Sunday, August 23, 2020

Both Sad & Glad on Slow Stitching Sunday...

Hello - I know, I know... it was been a while since I checked in here... 2 weeks ago I had nothing blogworthy to talk about... and last week was a difficult one where I didn't want to talk... that said, let me get the sad news out of the way and then I can end on a happy note...

If you've read this blog for any time at all you've seen pictures of the world's most awesome cat, Big Dude...I'm sad to tell you that last week Big Dude went over the rainbow bridge... I knew he was slowing down... I've had him for 10 years but he entered my life as a full grown stray, so he was at least 11 - 12 years old, maybe older... he stopped eating and drinking and his breathing became quite labored... I took him to the vet who diagnosed congestive heart failure... nothing could be done, so I had to make the call to have him put to sleep... it broke my heart. Luckily the vet allowed me and my son Chris to stay with him till the end...I can hardly type this without getting weepy... I catch glimpses of him every where I turn in this little house... he was a constant companion and the house is empty without him... he was a legend who inspected my work and kept watch over the bird feeders from his perch on the back of the couch...


Rest in peace my sweet boy...



So I'll dry my tears for a bit here and shift to some crafty stuff...  I'm been monogamously stitching on Elliott's stocking...



got LOTS of the background done... realized the other day that the train I wanted to stitch in the space where I painted out the present, is too big to fit... arghh... need to come up with another plan... and get Elliott's name graphed for the top ....

And I spent some time with my sewing machine and put together another version of the 2 x 4 quilt done with a jelly roll this time...here's a link to the free pattern on Cluck Cluck Sew ....

I started with a vintage jelly roll from Sandy Gervias called "Fall Back in Time"... price on the tag, hand written, $27.50.... I did add bits and pieces from other Sandy Gervias Fall fabric collections and I alternated the 2 x 4 blocks with some Chiffon Grunge... this is gold-ier in real life... 



I began making blocks that paired 2 fabrics... 






and about halfway in I switched it up and made scrappier ones...






I really love the scrappy ones...

I'm putting this in the mail today to Quilting by David... I picked a panto with pumpkins...  hope to have it on my bed by mid-September. 

On the decorating scene I have 2 more vignettes to share... first is my display box in my kitchen... I continued the chicken theme in here with a bit of Pineberry Lane cross stitch and some Rae Dunn pieces and some chicken cookie jars...



And on the small yellow cabinet in the living room, more chickens mingle with a cross stitch pillow from Nikyscreations called Summer Scissors Sampler....




Not much on the calendar for this week... dinner with Chris and his family tonight... dinner with friends Monday night... weather hot, humid and no rain... want to stay focused on finishing Elliott's stocking but may spent some time quilting... I want to play with an idea I saw  here  on Instagram .... 


This is the Disappearing 9 Patch pattern done with layer cakes.... I sewed together 9  10" blocks like I would for a Disappearing 9 Patch and realized that it will be almost impossible to cut the resulting 29" block on my cutting table. I'm going to try again by cutting the layer cakes into 5" x 10" pieces and 5" x 5" pieces along with 10" squares and assemble blocks that way... we shall see how it  turns out.  I think it would make a nice quilt with my American Jane fabrics... I have at least a half dozen I  her layer cakes...and a new collection is coming any day now... 

Well I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today... may sit on the sunroom porch and needlepoint a while... I love sitting out there but oh I miss having the Dude's company with me... I believe he thought I had the space enclosed just for him... and maybe I did...

Hope you have a great week ahead...

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Spinning my wheels on a Slow Stitching Sunday...

Hello - so where have I been the past two weeks?  Absolutely nowhere... stuck close to home and it hasn't done anything to improve my mood about Covid.  At least the weather has been very nice the last week ... finally lower temperatures and humidity.  I've spent every minute I could sitting out on my sunroom porch. I've shut off the AC and opened the windows ... perhaps it will make this month's bill slightly lower than the gargantuan one I got for July... yikes... and then there was the water bill... both were the biggest bills I've gotten for utilities in the last 7 years.  I will say my flowers are looking good... the lawn... well, Mother Nature needs to pay a bit more attention... it could use some water...

As for crafty stuff, I've been almost totally monogamous to Elliott's stocking... my goal right now is to have it off to the finisher no later than mid-September... here's the back of the stocking right now...



And here is the front...


I got all the of the stuff in the sack, and the sack itself stitched. I did that arch around the window, the white trim on Santa's coat (although there is going to have to be some back stitching around that candy in his pockets),  the rockers on the rocking horse and a bit of background. I've decided to go with a dusty blue for the background... Bella Lusso yarn in colorway 563, cornflower.  And I went and painted out one of the packages and the rug and the decorations on the bows of the packages.  I'm going to stitch a train engine where the one package was and I'm just having bows on the other packages.  I'm copying the train from my son's stocking. Hopefully Elliott will love trains as much as his Daddy does.

And my mood had me procrastinating about putting away the patriotic decor and getting out my chickens... but yesterday I got my butt in gear and re-did the living room.  I like the chickens as a late summer display, but I'm looking forward to September and the Fall stuff... I LOVE LOVE LOVE FALL!!! But enough of that tangent... here's what I've got...


Now, the quilt on the wall is the same one I displayed last year... the flower and leaf blocks are from  Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage  book and the chicken is from Cluck Cluck Sew's appropriately titled pattern called Chickens.  I machine appliqued the chicken on after the quilt was quilted.


And the quilt on the back of the sofa is even older... I used  a portion of it as my blog header (and I really should figure out how to make it bigger there)... It is called Dotty Chickens with a Fried Egg border... circa 2001...



I like using the back of the sofa as another display area... I have a little house so not a lot of wall space.  I don't remember what pattern I used for the chickens... maybe one from Country Threads... I know the alternate blocks were my idea, as was orienting the chickens in different directions... and the eggs are just a snowball block with a yolk appliqued on... really simple.

Along with the wall quilt I have my tier tray...


lots and lots of chickens... I'd like to add some cross stitch to this display but I don't think it's gonna happen this year... I'm committed to the stocking (and yes I do need to keep telling myself that so I don't wander off into another project... I could easily find myself getting sidetracked by some new shiny thing... shiny things are soooooo seductive...LOL)

And I used several pieces from Pineberry Lane on my shelf display along with an assortment of chickens and a vintage picnic tin...


Here are some close ups ...




And no I didn't learn my lesson about that straw... it will go everywhere and be a pain in the butt to clean up ... but I LOVE it... and I'll use it in my Fall and Halloween and Thanksgiving displays so I don't have to think about cleaning it up till December... and then I'll break out the fake snow...followed by Easter grass... OMG... I never learn my lesson... LOL... good thing I have a great vacuum cleaner.

I still am working on two other smaller displays... I want to get back to my sewing machine and make 2 smaller table toppers using my American Jane fabrics. Hopefully that will happen this week. And I'd love to get some of those quilts languishing in my sewing room bound... and I want to start a Fall quilt for my bed... and I'm pretty obsessed with Elliott's stocking (see another reminder to myself) ... so many many things I want to do!!! Need to spend less time on the internet and more time with needles and thread.

So I've been up and down lately where Covid is concerned... it is nice to be able to go out and shop and eat in restaurants again, but it has been depressing to see the number of places that have closed up. Last week 2 of the places I shopped online went out of business ... and Friday I saw that one of the locations of a fast food Italian place we like and a Panera's near by it were gone too.  I understand the need to wear masks and socially distance but the demands to keep things shutdown until it is "safe" never seem to end... how many people need to go hungry?, or lose their jobs?, or their life savings?, or go bankrupt?, until people feel "safe"... life is not without risks... The unending nature of this situation is wearing me down... I want to look forward to a vacation or a quilt show or something fun and there is nothing on the horizon... I know I'm waaay better off than lots of people in this situation, but I want to see people's faces again and see that they are happy.  A local church has a marquee and puts up a positive quote each month... this month it says "Peace begins with a smile" - Mother Teresa... What a lovely sentiment... but since I can't see anyone's smile nor can they see mine I'm not sure this helps... okay... I'll climb down off the soapbox.

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today... doing dinner with my older son's family ... carryout from somewhere... and think my younger son and I will go for a walk in the park... and perhaps stop for an ice cream sundae... cause it is a Sunday... LOL... corny joke...

Hope you have a good week ahead... other than babysitting on Tuesday my week has nothing going... not sure if that is a good thing... but I'm hoping to stitch some more on the stocking and spend time with my sewing machine... we shall see how it all turns out.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Quality time with my sewing machine...

Hello all - well last week was very nice... lots of good things happened... let me fill you in. When I was here last Sunday I said I had my fingers crossed that my son's house would sell before today... and it is sold... in fact, it sold in less than 24 hours, above asking price... the agent came and took pictures around noon on Sunday and didn't get them uploaded till around 4:30pm... within 15 minutes of it being listed they had a showing booked for that night... and before the night was over they had 2 more showings with appointments for a dozen more on Monday. They got their first bid by 7pm on Sunday ... and in the end they closed off the bids and the showings at 5pm on Monday when they had 5 bids... all for over the asking price. Now I knew the market was hot but I didn't realize that now days the asking price is a starting point, not the ending, and I thought the agent started at too low a price point... if I had been the agent I'd have started about $5K higher. They even had one bid sight unseen for more than the asking price but the buyer was upfront in that he was purchasing it to be rental property. My son and daughter-in-law would like it to stay owner occupied so they refused his bid. What surprised me was that every bid waived an inspection... OMG... I've never purchased a house without having it inspected. Now I assume people figured it would be fine because my son did disclose that the basement leaks some times and that they had done some work to mitigate that problem. Any other issue would have been cosmetic ... so now it is a done deal... they close the end of August.

And on the weather front we got some rain... oh we needed it... my grass is still a bit brown but I have my fingers crossed for more rain later this week and a forecast of lower temperatures. I even heard a long range forecast for a cooler August ... 80s being cooler than 90s... I'll take it!!

On the crafty front I was monogamous to  Elliott's stocking...  it is easier to see my progress on the back than on the front...

last week...


this week...



I got that garland and the ornaments at the top done, the blue bow on the package Santa is holding and all the silver garland on the tree.  I know these pictures are terribly interesting to you guys but they do let me look back and see if I made any progress.

I was able to make and appointment and go to the needlepoint shop Monday morning... got some more decorative threads and wool for the background.  I confirmed it has to be stitched by October to get finished by Christmas...

And I spent some quality time with my sewing machine this week. First I got my flag quilt assembled except for the borders...


This is my favorite flag...


All these fabrics are vintage Debbie Mumm...  I love the button prints and the little flags... I think the star fabric I used for the sashing was actually from a Christmas collection but it looks pretty patriotic here.  Oh, the pattern I used was a free one you can find here on Amy Smart's blog. Very easy to sew up...

And while I should have finished up the flag quilt something else shiny came along and I HAD TO DO IT!!!   I totally missed that this quilt was a SAL on Instagram not long ago ... but when I did find out about it I raced to my favorite local quilt shop, Homegrown, Homesewn  to purchase fabric for it... all Basic Grey Grunge... and here is my version of the Jumbo Spider quilt pattern from Pen and Paper Patterns... here's a link to her stuff and  you can see lots of the quilts that were made here.


It is a brighter green than is showing up in the picture... I thought the polka dot was a fun background and I got the Grunge Glitter for the spider and the web...


and instead of the eyes being pieced I'm going to put those googly eyes on after I get it quilted.  I want a spider web panto for this one... it is going to be so cute on the wall in my living room for Halloween!!

Then I got back to the quilts I wanted to get bound... I got 2 finished which was my goal ... first I got the binding on the biggest one I had waiting... my 2x4 yellow scrap quilt... here it is on my bed, freshly laundered... oh I LOVE the texture...


Here's a close up of one of my favorite blocks... little red polka dotted chickens...


I even made some new pillowcases to go with this quilt... I found this rose fabric in my stash.. I love the vintage look of it...



And I got the binding on my "Good Girl" quilt too... I have it draped over the chair in my bedroom...


A nice cozy spot to sit and read  in a lovely sunny room...

I still have 3 more quilts to bind and  I want to get the backs sewn for 2 Christmas tops... trying to get ahead of the holidays.  I hope to have some sewing time this week... my son has a dentist appointment, I babysit one day and we have dinner plans for  tomorrow night... I should call and see if I can get the oil changed in my car but nothing else is pressing at the moment.

Since I haven't gotten this posted yet on Sunday ... its almost 10pm... and I have a lot of quilting content for a change...I'm going to link up in a couple of places... Kathy's Quilts, Love Laugh Quilt,  and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Hope you have a good week ahead... lots of time to do the things you want to do!!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Circling back around on a Slow Stitching Sunday...

Edited to add:  I've had a couple of emails saying that people are having troubles leaving comments... I don't know why... perhaps because I'm trying to avoid changing over to the new Blogger format... if you want to leave me a message you can do so at   -  cfunliu@aol.com

Hope you are having a good day!!


Hello all - don't know where the time goes to...the days fly by and I don't seem to have a lot to show for them. It has been hot here... really HOT... upper 90s... ugh... my utility bill is going to resemble the national debt... and then there is the water bill... OMG... I've been watering and watering and watering... the flowers are looking pretty good... the grass not so much... taking on a definitely brown-ish hue... I threw in the towel on the monster pumpkin vines that were growing on both sides of the house... they were going gangbusters... largest plants in my yard... but they were taking over the new boxwood shrubs, and the daisies, and the zinnias and were moving on into the lawn... I wish  had more land to grow something this large but its not gonna work on my little lot... I've got some pictures of my yard at the moment... things are filling in nicely... I'm happy with this little corner... a new spot of planting...  peach and pink geraniums, white cleome, purple delphinium, pink gomphrena. and those little seedlings are going to be zinnas... I think I planted the pink ones there... we shall see...



I'm loving the marigolds... still have a couple of bald spots but a good overall look and I LOVE the cannas in the middle... great stripe-y leaves!!


The coleus in this planter overwhelmed everything else I planted in it...


Not sure why the dahlias seem to be lagging... but it is probably the heat.  The ones  I planted in the raised bed are still on the short side... other assorted dahlias I've planted by the foundation of the house seem to be taller.  This variety is prolific... I planted the tubers 3 years ago... and I never got around to digging them up... they've come back again and again ... lots of pretty pink dahlias!



Mother Nature does what ever she darn well pleases.

And circling back around, I've replanted the window boxes... I've never done that before, but the petunias were dying ... don't know why ... same thing happened last year, they didn't last the whole season. Since I went with a random mish mash I continued with that style. I've added in some vinca and some angelonia in pink, purple and white... we'll see if this can hold up till September.



On the crafty side I fully finished (FFO'd) this adorable piece by Melisa @pinkernpunkinquilting...she calls it Bees, Blooms and Chickens and you can find it here on her blog.



Now as always I changed a few things... the linen is 32 ct I painted that was in my stash... I just used DMC flosses I had ... I did the bee skeps in satin stitch and added smyrna crosses in the middle of the flowers. As for finishing I made a mat from cardstock that I die cut with that scalloped edge and added a bow from ribbon that has been maturing in my stash for probably 8 or 9 years... it is GOOD to have a stash of crafty stuff... VERY VERY GOOD!!

I stitched up this Yankee Doodle Hat from Lizzie Kate...


I was going to stick a real feather in the hat but it overpowers the design so I will stitch the feather on the chart ... gotta go find where I stuck my copy of the chart... sheesh... this is what happens when you straighten things up... which I spent several hours doing the other day... things are neater but I don't know where stuff has relocated too... oh well.

And I'm circling back around to the 5 quilts patiently waiting in my sewing studio for bindings...  you can see a snippet the two latest here and here on Quilting by David's IG account...  my goal for the upcoming week is to get the binding on ONE of them... maybe two... then I'll take some pictures... I also dug out the two Christmas tops I made back in January... I have the material for the  backs for both... just need to sew them up and send them off to Quilting by David.

And I am also circling back around to the Christmas stocking I'm doing for Elliott. I put it aside when the Covid hit because I didn't want unpleasant memories attached to it... you understand, don't you?  You can look at a sampler or a quilt or a sweater and remember what was going on when you worked on it...and my attitude during the lockdown was not positive ... and it still isn't 100% positive but I know if I want this done by October I have to work on it NOW... I picked it back up and I will say that I'm more decisive on what fibers and colors I'm using... primarily because I HAVE to work with the stash of needlepoint fibers that I already own... the little shop I bought the canvas from has just re-opened, but for appointments only. I'm going to call next week and set up one so I can order the wool I need for the background. Some of the fibers I'm using are 30 years old... really... that is the last time I did needlepoint on a regular basis... when I discovered counted cross stitch my needlepoint interest waned dramatically... and until the request for a stocking for Elliott it hadn't resurfaced at all. I think I'm a good needlepointer but as I've aged I forgot that it is harder on your hands than cross stitch. Pulling thick fibers through canvas can be a struggle... my hands are tired after a couple of hours, but I will keep going.  Here's where I am today.. you have to click on it and make it bigger to see the details...


last week I did the bear and the train in Santa's sack... and I did the trim on Santa's coat and the snow in the windows and I  figured out what fibers I'm going to use on the garland on the tree.

Here's a pic of the back ... shows how much ground I've covered so far...


I'm going to switch on and off with cross stitch... think I'll work on something I've already got started, although the temptation to start something new is strong and I ordered 4 new charts last week. So many many many pretty things I want to make.

I hope you are all hanging in there with the Covid stuff... I'm still ticked off over the whole thing... I realized the other day that the "15 days to flatten the curve" has now extended to over 120 days... the county I'm in has a mandatory mask rule... I'm okay with it... I wear one when I go into places, I'm just not totally convinced that they are super effective... I'm a skeptic at heart... I ask waaay too many questions.  You know like what is the criteria you are using for making mask wearing mandatory?  And what is the criteria you will use to determine they aren't needed any longer?  I like facts and figures but you can find them to support either side of debate these days. I read a great comment from Scott Adams... he said we are trying to make decisions based on facts and the experts, but it has turned out that the facts aren't accurate and the experts lie... so what does one do??

Okay, so I have lots of crafty plans for the week and not a lot of obligations... there is babysitting on Tuesday and probably a nice lunch out with a friend or two.  My general contractor job is done. My son and daughter-in-law's house has been freshly painted and spiffed up and goes on the market this week. I'm thinking it will be sold by next week. The inventory of homes to buy is very low here and the demand is still very high and interest rates are low... makes for a very competitive market.  The last year in this neighborhood houses have been selling like hotcakes... almost all have an offer in less than 48 hours for the either pretty close to the asking price or even above. Not easy for buyers, you have to jump right away if there is something you want and mulitple bids are commonplace. Fingers crossed  and saying a prayer that it goes quickly and smoothly for them.

Well I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts and spend some time seeing what everyone else is up to. Here's hoping we all have a great week ahead...

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Lost and Lazy on a Slow Stitching Sunday...

Hello all ... yes I haven't been here for a while... have I been off on some exotic adventure... is the groecery store exotic??? cause that's all I got... mostly I've been lazy where posting is concerned. I have put some stuff up on Instagram... you can always check me out there...  https://www.instagram.com/carolfun53/...   I've been involved in a bunch of different house and garden projects. My son and his family got moved into their new home, but not until I ended up being  the general contractor getting things painted and fixed up before hand... and then after they moved into the new place, I've been doing the same job for their old house so they can get it fixed up and put on the market... I don't mind doing it, but it takes time... and I've been busy in my yard... lucked into a great deal on some 1 gallon perennials ... $3.49 each... from a very reputable local greenhouse... obviously mis-marked at the local Kroger's store... I ended up buying 36 of them...

and I'd already planted about 25 other 1 gallon perennials and I bought a couple at the garden outlet  and another 8 or so the other day at the hardware store ... so more than 70 plants have been added this year... and right now it is looking good... hope they can hang in there...


That massive leafy thing on the left is a volunteer pumpkin... I should probably get it out of there as it has covered some yarrow, and a dahlia and a small boxwood... but it is the most prolific grower in my garden... the seed must have come from the pumpkins I had in the window boxes last Fall...


Lots of stuff in these 2 bed included 2 cabbages there in the back... again this may be a mistake as they are getting huge... I've never grown them before and had no idea those little bitty seedlings would get so ginormous...

Mother Nature has turned up the thermostat to broil for the next 2 weeks... temperatures in the 90s ... only saving grace is humidity isn't too bad, but I'm watering twice a day...petunias are already looking a bit bedraggled...

.

and yes there is another monster pumpkin plant in the front yard... I trimmed it back a bit as it had grown out of the bed and into the lawn and my lawn guy would have mowed it over... I've never had any luck before growing veggies so I'm shocked at how these have taken off...


On the crafty front I have gotten some stuff done... told myself I didn't need any new patriotic, but then I NEVER  really listen to myself...

I stitched up this sampler from Blackbird Designs... Stars and Stripes, Schoolgirl Sampler Series .... chart dated 2003...







a piece of unidentified 32 ct yellow linen I splashed with diluted Rit dyes in Scarlet and Royal blue.  That frame/stand has been in my stash for a couple of years... saw Priscilla put a Prairie Schooler monthly chart on it... got it marked down at Hobby Lobby and have been saving it for the right project... I think this vignette is looking good.



I also stitched a snippet of With Thy Needle & Thread's Summer in Baltimore...

it is finished as a flat disk... 32 ct linen I painted... and the tier tray is looking good, if I so say myself ... and I do...LOL


That top piece is a freebie from Notforgotten Farm...

I finally got my large shelf display put together the day before the 4th...



The only new piece here was a partial stitch of another With Thy Needle & Thread... this is Where Liberty Dwells... I left off the words at the bottom of the chart...



I sewed up a couple of flag blocks to make a table runner... you can see the free pattern  from Diary of a Quilter,  here....


I have more cut out to make a quilt... all vintage Debbie Mumm fabrics... hope to get to it before July is over... will be late for this year but ahead for next year... I have 3 quilts waiting downstairs, to have bindings attached, and two more that will be returning from Quilting by David soon that will also need bindings... I have a bed size top almost done... and I foolishly started a SAL for another bed size quilt ... that is definitely languishing... and I want to refresh my quilting studio... replacing the table with black tops, with tables with with tops, replacing 5 black IKEA Billy bookcases with 6 white IKEA Billy bookcases... I've been wanting to do it for a while but has been a low on the list of things  I've wanted my handyman, Dan, to get to... once he gets done with my son's old house (in a week or two) he may have time... then then I checked IKEA and the bookcases are out of stock...grrrr....who knows when all this stuff will get done...and while it may seem like I'm not lazy I sure feel lazy... maybe it is the heat...maybe it is my disgust over all that is happening in the world...not gonna mix my politics with my crafty stuff... I dislike seeing it on IG... I just want to see pretty stuff and buy pretty things... I don't need to know any philosophical  background as it isn't a deciding factor in my purchase, never has been... I want to make pretty things to escape reality... just my opinion and yes I realize what I just did... sorry... 

Anyway... I'm gonna sit on the sunroom porch and veg ... maybe watch a flosstube video or listen to some music videos and stitch a bit and nap... I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts and see what everyone else is up to... not too much on the agenda next week... a followup for my eye... got that cataract zapped ... easy peasy... shouldn't have been concerned... vision is so much better... will spend lots of time watering my plants and will probably have to break down and water the grass... I hate to water the grass as way too much water ends up on the sidewalk and I always get drenched setting up the sprinklers... maybe some day I'll have my yard outfitted with sprinklers...ooooohhhh... that's an idea I need to think more about... 

Hope you are having a good week... 4th of July here was unbelieveable... since all the local municipalities cancelled their public fireworks shows, it appears that every private citizen in my town bought their own pyrotechnics... and set them off continously for about 2 hours last night... honestly I have never in my 66 years seen so many fireworks at the same time... it was deafening ... and surprising as setting off fireworks other than sparklers, snakes and snaps is illegal in the state of Ohio... not many people seemed to be concerned with that detail... I think a lot of people bought fireworks and thought they were the only people on the block who did so... surprise... everyone on the block did it... sheesh...I did feel sorry for those people with skittish pets and those suffering from PTSD... it was not a good situation... wonder what Labor Day will bring...hmmm...

take care...happy stitching-
carol fun