Sunday, December 28, 2014

Crocheting and Quilting...

Quote for the Day:
"Knowledge is realizing that the street is one-way, 
wisdom is looking both directions anyway."
~author unknown

My daughter said that my granddaughter wanted some mittens and an ear warmer for Christmas...mittens because she's only had gloves until now, and an ear warmer so her hair wouldn't get messed up by a hat.  Since Sera is 8, life is all about "Frozen", the Disney movie....which, by the way, I haven't seen, yet....but I'm sure I'll get the chance when we go to visit soon!  
Armed with this knowledge...mittens...ear warmer..."Frozen"...I went to work on making those items for her for Christmas.  We will be celebrating our Christmas when we go visit, so that gave me a few extra days after Christmas to finish them up.  I put the finishing touches on them today. This is my first experience at making either one, so I'm kinda happy with the way they turned out!  

I purchased the blue yarn, but the white with silver yarn and the eyelash yarn were gifted to me by two of the ladies in my fibers arts group.  I think those two yarns really added a "frozen" element to them!  I hope that Sera like them and that they fit!   

Last week I showed a quilt block I had made with vintage embroidered linens and 1930's repros fabric.  I've had fun making more of those blocks while on Christmas vacation, and now there are 16!!

Here's a close-up of some of the blocks....

I think this next one is my favorite one so far because I decided to leave the crocheted edging on it...


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

I hope that you are all settling into your Christmas celebration, whatever that may entail!  Your hard work has paid off and now it is time to enjoy your family, your baked goodies, and your decorations!  

We didn't decorate or bake this year, but I've been enjoying my 9-day break from work by spending lots of time in my sewing room!  Yesterday was the Christmas party at the chiropractor's office where I work part-time and it was nice to enjoy the company of my co-workers.  The recovery room where I work has delayed their get-together until after the holidays.

Today I've been streaming Christmas music on my tablet, which is nice because I can take with with me from room to room, depending on where I am and what I'm doing!  Tonight I will be attending Christmas Eve mass with my neighbors, followed by refreshments at their house.  I made some peanut butter chex mix and deviled eggs to take over with us.  We're going to take our Apples to Apples game and see if we can interest them in playing!  

For now, though, let me share pics of my recently finished "Sherbet" quilt.  I put it into my hand-quilting frame on 3/31/14 and took it out about 10 days ago!  It has been labeled and washed and I LOVE the way it turned out!  Nice and crinkly, like a vintage quilt!  

A close up of the crinkliness...

Even the backing is pieced!  

Now, shamelessly bragging on my grandchildren...because I'm a grandmother and it's my prerogative!  :)

Clark, 6 months, and Sera, 8 years

Last weekend our son and daughter-in-law had Christmas at her grandparents house and she sent me these pictures.  

Alex 17 months, with his great-grandfather!

My son, Paul, grandson, Andrew III, in the middle, and his little cousin on the right...
looks like they are enjoying the four-wheeler.


Monday, December 22, 2014

A New Project...

Background:  I collect vintage hand-embroidered linens...dresser scarves, doilies, pillowcases, etc.  I don't just "collect" them, I actually USE THEM in my home on a daily basis!!!  

However, sometimes items will get stained or develop holes in them, and I can't bring myself to just toss them out.  So what's a girl to do???  For a couple of years now I've been thinking of how I can preserve the embroidery in a quilt.  I came across this blog post this past summer and decided that I wanted to do something similar...

I like the way she cut out the usable parts of the embroidery and added 1930's reproduction fabrics (these kinds of embellished linens are usually from the 1920-1940 era).  This past summer I started collecting 30's repros with this kind of quilt in mind.

However...I LOVE LOVE LOVE star blocks...especially when the stars look like they are floating rather than touching each other.  I've been doing some research and finally found a free pattern here that has floating stars.  

Yesterday I made a test block out of some scraps to see if I liked the way it looked and if it would go together fairly easily without too much aggravation, hair-pulling-out, etc.  I am pleased to announce that it met all of my criteria!  :)

My test block...I'm thinking I might turn it into a pillow for our sofa...

Well...I couldn't stop there.  Nooooooooo...I had to go on and make a block out of one of my vintage pillowcase embroideries...

I know I'm going to have fun making this quilt because I just LOVE those 30's reproduction fabrics.  By the way, because some of these linens are thin, I am applying a lightweight iron-on interfacing to them to strengthen them in the quilt.

Now I want to share a new quilting notion with you that I purchased at my LQS, Classic Quilt Shop.   In the past I have hated HST's (half-square triangles) because of having to mark the backs of each little piece and then TRYING DESPERATELY to sew straight, etc.  Just a pain in the you-know-what to me.  They always came out wonky.  :(

I found this notion at the quilt store and used it yesterday to make my blocks and IT WORKS!!!

It is a piece of plastic cling that you put on the bed of your machine and it gives you lines to match up your points to...then you just guide your fabric under the needle while keeping your corners lined up on the lines!!!  Easy-peasy!!!   It also has a 1/4" guide line so when you are sewing a scant 1/4" seam, you just line up your fabric to that one!!!  Since it is a cling it is easily applied and removed as often as you need!

Here it is on my machine with a leader/ender under the needle.   Ten dollars well spent!!!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Busy Busy Busy...

"It's the thought that counts".  

If that is true then I have blogged many, many times over the last couple of weeks because I've "thought" about it a LOT.  Putting fingers to the keyboard is another thing altogether.  

I've been trying to get a couple quilts ready to gift...which I thought would be happening around the beginning of the new year.  However, our plans have changed a little so the quilts will be hanging around here with me a little longer.  BUT at least they will be ready to gift when I get the chance because I've been busy binding and labeling them!

In the past couple of weeks, I finally finished up the Sherbet quilt...

...but haven't had a chance to take pictures of it.  I will post pictures of it soon, though.  I really love the way it turned out!  

Here are the labels I've made for 2 of the quilts I've finished up in the last couple of weeks...

For obvious reasons, I've had to blot out the name of the recipient until such time that they have been gifted.

I finished the quilting on the Daffodil quilt 2 years ago, but had never put the binding on it.  

BUT...I can finally remove that task from my "to do" list and now the quilt is ready for labeling!  :)

See...I told you I'd been busy!!  LOL

Today Andy installed some much-needed track lighting over my cutting table!  

I can see's a Christmas miracle!  I have angled the far right light so it shines on my ironing board.

Tomorrow when I am in town, I will go get some conduit to attach and cover the cord along the wall.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Recap...

Quote for the Day:
"That's what the holidays are for...
for one person to tell the stories and another to dispute 
~Lara Flynn Boyle

This week we celebrated Thanksgiving Day in the USA.  Our son, daughter-in-law and 2 grandsons came in from Georgia last Sunday and just left today.  Even though everyone was in different stages of being sick, including Andy, it was still a good visit.  Of course, I could have done without the gift of their illness that struck me down on Thanksgiving evening after dinner. if falling down 2 steps onto the hardwood entryway floor on Tuesday (after climbing over the baby gate) wasn't bad enough...I finally succumbed to the crud that has been sweeping across everyone else.  

But onward and upward...since there is no where else to go when you are are some pictures from their visit...

Andrew I and Andrew III

Little Alex thought it was great fun to go up and down the stairs...

...unfortunately, he's pretty clumsy and rolled down about 10 stairs (thank God they are carpeted) so we had to put a baby gate....

...where he spent much time lamenting his captivity and looking pitiful...

Both of the grandsons LOVE LOVE LOVE playing with Grandpa on the floor...

Paul and his two sons...

Wherever Grandpa is, Andrew will be close by...

Bookend Boston Terriers...their dog, Missy, on the left, and our Ginger on the right...

Our neighbors came over to join us for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday and we had a good time chatting and laughing together...

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Easy Street"...

Quote for the Day:

Easy street, Easy street
Where you sleep till noon
Yeah, yeah, yeah
She'd repeat, Easy street
Better get there soon.
Easy street, Easy street
Where the rich folks play
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Move them feet
Move them ever-lovin' feet
To easy street, Easy street.
~ "Easy Street" lyrics, from the musical Annie


The Bonnie Hunter 2012 mystery quilt that I started in November 2012 is FINITO!!   Bonnie named the pattern "Easy Street", but I affectionately refer to it as "Scrap Vomit"...because it looks too busy to me.  

For those who don't know what a "mystery quilt" is, quilt designers give out cutting and sewing instructions for a quilt, step by step.  However, YOU don't know what the final design is until the end when they give you the instructions on how to sew the pieces together at the end.  

Before starting this quilt, I had just finished a Christmas quilt in red, green and cream.  I wanted this quilt to be an autumn quilt, so I picked colors of the fall leaves.  

Unfortunately, while I was hoping for this quilt to be mainly brown, yellow/gold and red, it turned out to have a lot more green than I wanted.  It looked like another Christmas quilt to me.  Because of that, I wasn't terribly pleased with the way it turned out.  

I think that adding the yellow and brown borders did help to tone down the "Christmasy" part a little and did help make it look a little more "fallish".

My daughter-in-law saw the quilt top in my sewing room and raved over it, so I told her she could have it for their guest bedroom when I (finally) got it finished.  They are coming in this weekend for Thanksgiving, so I decided that I would finish it before they arrived so that they could take it home with them!   I finished quilting it last week and finished sewing down the binding 2 days ago!  Just in the nick of time!!  

I put it on the bed in our guestroom...the one they will be using while here. Then when they leave they can take it with them.   Kinda like a "door prize"!  LOL   


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Quote for the Day:
“Being busy is better than being bored. Bored left a long time ago. 
Busy is always around for me."
~ Tabitha Robin

Guess what is FINALLY under my needle!!!

"Easy Street"!!!  This was Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt from 2012! 

I've had the top done for a while, but didn't have border fabric for it.  But when we were in Maine this past March, we went to Marden's and I found the perfect border and backing fabric for it!

I got the quilt top, batting, and backing pin-basted about 2 weeks ago but have been busy with work, so didn't get started quilting on it until today.

I'm using a variegated thread by Coats & Clark called "Fall Leaves"... gold, red, and green.

This past weekend, I attended a 2-day chiropractic conference in New Jersey with Dr. Leonette and Troy, one of the chiropractic assistants from work.  We attended lots of informative lectures and got to see...and try out...some of the newest products to help us help our patients.

(Dr. Barwell lecturing)

 (Troy, a lovely young man that I have the pleasure to work with)

Here I am trying out the Heart Rate Variability test.  This tests just how well your nervous system is working and how well your body is able to recover from stress.  Let's just say...I failed!  :(   My body has worked too long on "high alert" from being a critical care RN for 31 years.  I need to work on learning techniques to deal with stress...meditation, exercise, etc,..and give my autonomic nervous system a break!

Andy went with me to New Jersey and we stayed an extra night so that we could visit my sister, Mary Ellen, who lives in Manhattan.  She came to where we were staying and we spent the evening with her and went to dinner.  We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with her since we hadn't seen each other in almost 3 years!