Monday, December 29, 2014

Reflections......

Actually pretty excited to get 2015 started....  

Last year I posted some "goals."  Even though others might say they were not completed... they were attempted, still being attempted and the big one.... putting down the club... that was the one that was the most successful!! So I am super happy!  

Got several quilt tops out of the closet and in use, made several more, walked more and lost some weight (granted I put a few pounds over the holidays - but those will be off before long), and did not blog as much but did start a Facebook page though! 

I think the plan will be to continue the goals from 2014 and let them carry over...... keep working at them.....   

Love getting that fresh start....  

Additional goal for 2015....  

REDUCE and DOWNSIZE

Have yard sales, continue to use up fabric stash, give away stuff....  


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Whew.....

..... on to 2015!  Merry Christmas everyone! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tree finished.....




And this little sweet plant sitter showed up from wintery Wisconsin.... 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas preparations......

Ahhhh... love working on Christmas presents and decorating the tree....  


First ever button hole!  I do not know what was so frightening to me!  


All these decorations must get from the coffee table up to that tree....  


Such a taskmaster!  Cute one though.....


2014 Handmade Christmas cards.  I love simple.  


Finally quilting the Urban Cowgirl.  

And the tree is finally decorated....  None of the pictured ornaments are ones that I have made. They are all store or craft fair bought over the years.  





Love these little mini Amish baby dolls.  I found them in some of my grandmother's craft boxes after she passed away..... I love to put them on my tree.  

Now.... back to Christmas preparations....  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Where has the time gone.....

So amazed that half of October and all of November slipped by without one little blog post!  Luckily..... productivity has been rampant!  

Two corner to corner afghans were completed.  I must admit this is a record for me!  Usually, it will take me a couple of months to complete one.  Okay - actually it will take me more than a couple of months... hahahaha...  

Started on my oldest daughter's quilt.  So exciting.  We had talked about the Terry Atkinson's Stash Stars Pattern.  

Purchased the pattern... but finding fabric for my daughter proved to be a little bit of a challenge.  So I tabled the quilt.

While browsing the internet for star patterns, I went to Quilt in a Day's free pattern site and found "Leah's Star." 

Oh..... I was excited and scared all at once.... excited because my oldest daughter's name is Leah and scared because it looks like a very complicated pattern. So using scraps left over from the "No More Beige Blues" table runner  I made a test block.



Let me tell you!  So easy.  So awesome. So happy!  Then the hunt for fabric started.  

My bestie and I went fabric shopping.  We welcome any excuse to go fabric shopping!  

Leah likes muted colors and an antique style fabric.... but not too old fashioned.  This can be difficult but we found the perfect fabrics.  However, I was a little concerned that it might look too Christmassy....  (is that even a word?) Mind you, Leah has not seen the fabric, nor the pattern yet!
  
So the cutting started.... my idea was to use the same fabric for the background of each block, use the focus fabric as star part one and the other two fabrics as the star part two in each of the blocks.  However, in all the excitement it got away from me and I made a cutting error. Oh boy!  I get so discouraged.....  and this would have been horrible except that the youngest daughter (who really should be a quilt designer!) said to make it scrappy and then none of the cutting error is wasted!  Wooo Hoo....  I made a couple of blocks, posted the picture on Instagram and Leah commented that she loved the fabrics!!!  WOOO HOOOO! 

So on Thanksgiving I showed her the blocks, the pattern and she is so excited!  



And she did not think it was too Christmassy.  Yes, it was used twice so it must be a word now! 

Seriously..... if you are looking for a great pattern... this is definitely it.  I LOVE it!  

Finished piecing another quilt top.....



This one is based on Which Ways North pattern....  

Started Christmas package toppers...... 



Tutorial from Little Golden Nook  (Love Pinterest!) 



Michael helping me this morning.....  

And now back to the cutting board (literally) so I can get Leah's Star Quilt pieced!  



If time has to slip away.... so glad it was full of busy fun!  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wicked Servant

My husband is the band leader for the contemporary service at our church.  At the beginning of each week, we read the following Sunday's bible lessons and our Pastor's worship notes in an effort to select songs that will help tie the whole service together.

Some weeks are easier than others.  This was not one of those weeks.  

Not because the lessons were hard to understand or the Pastor's notes were ambiguous..... quite the contrary.  

For me, the readings took on a more personal side.....

Matthew 18:32-35


32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” 


Hmmmm..... Forgiveness.... not a strong attribute for me... in fact I have a tendency to hold on... hold on with all my might.  All the wrongs in my life.   

My. Entire. Life.  

I am the wicked servant.

We have been told over and over that it is necessary to forgive.  Many articles... many, many, many therapists, doctors and counselors have all said that forgiveness helps the forgiver....  

I wholeheartedly agree with those statements... it all makes sense.  

However, I believe I hold on that lovely little gift... 

Why?  

Because it is for me. 

What?   

I am a servant.  I serve.  So to do something for myself does not make any sense in my little brain.  If I hold onto that forgiveness... it is not hurting anyone but me.  

The word "SERVANT" jumped out at me in those verses. It is giving me a different perspective. 

To be a better servant.....  is to forgive.  So I am not doing it for myself.  I need to see that it is being done for others.

If I forgive everyone that has, whether intentional or not, hurt me..... I will be a better servant.  

So, how does it help others? 
  
It seems that if forgiveness is given....  especially if it is accepted by the one giving it...... hmmmmm......

If forgiveness is accepted by the one giving it, then the giver (servant) sees the person to be forgiven (fellow servant) in a new light.  Not as the one who hurt them, but as someone who needs help, needs to be served.  And someone who is trying to serve just as we are! 


Sooooooo....... if I see the person who is being forgiven, not as a mean, selfish person, who has hurt me, but as someone who needs help and as a fellow servant...... I will treat them differently.  I will not hold on to that hurt with all my might.  I will not want to seek justice or righteousness.... I will not treat them as an enemy.  I will not wallow in it.  (Yes, that is a tough one to swallow.)

Instead of being cold, distant, and even I will dare to say.... mean to them, I will serve them.  Love them.  

To give them God's love. 


It is time.....

Time to forgive.  Time to release the wickedness.


Time to just be a servant.      


Monday, September 1, 2014

Beige Blues all gone!

(Measures 45 1/4 x 16 3/4)

Love these weekend projects and it definitely chased the Beige Blues away.

Three 12 1/2 inch wonky star blocks, 2 1/2 inch borders and cornerstones.... make for a great Fall Table Runner.  The fabric below the top in the above picture will be the binding and the backing will be a nice solid black fabric.  (I made this same table runner for my friend, last year, using Christmas fabrics.... you can see it on my Table Runner Page.)

Fabric used in the table runner is is a 2012 Kim Schaefer Design for Andover Fabrics. I purchased a fat quarter bundle at a local quilt show several months ago. 

Wonky Star tutorial here, courtesy of The Silly BooDilly blog.  

Give it a try!

Guaranteed to cure any color blues you may have! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A little case of the Beige Blues

Wow!  It has been forever since a blog post.  Okay... it has only been a month.  

Still working on the Fabulous 50 and Flying Geese quilt. Youngest helped me find the border, backing and binding fabric for it.   


While the orange and star fabric is awesome, it is not part of the border, binding or backing of the quilt.... just absolutely could not live without it.  

Living in the southwest at this time of year, makes me nostalgic for my hometown of Staunton, Virginia... with the green countryside, beautiful old homes and lots of fall color.  

The southwest has every color of beige imaginable.... even with hints of pink.  

I. Am. So. Tired. Of. Beige.  

So.....  I was very fortunate to spend a very short weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina with my cousins, who lived with us (my parents, my younger sister and I) when we were all small.... 10 years and under. Can you believe that it had been nearly 40 years since we all saw each other?  

Driving around Raleigh.... oh how beautiful.  Rainy, green, cool - even a little humid, green, rainy..... did I mention green?  


This was the view from our hotel room.  Notice the ratio of beige to green.  Beige is minimal. 

What a great weekend....  laughter, food, hugs and more laughter.  

So, of course, this made me even more nostalgic.... not to mention my cousins  and sister sending me pictures of green all the time (They live in South Carolina, Georgia and Illinois)!   

And one of my favorite friends sending me gorgeous green pictures from her morning walks in Wisconsin!  

Granted our little area has had a wonderfully wet August.... 


But there is still a lot of beige out there. 

So with this gift of a three-day weekend....  getting some much needed restful sleep (a nap or two), a little pre-week cooking done and some sewing in... and even starting another project.  


Made a batch of homemade veggie stock.  Yes, it is green! The Kitchn has a great recipe... super easy.  I love that there is no wrong way of making it.  Among the many benefits to making this yourself.... is controlling the amount of salt....and we can add all the garlic we want!  

Several months ago, my youngest, my best quilty friend and I went to a quilt show.  I picked up some fun fall fabric. Was never really sure what I was going to make with it.

Today, I decided to make a new table runner. This was a fat quarter bundle with fabric designs created by Kim Schaefer for Andover Fabrics (dated 2012 on the selvage).  


Yes.....this fabric is really chasing the Beige Blues away!  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fabulous 50 and Flying Geese!

What has happened since my last post? 

Turned 50.....  

started a Flying Geese quilt top 


Wanted to change up the pattern a bit so a few calculations on how much fabric to cut had to be done.  The original pattern is based on a scrappy design.... I only want to use two fabrics - a fun purple and pink poppy flower design and a white on white...
 Think I got it 
Really had to refresh my memory because it is has been nearly a year since I made a quilt top from the pattern.  Here is the finished top....  Okay, actually it is not finished.  I still need to do the applique.
So it took an entire evening and nearly two episodes of Last Tango in Halifax.... but we are on our way! 
 My sweet family threw me a surprise birthday party for my Big 5-0!  My youngest came up with the idea and spearheaded the whole thing..... she had the help of her dad, her sister and my friend.  They all pulled off a huge surprise for me and I cannot think of a better way to ring in my Year of Jubilee!  


My friends and family know me very well and I am truly blessed!   

50 and Flying Geese.... pretty fabulous

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Never alone.....

Ahhhh.... three day weekend, celebrating country and freedom, and moving forward on the 2014 goals.... ahhhhh....



This where I left off tonight.... two quilts all pinned and ready to be quilted.  Of course, there was quite a journey to get here. 

My little furry blessings help me to never, I mean, never ever.... feel alone.  If they are not with me in the sewing room.... they are with me in other parts of the house.  


Miss Susie is enjoying the backing to the Urban Cowgirl quilt.


 Michael appreciates the tops better. 

Before getting to the top.... I thought I had measured the batting incorrectly - so there was a bit of frustration.  It turned out that I just grabbed the wrong piece.  

After crawling around on the floor last night - (not to mention the nearly three hours of yard work the day before) I was pretty sure that I would be very sore today.

But....



No soreness - so another quilt is getting sandwiched.  And not a furry buddy to be found!  


Spoke too soon!  
Yes, he really does love the tops!  


So, all in all, this was a great weekend... while it was a quiet one for our family... no family cook out or pool party.... I was never alone.  

Got to work towards checking off another 2014 goal.... (Urban Cowgirl quilt was a top previously made.) 



These are the last two quilt tops that need to be quilted and become completed quilts.  The top one still needs the applique done....  and the bottom quilt top is my second ever quilt! 

I am nearing my 50th birthday.... the Year of Jubilation.   It has been a life-long dream to sew and quilt.  I am so happy that I am finally fulfilling that dream.  

And......



I am really, really happy that I never have to do it alone.  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Little additions to the blog.....

Have been absent from the blogging world for a bit.

But for good reasons......

Been sewing, been creating, been finishing projects.  

Added a new page to the blog called "Other Fun Projects."

Tweaked the other pages....

Well, back to the sewing machine. 

Promise to post again very soon!  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Heads or Tails


My youngest''s quilt is all done!  

We named it "Heads or Tails" because some of the center blocks have little kitty heads and some have their tails.  

She picked the fabrics, pattern and placement.  I just sewed and quilted.  

The pattern is Alex Anderson's Square Dance Quilt. 

This is an easy block to piece and the quilt goes together so nice and easy.  I plan to make a few more of these - perfect for baby quilts!  

This was also the first time I used my walking foot to quilt.  Love, Love, love, love!  

No more frustrations with thread breaking because of going too fast...  

Highly recommend this pattern and the straight line quilting! 

(This quilt is folded and on my daughter's bed.... that really makes me happy!   


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

Quilting Queen.....

Okay - Queen may be a little much but it sure feels like it is all about quilts at my place....  

Still working at my 2014 list of goals and while I am not 100% successful (numbers 1 and 2 for instance).....  I am reaching other goals....  Mainly spending at least 30 minutes in my sewing room and finishing up quilts. 

On Instagram.... you can find some other pictures of the progress....  

John's Quit is finished!!!!  




So glad he likes it!  


So handsome... boy am I ever a lucky girl!  
Of course we cannot finish one without starting another! 

My youngest picked out fabric at a Quilt Show - super cute cat fabric!!!  She chose the pattern "Square Dance Quilt" in "Start Quilting with Alex Anderson"..... so thankful she picked one I could handle.....    

However, in the rush - I mis-read the pattern and.... (so lucky) cut the strips too wide.... thank goodness it was not too thin!  


Whew!!! 
So after trimming and sewing.....  she got to play around with the layout


Such super cute fabric!!!

Now just to finish it up this weekend. (Got a surprise early release from work today - so I will get a good head start on it!)   


This quilt has actually named itself....... can you guess?  

She had fun "auditioning" inner borders, borders, binding and backing....  she has a great eye for color!  

Need to also cut and sewing this month's BOM....  

Maybe I really am the Quilting Queen.... at least for the day!   

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My cutting table......


Love starting a new quilt.  My cutting table has been missing me..... or have I been missing it?  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

John's Quilt

Took a day off from work and had a little day trip with the hubby and the youngest.  We always go north but decided that we needed to go where we have never been before.  

We visited Florence, Miami, Superior, Globe and Apache Junction.  We met a woman in Globe who gave us a tour of the old Pinal County Superior courthouse.  She filled us with tales of ghosts and a mysterious murder....  she was awesome!
  
Saturday evening, we spent time at our oldest daughter's and husband's house to celebrate her  birthday.  Our son-in-law cooked delicious burgers (and veggie burgers for my daughter and me) on the grill.  He also grilled some sweet peppers to perfection. It was a fun evening of delicious food, (a little tequila... yummmm)  games with friends and family and lots.... and I mean lots... of laughter!  

So happy to be able to get a little time in the sewing room this weekend. 

Finally finished the quilting on John's quilt on Saturday.  (Before the tequila!) Fought hard with that quilt....  the top thread broke a million - and that is no exaggeration! - times.... but it is done.   


Miss Susie had to show me who was boss though.... so I had to wait to see my notes of the measurements so the binding could be cut. 

Finally got it all cut and sewn.....


And with the label made, the binding sewn to the front - John's Quilt is all ready for me to spend a little time in front of the television while I hand stitch the binding to the back....  


Just in time for Summer ;)  

And that green box?  It is the next project waiting!!