Moving Along

Yesterday was a cold and rainy day.  I guess you know what that means.  Cats hanging out by the fire . . . me hanging out at my sewing machine.  What could be better than that?  Unless it's sunshine, which is in short supply right now.

(Why yes, that is an orange thread on the floor next to George's paw.  I wonder where that came from?  I've never seen any threads on the floor around here!)

With the cats safely ensconced next to the fireplace, I turned my attention to my February NewFO project, the Oregon State stadium quilt, I'm making for Erik and Mae.  I sewed together all of the blocks I have so far . . . that would be 60 blocks in all.

With that done, this quilt is half finished already.  It's going to be a good size for its intended purpose.  I've kind of decided to tie this quilt using black and orange knit crosheen crochet thread, which is what I always use to tie a quilt.  I think if I tie it rather than quilting it, it will be softer and "drapier".  (Did I just make up that word?)  With the finished blocks at 6 inches, it would be a nice "rhythm" to tie it at the corner of each and put another tie in the center of each.  I kind of like the look of a tied quilt sometimes, and I think it would enhance the look of this one.  That will have to wait, however, because I'm setting this one aside for just a bit.

Then I moved onto my February set of blocks for my Plain and Simple Amish sampler quilt.  This month's blocks were simple nine patches.

I like these colors.  I added a sort of rust red to the mix and a grass green.  I strayed a bit from the suggested colors in the quilt pattern just because I like a lot of contrast.  Next month's block set will be another four nine patches, but set on point this time.

Having just finished the hand sewing on the binding of the Sunshine on My Shoulders quilt, I drew out the embroidery motif on the Promises BOM.  Last night I started on the embroidery while we were watching the news.

Now, I absolutely love lavender.  I love the color of it.  I adore the fragrance of it.  I love the way it looks when I see it blowing in the breeze in summer.  And I have to say that I am loving the look of these little lavender sprigs.  They are so precious and delicate.  Altogether, this is turning out to be a very gratifying stitchery project.   (And I'm all about self gratification, aren't you?)

That said, if I had tried a little harder, I suppose I could have done more things wrong with this first one.

First of all, I was supposed to do chain stitch with one strand of floss for the brown scroll work.  I did back stitch with two strands.  That doesn't bother me.  Then, when I trimmed it in preparation for the borders, I cut it wrong and ended up with the embroidery off center.  Even that doesn't bother me.  Some of you made some excellent suggestions about how to fix it.  I've decided to embroidery a couple of flowers on the right side to bring the design back to center.  It will be an easy fix, and I think it will look nice.  Finally, I was supposed to use one strand of floss for the scripture, and I used two.  Now, that bothers me.  It's difficult to read the way it is, and I know I'm not going to be happy with it.  So I've decided that when I finish the one I'm working on, I'm going to take out the embroidery on the scripture and redo it.  Some things I can live with and some I can't.  This is going to be a gift, and I want it to be something I'm proud to give.

While I was sewing yesterday, the mailwoman brought my February swap block from Samantha.  Isn't this sweet?

Up until now I've been asking for cat blocks, but last month I changed to this block.  It became a favorite when I made for someone else recently.  It's called "Along the Oregon Trail".  It seems I have a bug up my rear for red and white lately.  This will be so pretty in a quilt.  Thank you, Samantha.  I'm sad to say I didn't ever receive my January block.  My January swap partner informed me quite some time ago that her sewing machine was in the shop.  If my sewing machine had been in the shop this long, I'd be having a serious conversation with the shop.  It could even result in someone getting arrested.  (In fact, I'm considering writing a screenplay about this.)   Oh well.  I haven't given up on receiving it yet, but I'm getting close.  In the grand scheme of things, it's small potatoes--tater tots, even.

Now I want to finish up by saying I received the nicest email this morning from Caitlin Hacker of the International Quilt Festival of Ireland.  Caitlin said this:
I am contacting you because after doing some extensive research online for breathtaking and fabulous quilts having to do with gardens and flowers, I came across your quilts that I thought were extremely beautiful. I wanted to know if you would be interested in sending us your garden quilts so that we can display them at our festival this coming June. 
It just so happens that I am attending the quilt festival in Ireland in June, and so I was flattered to be asked.  I've asked Caitlin to send me more information, but I am seriously thinking about entering my Checkerboard Flowers quilt in the festival.  Caitlin specifically suggested that I enter a quilt in their My Quilted Garden exhibit  Wouldn't it be fun to attend the show and see my very own quilt there?

My quilter just called yesterday to tell me that this quilt is finished.  That will give me plenty of time to finish up the binding before shipping it off to Ireland.  And as I write this, I'm getting even more excited about it.  It would be my first show!  I don't expect to win anything, but it would feel like a big accomplishment just to enter.

Today is even drearier than yesterday, and rain is in the forecast for most of the day.  I've promised Mike I'll make him some biscotti today, and I might break down and do some housework too.  (Housework causes me to break down.)  As for sewing, I'm hoping to get the border on my latest Mr. Bear block.  Also, I just installed the newest version of the My Memories Suite software on my computer.  I'd like to spend some time playing with that too, but I'll admit that I'm not fond of sitting at the computer.

I hope you have a productive Friday!

I'll be linking this post to:

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sarah said...

Oh Barbara, you MUST enter your garden quilt at IQF-Ireland!!!!! I don't know many people who can say they have shown a quilt in a maojor show. I'll be breaking down with you tomorrow - the messy house is driving me nutzo.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, do send this one, especially when invited! And I can tell our NY crew venturing over to make sure they look it up and you.

Diane Wild said...

I would be on top of the moon if I got a request to enter a quilt in a far-off land quilt show. How exciting. I called the shop about my machine and they said "maybe" tomorrow. I asked the lady to nudge it up to the front of the line so I have time to get there before they close and pick it up. Maybe Sunday will be a sewing day.

Jen said...

Wow, lots of things going on! That's such a great compliment about the Quilt festival. Such a conincidence that you will be there too! I hope you enter. give those sweet kitties a pet for me :)

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

How cool to enter a quilt in another country's quilt show. I definitely think you should do it!! Your quilt is gorgeous!!!
You have so much going on in your sewing room. I sure wish you could send some of the rain and cool weather down this way - it's currently 74* here!

Teresa in Music City said...

Wow Barbara! What an honor!!! Isn't it nice to be recognized for doing what you love?!? Of course, you must enter it! That is one beautiful quilt and I'm betting they will love it in Ireland!!! What a coincidence that you are already planning to be there then!

Love your Promises & Borders block! I too have to make changes to my block which I finished this morning. My bird just fades into the block, so I'm going to redo him with a brighter blue. I've started on Block 2 though, and I think I'll work on it for a while before I go back to the little birdie.

It's snowing here in Nashville this afternoon, and my Gypsy is glued to the window. She hates snow!!!!

Snoodles said...

Congratulations! Well-deserved recognition, I'd say...and make sure that the little people don't make off with your quiltie! LOL Seriously, I'm so happy for you. I'm sure it will be a wonderful feeling to attend the show, and see your very own quilt there - and I betcha it will win some awards, too! :)

Kate said...

Congratulations on being asked to enter a quilt in the festival. That is so very cool and definitely well deserved.

I like the picture of George and Gracie. They look so comfortable. Though I have to admit if it was me in that spot, I'd probably be napping.

jmniffer said...

Congrats on being invited to enter a quilt at the festival...what an honor!

My latest organizing effort envolved re-purposing a hanging sweater container to the closet in my sewing room. It now holds future projects and kits. Fun to see them waiting whenever I open the closet.

Thanks for the chance at your giveaway.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

It's a beautiful quilt! How exciting .

LethargicLass said...

That would be so great (and well deserved) to have your quilt there!

quiltzyx said...

Well! Those Irish quilters surely to have great taste!!! You definitely should enter it.
Whoopee! You're about to become an INTERNATIONAL quilter!

I know what you mean about your one embroidered block - that there are some, um, design opportunities that just need to be corrected, & some you can live with. And I hope your January block does show up!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

You are definitely moving along. Love all your quilts and block. Congratulations on getting to show your lovely quilt!

Sounds like a great day!

LynCC said...

Wow, Barbara!! How exciting about your quilt going to Ireland. :D I'm jealous that you're going, too. I drooled and drooled and drooled over that show the second I first heard about it being in planning a couple years ago. And then as it works out there's no way I can go. So you need to have extra fun for me, too!! ;D