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Monday, October 31, 2016

Moving right along

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a little bit more
(2) happy accidents
(3) the color purple

So here in a nutshell are my fabrics for the En Provence mystery.

I had more purples than I realized, but they were all in the medium and dark range.  I did make a quick trip to JoAnn's for lighter purples, so there goes my resolve to shop from stash!

They're having a 50% sale right now, so that's a win win.

Bagged and tagged.

Ready to go when you are, Bonnie!

I really wish I had more of this pretty piece, though.  Someone gifted it to me in a bag of scraps.

Meanwhile as I wait for the first mystery clue, in addition to the hourglass blocks I'm cutting fabrics to make a granny square quilt, using my Accuquilt 2-1/2" square die.

I want to use up as many of the less-than-half-yard pieces as possible, to move them out of my stash and into a quilt.

Some members of my guild are hand piecing this block and they seem to work up pretty fast!  Cynthia is using African fabrics with black sashing; this combination really makes the block pop.

As for me, I'll be doing mine by machine - nothing like instant gratification!

Well, that's it for now.  I'm going out with a neighbor to vote this morning, go ahead and get that out of the way!  Everybody have a great day, finish something old, start something new, sew forth and sew on...

Friday, October 28, 2016

It's mystery time again!

Three things to be happy about:
(1) moss-covered bark
(2) kids on a swing
(3) paying it forward

It's that time again!  The leaves are turning, the weather is changing, and at long last Bonnie has unveiled the color palette for this year's Quiltville mystery - "En Provence!"

The colors do have a certain appeal, mother nature never goes wrong with fields of flowers.  When I first saw the colors I thought of changing the purples to blue, but let me see what I can do with the official palette.

Of course I've already  started digging through my fabrics to see what I can turn up.  This year I'm challenging myself to work entirely from stash - whether by hook, by crook, or by darn!  I just had my annual shopping trip to Lancaster and I shouldn't spend any more money on fabric ... yeah right!

First up - the purples ...  this is what I found in my stash so far - scrappy bits!

Can I stretch this to 2 yards????  I don't think so, I need to dig a bit deeper!  The lighter purples might pose more of a challenge, I need to scare up 1-1/2 yards from someplace ... maybe I can sneak out just once and buy a little bit??

I think I have the grassy/yellow greens covered - there's a goodly number of those hiding away in my batik stash!

There are plenty of yellows left over from the Allietare mystery, so that's no problem at all.

I still have some pretty interesting pieces that I want to use.  Way more than the 2 yards called for!

And neutrals - need I even say anything about neutrals???

The constant hibiscus/magenta color ... I don't think I have 1-1/4 yards of any one piece, but I think these two used together will work for me.

You can't really see it in the photo but the colors are so close you can't tell a difference.  But even if you can, it's a scrappy quilt after all!

So that's my mission for the next few days, should I choose to accept it - and I do!  I don't have the new ruler, I'll be using my companion angle and easy angle rulers.

I'm looking forward to getting started on this one, Bonnie's mysteries are always so ... mysterious!  Sew forth and sew on...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Happy, happy, happy

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a new toothbrush
(2) shopping at the dollar store
(3) caller ID

In June I spent a week at "the happiest place on Earth" with my sister, her son and three grandkids.

The weather was hot, hot, hot, except when it rained - then it was hot, hot and steamy!

I have no earthly idea who this blue character is, but the kids knew him and were over the moon at getting his autograph (such as it was).  

At ages 10 and 5 (twins), they had a ball!  They had absolutely no idea they were going to Disney World until that morning when they were about to leave for the airport.  My sister flew down to Atlanta to get them, and they thought they were going to have a "hotel vacation" with her for a few days.

I swanee, they were marching all over those parks without breaking a sweat - I was dragging after the third day!

We stayed at a villa in the Sheraton Vistana Villages in Orlando.

It was a very nice place with full accommodations, a golf cart for transportation if you wanted it (I did, lazy girl!), a little grocery store and a daily shuttle to the theme park.

A happy trip that the kids will remember!

One of my favorite things from Costco popped back up on the shelves recently - happy dance!

I love Penguin cornbread mix, and the box I bought last December ran out long before I was ready for it to.  I couldn't find it at Costco or any other store, so I went to the Penguin website and they had it listed in their store - but it was sold out!  When I emailed them I found out they make it exclusively for Costco, and only when Costco places the order in September; if there's any left over they offer it for sale on their website.

So, since late September I've been haunting the ready-mix aisle in Costco and finally it paid off - I got two boxes this time!  The use-by date is 2018 so I know it won't go bad.  Happy, happy!

Another little happy - my entire body was smiling at the movies yesterday.  See those happy feet reclining on that soft leather footrest?  A couple friends and I went to see Girl on the Train yesterday at the AMC theater in Wheaton Plaza.  The theater was renovated and has only been open about 3 weeks, and the reclining roomy seats were a pleasant surprise!  We even had to "reserve" our seats when we bought the tickets - go figure!

That's almost enough to keep me grinning all day - well, maybe not.  Today there will be a little sorting of fabric and a bit of sewing.  Whatever you do, enjoy your day; sew forth and sew on til later...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Giveaway winner, hourglass blocks

Three things to be happy about:
(1) vacationing at home
(2) bee balm
(3) turning off the TV

First I want to congratulate stitchinpenny on winning the crumby opportunity blocks; she wrote:
Crumby opportunity would allow my granddaughters to make a fun charity quilt. The bright colors will keep them happy and they won't have to sew a full quilt's worth of crumb blocks which would test their childish patience.
Congratulations stitchinpenny, you'll receive your crumby opportunity blocks soon!

Meanwhile I've been playing with my fabrics while I'm waiting for the Quiltville mystery to begin...

Out of all the fabrics I bought on my Lancaster trip earlier this month, I think this one is my favorite!

I love words anyway, but this piece of Project Linus fabric by Quilting Treasures says it all:  "Security is a thumb and a blanket"

So true!

When Bonnie of Quiltville announced that the leader-ender challenge for this year is the hourglass block, I knew I wanted to make some because I like hourglass units.

I hunted for my companion angle ruler but I couldn't find it, so I went out and bought another one.

Then I realized that a die that came with my Accuquilt GO would work just as well!

But guess which one I chose...

Yep, that big ole 6-1/2" half  square triangle die!

A bit large, isn't it??

Back to the drawing board...

I actually have a quarter square triangle die that's what I really need.  At 4-1/2" it's smaller and the corners are blunted, which makes it easier to sew.

Sometimes the pieces cut with the companion angle ruler would wiggle when I sewed close to that sharp end, and my seam would go wonky!

See the big difference between the two sizes?

I'll go with the smaller one, it allows me to put lots more scrappiness into the quilt!

Easy to cut, easy to sew...

This is what I've made so far, looking good!

And I've even been using some of the new fabrics I bought!

I got this piece of Downton Abbey at a quilt shop in Frederick, MD, back in August.  I wasn't really looking for this fabric but it was on sale for something like $5.99 a yard, so it came home with me!

So that's what I'm doing while waiting, waiting for the Quiltville mystery colors to be announced!

Have a great Tuesday, get out and enjoy the fall sunshine, sew forth and sew on...

Monday, October 24, 2016


Three things to be happy about:
(1) apple butter
(2) bright and shiny days
(3) day trips

In August my bee had it's first ever annual retreat, yes!!  We chose Homeaway, a lovely historic farmhouse in Frederick, Maryland for our 4-day retreat.

There were 17 of us and we had lots of great fun, food, and fellowship.  And oh yes, we sewed too!

Loretta taught a fractured workshop, this is her inspiration quilt...

and some of our results!

Sandra taught a needle turn workshop using her leaf quilt as inspiration

Eye candy!

Six of the ladies - Gwen, Gwen, Carolyn, Sandra, Marlene and Loretta - had each made a house panel before the retreat.

Here you see them hanging together for the very first time!

Before the retreat each attendee was asked to make a house block.

Among other things the list included a traditional quilt house, an African Hut, an apartment building, a treehouse, log cabin, teepee, birdhouse, outhouse, doghouse...

I chose to make a house boat: Noah's ark with two sets of animals and a dove.

The weekend also included a fish fry, a barbecue, games, a quilt history lecture, a scrap users demo, a skit, a gift exchange - and two quilt shop excursions, just because!

***Giveaway reminder - if you're a U.S. resident and would like a chance to own the crumb blocks that I'm giving away, go HERE and leave a comment, I really want to share them with someone!  How would you use crumb blocks if you had a bunch?  The winner will be drawn tonight and posted tomorrow!

Sew forth and sew on til later

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Silent Sunday - I smile

Kirk Franklin - I Smile Lyrics *
I dedicate this song to recession,
depression and unemployment.
This song’s for you.

Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine.
Nothing but clouds, and it’s dark in my heart
and it feels like a cold night.
Today’s a new day, but where are my blue skies.
Where is the love and the joy that you promised me
tell me it’s alright.

(I’ll be honest with you)

I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain,
fell from heaven like a shower now.

(When I think how much better I’m gonna be when this is over)

I smile, even though I hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while
I smile, smile..
It’s so hard to look up when you look down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now.
You look so much better when you smile, so smile.

*You can get the lyrics in their entirety from http://www.songonlyrics.com/kirk-franklin-i-smile-lyrics

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ten twenty-two

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a footbridge in the fall
(2) pens clicking open
(3) honking geese migrating

This post is brought to you by the number 1022 - which is today's date and also happens to be my house number!

Last Friday I did one of my favorite most-looked-forward-to things - the annual shopping trip to Lancaster, PA, with the Faithful Circle Quilters!

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day for our trip - sunny with just the right amount of crisp "fall is here-ness" in the air!

This year Sauder Fabrics was not on the agenda - sadly it closed in December 2015, so we substituted Burkholder's instead, a fabric shop not too far away that's housed inside a converted barn.

Although Burkholder's offered a 15% group discount, the prices were still a bit higher than I'd like to have seen, so I stuck to their sales aisle.

Since Bonnie is about to announce the colors for this year's Quiltville mystery and the only teaser she gave us is that it will have neutrals ... my goal this year was the same as last year - to beef up my neutrals and blacks.

I didn't get to see all the fabrics in Burkholder's - they have tons and tons - but I think I did a pretty good job in their sales aisle!

After Burkholder's came lunch at Shady Maple Smorgasbord (yum!!) with just enough time to dash down the hill to Goode's drygoods store for more fabric.

Then it was on to the Kitchen Kettle area in Lancaster for shopping at Zook's (20% store-wide sale) and The Old Country Store.  Zook's had some great fabrics on their $3.99 shelves!

In the Kitchen Kettle jam and jelly store I picked up a jar each of their pumpkin butter and strawberry preserves.

Delicious - I should have bought more than one tiny little jar!

So that was our annual trip, I'm looking forward to next October for more of the same.

And a reminder - if you're a U.S. resident and would like to own the crumb blocks that I am giving away, go HERE and leave a comment.  Tell me how you'd use crumb blocks, I need more ideas!

Sew forth and sew on til later

Friday, October 21, 2016

Stars revisited, Wee Bee quilts

Three things to be happy about:
(1) Cinnamon raisin toast
(2) the soft, cool feel of flour
(3) summer breezes in the fall

Hi everyone!

In the last post I did before taking my hiatus, I shared the little stars I was making for a community service quilt but I was undecided about the setting.  I decided to just use black and white sashing and cornerstones, to keep it simple and to get it finished - I figured the stars themselves had enough activity going on.

So here's how it turned out - I wasn't 100% satisfied, but I figured it was going to someone I didn't even know anyway, so no need to stress out over it.

Besides, this quilt just might make someone very happy!

I love sharing pictures of what my fellow bee members are up to, here are a few from last month's meeting.  Some are service quilts ...

from Shirley.

Our quilts went to female veterans; most of them had this label:  "This quilt was made out of appreciation and respect for your service to our country....Please accept this quilt with deepest gratitude."

Sandra modeled a jacket she made...

This from Sondra...

Service quilt from Lynora

Linda's cobblestone quilt

not sure whose this one is but it's pretty!

another one from Sondra using batiks...

and another one - a chevron.

Quilty eye candy is always fun to share, I love seeing what other people are working on.

Remember - if you're a U.S. resident and would like to own the crumb blocks in my giveaway, go HERE and leave a comment.  Tell me how you'd use crumb blocks, I need new ideas!

Sew forth and sew on til later...