Sunday, February 28, 2010

What I've Been Doing

Over the weekend I finished my cross stitch sampler. Remember that the original chart is at Blackbird Designs (see Blog Roll). One of the other stitchers who had a picture of her finished project posted had inserted her Great Danes' names instead of the original stitcher's. So I decided to add the names of the three boxer girls who have graced my life thus far--Sandy, Ginger and Lynnie. Because the chart is not meant to be perfect (no W, borders not consistent) I decided to just wing adding the names (okay, I did chart the names, but not their placement on the piece). I also took artistic license in adding Stroud and 2010, but it all fit and I love it. Now I am on the hunt for perhaps a pink toile to frame it with. The colors are actually darker than they appear here. (And, as always, the not straight photos are all my fault--the cross stitch is perfectly straight.)

A friend's husband is undergoing cancer treatments, so I finished a hat to help keep him warm. Tomorrow is the day it will be washed and dried to remove all the Lynnie and Callie hair and other sundry lint. No sense in doing it too far ahead or there will be more. Soon the hat would be worn out from washing alone!

Stay warm!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Couple of Pictures

In the last post I told you about the blocks I finished and the pillowcases. I thought you might like to see pictures of them--or this would be yet another picture-less blog. Just sayin'.

Machine pieced, 6 inch finished blocks. All batiks.

The fabric for the pillowcases is Willow by McKenna Ryan for Hoffman. One of the quilt shops had a buy one yard, get one yard free sale. Two pillowcases for about $10. And they are wide enough to actually get the pillow in without a wrestling match. I am a plain jane pillowcase girl. No fancy additions--just a yard of fabric and a bit of straight sewing and I am done. These will be perfect with my (gasp) deep purple sheets.

I think I am finally on the mend. I wish I had stock in Puffs and Mucinex. It took almost two days for my voice to come back fully. Still coughing a bit, but I am way better than earlier in the week.

Double class in Syracuse tomorrow--keep your fingers crossed that we don't get the freezing rain before I get home.

Do you all have Daisy sour cream where you live? It's just delicious, but there is also an unexpected (okay, only unexpected the first time) surprise when you take off the lid. There are little messages and beautiful pictures on the foil liner. Mine recently said "Little acts of kindness can add up to a lifetime of happiness." Let's spread happiness this week--we all could use some.


P.S. Congratulations, Di&Co at on your one-year blog anniversary! Way to go!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

No Voice

It's what you've all been waiting for--Sharon with no voice! As I tried to answer the phone first thing this morning, imagine my surprise when all I did was make weird noises! Luckily the caller was someone I knew and did not think I was pulling a naughty prank! It has not improved, but I am hopeful for tomorrow. Or at least by Monday when I have two classes! I guess everyone will literally have to hang on every word if all I can do is whisper!

Must be being mute has made me more productive. I made a pair of pillowcases, finished two 6 inch blocks, made seam guides, cleaned my Featherweight, knitted on a shawl and on the green hat. Did I tell you the continuing saga of the gray hat? When I saw it again about a week after its return, it looked like it had grown dreadlocks! Of course, I pointed that out right away and said, "Don't tell me!" Sure enough, the same dog got hold of it and ripped out most of the repairs I had made before. My very firm response was "I'm out of that yarn and I'm not going there again!" You have to understand that I absolutely hate to mend and especially knitted stuff--I barely know enough to get the stuff made to begin with, much less mend it later.

On another note, have you noticed on television that many of the female cops, CSIs, agents, etc. seem to wear really high heels and very low necklines? Is there a point--other than ogling? How do real law enforcement women feel about how they are being portrayed? I couldn't even get out of the car with high heels, much less chase a perp down a dark, garbage-strewn alley. Shall I just say "Film at Eleven"?

I took the rabbit pics earlier today--just outside my sewing room window. The entire rabbit family is making inroads on my shringle bush--but the snow is so thick they are probably having trouble finding other things to eat. Okay, that's my story....

That's all for tonight. Enjoy the silence while you can.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Night

I firmly believe that my Wednesday night Baltimore Block of the Month class is jinxed. We have now had to reschedule this month's class twice! At this rate, February will run into March's date--yikes!!! Every year I find there is one class that seems to suffer the same fate--reschedulings because of weather. I am tired of winter--we are being inundated with snow as I write.

Here are a couple head-scratchers for you. I have been doing crossword puzzles in an attempt to forestall Alzheimer's. But get this:

Italian money: lire and lira

Odd: eerie and eery


Extraordinary thing: oner

And that's just what I remember from today!

See you on the flip side!

Hugs to all,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Did everyone have a most excellent Valentine's Day?

The sun was out briefly today, but the wind was gusty, so full coverage of all extremities was necessary. I'm beginning to think it will never warm up and be spring. (Yes, yes, I know it is only mid-February but winter has dragged on much too long already.)

This is a snippet of one of my new designs. Reverse appliqued. Top not quilted yet. Another to add to the "To Be Quilted" pile. The basting for the applique took almost three hours, so this is definitely not class fodder.

Just listened to The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry. Excellent!

Today I got to spend some time with six wonderful women doing something we all love--hand piecing. Several of these ladies had not hand pieced before and were not sure they would like it--but now they are wondering how they lived without it! Portable, faster than getting dedicated time on your sewing machine, quiet, zen-like. Ahhhh, the Bliss of Hand Piecing.

I will try to post more often this week. I still feel like I am running from one thing to the next as fast as I can go--but I seem to be going backwards! Hope you are going forward!



Sunday, February 7, 2010

Still Alive

I was almost not going to post tonight, but I knew there would be trouble if I didn't. It appears that I have stepped onto a super fast escalator or something, and I can't seem to stop long enough to take a breath, much less post.

In the last two days, I have completed the basic applique on my ruching sample, knitted on a hat, painted (with my brother) my mom's kitchen ceiling, groomed eight horses, broke ice out of buckets and refilled them, got hay down, worked at a Super Bowl Sale at Pucky Huddle Delight, waited almost two hours for two pizzas that I never did get (note to everyone: Never order pizza on Super Bowl Sunday), and have finished handouts for another applique class. Tired yet? I know I am! So I am going to finish this, finish packing for tomorrow's classes and then collapse into a chair for a few minutes and then drag myself off to bed.

Pictures will return.

Hugs to all,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Checking In

Just a quick note tonight to let you know that I am still alive. Designed four new applique projects yesterday and have one almost half appliqued.

Just finished listening to Skeleton Coast by Clive Cussler. It took me two years to get the audio book from the library system...but it was definitely worth the wait! It pulled characters in from three of the series and was fabulous. Scott Brick is the reader--he does an excellent job.

In book form I am reading Miss Julia Delivers the Goods by Ann Ross and Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton.

And just for fun, today I bought myself a pink hoof pick! I am armed and ready!

Stay warm and do something wonderful for yourself today. A bit of chocolate, perhaps?


Monday, February 1, 2010

A Wee Bit of Applique

Here's a bit of what I was working on yesterday. It is at least half again bigger in the picture than it is in applique. The center is about the size of my little finger nail. All needle turn--not "finger-press-me-under-stitch-me-down" applique. Just sayin'....

This particular project is a block of the month with nine different flowers. I have all the blocks done now and was going to do an attic windows set, but may have come up with a different plan. Nothing is set in stone until it is stitched, and even then, I know how to rip and am not afraid to. To that end, I had completed a quilt top that consisted of hand pieced blocks and machine setting. There was one block that I just didn't like and, after several years of looking at it, ripped it out and set in a new block. I am happy, the quilt is happy (although still unquilted). I guess that's why sometimes it pays to let things set a bit before quilting. I definitely wouldn't have taken the block out of a quilted piece.

Here's a glimpse of one of the other blocks in the series. Sorry about the blurriness--not intentional.
That's it for now. I have been working on a new design to include circle ruching--am on the second or third iteration and am still not really happy. So I am going back to work.

Hugs to all!

P.S. I have updated my schedule on the website, so please take a look if you are within driving distance. And February 9 is the last date to get in on the hand pieced hexagon class if you are still trying to decide.