Monday, November 8, 2010

Going Colonial (picture Heavy)

Hi to all my blog friends.  I'm embarrassed to write this post, as it's been FOREVERRRRR since I've blogged.  I'm sorry for the absence, life is somewhat overwhelming right now.  My in laws are moving to Arizona, we have had company for several days with friends moving to Virginia.  It's been crazy!  Hopefully my blog mojo will return really soon.  Also, I'm having lots of problems posting pictures now.  I hate the new blogger layout!  It's such a headache to get your pictures in the order you want them to be in! Sorry that these are all screwed up, but I'm so frustrated, that I'm going to post it anyway, without fixing them.  
First off, I'll share my WIP's, because of the problem I've mentioned above!
Andrea from Deep Fried Cupcake mentioned that she wanted to work on Farmers Wife, from Carriage House Samplings.  I've had this in my workbasket for a while, so we are doing a SAL, to help us get it done.  I'm stitching with 32 count Black Zweigart fabric, and DMC threads, my own conversion.  How is yours coming Andrea?
I have a finish! Be Ye Thankful by The Cricket Collection.  I started this at the Shepherds Bush retreat, and took it on vacation with me.  I finished everything, except the house.  I was really struggling with the colors.   The color that it called for was pink, and I just didn't like the way it looked, so after multiple froggings, this is what I came up with.  I used the colors it called for, but substituted "Mulberry" in place of "Old Brick".  I think the red is a little bright, but it looks good with my red walls.
This is the new stash I bought at the wonderful stitching store in Williamsburg VA, called Haus Tirol.  If you go to the area, you must visit this darling shop.  I bought a few pattern that I hadn't seen before, and the stitching case in the upper right hand corner is a shop exclusive kit designed for this wonderful shop for their 30th anniversary.  The kit did not include floss, but had the linen,wool, beads and everything else.  I think I will be changing the colors on my kit and making them a little more muted and dark.  I could not pass it up though, because I just love pineapples!
A few months ago, my BFF, Jolene, helped me rearrange the blocks on this table topper that I've had in my closet for 2 years.  This was a class I took from the wonderful Barb and Alma of Blackbird Designs.  I will share again when I get the quilting done.  Barb signed the upper right block.  Isn't that cool?
After our retreat in September, Deb, Cari and I decided to start a SAL together.  This is Angel's Song from Shepherd's Bush.  I am seriously slacking on this sampler!  I need to get on a regular posting schedule so I can stay on task with this.  Are you way ahead of me ladies?  Post your progress so you can kick me in gear!
We spent 2 days at the wonderful Busch Gardens Europe theme park.  What a fabulous park.  I loved it more than Disneyland!  This is the funniest photo.  Don't I wish I had one of these at home!  "The cost of an untidy chamber", and "For want for a quiet tongue".  LOL!
During October, Bush Gardens has a spooky theme, for all Halloween lovers like myself!  This park was decorated to the hilt, and at 6:00 PM, the "spookers" as my DD called them, would come out and scare the dickens out of you.  They would replace their mannequins with real people, and when you weren't expecting it, one would reach out for you.  We were scared multiple times from people in the bushes.  Every time, my DD would cry her eyes out.  She is a scardy cat, which is pure pleasure for a 13 year old big brother!  They had these fog machines that would mist up the park, and add to the ambiance.  I think we will go back sometime, as we all thought it was the best Halloween fun ever.  We didn't attend the spook alleys that they have for the teenagers, that's not really my thing.  I just like the eerie Fall feeling.  Does that make sense?
We have been vacationing in Williamsburg this month.  It was a lovely vacation!  A small sampling of photos:
A peaceful wagon ride in style!   Outside the Governors Palace.

This is the wig shoppe.  How I loved watching this woman make wigs, and share her talent.  Wigs go back to Roman times.  did you know that?
The Governor's Palace.  The centerpiece of Williamsburg.  As your might remember, I won a pattern from Melissa a few months back featuring this lovely mansion.  I was so excited to go home and look at it.  I know this is going to be stitched really soon!

This is the gardens outside the palace.  What a lovely place to sit and sew!

Next up, was the Folk Art Museum.  Many of the items were donated by Abby Rockefeller, as she loved Folk Art finds.  I could have spent an entire day here, but my DH had other things in mind.  Seriously, we never fight, but we did NOT agree about how much time to spend in the museum.  After a few days, I did get over my grudge towards him, and lingered a few hours in here, by myself, which was pure heaven!
They have an extensive gallery of early American portraits.  Many famous painting that I had seen in books were at this museum.

Oh the cuteness!  This is a memory pot.  The owner glued special things on it that she wanted to save and remember.
A fabulous child statue.  I would love to have her in my front room!
Furniture gallery!  Heaven!  No samplers were in this museum at the moment.  (bummer.)  They did have a small quilt display, which was quite good, but the glass over the displays really made for bad picture taking.   What a fun place to visit.  I was filled with such love for our Founding Fathers, and the early Americans that sacrificed so much for our freedoms.  I'm sorry I have to type my conclusion to this post here, but blogger won't seem to let me add a sentence after this picture!  (I swear it should not be this hard!)  Take care all my friends, until next time, Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Life is full of fun events, isn't it?  Well, my life has been very full lately, and I feel very blessed.  Spoiled might be a better word.  As you've probably read on Terri's, and Deb's blogs, we recently returned home from a  vacation in Park City.  A stitcher's retreat, that was held in conjunction with the Shepherd's Bush retreat.
It's taken me a long time to get this post done, as I had to pay the piper when I got home, and catch up on the rest of life.  My husband does a good job "maintaining" things, but I certainly had a lot to do with the kids and school work, and house cleaning too!  (Not complaining, just stating the truth!)
First off, we finally got to meet our dear friends Terri and Julie.  We whisked them off to lunch at the fabulous "Gardner Village" to have lunch and enjoy the "witches."  This place is decked out with fun displays this time of year.
With one of my favorite people ever!  Little Tiny Terri!  She is as sweet and adorable as they get.  I am so blessed to have her in my life.  I heart you Terri!
This is outside Pine Needles, a delightful shop owned by Sandra Workman of Pine Mountain designs.
Julie, Terri, Myself, and Kathryn just "kissed" on the cheeks by the fairies.  Just in case you can't read the sign, it says "Don't pi** off the Fairies."  (Good advice, don't you think?)  In case you are wondering, Deb was on another flight, and Jolene picked her up later, so that's why you are only seeing the 4 of us here.
What fun would a retreat be without presents?  I was blown over (and I mean totally stunned beyond belief) at what Julie and Terri gave me.  This absolutely darling sewing kit.  The kit is originally suppose to be a jewelry box by Vera Bradley, but these cleaver girls turned it into the most complete sewing kit you have ever seen.  It has pins, a tape measure, a needle book with thread, scissors (cool blue storks), with a matching fob, a thimble, pins, button bag, needle minder, and thread winder.  The book was hand made by Julie.  I love this kit so much.  You know, I'll be making a matching bag real soon!  Thanks from the bottom of my heart girls.  I will treasure it always.

And if that wasn't enough...they spoiled us with more presents the next day!  Julie (AKA Miss Talented Extraordinaire) made the darling pin cushion in the box.  I love this idea!  Terri (her sister AKA Miss Creative Universe) made for us the most adorable strawberry and pincushion set.  The wool was from a recycled sweater, and is the sweetest color of red.  The bottom had Park City 2010 inscribed.  Wonderful! (Terri also beaded my daughter a Hello Kitty necklace, that she hasn't taken off since I got home!  I forgot to snap a picture, and will try and do that for the next post.) We were also treated with a bag of goodies from Michigan. Famous chips, chocolates, and dried cherries for our salads...yum!
Here is a little sampling of Jolene's fabulous gifts to me over the past few months.  We are becoming bosom buddies, and I have affectionately nicknamed  her the Spoil Queen!  She loves to give gifts to others.  The dress form above, is probably made for jewelry, but holds scissors perfectly.  Jolene amazes me with her creative mind.  The cute whisk broom is for our upcoming project seen here.  Can't wait to work on this real soon. The darling witch and red fabrics were gifts on this trip.  I'm going to make pincushions from the red fabrics, when I can decide on a pattern!  I am so blessed to have her live near me.  She is my kindred spirit!

Here I am with my new sisters!  Seriously, I want to be adopted by these fabulous ladies.  I don't have any sisters, so I am more than willing to become part of their family!  Karen (Our new friend from Colorado.  She isn't a sister, but a want-a-be like me), Joan (The sew fabulous seamstress.  Do you see the banners in the background?  She just whipped those up to decorate their room!), Simply Fabulous Cari (Yes the real one!), and Cathy (Just as sweet as she can be).  Love these ladies beyond words!  They made our trip sooooo fun.

Here is a sampling of their talents.  We were greeted with these fabulous fabric bags made from Joan.  Cari made the darling hexie pincushions.  All hand stitched and hand quilted!  My heart took a leap when I saw this, as I have been coveting wanting one of these.  She also made this cool pincushion ring.  This is a very useful idea, and I will get much joy in using it!   Cathy made the darling button pin, (which I wore to quilt guild and got tons of compliments on), She also went shopping at a local antiques store to find some goodies for our projects.  I know I'll be using that key on one of my punch projects.  Thanks so much my new sisters!  You are the best!
I was also very excited to meet one of my favorite blogger's and dear friends, none other than Thread Gatherer's Deb.  I am so glad that she decided to join us for our retreat.  She is thoughtful, soft spoken, and so sweet!   Deb's gift was AMAZING too!  Can you see why my post heading says, "spoiled"?  This was better than any Christmas I've ever had.  Deb knitted with her own little hands, this adorable scarf.  I love the colors, and this will look great with many jackets and jeans this year.  Thanks so much Deb!

Her thoughtfulness did not end there, she gave me this darling set of black and white boxes.  I promptly went home and put them to use with my different button collections.  Knowing that one of my favorite colors is red, she filled it with all kinds of red goodies!  Heart buttons, red scissors (my first pair of little gems), a really pretty lady bug pin, mother of pearl thread holders, and a beautiful pin keep.  So fun Deb!  
When I got home, I realized that the pin keep would be perfect with this Needle case that I got at a class from another Park City retreat.  This has sat in it's package since coming home 5 years ago, but I decided to finish it, and put all of my "red" treasures inside.
If you are wondering why I've been MIA for the past 2 months.  (Thanks so much Mylene for asking, you sweet darling thing!)   I had to make something for the girls too.  I wish I would have had time to do these for everyone, including my new sisters, but there is only so much a girl can do.  I made these wool army blanket bags in my quilt guild a couple of months ago.  Jolene and I were racking our brains to think of a good gift to give the girls in our room, and decided that the wool bags would be a great reminder of their Fall in Utah. We spent a few days cutting out the appliques (a wool bird on a vine with a cute acorn) then  I finished the bags, and Jolene punched scissor fobs to match.  I didn't think to take a picture of them, so you will have to look on their blogs to see how they turned out.  They were all different, to reflect their personalities. 
I also worked furiously on finishing my friendship sampler, so that Terri could stitch the little dark haired girl.  This was one of the sweetest gestures that anyone has ever done for me, and I will treasure this sampler always.  If you remember I was coveting Terri's sampler, as she stitched it with 2 threads.  I did mine with one strand, but it really turned out nice.  The colors are soft, and they look great in my sewing room, where this will reside after I get it framed.  Hugs Terri! I love it! I have now passed the threads and pattern on to Jolene, and we will be making a "Friendship Sampler" together.  It is my hope this will be a traveling pattern, to bless many more lives.
It was my pleasure and a real treat to share a little about my religion with my dear friends.  We visited Temple Square after our trip to Shepherd's Bush.  Everyone was so gracious and respectful, which meant a lot to me.  We just had the Semi-annual general conference of the Church for Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  One of my favorite things to do is to stitch and listen.  Here is a link if you want to stitch and listen too. 

I have been the recipient of some wonderful blog giveaway this past month.  I'm so sorry for the delay in posting. First off the Homespun Sampler and the Polly Gayton sampler were from Melissa of Words and Blooms.  She did a private drawing for her blog friends that read her regularly.  I love these samplers, and I am planning a trip to Williamsburg soon, so I was thrilled to see the Governor's Palace sampler.  The Stories to Live by sampler is from my friend Maggie, all the way from the UK.  I have always liked this sampler too.  Thanks for thinking of me, dear friends!  You make my life so meaningful.

It was a fabulous week, with great friends!  Deb put it perfectly...This is the rewards of blogging!  Thanks to all my dear friends who we met this weekend, New and old...I'm so blessed!

I've got some fun things that I'm finishing on the sewing table, and with a renewed sense of motivation, I should have some things to share real soon.  To all of my blog friends, thanks so much for coming to see me!  I would love to meet each and every one of you someday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is anyone still out there?

I have been procrastinating this post all month.  Somehow the blog blahs have set in, and I haven't felt like posting at all.  This month has just flown by.  I'm actually looking forward to school starting, just so things will slow down a bit!  (That's pretty sad!)  I hope you are all still with me, even after my long absence.
Last February I showed my daughter a blog post with the most darling cake!   She had it in her mind, that she wanted an Alice in Wonderland party just like that!  I almost didn't go through with it, as there was just so much to do, but in the end, somehow it all came together.  The cake was a family affair.  it took us a couple of days to make, but so much fun.
I made DD an Alice dress,and one for her AG doll too.  Doesn't Julie (the doll) look like the perfect Alice?
This is the quilt that my mom and I made for my DD's birthday.  I pieced and appliqued the quilt and my mom "HAND QUILTED" it, in about a weeks time.  Isn't her stitching perfect?  DD loved it!
Quilt Soup's "All Dolled Up"
Other events this husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary.  We had 2 major holidays, the 4th of July and the 24th of July, which is Pioneer Day in Utah, and is a big deal!  (It's the day the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, after being persecuted and driven from their beautiful city of Nauvoo, Illinois.)
This is the Brigham City Tabernacle, in which the pioneers built in 1868, and has subsequently gone through a total renovation in 1986.  We were tour hosts for this beautiful building.  It  was a neat experience to be able to learn all about the history of the building and those who sacrificed to build it.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is building a temple right across the street, which will be an impressive sight to see.
We inherited two birds from the neighbor kids.  They raised these ugly ducklings from eggs, but thought that we would be able to release them into our trees when they got a little bigger.  The one on top is a pheasant, and it turns out, it's a girl, so her name is Fredrika the Pheasant (After Carriage House Samplings sampler) and the bottom is a "Chucker" and it's name is "Chuck" because we don't know if it's a girl or a boy.  These birds are getting a little easier, but at first I was really regretting the decision to adopt them.  They stink!

Also this month, I had 2 nephews get baptized.  Family parties and lots of food always accompany those wonderful events.  We had a family wedding that ended up getting canceled 4 days before the event.  We still had lots of family visiting, so we had more parties and food!  I tell you, I'll never work off the calories we've eaten!
Birds of a Feather Friendship Sampler.  Stitched on 36 count linen with Weeks, and GA threads

On the stitching front, I haven't made a lot of  progress on anything that's probably why I haven't felt like blogging.  I've been working on this wonderful little sampler that Terri gave me.  I hope to get it done for our retreat in September.  (Happy Dance!)  I wish I would have stitched this with 2 strands of floss.  I started with one, as I love the "soft look" normally, but after looking at Terri's I wish I would have gone with 2 strands of floss.  I'm not inclined to start again, so I'm just going to have to live with it!

Hope all is well with you dear friends.  Thank you so much for your friendship!  Your comments make my day, and give me happiness that you will never know.
Until next time..

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Don't you just love surprises?  I was the recipient of not one, but two brown boxes all tied up with string, yesterday!  YIPEE!
I won the giveaway from Dixie Samplar Designs last week, and Terri's wonderful package arrived yesterday.  I was filled with anticipation when opening the box.  Do you want to see what's inside?
A whole lot of wonderful stitching goodness!   Scissors, patterns, a glass flower frog, thread, fabric, treats, a candle, and fabric!  What more could a girl want?  Thanks so much Terri for the fun.  I'm so in awe of your generosity!

I especially liked this pattern.  I think I will put that in the "to do real soon" pile! (Do you have one of those?  Mine is really big!
My other wonderful surprise came from Deb.  This wasn't really a huge surprise, as I knew that she was sending this package.  It's quilt software, for Dear Jane.  The surprise was how fast the postman got it here!   Deb and I are going to start this project together.  She bought this software for herself several years ago, but it is for Windows, and she now owns a Mac, so it would not work her.  I'm really hoping it works on my computer, so I can print templates out for us to paper piece many of the blocks.  Want to join us on this insane quest?  I can't promise we will be very organized or stay on task, but you are welcome to join in the fun if you want.  Let me know.
I finished this little Betsy Ross House sampler, (a freebie from plum street samplers.  I don't remember the name of it right now)  I'm not showing close up, as I'm not thrilled with my finishing on this.  I've never done finishing like this before, and it shows!  It looks okay from a distance, so that's how you get to view it!  LOL.
I think this saying applies in this situation, "Better done than perfect!"
I finished my Joined at the Hip quilt.  It's hanging on the front door.  I'm amazed at how long projects like this, actually take!  I thought a day or two...good grief it took me a day just to quilt the darn thing.  I'm not thrilled with my quilting either.  I used clear thread, so it wouldn't show up very well.  I'm critical of my skills, as they are very beginning.  I'm not one that would choose to do an entire quilt, as I like the finished product so much more if an experienced quilter does the job.  It's good to practice I guess.  I'm all for learning new skills.
I just finished piecing this quilt top yesterday.  This is for my DD's 9th birthday in a few weeks.  Grandma is going to help me with the quilting, because of my beginning quilting skills as mentioned above!  I hope she likes this.  It is by Quilt Soup, and is called All Dolled Up.  I bought the pattern and kit last year at shop hop.  I love these fabrics!  So bright and cheery!  I have lots of sewing to do for the birthday party.  I'll post more about that later.
I've been sneaking in a few stitches here and there on my "The Farmers Wife" sampler from Barrick Samplers.  I have had to do a little tweaking on the colors, as the DMC converted colors are really off.  I like the way this is turning out, and I find myself wanting to work on it all the time, which I'm trying to avoid.  Consequently, Deb sent me some rotary instructions for a quilt called the Farmers wife, that I would like to start real soon. Isn't that weird?  Two projects with the same name...I must be in a Farm kind of mood.

Well, take care and have a wonderful 4th of July.  Thanks so much for your advice on my quilt from the last post.  I'm still holding on that quilt for a while!  Also, thanks for your comments and kind words.  I should respond to all your comments, and forgive me for not doing so.  I will try and be better!  Your comments are the reason I keep blogging, so thanks from the bottom of my heart!