Monday, June 21, 2021

Make-A-List Monday - Taking A Week Off (from lists...)

 

Hi, all!

Well, despite all attempts from Mother Nature to rain on our parade, we managed to make it to the beach, and vacation is under way!  We ain't afraid of no tropical storms!!

I'm happy to report that I managed to finish everything on my list from last week - good thing, since it was all related to getting ready for vacation.  

And it's been a good week for doing some blog maintenance!  I finally found a solution to Blogger taking Feedburner away, which also took away the easy way to send you posts by email.  You can see that I have added a new "follow by email" box to the left side bar, as the posts will now be coming via email.  Follow.it is supposed to be importing my list of previous email subscribers, but it seems to be taking a while, so feel free to sign up there again if you want.  I'd hate for you to miss anything!  You can read more about this whole process by clicking here.

I also got things started for the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop, putting out a call for bloggers who want to be a part of the hop.  If you're interested, drop me a line at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll add you to the list.  You can read more about what's involved by clicking here.

And while I have been doing some of this while here, the weather has been iffy, so I have also been doing some of this...

...working on my vacation quilt!  I've made about 1/3 of the 25-patch blocks I'll need for the whole top so far.  A good start, and I really think I'm going to like it!

And today, during a rainy patch, I went to one of my favorite places - A&E Pharmacy in Pensacola.  Contrary to what you might think, no drugs are are sold here, but a truly fabulous array of fabric and other craft supplies.  I found fabrics I needed for a trio of memory quilts...

... and also the fabrics for this year's 12 Days of Christmas in July quilt-along! I'm excited to get started on that one - probably first thing after we get back from vacation.  I didn't bring the best tools with me for cutting out a quilt, plus I really want to get the blocks for my vacation quilt finished!  So I'll just pet the fabrics for a while yet.

And now that I've shared what I'm doing this week, I really want to know - - - what are YOU working on?

Hugs!

Sarah



Saturday, June 19, 2021

A Little Blog Housekeeping!


 Hi, all!

I've had to make some housekeeping changes on the blog, and thanks to Paulette at The Way I Sew It, I finally found a good solution to the loss of Feedburner, which sends out emails to subscribers when I post something here.  And Paulette did such a great job of describing what it entails, I'm going to copy her words right here.


As you may have read elsewhere, some of us bloggers are having to migrate our email subscriptions to a different platform if we formerly relied on Feedburner to do the job.  As of July 1, Google's Feedburner will no longer work for email subscriptions.  They are shutting that part of the service down.

That has left many of us scrambling for alternatives to handle sending our blog posts via email.  For me, it boiled down to two options that were free.  One of those options seemed a little easier to set up, and that was the service known as follow.it.

The important thing for you to know is:

  • If you were receiving my blog posts by email previously, you will continue to get them by email from follow.it.  There's nothing you need to do.  The email may look a little different, but the content will contain the entire blog post, as in the past.

  • If you have not previously signed up to get the blog by email, you can do that now!  Just enter your email address on the right sidebar near the top.  Be sure to confirm, if you're asked to do so, to make sure you start getting the posts.

Of course, you're always able to add this blog to your favorite feed reader, if that's how you prefer to keep up.  If you've already been reading the blog with a feed reader, such as Bloglovin' or Feedly, for instance, nothing will change.

I do want to point out a couple things about the emails from follow.it.  Because I chose their basic free plan, I have less options for controlling the look and functionality of the emails.  For instance, there may be links that follow.it adds to the bottom of each email.  These have NOTHING to do with my blog and I have no control over them.  I'm trying to think of a nice way of describing them, but I can't, so I'll just say it:  To me, it looks like click bait.  If you like that kind of thing, click away.  My suggestion, however, is that you simply ignore those links.  That's what I'd do.

To that end, you will note that I've now added my signature at the end of my posts.  If you're reading the post via email, when you see the signature, you'll know you've reached the end of my content. 

If you wish to view the blog post directly from the email, or if you wish to comment (and I love comments!), click the "Continue Reading" link directly below my signature in the email.  That'll take you directly to the blog.

Note that if you hit "Reply" to the email from follow.it, your reply will not reach me.  It goes to nowhere land.  Your best bet is to click through to the blog and comment there.  Or email me directly at salliesue57 at gmail dot com.  Again, I do not receive direct replies from the blog emails.  If I would upgrade to a premium plan, I could control that and other things; but since I make no income from blogging, the free basic plan is the best option for me at the moment. 

And if you don't subscribe via email yet, but want to (it's a great way to be sure you don't miss anything on the blog), fill in your email address in the field in the left side bar and confirm it if you get a confirmation request!  

Hugs!

Sarah

Calling All Quilters!


 Hi, all!

Well, it's almost that time of year again - this week we'll be halfway to Christmas again!  And that means that the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop is just around the corner.  So I'm calling all quilters - if you have a fabulous idea for a Christmas-related post and want to be a stop on this year's blog hop, drop me a line at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com.


The hop lasts for twelve days, from July 14th to July 25th, so there's room for plenty of bloggers.  I'll be hosting a quilt-along on this blog during that time to keep people's minds on Christmas, and to bring them here each day to be directed to that day's stops on the hop.


What are you responsible for if you agree to be a stop on the hop?  Well, first of all, a fun blog post on your own blog on the day you are scheduled for.  But also, helping promote all the other stops on the hop by posting the schedule and reminding your readers to visit the other bloggers.

Your post can be a tutorial, for a gift item, home decor piece, ornament, quilt, or something else I haven't thought of!  It could talk about fun things to do with kids to celebrate for the holiday.  It could be about your own family traditions.  The primary guideline is that it helps get people in the mood for Christmas!

You can do a giveaway, or not - that's completely up to you.  It's fun, but not necessary!  


So - - - who's interested?  


Hugs!


Sarah

Friday, June 18, 2021

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A New T-Shirt Quilt for a Special Person...

 

Hi, all!

It's Friday!  And a long-anticipated Friday for me, because today is the beginning of vacation!  Whoop whoop whoop!!!  But before I get totally distracted by sunshine, sand and the Gulf of Mexico, let's do a little whooping together.  Ready?  Let's go!

*&*&*&*&*&*&*


Meet Adeline!  Adeline was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and her mom wanted a quilt made with t-shirts with notes of encouragement donated by her friends and family.  

When she came to me, I agreed to make the quilt for her.  It is an honor to be part of those cheering on Adeline!


Because of the wide variety of shirts and unusual sizes, there was really no option but to make this a puzzle style quilt.


These blocks are so special!  


There's lots of texture in this quilt, such as the mermaid sequins shirts...


And the pink fringe!  


The donut print was actually a pair of leggings with a baby onesie - such a creative idea!


There's lots of bright, cheerful colors and loving sentiments, and plenty of empty filler pieces for others to add notes of encouragement...


...and even a Tennessee Vol shirt from relatives in Knoxville.


When I asked her mother what Adeline's favorite color was for the back, she said black - an unusual choice for a 7-year old, but do-able!  I found some soft and silky black minky for the back, and a black, grey and white stripe for the binding.


Here's the label her mom asked me to put on the quilt - you can see it at the center top of the quilt.  I found some pieces of a Mary Engelbreit print to frame it with, full of encouraging little notes itself.

Say a prayer for Adeline when you think of it, or send good vibes her way if that's more your style.  However we do it, let's lift up Adeline and her family as they go through a difficult time.  
Quilters are good at that!

*&*&*&*&*&*&*

And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?


What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share! We want to dance right along with you,

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!

Hugs!

Sarah

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

I May Have A Scrap Problem... But These Will Help!

 

Hi, all!

It's been a while since I've had the time (or the energy!) to post on a Wednesday, but don't think that means I have given up on my scraps!  Now that Hands2Help is in the books for this year, I should have more time to work on them.

And this week I'm very pleased to share something really special!  A while back I was contacted by the wonderful people at Felicia's World about their paper piecing templates. They asked if I would be willing to give them a try and post about it on my blog.  Now, if you've followed me for long you'll know that I have never really been able to wrap my head around the concept of paper piecing - but I decided that since I could make log cabin blocks by traditional piecing, I should be able to manage paper piecing.  So I said yes, and they sent me some samples to try!

After cutting out my vacation project, I took the leftover fabrics and cut them into 1.5" strips, then added some white strips and solid teal 2" squares.  


The instructions are clearly printed on the cover of the pad of templates, which was helpful!  I took my handy glue stick and put a dab on the center square, then placed a teal square right on top.  With that stuck on, it went pretty quickly!  For the first few blocks I made, I marked which ones were to have white strips (don't ask me how I know that might be a problem...) but after I had made three or four, they went together pretty easily!  


Stitching on the lines is easier than you might think!  But it's important to remember to use a shorter stitch - that makes it easier to take the papers off after the blocks are finished.


And as with all quilt blocks, squaring up is important!  It's easy to align your ruler with the dotted lines on the template that indicate the outer edges.


Et voila!  Look how pretty and perfect all those seams are!  I will say that paper piecing these blocks makes it easier to get a beautiful square block, even with narrow pieces.


And once the blocks are finished, it's time to play with how to lay them out!  This is just one of the designs I considered using for my blocks.


Once the design was decided on and the piecing done, it was time for quilting!  I decided to use a simple cross-hatch design that I marked on the piece with my hera marker.


And look! I may not have a summer quilt for my bed yet, but I've got a summer pillow!  (And hopefully after vacation I'll have a summer quilt top ready for quilting, too!)  I do love the colors in this piece - so light and cheerful.  The fabrics are a mix of Kate Spain fabrics from several different collections, and are the same that I will be using in my quilt top.

Be sure to pop over to Felicia's World and check out her line of paper piecing templates!  She's also got some great videos that will actually show you how to do it (if you're paper piecing challenged, like I was) and some really good tips, too.  And I can guarantee you that while the first few may be challenging, they DO get easier!  And they're a great way to use up some of those skinny scraps (and a little addictive, too).

Hugs!

Sarah

Monday, June 14, 2021

Make-A-List Monday - Getting Ready For Vacay!

Hi, all!

I love Mondays - and especially the Monday of the week before vacation!  It will be a super busy week as I get everything ready, but the anticipation makes it all worth it.  

But first, let's see what happened with last week's list....

1.  Finish assembling the t-shirt quilt top.
2.  Quilt and bind the t-shirt quilt.
Done!  I'll be delivering the quilt tomorrow, just in time for the little girl's treatments which begin Friday morning.  I'll share more pictures on Friday with a bit of the story...


3.  Divvy up the thank you gifts for Hands2Help, and then contact the sponsors who will be shipping directly with contact information for the recipients.
4.  Package up all the rest and get them in the mail!
I am overjoyed to say that Hands2Help 2021 is all. wrapped. up!  All the packages have been mailed, all the sponsors who were mailing directly have been connected with their recipients, and an email with a special gift has gone out to all those who finished the Challenge.  If you participated and haven't received the email, check your spam folder - the email was sent to a large number of blind copies and that sometimes causes them to be bounced.  
If you still can't find it, email me directly at 
salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com.


And I did get a few other things done, too!  I've been working on a special project for Scrappy Wednesday, and I made some headway on it this week.  I'll be sharing more on Wednesday....


And today I did something I've been considering for quite a while - I moved around some of the furniture in my studio!  It's just a start, there's much more to be done and the rest of the room looks like a bomb went off, but I think I'm going to like it.  Maybe I'll get Lilli to help me with the rest of it!  


And now, here's what I'll be doing this week...

1.  Pack up my sewing machine for vacation - she deserves a little fun in the sun, too!

2.  Organize everything we need to take with us.

3.  Spend a fun morning with the munchkins.

4.  Write two blogposts and schedule them in advance.

It's a short list, but it's also a short week with a lot to do!  And unfortunately, my brain is already at the beach - if I didn't have my lists, I'd be in trouble!  

So now, the only thing I need to know is - - - what are YOU working on this week?

Hugs!

Sarah

Friday, June 11, 2021

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Summer Sunshine!

 

Hi, all!

Hooray, it's Friday!  And we all know what that means - it's time for us to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?  Let's go!

*&*&*&*&*&*&*

A couple of weeks ago, I finished a quilt!  But because other things were going on (H2H, maybe?) I didn't have a chance to really share it with you.  But tonight as I sit under this lovely summer weight quilt I decided it was time to show it off!


I made this as part of an Instagram quilt-along held by These Clever Hands (@thesecleverhands) using her pattern Me Sew Happy.


This beautiful quilt used so many of my favorite bright scraps!  And truly scraps - I dug through the pieces I had already cut that were the right size, then hit the scrap bins for the other pieces I needed.  


I found pieces in my scrap bin that I didn't remember I had - like a square from the backing of the very first ministry quilt we made, pieces from clothing and quilts I've made for my grandkids, bits and bobs from other quilts that I remembered as I put this one together.  It was quite a walk down memory lane!


When I got ready to quilt it - on the spur of the moment - I wondered if I had anything appropriate to back it in my stash.  I went to look and found the perfect fabric - but is there enough?  YES!  There was just the right amount for the back of the quilt.  Hooray!


Then after quilting I looked at it and thought, "Wow, a striped rainbow binding would be perfect for this quilt!"  Went to check in the stash, and amazingly I found just the right binding fabric - and just the right amount of it for this quilt!  I must have been living right!


And one last shot, just because it's an awfully pretty quilt!  Oh, one more thing - I tried a silk blend batt for this quilt and I really like it!  It felt like a cotton batt while I was quilting it, but after washing, it has a beautiful soft drape and it's very light.  I definitely would use it again in summer weight quilts.

And in other news....


...this represents two good days of work by my granddaughter Lilli and me!  Five bags full of H2H thank you gifts are ready to go to the post office!  I guess I know where I'll be spending some quality time now...

So - - - can I get a whoop whoop?

*&*&*&*&*&*&*

And now it's your turn!

What's got you whooping it up this week?


What's making you do a little happy dance?

Share!  We want to dance right along with you,

And it's always more fun to dance with friends!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight.

Hope to see you there!

Hugs!

Sarah


Monday, June 7, 2021

Make-a-List Monday - It's Gonna Be A Busy Week!

 

Hi, all!

Mondays are so much fun, aren't they?  The fresh start to a brand new week, all full of potential!  Who knows where the week will take you? Monday is my day to take care of some weekly chores, like paying bills, doing laundry, and grocery shopping. That way the rest of the week is free for other things!  

And here's what I did with that "free" time last week...

1.  Meet with a woman about a quilt for a little girl with cancer.
Done!  Such a sad story - a 7-year old diagnosed with cancer, and getting ready to begin treatments in a few weeks.  Her mom wants a quilt for her to wrap up in and feel encouraged by during her treatments.

2.  Get as much done as humanly possible on that quilt this week!
Done!  Lilli and I laid out the quilt and graphed it out on paper, then I started making the individual blocks.  Once those were done, I assembled the sections, and you can see them all laid out here.  I still need to finish assembling the top, but I'm pleased to have gotten this far!


3.  Work on a special blogpost for Scrappy Wednesdays.
Started!  I've gotten this far on this project - I still need to finish off this strip of blocks with a setting but other things have to take precedence this week, probably.


4.  Keep up with the counts for Hands2Help as people link up their beautiful quilts this week!
Done, and WOW!  What a great final number...


...and the count actually has increased since I created this graphic, and is now 1,044! That's a new record, all thanks to an amazing group of quilters!

I also took a little time to flex my own baking muscles (not too much, it's just a no-knead bread!) by making this lovely thing!



This was my first foray into really experimenting with the basic no-knead bread recipe, and I added sugar and cinnamon into the basic dough in the first mix.  Then the next morning, I turned it out onto a floured board and patted it into a rectangle, then topped it with a mix of cinnamon and brown sugar.  I rolled it up, tucked the ends underneath it, and put it in a preheated dutch oven to cook.  Fresh hot cinnamon toast bread for breakfast!


And I finally got a picture of the house with the solar floodlights!  The house has wired lights for the front, but they are controlled by a switch outside, or via remote which we can't figure out how to make work - so this was our solution!  I think I paid about $15 each for the solar lights, and they work great, even on days that don't have too much sun.  I don't have to turn them on - they come on at dusk and run until they run out of power.  This was taken at ten at night, so any time after this is just extra!

Enough about last week - here's what's on tap for this week!

1.  Finish assembling the t-shirt quilt top.

2.  Quilt and bind the t-shirt quilt.

3.  Divvy up the thank you gifts for Hands2Help, and then contact the sponsors who will be shipping directly with contact information for the recipients.

4.  Package up all the rest and get them in the mail!

Lilli and her organizational skills are sure to come in handy with the last two items - she's a hard worker!  I've been waiting for years for her to get old enough to help.  It's also good for her to see what's involved in a big project like this.  I'm hoping she can help me come up with some new ideas that make it run more smoothly!

So that's what I'll be doing this week, and now my only question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?

Hugs!

Sarah