Thursday, March 30, 2017

winging its way . . .

Spring, that is.  To the interior of the RV, that is.

Besides all the crafty little projects that got my attention this past weekend, I also [finally] felt compelled to remove the reds and pinks and hearts and put out the "SPRING"! So, for your viewing pleasure (hahaha!), here are my little Spring vignettes . . .
I got the eggs ... they're multiplying ... and I'm losing control!

Spring banner printable courtesy of On Sutton Place.

I adore that yellow fluted vase.  It was my Grandma Willie's (and it's older than me).

This may be one of my very favorite wool pieces, ever.

Those Easter eggs are REAL eggs that I blew and decorated 15 years ago!
I did a dozen and Joc did one.  There are five of mine and Joc's one, left. They're almost vintage.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Which is which?!
Wednesday I woke up feeling not-so-great. A quick trip to the doc revealed a case of bronchitis. Nice. Thank you spring allergies. Ah well, a dose of steroids and antibiotics and we'll clear it all up. Hopefully I'm miraculously all better tomorrow.  I'm watching these sweet girls on Friday and Saturday . . . 
Aren't they precious? This photo was taken during the family maternity shoot. Baby Merkel is due in the next three weeks or so! 
Isn't Baby Merkel's mommy just beautiful? She's glowingly gorgeous!

Time with the Merkel girls means time with the Merkel cat.
Oh Leia, how I've missed you! She almost looks sweet and cuddly in this photo, doesn't she? We'll see just how sweet and cuddly she is come Saturday afternoon.

And with that, I bid you happy Friday, happy weekend!  (and Happy Feline Friday!)


Monday, March 27, 2017

working weekend . . .

I *did* get in some good stitching time over the weekend . . . yay!!  And I managed to play in a wide variety of mediums/techniques, too, so double points for me!

I started off the weekend by tackling the sixth block for my fairy frosted orphan project . . .
I think this block fits right in with the other five, don't you think?
Oh yeah -- can't even tell it's not an original!  LOL!  I didn't get the short block fixed.  Fiddle-dee-dee.  There's always next weekend, right? ;)

I also set my hand up for this little wool trick . . .
Hahaha!  Get it? Card Tricks in Wool! I'll be slow stitching on this for the next week.  I like having projects like this on hand for evening slow stitching. I can't wait to share a finished photo of it!

Sarah, who's one of my favorite enablers, caught my interest in her 'thirds' hexie project, so I decided to order some templates for myself. I had lots of Civil War fabric left from an earlier project and decided it need to be put to use . . .
Have no idea where I'm going with this.
Only that I need to do a LOT more, Hahaha! That's okay -- more evening stitching, right?

I also added to my fabric "Fabergé" eggs collection. Another great use for frosted fairy scraps.
My bunnies are so happy! So am I. I'm really digging these fabric eggs!

And look who we found out and about this weekend in the sanctuary . . .
He's so happy to be above ground! In honor of his 'coming out' for spring, let me share a link to this darling, darling, EPP stuffed turtle ~ Tilly the Turtle ~ to be precise. Another dear "Sarah" friend (who's local and also a pretty good enabler) sent me the link.  The tutorial and pattern are free on Abby Glassenberg's blog, While She Naps.  TOO CUTE!  Hmmmm.  That block that needs repair may have to wait yet another weekend...I think this weekend might see some turtle stitching!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

rooting for a finish . . .

Phew! It's been busy.  Really busy.  I didn't get to spend the time in the Nook over the weekend that I wanted to, but I did sneak in there long enough to finish this topper I'd started earlier in the week:
And to make a couple of fabric eggs, (beware: if you click on the link, you'll be compelled to make them) which I'm totally in love with and plan to make kaboodles of.  (:

I finally found a use for these scrumptious fat quarters I purchased YEARS ago at Cindy of Custom Creation's booth at Paducah . . .
They make the most perfect, ornamental and elegant fabric Easter Eggs!

I was delighted, in my recent purge cleanup of the Nook, to find I had enough of the carrot batik to make the topper for me.  I'd made a couple (one each for the Merkel and Panter crews) three years ago, and had tucked the extra fabric away.  
Yay for me, because I totally love, love, adore this carrot print! In fact, if you look closely at the green and orange egg I made, you'll see I fussy cut a carrot on my Easter egg!  I had to make my topper a little smaller than the first two I made (and the template I made for mine is a little more rounded), but I live in a smaller space (and *I'm* a little more rounded), so it works out nicely. I'm glad I went back and read the post from three years ago when I originally constructed these. That's when I remembered that I'd used green felt for the 'batting' on the leafy stems, which enhances the look, in my very humble opinion!

Saturday we took One Accord out for the first time this year. It was sunny, but cool and WINDY. And I spent most of our day looking like this:
LOL! We were exploring some parts of Tim's Ford we'd never been on before (like, navigating by the map and everything), in preparation for our vacation in May. I saw a couple of homes for sale that would make great B&B or quilter/crafter retreat locations . . .

My favorite was the latter. Absolutely gorgeous location on the point. I did a virtual tour of the grounds and scrolled through pics of the interior - whooooeeeee! 

This week is busy with meetings/events/something every night.  I'm really looking forward to Saturday -- I have yet to try anything with that pesky block (besides trying to block/stretch it, which didn't work) and I want to get on it! Thanks for all the good ideas and encouragement -- I think I know what I'm going to try next.

Happy Wednesday -- have a great rest of the week!


Friday, March 17, 2017

found treasures . . .

One of the issues with RV living is that I can't collect a lot of things without cluttering our space.  I have a really difficult time functioning in clutter -- it doesn't just affect my productivity, but it truly affects my mood. So I admit that a lot of time I find myself using the Nook as a "temporary" drop off space for things in the RV I'm not quite ready to deal with (or don't know what to do with).

So you can imagine, when I went out and did some cleaning in the Nook last Saturday, that there was a fair amount of "stuff" with which I needed to sort and deal! My mom had given me some things (from the big move) from her mom, my Grandma Wadleigh, that she thought I might appreciate. I loved my grandma dearly, but I didn't know her as a quilter, though evidently she was quite talented. 
Grandma, Mom, Me and Baby Jocelyn (1986)
I wish I'd been able to sit and stitch with her!  As it is, this little gem will now be in the Nook . . .
Isn't it darling?  Her button tin! Isn't that scrumptious?  She used a tea tin -- in cheddar, no less -- for her precious button collection. We were kindred spirits, to be sure.  A lift of the lid reveals more fun . . .
Look at all these buttons!  Lots of dainty little button sets -- perfect for little girls (and doll) clothes! But that wasn't all. Evidently she wasn't just a quilter, but an embroiderer as well . . .
All that gorgeous floss! Hmmmm, how to put it to use?! There were bits of trim and lace pieces too. And evidently she cut out and saved pieces she liked, like this pretty brown piece:
Isn't that lovely? I also found this pretty little piece:
A darling linen handkerchief.  It looks like pulled thread work. I don't know but that she didn't work that herself, too. She was incredibly talented and accomplished in so many things. One last surprise was an envelope . . .
Her templates for her quilt blocks.  Hexies and dresden plate petals and diamonds, flowers, and bells. All with her handwritten notes for what they were for (and how many she needed).  Even a magazine clipping of a quilt she wanted to replicate. The sweetest was the butterfly block sketched out with color suggestions and how she planned to use it. Unburied treasures, indeed! Or perhaps the proverbial "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow?! Definitely made the 'cleanup' very worth my while!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

something about that space . . .

When it's clean, anyway, there's definitely something about my Nook space that stirs the creative juices!  Since being in there most of the day on Saturday, I've dreamed of sewing and UFOs that become finished, and fabric that I'd forgotten about, but am suddenly anxious to put to work and ideas for new projects.

Whoa, slow down there Tiger . . . beware the ides of March!  ;)

I recently saw this photo on Instagram, posted by Lucy Brennan of Charm About You fame. 
When I saw it, I *immediately* thought of the five orphan fairy frost blocks and the pile of fairy frost fabric (Michael Miller's) that Jean (Creates) had picked up somewhere and sent me (see this post). 
(Oh, and pay no attention to the fact that it was sent nearly three years ago, okay?)

I've played around and used the fabric in projects. A wall hanging here. A table topper there. But I've never been able to decide what to do with those block and how to really use that fabric up.

Until I saw that IG pic. BAM. It clicked and all the pieces fell into place and I knew *exactly* what I wanted to do with those blocks and that fabric. Oh my yes, I did know. And I have a burning desire to work on it immediately, too!

I have two problems.  One is not so big.  I need a sixth block.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do about that, until I got to looking at the blocks in My Orange Crush.
Surely any one of those blocks would fit in well with the blocks already prepped. I feel better already.

The second problem I need some help/advice/coaching on. All of the blocks are 10.5" (unfinished). Except one. 
This particular block is 10"ish. One side measured 10.25", one measured 10". What do I do about that?  I've got more of the background fabric--should I just sew a generous strip around on all sides and then square it down to the appropriate dimensions? Someone please tell me how to make this work using the block!  I don't want to create an additional block if I can help it.

Any idears?  Please and thank you!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

excuses, excuses . . .

Do you remember me?
I was a little shocked to realize I hadn't posted since January 7th.  I mean, I knew it had been a while, I just hadn't realized it had been quite that LONG of a while!  And I do have a ton of good (and passable) excuses, but no point in putting you through all that, eh?

Weather here in North Alabama has been crazy.  After serving up record high temps (we're talking upper 70's, right at 80's) in January and February, we woke up this morning to snow.
By noon it was gone, but there's snow in the forecast for Tuesday, too.  Must be the "coming in a like a lion" deal.  I'm ready for the lamb. And boat weather.  :)

I was able, at practically the last minute, to get in on the annual quilting retreat our stitcher's group does at Grand Oak Retreat. Last year I'd been unable to go and so I lost my place. This year the gal who'd taken my spot found herself with a conflicting commitment and was unable to go to retreat. So two weeks prior, I got a call saying there was a spot available. Yay! 
Of course I didn't have a lot of prep time, and I ended up not taking my machine, instead taking a lot of hand work projects I wanted to either wrap up or spend some time on. I finished up this cute hexie snowman runner . . . 
I really love this fun little piece! And I did some much overdue work on the wool strawberry mat I started in ... July.
It's coming along, though I still have some work to do on it. I hadn't figured out Steam-A-Seam when I first drafted this/cut it out, which has made it kind of tricky to work with. ;)

In my last post we had just celebrated Ellie's 5th birthday. In February we celebrated my mom's birthday (her first birthday in Alabama). 
And then we turned around and celebrated Joc's birthday!
Yesterday was Kim's birthday and today is Sawyer's, and I hate having to celebrate those from a distance. But we did get to sing happy birthday via FaceTime (again, technology for which I'm oh-so-grateful)!

You probably don't realize this, but as a little experiment, last year Todd and I left Christmas (from 2015) up in the RV for the entire year.  Ellie and Evey just loved it (and so did Todd and I), but I have to admit that by the year's end, I was ready to take it all down.  I missed putting up my *other* seasonal things during the year.  Like Valentine's . . .
And it gave me an excuse to whip up this sweet little Valentine hearts candle mat in wool:
Hahaha! Last weekend I was thinking about putting out Spring/Easter decor, but I'm so hard pressed to do that when it reverts back to cold and grey.  So this was as far as I got . . .
It's there and ready, when the weather cooperates a tad! I also went through my quilt pieces and was surprised to realize I don't have ANYthing springish for the mini stand.  Hmmmm.
So yesterday I finally made it out to the Nook. It was in desperate need of 'organization/cleaning' and I spent the morning doing just that. After lunch it was respectable and I was ready to roll and put together a quick and easy piece that makes me smile . . .
The applique was one I'd done as a sample for my faux applique lecture at our guild's applique round robin a couple of years ago. I whipped up some pinwheels, bordered it, quilted it, and put the binding on it.  Easy peasy! And Spring-y!

I've been enjoying this season of Lent, walking through a new devotion, 40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Hunger. A Different Kind of Fast, by Alicia Britt Chole.  So far it's been absolutely marvelous and I'm really enjoying it. I hope to have some concrete news on where we've been re-assigned, soon, too!  And that about catches y'all up with me!  Have a splendiferous week ahead!