Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa Swap Sack Reveal!

This year I gave my blog info to my Santa Swap Sack partner Jennifer and since I did not know if she was following my blog I couldn't post pictures and information about what I was working on.  This was hard for me, I like to blog as the final step of making stuff!  So I am blogging here in August about these first two items, but am postponing the post until after Jennifer gets her stuff!  We are supposed to be swapping a sack or stocking of some sort and then five handmade gifts to put in it.  Jennifer told her her favorite color is violet and she does a lot of cross stitch.  I decided gift number one would be a cute little needlebook with a bit of purple and violet.  I made it from a tutorial I had used before to make one for me.
Tutorial for this needle book is at Pile o Fabric if you want one for yourself!

There are several "pages" in the book with needles, pins and such on them.  I didn't fill the pages because I am guessing Jennifer has a plethora of needles she might want to add to her book.  The floss on the left ties in the little scissors.  I thought the lining fabric was perfect since it had the violets, purples and greys I was using in the needlebook.  I started with the colors I had at home and eventually made my way to the store to get the purples I needed or this book might have been all violet to start with!
I used a variegated floss for my blanket stitch and am really happy with the results!   

I also made a cute little Kleenex holder in puples and violets.  That fabric is  the same as the lining in the needlebook.  I love these holders in my purses and bags and it is one of my favorite little gifts to give people.
I made a purple sleep mask for my partner too.  While I was at it I made a few others for gifts, I have one of these and I use it all the time!

Of course I had to send along a bit of Arizona, so my partner is getting a tiny Arizona flag pincushion!  I figure for years to come she will remember her partner in Arizona!

Here is the large "sack" I made Jennifer--purple fabric inside and out and it is reversible.  

 Here are all the gifts.  She also got a set of four Christmas napkins.  I also put a little quilty ornament in there, I bought one for me to match too!  I hope she likes all of her gifts!
Today we were allowed to open our Santa Swap Sack exchange gifts!  Christmas came a little early, yay!  Jennifer made me this pretty sack to hold all the gift.  Really pretty batik fabrics!
 She gave me a set of stamped cross stitch pillowcases.  They are too pretty to use, lol but I will save them for something special.  I used to do stamped cross stitch now and then (when my ex and I lived in Korea I ran out of things to craft and begged the folks at home to send me anything to do and my mil sent me a cornucopia table runner and matching napkins.  I really enjoyed making it and regifted it to her when it was done--I hope one day one of my kids gets it passed down to them).  But, I digress!
 I almost put in a few knitting dish rags for her but in the end I don't think I did.  She sent me three (crochet or knitted I am not sure) and I love the pattern and cannot wait to use them.  They came in a cute little pail too!
 This was really unique, it is a pincushion and holds some spools of thread!
 I thought this next gift was really clever, she sent me a little kit to make my own cross stitch!  I have never stitched on linen, so now I will get the chance to try it.  I kitted it all up so it is ready to go--since Jennifer made it so easy!

 This little sweet cross stitch might be my favorite thing of all.  I love the little wreath around the home sweet home!
 I also got all these fun and useful items!  There is a little soft thing (not sure what they call them) that I put the tiny scissors and such in with the cross stitch kit, so it is in use already.  One can always use new sharp pins too!
 A dragonfly scissor fob!

 A magnetic needle slide box with really sweet birdies on it.  This is also a favorite!  Thank you so much Jennifer for making my Christmas extra special!  Thank you too to our organizer who kept us in line and blogged the fun all along!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hump Day Sewing!

 Decided to sew a bit before work today!  I got the border on my tiny lil' twister and set Barb's on top of it so if you aren't familiar with these kinds of quilts you can see how it shrinks as you go from step one (the squares and border) to to the tiny twister parts to get the twister outcome. 
Since Kathy wasn't available to cut them into tiny parts I decided to get caught up on my Tula Pink City Sampler blocks that didn't get done last weekend.  Here are #33 and #34.  I wish I had that tree fabric in that color but I didn't.  I chose something I had and am not real thrilled with it, but doubt I will change it out.
 This block I was happy with how it came out.  My line isn't perfectly straight but I am pretending it was supposed to look like this, shh!
 Here is a blurry picture of all the blocks so far.  I am really enjoying all teh small sampler blocks in this book!  One more rectangle block to go (book is divided into sections, crosses first, then rectangles, etc.) and then we are on to something different!
I am working til 7 tonight but hope to get back to the Lil' Twisters when I get home.  Only two more days til the next GIMQ clue comes out! I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hike from Hell and Block Therapy!

So last night after work I decided to join a "beginners" hiking group on the trail that I have done many times with Kathy at South Mountain. I was excited for a bit of a challenge because I knew the pace would be faster but the trail familiar.  When I arrived the leader and one other guy seemed to look me up and down and I immediately felt I had made a bad choice.  There was awkward conversation and then two more folks arrived.  One was new to the group like me and one was new to the leader of this hike.  The leader asked us where we were in our skill level (umm, beginner that is why I joined this group) and decided we would do a more difficult trail.  It was already getting dark by the time we started and we were off so fast that I didn't even get to start my map my hike app.  By the time we got to the top of the first crest my sock was under my foot and I asked to stop for 30 seconds while I fixed it.  I also snapped this picture about then. 

We continued along me chasing three of the people with one nice fellow staying with me (the new to the leader guy) who was the only reason I didn't just give up.  Thanks universe for putting him in my path.  We trucked up and down and all around and the three ahead did stop and wait two-three minutes or so for us to catch up a few times, as soon as we arrived they would continue on.  All told I "rested" for 30 seconds tying my shoe, 30 seconds before this second pic was taken (that was all the pics I got, we were moving so fast I could not stop to take off my jacket and had to do it while moving, and put my light on while moving too) and about 30 seconds when I fell.  All in all we covered three miles on very mountainous terrain in the dark in about an hour.  It was the most stressful hike I have ever been on and I cried all the way home.  So much for feeling like I have come a long way (down 72.2 pounds) since February.  I unjoined the group and told the person in charge they need to change their description which says beginnner, 2 miles in an hour and says the easy trail.  At the end of it all the leader said Monday night are our easy hikes.  My reply was well don't worry I wouldn't consider coming any other night if this is the easy hike. 
I was so upset over it all I woke up in the middle of the night angry!  So this morning before work I quickly made the next Temucula Quilt Co "Christmas Past and Presents" pinwheel blocks for my mini mystery.  That helped me feel a little better (as did all my online support on fb).

 Here is one happy pinwheel and the first eight blocks!
I am looking forward to the new project SoScrappy Angela has planned for us for next year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC)!  I am going to add this button to my blog.

Here is this next year's plan!  Each star will have a different small sampler type block in the center.  How fun is that?  Really looking forward to it.  Click on over if you want more info and join us this year.  A few blocks a month and a gorgeous quilt at the end of the year!  Angela has weekly linkys on Saturday so we can follow everyone's progress and you get to know other bloggers that way too!  FUN!  Who's in?


Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Look Blogers Review: Sloane House

Several years ago I heard a story about my grandfather Len Neff biking all the way from Florida to Chicago for the World's Fair.  We have a coin purse her got there, and ever since then I have been really interested in reading about the World's Fair--even fiction.  It is for this reason that I chose to review Shelley Bray's "Sloane House" on Book Look Bloggers.  They sent me a free e-book and read it.

This book was a good read.  I was drawn into the story right away too because the gal in the story-Rosalind Perry--comes from a farm in Wisconsin (I am from Wisconsin too!) and she was a smart young gal who was searching for her sister Miranda who went missing while working at Sloane House near Chicago in 1893.  Rosalind gets a job as a housemaid at the same house (but doesn't let on that Miranda is/was her sister) and keeps her ears open for any news of what might have happened to her sister and a few other gals that go missing.  She quickly befriends Nancy (another maid) and they take a trip or two to the Chicago World's Fair.  Nancy and her eventually have a falling out and Roalind finds most of the staff at Sloane House to mostly be unfriendly and not forthcoming with informaiton. 

Rosalind does make a friend with a gentleman named Reid who is friends with the son of the house.  The son is a suspicious character who seems overly interested in the young maids at the house.  Rosalind worries he has something to do with Miranda's disappearace quite early on, but there is more to the story than his clandestine meetings with the maids.  Reid turns out to be a lifesaver for Rosalind when she finds herself suddenly on the street without a job

Towards the end of the book Christianity came into the story.  It felt out of place since I hadn't noticed much about religion until the end--I think it should have been woven in throughout or left out entirely, but maybe I just missed it.  It just felt like a clunky add it suddenly at the ned.  Otherwise I found it to be a compelling read and I was surprised a few times by the outcome of it all. 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. They did not require me to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”*

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Itty Bitty Primitive Pinwheels, aka Lil' Tiny Twisters!

 I made an Itty Bitty Primitive Pinwheels Lil' Twister for the quilt camp auction a few months ago and have wanted to make one for myself ever since.  Barb also asked if that could be my Christmas gift to her since she loved it so much.  So tonight I decided to start on both of them.  Here is hers in progress...

I love how tiny these are!  They are a bit labor intensive but Kathy helps me cut the little squares so I can sew as she cuts when I am assembling the pinwheels.
I only made it this far with mine, but will get back to it as soon as I get a minute!
 I use the webbing to hold all the blocks in the order I want and it helps me when I sew the rows together, I am all about fast and efficient!
Working all day tomorrow then joining a new group for a hike, Kathy's knees have been bothering her so we took this weekend off since I am going to go tomorrow while she is still at work.  Looking forward to it!  Linking up to Freemotion by the River!

Christmas Past and Presents...

 Last year (or was it the year before) my mom gave me these cute fat quarters for Christmas and I have been hoarding them every since.  I saw a little mini mystery going on over at Temecula Quilt Company and I wanted to join in.  I often think I will get to their cute little minis at some point and never have before.  So tonight I decided to just go for it and make two!
 Apparently each block has one more piece than the one before it!  I am really looking forward to seeing how this fun one comes out.  It only took an hour or so to make all these blocks (twice) so it is quick and fun!

 Earlier I made a Wild and Goosey block.  I have 57 blocks now, it is growing!  One per week--been keeping up pretty good, but not sure that will happen this week or next.  The kids are flying in to Vegas a week from tomorrow, so Kathy and I will head up there early Sunday.  We will spend two night there before heading back here for a night and then up to my Mom's for Christmas.  I am so excited to have all three of my grown kids here (it has been three years!) and we will be having an extra special Christmas!  In Vegas, Hannah and I will see Cirque du Soleil's Mystere and Kathy and Mac opted to go to the Laugh Factory.  Hannah and Mac have never been to Vegas so it will be fun.  Coleman went in May with us, so he will stay here and dogsit then go up to Mom's with us.

Grand Illusion Clue Three Done!

 My clues are starting to show all the colors from my inspiration picture!  I am loving this quilt already!
 Today before power cleaning, working out and working a short Saturday shift I sewed some on clue three.  Tonight Kathy and I watched Grease on our new (to us) TV since Coleman's huge TV died and he took the one in the sewing room he had been lending me.  It was fun to see this movie again, Kathy and I sang duet (thank goodness no one was here) and she sewed away on clue one while I finished clue three!
 I was so excited when I got to the last ten that I sewed five of them incorrectly!  UGH!  So a little unsewing went on as I laughed at myself.  I also twice sewed grey to light even though grey is only sewn to purple at the start of this and when I was on the last strip, hahah!  Clue three is done!  I have a few extras to boot (always do that).
 Kathy is done with her hst's and has all her cutting done for clue one (and I helped her out with some cutting for clue two and three) and she is happily putting her blocks together too!
Linking up with Quiltville Monday.  I have really enjoyed visiting and commenting on the other blogs each week.  I never quite make it all the way through, but I try!  Thanks for stopping by my blog.  If you are new here and you are a Bonnie fan please check out my Quiltville Parade here!  I am truly her #1 fan!  :) Hope you are too!