The Annual Insomnia

I consider myself very lucky that insomnia is not one of my problems. I have it about one night a year and it always puts me in awe of how people with chronic insomnia function at all!  I sometimes struggle to want to sleep (so much sewing I’d rather do) and, depending on the state of my thyroid, I often have to swim up to awake from 2,000 leagues below.  Actual sleeping, though, I’m usually quite good at.  Except last night.  Last night my anxieties and worries chased one another in circles like caffeine-driven hamsters on squeaky wheels.  When my phone beeped a text at 6-something this morning.  I was actually a little thankful for the excuse to run away from my squeaky wheels and chat with my oldest as she finished her night shift and drove home.  Afterward, I contemplated a return to bed but instead opted for a strong cup of tea and some sewing time!

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My youngest has been wanting a bow-tie quilt for, well, ever and I bought the purple for the background a few years ago.  I’ve been collecting greens and now we’re officially started.  I struggled with what size to cut the smaller square…the larger ones are 3.5″ and the smaller are 2.5.  I think it makes a touch “chunkier” bow tie but we tried both and she liked this one best.  So, off we go on a bow tie adventure..13 blocks made and, well, a lot to go!

Happy quilting,

Beth

The Best of Birthdays

Oh, my…where in the world has August gone?  Summer is always busy for me with my dear OPC”s (Other People’s Children) all day.  We’ve had lots of fun this summer but I’m ready to get back into the school routine.

One of the high points of August for me was a visit from my Sarah for my birthday this month.  I had the best birthday I have had in a long time!  My girls arranged for me to have a wonderful day and they made dinner (and cleaned up!)  My younger one was the leading force in organizing my gift…I’m all signed up for Bonnie Hunter’s online class…woo hoo! My husband took me for a ride in the country with the top down while the dinner prep was on.  All in all, it was a terrific weekend!

The birthday table!

The birthday table!

A trip to Powell's!

A trip to Powell’s!

All our girls together again!

All our girls together again!

There’s been a little quilty fun along the way, too, although not nearly enough for me!  Honestly, I’d quilt ten hours a day if I could those pesky things like working just eat into my time!  I did manage to finish my mini for the Dog Days Swap hosted by Jennifer at The Quilted Cat.

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My partner sent me an adorable quilt and such great goodies that it deserves it’s own post.  I’m signed up for another dog themed blog hop and a Halloween hop and a Christmas mini exchange coming up so look forward to some fun projects. I’m finally starting on a long-awaited bow tie quilt for my younger daughter.  I’m using a consistent purple background and multiple greens.  She’s requested a piano key border so I’m busy trying to figure out how many six-inch blocks I’ll need so I don’t end up with two quilts worth (I’ve done that before on the Quilt Without End blocks!)  My goal is to cut and sew a few of these each day and then play with layouts.

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The other excitement around here is…we have a new addition!  Meet Milo (aka “the moose.”)

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At last weigh-in, Milo weighs 8 pounds 6 ounces at only 5 months old!  Our vet believes he will top out in the 16-18 pound range. Isn’t he adorable?  Unfortunately, our cat Jack is feeling quite displaced but they are all starting to get along better.

I also finished this charity quilt made from blocks from the Heartstring Project.  I need to do a blog post on just what I’m doing with these quilts so look for that soon.

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Oh, and I’ve read some really, really good books…so reviews are coming!  Stay tuned and happy quilting!

Beth

 

 

August Goal Setting

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Ack!  It’s August already!   Where has this summer gone?   Well,  I decided to take a goal-setting short cut and recycle my goal from June.   This fabric got as far as being cut out for a shirt but no further.  Now,  I know from my garment-making days that this pattern should only take me about 2.5 hours but I have a “new to me” serger.  The last time I worked on it,  I took an hour to get it threaded!   I am determined,  however,  too master this thing so. …back on the list for August is a shirt for my husband.   Do you know the best thing about making men’s cotton shirts?  Scraps! 
Happy quilting,
Beth
Oh,  and I’m linking this up over at Fiber of All Sorts. 

When Deadlines Loom…

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So what do you do when you’re already behind?   Add some hand applique!  It was just what the little quilt wanted,  though,  and I’m loving the outcome!

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It’s not bordered yet,  just pinned to another quilt but I do like the red!
Happy quilting!
Beth

“Legend” is an Epic Story of Heroism

wpid-20150721_120245.jpgRoy Benavidez had every excuse to fail in life because the deck was stacked against him. Instead, through the intervention of a few caring family members and friends, Roy became one of the many unsung heroes of the Vietnam War. Now, Eric Blehm, who painted such an amazing portrait of Adam Brown in Fearless, takes his readers into the Vietnam jungle. On May 2, 1968, a twelve-man Special Forces team found themselves outgunned, outmanned and in the gravest of danger.

This account of Roy Benavidez’ actions reads more intensely than any Hollywood action script. Prepare yourself for an intense, exciting, well-researched account of one truly harrowing incident. By focusing our view of Vietnam on this one man and one mission, Blehm helps bring a deeper understanding of the experience of thousands of Vietnam Veterans. In addition, Blehm recounts the long battle to get Roy the recognition for his actions. The efforts of one home town paper editor became a national story.

Blehm has proven himself to be an excellent military historian and “Legend” takes the reader on an epic mission with men who show the true nature of the hero.

This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own.

July Goals

Oh, July…the 1/2-way mark of the year!  Can you believe that we are half the way through 2015?  So, this is just a quick post with my July goals.  I didn’t get any further than cutting out last month’s shirt (but I did spend an entire hour learning how to thread my “new to me” serger!)  I do still plan to finish that shirt but I have another project for July.  Well, two but that’s a different post!

I picked up a group of sweet and pretty prints from our guild’s inspiration pile for charity quilts and this is where I’m at….

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I found this pattern on Pintrest and I have no idea where it originated so my apologies to the designer.  It’s a variation of a rail fence with two rails being made of squares.  It’s low contrast so you can’t really see the rails well but it will still be a sweet baby quilt for some little one.

Speaking of sweet, little ones, this little thing wandered into our lives late last week.  I have to admit that I’m not sure she’ll find her forever home with us because she’s really scared of other cats.  She does love, love, love people though and she’s sweet as can be with just enough spice to make her kitten-ish!

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Well, it’s Doctor Day here with multiple appointments and a list to do to get ready for going to the Sisters Quilt Show later in the week.  Watch this spot for some fun, quilty photos!

Happy quilting,

Beth

Linking this up to A Lovely Year of Finishes!

 

 

 

A Little Sew-Jo

Oh,  I do love sewing time and I’ve been in a slump these last couple of weeks but the skies opened up and I was blessed with a couple pockets of time! I decided to tackle the scrap basket (ok, one of many) that currently looks like this.

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Scary,  right?  Well,  the first thing out of it were a whole bunch of cloth napkins (18) in need of hems.

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These are little lunch-sized napkins that are just right for little hands and quick snacks.
I also finished a few stray blocks including my first “Wild and Goosey” unit.

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“Wild and Goosey” is another wonderful Bonnie Hunter patten which can be found on Quiltmaker  Magazine’s website

23 blocks in all. ..that feels really good!
I

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also got the final borders on a charity quilt but,  if course,  when you lay a quilt out somewhere. ..cuteness happens!

This is Gizmo giving it a “cat scan.”
I’m hoping to finish my goal project,  a shirt for my husband, this weekend and baste a couple small projects.  It’s our anniversary on Saturday,  too,  so I guess I can’t spend the whole day in the sewing room,  can I?
Happy quilting!
Beth

“Until the Harvest” is Sweetly Predictable

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Ok, honestly, “Until the Harvest” is pretty much your standard “girl meets boy, boy doesn’t see girl, boy skirts trouble, starts to appreciate girl, etc.” However, the novel has a lot going for it. It is set in the 70’s which, for me, is pretty funny to see as an “era” piece since I already lived them. The characters are pretty well defined and there is an “other worldly” quality to one of the plot points. The interplay between the characters is, if predictable, certainly entertaining and while the love story is rocky there is a certain inevitability to the ending.

If you’re looking for gripping fiction, this isn’t the book for you. If you’re looking for a sweet, Christian love story that will make you remember your “bell-bottom” days, then give it a go. There’s a lot worse fiction out there. I wouldn’t call this an amazing book but it’s a good, solid afternoon’s read by the pool.

I’d give “Until the Harvest” a 3.5 for being a nice little read. It may not be the most exciting thing you read this summer, but I’ll bet you enjoy it and it leaves you with a nice “warm fuzzy” feeling.

This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own.

A Little Stitching is Better Than None!

Ok, so my world is crazy busy…I think I worked four evenings last week on top of having kids all day for all five days. Plus, there was a situation of massive unfairness towards my daughter (can’t share details right now) which threw me for an emotional loop. However, Friday and Saturday I got some fun stitching time in. I started by looking at the full-sized laundry basket hiding under my kitchen sewing station.

wpid-20150613_113237.jpg As I was staring at it planning my attack, several unhemmed napkins caught my eye. So, without baby on Friday, I hemmed four of them before the day was out (that’s working a bit here and there while the kids have snack, etc.) These are made from the left over Daisy Kingdom yardage that I used for the first curtains in this house.  My goal is to make enough of them for the kids to use them at snack time on a daily basis.   A small move towards a more environmentally friendly house. wpid-20150613_113212.jpg I spent Saturday doing the quilting on a friend’s quilt she made for her grandson.  I love what she did with the fabrics…each one relates to something he loves. wpid-20150613_194836.jpg Do you remember this fabric?  It was one of my thrift store finds and I decided to make the hubs a new shirt as my June goal.  Well, last night I got it all cut out and this morning I was going to spend some time getting to know my new (to me) serger but, alas, life had other plans.  This little lady stayed out all night and didn’t come home in the morning so hubs and I had to mount a rescue effort at the local bio swale. wpid-20150614_124008.jpg She was hungry but no worse for wear.  The stray cat, Spooky, that we’ve fed for over a year has gone missing and I wonder if she’s pining for him. After all, what girl can resist a man in a tuxedo? And, finally, last week my mom and I made a visit to our favorite thrift store where I added these pretties to my stash… wpid-20150604_124913.jpg The blue and red have over 10 yards each and I averages $1 – $2 per yard.  I’m already planning a quilt back from one and a shirt from the basketball fabric. It’s another busy week ahead but I’m planning to draft my “dog days” mini this week. The idea has been percolating and I hope my partner will be pleased!  It’s my first swap so I’m pretty nervous.  You can read more about it over at “The Quilted Cat.” Look for some more book reviews this week….I’m a bit behind and I have a fabulous audiobook I’m listening to, “The Final Silence” by Stuart Neville. Happy quilting and reading! Beth

June Goals and a May/June Finish

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It’s done, it’s done!  Labeled and bound and already at home in another state.  It was a perfect morning for photos but, by the time I went to take this photo, Oregon had adopted a “torrential downpour” kind of attitude which made photos outdoors an impossible option.  I finished it two days late for my May finish but I really enjoyed my time with my daughter and mom so it was worth it!

Now, on to June.  My dear husband is in need of a few shirts with the summer heating up so I’ve got a different kind of finish on my list for June.  (Actually, I’m hoping for more than one but let’s be real here.)  I’ve been known to occasionally (cough, cough) buy three yards of fabric with the “it will make a great shirt” justification.  The result is that there are about six or seven large pieces waiting to be sewn into shirts.  Oregon is already heating up and I need to get this man into some more short sleeve shirts pretty quick so my goal is to start with this print

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and work my way from there.  Now, lest you think this is a small goal (in my sewing days a shirt was about a two-to-three hour project) I need to confess that this will require the mastery of a new-to-me serger as well.

I’m linking this up to a Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts.

Happy sewing and quilting!

Oh, and I wanted to show you a picture of my graduate with her quilt…I think she’s pretty pleased!

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