Friday Five

Jeepers.  I don’t seem to be finding the time to blog!  It’s not that I’m super busy or anything — must be the lazy days of summer.  Anyway, here’s my Five for Friday (with a few gratuitous flower shots because you always have to have a picture and we have pretty blooming flowers now!):

1.  My exchange fabric for the Trip Around the World arrived this week and it’s perfect!  I love the sweet little print that came all the way from Australia and I’m excited to use it in my piecing.  She even included a handmade card with a little log cabin block.  So Cute!

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

2.  If you’re a knitter, you might enjoy these funny stock photos of knitters, found via Bekah.

Thimbleanna: Coneflowers

3.  The Yarn Harlot had a really funny post this week about a lost sock.  I almost spit out my diet pepsi when I read the line “Are you *&^!ing kidding me?”  Go have a good read to put it into context.  And in solidarity for lost handknit socks everywhere, here’s my sock on the kitchen floor.

Thimbleanna: Coneflowers

4.  I’ve been having a terrible time commenting on blogs that have that #$@%^$ word verification stuff on them.  Donna writes about this quite a bit and she has some good suggestions for fixing the problem.  If you have word verification and I usually comment on your blog but I haven’t been lately, it’s because I tried two or three times and then gave up.  Those things drive me crazy!

Thimbleanna: Zinnias

5. I was driving through Indianapolis the other day and snuck in a visit to one of my favorite yarn shops.  They’re having a 30% off everything in the store for the month of July (a fun surprise!) so I had to partake.  I thought these yarns would make these cute baby booties when I need fun little gifts.

  Thimbleanna: Yarn

Have a great weekend!
XOXO,
Anna

Still Trippin’

To quote one of my fellow American Trip Around the World Challenge bloggers, “I’m totally obsessed with this project”.  That’s why it’s been so quiet here — I’ve had my head down hand stitching these little blocks.  It’s really starting to get time-consuming now — it takes me at least an hour to do one side of one round.  Our challenge this month was to complete rounds 10 – 18 by today.  July 15th.  I put the last stitch in round 18 with 45 minutes to spare.  I know I didn’t really have to get it done by today, but I really want to try to stay on track.  It’s been my experience that a little slip in schedule can quickly become a big slip.

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

I did have a little burp in this month’s task.  I had cut out rounds 13 and 14 and then I had to clean up the fabric that was on every flat surface in my house because people were coming over for the 4th of July.  When it came time to stitch those rounds, I couldn’t find the little cut squares anywhere.  That’s what happens when I clean stuff up and cram it all into my sewing room.  I ended up re-cutting the fabrics in order to continue on.  And then, somewhere around round 17, I found the little devils (pictured below) neatly tucked away in the new train case sewing box.  Doh — didn’t think to look in the obvious place!

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

I’ve long since stopped finger-pressing the seams on the back, but I wish I was still pressing them.  They’re flopping all over the place and shedding threads.  I feel like I spend half of my stitching time plucking little threads off of the back and it’s driving. me. crazy!  The back does have a sort of pretty texture to it though.

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

Jan eloquently wrote about viewing your colors out-of-focus, so I thought it would be fun to look at my block that way.  It’s so funny to me how this block is taking shape — I don’t feel like these colors are “me” at all.  I’m not sure what “me” colors are,  and I like these colors, but they don’t quite feel right.  I’d love to make another version in different colors.  Or maybe ten more versions — then maybe I’d find “me”!

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

A little closer look and you can see some of the prints a little better.  I love the Alison Glass text print so I had to try to use it here.  I threw in three blue rows in a row in an attempt to “blue up” this block, but it doesn’t seem to be working.  I still see predominately yellow and brown.

Thimbleanna: Trip Around the World

I might have to get more aggressive with the blue this next month. We have a fun new twist to the challenge. A partner will send us each a quarter yard of fabric and we have to use it in a round. I’m afraid to do any more rounds until I see my exchange fabric so I hope it will arrive soon!

We’re having the most beautiful summer this year. This week we’re experiencing another polar vortex and let me tell you, a polar vortex in July is a whole lot more fun than a polar vortex in January! I’d gladly suffer through the brutal winter that we had this year in order to have a beautiful, cool summer. As a snow lover, I feel like we hit the weather jackpot this year. I wish I could share our cool summer with those of you who are burning up here in the northern hemisphere– come for a visit!

XOXO,
Anna

Five Things

Otherwise known as Friday Five but I just couldn’t get around to it on Friday — or Saturday!

1.  First and Foremost — I hope all of you in the U.S. had a great 4th of July.  We had a fun mix of people here for a cookout — our little family was scattered and we were missing one CrazyBIL (who is being Crazy in Brazil at the moment) and three of the five kids.  We were joined by family friends though, and they made it extra festive by providing party hats.  Lots of fun and laughs.

Thimbleanna: July 4th

2.  Winston (sporting his new summer haircut) was here for a visit too.  Some of you have asked how Winston gets along with the resident cats.  It’s a Love/Hate relationship — Winston loves the cats, they hate him LOL.  Poor little Winston — since he’s still a puppy, he’s all over the place and he wants to play with anything that moves.  Paulkitty is mostly terrified and runs to hide.  The Scruffster is a different story though.  He has a mean hiss and he’s discovered that he can scare Winston.  So, he’s in charge and poor Winston does whatever he wants.  I think Scruff is like a grumpy old many though — he has to be mean but really wants to be nice.  Here he is, cautiously checking out that bouncing puppy who finally fell asleep.  He didn’t dare go any closer — for fear he’d have to rear up on his hind legs and let out a ferocious growl to maintain control of the house if that puppy woke up.

Thimbleanna: Winston and Scruff

3.  I started crocheting a pink Happy Birthday pillowcase using this fabulous tutorial and this fabric.  Love, Love, Love!

Thimbleanna: Pillowcase Crochet

4.  My Zinnias are looking beautiful this year.  Last year I hardly had any because of a hail storm and this year …  I’m a little disappointed again!  I’ve ended up with some dwarfy version of a zinnia.  They need spinach or something to be real zinnias!!!  Apparently third time is a charm, so I’m hopeful for next year — I’ll be more careful when picking my seeds.  They’re pretty and healthy this year though — even if they are microscopic LOL!

Thimbleanna: Zinnias

5.  We’ve had the most beautiful weather the last few days — unseasonably cool.  So, if you’ll excuse me, my bike is out and I’m off for a bike ride to visit MeMum and BigDaddy!

Thimbleanna: Happy Bike

XOXO,
Anna

Her Name Was Nancy Wolfe

I took MeMum to an antique store for a few minutes yesterday.  I was worried about our trip — MeMum was grumpy and didn’t want to play.  Isn’t it funny how shopping is a lot more fun if you find something that interests you?  Just when I was giving up hope that she would enjoy our little outing, we saw a few things that caught our eye.  One of them was this train case that used to belong to Nancy Wolfe.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

It looks a little bunged up in this next picture, but it’s really in great shape.  I knew immediately how I could use this cute little train case.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

The makeup tray is perfect for sewing tools and little squares of fabric.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

And the section below the makeup tray is perfect for my growing quilt.  My little buddy case is tucked under there too, for times when I don’t want to take the whole case with me — I’ll grab the buddy case, quilt top, and go.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

I think it was $15 well spent.  I tried to get The Scruffster to show a little interest but he wasn’t having it.  He’s not an outdoor cat, so actually being outside was more than he could take.  He’s too rotund to run away from me, so I don’t worry about having him out there for a minute or two.

Thimbleanna: Train Case Sewing Box

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  We’re having a pretty downpour as we speak.  A perfect day to sew!

Thimbleanna: Rain

XOXO,
Anna

C’mon Get Happy

I’ve had that goofy song by Pharrell Williams running through my head all week. The Happy Song — it’s so, … um … happy haha. (Did you know they call that an earworm when a song gets stuck in your head like that?)  Google the Happy Song if you need an earworm too — it’s fun!

Anyway, the reason for all this Happy is the arrival of Surprise!, the fun line of fabric from Riley Blake.  I ordered it way back in February and I was really excited to see it at spring quilt market. And now it’s here and I’ve been having fun playing and making some gifts — because a fabric that says Happy Birthday on it is perfect for gifts.

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Pillowcase

I started with pillow cases. Sooo easy! And I included a little Happy Birthday Tag-It in the seamline. Next up, I want to make You Go Girl’s cute crochet-edged pillowcases with the pink Happy Birthday print. 

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Pillowcase

Then, I decided I wanted to make some little giftbags.  (I might be a little obsessed.  Like many of you, I love fabrics with words on them and the colors in these prints sent me over the edge LOL.)

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Giftbag

Each gift bag took a basically a fat quarter (split between a cute print and the Happy Birthday print) for the bag and a fat quarter for the lining, with a scrap for the binding.

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Giftbag

I threw in a little Happy Birthday Tag-it on the gift bag too (’cause they’re like Lay’s potato chips — you can’t stop!).

Thimbleanna: Happy Birthday Giftbag

Anyway, it’s been fun playing and I have a ton of other ideas for this fabric too.  Wouldn’t a pincushion or sewing accessories for your sewing buddies be cute on their birthday?  You’ve probably already guessed that I have fat quarter packs and some yardage in my little shop.  You can make a LOT of those gift bags with a fat quarter pack (free pdf pattern comes with the fat quarter pack). 

Thimbleanna: Surprise by Bo Bunny

(And speaking of the shop, if you missed the first order of the little Better Buddy Sewing Cases, they’re restocked and lime green is even an option now too.)

Ok, off to fondle happy fabric.  Have a great weekend — it’s almost here!
XOXO,
Anna