Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sweet Country Love

We had the loveliest sunrise this morning...


At least til the clouds took over, and the heavens opened.  We needed the rain!

I've finished the final block in the Sweet Country series, the Love block.


It's my definite favorite.


I had some fabric picked out for finishing, from my stash, and I didn't have enough.  That meant a shopping trip.  The new fabric is in the wash, and I'll get started on the tutorial for the wall hanging later today.  That tutorial will be a permanent link on my blog, on the "Tutorials" page.

Pattern available here:  Allie-oops Designs

I chopped and diced the four blocks yesterday.


I may wait until tomorrow to do the tutorial - it's cloudy and rainy, and pictures never turn out well when it is!  

Ok, must run and pay the car insurance - hubby forgot to send the check, and that's a huge oops.  Yes, it runs in the family.  Or, as we like to say, "Sanity runs from our family".  True story.

See ya soon - 
Love,
Allie

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Busy Days At Chez Allie

We're having some cooler weather today, it's just lovely, more like autumn than summer for sure!  Which of course means the spiders are moving in....I've been busy vacuuming and handing down the death sentence to multitudes. *shudder*

I've also been stitching.



See that pillow on the footstool?  It's not really a pillow, it's a large chunk of foam that sits on my lap, to bring my stitching up to where I can see it.  Saves my neck, and it's nice to stab my needle into for French knots.  I have a 3-way floor lamp next to me, good for my old-ish eyes.  Sweet Country Love is coming along nicely.



And I've kinda sorta been playing with fabric, with the original appliques that inspired the Sweet Country stitchery pattern.  That's not going so well.

Outside, hubby has cleared the forest of all undergrowth, great place for some picnic tables - he did leave the raspberry bushes, isn't that nice.  We also have some lovely looking peaches, which the deer find delicious.



I had a visitor today.



We don't really see many bunnies - too many hawks, I think.  They're usually going flat out from cover to cover, but this guy stayed by the stump, found something interesting to eat, and maybe wanted a portrait done!

I've also been having a lot of trouble with the new phone my boys bought me, apparently it's having "ghost touches", and is sometimes completely unusable, might have to be replaced.  Thank goodness it's still under warranty.  And while I was writing this blog post, my laptop got the blue screen of death - bad pool header - whatever the heck that means.  Technology is miserable sometimes.  I'm so glad Sam, my youngest, is a techie.

Mom had her eye surgery, all is well, she's doing eye drops daily.  After 5 years, she's figured out her recliner actually goes all the way back, so you can lay flat, helps get the drops in the right place.  

That's all the news from Chez Allie - I'll leave you with a fave pic, a misty morning snapshot.


Take care my lovelies.....

Love,
Allie

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Block Three....

Early Saturday evening here, peaceful and quiet - no deer, our new neighbors next door have moved in and have been exploring their forest.

I hadn't planned on posting tonight, but I need to do something to keep me awake while my son's jeans are washing.  He needs to wear them to work tonight, and I plumb forgot to get them going.

I finished block three of Sweet Country, the Faith block.  


The whole time I was drawing this block, I was thinking of this saying....

"When we walk to the edge
of all the light we have
and take that step
into darkness of the unknown, 
we must believe that one
of two things will happen:

there will be something solid
for us to stand on, 
or God will teach us how to fly."
Patrick Overton

Isn't that so lovely?  


I'm so pleased with the little spider web, lol....


And all three together.  One left to go!  Turns out, it's my favorite.  I'll start stitching it tomorrow. 

 I've updated the first two pattern files, we now have all designs in two sizes - 8" x 5", and 10" x 6.5".  I'm stitching the small size.  So if you've already purchased the first two patterns, you should receive an automatic update notice from craftsy, just re-download the file.  If you haven't received an update notice, just go back to your pattern files and download again.   The link to the shop is here:  Allie-oops Designs

I managed to get around to visit you all this week, I'm so happy about that!  This coming week will be a busy one, Mum goes to the pacemaker clinic for a check-up on Monday, then to the eye doctor for laser surgery on Thursday, in addition to all the normal errands we do for her.  Tomorrow I'll be staying in my pajamas and taking it easy - I had a flare last night, and managed to get a rib out of place, thankfully it's back in place but these flares take a lot out of me.  And dang it, new neighbors means keeping the blinds closed in my sewing room if I stay in my jammies all day.....*giggle*.  Don't want to scare them off just yet, we'll have to see if they're keepers or not.

Take care my friends....
Love,
Allie

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sweet Country Home

I finished block two of my Sweet Country series, Home...


I think I like it.  :)  I'm already trying to decide where to hang it, when I get it all done.  It's uploaded to my craftsy shop, if you like it too.  

Here's the two blocks so far:


Mum was here yesterday, and was having a fit at this picture, she wanted me to swap them out so it read "welcome home".  Mother knows best!  Her power had gone out, so she spent the day here, as it was 95F and quite humid, she needed to be in air conditioning.  It was lovely having her here, just like old times!

On a very sad note, I had to take my sweet Hermione to the vet last Friday and have her put down.


I can't believe how hard it was.  


Or how much I miss her.  I used to carry her around like a baby - upside down in my arms - she was my constant companion.  

Hubby wants a box of kittens, but no.  No more animals.  I can't take it, and my youngest is very allergic, so as long as he lives at home I'll have a good excuse.  Hubby can have his fish.  I don't get emotionally attached to fish.

Needless to say, I haven't been on the computer much since then.  I know you've all been busy, as my reader is exploding with posts, I'll get to them this week.  Be well and happy, my sweet friends.....

Love,
Allie




Sunday, July 2, 2017

Gypsy

Yesterday, after stitching for several hours, I got restless - needed a change of scenery.

So, I got in the car, and after stopping for a Mocha Frappe at McDonald's, went in search of dirt roads and decrepit barns.

I found a neat little nature preserve and community garden - Thayer's Corner.





Does anyone remember piling into the car and going for a mindless drive?  Back when I was a kid, we did it weekly.  It's getting harder and harder to find real country around here though, so many housing developments, big McMansions all built within feet of each other, in the middle of nowhere.  And of course, gas isn't as cheap as it used to be.  I miss mindless driving, for hours on end...

I've been stitching a lot on the next Sweet Country design.


Having lots of trouble with a finger on my left hand - the knuckle has a lump on it, arthritis, and it's extremely painful.  I can't even do dishes hardly, trying to hold a plate with my left hand is impossible.  Fortunately I pull the needle with my right hand....but my stitching days may be numbered.  That will make me sad - but God is in control, always.  No matter what He finds for my hands to do, I trust Him.

I want to wish all my Canadian friends a very happy Canada Day, and my U.S. friends a very happy Independence Day!  Enjoy!!

Love,
Allie [and Larry and Curly - Mo was awol]




Monday, June 26, 2017

Glorious Summer



So far, this getting up before the crack of dawn is working quite well for me.  The only other time I can remember being able to rise so early is when I was in the military.  I'm thoroughly enjoying it this time!  Not so much then.....as it meant getting dressed and running 5 miles before breakfast.

Not much happening here lately, I must admit that with the 4th of July coming it's getting hard to sleep - everyone around here seems to buy their fireworks in advance, and party every night.  Don't they work???

I've been stitching a new little series of country designs, apt as I'm now living in the country in the city.  I'm falling asleep to the smell of bonfires every night (in addition to the sound of fireworks), and enjoying the bird song every morning.  So peaceful, mostly.

Sweet Country Welcome is the first in the series. (click on title to go to my shop]


The pattern is for the stitchery only - it measures 8" x 5".  I think there will be four of them.  I have three drawn up, and a solid idea of what the fourth will be.  The additional themes will be home, love and faith.  I have to run out today and get a new pigma pen for tracing onto copier paper, some fusible interfacing, and a new box of rubber finger cots - they really help my arthritic fingers pull the needle through.  The one I've been using is falling apart, and I'm constantly stitching bits of rubber into my design.  Not a good look.

I haven't decided whether or not I'll make a small quilt, four little pillows, or what.  Whichever I decide, I'll do a tutorial on the blog when the four designs are done.

I'll be around to see you soon - we're gearing up for a party on the 4th, we'll be celebrating my oldest son turning (gasp) 25 years old!  His birthday is this Friday, but everybody is working.  I need to go start cleaning......

Love,
Allie

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Free Design

It dawned on me the other day that it's been a very long time since I shared a free design....so I decided to rectify that.  Here's a little design I drew up, haven't stitched yet, but will probably make into a postcard or put on a tea towel.


You can get it in my craftsy shop, Allie-oops Designs.  The best way to find a new design there is to click on "newest", up on the right-hand side, where you can sort the order.  I have no control over how my designs come up on that page - wish I did!

I'm having fun with a new little series, born out of frustration over not having the right fabric for my applique design.  Here's a peek - 


I've been seeing all the fawns together, all three, with one of the mums.  I think she's the new Designated Babysitter.  I've named them Larry, Curly and Mo.  They're so comical with their long awkward legs, dancing and prancing, I don't envy her trying to keep them out of trouble!

See ya soon - 
Love,
Allie

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Weekend Report With Allie-Oops

Hello, and welcome to the Weekend Report.  It's been a busy week here in Allie-land, apparently I'm the neighborhood Designated Babysitter for Wildlife.


This baby robin stayed on the step of the shed all day long Thursday.  Mama and Daddy would come with food.  At one point, it wasn't moving at all, and I thought it was dead.....then Mama showed up with a nice juicy worm.


Never did get a picture of that, she was too quick.  I thought maybe it was injured, but 12 hours later it finally hopped down, went over to the biggest tree, hopped up the trunk and flew off several times....little stinker.  Just a slow learner I guess.

On Friday, in the very early morning, one of the fawns came to lay by our shed.


  Every now and then, he'd look around for Mama, then go back to sleep.


She finally showed up for a mid-morning snack, baby was happy.


Then she took off again.  My friend Shirley came over for a visit, and we just sat in the sewing room, watching baby.  The sun finally got hot and he got up and moved to the thicket, where he stayed and stayed and stayed....



Later in the day, the young bucks came back, running across my patio and giving me heart failure.  The does have been keeping them away, as they'll kill the fawns.  One of the bucks came over to the peach tree there in the picture, and was eating the leaves, saw the fawn and charged him - so yours truly DB [designated babysitter] went charging out after the buck to keep him away from the fawn.  Not recommended, but he ran off.

The fawn went back to sleep, and I stayed up after my bedtime to make sure Mama came back.  She never did.  It finally got too dark to see, so I went to bed, praying for baby.  He was gone in the morning, so I'm believing mom came back. 

And this, my friends, is partly why I'm a city girl.  Nature is stressful.

And now for the flower report.  We have no idea what all is in our flowerbeds, except poison ivy, which hubby thought he was immune to - he's not.  He's covered head to toe.  Friday, when Shirley was here, we stopped to try to figure out what's growing in the island in our driveway.  


It's JASMINE!!!!  My driveway smells heavenly!!  I had no idea it would grow in Michigan.


It's thriving, growing up through our burning bush and our lilac bush.

News about Mom.  She's doing well, and is no longer trapped in her house.  She couldn't manage her steps off the porch, they're too high, so I could only take her out if the boys went with me or my brother was home.  My wonderful brother put in a railing so she can get out now on her own.

She's so happy!  And so am I.  I can't hold her up, she takes me right to the ground - she's unbelievably strong!

There has been some sewing going on, I drew up a new pattern and started a background for it, using all my light-colored scraps.


And - I don't have enough of them.  Not only that, I have nothing that looks good for the applique.  I'm re-drawing the pattern for stitchery.  Sometimes, designing can be frustrating!

As I mentioned earlier, the bucks are back, and we're not seeing the fawns or the does.  These bucks are juvenile delinquents, bold as brass.  We're currently having a heat wave, temps in the 90's all week, so they're hanging close to the shade.  I believe these are last year's fawns, not sure...



Forgive the pictures, taken through my dirty windows - I guess I need to clean them!

So, that's the weather, wildlife, floral, sewing, and mom report.  I hope you're all keeping comfortable, no matter your weather, and that you're finding plenty to keep your hands busy.  I'll see you soon!

Love,
Allie


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hanging Small Quilts

I had a some inquiries as to how I hang my small quilts - Glenise, you came up as a no-reply comment and I have no way to email you, so I'm answering here.

I always have great plans to make those triangle corners on my small quilts, before adding the binding, but usually forget.  I first learned of this method from Ami Simms, but now I see it everywhere - here's a link from Quilts By Jen.  For some reason she has you use a triangle in each corner, but I only use two, at the top.

So how do I hang mine??  Well, I save all my old sewing machine needles, and just tap them into the wall to hold my quilts.


Not very deeply, just enough to hold.  This leaves a small hole that is easily covered if you move them, which I do frequently.  Be gentle as you tap them, they will break if you whack them too hard.  Forgive the terrible picture, we're having thunderstorms today and it's dark in here.

Works great for really small ones, but the larger ones tend to droop in the middle.  The triangle method is really cool for adding a dowel - the triangles are added before the binding is attached, so it's all by machine, no hand stitching.  I'll add the link to my Useful Links page so you can find it easily anytime.

I hope you're all having a great Sunday, we're going tropical today [88F] with thunderstorms - much cooler this coming week!

Love,
Allie

Friday, June 2, 2017

Summer

Well, it's not quite summer yet - but it sure feels like it!  I must say, this new house stays nice and cool, it was 80F outside but I had my hoodie on all day in the house.  Nice!

Got a shock this morning - I saw a very large hawk swooping down behind our shed, and a few minutes later, a tiny fawn went running to the trees in my neighbor's backyard.  I had no idea hawks would go after fawns!


Isn't he/she the cutest?


He kept looking around, I think for mama, and finally went trotting off into the woods.

We're having more scheduling changes, now that hubby and my oldest and I get up at 5am, my youngest just got promoted and works from 9pm to 8am.  (insert shocked face)  We go to bed, just as he's starting work!  You can imagine what that's doing to his state of mind at the moment, lol.  It's four days a week, and that's bad too, as it's Thursday - Sunday.  No garage sales for this young man this summer.

What else - ah - my youngest went to the auto store the other day to get windshield wiper fluid, and came home with two wrapped parcels for me from the florist - he bought me two African Violets!


The only plant I can't kill.  


Seriously - I do not have a green thumb - I'm a plant assassin.  A foliage exterminator.  But for some reason, these plants love me.  They're cheering up my sewing room so much!

I do have a new pattern in the shop, I'm incredibly proud of the binding...stripes!!!  On the bias!!!  And it matched up!!!!


I have no idea how that happened, I couldn't repeat it to save my life, I'm just glad it worked.  This is a fairly quick pattern, all one color [my fave] and mostly backstitch.  You can get it here:


I think that's all for now, I'll leave you with a picture of my very strange kitty on her favorite table - heaven forbid I put a sewing machine on it.....


Love,
Allie



Thursday, May 25, 2017

New Neighbor

I had quite a treat today.  I was putting together a small quilt, lost the plot and made hst's instead of pinwheels - the border was already cut and the pinwheels were going to be the cornerstones.  I set it aside to regroup, looked out the window, and I'm so glad!!!


I had noticed this doe laying near the bushes all morning, and was sort of keeping an eye on her, hoping she wasn't in distress.  

Pretty soon, she got up and came closer, to our peach [or is it pear] tree.


City girl that I am, I couldn't figure out why she kept her head at her back end.


She was in labor!!!!


Suddenly, there were two!!!!


And they trotted happily off to the woods.

Then I realized - if I had kept the plot, and made the pinwheels like I had designed, I would have missed this whole thing.  I would have been so focused on my quilt, I never would have looked up.  What a shame that would have been.  Thank you Lord, for this precious gift!

I pray the Lord gives you gifts today too - don't forget to look for them!

Love,
Allie


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