Sunday, September 21, 2014

Still Slow Stitching at the Beach


We're still here at the beach ... and if it weren't for just how very much I'm missing 6 of my most favorite people, I do believe we'd stay here!

I'm making progress on my MWFG blocks. As of this morning,I have finished up 5 blocks and am seeing the end in sight on the 6th. Not too shabby for 7 full days here ... after all, the beach has been vying for a lot of my time and attention!  ;-)  


Normally we've been heading south on our beach walks, but Friday we decided to head north.  We used to see sand dollars all the time here on HHI, but the last 3-4 trips, we haven't seen a single live sand dollar. And we'd never seen a starfish (live or otherwise) here.  I think DH was relieved when I told him that I wouldn't stop to make more pictures of these sea creatures after we turned around and headed back to our condo.  ;-)










I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy!  Have a great day!
Kathy





Thursday, September 18, 2014

Time Keeps on Slippin'

We're still here at the beach, and it's hard to believe that we're already more than halfway through the week. Too bad time here doesn't pass as slowly as the time leading up to our trip did. ;-)

Our days here are pretty much the same ... time spent walking along the beach, time spent stitching by the pool or on our balcony overlooking the pool. It might seem monotonous to some, but we're loving it. ❤️

Here are our views from the balcony:






DH and I both love seafood, so when we visit "our island", we always enjoy the fresh local seafood ... including the soft shell crab sandwich I had for dinner last night:




And we finally got a bit of a break from all the heavy cloud covers early in the morning so I finally got to get a picture of the sun rising this morning:



I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!
Kathy

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching at the Beach

My goodness ... what could be better than time spent with needle and thread at the beach? Nothing much except adding in my six favorite people, I suppose. ;-)

We got in yesterday afternoon and have been enjoying life, island style. Some hand stitching, some walks along the beach, some seafood ... pure bliss, my friends.

I'm out on the balcony right now, listening to my favorite radio station (travels with us via our iPads!), stitching hexies, and enjoying the view.











I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a great day!
Kathy

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge




1. On Thursday we pause to remember a dark day in history-9/11. Will you mark it in some special way?
I don’t imagine that we will do anything too special tomorrow … on each 9/11 we always remember that awful day and pray for the families impacted.

2. Do you ever/still...listen to an actual radio? Watch a videotape (VCR)? Look up a number in a phonebook? Refer to a paper map while traveling? Set an alarm on an alarm clock as opposed to your phone?
Yes (I have a real radio in the bathroom to listen to while getting ready in the morning, I have a real radio that I use when I’m working outside, and I listen to the radio in the car).  No.  No.  Used to (before I discovered that I could baste hexies while we were traveling, I used to “entertain” myself by following along on an atlas, checking out towns with interesting sounding names, etc. … we use the GPS for directions).  No.

3.  Is it ever a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don't know?
It will depend on the circumstances/setting. 

4. What's a dish you haven't eaten all summer, but come September find yourself craving? Have you made it yet this month?
Since it’s September and fall-like weather is here, I’d have to say chili.  Chili just screams “fall” to me, and it’s always on my fall menu.  In fact, I’d probably make some tomorrow when the high is only going to be in the 60s, but we’re leaving Friday morning … I need to clean out the fridge not add to it.  Winking smile  I do plan to make some when we get back, though.

5. What's something you know nothing about?
Let’s be honest, I don’t have time to list everything that I know nothing about.  ha!

6. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like classical music? If so, what's your favorite piece?
No, not really.  If I had to pick a piece, I’ll go with Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

7. What's the oldest thing you own?
I have an old lighthouse that had been my grandma’s … she used it as a nightlight when my mom and aunts were growing up – the last one home had to unplug it.  This little light has seen better days … it’s been broken and glued back together several times, including once while it has been in my possession (when T#1 was a toddler … he accidentally knocked it off the end table … it got put away until a year or so ago, now that the Ts have all advanced beyond the clumsy toddler stage).photo (1)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I missed July’s and August’s Super Moons, but I did get a chance to see September’s.  It was spectacular, but nothing like seeing it come up out of the ocean when we were in Hilton Head a couple of years ago.photo 1

As I mentioned above, we’re leaving Friday morning for “Paradise” (ok, ok … I know it’s not really Paradise, but for DH and me, it’s as close as we’ll get this side of Heaven).  We’ll be gone for 2+ weeks, and I’m not planning to be online too much during that time … so if I’m scarce for the next couple of weeks or so, you’ll know why.  Winking smile

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Kathy

Monday, September 8, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop


By now, surely most of you have seen posts from bloggers participating in the Around the World Blog Hop.  I’m so fortunate that Katy at http://katyquilts.wordpress.com/ nominated me to participate.  I’ve been following Katy for some time now … I fell in love with this quilt of hers and became a follower right then and there.  Katy is the epitome of an eclectic quilter … while she’s made lots of lovely traditional quilts, she’s made a lot of fabulous modern quilts, too.  When it comes to quilting diversity, Katy is your gal!  Go check out her blog here

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Now … on to the questions.

What am I working on?
Like most quilters, I’ve got several projects in the works right now. 

Of my WIPs, my highest priority is the spiral log cabin I’m making for my oldest grandson T#1.  Last summer I made new bed quilts for his two sisters, and not long afterwards his younger brother asked if I would make him a quilt.  Time to make new quilts for the boys!  Before I left for retreat, I’d put together 3-1/2 rows … I had hoped to be able to work on it at retreat, but there was no design wall … and no floor space to utilize as a design floor.  Here are the blocks laid out as I was piecing the rows together.photo 1-001

I’m also working on another log cabin … this one for my hubby … he too asked me, a couple of months ago, when I was going to make him a quilt.  I originally chose some muted repro fabrics for a semi-scrappy version of the spiral log cabin quilt for T#1, but when he saw the blocks, he realized that he just wasn’t a fan of the scrappy blocks.  That’s ok … DH and I both loved the fabrics I chose, and I realized that they would make a fabulous quilt for DH (forgive the crease … this photo was taken as I was unpacking from my July retreat where I started the piecing … and since it was the only photo where the colors are even close to accurate, I’m going with it – ha!).  photo 3 (1)Since I couldn’t work on T#1’s quilt at guild retreat, I got quite a lot done on this … I pieced together another 20 complete blocks and have one more light “log” to add to 20 more.  I’m debating between making the top 80x100 or 70x90 … I’d prefer to make it 80x100 so my setting will be symmetrical and so it will be plenty big for wrapping up in on a cold winter’s night … but frankly, I’m ready to be done working on this … maybe I’ll regain some interest after it sits for a while longer (I only need an additional 5-6 blocks to get the 80 blocks needed to make an 80x100 quilt). 

Believe it or not, I do make quilts other than log cabins (although I will admit that they’re my favorite … they can be set in so many different ways, changing the look of the blocks completely!).  I’m using my leaders and enders to make a Primitive Gathering’s Primitive Picnic Quilt … I’m using mostly leftover Midwinter Reds, with a few more neutrals grabbed from my stash.  I got quite a few more 2 patches made while at retreat.photo 3

And I’m working on a portable project, a Martha Washington’s Flower Garden (made from Kansas Troubles fabrics … my favorite fabric line) … it’s a perfect travel project.  We will be leaving this Friday for another trip to the beach … I’ll baste the connector hexies on the road  and piece hexie blocks when we’re poolside or in the condo in the evenings.photoI’ve got 32 blocks finished, laid out on my design floor (with little, if any, regard for block placement) … and imagine, if you will, each block surrounded by a row of red connector hexies, as seen in the single block.  I’ve got enough hexies basted to make another 20 blocks, if my memory is accurate (which is questionable these days ha!) … I’m not sure just how big a quilt (IOW, how many blocks) I’m going to make … if I intend to make it bigger, I’ll have to cut more 2 1/2” squares (and probably buy some more KT fabrics).

And that’s not counting the quilts I’ve kitted fabric for … Nantucket and a large pineapple quilt (25” blocks) … nor is it counting the blocks I’ve pieced to make a king-sized quilt for our bed.

What is interesting (at least to me) is that a year ago, I was strictly a one-quilt-at-a-time kind of gal and I’d buy fabric only for the quilt I was making … the only fabrics I added to my stash were the “leftovers” from my quilts. 

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
While I doubt that anyone could identify *MY* quilts in a large collection of quilts, still there’s something about the combination of the patterns and fabrics in the quilts I make that somehow makes them “me”.  I do know that I’m fairly unique in that I handquilt - exclusively.  While I’m know that there are still others who love to handquilt, there are certainly none in my little corner of the world … it definitely feels like I’m a quilty Lone Ranger. 

Why do I write/create what I do?
My blog started as a public record of my everyday life … an online journal, if you will.  As I’ve become even more obsessed fallen in even more in love with quilting, my blog reflects that.  I can’t imagine not blogging … in my desire to cut back on the time I spend online, I’ve thought occasionally about giving up blogging, but I just can’t!  I’ve made bloggy friends who I’d truly miss … and I’ve grown to love the blogging process. 

I quilt because I HAVE to.  It’s my therapy.  I’m a member of the “sandwich generation”, and while I truly love being able to be a blessing to my dad and my daughter, I know that I can best bless them if I take care of myself, too.  Time spent with needle and thread allows me to slow down, relax, and refresh.  I quilt because I know that my quilts will be a tangible legacy for my daughter and my grands.  I quilt because I know that my quilts are used and loved … and that my love and my prayers have been stitched into each and every quilt.

How does my creating process work?
To be totally honest, I don’t know … I’ve never really thought about how I do what I do.  I know that I draw inspiration from other quilters (blogs, Facebook groups, retreats and guild meetings), and I know that is somehow factored into my decision making process … but exactly how, I do not know.  And maybe it’s just as well … as a retired accountant, my nature is to analyze and plan.  Maybe quilting satisfies the little piece of me that just needs to do … no thinking, no analyzing, no dissecting the whys and hows … a time to forget the brain and just follow my heart.  All I know is that when it’s time to start planning my next quilt, I go with my heart, choosing a pattern and fabrics that appeal to me. 

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Now I’d like to “pass the baton” onto 3 very talented and creative bloggers. 

First is Debbie who blogs at The Way We Are.  I’ve been a faithful reader for several years, back before the quilting obsession bug took hold.  She and I have so much in common … we’re both grandmas who love, love, love our grands, we’re both believers … but now that Debbie has discovered quilting, we have so much more in common. 

Second is Deb A who blogs at VTQuilter.  I’ve been following Deb for a good long while now.  I’m inspired by her productivity … with 2 kiddos and working, she still manages to get more done in a week than I do in a month (or so it seems!) … and I’m in awe of her creativity … she appliques, machine quilts, handquilts, works with miniatures … she’s another diverse quilter.

And third is Kathi who blogs at Design Originals by KC.  I’ve been following Kathi for about a year now.  We “met” on Celebrate Handquilting Facebook group … we share a love of handquilting.  I have to tell you that I’m a little jealous, too … she lives on the east central coast of Florida … (the beach is my “happy place”). 

You can get a sneak preview of what Debbie, Deb and Kathi are up to by checking out their blogs now … but don’t forget to check back next week when they’ll be in the spotlight! 

Thanks again, Katy, for tagging me to participate … this has been fun!

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a marvelous Monday!
Kathy

Monday, September 1, 2014

September ... Where Did You Come From?

I don't know about you all, but I am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around the fact that it's September already! We're 2/3 of the way through the year!

August certainly flew by ... it was a spectacular month. We got to see the Ts swim at their conference championships, at the regional championships, and bring home some medals and trophies ... we got to see them celebrate a birthday ... and we closed the month with a visit from my sister. We were supposed to have both of my sisters here, but K's pup had some serious health issues that required her to stay home so her pup could get the care she needed. We missed her but had a good time in spite of her absence. DD and her family came over yesterday ... I really enjoyed having 4 generations of my family together.
This is my sister L with T#2 and T#4 (sorry it's blurry ... I didn't think to grab my camera ... just used my iPhone). I wish I would have thought to have gotten a picture of the 3 of them with DD and me ... 3 generations of the women in my family. I didn't take too many pictures ... we were just having too good a time visiting.

We dropped L off at the airport this morning bright and early. There's absolutely nothing else on my schedule today, and I'm really looking forward to a nice, quiet day. I plan to do some sewing ... I'd really like to get T#4's blocks finished this week ... maybe even together so I can start hand quilting next week?

It's going to be a busy week ... DD celebrates her 39th (for real) birthday this week, so we'll be planning some fun, and I need to put together some projects for my guild's retreat this weekend.

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy! Have a marvelous Monday!
Kathy

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