Sunday, February 28, 2016

Still February~OR When Last We Met

I'm still in shock!  I ordered my border fabric for Quilty Fun, all the way From Florida and it was here within 36 hours, beating the projected Tuesday delivery time by a landslide!  Now would someone please explain to me how it is possible that it once took 10 days for an insurance payment to get from our little home post office to our insurance agent 12 miles away?  Did it go door to door?!?!?!?!  Ahhh, sweet mysteries of life!
So, when last we met...I shared this picture and told you I had selected a border print from within the the quilt, and I Double Dawg Dared Ya' to see if you could guess what it might be.
I did a Few of bits of auditioning, First of all, even though 1960's appliance aqua is just about my least Favorite color ever, I tried a little aqua that I had purchased when I was pulling together prints for my youngest daughters Butterfly quilt, after all, the original Quilty Fun quilt does have a wide border of pale aqua. 
This was a brighter, more palatable to me aqua.
Nope, still not liking it.  Too bright, too overpowering.
The there were the adorable red mason jars...
Super it....
Wait!  Where did the rest of the quilt go?!?!?  All I see now are borders!
So No...Bright Aqua and Cute Jars...I'm sorry, you have been voted off the island.
Please take a moment to say your goodbyes...extinguish your torch or whatever it is you do here on Overly Active Imagination Island!
I also went to Mrs. Bumble and pulled out her black stripes thinking the way to control chaos might be basic black.  So good job did suggest black...
unfortunately, it's just that, it too, was already out of the running.
A little of the black, contained within Mrs. Bumble's plump body looked really cute, but a large Field of this super cute chalkboard print looked Faded out, Chalky and HEAVY against all the other crisper brights and softer pastels. 
I've put it away for another day, when it will find its place to sing.
And then there was Quilt Sue whose Fresh eye made me look twice at something I hadn't considered.
The Green Plaid.
Might work, but I used two, so I auditioned both,
however, there are only tidbits left of them and I wasn't in the mood to take another cyber shopping trip.  I also felt that, in large amounts, they were sparring with the other oddball greens in this corner of the ring, particularly the green mitten! 
That was the knock out punch, for sure!
So where, oh where, did I settle? After double checking one more time?
Did anyone notice that the font color in my last post was
I decided, rather quickly, on a dusky evening with tired eyes, that it would be this adorable Lakehouse Pam Kitty print.  Still, I did a double check of all these prints this morning...and For me, it still works, both in a larger field and close up.
It plays well with pretty much all of the interior prints I see here.  It contains, blue, pink, red, white, yellow and more than one shade of green.  It contains the quilt but still encourages my eye to move all around, taking in the entire composition.
It also conveys the overall feeling I aspired to as I selected prints to go into this quilt...with a couple of unexpected quirky ones thrown in.
It's happy, it's sweet, it's sentimental.
Also, Not To Be Missed!
If you look closely, you'll see that Mrs. Bumble now has antennae and an important message for you...
Bee Happy!
Happy Sunday!
~Nancie Anne
"Oh My Goonnuss!" as Shirley Temple said to Arthur Treacher, I just realized this is my 150th post!  That is something to "Bee Happy" about, isn't it!

Friday, February 26, 2016

February Ain't Finished Yet!!!!!

So, here's the deal.  This Final Full week For February Finishes (how's that for F-Bombs?) was seriously cut into by two things!  The J.O.B. and snail mail!

All I have been able to squeeze time in For since last Friday, was getting my 2nd and 3rd borders on my little Quilty Fun top.  I am here to proclaim that February is not yet over and I officially have today through Monday to see what else I can get on my Finished list!  So either late Monday or Tuesday morning when February really is a thing of the past, I will post of review of what I've accomplished during this month!  Night before last after adding the last white border, I was still contemplating what I wanted to use For the Final outer border. which is supposed to be cut 6 1/2 inches wide...personal preference being what it is, I'm going to cut mine 4" (Four) wide at the most.  There was a cute little print that jumped out at me from the 2 years of assemblage of blocks and said "Look at me! Look at me! Make ME the border!"  So off to Stashzilla I went to Find what I thought might be plenty of that print to Finish the quilt, only to be reminded that I had purchased the end of the bolt way back when and then split it with a friend.  Alas, I was already married to the idea of using this print, so off I set on a little Cyber shopping trip, with burnt to a crisp eyeballs, about 8:30 Wednesday evening before hauling my tired tail up to bed.  Originally, USPS tracking told me not to be expecting my shipment, all the way From Florida until next Tuesday, but another peek at tracking this morning has informed me that my package is either in the delivery vehicle which will arrive at my mailbox in about 4 (yes, that's Four) or it's sitting around the corner at the Post Office and will arrive tomorrow...unless I go over and see if I can retrieve it this afternoon.

So, last Friday evening, I gave you a little teaser of what the 2nd border would look like.  Here's what she's looked like since Wednesday evening!  Purty Darn Cute if I say so myself! 

 Now, I'm not going to tell you which print won the audition to be the final'll just have to wait and see next week, cuz I'm ornery that way!  But, there's no harm in guessing, in fact, I Double Dawg Dare Ya' to guess! 

I wish to take a moment at this time to direct your attention over to Sweet P Paulette's blog where she has posted a wonderful collection of Photo Finishes!  She truly is stellar, and without her inspiration, I would not have accomplished nearly so much this month.  Sometimes, all it takes, is For one to be challenged by another.  Challenging ones self doesn't always work, but when you have a support system nudging you along, it can make all the difference, even if you've never met in person!  I still have an abundant collection of UFO's in need of a Finish, and I will press on with them...perhaps not at the rate I did this month, but where there is a goal, there is an accomplishment!  Paulette and I have enjoyed this so much, we have decided to declare February 2017 our 2nd (maybe annual?)February Finish month!  I hope that you will join us. 

See you next week!

~Nancie Anne

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Morning Ramblings...Completely Off Topic!

30 +/- years ago, when our family of four leggeds was increasing, people were ripping old clawfoot bathtubs out while remodeling and many of them turned up as troughs in pastures. We rescued a few of these unwanted bargains ourselves with that same thought.  Over the years we've also seen them full of garden blooms, in classrooms with pillows inside for kids to relax in with a book, or cut out on one side to make a settee.  Years earlier, I spent a summer in a quirky old rental in Washington helping Mom take care of my injured sister, and always kept in mind how comfy that old tub was.  I'm one of those girls who likes a nice deep swim with a good book.
Years after that summer, we bought a quirky old 1911 house, and as our four legged family continued to grow, so did our 2 legged family.  One bathroom was not enough and an old upstairs sleeping porch became our "Master" Bathroom on a budget.  One of our old clawfoot tubs, none of which had ever made it out of the barn and into the pasture, was selected for its less generous collection of dings and complete set of feet.  I'll never forget the groaning, grunting and worrying as we turned that cast iron beast over onto it's rolled top edge, then pushed and dragged it up our long narrow staircase.
I've painted the outside of it 3 times in the years since it was installed.  As for the inside, one can clean all they want, but there is nothing short of having it refinished that will ever remove the old pitted spots from generations of use.
This morning, in my efforts to clean the old fancy footed gal up, I was hanging over that rolled top edge reaching into the depths, scrubbing soap scum with of my treasured "sorcerer's sponges" and a memory came to mind.
Cleaning house and trying to get 5 kids to all help and be productive at the same time was often like herding cats and an exercise in patience and, more often futility.  Of course the elder ones, the "Informers", were guaranteed to point out that the younger ones were slacking and weren't doing their fair share...or at least not the way they would have done it.  On one of those occasions, I told one of those little slackers "you need to use some elbow grease!"  Without missing a beat, the little slacker asked, "Where do you get that?!?!" and with that, the "Informers" and I were nearly rolling on the floor and dearest little slacker was looking at us, wide eyed, still wondering where we kept the elbow grease!
Isn't it funny the memories that come back to you when you're hanging over the top edge of a beloved old tub, with all the blood running into your head?

Lovely Sunday To You...

~Nancie Anne

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fabulous Friday Finishes ~ Evening Edition

Evening, grey skies and an ugly windstorm are upon us and blowing in with it will soon be my hungry husband, so here's the hinted at evening edition of Fabulous Friday Finishes.  If you missed the morning edition, scroll on down to read all about it!

Just a little taste of what the next border will look like!

~Have a Great Evening & a Wonderful Weekend.  The rest of mine will mostly be spent helping my daughter at her house and preparing for the work week...and maybe, just maybe, I will be able to slip in a little more Finish time!

Reporting From my Sewing Room!

~Nancie Anne

Fabulous Friday Finishes, Part III, Morning Edition

Last week I was still sewing up a storm trying to get my Finish complete before sitting down to write.  Meanwhile, Sweet P Paulette had written up her piece and told you all to come visit me, well before my edition "went to print"!  So, I'm going to try to whip this bit out to share with you before the day is 2/3 gone!
This week, I've made little "Finishes", in that I've completed several of the weekly steps for my Quilty Fun Sew Along top in one week!
This is a project that's been hanging on my design wall For ages, reminding me that it needs to be Finished every time I walk past my sewing room door!  What a nag!  One of my Friday Finish goals has been to get a large cleared on space on my design wall, and bit by bit, it's happening!
Can you believe it's been over two years ago that the Bee In My Bonnet, Quilty Fun Sew Along with Lori Holt began?
If you're up for scrolling back, my First post about Quilty Fun was November 9, 2013 and I was Faithfully sewing each step right up to my last post about it on March 7, 2014.  In the midst of that I had some other great Fun and adventures as well.  This morning I went on a little walk down memory lane, going back and see where I was and what adventures I was up two years ago.  Two years that have absolutely Flown by!
I had a busy, no sew weekend with my Grandson here for an overnighter.  On Sunday morning, Grampa was off and going, and my cute boy and I went out for a brunch date with the silly Auntie who likes to tease him!  Then we went to visit the Lovie Auntie at her work, then we delivered a cuddly pink elephant to his "baby cousin".  After that he was delivered to his other Gramma and Silly Auntie and I came home, put our feet up and watched "The Intern" together.  LOVED IT!
Monday morning I was determined to get back on task with my Finishes, and I was prepared. On Friday after posting, I had looked through another ancient project that's going to have to wait until I find some missing bits and pieces, and in the interest of having productive time, decided I had better get to work on the project that was staring me in the face, hands on hips and tapping it's indignant toe!  So in I dove!  Quilty Fun became the next Focus on my Finish list!  I dug out all the little bins of prints that I had been using on it previously and set to work, adding a couple of newer prints to the mix.
Mondays Little Finish:
Tuesdays Little Finishes:
  and Snowballs!!!
 Wednesday's Little Finishes:
Quarter Square Triangles!!!!
 and Buzzy The Bee!!!!!
 Thursdays Bigger Finish:
Setting It All Together!!!!!!
  I had been using the leftovers of the white on white squiggly print that I used for the background in my Mad Hats quilt a couple of years ago, before I took my two year hiatus, had used it For some of the sashing when I pieced some of the blocks on the left side of the quilt into units.  Upon getting closer to the Finish, I realized I was going to run short of the white squiggles.  I dove back into the stash to find a suitable companion and came up For air with a super cute white on white zigzag.  To anchor that print in the top, I decided that using the zigzags as background For my buzzy bee would be really cute.  I pulled out a couple of pieces of the old horizontal sashing, replacing squiggles with the ziggies that were waiting on my machine yesterday morning when I awoke, which created three vertical sections.  Carefully matching and pinning all the correct intersections, the three sections became 2, and then 1!  
Just as I was going to start attaching the outer border, I realized that I had put the left side quarter square triangle unit in backwards, so, a little reverse sewing do-over had to happen first!
Borders went on and then, in the interest of pointies rather than blunties, I out-stubborned a couple of blocks and made some adjustments.  It's amazing how quickly a day can blow by when your Fussing over the details!
Last evening, I spent some time auditioning prints for the pieced border, which comes before another white border and then a wide outer border.  Still plenty to do, as well as some embroidery, but on this Friday I'm celebrating the Little Finishes!

So, with a busy weekend ahead, this could be it...but you never know...there's always the possibility for an Evening Edition!  We'll see!

Have a Happy Productive Friday!

~Nancie Anne

Friday, February 12, 2016

Fantastical Friday!

Well it was a work week this week, although I spent two of my workdays at home trying to tame an on again off again headache coupled with some rumbly tumbly stuff.  Some of it's sinuses...but, I also Fear that some of it is the issue of eyeballs that are growing older and haven't been to visit the eye doctor in a couple of years...or so.  My driver's license has to be renewed in a couple of months, so I suppose I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go let them "have a Look See", in the memorable words of Col. Sherman Potter.  The enlisted of the M*A*S*H 4077th have been my Faithful companions while I've been sewing the past couple of weeks.  These old Friends, like a comfortable pair of old slippers, are streaming into my sewing space courtesy of Netflix.  I only need to hear those Familiar voices, to recall each episode while I continue to sew with my back turned to them.
I find it quite appropriate, that I am sewing on Old Friends, alternately known to us as UFO's, during this month of February Finishes!  Some are Further along in the process than others, but the point is, I am making strides toward crossing them off the Un-Finished List!

My First "sort of" Finish, is attributable to Super Bowl Sunday!  Craft Warehouse emailed Sunday Only 50% off coupons that morning and I happily hopped into my car and drove to town to survey their aisle of Flannels.  I was back well before the start of the game...although, I saw little due to my focus on the happenings in my sewing room.

You may remember this top.  I made it as the result of a little pattern testing I did for Sue Abrey at Quilt Times.
This is Honey Bee Sprinkles, Circa Spring 2014.  It's my take on Sue's pattern, Red Sprinkles.  You can read more about this fun adventure  and see more detailed pix of the top Here!
The top has been long done and has been hanging around here looking at me every day, wondering when it will become anything more than a Flimsy!  Every time I have looked at it, and the warm autumn color palette, I Felt that I wanted it to be a quilt that lives on the recliner, available to wrap up in and provide comfort.  What is more comforting than Flannel?  Not much, says I!
So here's the bit of Purr-Fection that Followed me home! Five yards of it!  Somehow "a Few" Fat Quarters and some heart shaped cookie cutters crept in the bag with it!  Here it is, Laundered, Fluffed and dried, sized, ironed, cut in half and sewn down the middle.  Because it's Flannel, even though its that wonderful quality Flannel courtesy of Bonnie Sullivan, I'm leaving a 1/2" seam allowance to compensate for any additional Fraying that may occur.  Of course, my helpers had to test its sturdiness as a potential wrestling mat before it officially turns into a cuddle quilt!

My quilter has texted me 3 options she has for simple daisylike Flowers and I have yet to make up my mind.  I'll be making a decision as I'm boxing it all up to go in the mail in short order.

Next Finish is this Flimsy!
I just added the beautiful blue border print this morning.  This is Star Spangled Stripes, a pattern from our Favorite little mountain quilt shop, Stitch n' Snip in Garden Valley, where, if you're paying close attention, you may see Bonnie Hunter's "cute little Mom" scamper in and out of Faster than a squirrel gathering nuts for winter! 
This was all kitted up in the cutest little blue trimmed clear plastic, reusable zip bag.  Part of the rail fence blocks were assembled and have been hanging on my design wall since last summer, the remainder were trimmed out, with tons of scraps to spare and waiting!  The Buggy Barn assembly style stars were also cut out and carefully stored for later.  "Later" was this week!  Several were done before the Super Bowl was in the history books.  The remainder were completed thanks to a rare burst of after work energy that I experienced, thanks to goal setting, extra caffeine intake & sinus meds that wired me up so badly that I couldn't sleep!
I can't wait to get it back with it's quilting complete.  I still have to make some decisions on backing though...I think I'll be shopping in my abundant stash this time.  In this case, it was the store sample of this quilt with it's wonderful star and ribbon quilting that sold us on the purchase of this kit!  More stores should display quilted samples rather than Flimsies, I think, especially when the result is that quilting breathes life into the quilt and absolutely prompted the sale of a kit that might otherwise have been overlooked. 
 It's hard to believe I might have overlooked these wonderful prints though...and I'm so thrilled that there are tons of leftovers to play with!  I've already picked another patriotic pattern to use them in!  I love the border print especially, and am thrilled that the same print in red and cream are both in the quilt as well.

Due to the hour of the day, I'm sure you've already been over at Sweet P, Paulette's to see her Friday Finishes...but just in case, here's the link!  As predicted, she's a shining star!  Go "take a Look See" at what she's been up to this week!

Friday, February 5, 2016

February Finishes! First Friday!

By George! A little incentive & focus does work wonders!  I got busy and finished a couple of things this First week of February and since it's Friday, it's time to share!

Perky Paulette at Sweet P and I are back today,, sharing what we've accomplished this week.  The two have become Four, with the addition of Just Judy & Paulette's Friend, Claire, whose Finish can be seen Here.

Up First For me is "Housewarming" which was designed by Bread & Butter Quilts of Quilt House in Gardnerville, NV for their inclusion in the Best of Quilt Sampler Magazine issue published in 2007.
 You've seen it here before, but not completely Finished, as in Bound and Labeled!
Counting backward, it's hard to believe that it's already been as many years as it has since we discovered the original quilt hanging in it's place of honor, at Quilt House the first time we traveled through Gardnerville, in September 2011.  We were on our way to visit our daughter during her Veterinary Internship in Sacramento.  My husband was so enamored with the original quilt hanging from the ceiling, that I'm pretty sure he was oblivious to the growing pile of fabric and patterns that I had the ladies ringing up for me!

It was knowing how much my husband loves this quilt that got me through to the finish line!  This poor quilt has been the victim of several mishaps on it's way to becoming my husbands "not such a big surprise" birthday present earlier this week.  Most recently, during our September trip to California, I sat with my Maecee & our newest Grandpuppy, Harrison, and began sewing the binding down.

About the time I was rounding the second corner, my heart sank, my stomach did a flip-flop and I realized that, with the stars I had incorporated into the design, it was going to look really "off", so back into the bag it went, so I could deal with it at home.  It stayed in the bag, in time out, as punishment for all its nonsense and naughtiness til about a week ago.  I pulled it back out, took every stitch out of the binding, laid it out on the cutting table and cautiously went to work, praying over my precious little stars, with my biggest ruler and sharpest rotary blade.  I went all the way around, re-trimming, but in the end, removed very little.  I pressed the binding, sewed it on again, adjusting the length.  Pressed again, & laid it out to inspect the corners.  Sigh of relief!  It all looked uniform!  Every evening, hubby would come home and ask what fun, cute projects I'd worked on that day to receive only a vague answer...because more often than not, Housewarming had just dashed back into the sewing room to hide!  As planned, I put the very last knot, into the very last stitch of the binding, on his birthday, this past Monday.
For me this quilt documents a very important but bittersweet time of transition in our lives.  A child left our midst and remains in California, but led us to new treasured friends and adventures we would not have otherwise had.  It marks a time when we became just the two of us again, for better or worse.

 This is Homecomings heavily pieced back from scraps of previous quilt tops and quilt backs that held special meaning for my husband.  Remember the Barn Quilt made for our Veterinarian Daughter?
This piecing frenzy I went on garnered a text from my dear quilter, something to the effect of , "Geez!  You pieced the crap out of this back!  It could be a Top!"
It's all okay though, I sorta crossed my fingers and promised not to do it again and she laughed.
 I asked for masculine quilting but other than that, had no idea where to go with it.  Bless her heart, she read my mind, even though there was nothing in it!  How can you not love these sprays of pinecones?
And some sprays of simple leaves alongside some McTavishing!
Here's my original contribution to the pattern.  I wasn't wild about the little L brackets in each corner and thought that bringing that giant star from the center out into a small star in each corner was more befitting this quilt.  They became a favorite element for my husband and my quilter.
While I'm not a big fan of squiggly lines for filler, I do love the simplicity of the little leaves in the star points and I'm not sweating the little stuff.
I have to say, I'm also blessed to have developed a rapport with my quilter that has allowed me to verbalize if there's something I'm not wild about.  During the process she texted tons of pictures and when one element REALLY bugged me, she was so great about removing it and working with me to come up with a better motif.
Now, do you think that was enough Finishing for this First week of February?
No, that was just Monday, and I was inspired.
This little Pinterest find is very on point regarding this next Finish!
The Great I Am!
I just put the last stitches into the binding of this little wallhanging about an hour ago!
It's been quilted, folded on the shelf and needing to be bound for a couple of least!
I took what was intended to be a soft book for kids and carefully trimmed the pictures down, framed them with coordinates, trimmed them down so they'd dance their little wonky dance back and forth and set them together with sashing inspired by "Vanilla Stars", a Pattern Basket design. 
  These comical critters by designer, Leanne Anderson of The Whole Country Caboodle, make me smile.  The intent of this quilt is to appeal to the smallest critter lovers in our family and share the Christmas Story in a fashion that works for little people with short attention spans.
 The only issue I have with this story is in the last block which, to me, indicates a little confusion.
"Hello, My Name is Gertrude, I am the Gander.  It's my job to end this so you'll never have to Wonder"

well HELLLLLLO...I wondering!
See! I CAN make a solid single fabric quilt back!
Just don't expect it to happen often!
In this case, this cute animal toss print just speaks to me and I wanted a large field of it to continue to enjoy!
Too Cute!
And There You Have It!  There has been some other sewing going on, in an effort to clear some space on my design wall, so hopefully it will happen before our Fabulous February Finish time comes to an end!
Before I sign off, I wanted to share an ice sculpture photo from our trip to McCall last weekend that I neglected to share in my previous post.
"Meet George Jetson,
His Boy Elroy,
Daughter Judy.
Jane, His Wife!"
I'm so glad they let Rosie & Astro come along for the ride! 
Where would they be without them?
Well Folks!  That's it for this Friday!
I hope you're able to Fit some Finishing time into your schedule too!  If you wish to join us on this adventure, just hop on in!  You wouldn't believe how old some of the Finishes that need to be completed around here are!
I'm Finding that I have motivation and inspiration to Finally give some of them their due Finish and stop Feeling guilty about them this month!
~Nancie Anne