Monday, February 29, 2016

Sewing again...on Design Wall Monday...

My favorite machine for Juki... has been in the shop for the past 10 days and I have been lost without her.  She was having a spa day as she hasn't been cleaned in eons.  The only New Year's resolution I made, that I knew I had a snowball's chance in hell of keeping, was to have both of my machines cleaned and serviced this year... yeah... I kept a New Year's resolution. Glad that's over with.

I picked her up on Friday afternoon and was able to sew almost all day on Saturday. Now there are a few... a couple...a bunch...oh a whole hell of a lot of tops I should be working on, but instead I started something new. Telling myself  "this isn't what you should be doing" has little effect on me... and staring a a brand new layer cake just begging to be opened was more pressure than I could bear.

Presenting my Design Wall for the first Monday in a long while....

The pattern is called Picket Fence by Busy Hands can see it here... and the fabric is Moda's Regent Street Lawn 2015... which you can see  here.  I used a yellow Moda Grunge for the background... I think it was called Banana. Here's a close up of the prints...

Now this fabric does feel a bit thinner, like Liberty of London lawns, and it has a nice hand. I think yardage would make nice clothing. This was the perfect quick fix project for me... I got to play with new fabric and I quickly got all the blocks sewn for a 66" square top. What drew me to this pattern was that I could leave most of the fabric in 10" squares and there was no border. Lately borders have been a stumbling block for me. I can do them... I've done hundreds of them... but I know that doing them correctly requires measuring and paying attention... skills I just don't feel like using some days...big sigh!

Weather forecast is for a little bit of everything this week...rain, wind, some snow and some sunshine...right now we have sunshine and I'm enjoying that. My daffodils are up about 5" and I have some crocuses that have bloomed. I'm already planning what I want to plant in my yard and my new window boxes... and then I realized that around here the gardening wisdom says don't put anything in the ground until after Mother's Day...which is 68 days away...arrghhhhh.... that is sooooo long to wait!!! I want to buy petunias and marigolds and zinnias and geraniums and I am sooooo rushing the season.

Hope you have a good week ... I just realized that this is the 3rd day in a row I've posted... hope I can keep it up. Lately I haven't been motivated to post and I've been hanging around on Instagram a lot. Instagram is easier to do but I enjoy reading blogs too, and I figure if I enjoy reading them so do others and if I don't post and other people don't post there won't be anything to read... not good.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Enjoying a Slow Stitching Sunday...

Another glorious day here in Oho and I'm enjoying the sun streaming through the windows. I have my front door open and through my storm door I see a steady stream of people walking in my neighborhood. I live in a mid-century built neighborhood with sidewalks and front porches and I LOVE it!  My house sits on a corner that does get a bit of traffic but I don't mind it as so many interesting things pass by. I think I may be turning into Gladys Kravitz (and you have to be of a certain age to remember her)... but instead of thinking of myself as nosy, I prefer the terms "interested" or "concerned"... sounds less judgemental, doesn't it?

Anyway a bit more cross stitching got done last week. Here's where I am on  my Fragments in Time...

Excuse the wrinkles...I finished this block except for some flowers in the border...

And not much more for this block...

I had several nice stay at home evenings and was quite productive. However, I think I'm going to start a small new Spring project. I came across a little Lizzie Kate piece I think I can whip up pretty quickly. Just need to pull the threads.

And I decided that my bunny candy dish looked forlorn and empty so I bought some jelly beans today...

well, I do LOVE the black jelly beans, but that doesn't look very festive...

I suppose that is better... I'll eat my black jelly beans out of the bag! Do you like the black jelly beans? I find that licorice and coconut are either LOVE or HATE flavors... I LOVE them both!

No Downton Abbey tonight because of the Oscars. I may watch a bit to see the dresses but other than that I don't have any interest. After last week's Downton episode I was at loose ends. I hated to see Edith unhappy again and I was totally ticked off at Mary. I've never been a fan of Mary, I like Cora, Edith, Isobel and Violet and of course Sybil when she was alive, but Mary has always rubbed me the wrong way. I told myself that I wasn't going to watch the last episode before it aired but I couldn't wait after last week. I opened the DVD and I will say that they did a very good job of wrapping up story lines. I won't give anything away and while I'm sad that it is over, it ended on a upbeat note.

So I may have time for a little nap this afternoon before my son and daughter-in-law come for dinner. Big Dude is happy to show me how it is done!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow.

happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Spring has my house...

The sun is shining and as far as I'm concerned Spring has sprooong at my house!  I put all the snowmen to bed in their cozy plastic storage containers and I brought out all of my spring-y stuff... bunnies and carrots and eggs and daffodils and all makes me smile. And because I have decorated for another season I am doing a gratuitous post so I'll remember where I put what next year. Not that I put the exact same thing in the exact same place (although I did do a bit of that this time) but it gives me an idea where to start when I've got all my goodies strewn all over the floor.

To begin...

a giant new wreath for my front door. I think those flowers are peonies... I'm calling them peonies because I LOVE LOVE LOVE peonies. Wish I could grow them in this color...sigh. I picked this up at Homegoods and it kicked off all of my decorating this season. Turns out I have several nice piece from Homegoods that are in this room... you'll see.

The big accent wall in the living room...

the quilt on the wall is one I hung last year, but the storage bench, 3 tier tray and the laundry cart in the corner with quilts are new.

A close up of the 3 tier tray...

bunnies and daffodils and carrots and eggs.

Can you see that the eggs are lacy? They were crocheted by my friend Lois in Nebraska and I love them. I think they look great  tucked among the greenery.

And here is a close up of the laundry cart I put in the corner...

I've had this cart for a couple of years... I got it at Homegoods. I was using it as a place to corral  my scraps in my sewing room, but I recently found something better for that purpose ... I need to show you that too...soon. The turquoise color is a nice accent and I like showing off some quilts this way.

Next to the cart, my TV stand....

more quilts and a bunch of yellow accents... birds and chicks and a little Rookwood vase ...and a bit of cross stitch too.

My bookcase that took the place of my mantle and foyer table from my other house...lots of space...lots of goodies...

This looks a lot like last year except I changed out the cake stand... that pretty coral one came from Homegoods too. I'm having quite a love affair with Homegoods wallet needs me to stay out of much temptation! (If you enlarge these pictures you can see more details... like my collection of egg cups...with feet...weird but I like them!)

My little yellow chest...the bottom is filed with quilts and the top has cute Easter-y stuff...

Even with the blinds closed the sun is streaming through the window and I had a hard time getting a picture of my newest cross stitch piece... this is a little better...

That wonderful cross stitch egg/bunny was stitched by Barb from the Wicked Stitcher. It goes PERFECTLY with my decor! Thank you again Barb...I LOVE it!

And I will finish this tour with a picture of my dining room table...

the lemons are fake and there are about 3 more lemons in that bowl than there should be...every time I move it the roll on the floor. I figure I can count it as exercise as I have to scramble to pick them up.

So I'm very happy with my home. I do most of the decorating in this room but I have branched out and added a quilt to the back hallway and I put a spring-y quilt on my bed. I really enjoy making seasonal changes to my home...wait I take that back... I like how the seasonal changes look but my back was killing me the day after I did all this decorating...lot of boxes to move and the old gray mare ain't what she use to be...LOL!

Now that I've brought Spring indoors I hope Mother Nature will do her part outdoors. While today is beautiful and tomorrow is suppose to be even better, yesterday and the day before we had snow. I checked back on the weather this time last year and we are in much better shape, so I shouldn't complain, but I will because it is what I do soooo well!

Hope things are looking Spring-y where you are!
happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Slow stitching on a Spring-y Sunday...

Oh my poor neglected little blog.... I do need to give you some attention. Life has been busy...not particularly noteworthy... but busy. I haven't sewn a stitch on my sewing machine in over a week, but I did do a bit of cross stitching, so I have a little something to show here.

The beginnings of my Fragments in Time by Summer House Stitche Workes. One chart of the eight finished...

That little house took FOREVER as you were suppose to alternate GAST Tarnished Gold and Chamomile... a muted checkerboard effect. Except that my skeins of these two flosses are almost identical in value... not good. I ended up substituting DMC 3829 for the Tarnished Gold but I'm not sure I shouldn't have just stitched the whole house in one color and said "good enough". Oh well...

Cross stitching and card making are about all I've accomplished this last week. Lots of running around and then when I get home I'm pooped. I've gotten back into card making, rediscovering lots of goodies I bought years ago. When I purchased these goodies I ooohed and aaahed over them but couldn't bring myself to use them. Now I'm over them, and I'm enjoying playing with these pretty papers and stamps and ribbons and buttons and lots of carp I have no idea why I bought...but I'm glad I did.

I've sent off a couple of cards but I forgot to take pictures... I will try to remember to do that with the next batch. Nothing fancy, simple layouts, but I think most of us enjoy getting a card in the mail so I don't have to produce a Mona Lisa in each envelope.

It is an absolutely gorgeous day today... as was yesterday... a tease of Spring even though I know it is still 27 days till official Spring. Yesterday did spur me into action to banish my snowman decor to their plastic bins and break out the bunnies and eggs and other Spring-y stuff. I will have a gratuitous  decorating post this week so I can document for me what I put where ... that will save time next year when I do it all over again. I looked at my photos from 2014 and I didn't put everything exactly where I did before but it gave me some direction... and Lord knows I need direction... lots and lots of direction!!

I'm going to enjoy this glorious Sunday by sitting in my stitching chair with the Dude napping beside me... I plan to stitch ... and nap. Hope you have a great day!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow.

happy stitching-
carol fun

PS... while I've neglected my blog I have been posting pictures of this and that on Instagram you can find me as carolfun53... check here.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day...

A blast from the past... but perfect for today. This is Blackbird Designs Truly Thine. I stitched this on a lovely deep rose linen and the frame is a black lacquer faux bamboo... I really like this pairing. I changed the chart slightly substituting "mine" for "thine" and eliminated a large motif all done in Queen's stitching so I could add my sons' initials in Smyrna crosses. An excellent substitution if I say so myself...and I do!


And here is my current project... Fragments in Time from Summer House Stitche Workes. This one has me singing "Don't go Breaking by Heart"...remember that tune by Elton John and Kiki Dee... right now I can't get it out of my head...argh!!!

Now I started out by assuming that the border was a simple repeat... NEVER assume... when you assume you make an "ass" out of "u" and "me"... another cultural reference from the past... a great The Odd Couple TV show episode. Anyway, while lots of the border is a simple repeat there are several places where it attention or there will be lots of frogging ahead... or in my case behind me. I swear I could have twice as much stitched on this piece if I had paid closer attention. Who knew that counted cross stitch would require so much counting????

I was happy when the outside border met and "assumed" the inside dividing bands would be a piece of cake...they weren't. But they are now stitched correctly. And then I made another assumption as where start the chart inside the border. I was off by 2 stitches and that had everything mushed up next to the dividing band...frogged again. When I actually stitch correctly it does go pretty quick, but I've ripped so much I think I'm going to need more floss. Big sigh....

This will be nice stitching for watching Downton Abbey tonight...and for watching the snow. We have a forecast of 2 to 3" over the next 24 hours. I can hear the shark music from Jaws as the weather radar shows the approach of the White Death. Oh goodie... maybe the Jaws music will drown out the Elton John/Kiki Dee tune!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow...hope your Valentine's Day is sweet!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thankful on Thursday...

Well it has been quite a week...snow...running around... and bunch of goodies in my mailbox... I have lots to be thankful for...okay maybe not the snow or the running around...but the goodies have been wonderful!  In the order that they have come to my door...first goodies from Moda... I won a giveaway on Moda's Instagram ...Making it Moda...Colorful. Well you had to pick your favorite many of you who know me waaaaaay too well just shouted out "YELLOW"?  Oh you are sooooo correct! As my prize I received these goodies...

Three junior layer cakes from the Simply Colorful collection by V & Co., a layer cake of the newest Grunge fabrics (and oh how I love Grunge!), two charm packs Bella solids and Zen Chic's Modern Background - Ink, a great book by Vanessa Christenson of V & Co. featuring my favorite and the best color in the whole wide world...YELLOW...and a cute tin pin that says Moda that a hint that I'm certifiable?  Don't answer that. I also got another great handwritten card thanking me for my love of Moda. I don't know for sure but I think Carrie Nelson may have written the card...whoever did it I truly appreciate the goodies and the hand written note. The writer has lovely penmanship and hand written notes are to be treasured in this digital age, don't you agree? Thank you Moda for your generous giveaway!

Next delivery brought these goodies...

a beautiful card with another hand written note inside and this adorable, or should that be egg-dorable cross stitched piece!  This will have a place of honor in my Spring decorations The white on khaki color combination is an exact match for my living room!  It was stitched by my cloud friend, Barb from Wicked Stitcher... you can check out her beautiful work here. Thank you so much Barb...such a lovely gift!

And the final delivery which arrived today were these goodies...

a third card with  a handwritten note and the cutest little heart tin filled with what I call Jordan almonds.... the almonds with the pastel hard sugar coating. I have fond memories of these from all the Italian weddings I attended as a child... and I think they are very tasty!  These goodies came from Stasi of Bee-mused and Bee-Stitching... you need to check out her beautiful work here. Stasi use to manage my favorite cross stitch store, Twisted Threads. I was one of many who were very sad to see it close, but we have been able to keep in touch. Thank you Stasi... your thoughtfulness is very appreciated.

So I am one lucky lucky gal... lovely friends and lovely cards and lovely goodies! So very very much to be thankful on this Thursday  or any day of the week!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, February 8, 2016

Making up my mind on Monday....

So today finds my design wall quite crowded with several projects...some old and some new. Now to make up my d*** mind about what to work on first.  Right now I'm just jumping around from project to project... or as my sainted father use to say " you bounce around like a BB in a boxcar"... folksy and true.

What a mish mash... I can't even decide what season to work in. Lets start from the top and see what I can sort out...

This is the most senior project... I started this 2 years ago and according to my blog I had it on my wall in 2014 and 2015. It is from Lori Holt's first book Quilty Fun... you can see it here. These flowers are my version of her Tulip Patch Quilt. My tulips are more squat than hers and all of mine are dotty... they are my hybridized version. When I first started this quilt I was going to make it big enough for my double bed. I have since decided that it doesn't need to be any bigger than the one in Lori's book. When I released this one from its plastic tomb I was happy to see that I had several rows put together and was almost half way done. Then I looked more closely and realized I had made a mistake in the first row of tulips. The spacer I added to the last tulip group on the right hand side is narrower than it should be. I'm pretty sure I fudged to make the rectangles above and below fit which I shouldn't have done. Need to go back and fix the tulip row and then continue on. It would be nice to have this one done for this Spring. Third time I've played with this quilt will hopefully be the charm.

These 3 amigos are Charm Pack Churn Dash blocks done with 2.5" squares which produces an 18" block. You can find the pattern here. There is a group on Instagram doing this one... you can see what they posted here. Each of these blocks was done with a different Fall collection from Sandy Gervais and my favorite butterscotch Grunge is the background. I'm using Charm Packs cut into 2.5" squares to do these blocks and the other six I want to make will use all of the different collections mixed together. I really like these but it will be a while till Fall rolls around again so perhaps they can wait a bit.

And this is the newest project... Friendship Pinwheel from Missouri Star Quilt can see the video here. This pattern was just uploaded last Friday and I was immediately smitten with it. The block is BIG... 18" finished... and I thought it would be a good pattern for a quilt for my younger son. I'm using my stash of Debbie Mumm fabrics and I'm going to put minky on the back. I think he is more excited for the minky back but he does like the stars too. I figure 16 of these with sashing and border will make it big enough for his bed. The pattern is easy but somehow I messed up and my stars are rotating in a different direction from Jenny's ...hmmmm... need to be sure all mine end up in the same direction whatever that will be.

So what to do first... oh I forgot to mention the projects not on the wall that need some attention. I need to put together a back for another quilt for my brother... I want to get the borders on my Double Square Stars...and I want to get the signature blocks from my older son's wedding assembled by their 1st anniversary which is the end of April.  There is certainly no lack of things to be done and hopefully I'll have more time at home this week than last week. They are even calling for some snow...but I can't say I would take their predictions to the bank.

Hope you and I have a productive week...
happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The "I need to slow down and stay home" Stitching Sunday...

Oh my goodness... the last week and a half/two weeks or so have involved waaaay too much running around... and I have no one to blame but me as I scheduled too much into too few hours. I am making a concerted effort this week to stay home...except for the meeting I'm going to on Monday morning... and maybe lunch afterwards... and then this needs to stop!

Anyway I did get some stitching time in and it was nice to play with needle and thread. First off I'm just about done with Stu Snowman by Teresa Kogut.

It wasn't until I was giving him a press that I noticed that the letters of the alphabet to the right of his neck spell out his name "STU"...I wonder if he got his name because of the placement of the letters or is this just coincidence... either way I'm very partial to Stu... he's a big boy! He measures over 9" tall on 36 count linen. Now, all that is left to stitch is his feet and about 8 rows of solid white under his feet. I thought he would be a good project to take with me tomorrow when I go to the Queen City Sampler Guild's stitch in meeting. I could talk and stitch without fear of messing up.

And speaking of messing up... here is my newest start...Fragments in Time by Summer House Stitch Worke.

I am stitching this on the same 36 count Edinburgh linen I stitched the Stu on... I really like it... and I'm stitching the 8 little charts as one sampler. You can see how they all look together on Barbara's Facebook page by clicking here. She has provided a complimentary graph for the border which you can see here if you scroll down to the pictures from 2015.

Now on first viewing  the graph  my take was it was a simple repeating pattern which I could stitch while binge watching old episodes of Downton Abbey and crying my eyes out.... why does that happen??? I know who is going to die and yet I still get all weepy...oh well... I do LOVE Downton Abbey. Anyway there is a repeat to the border but there are several places where it deviates needs to pay attention...and I did a pretty good job of it except when I started that colorful vertical dividing band. If you enlarge the picture you can see that I stitched 3 brown stitches between the motifs... there are only suppose to be TWO brown stitches... arghh!!! I thought everything was fine last night when I went to bed but when I picked it up this morning and started to work on the first little chart in that upper right corner I found out what I had done wrong. Frogging will be the first order of stitching today. I take comfort in realizing my mistake before stitched the other vertical bands.

So tonight I shall stitch again while watching more Downton Abbey. I hate to see the series come to an end. I saw a spoiler on a British site the other day but it was a happy ending for one of the characters I love so it was okay. I find Downton to be like a book in that you want to know how things turn out ...but you don't want it to be over. I purchased all the DVDs and I even have this current season sitting on my desk...still  wrapped in cellophane...and I can't bring myself to open it and watch the end...not will come soon enough.

So I'm going to link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow and I hope to get back to posting more here on my blog. I've been involved on Facebook and Instagram, for the past couple of days, in  a challenge to post 7 pieces of a day for a week.  You can check then out here and here.

Hope you have a lovely Sunday...
happy stitching-
carol fun