Wednesday, January 29, 2020

french knots and hearts . . .

It's only appropriate that the embroidery that I put together for our road trip weekend . . .
Was finished just as we entered the last mile into the camp!
Full circle (full heart?), I'd call that!  Here it is in better lighting . . .
I still need to spray out my markings and decide what to do with it now that the stitching is finished.  Heh.

Several of you have asked about where I found my pattern.  It was a vintage freebie from French Knots.  If you've never visited their website and you're an embroidery enthusiast, oh yeah, you really need to!  They have tons of sweet vintage embroidery transfers for all occasions.  That being said, the one I just stitched (saved about six years ago), isn't on the site any longer, so the owner must rotate designs on and off the site. So if you see something you like, download it now!  Just click on the design you want to save, right click on it, and choose 'save image as'.  Presto!  Then all you have to do is print it off and transfer it to fabric!
This is the transfer from which I got my design.  If you'd like it (since it does say free on it), just let me know!

The owner also has a selection of vintage crochet, quilting patterns and applique patterns to peruse.  It's a fun page to wander around through, but the embroidery part is my favorite.  Hop over and find something sweet to stitch up!   
This is what I plan on putting needle and floss to next.  Yummy, right?! I love lazy daisy stitches and French knots! Plus the transfer process is so much simpler. Have I ever mentioned that transferring designs is my least favorite embroidery task?  LOL!

On a quick quilting note, I had my third quilting class last evening. We talked about the sashing, cornerstones, and borders. Here's a tentative of how mine will look (though I will probably rearrange blocks a bit) . . .
It's fun to have your class in a quilt shop where if you don't like the fabrics you have, you can just go pull something different and actually audition it before you buy it!  I did like the way mine looked, but I think (after seeing works from classes past) I'm going to add four more blocks -- with four patches in the corners instead of HSTs -- and put those in the four corners of the quilt.  Then add the sashing, cornerstones, and borders. Whew!

All rightie then . . . it's hump day (but it's really my Thursday).  So onward march towards the weekend!  Enjoy!


Sunday, January 26, 2020

weekend goings . . .

Todd and I got on the road yesterday afternoon and headed to Tuscaloosa for a missions conference.  We stayed overnight at the Bama B&B!
It's a really pretty place and I'll share more about that later.

I finished up granddaughter Olivia's patchwork doll quilt . . .
Just a simple finish.  It's sweet! I'll get this out in the mail to her on Monday.

I also finished block 20 of my Grandmother's Choice BOM.
I had trouble with the points on this one.  I may (*may*) go back and fiddle with it. I also may not. 
This is a better representation of what's done and what's actually left.  LOL! The holes in the first three rows are where I skipped a block that looked too tough.  Haha!

I prepped a little stitchery to take on the road and have to work on in our down time today:
Just a little heart. I had the pattern saved on my computer from somewhere. Quick work.
I've gotten a little done.  May finish it up on our way home today ... slow stitching and all!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts.  Enjoy a slow stitching Sunday!


Thursday, January 23, 2020

degrees of done . . .

I had a lovely, productive Monday off ... I love extra long weekends!  First of all, I made scones from scratch. Here they are ready to go in the oven . . .
They are a bit of work! But I made additions and adjustments to the basic recipe I have on file and they were worth the effort.  Cranberry Orange Pecan & Cardamon Scones.  Delish.
I short baked ten of them (it made twelve) and froze those, so I could bring one into work, pop it into the oven, and have it with my afternoon tea at my desk.  Again ... delish!

Then I got busy in the Nook.  I had everything prepped and just had to sew, trim, and sew a bit more.  And now look what I have . . .
I got them all done, plus my bonus three!  Yay! I've been playing around with different settings, trying to determine if I want to finish it exactly as the class sample is finished (well, plus the extra row).  I still really haven't decided.  But I've got time ... and the fabric.  *wink*

In the evenings I've continued to work on my Snow Sampler.  Look what I did:
I *finished* it!  LOL!  I believe I'm going to back this with batting and frame it.  It would look cute on my snowflake mat with a jaunty little snowman figurine, or a white snowflake candle (or both!), don't you think?!
Yeah, I think so too!   I'm also thinking I probably should have participated in The Winter Blues blog hop!  

That's it for me.  Today's my Friday and Todd and I are headed south to a missions conference this weekend, but I'll be back with some slow stitching to share on Sunday.  Have a great weekend!


Sunday, January 19, 2020

productivity . . .

It's been a productive week and I've gotten in some quality time towards my crafts (and I use that word in the highest sense of its definition) almost every day, thanks to some lunch time stitching.  In the class I'm taking we started to put together our first block, which I was able to finish:
It's a small class this go around, which is nice ... everyone gets the one-on-one if they need it. I'm learning some new things, too, which is awesome!

I decided to go ahead and make a fabric spreadsheet, to help me keep straight which fabrics were going where . . . 
I love organizational stuff like this; I daresay it's my forte! 

I also decided to go ahead and add another row of blocks, so it'll be 3 by 4, instead of 3 by 3.  I input it into EQ, just to get an idea of how much more fabric I'd need (if any).
The only print that's actually from my quilt is the focal/border fabric.  The rest is just pretty close. Close enough to give me a fairly good representation.  The only thing I needed more of was the focal, and that's only because I fussy cut my center blocks.

Our Stitcher's Etc. group had a stitch-in on Saturday.  That allowed me to get everything cut and prepped!
I like production/assembly work, so now everything I need to construct each block is pinned together and I can focus on stitching them together.  We also discussed our 2020 block swap at the stitch-in . . .
This should be very fun and very scrappy happy!  We have 20 participants!

I went home and took my stuff out to the Nook.  Since I was already there, I went ahead and made a  second block.  
Yeah, I'm loving this one!  I have Monday off, so I'll be out in the Nook at work on the rest of the blocks! Our class homework was to have four to six blocks finished. But we don't have class this week, so I will try to have all twelve finished. Since two are done and everything's prepped, I feel that's *very* doable.

If you visited last week, I talked about my owl and pussy-cat scissors and alluded to a bigger story.
I posted about it here, just in case you're interested!

My handwork is coming along, too!  Last night I finished the final block in the piece. 
I had left this one until last because it looked the most difficult, but it was so much fun to do those cross-hatches on the scarf!
Now all that's left are the border stitches.  I hope to make that my slow stitching for this afternoon!  :)

I really do need to finish this one up ... because guess what came in the mail on Friday?
LOL!  I can't seem to help myself!  This is another Kathy Schmitz sampler.  Isn't it cute?  ♥ Viva l'amour!

Linking up today with Kathy's Quilts and her slow stitching post!  Have a happy Sunday--and if you're off tomorrow, enjoy that, too!  


Friday, January 17, 2020

the owl and the pussy-cat . . .

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
     In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of
     Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
     And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
     What a beautiful Pussy you are,
          You are,
          You are!
     What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
     How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married; too long we have 
     But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
     To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
     With a ring at the end of his nose,
          His nose,
          His nose,
     With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one 
     Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married 
          next day
     By the turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
     Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
     They danced by the light of the moon,
          The moon,
          The moon,
     They danced by the light of the moon.

Edward Lear
So there's the poem. It's a darling, nonsensical poem, full of fanciful imagery and humor!  
Or is it?  So here's the rest of the story . . .

My maiden name is Fowler.  Here is the family crest:
That is an owl at the top ... Sapiens Qui Vigilat:  He is wise who watches.

Subsequently, many of my dad's aunts/uncles (and consequently wives, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and so on ... you get the picture) collect owls.  
This collection belonged to my Great Uncle Bill Fowler.
My mom has a huge collection of beautiful owl pieces.  And I have a great affinity for them; they even regularly show up in my stitching.  
Everett's Owl Quilt; Joc picked the fabrics.
Jocelyn does too, and even Ellie, at eight, has a nice collection of them!

The thing is, my mom's mom was also a terrific historian and was very keen on her family's history.  She was a (Mac)Bean, and her family crest was thus . . . 
Yes, that's a cat--although I wouldn't [dare] call it a pussy-cat; at least not to its face!  (Don't touch this cat without a shield, is the translation of the motto!)  Mom has a cute collection of cats, too!

So, owl and pussy-cat, my dad and mom ... it could be the end of a cute correlation.  But wait, there's more!

In the story, the cat (girl) proposes to the owl (boy).  Well 1960 just happened to be a leap year (like this year is)! On February 29th, 1960, a day fondly known as Bachelor's Day, my mom proposed to my dad (as a joke).  She was a little shocked when he accepted! But they were married later that year! (My dad did buy a ring and make a proper proposal!)
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
     They danced by the light of the moon,
          The moon,
          The moon,
     They danced by the light of the moon.

So there's the story behind my love for owls and pussy-cats.  It all makes purrrrfect sense now, right?  And what a fun tale to be able to share with my children, grandchildren and so on!  (And it will one day earn it's rightful place as a quilt or stitchery of its own.)
Even Leia, wearing the owl hat, wants to be a part of the tail tale!

Thanks for indulging me in the telling.  Have a great weekend!


Sunday, January 12, 2020

forwards and backwards . . .

Because this post covers a lot of time, current and past!  
I finally finished up Ellie's bicycle embroidery, which was a good thing ... her (8th) birthday was Friday and we celebrated last night! It's a simple finish because I didn't want the fabric or the quilting to take away from the piece it was showcasing.  Mission accomplished!  *smirk*  Ellie had her first slumber party on Friday night, so we did family dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Edo's.  Her choice!
I love the complexity of this sweet girl.  For all that she loves girlie things (check out her new sparkly, dangly earrings).
She's also rocking her "Star Wars" necklace (which is just out of the first picture) and wanted a red velvet Star Wars cake (featuring Darth Vader).  Go Ellie!

I had two fun prizes late in 2019 that I forgot to share.  The first was a giveaway from Jacquelynne Steves's Happy Little Things blog hop.  
The book is filled with all sorts of hidden message possibilities, and aren't those little pins darling??

The second was a birthday giveaway from Lyndsey at Sew Many Yarns!
The grunge (*swoon*) was the prize and the pretty Regent Street was a bonus!  Lyndsey had to ship it overseas, so she wasn't sure when it would get to the states.  Her Christmas card of the magi was perfect, because (though it came the day I left for California) I received it just in time for Epiphany!  Thanks, Lyndsey!

Coming a little farther forward, I did want to share my fun haul from the two iconic shops I got to visit whilst in California.  From Temecula Quilt Co. I went a little crazy . . .
Both of her books, a pattern, a kit, some lovely fabrics (including a little cheddar), and some notions.  The sweet little ruler box was gifted to me by Kim (my daughter-in-law)!

From Primitive Gatherings, I got a darling wool kit for ornaments, a wool pattern for a crazy stitched stocking (full sized), some (more) fabric and some more notions . . .
Scissors.  I have a thing for scissors.  And since I had the pussy-cat pair, I decided I needed the owl pair, too!
Tah-dah!  The Owl and the Pussy-Cat! Someday I need to do a post exclusively about that poem and why it's so personal to me! Back to scissors, though . . .
I really do love little scissors.  They are a *needful* thing to me.  *grin* 

Our last trip of that shop-hopping day was a visit to a little tea room called, The Liquid Leaf.  Sweet little place with a marvelous selection of teas *and* freshly baked goodies (in house).
It was Kim's first visit, too, so we ordered and ate/drank (and cheesed around) in the shop.
I came away with two lovely teas (both of which smell as heavenly as they taste).
Vanilla Coconut black tea and Elixir #2 which is a camomile tea.  Yummy!

Now going backwards a LOT (and yet looking to the future, too).  Barbara Brackman is re-introducing Grandmother's Choice BOM, which she did originally in 2012.  I hung with her through almost half the blocks, but then I had my second ankle surgery and it 'crippled' my sewing foot for a while.
So I'm excited to have the nudge to do something with these blocks and get the second half of them finished! I'd purchased Block Base (which has all the blocks in it) to do this BOM, so it's only right that I should complete it.  

Bringing it current . . . 
Slow progress, but progress *is* progress.  This is what I'll be stitching on today, getting in some slow stitching on a Sunday afternoon!  Linking it up with Kathy's Quilts--be sure to check out what the other stitchers are working on.

Happy Sunday!