Good Bye 2015 and Good Bye to the Hummingbirds…

Hello All!

I know it has been three months since my last post. 2015 was tough, especially the end of it. I am not sad to see it in my rear view mirror. And strangely, I have several friends that feel the exact same way. But its done… The hummingbirds are also done, after 100 birds I lost steam and it just wasn’t fun anymore. So I am calling it. I have plenty for a really nice size wall hanging and I ended it with my grandmother’s block which makes me happy. My new goal is to get them all set and over to Karen for quilting before the end of the year.

Even though I haven’t been blogging I have been busy making things. Here is a tour of the last couple months:

I made this bag for my mother-in-law with a new batting/stabilizing product called “Annie’s Soft and Stable”. It was amazing. The bag is sturdy, holds its shape and stands nicely with no interfacing, no Pellon, no batting; nothing but this new product that is basically a sturdy batting with fabric on both sides. Got her some yarn too 😉

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I was in desperate need of yarn and the very nice ladies that own an alpaca farm near my parents opened up the shop for me over the holiday. And I got to meet this guy (and 20 of his friends).

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And lastly, I have spent the last half of this month making scarves for the 2016 Special Olympics Winter Games. Each year the Special Olympics presents every athlete that participates in the winter games with a scarf (I just found out about this). There is a call out to knitters and crocheters in each state to make scarves. Each state picks a different color scheme each year and the guidelines are pretty broad. I would encourage you to get involved and make a couple scarves for these kids. I decided to crochet because I am a very slow knitter but I did try to mix it up pattern-wise.

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I hope you all have an awesome 2016! I’ll be posting, probably not as frequently but I will be back.

Paula Sue

Hummingbird #100 – What??

Block #100 for my Grandmother

Block #100 for my Grandmother

For my 100th bird, I wanted this to be special. I stressed for the last two days over who to dedicate this to and which fabric to use. Early in the project I had decided to make birds only for those that are still with us, as a celebration of life. But tonight my husband pointed out to me that even those that have gone before us have left their mark on our lives and are special to us.

My grandmother passed when she was in her early 50’s and I was still a freshman in high school. But, I can promise you there would be no hummingbirds without my grandmother. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I owe my craftiness to her. I was lucky enough to live in the same town as my grandparents so I grew up watching her make dolls, crocheting and sewing. She encouraged and taught me anything I wanted to learn.

I often wonder what she would have thought of all this; if we would have worked on projects together, if she would have helped me pick out the fabric for my first quilt and taught me how to put it together. And if she had, maybe it wouldn’t have ended up in the trash…

I know she probably wouldn’t be here with us now, but I have been quilting since I was 18. Had she lived another 10-15 years, I would have known her as an adult, as a quilter. That would have been amazing.

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Date Made: September 21st 2015
Block #100
Days on Project: 264
Blocks Made: 100

For My Grandmother

Hummingbird #99

Block #99 For Stanley

Block #99 For Stanley

Here you go Stanley! Here’s your bird. When I made this bird I thought it was crazy fun. I apologize for my lack of modesty on this one, but it even photographed well! So I thought, who do I know that is also crazy fun… Can only be Stanley.

He also happened to mention, on my birthday, that he had not received his bird. I might be paraphrasing, but I think he said “Where’s my bird?” Stanley and I worked together for a couple of years and in all honesty he should have gotten a bird sooner. I just couldn’t figure out the best story to tell. Then I realized, it was because we had fun all the time. From wearing his Gryffindor best, to his love of bacon (which I share), to dressing up like Chef for Halloween, he kept us laughing. ALOT.

Also, no one rocks the “vest + jeans” look better than him. No One.

Date Made: September 20th 2015
Block #99
Days on Project: 263
Blocks Made: 99

For Stanley

Hummingbird #98

Block #98 For Charlene

Block #98 For Charlene

This bird is for Charlene. Charlene was a member of an appliquĂ© bee i was in a few years ago and I was thinking about her today. About 11 months ago, I ran into her and a few other quilty friends at festival. We talked about getting together once a month at someone’s house to sit and stitch.

This morning I was thinking of how much more fun it would be to sit and knit with other people as opposed to sitting and knitting with Law and Order reruns.

Charlene is a talented quilter and she is super fast. I am always envious of those that show up to the monthly meeting with new 5 finished projects for “show and tell” while I show up with the same project month after month to sit and work on during the meeting. The project that never seems to make it to show and tell.

But I will still let her come over and stitch; even if she shows me up 😉

Time to make this happen.

Date Made: September 19th 2015
Block #98
Days on Project: 262
Blocks Made: 98

For Charlene

Hummingbird #97

Block #97 for Puja

Block #97 for Puja

Well my first bird back wasn’t a complete success but I did get it done. In the process, I forgot to change my foot, needle placement and stitch length. Apparently I wasn’t doing so hot before I stopped making birds either. This one was already cut and somehow I ended up with extra pieces… And it’s actually prettier than this, my “real” camera wasn’t charged. Clearly I was not prepared for bird making this evening.

Tonight’s bird is for my co-worker Puja. She lives not far from me and after some car troubles last weekend, I helped out by giving her a lift to work one day this week. It was nice to have someone to chat with on that very long drive. The thing I like about Puja is that she truly cares for you. She doesn’t go all sappy on you and she often tells you like it is. But it is 100% from the heart. Even given the difficult week she is having, she took the time to give me some encouraging words and “momma” me a bit today. And to be honest, I needed it. I do listen, occasionally.

I am taking it easy this weekend… on Puja’s orders.

Date Made: September 18th 2015
Block #97
Days on Project: 261
Blocks Made: 97

For Puja

Just like riding a bike…

Or Not.

It took me 30 minutes to get my room sewing room put back together. Nothing was where it should have been and I couldn’t even remember which iron I was using for this project (it’s the baby one, fyi). Once I did get it set up, I spent the rest of the time matching fabrics with some success.

TOMORROW WE CUT!

Prior to the matching...

Prior to the matching…

Matches

Matches

Awesome fabric I can't seem to match :-(

Awesome fabric I can’t seem to match 😩

Essentials for fast foundation piecing:

Comfy swivel chair, ironing board at “sitting” height, travel iron that is easy on your hands and shoulders, cutting board and trash can right beside my sewing machine (Janome 6600), add a quarter ruler, and a Gail Garber post card for a straight edge.

My set up...

My set up…

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Hummingbird #96

Block #96 for April X.

Block #96 for April X.

I was a bachelorette this weekend. My husband was out of town and I had the whole weekend to do whatever I wanted to. I *should* have made a ton of birds, but I only made 2.75 birds. However, I did sleep a lot today. Any during my daytime nap I had the strangest dreams about people I haven’t seen or thought about in years. One of those was April.

I met April when we roomed together during our orientation before our freshman year in college. We decided to be roommates the following year, both of us terrified of rolling the dice. She had tattoo’s; I always wanted a tattoo but was too scared to get one.

One night, I came back to my room and a male RA from another floor was crashed out in our room.  He was drunk and couldn’t make it back to his room without getting seen and kicked out. Boys after hours were NOT allowed. And I was NOT a rule breaker. I still have trouble breaking the rules. I spent that night in the TV room until he woke up and left and then I moved out as soon as I could. I regret that, she was pretty cool and super nice. If I had stayed with her, I probably would have that tattoo by now.

Date Made: June 7th 2015
Block #96
Days on Project: 158
Blocks Made: 96

For April X.

Hummingbird #95

Block #95 for Shelly A.

Block #95 for Shelly A.

This bird is dedicated to my co-worker, and super cool chic, Shelly A. The thing I like the most about shelly is her attitude. She always has a positive outlook on life. Usually, overly positive people bug me. I want to hit them with a reality stick. But not her; she has great delivery. She doesn’t kill you with rainbows. I often leave her office thinking, “well, why didn’t I see it that way” or “I should try to be more like that”.

Funny Thing…

A couple years ago, Shelly was very pregnant and had decided it was time to stop driving herself to work. We lived near each other so she rode with me. We talked about everything on our way in. Work, TV, husbands, movies, food (lots of food talk), growing up…

One day we were talking about the things we ate as kids (yes – like I said, lots of food talk). I had never met anyone down here who ate the same things I did growing up until her: Sugar toast, peanut butter and syrup sandwiches, rice with butter and sugar… I still can’t believe it. We are both sort of from the mid-west, maybe thats it? I no longer eat sugar toast, or rice with butter and sugar but every time I have a peanut butter and honey (upgraded it a bit) sandwich I think of her. I might have one tonight…

Date Made: June 6th 2015
Block #95
Days on Project: 157
Blocks Made: 94

For Shelly A.

Hummingbird #94

Block #94 for Rommel Micu

Block #94 for Rommel

This bird is for my college buddy Rommel. We spent our last couple semesters in class together and had a blast. Over time we lost touch until one day we bumped into each other in one of the most unlikely places…

Jury Duty!

Yep, what are the odds? I live(ed) in a city of about 4-6 million peoples. The odds are low [quite low] that you will meet someone you know in jury duty. Not only that, but we were put on the same jury pool. So we had lunch, reminisced and experienced our judicial system together. He had a very high number and I had a very low number. Which basically means, I got selected and he didn’t (but I always get selected – that’s another story). We parted ways and friended each other on Facebook.

Now he might be moving out to my neck of the woods and I am hoping to see him a little more than every 10 years or so. However, there are less people out here… so chances are we could make this jury duty thing work.

Date Made: June 1st 2015
Block #94
Days on Project: 152
Blocks Made: 94

For Rommel

Hummingbird #93

Block #93 for 365 Days Hand Made

Block #93 for 365 Days Handmade

This is my first bird in just over a month. I posted a bit of a groveling post earlier so in this post, I will instead catch you up on my crazy world. And dedicate this to the very cool chica who pulled me out of my sewing slump.

I started a new, very big project at work and have been tied up with power points, politics and snake bites. I’m not being metaphorical, my dog actually got bit by a snake a few nights ago. It’s been a long week.

I got online tonight and logged into WordPress for the first time in a month and had a message from a fellow blogger at 365 Days Handmade. She was wondering where I was and I remember feeling the same way a few months ago when A Thousand Quilted Cranes disappeared for a bit.

I have missed this community and in particular, the blogger responsible for 365 Days Handmade. She is unbelievable cool, and made This Hat which told me all I need to know about her.

Thank you for checking in on me and all your good advice as I start my knitting journey. You Rock.

Date Made: May 31st, 2015
Block #93
Days on Project: 151
Blocks Made: 93

For 365 Days Handmade