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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Real World Highlights

What a difference a year makes ...
... a year ago we traveled to Anchorage for my knee replacement surgery.  Necessary ... but not fun!
5.8.2017 - 4:45 am
This year we spent the same week in Anchorage for annual medical appointments and supply shopping ... much less stressful!  We love traveling by ferry when possible ... but there can be a downside!  Check in was at 4:00 am!  A bit tough on the body and the brain!
5.8.2017 - 5:30 am
At least this time of the year it is light out ... and we can enjoy the scenery!
My favorite way to dillydally while on the ferry is to knit.  We also napped, ate breakfast, and drank coffee.  Coffee is a necessity when you have such an early departure!
We arrived in Whittier around 11:30 am.  Yep ... winter is still present ... things usually green up around the third week of May.
Chair rail made with wine corks at our favorite restaurant, Jens.
Time is never wasted when we visit the "real world" in Anchorage.  Days are spent going to appointments and power shopping.
But in the evenings we dillydally!  We treat ourselves with fun cocktails!  Mine was a blueberry infused drink ... I intend to copy it here at home!
We splurge on appetizers!
Rhubarb Cocktail!
Four evenings of fine dining and fun cocktails!  What a great way to dillydally in the "real world"!
Power shopping meant surrounding ourselves with things that are unavailable in our remote corner of the planet!  All the produce makes us drool ... yep, it is unattractive, but we can't help ourselves!
And a trip in May would not be complete without some time at a nursery!  This farm girl wanted to literally roll in their compost mountain pile!  Mr. had to restrain me!  We purchased plants that will survive on our deck ... container flowers is the reality for us.
On Friday we returned to Whittier to sail home.  Everyone in this small coastal community lives in the building pictured above.
There is very little land to grow on, but Whittier is south central Alaska's gate to Prince William Sound.  They have a very busy harbor with the ferry, commercial fishing, pleasure boats and cruise ships arriving and departing regularly this time of year.
5.12.2017 - 1:15 pm
With our SUV packed with supplies to help us through the summer, we settled down to enjoy our ride home.
It was a beautiful day to sail across Prince William Sound!  The first cruise ship of the season was on its way to Whittier!
Whew!  We planned our trip just in time!  Once the tourist season starts, a trip to Anchorage becomes difficult for most Alaskans!  No complaints, we love to share our state with those who come to visit!
Blue is my favorite color!
As much as we enjoy our time in the "real world" ... we are always happy to return home to DillyDallydom!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

These two made me a mother.
This amazing woman taught me how to be mother!

And here are the results!  I have loved every moment of motherhood!  I am both humbled and grateful.

Do what you love!  Love your mother!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Celebrating Mr. DillyDally!

Haines, 1981
Happy Birthday Mr. DillyDally!
Alaska, 1979
The journey began in 1979 as a group of us sought out adventure here in Alaska! Thirty-eight years of navigating this life together makes for many wonderful memories!  Best of all ... the adventure continues and more memories will be made!

Spend your life with someone you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Little Sunshine!

"Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting,
small but approachable, Butterflies lead you to the
sunny side of life. 
And everyone deserves a little sunshine."
                                                                                  Jeffrey Glassberg
I pieced this sweet little butterfly quilt approximately 8 years ago ...
... it has been patiently waiting to be transformed from a top to a quilt!  I have been busting through some UFOs and it was time to sandwich this top with batting and backing.
Spring is emerging quite late here in my remote corner of the planet ... we've been in need of a little self-made sunshine!  That mission began with "stitch in the ditch" quilting around the butterfly shapes and sashing!
Next step was machine appliquéing the bodies.  Fortunately I had already completed the hand embroidered antenna, so it was just a quick blanket stitch around each one!
Initially, that was all the quilting I had intended to do, but the butterflies needed a bit of something to bring them to life!  Sew ... on went the free motion foot ... out came the freezer paper ... templates were drawn ... and before long the butterflies took flight!
It is a simple fact ... I hoard gingham.  And when I can find woven gingham, it is treasure saved only to be used for special circumstances.  The black butterfly bodies were a bit overpowering and I needed to dim their impact on the eye!  I wanted each the butterflies to shine ... so more black was needed, but it had to be subtle!
Small, eighth inch black gingham to the rescue!  On the bias ... as that was a dillydally necessity!
Final step to completion ... into the wash!
I love quilts best after they have been laundered!    A gentle wash brought my butterflies to life!
Here they hang on my living room wall ... spreading a little sunshine everyday!

Do what you love!  Create sunshine!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Little Something - Sew Very Wonderful!

Here in DillyDallydom we are celebrating!
A dear friend and designer, Roseann Meehan Kermes' first book with Martingale Publishing has recently been released!  Yep ... we are doing a happy dance!
How cute is this!
I ordered my copy directly from Roseann and have been anxiously anticipating its arrival!  Monday evening we checked our P.O. box ... and there it was! You can order a copy here!  Roseann traveled to Cordova last summer and taught at our guild's 30th Anniversary event, details here and here.  At that time, she shared that this book would be coming ... I've been excited ever since!  As a gift, she included two little kits to get me started!  How wonderful!
Yesterday, I ignored my obligations and immediately pulled out the kits ... gathered the equipment and supplies ... and got busy!
Just like Roseann, the directions are clear and easy to follow.  She has included many tips and techniques that are very useful when working with wool applique'!  I began by making the strawberry blossom pins!  They are sew dang cute ... delightful to make!
The second kit was the scissor fob ... sew very sweet!  Fun and easy to make!
Every project in this book in very user friendly!  Small projects that will make thoughtful gifts and beautiful items for everyone's home!
Girlfriend DD with Roseann
I met Roseann years ago while on a quilt shop hop bus tour in 2009.  She followed my blog then (I had under 10 followers that entire first year) and empowers everyone around her!  A true kindred spirit, she immediately understood my dillydally philosophy!  She is so generous with her talent and encouragement!  I am so very excited for her and this chapter in her life!  
Her projects in this book are small is size, but they carry a huge impact!  This afternoon, I have a "dillydally playdate" with my WBees (Wool Buddies) and will begin another "little something"!  Stay tuned!

Do what you love!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally