Monday, December 19, 2011

Twas the weekend before Christmas...

...and all through the house,
the sewing machine was buzzing,
and my fingers were stitching.
I cannot show you many of the projects, 
since the recipients read my blog,
 but I can share a few things.
A Quaker Snowman

I started this fellow last year with the hopes of stitching ornaments for each of my children, but alas, he became a UFO stashed in the back of my closet.
Then I saw Carol's, of Stitching Dreams, post here and it inspired me to start stitching again.
A visit to The Attic Needleworks shop in Mesa, AZ left me rather light in the pocketbook, but full of ideas and materials to make enough ornaments to adorn my own garland next year.

And what do you do with left over jelly roll strips?
Why make an adorable photo album cover.
Wish I could take credit for this one, but again it was that creative DD of mine who came up with the idea and embellishments.

For those of you following the progress of the 1880 sampler, I invite you to check out the flickr group.  Carol has sashed and set her beautiful blocks and posted a picture for our pleasure.

I was not too successful with keeping up with the CW QAL hosted by Barbara Brackman this year, but that did not stop me from joining Jeanneke's Building Houses from Scraps 2012 project.  
You can find out more here.
Wish me luck!

Merry Christmas to everyone!
May your holidays be filled with joy and laughter and 
may the New Year be full of promise.
See you then,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tis the season!

And I am jolly
 for a couple of reasons!
Another collaborative affair to make an apron and matching coasters for my
 DD's grandparents in-law that is a mouthful.

I have finished drafting and constructing the last block in my
 Barbara Buchner Synder 1880 Sampler quilt!
I will take a break over the holidays and be back in the New Year with the border instructions.

Some leaders and enders while piecing the sampler block have lead to multiple pinwheels
that will be used in small quilts to be given as gifts!

the first batch of Christmas cookies is done.

Only 5 more to go!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How Does My Garden Grow?

Faster than I thought it would!
Yesterday I ordered a new group of fabrics from that includes an assortment of dots to use as the centers of each flower.  I am finally comfortable with piecing the hexies and they are a tad more enjoyable.  What motivates me is that my DD is quite smitten with the design so far.

I finished quilting the baby quilt with time to spare.
I used a variegated 40 wt. thread and had fun with some continuous line FMQ.  
Very pleased with the result.  
Now to the daughter's job!

For me, I better start on those Christmas gifts!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful for a DD who is crafty!

It was a hectic, but thoroughly scrumptious Thanksgiving week around here.  I hope everyone ate as much as I did so we can all go on diets together.  Some exhilarating outdoor exercise is called for in the following days.  We are enjoying some exceptionally fine days here in the desert...crisp, cool nights and clear days in the high 70's.  This is why we endure our sizzling summers!
While the turkey was roasting, my DD and I collaborated on a sweet little baby quilt for her girlfriend.  It is an adaptation of a pattern seen in
Jelly Babies
from the staff at That Patchwork Place.
It is pin basted and ready to be quilted by moi.  Of course, the baby shower is this weekend...
like mother, like daughter.
She also whipped up this nifty matching frame.
I love the little yo-yo's in the corners.

I have been busy finishing up my 1880 sampler quilt.
 I believe I only have one more block to do and then I need to design the borders.  
 I will take a break though and be back in the new year with those instructions.

While blog hopping the other day, I jumped into a hilarious post.
Check out Regan's blog post here for a good laugh.
She lists the things that she is thankful she doesn't have and doesn't want...
I liked the reference to the 'boob job'.
I could not come up with a better list than hers, but I do know I am thankful I have a DD who shares my love of crafting and quilting.
Unfortunately, since we are both big procrastinators,
I better get back to some machine quilting!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A few finishes and you guessed it...

...a new project.
After seeing this 'Fit to be Framed' pattern #6 by Lori Smith carried out in wools at the Houston Festival, I have been beset by it.  I am using cotton backgrounds though, specifically Lisa Bongean's Little Gatherings by Moda..  Wool would be a little too 'imperfect' for my quilter's OCD.  I have also acquired a greater appreciation for Lori's work.  I cannot fathom how she was able to complete these 6" finished blocks using needle turn applique.  Can you see all those tiny, sharp curves in the tree, for example!

I am not enamored with hexies, but truly want to complete my daughter's wedding quilt.  Therefore, I have set a goal of making 2 hexagons per day, first thing in the morning with my very first cuppa of Joe.  Hopefully, this will help me to complete one flower each week.

My finishes...
Autumn Houses is bound.
Sweet Carolina is bound.
Lots to Crow about is stitched and basted, ready for quilting this week.
Two projects were removed from my WIP list while at least 3 were added.
Somehow I seem to be going in the wrong direction.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just about there!

I am getting down to the last blocks of my 1880 Sampler quilt.
Next block is a 'crumb' block.  
I have never made one, but assume you just sew scraps randomly together.  My plan is to make four different 3" units and assemble them into a block.  Hope it works.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also pieced my first hexie.
Harder than I thought!
This is a large one...about 10 1/2" in diameter.

My project for the day is to make fresh pumpkin puree.  I am coming to the conclusion that it might be more cost effective to purchase canned.  We will see if the taste is dramatically different before the final verdict.
I have baked them in my convection oven, but it still took over an hour and only yields about a cup of puree.
Anyone every cooked them in the microwave?
I have about 100 lbs. of sugar pumpkins from my summer garden and hate to just toss them!

Monday, November 7, 2011

2011 Houston International Quilt Festival

  I am back from the festival, but don't have a lot of photos to share. 
From the grand prize winners, I only selected one quilt to share with you.
Loading Dock
by Mary Buvia
Greenwood, Indiana

The festival this year seemed to be all about art quilts, heavily embellished and masterfully machine quilted.  Although I admire these artisans, my interests lie in the traditional quilts, which there were very few of.
Challenge 2
by Georgina Buschauer
Houston, Texas

This quilt was one of the few traditional quilts that really attracted my eye.  Its design source is Elly Sienkiewicz and won a ribbon for Merit Quilting, Hand.
And her hand quilting was exquisite!

Star Garden
Ardie Skjod
Found in the small exhibit of American Traditional Quilts.
I loved how she fussy cut her fabrics.

I did enjoy the exhibit "Texas Quilts Today...", but could not take photos.
And, I missed the doll quilt and bed exhibit. 
This small exhibit of houses designed by a variety of fabric artists was visually rich...
and very whimsical!
But after a whirlwind walk through the quilts, I headed to the vendors.
It didn't seem as crowded as I had remembered, but I still would start down one aisle only to collide with a mass of determined shoppers and quickly retreat.  The number of choices I was faced with was totally overwhelming for me.  As a result, I came home with very little, which actually makes me happy.
I did brave the Primitive Gatherings booth, but escaped unscathed when I saw the long line at the register.  I picked up and put down several patterns in the Country Threads booth...when will I ever make all the quilts I already have patterns for?

Lori Smith's booth was also very tempting, but all I purchased was some wools from Mary Flanagan Woolens, where she gave me permission to photograph her wool version of one of Lori's patterns.

I also picked up some fabrics and hexie papers to get started on my daughter's wedding quilt.

There was a large number of antique quilt vendors with high quality wares.  I came very close to coming home with one, but my budget just would not let me make the leap.  In Mary Koval's booth of beautiful antique quilts, I had the pleasure of meeting Linda Collins from Quilts in the Barn.  We chatted briefly, but I forgot to get a picture of us together. 

Going to Houston for me this year was more about reconnecting with old friends and meeting a few new ones.  My host and hostess were the best!  I lunched with my old tennis partner, laughed the afternoon away with my friend Lori, caught up with other quilting friends, played Chinese Checkers with Rosie's precious grandson, dined on delectable home cooked meals, and even took in the King Tut exhibit. 

Now that I am home, it will take dynamite to get me to leave for at least 6 months!  I look forward to the upcoming holidays and some simple family times... 
at home!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lots to Crow About

by Lynda Hall of Primitive Pieces by Lynda.
My version
Something to stitch on the plane ride to Houston!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall is finally here!

Fall arrives late to the desert and without much of a fuss.
We know it is here when the daytime temps are under 90 and we can open our windows to clean, crisp air at night.
I am envious of those of you who are enjoying the colors of the season, so I need to bring some of it to my environment with quilting projects.
Picked up the newest Sew Scrappy by BH&G and fell instantly in love with this project by Lynda Hall.  Of course, Renee Nanneman's new homespun collection also arrived at TOWQS and will be perfect for it.
It will be my reward for finishing up my prep work for the Farmer's Wife Club meeting tomorrow...yes, I am a procrastinator!

This week I was the lucky recipient of these two lovely stitcheries from a dear quilting friend, Deb.
I believe this one is called O' Pumpkin Tree and I will finish it with my new homespun fabrics.
This little guy is going to get some special treatment, but stay tuned for that.  
I want to design a medallion style quilt around him using black and orange fabrics.

Finally, my quilt, Autumn Houses by Bunnyhill, came back yesterday from a very talented machine quilter.  Carol is an artist who plies her craft on her 20+ year old Bernina.
Here is a sampling of the wonderful enhancements she applied to my quilt.
Remember you can click on the pictures to enlarge them to see the detail.
I love how she added the vines and flowers in the open spaces.

I'll be heading to Houston next week for the festival.  I will try to come home with lots of pics to share and not too much merchandise.  However, the Primitive Gatherings booth will be first on my list of places to visit and you cannot count on me using even a modicum of self control there!

But first, back to FW blocks and the next 1880 Sampler blocks.  Lots to do before I leave.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Peru Part II

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Just enjoy!  No need to comment.  Hopefully, I will get back to some quilting projects soon...after I finish the laundry!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back from Peru

A little taste of the first half of our trip to Peru.
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Monday, October 3, 2011

And the winner is...


Congratulations Elyte.  
I'll be contacting you.

My comment problem is unresolved, even though I updated my browser to Google Chrome...
which I love for uploading pics for blog posts...
faster by far.

I'll be away from my green machine (my computer, in case you are puzzled) for the next few weeks.
I'll be back with lots of pictures.
And while I am away, my Autumn Houses will be at the quilter, so I can share the beautiful enhancements I know she will add.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Autumn Wools

Designed by Cheri Payne for Quilts by Cheri
My version is only 8" x 8". 
The log cabin blocks are 2 1/2" finished...I like miniatures! 
I knew I could not stay on task!!
Besides, I can take this as handwork on my plane ride.
That is my story and I am sticking with it.
The pattern can be found in the Fall 2011 issue of
'Primitive Quilts and Projects.'

So far, I have 4 bloggers (Terry, Gloria, Robyn of Robyn's Nest and Mary) for my giveaway that are non-reply commenters.  If you did not receive a reply wishing you luck in the drawing, you are not entered.  Go back in to the comment section and add your email address.
Good luck to everyone~Cheryl

Friday, September 30, 2011

200th post and over 200 followers...time for a giveaway!

I have been remiss with my blog etiquette! 
I let my 1st blog-anniversary go by...
 then 200 followers came and went...
 so with my 200th post (did I really have that much to say?!?),
I decided to celebrate!
Remember this...

Would you like a signed copy?
Leave me a comment,
nothing more.
You must not be a non-reply commentor!  If you are, please leave me an email address where I can contact you.  Leave your comment by Sunday night at midnight and I will draw a number on Monday morning. 
A sneak peek at what is inside for the winner:
a few schoolhouse projects,
some adorable sewing needfuls, and
Abacus, the quilt I pieced for Renee.

Still having trouble leaving comments, even though I upgraded my browser.  So for those of you with your comment section attached to the bottom of your post, I am reading and enjoying your blogs, but am unable to leave comments.  I can leave comments on the blogs where the comment is on the side or separate...wierd. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My blogger is broken!

No pictures today!
Anyone else having this problem and know the solution?
On the blogs I read that have the comments at the bottom of the post and a code word, my comments do not go through.  The blogs with the comment section separate from the posts work just fine.
So I am reading and enjoying posts, but cannot comment on some of my favorite blogs.
Hope they fix it soon.
Ok, so I had to share another picture of my beautiful daughter!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh, Happy Days!

Our beautiful daughter married "her best friend and the man of her dreams" this past weekend.  It was an amazing day full of joy and laughter. 

Now back to some pressing projects.  This week will be a machine quilting week.  I have quite a few tops in the queue.  Hopefully, I will have two to show by the end of the week.
I also need to get a backing ready so Autumn Houses is ready to go to the quilter at the end of the month.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Renee Plains new book...

Stitches from the Schoolhouse
Picked up my copy yesterday!
My friend, Kimber over at, was the editor and I helped Renee by piecing her large quilt, Abacus.
Renee is such a talented designer and I love all the projects in her book.
The hard part is deciding which one to do first.

Focus Cheryl!
So many distractions and sew little time!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tales from Telluride...

also known as 'To Hell You Ride' in 1889.
Telluride is infamous as the mining town where Robert Parker, aka Butch Cassidy of the Wild Bunch Gang, robbed his first bank in 1889 for a little over $20,000.  It fascinated me to learn that Butch, or Bob, learned to defy the establishment as a young teen in Utah.  First, by helping his family run an underground railroad for Mormon polygamist escaping persecution in the Midwest, and then as a cattle rustler with his mentor, Mike Cassidy.  Unlike Butch, who came to Telluride for its money making opportunities, we came to hike at high altitude and parted with a good sum of money!
Although expensive, the town is charming with its brightly painted homes, historical buildings, fine cuisine and breathtaking views. 

Upon the advice of our host at the Wildwood Canyon Inn B&B, we chose the Bridal Veil Basin for our hike.  Getting to the basin was the beginning of our adventure and involved climbing 1,200 ft. up a gravel, 4-wheel drive trail to the top of the falls.  The picture above of the valley floor was taken about half way up the road.
 Perched on the top of the falls is a small hydroelectric plant built in 1907 by the Smugglers Union Mine.  Bulkley Wells, Harvard graduate and the mine manager for over 20 years, convinced the mine's owners to build the power plant to help defray fuel costs.  At the same time, he convinced them to build a 12 room 'apartment' atop the plant so he could "entertain in style while looking down on the workers below."  It is rumored the notorious womanizer entertained more lady friends than business clients.  The home was abandoned by Wells when the plant closed.  It was privately owned and restored around 2000, but is now vacant.  Although listed on the National Register of Historical homes, there are no plans to open it to the public.

Once we gained access to the area above the falls, we chose the Gray's Basin/ Mayflower Mine trail since it was touted as a 'memorable' hike.  That was an understatement!  The day started out cold with a high, misty cloud cover, but we are prepared backcountry hikers and had our rain gear.  After climbing a little over 1800 ft. into the Gray's Basin and less than a few 100 yds away from the mine, the rain turned into a bone chilling snow. 

Although my DH desperately wanted to explore the mine (just above his left shoulder), our common sense prevailed and we decided to head back.
When the skies cleared briefly, I captured the first snow of the season on the peaks around the basin.

Although we were early for the trees to turn, the remnants of the wildflowers of a month ago provided some fall color for a few photos.
The good news was that at 11,953 ft. I experienced no altitude sickness.
Therefore, I will not need one of these while hiking in Peru!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Goals Accomplished...

Well, almost!

For those with great eyes, you can see that the birds at the top still need to be sewn down.
I love this quilt, but I am so ready for it to be done!
Do you ever feel that way about a project?

Also finished piecing the center of Pinwheels for Caroline, so my next goal is to finish the ocean waves blocks for the border.

This weekend was the balloon fest here in Pagosa Springs.  I was a tad tardy getting myself there on Saturday, but managed a few pics on Sunday.
Notice the carved statue below the balloon.
There are several of these around town.

We are headed to Ouray and Telluride this am for some higher altitude hiking and then back to Arizona at the end of the week. It is freezing here this morning (my house was 58 degrees when I climbed out of bed...good quilt snuggling weather!)  I am sure I will miss it once I return to the heat of the desert. 
See you all in a week.

Fell Off the Wagon

 It was bound to happen. I had stuck to my guns until I saw Laundry Basket Quilts' pattern, Alaska Magic. I told myself,  "It is te...