Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shoo Fly Happiness

Penny E., from the Southern Tier in New York State, sent me this message along with the picture at the end. I have edited the email slightly to remove any identifiers.

"I follow your blog. I have taken a few classes from you and enjoyed them very much. My mom is the real quilter in the family. She is now 86 & made the decision to no longer drive- a hard decision when you live in the country. Quilting gives her great pleasure and fills her days. 

 She now wants me to bring her "mystery quilt patterns". At first I did not know what she meant as we had done a block of the month for years at a shop near us but it was no mystery! I then realized she wanted me to bring her patterns - from my computer-and then help her pick material from her HUGE stash, and then she would make the quilt. So I took her your free pattern you gave us on your blog "Shoo-Fly Friendship Quilt" in Feb. 2012. She loved getting the pattern and we went through her volumes/tubs of stash and came up with a lot of pretty bright fabric.She has now finished the quilt top and I wanted to share it with you and also thank you for this posting and for making my 86 year old mom very happy!" 

Can I just say "Wow"?  This makes my heart sing.  I am so happy that someone used the pattern and took time to share the results.  Anyone else out there who's used the pattern?  Send me photos and I'll post them!

Penny, thank you so much for sharing--and please tell your mom how proud I am of her!

Blissful hugs to everyone!

P.S.  I am listening to Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Presidential Campaign Continues

I've spent most of the day appliqueing on something I cannot show you yet.  So, I decided to move forward with my presidential campaign.

When I am President:

Brown, black and white fabrics will cost less than their more colorful counterparts.  Now, I can see some of you raising your hackles and indignantly saying "But I LOVE brown (insert black or white) fabric.  How dare you infer than it is inferior!"  But wait...your fearless President feels this is a win-win for everyone.  Here's how it works.  For those of us who do not really care for black, white or brown fabric, we can pay less when we need it to complete a project.  For those who LOVE black, white and brown, YOU pay less for fabric you love!  So what's to complain about?  (In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I am not fond of brown fabrics--of which I bought many yards [oops, not the right shades] last year when making Bliss 3--but I do love blacks and whites.  You may have noticed through the last 450+ posts that I tend to work very bright.  But as your President, I promise to make every color fabric available.

Think about it...doesn't it seem wrong to pay as much for black and white fabrics as we do for more vivid, colorful ones?

Have you tried the new Klondike Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches?  They will be the official Presidential ice cream treat.  Previously you could only get vanilla or neapolitan ice cream sandwiches easily.  And these are the best yet!  Chocolate anything will get the Presidential nod.

The best peanut butter cup Presidential Seal of Approval goes to Emily, who shall be the Official Peanut Butter Cup Maker to the President.  

As your future President, I bid you a good night and bestow upon you

Blissful hugs,

Friday, April 27, 2012

Stained Glass Table Runner

Although this has been finished for over a week, it wasn't until today that I finally got pics.  The pattern is from the Snowball ruler set by Creative Grids.

Here it is, tastefully decorated and on the table.

And sans decoration.

I used a print that has Christmas decorations on it for the back, but you hardly notice the design. 

The quilting is done with a technique I call "fracturing".  I took photos as I did the quilting and I will put up a tutorial in the near future.  I thought it made the runner look even more like stained glass.

A detail from the back.

All the fabrics except the blue corners were from my stash and are all batiks.  Except for hand sewing the binding to the back, this is machine done.  

So there you have something I finished!  Who knew?

Blissful hugs,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Rude Awakening

On Monday morning, it definitely didn't look like spring.  My tulips were buried in snow.

The bushes and trees were already wet from the rain and the snow weighed them down--almost to the breaking point.

The cherry tree in blossom--and snow-covered.

The lawn chair I had taken from the shed on Friday.

And this was Tuesday morning.  The spring green leaves contrast so nicely with the snow!

What a weird start to the week.  How has your week been?

Blissful hugs,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bettina's Flower Garden Quilt

Bettina K., from the Watkins Glen area, brought in her finished Flower Garden quilt.  She HAND quilted it--herself!!!!!  It is absolutely beautiful.  Bettina is wise enough to finish her things in a timely fashion.  Unlike someone else you know!

I have a new applique quilt on the design wall.  Will tweak it a bit for a couple days to be sure of the fabric selection before starting the applique.  

What's coming up tomorrow?  Well, you'll have to stay tuned to find out!

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Prolific Pat

Pat S. from the Syracuse area has been very prolific!  She finished her In Baltimore Style applique top from last year.  Love the polka dot circles and cornerstones!  (See the bundled up quilts on the table to the right of Pat's quilt?  Well, those are two Monthly Bliss 2 quilts in twin size.  She hand-pieced the blocks, machine set the tops, had both basted, and has almost finished the hand quilting on one.  And her work is meticulous!)

And she finished appliqueing the Green Thumb blocks from, I think, two years ago, and she did the attic windows set.  Bright and happy, just like Pat!  She's just the nicest lady you'd ever want to meet!  Thanks so much for sharing, Pat!

There are eleven ladies presently working on the Green Thumb blocks at Patchwork Plus in Marcellus, NY. There is just one block left to applique and then it is on to setting.  I can't wait to show you the variety of fabrics being used in this new "crop" of blocks!

That's it for today.  More show and tell tomorrow.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag.  And I am reading Horseplay by Judy Reene Singer.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Love is in the Air

The swallows are back and choosing their houses.  This pair are inspecting a house my dad built many years ago.  There is a bird bath right below it, hollyhocks planted around it and the tree to escape to.  Once the leaves are out on the alder tree, you hardly see the house at all!  Swallows also nest in the two houses mounted on the ladder down the field a bit.  I was surprised to see how rickety the ladder has become; it truly is being held up by the trumpet vine which is entwined around it.

"Well, honey, what do you think?"  

"Well, frankly, that roof is going to need to be fixed and the foundation is definitely not level.  Really, is that the best you can do?  My mother said I shouldn't marry you!"

Apparently, even birds do not have an easy time of it!

Have a great start to the week!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I  have exciting student quilts to share over the next couple posts.  Stay tuned!

P.P.S.  Marion, sorry not to have more time to chat today--so good to see you and DH.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Too Much Fun

Last night I was in Hilton, NY, with the Heart and Hand Quilt Guild.  They came in the door with their Pigma pens in hand, ready for whatever came their way.  

And that was me, complete with samples and handouts for a short course on label-making!  After showing a few samples, we delved right into embellishing their handwriting and then on to simple drawing.  Following a break for delicious desserts, there was more show and tell of labels and then these very talented ladies made their final project:  a wreath they inked themselves with the components learned earlier in the evening.  Simple steps equaled fantastic results!  I wish you could have seen what these budding artists created.  Thank you, ladies, it was a wonderful evening.

Today was spent making several horses smile with massage and extra brushing.  A binding almost sewn down, a bit of knitting, a little me time and a chat with several friends.  A wonderful day.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Hunting Fear by Kay Hooper.

P.P.S.  For the Elmira Heights Bliss 1 ladies, remember our classes are on April 23 and 30.  And I just know you are all smiling ;-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quilt in Progress and a New Visitor

While this is supposed to be a tree skirt, I think I may just use it as a table topper.  It will finish around 36 inches so I think that would be a nice size for the table.  I used the Moda Seasonal Little Gatherings 5 inch squares that I got at Endless Mountains Quiltworks.  When I opened the packets, I was surprised by the variety of colors present.  Black, several browns and tans, dark reds, lighter reds, purple, greens and oranges.  It's half sewn together.  I decided to only agonize about placement for less than one day.  

Apparently my porch is prime nesting territory this year.  In addition to the phoebe shown yesterday, now there is a mourning dove.  Usually they nest in the spruce trees, of which I have many.  It's always interesting to look out the sewing room window!

That's it for tonight.  I may have a full finish to share tomorrow!

Blissful hugs,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Simple Pleasures

This phoebe has been visiting my yard for a couple of years.  Today he decided to pose within camera range.  He has a very distinctive call, so he's easy to identify!  With a little luck, he and his family will be nesting just outside my sewing room window!  I'll keep you posted.

Thursday night one of my students presented me with a dozen red roses!  It brought back memories of my first dozen red roses--given to me by my then-fiance.  It was not unusual for him to bring me flowers every Friday night throughout our marriage--and usually a bouquet for my mom, too.  Thanks, Bobbi, for the roses and for the memories they brought back!

Last week was a time for other surprise gifts as well.  I love wool pincushions and my dear friend Carol brought me one!  The wooden base makes it easy to transport and the pins come in and out with just one hand.  Thanks, Carol!

The little glass basket was a gift on Easter Sunday from my friend Cheryl.  It is so delicate and pretty.  I just love it. 

I am so lucky to have such generous and thoughtful friends.  

Tomorrow I have an almost-finish (or closer to finished) piece as well as the start of the project using the 5" charm squares I got in Pennsylvania.  I've been busy doing some fun things.  Also hosted brunch on Easter Sunday with that luscious breakfast casserole I told you about before.  I also tried my hand at mini muffins--can we just say they were not very successful.  Luckily the regular sized ones came out perfectly.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying spring break if that pertains to you or are having a great week anyways if it doesn't.

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Horsing Around

Feeling frisky!

See my teeth?  Wanna see them closer?
Happy April 1, ya'll!

Blissful hugs,