Friday, June 13, 2014

Wooly Stuff

I've been kind of in a wool frenzy lately.  A few weeks ago, I pulled out this kit I've had for a few years.  I bought it at Huckleberry Patches in McCall, Idaho, back when we lived in Idaho.  I thought it would be a good car project, but realized it's too floppy for the car.  I had better results stitching it at a table where it could lay flat. I'm waiting for some pumpkin orange perle cotton to arrive, then I'll be able to finish the applique stitches.  I'll show a picture when it's finished!

This is another oldie!  A few of us bought these at Back Door Quilts in Indianapolis a few years ago during retreat.  Mine sat in the package until recently.  The draw to these kits were the fact that they were pre-cut AND had fusible on the back of each piece.  Well...it turns out, I didn't like it!  It's very thick and if you look closely, the black background wouldn't "stick" to the grey backing and now it's kind of puffy and loose.  Weird.  I've tried steaming the heck out of it to shrink it down, but so far no luck.  It's okay...it fits nicely on this table with a vase on it, and then you can't see the puffiness too much.  I've used fusible with other projects, but I prefer to cut most of the inside of the shape out before fusing, then the piece isn't overly stiff from all that fusible.  Click here for an example of cutting away the fusible, it's with a cotton project, but it's the same process.

Now....Here is a NEW project to share.  Primitive Gatherings is hosting a 10th Anniversary Stitch Along.  This one is a freebie and she'll be posting steps about every 2-3 weeks.  This is the center block and she hinted that it will be a small, medallion style wall hanging.  I've heard of some folks doing it in cotton and embroidery too!  This block will finish at 6"!  Those are some teeny tiny pieces!  I used wool from my stash and did the applique with DMC floss.  There is one boo-boo, but my daughter said I have to stop pointing out my boo-boos so I'm not going to tell you where it is.  LOL  Can't wait to see what's next!

I also joined Primitive Gatherings Block of the Week called Sunflower Gatherings.  If you haven't checked it out on her blog, you must go see.  She hasn't revealed the whole quilt yet, but there have been plenty of peeks and it's gorgeous!  I couldn't resist!  I'm waiting for an order of a few colors of perle cotton before I can finish the applique on these, but they are cut and ready to go!  More small pieces, as these blocks finish at 10".  This is week one... 

and week two....there is some overlap to the blocks as there is a setting block in between each applique block.  Aren't they gorgeous!? 

And as a bonus...this little freebie block is included each week!  There is an adorable little quilt to make with these at the end...you can see it here.  These need stitching as well...and they will finish at 2.5"!

See why I couldn't resist??!!  I'm so enjoying these wool projects right now...I hope I keep up the momentum!  :)

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle



Home Improvements

(Warning!  Lots of pics!  You can click on them to get a closer view!)

I really, really love this old house we live in.  I truly feel honored and blessed to live in a house that has been a part of history and often think of the people that have lived here before us in the last 100+ years.  But...as a "renter," I'm glad I don't have to pay for the up-keep.  There is ALWAYS something that needs attention on these houses...whether it's indoors or out.

The last couple of weeks (obviously, because winter has finally passed), we've had all kinds of activity going on....
First was some repair work to the outside brick...I'm not exactly sure what they were doing, I think checking for cracks in the mortar and patching cracks and holes.

Also on the agenda....tear down this garage.  We had to have all of our "stuff" out by April 30th, but of course it sat empty until the end of May.  We really didn't keep a lot in there, just yard stuff, tools, and bikes.  My car would fit (barely), but with no automatic door openers, it was kind of a pain to use.  We only used it when there was a hail storm.  LOL  The truck wouldn't fit at all.

The garage was not as bad as it looks here...I think they took nails and other hardware out and that left the paint all scrappy looking...but the roof was sagging and needed to be replaced.  I think the Housing Contractor figured it was cheaper to replace the garages than to keep repairing these older buildings.

Who wouldn't like this job?  He just started pulling on the roof with the front of his Bobcat....

...until it started to come down.  Only took a day to tear it down and load it in to two dumpsters...


Bye, bye garage....we will be getting a brand new one!  They are doing about 40 garages at the same time, so I don't expect it to be done for a couple of months.  I'll be sure to post a pic when it's finished!  :)

Now it's looked like this for the last week...except that today I think the foundation is completely gone.  They seemed to pause work on it while another crew did this:

New sidewalks/walkways!


and along the side of the house....

and the parking pad on that same side of house....(you can see the old parking pad/sidewalk in the picture of the brick repair above.  We didn't know they were doing this until we came home and it was gone!)
  
Here is the new, expanded parking area!

They also put all this in...we had no idea they were doing this area, so I didn't get "before" pics, but this was asphalt all the way to the garbage can storage area.

And this!!  This is the other side of the house...you can see a sidewalk leading up to the stairs...that was there, but to the left of it was grass!  They took out all that grass and replaced it with concrete!!  What???  We also didn't know about that part!  It has something to do with drainage as the concrete now has a slight slant to it...to keep the water from seeping into the foundation of the house.  Really?  After 100 years, it's a problem now?  LOL

But look!!  Pretty new walkways....

Now the landscaping crew needs to come by and repair/fill in the grass and it'll be done!  They are working on the neighbors sidewalks as I type this.

Hope you all are enjoying your summer!  I know we are...and I'm still amazed that just one month ago today we had 12" of new snow!  :)

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Checking in....

Whew....life has been crazy the last couple of weeks.  I haven't even turned my sewing machine on since I don't remember when.  :(  We've had lots of events and commitments at the base, along with some visitors that have stopped by during their travels across country.  All of that has kept me on my toes and off the computer!  

This last weekend, we went to California for our niece's high school graduation.  We've missed so many family events, so it was nice to make it to this one.  We surprised everyone with our own daughter, Megan, being there too!!


The graduation party turned in to a family reunion of sorts...as our son was also able to make it (he missed the graduation by just a couple hours, but it's a long way to travel from Florida!!)  We knew he was coming, but it was a surprise to everyone else...especially at 2am, when I told my sister there was someone at the door...and there he was!!  My two are the two all the way on the left in the picture below.  This is all my siblings, their spouses and kids.  What a rare occasion!  Everyone but my immediate family lives in California...and my kids haven't been back in 5-6 years....so to get them there at the same time was a miracle.  I was sooooo happy to have them both together though!!


Here is a picture of us....this makes my mommy heart smile.  With those two going in different directions and with us still moving around with the military, these moments are few and far between.  
♥♥ LOVE ♥♥
I love this pic of the two of them....kind of sums up their relationship...always teasing and picking on each other!

We were also able to squeeze in a few hours with some of hubby's family too.  This is hubby's sister and her family.  There is never enough time to see everyone, so we try to do the best we can with a short amount of time!

Another niece has a birthday next weekend, so I was able to give her gift in person!  This is the Goodnight Irene quilt from the sew along earlier this year....

I found the perfect backing at Hobby Lobby....Yay!

Things are not quieting down, but I'm going to try and catch up on blogs and remember to post a little more often!  I've got a few more things to share, so stay tuned!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle