Shop Update and Two Finishes

Hello Everyone! We’ve had a busy week cleaning up the basement, which is where my sewing room is, so we can install new floors and paint after Thanksgiving. We also went to the VT vs. GT football game on Saturday and I have a few pictures at the end of this post. After two years of losing to Georgia Tech, it was nice to win, although I felt bad for GT for losing so badly (45 to 0).

If are still looking for something quick to make to use this season, I’ve put my Holly-Daze pattern on sale in my shop through Dec 3. This pattern uses a layer cake and some extra yardage and is great for showing off some of those larger prints. It is also a great pattern for any time of the year.

I’ve also put my two Holiday Vinyl Front Project Bags on sale until Dec 3 if you need one for your holiday and winter sewing. Please note that if you purchase a bag between Nov 24 – Nov 28, I will mail them by Nov 30. The rest of the items in my shop will go on sale during Etsy’s Black Friday sale Nov 26 – Dec 3 for 20% off.

I finished the Dot N’ Dash quilt from Christa Watson’s book “Piece and Quilt with Precuts.” I used a petite roll of Tula Pink Pinkerville by Free Spirit Fabrics that was in a Sew Sampler Box from Fat Quarter Shop. The quilt measures 48″ x 60″, a smaller version of the original quilt, but that’s all I could get out of the petite roll. The background fabrics are Bella Solids, also from Sew Sampler Boxes, and I thought they were the same color. As you can see in the next picture, they are not.

You can really only tell when outside that they are not the same. I used Moda Grunge Ocean on the back. I bought this to use in a T-shirt quilt, but it was too dark. I really like the quilt and am calling it The Princess Quilt. I gave it to my guild to donate to the local Sherriff and Fire departments. They carry quilts with them and give them to people as needed.

The next finish is Give Thanks Turkey cross stitch from Teresa Kogut. I finished this small into a pillow and it resides on my kitchen shelves.

Full shelf display

It looks nice with my Thanksgiving knick knacks. I bought the Publix Pilgrim People salt and pepper shakers the first year they were released. I think they are so cute. I need to get a tapered candle to put at the back of the shelf to balance that shelf with the others.

I want to talk a little about the colors in this chart. This is a wonderful chart and perfect for Thanksgiving, but what drew my attention to the pattern were the turkey feathers and leaf colors. When I ordered the pattern, I ordered all the called for colors, too. I was very disappointed when I started working on it that the called for colors did not look anything like the cover photo.

These are the called for colors and original fabric I was going to use. Where’s the oranges and yellows?

I was going to use a darker fabric, but the colors just blended in. I changed the fabric to Luminous Fiber Arts 32 ct Lugana Macchiato. I loved working with this fabric. It is so nice and soft.

I did a little research on the chart and found out that the pattern was originally published in the Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine in November 2014. Maybe the colors have changed since then or the original colors were not available any more. Whatever the reason, after looking at a close up picture of the original on Teresa’s Facebook page, I don’t think they are the same colors. I changed the colors the best I could with what I had on hand. I’m really pleased with the results. If you are interested, here are my changes:

  • Leaves – GAST Burnt Orange, Fragrant Cloves and Bittersweet, Weeks Whisky
  • Pumpkin – Weeks Sweet Potato
  • Feathers – CCW Fallen Leaves, Weeks Daylily and Bright Leaf
  • Border – Weeks Bright Leaf

I stitched the turkey body in the called for colors. I used a homespun fabric on the back and made the little pillow. I had thought about adding a trim around the edge, but liked it how it is.

Saturday afternoon was a perfect for football. This was our third Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech game. We try to go when VT plays in Atlanta. This was the view from our seats on the upper level of Bobby Dodd Stadium. If you follow the ACC, you’ll know that VT started the year off with a few losses. I think GT has only had two wins. There were a lot of VT fans, but there usually are. We met our friends ahead of the game and had a chance to catch up and have lunch which was a lot of fun. Like I said, I felt bad for GT. VT had a loss earlier in the year that was a blowout for Duke.

This is the first game that we’ve been too where it was cool. I had to search for it, but I found my letter jacket (swimming) from back in the day and wore it when the sun set. I had a few comments on the old logo. Showing my age for sure with this one, but it was fun to be able to wear it and it still fit!

Just one more picture and I’ll be finished! This has been my view for the past week out my kitchen and basement window. It’s really pretty in the afternoon with the sun shining through the leaves. The yellow maples are the last to turn and they like to put on a show for a few days. This picture was taken several days ago before they had completely turned.

I’m off to finish quilting Merry Mini before I have to move all my sewing things. Thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of your week.

Posted in Charity Sewing, Cross Stitch Finishes, Cross-Stitch, Etsy Shop, Fall Quilting, Holly-Daze Quilt, My Patterns, The Quilting Nook Designs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

New Project Bags and Sunday Best Quilts Update

Hello Everyone! Hope you are staying warm in your neck of the woods. It’s a little warmer today, but yesterday morning it was 21 degrees here in North Georgia. That’s cold no matter what time of year, but especially for the first part of November. It was a good day to stay in and get some quilting done, which I did!

First up though, I want to let you know that I’ve added two Holiday/Winter Vinyl Project bags to my shop.

They are made with these Kaufman fabrics and Moda Grunge dots, fusible fleece, interfacing and are quilted. They would be fun to use with all your winter and holiday stitching or quilting. You can find them in my shop here.

Last weekend, I finished Blocks 5 and 6 for the Sunday Best Quilts QAL.

Remembrance by Sherri McConnell
Linen and Berries by Corey Yoder, one of my favorite quilts in the book.

I am really having fun picking fabrics from my collection of Sherri and Chelsi fabrics by Moda. I was even able to get a fat eighth bundle of the new line Summer Sweet which is the light blue star in the lower left corner of Linens and Berries.

When I sent a picture of Christmas Jars to Sherri for the Minis and More Parade, I mentioned that I wished that the new line of fabric was out so I could use it. She offered to sell me the Summer Sweet bundle that she had picked up at quilt market and I had to say yes! Summer Sweet won’t be out until February. It’s a beautiful line of fabric, this time with yellow and orange in it, too.

If you are participating in the Sunday Best QAL or if need to make blocks like the Remembrance block with lots of half square triangles and flying geese, I have a couple of tips for you. This was not a hard block, but it can be time consuming.

I reworked the cutting directions so I could use Triangle on a Roll Paper. This allowed me to make 8 half square triangles at a time. If you don’t have triangle paper, I do have a tutorial that shows you how to make multiple HST.

To make the flying geese, I made 4 at a time geese which uses less fabric because you are not discarding the trimmed pieces from the flip and fold method.

Yesterday morning, I was able to spray baste the bottom three quilts above, the top two were already to be quilted. I spent yesterday afternoon quilting the Dot N Dash quilt and will have it finished in time to take it to my guild meeting on Monday. I plan on giving it to charity. I’ll make sure to get pictures of the finished quilt.

We are getting ready to remove the carpet and add new flooring and paint in the basement where I sew. I have a lot of things to move before the floor can be installed. I hope to finish a few of the quilts up in the next couple of weeks before I lose my sewing space. I don’t anticipate much sewing in December. I think it will be month of cross stitching and embroidery. Maybe I can finish a sweater I started several years ago, I only need to make the sleeves.

I’ll be back soon to show some stitching progress. I’ve had several new ornament starts and am close to a couple of autumn finishes. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Bags and Tote Bags, BrendasQuiltingNook Shop, Etsy Shop, Sunday Best Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Christmas Jars for the November Minis and More Parade

Hello Everyone! It’s time for the November Minis and More Parade hosted by Sherri and Michele. October’s Theme was Christmas, Christmas presents or minis. I didn’t have to think too hard because I had recently picked up a new table runner pattern.

Christmas Jars by The Pattern Basket was a quick and fun table runner to make.

I had recently cut out the County Fair quilt pieces using Fig Tree’s Christmas Figs fabrics, so I used leftover scraps for the some of the trees. Other tree fabric includes scraps from Moda Christmas lines and Nancy Halvorsen. The jar tops are Vintage Holiday by Bonnie and Camille and the top portion of the jar fabric is Sugar Plum Christmas by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda. The snow fabric at the bottom is a white swirl from my stash. The stem fabric was from a small piece of Nancy Halvorsen fabric. The red borders and green binding are also Christmas Figs fabric.

It was easy to decide on the quilting design for the jars, a little harder for the borders. The snow is quilted with McTavishing lines and the top is quilted with a little swirl and a snowflake thrown in every once in a while for fun. Because the jars are different sizes, it was harder to decide what to quilt at the top of them. I finally went with a wavy line. The borders are quilted with ribbon candy, appropriate for a Christmas quilt.

I did have a slight problem though. The long borders were a little wonky so I blocked the table runner before adding the binding. I pinned the edges on a blocking mat I have for knitted items, then sprayed the edges with water until they were saturated. The blocking worked really well and my borders were straight, but something bled onto the back. I’m not sure if is the fabric or the thread. I used Aurifil 50 wt for the quilting and I spray all the time when I’ve marked a quilt. I’ve had this happen one other time. I was also using red thread on a red fabric. That one bled through to the front so I washed it with color catchers and was able to get most of the dye out. I plan on using Christmas Jars this holiday season, then I’ll wash it after Christmas to see what happens. (Note: the dark spot is the phone shadow).

I had fun making Christmas Jars and plan on using it as a table runner. I can fill my Mason Jars with holiday décor and make a pleasant display. I think it would also look great hanging on the wall above a small table or chest. Either way, I will enjoy using Christmas Jars this Holiday Season.

If you are here for Block 4 of Happy Little Things, continue to scroll to the next blog post. Make sure you leave a comment on the Happy Little Things post to enter the giveaway. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Happy Little Things, Block 4

Hello Everyone! Wow! Can you believe that this is the last block of the Happy Little Things BOM by Jacquelynne Steves? Next month you’ll get the finishing instructions and that will be it for this year. Make sure you check out Jacquelynne’s blog post for all the details on the block. Don’t forget to read to the bottom of this post for your chance to win this month’s awesome giveaway.

If you’ve following me each month, you know I’ve been making alternate projects with each month’s embroidery design and Jacquelynne’s Bitty Bloom embroidery designs.

This month, I used the Block 4 Flower design and the Dragonfly design that is exclusive to The Art of Home Club members in a small zippered pouch. There are so many free tutorials for this style pouch that I decided to use one that was already published. I used the No-Stress Tabbed Zipper Pouch Tutorial from Sew Mama Sew. Two other good tutorials to use are from Sherri at A Quilting Life, which is a little smaller bag and Erical Arndt, which doesn’t use the zipper tabs. Any of these tutorials would be good to use with a few changes for your embroidery or applique pieces.

Seeing all these dragonflies this summer on our trip to Virginia inspired me to use the two designs together.

I did make a few slight changes to the bag.

To start with, I made the bag taller. Also, since this was a one piece front originally, I had to determine the sizes for my pieced front. I also used fusible fleece on the front and back and featherweight interfacing on the lining pieces. I like my bags to have a little support in them.

My cutting measurements for the bag are:

  • Top band (yellow): 11 1/4″ x 2″
  • Embroidery band: 11 1/4″ x 4 1/2″ (center the embroidery or applique)
  • Bottom Band: 11 1/4″ x 3 1/2″
  • Back: 11 1/4″ x 9″
  • Lining: (2) 11 1/4″ x 9″
  • Fusible Fleece: (2) 11 1/4″ x 9″
  • Featherweight Interfacing: (2) 11 1/4″ x 9″
  • Handle: 7″ x 2″ (used from the leftover strip I cut for the top band and tabs)

I also added the small handle. To make the handle, fold the 7″ x 2″ rectangle wrong sides together and press. Press in 1/4″ on each raw edge. Sew along the pressed edge and folded edge. When sewing the bag to together, place the handle between the front and back pieces with the folded edge on the inside and the raw edges lined up slightly over the seam line.

I used the same fabrics from Corey Yoder, Sunnyside Up, that I used for the Needlebook and Pin Cushion.

I used the dragonfly charm from Jacquelynne’s bug charm package attached with a ribbon as a zipper pull, too. I’m really happy with this bag and it’s the perfect size to carry a small embroidery or applique project in.

I also made the last Bitty Blooms mounted piece for winter that I’m calling Winterberries.

You can purchase the designs for all the Bitty Blooms in Jacquelynne’s shop. I used the same finishing technique that I used for the other three. You can find my tutorial here. Instead of using a bow this time, I cut a small piece of winter berries from a pick that I got at Michael’s last year. I made a covered button and attached both with a glue gun.

After Thanksgiving, I’ll start to display Christmas and winter things. The nice thing about Winterberries is that it can stay out all winter with my cardinals.

Now for the Giveaway!

This month’s giveaway is sponsored by Designs by Sarah J and Just Another Button Company. Sarah is offering her book “Morse Code Quilts” as the prize. This book shows you how to create secret messages in your quilts using Morse Code. What a fun idea! You’ll also receive a package of cute pins from Just Another Button Company. I love their pins!

To enter to win, leave me a comment below and tell me if you use project bags to carry your hand work in?

Giveaway rules:

  • Giveaway is open to all US and international readers.
  • One prize per person per giveaway.
  • The Giveaway will end by the end of day on Sunday, November 10.

Please be sure that I can contact you immediately with your email, or be sure to include your email in your comment. If I choose your name but cannot contact you immediately, I will choose another winner. 

If I do not receive a response from you by Wednesday, November 13 by 8:00 AM Eastern Time, I will need to choose another winner.

Use #HappyLittleThingsBOM and #HappyLittleThingsQuilt for social media. We would love to see your progress.

You can also post photos in the Sew Quilty Friends FB group  https://www.facebook.com/groups/SewQuiltyFriends.JacquelynneSteves/.

Be sure to visit all the bloggers to see their version of Happy Little Things and to increase your chance of winning.

Instructions to leave a comment:

  • Scroll to the bottom of this post, past my signature, but before the next blog post
  • On the second tag line, you’ll see a number, then “Comments” (unless you are the first to comment)
  • Click on comments and the comments page will open.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the comment list to leave your comment.
  • Remember to leave you email address in the email box when you type in your comment. No one else can see it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in applique, Bags and Tote Bags, embroidery, Happy Little Things, Stitchery, Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments

Fully Finished Cross Stitch Pieces, November and Pumpkins 4 Sale

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a Happy Halloween. It was cold and blustery here, so only the hardy trick or treaters were out. At 5 AM when I went to swim, it was 70 degrees, by 5 PM, it was 47 degrees. This morning it’s 34. Maybe Fall is really here now!

I have two fully finished cross stitch pieces to show you today. I finished stitching both of them last week and after watching the latest Flosstube Video from Lost In Floss remembered they were hosting #ffoctober on Instagram, which means fully finished October. So I spent the last two days of the month getting Prairie Schooler November and Pumpkins 4-Sale fully finished. After I show both pieces, I’ll explain the finishing method for the background mounting pieces.

I’ll start with The Prairie Schooler November. This was one of the first charts I picked up when I really got started back into Cross Stitch last January. I have the original hard stock copy and purchased it at Sassy Jacks when we did our trip to North Carolina. I used 32 count Lugana, which I also got at Sassy Jacks.

This is the original design. You can see that I changed it some. When I first started cross stitching in the mid 80’s, you would never change colors, much less the design on a chart. I think that’s one reason cross stitch is becoming so popular now, you have the freedom to make changes, just like quilting.

Anyway, you can see that I left off the words at the top and instead of the turkey in the lower right corner, I inserted the pumpkin from the small chart. Instead of making this piece feel like late fall, I was going for mid fall. More color in the leaves and a little brighter grass and house.

My initials, bh, are stitched in a different color.

PS November stats:

  • Started: 6-22-19
  • Finished stitching: 10-25-19
  • Fully finished: 10-31-19
  • Total number of days worked on: 33
  • Color Substitutions: Grass – GAST Endive; Trees – DMC 898; House – DMC 22; Letters (lt. gold) – CCW Queen Bee (Cream) – DMC 3828; Leaves – GAST Burnt Orange, Bittersweet, Mahogany, DMC 4124 Varigated, CCW Fallen Leave, Queen Bee, Colonial Copper, plus some of the called for colors
  • Fabric: Cream Lugana 32 ct, 2 over 2

To get this finished, I started working on it the 2nd week of October and used it as a daily 30, where I tried to work on it every day for 30 minutes. Overall I’m very pleased with it except for the coverage of DMC 3371 on the roof and windows. A little of the fabric shows through. In the past, I used to wet my stitched piece, then lay it out to dry, blocking it to get the edges straight. That usually pulled the stitching closer together. You can’t do that with the over-dyed floss, some of them say they are colorfast, others are not.

I’m glad I got November finished in time to use it this year!

Now Pumkins 4-Sale by Little House Needleworks. I saw several people stitching this last winter and spring and because it’s hard not to “stitch all the things”, I had to get it. I purchased this from Fat Quarter Shop in March and started it in September. I love this one. I changed most of the colors and I’ll list them below. I mounted it on a board I purchased from Michaels’ and “grunged” or weathered. I decided to go with the hand dyed Chenille from Lady Dot Creates instead of using a background fabric.

Pumkins 4-Sale Stats:

  • Started: 9-15-19
  • Finished Stitching: 10-23-19
  • Fully Finished: 10-31-19
  • Total number of days worked on: 15
  • Color Substitutions: DMC 922- DMC 922 and DMC 921; for CCW Pumpkin Harvest – GAST Burnt Orange and Bittersweet; for DMC 3855 – GAST Ohio Lemon Pie; for Tomatillo – DMC 472; for Brandied Pears – CCW Bramble Bush, all others as called for
  • Fabric: Old New England overdyed Linen, 35 ct by The Primitive Hare, 1 over 2.

Both of the background boards have a jute hanger attached, but I don’t really have a place to hang them. Between quilts and airplane pictures, my wall space it pretty well taken up!

Now for the finishing techniques.

Olivia, at Pumpkin Hollow Quilts, recently made a “grunging” technique Flosstube video that I used to paint and weather the background boards.

I started with these two boards that I purchased at Michaels. You can see I painted several different colors of chalk paint on the white board to test them. I plan on using the same board for two more Prairie Schooler designs that will be the same size. I decided to go with the “sage” color in the middle. The “linen” color on the right of the white board is what I used for Pumpkins 4-Sale.

After following Olivia’s tutorial, I ended up with these:

For the grunging technic, you paint Antique Wax over the painted piece, then wipe it off. I didn’t want mine to be as dark as Olivia’s in her video, so I did used a lighter touch with the wax. I didn’t want the brown look for the sage piece, so instead, I took a little cream (sheepskin) color chalk paint on a paper towel and sort of rubbed it on in places on the board. Where I got too much, I went back over it with the sage. Not bad for my first try. I attached the stitched pieces on mat board using Vonna’s tutorials. I also have a quick tutorial for mounting pieces under the Bitty Blooms Tutorial if you want to check it out.

I attached November with magnets and washers instead of gluing it to the board so I can use the board again. I added the wooden leaf pick to the top of the board on November using hot glue. I wasn’t really sure how a magnet would work. I hope it will pull off okay when I’m ready for something else.

I hope you enjoyed my finishes. They are fun to work on, but finishing a cross stitch piece is like finishing a quilt, they really aren’t complete until they can be used and displayed. (I looking at stack of quilt tops right now that need to be quilted). I hope you enjoy your weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Cross Stitch Finishes, Cross-Stitch, Fall Quilting, Stitchery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Red Top Mountain SP Camping and Two Cross Stitch Finishes

Hello Everyone! We spent a few days at Red Top Mountain SP last week which is only 30 minutes from home. We had beautiful weather, but did come home a day early because of the rain forecast. If we had stayed the extra day, we would have been packing up everything in the rain which is never fun.

First though, I have two cross stitch finishes.

Pumkins 4-Sale by Little House Needleworks

First up is Pumpkins 4-Sale. I finished this one while we were camping and I’ll have all the details when I fully finish it.

November by The Prairie Schooler

I also finished November. If you’re familiar with the chart, I left off the words. I plan on doing that with several Prairie School designs so I can finish them the same way.

Now for our camping trip.

Lake Allatoona from the camp ground

We camped at Red Top Mountain State Park which is on Lake Allatoona between Acworth and Cartersville in the NW suburbs of Atlanta. This was our fifth or sixth trip here but probably not for ten years or more. Because it’s so close to home, we camped here with the kids when we had our pop-up. We could check in and get the site set up, then pick the kids up from school. We had a lot of fun times with the kids, especially in the fall when we could do the haunted hay-rides on weekend nights.

We were in Campsite 67, a 40′ site with a view of the lake on our “patio” behind the camper. This campsite is pretty much in the middle of the park and equal distance and a longish walk to the three bath houses. We would have never stayed here in the pop-up, too far from the bathrooms.

Rpod 179

We did have to raise the left tire slightly, but overall the site was level. We had lots of room, too. Most of the sites at Red Top are set up for a trailer and a tent or two tents. There are also many sites that are just suitable for tents. If you are planning a trip, be aware that the sites on one loop that’s on the lake have no power and water. The first picture of the lake was taken from the site that’s closest to the water. A beautiful view, but no hookups down there. The bathrooms were old, but very clean.

Our “patio” behind the Rpod
We enjoyed our afternoon cocktail while overlooking the lake.

The pictures don’t show it well, but you could see the lake much better while we were sitting there. It was very quiet because it was during the week. Lake Allatoona is a very busy lake and there are lots of boats on it during the weekend. Before we started camping, we kept a boat at one of the marina’s and really enjoyed the lake. After a year of having the pop-up, we sold the boat and started exploring more with the camper.

It was finally cool enough that we could enjoy a fire after dinner each night. This was the first time we have only spent two nights out in a long time. We felt we didn’t have enough stuff, especially after out last trip to Rock Island SP when we were out for 5 nights.

Abandoned bath house on the Iron Hill Trail

On our one full day, we took a hike on the Iron Hill Trail. There is a connector trail from the camp ground that is about a mile long each way. The Iron Hill Trial is 3.9 miles. We hiked about 6 miles total from our camp site.

Lunch view

The Iron Hill Trail is a biking and hiking trail. It loops around one of the fingers of the lake. The main part of the trail is relatively smooth and wide to accommodate the bikes which makes for nice hiking. Once you get down to the lake, you can see it from most of the trail. There are concreate picnic tables all along the trail and two abandoned bath houses. It was obviously a camp ground at one time, either run by the park or the Corp of Engineers.

We hiked for an hour before we stopped for a 15-20 lunch break. This is our usual lunch on our hikes. The tuna pack is easy to carry. I like mine with bread instead of the crackers that come in the pack.

The trees were just starting to show some color. You can see that it was a beautiful day. When we started the hike, it was in the high 50’s, then warmed up to the mid 60’s later in the day.

We saw these two munching away on their lunch. They watched us as we passed by, but didn’t run away.

We had a great trip and if you are looking for someplace with lots to do, Red Top is a great place. There’s a beach, play ground, mini golf and lots of picnic areas. There’s also a historic cabin and learning center where they have programs on the weekends. There is easy hiking on a paved path on the lake and several more hiking trails that go around the lake. Lots of big rocks for the kids to climb on in the campground, too. It’s close to I75, so would be a good overnight stop. We suspected we had some of that both nights.

I made new curtains for the RPod since the last trip. The ones that were in there were a blah green and I wanted to add more color. I think I managed to do that and look how well those plaids match!

I also had the view of the lake from the kitchen window this time. Makes time in the kitchen more enjoyable.

We are defiantly “Happy Campers” and enjoy our time away! Thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Camping, Cross-Stitch, Hiking, Rpod, Stitchery, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Stitchy Update and Sunday Best Quilts QAL

Hello Everyone! How about those Hokies, for the Virginia Tech fans out there! It was a nail biter for sure. At the end, I wouldn’t have felt bad if they lost, and it was hard not to feel bad for North Carolina. For those who may not follow college football, the VT/NC game went into 6 overtimes before Tech won. Starting with the 5th OT, the teams had to make 2 point conversions. My husband and I felt that at that point, it should have been called a tie. Both teams played well in OT, but Tech’s defense really showed what they could do.

So enough about football and on to some crafty things.

Sunday Best Quilts, Block 3 Sweet Confetti by Corey
Sunday Best Quilts, Block 4 Driftwood by Sherri

I completed the next two blocks for the Sunday Best Quilts QAL by Sherri and Corey from their book “Sunday Best Quilts”. You need the book to make the blocks, then Sherri and Corey give you the finishing directions each week for the QAL block.

I am using fabrics from Sherri’s Sherri and Chelsi collections for Moda. Each of these blocks has one fabric from each line except Valley. The fussy cut cactus is from their Walkabout collection. I’m having fun making these and pulling the fabrics for each block. I’m trying to keep the fabrics together in their bundles, but it’s getting harder to do. I need to find a way to keep the fabric groups together, but keep the groups separated. Any ideas besides buying more containers?

Now for a cross-stitch update. I’ve been working on four different pieces this month and several are so close to being finished.

November by The Prairie Schooler

At the beginning of the month, November wasn’t getting a lot of attention so I decided to make it my daily 30, ie, work on it 30 minutes a day. I was able to do that for most days. On the days I don’t swim, I usually work on it first thing in the morning. On swim days, I try to work on it when I get home before moving on to other things like housework and errands. That has worked out well and I’m almost finished. I need to add the leaves on the bottom and the trees, then I’ll be done. I’m hoping to have it finished this week.

Pumpkins 4-Sale by Little House Needleworks

I am almost finished with Pumpkins 4-Sale, too. I just have the bottom border to finish and the side pole with a few more white flowers in the background. I’ve seen several people working on this and they are in the same quandary as I am, do you outline the white pumpkin? You can see it better in person than in the picture, so I’ll have to evaluate it when I finish. This one has been fun to work on, too. I’m using a 36 ct linen, 1 over 2 for the stitching.

Harvest Chalk Full, Hands On Design

I’ve also been making progress on Harvest Chalk Full. It’s not my favorite to work on because of the fabric. It’s 16 ct chalkboard aida and it’s very stiff and the way it’s woven, the holes are not that distinct. Since I’m looking for the holes in the fabric, I may as well be using a linen or evenweave. I may buy a 32 ct evenweave and try that for the next one. I have the Boo Chalkful, the next one, and now the Christmas one is about to be released. The Boo will definitely have to wait for next year to work on it.

Hickety Pickety by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread

I don’t think I showed this one last time I showed my stitching. This is a cute one from Brenda Gervais. I’m hoping to finish it, but I want to stitch Teresa Kogut’s Give Thanks Turkey, which hasn’t been started.

As soon as I finish November and Pumpkins 4-Sale, I’m starting this one. But I want to start a few new Christmas ornaments and continue to work on Jack Frost’s Tree Farm and Farmhouse Christmas, which I haven’t worked on all month.

These are two bags I finished last week for our guild’s auction last night. The back of the top one is the same fabric as the binding. On the second bag, I finally found a way to use a fat quarter of this Bonnie and Camille fabric. They were both so pretty, I didn’t want to give them away, but I did, and they found a new home and made some money for the guild.

By the way, I only posted this on IG last week, I’ve put my two Halloween Project Bags on sale for 20% off in my Etsy shop through the end of the month. If you decide you want one, I’ll be able to ship them this Friday.

We are headed out shortly for a quick camping trip at Red Top Mountain, about 30 minutes away. We changed our plans over the weekend because of the weather forecast later this week. It’s supposed to rain and thunderstorm on Friday and my husband doesn’t want to tow the Rpod through Atlanta in the rain which is never fun. So I’m hoping to get those two cross stitch pieces finished while camping.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Bags and Tote Bags, Cross-Stitch, Stitchery, Sunday Best Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New October Starts

Hello Everyone! I hope you’re having a great weekend and for those in the south, finally enjoying some cooler temperatures. We are even starting to get a little color change in the leaves here in North Georgia. So that must mean it’s time to start some Christmas and Holiday projects!

I’ve actually started four new quilting projects over the past two weeks, three of them Christmas projects.

Let’s start with the non Christmas first.

Sherri and Chelsi Fabric for the Sampler

I started the Sunday Best Quilts Sampler Quilt Along hosted by Sherri McConnell and Corey Yoder using their book “Sunday Best Quilts”. The sampler quilt is made using a block from each of the quilts in the book. Each week, we are provided the finishing instructions for the block in the sampler, but you do need the book to make the original block.

Harper’s Garden Fabric, Sherri and Chelsi newest fabric line

I have been collecting Sherri and Chelsi fabric from Moda for years with the intent of making a quilt that I designed. I think I have enough fabric now for two or three quilts. Most of the bundles are fat quarters and a couple of fat eighth cuts.

I will be using the cream dot from Creekside for the sashing background and the Navy Star from the Front Porch line for the sashing and cornerstones in the blocks. For the backgrounds in each individual block, I’ll be using the light prints from the different fabric lines.

Block 1, On a Whim
Block 2, Starling

I am going to enjoy making these blocks. I hope I can keep up though since it’s one block a week. I will be pulling fabric for the third block today. The finishing instructions for each block are posted on Sherri’s and Corey’s website each Friday. If you are interested in joining in, you can find the information and fabric requirements here.

Speaking of Sherri, she also hosts the Minis and More Parade every month. The theme this month is Christmas/Holiday quilting or gifts.

I picked up the Christmas Jars table runner pattern by The Pattern Basket at my LQS this summer and decided to make it.

I have finished the jars with the trees. I used scraps from my Christmas fabric and some fabric from Christmas Figs by Fig Tree and Co for Moda.

Last year, I bought a half yard bundle of the Christmas Figs fabrics, then found some yardage on sale in January, so added more. I have the “Chrismas Figs” book and still want to make a few things from it, but I have always liked the County Fair pattern by JoAnna.

Christmas Figs fabric with County Fair pattern

I’ve had the pattern for a few years and was waiting for the right fabric. This was it. It took me almost a week to get the fabric cut and then sorted into blocks, but that’s done and I just need to start sewing. I won’t have the quilt finished by this Christmas, but I know I will enjoy making it.

One of the LQS, Stitch N’ Quilt has started an English Paper Piecing group on the first Saturday of the month. Some of my guild members are acting like hosts for the get together and are helping new stitchers get started with the process. After working on the New Hexagon BOW for a year, I feel confident in my skills, but have picked up a few new tips while sewing with the group. The fabric above is a pull for a hexagon Christmas tree that I started working on this month. Most of my time at this month’s get together was spent cutting out the fabric. This is another one I probably won’t finish by Christmas because I just plan to work on it during the get together.

I am also making a few new vinyl project bags, two for my shop and two for the guild auction next week. I’ll have an update when they are finished. And of course I’m continuing to cross stitch, but haven’t taken any pictures of my recent progress. I’ll try to do an update post just on the cross stitch later this week.

That’s it for now. I hope you all have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Christmas Sewing, County Fair Quilt, minis, Minis and More, Sunday Best Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Little Things BOM, Block 3

Hello Everyone! It’s time for Jacquelynne Steve’s Happy Little Things BOM, Block 3. Be sure to refer to Jacquelynne’s post for information about this block. This month’s sponsor is the craft book publisher Martingale. Read to the bottom of this post to see how you can win this month’s giveaway.

If you’ve visited before during the Blog Hop, you know I’ve been using the Happy Little Things and Bitty Bloom embroidery designs to make small items instead of the quilt blocks. This month however, I decided to make the quilt block.

I chose this one because I liked the lay out. This block does contain a Half Rectangle unit. If you would like more information on making them, Jacquelynne has an excellent written and video tutorial that you can find here. Instead of the published flower embroidery, I used the ladybug from a group of Happy Little Things embroidery designs that are available exclusively to The Art of Home Club members. If you would like to have these extras, you can sign up to join the club. Jacquelynne will be opening the club for new members soon.

I used Corey Yoder’s Sunnyside Up fabric from Moda, just I as did for the Needlebook and Pin Cushion. The embroidery floss is DMC from a curated package by Corey available here. When I saw the insect patterns, I knew I had to use the ladybug on something. I’ll have this block finished for the last month of the BOM so you can see how I plan on using it.

Spring is the theme for this month’s Bitty Blooms finish. I’m using the same technique that I did for the summer and fall finishes. My Bitty Blooms Finishing Tutorial shows you how to mount and add embellishments to your finished embroidery piece.

I’m using three strands of Aurifloss by Aurifil for the Bitty Blooms stitched pieces. I used two rows of chain stitch for the stem on this one and blended thread on the tulip. I wanted a subtle change of color like you see in real tulips. I used three strands of floss and started with two light and one dark on the outer petals until I reached the point that they joined with the back petals. For the back petals and the rest of the front petal, I used two dark and one light strands of thread. For the center petal and french knots, I used three dark strands of thread.

In the spring, I will use the finished piece on my kitchen corner shelves. If you are interested in the 13 Bitty Blooms embroidery designs, you can find them in Jacquelynne’s shop here. Just a note about the Sherri and Chelsi background fabrics from Moda: the pot is from the new collection, Harper’s Garden. The coral piece is from the second collection, Valley, and the blue background and buttons are from Desert Bloom. Which leads me into this month’s Giveaway.

Martingale is giving away a copy of Sherri McConnell’s and Corey Yoder’s book, “Sunday Best Quilts”. US residents will receive a print copy and International residents will receive a digital copy.

I’ve had a signed copy (Sherri and Corey) from Sherri since the book was published and there are just so many great quilts in it. Sherri and Corey have included many tips and stories about the quilts. And if you didn’t know, Sherri and Corey are hosting a Sunday Best Quilts Sampler Quilt Along. They are providing all the information for finishing the blocks for the sampler, but you need the book for the individual block information. I’ve made the first block from the book, but am waiting for fabric to complete the block for the sampler. You can find all the information about the Quilt Along here.

Thanks for all your comments last month and Katherine was my winner. I do read all the comments even if I can’t respond to all of them. For your chance to win “Sunday Best Quilts”, tell me how many BOMs and Quilt Alongs do you usually join in a year. For me, it’s been about 1 or 2, but there so many more that I would like to join, but know I don’t have the time for them.

Giveaway rules:

  • Giveaway is open to all US and international readers. US readers will receive a print copy and international will receive a digital copy of Sunday Best Quilts.
  • One prize per person per giveaway.
  • The Giveaway will end by the end of day on Sunday, October 13.

Please be sure that I can contact you immediately with your email, or be sure to include your email in your comment. If I choose your name but cannot contact you immediately, I will choose another winner. 

If I do not receive a response from you by Wednesday, October 16 by 8:00 AM Eastern Time, I will need to choose another winner.

Use #HappyLittleThingsBOM and #HappyLittleThingsQuilt for social media. We would love to see your progress.

You can also post photos in the Sew Quilty Friends FB group  https://www.facebook.com/groups/SewQuiltyFriends.JacquelynneSteves/.

Be sure to visit all the bloggers to see their version of Happy Little Things and to increase your chance of winning.

Instructions to leave a comment:

  • Scroll to the bottom of this post, past my signature, but before the next blog post
  • On the second tag line, you’ll see a number, then “Comments” (unless you are the first to comment)
  • Click on comments and the comments page will open.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the comment list to leave your comment.
  • Remember to leave you email address in the email box when you type in your comment. No one else can see it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in embroidery, Happy Little Things, Stitchery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 71 Comments

Camping at Rock Island SP Tennessee

Hello Everyone! We had a great trip to Rock Island SP near McMinnville, TN which is located about half way between Chattanooga and Nashville. We spent last Monday through Saturday there, our longest trip in the RPod. I’m going to start by giving a brief campground/park review, then follow with lots of pictures of the park.

Gorge view from Old Mill Gorge Overlook

Campground Review

Rock Island is a beautiful park with lots of hiking and waterfalls. It sits between the Collins River and the Caney Fork River. The park contains the Caney Fork Gorge below the Great Falls Dam and the start of Center Hill Lake with a beach area. There are multiple waterfalls and hiking trails for all levels. The multiple picnic areas and playgrounds were all well maintained and clean. You need to be aware that when the dam is open, some of the trails are not accessible and if you are on the lower trails, you need to pay attention to the water level and sirens. I did notice that personal flotation devices were available at the head of a few of the trails that went into the gorge if you felt in need of one. I was hoping that they would open the dam while we were there, but like most of the southeast, it’s been very dry in August and September, so they didn’t.

Camping Site 18

The campground is small with 50 sites, a few suitable for tents. There is a tent only campground, too. There is a nice playground in the campground, two bath houses, which were kept very clean, and tennis courts across the road from the campground. There is water and 20, 30 and 50 amp hookups. The sites are more narrow than what we are used to, but there is a living area with a picnic table and fire ring with each site.

We were on the only cul-de-sac on a hill, but our site, 18, is pretty level and is 47′ long. There were some on that road that the tongue of the trailer sat very low to the ground. Also, if you make a reservation, make sure to check the length of the site. Some of the sites are very short and will not accommodate both the trailer and a tow vehicle without the tow vehicle having to park every which way to be off the road. The campsites were all shaded and even though it was very warm, we sat outside comfortably in the shade. We practically had the campground to ourselves until Thursday, by Friday it was full. My husband and I thought this was one of the best state parks we’ve been to, just be aware of the size of the camping spot.

Looking towards the bottom of our cul-de-sac

Our Adventures

The first part of the week was the coolest, so we planned our hiking for Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, we left the truck at the campground and started our day with a hike on the Moonshine Trail, which starts and ends in the campground, and the Bluff Trail, which starts and ends across the street from the campground. The sign says the Bluff Trial is moderate, but we found it pretty easy and mostly level. There was an overlook into the gorge about half way around, but the trees were blocking the view.

Bluff Trail, hiking and biking trail

The Great Falls Dam and Power Plant are operated by the TVA and are located inside the park area, therefore, there are lots of power lines radiating out in all directions. Several of the trails crossed under the lines.

After finishing the Bluff Trail, we walked down the road a little to the Blue Hole Picnic area. We did not go into the gorge from here, but it appeared to be a fishing area after a steep walk down many steps. From this area we hiked the Eagle Trail, which definitely was a moderate trail. There is a small waterfall on this trail, but unfortunately, my pictures did show it well through the trees.

The Eagle Trail wound its way down to the beach area. As you can see, it was a beautiful day. Around the bend, we saw some fishing kayaks and a boat ramp.

Center Hill Lake

We took a well deserved rest here, then headed back to the campground, straight up the hill on the road! We hiked almost 4.5 miles and did 52 flights of stairs that day.

We hung out at the campground for the rest of the day and watched this little guy. He was okay the first day and didn’t bother us, but the next afternoon, he kept trying to jump onto our chairs, then the last straw was when he climbed the screen door to get inside the camper. We kept sweeping him away with the broom and he must have finally gotten the message that we weren’t going to feed him. I heard him a couple of times, but he never came back.

Old Cemetery on Collins River Nature Trail

On Wednesday, we drove from the campground to other areas of the park. We hiked the Collins River Nature Trail that looped from the power plant along the Collins River then back along the park road to the river. Most of the hike was through the woods and was easy and mostly level. We did take the cut-off from the loop that took us through an old settlement.

We always seem to find an old rusted vehicle on these types of trails.
The gorge from the Old Mill Overlook

After the Nature Trail hike, we parked at the Old Mill Gorge Trail overlook parking area which is also at the old cotton mill.

We walked down the Old Mill Gorge Trail which took us into the gorge. This trail is rated strenuous, and I would say that is accurate. The top portion of the trail is concrete steps that appear to be wet all the time, but they were not slippery.

Where the stairs end on the Old Mill Gorge Trail

Water was constantly flowing from the rocks and the falls on this side of the gorge all came from water flowing from/through the rocks, not from streams or rivers. After the stairs ended, there were still boulders to cross to get to the bottom. I think the river was low because of lack of rain. There may be times when this is the end of the trail.

This small fall was just to the right of the steps. There were falls everywhere.

Park side of Caney Fork River Gorge

We walked along the top of some of the rocks down into the gorge, but did not go too far out on them. The Great Falls are located around the corner, but the water was just high enough that you would get wet to walk around to see them from ground level.

Great Falls
Great Falls

The Great Falls are horseshoe shaped and must be spectacular to see when there is water flowing over the entire length of the cliffs.

Twin Falls

To get to the Upstream and Downstream Trails, you need to leave the park, cross the river, then re-enter the park from a small country road on the other side of the gorge. From an overlook by the back entrance to the power plant, you can see the Twin Falls. This is also the start of the Downstream Trail, which is the only longer trail we did not hike. We did hike the Upstream Trail which led down into the gorge and onto the rocks and boulders.

It was much easier to access the gorge from this side. We walked through the gorge towards the dam. There were lots of cascades that you can also see from this side. If you look in at the top left side of this picture, you can see the Old Mill Overlook where we entered the gorge earlier.

As you enter the park, you’ll see the Old Cotton Mill suddenly from a curve in the road.
From Picnic Area 2 overlook, looking past the power plant bridge towards the dam

By now, it was lunchtime and we had packed a picnic lunch. We stopped at Picnic Area 2, ate lunch, then took a short walk to another overlook. From the sound of the water, we were very close to the top of the Twin Falls. The rest of the afternoon was spent at the campsite, resting. We also hiked almost 4.5 miles but only 18 floors. (It was a steep walk from the beach back to the campground the day before).

The next two days were a little more relaxing and getting warmer. On Thursday, we took a trip into McMinnville and had brunch at Cumberland Biscuit Company which was excellent. We walked around and did a little window shopping, then returned to the park. On Friday we hung out at the campsite. Friday was the hottest day and we did end up turning on the air conditioner in the RPod for the first time that evening, just to get it cooled down before bedtime.

If we hadn’t already been, we might have taken one of the days to visit Fall Creek Falls SP which is only about 30 miles away. Cumberland Caverns is also nearby.

Just one quilt picture for my quilty readers. I put the Cabin Quilt from The Art of Home Club April collection in the RPod for the season. I’ll bring it home after our last camping trip this fall. Next month we have reservations at High Falls SP just south of Atlanta. Already looking forward to our next outing.

If you are still reading or at least looking at the pictures, thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Camping, Hiking, Rpod, Uncategorized, Water Falls | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments