Monday, December 29, 2008

Short post

I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas with loads of merry making and pressie giving.

We had some snow during the first week of December. Our front gate looks more inviting snow covered,so I had to start off my post with it. We didn't have a White Christmas, however.

This is our tabletop tree. Our livingroom is a bit too small for our big tree, so we'll store it while we live here. No problem....we have several small table size trees to scatter around the house, just to be festive.

I have a confession to make....I didn't get back to sewing up my UFO's, so I still have 3 to go before New Years Day. I was able to work on some blocks, but there's so much more to do. Maybe that's my problem, I am looking at the whole instead of one task at a time. It just feels like a mountain of work I can't deal with right now. I will continue to plug away at it slowly, just not before New Years is over with, sorry Finn.

Have a very Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's Freezing!

A butterfly block from my row quilt.
Paper pieced Kimono block I am working on now for the row quilt.

It is freezing outside! Our driveway is a sheet of ice. The garbage had to go to the curb, so out I went to brave the cold. I hung on to everything in my path- the house, the truck, the gate-just praying the whole time I wouldn't fall on my bum. Chucked the bag by the side of the road and made my way back following the same path. Finally, the back door. AH, I made it without falling. I act older than I am, just in my nature, I'm a very cautious person. The garbage man, however, didn't make it. :o( Through the window, I watched him pull up, jump out of the truck, looking confident, threw me a wave, then he disappeared under the hedgerow. Poor man....he got up and gave me a half smile, tossed the bag in the back of his truck and hobbled back.
I keep saying I'm not ready for the winter months. Like it or not, ready or not, they are here!

A week ago, I went to the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate. It was a good distraction. So many wonderfully talented people out there. I just love to see what the artists are up to in their work. Everywhere I looked were signs saying that photography is prohibited. Yet, all around me were people holding cell phone cameras and pocket cameras. It put me off. Being a little rude, I got in a few of their shots on purpose. I'm bad.
Why can't people respect the artist?
The vendor halls were so crowded, I felt like a lost sheep trying to get out of the herd. Finally, I came upon the Bernina stall. Drooling with anticipation, I asked the salesperson about the 440QE machine. This machine is so awesome, it's been on the market for 4 or 5 years. Unlike computer stores. You would never go up to an HP or Dell dealer and say to your hubby, "honey, I want this, I wont leave this hall until I have it". I look at computers and say, "I guess if we NEED it, we'll HAVE to get it, but there are strings, we can't get the extras (and under my breath, it will be out of date in a couple years, money not well spent)" . There's just no love in buying a computer or anything else as far as that goes..........uuuhhh except fabric! hahaha

Back to the Bernina stall, the salesperson showed me all the cool stuff on the machine, quizzed me about my Bernina, it's a 160 Virtuosa almost 11 years old now, and really didn't have to pitch me much of a sale. Once I actually tried out the BSR, I knew I had to have it. I've been reading about it for 4 years! AND the machine came with some free extras, like the really wide acrylic table, the walking foot, and a free gift! Now we're talkin' !
In just 3 LONG days, it came to my door. Yeah, it was an expense or should I say an investment, but at least it lasts a lot longer than that stupid HP! I could possibly sew on this machine until I'm in my 80's, if I live that long!
I sewed and sewed yesterday and didn't even realize how late it was when I finally took a break.
My older Bernina was the same way, I could sew for hours without a care in the world.
Now if I can get my mind straight on what to work on and stick to it. I am going back and forth between finishing the 30's row quilt I've had in my UFO pile for uummmm......6 years, and working on the art work for my new series of postcards. I want to make them using the phrases and silly sayings I talked about in my last post. By the way, thank you to those of you who have given me some interesting and surprizing suggestions.
Now I'm off. It's actually sunny outside and the ice is starting to melt. Happy sewing to you all. ;o)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rainy Sunday

I love this picture. It reminds me of a Koosh ball. It also looks like flowers you would see Dr. Suess put in his books. The colors are almost unreal, but believe me this was not altered.

It's raining cats and dogs today! Why do we say that phrase anyway? Anybody know? Our English is riddled with all sorts of crazy phrases that we seem to carry on for no particular reason other than it sticks in your mind as something you heard one time or more often at some point in your childhood. My mother said all kinds of wacky phrases that I really couldn't put a logical reason to. Like these:

"For Pete's Sake"

"For Crying In the Sink"

"Were you raised in a Barn?"

"For the Love of Pete"

"Honest Sakes" - This was my Grandmother's favorite phrase

"Come Hell or High Water"

"The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease" - This was my Father-In-Law's phrase

"One Man's Junk is Another Man's Treasure" - This was also my Father-In-Law's phrase
I am sure you can think of so many more that you've heard or even caught yourself saying. Sometimes a phrase will slip out and I'll think "why did I say that?", and there's no going back once it's out there, you've proved how old you are. Luckily, these phrases won't be passed to my son, he's never said anything remotely close to a cliche/catch phrase.
If you have a great old catch phrase, then please send it to me. I am thinking of making a collage/quilt out of some phrases.
We have a mole problem in our yard. He is just making a mess! I think we've tried everything to get rid of him, including pouring urine down his tunnels. We have tried drowning him, although it's nearly always wet here anyway, so he is immune to that anyway. We bought a trap that didn't work at all. He actually dragged it down further and buried it. Maybe he thought it would make a great decorative piece in his comfy home? The sonic pulse contraptions work, but you need probably a dozen of them to line the entire perimeter of the yard. He has just worked his way around them. My husband thinks it's funny. I think HE'S funny. So, here we are at an impass. What to do now? No, we won't be blowing holes in the ground like the "Caddyshack" movie.
Time to throw away the rotten pumpkins and start on something Christmassy! Have a wonderful autumn day! :o)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tired Aching Feet

I love this picture my son took. He is extremely good at this kind of thing. Anyway I just thought I would share this one with you as it has beautiful orangey tones reminding me that it will soon be, what we Michiganians call, an Indian Summer! Here in England we are going through some of our last days of summer with warmer temps and some bright sun here and there. The colors are starting to come out with the ivy turning a beautiful red velvet color. A lot of houses and pubs have old ivy vines climbing up the walls and it is just beautiful to see it in the red colors.

Yesterday I went with the hiking club to Hebden (which I believe is Patrick Stewarts home town). We had a gorgeous day in a very beautiful setting. We hiked for 5.3 miles. It was not the farthest I've ever hiked, but my feet were extremely sore and this morning I couldn't get out of bed. I think I may have pulled something in the bottom of my foot extending through the heel and up to the ankle. Every time I put pressure or my body weight on it, I just feel extreme pain. If there's anyone out there who may have gone through this before, please leave me a comment on your experience. I've taken Aleve and Tylenol with no relief. Today I am staying off it and hoping it clears up. Sorry about being so whiny!

The country wall hanging I am working on for the New Years Challenge is not going too well. As I suspected before, it's a piece I absolutely hate and really don't want to continue on. I think the best thing I can do now is just finish it and get it out of my way. Donating it to someone or giving it as a gift would make me feel better. If I finish the row I am working on and not go any further with it, is there anyone out there who would want it? Here is a picture of it so far............

And here is the row I am working on. It is not the right length so it needs some bars or something to make it fit, however if someone gets it, they can add whatever they want or take off anything they don't like because the entire top is constructed in rows. The blank rectangle was suppose to be for some embroidery I was going to add.

It measures 42+" across and 34" down with the spool row another 6+ " in length ( width will be the same 42+" across, so it isn't quite square and there are no borders, yet? This project was started 5 years ago as a row robin quilt. There were 5 of us, I think, and we each started with a row and passed it around adding a row to it.
Everyone have a wonderful Indian Summer weekend!

Friday, September 5, 2008


Too bad we have wet weather today. DH and I didn't care much we still went out in it and splashed around doing errands and then went gallery hopping, dripping with rain and sloshing in mud from the streets. Saw some gorgeous original art from local artists. Would love to own one of them! Lots of great talent out there. It was so wet today that I left my camera at home, so I have nothing to show you. This weekend is the Great Northern Needlecraft Show. DH and I will go on Sunday and maybe it won't be so wet.
Off to rest my weary feet! Have a great weekend everyone. :o)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

One Down......

Here's the first one down with 3 to go. This was the easy one to finish as it is just a small table runner. These fabrics remind me of the civil war type colors.
The next project is more frustrating. I started it 4 years +ago! Three of the rows have been ripped out and tossed, so I am going to be brainstorming today and sketching it all out. There are 5 rows that are definitely staying, but 2 are getting the boot. It was originally suppose to be a wall size, but it is turning out to be quite large. As I progress on it, I will get some pictures posted. Time to get going!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The New Year's Eve Challenge

I am taking part in Finns Challenge to finish your UFO's by New Years Eve. I have 4 projects picked out. There are two that will be harder for me to complete. She explains that "finish" is what you consider it to be like completed blocks, or a completed top, or all the way to a completed quilt. My projects are at different stages. So here is my list:

1) Civil War color/fabrics table runner. It is currently a top needing borders, sandwiching, quilting and finishing.

2) Country themed wall size. A partial top needing more blocks, borders, and embroidery. I want to complete it to the very end, so it will also need sandwiching, quilting and finishing.

3) Autumn leaves wall size or lap size. This is currently just a few completed blocks. They will need resizing, the addition of more blocks, sewn to a top, borders or no borders (I haven't decided) and then to a complete finish....I hope.

4) 30's Queen size Row Quilt. This is also a partial top needing more blocks, rows, and borders which I want to finish to a completed top. I will ship this one off to be quilted on a long arm.

Good luck to everyone whose joined in...... :o)

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Can't sleep, so there's no doubt I'll be dragging my feet later on. Sometimes it's just hard to get to sleep and stay asleep. Maybe it's the thousand or so thoughts racing through my mind. You know, scattered thoughts about what didn't get finished that day. Or what will get accomplished tomorrow. Seems like I have a running "to do" list in my mind at all times. Exercise, especailly yoga, is great to get myself relaxed, but usually it's just more quiet time for me to concentrate on "the list". Shopping is also a great get-away for a few hours, I end up buying things I need on "the list". Vacations and holidays are always great, but then I find myself longing for the list and feeling guilty that I couldn't check something off it that day. Even though the list grows and shrinks constantly, I'm convinced I will never be rid of the list. It's attached to me and to be honest I would be lost without it. Ordered these fabrics before our move and I just love them. They will make a really fun quilt, but I'm stuck on what pattern to use. I want to show off the larger print fabrics and minimize the smaller print wild ones. Any suggestions? I also bought this group of fabrics:
Aren't these fabrics yummy? I love much that I'm afraid to cut into them. So, really, give me your suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. :o)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Finally, I'm back

I can't believe how long it took me to get hooked up again after our move. BT and Sky don't work well together that's all I have to say about that. It's done with and I am back. Yeah!!

Isn't this flower gorgeous? I love it with the dew on the petals. My son took this one with his video camera. We were wandering around Valley Gardens one June morning and we just had to stop and gaze at these beauties. Of all the pictures I have, I would like to take my favorites and make mini quilts out of them one day.

My sewing room is all set up waiting for me to get to work. The movers did a horrible job of mixing up everything they possibly could. It took me days to find the legs to my cabinets and I had to find them before putting the fabrics in. My fabrics are jumbled as well, so one day I will have to sort out everything into their proper color groups. It's a good week to stay in and do all this as we have predicted weather of rain until Friday.

I hope to get back in the swing of things and visit the blogs I've neglected over the last few months. It will be nice to catch up with you all again. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beautiful Season

This is truly the beautiful season. Everything is in bloom and the air is filled with the sweet scent of spring flowers. My lilac tree is just beautiful this year. I love this color of purple. Just glancing across the yard and seeing this tree in full bloom is relaxing to me, then the scent hits my nose and fills my head with memories from years gone too swiftly. It's an escape I need right now, as this is also the moving season for my family. The past couple days, my heart has been heavy with emotion. My son will be leaving the nest. It's comforting to know that both DH and I have taught him things he will need to know on his own. He is taking my love of cooking and his Dad's work ethics. He's got talent in storytelling and writing. He has the tools to succeed, yet in these uncertain times, I do worry.

Since I have been helping my son pack out, I haven't had time for myself. There are so many projects I would like to start and finish. However, it will have to wait until after we move.
Germany has been a lovely experience. My German language skills are minimal after 4 years. I tried hard, but it just didn't sink in good enough to carry on a conversation.
Gutentag - good day (or hello)
Danke - thank you
Bitte - please
Ich mawkta ein mal schnitzel mit pommes, bitte - I would like 1 schnitzel with fries, please
Ich ben Americaneran - I am American (female)
Ich ben Americaner - I am American (male)
tsooes (choose)- informal good by
Auf Wiedersahen - formal good by
These basic words and phrases helped, but I guess I didn't feel confident enough with it and would usually end up saying this along with a desperate expression on my face:
Bitte, sprecken zie English? - please, speak you English?
Most of the time I would get a smile or laugh from them and they would break out with way more knowlege of English than I could ever know of the German language.

My son had 2 years of German in high school and 2 semesters of German here, so his skills are better than mine by far. When you get a doctor bill in your post box with a payment slip to take to your bank that throws me off a lot. I couldn't read the bills at all. The telephone company was the worst by far. I could never get anyone from customer service who could speak English.
Finally, we had to find someone at work who knew enough German to help us. The post here really needs a liason to work with everyone. If there is one around, we never knew it.

Maybe there's a quilt idea in here somewhere. Will have to dwell on it and maybe get my sketchbook out. Have a wonderful day. ;o)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Snow? Not Now

Look what we woke up to this morning! SNOW and it keeps coming. My tulips are now buried under a thick blanket of fresh snow. Why didn't we get this in January or February? Nature has waited until Spring to give it to us here in Europe. Oh well, it won't last and we do need the precipitation. Sigh..... Good day to stay in and get some work done.

Yesterday I went shopping and had to buy some cheery flowers for my living room. The flower shop had mums, tulips, Gerber Daisy's, and lots of bouquets with springy flowers, but when I laid my eyes on these roses, I just couldn't resist. They are so beautiful. Roses are my absolute favorite flower and there isn't one variety I don't like.

In my country phase, I made a queen size quilt for my son's bed. This was about 9 years ago. He's used it everyday since then and I've washed it probably a dozen times. The binding is the plaid fabrics you used to see a lot of. They are a looser woven fabric compared to the quilting cottons today. Well, I should have known this would happen, but it's showing a lot of wear and tear. So, someday soon I will have to take the binding off and replace it with something else. Probably a solid double bias cut binding as the corners are rounded.

Here's the back of the quilt.
Here's a couple pictures of the tears.

Now this is only a couple edges. I would have to say that 80% of the binding is still in excellent condition, however, this is disheartening and I will have to fix it. My lesson for today, do not use loosely woven fabrics for the binding even if they are a double thickness. :o)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring has sprung

Oh my gosh, it's been forever since I posted something! UUGGGHH! I feel bad as I have nothing to show for my being MIA either! Well, let me tell you that I have been busy with
packing boxes up, inventorying everything, and tying up those loose ends before our move.
Moving is extremely time consuming, however, I would like to darken my sewing room door
a few more times before that inevitable day when it all gets packed into boxes, then crates and shipped off to the final destination. Such a process!

This is a wall quilt I made a couple years ago from scraps I had lingering in my scrap basket. I really like the way this turned out and now am sorry I didn't make it into a lap size quilt.

Here's another wall quilt I love. It was a challenge for me with all the set in seams. Go here to visit Jinny Beyer's site. However, I don't think she has this pattern there. You can find out how to recreate it in her book; "Designing Tessellations". Wonderful book that I don't spend enough time with. I'm not sure if it is out of print. Anyway, here it is:

The sun is finally shining today. Even if it is still chilly, the sun is a much welcome sight. The daffodils and tulips are blooming here. The fruit trees and forsythias are in full bloom as well.

The picture at the top is from last May. I love taking pictures of flowers and trying to recreate them in a quilt. Here is a quilt I made a couple years back for a family auction, so everything in it is family related.

And a close-up of the center.....oops! kinda dark, sorry. It it a bright blue and white quilt. I loved the dark navy fabrics in this with the blue and white toile.

The pansy's in the center are appliqued and I used fabric pens to paint on the centers. One day I'll try this again and keep it for myself. I am a firm believer in making quilts and samples to keep. My sample book is heaving, so I will have to make another one one day.

Here is another family quilt I made for my mother this time. She loves red and white. Again, sorry it's so dark. I didn't get a very good picture of this one before sending it off to her 3 Valentine days ago. I have been to her house since, and she did have it you ever wonder how appreciative people who receive your blood, sweat and tears of a quilt you made just for them is treated? Most gifts I give for weddings or graduations or birthdays....I don't care what they do with "they know where the garbage is" if they don't like it and I don't mind (now this is a gift I am talking about like a coffee maker). BUT, if I make a quilt.....that's a different story all together. I don't make quilts willy-nilly. They take a tremendous amount of time and patience (and a lot of other things, I assure you), of course you all know this. So I really care if it is thrown into a closet on the floor, or is being used to sop up water from a leaky clothes washer. If anyone gets a quilt from me, I won't say it, but you better appreciate it. Otherwise, they won't get another gift from me.......ever. They could very well hang it only while I'm around and neatly and properly put it away when I leave, that's fine and that makes me happy....thrilled as a matter of fact. OK, so I said my peace!
Moving on...... I just finished Robin McGraw's book, yes, Dr. Phil's wife. It's titled "Inside My Heart". It's pretty good, however, I think a lot of it is, DUH, no kidding....who is she trying to get through to here, young 20 somethings who have just gotten involved with a significant other? She repeats herself quite a bit, too and I find that very irritating. My son is reading "The Mist" by Stephen King. We saw the movie a few weeks ago. It was disturbing in a way and I didn't remember it being that bad in the story.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Signs of spring

I've completed this post card for my husband's nephew. It's early, his wedding isn't until the end of June. However, with our impending move, I knew I wouldn't be able to get something accomplished until fall. And the way my mind works, if I don't get it at least started it will just become a memory or lost idea. So, here it is all finished.

The words are written with a pigma pen. Appliques and background fabrics are all silk. The embellishments are glass beads and small metal beads. Finished is standard postcard size, 4"X6". It was great fun doing this one.

I've set the Valentine lap quilt aside for now and probably won't get back to it until later on in the year. Huh, along with about 7 other projects in different phases of progress. Usually I keep a log on each project and notes or ideas of its direction. It's somewhat an organized system. Haven't lost or forgotten about anything yet.

Speaking of organization, my sewing room used to consist of an awkward table and everything else crammed in a closet in milk crates. And I had to share the room with my husband who loves to tinker with electronic things and take them apart. About 5 years ago, I told my DH that I've had it and I need proper storage space and would like my own room. So, we were moving anyway and searched for a bigger house. Ikea is my favorite store and I have lots of their furniture throughout my house. In the sewing room, I have 2 tall Ikea cabinets with shelves and drawers and 1 Ikea bookcase to match. My sewing machine sits on a 6 foot long Ikea table with a 2 drawer unit on the far end for my thread spools. Here are some pictures.

This is the best workspace now and I have so much room to spread out. My pictures don't do the room justice, it is larger than it looks and I didn't get over half the room in the pictures as I have my Valentine project still laid out on the floor. To the left of my machine is a cutting mat, so when I need to cut something I don't have to jump up and find a space on another table. The ironing board is also in this room. Will have to consider all the spaces we need for our next move and hope we will find a house with large enough rooms for the furniture.

Took a hike yesterday and noticed my neighbors have lots of great spring flowers coming up. There were pretty purple crocus's, carpets dainty snowdrops, and loads of sprouting tulips! Even the trees look like there are tiny buds making an appearance. The weather has been ideal and I hope it lasts with the threat of frost a distant memory. My neighbors have much prettier yards than mine. I planted 100 tulip bulbs 2 autumns ago. Some will come up, but they always look sickly. Maybe my dirt isn't as healthy. The only plants that look healthy in my garden are the weeds and there are lots of them. Oh well, at least I can grow something! :o)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Painful Memories

This week I had a final dental appointment before our move. It was sad, really. After 45 years, I have finally found an excellent dentist! My childhood memories of dental visits were always traumatic. Oh how I hated climbing up into that funky chair. After the initial "And how are we today" by the children's dentist, I knew pain would inevitably follow. Now when I was growing up, sweets were a rare thing. My sis and I only got candy at Halloween and maybe a handful of taffy at Christmas. No exaggeration, it's true. Yet my teeth are appalling. Not quite as horrifying as seeing metal mouth in a James Bond flick, but I assure you, I can count on one hand the number of teeth I have that do NOT have a filling or crown. My husband is the same way, although he has fewer fillings than I. One dentist told him once that he has good spit (saliva). What does that mean? Is there such a thing as good and bad spit?

Anyway, when I was 7 years old a dentist told my Mother and I that I would need braces. And would have to wear them for at least 2 years AND that I may need them when my permanent teeth come in. Really, no joking here, he really told us this.....

UHH, NO was my response. My teeth weren't crooked, I just had bad spit that made my teeth rot. OK, maybe it was the cheap inadequate toothpaste? Or the way I brushed my teeth? Whatever was causing the cavities, I KNOW it wasn't that my teeth were crooked! Needless to say, I didn't get the braces, thankfully, and we found ourselves a new dentist.

By the way, my mother also suffers from bad spit and lots of cavities, crowns and whatnot (she once had a gold tooth). My father was no exception either, he had a full set of falsies by the time he was 23. I blamed his bad teeth on the fact that he started smoking at the ripe old age of 13 and his family was very poor and couldn't afford check-ups for 10 children.

My son, has good spit. He has the best spit on the planet! He's going to be 25 soon and has not had one bad check-up (knock on wood and whatever else is around). EVER. No, not one cavity! How did that happen? Well, I'm not going to question a good thing! I am just so happy and overjoyed for him. He's been blessed with a wonderful set of teeth. Now let me tell you his routine (secret). Since he could eat solid food, he's had an apple everyday. Yeah, maybe an apple a day does keep the doctor/dentist away? When he was a baby, we had to give him fluoride drops every day and later he drank fluoridated water. He never had soda pop, still doesn't drink them. However, he had inherited my chocoholic gene.
Now, I made a comment about cheap toothpaste. Over the years, I think they've improved the formula. Not just the hype about whitening and blah, blah, blah. It's the paste or gel itself, way better than the stuff they used to pass off. Do you remember the stuff? It was like flavored paste that turns to foam, no substance whatsoever. And what was with that red tablet stuff we had to chew up in school? OOHH, it was horrible.

What made my dentist better than the rest was that I found him to be honest, firm yet caring. After all, he pulled 2 wisdom teeth for me 2 years ago (yeah, I'm "lucky" because I didn't have them out when I was 20, go figure. This is what my sis used to say to me all the time). He didn't "put me out" for this, no, just a local and yank, cracking sounds (my skull), yeah I could hear it all. And it's a little alarming when he says "hummm, I've never seen that before". He gave them to me as a memento. I have them in a tiny jar on my desk. Weird, I know. Now, when will those other 2 come in? UUGGGHH....

It's an experience I won't forget anytime soon, but I am still going to keep the teeth. My son had all 4 of his out about 3 weeks before I did. Maybe I was just waiting to have someone to go through it with me? My great dentist said that this was nothing, he had a patient who was in her 80's finally getting her wisdoms out. I wondered if the whole experience of hearing her teeth breaking away from your jaw shocked her so much it killed her or at least gives her nightmares? He also told me they sometimes can grow back? Is this possible? One dentist told me that if I haven't had my wisdoms out by now (I was only 25) then they weren't ever going to grow in. RIGHT, good-bye! Another quack.

Soon I will be on the hunt for a good dentist, maybe even a great one. At least I've had enough to know what to look for. In the meantime, keep brushing and flossing! :o)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More Progress

This was taken on BEAUTIFUL Sunday morning. The village square had these wonderful scraps hanging for decoration and celebration of Fasching and Rose Monday.

I am making slow steady progress on the Valentine lap quilt. Seems like I can only sew for about 2 hours before I switch gears and move on to something cooking, cleaning, or HAVING to go grocery shopping. If it was possible for me, I would not ever go shopping....any kind of shopping. Nope, don't like it at all. Clothes shopping is always a disappointment. Absolutely everything I try on (and have actually bought) looks hideous on me from socks to sunglasses. Do you ever have those days?
Grocery shopping is another story entirely. I always feel as if I am in everyone's way and even though I shop at the same grocery store every month (yes, I only shop once a month) it seems like I have trouble finding everything I need, so I end up cruising the aisles at least twice. After 2 hours of this, I stand in line for what seems like an eternity and everything is starting to melt or defrost before it's bagged. This is why sewing/crafting/quilting is important to me. It's the ME time to create something I like. It can also be the stress outlet I need.

So without further ado, here it is so far:

I need to make more X's and O's and start on the words, "Be My Valentine". When completed, I am hoping to get it around 50"X 60". That seems to be the ideal size for a lap quilt.

My DH has already seen this in progress and I told him it was for him. His response, "Groovy, with the green and pink it looks like a 70's quilt". At least he doesn't come right out with, "I hate it". He respects me and my work, so, OK, I love HaHaHa, just kidding.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Few More

OK, I've had days to do some sewing and only have a few more to show, boohoo! No whining, I did change my sketch and have done a clean out so that I have space to move now in my "studio". So, here they are, the X's and O's plus a few hearts. I am trying to get the hearts to look like the conversation heart candies. Haven't started on the white ones yet and am uncertain about the thread color, maybe I'll just stick with the magenta color as shown here.

SOOO many more blocks to go. Seems daunting even if it will just be a lap size quilt. Off I go.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Slow going

Yep, only 7 blocks to show you. It's slow going for me here. I've drawn out my sketch for the Valentine lap size quilt, but now I'm having second thoughts about it. I started here with the X's and O's (or hugs and kisses). I like the pink one in the right bottom corner......just a little tiny hug. I may even change the way I am doing these as they are starting to look more like funky boxes instead of O's. Time to take a breather.

The sun shone all day today! What a shocker! And it really wasn't that cold. The jacket of choice was my zip front fleece. Usually I have to wear my fat coat, as I call it, it's an overstuffed box stitched down coat the zips all the way up to the chin. Boy, that sun felt so good. The farmers were out clipping back the dead grapevines and putting them in neat little piles in each row.
In 2 short miles I came across 4 crucifixes all being just a little bit different from the next.
This picture was taken last fall and is the most different of all the crucifixes I have seen before, but this one is my favorite. Love the grapes and vines along the edges of this one. It's carved stone, not painted.

My son and hubby want to see the film "Beowulf", maybe I spelled it wrong, sorry. I am just not at all interested in this movie. My DH wanted to see the series "Rome", so I put them on my Netflix queue. It's just too brutal for me, so I haven't been watching that either.

I've been reading lately instead. My mother sent me a book on Menopause, "The Wisdom of Menopause" by Christiane Northrup, M.D., don't like that one. I don't have a closed mind about what she is trying to say, she's just too cynical for me. I've only read the first 100 pages, so maybe it will get better. I have 2 others I have been reading as well, "Menopause without Medicine" by Linda Ojeda, Ph.D. and "The New Menopause Book" edited by Mary Tagliaferri, M.D., Isaac Cohen, OMD, and Debu Tripathy, M.D. These 2 I am finding to be more resourceful which is what I want.

Sunset is gorgeous, so I'm going to go and try to capture it on my camera. Have a good day. :o)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Something New

Here it is, all finished. It only measures 30 inches square. I like it but it does have mistakes, of course, it wouldn't be my quilt if it didn't have at least 1 mistake! The pattern or technique was taken from Ricky Tims' book "Convergence Quilts". Here is a picture from the book of what the quilt should have looked like.

I found the book to be easy to read and it was just packed with pictures not only of each step to take, but also how to get different looks and styles. When I am interrupted just for a second this is what ends up happening. I cut the stips from the wrong direction, so I got a totally different result.

Now, I do like the outcome, however I am going to try the technique again at a later date. Probably with some of my wilder prints.

On to something new, I have received my order of wonderful cheery fabrics from equilter and was wondering what to do with them. The free piecing class that Tonya gave was so inspiring to me that I not only finished my "Let It Snow" quilt, but that I wanted to do a lap size quilt as a Valentine gift to my DH. So, here are the fabrics I've chosen, some of them are brand new and some are from my stash.

My ideas for the words have gone from Conversation heart type sayings like, "Be Mine", "hugs", "you're hot", "kiss me" and these would be inside heart shaped blocks. To the X's and O's blocks with words at the top, bottom or both saying "Be My Valentine". Maybe I can do a mixture of both these things since it will be large enough in the end.

It's another dreary winter day here, so good time to stay in and sketch out these ideas. Have a great day! :o)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Off and Running

Yesterday was my cleaning day so I didn't get any sewing done. But that's OK because today I am free to sew all day and that's what I am going to do! One of the Christmas presents from my DH was a digital photo frame so I played with that yesterday as well. When I opened it I was wondering if I would really use this thing, but after loading on some pictures and watching it......I love it. It's almost mesmerizing. It also has the capability to play MP3s so I will have to figure that out later. It's a frame, it's a clock, it's a calendar, it's an MP3, it's all of those things. What a great present and believe it or not my darling hubby bought it for me and only me. Who knew? Sometimes he buys a gift for me, but really he's buying it for himself because he knows I won't like it and I will just say "oh, that's OK you can use it/have it, I don't know what I would do with that anyway". NOT THIS TIME, buddy.
It's mine...all mine and you can't have it or use it! NNNAA.

So I am off now to sew to my hearts content. In the coming days I will have something to show you for sure!
Happy Thread Trails to you.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Putting it Away

This is the weekend we put all our Christmas decorations away until next year. I would have had it all done in 2 days in past years, however, this year I am extra careful with wrapping each item as we will be moving later in the year. I am also sifting through ornaments and decorations I no longer want, so those items will go to charity.

I have taken a break from the packing to bake some wonderful Oatmeal cookies. I can't remember where I got this recipe, but it's my favorite and if you like soft cookies you gotta try this.

Oatmeal Cookies:

1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon Molasses

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups quick oats

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 cup mini- chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, molasses and vanilla beating well. In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Stir 1 cup at a time into the butter mixture, beat well. Stir in the raisins, nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by Tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake for 9-10 minutes. Cool and remove from the baking sheets. Makes about 3 dozen.

As soon as I am finished with the packing I will continue with the quilt I am currently working on which at the moment is waiting at my sewing machine ready to be quilted. Here is a picture of it before the sandwiching.

I am just going to free motion quilt this top. It's not very large, maybe 38 inches square so it won't take me long to complete it. Yeah, I'm on the right track so far this year with my resolutions of finishing the UFO's. I have finished the Let It Snow quilt and it is packed away already. So only 8 more to go, not too bad. The sun just came out and it's a beautiful day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!

I had such lofty ideas of doing nothing but sitting at my machine and quilting over the holidays. Of course, that didn't happen due to getting a cold the day after Christmas. It hit me like a brick wall and I'm just now feeling better.

My New Year's resolution is to organize myself and my time so that I can get more things done especially finding more time for quilting.

This was my precious cat "Charlie". She passed away almost 24 years ago, but I often think about her. Tonya's cat "Lily" reminds me so much of her. Not just that they are similar in coat, but in their personalities. Since my DH is now allergic to dander/cats and dogs, we don't have pets. Two years ago I made a quilted book about my cat. Here are some pictures of that project. It was a lot of fun to do. I started with the concept of a soft book of only 4 to 6 pages. I came up with a poem as my story. This is the front cover.

This is the first page. The mouse has leather ears and tail. The bird's wing is stuffed and has a bead eye. This is page 2 which has fake fur, velvet and buttons.
Page 3 has embroidery and velvet.

Page 4 is applique with a stuffed heart that's removeable.

This is the back cover. It was mostly machine sewn and quilted. I added tabs to my pages and put gromets in each then threaded a ribbon through to hold the pages together. It opens flat.

The pictures of my cats were printed onto treated fabric sheets you can buy. It was extremely easy to do after an intial trial and error period. I'm glad I could share this with you and it makes a wonderful keepsake for me.