Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Mixer - June 14th - National Flag Day, Flag Jokes, Flag Quilts, Bird Watching, National Sewing Machine Day

 Who is happy that we can say hello to Monday?  I'd love to hear about what you are doing today to find happiness, as well as hopefully sharing happiness with others.  Let's spread happy.  We can think happy and be happy together, making the world a really happy place!





Today I have plenty of reasons to be happy.  And, I want to heighten awareness that today is National Flag Day, some Flag Jokes, Flag Quilts, how you can get a free quilt book and a few more reasons why I'm happy today!


Flag Day, also called National Flag Day, in the United States, is a day honoring the national flag, observed on June 14. The holiday commemorates the date in 1777 when the United States approved the design for its first national flag.

We have our flag proudly displayed.  Do you?  I love seeing our national flag proudly displayed.  And I really love when I go into a community that shows their pride.  I hope you live in such a community.  One of my earliest memories of such pride was during a business trip to Ft. Collins, Colorado.  Wow, did they have flags displayed on almost every home just like this picture:



How about sharing your favorite Flag jokes?  I'll start:


Where was the Flag of the USA first hoisted?

On the pole.

What did the Flag say to the pole?

Nothing, he just waved.

What’s the best-rated Flag?

The US, it has fifty stars!.

How did the Founding Fathers decide on our country’s Flag?

I guess they took a flag poll!

How is a flag like Santa Claus?

They both hang out at the pole!


HAVE YOU EVER MADE A FLAG QUILT?


AccuQuilt has a pattern for a cute Tumbler Flag Wall Hanging Quilt.  Sally, my Inner Squirrel, highly encourages everyone to make this Patriotic quilt.

Many, many, many years ago I made a Patriotic Sail Boat quilt for a fundraiser held on the 4th of July.


When it came to pulling fabrics from my stash for the back of this quilt, I came up with an artistic flag.  Thus, this quilt was really two quilts in one!  Great fun and super easy to make.



Sally, my Inner Squirrel also wants to heighten awareness of this lovely Patriotic quilt design called "Liberty" Quilt Pattern by Villa Rosa Designs?  It is on sale at Quilt In A Day and includes free shipping.  


ARE YOU A BIRDER ?

As we get older, we continue to enjoy watching birds and spotting new birds.  I honestly wish I had paid more attention to birds when I was young, as there are still so many I don't know their names.  A bird that we've not paid much attention to in the past, has recently caught our attention.  We think it is a Western Kingbird, possibly even a Tick-billed Kingbird.  It has a well hidden nest outside of our bedroom and is extremely protective when even larger birds come close.  A week ago, we spotted a Red Tail Hawk in  the tree and the Kingbirds were squaking.  Then the same noise happened when some crows came by.  This afternoon, there was much noise when some Mockingbirds came too close to the Kingbird nests.  I've yet to get a good photo, but here is a little clip from youtube by someone else in So. Cal who shared this species hasn't been sighted since 1992.  Wow, maybe this means we are finally paying attention to birds in our area.  We may have a Thick-billed Kingbird vs a Western Kingbird.  Either way, we are enjoying seeing this couple and hearing their chirps through out the day.




DID YOU HEAR YESTERDAY (Sunday, June 13th) WAS NATIONAL SEWING MACHINE DAY?



Ok, this wasn't a National Day that I had ever heard about before.  But my FAV machine heard about it and decided she deserved to go back to the spa.  Well, in layman's terms she broke 3 nails (aka sewing machine needles).  While she was recently at the spa and I don't think she deserves to be pampered any more, she has gone on strike and refuses to do any more FMQ/Rulerwork on my king size nine sisters quilt.  So, this morning I'm taking her back to the spa.  I'm not happy about it, but I hope it is a short visit with no extra fees.   In the meantime, this means I get more time to clean and organize my sewing room.  I can honestly say I'm glad Sally, my inner squirrel has disappeared.  She'd see everything and come up with more creative projects for me to work on.  I'm sure I'll be more productive cleaning and organizing without Sally.  I hope she is off doing something fun and creative on "her" time.

Again, I hope you are having a wonderful Monday, that you have a wonderful week, and you find plenty of time to enjoy and create.  Still, I hope we can all help spread joy with others.  The World needs more joy.




Saturday, June 12, 2021

Fun Friday - See What Sally Made Me, A Happy Mail Giveaway

Are you wondering if it is Friday or Saturday?  Ok, I'm late.



What a great Friday.  Last night we were watching tv and I was working on this blog post when we heard a really loud explosion.  Did I say really loud?  Yes, an actual explosion.  My sweet DH and I walked around our home to try to figure out what had happened. The noise really sounded like it was within our home, or yard, vs a neighbor or something in the distant.  We quickly realized our on demand water heater had exploded! 


Fortunately our water heater is in the garage and nothing was damaged. My DH was able to quickly connect the water heat to a hose, allowing it to drain outside of the garage. And, the water that was in the garage we were able to sweep out, with continually sweeping for less than an hour.  Did I mention nothing was damaged?  But for us, it was exciting.  No disaster.

My DH is pretty handy and we have a good friend who is a retired contractor.  The two guys finished up today installing a new water heater. DH debated going to a tankless water heater, but in the end decided to go with a traditional water heater.  Either way, at this point I'm delighted to say I'm "back in hot water".  Woo hoo!  



I am the type of person who will never take fresh water for granted and I view hot water is a luxury, even though I'm a city girl.  We simply can't take these things for granted.  So many people around the world have to walk miles to fill water containers to bring water back home.   Yeap, I, we are all lucky.

During the water heater chaos, I attended and stitched a sweet Patriotic mini hanging quilt, offered by Embroidery Garden.  This was not a planned activity, but thanks to Sally, my inner squirrel, she surprised me by signing me up for this virtual class. 


    

I have to admit I appreciate Sally's recommendations, as well as signing me up for this virtual class.  And, I'd encourage my friends who enjoy machine embroidery to take this class too!  Check out the Embroidery Garden website as they offer a variety of virtual classes for fun ME ITH projects.

The class began via zoom and while others were sewing, I was cutting.  But I was close to completing the majority of the project before the virtual class completed.  I had to go shopping this morning, but when I came home I was able to finish this stitch out.  I also stitched this out with Aurifil thread and it stitched out beautifully.


Of course, one of my shopping stops was at a local quilt shop to buy a display frame for this mini quilt.



Did I mention a Happy Mail Giveaway?  I would like to give one of these Patriotic Mini Quilts for one of my followers.  If you would like to receive such happy mail, simply leave a comment on this post and let me know you would like to receive such Happy Mail from me!  

I will randomly select one lucky recipient for such Happy Mail on Wednesday, June 16th.  I'll notify the lucky winner, as well as update this post to let everyone know, as well as pay the postage to send this mini quilt to the winner.  I would truly love to send all of you some Happy Mail, but at this point I can only afford to send to one.



Sadly, I can't afford to include a metal stand.  The winner may already have one, or could buy one, or hang on a wall, as desired.  The frame I am showing is by Ackfeld and stands 6" wide by 12" high.

This weekend, I'm back focused doing FMQ/Ruler Work on my king size Nine Sisters quilt.  Not perfect, but I think it is really look good.  I'll share more next week.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, filled with time to enjoy and create.


UPDATE:


First, I want to say I appreciate all my followers as I view you are my virtual support team who cheer me on and make me smile.  I wish I could send a Happy Mail Mini Flag Quilt to every one of you, but at this point I only have one available to give.  Thus, I used the random number generator to select the lucky wnner.

Congratulations to SewGirl

I have sent SewGirl an email to let her know she has won and that I need her mailing address to send her some Happy Mail.  

As mentioned previously, I hope to be  hosting more Happy Mail Giveaways in the future, as well as send out Happy Mail in general.  So stay tuned.  

On another note, I'm heading off to pick up my FAV sewing machine from the Spa this morning.  Yippee, I'll be back in the saddle sewing (FMQ/Ruler work) on my king size Nine Sisters quilt today.  Life is good!










Monday, June 7, 2021

Musings From An Inner Squirrel



Hello.  My name is Sally (yes, Sally the Squirrel, aka Sally the Muse, aka Sally the Inner Squirrel).  I am an Uber Muse.  I help provide amazing creative inspiration to those in need, focusing in on one person in need  at a time.  While I'm able to cover endless areas of creativity, my expertise is for quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiasts.  

I have cousins who focus on other creative areas (eg. painting, photography, house decorating, etc.).  I have a large list of  recipients of my inspirational skills, who have won big $$$ awards at major quilt shows around the world, many who have become published authors, as well as those who have published patterns, taught awesome quilting classes, and more.  Thus, I'm known as an Uber Muse!  Simply stated, I'm one of the best Muse you can get.

I hate to complain (aka rant) as I find so much joy when my subjects create beautiful projects after receiving my help.  But do they ever thank me?  Rarely, if ever.  Right now I feel pretty low as I've been abused verbally (called an Inner Squirrel) and even forced to help clean up and organize a sewing room!

My fellow Muse Squirrels are so familiar with the sadness of creative people who claim they have "lost their Muse" and can't think of anything to be creative.  Wake up people.  When you take your Muse for granted, or call her your "Inner Squirrel" in a shaming way, they do have the ability to go find some other place to set up residence.  So, you need to wake up and appreciate your Muse, aka your Inner Squirrel!

I've been working hard to help Darlene be creative for years.  It has become clear, after two recent quilt store shopping trips, where I pointed out awesome fabrics, quilting books, patterns, machine embroidery designs and more, but she ignored my recommendations for creative projects and walked out with nothing that I recommended.  Nothing!  And she shamed me, telling her Inner Squirrel to shut up!

She can't even buy me a cup of coffee, to say thank you!


Or how about a glass of wine?

I'm ready to pack and leave.

I'll be sending out my squirrel resume shortly.  I'm sure I'll find a kinder person, whom will appreciate me, as I help develop and grow their creative skills and continually feed them with inspiration!

After being called an "Inner Squirrel", in a tone that implies I'm not worthy it is time to leave.  I am going on strike and I want to be appreciated for my skills.  I am worthy.  Darlene may be busy focusing on freemotion quilting/ruler work for her King size Nine Sisters Quilt but when she is finished, she may just find a big wake up call when she realizes I'm no longer at her side to give her endless creative inspiration.  After all, she never said thank you for any creative idea I have given her, never has she shown any form of appreciation, not even a simple gesture of taking me out to lunch (which she does frequently with her quilting friends).

I'm off to update my resume and pack my bags.  Darlene needs to learn a lesson.  And, it starts now!

Sally








Friday, June 4, 2021

Fun Friday - National Donut Day, Sewing Machine Spa Time, Help From My Inner Squirrel

 There are plenty of reasons to smile and be happy today.  It is Friday, it is National Donut Day, my sewing machine is back from the spa, and my Inner Squirrel has been very helpful (she must be wanting something).  


I'm really happy to welcome June.  May was good, but June is just so cheerful.




Did you know today, June 4th, is National Donut Day?  Many donut shops are giving away free donuts today, including Krispy Kreme.  But I'm more excited to tell you about a new donut that has caught my attention, as well as a contest where you could score some freebies of these new yummy donuts.

DiGiorno has announced that they are introducing a new pizza-donut hybrid.  And today, June 4th, twitter can reply to their posts with the hashtag #sweepstakes for a chance to win a half-dozen DiGiornuts!


The DiGiornut takes a donut, stuffs it with mozzarella cheese, and tops it off with signature DiGiorno pizza sauce, more cheese, and various pizza toppings.  Yumm, I've always loved pizzza for breakfast.  And won't these be fun to share at a quilt guild meeting, quilt retreat, or other fun event?

You can enter the sweepstakes on June 4 by replying to the relevant @DiGiorno tweet with "#sweepstakes" for a chance to win a half-dozen box of DiGiornuts.




SEWING MACHINE SPA TIME

While quilting on my King size Nine Sisters Quilt, I noticed my tension kept getting worse.  I cleaned, oiled, re-threaded and changed the needle, but I just felt it wasn't right.  So off to the spa she went this past Monday.


I liked to think she was relaxing, listening to sweet music and enjoying a nice massage.


As well as enjoying a mani/pedicure!

I was delighted to bring her back home this week and she is now stitching beautifully.  I'll also confess, I found some beautiful fabric at the quilt store when I was picking up my machine.  Fortunately, my inner squirrel was left home cleaning and organizing my sewing room so I didn't buy any fabric while picking up my machine.




CLEANING AND ORGANIZING MY SEWING ROOM

My Inner Squirrel helped me clean and organize my sewing room, while my favorite machine was being serviced.    She came up with a nice first pass for projects to work on this Fall, after I return from summer travels and hopefully after I have finished FMQ/Ruler Work on my King size Nine Sisters Quilt.  I have to admit I like the list she came up with:

How about little fabric boxes for gifts to quilty friends?  Would they make good happy mail?

Gnomes for Christmas would be fun to decorate for the holidays.

Halloween decorations?

Santa's Workshop Tiling Scene


A traditional Ocean Waves Quilt


Gee whiz.  She came up with all these project priorities just helping me organize some papers, patterns and quilting books I had on top of a counter in my sewing room.  But then she was good to help me to "shelf" many more ideas than I'm allowing her to share with you today.  Don't hold your breath, as I'm sure my Inner Squirrel will come up with many more ideas before Fall arrives, aka before I finish my King Nine Sisters Quilt.  But I like to let her feel she is helping by planning future projects, especially when she doesn't make me buy anything, just voices ideas for fun projects to work on.


















Monday, May 31, 2021

Monday Mix-up - Quilt Store Shopping, Quilting the Middle of A King On A Domestic, Taps at 3pm

 


Every Monday is awesome, but this Monday is very special, for so many reasons.  But one of my favorite reasons to celebrate this particular Monday is that it is Memorial Day.   We are playing taps at 3pm today (local time) and I hope you'll consider doing the same too!





My Inner Squirrel took me shopping this past Saturday.  She really enjoyed getting dressed up and going to find inspiration in a quilt shop.


Cozy Creative Center, in San Diego, CA had a 25% "anything" you could fit inside of your annual Cozy shopping bag.   While shopping, I chatted with a  young woman who had her cart filled with beautiful fabrics and quilting notions.  She shared that she was in the military and moving to Italy for two years, so she was taking advantage of the sale to buy supplies for projects she wanted to make while living abroad.  I thanked her for her Military service and she said she was simply honored to serve and work with so many amazing people.  My heart was warmed by our simple chat in a quilt shop.

So what did I buy?  Well, while my Inner Squirrel found plenty of great project ideas while we shopped, as well as fabric.  I'm glad we both agreed that getting out of the house and shopping was a fun experience filled with inspiration, I didn't need any more fabric nor project ideas.  To my delight, we agreed to only buy necessities.  I needed two more spools of Aurifil thread for the king size Nine Sisters project I'm working on.    Not a big purchase, but a good exercise to keep my inner squirrel under control.
BTW - I think I'm going backwards on my ability to take a crisp macro photo.  This coming week I will watch more videos, read more tutorials, and take time to practice using the non-auto features of my camera.   I'm disappointed in the simple photo of two spools of thread.  But I will continue to practice and I hope you get the idea of what I bought, while keeping my inner squirrel in check while shopping at an amazing Quilt Shop during a 25% off just about anything sale.



I don't expect to surprise you, but under the needle this week is my king size Nine Sisters quilt.  To do ruler work/fmq for a king quilt, on a domestic machine, I'm at the challenging phase of working on the middle of the quilt.  I have both sides of the quilt rolled up tightly to be able to quilt on the middle of the quilt.

For me, I've found ruler work on a King size quilt easier than FMQ.  About this part of the quilting part what ever free-hand FMQ motif I've selected, my motif size tends to vary.  Yet, with ruler work, the FMQ tends to be consistent on a king for me.  Ruler Work on a king is slower than working on smaller sizes, but I'm more consistent on the quilting.

Today, I'm hoping to drop my machine off at the spa.  I've been seeing signs that she needed some pampering.  I'm good about cleaning and oiling, but I have had an add oil warning light come on a few times too often.  Also a warning light about the bobbin.  She is now spending the night in my car, ready to go to the spa tomorrow morning.  I had to rip out too many recent FMQ stitches as tension just wasn't right.  Poor girl. I know she is getting old, but I still love her and I hope she'll feel better after her spa visit this week.  

We plan to BBQ dinner tonight, including some corn.  Just the two of us.  But we have big plans to get together with family and friends late June. 

We are inspired by the #TapsAcrossAmerica movement and hope to hear taps 3pm (local time).  While we don't have any instruments, we will be playing taps via a recording.  I hope you will hear taps today and even better you'll find a way to play taps at 3pm your local time too!




Here is a youtube video about Taps Across America:



And, here is a video with taps being played.


Never forget!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Fun Friday - Happy Mail, Free Font

 I hope you are having a fun Friday and that you also have a wonderful weekend too!  Today I want to share insight on what's under the needle of my sewing machine, some Happy Mail I received, and a free font that caught my attention for anyone who also loves fonts.  

Yesterday Blogger had problems with trying to upload photos, so I'm a little late getting this post released today.  But now that I can upload photos, it is just another reason to smile today.  How about you?  I do hope you have plenty of reasons to smile today.  




I am the very lucky recipient of Happy Mail this week.  I was totally surprised.  I received a lovely letter and package from Karin of The Quilt Yarn.  The letter was super happy mail, filled with kindness and good thoughts.  It certainly touched my heart and made me smile!


When I opened the squishy package, which was shipped all the way from Australia, I was totally surprised and delighted that it is a beautiful table runner.  Karin had recently shared several posts on her delightful blog sharing her progress and I absolutely loved her unique design (pattern is available for purchase via her ETSY shop for a very reasonable price), colors, fabric prints and free-motion quilting.  I love how the leaves feel like they are floating in the air, as if they are blowing in a soft Fall breeze.  While Karin designed this 18 1/2" x 48 1/2" Fall project as a table runner, she shared she also likes it as a wallhanging.

My husband and I both fell in love with this Fall themed project and feel the colors will work in our home year round.  Initially, I was thinking of using it on our dining table, or on the top of a buffet table.  But after Karin mentioned she liked it as a wallhanging, my husband and I agreed we wanted it displayed near our front door, where we also can view it from our living room.  



While Karin also previously inspired me to start working with my camera to learn more than the auto features, I am still far from taking great pictures.  But in this one, I hope you can see why I love the woodgrain motif she beautiful quilted as I truly think it is absolute perfect for this design and Karin did a perfect job quilting it too!





I hope you'll check out Karin's blog posts showing how she made this quilt, as well as quilted the woodgrain motif.  She is always sharing tips and creative inspiration on her blog, so I hope you'll check it out and follow her too!  I'm always inspired how she pushes her creative skills to continually learn and improve.    I snagged a few photos from her blog as she does take far better pictures than I take.  This little video is a collection of pictures that show her process of making this Fall table runner (or wallhanging).




And this one shows how beautiful it looks as a table runner.


She also has more photos of this table runner on her ETSY shop where this pattern is also available for purchase, as a downloadable PDF file.

Thank you Karin for the very Happy Mail you sent, giving me plenty of reasons to smile now and every time I look at your beautiful table runner/wall hanging!  I love it!





You can find Karin at:


You may not know, but I'm a FontAholic.  I love using a variety of fonts for creating clipart, SVG files for my Silhouette Cameo, my Silhouette Mint stamping, machine embroidery digitizing and even Bernina Paintworks.  One can never have too many fonts as the possibilities are endless.  I came across a free font called "Aloha Summer".  Obviously the name spoke to me, but I also love the hand-written style of this font.  If you also enjoy fonts you can download it at Creative Fabrica.



Under the needle of my sewing machine this week I'm continuing to do ruler work on my Nine Sister's quilt.  I'm continuing to focus on the scrappy star blocks and making progress.  Getting into a groove, but I'll confess doing ruler work on a King size quilt does cause my shoulders to tighten so I can only sew for about an hour at a time, with a good break before I can sew more.  It is another reason for me to smile today.  I love making progress on a quilt!





Again, I hope you have plenty of reasons to smile and are finding time to enjoy and create.



Monday, May 24, 2021

Monday Mixup - Quiltivity, Controlling My Inner Squirrel With A Creative Plan For Summer, OMG for June

 

Happy Monday.  This is going to be a great week.  I may have created a new word, I have a plan to control my inner squirrel, and more Monday Mixup stuff to share today.



Have you heard the word "snacktivity"?


Well, let me introduce you to the word "Quiltivity".  Do you have any Quiltivity going on this week in your world ?




CONTROLLING MY INNER SQUIRREL


I had to have a serious discussion with my Inner Squirrel this weekend.  While she was coming up with some fun and creative project ideas, she was out of control and only helping me create UFOs vs finished projects.  

As I'm also entering a window where I'm often traveling and unable to take my sewing machine with me.  We sat down to review her list of all the nuts she wants to hoard and I brought up how in reality we'd have very little time this summer for sitting at a sewing machine, or doing machine embroidery.  We agreed we'd focus and IF time opened up we'd work on "her" creative list, which I often think is a nutty project list (it exceeds a life time supply of possible creative time).

We came to an agreement that my King size Nine Sisters quilt is going to be my #1 creative focus for the rest of this year, possibly longer.   I took advice from follower Terry Knott  (On Going Projects) whom recommended that I celebrate each time I finish quilting a section.  I pulled this project out from under my machine to assess what I've completed vs how much FMQ/Ruler work is remaining.

There are 45 of these four patch stars in this King, of which I have 11 of these blocks left to finish.  I'm going to stay focused on this ruler work in June.  To clarify, my goal for June will be to finish FMQ/Ruler work on all of these scrappy star blocks.

There are 28 simple small blocks in this quilt where I am using the Ultimate Stencil, by Cindy Needham to create a small Nautical Compass Star in FMQ mode.  

Given my summer travel schedule, I think I'll be working on the four larger Compass Stars and final background, this coming Fall.  Then, I hope to move on to borders, with hope of being able to add binding and finish this project in December.  Yes, I'm a Sloth Quilter (slow Quilter).  And while I love ruler work, I'm even slower stitching ruler work especially dense ruler work. But, oh I do love it.

My Inner Squirrel had many project ideas, including a recent desire to make the "Lil' Liberty Wall hanging in time for the 4th of July.  We didn't nix this project (aka Quilt Squirrel Nut), set it on the back burner.


Our agreed plan for Creative Time this summer came down to:






When I pointed out to my Inner Squirrel that none of these projects would require any additional purchase, her eyes teared up. She told me I ruined her shopping plans this week, but I think she understands the need to focus (at least for today).  The two of us agreed to work hard to stay focused as we need more finishes than UFOs, or anything that adds to our nut stash.

My garden is also calling to me.  Pretty much light weeding & trimming is needed.  I'd also like to plant more color. In June, I'm hoping to connect some drips to a timer for the purpose of watering potted plants.  I love gardening time and have experience with installing drips, so I think this should be an easy project.  Just one I've never had time to do so before.  

Do you have plans for June, or out thru the summer?  What ever you do, I hope you find time to enjoy and create.





FYI - To help hold me accountable with my goals for June, I'm linking up to One Monthly Goal June Link-up Party hosted by Elm Street Quilts.