Monday, July 21, 2014

All My Napkins

A saga of napkin making is in progress. 
 I *finally* managed to get all 50 of my napkins finished this weekend.  
They are not perfect, but they are finished!! 
 I have learned a lot of things while making them. 
 Like how to glue the edges so they are a little bit straighter, how to miter the corners a little better and to use my walking foot to topstitch the edges down.  
All in all not too bad.
Now I am going to help Robin with her 50!

In stacks of ten of each color way.


All stacked together


Probably my favorite napkin of the 50


I made these little individual chicken pot pies too and boy were they GOOD! 
 (and super easy)
 Here they are before baking 


and here they are after baking


It was a busy weekend ( which ones aren't lately??)

What did you do over the weekend?

~XOP~


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy Birthday! (think of the voice of Frosty the snowman here)



So, yeah, that just happened.
 I had another birthday, last Friday!
Woo Hoo!!
After dealing with so much these last few months,
 I was happy to have added another year under my belt.
 My on-line friends and my real life friends have been so great!
When I got to work a co-worker/friend had left these (from her garden) on my desk.
 Aren't they beautiful??


Then my friend, Robin, brought these great HTF Munki Munki prints and gave them to me!


Hubby came to work and took me out for lunch.  Zingerman's YUM!


When I arrived home these beauties were waiting for me from my friend Cori
 (Who was NOT supposed to buy me anything). 
 We usually celebrate by going out to dinner as her birthday is in July also.


We ordered Chinese for dinner and hubby bought me my favorite desert, Tiramisu.


My daughter, Shelby, took me out for dinner on Thursday to celebrate. 
 My son had the best line about my birthday too. 
 He asked me how could he compete with 7-11? 
"They celebrate your birthday by giving out free Slurpees to everyone!!!"  
LOL

On Saturday we did some running around and 
one of the places we went was the Calder Dairy farm in Carleton.


Geese on parade!  
They were walking in a straight line all by themselves.
  How odd!


What's a trip to the farm without a photo of the Calder cow?


As you saw from my last post I worked on napkins most of the rest of the weekend. 
 I just want those babies finished and out of my life! 
 I have a new project planned, but more about that once I have my fabric pulled.

Other friends from the internet sent cards, a cake, some fabric and some Best Press too.
 (Thanks, Dianne, Windy and Abby!!)   
No gifts from the family though.  
I guess that means I am free to buy whatever I want right? 
 That's how I am taking that one!  
It was a little disappointing if I am being completely honest but 
I guess it is not as exciting to them to celebrate my aging, LOL.  

How do you celebrate your birthday?

~XOP~


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I am linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. 
 It seems like I have been working on Patchwork napkins forever!!  
I now have 50 fronts sewn, pressed and trimmed.  
No thanks to my helper!




Autumn thought this pile of napkins made a great place to nap! 
 GREAT, now I will have to de-fur them too. 
 I hope no one at the wedding reception is allergic to cats!!


I also have 50 backs cut and corners trimmed. 
 All I need to do is put them together and sew the edging. 
 It takes some time to press and sew the edging. 
 I practiced and it goes much easier using Elmer's washable school glue and a hot iron. 
 I need to press and glue all the edges then top stitch them down.  

The gray fabric is from Allissa Haight Carlton's new line of Modern Solids,
 or so my friend Judith tells me, and it was wonderful to work with! 
 You can find it at Marmalade Fabrics and probably other places too.  
The patchwork and backs are all Kaffe Fassett fabrics.


I am hoping to get my 50 (of the total 200) finished this weekend. 
 Hey a person can dream right?

What is your current WIP?

~XOP~


Thursday, July 10, 2014

AAMQG Retreat

I am so far behind in my blogging.  
Life has so gotten in the way of this blog.  
Sorry to all of you.  
I have been sewing just no time to talk about it here.  
I seem to be doing a lot of Instagraming. 
 You can find me there at mamaspark59.

The AAMQG had a retreat a few weekends ago that I went to. 
 I left on a Thursday and met up with my friend, Windy, from Grand Rapids.  
It was so great that she got to join our retreat!! 
 We met on Instagram and became friends in real life too.  
I packed WAY more than I thought I would finish, but I was hopeful!  
My daughter's car is still in the shop and she has my car so
 I am religated to driving the Mustang convertible.  
Awe, poor me!  
Except that the top needs to be repaired so I am not allowed to put the top down!  
EVERYONE judges me as I am driving on a beautiful day with the top up and everyone wants to race me leaving stop lights, LOL.

Here is what my trunk looked like.


First up on my long list of projects to finish was my Birdie Stitches quilt top. 
 I had to add the little squares around 3 of the blocks, cut the sashing and the borders.  
Then I got to assemble it. 
 I managed to get this finished on Thursday before I went to bed.  
Now I have to make a back and make some binding and send it to the quilter!


 Next up, on Friday was to sew my Christmas Sampler BOM from the Fat Quarter Shop. 
 I had a LOT of work to do on that top for sure.  
The sashing is pieced and so is the border.  
I worked all day on Friday and all night.  
Not finished but a good way to the goal for sure.  


Saturday I got up and started on it again. 
 This time I was successful in getting the entire top completed!


Now I was on a roll!!  
What to do next?  
As you know I agreed to help my friend make napkins for her daughter's wedding reception, 
so I dug in and started making blocks.


Windy brought some Flatter by Soak and it was fabulous to use for the pressing.  


I got about 35 different blocks done which was a great start to the 50 or so I committed to making.

It was late then so I packed up and went to bed.  
I helped clean up on Sunday and headed home around lunch time. 
 We were leaving on Monday afternoon for North Carolina to watch my daughter defend her thesis, so there was lots to get ready for the road trip!  
I will leave that for another day though.

~XOP~


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Napkins Abound

I know this blog has sort of derailed of late from quilting but I have finally gotten into my sewing room.  Yay!  I am going to a quilting retreat this weekend with the AAMQG so I am gathering up projects to work on and organizing.  
I just did a destash on Instagram under the #thegreatfabricdestash if anyone is interested. 
 I am mamaspark59 on IG.

I have a friend that I work with that is wanting to make 200 napkins
 for her daughter's wedding reception in October.  
Being the good friend that I am, I volunteered to help.  
YIKES! 
 The pattern is by Ann Marie and can be found here.  
It is very well written and has been fun to make.  
My friend wanted us to use Kaffe fabric.  
Here are my first patchwork pieces.


My friend, Judith, gave me the linen and the backing to make the napkins.  
I have the first 10 all cut out and one is completely finished.  
You can see (a not very good photo) right here.


The edge is rolled over and top stitched.  
That was the most challenging part!  
I found using a little Elmer's washable glue and my iron helped.  First I folded over one time and pressed.  
For the final fold over I used a fine line of glue, folded the edge over and
 positioned the corner miter, then pressed. 
 This dries the glue and holds everything in place.  
If you are  not happy with the placement of the edge or miter just tug it apart, 
put on a little more glue, reposition and press.  
The glue washes out when you are finished and you have NO pins to mess with.  
I pinned the front to the back before I began on the edge and had no trouble. 
 Then I top stitched all the way around.

I think Robin (the other friend helper) and I are each going to be making 50 
(OMG what was I thinking, LOL)

Ann Marie did a fabulous job writing this pattern.
I think you all need to go here and pick up a copy right now!!!

(picture from Ann Marie's website)

If you do, then tell her you found her from me!

Happy sewing!

~XOP~

















Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tribute to Gizmo

If you follow my blog you will probably know all about Gizmo  
Remember Gizmo, the house peacock?  No?  
Well here are some photos of him to refresh your memory.




My daughter raised him from the time he was 6 days old.  They shared a special bond.


Gizmo got very ill last week. 
 He stopped eating and drinking and was very lethargic.  
Shelby took him to the vet on Friday and got some antibiotics.  
On the way home, she was stopped at a light in her car and the person behind her did not stop 
and she was rear ended.  
She is fine and so was Gizmo, but the car?  Not so much. 
 Then on Saturday while we were away, I received the text I did not want.  
Gizmo passed away.  
My daughter is just distraught!  
So yesterday we drove to Michigan State to have a necropsy done 
so we can know what Gizzy died from.  
It was very hard for her to say good bye and leave him there and I am so proud of her for doing it. 
 I know when she has time to grieve she will want to imprint another peacock so she needs to know if there is something at her house that caused his death.  
She is thinking a protozoan infection but hopefully we will know something soon.  

This is how I will remember him the best!


RIP Gizmo. 
 You were one loved and spoiled birdie!  
We will all miss you but I know you are now with Osiris and my dad keeping God amused! 

Shelby has a very loving tribute she wrote about Gizmo and you can read it here.

A good friend of hers (cataclysmess) painted this for her.
Love you Gizmo!


~XOP~