Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Late Merry Christmas

I had every intention of posting before Christmas but it just didn't happen. Our DS#1 moved down here the week before. Also that week, I picked our DS#2 from Virginia Tech and all of us headed to Maryland to spend a couple days with my mom which included cookie baking day with more extended family. Our DD is packing up her stuff in the apartment over the garage where DS#1 will move in after DD leaves for France on New Years Eve. She will meet up with her kind of boyfriend and he will show her around Europe. I'm sorry to see her go. She has been a big help to us. The last time she flew out of the country she was gone for over a year. At least this time she has a return ticket and will be back in March and has plans to live in Afton which is only about 25 minutes from us.

Christmas was a quiet affair here. I enjoyed making a big turkey dinner and we all ate way too much.

The last four days I've found hand quilting time late in the morning when even on cloudy days the light is very good in my sunroom. I hope I can keep this up. I'm not one to sit and quilt for hours so I really need to make it a habit to get anything done. I love seeing the progress I make - even doing just four long threads each day.

I also made two scarves from this site which I found on Pinterest. I made the infinity scarf for DD and DS#2 is modeling the scarf I made for DD's boyfriend. I really don't do a lot of gift giving but saw this pattern and wanted to make it for someone. I thought they'd look cute together bumming around Europe in these scarves.

For a very limited time The Quilt Show has an interview with Jinny Beyer. It includes a tour of her home and shop and a review of Jinny's color confidence.

This has been an exciting year for us. Lots of changes which included good times and bad. Fortunately, the good times far outweighed the bad. I couldn't sleep the other night thinking about all the projects I have in mind for 2015. I found out another grandniece is expected so I have two baby quilts to make. Those quilts and planning our vegetable garden are what I hope will keep me busy in January. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I always appreciate your comments. I'm wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In the Hoop and on the Design Wall

I have to admit this photo is from a couple of weeks ago and very little has been done since.

More recently I've been cutting fabrics for a tumbling blocks quilt for my grand niece, Layla, who was born in May. I think I've added a few Dear Jane blocks since the last time I posted blocks. I'm really enjoying making these - at least so far. I was encouraged by one of the gals in the DJ group to just figure out the blocks myself without the software. So far it is working.

When I took my son back to Blacksburg after his Thanksgiving break I went to the Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Regional Art Center to check out their quilt exhibit. It was rather small but worth it as I was in the area and the exhibit was very good with good descriptions of the quilts.

Here is a shot of our Christmas tree in the foyer looking into the living room.

I keep meaning to include this in a post. I'm trying to live by these words and I feel much happier for it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cascadia Quiltalong

I'm so happy with this little quilt. I finished it Monday. I just couldn't wait for Lori to post the finale.

I tried the solid light and wasn't happy so I pulled some other options. I kept looking in on this for a day and the cheddar was my favorite every time. Does that work for you? Setting out the options and approaching it anew a few times. I had already decided to hand quilt it with the same pattern Lori is doing. Seems like the best option to me.

My DD is taking care of an English Angora this week. I've never seen a rabbit like this.

I can't get over these ears! 

We woke up to snow this morning. It is still coming down. Glad I don't have to go anywhere. This is our first Thanksgiving we will celebrate at home. My DS2 is here on break from school and my DS1 is coming down tomorrow morning. Today will be busy baking pies. I also think I'll get my cranberry sauce made. I found a recipe that isn't too sweet. I think I was going to post it last year and never did...Nope I didn't though I did take this photo.

I got the recipe from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila. Here is her recipe on her blog Eating from the Ground Up. It's a little different than the one in her book but looks just as good.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the U.S. and hope all of you have a happy holiday season. Remember to take time to relax and stitch. We all need to take the time to refuel and I think most of us quilters find quilting does that for us.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Finishes and Almost Finishes

Step 2 complete of Lori's quiltalong/mystery. Trying not to dwell on how this is going to come together. It's hard waiting for the next step of instructions!

My DD finished a knitted baby blanket for some friends who are expecting any moment now. She used scraps from her yarn stash. I love how it turned out.

I finished one window shade for our family room. I have it opened for my rosemary plant I brought in from outside. Hoping it will survive the winter inside. There were some frustrating moments while making this shade. I'm now working on the other two for this room and they are going only a little more smoothly. It took us a couple hours to figure out how to hang this first one. Good to have that first one out of the way. 

Closed for the night.


And after.
Just need to get a few accessories. I made the curtains from dress fabric I found at a yard sale. We reused the medicine and corner cabinet behind the door and a pretty blue ceiling light we took from the walk-in closet. None of which you can see from this shot. You can see the radiator my DH spray painted black.  The details are very pretty - wish you could see those, too. I'm being very lazy today. I'll try to remember to take some detail shots when the light is good. I slept 10 hours last night and slept in to 8:15. It's rainy and cold and I think I'll stay in my jammies today. Haven't done that in so long. Will have to put my jeans on to check the animals but other than that I'm going to have what I consider a day off. Will work a little on the shades, do some reading, and maybe this evening I'll get out some hand stitching. Hope you find time to stitch today, too.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Quick Show and Share

I'm happy to be able to participate in Lori's Quiltalong/Mystery this time. I always love her little doll quilts. As soon as I saw her post Saturday evening I ran up to my sewing room and started cutting 1 1/2" squares. I don't think I have any repeats here and I tried to keep with 19th century reproductions. Can't wait for the next step!

My first six Dear Jane blocks. I'm trying not to look ahead but just taking one block at a time.

I got the flying geese strippy top put together. Would love to baste it and get quilting but we are expecting frigid temps this coming week and I really need to get a few window treatments done. Our 1920's house has the original windows and they leak like crazy. I have everything I need to make roman shades for the family room. My stumbling block is the directions. I'm having a hard time finding directions that make sense to me. I've hemmed and hawed long enough and just need to jump in and figure it out.

We took a drive in the country a couple of weeks ago.  Color wasn't great this year though still pretty.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Too Many Distractions

It's not that I don't like making curtains. There are just too many distractions in my sewing room.

Above are fabrics and ideas for new quilts. I wonder if I will actually start all of them. The fabrics on the right are for a baby quilt for a grandniece born this past May so that one will most definitely get done.

I just couldn't help myself and started this blended quilt for our bed. The fabric in the left foreground will be the strips in between the strips of flying geese. I've had this fabric for forever so I kinda feel good about starting this one. The flying geese will finish at 4" x 8" so this quilt will come together relatively quickly for a large queen size. Barb gave me the idea to make it extra large so no fighting over the covers! My inspiration photo came from this book-

This book was given to me by a friend and I love all the comments on sticky notes she included with it. 

Here is my inspiration photo. I'm not actually using the directions because that would just confuse me!

I also started my Dear Jane blocks. I couldn't fall asleep last night so I finished the applique block and got a start on this pieced block this morning. I'm keeping two things I learned from other bloggers in mind as I work on this. After actually viewing the Dear Jane quilt, Kathleen noted how many imperfections there were in the original and we can loose site of this as we work on one block at a time. I decided I'm going to enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to make each block and not worry about making each block perfect. Not that I could do that anyway. Another, was a tip from Janet and Raewyn about making small blocks. Sew big and cut down to size.

I took some photos as I walked our property this afternoon. On the left are old apple trees that desperately need trimming. The two paw paw trees are on the right. 

I was glad to see we had a serviceberry tree. We had planted a couple at our old house and I was sorry to leave them. They have pretty white flowers in early spring, berries in June and pretty color in the fall.

I spent some time today digging up the thistle. They have pretty flowers but they are an invasive here and I don't like their prickly leaves. 

Mint in the pasture. I picked some for tea. 

Caesar is always trying to get a bite of my clothing.

Looking over our fence to the neighbors property. 

The ducks like to peck at me, too. Must be dinner time. They love green beans fresh from the garden. 

I changed up the quilts on the railing for fall.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. I plan to finish that Dear Jane block this evening.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Our First Duck Egg

We've been expecting our first duck egg and today was the day.

Look at that bright orange yolk and the white was very viscous as it should be.

My daughter ate it atop her leftover Thai lunch.

I've been taking a lot of photos recently so here is an update of what I've been up to-

I realized I needed to allow myself some quiet moments with a cup of tea to come up with some decorating ideas. I was running around too much and not thinking. I was staring at this corner of the dining room one day and remembered the old ladder we found in the basement. I folded up a few quilts - I didn't like how they looked hanging on the rungs- and put them on the ladder in the corner. You can see the curtains I made and I still need to hang the sheers I made. I am pleased with how it looks and like that I've used something that otherwise might end up at the landfill.

I had my second and last English Paper Piecing class with Cyndy. During the second class I showed her how to put the hexie path on her hexie flowers. She made all these flowers in between the two classes. I was very encourage by her progress. She is making a little table cloth for her daughters kitchen table and a small table topper for herself. We also went over finishing a hexie quilt. I thought I might do a blog post about that as well as some tips I have for EPP.

We are renovating our master bathroom. I don't know why this is wearing me out when the contractor and his help are doing all the work! They have been here several weeks - we are also turning a small bath into a small laundry room - and this week the roofers joined the fun. The dogs and cats are really mystified, excited and/or irked by all this activity.  When it is all done I'll show a before and after pick. I love how it is turning out.

We harvested over 200 lbs. of winter squash. Here is a look at some of the butternut. I hope this lasts for months in the basement as they say it will. I love roasted butternut and butternut squash soup.

Have you ever heard of pawpaws

We have two pawpaw trees and the fruit is now ripe. Lots of big seeds but the flesh is delicious - kind of a combination of banana and mango with a custard-like consistency.

We've been eating them out of hand and freezing some of the flesh. They are good in smoothies and I've been told it can be a substitute for banana in banana bread.

I hung a couple of quilts on the second story stair rail.  I made the one on the right several years ago. I found the one on the left at a yard sale a couple of months ago.

Please don't look at the walls - we are in the middle of removing the wall paper.

I love this little strip of pink gingham. It only goes about 12 inches of this one side. This corner is squared off and-

this corner is rounded.

Dave and I went to Octoberfest at the Frontier Culture Museum. This is the Irish homestead.

They had Tunis sheep at the American homestead. They are hard to find around here though they were once very common in the mid-Atlantic region. I'd like to have a small flock of Tunis some day. I love their coloring.

I had to snap a photo of the beds in the American home from the mid-1800's.

Tomorrow night I'm going to see the play Quilters at Mary Baldwin College with my cousin. Have you ever been to a performance or heard of it? It's new to me.