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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...

ETSY
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!

THREADS
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!

BERWYN
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"...



WINTER GREETINGS
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...

STITCH MAYNIA
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!

~Sharon

Monday, February 4, 2019

Sunshine and Songbirds

January is one of those "winter-hating" months for me. It's always too darn cold (polar vortex) and all grey and dingy brown. So very easy to get into the rut of craving (and caving into) high fat, heavy comfort foods (pasta, cheese, Chinese food, more cheese....lol) and then loafing around in layers of fluffy clothing and napping with a warm cat on your lap....lol! Well...sometimes it takes a good kick in the pants to pick yourself up and get going in a healthier direction!

So...that Radio guy says...how about we break up the routine with a trip to Atlantic City? Hmmmm? It took a little bit of persuading (long car ride, possibly losing money I could spend on fabric...lol!)...but, eventually I agreed....and off we went! :-) And it was FUN! We took all side roads to get there...there is more scenery (open space) in South Jersey than there is where we live...so I enjoyed the architecture of the old victorian homes and farmhouses along the way....I even enjoyed the "nothingness" of the famous Pine Barrens. Eventually we made it to our destination....The Golden Nugget...and enjoyed a few hours of gaming...winning just enough to pay for lunch (a delicious, juicy and HUGE burger) and dinner (Chinese). :-) I've got say that little bit of "different"....made a "difference" in spirit! :-)

Add to that...THIS weekend was to be a warm up...mid 40's on Saturday and mid 50's on Sunday! I set a goal that Saturday morning I was to wake up early, and get right to piecing up that Winter Blessings quilt! It was kind of like scheduling a mini retreat here at home. Some serious progress was made...


Each block is 6-1/2" finished. The triangles along the edge of the quilt are cut on the bias...so even though it was a beautiful day outside for pics, I did not want to handle it too much, and settled on a couple of quick pics of it draped over my ironing board. The next step is a thin red border followed by a thicker green border. Once those get sewed on (next weekend)... the quilt top will be sturdy enough to carry it around a bit and get some good full pics!



Did you ever go really "ga-ga" over a certain designer's fabric lines....and then one day decide you have too much of the same colors in your stash? That's what I thought happened to me. Last year I wanted a brighter color pallet....so I signed on for 2 Mystery BOM's and 1 auto-ship (Box of Figs)...ALL from Fig Tree Quilts. So, when it came time to sign up for 2019's Box of Figs...I opted not to. I figured I was "all Fig Tree'd out"...THEN the LAST Box of Figs of 2018 showed up in my mailbox...


Ain't it loverly! Those fabrics are gorgeous...and they are for making the smaller sized Fair Isle Heart quilt.... *sigh*... and added to the box was some Farmhouse Washi Tape, some Wonder Clips and a sewing themed calendar towel! The "bonus" small project is a heart sachet....made with all neutral colored fabrics... So yes... the frivolous side of me that loves pretty fabric and having happy surprises arrive in the mail is seriously regretting not signing up for 2019's auto-ship...BUT, the sensible and frugal side of me realizes that I've got some serious financial and life changing goals to meet in 2019. And, there is no time like the present to focus and achieve them!

Did I mention that on Sunday morning, as I was waiting for the coffee pot to finish perking...I noticed the beams of golden sunshine were brighter then they have been for awhile...and then my ears picked up on the happy tunes of songbirds! Alas! The silence of Winter has been broken...we are well on our way to Spring!!!

Best get those indoor projects done...and done quick! For soon it will be all about gardens, picnics and antique car shows!!!

But for now Berwyn says... "Would you put that thing (camera) away please....you're interrupting a good nap!"...


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

~Sharon



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Just a Little Bit More

Every weekend begins with a burst of energy and strong intentions to get to sewing on my Christmas quilt... and then I wake up on Saturday and just start to wander and putter around the house! lol! All good stuff...some tidying here, a nap there... some organizing here, play with the cat over there... a day trip here, a dinner out there... some football watching and maybe some book and/or magazine reading... and then I look at my hobby "stuff"... and decide I'm really not interested in a few more of the projects I have remaining. So, out comes the camera...and then the listings on eBay. 

I tried EPP...not my thing...too fussy... so I listed this Minick & Simpson Quilt kit... click HERE for the auction.


Then, as I sat looking at the stacks of folded wool in my closet, I realized that I went more than a year without pulling one loop? I'm sure that adopting a kitten into our lives has something to do with that....and I know I will get back to rug hooking (probably next month)...but, will I ever REALLY use all of the wool I have? Probably not. So, I gathered enough to fit in a 18"x14"x11" box...and listed that too! Click HERE for that auction. And yes...that nearly 10 pound stack did not put a dent in my stash... 


Winter Greetings is beginning to come together! I finally got the cutting, sewing, pressing into good order and before I knew it, these blocks just started flying out of the sewing room!!! :-)


Only 10 more of these pieced blocks to go, then I can start assembling the quilt top! With snow and cold predicted for this weekend....looks like this might become a finished top soon! 

Two more sleeps until the weekend.... *sigh*

~Sharon

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