Sunday, August 21, 2016

I'm Back Exhilarated and Exhausted

My week long adventure of delivering my daughter to Colgate University is officially over. We started off by seeing my college roommate, Lauren, for the first time in 25 years! She is exactly the same and it was like no time had passed.
Monday, we flew very early from Denver to Newark, NJ and picked up our rental SUV and drove 4+ more hours to Syracuse, NY. We went immediately to Target and bought a ton of dorm essentials. Tuesday, we went to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up all the gear we had selected back at the beginning of July. We also went to TJ Maxx and HomeGoods for more decor things. The shopping was intense and my credit cards got a huge workout! Tuesday was also Heather's 18th Birthday and we celebrated with an amazing seafood dinner at Bonefish Grill.

Wednesday, her roommate moved in and sent pictures of their room and suggestions for things we still needed to pick up. Back for some more shopping and organizing everything we had already bought. It was a good thing I had booked a suite style hotel room.
We moved Heather into her room early Thursday morning. My calves are still sore because moving involved going down three flights of stairs--no elevator! Then, of course up three flights of stairs for another load of gear. It was a good thing that I had a big Explorer and the whole backseat and back for everything.
Heather had been very organized with her packing and everything fit with room to spare. The bed was lofted with the dresser underneath. She added a small rolling cart, her laundry basket, and a shoe rack. Her suitcases fit in behind along with a storage tub. The wardrobe also had three drawers for clothing essentials. Her bedding is gray and coral. If you look carefully, there is no quilt! She did not want one...
After she was all settled in her room, we went around campus for pictures. There was a family dinner for her Alumni Memorial Scholars program and we said our goodbyes. I managed not to cry because it was clear that she is exactly where she belongs! Friday, I managed to find my way back to Newark and flew back to Denver. I spent Friday night with Lauren and then drove 5 hours back yesterday. I am exhausted, but exhilarated because her hard work has paid off.
 There was happy mail for me when I returned. This is a book about Einstein's first wife that I need to read and review by mid-September. I got started last night and I am looking forward to reading more.
My sweet sister sent me the Fat Quarter Shop's Crossroads Quilt Along Kit. I think this will keep me busy and the fabrics are absolutely gorgeous.
I did work on some embroidery while I waited for my flight on Friday and I also managed to read the new Harry Potter play. I plan on relaxing with some more embroidery for Slow Sunday Stitching

Now, it is time to work on the empty nest thing!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Off to College!

 I am leaving this morning to take my daughter to college. It is going to be a pretty intense week. First, we are driving to Denver today (5+ hours) and staying at a hotel near the airport tonight because our flight boards at 5:45am. We fly in to Newark, NJ and then pick up our rental SUV to drive 4 hours to Syracuse. We will stay in Syracuse shopping for all her dorm stuff until Thursday her actual move in day to Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. Then Friday, I drive by myself back to Newark to fly back to Denver. I will probably stay Friday night in Denver and drive back home on Saturday. It is bittersweet as she is our only child and she turns 18 this week!
 I decided I needed a simple handwork project for the trip. I started looking through my UFOs and found this embroidery project that I am not sure who started (my sister or my daughter?), but I know it was not me because their stitches are much tinier than mine! All that was left to do was the words and the vines. I finished it up last night.
 In the UFO pile was this fall embroidery project. I think my sister had traced it because I always trace with regular pencil and this is the blue washout pen and I already made one for myself. The UFO was probably part of her stash she gave me years ago--there were 14 kitchen garbage bags full and it took me a week to organize!
These are the perle cotton colors I grabbed for my embroidery. I don't know if I will be able to hit a quilt shop or two, but there is one in Syracuse that I saw in the Quilt Sampler magazine very close to our hotel I hope to visit! I will be stitching at our hotel tonight as I watch the Olympics for Slow Sunday Stitching

Have a great week!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Project ADHD

We woke up this morning to a very rainy day! With the rain came cool weather--cool enough to wear yoga pants and a long sleeved t-shirt and drink vanilla lattes all day. Since I didn't have to work, I started my day with laundry, so I could wash up my Modern Herringbone Baby Quilt. When the rain finally let up at 5pm, I ran outside to get this picture of it. After washing, it measures 43 x 50 inches.
The back is nearly as cute as the front. I made extra strips of herringbone to widen the backing. I quilted it on my Pfaff following one of the diagonals of the herringbone pattern.
The chilly, wet weather put me in the mood for some handwork. I started with this sheep embroidery-I only had a few flowers to finish up.
I think I will turn this into a pillow, but none of my stash fabric is beckoning me for it. It will have to wait...
Onto the next project, the final two blocks arrived from my sister for the Moda Sampler Block Shuffle. Here is Block 29
and Block 30. I did the appliqué on my Pfaff. They show all 30 blocks set on point and my sister sent me some coordinating fabric, but I am not sure about it--it may be too directional. I think I will see what I can find at my local fabric store soon. All the blocks are made with Bonnie and Camille's Hello Darling fabric.
I have been tempted by Cheri Payne's Friendship Group BOM on Facebook because it involves wool felt appliqué, but the last thing I need is another project when I have so many UFOs. Instead I have been restraining myself, I got out this old project instead for my wool felt fix.
My top is all pieced and all it needs are the borders appliquéd. I am using wool felt appliqué, so I got started on the vine. 

I also prepped another embroidery UFO project because I am going to need lots of handwork to keep me busy watching the Olympics this weekend. I feel like I have some serious project ADHD going on!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Week 9 of Summer 2016

This was my last full week of summer and I really tried to spend most of it in my sewing room. I started this Modern Herringbone Quilt back in May as a baby gift. I actually have had the top complete since Mother's Day weekend, but then my gallbladder went crazy and I never got it done before school got out. After my gallbladder surgery, I was not up for being bent over and pinning it, but yesterday I did pin it.
I quilted it on one diagonal following the pattern. I think this quilt is fantastic and I wish I had gotten it done sooner.
This is the backing with a few rows of herringbone to make it wide enough. For Slow Sunday Stitching, I am working on the binding. Check out other handwork here:
On Friday, Diane posted the last piecing clue for the Butterfly Threads 2016 Summer Mystery Quilt. It took me awhile to get all 48 blocks done, but success in the end. Here is the link for details:
Here is an up close of some of the blocks. I am going to wait before I piece them together to see Diane's layout suggestions on Friday. I am not sure what this quilt will be used for, but it is nice to have one at they ready.
My version of Lori Holt's Bloom Quilt is also going to be at the ready status. I need to find a backing, but I plan on machine quilting it myself and putting it away for a baby gift.
My Town Square Quilt Tablecloth is going to the top of my get it quilted pile!

I am stuck in trainings most of this week and back to work next week, but two weeks from today we leave to move my daughter back east to college. I am not sure how much quilting will get done...Have a great week!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Quilt Tops

I put the final borders on my Town Square Quilt today! I am so pleased with how it came out. This design can be found in Lori Holt's book, Quilty Fun. I started this the first week of June and made it my OMG goal for June, but did not get it done. At least it was done before July was over!
Here is a closer view of the houses, trees, stars, and courthouse steps. My border fabric is a white with aqua diamonds on it.
The center blocks are bright and colorful. Once I get this quilted, I plan on using it for a tablecloth for my kitchen table. Quilts as tablecloths are not my idea. I attended a family reunion at a beautiful farm in Missouri years ago and saw vintage quilts as tablecloths there. I have gotten many questions about using quilts as tablecloths, so here are some helpful hints:
1. Avoid light colored fabrics (mediums and darks hide stains better)
2. Use high quality 100% cotton fabrics because it will get washed more often than a regular quilt (I wash mine once a week at least)
3. Use cotton batting like Warm & Natural (the thinner batting accommodates dishes)
4. Don't bother with hand binding, go ahead and machine bind to help with wear and tear
5. Quilt tablecloths are excellent at absorbing spills--these spills are delicious to dogs. Lola, my border collie mix, ate a couple of holes in quilt tablecloths that were especially scrumptious.
I have this aqua with flowers for my backing. I have not decided if I am going to quilt it on my Pfaff or use my mom's long arm. It is 62 inches square.
I also got my Bloom top done. I tried to keep up with Lori Holt's Sew Along this spring, but I ran into sewing machine issues which slowed me down. I used a blanket stitch on my machine for my appliqué. I also made my quilt smaller with less sashing, so it can be a baby quilt. It measures 42 x 52 inches. I hope to pin this one and quilt it up this weekend.
My hubby's sunflowers are completely in bloom, so I cut some and put them in my Fiestaware pitcher. I love the color in my kitchen.
I also finally got around to lining the bottom of my metal, vintage picnic basket. I used some sunflower fabric and foam core. This will be one of my handwork containers. 

I hope my productivity continues this weekend!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 8 of Summer 2016

 This week, I have been trying to finish up some works in progress. I don't have any actual finishes, but I am definitely getting closer. All summer I have been working on making all the blocks for Lori Holt's Town Square Quilt found in Quilty Fun. It calls for a dozen Neighborhood House Blocks and I got them all done.
 This quilt will be a new tablecloth for my kitchen table, so I want bright, cheerful colors and I think these sweet houses are precious.
 I also made 52 Twinkly Winter Star Blocks for this quilt too. I just need to make the Courthouse Steps Blocks and there are only four of those needed. Hopefully, this will be a top soon.
 I made my last two blocks for Lori Holt's Bloom Sew Along. This is Block 19
 and this is Block 20. I need to trim all blocks down and keep cutting out my scrappy sashing. I am making mine smaller than her design, so it can be a baby quilt. This top should be done soon.
 I finished Clue #4 for Butterfly Threads 2016 Mystery Quilt. Diane will reveal how to put all the pieces together on Friday. Here is the link:
I can't wait to see what it will look like!
 We have zucchini and yellow squash by the basket full from my hubby's garden. I have been making zucchini pies and bread. His raspberry bushes have been producing by the gallon, so we have been enjoying fresh raspberries and freezing them for the winter. 
I continue to stitch on my Love Blooms Here Quilt. I am almost done quilting the last blocks and will start on the border soon. Be inspired by everyone else here:

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 7 of Summer 2016

 I finally had a couple of big finishes this week. First up was my lap sized Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt. You can see more details about it in an earlier post.
Next was my Butterfly Garden Quilt. I also posted about it in my last post. 
To celebrate two finishes, I treated myself to starting on this. It is a Frivol kit, Kindred, using Bonnie and Camille's Hello Darling fabric. I am pleased with the light gray background. Now I am trying to decide if I want to make a scrappy border and part with my precious scraps or just get some Hello Darling yardage. Right now the top is 40 inches square and I want it bigger to use as a baby quilt. I think bigger is better.
I completed Clue 3 for Butterfly Threads 2016 Mystery Quilt. More info can be found here:
I love digging in my stash to make a quilt!
My mom and I got together to make Watcha Got Bags, a pattern from This and That. I made a bunch last summer as retreat gifts and my mom is making them for Xmas presents. I really like how this one turned out! I used a Sunnyside Kate Spain mini charm pack to make it. It is modern and fresh.
For this one, I used a mini charm pack of Chance of Flowers by Sandy Gervais. They are both so cheerful and are great for projects or to use as gifts.
 I have been trying to do handwork in the morning before it is too hot. I am making progress on quilting my Love Blooms Here Quilt--I am half way done with the biggest block and have two thirds of the blocks done.
I am using perle cotton and chunky stitches. I think it compliments the primitive wool felt appliqué. I will get some stitches in for Slow Sunday Stitching. Check out other handwork inspiration here: