Friday, December 8, 2017

Parties and a Merry and Bright PIllow

I've had a party kind of week since last Friday. One quilting group I belong to had their Christmas party and gift exchange on Sunday. Because we have a large group, a meeting place is a problem. So we make our regular sewing place work, even for a party. We meet in the assembly room of a local retirement center. It is big enough for most of us to bring machines and there are always residents popping in to "see what you're doing". 

This year the committee had a great party planned. The tables were set when we got there. We "carry-in",  so the food was great and in abundance. 

Each place setting had 2 coordinating plates and napkins. The plasticware holders were "in the hoop" embroidered snowmen. Complete with scarf and black sparkly top hat. A Snowman Hot Chocolate kit was at each place too Also a calendar for the year and a Hallmark Date Book, donated by our local Hallmark store.  We have an on-going challenge to spend " at least 10 minutes" per day in our sewing room. Those of us who are retired have no problem with that, but many of our members are still 'working girls'. 

The tree was decorated by the facility and we placed all our exchange gifts around it. As you can see the food tables were heavy laden and "yummy" by the way. 

There was tons of visiting before the festivities began. 

Wednesday, another group I sew with had there regular sew-along and we shared food galore again, at this same facility. Primrose Retirement Community is really good to us quilters. I didn't get pictures of that celebration, but a few members were generous with gifts for each of us. 

This cute little square of folded scrapbook paper was made by my friend Diana. 

The folded square opens up to become the star seen above. There were also a set of holiday coasters with a handmade balsa wood feather and a bag of holiday chocolates!

In between all the partying, I managed to start and finish this cute little cushion cover. The pattern was offered on Amy Sinibaldi's blog - nanaCompany.  It's called the Merry and Bright Cushion cover and the downloadable pattern is free on her site. Just scroll way down on the left to find her tutorials. Or click the link above. 

Amy did hers in softer colors with a crocheted trimming. I used what I had in my stash and added red rick rack. I love it. The back is an envelope closure with light gold fabric with Christmas phrases on it. One of my favorite pieces in my stash. 

Can you read them?    Better Not Cry,   For Goodness Sake,  Santa's Coming and some others. 

So that is my finish for this week. The decorating of our house is as good as it gets. No real tree, but lots of quilts, wall hangings, table toppers and such. 

I'm linking up with Finish It Up Friday and Finished Or Not Friday. 

Hope everyone is having a great week and getting in the Christmas spirit!

And for friends in other countries or of other faiths, Happy Holidays to you. 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Starting to think about Christmas

It's been busy this week. Company coming, dinner(s) planned, appointments met.

Both of our adult kids are here for the holiday. SPECIAL!  Indeed.  We have a daughter and a son. Both are single this year, but finally happy. So they came to spend the Thanksgiving holiday.  They will be going home today. Daughter back to Denver, son with her and then to catch a flight to Phoenix on Monday.  Our youngest granddaughter and her special guy drove up from Fort Collins on Wednesday night. They will be here until Sunday. We had 11 at dinner including our two great grandchildren and daughter ex husband ( our granddaughters' dad) for dinner. It went really well and we are still "FULL"

I have been working on some Christmas themed items.  UFO's included. Some to gift and some to keep.

This one was finished and has now been gifted to our youngest granddaughter. She is 24 and has her own place. She decorates with purple and green and pink. She loved it.

This is the super big Mondo bag and has been gifted to DD. She is an entrepreneur in healing touch therapy. She carries lot of "stuff".

I put this teal snowman pillow in the bag for her. Her apartment is teal and coral and ivory. This will put a Christmas/winter feel in her living area. 

And for myself this week, I finished up the stitching together of these 4 felt angels. They have been languishing in my UFO tote forever. It was a kit from Creative Circle, the instruction sheet is dated 1988!  All the parts were still there, the only thing I added was a new packet of glue. The original had dried up ( go figure!)

There had to be a slight adjustment to the hair of the angel with the heart garland. I misread the instructions and used a single strand of rust colored yarn instead of the 3 strands. A friend suggested making the "skimpy" strands curly. So I brushed them with diluted school glue and wound them around a coffee stirrer cut into 2 inch pieces. It worked!!! 

On to the next project and good byes to family. I am linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. 

Stay busy and stay happy

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Little Friday Finish

It's been awhile since I have written a post. I have been "lurking" at all your blogs, but nothing has been finished!

I joined the UFO Challenge at APQ last January and was doing pretty well in getting each month's project complete. Then I hit a wall. October's challenge was to finally do something with a jelly roll quilt that I had done at a retreat several years back, 2012 to be exact.  I did not like it when the top was complete, so I put it away until I decided what to do!
I still don't know what to do with it and so October's challenge did not get done.  In this photo, I don't hate it, but in person....I do!

November's challenge was to finish another retreat project. This one was a "teaching project". The facility that our group uses has a stipulation that there must be a teaching element in our agenda. Three of our members planned this project. 

They supplied the 12 solid scraps, each of us brought background and batting. It is paper pieced and the teaching was a different technique using freezer paper. I'm sure most of you know this method. It is easy and the 12x12 project was done pretty quickly. It went home with me and there it sat.  Well , I dug it out of the bin where it had been living and set about to finish it. Wall hanging? Pillow? or something else?  

I settled on small wall hanging. Here is the finished little hanging. 

The multi-colored dotted fabric was just some scraps from my stash. I finished it using a technique I learned doing some small stitchery wall hangings from Sweet Stitches a few years ago. The colored strips that look like binding are just added like 1" borders. Then the batting is cut a little less than the new dimensions. The backing is added in two pieces so that there is a seam in the center. Leave an opening of about 3 inches in the middle of the seam for turning. It is then sewed together using the birthing method. Turn through the opening, poke our the corners, press well. Hand sew the opening closed. Quilt as desired. I have this hanger, the dowel need Mr. Busy's attention, it's a bit long! If I wasn't afraid of his scroll saw, I'd fix it myself!

So this is my little finish. Hopefully there will be more in the future.  I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Busy Hands Quilts. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Finish It Up Friday October

Three days of retreat projects, good food, friends and fall in the air was a wonderful respite.  Thirteen friends gathered at a small center ( The Ranch at Ucross) in NE Wyoming, where we sewed and talked, shared and giggled. I found this pattern online on  Craftsy from City House Studio  I love to read and so this tote appealed to me. I also found the Literary fabric at a regional quilt store. And heaven knows I have tons of scraps for the letters and the book spines.  I decided to make two. One of me and one to donate to our library for their annual silent auction. They offer homemade items for auction every November, and use the proceeds to purchase more books of quilting, knitting, crochet and needlework. It's great fun to participate. 
 Read side - The fabric looks like library cards. Do you remember those.

2nd side.

 Inside with pocket divided into 3 sections for library cards or keys. The fabric looks like old fashioned library stamps/

 Literary by Heather Givans
This is the base of the tote. I couldn't find a "wood look" fabric like the pattern showed, but I liked the Hashtag fabric in blue. 

I'll link this to Elm Street Quilts Bag It 2017

I also finished assembling 5 more Scrappy Susannah blocks to donate to Kat and Cat Quilt's Covered in Love project.  I am so excited about using my extra fabric for such a cause. If you are interested in participating, check out this site. 

And I webbed the squares for a special baby quilt for an expected great nephew due in January. It's the Arithmetic pattern by Jeni Baker.  I purchased the pattern from Connecting Threads. The colors were picked by the parents. It's way outside of my comfort zone, using solids only.

I have a fabric picked for the backing, but I may switch to minkee or cuddle. I'm unsure. 

It was a fun time and I hope to be able  to share some of the project of the other participants soon. 
Oh, and sometimes, cute little presents show up at your sewing station. This year was awesome. Pincushions, towels, stylus pen, peanuts, first aid kit, a small Best Press, a tiny scissors, and a cute candle in an old fashioned spool. If you are curious, we call ourselves "Loose Threads" 

I am linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.   

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Quilt Show Win and getting ready to retreat!

Two weekends ago, the first weekend of October,  was our local NE Wyoming Quilt Show. I have served on the committee in the past, but not the last several years. The show has grown under the tutelage of  a committee made up of some newer quilters and some younger quilters.  This year there were 352 quilts on display. This show is not juried.  There are ballots available for everyone who attends and ribbons are awarded for People's Choices in several categories. There are lots of pictures on the Show's Facebook page: Northeast Wyoming Quilt Show

One of the way the committee raises funds to put this show on, is to make and raffle off a quilt.  This year they had 2 quilts, a table topper and  4 place mats and a single table topper. Here is a picture of the large quilt. A double nine patch, they said.

Look at all that scrappy goodness!  

I bought 12 raffle tickets the last day of the show. And surprisingly I won the above quilt!  I was so excited.  I'll share a picture of it on our bed as soon as I  get one taken. 

I have plans to attend a quilt retreat  on the 24th through the 26th.. I am cutting fabric for a baby quilt, for an expected great nephew due in January.  I am paper piecing letters for a library tote X2, one for me and one to donate to the silent auction at the CC Library. There are some squares cut for 4 more donation blocks to be sent to Covered in Love. 

Hopefully I will have some finishes for next Friday!

Until then, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

I am linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt  
ps: I am publishing this post, will link up as soon as Finish It Up Friday is posted. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Finish , Finally

I finally got things put back in my sewing space and was able to get the binding put on a project that I have been working on for a few years. This project is pieced, with embroidery and applique. It was a pattern offered on Val Laird Designs. Here is it finally done!  It's called Thoughts In Thread and Val's original was done in pastels. I had a large amount of brown and tan fat quarters in my stash and I am a more brown/autumn girl.

There are 9 embroidered blocks with phrases based on Philippians 4:8

The center square says " Fill your mind with these..."

the remaining squares have thoughts and a motif. Such as a violin and "true thoughts". 

I did not do the quilting myself. I felt that I had put lots of hours in the embroidery and the piecing, it deserved the addition of custom quilting by a local artist. She is the best of the best! 

She custom quilted in each block. 

 The back shows the quilting so well and the label I added.  Val Laird included the embroidery and the lettering to make the label. I love it. It says two years in the making.

I am looking forward to entering this wall hanging in our local quilt show next weekend. I will have pictures to show next week. 

I am linking this post to Crazy Mom Quilts  Finish It Up Friday.

Off to check all the other entries.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Family Time, Studio Improvement and a tiny bit of sewing

We have had company since last Friday the 15th. Our only son is visiting from Phoenix. He wanted to be here for his dad's birthday, Sunday and then to stay and help/visit. His job can mostly be done over the phone and via the computer, so it is a working vacation for him.

I haven't been sewing. We picked him up from an away airport - due to Allegiant Airlines flying directly from Mesa AZ into Rapid City SD. It's a 2 hour drive for us, but then we shopped in the "Big City" while there.

Now we have a new TV in the living room. We have done without one since the new flooring went in last year and mostly that has been fine. I don't really watch a lot of TV. But during Hurricane Harvey, I wished I had access to the news while still cooking and cleaning. Then Hurricane Irma arrived and we have several family members and friends in Florida, so I really wanted to stay informed. Guess that was all it took for Mr. Busy to go television shopping!

While Mr Busy and DS were hanging the new TV on the wall above the couch, I hid in the sewing room.  I recounted all my En Provence block pieces to make sure I had the correct amount. Then I stacked them in the block configuration.
  These are laid out on my portable ironing table, it's the only flat sturdy place that was big enough for these 15" blocks. Then a sheet of freezer paper was laid on top and the sashing strips were laid out. Half are sewn and these are the last 12 sets of five . If you are not sure what it is supposed to look like, check out Bonnie Hunter's blog. Her quilt is the header photo.

Sunday was Mr Busy's birthday, so we had a family day. Then Monday, our granddaughter and her family came for dinner because her hubby was home at dinnertime for a change. Yesterday and today, the "boys" are putting extra lights in my sewing studio!  Whoo Hoo!!  I have been using a ceiling fixture with 3 bulbs, circa 1977 when the house was built. I have been supplementing with an Ott Light, and extra light at the sewing machine and 2 halogen lights at each end of my cutting table. I am willing to put a hold on the machine sewing to get new lighting!.  I have hand sewing to keep me busy if need be. I am a pretty good supervisor too!  heehee!

My cutting table still looks like the above pic. " a work bench"

Mr Busy and our son working overhead to attach the third LED ceiling light. There will also be one over my sewing machine. I was having some withdrawal symptoms, so I set up a temporary cutting space on my kitchen counter. I am cutting block for Covered in Love monthly block drive to send to Kat in Texas. Its the Scrappy Susannah block in fall colors. They will be 12" blocks.

All this is happening between great visits, family dinners and DS at his computer for his work. He'll be here until we take him back to the RC, SD airport on Monday morning. I may cry all the way home. "sad face"

We will see if I have a block or two done for Finish It Up Friday. I may have to set up my extra machine at the computer desk or dining room table. I have a binding to attach to a wall hanging so it will be ready to hang at our local quilt show the first weekend in October. I should be able to get that done and then work like mad to get it sewed down. The label is done, and the hanging triangle have to be cut. **sigh**

Until next time.
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Friday, September 8, 2017

Two small finishes- George & Martha and a fall themed table topper

New monthly challenges have been selected, so I have dug into my UFO stash to pull out the projects and see what needs to be done. In the mean time, I did finish the Disappearing Hour Glass project that was started in July. It is now hanging on the wall in our living room. 

I've been experimenting with Instagram from my phone. I don't know if I like it or not. More practice is in the future.

I also finished this Fall themed table topper.

Probably the most amazing part about this project, is that it was in a project bag with the Quilts and More magazine, dated 2012 and the charm pack of fabric. I actually had it all together. That is a bit amazing.  The hexie papers all had to be cut to the same size and that gave me a bit of trouble.  The embroidered motifs were backed with an interfacing. My usual practice and recommended in the pattern instructions. But then they were difficult to get wrapped around the hexie papers to be the same size as the plain fabric. I finally took the backing paper from behind the embroidered blocks and adjusted the seam allowance so they all fit together. This after I had the rows already all whipped stitched together. BUMMER. Anyway, now it is done. I like how it turned out and I have some charms lefts from this collection, so I am planning a set of hexagon folded coasters. 

In between all this sewing, I have been sending leaders and enders through the machine,  making 9 patches like a maniac. Only 95 more to go!  Phew!  

That is all for this week. Next week I will be getting ready for my son's visit. He will be here from Phoenix to spend 10 days with us. We will celebrate his dad's birthday on the 17th and his early. His is the 30th. I am looking forward to that. 

I am linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

All this week, praying for the  victims of Harvy, family in Montana amongst the burning forest, and now for family in Florida who have decided to shelter-in-place. They are north quite a ways, but I still am concerned. 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Saturday Snapshots 9-2-17

Today I am linking up with Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads for"

There are a few rules if you want to post also. Check out Melinda's blog at  West Metro Mommy Reads, then link up your Saturday Snapshots.

I will begin by sharing a photo from our front porch on August 21st. This is Mr Busy and our great grandson, Joe. He is almost 4.  Can you guess what they are doing? We were not in totality, but 97.8% was pretty awesome.

Pa (Mr Busy) fashioned the unique eye wear for J out of eclipse glasses and a paper plate, because the glasses were too big for him. It worked great.

I'm late posting today. We have been at our granddaughter and grandson-in-law's house celebrating our great grandson's 4th birthday. His actual birthday is September 5th.  But his grandma and his Auntie Shasta could visit from Colorado this weekend, so we celebrated today. Also, his Dad was off this weekend. Dad works retail, so lots of weekends he is not around. Here are just 3 of the many photos taken today.
 I am afraid I caught his momma unaware, as I tried to get a picture of the red and black cupcakes for his Mickey Mouse themed party.

A large blow up Mickey joined the party. These were ears for all. Here is Joseph and his Auntie Shasta and Mickey

I made him a super hero cape, with belt, wristband and a mask.  Showing off a bit in this one.

Busy  Busy  in our neck of the woods this week.

Off to check out all the rest of the Saturday Snapshots.

Til next time: