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!

:)

19 left a comment . . .:

Maker Joy said...

Your hexagons with the snowmen are adorable! What a wonderful treat to be able to go on your retreat.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

You have been busy. Feb is my birth month, too. Love the cute snowman hexies. I didn't decorate for Christmas this year, other than a tree with just lights and 10 ornaments (all collected or given to me since the last Christmas).

Libby in TN said...

Missed hearing from you. Thought maybe you were wrapped up in the move. Grand Oak is a lovely place to retreat. You actually took a bigger hit on the snow that we did on Saturday.

Quilter Kathy said...

Yes we did miss you but we are very patient!
We are here whenever you have time!
So glad you were able to attend the retreat!
Love the snowmen... so adorable!

AnnieO said...

Darling wool mats--love the strawberries as we live in strawberry country. They are everywhere on corner farm stands. Wow, so many birthdays, and those grandkids making time fly so fast.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

We did miss you. Glad you got to go on retreat and tho at a last minute - you took some pretty projects with you. I need to find my mini hanger and get something Spring out - even if we are in a cold snap and another blizzard on the way. AND what a lovely photo of you!!

Karen said...

Nice selection of gray fabrics for the snowmen. I love snowmen.

The Cozy Quilter said...

Sew nice to have you back with the SLow stitchers. Doing handwork at the retreat must have been like a little piece of heaven! Great projects!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Glad to see you back.

Janet O. said...

Hmmm, that face does look familiar...such a pretty lady. Wonder who she is? : )
Wow--our snow has all melted the past few days and we could have record highs coming this week. Some wires have been crossed somewhere!
Happy for you to get to go to your retreat. Those happy snowmen are too cute! And I am glad to see progress on your strawberry mat.
Are all the women in your family so pretty? Every generation just glows--and it isn't because of the birthday candles, either!
I can understand that after a year of Christmas decor it was time for a change--though I am always sad to put Christmas away. My sewing room tree stays up all year.
I love your heart candle mat, and your quick little Spring finish is very sweet.
Looking forward to hearing about your new assignment!

Miaismine said...

I was so happy to find you again! Love all your hand stitching projects! Sometimes that's exactly what I feel like doing - slow stitching! You and your beautiful mats have me inspired to get out my wool again.....after I finish this and that! :) Visiting you from Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts!

Barbara said...

Well, you've obviously kept busy in your absence. It's interesting how birthdays tend to clump up in families. In my family it was during April: Matthew on the 2nd, nephew on the 5th, dad on the 6th, mom and brother on the 9th. Pretty sewing projects.

Dianna said...

Hello Denise,

I am visiting you for the first time because I saw you listed on Marilyn's side bar. I am your newest follower and will definitely be checking in on a regular basis.

Your quilting is beautiful! I love the applique piece you did for spring. My mother-in-law was also a quilter and she especially enjoyed doing applique.

May the Lord continue to bless you and your husband in the ministry He has called you to.

xx
Dianna

Kate said...

Glad to see that all is well in your world, if a trifle busy. Love all the handwork projects. Your new spring mini is very cute. Hopefully this will be the last week of snow. I'm ready for spring.

Missy Shay said...

You've been super busy!

Needled Mom said...

You've been busy while being away from blogging. I LOVE the snowmen hexies. Happy spring.

Creations By Cindy said...

I was so excited to see your post . So glad you got to go to the retreat . I know you had fun as much as you enjoy quilting . You sure do make some pretty stuff . Hugs and blessings , Cindy

SpicingUpIdaho said...

You sure have been busy, I enjoyed the catch-up visit with you! How wonderful that you were able to go the retreat - your handiwork is beautiful. I have never seen a mini-quilt hanger. How awesome that you were able to make that lovely piece so quickly! Quilting is a bit beyond me yet, and I stand amazed at what you created in a short period of time :) Hope you are able to decorate for spring soon... we are currently in a drippy meltdown here... slush, mud and water everywhere, lol.. such is early spring. Can't wait until late spring comes, it is glorious. Hugs to you today :)

Sarah said...

So glad you got to attend the retreat last minute. I find more and more that I just bring my hexies with me instead of tugging the machine back and forth. I do have just a few hexie projects to pick from and I may soon enable you into having several choices too. Bwhahahahahaha!
Loved seeing the family and your decorations!