Monday, April 30, 2012

Busy sewing for the next two days....

Today, it's all about 9-patches again.  I have been busy doing a few other things (ahem, procrastinating) and need to have eight groups of eight (that's 64) 9-patches made by tomorrow night for my 1800's group. So, I will be busy at my sewing machine for the next day or two.

Here are the fabrics that I am going to use to make the 3 1/2" blocks.

I have a question.  See the fabrics that are second from the right in the bottom row? I am not sure if they are 1800 reproduction fabrics because I don't have selvage on them.  Can anyone help me with that?  Thanks in advance for your help. (We are using Jo Morton fabrics in the swap - so it is OK if they are Jo's even though hers are not true reproductions. But, I don't think those two fabrics are Jo's.)

In this post here I showed you five of the blocks I had completed for last month's swap.  My picture below shows all eight of the blocks.

By now I bet you have guessed we are doing them in all browns!  I received such lovely blocks in exchange last month - I will share them with you another day. 

I'll post my blocks that I am sewing today and tomorrow once they are sewn so please stop back to take a look.  But for now,  hop on over to Judy L's Patchwork Times to see what others are working on today. 

Happy thread tails to you,

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Melancholy.  That is how I felt all day today and I couldn't put my finger on it.  Then it dawned on me.  Thirty years ago today my Dad passed away.

Once I had that figured out I was able to spend the rest of the day remembering the good times we had together.  The picture is of some place in northern Minnesota, a place he loved to come and vacation.  He would have enjoyed this drive or walk.

Miss you Dad, wish we could just sit down and talk.  We have so much to catch up on.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Meet this author

This post won't be for everyone.  I like to read mysteries and sometimes that includes the psycho-suspense types.  You know the ones, they keep you up at night, because you have to see what is going to happen next.  You turn the page, exclaim out loud, "What? No way! I never saw that coming!" That's when you know you are holding a well written book in your hand and you finish and think, "I can't wait for the next one!"

Author Brian Freeman has written a number of books that have been my favorites for the last few years.  I have read everyone of his books based on his "Stride" character, in order, and have never been disappointed. This past Saturday Ukester and I were fortunate to meet him at the Chanhassen Library.

The above picture is the photo you see on the back of his books. But after reading his books he said that most people coming to his signings are expecting to see someone that looks like this:

He gave an interesting and humorous talk about himself and how he got into the publishing world, a little about his daily life, and read from his newest book, Spilled Blood, to be released in May.

I haven't read Spilled Blood, obviously, but his other books, other than Bone House (a stand alone), have been about a character name Stride who is based out of Duluth, MN and lives in and out of this actual cottage on Park Point in Duluth:

Because his books are mostly about MN and I can identify with the locations they have felt like the characters were people that I could have living next door, work with, or bump into at the local shop. 
If you like suspense filled, psychological mystery reading, I can guarantee you will like Brian Freeman's books.  But be forewarned they are filled with sex, violence and bad language that may offend some so don't read them if you are offended by that ilk.

Here is Brian Freeman's website if you would like to read more about him and his books.  For you who would like to meet him - check out the event page.

Have you read any of his books?  Did you grow up on Park Point or in Duluth and have any fun stories to share?

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's snowing!

Yes, we knew it was too good to be true - it would have to snow at least once before summer came here in Minnesota! However, because of such an early spring I have seen full blown tulips in yards when I am out and about and the lilacs are blooming!  Here is what is blooming on my design wall......

This is a WIP that I am appliqueing. I have been collecting and saving fabric for this for quite a few years.  I really like this pattern. What you see here is four sections that are not sewn together. The tulips are actually vivid reds, pinks and orangey-yellow.  My photographs don't reveal the true color.

Once I am done with the applique I still have a narrow border and another pieced border to add as shown in the pattern Tulip Wreath by Cheryl Wittmayer of Sew Be It.

As I was working on this (pre-applique) I photographed and played with the layout of my background fabrics until I was happy with them. But now, for some reason, I see the "dark" column standing out in the middle which I am not happy with.  When I did my initial layouts it was in the winter in a different room, different lighting.  Today, this picture was out on my sunny porch in daylight.  What a difference the sunlight makes! 

Also, the striped tulip petal is really bugging me and that didn't bother me before either. So, I may have to make some changes before I applique those portions down.  Right now they are only glued down with spot glue holding them in place.

One good thing, though!  I had started on my applique with this a few months ago and was thinking my stitches were absolutely horrendous.  I had  put it away thinking I am going to rip those out and start over.  Today, when I got it out and put my glasses on, I thought, "Oh, those aren't as bad as I thought!"  They certainly won't please the applique police - but hey, I'm not doing it for them - I doing this for me!! The stitches are staying.  :P

Does the dark column and striped petal bug you?  Would you take them out and do something different? Would be curious to know your thoughts and always appreciate your comments.

Be sure to go to Patchwork Times to see what others have on their design walls today.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading,

Monday, April 2, 2012

I must take time to say....

to Kathy P.  at Cotton Cellar.  A few weeks ago she nominated me for the Liebster Blog award and although I did thank her personally on her blog I didn't take the time to thank her, here, on my blog.  And, I feel a bit remiss for not doing so.  I know that it has generated traffic to my site....people coming to look things over and maybe wondering why I haven't posted anything about it.

I really prefer to remain award free - but Kathy had no way of knowing this because I hadn't posted anything about it on my blog.  So I will have to do that.  However, having been nominated for this award, it got me to thinking about blogs, my favorites and what, to me, really makes a good blog.  Some of the best blogs are not the biggest and that is what the Liebster award is all about - bring attention to small blogs under 200 followers.

So, I thought I would let you know about some of my favorite blogs. They are not necessarily under 200 followers (as the Liebster award suggests).  I will list them in alphabetical order.

And then I am going to tell you of one more that is not a quilting blog.  My nephew is big in to board games.  I mean BIG.IN.TO.BOARD.GAMES.  He is serious about his gaming.  If you like to play board games or know someone who does (I'm not talking Monopoly here - you serious gamers know who you are!)  then you will be interested in his blog.  He and another fellow organize and run the IndyCon gaming convention in Indianapolis, IN.  He is always talking about it on his blog and I believe one of the posts on his blog has an article that was written about it.  Anyway, this is his is all greek to me! Pass it on if you know of other gamers.

Well, there you have it, some of my favorite daily reads.  Hope you take the time to stop by them if you don't already.  Please let them know how you heard about them (especially my nephew - he will be very surprised!).  Thanks!

Today's design wall

Today I will be finishing up my 9-patches for my 1800's swap.  I have five sets done and two more to go.  We are making seven sets of eight blocks each.  This is what I have so far.  My picture is a bit bright.  The fabrics are not quite that white.

In my previous post I show how I am able to accurately cut and sew my 9-patches.  I am able to do about 12 of them start to finish in about an hour and 15 minutes.  I don't hurry, I take my time but when I am done there is no extra trimming necessary.  I hope that some will find that helpful, if so, please let me know.  Thanks!

Yesterday I took time off  to finish a book I was reading and to bake some cookies.  They are a favorite recipe that my husband got from a former coworker years ago.  Just Peanut Butter cookies really -  but they are so good.  Then I add chocolate chips to them. 

Hezzie wants to get in on the action just in case a morsel or two falls to the floor.  He stays right by me when I am cooking or baking. 

Yesterday, after the cookies were done he stayed in the kitchen "guarding" the counter.  If anyone came in to get a cookie he was right there waiting for them to share their cookie with him.  DH decided to take him for a walk which normally he would be spinning circles to do.  He went outside, walked to the end of the drive, did his business, looked back at the house, turned around and headed back.  He came right back into the kitchen!  I think he was afraid I was going to eat all of the cookies and he wasn't going to get any!!  :)  (That could have been true - ha ha!)  He eventually gave up after staying near the counter and guarding it for most of the evening - persistent little fellow! :)

Well, I am going to link up with all the others at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.  Be sure to go check out what everyone else has up on their design walls.   Thank you to Judy L. for letting us link up to her site.  It is always very inspirational!

Have a wonderful day!