Thanks to all of you for your kind emails. I hope to be back to blogging soon, but will be taking a break for awhile.
Chris from Cats On My Quilts did a little give away recently, and I was the lucky winner. Isn't this little tea mat the cutest thing you have ever seen? She created the pattern from some block ideas that were in this book, which she also sent me:
The book is full of cute and whimsical patterns that look extremely fun and easy to construct. Some of the blocks that caught my eye were the cupcakes, ice cream cone and high heeled shoes. And that little bird on the cover is pretty adorable too.
Thanks Chris! I am going to enjoy both of these things so much.
This past weekend, I got out some of my fall decorations. Gosh, I do love this time of year! I was dying to tack this sweet little autumnal plaque on a wall somewhere, but my husband wouldn't let me put a nail hole in the wall.
Woo hoo! In about a week I am going to be getting together with some friends and do some sewing! Mostly I am excited to see my friends, but also I wanted to get a seriously wonderful project ready to work on during the time that we will be sewing together.
I am working on a really lovely pattern called Shiloh, by Bonnie Blue Quilt Company. I started these blocks a number of months back, BM. That would be Before the Move. Quilt projects come and go, but I have to say, this one really got my pulse racing. Love these blocks.
I started out using a kit, and ended up using a few of the fabrics from the kit, and supplementing most of the others with scraps from my stash. Then I discovered a layer cake of a collection called Arnold's Attic and went to town using that. Why do I buy kits anyway? I always end up changing them up completely.
See what I mean? Aren't those just too wonderful to not include in my quilt?
This quilt has a L.O.T. of flying geese units in it, and I wanted to get all my units lined up and ready to go for my block construction. No cutting for me while I am on retreat. That never goes well. I tend to get distracted and cut my 6 1/2" squares all 6 1/4" or something equally tragic.
What I will be doing is using my Fit To Be Geese ruler to trim my flying geese units to precisely the right size. If you haven't tried this tool, you simply must.
Is this not the weirdest creature you have ever seen? It is a gigantic praying mantis that has decided to visit my hummingbird feeder. These big bugs seem to be common in my new garden. In fact, last week, I went down to the Studio-That-Isn't and there was one right on the door knob! Luckily I saw it before I grabbed on to open the door. Can you even imagine? You all could have heard me scream way out there on the East Coast.
I think it is fascinating, but from a good distance.
After I posted the picture on Facebook, one of my cousins emailed me to say that I should shoo the bug away, as they are known to strike hummingbirds. I had a hard time imagining this and joked a bit with my husband about my cousin being a bit of a Know It All.
***Added later--I did some research on the internet, and turns out my cousin wasn't being an alarmist. Praying mantises have been know to strike, kill and eat hummingbirds!!! I actually saw a YouTube video on the subject and it was totally shocking. Quite ghastly, actually. I am happy to say that no hummingbirds were harmed in my garden during this episode. Any future praying mantises who visit my hummingbird feeder will be removed.
Oh, this talk of hummingbirds reminds me of something! I have the best method for cleaning the grunge out of hummingbird feeders. If you have any sort of mold or mildew, the birds won't drink your nectar, as it makes them sick. And if your bottle brush won't fit inside the feeder bottle, you may be wondering what to do. Here's what: You partially fill the feeder with a solution of water and liquid detergent, or a mild bleach and water mixture. Add a couple of tablespoons of uncooked rice, and shake it vigorously. You will be amazed at how spic and span the inside of the feeder bottle becomes! Rinse well and fill as usual with your sugar solution.
Out in my garage, there is a mountain of boxes, all labeled "Studio". My Studio is more accurately the Studio-That-Isn't, so the boxes remain unpacked, much to my frustration. I know that many of you have been wondering, What's the hold up? Well, to be honest, the answer is simple. Money. The bad news is that my husband has been unemployed for quite some time. And the good news is that he recently got a job! Woohoo! So, the work on the studio is definitely going to happen, but not for a few weeks. Once we get started, I will keep you all posted on the progress.
Meanwhile, I have been trying to make the best of things, and spending some time sewing in my unfinished studio. The biggest problem is, every time I start in on a project, there is some tool or reference book or material that I think I need, which is packed up in one of these cardboard cartons. I know, you told me to label the boxes elaborately, so as to know exactly what is in each one. Did I do that? Well, not precisiely.
I started rummaging around over the long weekend, looking for another project to work on. When I opened this box, labeled "Project Boxes" (one of eight just like it), I really didn't know what I was going to rediscover.
Oh my gosh, it is the Designer Mystery Quilt from Fatquartershop from a couple of years back 2008! Now, for some reason, finding this abandoned Christmas project really got me excited. I love those fabrics. A 3 Sisters collection, the name of which I have forgotten Peace On Earth. And each block in the Block of the Month Series was designed by a different (but well known) pattern designer. Now why on earth did I ever put this away? Doesn't matter, I found it again.
When I opened the box, I discovered that I had made six of the twelve blocks! Hey, I am nearly half done with this project that I had completely forgotten about.
Here is an easy recipe you might enjoy--especially if you have a garden full of zucchini! It is a pretty basic zucchini bread recipe with the addition of blueberries. No nuts in this one, but don't see why you couldn't add them. I ended up with five mini loaf pans, not the four the recipe states. This was as good as the picture looks, maybe better. Give it a try, you won't be sorry! (From allrecipes.com).
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Now here is a book I never in a million years would have predicted I would read. The first in the George R. R. Martin Game of Thrones series. The genre is fantasy, and aside from the Lord of the Rings books and A Once and Future King, it is a genre I have completely ignored.
A friend highly recommended the series, so I picked up the first book. The characters are so sharply drawn, and the intrigue, the treachery, the suspense are keeping me right on the edge of my seat as I read. I can barely put it down!
There will be six or seven books in the series, and at around 800 pages per book, I may be reading these for the next five years.
I have been a lazy blogger this week. There isn't much going on in my life at the moment. Just enjoying the last lazy days of summer. Can you believe it is September already? Good grief, this summer has flown by.
My desire to practice my machine quilting is still very much with me, and I have started working on another small Schnibble that I pieced well over a year ago, when I dabbled in "A Year of Schnibbles". To tell you the truth, I do not recall the name of this pattern, nor do I remember the focus fabrics I used. That border fabric, and the paisley were part of the same group, the rest were scraps from stash. I finished the straight line quilting in one direction, and plan to quilt in the opposite direction as well, creating that fun cross hatch pattern that I like. For the border, I think I will do stippling with black thread.
Happy September everyone!