Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Inching Closer


Nine more days!  Wow.  How quickly the time is going.  I’m starting to feel as though I am almost ready.  The Christmas events have been keeping us delightfully busy.  It is such a great time of the year – especially when seen through the eyes of the little ones.  There is such magic to the season. 

A lighted white horse drawn carriage ride to view the Christmas decorations started off our celebrations.

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The sewing moments were short, but I did manage to get a coaster set made in between the busyness.  I used the “B” from the Temecula Mini ABC quilt.

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The next night was the school concert.  Every child in the school takes part in the musical – from kindergarten through 12th grade.  The music is amazing!

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This is the high school.  They are so professional by this age.

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I guess it can get a little tiring for a three year old!!!

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In between we have also celebrated birthdays - a busy month for us.

Over the years I have followed Thearica at her Pigtales and Quilts blog.  She now has a new blog found at www.stitchandquilt.com and she is having a wonderful giveaway to introduce people to her new blog.  Be sure to go over and enter her giveaway.  She recently made a great sewing machine caddy.  I admired it and would you believe she sent it to me????  I love it as it keeps my tools under control and right at hand.  The pincushion she sent matches the backing and it is such a generous size.

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We have enjoyed some welcomed rainy weather for the past few weeks.  I know it has caused a lot of damage to our local burn area (Camarillo Springs), but everything around us is greening up so nicely.  It is that luscious spring green that we have not seen in the last few years.  Everything looks so clean and bright after such a good washing. 

I finally got my wrapping done.  It is always such a relief to finish that task and know that I have accounted for each one of the children.  The gifts spread out throughout the living room as we need to keep a clear path for the train under the tree. 

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As we inch forward to Christmas, I hope we all can take the time to enjoy the wonderful beauty of the season.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mini Stems

November really got away from me this year.  Here we are on the last day of the month and getting ready to flip the calendar over tomorrow. 

The end of the month always means it is time for the AYOS Parade hosted by Sinta and Sherri.  The pattern for the month was Mini Stems.  I showed the completed top earlier this month.

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I managed to get it quilted and bound as well.   I was trying to get a picture of it today, but it is a dark and rainy day here.  Please pardon the washed out colors and shadows.

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We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here.  The weather was perfect for everyone to be outside which is always a blessing when there are so many people here.  You won’t hear me complain about the rain, but I was thankful that it held off until today. 

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Thanksgiving Day
Our Thanksgiving will be different next year as these three will head off to colleges across the country and will not be home with us.  They will all be missed.

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......and now.....onwards to December………………. YIKES!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Finish

I was really excited about finishing the table runner using the beautiful embroidery designs that I showed in my last post.  Sunday was a quiet day around here and I was able to spend the afternoon working on the project.
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It’s hard to get the real colors to show, but I just love the depth that doing the trapunto outline on the designs makes.

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These designs can be found at patsy@patsythompsondesigns.com if you are interested in sewing some out.  I can tell you that they stitch out beautifully….and quickly.

I'm linking this up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One More Week

In just one short week, many of our homes will be filled with the smell of turkey cooking.  It is a great time of the year, but I must say that I enjoy the leftovers more.  I suppose it might be that we are too busy entertaining to think about enjoying the food.

With Thanksgiving being so late this year, Christmas will be right behind.  I managed to finish the latest Christmas stocking this week. 

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When I do the cross stich stockings I like to use a fusible interfacing on the back to make sure that all of those stitches will stay in place over the years of use.  As well, I like to line my Christmas stockings.  Since this one had such a vintage feel to it, I found a fabric that also had a vintage feel to it.

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This past week Kelly at I Have a Notion had a blog hop featuring Patsy Thompson’s embroidery designs.   Kelly was doing the most beautiful table runner.  Well…..I won the designs in her hop and I have been playing with them.  I have stitched these out on silk and I love the way they have stitched out.  The colors are a bit off, but I hope to get a better picture of them once I get the piece finished.  Aren’t the feathers stunning?
 
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My mom, sister and I went to visit the Reagan Library this week.  They have a couple of new displays going on right now, one being famous cars from films, presidents and Heads of State.   It was fun to see them up close.  Here are a few of them.

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Herbie
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Owned by Elvis
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Batmobile
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Greased Lightening
The other display was California Christmas Trees.  These were fabulous.  They reflected all of the different areas of California.  Each was so unique and fun.  The room was a little dark for pictures, but this is one of them.  Love the surfboard!

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In my quest to quilt my stack of finished tops, I have managed to get one more off the pile this week.  The pile, however, still remains tall.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall

The weeks just keep ticking away here with the holidays quickly creeping up on us.  It's hard to imagine.  There is still so much to do.  When that overwhelming feeling takes over I like to head off to my secret corner of the house and sew.  It doesn't get the preparations done, but it makes me more relaxed!

This week I managed to get the Mini Stems quilt top pieced.  I love how this turned out and it is the perfect size for a nice wallhanging. 

 
I needed a border fabric and was close to a great quilt shop in Carpenteria, CA - Roxannes.  It was highlighted in the Quilt Sampler spring/summer issue.  It's a fabulous shop and has a lot more than quilting.  One thing they carry are Featherweight machines in GREAT colors.  Hmmm....what color would you choose?  They even have gorgeous hand painted ones...stunning!

 
 
I know that winter has hit early in so many places, but we are enjoying some fall colors in our area.  We don't have a lot of changing colors here so we really enjoy the trees and vines that do put on a display for us.  This is our neighbor's tree that we look out on.


Doesn't it look pretty nestled in with all the greens?  This is our typical fall weather....



I played around with some charm squares and a Moda Bakeshop Chevron pattern.  It worked up quickly and ended up a good size - about 80" square.  The colors are citron and gray with a white background, but the sun was setting when I took this picture.




Onwards with the week.  Enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Slow Stitching

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am having a heck of a time with the time change this year.  I can’t sleep past 4:30 in the morning!  That’s a full hour before the coffee turns on!!!  As well, I’ve been fighting a seasonal cold that seems to be lingering on far too long.

Stitching has been slow this week.  I’ve been catching up on my little letters – a freebie at Temecula Quilt Company.  Two more rows and the alphabet will be complete.

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One of the granddaughters wanted a nun’s habit for her saint’s speech at school.  I had fun creating this one.

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I FINALLY finished my D4P quilt.  I put flannel on the back so it will be soft and cuddly for the winter months.

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My niece had asked me if I would make her husband a t-shirt quilt from his stack of treasured shirts that were taking up space on a shelf in the closet.  We had fun arranging them and I am sure he will enjoy his Christmas gift from her.  I just hope he isn't upset that we cut up his shirts.  ;-)

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Most of my slow stitching this week has taken the form of counted cross stitch.  I am trying to get this stocking done for Christmas this year.
 
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The kids and grandkids were all here for Halloween.   I loved this picture of two of the little ones.  It makes me wonder what was going through his mind.

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Have you entered the giveaway to win Wendy Sheppard's new book on my last post?  Please be sure to check it out if you haven't already done so.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Blog Hop and Giveaway


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As many of my followers already know, I have been a huge fan of Wendy Sheppard for some time.  She has inspired me beyond words with her amazing quilting that she does on her home sewing machine.  Many of you would recognize her work as she has had quilts in multiple quilting magazines both here in the states and internationally.  I really do not think she ever sleeps!!!!

Wendy also has fabulous tutorials on FMQ called Thread Talks that can be found on the sidebar of her blog.  Because of her beautiful stitching and instructions, I have been encouraged to try the different designs that she shares.  She is an excellent teacher.

Her interest in antique quilts has inspired her to write a book and it is excellent.  It is published through Landauer Publishing.  Each project in the book is beautiful and I am itching to try a couple soon.  The book uses inspiration from five museum quilts to make ten different projects, including piecing and applique.  Her instructions are well written and easy to follow.  Another thing that I really like about the projects is that they are all able to be made with fabrics most of us have in our stashes.  Look at the pretty cover. 

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Photo courtesy of Landauer Publishing
The project that I did from the book is called Ginkos on Prince Street.  It went up quickly and the instructions were so easy to follow.  I would love to do this one as a full sized quilt. 

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Picking up on the theme of the seashells, I covered a few buttons to finish off the back.

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For the quilting I used a metallic thread and did seashells as well as some outline stitching.  

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Wendy’s version of the pillow makes a dramatic appearance with the black and some of Wendy’s beautifully quilted ginko leaves.  I love the fabrics she used in hers. 

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To read more about Wendy’s inspiration you can go to Landauer’s Behind the Scenes at http://quiltbooksandbeyond.com/author-wendy-sheppard-shares-inspiration-behind-3-projects-recreating-antique-quilts/.

To order the book you can go HERE.  To receive a signed copy you can go to Wendy’s post HERE.  By simply leaving a comment on this post you have a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself.   Shipping is limited to those in the US and Canada.  I will select a winner on Nov. 13th.

NOW....hop on over and visit Wendy at Ivory Spring to read more about the blog hop and see some of the other pieces from her book.  She has a list of the other participants with even more chances to win a copy of this wonderful book.  Thank you so much, Wendy, for allowing me to participate in your blog hop.  It was a real honor to share you with my readers.

Please be sure that you are not a "no reply" blogger.  Unfortunately the first two of three comments are from "no reply" bloggers.  If you are unsure, please add your e-mail if you would like to win the book.