Saturday, November 30, 2013

Country Charmer Seeks Love, Friendship & Long Winter Naps...'s still early morning here in Idaho. (We're some 7 hours behind the start of that wicked, finger pointing, Quilt Sues day in Great Britain)  The sun hasn't risen yet.  It's just Maecee & Me & My Foo-Foo Coffee up & about at 5:30 this morning!  Well...if you can call this up...
My 4 year old Grandson & Husband are asleep upstairs after a big night of visiting the annual Festival of Trees and tractors & trains...lots of trains...our Grandson LOVES trains.
There were interactive trains to run by remote control...
and trains to scamper back and forth to watch while they rounded the tree

and trains to watch emerge from the behind the tree and out of the tunnel
followed by straightening back up clasping ones little hands to their cheeks and uttering,
"It's soooo cute!"
Much like this!
This would be dear Quilt Sue...giggling as she tried to pass Lovely Lynns app-LEE-kay pumpkin off as her own.  Lynn really shouldn't turn her back on's amazing what can happen...
I have absolutely no clue where she got the idea to try such a thing!  Astonishing!
I won't say that Country Charmer brought us together...but it certainly has brought us closer...
What began in the first quarter of this year like this...
using the pizza box containment system of block organization & storage.
eventually became lots of little these
then this

and eventually this...


I've added borders wider than Lynns Original to add more drop on the sides which meant successively increasing the size of the 9 patches as I worked out.
 All along I planned to add some applique.  And then I decided to live with it for awhile before going ahead with the applique...but the border to me, still seems to be a vast although not begun yet, there will be applique that will compliment the autumn theme of my cute little birdie & pumpkin prints.
   Charming Little Tweets
from the pattern
So for the time being this is where we stand...
The upper picture taken with camera 1 shows the actual color better
while camera 2 in the lower picture shows the whole quilt better...although sunglasses are needed for that orange blocks and brown border that don't really glare like that in person.
that the sun has risen and I have some light to run outside with quilt and cameras...and Papa and Grandson are up making waffles in the kitchen...let me continue with the can of worms that dearest Quilt Sue opened this morning (yeah we agreed we'd do our big reveal today...but that blaming me thing...sweet innocent angelic me...)
Sue who has that 7 hour head start on me has already clued you in on a nice friendly email discussion we had earlier in the year in which she asserts that I challenged her and declares that I am to blame for her making a second Country Charmer...all the while we were telling no one...except Lesley as we began coming down to the last minute.
No one seemed to be particularly curious as we posted things such as these...
or even the squirrelly Mission Impossible video in my November 10th post!
But now Sue has let the proverbial Cat Out of the Bag!
I would rather say that we challenged one another to set a goal...
Okay! So it was a co-dependency of sorts...
and here is the debut of my never seen by any eyes other than those in my household...
(except for a couple of pics that I shared by text with my quilter last week)
Initially I knew I wanted to make a Christmas version of Country Charmer, similar to the original by Lynn...but I had all those other fabrics in my stash tugging at my heartstrings and I went with it, creating my Charming Little Tweets Quilt.
But still I felt guilt...really guilt?!?!  I had promised myself a quilt "Just like Lynn's" & all along I was picking up pieces of red & green here there and everywhere that reminded me of her original.
Her shades of red & green have always made me think of a slice of watermelon...rather incongruent to the theme, I know...but that's how I selected prints along the way with no comparison scraps in my pocket.  You've all figured out that I'm a bit off kilter in the way I look at things sometimes anyhow, right?'s can nod in affirmation...I can't reach you!
So here it is...with Lesleys take on Lynns Christmas Country Charmer...
I hope Lynn approves...I know she's the kind of designer who loves to see where inspiration takes her designs and enjoys seeing them as they evolve into something new.
I've had a little class booklet, A Tree For All Seasons by a local quilt instructor, Julia Ziegler, Room To Learn, for a few years wanting to make this tree but never quite knowing how I wanted to incorporate it...
I stewed for months about whether I was going to make another full on Country Charmer quilt "just like Lynns" or if I wanted to go with something smaller & change it up a little.  Then while rearranging my sewing room a few months ago when the new machine came home, I chanced again upon this book while relocating my bookshelf...
I was struck by inspiration...a bolt of lightning...Sues gauntlet...something hit me!  I referred to the block measurements for both designs and whaddaya know...16 inch blocks and 8 inch blocks with a little plaid border to compensate for sashing and we were on our way!
Now...don't look too closely...Sue will tell you that I have a couple of pointy bits that need attending to...and Lynn will ask about the border...and I will tell you that at this point...I'm considering a strip pieced tree border to polish this, Not Quite Full Grown quilt off.
Now about this Quilt Along business...I got so much more than two quilt tops out of it...I've chatted with people around the world...I have a new friend in Lesley in Nova Scotia, who has never met me, but recently bundled up her leftover Sentiments postcard panels pieces and mailed them all the way to Idaho for me to play yet another of Lynns beautiful designs, Nostalgic Christmas.
Well known by the world now, in September my husband & and I had the time of our lives with Lynn, her husband Joe (who totally deserves the blame that Sue and I will attribute most of our uncontrolled laughter on), Sue who braved the long trip from Great Britain to California & into the arms of the unknown.  And is likely still a bit jumpy over driving on the right side of the road and watching out the windows of the cabin for...
My husband made me do it!  He took one look at said "Look!  A Bear For Sue!"
  And beautiful Zinnie was the perfect hostess to our itty bitty little Maecee...once she realized she wasn't a new squeak toy!
If I hadn't been brave enough to begin to put myself out reach world would not be so rich as to have welcomed these dear friends into my embrace.
How Blessed I Am...
These last three pictures from the Festival of Trees Entry Vignette, The Christmas Tree Lot are just for the much tormented Mr. Joe from Hubby and I...
The first thing we saw when we entered.
That raised back reveals a beautifully appointed bar...for tailgating or cold mountain nights...although I'm not sure the glassware would survive many of our mountain roads.
Seems to be a car show everywhere we go!
~On with the Holidays!
Nancie Anne

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving~From Our Barn To Yours

We've been working pretty hard around here on deadlines and Thanksgiving Prep,
But once in awhile we just need to plop on the couch and put our feet up for a bit.
Even Grand-puppy, Tuffy, gets worn out.
Such a sweet gentle expression this little girl wears.
In spite of the Hub-bub
 we wanted to take a moment to say
Happy Thanksgiving...
May your turkey be moist,
your gravy not lumpy,
& your jello set up just right.

From All of Us here at the Farm...
George too!
~Nancie Anne & The Rest of the Two Leggeds and Four Leggeds!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quilty Fun Sew Along~The Science of Week 3

This weeks assignment were the Courthouse Steps blocks...just two of 'em is all...and after some pretty intense, shh...TOP SECRET   (ah-hem) sewing these past few was nice to take a little break and do something that didn't take a ton of thought, or prep, or thinking, or planning, or thinking.
In fact, I relinquished control, kinda like sewing without a bra... 
After picking two center block prints that I thought were cutie patooties, I used the extremely scientific method of dumping the storage bin of neatly folded scraps and fat quarters out...stirring them up a couple of times...then turning my head away & squeezing my eyes shut, I rooted around and picked a chunk of fabric from the pile. 

I had block one center and block two center and chain pieced back and forth in that manner...each print was sewn on in the order it was holding it up to see how it would look alongside the previous prints in the block...just cut, sew, square up, lather, rinse, repeat...and ya' know what?  It was fun!

Thanks Lori Holt at Bee In My Bonnet for sharing your talent!
To Fat Quarter Shop for their sponsorship of this Sew Along.
And to Southern Belle, Rachel Griffith, over yonder at PS I Quilt for hosting this weeks block
 & providing the link for Y'all to the Companion Sheet pdf.
Don't forget to check out the Flickr Page !
I hope All Y'All Are Enjoying This Little Bit of Easy Breezy Quilting Fun Too!
~Nancie Anne

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quilty Fun Sew Along ~ Starkle, Starkle, Little Twink!

Here we are at Week 2 of the Bee In My Bonnet
Quilty Fun Sew Along
and My Twinkly Winter Stars ******* block is done!  Ta-Da!!!!!!!
(It took me longer to complete than I thought it would...there's that line up of prints to audition afterall!) 
It's all about the cuteness!
I still have no clue where this quilt is going to live when its done...but it's so darn cute!
It's very likely a daughter or two will be laying claim to it!

Thank You again to Lori Holt at Bee In My Bonnet for her completely design style!.
To Fat Quarter Shop for their sponsorship of this Sew Along.
And to Nana Company for hosting this weeks block
& providing the link to the Companion Sheet pdf.
And there's a Flickr Page to boot!

Next week is Courthouse Steps to be hosted by PS I Quilt.
Hope To See You There!
~Nancie Anne

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sworn To Secrecy...

Mysterious Though It Might Be...
It's All A Plot By My Friends...
And Me...
'You know my methods, Watson.' 
Sherlock Holmes Quote
We must proceed in our Clandestine ways...
despite other colorful distraction...
~Notoriosly Yours
                   Nancie Anne