Monday, August 29, 2011

Hollyhocks Blooming in South Florida

Geranium in my front yard that I used for color inspiration
Hello everyone!  I can't believe it's almost Labor Day!  Where has the summer gone?  Mine has been spent focusing on my 9-5 job.  Actually more like 7 - 6 but that's okay because I really love it!  In my spare time I have been working on adorable little blocks from Jeana Kimball's A Cottage Garden.  Here is the latest installment ; my interpretation of a Hollyhock. 

Hollyhock block from Jeana Kimball's A Cottage Garden pattern
 All the embroidery is done using 50 weight sewing thread.   This is an online class and we receive our patterns on the first of each month.  I can't wait to see what September 1st brings!

I also have my main sewing machine back and working so I spent part of the weekend trying to finish my Blue Moon quit kit by Charlotte Angotti.  My 830 had been feeling poorly and my local dealer closed it's doors in May.  I took me a bit but I finally found an excellent Bernina dealer, Sew Studio in Naples, Florida.  The repair person, Ken, is a retired US Air Force aviation electronics technician and an absolute whiz with machines!  Not only did my machine work perfectly when I brought it home, it looked brand new!  Ken even polished the foot control so it looked as if it has never been used!  Of course, I had to do a little shopping while I was there.  The fabric selections were gorgeous.  All new fabrics, tons of batiks, backgrounds, blenders, prints, etc.    I highly recommend to my applique friends!

Until next time...

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Gift For My Readers!

I decided to give a gift to all my loyal blog readers that stuck with me while my blogs were far and few between.  Please click on this link Gardenia Wreath with Bow to access a page to download one of my original patterns.  The pattern is designed for the adventurous beginner and up.  It is appropriate for all machine and hand applique methods.  The only favor I ask is that you respect that it is for personal use only.  If you would like to use it for any other purpose, please email.  I will do my best to work with you.

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Not Every Painting Needs to Be Important

Hi gang!
I hope all of you reading this are enjoying a wonderful summer (or for those in the Southern Hemisphere an uneventful winter).  Miami has been hot, humid, and rainy for the last few months – i.e. perfect quilting weather!  We lock ourselves indoors, make huge pitchers of iced tea, crank up the AC, and curl up with our projects.  Other members of my household have found more traditional ways to keep cool.  Sometimes it’s a dip in the pool.

Ethel loves to swim!

Other times it’s sharing a popsicle.
My husband's hand with Lucy on the left and Ethel on the right

Many of you have written to ask if I was 'OK' because my blogging have been very sporatic since last fall. The truth is that I have had a very difficult year heathwise.  However, I am very happy to report that I am finally on the mend and will do my best to return to a more dependable blogging schedule.  One of the worst side effects of being ill was that it zapped my creative energy as well as my spirit.  After barely stitching or sitting at a sewing machine for a year it has been very difficult to dive back in.  Especially because most of my works in progress required either advance applique or very detailed machine quilting.  Everything seemed so overwhelming! But then I remembered some very wise advice I received from my graduate school painting instructor - not every painting needs to be important.  Wiser words were never spoken - at least to me directly!  Not every quilt you make, or every block you stitch, or every project you work on, or every book you read, or every show you watch, or every (fill in the blank) has to be SERIOUS.  A joyful life is made up of joyful activities.  It's perfectly ok to work on projects that are whimsical simply because it's FUN.  Remember fun?  Wasn't that the reason most of us started quilting?

So that's exactly what I did!  I picked out the most FUN project I had on my radar and decided to just enjoy myself.  I enrolled in a year long online class with Jeana Kimball, called A Cottage Garden.  Here is my first block of the project; Robin
It took me too evenings to stitch is block and I had the time of my life - no pressure, no worries - just fabric and thread and joy!

So until next time, remember to have a little fun every day!
Best stitches!
Mercy in Miami