Thursday, August 24, 2017

Holy Wow!

Boy did it get cold - seems like just yesterday it was 90+, and today it struggled to get to 67F!  I'm sitting here freezing in my hoodie....somebody send some sun!  This is more like autumn than late summer!

I've been keeping busy.  I downloaded the Overdrive app for my phone, so I can borrow library books and read them on my kindle app.  Wow do I love that!  Unfortunately, the book I'm "reading" at the moment was only available as an audio it's taking forever to get through.  I can read a book in a day, but they sure don't talk as fast as I read.

So while I've been listening [Amelia Peabody series if you're interested], I've been stitching.  After finishing the Sweet Country series, I needed some quick applique.  I've uploaded 5 new applique blocks to my craftsy shop, they're just blocks, so you can use them anywhere - kitchen towels, pillows, baby blankets, children's clothing.  I'm calling them Dollar Deals, because each one is only one dollar!  The first one is the Sunflower block - 

I haven't stitched it yet, because I want to do a bunch of them in batiks.  All different colors of batiks, then make them into a little wallhanging with a scrappy border.

The next ones are a group of cacti - I call them Cactus Garden.

Just simple stuff, but it pleases me.  I'm thinking of putting these on a set of towels for my aunt.

While I've been busy indoors, hubby has been busy outside.  He's cleared the forest in back of underbrush, we could set picnic tables back there now - and he's been working on the fire pit.  He's done an amazing job.  The other day he was out there working on it and the deer came by to munch some apples - they didn't seem bothered by him at all!  Especially this fellow - 

Sorry for the quality of the pics, it was getting dark.  Amazing how tame these deer are!

I've got a busy weekend coming up, tomorrow is my son's 23rd birthday!  My baby.  Hard to believe.  We're celebrating Saturday as he forgot to get off work tomorrow.  I can only hope he doesn't forget to get time off for our upcoming trip to Florida!!

Gotta run, must find my wool socks - see you soon!


Friday, August 18, 2017

Sweet Country Tutorial (so many pics)

Ok, here we go, putting together the small version of the Sweet Country stitcheries into a quilt top.  This same method will work for the large size, but you'll need much more fabric - also, I used non-directional fabrics, you'll need extra if you use a directional print.

You'll need 1/2 yard of the light fabric, and 3/4 yard of the dark.  I got 1/2 yard of the dark, and had this much left over...

The strips are for my binding.  That teeny piece in the middle is what was left.  If you're doing the large size stitcheries, I would get at least a yard of each.  Maybe 1 1/2 yards of the dark.  Pick a pretty one and you'll wish you'd bought ten me.

First thing to do is trim your blocks.  You're going to measure one inch from each side of the stitched frame, using your large ruler to help line things up.  

The stitched frames are not quite even, but they will line up.  Trim a long side first, then line that up on your mat and trim the other sides.  See how the lines on the ruler make a frame against the stitched lines?  Your block will be 10" x 7".

(For the large size blocks, you'll trim to 12" x 8 1/2".)

Take your yardage of the dark fabric, and fold in half, selvage to selvage, then in half again.

You're going to cut several strips of 2 1/4".  The first 3 or 4 [I used 4 - I like extra so I don't have a seam in any corner] will be for your binding.  The rest will be for sashing the blocks.

I cut a piece slightly larger than what I need, then stitch and trim before pressing.  When I cut exactly the length I need, I always seem to come up a bit short - don't ask me why.  I'm a terrible piecer.

Add the sashing to the top and bottom of each block.  Trim and press.  Then add a strip to each side.

Do that for all four blocks, trimming and pressing as you go.

Next you'll add the light fabric sashing.  Fold your light fabric the same way you did for the dark, and cut more 2 1/4" strips.

Lay out your blocks in the order you want them in your quilt.  You're going to add a strip between the top and bottom blocks.  Stitch your strip to the top of the bottom block.

Stitch, trim, and press.

Now you're going to add your top block to that strip.

Do the same for the other two blocks, making sure to keep your blocks going the right way.

Now you're going to add the center sashing.

Stitch it to the first set of blocks.

Trim and press.  Stitch the other blocks to the center sashing strip.

Almost done.  Now you're going to add the border strips, all around, top and bottom first.

Stitch, trim, press, and add the side borders.  They're all 2 1/4".

I like to keep things simple.

And there you have a finished quilt top.

I was going to quilt it and bind it, but horrors! I have no batting.  So I laid out the binding to see what it might look like finished....

I LOVE it.  The two fabrics go together much better than you'd guess from the pictures - I can't get a good picture today to save my life.  

I'll be adding this tutorial to the complete set of Sweet Country designs.  They're available individually as well, if you'd prefer to make just one or two.  The price is the same.  Each pattern has a link to my blog, and the tutorial will be available permanently on my "Tutorials" page at the top of the blog.  I'd love to see your finished version!!

Almost forgot - designs are available in my shop!


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 - 

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.....


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....


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