Thursday, December 31, 2020

Bring on the New Year!

   Year 2020...... not the most productive in my life.  Major efforts were made into a collage.  

   In the center is the wonky Court House steps quilt.  About half of these blocks were made prior to this year, and being in lockdown was a good reason to assemble them.

   Upper left,  just strings, and more string blocks!  This turned in to my Chaos Quilt, or what I thought would be the pandemic quilt.  I figured by the end of this one the pandemic would be history.  And the joke was on Chaos it became.

   Lower left is the spool block quilt.  Lots of spool blocks were made during the Spring and Summer months for this one.  It is as yet unquilted.

 Top right, by late summer I was in dire need of some light in my world.  Not just sunlight, but illuminating light of hope.  So I naturally turned to create a watercolor project.  It too is unfinished and waits to be quilted.

  Lower right, is mine, but created by Sir Old Man.  He fulfilled my request for a bright spot to hang on the garden shed.  The cardinal has long been my symbol of Hope.  And now it is always in view.  The wooden  barn quilt block is 16'' square.  

   As the year ends I am working on assembling about 100 Easy Breezy blocks.  These have been my leader and ender project for the year.  And rather than begin something new, I plan on getting at least one top quilted.  If I need to just stitch I can always make a few string is a good never ending project for me.  
  What did I learn in 2020?  
   It was brought home to me to listen to my body.  Diagnosed with Erosive Osteoarthritis put a halt to machine quilting this year.  I found it painful, so I decided to not do any quilting for 6 months at least.  I believe it has helped the severe inflammation in the wrists.  I picked up crochet again to try to keep my fingers moving and nimble.  That too has seemed to help.  Overall, things in moderation are possible, so I think one quilt top quilted is doable:)  Big smile.

  Although I am home most of the time anyway, I need to get out.  I need to  see people.  Even a ride to the drugstore, or the open produce market is a treat.  My body may be breaking down, but my heart still wants relationship with others.  

  Small joys are all around us.  You must look for them and take time to enjoy them.  Fifteen minutes in the sun or just sitting on the porch to watch the blue birds.
The glorious colors of the sunset behind the trees ends the day well.  The sweet small of apples in the fall, and the earthy scent of burning leaves remind me of the season's change.  Full moons, and meteor showers, and wonders in the sky were seen and marveled at this year.   

  And Sir Old Man has one more 
barn quilt to finish  this year.

  A Double Star pattern caught his eye earlier this fall and He decided to make one  to hang on the front of the house.  For this one, he wanted a more rustic appearance.  The wood was destressed a bit, and routed to create the look of barn wood. It is well sealed and will be under the eaves for some protection.  

And tomorrow we do it all , come on 2021, give us the best!

Happy stitching.  

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Other endeavors

   Wednesday was a cooking day.   Sir Old Man served as assistant chef.  He wanted to act like the "behind the scenes help"  that are not seen on TV cooking shows!  He is an excellent stirred, grater, mixer and cleaner-upper.  None of this would be possible without him.  

  I wanted to make chutney like we had from Honey Baked Ham....the cherry-cranberry chutney is wonderful mixed with the Unexpected cheddar cheese from Trader Joe's on crackers.  It is good with ham and figured it would be good with pork too.  So he went shopping for the cherries and  both sweet and tart!  He usually does go overboard when I make a special request.  

  I found a simple recipe on line, and tips to pit the cherries using a chopstick.  Don't do the chopstick one, it did not work for us.  Instead we resorted to milkshake straws!  They poked out those pits nicely.....and of course, I was wearing a bit of juice when we finished.

  We ended up with 3 of the small half pint jars--I think--and half of of the larger.  Anyway, it turned out good, a little thinner than I wanted, but very good.  Into the refrigerator it went.

  And on the remainder of the cherries.   Easiest thing to do was refrigerator cherry jam.  Since they were pitted I just halved some of them and chopped up the rest.  

 Just a little over 3 jars.....the little leftover was gone this morning on biscuits.  A little bit tart but good.

  Since cherries are good for inflammation and auto-immune issues, I hope to enjoy these.  I get the cherry juice when we find it, but this past year there has been not to be seen.

  One more thing to put together....soup for dinner.  Chicken spinach with tortellini.   The spinach kick I am on is in an effort to raise my iron levels.  Lab test came back and looks like another deficiency has developed.  I fear it is really an absorption issue rather than diet.  I will see what the doctor says tomorrow.


  One more thing....I pulled out crochet hooks, ordered a couple of cakes of cotton yarn and started crocheting this past week.  My hands and fingers are stiff and hurt, but keeping them working is  better  than losing all use of them.   I pulled out the knitting bag stand that my girlfriend, Doreen, bought me years ago.  I got everything in it to begin. 

   Then I looked at that cake of way I wanted to rewind it.  I found a long enough dowel to slip thru the center of it.  The dowel ends rest on the side of the bag.  I could pull yarn off and begin....but the dowel kept slipping off and making a mess.

  Enter the light bulb moment here!   I hunted up 2 medium bulldog clips.  One on each side of the bag.  The dowel can just fit thru the eye part of the clip.  I was able to happily begin crocheting and focus on the stitching rather than the dowel and yarn.

   Crocheting for short spells is ok, and the pain is not bad.  The good thing is the fingers are less stiff.  So hoping I can get better tension on the stitches now.  I am making a masterpiece but trying to keep moving.  

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Shed decor!



   Yep, Sir Old Man came thru in time, actually ahead of time for the birthday gift.   Mr. Red Cardinal was painted and sealed from the weather for his permanent location.  

  I tried not to nag or pester him to get it installed.  I was really patient, or at least I pretended to be.  

  The barn sign was added to the newly painted garden shed.  The perfect finishing touch to add a bit of a bright spot to the shed.  I love glancing thru the window of the sun room or the sewing room and seeing the bright red.  Makes me smile.

   No current finish to share, but these are a few of the wall hangings I shared with my Bible study group today.  And spent time telling the stories that went with them.  


    I also shared this one...Higher Hope. 
I love the jewel tones and how rich the colors become like stained glass in a cathedral.   And it is time to rehang it in the sunroom, as I love the full colors in it during the winter months.  

  I put aside the collage piece as I was frustrated with it.  Maybe in a month or two I will try again.  I have the continuing leader and ender blocks to sew and the latest watercolor is pressed.  Enough for now.  Happy stitching.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Seasons changing


  The last of the autumn leaves and the first Christmas wreath to go up on the day after Thanksgiving.  That's a good mix.

  The shed turned out very nice after Sir Old Man finished up the painting and trim repair.  I have a request in for a barn quilt sign to hang on the left hand side of the window.  With a birthday and Christmas coming up fast, I hope he can get it made for me. :)

Our weather for the last month has been full of wet and rainy days, and multiple low pressure systems, so my time in the sewing room has been short. 


  Instead of cutting or piecing, I used up some squares already cut for a new watercolor design.  A transitional design maybe that is in direct opposite values. 

   I normally could pull this project together in a few days.....ha!  Over the course of a month, I have it to the just sewn and pressed stage.   Such is life now....slower, much slower.      I am hoping to get this and the spool top prepared for quilting soon....very soon.   

  The Easy Breezy blocks are languishing in a project box.  So I may need to work a bit on them as well as the hourglass blocks.   


I attempted a collage project after an on line class.  It looks good here.....but those tiny pieces are just fused and there is probably no way to really secure them by machine.   Finishing this one as a fused project, not sewn, just for a test is probably the path I will take.  If I have a wall hanging, I want to be able to wash it at some point.  But I picked up some tips and pointers, so I count it as good.  Collage is fun, but probably too tiny and fussy for me to do much with it.  

  And that has pretty much been my month!  Facing December which starts the round of labs and doctors  Until later, happy stitching.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Recycle those signs again and update.

I am re-recycling part of an old post.  Right now is the time to replenish your stash of yard signs.  Clean up the landscape and put those signs to good use.



  About 4 years ago, I began using the mini-bolts for storage.  When I first  began this, I was using a thin plastic insert.  Later I switched  to using  foam core board.  The foam core  can be purchased at the Dollar Store in the 2 foot by 3 foot size usually.  I cut the size-- that works best for me-- 11" to 12" high by 8" wide.    It's easy to cut with a craft knife.  I often end up with smaller sections of the boards and they work great for shorter cuts--- those under a yard. 

Today, I am even more frugal.....I use old  yard campaign signs or yard signs of any kind that I house for sale, or other advertising.  They get knocked down or the wires rust out.  I collect them, wash them up, and cut  to the size I like.    I'm saving the land fill (if they would ever make it there) and keeping my dollars for fabric and thread.  

 Fabric is folded just like it comes off the bolt.  Then one more fold---bringing the folded side over to match the selvedge edge.  Roll it up and pin the end.  
     The mini-bolts make it easy to see what I have to work with.  I am  known to be pretty messy and scattered, so this really helps me neater.   And what fun to shop your own fabric store in your stash closet.

And one more idea.....portable design boards.  

  I use old yard signs.  This one is the plastic type 
of corrugated sign.  I cut mine to 12'' by 16'', 
along with a layer of batting and muslin about 
 1 1/2'' larger on all sides.    Grab the glue stick......

I use the glue stick for a temporary hold.  Run the glue stick along the edge of the board and fold the fabric over.  Press down with finger tips.

Remember the colorful duct tape?  
I found a good use for it here. 
 Pull off a piece long enough for the side.
  Lay the covered board face down onto the tape.  Put the tape around the edge and press down 
onto the back covering the edge of 
the fabric.   I trimmed the ends 
of the tape so that they were flush with the ends.

 Done!  A small work surface that
 easily moves from sewing table 
to ironing board....safely.

  What a time around here......we endured a hurricane, Halloween, and a blue moon,
and a time change.  Sir Old Man had a skin cancer removed from his nose and is 
healing.  One more to go and then we see if he needs the plastic surgery.  


 I survived the stress level by sewing
 units and rows make a top 
with borders out of the spool blocks!

  This is about 1/4 view of the top.
I had 3 extra spool blocks and hated to throw them into 
the orphan box of blocks.  Instead I used them to
extend the pattern to the outer border by inserting them
when I joined strips.  I also used up all the blue  fabric for 
that border.  



I continued making the hourglass blocks. 
 These are ready to be trimmed up. 

And I sorted, and sorted, and sorted 2'' squares
that I have been throwing into a box!
I have a new assortment of floral 2'' squares
to work with from my cutting block pieces.  
I found some inspiration and think it is time to return
to working with them for a while.  So if I don't
surface for a bit, that is where I will be.  
Happy stitching.  


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Little progress on the spool blocks


  I finally decided I had enough spool blocks.  I am beginning to join the rows.  I did the arrange and re-arrange thing on the design wall, got tired of it, and just began to sew.  When it is so scrappy, you can spend a decade moving things around to make it perfect.  Not happening here..... I just need to see some progress here.


    And the leader and ender project continues.   For every 2 blocks I made of the spools, I put together one of the Easy/Breezy blocks.  I have a stack of them already.   So they will continue to be my L/E while I am putting together the hourglass blocks.  

    A few of the hourglass blocks from this week.  Again I am working very scrappy because I am using whatever I find  in my bin.  I will plan my placement a little bit with this in time to get some nice dark pinwheels to appear in the block on point.   
  FYI....I am beginning with 5'' squares sewn on diagonal.  The hourglass block shown here are 4'' unfinished.  

    We took a day trip to NC for apples and stopped for lunch.  Actually, it was the first time to eat out in 7 months!  What a treat!  The fall colors were appearing.    This year of 2020 has altered my perspective of so much.  It was nice to be somewhere other than here for a few hours.   
  Days have warmed back up for the next week, night are cool.  I keep checking on the large hickory tree out front.  It has the most glorious golden yellow when our leaves hit the peak.  Otherwise, life is much the same.  
Happy stitching.                                                         

Friday, October 9, 2020

And I found another

   Did you read the post at Cluck Cluck Sew?  Click here for the post and her great tutorial and pattern for an Hourglass project.     I loved the idea to make a set of hour glass blocks each day.  Keep it easy, make it fun.  It reminded me of the Quilty 365 Circles project from a few years ago, which I really enjoyed making.  So I thought I could add it to the list of on-going projects.  

  And then I discovered these large HST units!  A large stack already begun for a similar pattern.   They will be easy enough to turn into hourglass blocks.  

   All of the units, pattern sheets, and a stack of paired squares ready to sew went into another bin.   It seems you can never have enough of those bins.   I need to decide or figure out how I want to proceed, which pattern to go on with.  The choice is between   the Scrappy Pinwheel idea or the hourglass a day idea.  

   I will figure out which by the time the spool blocks are finished up.  

To up-date the vision eye problem .  I tried to reply to all who commented, but in case I missed you.  The doctor did several scans, and such on both eyes.  What I thought was the "good eye" now is showing damage to the retina from the lack of B-12 from 4 years ago.  The optic nerve appears stable with no damage, but a small cataract is growing.  So that leaves me in a wait and see mode.  I return in 4 months.    In the meantime, I am adjusting and finding ways to compensate for the blurry and often triple vision aspect of it all.  

  It takes intense concentration to do most things, like read a recipe.  For dinner last night I made a new recipe and glanced at the time and temp.  I saw "200 minutes at 3500 degrees".......a tilt of the head and a second look corrected that.  So it is what it is.....please bear with me when I rant.  Otherwise, life is good.  Happy stitching.    

Monday, October 5, 2020

Catching Up

 Fall arrived while I've been quiet.   Sir Old Man finished painting the shed and it looks really nice.    I spent one day digging out fall wall hangings and table runners.....and washing those that came down.   I changed out the mini to this pineapple, which is a favorite of mine.  I like the variation in textures from the quilting too.  

    I posted about the problem with my hands and wrists which slowed me down.  The season change and a few clear days with no rain etc. helped that.  So I managed to sew a little bit for a few days.  Some spool blocks and the leader and ender, Easy breezy.  I even ordered some storage boxes/bins for projects.  

   They were from Amazon, and a bit bigger than I thought.  At just over 3'' high they are more than enough for the spool blocks.  Then I started stacking the leader ender blocks and.....

  Ok, I need the depth!   And I then filled one up with string blocks than were in a shoe box and rumpled.  So they got ironed and given a new bin.  
  I thought I was making headway, until I woke up one morning about 2 weeks ago with a very red, and swollen  left eye.  My good eye, not marred by the lack of B-12.  So off to the doctor.  He says it was a ruptured vessel between the tissue layers.  Could be from trauma or spontaneous.  Give it a few days to improve.   
   So tomorrow I return for another exam and check.  The redness is gone, but the vision is worse.  For example, we went out over the weekend to view the full moon and Mars.  I told Sir Old Man that I saw three dots, or Mars.  Which one is the real one?  Yep, I see triple images at certain angles.  I sure hope the doctor gives me a better explanation or I am searching for a new ophthalmologist. 

  So I have been quiet here, reading posts and keeping up as best I can.  Sewing time is limited to prevent  eye strain, neck strain , and general irritation.  I did begin joining the spool blocks into sets of 4 and seeing how they looked on the design wall.  

   Does anyone think blogger complaint department ever read our feed back?  Do they ever read any posts to see how they look?  This thing is so awful to use.  Just ranting about the useless new features that make writing a post difficult.  Another example of fixing what isn't broken.

   Our mornings have been quite cool and crisp.  Time to go pick up some apples from the farm, and a good time for a road trip to view the leaves.  Maybe next week.  Happy stitching.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

New addition

My small gallery


   I have a small gallery in the office where I display all types of artwork, from cards, to sketches, to photos.  

  And the mail bought a new addition yesterday.  Gene has been sharing his experimenting with watercolor painting recently.  He wasn't happy with one of his first attempts.....but I was!  I loved it.  So this wonderful artist sent me his practice piece to have and enjoy!  

 I have to search for another small easel for displaying it.  So, thanks, Gene, I am so pleased to have it.  

  This is new Blogger post....isn't it awful to control?    

Have a great stitching day anyway!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Making spool blocks

  After such a nice holiday weekend here, at least weather wise, I went back to the sewing room today for a while.  The humidity returned and the temps went up again.  We did enjoy about 4 days of cooler temps and Sir Old Man was motivated to begin painting the garden shed....under my supervision of course.  That part he wasn't crazy about, but he is such a good sport that he did not complain. 

   I had a nice stack of spool blocks to press and trim.  Once I worked thru the pile I ended up with 67 finished blocks!
  To review the summer project:   Now, they are only 5'' at this point.  I have a mix of light spools and dark background, and dark spools on a light background.  Very scrappy and pulled from my 2'' strip collections.  Florals, tonals,  batiks, and  mixed patterns..... I am using a big span of styles.

   So today, I am wondering if I need to begin working them into 4-unit blocks.  LOL....already I see ones I need to flip.  So I know I need to work the small blocks into larger ones.
  This layout is 4 dark background blocks together on the upper left.  Next and to the right  would be a large block of 4 with light backgrounds.
  The bottom group on the right got turned around wrong....very wrong.  That's okay, nothing is joined yet. 

   I have looked at lots of layouts with spool blocks.  And I like this spinning spools version the best.  My second question is whether I just mix them up and let things fall where they may.  I am fearful of doing that for the whole top as it will be confusing and not have any focus at all.  I may toss a few hodge-podge blocks into a little more planned version. 

 Between the spools, I am using the Easy-breezy leader and ender from Bonnie Hunter.  I have about 20 of these done....these 8 blocks were pressed.  This layout has all the dark going to the upper left for a diagonal layout. 

   But what if.....I switch a few directions and form a chain.  I think it will be oblivious which I will pick.  I love chain effects.    But this is a long term project and lots more patches to sew.

   And that is it  from the sewing room. 
Sending prayers to those facing fires on the west coast, and holding our breathe that the 5 storms forming stay far away from land.  2020 is still making people notice it!
Happy stitching. 


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Mixed bag

  I am continuing to pinning or quilting for now due to the pain in wrist and hands.  When the grip is weak, it is better to just do random piecing.  So I have a small mixed bag of blocks for projects to share.

  The Easy Breezy leader and ender project from Bonnie Hunter has a few blocks completed.  The small tray on the left has a good stack of sorted paired parts for blocks.I am clipping the finished ones into stacks of 10,,,,so 11 done so far.

  Bricks and Stepping Stones is a pattern also from Bonnie under the Free patterns here.  This is really an unfinished leader and ender project from years back.
  I am using floral 2'' squares for the small four patch units.  Then these are set in the corner of more solid / tonal fabrics.
Bonnie's original pattern is set a bit differently into long rectangle blocks.  This is just another variation.

    What I am really trying to piece....5'' spool blocks....and the leader and ender units go in between sections of this one.   A few blocks / triangles got a bit wonky, but they can just join the fray.    I have about 30 of these  to date.

   I have a written list of sizes for cutting the different parts for all three of these different blocks.   So obviously the same fabric will appear in spots in each of them probably.
  From one 2'' fabric strip  I might cut a 5'' strip and 4 squares for the spool block, and also 3 1/2'' pieces for the Easy Breezy block.
  Then I can sit and sort and put together fabrics I like for latter piecing.

   On the home front.....I got out of the house over the weekend when we ran a few errands.  A quick stop at Big Lots with masks--ugh--for a new small electric chopper.  I found the 3 cup size which is a bit bigger than the one that died.  I should be able to use this for chopping leftover roast for enchiladas!  Good thing :)
   Not so good to see was the massive amount of construction and changes taking place around here. They clear cut land and trees to put up homes and apartments, then will eventually plant pencil twigs to replace the old growth.  Sigh.   Then we saw another couple of acres cleared for a new grocery store.  Fine, if they keep the shelves stocked.  I guess it is the growing population moving here that is keeping our shelves slightly bare.
  And lastly.....bad storm a few days ago, and I remember hearing an extremely loud crack and flash.  This morning Sir Old Man spotted the tallest pine in the back leaning, dying, and split at the base.  Lightning hit.  He is calling Lupe to take care of it.  Oh, and the earthquake.  LOL....yes, there was an earthquake of 5.1 in NC yesterday morning.  It was felt here, but no damage seen here.  More shaking on Monday morning, very light.  I am thankful for that. 
  Off to do some therapy sewing.  Happy stitching.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Out of Focus

    If you are like me, you are tired of being home,  confined, masked,  feeling bored and abandoned, and so on.  Everything is just "off", mixed up and out of focus.    And that is just what this quilted wall hanging is!
  It's not lovely, it is just sort of out of focus.   It will serve as a reminder to the future about this year.

  I made stacks of small string pieced blocks....about 4'' in size. Half dark to half light, or close to it maybe.  Lol.
 I sewed until I got tired of making them.  That took about 2 months.  Surely this will be over by summer.

  I started piecing them together.  I mean I wanted it finished and done, by the time all was right in the world.   Row by row...... June came and things were getting worse.  Rows joined and stitched into a top.  Then it was hot and July.  The world was hotter and the virus spread even faster.  Surely next month would be better.
  Well, August arrived, I finally gave in and quilted this thing.  Quilted with swirling loops in an all over pattern.   Things are not much better.  Little improvement to note.  Just out of focus.
  Out of Focus wall hanging.....about 30'' by 40'', string blocks in offset barn raising pattern.

     This year has been slow fast time for me.   Long slow days, but the weeks/months have flown by.  It's Monday, and then mid-week, and the weekend comes again.  Repeat....over and again. 
   I have a hard time believing it is August already.  Even more distressed that this ugly monster is still playing havoc in our lives, to say nothing about the other stuff going on. 
    I have several piecing things going on, like the latest leader and ender, a few spool blocks, and some 4 patch units.  They are more random rather than productive.  They suit my pensive mood for now.   The faux madras design is on the design wall waiting to be pinned.  The backing arrived this week.  It can wait a little while one is going anywhere. 

  2020 was to be a year of perfect vision.....and here I am Out of Focus.
Happy stitching.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Pin cushions again!

  This is the last batch for now, anyway.

   The first 3 are fairly plain ones. The two on the left used part of a damaged linen doily I first showed.  Some machine quilting on them.  On the others I made I did not add machine quilting.  Vintage crochet trim on the one on the right.

  A small one with a bluebird print with lace and a bird motif added.  It's about 3'' square.  A favorite!

  The one is front turned out really nice.  The print featured butterflies on tan and I just framed one of them with fabrics and lace.  It's about 6'' long.
  The larger one on the right is about 5'' square.

  I had several emails with questions about the technique.  First I was inspired by Kelly Cline and her vintage linen pincushions. 

 I figured out what way worked for me.

  • I used batting as my foundation to attach fabric and lace in crazy patch technique.
  • I added lace as I went and motif or special bits when foundation was covered.  
  •  My filling is crushed walnuts shells purchased from Amazon. 
  •  I fill thru the back rather than in the side seam....see photo.  It is easier to whip stitch the opening on the back for me.  

   I am not selling them.  I will sell lace and me via email if interested. 
I plan on donating these to the quilt guild's boutique for next year's show.  So I have plenty of time to make a few more....such fun.

  I also uncovered a small dresser scarf that I embroidered way back when......I guess I was in my teens when my neighbor, Betty, taught me to embroider.  She was also instrumental in teaching me to sew.  I plan on seeing if I can get that machine quilted soon.  I cleaned the sewing room yesterday.....all fabric back in its place, and the lace container organized and put away for now.  I can see table tops and Hot Legs can breathe again. LOL.

  I count this all as a win as I am now motivated to work on a project.  Pain or no pain, I hate being so down that I don't want to stitch a bit.  It may be partly the heat but a greater part of the blame lands on the monster called Covid 19.  It has sucked the interest and mojo from my creative spirit.  I am so over this, and really want and need to find some normal in my life.   I know most of us feel much the same way, so you know where I am at.
Stay cool, and happy stitching.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Three pincushions

  Three pincushions done!  They are quite addictive, as there are so many variations to explore.  The long style on the right is strip pieced with batik scraps and added a couple of pieces of lace.
  The daisy trim one on the left turned out so pretty.  The rose motif was from a bridal lace I was given.  And the one on the bottom features a section of a lace collar for a young girl's dress. 

  I have more to fill and finish up but this morning was devoted to clearing off table tops in the sewing room.  Stacks of bits and pieces to put away, but all is now cleared and sorted. 

 The heat is relentless and the humidity is thick and heavy.  Much too hot to even sit outside. 
  Sir Old Man came home with a surprise after a trip to Ace Hardware.  We added  it--- small flag with a special symbol---to the back walk by the Japanese Maple.  It's like the one shady spot near the house and can be seen from the  back patio.

  Stay cool.  Stay safe.
happy stitching. 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Mid month progress....

  July is here....and we are all so hot!  Our common remark is, you can wear the air here.  At least the sun is shining.  Right?

    Little by little I worked on the batik project.  One or two rows joined every few days and finally it is a top.  Now I see a few spots I should have moved.  Isn't that the way it goes?  But for now it is what it is.  It is just intended for a sofa throw.  I need to order some backing fabric and then it can get quilted.


   In between the joining the rows I started on the annual leader and ender block from Bonnie Hunter.

  Once I got into the rhythm of the block, one row joined made one block!  It worked perfectly for this project. 
  So I set up a tray of  pieces clipped together for a block.  As I work thru scraps and such I will put more together thru the year.  I have about 8 completed here!

  The last few days have been dog days of heat that just sap your strength and energy.  After a quick doctor's appointment this morning, I determined I was going to sew, be creative, push myself to do something.  Anything! 

  So I had seen a small doily in the sewing room.  I don't remember when I pulled it out originally, but it had a small tear in the corner and thus did not get used for what ever I was working on.    I cut off part of it and sewed.......   Inspiration came from Kelly Cline quilting on FB.   Her pincushions are beautiful!

  I stitched it down to a soft tiny print piece of fabric.  Then added some small quilting in the plain areas, and put on a backing.   This will turn into a pincushion for the guild boutique  (probably) next year.   I just need some crushed walnut shells.

  Just completing this little one, inspired me to find my own style for special pincushions.  And within and hour or so, I was moving right along. 
  Note:  My first love of quilting began when I discovered crazy quilting.  All that beautiful embroidery and lace!  I have since sold most of my threads and embroidery yarns, but I still have a large tub of laces and trims.  Many are antique, some were gifted to me, and others culled from sale bins at Mary Jo's. 

  So the natural part for me is to mix accent fabrics with lace and trim, mixing the new ones and the old ones.  I am going to have a very difficult time sharing this purple one!  But I think I will make a few more in a similar vein :)   I wonder how the laces will look on some of the batiks scraps?  Just thinking of combinations.  This could be a few days of fun.  Now to send Sir Old Man to the store for more crushed walnut shells!
Happy stitching.
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