Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mourning, A Birthday, Anniversary, and Blogging Anniversary

I will admit I have been in an uber funk for the past few weeks.  I am sure we all have times in our lives that life feels like it has gotten  so out of hand, that it takes lots of prayers to just slog through the day---one foot in front of the other.  I won't blame it on the weather, but that has not helped either.  Sorry if this post starts kind of whiney, complaining but it does get better if you keep reading!

I posted that DH grandmother passed away around the end of January here.  That was tough, but a couple of days later we found out some really disturbing news about the grandsons which knocked me off my feet.  I just want to thank those of you I asked for lots of prayers they have helped immensely. 

January 26 DH and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary and lets just say we didn't feel a whole lot like celebrating.  My 2nd blog anniversary came (I was considering doing a giveaway)-- and went, as well as Valentine's Day.  We were told that the grandson's great grandfather on his father's side passed away, he was a sweet old man who helped care for the boys when they were babies, and a few days later the boy's great uncle joined his father.

My birthday was on Thursday,  February 26.  Thursday morning the tears started rolling and they just would not stop.  Mourning for those which we just so recently lost, some that chose to leave, and the loss of innocence.  I decided that I was mourning so many things all at once and I  just wanted a break.  Yep that attitude lasted for about 2 hours and I thought OMG it could be so much worse.  Get up, do a little housework, thank the Lord for all the good things and move on!   I folded laundry, did the dishes, put a bit of makeup on and I felt a ton better.  While doing the dishes--

I thought about a sermon I heard years ago about a woman and child that  saw a tornado heading their way while they were out in the fields.  Their house was torn apart before their eyes, everything was gone the woman thought, their protection.  The woman took the child and they were laying in a ditch waiting for the storm to pass over them, and a cellar door fell across the ditch over them.  The mother clung to the handle of the door with all of her might, waiting out the storm, in a ditch, under and old cellar door.  When the storm was over and the mother was crying about all they had lost child said, "Mommy it will all be alright, just think about all the people who did not have the cellar door!"  The way I always think about it is that there are always people around who have it so much more difficult than my measly little problems. 

OK again sorry for the pity party...had to go there so I could get here!

I saw this bundle on a blog the other day and loved the texty low volume bundle.

The bundle was from Stash Fabrics.    They have some great modern fabrics to add to your stash and as of this morning they were having a year end clearance sale with up to 75% off. 

Now if you order fabric online there are some sites that you either register or check out as a guest.  While a lot of people do not want to register (including me), for a few I do.  What is great about it is that you get some special sales opportunities, and Birthday discounts!  Come on 10-25% off, some with one item, some with whole orders! 

Shabby Fabrics had this lovely fabric from Lecien called Durham one was from the Quilt Revival line, and the other was from the 2014 line.  I saw the red stripe and decided I wanted to do the snapshot quilt but use that fabric so I purchased some.  I also love it when they send you a little gift with purchase.  Isn't that black floral gorgeous?

I also saw this bundle called crazy for red which was by Minick and Simpson for Moda fabrics.  Sixteen fat quarters was just too good to pass up.  

Now I would not recommend retail therapy to remedy the funk, but I will say that seeing the beautiful fabrics made me smile, and the prices were fabulous! 

I also ordered an azalea which will actually grow in our zone from Wayside Gardens.  I also have 2-3 more coupons for my birthday which I have to use if I want by the end of March.

Did you make it this far? 

Anyway to celebrate my highs, lows, Blog anniversary, and birthday and just because-- I would like to have a small give away.

1.  Leave a comment make sure that I have a way to reach you with an e-mail address on this post..
2.  For a 2nd entry be a follower and leave a comment on how you follow on this post. 

That gives you an opportunity for 2 entries.   To anyone throughout the world!

This giveaway is open from February 28, 2015 to Midnight, March 6, 2015 and I will choose a winner randomly using my great scientific method.  Can't tell yet, it is a secret.

Oh what will you win?  

A $25.00 gift certificate to The Fat Quarter Shop. 

Thanks for sticking by me through this post which is light on pictures and heavy on drama. 

*I have no affiliation to any shops mentioned in this post other than they are just a couple of my favorite. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Doldrums

No I am not depressed, but via maritime lore the doldrums were an area where the seas  and the prevailing winds were calm.  Another term was becalmed which is probably more accurate-- at a standstill, at a halt, unmoving, stuck.  That is what I feel at least.  

DH was a sweetheart and put up my design wall in the "junk" room.  It is the only room in the whole house which has not been updated.  It was great to have a design wall again, even if I run up and down the stairs many times a day to use it.  

Once my design wall was up again I decided that the Farmer's Wife was going to get laid out.  Surprisingly I started putting up squares and it didn't take me long to figure out which blocks to put where.  I only switch a few up once I stepped back to take a better look.

In the upper left hand corner you can see I started working on the sashing, and cornerstones.    No this is not all of the blocks, the room is not big enough for me to stand far enough away to take a complete picture.  Seeing this pictures I am very happy with the way this quilt is going to look. Especially since it was made from scraps which I have acquired over the past couple of years.  I still need to figure out what color I want to use for the side setting squares.  I was leaning toward a blue of some sort.  DH is suggesting a blue/green color. 

I have been working on these units.  I only have 18 done so far.  Man I am slow!  I have 102 more to go.  I think that me finishing is the Grand Illusion. 

See all these HST?  They are all sewn together and squared up.  I saw a Farmer's Wife tutorial online and the instructor was using a ruler and squaring up the units before they were pressed open.  I will say that squaring up works much faster using that method than other ways.   I have oodles of these units which are not sewn yet, I am using them as leaders and enders right now. 

I had another fabric acquisition which arrived.  I saw these and had to have them. 

The bright pink, and blue are batiks.  The gray is a cross hatch.

I saw this white on white and decided that it is what I wanted to use for the Modern Building blocks quilt I wanted to make.  It reminds me of dandelion fuzz or queen anne's lace. 

I then saw this gorgeous border print on Facebook-- on sale and had to purchase some too.  I want to make a table runner similar to this one which I found at Northcott Fabrics website.

I will say that we all have a little cabin fever today so I asked DH if he would take me to the antique mall down the road.  The parking lot was full, and some people parked behind other cars and so there was no way for the vehicles close to the building to get out.  DH suggested that he wanted to go and check out an antique store off the freeway going toward Toledo out in the middle of nowhere.  So off we went.

I bought a couple of flower frogs, and a cute little dish.  All for less than $15.

I am trying to solve the problem of me losing my scissors, pencil, and stiletto in my scrap pile.  I think this will work and it is pretty too. 

One of the older daughters posted pictures of her family hiking this weekend in Oregon.  They were wearing tank tops, and t-shirts.  Quite a difference from our 17 degrees, and 18 inches of snow on the ground. 

What do you do when you get the winter blues?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Too Cool for School Part Two

All I am going to say is that it is not fit for man nor beast outside.  It is just too cold, the girls have been locked in the coop for almost 2 weeks straight and you can tell they are getting a bit peckish.  They snuck out this afternoon while DH was filling their food cans. 

School was cancelled Thursday night, so I knew that Friday morning I could sleep in, which was very nice.  When it is cold the heat does not work very well on my bus so it is a very cold ride for me. 

I finally finished all of the units for step 2 of the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.

Obviously I cannot count because I ended up with 102 when it was all said and done. 

I began step 3 which is 120 of these units. 

I managed to get 4 done before I decided my machine needed a spa treatment.  DH oiled and greased her up, I cleaned out her feed dogs, and bobbin area.  She will be able to run like a dream for a few weeks without sounding all rattley.  Hopefully it doesn't take me as long to make these units as it did to make step 2! 

While working on my BOM after deciding I needed 24 blocks to go with my 25 connector blocks I knew I was going to need some more fabrics which fit within the color scheme to get the last 8-10 blocks finished.

Hopefully these will help me. 
Finally I wanted to show off this little wall hanging I made for a gift.  I used some of my favorite fabrics to make this sweet little piece for my friend Dawn over at Sew You Quilt 2.  The piece is 7 X 19 inches. 

Keep warm everyone, they are saying we may hit the 20's tomorrow!  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Too Cool for School

School was cancelled Thursday morning because it is just too cold.  Which would have been great if I hadn't awoke at 4:30 am, and was actually putting my boots on and getting ready to head out the door.  I guess the one thing I am thankful for is that I did not actually walk out the door to brave the cold and frozen tundra to our garage. 

I did brave the cold to go to the bank,  Secretary of State (also known as DMV) to get my tags for my car, the post office, and the grocery store.  I could not make up my mind for dinner.  Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Tortilla Soup, or a Roast.  I decided since the high today was about 4 not including the windchill that Tortilla Soup was the meal for the evening. 

Between the chopping, shredding, and cooking I worked on a wee bit of sewing. 
A Block for the group which I belong to.  It is called Star Cluster and you can find the pattern here.

I made 5 more connector blocks.
And this is all I have left to trim for the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.
I feel like I can see the daylight at the end of the tunnel with this unit!

I had a small package come the other day from The Fat Quarter Shop.  I decided that I was tired of trying to find solids and "match" so I splurged and purchased a Moda Bella Color Chart.

I think that I have figured out finally what color I am going to use for the Farmer's Wife quilt.  I am leaning toward a blue/gray color. 

I also purchased a charm pack of Bella White which I like to use to make the easy corner hangers on the back of my small quilts. 

We are supposed to have another frigid night, and it is supposed to be at least -11 that does not include wind chill.  It would be nice if they were going to cancel they would do it tonight so I could sleep in!  Keep warm everyone.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Do you ever have long weekends which kind of end up being lost weekends?  Saturday was cold, snowing, blowing, and just down right inhospitable.  Sunday was very cold, as was Monday.  Now I understand why some animals hibernate during the winter.  All that I want to do sometimes is just curl up and sleep. 

 The little boys came on Sunday and played, it was nice to get some hugs and see them since there has been a lot going on in their lives lately.  When that happens as a grandparent you just want to hold them to make sure that they understand that no matter what we love them unconditionally. 
I finished sewing all of these partial units.  Now just to finish trimming them and square the units up. 
I finished my frolic quilt block for the group which I participate in.  I am glad it was an easier block.  I also started working on 5 more connector blocks for this  project also. 

I put some sashing on my Farmer's Wife blocks.  I have been procrastinating because I don't have my design wall area any longer since we moved our family room into the dining room area.  My design wall was in the dining room, and to put 111 blocks on the floor to only pick them up again is a bit daunting. 

I am using Moda Bella parchment solid as my sashing.  I will have Moda Bella navy as the cornerstones.  I am still unsure of what color to use as the side setting blocks. 

A few days ago I had a coupon for a discount off of Oakshott cottons.  I love shot cottons, and have lusted over wanted a bundle of the Oakshott, which is about as difficult to come by in the US as hen's teeth.  The coupon for the bundle was just what I needed.

I bought 2 fat eighth bundles and it arrived via Fed Ex today!  From England!  I was totally thrilled that it came today, and to top it off I also received a pack of 2 1/2 inch squares, and a handwritten note as a thank you! DH looked at me and inquired why do you order something on Friday and it arrives on Monday, I ordered my crane parts 3 weeks ago from the company in China which were supposed to be next day aired.  I still don't have parts or a crane.  I tried to explain to him that it was the fact that the rotation of the earth was assisting my delivery whereas his had to fight the rotational pull.  I don't think he bought that explanation. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Puttering Around

The last few days I have been puttering around doing this and that.  A bit of sewing, housework,  and some cross stitch.  It is hard to stay motivated when it seems like it has been days on end of cold, snowy, blustery weather.

I remade the woven ribbons quilt block for the Farmer's Wife and finished up squaring up all the blocks which is very cool!  Now to start the sashing.

I completed another block called the Double Aster which goes with a BOM for a group I belong to.

I have 12 blocks made but each month they had some people who chose alternate blocks.  We also ended up having two people choose blocks each month.    I need 24 total and I have 12 so far.  I work on these a bit then....

Work on squaring up these blocks.

With all of the sewing I still only have enough for 50 of the units squared up.  I have some more sewn  and waiting on the ironing board to be pressed. Now I have admitted I hate trimming and squaring so I get distracted sometimes. 

Have you seen these cute little hearts which were made over at Cluck, Cluck, Sew?
 What do you do when you are sick of trimming and squaring up blocks?  Dig through the pile of scraps on your cutting table and make heart blocks.  The tutorial is super easy, and just a few days later she came up with additional sizes of hearts!  I will show you the rest of this piece which I created in a few days.  Lets just say that I have decided that I am going to use some of my favorite fabrics to make these hearts! 

I hope your Valentine's Day was wonderful.  Friday the 13th was a bit daunting for a bus driver.  I have a bus load of kids hopped up on sugar from the Valentine's parties, that have been cooped up inside for weeks.  How to handle it?  Tell them go ahead and eat your candy on the bus, but keep your wrappers, and if there is something you do not like.  Do Not Spit it out on the floor!  I handed out grocery bags every few seats, and I think it was one of the best days so far.  I didn't have to tell anyone sit down a hundred times, there was no crying, hitting, poking in the eye, kicking, and the bus was relatively unscathed.  I did a quick cleaning before I finished for the day which took about 10 minutes but I honestly could not have asked for a better day.  When I got home what was waiting for me?

A box of these!  My favorite. 

And a dozen of these, the whole house is filled with their lovely fragrance.  I am a wee bit spoiled. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

So Much Sewing

First of all I would like to ask you to check out Day 8 of the "We Support You" blog hop.  These lovelies have some gorgeous creations I guarantee. 
Feb 9th 

Have you ever had days that you sew, and sew, and sew and don't have a whole lot to show for it?  I have had several days of it.  It really doesn't even feel like I am getting a lot accomplished.

I have been squaring up my Farmer's Wife blocks. I think I have remade 4 all together that I just couldn't get to be big enough.

This is Peace and Plenty.  I think my piecing skills are getting a lot better.  I have about 75 blocks squared up so far.  I am currently working on remaking another block which I just was not happy with. 

I finished up a pet pillow filled with scraps and shavings for the quilt guild. 

I manage to get my bobbin stuck in the bobbin case and had to wait for DH to extract it.  Just a wee bit too much thread was wound on it. 

I have been sewing what feels like a bazillion of these units.  Sew, square up, sew the unit together.  I only have about 25 completed, which means I still have another 75 to go. 

I made 10 connecting blocks for my BOM that I have been working on with a batik group I belong to. 

 I was so frustrated from what felt like my lack of progress, I decided to try to finish something.

I took apart a Christmas stocking I had made for someone many years ago.  I loved the snowman!  I trimmed up the cross stitch piece.
and made a pillow cover.

I was rather pleased with how it turned out.  Except....when I attached the back, I somehow got it turned sideways.

Oh well not like anyone sees the back and would notice unless they turned it over right?  I had a pillow form but it was too small.  I know I have another which is larger hanging around somewhere. 

Do you have times where it feels like you sew a lot but don't get a whole lot accomplished? 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

And Then Another

First order of business***

Check out the Grow Your Blog Hop day 3.
Feb 5th  

I got the call late Monday night.  Now after my mailbox being plowed in I was pretty sure that my bus route which is back roads which are dirt and I have several which are barely one vehicle wide was probably not going to be passable.  While all of the school districts around us cancelled school early in the day on Monday, ours did not happen until much later in the evening. Again DH was scheduled to go into work at 3 am on Tuesday morning.

That means my morning was get up, pack the wood burner/boiler with wood, let the girls out (they get locked in at night since the coyotes have been spotted around) and give them some treats. Also since I have not had a chance to go to the grocery store since it was Superbowl weekend and it was insane I needed some groceries and to go the PO to pick up my mail.  I decided to go to the local grocery store to at least pick up some stuff to make 2 or 3 meals.  I was not the only person at the PO picking up mail from our road because of their box being plowed in.

Look at the happy mail I had waiting!
Some yardage of Oh Clementine by Allison Harris for Windham.  I have a couple of fat quarter bundles but I decided I wanted to do the Moda Modern Building blocks quilt in one fabric line, and the Oh Clementine was on sale so I figure out yardage and ordered so I would have a nice mix, as well as enough fabric for a background, and of course I saw a bright yellow polka dot which I thought was gorgeous, and the gray and they all seem to hash together so well.  Not often do I make a quilt from on specific line of fabric, but I just kind of loved the patterns and colors and the Modern Building Blocks quilt looked like just the project to use it in.

The other happy mail was my W2 so I could do taxes.  Since I had a snow day, and even though I wanted to sew, I knew that I should work on the taxes.  I actually finished them in about 1 1/2 hours!  Whipped up a dinner and put it in the slow cooker and had time to sew and it was only 1:30 pm.

I have almost 60 of my Farmer's Wife blocks squared up.  I have another to remake I am not happy with I think part of the reason why these patterns are so difficult is that some of the pieces are probably actually using 1/8 or 1/16th inch increments.    I alternated between squaring Farmer's Wife blocks, squaring up GIMQ blocks,
 and working on sections for the 9 patch star block which is paper pieced.

Not too shabby and I just lost one point.  I could take it apart and scant up the seam which would probably fix it but after about 7 hours of working on it I was done for at least today.

I wandered out at about 8 pm to put the girls in and the next snowstorm had started.  It is kind of like the last, the light stuff but after just a few minutes outside I was totally covered in snow.  DH is scheduled to go back to work at midnight which means he needs to be up by 11pm.  I think I am ready for the snow days to end. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Got A Snow Day...And Then Another!

First off lets get some business taken care of--Today is day 5 of the We Support You Blog Hop.  Check out the lovelies these wonderful ladies have created.
Feb  4th 

I received a call early Sunday afternoon that I was going to have a snow day on Monday!  Happy Dance!!!!
Unfortunately poor DH had to go to work at 3am.

After considering my post about why I have UFOs I decided to go at some of the stuff I dislike in a different manner.

I printed out all of the block instructions for the BOM that I participate in through a group I belong to.  While reviewing those blocks I started to wonder if I had enough fabric for my connector blocks and if I would have any extra that I could use in blocks so I decided to cut out all of the parts for my connector blocks. 

I started to prep the next block for that group which is a paper pieced project.

I sewed some more parts for the GIMQ, and squared some up too.
My next task was to square up a few blocks from my Farmer's Wife.  I was squaring away when I realized that this block was only about 6 inches instead of 6 1/2.

I pulled out the templates, recut and sewed and this one came out to be 7 inches!  What the heck!  So I took the red white and blue block apart and trimmed the individual units down a bit.

This is after trimming and resewing.  It is still about 1/8 of an inch too big, but I can deal with it.  I am right around 43 blocks squared up.  That is a little under halfway! 

I noticed the mailman coming down the road and I was expecting a package.  Usually he pull up and honks, but I saw him roll past our house, the ancient ones and turn down the side street.  I thought that was strange. So I put my shoes and coat on and went out to check the mailbox.  The county had done a couple of passes down our road and had created a snow pile in front of my box about 6 feet wide, 6 -8 feet long and 3 feet deep from the mailbox out towards the road. When DH got home, he plowed around the mailbox.  Ugh that means that tomorrow I have to venture to the post office. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow Day Means Sew Day

Today is day 4 of the We Support You Blog Hop.  Hop on over and check out the imaginative creations for today.

Feb 3rd 

Sunday it started snowing around 4am, when we got up at 8 there was barely 2 inches on the ground, but DH went out and hung the plow on the truck just in case.  He no more than came back into the house and he was called into work by about 11am and I had the whole day to myself! 

What did I do? 

I squared up some of my Farmer's blocks and remade the one called Cats and Mice.
 This was the first one and it was a wee bit small.  So I made a second one. 
I was much happier with this one. 
I actually managed to square up blocks and soon I realized that I had 30 of them done.  That means I am a wee bit shy of 1/3 done. 

I worked on sewing part 2 of the Grand Illusion  I have trimmed and sewn together this unit and have 
another 6 waiting to be trimmed.  I also have a bunch partially sewn with just the pink HST. 

I did manage to get one block from the BOM which I have been working on with a quilt group which I belong to.   

The block is called Christmas Star and can be found on Quilter's Cache.

I also managed to get my quilt loaded on the frame, but needed to spread out the batting so the wrinkles would work their way out.  Then I will get it completely loaded and start the quilting. 

I ventured out to plow the driveway so when DH came home he could get into the driveway.  I had spent a couple of hours watching the new neighbors try to clear their driveway with a snow blower.  Living in the country with long driveways using a snow blower to clear your driveway is like trying to empty a bathtub with a teaspoon.  I moved quite a bit of snow, and DH came home and finished up.  He will be heading back out to work to plow the city he works for at 2am, and is taking my plow vehicle. Right now the weather forecast is saying it will continue to snow until 7am.  With the wind blowing it is difficult to tell how much snow has really fallen.