allie-oops sweet happy life

What a sweet happy life it is!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Dullsville

Welcome to Dullsville - the view out my sewing room windows every day, all day.


Just that unbright, all the time here lately.  Oh it makes me want to cry.  Today the sun actually came out though, I opened the blinds and mum got a laser beam of sun smack in the eye.  We pulled up chairs and sat in it, like cats.

Since it's been so dreary here, I've had to pull out all my bright scraps to play with.  One can only take so much of brown and grey before sanity reasserts itself.


Sashing is too wide at the moment, easy fix.  I'm having some issues trying to stitch it down with my machine - I usually use my walking foot for machine applique, it has a wide opening so that I can see the blanket stitch, but it's leaving a scratch in the fabric all along where I'm stitching.

I'm trying to avoid doing it by hand....I'm hand quilting my Lemon Tree, plus doing embroidery, and for some reason my chest is killing me.  I know what it is, it's the joints in my breastbone - just not sure what to do to make it better except rest.  That means no stitching by hand, *sob*, so my machine had better behave.

So, what are you working on - brights?  Pastels?  Prim colors?  Whatever it is, I hope it's lifting your spirits like my brights are for me!!



See ya soon - 
Love,
Allie


Friday, February 10, 2017

Favorite New Author and Give-Away

Mum and I have been doing a lot of reading - a LOT of reading.   And today I'm going to share with you a couple of my favorite new books, by my favorite new author.

In November 2015, I introduced you to a quilter that I met online on a Christian homeschooling site in 1999 - we think.  That post is HERE.  Her name is Cathe, her website is GloryQuilts, and she is an amazing quilter and teacher.  Well guess what - now she's an amazing new author!!


Snow Angels [available at amazon] was her Christmas novella.  I was blessed to be part of the launch team, and I ended up buying 2 paperbacks for Christmas gifts.  My mom and my mother-in-law loved the books.  From the Amazon.com description:

When Lisa Marsh is roped into serving Thanksgiving dinner at the local community center, she encounters hundreds of children, lively teenagers, stubbornly independent veterans, eccentric elderly people, and a particularly rude and scruffy homeless man named Pete. The evening ends in disaster, but when her best friend challenges her to reach out and help other people, Lisa decides to take on the project of reforming Pete – whether he likes it or not.

Snow Angels is part of Cathe's Great Lakes Collection, and her new book in the series, Baggage Claim, is coming out February 14th!


Available for pre-order now!  I was blessed to be on the launch team for this one as well, and I LOVED it.  From the Amazon.com website:

Ben Taylor, widower and father of four lively children, enjoys his easy, uncomplicated life. He likes his work and has a competent nanny to manage his household. Everything is good until he decides to seek out his biological parents and discovers a family tree with tangled roots and broken branches.
His comfortable life crumbles when he gets caught up in a criminal network of fraud and conspiracy at his new job. When Ben is forced into a dangerous alliance, he scrambles to find a safe situation and protection for his children before setting out to clear his name—all without getting himself killed in the process.

It's GOOD.  I'm going to be buying mum a copy of this one too.  I can't wait!

So - the giveaway?  Well, Cathe is giving away 3 copies of Snow Angels, on February 14, the launch date for Baggage Claim!  Go to her website and enter!  From her website:

Win one of three paperback copies of Snow Angels - the companion novella in the Great Lakes series, including the new novel, Baggage Claim! The winners will be selected on Valentine's Day! Winners can opt to receive a kindle version of the book if they prefer. International entries are welcome, but winners outside the United States will receive a digital copy instead of a paperback copy.

See? International winners as well!  If you don't have a kindle, like me, you can use the kindle app on your smartphone - something I use a lot, especially with all the hospital and doctor visits with mum over the past several months.


Now - the disclaimer - I receive no compensation for this, I just love sharing new authors with you.  I'm always on the lookout for new ones, and most new books I can't stand to read - so much language, if you know what I mean.  I also don't read a lot of Christian fiction, but Cathe's books are a treat, with lovable characters.  I think you'll love her too.

I'll see you soon with something new I'm working on - enjoying it so much!
Love,
Allie

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Happy Days [Or Hours] & Free Pattern

We here in Michigan got to see the sun today!!!  It's been awhile.  Like, since October.  Well, it feels that way, anyhow...and this afternoon, the clouds have rolled back in, and I believe snow is in the forecast. But it WAS here, honest.



I'm making my own sunshine as well.


I got my machine cleaned out, and was able to finish the applique for Lemon Tree.  Trimmed it up, and then....


The border went on!!!!  [I must say, I'm loving my yellow cutting mat with my yellow chairs and yellow lemons....]  I think I'm going to do a knife-edge facing instead of regular binding.

So, what next??  Well, I've uploaded a free scripture pattern for you - sorry for the bad pic - 



I'm probably going to make it part of a larger quilt.  I've been thinking about making a couple of scripture quilts for awhile - I'd love to make one for each of my boys.  So, maybe not in redwork?  What color do you think I should do?  Navy, for one, but the other one's favorite color is a coppery orange...don't think that would show up too well, not to mention it might be hard to find it in fabric, lol.  Suggestions?

Oh, if you'd like to stitch this as well, the file is in my shop for free, here:


Well, mum just got back from rehab, so I guess I need to feed her...ah, she lost 2 more lbs, yay!  Wish I could stop finding them....

See ya soon!
Love,
Allie

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day Late, Dollar Short

Yep, that's how I live anymore.  Always playing catch-up...I used to have a sign hanging in my office, "I'm so far behind, I think I'm first."

Let's see - first, I received a couple of gorgeous Christmas gifties that I haven't blogged about.  First was my darling O'faigh, who blesses me always.  Look at this dear little package she sent...


Aren't those the sweetest buttons?  And that red floss was the exact color I needed, saving me a trip to the fabric store!

And then Debbie from Woolen Sails knocked my socks off - 


Pic is a little off color, thanks to the grey days we have this time of year, but isn't that little kitty adorable?????  And the little balsam pillow smells SO GOOD.  Thank you ladies, you sure know how to raise someone's spirits!!!!

I don't know if I've posted about this or not, but my best friend just got a new house - one of these days I have to get over there and take pics, it's darling, lots of vintage 50's features, including a Martha Washington stovetop and oven...anyway, she had to downsize, and gave me a china cabinet and corner cabinet...


The drawers in the china cabinet hold all my thread, so I was able to get rid of the white plastic 3-drawer bin, yay!  And that, ladies, is my fabric stash - also where I hide my best snacks, *grin*.

I've just realized that the sun is shining in those last two pics, I took them on the 10th of January, and I believe it's been that long since I've seen it.  Wow.

So, since I'm really missing sunshine and color in these grey and brown months, I started remaking my Lemon Tree pattern.  The original lives in Australia, with Jenny.


I was finishing up the applique today, and my machine had a hissy fit, wouldn't stop making bird's nests underneath, and the needle assembly kept freezing.  I'll try again tomorrow.

I've also been stitching on my longest running project...


I'm trying to remember when I started this, it's at least 3 years.  I tried it with crayon, didn't like it, have changed things over the years, I think I've stitched the four balcony windows 3 times.  It's going to look like an apartment building when it's done - with a very special address.  I have some awesome brick fabric to frame the blocks in.  

So I think that's it from me - mum is doing well, she's in cardiac rehab now, they send a bus to pick her up!  She goes 3 days a week, and will until April 7th.  That's a loooooong time to be away from home - her surgery was last October!  I finally got around to catching up on blogs, there were almost 1000 posts in my reader....I will not let that happen again.  Now that mum is doing more for herself, I have a little more time for me, and I want to visit you on a regular basis.  I've missed you.

I'll see you soon - 
Love,
Allie


Friday, January 13, 2017

Beloved - A New Design, And A Tutorial


Just in time for Valentine's Day!  My newest design, "Beloved".  Combining simple embroidery and sewing, making a gift for a loved one couldn't be simpler!  I've included a tag with directions for use, ready to print and attach.  Pattern is now available in my Craftsy shop, here:



But if you don't want to embroider on your rice bag cover, I'm going to show you how I make a plain one!  Microwave rice bags are something we use around here all year long.  I have terrible arthritis in my neck - and after a day of stitching, it hurts!  The rice bag gives off a lovely moist heat, and boy does it help.  For myself, I make it without a cover, but when I want to get fancy and make one for a gift, I definitely make a cover!   (All directions for the embroidered cover are in the pattern.)

You'll need two 6" x 15" pieces of fabric for the rice bag itself.  Stitch around 3 sides, leaving one short side open.


Turn right side out, and press.  Fold under about a half inch hem on the open side, and press.

Cut a corner in your bag of rice, and pour into the open end of the bag.  You'll need three hands.  It can get a little tricky to keep it off the floor!  Fill it up to about 4 inches from the top.  If you'd like, you can hold the bag closed while laying it on your neck, to see how heavy it is - too heavy, let some rice out.  This amount works fine for me.


Keeping the rice away from the opening, topstitch the opening closed.


And there you go, your rice bag is done!  Microwave for about two minutes on high.  Do a test - my microwave is small, and not terribly powerful.  I suggest 30 second increments to find the proper time.

To make a washable cover, cut two pieces 6.5" x 17".  You'll make it the same way, but make sure to fold your hem under twice, and don't stitch it closed - use your free arm to stitch around it.  If you don't have a free arm on your sewing machine, you can stitch the hem first, before sewing up the sides.


Now how easy-peasy is that!  I made this one for my mum, and boy does she love it.  I had purchased this fabric years ago, knowing she'd love it, but never found just the right thing to make for her.  Well, this was it!   Pretty, right?

Now for you ladies down under, you may not want to make a rice bag, as I believe it's pretty warm down there right now - but how about stuffing with polyfill and making a pretty little neck pillow?  You could even add some lace around the outside.  I'd love to see that!



That's it for me today - I'll be posting again soon, I have some things to show you!  Right now I need to borrow mum's rice bag and put it on my neck, lol...writing patterns all day also makes my neck ache!  See you soon, 

Love,
Allie



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Silly

You know, back when I started this journey with mum, I had visions of her and I sitting around, taking life easy, me stitching and her reading.....sipping tea, watching Lucy....sigh.  Care-giving is not for the faint of heart.  Unless you're a cat.  Cats are fine with it.

Hermione says "relax".....

Mum starts rehab any day, if we ever recover from the plague that hit last weekend.  I spent Christmas Day in bed - fortunately, my guests brought their own food, as my ham never made it out of the fridge.  We're having it tonight.

We got 10 inches of snow in our first snowstorm of the year, yay!  I love the first snow, especially if it's a good one.  I love seeing all the Rose of Sharon bushes wearing their little hats.



Then we got another 6", and it all melted after Christmas when it went to almost 60F.  The fog off the melting snow was awesome.


Exciting, right?  *snort*  That's been my life.  There is stitching happening, just not too much - taking care of mum, and cleaning after 5 people who are all on different schedules and eat at different times consumes me.  But I can't wait to share with you some upcoming stuff....my pencil has been busy.  As soon as I find my work tables, creating may happen!  Right now they're covered with mum's Christmas gifts.

I hope you all had a very blessed Christmas holiday, and that the New Year is good to you - 

Love,
Allie



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