Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Christmas is Coming

July seemed to be all about Christmas - so many great ideas.  For me, every year I tell myself that I am going to make a new tree skirt.  Every year as Christmas approaches the time runs out and I move the idea to next year's list.

Several years ago Connie (Freemotion by the River fame) did a beautiful tree skirt in reds.  She was kind enough to send me her link for it and I got busy on the piecing of it this week.  All it needs now is the quilting, cutting and binding.  I think this is the year my new tree skirt will happen.  It was a great use for the red scraps.

Not only that, but look at all of the fun HSTs I have from it.  Hmmmm.

The baby birds are growing.  They are taking on their "vulture" phase this week.  All but the youngest has eyes opened and the ablility to see the world now.  There was real chaos in the cage this week as the oldest baby managed to escape the nesting box.  There was relief in all when I slipped it back in place.  I don't think it will try that again soon.  The size of their feet crack me up.

Today is tree trimming day before the Santa Ana winds start here.  I never cease to be fascinated seeing these men at the top of the huge eucalyptus trees.  The yard always looks so different when the trees are opened up.

There is a fun looking QAL coming up in a few short days.  I am planning on playing along.....how about you?  Check it out here.

I'm off to mending for today - a necessity of life!!

Linking up this week to Fort Worth Fabric Studio, Finished or not Fridays at Busy Hands Quilts, and Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication .

Thursday, August 18, 2016

It's Official

Summer is officially over with the children returning to school.  How did that happen?  Where did it go?  I think summer needs a speeding ticket.  It has been one odd summer for us with foggy mornings continuing through August.  That is typically our May and June weather.

The garden has struggled with the weather.  I wish we could help take away some of the flooding waters in the South.  As well, we've been battling with pesky raccoons over the ripe tomatoes.   They seem to be winning.  The one thing they are not interested in is an experimental crop I tried this year - just for fun.  I had a cotton ball with sixteen seeds and tried planting them.  They all came up and have the most beautiful flowers.  The foliage is also so graceful and pretty.  I have no idea what I will do with my cotton balls, but it was fun to grow them.

We had five little ones here while their parents were on vacation.  The week was really busy, but we had a great time.  There was lots of help in everything we did!!!

There was also lots of excitement as a second batch of cockatiel eggs hatched.  Each morning the children would rush out to see if a new egg had hatched.  They are just little balls of fluff - two yellow, two white.  I'm going to link these up with the Pets on Quilts.

This is our grown baby- an only child- from the last eggs that they laid.  He is such a love - so tame and already talking.

Needless to say, there has not been a lot of sewing going on here, but I did get ahead on my September Bee blocks.....fun sewing.

The county fair was last week and the girl's pigs went to market.  They had a great time hanging out for the week in the livestock area with all of the other kids.  I'm guessing they will do the project again next year.

I've been enjoying the Olympics and am sad to see that the end is near for them.  The summer Olympics are always my favorite with the gymnastics, swimming, equestrian and volleyball.  Four more years...............

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Decision Made

After leaving my first row of the upcoming Row by Row hanging on the wall all week, I made a decision on the black row that was bothering me.  I did a little unstitching and applied a new spacer row.  I think I like this better.

This was the before.

I may still add the darker rows - depending on what future rows look like.

There hasn't been much stitching going on here this week as we have been away, but I came home to some great mail.  I participated in Sheila's postcard swap again and received my postcard from Lin (in France).  It is just gorgeous with so many terrific techniques.

As well, my mini quilt from Barbara arrived from Ireland.  This was from the ALQS10 that I have participated in for many years.  I have received so many beautiful quilts through this swap and have met so many great blogging friends.  Barbara actually received one of my quilts a number of years ago so it is a thrill to now also have one of hers.  I just love this one and the quilting is beautifully done.  She also included a mug rug and a little book about her area with the quilt.

Recently a dear friend of ours had surgery and complications from kidney stones.  I was blessed to be able to help him a bit and in return he brought me a lovely Breadfruit table runner from Hawaii - his home state.  Although he apologized for it not being "homemade", I will cherish it.  I love the color he chose.

As I said, we were away this week for our annual fishing trip to the Sierras.  Again this year, the fishing was uneventful, but the family time with all the kids, their spouses and all of the grandkids was priceless.  Just a few pics from the trip......

First fish!

This little ones mom used to do the same thing.  Her mom would pull my drawer out, remove all of the towels and climb into the drawer.

These three can make a golf course out of anything!

It will be a quiet blog week for me as our daughter and SIL are off to Hawaii for the week.  We will have the five children AND the dog. Life should be busy here.  I'll be back next week!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Summer Cool Off

Is it time for a cooling post for the summer heat?  So many people have been experiencing heat and humidity this month.  During the summer, Gosia has a Hello Sunshine Challenge.  She chooses the wonderful summer colors and the challenge is to create a project using them.  Pulling fabrics from my stash, this is my cool off.

Be sure to check out the challenge.

The pattern is a Fig Tree, Mini Pops.  It was the selected pattern for Sherri and Michele's Minis and More journey a few months ago.  I loved the pattern, but never found the time to make it.  This month's project is a free choice mini and I went back to the Mini Pops.  I love the way it turned out and it makes such a great summer table runner.

Have you ever wondered how much change you collect over a year?  I have enjoyed reading how much people have managed to gather over the last few years and decided to play along this year.  Perhaps I will have a fun shopping spree at my favorite LQS next July.  One year.....I wonder how much I will have collected from my ever heavy bag, laundry, etc.  You can join in at Val's Quilting Studio.

Linking up with Finished or Not Fridays.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Finishing July

As another month comes to a close, we move closer and closer to Christmas.  Have you enjoyed all of the great Christmas in July posts and projects?  There are so many great ideas which I am sure that I will wish I had done when December rolls around.  ;-)

What did I accomplish this week?  Well....I did finish the horse quilt in time for the birthday next Monday.

 The back....

I did the quilting with a star and horseshoe pantograph.

The same group that worked on our Round Robin will now be doing a Row by Row Robin.  I have finished my first row and my spacer rows, but am considering maybe replacing the black spacer rows with two white rows instead.  My thought was to alternate dark and light, but I'm not sure that I care for that idea.  I might alternate with a checkerboard row.  Any thoughts?

My #spellingbee block went out to Simone this month.  I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the colors in this one and made the first word in purple.  Fortunately, one of the other bee-ers recognized my mistake before I sent it off.  It was taxing on the mind to make purple in coral.

A young couple at church had a little baby girl so a couple of burp cloths were sewn up this week.

I had company in my sewing room yesterday when I went to sit at the machine.  This was what I put my hand on when I went to pull out my chair.  It scared us both half to death, but its colors were so pretty - orange and iridescent green.  I did manage to capture it and return it to the outside where it belongs.

I did get some really fun mail this week.  It came from a giveaway that Elizabeth had.  I have loved looking through these Uppercase magazines.  There are so many exceptionally talented and creative people in the world.  Speaking of talented....Elizabeth is someone who fits into that category.  Her work never ceases to amaze me and she tackles it with such precision.

We enjoyed our nephew's wedding last weekend.  It was a perfect day for a wedding with a beach reception.  I managed to grab a shot of a few of our "children" and a couple of their spouses.

So.....that has been my week.  How was yours?

Linking up with Finished or not Friday.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bits and Pieces

Another week of summer is now in the books.  It seems to be going so quickly.  There just never seem to be enough hours in the day for all I want to do.  I know most everyone can relate.

Little bits of stitching time does eventually make for finishes.  This summer I have been participating in the Elm Street Quilts QAL and now have it to the flimsy stage.  There is still time to join in on the fun.

I received my nativity piece back from the framers and they did a great job on it.

I guess my Santa cross stitch was a bit too obvious last week.  He has such a recognizable face.  Now.....to put him together.

I was playing a bit with some jelly (Gelli) printing this week - just for some different play time.

From that I made a fabric postcard.

What has consumed the majority of my stitching time this week has been trying to finish up the horse quilt.  It is getting there and I'll show photos once it is finished.  The 16th birthday is at the end of the month so I still have a few days left.  ;-)

Linking up this week with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


I could be saying that to slow the summer from speeding past, but it really has to do with a quilt that I am working on for our granddaughter's 16th birthday.  I made all of the children quilts when they were born, but each of the girls has requested a "grown up" one when they turn sixteen.  This one is for the horse owner/lover in the family.  It will consist of blocks with horses for the centerpieces.

We had a great July 4th party here.  There really wasn't much time for picture taking, but I did manage to snap a couple.  We had about 125 people here with several guests visiting from quite a distance - Chicago and Austria.

Meanwhile, I managed to get my bee blocks completed for the Mid Century Bee that I am in.  I love Sherrie's choice of log cabins.

Having finished my large cross stitch project, I started a smaller one.  It is stitched in a single thread over one stitch on Laguna 25 ct. so these stitches are tiny.  Can you guess what it will be?  I love having a slow stitching project to pick up and enjoy some quiet time.  I'll be linking this one up with Kathy for the Slow Stitching Sundays.

I'm off for more horse stitching.....