Sunday, January 31, 2016

Slow Sunday and Another block completed and inside the gold box answered.

The weather has been cold and rainy this week in central Florida so I have been busily hand stitching. With this being the last Slow Sunday Stitching for the month and the last day of the month, where does time go, there are only 11 months left to 2016. Happily I have kept to my new year's goal of using fabrics from my stash for a new project. Isn't it fun when you rummage among your stash and find new old fabrics you forgot you purchased and some of those what was I thinking fabrics too. I am working on some UFO's I confess I don't have very many started projects but I have too many to count planned quilts I really want to start making this year after all I have more years behind me than ahead of me and I would love to see what I can do.

I have completed the hand embroidery on block number four of the Hocuspocusville Quilt. I bought the pattern in 2012 but didn't start tracing the blocks until last year.
block four

Block number 5 is waiting to be stitched. I'm so glad I decided to trace all the blocks before I began stitching it makes to easier to just grab the next block and start stitching, a friend of mine is making the quilt too and she was tracing one block at a time when she finished the third block she sat down and traced the rest of them now she doesn't have to make time between walking her dog, and playing with the grandkids.
block five

What was inside that gold box I planned to reveal on the first of January then forgot all about 

well better late than never inside the golden box is my treasure of 1.5” squares for a Postage Stamp quilt I planned to make over 30 years ago.

I began snipping scraps from all sorts of fabric, friends unloaded some of their scraps on me, attendees in classes gave me a few scraps too. But many of these fabric treasure go back decades. I even have the cardboard template I use for cutting the squares. To get an idea of how small these pieces are I added a quarter coin for comparison, to my youthful eyes 30 odd years ago these weren't so small, not so much now as I view them with my eyes at sixty.

The fabrics all askew are relatively newer fabrics than the original yet somehow they work well together, You can bet this quilt is being hand pieced I actually have several rows sewn together in my stash bin but I am too lazy to pull them out.  

A few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a stack of 1930's reproduction fabric along with these 11 packs of  fabric squares I am trying to come up with an idea or two for them.  My first thought was 
to randomly stitch them together for a patch work quilt top, I'm sure I will come up with something but right now I am going to head on over to Kathy's Quilts and link up to Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Stitching Slowly Along on this Cold, Sunny Sunday

This week has been spent braving the cold temps, pouring rain and gray cloudy days, the perfect days for stitching a quilt block or working on a hand embroidery piece and spending more time then I should have online ordering patterns and floss for hand embroidery.

Since this is Sunday, let me show you what I'll be stitching today, Block four of the Hocuspocusville Quilt is coming along at a nice steady pace.
block 4
I did take a break earlier in the week to hand piece block number two for the Project 48 quilt. 

I am hesitant to make block three, it requires cutting of center to give it a wonky look. Sigh! I do that enough without trying.

Earlier this week I finally put together another jeans pocket bag, this one I made for myself to use roaming flea markets and festivals where I don't want to lug around my purse. 
I found the jeans with zipper pockets at a thrift shop a few years ago, I used the legs for tote bags and saved the pockets. 
I have made several of these bags over the years and others, when browsing flea markets I always keep my eye out for jeans with embroidery on the legs or pockets which make great purses once cut apart and sewn back together. 
I have been making them for years through trial and error each one comes out better and a little different, now there are quite a few tutorials online.

These are the new patterns I ordered, the first is panel number 2 of the Mystery of the Salem Witches' Quilt Guild from Crab-apple Hill, I decided I am going to start tracing these onto fabric when I have all three embroidery panels, I don't know when panel three will be available I'm thinking in the springtime.
panel pattern number 2

Speaking of Spring, I ordered this sweet little hand embroidery kit from Chickadee Hollow, it comes pre-colored so all I have to do is add the embroidery and other embellishments. There is one for each season.

I also bought the first kit in the Bag Ladies series, also a pre-colored block and if I like how it turns out you can bet I will be ordering more 

I have to be sure I can stitch through the panel without any difficulty. Either way the panel would just make a sweet block for a quilt with or without hand embroidery. There are 10 blocks to the series. Here is a link to Chickadee Hollow I found the website last week while searching for Cosmo floss I needed for another project.

Well its time for me to go check out what other bloggers are hand stitching this week, I'll be posting over at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Off the the Steampunk Show

Today I am off to Mount Dora Florida for a fun filled day at the Renningers Flea Market for:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday Reading Wrap Up

For the Cruisin' with the Cozies reading challenge to date I have read the following books:

Tapestry of Lies by Carol Ann Martin, this is the second book in a series, the main character owns and operates a Weaving Studio.

Trimmed with Murder by Sally Goldenbaum, this is a Seaside Knitters Mystery series, I began reading this author a few years ago and I love her books almost as I love the beach, each page draws me into the coastal town of Sea Harbor, no matter the season the story takes place in I am transported there, this book had me in the midst of winter and I could feel the chilly nip in the air and each cup of tea I drank while reading filled me with warmth I only get when I read her books.

For the I Love Libraries reading challenge I read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, this was a wonderful story from the first page to the last, I am an avid walker and hiker and all along Harold’s route I was silently cheering him on knowing first hand all the physical aches he was experiencing as well as the emotional toll a long walk can have on the soul. The mind does wander many times when a person has too much time to think and we tend to revisit events in our lives whether they are happy memories or things we would rather forget. As the story unfolds with each kilometer walked so does the events of Harold’s past life.

For the Color Coded reading challenge I chose the book Silenced Springs by Robert L. Knight because the cover was predominately blue, this book was a non-fiction read regarding the natural springs in Florida, since I hike many of the Springs here in Florida I wanted to learn more about the changes, conditions and what is on the horizon for these beautiful places.

The Color Coded reading challenge requires a specific color be in the title or on the cover of the book chosen, so the Trimmed with Murder qualifies as blue in the Color Coded and I Love Libraries Challenges, and the Silenced Springs also makes it to the I Love Libraries challenge.

Well those are the books I have read so far this month, what are you currently reading?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Stitching Merrily Along

Another Sunday is upon us so its time for some Slow Sunday Stitching, this week I have a few hand stitched items I was working on, today I will be stitching my embroidery on block four of the Hocuspocusville Quilt I would really like to get this block complete this week.
The hand pieced quilt block I made for the Project 48 Quilt, the 2016 mystery quilt stitch along I have joined this is my first ever mystery quilt and I do love the surprise of what block comes next,
I have to say I like this colorway better than the one I made on the sewing machine. Later today I will put together block 2 which is something called the disappearing nine-patch which is an interesting spin on a nine patch block.

I made more progress on the Celtic Knot embrodiery piece though not as much as I would have liked.
I am linking up here
why don't you drop by and check out what other bloggers are hand stitching this week.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The hand pieced block

Here is the hand pieced block I decided to try for the Project 48 Quilt,  I may continue to make a hand pieced block along with the machine pieced blocks for this project.
Hand Pieced
This is the machine pieced block I made earlier in the week, while I like the scrappy look of the block I think it would have been better with a different fabric in the center.
Machine pieced
This is going to be a good learning experience project for me, I am still such a novice at rotary cutting and I get so stressed when I piece on a sewing machine trying to get every seam to line up perfect that it tends to suck the joy from the entire quilt making process so I am hoping to get more precise with my cutting and sewing on the blocks I make with the sewing machine.

Monday, January 11, 2016

First Books Chosen for 2016 reading challeges.

This month is moving so quickly so I thought I better make my first choices for the books I want to read for the reading challenges I joined.

For the Cruisin' thru the Cozies challenge I'm reading the first in a series by an author I haven't read before:
And for the Color Coded reading challenge I decided to start with the color blue which is the cover
color chose to read a non-fiction book the subject is Florida's artesian springs, their former glory
how they became impaired and the path to restoration.  I hike many of the springs in Florida so I thought it would be an interesting read.

I have also added another reading challenge for 2016, The I Love Libraries challege, most of you know I visit the local library at least once a week, I have been using the public library system since I can remember, one of the first things I do when I move to a new city is obtain a library card, I support our local library with donations, shopping the annual sales and shopping in the used book store that is part of our library.  I make sure I check out books regulary because each time a card is scanned it aids in funding for the library.

The first book for I chose for this challenge is by another new to me author and from page one I was taken in. The level I am choosing for this reading challenge is chapter book which is 12 books for the year.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching and Orts to report

Another Sunday is upon us and I'm happy to say its been a productive week thanks in part to the dark clouds and rainy days.  I made progress on my hand emboridery piece, this is the first time I'm using

the stitch and wash away product aside from it coming up off the fabric it smooths right back down and is easy to stitch through and no stickiness. perhaps next time I will baste it around the edges. I will be linking this post at Kathy's Quilts as part of the Slow Sunday Stitching. Click here to see what other bloggers are hand stitching today.

Speaking of hand stitching, yesterday I posted a block for the Project 48 Quilt I am taking part in, well today I am going to hand piece another block one using more fabric scraps from my stash.
I love hand piecing so I'm going to try to make a hand pieced block along with a machine pieced block for this project if time allows.

Now for my first TUSAL(Totally Useless Stitch A Long) report for 2016, here are my orts for January's new moon, there are a few odd color threads used for quick sewing projects and the black
thread is from the hocuspocusville quilt I worked on the first of the month, purple from my current

embroidery and light sewing thread from my quilt block I pieced yesterday those threads are from the few times I had to pull out a stitching.  If you aren't sure what a TUSAL is hop on over to It's Daffy Cats blog and check it out.  These two sites keep me motivated and inspired to stitch more.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Starting the New Year off with a Quilt Project or Two

In an earlier post I mention this year I am continuing on with my goal to do more creative things so one of the first things I did was sign up to take part in Project 48 Quilt, you can follow the link to see the details here:

This will be my first attempt at following a blog to make a quilt and I think it will be quite interesting to see how well I do.  My first thought was to hand piece the blocks but I'm afraid I will fall behind because for me just cutting strips and peces is a challenge, I am still stuck in the trace around a template mindset so this is going to be a good learning experience for me. Our first block for Project 48 is the Churn Dash block these are the colors I will use for my first block. 
In keeping with another goal for the new year I plan to use mostly scraps and fabric on hand from my stash and wouldn't you know it in the mail yesterday arrived a box full of fabric scraps from a friend mostly all 1930's reproduction fabrics left over from her massive apron project.
Tucked beneath all those lovely cuts of cloth were packs and packs of charm squares 
which I am sure will be put to good use over time.  My friend doesn't make quilts she sews clothing and other crafty items and like many of us can't resist the charm packs which she uses a few squares for a pocket or other element on a project she makes. 

Yesterday morning I shipped her a box of yarns, silk and lace from long forgotten projects I lost interest in so you can imagine my surprise to get this in the mail, I thought it was my package coming back for some reason.  

To feed my need for a hand pieced quilt I'm going to try the Farmer's Wife quilt. Looking at the accompanying CD I can print the pattern templates and trace each piece as I go.  
Right now I'm trying to decide if I want to go in order or work the simplest blocks first I'll figure it out, I do know I want to have 5 or 10 blocks cut and ready to sew. 

Block one is complete, I'm not happy with the overall look, the center piece is just not working for me I should have used the same piece as the purple triangle. 
Now I will try another block one, this time hand pieced using a different colorway.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

As the New Year begins...

With the holiday season over for another year, I am settling back in to my usual routine of a daily walk before starting my day. This week the weather finally changed and the temps have dropped which make my morning walk quite pleasant.

As many of you know I don't make new year's resolutions, instead I set personal goals for myself each year. This year a few of my goals will continue on from last year since I did so well with them.

The first on the list is continue to be more creative/do more creative activities. Last year I attended a few quilt classes, hand embroidery classes, followed along a few blogs where I am motivated to work all manner of stitchery projects and do more hand stitching.

The next on my list is to continue to maintain my daily exercise routine with the addition of hiking a new trail at least once every month, I did a short hiking trail on New Year's day to kick off this new goal. The trail was at the Ocklawaha Prairie.  The trails for the most part will be in the state and national forest here in Florida.

One of my new goals for 2016 is to travel throughout Florida to visit small cities and towns, visit the town squares or main streets and browse the local shops and art galleries.  In 2014 I did something similar with visits to tea shops and tea houses, after tea I would then browse the shops, often a local yarn or quilt shop.

My annual goal of reading at least 5 new to me authors will continue, though I really should increase it to 10 since the last 3 or 4 year that's about how many new authors I read, new to me is an author I have never read before as luck would have it I often find I am reading a first time author which many times I am not disappointed.

Speaking of reading, I have signed up with two reading challenges for 2016

I posted about both of these reading challenges back in Novemeber it's not too late to join if you feel like challenging yourself to read more here are a few links to other reading challenges

I will post what I am currently reading for the challenges in a separate post later in the week.  Right now I am off to mail some letters and packages at the post office, pick up a few books at the library that have been waiting for a few days and do the grocery shopping.  What are some of your goals for 2016?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Slow Sunday Stiching, something old and something new

I hope 2016 started off well for each of you and the rest of the year only getting better with each day. I began my new year with a hike on a new trail in the Ocklawaha Prairie Restoration Area, the Chornobyl trail. One of my goals this year is to hike a new trail every month so January 1st I did my first new trail, more detail about this goal for the new year on another post.

Its the first Sunday of the new year and I want to link up on Kathy's Quilts for a year of Slow Sunday Stitching. Here's the link give it a click if you would like to see what other bloggers are hand stitching.

First I have begun the hand embroidery on block four of the Hocuspocusville Quilt, a sweet pattern by Crab-Apple Hill studio. I hove more of the blocked stitched but didn't snap a photo.

Yesterday I put this cute little free pattern from Crab-apple Hill on my light box to trace, today if I can find the time I will do some crayon tinting.

I also plan to get the hand embroidery started on this piece, it's the first time I am using this  Stick-n-Washaway product, I love the ease of putting it through my printer I just hope stitching through it won't be too difficult.

I have a few other projects lined up for January, once again this year one of my goals will is to be more creative or create more which worked out so well last year. This year I want to focus more on using from my stash, attending more classes and meetings to further my creativity. 

Here is the cover page photo of the witch with the snowman pattern, the actual pattern is here on the website: