Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2103

     Farewell and good riddance to 2013.  2013 was not the best ever year for the Quilting Cowgirl.  Lots of medical issues for both me, DH, and my mom, surgeries for all of us.  Finally we are all on the road to recovery.  In addition to medical issues it seemed that every time we turned around we were spending money on either the house or the cabin, money that we really hadn't planned on spending.  Everything from leaks in the roof to leaky pipes.  Now that the whining is out of the way; I do have a lot to be thankful for, both DH and I still have jobs.  Due to our surgeries we are in better health than ever and that is  a lot to be thankful for.  My mom is doing much better we spent Christmas with her, it was great to see her and the extended family that unfortunately I only see once or twice a year.   I am definitely looking forward to a better year in 2014.  I hope to expand my wool business and do some work around the house.  Why is it that you just look around one day and realize that you need new drapes, the rooms need to be repainted, and in general you just need to freshen things up.  While putting away Christmas, I realized that our house is long overdue for  a "make over".  The bathrooms are definitely up for a redo, (all of the medical bills forced it to be put on the back burner for 2013) our house is a 1960's ranch and the bathrooms have never been updated.  I have to admit that household make overs are not my thing.  I don't feel comfortable making decisions about the house; give me some quilt fabric and I can make a decision, but ask me to pick out paint and I just can't do it.  I desperately need help in this area.  Any suggestions?   Over all I am really grateful that I have my health a loving husband, a job, and a house.  There are so many that don't have these things.  I hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful New Year.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chrismtas Decorations up

Finally got up all of my Christmas decorations.  We were going to get a real tree this year but since we are leaving tomorrow for Mississippi and won't be here for the big day we decided to just go with the fake one.   ( I have realized that it is time to get new drapes in the living room, these are way to dated now).  Our tree is a mishmash of all different kinds of ornaments, every time we go on vacation we get an ornament for the tree, and of course as I am decorating I have to recount where we got it and talk about the vacation.  My DH can't imagine how I can remember all of that.
Some of my nutcrackers.  I didn't put them all out this year.

 Rudy was purchased for me by DH one year at Home Depot when we were getting our tree.
 This snowman was made by a friend of ours from one of the logs that was used to make our cabin.
 This ornament belonged to my DH's great grandfather  and is about 100 years old.  I love it.
Shiny silver trees and a cute girly snowgirl purchased at little Quilts a few years ago. 

The presents are all wrapped and ready for the big day.  Hope you are too!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Yellow Brick Road Swap

There just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done.  With work, dyeing wool. getting ready for Christmas and trying to do some sewing there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done.  Saturday I had hoped to get some sewing done, but that didn't happen.  I went by Pat's house on Saturday morning to deliver some wool then the other side of town to Little  Quilts to deliver wool.  By the time I got home it was almost time to start dinner then head out to a Christmas concert at the Ferst Center at GA Tech.  I did manage to get some of my Yellow Brick Road Blocks up on the design wall.  Here is a close up of one of the shirtings blocks.

You can get a better idea of what the quilt will look like from this photo.  Can't wait to get the blocks sewn together.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Beautiful Lights at the Garden

 I am an absolute Christmas fanatic.  I love anything that has to do with Christmas.  My DH and I had date night tonight, out to dinner then the  Botanical Gardens for their Garden of lights.  Dinner wasn't as planned since the restaurant we planned on going to had closed since our last visit.  One of his favorite restaurants was the King and I a local Thai place, oh well we will have to find a new one.  We tried a new Thai place, Bangkok it was pretty good not great.  Then we headed to see the lights.  It was very, very cold. 
Santa Grasshopper

Not sure what this was, but beautiful photo doesn't do it justice.

Not sure what the snake had to do with Christmas, but it was pretty.

I just realized this one is a little tilted.  It was advertised as a non peak night, I would hate to see it on a peak night.  Very crowded and hard to get some good shots.  If you are in the area, this would be a great family outing.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snow Days finished, almost

Finally all of my blocks for Snow Days are finished.  I have them all  sewn together and have the backing ready to go on.  It looks a little lumpy,  I still need to press it.  I really like the way all of the blocks came together.  All of the wools are my hand dyes, all of the  small pieces are repurposed from thrift store finds.  The larger background pieces were purchased as yardage.  Can't wait to get it put together and quilted.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beginning to look like Christmas

Remember the sled I bought a few weeks ago from an estate sale for 5.00?  I was so excited about this bargain, even though at the time I didn't know what I was going to do with it.  I decided to put it outside our front door and decorated it for Christmas.  Here it is before decorating.  You can see my purchases from Michael's:  greenery, ribbon, pinecones, and  red berries.  This is not exactly something I am extremely talented at, but after pricing some finished pieces that I liked at some stores I decided that I could make something (almost) as nice for a lot less money.  After several different tries getting it together and taking apart and putting it back together I finally came up with a design I liked.

Here is the finished product.  I am not the best bow maker in the world, but I think it works.  The entire thing sled and all cost a huge 18.00, can't beat that.  Now to finish decorating for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Snowy days blocks finished

Finally finished my Snow Days blocks.  I love the way they turned out, can't wait to get them put together.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

This year I am so thankful for my health and my family.  This has been a medically trying year for my family.  My mom had surgery, my DH had surgery and I had both foot surgery and  gum surgery.  Finally I can say that we are all on the road to recovery and looking forward to a better  medical year in 2014.  I am also thankful that both my DH and I have jobs in this difficult economy.  I hope that everyone has a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

One more block almost finished

Frosty nights is almost finished.  Had hoped to finish this  block today, but got sidetracked doing other things.  DH is out of town and in addition to working on this block, I did some yard work; not much because it was rather chilly today.  Also did some prep work for Thanksgiving, this year for the first time I am cooking Thanksgiving.  It is our year to celebrate with DH's family and his mom always cooks.  I offered to cook never thinking she would let me, to my surprise she did.  I am excited, this is my first turkey dinner.  Thanks to the Pioneer Woman I think I will be successful. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Snowy Days Revisited

Back in the summer  I started working on this wool applique project.  It was one of  the projects I had prepared to work on while recovering from my foot surgery.  I finished three of the blocks then my ADD kicked in and I put it aside to work on something else.  Well today while working in the sewing room I found it and decided that I really needed to finish it.  I have already completed the fourth block and have the other two ready to stitch.  One reason I really want to finish this is because all of the wools that I am using are my own hand dyes.  (I am still having so much fun dyeing wool.)  Hopefully I will be able to get the other two blocks done and get it finished before winter is over with.  Wish me luck!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Out the window

This afternoon when I came home from school, DH had the sliding glass door open it was such a nice day.  I looked out the window and saw our Japanese maple in full autumn glory.  It is absolutely beautiful, the leaves range from a cheddar yellow to a rusty red color.  This is one look that inspired my colors for the new Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.

In addition to the beautiful maple tree I also saw my bottle tree.  Bottle trees are a southern tradition, these trees are used to ward off evil spirits.  Instead of a metal tree which I have the tradition is to use an old tree in a yard and place bottles on the broken off branches.  I don't have one of those so DH bought me a metal bottle tree and I had fun emptying the wine bottles to fill my tree and ward off all of the evil spirits.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day

My dad was a proud member of the U.S. Navy.  He served 3 years during WWII, I can only image what he went through.  The war was one thing that he never wanted to talk about and I never heard him talk about it until I took my DH home with me for the first time and my dad started talking about what it had been like to serve in the Navy in the war.  After that he didn't seem to mind talking about it so  much and shared many wonderful stories about the war.  Thanks to all of our Veterans. 

New Bonnie Hunter Mystery

I am always excited when the new Bonnie Hunter mystery is announced.  This year the tile is Celtic Solstice and it promises to be great as her myesteries usually are.  I love to do Bonnie's mysteries, but sometimes I am not crazy about the colors that she chooses.  I don't feel too confident in  my ability to choose colors sometimes and am always afraid to pick other colors.  However this year I am doing my own thing.  Las weekend while at the cabin, I went on my usual walk and just happened to look up.  I saw  dark blue, rust, cheddar and olive green, that is when it came to me that I would use those colors for my mystery quilt.  It isn't that different from the colors that Bonnie chose, just a little darker.  I think  this will work, I will even be able  to go darker with my neutrals since they won't be competing with a pale yellow.   I hope these colors work out.  What do you think?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What it is November?

Can you believe that it is already November?  I can't.  Where has this  year gone.  I am finally feeling better from my gum graft and think that I will survive.  That  means that I need to start thinking about Christmas.  I have a lot of my shopping done, but need to finish.  Each year my goal is to be finished with all of  my shopping by Thanksgiving.  I think I will make it.  Aside from starting to worry about Christmas, I have been busy dyeing wool.  I absolutely love my wool dyeing and wish that it was  full time job.  Oh well, maybe someday it will be.  While dyeing wool yesterday I decided to walk over to the estate sale that was going on across the street.  I found a couple of things I had to have, the first was an old sled.  I have seen a lot of pins on Pintrest where people have used these on their porch or inside to  decorate for Christmas.  I  have long thought this would be a good thing to have but in all of my antiquing I have never come across one.  This one was the very first thing I saw at the estate sale and to top it off it was only 5.00 can you believe that?  I will definitely use this this year for Christmas.  My other purchase was a table that you will see later.  Hope everyone is having  a wonderful November.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween.  DH and I were just talking about our favorite costumes when we were kids.  My mom usually made mine; my favorite was a witch outfit.  My mom made a really tall pointy black hat, a black dress that had a broom appliqued on the front of it, with a long black cape.  I remember being really upset that it was raining and I had to wear a raincoat over my beautiful costume.  The first "purchased" costume I had was Sleeping Beauty, it came with one of those plastic masks that had the tiny little eye holes and mouth hole.  What was your favorite costume?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Latest swap

 I still haven't recovered from my gum graft, and I still look like a chipmunk, one with two black eyes.  At least the pain isn't quite as bad as it was.  I felt like doing some sewing today, but didn't feel like working on one of my many projects that are "in progress".  I got out our latest Thimbles swap, and started on it.  For this swap we are using shirtings and the pattern, Yellow Brick Road.  This is a super easy pattern, and should go together very quickly.   The strips that we swapped are already cut to the correct width. 
Starting to sew strips together.

We got the idea for this from one of the quilts that Pat made for a friend of hers.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  I think I might make mine a little  bigger by adding some of my shirtings, haven't decided for sure.  Hope I feel like doing some more sewing tomorrow.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

No fun today

Ageing is no fun, however it is much better that the alternative. A few weeks ago I found out that I needed to have five separate gum grafts.  I had no idea what I was in for, except for the f act that it probably wasn't going to be fun.  I had the procedure early this morning and have slept most of the afternoon.  My DH just told me I looked like a chipmunk with a mouth  full of nuts.  I think this is more painful that my bunion surgery this summer.  One good thing is that I don't have to go to school tomorrow.  If I feel like it I plan on pulling scraps for Bonnie Hunter's new mystery.  In between naps of course.   Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I love school, sometimes

An elementary school is one of those places where you can let  your inner child run wild, within reason of course.  I have always loved Halloween and this year we are having a pumpkin decorating contest,.  The pumpkins will be on display in the media center, all pumpkins must represent a book character.  Our first entry was received today, Olivia, from Olivia and the Haunted House.  I absolutely love it.  Can't wait to see what else we get!!
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

One finish, one start

It has been a busy week, the end of the 9 weeks and lots of wool dyeing.   (plus a nasty stomach bug that was no fun).  I finally finished the pillow that I was working on with the pumpkins.  I thought I had a photo of the finished pillow but couldn't find in on my computer and currently am too lazy to get up to take another one.  I really like the way it turned out.  I am definitely getting into this wool thing.
 While at Tiny Stitches on Saturday delivering some wool, I picked up the new book Bewitched Threads.  It has  several different projects in it that I would love to make. The first one that I decided to do was this crow Halloween pillow.  The background is a silk noil, which I just happened to have some left over from a garment that I made a few years ago.  It is quilted in a simple cross hatch then the wool is appliqued over it.
So far I have the background, the crow, his purple hat, and the pumpkin read to go.  Maybe I can get it finished before Halloween.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

You know it is fall

 You know it is fall when you start seeing all different kinds of spiders around your house.  This little black and yellow one has been around our house for the last couple of weeks. I don't like spiders but I don't have the heart to tear down his web.  I guess it is a he, don't know for sure.  Fall is  my favorite time of year, wish this is when we had time off from school!
Love my sunflowers in the garden.

I am always amazed at the different shades of leaves that you can find in the woods.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Getting back in the groove

 A couple of weeks ago, when I made a wool delivery to Tiny Stitches I found a book by Lisa Bongean  that I didn't  have, Autumn Gatherings.  There are lots of great patterns in this book, for both quilts and wool applique.  I found a couple of quilts that I have put on my to do list, don't know when I will get around to them, hopefully sometime soon.  I also found a couple of wool applique patterns that I wanted to do.   Since it is easier for me to do hand work I have actually started on one of them.

This is the pattern that I decided to start on, it is a full body pillow pattern for a bed.  I love the dark brown flannel that I found for the background, for the pumpkins, the vines, leaves and the stems I am using my own hand dyed wools.  Here are the pumpkins and stems.
Finally started adding the vines and the leaves.  Can't wait to finish.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Not much going on

After my last post a couple of weeks ago I told myself that I was going to be much better about blogging, both posting and reading.  As you can tell at least the posting part hasn't happened, I have managed to do some reading each night.  My job is just wearing me out this year.  I don't even have time to sew.  I have been doing some reading.  I just finished the latest installment of the Someday Quilts Mystery series.  I really enjoy this series.  It is light, entertaining reading.  In this one, Nell is busy preparing for her grandmother's wedding, when Jesse's (Nell's boyfriend)
former partner is found murdered outside of his house.  If that wasn't enough, Nell's parents decide to come to the wedding. You will have to read it to find out if the wedding takes place and if by chance it is a double wedding!!


Friday, September 13, 2013

A different path

Finally, I am doing some sewing, it  has taken a while. DH is recovering from his back surgery, and my mom is finally starting to recover from her back surgery.  My foot is also starting to feel better.  Who knew that a broken toe could hurt so much!!!I definitely don't need to start new projects but  a  few weeks ago when I got the new American Patchwork and Quilting  magazine, I fell in love with one of the quilts in it, A Different Path.  I knew that I had more than enough  scraps to make this.  The one thing I really liked about this quilt is there is no curved seam it is applique.  Since I have been sitting and watching TV with DH I wanted a new hand sewing project and this seemed like the perfect one.

I went through  my scraps and cut light and dark squares. 

 I started appliqueing the dark quarter circles onto the light squares.  I am amazed at how quickly these blocks make up.  After just a couple of nights of working on this project I already have almost 50 blocks finished.   The down side is that you have to  have 256 of these squares.  That  will definitely take a while, but I can't wait to see how this finished quilt will look.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Halloween is coming!!

I can't believe that it is already the middle of September (almost).  That means that the holiday season will soon be upon us.  Once Halloween arrives it isn't long until Thanksgiving, then Christmas.  Check out the great give away over at 44th Street Fabric for some great Halloween fabrics.

Friday, September 6, 2013

"I have never seen this before"

Forgive me, but I just have to vent today. Do you ever have those days, weeks or months, when  nothing is going right?   That is where I am now.  A month ago I had to go back to school, not what I really wanted to do, plus the fact that I am teaching four specials.  The reason I became a media specialist is so that I wouldn't have to teach the same classes everyday.  Oh well!  Then my DH had back surgery, thankfully he is doing ok.  He ended up not having to have a spinal fusion, only a diskectomy.  Then my mom had to have back surgery.  She didn't like her first doctor so she found another one, this meant that it was longer time before she could have her surgery.  Thankfully she had surgery this week and came through it ok.  She is with my niece now,  and I will pick her up in a couple of weeks and take her home.  On top of this, I had foot surgery this summer and last week a second grade student at my school was having a temper tantrum and stepped on my foot.  I dealt with it for a week, and finally went back to the When I was at the doctor's office he kept looking at me and my xray saying he had never seen this  before, " a student stepped on your foot and broke your toe"  yep that is what is happened.   That is what my last few weeks have been like, hope yours has been better.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

More Wool projects

Pumpkin wools
 Since I have all of this wool I am trying to find projects that I like using wool applique.  I love anything that Lisa Bongean does and I recently purchased her book, Autumn Gatherings.  There are several patterns in it that I would like to make, but I decided that the first one I would try is the Pumpkin Bed Pillow.  I went through all of my "pumpkin" pieces of wool and picked out 7 pieces for the different pumpkins, some greens and browns for the stems, leaves, and the vines. 
The pumpkins ironed down, ready for stitching.

Starting to stitch the pumpkins down.

This is a project that I just finished for Pat over at Silver Thimble.  It is a mantle scarf with snowflakes.  I really like the way it turned out.  The background is a dark blue houndstooth and all of the snowflakes are off white.  She will be offering a kit soon on her website.