Friday, October 10, 2014

Q4 Finish A Long Goals

Call me stubborn but I'm just replicating my list from Q3 since I didn't touch a SINGLE ONE of them. Take that missing Quilty Mo-Jo!

1. Finish Memory Garden. This flimsy is from the book "Patchwork Showcase" by Nancy Mahoney.
2. Finish Warm 16 Patches. This flimsy began from a collection of 2.5" strips from an online swap group that I assembled into 16 patches and added the alternating hourglass blocks to. I love the color palette of this top.
3. Finish Scrappy Strip Stacks. This flimsy was made using the pattern "Strip Stacks" from G.E. Designs and is ready to baste together, quilt and bind.
4. Finish Strip Stacks in Blue & Brown. Another "Strip Stacks" set of blocks that need to be finished to find their way to Micah before his 1st year of college is over!

5. Finish Path and Stiles in Thimbleberries. These blocks are from one of the Nickel Quilt books by Pat Speth. Some of the 9 patches and rail fence sections originated from a Yahoo! Groups online block swap 6-8 years ago. The blocks are partially assembled and I plan to send this lap sized quilt out to be professionally quilted.
6. Finish Blue & Yellow Strings. I had these blocks on my design wall for a time and I can't remember why they got put away once again. They will be made into a keeper cuddle quilt for our master bedroom.

7. Finish Autumn Ridge. I believe that the blocks are about 2/3's done and the rest of the strips are cut and ready to sew together. This newbie UFO is from the Black Mountain Quilts book "Days to Remember". Instead of purple I have subbed in black/brown fabrics to match our decor.

Same song... second verse! Wish me luck...
Finish Along 2014
I'm linking up with Katy@The Littlest Thistle.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

September Reads

I'm pretty shocked at all the reading I did in September and I guess that must have been the "therapy" I needed most to adapt to my empty nest. I set aside a pile of my TBR (To Be Read) and my Re-Read books and mowed right through them!

Only one of them earned a 4 star rating and that was Room by Emma Donoghue. I highly recommend it and am passing it along to my daughter Megan who I think will enjoy it too. It is written from the point of view of a very young boy and, while dark in subject matter from an adult point of view, is fascinating from his. A book unlike any other I have read.
As you can see my bookshelves have had a makeover and are looking trimmer in the book department. No more double stacks of paperbacks! And I freed up some space to store some of my paper crafting supplies since this room has turned into my Junk Journal/Smashbook Studio. Here is a peek inside a Junk Journal I recently made for a swap.

My partner requested vintage and said she loved Paris so I used Pinterest to search for Paris themed items to print, cut and distress to make them look old. On the right is a paper lunch bag filled with cards to journal on. Here is the cover made from a cereal box cut and covered with paper and cardstock tags.
These are so much fun to make! I guess it's clear that my free time in September was spent with pretty paper and books instead of pretty fabric. I'm linking up to the Bibliophile Files at sarah did it!.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

See You In a Few...

Early this afternoon I'll head out on my road trip east to visit two of my favorite people:
Our daughter Megan and our son Micah. We had a family photo shoot in July before Moving Month started and our photographer did a fantastic job. I'll share more later on. And I can't forget a most welcome addition to our family - Megan's fiance Chris. They got engaged in June while looking for their apartment in Columbus, OH and are planning to get married in June 2016 after Chris finishes graduate school. It's so exciting!
Aren't they a striking couple? They simply belong together and we are crazy about him too (and that's no small feat for my husband who is VERY protective of his little girl!).

My coffee cozies are packed in my bag and I'll wait to attach the buttons so I can custom fit them to their Starbucks cups. I can see making LOTS more of these... maybe I'll work on small projects when I get back before tackling my UFO Collection.

Since I had this to contend with it was easy to pull out enough thread to go and leave the rest until I get back! LOL

I hope to post my September Bibliophiles and Q4 Finish A Long link ups while I'm on the road... fingers crossed. See you in a few weeks!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Coffee Cozies on a Blustery Day

Happy October everyone!

Normally I would be doing a Month in Review/Goal Setting post about now but I seem to be at least another month away from such a feat. I just can't figure out 1) where the time is going and 2) why it is so hard to get into a sewing habit again. Since I'm going to be gone for 12 days visiting the kids this month I'm not even going to bother with goals. Hmmph! But a big YEAH! to seeing my kids and getting to stay with family & a college roommate I haven't seen in years along the way.
I am actually doing some sewing today because our forecast is for a high of 40 degrees with wind, rain and maybe a little snow. Ugh to that, but a good reason for a sew day. I had seen these adorable coffee cozies on several blogs a while ago and thought they would be perfect for my daughter and her fiance. The apartment complex they live in has a free Starbucks machine in the lobby which is quite the yummy perk!
Image from The Fat Quarter Shop
So I downloaded the free pattern and watched the video HERE before ordering some new mini charm packs. Because we all know there is nothing more motivating than sewing with new fabrics right? Even though we have a few plenty on hand.
I had planned to use Elementary but when I flipped through the stack of Figures it won me over. It's a different color palette for me and I am loving the coral fabrics especially. So much so I decided I need one for myself too with some of the leftover charms.

I'll have another post before I head east on Sunday to show you the finished cozies. I can't tell you how much I am going to miss this furry girl while I'm on the road.

Elsa was watching over my extra papers this morning while I was drinking my coffee and making lists for the trip. Doesn't she have a look of reproach on her face? Or maybe it's just my guilty conscience.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Sewed Something!

In mid July my Mom and I met her Minnesota siblings for lunch in a nearby town to celebrate my aunt's birthday. Afterwards we decided to shop our favorite places there - a perennial nursery and a quilt shop. This morning I decided I HAD to get into my quilting room and came across the package of goodies I snagged that day.
The Stash Baskets pattern was in the 50% section and caught my eye right away. Just imagine having some of those to use instead of boring plastic bins! The shop had the Bareroots pattern stitched up and also had some of the cute little bags sitting around. I thought they would be a great way to use up those mini charm packs that seem to find their way into my shopping cart often.
I have some precuts of both of these holiday fabric lines so was happy to add these from the clearance section and as I was drooling over a gorgeous table runner sample one of the sales women steered me to the kit for an easy sale. There is something to be said for REAL shopping vs. online shipping.

So, about 2 months later I have a few four patches...
and some soon to be four patches laying on my ironing board.
Perhaps this little kit of charms is just what I needed to awaken my Quilty MoJo. I'll be gone until Monday celebrating a cousin's wedding in Dallas so I'll share more next week.

Friday, September 5, 2014

September Goals

I thought long and hard about setting ONE goal for the month:


But I will give it a try with 3 short & simple goals instead.
Never too hot to Stitch!
1.  Do this month's orange blocks for RSC14 and catch up on one prior month.
2.  Start 1 new project.
3.  Finish 1 old project.

My Something New project will be one of these pillows from the book PillowPOP - either Flying Rainbows (above) or Crimson Stones (below). These are the projects chosen for a Sew Along on Threadbias for the month of September. Since I love this book and need some new pillows I had better get on the stick and make one!
My Something Old project will be my Memory Garden UFO so that I can hang it in my entry way this fall. It just needs to be sandwiched, quilted and bound. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm going for small & easy here. This will also be my September project for A Lovely Year of Finishes.
But, most of all, I need to JUST SEW SOMETHING! Pronto. Stat. ASAP.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Summer Reads

After a bit of a layoff I'm getting back on track with linking up to The Bibliophile Files@sarah did it! this month. It seems that all of my travels did a number on my reading in August as I've fallen slightly behind my goal pace according to Goodreads. 
While I used to be able to read anywhere when I was younger I have found lately that I have a hard time concentrating when there are other things going on around me. The car radio, pretty scenery, thinking about the next toll both or the next stop all kept me reading and re-reading the same paragraphs for miles! Or being distracted by sights like this.
A dog in a backpack on a motorcycle on the Interstate in New York... yes, really! And very happy about it too by the looks of things.

In my last Good Reads post on July 15th I was working my way through Vince Flynn's series of books featuring Super Spy Mitch Rapp.  Since then I've finished reading all about Mitch and now am taking a break from that genre (I can only take so much adventure I guess!).

My 4 star reads during July and August were:
  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  • Lost by Michael Robotham
  • Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch
  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (re-read)
  • Eat Like a Woman by Staness Jonekos
My favorite was What Alice Forgot - I really enjoyed the premise of the book and the characters were vivid, funny and enjoyable. This was my 3rd book by Moriarty this year and I've liked them all very much.  Lost was a fast moving police procedural with lots of twists and turns. Summer House with Swimming Pool was, like his last book Dinner Party, dark and rather disturbing. Koch seems to write his characters to repel us rather then attract us. But I couldn't put it down and thought about it long after I was done reading it.

Peace Like a River was a pleasure to read... great story, engaging characters and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. I found Eat Like a Woman to be filled with solid information on good nutrition, how women's dietary needs are unique and how to plan balanced meals. I took lots of notes.

So there you have it... 8 months down and 4 to go. Next month I'll show you how my bookshelves are starting to dramatically thin out at last! Miss Elsa thinks I should finish this post and feed her dinner.