"Make what you want to make, and make it the way you want to make it." Gwen Marston

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Will it ever be Spring?

It's still cold and rainy here.  At least everything is green and lush!  And I think Spring green is just the prettiest color, after the drab grays and browns of winter.  Any day now . . . .

I've had some luck with blog drawings lately, scoring two wins!  Yesterday this beautiful package of luscious wool arrived from Cathi at Shakerwood Woolens.  You can also find her on Facebook.
My other prize was from Pam Buda at Heartspun Quilts.  I got to choose my own pattern, and I chose this beauty.  I love 'old fashioned' patterns, and can't wait to get started on this.  I think I already have the perfect fabric in my stash.
My green scraps for RSC16 have been cut and will be put together into blocks in the next day or two.
Gifted Gorgeousness is progressing nicely.  I hand stitch with a group two afternoons a month, and this is the perfect project to take along.  There are nine stitcheries, and I hope to get a little ahead so I can assemble the quilt before Christmas.  THis was a kit I won from Kaaren at  The Painted Quilt a couple of years ago.
If you haven't been over to visit Kaaren for awhile, you may have missed out on this SAL.  I loved the quilt so much I rushed out to buy fabric and get my top sewed.  Then I spent half a day looking for just the right backing fabric.  I hope to get it sandwiched and basted today, and then I'll start quilting on Thursday.  No pictures just yet, so hop over to see Kaaren's.
I debated over making mine in another color, but the yellow just called out to me!

I went to a friend's house this past weekend for a mini retreat.  She is hand quilting a quilt that was pieced by her mother for a grandchild's graduation.  DK has never actually finished a quilt before, although she started a couple of small items years ago.  She is making fantastic progress, and I helped her make the binding, which will be attached very soon!  I took hand projects to work on, and made some progress on my GFG.  My goal is to work on it daily, and perhaps have it finished this year.  I started it in 2010, so it's time.  Many of the hexies are from One Flower Wednesday and from a monthly hexie swap.  I loved making the hexie flowers, but I do NOT like sewing them all together.

I guess that sums up the month so far.  With all the rain and dreary weather we've been having, I have plenty of time to stitch.

Hoping for Spring....... Sunny

Monday, May 2, 2016

Fun with Flossie!

While I was cleaning and organizing about a month ago, I found a book that I had forgotten I bought.  I bet no one else has ever done that, right?  So I've been acquiring some fabric, a little here and a little there.

This is going to be a challenge for me, as there are no patterns for the 121 blocks.  A few are simple, and I can measure and cut with no problem.  I think many of them will be paper pieced.  To make it a little more challenging, I decided to dust off my Featherweight machine for the piecing.  I've had it for about five years and I've never used it.  I've named her Flossie, and I'm sure we're going to become very good friends.  My research tells me she's from 1935.

I finished a very simple block this afternoon, and am almost finished with the second.  To do that, I needed to thread it, and adjust the tension.  I'm used to automatic thread cutting, needle down, and automatic presser foot up and down.  I think I'll catch on to this pretty quickly though.

Late last night, I put the final stitches in my first May finish.  These aren't my usual colors, but I really love this!  The baskets are scrappy log cabins, from a fat quarter bundle I've had for years.  I just had to add the background and borders.  It measures about 35" square and will soon be hanging on a wall.

Now, back to stitching.....Sunny

Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring has sprung!

DH and I took a short vacation last week, meeting up with his brother and sil for a few days.  I took pictures of my projects before we left, thinking I would do a blog post while away.  Unfortunately, the hotel WiFi wasn't working, so no blogging happened.   There was much chatting, hiking, walking, eating, and picture taking so the lack of WiFi was not a major issue.  There may have been a couple of Margaritas, also.
The week before we left, I completed my monthly projects for RSC16.  You can follow the link to see the other creative uses for the color orange that are being made around the world.  Angela keeps us on our toes, and provides a weekly link-up for sharing.  Anyone can join at any time.

I had also finished my stitching for Jo's Gifted Gorgeousness.  It's nice to have this monthly link-up to keep me on track to finish projects.  I'm working on a kit that I won from Kaaren at Painted Quilt a couple of years ago.  Kaaren has always been very generous with her talents.  If you haven't been to her blog before, you owe it to yourself to pay her a visit.
Last, but certainly not least, I needed a birthday gift for my sister, and she requested unbreakable coffee mugs for their new(ish) camper trailer.  I did finally find a couple of mugs, but decided to wrap them in something special, so whipped up this little creation.

Almost makes me want to go buy a camper trailer of my own!  

My Charming Stars quilt was finally quilted, but this is the only picture I have so far.  It's always nice to have so much help while binding.
Drum roll please . . . . . . . this was the last quilt in my To-Be-Quilted pile!  I don't think I've been caught up since I finished my first or second quilt over six years ago.  Now that I'm friends with my quilting machine, and my room is clean and organized that I can actually get to it easily, I have no reason to not stay caught up going forward.

Speaking of going forward, I recently purchased a portable design wall.  Up until now, I've had a 'design floor' when necessary.  It's a little awkward, but I'm loving it so far!  I've used it for two small quilts that I'm making for our Sheriff's Department.
That's it for stitchy news.  We'll now move on to wildflower hikes in the Smokies.  Ahhh...what a gorgeous place!  We went on hikes, walks, and scenic drives.  Our primary purpose was photographing wildflowers.  DH's brother and sil live near there, and visit frequently, so they know all the best places to go and no time was wasted debating our daily itineraries.  I won't share all 464 pics that I took.
This first one I took for Di, who loves old stumps.  I see an elephant here Di, how about you?

That is all.  Now get back to stitching!       Sunny

Friday, April 1, 2016

Wrapping up March, OPAM and FNWF

Closing the books on another month!  It was a busy month, with a Scrapbook Retreat and a Quilt Retreat.  I worked on two projects at the quilt retreat, but have no finishes to share.  One will be finished soon, and the other will take awhile.  

There were some other finishes, however.  I started small with this tiny Spring quilt, measuring 6x6".  It was done in time for Easter, but barely.
Our Easter guests brought these beautiful roses.  They continue to get prettier each day.  This pic is for you, Allie!
This is one of my favorite quilts, and I actually finished it in February, but didn't get it photographed.  It took me a couple of years to find just the right pattern for fabric I bought in New York when I went to visit my friend, Di.

The pattern is Star Gazing from The Pattern Basket.  I pieced this at the fall retreat, and I think everyone else loved the pattern as much as I did.  And this was my first ever all-over free motion quilting that wasn't stippling.  It's not perfect, but I'm getting better!

Charming Stars was made with red and white fabric that I acquired in a swap a few years ago.  I had 15 strips of 5" fabric that I could not decide what to do with for the longest time.  After joining a SAL for this pattern and making one quilt with shirt fabric, I decided this was the perfect pattern for the strips.
I decided to make a star from each fabric rather than making it scrappy.  It's a very happy quilt!

My final project for March was a pillow cover.  The old pillow case was ruined and trashed a couple of years ago, so I've been looking at a naked pillow.  My original plan was for a simple pillow case, but then I decided to put a little more effort into it and do some quilting.  The fabric has been hiding in my stash, and is finally seeing the light of day.

And I already have a finish for April!!  I had to do some stitching for FNWF, so I finished this small wall hanging.  This was given to me crumpled in a bag, and I was thrilled to see that it had all been cut out and fused.  I merely had to applique and quilt for a finish.

I don't have the pattern, but I think it may be a McKenna Ryan?

I continue with my efforts to clean and organize my sewing room.  And this means cleaning up small projects that have been started.  More good stuff to follow!

Keep on stitching....... Sunny

Almost forgot to mention that we went to DC last week to see the Cherry Blossoms.  We were about a day and a half too early to see them at their peak, but they were still pretty!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ides of March

It's Retreat Season!  I've been to a Quilt Retreat, a Scrapbook Retreat, and there's another Quilt Retreat this weekend.  I spent today packing and prepping.  And doing laundry.  And some cleaning. Now I can go off with my peeps for the weekend, with a clear conscience.

I recently had a birthday, and received a fun package from my friend Maria.  A sewing mat for under my machine, and a matching thread/scrap catcher!  She also included some needles and two very pretty buttons.  Thanks Maria!
I'm a little behind on posting my progress for Gifted Gorgeousness, so here are my Jan., Feb., and March pieces.  The photos are awful because it's nighttime.  Number four is prepped for Retreat.  It feels good to be caught up.  

I've also made some progress with purple scraps for  RSC16,  I love making string blocks - never thought I'd say that.  

 And I think I forgot to post this quilt earlier.  I purchased a fat quarter bundle in Lancaster County a couple of years ago, and wanted to make something Amish inspired.
I'll leave you with a couple of nature photos - surprise!  We went to a Wildlife Management Area this past weekend to see some migrating Snow Geese.  We were a couple of days too late to see the largest number of birds, but there was still an impressive display.

Off to a sewing day with friends tomorrow, and then Retreat on Thursday.  What a life!

Keep on stitching...... Sunny