Thursday, July 28, 2011

An easy finish

I was just looking at the picture in my header again. Aren't those sunflowers just so gorgeous? Since the picture was taken by my friend Cindy, I can admire it myself. I just think they, along with daisies, are just the happiest flowers, don't you?

I wanted to share my finished skirt with you. I am so happy with it. I think you can see that it just has an elastic waist and was really easy to make. The style was meant to be a simple flared skirt but I wanted it to be fuller so I just played with the pattern. That made it take me a little longer but now that I know what I'm doing, this could be whipped up in an hour or two. Good to know for last minute occasions. (And we know I work best under pressure so there are a  lot of those!)

This just required sewing sides, front and back together, making a casing and putting in the elastic. Can be filed under easy-peasy! Do any of you have your own favorite easy-peasy pattern for clothing? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our special guest

Our meeting tonight was held at Dru's new house. It is always fun to visit someone's house and see their sewing space and Dru did not disappoint. It was a special meeting too because Dru's sister, Deb, is visiting from Massachusetts and she was able to join us for the first time. I especially enjoyed meeting Deb because she is a faithful blog follower and we have corresponded with each other from time to time. I think this counts for me as meeting my first bloggy friend!

As she was instructed by Dru (Don't we always do what our sisters tell us to do?), Deb brought a few of her finished quilts to share. We were all shocked that she has only been quilting for 2 years. Her finished number really puts us to shame in the short span of time.

This was Deb's first quilt. Don't you love the red around the edge?

And she was lucky to find the perfect backing fabric. I think this one was found after a long search. 

Deb's pinwheel quilt. I love the bright colors on the blue background. 

A stash buster. Impressed with the way Deb had to plan it out to make  this work. 

Her jelly roll sampler. All put together. Sigh...

We had our usual sharing with many different completed or almost completed projects to share.

Fran had started this block for her mom but couldn't finish it after she died. Laura took it and did all the applique for her. Isn't it lovely and so appropriate since her mother was a proud Scotswoman. 

Just about everyone got into the act as Laura showed her almost quilted top. 

By far, the largest quilt any of our members has finished. 

Don't you love the red sashing on Peggy's finished top? This is also one  of our group's sets of blocks. 

Lynn took just 6 of her blocks and made a smaller quilt to donate as a charity quilt. I love the border on either side. 

And her backing shows the quilting.

Cindy and Dru were happy to show their treasures from a trip out to Burkholder's and other quilt shops in Lancaster County. 

No one was surprised to see this panel that Cindy picked. They are soooo her colors. 

This would make great backing fabric in those same colors. 

And we all drooled. This FQ bundle of 25 FQ's only cost $25!! Yes, you read that right. Major find. Love those colors too. Dru had a similar pack in blues and browns. Also so pretty. 

Dru showed us the fabric spray she used when assembling the quilt sandwich. She did like the way it worked. Anyone have a favorite fabric adhesive that they have used in their quilting?

Our next group project is a quilt for the local nature center. We're using this pattern to make bug jars. Some of us brought our bug fabric to share tonight but we're all looking for others in our stash before we make our decisions. Should be a fun quilt to assemble.

Have a happy quilting day!


Monday, July 25, 2011

I wasn't going to but I did

I really didn't plan to buy any more fabric but then Pink Chalk fabrics and Green Fairy Quilts had a sale. Well, you know what happened next...
So, I thought I would share my new fabric with you.

The first are from Pink Chalk Fabrics Love their selection of contemporary fabrics.
Alexander Henry In the Kitchen ABC. I love the pink teapot.

Alexander Henry Sew Much Fun. Love the pattern pieces. 

Jennifer Paganelli Dance With Me - I just love these colors. 
 These two charm packs are from Green Fairy Quilts. Great customer service and lots of pre-cuts. Right now their layer cakes are 25% off. Yummm.
On sale at Green Fairy Quilts. I am dying to see yardage of Hometown by Sweetwater in full yardage. I love the concept. 

All my purchases were for quilting yardage and then, yesterday, because I work best under pressure, I bought this fabric to make a skirt to wear this weekend. It is a fairly simple pattern and really shouldn't take too long. I just loved the bright colors! Wish me luck.

Just re-read this post and realized I used the word love a lot. But then I know that you quilters out there know exactly what I mean. We all find it hard to answer which fabric is our favorite since that changes by the hour! We all LOVE fabric. And that is what gets us into trouble. Oh, my!

Happy Sewing everyone!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

A whirlwind tour and Atlanta's biggest fan!

I came home yesterday after visiting my sister in Atlanta. A high school friend met me there and we all spent the week visiting many different sites in the Atlanta area. We both agreed that my sister is a great guide and in all the years she has lived there, has certainly come to love the Atlanta area. She is their biggest cheerleader.

Wish you could see this closer. It had many pictures in it to make up the bigger portrait. 

Our first stop was the Carter Library. The library underwent major renovations and is an amazing display  and story of the Carter Presidency and his life and legacy after his Presidency.

Notice the lack of support. 

We visited the CNN center which was a first for me. After taking the escalator up 8 flights we were lead through the building to see the background and inner workings of the network. Notice that the escalator has no support except at the top and bottom. Happy they didn't point that out until after we were up top! Notice the map of the world in the floor above.

A family mausoleum. 

Margaret Mitchell's grave

One of many angels in the cemetery. They came in all shapes and sizes. 
I said it was whirlwind and it was. Another first for all of us was Oakland Cemetery. It is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta and very Victorian. Families used to take picnics there so it was very much a place for the living as well as the dead. Rain stopped us short but we did manage to see many of the very interesting headstones and monuments in the cemetery. Apparently, people even hold weddings there.

The Little White House in Warm Springs, GA.
Our last day was spent in Warm Springs at Franklin Roosevelt's Little White House. We had been there before but again the visitor's center had undergone some renovations which enhanced our visit. The house itself was not opulent but a simple refuge for the President.

Now, the irony is that while the Northeast was baking in the heat, it was actually cooler (and that was relative) in Atlanta. Go figure. I watched the news each night and noticed the horrid heat here at home.

I want to leave you with a happy thought. I just got this link in an email. I hope it puts a smile on your face, too.

Enjoy the music and the video.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Through the window

The northeast is experiencing record breaking heat today and it is a really good day to just stay inside. I wish I could say this picture was from my back yard but a friend took this on a trip to France a few weeks ago. It is definitely on my bucket list to go to the south of France when the sunflowers and lavender are in bloom. For now, I have to settle for looking at pictures.

This is the view out my window a week or so ago. I'm afraid the hydrangeas are ending their blooming time and the heat really isn't helping them at all. Too hot to sit out and enjoy them but it is my dream spot on a good day to sit and read a book.

This view is from the kitchen. Again, a good spot to sit and read or enjoy good weather. I'm so excited because my tomato plant has a few blossoms on it. I am babying that and watering profusely so maybe, just maybe I'll have my own tomatoes. I'm so excited.

I know that some people don't like to sew in the summer but on a really hot day I think it is a perfect activity - in air-conditioning, of course.

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, stay cool today.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Out and about...

I thought I would share a few more flowers that were sighted while I was out and about. It has been a hard week to keep flowers alive with the hot, hot weather in the Northeast. Of course, that is nothing compared to the people who have to work outside or those who live without any air-conditioning to bring them relief.

Don't we all wonder how we survived the summers growing up with no AC. My memory is of sitting outside with a good book. We had a hammock in our backyard and that was a favorite spot to read. And I did a lot of that when I was growing up. I think we also spent a lot of time just taking life easy in the summer. Hot weather gave you permission to do nothing. And doesn't that sound nice...

The flowers in these pictures were taken in a shop's parking lot. I loved the mix of colors and flowers and especially loved the funky garden art. I think that will be all that is left in my garden for the rest of the summer. Hopefully the bushes will survive the heat. I think their roots are pretty well established so they can reach down to access any moisture there might be in the soil.

Stay cool, wherever you may be.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In the neighborhood

As the temperatures in our area are inching toward 100, I thought I would share a few flower pictures I took on my morning walks. Our townhouse community has an annual garden contest and many people do such a great job with their gardens, for the contest and because they care.

I have seen these Calla lilies in several gardens recently. I think it may be a flower that is coming back.

Just love the purple color. I think it may be some kind of ground cover.

Hard to show the beauty of my neighbor's little secret garden. Just love those daisies.

I'm not holding out much hope for my flowers to survive this week. It is just hard to keep them watered when it is this hot. Hope the weather is much cooler where you hang your hat!

Have a great day.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beautiful wedding, happy couple

Conewago Manor Inn

The wedding this weekend was simply lovely. The sun was shining and the humidity wasn't too bad. The setting was amazing and most importantly of all, the bride and groom were practically giddy with happiness. 

Entering the Inn. 

The sunroom

Each room in the inn is decorated in a different decor and so pretty. No detail was omitted from the planning. 

One small area in our room. 

The wedding ceremony took place outside on the lawn and the reception was in a tent on the grounds.

Hydrangeas on the arbor

A beautiful entrance

The happy couple

As the sun went down, the lights came on...

And yes, I had the chance to give them their almost a quilt. I wanted them to see the finished top and now I have it back home to be finished. Really think I will send it out for machine quilting. Just have to piece the back and get the binding ready to go. Oh, where are those quilting elves when you really need them.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

All dressed up

Or at least I will be. Going back to my clothes making roots, I finished my clothes for this weekend's wedding. And with time to spare. As I mentioned before, I finished the quilt top. I'll give it to the happy couple and then bring it home so I can finish the quilting. It is that giving a gift twice. 

I really love the fabric. It is an outdoor wedding and this reminds me of a garden  party. 

The jacket. I'm also taking a green sweater that matches too just in case I change my mind. You never know. 

And the purse. I bought this little purse about 3-4 years ago and never used it. I just love the green and blue combination.

Today was a gorgeous day so if Saturday is the same it will be wonderful. I sure hope it is. Would be so nice for everyone. It is in a lovely setting and good weather will add to the joy.

**** I have to give special credit to my friend Cindy. It is her picture of sunflowers in my header. I think they are perfect in the blue bowl. *****

Happy weekend everyone!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Ah Provence, well almost.

As you know, the Christmas fat quarters will be making their way to France tomorrow. I was really the one who was supposed to go this summer but I'll have to be happy with that for now. Tonight our book club discussed A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. We all agreed that reading the book made us very hungry and Connie, our hostess, certainly took care of that. And her decorations more than set the mood for our discussion. 

Isn't this table just gorgeous. The sunflowers and tablecloth were perfect. 

Connie carried the decor into the kitchen too. Just love the Eiffel Tower on the island. 

Connie did her usual special food preparations and they were all in keeping with the theme. We enjoyed the food and also our book discussion, which lasted almost 3 hours. 

No French repast is complete without Brie. Yummm.

You can see the wonderful shrimp that she prepared and the pretty sunflower napkin. Forgot to wait until she put the delicious onion, goat cheese pizza on the table. (Look at the next picture.)

Okay, the remainders of the pizza are on the blue plate. Obviously, we all loved it.
This table reminded me of the after dinner tables described in the book. 

And of course, dessert. Lemon tart and cherry something. (It had a special name and I forget what it is)

I must admit that reading this book made me want to go to Provence even more. Next summer, here I come...

Sewing progress update - I made a great deal of progress on the dress today. Will finish tomorrow and then work on the jacket. Almost there.

Have a wonderful sewing day!