Sunday, January 22, 2012

Having a Talk with Myself and Meeting a Blog Friend!

I joined the Free Motion Quilting Challenge hosted by SewCalGal. I've always wanted to learn free motion quilting and to be able to execute it well. I'm here to tell you - I'm a long way from any type of proficiency! After seeing the photos on the FMQC Facebook page, I was almost too embarrassed to post my own photos here on this blog. Everyone seems to be already so good. But then I had a talk with myself. I'll never get better without practice and comparing my skills to someone else's isn't really the right thing to do. Even at just turned 50, I still have a need for this type of conversation with myself! Ugh!

Each month a tutorial is shared on SewCalGals blog and we practice and post our photos. This months tutorial was brought to us by Frances Moore. The photos below show my efforts:

Some of it looks better than other pieces of it.
I hope to keep up with this Challenge all year long. My skill set has no where to go but up!

Last Monday I had the pleasure of meeting Terri from Dixie Samplar. What a sweetie she is! She was visiting her precious grandmother and sent me an email asking if I'd like to meet her on her way home. We had a great time in Trenton exploring the shops. Here is a pic of Terri and I at Sally's shop, Suwannee Valley Cross Stitch. Sally was very gracious and we spent a fair amount of time chatting with her and a few of her regulars. We had a nice lunch at the Rose Cafe. I could have sat there for hours talking to Terri, she is so warm, friendly and easy to talk to. And of course we had to visit the quilt shop too. If you don't know Terri, please visit her blog. One of my MOST favorite posts of hers is this one about her stitching studio reveal.
Me and Terri
Me on the left, Terri on the right
Don't you love that brick wall?
I put all my goodies away before getting a picture because my sewing/stitching room was so seriously messy and I needed to get in there. I do have a picture of something I purchased to put on my shelves. Three vintage spools. Two have lace (vintage?) that Sally bought on a trip to Germany. I wound some hand dyed rick rack (purchased from Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler) on the other.
Vintage spools with lace from Germany and hand dyed rick rack
Thank you for visiting my little corner of the blogging world. Happy Stitches!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dipping a Toe In

I've never participated in a swap of any kind. I have been interested in the online quilting bees but just haven't felt like an established bee was a good place to start. And frankly, it's kind of scary. I stumbled on a bee that was just forming and was intended for quilters new to Bees. Perfect! It's called We Bee Learning Beginner Bee. Here is my block for the first month. Hayley chose the quilt block but allowed us to pick whatever fabric we wished. I'll send this off as soon as I get the signature block made. My month is August and I'm already thinking of it.
Bee Block for Hayley
My design wall was empty so I put my bee block up along with the Cotton Club Blocks I sewed this weekend and my Farmers Wife blocks. I'm hoping that it will be a reminder to get back to making my FW blocks. Does that ever work for anyone? :)
Whats On My Design Wall
I'm always amazed at how different a block can look when set on point. Here is an example from this months Cotton Club blocks:
It looks totally different and much more pleasing on point:
It's so hard for me to sew during the week. I was able to do some stitching early last week after work but as the work week progressed my energy in the evening seemed to diminish too. Sometimes it seems that I'm wishing the week away for Friday night and that's really not how I want to things to be. I need to use my time during the week more thoughtfully and efficiently. Tonights plan? I'll be multitasking. Stitching Ann Dale and watching the Downtown Abbey Season 2 Premier! Hope your stitches are happy and plentiful!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Keeping It Simple

Last year, I set goals for specific things I wanted to accomplish. In my year end recap, I found that for me, I did pretty good. I hesitate to say, however, that having a goal list was the driver of what I accomplished in 2011. So for 2012, I'm keeping it simple:

Use My Stash

Don't misunderstand - this is not a "no buy" goal. For some of you, that may be realistic - for me it is not at all. But I do have some wonderful fibers for stitching, knitting, and quilting in my stash that I'd like to use.

In that vein, today I'm starting the wonderful Ann Dale sampler. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it on Theresa's blog when she received the original sampler she had purchased. I think there are 8 of us in our Sampler Guild stitching this one. I wouldn't call it a stitch along, more like a start a long!

And funny enough, she is coming out of my stash! Since the kit arrived two days ago (way back in 2011) it's officially stash. :)
Fiber and Floss for Ann Dale
40 Count Lakeside Linen Vintage Pear (a muddy green)
Assorted Silks

This is also my Themalicious Project for January along with AotH.