Monday, April 21, 2014

Exciting Week

     To say that the last few days has been exciting is an understatement.

     I started the week off last Sunday with a trip into New York City to see "Aladdin".  My son buys us tickets for Christmas every year because he knows how much we love seeing the shows and it's easier for him to buy what we like and not just random "things".  Hubby and I get to spend the day with the girls and have a really nice time.

     The wax museum is right next door to the New Amsterdam Theatre and look at who was outside waiting for my girls for a photo op.....Mr. Johnny Depp himself  LOL   ONLY their favorite actor ever!

"Aladdin" was great and you can see from the picture, the weather was in the 70's so no jackets required.  A great day all in all.

     Friday afternoon hubby, youngest daughter, and I left to drive to oldest daughter's house for the Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden.  I wasn't supposed to go because my son in law was the holder of ticket # 4 but I got some cockamamie story that he had a meeting or something and couldn't go and so as not to waste the ticket, I drove the 90 minutes up and figured I'd go.  I'd get a free dinner and show so what de heck.  Well, I got there and my son in law was there....WHAT?  I drove all this way and now what do we do?  Well, this is what the surprise was...
YES....I'm going to be a grandma!   The expected date is November 20th....just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas!     Jennifer and Tim will celebrate their first wedding anniversary this coming Sunday so their timing was good for baby #1.

     So, I went to the concert after we all went out to dinner and sadly my son in law just went home and walked the dog....which he was happy to do :)

This was my second Billy Joel concert this year and I have to say, he did not disappoint either time.  He is a master entertainer!

     Saturday was spent cleaning out the garage and then Sunday was Easter and that was spent withfamily just enjoying one another and eating some pretty good food....if I might say so myself!
I received the CUTEST flower arrangement from my niece Shannon and her boyfriend Pat.  Shannon too never disappoints on holidays.  I always get unique and very cute flowers.

     I've seen these bouquets where the peeps and jelly beans are in around the flowers but never had one of my own.

     Sorry for the view around them  LOL  Mr. Sangria and the dishes were there already :)

     Today I slept in a little and then decided I'd do a little sewing.  Each month for the last 2 or 3 months Sherri McConnell has offered a mini project that can use either those little 2-1/2 inch squares or as I used, scraps.
I have a red bench on my front porch that was in need of a new pillow so I used all red white and blues....

Once it gets warmer I'll put some flowers out there with the wooden flag that hangs on the house but until I'm sure we won't have a frost and snow, I'll wait a little bit before I add too much more.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New and Old

     I'll start with the old......  Today when my doorbell rang and the dang dog started barking I KNEW it had to be the mail girl  :)    Don't you just love when your mail person comes and you see a package outside the door?   I know I do!   Today's box was expected and I couldn't rip into it quick enough!

     This first quilt is 49 of my "Farmer's Wife" blocks that I finished last summer and never got around to doing the rest.   Since I need a smallish size quilt for a retreat in early May I decided I'd sash the blocks add that super bright yellow dot backing and voile!  I have my charity top.

The next quilt is my "Postage Stamp" quilt from early last week.  
I took out the parts I'd finished last summer, connected some small pieces that were finished but not connected and made a few more rows....and again, voile!  In under 3 hours a finished quilt.
The bigger question here is WHY do I procrastinate on some of these projects?

A HUGE thank you goes out to my friend Sarah in NY who has started doing some of my quilts....she does an AWESOME job on them and has the best turnaround time!  I'm expecting my stars quilt back by the end of the week so I'll be a binding fool this weekend! 

Now onto the new......  I have no self control sometimes with particular fabric lines and more patterns!   I had seen on Instagram that Jodi Nelson of Pleasant Home Patterns had a new pattern called Lucette out and another friend Abby Latimer of Latimer Lane Quilts, was making up kits for the pattern so without much thinking I hit the click button and the kit showed up like 2 days later :)    Nothing like instant gratification!

I'm going to cut this kit up today and with luck by the end of the weekend I have a finished quilt !

Saturday, April 12, 2014

"Orca Bay"

     Yes, the Bonnie Hunter "Orca Bay".    I know I'm a little late to the party but back in 2011 I wasn't sure I really had it in me to do Orca Bay in the time frame Bonnie had laid out so I didn't join in but I did print off the instructions.    When "Easy Street" was announced in 2012 I was out of work for over a week because of Hurricane Sandy.  I live right smack dab in the middle of where she hit so with urging and a lot of encouragement from Robin and Michelle, I followed along each week, kept up to date (although laundry and the house suffered LOL)  but Easy Street was assembled and gifted not long afterwards to my niece Shannon when she moved into her first apartment.  To say that her and her BF fight over it is an understatement.  I think another quilt should be assembled for Pat so he can have his own!

     In 2013 Bonnie announced "Celtic Solstice" and I was ready!  I didn't need any urging.  I followed Bonnie's color way just as I did with Easy Street and in the end I was very happy with the result of that quilt too.  I haven't given this one away yet but I'm sure it's just a matter of time before it finds a new home.

After I finished these two I knew I could tackle "Orca Bay" and all it's little string blocks and small Ohio Star blocks.
I started setting aside blacks, blues, reds, neutrals etc. and before I left school I actually found a telephone book to use for the foundation of the blue strings.
This quilt will not be a "surprise" as I've seen both Robin's and Michelle's finished but i'm ok with that, I'm just excited to be starting it soon.    I'm actually going to kit up step 1 and step 2 and bring them to a retreat i'm attending in May.

See those pins on my shopping tote?   Those are from Zazzle and they are my present to myself for finishing the 2 above quilts.  I should have ordered an Orca Bay one too at the time but I figured I'd get that one when I started or finished.

Here are my blacks and neutrals....all pressed and waiting to be cut into strips.

And here are 2 blue string blocks and 2 Ohio Star blocks that Robin gave me since she had them left over after she finished her assembly.

I have a really nice backing fabric that I'm anxious to use for it so as they say "I'm Off!"

The rotary cutter has a fresh blade and I have the correct little rulers out......

Oh, and in case you wondered, I need 224   2-1/2 inch black/neutral hourglass units to assemble the stars and  72 blue 3-1/2 inch string blocks.....
piece of cake right?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'm going to sleep on it......

 I finished assembling this top tonight after dinner.

These blocks are from Sherri McConnell's new book called "Fresh Family Traditions" on page 50-51.

Sherri's book only has 1 star block but I thought it would be nice to do 6 or 9 and make a full size quilt.  As I got to # 6 today and put the blocks up on my design wall I realized that at 57 x 86, this quilt did not NEED borders but as I look at it I wonder if I can leave it like this and just get it quilted?
I'm going to "sleep on it" and if I wake up tomorrow and I still like it "borderless" then I'll prepare the backing and ship it out to be quilted!
This is just 1 block.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Postage Stamp Quilt

     Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not a leader/ender type of person all the time but there's that occasional project where I know I need them so I get strict about using them.  The "Summer Star" blocks are the perfect example of needing a leader/ender.

      Last summer I saw a "Postage Stamp" quilt on the Red Pepper blog that I fell in love with so since I was coming down off my "Easy Street" high having used tons of black on white fabrics, I grabbed the basket of scraps and cut them into 2-1/2 inch squares and put them with all my pretty colored squares and had a leader/ender ready for use.
Somehow, the basket was relegated to a shelf for a time but pulled back out last week and the connecting started.

I'd decided right off the bat that I didn't want to use anything that didn't have a white background.  No tans or off color white, strictly WHITE!
I had a lot of fun with the fabrics too and this picture of one of the sections of the quilt shows some of my favorite whites....Those little fish, the little tiny bees, math equations, the hangers etc.....
I had an awesome variety because when buying for Easy Street I did a LOT of damage at the online quilt shops.  I don't think a week went by that I didn't acquire something  :)
I still have a TON of black on white fabrics in my cabinet so this is not the last quilt I'll be making with that color way.

It's all folded up and ready for the quilter.......

I want to bring it to Indiana with me in mid May for show n tell so it's heading to the post office tomorrow morning.....

It's so nice that we can start using the lawn and back porch for some photo shoots!!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Quick Weekend Update

     This was one of those weekends where I didn't do anything big but I did cross a few things off my long list of things "to do" .

     Friday I got my "Swoon" quilt back from being quilted.  I immediately took it out of the box and did some swooning myself  LOL  
Beautiful quilting and I didn't have to trim it came home all ready to get the binding sewn on.  I immediately did that and have it in the pile to be hand sewn down at night while I'm watching TV.

Next was the "Boxy Stars" quilt from January.  That too came home and got the same treatment that "Swoon" did.

I picked an all over tight meander with a goldish/brown color thread.  The binding is red, same fabric as the backing and it's in the pile too waiting for tacking down.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday was spent doing single blocks for various projects.

Our "Year of Schnibbles" group  is doing a mini but the moderators chose to use a Camille Roskelly (Thimbleblossom) pattern of our choice.  I had a few that I thought I'd do but in the end, I picked "Round & Round".
I actually got 2 mini's out of my cutting because I read "cut 8 star blocks out" but cut 9 so I got the one mini and then I made another one with just the 1 star.

Each star half square triangle is 1-1/2 inches!!!
Teeny tiny pieces!!!

I love the little star.  That finished up to 3-1/2 inches square so after I finished that I added a small border around it to make it 5-1/2 inches square.

This is a picture of my "mini" wall.  
I keep my fabric pens, pencils, rulers etc. in the hanging cups and as you can see, my iron is right on top of my ironing board.  I can sit at my sewing machine and see the wall.....something I enjoy!

And today, I made this 16-1/2 inch block.  I'm in a Quilting Bee with 99 other girls on Instagram.  We are all in groups of 12 and using the book "Modern Bee" by Lindsay Conner.  
We are in month 3 and the girl who is the Queen Bee this month chose this block called "Triple Star".
She wanted red, turquoise, lime green and white with a winter theme.
It is definitely cuter in person!!!

Now, to get back to my scrappy star blocks that I started last week.

Friday, April 4, 2014

"Morning Joe"

     If you follow my blog you've seen the assembly of this quilt here
I think I'd have to say that I really enjoyed assembling this top.  I loved the fabrics a LOT and knowing it was going to be for a new baby who's grandma worked with me and that the baby daddy is in the US Coast Guard defending our country, well, it just made me happy.....and not to mention, it's all stars!!  I love star blocks!

     I finished it in no time but didn't get it quilted till last week.

I love the little swirls........

     For the backing of the quilt I used the "Potluck" by American Jane fabrics that were in the front as well.....
I used the rulers, little yellow check, little chicks and the pezzy print and as luck would have it, I had the blue dot in my stash.

I LOVE how the quilt came out and it's a more than generous size at 53 x 53 so this quilt will stay useable for the baby for quite a few years!

I can't wait for "grandma Laura" to see it when I bring it to her next week....just in time for the baby daddy to come back from sea and come for a quick visit from Florida to NJ.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Summer Star"

     Just a quick "mid week catch up" for you today.

     Back a few weeks ago I received my copy of Sherri McConnell's book "Fresh Family Traditions"
and immediately put one of the projects in her book at the top of my "to do" pile.  The quilt is called "Summer Star".  Now, I normally sit and peek thru my new books when they come but this one called for actual sit down and read status!  Seriously....nice stories about Sherri's quilty influence!

     I took out a bin of 5 inch squares that I'd been saving since I did a 5 inch square swap last year with a friend's guild and got to drawing lines and matching up with some kona snow.  I wanted a nice variety and lemme tell you, I got it from those squares!

     The star is 32 inches square so it needs a lot of prep work.....  I was running squares thru the machine for a good long time!

Then came the fun part......laying out the star on the design wall and sewing it up!

     I did decide that I want to make this one into a full size quilt so I'm going to be making at least 9 if not 12 of these blocks over the next week or so and getting it out to be quilted!!!!  (can you tell I'm excited and LOVE star quilts?)

      If you like this block and think you'd like to make one of your own, just hop on over to Sherri's blog and order your copy of her won't be sorry.

     Off to Hobby Lobby to get more Kona Snow so I can make more of these blocks!!!

      Happy Hump Day!


Saturday, March 29, 2014


     I had a request from my niece for a tabletopper for her kitchen table about 2-3 weeks ago but never got around to it and then the other day something reminded me that I hadn't made it so I cut a topper out but it was I ditched that and decided to look in my "orphan" block drawer and voile....I found 5 star blocks that were left over from the quilt I made my daughter for her wedding last April.  I wasn't sure Shannon would like the topper but once I quilted it and added some fun tiny dots for the binding I knew she'd love it......
     I put a picture on Instagram and figured I'd text her and tell her it was done but she saved me on that, the minute I posted the picture, she was on the phone asking if she could come right over for it.
She loved it!

     After that I decided to ask my own daughter if she wanted a runner for her coffee bar in her kitchen.  Which she did so I pulled out some coffee themed fabrics and voile....

I fussy cut the coffee cups for the center of the churn dash blocks and used a neutral that has little tiny coffee beans on it for the background and binding.  I love the backing fabric too...all different coffee cups and coffee makers.....

Gotta love quick and easy projects for the afternoon.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Couple of Finishes

With more cold weather and snow I've been holed up in the house sewing......

Here's a halfway decent picture of my "SWOON" quilt.
I've been doing 1 block a month as part of my "Big 3" list with some girlfriends.  When I finally got that yellow block done and realized I only had to do 2 more, I spent Saturday afternoon cutting and sewing and just making it a goal to finish!   I laid all 9 blocks out on Sunday and voile! it's done!
Each block is 24-1/2 inches and I used I "think"  "Marmalade" by Bonnie and Camille....
The quilt finishes up to 80 inches square which is a biggie!   I can't wait to get it quilted and see how pretty it is!

After finishing up that quilt I decided that a few "mini's" were in order.  
I needed a "P" for my sewing room wall and I wanted a house quilt and sewing related items like a spool quilt so I pulled out my mini patterns and set to making them.....

I already had a P and spool quilt on my wall that I'd made a few weeks back but something about them just bothered me.  My P was NOT red and white dots and while making the original one I knew I should change from blue to red but I just went ahead and did it blue.  I didn't like how one of the actual brown spool parts looked on the original mini so I wanted to change that up too.  Those 2 now hang in my downstairs storage/old sewing I didn't waste them, they just were relocated :)

And look at that mini house....OMG, 3-1/2 X 4-1/2....I could not get over the size when I finished the first one.  I LOVED it.  So, I spent the afternoon making them and then after dinner did some simple quilting inside the houses themselves then a simple wavy stitch down the white strips that separates the houses.  It finished up to I think 15 inches long.....SO CUTE!!!

And last but not least is a mini log cabin block I made from some paper piecing kit my friend Michelle sent me YEARS ago.  This log cabin finished up to I think 3 inches.  I swear, it took 3 stitches on the machine to sew the center square...3 stitches!!!
Someday I'm going to make more and use them for a runner or table topper.

My mini days are not over though.  I have empty space on the wall with the others so I'm going to make a mini swoon, puddle jump, etc....   

Hope you enjoy your day!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Painted Furniture

Showing my picture yesterday of the turquoise dresser in our upstairs hallway brought to mind a few other pieces of furniture that my daughter painted in 2013.  This telephone booth was her first try at adding something other than color to a piece.  This piece is an old metal file cabinet!!!  She uses it in her bedroom as a side table.

This yellow nightstand
was found in a Goodwill store in Maryland I think too .  My oldest daughter needed a night stand for one of her rooms so Sarah painted it and distressed it a little to match the quilt I'd just made her.  The quilt is all yellow, grey and black.

And last but not least, this is an old children's dresser that she found in a barn like store in the next town over from us.  She wanted a unique tv stand and as you can tell, is obsessed with english things....   I actually think from looking closely that the drawers are not closed so the stripes look a little "off".    

NOW....if she'd just make a decision and do something with the old pieces she's got out in the garage she'd make her father a happy man!!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another Finish

     This is month 2 of Sherri McConnell's "Simply Small Challenge".  This month our project is called a Scrappy Churn Dash Table Runner.

     I don't necessarily have the need for a long skinny runner right now but I did find inspiration in my house so it's going to work out ok.

     I had a small basket of 2-1/2 inch squares already out on my cutting table from some of the "mini" quilts I've been making and hanging on my sewing room wall so I just grabbed from that.  They are all Thimbleblossom fabrics but since they are "springy" it was perfect!

    We started with 6-1/2 inch churn dash blocks....and before you start saying "where are they", they are in there but my choice of dark/light fabrics for the hst's was a little off so they don't resemble churn dash blocks at all.  We made 5 of them then sashed with white strips on all 4 sides.  Here's mine before the final sashing.

And here are a few pictures of it finished.

The first picture is right after the binding was attached.....  I used a leftover piece of BLISS for the back and since it's only 9-1/2 by approx. 45 in long, I didn't need a big piece of binding so I used 3 strips of the dotted BLISS for that.


Her's a picture of it on my son's sofa table....  Can you tell it's a guy's apartment?  (note the basketball and junk under said table)  LOL

And this old dresser is in the hallway in our upstairs.  We dragged that dresser home in the back of our car from Maryland a year or so ago "just because" my daughter thought it would awesome in turquoise.  It doesn't match anything else in the house but it comes in handy for laying finished quilts on, holding books for me and we've put a small lamp on it so the hallway isn't dark at night when we go up to bed  :)    There's nothing in the drawers but Sarah loves it and the color so there it is  :)

This was a super fun project!!!!  And, if you would like to join in, just go over to Sherri's blog and you can upload the pattern from Craftsy.  Sherri blogs at "A Quilting Life" and BTW, has an AWESOME new book out that just shipped less than a week ago.....I've read mine cover to cover twice!!!