Monday, October 31, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival--Roll Roll Cotton Boll!

Here's my entry for Blogger's Quilt Festival sponsored over at:

It is that time again--Blogger's Quilt Festival! I decided I would share my Bonnie K. Hunter Roll, Roll Cotton Boll quilt this time around. This quilt took me a bit longer than some (though not as long as some others, lol) to make. It was Bonnie's mystery quilt last year and I followed her color scheme and even her border suggestions. It was my first time making string blocks and though at first I really hated them, I really started to enjoy them as time went on. I also didn't like how the whole quilt was coming together at first (though I trust Bonnie so I just kept on sewing) and in the end I loved it! There are so many pieces in all of my Bonnie quilts and that is the reason they are so special to me. The hours and hours I put into sewing them really shows my love of piecing. This one also has some blue and white striped fabric that was my great was once on a homemade quilt frame and through an ill fated transport it would up all broken on the highway. All I could salvage (except the measurements) was the fabric which is heavier than cotton. I have taken to putting some of it in all my Bonnie quilts because it makes me smile so think I have something of that quilt frame in every quilt.

I think what I learned about myself while making this quilt is that perserverence pays off. I remember several times wanting to quilt making this quilt, or wanting to only make half the size of it, or to not make the string blocks but I reminded myself how happy I always am when I am done with my quiltville quilts so I just kept on sewing. My quilt wasn't done first, isn't the most perfect, and isn't the best but I love it just the same.

This quilt isn't quilted yet but is being saved for something really special..I just don't know what yet!

Progress from Awhile Back


Here are my Secret Santa Swap Two gifts from Shannon that I have neglected to post a picture on! I can guess the little tiny one because of the noise it makes when I shake it, but no idea on the other two! Thanks Shannon--oh and your next set of gifts is going in the mail today! Where did October go?

I got the fabric to make Hannah and I a Christmas tree skirt. The pattern is off Moda Bake Shop if I remember right and I liked their choice of fabric so I found a bunch on clearance and have been admiring it.

This is as far as I got awhile back when I still had my machine to sew on. This is Smith Mountain Morning for Randy. My quarter inch seam isn't what it should be (as always) and so there has been some fudging. It doesn't help that I am forever working on more than one machine. Doing the best I can with what I have! Both June and Ros did offer to borrow me a machine and I do appreciate that but am hoping to have mine back soon!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Desert Botanical Gardens sans Sewing

My machine is still in the hospital and I am just about mad...last weekend we kept busy by going to the Desert Botanical Garden and to the Flea Market. This helped kill time and take my mind off not sewing...but...still! Here are Randy and DJ.

And DJ and I!

My first desert pumpkin patch...and hayride in 96 degree heat. Made me miss Wisconsin!

The flowers were so gorgeous!

This was artwork on the wall...Monet's inspiration I think.

Walking up the mountain..see the giant ants ahead? There are tons of insect sculptures all around and kids like to hunt for them.

We took a seat for a bit and right next to us on a rock was this guy! We took a ton of pictures of him and spent about 8 minutes admiring him!

Of course I also did some knitting. This picture reminds me of what my Grandma Nan always looked like knitting, LOL!

These pictures were off DJ's grandfather's camera..I have yet to download mine. I did get some fabric in the mail for Hannah's Christmas tree skirt so I need to get clicking, cutting and I hope one day soon, sewing!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Machine back at the Hospital

My lovely Viking Husq. Diamond is back in the "hospital" ....I just got it back about two weeks ago and was told that the bobbins I was using weren't the right one for the machine. I purchased the expensive bobbins (lovely green color) and then attempted to get them wound for use. Well, my sidewinder won't work with the green bobbins because the center is too small to fit on the fact my other machines won't fit them for winding either. Really? So I dug out the book and attempted to wind the bobbin on my Diamond. I am pretty sure I did do this when I first got the machine, but it is easier to wind a bunch of bobbins on the sidewinder so I didn't use the bobbin winder regularily. Now the Diamond has two motors, one for sewing and one for bobbin winding...guess what? My bobbin winding motor doesn't appear to be working so I can't wind any of the right size bobbins! So luckily the shop said I could bring it back and they wouldn't charge me for labor since it was apparently missed in the tune up the week before. So back to the hospital she went and now once again I have no machine to sew on.
Do you feel my pain? It seems like forever since I have had time and a working machine to sew on. I know it hasn't been that long and I have been keeping busy with knitting and work and prepping for work, but I miss my machine! Anyone got any cheese to go with my whine?
I am also trying to get back to daily exercise and eating right. I sort of (cough, cough) fell off the wagon during the summer. I am happy once I get going on doing the right thing and what I need to do, but I am not so happy easing into it.
End of rant....
On a good note I got my next installment of gifts from Shannon and haven't had a chance to take a picture and tell her thank you, so THANKS! For some reason I cannot comment on half the blogs I read anymore, including Shannon's. It has something to do with adding my work account and I don't know how to fix that so if you used to get comments from me and you aren't now, know I am still reading your blog and I need to figure out how to adjust my settings so I can comment.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

So Much to Say...

Here is a picture of some of my knitting...I have made a ton of these dishcloths now and in fact am thinking I should branch out and try something (anything) else! I have this pattern down and at least have lots of Christmas gifts premade!

Here is the picture of the fabric I bought in Tennessee. I thought it was cute, but no clue where it will wind up.
The shop we went to was featured in a magazine (which I bought there) so you can see some photos of the shop.

They had tons of bright fabrics.

I finally sewed a back onto this panel I won over a year ago. I think I will mail it off to my daughter and she can figure out what to do with it!

Finally got the binding on this little Schnibble. Looks good from a galloping horse at 20 feet. Sigh. Done though--happy about that. It will be a dog or dolly quilt, so either way it is fine.

Also did a few more of the inside of the Smith Mountain Morning blocks and remembered to take a picture. I have more to do.

Finished the quilting on this tablerunner...trimmed it, next I need to make and attach binding.

Best of all I got this Halloween quilt tied. We used purple and orange floss to tie it and it makes me smile.

Here is the backing fabric on both of the Halloweed quilts. Love it too. Very happy to have used some of this year's shop hop purchases already.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

National Story Telling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee

Tennessee Quilts is the first thing you see when you enter the festival grounds (held downtown) and that made my day! I did make it in there and bought a yard of clearance fabric and a magazine. This show was featured in the magazine so...

Jonesbourough, Tennessee.

Friday night we all went to Ghost Stories...some of us weren't in the picture, but everyone was there! The interpreters were across a little stream in the dark next to the gazebo thing...the stories were good but DJ really couldn't see enough to enjoy them.

See the terp (Joy) on the left.

(Saturday night) Out to dinner at Fatz with the ENTIRE Neff crew that made it. My Dad's brother Jim is the one standing...and his other brother Rick is in the red (his other brother Lewis died many years ago). Rick's daughter Lindy is next to him (wife Lisa across) and Jim's daughter Carla is last woman on the left with her husband Chris and three children (Joseph, Emma and Maggie Lou) and his son Brian is in the yellow next to his new wife Joy (pregnant with their daughter) Jim's daughter Tricia and her hubby and daughter weren't able to come (neither was my sister Tina). Mary, on the left end is Jim's second wife (Norma passed away years ago too). Of course you see me and DJ on the right end of the table. We went around a shared stories of Grandma Nan since that is why we all come together and talked about all those who are gone forever and those who didn't make it. It was a really nice meal.

Here is a ton of the storytellers called up to sing "If I had a Hammer.." which interestingly enough I learned from my Neff cousins while canoeing the boundry waters of Canada with them and our dads.

Here is the Saturday night Midnight Cabaret perfomance of Michale Reno Harrell with one of the amazing interpreters (Liz) interpreting for him and us!

I haven't done any sewing but am working on my third dishcloth...I lost ANOTHER knitting needle right after we arrived. My purse zips all the way down on the sides and I guess the needle slid out when we moved from chairs in the back to chairs in the front. I retraced my steps, but the needle was gone. Can't recall if I blogged about it, but a little bit ago I lost a knitting needle out of my car at an intersection (it fell on the floor, I couldn't find it, opened the door for a better look and it must have fallen out because that was the last I saw of it. So since I replaced that set I had three, now lost one (stay with me on this math) and so I have a complete set again..though one is in Arizona! So I had to stop at Wal-Mart and buy another set but they are metal. I hope I can bring them on the plane. Anyways, I like to think that Grandma Nan needed those needles in heaven so she just snuck them from me! SMILE, that woman could knit!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lil' Twister Halloween Fun

The other day I sewed up the Halloween squares I bought on the shop hop and added a black border to them. No pic after black border, batteries were dead. Then today I snuck in sewing time before work and again before work...I cut the squares apart with the Lil' Twister ruler and did some it went from this (picture black border, lol) to...

This! It was really fun to see it come together. When I do it again I will try to leave out bigger prints as the cute pictures get lost when you cut them up. The little prints turn out pretty cool though.It is a little one and I like it so much I want to pack it in my suitcase to the National Storytelling Festival, lol. We leave bright and early tomorrow (hear me groan on the early part) and come back on Monday. I am brining knitting with me and maybe my handsewing but other than that no actual sewing will occur. I can't wait for next weekend--we are staying home with no plans and I am going to sew!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Have you Missed Me?

Well I have missed blogging! I finally got my Viking machine back on Friday! I managed to get this little Peanut Butter Bars mini quilt sewn up in and around my crazy life. We also cooked a turkey and the fixins because we had to make pasties with my mom and sister Saturday...and we had bought a ton of meat and needed to mix up meatloaf and hamburgers to freeze...we were in the middle of all of this when we realized CJ was having an allergic reaction to one of his new meds. Off to the ER we went and stayed until about 2 something AM. I did manage to knit half a dishcloth while I was there. When we got home we had tons of stuff to finish up and clean up before bed. Nevermind I had worked at 6 AM Friday so total sleep in those two night was about 10 hours. NOT ENOUGH! Somehow I managed to work and make it to Mom's on Saturday were we made a zillion pasties. Mine were turkey, potatoes and sweet potatoes, and a small batch of hamburger, potatoes and carrots. This is my step dad's mom's recipe and is a great thing to keep on hand in the freezer for busy nights (every night, lol). This pic is my mom and nephew Ben working on the pastry for the crust.

Today we stopped at DJ's grandfather's place (and gave him some pasties) and caught some of the Packer game (he has free NFL ticket and we will be visiting him more often on game days!) and then after unloading and reworking the freezers to fit the pasties I made this little orange Auntie's Anvil block.

DJ did some cutting of tiny muslin squares and some ironing..this is the first center of a block coming together for Smith Mountain Morning. I also cut my civil war strips for my swap and got them ready to mail AND wrapped my Santa Swap 2 Partner Shannon's gifts and got those ready to go out (a few days behind schedule--how did October get her so dang fast?)
Then I sewed these fun squares into a little quilt top. I wanted to do something

Halloweenish and I plan to use my cool Lil' Twister ruler to make these blocks even more fun! Hope to get to it before we leave on Thursday for the National Storytelling Festival!

I also managed to finish listening to Angel of Darkness, which wasn't so great but was a Goodwill find so oh well and updated my book journal with all the books I have been reading and listening to. I am incredibly happy and blessed tonight and I hope you are too!

Secret Agent Mystery and Indigo Way Mystery Coming Along!

Here is the last clue for the Secret Agent Mystery Quiltalong  We had to cut things apart and do a bit of sewing before putting our top toge...