Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SO COLD........

Well, I am very tired of the cold weather, even though I have lived in Ohio all my life, and I should know what winter is like here.  But, this winter sure tops the coldest in a long time.  Maybe it's because I am getting older, no, I think it is because it is cold!!!!!

Anyway, I am longing for warmer, sunnier days with warmth. LOL  That is why I changed my cover picture to reflect this.  As posted in an earlier post, my son made this stone fairy house for me for Mother's Day last year.  I don't know how he is going to top this for Mother's Day this year.  Unless this will be my "every year" Mother's Day gift. LOL  I did tell him, that if we move, guess who is picking this 100 lb. plus thing up and moving it?

So, being cold, I guess it has been a pretty perfect time to stay in and do some crafting.  I have been working on my pin cushion swap, that our SQTG is holding.  I don't know how are hostess did it, but my swap partner, Ruby, is a perfect swap partner and we have a lot of the same crafting interests in common.

I have had so much fun doing this swap.  I have never made a pin cushion before, but, I am already making a list of pin cushions I want to make for family and friends.  I think this could become addictive.  I thought pin cushions were the old tomato/strawberry kind I had as a young child learning to sew.  (After cleaning my craft room recently, I actually found my first one I ever had.  Now I am proudly displaying it.)  Somewhere down the line, I will put a picture up of my swap pincushion after February 25th or sooner if my swap partner and I finish earlier.

But, I have included some pictures of the sewing that I did this week.  My daughter's husband just recently had her grandmother's table refinished, and I have made a table runner for it.  Also, I made another table runner for my second daughter, Jennifer, as a surprise too.  My oldest daughter (Sarah), well, she made her Valentine's table runner last year, and she was so nice to have pre-cut the fabric for a quick table runner for me. I had her permission to use the pre-cut  fabric to make it for her sister, Monica.  How easy was that?  But I will take the credit for making it. LOL  I can't say which one belongs to her, cause she reads sometimes reads my blog:-)

I think it is like -20 degrees here with the wind chill, but I am off to go to the fabric store.  Nothing can keep us quilters from our task, right?

I just talked with my daughter, Sarah, and asked her if she would want to make some lasagna for her and me for tonight's dinner. I have been hungry for this for a few weeks, and my husband doesn't really care for it, but my son would eat it too.  It's more fun cooking with someone, especially, if I don't have to cook, as I am a spoiled princess cause my husband does like 100% of the cooking around here. I do the baking , though!!!
Anyway, lucked out again:-)  She had made lasagna on Sunday, and she has some leftovers for me & her brother!

Put my sign on my craft room door.............going shopping...........see ya later!!!!


Monday, January 20, 2014

A Most Productive Week

Having my first cup of coffee in my craft room last Monday morning and looking around my craft room! What a mess it had become.  It had become the dumping spot for things in the house that didn't have a home.  You could not see the top of my cutting table or my sewing area.  The tables were covered in various stages of projects, kind of intermingling.  Underneath the fabric were the rulers I couldn't find, and other items.  It was at this moment I knew I had to get control of this room, as I was spending more time hunting down patterns, fabric and scissors, etc., than sewing. LOL

I started by taking everything off the shelves and out of drawers that were in my closet.  If I was in a hurry to clean my room for company, I would shove anything and everything in and on them.  I opened my closet drawers very slowly so things wouldn't tumble out on me!

I sorted everything in piles, and separated all my crafting supplies.  I was in a purging frame of mind. Everything that didn't belong in went to live in another closet until I can clean that one. LOL  I had so many boxes and jars of pins and needles, you can't imagine.  I eventually separated all of these too.  It took me a full week, but I am proud to say that it never looked better.

I have my sewing projects in their own containers.  All nice and neat.  I still have to purge my fabric stash.  I talked with a friend who's church makes children's quilts for the ill and needy and told her I would love to donate what I have to them.  I read recently that we shouldn't be afraid to purge our stash, as our tastes change.  Mine sure have.  So, in the next couple of weeks I plan to organize most of my fabric by color.  I will still have my flannel and homespun separately, and also by color.

Current projects on my agenda:  Boy they just keep piling up.  I have a pin cushion to make for our online SQT group  That is a priority.  Then my daughter has requested a table runner, and soon, as her husband had her grandmother's table refinished for her at Christmas time.  Maybe a reversible one, as I could do a Valentine's and Easter themed one.  LOL I want to catch up on some of last year's monthly challenges in our SQT group I didn't get a chance to do.  I have 2 different block swaps from that group to get done.  I did at least get the Snowball Block up on my design wall yesterday.

Let's see, what else, oh yes, I need to make 3 aprons I didn't get done for last Christmas!  I am working on my "socks" in the evening, maybe I'll have a whole pair in a week or so.  I did find a couple of people's feet that they would fit.  At least I now have a purpose to get them done!  And they both like the look of the sock right now.

I think this is all at the moment that my brain can handle.  I need to get some pictures of my projects in progress and maybe my "clean" room while it is still clean.  My husband even complimented me on my room. Like it would make a difference, it's my room! But it was nice that he noticed the work that I had done in there.

Until next time....have any organizational tips you want to share?


Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year.......So Far on Track!

New Year starting out good. I finished a monthly challenge (Bear Paw Block) that was assigned to us from our fearless leader, Kathy Tracy, in her online Small Quilt Talk Group.  She gives us a challenge each month to complete, either one of her free patterns, or from one of her published books, or from one of her patterns that are shown in  the "101 Fabulous Small Quilts" book published by Martingale.   Even if you are a "large" quilt maker, as I was, these books are worth having.  And, the small quilts are a lot faster to make than completing a large one. LOL

Not intentionally on my part, but after I put my blocks together, I think I got "The Grinch's Paws" instead of the Bear Paws.  Oh well, I still really like this little quilt, and it makes me smile:-)

This is my fabric choices for the Bear Paw block for January.

Also, most of the blocks are represented by Civil War fabrics. I am having so much fun adding these beautiful fabrics of this era to my stash. I am currently "weeding" out  my older fabrics and asking the question, why did I buy these? Some of my stash is down right ugly....... It must have been the lighting in the stores?  

Just to update, I joined this online group in February of last year, shortly after my retirement.  I have never joined anything on line, and reading all the e-mails and seeing the quilts from these amazing quilters, I thought, why not.  It was one of the best things that I could have done for myself.  When you work and  are socially connected to lots of people, when you don't have that on a daily basis, life could get a little depressing and boredom would surely settle in.  I have a great family and love to spend time with them.  But, they are not available every day of the week.........and  my on line quilting friends are.  Even though I  now have a retired friend who has been my quilting buddy for many years, along with my oldest daughter, your on line quilting friends are there when you turn on your computer, early/late.  LOL  And you don't have to get dressed or comb your hair for them.  hahaha

Now onto possibly another challenge.  Last year our group had a fabric square exchange, a Snowball Block exchange, an Ohio Star Block exchange (oh, and these both will be large quilts) and finally a Secret Santa Exchange. All of these were great fun, and I am so glad I chose to get involved with these.  But, now I am torn about doing our latest exchange, it is a pin cushion exchange one on one......  I have never done a pin cushion, and I am sure I could get it completed in a month's time, I have made plenty of pillows.....and it is basically a "very, very small pillow.  I guess I first have to decide what kind I would make, and the signup sheet lists people's choices as to fabric and's just committing to do it.  Time is running out, I need to decide by January 15th.

Well, it is now time to get back to my sock knitting project, still in suspense of the size it will be, but it's looking good!

Oh, did I mention that Kathy Tracy started another group, it's called the Dear Jane Quilt Group? This is for only the people who have or have at least done a few of these DJ blocks, can join.(I think there are over 200+ blocks) I am thinking about looking into this too.  I often wish I had stayed with quilting when I was younger, there are so many quilts to make, and now hoping my eyes and by quilting hands hold out for a few (lots) more years.:-)


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cold Day Crafting?

I had such big plans today to get a couple of things accomplished (craft wise).  Well, I think this cold weather has zapped my energy.  Even though I only went outside once this morning for about 2 minutes.  LOL  I think it seeps into the house and makes you lazy, or rather has made me lazy.

I made my first cup of coffee about 6:45 this morning.  I like to make a quick cup with my Keurig, then head back to bed and watch a little early morning TV until around 8 ish.  I also picked up a knitting project that I started yesterday.  More of that one later.

A couple of days ago I started my quilt challenge for January, our online monthly quilt challenge.  This month's was the Bear Paw block, as mentioned in a earlier post.  It also happens to be one of my all time favorite blocks, along with the School House Block, and of course the ever versatile Log Cabin Block.  I completed quilting the top last night, and  I really had good intentions of attaching the binding today.  This is where I start procrastinating.  I can do the binding with no trouble, it is just the thinking about it I guess that slows me down. LOL  I guess I still have time to at least pick through my fabric stash today and maybe get it cut. We'll see.

Now onto my knitting project.  I still haven't given up on knitting a "real" pair of socks.  (Bronwen....the instructions you sent me look doable, I just wanted to try my hand at something fairly easy now and have something to work on at night when I watch TV.)  I came across this magazine, Threads, Hand Knit Socks, and the Introduction pulled me in:  "The wonderful madness that is sock knitting"!!  I am working on a tube sock, I think that is a doable thing, all done on a small circular needle, until the toe part.  I thought I would give this a try and bypass the heal for now.  Not sure, at the moment, what size it will turn out to be, even though I did a gauge...but I figure it will either fit one of my granddaughters (a few sizes there) or one of my daughters, or maybe even me.  The suspense will keep me going.

My monkeys, they don't want to hear about it, or see it, and definitely not talk about it!!!

I probably have another 7 inches or so until the dreaded toe.  I even thought maybe I would put this on another needle when I get that far, and just go ahead and make another top and just have the toes to finish on both socks.  LOL  It depends on what mood my mind is on when I get that far. I figure if I can get these done, and wearable, I might be encouraged to try "a regular sock" with a heal.  

The thing I like about this project is that it is small and very portable.  I like hand quilting my quilts, but at the moment I don't have any that I can work on.  

So, if your having an Arctic blast of winter in your area, are you doing any crafting, house cleaning, or being lazy like me?


Friday, January 3, 2014

Best Laid Plains..........

There is an old saying about "best laid plains", but I can't think of it.  I know it has something to do with whatever you planned, it's not going to work out that way:-)

My plains for today were to work on my SQT challenge for January, Bear Paw quilt block.  For the last couple of days, I have actually changed my fabric choices 3 times.  I think I have it now!!!  Early this morning I found just what I wanted, something quick and simple, I think.  I just have a couple of more fabrics to add to the mixture.  LOL

My husband comes home from his doctor's appointment this morning, and declares that we should make a couple of batches of strawberry jam. I say, no way.........but he usually wins in the end.  We have the frozen whole strawberries in the freezer, simple enough to chop them up.  It took us under an hour to make the 2 batches and clean up.  As I look at the fruit of our labor and hear the tops "pop"....I am glad we did it.


Two frozen loafs of bread dough are rising on the stove top.  Nothing better than fresh jam and fresh bread.  I know what I am having for dinner!!!

Sun is shinning, snow has stopped, everything is right with the world, at least here for now:-)


Husband is off for another appointment, time for me to hit my sewing room.

Have a great day doing whatever you enjoy doing!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014



In my head I have several thoughts of what I want to accomplish this year on my blog.  Maybe with your help and suggestions it will be a wild ride:-)  I seem to have hundreds of views every month, so I would really enjoy seeing my followers grow.  I am open to any suggestions, from sewing how to's, to more quick and tasty recipes.  I hope to soon have a "knitting sock" journey; this time I am hoping that I will actually have a pair of socks that I can show off!!

I have been actively quilting for more than 20 years, and I am still learning and trying things that I thought I would never be able to accomplish.  I am not a "perfect" seam "matcher" or hand quilter.  But, I can get enjoyment from what I do.  Sometimes it comes out really good, and other times, if you cock your head a certain way, it looks good. LOL

So, hoping you will join me for some fun stuff.  Sometimes I even surprise myself with my sense of humor.  If you can't laugh at yourself once in a while.......well, what can I say?

Jump in.........try it, you might find that you like it!