Thursday, January 31, 2013

Loving Color

I found some pretty tulips at the grocers yesterday.  It's always helpful in the dead of winter to be reminded of the coming spring.  They are keeping me company as I continue to work on my scrappy trip along quilt.

I have 16 of the 36 blocks put together.  The other day I sat and just chain pieced all the strips so now I can just cut the tubes, arrange and sew.  I know that many of the quilts being made have specific color placements but I wasn't overly concerned about that.  I like the true scrappy nature of the quilt. I will play around a bit with the design when finished.

50 degree temps and rain gave way to a night of snow and ice.  So today Maddie has a snow day.  I've got a roast in the crock pot and I'm itching to sew.  Have a good day!

(If you are in need of a color rush, head over to Greedy for Colour!)


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Christmas at Downton

How is the weather where you live?  We've seen it all here in Michigan.  For the past few days we've gone from snow to rain to ice to fog and then some.  With that being said I caught the train on Friday to Ann Arbor to house hunt.  I would be the one traveling in the Detroit direction.  The train was an hour late due to weather conditions but my husband was there on the other end to get me, weather and all, at midnight.  What a fun way to travel!  I sat back and knitted as content as a person could be. Sunday I caught it again and made the trip home not any closer to buying a house but with much progress on my knitting.

This past Christmas, Lorna's Laces partnered with Jimmy Bean's Wool to create a fabulous yarn.  Much to the delight of hundreds of shoppers, they named it Christmas at Downton.  I tried so hard to get a good photo of the label for you, but this was the best I could do.  The yarn sold over 2,000 skeins in two weeks and nearly did the two yarn dyers in.  Production was stopped, but I'm confident that they will make it available again due to popular demand.  I managed to find three skeins while searching the internet and am happily knitting away on a shawl/wrap pattern.  I snagged my skeins at Angelika's Yarn.

In my effort to better answer your questions, I have enabled the reply feature on comments.  Look for the answers to your question there.  Have a blessed day!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pam Kitty Love

A box arrived from the Fat Quarter shop today.  I told my husband that I wanted a little Pam Kitty Love for my birthday and so I ordered this kit.  The colors and patterns of this line are truly amazing.  The fabrics are so bright and cheery!

This is the awesome quilt I will be making.  I'm just waiting or the March/April issue of McCall's Quilting for the pattern.  Is this quilt cute or what?


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Still Tripping

I'm still happily working on my Scrappy Trip Along quilt.  Last night I organized all of my strips and pinned them into groups so I can just grab one and sew.  It truly is addictive!

You may remember this photo from when I got started.  I have eight blocks made and have prepped the remaining to sew a total of 36 blocks.  The only deterrent to working on this may be this temptation…

Image from Bee in my Bonnet by Lori Holt

Row 10 in the Row-a-long by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet.  Look at the complete row and instructions here.  OH MY WORD!  I love this block.  I can see pillows and quilts and runners and all kinds of wonderful things made from these cute little houses.  It's going to be a fun day of sewing!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yarn Along

Good morning, sweet friends!  Before I get started on today's topic I want to thank you again for all of you're encouraging words about the move and the compliments on the Hill Farm quilt top.  The offer on the house did not work out.  It was very disappointing but I know the Lord has a better plan.  Today I am joining in on Ginny's yarn along.  Last week I finished this soft-as-a-cloud scarf.   I hope the picture shows the beautiful sequins that are scattered about this yarn.  The yarn was purchased at Hobby Lobby and I can't find the label (I will do better with that).  It is similar to mohair.  I used size 13 needles, cast on 30 stitches and knit until I had the length I want.  Then I added some fringe to the ends.  To answer the question on last weeks scarf, I used the same size 13 needles and cast on 40 stitches for that scarf and knit until the yarn was gone.

The other day I found a sweater I had knit for Maddie when she was a toddler (she's 18 now!).  The little buttons are teacups.  The pattern came from the book, "Nursery Knits" by Debbie Bliss.  It was an absolute joy to knit and I loved watching her toddle around in it.  I really want to start making more children's items and putting them away for future grandbabies.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to present the parents with a box of knitted and quilted items for their babies?  Fun, fun, fun!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Sew Lovely

I am so pleased to have a completed quilt top to show you today.  I finished my "Hill Farm" quilt top yesterday after a full afternoon and evening of sewing.  I cannot tell you how much I love this quilt. The colors of Hill Farm give an instant vintage feel.  This pattern does not have a border which was common in vintage quilts.  The quilt is twin size, five blocks across and six down.  The blocks are 14". I have the quilt folded over in the picture.  The pattern is Carousel from the book "Simply Fat Quarters" by It's Sew Emma and can be found here.  I'll be dropping this one at my longarm quilter friend, Mary's, so she can work her magic.  The binding is strips from all the Hill Farm fabric which I can't wait to sew on!

We are  having our first big winter snow.  I snapped this picture a few minutes ago from my back porch.  I think my neighbors evergreens are so beautiful covered in snow.  Taylor is on his way back from the Dominican Republic today.  I'm not sure when I get to see him, but I'll be happy when his feet are firmly planted in Michigan.  He got sick last week and I've not had any recent updates but I'm thinking no news is good news.  Tomorrow he begins his last semester as a college senior.  Maddie has finals this week and then begins her last semester as a high school senior.  We received an offer on our house on Saturday, my birthday.  It was not a good offer and we are waiting to hear the response to our counter offer.  I'm thanking the Lord today for a peaceful and trusting heart.  Blessings!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Good Start to the Day

It is cold, cold, cold today!  Temps barely in the 30's and dropping into the 20's as the day continues. The sun is shining brightly and my guess is we'll see some snow.  I've had a productive morning. Coffee, scripture reading, a few rows of knitting and two more blocks for Hill Farm and it's not even 10:00 yet. What are you up to today?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yarn Along

I spent some time before the open house cleaning and organizing my sewing room, what an undertaking that was.  It  was good for me to again take stock of how much fabric and yarn I have and recommit myself to "making do".  I need to use up yarn just as much as fabric so I decided to participate with the yarn along on Ginny's blog, "Small Things".  Each Wednesday knitters and crocheters share what they are working on and also what they are reading.  Hundreds of people link up. It's a great way to get ideas, look at books and stay motivated.  This Christmas Maddie and I knit up a bunch of cowls and scarves as gifts.  This scarf I decided to keep for myself.  I apologize for not knowing the name of the yarn - I lost the label - but I hope the picture shows the sparkles in the yarn. It will be great to wear for special occasions.

My current book is "Almost Amish" by Nancy Sleeth.  It is one woman's quest for a slower, simpler, more sustainable life.  It is very interesting so far and not just in her approach to "things" but I also am impressed by her desire to live more aware of the choices she makes.  Sometimes I feel like I just move through my days and don't always make conscious choices but ones out of habit (or laziness). This would be a great book club choice.

Have a wonderful day, friends!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Michigan winters are long and dreary, cold and cloudy.  We can go for many days before we see sunshine, whether it's snowing or not.  In order for me to take these photos, I was sitting on the floor of my sewing room after dragging a chair to the window to get any bit of sunlight available.  There wasn't much.  This is row 9 of Lori's row along.  Happy little stars dancing in a row.  I decided to try shades of gray and purple - I like it!

I'm still happily plugging along on my Scrappy Trip Along quilt.  I sew one or two blocks a day.  When I use up all the material I've cut, I'll see what size it is.  It sure is bright and happy.  Pops of color on a dreary day.

My Hill Farm quilt is coming along block by block also.  I've got lots to keep me busy with two other projects I'll show when I'm done.  I need to finish something soon, it makes me anxious when I have too many things going on in the sewing room.

On another note, we had an open house on Sunday.  Our realtor said that at least 30 couples came through.  I'm praying someone makes an offer soon.  We are hanging in limbo between two cities.  It's beginning to take its toll on us.  I know God has a plan and so I keep giving this situation back to Him and trusting in His timing.  I have my moments though, as we all do.  Blessings!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Scrappy Trip Along

I thought I could resist the temptation to start this quilt since I have happily been piecing Hill Farm.  I kept seeing blocks popping up in blogland and knew I was in trouble.  Apparently the block took off on Instagram and before you knew it a Flickr group was formed and blocks were being made from this tutorial from Quiltville.  It's a great stash buster and is made using a really neat sewing trick so I'm hear to tell ya, it's a bit addictive.  I stopped at four blocks this morning because I've got things to do.  Stop by to see Trish, Amy and Rita's blocks and then head over to Flickr.  My oh my is it fun!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Piece by Piece

I was able to complete four blocks, over the weekend, in the Hill Farm quilt I am making.  The pattern is called "Carousel" from the book, Simply Fat Quarters by It's Sew Emma.  This is going to be a twin size quilt.  I'm really enjoying the process of making this quilt.  It's a great book if you are looking for some new patterns to try.

I want to show you the quilt that I put the blocks on to photograph.  I made this quilt a few years back. I'm sorry that I don't know what the snowman fabric is called.  I was just so thrilled to find snowman fabric in pink!  This stays on the couch in the living room all winter.  The sun is shining brightly today so I was able to take these pictures on the porch.  I love it when the sun is shining on the snow, it's all sparkly.  You know how much I like sparkles!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hill Farm

I've been an absent blogger this week.  My daughter and I went to visit my husband for a couple of days.  We visited a college, saw where Paul is working and living, met with a realtor and got the whirlwind tour.  I feel like I have run a marathon.  It is good to be home.  Today before we left, we looked at an 1880 Colonial with a barn and tiny cookhouse out in the middle of the countryside.  The only evidence of life were the hundreds of deer prints and the many birds that greeted us.  I think this one may need too much work even for me, but boy was it a beauty.  What would a post be without a fabric picture?  I cut this pile of goodness on New Year's Day when I was home by myself all day and night.  It just about took that long too.  With the exception of the grey floral print (which is from the "Old New Collection" and the white floral and pink polka dot - all fabric is "Hill Farm" by Brenda Riddle for Lecien.  Brenda's blog is here.  The fabric is just gorgeous.  I can't wait to show you what I'm doing with it.  Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013


My husband and I had a wonderful dinner with friends last night.  I laughed so hard that I gave myself a tummy ache and almost couldn't eat my food.  They live in a loft in downtown Kalamazoo and the energy of the city last night was magical.  Near midnight we walked over to the park to watch the ball drop with hundreds of people.  We have a ball like the one you see in Times Square, just much smaller. Maddie was somewhere in the crowd with her best friend.  Taylor was celebrating in the Dominican Republic having left yesterday for a month of cultural studies.  As the new year began I thought once again about what this year will hold.  So much to be thankful for…

I had to show you the little box of ornaments I found on Etsy for my dollhouse.  Can you believe it? It is so delicate and so small.  I just love it!  I'm trying to finish this sparkly scarf today for myself.  I think one of my new year's resolutions will be to wear sparkles every day.