Saturday, March 26, 2016

An Easter Miracle!!!

Happy Easter Tomorrow!
I just had to share a little text message I got a few minutes ago...
from my youngest daughter, Butterfly Quilt Girl!
Remember her?
I snuck this picture of her sister's Quilt In Progress to her by text.  I'm still churning away on it,
and am back to wishing this quilt would finish itself so I can turn my attention to something "more me".
If you look closely, you will see I'm progressing with those little perle cotton buttonhole stitches around the flowers and leaves.
I got this completely unexpected reply...
"Pretty!  I need another quilt, but I want to help make it."
My heart leapt!  Eek!  Be Still Heart!!!!
She wants something for autumn/winter for her bed to trade off with the Flutterbyes!
This would not be her first foray into quilt making.  She made a top while in 4-H as a community service project and donated it to Project Linus.  And she has done felting with our llama fiber, making a big yellow kool-aid dyed felted Christmas Star adorned with tiny pinecones & glitter.
She also did one of her 4-H demonstrations on Needle Felting and made a super cute wool pillow that she put a sweet little llama silhouette on, using fiber from her own llama.
She used to draw the most adorable little llamas for me when she was an itty bitty thing and I was just thinking the other day that I need to transfer one of those cuties onto a quilted pillow.
So, there's my Easter Miracle!
Wonder of Wonders!
Now...where am I going to set up my other sewing machine?
~Nancie Anne

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Little Light Housekeeping

Scrolling back to review where my blogging dropped off and where it began again, I found that there were some things that I simply didn't get you updated on along the way. 
So here's my attempt to bring my account current!

As you may recall, I was one of the lucky girls who won the opportunity to finish a quilt in the HandiQuilter Classroom late last summer.  I shared all kinds of pictures of the wonderland of quilts on display and pictures of my Christmas Country Charmer on the machine...but never one of it all bound and finished...well TA-DA!  Here it is!  I did hang on the wall in our living room this Christmas for the first time!  Christmas was so goofy that I never got that picture taken though.

 The upper photo is a little on the vibrant side...the lower tree photo is a little more accurate color and temperature-wise.
I'm still in love with this sweet snowflake and swirl motif and yes...I  added a little bit of bling to the tree in the form of little faceted crystals in different sizes to catch the light from the real Christmas tree.
Before that, in September when our Granddaughters 1st Birthday rolled around, Grampa was found helping Gramma stretch, pull, tack and screw this little tuffet together for the Big Day!

Miss Muffet loved her Tuffet immediately. 
It was climbed upon, drummed on, and used as a step stool to make her way up onto the couch almost immediately!
She also became a bit territorial when another small guest thought he might like to try it out.
A second tuffet, very similar to this one, traveled to California with us a couple of weeks later as a gift for our Daughter & Son-In-Love's new little niece-ipoo!
Another more recent lapse was a public Thank You to Norma Whaley of Timeless Traditions.
I was the lucky recipient of this sweet primitive Sharing Hearts pattern right around Valentines Day.
I've always loved designs using the Heart In Hand and the saying,
 "When This You See...Remember Me", so these little cuties are right up my alley!
Thank You Ever Sew Much, Norma!
I'm still working extra hours, with no job share replacement in sight yet, so the pace has slowed down in the Quilty Zone, but I did get my little Buttermilk Basin Cardinal for Let It Snow done yesterday!  I had worked on it a little bit every night all week, then got lucky and had a day off due to low census to finish her up!
These two big chunky plaid wool squares made her body, wing and pinecone.  Amazing what you can do when you stick your tongue out the side of your mouth and concentrate real hard to get the placement just right!
I have a huge soft spot for Cardinals, although they are not indigenous to our area.
Our youngest daughter spotted a silly little snowball throwing Hallmark Cardinal that we'd had for years amongst the Christmas decorations when she was barely talking.  She hurtled across the room, reaching out with her tiny little hands, repeating "Fluff! Fluff!!"
Ever since, Cardinals have been better known to the entire family as "Fluffs" and a collection of ornaments and such grew from that initial moment of Love At First Sight!
A couple of years ago, that youngest daughter moved out, her collection still here for safe keeping until she settles into her first "for real" home...however...during one visit, when she showed me her new bedroom, I noted that somehow, a certain special little Snowball Throwing "Fluff" had managed to get himself packed amongst her things and had moved with her.
Funny how that happens. 
I added some Feather Stitching to the pinecone & Colonial Knots to the snowflake while I was at it!

Time to sign off and go make more special memories to share another day...

~Nancie Anne

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The First Easter Egg Hunt Of the Season!

I promised to find a fun way for Shooter, Maecee & myself to select a winner for the extra copy, courtesy of Buttermilk Basin's Miss Stacy West, I have of of Vintage Tree Farm when I posted on Monday.
I would find myself trying to mull it over as I crawled into bed each evening...but the only thing that ever came to mind was treating the dogs to an Easter Egg Hunt before I fell off into an exhausted sleep!  So while my husband was off lugging home 40 lbs of Chicken Breast to put in the freezer this morning, I went to the Easter Stash and found my prettiest Easter Eggs! 
Each commenters name was written on little purple post it strips and stuffed into an egg, without paying attention whose name was going into which egg.  I had one egg left over that didn't get a name inside, 'cuz I was reminded mid way through, that one of my commenters already has this cute pattern. Lucky Girl! That egg, could be kind of a wild card, I thought to myself.  So off to the doggie treat jar I went...and filled all the eggs, even the wild card one with a little bone.  I turned with my filled eggs and saw two eager little faces and wagging tails behind the bars of Puppy Jail!  When I approached, camera in hand, Maecee waddled away, but not Shooter!  He knows a yummy egg when he sees one!  That greyish blur just above his head is a very happy tail!

I decided that since Shooter was featured in the post that I offered this giveaway in, that he should get to pick...and then, if for whatever reason, like disinterest, Ha!, or ADHD, that Maecees first choice would be the winner!

I put them both, out of sight so I could hide the eggs, turned on the camera, then opened the gate and released the hounds!
Surprisingly, Maecee was the first one to wander in and find the eggs and went straight to the pretty Lavender egg, nudging it with her nose in a ladylike fashion.
Not Maecee's most photogenic moment...
Shooter then, strolled in, going right through all the eggs to the far side and focused all his attention on the Golden Egg!  My pictures aren't terribly clear because I was giggling at him, pushing that egg all around the room with his little wet black licorice nose! 
I wish I had taken a video...he was too cute with that egg!
It would be pretty jiggly too though, given my giggling!
He finally gave up and picked it up in his mouth and began to squeeze, at which point I stepped in and took the egg to make sure he wouldn't accidently break the egg and ingest pieces of plastic.  I popped it open, and what do you know...
NO NAME inside!  The Golden Egg was apparently a very clever decoy! 

Meanwhile, steadfast little Maecee had continued to stand by her first pick, the pretty lavender egg.  I found it interesting that neither of them showed any interest in the other eggs until their first choices had been opened and they'd been paid off for all their hard work with little colorful bones!

So...Drumroll Please!  Vintage Tree Farm's new home will be with NancyA who commented:

I do follow your blog--but not officially. I can't seem to find where/how to do that. Anyway, I would love that pattern! I have three great cats that have been with us for over 15 years, but my constant companion these days (in case I might drop a crumb or two) is our English Creme Golden Retriever. She is just 2 years old and still a pup, but so fun and loving as well. We have had 2 other Goldens in the past, and I have always felt that one can not be depressed or sad when with a Golden. They are just always so happy and just thrilled to be with people

Congratulations Nancy!  Please email your address to me and I'll get your pattern in the mail the first of the week!  I hope the email I sent you about how to become a blog follower was helpful!  This was a little of a mystery to me as well, when I first started reading quilting blogs a few years ago! 

Speaking of Lavender...
and Purple...and Green...and Pink, Orange and Blue!

I did do a small amount of stitching, in spite of some intensely tiring workdays.  Just a little stitching on our middle daughters colorful quilt before my eyes were completely toasted at the end of the day! 
Look who seated herself right on the corner just as I was about to snap the picture!
Oh's flannel...what's a little more fuzz!?!?!
 Middle Kidlet picked these flannels out years ago when everyone was making flannel rag quilts and wanted me to make one for her.  I have to confess that I'm not a big fan of rag quilts, I find all that clipping rather tedious, and would rather spend my time on something of more substance.  A couple of years ago, with the pressure on to do something with all those prints she had selected, I talked my friend into lending me her copy of a quilt pattern she had made for her daughter, Flower Boxes II by Anka's Treasures, and started the process of making this more modern quilt for my more modern, purple loving daughter.  Its been one of those quilts taking up design wall space and since it's pretty much light years out of my's taken me time to really enjoy the process on this one.  That kind of changed a whole bunch when I started adding the appliques to the border a couple of weeks ago though! It suddenly took on a whole new personality, and I began thinking about lei garlands or graceful wisteria.  The pattern calls for machine applique, but, because this is for my girl, who is always lending us a hand with projects around here and because I enjoy the handwork process much more and because of the flannel nap, I wanted to use perle cotton to buttonhole stitch by hand around the flowers and leaves.  I think that once it's quilted I'll add some little yo-yos to the flower centers for added interest.

It should be cuddly and warm for her this winter,
and Maecee has already demonstrated that it is a fine place for a belly rub!

Happy Saturday To All My Quilty Friends!

~Nancie Anne

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ahhh Monday! What better way to end it than to...

This was a work Monday, as usual a morning of scrambling, hang ups and, sad to say, some came to work wearing their crabby pants!  No, it wasn't the best morning, but things settled down, as they always eventually do, and the atmosphere improved! 
Enough of That! 

I went in for an eye exam last Thursday, complete with having my eyes dilated.  I checked out 4 pair of new frames to try out on family for my new multi-focal reading (stitching) lenses and went around the corner to a store and wandered around for a little bit, hoping some of the effects of dilation would dissipate.  Well, one can only wander the store for a little bit, definitely not long enough for any measurable difference in vision and I think my dilated eyes were freaking a couple of clerks out!  One seemed almost cautiously concerned when he approached and asked if I needed help.  I was parched and hungry, so I decided to make my purchases and start the remainder of the little trek home.  I made it up the street about 2 miles to Jimmy Johns and swung through to grab a sandwich to give my eyes a break.   Sandwich seated next to me, I continued on, feeling my way home, usually with one eye squeezed tightly shut.  About half of the 14 mile trip was on back roads, so I could pull over and shut my eyes for a minute if I needed to.  Arriving home, I closed the blinds, flipped on the TV and settled down to eat my sandwich, then realized THIS had crept into my lap.  I missed getting the funnier version of this picture when his nose was bent sideways more.

Bless his heart, he knew his Mama-person was visually impaired and there he was, unselfishly volunteering to corral any stray bits of meat or cheese that might make a break for it, trying to escape my notice and not be eaten! 
You can see he's wondering "What would she do without Me?" 

Many of you have seen the multiple pictures and heard my shameless worship of my little longhair redhead doxie, Maecee.  Well, this is Shooter, our little shorthair dapple doxie, originally my youngest sons dog and named for the fact that he was a very accurate "shooter"" on the basketball court.  Shooter wrapped his little self around my heart and the rest is history.  He is the Dachshund who made me love Dachshunds.  Never, ever, had I had the desire to have a Doxie before he came into our lives at about 8 weeks old.  I was always a bigger breed kind of girl.  But this little guy's heart is every bit as big.  He was my constant comfort when I was forced to spend several weeks nearly immobile except for trips to physical therapy several years ago.  A few years later when we arrived home from a trip, he was barely able to stand and walk, I repaid the comfort and kindness that he had given me, and we worked through a couple of months of soreness and instability before he was back to his old antics again.  When we rescued our gentle little Maecee, she became the love of his life.  He adores her!  He even lays down during their wrestle fests to allow her to be the "big bully"!  Unlike Maecee, Shooter doesn't travel well, and is better off staying home, whereas, Miss Maecee generally refuses to eat unless her Mama-person is there to watch her do so, so he doesn't get the whole adoration at the Quilt Show & Quilt Shop experience like she does.

Sooooo...back to Monday.  I had promised to take the checked out glasses back after work today.  I was still on the fence about what I had selected.  They weren't my favorite, but the favorite Jimmy Choo's were about $150 more expensive.  Think of all the quilty stuff I can do with that!  Yeah, it always comes down to the quilty stuff, doesn't it?  I decided on the less expensive pair with the option of looking at the frames on the display wall once more before settling!  Turns out, my lady at the clinic had done some restocking after I left that day last week, and had found a pair that she saved for my return!  Same price, brand and general style as the pair I had tentatively decided on, but better!  Prettier mottled purples and a little splash of gold on the arms and the lens shape with a little bevel on the outer corners at the top were just what I needed!  They were calling my name and she knew it!  I'm going to love them!

So what could be better than that?
Coming home to the sweetest surprise in my mailbox!  That's What!

In January, I won three patterns of my choice from Stacy at Buttermilk Basin when her wonderful grey kitty, Oliver, hosted a Caturday Giveaway on her Facebook page!  Oliver touches a soft spot in my heart...the memory of our beautiful blue-grey rescue kitty, Skootch, who I still miss.  Of course Maecee just couldn't resist writing to Oliver!  It all became a back and forth comedy of errors, silly emails, hits and misses!  Looong story short, I received the package with 2 of the 3 patterns I'd requested, but the third was a pattern I had mentioned that I already had and was working on when I wrote her.   I wrote Stacy to let her know the package was received safe and sound, and mentioned the oops, but told her not to sweat it, after all I was sitting here holding 2 adorable patterns, no need to be greedy.  Stacy being Stacy said, I'm sending you the other pattern you wanted and go ahead and keep the duplicate one!  I assured her I would find it a good home and thanked her.  Then life happened again.  She's terribly busy, as teachers and designers tend to be, stuff happens with those big schedules and the 3rd pattern was delayed.  Then we had another volley of emails about those cute trucks she's designing and then another inquiry from her..."Did you get that pattern from me?" don't worry about's not like I'm lacking for projects to do!  So what appears in my mail today?  The pattern I'd wanted, PLUS four wonderful squares of wool...and a love note, my 2nd one from Oliver Kitty himself!  That Girl!  If I could reach out and hug her I would!

Isn't it wonderful what happens when we share of ourselves.
I began blogging to share my love of quilts and quilting...
to share my little bits of knowledge and boost my skills and confidence.
Also to write...because people kept telling me I should be writing...
Never, did I dream or realize that I would get so much back from it...
and I don't mean the fun things that appear in my mailbox.
It's about some of the most wonderful, supportive, funny, warm relationships I've built with people who have become so important in my little world.
The Cherished Chosen Sisters who I've spent precious time with,
and the Dear, Sweet, Funny Friends who I've yet to meet!

Now what was that I was talking about earlier...?
Ah Yes...

I had promised Stacy I'd find a good home for that duplicate pattern she sent me.
It's Vintage Tree Farm!
Isn't it cute?  I still remember when I first saw it last fall.  It was love at first sight!

I recently wrote my 150th post and on such occasions fellow bloggers often have a little usual...I'm a little behind.
I could always use more if you're not already, so please consider becoming an official Follower...
THEN, Leave me a comment, about your special fur buddy, or one of the many co-quilters who has supported or influenced your path.

Then stay tuned...This weekend, Shooter, Maecee and I will figure out a fun way to select a winner and announce who the lucky new owner of this Vintage Tree Farm pattern will be!

Let's Celebrate Those Who Touch Our Lives Simply By Being Who They Are!

Another Monday in The History Books!  I hope it was a good one!

~Nancie Anne

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Finisher Be...February Review.

February was...
my Husbands Birthday,
Valentines Day,
Leap Year
and a Month Of Finishes, reported each Friday by
We invited you to join in and I know a Few of you did.
If you didn't, start planning now to join us next year when we're going to dedicate the entire month of February to Finishes again!
After a Fall of, For lack of better words,
Quilting Stagnation,
it Felt wonderful to not only Find my way back to my sewing,
but to actually tick some projects off, or nearly off my looooong list!
The month began with the Finish of
Housewarming, my heartfelt gift to my Husband For his birthday.
Housewarming and The Great I Am were relatively easy Finishes.
A little trimming and a little time with a good movie and the bindings were done!

Next up was making the cute Bonnie Sullivan Flannel back for my Quilt Sue pattern testing project, Honey Bee Sprinkles, based on Sue Abrey's Red Sprinkles pattern.
It will be packed up and mailed off to my very patient quilter, Tracy for a simple quilt motif in a couple of days.
I need to stay stitch the edge and give it another pressing and Find a box the right size then off it will Fly!
I woke up this morning with a different idea for a quilt design, so I'm going to do a little research when I've Finished this post.
And then there were a Few days of arranging, rearranging and assembling all the loose blocks
For Star Spangled Stripes.
 It looks kinda cute alongside Housewarming doesn't it?


After that came the most intense of my February Finishes.
Several days of completing blocks, replacing sashing, pulling it all together and adding 4 borders, one of them pieced, resulted in this cute Flimsy.
Originally I said I was going to go with a Four inch border, rather than the intended 6 inch border.  After measuring & eyeballing the collective width of the First three borders I adjusted my thinking and cut my blue border which will be Five inches wide Finished.
This last border was added day before yesterday.
But wait!
February gave us an extra day this year!
I leapt out of bed yesterday determined to take Full advantage of our Leap Year bonus!
I had two projects of my mind when a got up yesterday, but it quickly became clear that I needed to order in a small amount of an old print to Fix some sad boo-boos on the First one, so by 8 am I was at work on the First runner up!
I traced, cut, Fused and stitched all day long and the result was this!
Februarys Buttermilk Basin Free Block of the Month, Let It Snow, is on the "nearly Finished" list.
I am a little unsettled, because, wouldn't you know it, I lived up to my Naughty Nancie reputation and made a little design adjustment in the January block, which turned out to be nearly identical to what Stacy had designed for the February block.
It would be kind of weird to have two snowmen side by side holding hearts, so I'm going to wait awhile to see what is up Stacy's sleeve the next Few months and then decide.
I do have some ideas rolling around in my head...I just want to be sure.

and there we have it...
A Full month of Finishing.
Not always the completed project, but a completed step at least, in the Finish of several projects.

Can't do much better than that!

Happy March First!
It's almost spring...St. Patrick's Day, Easter and Gardening are just around the corner.

I'll be spending extra time at work this month, training a new counterpart to share my job, but somehow, somewhere along the line, I'll need to pick up Fabric, needle and thread to Feed My Soul.

~ Nancie Anne