Whirlwind traveling

This past week our second grandchild turned 2 years old; his mama planned the party for Saturday so we drove up Thursday to combine the trip with visiting with a few other friends as well. We live in SC and they’re in MD and we have a dog that travels with us…total travel time is about 8 hours – ugh – at least there was no rain or snow this time!

We pulled out around 6am and planned to stop about every 2 hours to let the fur baby out to stretch her legs…here’s one of my most favorite pictures of Sammi:

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She does pretty good riding in the car but for the first 30 minutes she must be in my lap after that she’ll lay down in the back seat but she won’t sleep – it’s the strangest thing.

The drive up was pretty uneventful, no bad traffic delays even though we hit a few spots of road construction. We arrived at the hotel around 2pm…long day…once we were settled we all laid down for a nap {{{yawn}}}

We visited with friends Thursday & Friday and on Saturday attended the birthday party which was held at a family play center in Waldorf. It was a kid’s fantasy play land – lots of things to climb on and through and some really cool slides. They schedule everything out beginning with play time then a break in a private room where they serve food and cake and then back to more play time. All the kids had a blast and I’m sure they slept ‘like babies’ that night.

Since we wouldn’t have an opportunity to spend any additional time with the grand kids (they had other family obligations) we decided to hit the road after the party and come home. We left around 7:30pm and drove straight through with only one potty break – whew! we were beat when we got home around 2:30am. Sammi did sleep most of the way but she’ll only do that when we travel at night.

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I couldn’t wait to get back to my sewing room today – I was watching everyone else post their updates for The Splendid Sampler while I was in Md and I was chomping at the bit to get caught up on the blocks. I worked on Block 4 “Happy Happy” this morning. I appliqued all the pieces but I’m not doing the embroidery because I don’t have any floss and I really don’t want to invest in any since I don’t plan to do any embroidery work outside of this Sampler. I used a decorative stitch on the applique called “Antique Quilt”, I think it adds another element of ‘happy’ to the block 😀

Block 4 phone

Once I’m finished with this post I’ll start on Block 5 – I think that one will be relatively easy as there aren’t any really tiny pieces…yee haw!

ttfn…

 

 

Cozy Afternoon block fixed…sort of…

Last night I finished up the August block in the Cozy Afternoon series but I’ve gotten off somewhere and the block is too large. I realized last night that the stacked border was not meeting up with the points on the white center square so I unpicked the border this morning and reattached it this evening. It matches up much better now but the block is still about 1/4″ too big. I don’t know where else I messed up and I’m not going to worry about it either.

Here’s the finished block:

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and a close up:

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Here are the 4 blocks so far in the series … there’s one more that will be released in Sept then I can start assembling the top:

4 blocks done

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Tomorrow I head back to the store where I purchased my new sewing machine for their “Owner’s class”. I’ve been doing pretty good on my own but I’d like to get a little more in depth with what the machine can do and it’s always better when someone more knowledgeable is there to show you.

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I haven’t run at all this week and I probably won’t run again until Saturday; one day I’ll get back to running 3 days a week…one day 😉

That’s all for now…G’night

Sewing update

I’ve got a couple of projects to post about:

First, I’ve started another Pumpkin table runner – this one using a single fabric for the pumpkin versus patchwork. As usual I’ve worked myself into a corner…I’ve run out of backing fabric…grrrr! When will I learn?! I’ve got two pumpkins completed, one more is cut but I can’t quilt it until I get more backing.

two pumpkins done

Next, I completed the August BOM from Tinkerbellknits called Morning Star. I didn’t follow the directions exactly as written because it called for too many bias cuts and that still scares me…so I created a paper piece template for the four corners and it worked out just fine 🙂

August Morning Star complete

She also posted a picture of her 8 blocks so far this year so I figured I would too…wow, looking at them now I can clearly see how not only my sewing & piecing skills have improved but also my fabric coordinating skills!

8 blocks

Lastly, tonight I finished up the August block from the Cozy Afternoon series but I’m going to have to undo the last set of triangle borders because they’re not on point and it’s making my block way too big…but that’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

August block

August closeup

That’s about all for now…G’night!

Plugging away

Each night I’ve been working on the pumpkin table runner and I’m almost done. Last night I sewed the binding to the front and turned it to the back intending to stitch in the ditch on the front to secure it. But…I don’t like how much binding shows on the front versus the back.

I cut my strips 2 1/4″ and used 1/4″ seam to sew it to the front which leaves about 3/4″ on the back. I really wanted a little more binding to show on front so I’m going to go back over it tonight and add about 1/8″ stitching to the front and then hopefully when I turn it, it will be a little more even on the back & front.

Here’s a shot from last night before I went to bed:

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And here’s a close up of the first pumpkin. I used my new Pfaff to do all the stitching and FMQ…wow, the FMQ was so much better on my new machine! Of course I need to get better at moving the fabric at the right pace without jerking…that should come with time 😉 And can I just say how great it is to have speed control when doing applique…#gamechanger!

Close up almost done

I’m really happy with the overall project and I learned a lot too, like:

  • Get all my fabrics together BEFORE starting the project. There were many stops & starts because I didn’t have enough of something…grrr!
  • I used the needle-turn method for the pumpkin, stem & leaf and wow, what a little starch will do to help get that fold! I really like that no raw edges are showing and they won’t unravel over the years with use.
  • Stitch the lines on the pumpkins BEFORE appliqueing the edges to prevent puckering at the bottom.
  • Write down all stitches used and the sizes so when I stop & start I don’t use the wrong stitch/size (I had to rip & re-do the applique zigzag on the first pumpkin because it was the wrong size).
  • I can replicate a finished item without a pattern…albeit with plenty of mistakes and lessons learned!

I’ll post more pics tonight after I finish…ttfn…

Odds and ends

I was trolling YouTube earlier today looking through various tutorials for inspiration when I came across this video for “No waste flying geese“. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this particular method before but it really looks easy and it’s adaptable to whatever size geese you need.

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I posted last week that I made a quilt for my fur baby – Sammi – and I finally was able to snap a picture of her sleeping on it. She really hates getting her picture taken so I tried to snap it while she was sleeping but she has a sixth sense whenever I pull out the camera and she woke up. I got the picture before she could get up!

 

Sammie on blanket

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I started my next project over the weekend – I’m attempting to make this Patchwork Pumpkin table runner I found on Pinterest without the pattern. It’s not that I don’t want to buy the pattern, it’s more that it’s a challenge to see if I can do it just by looking at the finished product…ha, we’ll see how this turns out!

I’ve almost finished prepping the first pumpkin but I don’t have the right brown fabric for the stem, that’s the first hiccup. Second hiccup is that I don’t have enough background fabric! I always do this…grrr…start a project without having all the fabric. One day I’ll learn my lesson :-/

I guess I’ll be making a trip back to the fabric store…oh my…

One almost done

That’s about all for now…G’night!

 

A little run

I mentioned in my post last night that I was going to try to get a 4 mile run in today…WTH was I thinking!? I haven’t run that far in weeks so I must’ve been pretty tired when I posted that…lol!

I did go out for a short run this morning using 2:2 (run/walk) intervals; it was extra soupy humid and I was DONE after 30 minutes. The 2:2 intervals seems to be a good combination for me – just as I’m getting overheated it’s time to walk. My average pace wasn’t too bad but I really wasn’t trying to go at any certain pace, just whatever was comfortable. The last .25 segment pace looks really good but it was all downhill 🙂

7.18.15 garmin

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The rest of the day will be spent in my sewing room working on Block 3 in the Cozy Afternoon series. I’m getting a little better at applique so I would say this effort is paying off.

ttfn…

Cozy Afternoon Block 2 complete

I didn’t spend near as much time in my sewing room today as I would’ve liked but…I was still able to complete the second block in the Cozy Afternoon series – it’s not too late to join! (p.s. it’s FREE)

The second block has quite a few small HST (too small for my liking) and as I feared I got my seams a little off as I pieced the border…ugh! I’ve decided to keep it anyway. The center piece in this block is a tea pot and I did pretty good lining everything up but I had a little trouble figuring out how to applique some of the smaller pieces. I just wasn’t sure how to do it when the piece is barely wider than the zigzag stitch (i.e. the teapot handle and the bumble bee) so I just ‘winged it’ and I guess it doesn’t look too bad.

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.bom2 closeup

I used light blue thread this time for the applique stitching – I was hoping to make the objects stand out a little more. I don’t think I achieved that but I don’t mind the look either.

I’ve got one more block to get caught up. I traced on Heat-n-bond, ironed and cut out the pieces for the next center block but that’s where I’m stopping tonight…my eyes are very tired and I fear I would ‘fudge’ something if I continued.

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My running buddies are otherwise occupied tomorrow morning so looks like I’ll be taking a solo run. I haven’t run all week…it’ll be interesting to see how far I can go. I’m hoping for 4 miles…we’ll see  :-p

Taking a few days off

I’ve got a couple of PTO days planned and I decided I would spoil myself a little.

Today I scheduled a massage at 10 am and it was heavenly! My last massage was so long ago I can’t even remember it! I liked Rejuvenate Spa so much that I scheduled a facial for tomorrow morning 😮  It’s been even longer since my last facial…

After I was properly chilled out, I went out to lunch with DH and then I’ve spent the rest of the afternoon sewing. I joined another block of the month series and unfortunately I’m 3 three blocks behind! In my defense, I joined late after the first two blocks were already released so I knew I would have some catching up to do.

The series is called Cozy Afternoon and the center pieces are in the theme of a cup of tea. She offers 3 options for the center of each block – you can applique it, embroidery it or you can just use a fabric square. I joined this particular series because I wanted to get better at applique so that’s what I plan to do.

I actually tried to start the border pieces last night and my seam allowances got off so I trashed that effort and started new today…and…I LOVE it!!! Yeah, it’s not perfect but that’s why I’m doing it…to get better 😀

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Love these bright colors!!
bom1 closeup
I just love how the pattern on the teal flower makes it look like a bee is crawling on it…that was just a ‘happy accident’!!

I’m going to try to get Blocks 2 & 3 done before I go back to work on Tuesday…wish me luck!!

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I also wanted to share the fabric that arrived in the mail today…I just love opening those packages – it feels like Christmas morning!! Squeeee!

The July Fat Quarter Club shipment arrived and the color theme is dark blue. Each time I get a new shipment I’m just blown away by the fabrics and the patterns and I was not disappointed with these:

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I also received my order from FatQuarterShop.com that I placed using the $50 gift certificate I won…even though I knew what was coming it was still exciting to open it up and feel the fabric…I think I’m becoming a ‘fabriholic’!! I ordered a fat quarter of fall/halloween fabrics so I can make the Patchwork Pumpkin table runner I found on Pinterest.

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This picture doesn’t really do it justice…the fabric is heavenly!!!

That’s about all for now…I’ll probably head back into the sewing room after dinner…I’ll keep you posted!!

More sewing, more running

I’ve made a little more progress on the quilts for my grandsons. I cut and sewed the dark blue border to Grandson #1 topper and I like it, I really like it. The dark blue helps tone down all the bright colors. I also printed, transferred and cut out his initial (T) to apply to the top; I used the same fabric I’ll be using for the backing. The letter all by itself does not stand out on the topper so thankfully I had just enough of the dark blue fabric left to make a background block for the letter. I haven’t ironed either of these to the top yet, I’m still auditioning for the correct location.

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option 1
option 2
option 2

I think I like option 1 the best.

I also made the initial for Grandson #2 (K) and very quickly found the same issue with needing a background block and once again the dark blue fabric did the trick. I also know exactly where I’m going to place his initial:

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I went out for a short run this morning, the temps have started to creep back up but it wasn’t too bad. I’ve been using background music specifically timed to 180 bpm (beats per minute) to try to improve my pace. Because of this I switched up my intervals to run 4 minutes then walk 2 minutes to give myself a little more recovery time. It worked pretty well today, we’ll see if I can keep this up 😉

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That’s all for now…G’night!

I love learning something new!

I’ve been working on the baby blanket (that I’ve now named Ashlyn after the yet unborn baby girl whom this is for) and I’m almost to the point of starting the applique…eeeks! I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and bought some fabric; first I found Kona Cotton in Lavender in the clearance bin – SCORE!! I also bought some other fabric in a darker shade of lavender and then I found it…lavender flannel!! And there was just 2 yards left on the bolt which is more than enough for the back. Lastly, I picked up Heat n Bond, which according to all the tutorials I’ve watched is exactly what I need to adhere the letters to the quilt before actually stitching them on.

lavender fabrics

Tonight I played with PowerPoint and found a font that I like…I printed out the letters in lower case (using mirror image) and traced it on the Heat n Bond paper. I followed the instructions for adhering it to the back side of the fabric and then I cut out the letters…I’m so excited because they all turned out great!! I placed the letters on the yellow strip and played with positioning them; alternating leaning left/right…for now straight wins out.

After putting them in place (but not yet ironing them on) I felt like I needed something else to balance it out…so I found a flower pattern and made two; one in a large size the other in a smaller size.  Here’s what it looks like so far…

with 2 flowers

I still need to sew on the lavender borders on the left and right sides and of course iron on and sew the letters and flowers. I have a feeling I should’ve done the applique before I attached the yellow strip to the rest of the quilt…argh…I guess that will be another lesson learned!

I’m really loving the way this is turning out…and hopefully Ashlyn’s parents will love it too!