Saturday, August 20, 2011

New beginnings

University of Notre Dame

The day has come. Our youngest has checked in at college and can't wait for us to leave. We know it is a good thing that he is so ready to start this next adventure of his life. And he has been such a joy to raise that we are thrilled that he has earned this spectacular opportunity to learn at this magnificent school. (And dh is excited about the football games.) But we are not leaving yet. There are lots of parent orientation meetings to attend and frankly, we aren't excited about getting back in the car for the 12 hour drive home quite yet.

When we do leave tomorrow we are going to head down to Huntington, WV to visit some good friends from the past and then spend a few days rejuvenating at a lovely resort in southern WV. Life has been crazy, crazy busy the last month and we are going to soak in some R & R. We decided that this would be a great way to start the new phase of our life, the dreaded empty nest.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Design Wall Monday

This week I am working on a fabric high chair/chair restraint for dgd, Paige. I got the pattern from It worked up quickly following the very clear instructions they put on YouTube.

Having had 4 boys that are all now 18 thru 31 years old, I don't have any dolls to use as models. We don't even have any stuffed animals left around. So, use your imagination with the squishy pillow I bought for it's pellets.

I will be spending the next 2 days with Paige and will probably be tweaking the pattern a bit. Then I will make a second one to send to them to keep in their car for restaurant use.

Stash Report - 7/24/11

I've been pretty good the last few weeks - not an angel but pretty good. I only bought 2 yards of fabric to make a couple of fabric high chairs like the one at All Free Sewing. I've made one (1 yard used) and I love how it came out. If it actually functions well with dgd, Paige,
then I'll make the second one. I am meeting Nicole and Paige in DC on Tuesday and Wednesday. They are flying up from Florida and I will watch Paige while Nicole job interviews and we will also be looking for an apartment for them. They move north Labor Day weekend so the search for an apartment is getting down to the wire.

I'll get to try out the fabric high chair (1 yard used) cuz we'll be eating out all meals.

I also completed one of the casserole carriers - 2 yards.

Stash Report
Used the past weeks: 3 yards
Used year to date: 62.25 yards 

Added the past weeks: 2 yards
Added year to date: 92.75 yards

Net used in 2011: -30.50 yards (not good but could be worse)

Head over to Patchwork Times to see how others are doing with busting their stash.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back to business

I've been having computer trouble. Although I could still check and send emails, I couldn't do much else. This poor laptop has been moving as slow as molasses and couldn't open pictures. However an hour at the fabulous Genius Bar at the Apple Store and, I hope, my little MacBook is back in business.

Everyone has been talking about the heat; too hot to cook, too hot to garden, too hot to quilt. Record breaking heat in the Northeast. Never ever seen temperatures this high. 106 degrees yesterday!! Thank heavens for air conditioning and thank heavens for all of our utility workers who kept our electricity going so we could have air conditioning. Now what's the last thing one would want to do during a heat wave? Turn on the oven, right? But I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies (a daily problem). And Chips Ahoy just wouldn't do. So, I turned on the oven and baked a batch. The kitchen/family room went from a comfortable 74° to a very uncomfortable (for this raging hormoned, perimenopausal woman) 78°. But it was so worth it.

I am absolutely addicted to chocolate chip cookies - most definitely my favorite food! And although I make a pretty good chocolate chip cookie I am still searching for the perfect cookie. I want it to be crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside. And I don't want it to be FLAT!! Today I tried Best Chocolate Chip Cookies from I followed the recipe exactly and straight out of the oven the cookies are delicious but what chocolate chip cookie isn't delicious warm?

Once cooled they taste VERY good but they are chewy without the crisp (but is that because of the humidity, although with the air conditioning the inside humidity is 50%). And they are flat! On a scale of 1-10, I would give them a 6. Trust me, I will still enjoy eating them. This recipe, though, is not "The One". I may try them again in the winter.

I will continue on my quest for the perfect cookie. Next up, Urban Legend Chocolate Chip Cookies. Any suggestions of your perfect cookie?

Edit: Chris and Pat (ds's 3 & 4) say these are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made. Today, the second day, they are crumbly chewy. Definitely not my choice but I'm glad they are happy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I have finished the few projects that I've recently been working on (what a strange thing to be able to say) so I guess on my design wall today will be my UFO #2. It is my Christmas Pineapple Blossom made using Bonnie Hunter's pattern. And it's a monster. If I remember correctly it's over 100" each side. (The picture only shows what one person was able to hold up. haha) The blocks were all made during a swap and I finished the top Christmas 2009. I want to give it to Tim and Nicole at Thanksgiving so they can enjoy using it this Christmas season.

Stop by Patchwork Times to see what others have up on their design wall this week.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stash Report - Week 27 - 7/3/11

Every time I make some progress in the sewing room I seem to think I need to reward myself by shopping for fabric. This past week I finished the binding on the Yellow Taxi Cab. WooHoo. Four yards for the backing and binding. Great.

Then Friday was the first day of July and I thought, "Christmas in July!" Made me think of all the Christmas presents I need to make. This year I am hoping to be making 15 casserole carriers (as seen Here, Here, and the tutorial Here) and I'm not thrilled with the fabric I have for them so far. What's a girl to do? Luckily my good friend Joyce was happy to accompany me to Joanns so I could acquire some very pretty fabric. Eight yards of pretty fabric.

I started looking at fabric for the linings of the carriers and decided that I had tons of muslin that would work very nicely. (I'll probably change my mind about that and buy some more pretty fabric for the linings the next time I reward myself for finishing a project. LOL)

Stash Report
Used the past week: 4 yards
Used year to date: 59.25 yards 

Added the past week: 8 yards
Added year to date: 90.75 yards

Net used in 2011: -31.50 yards (not good but could be worse)

Head over to Patchwork Times to see how others are doing with busting their stash.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

June Monochromatic Challenge - indigo

The month ended and my indigo purse is finished. Woot. What a comedy of errors it was. You know how when you have made something several times you start to move thru the steps without concentrating - you know how to do it, after all!!! And that's exactly when you start to make all the errors. This bag had gone together sooo smoothly and quickly. I went to take a picture of the inside of the "finished" bag and right away noticed that the pockets of one side were on upside down. (Sorry, in my exasperation I didn't actually take the picture). So much for smoothly and quickly. A couple of hours later it was done, again.

Check out other indigo finishes at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stash Report - 25 - 6/19/11

The retreat was a success in that I did get lots of sewing done. Projects completed to the fabric reporting stage, not so much. The outfit for Paige did get finished and mailed -  1 1/2 yards.

The indigo project got finished - 2 1/2 yards.

The batik log cabin top got finished but I reported that last weekend during the retreat.

But the yellow top did not get hand stitched so I need to wait to report the back and binding. And since the retreat ended on Tuesday, I haven't touched a machine or sewing machine.

I did some fabric shopping this week. I needed more fabric for the tote bag bottom but it went out as soon as it came in so I'm not counting it on either tally. And I bought a cute knit fabric for a Paige outfit - 1 1/4 yards. :)

Geez, it comes in so easily and takes so much effort for it to go out. No wonder most of our stashes are so out of control.

Stash Report
Used the past week: 4 yards
Used year to date: 55.25 yards 

Added the past week: 1.25 yards
Added year to date: 82.75 yards

Net used in 2011: -27.50 yards 

Head over to Patchwork Times to see how others are doing with busting their stash.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


We sewed and ate and sewed and ate. Once in a while we slept. We actually went 10 or 11:00 am till midnight or 1:00 am every day.

I am happy with what I accomplished:

The batik log cabin (UFO #8) got it's borders on.

The romper for Paige got made.

And the indigo project got made.

My friends also accomplished a lot. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of everything but here are some.
First stage of Joyce's Twister
Joyce's 1930s Tumbler
Audrey and Beth's Sparkling Gemstones. It's in all Jennifer Paganelli fabrics and an eggplant sashing.
Elaine's completely hand pieced sampler.
Debbie takes a break to give Amber some lovin'.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stash Report - Week 24 - 6/12/11

Eight of us are retreating at my house. Yesterday we had a total blast. My abdomen hurts this morning from laughing so hard. Luckily the heat wave totally left us (it was actually so cool that we had to start closing windows).

I finished the batik log cabin top. Oh, I love this top. I'll try to edit in a picture later when I can have some ladies hold it up for me.

More to come as we sew, sew, sew for three more days.

I did buy fabric for my niece's college quilt and bloomers for dgd, Paige.

Stash Report
Used the past week: 13 yards
Used year to date: 51.25 yards 

Added the past week: 6.5 yards
Added year to date: 81.5 yards

Net used in 2011: -30.50 yards 

Head over to Patchwork Times to see how others are doing with busting their stash.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


After wondering and googling about what color indigo actually is, I am probably now more confused than ever.

Crayola has it as a purplish blue:

 Kona Cotton has it as  darker than navy blue:


This is an Indigo bush:

 And how about Indigo by Lancome:


 And I now know there is a Texas Indigo Snake. Look at that beautiful blue pattern:

So I decided *MY* indigo challenge project would be mostly dark blue, some purples and some purplish blues - dark and light. (The green is the cutting mat) And I think they all look great together.  And since we don't allow quilt police in this challenge, I am very happy to go with it. These would be one side of a tote.

The plan is to complete this project during our 4 day retreat. Yes, 4 day retreat! Can't wait.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Design Wall Monday

This coming weekend I am hosting a 4 day retreat here at my house for my Friday Quilting friends. DH is going out of town for 4 days and we are going to sew every day he is gone. In getting ready, I am prepping several projects to work on then.

1. A new romper for dgd, Paige, using this fabric and pattern.
    Preparation to do: cut out all pieces - Done

2. Batik log cabin - add border, quilt and bind
    Preparation - cut out border, make backing and binding  Edit - Done (Wednesday afternoon)

3. Yellow taxi cab - bind - this is actually on the long arm and I expect to have it quilted by the retreat so I will be able to sit and stitch the binding when my back needs a break from sitting at the machine.
    Preparation - quilt top, make binding, attach binding. Edit - Done (Monday afternoon)

4. Indigo tote bag
    Preparation - cut out all pieces Edit - Done - (Tuesday afternoon)

5. Mini log cabin block
    Preparation - none - Done :)

6. Nine patches for Patrick's college quilt
    Preparation - draft pattern, cut strips

Go see what is on other design walls at Patchwork Times

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Year of the PIGS

It's that time again to think about our PIGS. Jill over at Ramblings of a Fabric and Yarn Obsessor has asked us again to consider a question about our PIGS:

"Your guild has challenged you to complete the PIGS that you least 
want to work on. What project would it be and why."

I know exactly what project I'd have to work on - don't even have to think about. I think it was called "The Wind Doth Blow".

I started this project sometime in the 90s. I truly have no idea when. My guess is the early 90s. I had gotten the pattern from a magazine but no idea which one. I spent ages and ages collecting greys for the background. Grey just wasn't an easy color to find those days. But I found some and I loved this quilt. But then for some reason I put it down and didn't look at it for years and years. 

I look at it now and all I can think is, "what on earth would I do with this thing?". The days of country styling left our house many moons ago. Even if it was a style I wanted to work on, I have no idea where the pattern is. I suppose I would add a simple border and be done with it but I seem to remember it having a very nice set of borders and I hate to not finish it properly.

I think the only way this top will ever get finished is if I am challenged. Hmmmm, may have to add it to next year's UFO challenge.

Go over to Jill's and see what projects others don't want to work on.

Stash Report - Week 23 - 6/5/11

I finished the Roman Stripe Quilt, UFO #9 this week and none of the fabric had ever been counted. That used about 8 yards.

I also finished a new outfit for dgd, Paige.

Don't you just want to pinch those cheeks? Look at those rolls
on her arms and legs! They are having a terrible time finding outfits that the elastic on the legs doesn't act like a tourniquet on those thighs.

So what's a grandmother to do? Make her outfits that fit, of course.

Having had only 4 sons I never got to make cute little outfits like this.
And I certainly never made little headbands with fabric flowers on them. I should have made pacifier holders but that never occurred to me at the time.
Am I having fun making baby girl clothes? uhhhh, yeah!!! 1 1/2 yards for the Paige outfit.

Stash Report
Used the past week: 9 1/2 yards
Used year to date: 38.25 yards 

Added the past week: 0 yards
Added year to date: 75 yards

Net used in 2011: -36.75 yards 

Well, better than last time but still a long way to go.

Check out other stash reports at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Yellow is the color for June over at SoScrappy. I'm having trouble keeping up with the monochromatic challenges and definitely am not wanting to create any more UFOs, eighty five is enough, thank you very much. So I haven't participated in as many of these challenges as I would have like But January was yellow month over at PatchworkTimes and I created this top.

I love it but it never got finished so I will use Angela's challenge to get it quilted and bound. Woot!

UFO #9 Done - albeit late.

Yippee. Physical Therapy has been helping alot and I am back to quilting. Finished hand stitching the binding on UFO #9 today. Quilting it left handed was tricky but I am soo glad I took the challenge to get it done.

These blocks were made by members of an online group I have been with for 12 years. They were swapped in 2000. Yup, it was definitely time to get this UFO completed.

Check out other UFO completions at Patchwork Times.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quilters with Heart

The Friday afternoon quilters met today. Debbie quilted the cute little quilt she got for $5 at a yard sale. The rest of us worked on finishing up two tops - still trying to finish up the bin of florals. I think we have made at least 10 quilts from that bin and those florals just won't go away.
Today's quilters were Jeanne, Joyce, Debbie, Amy and, special quest star, Roe. Roe is a quilting friend from many years back at a local quilt shop. It was such a joy to see her today. We hope she continues to join us on Fridays.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I did it, I finally did it!!!

Remember this pile of fabric from January? I had worked on cleaning up the sewing room (a never ending battle it appears) and it was all but completed except for the pile of fabrics that needed to be put away.

Well, it had only gotten worse, much worse (sorry, no pic). I have collected alot of fabric for baby girl sewing but haven't been able to do alot of sewing so that fabric was piling up. And that retail therapy shopping caused quite a pile.

But today I finally put it all away and it now looks like this. Woohoo!

I am sooo excited because all of my workspaces are now cleared off. 
Ironing counter? CLEAR!
Sewing table? CLEAR!
Cutting/Work counter? FINALLY CLEAR!

And I can see and access my fat quarters. Aren't they beautiful all organized and nicely folded? Now I need to get this dang elbow to cooperate so I can use some of these beautiful fat quarters.