Tuesday, December 22, 2009

WOW !!!!!!

I can't believe it's been almost 2 months since my last post. Where to start? Well, we've been to Florida and back. Found some lovely mobile homes in a great park to buy or rent, but unfortunately, we came to the conclusion that we can't even think about wintering in Florida for at least another year, possibly not for a couple of years. Of course since we made that decision, the weather here in Upstate New York has been freezing and blustery, and DH has come home every night shivering and saying, "Let's go to Florida; I'm cold!" What a Wuss! 'Course I've been thinking it myself, but I can't let him know that, lol. Oh well, I'm sure the time will go fast--it always seems to now that I'm older. I have my quilting groups and my embroidery group to keep me busy.

I mailed out my gift in Chookyblue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap before we left for Florida. I know it's been received, so I can't show pics, but maybe a peek.
And here's Katie doing her quality control inspection. Fortunately my gift passed her rigid standards, or else I would have had to re-do it. Boy, she is one tough taskmaster!

We finished up our Happy Blocks for the year at Block Central and will be starting something new for next year. That means I need to get my 4 quilts done that I have all the HB's for. Plus Kim (the BC owner) has designed a beautiful new BOM called Sentimental Journey that starts in January. Isn't it gorgeous? I have to do this one and I want to get started right away on it, so I won't get behind.

I also want to make Heather Finnell's new BOM over at Burning the Midnight Oil Quilts. It started December 15th and I don't want to get too far behind in that either. It's really pretty and should be very challenging for me. My friend, Mary, wants to make it, too, so I know she'll help me if I have any problems.

For my fellow redworkers and embroiderers, Alex Anderson is sponsoring a 12 Days of Redwork on her site starting December 25th. She'll be giving us a free redwork block from one of her earlier patterns until January 5th. Make sure you bookmark her site, so you don't miss out.

We've been doing HB's over at the Quilting Sisters Yahoo Group, also. Here are my December and January blocks ready to swap. December's block is black and white and January's block is red and black, so I'm going to make some more blocks of each and combine them into one quilt. It should look really nice.

We also did a Bug Jar Block Swap at the Sisters, and I ended up really liking my blocks. We made the larger jar this time, but I think I'll go on and make some of the smaller jars and combine them into a quilt for a little boy. The patterns are free over at Janet Wickell's site, About.com . Janet has loads of other free patterns on the quilting part of the site and wonderful simple directions that are very easy to follow. That's important to me, since I'm not getting any younger, lol. I purchased all my "bug" fabric at Bug Fabric dot Com. I think they carry every type of bug and animal fabric ever made. Every fabric I bought from them was wonderful quality and they shipped really fast! Be sure to check them out if you're looking for some unusual fabrics.

Debbie Mumm has some beautiful new free desktop wallpapers/backgrounds on her site, in addition to her monthly free projects. Stop in and download a few to brighten up your computer. She is such a talented lady. I love everything she does. I'm using this one right now.

If I don't see you before the holidays are over, be sure to have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Boxing Day. Until then....

Happy Quilting from Katie and Sharon

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's almost ....

my DD's favorite time of year. I love Halloween, too, and since her birthday is so close to that holiday, I started using Halloween colors for her birthday decorations when she was little. (No wonder she likes it, lol!) And because she's so crazy for all things Halloweeny, I decided to make her a Halloween quilt for her birthday this year. In my last post I showed you a picture of a quilt that I really liked, so I gathered up all my Halloween and fall-ish fabrics and got to work. I changed the pattern a little, making it longer, instead of square, and backed it with a nice, warm, Fall flannel I had in my stash. Got it all finished and had my friend, Jane quilt it on her new machine in a pattern of spider webs and icky spiders, ghosts, pumpkins, and black cats,
all in varigated thread. It came out beautifully, and the quilting really added that extra zip. Today was DD's birthday dinner and I gave her the quilt. She LOVED it! I was sort of hoping that maybe she wouldn't like it (yah, right!) so I could keep it, but no such luck. Now I have to make one for myself before next year. Here are pics.

I joined the Halloween/Fall Table Runner/Topper Swap that the Quilted Table Yahoo group had. I sent 9 Halloween fat quarters to my partner, Joan in Colorado, and she make me a topper and sent it back with some wonderful goodies. She made me a gorgeous witchy table topper (that I had the pattern for, but hadn't had a chance to make yet--great minds, huh?). Isn't it beautiful? She also made me a darling fabric basket out of the scraps, and filled it with witchy orange-chocolate cocoa mix, a Pez Halloween dispenser, a note pad, and some black and orange tea lights. Plus, she sent me a really cute spider tealight holder. I'm really enjoying everything she sent; she's a wonderfully generous lady. And she makes beautiful quilts.

My other partner, Linda in Canada (no blog) sent me 9 fat quarters of Fall-ish fabric and I had to make her a Fall runner. I had just bought a Connecting Threads runner kit, so I used my pattern with her fabric. I got sick right at the end of my deadline, so my friend, Mary helped me out by stippling the runner and binding it for me. I think it turned out really nice, and Linda emailed that she liked it, so I was happy. I think Mary's stippling really made the applique stand out.

There's a new swap going on over at Aunt Pitty Pat's. Stop over and sign up for her new Holly Jolly Christmas Block Swap. This should produce a beautiful Christmas scrap quilt for next year. And thank goodness we don't have to have the blocks mailed until January! That means no pressure to finish all those blocks before Christmas. There's still room for more swappers, so go on over and sign up. The more the merrier!

Until next time....

Happy Quilting from Sharon and Katie

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lots of news to share this time....

Kaaren over at The Painted Quilt has given us a beautiful painting to turn into a stitchery. It's called Memories of Lancaster County and is simply gorgeous. She's also started a new free stitchery program beginning today that she's calling her (FFF) First Friday Freebie. On the first Friday of the month she'll post a new free project for us. This month's block is Fall is in the Air. Remember to check back every month by clicking on her button on my sidebar.

My friend Mel at Mel's Own Place has a free quilt drawing coming up tomorrow. And if you post a comment on her blog, you'll get a free pattern of her darling Witch's Hat. Isn't it cute?

Bird Brain Designs has added another free stitchery on their web site. It's called A is For Apple. And they still have lots of their older freebies available for you to use on towels, or just as little wallhangings. I like to read their blog, too. It's always interesting.

Because Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, we're doing a Halloween/Fall Swap over at The Quilted Table Yahoo group. And at Block Central's Happy Blocks group, our September block was a Halloweeny theme, which I got to choose. That meant I wasn't eligible to win the blocks; I have to make my own blocks for a Halloween quilt. Luckily, Kimberly over at Bitty Bits and Pieces has a great tutorial for a Halloween quilt. Isn't it ? Kimberly has a lot of nice tutorials on her site, plus she designs for the Moda Bake Shop . So stop over and see her neat blog and check out her tutes.

Until next time....
Happy Quilting
from Sharon and Katie

Another new stitchery BOM is starting September 15th at Dorothy Baker Designs. It's called Sweet Nostalgia, and the first block looks adorable. . She's also having a wonderful giveaway of lots of stitching items. Stop over and leave a comment to be entered in her drawing. Tell her Quiltingmama20 sent ya'!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm almost caught up...

on my Christmas Wish BOM, by Gail Pan. Working on block 7 and should have it done tonight. As you can see I haven't ironed or trimmed them yet. I haven't stitched in years, so I'm still having trouble keeping my stitches even, but the good news is my fingers aren't bleeding so much from so many pricks, lol. I didn't have the correct colors of floss, so I fudged it with what I had, but I think they look great for my first big project in so long! And I'm doing them all on a White-on-White fabric, so I've changed the white flowers on some of the blocks to navy blue. But it seems to work, so I'm happy. These blocks have been a great beginner project.

Once I'm caught up on these, I'm moving on to the Verandah Views BOM by Cheryl at Willowberry Designs. They are gorgeous and a lot harder and more detailed, so I'm sure they'll be a challenge. Plus, I purchased a couple of patterns at Cheryl's Esty store . She has darling designs and some cute, quirky patterns that are perfect for kids.

But now I have to get back to my sewing. Katie says we have projects in the sewing room that need to be completed NOW! Sheesh! She is such a tyrant some days!

So til next time,

Happy Quilting
from Sharon and Katie

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Christmas in July........

a swap by Karen Martin, was so much fun. Marsha over at Everybody Loves Clark and I had each other, but we didn't know it 'til our packages arrived at each other's houses, lol. Marsha made me a gorgeous stocking made from a felted sweater and filled it with wonderful gifts. A felted ice cream cone that hides a tape measure, some frosted purple fabric, purple buttons, and a purple tassel (can you guess purple is my favorite color?) A fantastic cross-stitched kitty ornament that looks just like Katie (who thinks it's pretty cool, too). A wonderful scrap catcher that is now sitting on the arm of my chair so it can hold my embroidery thread scraps.
A pattern to make a quilt and a tote bag, a handmade card, and a yummy recipe for lemon cake. Plus, some gingerbread cookies and a wonderful candle wallhanging that will be perfect for the real Christmas season.
What a super package to receive!

My package to Marsha included a Mary Engelbritt journal (M for Marsha), notepad, and tissues, some doll and quilt patterns, a package of Santa Claus gift cards,
specialty coffee made in New York State, buttons, a recipe for Mary's pear salad, a flag rubber stamp, a tapestry Christmas patch, a blue fat quarter (her favorite color), a fabric panel with Christmas labels, Christmas tissues, Christmas pin, and a hand stitched Christmas ornament.

After I wrapped everything, I put them all in a quilted tote bag with a Christmas sowman on the front and mittens on the back.

I was really pleased with how well my ornament turned out, since it was the first one I've made. I just started stitching again after a 20-year break.

I'm finding a lot more satisfaction in embroidery stitching than I ever did in cross-stitch or crewel. Of course, it could be the time of my life, too. When I was younger and working, I never had the time to sit and stitch. Now, I can relax with my friends and chat and stitch. It's a lot more fun now.

I'll leave you with one more image from Christmas in July: Katie snooping to see if she's missed out on anything.

Until next time...
Happy Quilting from Sharon and Katie