Thursday, December 30, 2010


I feel like I am coming out of hibernation it is so long since I have written anything! I enjoyed every moment of my holiday season, and I hope you did, too! I did hardly any sewing and actually enjoyed that down time, too! Let's see..where do I start? Ah..I know. Look at the wonderful mug rug that QuiltSue over at Quilt Times made me:

She sent these out to those that had participated in the Christmas quilt along. It is wayyy too pretty for sloppy me to be putting my coffee on, so it will be hung on the wall.

Next, I have to say I am like a toddler at Christmas time. My favorite part of the gifts?? This:

The boxes and tins everything comes in! lol I already have reorganized my sewing room and these are being used to house projects. Divine!!

I also got some wonderful news from Quiltmaker magazine. I had applied to be part of their Scrap Squad that they are starting up, but wasn't chosen for that. I did, however, get on the list to be a block tester for their 100 Blocks magazine! They sent me this selection of fabric:

I can use these to make the blocks with or use them for any project I would like. After I test out the block patterns, I send a pic of the block and a critique to them. I won't be able to share the pics of the blocks, no trying to wheedle them out of me! It will be a "sneakret" as my kids say until AFTER the magazine comes out. Wooohoo..I LOVE sneakrets!!!

The only sewing I had done over the holidays was some handquilting on the Giant New York Sunflower quilt. I did finally get a little bit of sewing done yesterday and hope to get more done today. I have almost all the flying geese I need for my string quilt made and am also working on finishing up my Pinwheel Party top. Wish me luck on those and will post any progress on them later!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Good Weekend

Well, today I got a ton of stuff done. Grocery shopping, cooking for the month, laundry etc. The only thing I got done sewing wise today were these:

Binding on the mini tree table runner that I made yesterday.

Sewed the words on and quilted and bound these little quiltlets:

I also showed Hannah how to sew tonight! Woohoo! She wanted to make a gift for her two best friends, so we decided on some wall hangings with pics of them and her on them. Here she is with her finished products:

Very proud of her..she did them all on her own! Now it is midnight and we are heading to bed. Night all!

Satisfied Saturday

Well, I had a great time sewing/visiting with Shellie yesterday. We started off with some donut holes and coffee, of course. Then we moved on to exchanging gifts. As my own personal enabler, Shellie first gave me this as she knows I am addicted to quilt books:

Then, she bowled me over with this gift that she made me:

Isn't this scarf amazing?? She even made it in my fave!! I wore it all day yesterday!!

I gave her her gift which was the mini tree table runner! I only said it was for my secret santa so she wouldn't know!

We did get some sewing done. First we started with these little quiltlets which still have to be embroidered. We both made 2, but I only took a pic of one:

Then we started making trees for more mini tree table runners. Shellie hadn't paper pieced before so it was fun to show her how. Once she got the hang of it, she was on a roll! I got 4 trees made before our time ran out. We then packed up Shellie's stuff and headed over to Craft Bits and Pieces so Shellie could get her bargain fix. She did a ton of fabric for $10. I bought not ONE piece of fabric!! You have no idea the restraint it took! I need NOTHING, tho, so I was good. Well, until I saw this in the case:

I know it is a baaaaaad pic, but Hannah and I must have taken a million pics and couldn't get it to focus any better. I just LOVE this watch with the scissors hands! It cost me all of 4.95! lol What a deal.

Last, here is a pic of my new mini tree table runner sans binding:

I also got my Chunky churndash all sandwiched and ready to go. Need to get that quilted as it is a gift for my oldest son, Tom. Also on the agenda is helping Hannah make some picture wallhangings for her two best friends. Full day, so better get going!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ground control...we have a problem here

Yup, we do. A BIG problem. A MONUMENTAL problem. I did make my secret santa gift tonight (and stayed away from the strings!!). The problem is, I LOVE this project. I WANT this project! I NEED this project! I don't wanna give it up! lol

Go ahead. Tell me this isn't the cutest little thing you have ever seen! Can't do it, can you?? All I have to do is hand sew the binding on the back tomorrow at lunch and decorate my little trees and it is all set.

Alright, I know if I love it this much, the person who is going to receive it will love it, too. I guess I will just have to make myself one next!! lol Btw...I found this pattern over at Stash Manicure, listed under my blogs!

String fling!

Haven't been in the sewing room at all until last night. I went in to work on a secret santa gift. Hmm..far as I know that doesn't include making more string blocks. Yet, that is what I did. I thought I would just make a few more until I started the gift. 36 blocks later, I was done for the night lol. I am now up to 60 string blocks. I am thinking that I need 120 of them. Dear God, please make me stop at 120!! I have other projects that need to be worked on! lol This Saturday Shellie is coming over for a sew in and my plan is to make the flying geese that I am planning on using with these string blocks. Worse case scenario, I will have enough blocks between those two types to end up with 2 different quilts! lol

Tonight I WILL work on the secret santa gift and another project or two. I WILL. I will show pics at the end of the night so I have some accountability here. It is already half way through the week and I haven't posted my list to get done. I better hustle butt!

1) secret santa gift
2) ornament table runner
3) quilt Chunky Churndash
4) flying geese blocks
5) 60 more string blocks..yay!! not even a DENT in the string bins!!

Now, you might remember that in November, I headed off to Ct for a retreat with a great bunch of quilters. We all met via Marie Bostwick's website. We all love her books and love quilting, so what better to get together with her and each other for a weekend! We had such a great time and guess what? It was written up by Meg Cox of Quilter's Home Magazine! You can read the article here and check out a pic of us all together!! I just can't wait until next year's retreat!! If you are interested, check out Marie's site. We have a great forum there where we all chat, share recipes, gift ideas, quilting stories, etc. It is a great community to be in!!

Updates later!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hmmm.... I just don't know. It looked great in my head, but my idea for my string blocks now might be too busy. Ha..who'da thunk I would think anything could be too busy? I really love the Road to California block and I thought I would mix it up a bit by putting my string blocks where there normally would be solid blocks. I only made the pieces for 6 blocks so far. I don't have the units sewn together yet as I am not sure where I am going with this yet. I will keep making more blocks and then see what I think. Since they are not sewn together, I can always make something else out of them! lol

Here are 2 versions:

The only difference is one version has the strings making x's in the centers and the other has o's being made.

Okay..I lied. Seeing them on the computer here is sooooo much different than eyeing them up on the ground. Seeing them here...I LOVE them! lol So, change my hmmmm..I don't know to hmmmmm...I LOVE these! lol

Now, tell me what YOU think..HONESTLY. My feelings won't be hurt. Some nice solid borders around it all..mebbe..that is the plan, anywho. Who knows what it will be when I get there?? lol

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


An idea just popped into my head on what to do with my string blocks. Oh, I hope it works. Off to go play now and see if it looks as good in real life as it does in my head. Wish me luck and I will show you what I am up to in a bit!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Important Human Service Announcement

The light chat on my blog stops for today. No pictures of projects being worked on will be shown..though I do have some for tomorrow.

I am stopping the frivolity for the day to remember 1985. Do you remember it? I was 21 way back then. The 80's were a lot of things, and most we would like to forget. One thing stands out, though, that we as humans dare NOT forget. 1985...the year when it seemed like the world cared..and we could and WOULD do something to make the world a better place. Where has that gone? We are all so caught up in our lives that it seems like we have forgotten that the world doesn't revolve around us. I have been scurrying around trying to get things done for the holidays and I bet you have, too. Does that extra plate of cookies we HAVE to make really matter? Will Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) really be ruined if something doesn't get done?

What about the people who are hungry tonight? Who tuck their children in with empty bellies? Who live on the streets and huddle together to stay warm? Breaks my heart...and I know it must be breaking God's heart.

You can't watch these videos from 1985 and NOT catch that contagious fire of making the world a better place. So, I am challenging you. Put these videos on your blog so that others can catch this fire. I will be keeping these videos on my blog through the month of December to keep reminding myself..and you..of what we used to think we could do. I would love it if you would, also..and if you would leave me a message of what you have done.

I am going down to the Open Door Mission in Rochester to hand out my quilts tonight to some of the folks. What are YOU going to

Saturday, December 4, 2010

License to swirl has been revoked

Finished quilting Patrick's Twisted 9 patch today. I quilted it in a swirl pattern, and I still suck at swirls! Sheesh..who'da thunk that making swirls would get the better of me?? The good news is the pattern is busy enough that you don't notice the stinky swirls. The better news is that it is one more thing off my to do list! It is such a dreary, wet day that I couldn't bring the quilt outside for a pic and had to settle for under our covered walkway, so this will have to do for now:

Still have to handsew the binding down tonight. This great pattern can be found at

Oh, here are a pic of the string blocks so far:

There are 26 of them. I am itching to make more, but have to work on some other things first! Good motivation! Off I go to work on more of this past week's list. How are you doing on your list?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dog bed done!

Take one ugly pillowcase:

Pin it next to you on your ironing board and fill it up with all those scraps too tiny for anything:

Zigzag stitch the ugly pillowcase up and make a pretty french seam pillowcase and insert ugly pillowcase:

Add one 3 legged Schipperke named Delilah who loves her crate (we don't even close the door..she just goes in there at night and don't EVER try to stick your hand in there when she is in there..FIERCE protection mode then!)..and you get one very happy puppy:

I love using those scraps that I ordinarily would just throw out. Plus, if she gets the top pillowcase dirty, in the wash it goes. If the whole thing gets the wash the whole thing can go! I actually have another pillowcase already filled and the sewing room cats might just get a bed out of that. Hmm..have the feeling that even if I make them one, they will still prefer to sleep on whichever quilt I am working on!! lol
Two things done on this week's list..this and got a bag of scraps cut up. Unfortunately, those were the two quick and easy ones. I might actually have more done if those string blocks weren't so addicting! I have 26 of those done now! lol Oh well..on to the next!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meet "the Fudd"

I know..horrible picture but Hannah has the camera so I took this one with the cell phone. This is my favorite coat in the world. It is a small men's hunting jacket that I bought at Goodwill years ago. It is soooooooo warm. Yes...all make fun of me in it. I am old, though, and don't care. The first time I wore it to work, my coworkers said I looked like I was going out after that "wascally wabbit". I looked like Elmer Fudd, apparently, so the coat was aptly named "the Fudd". Yes, you will find that people in my family often name inanimate objects. We have our tree, "the Fred", "the Fudd", etc..Does anyone else's family do this?? lol

Anywho, "the Fudd" is back and out in his full glory thanks to the cold weather and I am glad to be wrapped up in the arms of my friend again!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

An overdue finish and a new week's list

Well, with all the happy chaos of Thanksgiving (and the worse chaos of Black Friday in which I worked from 3:45 am to 12:30 pm), I did absolutely no sewing until last night. I think it took all that time for me to recuperate! lol I wasn't sure what I wanted to work on last night, but when I moved some things around, I refound my blocks from a swap we did on Homesteading today..I think it was at the beginning of the year. I had put them aside as I was going to make more blocks to make it a big snuggly quilt, but when I was playing with them last night, I decided to make it as is. It ends up being 52" x 52". This was a Tattered Pioneer block swap. So, the pieces are sewn on top of each other with the raw edges hanging out so that they fray and look "tattered". I love the colors, the wonkiness, everything about it. Looks very folk artsy to me! I do still have to handstitch the back of the binding on, but will do that tonight so am counting it as a long overdue finish! Yay!!

I have 2 other quilts ready to be quilted, but wasn't really in the mood to quilt up another one. So, looking around, I found my string bins were overflowing. I have never made a string block, so played around and made these 3:

These were sooooo much fun! I can see these being an addiction. What a great feeling to use up something that I never would be able to any other way..mine are all under 1 1/2 inches wide. So, I can see LOTS of these in my future.

Then I noticed my 1 1/2 inch square bin was awfully full so made some of my first loves:

I will keep making these as my leaders and enders while I sew up some other things. I love these little guys and have all kinds of ideas dancing around in my head for them!

I got the best bargains ever on black friday..I bought NOTHING! lol I do most of my Christmas shopping all year long when things go on clearance (I LOVE working at Target!) and though Joann's is right next door, I knew I didn't need anything and a bargain is only a bargain if you NEED the item. Anywho, here is my list of what I want to accomplish on the sewing front this week:

1) quilt Christmas ornament table runner
2) quilt Patrick's Twisted 9 patch OR Jitterbug
3) cut up 1 bag of scraps in to usable pieces
4) make doggie bed
5) get at least 3 more steps done on mystery

I could go on, but I am trying to be realistic..nothing more UNmotivating than a list that is ridiculous!! How did you all do??

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday project update

Yay! I got the borders on the Chunky Churndash. You can find the pattern on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site. Mine measures in at 73 1/2" x 79 1/2". Hannah, 16, takes all my quilt pics for me. Thanks, Hannah for braving the cold to do this for me!!

Whirly girls

I made some good progress yesterday and think I will get yesterday's list all completed today. Here is the wallhanging I completed yesterday. It is from the book, Pinwheel Party by Ellen Paul. At last weekend's Cobbled Court Quilt Circle retreat, we all brought batik strips to share to make tote bags with. I chose not to make the bag because I know I will ruin it and I wanted to have a keepsake from the weekend. So, I made this top there after cutting down the strips and sandwiched and quilted it yesterday. I named it Whirly Girls as it reminds me of whirly gigs but is a reminder of all my new girl friends!!

I also got the binding all done on the Christmas tree skirt. It is being modeled outside by "the Fred". "The Fred" is a Silver Maple tree that Joe brought home from school as a teensy, tiny twig when he was in 1st grade. He is a senior now! We also had "the Ethel" which Hannah brought home the next year, but our dog ate her lol. As you can see, "the Fred" is a tad big to be modeling the skirt, but he begged and pleaded, so we gave in:

The center of the Chunky churndash is all done..will be trying out borders and getting them on today and hopefully will also get the Christmas ornament table runner sandwiched and quilted today. Then, on to making the list of what I want to get done the rest of the week. Yay..I LOVE lists and crossing things off of them!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday plans

Patrick has a nasty head cold so we are in for the weekend. I did the grocery shopping yesterday, so that means at some point I need to do the cooking for the month..probably tomorrow. Today is going to be a sewing/cleaning day in between caring for Patrick, aka BoogSchnoogler. Here is my list of what I want to get done today in the sewing area:

1) finish up Christmas tree skirt binding
2) sandwich and quilt Christmas ornament table runner
3) finish up Chunky Churndash quilt top (made a nice dent in making the churndash blocks at last weekend's retreat)
4) sandwich and quilt wallhanging made last weekend at retreat featuring shared batiks
5) introduce you all to a very dear friend of mine

Of course the list could go on and on..I have 2 other quilts all sandwiched and ready to quilt, but boy, would I be thrilled if I can even get these done! What is on your project list this weekend?

PS. I did finish my Stars in Plain Sight quilt. This one was a lot of fun for me as I did the quilting with a freehand fmq baptist fan design. I know it isn't a big deal for those of you that fmq, but I am still so new to it, that this was really pushing the limits for me and I love how it turned out!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Want to take a walk with me?

We might be feeling a little lost in life and searching for something and end up in a wonderful little village in Connecticut called New Bern where chain stores are not allowed and the 2 blocks that make up the town center have storefronts that look like this:

Next we would probably want to grab a bite to eat and see a little of the local life.

What better than a place that is trendy yet comfortable, and you are greeted by a charming gentleman who has a most amazing Irish accent:

Being an abnormally warm November day, we would probably decide to take a walk through the tiny town to rid ourselves of the extra calories brought on by our dessert of the sinfully delectable Bannoffee...which is made of toffee, banana and shaved bittersweet chocolate. (Sorry..wiping drool off keyboard at the very thought of this!!)
While walking, we almost..just almost miss this little sign tucked in at the beginning of what looks like a little alley:

Being curious, we would just HAVE to follow this little alley to see where it led. Just where DOES it lead?? To this fabulous teensy court surrounded by a few little shops and even this:

A shop that is empty of everything but our dream and our faith and our hope!! Want to know more??? Then you will just have to read A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick and the other books in the series.

As for me and 16 of the most wonderful ladies I had the pleasure to finally get to meet, we spent this past weekend on the first retreat of the Cobble Street Quilt Circle! We got to tour this lovely town with the best tour guide ever..

..Marie Bostwick herself who shared with us some of the inspirations for her fabulous books. Being a retreat, we also did a LOT of wining and dining..

...a lot of sewing..

..we made around 40 pillowcases to be donated to a woman's shelter:

...a lot of laughing and smiling...

..but most of all, we became friends..real friends. After there anything better than that?
If you would like to join this terrific group of ladies, just click on the link on the left side of my blog for Marie's site. We would love to see you in New Bern with all of us Cobble Court Quilters!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun with Shellie

Well, we had such a nice visit today! Unfortunately, we had it at my house, so that means constant interruptions so no where near enough sewing got done. I got the Christmas tree skirt cut and the binding machine stitched and will hand stitch it down tonight. I also made a little Christmas table topper that couldn't be any easier.

It starts with these:

Which became snowballs and then this:

They met up with some friends and became this:

Add some little hats and hooks and you get:

Ugh...I HATE when it goes sideways!!!!!!
A nice little Christmas tree ornament table topper.

Here is Shellie hard at work:

She worked on these green log cabin blocks for her Christmas tree skirt:

So, it was a great visit..any time with Shellie is great..but again, I feel bad there were so many interruptions. Well, 3 weeks from now, we will be on a retreat and hopefully getting some projects worked on!!

Sunday Sew in with Shellie

Yeah..try saying that 5 times fast! lol Shellie is coming over this morning and we are going to work on some projects. Not sure what I am going to work on yet, though. Would like to get a few things finished off, but knowing me I will be starting something new. Will update on our progress as the day goes on!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Aha! moment

Tonight while watching some tv with the family, I went back to hand quilting my Giant New York Sunflower quilt. I really haven't gotten very far on it and I needed the peace that I get from hand quilting. Don't get me wrong, I love machine quilting. Especially for utility quilts that I know are going to be lugged around, cuddled in and washed often. I don't have as much faith in my hand stitching to withstand all that. With machine quilting, though, I love the challenge of it and the speed of it (working on the intricacy and accuracy of it lol). Hand quilting is tranquil and calming to me. Much more so than machine quilting.

Anywho, as I was stitching, I was thinking about how every time I have tried to use a hoop, it just doesn't work for me. I do much better with just letting the quilt lie in my lap and all over while stitching and then it dawned on me WHY it doesn't work for me....AHA! I don't move the needle when I am hand stitching..I move the FABRIC on to the needle! Honest..the needle stays fairly steady in my right hand (and I am right handed) and my left hand moves the fabric up and down on the needle. Hmmm..why is that? Then I realized I also knit that way! My right hand holds the needle steady and my left hand moves the other needle and yarn ON to the right needle. I really have no idea how or when I started doing it that way, but if I try to move the needle up and down into the fabric, it just feels wrong and I can't do it. Hence, the hoop tightens up the fabric too much for me to move it around onto the needle.

Well, I know this wasn't an exciting post, but it was kind of cool for me to learn something new about myself. Now..does anyone else stitch this way or is it just me? Or have you, like me, never even noticed how you do it?? lol

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stars in Plain Sight

I finished the top with the 4 patches that I started the other night. It is from a pattern called Hidden Stars in the Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm quilts book by Pam and Nicky Lintott. It measures 59" x 72". They have it bound with no borders and I think I might do the same. Not sure yet, though. I have renamed mine Stars in Plain Sight because, as you can see, there is no hiding these stars! lol

(ugh..I hate when blogger turns my pics sideways!!)