Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cobblestone Lane travels come to an end...

The last leg of our travels down Cobblestone lane happened has been a great trip...and we'll soon have the quilts to prove it! ;-)

Here are five of the "Lucky Seven" who traveled down Cobblestone Lane together...we have had a ton of fun!  We really enjoyed Sherri Falls pattern...her instructions were very clear...and, as always, her designs are inspiring.  Kay from Heavenly Patchwork was so consistent in sending us our kits each month...the fabric was generously cut...and she encouraged our participation, even though we live 3,000 miles away.  We are grateful to them both...what a talented and kind mother/daughter team!

I was sooooo relieved today to find that some of my fellow travelers had not finished their applique blocks yet either...there are so many choices when it comes to how to do this was fun to see how the others had chosen to do theirs.  It never ceases to amaze me how much we continue to learn from one another...someone will think outside the box and that opens new possibilities for all is impossible to ever have "seen" or "heard" it all!  I love it!

We spent the afternoon cutting out the alternate blocks, sashing and borders.  A few even began sewing the alternate blocks and others worked on their applique blocks.  We snacked on quiche and coconut cake...

I made the quiche with fresh eggs given to me by QBee Julie...noooo Mr. DillyDally (he thinks he is so funny)...she doesn't lay eggs...her hens do!  Believe me...fresh eggs in our community are more valuable than gold!  Mr. DillyDally and I have been known to fight over who gets the last one!  QBee Barb made the coconut cake and served it with whipped cream and was delicious!  We had such fun...quilting...snacking...catching up with one another...solving the problems of the world...we accomplished everything that quilter's everywhere do...surrounding one another with support.

Even the weather cooperated...
Snow...rain...gale force wind...perfect weather for dillydallying with QBees!  Hope you find time to dillydally with your matter the weather!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Break comes to a close...

Tuesday morning I decided it was time to pack up the hand applique and set it could wait...I had a list of things that needed to get done this week...and these two blocks kept distracting me.  So with my list in hand...I got busy!

I won't share the mundane things I did...the good news is...I got a lot done and was able to cross quite a few items off the list!  It felt soooo good!  But I will share the dillydally related things...I cut out FOUR quilts!  Whoo-hooo!  You know how it is when you work full time...most of the time there are only small windows of opportunity to dillydally...10 minutes here...half an hour there...not enough time to pull everything out and prepare I love having projects cut and ready...that way I can get a lot more done in those small pockets of time.   Two of the quilts are gifts, so I can't share those until I give them...

This was a kit I bought last summer during the Minnesota Shop Hop.  It is a twin sized quilt using Terry Atkinson's Slide Show pattern.  The pattern will do a good job  of showcasing the 2009 Minnesota Shop Hop Fabric.  The recipient of this quilt will love the Minnesota theme!

It took me two days to cut this queen sized quilt out.  It is another Terry Atkinson (yes, I am her biggest fan and president of the Alaska chapter of her fan club) quilt, called Monterrey Medallions and I have wanted to make it for some time.  I have been collecting several Kansas Troubles fabrics and saving them...just for this.  Technically, it really isn't a scrap quilt...but I am scrapping it up within the Kansas Troubles palette and am using multiple fabrics for the background.  The piecing is done in begins with the center star...which is then surrounded by wood pile it is stars all around...and finally it is bordered with Jacob's Ladder blocks!  I am just itching to get started on this, but I need to finish some gifts first...sometimes it is very difficult to prioritize...ugh!

In amongst all this cutting, I've enjoyed some time with many of my favorite QBees.  It is so much more fun to dillydally with friends!  Today I was invited to have lunch with one of them in her home...she had prepared a terrific new recipe...shared her current projects...we loafed on her lovely new couch...and enjoyed an afternoon of stimulating conversation...precious moments.  Our time is so often is such a compliment when someone chooses to spend their valuable time focused entirely on you...I feel very blessed...and am very grateful...

Spring break is over, so I thought I'd end today's post with this picture of Teacup...sitting on my sewing table...gazing out the window...seeking spring... ;-) ...onward...go and dillydally!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break?

The first thing I did this morning was begin to tame the hand applique beast.  I finished basting down the edges of each piece except the stems.  I tackled those later in the day.

Spent a bit of time house cleaning...dreamed of spring...but it wasn't happening...

I took this picture through the screened window in my sewing you can looks nothing like spring in my corner of the world...I needed some inspiration...and it came in the mail...

There was an article highlighting the six best chocolate chip cookie recipes in the midwest.  So I decided to make the one they gave first place.  It comes from "Lindsay's Chocolate Cafe and Coffee House" located in O'Fallen, Missouri.  It is similar to a traditional Toll House with the addition of rolled oats and grated milk chocolate.  I did leave out the nuts at Mr. DillyDally's request.

They are delicious!  Now if I were really ambitious I would try the remaining 5 recipes at well.  The DillyDally's do not need to have that many cookies readily is just the two of us at home...I'll try those recipes another time.

By early afternoon it was time to dillydally again.  I looked at my list...promptly ignored it...and went back to continue taming the applique beast...

Decided to sweeten the experience by watching season one of the TV program, Glee.  I have never watched it, but it had good reviews and I thought I would give it a try.  I put the first DVD in and faced the challenge ahead of that all the pieces had their edges basted was time to tackle those 1/4 inch stems...UGH!

I had several choices of how to create these...finally chose the one I felt would give me good results...without making it any more difficult than these blocks already were.  I cut bias strips that were 1.5 inches wide...thank you Kay for cutting generous kits...folded them in half...sewed them wrong sides together 1/4 inch from the folded edge.

I then took them to the ironing board and pressed the generous seam allowances open.  This photo shows one right side up and the other wrong side up.  Having a generous seam allowance made the pressing very painless...that was important...I am in enough pain already! ;-)

I then trimmed the seam allowances down to slightly less than 1/8 inch.  It was very far that was the only painless part of this road I've decided to travel...for that brief moment...I felt like I was making progress! was time to begin stitching things down...a slow process for me...but at least now the blocks are beginning to take shape...the light at the end of the tunnel is visible... ;-)

Glee is a very entertaining show...the afternoon flew by while I was busy taking charge of the applique challenge I created...and large fluffy snowflakes fell outside.  No...there are no signs of spring...but it was a day well spent...even when dillydally activities are challenging...they are ohhh sooo rewarding...I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Spring Break!

This was the view from our front deck this morning around 7:00 am.  As you can see...the only sign of spring in our little corner of the world this time of the the light.  Every day is getting 6:00 am it is relatively light and tonight at 8:30 pm it will still be somewhat light.  We welcome it...our energy increases...we're able to spend more time outdoors...but we know that it won't be until the third week of May that our trees will leaf and that we have to wait until the first of June to safely place our plants outside.

We begin spring break always I have a long list of things I want to accomplish...I always over plan...but my expectations are realistic...I begin knowing it is humanly impossible to do it all...I just like lists and crossing items feels good!  Some of the items on my list are work related, some involve housekeeping, but most of them are dillydallying! Ya-Hoo! 

Now...when it comes to my dillydallying...I have some good news and...some...not necessarily bad news, but definitely some struggles...first...the good news...

Remember this...
...I finished quilting and bound it to become this...

...and the leftovers...

...became this candle mat.

Now for the is full of them...but sometimes I am my own worst enemy...I just make things more difficult than they need to be.  Our final block for the Cobblestone Lane BOM quilt we're making is an applique block.  Let me begin by saying that the designer, Sherri Falls is in no way responsible for the mess I've gotten myself in...had I followed her expert and well written instructions...I would not be knee deep know what I'm suggesting...MUD!  For "who knows why" I decided that I would hand applique my blocks, which would make sense if I was adept at hand applique...but I'M NOT!!!  Now I have two QBees that are hand applique professionals...if you've followed this've seen their work...the one who appliqued the dozen roses (11 pieces in each rose) in the vase with stems and leaves...and the second one who is currently working on a rooster with 130 pieces!  I know...they are amazing...and because I rub elbows with them...I guess I "thought" I could do two 12 inch blocks...obviously I wasn't thinking!  So for the past week, this is what I have to show for myself...

I not only looks like a is a mess!  I am in way over my head and I haven't even started on the 1/4 inch stems!  Do you think anyone will notice if I use magic markers for the stems?  Needless to say...I will be working hard to find my way out of this corner...the Queen of Applique QBees have offered assistance, but we Scandinavians are a stubborn lot...I got myself in this mess...I'll work my way out.  I hope. Stay tuned...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Week Without Dillydallying

It is hard to believe that it has been a whole week since my last post...but what a week!  I thought that I had taken very good care of my cold last weekend...after all I missed at least half of the quilting activities.  Monday was the end of the quarter at work, so grades were due that day...Tuesday, got up but was unable to get ready for work...same on Wednesday, spent both days sleeping with a box of was not hit hard.  Back to work on Thursday and Friday...every teacher knows that it is more work to be gone, then it is to go in somewhat we never miss school unless we are too sick to move!  Saturday was spent in a technology class.  Had a one hour lunch break, hurried to attend birthday lunch for a special QBee...vehicle was stuck...husband called for assistance...arrived to lunch late...wolfed down lunch...that wasn't a pretty site either...rushed back to class...suffered from indigestion all home just in time to escape to Lake Wobegon.
But the day ended beautifully.  My point in all this is that I did absolutely no dillydallying this past'm!  No dillydally is not good for stress level goes too high...I loose my sense of humor...I think too fast...I say things I shouldn't...I become stubborn...the list could go on and on.  Mr. DillyDally could probably come up with additional symptoms, but we won't provide him with that opportunity. I should have done my weekly housekeeping...but instead I dillydallied...Mr. DillyDally was in complete agreement...he wanted me to dillydally too...I must have been in bad shape! ;-)
I finished the bag I started with QBee Valerie on her birthday...she finished hers too...

I had started the smaller version offered in the same pattern, and finished that one today as well...

The pattern is published by Indygo Junction, and is titled Grids and Grommets.  We had never worked with the large, snap in grommets before.  I love the look, but initially we were both very disappointed.  Every time we opened the bag or put anything in it, one of two things happened.  Either the fabric pulled itself out of the grommet or the grommets came unsnapped.  We were pretty unhappy...we loved the bags...but couldn't use them...UGH!  QBee Julie suggested staystitching around the hole cut for the grommet...I did that with a very small stitch length, 0.5.  On the second bag, I did the staystitching before I cut the hole...of course that made it much easier.  I also choose to use a strong fabric glue on both rings before snapping them far it is working...I will keep you posted.  If any of you out there in cyberspace have used them and have suggestions, please share them.  I really like the look of the grommets...Heather Mulder of Anka's Treasures has a new book out for handbags that use them...I intend to get that and make some in her style...she may also have hints on using the grommets in the book.

After finishing the handbags, I put the musical, Show Boat, into my DVD player and watched that while Peanut and I began my hand applique Cobblestone Lane blocks.  Applique can really stress me out...but Peanut is my personal dillydally all went well.  I can honestly say that I feel like I've returned to my original self...being off cold medicine helps, but the dillydallying was the cure! ;-)

Good golly...I almost more very important update...

While in London last week, Brother DillyDally discovered he is a Wizard, not a Muggle!  My dreams have come true...perhaps all of the DillyDallys belong in the Wizard world...Mrs. Weasley could become my new best friend!  She is my idol!  After I get my wand, the first thing I'll do is get the "self-knitting needles" like she has...OMGosh...the possibilities... 

Monday, March 8, 2010

What a Dillydally Weekend!

Life was overflowing with dillydallying activities this weekend!  Unfortunately, I came down with a miserable head cold last I had to pare down my involvement a bit...darn!

Our local quilting guild, Cordova Northwind Quilter's, sponsored a sewing weekend that began Friday evening.  Some were busy preparing for the classes Peggy Gelbrich will be teaching at our Spring Retreat in April.
QBee Diane is the one to thank for organizing this weekend...she is also organizing our retreat in April...that is such a big job.  We are already enjoying the benefits of her efforts!  Thanks Diane!

Cobblestone Traveler, Julie worked on Block 6 / hand applique'.  Not only is she the "Pie Queen" but she also wears a hand applique' crown as well!
QBee Terry was busy adding sashing to a sampler quilt she is making for her sister.  
Barb was busy thinking about summer...piecing sunflower blocks!

QBee Dawn was piecing crazy curve blocks for a baby quilt she is making.  Because of my cold, I had only dropped by and I missed the several others that came later.  Reports are that everyone enjoyed themselves late into the evening...what fun!

This is what spring looks like...Cordova style!

This picture was taken from my front deck Saturday (3/6) morning...perfect sewing weather!  On Saturday, QBee Valerie shared with us a mystery pattern.  What fun it is to have no idea what you're doing...completely falls in line with the dillydally lifestyle... ;-)

Valerie gives us our first instructions...what fun...and most of us were able to finish the top by the end of the day.  It really was a "Quilt in a Day"! 

A before and after set of photos...the quilt ends up being somewhere between full and queen size.


We had a ton of fun!  It was entertaining in so many see how everyone's came out...the construction was stress...just old fashioned fun!  I got busy sewing and didn't get pictures of everyone's quilts...with my cold, I left early and didn't return on Sunday...but as they're completed I'll try to post more of them.  It was a great pattern that quilter's of all levels could relax and enjoy.  Thanks a million Val!
Sustenance is a very important part of our quilting is important to keep up our stamina...marathon sewing requires a very unique diet that must include the following snacks:  soda, chee-tos (must be the soft ones...not is a generational thing), and chocolate.  It is imperative that all quilts in the guild have a bit of orange chee-to powder embedded into their construction.  Just think...a hundred years from now...chee-to powder will help historians distinguish Cordova made quilts from others made all over the world.  Yes.....I is obvious...I haven't lost my marbles...I'm still taking cold medicine...I can't help myself... ;-)    

Friday, March 5, 2010

Enjoying Pie while traveling down Cobblestone Lane!

Gosh!  Is there anything better than an evening spent with homemade pie?  You know...homemade pie...great conversation...pie and ice cream...quilt pie...quilt buddies...cherry pie...solving the world's problems...did I mention pie?  Simple ingredients lovingly made by hand into something exceptionally delicious reflects everything that is right with the world.
QBee Julie hosted our Cobblestone travels last night.  She is the creator of these beautiful pies.  I wish I had taken a close up picture of each one...the apple pie crust was decorated with tiny apples and leaves...the lattice crust on the cherry pie was actually woven, not punched out...I wish you all could have been there!
Cobblestone travelers showing off Block 5...
Our next and final block for Cobblestone Lane is an applique pattern...we had fun discussing the many different ways we could make them.  I love piecing, so had no trouble keeping up thus far...applique is something I really have to work this will challenge me.  I don't like being left I won't be able to put it off...which is a good thing! ;-)  Our intent is to meet again later this month to work on the alternating blocks...that creates a deadline for me...I'll keep you posted on my progress...hee-hee!

After sharing our blocks, QBee Julie offered us pie, "Would you like apple, cherry or the Sampler?"  We are of course we all chose the sampler!

I have crowned Julie the "Pie Queen"!  I am qualified to do so because my mother was a "Pie Queen" as well!  The qualifications are...pie crust must be near perfect...ingredients are simple but of high quality...maker enjoys creating pies by hand...pies are served with love.  Julie has met and exceeded all of those qualifications...we all enjoyed her pie and fortunate we are!  She sent me home with a large piece of cherry pie for Mr. is his favorite...but I accidentally left it in the backseat of Barb's car!  Poor Mr. DillyDally...

What a wonderful way to dillydally...sharing a quilting adventure with friends...and eating pie!  Life is good!