Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Phantom

Our neighborhood has a "Phantom" during the Halloween season who leaves goodies on the porch.  Each person who gets a bag, basket, crock, etc. of goodies is then supposed to do the same for 2 other houses.  This year we got the neatest covered plastic Halloween basket filled with candy and lots of little goodies.  The best thing of all (besides the candy!) is a small luminary with a battery tealight.  Really cute. Last year I prepared baskets of pumpkin muffins with ginger honey butter, but when we went looking for  houses to leave them, they had all been hit already.  This year, though, there aren't as many houses with the signs up that show they've been hit, so they must have started the swap much later than usual.  I think I'll just make the same thing this year and try to get them out tomorrow evening after Trick or Treat. 

So, guess who won a pile of fqs playing Bingo?  I couldn't believe it when my last number was the one that was posted!  There were 2 of us who won, but I certainly don't mind sharing.  I can't wait to get them to show you. 

I'm having lots of fun with my DJ blocks, and finished 3 today.  I'm working on some applique while I watch tv this evening, so I might actually finish a 4th block.  Sorry, no pictures, though.  I'm just too lazy to walk back upstairs tonight.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

DJ Struggle

My plan for the day was to do a couple of DJs and work on my Double Wedding Ring quilt top.  Unfortunately, the DJ I chose to do gave me more grief than I expected.  It looked easy, but I spent 3 hours completing that little ......  Suffice it to say that I never got to the DWR, or even a 2nd DJ block.  This evening, then, I'm planning to work on a couple of applique blocks while we watch tv, and I have no pictures of progress for today.  I'll probably never show the one I've struggled with because all the needle holes from the frog stitches will show.  Maybe I'll have pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Visit with an Old Friend

This has been a wonderful day, but not much time in the sewing room.  An old friend is visiting town and I spent a couple of hours with her this morning catching up.  I'm hoping to have the chance to go to her home next spring.  It was great spending time with her.

After lunch, hubby and I took a little drive to a quilt shop a few miles away.  They have a great assortment of Civil War repro fabric, and I'm really using it up quickly on the Dear Jane quilt. They also have a section of  primitive decor, candles, antiques, etc.  I found a bucket of very little jar candles.  I picked one up and laughed out loud at the fragrance name - Snowman Poop! The lady behind the counter came over and when I showed it to her, she just had to open it to smell it.  Neither of us could detect a smell. ( maybe that's good)  I looked some more and found another called Elf Farts!!  It did  have a spicy fragrance.  I don't often get a good laugh at a quilt shop!

I was able to spend a little time sewing this afternoon, and got a couple of DJ blocks finished.  The little tea cup with them is one of my favorites - very detailed and delicate.  These are 4 1/2" squares, so that will give you an idea of its size.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Slow Sunday

Hubby suggested going out for breakfast today, so you can imagine how long it took me to get my shoes and purse.  Generally, I have to drag him out to a restaurant.  So today we had breakfast with DS1 and GS.  We had the slowest service I've seen in a long time, but the food was worth the wait.  It made me realize that I really need to get back on my diet before the holidays get here.

I got my holiday mini finished today - one more project off the list.  I need to check the requirements for the swap and get the other items that need to go with it, and get it mailed out this week.  I also want to get the Civil War siggie blocks out this week.  They're not due until the end of November, but I'd like to get them out of the way.  I've been collecting signatures from friends and family and want to get more, including those of you who follow my blog but may not be participating in the swap.  If you'd like ti sign a block for me, leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Busy Saturday

I always thought that all the Post Offices were open and closed on the same schedule, but today I had several things to mail.  Of course, there was only one envelope that just had to have a stamp put on it.  The rest had to be weighed, stamped, tracked, etc... all those things that mean you stand in line and wait your turn.  So, at 10:30 a.m., I went to the PO I usually use only to find that it isn't open on Saturday.  Surprise!!  Since there are several in town, I checked another to find that it was indeed open.  Another surprise!  When did this start?  But everything is now mailed and I'm up-to-date on my swap obligations. (temporarily)

Since my family all left yesterday, I've enjoyed catching up on blogging and sewing.  I got the binding on my holiday mini quilt and have just a little more hand sewing to do on it.  I seem to be really in to making Dear Jane blocks right now.  The ones I've made so far haven't really been difficult, but some are quite challenging. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just the Two of Us

Well, all my houseguests have gone, and my house is feeling very quiet and empty.  I loved having all the beds full and lots of people at the table for meals.  Unfortunately, DS2 had to have surgery on a broken hand, and he was not up to par the whole time he was here.  I hope he's doing better this evening.  Having my sisters, BIL and my children here was just the best wat to spend the week.

I've spent a lot of time today catching up on email and reading all your blogs, so not much sewing today - maybe tomorrow. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Waiting for Guests

Wow! Have you seen this giveaway at Pumpkin Patch Primitives?  Go check it out.  It's a great opportunity to win a really great giveaway.

The mailman brought me a really unexpected surprise today.  I sent one of my Civil War siggie blocks to Janice to add her name to my (planned) quilt.  Well, she not only signed and returned the block, but look at all the goodies she sent along with it?  I was so surprised!  I am going to have such fun planning a project to use them.  Janice, thank you so much for your kind generosity.

I expect my DD to be here later today, my sisters tomorrow and DS2 on Wednesday.  This week is going to be great.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Evening

I know it's Sunday and the mail doesn't come on Sunday, but we didn't pick ours up yesterday. This morning then, I had 2 treats in the mailbox.  The first is actually 2 - prim stitcheries all the way from Australia.  My return from the swap with the deadline that crept up on me last week.  They're so cute and I think I'll put them in the Christmas quilt I'm planning to make from the blocks I've gotten from different swaps this fall. I'll show it when I get it together.

The second treat was a  box full of goodies, each wrapped in colorful orange tissue paper. At first I couldn't  imagine what it could be, and was pleasantly surprised to find my return on the Apron Swap.  Look at all the goodies - a great autumn apron decorated with beautiful buttons, a hot pad to match (even the buttons), a yummy smelling pumpkin pie candle, and to top it off, a flower pin used as the bow on one package. Thank you Jany, this is a really super surprise.

I have a wonderful, busy week ahead and probably won't post again until next weekend.  My DD and DS2 are coming in for a short visit because 2 of my sisters (I have 4 and a brother) and one BIL are coming to visit.  We don't get together very often, so I'm glad my children are making the extra effort to be here.  DS1 and GS live here in town so at least one dinner with all of us is a possibility. 

Thanks everyone, for all of your visits and comments on the giveaway for 63.  I loved reading them all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Post 63

Okay ladies.  The 63rd post is here and the winner is..... Robin!  Robin, please email me with your address and I'll get this goodie right out to you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

More Mail Surprises

Look what the mailman brought me today.  Two packages.  The first was a block from a monthly swap I'm in, made by my October partner Mary .  The color is just perfect to go with the other blocks from this swap.  Unfortunately, as usual, the color in my camera isn't like the real thing.  They're going to make a great quilt.  Thank you Mary. 

The second package was my Friendship Bag from Sharon .  Look at all the goodies.  Of course, the lovely little bag made of such nice fabrics, with a pieced inside no less, 2 sweet little coasters of the same fabric as the bag, a beautiful little Santa figurine, a wonderful assortment of ribbons, and some real sweets, chcocolate!!  That's already gone, by the way.  I grudgingly gave one piece to my hubby.  Thank you Sharon, this is just the greatest.

So I had a little time for sewing this afternoon and finished up the binding on another placemat, and made 2 Dear Jane blocks.  Now I am 39, 0, 0, 820, which means I have made 39 blocks, no side triangles, no corners, and have a total of 820 pieces in my completed blocks. 

Remember, for you 19 followers, if you're interested in the giveaway which I posted on Wednesday, there's still time.  Go to Wednesday's post to read about it and leave a comment there.  Tomorrow is post 63 and I'll announce the winner then.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Followers' Giveaway

Ok, friends.  Let's have a giveaway.  For those 19 of you who are now listed as my followers, I am hosting a giveaway.  Since I missed my 50th post, the next milepost for me is 63, my age.  Good grief!  How can I be that old??  With another birthday coming in just a few months??!!  Medicare, here I come.  Alright, back on task.  Here's what I'm giving away.

I love these kits.  They work up very quickly and they're just really cute.  I've made several seasonal ones, but I don't have this one for myself, yet.  I'm limiting the giveaway to you 19, so if you want it, you must leave a comment on this post.  I'll leave it open until whenever I get up on Saturday morning. 

I finished the piecing of my holiday mini and promised you a look at it.  Since this is a secret swap my partner won't know it's for her, and I doubt that she reads my blog.  I think I'm going to hand quilt it since I have plenty of time before it must be mailed.  (It really is square, not as wonky as the picture looks)  I hope my partner likes it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Holiday Swap Start

The second Tuesday of the month is the day I have breakfast with other retirees from my old employer.  Only two of us showed up, but we had a nice visit anyway.  Not sure, though, why no one else was there.  After I left the restaurant, I went to the PO to mail my stitchery.  I went to another one than usual, and it was like night and day.  There was only one person finishing up her transaction, and then it was my turn. And it only cost me .44.  So, you can tell it really was a "little stitchery".

Yesterday I started on my Four Seasons Holiday mini.  I still have plenty of time, but you never know what else might interfere.  I should have the top all put together tomorrow and I'll show it to you.

I made a few DJ blocks over the weekend.  I really enjoy making them, but you can see on the bottom one where I sewed the last strip on backward and had to take it out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Little Progress Monday

Decided yesterday that I wouldn't blog today unless I had my little stitchery finished.  Well, it is and it's ready to go in the mail tomorrow - deadline day.  I made it.  I have to be sure I get them finished earlier from now on, because so far I haven't missed a deadline and I want to keep it that way!

Other than embroidery today, I started on my Four Seasons Christmas mini quilt and worked on a DJ block, but ran into trouble and couldn't get it finished.  We had to make another quick trip out of town to exchange cars with DS2 and that took a chunk of the day.  In other words, nothing got finished today except the stitchery.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekend Update

Just a quiet weekend at home with a little shopping (for clothes), a little housework (very little), a little sewing (DJs), and a lot of stitching.  Fortunately, I realized that I have a swap deadline approaching very quickly (Tuesday is the mailing deadline!), and I'm not finished with the embroidered block.  Since it's prim stiching, at least it's not complicated stitching, and a couple more hours will finish it. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Placemats and Tea Cups

These placemats kept me busy today, but they're still not all finished.  Getting there, though.  By the way, this is not an original idea, and please forgive me, but I can't remember whose blog had it listed.  I commented on her post about it and she sent me the measurements she used to make them.  Unfortunately, in my efforts to keep my email cleaned up, I have already deleted the email.  I am so sorry I can't remember who it was.  Anyway, here is one complete, front and back.  I have 5 put together to the point of hand sewing the binding.  I decided not to leave the back completely plain, but I also didn't want to add a lot of extra work to the project.  So, whaddya think?  And no, the side strips aren't purple, but red, and the black squares are actually brown.  I just couldn't get the color to show up properly

I don't do much decoration for Halloween, but rather for autumn.  This is one Halloween decoration I did last year, but didn't get it finished in time to put it up.  I hope to get the framing finished and hang it tomorrow.  I have my decorations out and will put them out as I do my housework tomorrow.  You can tell I don't do a whole lot, but wait for Christmas! 

We're already well into October, so here are my two mini October tea cups along with the latest DJ block.  I've been slacking on them lately.  As I'm sure you know, this is a 5 inch block, so it can give you some sense of the size of the 2 sets.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Posting the Swaps

Today was a mailing day I decided, so I took my stuff and stood in line at the PO for half an hour in order to get it mailed. It's so frustrating.  There's never more than one person to assist customers, and the line is often (as today) out the door.  I've tried the main PO in town, and it's just the same as the one I normally use.  There's a small country PO several miles away, and I'm going to try it next time.   But enough griping.  I've put 4 packages in the mail, so my swap obligations are met for a few more days. 

I've sent out my apron for Aunt Pitty Pat's swap, and I absolutely love the fabrics.  It didn't dawn on me to make anything other than a granny apron, but not everybody is as messy as I and wouldn't want the bib part.  Too late now - it's finished and on its way.

I had quite a bit of left over fabric, and today got busy and started a set of place mats.  I didn't have quite enough, and remembered the quilt that my great aunt made for me when I was a child.  It's a DWR and even with those tiny little pieces, she 'pieced the pieces'.  She didn't waste any scrap of fabric.  Anyway, I decided that since these are just for me, it would be perfectly fine to 'piece the pieces' where necessary.  I didn't have enough large pieces of the gold fabric, so you can see the seam down the middle of one - there are actually several that have been pieced.  I also added the 4 patches for the same reason.  I had to get more fabric for the backing and the side strips, but I like they way they're turning out.  I only did some cross hatch quilting, and got the first one this far.  They're all to the flimsy stage and shouldn't be difficult to finish tomorrow.  Sorry the pictures are such poor quality - I am no photographer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Piecing Problem Resolved

We had to make a quick trip out of town, so I didn't have a lot of time for sewing today.  I did have time to work out my problem with the center of this block.

Once I got it worked out, I made another one for another swap.  I love the way they look, but I don't know why I can't get a picture that shows the colors the way they really are.  This one looked black in the picture I put on the computer, so I adjusted it as close as I could to its real color, blue, but then it really faded out the lighter outer pieces.

I love pieced stars, and I especially like this one.  I have the fabric and about 18 star patterns to make a star sampler quilt.  It may be my next project - after the D9P I'm quilting, the DWR, the Dear Jane,  the Red and Aqua D9P, and the CW Repro Siggie.  That's too far in the future, so I'll probably just start it and see what happens.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just Monday

Finally got my Friendship Bag mailed - just squeeked in under the deadline! I'm embarrassed that I didn't get it mailed long ago.  It's been ready for weeks.  I'm also embarrassed to say that I forgot to put my note in the box before I mailed it.  Fortunately, I had an email address for her and sent one right out.

I kind of floundered around today, not really interested in doing anything I had.  I have to make a Christmas block for a swap, so I got it (almost) done.  I had all the pieces ready to sew it together, and the center was too small.  I need to learn more quilter's math.  I have trouble knowing what size triangle is going to give me a particular size square.  I carefully graphed it and measured, but it was still not right.

I've been using my tv time in the evening to work on quilting the D9P quilt, but I spent sometime today preparing some DJ applique blocks.  I don't plan to do them all this evening, but it will be nice to have some ready when I feel like doing that instead of hand quilting.  My hands get very sore when I quilt for too long.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Busy Sunday

I had big plans for sewing today, but I didn't realize just how much time it would take to complete one DJ block.  I spent more than 1 1/2 hours on this one.  It looked easy to start with since it was all straight lines, and I thought it would be easily pieced.  I was so wrong.  Anyway, it's done, it's far from perfect, but it's the right size!

I finally decided on a block for Terry's Quilt, so I hope to get that mailed soon.  If you haven't yet read about the situation in Terry's life, read about it here.  There's not much that we can do but keep her family in our prayers. Laura has organized this project to let Terry know that her blogging friends care for her and are thinking of her and wish they could really help.

Tomorrow is my day to get some things in the mail, so I need to get them packaged and ready to go tonight.  I also I need to work on my sewing room before I work on more sewing.  It's a mess up there and has gotten way too disorganized.  It seems like I always end up cleaning after mailing.  Two of my sisters are coming to visit later this month and I've got to get everything cleaned and organized before then.  Two weeks to get it done. (the whole house, that is)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Enjoying the Weekend

I worked all Friday morning to finish the upper arcs for the DWR, and look at the results!  My 5 piles are down to 3.  I know it looks like there are more upper arcs than lower, but there really aren't.  I'm so proud to get it this far.

I have several things that I need to put in the mail - my swap apron, the Red and Aqua D9P blocks, the Civil War Siggie blocks, and my Friendship bag.  I can't believe I have so much at one time to be mailed. I'll have quite a little bill at the PO.  Maybe I'll spread them out a little.  The only ones that must go now are the Friendship bag and the Apron.  The others are more expensive to mail because of the return envelope.  Oh well, the price we pay to participate.

I have to make 2 blocks for 2 different people, and I'm stuck.  I tried several this afternoon and nothing seemed to be just right.  I need to get them done tomorrow to go out by Monday, but I'm not sure what I want to do.  I'm going to spend some time this evening searching on the internet for one or two that strike my fancy.  I finally gave up and made a couple of DJ block.  I'm going to have to redo the outer triangles on the bottom one; it's too small.  My DJ signature is now 26,0,0,578.  For those of you who may not be familiar with this quilt, that means that I have completed 26 blocks, no side triangles, no corner kites, 578 total pieces.  I'm loving this quilt.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ho Hum

Not much to post about today. 
  Got a haircut and perm.
  Worked on DWR upper arcs.
  Made one DJ block (almost).

See, a pretty ho-hum day.

Maybe more tomorrow.