Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 is almost here!



It's hard to believe another year has gone by...time really does go by fast the older you get.  LOL  I'm excited for the upcoming year....there will be lots of changes for us in 2015 and there are a lot of unknowns for now.  It's nothing new for us and I've come to learn that stressing and worrying over things that I have no control over doesn't make them easier.  I have peace knowing things will work out according to God's plan and I'm happy to let Him have control!

I'm not really one to make resolutions (or keep them! LOL)...but I do find this time of year a time to regroup and take a look at things in my life that I'd like to change or make better.  That always includes my quilting hobby.  It's been a while since I really took a good look at ALL my stuff...UFO's, WIP's, stash, etc.  I actually have spent the last two days making a list of everything!  UGH...I haven't done that in a few years, and it was pretty eye opening.  But it was good to see it all on paper and I know it will help me prioritize and focus on what I want and need to do.

One change I finally made...I changed my email address for Blogger!  I'm so frustrated with all the rejected comments.  I commented on 3-4 blogs this morning and ALL the comments were returned as undeliverable.  I mentioned before that I discovered the comments were still being posted to the blog, but the actual email doesn't go to the blog owner...in my case, because my "Yahoo" email address was being tagged as spam.  About a third of the comments that are posted to my blog are not sent to me as an email...which means I can't reply.  I want people to know that I'm happy they stopped by!  LOL  What's the point of taking the time to comment if no one knows you commented!  Ugh!  

I'm trying a Gmail email to see if that will help, but we'll see.  I'll still keep my Yahoo email for everything else...plus after 10+ years, I can't imagine making a complete switch, but that may come at some point!  Right now I have the Gmail account merged with my Yahoo account, so hopefully I won't have to check two places to check email.  :)

Anyway...enough whining about that!  I'm excited about the New Year...excited to see where we'll spend the second half of the year, and excited about all the quilts I'll make!  

Wishing all of you a safe, happy, healthy, and quilty New Year!!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mini Shine

The December "Schnibbles" project wasn't a Schnibbles at all!  Sherri and Sinta are mixing in a few other designers this year and this month is a pattern by Sherri herself!  It's a mini quilt called Mini Shine...she does have a larger version called Shine!  You can see all her patterns HERE.

Once I figured out what fabrics/colors to use, it was fun to make!  As usual, I always try to work from just my stash...so this time I pulled out my 3.5" strip bin and pulled a bunch of reds.  I've been saving this red and white stripe to use as a binding...but guess what?  I don't think it was the best choice for this project!  :(  I really think this one would have looked better with a darker binding.  Oh well...it's done now....

This picture shows the colors the closest to true life.  The quilt measures about 17" x 17".

 I started quilting it with one idea in my mind...then sort of changed my mind on that too.  LOL  But, it was beyond the point of no return.  I did a lot of outline stitching and stitch in the ditch.

In the end...I love it just the way it is and can't wait to hang it up!  Thanks Sherri for a great pattern!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

The River, by Beverly Lewis




This is another great book by Beverly Lewis.  She does a great job of giving us a glimpse into the life of the Amish.  The story is about two sisters who have left their Amish life behind. Their faith in God and their bond as sisters is a main theme throughout the story.

They find themselves back in the Amish community for a family event...but it also brings back all the hurt and misunderstandings within the family.  Forgiveness, love, and faith are what brings this family back together...but will the sisters return to their Amish roots?  Or will they choose to continue their life as Englishers with the freedom to worship God as they choose and live their life without the constraints of the Old Ways? 

I was given this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  If you are interested in Amish Fiction, I would highly recommend this book and author.
Monday, December 29, 2014

Mystery Quilt Link Up

The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is an odd time for me.  I lose focus and the urgency that is needed to get all the Christmas tasks done is gone.  Everything is crossed off the to-do lists, the parties are over, company has gone home.  I tend to become a hermit and strive to do absolutely nothing! Especially when the weather forecast looks like this:

I'm not complaining...I love being able to feel this way for a few days!!  LOL  This picture describes me to a T during this week....

I do have a plan for the sewing room this week...but that's not a "must do," right?  It's a "want to do!"  Like most everyone else, I'm sure, I was soooo happy to see a quick and easy clue to the mystery this week.  As much as I love the mystery quilt, it was a relief to have sewing time for other projects.

It's not a real attractive picture, but here are all my units.  They've been quietly waiting right here on my cutting table as the weeks go by...hard to believe this will turn in to a large quilt very soon!

Be sure to check out Bonnie's blog to see the entire Link Up list!  Can't wait to see what the next clue brings!  Until then, don't knock on my door, because I'm likely in my pajamas and won't answer!!  LOL

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle


Friday, December 26, 2014

Feline Friday and some finishes!

Happy Day after Christmas!!  This has been a great day for me...just enjoying a quiet day in my sewing room!

I can show you one of the gifts I made for Christmas...a t-shirt quilt for our daughter.  Both of our kids have oodles and oodles of t-shirts....and this is a "bundle" of them from a couple years ago that for one reason or another were weeded out of the daily wear category, but were favorites enough that she didn't want them gone forever.  :)

I tried a few new to me design and assembly techniques and I'm really happy with the results! 

She was really happy with the quilt, so I'm happy too! 

I did machine binding this time, which I don't have a lot of experience with, but I'm getting better and improving my results.

I also finished this little mini quilt from my Quilt Cruise in November.  It's from the class with Kim Diehl and is wool applique combined with pieced borders.  It measures 12" x 14".  It was fun to do and will always be a fun memento of the cruise...I can remember my friend Irene and I stitching the applique while watching the waves and lounging in a deck chair!

Chloe enjoyed the quiet day today too...I found her sleeping on my sewing table...that can't be comfortable! 

but she seemed to be completely relaxed.... 

She didn't even notice this....LOL 

By the way, that is Grand Illusion Mystery Step 5 under my needle....I was happy to see a quick and easy step this week.  It's all done and plenty of time this week to catch up on some other projects.

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Parade of Quilts

Merry Christmas Eve!!  There is no denying it now...Christmas is here!!  It sure came quickly for me and seemed at times like I was never going to get it all done....but it's all done now!  We have a casual lunch at hubby's office today, a few gifts to deliver to friends and neighbors, then a trip to the airport to pick up Zach.  Woohoo...let the party begin!  :)

Bonnie over at Quiltville is having a little Christmas linky party...to share Christmas things you've been working on -besides- the mystery quilt.  Well, the few things I have been working were gifts and they have not been opened yet by the receiver, so those pics will have to wait.  

Instead, I thought back to Christmas quilts I have made...and at first, I thought to myself that I haven't made too many Christmas quilts.  Wrong.  I save my pictures in files by the year and as I went back year by year, I realize I do have a few.  Most of them seem to be wallhangings though.  I think I'll put on my bucket list to make another large Christmas quilt soon!

This first wallhanging was from the "before 2004" file.  Digital pictures were just becoming the norm...I do remember we lived in Florida when I made this...and that was 2003-2004.  It has a "mountain" in the center and I did my best to "quilt it out."  But alas...when it hangs on the wall, it has a little pokey point in the center.  LOL

Also 2004...I think I gifted this to a family friend....

Looks like this was 2007....I made two of these, one was donated for a door prize.  This was in a Fons and Porter magazine.

Also 2007...gave this one to my sister... 

Disappearing 9 patch....2008.  I love this one...flannel on the back...it's on our couch every year.

A quickie Thimbleberries mini....2008 

My favorite!!  This is a freebie pattern from Patchalot Patterns....2008...I made two of these too.

2010...a fun Thimbleberries quilt.  This one lives in the camper. 

I love this little embroidery...I gave it to my sister in 2010...I need to make one for me!

The Elf Quilt!  It's actually called Busy Little Elves....another favorite from 2010!  I leave it up all year in my sewing room.

I finished this quilt in 2011, but I made the embroidery blocks in '07 or '08.  This was a fun freebie from Gail Pan.

Roll Roll Cotton Boll....Quiltville mystery from 2011-2011....I wanted it to be a Christmas quilt, so used red, green and gold...just doesn't "scream" Christmas.

 2012...Hometown Christmas...another Thimbleberries...

Snow Days 2012...you might have to click to enlarge to see the embroidery...love this one too and leave it up through the winter.

2014...Warm Winter Blessings....Love this one!!  It'll stay up through the winter months too!

I think that's all of them...I know I have a few tablerunners too...but this will do for now.  LOL

My wish for all of you is a blessed and happy Christmas spent with the ones you love!


Merry Christmas!
~Michelle




Monday, December 22, 2014

Mystery Quilt Link Up!

Oh my goodness...here we are at week four already!!  It's hard to believe Christmas is just three days away.  This month just flew by...

I finally finished clue two....and have the 400 bonus triangles pressed and trimmed ready for the split 9 patches.  I need to cut red and brown 2" squares, but I don't want to cut too much of my remaining "mystery" fabric until I know if it'll be needed in future steps.

After finishing clues 2 and 3, it was on to clue 4....and I have a little confession to make.  Remember back in clue one we were to make 80 extra half square triangles and SAVE them for a future clue?  Well, I made them, but just kept sewing.  I totally forgot about setting the 80 aside.  I even had to cut more orange and brown squares...and I was telling myself, "I know I cut enough squares, why am I having to cut more?"  LOL  Well, I caught my mistake before sewing ALL of them in to the final four patch setting.  I -almost- took my seam ripper and took them apart so that my 80 HST would be ready for the next step...but then I decided to leave them alone and most likely I would just remake the 80 HST when the time came....
Then when clue 4 was released and it was very similar to clue 1, it dawned on me that I could use these just like they are!!  I was half way through the clue already!!  I am soooooo glad I didn't take them apart, because I would just be sewing them right back together.  Woohoo!


 All four steps are complete!!

 This picture shows the colors the best...I can't wait to see how it all comes together!

Be sure to head over to Bonnie's blog for all the link ups!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle
Friday, December 19, 2014

Feline Friday and Winner!

We have a winner for the number of yo-yo's in the jar!  In fact, the guess was almost exact!  The number of yo-yo's was 81 and Heather from Peachy Pages guessed 80 and also guessed that I made 20 trees...which was also right!  LOL  I have one yo-yo left over....guess I have a head start on next year.  :)

All the bunco girls seemed happy with their little trees.

I found it difficult to photograph these trees...

they aren't very photogenic.  :)


And for a little Feline Friday...here is Chloe in the window bed.  We've had this for a while now hanging in a living room window.  Megan's cats used to use it occasionally when they were staying here, but since they've left, it always sat empty.  Until I moved it here.  Chloe loves it now!  Maybe it's a better view of the outside?

I hate to keep jumping around subjects...but I've been noticing when I comment on blogs, I get quite a number of the comments returned with the error message "rejected by the server."  After some Google searching, I discovered it's because I use a common email server (Yahoo) and blogger/google/other email servers are cracking down on spam and rejecting emails that look like spam.  I guess it's a good thing (less spam)...but at the same time, I wonder if people ever realize I comment on their blog?  

I can tell it's happening to other people too...when I go to my blog to read the comments, there are comments there that I did not receive an email notification of.  Does that make sense?  So even if the email wasn't sent for the comment, the comment made it to the blog.  Anyway...a little frustrating because it seems fewer and fewer people take the time to comment anymore and when they do, I like to reply...or when I take the time to comment on someone's post, I want the blogger to know I commented.  LOL  Anyone found a solution to this?

Clue 4 was released today...so I'm off to finish up a little from Clue 2 (still!) and then I'll get started on 4!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Thursday, December 18, 2014

O Christmas Tree

I am hosting our monthly Bunco group tonight and I decided I wanted to give each person one the ornaments I really enjoy making.

These little yo-yo Christmas trees!  I've been making these for years and they are pretty quick and easy...I'm always picking up a few cards of red buttons when they are on sale throughout the year. 

We had quite a few car trips the last few weeks, so this was the perfect take along project.  Can you guess how many Yo-Yo's are in the jar?  Remember, there are three sizes of yo-yo's....

 Let's have a little fun....whoever guesses closest to the correct number of yo-yo's will win these little 2.5" squares of "Winter Wonderland" fabric.  This is what's left of a charm pack after I made the mini quilt "Whit."
The Whit pattern called for two "mini" Charm packs, so I cut a regular charm pack into four mini charm packs.  I have these two mini stacks of 2.5" charms left over and I'd like to pass them on to someone that would like to make something fun out of them!  :)

I'll pick a winner tomorrow morning!  Ready, set, guess!!

p.s.  I'll share a picture of all the trees tomorrow too...all you math wiz's will figure it out otherwise.  LOL

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle
Monday, December 15, 2014

Grand Illusion Clue Three!

I'm still pluggin' along with the mystery quilt.  I'm not completely caught up, but I'm getting there!  Like everyone else I'm sure...I've been working like crazy to finish up Christmas gifts and other tasks that seem to be endless in the month of December!

I have clue one completely done, clue two needs the second triangle sewn, clue three are in pairs of strips sets and they still need one more long seam before I can cut them apart.  Easy peasy...right?!!  Just need a few hours of uninterrupted sewing time and I'll be good to go!

Of course I turn my back and see this!  She's so helpful....


One thing that really slowed me down on clue 2 was this....the bonus triangles.  Half way through the red, I was having internal mental battles with myself.  Why are you doing this?  It's twice as much sewing and ironing!  ugh....

 It'll be worth it in the end though!  I've decided what I'm going to make with my bonus triangles...
Split Nine Patches!!

 I'm not sure what the setting will be just yet....

 But it's going to be fun to play!

Be sure to head over to Bonnie's blog and check out everyone else's progress on the Mystery Quilt!

Happy Quilting!
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Decking the Halls

I finally set aside a day to decorate...I wasn't really feeling it the first week of December, even though I was seeing pictures all over everywhere of people and their beautiful trees and decorations...I was feeling way behind!  I know I'm really not...I was just putting pressure on myself!  But it's all done now and I can move on to other Christmas preparations.

I almost forgot to hang my Warm Winter Blessings!  As I went to bed after decorating, I was wondering what Christmas quilt I could hang on this rack/shelf.  Then I remembered...I bought this rack for this quilt when I finished it back in January!!  LOL  I've had other things on it all year.  The next morning I pulled it out, only to find no hanging sleeve.  Oops...  That was quickly remedied and ta-da!!  I just love it!!


Just wanted to show you this pic, because I love that Smokey is in it.  :)

Our tree is also decorated!  Yes, it's in the dining room.  As huge as this house is, the living room is small and there is just no way to fit a big tree in there without losing a chair or something.  It's not the ideal location, but we're only here for two Christmases and I can live with it.  :)  I made that tree topper about 20 years ago.  Every year I say I'm going to get something new and both the kids squawk and say NOOO!!  I think it's one of the few things that stayed the same no matter where we lived and what house we lived in!  We went with the multi-color lights this year...I think I might go back to the white lights next year.  LOL  I made that tree skirt about 20 years ago too...I definitely think it's time for a new one.  I'll have to work on that in 2015.  (it's a little scrunched up in the pic...the kitty was rolling around in it)

This is one of my favorite ornaments from my childhood...they just don't make 'em like that anymore!

I may have shown these last year....we have multiple fireplaces in the house, but I only decorated two...this one in the dining room...

....and this one in the living room...

Just one more picture of the entry way because I just love it!  I wish I could spend more time here...

Back to working on secret Christmas projects and completing Step 2 of the mystery!!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle