Monday, October 20, 2014

Gossiping and Sewing....and a Wonderful Blog to Share

Hi all! Monday morning...already! I took the weekend off with the intention of sewing all day on Saturday and Sunday. Well, that didn't happen...sigh...BUT I did get some sewing done! I got those pesky Dresden plate blocks finished for Gossip in the Garden:
These are the blocks that I've dreaded doing because they were supposed to be paper pieced. I did mine on the machine.
They aren't great but they are done. This has, otherwise, been a fun quilt to piece.

I thought I had all the blocks done for the center of the quilt but found that I had 4 more Periwinkle blocks to do. I did get those cut out.
With the embroidery and the applique, this is such a quirky quilt. Once I piece 4 more of these little blocks, I can get the top pieced! Woot!
I also worked on the hand applique pieces for the Love Entwined quilt. Wow, it is so hard! I did a lot of research on how some of the quilting experts who have completed this quilt and it was so interesting to see their blogs that I spent a lot of time doing that. The method I chose was that of Jane from Jane's Threads and Treasures blog.
This is Jane's quilt and shows the beginning of Jane's method of adding the "crown" triangle pieces. She does so many really complicated, difficult quilts and she puts beautiful photos of her methods and progress on her blog. I love looking at her blog...she is from Holland but lives in Britain on some land that overlooks sheep grazing in the field. She has a big chair outside, surrounded by lovely big trees, where she sits and does handwork. She's finished, yes, I said finished the Civil War Bride quilt, various Baltimore quilts, a Dear Jane quilt and more. She's truly an expert. I feel very much like a beginner next to her. I got my crown pieces cut and marked and appliqued one Her blog is HERE. She is awesome! Well, guess I'll get to work. Hope you have a great week! XO and cheery wave from Bev

Friday, October 17, 2014

So I have a question about an Ofla ruler...

Hi all!  As you probably know if you read my blog, my birthday was a couple of weeks ago. One of the gifts I got was a gift card to Hobby Lobby (woo hoo). I haven't had time to go until today. One of the things I got was a cute storage cabinet for the sewing room (1/2 off) that I will paint red:

I also got an Olfa 1" x 12" ruler. I know I had one but I cannot find it. So I'm sitting here looking at it.

This is the best photo I can get. So see the yellow lines that are every 1/4". Then there are black lines that are dashes. Every inch there are 1/8th marks. So what are these black lines for? I hope you can see it. Help me figure it out, will ya? I know you are all technical experts when it comes to sewing....

I also got some fusible interfacing for applique, some needles and some of those awesome white chalk pencils from General! I've been looking for them for a long time! Hobby Lobby had them in 2 packs with a pencil sharpener! If you haven't used them, they are the best thing I've found for marking appliques. The points stay sharp and they don't break. The marks stay on the fabric but if you have to remove the chalk marks, they are easy to take off. They were in the art department and not in the fabric department. And the best part, I have money left!
It doesn't take much to make me happy. I have been so broke, it's nice to go get some things! So what's up with you this weekend? I'm going to take off and do some sewing! My first weekend off in a while! Have a good one! XO and cheery wave from Bev

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Decorate your Sewing Machine for the Holidays!

Hi all. Still too busy and stressed to sew but, lucky for all of us, Jennifer Heynen a/k/a Jennifer Jangles is not! She has created some free holiday projects that you can do for fun! Her first holiday project is this one:
How fun, right? A wreath and a Christmas tree and some little bunting for your sewing machine or the machine of a sewing friend! She's so creative! You can find this project and the ones to come on Jennifer's blog HERE. Hope you enjoy all her holiday projects! XO and cheery wave from Bev

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian Friends!!

May your Thanksgiving holiday be full of love, laughter and gratitude! Wish I could be there with you! Happy Holiday!

Friday, October 10, 2014

I'm SO busy (but I snuck in some sewing time)!

I don't get can someone so busy seem to get nothing done? Sigh. I thought I should make an appearance on the blog because people are starting to email me and ask if I'm okay. I love you all so much for that! I was so crazy to sew last night!! I haven't done any sewing in so long! Anyway, I was watching Project Runway while I was writing and they were making a dress in one hour as a challenge. It occurred to me that I could take 10 minutes and sew something together that is in my "cut but not stitched" pile. So here's what I did:

You can tell that I'm still really "stiff" when it comes to this kind of It's from Mary Lou Weidman's book, "Out of the Box with Easy Blocks". You don't just cut and sew. It's SO hard to do that! The blocks look all wonky but the way she puts it together make them look amazing. Look at some of her quilts!

So much fun but so hard for a traditional, "everything must be perfect" quilter to do!

Don't think it looks hard? Try it! She is such a great person and such a talented artist! She recently lost her husband, Mark, to cancer. She is a real trooper who is working hard to get by. Visit her website to see more cute quilts or to buy the book HERE.

 Jason is coming up from Dallas this weekend for my birthday so I'm cleaning house today...sigh. Thanks again for checking on me! I'm fine..just busy. Love you guys! XO and cheery wave from Bev

Sunday, October 5, 2014

One more thing I found--just in time (and the free pattern for it)!

When I was putting my UFO box back into the closet, I found this:

It's a little apron I made for Dylan a few years back. I made it as a shop sample to show the fabric but it was way too big for her at the time. I had totally forgotten about it. It's reversible! Here's the other side:

It is made with 3 fat quarters. The pear fabric had to be sideways because the fat quarter wouldn't work otherwise but I still think it's cute. The pattern was from Moda Bake Shop and you can find the free pattern HERE. It only took about an hour to make. Anyway, I haven't had time to sew anything so thought I'd show you. She's 5 years old now so it's the perfect size! I know she helps her daddy cook. I'm off to meet my son and grands for breakfast and then to my daughter's for lunch with more grands! Lucky me. Yes, I should stay home and clean for the appraiser but I'm not turning down free meals and time with the kids. Hope your Sunday is happy! XO and cheery wave from Bev

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Bottom of the UFO Box-at Last!

I'm sure that, by now, you are sick of hearing about the box of UFO's I knocked over a few nights ago. I'm showing everything in it because I haven't been able to sew because I'm so far behind on my "real job" and my cleaning...bleah.... This is one of the last two pieces in the box:

It's my own design from years and years ago. The four seasons on flags-lol. It makes me say...awww, look at my first quilting efforts....awwww. Like looking at one of the kid's grade school papers. Then there is this partially finished top:

I don't have time to iron it, hang it, etc. It's not finished anyway. Back in my homespun days, I cut all my fabric into strips of varying widths as soon as I got it. I made these 4" squares by sewing 1" strips together, then cutting them into squares. Now, years later when I could finish the quilt, I don't have the fabrics that I did then. I have a few left but not much variety. So, what should I do with this? I can finish the flag/seasons quilt (although I probably won't) but don't know what to do with this homespun top. Do you have this issue? I cannot bring myself to throw them away. I don't have time to work on the projects I'm currently doing, much less mess with these. So what to do? Put them back in the UFO box and decide later cause I have to clean. An appraiser is going to be taking photos of my house on Monday morning. Do you ever find partially finished ufo's from 20-plus years ago? What do you guys do with them? I'm going to continue to clean. Hope your Saturday is more fun than mine! XO and grudgingly, basically cheerful wave from Bev

Thursday, October 2, 2014

No Time to "Machine Sew"!

I have been SO busy at my "real job" that I have had NO time to sew on the machine. Seriously, it's so depressing! I've been working so many hours, have had things to do that I usually don't do (like take Charlie to get his blood tested), get ready for an appraiser to come to the house, etc. When I am so busy, I let "detail cleaning" go. Now, I have to do that cleaning...uggg. Also, I have the shop and cutting, packing and shipping fabric. I'm glad to do it all but sewing has to take a back seat. I did grab an old project (yes, it was in the ufo box that spilled out on the floor).
It's a hand applique quilt that just needs a few more blocks and then I can set them together. So before I fall asleep, I sit and do a little hand sewing. I finished the block above that was almost done. I also got this block finished:
It's all homespuns so you know how old these blocks are! I just need to finish one more block (it's cut out--just needs to be stitched) and then I'm going to set them together and be done with it. I actually think I go into withdrawal if I don't get to handle fabric for more than a couple of days! I didn't realize how much I need to do something every day. Also, I'm itching to work on Love Entwined, the new Aurifil block for October is out and I finally got the September block for the Austin Bluebird quilt today. So much to do and so little time! It's 10:45 PM and I still have a couple of assignments to write before I can go sleep. I hope all you retired ladies who have all day to quilt appreciate your circumstances! Hope you have a good Friday! XO and cheery (but tired) wave from Bev

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dishy Art

Sadly, I've had no time to sew AT. ALL. So I just thought I'd show you what my daughter, Gina, has been up to. She's an artist and here are some of the fun things she's been working on. She's been making Christmas ornaments:

and her paintings:

and she does cute phone covers:

Pillows from her fabric (which I wish she would design more of so I can make a quilt with it):

So that's what Gina's up to. I love sharing my family with you guys. You can see that we all like bright colors (well, except for Jason...he's into the beige, single guy thing). You can see some of Gina's work HERE. Now, sadly, I have to get back to work. Hope you're all having a great day! XO and cheery wave from Bev

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Love Entwined...

I've had to work at my "real job" but I did get to do some hand applique on Love Entwined, the 1790 marriage coverlet that has been painstakingly recreated in a pattern by Esther Aliu. This block is the center of the entire quilt and must be appliqued onto the large, center block. I have completed the little berries or whatever they are around the edge. Next I have to cut the large block. Here's my center compass block:
Many people are using reproduction fabrics that are true to the era and those quilts are drop dead gorgeous! But I've decided to do mine in my stash colors and have chosen a sea foam aqua/green for the background. The color doesn't show up in this photo but I like it. It's my new favorite neutral.
Here's how the center block looks when finished:

Yes, I love the white background but mine will look different. So next, I have to applique the block to the large background piece. There is a Yahoo group for this quilt and I notice that everyone seems to be putting large, dark basting stitches on their backgrounds for guidelines. I have never done that and thought about using my Frixon pen for that. But that would mean I couldn't press as I go. This quilt requires lots of decisions. So I'll be cutting and pressing the background piece and we'll see how it goes. So far, there's been more cutting than applique. If you want to see the story of the quilt, you can find it on Esther's blog. Her explanations of the choices she makes are so interesting. The people who are working on this quilt seem to study it and analyze the colors. I just grab what I like and go with it.

What are you working on this weekend? Last night was the last episode of Outlander until April. That pretty much sucks. I love that show. The scenery, the costumes, the attention to historical detail is amazing. I gave Charlie and Lola a bath this morning and it wore me out but I've got to get some writing done. Hope your weekend is wonderful! XO and cheery wave from Bev