Thursday, July 2, 2015

Readying for the 4th

As we prepare for the birthday of our country, we are also celebrating another birth-day here. 


Lucy Kate

This little girl was born last Saturday and is ready to join in on the weekend festivities.  Everyone is thrilled with her – especially her big sisters.

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This little one turned 5 years old several days later and requested “ a dress” for her birthday.  I had fun creating this for her…..complete with a little purse to match.  She loved it.

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We have a big 4th of July party here to celebrate our Independence so I have spent some time getting ready for the festivities.

New beanbags for the corn hole game….

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and some bunting flags for decorating…..
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While I was on the red, white and blue theme I sewed up some HSTs for a flag quilt that one of the grandsons casually mentioned that he would like for his college dorm bed this fall. 

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28 done….62 to go!!!

We will have houseguests for the next six days so I will take the time to wish all of those in the U.S.A. a wonderful and safe Independence Day.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mini and More

Many of us have participated in the Schnibbles and More QALs for the last few years.  I have loved every little quilt that I made and love to display them around the house.  Needless to say when it was announced this year that it was coming to an end, I was disappointed.  I was thrilled when it was announced that a new series was going to begin with Michele of Island Life Quilts and Sherri of A Quilting Life.  This first month our mini was A Summer Star by Sherri.   I had a little pack of Noteworthy charms and used a summery butter solid with it.

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It finishes at 14 1/2” so is perfect to use under a bouquet of flowers.  I used some Riley Blake small gingham for the binding. 

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The quilting is a simple stitch in the ditch.
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I also finished the Elephant Parade quilt by quilting it and adding the binding.  I will apply the label once our newest grandbaby arrives because I enjoy putting their first photo on the label.  We are all excited to see what the baby will be, but my instinct is thinking blue.  We should know any day now.

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I put soft minky on the back and it feels so great.

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Recently I was awarded the “A Lovely Blog” award by two fabulous quilters.  I respect both of them so much for their work so I was thrilled to have been chosen by them.  The first one was by Soma who blogs at www.whimsandfancies.com.  Soma is such an amazing photographer and artist as well as a great quilter.  She is currently working on a Greek alphabet.  It is incredible and I can’t wait to see it when it is finished.

Emily is a quilter whom I have followed for some time now.  She blogs at Em's Scrapbag.  I have tested several of her patterns and have loved each one.  She is one of those quilters who can pick up scraps and create a masterpiece with them.  She is a great representative of a generous quilter with all of her donated quilts to Happy Chemo.
 
One of the things I am suppose to do is to write ten things about myself that people would not tend to know.  I’m pretty boring, but here goes.

1.)  I was one of those beastly hyperactive children.  My mom often says had I been the first child, there would have been no more.  I've always required little sleep and am always up before 5:30 a.m.

2.)  I’m quite mechanical.  I worked on my own VW bug before I got married.  I loved to take the carburetor apart and clean it to get maximum mileage.  I even taught several of the guys in the neighborhood how to clean theirs.  I also recovered the interior in a zebra skin fabric.  LOVED that little car. 

3.)  I went to an all girls high school and hated it!

4.) I broke three vertebrae in my back when I was 17 in a skateboard accident and broke two more about 10 years ago.

5.)  I made my first skirt for myself when I was 5 years old on my mom’s old Singer sewing machine.
 
6.)  I became enthralled with quilting when I saw a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt while visiting a friend of my grandmother.  When we got home she got some scraps together for me and I tried to stitch one just like it.  My hexagon shape was far from perfect and the endeavor did not last long.

7.)  My paternal grandmother was a knitter.  I taught myself to knit when I was in nursing school to occupy my time between classes and loved it.  Still do!

8.)  My husband and I both love to travel.  Our favorite thing to do is jump in the car and just take off for the back roads to see what we can discover.

9.)  We have lived in many locations, including Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Hawaii and England in our married life.

10.) There are a million things that I still want to accomplish in this lifetime.

I am now suppose to nominate others to do the same, but I am just going to put it out there for anyone who would like to join in on the fun.  I would love to know more about all of those who follow my blog.  Please feel free to add your ten things. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Block Construction

For some time now I have been seeing Block Lotto blocks appearing on various posts.  I finally jumped in and made a few of June's blocks.  These were interesting blocks to make and I am sure will make a really nice quilt for someone with all of the different blues they are going to receive.



I finished up the last row of my Hillside Houses blocks as well.  Now you can finally see the blue sky.  I'm not sure how I will quilt it yet.  I think I need to study it a bit before I attempt it.  An overall pattern will make the houses disappear - I think.  Any opinions????

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We had a fun Father’s Day BBQ here.  The gals cooked for the guys with tons of good food and family.  Our daughter’s family was not able to make it because of sick little ones, but these are our GREAT dads – a reason to celebrate.

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Here are a few pictures of the grandchildren enjoying our cockatiel from yesterday.

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Today was cleaning!!  I have mopped the floor four times and I still feel as though I am sticking to it.  I wonder if it is my imagination at this point.  SIGH





Monday, June 15, 2015

Some Quilting Time

The last month has been such a blip on my calendar, but I have managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing here and there.

One of the great swaps that I participate in each year is the ALQS.  I shared the mini I made already, but I have to show you the one I received.  It is absolutely beautiful and has so many fun techniques.  The colors are amazing and I really love this little quilt.  I am showing it on its side as the photo appears more detailed that the upright one.


 You can read some of the techniques Joan used by reading her label.



As well, in my package, Joan included a brooch that she made.  Isn't it lovely too?


We took a little road trip up Hwy. 89 through Utah so I had some time to work on my second circle in my EPP project.  The curves were a bit of a challenge for this new EPP quilter, but I am pleased with the way it turned out.  I haven't trimmed them down to their 12" block yet so it looks a little ragged around the edges.

Elizabeth at OPQuilt has created the designs for these circles and the patterns can be found on her blog.

There were so many fabulous QALs this summer.  I would love to join each one, but the Hillside Houses (link on my sidebar) is one that I had to start first.  The little houses remind me of beach huts.  I have nine of the twelve blocks completed.


We spent a few days at the beach with my sister, BIL, brother and SIL.  Although June tends to be foggy most of the day at the beach, we had a great time. 




We had the last of the graduations of the year this week and have been enjoying a lot of time with little ones here too.  It's no wonder the weeks have slipped by so quickly.







Now.....I'm off to clean house after the weekend mess.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Catching Up.....

It seems like I spend a good amount of my time playing catch up.  This time there was a lot of catching up on the eight hour time change from our vacation.  (I tried to post this earlier with Live Writer, but it seems to have a mind of its own these days.  Thank goodness Blogger is working for me now.)

We flew to NYC and spent three fun packed days touring the city.  One of the highlights was the 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial.  It was a VERY emotional display.  To see the faces of all of those who were lost that day, the "missing" signs that were posted on the buildings and fences,  as well as items donated by the families (cell phones, watches, personal goods) really made you recall that day all over again.  They have done a beautiful job on it and I highly recommend a visit there if you get to New York.

Plane's point of impact.

Stairs used for many to escape.

Large quilt with photos of those lost that day.

Wall after wall of photos of those who lost their lives that day.

From there we bid farewell to NYC aboard the Queen Mary 2 for a very relaxing transatlantic crossing.

Eight days later we saw our first sight of land as we arrived on a bright, sunny, warm day in Southhampton, England.


Our dear friends met us at the terminal and we made the journey to their home in the English countryside where we would spend the next six days.

Their garden is beautiful and is just coming into bloom.  We loved seeing the flowers and all of the lush green everywhere.  We were graced with the typical British weather - rain, hail, winds and sunshine - all in the same day!
Wisteria

Pink Clematis


Of course the crazy Californians relished the sight and feel of water actually falling from the skies.


We took several day trips including a visit to Flatford Mill where John Constable's The Hay Wain was painted.  Does the sight look familiar?


We even rented row boats and rowed up the River Stour for lunch at the Boathouse.  Of course, we encountered a good downpour along the way and looked like drowned rats when we arrived!


The time passed quickly and it was soon time to fly back home for family events.  The day after we got back we had our first three graduations of the year.


Life is beautiful!  Since this post is long enough, I will do another post on a couple of things going on - including the gorgeous mini quilt that I received from my ALQS9 partner.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Twinkle


Although I did want to get this one quilted before the big reveal, I will have to share it as a flimsy.

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Several months ago, Emily from Em’s Scrapebag asked me if I could test a new pattern for her.  She does such wonderful scrap quilts and I have been a follower of hers for sometime now.  Her version of the quilt is a fabulously colorful scrappy project.  Although mine is a scrap quilt, it is still a bit more color controlled.   My cornerstones are a patterned navy fabric instead of the scrappy blocks.  If I were to make it again I would use the scrappy blocks for them as Emily did.

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I was trying to go for the nautical look using the blues, green, teals and aquas.  The pattern was easy to follow and I loved working up each block along the way. 

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Thanks, Emily, for letting me test this great pattern for you.  I am so pleased with the way it turned out and look forward to the finish once it is quilted.

I’ve had a bit of a blogging break as we were out of the country for the last few weeks.  I will try to get around to visit and catch up this week and share some pictures with you from our fabulous trip.

I did, however, manage to work on a bit of handwork while we were traveling.  EPP has been something that I have admired and gave it a try.   Following a pattern designed by Elizabeth at OPQuilt, I made my first of 9 blocks.  I was really pleased with how nicely the points came together on this one.  I have a feeling that the other blocks will be a bit more challenging with all of their curves.  The green in the photo looks puckered, but it is just the design texture of the fabric.   I’m also thinking that I should have cut my blues so that they would all match in their designs.  I guess we learn as we go.

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As well, I managed to work a bit on the kings in my endless nativity cross stitching.  After this section is finished I will move to the left of the project and work on the shepherds.  I may even see a bit of light on a finish before my eyes are too stressed to stitch on this fabric.  lol   I am linking this up with Super Mom-No Cape.

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Today in the United States we honor all of those who have served our country.  May we never forget the sacrifices they and their families have made for our freedom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May???


Seriously???  It is May already?   We’re already a week into May.   I don’t know where the time is going.  Guess that makes me really OLD.

Life has been super busy here.  The school year is winding down and proms, school plays, graduations and birthdays seem to fill the time. 

The garden is also calling me outside more and more.  Of course I love the time spent watching the birds at this time of the year.  The hummers are amazing as they flit here and there – always in such a hurry.  You seldom see them taking a rest.

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The orioles and quail are also back at the feeders.  We are awaiting the arrival of this year’s babies.

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Sewing has taken a back seat – other than a lot of logo embroidery, hemming dresses and mending, but I did make a beach bag.  I had some of the “Fruit Ladies” fabric and thought it would look cute on a quilted bag.
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We attended the grandchildren’s school play this week – HMS Pinafore.  Our grandson was “the orchestra”, playing every song on the piano.  He has worked so hard and did a fabulous job. 

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Several weeks ago a lovely package arrived in my mailbox.  I had won a wonderful sewing companion and scissors from Cathy at Crafty Cat Blog.   This is so beautifully made and will be perfect for my stitching. 

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Isn’t the little tassel beautiful?

I'm going to be meeting up with a sewing friend next week so I will hopefully have something more to show on my next post.

Enjoy spring and if you get May showers would you please send us some?????

Happy Mother's Day to all who will celebrate it this weekend.