Bad Cold Busted

  
It fought hard, this cold nemesis.  It had me down for the count. . .or at least for many, many days.  I fought hard, too.  I rested, drank fluids, took cold medicine, blew my nose, and coughed diligently.  After about a week, I felt I better. I thought I had done my time.  This euphoric feeling lasted one day.  LIttle did I know that my enemy had just pulled back to regroup.

I woke up on Day 8 dizzy, with an intensifying of all of my cold symptoms.  I continued my battle plan from the week before, hoping to stay ahead of it.  On Day 11, I woke up with pain in my sinuses and  decided it was time to call in the Cavalry, so I made an appointment with the doctor.  Diagnosis:  acute sinus infection, ear infection, and possible bronchitis.  My enemy had really knocked me down, but now it was time to bring on the big guns and take this cold down once and for all. 

My doctor sent me back into the battle armed with these weapons of cold warfare –

  

I was so excited to have the help and the hope of a return to good health.  The battle wasn’t quite over though.  It was another 3 days before I started feeling like I was on the road to recovery. That beast of a cold had dug in deep and didn’t want to leave easily.  It is now 19 days since the start of this lovely adventure, and while my cold symptoms are practically gone – just a slight lingering cough – I am still trying to regain my strength after the long hard fight.   

In the end, all but 2 members of the household ended up participating in the 2016 Family Cold Event, all in varying degrees, and thankfully noone but me ended up needing the big guns to defeat it.  

It wasn’t all horrible.  There were lots of hours of HGTV, lots of rest and relaxation, and, when my head wasn’t spinning, I got some work done on my Varsity quilt.  After spending the time figuring out the diamond/triangle piecing method, I was able to get all of the triangles sewn rather quickly to the diamonds, and even got a row of diamonds sewn together!

  
  
So, that’s what I’ve been busy with the past few weeks. I hope things are better at your home and that you and your’s won’t have to battle the icky cold bug this winter.  We don’t really get sick like this too much around here, so I can’t complain.  Just glad to be on the upward swing again.  And the lovely spring weather we’re having this week is a true spirit lifter!

Have a lovely day!

Blessings,

Nancy

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The Silver Lining of a Bad Cold

  
I am now on day 5 of the 2016 Family Cold Event. It doesn’t sound very long when I write it, but it feels reeeaaaallly long. So far 5 of the 8 family members living here have had it, with a 6th thinking of coming down with it today. Throw in a 7th person who just randomly came down with a stomach virus one night (which thankfully only lasted the one night), and you can see that it’s been quite a week around here!

There is a silver lining to all this downtime, though.  I’ve been able to work on some quilt projects. My sewing desk has sat gathering dust for the last few months with the holiday busyness.  I was so excited for January to come so that I could get back to sewing, but I got sidetracked with other projects and was feeling like I would never get back to my desk. Enter the bad cold, which has me down enough to not do anything tiresome, but has allowed me to sit quietly and work on my quilts. 

  
I binded these two mini quilts. They are part of a monthly red work series that I signed up for at the quilt store. I’ll share more of these in the future. 

  
What I am most excited about is starting work on this new quilt called “Prep” by Sweetwater using their Varsity fabric line. I bought this kit from a quilt store on EBay with a Christmas gift card from my son Robert. If there’s anything better than getting a new quilt kit, it’s getting one for free!

  
I love the vibrant, classic colors in this quilt, and the diamond/argyle design pattern. 

  
All of those beautiful diamonds are cut out of this Varsity layer cake, which was the first step I worked on –

  
Next I cut out all of the background triangles – all 120 of them!

  
Then it was time to sew  learn some new sewing lessons!  I expected to sit down and stitch them all together like a breeze. But I was blissfully unaware of the wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing awaiting me. You see, sewing all these lovely pieces together meant lining up all the points to match and line up perfectly – a fact I was soon made painfully aware of as I blindly sewed and ripped out my first seam. 

Long story short – about 3 hours later, after 6-8 more ripped out seams, watching a couple of online tutorials (ah, the beauty of technology!), consulting my favorite how-to quilting book (pictured below), and a couple of “walk-aways” to give my congested head a break, I finally ended up with this –

  
Pathetic I know, but I was ecstatic!!  I met the beast and came out the victor! And I learned some new skills for piecing diamonds and triangles, which will hopefully serve me well in the future – at least they’ll help me finish this beautiful quilt.   Feeling accomplished I called it a day and went to eat dinner. I must have used up all of my brain cells for the day, since it was this same night that I forgot to lock the chickens in and the Charlotte disaster occurred. 

I haven’t picked this one up again yet – hopefully I will remember what I learned when I do!  I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I can’t wait to see this beauty come together!

Have a lovely evening!

Blessings, 

Nancy

Quilty Fun

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Here’s a little peek at some of the quilt projects I’ve been working on lately. I always have a number of them going at the same time, and work on the one I have time for or are in the mood to work on.

This is my Tree of Life quilt ~

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I participated in a half square triangle exchange at a local quilt shop a few years ago and this is what I decided to make from all of the half square triangles I received. The pattern is in this book by Edyta Sitar ~

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While all of the half square triangles were sewn on a machine, I am hand piecing it all together. I still need to applique some vines and leaves along the two sides, and then it will be ready to quilt and bind.

Another quilt I have been working on is this Jelly Roll Race Farm quilt ~

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I saw this quilt finished at the quilt shop and loved the farm fabrics in it, called “Coming Home” by Deb Strain.

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The Jelly Roll Race quilt is very simple to make and would have been done by now if I had the time to sit and work at my sewing machine for longer periods of time. I’ll keep you posted on this one as I hope to finish it soon.

I am also working on this wall hanging, usually while I’m waiting for Anna at cheerleading practice ~

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The pattern is called “Live Simply” by buttermilk basin. I am at the point of sewing around all of the applique pieces, and it is small, so it’s easy to take along with me.

And finally, I mentioned in my Daybook this week that I have just joined a new Block of the Month program that will result in a “primitive houses” quilt when finished. I sewed the first block yesterday. Here it is ~

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This quilt is called “My Neighborhood” by Beverly Ingram, and it has the cutest rail fence border around it. I’ll keep you posted each month on my progress, but at one block a month, it won’t be finished until next year.

I hope your evening has gone well. Only three more nights to enjoy the Winter Olympics – it sure has gone by fast!

See you soon!

Blessings,
Nancy

A Little of This and That. . .

. . .that’s what this post is going to be about. I have sat staring at my computer for too long now, without a single thought of any one particular thing to write about. So, I’m just going to share a few snippets of my life around here the last few days. Up above you’ll notice “the ladies” – these are our neighbor’s newest hens, recently arrived to replace the old ones who met their untimely demise at the hands mouth of a wandering bobcat (shhh…I don’t think we’ll tell them about that!) These ladies, like their predecessors, seem to enjoy the bugs in our yard better than the ones in their own yard, so I am frequently seeing them scratching around outside.

Today was my last day to hand wash all of our dishes – (wipes brow)! The new dishwasher arrived this afternoon and is running as I write, although I can barely hear it – these new ones are really quiet! I actually didn’t mind the hand washing too much as long as I kept up with it, but it was the hand drying part that I wasn’t crazy about. I did enlist a little help with that when necessary, but I am glad to have a working dishwasher again. And what was the very first thing I loaded into it? – a Mason jar drinking glass. I’m sure you don’t really care, but here it is – documented for all posterity –

I really am not so crazy as to take a picture like that (ahem!) – I believe it was taken by one of the girls – my girls, not the neighbor’s chickens. And while I’m being random, I will admit to taking the following picture – see if you recognize this from your own refrigerator –

Do you ever find this in your refrigerator? I was cleaning our’s out the other day, and came across this grouping at the back of the bottom shelf. I instantly knew who was responsible for this little meeting, as she has been found guilty of calling these meetings before. I took this picture to have evidence to hold over her head. Now I won’t name any names, but I will say that she is certainly old enough to know better. Enough said.

On a prettier note, I spent some time yesterday afternoon with my sewing machine – finally! I put together the above blocks which still need to be sewn together to make a big block for a new quilt Block of the Month that I am making. The finished quilt will look like this –

Yes, I love blue and white! And I also love the beautiful weather we have had the last few days. It has been in the 70’s the last two days and we all went for a walk both days around our neighborhood – well, some of us scooted on scooters, some of us walked, and one of us even “juggled” the whole way around – that was David, who was really jogging, but was so proud about his “juggling”, I just didn’t have the heart to correct him. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures, I was too busy enjoying the warm fresh air!

Oh, and look what arrived in the mail last week! –

I have spent a lot of time looking through this cookbook since it arrived, and am really loving what I see! It is very user friendly and the artwork in it is just lovely. The recipes are good, basic scratch recipes which I can’t wait to try. In fact, I didn’t wait – in honor of George Washington’s birthday today, I decided to try out the pie crust recipe and make a cherry pie for dinner tonight –

How did it turn out? Very delicious!

Enough randomness for one day. I hope you have a pleasant evening, and a great day tomorrow – we’ll be outside again – it is supposed to be 80 degrees! I do enjoy living in Texas!

Blessings,
Nancy

Dusting Off My Quilts

It has been way too long since I’ve had time to spend working on my quilts – probably since some time before Thanksgiving. My sewing desk has looked pretty much like the above picture since then – except for when I had some Christmas overflow piled on top of it. The quilt laying across my machine is my Farm Fresh quilt. It is one of my absolute favorites – mostly applique, and full of flowers, pumpkins, and country containers. I have had these pieces for the next block all ready to go all this time, just taunting me on the shelf! –

Another quilt that I have been wanting to get back to is my Tree of Life quilt. Sarah and I took part in a half-square triangle swap at the quilt shop, and came home with hundreds of little squares in many different combinations of fabrics. I am using mine to make this lovely quilt –

I have all of the tree tops finished, and am ready to work on the trunks. This quilt is sitting on another shelf in my bedroom, quietly calling to me –

I recently bought this lovely jelly roll in beautiful blues and browns that is begging to be worked with –

After Christmas I used an Ebay gift certificate that I received as a gift and bought a quilt kit to make this wonderful wavey American flag wall hanging –

It will be a new challenge as it involves curved piecing, but it uses these pretty patriotic fabrics, so I can’t wait to start it –

I haven’t ordered it yet, but eventually I want to get the kit for this lovely blue and white quilt from the Connecting Threads catalog –

And then there’s my basket of Block of the Month packets that are patiently waiting for me –

I really don’t mind having lots of quilts going at once – it allows me to be able to work on whatever I feel like at the moment. I think, maybe I would like to schedule a quilting weekend soon, and spend lots of time reaquainting myself with my old friends.

Blessings,
Nancy

Monthly Mini Quilts

I signed up for a monthly mini quilt program at the quilt store last December. Every month I pick up a packet with a pattern and fabric to make a mini quilt themed to that particular month. these are fun quilts to make because they are small and are quick to finish. They consist of a pieced background with an appliqued design. I must confess that I have changed the fabrics on a lot of these from what the quilt store gave me – just personal preferences.

At the beginning of the program I purchased a table stand to display the monthly quilt. It has a removable topper, and each month, with the packet, I get a new topper that fits with the theme of the month. I keep mine on the piano in our living room.

Here are the mini quilts that I’ve made so far –

January ~

February ~

March ~

April (this was originally a bright color scheme, which I changed to pastels.) ~

May ~

June ~

July (I like this one for the second half of July, but I am planning on designing a patriotic mini quilt to display for the first part of the month.) ~

I haven’t made the August quilt yet (yes, I’m behind!), but it has a popsicle/ice cream theme. I have started the September mini quilt – it still needs buttons and quilting to finish. Here is how it looks so far ~

I am hoping to design a Back to School themed mini quilt (maybe apples?)to take the place of this quilt, and then move this one to October (the planned quilt is a Halloween theme, which I don’t really prefer). November will be pumpkins and Thanksgiving, and December a Christmas tree. I think a small nativity quilt would be nice for December as well, so I may some day try to work that out.

If you’re interested in getting the patterns for these mini quilts, they are made by Patch Abilities, Inc. Their website is www.patchabilities.com.

I hope to share a few of the blocks from my Farm Fresh applique quilt with you soon, as well as some from The Tree of Life quilt that I started over the summer.

Have a nice day!

Blessings,
Nancy

Civil War Sampler Quilt and Summer Cherries

I have a number of quilt projects going right now. Some are being sewn by hand, some by machine, and some are applique quilts. I generally work on the machine during the daytime hours and save the hand sewing for the evenings in front of a movie. I certainly don’t have time to sew every day, but I try to grab snatches of time whenever I can.

Most of the quilts I’m working on now are block of the month programs through one of the local quilt shops, but I have a few others that I’m working on as well. The first one I want to show you is what I call my Civil War Sampler quilt. I believe the official name of this quilt is Civil War Celebration, designed by Joe Wood from Thimble Creek Quilts. I have a habit of giving all of the quilts I’m working on my own names – just how I remember them best – for instance, the Star Medallion quilt that I’ve been working on for awhile (and which is close to being finished if I would just get around to picking it up again!) is affectionately known as the Waltons quilt, due to the fact that I sewed most of it during our late night stint of watching old Waltons episodes.

Anyway, the Civil War sampler is a block of the month program. The finished quilt will look similar to the lead-off picture at the top of this post. (I took this picture at the quilt store so that I could refer to it.). I have sewn twelve blocks so far – four each of three different patterns. Each set of four is made from four different fabric combinations, but using the same pattern. Here are the ones I’ve completed ~

All of the cream fabric in the quilt is muslin and it will have dark chains running diagonally throughout the quilt and between the sampler blocks (see picture at top). I haven’t started on the chains yet. I am sewing this quilt on the machine.

Another quilt that I have been working on I have named my Summer Cherries quilt, because the fabric is so summery, with flowers and cherries galore. The fabric is “Charlevoix = Summmer…Beach…Rural Americana…1910-1935” by Polly Minick and Lauri Simpson for Moda fabrics. It is a rail quilt because each block is formed by sewing strips of fabric together like fence rails –

I started with a jelly roll of fabric – for the non-quilters out there, a jelly roll is precut strips (2 1/2 x 44-45″) of an entire fabric line, all rolled up like a jelly donut. I saw this quilt at another local quilt store and fell in love with it, so I bought the kit they were offering and started on it. I am sewing it all on the machine, and am just needing to sew on two borders to have the top finished. Here is how it looks right now ~

That’s all I’m going to show you for today – if I spend too much time writing about it all, I won’t have any time to sew! I have several other projects to catch you up on – soon!

Blessings,
Nancy