Monday, December 31, 2012

thank you bonnie!

for bringing laughter to my day....and so early too!

2012 wrap up

this week i finished 7 more blocks of "just takes 2" with only a few more and then the 2nd section can be put together.  this is definitely a UFO for 2013 and why i am passing on any BOMs for 2013.  *** and since it is the cusp of a new year, some additional tallying is in order.  first, finished 14 UFOS, flung 1 flimsy (orca bay) leaving 8 to carry over into 2013.  not bad.  those finishes used up a total of 34 yards of fabric which doesn't seem much but keep in mind, i quilt by hand.  for 2013, there is a total of 31 on the list, many of which are small quilts and should be quick finishes.  now the really interesting info.  in 2013 i added 131 yards of fabric to the stash.....i know, doesn't seem like busting at all BUT if all the fabric in the UFOs is included, then it doesn't seem too bad.  i'm still at a surplus, but i take comfort in knowing many other quilters have much more fabric than i do; i work play constantly at using it up.  my total expenditures on quilt-related stuff for 2012 is $1632 for the year, which includes not only fabric but magazines, notions, books, batts, backings, stencils and plastic, a couple of workshops and the like.  luckily, i have no spouse peering over my shoulder questioning any of this.  during my 11-year marriage, my ex-husband spent way more on liquor in one year than $1632, all the while grilling me on every single sewing-related expense....i'll never be in that situation again....and i have no guilt whatsoever about this year's total.  i just track it for curiosity sake.  ***** so the happiest of new year's to my followers, hoping it's one filled with health, prosperity, enjoyment and blessings!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Aussie secret santa goodies

secret santa christmas swap of 2012 is history, but these are the lovely hand-made gifts that came in my Australia package.  a lovely hand-knit scarf, an embroidered book mark, 2 adorable knitted christmas ornaments and this beautiful, beaded, 1920s style bag.  all hand-crafted gifts and so very thoughtful for me who reads and loves christmas ornaments, lives in a cold climate and a pocketbook diva.  sadly, the package i sent has not been received as of yet by the recipient.  i do have proof of mailing and have contacted the post office to see if it can be located.  while i enjoy christmas swaps, i am wondering if international is wise, given the state of the postal service, or perhaps another time it'll get sent a different method.  for some reason, i frequently have issues with mail coming and going from the south portland post office.

Friday, December 28, 2012

did i say never?

in bygone quilty days, i was known to always toss waste triangles as simply being too small.  apparently my definition of "too small" has changed.  these were waste triangles from flying geese for the scrappy indigo and yes indeed, i did sew them up into tiny HSTs for some future use.  and why?  well, my frugal inner voice said it was simply wasteful to toss perfectly good $10/yard fabric.  now these are probably the smallest i would sew up as they will finish at 1" square, but they will be an ideal sawtooth border at some point.  *** and it was a super sewing day yesterday!  in addition to sewing these up, all the batik blocks got finished AND some "just takes 2" blocks got done as well.  these tasks plus 3 loads of laundry and some cross-stitch took up my entire day.  today it's dig out the car and back to "just takes 2."  tomorrow i'll show you what was in my package from Australia....you will love it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

a snowy day

and fortunately, i don't work today so not going out to battle the elements just yet.  luckily, got errands done yesterday before the storm hit.  santa brought me some gift cards and i promptly hit the local quilt emporium where there was a sale!  most items were passed by except these few batiks to finish the donation quilt.  i've nearly used up the bali pop and a few more squares were required.  aren't they gorgeous!  would you believe there was a time when batiks DIDN'T call my name?  i can't believe it either.  the rest of the gift card was spent on sweat pants, a MUST for maine winter weather.  so me and the old viking are spending quality time together until the skies clear.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

santa remembered!

he not only remembered, he enlisted 2 of his favorite (and mine) elves to respond!  this mini gooseneck lamp from ikea was under the tree.  ideal for the sewing table or anyplace else really, but especially for the sewing table.  ever since bonnie bragged about hers, i have been thinking about how good it would look in MY sewing space....and here it is!  thank you elves! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry christmas!

the jolly old man brought us a white christmas, how good is that!  not too much snow, just enough to make it festive and to make the outside trees with lights dazzle!  we are so thankful for our many, many blessings this holiday though we miss those not with us for various reasons.  today prayers go to those traveling, the homeless or unemployed, those without hope or in distress and to our nation and its leaders.  so many needs means many opportunities to make life better for others, which many of us do already.  blessings for a joy-filled day and season!  oh, and the christmas quilt?  mom said it was super cozy! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

nick (no pun) of time

the christmas scrappy ribbons is done!  just last night put the finishing stitches into this colorful, seasonal quilt.  as you can see, it is not a huge quilt, but that's okay.  all those christmas print scraps are so delightful and memorable for me.  my dear mom will have the honor of sleeping under it for the very first time tonight, christmas eve.  so now to start quilting the next in line, which will be the autumn scrappy, a gift for someone special. *** now that christmas is just about here, it's time to pull out the "just takes 2" project to see how much can be done in the next 6 days before the new year begins.  **** as far as the batik blocks, have finished about 35 blocks and nearly used up my bali pop strips.  i want a total of 48 blocks, so i will need to supplement the bali pop with a few more fabric pieces.  then it will get a 2" plum border, be tied and sent off to bob's blankie brigade!  looking back, it's been quite a productive year, quilty-wise.  ****  last but not least, if you don't stop by tomorrow, i wish you the most blessed of holidays and bright hopes for health and prosperity for 2013!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

wouldn't be christmas....

without some decorated cookies and while in years past i would make 4-5 different kinds of cookies, this year it's only these.  years ago did cookie swaps and such but since our family has grown, dispersed or passed away, no need for too many.  it's sad how the really fun years don't last very long.  i was probably working 2-3 jobs and missed enjoying them as much as i would have liked.   life was pretty chaotic and crisis-filled in those days, so i am trying to make the most of my days now.  probably explains why i have sooo many UFOs....LOL!  *** off to use up the day's minutes having more fun!

Friday, December 21, 2012

our tree

it has a bit of that dorky home-made look but we like it.  in truth, a real tree with ornaments would be enough to make us happy.  i prefer tinsel but mom loves the garland, so we compromise.  it's a real trip down memory lane when we decorate.  there is an angel on the top i've had for over 20 years.  i sent a few along to DD and her hubby that were especially meaningful to her for her tree.  on the right is a corner of my cedar chest, mediterranean style from the 1970s, my fave at the time.  my FIL bought it, sent me to the furniture store to choose one i liked.  now it holds old baby clothes and toys, some wool items, other momentos.  **** today was shopping today, food and gifts, and all is done.  just a few to wrap and it's relaxation time.  **** the christmas scrappy binding is nearly done, wahoo!  that means i have 3 finishes in the last 3 months of 2012.  my 2013 UFO list is nearly complete and is equally bed size and small projects.  *** nearly drowned while shopping today, what with wind and heavy, driving rain.  not complaining, glad it wasn't snow.  lots of traffic (we live right by the mall) making it slow going.  back to finish binding!  

an early giftie

mr. mailman brought a package from vic the other day and included inside were these; a charm pack of shelburne museum fabrics and a tumbler template--and it's the perfect size too!  this is terrific!  been drooling over repro tumbler quilts on various blogs brewing the possibility of making one; even entered a giveaway for a template (didn't win), so this is perfect!  already have a stack of repro shirting squares from a swap so pretty soon i'll be cutting away at repro tumblers.  it's a perfect scrappy quilt!  she also sent a potholder made by the stashbuster group's listmom and a lovely lavendar sachet she made for my drawer.  **** been sewing down the binding on the christmas scrappy hoping for a christmas finish maybe?  also on the machine are more batik squares to (hopefully soon) bust that bali pop.  today is a mostly shopping day.  **** i tweaked the arrangement of my room a bit that gives me some extra space temporarily until i find a small desk.  the laptop and printer were previously precariously perched on an unstable desk-like thingie.  i wanted an elfa desk (sale in january), but it's simply too big for the available spot.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

binding it up!

ooohhh, doesn't this look christmas-y!  i opted against a solid red or solid green fearing "too much," and so i am thrilled with this fabric for the binding.  it looks kinda like candy canes don't you think?  *** most of my christmas tasks are done with the exception of a few so i've time to sew on my own stuff.  while the weather is more like spring than christmas (pouring rain), the holiday mood isn't dampened at all (excuse the pun!).  also sewing along on the batik floating 4-patch squares, hoping to get them all done soon.  and lastly, time to download the last (i think) installment of "just takes 2" which is also languishing on the ironing table.  hasn't been forgotten, just set aside for far too long.  off to meet the day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

this christmas?

as in, will this project be done for this christmas?  nope, not at all, but perhaps next.  this is gail pan's design called "christmas wishes" that was offered free on the internet some time ago.  it got put aside until now.  there are 9 blocks in all and it will go in with my other wallhangings of the month.  the pattern called for red but since i'm not really a red person, i opted for the green...i believe this is a moda "grace" fabric....and a bit of a change from the traditional red/green combo.  **** yippee, it's raining here today meaning bye bye snow.  we didn't get much so it was tolerable but none is even better.  i was home from work monday with a sore throat, congestion and cough so no real sewing, but i did start binding the christmas scrappy quilt inbetween naps and OJ.  *** is christmas really one week from today?  can't possibly be but it is i know.  we are really enjoying our tree this year, small but totally adorned with all those ornaments from years gone by plus the new little patchwork pinwheels!

Monday, December 17, 2012

thinking of spring

with our first plowable snow on the ground overnight, i am trying to ignore it and think of spring.  these got pulled from my stash as i have always wanted to make a pink and green quilt.  i have a pattern in mind and wanted to see how they all went together.  the 2 lights on the right will probably get removed in favor of more true green prints.  i need 3 yards of each color and it looks close, though i have yet to measure.  taking a photo always helps when deciding these things.  **** yesterday made more squares from the watermelon batiks and once this flimsy is together, it's over to "just takes 2" for the machine project.  and the christmas scrappy?  just about ready to start the binding, whew! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

unsolicited testimonial

some blog or yahoo post mentioned Snapware products.  i had seen some coupons in the sunday paper a while ago and cut them out just in case.  when joann had a 50% off sale on storage items, i hopped in and picked these up with my coupons.  i think i paid $3 for the larger and $2 for the smaller between the sale and my coupons.  the little one is ideal for embellishment beads/needles (top) and applique threads/needles (bottom).  the larger one holds quilting threads (top) and sewing and quilting notions (bottom).  compartmentalizing stuff is a habit from living in teeny, tiny rooms and being homeless.  in difficult situations like those, it is imperative to be able to find things on short notice.  even now, cramped into one small (not tiny) room, it makes it easier to store and locate needed items.  i am needing a desk but, more important, some place to put one.   

Saturday, December 15, 2012

addendum

okay, so here are the squares so far.  they are taking a bit longer than planned as i had already sewed up a bunch of strips and have had to take them apart.  now that i've had more sleep, i feel motivated to sew more and hopefully get a flimsy together some time this week and get this pile off my ironing space, which is minuscule.  in the meantime, i'll keep quilting on the scrappy christmas hoping to get it finished before father time leaves us this year. 

plan b

these came home with me from retreat last october.  i had a pattern to make a donation quilt with squares on the diagonal.  turns out i didn't have the proper ruler and didn't really want to invest in another for one project.  since late october this has been taking up space on my ironing table (among other stuff).  so, today i got tired of looking at this pile of gorgeous batiks, chose another pattern and started the squares.  it's a basic floating 4-patch but the plum squares really set off the batiks.  it will have a plum border as well.  it's destination is bob's blankie brigade in new jersey and then to a deserving recipient.  this is a bali pop watermelon and the colors are luscious.  i almost never buy strips or charm squares, but the colors were too tempting.  with any luck, i'll have some scraps left over to hoard for a future project.  **** yesterday i did get more pieces cut for the hole in the barn door project, got more quilting done on the christmas scrappy, and sewed along with bonnie during quilt-cam time and her new little 301 baby last night!  **** up way too early but will probably go back for a few more zzzzzs before the day really starts. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

o christmas tree

binding that is....picked up this festive print at marden's some time ago for whenever and it seems just the right thing for binding the christmas scrappy.  with the quilting nearly done, time to get the binding ready so i can hopefully lop this UFO off my 2012 list.  i absolutely love this print and wish i had bought more at the time, even though the thread count is higher than usual cotton fabric.  **** aside from deleting tempting sales e-mails, i've been making more indigo flying geese and finishing up christmas gifties.  we picked up our tree yesterday and the house is filled with the aroma of balsam, one of the few perks of maine living.  all that remains is to decorate the tree, make some cookies and enjoy the season.  though our celebrations are very low key due to few family members close by, it's nice to be able to relax and enjoy the pandemonium around after my way over-committed single parent days.   

Thursday, December 13, 2012

weekend sewing

thursday is my saturday so first thing, sat down at the old viking and finished my christmas sewing.  these little selvedge needlecases will be under somebody's tree this christmas...yours maybe?  victoria already knows one is hers because she gave me the selvedges!  ****  other than finishing these, i'll be quilting on the scrappy christmas and working on more indigo flying geese.  getting ready for my "just takes 2" marathon week to see how much i can get done of that project.  not to the flimsy stage, probably, but whatever gets done will be progress.  and lastly, a miscellaneous hand project is gail pan's "christmas wishes" wallhanging, a combo of stitchery and patchwork, which will be my december wallhanging to join the others already done.  **** just a few more things and my shopping will be done but have to wait for the next paycheck first. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

memories

like many, every time the box of ornaments is opened and they are hung on the tree i experience a flood of memories.  if you knew me in the late 1970s and 1980s when i was a stay-at-home mom, you would have seen me do things like this.  the sequin ornaments were from kits--all those tiny pins!  the cross-stitch came from patterns in a magazine.  the bandanna ornaments came from a family circle magazine, i think--tons of tiny white buttons!  i love looking at them and always get misty-eyed every time they are brought out for the season (sniff, sniff).  *** cold morning here in coastal maine, meaning normal for december.  this morning after a few necessary tasks, will head for the old viking and sew up more flying geese for the scrappy indigo.  so many projects sometimes it's difficult to choose what to play with but one always speaks to me...today it's the blues!
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

secret santa stuff

my secret santa from oz sent this and it arrived yesterday!  i haven't opened it yet, the rules say i can''t.  i'm happy to put it under the tree for christmas day....aside from checking the mailbox, i've been quilting on the scrappy christmas and also cutting a bunch of 2.5" squares for that plus quilt...i know, another project, but it gives me a chance to play in the stash! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

october little quilt

this is the little quilt for october from kathy tracy's little quilt yahoo group.  it measures 18 x 24, using some small but not teeny-tiny hexies and some 6" swap shirting squares.  haven't yet decided to border or not.  i have some swap civil war HSTs that might work.  *** also did some paper piecing on sunday while bonnie sewed on her quilt cam.  still hoping for a finish on the christmas scrappy, which progresses.  *** the week begins as holidays are in full swing.  woke up to rain and no snow yet.  also, the LQS sent an email with 12 days of deals....how good is that?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

lest you think...

my needle has been idle during this brief blogging break, au contraire!  these are 2 applique blocks for "just takes 2" from the most recent collection.  this erstwhile project will soon be addressed in earnest once all the christmas prep and sewing is completed.  **** it is a warm day for december in this new england woebegone but not for long, flurries and freezing are always a hair's breadth away this time of year.  today, though, we will languish in the sun and 50-degree temps of this early winter gift.  **** a few house chores and then back to sewing for me after working half day for a coworker.  it's a no-stress job but still work, some days more harrowing than others.  i am truly grateful to be working!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

so, what's black & white,

black & white, black & white, black & white and....no, not a nun falling down the stairs but black & white swap strips!  yes, they arrived in my little post box yesterday and aren't they gorgeous!  thank you to the swappers at quiltville swappers yahoo group!  i see them with lots of bright colors like cheddar and green and blue and pink and, well you get the idea.  and since these are swaps, there is no addition to the stash whatsoever.   

handwork project

no, not ANOTHER new project, rather one that has been in the works for some time.  since it's being hand sewn, not enough progress to show until now.  this is a gift quilt that will have alternating pieced and blank squares...for the quilting of course!   and since i am trying to use up some of the cherrywood scraps, there is the occasional un-matchy piece included (see purple square).  *** though many think maine is such an idyllic place (mostly tourists or those who have only seen the LL Bean commercials), for me it has been like living under a ladder, with a black cat or broken mirrors nearly every day.  what with too much healthcare that has bordered on benign neglect and hordes of indifferent, indignant healthcare employers, plus the feeling of general imprisonment, it is hardly vacationland to me.  true, it is a beautiful place but when i lived in the city, though i was often alone, i never felt as lonely and isolated as i do here.  it's because i was home, you know, and now i'm not.  whether or not it will be my home again is anyone's guess, or maybe i will find a new home.  i know, though, it won't be maine.   stay tuned.... 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

whoops

looks like i collected a few too many scrappy indigos.  some will go into the civil war repros stash and the others back in the regular blue stash; some will go to a scrappy binding too.  i love scrappy quilts but in order to have a real nice scrappy, a large selection of fabrics is a must.  it is a challenge!  the square-in-a-square units are done and now working on the flying geese units that encircle the squares.  and you won't believe what i am saving....waste triangles!  my frugal gene is in overdrive and i keep hearing the scrap savers' mantra over and over about little scraps being the same price as yardage, so my conscience just won't let me toss them out.  **** spent some time quilting the christmas ribbons too, so it's coming along nicely.  hoping i can squeeze 2 more finishes out of december.....

Monday, December 3, 2012

super sewing sunday

wow, so much done for a one-day blitz!  after the last hem on the ottoman cover, finished all the little patchwork ornaments and finished all but 2 of the scrappy indigo square-in-a-square units.  also went through a large food bag stuffed with selvedges and trimmed them up.  i also got some santa sewing done and remember those red repro applique blocks?  got them assembled into a flimsy.  it was a no laundry, vacuuming or cooking day, just plain sewing.  after venturing out first thing for a bit of exercise, it was just me and the old viking all day long...plus bonnie and her quilt cam!  a most relaxing, enjoyable and productive day indeed. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

non-quilty finish

not the greatest photo but this is the ottoman cover completed.  hardly a professional job--no cording or pleats at the corners--but a HUGE difference from the previous second-hand condition.  the futon chair cover is cranberry so this goes perfectly.  i guesstimated at buying the fabric with 2 yards, so not enough left to even make the cording for around the top.  it goes well with the blue carpet as well.  with this out of the way, i can return my focus to quilty UFOs and sewing.  **** we have a bit of snow on the ground but temps are going up to 50 tomorrow, so bye-bye first snow.  me, i have other dreams instead of a white christmas regardless of how festive and quaint it might be, not the least of which is "blue variety" coming this spring. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

a winter squishie!

a smiley face and a survival kit for some stormy day this winter.  i have a pattern already in mind for these repro colors.  this came from vic who lives further in the country than i do, so i am hoping she has plenty left for any dreary day that comes her way this winter.  **** no word yet from australia on the arrival of my secret santa package.  the postman said it would be 5-7 days by air mail, so it should be any day now.  *** on today's agenda is a bit of christmas sewing and maybe get that ottoman cover hemmed and on the ottoman.  that leaves me with 1 nonquilty project, that of painting the chair in my sewing room and making a chair seat pad, which will be a string thing done with selvedges. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

one done

first, OMG, is tomorrow really december 1st?  like, how did THAT happen?  really fast, i'd say.  today, though, i've been sewing away on a few things.  i got the first entire block done of the scrappy indigo quilt; there are 12 of these in all.  so far i like it, a lot.  blue and white is so crisp and classic.  next, i've been working on a cover for my ottoman.  finally got tired of seeing it in the used state (it was a freebie) and so got it nearly complete today, just needs to be hemmed.  it isn't anything fancy, i don't really do slipcovers at all, but it works and looks fresh and new and matches my chair.  those were all my requirements.  then i've been quilting on the scrappy christmas quilt because, as i mentioned, tomorrow IS december and i hope to finish it before the end of the month/year.  so, what are you doing? 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

save the date

someone decided the time has come to promote the LQS or local quilt shop.  a date has been proclaimed, january 24, and so i am happy to do my part.  now for those of you (er, us) who might have possibly overindulged in 2012, a whole new year is starting soon, clean slate!  so, help the economy and visit your LQS on january 24th, or maybe 2-3 of them?  i patronize a few for different reasons and it's difficult for me to choose just ONE, but rest assured, i will rise to the challenge.  for more details visit here.  it's the right thing to do.

times have changed

whereas in past decades i swooned over crooners and hunk types, now this makes me feel faint and go weak in the knees....paisley!  these are from edyta sitar's "dancing in the rain" line, just in at my fave repro gathering place, BUSY THIMBLE of litchfield, maine.  i've had them a couple of weeks now and can't get enough of looking at them and wondering what luscious project awaits for them.  and whereas in past years i have gifted myself with something particular at christmas, i think i've taken care of that already this year, what with my Lancaster trip and now these.  and i say, who better to choose a gift for me than me? 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

more merry sewing

not having any christmas sewing deadlines looming, i have the freedom to sew for christmas fun.  since those ornaments were just so darn cute, decided to make a few more.  thinking about my christmas fabric stash and what might work prompted me.  these are almost done, just have to sew down the binding on 2 sides and loop the ribbon through for a hanger.  **** in addition to these, been quilting on my christmas ribbons scrappy, hoping for a december finish.  this project, plus the ottoman and more scrappy indigo units are on the sewing table this week.  finished the flannel pants for the cool nights.....priceless!

Monday, November 26, 2012

busted!

first task this morning was to tidy up the thread box AND fill those many empty bobbins.  they made the bobbin box look so forlorn!  my thread spools are kept in a plastic container with a lid and it is imperative that they all fit.  so, when it gets a bit crowded and the bobbins are empty, a winding session is needed.  like most, some thread goes back to the 1980s or 1990s, just a few, but it really needs to be used.  i mostly use white or cream for piecing but pull out the colors for scrappy piecing.  and i've a new spool of masterpiece yet to try.  any testimonials out there?  anyway, 9 spools got moved from spool to bobbin.  just a bit of sew housekeeping.....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

next!

took this UFO to PA but never got started on it; it's a scrappy indigo quilt that i am hoping to get to the flimsy stage this month.  it will be on next year's UFO list too, but it is progress. *** also been working on some "just takes 2" squares inbetween AND quilting on the christmas ribbons scrappy too.  *** today, though, i'm concentrating on deleting all those cyber-Monday quilt shop and fabric sales.  the one that was most painful so far was from cherrywood fabrics, luscious solids that i've used before, a 2-for-1 deal on their scrap bags, that required a steely resolve to ignore.  and with a new year looming, my resolution (again!) is to ONLY shop my stash as possible in 2013. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

martha stewart not!

my daughter has long been a fan of anne taintor's calendars.  i tried getting one last year but they were sold out, gone.  so, this year i ordered it early, even before it was available, and it arrived last week.  the photos and captions in this calendar are the complete antithesis of martha's mantra(s).  for those of us who remember the 1950s, the pages bring a chuckle and not a small amount of irony.  while i don't consider myself a feminist, i do realize there are men still out there who think a woman should stay home, barefoot and pregnant.  i was never one of those women and even less so since i've been single for 28 years.  perhaps one of the reasons i've never remarried or even dated is that i'm just too independent, not an altogether bad thing. **** a wonderful thanksgiving meal with family.  our turkey just over 9 pounds so after dinner and doling out some leftovers, we have only a little left.  cut off the drums and wings prior to cooking and plopped them in the freezer for another time as we were afraid of having too much left over.  soup is all made as well.  so guess we'll be having fish for dinner very soon!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

counting blessings

The message of Thanksgiving is for each and every day despite world woes and personal cares and struggles. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

elf duties complete!

just returned from P.O. where this package got sent off to some quilter in Australia!  i know, doesn't look like much but there are 6 small gifts in the smaller package that i hope the recipient will enjoy.  i was mindful of the weight since it would be traveling airmail, but i sent things i would like to receive myself so i hope it works out.  now sit back and wait for the mystery girl to open it up!

another finish

another UFO can be crossed off the list; these are my rail fence placemats.  they are ideal to showcase my blueberry stoneware plates and bowls made right here in maine at union pottery.  yes, i'll use them and they will get dirty and then washed.  if they wear out, i'll make more.  almost certain i can find more fabric someplace.  **** and a pat on the back to joann's for closing their stores on Thanksgiving.  i am boycotting any store that chooses greed over celebration this holiday. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

doesn't take long

this is my new scrap basket.  the stuff that was in it went elsewhere and so quickly it has scraps!  all i did was clear off the 2 sewing tables and found them.  it joins the little bag of postage stamps and the little square basket of 2.5" squares, both leaders/enders projects.  *** already this morning working at the old viking on another UFO project.  the placemats should be finished by week's end too.  see, i don't just ADD fabric, i use it up too!

Monday, November 19, 2012

thank you victoria!

vic and i met up yesterday at a delightful little antique mall in NH for...fabric, what else?  actually, this was a vendor that vic met back at the Cocheco show in october and wanted to show me the stuff.  victoria brought me a little giftie, 2 FQs and a stiletto, wow!  i don't have one of those, have used a reasonable facsimile up to now but no longer.  i have an official stiletto!  the little mall was chock full of zillions of antiques and nostalgia items.  remember those coin banks in the shape of a globe?  yep, i had one at some point.  there are lots of lovely baskets as well, and priced very reasonably.  vic picked one up and she might even show it here.  after our retail therapy, we proceeded to newick's for a delish chowder lunch.  a table right on the water with bright sun was a real treat on a seasonably cool november day.  ***  this morning temps in the mid 20s so window scraping weather is officially here.  was up early this AM spending a few minutes clearing the sewing table off getting stuff ready for a busy week.  if i have things ready to sew, can sneak a few minutes in whenever to sew when the schedule is crammed.  so without further delay....off to the old viking!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

tis the season

saw these in a magazine recently and just had to make some up.  they are just so darn cute!  though one could hardly call making them busting stash, they will look so good on a fresh, green, maine balsam tree i think, don't you?  other patterns provided were an ohio star and a pineapple block.  they didn't take too much time--paper pieced--but are a bit fussy as i hand sewed the binding down; short, chunky fingers you know.  oh, and on the cover of that magazine?  a luscious scrappy quilt that uses 2.5" squares.  hmmm, i think i have some of those lying around. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

brown truck visit

safe to say i almost never pay full price for a book but after serious consideration, succumbed to this one.  it arrived yesterday and today i'm adding one more thing to the sewing space--a scrap basket.  previously i had cut up scraps into squares or strips but after reading AND seeing this, i need a scrap basket.  i have a lot of strips and squares on hand that do get used but will try something new and exciting with them.  what she does with scraps isn't new, so it must mean i'm creatively ready to veer off into a new quilty direction.  traditional quilts are still my faves, but using color in a different (to me) way is beckoning.  if you read this book, it may speak to you as well.  at the very least, it's worth a look.

Friday, November 16, 2012

october little quilt

with the completion of these squares, i am jumping OFF the little hexie bandwagon so popular right now and seen around blogs.  these squares are about 6" square so they aren't really THAT little but about as small as i care to do.  and now that they are done, yeah, they are cute, but i just don't get that excited about the pattern or even making them.  course, i do have my amish style honeycomb quilt in progress made with much larger hexies.  the pattern was chosen because of its scrappy possibilities and the opportunity to use some luscious cherrywood solids.  the hexies are done, now just waiting assembling--that's a total handwork project. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

one by one...

they fall away.....that's what happened last night.  my aunt madeline, 3rd from left, passed away.  she was 92, without major illness really except weary of life and lonely for her other siblings, except the one remaining.  this photo was taken at my parents' 50th.  my parents are 5 & 6 from left and of course, my dad has been gone now 10 years.  only the sibling left is next to my mom, 2nd from right.  it doesn't seem possible.  in the last 12 years these plus 4 of my cousins have all passed away.  life seems very strange without these people nearby yet i cherish them still.  we believe in a heaven so they are together again.  it is a joyous yet sad day for those of us who remain. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

holy crunch time, batman!

yikes, been spending time at the old viking and completely forgot this month's strip swap of blacks and whites!  some were purchased specifically for this swap, so hoping the hostess will let me send them priority mail today!  sheesh, where DOES time go?  it's been 3 weeks already since returning from retreat and so much has happened in that brief span...election, sewing, work, snow; it's mind boggling.  now to the ironing and cutting table!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

another finish looming

just baste, quilt and bind and these placemats will be done.  they are an official UFO and should be off my list before long.  i found the pattern in a very old quilt book borrowed from the library.  and then i found the perfect fabric--the white background blue print--about 5 years ago, so it's been a WHIMM for some time.  *** it's tuesday and a work day so off to the old viking for some playtime.  and speaking of playtime, hop on over to victoria's page for her kind of fun and a terrific book just new to the market!

Monday, November 12, 2012

quick shelves re-org

if you had seen this shelving unit before yesterday, you would have noticed SPACE at the top but no more!  the sewing table was crowded with stuff making it difficult for me to sit down and sew or work on a specific project, so spent a few minutes trying to make more space.  i found some, not a lot, but enough for the time being.  at the top underneath shoeboxes are basted quilts destined for other locales.  if i get these done, then i'll have a bit more room.  on the other side of the room is the elfa drawer unit where most of my fabric is kept.  for the rest of the year, i'm deleting any emails from fabric sellers....i simply have to!