Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Foxy



Erin's Neighborhood
Neighborhood Round Robin - Round 7
Prairie Schooler and Homespun Samplar
DMC on some gorgeous fabric
Finished 9/15/08


Last week I finished my block on Erin's RR. I just love it! Erin requested a wilderness feel to her neighborhood with cozy cottages, rustic cabins and wildlife. I chose to stitch Prairie Schooler's Log Cabin at Running Deer Farm from the JCS 2004 ornament issue. I added the trees from a Homespun Samplar freebie. The foxes were a must. I just love foxes, so when I received the new Prairie Schooler leaflet, November, I just had to add the foxes to Erin's piece. I decided to echo the stars from the block on the bottom left corner, just for balance. I love how it turned out, and I think Erin's neighborhood is one of the cutest I've seen!


I believe I only have one more RR to stitch on, Judith's, and then this RR is done. I'm anxious to see how mine is coming along.

Speaking of foxes, it's making me want to pull out this one to stitch!


Anyway... I went back to stitching on my Red Thread after finishing up the RR, and I am close to being finished with the August block. I have a bird and a crab to stitch and that's it. Not sure I'll get that September block stitched before the end of the month, but I'll give it a go.

Last week I had my certification exam for PowerPoint and I scored a 960 (out of 1000). Not too shabby! Another course done! I'm moving on to Microsoft Outlook and now I'm learning how to email (lol!).

Last week and this week have been crazy busy at work and I am quite frankly exhausted. Last night I came home after class and just sat on Eric's lap for awhile just to be near him and tell him about my day. It was so nice to just come home and get to see him. Of course, then Romeo felt he needed to be on my lap while I was on Eric's lap, so that didn't last long!

A couple of people asked about hurricane Ike and if we were affected by it. We did get a bit of rain, but nothing like people were preparing for. A lot of people were cancelling their plans and hunkering down at home, but we are NO WHERE near the coast, so that was probably a little excessive. But then again, you never know in Texas. So, a little rain in the late afternoon and that was it.


Oh, and thanks to Vonna's suggestion, I do think I have a winner for the layout of my Town Square. This is really blurry, but you get the idea. I think this might work. I am going to try to figure out actual placements and such so that I can figure out how big a piece of fabric I need, but I think this one is a winner! Thanks for all your suggestions!

Oh and I do have some lamp posts, benches, flower pots, and a bicycle that I can use to populate the town (which is what those little tiny pieces are). Fun!


Ok, I think that's it for me today. Thanks for stopping by - I appreciate you so much!

I am grateful for a little time to myself.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Am I Crazy or What?


So, if you'd like to take a look at my curtains I made (that I talked about in my last post), you can take a look here. I've been making some other changes around the house, which I hope to have photos of soon. With regard to school, I took my final for PowerPoint on Thursday and am scheduled to take my certification exam this Thursday - yay!


In stitching news, I've been working on August's Red Thread block, Ocean Voyage. I've got almost all the water stitched, but still a little ways to go on this one.



I've also been stitching away on Erin's Neighborhood RR. This photo was taken earlier in the weekend. I'll post details when I show you the finished product.




And finally, I've decided to jump in and join Vonna's Me, Myself and I RR. I love the idea of this being more of a SAL than an RR as I won't be sending anything around for anyone else to stitch on (since we all know what luck I've had with that!). So, when I was looking around Vonna's blogs she's set up for this, I decided that back in 2006 (I think), I got all those Town Square freebies that were offered at one of the markets. I really wanted to stitch those all together somehow, and even proceeded to purchase some of the charms and embellishments for some of the designs, but it never got farther than that. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to work on that piece. The RR has a start date of December 31st, so I better get busy planning so that I can order fabric, etc.


So, this is where you come in...I need help planning a layout. When I originally saw the designs, I thought I would lay them out like a town square...




But, that leaves a whole lot of blank space, and I don't know if I like the side buildings being sideways, if you know what I mean.


So, here are some other options...


Still keeping that town square feel, while losing some of the blank space and turning the side buildings to orient up and down rather than sideways.





Randomly spaced, with less of a town square feel.





Laying them out in rows, more or less.




Any thoughts? I think I like the less blank space town square and also the random one.


Here's a close up of some of the designs, if you're curious. They are not to scale, most of them are pretty close to the same size although my "cut outs" don't reflect that.




And here are some of my charms and embellishments that I already have on hand.




I appreciate any input you have on these. Also, if you want to see a couple of these stitched up...you can take a look here.


Anyway, it looks to be the start of another busy week here, but I should be mailing out Erin's RR today or tomorrow if I can make it out to the post office, and then I'll be getting back to Ocean Voyage!



I am grateful for a good friend, and being over food poisoning...blech!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ooops!


I discovered at the end of last week that I am not getting notification emails of all of my blog comments. Some are coming through, but not all of them. So, Eric suggested I send the notifications to a secondary email address to find out if it was Blogger that was the issue, or my email account. Looks like it's my email account, unfortunately. But, at least I am (hopefully) getting my comment notifications now! So, I have to apologize if you have nominated me for an award or asked me a question that I have not responded to. Hopefully the issue is now corrected.


Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the sweet bloggers who have nominated me for awards. In those lost comments, Jennifer awarded me with this one...



I was also given this one by Jade...



And finally, I received another Kreativ Blogger award from Ruth Rachel...



Thank you all soooo much! You are so sweet to stop by, comment and also give me awards! I really appreciate it! I do apologize for being so late in accepting these.

Although I rarely nominate others for awards, I thought I would take a moment and highlight some blogs that I find really inspiring, which is such a wonderful thing! I hope you find some new-to-you gems that you will enjoy.



I had hoped to also have some stitching photos to show you from this weekend, but I didn't ever seem to slow down long enough to get them off the camera. I made some progress on correcting my problem on my Mystery Sampler. The first thing I did was determine what needed to get ripped out. It looks like it will be five motifs that are going to have to come out. I've pulled out the D and started restitiching it. The four motifs right around it are going to have to come out too. Bleh. But, once I get it fixed, I think I will cruise along with it again. I also picked up my Red Thread piece on Friday night and began stitching the August block, Ocean Voyage. Saturday, I pulled out Erin's Neighborhood RR and chose what I was going to stitch for her. I made a great start on this and hope to be finished with it in time to mail it next Monday. We are getting close to the end of our RR, I think. I believe I only have one more to stitch after this one, is that right? Anyway, I made a good start on that.

Sunday, I worked all day on making some curtains for our bedroom. Our neighbors have this "spotlight" above their back door that shines right into our bedroom. They like to turn that light on and leave it on for days one end (including during the day). So, in an effort to block out the light, I decided I would put up curtains. Well, of course we don't have regular sized windows, so I had to work with what I could find. I bought two long panels from Target (on sale!), and chopped them down to the right length and hemmed them. That took care of our one wide window. The length I cut off, I used to make another panel for our small window (so I had to sew a pocket for it, and then hem it also). But not a bad deal for the purchase price. So, now I have lovely curtains for the bedroom. But, I didn't get around to stitching on that mermaid on Sunday due to all the domestic activities I was engaged in.

Friday night, I also had my book club. We were scheduled to discuss a book called Johanna, about Theo Van Gogh's wife. But, apparently the majority of the people couldn't find the book (it is out of print), so a week before the book club, it was determined we would instead read Stealing Athena (which had originally been slated for our November discussion). Well, I wasn't able to finish reading Stealing Athena in time, unfortunately, so I had to go unprepared. Oh well. For November, we will now be reading a book called Out Stealing Horses, which I hope is good. I'll let you know about Stealing Athena (and Johanna, when I finish it too). A good book club, nonetheless.

Oh, and last week (boy, it was a busy week!) I went to my second meeting of the stitching guild. I had a great time, and our program for the meeting was to begin stitching on a Christmas piece. It will be a small biscornu that can be used as an ornament or fob, and designed by one of the members. For next month's meeting I need to have the stitching done, and my felt pieces appliqued down, oh and my cording made. I've never made cording before, so that should be interesting. We'll be doing the finishing at that meeting.
I promise to post some photos as soon as I have the opportunity. But for now, thanks for stopping by and seeing what I'm up to!

I am grateful for being re-inspired and motivated.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Rooster in the Hen House

Rooster in the Hen House
Sampler Quilt - BOM from Martha Clair Quilts
Machine-pieced. Quilted by Krissy's Quilts
Begun February 2002 - Finished August 2008


I can hardly believe it myself, but I have two finishes to share with you! The first one, above, is my Rooster in the Hen House Sampler Quilt, otherwise known as the $5 Quilt. Why, you may ask, do I refer to it as the $5 quilt? Well, way way back in 2002 I took a beginning quilting class. I had no sewing experience whatsoever, so this was really a new experience for me. I bought my sewing machine specifically to take this class. You may remember that instead of making one sampler quilt that was being taught in class, I made two. That second quilt was the last quilt I finished - Pigwidgeon. Not far into my beginning quilting class, the quilt shop decided to begin a block of the month quilt. You had a choice of lights or darks. The lights consisted of 30s Reproduction fabrics (in pastels mostly), and the darks were more like Thimbleberries type fabrics. I chose the darks. The way the block of the month worked was that you paid $5 for your first block (the pattern and the cut fabric). The next month, when it was time to pick up your next block, if you brought in your finished block from the previous month, that block was free. So, by completing all your blocks on time, you got away with only paying that first $5. Not a bad deal. So, this quilt has been known for six years as the $5 quilt. Granted, I did have to shell out some dough for the fabric for the border, setting squares, backing and binding. But, for me it is still the $5 quilt. Of course, I am coming into a time in my quilting where I feel that my quilts need to have names, much like artworks, rather than simply being forever named "1930s Crib Quilt". So, while sewing on my binding (which is a rather meditative process) the quilt told me its name, Rooster in the Hen House, due to the rooster fabric that is used in a couple of the blocks.


Like Pigwidgeon, this quilt has languished as a finished quilt top since the end of 2002. As part of my project finishing frenzy (ok, not so much a frenzy), I took this quilt along with Pigwidgeon to be quilted at the end of last year. I received this one back from my quilter in November, and it languished in a paper bag in my closet until now. Tsk tsk tsk. A couple of weekends ago, I opened up that paper bag, cut down the excess fabric and batting on the edges, made my binding and began sewing it on. I finished up the binding, but then needed to make a label for the quilt. I had had so much trouble making the label for Pigwidgeon, and true to my nature, instead of trying to figure out the problem right then, I just abandoned my quilting projects. Well, the time came to make my label, and I ended up taking my machine to the sewing machine store to figure out the problem. I learned that to do what I was trying to do, I needed to make a few adjustments. So, off I went to make labels to my heart's content. Label made, I sewed it on Friday night, and the quilt was finished. I am so pleased, and I love the way it turned out. This quilt was made on a whim, and a desire to learn more about quilting and practicing my piecing skills (which were not ideal when I made this quilt). But I think I love it all the more for being my $5 quilt.



Now, next up will be to finish quilting (which I am doing myself) my very first quilt. It is the one that deserves to be finished next, especially with Pigwidgeon and Rooster finished. And the funny thing is, that first quilt is Partridges. Apparently, I have a bird fixation (Pigwidgeon being owls and all).

But, wait...didn't I say I had two finishes? Oh yes I did...


Red Thread: Picnic
Bent Creek
DMC, Weeks and GAST on 32ct Light Mocha
Finished 9/2/08



I finished up my July block for Red Thread on Tuesday. I could have finished it on Monday, but Eric was bugging me for staying up so late stitching. So the last twelve stitches and the snap were done on Tuesday. Hurrah!


And as it is now September, it's time to look at goals.

For August I intended to:

Get caught up on Red Thread (June, July and August) almost
Correct error on Mystery Sampler started ripping out
Binding on $5 Quilt YES!

Well, as you know I did complete June and July for my Red Thread SAL (Road Trip and Picnic). I didn't get to August though. I also completed my $5 quilt too, as you have seen above. I did start pulling stitches out of the Mystery Sampler, but discovered that the error is far more widespread than I initially thought. So, it is going to require a bit of concentration and effort to fix. So, for September, I intend to:

Get caught up on Red Thread (August and September
Stitch and mail NRR by Sept 15th
Correct error on Mystery Sampler
Quilting on Partridges
Sunday Mermaid SAL with Anna
Complete stitching on ornament for Guild
Begin stitching on 3rd Day ornament

That's a whole lotta intentions, but I'd like to make progress on all these pieces. Well, I think my blog post is long enough at this point. Thanks for sticking with me and for checking in on the ole blog.

I am grateful for renewing a treasured friendship.