Wednesday, April 23, 2014

From the Land of No Sew

Greetings from the Land of No Sew.  Life has been busy in other ways than sewing.  We've been busy celebrating family times with birthdays and Easter while enjoying house guests.  It doesn't get better than that.

Any spare time has been spent in the gardens.  One of the nice signs of spring's arrival is the blooming of the cacti.  I love this very prickly cactus with it's heart shaped paddles and stunning flowers.

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This cactus was started two years ago with a single paddle.  It is almost to the roof now.

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The flowers on it bloom in yellow.


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This pink cactus is one in a pot with giant and showy flowers.

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We had several birthdays in April including these three grandchildren.

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The active little one with a pink cast for Easter!!!!




Easter was celebrated at our son’s home with the extended family – aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  It was a spectacular day filled with fun and joy.  We took lots of photos, but here is a shot of the grandchildren all together (minus 1).

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This is a picture as we were trying to round everyone up for a group shot – not an easy task when there are around 150 people. 

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I’ll try to do a better job of showing some sewing projects in my next post - if I remember how to use the sewing machine.  ;-)  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Scrappy Saturday

Being that it is Saturday, it is time to post on my “purple” work for this week for the RSC14.

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That brings the blocks to four now.  Being such a large block, the quilt is growing quickly.

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I met a high school friend for lunch this week and we started our visit off by meeting at a quilt shop.  The shop is incredible and a bit overwhelming with so many bolts of fabric.  I really only needed some black and white stripes for bindings, but I saw some fabric that called my name as I walked past.  It was in the “food” section – macaroni and cheese.  Well…..one of my grandsons is a mac and cheese fanatic so I had to make him a bib with it.
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I think he approved of it.  High five anyone?????

The blocks for my Goodnight Irene quilt are now finished.  I made it a bit larger so it can be used as a lap quilt.

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I’ll be linking this to SEWjo Saturday.
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I’ve done a wee bit more sewing this week, but can’t show that yet.  As well, I’ve had a large order of shirts and hats that have needed to be embroidered.  The machines have been kept busy.   Using a cheap wine rack is a great way to store stabilizers for the machine embroidery.

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The rest of the week has been pretty boring – thank goodness – with semi annual checkups (dental cleaning, dermatology checkup, etc.) 

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Crazy Week




Some weeks are just a bit more crazy than others and this past week was one of those.  I had little ones here off and on while one of our grandsons was in the hospital and had four days of IVs due to dehydration from a bad virus he picked up somewhere.  It is tough to see little ones so ill and it broke my heart when he so politely asked “no more needles please” as they were starting the third IV.  Geesh!  The good news is that he came home last evening and is doing great. 


As time permitted through the week I worked on finishing my Japanese x&+ quilt.  I rearranged a few of the blocks from the last photo of them and am quite pleased with this arrangement.  I’d better be happy because I am not taking it out!!!

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We were suppose to send a name label with our blocks, but not everyone did so.  With the ones I did receive, I added a few more blocks and made scrappy blocks using the name labels for the back.  I really like the total scrappiness of this quilt.
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I love the sun coming through from the back.


  
With the spring season the hummingbirds have returned in mass.  I’ve had several that have flown into the house (thanks to small children and open doors) and have needed rescued.  They seem fearless and grateful to be free once again.

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Onwards with the week……….

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Minis

I recently participated in a couple of mini quilt swaps and I received two of the minis this month.

The first one was from the ALQS8.  It is called Mason’s Whirl and was made by Marie (no blog) in NH and I really love her design and use of colors.  As I have said before, this is a fabulous swap each year.


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My second mini quilt came from Sharon as she was my partner this round in our Sewing with Friends swap.  Her work on this is perfect and I love how this little quilt says “spring” through and through.

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This past year I have been a member of a Japanese X&+ block swap.  Our group sadly fell apart along the way and we were only left with a few members.  I hated to see the blocks that I had received not be put to good use so I have slowly added more blocks over the year as I made exchange blocks for others.  I think I now have enough to make a top with them.  After looking at the photo of the blocks, I see a few that need to be changed, but this will be my goal for April’s ALYoF.

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A Lovely Year of Finishes

One last March project that was finished was a feedsack challenge.  Emily provided us with a vintage feedsack to repurpose and this is what I decided to do with mine.

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I cut up some old denim jeans, used an orphan quilt block and used the feedsack to create a pillow for the sofa.  It has a nifty pocket on the back to store the ever lost remote control!  Thanks, Em, for the chance to play with the feedsack.

One last note - Jacquelynne Steve's new Art of Home spring e-magazine is coming out this week.  You can go here to sign up for your free copy which is going to be filled with wonderful projects, patterns, recipes and ideas for spring.






 





Now.......onwards to April!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Farewell to March



Whew!  This has been a quick month.  As we approach the final week in March, I have to say that ours has been fantastic.

We have been fortunate to have two sets of houseguests staying with us this month.  Needless to say, the computer was cast to the back burner.

Our first guests were neighbors of our who moved to Colorado about eight years ago.  We so miss them.  Leslie and I could always get into so much creative trouble.  While they were here Leslie and I played around with a little eco dyeing.  Collecting flowers and tidbits from the yard, we wrapped, packed and cooked our fabrics in jars.  The colors are not great in the photo, but they came out so well.
The first jar contained eucalyptus leaves, geranium petals, blueberries and brown onion skins. 

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The second one was eucalyptus bark, pepper berries, citrus and oak leaves. 

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For a first attempt at it, I was quite pleased and am eager to try more of the technique.  My inspiration for this came from Nat Palaskas who blogs HERE.



Following their visit we were blessed to have my mother’s two “baby” brothers and my cousin’s wife come to stay with us.  This was a huge trip for them as both of my uncles are in their late 80s.  They had not seen my mom in about 12 years so the visit was incredible and I hated to see them leave on Sunday.  We played cards by the hours and laughed until our sides hurt!  Coming from Iowa they so enjoyed our warm sunshine after the winter they have experienced.

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Three siblings



Although my blog and sewing machine have been silent, I did manage to complete my goal of four NYBeauty blocks for this month's ALYoF.  I actually finished six of them.

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This is my collection to date - spread out on my design floor!!!


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I have some mail that I have received ans will share, but I will wait for my next post so this one isn't too long to read.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Making Aqua Headway


I’m really enjoying working on my New York Beauty blocks.  This was a QAL from several years ago and although I printed off all of my blocks, I did not get all ten sets finished.  The color aqua must be on my mind since that is the RSC14 color this month.


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The aqua continued with the arrival of my swap quilt from the ALQS8.  This piece was made by Mary Jackson and came from the U.K.  I really love the wonderful scrappiness of this quilt and the workmanship is excellent.  The colors are fabulous too.

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Switching gears a bit…. I completed a table runner for an auction that is coming up later this month.  I did one last year for the same auction and it went over really well.

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The detail of the machine embroidery is a little hard to see in the photo above, but it was completed using various colors of Floriani threads.  These threads are really lovely for machine embroidery.  They have such a beautiful sheen to them. 

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We’ll have little ones for the weekend so there won’t be any sewing being done around here. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Teal and a Winner


After four name draws of “no reply” bloggers, congratulations go to Ida, the winner of my Uncommonly Corduroy Book Tour Blog Hop.  Ida does such beautiful work and I know that she is going to be thrilled with all of the fun projects in this great book.

The new color for March in the RSC14 is teal.  I LOVE the color and was really excited about sewing this month’s block. 

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Now there are three………

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In contemplating my goals for my March sewing, I am trying to be realistic.  We will be busy entertaining out of town company so I have decided to add at least four more blocks to my N.Y. Beauty project.  I first had to fix the first four blocks because I did not have my printer set to scale when I made them.  Now they are the same size as my others.

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A Lovely Year of Finishes