Friday, July 26, 2013

Sneak Peek and Garden Pictures

Here’s a little sneak peak at my August mini quilt: a tiny race horse block!

We took part of last weekend to work on the big garden bed on the side of the house where we added the trees.  The landscapers added the dry stream bed and the flagstone walkway and moved a Japanese maple and some hosta plants around.  So we weeded and raked out the bed last weekend and now it’s looking pretty nice:

We still need more plants/shrubs but we’ll add those over time as we find just the right varieties.  This is a tough time of year to plant perennials/shrubs.  The garden centers are low on inventory and what they do have is half dead.  I’ve been to two already and didn’t find anything that looked good to me.  Since I’m in no hurry, I’ll just keep looking.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Meet Mr. Lincoln

This may be my favorite Schnibble pattern so far! 

I changed up the design again this month by using a dark background and light star points for the star blocks.  I also put all the outer fence rail blocks facing the same direction on each side so that they make a triple border. 
The fabric is Padstow Range, by Cabbages & Roses for Moda.  I added some yardage in the red and blue solids. 
Mr. Lincoln measures 32 ½” x 32 ½” and has 167 pieces.

When we went for our nightly walk the other night, there were rabbits out all over the neighborhood.  These two stayed put long enough for us to get a picture:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Seeing Stars

I love, love, love these little 5” star blocks!

The red background, blue centers, and cream/light grey star points are so pretty!
One of my favorite aspects of these blocks is that you don’t need to worry about perfect points!  I will definitely be using this block again in various sizes. 
On another note, for weeks and weeks it has been so incredibly hot here in upstate NY.  Most of June and early July have been hotter than normal (and except for last week, very rainy).  When I got in the car to head home after work last Friday, look at what the thermometer said:

But yesterday, finally, the heat abated and we had one of those stellar summer days ~ 77 degrees, sunny, with a slight breeze.  Ahh, heaven!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Long Term Log Cabins

I started these log cabin blocks last summer but stopped when I realized I wouldn’t be able to get the whole quilt done in time for my sister, Anne’s birthday.  Her birthday’s coming in a few months so I’m going to try really hard to get the quilt done this year.  The quilt will have 100 10 ½” finished blocks.  I have 50 completely done, 25 had the first round done, and I added another round of lights this weekend.
I’m also adding some appliqué to the center of the quilt, it was about ¾ done last year and I worked on it a little bit last weekend.  I know Anne’s going to love this quilt – if I ever get it finished!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Garden Update

We have trees!! Last Friday the landscapers installed two new, October Glory, maple trees.  The leaves are supposed to turn bright red in the fall.  The little Japanese maple tree was moved to the front of the bed where it can be seen from the road.
See that pallet of stone at the back of the bed?  That’s the flagstone for the new walkway that will be installed this week, along with the dry stream bed.  I think they will have to move a few of the hostas to install the dry stream; hopefully they survive the move – we’re having a heat wave this week with temperatures in the 90’s every day.
The side yard is starting to look good again.
My daylilies are looking great!  I don’t know what the name of this particular lily is, but I really love the pink/burgundy color.  I wanted something different than the standard yellow.

How do you feel about impatiens?  I know they are used everywhere, but they do so well for me and they are so pretty.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lincoln Progress

All the rail fence blocks are sewn for the outside “borders” (red, blue, cream) as well as those for the interior (pink, cream, gray). 

The portions of the star blocks are all assembled and ready to sew next weekend:

I’m using a red background for the star blocks, cream star points, and blue centers.
The fabric is Padstow Range, by Cabbages & Roses for Moda.  I added some yardage in red and blue because I didn’t want to use the lavender charms.  I’ll save those for another project down the road.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Itty Bitty Baskets

I decided to jump on the itty bitty basket bandwagon and make these 2” finished Cakestand blocks using the pattern found here.

We are supposed to be making one block a day, but since I usually only sew on the weekends, I’m not going to be able to do that.  I did get all the tiny pieces cut out for these blocks – enough to make 36 (just in case a few don't turn out that great):

I made these three last weekend:
 and another three this weekend.

 I’ll try to catch up by the end of the month, but if I don’t, I’ll make something pretty with however many I do manage to get done.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lincoln's Up Next

Up next is the Schnibbles for July, Lincoln. I didn't need to buy the pattern this time since I have the book, Another Bite of Schnibbles, and Lincoln is in the book! 

To ease my way back into sewing after a two week break, I spent a couple hours on the color layout I want to use and a couple more hours cutting all the fabrics so I'm all set to sew the next chance I get.

I will be changing my layout from the pattern again this time! If I set all the outside rail fence blocks in the same direction and make a few adjustments to the corner blocks, I can make it look like scrappy borders, so that's what I'm doing!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Where I Sew

The Pink Chalk Studio blog is featuring a peek into the sewing rooms of bloggers this month so I thought I'd give you a peek at mine.

My sewing room is in our finished basement. My cutting table is in the foyer outside the sewing room. I have this great Ikea kitchen island that I use as a cutting table. In the drawers I have pens and pencils, a calculator, all my small rulers, and my rotary cutters (I have three - one for fabric only, one with a scalloped blade, and one for batting only).

My sewing room is only 8 feet wide by 10 feet long. On the left of the door is my table top ironing board that I pull up to the sewing table when I sew.
On the left wall is a tall metal bookcase where I keep my stash in plastic tubs. I have separate tubs for batting, binding scraps and ribbons, whites and creams, solids, conversation and novelty prints, black and greys, multi-colored fabrics, and my basics - tone-on-tone fabrics. 

Next to the fabric shelves is a six foot long Ikea table that I use as my sewing table. Underneath are a pink filing cabinet on one side and a drawer unit from Ikea on the other side.

On the back wall are my bulletin board and my design wall. 

On the right hand wall I have a pantry cabinet where I keep my scraps, colored pencils and drawing paper, cross stitch patterns and floss boxes.

 Next to the pantry cabinet is an Ikea shelving unit with several storage baskets and magazine holders (lots of magazine holders)!

I like things organized and neat with everything in its place. My sewing room stays fairly neat and usually the only thing out is whatever I need for my current project. I try to clean and straighten my room after every project.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my lair.

Monday, July 8, 2013

En Vacance

We've been on vacation for the past week while we had relatives from Tennessee visiting.

We did a grand tour of some of our favorite spots in the Adirondacks.  Day one was Bolton Landing on Lake George.

The view above is of Green Island and the Sagamore Resort from the dock in the park.

Day two was Lake Placid, Whiteface Mountain, the Winter Olympic Museum (featuring memorabilia from the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics), and an awesome dinner at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery. Even the rest areas had Adirondack themes, including moose and bear weathervanes!

On Day Three we visited the Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville, NY (a beautiful veteran's cemetery).  This monument was incredible! The draped flag is carved out of e same granite as the rest of the monument! The "red" stripes and "blue" background areas are polished granite whilst the "white" areas are rough cut. Amazing!

We rested on Day Four, then went to Inlet and Old Forge on Day Five.  We saw these adorable chihuahuas on a bed in a store window in Old Forge!

Day Six had us taking an 18 1/2 mile bike ride from Glens Falls to Lake George on the Warren County Bike Trail. 

We're exhausted now and need a vacation from our vacation! 

I'll be back in the sewing room this week!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day Firecrackers or… Sleeping Bags??

Happy 4th of July!  Last weekend I was putting the finishing touches on my new July mini quilt while I waited for all the guests to arrive at a party at my niece’s house.  My sister, Kelly, was there so I showed the mini quilt to her.  She asked if they were supposed to be firecrackers then said she thought at first they were sleeping bags!!!

Either way, firecrackers or sleeping bags, they both say summer fun to me!  I used some grey thread and a zig zag stitch to represent the burning fuses on the firecrackers and used fusible appliqué and a machine blanket stitch to attach the firecrackers.  I hand quilted some stars in the background and used some red and white gingham for the bias binding.  This one will go to work to hang on my office wall.
My other July mini quilt is this flag quilt. 

The star is from a paper-pieced pattern a friend gave me years ago. 

I completed the top about 10 years ago but only got around to quilting and finishing this mini quilt about two years ago.  I used a wavy stitch in the stripes to represent the flag waving in the wind.

I hope your 4th of July involves time with family and friends, enjoying a picnic and some fireworks, and celebrating America the Beautiful!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Trail’s End – Blogger Girls Block of the Month is Finished!!

Trail’s End is finished!  That’s what I’m calling my version of the Blogger Girls Block of the Month hosted by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts.  I used fabrics from the Trail’s End line by Holly Taylor for Moda.  Originally, I only planned to use the red and green prints because I wanted this to have a Christmassy look. 

The second block by Thelma over at Cupcakes ‘n Daisies convinced me to add some yellow/gold.  I’m so glad I did because the gold really makes the blocks sparkle.  Thank you for the inspiration Thelma!

I made some minor changes to a few of the blocks from Monique’s patterns and I made three versions of the April block so I would end up with 13 blocks.  I also did not use the sashing blocks that Monique designed.  Even though I spent hours cutting all the pieces for those square-in-a-square blocks, at the end of the day, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend more hours piecing them.   I went with simpler chain-type blocks.  I’m so happy I went with the alternate blocks and sashing. 

 I’m sad to see this project end, but happy to have time to move on to other projects.