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Sunday, August 31, 2014

OMG It's September !

How the heck did that happen???? One minute it's a beautiful summer, the next it's back to school. Wahhhhhhhh. Had my first "I'm having a crisis so I'll share it with everyone" student last week, as usual my radar wasn't up and running yet so I was thrown off my stride.  The imbalance continued into Friday, my day off, as I managed to leave the car dealership without my invoice AND my spare car keys. Drat! now I have to make another trip back there to pick them up :(. Never thought I would do this but I am now counting down how many more Septembers I have to endure ..... 3 too many!!!
Septembers come every year and I'm never prepared .... Don't know why it took me by surprise as I have already bought my Fall Mums for the front step. Look nice eh? The Geraniums are still flowering - sort of. Managed a few hours in the sewing room yesterday and came up with this
FINALLY - a water bottle carrier for myself! About time, think I've made 4-5 for other people! Left over fabric of course, must be 10-12 years old! Was interesting fabric as it changed pattern across the width as you can see (yup, that's all one piece of fabric). For some reason I added a drawstring for the top, why? got me... Got the water bottle several weeks ago and am happy with it as it is glass. They are now saying we should watch how much/how often we are drinking from plastic, even BPA free plastic. Hmmmm.
Decided to sandwich the Peppermint Twist table runner. Obviously my brain was not in gear. I got the backing fabric and backing cut in half lengthwise, and was off and running with the spray baste (love spray baste). Well, image my surprise when I got just past the halfway mark to discover - WTF ? - my batting and backing aren't long enough !!! DUH. So, luckily I had enough fabric AND batting. Got to use my batting tape for the first time, and I can now vouch for it - it works and saved my bacon. Now, must decide not only how to quilt it, but what colour thread??? I used a nice grey/white snowflake print on the backing - hmmmm maybe I need a quick trip to FL for some grey machine quilting thread.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Peachy Keen ;)

Have I told you how much I love peaches? I am gorging myself on peaches, it's that time of year. I just finished granola and peaches and am now enjoying a peach muffin, thanks to a work colleague. Friday I took in salsa and corn chips, Bruce shared his baking with us - yummm, thanks Bruce! First week back to work accomplished, phew! I started the applique on Wild Flowers

I've done two now, but am still unsure about the one colour - seems a bit too similar to the background. May do one or two more on other background square - maybe it will stand out more on others.
Any suggestions ?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week Three

Sad to say, week three is the last week of my vacation :(. I've been sooooo busy, I now truly get it when my retired friends say they don't know how they found time to work! Can't wait for retirement .... but must wait, financial considerations make the wait wise. I spend one day this past week @ an all-day retirement seminar put on by my employer. Sounds silly, but since my pension plan is a defined contribution I need to know a lot about what/how/when in order to make decisions. Later in the week I  also met with my personal financial adviser. Sure wish they had taught us some of this stuff @ school.
It was my turn to entertain the Sew What's group of ladies .... I made a platter of wraps and veggies, fruit (strawberries and green grapes) a cheese plate, and of course "goodies". I also made but forgot to put on the table (darn that bottom shelf in the frig!) a plate of devilled eggs ! Too bad 'cause they were good ;) The pics are for my friend down east who misses all the gatherings each summer.
Last week I showed you the peppermint twist blocks and complained because my design wall wasn't wide enough . well, I managed to get it all sewn together and here it is!
Now I just have to find a backing and get it quilted. That will be 2 Christmas table runners made - woohoo - just two more to make ! I need the design wall to be empty as will be hanging some of my quilts on it this aft - a colleague from work is coming to take pics and interview me about my hobby. It's for the "human interest" part of our staff newsletter ......

I have a new obsession -  move over Ragnar from Vikings - sorry, you have competition .....

It's Cullen Bohanon from Hell on Wheels  .... oh yeahhhhh


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Week Two ....

Can't show you anymore of the Wild Flowers wall hanging as it will (hopefully) be a Christmas present .... which means I must get busy cutting out the freezer paper for the appliques, then quilting! Well, ok, just one pic before the appliques go on ....
 In the meantime I've been busy getting my paperwork into shape - i.e. filed in proper order. I'm a piler not a filer, which means once a year I absolutely have to file or be buried under paperwork. Should go completely paperless but don't yet trust electronic files for my banking and other financial info - do you?
 I also got poor Simone - she who will not be touched - to the vet!! After three tries I finally got some of the tranquilizer the vet gave me into her. Shortly after having her breakfast I could see her wobbling around, so a quick grab and she was in the carrying case - woo hoo! Anxious moment for mommy and Simone. My vet is so fantastic! A quick call to them and they gave us an appointment right away. Simone now has her yearly shots, a year late, but we can both relax now for a bit. She has been relatively subdued since the experience. Maybe the tranquilizer is having a lasting effect? Besides going to the dentist, doing the banking thing I also squeezed in a road trip with a couple of quilting friends ...
 This shop has a lovely assortment of Oriental prints and Batiks. Last time I was here I purchased some oriental fabric to complete a One Block Wonder ..... that's still on my To Do list! Like the shop but was annoyed with the owner who insisted on referring to us as "Girls"! I'm too much of an old school feminist to tolerate that! Girl by definition is a female child - and none of us are children! My friends weren't bothered so I guess it's just me that gets annoyed :( Personally I was disappointed with the so-called Antique market we visited which turned out to be 3 floors of flea market junk with a few antiques thrown in. None-the-less it was a lovely sunny day, lunch was great and it was fun to be out with the ladies for a nice change!
So what else have I been up to ? Well. I finally dug out my Xmas fabric only to discover that in one of my cleaning/organizing fits I threw out the pattern I wanted to make. TG for the internet!! I found the free PDF and am deep into getting this one organized. Peppermint Twist by Sharon Hall designs.
Playing around with the pinwheels was lots of fun, but finally had to get serious and lay out all the blocks. Found out my design wall isn't wide enough ... YIKES! What's a girl to do ...
Will be busy next week getting this one sewn up, 3 more "business" meetings,  and entertaining my LADIES sewing group, then back to work :(. Not looking forward to that part, but what's a girl to do ?  Just noticed I called myself a girl twice in this post - opps, guess I'm either a hypocrite or not as strong a feminist as I thought!  

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Week one !

Well, week one of my summer vacation is over, phew! It started with an unplanned walk thru the local antique market. What luck!! Mother dearest had given me the Shelley "Dainty Blue" lunch plate many years ago. A few years later I picked up a Dainty Blue saucer somewhere for a couple of bucks. Well, on Saturday I picked up the teacup for $5! Disclaimer - there is a hairline crack in the teacup but I don't care, I'm just going to look at it and love it, 'cause I LOVE Dainty Blue! Woohoo!!
Then on Sunday we enjoyed a surprise visit from my Uncle and Aunt, mother's younger brother. Yes, that's a quilted wall hanging on the wall I gave to my b-i-l many years ago - wine label border fabric with yo yos as bunches of grapes, binding and inner border is cork fabric. It was kinda fun to make and I guess he liked it as it still hangs on the wall! The family visit was great :)
My next couple of days were spent doing "Spring" cleaning - might as well call it what it has become ... summer cleaning. I read a post by Leah Day recently about the health hazards/cleanliness of sewing rooms. All I really know is that I get the sneezes and can't continue to work in my sewing room until I do a major cleaning! For me that always involves stowing away all that new fabric I promised myself I wouldn't buy ;). I also got the basement cleaned out and bought a new dehumidifier which has been running non stop ever since! Got things ready there as a work colleague is coming over to relieve me of some of the furniture in the basement. I don't really use that room and his grandson needs furniture - so why not - win win for everyone:)
Next I hosted a girl's luncheon at the mater's. I decided I didn't need to hoard I mean keep my Raggedy Ann handmade doll - a gift from an old boyfriend. So here's baby Claire with Raggedy Ann in the background. Claire's is lying on a vintage quilt that matched her outfit, so she went home with that too!
Here's Claire being held by her grandma saying hello to her great grandma :) Back home for a Hell on Wheels day and a half marathon and couple of days of sewing. I am determined to get this done!
I already told you all how much I detest paper piecing. well, here they are all done, and I still detest paper piecing! 

None-the-less I am happy with the arcs and so grateful for having a design wall as I really wanted the various "neutrals" to be placed just so. I think the pic on the right shows the "random" effect I planned so well!

Piecing it all together was a fair amount of work as it wasn't just straight rows. Good thing I had a whole day  'cause I really needed it. I took my time and enjoyed the process :)
Asymmetrical inner borders and the beginning of the outer borders.

Now for the Flying Geese for the remaining borders!

Can you believe it, in all my years of years of quilting I have never made Flying Geese!!

Once that's done then onto to applique flowers. I think I'll enjoy that part ;)

2 more weeks of vacation - YEAH