Spring Sewing

Today is officially the  First Day of Spring!

Yesterday afternoon I sat on the deck with the sun shining, a little breeze that wasn't too cold, and read part of the newspaper. Off in the woods I could hear a pileated woodpecker hammering on a tree, some turkeys purring as they walked through the underbrush, and a symphony of smaller birds at the feeders around the corner from my seat.

When I came in the house, I was amazed what the sun and that short time outdoors did for my energy and enthusiasm. I decided sew!

Two nights ago I read a tutorial by Crystal of Stitched by Crystal on how to sew a Carrot Treat Bag for Easter. You can find it HERE. I wanted to make some of these carrots. I had plenty of scraps and the directions were very clear. They were easy to make and I sewed 8 in a short time. I won't fill them with candy. I stuffed them with polyfil to decorate the living room for the season.

Do you have a project on your sewing list for Springtime or Easter decor? 


Late Winter Trip

My husband and I went on a trip to Florida, leaving the wacky winter in Michigan for a little bit. We were glad to have been able to go, especially me with so much coming up in the next few months. We had nice weather on our travels during this trip. (Two years ago we went to Texas and New Mexico and the winter weather followed us with sleet, ice, snow, freezing fog and COLD!)

So here is my long overdue blog.

We spent four nights at The Waterscape Resort in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Friends Rick and Deb were spending a month there, so we made reservations for the four nights. It was great! I used the pool, went to the beach boardwalk, the sunsets were lovely, and enjoyed the warmth.
Our balcony view. 

The pier.

Sunset with hubby, Rick and Deb.

The four of us met up with some colleagues we haven't seen in years and had a great lunch at the Hurricane Grill in Orange Beach, Alabama. Rick said we had to stop at FloraBama, a building sitting on the beach front, half in Florida and half in Alabama, on the Perdido Key. They had a great many shirts and items for the tourists to buy. 
 I believe the dividing line between the states is shown on the sign above 
and the left and right half of the table below where car license plates are
attached to appropriate sides of the table. 

We left our "condo" setting and headed to the Lakeland area to stay with my good friend and quilting buddy, Marilyn and her husband.  We took in a Detroit Tiger game one afternoon in the newly remodeled stadium. 

We went to Plant City the next day. Marilyn wanted to take me to a wonderful quilt shop there called Inspire! Quilting & Sewing. The shop had many fabrics I haven't seen in Michigan, more so for the beachy theme of the area. I bought a few light gray fat quarters. The guys, including Marilyn's dad, went to the train museum down the block. We all went into a few antiques stores and finished with lunch at The Corner Store.

Our three-night stay ended and we headed toward Nashville, TN via Alabama (to avoid Atlanta traffic). The hotel we stayed at in Alabama was less than 30 minutes from the Front Porch Quilt Shop in Ozark, Alabama. After stopping at Gander Mountain for my husband's shopping, we headed to the quilt shop. 

I am so pleased I was able to shop here. It had all the bright and whimsical fabrics I like. I was the first customer, waiting in the car as Melanie drove up to open the store. 

Here are just some of the wonderful rooms I was able to peruse in the 45 minutes I spent there. (We were on a schedule, you know.)

I was very happy with my purchases.

Fat quarters for fun mug rugs and such. 

 Just because they are my favorite colors. 

A different kind of Halloween design.

Hedgehogs, my favorite cute animal these days. 

A kit for hand sewing little felt bunnies! 
If you see on the back, Heidi Boyd has kits for hedgehogs, too.

Back in Michigan, with a variety of weather for the coming Spring, 
I have some new projects to look forward to with my Southern
quilt shop purchases and a bit of relaxation from warmer climes.

What do you have planned for Spring projects?


10 Days of Quilting

Since I last blogged (10 days ago), I have been able to work on quite a few sewing projects--even some that were not quilting related. It really does energize me when I get some sewing completed. And I cherish each day I can sew, as I have hip replacement scheduled for later this spring and I never know how long I can sit comfortably.

Rachel, who is also a member of the Gridster Bee, began making the monthly block for each Queen Bee, and one for herself, too. This way she'll have 12 Gridster bee blocks for her own quilt. I decided that I would do this as well. I completed the pineapple block for myself as well as Sherri, who requested them. Pat Sloan has a tutorial HERE.

 Sherri's is on the left. Mine is on the right. On mine, I tried the leaf patchwork that Elizabeth used for her pineapple HERE. I am not sure which one I like better. 

I will make my own New York Beauty (Susan requested them in January). But it is a block I have not done until now. I found the curved piecing on the machine to be nerve-wracking. But I was please with the 2 I sent Susan. 

I spent about 3 days finishing my niece's T-Shirt quilt using her sorority shirts. I put it together in January. I quilted it on Feb. 2 using the Sweet 16 at the art studio I go to once every so often. This week I put the binding on it. One shirt had a pocket. I printed a photo on fabric of her and her dad at the Dad's Day event. I fused it to a thicker fabric, stitched around the raw edges and tucked it into the pocket. A nice memory. I forgot to take a photo of the finished quilt before I mailed it out. So you here it is trimmed and ready for binding. 

I finished my sister's birthday present. The center panel was 1/4th of a table cover our mother had in the 1950s or 60s. It was one of the things I saved after she passed away (many years ago). I have now made each of my siblings a table topper with one of the pieces. I have mine yet to make.
I was very pleased with the mitered corners. 

I had happy mail one day. I received the rotating Calibre Arts Cutting mat I won from the Sunbonnet Sue and Sam Travel The World BOM at Seams To Be Sew. I have wanted to get a mat from this company because of what I have read about their products. 

The mat does rotate very smoothly and I am pleased that I don't smell an odor in the room like I have when I have purchased mats from the stores. If I put my nose right up to it I smell a little odor, but my sewing area doesn't smell!

On the same day, my order from Missouri Star Quilt Co. arrived. I am going to make a quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild Challenge with Riley Blake fabrics. I tried to find Riley Blake fabric locally, but to no avail. MSQC had the best selection, so I placed the order. 

I saw these Island Batik Stamp packs and couldn't pass them up. So they went on the order, too. 

One final project that I sewed yesterday was Dilby Duck from Funky Friends Factory. I am sewing it for Island Batik Fabrics with some of their new fabrics. I have not sewn any stuffed animal this involved before. It wasn't too hard. I thought 4 hours total wasn't bad for my first time. I stuffed it while watching TV that evening. I don't know if I can show a photo of it yet, but here is the photo from the Funky Friends Factory site. You'll have to believe me, I made him much more colorful!

So that is a summary of the past 10 days. 


This Quilt Has a Name!

The quilt I made for the Island Batik New Beginnings Blog Hop needed a name. 
In my post HERE, I asked blog visitors to help name the quilt with a giveaway of 
this Sea Canyon Stamp Pack (42 pieces, 5" square).

I thank all who participated and visited during the blog hop.
I was amazed with all the creative names you gave me. 
I listed all the ideas submitted and asked my husband to help choose. 
This would be a good way to involve him, 
since he chose the layout design from those I had made in EQ7.

His favorite name was 
which was submitted by 

I have sent Rachell an email and look forward to mailing her the Stamp pack. 

Are you sewing this weekend? 
I'm off to sew a table topper for my sister's birthday present.


Four-in-Art Reveal

I belong to a quilt group called Four-in-Art. Every 3 months we reveal individual quilt projects we have designed based on our yearly theme and a quarterly sub-theme. This year our theme is Light. This quarter's sub-theme was Shimmer. 

I had some silver lame in my sewing room that I wanted to use. I backed it with fusible woven interfacing for stability. I wanted to use batiks in blues and teals for a watery effect. I had two tries that didn't please me. My final try was what I had envisioned. So here is my 12 inch square quilt:

Shimmering Ponds

The 4 blocks were paper pieced. I randomly placed the lame in the pineapple block.
The day I photographed this, the sun was shining and the snow was fresh and white. 
I was pleased with the shimmering effect in the photo. 

I appreciate you visiting and welcome comments. 
I am a day late in posting, but if you have not seen the other members' quilts, 
here are links to their posts.

Betty        Sun Shimmer, Filtered
Camilla         http://faffling.blogspot.co.nz/
Catherine         http://www.knottedcotton.com
Janine         http://www.rainbowhare.com
All of our blocks are on our blog, Four-in-Art.
Island Batik New Beginnings Blog Hop, if you haven't seen these quilts HERE.