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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Let's Get This Party Started!

Almost half way through July...and enjoying every single day of it! The actual date of my Birthday has passed...but, the celebration continues!

It all started with a trip out to the Kutztown Folk Festival. The fairgrounds were full of artisan handcrafts...delicious PA Dutch foods...farm animals and equipment...and the famous Quilt Barn! Here is a sampling of some of the quilts...

Believe it or not, all of these were hand quilted! They did have an area set up with a quilt on a frame....and anyone who wanted to could sit a bit and add some stitches to the quilt!

And, for those of you who would like to check out a short video of the hit 'n miss engines as well as some baby animal cuteness...

And now for the gift part of the party!!! I had mentioned in a previous post that I would be giving away the pattern to "All Things Grow With Love"....well... Karen of Log Cabin Quilter blog showed an immediate interest...so, once I finish stitching it up, the pattern will be on it's way to her!

The next round of gifts is about to begin! Here's how to win...in the comments section below, please share what you love most about Summer...and also indicate which gift you are most interested in...winners will be announced Sunday, July 21st. Postage rates will limit this giveaway to USA residents only please...

A group of 5 Fig Tree Quilts patterns!

A patriotic punchneedle made by me! 

A patriotic punchneedle made by Merrie of maggiesfarm

After a few days off from work...I did manage to get a good start on some quilting and cross stitch projects. Not as much as I had originally planned to get done...but that's what always seems to happen. Sometimes it's nice to just relax and "be" without an agenda. And that's what I (mostly) did. More "down sizing", more organizing, quietly reading, time out in the garden enjoying the flowers, walking Berwyn around the yard...and day trips with the hubby! After all, we spend most of our daily lives punching a clock to earn a living, running errands, honey-do lists around the house... I've been learning that the gift of time and the sense to slow down and enjoy it, is one of the most precious gifts you can give (or receive)!

Each day is a blessing...enjoy every second!


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Summer Speed Round

It's almost officially two months since I last posted...it's not for lack of stuff to post...it's just making the time to sit and write. This post will be all over the place...and probably not in the order that it actually happened either. Short and frequent posts are easier to digest, no? Well...that will be a goal for July! :-)

I guess I can start by saying that I've enjoyed more outdoor hobbies than indoor hobbies these past two months. It started with the Antique Radio Show out in Kutztown, PA. Whether buying or selling, this is always a wonderful show! As always, a quick video has been made of the event...

Aside from all of the radio stuff...there is also Renninger's Market on the grounds, and that is where I get my flowers each year. Keeping it small this year since I'm not sure how much time will be available for garden tending. This years picks are these bright red Salvias and Dusty Miller...some in the main garden, and some in baskets. Late day sun really made the colors vibrant in the picture.

I'm sorry to say that May was not all fun and games...I had a week off from work...and we were planning on getting a lot of stuff done around the house. Well, (as they say) life happens when you are making plans. And, on the Monday, my hubby was involved in a car accident. He was driving through an intersection in town and a fella drove through the red light and smashed right into the driver's side of my hubby's Toyota Highlander. I'm happy to report that my hubby walked away with only a bruised arm and sore neck... but, the Highlander was totaled. Wondering why that fella drove through a red light? He was looking at his GPS...and when he finally looked up, it was too late to stop. So. Please. PLEASE. Think twice before allowing yourself to be distracted from doing anything but driving while you are behind the wheel of a car. A split second can change a life (or lives) forever! We thank our lucky stars every day that it was only a car that needed replacing! 

On a lighter note...I finally got brave enough to try another Etsy transaction! :-) This time I ordered a fat quarter bundle of Dandi Annie from Lilliansquiltshack. She packaged everything nicely and shipped it quickly! Now I can dream of which project to use these lovely fabrics in...

I have many "color specific" quilts on my "Quilty Bucket List"... one of which is blue and yellow. So, when Missouri Star Quilt Co. had Summer Breeze charm packs (the 5" precuts) on special...I bought the maximum allowed...added some yardage...picked out a "pattern" from one of Jenny's "easy quilt" videos...and a soon to be finished quilt will be pictured here on this blog SOON! :-) 

Wanna know what ELSE showed up in the mail? Well... I was the lucky winner of a giveaway over at Barrister's Block blog! Randy had shared a pic of her finished "2018 Summer Freebie" quilt from Primitive Gatherings...and offered to share the pattern with someone who would enjoy stitching it. Well...two of my favorite hobbies are stitching and gardening...so, when I'd seen those red geraniums... i was hoping I'd be lucky winner! :-) And, since I promised that I would share the pattern with another stitcher when I finish my quilt... stay tuned right here for an upcoming giveaway!!!

Most of you are aware that I have been selling off LOTS of quilt, stitching and rug hooking stash.  Mostly because I'm pretty much "done" with the darker, primitive colorway...and looking forward to adding some brighter, fun colors to my projects and decor. (And I am eternally grateful to those of you who have purchased stuff from me!!! ) *smiles* So. When I spied this loverly Halloween Quilt on "a well known online quilt shop's" website, I faster than quickly clicked on the button to be "notified when in stock".

Well... TWO months passed and NOTHING, though I do see the fabric line in stock. And, since I've been notified on more than one occasion from same online quilt shop that "due to high demand we are sold out forever"...I had to find another way of getting a kit for this quilt... (desperate means call for desperate measures!!! lol!) Well... Need'l Love to the rescue!!! Renee not only has the kits in stock, but she updates the quantities available regularly, and posts when additional kits will be made available...AND she is offering the kit for $10 less!!! Annnd...she adds a free gift with every order!!!  Win! Win! Win! :-)

And just because...

Need I say more? lol!

Did you ever have a "volunteer" annual plant return from a prior year? After the mild winter we had...I had more than the usual number of flowers return...marigolds being one, and then there is this black petunia...

Interestingly enough...this petunia was purple and white striped last year? Never seen a black flower before (so yah, at first I got a little nervous about bad omens and such...lol!)... BUT, these little guys are for sale all over the internet (whew!)...so I guess I'll just sniff it every once in awhile and enjoy it's unique beauty! :-)

With the exception of some car shows, a baseball game, lots more thinning of the stash and no longer used items around the house (our Townwide Yard Sale was at the beginning of June...but, that's a whole other story!) ... we're pretty much caught up here on the blog! :-) 

I'll be celebrating a Birthday in July... so stay tuned for more frequent (and shorter) blog updates... and multiple giveaways!!!

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


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Hello Spring!

When I last posted, I was in that "winter hating" funk...well...now that it is 3 months later...I'm in that Spring Loving Frenzy!!! :-) With May comes full, lush, green lawns, leaves on the trees and shrubs and flowers popping out all over the place! Do I have seasonal allergies? You betcha! But, Spring is so welcomed with me that I don't care if I'm covered head to toe in pollen and sneezing my fool head off...I'm happy dancing that Spring is finally here! Fresh, new beginnings...that's what it's all about!

I've got quite a bit of catching up to do here....so, I'll try to keep each topic short, but detailed...

Let me tell you the experience I had on Etsy! It was February and a seller on Etsy was running a Valentine's special in their shop. Their price on a Dandi Annie fat quarter bundle was already the lowest...add to that free shipping AND a Valentine's Day discount? Sign me up! Two days after ordering, I received notice that my order shipped (but no tracking). Two WEEKS later, no package. I took into consideration that most of the country was having sub zero temps and lots of snow (which slowed down the postal services)...and waited another week. Nothing. So, I decided to contact the seller through Etsy. Well...the seller was no longer on Etsy!!! I panicked for a second or two, then did the only thing I could do....which was file a claim with Etsy and hope for the best. After following Etsy's protocol and waiting their specified times...I was relieved to learn that Etsy had processed a FULL REFUND to my account on behalf of the seller...and assured me that while this happens every once in awhile, they try their best to make sure their community stays friendly!

I share this story with you so that you can have confidence shopping on Etsy....and know that if something goes awry, Etsy TRULY does help and stands behind their policies! This is a characteristic of a business that needs to be commended!

The internet is chock full of information concerning threads...particularly cotton versus poly threads when piecing and quilting. The one piece of information that stuck with me was not to use a (poly) thread that is stronger than your fabric, as the wear of use will cause the poly thread to "saw" through the cotton fabric and your seams will give way. So, I always used cotton thread with my cotton quilting fabric.

But, recently I read this post on the Olivia Jane Handcrafted blog (3rd paragraph down), and it made total sense to me! Basically, she states that cotton threads are weaker than cotton fabric...and eventually the wear of use will weaken the cotton thread to breaking (and your seams will come undone). So, what thread does she recommend (for piecing and quilting)? Coats all purpose! Eureka! This is not the first time that the "old school" brands (or techniques) continue to outshine the newest "Hollywood fad"...lol! I'l be trying Coats all purpose on the my next quilt...because I am one of those quilters that uses the daylights out of the quilts I make... my quilts don't hang on a wall, ladder or stay folded behind a protective glass door in a cabinet... so I want these babies to hold together after many washes!

Our cat Berwyn has been keeping our home happy and entertaining...he just LOVES to help me with my sewing...and he also helps my DH with his radios...here's a quick video of quilt help and a "moment of zen"...

I finally did manage to get Winter Greetings all pieced, quilted and bound! I thought it fitting to take my Winter quilt and place it on the green grass that has been all confetti'd with the petals of Spring tree blossoms!

After over thinking the quilting...I finally decided on a simple cross hatch. I had quilted a little more fancy motifs, then thought it too busy...and even called on the opinion of the DH and he agreed...keep the quilting simple, so that the fabrics and piecing take center stage!

 I'm looking forward to quilting more of my quilts with simple straight lines...and Berwyn will be near making sure I stick to that promise! lol!

One more thing...

The basic gist if this internet phenomenon is this...start a new project each day of the month...OR start 19 new projects since the year is 2019. Well...since 31 or 19 NEW projects may just cause me to suffer a total mental meltdown... I think I'll just use this "Stitch Maynia" as an incentive and motivator to finish ONE project that has been in my stash for quite a few years... it's "Spell of the Moon"...a small...and reasonably sized project for completing in a month.

Always had a love for Blackbird Designs...whether quilt, cross stitch, applique or other (rug hooking, punch needle, etc)...Barb and Alma just always seem to gather the perfect elements to make creating their designs so peaceful and enjoyable...

And, ain't that what it's all about? :-)

Hoping to return to blogging sooner than later...

Happy stitching my friends!


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