Thursday, December 31, 2015

NYE with a Different Mystery!

Every year for the past ten years (except last year) Kathy and I reserve the day for sewing a mystery.  Last year there was no new one on EVE day and I usually work on New Year's Day so I don't usually do that one.  So Kathy worked on Allietare all day--she is over half way through the longest clue--4.  I started by sewing some boy bag gifts that I did not have time to do before Christmas.  I am now ahead of birthdays or whatever.  Shark bag for Koi and the other three are randomly are for Ollie, Colton and Leon.  
 I wanted to make a homemade gift for a few of my sewing friends that gave me cool gifts this year.  So made a few sets of these selvage potholders (Ros has made me several and I love them so I copied hers!).  I have been saving selvages for awhile but have never really used them. I discovered that some were WAY TOO small to use and I had to toss them and I found my missing bag of elastic shoved in there too. I knew I had more of that stuff.
 Kathy made us some Weight Watchers Cherry Cocktails.  Pretty tasty and since I rarely drink and have lost weight I should have backed away from the rotary cutter.  Instead I switched to coffee and kept on sewing!

 Every year we make Burgundy Beef in the crockpot.  I always add carrots and we smash them into the gravy before we eat.  Like my new crockpot courteousy of mom and dad?  Me too!
 Right about the time I was mid potholder sewing, I saw that Miss Bonnie had released the final clue of Allietare!  So a mystery was worked on after all.  Seems like last year we worked on the mystery too when Bonnie surprised us with the clue.  So I put the first block of each together and could not figure out why mine looked so different.  I thought my color choices must have ruined the effect or something.  I continued working on the yellow center blocks awhile and then...

 I realized that I had used the wrong unit (and turned it the wrong way to boot) so I redid the second block and was MUCH HAPPIER with the look of it!

I also had suspected the Bonnie would have us make string blocks for the centers of the blocks since her next book is strings again.  I decided not to make them since it would take me much longer and then I saw Briony on Quiltville Open Studio had added strings and posted a picture.  Well that did it, I had to try it!
 I think I will add some string blocks to it but just a few.  I made a few corner triangles and added them so here is what it is shaping up to look like so far!

I had to see what Kathy's will look like too:
We had a great day!  We binge watched "Making of a Murderer" on Netflix and caught up on "Alone" and watched an "Orange is the New Black".  Ball is dropping so this will be it for this year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

City Sampler at Your Own Pace

You may recall that way back when I was doing the Tula Pink City Sampler blocks.  I simply got tired of making them (I think in part because the RSC blocks were that same year and are also 6.5 inches) so I put it away for later. Then I came across Crayon Box Studio and her City Sampler at Your Own Pace Quilt  Along--I made a mental note to consider digging those blocks out.  No pressure (last time I did two blocks a week) but just steady progress.  So out to play it is coming!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Look Bloggers Review: I Prayed for You!

I Prayed For You by Jean Fischer and illustrated by Frank Endersby is a really cute book for little ones.
Mother bear tells her cub how she prayed for him before he was born and then goes on to continue to pray for him as he grows up.  She recalls the first moment the little cub was in her arms and his first steps as she sweetly teaches him the importance of prayer.  
The board book is nice and sturdy for even the youngest children.  The illustrations are great too.  This is a book that will be requested again and again by your toddlers!

*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.”*

Monday, December 28, 2015

26 Books to read in 2015!

Bringing up Burns posted a reading challenge last December which I thought would be fun to participate in---so I did!  
a book you own but haven’t read--J. Jackson "Gods in Alabama"

a book that was made into a movie--A. Weir "The Martian"

a book you pick solely because of the cover--B Crouch "Snowbound"

a book your friend loves--S. Dallas "The Persian Pickle Club"

a book published this year--H. Howey "Beacon"

a book by an author you’ve never read before--R.D. Rosen "Such Good Girls"

a book by an author you love--M. Binchy "Minding Frankie"

a book at the bottom of your “to-read” pile--P. Larson "Run"

a book with a color in the title--A. Bender "The Particular Sadness of Sadness of Lemon Cake"  (lemon is a color right?)

a book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit--A. Weir "The Martian"

a book you started but never finished--M. Binchy "A Week in Winter"

a book with a lion. a witch. or a wardrobe--J. Riley "Story Thieves"

a book with a female heroine--C. Claire "City of Bones"

a book set in the summer--M. Berwin "Hot House Flower"

a book of poems--N. Hasimi "The Pearl that Broke it's Shell"

a book you learned about because of this challenge--R. Sloan "Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore"

a book that will make you smarter--J.F. Baylan "She's Not There"

a book with a blue cover--S. Casey "The Wave"

a book you were supposed to read in school. but didn’t--(I read everything that was assigned so this didn't apply to me!) but R. Cormier "I am the Cheese" was apparently read in lots of high schools..not mine so I read that.

a book “everyone” but you has read --J. Picoult "Leaving Time"

a book with a great first line--C. Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities"

a book with pictures--S. Luxemberg "Annie's Ghosts"

a book from the library--K. Donahue "The Boy Who Drew Monsters"

a book you loved, read it again--J. Windham "The Day of the Triffids

a book that is more than 10 years old--S. Schaller "A Man Without Words"

a book based on a true story--R. Santorum "Bella's Gift"

In total I read 47 books this year and started many more.  I never get enough reading time though I do listen to audiobooks sometimes in the car, quilting studio or hiking.  I always wish I could read more but I do have to sleep!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Mini Modern Maples

A little over two years ago I saw this cute little modern mini maples and though there was no pattern I printed out the picture below (taken from Lovely Little Handmade) and have longingly looked at it here and there and thought I should really just make it!
So today I was all caught up on all the stuff I had to sew and actually had a day to do something just for me because I felt like it!  So I pulled out my HST bin and found all the hst's in that bonus hst bin!  I went ahead and trimmed and cut extra squares and kitted up a second one for a camp project or something down the road.  It was a really nice day of sewing!
 This one just makes me smile! **edit** linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge because this is certainly a rainbow!

Kathy is doing great on the mystery too! She is on clue four already and has four sets made and 26 to go!  Really proud of her for keeping up better than last year (which was finished a few days before this mystery started!) and am loving seeing hers come together too!

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler 2014 is a Flimsy!

 Finally got the Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks into a flimsy--I say finally because this is from 2014 not 2015!  I don't think it needs a border and I have no idea who this one will go to if I can let it go!  Linking up with Angela!

 Played with the settings on my camera a little bit.

I don't think I am going to do  this year's  RSC Sampler Column Along.  I still need to finish my alternate blocks for this year's sampler so I may focus on contemplating making a log cabin love block from Bonnie Hunter's Addicted to Scraps in Quiltmaker (July/Aug.15),  I have never been good with log cabin blocks because I never had the right seam allowance and did not quite get how to fix that. Now I have that down pretty well so might be time to try again!
Are you participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Column Along?  Or doing your own block for the RSC instead.  Let me know so I can be sure to follow you too!

Merry Christmas from Arizona--and Linky # 5!

 Spent a nice Christmas with my family in New River.  We did white elephant gifts and games for gift cards in addition to "downsizing" gifts for each other.  Kathy got me this fabric for "Modern Maples" if I want to use it for that..I am not sure yet.

 She also got me this cute ornament by Jim Shore that I had to have!
 We finally hung a few more mini quilts above our design wall.

 Got these two sewing themed pictures that light up too, left from Mom and Dad and right from Kathy (I picked it out).  Already have them hung.  It was a productive day today (after 5 days of horrendous migraines) we paid bills and organized stuff for taxes, did some cleaning and then I declared I was showering, putting on fresh jammies and sewing all day!  And I did!

 I completed clue 5 of Allietare!  Here is what all the parts look like so far!  Linking up with Bonnie at Quiltville!
 I Skyped some with Barb today and she explained to me how to make a ten minute tablerunner for Margie.  I did not send her a box yet and all I had for her is a little flamingo so this will be good for her, she has the same fabric in a quilt I made her years ago.

 When I posted the picture of my completed step 5, my online blogging buddy Kevin the Quilter sweetly told me to take a look at one of the blocks...yep, sewed it wrong!  So I took it apart and promptly redid it--WRONG AGAIN!  So the two is my take two!
 Third time was the charm, I got it right...HAHA!  I only had to unsew two other ones but who knows there might be more hiding deeper in the stacks!
 I then did some cleaning in here and finally put the binding on the quilt I use as a mat under my machine.  Not sure why I never did it before now.
 I also quilted and bound herringbone. Again waited its turn far too long!  So nice to have some finishes!
 My brother's ex wife gave me this sweet little quilty angel for Christmas.  Really surprised me and I hung her up in the quilting studio.  I just love this space, makes me happy just to sit in here and look around!
I also started sewing the RSC from last year into rows..I have four rows to go until I have a flimsy!  My shoulders are killing me and it is 1 AM so I think I can finish that tomorrow and I sure I can find some other stuff to work on too!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Linky # 4 Allietare!

Linking up with Bonnie on Quiltville as soon as I get a chance in the morning!  I have been trying to comment on EVERY link each week but there are so many I missed a lot two weeks ago and think I have 30 or so to go from this past week.  Unfortunately when the new linky comes out I start over.  Really fun to have so many people all over the world to sew with!
 I spent some time this past week cutting clue four--this clue is the first doozy we have had.  I loved digging through all my scraps and getting lots of good variety for both the turquoise and the browns.

 The clue was a little labor intensive with drawing all the lines (the way I did them) and all that.  I spent several hours sewing today and still have six sets left to go!
 They will be done before the next clue comes out so I am not worried about that!
I have been helping Kathy keep up by cutting up some of her fabrics as I cut mine.  She is on the four patches--clue three but has been keeping up pretty well!  She is using Bonnie's colors but used a dusty 80's blue instead of grey since we had it in the stash.  Looking forward to seeing both of these take shape!  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Stitching up Little Stuff

 Last Wednesday I took a few mental health hours and did some sewing.  I put together this tiny tablerunner with the We Wish You a Merry Christmas blocks, then I was motivated to quilt and bind Christmas Past and Presents from last year.
 A co-worker, Jen, asked me to make her  mug rug because she saw I always use one.  I made the one above for her and the one below for a fellow sewer down the line.
 After putting those together I decided it was time to quilt and bind this pop bottle.  This is from the paper piecing class I took several years ago.
 I went hiking this week too.  Listened to some music and an audiobook.  I love it out there!
 We also got another cat.  I know--we are nuts.  She is nine years old and needed a home. Her name was Ashley so we named her Stash (so it sounds similar) but I hate people names for animals!  At least first names.  She is SLOWLY acclimating to our zoo--we have put her in the Packer room with a gate so she can come and go as she likes but has a place away from the rest.  We are hoping she and Singer Kitty become buddies, but so far it is not looking like it.
 We had my nephew Ben overnight last night (which used up lots of my sewing time) and we took him to the Ostrich Ranch (Farm) where we got to feed and pet lots of animals. Ben loved it!  They have added Parakeets since we were there and the rainbow lorikeets were a hit as always.  Ben really liked the fallow deer too because they ate from his hand gently.
 I did manage to cut my hst's and rip the paper while watching Finding Nemo with Ben.  Later I sewed up the most recent clue for the Nimble Thimbles mystery.  Whew, caught up til January!

Midnight Flight Christmas Style

I updated my Quiltville Mystery Page and another Quiltville page yesterday.  It was long overdue. Apparently I never blogged about this quil...