Friday, December 14, 2012

...and the stocking were hung by the chimney with care....

I'm my own worst cup runneth over with unfinished projects, yet I took on another. The Hub's daughter asked if I made Christmas stockings?  I never have, with 3 of my own children and 4 grandchildren, I'd never made anyone a stocking.  I'd bought the premade needlepoint stockings with their names embroidered on them. Had I taken on the stocking project, my youngest child at 23 still wouldn't have a stocking to date.

This was a little different, Kate wanted a quilted stocking - something "cutesy and girly" for her new baby girl. Hmm, ok - sure, I'm up for the challenge.  At All People Quilt I found a Joy-Stocking pattern I liked.  Didn't care for the "Joy" applique, so I left it off.  Added heel and toe caps and elfish looking trim around the top.  This is what I came up with.....

Yep, cutesy & girly!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Apple a Day......

When my friend Jennifer decided to make an applecore quilt for her Mother, I got really excited for her.  I’ve never made one – didn’t know anyone who had made one, so anything new to me is exciting.  Ha!  That is, until she told me the horrors of putting one together.  I couldn’t imagine such a thing…’s so beautiful, how could it be so bad?  Jen invited Dora and myself over for a sewing day.  She asked if we would help assemble the cores into rows with her.  I couldn’t pack up my machine fast enough, I love a good challenge!  I arrived, got set up and was ready to let’er rip! 
Before I dump on it too bad, I should mention I was on the downhill side of the worst flu I’ve ever had in my life.  Truly, I had no business being there, but I had already missed one sewing day with Jen and Dora and refused to miss another.   Ok, Jen was on to something….these were a nightmare.  There was some rippin’ going on, but it was a seam ripper and not the humming of my machine.  As a last resort I started pinning mine, as I couldn’t keep my cores together and sew all at the same time. I'm sure it was my illness! ;o).  By the time I mastered “the core” the whole day had flown by and I accomplished 2 rows of 24 cores.  Jen and Dora pieced about the same.   At this speed, I hope it’s a Mother Day gift and not a Christmas gift!

A few rows complete......

After a group effort

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back to school....

I took a fabulous road trip with Jennifer and her sister Holly to southern Illinois.  We were lucky enough to be traveling during the peak of leaves changing color.  One would have thought I would return with gorgeous pictures, but I did not.  I did take a few pics of the B&B we stayed at.  The Davies School Inn which is an old school house converted to a B&B.  Comfortable beds and plenty of room to spread out!  I highly recommend. 

Spooky spider web!

A must have for my yard next year.  So beautiful.

Did you know Hancock's of Paducah closes by 3pm on a Saturday afternoon?  I'm the last to know such an important detail......

Since we were in the neighborhood (about an hour north), we decided to buzz south to Paducah so we could ooh and ahh over the massive fabric collection at Hancock's.  Imagine the disappointment when we pull into the parking lot at 4:00 PM....  The entire car went silent.  Clearly, we were fabric junkies looking for our next fix and fell apart when we didn't think we'd get it.  Thankfully, Quilter's Alley located in downtown Paducah was still open.  What seemed utter disappointment, quickly turned into one of the best quilt shop stops I've ever had.  The shop owner and assistant were awesome.  Not only did they show us around the shop, but demonstrated new products, showed us a few sewing technics and kept the shop open way past closing.  Genuinely nice ladies! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finally! Some color...

...but, not much.  By the time Fall arrived, I was sure every plant in the yard would be dead.  Most were, except these beautiful autumn blossoming perennials. Granted, these are a bit scraggly looking but it’s the best my yard produced this season.  So, I’ll take it! 

By far, Autumn is my very favorite time of the year.  Since summer seemed to drag on for so long, and temps weren't cooling down fast enough for me - I decided to start a little Fall table topper or wall hanging (still undecided).  It's a freebie from Kaaren over at The Painted Quilt.  She's so creative and shares her own creations every few months.  Instead of applique, I did a simple embroidery stitch.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Scrappy September

The Carol Doak September BOM is complete.  Would I sound wish-washy if I said I'm starting to like the scrappy look of this BOM? 

When I realized I didn’t possess enough yardage for a two color quilt, I really looked forward to doing Carol’s “two color BOM” scrappy.  I quickly lost my steam when the first few blocks of scrappy turned out just “so-so”.  Not sure what happened, but I really like this last finished block.  Could I be in total denial about their weirdness?  Maybe so, but after completing the September block, I’m really starting to get excited about the finished product. 

September 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's a Boy!

This baby quilt is for the Hub's son and daughter-in-law. 

I may be out on a limb here, but I decided not to do a traditional baby boy type quilt.  Let me give you some background.....the Hub's son is a big time hunter - deer, turkey, etc.  They've decorated the nursery in brown and green, complete with a hug tree painted on the wall with the letters of the baby's name hanging on the branches.  Very cute!  So, instead of using "baby" type fabric, pastels, baby blues or greens, I decided to do a mini version of a "hunter's" type quilt.  See for yourself......

The baby shower is this weekend, I'll let you know how it goes.....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's a Girl!

I might be behind on my 'block of the month' quilty stuff, but I've been crankin' out the baby quilts!  Both of the Hub's kids are expecting babies in the month of October.  His daughter and her husband are expecting a daughter on October 19th, and his son and his wife are expecting a baby boy on October 17th.  Crazy! 

Finished top with backing and binding.

The baby's room is decorated in black and white with a splash of pink. 

 Is it possible to overdose on birthday cake? Myself, my brother, 2 of my children, and 1 of my granddaughter's are all born in October.   Lots of little goblins....

Monday, August 20, 2012

Once again, a Slug-A-Long

Not sure how it happened, but I'm behind on Randy's Sow-A-Long....again.  I took such pride in being caught up, only to let it slip away.  The really sad part, Randy took the month of July off from posting any new blocks while I stopped piecing blocks back in June.  Now the August blocks are posted, so I'm trying to get back into "sewing" mode.  It's not easy with all the summer activities going on - I went with my family (brother, SIL, niece, my kids and grandkids) to LegoLand.....

Does this look fun or what?
Me and Little Man on the Lego Ride - I had to peddle my behind off to keep that thing up high in the air!
My latest Slug blocks:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Too scrap or not to scrap?

In April I started a BOM with the Carol Doak yahoo group.  Now, I needed to start another project like I needed another hole in my head....but I did it anyway.  I've always enjoyed paper piecing, but nothing bigger than a small wall hanging or table topper.  Carol's block of the month mystery is about the size of a 'throw' or twin.  Who couldn't use an extra throw sized quilt, right?  In Carol's instructions - she clearly calls this project a "2-color quilt".  With excitement I thought - I've always wanted a 2 color quilt!  This is perfect - I'm in!  Well.....after spending mulitple evenings going through the "stash", I didn't have enough yardage for a 2-color quilt.  I've put myself on a fabric budget, so purchasing wasn't an option. I can't just scrap the idea, I've gotten myself all worked up over a new project.  So I decided to do a scrappy paper pieced quilt.  Eye-roll.  The group is 4 blocks into the mystery - and 2 color quilters are looking really good - mine is starting to look semi-ridiculous!  Part of me thinks I should stop while I'm ahead, the optimist in me is saying keep going, it may be fabulous!  But probably not.





Friday, July 27, 2012

For the birds....

Last fall, I formed two of the concrete elephants ears with deep wells in the center (smaller leaf pictured here).  I wanted to use for a bird baths, but I can't find a stand to accommodate the weight of the concrete leaf.  I have this small stand - which is really a plant stand, but it's so low to the ground.  I thought about using an inverted log, but it would have to be pretty big - not sure I've got the strength to handle that.  Any suggestions?

Oh, and this fern has doubled in size this summer, I don't
know how in the world it's going back in the house this fall!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Can you hear me now?

It seems like it took forever for my elephant ears to finally appear.  Now that the bulbs are producing ears, the sun and heat are torturing them.  I didn't grow enough super huge ears for my sidewalk project last year, so I added a few bulbs this season.  Unless we get some rain soon, and a little less heat - my project may have to wait until next year.

Here's one pot - but all almost all the ears in the yard have crispy edges.

This is a concrete leaf for the sidewalk project - I only need about 15 more.

Close up shot of the patio the Hubs and I installed last year.  I ran out of leaves to make the walkway to the patio.  Hopefully, I'll grow a few big ones to use for pavers.  Now.... if the weather would just cooperate.

Despite the heat, the tiger lilies looked fabulous!

I have to share a pic of my "birthday myrtle".  Simply gorgeous.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Strickly for the birds.....

For the past couple of summers, we've had a pair of doves nest in the gutter on the front of the house.  I've never understood how they keep their nest dry and out of the water.  Could be, the gutter doesn't drain properly and it's not an issue.  This is the first time I've captured their little noggins poking up from the nest.  It was a risky photo shoot, I had to stand on the back of the couch, position my elbow on the half circle window seal to get the shot.  The way I was teetering, it's a wonder I didn't fall and bring the window blinds down with me....but aren't they cute!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Playing catch up...

I’ve done it.  I’ve caught up with Randy’s Sow-A-Long!  Never mind a new set of three blocks are due out on her website today, point is, I’ve completed the blocks she’s posted so far.  For me, that’s a fabulous accomplishment. 

Group shot - I've arranged in the order Randy's
posted to her website.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gardens at The Lazy Branch Stream

Fancy, huh?  Sounds much better than “our yard that backs up to the Lazy Branch creek”.  I’m really excited about all the buds and blooms that are popping up in our yard.  When the Hubs and I first started dating, he didn’t have so much as a potted geranium on his spread.  Now the yard is green (mostly) and colorful.  Over the past couple of summers, we’ve put in a flagstone patio (and we’re still married), lots of bulbs and perennials.  Tons of work to do yet, but at least now we can enjoy the yard instead of closing the blinds on the backside of the house....    
This is what the backyard looked like 2 years ago. 
This screams "dude hangout". 

This is fairly current.  We updated the green plastic chairs
for metal chairs with cushions.  It's gettin' serious now!

Must be a varment close by, notice the red/orange Lily has all it's leaves chewed off. 

See the little guy sittin' on the wall?  He came home with me from Branson

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Fair Lady

Off and on I’ve been searching for a Singer Featherweight.  I’m in no rush, I know they can be very pricey so I periodically look on ebay, Craig’s list, estate sales, antique stores, etc.  While searching Craig’s List I found this vintage White Sewing machine.  At a glance, I didn’t know how old it was or anything about it – but knew I had to have it.  Does it not scream Mad Men?  From the moment it seen it, I had visions of me sitting at this machine with my hair in an up-do, wearing a pencil skirt complete with peep toe stiletto’s (reality: flannel pants and Birkenstocks, but this is my dream).  The owner wanted $25, said she hadn’t used it in over 20 years but (as far as she knew) it ran fine.   I pick a time when my hubby can go with me, but the owner calls me shortly before I’m schedule to go look at it and says she can’t get the machine to run properly and if I still want it, I can have it – no charge.   No charge!  As soon as I can get my hair in the proverbial up-do, I’m out the door!  With some cleaning, oiling and tweaking, she’s purring like a kitten.  The straight stitch presser foot is missing (ordered one online) – Since I’m finding it difficult to get a consistent ¼ inch seam allowance, I’ve picked a paper piecing project to start.

The picture isn't as clear as I had hoped - there's not a scratch or imperfection on this machine. Even though the seller didn't feel right charging for what she thought was a broke machine, I gave her a $20 bill for it.  
About the only information I could find about this vintage White, it debuted at the World Fair in 1963-64ish  (New York I believe) and was coined “My Fair Lady”.  Must be something to it, as I’ve read this on several vintage sewing machine blogs.  Sounds good to me, My Fair Lady it is.

This will be me after some sewing time on My Fair Lady - complete with pearls and apron.  The house tidy and dinner on the table when my man gets home from work....ha!  Make this vintage nightmare stop! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Can you say Slow-A-Long?

Why isn’t there enough time in the day?  Better yet, when I’m at work, why do some of the days seem to drag on and on?  Then once home, I no more get my fabric cut and it’s time for bed.    Randy has posted new blocks for the Sow-A-Long and I haven’t caught up with the previous postings.  Darn good thing this isn’t a race….another set of 6 pictured, but I'm still 4 or 5 behind.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Carolina Crossroads.....Finished!

A while back....ok, several years ago (2008 to be exact) I started a Mystery on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville yahoo group.  A little more than half way through the Mystery, I moved.  Knowing my new location was just temporary, I packed up the sewing room into large plastic totes.  Well, temporary turned into a couple of years.  I couldn't locate my brown and pink fabric in the multitude of plastic totes, so I started the Orange Crush Mystery (yet another unfinished project - but that's another story).  About a year ago while organizing my new sewing room, I found the long-lost-not-quite-finished Carolina Crossroads.   A few weeks ago I added the border and now it's ready for a visit to the quilter's. 

The pink border seems too dark, but I think once quilted it'll look better (I hope...)