Sunday, September 18, 2022

Fall in Alaska

My favorite two weeks of Alaska...Fall.


Photos never capture the radiance of the colors

Below are a pair of moose cows...they are a little tough to see...especially when you are driving.


My rock work area is getting covered in leaves. I won't even attempt to rake leaves or get the leaf blower out until the majority of the leaves have fallen.


Just for my historical perspective I want to make a note about the amount of rain we've received, "Summer of 2022."

In June we broke records for lack of precipitation and high temps. Awesome start to the summer.

Then a day or two after the 4th of July, our weather pattern completely changed.

In July - 18 days of rain.
In August - 27 days of rain
So far in September - 14 days out of 18 days...rain.

And when it rains...it is generally gray outside all day long.

Yesterday's sunny weather was glorious.

Thankfully, my garden has done well. But my big rock landscaping project has been disappointing. I have made decent progress but I sure hate to go through winter with a big pile of rock sitting where a lot of snow usually gets dumped by the fellow who plows our driveway.

I did finally get my quilting mojo back and loaded a top on the frame. I don't know why I had to pick one of the toughest prospects in my pile of quilt tops. I just finished quilting all the areas with cream thread. Now I need to go back and do lots of thread color changes for all the details. This quilt was a shop hop in Alaska many summers ago. Lots of  laser cut, fusible web appliques. Not fun to quilt on at all...but I am very thankful the tension goddess has been good to me so far. (I do have one small area I will need to fix/rip out and redo.)


I did get a top finished. Way back in May, I had a Material Girls retreat and we had a mystery block challenge. I finished my 20 star blocks at retreat. The second part of the challenge was to come up with a setting for the blocks. I am very thrilled with my solution. Our next retreat is October 20 -23.


My setting solution came from one of the oldest patterns in my stash, "Simple Gifts - #403". I bought this at a quilt shop in Colorado Springs when my son was there for a hockey tournament. He was probably 12 years old and is now 31. I remember the shop had a sample of the pattern made in the store. I think I must have looked at this pattern a thousand times over the past 19 years.


Evening stitching projects have been steady. 

The Bucilla ornament kit, "Partridge in a Pear Tree," is quite a challenge.
Number nine had a new technique for me...making curls for the Lady Dancing. Strands of floss were wet down and twisted around a straw to dry. The first attempt went well but the curls relaxed pretty quickly. So I rewet the floss and added hair spray...then twisted on small red coffee straws. Her curls still look great a couple of weeks later. 


And 10 Lords A-Leaping had sooo many details. Only two more ornaments in the set.


I finished the Timberline Santa series from Mill Hill.
Douglas Fir Santa, Scotch Pine Santa and Norway Spruce Santa


It's been a while since Logan and McKinley have been in a post. They were newly groomed in this shot. Hard to believe McKinley is seven years old and Logan is five. 


Lots of canning to pickle beets from my garden is underway. I always get a little anxious the latter half of September...winter is looming...so much to get done!!!

Thanks for stopping by and catching up on my world. 
Happy stitching.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Rainy Days…Projects Galore

It is pretty rare that I buy quilt kits. 

When I do…those kits come to the front of the cue for attention. 

“Flight of Honor,” by Whirligig Designs from Hancocks of Paducah was one such kit. 


I was a little worried when I cut out the kit…sooooo many little pieces. 
The traditional piecing method to make flying geese blocks…yuck. But there was a little wriggle room with the flying geese and I used a Bloc-Loc flying geese ruler to trim the blocks down to size. I bought the ruler for another project. It is very pricey but I think it will get a lot of use. Unfortunately they come in sizes so there isn’t a universal ruler for several block sizes.


What I loved most was the border…and it was so easy to put together.


I also love the way the wonky striped fabric was used in the two star blocks.




The photo below does not do this quilt justice. I just love the simplicity of the design that really uses the line of fabrics to great advantage from Timeless Treasures Tonga Batiks.


I also finished one more, By Annie project. I had just enough scraps of quilted fabrics from one of the bags I made to add another, "Stash and Dash."






I wish I had more time for handwork...so many cross stitch and Bucilla kits I would like to finish before Christmas.

I did get the Jim Shore Santa series from 2021 done. I still have the series from 2020 to start.


But the newest Sandra Cozzolino Santa Series has been moved to the front of my cross stitching list. 
This year the theme is Timberline Santas. This is Scotch Pine Santa.


I finished a few more ornaments in the Bucilla kit, "Partridge in a Pear Tree."






I am still trying to finish one cross stitch ornament every month from the Hearthsewn series, "Twelve Days of Christmas. For years I only made perforated paper kits...I just don't have wall space for cross stitch pictures. Somehow....I always find a way to display cross stitch ornaments. 

One of the outcomes of Covid shutdowns was watching YouTube videos about cross stitch. I have found other options for finishing cloth-based cross stitch and displaying them. Of course figuring out how I want to stitch on fabric has been a journey. I didn't want to use a hoop or frame of any kind. I have been stitching in hand. I tried the sewing method on several of my ornaments in this series but didn't always like how my stitches looked.

With my latest ornament, Six Geese-a-Laying, I dropped the sewing method and learned from a full-coverage stitcher to hold my fabric from the top instead of the side. Such a simple change really helped improve my stitching quality and wasn't fatiguing to my left hand. So happy. Just shows one can always learn something new.


When we have a break in the rain...I'm immediately go outside...trying to peck away at my big landscaping project. I plan to recap my garden season...someday. 

I missed entering any projects in the state fair this year. Of the five quilts I finished in the last year, four were given as gifts and the fifth was a king-size that really didn't warrant a state fair entry. Plus, I'm sleeping under that quilt this summer. 

I was even planning to enter a Bucilla project but the 3D Christmas Tree I finished, which would have been perfect, was just a little too delicate for me to feel good about having others handle it. I like to participate every year because the number of displays has been steadily dropping every year. It makes me so sad! I love looking at all the projects at the state fair...it's the main attraction for me when I go to the fair. 

Thanks for stopping by for my update. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Passion for By Annie Bags

Almost no quilting has happened this summer.

It’s been a, “By Annie,” production room in my studio.



These are challenging projects...my seam ripper got way too much action!
Most of the time it was the wrong thread in the bobbin that was the problem. I had trouble thinking about the two sides of the fabric being viewed.


I am so thrilled to have these done. The Running with Scissors has a little mat that helps protect all the tools when you close the case.


The Running with Scissors bag opens up to drape on the Take a Stand bag...this will be perfect for retreat sewing.


I had enough fabric to make a 24-inch sewing machine mat. I looked at a free pattern, "Lillyella Maker Mat," to get an idea of sizing for the front pocket.


My main fabric is a multi-color batik I bought on our Kauai vacation in February.


I also had enough of the quilted fabrics to make two more little bags.


Here's the tiny bit of quilting I did...


These two lap-sized tops are scraps from a sampler quilt I finished last fall. They will look great in my living room...when I get around to quilting them.

I am giving myself a double pat on the back for tackling another project that I've been wanting to make for soooo many years.


One of my favorite bloggers is Vicki from Colorways by Vicki Welsh. She saves her batting scraps and makes dog beds for shelters. Having critters that regularly need new beds...this inspired me to save my batting scraps. I had two garbage sacks full of scraps and my cat needed a bed. I used one and a half bags of scraps.


I bought a two-yard piece of precut decor fabric at Walmart. It was perfect for this project. Eli was in the studio when I was sewing...taking up space on one of the dog beds from Costco.


It took him a day to warm up to the new bed...which I put outside in the covered dog run. I have an old kitchen table outside that gives him a little space away from the dogs. The table backs up to a studio window in front of my desk.

I finished two more of the ornaments from the Bucilla ornament kit, "A Partridge in a Pear Tree."


This kit has recently been re-released. It's so nice that Plaid, the company that owns Bucilla, has re-released some of the older kits that were very popular.


We've had a steady stream of critters visit us...though I haven't had a camera on hand most of the time.


A  lovely moose cow...no calves with her.


And the butt of a big black bear leaving our parking pad. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

June Update

eek!!!

That saying about as you get older…time passes more quickly…

I think that is true. No other explanation for June passing at high speed. 

I failed to blog about handwork finishes for a few months. Here’s what I have accomplished.

I started the year tackling two Bucilla kits.

Nordic Christmas Ornaments. Such a fun kit! This kit was given to me by the Plaid Bucilla company. I am an ambassador for their Bucilla felt kits. 


I finished this 3-D Bucilla kit, Christmas Tree Centerpiece. This was a 2008 kit from my stash, 


This kit was a nice little challenge. I spent years looking a the instructions and thinking about making it. As usual…once I started making it…everything came together pretty easily.

I have started a couple of more Bucilla kits from my stash.

I making a set of ornaments, “A Partridge in a Pear Tree.” 
Three ornaments finished.






Love the little French flag on the last ornament.

Cross stitch projects are getting stitched too.
The 12 Days of Christmas is a theme running through my projects this year. 
I’m working on a set of patterns from 2000 , by Heart Strings, that where patiently waiting in my stash.

Partridge in a Pear Tree


Two Turtle Doves


Three French Hens


Four Colly Birds


Five Gold Rings


I have also finished two more Mill Hill Jim Shore Santa ornaments.

Santa with Lights and Santa in Chimney.


Just a quick post to share my handwork finishes.