Middle of August already?

Summer is racing by! Looking forward to my family coming to visit in September!!  Their trip has been postponed due to illness of one of the children, but it is back on the schedule for next month. :)

Since my last post, I have finished up some sewing for the granddaughter’s 2nd birthday and worked on a couple of other projects.  Our guild does “pillowcases for hope”, and I stitched up two right before our last guild meeting to drop off, and came home with two more kits.  I had some silly fun fabric purchased last spring to make something fun for my big sister. I decided it would be PERFECT fabric for her travel pillows!!  She is usually out on the road, “PILOTING” for big rig trucks with over sized loads.  I think she will like these cowboys!!

Cowboy pillowcases

Cowboy pillowcases

Aren’t they FUN ??  I’m sure when she rests her weary head after a long day on the road, she will have sweet dreams with her head on these pillow cases.  Shhhhh….don’t tell, I want to surprise her when I go visit this weekend. (I have about 1 1/2 yards left, and am thinking she will get a nice apron out of the same fabric for her birthday).

Before I got started on pillowcases, I finished up two sundresses for my two year old granddaughters birthday.  I had a great pattern I bought at my local quilt shop, It was called To Tie For, by Olive Anne Designs.  I had some fun tutti-fruitti fabric put away for sundresses, and this is what I came up with in the end.

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Sundresses - "to Tie for" design by Olive Ann.  size 3.

Sundresses – “to Tie for” design by Olive Ann. size 3.

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Fun happy little duck

Fun happy little duck

 

I love that they are reversible.  Took longer to stitch out the cute little duck on the embroidery machine then it did to stitch the dresses together. I made a ‘dolly’ size one out of the dark pink fabric. Poor dolly only got one new dress.

Last Tuesday we had our Quilt Guild class, and I signed up to attend.  The project was a mosaic piece, done with 1 inch squares.  I had found some great hand dyed fabrics at the Hershey Quilt Show in July ($5 for a bag of scraps) that were PERFECT for this project. So, after using up a yard & 1/2 of “wonder under” and cutting up some nice little squares; this is the result:

It was a lot of fun to make.  nothing like a class where you don’t sew a stitch!  After it was all fused on to the background fabric, I quilted it.  I broke the instructors rules however, and did it “my way” …

getting the water in place

getting the water in place

playing in the blue water

playing in the blue water

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Fun stitches to catch every block

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the back of the crab

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finished mosaic crab

This project was lots of fun.  It ended up at 24×24″; and needs to be “finished” on the edges. Thinking about that for a bit, border or just bind it. And what color to use….I am leaning towards a batik in the blue green range….A friend of mine suggested something bright.  It will be a wall hanging, so I have to think about that a bit. Maybe I will just skip the border and face it. .. Something to consider for a bit.

Did a little charity baby quilt work this past week and a half too.  Our quilt bee, the Material Girls, has been working for several months on a project that will be delivered to a local doctor and then taken to Honduras.  I machine quilted and bound 2 tops that someone else put together, and built made 2 more tops and finished them off as well. I seem to be the collection point so I got busy yesterday and got all 6 washed and ready to go. I have a couple more kits ready to put together, and may get them done in early September.

Now, I must get back to business, finishing up my booking contracts with quilting lecturers and workshop instructors for the guild!  I feel better now that I got to play with fabric for a bit.     (I am hand delivering those cowboy’s to my big sister in California….so this post wont publish until she gets them in her hand, and the granddaughter’s sundresses hopefully arrive in the mail!  I wrapped her gifts up in a pillow case, and have forgotten to take a picture of it before I sent it all out in the mail. :( oh well…..) Happy Stitching.

August is here!

I can’t believe we are already in August!  Where or where did July disappear too?  I haven’t been spending anytime reading blogs or posting. Doesn’t mean I have not been sitting at the computer…oh my have I ever.  I last posted when I gave away my little Blue Hen Chicken!  The week her new owner was chosen was a busy time.  I had a meeting of the guild’s Program Planning Committee, followed by the “Material Girls” quilt bee, both at my house, followed by another meeting about Program Planning.  In between, I spent countless hours writing and responding to people to come & speak & teach at our guild.  I feel like I went back to work at a full time job, with overtime.  The good news is; I have all of 2015 booked, and some of the contracts are finished; and I have started in on 2016.  The hard part is the budget, and finding instructors in the mid-Atlantic area that we can afford, who bring new and interesting lectures, trunk shows and workshops. (So far I have 3 out of 8 lined up for 2016). I need a break though!

In 2 weeks, I almost didn’t stitch a thing.  After our Material Girls bee, I did layer up and quilt a charity baby quilt in flannel; yet it sits on the table, waiting on binding.  Just as I write this, I decided I will uses some of my stash strips and make a scrappy binding!  I have also decided, I do NOT like to work with flannel….way too much lint in my machine after working up the blocks and quilting. The fabrics were donated for these quilts, but I did need to get more flannel for backing.  I have 3 more kits to put together before I take a trip in the middle of the month.  I decided to just quilt across the center of the blocks, and used one of the pretty stitches built into my machine.

 

I did sneak in a little fun on a bus trip to the Hershey Quilt Show. We got to see the lovely quilts (the lighting was terrible and did a dis-service to the quilts!); did some shopping at the various vendors.  I stocked up on thread from Superior Threads, and picked up more of that great bag lining product – SOFT & STABLE, along with some fun fat quarters and a new marking pen.  We also did a trip to Burkholders Fabrics on the way home.  If you are ever in the Hershey or Lancaster area, you need to set your GPS and go find Burkholders!  Out in the middle of NO-WHERE, surrounded by picturesque farms and rolling hills, you will be in fabric HEAVEN!!  Burkholders is at 2155 West RT 897,  Denver, PA   ( http://www.burkfabric.com/ )  Because we were there on a bus trip, and our guild stops there every year, we got some extra special deals. My favorite was the bundle of 20 fat quarters for $30.  Had I gone back in for 1 more, it would have gone down to $25 for the bundle…but by that point I was “shopped out”.

About Wednesday this past week I decided it was time to SEW.  I had fun working on projects that will get put in the mail in the next day or 2 to my grandaughter.  She will have a birthday next week, and will be a big 2 years old.  In order to make sure I don’t send her any plastic junk (aka toys), I decided it was time to get busy and make those things I have been intending to make for months and months.   So; with limited fanfare: here you have – Project # 1 – the hooded bath towel –

In case you want to make one of your own; these instructions are very helpful:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Hooded-Baby-Towel/

I did a few mod’s, but nothing much differently.  I got the embroidery machine going and got busy~!~  I have not done any work on bath towels before, but read quite a bit about the process.  I used a Floriani iron on mesh tearaway stabilizer on the back of the towel, floated a piece of medium tear-away under the hoop, and put water soluable on top.  I was very pleased with how well every thing stitched out. The cat face and the kitten topper come from Embroidery Designs . com; and when I downloaded them, they were part of the free collections.  I had trouble with the smiling kitten though. It was “too big” for my Brother PE500 embroidery machine. My hoop size is 4×4; and although it said 4×3.95; my machine would not recognize it.  I contacted Embroiderydesigns.com at their toll free number, and  Bonnie in customer service was a BIG help.  She looked up the specifics for my machine, and explained I really can not use a design bigger that 3.85″.  Then she offered to RE-SIZE the design and she emailed it to me in about 10 minutes.   I learned a little more about my machine and was tickled pink that she was so helpful.  Especially for somebody who mostly downloads the free stuff every week.   It stitched out beautifully.  I will remember them when I see a design that I have to pay for and not buy it somewhere else!

 

Project # 2 is a Super Hero Cape.

Patterns are plentiful on the internet. I can’t remember where I got this one, but it worked well. (All straight cuts with a ruler & rotary….no scissors were used in the prep of the fabric!)

Grandchild # 3 is familiar with the use of Super hero capes, as she often plays in her big brother & sisters capes I made last summer.  I picked out what I thought was fun fabric, and then put a contrasting fabric inside so it would “look cool”.  I used a piece of the contrasting and made a little super hero patch for the back, with a cute little ladybug design.  Again thanks to Embroidery designs. com.  There is bright yellow ric-rack around the gathering at the neckline, and along the bottom edge (in the second picture you can see it.)  (The goal was to not use licensed character fabric, and this fabric was so much fun with the butterflies, and worms and bumble bees.)  I used velcro for the closing; and the same pattern as big brother and big sister. Hopefully it is not too long, and won’t be a tripping hazard! (Grandma wants pictures……….)

 

Project # 3 – placemats and napkins for a tea party!

 

miniature place mats and napkins for a tiny tea party for a two year old

miniature place mats and napkins for a tiny tea party for a two year old

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using the fun stitches on my machine; boats and planes and elphants and lambs and cars

using the fun stitches on my machine; boats and planes and elphants and lambs and cars

I opened my ziplock bag of left over 4 patches; and left over 2 patches and put together these little placemats. The four patches and two patches are leftover from 2 quilts I made. One was a baby quilt for grandchild # 2, and one was a full size I made for my sister. I went crazy making those blocks, and I had lots left.   I had some big squares leftover, and they were combined to make the back of the placemats, and the napkins.  I had fun with some creative stitches on my machine for the quilting of the placemats, and the trimming of the napkins. I think these will work quite nicely with the tea party dishes her mommy is ordering!  If she needs more than 6 placemats, I have about 100 more 4 patches that could be made into placemats.  (I love my stash!!! I pulled strips from the stash that were used in other quilts; and 3 of them are strips that were in grandchild # 3’s one block wonder quilt.  )  I LOVE The fancy stitches on my macine. And I love that new pink varigated thread from superior. It is a 40wt  perfect for quilting.

I have one more little idea up my sleeve, and then I will get this birthday box in the mail.  :) It is a cloudy rainy day and I could either stay in the house and vacuum or go out to the garage to sew !!  Sewing it shall be!  (Someday I am getting one of those robo vacs!  Happy stitching.

 

 

And the winner is….

The chickens have stopped to catch a breath!  Monday Morning has arrived (and past by) and I just got a chance to count up entries and put the total entries into my Random Number Generator.  (My apologies for the boring looking generator…)

WINNNER !!

WINNNER !!

 

So Carla Bynum , send me an email: live2skide@yahoo.com with your mailing information!!  This lovely Blue Hen Chick is coming your way!

Carla's blue hen chicken!

Delaware Blue Hen Chicken!

So tickled that my Blue Hen chicken will enter the gallery at http://ohsewtempting.wordpress.com/chicken-run-gallery/

And a reminder to the winner – the rules of play are found at https://ohsewtempting.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/chicken-run-giveaway-sort-of/

:)  So, the chick is packed up and ready to mail. She is filled with batting, but could easily have sand, walnut shells or other material placed inside her.

Even if you didn’t win; you can make a chicken for yourself.  They are fun t make and take very little fabric.  I had a lot of fun refreshing my “paper piecing skills” using the log cabin pattern on Granny Maude’s Girl blog: http://grannymaudsgirl.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/chicken-run/

Thanks for playing and keep sewing and having fun!

 

 

It’s a chicken round-up

They are all in a huddle waiting and clucking…wanting  to know who the winner is !!

Did you comment on yesterday’s post for a chance to win?

( http://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/the-chickens-are-running/ )

 

A Chicken Round Up !

A Chicken Round Up !

 

Looking for a winner

Looking for a winner

Go ready yesterday’s post for a chnce to win !!

 

The Chicken’s are Running

I have been the recipient of a Funky Chicken!!! (Check out my last post for details). (http://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/i-love-to-win/)

chicken

Funky Chicken by Anne Rust of Peacock Hill

Funky Chicken arrived in the mail early in the week, and I have been admiring it ever since.  Thank you Anne Rust of Peacock Hill !!!

It joins my Church Chicken, gifted to me by my Church Quilt Buddy Kristin.  Church Chick

My task has been to continue the Chicken Run, by creating an equally lovely chick and sending it out to a reader of this blog, who is chosen at random.  My chickens are to be known as BLUE HEN CHICKENS – the state bird of Delaware!!  You think I’m kidding…no, it’s true….we have a CHICKEN for a state bird.  (Check out the real deal –   http://www.delaware.gov/facts/animal.shtml )  (Hey at least we aren’t doing fish…because you may notice our state fish is the weak fish, and that is just sad!) The official Delaware state bird.

(Borrowed from http://www.theus50.com/delaware/bird.php………………)

Delaware State Bird

Name: Blue Hen Chicken
Binomial Name: Gallus gallus
Adopted: Legislation of 1939

The Blue Hen Chicken (Gallus gallus) is a domesticated bird.

The plumage of the Blue Hen Chicken is gold, red, brown, dark maroon, orange, with a bit of metallic green and gray. There are also some white and olive feathers and two white patches, shaped like an ear, appear on either side of the head. It can be distinguish from other chickens not only by these white patches, but also by the grayish feet. 

So with that vivid description, I got out my golds and yellows and blues and tried to create my OWN version of a Blue Hen Chicken!!!

Paper pieced log cabins

Paper pieced log cabins

I have quite a little flock growing here, looking for a new place to roost!!!

Blue hen Chickens

Blue hen Chickens

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So, my friends, if you would like to have one of these nifty little chick’s I have created, you must first agree to continue in the manner in which this chicken run began. You must agree to make one of your own creations and gift it within 30 days.  Can you do that???  You must if you want to play! !

As I said in my previous post

The Chicken Run started in England …by Avis on her “Oh Sew Tempting” blog — check out the gallery of chickens that have been running around the world – http://ohsewtempting.wordpress.com/chicken-run-gallery/

and the original give away – https://ohsewtempting.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/chicken-run-giveaway-sort-of/

How praytell should you make a chicken??

Here are a couple of good links for tutorials.

http://cedarfork.blogspot.com/2014/06/make-pin-hen.html

If you would rather Paper piece, which is what I did on all but the very first chick, try the template from Granny Maud’s Girl – http://grannymaudsgirl.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/chicken-run/

These hens are stuffed with fiberfill, so they can be shipped to other countries……so if you are in England, or the Congo or Japan or Australia…yes, you can also win.  (Normally I stuff with walnut shells….but not this time.).

How do you win a Blue Hen Chicken????  Tell me WHY you need a Blue Hen Chicken on your sewing table!

Just comment before Monday morning, and I will let my random number generator choose 1 recipient.

Good luck!!  (The chick’s are ready to RUN!!!!)

 

 

 

I love to win

I am always entering contests….most of the time I don’t win…but some times… I do.   No, I didn’t win the APQS Great Long Arm giveaway this week (see very sad face…  :(  )  My quiltbee buddies and I have entered faithfully, and you think one of us would have won….but not.  I’m sure the lovely lady in Ohio is going to enjoy the machine.  Until they give another one away, I will stop annoying my friends on Facebook with my daily entry reminders.  (I even had my sister in Nevada entering, and a former church member now living in Tennessee entering…..and they don’t quilt.  They entered with the hope of winning and giving me the machine…in exchange for a quilt!)

But, I did win something else today!  I won the TEXAS Chicken Run !!

Yes, you heard me right….and here is a peak at the chicken that is flying the coop all the way from Texas to Delaware.

chicken

Funky Chicken by Anne Rust of Peacock Hill

But if you want to take a peak at this prize…check out Anne Rust’s blog -

http://peacockhill.blogspot.com/2014/07/and-chicken-run-winner-is.html

Take a peak at her other chicks – http://peacockhill.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-chicken-run-comes-to-texas_26.html

Have you heard about the “Chicken Run” ?  It started in England …by Avis on her “Oh Sew Tempting” blog — check out the gallery of chickens that have been running around the world – http://ohsewtempting.wordpress.com/chicken-run-gallery/

and the original give away – https://ohsewtempting.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/chicken-run-giveaway-sort-of/

The promise if you win, is to make another and offer it up on your blog and send it on within the month.   So, keep your eyes open for my Chicken Run addition.  And get ready to play.  (I am so tickled to win…I was gifted a lovely little chick in May, and now Funky Chicken is coming to keep her company!)

Want to make one of your own?  Here is a link to a good tutorial:

http://cedarfork.blogspot.com/2014/06/make-pin-hen.html

(book mark that one in case  you win when I give mine away!)

Sew Happy….

What does a quilter do?

When she is not quilting……  It’s summertime, so hanging out in the pool has a high priority.  Hubby has a favorite “Pool Lounge Chair” that has seen better days.  In fact, I don’t think it has been out of the garage in 4 or 5 years. It was pretty rough looking.  After he hosed it off and tossed it in the pool, I declared it was coming right back out.  The fabric of the lounger was disinigrating before our eyes.  The foam that was inserted between the layers of fabric was crumbling and falling out of the holes in the fabric.  Out of the pool it came.  Since the floats and the frame were in great shame, we disassembled and measured it up for new fabric.

Lucky for me, he was headed to his train club meeting and there is HANCOCK Fabrics nearby. Even better, it was Senior Citizen day…so I got 15% off of my purchase.  I found some great coordinating outdoor fabric, for $9.99 /yard (before the discount).  Even better, I found “outdoor” thread. So, between Thursday and today, I recreated the original chair.  Now, he wants to add a pillow……and a float for the feet….he may have to wait for Saturday for further modifications to the original!!  I decided I was not dealing with foam, so I used a full package of twin sized poly batting layered in the chair.  Leave it to a quilter to “secure the batting”.   No, I didn’t really quilt it!! I did secure the batting using the same method the original chair had.  I managed to use a spool & 1/2 of the outdoor thread. That stuff is thick, and I must have wound about 5 or 6 bobbins.  Overall a successful project.  Thankfully I had the orignal to use as a reference.

(It really is the bright orange…don’t know why the one picture washed out so….)

and now….the front side….

wpid-20140704_165151.jpg(no pictures of hubby in the pool…..)  Orange is his favorite color.  I got 3 yards of each fabric, so may get a couple of chair cushions out of the balance….but not before I buy more “outdoor thread” and a couple more heavy duty needles.  This outdoor fabric RAVELS like crazy, so I did a lot of extra stitching.  Hoping between the sun and the pool chemicals, it doesn’t disinigrate anytime soon.  It was a challenge to make and get the pockets in exactly the right spot so it would slip over the rod of the chair and the back of the chair.  Pillows tomorrow.  :)

Book coming soon: Recreating Antique Quilts

Book coming soon: Recreating Antique Quilts.

There is a blogger I follow, Ivory Spring, who creates a lot of patterns and is well published in the quilting magazines.  You may know her as Wendy Sheppard….well…she has a book coming out soon.  Check out her blog post!!

Congratulations Wendy!!

Flowers in the Snow

A FRIDAY FINISH !!   My friend Judy told me recently she could not think of working on anything with SNOW in the name after the long winter she had!  I think of all the spring  gardens that were dreamt about while the snow was drifting everywhere.

I think I will call my finished project Flowers in the Snow!

The project is called Snowdrift; from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Modern quilt Studio; Modern Quilts Illustrated # 5

Bill Kerr taught a class at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes Delaware on June 3rd, 2014. And yes…I finished it before the month was over….(I know, I can’t believe it!)

The quandary is how do I use this???

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Snowdrift (UPSIDE DOWN) on the rocker….the drifts are supposed to be in the lower right corner of each block…right now it looks like fans!

Finished dimension is 28 1/2 ” wide by 72″ long.

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Snow drift on the porch rail

The dining room table is 79″ x  40″ and as you can see, it FILLS  the space!

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On the dining room table…again, viewed f rom the “wrong end”…but then, won’t somebody always be looking at it the “wrong way”?

Thinking about putting a hanging sleeve on the back.  I would have to hang it at the same level as the living room window frame , so it just “skims” the top of one of the tables.  It is really long.  (Not Bill Kerr’s fault, mine alone!)

This is what happens when you sew with no purpose I guess!  I signed up for the class, took 20 fat quarters with me, and Bill Kerr helped me pick the ones that looked best together.  I was limited on blocks because of the amount you could get from 1 fat quarter.  So, this is what I ended up with after playing with it on the design wall for 2 weeks.  It did shrink down a little with the quilting and the washing, but now, I don’t know what to think. Throw a set of candlesticks on and leave it be, or sew the hanging sleeve on and have a wall hanging.  I have picked a place so wondering what you think!

Had some fun with the quilting and binding.  Used quilting stitch # 132 on my Janome 8900. It is a bit of loop squiggle loop.

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close up of the stitch I used for quilting.

 

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I love playing with the stitches my machine makes

 

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The back. Used the same white fabric with tone on tone flower. Bobbin thread was white. Top thread was a variegated thread from Superior; Fantastico # 5021 – green purple and aqua.  It does peak thru on the back a bit.

The thread I quilted with on top is Superior Thread Fantastico # 5021 – Batik Blue.  (Fantastico #40 Premium High Strength Variegated Trilobal Polyester. ) Officially it is Purple-Green-Aqua. ( http://www.superiorthreads.com/shop/product/fantastico-5021-batik-blue-500-yds-polyester-thread/ )

My bobbin thread is by Thread Art, 60 wt weight.  I use this in my embroidery machine but I love quilting with it. Less times of filling the bobbin!!

Did you notice my scrappy binding?  Not much left of those fat quarters when I got finished cutting 2.5″ strips from them. I think I managed 2 strips from each fat quarter of left over fabric. I have 1 strip left over after attaching the binding and HAND SEWING to the back. I know Bill Kerr, you machine it on. Well….I spent two evenings stitching it down.  It will not get a lot of wear, and the hand stitching looks pretty good.  I am more of a machine binding girl …especially with my achy fingers. But I figured, since it might end up on the table, and somebody might “check” …it would be better hand stitched.

Learned a lot about curved piecing from Bill Kerr in his class, and templates etc. Back to squares and rectangles for me for a while !!!

So, what would you do with it, hang it or table ?  (Not like we use the dining room table very often anyway…)

Happy sewing.

 

 

 

 

How grows the garden and more

Asian Lily – They are taller than me!!!

I am 5'5" and this stalk is at least 5" higher.

I am 5’5″ and this stalk is at least 5″ higher.

I  planted  a  bunch of these bulbs about 7 years ago.  They are starting to really spread!  Love them.

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Love this lilly

Love this lilly

Calla Lily

Calla Lily

These are the light pink Calla Lily – they have a solid green leaf.  I also have one with a speckled leaf that hasn’t bloomed yet.  I am hoping it is the darker pink.  Should know in another week or so.  These light ones have really come up nicely this year, no rabbits hung out in the garden this winter. Wondering if my garden expert friends can give me advice on “dividing” them?  They have been in the ground here about 7 years.  I would love to be able to get them going in other places in the garden.

I’ve been busy this week.  I accepted a challenge to build 2 quilt blocks for a designer I took a class from last fall in Houston. She sent me some strips and squares of fabric and instructions, I added print strips and squares. I followed her instructions and built these 2 blocks.

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designer's challenge

designer’s challenge

Hubby and I took a ride to a town not too far away and watched as the cars arrived for a “lunch stop” . The cars were participating in the Hemmings Motor News Great Race from Maine to Florida.  No vehicle was newer than 1972.  There were so many cool cars, and I took tons of pictures.  I am going to load them up on Google Plus later this week.  Below is just one .  I thought this truck was a lot of fun.  Great article in the local newspaper: http://www.sussexcountian.com/article/20140625/NEWS/140629834/1994/NEWS

UPDATE:   Lots of pictures from the Great Race on my Google Plus page —   https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/107719759241739877618/albums/6029653569934744193

Good thing they came through on Tuesday….because on Wednesday we had torrential rain!!

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Can you see the rain bouncing in the water of the pool?
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Since it was raining, I decided to get busy and work on my “Snow Drift”. I managed to get it put together and by the end of Wednesday night I had it quilted. Binding is in progress now, but here is a sneak peak at it before it was layered. It is going to be just perfect on my table. Nearly as long and almost as wide as the dining room table. Of course, after the quilting and the trimming, and the binding and the washing, it will shrink up a little bit!!

wpid-20140622_181636.jpg

In between the fun, I am working on finding speakers and instructors for the Quilt Guild that I belong to.  If you know somebody great that is near the Mid Atlantic (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Maryland), let me know.  This job is tough!!  Thank goodness I have a committee to help make the final choices, but I have to get them a list of options.  I have spent a lot of “quilt time” at the computer, researching.  Ready to get back to my sewing.  Afraid to look at my list of things that need doing!  :)  Have a great weekend, hope it is sunny and bright where ever you are!

 

 

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