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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!



There is so much to be thankful for.  Family, friends, things large and small. Everyday miracles.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thank You

to those who have served and are currently serving in our armed forces.  And a big thank you as well to their families.  

Our lives would be very different without your service.  I am eternally grateful.


Friday, November 3, 2017

The Names Have Been Changed

to protect the guilty.  Could this be you?

Yes, it's time for a reminder to clean your machines.  They work hard for us and ask so little.  A bit of canned air, a little oil, some lubricant, a new needle, a gentle wiping off of dust.  

I'm hoping that this is not what you find when you open the bottom....


Yes, that is an enormous amount of lint and a ... what the!?!? ... PIN!

Even lint around the gears at the other side of the machine.


Oh, MY!!!!  In the owner's defense, she had just acquired the machine and she was as shocked as the rest of us.  


In the end, this machine was spic and span inside and out and ran like a top.  She breathed a sigh of relief that she was now in good hands that would not let this happen again.

The moral of the story?  A little TLC and maintenance go a long way to keeping that machine humming along.  

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Optical Illusion

Doesn't this look like smoke coming out of these trees?  Lucky for us, it is just a cloud formation.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Good Things Come...

to those who persevere!  Here are two ladies with proof!

Joanne finished Bliss Doubled recently.  The center is all hand pieced and appliqued.  Don't you love the border stripe!  Absolutely stunning, Joanne!


And Judy E (you can just see her lovely hair above the quilt) finished Monthly Bliss 3.  The blocks are all hand pieced.  Check out those points!  That's Karen H standing at the left--she's our "Quilt Vanna"!  Soft, serene, breathtaking...ahhhh, it's a beautiful quilt.  


I am so proud of these ladies.  Have pictures of your Sharon Stroud projects, flimsies or finished?  I'd love to share them here.  

Happy November!  Just regular rain today.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Catching Up a Bit

Back in September, we met again to do a skill-builder class at Patchwork Plus.  This time it was the Acrobats block with quarter-square triangle units and squares.  It's not easy to keep all those points sharp, but these gals did an excellent job!

Here's the official portrait.

Pat A, Gale, Sharon N

And the candid!  (Gale bet me I wouldn't put it on the blog.)


There was a bit of white rain this morning....

Sunday, October 29, 2017

It Pays to Look Down

And to pay attention!  Look what we found in my brother's driveway!

Pretty good job of blending in.


Look at those claws!


What a cute face--and check out that "turtleneck"!  


Happy start to the new week.  The end of October and the beginning of November, capped off with the end of Daylight Savings Time.  A trifecta of change!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Twenty Years Ago

I did all the prep for this quilt by Linda Brannock.  And I appliqued four centers.  And then it got put aside until today.  You can see that I am not taking my color cues from Linda.  I've got vibrant greens, yellows, oranges, and browns from light to very dark.  Hers is called Homespun Prairie.  Mine is Prairie Sunflowers.


A small sampling of the blocks; these are the eight I have the centers done.


Each time I start a new project, I start an index card, noting the name, design source (me or someone else), dates worked on, etc.  Here's the one for this quilt in progress.  (Bet you wondered how I knew this was 20 years old!)


I also noted the four centers I appliqued today on the back of the card.  When the quilt is finished (hopefully before another 20 years pass!), I will add the end date and the finished size.

It was quite a treat to see fabrics from 20 years ago; 25 greens, 25 oranges/yellows, and 25 browns.  75 different fabrics so far!  I now have this out where I can see it more frequently, so perhaps I will be more apt to work on it.  I also have the setting and backing fabrics in the bag with the book, pattern pieces, etc.  Luckily this is not one of the projects I started long ago and now no longer like!

Happy October, everyone!

Blissfully,
Sharon

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Please Read This

A long-time admirer of Susan Branch, I am always thrilled when there is a new blog post.  Her artwork is beautiful, as is her photography and general life philosophy.  I stopped in today and was fascinated by her post.  You can access it here Susan Branch.  

Lots of food for thought, interspersed with grace and beauty.  Check it out!

Blissfully,
Sharon


P.S.  There are still a few places left in my Care and Feeding of Your Featherweight class on Saturday, September 30, 10:30-2:30, at Patchwork Plus in Marcellus.  For more information or to register, call 315-673-2208.  Your machine will thank you!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mark Your Calendars!!!!

This is a quilt show you do not want to miss!  The Tompkins County Quilters Guild always does a great job with their show.  And check out the silent auction for a small gem you can't live without!


Here's the pertinent info:



Is it hot enough?  I know some of you are enjoying it and wishing it had happened during usual summer months.  Can you imagine being in an un-airconditioned classroom trying to learn something as your brain melts and leaks out your ears?  Me either....

Blissfully,
Sharon

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Oh No...


I think they're gaining on me!!!!



Yep, here come those turkeys now!!!!


HeHe!  I just couldn't resist.  Hopefully that will start off your day with a smile.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Just taking a moment

Diane G. was right on the money for the location of yesterday's picture--Alexandria Bay, NY, near the International Bridge.  A little somthing/something will be headed your way.  

And Pat B. wasn't far off the mark!

It was a beautiful time to be near the water.  What beautiful colors; love the shadows.


I stayed at the lovely Pinehurst on the St. Lawrence.  You can find out more about it at www.pinehurstcottages.com.  

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Blissfully,
Sharon

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Look Back

Happy students from the April skill-builders class. And, yes, we used half- and quarter-square triangles cut to the correct size. No trimming but the dog-ears! And those points are sharp! Great job, ladies!!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Stuff to Ponder



"It is a friendly heart that has plenty of friends."  William Makepeace Thackery


"He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything."  Arabian Proverb


"To speak kindly does not hurt the tongue."  Proverb


"The willingness to take risks is our grasp of faith."  George E. Woodberry


"The way to gain a friend is to be one."  Jules Michelet


And my favorite:  "It takes a long time to become young."  Pablo Picasso


Blissfully,
Sharon

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Miss Quilty Manners Says...

The first week of September...looked forward to with great anticipation by all parents of school age children.  No one wants to rush the summer, but....

For many of us, the new year begins in September, not January.  I know that when I am scheduling quilting classes, I consider a "term" from September to June.  And that means a new "term" is beginning!

Let's review "Workshop/Classroom Etiquette"!  Feel free to share this with ALL students, quilters or not.

Students may not be aware of ways in which they may inadvertently disturb classmates and teachers. Here are some suggestions to help you.

1. Arrive on time; and if you must leave early, do so quietly. Let the teacher know that you will be leaving early, but do not request extra time of her because of that. Do not abuse the teacher's class time with problems concerning unrelated personal quilting projects. Be prompt when returning from lunch or break.

 2. Be alert; listen to the teacher the first time she says it. Then, if you do not understand, you can ask questions. Refrain from answering questions for the teacher.

 3. Need help? Ask the teacher, not your classmates. Not only will you get the correct information but you will not distract a fellow student. Raise your hand when seeking assistance from the teacher; but don't monopolize her time.

 4. Keep talking to a minimum and do not interrupt or talk while the teacher is lecturing. Excessive talking distracts both your classmates and the teacher. Try not to repeat instructions out loud. 

5. Be prepared. Have all necessary materials and equipment listed for your workshop/class. You are responsible for obtaining and bringing your own materials. You may want to assemble a "traveling" bag that contains your basic sewing tools (i.e., scissors, markers, thread, etc).  The number one rule for your dedicated traveling bag?  Do NOT remove anything from it while you are at home!  That's how supplies for class are forgotten.

6. If you must have liquids with you, they should be in spill-proof containers.  Murphy's Law says that spilled drinks always end up on your classmate's work, never yours. If you bring food, try to make it something that you can eat quietly and neatly.

 7. Even if the class is not your cup of tea (too hard, too easy, not what you expected), don't spoil it for others. Attitude is catching! You can always learn something! 

8. The workshop/class handouts are not to be copied or taught without the teacher's permission.

9. You enrolled in the workshop/class because you wanted to learn from this particular teacher. If your usual procedure is different than what is being presented, try the new way.  You may find that you like it better, or that  there is a part that you can incorporate into what you normally do.  

Now let's go learn some new stuff!  Happy fall, everyone!

Blissfully,
Sharon

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Fussy Cutting

Why is it that I never tire of fussy cutting fabric?  These horses were a perfect fit for these 1.5 inch hexagons.  I am embarking on a hexagon journey to make almost 200 3-inch finished hexagon blocks for a fairly large quilt.  I am using the theme of "These are a few of my favorite things" and this was the first block I did.  I have around 50 done now.  The fabrics for each block are chosen independent of others that have been made.  If variety is the spice of life, this quilt will be TANGY!


Enjoy your Labor Day!

Blissfully,
Sharon

Saturday, September 2, 2017

More Quotes



"You will never "find" time for anything.  If you want time you must make it."  Charles Buxton


"Every day should be distinguished by at least one particular act of love."  Johann Kaspar Lavater


"Allow yourself to enjoy each happy moment in your life."  Steve Maraboli


"A happy life is one sent in learning, earning, and yearning."  Lillian Gish


Blissfully,
Sharon




Friday, September 1, 2017

Who Knew!

Truthfully, I didn't!  Slugs (who don't have shells) eat most of my iris blossoms and leaves, and do quite a bit of damage here.  But a bit ago, I found this snail ascending my door frame (outside!).  Photo op!


Check out the cool patterning on the pale parts and on the shell.



This is the best pic of all!  


September already.  Labor Day Weekend.  Yes, I'm still quilting.  Yes, I am still horsing around.  Lots of news to share over the coming days.  But I thought this would really get your attention ;-)

Blissfully,
Sharon

Friday, August 11, 2017

What kind?

of winter will it be? This is the first (and only) wooly-bear I've seen. Typically the amount and placement of black markings indicates when the worst storms will be.  Did you notice--NO black! Here's hoping! (No I don't do winter sports....)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

So Long, Bye Bye

What to do?  With those bent, broken, dull needles and pins.  Over the years I have collected them in a variety of decorative containers (and some NOT so decorative!).  Salt/pepper shakers work great for needles and pin with almost no heads (like the one on the left).  Because I use pins with larger glass heads, it was a hassle to unscrew the top each time I had something to insert.  Enter...the cheese shakers with larger holes!  Almost everything will go in.  For traveling:  a small plastic box that pins originally came in.  I carry this in my Featherweight cleaning kit and collect used needles in classes.  


But now those containers are full.  Always remember that these are "sharps"--just like in hospitals, etc.  No one should have to take a chance of being poked.  So here is how I dealt with this situation this week.

I removed the labels from some old prescription bottles (which many people use to collect sharps in and then dispose of them in the same container).  And a cardboard box which I reinforced with duct tape--lots and lots of duct tape!  The needles and pins were transferred to the bottles and the box (I had lots).


Then I sealed all of the bottles and the box with duct tape.  I labeled each container and then put them in my recycling.  


Easy peasy, everyone safe...ahhh, a sigh of relief, and I have empty containers to start collecting again!  This was several years' worth.  In the glass containers they are pretty with the silver and the colored pin heads.  I try to keep a container wherever I sew; no excuses for stray pins and needles.

While you are blog reading, check out Becky Goldsmith's post on washing your fabrics here.  She said it so well that I am not going to repeat it.

That's all I know for tonight.  Please share any ways you have of disposing of used needles and pins--there might be a prize for the best suggestion!

Blissfully,
Sharon

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Tumbling Blocks Flimsy

Tumbling Blocks.  Super easy to do by hand, even with the "dreaded" Y-seam.  It's so easy to get a 3D look with just one template!

These diamonds finish at 1.5 inches per side.  They are assembled into units of 3 (easy to take with you) and can then be arranged and sewn together.  


The best part?  The neatness on the back!  Did you know that if you press each 3-piece unit exactly the same (clockwise or counterclockwise) the units fit together with opposing seams?  Who knew!?!?


Notice the furling of the seam allowances where six seams meet.  No bulk!


Even the unit seams furl (see furl at right below).  Notice the "trimmed" seam allowances?  Again, no bulk, and no shadowing of a dark fabric under a light.  I do trim both light and dark to reduce bulk and to make it easier to quilt (hand or machine).  Just be sure to NOT trim light and dark on the same seam.  That just gives you the same problems with less seam allowance ;-)  


Have I mentioned how much I love hand piecing?  Contrary to popular opinion, it's faster than setting in seams by machine and it's so portable.  Have you tried it yet?  (This is not EPP; no whip stitching involved or basting over paper, etc.)

Blissful hugs,
Sharon

Friday, July 21, 2017

Meow

Dickens reminded me that he's been absent from the blog for quite a while.  Enjoy!




Blissful July hugs,
Sharon

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In My Spare Time

A couple months ago, a friend asked me to make some bedding for a doll cradle she had found at a sale.  Yes, I've made small quilts before, but never bedding--a challenge.

I had several small packs of fabric samples, roughly 2.5 inches square.  Yes, I did wash them--which made them varying sizes and not all 2.5 inches.  So I found the smallest square and cut every one the same.  I did spend some time laying these pieces out (I had more than I needed and eventually eliminated until I had this).


Knowing that it was going to a 2-year old, I machine quilted through each square to create a diagonal grid.  Light yellow thread was used on top and in the bobbin.

Here's the back:  Grandma LOVES tea!  So what could be more perfect!  (This is an older Diane Knott piece that I had in my stash.)  

I bound it in yellow solid (French double fold).


Here's the cradle--clean and shiny.  I made a small flannel pillow, stuffed with cotton.


And a mattress made from a new material that can be outside and does not retain water or smell funny.  I also made a cover for the mattress, also from the blue striped flannel.  (The stripes run the opposite way of the pillow.)  To make it more user friendly, I used the Kam snaps to close the cover, making it very easy to remove for washing.


Grandma and Grandpa loved it and so did the recipient!  It's been in use every day! 


So I have not been idle while I've been away from the blog.  I did try to post from my phone several times but they never showed up on the web.  Go figure....

Blissful (but quick; it's so darn hot) hugs,
Sharon