Sunday, July 31, 2011

last block for July...

Here it is!  My cheery block made with Lori Holt's Sew Cherry fabric.  This fabric is manufactured by Riley Blake and it handles beautifully.  This was my easiest block so far.  

I made a total of ~ 7 ~ blocks for July.  Onto August -- and -- only 104 blocks more to do! :-)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

the cherries make me happy...

Remember yesterday when I was wishing for some of Lori Holt's Sew Cherry fabric?

Look what showed up in my mailbox!  Yay!

I need to go flip through "the book" and find a block that is worthy...! :-)  

Friday, July 29, 2011

indecision wastes time...

So, here is my hot off the ironing board block.  It is called Buzzard's Roost.  Both the name, and, the color of the fabrics used in the book seem so dreary to me.  This block contains "flying geese" pieces.  I have never done these, so I wanted to stay true to the sample in the book as far as the colors -- just to make it less confusing while I was learning how to make the "flying geese".  On Wednesday, I cut out my fabric -- and I wasn't happy -- so I set the pieces aside.  Last night, I searched through my fabric bin for a specific piece of fabric to use in the center square -- but I couldn't find it.  Then, this morning, as I was reading Lori Holt's flying geese tutorial -- and wanting a piece of her cute Sew Cherry fabric  -- it struck me that I had some "vintage" cherry fabric in my stash!  So I used that, and this is the result.   

Here is the way the block would have looked if I had remained true to the sample in the book.

The cherries make me happy!  :-)  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

they're back...

Remember these guys ?

Yesterday, they finally came back to work on the main street in front of our house.

Today, they are working on the side streets -- so everyone is parked on the main street.  I took this photo because this is one of the extremely rare occasions where there are cars parked at the curb all the way down the street.

Pretty, pretty, shiny, shiny... :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

a belated birthday tribute...

I have been working on this block for 3 days.  The name of it is "Butterfly at the Crossroads" and I wanted to complete it on July 22 as a tribute to my father's birthday.  That did not happen, so here it is...a little late.  This block is the most challenging one that I have done so far.  Because of the triangles, it took quite a bit of focus --  even so -- it was relaxing to work on and also the most fun.

I really didn't go flipping through "the book" looking for a butterfly block.  It is the first block I found while I was looking for a block that has 5 rows.  Why did I need a block with 5 rows?  I received an email from someone who had a question about a comment on had left on someone else's blog.  After I replied, she sent me another email asking how would I use Lori Holt's no template tutorial with a block that has 5 rows.  Since I am new to many of the traditional quilt blocks shown in "the book", I wanted to see if the no template tutorial would work for this block. 

   I looked at the block and decided the two center rectangles and square would be my starting point.  Since my finished block size is 6 inches, the width across the 2 rectangles + 1 square should equal 6 inches.  The finished width across each rectangle equals 2 1/2 inches.  The finished width across the center square equals 1 inch.

   The other rectangles, squares and HSTs fit in around this.  Since the finished width of the center square equals 1 inch, then the finished width for each of the 2 connected vertical rectangles equals 1 inch.  The width of the remaining area on each side of a vertical rectangle equals 2 1/2 inches, so the finished width of each square piece or HST piece equals 1 1/4".

I am very happy with the way this block turned out!  I think my father would have liked it.  Am I learnin'? :-) 

Monday, July 25, 2011

and, the ugly award goes to...

...these guys...

...especially this one...

We found these hanging on our arbovitae -- the bushes in my background photo.  They make little cocoons for themselves that look like pinecones.  Pretty sneaky, right?  I noticed them while we were floating around in the 90 degree pool water last week.  I asked Rick -- are those pinecones moving?  He thought so too.  And, then I remembered someone mentioned them a few years back while I was doing "sign out" duty in Sofia's school.  We have tons of people around here who have alot of agricultural knowledge.  If they're in the cocoon, pesticide doesn't kill them -- soooooo --- you have to pick them off the tree individually.  Since Rick was on "staycation" and doing nothing else, I gave him that job.  I have to keep him busy or he gets into trouble ;-)

This is what they look like hanging on the tree -- not my photo -- Rick picked them off the tree before I finished floating around the pool.  I figured since there was something to keep me entertained, I should stay in the pool awhile longer ;-) 

If you don't get them off your tree, they eat it until it dies.  If you want to read up on them, they are called "bag worms".  Click here for more info.         

Friday, July 22, 2011

oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Right now the temperature is 97 degrees -- but the heat index is 107 degrees.  You can't even breathe outside -- so -- I had an excuse to stay inside and work on another FWQAL block!  Since this is my "fun time", I have to justify it -- otherwise I feel guilty.  I know I am not alone in this, so I won't elaborate on it.  Anyhoo, I did run errands this morning, and then I came home and did my chores -- so I deserve the fun!  Yay!  Here is my first block with HST (half square triangles).  They were so easy to do because of Lori Holt's tutorial.  I did make a mistake and cut out the first group of squares too small -- note to self -- look at your notes!  :-)  But, I found another piece of fabric that was similar to what I originally planned for those squares and recut them, so no harm done.  I also realized after I was all done that my stitch length setting was too long.  Other than that, this block was fun -- and I have gained a teeny bit of confidence -- so I am moving on to find the next block in the book that has HST!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

pretty, pretty...

...shiny, shiny...

In case you don't know what you are looking at in the photo -- we just had our driveway sealed this morning.  This is the first time we have had this done -- and I am very happy with the way it looks.  Rick was supposed to call and schedule someone to do this while he was "on vacation" this week -- but never did.  But, I guess someone (else) was listening to me -- because the "driveway sealer" guy was working next door at "the crack of dawn" this morning -- and asked Rick to shut off our sprinklers so he could do his job.  So, Rick invited him over to do ours too!  Yay!  :-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I changed my colors...

I love the colors of this block in the book, so, I wanted my block to look similar.  I got as close as I could get with my fabric stash.  This fabric handled a bit better than was I used for the postage stamp block -- so this collection is a possibility for redoing that one.  I am also getting a bit better at matching up my seam lines.  I think I am going to try a HST (half square triangle) for my next block.  I haven't done a HST yet, so I will be using another tutorial from Lori Holt to guide me along.   

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

FWQAL - my block 2

I spent quite a few hours today yesterday working in the garden.  Yes, it was very hot.  Really hot -- but -- I was in snipper overdrive and just kept going.  Around 3 p.m. I thought it was time to quit -- and joined the troops in the pool.  After all that you would think I should be exhausted -- but I wasn't -- so I went upstairs and worked on my 2nd block for the FWQAL.  This block has a postage stamp pattern -- so it's very easy to cut -- but a bit tedious to stitch together.  It's looking a bit wobbly there in the 2nd photo -- but I'm sure it will be just fine after a few quilting stitches.  :-) 


Sunday, July 17, 2011

family fun sunday...

Morning:  the troops went to the golf driving range = a bit of a break for me.

Afternoon:  a trip to the fabric store = therapy for me.

Late afternoon:  the troops + me floating around the swimming pool = family Linda fun sunday! 

doin' my homework...

Work in progress...

First block completed!

I am so happy to show you my first completed block for the FWQAL!  I followed Lori Holt's tutorial -- and I love the result!  The fabric I am using for my first group of blocks is Moda Picket Fence by Chloe's Closet.  This fabric is from a few years ago.  I only have one charm pack -- so even though I love it, I will need to switch to another fabric after I make a few blocks.  I'll make a decision about the next fabric at that point.  Right now I'm off to work on my second block!  :-)   

EDIT:  Oh, NO!  I just realized when I looked at a closeup of the 2nd photo that I sewed my squares together the wrong way!  I think I need to make one of Lori's Mini Design Boards before I do my 2nd block!  

Friday, July 15, 2011


{catches breath while gathering supplies, scoffing down blueberry bagel, and guzzling morning coffee}  Alrighty, I have most of the supplies required for Lori Holt's awesome tutorials for the FWQAL.  I am now happy that I was a bit delayed in starting my blocks -- because I would have been pulling out my hair trying to use the templates for every single block -- and --- probably would have missed the blogger updates about these tutorials.  My only dilemma now is that I can't decide what fabric to use -- but that will work itself out once I get going.  

I'm off to a lovely weekend -- and hopefully completing a few blocks...  Hope you have a lovely weekend too!  :-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

sometimes when...

you make a wish...

and, you wish really big...

you get your wish!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

woo hoo...

Look what showed up after dinner last night...

{grin} :-) 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

a lovely rainy summer afternoon...

Yesterday, our summer afternoon routine was interrupted by -- well -- you know -- another summer afternoon thunderstorm.  This one began just as we were about to leave and run errands -- so instead -- we stayed.  I kept thinking that it would have been a great day to work on the blocks for "The Farmer's Wife" quilt-along.  Since the book is not in my possession yet, it was a good opportunity to straighten up my sewing space -- and look through my fabric stash -- so I did.  I realized after a bit that I have never really just looked through my fabric stash without actually "looking" for a particular piece of fabric.  Am I that busy? :-)  This was actually a fun thing to do!  Sofia kept me company while she quietly organized her collection of completed polymer clay creations.  My collection of fabric spans quite a few decades -- so I reminisced to Sofia about the history of some of the pieces while I semi-organized them.  Since she was dreamily pre-occupied with her own organizing, every now and then I would get either a glance or a little nodding gesture -- but she really wasn't talking much...  So, I did a little daydreaming of my own while accomplishing about one fourth of the room.   

Just a few more lovely rainy days and I'll be all done!  :-)

Note:  The ironing board setup shown in the photo is a bit inadequate.  It is a small ironing board placed on top of the sewing cabinet that houses my mother's early 1960's Singer sewing machine.  I have tons of memories attached to that sewing machine and cabinet -- so it may not be pretty, but it gives me the warm fuzzies when I do my work there.  

Friday, July 8, 2011

I hopped on the bandwagon...

I read about this over at nanaCompany and bee in my bonnet.  I looked at photos in the quilt-along on flickr.  I finally went over to my local Barnes & Noble yesterday to see if I liked the book -- even though the weather forecast called for more thunderstorms...

I found a copy on the bookshelf and flipped through the pages as the lightning crashed and thunder rumbled outside the store window.

And, I fell in love with the book.  I didn't want to put it back on the shelf, but I had to because I knew that I could order it online from Walmart and save $$.

So, I did...  Hope it doesn't travel here on the slow boat...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I mentioned a little rain would be nice...

And, I think someone heard me.  Yesterday, we had thunderstorms that went on, and on, and on...

Yikes, I think that's more than enough rain, thank you!

This visitor didn't seem to mind the rain.  Look across the street to the flooding in the conservation area -- it has never flooded as badly as it looks in this photo.

In this photo, you can see that the flooding has gone down a bit, and the sun is beginning to poke through the clouds.

And, then...when it was all done...a beautiful rainbow appeared! 

The end.  Oops!  Almost forgot...  Our power went out around 4:30 p.m. and didn't come back on until 9:00 p.m. -- just in time to watch America's Got Talent on TV!

The end!  :-)

Monday, July 4, 2011

red, white, and blue...'s to you!

Happy 4th of July! :-)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

a birthday wishlist...

1) Beautiful weather    


        Precip (in)                           0in. 

2) Visit Princeton   

3) Eat lunch in the park   

4) Attend a play performance 

~ a charming production of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award winning Into the Woods ~
 score by Sondheim and book by James Lapine 
(for review click here

5) Admire beautiful art 
~ stained glass windows inside Princeton University chapel ~

6) Pose for a photo in the center of a very hot medieval style court yard  

7) Admire the ivy on the "ivy league" buildings  

8)  Go on some fun rides (a.k.a. using your imagination)  

9) Eat birthday cake  

10) Be thankful for the birthday wishes from my family and friends!