Thursday, January 31, 2013

Strawberries, Blueberries and Chocolate

I needed a treat.
This would have been yummy, but

then I would have had to do some extra walking
or really exercise hard.

 So rather than feel extra guilty,
I did some fabric surfing, that's exercise right, and 
had Homestead Hearth send me some
of this kind of Blueberries, Strawberries and Chocolates.
By Judi Rothermel.
Delicious, without the calories.

It was perfect timing with Lori's
SAL or sew along.
Check it out.

My plan is to use these 
and if I have to add in some other pieces,
which I will, 
I have only 5 minutes to search.
It's time for fun, not for agonizing over a
couple of 2 inch squares.
Ready, set , go.....

With the aid of fast forward,
here are the fabrics I have chosen.

I think they'll work out great.

Ready, set , go....

Fast Forward....
Here's the block.

One block didn't seem quite enough
so back to the cutting board.
I'll let you see what a set of 4 looks like soon.

It's all about having fun,
and this was fun.

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thinking Spring?

Isn't Spring suppose to come quicker
when you work on a spring project?

 Well, no luck in changing the seasons,
 but I did have luck finishing
 my Daffodil Daze pillow,
  the first of my 11 Progress Project Plan.

I used a yellow and green print
for the border and backing

and I actually had the light yellow large rick rack
 on hand to add as a trim.

French knots can have a distinct personality.
 So, instead of French knots for detail,

I used seed beads for a little bling.
 It's a cute design and makes you smile

 as you imagine the little spring time chicks
 peeping happily
 as they carry off daffodils on their shoulders.

Until Next Time-

Friday, January 25, 2013


 Life consists of many chapters.
Each chapter can tell a story of 
love, drama, or comedy.

It's been a year since
I started the chapter of my life
affectionately known as Nana.

Or "Nanny Nana".

Many of you know that I am away from 
my home and Running Man during the week
and spend time making memories and helping out
 two of my daughters and 
these two special people 5 days a week.

Before I embarked on this commitment,
there were many considerations 
that were thought about and debated.
It's been a remarkable journey,
for all of us.
(Thank you, son in laws).

Everdeen and Sanford have become
an important part of my daily life.

This extra time for them to be able to be at home,
spending time together as cousins, learning and growing,

and playing with Nana
  has been a valuable opportunity.

My stint continues until the end of May.
 Then I'll  close this particular chapter and 
start another,

but until then
the 3 of us will continue to 
hang out together.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Plaids

 There's a distinct relationship
between winter and plaids.
All those plaid flannel shirts come out of the closet.
They're warm, comfortable and familiar.

Many quilters are currently having fun working with plaid fabrics
Plaids have cycled around again,
 but these gals are finding treasures
 on clothing hangers
by taking older clothing and repurposing it.

When Roberta Horton first started to 
bring plaids into the quilter's market place,
I became a fan.

Some quilters wrestle with the black arrow syndrome 
when working with plaid fabric.

What is that?
It's the flashback from laying a garment pattern 
on plaid fabric and 
 trying to keep it straight on the grain.

It doesn't matter,
Being slightly off grain adds character.

In 1996, a group of friends,
each started on their own plaid quilt using the Bear Paw pattern.

We exchanged half square triangle pieces.
Any combo was okay.

Every piece in the quilt is a plaid, from the blocks, lattice, borders, backing and
the scrappy binding.

I hand quilted it with an overall grid.

The backing was pieced with several leftovers and
with appliqued bear paws for special effect!

  I'm always glad when I include a label as a 
reminder of the story 
of my slightly off grained friends.

So if you're tired of some of your winter plaid shirts,
get some scissors and start a new project.
Repurpose, recycle, redo.

Until Next Time-

Monday, January 21, 2013


There are only 9 months left
before the arrival of fall and

That might sound like a rather bazarre
statement in January, but to those
of us who quilt and are working
on a seasonal project, that
shouts, "Deadline" and
"You'd Better Get A Move On."

So that's what I've been working on
during that weekends when I'm home.

Drawing lines for the construction of
Flying Geese Units.

Assembly line stitching

and finally constructing
one of my favorite blocks,

a Sawtooth Star.

The design is just one of those blocks
that's always popular and easy to make.
It's a star pattern without worrying about
8 points coming together in the center

Although I only needed 22 random scrappy blocks
I really made 30.

That gave me plenty of options when
it came time to lay out the blocks.

These preprinted plastic tags by Quilt Dance
make a great lay out system for quilt blocks,
especially because I don't have a design wall space to use.

It's easy to get confused when I pick up a stack of blocks
off the floor and start sewing.
Trust me!
I've also used masking tape, scraps of paper pinned on, and
sticky notes that don't really stay on.

Here's the center.
The borders are next.
 Pumpkins and Black Cats
may seem far off,
but at this pace I'll be ready
with Blackbird's pattern,
Midnight Silhouette.

Until Next Time-

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eleven Projects

It's good to have a gimmick.
You know something that's unique or clever
enough to stand out from the usual.

A list of "to do" projects is a good idea.
It helps to remind me of what I've either started
or what I want to do.

But that list is long and can look very daunting

and not very fun.

Last year, my quilt group, "the Quilting Buddies",
started a plan, The 11 Project Progress Plan,
or what was affectionately referred to as the

That was so successful for me, I'm ready
to try it again only with a few slight changes.

Instead of choosing projects that have been
 hopelessly lingering, I want to include
some new projects.

Also instead of designating only 11 specific projects,

I have * about 20
and at the beginning of 
each month I want to take a look at those *'s
 and make a choice based on

what the coming month has in store or
even how I feel.
So I guess I might have to change the name of my plan,
but the purpose is the same,
 to progress a project forward
without feeling bad about having so many on a list.

First project, which is actually my newest addition,

is some spring embroidery,
from a pattern called Daffodil Daze

It's a good remind that 
winter doesn't last forever.
Until Next Time-

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Next Step

 With the top complete
of my Red and White sampler
 from the It Just Takes 2 blocks
it was time to move on to the next part,
the quilting.
 And in this case, the hand quilting.

 Of course, 
we know there are some steps in between. 

These are the steps that I dislike the most,
getting the backing ready,
getting the batting ready,

then basting the whole thing together.

I don't have a great place to baste a 
large quilt so I have to scramble around
on the floor.

Long ago, in ancient times when I was younger, basting was
done with thread.

Now at least, with safety pins it's quicker,
but you need to be careful not to create holes anywhere.

The quilt weighs a ton now with all those pins,
and is somewhat of a struggle to get to the middle
to start hand quilting. 

 I haven't premarked anything.
I plan to do mostly outline quilting.

The one thing I always do to same time is to 
prethread my needles.

I use the quilt dome by Clover and 
 load it up with 30 needles, 
three in each slot, and
in this case, half red and half white.

It's amazing how much time you save,
not having to stop and thread a needle
each time you empty one.

The other thing I use other than
a regular thimble are these

I use them on my underneath fingers to save
my fingertips.  
They take a little getting use to and
as you use them they do soften up a bit.
Even with them on two of my underneath fingers,
it's easy to tell if I've pushed the needle through
all three layers.

I'm ready to begin.
My goal is to have it done by the end
of May or sooner.

So far it seems like I'm moving at a snail's pace.
But my mantra has always been,

 "Just a hoop a day".

That may not happen.
 (Reality check)

But even if it doesn't,
every stitch gets me closer to being done.

 Until Next Time-

Monday, January 14, 2013

Over Hill and Dale

This weekend while I stitched 
happily in front of the fireplace,

Running Man was off on another ultramarathon run
in Bandera, Texas.

Where is that?
Northwest of San Antonio in the "hill country" of Texas.

It's called an endurance trail run because of those hills.

Not so gentle and rolling 
when you're running up and down them.
  The race was a 100 K (62 miles) made up of a double 50 K loop.

He was on his own with drop bags
 strategically located at aid stations. 
Hope the stations where better outfitted than this.

The trail is rugged where everything cuts, stings or bites.

I had hoped the event would post results online during the day.
So instead I had to wait and hope that
he was physically and mentally doing okay.

Running Man is now the proud owner of a belt buckle.
All it took was running 62 miles.

Until Next time-