Monday, July 28, 2008

I Need Some Design Help

Saturday night DH and I watch the unedited version of American Gangster. It was a good movie. While watching the movie I kept stitching and stitching on my postage stamp 4-patches. I finished this set of seven (one of each fabric) and I have another set half sewn. That was the extent of my quilting activities for the weekend.
Yesterday we painted our bathroom and now I need some design help. Please go to my home blog and help me out.

Sweet P

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday Morning Doings

I finally took the time to sit at my sewing machine and sew something (or two or three). According to my sewing log the last time I used the machine was on June 27! I think that's a record for me. First up this morning was my siggie blocks. I finished 48 of them. I need to make 60. I'll make the rest tomorrow and then I'll sign them.
I also sewed two 9-patches from the galoshes fabric I bought last week. I like how they are looking. The quilts should turn out to be fun quilts when I'm done with them.
Now the Red Sox/Yankees game is on and I'm going to work on my postage stamp charms. It's a hot, hot day here in NH so I'm staying indoors.

Happy Stitching!
Sweet P

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hand Piecing Is Fun!

I've started hand piecing my Postage Stamp checked squares. Aren't these tiny 4-patches adorable? They are 2 1/2 inches square. It takes me about 10 minutes to sew one 4-patch. I have enough patches cut for 126 4-patches. If each 4-patch takes 10 minutes to sew, then it should take me 21 hours to sew all of them. Is that the right math? It doesn't seem like it. I'm probably better off not knowing how long it will take to sew this quilt. I might stop.

It's raining here today. At least it waited until after I ran my errands to start. There's quite a bit of thunder today too. We don't get a lot of thunder here and I miss it. I grew up in Minnesota and no nature sound is sweeter sounding to me than a good thunderstorm. OK, maybe the wind blowing during a blizzard is cool.

If you are new visitor to my blog you may not know how much I love snow. To prove how much I love snow, here's a photo of me taken last December 16th outside our downtown apartment. The snow drift I'm standing in front of was our parking space. I am standing on about 18 inches of snow and the drift was close to the top of my head. That means the snow drift is close to 7 feet tall!
Stay in stitches!
Sweet P

Monday, July 21, 2008

Finally Some Quilting Content

This past Saturday Mavie and Darlene came down for our bi-monthly sewing day. Here's Darlene working with her 30s blocks. The legs on the floor belong to her DD, Lydia.
Mavie worked on Claudia's BOM.
After lunch we went to my LQS to look at the awesome scraps they sell and the special sale they were having on yardage. For every one yard of fabric you bought, you could get the second yard for 99 cents. According to my records I haven't bought any "fun" fabric since the beginning of May. "Fun" fabric is fabric I buy just because I like it. I did have to buy fabric in the beginning of June for a siggie swap I'm doing, but that doesn't count as "fun" fabric. This is the "fun" fabric I found. The galoshes are adorable! I already have the fabric cut into 3.5 inch strips for making 9-patches and 5 inch strips for a nickel quilt design.My LQS has great packaged scraps. The packages can be anything from a single remnant to six or seven coordinating pieces. For $3,50 I found a package of mini checked fabrics I thought would be adorable for a mini postage stamp quilt. The shop also a bin of scraps you can dig through and fill a small lunch bag for $3.50. The bin is a huge favorite of Mavie and Darlene's. We dumped the bin on the floor, sat on the floor and dug through the scraps. I found strips of white muslin leftover from the owner's long arm lessons that would work with the checked fabrics. I also found 1.5 inch strips of a blue fabric with small colorful swirls on it. There was one piece that would be long enough for a binding strip.

Here's the fabric cut into 1.5 inch squares. You can tell how tiny the checks are. I got enough squares cut out of the checked fabric to make 126 4-patches. I also thought it would be cool to sprinkle in a few 4-patches made with the blue fabric. I have no idea how I will design the quilt once the 4-patches are done or how big it will be. All I know is I will have fun making the quilt. I will hand-piece the quilt as I can't imagine sewing all those tine seams on my machine. After all, isn't 1.5 inches just a couple needlefuls of fabric? I didn't make a big dent in the blue and white fabric, so for less than $7.00 I'll be able to make a mini quilt! I'm so excited!
Here's my project box for the quilt. Now I just need to get started.
And last, but not least, what's a hot Saturday afternoon with friends without some yummy banana splits? These were so good! I'm glad Mavie left some of the fixin's with me. DH and I can have banana splits tonight after dinner!
Bye for now! My quilting mojo is back and I'm so happy!
Sweet P

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mail Goodies

Happy Friday! I think I'm almost back to normal on my routine around the house. DH is home and back to work at the office. I'm nearly caught up on weekly chores and I have a few minutes to post before I have to do some office work and then get ready for the weekend. Tonight is at home date night with DH and tomorrow my sewing friends are coming over to play!

I promised photos of my mail goodies this week and here they are. First up is my pincushion from Linda's swap. Thank you Vickie for an awesome pincushion. Ms. Pinny (that's what she told me her name is) is the most gorgeous pincushion I've ever seen. She has already taken up residence in my sewing room. Along with the pincushion was a small notebook, a pencil, a towel and a cross stitch kit.
Another friend sent me a RAQ - four coffee cup coasters and this adorable pair of socks. I'm a sock collector and love novelty socks. Now I can't wait for cooler weather so I have a reason to wear these socks.
Also in the mail this week I received Tracey's note cards. My photos wouldn't do her photos justice so click on the link and you can see them there. I chose one of every card. They are so gorgeous I don't think I can even bear to send them out.

Yesterday I got my bargain purchase of the week. Barnes & Noble often has great books on sale. On Sunday afternoon I browsed through their website and bought: Cooking for 1 or 2; The Complete Household Handbook from Goodhousekeeping; Kitchens - Design Is In the Detail and The American Quilt A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750 – 1950. Face value of the books is $120 and I paid $30 for them. Not a bad deal.

I'm having a Need This? Challenge on Coffee Time at Home. Why not pop over and check it out? You might be inspired to join us for some de-cluttering.
Sweet P

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Vacation Goodies

I said I would be back with photos of my vacation purchases and here I am. Before we went on vacation I told DH I wasn't interested in fabric shopping or visiting quilt shops. For one thing there were no quilt shops in downtown Vancouver (and if I missed one, I'm sorry) or in Whistler. There was a quilt shop near downtown Vancouver but I didn't feel like taking a half hour bus ride to get there. For another I have plenty of projects and fabrics for now. My goal was to find artwork by local artists to bring home with me. And that is what I did.

In the jewelry category I found The Crystal Gallery in Lonsdale Quay that was having a 50% off sale. I found these two pendants made of dichroic glass. It's hard to see in the photo, but the design on the green one is a little like patchwork.
As an anniversary gift we found these silver earrings in Whistler. There is a tiny diamond in each of them. They are made by Hot Diamonds in the U.K. They may not have been in Canada, but I like them because the diamonds are guaranteed to be Conflict Free.
Our first shopping day was spent on Granville Island. A few weeks ago I was sharing with friends how crappy it was when the one day of the week I had to run errands it was raining. We started sharing photos of the umbrellas we wanted to buy. Well, on Granville Island we found The Umbrella Shop. Of course, I had to go in. I found this adorable umbrella.
Here's a close up. It's still a little tough to see, but there are pink and teal dresses on the umbrella. I'll definitely look chic when I head into the rain on errand day now.
Also on Granville Island we found Hollyfields, a home and garden shop. In there I found this gorgeous vase. Yes, it's a dress and yes, it's a vase. It was made by an artist at Benaya Art Ceramics, a group of Canadian ceramic artists. They have several different dress vases. And if you look here you can see some great quilt tiles that I want to buy. I didn't see these in the store or I would have bought them instead.
I did buy a little something for quilting. I found Beadworks on Granville Island. I bought these two little bottles of beads.
I've got some mail goodies to show tomorrow. But it's late and DH should be home from Florida soon. Time to be a wife! Woohoo!
Sweet P

Monday, July 14, 2008

Vacation - More Photos

Now, where did I leave off previously? Oh yeah, I was taking a day off while DH was playing poker.

Our last day in Vancouver we went to the Vancouver Aquarium. Walking through the park on the way we saw a black squirrel! I have never seen a black squirrel before. This is the best photo I got of him.
We happened to catch the trainers working with the dolphins. DH caught this good photo of one of the dolphins jumping. We didn't get any photos of the baby beluga whale, but if you click on the whale cam you can see a live feed of the whales.
On Saturday we took the Whistler Mountaineer to Whistler. The first part of the trip follows Howe Sound, the southernmost fjord in North America. It was a gray morning and the photo shows it.
As the train started to climb we went over two trestle bridges. This is a view of the front of the train starting to go over one of those bridges.
This is a river we traveled over before getting to Whistler. The train followed this train for most of the last hour of the trip.
Whistler is as different from Vancouver and day is to night. Vancouver is a big city and you can tell you're in a big city. Lots of people, lots of cars and trucks, lots of noise, you get the idea. Whistler Resort has three main sections: Creekside (where the train stops), Whistler Village and Upper Village. Once you get to the Villages you don't need a car. You can get to any one of 200 shops, restaurants, hotels or condos by walking. I became engrossed watching the mountain bikers ride down the modified ski trails. I liked it so much I'm considering taking up mountain biking, or at least some type of biking. DH and I also talked about hiking. One way or the other we will go back to Whistler in the summer and be ready to bike and/or hike.

The sun rose at 5 am and set at 9:30 pm, that's an hour longer than here in NH. Here's a photo of Blackcomb Mountain close to sunset. You can see the shade from some overhead clouds.
I could show you tons and tons of photos of mountains, but I won't bore you with them.

We did not rent a car on this vacation. We were trying to be "green". I wish I would have bought a pedometer with me. I'm sure we walked at least one mile each day. Some days, even more than that. We also used public transportation where we could. It's fun to use the local buses and trains. It helps us to see how the locals travel.

We had a wonderful time on our vacation. The only down side was that the Vancouver TSA took away my thread snips - a one and a half inch blade. Fine with the US, but not Vancouver. Oh well, they were a cheap pair.

I wrote a vacation food review entry on my At Home blog, check it out if you like to read about food and see a couple of kitchen goodies I bought.

Tomorrow I'll share photos of what I bought on vacation and then I'll be back to my normal quilt talk.
Sweet P

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thanks For The Award

Lilly was gracious and award me this blogger award. Thanks so much Lilly!

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

I'd like to nominate:

  1. Kay at Rick's Farm Wife. I've known Kay for a few years. She is grammy to a set of adorable twin girlies. Her stories and photos of life on a farm in Nebraska always make me smile
  2. Aileen at Aileen's Fiber Fetish is another good friend. She does great work and has a pet bunny.
  3. Yvonne at Threads of my Life is going to be first-time grandma pretty soon! She also has a daughter who is a park ranger in Alaska.
  4. Linda at Living, Quilting and Stuff is a creative quilter who also occasionally designs wedding dresses.
  5. Linda at All Stitched Up. I love her projects and the inspiration I get from her blog. PS: She's hosting a new swap if anyone is interested.
  6. Kathy at Kathy's Quilts. She is my inspiration forsigning up for the Bead Journal Project.
  7. Paula at The Quilter. She makes adorable small quilts. She also sent me a drawing of myself for me to stitch. (I haven't forgotten about it though, Paula).
There are a lot greater bloggers in blogland. It was hard to choose my favorites as I read so many of them. I hope these ladies enjoy their reward.

I'm still trying to recover from vacation and jet lag. I'm hoping to be back to normal tomorrow so I can share some more vacation photos and stories.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Vacation Catch Up

We arrived home this morning at 1:15 am. I finally fell asleep at 2:30 and slept until almost noon. I've spent my afternon catching up on the blog entries I marked while on vacation. Everyone was so creative while I was walking around Vancouver and Whistler. I did not get any stitching done nor did I visit any quilt shops, but I did spend money on other goodies. I'll share those this weekend.

I thought I'd share some of the swaps and giveaways going on that I found while I catching up on blog news and notes:
  • Lyn at Blue Bird Quilts is having a Christmas in July Giveaway for three sewing packages. Sounds like fun to me. Check it out and sign up.
  • Helen at Hugs from Helen is hosting a Stitchers' Angel Swap. I think this will be a fun way to wrap up my summer months. PS - Can someone tell me how to get the complete logo to show up in my sidebar?
  • Cotton Spice is having a Summer Workshop to finish up summer too. Be sure to check it out.
  • I signed up for the 2008 Bead Journal Project. Since I've recently decided to start beading I thought doing this project would be a great way to chronicle my progress with beads.

Here's a tease of the views we had at Whistler - I'm standing at the Inukshuk at the top of Whistler Mountain (elevation about 7,000 feet).

I'll be back this weekend for more vacation notes and photos. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Vacation Check-In

Hello from Vancouver, BC! We have been here since Sunday and today is my day to relax. We've been walking and walking and walking for four days! Whew! I'm tired! DH is at the casino playing in a poker tournament at a casino and I'm resting in the hotel room.

I have lots and lots of photos, but I won't show all of them right now. Just some highlights for now. First up is my First of the Month photo off my deck. I did sneak a photo in before we left on vacation.
On Monday we visited Granville Island. What a cool place. One of our goals on vacation is to not shop at stores we can shop at when we are home. Granville Island fit the bill. I found a bead store and bought some beads. DH went out on a limb and bought a new hat that is not a baseball cap. This is the view we had while eating lunch. Isn't it gorgeous?
Tuesday was Canada Day. Happy Canada Day! We took the train to New Westminster on the recommendation of a local DH met at the bar. The casino wasn't open, so we walked along the Quay and admired the landscape and river views. Another lunch on the water and this was part of the view.
Yesterday we traded the water views for treetop and canyon views and went to Capilano Suspension Bridge. This is the bridge across the canyon. It is 230 feet above the canyon below. Yes, we did walk across it and had fun!
We also walked the Treetops Adventure. Here's me and The Boys standing "in the trees." Yes, I do travel with The Boys.
Tomorrow we are going to the aquarium and on Saturday we are off to Whistler.

Thanks for all the compliments on my Siggy Quilt. It was fun to make. I am having some stitching withdrawals. I brought five stitchery projects with me, but haven't had the time or the energy to work on them. Hopefully later today I'll feel a more energetic and will be able to stitch a little bit.