Thursday, April 30, 2009

An Early Friday & Dinner w/Twyla!

Woooooooooooohooooo!! I'm starting a four day weekend! WOOT WOOT! Forget that the calendar says it's was MY Friday and I am ECSTATIC about that! Never mind that my plans for the weekend were foiled at the near last minute (sorry Paulette & MM...). The hubs was invited on a fishing trip to Lake Erie (his most fav' place in the world to catch walleye) he left on a whim this afternoon! He's gone enjoying himself until Wednesday or Thursday! And *I* am on a four day weekend! Off until TUESDAY! OH ME OH MY what kind of trouble can I find to get in to???

Welllllll....I thought I'd kick off the early Friday by surprising my bud, Twyla, out at and bring dinner to her and visit...and shop...and yack...and visit...and eat.'s shop-hop week, so she's been keeping late hours...and, well, I have been remiss in getting out there lately and I do always love chit-chatting with Twyla!

So off to Twyla's I went....dinner in hand..........and THIS is what I came home with...

Never fails...there's always something fabulous I have to have out there! I picked up the Turning Twenty book...and picked 20 fat quarters of some yummy fabs! Also a great shirting...and the latest issue of Quilt Sampler!!! A nice little haul and I so badly want to start that turning twenty quilt! But nope...I'm going to first piece the Americana blocks that are waiting for me downstairs. That's one of my missions for the long weekend! :o)

During our conversation, she showed me a quilt in the latest Quilts & More that she's pulling fabrics's going to be sweet! Well...then I had to run to the store later this evening...and there on the newstand was Quilts & More and I couldn't resist picking it up. that I think about it, I wonder if Twyla had that there all along too!?'s a great issue and I'm itching to start multiple projects!

I'm geared up for the long four days and hope to get much accomplished! I'm going to get quite a bit in on the Blackbird Designs sampler....put those blocks together that are waiting downstairs.....get that small applique quilt quilted and framed.....
AND start the Turning Twenty quilt! Seems hubby around to cook for.....ability to stay in jammies for days on end.....yep.....I think I can do it!

What creative stuff is on YOUR weekend agenda? Would love to hear all about it!


Friday, April 24, 2009

TGIF AND a Fun Mail Day!! Can It Get ANY Better??

Yessss!!! On this fantabulous Friday, I came home at lunch and there was a box from Moda....pincushions and needlecases...right on time! I ran out to the mailbox and there it was! The greatly anticipated Priority Mail envelope arrived that contained these! long last...NEEDLEWATCH 2009 is officially over! John James Petites are in the house! I see serious stitching in my weekend future! Notice the lovely background quilt? Aaaaah...tis so lovely! THAT was a gift I received a couple weeks ago from a super special lady.....a quilted tablerunner made from Blackbird Designs fabrics! So springy...I just love it! MM you're super special and thanks so much!!! You know I love it, 'cause I keep telling you so!

Now you don't think I only had an envelope with needles in it do you? No of course not......I have some new stash too!

Now let me start this story by saying it all started on Emli's take that all started on Deb's blog a while back when she posted about her UFOs....and she showed the EXQUISITE kit from The Examplarery....Frances Burwell. Now....this is where you learn how pathetic I am! I know that Paulette will remember...that once upon a time, I owned this beautifully boxed sampler kit....tis true. And in a short spurt of insanity...I decided I had too much stash....guilt took over (does this ever happen to you?) and I decided it would be best to purge some of my sampler stash...who in their right mind NEEDED that much stash!? Surely the logical thing to do would be to pass it on to someone who may really stitch it someday. Well....funny thing...Deb is the one that purchased that kit from me!!! We figured this out later after I read that blog post. Too funny! Well...of course I couldn't get the thing out of my mind.....loved the birds...the blue house....I must find it!

How's that saying go....If you love something set it free...if it comes back to you it was meant to be (Readers Digest Condensed Version!).....does that count if you go in serious PURSUIT of said 'something'? Does it really off I went on to Emli's and LOOK what I found!

Not ONLY did I find the beautifully boxed Frances Burwell sampler kit from The Examplarery, but ALSO the LOVELY Abigail Brown!!! They had to be mine...they came home...for good this time!

And if you've ever spent any amount of time on Emli's know this means trouble. They may not have everything in stock....but it's a fabulous catalogue of samplers past and present! WOW! Such inspiration! And I went on this Little By Little kick of somewhat odd samplers! Well.....they did have a couple....but not all of them that I HAD to have...of course....

So THAT episode led me to Stitching Bits & Bobs and LO and BEHOLD...Bobbie was having a SALE! *GASP!!!* It was meant to be! AND there on the site were the Little By Little charts that I HAD to have!!! So between the Emli's order and the SBB order, these are now in the stash....

In addition to the fun Little By Little designs....I picked up a great one from The Stitching Parlor...acorns! I LOVE acorns so this was a must....and there in the back Fraktur Angel! I can't remember whose blog I saw this on....all stitched up and just gorgeous! I had to have it!! I haven't gone on a stash enhancement spree for I would say at least a it was time...and what with a sale...and the fact that I needed could I NOT!? ;o)

Also in the mail today I received a wonderful HANDWRITTEN letter...a LONG one...from a new dear friend that resides across the pond in England! Can you believe it? Handwritten letters in the mail! How much better can it get?? Julia you are a beautiful soul! So nice! You'll be hearing from me!!!

All of this....and a Friday too! I ask you...can it get any better??? :o)


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Am NOT Alone!

Wow! It was great to see everyone's choices for the quilt layout!!! What I discovered is that I am NOT alone in having trouble choosing a clear winner for the layout!!! It was pretty much a tie between everyone! I did decide that, whichever layout I choose, and I still haven't made up my mind but I AM leaning more towards #2 the more I look at them, I decided that what's throwing me 'off' on this one is that there are so many lights in this top! I'm used to dark....mediums and dark...not so much all the light! Sooo...I decided that I will definitely be cracking open one of the many bottles of tan RIT dye in the laundry room and overdying this! Then it'll all be better!

I'll certainly post pics as I put the top together....with borders etc. And thanks so much for all of your input! I loved reading everyone's choice or choiceS in some cases! ;o)

In other news...we're moving in to day 14 of the John James Petites needle watch.......surely they'll be arriving soon!!!? Surely they will! I feel a good vibe that the mailman will bring them this WEEK sometime! He HAS to!!!! I NEEEED them!!!

I have been suffering with my needle with the disappearing finish.....and here's my progress on the Blackbird Designs piece...

I'm taking some liberties with the little clusters that are in between the designs...adding more here and taking a few away there so that the piece seems more seamless instead of looking like it was 4 pieces put together. I am still loving working on this!

Oh! And speaking of Blackbird Designs, I definitely want to send a HUGE thank you for all of your needlebook and pincushion purchases! I have completely exhausted my inventory!!! If you're still interested...I have a second shipment coming on Monday, so you can certainly continue to contact me if you'd like any of those items! Thanks so much!

Off I go to tend to laundry in between Real Housewives of New York City commercial little guilty pleasure! Gotta love Bethanny! ;o)


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Please Help Me Choose!!!

Let me start out right away by saying I think after this quilt, I'm going to be "Americana'd Out" for a while! I'm not over-the-top crazy for this one.....I think it's because just last weekend, I finished up Flag Day Farm....which has the same coloration/feel.....soooooooo...that being said......I sewed strip sets today...

A fun color group....Minick & Simpson never fail in that regard...

and the pattern couldn't be simpler....yet it gives a complicated (somewhat) look and the possibilities for a secondary pattern once the blocks are sewn.

That's where I'm stuck...I cannot decide which layout. This one....layout #1....does provide a great secondary pattern of you see them?

But then when I set them all going in the same direction...layout #2...there's this clean-lines thing going...

So I can't decide! Will you help me choose?

Hubs says there's not enough GREEN....UGH! GREEN GREEN GREEN! But I did find a cool goldish-green batik in the stash that I think may work with this as a border.....maybe. I'll worry about the border after I get the blocks sewn! Please help me decide!!! Layout #1 or Layout #2?


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mid-Week Mystery Progress

Well it is...Wednesday evening.....exactly one week and 14 hours since I placed my order online for some John James Petite 26s and 28s....and lo and behold...I am still stitching with my icky finish-wearing-off-unknown-maker tapestry needle! Still no fun mail! :o( I shall remember this the next time I decide I need some needles and some instant stash enhancement gratification. Surely takes the excitement out of the stash enhancement.....but I suppose I will look at the bright side...I will be sooooo surprised when the package arrives and then will get all excited about the new stash all over again! ;o)

So I've been trudging on with "the ick needle"...stopping to buff it up a bit here and there with a small cloth that I believe I'm supposed to use for my glasses! Whatever tonight I finished up Mystery Part #2!

I know I keep saying this...but I am really really enjoying this stitch! It's so fun and simple and is coming together right under my hands quickly! And the colors! LOVE them!!!!

Now Part #3 will most likely take a bit more time. There's the big honkin' fully-stitched abode in the I'm hoping I can get thru that and be on Part #4 by the end of the month. Now if I get to Part #4 sooner...well then that'll just be a bonus for me! :o)

In quilting news....I went downstairs this morning to fluff some clothes before work...and sat down at the Bernina and started a new quilt. Should be super simple...I'm using a Moda jelly roll....if you're not familiar, they're die cut 2 1/2" strips of an entire collection. Super easy way to take the tedious cutting/prep work out of a quilt! I found a quilt in the book "Jelly Roll Quilts" by Pam Lintott & Nicky Lintott. I think it'll be a fun quick piecer that will showcase this line of fabrics I'm using! Minick & Simpson American Primer jelly roll....lovely sagey greens and wonderful reds, mustard golds and blue. I hope it turns out like I think it will! I'll share pics when there's something to see! Hopefully this weekend!

It surely feels like tomorrow should be Friday...but, alas, tis only Thursday! I keep remembering that quote that says something about doing what you LOVE to do and then you'll never have to WORK another day in your life. So I'm on a quest...a mission...slowly but surely! :o) Do you do what you LOVE? Do you feel like it's WORK or not? I would love to hear from you and how you deal with a job that you maybe don't particularly care to do....or what you did to get out of that sort of situation!!! The hubs has a contracting business.....I keep telling him we'll just line up a few more jobs and I'll retire. ha! at 43! Retire at 43! Wouldn't that be lovely!

I hope your week's been going great and you're getting lots of creative time!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blackbird Designs Heaven!

I have been stalking the mailbox....still no sign of needles! Waaaaah! I want them now! LOL But...look what DID come today!

A box full of Blackbird Designs goodness from Moda!

These are great pincushions!!!! WOW! From the Beachouse line by Blackbird Designs! It's a small pillow! Measuring about 7" x 7"....lovely!!! $13.00 includes shipping in the US!

and LOOOOK! A Blackbird Designs needlecase!!! Be still my beating heart....

don't you love it! Looks so vintagey!! I just love it! These are $20, which includes shipping in the US.

If you'd like one of each....deduct $ both for $28, just for my blog readers!

Thought I'd give you first dibs on these beauties! If you're interested, please just email me at I love to take Paypal and will also ship outside of the US for actual postage cost. No pressure...just sharing the Blackbird Designs love! I love their stuff!! So vintage-inspired!

So all in all a pretty nice 'mail' day, even if there are no John James Petite 26 and 28 needles for me. :o/ More stitching progress to come! I'm almost done with part 2 of the Blackbird Designs 'mystery'! It's coming along nicely and I am so enjoying working on it!

The sun is shining...the temps are's a gorgeous day here in the midwest! I hope you're enjoying your day!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Quilt Pieced, A Dog Trimmed, A Saturday Well Spent!

Good evening, Blogland! :o) Well...I just finished pressing the Flag Day Farm quilt top! YAY! Done!! I was almost thinking it wouldn't happen this weekend, but in no time...finite!

Earlier today I cleaned the house....ran some errands....worked on a painting/distressing project...then decided Emmitt needed a haircut...he was starting to look like a little Mini-Harry & The Hendersons sasquatch! I kid you not! So he got a haircut and a bath......

It's been a great day! The weather was soooo nice out! I just put the jello ambrosia salad in the frig...and put together a huge communal Easter basket for the family! The eggs are boiled...the ham is in the fridge waiting for the oven tomorrow. All the kids will be here..with friends in tow too. So we'll have a house full!

I'm hopped up on strong iced tea.....and it's almost 11:00PM! Sooo...I'm going to pick up a needle and work a little on my BBD piece!

Happy Easter & Passover everyone!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Flag Day Farm Friday!

Well....I decided today would be Flag Day Farm Friday....where I would concentrate on getting the quilt put together! I had grand plans....what with getting out of the office early (3:00PM)...all's I had to do was quick run a few errands and head for home and sew like a banshee! Right? Uh...nope. Didn't quite work out that way! Errands took a little longer (grocery store for Easter dinner caused quite the delay) was such a nice day that when I got home, Emmitt and I went for a nice walk around the neighborhood. Then it was time for dinner and we decided to grill out some ribeyes. Then there was the casual loitering...and finally...FINALLY I made it downstairs to work on the quilt!

I didn't get a TON done...but everything has been sewn in to pairs...and pairs again...

It's all coming together!

Soon I'll have this!

My John James Petites didn't show up today...boohoo. :o( Hopefully tomorrow the mailman will deliver the needles...and some stash. I'm going to settle in with David other fav' guy, Jon Stewart, is on tonight...along with U2. I'm going to stitch a bit on the BBD piece and try and stay awake!

Can't wait to get to sleep so I can get up and get started on the day tomorrow!! Aaaah...I love weekends! :o)


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Well...It's Been a Week!

I'm so glad tomorrow's Friday! It's been a tiring week....nothing worse than a slow day at the office....doesn't that just make the day drag on and on? Yes...yes it does. And it seems like about 4:00 or so...a nice tension headache starts...and by the time I get home...I'm headachey and tired and in a semi-comatose state! But...I'm not going to whine about it! :o)

I have been getting a little stitching in this week. And I must say...I am LOVING working on this Blackbird Designs mystery-that's-not! Here's my progress...

Wooohoo! The stitching bug has hit me again! I tend to go in spurts it seems......massive quantities of stitching.......massive quantities of stitching (thought it's been a LONG time since that's been the case)...and no quilting! But to give both a fair amount of attention....quilt AND sampler....I have already tapped tomorrow to be Flag Day Farm Friday! :o) I'm going to get busy on that Americana quilt beauty and see how much I can get done! Although the sampler will be calling my name....I will work at least a bit on the quilt! I think it won't take long to get it put together! I just got a little sidetracked with the stitching and besides...when I get home and have a's just nice to put my feet up and spend some time with some handwork. Tomorrow I will let the hummmmm of my Bernina calm my weary self and go in to the weekend working on the quilt!

Thanks for the feedback on the needles! I have some John James Petites in 26 and 28 on the way. Hopefully they'll get here tomorrow because this latest tapestry needle is once again losing finish. I wish I knew what the brand was so I never purchase them again! But it was a lone needle in my needlecase. I'm also going to have to try those Piecemakers! :o)

If the needles arrive tomorrow...that also means stash will arrive. *SIGH* I've done a little binging. I'll share when it arrives. :o)

Thanks again for all the comments and needle suggestions! I really appreciate it! Until next time...


Sunday, April 05, 2009

What a Drag!

What a drag that the weekend is drawing to a close! It was a great Sunday...the sun was shining, which means the remnants of our snowfall from yesterday melted off in huge sliding clumps! Heck..I bet it'll all be gone tomorrow! YAY!

So it was a nice relaxing day.

There was baking....The hubs requested homemade peanut butter cookies...

I obliged.

I was in the mood to bake a cake from scratch.......complete with chocolate buttercream frosting...

Yum! I resisted plunging my fingers in the bowl after the photo shoot! ;o)

There was kitchen clean-up.....there was napping.............there was laundry...and also some stitching.

Another progress shot on the Blackbird Designs piece! I plan to have the first installment of the mystery done tomorrow! YAY!

I probably could have gotten more done tonight....but what a DRAG! My NEEDLE! UGH! It started dragging through the linen...losing it's slickery finish..and YUCK that's a horrid feeling under hand! I don't know exactly what type of needle it was...I need to keep better track of the needles that work for me and those that don't! I know it was a blunt tapestry....which made it difficult to feed thru the stitches on the back. I hate that! But even more I hate when the slickery finish wears off! So tell you have a most very favorite needle for your stitching? If so, please share why you like it, what brand it is, etc. I would love to be armed with some experienced stitcher knowledge before I purchase more needles. I have them laying all around the house, but if there's one or two better than the others....I'm all over it! Would love to hear your needle preferences!

I'm off to tidy up a bit before heading to bed. I hope everyone had a glorious Sunday!!


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Okay...Maybe Not Quite Up To Speed!

I had grand plans for the day! But I'm guessing perhaps I'm not quite up to full speed!'s been a great day!

This morning I enjoyed my morning coffee and perused the latest AP&Q magazine that arrived in yesterdays mail....

Be still my beating heart....scrap quilts! And yep...the one on the cover's a BEAUTY! Now THIS is a centerfold......

Another beauty from Miss Rosie aka Carrie Nelson...this is a MUST PIECE for me!!! I LOVE it!!!! I've kept it laid open to this page so I can look over and admire that scrappy beauty at my leisure!

I picked up my Blackbird Designs sampler and worked on that while I watched the quilting shows on PBS this's my progress...

The weather man has warned that we are under a blizzard warning starting at 4:00PM's the view out the back door this evening....

It's lovely heavy wet snow....and it's supposed to keep coming down. and down. and down. all thru the night and tomorrow. I don't mind this one so much, but only because I know it won't be around for IS April, after all!

After stitching, I got the triangles all cut out for the Flag Day Farm quilt! Whew! Done with the cutting!

I wanted to say thanks so much for the response to my quilting venture on Ebay! I only have one of these kits left!

After dinner I went down and started some piecing....

I'm no where close to being done though. I'm in low gear...ready for sleep I'm guessing I haven't kicked the cold entirely. I TELL myself I have...but my body has other ideas rest and sleep! So I will listen!

Tomorrow I'm going to stitch on the sampler....and perhaps get some piecing in while I go down and do laundry every now and then. I doubt there will be much outdoor activity...other than watching the hubs shovel the snow! Aaaaaah.....gotta love the upper midwest! ;o)


Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Evening...Checking Out for the night!

I have been remiss in updating the blog this week! EEEEK! I can say that I was sick with a horrid cold....most likely brought on my never-ending allergy/sinus issues. Today...finally.....feeling back up to par!

I've been stitching on the Blackbird Designs Loose Feather Mystery (that's not).....and I hope to get thru Part #1 this weekend! Marti Michell 60 degree triangle ruler arrived today! YAY! That means Flag Day Farm progress this weekend as well!

The weather today was wonderful....50s and sunshine....but we are now under a winter weather warning....calling for 4 to 8 inches by end of day Sunday. Starting out as rain I best get my few errands done in the morning...then it'll be stitching and triangle-cutting all weekend!! I can't wait!

Pics tomorrow! I'm hitting the sack....gotta get rested up for my weekend of creative mania!! :o)