Wednesday, January 29, 2020


Do you have the ABC song running through your head now? Ha! I saw this sample from Dropcloth Samplers on Instagram back in the early fall I think. I immediately fell for it. In the past couple of years, I have rediscovered my love of hand work. It started as a way to have something to do in the evenings while watching TV or visiting with friends. Now it is a must have in my life.
I picked out these 5 shades of pink from my collection of DMC floss and decided to do some sort of an Ombre look on this sampler. I knew it would make my heart sing!
I usually only hand stitch in the evenings and on weekends. Machine work happens Monday-Friday during the day while my husband is at work. I seldom do machine work on the weekends. This bit took up the first week of stitching.

I made it this far by late October. I know the time frame by my painted toe nails. I got them done in early October when I was in NC visiting my Daughters.
I got to a point where I had 3-4 different hand stitching projects going on. Two were embroidery and two were EPP. Both of the EPP projects are still ongoing. Progress gets made on all, but on some things it's slower than others. I was so happy when I reached the more than halfway mark on this.
 Finally, two weeks ago I was down to the last line left in this. I don't know about you, but that always re-energizes me to finish something.
 So this past weekend, I just chugged along on Friday afternoon and evening. Saturday I took the day off to go to Torrey Pines for the golf tournament with my hubby. By Sunday night it was almost done.
And here it is, pressed and ready to frame. I took the last few stitches Monday morning and went and bought a frame for it. Sorry, I don't have a picture of it in the frame. I hung it above my sewing machine so I could look at it all the time. I am very pleased with this bit of stitchery.

Thanks to Rebecca @dropcloth on Instagram for this great sampler. If you do one, there is a hashtag for it #abcsprinkle. @bjones6416 posted when she received hers in the mail and that spurred me to get one. I am giving consideration to getting another one, because I have another colorway idea for doing this.
Talk to you soon.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

My Penney Sampler Club Quilt-the Beginning

I made a Penny Sampler Quilt in the second round of Rachel's classes for that quilt. Maybe a year and a half ago? I loved it. I took the class to get better at the several skills that were used to make the quilt, and it worked. I feel like I have truly mastered those techniques.

Rachel has now come up with the Penny Sampler Quilt Club. I never would have decided to make another Penny Sampler Quilt, but she has two versions now, and the new one is a Dutch inspired version. That was where she got me hooked.
 This is the coloring sheet, for help in getting started on this year long project. I used colored pencils to help me establish some sort of color scheme for the quilt. I knew from my last class that this was the best way to keep it from being a daunting task to choose colors and fabrics. Some things will change, as this quilt will lead me and show me what it needs as we go along.
 This is my initial fabric pull for the quilt. I know that as we work through the blocks, some fabrics will not make it into the quilt, and others may join this stack. But the point is to have a starting point.
 This is my first block for January. The compass block. It turned out so much softer than I had imagined. But I truly love it. I have left it on the design wall so I can just look at it.
 This is the row of diamonds on the top of the quilt. My second element for January. The red in this block was not in the initial fabric pull, but when I was digging through my stash and I saw this, I knew it was perfect. The color is so rich and sharp, especially compared to the compass. This quilt needs some of that kind of color in it. I am super happy with this.
My third January element is the ribbon block. Again, a bit softer look, but all these came from the original fabric pull, except for the pink background. After I did my initial fabric pull, I ordered some Kona solids to compliment those colors. This is such a busy quilt, it needs some solids to give your eyes a place to rest a bit. It makes the other fabrics really show off to their best advantage.

This is a year long project, so I will be back with updates along the way. You can still join the club at any time. There are two different Penny Samplers to choose from. You get the patterns for both and you can mix and match as you like. Don't care for an element? Swap it out. The only thing that needs to be consistent is the different block sizes in their place in the quilt.

Have a lovely weekend, and I will see you soon.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Dune Done

One of the things I have been doing for the last couple of years, in between sewing projects, is crochet. Lucy, from Attic 24 has so many wonderful crochet blanket patterns. I recently finished my Dune blanket. I am always behind in these crochet alongs since I sew much of the time.
 The two things that drew me to this blanket were the seashell pattern of the crochet and the colors Lucy chose for the yarns. They are all from a day at the beach, and things she saw or collected there.
 I had decided to do the colorwash version of the blanket, but apparently I cannot read. T very top of the colorwash sheet that tells the order of the colors says "make two rows of each color". There are 100 color rows and 4 repeats in this pattern. I made one row of each color. This is also the back of the blanket where you can see the V stitches.
 by the time I was more than half way through, I realized there was a problem. The blanket wasn't as large as it should have been. I did not want to rip out the whole thing, so I had to come up with a solution. The blanket still looked good, and the color arrangement was interesting. What to do?
 So I decided to continue on to the end of the 100 rows, and then go back in reverse color order with the single row of each. It really turned into an accidentally striking pattern.  The V stitches in between the shells were so nice.
 And it worked out perfectly. It is almost the size of my queen size mattress. I haven't figured out how to photograph the entire thing, so you are getting lots of bits.
This is what the back side looks like. Totally different, it's like having two blankets. But here you can see the way the V stitches look on the blanket.
Have a lovely Friday my friends.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Little Miss Muffet

Sat on her tuffet...well, I don't sit on it, but it does make quite a neat prop up for my feet when I am sitting in a chair in the living room. I made this tuffet in a class about 10 years ago and I truly love it and the class was great. But now, with so much use, it's badly worn. Enough to need a new cover.

You can see here how worn it is. The fabric is very faded and dirty and the fabric on the button is ripped as well.
If you look at the side, you can tell how bright it used to be. Such a difference. So after looking at it for a couple of months, I put recovering it on my list for 2020. And it is finished.
I loved the Kaffe Fassett fabric that was on the button, so I decided to use it again for the button, and like the last time. I pulled colors from that fabric to make the stripes. Look at the difference here, between the old and the new.

The difference in the two is stunning to me. I knew it was dingy and dirty, but this really shows it.

And here it is, all done up and ready to use...well, almost. I want to get some Scotchguard to protect it a bit before we put it to use again.
If you are interested in making your own tuffet, this pattern came from Tuffet Source. She is on facebook and sells the kits and pattern for the cover. You add the fabric and while I made this in a class the first time, I don't think it is too difficult to do on your own. The directions are good.
That said, go and have a lovely day.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A Few Thoughts on Blogging

Hello Friends. I think a lot while I am sewing. One of the things I think about is my blog. Should I take a picture of this? Would this make a good blog post? How long has it been since I blogged? I need to blog this, but I need more pictures.

These are my thoughts on blogging. The first is that a blog, to me, needs pictures. That's why I look at blogs. A story is best told with illustrations, when it is a story of a sewing or quilting. Let's be honest, it's why you read blogs too. We all want to see the projects, the fabrics, the crafting spaces. Many times when I don't blog a project it's because I haven't taken the time to photograph it yet. I always think I will get to it, but I sometimes don't.

Sometimes I just feel lazy. I don't want to sit at the computer and type. I don't think my story is particularly interesting. Or I don't think anyone will care but me, so I don't blog it. That sort of defeats the purpose of blogging to keep track of my makes.

I must admit, that at least once a year I sit down and look through old blog posts and I am amazed at all the things I have made, some of which I have forgotten until I see the photos. I love that part. The "Oh my, I forgot about that!" part.
Many times what gets me to the computer is the guilt. "I haven't blogged in such a long time." The year before I went through my cancer treatments, I blogged the most ever. I was really trying to build up my readership. The year I went through those treatments, I blogged very little, as I wasn't sewing and had no energy for anything at all.

Now, I don't really worry about who reads my blog so much any longer. I get an average of 20 reader visits per post. Sometimes a little more, sometimes less. it's funny, because Bloglovin' tell me I have over 200 subscribers, so does that mean my readers have given up on blogs?
Maybe. I have often been amazed when someone I follow doesn't post for months, or longer, and then they do and they get loads of comments, as if they have never been gone from blogging. I have never had that kind of response. Ever. The best I ever did was when I used to link up with Crazy Mom Quilts and some of the other Friday link ups. But then we all went round to the link ups and commented more, didn't we?

I still plan to keep blogging, as much or as little as I feel like. I know I will still have followers who drop by, and most don't comment, although if I'm honest, I don't comment as much as I used to. One thing I used to do was to reply to all the comments, which came into my email. I have been thinking about that and I realize that visitors to the blog cannot see whether I have replied, unless I do on the blog itself. So going forward, I plan to do that, instead of the individual reply as I was doing. It's easier for one thing. And others can follow the conversation. Just my thoughts.
If you drop by, say hello if you wish, or not. I will be here when I have something to share. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

My Good Fortune

I had never done a mystery quilt before. I had seen them all over the internet, but never was intrigued enough to participate. Until last year. Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville fame runs mystery quilt alongs every year apparently. For some mysterious reason, I decided to jump in and join up for the Good Fortune Mystery Quilt Along. According to my photos, we must have started last year in November. That is the date stamp on the first pictures of part one.

I kept up with the first three parts. This quilt was made from nothing but scraps and I did enjoy that aspect of the project immensely. When we got to the fourth part, I couldn't quite wrap my head around it for some reason and I became quite frustrated. So I quit. I put all the finished pieces in a project box and walked away from it. I did mountains of sewing and other projects for awhile after that.

In August, something tugged at me. I decided to pull it all out and give it another go. I had downloaded all the instructions to do the rest of the quilt and so I had that ready to go. I worked on it for a bit. I finished all of the components of the quilt finally. Then, I began to assemble the quilt.
I made it this far by the fall. I had the center of the quilt finished. It hung on my design wall for weeks, as I tried to get energized about it. I had some Christmas sewing to do, so I took it down and hung it over a hanger on the sewing room door. And there it stayed. Until this past week. I finally decided to get it finished. I had made my list of 2020 projects and it was near the top of the list.

Now, I think that if I had known there were four borders on this thing, I might not have started it in the first place. I am not a fan of borders, which is one reason I like the modern quilt movement so much. Borders are not mandatory. But there was nothing for it but to plow forward.

So this week I began sewing the borders on to the quilt top. To me, it seems a tedious process and each side seems longer than the last.
 But finally all the borders were on all the sides. This is a pretty large quilt too! I love the look of the design when I stand back and take it all in. Up close, I worried about some of my fabric scrap choices, but looking from a distance it all works.

In these two photos, you can see the four borders a bit closer. Two of them are quite narrow. The green and white HSTs are trimmings from the pinwheels. Bonnie calls them bonus blocks. It's not the type of thing I usually save to use.
One last picture of the whole beauty, hanging on the clothesline. I am so glad it is done, but seriously, I don't see me ever making another mystery quilt. I plan to quilt it in an all over swirl pattern, since there are so many small pieces and seams that I feel a need to secure. I may be back to show when that part gets done, but it may take a bit to get to it. The project list is long.

Happy new  year my friends. May your year be filled with Good Fortune.