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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tavern House Block 4

A little bit of stitching has been going on here... just having some difficulty getting pics taken when the daylight hours are so short. But, as of December 21st (or even a few days before) I have started to notice a little more daylight on the horizon as I drive home from work. :-) Won't be long before I can get those golf clubs cleaned up and ready! ;-)

But, back to today... One goal that I had set to accomplish for December was to finish all of the projects I had started during the year. Well, I did finish one, the other is just way to involved to rush along... so Block 4 of the wool quilt Tavern House is complete... Blocks 5 thru 8 will be for those weekends in January and February that are too cold to venture outside of my warm home...

The basket color is darker, but the camera flash washed the color out of it.

Those of you that are familiar with this Maggie Bonanomi design know that this block should have initials and the year in the middle... but, while stitching on this part of it, I dreamed up a little something different to put there... but, the reveal of that will happen when the entire quilt has been pieced together... ;-)

The other finish was this Alphabet Sampler (started in July). It is a Birds Of A Feather design. The stitched area is 7-1/2 x 10. It's pressed and put away in tissue until I find a good prim frame for it.

The white spot by the "S" is from the camera flash... it's not a hole in the linen. lol!

Many folks have a tradition of starting a brand new project on the first day of the New Year.... so, I figured it would be a good time for me to get started on another Temecula Quilt Shop design that took place during the 2014 Summer months. This was a free stitch-along that offered the option to use your own stash, or purchase a kit from them. Since Temecula always (in my opinion) offers the perfect fabric selections for these projects... I went ahead and purchased the kit. :-) Tomorrow will be a full day of peaceful piecing... :-)

A peek at the fabrics in the kit.

As we wind down another year, we sometimes make those "promises", "goals", "resolutions", "list of intentions" for the up and coming year... I know I do... and I did pretty well with 2014's concept of buying less new projects (stash)... referring back to the previous post about "time" and how quickly it keeps passing, I now have a good idea of how much time actually gets invested in these projects. Yes, folks... hand made takes time... and A LOT of it too! :-) So, that has helped me to decide what new to buy... example being "Great design, but is the finished project really worth all that time put into making it"? And that question alone helped me get through all of the tempting "12 days sales" and other "limited time offers" that were posted all over the internet beginning the day after Thanksgiving. Would you believe I bought only ONE item? And that was a small hooked rug pattern from Star Rug Company called Little Deer.... just too cute to resist! :-) 

Back to the 2015 "hobby" goal... which is to continue with enjoying the process of creating with what I already have in stash... to only purchase the stuff needed to finish one of said projects... and to limit buying new to what is truly worth the time invested to complete it. The main intention is to get to the point where I can walk into a quilt shop, hook-in or needlework store and happily (guilt free) purchase everything for a new project and then take it home and start right on it with a clear mind... :-)

The 2015 "health, home & lifestyle" goals are to continue simplifying. Less physical clutter in the home brings less mental clutter. And, with less mental clutter, one can truly breath calmly and enjoy the people closest to us! :-) That's what life is truly all about.... the people.... not the "stuff"... make memories, not regrets... use time wisely!

Wishing you all the best of health, happiness and peace always!

Happy New Year!

~Sharon



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Today is Today

.... and it is what it is...

I've realized for a very long time that time waits for no one. I also know that each of us is given the exact same amount of time (in each day). What's important is that you use that time wisely... for no one really knows how much time we have remaining. So keep life simple.... and keep it happy! :-)


I did manage a few stitches over the Thanksgiving weekend... you know... in between cooking that delicious turkey and trimmings and stuffing myself silly with enormous amount of comfort food! :-) I did get the binding hand sewn to my (long term project) Snow Days quilt... but it took until today to get half decent pics to share because then the weather went to rainy and windy with some snow mixed in... and then it went back to the work schedule which left a dark evening when I got home at night... so I finally got some sunshine today to get some pics to share (just not a full view because the ground is still wet)... the binding is a dark brown and the backing is a teal...


There was also some progress on the primitive alphabet cross stitch sampler I started in July... I should finish that this afternoon so I'll wait until next post to share pics of it.


I haven't set aside any time to decorate for Christmas yet. I'm just not "feeling it". I see and hear stories of folks running here and there and making lists and stressing about what to give to who and when and where to buy it and this must be done before this day... when I take a car ride to a friend's house or even just driving home from work... I notice the parking lots near stores packed to the edge... rows and rows of cars... and people running with arm loads of bags of stuff... and pushing folks out of their way... i can see they aren't "Merry"... yet people do it all... just watching it wears me out...


We had a simple Holiday luncheon at work last Friday... we went to our Radio Club's Holiday party last night... they were both amazing, simple and fun! We enjoyed some stories, lots of laughs and great food... with some strings of lights and greenery to add some sparkle to the night... good stuff!

I'm looking forward to baking some cookies... some quiet time stitching... Christmas music on the stereo or maybe a classic Christmas movie on the TV... will the house get filled with decorations, trees and lights? Maybe. Maybe not.

But, I do know my Christmas will be Merry, peaceful and full of smiles...

.... and cookies...

Did I mention the cookies? ;-)

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for this mess I had to clean up....
...because it is the result of an appreciative (and most delicious) celebration of everything we have to be thankful for! :-)

And now that I have slept off all that turkey and high-fat trimmings... and filled my system with 5 cups of piping hot coffee... I am retreating into the stitching room for hours and hours of thread, cotton and wool today!!! :-)

One more thing... Pam, if you are reading this post... know that I really did turn off my computer (to resist the online sales) when I said I did... I only turned it back on to update my blog... lol  ;-)

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Temecula Summer Quilt - Week 11

So here it is folks... a Summer Quilt program that I (mostly) managed to keep up with! ;-)


I think I received the mailing for the last border a couple of weeks ago? Anyways... the mailing also included the fabric for the binding... so now I am all set to quilt it. Looking to machine quilt an allover meandering/stippling design... once I check out the situation with my domestic machine, I'll decide whether I need to send it to a longarm service (or not)...

We had some super strong storms with wicked lightening crash through here yesterday... did not cause any damage or power outages (thankful for that)... and now the air is cool and clean! Mix that with some falling leaves and the loud serenade of crickets in the evening... and it's really starting to look, sound and feel like Autumn is soon to arrive! :-) I'm so looking forward to it!

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Temecula Summer Quilt - Week 10

End of Summer? Nope. Not here in Central Jersey... we had our hottest day of this Summer just yesterday, Sept 2nd! It was sooo hot (in the upper 90's) with super swampy humidity levels. A little less humid today... but still too hot to open the windows (and still be comfortable)...

And, I'm still stitching on my Temecula Summer Quilt! I'm hoping that Autumn temps will arrive as soon as I put the last border on? One can hope, anyways! :-)   In the meantime, here is the (next to last) border... which is Week 10.


This was another fun one to piece! It started with the dark brown strips (about 6" x 2")... then I had to stitch a tan triangle to one long side of the brown strip, then the other side of the dark brown strip (and press open to make the block). After awhile, the tan triangles started to look like toast... and the dark brown strips started to look like bacon! So, I was calling these my "bacon sammich blocks"... lol! Next was taking those blocks and piecing them together to make the zig zag pattern... once I put a couple of the borders together my DH says... "Why are you sewing a Charlie Brown shirt"? lol! ;-) So, I'm going to refer to this border as the "Charlie Brown Bacon Sammich Border"... ;-)

I have the fabrics for the final (week 11) border starched and pressed... the piecing instructions are super simple... so, the grand finale of this Summer series should be within the next couple of days!

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling! :-)

~Sharon

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Temecula Summer Quilt - Week 9

As Summer is finishing, so is this Temecula Summer Block of the Week! This is Week 9. I had it stitched last weekend, but was not able to get a picture of it until this afternoon...


Right now, this quilt top has built it's borders out to 41" square! While I did receive the last weeks instructions in the mail already.... I did fall a bit behind on the piecing... Week 10 is on my sewing bench and in progress. The blocks are pieced together, they just need trimming and assembly into the border.

I also managed to get the quilting and binding finished on this little (approximately 12" square) quilt...


It's a Primitive Gatherings design from a couple of years back. The pattern was free... and I went and purchased the fabric kit for it because of the Glory Gatherings fabrics. Fun little piece, but now it is tucked away for next Summer...

Time to get the pumpkins and autumn leaves out for display...

Until next time... stay healthy and keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Temecula Summer Quilt - Week 8

Those little squares are quite habit forming... so much so, that I had to get back to the sewing bench last night and sew together all of those little 4-patches... and then stitch those borders to the still growing Temecula Summer Block of the Week Quilt...


This was one of my favorite borders on this quilt! Temecula Quilt Company shipped the cream and a couple of small pieces of fabric... but, the fun was going back into the scraps that were saved from all of the previous borders! :-)


My first time using up such small pieces of fabric, and let me tell you... I think I have another obsession! lol! Here are the 4 border pieces all lined up on the ironing board (waiting to be pinned to the quilt)...


... and here is a little close up of the little squares... kinda looks like some sort of tile game, no? ;-)


Anyways... all this was making me wonder if I should have some fun and get going on some MORE scrappy 4-patches (made of 1-1/2" squares)... and see just how BIG of a quilt I can make from my scrap bin? *grin* That will have to wait until Winter though... as I must finish up the half dozen projects I have in progress before I find more trouble... lol!

Until next time... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happiness Is...

A late night at the sewing bench...


256 pretty 1-1/2" squares of fabric

that have become

64 cute little 4-patches

that will become

the next border on my

Temecula Summer Block of the Week
Medallion Quilt

Good night for now...

~Sharon

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's Growing!

Border by border... inch by inch... week by week... this little Summer quilt project from Temecula Quilt Shop is growing! It's a super enjoyable summer project too... one week has a border with many pieces... and then followed by a simple border...

Week 6 brought a border of square in a square...


Week 7 was easy breezy... and also introduced an unexpected fabric change that adds to the interest and antique appeal of this design...


If I remember correctly, I think we're up to 32" square so far... and I'm already looking forward to next weeks packet to arrive! :-)

On days when it's too hot in my stitching room, you can find me upstairs in the air conditioned living room stitching tiny x's. Here's some progress on a Birds Of A Feather Alphabet Sampler that's been in my stash (kitted) since 2002...

And... if you've been wondering what "that radio guy" has been up to... well... here's a picture of his latest restoration...


It's a 1941 Zenith 6S 511... repainted a buttery yellow with gloss black accents... this completely restored AM and Shortwave little beauty plays as well as it looks!!! And the best part is, she's perched upon a shelf in my sewing room! :-) 

So that's about it here... many thanks for all the bids on my current auctions! I appreciate the help with getting my stash of projects down to a manageable size... it simply makes hooking, quilting and stitching that much more relaxing! :-)

Until next time... stay health & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Flowers and Some Auctions

I've been stitching right along with the Temecula Quilt Shop Summer Block of the Week... the latest border has quite a few pieces in it... so I'm taking my time and marking all the pieces with 1/4" seams so that I can accurately line everything up... the FIRST time! lol!

In the meantime... if you are a cross stitcher and would like to take a peek at a few of my eBay auctions... click HERE...

If you just want to look at some pics of the most colorful section of my flower garden... see below...






That's all for now...

~Sharon


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Temecula Summer BOW

Hi folks! Thanks for the kind words on my horse rug! Rug hooking is what brought me into this wonderful world of handwork... and I still enjoy it the most... though in the heat of Summer... I need something a bit cooler to create... thus, I quilt with cottons too! ;-)

Temecula Quilt Company offered up a Summer Block of the Week program that I could not resist! Between the fabrics they are known for and the different type of design... I have been having a fun time stitching on this one! Most of the Block of the Month and/or Block of the Week programs are just that... blocks! What is fun about this one is that it started with a center medallion and each week we receive fabric and piecing instructions for a border! Love the concept! 

I did fall a bit behind on the mailings as I wanted to finish the horse rug before starting another project... so, here's the quick run of the first 5 weeks...
 Week 1

  Week 2

  Week 3

 Week 4

A note about Week 4... I am relatively new to quilting, which makes me not very familiar with all of the piecing techniques. When I got to this "quarter square triangle border", I nearly threw in the towel on this project! I had accurately cut all the pieces to the proper size... but, when I started piecing the triangles together, the length of my border finished at about 1-1/2" too long... so, I brought out the seam ripper and began to take it apart... and when I tried again, the same thing happened! :-(

So, I put my head in my hands and threw a mini "boo-hoo-pitty-party"!!! I whined something like "dang it! I don't know what I'm doing wrong here... I'm never going to get this border right... and even though I REALLY want to finish this quilt... I just may have to stop here... ahhhhh... boo-hoo-hoooooo!" lol! BUT, then I remembered my 24/7 mentor "Youtube"... ;-) Yes, there is a trick to this, and there is ONE video on Youtube that explains it! So, if there is anyone else that got stuck at this point of the series... here's the "secret":


And after following those tips, the border finished up the right size and I was then able to continue on to the next border...

 Week 5

That makes me all caught up to the mailings now... Week 6 should arrive this Friday or Monday...

Until next time.... stay healthy & keep on smiling!

~Sharon

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Is Finally Here!

Today is July 1st and Summer is in full force! We have mid 90's with hazy skies and humidity soaked breezes! I used to not like this weather... but after last Winter (cold, snow, shovel, repeat).... I LOVE hazy, hot and humid!!!! Bring on the sun! :-)

Of course, heat and humidity is not too comfortable while hooking with wool... but, with the help of a trusty air conditioner, I managed to pull all the loops on my Antique Horse Rug! :-)


I had purchased this pattern from Lori Rippey of homespunprimsbylori a few months ago. Since this is an adaptation of an antique rug, Lori drew the pattern a bit different from the original... and then I also hooked it a little bit different from the pattern... but, the main elements are the same, horses, birds and a tree! The hooked area finishes up at 46" x 23".... I should be steaming it after I post here, so I can let it dry quickly outside in the heat of the day...

So much more to tell you about... but, I'll break it all up into a couple of posts... on lazy, hot days like today... it's easier to just share pics of the garden... :-)

 Gazania and Gardenia

  Gazania and Marigold

I think this is a type of coneflower... 
too many years the rabbits ate it before it had a chance to bloom...
this year I protected the first sprouts with chicken wire. ;-)

  Daisies and Hydrangea already bowing their heads from the late morning heat

  I think this is called "Antique Pistachio".
It's a hybrid hydrangea. Eventually the bright greens of the
flowers will change to more of the antique pink you see.

  Liatris and Hydrangea

  Another hybrid hydrangea I bought at Home Depot last year.
The petals are bright pink in the center with white edges.
I'll share another pic when more blooms open.

  Astilbe

  Impatiens with Seed Flower (I think)

  Gazania and Petunia
These are in hanging baskets
(the black lines in the pic are the hangers)

Hopefully some folks are enjoying a vacation this week... getting in some rest and relaxation before our country's grand celebration of Independence Day this coming Friday!!!!

Have a great week!

~Sharon



Friday, June 13, 2014

Sunshine!

After about 5 days of clouds, rain and thunderstorms... the sunshine finally made an appearance! :-) Here's a couple of flower pics from the garden... I only have a point and shoot type camera... so please forgive the blur of the peach rose... it was just a bud this morning... so, it will probably be gone by tomorrow...


 


Have a wonderful weekend folks!

~Sharon

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Completely Different

For the last two posts I have been promising to show you "something completely different" from what you're used to seeing on my blog... and maybe anywhere else too?

When Julie from The Old Tattered Flag posted pictures on her blog of a "designed by her" Wool Beeskep... I thought "Wow! How clever and different is that!?!?!?".... Then, she posted that kits were available on The Old Tattered Flag website! Well... I could not click the buttons on my computer quick enough! :-) And a couple of days later, the kit arrived at my doorstep...


Took me a little bit of practice to get the twisting of the wool going... but, eventually it all came together and mine (sorta kinda) looks almost like Julie's? ;-) I stuffed mine with cotton and some dried lavender... and it now sits on a wooden stool on my front (inside) porch.

Aside from making this beeskep, I'm keeping busy with planting some flowers and also more hooking on the horse rug... I also went through some more of my wool and quilt kits and listed a few more (plus a couple of other items) on eBay.... if you are interested... click HERE to view the auctions.

Happy Summer!

~Sharon



Monday, May 26, 2014

A Blessed Memorial Day!


Today and always, we offer prayers and appreciation to all of our service members, past, present... and future. Without their sacrifices, our freedom and enjoyment of liberty would not be possible.

Today brought some sunshine too... so it was outdoors with the camera to take a few pics of some of the ways I've been enjoying my freedom...

The first is a needle pocket that is a design by Threadwork Primitives and exclusively offered through Dyeing To Stitch's "Ladies Prim Society". This is the front...


... and the back... I need to get more practice on whip stitching stuff closed after turning it right side out...


... looking back, I guess I should have stitched completely around the piece and then snipped an opening (for turning) in the fabric in an area that would have been hidden by the inside wool pocket...


I also managed a rather large punchneedle piece... this is a design by Vermont Harvest Folkart and is called "Spring Thyme In New England". It finishes up about 8" x 11" and has been stuffed with wool snippets and lavender buds... the backing is a dark brown wool.


And all of those wool snippets I used for stuffing came from my current hooked rug... this is an adaptation of an antique rug. I had purchased the pattern from Lori Rippey of Homespunprims. I hope to hook more of it today...

Please... throw tomatoes at me (I love 'em) for mentioning the word "Snow"... lol! But, I'd like to share the quilting that Karen Thompson did on my Snow Days quilt...




I opted for an overall design called "Will of the Wisp"... the pantograph reminds me of Old Man Winter blowing cold air from the clouds... the last pic shows the backing... a nice teal to compliment the embroidery floss (which blends from brown to teal) throughout.

So bring out the barbeque, watermelon, sausage & peppers and iced tea... and take time today to celebrate Freedom! And don't forget to proudly display your red, white and blue!!!

~Sharon

P.S. I'm starting on the "something completely different"... it will be in my next post... promise!


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