Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Big Surprise and More Waiting.....

A week or so ago, I commented on Deb Strain's blog. She was giving away 3 panels from her latest Valentine line of fabric, Surrounded by Love from Moda. A few days later, she notified me that I was one of lucky winners!
On Friday, after a day of meetings and errands, I came home to find a big heavy box that had cost almost $18 to ship. Of course, Mr. Moosebay wanted to know what I had ordered. I was wondering too--I've been known to forget those kind of things--late night online--glass of Merlot--things happen!
I opened the box and found this note from Deb and the panel I had won.... 

...and under the panel was all this!
TONS of strips of fabric from the Surrounded by Love line!
I think they would be equivalent to at least a half dozen jelly rolls--probably more.

Most of the strips are cut on the fold, so when they are opened up, many of them measure up to 4 inches.
I'll be able to make a pretty nice sized quilt for myself and I also see lots of Project Linus quilts in my future--awesome!!! 

In the meantime, I've been doing a little sewing.
I'm guessing this will be the center block of the Countdown to Christmas Temecula Sew Along.
The 20 remaining stars and 4 patches have been sewn together--can't wait to see how this all comes together.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Plugging Along and Waiting....

I took a little time this week to figure out a layout for my Civil War blocks. 

I was inspired by a Paula Barnes quilt that Gruber's had hanging in their lobby last month. 
I changed it up a bit to accommodate my 49 blocks.
Red Crinoline: Elizabeth
 I also wanted it to be a rectangle. 
After a bit of tweaking in EQ7, I finally worked out a design that I am pretty happy with 
and can't wait to it see come together. 

CelticSolstice 009
Bonnie's colors for Celtic Solstice mystery quilt.

Are you planning to do Bonnie Hunter's 2013 mystery?? My first BH mystery was last year's Easy Street and I was able to use up a nice chunk of my stash. And it was fun to see how all the components would come together. After last year's little "snafu" with too little contrast between some of my chosen colors, I am being very careful to avoid that issue this year. That's the risk you take when you don't follow Bonnie's chosen palette!  

It was so hard to come up with my own color scheme--
I don't have large amounts of the colors Bonnie has picked out for her quilt. 
 After a lot of digging, I had an Ah-Ha moment--Christmas!!
You can print out Linda's swatch chart at Inklingo HERE
Bonnie's colors are on the left and Linda's on the right. 
I pulled some patches (center) from my box of pre-cut squares to decide what colors I would swap out.
Wouldn't it be great to use up ALL of this basket of fabric?
That's why I am not just doing a red and green quilt--
I have tan pine boughs, light blue snowy skies, and white on white snowflakes to use up too.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

And Now for Something Completely Different

I had to join this Sew Along--after all, I had purchased the book back when it was available for pre-order at the Fat Quarter Shop.

This is the Quilty Fun Sew Along project.
You need the book for the cutting instructions on each block.
FYI: This Sew Along pattern is not in the book!
Quilty Fun by Lori Holt
There are 11 adorable projects inside!
For the Sew Along, 
there is a download available every week for each step through the Fat Quarter Shop blog, 
the Jolly Jabber HERE.

The apples were the first week's block.
By the way, these blocks go together very quickly! 

Week 2 block--cute stars. Lori is all about CUTE!!
This is the Week 3 block..
As I said before,  these blocks stitch up very fast!
It's not too late to order a copy of Quilty Fun and get started
Apron Club
I've been a fan of Lori's since I made one of her first patterns, Apron Club.
We used that pattern one year for our Stitch Therapy project--sew much fun!
She has a great blog: A Bee in My Bonnet HERE

I've been having a lot of fun going through my stash of American Jane and Thirties Reproduction fabric. They are all so cheerful and happy--perfect to play in on these cloudy gray days!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Almost Famous?

Earlier this fall, our local PBS station, Lakeland Public TV visited our third Tuesday sewing group: the Breezy Point quilters (I don't think we have an official name, actually). The station produces an arts program named Common Ground. The segment that was taped the day they visited aired last night!

 If you have some time on your hands, you can watch our segment HERE. You may have to scroll down a bit--search for Breezy Point. There are three links: one to the full episode, just our segment and a teaser. 

Pelican Lakes Conservation Club

We meet each month (with the exception of summer months) at the Pelican Lake Conservation Club. Our group started as an off-shoot of the Lakes Area quilt guild Pinetree Patchworker's, but anyone that enjoys sewing and some chit-chat is welcome to come join in on the fun. We start sewing at 9 am and go until 4 pm. Most of us bring a bag lunch and sometimes there are treats to share. There's a sub shop nearby for those that prefer not to brown bag it. Sandi always has the coffee going!

When a Cold Wind Blows
Since the Conservation Center is right in my neighborhood, I usually just pop over with some hand work for the day. I've basted a lot of hexies there and  made lots of progress on Words to Live ByI'm not sure how many meetings I did the starching and applique on these baskets, but I'm sure everyone was as sick to death seeing them as I was working on them!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Little Update!

It's been over a week and I've been  busy, busy, busy! We are still doing a lot of traveling to the hospital to sit with my mother, but keeping our fingers crossed that she will be moved closer to home later this week. Fortunately, there are several of us siblings in the area, so we have been taking turns visiting--today is my day "off".
I have a lot of cleaning to catch up on, but I have a little "show and tell" to share!
A few of my "stitching" friends have started a new hand sewing group and the first meeting was last Tuesday evening. It was fun to chitchat and do some sewing. The embroidery on the center block of Words To Live By is now complete--yay!!

The next day I had some time to go back and touch up the inking on all of the blocks.
A nice sunny morning can do wonders for writing on your quilt!

These are the  8 inch blocks that will go in the corners of Words To Live By.
I've been able to do a little of the embroidery in the car and at the hospital,
 but I still have a lot of sewing left to do on them. 

I worked on trimming the flying geese for the 2" Temecula Count Down to Christmas stars.
These are officially the smallest geese I have ever made--maybe ever WILL make!
They measure 3/4" by 1 1/2"--cute! 

Once those little geese are taken care of, the stars go together pretty quickly.
All of my components are ready for further instruction!
(24 stars, 140 four patches, 156  2.5" squares)

I love the look of this month's Country Threads Chicken Scratch blocks.
I chose a brighter red rather than the rust in hopes of cheering up my quilt.
Hopefully, I will get the November Dixie Diary blocks sewn soon.
I'm avoiding the set-in seams in the corners!

Having the Red Cross blocks from The Blue and the Gray set up by the machine makes getting a few sewn easy when I have a little time.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Sad and Stressful Week

This past week was not one I would like to repeat. It included my washing machine (9 years old) blowing up beyond repair. Thankfully, since it was an HE, there wasn't that much water that leaked onto the floor. 

My Mom had a middle of the night medical emergency that had her tranferred to a hospital 90 minutes away, as the local hospital didn't have the specialists she needed. She is improving every day and we are hopeful that she will be closer to home soon. 

The  worst news was that my retreat buddy Terry Atkinson has tragically lost her precious daughter Megan to an unknown heart condition--so, so sad. Losing a child is just inconceivable and terrible--I can only imagine her pain. 

There was one bright spot this week: teaching a fun group of ladies on Wednesday how to applique.
Eight new converts--yes!  

I haven't had much chance to get any sewing in since Wednesday. We have been making the three hour round trip to the hospital to sit with my mother most days and I haven't been in the mood to do much hand sewing.

 I was able to get a little start on my Temecula Stars (Countdown To Christmas) while waiting for our new washer to be delivered Saturday morning:

I have four made, so I guess I'm right on schedule....