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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Early Bird Christmas Challenge

Yes, the Challenge is coming to an end, and I must post my finishes. I don't have a very long list for Christmas giving, so I don't have a lot of finishes!

I made a shawl for a friend, and it whipped up so quickly that I may make a couple more before Christmas. I tried to get hubby to model it, but that wasn't happening!

I also made my first pincushion, which I cross-stitched. I haven't cross-stitched for about 10 years, and I really enjoyed getting back into it.

My list rounds out with a baby afghan and a little friendship bag. When I made my first bag a couple of weeks ago, I cut out two while I was cutting, so this went very quickly.

I'd like to send a special thank you to Judith, at Creative Studio
for issuing the Challenge. It feels very good to have some of my Christmas gifts finished without the last minute pressure. Thanks Judith!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Another Weekend Ends

It's hard to believe that it's Sunday night already.  Friday night, I sewed on my quilt bindings.  On Saturday morning, I took another long walk on the towpath.  There's not much fall color here this year.  I think most of the leaves will dry up and fall off because of the unusual heat and dryness that we've experienced this summer. 

Potomac River

C&O Canal Towpath

Saturday night, we had free tickets to a crab feast. I ate one crab, and hubby probably ate a couple dozen. Picking crabs is not my favorite thing to do, and they were so salty I couldn't stand to eat them. Fortunately, there was also barbecued chicken, pasta salad, and corn on the cob.

Picking crabs

This morning, we got up early and went to a nice craft show, which we were lucky enough to also have free tickets to! It's a juried show, with nice crafts, but it seemed much smaller today than the last couple of times we attended. We didn't buy much, but had a nice time walking around. We got there before the big crowds.

Mountain Heritage Arts & Crafts Festival

We also stopped at a small farmer's market, and had lunch at hubby's favorite Thai restaurant. I let him pick the activities this weekend since last week was 'all about me'. Later this afternoon, I went to a couple more antique shops, where I bought a few more hankies. I should have enough now for my quilt top!

Now I'm settled in to read a few blogs, and work on those bindings some more. I hope everyone had as nice a weekend as I did.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

At Last!

Last Friday night, I sewed down the binding on one of my small quilts.  I have two thimbles, and I tried each of them, but they didn't fit correctly, so I had a sore finger for about 3 days.  But alas - I have found the perfect thimble!  I am sewing away tonight, and hope to finish the binding on quilt #2 by tomorrow night!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

After three days, my wanderlust seems to be soothed. Today I did such exciting things as laundry and cleaning the bathroom. I also finished two Christmas gifts, and started another little project that is long overdue.

I also had to put away all my little treasures from my shopping spree yesterday. As promised, here is a picture of all I bought. I really don't need to buy any new projects for at least a couple of years!

Now I'm off to do some homework while riding my exercise bike. I'm finishing up one online class this week, and another started on Monday. The new one will be quite time-consuming, so I'm going to have to be more disciplined for awhile. Ah, the things we have to do to try to get ahead in this world!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On Holiday - Day 3

So what's a girl to do? I spent day one antiquing and day two sight-seeing and hiking. There was only one thing left to do, so I did my own personal Quilt Shop Hop! I managed to make it to 4 shops, with a couple of antique shops in between. I also passed a cross-stitch shop, so I made a U-turn to check it out.    I only took a couple of pictures to share with you. 

Aren't these adorable?

Tomorrow, I'll post a picture of all my treasures.  At each stop, I found something that I couldn't live without, so I need to get busy sewing and stitching! 

And on that note, I decided to come home tonight.  I can sleep in my own bed free of charge, and I can sew all day tomorrow!  I've already made a list of what I want to accomplish.  I plan to get up early when hubby goes to work, and nobody knows that I'm in town, so I shouldn't get any interruptions. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

On Holiday - Day 2

This morning, I went hiking.  All alone.  In the mountains! 

I've been working hard on weight loss and exercising the past few months, and I felt amazing today - physically and mentally!

The rest of the day was spent driving down the Blue Ridge Parkway, and taking pictures. Oh, and buying books! I love books. I added several to my collection today. It's a weakness, I know.

Here is a sampling of the pictures I took. It's a beautiful drive.

Abbot Lake - Peaks of Otter

Crabtree Falls

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On Holiday - Day 1

I have run away from home.  I have run away from work.  I am taking a short vacation all by myself.  That means I can choose the radio station.  I can drive with the sunroof open.  I can stop at as many scenic overlooks or antique shops or quilt shops as I want to.  And not feel guilty.  Hubby is pretty good at doing these things with me, but I always feel guilty when he gets bored and sits reading in the car.  So today, I left home with no specific destination in mind.  I'm driving back roads in Virginia. Just as I was leaving town, I got a call from my friend Mary, who wanted me to meet her in a nearby town to hit some thrift shops and antique shops.  Here is the loot.  I bought three of the plates that are in the background, some hankies for my quilt mentioned earlier, and some very pretty buttons.  As we were leaving one shop, the shopkeeper pointed out a basket filled with jewelry pieces for $1.00 each.  What fun!

After parting with Mary, I drove miles out of my way to stop at this overlook.  I was the only person there, and it was so awesomely silent.  I could actually hear leaves falling.  If the gnats hadn't been so annoying, I would have pulled out some needlework and stayed for awhile.

Cacapon Mountain Overlook
Then I drove through several small towns and stopped at a few more antique shops.  There were several items that I would have liked, but I couldn't spend all my money on the first day!  This flower was on a plant in a giant pot outside one of the shops.  Does anyone know what it is?  It's probably about 6 inches in diameter.

I have several guidebooks with me, and one lead me to this Covered Bridge that wasn't far off my route. It's the longest covered bridge still in operation in Virginia.

Meems Bottom Bridge
The last stop of the day was a bookstore, where I was searching for a book on Teas.  I didn't find what I was looking for, but I bought a couple of Christmas gifts!  Now I'm settled in for the night, and I'm going to plot out my route for tomorrow, and then do some crocheting or cross-stitching before going to bed.  I brought another quilt that needs the binding stitched down, but my fingers are still sore from Friday night.  I did buy a couple of new thimbles to try!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Afternoon Tea

I was invited to a Tea today!  I've never been to a tea before, so of course I accepted the invitation.  For many of you, tea is a daily occurrence, but not so for this American.  It was held in a beautiful home, where we were invited to tour the upstairs bedrooms and choose a hat to wear to tea. I took many more pictures, but I'll spare you all the details, and get right to the tea. The tables were set beautifully, and there were 16 of us. I only knew one friend, and she got tickets because her daughter was unable to attend at the last minute.

So I got to make two new friends today, and as we chatted all afternoon, we all realized that we had some common acquaintances. It was a lovely afternoon, and there was plenty of food and tea. It just kept coming!

If you've never been to a tea, and you get the opportunity, I highly recommend it.  Just don't go the same day that you have a company dinner a few hours later.  You may not want to eat again for a very long time!

A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards. ~A.A. Milne

F N S-I Results

Technically, it is now Saturday in my time zone, and I'm having difficulties keeping my eyes open.  Tomorrow is a busy day, so I'll post my results before I go to bed.  It may not look like much, but I worked for several hours sewing down the binding on the Half-Pint quilt in my UFO pile.  This is also a finish for the CGQC for Sept/Oct.

It's very difficult to take pictures in my house at night, so pardon the bad photograph.

This is the first binding that I've sewed by hand, but I wasn't happy with the results of doing it by machine. That's how I was taught in the first class I took. This method is a little slower, but sure looks a lot better! I plan to finish at least one more this week.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

Yippee!  It's almost time for Friday Night Sew In again!  I'm late to sign up, but I already know what I'll be working on.  I have a lot of 'finishes' that I need to accomplish for my Sept/Oct goals, so I'll have a busy night.  My major goal is to complete several UFO's before I start any new projects, and I have quite a few in mind, so it's time to get busy.  Anyone can sign up, so check it out if you haven't joined in before.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Treasures

A couple of people have asked what I bought at the Sully Quilt Show ,(and the antique shop on the way home) and if I was inspired to come home and start sewing.  I didn't go crazy buying stuff, because I didn't sew all summer, and I have enough projects in my bin to last me at least a year!  I know that's pathetic compared to many of you, but I don't have a lot of space so I try to be somewhat frugal.  However, I did purchase some fat quarters that had a quilty theme.

Many, many years ago, long before I started quilting, I bought a quilt book just because I liked the pictures of the beautiful projects. After seeing some pretty napkins and hankies at the show, I was reminded of this pattern, and I'm now going to attempt it.

I also found this bread basket liner, and a great cake plate. I'm picturing some nice muffins or scones on the cake plate. I don't think it's an antique, but I like it! I also received a recipe for Orange Cake from a fellow blogger that would look lovely on the plate!

I dream of owning a B&B some day, and these might come in handy then!

My final treasure was a 1948 book about wildflowers, with the most beautiful drawings in it. I can't believe that anyone would part with such a precious book - and I got it for only $5!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sully Quilt Show

Today dawned cool and rainy, but the Sully Quilt Show was advertised for rain or shine, so I checked the Weather Channel to see that most of the rain had passed, and headed down the road.  My friend Mary went with me, so hubby was off the hook.  The annual quilt show is held on the grounds of an historical plantation.  I've been to the show before, but it's been many years.  I didn't take many pictures because I heard one photographer being told that she had to ask to photograph the quilts.  And besides, I was very busy shopping.  Fabric, thread, patterns, books, linens, and quilts - old and new.  Sewing machines, buttons, and even some jewelry.

One booth had a Featherweight. I'd love to own one, but today was not the day. Something to continue dreaming about.