Thursday, August 25, 2011

The stars are aligning for something big!

I came to Philadelphia last week for my son's engagement party which is scheduled for Saturday night and also to meet and visit with some new found cousins and family I haven't seen in awhile.

 We were enjoying a wonderful luncheon in New Jersey with family when all of a sudden the lights starting swaying the table shook. Everyone was looking around not knowing what was going on. We had no cell phone service and it was just a little disconcerting not knowing if it was an unheard of earthquake or some sort of terrroist attack. We had a couple of smaller aftershocks later that day but nothing serious. Now this in and of itself is pretty unusal for New Jersey but the next day they start talking about Irene making a path up the eastern coastline and we should start preperations for the "storm of the century".  We have pretty much just been going about out usual days shopping and enjoying the wonderful weather of the east coast. My future daughter in law Greta and I went to Phildelphia's Magic Gardens on South Street and had a great time taking in all the wonderful art that Isaiah Zagar has blessed the city with. If you haven't ever been here this should be on your must see list if you come to Philadelphia.

Sunday we went to Atlantic City

  and walked the boardwalk , shopped and enjoyed the wonderful early fall weather they have been enjoying.

 This morning my cousin Diane and I decided to drive to Ocean City, NJ and see what was going on and do some more shopping and walk the boardwalk. We hit everyone of the TaDah shops on Asbury Ave. and came away with some fun stuff.

We shopped for all of 2 hours and then everyone was buzzing about saying we needed to get out of town because the NJ govenor was calling for all out of town people to leave the area and they were already making preperations for evacuations of Cape May that will be mandatory tomorrow morning. And to think I was so excited when I got here last Thursday to finally see rain ( we haven't had rain in central Texas in a long long time). Be careful what you wish for. With any luck the engagement party will still take place on Saturday night in time for us to get home and batten down the hatches before Irene hits on Sunday. With any luck my flight will still make on Monday afternoon.

Say a prayer for us all that we are safe and the kids enjoy their engagement party and if nothing else it will be memorable.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Sunday reads...

 So another book I just finished is one of Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven. It's an easy read with a good ending and a good feeling book. Not too heavy just a sweet love story. I wouldn't exactly call this a favorite but it's definately something I would read again and feel safe recommending. I have read a number of his books , some better than others and this is at least a keeper book. Have you read this one? What did you think? I just finished "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand another great book. Do you have any suggestions? Any avid readers out there.

Happy summer reading....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Birthday bag

I've been meaning to make this little bag for my sister for her birthday (belated) and while it's supposed to be a Two-Hour Tulip purse , I think that only means if you know what you are doing. It's only my second bag and it took me more like 4 hours but I hope she'll love it none the less.

I chose to make mine out of batiks which I really loved

 with a beautiful purple lining (batik) with all the pockets and dividers but I added a cardboard covered square to the inside to give it some structure. I also added a peice of polymer I had for the button and she's all set. Hope she loves it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Heart warming

Have you seen this yet, it will make you smile and hopefully make you want to pass it on.

Have a wonderful day!

Calming Effects

It's that time of year again when the fawns start stepping out on their own and it's so fun to finally get a chance to photograph some of them. I am working on a quilt called Calming Effects and love the similarity in color and peace from both the fawns and the quilt. This is a pattern I bought a few years back at Creations Quilt Shop in Kerrville and only just this weekend got the top finished.

The concept of the quilt was to use striped fabrics cut into strips and then into triangles. Then you sewed the triangles into squares and the squares back into rows. I played around with various striped fabrics but ultimately went with a neutral batik stripe for that calming effect shown on the pattern cover.

 A close up of the squares sewn together and the overall effect  of the batik.

The inner border is a stonehenge in green/brown tones and the outer border is another batik with a lavender hint. I am thinking about hand quilting this in purple with a matching lilac/purple binding.

Here's the batik going on the back.

Happy August, stay cool and pray for rain for Texas!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Sunday reads....

So anyone who knows me knows I am an addicted reader and thought I would start sharing some of my favorite books. This is a new one for me, but it easily made my favorites list. It is a story told like none other and deserves to be read by everyone. So have you read this already? What did you think? If you haven't read it I hope you'll add it to your summer list.

I also made the leap this year to a Kindle reader and I my gosh, can't believe it took me this long.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

and all through the house.... I have been diligently working on this stitchery for the past year and finally got all the pieces complete and recently put the top together. I am working on this for a family member who loves all things Christmas and hopefully I'll have the backing together soon and get it quilted and in the mail to her by Thanksgiving so she can enjoy it for the holidays. The stitchery is a set of patterns I bought from Hugs 'n Kisses. The designer, Helen Stubbings  is an Aussie stitcher with some great patterns and kits. I do alot of stitchery but this is the first redwork I've done and I loved not having to pay attention to where the colors change. I just started on a new one and can't wait to get some quality sewing time.

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Santa Sack Swap 2

Recently I signed up for a Santa Swap that is being organized by Carol at Carol's Crafts Blog.  This is a swap that will take place over the next four months. We will each make a little sack/bag and add two small wrapped gifts and then mail them on Sept 1st and then each month mail two more small gifts to go in the sack. Then in December we'll also send a larger gift. All of these will be opened on Christmas and the anticipation of getting these gifts each month will be very tempting to look, morning and we've all taken a vow of honestly to not peak before then. So today we found out who our partners are. My partner is Kim from Creating by the Lake in the arid state of Arizona so I'll be working on some surprises very soon for her. Kim I'll be checking on your blog to see what surprises you would love the most :)

Yoko Saito - My Home Town

About a year ago I bought a tapestry wall hanging kit My Home Town by Yoko Saito, a well known Japanese artist/hand crafter quilter. Once I actually had the 6 kits in hand I was overwelmed when I realized it was all written in japanese and I had never even done needle turn applique in english much less japanese. I eventually contacted her to see if she would translate the instructions for me which she graciously agreed to do. Now with the english translation  in hand I was ready to start. So I made a sample block using scrap fabrics and using a pattern from her book House House House. I love love this book. I will definately be doing more houses down the road. So now with some practice behind me I was ready to start on the real thing. The kit is made up of 6
Sample block
 separate months , 5 of which I'll be making houses, barns, trees and lambs, and then on month 6 I'll sew all the separate kits together and begin hand quilting. She has very detailed instructions on the hand quilting lines which I am already looking forward to starting on. All of the awesome fabrics are included in the kits and most of them are taupes that she has designed herself. So below are some photos of my progress so far.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the hand work process but the pieces are very very
tiny so when I finally get to the applique process my fingers always feel like they are in the way. I have the first two sets/months done and working on month three. The progress is very rewarding but slow.

Beginning House 1

House 1 roof

Flower Cart complete
House 1 complete

Month two row houses complete

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter ......

Happy Easter to everyone and what a glorious day to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. I hope everyone has been blessed this Easter Day and is spending time with family.

  I spent the better part of the weekend in San Antonio enjoying the The San Antonio Market Square
and   The San Antonio River Walk. It's hard to believe it's only spring and I was dying of thirst in 90 degree weather on the river. We need rain so desperately to cool down the whole state of Texas. Heat or not I still enjoyed a relaxing lunch at  and always come away feeling like life is too fast paced. San Antonio has a way of making you relax, of the margaritas might have had something to do with this. The Mexican pottery is always a favorite and I have taken to collecting  the Televera style that has a raised painted surface and just delightful to look at.

I also just fell in love with this framed picture of 3 "wet birds" and couldn't leave without taking it home. It just makes me smile to see at how much fun they have taking a bath! We could learn a thing or two from the birds. It seems life everyday I see people, animals, places and think how calm and relaxed things can be if we strive to make that a priority. It helps remind me to keep my life in BALANCE.

So I am still quilting but spare time is hard to come by during the spring.  I have been working on a quilt that will be a gift later this month so can't show the back with the "larger than life" label but will take a photo when it is finally sewn on and the quilt is on it's way to it's new owner. The pattern was designed by the Honey Bee Quilt Store and was originally called "Dancing in the Dark" but I have renamed it "The Ties that Bind Families" since it is going to a newly found family member. It is made of all vintage fabrics and I just loved all the different blocks that were incorporated.

Well I'm off to eat a chocolate Easter bunny so enjoy the rest of your Easter!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vintage Memories BOM

I'm not sure what I was thinking back in November but I signed up for a new BOM being offered by one of my LQS Honey Bee Quilt Shop and I finally started on the three months that I had accumulated. We are doing this in Maison De Garance by French General using the pattern Little Scraps by This and That. The patterns are very easy to follow and while I don't think I would have picked this fabric on my own and I am really starting to like how it's coming together. Below are my first three months ( 6 blocks)

Lest I get too carried away I do have a civil war quilt that I have to finish before April so this will no doubt fall behind again but they are fun little blocks to do on cold rainy day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Prayers for Joanne

Joanne needs our prayers right now. On January 11th at 9:00 in the morning, 38 year old Joanne Heim suffered a major stroke and remains in a coma. She is the mother of 2 young girls, Audrey 12, Emma 9 and wife to Toben. You may know her as The Simple Wife. She is a fellow blogger and a student at the Denver Seminary working on her MA in Old Testament Biblical studies. The family is praying for a miracle and have claimed Psalm 46 as their prayer for her. Toben, Audrey and her sister Kristen have been updating her blog and have left a list of ways you can help, financially, prayers, cards so please take the time to check out her blog and keep her in your prayers.

They no doubt have a long long road ahead of them but as we've seen recently with Gabby Giffords miracles do happen and God hears our prayers. You can follow her progress at The Simple Wife or by clicking on the Praying for Joanne button on my sidebar.

Thank you for holding her up in prayer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fat Quarter Shop 2010 Christmas BOM

I am so glad I signed up for the Fat Quarter Shops 2010 Designer Mystery BOM. We are in month 8 and it has been so much fun. I did the FQS 2009 Designer Mystery and fell in love with the ease of their BOM and just couldn't resist doing another one. We are making blocks designed by a different designer each month and using Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas. I think the wreath is my favorite so far and think it would make a great pillow as a gift for next year so this will be one pattern I'll be going back to and what a cute little house we got to make this month.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fall Squared Quilt

This is a quilt I started sometime in 2009 and finally got all the blocks made and sewn together sometime this past fall but then with the holidays it just got set aside. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the back but found this Saltbox Harvest circles in flannel and thought it would be a perfect contrast to the squares on front. The picture makes it look more orange but it is really more of a nice rich barn red. At the moment it is just laying on top of the backing but it's on my "to be finished in January" list so we'll see.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Christmas 2010

I never posted pictures of these two finishes since they were Christmas gifts but have no excuse for waiting till mid January. My brother is always hard to either buy or make for so this year I made him a pillow with pictures of he and his dogs. He lost one of the dogs (Sheila) this past year to old age so it was sad and since they were siblings Kaycee is also getting up there in age and I hoped this would serve to remind him of the good days.

I also joined Fat Quarter shops Mystery Quilt BOM back in June of 2009 and finished it up in August 2010 ( obviously I fell behind somewhere along the way). I had been working on this with the intent of giving it to my sister for her birthday but it ended up being Christmas.  As I was taking a photo of this quilt outside the front door a roadrunner was just checking things out and stood there long enough for me to take his picture.