Friday, July 29, 2016

Splendid Sampler Blocks # 44 - 48 and Weekend Update!

At exactly this moment in time, I am current with the Splendid Sampler Quilt Along.  Fitting in a block here and there has worked well so far.

#44 - Stitch in the Garden - These embroidered blocks have been lovely to work on this summer.

 #45 - Sewing Nut - We have red squirrels in NH!

#46 - Twirl Time

#47 - Circle of Love - A tricky block for me but I love the effect of the finished block.

#48 - Whim - I decided to make this block the one for resting the eyes!

And the wall looks like this right now:

If you follow me on IG, you know that last weekend was our Annual Birthday Party Extravaganza weekend here at the lake.  Our sons all have July birthdays so this timing works out beautifully to celebrate and have some summer fun together.

The weather cooperated and we had a great time (as we always do when together!).  The weekend started with taking the Chicago based side of the family over to visit my mother-in-law in beautiful Maine.  Yes, there was seafood and ice cream as well as a tour of four lighthouses! Great day!

The weekend was full of resting, swimming, cooking, laughing and even a little sewing!

The guys (and gals) decided we needed a corn hole game for the house so off they went to the hardware store for supplies.  And voila!

Of course that meant I had to jump into the sewing room and make bags! This outdoor weight fabric made for some pretty fancy bean bags, don't you think?

Our oldest son is celebrating a BIG birthday this year.  He plays on a vintage baseball team and one of his gifts was a custom shield for the games this next weekend.

My goodness, how did my little baby get to be that old?  And his "little" twin brothers just turned 27. Yikes!  It's true about time flying by when you are having fun!  So blessed!

Happy Friday!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Splendid Sampler Update - Blocks #28 - 43

I know this is not technically a "finish" but I feel like it is a major accomplishment, that I am up to date with the Splendid Sampler blocks!  There continues to be quite a bit of hand sewing, either embroidery or appliqué that really slows me down.  As you will see, I will admit to cheating on a few blocks.

#28 - Stitching Fashion This was a fun block to paper piece, even with some smaller pieces on the dress.
 #29 - Scrappy Happy Heart 

#30 - Simple Surprises

#31 - Blossoming - I took the easy path here and stuck with one color.

#32 - Constant Needle - Having just completed a class, I used a freezer paper appliqué method on this one.  The hand stitching and the curves are not perfect, but I am OK with this!

#33 - Selvage Saver - You know I make these blocks for relaxation therapy so this was a winner!

#34 - Lemonade - Tricky little curves to make this lemon!

#35 - The Wishful Garden - This block introduced me to a few new embroidery stitches.  Fun!

#36 - Inchy Hexagon Club - OK, my mother told me if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.  Sorry mom.  I spent SO much time on this block and I really am not a fan!  Those hexes are tiny, tiny and my attempts to do something clever with the patterns was disappointing.  In frustration, I sewed the hexie flower to the background with a clear monofilament thread.  Notice the puckering?  UGH  I may end up unpicking it and hand sewing it back with cotton.

#37 - Dashing by Chocolate - On the other hand, this block made me very happy.

#38 - Vintage Flower Basket - I used the monofilament to applique on this block and I am fine with the results.  A little cheating, I know, but life is too short to be changing thread all the time!

#39 - Balls in the Air - A real test of paper piecing patience!

#40 - Flights of Friendship - Sorry about all the little threads that show up in these pictures!

#41 - Sew South - Yes, guilty again of monofilament appliqué!

#42 - Pencils - You can certainly guess the color scraps I have the most of!

#43 - Pincushion Love! - So, I was on a roll with all that appliqué work and that disappearing monofilament thread!

The blocks have been sorted by color to see how well they are playing together.  I'm not surprised with the leaning toward cool colors!

Life at the lake has been wonderfully busy this summer.  I really, really want to bust open a quilt project but for now these little 6" blocks give me an excuse to duck into the quilting cave for a few minutes.
Have a lovely day.  Peace.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Pillow for Boba Fetch

Angie and Marty just celebrated their first wedding anniversary!  Marty was our son's roommate all through college and a few years after.  Our son takes credit for introducing Angie to Marty as they were friends first.  And we are so glad he did!  They are a lovely, fun couple with an adorable dog with a great name.  Let me introduce you to Boba Fetch and his doppelgänger pillow:

Look at those ears!  This is an adaptation of a pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts that I have had so much fun with!  Remember this one and these!

My husband and I just returned from a week in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Acadia National Park is one of my favorite places on earth.
The rocky Maine coast, beautiful lush green forests, mountains and lakes combine to make this a very unique National Park.  Numerous trails and the carriage road system provide many choices for hiking, bike riding and just being outside.

It was a perfect place to spend a New England style Independence Day.  Starting off with a massive blueberry pancake breakfast, we found great seats for the Bar Harbor parade that this year celebrated the 100th anniversary of Acadia National Park.
Can you see the sign below the bike that reads 'Early Acadia.'  Dinosaurs, get it?  I thought it was a riot anyway.  And then I met these guys:
1-2-3 Dance...hysterical!  After the parade we rushed over to the races...the lobster races!
In addition to my love of Acadia, we annually leave our house in New Hampshire to our son and his wife who hold a gala July 4th party there (a tradition that started when we had to get our poor dog as far away from fireworks as possible).  First we received this lovely cheese tray from Odin and Nolan (two black labs staying at our house for the weekend).  How sweet!
The next day when we returned from our hiking adventures we had this yummy tray of chocolate covered strawberries from Gus, another four legged guest at the NH house.
And then on July 4th, our grand-dog sent us this bottle of champagne to share as we watched the fireworks from our balcony!  What a thoughtful group of dogs!!
Oh and look what I found!  Please excuse my "exhausted from hiking in the heat" look.  What a cute store in an old bank building with a nice selection of locally themed fabric.  Yes, I did take some crustacean fabric home with me!
Bar Harbor and Acadia, I will return!
Now, time to spend a little more time in the sewing room.  Or, maybe I could go kayaking....

Have a wonderful weekend and be kind to others.  Linking up with finish it up Friday!


Friday, June 10, 2016

A Bag for Ann Marie

I am so blessed to have many wonderful sister-in-laws.  The SIL that has been in my family the longest is Ann Marie, married to my oldest brother for 45 years (this alone will earn her sainthood!).  Ann Marie is famous in our family for being the first of Italian lineage, a fact my parents just loved to tease her about, and of course an amazing cook!  Not only is she beautiful and strong and possessing of a limitless heart when it comes to her family, Ann Marie is also a cancer survivor.

As part of my attempt to organize my various craft activities, I found a bag of finished cross stitched items from my many years of addiction to that activity.  Rediscovering these two birds, I knew just who I should give them to.
This is the zip top tote pattern from Anna Graham's book Handmade Style.  I modified the exterior to accommodate the two cross stitched birds.
In addition to being a bird watcher, Ann Marie is also a kayaker (yes, my type of gal) so this was the exact time to use this kayak fabric I had impulsed purchased some time ago.

The bottom panel denim fabric (Robert Kaufman) as well as the interior (Cloud 9) came from a newly discovered store, Pintuck & Purl in Exeter NH where there might have been some more impulse fabric acquisitions that I will share in another post!  I had a lovely chat with Maggie and look forward to visiting often.

This is the first time I have applied leather straps to a bag.  I love the look and the leather was quite easy to sew through.  Also this is the first time using Annie's Soft and Stable as a stabilizer.  I was a little nervous when the package arrived as to whether it would be difficult to work with but it turned out to be uneventful (even despite the fact I forgot to change the needle size on the sewing machine) and the sturdiness it gives the bag is amazing.

She was surprised to get this "just because" gift.  It's only a bag but it is filled with love for this very special woman.    Love you Ann Marie!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Splendid Sampler Update - Blocks #16 - 27

This will surely not continue, but as of now, I am up to date with completed blocks. As the weather improves, I will certainly go into my seasonal summer slow down and this project will be one of the first impacted!

#16 - Pieces of Friendship

#17 - Family Stars

#18 - Lina's Gift

#19 - Measure Twice, Cut Once (I may have taken a short cut on this one!)

#20 - Nature's Walk (Payback for cheating on the last block!)

#21 - Sweet Candy

#22 - Goose on the Loose

#23 - Hand in Hand (Another new and fun technique!)

#24 Inspector Side Kick

#25 - Sunday Best (OK, so I got the template reverse backwards....)

#26 - Dreaming of Dresdens (more appliqué...)
 #27 - Sewing Machine (...even more applique!)
With very little exception all the fabric has come from my scrap bins.  Now that we are more than a quarter of the way completed, I think I am going to be a little more purposeful in color selections going forward.

Linking up with Lorna's Let's Bee Social Party!  Have you seen her raccoons?  I know I said this about the dogs, the giraffes, etc. but these are the cutest!!
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