Secret Project and Special Project

Wow, I can not believe it is nearly the middle of October.  I have had such a busy time, and done just a bit of sewing.

I can’t share my secret project  specifics or photos with you yet, but let me tell you…I had fun working on it.  I was approached by a fellow blogger to work on something together.  We cut 2.5″ strips of a certain color, and we each mailed strips!  How fun is it to open the mail knowing there is beautiful fabric inside.

My fellow blogger had a plan and sent me the pattern and with our combined strips, we made our blocks.  I made 15 blocks (14.5″ finished block) and she did 21.  Our original plan was to do 15 each, but the layout was not working.  She had put her 15 blocks in the mail to me, and when I said it would look better with 36 blocks, she agreed. So she quickly assembled 6 more.  Funny thing was both packages arrived the same day.  I could have done more, but I was a little busy with the grandkids.

More about them in a minute…..  This weekend I put the blocks up on the design wall and through the instant sharing ability we have on Facebook we talked through some “re-arranging”, and agreed on the pattern layout. I started on Friday afternoon and finished up on Saturday afternoon putting the blocks together and getting the quilt top ready to go. I will send it back to her on Thursday (after I show it off to my quilt bee friends – The Material Girls).  My blogging friend is going to decide on any borders and then do the long arm quilting on it.  We have a specific deadline we would like to meet.  I have enough 2.5″ strips of a particular color (NO, I am not telling until it is delivered….) to make 4 more 14.5 blocks…to match the quilt.  I will turn them into throw pillows.  Trust me it will be beautiful.  Once the quilt is gifted, then I will share some photos. 🙂

So, now…why was I busy and not doing a lot of sewing?  Well, the grandchildren brought their parents for a visit. They live in Africa and I have been without any grandkids hugs for over a year!  It was a wonderful visit. It was also fun to see my daughter and her husband.

We made the rounds of the local library, park, Oktoberfest, beach and boardwalk, bookstores etc. An “official hair salon” event for a certain 4-year-old resulted in a lovely haircut and “polish” on her nails. A first for her and so exciting to watch her expressions as it was happening.  What fun digging in the sand for pirate treasures with a 6-year-old.  The joy of watching a 2-year-old wiggle toes in the sand was also something to watch. Grandma had to indulge in small beach shovels.  At home they are not permitted to dig in the dirt because of sanitary reasons. So, you can imagine the joy.  It was fun to take them to the edge of the water and watch their faces as the water came close to their bare little feet. Too cold for swimming or getting wet, but wonderful fall weather at the beach.

I have so much fun when my daughter visits or I visit her. She is a great cook, and loves to indulge me with her help and recipes. We enjoyed lots of favorite foods that they are just unable to get where they live currently. The cold weather veggies like  and Brussel sprouts and mushrooms were on the menu here.

We did a special project while they were here visiting.  My 6-year-old grandson has noticed the extreme poverty in the country they reside in. He wanted to do something to help the kids. His family came up with an idea and this is what happened.

We set up a suitcase at our church on 2 Sundays.  The response was incredible.  (Notice the African Wax Fabric for the display board & table cover….)  We collected donated school supplies from members of our church and other friends.

Project fill the School case

Project fill the School case

When all was sorted – it looked like this:

 

Sorting the supplies

Sorting the supplies

and this:

114 spiral notebooks and construction paper

114 spiral notebooks and construction paper

There were watercolor paint boxes, scissors, colored chalk, little pencil sharpeners, pens and markers, and notebooks and construction paper.  There were 114 spiral notebooks, 227 erasers, 583 pencils and 49 pencil sharpeners!  For families who earn so little, this will be a huge gift in helping their children with their schooling.  It also show what can be done by a few to make a difference.  Those who donated and those who will receive will know that Jesus Christ is at work among them.  What generous spirit the people of Reformation Lutheran Church, in Milford Delaware had.  They donated cash as well, and 2 suitcases were purchased, and 2 more large ones were donated.  My son-in-law packed and repacked until each suitcase weighed the proper amount, and actually put a small case inside a larger empty case. They will visit other family on the west coast and do another school supply drive there too. They will take all these suitcases home to Africa with them when they return at the end of the month.

So, that is what I have been up to! Secret projects and special projects.

What about you?  How goes the quilting?

 

African Wax Fabric

My lovely daughter gifted me with 4 pieces of beautiful fabric at Christmas time.  I am still just admiring the colors and prints, and have not come up with a project. We are entertaining the idea of covering the dining room chairs with the fabric.

I recently bought 4 ” thick cushion and plan to do box edges for the 6  chairs.  Hubby would prefer matching fabric on all six, and dear daughter has offered to shop again for the right number of yards.  I am figuring a yard per chair; because of the depth of the cushions and boxing the cushion as opposed to just soft wrapping it.  So, dear daughter, find me 6 yards of any print, all the same fabric….yellows, greens, blues, purples…..geometric or floral.  (The florals in the 1st 2 pictures I just LOVE!!!).

If the floral is really large, you have to find a centerpoint and that takes MORE fabric.  The “weighter” the feel, the better I think.  The orange and blue at the bottom has a really light feel, and I don’t think it would wear well on the chairs, but I am considering a skirt out of it!  These big pieces will make nice backs for quilts too I think.  Or aprons……Or pillows………..  I just love them all and can’t decide what to do with them yet. So, they will sit on the shelf with my “stash of fabric” and I get to touch them every day!

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3 7/8ths yard

 

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1 7/8 yards

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5 yards

 

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5 7/8ths yards

Happy stitching!

Happy New Year

Hoping you had as lovely a New Year as I did!

(special note – this post has LOTS of links that take you out of WordPress – be sure to “right click” and open in a new tab or window)

My hubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary New Years Eve by going out to an early dinner and then to the movies. We have never been to the movies together, so it was a new event!  I love going out to the movies and we had a lovely time. We saw Saving Mr. Banks.  Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks starred in the movie produced by Disney & BBC.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saving_Mr._Banks ) I just want to say; if you grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and remember Mary Poppins as a child, you will be very surprised by the story behind the film.  This was a lovely film, and worth your time and money to go and see it.   I might actually get my hubby out to the theater again, since he now qualifies for the “senior” discount!  (He would much rather wait and see something at home on the television…but I love to go out!)

December was a busy time for me, getting the shopping and wrapping and shipping taken care of for Christmas. My husband belongs to a Model Railroad Club that has their annual Open House over 4 weekends, beginning in November and running through the upcoming weekend. It means two full days out of the house each weekend, on his only days off; and of course, I was drafted years ago to “greet” visitors and “sell” raffle tickets at the front door.  If you are in the Mid Atlantic area, be sure and come out for an afternoon of train watching!  Check out  http://www.delmarvamodelrailroadclub.org/events.html or on Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/DMRRC  We had a visitor at the club this weekend that put up some great photo’s too on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.692926050727709.1073741888.182368271783492&type=3

Meanwhile in December, I took a fast trip to Nevada to help my baby sister for a week as she recovered from a total knee replacement. Don’t get me started about health insurance and them releasing her home alone after 1 week in hospital/rehab!! Poor dear is suffering from infections (3 so far) and can’t get back to work for at least another month. We had a wonderful time visiting in between all the pain and agony the poor dear was incurring.

While I was there, I made a visit to her local quilt shop – Fiddlesticks Quilt Shop – http://fiddlesticksquilts.com/ .  They are located in the historic district of Boulder City Nevada in what was originally the hardware store.  I chatted with the very pleasant owner, who help me gather some things for ‘hand work’ while I traveled. I came away with a “scrap pack” of 5″ squares and some 1″ English Paper piecing Hexi’s. A quick trip down the street to the local Ace Hardware resulted in a package of scissors, and I was all set to commence building hexi’s.  I cut the 5″ squares into quarters, and got busy.  I had taken a small kit with me; thread, needles but no scissors due to airline rules. I learned that you can cut thread with the cutter on your DENTAL FLOSS container!  I had a fun time stitching in the evenings while she slept and on the flights home too. Apparently straight pins ARE allowed on the planes.

Hexis from 5" squares

Hexis from 5″ squares

Mad about Hexi'smy flower got a little lost with so many patterns

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Now that I have all these hexi’s; and paper to make more, what shall I do with them????  I was looking for some “solid” patterns to build in and around the ones I have already made so the flower “shows”.   I cut some solid red and blue scraps to surround the 10 flowers I built.  I really should find a pattern, but I am just having fun stitching in the evening by hand while I watch TV with the hubby.  (Secret is to prepare your 2.5″ squares of fabric ahead of time. ) Using up the scraps~!!~

Well…NEW Projects –( really; that is why you read my blog….I know…the rest is just my need to chatter about dribble)

I took one hexi “flower” and appliqued it to a larger piece of fabric and then turned it into a pin cushion.  I had read on Bonnie Hunter’s blog about filling with crushed English Walnut shells, so that required a trip to the local Pet Smart. I came away with the ONLY size bag they had, nearly 14 pounds.  I think I will have enough to fill lots of pin cushion in my lifetime!  (Looking for other ideas!!)  Of course, it was a gift for Christmas, and I totally forgot to take a picture, and now it is gone!

I’ve acquired some fabric for future projects; as well as some LOVELY African Waxed Print fabric from my daughter for Christmas!

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African Wax Cotton Fabric – about 5 yards in each roll of fabric; 44″ wide

I am not sure what to make with the African fabric yet, but it will come to me.  Meanwhile, it was fun to unroll and measure and refold to fit in my stacks of fabric.

If you have ever worked with this fabric, I would LOVE to hear from you! I want to know how well the dye is set; should I pre-wash, etc?

 

My Project list is very long!!!

Celebration project

Celebration project

My daughter wants a birthday /celebration banner & maybe table runner/place mats along with some spiral swirly decorations, and I thought this would be fun, gender neutral fabric for that project.  I’ve got some pattern ideas mulling around in my head.  Thinking about cutting out the letters for Happy Birthday and dreaming I had a fancy machine to do that with (like that new one from Brother called Scan and Cut).  I probably will use my Embroidery Machine from Brother and do my letters with it. Lots to think about there!!  (Next birthday at her house is late February, with 2 week shipping time…so I am going to put it near the top of the list)  When I saw this strip and dot coordinated fabric, I knew it was just what my daughter had in mind!

Quilt retreat project # 1 Summer in the Park/Summer at the Beach

Quilt retreat project # 1 Summer in the Park/Summer at the Beach

I originally bought this fabric for the celebration project, then came across the multi color . So, I revamped my project stacks and will use this for the retreat project.  This will make up into a very “modern” looking quilt and I just love the polka dots I chose for the back!

The Summer project pattern can be found at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5shkCRirc5SSVczbXVDLVVjemc/edit

and there is a video for the project from Missouri Star on You Tube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5WgTyqB8Pc

Quilt retreat project #2 -  One block wonder fabric

Quilt retreat project # 2 – One block wonder fabric

I did one One Block Wonder in 2012, right about the time I retired.  I have Maxine Rosenthal’s books ( http://www.amazon.com/One-Block-Wonders-Fabric-One-kind/dp/1571203222) and the rulers, so I thought this will be some wonderful fabric.  I just hope I got the “right” repeat in my fabric.  I love the oriental fabrics, and this should make up beautifully.  Retreat is in February, so more about that later.

I just love this new Block of the Month project from Pat Sloan called Globetrotting.  It is just getting underway and you can find the info at  http://www.freequiltpatterns.info/block-one—washington-dc.htm    I want to use my Bobbins and Bits, but haven’t wrapped my brain around how to use the few pieces of fabric I already have of that line, along with the charm packs, instead of going out and buying MORE fabric. (I know….I want to really, but I am resisting….)  It is on my “list” of just for me projects; but down at the bottom.

Bobbins and Bits

Pat Sloan Pattern - Globetrotting Block of the Month

Pat Sloan Pattern – Globetrotting Block of the Month

So; that is all the fun stuff to look at.  I have been making lists, and making stacks of fabric; and sewing in the house by hand. My sewing room could only get to 58 degrees yesterday when we had a temperature of 8. It is above the unheated garage and it just could not hold the temp with the two small heaters I had going.  Today, we just broke 33 degrees at nearly noon, so I plan to bundle up and go play for a bit.

My project lists starts with repairing my grandpuppies canvas beds; fixing their chew toys; and then starting on “memory quilt” for a friend, made from her father’s shirts.  I haven’t even unpacked that box of shirts yet to look.  Then it just goes and goes from there.  I think I am up to 17 on the list!!  (And Globetrotting is not even on the “written list” yet.  I collected a bunch of fabrics from my stash to do Bonnie Hunters Mystery Quilt Celtic Solstice; but haven’t cut 1 thing. It took about 3 weeks to get the specialty rulers so I will add that to my list as well.

I’m having fun starting things for the new year, and still have a bunch to finish from last year!  I guess that is the nature of the hobby! My resolution this year is to CLEAN UP as I go – a bit better than last year!

Happy stitching!