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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jiggity Jig


Home again, home again,
Jiggity jig!

Its nice to be back on Cape Breton,
but it is still brown, windy, and cold here.
This morning's forecast is 34 degrees
and snow flurries!

Prior to leaving,
I managed to complete pretty much everything on my list
before my Texas Kenmore broke.

This last finish was the most important finish.


These blocks were constructed in 2004
by my SIL's mother, Veronica,
who passed away three years ago
after a short illness.

I found these blocks tucked away in one of her notebooks.
A Hancock Fabric's BOM,
I surmise it was never finished because of
deteriorating eye sight,
poor quality fabrics,
and complicated blocks.

I added 3" borders to each block because there were only 9,
not one of them being the same size,
and practiced a little FMQ









I joined the blocks with a QAYG method,
and the finished size is 54"square.

This quilt will be gifted to
Veronica's only granddaughter
on her 10th birthday in August.

On a sad note,
my grandkitty of 17 years,
Miss Molly,




will be laid to rest today.
I'm so glad I was able to spend one more winter
loving on her and tending to her aging needs.



She surely loved her mom!
Rest well,
sweet Molly.





Thursday, April 14, 2016

RIP Kenmore


I have been working on a 1964 Kenmore, a cadillac machine.
But Tuesday,  the little wire that helps govern the tension
broke right off while I was sewing.

I think my machine is cooked.  All because of a little wire.
Guess we'll see after a little research!

I wasn't quite finished with all my little projects
and I leave one week from today.
I'm not totally without.
There is an old portable White .
It's not the best, but I cleaned and oiled it and it's ready to sew.

I did manage to finish this cross body bag.




my favorite little quilt shop, in Schertz, TX
during a shop hop weekend,
and received a free fat quarter even though I wasn't shop hopping!




I chose Michael Miller's Urban Garden
and it made a sweet little bag.

Yes, as expected, Crafty Daughter claimed it!




I decided my bags needed little zipper pulls,
so during our last little shopping spree at Hobby Lobby,
I loaded up on some charms.

I make a lot of bags for a lot of people
of all different shapes and sizes.
I decided it was time to learn how to make adjustable straps
to eliminate the guess work!
I found a great tutorial at Sewplicity.
Easy  peasy!

~

(Click picture to enlarge.)

This is Mistletoe.

I never even wondered where mistletoe came from
until I moved to TX in the early 90's
to be near my dad and his family
and it was growing every where.
Who knew it is a parasitic plant that grows on trees?

Have a great day!

Keep it simple,
and make it fun!

XO,
karen

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Little 'To Go' Project


I won't get caught in the airport
or on the plane,
with nothing to do!

Armed with an audio story
and this wall hanging to embroider,




I should be all set!
Finished size will be 20"x20",
not too big to pull out onto my lap.

The bright and cheery fabrics in my
This 'n That Charm Pack
by Nancy Halvorsen for Benatex
will help to keep my spirits up when the traveling starts
to become a drag.




I still have to trace the letters onto the linen.
I won't applique the dresden plate until 
the embroidery work is finished.

I had about about a dozen 2.5" squares left over,
so I jumped at the chance to try out Karen Ackva's tutorial
for making this little "sew pixel play" pincushion.
I just used up the colors that were available
right there at my fingertips.




I prepared a grid on some lightweight iron-on interfacing
before bedtime last night,
and went right to work 
once I finished piecing the little top. 

In no time at all I had this little 3" pincushion
and it was easy peasy and lots of fun.
And I know me!
I know I won't be able to make just one,
that's how fun and easy they are!
Each little square is finished at a half inch.
Between you, me, and the lamp post,
I wouldn't sew that small the regular way!

I may, instead, make some new coasters 
to leave behind for Crafty Daughter 
using this technique.
I really don't need any more pin cushions right now.
(YES! I said that!)

~

Giant Swallowtail, (Papilio cresphontes Cramer)
Click on pic to enlarge.

This unique looking butterfly landed on the deck
the other week and just sat there,
needing a good rest.

I carefully moved it into the fenced in garden area
to keep it safe from the dogs
and later that day, it was gone.

~

So, I was thinking.  Wouldn't it be funny if, when you called someone on their cell phone, you heard what they hear?  My SIL's phone quacks.  Crafty Daughter doesn't turn her ringer on at all, so all you would hear would be dead space (how disconcerting that would be!)  If someone called you on your cell phone, what would they hear?

Have a great week end!
Keep it simple,
and make it fun!

XO,
karen

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Color Me Happy



Pinterest.

At first, I avoided it.
Then, I did what everyone does
and pinned every thing I saw and liked.
Now, I use it as a valuable resource.

One of the very first images I ever pinned
was this bright, bold, and beautiful quilt




by MamaCJT.

I knew that some day I'd want to make it.
Well, some day arrived, and I discovered she released the pattern
five years ago!  Oh, no!  It's been a long time!
But, I contacted Carol and thankfully she still had a copy
and she sent it to me right away.

Here's my version.



The colors aren't true.
It's red, orange, yellow, puke green, green, lt. blue, blue, purple.
It's made from all Kona, but I didn't keep track of color names.
I purchased my Kona from my local Joann's
and there weren't many color options available,
so I went with what they had.
Okay.
Actually, I tried to match the colors with the picture she posted.
I'm getting ready to leave.
There's no time for imagination at this stage.

It measures 54x61",
which didn't sound big,
until I finished the flimsie yesterday.
I thought it would make a great baby quilt for a boy
and thought I'd just layer it up and quilt it off real quick.
As you can see, it completely covers Crafty Daughter,
who was kind enough to hold it up for me.
I think it's going home to Cape Breton
so I can quilt it on my Janome.
I'll make another, smaller, baby boy quilt!

Speaking of Pinterest,
my favorite "go to" board is Crafty Daughter's
Recipe Success.

It's a community board she set up
sharing only recipes that were tried
and passed muster.
It's no secret that I don't like to cook.
This board has been a life saver for me.
I don't have to think.
I just have to be hungry!

~


This little friend was visiting yesterday afternoon.
I couldn't resist running in to get my camera.
I'm a lot better at taking pictures of lizards
than I am quilts!

Have a great day!
Keep it simple, make it fun!

XO,
Karen

Linking up with
Linky Tuesday


Friday, April 1, 2016

Checking It Off My List


I'm a lister.
And as my time to return to Cape Breton draws closer and closer,
my list of things to do gets longer and longer.
One of the things I like to do
is to be able to check things off my lists.
I've even been known to add something I've done
that isn't on the list,
just so I can check it off!

Check!





This wonky churn dash flimsy is finished and ready to pack!
It's a stormy day, so a picture on the wall will have to suffice.
Can't wait to get it on my Janome 
and try my hand at all that negative space.
It measures 54x60.
Not too daunting!

If I'd had a nice big design wall,
I might have played a little with the block placement.

But it is what it is 
and I'm happy with it.


It was very helpful to have finally broken down
 and made a few of these






~

On one of my most recent walks,
I came across this pretty little skipper.





Just another of Mother Nature's little gifts!

Thanks for popping in!

Keep it simple
and
make it fun!

XO,
karen




Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Time Certainly Marches On


If ever a month has passed by in the blink of an eye,
it has been March!  In less than a month,
I'll be winging it back to Cape Breton!

You know what that means!
Time to buckle down and finish up projects!




My latest obsession has been these wonky churn dash blocks
I try to make a couple a day.
My design wall is this little 16 x 20" bulletin board!
It may not hold many, but I can see them,
and that's all that counts right now.
I only need 2 more!

Enthralled as I am with them,
after making the (plus size girl) hipster bag on the right,
a free Riley Blake pattern which no longer seems to be available,
(at least I cant find it to leave you with a link)
Found it!!
Riley Blake Hipster Bag

(click on picture to make it larger)

I decided to use one to change things up a bit,
and the bag on the left is the result.


Here's a closer picture.

Since April is "Random Acts of Kindness Month",
it is on its way to a colleague of Crafty Daughter's,
who lost her young adult son just one year ago.

The rest of the Wonky Churn Dash blocks?
I have an idea, and I've drawn it out,
but you know how that can go, so I'll just keep it to myself
in case it doesn't work out and it becomes another cat bed.

During my Texas stay, I enjoyed my annual week long visit
with two of my quilty friends from North Texas.
We taught elementary school together and they came to my home
to quilt every Monday night for years.


Quilter Jill, Sew Sweet Susie, and moi

Sew Sweet Susie gave me the left over Riley Blake Extravaganza strips
she had been working with and this is
one of the quilts I made with them.




(I had to add a couple of extra strips.)
It would have been nice if I pressed it before photographing it,
but I was in a race with the sun this morning.
The pattern is from
Sassafras Lane Designs
and you can get two quilts from one jelly roll!
This one measures about 41x52"

THANK YOU, Sew Sweet Susie!
And thank you, Quilter Jill, for your gracious hospitality!
I had so much fun!

~

Texas birds always delight me,
and seeing a Crested Caracara never disappoints.




It's the size of a large hawk, but of the falcon family;
a bird of open country,
seen only in Arizona, Florida, and Texas,
although I did see a rare bird report for one that had blown off course
this spring and ended up in Nova Scotia, of all places.
That's a long way from home!
Wonder if it was looking for me?
It's a scavenger that hangs out with the buzzards and the vultures,
which are also pretty impressive,
if you don't mind what they eat.
Enough said.

~


Keep it simple,
and make it fun!

XO,
karen

I'm linking up to

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Throwback Thursday


Don't be shocked that I'm posting twice in one week!
For once, I have an opportunity to participate in
Throwback Thursday


sponsored by Jenn at A Quarter Inch from the Edge.
Don't you just love the name of her blog?

Anyway,
all my old pictures are in storage a thousand plus miles away,
but I visited a friend in Houston last month and this is what I found.



Back in the late 90's, my daughter's college friend asked her 
if I'd make her a quilt.  She was told to ask me herself!  
Can you imagine that?   What was my daugher thinking?
(I don't think she wanted to share me.)

So, she secured my email address, 
wrote me a letter introducing herself,
asked for a quilt, and a new friendship was forged.
(I sew for her and her family all the time, now.  As a matter of fact,
I slipped a parcel in yesterday's mail to her address.)

At the time, I was entranced with tesselating patterns,
and even back then, I was a scrap quilter.
Guess I've always been a scrap quilter.


I appliqued a kitty laying on one corner, taking a bath.
I used the blanket stitch and this is when I learned it did not quite
hold up to being washed and dried, so now I use it only on wallhangings.


I added a few frolicking mice,
and shipped it off to TX.

It's been well-used and well-loved over the years,
and I was so happy to see it again after all this time.

I am linking up to Jenn at

See you there!
~Karen