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Monday, June 30, 2014

BLOGGER'S BLOCK


I think I'm having a case of blogger's block lately.  There's very little to write about and little or nothing happening in my sewing room.

It's a brilliant hot summer day in our area.  After the storms of the weekend it's nice seeing the sunshine again.  The grass is growing like crazy and this will result in another mowing marathon.

So far today I did some housework, laundry and ran errands in town.  I just have the living room to finish cleaning and the house will be under control again. 

I'm at a loss for an idea for our dinner tonight.  Pasta may make another appearance on our table along with an Italian chopped salad.  I think that sounds good.  Jeff isn't fussy as long as I cook plenty.  He works hard and eats like a working man.

I have dibs and dabs of things all over the sewing room.  It's hard for me to feel creative when things are in a mess like this.....







Stacks of blocks waiting to be sewn into rows ~~  Rows of blocks waiting to be pressed ~~  Dottie taking a nap nearby in her baby bed.  Dottie is always at my side ~~  A stack of 3D bowtie blocks waiting to be remade into baby quilts.  This was the last piecing my Mom did ~~  My desk area.  See the 4 leaf clovers?  Jeff collects these for me.  Isn't that the sweetest thing?

I'm off now to vacuum the living room and quit for the day.  I hope you're having a wonderful Monday.  Thanks for stopping by ~~  come again any time!






Friday, June 27, 2014

ALMOST SATURDAY


It's another blistering summer day in our little corner of Missouri.  This is the kind of day we would spend in the rockers in the shade of the porch when I was a little girl.  All of the chores would be done in the cool of the morning and the rest of the day was for reading or playing with paper dolls.  At some point it would be time for all of us to drink a glass of homemade lemonade and lie down for a nap.  In my case I was told that just being quiet and still would count as a nap.  It has always been hard for me to slow down and rest.

We have a busy day working at the apartments tomorrow, but we are going to be able to take Sunday and next weekend off.  We've been on a hectic work schedule lately.

I haven't had the time or the inclination to sew this past week.  That doesn't mean I don't think and dream about quilts and quilting.  Summer is always a hectic season for us, if just because of all the mowing.  Miss Dottie gets a daily romp with the garden hose or sprinkler.  I never saw a dog who enjoyed water the way she does.  The odd thing about her is that she hates to walk on wet grass unless she's running through the water.  I guess we all have our little quirks.  Sweet Olive got brave one day and took a drink from the hose.  This is huge progress for her. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.  I'll meet you back here Monday.






Saturday, June 21, 2014

WINTER FABRICS

 

Yesterday I visited our local fabric store and bought some holiday fabrics ~~~



I especially like the gold/white blender fabric and may have to go get some more!  Perhaps thinking about Winter will cool me down a bit ~~  it's exceptionally hot and muggy here. 

I hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

ONE STEP CLOSER


The blocks for the Luna Notte II quilt are done.  I thought I had made enough blocks, but when I laid them out I decided the quilt needed to be larger.  This quilt is a birthday gift for my daughter.  She reads my blog so there's no way it will be a surprise, but it's quite different holding your quilt in your hands and seeing it in pictures. 


The blocks on the right are the new ones I just made that have to be incorporated with the blocks on the left.  What are the clothespins all about?  After I have my blocks laid out the way that pleases me, I mark the beginning of each row with a little label with the row numbers.  Even though I use sticky labels, I learned to also put a pin through them because they can fall off during sewing and pressing. Next I stack each row in the correct order and clip each stack with a clothespin.  This way if I'm sewing and get interrupted I can find my way back to where I was. 

My goal is to have this quilt to my quilter (Reggie) by July 15.  That's almost a full month away and surely this is a deadline I can meet or beat!

Thanks to everyone on the kind comments on the mini tumbler table runner.  I love it on the kitchen table. 

Until next time I wish you bushels of blessings......Barb

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SOMETIMES A GIRL'S GOTTA SEW!


I just finished binding the mini tumbler table runner I've been working on in my spare time. 

Cutting the tumblers was a little fussy but sewing them together wasn't too bad. Reggie did the quilting for me and as usual she did a great job.  She surprised me with it yesterday by bringing it to me and leaving it on our front door. 




The runner finished up 17x40 inches.  I had no pattern, I just did my own thing.  The quilting in the red bands is especially cute.  Thanks, Reggie!!

Now I can work on the Luna Notte quilt for our daughter.  I have a deadline so maybe I can get motivated.

We just bought a new clothes dryer that has a Steam feature.  I experimented today by running a 3-yard piece of wrinkled 108" quilt backing through the steam cycle and it came out wrinkle free.  I always have had to press my backings and the super wide ones seem to take forever.  This will save me measurable time. 

Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday....

Thursday, June 12, 2014

IMPATIENS





I think our impatiens are especially pretty this year.  The blossoms seems to be larger than normal.  We always plant two tubs and the old washtub (top) with impatiens.  They come in several different colors, each prettier that the other.  The white ones are delicate and so gorgeous.  The old-fashioned name for an impatien is sultana.  I learned this a few years ago when the nursing home van filled with their residents showed up to view my sultana garden!  It tickled some of the old-timers that I didn't know the 'real' name. 

I'm planning a quiet day and that means a walk in the woods with the Girls followed by breakfast on the patio watching the hummingbirds.  The hummers are drinking more than a quart of nectar per day now.  The grass needs mowing, the windows need to be washed and our carpet needs cleaning, but I'm determined to rest today.  I've come to terms with the fact that I'm older now and I need to pace myself. 

I guess I need to dig through the UFO shelf and find another project to work on after I make the Luna Notte quilt for my daughter.  My sewing is going along at a comfortable pace for me right now.  I'm pleased to have finished three UFOs so far this year. 

I'm off to find my boots for our walk.  Everything is so wet and muddy, but it's an excellent morning to poke around in the woods and let the Girls have some fun.

Wishing you a day filled with whatever makes you feel good about life. 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

YOU'VE GOT MAIL!


The 'You've Got Mail'  quilt (ours is named Love Letters) is done.  I just finished hemming the binding.  Miss Dottie thinks this is her quilt and I had to keep moving her off of it so I could get it bound.




This quilt was started last year, so it's another UFO finish for this year (3 total so far).  I'm a huge fan of French General fabric and this is from the Josephine line.  The rosy reds, warm browns and creams are perfect in our living room.  This will be our holiday quilt this year and probably for many years to come.  We don't have young children and the grandkids are adults now, so we do a more subdued holiday d├ęcor. 

I used one layer cake (10 inch squares) and yardage from my stash for this quilt.  It is layed out 5x6 and it has a 7 inch (unfinished) border.  The size of the quilt is 77x90 inches. 

The quilting was done by my LAQer Reggie and she did a beautiful job.  She stippled the center of the quilt and did a rose feather design in the borders.  Thanks again Reggie for bringing another of my quilts to life with your skills!

This quilt would be nice made from Christmas or Valentine prints.  It can also be made from 5" charm squares.

Thanks for taking the time to look.

Wishing you a life filled with Peace & Plenty and stacks of quilts. 


SUMMER QUILT


Hibiscus in our garden 2014


Its almost mid June on the calendar, but the weather feels like early Spring.  Taking a leap of faith that things will be warming up soon, I changed out our bed quilt this morning for a lightweight basket quilt ~~~


I bought this cute king quilt in Branson on one of our visits. It's completely handmade.  Notice the orange peel border at the end of the quilt and also on the sides of the shams.  It's nicely quilted and softer than soft.  I must have aired this quilt outdoors before packing it away because it smells just like fresh air and sunshine!
 


Normally I don't buy a pair of shams when I buy a quilt but I thought these were cute and I caved in!

The binding on the You've Got Mail quilt should be completed in a day or so.  It's slow going due to the arthritis in my right hand.  I'm too stubborn to machine hem a binding.  Hand hemming bindings is one of my favorite things to do.  I will post pictures as soon as it's done. 

I hope all is well with you and yours. 

 

Monday, June 9, 2014

LONG WEEKEND


We spent a long weekend working in Cuba.  The curious thing about owning apartments is that when people move, they tend to move at the same time.  We are working on three apartments getting them ready for the new tenants who need to move in next weekend.  I see a few more trips to Cuba for me this week and then another full weekend. 

Sewing on the Luna Notte quilt has been postponed until I get this busy spell taken care of.  I thought I had enough blocks to make the quilt top and realized I needed 16 more to make it a generous size.  I want my daughter to be thrilled with it. 

The binding fabric for the You've Got Mail quilt hasn't arrived yet. You need to know that I live in Missouri, smackdab in the middle of the US.  The package was mailed promptly by the internet merchant from Maryland.  It is coming USPS Priority and so far it's been a week.  Tracking shows it is in Kansas right now and previously it went to California.  What's wrong with this picture! 

We are still having stormy weather but with very little rain.  I could use a gloomy day for napping right now, but I have tasks to get done today. 

Dinner tonight will be ultra simple ~~ sloppy joes with waffle oven fries and slaw.  We had BLTs for dinner last night, so we must be on a sandwich kick.

We bought a new washer and dryer yesterday and I would like to repaint the laundry room before they are delivered.  It seems like my list of to-do's grows longer every day.

Wishing you all a great week. My blogging will likely be sketchy until mid July although I will pop in as often as I can. 



Thursday, June 5, 2014

SOLD!






After all the hoping and anticipation we closed escrow on our little gray house and it's officially SOLD!  I'm adding the word Sold to my list of favorite four-letter words:  Love, Home, Hope, Jeff, Sold.  It's been a long time coming and we're grateful it's over with.  We got a chance to meet the young woman who is the new homeowner and her two daughters.  I hope they will have many happy years in the little gray house.

After the closing of escrow Jeff took me out for lunch at the darling tea room here in Licking.  We had a leisurely lunch and chatted with friends who came and went.  It's been a great day. Now maybe life as we know it can slow down a bit.  We still have a lot on our plate but we have a lot less to be concerned about.

Quilts, quilts, beautiful quilts!  I can't wait to throw myself back into sewing and to see what I can make next. 

Until next time I wish you a day overflowing with peace & plenty. 





Wednesday, June 4, 2014

STORMY WEATHER



Like many of the Midwestern states we have been having high wind and storms since yesterday.  So far we haven't had any damage but I've been busy unplugging and replugging all day.  For much of the day is has been nearly as dark as night.

Tomorrow morning we will close escrow on our old house.  It will feel odd to turn over the keys to a stranger.  This is a good thing and we are looking forward to it.

Yesterday I picked up my You've Got Mail quilt from Reggie.  It turned out ever so nice!  I had to order a different piece of fabric for the binding.  I will post pictures as soon as the binding is done.  I love French General fabric and I seem to buy every line that comes out.  The colors are similar in most of their lines, which will make for a nice scrap quilt some day.

I made a large bowl of macaroni salad today and we will eat it with a ham steak and sliced tomatoes.  It's too hot to cook any more than that.  I will surprise Jeff with a homemade cheesecake for dessert tonight.   

Wishing you all a good day...

Monday, June 2, 2014

A NEW WEEK



After a long weekend of work it feels good to begin a new week.  The Girls are at the groomer this morning and they had to be there no later than 6 am.  This is a chore because the groomer is in the next town.  We don't have a groomer or a vet in our town.  Most of the time we don't even have a doctor here. The Girls will be ready to be picked up at noon.  Olive really hates to be groomed because she doesn't like anyone picking and poking on her.  I'm the only one she trusts with her feet and ears.  She fought me all the way as I carried her in.  Dottie reluctantly went in  like a martyr on a leash.  They will be mad at me for two days after this betrayal!

Here's the mini tumbler runner that's ready to be quilted ~~~

I added a strip of white and red bands on both ends. 

I started working on a Framed Square quilt for my daughter this weekend.  She wants one like the one I made for us a couple years ago.  I managed to get the fabric but I had to shop all over the internet to get it.  I will put different borders on hers so the two quilts aren't identical.  Here's our Luna Notte quilt




The outer border is not related to the Luna Notte fabric line.  It's a toile fabric I bought locally.  I often work in an unrelated fabric for borders and also incorporate a little of it in the quilt top.  In this case I framed a couple of the blocks with the border fabric so the border didn't stick out like a sore thumb.  Reggie quilted a rose in the center of each block and then stippled everything else except the outer borders, where she did a beautiful feather design.   

Here are a few of the blocks for my daughter's Luna Notte quilt.  I hope to have the top sewn together by next Monday and then off to the quilter.


We are having storms with lightning and I think it wise to get off here and unplug until it passes.

Wishing you a great Monday....make someone's day by giving them your best smile.





Sunday, June 1, 2014

HOUSES NEED PEOPLE ~~~



Jeff and I worked almost all weekend at our old house and have everything sorted and ready to hand over to the new Buyer.  We cleaned out the shed, mowed the lawn and cleaned out the gutters this morning.  It was hot and very humid and it was a very good feeling to finish. 

I have loads of sentimental attachment to the little gray house, but it needs to have a family living there to give it life again.  Houses need people just like people need houses.  I hope the new family will grow to love their new home.

I started working on a framed square quilt for my daughter this weekend.  I will post pictures tomorrow.  I have several blocks done.  My goal is to have it quilted and bound by August 1st. 

I hope you are having a good weekend.  I'll be back tomorrow...