Sunday Picnic 2

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Complete Poems


“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.”
― John Muir, The Wilderness World of John Muir


A chickadee was perched amongst the branches of the apple tree while I was snapping pictures of blossoms.

What’s he/she up to?


Aha!  There is a dead stump protruding from the side of the tree, and look what is deep in the hollow:

Chickadee Nest

Someone is preparing for a family!

The pines are growing:


For the curious, that is my home sweet home down there:

Home Sweet Home

Practicing the macro setting on the barbed wire:

Barbed Wire

The maple tree is budding out!


And the candytuft is blooming!


A beautiful crown imperial blossoming in the front garden:

Crown Imperial

The always lovely bleeding heart:

Bleeding Heart

Blossoms from the fabulous crabapple tree in the back yard:


I should have taken photos of the lilacs blooming.  Their fragrance greets me through every open window, and each day, when I come home from work.


“Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?”
― Neltje Blanchan


*I suggest clicking on the photos for a closer peek.

**Click the link for more photos from my previous post .

Sunday Picnic

“Do not let Sunday be taken from you.  If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.” -Albert Schweitzer

“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 Sunday was such a glorious spring day!

Hubby packed up a picnic lunch and we had a date!  We hiked up the hill behind the house, sat on the damp ground, and soaked up the sunshine.

Lunch was great, the view was great, and the company the best of all!

We took advantage of a gorgeous lazy Sunday afternoon, and practiced with our cameras.  I have a new pocket camera, and don’t know how to use it.

One of my first shots was this black and white of the Columbia River:

Columbia River

I have no idea how my camera was set on black and white display, but I like the results!

Another first shot was a photo of our feet; I thought I was turning the camera off, but pressed the wrong button.  I deleted that shot.

There is a lot of balsam arrowroot sharing their bright cheerful faces in my part of the woods.

Balsam Arrowroot

I don’t know the name of this delicate, tiny harbinger of spring:

Smallflower Woodland Star

*Update: The above is a Smallflower Woodland Star, or Prairie Star.  I found lots on Google; this link will get you started if you care to research it.

Continuing to practice the macro setting on the pear blossom:

Pear Blossom

And the apple blossom:

Apple Blossom

Love the moss living on the apple tree trunk!

Moss Living on the Apple Tree Trunk

I shall share more from this wondrous date when I have the opportunity. 

Relish the world around you!

*I suggest clicking on the photos for a closer peek.

I Won! Twice!

I am a very blessed girl indeed!

I have thanked the sponsors already, but I want to share their generosity publicly.

As some of you know already, I have been participating in QuiltShopGal’s 2015 Free Motion Pillow Challenge.  The challenge is not a contest; it is for education and fun.  However, there are generous sponsors, and winners are randomly selected using a random number generator.

I was randomly selected for prize #3 in March!

With my prize certificate, I received these fabrics from Fabrics N Quilts!

Chalk Line (RJR)

Chalk Line (RJR)

The day that I discovered Karen’s Quilts, Crows and Cardinals – Redbird Quilt Co. blog, she was hosting a giveaway, and I thought, why not?

Linda Hrcka, from The Quilted Pineapple, was generously offering a set of her QP Curved quilting templates.

The winner was also selected by random generator.

Look at what I won:

QP Curve Templates

I have not had time to play yet, but I am so looking forward to it!

Many, many thanks to Darlene, Fabrics N Quilts, Karen, and Linda!

I just might enter more giveaways.  How about you?

Initial Pillow No. 3

This month’s initial pillow is for my oldest granddaughter (who is not all that old).  I appliqued a pink letter A onto a patchwork background.

I am using 50 weight Aurifil in the bobbin.  I tried something new to me for my top thread…Wonderfil’s Konfetti, also 50 weight.  I had trouble with it fraying until I switched to a size 14 needle.  Then all was well!

Alyssa Pillow

I like Christina Cameli’s peapod free motion quilting design, so I used it here.  I stitched with a small scale, so didn’t really like how it turned out.  At first.  After I got the whole picture, I decided the texture was pretty cool.  However, I still think I’d like the peapod design stitched out on a larger scale better.

The peapod fmq design is alternated with Christina’s branching free motion quilting design.  I felt the same about the results of this stitching, as I did with the peapod stitching.

Here is how the completed quilting looks from the back (as a wholecloth project, I really like it…but no one will ever see the back):

Alyssa Pillow

A closer look:

Alyssa Pillow

The front of the pillow top before sewing into a pillow and washing:

Alyssa Pillow

The completed pillow (washed, so that I can admire the texture washing creates):

Alyssa Pillow

The back is made from a sweet plaid, and has a concealed zipper.

Alyssa Pillow

I chose option #4 from QuiltShopGal’s 2015 April Free Motion Quilting Challenge.  I am linking up here.

Check out Christina’s blog; she has many ideas and tips to help and inspire your free motion quilting!

Alyssa Pillow

Joy Pillow

Initial Pillow No. 1

Initial Pillow No. 2

The Professional Tote

I am joining the Slow Bloggers.  I like the Slow Blog Manifesto; it allows me to not take myself too seriously at a time in my life when I’d rather be blogging than working. I have, however, made the time to finish an old UFO. It is the Professional Tote; a great pattern by The Creative Thimble: Professional Tote The pieces for the Professional Tote have been cut out for what seems like forever.  It is a good thing that the pattern provides labels for all those pieces or I would’ve had a hard time sewing this together!  I would not have remembered what went where! Professional Tote I am so happy to have completed this bag!  It is a nice roomy bag; great for a day out with my quilting friends.  Professional Tote Shopping, lunch, quilt guild meeting, and more shopping!

I’m linking up with QuiltShopGal.  There is lots of Creative Goodness going on over there!

Pin Basted



Not one, but two large quilts pin basted this week!

Aunt Sukey Spins Off

Aunt Sukey Spins Off (click here to see more).

Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek (hasn’t got a name yet).

If you’d like to know my pin basting method, I shared here.

Initial Pillow No. 2

For my first initial pillow, I chose to create a pillow cover for my youngest grandchild.

This time, I have created a pillow covering for my oldest grandchild.  His favorite color is orange, and he is partially color blind.

Aiden Pillow

I wanted borders around the letter and star so that I could use a variety of free motion quilting designs.

Aiden Pillow

Whether I am free motion quilting a pillow cover, or a full-size quilt, I like to begin by stitching in the ditch to stabilize my project.  It also allows me to remove the pins so that they no longer hinder my stitching (I quilt with a domestic sewing machine).

Aiden Pillow

Wonderfil Invisfil is my favorite thread to use for stitching in the ditch.

Aiden Pillow

I used one of Cindy Needham’s stencils to easily mark quilting lines on the star points.  I could have used several choices of markers, but I used chalk that I pounced on.

Aiden Pillow

Aiden Pillow

I also like to use Pam Clarke’s stencils for marking.  The grids are great for spacing even distances for parallel quilting or many other types of designs.

The rest of the free motion quilting on the pillow cover was done without marking.  I use Aurifil 50 weight thread for the quilting.

This is the finished pillow before washing:

Aiden Pillow

The pillow back has a concealed zipper.

Aiden Pillow

There is a lot of texture after washing!

Aiden Pillow

I am doing Option #1 from QuiltShopGal’s Free Motion Quilting Challenge 2015 March (featuring Patsy Thompson).  Here is a link to the post that shows my participation in the Patsy Thompson part of the Free Motion Quilting Challenge 2012.

I am linking up with quiltshopgal.