Monday, September 3, 2012

Is it ever too late?

Hello Folksies

Long time, no see.  Or hear.  Or whatever.  I have been so erstwhile this year.  Fancy word for being formerly occupied.  OCCUPIED?  No, not that type of occupier.  Life has been so full of everyday stuff that for me to actually take the time to sit on my backside and talk to you has been, well, out of the question for me. A comfort for me is that when you are true friends, time and distance mean nothing. You pick back up like you did when you fell off that proverbial bicycle.

Let me fill you in briefly.  Spring came.  Spring went.  Summer came.  Summer's gone.  Waiting on Fall.  Yay.
My garden has been a source of true love for me this year.  I also spent much time, sweat, and laughter at my Mother's house, re creating a front garden entrance.  It is still a WIP, like the rest of my life, however, it has been so theraputic for me, my sis Cat and my Mom.  So many "girls day together" has been worth every drop of sweat, every ache in my back and shoulders.

I still haven't seen my grand baby, Nora.  I am indulged with photos on a very regular basis.  She is the obvious center of their universe.  Nana here has been busy making baby things to send their way on a regular basis.  (Y'all know that if I am not in the garden, I have needle and thread in my hand.  Or paper mache, or a chocolate chip cookie)

I've also been busy with some online quilting buds, creating pin cushions to swap, working on a Secret Santa Buddy Swap is going to be an amazing end to the year.  There is always time to make something for someone in need and trust me, the joy of my life is to really share what I create. 

And as you know, we be a real social family, so we get together probably far too often for cook outs.  I just love men who cook

Here are a few other things I actually photographed of what I have been working on. You know me. I always forget to take pictures of the important things. Sigh.

I will try to not be such a Walter Mitty.  I do create the best things in my head.  Look for me to be back soon.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Welcome sweet Eleanor Joy!  The newest addition to my family is my FIRST Grand!  Miss Eleanor joined us early this morning.  Her precious Mommy had a very short, sweet labor.  When my son, Paul, called me to tell me they had just arrived at the hospital at 7 a.m. - he called back less than two hours later with the joyful news.  He had tears and laughter in his voice as he told me that he cut the cord.  Can you tell I am busting my buttons?  She arrived a bit early, but weighed in at 5 lbs, 11 oz.  That is a nice size bundle.

God bless this little family - now to get busy with baby girl things in the making.  For some reason, I cannot concentrate on anything.  I don't know when I will get to see the wee one in person but I am hoping that the Lord will make a way SOONER rather than later.  And I suppose I will enter the ranks of those giddy, rabid grandmothers that I have never totally understood.  More than anything, I am thankful that the Lord has blessed this dear couple with the desire of their heart.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Never bored

Hello Folksies
I am never bored.  I cannot remember a time in my life when I have been bored.  Oh wait, I have been bored with people, tv, music, that kind of boredom but with my own self? Nope. This is recently being tested because  my sewing machine DIED on me.  I thought it only needed a good D and C.  Nope.  I was patient, cooed sweet nothings to her . . . nada . . . opened her up again and did another clean sweep and a teensy more oil . . . nada.  Rather than scream a steady stream of profanities at her,  (which would have felt so much  better than it sounded),  I carried her to the repair shop.  That was 2 weeks ago.  She is having issues with her timing.  I understand that it is a common enough ailment.  I would like to know HOW it happened so if it was me, I wouldn't do it again.
But boredom.  Hmmm.  Everything I do requires some modicum of sewing.  I even sew my paper crafting stuff.  I know, I am odd.
I finally pulled an old cutter quilt out of the cupboard and proceeded to make lavender filled  sachets, little hearts to hang in a garland and or alone in the windows. 

 I also decided to piece some old shirts into another quilt.

simple squares set on point with hand stitching in my favored multi colored threads. 

I have also made some paper hearts and cut out all sorts of stuff and even cleaned up my studio a bit.
I am not bored.  I am lonesome.  For my babylock.  Wah.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First project of the New Year completed

Hello Folksies
I have just completed a smallish quilt for a friend's daughter.  She is undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of leukemia.  Little Heaven is 12 years old and since being diagnosed over Thanksgiving time, has been thrown into the battlefield.  Tomorrow she is scheduled to go to the hospital.  I quickly pieced together this coin style quilty and finished up the hand quilting Thursday night, the binding Friday night.  I will be carrying it over to their house hopefully this afternoon.

For the hand quilting, I drew circle all over and stitched them.  It was a lot of fun to do that.  Kinda wished I had done multi color floss but you know how my mind works.  I am happy with this quilt and expect the prayers said with each piece and stitch to bring a harvest of blessings for Heaven and her family.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcoming 2012

Has 2012 taken you by surprise?  Are you ready for a fresh start and new adventures, projects?  Are you a list maker ?   Do you plan on getting better at organizing ~ not only your sewing/crafting area, your time,  & in general,   your life ? 

Well, you can tell where I am going with this post I am sure. I generally do not make resolutions because quite frankly, I like being happy.  And disappointment in myself does not encourage me, inspire me or make me happy.  I generally like to make a list of things I have learned during the past year.  It is interesting to look back over several years and see the various things I have learned - some technical, some emotional, some spiritual.  If you have never done this, I highly recommend it. It can be quite an eye opener !

My thoughts and wishes and prayers for each of my online friends is for a healthy, happy, prosperous year ahead.  Be good to yourself and consider others as you would yourself, too.  God bless each one.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The past several months have been a blur on many fronts. Thought I would share a wee bit of what I've been busy with:

There were many more projects also completed between Sept and now; just can't seem to get my camera and computer to play nicely. sigh. But I think you get the idea that I have been very busy with needle and thread.

I wish everyone a Happy and Merry Christmas! See you next year!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Here comes Santa Claus

I strip pieced and hand quilted robe and then decided to decoupage hit hat. He is a good sitter, waiting patiently for accoutrements. I am thinking that since he is a scrappy santa, he may need a scrappy quilt to go along with him. And I think I have just the leftover squares to accomplish that.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Middle Monday of the Month

I don't know about you, but, I tend to get excited at this time of year. I am grooving on the cooler mornings and evenings. I mean open the windows up and pull up a light quilt excited! I mean, the leaves are going to be changing their clothes color soon excited! Sure, the days are still hot as blue blazes but Oh How I Love Fall! And Autumn! Whatever you call it, for me it also means getting some of my houseplants which have been enjoying the fresh air all spring and summer ready to come back inside. It also means that some of the rootings I have been working on will be put in new containers.

I am never quite ready for any season, except in my mind. You know me ~ I have the most productive mind ~ just don't always get the rest of me in gear. Well, this morning as I was cleaning the kitchen, I plucked the coffee can my hubs placed in the garbage can out. I decided I could use it as a holding planter for a rooting or two.

Now this has been done for years, so I am not as original as you may think. hehehe

Here's what I did:

Start with a coffee can

poke a few holes in the bottom. Can you tell I didn't use a hammer? I worked out all the caffeine buzz just whacking the heckfire shoot with a flat head screwdriver. Use a hammer unless you have had your coffee or spinach for the day

Here is the fun part. Purchase some shelf paper rolls (or book cover roll as it is called in some areas). Measure it out - so easy peasy because it already has a grid to mark and cut!

Now you are ready to roll! The backing peels off so nicely. If you take your time, you won't get air bubbles or wrinkles, either.

Isn't this just too cutesy?

Tada! By next spring this little pot will be overflowing with more growth.

Have a fun day!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Guess who's coming to town?

About this time of year I start getting requests for some Santa and Witchies. Thought I would share a sneak at one. The man in red will be arriving soon - he still needs his beauty sleep for now. More later . . .

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome September

I think like most folks, I view September as a month of remembrances. Things that should not be forgotten.

I used to think of September as back to school time, but now that most traditional schools start back in August, I remember the days of a full summer ending after Labor Day. Aahh, Labor Day. Summer's last hurrah! Backyard celebrations, frisbee flying, and heralding shorter daylight hours.

I also remember at this time of year, that fall is on the way. Yes, it is still as hot as blue blazes during the day and cooler in the dark early morning hours. Have you ever noticed how many pretty webbies are being built during this time of year?
Now most of you know how absolutely petrified of spiders I am. I lived in Florida long enough to see some the size of garbage trucks. Enough said. However, I do marvel at their artwork. But they ALWAYS have a "trip wire" attached them, generally across the shrubs that line either side of my front walk. And then there is the huge oak that they can drop out of. I tend to carry a stick or broom with me when I venture out in the wee hours of the morning because I can't wait to destroy them before I walk into them. Just imagine me, slippers on, towel over my head (don't want nasty buggers in my hair! ), and a broom being swung wildly around me while I walk out my door. That's a piece of cake. Now, if my hubs has left the porch light on all night! then there could possibly be a big one hovering above the door threshold. Hey, it's happened! I am not being paranoid. Which leaves me with the problem of how do I go back in the house with that monster above my head. And notice if you will, that this is the time of year that you notice webs in the grass, INSIDE YOUR HOUSE around windows and - Oh My, I need to stop this line of thinking! I fear spiders more than the werewolves, vampires of my childhood imagination. Maybe because spiders are real and everywhere. I am sitting here shuddering.

Okay, now that I am in a sweat which is NOT from the heat, let me continue with my remembrances. Ummm, I am blank. Just the thought of spiders and I am frozen in time. Why did I have to see that trip wire this morning? I remembered that September is spider month to me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Hello Folksies

Well, I finally finished the pineapple blossom scrappy quilt that I began in July. The blocks were all machine stitched and then hand quilted. It is a nice size and I know someone who will be thrilled with a soft, fluffy quilt.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A New Week

Hello Folksies!
Last week was an interesting week of weather on the Eastern Seaboard.

First, there was the earthquake in Virginia. Oh Gracious! It will be one of those moments where those who felt it will remember what they were doing and where. I know that I was in my bedroom, laying out a quilt to see what else was needed before I added the binding. Sis was with me. The shaking started and lasted a good 30 seconds. It is amazing to think what can be said and thought in merely a few seconds.
The sound was as scarey as the earth moving. It sounded like an off balance washer on steroids. in other words, LOUD! My whole house literally was shaking. By the time it all ended, I realized, duh uh, it was a big tremor. After all, I lived in California at one time and somewhere in the dregs of my memory, the shaking movement and noise was still flickering. Top that with the news that Colorado had a quake earlier that morning. That's a whole lot of shaking going on!
To add insult to anxiety, here comes Irene.

You know how the media loves a good disaster. 24/7 coverage was everywhere. I am thankful that the media and government seemed to take this would be monster as seriously as they did. Some people around the world have complained that we (the USA) didn't cover Libya and Ghaddafi and the rest of the world news enough. Oh good grief! Tell that to those who didn't heed the warnings and lost their lives to Irene's waters, winds. Tell that to those who are still without power, but thankfully because of the dire warnings were prepared with provisions. Tell that to those who are flooded with water and sand. Then look for Ghaddafi in a spider hole like Hussein hunkered down.

We here fared very well through all of last week, regardless of the weather. We lost power for a short while due to a downed tree. It will be a good addition to our woodpile for this winter.

I found it fascinating when I read that the last big quake that shook Va in 1897 (and it wasn't a 5.9) was followed by a hurricane.

Okay folksies, I am rambling and deterriorating as I do. The sun is coming up, birds are at my feeders, it is a brand new week and I am finally going to be finishing up a few projects this week.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Paper Piecing

I started paper piecing out of desperation. I think I have shared with you that I was taught to quilt by my illiterate grandmother. I used cardboard cereal boxes as templates and looked at pictures. My blocks were not the most accurate and yet, I still love those old quilts. Since the invention of the internet (should I say a sarcastic thank you to Mr. Gore?), I have discovered that for all these years I have been doing everything WRONG! After hours of drooling, I am now the proud owner of a rotary cutter or two, a few cutting mats, and a quilt pattern library at my fingertips. Along the way I discovered paper piecing. Huzzah! I love to paper/foundation piece. It is a great for sharp points and accuracy. Lord knows I can use all the accuracy I can get. I love paper piecing. It is like coloring a picture with your fabric. If you can follow the numbers, you can certainly paper piece! Now generally speaking, most paper/foundation piecing patterns have a built in seam allowance for joining all your pieces together. However I have run into a few that require you to add the 1/4 inch yourself. Make certain you check this out before you jump in feet first. Ask me how I know. You may remember how enthusiastic I can be. Another thing to remember is to set your stitch gauge to a very short stitch. I like my setting at 1.6 or 1.8

Paper pattern ~ I like to print out my patterns using construction paper or scrap pads from the $ Stores - lightweight and tear off very easily
Assorted fabric scraps in various sizes
Straight pins
Jack the Ripper
Paper scissors
Rotary cutter

When you are ready to sit for a bit and give this a try, first off look for an easy beginner block to try. Quilters Cache has quite a few. The one I am using for this example is from Ula Lenz's drool worthy site:

Using your paper scissors, cut the blocks apart but keep the small picture of the finished block handy. This is important if you have a tendency to get lost in the pattern or get interrupted frequently and forget what you are doing.

Cut out enough fabric to make sure you are going to be able to catch some of it on the next piece of fabric. This will generally say 1 or A . You may want to use a straight pin to anchor it temporarily.
Place this piece right side up. In other words, wrong side of fabric to the back of the paper pattern.

Next you will begin to add your next piece. You will place this piece right side down. Your fabrics will now be right sides together. Sew on the line that says 2. once completed, flip over press and trim close to the seam. Be sure you sew until you reach the seam allowance line.

A word of caution . . . Notice how much larger the scrap piece I am using is compared to the actual size on the template? I have learned to err on the side of caution when it comes to making sure the small scrap I am using will be enough to cover with plenty of seam allowance once it is flipped, pressed and trimmed.

Continue around your block, adding your fabrics.

One little puzzle block done and now I am on another one.

Here is where I show you where to trim: Can you see the seam where I have sewn? Fold back your paper
And this is where you would trim.

Once you have have all your little blocks sewn, it is time to get out the rotary cutter and mat

Trim them neatly with your spiffy rotary cutter on the outside seam line. I know your stitches don't reach that, but you will see why that matters in a minute

Now is the time it is a good idea to have your master block picture available for scrutiny. Almost like a jigsaw puzzle, right? Start matching your blocks and right sides together, sew them on the 1/4 inch seam. It may help to have a pin hold in place until you get started on the stitch.

Continue matching seams and soon you will have a gorgeous block with accurate points!

Bring back to your mat and finish cleaning those edges up. Voila!

Once you have completed the block, if you have used the type of paper I do and a really short stitch, the paper should peel off very easily. Please don't use regular printer paper. It is tough to remove and you may find your stitches undone!
A few things I would like to add here. First off, you may think you are going to have loads of wasted fabric. Once you get the hang of it, you really truly don't. I would suggest using dedicated scraps or really ugly fabric that you have stashed away to practice with. A really easy block to start with is:
The Economy Block
It is very helpful to press with a hot iron. I keep my iron at sitting level so I can swivel around and press those puppies.
I am certain I could have taken a real step by step of each step. But there was no one to take pictures while I sewed the paper, and pressed the blocks. Just me. However, just get in your mind the visual image of me swivelling. That should make you smile enough to want to try your hand at paper piecing. It really is easy, addictive and makes your work look like you really know what you are doing.