Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Busy Days

It's been a busy week and I think I am still playing a bit of catch-up since being away.  I managed to catch up on the Starburst Quilt Along.  I was way behind on that, but selected my fat quarters and got the first few steps done.  My fabric diet has gone really well this month as I continue to pull from the stash.  This week we were to do our flying geese.  Being that far along, I stitched out my first star.  These are big stars at 24" so they will make a nice finish.

We've also celebrated a couple of birthdays.....

Did you notice the Christmas bag???  Oh is still January...right?

Other than a few days of watching little ones, dermatology appointments, haircut, laundry, cleaning and an author's luncheon, it has been a normal running week. 

Did you notice the full moon this week?  I tried to capture it as it was popping up between the trees last night.  It, along with the sunrises and sunsets have been stunning this week.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seeing Old Friends

Did you ever work on a QAL and stash the completed blocks safely away only to become reacquainted with them a year later?   It’s like meeting old friends again.  This week I finished blocks #96-100 of the Just Takes Two QAL and I met my old blocks all over again.  I remembered working on them throughout the year – hand appliquing some as I sat on the beaches in Hawaii and slaving over other new techniques.  What a fun year it was and here is the end result.

I really did not think I would finish the top, but once I got going I couldn’t stop myself.  I am linking this finish up with A Lovely Year of Finishes – one down and eleven months to go!!!

Blocks # 96-100
I took a couple of projects along with me on our vacation.  It was lovely to have something to keep my hands busy.  My granddaughters have loved the lacy scarves that I have been knitting and they are snatched up as quickly as they are made.  These were all claimed immediately upon returning home.

UK 1176

My cross stitch stocking also made so great progress.  I love to see it change along the way.

Dec. 13, 2012 003


There have been a lot of Churn Dash blocks on blogs lately.  Thearica has a Churn Dash linky and although I did not make this unique Churn Dash quilt, I promised her that I would post it.  It is a vintage quilt that is not particularly well made, but I love all of the scraps used in it.  This was done before all of our fancy tools, rotary cutters and beautiful scraps.  I am sure it was a utility quilt made from scraps. 


Be sure to check out the beautiful red, black and white blocks that you can find at Pigtales and Quilts and see her Churn Dash Sew Along..
I had several fun packages arrive while we were gone.  One was from Mary at Quilt Hollow.  She is downsizing in getting ready for a move and was looking forward to getting rid of some of her scraps.  You have never seen such a full box of all sorts of fabulous goodies.  I told her she can come pack for me anytime!!!  There are many wonderful bits, blocks, hsts and all else.  Why is it someone else’s scraps are always more interesting that your own?


Another great package came from Maria.  We belong to a mug rug swap and she was my partner this month.  Look at her beautiful mug rug she sent me.  I love the darling hearts that she embroidered on it and the fun little extras that she included.


This was the mug rug that I made for Maria.

Jan 4 2013 008

Our warm weather has switched to rains overnight which are very welcomed here.  The weekend will be busy so there will be no sitting around and enjoying the good rain.  I hope those of you in the bitter cold will get your warming trend.  Spring is just around the corner.....right????

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Break from the Activity

DH and I managed to slip away for a few weeks following all of the wonderful entertaining and busyness over the last few months.  It is a wonderful time to travel because there are so few people doing it at this time of the year.   The travel deals are terrific and we were lucky enough to hit the weather perfectly.

We slipped in and out of London before the snows started to fall.  Heaven knows what could have happened to our plans had we been a day later leaving.

We visited with our dear friends who recently moved to the village of Finchingfield – northeast of London.  It was just delightful, although the visit was way too short.  The weather was chilly, but sunny and we enjoyed walking about the village, taking in the sights and feasting on some sausage and mash at the local pub.  I love how the houses have names instead of numbers.  I cannot imagine the task of the postmen, but they do a great job.  A few pictures to share……






I loved the ducks on the roof - also made of the thatching materials.



The pub where we enjoyed one of our meals.

The village green.

Returning home we came the slow route aboard the Queen Victoria.  It left from Southampton, headed to New York.  It was the first leg of a world cruise and the majority of the passengers were boarding in N.Y.  Since we were getting off in N.Y., they upgraded our room to a suite and it was fabulous.  I would have liked to have stayed on as it headed on its way only to return to Southampton April 29th.  But........we enjoyed eight days of relaxation, doing whatever we wanted.  Some of the fun things on board included classes, lectures, dancing and high tea at 3:30 each afternoon – an event NOT to be missed


UK 1118
Our suite with a huge balcony.

UK 1124
Southampton, England at dusk.

UK 1131
A fabulous firework display for us as the world cruise left port in England.

UK 1134

UK 1149
Grand Lobby as we entered the vessel.

UK 1150
Grand Lobby

Sunsets each evening from our balcony.

Line dancing class......what a blast each morning!! 

Enjoying another sunset.

Ahhhh....warm scones, clotted cream, raspberry jam and THEN a whole assortment of sweets.  Fabulous and something I could easily get used to in life.

UK 1157
First sights of land after eight days - the Verrazano bridge at dawn.

UK 1162
Lady Liberty.  She came upon us so quickly and my camera setting was off, but she is a spectacular sight in the darkness.  One cannot help but think about the meaning she has had for so many immigrants over the years.


Arriving in Manhattan rather than Staten Island because of Hurricane Sandy.  The deck chairs were not quite as inviting in the chilly 31* temperatures.

It was another wonderful adventure, but it always feels great to get back home - back to family.  We missed the freezing temperatures our area experienced while we were away.  This week we are at the opposite end of the spectrum with temps into the 80s for the week. 
I will post later this week with some fun mail I received while we were gone and some sewing I did along the way.  I see that Blogger is still not playing nicely so I will have to figure out a better way to post my pictures.  There is always something new to learn, isn't there????  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Enjoying Easy Street

Blogger is not playing nicely so I did my post on Live Writer and cannot enlarge the pictures from here.  Sorry!

The new year brought out the final steps in assembling our Easy Street blocks that we have been working on since Thanksgiving.   I really love the way that this has come together and I am enjoying the colors as well - so bright and happy.

Jan 4 2013 034

The best part of Easy Street is that it was completely made with fabrics already in my stash. I have decided that this is going to be a scrap busting year for me. I have so many groupings of fabrics with ideas in mind and I am going to try to plow through some of them. So far I am off to a good start.

I had a floral fabric in my collection that I pulled out and added to some paper foundation flowers that I had made some time ago. Magic....I now have four placemats that I will be giving to a friend whom we are going to visit soon. I'm not sure how long I have had the fabric, but the selvage has a date of 2007 on it.
Jan 4 2013 027

Jan 4 2013 028
Jan 4 2013 029
The last few days have been spent pruning my roses - over 100 of them!!! It always feels so good to finish that job and look forward to the new growth which should start soon now.  A little A*leve afterwards is a big help too.

Each year Beth has a Neighborhood Block party and this was my house contribution to the neighborhood.  Each of the houses are so cute and looked fabulous together.

Jan 4 2013 001

The Christmas tree also came down today and the last of the red and green has been removed until next December. It seems as though I always manage to find one or two little items that I forgot. Does anybody else do that?

New Year's Eve was quiet for us. We stayed up long enough to know that midnight had happened - in New York!!! Our daughter and her children came over for dinner since her husband had to work. We had a nice dinner and I made cream puffs for dessert.

Jan 4 2013 024
Jan 4 2013 023
Guess there is one way to eat them....just go for it!!

Another bit of sewing was my mug rug for my January/February partner. I can't show the piece yet, but I played around a bit with the scraps and made a small mug rug from them. The little HSTs finish off at 3/4"....tiny, but fun.

Jan 4 2013 012

I am going to be linking up with A Year of Finishes.  Click on the link and you can see what it is all about.  My goal for this month is going to be to finish up the blocks for my Just Takes 2 quilt.  I hope to be able to "finish it up" by the end of January.

So....January is off to a productive year so far and I haven't bought any fabric yet. I think I may keep a record of how long this lasts.