Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where'd You Go Bernadette?

Good Thursday morning, dear friend!

Who the heck is Bernadette? And where did she go? Well, I borrowed the title from one of my most favorite novels, titled "Where'd You Go Bernadette" by Maria Semple...look it up and read it...It's the best! That being said, I used the title to emphasize the fact that I have been a rather errant blogger, as of late...and for all of my "many" readers (insert huge gafaw) I sincerely apologize...it's been busy, busy, busy!

I have no real stitching to share, and as for the quilting...I got a bit overwhelmed and ferhoodled when I realized that the term "quilting" doesn't actually apply to the whole process of making a "quilt," but rather to the top stitching on the quilt! You heard me right prospective beginning quilters...those straight lines that finish off the quilt don't appear overnight by way of the "quilt fairys," but rather, it's the responsibility of the said quilter to apply them using one of a few techniques, including one such technique where in the quilter "stitches in the ditch"...sounds ominous, am I right?

Now, not being one to shy away from a challenge (I mean, ask anyone from my childhood and they will tell you I was the princess of the double dog dare) I gave machine quilting my gut all...I bought presser feet and ruler guides that promised straight and perfect quilting lines...not even! I ripped and stitched, and ripped and stitched for days...and being a cross stitcher I know how to rip with care...I've ripped more than a few pecks of frogs...but even my fabric was starting to show signs of despair, when I finally announced, to no one in particular, that I was putting the class project aside for a time...to catch my breath and regain my confidence. Do not even get me started on the Long Arm Quilting machines...Good Lord! It may take a few weeks for me to get back to my class project, but I will find my way back and knowing myself, as I do, this setback will give me the determination to forge ahead and become one proficient quilter...any advice will be most appreciated...

Moving On...

Pa and I have been on two wonderful RV trips, since we took charge of our barge...

Our first and maiden voyage was to San Dimas, which is a short 45 minute drive from home...

Co-pilot Teagan at the helm...
We spent the weekend relaxing and getting to know our new toy...there's a lot to learn!

There she is in all her glory!

The RV Park was perfect for us first timers...but don't get me wrong, we are RVers from way back, but we have always rented all in one Rigs, so this is our first owned and pulled Rig...a whole new world for us and our SUV...which is rated great for this Trailer.

Thanks to the world of internet shopping, you can see that we have purchased some necessities...LOL...which is a bit dangerous because, let me tell you, RVers know how to enjoy life and they do love their toys! I have never seen so many Toy Haulers filled with humungous grills, portable gazebos, electric coolers, golf carts, and all manor of electric ride on vehicle! It is easy to get toy envy, but thankfully being our practical and frugal selves, we just keep making notes and researching just what our wants and needs are...a nice portable grill? check! Let's be honest, dear friend, a camping trip for this girl means grilled hot dogs and bacon for breakfast...am I right? However, a fancy golf cart with a special seat for Teagan and a personalized plate? Not so much! You get my drift...

The small lake that ran through the park
We had a lovely time, and came home feeling blessed.

Our second trip was another weekend stretch, but this time we trekked 3 hours away from home, and through the Sierra Range to the high dessert town of Kernville, where the Kern River runs...

Our wonderful camp site
This was really fun, as it was much more rural and felt like camping...and a whole group of friends were up there, as well for a weekend of mountain bike riding for Pa, and visiting for Ma and Teagan...it was a blast!

I even managed to get some stitching in...


While my buddy snoozed...

Granny Is No Square SAL by Carolyn Manning
Pathetic progress...though I'm loving this design and it's color scheme, but I kept finding myself staring off into the beauty that was all around me...moving outside to stitch didn't help at all.


We took a nice walk down to the river, where one cheeky miss had herself a ball playing in the clear water, and chasing imaginary frogs which were actually tiny fish...she slept well that night. I was bit nervous about taking her out on the road with us, but seeing as she has been on every trip we have ever taken, except for our cruise in 2010, there was no way that we could leave her behind after 14 years. She has done great, and after a bit of nervousness through the first trip, she made it through the second trip like a pro...she is now the queen of her rolling domain and shall be the mayor of each place we visit...Long may we run...

You may be wondering where Leo is in all of this...have no fear as he is actually doing quite well, and thanks to one Little Brother, he stays behind for a boys weekend with his favorite pack mate and best friend, at home, as he is no longer able to take on such arduous travels. We bring him back a treat!

I think we're gonna like this traveling thang!

So, there you have it, dear friend, all in a nut shell!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit, and some travels with us...stay posted for more!

Hugs!


Monday, March 27, 2017

My Quilting Nook...

Good Monday morning, dear friend!
Long time...no see!

It's been quite a frenzy of activity around the homestead, as of late...some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly.

But first, let's talk a bit about that title...

I started my Beginning Quilting class on Tuesday...I loved it! I was bitten and now I'm smitten!

We are making a "Disappearing 9 Patch Table Runner," and I was the worst one in the class...I was slow, I was confused, I was lost, I had zero connection to the other four women (one being my own Mother LOL) who zipped along like they were born with quilting bees in their bonnets! I kept asking, "Is this a beginning class?" I even believe that one gal was a ringer because there is no way that anyone could be that fast her first time around! Now, keep in mind that I am in no way a schlep when it comes to sewing, I can certainly hold my own on my very old mechanical sewing machine, but let me tell you I sucked the whole 3 hours of class and came home with a lot of homework!

So, what's a girl to do?

First, after catching my breath, having a good whining fit/tears, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and turned to my friends to ask what a good sewing/quilting machine would be for beginning to advanced, and then having listened to their advice (because let's be honest we all know gals who ask for advice just for attention) I did lots of research, and then I turned to my hubby and announced "I need a new sewing machine because I was ashamed at Quilting Class, blah, blah, blah." Luckily I had him at "I need," and without further discussion I jumped on the Internet and thanks to my girls who gave me awesome advice, picked out a sewing machine and a hard carrying case...

Singer 7469Q Confidence Quilter...Be still my heart
I then proceeded to break up with my old trusty machine, explaining that we would still be friends, after all it was my first love and always would be. I then gently packed it up and stored it away so that I wouldn't be tempted to go back to it when my new one gave me some trying times while getting to know it.

My new toys arrived on Friday, and I spent Saturday playing and learning every inch of that machine...and I love it, and best of all it loves me...we are simpatico!

Here's some shots of my first week's accomplishment...
Disappearing 9 patch squares...

We chose three fat quarters of coordinating fabrics, and started by making strips, then squares, and this is what we ended up with...isn't it fabulous?


I loved the measuring and slicing, and measuring again...it was a nice way to spend the day...checked out from the daily chaos, and tuned into something that is constant and beautiful...I'm in! When it's all finished it will be a wonderful table runner for my dining room table.

I have also decided that Tuesday, when we go back to class, I'm going to buy a charm pack and practice making 1/4 inch seams by sewing them together to make a little quilt. I plan to be all up in those 1/4 inch seams and a quilter in no time...until I hit the 5/8 seams...hopefully, soon I'll even be dreaming in 1/4 inches.

I didn't mention that my class was a Birthday gift from Me-Ma, and as an added bonus she is taking it with me...we love to do things together and she's truly my BFF, but in no way a beginner...so me thinks that she knew that the only way to get me there and keep me there was to go along...she so gets me!

My Mom spent her career as a professional seamstress and is the most gifted needle crafter I have ever seen. My sister and I were so lucky to have such a talented Mom, (not to mention the best Mom ever) who taught us everything we know about the needle arts as soon we could sit still long enough to learn. I started sewing at around age 5 or 6, and haven't stopped yet! My sister is a wonderful quilter, and has made some gorgeous quilts, as well as braided rugs that are amazing, besides being a professional metal smith and artisan. They are both cheering me on...my biggest cheerleaders always!

Moving on...

Let's start with The Good...

We celebrated Little Brother's 25th Birthday, this past week...25! How did my baby become 25...especially since I'm only 25 myself! It turns out that if you add up both Big Brother and Little Brother's ages it equals my age...53...funny, right? Not so much...

Anyhoo...Happy Birthday to our own Little Brother...my Spring baby.

And...

As you may, or may not know, Pa and I have spent the past few years thinking about adding a new "toy" to our next phase, in the form of an RV (We love RVing and have always rented them)...and after much planning and research, we purchased the newest addition to our family, though she currently remains unnamed...
Pa learning to "hook her up"
For those of you who know about such things, she is a Lance 1995 model, which has been a challenge to find since they are lightweight, very well made, and popular! We love her, and cannot wait to take her on her maiden voyage...I'll keep you posted!

Next, The Bad...

Well not bad, as much as sad...

Our sweet boy Leo is home, after spending a few days in doggy ICU for what turned out to be a bleeding ulcer.

Yes...that is a natural rainbow that appeared out of nowhere
This baby boy is our hero after beating cancer twice!

Thankfully the amazing team at ASEC was able to get things under control and we got to bring him home, Friday...with a new diet and a change up in his medication schedule. We don't really know how much longer we have with him, as each set back becomes more difficult to recover from...but, as we have said all along that as long as he still has a sparkle in his eye and a wag in his tail we will continue to shower him with love, love, love for as long as we have him...I mean, does anyone really know how long they have?

It was a week of much worry and many tears, but we all got through it...

I'll keep you posted!

Can't forget about The Just Plain Ugly...

We have had a nasty bug in our family...I seemed to have had it the worst, with a few days spent feverish and in bed. It started at my house, and then headed across the street to Me-Ma's house, and before it finally moved it's sorry virus self to another location, it spent some time at Unc's...we all ended up with stuffy heads and "schmootzy" lungs, and absolutely no energy...what a pain! But, we are all on the mend, thank goodness! I can't wait until Me-Ma, Unc, and I are all back in our morning walking routine.

Frequent hand washing people...it's the only way to stay healthy from this varmint virus!

On the WIPocalypse front...

I have made very little progress this month...

A wee bit on CM Designs "Granny Is No Square" SAL


Did I mention that it's being hosted by Carolyn, her very sweet self? I am loving this WIP even though I'm moving slow...

I also have a start...

Stickideen von der Weißenburg "Flower Quaker"



I decided to stitch it on Antique White Monaco, using DMC Coloris "Hydrangia" (4504) and I think it's going to look nice, though I'm still deciding whether it's "too much."

Any thoughts, dear friend? I would love to hear your opinions and ideas...

This is what the model looks like...


It's rather boring (and a whole lotta pink) and since I have been wanting to try the new DMC Coloris line, this seemed like the perfect opportunity...I'll keep you posted!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit, and taking the time to read a rather long winded post.
Hugs

Thursday, March 2, 2017

My February WIPocalypse Check-In...

Good Thursday evening, dear friend!

It's time for the February 2017 WIPocalypse post and I''m happy with this month's progress...I am excited to share it with you.

But first, to answer this month's question...

What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?

Well, that's an easy one, and it may surprise to know that I adore making French Knots...like I love, love, love them! I didn't always like them and even avoided them for many years, replacing a charted French Knot with beads or ignoring them all together. I know just the words "French Knot" can send many running to a dark room to rest a spell, and I used to feel the same way and would do anything to avoid a French knot when charted. I have Mill Hill beads of every color, purchased as a decoy to avoid a French knot.

However, that is the old "me" as I now have a tried and true, easy and fool proof method to creating the perfect French knot, every single time.

I must warn you, dear friend, that it took some practice and did not come to me over night, but it didn't take long to get the hang of and once I did, I can now French knot my way through any chart!

I have a Page Tab link above that shows my method, or you can go right to the Page by clicking Here.

Now that we have that bit of fun finished, It's time to get down to business with a few finishes, and a couple of starts...

First...My finishes

Jardin Prive "Quaker Village"



I really enjoyed this WIP from start to finish, however it did give me some fits and even invited the FROG in on more than one occasion...

Becky Boo's "Welcome"


This is a WIP, that I bought 60% off when my LNS went out of business a couple of years ago. It came as a kit with a prim looking plate to mount it on, which is next on my "To Do" list. I really enjoyed this stitch!

Lizzie Kate "June's Flip It"















I was only able to get one Dough Bowl Small finished, which I obviously didn't spend my 10 hours stitching...I was just too excited to start my Carolyn Manning SAL piece so "June" got pushed to the side...I am hanging my head in shame (sorry/not sorry).

Next...A couple of starts

Since I finished two WIPS, it was time to rotate two more into my Rotation...

La D Da "Bless Our Home"


This new start is a true labor of love, as I am stitching it for Big Brother and Daughter In Love, who bought their first home in May...I am a little slow and behind as it took me a bit of time to pick the right fabric to go with their decor, but as long as I get it stitched, finished, and framed before they've been there one year, then I will be satisfied with myself.
I am stitching this on Silver Moon 16ct Aida using the charted floss, though why it looks beige in the photo is beyond me...

Carolyn Manning "Granny Is No Square" SAL


This was a SAL that I had been looking forward to, as soon as Carolyn announced it, so it was just a matter of when. I love this chart, and have really enjoyed this start. If you are interested in checking it out, or even want to join...go to Carolyn Manning Designs or visit her Facebook Page...the more the merrier! The chart is being published in PDF installments and calls for DMC floss.

I am continuing on with the 10 Hour Rotation, with perhaps a wee wiggle here and a tiny tug there as my flights of fancy rear their ugly heads and I get distracted by the sweeties that are waiting their turn in the WIP bin...I'll keep you posted.

So, there you have it WIPocalypse buddies...

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Hugs

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

We Interrupt This Stitching Blog...

With a wee episode of "What's On My Mind."

I have been pondering an idea for the past few days, with all that has been going on in the news, what must friends from around the world think of "USA" bloggers. And with this in mind, I felt that I wanted to make myself clear.

You may or may not have noticed the "Welcome" on my left side bar, along with the photo of the safety pin heart beads...if you haven't please take a peek, because I am about to explain the meaning behind my choice of "Welcoming."

I welcome EVERYONE to my blog, except bullies...especially anonymous bullies.

This is a safe blog to visit, as we speak friendship and stitching here, there is no political agenda, as I find myself daily shocked by most of what I read and need the escape of the stitching blog world to find reassurance and comfort in the simple enjoyment that draws us all together...our love of all things floss, fabric, and needfuls that fill both our minds and our homes.

So please, know that my "Welcome" is genuine and respects all who visit to share their same love of the stitching crafts. Consider "My Stitching Nook" to be a safe place to visit and share...I adore your kind comments and usually reply the same day, as I love to receive a wee reply to mine.

I am proud to be American with all of it's rights and freedoms, one of which is the freedom to think freely and for myself, guided by what is right by my conscience and in my heart. These are interesting days that at times bring me feelings of embarrassment, and without sounding too cliche, I feel that they require this stitcher to focus on love and bridges rather than hate and walls.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit, and for allowing me this wee interruption.

Hugs