Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hi There - It's Me!

I don't know what happened as to why I haven't blogged in such a long time.  Well, I know what happened.  It's called "life."

I felt so badly for so long and couldn't quite put my finger on what it was.  A general malaise.  I would get home from work, take Penny out, and then go lay down.  Months of this.  I finally made a doctor's appointment, and after listening to me for a couple of minutes, she sent me next door to the hospital to get a belly ultrasound.  When it was over, the tech said he needed to call the doctor and left the room.  He came back in and asked me to follow him, and he led me to Admitting.  What?  Uh  uh.  No way.  The doctor called me on my cell and said my gall bladder was about to explode and it needed to come out.  Well, I protested all the way through admitting because my dog was at home alone and my car was in the parking lot.  You know what?  They totally ignored me.  Anyway, just an overnight stay, a couple of days home to recuperate, and another few weeks to get adjusted to, once, again, having a body part removed.  I think I've finally turned the corner although I'm still a little scared to eat certain things.  But, as they say, all's well that ends well.

So I haven't been sewing at all.  I've read new quilting books.  I've ordered new patterns and fabric. I've read hundreds of blog and IG posts.  No sewing at all.  That's about to change.

I have two months of Portage Lake BOM to get caught up on.  Thank goodness it's all piecing with only a tiny bit of applique.  I have two months of Sew Sampler bonus blocks to do.  And I have several backings to make.  I'm going to get all of the above done before the end of the year.

I decided that in 2017 I was going to teach myself to English paper piece.  The inspiration was Minick & Simpson's market release quilt, Lake Effect.  Love that quilt!

The pattern is not out yet, but I saw that Laurie had the template and hexie paper pieces on her site, so I ordered them.  Oh, my, I wasn't quite prepared for the package that arrived yesterday.


I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but included were two acrylic templates and about a bazillion precut papers.  That is not an exaggeration, a bazillion. The six-sided elongated hexie template and a teeny one that's an irregular triangle.  Teeny.  I had to study the picture carefully to even find them in the quilt.  Yep, they're there.  Oh, my!  Gulp!  Okay, so I kinda got scared.  Maybe I need to try an easier project first.

So Brenda Riddle regrammed an Instagram post from Sweet Girl Studio about a kit she was offering out of Brenda's fabrics.  I'm on it!  Just regular hexies. "I can easily learn EPP on this project," she said with confidence!  She -- that's me.


Well, that package arrived.  I'm feeling all confident when I opened the package - and then I fainted.  Beautiful Brenda fabrics and two packs of ----- 1/2" hexigon papers.  One-half inch.  As in .5".  Really?

But you know what?  I'm up for it.  Up for both of these projects.  I'm just trying to wrap my mind around turning the seam allowances on that tiny triangle in Laurie's quilt and the 1/2" hexie on the other one.  Wish me luck!

In other news, Thanksgiving was quiet here.  I cooked a ham and my favorite smothered green beans and potatoes.  I wasn't so sure how the green beans would work without my missing body part, so I put in lots of potatoes.  I ate a little and my freezer is stocked with quick meals.  I totally forgot until the next day to cook baby yellow squash.  It was a tradition in our house growing up.  My mother would say that we had to have squash because that's the Pilgrims ate.  My dad would a.l.w.a.y.s reply, "You ought to know.  You were there."  We always groaned, rolled our eyes, and as I got older, I starting saying it along with him.  A happy memory!

We're so busy at work as it's tax season.  I truly believe we have some of the nicest citizens here of any city in the country.  We're a small enough community that I remember a lot of them from last year.  I will have my one-year anniversary on 12/10.  Doesn't seem like a year, does it?  And two years since I moved here!  Anyway, being busy sure does make the days fly by.

That's about it for now.  I have a lot of catching up to do, both in the Cottage and on my blog.  More posts to come.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

August through Labor Day 2016

It's bad when you wait so long to blog that you just name the post by the month.  Sheesh!

I got a good bit done during this period but not as much as I had hoped.  There are several projects in the planning stages, and I can't wait to get started on those.

First and foremost, the devastating floods in South Louisiana.  There are some communities still under water.  I don't mean to make light of the situation, but this is kind of how we feel now.  Please keep our state in your thoughts and prayers.


Of course, rising waters and lots of rain bring out the neighborhood beasts.  This scary creature greeted me as I opened the door to go to work a couple of Mondays ago.  He didn't want to move and he was between the house door and the car door.  I finally got him to leave by remotely honking the horn.  I know the neighbors appreciated that immensely.  And, yes, that is an extremely poisonous cottonmouth moccasin.  I'm real wary of where Penny and I walk now!


Heading back to the Cottage a couple of weekends ago to sew, I loaded up the little wagon with two bolts of fabric and other goodies that arrived in the mail.  The umbrella was loaded up because I always get caught back there when it starts raining and I never seem to have one.


August was also a month for celebrating -- I think.  I finally hit the magic number and I'm officially an old lady now.  But I have to say that this wonderful Chantilly cake sweetened the day.  My thanks to my co-workers.  It was a double celebration because my boss' birthday was the next day.  Fun!


I'm really enjoying the monthly Sew Sampler boxes from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I made this cute table runner from two charm packs included in the box a couple of months ago.  The fabric and pattern are by Lori Holt.


I'm determined to stay on top of the Portage Lake BOM from Minick & Simpson.  Each month has several blocks in it.  Needless to say, I got off to a rocky start -- I can't watch LSU lose their opening game and applique at the same time.  I took the stitches out the next morning, repositioned it and restitched.  I always say I have to do everything twice!





I spent a week pulling fabric and playing around with some pattern ideas.  The time was well spent because I'm almost ready to start some cutting.

The August Sew Sampler box had the Fat Quarter Shop's newest book, the Jolly Bar Book.  I purchased some Jolly Bars and started sewing this weekend.  The first quilt in the book has no cutting, just a Jolly Bar and a layer cake.  It was going together so easily ...



... and then this happened.  This is a picture of what the screen on my Bernina 750 looks like right now.  I heard a couple of loud metal clunks and it stopped dead in the water.  It was Labor Day, after all, so I guess it needed a day off.  So it's off to the shop for this honey, and I'll get out another Bernina to sew on until it's fixed. 


Another thing I've really enjoyed in the Sew Sampler boxes is the bonus blocks.  The Fat Quarter Shop put together for purchase 12 solid fat quarters to use on these blocks.  I'm right on track with the five months received.


So there you have it.  Five weeks in my quilty world.  I'm having so much fun and that's what it's all about!

Monday, August 01, 2016

A New Month Begins


I have to say that it felt good to get into the Cottage and get some things accomplished in July.  Of course, I wanted to do more but I'll take it!

I pulled out the Metro Scope blocks and finally got them sewn together.  I thought I was finished with the top but it looked funny.  It took me two weeks of pondering it to finally realize it needed a final white border.  (sigh)  So that will go on this weekend, the backing pieced and I'll call it good until I can get it to a quilter.


I finished Lucy by Miss Rosie.  I totally adore this quilt.  Of course, I still need to give it a good pressing and stay stitch those edges if, in fact, they are wavy once the pressing is done.  The backing is out and ready to piece, and then it's off to be quilted.



A funny thing happened on the way to the finish.  The last cream snowball block that I picked up to attach had a hole in it.  What?  It looked like a "factory defect" and I'm surprised I hadn't noticed it when I was doing that block.  I took out the scraps and didn't have a piece big enough to cut another square, so I pieced it.  I figured it wouldn't show at all once it was quilted.  A little later I went into the stash closet to look for something and this bolt caught my eye.  Yes, a whole bolt of that Minick & Simpson dot that I love so much - and the exact same fabric that I had just pieced together to get my snowball square!  I even surprised myself on that one!


A week ago the first month of the Portage Lake BOM from Minick & Simpson arrived.  Saturday I got up bright and early and made the whole month!  I really love this quilt, and I'm anxiously awaiting Month 2.  I'm sure it will have a large appliqued block on it, but I figure if I get it prepped as soon as it arrives, I can needle turn it at night during the month and still stay on track.  That's my plan and I'm sticking to it!


I have started cutting out a table runner pattern that came in the June Sew Sampler box from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I hope to get that done next weekend - but not until I piece backings and get the final border on Metro Scope.

So all in all, not a bad month.  I'm ready to forge onward in August and I hope it will be a productive one, too!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

July Sewing

Not a lot of sewing this month, but I am easing back into it after a year and a half with nothing going on but bindings and applique.

Lucy ...


I am further along than this picture and I plan to get her finished up this weekend.  Lucy is a Miss Rosie pattern that she released just before going to work for Moda.  The fact that she also made up a kit was icing on the cake.  Carrie Nelson and Lissa Alexander are about the two most talented folks I know for pulling fabrics from different lines and making gorgeous quilts. Whenever I can I shamelessly snag their kits as I know I could never come close to the awesomeness of theirs!  Yes, I'm a follower ...

The top was just tossed down on the floor by my sewing machine and isn't laying flat.  I can see a wave in the outer border in the picture but I don't think it really is very wavy.  Just to make double sure, though, I'm going to stay stitch around the edge before it goes out to a quilter.  Better to be safe than sorry.

I have purchased very little fabric since I moved to the other LA.  I went through withdrawals, but that was probably a good thing because it was hard to get out to the mailbox in a wheelchair that first year here!  :)  This year I signed up for the Frivols monthly shipments from the Fat Quarter Shop, as well as their Sew Sampler monthly boxes.  I look forward to both of those shipments.  I also belong to the Miss Rosie and the It's Sew Emma pattern clubs through the Fat Quarter Shop, and it's so much fun to get those when they ship.  Lots of inspiration in those patterns.



This week I order a box of goodies from Brenda Riddle. She was offering scrap bags from her recent collections, and the proceeds of those go to her Quilted Comfort project.  I'm here to tell you that there are oodles of wonderful pieces from her Fleurs, Bespoke Blooms, Ambleside and Windermere collections.  I have come up with a plan for those, but first I just wanted to play in them for a few days!  I also ordered an FQ bundle of Fleurs and a gingham bundle.  I'll get two or three tops out of all that beautiful fabric!

The Sew Sampler box arrived, too, and it's a good one!  The It's Sew Emma patterns also came in.  Three packages this week!  I am in heaven!

I have an appointment in a little bit for a pedicure, and then I'm going to spend the rest of the weekend in the Cottage finishing up Lucy and will probably cut out a tablerunner.  I've been working on just UFOs for a while, and the need for a new project is beckoning!

Monday, July 04, 2016

God Bless Ameria





“We identify the flag with almost everything we hold dear on earth, peace, security, liberty, our family, our friends, our home. . .But when we look at our flag and behold it emblazoned with all our rights we must remember that it is equally a symbol of our duties. Every glory that we associate with it is the result of duty done.”
~Calvin Coolidge

Sunday, July 03, 2016

No More Basket Progress Pictures


I promise I won't show any more progress pictures.  You know why?  Because they're done!  Yep, all 291 of them!

The next time they're posted will be on the design wall!

I have to figure out how I'm going to lay them out, but I need to get a couple of other projects finished up before I do that.  For now I'm just going to bask in this feeling of accomplishment!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Busy Weekend

When the Cold Wind Blows, 291 appliqued baskets, 280 done ...... 11 to go.


The end is VERY near!  I'll try to get them done by next weekend, but we'll see what roadblocks pop up this week.  Those 11 are at the bottom of the picture, prepped and ready to go!

Yesterday this old house was power washed.  I didn't realize how dingy it was looking until it was clean.  Some of the outside trim will have to be painted but, all in all, it isn't too bad.  It was quite a production, though, involving scaffolding and 23 gallons of bleach.  They are coming back next weekend to clean the Cottage and two storage buildings on the property.  Next up, inside painting.  I still have to figure out the game plan on that.  I'm sure it will be ceilings first, then kitchen cabinets (including new hinges), and then the rest of the house.  I'm facing decisions on paint color and that has me stressed.  You'd think color choices would be easy for a quilter!