Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday musings...

My heart goes out to all those affected by the horrible fires in California (and many other states, I'm sure!).  My entire extended family is being affected by the Butte Fire in the Sierra Nevada area.  My brothers and their families have already been evacuated from their homes, while my sister, her family, and my mom have their cars packed and ready to go when they are told it's time to go.  This is the area where my husband and I grew up, so there is lots of family and lifelong family friends all through this area....many of whom are fire fighters.  I just pray the firefighters are able to contain it before it gets any closer the most populated areas.  It's burned over 60,000 acres already.  

This is a picture my sister sent of the main highway off the mountain...just crazy!

This is the sun from her back porch...apparently it's "snowing" ash...

I just pray and thank God for those firefighters for running TO this massive thing and working so hard to save the homes.

I feel hopeless being so far away.  Nothing much I can do, but pray.  And sew.  :)  I did finish the Bitty Blocks for September.  The Sawtooth Star is probably my most favorite block of all time...with the mini 9 patch ranking right up there with it.  I just love these 4" stars. 

Also, I realized I never told you about my new sewing machine.  I found it on Craig's List and the seller lives almost around the corner and is a fellow quilter.  It's going to be perfect to take to workshops and classes so I don't have to drag my "big" machine.  It sews perfectly.  I don't typically name my machines, but these featherweights seem to need a name.  I looked up what the most popular name was for 1955 (for the year the machine was made)...and it was Mary.  Hmmm....and then one night a thought occurred to me.  I bought the machine in Virginia.  My grandmother's name was Mary Virginia.

So here she is...Mary Virginia...I think she would like it....  

Happy Quilting...


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Road Trip!

We decided to take a long weekend trip to Melborne, Florida, to see our son.  It's so nice to be able to drive to visit, rather than rely on air travel.  Yes, it's a lot of time in the car, but we don't mind...we can do our own thing, stop when we want, etc, etc.  :)  

We had a great visit, seeing his new house and even helping him with a few projects on his "to-do" list.  In between trips to Home Depot , we did stop at one of the beaches for a little stroll.  The water was sooo warm.  There weren't many people...I think it was too HOT HOT HOT!

It was a great visit and I hope we'll have many more opportunities to visit while we're both here on the east coast...

Of course I must show you his kitty cats...this is Coconut.  She's a feisty, playful little thing.  She's super lean, and all muscle!

This is Atria, his girlfriend's cat.  She's super shy, but started warming up to us.  She was never far away, but she just didn't want you to get too close.  I was able to pet her a few times.  

Another thing road trips are good for...getting caught up on neglected projects.  I'm so excited to be caught up with Buttermilk Basin's Block of the Month.  I love these little blocks and they are so quick to stitch up, I don't know why I procrastinated.  I wonder what September's block will be?  I'm thinking something with an apple...

It's always nice to be home again after a road trip.  Hope you all enjoyed a fun, relaxing weekend!

Happy Quilting!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Feline Friday

Thanks for all the concern about my last Feline Friday post and Chloe getting into the dryer as I am loading it.  It's "cute" and makes us laugh when she's up to her crazy kitty antics, but believe me, I'm freaked out about her getting stuck in there and I don't know it.  So the last two weeks, I've been catching her before she goes all the way in and shooing her away with a firm "no!"  She's showing less and less interest already.  I'm sure she'll move on to something more interesting before too the small garbage cans in my sewing room.  They are tipped over every single day.  Grrrr...

This week she decided she wanted to help me cut fabric!  Somehow, she wasn't helping much.

Do you have one of these scratching boxes for the kitties?  Both of our cats do use it for scratching...but this is the other favorite use.  They both love to sleep on it.  I guess this day they were trying to share...that's as close to cuddling each other as they ever get!

I'm linking up with Feline Friday over at Sarah Did It!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  It's hard to believe August is almost over!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Quilting with Friends!

This week I was so lucky to be able to go visit my "old" guild back in Delaware.  While I was living there, I was so thankful to be part of this great group and have so missed the "Sit & Sew" time together.  I'm close enough here in Virginia that I will be making the trip occasionally for special events or maybe just because!!  Monday night was the guild meeting and the speaker was Sheila Karel.  She is the quilt designer of the Star Trellis quilt I just completed.  (She has patterns ready for sale, for those that asked!)  She shared many of her beautiful quilts and her love of all things "crumbs!"  I don't know why I didn't take any pictures that night!!

The next day, Sheila taught a workshop for the "Sit & Sew" day.  It's her pattern called Courthouse Steps Bargello.  This pattern is also available for sale from Sheila.

Here are my blocks...

The girls are hard at work assembling blocks...Hi Sheila and Lynn!

You can see Pat's row of blocks coming together there on her table...Hi Pat!!  :)

Looks like Jeanne has row coming together too...

Here is one of each of the ladies' can really see the design coming together.  Even though all the fabrics and colors are different, it looks great!  

I think these were Sue's...she had quite the productive day!

I don't remember who these blocks belong too...but I love the colors!

This is such a great picture with all the Sit & Sew gals...Sheila, our instructor for the day, is in the middle with her gold and black block.  Everyone oooh'd and ahhh'd over her fabric/color's perfect for fall/halloween time!

Special thanks to Lisa for letting me stay at her house so that I was able to be part of such a fun day!

On the way home, I did make a stop at one of my favorite shops, Serendipity, and picked up a few treasures.  Until now, I hadn't followed any of the Row by Row events going on, but I decided I liked this one enough, I had to have it.  :)

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Catching up with Bitty Blocks

I realized I hadn't shared my monthly Bitty Blocks since May.  I'm surprised myself that I was able to keep up with these, even during the move!  They are just so fun...and fun is a great motivator.  :)

There were 3" hearts for June....

3" sailboats in July....

and 4" log cabins for August.  I chose to paper piece these and they were sooo fun to make.  I might just have to make a few more!  They take about 1/2 hour each to you do the math on how long I spent making these babies!  LOL  Totally worth it!

edited to add:  4" pinwheels for April!

This is a suggested layout for the Bitties and right now, this is what I plan to do with my blocks.  I'll need 16 each of the 3" blocks and 12 of the 4" far, so good!   I might make the border a little wider, so make it just a bit larger.  We'll see when the time comes!

Are you making the Bitty Blocks?  If you haven't checked them out, head over to the Quiltmaker Magazine blog...all the patterns are still available and each new month is published on the first Monday of each month.  On Instagram, check out #qmbittyblocks.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Feline Friday

 I'm sure other cat owners can relate...Chloe is my shadow.  She's not the most cuddly, affectionate cat I've ever owned, but she will never let me out of her sight.  If I move to a different room, she is literally at my heals, following me.  

One of her kind of annoying cat antics, if there is a door open, she runs to it.  Cupboards, closets, etc...including the dryer!  Usually though, I would have a second to shoo her away before she got inside.  Not anymore...she dashes in and immediately lays down and starts purring.  I thought if I "toss" the wet clothes on her, she'd jump out of the way.  Nope.  This is cute/funny...but I actually need to be really careful she doesn't get caught in there without me knowing!!  She does it every, single, time.  Bad kitty....

We recently purchased a new scratching post (you can see what they did to the old one)
...ummm, I think she likes it?? 

In the mean time, Smokey has been working on his stomach crunches.  Not.

Happy Quilting and have a great weekend!!  I'm linking up with Sarah Did It!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Weddings and Wild & Goosey

No, the wedding wasn't Wild & Goosey....(well, maybe the party after the reception was!).  My brother's and new sister in law's wedding was just amazing.  They were married on August 1st and I am so glad we were able to be there.  The quilt I blogged about in my last post was a gift for them and I think they really loved it.  She already has it on the bed!

Since being home, I haven't been feeling 100%...I think I picked up somebody's icky germs on the airplane or airport.  Ugh.  It started out as a sore throat, but it's now a full blown head cold, fever, congestion, etc.  Needless to say, I'm not being very productive, sewing or otherwise.

Today, however, I made myself go into the sewing room and pick something to work on.  The only thing that motivated me was to finally try the Wild & Goosey block.  This quilt has been on my bucket list forever.  The pattern is from the May/June '13 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine...and it's one of Bonnie Hunter's "Addicted to Scraps" blocks.  Can I just say...I love it!!!  So fun and so cool to be using up the tiniest of scraps.  I love that it's paper pieced because it's so easy to use up those wonky shape leftover pieces.

I've not been good about saving "crumbs."  Anything smaller than 1.5" square usually goes in the trash, but I decided to start saving smaller pieces because they work great for this block.  Each "goose" block finishes at 3" and the whole block finishes at 7".   The larger outer triangles came from my 2.5" square bin, the sashing strips came from my 1.5" strip bin.  How cool is that to have everything precut and ready to work with?!
I need lots more variety in this crumb's mostly reds, blacks, and blues.  There is no rush though, I'll make a few here and there.  I'll definitely be saving those smaller scraps from now on!

Have you tried the Wild & Goosey block?

Happy Quilting!