Sunday, May 29, 2016

365 Challenge Week 21

I'm behind three blocks (holiday weekend), but now that school is out, I'm hoping to get and stay caught up. Here's what I've finished so far:


May 22--I LOVE this one!
May 23--poo!  I didn't notice I sewed the bottom row on upside down until I uploaded the picture. 
May 24
May 25
May 26.  Maybe not my best fabric combo.  :/
May 27


Friday, May 27, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sew Together Bag and Ancestry Update

Over the weekend I got together with some of my sewing friends and we all made Sew Demented's Sew Together Bag.  This one is not for the faint of heart!  It took me most of the day to sew it.  It was hard for me to picture what the finished bag would look like, so it took me a while to choose my fabrics.  Even then it didn't look quite how I thought it would.  I'm pretty happy with it though. I'll probably try this pattern again and will use the Quilt Barn's online step by step photo tutorial since there are no photos in the pattern.  I may also try the mini version of the bag from Occasional Piece.  Links to all extra tutorials are on my Pinterest Tutorials board.
I chose a lightweight chambray for the outside and ended up quilting it with a  contrasting thread.
Opened up.
Here are the pockets all opened.  I accidentally had one zipper going the wrong way.
At least it was the one in the middle.  I tried to make it look like a deliberate design choice!
I added in the tabs at the end of the zippers as suggested on Crazy Mom Quilts' blog.
I included the optional pin cushion, but I'm not entirely happy with it. 

Now I just need to stuff it full of sewing notions!

In other news, I've been researching my family tree a little more since getting my DNA results back.  If you recall from my May 11 post, I was quite disappointed with the tiny amount of information I received, especially since the TV ads make it seem like you'll get a country percentage breakdown.  Come to find out that the company selling the special on Groupon is Ancestry By DNA, not Ancestry DNA from Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com's DNA test does indeed tell you the country percentages, although you may need to buy a subscription to their website to see all the results.  This other company has made their site look as though it's run by Ancestry.com with a similar font and logo.  I'm disappointed that we didn't pick up on the difference at the time of purchase, and I'm pretty disgusted this By company is clearly trying to steal customers and provide a bare minimum of information at a steep price.  I'm SO glad I only paid $39 for this minimal information.  I may try the Ancestry.com one just to see how they compare and also get the country info I was originally looking for.  Buyer beware, I guess.
Sunday, May 22, 2016

365 Challenge Week 20

I finished the remaining blocks from last week and tried to keep up this week.  I had a busy weekend and ended up two blocks behind.  These 6" blocks are actually pretty tricky.  Some of the points are really tough to line up.
May 14--oops, noticed I need to trim some of the overhang from the back still.
May 15
May 16
May 17

May 18
May 19
May 20
May 21


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Paintings by Mac the Horse

Over the weekend we visited a local farm to have paintings created by Mac the quarterhorse. We were surprised by the sheer amount of animals on the farm.  There were two male turkeys, loads of dogs, a baby goat, mini horses, big horses, 10 puppies, chickens of various types, peacocks, cats, and geese.  All looked happy and well cared for! 
Mac, the horse who paints

Anyway, back to the paintings. Each of my children got to choose a canvas (white or black) and four paint colors to have Mac paint with.  Each painting was a $20 donation to a local animal shelter or a child's transplant fund. 



My daughter's finished canvas
My son's finished canvas 
Mac has other talents too--he played the guitar for us and demonstrated how he could sit on a beanbag.  He was feeling a bit frisky and was jumping around, bucking, and throwing a giant ball while in the pen--the circular fenced in area.  I'm not an animal person, so please forgive me if my terms aren't correct.  He can also stick out his tongue on command and play a keyboard.  His owner told us he has learned 40 different tricks but they practice some more than others.

The kids played with the Great Dane puppies, petted some of the other animals, and checked out the chickens and peacocks.  The male peacock was all white with tail feathers that must have been at least three feet long.  He did display his tail for us.  My husband picked up one of the turkeys and my daughter rather awkwardly picked up the other.  As we were leaving, we got to see the turkeys fight each other.  It's mating season, so they were putting on all sorts of displays the whole time we were there.  Too bad there aren't any hens to appreciate all this masculinity!  



Check out my 2016 finishes tab--I finished another quilt!
Sunday, May 15, 2016

365 Challenge Week 19

Behind again!  I had two unexpected days of work and got really behind on the blocks again.  These 6" blocks take significantly longer than the 3" blocks did.  Here are the four I got done.

May 10
May 11
May 12.  Not my best work.
May 13


Friday, May 13, 2016

Funny Things #24

The subject matter here isn't funny, but the guy's name is apropos.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Utility Sewing, Housework, and Theft!

This last week has been pretty busy with the yard sale, cleaning up the yard sale, moving stuff into the basement, life, and such.  We had beautiful weather for the yard sale--the only time in the last few weeks that the weather has been sunny.  The yard sale was the least successful we've had. But we did get rid of at least half of the stuff.  Some of the leftovers were donated to the historical center's yard sale/fundraiser, some will be taken to the Habitat ReStore, and some is getting donated to our elementary school.  It feels good to have more stuff out of the house.

Our bathroom cabinet finally came in, so my husband picked up that and the bathtub unit Friday night and we moved those into the basement.  I'm hoping now that we're past the yard sale he will have some free time to work on the sewing room and bathroom again.

I decided that we could really use a Swiffer at work.  Target had a special, so I bought one and then made a few washable/reusable covers to try out.  One side is terry cloth, the other fleece. I'm hoping the covers work well at picking up dust.  We'll see.

Our irises came up really... yellow... this year.  We got all of these irises for free from a lady who lives near us.  There are usually pale purple, brownish purple, and a few brighter yellow.  This year they are pretty spectacular, but mostly pale yellow.  A bunch more of the brownish ones are now blooming, but almost none of the purple, which are my favorites of this bunch.  And something, a cat or a raccoon maybe, keeps pooping in the liriope at the bottom of the picture.  Boo, hiss.
In birding news, we've had loads of woodpeckers on the feeders.  We always have a lot of downy woodpeckers, red bellied woodpeckers, and pileated woodpeckers.  Sometimes the hairy woodpeckers, flickers, and even yellow bellied sapsuckers.  But never red headed, which is the other type that is in our area.  So I was really excited to see a red headed on the feeder a few weeks ago.
Hairy and red bellied woodpeckers
The elusive red headed!
We've also had a ton of rose breasted grosbeaks.  It started with just one male, then two, then three, four, five, and finally a female.  It seems like we add one more each day.  They don't usually stay through the summer though. Our hummingbirds returned a few weeks ago, although not as many as usual, and we saw our first Baltimore orioles this week.  Oh, and a catbird on the feeder one day.  Other than that it's been pretty pedestrian--sparrows, finches, blue jays, and cardinals at the feeder and the usual cowbirds, blue birds, king birds, mockingbirds, phoebes, mourning doves, robins, and the like in the yard.  And we've had a few pests too--unfortunately four crows have been hanging around.  We've been trying to chase those away along with a few starlings.
Here's one I was really super excited by! While trying to get a picture of the red headed, I caught a picture of the blue bird pictured below.  I've never seen one like it before.  It is a blue grosbeak. Good thing I managed to catch a picture since that fleeting moment was the only time I've seen it.
In other news, it was brought to my attention that an eBay seller stole my pattern logo from the Pixie Faire website and was using it as their own in their eBay store.  I spent Friday night dealing with that mess.  It seems to be resolved, at least for now, and with zero return communication. What a pain!  Why do people have to be like that?   You can see a few more details on my cutie pie & me Facebook page if you're interested.

I noticed that my 365 post Sunday didn't actually post until Monday.  Sorry about that.  Not sure what happened there.  

I got a Groupon and a coupon for an Ancestry DNA test back in March.  The results came in this week.  I expected it to say European--I mean, we are, like, super white!  And knowing the bits we know, it's the usual English, Irish, German.  SO>>I was really surprised that I got 88 percent European and 12 percent sub-Saharan African.  I thought that it would have the country of origins like the ads on TV and even their own website seem to indicate.  Apparently you have to pay another $50 for it to say that.  I'm super glad I only paid $39 for the test since there's not much to the results.  Kinda wish I would have known and paid the extra.  It was pretty interesting though. Ha!

We have nine more school days, and loads of events.  I've been trying to make myself a shirt for a month now and just haven't had the time.  Hopefully soon.  Check back Friday for a funny.


Monday, May 9, 2016

365 Challenge Week 18

Happy Mother's Day! Here are this week's blocks.  All are 6".  I got way behind this week and it took me pretty much the majority of a day to catch back up. Several of the blocks had measurements to the 16th inch, which usually means I really have to fuss to get them to line up.  I've decided that most of my imprecision will be masked by quilting, so I'm trying to embrace the ones that are off.  The struggle is real.  ha ha
May 3
May 4
May 5
May 6
May 7
May 8
May 9