Saturday, July 30, 2016

When Life Gives You 100 Degree Days...

LET   IT   S-N-OW!
only 2 letters left!
Thank you Miss Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin for this wonderful free BOM!
He's done and July isn't even over yet!  I'm so proud of me!
This months background fabric is from a kit that Stacy sent me after winning one of her drawings on Facebook!  I'd already made the block that the kit was originally assembled for, so I've been using it here and there in the construction of subsequent blocks.
~Nancie Anne

Monday, July 18, 2016

July Doin's!

My husband & I took a little road trip to an event in Twin Falls last week, while everyone else was going the opposite direction to Sisters for the quilt show!
The added bonus was visiting two quilt shops that I hadn't been to before!
I am probably the only living quilter in Idaho, who had never visited The Gathering Place in Rupert, but now I've done it, and guess what, I didn't have to take out a loan!  But spend money, I did, in fact they decided it would be good to double bag my purchases!  Who can resist a back room full of wonderful prints that were on sale for $4.99 a yard!  Backings my friends!!!!  The only reason my bank account didn't need a complete transfusion was because I knew I'd be back that way this coming weekend, plus we still had one more stop to make.  A wedding in Twin Falls this weekend means we're heading south again and has provided me time to mull over some of the other lovelies that didn't make it home with me in the first round! 
After The Gathering Place we went up the hill to Hailey which is a little town just west of Ketchum and Sun Valley.  There we visited the Sun Valley Fabric Granary, which is housed in an old granary building with  brick walls, wonderfully creaky wood floors and beautiful glowing tin inset ceilings.  I was able to lower my bank balance on this visit too!  The vestibule entrance has a wonderful quilty star tile work border which I didn't notice until we were leaving, and nope, I didn't take pictures!  The only picture I took, was not of the banana yellow crop dusting plane buzzing back and forth over the freeway, but this Elk warning sign on the highway just west of Hailey.  I think it's quite effective in getting the message across, "Don't mess with Lincoln County Elk!  They're a cranky bunch!!!"
I love some of the road signs we see in our travels..., the blobby, almost puzzling antelope signs here and there, the bulls with the swishing tails in Southern Oregon, the wild horse signs in the open range of Nevada and the Mama & Bear Cub signs on the NE drive between Lake Tahoe and Carson City!
Now, I haven't shown this anywhere before, 'cuz it's a secret!  I'm counting on you not to tell!
 Our little Granddaughter is turning 2 in September!  ALREADY! 
Her Mama is planning a Mermaid party!
This is the completed test block that, will hopefully become a family of 12 little Mermaids in the very near future!
The original Aloha Mermaid pattern from Red Brolly has 9 Mermaids, but I'm increasing the length so that it will fit her big girl bed!  Fat Quarter Shop listed it as their Sale Pattern of the Month in June, for which I am so grateful, because getting even 1 little pattern shipped from Australia isn't cheap! 
I've decided that Mermaids, being mystical creatures who live amongst other with brightly colored sea creatures, can have any color of hair they want, and when I saw this aqua print, I saw wonderful floaty aqua hair!  Of course not everyone can have aqua hair...or polka dot skin! 
I'm thinking about Mermaid Names too!  Shelly, Finley...
Here's my progress on Buttermilk Basin's Free 2016 BOM!
I finished the last little bits of stitching and embellishment on the S block on Friday, while back Buttermilk Basin Central, Stacy, who was still recovering from the excitement of attending the Sisters Quilt Show, was frantically cutting and stitching up the N block! 
Poor girl!  The 3rd Friday of the month snuck up on her too!  Such a sweet girl!  She could've said, "Sorry, maybe tomorrow" or even, "how about next Friday?" but no...she doesn't want to disappoint!
I haven't named any of the previous snowmen, but I think I'm going to call this little guy "Shiver".
I used this luscious thick furry looking bit of grey wool for the fur on his hat, which reminds me of our Shiver, whose long cashmere-like fiber is still bagged up, waiting for me to dig the spinning wheel back out of storage & get practiced up enough to do something with it.  Shiver was not a large llama, but he had fact he had extra special secret fiber.  Anyone casually looking saw a little guy with long brown fiber, pretty enough, but those who inspected closer found this lovely blue grey, hiding like gold to be mined, under the brown.  Such a funny boy he was.  I never think of him without the mental image of him kushed in his favorite deep puddle of irrigation water with that long fiber elegantly floating on the surface.  It was a picture that always made my day! 
Happy Monday Everyone!
~Nancie Anne

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Birthday America!!!

I'm not always successful, but I'd really love to finish a Patriotic Project every year. 
Memorial Day weekend found me making pillow tops that have sat on the back burner since, with all those baby quilts and birthday presents to complete.
So, they're in the same state they were in when I wrote about them, 2 well spaced posts ago,
but we are enjoying them while they're still in their awkward flimsy stage!
Here are some finishes from years past...
some more Patriotic than others. 
Others more flexible in their interpretation!
Liberty Road in Charlevoix prints by Minick & Simpson
Homecoming from the book Primitive Gatherings by Terry Burkhart and Rozan Meacham.
Star Spangled Stripes from Stitch n' Snip Quilt Shop in Garden Valley, Idaho is currently on sabbatical. (At the quilters!)
Housewarming from The Quilt House in Gardnerville, NV was their featured quilt in Best of Quilt Sampler in 2007. 
As far as I know, the shop still carries the pattern and the original quilt is still hanging proudly above their cutting counters.
Here is the view of the fireworks outside as I look past my left shoulder and out the window of my sewing room!
Every day since late last week I've enjoyed the evolution of this annual display and we agree, our Golden Rain Tree has outdone herself this year!
And now for a little levity...'cuz we all really need a good laugh these days!
Long wave our "Ethel Merman's"!!!
May we embrace them, and while we do, may we all be singing
"God Bless America" in our loudest voices!
~Nancie Anne

Friday, July 1, 2016

Bees, Babies & Miss Muffet!

I've been nose to the grindstone on projects in my little part of the world.  All the work on our daughters house appears to have paid off.  She accepted a full price offer last weekend.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it all comes to an end with an uneventful signing.  Meanwhile, I've working on top secret birthday & baby projects. 

Our days are in the 100 degree range here right now, so binding the quilt that just came back is not on my list until cooler weather arrives, but it is cute!  It's one of the quilts I pattern tested for Sue Abrey at QUILT TIMES awhile back.  The pattern is called Red Sprinkles.  We dubbed my version Honey Bee Sprinkles.
Since we have a bee theme going on I requested this panto with bees on it!  I had no idea the motif would be as large as it is, but we're loving it!  My husband likes that there are stingers on the little bee butts! 
It is backed with flannel 'cuz I wanted as much snuggle power as I could get into it without going all Minkee on it.

 Please don't worry about Shooter & Maecee taking an immediate loving to it!  This is going to be a snuggle on the couch quilt, so they're going to be spending a lot more time, doing what Doxies do.  Burrowing under it, cuddling up and napping for extended amounts of time!  Our little dapple guy, Shooter had surgery a couple of days later to remove the Lipoma from his side behind his front leg and had some tooth extractions.  He is aging and along with that come things like lipomas and teeth that get loose.  In addition, he had broken a tooth and had an abscess due to that.

I mentioned somewhere in the last post or two that I had done some recent pattern testing.  It was Charming Pachyderms, a new Quilt Doodles pattern by that Cindy wanted to have ready by Quilt Market.  To see the original pattern, including her cute pudgy little elephant and enter to win the pattern or the fabric to make it with click HERE!  Here's my version.
I haven't decided on the back yet and, since I don't know whether we're having a Grandson or Granddaughter, I'm not in a hurry to finish this one.
I love her little elephant, but since I used fabric I have on hand, that has a bunny theme, I'm thinking the peek a boo applique will wind up being a bunny, rather than the elephant.  It's a quick, easy baby quilt that doesn't come off looking like a quickie!  It can be done in a multitude of fabric themes and I'm contemplating primary colors on a second version.

The top secret baby projects have been sent away to be quilted, as the baby shower date has been moved up into August.  Once those were in the mail, I rushed through getting Miss Butterfly Quilt's 2016 birthday present done.  I did some experimenting on this 3rd version of Tuffet making, and there are some things I would have liked to have redone a little, but time was of the essence and her birthday fell within one of my work weeks so time was at even more a premium!
 She's into Parisian prints and greyscale these days.
I couldn't resist the gorgeous knotted head on the was a must add!
 and I wanted to change from the bun feet I had used on the baby tuffets to something more "shapely".
I spray painted them with black hammered finish paint.
Sorry the picture she texted me is dark, but here's the tuffet, fitting into her little vignette quite nicely!

Now her roommate wants one!

Today is the beginning of my 10 day stretch off and I have to catch up on Buttermilk Basin's "Let It Snow" free BOM.  I did get the 2nd T done, but the S for Snow & Sled have been out a week and I have it traced onto fusible but haven't picked the wool yet. 
I also need to get started on a project for our little Stinkerbelle, who turns 2 in September! 

Grammas work is never done!

Happy Fourth!

~Nancie Anne

Monday, May 30, 2016

Gettin' My Betsy Ross On!

This little pile of Grunge was waiting for me this morning! 
 So, I made a couple of stacks...alternating colors of course...

Fresh blades cut like buttuh!

Pressing & Keeping segments stacked in order is key!

As is cutting off the correct dog ears!

And sometimes you get bonding time with your seam ripper by adding the wrong piece to the right segment...

but then, you get it right.

and everything begins to come together.

Pressing, Admiring...dang I'm good!
The real squaring up happened on my rotating mat...I'm not good at being a contortionist!
No two are exactly the same, but this time it's OKAY!'s okay...
The stripes came marching in Two By Two,
 Then all of a sudden
it was complete!
Dancing Stars Pillow Top
 Sorry, the colors are reading brighter in these last 2 photos than they should.
But what of the other stars that didn't get into this?
Once I add two borders, I'll have a second Pillow Top!
I decided to spin my stars rather than making them march shoulder to shoulder as they do in the pattern.  It's Okay to March To Your Own Drummer!
 Now it's time to go make that Memorial Day Tater Salad!  Hubby is Home from work at Last!
And Maecee is completely exhausted from all that dedicated assisting!
~Nancie Anne


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hello...It's Meeeee...

Wow.  Two months and a couple of days since I posted anything...
Shame, Shame, Shame!!!
I wouldn't blame you if you'd completely given up hope on me!

Excuses?  Yeah, I've got 'em.  You think I'd show up without a ready supply?!?!?! 
I spent several weeks full time at work, including training a new girl to job share.  Training was successful, albeit, interesting.  You know it's getting bad when you decide the only way to survive another Monday is to take some Quilty Show and Tell to work with you...and I did!

In March my husband and I started doing work around our middle daughters house so she could get it on the market and move on.  The girl needs change!  Originally it was yard work and paint and gutting a bathroom that were our assignment.  We just wrapped up all of our assignments last week.  It all began with weeding and feeding, trimming trees, planting 2 new trees and 3 lilacs, shoring up the cedar fence and putting shingle oil on it.  The original bathroom contractor went MIA right after we had gutted the master bath.  We took it down to the studs on two walls.  She found a new contractor and she and my husband prepped the shower for new tile.  We shopped for new fixtures, tile & carpet, with me frequently reminding her that she's not going to be the one living there anymore.  We painted every wall in the house.  We pulled out and reset paving stones on the side of the garage.  Dug out the front flower beds and put in new weed barrier and bark.  Enjoyed watching her roses bloom while Daddy Mourning Dove flew back and forth all day, bringing in building supplies to shore up nest that Mama Mourning Dove was already ensconced in. 
The Rose we gave our Daughter for her College Graduation has been putting on quite the show for us while we've slaved away!
The Quail, on neighborhood watch, were sometimes on the roof, atop the back fence critiquing our job, or announcing our arrival from atop the neighbors mailbox while other covey members were directing traffic in the middle of the cul-de-sac.  The tile guys got in and did a lovely job on the shower tile. The installation of new carpet went smoothly.  Meanwhile the company who was supposed to put in new baseboards, that sis and friend has already painted, throughout the house to compliment all the new doors that we also "got to" paint, got their wires crossed, several times, and were subsequently dismissed.  There was a little freak out at that point, and Mama Bear, doing what Mama Bear does, stepped in and said, "Let's just do it..." adding another "little" job onto our list.  Papa Bear is now the proud owner of the new Miter Saw he's wanted for years, which does a much cleaner job than his old saw and Mama Bear knows how to run it, cuz she got tired of standing around with measurements in her head and wanted to get on with it and get the job done!  I refer to it as "My Other Rotary Cutter" now and I'm eyeing the places around our house that are in need of new moulding.  Our Worker-Bee Daughter stayed up late many nights.  She finished painting second coats, laid the bathroom floor tile herself...and installed new light fixtures, inside and out, including some massive ceiling fans, smoke alarms and a new doorbell all on her own.  The tile & carpet guys watched incredulously and she flitted from one project to the next while they were there.  She was even offered a job by the tile company boss!  The new fixtures were a committee effort, and then the tile guy was back with the new clear glass floating shower door.  For a small bathroom, it's become a bit spalike now,  rather than the nasty, dark little postage stamp that nobody wanted to enter!  Yes, that inset wall cubby and shower floor tile are Bubbles!  We couldn't resist!  That shiny blue blob up high is a speckled whale!  Too cute! And best of all he was on clearance!
Those and a gazillion other little things are now done, the house is staged very simply and on the market.  There is an open house going on as I sit here typing away and the hope is the thing will sell quickly as to avoid any further meltdowns of the stress induced nature.

So, around the tail end of March, while I was raking in the "Big Bucks" working extra, I was happily spending them!  One of the local sewing machine shops lost it's lease and closed one of their locations, so I toted home an old Janome Memory Craft that sews likes a dream and purrs like a kitten, and there was a brand spanking new little lightweight Viking that kept calling my name 'til I went back and picked it up.  It has some of the nice features that we quilters like to have, but at a reduced price, which was even more reduced than other places had it available for.  Happy Birthday to Me...a tiny bit early.   Then there was shop hop!  We hadn't shop hopped in about 2 years, so off we went one weekend and thoroughly indulged ourselves!
My birthday came and went with little fanfare, then suddenly there was a rush to celebrate it a few days belatedly, lead by my youngest daughter!  What was just supposed to be brunch a couple of shopping stops and back home to watch and chick flick, turned into more!  "Cuteness", as we will call her, looks at me and says, "Where's that cake place that you said makes really good cakes?"  Stunned, I point in a Northerly fashion and tell her it's right back up the street.  "Okay!  We're going to go get you a birthday cake!"  A little later when the girl helping us asks how may we're serving, she spurts out, "Okay Mom!  You figured it out!  It's a surprise party!  The rest of the kids are bringing dinner!

OH!  Okay! This is making more sense glad I figured it out!  It sounded more like the girl asked you a simple question, and you spilled your guts to me, but if you say I figured it out, we'll go with that!  Whatever it takes to reaffirm that I know what's going on in your little head at all times!

Back in the car with the 5 cute little cakes and Cuteness says..."ooo!  I just remembered!  My iPad is in the back seat!  We can text Vet Girl and get her one FaceTime when everyone arrives for dinner!" 

Yeah, I agree!  That's become a bit of a tradition now with her living in California.  One year we decorated a cake in honor of her birthday and got her up on Skype, passed her around the room and ate her cake while she watched!  Yes...we are evil like that! 

At home, once everyone has arrived and I've just begun eating dinner, Cuteness already has Vet Girl up on the iPad screen and it's stuffed into my hands while I'm chewing!  Knowing the girls had FaceTimed a few days before and the highlight had been watching Vet Girls little white furball, play with his toys during the conversation, I ask to see him and his toys.  Son In Love, is just barely out of camera range and obligingly gets my Grandpuppy so I can see him.  He's adorable, wearing a little blue bandana and I make kissy sounds at the screen and get him to cock his head and perk up his fluffy ears, which I swear are attached to his head by hinges!  He's so darn cute!  Then Vet Girl asks, "Can you read his bandana?"  I stick my face closer and am squinting at the little screen minus my reading glasses, and am thinking that sight on the other end of this conversation is probably really attractive!

Well, forget the worry about me squinting to read the bandana being unattractive.
I burst into tears and on the other side of the conversation, my daughter was in tears!
Let's just say that neither one of us are pretty cryers.
 I now know who was really responsible for the sudden surprise party and what the real intent was!
Quilty projects I had been contemplating for an upcoming retreat got blown out of the water in an instant.  My thoughts turned immediately and intensely to baby quilts, after the typical flurry of questions when your get news of this sort!
Then interestingly enough, I received an email a few days later asking me to do a little pattern testing...on a new baby quilt pattern, that the designer wanted to be able to release at Quilt Market! 
Time Crunch!  But it's a BABY Quilt and we are searching for Baby Quilts!
Over the next several days I stole some hours, and several quick moments when I could to fit it in, to do my thing, and to keep me as reasonably sane as one can expect me to be, as we are simultaneously hurled into remodeling mode.
I finished the quilt top, took photos and wrote out my observations just in time, as requested, but, since she hasn't blogged about it yet, I still can't share.  I can tell you, it's cute, it's simple, and if you've ever wanted something that you can make quickly for a baby gift that looks like it was more work than it really was, this is a great pattern to consider!
I'll come back and reveal my version as soon as I see her debut the pattern!
Meanwhile, I pulled a kit out of the cupboard that I purchased during shop hop several years ago and put away purposely for this baby!
Before Vet School, when she was a Tech at a local clinic, her co-workers called her "The Cat Whisperer".  She was the one they relied on to to calm and cajole the cats, and they would wait for her to arrive after classes to deal with the toughest customers, which were often feral cats that a local organization would bring in for spays and neuters.  The joys of being Low Tech on The Totem Pole!In those days it was her responsibility to hurl her body into the oncoming path of any snarling or hissing open mouth or set of claws that would lunge toward the Vet.  
During her tenure, she only sustained one bite, that was duly nasty and treated with a serious course of antibiotics.  One must protect the hands that protect the Vet, afterall!
Isn't it good that, it turned out that her Vet Husband, is also very fond of cats?  Her beautiful kitty, Lyra, whom she adopted via a rescue, during Vet School now spends more time on his lap than hers!  I'm certain that she's in a jealous huff, knowing that her person has spent all day loving on "that Bettie!", the 3 legged clinic cat! 
Interesting too, that Lyra and Bettie share a bit of a resemblance to one another!
So here's the first baby quilt...that should have taken part of an afternoon to throw together that had me measuring, remeasuring, ripping out due to the loosely woven, stretchy nature of the flannel it's constructed from.

It has no idea how close it got to being stomped on and chucked in the trash can!  Those cute little kitties saved it from a certain death!
Shoulda starched the heck out of it from the get-go!
Oh well, it's my hope and intention that this becomes the love it and drag it around everywhere quilt that in a few years is completely used up and worn out!  So purr-fection doesn't really matter this time...right?????
What else is on my plate?
Well, I'm about half way through stitching down the next Buttermilk Basin appliques for the 2016 Free Mystery Block now.
 I also decided I'd better hustle and grab enough of the Strawberry Fields Revisited prints before they were all gone.  I had to order a few, because they've blown out the doors at the local shops!  I loved the 2011 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM when I saw it being completed in the original Strawberry Fields prints near the end of that year and have continued to love it.  Not long ago they rereleased the patterns for that series, I think when they released Revisited and I grabbed a set!  I have the first 8 blocks cut out and the first 4 pieced, but I'm taking a break from the rotary cutter and sewing machine, as my shoulder decided to go on strike, and it's not been very pleasant about it at all the last few days.
Other than that, I've been living vicariously through all those who have been sharing their pictures from Quilt Market!  Oh how I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall...
well, except for the SPLAT! with the swatter part...!
Have you all been seeing and loving the spectacular stuff coming our way?
Have you all been doing the Happy Dance with me for Lynn Wilder's successful first foray into Quilt Market with her presentation and her quilts, Heritage and Butterscotch Baskets, which I must sheepishly admit, I call Buttermilk Baskets about half the time!
Our second cria, (baby llama) born 20+ years ago, was named Buttermilk after Dale Evans I've got Buttermilk on the brain I suppose!  Hopefully Lynn will forgive me for that and just know that it's one of my many blonde moments!
Well, the day's a'wastin'...I'd better go make it look like I accomplished something today!
Have a Safe and Blessed Memorial Day!
~Nancie Anne