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

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 is a Wrap!

Your might want to grab a cuppa and  get comfortable.  2016 was a pretty good year.  Our family added another adorable baby girl, and there was another engagement, with a wedding to follow in 2017.  I don't have children, so I focus my attention on my five nephews.  And yes, I made the little afghan that she's snuggled with.
We had many adventures in 2016, starting with Florida in January.  When we left home there was nearly 30" of snow on the ground, and we were happy to put that in our rear view mirror!

Mid April found us in our beloved Smoky Mountains, hiking and photographing wildflowers.  I'm sure we'll go back in 2017, but the landscape will be greatly changed, following the devastating wildfires in November.
In June, we went waterfall hunting in the Finger Lakes area, another of our favorite places.  We found several waterfalls that we had not visited before, and paid a visit to the Ithaca Farmer's Market

Our Really Big Adventure of the year took us to the Canadian Rockies in September.  The scenery was breathtaking.  We took hundreds of pictures!

I also took my first train trip, and visited Oregon, my 48th state.
And somehow, I managed to do a lot of sewing and quilting.  I participated in two UFO challenges, and checked off many items from my list, in addition to starting a few new projects.

Projects for December included four sets of coasters for gifts, and I finished a jelly roll quilt that was started at retreat in November.
Two wall hangings were completed, one of which was also started at the same retreat.

The other incorporated the use of crayons.  I don't think I did a great job, but it was a learning experience, and I will definitely try the technique again.

Sorry some of these pictures are so dark, but I took them at around 5 am.  If I wait for the sun to come up, I won't have time to post later.

And let's not forget Christmas!  I exchanged gifts with a couple of my blogging buddies, and received an ornament and a beautiful calendar from Maria.  The calendar was made by her quilting group in Australia, and contains so many beautiful quilts in beautiful settings.  Thanks Maria!

My package from Di including an cute little reindeer, along with a pattern to make more, a cross stitch kit, and a 'cool finger' to protect my finger from my hot iron.  Too bad I didn't have it a couple of weeks earlier when I did burn myself!  It will be put to good use.  Thanks Di!
Is anyone still here?  If so, thanks for reminiscing with me.  I hope to be back tomorrow with a couple more items to share.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!      Sunny

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


I've done it again.  Remember the coasters and place mats from the last post?

And there were more coasters this week.
Well, all the ones made with the Christmas fabrics were from leftover strips from a jelly roll.  And I think they're gorgeous.  The problem is, I had been planning to use those leftover strips for the binding of my jelly roll quilt!  What was I thinking?!?  I only hope that I have enough of the backing fabric to make the binding also.

So anyway, I've been making coasters for Christmas gifts.  Nothing fancy, just something to stick in some stockings.

I received my postcard last week from Eglea in Brazil, as part of Sheila's postcard swap.

The top of the gift is actually open and the little folded Dove of Peace was tucked inside.  Thanks Elgea, it's beautiful!  She hasn't received my card yet, so I'll share it later.

I have my last guild party tonight, following several other gatherings and parties over the past 10 days or so.  Gifts  have been shared, cookies baked and exchanged, food has been consumed, and many laughs have been shared.  We've had some cooler weather, with frigid temperatures forecast for the next few days.  Only a dusting of snow so far, and I'm okay with that!  

I'll close with a picture of a wall hanging that I made last year after Christmas.  It's hanging in my bedroom, and I love waking up to it.

Be kind.....always......  Sunny

Image result for christmas clipart

Friday, December 2, 2016

November OPAM

November is not my favorite month.  The leaves have fallen from the trees, and it's dreary and bleak outside.  The kayaks have been put in storage for another season.  On the bright side, that leaves more time for sewing!  And for retreat earlier in the month.

the end of the leaves for the season, near our retreat 
I took four projects to retreat, and worked on all four.  Three tops were finished up to the point where they need applique applied.  Working on that now.  I've also been doing a LOT of embroidery, and hope to have something to show for my efforts soon.  I'm in two groups that have UFO challenges, and I got them mixed up, so I had to pay up for not finishing for one group.  I think that's the first time I've ever had to pay a 'fine' for not finishing my project.  It will NOT happen again - LOL!

My finishes for November include 5 place mats, which were all made from various scraps laying on my sewing table.  Some will go to Meals on Wheels, and one or two are for our guild's Christmas project.  In lieu of exchanging gifts this year, we decided to make place mats and pillow cases for a small Assisted Living  home in our town.  The residents are extremely low income, and have nothing.  We're also making lap quilts in addition to the place mats and pillow cases, and hope to bombard them with gifts and love.

We're having dinner guests tomorrow night, and I whipped up a set of coasters for each couple.  We don't really exchange gifts, but I wanted to send them home with a 'little something'.

I'm determined to use every last inch of this fabric that is leftover from one of my retreat quilts.  And the best part - I won the jelly roll a couple of years ago!

While looking for these pictures, I remembered that I actually also made a postcard for Sheila's swap.  It hasn't yet made it to Brazil though, so I can't share it here.

I do manage to sew at least a little each day, and I'm making progress though I don't have any big finishes.  Next week is crazy busy with parties and gatherings, and then look out.  I've scheduled some major time with Patience, my quilting machine, and we've got a somewhat large stack of projects to finish.  

In closing, I just want to say that Gatlinburg and the Great Smokey Mountains are one of my favorite places, and I'm so sad about their tragic fire.  Please keep the people in your prayers as they try to recover from this terrible act of suspected arson.

keep on stitching........Sunny

April 2016 Great Smokey Mountain National Park

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

RSC and OPAM for October

October was a very busy month.  DH and I took road trips looking for Fall foliage on three different days.  We spent a day in Western Maryland, a day in West Virginia, and a day in Virginia.  We took hundreds of pictures as usual, but the colors weren't as pretty this year because it's been so dry.

We tried new restaurants, packed picnic lunches, discovered new roads and a new park.  One of the perks of being retired is the ability to enjoy Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park on a weekday.  Weekends in October are way too crowded.

 When not on the road, I was busy in my sewing room.  I bought the new Gail Pan Christmas book, and then had to justify the purchase by making something.  I just love her designs!

I've been working on this project since January, stitching a block every month for Gifted Gorgeousness.  I won this kit a couple of years ago from Kaaren at Painted Quilt.  It was a lot of fun to finally put all the pieces together.  Kaaren has recently decided to stop blogging, so stop over to bid her Adieu if you haven't already.

A speaker at one of our guild meetings recently used the expression "trickle down" projects, for putting your scraps to good use after finishing a quilt.  I've now made three projects with this fabric line, and I don't really want any hanging out in my scrap bins.  So I made a doll quilt and a place mat. 

Then it was on to finish my block for RSC16.  I believe this is the last color for 2016, but I need three more blocks, so I'll have to choose my own colors.  Or maybe I won't.  Hmmm....these are 16 inch blocks, so with a little more sashing and a border, I think this will be the perfect sized quilt for its purpose.  I've already chosen my "block" for RSC17, assuming Angela continues the tradition.  

RSC blocks, doll quilts, and place mats are all a fun way to use up my scraps, and the final results always go to a good cause.

Tomorrow, vewy vewy early, I'm off to RETREAT!!!!  I've been organizing, packing, and cutting for the past few days.  I try to do the cutting for at least a couple of projects before I get there, especially if it's something detailed.  I still have to do some laundry, pick up a few groceries, and make some cookies, so I better get off here and get busy!

Be kind......Always.........Sunny

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Where does the time go?  I've been keeping very busy with my sewing, but I don't seem to have much to show for it right now.  I did make some string blocks for RSC16.  I decided to substitute yellow and gold for my colors this month.  I need to dig into the scraps and try to come up with three more colors to be able to make the quilts that I had planned.  I guess I better get busier!!

I have a nice little stack of small projects that need to be quilted, and that will hopefully be on the agenda over the weekend.  And of course there are many more projects in various stages of completion.  Never a dull moment around here.

DH and I took a little roadtrip last Saturday, looking for pretty Fall foliage.  We'll probably go out again this weekend, and maybe even next weekend.  The western part of our state has mountains, so the colors turn there first, and then work their way gradually east.

We also tried a coupe of new-to-us restaurants, and they were both very good, and deserving of a return trip.

The following night, while we were preparing dinner, I glanced out the window and saw this.
Isn't Mother Nature an amazing artist?

Today's mail brought a lovely little package from Karen at KaHolly.  I was lucky enough to win two 20-piece charm packs of Free Spirit solids.  The colors are just gorgeous, and I love the way the fabric feels.  I wasn't familiar with this line of fabric, but I will definitely be looking for it in the future.

I guess that's it until I get some quilting done!

Be kind....always............Sunny