Thursday, October 31, 2013

Haunted Castle

Well... I had intended to share this much earlier in October...and now it is Halloween so I had better get it together!!!  In my defense I have been having camera tech-NO-calities.  Santa may be needing to get me a new one so I had better be on my best behavior for the rest of the year :)

I have been sharing two castles each month but working on three and it is time to reveal the third castle...where the wild and spooky things have been taking up residence each month.
 Two more months to finish it off but it seemed appropriate to share today.  Lots of spooky critters living inside it and a witch flying past.  Not sure what to call the ogre thing up in the sky, but he looks up to no good!  The whole castle is sitting on a hill of pumpkins, just too cute.  I wanted haunted but fun!  I think where the trees don't look right in the upper left hand side , I will have to do lots of thread play to feather the trees into the upper block when it comes time to quilt it so it looks more normal.

Here is how the Gnome castle is looking:
And here is the Princess castle:
I have to admit to taking a little liberty with the pattern this month.  For some reason Ula made this part of the castle look very Bavarian in style and for me it just didn't fit with the rest of the I eliminated the Bavarian wood beams from the pattern and must admit it sure made the pattern go a lot quicker this month so it was win-win for me as I am very happy with the result.

Hoping your evening was filled with delightful little ghosties and goblins and treats and maybe a little cute trick or two.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

And Sew On Finishes

I took off a couple days from work to get things caught up.  I made sure my family didn't know so I could have uninterrupted time spent sewing.   I had three priorities on my to do list.

1.     2 Mug Rugs for my swap partner, Nanette

2.     Complete my And Sew On projects

3.     Cut all my 5"inch charms so I can get them shipped out

I didn't get to all my other things on my list but I did get these three things checked off and completed.

 Yeah  Me!!!

Most importantly was a couple of  items I was making out of my And Sew On blocks from the BOM that Kristy from Quiet Play has been doing the last 9 months.  She is having a linky party at the end of the month to share our completed projects and although I am a born procrastinator, I don't like to push my luck too far.   But more importantly, once again they were going into projects for ME and I wanted them done so I could start using them.  After all, this year is ALL ABOUT ME!!!  I have spent sew many years giving away the fruits of my labor and I am trying to make me a few things for me this year.  I originally had planned on making a mini wall hanging out of them to hang in my sewing studio.  I couldn't think of anything more appropriate for them to end up in but plans change.  I used eight of the nine blocks in a giant tote bag!  Not just any tote bag but one that will accompany me on many, many road trips!!!  I always pack a huge amount of stuff for a road trip because I am a very nervous passenger.  I like to have a ton of reading materials ( Quilt magazines being my favorite) and of course, I like to take my EPP hexagons because lets face it---I will need many, many road trips to get very far on this project. So far I have 11 hexagon flowers completed.  My lifetime project will have to be a small one.  Wink ;) Wink ;)

Front and back of my bag!

It measures a whooping 
17x18 inches
I cannibalized the tote handles from another bag I had for years. I am uber excited with the amount of stuff I can take along with me now and love that the bag will definitely be carrying all my sewing related stuff on my trips!

Do I hear you asking what about the one lonely block that didn't make the cut in the tote bag???
Well, it too had a happy ending.  It never really fit the color scheme of these blocks but as it was the block with the thread spools all over it I knew just what it was meant to end up as.  I made it into a thread catcher bag.  

I have needed one of these for a long time and found the pattern from All People Quilt HERE.  The original pattern was for a smaller version so I just adjusted the dimensions to use my 10 1/2 inch block.  Lets face it I will need the larger thread catcher because when I am paper piecing I will throw all the scrap from trimming the blocks in the sewing machine area into it and then will empty as needed.

I can't show you the  mug rugs I created for Nanette because I don't want my partner to see them before they arrive to her Down Under.  I will say I am thrilled with how they turned out and look forward to sharing them with you in the future.  For now I will just say they are themed around things I learned early on about my partner.  She has worked for years in the Fire Brigade fighting fires, although now she stays at the station and she loves fall colors and of course quilting.  I wrapped those three things into her mug rugs and hopefully she will love the resulting mug rugs.

A few weeks ago,  I joined the Kate Spain Charm Swap hosted by Michele over at Quilts from my Crayon Box and will need to mail them soon.  A couple of my fabrics took the scenic route to me ... shipping from Indiana then going to Honolulu before coming back to me in Washington.  I don't know why they thought I would be in Hawaii...I wish it were true but alas I had to wait for them to boomerang back to the states.
Michele was having trouble filling spots so I jumped at the chance to participate twice and had to wait for my second round of fabric to get it's tail on back here.  I must say I am looking forward to getting so many Kate Spain fabrics in return.  I can honestly say it will be the most fabric of any one designer I have ever owned.  I have a large stash but have never bought fabric by collections or designer.  As a paper piecer by preference, I am usually choosing fabrics by color or textures more than aesthetic value.  I must say, I do love Kate's fabrics though.  I think they lend themselves to paper piecing well.  Here are my contributions to the swap...ready to ship.

Now to add more things to my priority list and hoping to make more progress...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Fun

The last two weekends have brought unseasonably nice weather to the Pacific Northwest so we took full advantage of it.  The first weekend was dad's weekend at WSU so we took the long drive to visit a very grateful, homesick daughter at the WSU campus.  We took her out to lunch at the Breakfast Club in Moscow, Idaho.  My Favorite movie is 'The Breakfast Club' so I knew we had to eat here.  It closes at 2 pm so we had missed it during the previous visit but this time knew to go at an earlier time.  The food was fabulous! They are famous for their Zucchini Huckleberry bread and it was scumptious along with everything else we ordered. Plus they had a huge sign saying "Welcome WSU Dads" so it had to be kismet this time.  It was fun seeing all the other parents spending time with their college students, also.
The campus was beautiful in it's fall colors
Saturday night the Cougars played the Oregon Beavers and suffered a huge loss 24-52

Then this weekend we set out to spend some quality time with the grandkids and in the process took my DH to his very first Pumpkin Patch excursion.  We visited Lakeview Farms in North Plains and it was a great day!!!

We took a boat ride out to the patch.  Kiara met a friend waiting for the boat.
With her new missing tooth---they had a lot in common!
On the boat ride over to the patch we saw some interesting stuff
first Jaws popped up out of the water
and then near a pirate ship we saw a sea monster come up out of the water.
I mistakenly called it a dragon and Kiara was quick to let me know her mom said
it was a 'Sea Monster'  ---   silly nana
Approaching the pumpkin field---you can see Mt Hood in the distance
the girls quickly set out to find the best of the bunch --- hunt's on!!!
Jayda thought if nana liked the warty ones---she might like one also!
That's my girl

But when Kiara found a keeper --- Jayda started thinking over her options
after the important stuff it was time for a little fun and they took papa for a spin in the hay maze a few dozen times.  Jayda especially thought it was a blast.
Meanwhile nana was having fun feeding, their little brother, Brayden and Jayda was the first to find us.
them it was time to load all our pumpkins onto the train and set off to go back 
When we pulled into the station to unload, passengers waiting to board, commented that I brought back the cutest pumpkin.  I couldn't agree more!
The evening ended with our daughter and son-in-law taking us out to dinner at          Old Chicago pizza.
I must say it was one of the best weekends we have spent in a long time.

I did manage to sneak in a little sewing on Friday evening.   I needed to make Jayda her on little tote bag purse.  Her older two sisters use the ones I made them constantly and since she was just a newborn when I made them, she didn't get one at the time.  Time for nana to fix that.  The girls love to load them up with whatever looks interesting to them at the moment.  If Jayda had her way, hers would always be filled with candy.  Boy, is she going to love Halloween this year.
Here is the little bag I took over to her this weekend so she has one like her sisters.

     Back of the bag                                     Front of the bag       

I used the free pattern tutorial that I found here a few years back written by Kerry Green of VeryKerryBerry.  I love the fussy cut squares that you can choose to match each recipient.  I figured Jayda would love the bunny and strawberry house.  She should feel super honored to have a piece of the woodpecker/birch tree print as it is one of those fabrics I have never cut into because I just love to look at it and pet it every now and then. She was a very excited little girl to finally have a bag like her older sister's.
Hope you are enjoying the change of season and Fall is bringing some time to slow down and be closer to family and friends for you as well.

Keep Stitchin'

Sunday, October 6, 2013

All caught up

I actually think my persistence has paid off and I am caught up on my 2013 BOMs!  Of, course that does not include my current October blocks but having been three months behind on my castle blocks and catching up feels incredible.  I still need to make my last two Skillbuilder blocks but they actually come out with the new patterns around the middle of the month so for now I am claiming current status.  The Skillbuilder blocks are appliqued blocks so before long I will be behind but I actually finished the others for the skillbuilder so I am saying heck yeah...go me...for the moment anyway!!!


While the curve piecing was challenging in Candyland, I pulled it off.  I will admit it was not my favorite and it will be a long time before I use this method in my projects again.  However, I really enjoyed the process used in the Saturn block.  I think the resulting circle is amazing and I can see that a whole lot of these in a quilt, maybe with something different in the middle would be awesome.  I didn't own a circle cutter until today.  I bought the Olfa Circle cutter and it works fantastic.  Alyssa from Pile 'O Fabric explained the process used to inset the fabric into the circle beautifully in Lesson #7. You could put whatever fabric (or block) into that circle and I will have to try to create something unique with this method soon.

 The craftsy August/ September block entailed applique. YUCK...I hate this method.  Yet I can see it's value and even admit to loving looking at applique blocks...I just haven't found a great method for me, one that I can enjoy and feel I can master, so I usually prefer to avoid it.  A couple of these BOMs are teaching new skills so I am committing to giving it my best shot. 

October will be a busy month still.  My castles are caught up but the October block is a hard block and I will have to do it three times.  So I had better start those soon.  The And Sew On BOM is drawing to a close but I need to get the blocks sashed and bound.  The Craftsy block of the month top is supposed to be put together by the end of the month, also.  I joined a couple swaps, I need to complete two mug rugs this month to ship off to my partner, Nanette in Australia and when my Kate Spain fabric arrives, cut it up and ship it off to Michele over at Quilts from my Crayon Box. I think she might still have openings in her swap if you are interested in swapping 5" charms with a group of quilters find out more by visiting her blog.

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