Lucy Boston

Sunday, May 31, 2015

there were crackling noises and smoke!

The grandkiddos are back to their own beds 
since their parents are home.
It was a fun 10 days.  Tiring, but so much fun.
After they left, I started the laundry,
and then went 
directly to my sewing room!
The gentle hum of the sewing machine equals relaxation...Yay!

My sewing routine is to:
  • plug in the iron when going around the end of the sewing desk to sit down at the sewing machine.
  • plug in my sewing machine and turn it on
  • turn on the desk light 
  • turn the radio or TV. 
Iron, check.  Machine, check.  Light, check.  Radio or TV, check. 

Reverse order when leaving the room for the day.
  • radio or TV off, check.  
  • desk light, check.  
  • sewing machine unplugged, check.  
  • iron unplugged, check.
I always unplug the machine, as we have power surges frequently and I'd rather not power surge the electronics in my sewing machine.

I don't know why I always unplug the iron, but I do.

Do any of you regularly unplug when leaving your sewing area, or is it just me?

So anyway, after 10 days of NO SEWING OR QUILTING,
I've entered my sewing domain, plugged in,
gotten comfy, and breathed a sigh of  relief.  'ahhh'

And then there were crackling noises and smoke!
Yes, my iron is outside on the stone-paving courtyard.
Though it's no longer smoking or crackling in this picture.

I am so glad I was right there beside it 
when I first heard the crackling noise
and saw the smoke start rolling out of it!
I grabbed it, unplugged it
and ran like a CraZy persoN
from the sewing room,
down the hall,
through the great room,
through the kitchen,
through the sunroom,
and out the back door to the stone covered area.
That is NOT the first favorite little iron that's done this though...
I had the exact iron before and it did the same thing!
So the first time this happened, 
I smelled the smoke, then heard a faint crackle.
I looked around, not knowing where it was coming from.
And I did the same 
run through the house/crazy person routine then, too.
This first iron was only a couple of weeks old when it happened.
So I took it back to the store where I had purchased it and warned them of the hazard.  They gladly replaced it for me.  I thought it was just a fluke, not a flaw in the manufacturing.

This second, replacement iron I've not used much.  Maybe only a handful of times.
But it will be going back to the store also.  
And I guess I should probably try to find a new favorite iron.
Or as least another same iron but from a different manufacturing batch!

My question to you, is:
Do any of you have a favorite, small, pressing iron to recommend?
I'd like it small, point-y, and lightweight.  
I don't use steam, don't want auto-timer shut off, and want it to get HOT.
Oh, and I'd like it to have a long cord.
Don't ask for much, do I? :)

Now I'm going back to the sewing room to settle in again.
And try to relax.  With some fabric piecing and the gentle hum of sewing.
Without the crackling noises and smoke.
And think about getting a new iron.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

making memories

For the last nine days,
I've not been doing much of this:
Or much of anything else, for that matter.
I apologize if you are my Swap Partner 
in Lori's Humble Quilts doll quilt swap, 
I promise, it's coming.  Soon.

I HAVE been doing a whole lot of this:
one year old orneriness
and this:
three year old orneriness
We've had help doing this
opening the pool
and this:
making strawberry-rhubarb pie
planting tomatoes in the backdoor garden bed
 And I'd forgotten about the middle-of-the-night awake times.

I now know why the good Lord gives babies to the younger folks. lol
I'm not complaining, it's been fun making memories.
But I think I need a nap.  Then another one.
And I just may be counting down the remaining two nights. 

Sweet rewards?
When the three year old randomly says unprompted things like:
"It's SO fun to have sleep overs."

Happy Thursday!
Here's hoping you are have as much fun as I am. :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Decoration Day

Here in the U.S. today, the last Monday of May, 
we celebrate what is now known as Memorial Day.
First known as Decoration Day after the 
American Civil War in 1868, 
when the organization of Union veterans of the 
Grand Army of the Republic
established it as a time for the nation 
to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.

After that century,
competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions
celebrated on different days, but merged, 
with Memorial Day eventually extended 
to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. 

Thank you to all who have sacrificed their life for this great country in which we live.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderfully relaxing day spent doing something you enjoy with those you love.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I'm lovin' this quilt!

My strawberries baby quilt is finished!

Strawberries for Anna:
I made this quilt for my daughter's (from kindergarten on) 
best friend's first baby.

I know I shared this quilt when I was making the blocks,
and I had one of the strawberry caps on upside down.

I almost left it with the upside-down top, 
but realized I couldn't -
it was going to be gifted to a little one,
who would not meet her grandmother - 
my friend and also a quilter,
who'd lost her battle with cancer just a couple of years before.
So, in my friend's honor, I corrected it, 
as she would have if she'd made it herself, for her little grand-daughter.

 * * * * * * *
Sometimes after I've made a quilt from a pattern, 
I'm over it, as in - been there, done that,
and never even consider making that pattern again.
I was hoping that would not be the case after I made the baby quilt to gift.
But this one is so cute, that I think I'll have to make another one,
this time for me to keep here at the homestead.

These are the fabrics that I originally chose when I got the pattern...
for making the quilt for myself -
Civil War reproduction pinks, reds, and greens.  
I just don't have a background fabric that's not so bright-white-new looking.

Now this stack of fabrics is with the pattern, 
added to the growing stack on the shelf of  the 'someday' list.
(: My list of the 'someday' quilts sure is growing! :)

Does everyone have a waist-high stack (or mile-long list)
of someday quilts (or something) to create?

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

it was one of those days...

I didn't sleep well the night before is all I can say.

The past week, I've been sneaking in quilt block piecing
whenever I have a few moments.
Yesterday I laid out the finished blocks for the NEXT baby quilt
(the one for the baby that's already here and now I'm late).
I was a block short!
See the bottom right corner?
Don't know how I miscounted that.

So I went back and pieced another block - a 16-patch:
Cut, sewn, pressed and Wait... wrong block!
I needed an X-block, not another 16-patch!!

Back to the cutting mat.
Again cut, sewn, pressed,
laid it out, and ta-da!
Holy, moley!  Wrong AGAIN!
Not an "X" like I needed, but misplaced patches formed into an "O" block.
Time for some un-sewing.
I turned off my machine and and unplugged the iron, and
I'm saving it for another day.
After I have a little more sleep.

I am so glad I wasn't working on the little quilt for the swap I've signed up for!
Thank goodness it only happens occasionally!

Am I the only one that does this?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Not many vices...

unless you count fabric.
And QUILTmania magazine.

When my local, big-box book store stopped carrying 
the QUILTmania magazine, about a year ago,
I decided that I really didn't need it.  

But, after I missed that next issue, I realized that 
yes, yes I DID miss it.
And since I don't drink, smoke, salon mani/pedi, gamble, 
professionally shop, restaurant graze regularly/frequently, 
or carry out any other form of pernicious conduct,
I decided that one magazine every other month 
will be my vice of not many.

I now order QUILTmania from a shop 
that also just so happens to carry reproduction fabrics.
So, it's a given that I HAD to ask them 
to auto-ship the magazine - with padding.
Padding of four, quarter-yard pieces of Civil War repro fabric.
(updated to add the shop name- sorry, I thought I'd put it in at the start)
I asked the gals at the Homestead Hearth shop to choose 
four newer fabrics to pad the envelope
and this is what came this month!!  
A great selection of 'padding' and issue 107!

To make this month's packager even better, 
(I flip through the pictures first and go back to read secondly),
I flip to this:
My friend, Wendy's - No Bake Applique!
She took second place at the Road To California Quilt Show,
in the Traditional, Large, Applique category!!!
Don't you love the play on words in the title 
in reference to the Hot Pad/cooking theme?

Congratulations, Wendy!!! 
It is just gorgeous!  
I love that your quilt won!,
and in the traditional applique category!

You can see Wendy's great blog,
here: The Constant Quilter.
(: Tell her Debra from Ohio said Hello :)

And though I live in central Ohio and
Wendy is in Maine and we've never met in person (- yet),
I am sure that Wendy and I are of the same
 quilting family tree
as we both love quilting:
the tradition, methods and sharing the Hot Pad/Pot Holder
method of making quilts.

My not-many-vices may have to have an addition...
besides the fabric-padded-every-other-month magazine order,
I may have to add the vice of more travel...
as someday, I will eventually travel to meet in person,
my quilting-sister, Wendy.
And see all of her Hot Pad quilts.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

meanderings in May

I was mind-meandering recently,
you know, thinking...
(and you know the trouble that THAT can cause),
about the enjoyable gardening and the yard work calling me.
I think it's nice to have my gardening done
before the end of May...
Memorial Day, which will soon be here.

A quick glance at the calendar, 
and Oh, my!, it is even sooner than I thought.  
I always associate the END of the month of May - 
near the 31st, as the holiday weekend.
But not this year!!! 
The last Monday in May falls on the 25!!!
And here I was planning around the idea 
that I had another week in there.

Garden prep, 
flower bed and water garden clean-up, 
not just outdoor house maintenance, but indoors, too...
all of those things that seem to take a little more time each year.
Or maybe it's not that they take a little more time,
but just a little more energy? :)

Anyway, I've prepped some of my outdoor gardens -
the strawberry beds look a little sad, and
they may need some revamping this year.
Then the rain came back to visit, so I came indoors to work...

I also have an indoor strawberry garden
that is coming right along!
I meandered a little differently on each strawberry (inspired by the fabrics).
Such a nice indoor strawberry garden, I think!!
Just one more side of binding to hand-stitch.

I hope your week is starting out well...
with pleasant, meandering/thinking time,
indoors or out.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

a little quilt meandering

I did some quilt meadering a couple of weeks ago for a friend,
but haven't shared the pics because I hadn't delivered the finish.
I finally met up with her and delivered one of her latest quilts after I got to "work my magic", as she says.
She always has such perfect piecing and pressing!  
And, such fun, bright colors!  
(I think the fabric line was called Kitty Picnic by Lakehouse.)
Isn't it just so cute?!?!  Vintage kitties and picnics!

I'm just a little jealous (and a lot in awe) of her - 
as she is working on her Christmas gifts!!
I asked if she knew it was only May. :)

I don't know about you,
but I've not EVEN considered Christmas gift quilts!
Have you thought about Christmas quilt gifting already??

I am still working on the handful of baby quilt gifts -
with almost two down, and three to go. 
My goal was to have all five completed by the end of May,
so the time frame I set for myself is now about half gone,
though I don't have half of them completed!!
I'd better get motivated.
Something-ed. :)

Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 11, 2015

A little late to the party, it seems

I pre-ordered (in mid February)
the book Farm Girl Vintage when I saw a preview.
The author, Lori Holt (Bee In My Bonnet blog),
shared that she would have a sew-along the beginning of May.
I knew right then that I wanted to join in!
(I work better with the accountability of a sew-along - 
that's my story and I'm sticking with it :)

In early April, my order said 'allocated', 
but didn't ship for some reason. 
Had to await the next incoming stock arrival 
so it could be re-allocated, then shipped to me.  
A glitch in the system, I was told.  
(To be clear, it wasn't the author's fault, but my supplier.) 
But, all that means is that 
I wanted to start the sew-along on May 1st -  
but without the book, I'm BEHIND.
Behind, and I haven't even begun!!  :)

Now that the book is finally here, and I've drooled all over it,
I've decided it was worth the wait!
I love that it has 45 block patterns!, all so adorable,
and each comes in two sizes
so you can choose which size you want to do... 
or just do them all!  
I love how the book is already spiral bound,
AND there's also a cover that folds over the spiral binding 
(so it doesn't get stuck on other books on the shelf).

Now that I do have my book, 
I'll start pulling some fabrics this week
and maybe try to get caught up with the sew-along.
Decisions, decisions.
So many block patterns, so many quilts, too many CUTE options.

There is no pressure, of course; 
as Lori Holt says:
"You are the boss of your own quilt." 

 Are any of you folks going to join in the Sew-Along?

Sunday, May 10, 2015


There are so many words that describe 
the wonderful women that are in our lives:
mothers day card ideas
(whether or not you are a Momma,)
I hope it's a beautiful day for you!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

skip Spring, jump to Summer

Is is just me, or did we again skip Spring?
If I recall correctly,
the weather (here, in Ohio at least) was like this last year, also.
The sweet smell of  warm, Spring showers,
and gentle breezes changed almost overnight
to Blazing with a capital B-hot, humid, June Bugs-buzzin' May.

I am NOT turning my air conditioning on 
one week after the furnace last ran!

So, more important, quilty things:
I've quilted a little this past week...
First, I did a customer quilt that I can't share yet, 
because I haven't met up with the customer to make delivery.

Second, I did get one of my (five needed) baby quilts 
done except for quilting in the name and birth date.

I was able to gift it at the baby shower!,
then I brought it back home with me to await the baby's birth info.
Looking at the pictures, I see that I also need to do the binding. :)
Can you see the un-quilted area in the bottom, center, above?
That's where I plan to stitch in the baby's birth date and name.

As you can tell, I again went with my 
new favorite go-to pattern- 
16-patch/X-block layout (aka Good Night Irene).
(I love this pattern for it's scrappy-ness and ease of piecing... 
I think it makes GREAT Eye Spy quilts.)

Also, don't know if you can tell, but the
setting fabric that I used this time is different (to me),
it's a 'Grunge' fabric...
white with a patchy, subtle overlay of blue and green 
that is almost dry-brushed looking areas of color.
I've not used this fabric before, but would definitely use it again.

So, looking back, it doesn't seem like much accomplished for 
a week, but, I've also stitched on my Gardener's Alphabet blocks,
and have only 11 more letters of the alphabet to do.  Hoping it
will be off the UFQ list soon!

Hope your week was grand, also! 
with or without the furnace or air-conditioning.

Monday, May 4, 2015

One of these things

is not like the others.
One of these things just doesn't belong... 
Do you remember that Sesame Street song?
Well, I sure did after I pressed my strawberry blocks!

I have all of the blocks made for my quilt-y gift!
As I pressed each strawberry block, I put it off to the side.
And I didn't even notice UNTIL it was 
off to the side that one was definitely different.

I had purposefully sewn the 'stem and leaf' sections
with some of the leaves going left and others going right.
But do you see the strawberry on the right-hand side in the above picture?
That's an Oops.  

Who knows why I didn't notice that the stem and leaf section was upside down??

It was a quick fix.  And I'm glad that I noticed it before all the blocks were sewn together and quilted!

But that song's been stuck in my head all day.
I know I'll be humming it to put myself to sleep.

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Day

Another May day already!

Time to find some unsuspecting folks 
and drop off some little flower bouquets on their doorsteps!
I have lots of daffodils and grape hyacinth right now
so I'll share those. 
Does anyone else leave May Day baskets anymore?

Also, I've seen the first arrivals of the hummingbirds back in my garden!
That's always exciting to me
catching them flitting around the flowers and shrubs.

This week, I've been working on another UFQ,
stitching together some little, seven inch pot-holder blocks
that I've had finished for a year or more.
(I'm afraid to check to see how long they've really been a work in progress!)
Thinking more on it, I know I started making them 
as take-along samples when I was teaching at
the local reproduction fabric shop... 
so I guess it's probably more like they are two year old UFQ's.
Anyway, after finishing the bindings, 
can you see (above) that I have them safety-pinned into place
and readied for whip-stitching together?
I have a couple of groups of them stitched together and they are table topper sized.
I may, though, stitch the small table-toppers into one bigger quilt.  
Haven't decided yet.

I have my day dedicated to finishing a little boy's quilt 
for a baby shower this weekend...
I'm using my new favorite go-to pattern: 
X-blocks with 16-patch blocks,
(also known as Good Night Irene...)
as it makes a good Eye Spy, I think.
Which is great for little kids.
And great for using more stash & scraps!

I'm off to stitch;
Hope your weekend is wonderful, and
that you, too, can do a little stitching.
Or playing in the garden flowers!