Oh, My Golly!

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Don’t you hate hearing people say “I’ve been sooo busy!” ? I do, but I find myself saying it. I’ve read articles on how to not be so busy or at least to think about the busyness in a different way.  Like finding joy along the way. Like how we saw a beautiful rainbow on our way to orchestra class last Friday. My busy times have been good ones so it isn’t a negative thing. I do regret not really having time to sit and blog. ‘They’ say it’s all about making the time. So, hear I go!

I finally stopped itching! We are still having summer here in Maine so at least I get to enjoy some of it! I was out in the garden yesterday. I thinned beets while my daughter harvested zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and a few small cukes. The garden is still producing and it is middle of September! I am thinking of ordering some chicks. They would be laying by Spring. The only thing stopping me is my inability to make a decision. I am worried it will be too cold. The chicken FB site says it will be fine. I really should just do it. I have a beautiful, large and safe coop that has gone unused for a year. It is time.

I have been knitting, and sewing. I made a dress ( A Washi ) and I have been doing some alterations for a friend. I am knitting a shawlette for a wedding I may be going to. (I say may because I still have not settled childcare for the girls yet) I am also working on socks. I am finding my groove again. Even making up menus and baking bread again. Routines work so well for me.

Speaking of routines we have a brand new one this year. My oldest daughter is going to school. Eighth grade! I am at home with just one child. That hasn’t happened since 1991! My youngest daughter and I have started Bullet Journals together. So far it is very fun. We are taking our ‘school’ year pretty slow. Planning what we want to do. I know it will have sewing and art. Yes, a little math too. We even put in a rest and relaxation (knitting) time in our schedule. That I love.

I missed the boat in blogging about all our camping trips, the girls’ camps, and some landscaping project that we have been working on all summer. I am looking forward to my 50th birthday! Wow, Oh my Golly, 50! I can’t decide what I want to do. I am torn between going away by myself for some quiet and pampering or a get together with our family here at home. Maybe I will have to do both!

I hope you all are in your fall groove. It feels good!

 

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The Summer of Itch

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It isn’t a secret that I am not a fan of summer. I tolerate it. This summer has actually temperature wise been amazing. Here in Maine we have not really had the hot and humid days that we often get. It has been quite mild. It could have been a glorious summer.

Instead it has been a very itchy and uncomfortable one. It all started in May. A Tent caterpillar got into my jeans. I ended up with a very itchy rash on my right leg, my rear end, waist and both arms (from pulling the legs inside out to check inside my pants). Anywhere the caterpillar went inside my jeans I ended up itchy. That lasted about a week. I managed it with Benadryl and itch cream.

Then at the end of July I got bit by a tick. I didn’t know it though. While camping I discovered a big bulls eye rash on my hip. Okay, so I have Lyme. Two blood tests showed I had it but caught it early. Good! The day I took my antibiotic I started itching all over my legs, one arm, my neck and face. I figured I had hives. I talked to the doctor and she figured it was hives. So then I got Prednisone and a different antibiotic. The itching did not stop. It was terrible. I took myself off the antibiotic until I could see the doctor. Coincidentally, the doctor said I had Poison Ivy. I have never had it in my life. The doctor said because it was my first time I got it bad. He also said because of the antibiotic my T cells and white blood cells had gone into overdrive.

So I started back up on the antibiotic and proceeded to start itching in different places. My back, stomach, breasts, even my scalp. Not an allergic reaction but certainly a consequence of the antibiotic. It wasn’t hives and it was not as itchy as the Poison Ivy so I have been putting up with it.

But I’m not done. Wouldn’t you know it but I started itching a tad bit down there. You know, in my private areas. I had been taking a Probiotic along with the antibiotic the whole time. I had been trying to rest and eat right. So I figured in my denial, that I would not get a yeast infection as well. The itching was mild. I ignored it. I had called the doctor so much that I really didn’t want to again. So about a week into the mild itching I decided to buy some cream. It worked and I was happy. Then while camping the cream started to not work. So again, instead of calling the doctor I went to the drugstore and bought some over the counter anti fungus cream and suppository. Sorry this is so graphic. Well, it didn’t work. I was so itchy, and swollen and uncomfortable that I finally did call the doctor. They must have heard the panic in my voice because for the first time they called me back very quickly and said there was a prescription called in for a pill. (Yes another one) and that that should take care of it. It may take a few days but it should help. Well we are almost 24 hours in and it is a bit better.

I am so, so, tired to itching. I decided to not show pictures of all my rashes and itchiness. Instead I am showing happy pictures of my garden, a dress I am working on, a shawlette I am knitting, and a lovely, beautiful picture of some red leaves I found while camping. I cannot wait for fall. For a freeze actually. Freeze all the bugs and ticks and itchy things for this season. I have had enough!

A Quilt Finished

I am a pretty slow quilt maker. I am amazed at some of the bloggers and people on Instagram that are able to make several quilts a year maybe even several a month. I don’t know how they do it. I am jealous. I try and tell myself it is because I have kids, that I also knit. Both of those things are true of most makers. I almost made myself believe it is because I homeschool my kids but I found that many people do that also and can still pump out several quilts a year. So really it just comes down to the fact that I am slow. Or my priorities are different. I try and sew every night but I don’t make progress very quickly. It’s just the way I am!

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Just this past weekend I did finish a quilt. I call it the Five Stars Picnic Quilt. I made it for taking to the beach and to picnics. My husband says it is too nice for that. I am happy he thinks so. I like it too and it is a nice quilt but I did make it knowing I would be taking it out and using it. I am hoping it will be used a lot.

I showed this quilt in the making in  this post, Five Stars Picnic Quilt. I decided to hand quilt it and that is what took me the longest. After I finished the quilting of lines diagonally through the quilt I felt it needed more. The squares looked a little empty. So I decided to stitch flowers inside them.

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I love how they came out. A lot of the fabric is flowery and it just made sense to put in more flowers. Then the binding needed to be put on. I sew my bindings on by machine and then hand stitch them on the back side. I have heard of a way to sew both sides by machine but I have not tried that yet.

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I use these cool little clips that a friend gave me. They are very helpful. I can sew a long way up the quilt without having to keep pulling the binding straight.

Two other reasons I don’t get a lot of quilts finished is one, I like to play. I like to try new things and experiment.

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I have been trying to use some old denim jeans up. I have been eyeing a pattern out of an old Georgia Bonesteel, Quilt as You Go book. This block is called Glow Shine. I have always wanted to try it. One night I got inspired and just had to try it.

Another reason I am slow is that I have many projects going on at one time. I am still working on some tiny blocks. These finished blocks are 6 1/2 inches. I am using the 1930’s Farmer’s Wife book. I am using reproduction fabrics (not from the 30’s) and I am being very careful when cutting, pinning and sewing them.

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So, I am sewing. A lot. I am enjoying each step too. Slow and steady. How about you? What are you working on?

 

 

Here, There, Everywhere

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The busiest time of the year is here. No other time during the year am I being pulled in so many different directions. I am appreciating each morning here at home because by 10:30 I am out of the house and sometimes don’t return until night time. Suppers are a real challenge. They must be easy, quick and healthy! We did have hot dogs last week though. Sometimes it is the only way. One day this week we may have to grab something out!

I went to visit my son last week at the Carpenter’s Boat Shop and spent the night. It was so nice to see the things he is working on. I even worked on one of the boats!  Everyone was very welcoming and I was quite comfortable.

I went on a knitting retreat in Portland. I had the best time. Who wouldn’t? Yarn, knitting, wine, chocolate. We went out to eat. We knit. I learned how to double knit. We had a party with door prizes and yarn swaps. We knit. We had cocktails together and knit. It was really fun to be around so many like minded women.

Softball season has begun. The girls are on different teams. One is playing through the school, the other through the recreation department. Pretty much every night there is softball. One in the afternoon, one in the evening.

This is gardening season too. I have been out planting early things like greens and peas. I went to the Fedco tree sale and picked up some tomato seedlings. I wanted to get blueberry bushes to replace the ones that were damaged this year but they were all out! My asparagus is up and the garlic too. Next week strawberries are being delivered! So excited about that.

We are trying to keep up on our homeschooling too so we don’t have so much to catch up on during the summer. Both girls are on the last parts of their math. We are reading about the ancient empires right now. Just finished reading the Iliad. Now we are reading the Odyssey. We still have to finish biology. Waiting a bit for that. It is all the summer things like caterpillars and frogs. I went for a walk in the woods last week and found some owl pellets. The girls couldn’t wait to dissect those!

We have started our daily walks again. Last week we even got a bike ride in, dodging all the rain drops. Boy has it been rainy!

This weekend all my sons came home for a visit. One had just got back from a road trip out in California! I wanted to see pictures. I did and it looked like he has a wonderful time. Another son helped me put my flower garden back together. It got ripped up during some pipe work. That is how the blueberry bushes got damaged too. He helped me see that it is still pretty and all will be well.

In between all the running around I have put together a quilt block. Quilted a block or two on the picnic quilt and finished a sweater. I will show that in a future post. I have to make time for my crafts. It is for my mental health.

So things are pretty busy. I know it will settle down after softball ends. And the garden is all planted. Then I can sit outside, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea and relax.

Yea, right.

A Pair of Pillows

I planned and finished a pair of pillows in a week! That is quite an accomplishment for me. It was very fun too. I used Crazy Mom Quilts’ pillow tutorial. It was easy to understand. I love those step by step tutorials. Perfect for me.

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Just like in her tutorial, Amanda advises to quilt it with a batting behind it. I did and I am very happy with it.

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My pictures look better taken outside but the pillows are for inside. They will go in the chairs that are right in front of the wood stove. Even though it is 70 outside right now (in Maine!) and the grass is really green still, it will get cold in a matter of weeks. I am getting ready the only way I know how. Sew!

Happy Sewing!

I am joining Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts today.

 

 

Friends With Liberty Quilt Top

Wow, it has been a long while since I had a finish, but today I do! I finished my Friends With Liberty quilt top.

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My daughter who is almost 10 said ‘It is a simple quilt, but it is pretty’. Well she is right. It wasn’t a very hard quilt to make. It is pretty simple. I wanted to use some Liberty that I had from a club I joined. I love sewing with the Liberty. Very soft and light. Almost like silk.

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I will probably quilt this myself. I don’t actually quilt much. I piece. I like to piece. I don’t so much like to quilt. There are squares in this quilt in between all the stars. They are made up of four different colors. I wonder how to make those squares pretty with quilting? Do you have any ideas for me?

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See what I mean. Kind of plain right now. All I can think of right now is just a big X. I really don’t think that would make it pretty though.

Pretty happy about finishing the top though. Thanks for looking, and please offer up any suggestions for the quilting.

I am joining in with Amanda for Finish it up Friday!

 

 

Slow and Steady

I am linking up with Amanda for Finish it Friday. I sometimes feel that my finishes don’t really count. They are finishes for me, but not very often are they full quilts finished. I am so very slow. Maybe it is because I have so many projects that I like to work on.

I love the piecing. There are two different quilts that I am working on right now. The Farmers Wife 1930 blocks and Friendship Blocks using Liberty fabrics from a club I joined. I get about one or two blocks a week finished. Some of the Farmers wife blocks are very challenging. I really only get to quilt at night after the kids go to bed.

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Here is my latest Farmers Wife 1930’s finish. It is called Hope. It was a little hard because it had a partial seam which I had never experienced. I did it, but it did come out a bit crooked. I am hoping trimming will fix it. Otherwise I will have to take it out and redo it.

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Part of the reason I am so slow is that I mark all my seams and pin a lot.

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Here is my latest Liberty friendship star block finish. These are pretty quick to sew up. The slow part of this block for me is picking out the fabrics. I obsess about it!

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Part of the problem in getting whole quilts finished is that I just have too many hobbies! I just started this embroidery project recently and I am loving it. I also knit, (did just finish a sweater, but that is another post!) and I love to cook! I have two little girls that I love spending time with and that is where most of my time goes. In the last couple of weeks there have been music recitals and dance shows to attend.

So I hope my little finishes are fine to post on Finish it Friday.  I love seeing all of your finishes. It gives me inspiration!

Happy stitching everyone!

Em and Patience – Farmer Blocks

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I have the book Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt 1930’s. I decided to work on the “Em” block first.  I didn’t want to cut into my new fabric quite yet though. I wanted to get a feel for the blocks and the directions before I really started for fear I would mess up and waste fabric. It was a good thing too, because for some reason I picked one of the hardest blocks in the book to try first. It has many pieces.

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I labeled them by rows. I put this block together the way the book suggested.  It came out about 6.25 square more or less. It was a bit bigger on one side. All in all I felt it was acceptable. I put a border around it and played around on my machine trying out the stippling foot. I am not that good at that! It was fun though.

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On Tuesday I went to a friends house to sew and decided to try a very easy block from the book and chose the block “Patience”. I did use the new fabric this time. I am quite happy with the way it came out and I love, love my new fabric.

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They are reproduction fabrics from Jo Morton. So fun to work with cute fabric isn’t it?

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Happy Quilting!

 

Final Push

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Full steam ahead on this sweater I say. I am finally finished with a quilt that my daughter was waiting for. I am not quite done with the shirt I am working on for myself. It has frustrated me so much I have put it in a time out. It is beautiful in the arms and yolk but the back is so puffy and baggy. I have tried darts, and bringing in the sides and it still looks like a maternity top. Not that I don’t like those. I loved wearing maternity clothes when I was pregnant. Loved being pregnant. But I am not expecting and I don’t want anyone to ask if I am thank you very much. I think a little time away from the shirt will be just what I need.

I started The Book of Tea. It isn’t just about tea and the ceremony surrounding it. It is a book about Japanese philosophy and art. I like it. It talks about Taoism and Zen Buddhism. Thanks to my sons and their love for philosophy I am understanding this book quite well.

I am putting away the socks and the shirt so that I can push ahead on this sweater. It is called February Lady and it would be so nice if I could wear it in February! Happy knitting!

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along today.

Homebodies

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I actually finished this embroidery panel a while ago but just recently finished making it into a pillow. I fell in love with this picture because it is so much like two of my very best friends and me. We are all very much homebodies. I am in the middle, my friend Betty is on the left and Eleanor is on the right. I enjoyed every moment of stitching this. I will probably order a different sampler. Charlotte Lyons is the artist. She has a blog called House Wren Studio. All her embroidery samples are on her Etsy page.

These samplers can be done any way you want. I emailed her for some hints and she got right back to me. Most of the samplers are full of flowers and small animals. I am eyeing the house and neighborhood samplers. Or maybe I will get the birds and flowers one. It will be a difficult choice.

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I couldn’t think of what to do with the sampler when I finished. I thought of putting it in a frame, but never got around to it. I decided to make a pillow. Now it sits on my bed. It adds color and pattern to the room.

Joining Amanda for Finish it Friday! Have a great weekend!