Friday, January 29, 2016

No bunny loves you like me...



Last post I showed you six new little 6-inch applique block sets that I had all prepped and glue-basted, ready to stitch.


I have managed to stitch up two sets, or six blocks; my fat, little bunny family and a crazy lily.




I have not received my Season 6 Downton Abbey DVD (I hear it's in the mail), so I have not allowed myself enough TV time to stitch more.  When that puppy arrives, there will be binge-watching and stitching!


I am getting excited about putting this REPRO MADNESS project together.  I have almost forty 6-inch pieced blocks from my Michigan buddies, and the number of applique blocks is rising.  I want to set them alternately, with or without sashing.



Just look at those cute, little bunny butts!



I have been working from a small box of reproduction scraps, until I have full access to my stash.  Some of the pieces I save are quite small, but I would want to make things scrappy even if I wasn't working from tiny pieces.  I hate making fabric choices so it is always more fun to use six different fabrics for six petals (or six ears!) than just one or two.

I hope you are finding time for placing some stitches...my mood is so much better now that I am able to do some designing and stitching again!  I have been working on organizing my upheaved and moved-across-state-lines stash.  I still have not found local quilt shops so I really appreciate having a stash!  I think going to a quilt shop will involve a lot of miles put on the car...sigh...

To all my Michigan friends...you are so lucky to live among such fabulous and plentiful shops!  And it is not just the availability of great fabric...it is the creativity that crossing those thresholds spawns, not to mention having great destinations to visit with quilting friends.

Spend your coffee and latte money at those shops to keep them in business!!  (Jennifer, don't you want to open a satellite shop down here???  Click on her name, then scroll down and check out the post where I feature pictures from her delightful shop in Pinckney, Michigan.  Then check out this post from The Doormouse in Bettsville, northern Ohio.)

In stitches (and missing my quilting shops and friends...),
Teresa   :o)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Good things come in little packages...


I started working on these little six inch hand applique blocks before the move last year.  I made three of each one...for a total of 36!  I am involved in a reproduction block swap with two of my Michigan friends.  

Ola and Mary are fabulous piecers, so I decided to contribute what I do best, hand applique.  I called the project REPRO MADNESS.

I made the enclosed grid of 12 blocks with Picasa...it is fun to see them all together!  They will be blended with the pieced blocks from my friends for a project yet to be determined (we will each come up with our own setting and project).


(I made a cherry block to represent Michigan's fruit farms.)

I was able to prep enough of the little blocks ahead to have a little hand work to do through all the moving crap during the last half of 2015, once my finger allowed me to hold a needle again.


(I made this to represent our friendship...we've been 'partners in crime' for a long time...working at quilt shops together, working on projects together, teaching classes together, going on road trips together, sharing each others' lives...I miss them so much!)

Half of the finished blocks are Lorie Smith's designs and half are my own creation.  She has so many cute six-inch blocks among her many beautiful patterns, so it is easy to be lazy and just use her designs.  As I go forward, I want more of them to be my drawings.


(Well...EVERYBODY likes cake!)


(Just had to come up with something that would use all my yummy purple reproduction fabrics...)


(Again, another block representing Michigan and all the fruit farms...I lived right next to a fabulous apple orchard in Ypsilanti.)


(Ola and I aren't quite the sewing machine collectors that Mary is, but we are still young and breathing...so there is time.)

Enough of the cozy catch-up of completed blocks...I have managed to find enough stash items to prep another six sets of 3 blocks each...another 18 blocks in total.

(These are just glue prepped on overly large backgrounds...there will be embroidery added after hand applique stitching, and then will be cropped to six inches square.)







After these sets, I have individual blocks designed for each of us featuring past beloved pets (a chocolate lab for Ola, a wiener dog for Mary, and my beloved Weasley the cat).  I will only do one of each of those.  Then I may continue making the 6 inch blocks, but no longer in sets of three for the swap.  I have a hard time doing more than one of each block...I get easily bored and distracted with repetition.

Although, I may have to do one more for all of us...19 total blocks is just a weird number to end on!

I have another twelve blocks already designed, ready to be prepped!  I had one creative weekend where I just doodled and doodled, and everything 'clicked.'

I am excited to be getting off the 'mountain' tonight and going to the January meeting of the Huntsville guild.  It is over an hour drive each way, but it will be worth it to talk to someone other than my husband, LOL.

(I realize this is the third blog post in as many days...not my usual sporadic production, for sure.)

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ha!! Progress...


Ha!!!  Found the little buggers!  Now I can use the featherweight...this is progress...

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Happy 2016...finally!!


Happy 2016!!  Yes, it is a belated greeting, but it is heart felt!  I am so thankful to have survived 2015, but so glad to see it GO!  I got to a point of being ready ENOUGH for all the family at Christmas, but not until 3 minutes before the first of them arrived on Monday night, December 21!  Have you ever experienced that kind of entertaining panic?  

(Steve and I were shoving the extensions into 2 huge dining tables, right before the first car rolled up!)

I wanted so badly to get pictures of my efforts in the house before they all came, because I KNEW with 3 kids under 6 yrs old, the house would be SHREDDED quickly!  But no pictures were taken and now I am trying to put things back together again!  The main floor is just about there...


I have not taken down any of the three Christmas trees yet, so I know what that means...WITCHES!  But I say, bring 'em on!  I decided I wasn't taking them down until I had a chance to sit and enjoy the decorations FIRST!  Dec. 21 - Jan. 9 is kind of a blur...there was some kind of family here for that whole period of time (plus we were in Philadelphia for 5 of those days, Christmas-ing with Steve's family).  But now it is just me and Steve, as daughter Riley returned to the University of Alabama for the new semester last weekend.

Ahhhh...


We are almost moved into this beautiful family home that my parents built, called "Yeldell," in rural northwest Alabama.  These pictures feature half of the 'great room' that makes up the center of the house (my back is to the kitchen and dining room...).  The ceiling is 27 feet tall, which is hard to capture in pictures.  It is a log home, so what you are seeing is the interior of the logs which have been stained and varnished, or log panels where opposing wings of this floor branch off.

There are clear story windows up high, so it is very hard to photograph on sunny days, hence the weird patches of sunlight in some of the shots.


The music tree, which features instruments and all things musical...



And a few old instruments underneath...


A nativity scene at the end of the piano...


A snowman scene on top of the piano (standing snowman by Mary Jones)...


And my favorite, my main tree which holds so many years of homemade ornaments, made by dear friends, my daughter as she was growing up, co-workers, and me.  








The look on my daughter's face when she found a car key in the toe of her stocking on Christmas morning...


And when she found the car in the garage...


And checking under the hood with her Dad after Christmas...


Surprising her on Christmas morning was FUN!

Now that the dust is settling, I have started to sort out some fabric and quilt books.  I am still trying to determine where everything will go. There is no single space large enough to house the quilt cave, which comprised most of our large basement in our Michigan house.  There will have to be things stuffed, staged and stashed in a couple of areas of the house.

I moved a lot of the fabrics, books and supplies from the outside storage building to the walk-out downstairs family room before Christmas.  But then I had to cram all the boxes and bins under the ping-pong and pool tables and in a large "mountain" against the back wall of the inside of the house until family left.


I need to drag it all out again now that I have some time to figure things out...I can't find ANYTHING right now!


I will have a small sewing area in our large bedroom equipped with my featherweight and my main studio downstairs with my primary machine. 

Splitting up the tools will be tricky.  Quilt books will be upstairs, but all patterns and files downstairs...trickier still...




All fabric, batting, tools, project boxes and cutting area will be downstairs, except for what I am immediately piecing on with the featherweight and my little containers of applique fabric pieces for applique block prepping.



Getting things in the right area so that I can have ready access will be a complex problem to solve.




I have managed to do some designing of six inch applique blocks and have a few prepped and ready to stitch.  I will share those next time.  Maybe by then I will have a few applique stitches placed! I could be doing some chain stitching on previously cut-out piecing projects if I could just find the bobbins that fit my featherweight machine, LOL.  Oh, and thread.  See my problem??

Thank you for the emails of concern about my absence from blogland.  It has been harder to settle in than I anticipated.  The house in Michigan has sold and trying to blend our furniture and belongings with my parents' stuff has been tricky and emotionally difficult.  I have had to sort through a lot of items.  There is still lots of stuff left to do, but with Christmas out of the way things can wait until I get my sewing areas set up!!

Any news of quilt shops or quilty events in NW Alabama or the surrounding area would be appreciated.  Not that I need to buy anything, but I definitely need to meet some quilters!!  At some point, I will probably join the Huntsville, Alabama guild.  They have monthly meetings and a show every other year.

Looking forward to sewing and creating again!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)