Friday, December 30, 2016

christmas prezzies...

in addition to the previously posted cheddars and quilt calendar, received these very nice gifts....first up, a soothing and tasty cold weather treat....holiday spice tea....plain tea is not my thing, but this delicious blend just tastes so, so christmas-y....it almost seems too special to drink on ordinary days but i do anyway and it tastes like a holiday indeed!


next up are a few things from vic....dear vic has a problem in that one little gift is simply nowhere enough....she is a serial giver!   i did tell her earlier this year that i was limited to cards this year, but she ignored my hint and was thus a fortunate beneficiary of her generosity....and she knows i am appreciative....


two snuggly pillowcases, a cute patchwork stocking, rotary blades and 9 FQs of indigo crossing....she knows i love blues!   she is probably hunkered down in her sewing space watching snow fall...LOL!   in addition to these items, a joann's gift card,  another generic gift card and some very nice homemade soap from janet in UT.....consider myself so darn blessed for these gifts but especially the givers who have made my first christmas away from new england so special....thank you one and all!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

six more, six more...


the phone takes not that great photos, but here is the last pile....10 more done and 6 left to the end....the sewing space is a wreck but my mojo is in overdrive.  years ago there was a commercial that went "i can't believe i ate the whole thing"....well, i can't believe i did the whole challenge....will finally be able to put away at least one stack of fabrics that have taken over my ironing table....first task in 2017 will be to make the 4 corner squares and finish the flimsy.....stay tuned for the big reveal!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

final 2016 finish...

the little peacock garden wallhanging is now done and off the list!   it measures 30" square so not THAT much stash busted (1.5 yards), but gone from the stash regardless.   started this from a gifted FQ bundle of very beautiful fabrics during my (hopefully) last year in housing limbo.


photo taken by my phone on a chair so it looks a bit convex.   my camera is currently out of batteries...so this gets put into the finish pile for whenever.  and although it gets crossed off the list, the christmas baubles wall hanging will take its place, so the number for 2017 remains static at 35.   *** hoping santa was as good to you as he was to me....my dear mum gave me a quilting mag subscription and this lovely calendar that'll double as wall art for the coming year.


ahhh, she knows me so well!  and if it's wednesday, it must be more 365 blocks day!

Monday, December 26, 2016

back to business

not a moment to dilly dally if i'm to finish up this sew along by next week....without delay here are 5 more blocks that are done and done!  that leaves me 17 with 6 days to go....actually 5 because thursday is a wash due to preplanned activities. 


hoping your Christmas was as delightful as mine....spent the day with my daughter and son-in-law....the delicious dinner and gifts were just pleasant add-ons compared to spending time with them...though i miss my maine family, trading their company and my new england roots for maryland was exactly the right thing to do.  

Saturday, December 24, 2016

God bless us everyone!

wishing all my blog peeps the most wonderful Christmas and holiday season....posting again one of my very favorite decorations--fabric rendition of an art project from my daughter's school days...


woodstock is ready for Christmas and so am I....already received some lovely gifts via the mail truck that i'll show another day....until then, keep calm and celebrate!

Friday, December 23, 2016

it's a tree!

whereas previously got my christmas tree in maine or massachusetts--a live one--this year had to venture a bit more south, like the amazon!   lol....like most congregate housing, live trees are not permitted so plan B resulted in this one. it was an easy choice...homeless or fake tree?  just big enough for all my lights that were new last year (and thus safe) and most of the ornaments collected over the years.  so homey revisiting old friends and christmases past....it's easy up and easy store and that suits me fine.  no more wrestling boughs and removing pitch from various limbs or dealing with saws/hatchets.  i do miss a real tree though, but again, the choice was a no brainer.  now bring on christmas!


on the sewing front, another horrific block got finished...took me all day inbetween other tasks....and then some hand sewing.  will be posting another finish for sure before the year ends.  and since the new year will be a downton year for me, you can practice calling me "your ladyship"....


Thursday, December 22, 2016

first 2017 resolution...

resolve to relinquish my self-appointed job as fabric archivist and shop exclusively (if at all possible) to sew from my (ahem) extensive collection.   no reason to try and rival smithsonian here...


of course, this resolution in no way applies to jo morton collections, kaffe fassett releases or patriotic bundles (nordic stitches, april release)  oh, and those pam buda cheddars and always-gorgeous kim diehls either....otherwise, intend to fully determinedly firmly hope to comply.  course, some kona white and good muslin needed for backgrounds and backings need to be acquired for some current and new fun projects in the works.  can't tell you how freeing it is to make this decision...all this time thought i was just a quilter but turns out was preserving it for posterity as a learning tool...who knew?   in fact, think i'll get started now....

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

counting down

as of today at 9 am, only 22 blocks left, plus corners....already thinking about what will get sewn when this is done....first up is the farmer's wife flimsy and westering women....maybe....plus all those UFOs and WIPs....


the left side block was a real grinch...part of the issue is that when i print out the directions, i do them in gray tones to save ink and that can create an even bigger challenge....this was the december 9th block and the next, december 10th, isn't quite so difficult......and today's happiness?


my very own door to display christmas cards....seems like a small thing but to me it means so very much....that and NO SNOW!   if i get lonesome for snow, only have to travel about half an hour or so north and there'll be some and it'll come our way eventually, but for now it's great!

Monday, December 19, 2016

quick detour

although i did get one 365 block done on sunday, most of my sewing time was finishing up this little festive flimsy....hoping to get it quilted and done before 2016 is history....


these are so darn fun to make...now thinking of other color combos.  can barely see the tiny light gray rectangles meant to be the tops of the ornaments as that was all that was in the stash, so making another will require a tiny purchase of a darker value.   i might possibly have enough background left for binding, but if not, it'll be red print.  just goes to show, if you hang onto a piece of fabric long enough, a perfect use will "materialize"....oooh, no pun intended!   it's festive and not quite bright enough to be seen from space, just the north pole....   ***  today's hopefully the last day out and about doing holiday stuff.  the 365 blocks are never far from my mind.  and white christmas?  weatherman is predicting 50 degrees so i'd say no....just loving this maryland style winter!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

25 to go.....

plus the 4 corner squares....hope to finish a couple more today and maybe even sew something different for a change!  


slippery weather kept me indoors all day saturday so binge-watched 'midsomer murders' and sewed up my own storm.   spent the evening with quilting hoop in lap working on another UFO.  most of my christmasy stuff is done, save for decorating the tree and one more party.  some time this week will pull fabrics for the corner squares.   the finish is becoming a reality....hoping will get time the week between christmas and new year's to rough out goals and do some organizing before 2017 starts....this year has been my own version of  'it's a wonderful life' even with all the challenges and disappointments.  betting you feel the same....

Friday, December 16, 2016

on to december!


these are the last of the november blocks and now to start december's!   this is exciting indeed as there are some fairly simple ones and a couple of  "corkers" to use an old phrase.  that light at the end of this year-long tunnel is getting brighter every day.   can't say enough that this has been a huge challenge, but pretty satisfied with the result.  doubting more and more that a regular batt will be used to finish, unless the destination is the arctic.  the flimsy is quite weighty and even flannel will make it more than warm for most winter climates.  nonetheless, that is a future dilemma.  for right now enjoying the almost success....and the finish can't come soon enough....

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

color me happy

everyone knows that happiness is contingent on happenings, and for right now am pretty happy...not only did i finish another block that went together perfectly and quickly...


but the paper doll fabric on the right is perfect for the bonnie hunter mystery and will finally get used up.  this goes back to about 2000 when i frequented a lovely fabric shop in downtown boston called "windmill fabrics" in the heart of chinatown.  though their supply of any one kind of fabric was limited, the buys were fantastic.  in addition to this fabric, bought several woolens for a coat, a blazer and a couple of skirts that all got worn frequently...the coat i still have, the blazer got stolen from a church (true) and the skirts ended up at the thrift along with my other business suits.  and even though the paper dolls will be gone, the memories, of course, are priceless.  while happiness is here for now, it is fleeting and fickle.  more blocks on the horizon and some for the next week are totally hideous.  and will not make me happy, i'm certain.  even so, am bountifully blessed and that is neither fickle nor fleeting, for me anyway.    

Monday, December 12, 2016

december finish

or it should be anyway....this is in my hoop today and anticipate it'll be OFF the UFO list for 2017, knocking me down to (gulp) 35 that includes a fair number of bed size projects.


love the fabrics in this piece and am thinking of a turquoise binding, but maybe it'll be navy instead.  and holiday decorating is done except for my tree, which hoping to find tomorrow....so instead will show you the tree seen at the Eisenhower farm adorned with 50s era glass bulbs and even some from nikita khruschev no less!   it was fake but the Eisenhowers had a real tree, of course.  now, though, cookie baking calls....




Saturday, December 10, 2016

starting toward the finish

of the 365 of course....working on the final border of 6" (finished) blocks....plus bonnie hunter's mystery as leaders/enders.   is a terrific feeling indeed to know that it is entirely possible these blocks will be done come end of the month.  not sure if that includes the 4 corner blocks or not, but even so, the majority will be finished. 



first month of 2017 will be spent getting the flimsy together, finishing up the farmer's wife blocks (still 8 more to make) and the last few of barbara brackman's westering women.  have run consistently a tad behind on this due to diversions like friday when ventured up to gettysburg again for a tour of the eisenhower farm that was decorated for christmas.  crossing the threshold is like stepping back in time with its 1950s/60s era style and decor.  it is located adjacent to the battlefield and was delightful and very interesting.  of course i remember ike and mamie very well, but knew few of the details of their lives that included multiple moves, lost children, visiting dignitaries and prize angus cattle.  heartily recommend if you are in the area.  i'll sign off with views of the outside main house and one of ike's paintings that hangs in the home....




Friday, December 9, 2016

a cheesy gift...

meaning cheddars of course!   was surprised yesterday with a gift of these gorgeous fabrics...and that makes me one happy quilter!  thank you, again, mystery giver....


been an ultra busy week here with guild parties, senior center activities and a bit of holiday fun and, last but not least, elvis was in the building!  other than some christmas sewing, no blocks have been assembled but that will soon change.  also finalizing up holiday plans and some baking and the tree are on the to do list as well.  no bad weather or travel as of yet in these parts, but if that changes, the larder is stocked and the 365 is waiting patiently.  happy as the proverbial bivalve to be spending christmas with my dears aka DD and DSIL....that is priceless indeed!

Monday, December 5, 2016

beginning the end

of the 365, that is....finally on sunday finished ALL my little dark value blocks....and a couple of nasty ones too.  will definitely NOT miss the 7/8ths inch flying geese!!!   they are horrible to make for my short, chunky fingers.  but they are done and it's on to bigger blocks of light fabrics.  sorted all the dark scraps and tossed the too-tiny ones, rest in the scrap basket.  so december is really catch up and finish month...including the 4 corner blocks that haven't tackled yet.   here are the last of the littles....



once the deck was cleared, moved on to bonnie hunter's mystery clue #2....oohh those lovely kaffe magentas!  aren't they beautiful???   haven't done clue #1 yet but will get them done as leaders/enders while light blocks are made, now that the thread color has been changed on the old viking.


bonnie's quilt designs are all about scraps so these should fit in nicely.  in addition to these and the little blocks, pulled out some christmas decorations and lined up some christmas sewing that is on my to do list.   plus squeezed in a bit of a nap as well since woke up at 4 am.  it's another busy week with some holiday fun included.  hope your week is similarly scheduled.....

Saturday, December 3, 2016

first party

the frederick guild held their annual christmas meeting and it was delightful!  our meeting room at the art center was festively decorated and the gustatory offerings were beyond delicious!   some games, door prizes and drawing the winner of our raffle quilt topped off an enjoyable evening.   we also got a sneak peek at the exhibit of quilts currently on display for the month at the request of the art center.  two of mine are seen....in an ART center no less....lofty environment indeed!


in addition to all the food offerings, collections were taken for toys for tots and food items for locals in need.


lastly a photo of the tied quilt from my scrappy solid flimsy, which made its debut at the church bazaar yesterday.  these blocks are now OUT of my house and on to a good home.   next up are the scrappy log cabin blocks, another longstanding UFO that should be outta here by end of january....now time for mystery sewing AKA bonnie hunter's clue #2!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

last minute finish

whew, just in time to say sayonara to november, got this throw finished.  this is a donation to a favorite charity as a fundraiser.   my limited budget prevents me from giving as much as i'd like, so a quilt to raise money has to substitute.  new hampshire pal vic gave me a jelly roll of these beautiful moda fabrics, and wanted to use them up quick, so found an easy internet pattern.  some strips did end up in the 2.5" shoebox but used a lot for this project.  she also gave me a layer cake of the same fabric line AND about 3 yards of one print suitable for backing.  a wallhanging is planned for more at some point.  oh, and the name of the line?   it's grace....


it's given with no stipulations other than to generate funds, and once it's given, have no say to its ultimate destination.  this is my philosophy for all quilts that are given, regardless of to whom.  cannot agonize after the fact about what happens to them--it's pointless and robs me of the enjoyment of the process.  cannot be the quilt police either during or after, only hope that someday and somewhere they are appreciated and used.  another quickly took its place in the hoop...it's the milky way masquerade!   i love this vibrantly colorful quilt--no plans for its destination right now, but hopefully to a worthy recipient.   ***  so early in the day but blessings abound....especially warm temps and much needed rain!

   

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

getting closer...

to finishing up these teeny tiny blocks; think i have 8 more to make and honestly, will NOT miss those 1" finished half square triangles one single bit!  cutting a gazillion 1.5" squares and pairing them up gets old fast.   but here's the latest stack and catching up once more since december is bearing down and the light at the end of this tunnel is beginning to break through...


once the little blocks are done, will have to go thru my dark scrap basket and toss anything too small and then pull out the lights.  after that, the corner squares for the dark border will be made so can put on the final 2 dark borders and then attack the light blocks.   this is one heavy flimsy so far and not even complete yet.  have not yet decided how to finish and what to do with it, but after such an extreme effort, might have to just keep this one if a place can be found for storage.  ***  thanksgiving leftovers are gone and plans in full swing for the holiday season, which will be low key probably but still joyous.....

Saturday, November 26, 2016

shopping?

not!!!   not when 365 needs attention....latest stack....excited to be nearing the end of this year-long challenge.


the 6" block is the next-to-last of its size for the dark border....just the one more 6" dark block and 18 smalls to finish the dark squares, then move on to the last and light border.  skipped over the tiny tree of life and chose a bonus block that was posted for those who needed one.  even if had funds to shop, simply no time.  have a small christmas gift list that was finalized before this weekend, so no impulse buying either.  much more enjoyable playing in the stash than fighting for parking spaces, standing in store lines and elbowing crowds.  the holiday season has begun!  i'll be linking up with oh scrap! because quilting IS way more fun than housework!

Friday, November 25, 2016

not too soon....

to pull out the christmas quilt as my first holiday decoration.   arriving home after wonderful turkey day (although we had ham) with my daughter, son-in-love and my mom visiting from maine, went to the quilt pile.  it is a smallish quilt so put another underneath, the amish pinwheel with the wool batt.


this is a true scrappy as even the background white fabrics are a variety of scraps.  my other christmas quilt is a double wedding ring done with solid forest green and cranberry.   ***  blessed holiday and visit with my mom.  wednesday we went to gettysburg battlefield which is GINORMOUS!   spent 3.5 hours driving thru reading many informational plaques and monuments as we took in the enormity of the casualties, the battle, the landscape (which was mostly woods at the time) and the general atmosphere of such a hallowed place.  normally chatty, it overwhelmed us into reverent silence for the sacrifices of so many and disgust as, in today's world, many tramp on those sacrifices because of their own agendas.  the plaques listed the action over the days of the battles, the number originally sent, those killed or wounded and the many missing whose remains must rest below the earth in such a solemn place.  urge you to go if you are ever nearby.  then a quick trip to harper's ferry and finally home to relieve our fanny fatigue.  ***  thankfulness continues with post-holiday sewing time and finally mystery clue #1!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

365 so far aka seam-mageddon!

next task is to make the corner squares, obviously, and finish up the little blocks so can get the last 2 dark borders attached.   adding these 2 has re-ignited my mojo for this project.  no fabric was purchased for this project at all, entirely from stash.  explains why there are lots of empty spools.


managed to keep my bare toes out of this photo but going to be a challenge to photograph when the top is done.  would have loved to used a particular color scheme on this but have to say scrappy is not entirely un-pleasing.  you can still sign up for next year....just search for 365 on facebook!  this has been a HUGE machine piecing challenge for me.  some of the blocks are perfect, some are awful and a lot are not bad, but it has ramped up my skills and (so far) glad i tackled it....  ***  ah, november 22nd, a day boomers will never forget.  walking home from 9th grade thru downtown and passed appliance store with several televisions on--black and white of course--seeing that JFK had been killed...seemed very unreal but horrific at the same time.  then four days of nothing but funereal dirges and nonstop TV watching of ensuing events.  no school, of course, so days seemingly endless hours of ceremony, dignitaries and then actually jack ruby walking right up and killing oswald...live!   that was REAL reality TV....

Monday, November 21, 2016

fast finish

only busted half a yard but another UFO is history.....one of the many little quilts that got sewn up last year when had no real sewing space but compelled to sew something!!!


actually made a couple of these using different fabrics, one was amish and completed previously.   also closing in on another finish and, no surprise, have started quilting on another--the milky way masquerade.  ***  ready as can be for bonnie hunter's mystery starting friday.  won't get much sewing done until then, but the weekend is dedicated to 365.  all the little blocks have been posted and the daily blocks now are for the final border, so imperative to get caught up so can finish on time.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

super saturday!

exactly as weatherman had predicted (how spooky is that?) about 2 pm it turned dark and very windy and temps began to plummet...in 3 hours went from 68 degrees to 40 degrees....no matter to me....was engrossed in this that the mailman brought...


which had tons of eye candy and great articles, not to mention this...a gorgeous quilt by jo morton...


which had me drooling, but with laundry done was time to start supper....and what better for cold and blustery than this....clam chowder!   the simple new england kind with NO celery, NO flour, NO crazy herbs of any kind....just chowder with a dash of leftover cream added....mmm mmmm good!


will taste even better tomorrow....so fortunate that my local market carries the chopped sea clams normally used, since fresh, whole, shucked are exorbitantly priced.  will provid needed sustenance for mega cleaning before company arrives early next week....

Friday, November 18, 2016

on the wall....

today finally got around to hanging this piece that has been rolled up on the floor since moving in...



another of my imperfect pieces; actually this was a replacement for an earlier one that got trashed.  it could use more quilting in the white spaces if motivated to do so.   while tidying up, noticed this horror......


put this runner together eons ago from some squares inherited from the ex's aunt, most likely made by his grandmother....now that i've been instructed on old fabric types, can clearly see this brown stripe (lower right corner)  that has now horribly faded due to direct sunlight.  most of these fabrics are 30s era but thinking the stripe is older than that...immediately pulled it out of harm's way and it'll get put away.  and just for reference,  got out some broken dishes squares taken from a quilt top given to me probably around 1990 or so.   they are hand sewn.  the top needs some mending, and since it was quite large, removed one row for repair squares....but nothing like the brown stripe in these.  will defer to my pals cyndi and wendy for their learned opinions....


the colors are spectacular as the quilt was never finished, never used or laundered.  it's a someday project....remainder of the weekend goes to thorough cleaning of the apartment, finishing up my portion of the guild's raffle quilt and finishing up a donation quilt.   in the good news/bad news department, the 365 turns the corner today with the start of 6" squares for the final border.  won't divulge how far behind, but after the holiday this project will be my BFF.....or at least until the end of the year!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

gone!

that would be another 3.5 yards outta my stash...
this issue of 100 blocks came to me in a giveaway and right away spied this block (left side) that was scrappy friendly...


my blocks were done in a variety of solids with the side/top sashing a charcoal....ran out of charcoal so for the last row, added 6" border of solid black on each side along with 2" top and bottom....no longer hiding out in the elfa drawer, but will get tied by some willing hands for a worthy cause.   ***  continuing to work on guild raffle quilt with a probable finish before week's end.....donation quilt all quilted and ready to bind and get mailed first of december...365 lags further behind but still hope to finish up by end of december, that and farmer's wife.   ***  christmas sewing plans finalized and easily do-able with other sewing.   ***  another year is nearly history, one that had big changes for me but at home and fully settled.  have navigated single and finally living alone--and loving it--with few blips although budget still very much a concern.  it seems that formal work is really behind me for good and although have plenty to fill my days, still feel too young to be shelved.  fortunate that gratitude for each day, and the Lord's pleasure to grant me same, plus creativity keep me engaged and involved, albeit with no extra income for many fun things.  things could be a lot worse....fortunately plenty of UFOs on hand for hours of free entertainment  ***  lastly, menu tip for the cost conscious...tweaked mac and cheese using half cheddar, half taco cheese, adding few slices of chopped pepperoni and sliced cherry tomatoes, divvied up in ramekins and popped in freezer....not boring at all!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

thinking ahead....

last week a friend and I visited a new guild for an amazing program featuring WWII quilts collector Sue Reich...by all means go to hear her and see her quilts if you can....so interesting!   at the end of the evening, my friend won a door prize....this book


but after leafing through it and finding many applique projects (which she doesn't do), she passed it along to me...how lucky!  spied several possible projects (like I needed more!!!) and, with stash in mind, immediately honed in on this one....


tho a pillow is pictured, opted for a small valentiney wallhanging instead....so this morning (up 5 am) pulled out my fabrics and got it started....


hoping this will get done and NOT end up on the UFO list for next year.  along with this, made binding for donation quilt that's almost done, worked on guild's raffle quilt, some housecleaning, made a chocolate cream pie (yummm), cut background squares for a new project, sewed up some units for another project, puttered and organized in sewing space, made a christmas to-do list.....i guess that's about it....and there is plenty of day left so without further adieu.....


Friday, November 11, 2016

never forgotten....

my dad, a WWII vet of utah beach, at rest now for 14 years....he never talked about the war even tho we had a ton of grainy, sepia-toned photos of many fellow GIs....the few comments he made during my lifetime were casual things....scrambling eggs in his helmet, sights seen in paris, a glimpse of bing crosby....but the impact of war on his life was immeasurable with him fading away like most WWII vets from a constellation of ailments and then multi-system failure.  his corny jokes and tender heart live on through us.....just another imperfect human who left a great legacy....one of so many who served, worthy of all our honor and thanks....


still waging my own battle with 365 blocks....4 more added to the pile and still 21 blocks behind...hoping this weekend will afford some time to shorten the gap, eventually to win this war by december's end.  


a peek at upcoming blocks revealed some HUGE challenges....like a tree of life....in 3.5"??? are you kidding???  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

november and flowers?

yes, even though we have plenty of this in the neighborhood...

this being the northernmost southern state, there are also these still blooming everywhere....some variety of a bush rose....they bloom continuously all summer and into the fall apparently...

drive by these often and just had to snap a photo....these are a lovely pink.....the tree photo was taken at a local state park, Gambrill, about 5-6 miles from here....up a small mountain with plenty of views overlooking the valleys.....built by the CCC back in the 1930s.   lots of picnic spots with grills too....will have to visit next summer and (make note) take hot dogs!!!   ****  upcoming church bazaar means tuesdays are ultra-busy sewing up tied quilts and other items for sale.  have contributed one bed size flimsy with another nearly done, which partly explains why my own sewing is lagging.  quilting on the donation quilt is nearly finished, thinking another week or so should see it done.  then can devote more time to 365, finishing farmer's wife (for which all background triangles have been readied) and the last few westering women.  empty spools are piling up as it has been a banner sewing year for me!