am coming on my Reading Challenge over the weekend and will be updating my list soon.  The tab for the page about it is at the top of the blog.  The Month Challenge is almost complete but I am not making very much progress on the Color Challenge.  I need to check out some books with colors in the title at the library.

I am so enjoying the Soul Searching blocks that I have been making for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I think I will have to make another one just because they are so easy and rewarding.  This month is RED.



I wish it would photography as bright as it really is.  Some of the fabrics are slightly orange-red and they just aren't showing up that way even with my color adjustments.

I have also been sewing away at these 9 inch Jacob's Ladder variation blocks.  The pretty little 30s prints aren't showing up in the photos but they look nice and bright in real life.  The pattern calls for 48 and this is the ones I've done so far.  I still have a stack of green ones to go as well as some repeats of colors I've used in some of these.





There are some RED ones and a lot of pink and blue.  I don't have much purple and only one peach.  It's tempting to go buy a few more but that would not be using up what I have.




The pattern calls for a small triangle to be sewn on the corners of the plain white squares.  I haven't decided if I am going to do that yet.





I have a chain piecing system going for making these that I'll share with you if anyone is interested in seeing it.  It make things go fairly quickly and keeps the triangles from getting turned in the wrong direction about 98 percent of the time.  LOL  I've still managed to get 2 or 3 flipped.




The pattern called for the blocks to be all one fabric like this.  I thought when I was cutting it out that I might like them to be two colors with a different print for the chain.  I laid a couple out that way and was shocked that I didn't like it.  



Here is the layout.  If I turn the blocks like this and don't add the corner triangles there will be big white squares there.  I'm still debating.  I do like the pieced border although the symmetry is off.  There are 2 dark corners and 2 white corners.  Does things like that bother you?

Linking with: Freemotion by the River and Building Blocks Tuesday and Patchwork Times

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Giveaway for My Followers

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. 
Brian Tracy


Somehow the last week just flew by and so did this one.  Rather than share what I've been working on I'll just share some of the flowers that are blooming in my yard.  Then I'll show you what I'm putting in my Giveaway.  One of the reasons for this Giveaway is because I passed the 100,000 page views and I have 324 followers through Bloglovin now.  Thank you all very much for being interested in what I have to say and make.

Since I can't send you flowers of thanks I'll just share the pictures of the ones in my yard this week.  After having these come up for 3 years they finally bloomed this year.  There are a couple of new ones that have come up this year.  Apparently they have to grow a year or so before blooming.



We have several crepe myrtle trees and this is the largest one.  It has grown a lot in the last year and has never had so many blooms.  We are debating as to whether or not we need to trim it back so it doesn't overhang the porch roof.




The color is so rich and deep. Each blooming cluster is made up of many smaller blossoms.





The yellow cone flowers came up again this year.  Not as many as the past few years but they are still pretty.  The variations in the amount of brown in the different flowers is interesting.





One of the chrysanthemums we have blooms during the summer.  The others wait to show off in the fall.  They were from my Mother's funeral several years ago.





So the prizes I had selected back before the 4th got buried under some other things when we were cleaning up for the family coming over.  They finally surfaced this week.  I also came up with another one.  I hope you like them.



The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a novel about 6 new quilters taking their first quilting class.  It is a heart warming story that gives insight into the divergent personalities that are drawn to quilting.






Northwoods Retreat by Brenda Henning is filled with great patterns using the stained glass applique technique.  I've used this method before and it works well.  Good patterns for men are sometimes hard to find and this one has a great ones.  Brenda is one of my favorite quilt book authors.






Quilt Your Stash is a special edition magazine that surfaced in my studio.  I don't remember how I got it but it is filled with 10 projects that would be suitable for beginners or for quick gifts.  I think they would appeal to many quilters.

How to Win:

There will be 3 Winners selected.  This Giveaway is for Followers of my blog only (new or old)!  To be included in the drawing leave a comment stating how you follow me and tell me what your favorite linky party is and whether you like to link up weekly or monthly.  If you are a no reply blogger be sure to leave your email info.

Drawing will close at midnight EST July 27.  The Winners will be selected and announced Monday, July 28.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

June Report

Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January. 
Hal Borland


Summer is definitely here!  The temps this week have been hovering in the upper 90s and in the cars over 100.  I hope all of you who were complaining about the long cold winter are enjoying it.

We started out the Summer with a bang of expenses.  We had to replace the main floor AC and the grill.  Glad we got it done before this week's heat hit!  The grill arrived Tuesday and we will be using it tomorrow.  All the kids are to come over and the grands.  It's been a while since they were all here and they will get to meet little Maggie Rose.

In case you haven't met her yet here she is:


This is what she does most of the time - sleep.  That is a good thing!

I finally got back to my studio in the past week and added to the Sound Check blocks.  Here is the collection so far.  The pattern calls for 30 so I'm over halfway there.  I've finished 3 more this week that aren't pictured and have the rest at least cut out and started.  I think I'm over my crush on solids now and just want these finished and done.

The colors aren't showing up very well in the photos.  There is no yellow, that is a lime green. Each block is a color and black or a color and gray.  I've got two shades of gray below and there is a third going in the final blocks.  I don't think there will be any duplicate blocks.  The same color may be used twice but it will be once with black and once with gray.  A couple of the blues are really close in value though so they may look alike but they are different when side by side.  This is a roll over for the Let's Book It Challenge since it is taking more than one month to complete.





I also found time to get the June yellow Soul Searching block made for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Again it didn't show up well color wise in the photo.  These are all mostly bright lemon yellows with just the darker ones leaning towards gold.  I need to add another light to my design wall for photography.





I also got a little cutting out done.  I've cut out a few recieving blankets that will just need a hem.  I might make some bibs from the scraps.

I also got most of the 30s prints cut for this one:




I had wanted to be working along on it and another one with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge but have not got around to getting it started.  The Soul Searching Quilt only has 9 blocks so I will need something to fill in the Fall months anyway.  I'm hoping I can get the batik one going soon too.  It looks like this:



The year is half over now so I should get going on what I planned to start in January don't you think?  I'm trying to decide if I want to go to the AQS Show in Charlotte or Chattanooga or both.  Any of you going?  It might be fun to meet up.

For all my USA readers I hope you have a great 4th of July Weekend!  I'm planning to do a Lo Country Boil.  I haven't tried it before so I hope it turns out will.  DH is hinting for some cheesecake too.  I think I better get going on the housework and grocery shopping!

I'll be starting the Giveaway for my followers next week.  It is coming, just be patient.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

May Report

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. 
Martha Graham

I did get a few things done in May that I wanted to share with you.  The first project is a new one.  When I saw this design I wanted to try it.  I already had my solids and some black fabric out so I decided to go for it.




Here are the blocks I have finished so far.  I didn't follow the construction directions in the magazine but the results are the same.




I also finished this top.  I told you about this project back in this post.  The link to the Missouri Star video is there too.  This is a great project!  Just two seams per block.  It used a jelly roll and 5 inch squares.  It turned out about 65" x 93".  I may decide to shorten it by one row but since the fabrics are unwashed it will probably lose at least 3 inches in the quilting and shrinkage in the wash.  I think it will be just about right for a twin bed.  I don't plan on adding a border at this point.
  

I also got my Soul Searching block done for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in green.  I went with mostly lime greens.




It's nice to see the progress I made in May.  Now I need to find some time in June to get some longarm quilting done.  I am way behind there.  I think I will make my June goal to get at least two tops quilted.  It won't be happening while I'm pulling Grandma duty next week with little Miss Maggie.  If you didn't meet her look at my previous post.  I have the weekend off  while the new family has some bonding time at home.  New Dad goes back to work Monday so I'll be busy then.

Linking with:  Rainbow Scrap Challenge and Something Old Something New and Finish it up Friday

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Small and New

Everyone knows that by far the happiest and universally enjoyable age of man is the first. What is there about babies which makes us hug and kiss and fondle them, so that even an enemy would give them help at that age? 
Desiderius Erasmus




There is a new little person in my life this week who will be taking away some of my blogging time.  Meet Margaret Rose "Maggie".  She arrived Monday by C-Section and weighed 7.15lbs. and was 20 inches long.  This pictures was made when she was just  a few hours old.  I will get some better ones when she is at home.

Babies need a lot of stuff as well as a lot of attention.  Here are some of the burp clothes I made a few weeks ago.  I split them between my daughter and my niece who had a baby at the end of April.  I found the diapers a Kmart.  They are harder to locate than they used to be and come in packs of 10 instead of 12 these days.



I finally stitched something on my embroidery machine.  I did it on a small piece of white flannel and added that to the diaper like I did the others.  The red ribbon accent set it off just right I think.  Now I need to get some onesies done.




The long cold winter this year had the amaryllis blooming along with the Asian Lilies this time.  They didn't seem as deep in color this time for some reason.





Babies grow up so fast!  This little blue eyed boy turned one a couple of weeks ago and is walking.  Since brown eyes are what both his parents have and what my husband and I and all four of our kids have we have been so happy and surprised at his big blue ones.  I wonder what he will think of his new cousin?



I'm going to delay the Giveaway drawing for a while until I am more available to answer the comments.  I'll be a busy Grandma for a while until Mama is back on her feet again.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Random Gratitudes and Complaints

Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory. 
Robert Benchley

I am an avid reader.  I have been since grade school it is an ongoing obsession.  When I was young I daydreamed about how it would have been so great to live in a previous era.  As I grew older and faced some of the harsher realities of life I realized that I wouldn't have lived very long if I had been born in a different time.

It is very likely I would have died from the pneumonia I had at age 6 or the appendicitis I had at age 10.  Modern medicine has saved me several times and I am grateful even though I complain about the number of pills I take daily.  I am thankful for all the great modern conveniences we have too.

Here are the pictures of a few from the good old days that I'm glad I don't have to use.  I do remember helping my Mother use a wringer washer when I was very young.  I wasn't allowed near it most of the time but the turning of the handle fascinated me.  The tub was electric but the water had to be drained and filled with the hose.  No automatic cycles just an agitator.  I saw one very similar but didn't get a picture at one of the Antique Malls on vacation.  

I had heard of Coleman Irons but never seen one.  This one was in great shape and a pretty blue.  Have you known anyone that used one?  I have a couple of the old Sad Irons that my Mother used before she had electricity.  The were just heated at the fire or on the wood stove.



 This is a tabletop wringer.  It clamps to the table.  These things were very hard on buttons.  That's why Grandmother always kept a button box.


This contraption unfolded on each side to hold a wash and rinse tub.  The wringer is in the middle.  It was the smallest model I've seen.  There were some that were much larger.



Just think of having to pump the water at the well, heat it at the fire or wood stove and then move it to the wash bucket.  Scrub the clothes.  Rinse them, then hang them to dry.  There would have been a lot of children to keep clean.  Having baby diapers to deal with in the winter would not have been a small chore either.

Aren't you glad for modern washers and dryers?

This display reminded me of some of my all time favorite commercials.  Do you remember the ones from the California Raisin Commission?




Are you singing 'I heard it from the grape vine' yet?  I think these were in the McDonald's kids meals for a while.  I know my kids had a few of them but I'd never seen this many.  My other all time favorite commercial is the Taco Bell chihuahua saying "Lizard, Lizard".  I had hoped that they would do another round of those with the new Godzilla movie but they didn't.  We went to see it last week.  It was good, it lasts over 2 hours so I felt like I was getting my monies' worth.  ( I feel cheated by the short ones! )

You'd think that a major chain would have a proof reader check the spelling on their packaging before thousands are produced.  Even spell check should have caught this one.



Just to prove I am a normal quilter here is a picture of the stash enhancement that found it's way home with me.  Batiks and black and white prints.  Alas there has been a few more purchases since these were made also.  I need to get back on the fabric diet.  There was also a Hoffman Batik strip pack that I didn't get a picture of.  The rainbow stripe will make a great binding.  





I have been doing some sewing and got a top together this week.  I share it soon as well as some of the other special things I've been working on.

Exciting News!  I went over the 100,000 pageview mark this week!  I'll be announcing a Giveaway for my followers in the next few days.  I've also written over 200 posts now and went over the 300 followers mark on Bloglovin.  Thank you all for reading my ramblings!
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