Sunday, November 30, 2014

Desires for December

With the major Holiday fast approaching there's a calmness I have with knowing that all will get done.  Just by doing bits at a time, it will be achievable, hehe.....(and delegating)

                      it's the same principal as how I mention how do you eat an elephant?

                              One Bite At a Time!  (Or as with Trudy, moving that paper clip)

That being said there seems to be more done when I list my intentions down and this will be my format this year.
  • This week I plan on getting the outdoors decorations up like the wreaths, garland and even candles in the windows.  Then I'll start the Christmas cards and greetings. 
  • Of course there will be shopping, cooking, and candy making included for tasks needing done.
  • As for traveling, we need to visit the eldest grandson at his school in Ma., Christmas concerts (I love!!), Christmas Services, Holiday parties and gatherings with friends I also love.
  • Taking care of all of that besides progressing on my creative endeavors and the want to get done lists.  So the December's list in that arena will contain:

1- Quilt that Horse quilt PGD#1 made for the boy in Nicaragua. This I'll slate as my December's challenge for ALYOF.  It is resting on the sewing table relaxing so I hope to get to that this coming week.   YIPPEE! Done, see this link...
2- Teach PGD#1 how to bind it.   Done on the above link and project.
3- Quilt then Bind the Community Project quilt for WFQG.
4- Stitch four more blocks on the current CXS Lizzie Kate, Winter Alphabet.  Progressing nicely.
5- Make 2 more doll/stuffed animal quilts. 
6- Start the new QAL with Bonnie Hunter Mystery, Grand Illusion. Yep, going to jump on that boat and try to keep up with the steps for each week. Maybe not get all the units sewn but started so it'll be in bits unti I can get caught up, I have to be realistic about this. Perhaps a baby quilt size.......hehehe.  Also am thinking of changing the colors a bit too time wll tell, Yellow, pink red and green with the black and white sounds yummy doesn't it.  
7- Make trash containers for the car, these should be such a quick project that I'll use this project as my NewFO for December, the last one, she's giving these up to concentrate on UFOs next year.  Barb Stanbro who has been hosting this at Cat Patches blog gets so much accomplished each month.  She's amazing.  If you have time, check out her posts and the quilting she's currently doing on the "Gardeners Quilt". 
8- Using another wild card or 2,3  4  for myself as my #8 entry, making things like a tea cozy, assist making a Library card holder and bag for PGD#1, new table runner with a Christmas fabrics for Living Room,  etc....  we'll see.
9- Exercise 20 minutes a day at least for 5 days a week.
Could you tell I was an over achiever in school? It's either that or am I just plain NUTS? It seems like quite a large list to get to and I know it'll be a challenge but I am also ever optimistic. 

We went to see the Holiday Train last night when it went through town and despite the deep cold, it was  enjoyable.  The Canadien Pacific Holiday Train is another tradition we've embraced in the past several years.  The grand children love seeing it and the idea of giving food for those less fortunate embodies the season of giving.   As I sign off it's only fitting to quote a train by chanting,  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can .........toot toot!

I need to run, the ladies of our family are attending a party at 5pm with oils and fragrances and I love learning new ideas. 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving and November's recap

Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving celebrations with family and friends. 

I am thankful for all the blessings we have in our lives.  My gratitudes are typically expressed each morning upon waking and when I retire when the day is done.   So I try to live each day with gratitude in my heart.  Some other be phrases to use and I think are appropriate is:

be focused,
be unique,
be nice,
be on time! (a personal pet peeve of mine),
be true to yourself and to others,
be persistent,
be  loyal,
be your best,
and most of all........ BE CREATIVE!

This bouquet of flowers lasted over 2 weeks.  My DH gave them to me for my uh  Birthday on the 10th.  He surprised me with having them on the dining room table when I returned home on the 9th from my guild meeting in Glens Falls.  The roses didn't last as long and were shabby after the first week, but the rest lasted quite a while and I thought of the photo Mom took of her bouquet and thought this would be a terrific bookmark for moi and a reminder of that love when I read each night.  ;)

The November's goals I had were to:

1- Quilt Wee Wander Baby Blanket ( no intention declared for this yet, just to have it done and on hand.) I'm attributing this project as my ALYOF project with Melissa and H20 girl at Fiber of all sorts.  FINISHED!!! including a blank label to attach when I know where it's going.   Used a minkee plush fabric on the back with a variegated thread.  Photos below......
2- Quilt the Horse quilt PGD#1 made for the boy in Nicaragua. Also, I need to cut the binding so she can learn the binding making technique at one of our upcoming sewing sessions.    It's layered but not stitched a bit yet.  This will be moved to December's ALYOF project.
3- Quilt and Bind the Community Project quilt for WFQG.  Nada-zip, this will stay on my list for December
4- Make two stuffed animal quilts for CVQG.  Check!  Photos shared here.....
5- Do something for myself, this will be my wild card.   Check!  Made a table runner with leaves scattered on the center panel for that sofa table.  A nice easy finish.
6- Help PGD#1 finish her pillow she started with the cupcake kids. Almost done and it is too cute. She's planning on giving this to her Mom for her Birthday on the 22nd. Will be done this week! I'll post and share photos after the finish.   Check! 
7- Mend the vinyl on my Brother in Law's snap on weather protector for his backhoe. Hopefully right after I get off this computer. Edited 11/4- Attempted without success, but now I can cross this one off my list.  Check!
8- For Slow stitching Sundays I want need to start another cross stitch project. Maybe another small one like the recent finish, a Shepherds Bush Christmas fob.  Started a Lizzie Kate winter alphabet.  Planning on getting one square stitched each week -minimum! shown below...

Plush minkee used on backing.
Had an issue of that "fringing" effect so
had to rip out and redo with a thin bat between.

My favorite part of the panel ......
For next month's challenge....
It's laying on top of the sewing area to quilt in
December for the ALYOF challenge!

Started on November  13, 2014
using the threads called for.

So all in all, I'm content and feeling inspired to continue more.  Don't get me wrong I still have numerous UFOs pigs and plenty to get done on my lists, but if I can just keep all of these balls in the air and now focus on some exercise each day to boot and I'll be feeling mighty grand. 

Enjoy your blessings,


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scraps, a Fat Quarter and a Hunk of Fabric

Yep, that makes me extremely happy.  Some scraps, a fat quarter and a half yard hunk of yellow fabric is how much I've used in the past several days.  ;~)  Doesn't take much to make me happy does it.  LOL!
The yellow patchwork doll blanket is 20" x 16", a perfect doll blanket size.  Many of the floral purple scraps were pulled to unify this quilt and I choose to let them flow in a diagonal design.  Most of these scraps were from an Irish chain colorwash quilt I made around the turn of the century.  Imagine that!  All of these languishing in my scrap basket, it's time to set them free into the world.
For the backing I used some minkee scraps.  It's those bits you cut off around the perimeer and were narrow so I had to piece them with a centered seam.  Now it's a cuddly and very tactile element that's finished.  Of course there is still plenty of that to use.

I forgot how much fun it was doing these smaller projects.  While I was working on them I also had an epiphany.  Considering that recent baby quilt that I finished this past month, the Wee Wander one that I'm not yet sure where it's going, I plan on making a doll blanket out of it's scraps to go with it for the little girl who gets it.    Figure it'll be a beautiful gift a quilt for baby and her dollies.  She'll love her babies with the same blanket "Mommy" had. 
After I meet more of my self-imposed deadlines, I'll get to that - promise!
I did mention this to my Mom and she thought it was a fantastic idea.
Thanks for the endorsement Mom.  (see insanity is a genetic theme with in our family line. lol)

This litlle quilt measures 16 inches square, rather large for that little bee,
but I just know the recipient will have a doll or two that would love to use it  too..

In case you missed the stuffed animal, it's a cute little bee.  So many children scream when a bee buzzes around them that I hope this lil' one will foster kindness and a sense of respect and hopefully even a love toward these creatures, which we all know are a necessity for all of mankind.

It also has embroidered eyes and doesn't have any removeable buttons so it will be safe for any child.

That fabric mentioned is just the amount used up on those stuffed animal and doll quilts I've worked on.  The two yellow and purple quilt combinations are totally done and I'm currently working on the third which is totally scrappy and made up of 2 1/2" squares.  Again making it a comfortable 20" x16" quilt.   

What do you think of this scrappy mess?   I have some dark brown minkee scraps I thought for the baking and perhaps using a bright green for a binding.  There is a frog in my studio that wants a covering.

This past Saturday it was time for our circle of friends quilting group gathering.  Since we got together at a local fire station that has with plenty of space I have to add, 3 items that were pieced and awaiting quilting got layered for that next step, QUILTING.    I also was able to cut binding for all three of these as well as cut up that yellow half yard fabic into 2 1/2" strips so I could humpjump with some of my scraps while doing other projects.  Then before you knew it, I had a doll quilt finished. 

They were:
1-  A fall themed table runner that I utilized the fabric print with some quick borders slapped on.  Thanks Gina for the idea to KISS (keep it simple stupid  silly).
2- The twin size horse quilt for PGD#1's charity quilt for that young man in Nicaragua.
3- A charity quilt double-queen size for my quilt guild in Glens Falls.

I had trouble doing the last one and it may need to get relayered with a wider table set up, we'll see.   Hopefully, I'll get the first two quilted in the next week before Thanksgiving so there will be some easy hand stitching around while I finish the binding especially while we have family and friends stopping by for the Holiday. 


Friday, November 7, 2014

Going smoothly...

Things are going smoothly around here, despite the snow that started falling.  I am not ready, please make it stop! 
DH has left the hot tub open longer this season and it'll have to be closed soon. Inserting my whiniest voice for that, Sitting in it daily makes it so much easier for me.  When that's closed all the solar lighting will have to be stored as well as the last few other items that need tending so we can bunker down for the winter.

Our neighbor had a turn of bad luck on the 24th of October.  Their class A camper had an electrical fire.    It didn't take long before it was just a skeleton and they are not sturdy by any means.   They were just getting it packed up to head south for the winter.  Luckily they weren't on a highway or sleeping in it.  No one was hurt, Thank God.

As for project progresses made:
**That Backhoe door/vinyl repair was attempted and without success so it was given back to my sister in law.  I broke a needle in three different places and it jammed up my machine.  The stitches were huge loops and when I knew the Bernina didn't sound right and tried to take it off, it didn't want to release it.  I had one bugger of a time so I knew it couldn't be done here. I mentioned to my SIL that I figure an upholstery shop or boat/canvas repair shop might be able to help them out.  She was truly grateful for my attempt.

**McKenna-PG#1, finished that jack-o-lantern pillow for her Mom's Birthday on November 22nd, but couldn't wait to give it to her.  lol    She did a fantastic job.  I did quilt it for her and helped her years ago with most of the embroidery after she had colored the pumpkin.  The rest she did in stages with me helping her by pinning it together and directions with  the next step.  Here it is......

orThe jack o lantern pattern came from the Happy zombie which she started coloring it around 2007 or 2008!  (I knew she started coloring it when she was just three years old.)  Then we embroidered with threads and even a long piece of silk orange ribbon.  Then the center just languished in my sewing room waiting and grinning at my like a fool each october.  So glad that an idea finally hatched and it morphed into this project and became her pillow to give to her Mom. 

She learned numerous techniques with this project.  Simple up and down stitching, coloring on fabric, selecting fabrics with auditions, doing a partial seam, inserting a zipper and lining, and using a zig zag stitch.  Well done honey!  With the crafting for kids recently offered through web sights with Sew Cal gal, I should share her craft there. Perhaps there will be another time for that since it's a bit too late and it was a long project.  Way to go Honey, I am so proud of you!!!!!

**The Wee Wander (WW) baby quilt was attempted with just Minkee fabric on the back.  Then that minkee fringing started showing up on the top of the quilt.  Grrrrr! Just last year I was able to use a minkee only for the backing on a batik quilt which has a much tighter weave and the "fringe effect" never showed up by coming through the top, I'll be playing around in the mean time to come up with how it's best to get that subtle drape I love for these cuddle quilts.   So for the WW, I ripped out all of the stitches, re layered the top, thinnest batting I had and the minkee sprayed then pinned it and it's ready to try again. 

Feeling great since it's only the first week of Nov. has gone by.  Now if I can keep the mojo running to get to the rest of my declarations done, wish me luck!
Next there is some paperwork on the horizon ......


Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Desires

I hope to progress on several PIGs and UFOs so my focus this month will be to:

1- Quilt Wee Wander Baby Blanket ( no intention declared for this yet, just to have it done and on hand.)  I'm attributing this project as my ALYOF project with Melissa and H20 girl at Fiber of all sorts.
2- Quilt the Horse quilt PGD#1 made for the boy in Nicaragua. Also, I need to cut the binding so she can learn the binding making technique at one of our upcoming sewing sessions. 
3- Quilt and Bind the Community Project quilt for WFQG.
4- Make two stuffed animal quilts for CVQG.

Here are a couple of photos of the group project our CVQG is doing.  Making stuffed animal quilts to give.  These will be going to the Vermont's Children's Hospital in Burlington, VT.   

They are the cutest things you ever did see.  From tiny small to a much larger size, we hope the children these go to will enjoy and love them for years to come, hopefully making their illness plights easier to handle.  I think I might atempt to make a sleeping bag style quilt for one of mine.  There is a frog and a teddy bear  that needs some blankets of love. 

5- Do something for myself, this will be my wild card. 
6- Help PGD#1 finish her pillow she started with the cupcake kids.  Almost done and it is too cute.  She's planning on giving this to her Mom for her Birthday on the 22nd.  Will be done this week!  I'll post and share photos after the finish.
7- Mend the vinyl on my Brother in Law's snap on weather protector for his backhoe.   Hopefully right after I get off this computer.   Edited 11/4- Attempted without success, but now I can cross this one off my list.
8- For Slow stitching Sundays I want need to start another cross stitch project.  Maybe another small one like the recent finish, a Shepherds Bush Christmas fob.