Friday, December 27, 2013

Belated Merry Christmas & Wishes For A Blessed 2014!!

The Saturday before Christmas brought my area of Michigan a tiny bit of ice.  It was very pretty in the morning....but sure put a tiggle (yes, made up word), in the Christmas prep errands.  After switching up the schedule a bit, I enjoyed looking at the pretty ice - it was gone by mid-afternoon and then came the slush!  Remember the rosebush this summer in all it's glory - I think it is equally as pretty iced up :o)

A shot of my tree out front -
Earlier this month, I enjoyed dinner with the bestest friends in the universe!  The dozen of us shared a meal, drinks and beautiful, stunning gifts; we draw names each year.   Robin was my person this year - I gave her this (along with coffee and chocolate - not photographed):
I can't remember the pattern or designer...I borrowed it from another in the group.  Sory about the reflection of the flash.  Robin has wanted this for awhile!

Remember the Jo Morton Club 2013 - well I did two of these - the other is screwed up a bit and I showed it earlier this year.  This one turned out nice...I knew Robin would like love it!

Pam's husband, Bill, made these floss holders...the acorn is oak and has beautiful grain!  We each received an acorn and our initial....thanks Bill!!  and Pam!  Such talent...
Janis drew my name.  I received this cool box - don't you just love boxes?  I have several from small to large and they all hold treasures.  The needle roll is wool and hand appliqued.  She did such nice job.  I also received the quilting ruler which will come in handy with all the miniature quilts I have been and will continue to make.  There was also chocolate but since some is already consumed, so I won't show a half empty box.
Here is a shot of the inside - it is filled with goodies, a snowman scissor minder, some Gingher thread nippers (their name - isn't that cool), needle threader and the center is a pin cushion - again, hand appliqued.  Certainly a treasure!
My family gathered for Christmas Eve celebrations with my sisters, their families and my mom.  Each year the sisters and their children pose for a snap on the stairs at my Mom's.  Then the grandchildren with my son is at the top right...

Then we usually do family photos in front of the fireplace, along with a shot of Mom and us girls...not the best pic but the best that was on my camera!  Sometimes it gets a bit hectic - four cameras, several shots.  But it's fun and interesting to look back at the older pics.  We have been doing the kiddos with us three girls since Olivia was born ... over 20 years of photos (she's next to my son at the top).
I couldn't resist a snap of the cheeseball I brought - we all take food - Mom supplies the meat usually and us girls do the balance of the meal - appetizers, meal, dessert.  We certainly don't starve and have plenty to send home with everyone.  This was a hit - the older gals snap-chatted it.  And it was delicious...yum.
We had a quiet Christmas day; just my husband, son, Mom and myself for dinner.  We opened presents in the morning (just me, husband and son).  Here is a shot of the tree - after presents...I think Santa was pretty good to us this year.

The Santa dog in the front was for our dog, Cody.  He sure was into Christmas this year - sniffing around in bags prior to being wrapped, sniffing under the tree and then on Christmas morning, trying to get on each person's lap as they were opening gifts.   
 He was wore out after the gifts...but didn't let his Santa dog stay under the tree for long. He will add it to all the babies pictured behind him in the corner.

So I had indicated I was starting my new job in the last post.  I now have been there a month.  I love the people and I think I will like my job.  I am incredibly overwhelmed (as I expected to be) and hope that within the next couple months I start to feel like I know even a fraction of what I am supposed to do.  I feel I made the right move - things just came together at the right time!  I joined the company just before the Christmas party and guess what, I won a Macy's gift card - they had many prizes and each employee who attended received a ticket for random drawings that took place throughout the party. 

I feel blessed to have the new job, a family that is fairly healthy and great friends.  I wish all of my blog buddies and followers a very Happy New Year.  May 2014 bring you all you wish for.

I will close with this picture.  My son and husband both received hats from Santa...yes, my husband loves the one he received - you squeeze the ball his hand is on and the arms fling out.  My son received the Carhart hat with the promise of a much needed, warm coat for work (he's a porter at a car dealership), promised by Santa...Mom & Dad will take him shopping to try on and pick out.
Happy New Year!  Happy Stitching - be sure to do something that makes you smile each day!!

Sherry :o)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Checking In & A New Beginning

It's been a bit since I checked in with a blog post...been pretty busy!  I hope this finds all of my blog buddies doing well and ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, if you are here in the states!  I am spending the afternoon at my Mom's for Thanksgiving.  My sisters and their families will be there as well.  My son will go and has dibs on one of the turkey legs!  My Mom makes the turkey, dressing and mashed 'taters/gravy.  The rest is up to us three girls.  I am taking an appetizer, veggie and wine.  Should be a relaxing day and I am looking forward to hanging with everyone...we did get together to carve pumpkins but my son had to work that day and it's a busy time with carving, eating, games...Thanksgiving is much more relaxed.

Moira Blackburn's Keep Me Sampler - I have worked on this off and on.  I really love the flowers along the edge, inside border.  I am at the point that drew me to this sampler, the willow tree - it goes between the two hearts.  I have changed pretty much every fiber and have to decide on the fiber for the tree. 
I took a class offered through my sampler guild the end of October.  Catherine Theron was here for a couple days.  No Place Like Home Stitchery book as has a beginning.  The class was fun, went with a couple of my buddies!  Only bummer - Catherine was suffering from a migraine and for the first half of the class came in and out, while laying down.  I love hearing tips and techniques from teachers and we missed out about half a day.  

Here is the beginning of the back - the letters are over one and will be surrounded by grass...since it's on 32 count, the over one is not that bad.  I usually work on 40 or 36 count.
I received gift certificates from my stitching buddies for my birthday.  I went shopping Friday with Mary - the Dovo scissors and some of the fibers were what I selected with my certificate.  I also picked up a couple Blackbird patterns I had on hold, "chocolate raspberry" linen and the hot pink case is for my doo-dads.  My old one is not staying closed - and it is over 15 years old....time to replace. 

Work on Birds & Berries by JBW.  This is my "go-to" project if I want to stitch for a short period of time or if I am really tired.  It's all one fiber - very repetitive - although I have made a mistake or two...

With my other gift certificate, I picked up a couple of the items in this pic...the fabric is so luscious.  The charm squares are festive...
I have been quilting a bit.  The time change earlier this month took some getting used to.  I was wide awake at 4 for several mornings so I got up and cut half-square triangles.  I really hate the time change and it always takes me a day or two, but this year was a bit longer.  The only advantage, I received an extra hour of my 50th birthday!!

I went to Mary's to stitch with friends a couple weeks ago...always a good time.  It was a small group this time, but an awesome day! 

I will have a JoMorton finish to post next time, I hope.  It is sitting on the sewing machine awaiting binding. 

And now for the new beginning...a few posts ago I shared that things were starting to appear a bit shaky at work and I was pretty sure my days were numbered - well, I knew, without 100% confirmation, that it was only a matter of time as the payroll and 401(k) administration (for which I was solely responsible) was transferring to the new owners at the first of 2014, joining benefit administration that was moved this past summer.  I received confirmation the Tuesday before Halloween that I was to be laid off effective March 2014.   With knowing my days were numbered, I started looking for a new job.  I had time to be picky that way and could be a bit more selective.  I started interviewing the beginning of October.   The day before my boss told me of the layoff (and that we were telling 9 others that Thursday the same), I had an offer, which I accepted.   That next week I gave my two week notice and tomorrow I begin my new job.  I definitely took a step up - it's a much larger company...not family owned.  I will not be the only Human Resources person, which is a good thing!  I am excited and looking forward to this great opportunity.

Happy Thanksgiving - hope you spend time with people you love, doing things you love, peaceful!

Sherry :0)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Quilts, apples, autumn and stitching!

Hey, everyone!  I hope this post finds you all well, happy and doing some fun things!  I have been busy since my last posting (so long ago).  I can't get the pictures to work for me tonight putting them in the order I wanted.  I have been working with this for a bit and am going to simply post as they some stitching items at end, quilting to begin and tons of others in the middle.

First up - I started this quilt with a class I took when I turned 40.  It's called Nancy's Fancy and I made it for me- love the colors.  I figured I better get it done as I am turning 50 next month!  Doesn't she look good with my chair (stitching baskets behind - LOL).

Purchased the  new Jo Morton batik/reproduction - some fat quarters.  The color is a bit off in these photos.  Looked okay on my camera...

 I have been cutting and cutting and cutting.  These are for the pattern below.  I picked up this beauty at the Quilt Show this August.
 More squares.
 There are over 1,100 half square triangles - 1.5" each - in this baby.  I used half-square triangle paper and have them ready to cut apart and then square up each one.  Yikes!

We are in the thick of autumn!  My favorite season.  Did you see the new banner picture I have loaded?  This is a group of trees I pass each day going to and from work.  They were absolutely gorgeous last weekend with the sun, the red/green/yellow leaves the dark trunk.  I couldn't resist snapping a picture.

My son, husband and I went on our annual apple picking outing a couple weeks ago.  Picked mostly Macintosh and spys.  My son LOVES homemade applesauce and was told he had to help or I wasn't going to make as much as he wanted to have in the freezer. 
We peeled and chopped, stirred and tasted.  Here is our bounty!  Yum!   He eats it partially frozen and loves it as a snack or for breakfast - hence the partial containers.

 I know I have mentioned the challenge for my sampler guild - I chose the Keep Me Sampler by Moira Blackburn.  I have made some stitching progress.  I have changed almost every called for color.
 I  love this banner on the side!
 I've also been working on Birds & Berries by JBW Designs.  I am using Gloriana "Topiary" silk and the color variation is stunning!

Besides all that...working, getting ready for Halloween and reading quite a bit.  Today I made beef stew (with Elk) and an apple pie.  Going to get off the computer now to finish up laundry and treat myself with a piece of pie! 

Have a great week!  Thanks for visiting my blog and for sticking with me to the end!

Sherry :0)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Stitching Update

Isn't this card so true!  The clothes pins are real, the quilt made out of fabric.  My bff sent to me.  And boy, that is something I say and live by...but stitching and quilting keep me sane, along with my friends!  My other favorite saying close to this is there's a fine line between collecting and hoarding...I border on that line but consider myself a collector as I can throw stuff out/donate items I no longer desire or need.

I know I haven't posted stitching update recently so thought I'd take a minute and show you what I've been doing when not quilting (or working). 

I have mentioned the sampler guild I belong to frequently - Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild.  I know I have blogged about the focus group projects in the past.  This year (until June, I think), many of us are working on various samplers by Moira Blackburn.  I chose the Keep Me Sampler because of the willow tree at the bottom - not there yet but I can't wait.  I changed up a lot of the colors, am doing it on 40 count linen I had in my stash and converted most of the dmc to sampler threads.  
I am loving this piece - even when I was doing the roof, usually too monotonous for me.  I am doing the house in "white chocolate" by Weeks Dye Works.  I love the variegation.    
Next up, Stacy Nash came out with one I just had to have, had to stitch.  I am going to make it into a pillow for my bench, I think.  Christmas at Hollyberry Farm.  Isn't she a pretty one?  My LNS had an anniversary sale for 20% off, I think, of  "kitted up" items.  Since they kitted it up, it's on the called for linen, called for threads (which I love anyway).  

Close up of Hollyberry's border - SWEET, don't you think?

Next up - another biggie I am working....why, oh, why do I have so many biggies going?  I haven't touched Ann Dale in forever!

A Maryland Inspiration by Heart's Ease....she is certainly a fun stitch!

A close up - that little motif just above the carnations is a bitch.  I think there are six colors in that bugger - and there are three different ones.  Three done/three to go.  The over one in the cartouche below wasn't as hard! 
A shot of the whole thing so far...I sure have a long way to go, but she is interesting to do with all the colors and vertical alphabet & numbers.  I am not even to house yet!

I am doing a smallish too - with no color changes.  I guess I consider it my easy stitch for nights when I need that needle and thread therapy but don't want to think too hard... Birds & Berries Antique Alphabet on a piece of sale/stash linen...with Gloriana "Topiary".  Copied the thread color from one of my friends, Paulette...she did this too and it was stunning!

I baked just a bit yesterday while preparing dinner for my peeps.  I had the last picking of rhubarb for the summer.  I decided to try a crisp (we always called it apple goodie and used either applesauce or fresh apples).  I chopped up the rhubarb and then put a brown sugar/oatmeal/butter mixture on the top - YUM!

My husband put a bit of ice cream on his last night (we only had chocolate chip - one of the few ice creams that I don't really care for that much) and I ate mine straight was a bit tart, but d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!

Well, have to go get a shower and gather my stuff.  I am headed over to my friend, Robin's, to start a quilt we both purchased at the recent quilt show.  She bought the pattern and has tons of that type of fabric in her stash to kit one up for herself; I bought the kit.  We hope to get her fabrics picked out today and perhaps start the cutting.  I will show progress - and some other quilting items soon.

Have a great holiday weekend to my U.S. followers.  I know I sure am glad to have Monday as a paid day off.  Cooking out with the husband and maybe visiting with my sewing machine.  I love short weeks, but have to get payroll done in a short time (usually takes me Monday and Tuesday) and this week I only have Tuesday and I have continuing computer issues and the techs are working on my computer again Tuesday afternoon - wish me luck!

Do something fun!
Sherry :o)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Wow - Some Awesome Finishing & Awesome Stashing!

I have been stitching some, sewing some, reading some and writing a check for finishing...wish I could take the creative credit! 

I went on my first, ever quilt shop hop.  What a blast I had.  My friend Joan (one of that group I hang with whenever I can) and I could not go with the rest of the gals on Friday (drat that work).  So we ventured out on a misty Saturday.  Starting in Ann Arbor, we meandered until we were all shopped out! 

The first picture is of various fabrics I picked up at any one of the four shops.  I had a couple batiks in there, but mostly reproduction.

I have had my eyeballs on the quilt kit in the middle - that luscious stack of fabrics.  I can't remember the name of the quilt or the fabric line...I will give that to you when I cut into it and begin.  The book to the left had some really cool quilts that I'd love to make - SOMEDAY...I keep looking for "someday" on the calendar - haven't found it yet.  The tiny charm packs were Icicle Kisses by Kansas Troubles - Moda and were way.too.cute to pass up.  

The BBD first Loose Feathers from this year is out - my husband and I went to dinner at the Mexican place in front of my LNS - how convenient.  And guess what - they had my BBD chart, as well as, fibers and linen I needed for another project.  More on that later! 
 More shop hop fabrics - again, mostly Jo Morton.  That was the theme of the shop hop ... Journey to the Past.
These were the shop hop block kits.  I bought the finishing kit (to the left).  Each shop packaged them up a bit differently.  This will be a fun one to do, I'm thinking.

I have been stitching on quite a bit lately, in between reading, that is.  Oh yeah, and sewing.  I will post pics of the stitching next time as I really didn't have any good progress snaps. I finished the pinwheels and even put in my setting triangles with the pinwheels from the previous post.  I will be posting that soon.  I am thinking about taking it for custom quilting since it's pretty small and has 2.5 x 2.5 squares between the pinwheel squares.  I even mitered the corners, first time I did that.  May be the last!  I did that a Memory Manor during a one day quilt retreat last week.  Went there with Mary and Paulette - what a fun time that was.

I also put together a quilt I began about 10 years ago this fall.  How do I remember that, you may wonder?  I was at class on my 40th birthday.  I will be 50 this year.  I have blogged about it here and there; perhaps I will get it finished once and for all.  I have it put together with the first border.  Once I have the second border, I will try to remember to snap a pic before sending it to the quilter.

I started another of the Jo Morton Club 12 quilts the other night.  The LQS where I attend JMC 12 hosted  a sew-in Saturday.  I didn't finish anything worthy of pics; just a bunch of chained together pieces at this point.

Pictures of stitching to follow in next post, I promise!

So this weekend I received an email from Faye over at carolinastitcher telling me she had mailed me off some items I had sent to her for finishing.  It arrived tonight and let me say, I was so happy when I opened the box.  {edit - I have tried and tried tonight to get the link to work on her name with no luck} 

These are the four lovelies she made so much more than I could have imagined...!  I am bad - some of these are from a long time I don't know names or designers; but I will give it a shot.  The strawberries and birds - that wasn't so long ago I guess -  Needlework Press - freebie last year, Summer.  I did it with Belle Soie Tulip on a very random piece of linen from the depths of a drawer.  The robin was from one of the first retreats I attended probably 15 years ago.  It's a round robin by The Trilogy.  Didn't Faye just dress it up nicely, the wool leaves!

The two scissor fobs are so different but I love them both.  The strawberry came with the red scissors but check out the silver bead at the top.  And the cupcake is one of Amy Bruecken's designs.  So fun.  The scissors with that are perfect, pink case and all.  They were the gift from my sampler guild for completing this year's focus project (posted earlier - Margaret Cottam  by LaD Da).
Isn't that purple polka dot perfect!  Say that fast, five times.  The backing for the strawberry fob is so "me".

Inside the strawberry/bird is this - such a sweet wool heart with an equally sweet pin.  The backing fabric is perfect and the inside fabric - I gasped when I opened this beauty.
It doesn't show in the picture, but the gingham ribbon has a slight sheen and is quite lovely.  On the right side, where Faye's card is tucked, she stitched to have two pockets.  Perfect for the next little project.  I love, LOVE it, Faye!  Oh yeah, did you see the little silver bee on the bottom of the strawberry fob?
Tigers are on the t.v and winning {edit - so much can change while proofing...drat those Sox - now ahead by two in the bottom of the fifth - come on Tigers!!}...Cabrera hit a homer and in the fifth, they are beating the Sox.  I have to wrap this up.  I'd like to stitch tonight, but I don't think that's going to happen.  It's been a few whirlwind weeks at work and I am beat.  I finally have a handle on the insurance stuff, but now I have to catch up from all the piles that happened while dealing with open enrollment.  So far, so good on the work front.

Thanks again, Faye.  Hi to all my blog buddies - I have been keeping up with what's going on in your world, just not commenting as much lately.  Enjoy what makes you happy...until next time,

Sherry :o)