Monday, November 28, 2016

En Provence Week One

After trying very hard first to come up with an alternative color scheme this year - only because it is really fun to see how the different color combos play out - I started pulling purple and lavender fabrics from my stash and became hooked.  I was able to find a good variety of the other colors in my vast and freakishly eclectic stash to cover the yardage needed so I decided this was it.  All that was left was to wait for the first clue.

And then Friday morning we were off to the races!  A very simple first step, right?  I figured I would knock out 221 four patches easily and get back to my Magic of Christmas blocks before the long weekend ended.  Why don't these things ever work out the way I envision?  There was a lot of cooking, errand running, dog sitting and other distractions that really ate into my sewing time.  I didn't do my four patches as efficiently as Bonnie does... I am working with lots of odds and ends with very few of similar length so I cut them all into 2" pieces and paired them up.

I finished 93 four patches by Saturday evening and thought I might get the rest on Sunday.  There's no chance that really would have happened, but even less probability after I spent a good hour air sewing. See this pile of strips?  All fed through the machine with an empty bobbin....Sigh!

So at the end of the day I have 93 finished four patches and a bunch of two patches and strip sets. Now I'm just very thankful that Bonnie took it easy on us the first week so there's less catching up to do!

Part of the reason for my lack of progress today was time spent prepping hexies to take on my business trip this week.  I know I likely won't ever get a chance to take them out of my suitcase, but I wanted to be prepared just in case!  I figure gluing hexies is a good hotel activity that won't be hindered by crappy lighting.

I am already counting the days until I can get back to my machine to work on the mystery quilt! Check out Bonnie's blog to see how they kicked off the mystery in Arizona (I just couldn't commit to organizing something this year) and how others are progressing on their first step!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

FNSI Update

Friday sewing got off to a slow start for delicious reasons... Since my daughter was arriving home from college for Thanksgiving break that afternoon I wanted to have something tasty for dinner. We decided to try a copycat recipe for Olive Garden's gnocci soup that I pinned quite a while back. When I headed to Pinterest to grab the recipe a couple of others caught my eye, so I baked cranberry cream cheese loaf, made buffalo chicken dip (my daughter's favorite) and the soup. It was all delicious! I highly recommend the soup - it was even more delicious yesterday!

When I finally got to the sewing room I started working on the borders for my Allietare quilt.

The inner border (scrappy 1" gold strip) was on by midnight Friday and I finished the outer border (black) Saturday morning.  Unfortunately there is nowhere to lay it out to actually show the borders!  I am very happy with the colors now - they really clicked for me when I got the top assembled. I am wishing that I had made the black border wider than the pattern called for as the quilt hangs about 2" above the side rails of the bed but no way I'm replacing them or adding another border! Borders are my second least favorite part of quilting (the first being sewing the binding on!).

I can't wait to get it onto the machine to quilt!  I need to look through my patterns and decide on a design. I seem to be stuck in a feather rut - my last several quilts have some sort of feather variation. Perhaps I can find something different for this one.

I haven't gotten to my Magic of Christmas blocks yet this weekend - that's on the agenda for today - but did get my guild BOM finished.  The photo doesn't do the colors justice. I absolutely love this block! 

Off to do a little housecleaning and then it's up to the sewing room! I need to decide on my colors for this year's mystery. I'm not sure I want to use Bonnie's colors but so far have not been able to come up with an idea of my own. I need to make a decision quickly...step one is only five days away!

Head over to the Sugarlane Designs blog to see what everyone else accomplished at the second to last FNSI of 2016!

Monday, November 14, 2016

BFF Birthday Bash 2016

Janice and Julie held their annual birthday bash over the past weekend and I was so happy to be able to attend this year. We had a full house - I think there were 19 of us - and the weather was beautiful. Amazing to see perfect fall weather - crisp, clear mornings and sunny afternoons in the mid 60s - in November!  I was very inspired by all of the beautiful work being done and had a great time seeing old friends and meeting a few new ones this year.

The food was incredible as always - Janice's butternut squash soup, Jim's delicious BBQ spread and or course his famous gumbo!  Everything was wonderful! I failed to get a picture of Jim's new lighted "Gumbo" sign above the studio door.  I will have to grab a shot of that next time.

I made good progress on my Maggie rug. I finally looked at the real name - it is called "Old Settlement".  I had the cabin and the bird hooked before getting to Janice's but wasn't happy with the bird wings.  Janice helped me come up with a color that looks a lot less "blob-like" and works well with my flowers. Maggie had also suggested I just use the browns and greens I was using in the flowers and cabin for the tree, acorns and grass but I wanted to mix it up a little more. Janice helped me select some very "tree-like" grays for the trunk and we blended several different yellow and blue greens with the other two in the flower stems. I love the tree and am really happy with my grass now.

The other thing I wasn't thrilled with was my porch on cabin #2. We decided the former bird wing would be a much better color for the porch so out came the dark brown and in went the silo silver.  I think it looks much better now.

I filled in a bit more background while I was there.  I need to keep plugging away at the background because there is a LOT of it in this rug and I hate to get everything else finished and only have background left to hook. I think I will focus on getting the rest of the tree on the left side hooked and then make myself stick to background for a while before moving to the motifs on the right side.

There were three of us working on this pattern this weekend.  I should have taken pictures of the other two.  It was amazing how different they all look!

I stayed at my daughter's house while in KC and enjoyed visiting with her, her husband and all the critters. They were puppy-sitting for Shin (the Corgi) so it was quite the zoo. Shin and Dipper (her Border Collie) had a good old time wrestling and slobbering all over each other. They are so cute!

I'm looking forward to FNSI this weekend. I am working hard to finish up my Allietare top before the 2016 mystery starts a week from Friday so that will be the first order of business. And then there are the Primitive Gatherings Magic of Christmas blocks - four more were posted yesterday and they are supposed to come at a "fast and furious" rate between now and Thanksgiving, so I am instantly way behind on those.

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