Friday, June 16, 2017

An Apron Journey!

It feels sew dang good when I can finally reveal a 007 project!  But even better when that project gives you the opportunity to make new friends and gift another!  This one was a 6 month journey!  That is a long journey for a simple apron!  Yep ... this dillydally life cracks me up!
A few years ago, this amazing women opened the "Little Cordova Bakery"!  She and her business have been such a blessing to our community!  She makes everything with fresh ingredients!  Delightful treats are mixed and baked in small batches.  No item is created with pre-made mixes, nor is anything fried!  Her business has grown and she now employs others, some who are former students in my classroom.  For quite a while, I had been trying to think of a way to show my appreciation.
Enter into this journey ... Smiling Seal Sewing!  A quilt shop in Valdez ... our neighbor here in Prince William Sound!  Owner, Karen Feero contacted me late in 2016 about coming to their community to teach a quilt and apron class!  We scheduled the weekend event for February 2017!
Karen requested an Alaskan themed apron in the "Kuspuk" style.  She sent me a pattern that I could adapt and the fun began!  I raided my fabric stash and came up with these blueberry prints!  I associate blueberries with our summers in Alaska and thought they would be perfect for this apron!  It was while working out the bugs ... making it reversible ... and updating techniques that I got the idea to make it for Theresa!  My visits to the bakery began to take on a different focus ... yep, I continued to buy coffee and bakery treats ... but I was secretly estimating her body measurements!  Custom fit aprons function better and are flattering!  I wanted both for Theresa!
In Valdez, this QBee modeled my sample for everyone!  Perfect fit on this adorable model!
It was lovely spending the day with these women ... making aprons ... talking about preparing food for our loved ones ... sharing our Alaskan lifestyle!  Focusing on the important things in life!  I loved building friendships with these women!
Bright spring flowered apron!
Beach themed apron!
These two Valdez QBees sent me pictures of them in their finished aprons!  So fun to see them modeling their perfectly fit aprons!  Makes my heart sew very happy!
Yesterday, I dropped by the bakery for a loaf of bread.  Yep, Theresa was wearing her apron ... am thrilled that she likes and uses it!
I am so grateful for this simple apron and the journey it took me on.  The opportunity to make new QBees in Valdez ... and to thank a woman who has had such a positive impact on the community I love!  I am so fortunate to live this dillydally life!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, June 12, 2017

Our Hearts are Hurting

The human experience is filled with complex circumstances that force us to travel emotionally from extreme joy to excruciating pain.  Here in my remote corner of the planet ... our small community is dealing with a great deal of hurt.  A young man has left this earthly life, and we are drowning in sorrow.  We celebrated his birth ... we participated in his childhood ... we guided him through his adolescence ... we celebrated his personal and professional success ... and we are unprepared to say good-bye.
The depth of pain we feel is a direct reflection of the powerful love we had for him.  We wrap our love around his parents and brother as their pain is indescribable.  Hoping that our love will bring them comfort.
The world kept turning this past week ... here it seemed to stop.  We have been brought to our knees and are reminded that above all else, only love matters.

"Let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth." John 3:18
"Love one another." John 13:34 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Spring Knitting!

Spring has finally arrived here in my remote corner of the planet!  Every plant is displaying their new growth in my favorite version of green!
Two weeks ago, the same pond looked like this!  As mentioned previously, I have been buried in 007 and UFO projects.  Fortunately for me, Nissa requires a lot of exercise.  That means we spend time outdoors every day ... no matter what the weather!  With spring arriving so late this year, I was forced to seek and create spring dillydally style!
Daisy Girl and Company Wristlet Bag
Yep ... I am a professional at creating my own fun!  Retail therapy to the rescue!  If Mother Nature wasn't going to cooperate ... I would buy my own version of spring!
As long term followers know, I am a big fan of Sherri Falls and her quilt designs, This and That Patterns.  She is also a knitter, and makes the sweetest and most useful knitting bags!
I love to take handwork out the road when temperatures allow ...
Impossible to get Nissa to pose for pictures.
... it is so nice to linger after a long walk ...
Sometimes her photo bombing works to my advantage!
... and cradle myself in Mother Nature's arms while dillydallying.  I filled my new bag with a project I had started right before my knee surgery a year ago!  It was impossible to knit during my recovery and it quickly became a knitting UFO.  It felt wonderful to pull it out and make a bit of progress!
Coastal living means that weather patterns change quickly ... one day after a walk, it took an entire pot of tea to warm up! Yep ... we were wearing mittens on our walks in May!
After a few rainy afternoons, Little Blue Bear began to come to life!
He really is turning into a cutie!  And I have had to convince Nissa that he is not a "dog" toy!  Even on dreary rainy days life is never dull in DillyDallydom!
Little Blue Bear is also developing a personality of his own!  He is a sweetie and a bit precocious for a bear who is still waiting for arms and legs! ;-)
The sun is shining and temps are supposed to be above 60 degrees today!  Welcome June!  Let's fill the month with dillydally fun!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Saturday, May 27, 2017

UFO Busting!

Everyone in my remote corner of the planet is busy!  Our population has doubled ... it is difficult to find a parking space in town ... commercial fishing has begun ... yep, our seasonal economy is in full swing!
Impossible to get Nissa to pose ... but occasionally a photo bomb works out!
My 007 work continues ... I'm no longer neck deep as a couple secret projects are finished and have been delivered!  Whoot!  Whoot!  But ... I am still waist deep!  Secret agent progress continues ... and am unable to show those!  However, I have been doing a bit of UFO busting that I can share!
Digging in the DillyDally "vault" has brought to the surface projects I'd forgotten about!  This was a "twister" class I took years ago.  It was before they made rulers for this technique.  All the piecing was done, I had even marked the quilting lines!  I dug in the stash ... found some fabric that would work for backing ... and got busy!  Fortunately, I had already cut the binding and had stored it with the top!  It feels great to have it done ... it will serve as a table topper this fall!
Here is another "oldie but goodie" made with one of my all-time-favorite fabric lines!  It is a Moda fabric, designed by Me & My Sister called Strawberry Lemonade!  I have made so many projects using this fabric!  This was a table runner I pieced using a jellyroll.  The pattern came from a magazine.  Fabric from my stash was used for the backing and binding ... and done!  
This is a UFO that isn't very old!  It is my first online mystery project!  I signed up for it while traveling in Iowa last fall!  I had started and was about half done with the piecing ... then life got in the way ... hmmm, that seems to happen a lot.  It was on the top of the UFO pile and the mystery had been revealed months ago!  I finished the piecing!  I really like the design and layout so I was happy to finish it!
The next few UFOs/007 projects are too large for my small sewing space, so midweek I commandeered the dining room table!  Flicka took charge and supervised the move!  Can you find her in the above photo?  She is dwarfed by the pile of projects!
We've been busy!  This table runner was made with a Honey Bun ... years ago!  Another fabric line that I loved and used in multiple projects!  The piecing was done ... had to layer, quilt and will bind!
Flicka is in charge ... as always!  Here she is evaluating my machine quilting on this 007 project!  She is such a task master!
Occasionally she does insist we take a break!  It is not a secret that this petite furball has my heart in her paws!  Cannot imagine accomplishing anything without her!
Our days are long with the sun rising around 4:30 am and setting about 10:45 pm.  We received several inches of rain this week!  All this 007 and UFO work has been getting done because it is too wet and cold to be outdoors for very long!  Win/win for a dillydallier!
I took this pic yesterday on our front deck ... hail falling from blue skies!  Yep ... all four seasons in an instant!  Too fun!

 Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A DillyDally Diversion

As mentioned before ... I have been buried in 007 projects.  A lot of dillydallying that cannot be shared!  The good news is that some have been finished and delivered, but there are many still in progress!
However ... I did give myself a break and allowed myself a dillydally diversion!
I have always loved nine patches!   While traveling last fall, the technique in this book for constructing nine patch blocks was being demonstrated!  I was hooked and knew I had to give it a try!
I have a serious weakness for precuts and this particular charm pack was a gift from friends.  I lacked yardage from this line ... resulting in an inability to manipulate the project in terms of design!  Hmm ... this would be difficult.  I actually love challenges like this ... especially when I am forced to make do and problem solve!
I pieced the blocks ... following the technique ... working it in leaders and enders style while working on other items.
Before long, forty-two charm squares became the same number of nine patches! Next came the real challenge ... what to do with them!
The book is filled with options for using and setting nine patches.  I eventually decided to use the one on the back cover because it used both the dark and light blocks.
The neutrals used in the prints were white, gray, and navy.  A trip to my local quilt store enabled me to find a solid navy and gray print that would work.  Sew ... I got busy and made quarter square blocks.  Pieced the blocks together and added a narrow border.
I chose the backing from my stash ... wild sunglasses!  Her Majesty ... her walking foot ... a stitch in the ditch quilting festival ensued!
There wasn't enough of the navy available in town for binding, so back to "making do"!  I purchased a bit of bright green that "sort of" matches the green in the charm squares and the backing.  Challenge met!!!
I honestly believe that when you find something good, you should share it!  So at our guild's spring retreat, I demonstrated the technique!  Barb H went home, raided her stash and started sewing!
Here she has finished piecing her blocks ... cannot wait to see how she decides to set them together!  Such fun!
Barb C went home and pulled out a charm pack from her stash!
She decided to add a bit of wool applique'!
Quilted and bound!
Beautiful results!
It is sew fun to learn something new!  Now my head is spinning with nine patch possibilities!  When I find myself overwhelmed ... I have found that taking a dillydally diversion helps to clear my head and I'm then able to return to other projects with more energy!  Diversions are a good thing ... I highly recommend it!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally