Sunday, May 1, 2016

May OMG Goals

 Happy Sunday! We have a gray day ahead with likely showers--perfect sewing weather. I made this sunshine bucket this week to donate for a silent auction to benefit our high school band. I hope it sold for a pretty penny...
 The last couple of months I have not set any goals for Red Letter Quilts' One Monthly Goal (OMG), but it is now May and time to go big. My last day of work is May 25th which means I will have a whole week in May to just sew and relax. First up, I need to finish these 24 Pixie Baskets. They are gifts for my fifth graders since they are moving on to middle school. I asked them their favorite colors and shopped in my stash to find them personalized fabric combinations.
 My second goal is to turn this fantastic grouping of fabrics into a scrappy baby quilt. This is for one of my coworkers who is expecting a baby girl in mid-June. She told me she was thinking of navy and coral for her nursery colors, but she also loves purple. I decided to add in some aquas. I think it will be gorgeous! I am thinking of making a Modern Herringbone Quilt like the purple one in my blog header.
My final goal for May is to quilt my Butterfly Garden Top. I bought the white with navy swirl yesterday for the backing. I want to use this quilt as a table cloth for my dining room table and I think it will be fantastic for summer. Join the OMG May Link Up Party here
We are heading over to my mom and dad's for gourmet pizza dinner tonight, so I will bring my Down in the Garden for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Here is the link for that

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Goldilocks & the Colleges

Any of you who have followed my blog for awhile know I have only one child, my daughter, Heather. She is a senior and graduating from high school next month at the top of her class. We took an impromptu vacation over our Spring Break a few weeks ago for her to pick out where to go for college. We visited several colleges back east and I nicknamed it the Goldilocks Tour! We had a great time.
Each school was a better and better fit, but she decided on Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. The campus is gorgeous! It is the quintessential New England college town. The shocking thing was that it was the most rural college we looked at. She is not a big fan of the rural area we live in and this is even smaller. The town has 3,000 and the school is about 3,000--the nearest Target is 35 minutes away. Sounds nice and safe to me!
 It is a highly selective liberal arts university and they offered her a wonderful financial aid package that is grant based--so she will be able to graduate without any student loan debt and it is cheaper than sending her to college in the state of Colorado. This is the willow path on campus and legend has it that if you have your first kiss on the willow path, you will eventually marry who you kissed. I told her to avoid the willow path!
The surrounding area is full of gorgeous farms and livestock. They also awarded her an Alumni Memorial Scholarship which means she gets $6,000 during her four years to spend on internships or travel. As an AMS, she gets to move into the dorms earlier and do some bonding activities with the other thirty AMS students. We did not understand all of these perks and what an honor this program is until we arrived for our tour and we were met by the dean. She had the opportunity to attend some classes, meet some students, check out the dining hall, etc. It was quite the red carpet treatment.
Although Colgate University is one of the most expensive universities in the country, they offer need based financial aid which makes it more affordable than most state schools. Many private colleges offer more financial aid than public institutions and are not out of reach for your children, be sure to take the time to research some of them--most of their websites offer financial aid calculators to help give accurate estimates of your costs.

If you want to see some more amazing pictures of Colgate click on this link
 Now on to quilting! I quilted the Sweetheart Baby Quilt this morning--nothing like last minute, the baby shower is Tuesday afternoon.
 I will spend the evening hand binding it for Slow Sunday Stitching. Check out other handwork here:
I hope to wash it tomorrow and show you the finished product soon.

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Two Birds with One Stone

 I got back from our college trip a week ago and went straight back to work. I got an email about a baby shower for one of my coworkers in TWO WEEKS! I have been asking her about her nursery theme and colors since she found out she was having a girl in January, but she had not made up her mind until recently. She is going traditional with light pink, white, hearts, and bows. I needed a simple, quick design--I found this Sweethearts Quilt free pattern from Cloud 9 Fabrics. I decided to make mine smaller, so it is 48 x 48 before quilting and washing. I made 33 hearts and was able to have no fabrics repeated. Sorry about the terrible pictures, but we got over an inch of rain in the last couple of days and it was too soggy to get any pictures outside.
I hope to quilt it on my Pfaff this week and bind it next weekend--just in time for the baby shower. There are left over half square triangles and I think I will sew them together and make a pouch out of them. I was asked to donate something for a silent auction and a pouch with some lotion and other goodies will be perfect--that deadline is a couple of weeks too! Nothing like killing two birds with one stone.

Have a good week!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Spring Break 2016

 Our Spring Break officially started at 3:30pm on Friday, 4/1! I have been pretty busy the last couple of weeks helping my daughter with her final yearbook deadline--she is the editor this year. Unfortunately, all of the work had to be done at school connected to the server which meant she spent hours and hours at school--15+ hours a day. I supervised when their adviser could not. Needless to say, there has not been much sewing going on in my world! I did manage to get a few Ugly Xmas Sweater blocks done. 
 This one looks more like an Easter sweater to me because of the colors--I'm not sure if it will make the final cut into my quilt...
I really like this one with Xmas tree! I had planned on working some more Xmas sweaters, Bloom Blocks, and treating myself to a new project to celebrate our Spring Break. However, my hubby and I decided that our daughter needs to go back east to visit her potential colleges and to make a decision--after all it is four years of her life, her future, and a big investment. I thought we would have to miss school and go in a couple of weeks, but I was able to book flights for this week at a great price and the weather looks ok. Quilting will just have to wait!
 One of the schools we will look at is Colgate University--it is often mentioned as one of the most beautiful colleges in the country. The campus includes a lake and golf course and it is highly selective. The day we are scheduled to be there rain is expected, but I can't wait to see it anyway.
This is Lehigh University and it is in Bethlehem, PA. It looks like Hogwarts from Harry Potter! It is a little bigger than Colgate and has more engineering degrees available. It is only one hour from Philadelphia which would make travel easier.
About 1.5 hours away is Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. I can't believe she may end up in the center of Amish quilting country! I would love to explore some quilt shops on this trip, but that is very unlikely--we have lots of places to go and important decisions to be made.
I loaded up a couple of books onto my Kindle for the plane ride and in the evenings. I was not planning on bringing any handwork because we are just bringing carry ons, but I just found this little sheep I have all traced from who knows when.
I grabbed a six inch hoop and picked out a few colors of perle cotton. I can fit this pouch in my purse, so it will make the trip too! I might even have to get started on it tonight after I pack for Slow Sunday Stitching. Check out inspirational handwork here

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bloom Blocks & Baskets

 Since I picked up my Pfaff from the repair shop, I could get caught up on my Bloom Blocks for Lori Holt's Sew Along. I am not hand appliquéing them, but using my blanket stitch. I stitched up block 9 yesterday using some leftover scraps of gingham from my Butterfly Garden Quilt.
 I also stitched up all my other blocks I had prepped.
 I am trying to use bits from my scrap bins that are overflowing.
 The blocks are so cheerful and make me anxious for spring.
Speaking of spring, it was warm enough to sit outside and read my book in the sunshine yesterday. It was fun to enjoy the sun with the dogs. Today is supposed to be 10 degrees warmer and I picked up some steaks for grilling.
I did decide to make Pixie Baskets for all my fifth graders as end of the year presents. I dug into my stash and found material for all the basket exteriors. I will spend today cutting linings and batting for all 24 of them! Then, I can work on them gradually and get them all done before the end of May.
 I made all my units for the Scrap Dance Tango Mystery Quilt Along this week. I am making the lap size and still have many loose pieces awaiting the next instructions from Carole, for more info link from the button on the right side of my blog below my header.
Lori Holt posted a tutorial yesterday on how to make a Dresden Plate using her Bloom Templates. I made one for practice because I need to make some for my Down in the Garden Quilt. It was so easy! For Slow Sunday Stitching, I will work on more embroidery on Down in the Garden. Get inspired by other handwork here

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Butterfly Garden Top

 My Butterfly Garden Quilt top is together! This is a design from Lori Holt's Quilty Fun book. I am teaching all the blocks as a BOM at my local fabric store. For April, we will be making the butterfly blocks, so I decided to make the butterfly block quilt featured in the book as an example for my class. It has 91 butterflies and 18 flowers.
 Here are some of the butterflies up close. I used navy Kona from my stash as the background. I had barely enough with a 2.5 inch strip leftover.
 I thought it would be easy to find a navy with a white dot for the borders as was shown in the book. Boy I was wrong, but I did find a small scale gingham that gives the same effect. Plus, I love gingham--I think it is perfect! The fabric that I used for the butterfly bodies was something I found in my mom's stash, but the local fabric store has more. I am thinking of picking that up for the backing. It is pretty good sized 59 x 70 inches. I think I am going to keep it and use it as a tablecloth for my dining room table--my Fiestaware will look perfect on it. I think I will quilt it on the longarm because of its size and I want to practice with a swirl design.
 Yesterday, I taught my class how to make the sewing baskets. This was my example--so simple and sweet.
 I am plugging away on my Down in the Garden block 1. I intend to make some more progress on it today for Slow Sunday Stitching
I am a huge Rachael Ray fan and subscribe to her magazine. I discovered a great economic and delicious recipe in her latest magazine--it is called a PBL (pineapple, bacon, lettuce) Sandwich. It has much more on it than just that--avocado, an egg, mayo, and I put pepper jack cheese too. My vegetarian daughter loved it minus the bacon and I also skipped cooking everything in bacon grease as the recipe called for. This was a big hit with everyone and will be a new go to at our house.

It is a sunny, spring-like day here. I hope to get out in the sunshine a little bit, but I also want to work on my Bloom blocks and get caught up with my Ugly Christmas Sweaters. So much to do and so little time--especially with losing an hour today!

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Butterfly Construction

 Anyone who has followed my blog knows I am a big Lori Holt fan. I have her 2016 calendar hanging in my sewing room, so when I switched over to March on Tuesday night and saw her butterfly quilt featured my wheels started spinning. I am teaching her Quilty Fun book as a BOM at my local fabric store and I have been trying to show my students some of the quilts featured in the book. For the month of March, we are making sewing baskets and they are pretty simple. In April, we are scheduled to make the butterflies. I decided to start on the Butterfly quilt. It has 91 butterflies in it. I had enough of the Kona navy background in my stash and plenty of brights for the butterflies and flowers. I started cutting!
I worked a bunch on these Friday night for FNwF
Here are my butterfly wings ready to be ironed.
 I shopped in my mom's stash--thanks Mom and found a perfect print for the butterfly bodies! The only thing I will need to buy will be a navy with white dots
and I should have this top made soon! 

I dropped my Pfaff off yesterday at our local sewing machine store for service and got some terrible news--they are closing in two weeks! I bought my machine there specifically because I could have it serviced locally. I begged the mechanic to add my machine to his queue--and he did. He is also going to look into opening his own repair shop locally--fingers crossed that will happen! Sometimes living in a rural area stinks...
 I managed to get my first birdhouse done for my Down in the Garden quilt this morning.
It was a good start for Slow Sunday Stitching. I will work on the flower and herb pots next. Check in here for more handwork inspiration

I am heading into my sewing room to make a bunch of cheerful butterflies on my Singer Featherweight and binge watch Damages on Netflix.

I have a long week ahead three late nights with parent/teacher conferences and a meeting, but we get Friday off. Have a great week!