Saturday, February 15, 2014

SJ's dolly dresses, chickens and SNOW, SNOW, SNOW!

February 15, 21014

aren't these dresses absolutely adorable? my great niece, Samantha Jean (my namesake) asked her grandma, my sister, to make them for her. she has the Samantha American girl doll and she also has Molly, which her big sister gave her. she told my sister she needed TWO party dresses, EXACTLY alike, so that when she brought her dolls to her friends houses they could be dressed up. I think my sister outdid herself! my sister lives many states away but "babysits" sammi via the phone when she is home from school. this allows her mother to get things done in the house while my sister amuses her. sammi puts the phone on speaker and goes up to her room and together they play whatever sammi wants. its very cool and a great way for a long distance grandma and granddaughter to get to know each other. sammi is very interested in sewing and crafts. the mister and I had her for a few days this past summer and I was able to give her a few sewing lessons. she is quite talented!
here's sammi at the sewing machine. I started her out by drawing some straight lines on a piece of typing paper and taking the thread out of the machine. I then talked to her and showed her some basics safety measures and then letting her go at it. usually I have to give whomever I'm teaching a few more pieces of paper and more instruction, but sammi just calmly went ahead and followed the lines perfectly. I had her try out the backstitch, the up/down needle and the speed control and she accomplished each the first try. we went right to making pillows and pillowcases for her ag dolls. she was amazing and definitely takes after our maternal side of the family! I can't wait to be able to give her another lesson!
I don't know whether I've told you all about my obsession with chickens. I just think they are so cute! at first I wanted to have chickens up here in northern nh but have realized that I'd just be feeding the fox, fisher cats, coyotes and raccoons that walk through our yard. we catch these animals nightly on our game cameras so we know they're regulars. so I've decided to do the next best thing and collect things with chickens on them. this is my nice new tea mug that I bought at the christmas tree shop. I don't want too much chicken stuff because it will drive the mister crazy but I think he's relieved that I've decided on not buying the real thing right now. he says he still hasn't gotten over the time about 35 years ago that I wanted to get a dog and we talked about it all night and decided not to. he came home from work the next day and our boys were excitedly playing with our new dog. In my defense, nicky (our dog) was a wonderful and loyal pet that we had for 16 years. he really needs to get over these things, don't you think?
sitting under my new chicken mug is my latest ufo project. I am adding 3 rows to what I have done so that it will fit our bed. it will go perfectly in there and I can't wait to finish it. its a real scrappy quilt and I'm using my accuquilt go cutter so its coming along quickly.
this is my view from my sewing machine. I can see the brook to the right and about in the middle is where the deer come by to see if there's anything left of the deer blocks we like to leave out for them. nora jean sleeps in front of my machine. she likes to sew with me but I think she also likes the books on tape that I get from the library. its a comforting place to be and I wish for all of you today to have a nice peaceful place to rest and reflect. today I am grateful for my family. I hope my sister gets over her cold quickly so she can make Samantha jean more ag doll clothes! I'm thankful for my sons who are a blessing to me even though they don't call their mother as often as she would like :>} I am not grateful for all the snow we've been getting....14" yesterday and 4-6 more to come today! I'm not bothered by the snow but the mister is tired of dealing with it. I can't blame him! see you all soon.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy 40th birthday Andrew! Big Quilts & Doll Clothes.

January 5, 2014
hi everyone! it is a very snowy day here in the northeast. we've got at least 8 inches and it's still snowing. it makes it nice and cozy in our little house. to warm up our kitchen this morning I made cinnamon rolls from scratch. they were SO GOOD! I love being retired!!!! below is a picture of my son Andrew and his grandmother (the mister's mom) in December. its hard to believe he's 40 years old! where has the time gone! my mil isn't looking too shabby for 92 either! I asked him if he wanted anything special for his birthday and he said he'd like another quilt. a BIG one to fit his king size bed.... and blue!

I took this ufo top I had and added a couple more rows to it and made it 96X96. if it isn't big enough....well that's as big as I could do! I then took a bunch of my blues (I still have so many blues left) and pieced them together to make the back. he can always turn the quilt over and use the back for a change of pace! I've been taking a machine quilting class through craftsy by leah day and used a couple of the suggestions she had. it really did make quilting this quilt so much easier! since it was so big and busy, I did an overall stippling pattern on my hq16. fancy designs wouldn't have shown up. I really like how it came out. sandwiching the quilt was the hardest part. if the mister hadn't helped me I never would have done it! boy those big quilts are hard but so worth it when you're done! I have two more ufo's that I'm making for our bedrooms and the only thing I dread is sandwiching them. my goal for 2014 is to finish those quilts. one down and two to go! btw, this is the jewel box pattern. its one of my go-to patterns when I want something easy but interesting. I used my accuquilt go cutter to cut the squares and triangles. it makes it so fast and easy! one of the habits I started in 2012 was to cut up any small pieces I had left over from my projects into useable squares, trangles and strips. I have plastic boxes filled with all of my cutouts. my sewing studio is looking more organized and better every day!

after I was done Andrew's quilt I needed something easy and fun to work with so I made this little table runner. it was fun and came out cute. the pattern was free on the internet.

I had a nice big sale with the American girl doll clothes I make. I sold 6 poncho/hat sets, several knit hats and these skirt and blouse outfits. I put the money I made in my swear jar (yes, I'm still using the jar and working on my spicy mouth which has improved tremendously!). I'm saving up for a new laptop. I haven't counted how much money I have but my jar is stuffed!!! :>)
and finally, here is our nora jean putting her kitty love in Andrew's quilt. she is still not feeling well and the vet has done every test going with no defining answers. she thinks nora may have an ulcer due to the flea allergy she developed last summer. our poor darling!

today I am grateful for our new vet who is very caring and thorough with our nora. I am glad that nora is still with us and seems to be improving. a big thank you to my mister who helps me with whatever it is I need. much love to my wonderful son Andrew. you've been a pleasure and a source of pride to dad and me. happy birthday!
have a great day and I will too! nancyb