Praise !

"NOW THANKS BE UNTO GOD, WHICH ALWAYS CAUSETH US TO TRIUMPH IN CHRIST !"

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear....Psalm 27 1-3
Psalm 31: 7, 8
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy; for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a large room.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pouch Day !

I finally PRYED myself loose from this computer chair long enough to get a little something done in the sewing room again......little being the key word, mind you !

When I checked out Quilt Taffy's blog this morning she was linking to a pleated, zippered pouch tutorial.    It got my mind a'hoppin, and I took a shot at making one partly on my own, partly helped by various tutorials from several different blogs, including Noodlehead's.

I couldn't find one that had a ruffle like I wanted so I added it myself..........

these are the first two that I made this afternoon.
 
Then, I went back and cut out one of the pleated ones from the earlier reference.  I just finished it. 

 I hope that these will help me to make up little gifts for some of the girls on my Christmas list........now to find some yummy lipsavers to add to them !

Oh, and my second order from Fabric.com came while I was sewing......gotta love that ! 
I picked up a nice set of greys, and a couple of others from Jay McCarroll's lines.

Monday, November 29, 2010

CYBER MONDAY is FUN !

And a bit frustrating............but still FUN !

Photo coutesy of ConnectingThreads.com

I got two sets of each of these samplers......I think that's enough to make 2 zig zag quilts at around 50 x 70

I've been deciding on my order of solids over at Connecting Threads.  I've wanted to build up my stash, and had to decide between pre-cuts and fat quarters.  I went with the 2 1/2 inch strips.  You know how expensive jelley-rolls are, at 25 to 30 dollars apiece..........well, I know that you usually get atleast 40 fabrics, but these solids from CT come with 24 strips for $3.30.........did you read that right........YES...........$3.30 ! ! ! !

I mean look at this page.......  a bundle of 24 fatquarters is only $11.88 !  

No, I don't work for the company;  I am just overwhelmed.  They went half-off on all of these samplers today, and WOW !



I had lots in my cart and couldn't make up my mind which ones I couldn't live without.  I was trying to keep it under $19.99, so that the shipping would stay at $3.89.  Well, items started disappearing from my cart while I was still mulling the whole thing over. 
This is the set that I missed.......Kelley, feel free to grab a couple of the strip sets and send them to me for Christmas.......the sale continues until tomorrow night at midnight because they had problems earlier.

Let me tell you that THAT stirred me up.  The crazy and aggravating thing is, once I paid for what I got, and went back to look again (why do I always do that)........the items that had disappeared from my cart were back for sale again.  Earlier they had been unavailable except to add to my wish list.......now you can put them in your cart again.  Sadly, I wish I had gotten them, but I won't pay the price of a jellyroll for another shipping charge, so I guess that's what it took to help me make a decision.

Anyway, their sale on these beat Fabric.com this time.   Fabric.com has been making their hourly offers all day via Facebook.  They're on their final offer right now..........25% off your entire purchase until midnight. (EDIT-EDIT :  mistake on that timing.....it was just until 5 p.m.) 


Connecting Threads Cyber Monday sale continues an extra 24 hours because of glitches earlier in the day, so GO FOR IT !

By the way, CLUCK. CLUCK. SEW is having an unannounced special for Cyber Monday, and it is good until noon tomorrow.  Her patterns are "buy one, get one free".  If interested, please comment on her latest post, and tell her you heard about it here.  She's a doll and so is the baby in her post !

Personally, I love this pattern of hers, and hope to be making it really soon.

Ha, I just noticed how very colorful and cheerful my blog is today !   Hooray for bright moments in cloudy seasons !  PRAISE THE LORD  !

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all !

What a wonderful day.........we're all stuffed like the proverbial bird, although I actually made cornbread dressing. 

Jeff, Mandy, Christopher, and Allyssia joined us for a noon meal, and there was WAY too much food, Praise the LORD !

I hope you can take it easy and relax and enjoy family......or quiet.......or BOTH  tonight. 
My birthday "loot" from Jodie Ann

Tomorrow is mine and Zoe's birthdays..........my best gal pal, Jodie Ann surprised me with a goodie package full of fabric and magazines, a tote bag, and even some Irises from the state of OKLAHOMA !  She grabs goodies for me all the time when she sees a little something that she knows I'll like.......even HANKIES !  So thoughtful..........Love you, Jodie,........thank you so much !
Today's gathering from our walk.......the tree is almost empty !

Hubby and I took our walk as soon as we could pry our overstuffed bodies from the furniture........the treasures I picked up look alot like the loot that Jodie sent me, huh?

It's 67 degrees right now, and we're supposed to have a rain/snow mixture this evening.......just a reminder to get ready for Winter's icy blasts !  A person could get way TOO used to the wonderful Fall temperatures we've been having.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finished little Christmas quilt

Hopefully, these will be the last photos I share of this little quilt.  I've started to feel like I just keep this blog so that I can receive compliments on my work.  Forgive me if it seems that way.  I only want to share my progress and my creative outlet, as I said before, missing my "in-person" quilting friends as I do.  Also, this absolutely serves as my journal to look back on to see what I was doing with this time of my life.
Having said that, this is the best photo I could get of the entire quilt, and yet, I still cut off some of it around the edges.
 And here's the back........it doesn't photograph well.  In person, it is quite scrumptious, with a wonderful happy feeling of red and white.......kind of like a Christmas candy cane.
 Here's my best out-of-doors shot.

And then, there's these.  Everyday when we walk, my husband and I are in awe of this big, gorgeous tree.  It's red on one side, and yellow and orange on the other.  He kept wanting a photo, and we almost waited too late.  Today when he saw that the leaves were gone already out of the very top, he insisted that we drive back down and grab a couple of photos.  I'm really glad that he did.  I love that man AND our walks, and Wow, the LORD sure paints a pretty picture !

The last of the beauties on our street.


No, this isn't my house, but I get to enjoy this beauty everyday !


Give thanks

Yes, Natalia, as you remind us to be thankful,
 my mind goes to seeing my husband raise his hand to God
 in praise in Church yesterday morning.

I am thankful for a God that is teaching me generosity,
 and supplying me with the ability to give.

I am thankful for family near and far,
 for toothless smiles from grandchild and hubby
(and sometimes, self !).

I am thankful for Church family,
and health to walk and to hear and to speak
 and to EAT !

I am thankful for creativity, and, again,
supply to satisfy those creative urges. 

I am thankful for internet friends who I sometimes
 spend more time talking to than local ones.

May GOD bring to mind all of OUR blessings,
 and REMIND us
that they are enjoyed more as we share them
this season and always.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

That's my CHINA cat that was a-slackin' !

She slept there on my table no matter what I threw on top of her..........she's blessed that she still has all of her tail, the way I was wielding that rotary cutter !

Thank you for the praise on my machine-quilting !  
No, I don't have a long-arm machine.........I told you guys that I was serious about that machine-quilting quilt-along that I was following.......well, it's been a huge blessing to me, giving me pleasure and a sense of instant gratification when it comes to my quilts.   Jodie, I'm using my  old black machine in the cabinet, the Singer Model 15-91.......I learned how to lower her feeddogs, and I'm adapting to her 'run-on'.

This is the first time that I've attempted the feathers on anything other than my notebook paper and a practice piece of quilting.  But I figured that I didn't have too much invested in this little quilt, and since I had already been disappointed in my quilting of the block's center squares, I didn't have alot to lose. 

Well, number one, let me say that you really can't tell what I was trying or NOT TRYING to do in those centers, so they're just fine by me.  And I was blown away by how simple it was to do the feathers.  

I just started out by free-hand quilting a softly waving line all around the quilt in that outer border.  Then I went along one side of it, making the big loops or 'feathers'.  Next, I did the same thing on the opposite side of that center wavy line.  Then I went along 'echoing' about 1/4 inch outside of each set of feathers.....always going all the way around the quilt with each step. 
Before I knew it , I was done, and so tickled !
The holly leaves in the inner sashes were practiced on paper first, and the most difficult part was trying to make the 'holly berries' look good without overlapping lines.   The first ones were kindof rough, but long before I finished the long sashes, I was totally confident in doing them.  I know the berries are oversized compared to real life proportions, but that's just poetic license letting me fill a specific-sized area.

I have just enough of the muslin left to bind the quilt, which I hope to get done tomorrow.
It may be a simple design, but it surely does lift my spirits to walk into the sewing room and see it.





Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

I know the joy of simple things......

....GOD has blessed me that way.
I find simple joy in piecing a back that brings me as much happiness as the front........(I'll try to get a better shot of it once it's quilted).

I find simple joy in being able to come up with all I need to finish the quilt, right here in my own stash.

I find simple joy in bringing home one solid turquoise quarter yard of fabric from the local fabric store.

I find simple joy in bringing home a relative of the hubby's to spend a nice hour in talk of old, remembered days, and things we have missed over the years.

I am truly thankful for these and so many other blessings.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beckoning......beckoning.....

is this growing basket of coordinates.  I'm adding fabrics but still undecided what the project will be.  My Tufted Tweets fabric sneaks in there nicely, so I'm gonna be really picky about what I use it for.

But, in the meantime........Do you ever find yourself just making something because that's what we do?  I mean, sometimes, and more often lately it seems, I just start something that seems to come out of nowhere.  Today's project is made from a little bundle of fabric that I've had in reserve for maybe 3 or 4 years, I guess.  I always wanted a little quilt around for the grandbabies to recognize each Christmas.  I never got it made while they were around my house......that's how it is--when you're busy WITH them, you don't always get to make FOR them. 
Today, I ran across the bundle and decided to try a simple quilt that was similar to the quilt that is being made in the "That girl, that quilt" quiltalong.  I didn't have much fabric, so I just made blocks a few at a time, to see how far I COULD go.  When it came time to try to 'wonky-up" the blocks, I found that it is difficult to get just the right degree of wonkiness without it looking overly planned.  So, I just decided to trim the blocks straight.  When I lay the blocks out onto the bed, I noticed that some blocks seemed larger than others.  Turned out I had cut one strip for the center blocks at 5 1/4 inch, and the other two strips at 5 1/2 inch.  I had to take apart blocks and trim off a quarter of an inch.  So the centers are rectangular, but no one would ever be sure unless I had told them.  Silly little mistake. . 
 
You can't tell the size of this quilt from the photos, but it measures about 36 x 46.  That's such an odd size, unless it's a baby quilt, and I don't really have anyone in mind for that.  We'll see.....batting is so expensive now, that I like to know what the quilt is for before I commit the batting.   Maybe I'll just make it for decorating my own place.......all of my Christmas stuff is SO OLD !

 I think that part of today's experiment was to see if I wanted to use this quilt design for my new basket of fabrics, and the answer is "no".  Not just like this, .....though there is another design that is similar that is calling for a trial.

I want to thank my two readers who made suggestions......and very good ones at that........for this upcoming quilt.   I so appreciate any input.  I'm not used to valuing my fabrics so.......I usually have fabrics so long that I can't wait to put them in ANYTHING !


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Suggestions, please !

And, you know how we women are.......asking doesn't mean I'll use any advice I get !   But, I would so appreciate hearing ideas for using a large print that has flowers measuring atleast 5 inches across. 

I'll probably save 3 yards of this print for the back, planning a nice top of the bed cover, not a full-sized quilt.  I like the print so much that I relish being able to turn the quilt over to enjoy it's beauty there, too.  But I'd like to incorporate some of it into the front of the quilt too, so that it's clear where I got the color palette. 

So feel free to leave me links to quilts that you think would look good made with this print and the others that are in my previous post.

Thanks big bunches !

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I got my order......

......and Fabric dot com ROCKS !

Some of these fabrics are out of my normal comfort zone,........and I love it !
And, wow, the quality of the Alexander Henry fabrics is so smooth and wonderful !

The cuts are all VERY generous, with each yard containing more than an extra inch, each half-yard usually measuring an inch larger, and the 5 yard piece measuring with an extra 11 1/2 inches !
There was only one fabric that had a problem, and I am sure that it was just an oversight.  This letter-print fabric has a stain near the selvedge edge (very convenient to obliterate), and my price deal was so good that I'm not even going to report it. 

Of course, my deal was extra terrific because I got an extra 30% off, a deal which ran out at midnight last night, unfortunately for anyone reading this, but those Jay Carroll prints are still just $2.49 per yard and the quality is practically edible !

Monday, November 15, 2010

I had a fairly productive day........

despite a most enjoyable interruption.










This little quilt was whipped up for my niece's sister (They don't have the same father, so she's not MY niece), and the little boy that she gave birth to last week.  His name is Oakley, (isn't that different?) and he weighed just 5 pounds and 12 ounces......about the same size that Allyssia was when SHE was born !

Allyssia played in my scraps-trashcan on the floor beside me while I worked,
Note the use of the unfinished quilt-along quilt, including basting pins.
and, eventually, gave in to the call of the afternoon nap.......ahhhh, how I love that song !
I used the inside-out/birthing method for the quilt, and made use of a piece of flannel that was leftover from Kelley's last baby.  (Thanks Jodie)
Well, she's awake and I'm done !  Goodnight !

Let me add right here just how VERY BLESSED I feel to have a baby in the house every now and again !   My hubby and I are the most boring people in THE WORLD, and it is so good to have cutesiness around.......to see a child dance, or try to sing with you, or look puzzled at your own silliness !   Ah, thank you LORD ! 
 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Second beehive hat

Pattern link on Ravelry
 
When the other hat turned out to fit Seth, while they were visiting, I asked Zoe and T.J. what color hat they would each like.  T.J. said purple, and knowing that his daddy would not like for T.J. to wear a really PURPLE hat, I decided to make the main portion of T.J.'s hat black, with purple showing in the 'grooves'.  I finished it today......it's been a good carry-along to doctor's visits.
Like I said, the other one was given to Seth, so I no longer need to hide it in the Christmas section !

Zoe asked for pink and red, but I couldn't find two of the same weight that looked good together, so I've purchased hot pink yarn with a bit of glimmer, and black, to make hers.  I'll reverse the color placement on hers, and have pink for the ridges and black for the grooves, LORD willing.

  I started it tonight.  The yarn is a lighter weight, sport, so I've cast on an extra 10 stitches (95) and I went down 2 sizes on my needle, to a size 5.

 T.J.'s was 10 stitches bigger (85) than Seth's (75), but done in the same weight of yarn, worsted, and the same needle, a size 7.  I hope none of these hats come out too big.  I can't just say that Kelley (their mama, my daughter) will wear them if they do, because her head is so tiny that she's able to wear a ball cap that is adjusted for SETH !

Friday, November 12, 2010

I don't know what it is !

And I don't know where it came from.............somewhere way back in the recesses of my mind, and now, THAT is a scary thought !



I've had these fabrics picked, sitting on my cutting table all week, while other things took top priority this week.  (Let me just say I'm glad that I was only the spectator to the colonoscopy prep !)

Anyway, this morning, I just cut loose, literally, and started chopping and sewing, not knowing where I was going.  The applique especially came out of nowhere, and I intended on hand appliqueing it, and then I thought, "uh, are you daft?  You're going to machine-quilt this thing to death, why are you going to hand-applique?"  Well, that taught me !  So, I just basted it all the way around in the middle of the swirl, and when I quilted, I started by stitching it down first with a free-motion sortof ziggy-zag. 
If you look closely at this piece of fabric, you'll see that it is printed with what looks like machine-stitching on it.  For the quilting on it, I just followed some of the lines as closely as I could.  This has been a hoarded fabric of mine for a couple of years........I don't remember where or when I got the yard of it, but I love the combination of yellow, orange, and a touch of pink.

I snuck in a few little designs among the strips of fabric......I just love doing that ocean's wave-looking design that's in that dark orange piece.....it's even graduated in size !
The little quilt only measures about 18 x 21.......the perfect fat quarter !
Hubby and I also went to the second-hand store today, just to get out in the sunshine for a little ride.  I found a basket of fabrics, and there was a three yard piece of this dark red crackle-paint-looking fabric, and 2 yards of the grassy fabric........I feared the price, but the woman said "EIGHTY CENTS for the fabric and twenty cents for the one skein of DMC floss !" 
I also got 3 vintage pillowcases for 50 cents each, and two cushions to cover for my rocker/glider.   I left a twin-sized sheet that was really pretty with pink roses/flowers all over it.......shoulda got it !
WooHoo !   Must be my week for fabric, huh Cheryl?   Maybe YOU'LL want to come over HERE and play !  My order's scheduled to arrive on Tuesday.....come on over !

Doing housework......

.....contemplating my next project as I await a fabulous order I placed with Fabric.com, praise the LORD !   I'm getting 11--that's ELEVEN --yards of fabric for $26.05, free shipping ! 
Cheryl, over at A Stitch and a Prayer alerted me to the site and I shopped the clearance section.  They send you coupons, and when they discount the order, they do it AFTER you've racked up your $35.00 order, qualifying you for free shipping !  Fantastic.........can't wait to see the quality of the fabrics !

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No, it didn't snow here.......

.......in fact, it's been a beautiful 70-something degrees day.  I was just looking through blog backgrounds and couldn't resist this one.

I'm watching Allyssia while her cousin is coming into the world.  Mandy's sister went into labour today, and should have her little boy sometime around 7 p.m or so.  She seems so young, and is one of those little girls who probably gained a whole 15 pounds during pregnancy ! 


I got a few more photos of Jack's quilt after I got the label sewn on.  I didn't think I'd be attracted to a red-white-and-blue quilt, but I'm really diggin' this one.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Jack's quilt -- "Election Sure"

 "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling, and election sure.  For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ."..............II Peter 1: 10-11
"ELECTION SURE"

I finished Jack's quilt a little while ago.  I started it one week ago tonight, and, as you know, he passed away one week ago tomorrow, on one of the most talked about election days of my generation.  I pray that people will be as interested in being among the 'elect' that is spoken of in the Bible.  I'm so glad that Jack joined THAT party !
The quilt finished at  51 X 60 1/2  inches after washing and drying.  Maybe I can get a nice photo of it outside tomorrow..........this week is just beautiful, perfect Fall weather-- a last hurrah, I think !

I had a little bit of fun with the fact that Jack had been in the army, ........ I snuck in a little bit of Army girl tease in case he's checking out his quilt from afar.  I gave him a Sailor girl, too, figuring a bachelor wouldn't mind......
Thanks once again to Jodie Ann........her leftovers just make my quilts POP !

......I'll have to make a point of explaining my thinking to his sister when I give HER the quilt !
This quilt got a nice, one-piece back of the blue shirting plaid that I spoke of earlier.  I really like it.  Once again, except for the backing and batting, this quilt was made entirely from my stash, which confusingly doesn't seem to be shrinking any, even though I'd be happy to see the LAST of most of these fabrics !