Sunday, December 27, 2015

Today is the last Slow Sunday Stitching linky party for 2015 so, of course, I'm linking up and I'm hoping you do too. 

I finished quilting my Grand Illusion quilt on Tuesday and got it on our bed as this one I'm keeping. 
Just in time before heading down to Henderson, Nevada on Thursday morning to spend Christmas with my step-son, Michael, and his wife, Jennifer.  When we arrived we opened our presents and I got my most favorite thing, a Jo-Anns gift card.  Jennifer and I almost immediately headed to, you guessed it, Jo-Anns where I had so much fun looking and shopping.  I found all but one skein of embroidery floss that I needed for the cross-stitch Christmas stocking.  I also got several other embroidery goodies that I've been wanting to try on my crazy quilt project.  Other items I purchased were a plastic container for my floss and those cute cardboard pieces to wrap floss on, lots of needles, a cute book with sticky notes in it for my Quilter's Planner and meal planning.  Here is a picture of a few of the goodies I got and I still have money left on the gift card, so today I'll be heading back to Jo-Anns with a 20% off coupon that is good for regular priced and sale items.

I immediately got started on the Christmas stocking for my granddaughter and have worked on it for two days in a row and this is what I have done so far.  I had forgotten how long cross-stitching takes.  Of course, I've worked on some other things too.

I worked on some redwork over the last couple of days also.  I hadn't ever done any before and saw a really cute quilt on Pinterest.  I looked at it over a period of about a month and then finally ordered the pattern.  I have a couple of the small blocks done with only  about 31 more to go, most being a lot larger.  Who knows, maybe I'll have it finished in time to hang up for next Christmas.  It is going faster than the cross-stitch. 

If you are inspired to undertake this project, you can purchase the pattern at The Stitch Connection.

Christmas evening after dinner and games with friends, I got some hexie time in.  I like to work on these when I don't need to concentrate on a pattern.  Not sure how many I'll need.  I saw a quilt with trees on it done in reds, greens, and whites that was posted on Facebook and I hope to do something similar.  I just keep plugging away at it when the mood strikes.  If you haven't ever done EPP (English paper piecing), you should try it.  It is very addicting.  Want to learn how?  Click here for a fun tutorial.  I learned all I know from this great book, All Points Patchwork: English Paper Piecing beyond the Hexagon for Quilts & Small Projects.

Our dog, Lola, also got a Christmas present and as usual she went right for the squeaker and found it after she decapitated the toy.  She is still having fun with it, but she hasn't learned how to pick up all the fluff that comes out of it and throw it in the trash.  Maybe one day I can teach her how to do that.  Ha!

Today is a day for family as my husband's sister, her husband, and their daughter arrived late last night after an 11 hour drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-15 from the LA area to Las Vegas.  Needless to say, they went straight to the hotel, but will be spending the today with us.  We'll be enjoying smoked turkey and all the fixings prepared by Chef Michael, a/k/a my step-son, who is a fantastic cook. 

Off to work on updating my Quilter's Planner getting all the birthdays and anniversaries entered as well as my quilting goals for 2016.

Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

2016 Quilting/Blogging and Planning and Giveaway

I think this is the first time I have posted two days in a row, but this is a very important post so pay very close attention to it.   You ask, what can be so important.  Well, I'm linking up with Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl for her 2016 Quilting/Blogging Planning and Giveaway.  I hope you will be joining it too.

Below I'm listing my goals for 2016.
  • Complete my Midnight Mystery quilt.  I hope to donate this to QOV.  I just joined this group through my local quilt guild and it is such a worthwhile organization.  If you'd like to know more about this organization, click here.
  • I want to learn more about blogging so that I can get better at it and be more consistent in my posting.  I've been flopping along on this and I know there is a lot I need to learn to be successful at it. 
  • Get a tote made for my aunt as I'll be visiting her this winter in Florida.  I already have cute kitty material and the pattern for this, just need to do it.
  • I had planned to make a banner for each month to hang outside.  I got September and October done and then the holidays hit and November is still in the works.  I want to start in January and make one for February and finish Novembers and then in February make the one for March and so on. 
  • I started collecting material for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt for this year which started on Black Friday.  I'll save all the clues and get working on it once I get all the material I need.  I plan on this being the only mystery quilt I do this year.
  • I plan to make another QOV quilt as I have collected a lot of red, white, and blue material.
  • I also plan to make to baby/child quilts to donate.  I have the material for two quilts.
  • I plan on using a lot of my stash that I've been building up as you can tell by the above.
  • I want to complete one Rosette each month for the New Hexagon Stitch Along.  I ordered the paper templates for this as I was printing them out and going through ink like there was no tomorrow and that stuff isn't cheap.
  • Practice, practice, practice my embroidery stitches weekly.
  • Make two cross-stitched stockings, one for my granddaughter and one for my granddaughter-in-law to be (August 27th).  These, of course, need to be done by next Christmas.  I've bought all the floss they had available at Walmart recently and hope to get the rest while in Las Vegas with family over Christmas.
  • I hope to do more wool applique.
  • I would love to create a tutorial for my blog, but not sure what in the world I could do one on, but will be thinking of this a lot.
I think that is plenty to accomplish this next year, but it is all doable since I am now retired.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching

I'm linking up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching today.  Hope you join in too.

This week seems to have been a bit slow all the way around.  I did get some things accomplished though.  On Wednesday, I ironed the backing and top of my Grand Illusion quilt and packed it up to take to quilt guild on Thursday morning.  I use a laundry tote to transport it all as right now I don't have a place to do my pin basting at home.  So off I went.  Got it basted and started quilting it yesterday and now have half of it quilted.  WooHoo!! Usually, I will do a quarter a day, but took a break inbetween quarters and had no aches or pains from doing that much.

Ready for pin basting.

Quilting with a large meandering.

I also did some stitching on my sleigh block from Geoff's Mom Pattern Co.  It may be finished and it may not.  It is supposed to have round ornaments on the tree and I haven't decided if I'm going to add them or not.  It does look a little plain right now so I may add them, or I may sew some beads on to it.   I guess you'll just have to come back later in the week and see what I end up doing. 

I have been gathering supplies for the cross-stitch stocking I'll be making for my granddaughter for next Christmas.  My local shopping options for cross-stitching supplies is Walmart which is extremely limited in that area as you can imagine.  I've bought all the floss that was called for in the pattern and still need a whole lot more.  We will be going down to Las Vegas to spend Christmas with family and I'm sure I can get the rest of what I need there, but shopping either the day before or the two days after Christmas is not really what I'd want to do, but it will have to happen if I want to get the supplies before we head out for our travel adventures.  I don't want to have to try and find the supplies while on the road as we like to take the back roads and avoid big cities if at all possible.  Here is a close up (a very poor one) of the stocking I'll be making her.  She is the free spirit in our family and loves the outdoors so I thought this would be a good choice for her.  She turned 20 in October.

I thought I'd throw in a picture of a little mug rug I made when I first started machine quilting.  I was practicing stitching in the ditch.  I used some leftover fabric I had from making a tote which I use when I travel and go to quilt guild.

In the mail this week, I received The Quilter's Planner created by Stephanie Palmer at Late Night Quilter.  I love it.  Thank you Stephanie.

My medical appointments are winding down.  I have an unpleasant procedure tomorrow so am on a liquid diet today.  Then there is only one doctor appointment and an eye appointment left after that.  In December, I had 11 appointments which is about 10 too many for me, but all necessary.

After Christmas we will be in rushing around mode to get everything ready to travel.  Our hopes are to leave by the 10th of January if all goes as scheduled.  I'm looking forward to being back on the road, although I'm not so sure my husband is as he has to do all the hooking up and unhooking of the 5th wheel, not to mention all the driving.  Yes, I can and do drive, but not pulling unless I absolutely had to.

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Today is Linky Tuesday over at Freemotion by the River so be sure to hop on over there and check out the different blogs that are linking up today.

I have a couple of finishes this week.  On Sunday morning I finished THE bag by finishing off the carry strap and adding the zipper pulls, there were 6 of those.  I also gifted it to my daughter-in-law and she loved it, as you can tell by the picture below.  If we hadn't sat down to eat I think she might have held on to it all day. 

Another finish was the December clue for the Midnight Mystery quilt by Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs.  I had finished one of the blocks earlier, but yesterday I finished the rest of them and they sure are pretty, even if I say so myself.  Here is what they look like all laid out in a row with the two half squares on each side.  I'm looking forward to seeing what January will bring.  I don't press them until I work on the next clue as they are big and we live in that small 5th wheel so they get put over the back of my chair.

I have also been doing a little embroidery in the evenings learning different stitches.  The one I did last night looks simple, but trust me, it wasn't.  It was the cable chain stitch and it is the long line of stitches on the far right, many are uneven.  I think tonight I'm going to work on the Feather Stitch.  I tried it last week and it just didn't come together very well.  I have joined up with in learning these stitches.  The step-by-step instructions are very clear with lots of pictures.

I had a text from my daughter on Sunday requesting I make two cross-stitched Christmas stockings, one for my granddaughter and another for my future granddaughter-in-law.  First I rushed down to the craft room at our clubhouse here at the park and went through many cross-stitch magazines and books and not a Christmas stocking pattern to be found so home I came an did the online thing and finally ordered a booklet from Amazon with 4 patterns.  The wildlife one I'll make for my granddaughter it is in the upper left hand corner that you can barely see.  It has a bear, moose, eagle, wolf, and deer on it.  Still not sure what to make for the other one, but I'm sure I'll find the perfect pattern.  The booklet will be here tomorrow and then I'll see about ordering a nice linen and whatever floss I don't have.  Oh, by the way, these will be made for Christmas 2016.  No one could possibly get them done by this Christmas, not even superwoman.
Stoney Creek-Stoney Creek Stockings I

Here is a very blurry picture of the ones I made many years ago.  The one on the right was done in 1989 for my daughter and the one on the left for my grandson done sometime after 1991, probably 1992.

Today, I plan on digging out my Grand Illusion quilt and see if the fabric I bought for the backing will be enough.  If not, I'll need to do some piecing.  I'm hoping to take it to my quilt guild on Thursday and get it pin basted.  Maybe I'll get it quilted before we head out on our travel adventure.  Here is a picture of the top that I took in April before we left for Idaho.  Yes, it has been sitting around for a bit and it's time I tackle it.  I would like to do some custom quilting on it, but the more I think about it, it wouldn't show up with such a busy pattern.  Any ideas of how I should quilt it would be very welcome as I'm new at this and don't have a clue.

I had ordered the paper templates for the New Hexagon Stitch Along that I have been working on so it is on hold until they arrive.  I was using up too much printer ink printing them out so I ordered them on Massdrop and they should be here before Christmas.

That's about it for now, happy quilting.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

As is the norm for me, I have several works in progress to report on. 

I visited my LQS on Monday for several reasons.  First, was to get some help with THAT bag that I'm making for a Christmas gift.  Come to find out, the pattern I purchased from my quilt guild for a workshop they were hosting, was old and two corrections had been made to the pattern.  I wasn't able to attend the workshop as we were at an RV rally out-of-town when they held it.  I've emailed the pattern designer requesting the corrections.  Here is a picture of my bag pile while I'm waiting for the corrections so it continues to be a WIP. 

The second reason for my LQS visit was to get some Kona White I'll need to join in on a Polaroid Block Swap that my friend Marsha over at Quilter in Motion is going to be heading up in January.  Her blog post talking about it can be found here.  You can find out more about it by joining the "NeverEnding Swap" group on Flickr.  It is going to be so much fun so be sure to join in, and soon, as the number of participants will be limited.   There is a tutorial here that shows you how the blocks are made with pictures of some items that were made using the blocks.  I've got a pile of fabric waiting to get fussy cut for the blocks.

While at my LQS, I bought some interfacing for crazy quilt blocks that I'll be making for QFTRU Crazy Quilt Slow Stitch-Along at another Flickr group created by Sandy over at quilting for the rest of us.  I made my first block, which I must say I'm not thrilled about, so I'm going to be making another one that I'll start embroidering.  I have what I'm thinking will be a fun design for a quilt using the crazy quilt blocks I create while we are on the road. 

I also bought a Horizon layer cake by Moda, at my LQS, with some of my favorite colors in it.  Not sure what I'll be using it for, but whatever I end up making with it will be gorgeous with all the pretty fabric that it contains.  Precuts were 40% off.  WooHoo!!!

Yesterday I had the cataract surgery on my right eye so I did some mindless stitching last night by basting a bunch of hexagons using some fabric squares that I had stashed away.  Here is what I got done it a short period of time.  This WIP will be going on for a long, long time.

My final work in progress is my Midnight Mystery Quilt from Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.  I love how it is turing out.  I pieced one of the blocks and have 7 more large ones to piece and 2 half ones and then I'll be waiting for the January clue to come out to see what happens next.  It's never too late to join in the fun.

For those of you who follow my blog, I had posted Sunday that my Grandson, Cole, had received his quilt that I had made for him.  I had accidently deleted the pictures he sent me.  Thanks to my daughter she sent them to me so here he is with the Scrappy Mountain Majesties.  Do you think he liked it?

Happy stitching.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching.  I really enjoy my Sundays even though I'm no longer part of the working world.  There is just something about a Sunday that instills peace and quiet into my life.

This past week was fun and frustrating all at the same time.  I've been working on the Carry On! Travel Bag and it has been very slow going as I've ripped and sewn, ripped and sewn which makes for a lot of frustration.  The directions don't seem real clear to me in places and I have a directional fabric which is a challenge all in itself so I had to do some more ripping and add extra pieces to have it turn out right.  It is being gifted at Christmas, but I can post a picture here as the recipient doesn't follow my blog.

I've also had an email from my grandson with pictures of him and the quilt I sent him for his birthday (12/8) and Christmas. I evidently deleted from my phone and hope my daughter has them and can send them to me.   I also found out this week that he and his girlfriend are now engaged and hope to marry before they leave on world travels this coming July.   Congratulations Cole and Callie.  They are in Mexico celebrating his birthday so I'm waiting for them to return to Colorado for them to decide on a wedding date and figure out how we'll be able to attend since we will be traveling back east starting in January and had planned to be gone for about a year.  Those plans may be a changing.

I have been learning some embroidery stitches and have joined up with Sandy from Quilting for the Rest of Us for a Crazy Quilt Stitch Along.  Check it out here.  Once again I'm taking a Craftsy class on Crazy Quilts by Allie Aller which, by the way, is excellent.  I'm enjoying the different ways to create the Crazy Quilt squares and learning the embroidery stitches.  I haven't practiced too many so far, but working them in some evenings after a day of working on that "bag".  Here is what I've done so far.

I received the fabric postcard from my blog friend and it is gorgeous as I'm sure you will agree.  It says "Deck the Halls..." on it and it is now decking the wall behind my sink so I can enjoy it often.  It truly brings a smile to my face thinking of my friend who created it.  Thank you Marsha of Quilter in Motion blog fame.

I have pieced together one of the large blocks for the December clue for the Midnight Mystery Quilt from Meadow Mist Designs.  I am loving it.  Thank you Cheryl for this lovely creation.  Can't wait to finish the other 7 blocks and 2 half blocks.  I'm anxiously awaiting January's clue now and hope to finish it before leaving on our trip east.

A biggy this week was the getting Stella, a Singer Featherweight 221 that I purchased on eBay and I'm so happy to have her.  I've been looking for one for quite some time and I finally found her.  Her case has one broken fastener and there are a few scraps which the seller had pointed out, but she is beautiful.  She was born August 19, 1947, so she's just about 6 months older than I am. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It has been a busy 9 days since I last posted, and I've got a couple finishes to report.  Today, I'm liking up with Linky Tuesday over at Freemotion by the River.

First and most important, I finished my grandson's quilt and it is in the mail.  I used my walking foot and a wavy line decorative stitch on my sewing machine to quilt it.  I liked how the lines turned out, but I had trouble with the shirt fabric stretching, but all-in-all it turned out nice and I'm sure he'll like it.  If you don't remember, I also pieced the back with 5" squares of upcycled shirts.  The pattern for this quilt is Scrappy Mountain Majesties by Bonnie Hunter and can be found here.  It should arrive Friday and his 24th birthday is Monday.  However, he leaves Friday for Mexico to celebrate his birthday in the sun (he lives in Denver, Colorado) so he'll get it when it gets back, and hopefully not sunburnt.

Label on and ready to be packed up and mailed.
You can see a bit of the backing in the upper lefthand corner.

Quilting up close and personal.

My next finish was my Christmas Wreath which will be gifted at Christmas to a very special person.  It finishes at 15 1/2 inches across.  The design is by Jenny of ELEFANTZ.  It was a free design until the end of October, but it can still be purchased at her Craftsy store  here.  She has beautiful emboridery designs and a monthly club you can join.  Be sure to check out her website here.

 The whole picture.


I also completed my very first fabric postcard and sent it off to my blog friend, Marsha, from over at Quilter in Motion.  She is so amazing and creates so many wonderful items.  So hop on over to her blog and don't forget to follow her.  We mailed out postcards to each other on the same day.  Her's arrived on Saturday and I'm anxiously awaiting mine to arrive.  It was a Christmas fabric postcard swap and this was mine:

If you've never created one, you should try it.  There are several tutorials on the Internet for making them.  One of my favorites can be found at Annie's musing here.  I will definitely be creating more of these in the future.

Next up is to go cut out the material for the Carry On! Travel Bag  It will also be gifted at Christmas so I better get hopping.

Happy stitching.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching.  It has been a slow stitching week as I think I've spent more time at Walmart than I have stitching.

Tuesday I had my first cataract surgery on my left eye and all is going well with that.  I saw the surgeon the next day and he advised me that when I see him again this Wednesday that if everything looks good he'll be able to schedule the surgery for my right eye.  Say a prayer that happens as we are still hoping to start our travels as soon as we can. 

Now for the fun part of my week.  I finished stitching the "Christmas Lamb" by Wooden Spool Designs and he was so much fun to stitch.  Don't you just love the pretty necklace and all his wooly (French knots) coat.

The next block is "Christmas Delivery" by Geoff's Mom Pattern Co.  All those little ornaments will be fun to stitch.  I'm hoping to get busy of this sometime this week.

Under my needle is my grandson's quilt called Scrappy Mountain Majesties by Bonnie Hunter and a free pattern on her website.  You can find all those patterns here.  Yes I'm finally getting around to quilting it.  Thursday I went to guild, put some tables together and was able to get it pin basted.  I didn't go with the hand basting as I haven't done that before and wanted to get this quilt finished and in the mail and trying a new process would take longer, at least for me.  I'm old and slow.  I'm quilting it by using my walking foot and a decorative stitch on my sewing machine.  It is a process that I learned from a Craftsy class by Jacquie Gerring entitled Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot.  She teaches may different ways to use your quilting foot; even several curve patterns and all with minimal marking.  A great class for sure.  If you are interested you can find her class here.  Right now it is on sale for $29.99, regularly $44.99.  It is well worth the money if you do your own quilting on a domestic machine.  I have taken many Craftsy classes and they are all excellent online classes. 

I've also just about finished my first fabric postcard that is going to a friend in Florida.  I'll post a picture of it once she receives it.  I am pleased with how it has turned out so you'll just have to check back to get a look at it.

I also finished up the November clue on my Midnight Mystery Quilt.  There was a oops in my piecing so my seam ripper and I had some fun together ripping out seams.  Nothing drastic, but a bit time consuming.

Bottom one is WRONG

All Fixed

I didn't get any EPP work done this week as I'm trying to get some of these other projects completed.

What's on the horizon for me:
In preparation for our travels, I have been looking at different small clear tubs to put my fabric in that will be stored under our bed in the little 5th wheel.  Right now my material is stored in a very large tub which is under my sewing table and two smaller tubs on the shelf in my closet.  None of those will fit under the bed.  I've also been looking at getting a smaller machine that will basically just do straight stitching.  My ideal choice would be a Singer Featherweight, but haven't found one locally.  Of course I just started going to swap meets, yard sales, and the local pawn shop.  Mostly just Brother machines so far, but I'll keep looking before resorting to eBay or Craig's List.

Happy stitching.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I'm linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's Quilts so be sure to check out all the wonderful links. 

We went to an RV rally in Amargosa, Nevada which is only about 50 miles from where we live.  It was the first rally we have attended as the ones held where we used to live were always during the summer and we worked during the summer.  It was a lot of fun and we'll definitely be signing up to attend more.  We got there on Tuesday and came home on Saturday.  One of the fun parts was the raffles, door prizes, auction, and the 50/50 drawing.  Surprise of all surprises, I won the 50/50 which was $63.00.  WooHoo, more money for fabric; like I need more fabric.  We also obtained a couple things from the auction, a really nice set of knives from Stanley, and a couple RV things Miles wanted for our RV.  Okay, enough about non-quilty things.  While at the rally we did go over to the China Ranch Date Farm and got all kinds of date goodies:  date nut bread, date nut muffin, a date chocolate chip cookie, date and almond treats, and a date shake.  Yummy.

I didn't get a lot of stitching done, but one thing I did was fix Rosette 9 so it didn't look like the little guy from "Ice Age".  Here is the new Rosette 9.



I did make two foundation paper pieced blocks for my quilt guild.  I really like the red, yellow and black one, but not so much the flower basket one although the lady at the guild in charge of this project loved it, which is a good thing.

I had been to the library recently and gotten 3 quilting books.  Our library does have to many quilting books and the ones they do have are pretty old.  One I read was "Prairie Children and Their Quilts" which is very good and I highly recommend it for those of you who enjoy a little history thrown in with the quilt patterns.  There are several pictures taken out on the American frontier with stories of life on the prairie, which as we know was not easy in the 1800's.  You can still get this book from here. The book is pricey so you might see if your local library has it.  The Kindle addition is a lot less at $9.99. 

Another book that I'm still reading and will probably buy is "Easy Machine Quilting 12 Step-By-Step Lessons From the Pros, Plus a Dozen Projects to Machine Quilt.  This book is amazing, but can only be purchased used on Amazon for very low prices.  The shipping is more than the book in a lot of the cases.  You can purchase it by going here

I also recently discovered Massdrop and purchased several items from them.  If you haven't every used them be sure to check them out.  Here are some pictures of the goodies I've purchased.  You join and then you can designate what group or groups you would like to be in.  Yep, I'm in the quilting enthusiast group and get periodic emails of the purchase options.  You can opt to purchase when it reaches the lowest price.

I have done about half the stitching on my lamb block for the Christmas Mystery Quilt Blog Hop and hope to get that finished up this afternoon. 

I also visited my local quilt shop last Monday and purchased the rest of the items I need to make the travel bag and read through the cutting instructions last night.  I'll probably go over to the clubhouse tomorrow and do the cutting as they have a really large cutting mat in the craft room which would expedite my cutting.

I'm on Instgram as jennifer433 and joined in a couple of swaps.  One was a fat quarter swap that I did with two other people and I've received my goodies from one and will pick up the other from the post office on Monday as it arrived while we were at the rally.  Another one was a charm swap.  You bought or had in your stash a yard of modern low volume fabric and cut it into 56 charms and set off to the creator of the swap who will sort them and send out to all those participating.  You get 56 different charms of modern low fabric which I really needed.  So, it has been an early Christmas for me this past week.  The next swap is a fabric postcard swap, but I can't post a picture of what I'm doing as my swap partner reads my blog.  I'll post a picture of it after she receives it.  It is the first time I've attempted to do one and I'm hoping it comes out okay.

I do have cataract surgery coming up this Tuesday which I'm not looking forward to, but the news is I will be able to see clearly again which will probably make a big difference in my quilting.  They'll be doing my left eye first and then about a month down the road they'll do the right eye.  My left was much worse than the right. 

Happy quilting.