Saturday, February 28, 2009

It seems the seasonal bugs aren't done with us yet.  I've spent the week struggling with a cold thingie that mutated into a sinus infection.  Ugh.  I'm on antibiotics now, so should be feeling more human soon.

I've spent a lot of time doing close to nothing, but when I am doing something, it's embroidery.  I've finished the stitchery on Gail Pan's A Christmas Wish.

Here's blocks one and two against the fabric I'll be bordering them with.  After struggling with the hoop/no hoop issue on these small blocks, I'll be putting the borders on the rest of the blocks before stitching them (so they'll be big enough to hoop easily).

I'm also working on block one of Veranda Views, Under the Willow, which I'm really enjoying as well.

(Please excuse the hoop marks.)  Have you seen block three yet?  It's called "Bed and Breakfast," and it's so stinkin' cute!

I still haven't prepped the next A Tisket, A Tasket block.  No energy for it this week.  I had hoped to have it done before the March block was released, but that seems unlikely now.  I might still whip it up once the antibiotics really take hold, but I wouldn't count on it!!

So, three block of the month (BOM) projects for me.  Will this keep me on task, or drive me nuts?  Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What I've Been Doing, Applique Edition

Before I stumbled over the stitchery obsession, I was working on my applique quite a bit.  I've been working for quite a while on Baltimore's Country Cousins by Susan McKelvey (link goes to Amazon -- I tried to find a picture of a finished quilt, but couldn't), and am making very slow progress.  I've been saying I want this on my bed by my 15th anniversary, but at this rate, I'll be luck to have the top finished by then.

Here is my most recent finished block:

This makes eight finished blocks.  I still have four to go, plus the appliqued border.  I'm also adding a plain border to that, to make the quit big enough for my queen-sized bed.  And then I'm planning to hand-quilt it.  Much work still to go, I'm afraid.

Normally I wouldn't bother showing a picture of the new block at its current infant state, but this amuses me.
Doesn't that look like bug antennae?   It's actually two stems for leaves and flowers.  There'll be a third stem going straight up the middle, and a basket underneath.

Oh, and I promised a picture of my A Tisket, A Tasket block with the embroidery added:

I love this little block.  I'll be getting the January block with the snowman started soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Well, this post is coming a little later than intended.  A nasty stomach bug hit la casa de ADD.  I managed to avoid it this round (had it about three weeks ago), but it seems to be running rampant in the area, and my brother's family got it and then shared with DH.  So, it's been either busy or exhausted or both here for the last several days.

I had planned to show off my latest applique projects (and I still will), but the weirdest thing happened.  I was working on my February block for Bunny Hill Designs' A Tisket A Tasket BOM, and I finished the applique.  It looked like this:

It was missing the embroidery of the birds' eyes and beaks, and the stems between the hearts and the top bird.

Ooooh, embroidery.  I hadn't done any embroidery since I made a smiley-face patch for the seat of my jeans when I was about 19.  Before that, I think I'd been about 12.  I've been dubious for a while about doing any projects that required embroidery, as I don't remember being any good at it when I was a kid, and I didn't expect my skills to have improved with disuse.  But, stitchery projects keep popping up all over, especially on blogs from Australia and Europe (gotta love this internet!), and some of them were really sweet.  

So, I figured this project, with its small amounts of embroidery, would be a good way to dip my toe in the water.  If I didn't like it, it wasn't a big part of the work.

Silly me.  It's hand stitching!  What made me think I wouldn't like it???

I can't show you a picture of the finished block (it's hiding), but I'll dig it up and post it with my other applique projects.  I was rather pleased with my work, considering I haven't done any in so long, but I still thought I'd like it to be a bit more even before I do the next block.  I want this to be a nice finished quilt.  So, since I've seen Gail Pan's A Christmas Wish BOM on several blogs, I figured I'd do the Love block as a practice piece.

Whee!  That was fun!  (Please excuse its rumpled state.)  I hadn't gotten very far before I decided I had to do this whole quilt, too.  Problem is, since this block was only supposed to be practice, I didn't worry about making it as big as the instructions call for.  So, I'll have to stitch this block again.  I'm planning to turn this one into the center of a pillow for my bed.

After doing that block, I couldn't stop!  So look what happened:

I found myself prowling around the 'net, looking for more embroidery patterns, more tips, more, more MORE!

And then this followed me home from the store:

I might have a problem here...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

This is Robin, one of my foster kitties from last summer.  She and I wanted to remind you to love on someone today!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quiet Morning

I wish I was a morning person.   I'm not.  I'm a night owl trapped in a morning person's culture that believes in "early to bed, early to rise."

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 4:30.  Yes, a.m.  This is a time of day I prefer to think of as "The middle of the night."  Or maybe, "Oh-dark-thirty."  But yesterday, I was completely wide awake.  At about 5:15, I gave up and got out of bed.  The dog was happy to take my warm spot in the bed, and the cats followed me out to the living room.

It had snowed lightly Tuesday, and there was still a dusting on the ground.  As it gradually grew light outside, I could see the snow still there.  I like snow that sticks to the trees and grass and leaves the pavement alone.  Snow in western Washington is usually disruptive because we don't have the equipment to handle it properly, but if the roads are dry and safe, I can just enjoy how the powder makes the trees look like lace.

I caught up on my blogs, read the paper as soon as it arrived, ate breakfast, and did some applique.  I cuddled a cat.  I was showered, dressed and ready for the day at a time when I'm usually still in bed.

I wish I could be like this all the time.  Early morning is so peaceful (note:  I am not responsible for getting anyone else out of the house on time!).  But, no.  Most days I'm still fighting for consciousness and clear thinking by my second cup of coffee.

Life has been a bit rough for the last nine months or so.  I've been dealing with several issues, physical and emotional, but I think everything's on the upswing now.  I'll try to get back to actual posts and talking about crafts again.

So this isn't totally craft free, here's a picture of the bags my quilting group made for a challenge project last fall.  Mine is the second from the left.  It's become a sock-knitting tote, perfect for carrying a pattern and a couple of balls of yarn for the stranded socks I've been knitting.

More soon, I promise!