Lucy Boston

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

change of plans

Yesterday, it was a beautiful morning...
Big, fat flakes of snow,
gently floating down to the ground.
I was awake early, and I got to see this
spectacular snowfall as the sun rose here in central Ohio...
as I awakened at 5...
YES, FIVE A.M.!!

I'm not usually that early of an early bird,
but if that wasn't bad enough,
I was up that early...
because of and with
chills and headache...
Thank you very much, Sweetie!
(He brought it home from work, we're thinking.)

So my quiet days between Christmas and New Years Eve
have been spent in the lazy-girl chair, covered in a quilt,
drinking my Airbourne and hot tea.
A total change of plans!
Not much stitching, as planned.
I got a couple more Lucy Boston - Patchwork of the Crosses
blocks bordered with muslin/paper-pieces.

And, I finally got the newest grandson's quilt bound.
I'm so bad -
the quilt was wrapped & gifted 
with the binding only machine sewn,
not flipped to the back and hand-stitched. 
I guess at just a month old
that Sawyer won't remember that
his first Christmas quilt was
un-bound & unlabeled, will he? :)

I'll leave you with a picture of the big brother...
after visiting family left he was told it was nap time...
he grabbed his new quilt and pillow from GrandmaB
and when his head hit the pillow, he was fast asleep:
j.r. - Christmas 2013
A grandbaby fast asleep with a special quilt...
Doesn't that just warm your heart?

Hopefully your days are going as planned,

but if not, that something warms your heart, too.
Wishing you a happy & healthy New Year!
May 2014 have more quilting time (and quilts) for each of us!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The stockings were hung...

To all of my friends near and far,
I thank you for your friendship.
Thank you to those that read and follow my blog.
And a big thank you to those that take the time to comment.
Although I try, I don't always get a response out to those that leave comments,
but I'd like you to know that I do appreciate you!
 
I wish you a very Merry Christmas
and great health, joy and peace -
today, tomorrow, and in the New Year!
 
Our weather here in central Ohio is
very cold and snowy on this Christmas Eve.
It sure is nice to be inside, beside the fire,
watching the lights twinkle on the tree.
Midnight has come, and
my preparations are as complete as they are going to be.
I did finally finished this quilt:
It was only a top for a few years...
and I finally quilted it last month
so I could hang it for this Christmas.
 
While I was stitching binding on gift quilts,
(yes, I always seem to be just making it under the wire :), 
my daughter
made the wrapping happen in a timely manner:
It looks like the two older grandchildren
love their new quilts:
Time for me to settle down for a nice winter's nap!
Merry Christmas!
I hope your holidays are wonderful!
Debra

Thursday, December 12, 2013

brrr... and taking stock of LUCY

Although the calendar
doesn't yet say it's Winter,
the weather outside says differently!
 
With the snow falling, I decided to take stock of my Lucy blocks:
Though the cable and internet was
almost non-existent this past week,
I sure am thankful that the electric has been on
the entire time!
Along with the abnormally below-freezing temps,
there has been plenty of accumulation of the white stuff.
Here's a picture of this week's snowfall:
So, with no internet or cable
to distract me this week,
I pulled out ALL of my
finished Lucy Boston
Patchwork of the Crosses blocks.
Key word there is FINISHED.
 
Guess what I found?
 
This entire stack of blocks...
THAT. HAVE. NO. BORDERS!!!
That doesn't look like many blocks without muslin borders, does it?
 
Oh, I knew that I had a 'few' blocks without
their borders.
I just didn't know that the number
of incomplete blocks was
twenty!!!
Here they are,
all spread out:
All spread out it looks like I still have a WHOLE bunch of bordering to do, doesn't it?

Though they sure are pretty, if I do say so myself,
they would be prettier if they all had their borders. :)

I hope your 'Winter' weather is good,
that your heat is on if you need it,
and your needle is flying.
After I throw some more wood into the stove,
that's where I'm heading -
to make my needle fly!

Friday, December 6, 2013

snow sew day yay

Big weather systems are converging over central Ohio today...

That means snow is coming - only a half foot or so.
Yay!!
Also means it's a snow/sew day for me!
Yay again!!

Good timing, too,
'cause I have Christmas quilts
for the grandkids to finish up!
Here's a peek:
Flowers, footballs and ducks.

Hope to get them all to the binding/hand stitching point today
so that tonight I can cuddle under them as I finish them up.

What are your plans today?
Hope you can enjoy the weather and stitch a little, too!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy December & meanderings in thread

Now that the 1st of December has come and gone,
I can start my decorating for Christmas...

My daughter's birthday
is on the first of December and
we've always waited until after Thanksgiving
and her birthday to start our Christmas decorating.
She'd tell you it's her rule -
no Christmas décor or wrapping paper!,
but really,
it's been that way since before she had any say in the matter
and for over three decades. :)
Happy Birthday dear daughter!

So, back to the getting ready for Christmas...
I'd love to drag out the Christmas décor boxes
and throw the garland around...
I'm ready, but I'm not.
Too many things to do, not enough time!
Do you know what I mean?
I still have my Halloween quilt hanging in the great room!
Yes, I do have a Thanksgiving quilt - paper-pieced pumpkins,
but it hardly ever makes it to the wall.
(And it didn't make it to the wall this year, either.)

And, truly, the quilt I hang for Christmas is
a redwork and pieced, red & white quilt called
"Walking in a Winter Wonderland"
(Crabapple Hill pattern)
and it stays hanging all Winter, not just for Christmas.
I have a couple of Christmas quilt tops finished
to quilt for myself,
but that didn't happen again this year!

I have been doing quilting for others, though.
So someone will have Christmas quilts to hang or gift -
it just won't be me!  :)
This is Joell's - a gift for her sister's friend:
Joell always make LARGE quilts, and this is no exception.
(Big quilts are so much fun to quilt!) 
Besides being a beauty of a quilt,
it was very graphic and bright!
 (: I live vicariously through Joell's bright quilts. :)

Next, I quilted two tree skirts that Janet made.
Here's a picture of one of them:

Isn't it adorable?  Can you see (bottom right corner) the great candy cane fabric that is the backing?  Janet always has perfectly matched seams and has her tops so well pressed.

Since both tree skirts were the same, I took the second tree skirt picture while it was on the quilting machine. Check out the great border fabrics that she used.  Those fabrics really were great choices in my opinion - totally tied the charm squares together.
Looking back at these pictures,
I guess at this point they really weren't tree skirts yet.
They were not split to the center or circle center-cut yet. 
But there are some lucky people getting these for Christmas, too!
I'm off to start meandering the next quilt/Christmas gift!
Maybe tonight I'll throw some garland around  do a little decorating, too!
Hope you are getting some stitching time in
during this wonderfully busy time of year!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

giving thanks

I am so thankful...
for family, and friends,
and all of the bounty we have.
 
Speaking of family,
I had a little help in the kitchen this morning
starting my Thanksgiving cooking.
We started with dessert ...
and
we made some great plates of cookies!
Turkeys!  
Turkey cookies not turkey kids! :)
I have just a partial gang coming in tomorrow.
The large group will be here Saturday.
That means I get to make two dinners! 
So excited!
Here's part of the gang:)
Happy Thanksgiving from us to you!
Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful and bountiful!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

from Shipshewana to Lucy Boston POTC

My year-long POTC journey -
my one-block-a-week-this-year goal
is nearing the end.
I only have a few blocks left to make for my

 Lucy Boston - 
Patchwork Of The Crosses quilt!!
And if I haven't miscounted in my block-making,
I should be finished in mid January!
 I think I only need the following blocks:
  • two blocks for the last weeks of November
  • four blocks for the four weeks of December
  • two more blocks for the beginning of January.
So a little addition to the stash was in order to finish the blocks!
Of course, while retreating in Shipshewana,
I visited all the local quilt shops.
(You would too, wouldn't you?)
And I picked up a few (mostly) fat quarters
(specifically for POTC) at each shop.

See this picture?:
pinks, corals, some greens and browns
for my Lucy - POTC

 AND this picture?:
blues, with a little coordinating brown
for my Lucy - POTC
That seems like it should be plenty to
make only eight more blocks, don't you think?

I continued unpacking my retreat 'stuff'...
digging deeper into my travel project bag,
and what do you think I found???
MORE fabric that I had purchased for my POTC!:


So, see THIS picture?:
more blues, pinks and corals...
yes, I liked the pretty blue stripe/scallop (top, right)
so much that I purchased it twice!
All for my Lucy - POTC

mulberries, greens and some great blue stripes
All for my Lucy - POTC

The four pictures above,
show my addition of stash fabric.

From Shipshewana, Indiana...
to Lucy Boston, Patchwork of the Crosses.

Confession:
IF each of these pieces was only a quarter yard
they'd add up to 15 - yes, FIFTEEN yards!!!

Guess I now have enough to finish those 8 blocks,
don't you think? :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

retreated!

I am back home -
inspired,
enthused,
not at all rested :)
and
almost laughed out!
I'm back from a week at the Dear Jane Retreat!
 
This retreat is held in the beautiful town of Shipshewana - 
a rural, predominately Amish area of Indiana
and is held Spring and Fall each year.
A friend from Dayton picked me up and
we drove (well, she drove, I rode) through horrendous weather
the last hour of the four hour drive.
But look what greeted us when we arrived!:
It was a beautiful welcome. 
There was a double rainbow, but by the time we stopped to take a picture, the outside rainbow had pretty much dissipated. 
 
There is also always a nice welcome from Yoder's:
Yoder's is a very nice general store with a great fabric shop
(yes, I did some stash enhancement:).
 
I've been able to attend the Fall Dear Jane Retreat
the last couple of years
and have met the most wonderful quilters
and have seen the most beautiful quilt projects!
It's just a wonderful time
with quilting sisters
from across the country and the world.

Some of my table mates:
Jeanette on the left, and Kathy on the right were some of my table mates.
At center is LuAnn (from across the room) 
LuAnn has a great blog to visit - Loose Threads.
Another tablemate was Barb who was away pressing her half-square triangles,
and my space was beside Jeanette
(as you can see, I was working on baby projects).
My across-the-table mates and in the background,
about two thirds of the room of Janiacs:
left to right: Colleen, Pat, Kim, and Nancisue
It was a table full of wonderful quilters,
laughter, and great quilt projects.
Thanks, tablemates, for adding to my pleasure,

and it was so nice to meet you! 
Doesn't that last picture look like a wonderful place to spend the week?!

I have been Totally retreated!

More pictures of the retreat and of my now up-coming new issues projects
in the next few days.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, November 18, 2013

my September LUCY Patchwork of the Crosses blocks

September LUCY blocks are looking more Autumn-like in colors, I think.
mylifeisastitch.blogspot.com
Lucy Boston - Patchwork of the Crosses - Sept blocks
I'm almost out of my pre-cut honeycomb papers!  (from PaperPieces.com)
I think I had 1,200 papers when I started,
and the stockpile is gettin' low!
Definitely time to start connecting my blocks together
so I can remove the outside honeycomb papers and re-use them.

I leave the outside papers in the blocks for stability
until I'm ready to connect them to the next block.
(The connecting pieces are one-inch squares
between each finished block.)  
After I have two blocks attached with
the four connecting squares, 
I can remove the honeycomb papers on either side.

That's a whole lot 'o squares coming up!
I just frightened myself :)

Happy Monday and Happy Stitching!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

my August LUCY Patchwork of the Crosses blocks

I'm still lovin' my Lucy!
Here are my four blocks for August:
mylifeisastitch.blogspot.com
Lucy Boston - Patchwork of the Crosses - August blocks
Still think it's time to start connecting my blocks...

I think I mentioned before that I wasn't finding fabric (for connecting squares) that I LOVED that went well with all the patterns and colors in the blocks for this quilt...
Part of the problem was that I had wanted to get quite a few of blocks done before I started connecting them as  I wanted to be able to spread out the blocks to balance the  blocks/colors across the quilt. 
Anyway,
I finally chose my fabric to make the connecting squares,
so now I can start making a quilt from all these blocks! 
It's a light blue/slate gray/linen-looking fabric. 
I had hoped to find something that was a little more patterned, but after laying blocks all over many bolts of fabric at the LQS, I went with the fabric that was my first choice.  Isn't that how it usually is? 
Choose a few bolts of fabric and put them on the cutting table, choose some more bolts and add to the stack on the cutting table, ask opinions, then go with your first instinct? :) 
Is it just me and my problem habit of playing with fabric
or do you do this also?

And, finally, I'm kind of proud of myself -
I'm still up to date on
my goal of
one block a week
on this, my Lucy project for this year!
That's 35 blocks so far!!!

What are you stitching on this week?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November chill, 9-10-11-12-13, & stitching Lucy

OK - today there is a number thing going on...
(me and numbers - still don't know what's that all about)
 
9:10 a.m. on November 12th, 2013.
 
Only once every hundred years!
How cool is that?!
and I think I'll have to do something special at that minute.
Don't know what, yet, but I will!
(yes, I'll have to do something special TONIGHT at 9:10, also.)

And on top of the 9-10-11-12-13,
there's a Brrrrr! in the air...  
Measurable snowfall came early this morn!
Just a few inches of the white stuff, but it sure is pretty out there!
I think that there's not much better than a new-fallen snow...
AND this meant that it was time to start the fire in the wood stove!

Freshly fallen snow, a wind chill, a blazing fire in the hearth, and
I can stay inside and stitch some more!

Hope your 9-10-11-12-13 day is wonderful!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

annual

It's that time of year again! 
Did the annual
change the clocks back from Daylight Savings time on Saturday night.
At the same time,
I also did the annual "changing of the batteries" -
smoke detectors, you know.
Then there's the annual 
rearranging of quilts...
refolding all the stored ones and
changing the main wall hanging quilt.
(Is refolding quilts on your annual list or is it just me?)

Then there's the annual
clean-up outdoors...
flower beds, leaf raking, sticks to the burn pile...
Because of high winds on Halloween again this year,
we had anther large tree down
(in the last picture you can see the freshly cut and stacked wood) 
AND
a WHOLE LOT'o sticks on the burn pile!
But it made for a great bonfire for our

Annual Chili Cook off & Bonfire!

We started the Chili Cook Off "taste testing" 
and it started to rain - but only for about half an hour.
We stuck it out, though and it ended up being
a beautiful night for a bonfire!
Six Chili cauldrons this year -
and the winner was...
Green chilies Chicken Chili
with fresh toppings of cilantro, avocado and lime.  YUM!


late afternoon -
 just getting set up and the fire started.
(See that newly-cut stack of wood?)





 
That was a whole lot of 'annuals'...
but sure fun. 
Might be time for a nap.
Or maybe some more stitching!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

November! & my July LUCY Patchwork of the Crosses blocks

November already!!
And here I am, finally!, getting pictures posted here
of my July LUCY - POTC blocks:
mylifeisastitch.blogspot.com
July - Lucy Boston
Patchwork of the Crosses
Now that I see this picture,
I think I should have made five blocks for the month -
as aren't there five weeks of July,
not just four?
Yep, checked the calendar, and sure enough,
five weeks in July, not four.
Oh, well...
guess I'll be making another block later.
And here I thought I was up to date!

A side note - looking at my blocks,
the majority of my fabrics are Jo and Judie.
Jo as in Morton, and Judie as in Rothermel.
May have to add their names to my Lucy project...
Lucy J.J. or something :)
I love the rich colors of these reproduction fabrics.
Almost as rich as the fall leaf color around here last week...
it was peek leaf-peeping season,
and gorgeous.
Back to playing with more fabrics/colors.
Happy November & Happy Stitching!

Monday, October 28, 2013

end of October fun...

A little rain.
Then some freezing temps,
along with some sleet and snow blowing through the fallen leaves.
Seems like Winter is trying to sneak into late October.
Fun, huh?!?
But I'm not ready for that yet!

I have a little Halloween-y quilt finish to share first:
This little quilt finished 17" by 24"
and I used the disappearing nine patch block method
with a little charm pack of 2 1/2 inch squares. 
These little pre-cuts/charms were from the fabric line BooCrew.
The inner border was an orange scrap from Honey and Me fabrics with little pumpkins.  Outer border is also BooCrew.  The binding was a Lynette Anderson print - kind of a purplish-gray with little web-dangling spiders - too cute! 
I quilted it by hand in a big, freehand spider web design. 
I quilted it using the Utility Stitch (or big stitch) with a ball of
Valdani variegated thread - size 12, color O540.
I love Valdani threads!!! 
Color O540 is a black and green variegate
and just the perfect color for this little mat.
It took longer to finish than I had anticipated because I decided to hand-quilt it. 
But turned out really cute, I think, so totally worth the extra time.

I don't know if you can tell from the pictures,
but I took it outside to photograph. 
The slanting, late October sun and dry leaves tell the story of Autumn in Ohio.

That's some of my end of October fun!
What's happening in your part of the world?

Friday, October 25, 2013

friendship / enemy /bread

OK -
I know that you know what I'm talking about when I mention
'FIENDSHIP BREAD'.
Well, I call it Friendship Bread too,
but only for the first week.
After the first week,
I call it Enemy Bread. :)

And if you've ever participated in
this chain letter/pyramid scheme of food,
then you know what I'm talking about.

The premise is great! 
A 'friend' gives you a baggie of friendship bread 'starter'.
Just 'Squish' the bag of 'starter' for a few days,
'Feed' the bag of 'starter' once,
then 'Squish" for a few more days.
Measure out enough for a bread recipe, bake it up, and
SHARE the leftover 'starters'!!

Seems innocent enough.
But here's the problem...
The 'Starter' has re-grown.
 Grown enough that you have to do something with it-
i.e. BAKE it.
And Give it Away Again!
And by now you have multiple new bags of 'Starter' to do something with.
REPEAT. THIS. EVERY. WEEK. WITH. MORE. &. MORE. STARTERS!
Oh, sure, at first, you CAN give a couple of 'Starters' to friends.

But, all of the people that you first gifted the 'Starter' to
are now starting their own chain letter/pyramid scheme-of-food process. 
And your 'friends'

DO NOT WANT TO SEE YOU COMING!!
(and by now your friends have gifted their friends, thus eliminating your potential friends' friends that haven't seen you coming!)
OH, and you weren't able to give all the Starters away,
 so you have MULTIPLE 'starters' to feed, squish & grow again.
SEE?
Enemy Bread!!!
OK, I admit, it is good bread!
Really, REALLY good!
But truly, who needs 11 loaves of sweet bread this week. 
(stole this pic from an enemy a friend)
 Or month, for that matter!?

BUT - if you are gifted with a 'Starter'
here's a recipe for a nice & easy, moist pumpkin bread:

PUMPKIN Spice Friendship Bread!

1 cup 'Starter'
3 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour (I did half whole wheat)
1 small box INSTANT pudding -dry (vanilla or pumpkin spice)
1 cup canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  
Grease 2 large loaf pans. 
In large bowl, mix all of the above ingredients as listed.
In small bowl, mix topping of 1/2 cup sugar & 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in small bowl.  Use half to sugar the greased pans.  Pour batter into greased/sugared pans.  Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over tops.  Bake for one hour or until bread loosens from sides of pan and toothpick in center of loaf comes out cleanly.

Fair Warning:
If I 'stop to visit'  you in the next few days -
I am really stopping to gift get rid of my Starters!

Happy end of October!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

June Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses

My Lucy obsession continues-
I have been pretty good on doing one block a week
(mostly meeting my goal of a block a week for this year).

(Though I haven't been good about sharing pictures!!!  
I have to blame it on not have a computer that I could add pics easily... Sorry!)
Anyway, here are my June blocks:
my June Patchwork of the Crosses/Lucy blocks
I've noticed that my June blocks
are maybe a little more springy/summery in color
than previous month's blocks. 
Looking back at my other blocks,
I think I was unintentionally choosing seasonal colors. 

With these June block finishes it means that half of the year is gone...
also means that
HALF of my LUCY blocks are DONE!!! 
YAY!!
Which then leads me to thinking
that I should probably get off the horse and
choose the fabric for the connecting squares.
That way I could get my Lucy
more quilt-like lookin'
than just a bunch of quilt-blocks. :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

binding question & WINNER

Well, to my surprise,
 there ARE folks out there in blog land
that expressed interest in my leftover strips from my table topper!
So I chose a winner by random draw.
But before I get to the winner -
there was a question/comment about the binding on my finish:
 
I cut binding at 2 1/4 inches for a double-fold, not the usual 2 1/2". 
When attaching binding (by machine) onto the quilt top, 
I move my needle over (away from the raw edge) 
to make the binding itself
just a little more than a quarter inch wide.
 
Just that 1/4 inch cutting difference &
a few threads over in needle-moving
makes a binding that I really like -
reminds me of the thin binding on antique quilts!
Hopes that answers that question.
Now,
on to the WINNER!
 
The winner of my
strip-y string-y leftover
thingies
is
Karen -
the first comment left!
Congratulations, Karen.
Karen, get me your snail mail address,
and I'll get the string-y thingies in the mail asap!
**********************************
Now, on to my English paper piecing project -
somehow I've not posted my finished blocks for the last handful of months! Oops!
Don't know why, but haven't shared since May! 
So I'll be back soon with my
"I'm still lovin' my Lucy blocks!"...
more Lucy Boston- Patchwork of the Crosses blocks to share!

Hope your weekend was a great one!
Debra