Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thank You Gene!

A while back (ahem....2 years ago), all of blog land was buzzing about a particular item.  Bloggers were using them and holding giveaways.  I faithfully entered all that I could find - I really wanted one.  Well, I didn't win one.  That year, my sweet husband bought me one.  By that point, I had seen some of those same bloggers post videos on how to use the machine.  I got intimated.  And needed time to research how to use it - after all there were all those videos to watch! So there it sat.  What was it?  It's an Accuquilt GO cutter.  About 10 days ago, Gene Black (from Gene Black-Alabama Artist blog) sent me an email based on a comment I left on his blog and he walked me through using the GO cutter thru a series of emails.  It was exactly what I needed! 
He explained to me about lengthwise grain and how to line it up.  Today, I took what Gene shared with me and started working through some scraps.
It wasn't long before I had a pile of 2" squares stacking up.  I certainly got more cut out than I would have with a rotary cutter.  And more accurately cut out.  I really dislike cutting fabric and this wasn't so torturous!  Gene, thank you SO much for your patience and encouragement.  
The only other sewing related thing accomplished this week was getting my We Bee Learning Bee block for December pieced.  My bee mate selected this block and specified a white background with bright solids.  It was a fun block.  I'm sad to send this one off!
We Bee Learning block for Liz who requested bright solids.
I've been on Instagram for a year or so but have become active in the last couple of weeks.  If you happen to have an Instagram account and you'd like to follow me, I'm JackiesStitches there.  I'd love to follow you too.  My photos posted there won't be typically found here.   

Greg and I are taking having a relaxing holiday season to an extreme - in that we've done NOTHING!  To add to that, there is a big release at work and I'm going to be a busy exhausted girl.  Yikes!  We'd better get busy.  I hope you have a great week and may all your stitches be happy ones!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


For Heather's Theme-a-Licious project, November was Nail it November.  I nailed finishing block #3 of Shores of Hawk Run Hollow, stitching almost all of this while I was on vacation mid-month.  I pretty sure I've posted a Theme-a-Licious post for each month, though I haven't always linked up in time on her blog.  Unfortunately, I've stitched very little since we've been home.
Here is my November block for the We Bee Learning Bee.  The yellow center is a bit bright in this picture.  I have to say, I really love the yellow and gray combination.
We Bee Learning Bee Block for Toni
I've also been working on getting this quilt ready for quilting.  I've pieced and ironed the back and spent some time clipping threads on the back.  A lot time.  Evidence can be found below.  I am not fond of clipping threads.  On the other hand, it's a shame this quilt top has sat for a year waiting to be quilted.

How much time do you spend clipping and ironing before dropping off a quilt?  I iron as I go but I could probably spend 4 more hours ironing.  When do you say it's done?
I've also been working on assembling my Cotton Club quilt.  I have the centered assembled and two borders on.  Only the last border to go - it's mitered and will be my first mitered border.  Yikes!  I'm going to use Marti Michell's ruler.  Fingers crossed.  I have to get the border fabric cut out properly first.

I have a few days off at the end of the month that I'm really looking forward to.  It'll be the first vacation time we've spent at home this year.  It'll be nice to have some quiet after all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  I'm trying to take a very relaxed approach to the season this year.  We'll see how it goes.  In the meantime, may all your stitches be happy ones!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Just a Little Something....

Giveaway Closed!  Comments have been disabled.  Congratulations to the winner Ruth!

I have a good excuse for being away this time - we've been on vacation!  It was tough coming back from our week at my parents little cabin in the mountains.  We had a glorious time!  While I get caught up on emails and prepare for Thanksgiving - everyone is coming here - I thought I'd do a little give away of this Christmas Ornament publication from Just Cross Stitch.  Leave a comment and I'll pull a name no later than Friday.  Make sure your profile is attached to an email or you leave one so I can contact you.  
Wishing you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

No Obligation October

The past couple of weeks have flown by.  We all got to spend some time with my two nieces.  My two grown boys went with us to see them at my parents house and they had a blast too.  Even though they are so much older than their cousins they really made an effort to spend some good time with them.  We're hoping the girls will come see us next summer (without their parents).  As a mom and an aunt it's good to see the love and affection they have for each other.  It just warms my heart.
Now time for a Theme-a-Licious update.
October was Obligation October.  I have enough obligations so I decided to just stitch what I felt like stitching and forget about obligations.  I started the second block of Shores two weeks ago.  I expected the seaweed to give me tons of fits but surprisingly it didn't.  I put the last stitch into this block on the 31st.  This block went much faster than I thought it would.
Earlier in the month, I finished up another block on Anniversaries of the Heart.  This is block 9.  Since one bonus block was in the first row, I'm officially 2/3 of the way through this one.  As with the other blocks, I'm holding off on the personalizations until the end.  Maybe we'll see this finished in 2013?
I haven't stitched a stitch since these two were finished up on the 31st.  I'll probably pick out something to work on tonight or tomorrow.   Tomorrow will be a quiet day as my sweetie is going to a football game and my youngest son is at his fathers for the weekend.  I'm hoping to spend the day in the sewing room with some time stitching too.   I'll have a nice zen day before the craziness starts at work next week where I have some serious deadlines to meet.  At least I'll be starting the week off with some happy stitches and I hope you do too!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Uh Oh!

I've slowly been working on assembling the rows on my Cotton Club quilt.  It's been really slow going.  A couple of weeks ago, I spent quite a bit of time in the sewing room and got my first row together.  Pretty, huh?  I decided to go ahead and get started on the second row which has different fabrics.  Greg was sitting in the chair in my sewing room and we were chatting. 
All of a sudden it dawned on me that I had assembled this entire row with one wrong fabric .  I've circled the fabric that was placed incorrectly in the picture below.  All of the light outside tan triangles should be chocolate brown.  Generally, I roll with the punches when this kind of thing happens but this time, it really hurt.  I couldn't breathe for a second which is a first for me.  Poor Greg, he didn't know what had happened!
Turns out, I'd labeled this fabric as E but erased it and changed it to F.  Unfortunately, I didn't erase thoroughly and from the angle I was working from that morning, my eye saw the E.   Ugh!  Thankfully, I felt like going back and ripping it all out about 30 minutes later.  

Happy Monday and Happy Stitches!

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Heather's Theme-a-Licous theme for September was all about smalls.  I decided to go rogue and work on big projects instead.  Since I was on vacation at the beginning of September, I actually got a lot done compared to my typical progress.  I finished another block on Anniversaries of the Heart.  No personalization is being done on this until the end.  I have things sketched out in my head but need to do some planning before I start adding it.  As you can see, I also just started the border on the next block.  I've enjoyed this project so far and hope to finish it up next year.
In my last post, I gave you a sneak peek of a new project I was starting.  Actually, the sneak peek was just a picture of the linen and threads.  I started Shores of Hawk Run Hollow on our last day of vacation and was able to complete my first block.  I haven't touched it since but do hope to start the next block in November.  Block one was fun!
I'm often asked how I have the patience for stitching.  For me, stitching (as does knitting and quilting) gives me patience.  It soothes my mind and chases the stress away and obviously brings me much enjoyment.   I do wish it was just as easy to turn to exercise but ... ummm, that hasn't happened yet!  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Is This Thing On?

I hadn't intended to be gone so long.  Blogging seems to be one of those activities that once you stop, it's hard to get the ball rolling again.  So where have I been?  Well, I traveled for work for two weeks with a week of vacation in between.  Vacation was spent in the mountains.  The two days it didn't rain, we spent a lot of time in a couple of parks.  Having picnics, chatting, and enjoying each others company.  For me, a bit of stitching.  For Greg, a bit of jogging.  Perfect.
Our Picnic Spot

The other couple of weeks I missed was just life and getting caught up after being out of my site at work for three weeks.  Things are returning to normal.  I'm tired though and hope that my work travel is over for the year.  At this point, it looks like it is!

I missed the August Theme-a-Licious update.  Better late than never.  The theme for August was :

Embrace the Olympic motto--Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger)--by elevating your mind. It's the perfect time to learn something new! Or maybe achieve some goals.. 

My goal was to get a knitting project on the needles and to make some progress on it.  The pattern called for a cashmere blend yarn but I wanted something "curl up on the couch cozy and warm" so I went with a bulky yarn.  Here is where I am at just less than 1 ball knit up.  This was really moving along until after vacation.  Not much has happened since then.    Septembers theme is about smalls - I'm going rogue and working on BAPs....more to come at the end of the month!
 On our last day in the mountains, I started a new stitching project.  Here's a peek.  I hope to show you more at the end of the month. 
Wishing you all a good week and happy stitches!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cotton Club

Two Saturdays back, I came home from my Cotton Club BOM meeting and immediately sat down at the sewing machine and got busy. Unusual for me. I finished all of the 5 blocks I had left to piece. It went well, it didn't seem to matter that it took hours to get these last 5 blocks finished.


I put all my blocks in number order and stacked them in their Cotton Club box. Then I grabbed my finishing fabrics and got busy.


I first went through my blocks and found the blocks (they're not assembled in numerical order) I needed for my first row. I wanted to put them on the design wall to keep me focused.


First row up on the design wall. I can never seem to get good pictures in my sewing room.


I also cut out my finishing fabrics with the exception of two of the borders. I tend to label everything as I've learned it's in my best interest to do so. I didn't do the sub-cutting for the triangles yet.


Sunday I started making half square triangles and setting out the first row. My sewing machine then insisted that I had delayed her annual maintenance long enough. So I stopped and packed her up. I had really wanted to get the setting triangles for this row pieced but it was not to be.


See that block third from the bottom? I realized upon looking at this photo that it needed to be rotated to be positioned correctly. I did that right away so I wouldn't forget. Funny how something not so obvious in person is so obvious in a pic.

As luck would have it, my sewing machine repair guy was out of town. It felt weird not to sew this weekend. We were busy with putting our house back together (which went well thanks to the tremendous efforts of my husband). But I still really missed my sewing machine!

Wishing you all happy stitches!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Off the Needles!

I finished the hat I was knitting for Jake! It needs to be blocked. I'm pretty happy with the way it came out and better yet, I know he'll use it.

Skull Hat by Gina Doherty - Pattern is Free
Yarn Cascade Superwash
Needle Size 7 or 8 (I can't remember!)

I haven't started another knitting project as yet but I have one in mind. We had the carpet in our bedrooms replaced today and the house looks like a bomb went off. We had to empty closets. Including my sewing room closet. I don't think I'll be doing much with any kind of needle this weekend as a result. The men in my life also now think I have a "lot of stuff" because it's all been sitting in the living room. If they only knew I was an amateur!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jolly July

To recap:
Jolly July
It's a jolly holiday with your can concentrate on Christmas designs, ornaments, or even pick a different holiday to render in stitchy goodness.

I'm not sure how Jolly July was but it did end with a small stitching finish. I finished one of the Blackbird Designs stockings. I had started this one during March Madness.
Blackbird Designs
Merry Christmas
30 Count R&R Iced Cappuccino
Called for thread

I purchased this BBD booklet with a kit and I'm finding I don't care for the linen. When I get to stitching the other stockings, I'm going to change the linen to something else.

That's my Theme-a-licous update for July!

To see how everyone else did for Jolly July, see Heather's blog. I'm sure most had a better showing than I did!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Drive By Post

I'm traveling for work this week but I brought my personal computer. I thought I'd do a quick are the latest Cotton Club blocks. Missing one but I hope to start it soon. I really enjoyed these three. When I sewed them I was just in a zen place. Not everything went well but even frogging didn't pull me out of my zen spot. I love it when that happens!
I've been fiddling around with those pesky flying geese. I still haven't decided if I'm going to keep working on them or trash them. For now, they remain alive and well and on my sewing table.
Flying Geese
They measure 1 1/8" x 1 3/4".

See you on the other side of the weekend! Happy Stitches!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Small But Done!

It is a small finish but a finish nonetheless!
Kelmscott Designs Tombstone Angel
Kelmscott Designs
Tombstone Angel
40 Count R&R Irish Creme
Excuse the poor photos-I just wasn't in a color correcting mood. I finished this myself - pretty easy but a little fiddly due to it's small size and my big hands. It's hard to see in the photograph but there is cording around the edges. After working on big projects lately this was refreshing!

We finished our closet reorg this weekend. It turned into being less of a reorg and more of a modification of the closet organizer we already had. It's amazing how quickly "stuff" accumulates. We clean closets regularly and I'm always surprised. Next weekend it's Jake's closet. We're completely replacing his closet organizer. Getting him to edit his things will take an Act of Congress. The best I can hope for is that he'll pack up everything and it all won't make it back into his room.

Thank you all for your visits and your comments. May all your stitches be happy ones!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's My Eyes That are Crossing!

Here is my July We Bee Learning Bee Block for Trina. She chose this block and asked for purple, black and white with the background being white. She lives in Canada and I'm trying to get it in the mail early this month. It seems my blocks are taking a minimum of two weeks to reach my Canadian bee mates. Next month is my month and I've been thinking of block selection and color.
We Bee Learning Bee Block for Trina
Thank you all for your suggestions and tips about stitching over 1. I've gotten the first row done and I'm going to put your tips into practice on row 2. I have to say, stitching over 1 isn't my favorite, especially on 40 count. I feel like it's my eyes that are crossing instead of my stitches sometimes. For those of you who enjoy over 1 or do it all at once, I'm in awe. I'm having to pace myself and I'm not sure I'll get it all done before the rest of it.
Ann Dale over 1.
Several of you sent me your favorite links too. You can find some of them here, here, here, here and here. Some really good stuff that you shared! Thank you!

Greg painted Jake's room yesterday and I love the gray color we found - Glidden's Granite Grey (you can see it on someone else's wall here). We lightened it 25% and I'm glad we did. Carpet estimate this week as well and today we made our final selection and placed our order. Next up - closet reorgs. We put in built ins years ago that sit on the floor so before the carpet people come, we need to make whatever changes we need to make. Jake's closet is coming out and being replaced and we'll probably remove one element from ours and do some tweaking. We'll all be glad when this is done.

I hope you all have had a good weekend and enjoy a good week. Thank you for your visits, your comments, and the inspiration!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jumani June!

I'm a couple of days late in posting my Theme-a-licous update for June. What else is new?
June's theme was Jumani June - which was defined as:
Is it a jungle out there in your stash? Give some love to the projects with animals or birds.

As I picked up AotH, I realized the block I was working on had swans on it. Score!
I probably had about 25% of this completed before June. Since June also entailed a week of vacation in the mountains, I was able to finish this block except for personalizations, which will come later. It's a beautiful block but probably my least favorite so far to stitch. You can see I also haven't gotten to those lazy daisy stitches in the previous block.

I didn't have a hobby filled weekend. We've decided to replace the carpet in our bedrooms and that has led to plans to repaint Jake's room and closet shelving reorgs. We still have some planning to do but the execution stage over the next few weeks will be a lot of work. Think emptying out closets. Ugh!

Oh, before I forget - I've started the over 1 stitching on Ann Dale. I've done very little over 1. Any of you out there have tips on technique? I know to not leave it all until the end but other than that, I could use some pointers!

Wishing you all a safe and happy 4th of July and a belated Canada Day!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

On the Needles - Knitting Needles!

I talked before about casting on for this project many, many times. This time it's working! It's a hat for my youngest son. It's a different pattern in that you knit 20 something rows and then do a purl row. That purl row becomes the bottom edge because you'll end up turning the first 20ish rows under and joining it. The ears will stay warm because they'll have a double layer over them. Yep, I live in Florida and it's mild here in winter. Jacob, however, lives in flipflop and shorts and rarely wears a jacket but will wear a beanie. This hat will warm his whole body!

Here I tucked the bottom part under so you'll get a visual.
Can you see the pattern?
Here, let me point it out for you....

It's a skull and crossbones. Let's hope I'm managing my notoriously tight knitting and have loosened up enough that he can actually get this hat on his noggin. He hasn't displayed any interest in my knitting or quilting anything for him but he'll really enjoy this - if it fits. Fingers crossed.

Otherwise, I'm going to have to find someone with a small head to give this to.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scrapping a Project?

I may be scrapping this project. I spent today making 48 flying geese. They're little. Very little. They're not perfect. At this size, I think they need to be pretty darn close.
In the interest of my sanity, this pile of untrimmed geese may just end up in the trash. Have you ever trashed a project? By trashed I'm mean literally in the garbage.
I've also started a knitting project. Yep, it's been a while. I've started it like 8 times. This time, it's taking. I'm further along than this picture shows and I'm enjoying it! :)
I'm happy to have a project I'm enjoying on the needles. It's no secret that I haven't been knitting much this year. That didn't stop me from buying yarn for 2 projects while I was on vacation though!

Here is the most recent picture of Ann Dale. I haven't taken another stitch on her since I took this photo. I've decided I'm stitching it as charted without any major modifications. I've seen one finished and one with quite a bit of progress and they look fantastic. Seeing them really gave me a peace about the project. I never fell out of love with her but the frustration is gone!
Thank you all for your visits, your comments, and the inspiration I find on your blogs. May all your stitches be happy ones!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Eeking Out the Last Minutes...

I'm eeking out the last minutes of vacation. I don't like to announce on the blog when we go away but we left on June 1 for my parents cabin in the mountains. No cable, no internet - we love it! We had a good time spending time together away from the hustle and bustle. On the way, we stopped at the Georgia Aquarium for a few hours. Greg fell in love with the Beluga Whales. He took all kinds of video and spent a long time watching them.
Greg at the GA Aquarium
Not much sewing this weekend as a result of just getting back. I did manage my We Be Learning Beginner Bee block for Nita this month. She wanted a Churn Dash in 30's fabric on a white background.
We Bee Learning Bee Block for Nita

Since we were gone, I still need to post for my May Theme-a-Licious updates. The theme for May was May Memories which is all about working on class projects that we hadn't finished. I have 2 that I worked on a bit this month. First up, Long May She Wave by Ellen Chester of With My Needle. Ellen's classes are a real treat so if you ever get a chance to take one, please do!
I also worked on Needlebook of Stitches; a Chessie and Me piece from a class I took at The Attic Needlework in January 2011. Most of this was stitched. I finished up the stitching (and moved some around) and cut the linen pieces out. I attached one of them to the wool needle book we made in class. I could have finished this up but Ann Dale was hammering away in my head.
Jean and Heather tagged me in the past few days; I'll respond to those later in the week as this post is getting long. It's going to be a hard re-entry back into the work scene tomorrow. I hope to combat that with some needle and thread time. Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope all your stitches are happy ones!