Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Bitty Project and Sweet Ingenuity!

A while back I was asked by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs (via my friend Anne over at Cotton's N Wool) to help test her latest pin cushion pattern - Bitty Mouse! I was so honored and nearly in disbelief that they would ask little old me! Both Anne's had worked on the pattern extensively, but because it was so detailed, they really wanted a third eye. I was happy to oblige, but there was a limitation - I had to complete it either the day I was asked or the next day so that they could get the pattern to print. I happily agreed, but did not have time to run out for any supplies, so I totally needed to use what I had on hand!

For the most part, I had most of what would work. The only thing I lacked was a narrower trim for the neck and hem of Bitty's dress (I didn't have enough of the pretty green trim on the cuffs), and smaller buttons. Nevertheless, it was all about pattern correctness, so even if she's a little "shabby" I managed to finish her and get my input to Anne! I can't remember what I used the dress fabric in, but the green linen was left over from one of my Supreme tests for Stephanie! The twine for Bitty's tale came directly out of my garden tool carrier - I think I last used some of it late this summer to tie tomato branches! This was a lot of fun!

Today I finally got to attaching the binding to my Christmas tree skirt! Since I had quite a lot of bias binding and octagonal corners, not to mention the cut-out circle for the tree, I wanted to make sure the tail of the binding didn't get bunched up or caught under my chair as I was sewing it on. So, I gave it some thought and wound up with a fix! I wrapped the binding around an empty bathroom tissue roll, then popped it over my table lamp and angled the lamp so the roll wouldn't slide off. Worked * like * a * charm!! Now that's what I call Sweet Ingenuity!
We've had one snowstorm after another the past couple of weeks. A tiny bit might melt, then another blast comes along! This was our patio right before Thanksgiving. I measured 6 inches on top of the table, and we've had more come and go since then! We wanted to be retired in a place that had real seasons, and so far we're right on the money!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and Baby Rose Finish!

Mr. Squash and I wish everyone a Very Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for this year - our Squash House, our happy retirement and wonderful friends, not to mention each other! Two of our good friends were unable to meet with relatives this year because of the awful weather we've had this week, so they will be spending our first Squash House Thanksgiving with us! I finished another top for Lenni, which by the way is now being delayed until Jan 10th or so. I told Heidi I was more than happy (well, sort of - wink) to wait until all the proper parts were in place for the Bliss table! This is one of Jo Morton's Little Women series called Baby Rose. It's very small - 26 x 26. I decided to use wool for the applique and Civil War fabrics for the blocks. I think it turned out pretty well! It does not have a border and uses a single thickness binding. I'll post another picture when I have it quilted.

As I mentioned above, we have had a wild Autumn storm the past few days! The photo above in our backyard was taken yesterday morning and it snowed all day, so there is much more now than what you see. Oh - and don't worry about the empty bird feeder - the squirrels clean this one out so fast that I had to set up squirrel-proof feeders on the other side! Highs today are in the low to mid teens with last night getting down to almost zero! The entire state has been nearly paralyzed by this, so you know what that will do to Thanksgiving travel! I hope everyone gets to where they are going safely!

I had to show you this photo from Halloween. Our neighbor came home from being out steelheading all day and no one was home at his house, so he came over to show us his big catch! Way to go, Ted! By the way, those are all pumpkins from my garden! Mr. Jack O'Lantern is the biggest at 36 pounds! I carved him that day and the next evening he was gone - I hope he at least got taken to a loving home!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Unplanned Hiatus is Over!

Not only did many of you wonder where I went the past three weeks - so did I! I'll have to chalk it up to an unplanned hiatus. After helping Mr. Squash prepare for and successfully recover from back surgery, I somehow felt a need to cocoon and hide from the "outside world". Actually, when I think back, this whole year has been a whirlwind of moving, unpacking and settling in to the Squash House, so I think a little break was well deserved - don't you? Thanks to so many of you for your kind emails checking up on me! I appreciate it more than you know!

While I was cocooning, I was having some fun! At the Portland Quilt Show I came across a wonderful wood craftsman, Phillip Galyon, of Wooden Images in Tualitin, Oregon. He makes and sells all kinds of furniture including sewing cabinets and quilt racks. I had been looking for a rack to hang inside our front entry to display quilts for some time. Phillip sat down with me and we came up with a custom rack, perfect for the entry.

Here it is...with the first display! The rack is made of Alder and stained in a golden oak color. It also has a 4 inch wide shelf on top to display knick knacks. When it arrived, I immediately made a sleeve for one of my fall quilts to display through Thanksgiving. The next day I was in a little gift shop downtown and saw the adorable "Harvest" sign - just perfect for the shelf. Click on the photo to get a better look!

I've also been sewing up a storm in my studio. I thought it prudent to have quilt tops ready for Lenni, so I've been hard at work! I still don't know when Lenni will arrive, but hope to hear from Heidi any day now. This is my Christmas Tree Skirt flimsy. I began quilting it on my Bernina yesterday - just a simple cross-hatch throughout. I didn't want to wait for Lenni because I hope to have our tree up the first week in December. After it is quilted, I will then cut the opening and attach the binding. I think it's really going to be gorgeous!

We've had some spectacular Autumn weather the past month! My daily walks, sometimes with Mr. Squash at my side, have been quite a treat! These photos were taken in Pioneer Park which is only a block and a half from the Squash House! The trees above are a mixture of Elm and Maple and are at least 100 years old!
This is a little pond in the park which spills into one of the many streams running through town. It's usually filled with Mallard ducks and if you walk right up to the edge some very large koi will come right up looking for a treat!

Suddenly yesterday, all that beautiful Autumn color was replaced with something else - the first snowfall of the season! This is one of our Dogwood trees just a bit after the snow began to stick! We got a little over an inch when it stopped. Today we're supposed to get up to 4 inches!

Come back Wednesday when I'll have some more finishes to show!