Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Playing Jacks

Do you remember the game "Jacks"? Bouncing the ball and collecting the number of Jacks. I have an old set that is wood and then an old metal one - ouch if you got aggressive with the game or if someone forgot to pick all the Jacks up and you stepped on one. Love the pretty colored plastic ones.

I've been playing Jacks in my quilting. Trying to bounce the ball high enough to get all the required numbers. But that's not a fun game to play - and I like my FUN. I purposely cut my required numbers down for June. Some new FUN came along with bloggers having quilt alongs, etc... BUT we need to set our limits We need to remember the FUN.

I even took Monday completely OFF - finally a day with no rain! And played all day outside in all the glorious flower beds. Slowly enjoying each bed and each flower. And Wednesday I shopped for ME. I needed new shoes - which is a venture. But luckily the second pair was perfect, never have had that kind of luck - even got a pair of sandals. AND, I went to the hairdresser for a wash, cut, and style. YES, I took the time to breath!

I found this little quilt top when going thru my UFO's and flimsies (pieced quilt tops) to see what I wanted to finish and to realistically decide they need to move on to another 'home' (Sarah - a box is on the way). I probably did this paper pieced water lily pattern 3-4 yrs. ago. All scraps of blue little florals. I found a scrap piece for the back (blue floral) and enough of a blue floral scrap binding. It was windy and I had trouble getting the quilt to 'stay put'. When I turned to get the camera set and then back, sneaky got into the act - so I let her pose.

When I need to 'breath' I find playing in my scraps helps - remembering projects they came from or maybe another quilter donated the fabric and I think of their project. A bit of SQUARED UP this time with 3.5" squares that I pulled from the barrel - added a few fresh reds, but plenty there. Sewing them as 'twosies' right now with more to come.

And stitchery relaxes me. This is the second block for the Clover & Violet stitch and quilt along. I opted to use just the single large butterfly and added some playful little button flowers. Love my buttons.

My 4th of July piece is coming slowly. Just enjoying a section or just a strand stitched. There will be plenty of time and I can enjoy this little wallhanging thru July.

And I am taking more time to work with my cross stitch - my true love. Seeing my Dad's old pencil and color wash piece made me give a try at accomplishing this affect in my new piece.


Old proverb:
'All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy'

Remember to set realistic limits, slow down, don't bounce your ball too high or try to grab too many Jacks. Take time to breath. Remember to have FUN.

Sewingly Yours,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fit To Be Square

Definition - A 4-sided regular polygon with all sides equal and all internal angles 90°. For a quilter - inspiration and the base of quilt blocks. Moda Bake Shop has a wonderful chart for "dissecting" a 5" charm here leading us into another design realm.

I found these stitched squares when looking for something else. Oh, my they must be 3yrs old - from Ria Lanser's old site - Grandma's Kitchen. 12 alphabet blocks (6" square) I thought the Le Petit Poulet would work well with them.

As most of you know - I am a horrible insomniac, so of course, these went right into stitching mode. I fused a light stablizer to the back of the aida cloth, stitched blocks for support, and used those Jelly Roll strips to make 3 each of red, blue, green, and yellow hue blocks. Now I have to decide if I want to use the tiny pin dot on white, plain white, or black for sashing

I made the square-in-a-square blocks for the 'Quilt for Kaaren' project. You can find the information here. Blocks should be in the mail by July 15th.

I managed to get the two final borders on my Simple Things quilt. Opted for a muslin strip and then used more of my squares for a patched last border. This will wait for a little for hand quilting as I have another to get done.

I did get the wristlets finished to match the little coin & card purses (Valeri Wells pattern). This is an easy pattern and great tutorial, so if you are shy of zippers, give this a try. Tutorial can be found here.

I finished the hand quilting to complete June's UFO piece for Judy's challenge. The batting was a little too thick for a table topper, so it will be used for a stroller/carriage quilt. It is made from left over HST's, left over w/w squares, and left over sashing strips. Even the batt was a trimmed piece. The backing is new fabric I got 1/2 price - Buggy Barns' "In the Pink"


For those following the two square boxes of traveling stash, you can find them here and here. Oh, I would love one of these - so I can split it and send two square boxes on their way.


I know this is what you all have been waiting for - and I made you work for it wading thru a long post. Mailer ready and all those charming names in the draw.

And a real good shuffle and stir to find a slip - that's a new stitchery at work for the 4th of July.

Shannon of NuNus Quilt World. I will need your pick of the double pack of charms and your mailing address. Congratulations to Shannon and thank all of you for being such Charming Followers.


Are you a square peg in a round hole, or a round peg in a square hole? Instead of trying to 'fit' within the square and round of the quilting design world, find what fits you - makes you happy and shout "I MADE THAT"!! (shhh - I think I'm a spiral)

Sewingly Yours,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

For a Dear Quilting Friend

I am sure many of you know Kaaren from The Painted Quilt - you've seen some of my progress here with her Raggedy Annie BOM. If you follow her blog you know that she is taking a break from blogging because of a serious health issue. We are all thinking of her and wishing her well; and some very special friends are organizing a project to show our support.

Here are some words from Allie at Allie-oops Sweet Happy Life

" We would like her to know that she's not fighting alone, and Paulette from Sweet P Quilting and Creations and Leslie from Les Quilts and I have decided to organize a quilt for her."

Please consider contributing to this worthwhile project. Very clear and easy directions are on Allie's Blog.

Thank you Flo @ Butterfly Quilting for the heads up.

Sewingly Yours,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Marigolds

The Marigold has long been used as a base for ointments for repairing minor damage to the skin. The sap from the stem is reputed to remove warts, corns and calluses. Pigments in Marigolds are sometimes extracted and used as a food colouring. Marigolds have a pungent odor which which help to keep insects at bay in your flower beds. I love them for their array of yellow, orange, and rust coloured star clusters.


I made my star blocks for the "Simple Things" quilt along. Used some of my 4-patch blocks for the centers and then thought it would be easier (and less seams) to make flying geese units instead of all those HST's. **yes, I plan to use those trimmed off corners in something**

Progress!! Second round is all attached and it is now 42" square. I have it hanging so I can think about the next two borders.

And still seeing stars - my new swap partner for the Australian 6.5" block swap wanted pastel Ohio Stars on tone-on-tone background. I hope they get to her, as she tells me there is a mail strike (Canada).

Well, there is a star block in this. My latest little stitchery is done and fabric framed. Going out to someone as a surprise Pay It Forward and thank you.


"Open afresh your rounds of starry folds,
Ye ardent Marigolds."
- John Keats

Sewingly Yours,

Sunday, June 19, 2011


The simple white orchid - meaning - charmed or charming and as a single flower in a corsage means 'Simply Charming'. This particular cultivated orchid is so named and a favorite for June weddings.


On the wall - a simple table topper from left over HST's combined with simple white squares. I am in the progress of handquilting - keeping it simple. This is my June UFO for Judy's list and I should have it completed in the next day or two.

Just some simple play in my scraps. The barrel of scrap triangles is REALLY stuffed! Easy 1" x2" geese x 8" paper pieced strips that will get used in a quilt some where down the line.

I leasurely played with another set of 'Stars' for the Christmas quilt-a-long. Again just using my scrap holiday fabrics. Will be my nearly red/white quilt.

And I am playing with this little 'charmer' of simple loves of the stitcher. Floss, needles, bobbins, motifs, little snip scissors - just simple stitching charm.


All about May For Me and it was a blast, but until I wrote it all down, I really accomplished a lot - May For Me quilt, two Hands2Help quilts, color quilt, Flirting with Flowers wallhanging (UFO challenge), Daisy Do wallhanging (UFO challenge), Moda Bake Shop May contest, Once Upon A Season swap, Zip Bag swap, and Australian 6.5" block swap.

June: Still have 2 weeks to play, but - Rainbow Geese (UFO challenge), three Cross Stitch - Sampler - lighthouse - thistles, Bread Basket swap, Santa Sack swap, Modern Quilt Challenge, table topper (UFO challenge), 6.5" block swap, PIF's done, and on-going new fun with Christmas quilt-a-long and Simple Things quilt-a-long.


This is the 98th post, so with the next holiday soon upon us, I am posting for the 100th post give away.

For my faithful followers (to date) I offer this give away - your choice of a double pack of charms:
A Simpler Time, Lily & Will II, Prayer Flag, Chrysalis, or Le petit Poulet

So leave me a 'charming' comment to be entered and on my 100th post (June 27th) I will draw a winner who can select their choice of charms.


Remember the single white orchid, keep you life simple and it will be charming.

Sewingly Yours,

Saturday, June 18, 2011


For all the Dad's - Happy Father's Day. I would like to share my Dad.

He was always pencil sketching. Places he had been, things he had done, a few people (not good with people), experiences. This is our old barn that is the State Landmark - First Courthouse.

I don't remember him using color wash - but some pieces were found when clearing his things and given to us at Christmas. This is how we camped - yes, we really roughed it and this is how I taught my kid's to camp.

He loved to work with wood. This was the last grandfather clock he built with the former owner of the property - they built many things together. It's a shame this is in storage.

His famous small Amish chair, a quilt rack, even the large ladder rack.

And intricate whimsy - can you imagine this was 'just for fun'.

This is my Mom and Dad on their 60th Wedding Anniversary. An avid gunsmith and sharpshooter, boat maker, woodsman and fisherman, story teller, provider, teacher, artist, craftsman. DAD A year ago we laid you to rest at your favorite place - the hunting cabin on the mountain. Today we remember.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Simple Things

Although not officially signed up with the Friday Night Sew-In, I thought it would be a good time to work on getting some progreass on the Simple Things Quilt Along with the Charming Girls. Getting all those 'twosies' onto my muslin squares. Love to work with muslin - it's such a 'heritage' fabric, it makes me feel like I am sewing with my great grandmother and aunties.

And I did up one star - assembled enough of the center to see some direction. I opted not to embroider wording, but there is going to be lots of lovely spaces for some fun quilting. I did finish up all my 'framed' square blocks, so just need to work on the stars. A great start on a summer quilt.

Sewingly Yours,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flutterbye June

The butterflies are beginning to appear. Drawn to the fragrance and dewy nector of red, yellow, and pink blooms. They make me feel like my quilting and thread play of late - flitting from one fragrant, colorful fabric to another, or drawn to dewy verigated thread play.


Although not a butterfly - the 'Rainbow Geese' are flying. I wanted to take this outside for a nice photo shoot, and mother nature flew into a rage. We had a horrible storm that lasted long enough to say "duck-and-cover" and it was gone. With limbs, leaves, scattered blooms and items strewn around the property. My Geese will have to wait on their better photo.


I finished and fabric framed a new sampler. I just love Alphabet Samplers. They make for wonderful 'welcome' gifts. They are cozy in an entry way. Or as a token of friendship.

The first stitchery block of Clover and Violet's stitch and quilt along was released today. Since my fabrics are more rustic, I am using DMC floss in more muted, rustic tones.

Some of my Heart blocks from The Raspberry Rabbits - the lovely 'Shell' is also having a give away which is open til' Friday. I wanted to wait on these when I had them in blocks, but have yet to decide on fabric. I have her lovely collection boxed set for this stitchery but decided to use just the Valdani #M46 verigated blue.


I started to get some block construction going on Simple Things from Charming Chatter's quilt along. First matching two charms right sides together and then sewing down opposite sides. Very easy, no thought sewing to flutterbye, mix-in with the stitchery going on.

Now I am cutting those sewn charms into quarters to make 'twosies'. These will then be used in the scrappy assembly around base blocks. I am doing 10 at a time as I am having trouble with my left shoulder popping out when I hold down the ruler for rotary cutting. AH, life on the wild side!

And I started the star blocks for the quilt along - My House - at Bianca's - atmyhouse-bianca.blogspot. Another great Squared Up project - just think of these easy Friendship Star blocks as 9-patch blocks. Her PDF file has all the directions, so I won't go into that - just don't shy away from them because of the half-square triangle pieces.

With my flit-and-flutter work, I sometimes feel I am not getting much done. Then I look to my thread - yes thread. Since the fabric pile seems to grow I have to view how much thread is on hand to actually see what progress has been made. See those empty blue cones? Those hold 5,000 yards of thread and I have used three of them since January for my piecing alone. I use many types of threads for various projects and by reviewing my thread, it is easier to see my progress.


(taken in part from Francis Duggan, JUNE)

It's beautiful the Summer month of June
When all of God's own wildflowers are in bloom
And sun shines brightly most part of the day
And butterflies o'er lush green meadows play.

Sewingly Yours,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June Berry

How did a strawberry get its name? Some believe that the name hailed from the practice of placing straws around the growing strawberry plants. Other say that the name evolved around 1000 years ago from the word, 'strew' that means 'spread', applicable to runners that spread outwards from the strawberry plants. The strawberry is the only berry that has seeds on its external surface. The other berries have seeds inside. A single strawberry has 200 tiny seeds. They are also the first ones to ripen in spring. Strawberries are low in fat content and calorie. They are rich in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid as well as potassium. They can reduce the risk of cancers and heart attacks. Fresh juice from strawberry pulp helps in recovering from fever. Strawberry juice, if combined with honey can reduce inflammation. It has a curative effect on sunburns.


I enjoyed participating in the Christmas sewing and finished another set of blocks. Check out Sue's Christmas quilt along that is very relaxed and fun - work on the lovely quilt she has or any project to help get your Christmas gifts done. Every second Saturday of the month - one day or use the weekend - so doable and great motivation.

This is a European bread basket - pattern here for Swap Exchange #3 over at Gone Stitchin' part of a 'reverse' swap. Something new to me. This pattern works up so quickly - took me 1/2 hour from start to finish. Would make a great Christmas gift - tuck some kitchen towels and pot holders in for a nice set.


This will be my next Squared Up project. Part of the quilt along with Charming Chatter's Charming Girl's Club. I will be posting step by step as I do my quilt. Just love 'Strawberry Fields' and these charm packs were a birthday gift from a friend. They are going to make a lovely summer quilt.


This is a UFO that has me stumped right now. All the blocks are together and framed them with black, but I have auditioned several fabrics for a border - then will bind in black pin dot. I just cannot decide on the border and hopefully hanging here will inspire - would like to get this finished this week. I want to use a mix of machine and hand quilting.

Tuesday is National Strawberry Day and many communities host strawberry festivals. I plan on having one of these at a neighboring festival - oh yum! Wouldn't is be fun to sleep in a strawberry field with tubs of cool whip at your fingertips?



A little boy runs across this man who has a truck load of cow manure. Amazed, the boy asks him what he is going to do with it. The man tells the little boy, “I’m taking it home to put on my strawberries.” With a strange look on his face, the little boy looks up at the man and says, “I don’t know where you come from, but where I come from we put cream and sugar on our strawberries.”

Sewingly Yours,