Friday, July 31, 2009

Homespun Flowers

I have everything all neat and tidy in my sewing room again. All the fabric is sorted, folded and put away. I actually had twice that much, but had put some away already. I should have a finished quilt top to show you by Monday.
In the meantime, after spending hours at a sewing machine (for the past ?? days), I decided to take a break from hand quilting in the evening. I am at a place on the pink and brown that is a great stop/start point. Plus, I will be a hand quilting fool once the baskets get into the hoop next needs to be done by Christmas! So, I pulled this top back out.......and spent the evening watching "Fly Me To The Moon" with the family, while doing some hand applique on the border.I put my case of threads right next to me as there are so many colors going into this border.
So far, only 3 flowers done. All the flowers will be plaid with gold centers and there will be many leaves going around that vine. I love this quilt and plan to hang it in my entryway when it is done. It is quite large....83x83. It tells the story of the Underground Railroad. If you look closely at the quilt, you will see a basket block. Yep, that is where I got the pattern for the "Basket Case". I have actually used many patterns from this book over and over again. It is an Eleanor Burns book called "Underground Railroad Sampler".
I wanted to share a new-to-me site called
There are wonderful quilting blogs listed there to go through for inspiration.
Speaking of inspiration, I will be holding a workshop at my church tomorrow afternoon on the Home Management Binder/Box. Pray for me....I am not a "get-up-in-front-of-people" kind of girl.

Buildeth Her House

No post for Feminine Friday this week, as Valencia is having her 1 year blog anniversary. It has been a full week of wonderful posts...lots of prizes she is giving away too. You can click here to join the party and wish Valencia a happy Anniversary!!
Though I am wearing one of my favorite skirts today...soft, flowing rayon...I will wait to show you another day. Like I said, I do not wear dresses only, and will wear jeans around the house. I feel better in a skirt and top or a dress, but there are days I throw on a pair of jeans and a shirt. I came downstairs on one of those days last week and Sweetheart said, "It is good to see you out of uniform once in a while!"
Have a blessed weekend. I will be battling baskets, though I am seeing a knock out coming up soon!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Battle of the Baskets-Round 1

It was not an easy round, but I do believe that round 1 goes to me! All 52 baskets are completed. All 1144 pieces, pieced. It was long, grueling, and there was one casualty, but with a little coaching I think I am ready for round 2. First I need to clean up the ring before I go at it again!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fabric, Friends, and Farming

I can not believe July is almost over. There is something like 150 days until Christmas!! That is certainly closer than we think! I have been busy in the sewing room...and on the hoop...and on the frame. Since we took 6 weeks off of school (other than reading) I am finding all kinds of time. I need to make the most of it before school starts again!

Today I spent a couple hours with a friend. We went out to lunch (KFC) and then to a quilt shop. I bought the remainder of the fabrics I need for the basket quilt. Finally, I am in the home stretch.All washed, dried, and ready to cut. Now it would not be a "Brenda Quilt" if I did not have to rip at least one seam out!!That bottom green basket was too light. I thought it might be, but figured it would pass. It did not. I ripped it out of there and will replace it with a brighter pastel. Speaking of pastels....what will I do with all of these leftover fat quarters? There are a couple dozen or more. I only needed either an 8 inch square or a 5 inch square out of each one. I picked up the new July/August issue of Fons and Porter and this was on the cover....I love it!! Even I, who is not a pastel fan, could see myself making that! Next year...maybe.
I picked up a new thimble for my thumb today. I chose a leather one. It is tricky but I am not giving up!! I have been spending about half an hour to 45 minutes every morning at the frame. Most of my hand quilting time is given to the pink and brown. I finished the large section I was working on and now have moved to the final center motif...a very tedious one. Once that is done I will be working on the outside section of the quilt. A big goal to say the least.
This afternoon, Uncle Bruce came to spend several hours. Bruce is my friend Candy's brother in law. He lives with her and her husband (his brother) and has Downs Syndrome. Bruce is a year older than I am. He is the sweetest soul I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He works with my Kyle at a center for mentally handicapped adults. They ride the same bus, so Bruce jumped off at our house to wait for Candy and his brother Terry to pick him up. He watched a movie with the kids and colored at the table. He loved the spaghetti dinner made just for is his favorite!

We sure enjoyed having Bruce over for dinner!

I have a garden update. Zach went out to water and I snapped a couple of pictures before he did. We have the most amazing soil here in Northern Illinois. Just look at that is flourishing!!!It is growing a foot a week!! Donetta wanted a close up of the leaves.Looks like it is getting ready to go to seed! Yikes!! Here is the stalk. It is as red as red gets!Everything else in the garden is thriving too. The cantaloupe has jumped the fence and headed out into the yard.Onions are bursting through the soil......and look how big my peppers are getting!Remember I have a brown thumb, so most of this is Zachary!

Well it is getting late and I have 5 little baskets to make before I go to bed. 4 to make a block and 1 to replace the light green one I ripped out. That should be about 3 hours of sewing time....It is after 8pm, so I need to go NOW!

Be blessed and productive!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quilting Update

It has been a double edge sword where quilting is concerned here. I have spent hours working on "Basket Case" which has made me....well, a basket case. Crispy has been a tremendous help and her EQ skills have been put to the test for me. Because of that, I have had some success in my plan, but that will wait til I am certain of what I will do.
For now the pink and brown is back in the hoop and I am enjoying my time hand quilting on my old friend.I also started to piece the elongated hexagons together. Here are a few laid out to show how they attach. There will be 7 rows of 10. Those are 1 inch squares.All 70 are basted and ready to become a table runner for my counter top. I stitched one hexagon to another and stopped. I could see all my stitches on the other side. Any tips??? I used a cream thread, but still, should those stitches show?
I did finish DeNiece's table runner she won in my 2nd Blogoversary draw. I knew it would take a while, but I hope she will be pleased with the results.It is all washed and crinkly...just like a quilt should be. It will be mailed off tomorrow morning. Here is the back, because I know how much DeNiece loves the Lord, I thought she would like this fabric.Charlotte has been crocheting. She is learning to read patterns and has created a very unique wash cloth. She learns to put it together on August 3rd, her next crochet class.
That is all for now. My Sunday was a blessed and quiet one with my family attending church and my grandson spending the rest of day here playing. Monday morning brings with it laundry chores and a whole house blessing and then another afternoon at my sewing machine for some more baskets *sigh*. By evening, I will be stitching on the pink and brown again (bliss).
Have a productive Monday and be blessed!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Zach Attack!!

Today, Zachary is 8 years old. What a cool age when you are a boy. Lots of new stuff happening during that get to ride your bike and scooter in the cul de more booster car seat!!! can ride in the front seat when going to Miss Candy's house (only a few blocks, but still...) will learn multiplication and division and get introduced to real fractions (he loves math)...and you will begin reading a whole new level of books! 8 is Great!!!
Yesterday we took Zach shopping and he did really well with his birthday money. He bought a scooter (above), a couple of Lego sets...
and 8 Bakugan and a case to keep them in. (not sure about these toys)He chose Burger King for lunch (typical 8 year old fare) and we took his sister, cousin and nephew to the movie. Look at these pics I tried to get. The girls are so sweet and posing so nice. The boys are total goofballs! I love it!The movie was very cute and had a plot twist that was a total surprise. TJ had never been to the movie theatre before and did extremely well.
So here are some things about Zach you may or may not know....
He is a BIG Mama's boy! His middle name is Brendan (after his Mama) which is fitting. When I say Mama's boy I do not say it lightly!!His smile is always there for you and those caterpillar eyebrows still captivate! He moves them around when he talks...very talented eyerows.He loves to garden.He is a whiz at math, but hates to write.He could count money at 4 and may end up an investment banker. (He wanted to save his birthday money)I think he will be an engineer though. He has the patience of Job where building and creating are concerned.He pays great attention to detail.
You will find Zach in the strangest places, but always close by....He is not at all selfish and will share even brand new toys without a fuss. I told Charlotte last night to leave his stuff alone, those are his new birthday toys. He said, "It's ok mom, she can play with them." He taught me!Along with being unselfish, Zach is always grateful. He always says thank you. Yesterday he told his Grandma thank you for shopping and lunch. He said, "You sure do love your grandchild." He is not just grateful, he recognizes sacrifice. Bringing Zachary into our family was the best thing we ever did. I told my mom that yesterday. He is a wonderful spirit, that boy. His only real down side is his temper. We are working on that.
Today, we will celebrate with dinner and cake. Bud and Rachel are bringing the kids over for an over night and to help us celebrate Zachary.
Happy Birthday, My Zachary!!!!We Love You!!!
Mom and Dad