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Friday, September 22, 2023

Startitis Status

Currently on my design wall is Winging It by Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. I have started sewing the blocks together with sashing. Once those are done, sashing will go between the rows, then a border will be added. It is intended for my sis-in-law who loves turquoise. The back of it will be mostly solid turquoise, just in case she doesn't like the front - lol! I should finish it sometime next week.

In spite of my resolve not to join in any more sew-alongs, I am printing the block patterns for Moda's Blockheads 5 SAL and have started a fabric pull. After I finish Winging It, I'll start a quilt for my oldest grandson (which will involve Texas A&M colors and which I would like to finish before Christmas), a T-shirt quilt for my new son-in-law, and a bedspread quilt for our king-sized bed. I also want to start two quilts squirrel-spired by fellow bloggers - the Smores quilt and the Scrappy Star quilt described in this post. And let's not forget the yarn projects and cross stitch and embroidery projects I have started!

I have fallen victim to the virus that often attacks all creators - "Startitis". While you won't find mention of this disease on on the CDC website, you can Google "startitis" and see that it chronically affects many long-suffering quilters, crocheters, knitters, painters, needleworkers, and crafters. There are some really humorous posts about it! Some say there is no cure, and some recommend an injection of "Finishitis" - lol!

Are you a Startitis victim? Hope you are are looking forward to a great weekend and the start of meteorological fall on Saturday!
Monday, September 18, 2023

Sewing Space Tour

I've been busy! One of my favorite pastimes is rearranging, reorganizing, making more space by consolidating, and generally making the best use of our space. I posted a mini tour of my space in 2021, you can see that right here. Quite a bit has changed since then, but this past month has seen bigger changes, so come along with me for a little history and tour of the current setup.

Painting and moving in - October 2020
When we moved here in October 2020, I took the "back" bedroom as my sewing room. The real estate listing indicated it was 10 feet wide by 15 feet long, but after I moved in I realized that the 10 feet extends only for the door entry, so in reality the room is 9 feet wide.

Brand new Longmire -  August 2021
 After I acquired Longmire the longarm almost a year later, the space began to be a little tight and cluttered. I had already thought many times about swapping rooms with our guest bedroom to give our (not-so-frequent) guests more privacy as well as allowing them to be closer to the guest bathroom. I thought I could figure out a way to share space too, so it seemed the perfect time to make the switch.

I measured pieces of furniture in each room and spent a couple weeks plotting out different arrangements for each room on Excel. When I had a final plan, I moved pieces one at a time. It took two weeks, and it was physically challenging for me. I disassembled and reassembled Longmire, mostly by myself, but Hubs wrangled the heavy carriage. I took apart the cutting table to get it through the doors. I got help when I needed it, but mostly did it myself and with a feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment. Come on along for the photo-heavy tour!

The hall looking toward the new guest room in the back, with sewing room to the left.
Guest bathroom is the far door on the left next to the guest room.

Come on into my sewing room!

Not as pretty a view out the window, but I have plans to put a garden out there!

Looking left - Longmire's new home!
Flannel is waiting to be stapled to the design wall behind Longmire

Cutting table area, mini quilts, and my favorite painting by Helen at Word Weaver Art!

Sewing machine space. That's my Granny Mitchell's old clock on the file cabinet.

Window and closet. See the new window ledge perch (lower left) for the kitties!

Tools and file cabinet

Crafts, needlework supplies, and batting sharing space with our printer and vacuums

Back out the door

And on to the "new" guest bedroom

The kitties like the new guest room. Cat condo will be moved when guests are here.

Some of the wall decor stayed, and I added the Peace Rose wall hanging.

Fabric shelves had to stay in the room. Hubs wants to make me some new shelves!

What guests will see from the bed. Console houses seasonal quilts.

Guest closet - yarns, UFOs, Christmas fabrics, books, magazines, and antique linens.

Guest bathroom door is blocked by quilt holder (made by my DIY guy)
since  there is another bathroom door right outside the room.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!
Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Fall Squirrel-spiration!

Finished this little coffee mug cross stitch in fall colors! I plan to frame it and hang it above our coffee station. Pattern is from Kate Stitcher on Facebook.

Not my quilt - it's a pattern photo - isn't it pretty!
Blog reading is still a dangerous activity for me, and this squirrel was inspired by Robin at I Like To Create (go look at the version she is creating - I love it!) The pattern is Smores by Jo Morton. This is one of those quilts that looks bigger than it is (only 57 inches square), and those finished squares are only four inches! I'm not sure yet if I'll have the patience for anything that small, but we'll see. I may want to enlarge it, but that would potentially involve quilt math, at which I usually falter.

I bought Blocks By The Square by Jodi Barrows to have more
background and reference for "square in a square" blocks.

Book photo - Scrappy Star by Fons and Porter
Another "have to have it" book I recently purchased was Fat Quarter Friendly from Fons and Porter. I saw a quilt on Instagram made by Rachel Hayes, and I loved it so much I asked her for the pattern name. The pattern is Scrappy Star, and you can see her gorgeous version right here on her blog.

Here is a sneak peek at the subject of my next post - a tour of my "new" sewing room! I've been busy rearranging and moving (sore muscles and bruises to boot) and have a new setup I am enjoying. Until then, hope you are having a great week!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Never Forget

As we reflect on this horrific day in our history, let us remember the almost 3000 people who died and pray for their families, and not use this day of remembrance to tout our political agendas.

Instead of listing our differences and pointing fingers, may we remember the spirit of unity that brought us together in the wake of the worst day in the history of this great country, and may that spirit once again thrive and live in our hearts forever.

And may we honor our promise to Never Forget.
Thursday, August 10, 2023

Plum Pretty Sunflower

Garden Sunflower Block pattern by Julie Cefalu
I recently saw the cutest sunflower block on Wendy's blog, Pieceful Thoughts. She and Eva made the free pattern by The Crafty Quilter, and I enjoyed their versions so much I saved the pattern. Yesterday in the midst of working on another project, I started thinking about it and decided to make a fun version of my own. Thank you to Wendy and Eva - the instigators of this "squirrel-spiration" and to Julie for the free pattern!

I purchased this pretty Tilda Plum Garden fabric from Ace Hardware on Etsy! They have pretty fabrics and fast shipping. Look at it sitting there in the bin, just begging me to use it.

Wendy had mentioned that the pattern had an interesting little twist, and she was right. It is a new-to-me way to make a triangle, and it was so fun. I think it adds a 3-dimensional effect to the triangle.

I had fun choosing some favorite fabrics to use in this block

I had to sew together two pieces of the black and white polka dot to get the correct size for the center, but I don't mind the barely noticeable seam. I added a 2.5 inch border to the block and need to decide whether to make a pillow or a wall hanging! 

In other news . . .

Jack, Rosie, and Toby have been very helpful in the sewing room lately. Katy (she's 11) sleeps a lot under our bed and rarely comes into the sewing room, but she is still Queen of the house.

And my insert came in for the new sewing table! I do love it and it fits beautifully, but I thought it was going to wrap around the machine more. I contacted Arrow and they kindly responded that each machine is different, and mine is the correct size for my Janome model. Between the new sewing table and the insert, sewing is much more comfortable and easy now!
Sunday, August 6, 2023

Dog Days Happenings

According to Farmer's Almanac, the Dog Days of Summer are July 1 - August 11. These days are typically associated with the heat and humidity that many of us are experiencing. We are fighting heat-motivated laziness, in spite of our nicely maintained 77 degree temperature inside the house - lol! However, a few things have happened worthy of mention.

I keep meticulous records of our weather, and when I documented temperatures for last month and compared them to July 2022, I found that last year was hotter! We had 23 days of 100+ temperatures last July compared to 5 last month. Not only that, but our average high for this past July was less than that of July 2022, plus we received more precipitation last month.

I've been on the stepper most mornings because I don't want to go outside and walk. I read books on my Kindle app on my iPad while I step, and Toby has been enormous help as my coach.

I purchased a new sewing machine table - a Gidget I - from Sewing Machines Plus. I also ordered an acrylic insert to cover those gaps between June Janome and the table. It is supposed to be delivered within a month. The table is a bit lower than the office desk I was using - much more comfortable.

I'm enjoying a couple of cross stitch projects. One is from Kate Stitcher on Facebook. If you "Like" her page, you can have access to her free patterns, such as this cute mug, as well as patterns for purchase. I'd like to make a mug for each season for our "new" coffee station, and this autumn one will be the first.

Another is a Christmas cross stitch by Country Cottage Needleworks that is going very slowly. Will I finish it by Christmas? We shall see!

I've been revisiting an old favorite blog by Karen Ruane. Ten years ago I took one of her online classes called Embroider, Embellish, Create and still have the folder and the samples I created using bits and dabs of vintage fabric and some fabrics of dresses from my youth. I spent hours playing with embroidery and fabric. This a project that I picture myself doing again "one of these days".

Current quilting project is for my sis-in-law. It is the Winging It pattern by Wendy Sheppard, and I am halfway there on blocks at 16. The blocks will be in a more random pattern, then they will get sashed and bordered.

Watching TV in our nice cool living room has been big for us this summer. We finally discovered the wonderful Ted Lasso and binged on it, disappointed when we reached the last episode. Another series we enjoyed was Hijack, with Idris Elba - love him! And we recently finished Shining Girls with Elisabeth Moss. In the meantime, of course, we are watching Outlander.

What is going on in your world this summer?