Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Special Gift To You

That's Christmas To Me
 
The fireplace is burning bright, shining along me
I see the presents underneath the good old Christmas tree
...
And I wait all night 'til Santa comes to wake me from my dreams
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me

I see the children play outside, like angels in the snow
While mom and daddy share a kiss under the mistletoe
And we'll cherish all these simple things wherever we may be
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me

I've got this Christmas song in my heart
I've got the candles glowing in the dark
I'm hanging all the stockings by the Christmas tree
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me

I listen for the thud of raindeer walking on the roof
As I fall asleep to lullabies, the morning's coming soon
The only gift I'll ever need is the joy of family
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me

I've got this Christmas song in my heart (song in my heart)
I've got the candles glowing in the dark
I'm hanging all the stockings by the Christmas tree
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me

Oh, the joy that fills our hearts and makes us see
Oh, why? Cause that's Christmas to me

I've got this Christmas song in my heart
I've got the candles glowing in the dark
And then for years to come we'll always know one thing
That's the love that Christmas can bring
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me
 
 
Merry Christmas...
 
Nancie Anne
 
 
 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Better Not Pout...

 
 Still alive...still haven't had much time to sew...the last 6 weeks or more have been a blur of activity.
 
The Christmas theme is inescapable at our house (and this ain't the half of it)...in fact I was told last night that Mr. Christmas wishes to do more so we can get it all out and reorganize it! This is what happens when you help do a Toys for Tots benefit boutique for several years!
Oh well...Christmas started at Thanksgiving when Vet Girl was home and will still be going when Oldest son is back in town at New Years.
New ornies keep finding their way onto the tree...found two 1/2 price Dachshunds at Cracker Barrel the other night...hadda hav'em...the Baby's First Christmas ornie is front & center directly in line with the big skiing bear. 
 
The quilt, High Strung, is a couple of years old...already!
The tree is sort of a Santa with his Animal Friends theme...along with whatever is pertinent that year...our ginormous stuffed reindeer haven't found their way upstairs yet...I usually try to find a sturdy tree with some gaps for them to tuck into. This is the first year we've had an artificial tree...I bought it on clearance last year knowing that Vet girl would be home at Thanksgiving which was too early for a cut tree.   We have large windows in this 104 year old Money Pit...so most of them & the french doors have a lit garland, each with it's own theme.
Still lovin' this quiltand the awesome quilting job!  I changed the sign on the napping snowman to say "Flaked Out"! Someday I should really make the companion quilts that go with it & hang it with something other than clippy pant hangers!
We need more wallspace!!!

Santa Bear and several of his friends have lived with us for years...and years...and years. Grandpa has been faithfully adjusting the nose on the advent snowman every evening! Even old dudes like toys!  Shhh...that old dudes comment is just between you & me!

The old window frame was gleaned from Hubby's brothers (in-laws?) shed over 30 years ago...I knew I'd do somethin' with it someday...just took me a little bit to decide...Love that it has some remnants of old red paint on it! I could so become a picker...'cept I don't really like to dicker, or climb through cobwebs...or mouse poop...oh I digress!
Our new green shelf went up the night before Thanksgiving. The window frame looks lie its leaning forward onto it in this picture but it's really tilted toward the wall...just took the picture at a weird angle.  The nice deep shelf is holding all the stocking hangers and stockings...should have thought of it years ago! I miss having a fireplace and mantel this time of year.
Hubby loves hand painted Santa's...driftwood...gourd
s...and we've had this guy for years, usually hanging on the inside of the front door...I love how he looks with the old window and the bittersweet garland that I dug out of a box on the fly.

We half expected Vet Girl to stuff this old homemade barn in her car when she was here...she always loved it! A certain cute little boy loved that there were Moose's peeking out of the doors.
 We have more rustic trees like this one & I think another will find it's way into our old copper boiler!
(No Sue...I hear you...it will only be placed in the boiler...not cooked for Christmas dinner!)

Our version of Elf On The Shelf...He's been hanging around here 15+/- years keeping an eye on our every move!  Vet Girl dreamed up this game of moving him around to unexpected places (often times hanging upside down from a bent knee) to entertain "the babies" (who are now 22 & 23 years old) & rest of us, loooong before we'd ever heard of Elf on the Shelf. We think our guy is much less creepy...I bought this one at a boutique but also have the pattern & have since created several more for good little girls and boys, with specs so they can really see what we're up to!
I think all the kids have claimed him as part of their inheritance...eventually they'll all have their own to hopefully keep the fur from flying...and them winding up with nothing but coal & switches in their stockings. It's heartwarming to know that the Elf game that Vet Girl started all those years ago is continuing on with the little ones at our oldest sons house.
 
More goings on...Vet Girls house in California was burglarized last week.  According to the neighbors statement, she missed the guys by only about 20 minutes...thank you Lord for keeping my baby safe.  Sadly both their iPads are gone and have as yet not been turned on to allow the tracking to work.  Her beautiful crystal shamrock tiara from her wedding is gone as is the diamond necklace she wore with her gown.  In addition to numerous pieces of birthday gifts of irish silver jewelry ...trinity knots, shamrocks, claddaughs, and Connemara marble.  If you're toolying around eBay or Amazon or a Pawn Shop in California, Oregon or Nevada and spot something that just might belong to a heartbroken girl...let me know!
 
On the good side of the news which is always the best place to end...we have another college graduate as of Friday morning.  She has earned her Bachelors in Business Administration, Human Resource Management & is looking toward Law School, and practicing Business Law.
We didn't get many pictures as it was raining cats & dogs...or were those Boise State Broncos?
(there's Blue Turf just behind that wall!)
 
~Merry Christmas and Keep Being Good!
Nancie Anne


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Still Thankful...Yes I Am!...Really!

Two steps forward one back...or vice versa! Scrubbed my fridge out and traded items that I'll be needing for the next 24 hours of harried cooking with the fridge in the garage. Trying to squeeze in a moment for a bit of sustenance, I noticed my little pumpkin wax warmer in the window needed emptying and a new cube of smell-em-purty...I took the little pumpkin stem top with hot waxy stuff off and promptly dropped it on my new kitchen floor...of course it was red...& I broke my little "lid". Thank God husband wasn't here...he would've freaked!!! The next half hour or so was spent in the floor with a metal spatula, magic sponge, kitchen scrubber & my trusty little vacuum cleaning it up and saying a prayer that the red wouldn't stain. Phew! Life is good...all is well...almost...
Next project, getting ready to pulse bananas in my mini processor and suddenly a loud hum comes from the direction of cooking yams in the microwave...then silence...no interior light...no clock...no nuthin' but some hot yams...the little microwave I keep upstairs is now thawing my strawberries, thank you very much! Taking a moment for a deep breath before plowing in again...

 I've decided the appliance fairy owes me...again...we just replaced the washer a few months ago after they decided it wasn't worth fixing again and they gave us a generous credit for a new one...my dryer is currently screaming like a turkey getting it's neck wrung...parts are on the way...just replaced our old dishwasher with the one from our daughters so she could use our "sorry your flooring hasn't arrived yet, gift card" to purchase her pretty new stainless one...my range looks like a refuge from a sad, sad cooking accident and needs replaced and now the microwave...what's next?
 
I hope things go better with the turkey tomorrow...
 
~Nancie Anne, Appliance Killer

Update:  Well that didn't take long...the appliance fairy just called and says the repairs on the screaming dryer are too extensive and they are giving us a credit for a new dryer.  Thank Heavens we added an extended warranty when we bought the old appliances!  Still tempted to crawl in that sink though!
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

My New Favorite Toy!!!

Having had nearly a years notice that Vet Girl and Vet SIL would be coming home for Thanksgiving this year, and knowing she was excited about sharing some of her childhood Christmas traditions with him, we decided Christmas would begin earlier at our house this year than it usually does.  Normally we're about half way through December before we finally get our tree, as the result of a little raised eyebrow and toe tapping routine I've gotten accustomed to performing each year.
I knew that this year it would be too early to put up our usual & preferred cut tree, then I leapt upon a great deal on a tall enough to suit me, artificial (gulp!) Christmas Tree (oh the sacrilege and shame of it all...) for about 80% off last season.  It had been on display...which translates to, having been lit 24/7. since October!
We just sat it up the other night and had about 5 boughs that didn't light and we couldn't find the culprit(s) especially since there is flocking on the tree and on most of the lights on the skyward side of the boughs
So I decided to take a chance and purchased this little red toy at my favorite big box home improvement store for $20 while out on an adventure in the foot of snow that had fallen over a 24 hour period last week. 
 
I am not a Dr or a paid spokesperson.
Could it really work or is this one of those too good to be true gadgets that you see advertised on TV?  Well, I'm here to tell you, It Worked! And better yet, I was able to call my husband and say "Neener, Neener!  I fixed the tree...all by myself!"  The little gun beeped and told me where the interruption in my lines were & the package included 4 little replacement bulbs that are now shining brightly in our completely lit tree!
 
Hubby is home this week to help get the house ready for our Thanksmas Celebration next week and 
I can't wait to find that big box of tangled burnt out strings of lights that gets fuller every year as the frustration mounts and play with my little "Red Rider" gun some more! 
 I didn't even shoot my own eye out!
(Hmm...might have to sit down and see if I can make it all the way through that movie this year...I've never been able to get through the whole thing in it's entirety!)
 
Sew Much For Quilting!  For Awhile Anyhow!
 
Nancie Anne   Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Way.... 

Friday, October 31, 2014

HALLY HAPPOWEEN!!!

 
May The Worst Trick You Experience Is A Momentarily Tongueled Tang!
 
Here's A Treat For You From Me!
One of My Favorite Old Videos...
 
 
~ Nancie Anne...& Her Broom
 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I'm There In Spirit!

Several months ago Lynn Wilder let me know she was planning a quilt retreat at Snowflake Lodge which is near their cabin,
"Wilder's Last Resort". 
I whimpered a bit, knowing a trip to California just wasn't in the cards this year. 
We have too many things going on...the arrival of our new Grandbe'be' in September, long overdue projects to complete around the house and preparing for our daughter and her husband to come home for Thanksgiving...the Autumn/Halloween decorating has pretty much gone by the wayside and we'll begin hanging garlands soon because we'll be celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas when the kiddos are here visiting.
Setting these cute little salt and pepper shakers that we found at Pier One by my little rooster and egg crate is about as far as I got!

Lynn has just posted the first pictures of the grand gathering on her blog, Sew'n Wild Oaks...great food, great company, and in that fine tradition, I've decided not to sit around feeling sorry for myself, but to join them in spirit!  Looking at the photos Lynn posted this morning I was taken back to the cabin and those warm fuzzy feelings of great food, laughter, fun and friendship. 

I have my projects pulled together for my virtual participation in this retreat.  I tripped across a great sale on orange bell peppers yesterday so there are stuffed peppers in the crock pot which promise to be sweet and succulent this evening, they'll look more appetizing when I top them with grated cheese later on!  I'll mix up some biscuits to go with them later this afternoon.  Tick good food off the list!


I have good company in the form of Maecee, my warm napping little lump of furry love cuddled in the desk chair with me, when she's not asking for a belly rub!  She never comments when I have to stop and pick out a seam...sometimes she does roll her eyes though!


 
Last night I finally cut out the August block for Country Corners and after plugging in the crockpot I got it sewn together.  The September block is up next...after lunch!

 
 I also have an after hours project that I prepped over the weekend and can stitch on in front of my imaginary fireplace in the evenings!
Bertie's Winter! 
Easy fused die cut appliques and whip stitching with perle cotton. 
It feels like cheating...and I LOVE IT!!!
I've taken a little artistic license with one of the blocks...those of you who are also working on Bertie's Winter will probably spot it quickly. 
I have a very opinionated daughter who looked at the patterns the other night when I was starting to prep the blocks and she felt something was amiss in one of the blocks!  Yes....I've added a snowman ornament where a frosted cookie was intended to be!

 
I think I'm progressing pretty well with my virtual retreat!  Won't you join me?
 
~Nancie Anne

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It feels Like Fall...and Home...

In the wee hours this morning Country Homecoming officially became a flimsy! 
It's been awhile getting to this point, and I've stitched on nothing but Country Homecoming for weeks now.  Keeping my focus and determination to finish wasn't difficult on this project that I love so much!  My thoughts went to the planning of the next project to finish at times, but my needle never strayed. 
I know!  Astonishing isn't it?!?!?!?!?!?
 
It's a blustery day here and I'm waiting for the wind to die down and the light to get a little better before taking Country Homecoming outside for a photo session...so meanwhile, I'll write and share some photos of the work in progress.
 
Of course there have been a few distractions along the way.  A new Grandbaby to cuddle, a daughter who is fine, but whose car is totaled.  A husband on vacation with a big to-do list, New kitchen/laundry/bath flooring that didn't arrive when promised so we had to work double time with the days off we had left when it did.  A new work schedule and four legged babies who demand need Mommy time, but in little snippets of time between all this flurry of activity I was able to stitch around a leaf here and a few berries there.
 
I'm not sure where everyone is at this point in their sewing schedule...we did check in a couple of weeks ago by email via Kim at Kim's Big Quilting Adventure and it seemed that everyone, including me, was in need of more finish time than originally planned.
Phew!  I wiped a bit of nervous sweat off my brow!
 
Here's where things stood at that point...assembled and getting ready to applique.  I pinned my favorite homespun green plaid vines in place and as I often do, photographed it to get a different perspective on the lay of the land...or in this case the placement of the vine.  Sometimes things jump out at me from a photo that I don't see with the naked eye...or even the spectacled eye!
That's a lot of pins poked in there!  The vines were cut on the bias and sewn together lengthwise, wrong sides together, then using a 1/2" bias bar the seam was centered in the back and pressed open.  I love manipulating bias strips...I'm not sure why I haven't made a Celtic quilt yet...especially considering that I have that daughter who loves all things Irish.
 
Then I went on a field trip...into my limited stash of wool and off to a couple of quilt shops to see what other treasured little chunks of wool I might be able to add.  Greens & Reds & Golds, Leaves & Berries & Stars...OH MY!
 
I love my soft woven green and black check outer border fabric, found in the clearance stash on a day trip to Stitch n' Snip in Garden Valley!
I also love handsewing and I used a beautiful variegated skein of Caron Wildflowers single strand floss around my berries and leaves.  The color name is Fiesta.  I added this skein to my stash for a someday project a couple of years ago just cuz it was so darn pretty and now I know why I did!  I don't think the shop I found it in survived it's first year in business & and was concerned about access to more while sweating whether or not one skein would do, but it did with some to spare.  It was just meant to be.  I love how the greens, golds, teals. rusts and ambers enhance the berries and leaves in warm autumn tones.  I would compare this "floss" to perle cotton by any other name.  Its a bit heavier that DMC 8 and a little lighter than Valdani 8.
 
The stars are circumnavigated with Valdani O 154 (8)
 
 
So all this brings me to a huge Thank You to Kim for rounding us all up and keeping us marching on to our destination!  A Quilty Finish!
 
Here it is! The Ta-Da Moment!

One thing I haven't done on this flimsy that I still may do is to do a little work on windows and doors to make panes and give them a bit more life...or that might occur in the quilting process...still on the fence about that .
I have no idea what I want to back this quilt with...and am open to suggestions...
I do know that I want to get it to the quilter sooner rather than later, not just because of the raveling nature of the border, (yes, it's stay stitched) but because I just love this quilt and look forward to enjoying it for years to come!
 
Oh yeah...just a little more sweetness before I sign off.
Our baby girl at 3 weeks & 2 days old!
Just can't get enough...
 
Adding some Warm Fuzzies To Autumn...
 
~Nancie Anne

 
 
 
 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Our Little Princess...

Made her much anticipated entrance on Friday. 
Our Son & Daughter In Love, after months of ups, downs, worries and wonder, delivered their little Princess.

Today was her official due date...earlier on we were told she might be born much sooner than the 2 days she beat her due date by.   
This Gramma who worked in NICU many years ago & knows all too well the challenges that preemies face, actively began hoping and praying for healthy lungs and heart and birth weight.
Named for her maternal Great Grandfather who watches over her from Heaven and held in the adoring arms of her paternal Grampa here on earth. 
Someone new is in charge...



~ Just Call Me Gramma...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A New Work Center At Last!

Here's My New Cutting/Pressing Area!  Just finished this morning!!!!
I wanted to share pictures now, cuz we all know it won't stay this pristine very long!  You know how it is...it only takes a little creative energy to cause an explosion!
Hmmm...the old yellow paint looks a little tired next to my new bright blue & white fabric...
Sheesh!  One thing always seems to lead to another!  Maybe I shouldn't go there right now...
 
The old counter top height units from the good ol' days at the Family Practice Clinic were I used to work came up from The Dungeon.  They were free standing and were given to me for precisely this use when we moved the practice into a new building.  My back will really appreciate this new height for cutting and pressing...stooping is not what we do best. 
 
The cabinets are wider than they are deep & I decided to place them so that the drawers and shelves are most accessible and so that I could retain as much walk space in this little room as possible.  That left a little hiding place in the far back corner, so what you can't see is that a bookcase loaded with books and inspiration is tucked in underneath.
 
The new upholstered top is made from a 37 x 62 inch piece of 5/8" particle board.  We nipped all four corners so that I won't impale myself!  We put the leaf back in the dining room table so we could lay everything out flat and I cut (actually I ripped) my drapery weight fabric for the ironing surface 44.5 x 69.5, then layered on a slighty smaller piece of silver coated ironing board fabric, (also ripped).  I layered both face up on top of a piece of warm and natural same size as the silver stuff.  I did a bunch of centering, smoothing and ironed out some creases and the curled edges that I had torn, then grabbed the far side and flipped it all over in one fell swoop, so that my pretty print was face down on the table and the silver was sandwiched face down now, between it and the warm and natural.  We centered the board on top of those then wrapped and stapled, folding the corners in gift wrap style.  We did a sneak peek before we stapled all the way around to make sure there were no wrinkles or distortion.  I also folded the raw edges of the topper fabric under so I wouldn't have any frayed stringys dangling down...that. being one of the downsides of tearing fabric. 
 
Before it went on the counter we put a layer of rubber shelf liner down to protect the original melamine and to keep it from sliding around.  Did you know that you can purchase yardage of that stuff off a big roll in the fabric department at Wally World?  Yep!  You sure can! 
I found the adorable drapery fabric at the "J" store in the clearance section and it was included in the 50% off sale this week to boot!  SCORE!  $7.50 a yard!!!!!  Gotta love that!  It's perfectly smooth so that I won't be "embossing" any interesting designs into whatever I'm pressing.  I also had a coupon for my Silver Heat Resistant fabric.  The warm and natural batting for that "little bit, but not too much Cush" has been hanging out in the Underground Stash Storage Unit forever, so I'm considering that free!  My sheet of particleboard was about $15 bucks and they were friendly enough at Lowes to do the main cuts for me.  Part of the leftovers from that have already been used to put a new back on a little cheap-o bookcase that now, no longer sways in the wind!  It's already back in place full of quilty books!
 
See that Iron back there?  That's my new cordless, brand starts with "P"!  Lovin' It!!!!  Not exactly cheap but SOOO worth it!  More than a Cheap-O and less than those pretty yellow ones with the "O" name!  If there's anything that can get my sewing day off to a bad start, it's snagging a big chunk of freshly squared up and ironed cotton on iron cords!  I get a little cranky when I re-wrinkle what I just un-wrinkled!  When I want a blast of steam, it really delivers!
 
Gotta Love My Birdies and Swirlie Branches!  Right????  I did!  Bought 5 yards...enough to recover when I need to, plus make a sewing machine cover...cover a bulletin board...
hmm...did I get enough????
 
 
Thanks to the tutorial from Lori at Bee In My Bonnet on how to do this I'm almost at a point that I can start sewing again...as soon as my sewing machine is found under Mount Vesuvius on the other side of the room!
 
I'm Sooooo Excited!  Can You Tell?!?!?!?!  But before I start using this great new workspace...I better start on a little dinner yumminess for my willingly helpful husband!
 
 
~Nancie Anne

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Sweet Treat.....Because All I've Done In My Sewing Room Is Rearrange It!

YUM! Homemade French Vanilla Moo-Moo Latte!
 
 
 Dispense about a cup of Crushed Ice From Your Fridge...
Splash some milk in it...oh about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup I suppose...
add generous spoonfuls (to taste) of your favorite instant
Foo-Foo Coffee ...
(Mine is Mtn. Sibs French Vanilla...give it a sec, you'll get it...little red plastic container...) 
 Pulse these ingredients in your food processor or blender til ice is chipped up finer...smaller than pea sized, greater than sand. 
 Then add some scoop-o's of Vanillar Ice Cream and pulse, adding more as needed so its thick milkshake texture...
pour in a BIG mug from a dear friend and enjoy!
Top with Whipped Cream if you have any handy!
 
~Nancie Anne


Monday, August 11, 2014

YIPPEE!!!!!

I got mail today!  I did, I did, I did!
I was one of the lucky winners of a book and pattern, along with Vivian from Quilts and A Mug,  from the very generous Joyce Weeks at Geoff's Mom last week.  They were waiting for me when I got home from work today!
I could bearly contain myself!!! 

I did the happy dance all the way in from the mailbox!
Thank Ewe, Thank Ewe, Thank Ewe Joyce!
I'm going to enjoy both of these wonderful gifts SEW Much!
I already had the pattern "Its A Grand Old Flag" so now I need to get both patriotic quilts made
and have them hanging proudly, side-by-side!
Those pudgy crows crack me up!
Am I a lucky girl or what?!?!?!?!?!
It's A Yippee Skippee Day!
~Nancie Anne

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Busting Stashzilla With Country Corners!!!

Country Corners Block #2 is Complete!  Not too shabby if I say so myself!  I think it has a certain cuteness factor!  Again, the majority of the prints are from my ancient stash, some of them 20 +/- years old!  You see, there is some hope for me afterall!
 

I really had fun exploring some "new to me" construction processes & the precision that my 9 individual blocks, components, went together with, thanks to Lynn Wilder's wonderful, Patchwork Math Book and her "little Tipsies!" 

My biggest hiccup was the final assembly, making sure that my "arrows" were pointing inward and placing certain little cute things in corners soI wouldn't get a crick in my neck looking at them upside down!  I finally got things straightened up, after "revisiting" some seams!  Ah well, all's well that ends well!

Block #1 is lonely no more and I can't wait to make #3.  It's a Beauty!

It's a Sew Lovely Saturday!

~Nancie Anne


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Idaho PieceMakerS Quilt Show 2014

Today was the opening of the Idaho PieceMakerS Quilt Show at our local high school.  We went early and quickly so I could return home to keep an eye on our recovering patient. 
It's been quite a drama/trauma around here this week.  Our 11 month old puppy, Tess, is a CHEWER!  Her bad habit almost took her from us Monday.  She crashed and went into shock before they could get her to surgery and it was touch and go, getting her stabilized enough to take the risk of opening her up to remove an intestinal blockage.  Any one thing in the contents removed could have, would have, should have, passed "naturally" but it appears that she's been saving up bits and pieces for this event for quite some time, because, although I recognized parts of chewed toys, much of what was stuck in there, becoming a hard ball was from toys that had long been disposed of. 
I just have to say that I'm ever so grateful for my daughter, who, although works in a very busy Vet practice in California, and was seeing her own patients, was the most remarkable advocate for Tess and for us.  It's a long story, but its very likely that Tessie wouldn't be with us now, healing at home, had it not been for some persistence on my part and for our daughters intervention in helping a new grad Vet through a rough patch.  Fortunately they knew each other as Vet Techs and friends before either of them went off to Vet School and I think the support and experience of a colleague was welcome and invaluable.  Monday couldn't have been much more stressful...we truly didn't think Tessie would be returning to our arms...but she has and my face has been covered in kisses many times since anesthesia wore off!

The end of the week was so opposite...first my inbox held wonderful news from Lynn Wilder about potentially working with Marcus Brothers Fabric. Friday arrived and her good news was confirmed. 
Tess came home Thursday and the bill wasn't as frightening as I thought it was going to be.
These events were followed by the news that a good friends son has remarried and his two little girls have a new Mom who truly cares for them as though they're her own...and they got another sister in the bargain.
Then I found out I won my choice of a book and pattern from Geoff's Mom.  Thank You Ever So Much Joyce!  I can't wait to find my goodies in the mailbox!  I'll share pictures of my new toys as soon as I get them!

Todays big news is that I entered "that challenge block contest" at our local quilt show again...and tomorrow I'll be bringing home a total of 12 blocks including my winner!  I couldn't resist...I kinda fell in love with the bright paisley challenge fabric last year and had all kinds of ideas swirling in my head!  I have contended, repeatedly, all year long, that last years committee failed miserably in their prescribed standard of finding the most repulsive bolt of fabric they can to challenge us with.  Not only did I not feel any nausea or trepidation about purchasing a packet...I, in fact, bought several...I'm not going to admit how many I did buy...in two separate purchases!
I had also entered five other blocks...two or three of which I had put more stock in being winners than my silly little owl!



 
This kitty dresden block will also be returning home with me, so I think my theme will be The Owl and The Pussycat...which was one of my favorite childhood storybooks.  Some of the blocks that I selected are pretty simple but the colors are right...others passed them over...for me they will become a canvas for embellishment as I retell the tale.
 
I admit, I'm a little disappointed that a couple of them were snapped up by participants who placed higher than I did...but then again...I still have the fabric and I can recreate them if I so choose!  As a plus, I wasn't dead last in the voting this year either!  As it turned out the number of blocks entered grew from 64 to 70 during the course of the day!  The top 5 will take home their winning block plus 11 more.  The dear little lucky lady who sat in 6th place will take home the remaining 10 which fortunately, coordinated pretty darn good together!
 
I bought ONE...only one, only the very LAST one, of the packets of scary fabric for next years challenge...shall we say the committee who goes out and (usually) finds the most horrible stuff imaginable is back on track!
 
So, for your entertainment, I've made my very first Smilebox video ever for Post #101!
It is a sampling of the 175 Quilts entered in this years show. 
I hope you enjoy it!

Idaho PieceMakerS Quilt Show
Kuna, Idaho
August 2nd & 3rd, 2014
at Kuna High School
The first weekend of August Every Year!

 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mad As A Hatter!!!

But I'll Tell You A Secret~All The Best People Are!

It only seems fitting that my 100th post is about a finish!  Not my 100th finish, but nonetheless, a finish, and that's something to cheer about...and this is a pretty cheery quilt!  Here it lies rumpled in the long grass between the fruit trees in our mini orchard!
Mad Hats pattern by The Quilted Fish

I have no idea where this, "just for the fun of it" quilt is going to fit into my life.  But it does make me smile.  Its about as polar opposite to my usual color and style selection as one can get, but here I am grinning from ear to ear!

I saw this quilt at one of the vendor booths at the 2011 Quilting In The Garden Show.  I passed on purchasing the kit, but took a picture of it.  When I got home and shared my quilt show photos with my Quilty Buddy she immediately fell in love and said "Oh!  We have to do that!"  I ordered the pattern, she started tracking down the prints at our LQS and we were off and running.  A movie marathon day while cutting fabric together on her huge kitchen island!  We found two great bright whites that we used for the background.  One with perfect nested circles, kind of like little targets and the other a squiggly irregular stripe, which I chose to cut sometimes horizontally, sometimes vertically, depending upon the blocks location.  This meant that each Mad Hat had to know where it was going to live before any sewing took place!

Our quilter, Tracy, beat me to the punch and ordered the cute teapot and cup pantograph, before I had a chance to order it for her and we decided we really wanted to see its cuteness too so we gambled and decided to quilt it in red.  I'll be crossing my fingers and toes and adding vinegar and color catchers to the wash the first time I launder it for sure!
I chose to make self covered buttons for the centers of each of the 9 raggedy little flowers. 

A Very Merry Un-Birthday To You!  And You!

~Nancie Anne




Sunday, July 20, 2014

July Still Feels A Little Patriotic...and Hot!

First of all!  Shame On Me!  We went to the hills yesterday.  I had two perfectly good cameras and my phone with me!  I did not take one single solitary picture...not even one at the spot we found where the view was amazing and the softly wafting breeze through the trees was such a welcome respite from the heat we'd been in, that it tempted us not to want to leave that spot.  Not one photo!  Not of the quilt shop where we stopped so I could grab additional yardage from the rapidly decreasing bolt of perfect blue batik.  Not one of the chunky little spotted fawn standing in someone's driveway, the smoke rising from the wildfire several miles to our east, nor of the dozens of kayakers & rafters, or the beautiful clear glassy water running under the old rickety patchwork bridge that we crossed our fingers and drove over.  Not even one of the blob that my husband identified as bear poop!  Shameful I am!

I assembled my last two Country Homecoming house blocks earlier this month and as you can see, I decided to add just a little patriotic salute in the last one!  I couldn't resist marking the date and stage of construction on the calendar with a little touch of the red, white & blue!  I'm also liking my purple and red plaid door quite a bit!  And how about the blue/grey saltbox houses reappearing on another set of chimneys?!

 I gathered the blocks up this morning, stole the thumbtack style magnets off my refrigerator and took the whole caboodle out and "tacked" them onto the siding on the north side of the house where the light is better for photos.  I always imagine the people driving up and down the street are wondering what the crazy lady is doing with quilt blocks on the side of her house as they go by when I do this!  But hey, these strong little magnets hang tight to the side of the house and the light is so much better than what I can achieve inside on the design wall.

So there you have it!  The crazy lady's fantasy neighborhood in no particular order.  This is definitely not the final layout!  I now have two months, (only two months) to assemble these with sashing and then the wonderful vine, leaves and stars border which is what drew me to want to make this quilt.

I'm looking forward to seeing the neighborhoods constructed by my fellow builders "down the road" at Kim's Big Quilting Adventure! (click!)

I'm keepin' cool today, with a ton of stitching that needs to be done by next weekend!  It's creeping up on Quilt Show time!  More on that in a couple of weeks!

~Nancie Anne



Friday, July 4, 2014

Natures Fireworks!!!


Every year, except one year when it was late, this Golden Rain Tree gives us the gift of this golden fireworks display for the Fourth of July, in sprays of brilliant yellow flowers.

  The sprays burst outwardly from it's undulating branches, not to be outdone by some of the holidays most brilliant pyrotechnics! 
 


 The best part is, that we get to enjoy these fireworks all day long, every day, for a couple of weeks, then suddenly the flowers become little bright green lanterns, then brown seed pods that open and drop their hard shiny black pea sized seeds.
As a result we're cultivating more of these wonderful trees to replace the old poplars across the front of our property, whose lifespan is coming to an end.
The best part is, this is the view from where I post to you and from where I sew!
 We Wish You All, A Safe & Happy 4th!

~Nancie Anne & Family