Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jan Update and Feb Goals

Yikes, it's the end of January!  I saw it coming but somehow it caught me by surprise.

I'm so very happy with my January accomplishments.  

My list for January:
Find Angela's center block - Done
Sew that block - Yippie Kyai
Rearrange my sewing room & Set up my sewing machine - Yes, and cleaned it up nice too!
Quilt Christmas tree block - No, didn't do this. Didn't even try.
Bind the Christmas tree block - Nope, ditto on this. 
Work on by Christmas Stocking - Yes! I've really been working on this.
So that is 4 out of 6 goals met! That's good!

So now on to February!  

1. Figure out placement of blocks for Angel'a quilt (Feather's Star Quilt) 
2. Sandwich the Christmas block to be quilted. 
3. Find backing fabric for Green and Brown quilt.
4. Continue working on my stocking. 

I'm really excited because I'm starting Three New Block of the Months!  (I know, I know! You don't have to tell me, I know I'm crazy!)

1. Terrier Town BOM
2.  Blue BOM from LQS
3.  Sully Threads Jan BOM

I wanted to number the BOM's starting at 1 again so that it wouldn't seem like I have so much to do. (That silly idea is working!)


Happy Stitching, 
Linda

I'm linking up with  Pigtales & Quilts "To Do List" and Judy's Get it Done,
Lily's Quilts, Fresh Showing Day, and Lynne over at Never to Hot to Stitch .

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

After the Block

Do you ever do this, finish up a block - and just quit?  

Well, what do I think will happen? The quilt will design & sew itself together?

So here's what I've been doing instead

Vacationing!

There's nothing like getting away from it all.  We choose to do that by camping.  One of the girls in the office made a face when I told her about our plans.  She said she only does condos.  hehehe (I thought that was really funny.)

I like our trailer, we get out our little grill make dinner and drink a beer or two, enjoying the scenery.  For us that is so relaxing.
Each day we get out and walk. Then go do something, which is usually hiking around. We were camped near Palm Springs.  Palm Springs is loaded with Palm Trees - it's so neat. Even the Hwy is lined with them. 
You can tell this picture was taken through the windshield - but it's not too bad. At least the windshield is clean.  Later that night a flock of bird used the truck for target practice.  LOL

If you are ever in Palm Springs you must take the tram.  It's the world's 2nd highest and it's really a trip!  We went up over 8,500 feet.
We took the first tram up that morning - there were only about 8 on the tram - so we had the whole area to ourselves to hike around. It was so beautiful, peaceful and quiet.
We also had the opportunity to see Marilyn.  She is touring the U.S. and had just come from Chicago.  I have to admit she was gorgeous with mountains in the background - and was she ever BIG.
One funny thing was all the older men - 60 and over would look up her skirt and make funny faces, the younger guys would just stand beneath her.  

We also hiked up to the 62 foot water fall.  It was a bit of a tough hike.  I was glad it was only 79 degrees that day!  Up at the fall it was very cool. 

We also found a 100 store outlet and we walked by every single one and ended up buying only three items.  Sounds about right for us. 

Oh, before I end this post I wanted to show you the trailer next to ours.

Isn't that just too cute?

Next post should be about stitching,
Linda

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Look! Look at my center block!

Remember as kids you would say Look! Look at me!  Well, that's what's I'm doing.  

Check this out.  I finished the center block!   Can you tell I'm excited?
When I first started sewing quilts I saw a feather star and thought "I'll never be good enough to do that."  And I'm still not!  LOL  There's a few minor errors in this one.  My next one will be perfect. (hopefully)

I used the tutorial from Molly's Place.   I loved sewing this. She gave wonderful instructions - I mean  WONDERFUL.  They were easy and precise with load of pictures. THANK YOU MOLLY!  My only problem was finding that 1/4 seam on my machine. I had to resew a couple seams.  I should have used my 1/4 foot - well, I will next time. Molly told me to, but I didn't listen.

I looked back to see when I started this - I cut it out July 2011 - 18 month ago! Okay, I know I had some distractions - but 18 months worth?  Good thing you all were not holding your breath!  LOL  Once I started sewing it went together very quickly.  

Happy Stitching,
Linda

Monday, January 14, 2013

Review of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker


WhooHoo!  I received a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's newest book, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.  I've been asked to review it. (Note: They do not asked to give a positive review).

This latest book is historical fiction about Elizabeth Keckley, a slave who earned her freedom by her sewing skills. It is a stand alone novel; it is not about the usual gang of Elm Creek Quilters. This story starts just before the Civil War and develops as Keckley becomes dressmaker and friend to Mrs Mary Todd Lincoln. Chiaverini does a wonderful job of including Civil War history from a personal point of view.  I found it very entertaining to read how people of that time would think and reacted as the events unfolded. The book is often written in narrative as the telling of the historical events calls for this type of writing.  I admit I loved the glimpses Chiaverini provides into the Lincoln's lives, into the attitudes that many people of the day had and the making of our nation.  The book is rich in history and it is evident Chiaverini did quite a lot of research to incorporate the parts necessary to create this smooth flowing story.

Elizabeth Keckley led quite an interesting life - I'll not share it here, but let you read about it - and Chiaverini did a wonderful job telling it.

I'm so glad that Chriaverini has branched off from the Elm Creek Quilters, as much as I loved them, as I really enjoyed reading this book.  The book goes on sale January 15th.  

Linda



Monday, January 7, 2013

The Perils of Starting & Stopping

Why Oh Why do I start something and not finish it?  I mean I actually know why - cause something more pressing comes along - but still, Why?

On my list on things for January I have

Find Angela's Center Block.

That sounds easy enough - cause I know sort of which pile to start looking under. (I ought I ask Why Oh Why do I have piles?  At least I have only a couple.)  So I find the pieces to the block. Yea! Score one for me!

And check it out, I even cut & pasted little bits of fabric so I would know which fabrics would be which part of the block - now wasn't that clever!
But there's about 8 different fabrics and I have only 4 fabrics on the page. Okay so I'm not that clever.  Still, it's a good start.  And I saw a couple of the pieces were all ready sewn together.  I don't remember doing that. Then I realized I didn't have the INSTRUCTIONS!

So I started searching and found them. DOUBLE SCORE!  Then I realized that I didn't mark the page as I went along so I'm not sure where I left off or where I should start.  LOL

Instead of worrying about that I totally cleaned and re-organized my pantry.  And then when to see the movie The Hobbit, such a good movie.  Maybe tonight I'll figure it out - if that's too difficult I have another closet I can organize.
Happy Stitching,
Linda

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Goals & New Word

Happy New Year!  Did you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve?  Drink some bubbly to celebrate?  We did and just enjoyed each other's company.

I've been thinking about my new year's goals.  I've really been enjoying sewing these past couple years.  Some years I sew everyday for a couple hours and other years not so much. 

I did make a list of some UFOs.  I plan to finish only three of them this year.  I'm taking it easy, however, I hope to do some other projects and fun stuff too. I don't want my life to be only quilts - (What?? Yep, it's true.  There are other things out there!)

First up is Angela's quilt.
Holy Cow! This thing has been on my UFO list now for years! My big plan is to make the center square.  And that's it.  Hopefully I can at least get that done.

Second is Quilting the Christmas Tree. 
I have no idea why I didn't finish this before Christmas.  But at least I should have it ready by next Christmas.  

And third, The Green & Brown Quilt.
This is really a pretty quilt.  And my doggie looks so cute on it! I want to practice my FMQ and this quilt will be good for that.  

Okay so there they are - not too many items, which leads me to my New Word. Relax. I don't want to be a slave to my sewing machine. I want to relax and take it easy about getting so many projects done.

I do need to have goals though and that's why this month I'm linking up with Judy's "Getting it Done" and Pigtales & Quilt's "Monthly to do List".

My list for January:
Find Angela's center block 
Sew that block
Rearrange my sewing room & Set up my sewing machine
Quilt Christmas tree block 
Bind the Christmas tree block
Work on by Christmas Stocking 
Happy Stitching,
Relaxing Linda