Friday, September 30, 2011

Crazy Challenge Finish #11

Yes, another crazy challenge piece finished! One of my friends asked me earlier this week, "Did you ever think you would finish as many pieces as you have?" My answer was, "No!" When I started this challenge in January, I did it to have fun and I really didn't expect to finish as many projects as I have. There are always new projects that peak my interest and get in the way of finishing those projects that are already started. Can you relate to that? Well, I know for certain that I won't finish all 15 and maybe this is the last one that I will finish, but I have had fun. I really need to get busy now and stitch up some ornaments for the holidays!

Without further ado, here is Crazy Challenge Finish #11!

Tis the Season
Blackbird Designs
from the Joyeux Noel book
36ct Pear by Lakeside Linens
CC Belle Soie

Hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with much stitching!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tatted Pincushions

Tell me what you think about these...I've been trying to think of a way to incorporate my mom's tatting into a pincushion. She tatted a couple of motifs for me; I tacked them down to some bright colored wool using invisible thread and then made a pincushion using an old zinc lid for the base. As luck would have it, I just happened to have some coordinating trim in bright colors. So, what do you think???

Always Playing Catch-up!

How's it going? I love this time of year. Cooler temperatures, beautiful colors - fall is my favorite season! My mom and I drove to Wisconsin yesterday to visit with some family members at their annual fall "booya". It was a crisp autumn day and the food was delicious. We had a nice time.

I have spent more time reading blogs this past week than I have spend stitching! There are a couple of very tempting sampler projects out there that are calling my name though.

The one that I can't get out of my head is Mary Allen. Terri/Chocolates for Breakfast has it pictured in her blog header; Laurie at Corgi Cottage is working on it and doesn't have too much more to go; Margaret/Days of a Sampler Lover is stitching it too and we know that with her smoking needles she will have it finished in no time; and one more Mary Allen finish - check out Robert's blog, A Gentleman's Samplings. I know I have a lot of projects in the works right now, but how can I resist this one?

I've also signed up to receive the La D Da mystery sampler; I'm just too much of a La D Da fan to pass this one up. I know, I know, I haven't even finished my last mystery sampler yet! I think next year's challenge will be to finish up some of the WIPs I have started this year!

So, while there hasn't been a lot of stitching going on, I do have a couple of pictures to share with you. Remember the quilt top that I shared with you last weekend? I used the scraps to make a table runner. I had some additional fabrics from the same line that I added to it. I used the "quilt as you go" method. It was quick and easy.

And on the stitching front - I'm working on Blackbird Designs Tis the Season. Sorry, I didn't take time to iron it!

That's all I have for you today. Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Have I Been Up to Lately?

Well...not much I guess since I haven't posted for quite awhile. I've been stitching, but have also been busy with other things. We're approaching that time of year when time slips by quickly!

Last weekend, as we remembered and reflected on the events of September 11, I decided to stitch up a sampler that has been in my stash for a long time. On that Friday I was reading the weekly newsletter from Attic Needlework and in doing so, remembered that I had this pattern in my stash. Attic Needlework had another version of it in their newsletter; I had the original pattern from BBD. It seemed like an appropriate stitch to mark the occasion.

Home of the Brave
Blackbird Designs
30 count R&R Irish Creme
Victorian Motto Antique Red

I modified my pattern slightly to add "We will always remember September 11, 2001" similar to the Attic Needlework version. On the original pattern, just the year is stitched in this area. I enjoyed stitching this while reflecting on the events of 10 years ago and also while watching the Sunday football games that followed!

I took some time off of work this week and spent some time cleaning my house and cleaning through my stash! Now here's a little secret that I'll share with you...I've always wanted to be a quilter. I love the fabrics -- oh so many colors and patterns and designs to choose from! And there's nothing like snuggling under a homemade quilt! Over the years I've purchased fat quarters and patterns with the idea that I might quilt someday, but not much ever materialized from those purchases.

In late July/early August, my sister-in-law and I visited a couple of quilt shops that were participating in the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop. Quilt Shops all over the state of Minnesota participate in this two week event and they even have fabric designed specifically to commemorate it! Long story short - I loved this year's fabric - the colors and the designs were right up my alley! I was determined to make a quilt!

One of the shops we stopped at was Rosebud's Cottage in White Bear Lake, MN. Roseanne (shopowner) had designed a pattern using the Minnesota themed fabrics that surely even a novice quilter like me could finish! I've been dying to put the quilt top together and so that's what I worked on during my time off. And, as of this morning, the quilt top is finished!

Barn Square Quilt
Design by Rosebud's Cottage
Fabric by James Meger for Quilting Treasures

I must admit, I had a couple of issues, but I worked through them and in my humble opinion I think it looks great! Once I get it quilted and put the binding on, I'll share another picture.

Well, so that's my update. I hope you are all finding some time to enjoy a bit of stitching (or quilting!) this weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Labor Day Finish

Sunflower House
Blackbird Designs - Loose Feathers #9
28ct Friendship Blue
GAST Fibers (substituted Endive for Grecian Gold)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Great Minnesota Get Together

The "last 12 days of summer" (aka known as the last 12 days leading up to and including Labor Day) we Minnesotans get together at our State Fair! Today was Day 11; tomorrow will be the last day of the 2011 State Fair.

When we were young, my brothers and I used to go almost every day to the fair. One of our uncles had a food stand at the fair (he charcoal broiled chicken). As young kids we'd go with him prior to the fair and help get the stand ready - sweeping, mopping, painting, dusting, etc. Once we were old enough, we all worked at the stand too; it was a great way to earn extra money. Many of the same people always came year after year (and some of the fair workers would come several times during the fair) to eat at the stand and you'd get to know these folks pretty well; it was always good to see them again the next year. Once the fair gets in your blood, it's kind of hard to let it go!

Fairchild, the State Fair mascot!

My children are both avid fairgoers too; in fact; my DD was just 3 weeks old when she attended her first fair! My kids haven't gone as often in recent years; while most elementary and middle/high schools in Minnesota don't start school until after Labor Day, many of the colleges and universities start before, so they have been in school and haven't been able to go as much as they would like.

(I don't know who that guy is; darn him for getting in my photo!)

My mom is there every year as she demonstrates tatting at one of the buildings on the fair grounds. She is planning to be there tomorrow and will have gone 10 out of 12 days this year. Here she is with her little tatting display. (She says she's demonstrating tatting, but we think she spends most of her time talking and watching people!)

My family went to the fair twice this year (actually, DD went three times) but today was my first and only fair day. When we go to the fair, we always do the same things. Our first stop is at the Pronto Pup booth just inside the main entrance. We are Pronto Pup snobs -- no corn dogs for us!

My second stop is at the Creative Activities building. My family usually goes off and does their own thing for about an hour or longer so that I can take my time looking at things without feeling rushed. In this building you will find all things handmade - sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, cross-stitching, scrapbooking, woodworking, etc., etc. I didn't think there was very much cross stitching entered this year; I'm not sure why. I took a few pictures for you of some of the things that were on display:

Beautiful stumpwork!

This quilt was made using Minnesota themed fabrics from the 2010 Quilt Minnesota shop hop.

Do you recognize Mary Wigham?
Not sure who entered this, but they did a beautiful job on it!
It was stitched with blue and green color scheme.

More Hardanger!

We ventured all over the fairgrounds checking out displays and collecting free stuff. One of the new foods this year was Sweet Corn Ice Cream; I had mine with the Butter Bacon sauce. It was good - although I probably wouldn't have it again (it just can't compete with the Dairy Building malts!)

We tried lots of other foods - walleye cakes, walleye fingers, egg rolls, chicken on a stick, cheese curds, honey candy, fudge puppies (chocolate covered waffle on a stick). I should have taken more pictures!

One of our "must see" items is the State Fair Parade; it happens every day at 2pm. Many high school marching bands come to the fair to march and perform in the State Fair Parade; on the first Sunday even the University of Minnesota Marching Band is in the parade. Today we had only one high school marching band, from the city of Worthington; there were other musical groups to fill out the rest of the parade. Here are some snapshots from today's parade:

For my flamingo loving friends...

In the words of Smokey the Bear says "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!"

And as the parade announcer says every year "there goes a lot of beef!"

We headed home around 4pm; it had been a long day and the fair was quite crowded with people at that point. It was a fun day. Looking forward to next year's fair!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

My Husband's Hobby

Well, since I don't have any stitching pictures to share, I thought I'd show you the project my husband has been working on for a few (actually, several) years. He does auto body work for a living, but his real passion is restoring old cars.

When I met him, he had a 1935 Chevrolet Master Deluxe that he drove around. It was completely restored (with original parts if I remember correctly.) He always wanted to have a 1952 or 1953 Mercury though. With two kids we couldn't afford to have two old cars, so he sold the 1935 Chevy to fund his "next project." One weekend he drove out to South Dakota with a flatbed trailer that he borrowed from work and he brought it home. It had been sitting in a barn for the last 30 or 40 years so it didn't have too much rust on it (but it had a number of dead animals in it!)

So he's been working on this "little" project on and off for the past "few" years and this summer, it's finally driveable. He has spent many Friday and Saturday evenings at various car shows and outings in the Twin Cities and loving every minute of it.

Here's Tim and his 1952 Mercury:

Can you see the green flames that are painted into the front hood? You have to look at it at just the right angle to see them! (Oops, didn't realize you'd see my reflection in the hood too!)

The interior still needs to be done; it's something that he can't do himself, so it will continue to be a "project" for awhile longer. He's having fun though.