Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bye Bye 2011, Welcome 2012

Happy New Year everyone.  My wish for you is that your life overflows with joy, laugher and blessings in 2012.   Thanks for reading my blog.  I’m hoping that you will be amazed this next year at all the projects I get done.
                 Sarcastic smile

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This and That

Last night I finished up another jigsaw puzzle.  The borders were difficult on this one, but once I got those done, the inside part was a breeze.

Dec 28 2011 001


My cousin (LA) knit a bracelet several years ago that I admired.  She promptly sent me a kit to make one for myself.  I pulled that kit out and read the directions many, many times, but just couldn’t get it started.  Today I pulled it out again and decided I just didn’t understand the directions, nor did I remember what LA’s looked like, so I just strung the beads and made myself a simple bracelet.

Dec 28 2011 004

It is colorful and I like it a lot.  Thanks LA.


A lady at church is loaning our pastor a quilt that will be used as an illustration for a sermon series on some Old Testament stories.  It needed a rod pocket, so I basted a temporary one on today.

Dec 28 2011 005

Here is a sample of one of the blocks.  Can’t show it all as it is not mine to show.  It is a beautiful quilt and the story of it coming together is delightful. 

Dec 28 2011 006

Don’t you just love the wonderful diversity of quilts?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fall Tumbler

The borders are now sewn onto my Fall Tumbler quilt.

Fall Tumbler 001

Just two simple strips of fabric to complete this lap sized quilt.

Fall Tumbler 002

And the binding is ready to go once I get it back from the long-arm quilter.

Fall Tumbler 003

The backing is two big pieces of fabric with some scrappy tumblers in the center.

Fall Tumbler 005

The bright yellow fabric in this picture does not represent the fabric at all.  It is much more of a soft gold.

I now have three quilts being quilted and two more ready to go.  This means I will have at least five easy finishes in the new year.  I’m planning on a good quilting year in 2012.

Today I am grateful for a wonderful Christmas weekend that produced many good memories.  How blessed I am to have great church friends and the best family in the world!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas to all……

Christmas 2011 001

Christmas 2011 002

No snow here in my neck of the woods, but it still looks like Christmas at my house.

Wishing you all a joyous Christmas filled with family, friends, music, good food, and a beautiful candle-lit service at church.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Projects for 2012

Here are my 12 projects for Judy’s UFO 2012 Challenge:

1.  Christmas Tumbler – ready to send to long-arm quilter, bind.

2.  Fall Tumbler – finish borders, make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

3.  Batik Rail Fence – make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

4.  Mother Goose Squares – make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

5.  Cherish Nature squares – bind (when I get it back from long-arm quilter)

6.  Cat & Daisy – small quilt that I can easily quilt – needs to be layered, quilted & bound.

7.  Home Town Parade – bind (when I get it back from long-arm quilter)

8.  Exchange block quilt – ready to layer and quilt (I need to quilt it to match the other one I did.)

9.  Quilt Smart Bow Ties – bow ties are made, need to piece together, choose borders (?), make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

10.  Long Division Scrap – finish piecing, think about adding applique, make backing & binding, send to long-arm quilter, bind.

11.  Quilt of Valor – bind (when I get it back from long-arm quilter)

12.  Counted Cross-Stitch Halloween – counted cross stitch is done, need to design small wall hanging, piece, make backing & binding, quilt, and bind.

There are seven more UFO’s on my long list and 12 not-even-started kits and assembled projects also waiting to be done.

Uppermost though, and not even on any of my lists because it is first priority, is the two quilts I will be making for my cousin.  I have most of the fabric, and the design has been made.  We are not sure of the exact size yet, but that is OK as I can easily start making blocks.  It is my #1 project to get done in 2012 above and beyond the UFO list.

Most of my “challenge” projects are easily finished so I am hoping to meet the challenge this year.  Looking over my list from last year, I did finish 12 projects but did not officially participate in Judy’s challenge.  My hopes and dreams for 2012 are big and ambitious for me.  With encouragement from family and friends, I can (and will) meet the 2012 challenge.


However, I need to finish my inventory of jigsaw puzzles over the next holiday week………my guilty pleasure.

turtle puzzle 001

Mr. Turtle got finished yesterday.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to get nothing done

My crafting – quilting, stitching, knitting – has been on vacation lately.  I don’t seem to have the least little ambition for my crafting projects.  Instead of feeling guilty, which is my usual habit, I have decided to just wait out the lack of creativity and enjoy more lazy pursuits.

This 500 piece jigsaw puzzle was a bear to do (pun intended). 

Thursday doing nothing 001

I’ve been reading, spending way too much time looking at things on Pinterest, doing jigsaw puzzles,  and enjoying social events – luncheons, church meetings, etc.


It is always hard to pick a quilt to call “My Favorite”, but whenever I get this quilt out I fall in love with it all over again.  It was so much fun to make.  It is a Country Threads pattern.

Thursday doing nothing 004

I’m sure I have posted this quilt on my blog many times before, but it is worthy (in my opinion) of being enjoyed again.

Hope you are all having a great holiday season.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cookie Day

Every year the women at my church bake thousands of cookies for our annual fund raiser, a Cookie Walk.  The cookies have to be at church by 4:00pm tomorrow, so today was my day to bake. 

cookies 2011 001

I started in on the first batch and didn’t make it very far.  Recently I threw out my very old hand mixer that had a frayed (and dangerous) cord.  I bought a bargain hand mixer (don’t remember where) and when I started mixing today I was upset to find that the hand mixer was defective.  Although there were 10 speeds on the dial, it only worked at full speed.  My batter was flying all over the kitchen!!!!

Since I have always wanted a Kitchen Aid or maybe a Bosch, I went to the computer to see where I might find them – today – at a bargain price.  Kitchen Aid was totally out of my budget range, but the BHG was also well built like a Kitchen Aid and more reasonably priced.  So I went to the nearest store and purchased my very first stand mixer.

cookies 2011 004

Oh my, what a world of difference.  I have no idea where I will store this huge and very heavy piece of equipment, but it is here to stay.  I love it. 

I made five batches of cookies, two of which are pictured here.

cookies 2011 003

Although I was tempted many, many times, I only tasted one small cookie.  It was good.  Very good.  I had to put plastic wrap on the trays right away so that I would not be tempted again.  I usually eat the broken cookies, but wouldn’t you know it, not one cookie broke today. 

Everything went so well that I just might make a few more batches tomorrow morning.  After all, I need to get my money’s worth out of the new mixer!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Downtown Chicago

Today I took the train to downtown Chicago.  I live in the northwest suburbs, just a few blocks from the train station.  The friends I was meeting got on the train two stops before mine and fortunately I found them without any difficulty.  We gabbed all the way to the city, grabbed two cabs, and headed for Harry Caray’s restaurant on West Kinzie Street. 

We were treated like royalty with excellent service and complimentary desserts.  Everyone enjoyed their food.  I had a turkey burger with brie and cranberry sauce, AND sweet potato fries.  The burger was delicious and the sweet potato fries were the best I have ever had.  Oh my.

When we got back to the railroad station, we had plenty of time to do some shopping and our noses took us right to the Garrett popcorn store.  Garrett popcorn is extremely popular in Chicago.  Why?  Because they make everything fresh each day and have great recipes for cheese and caramel corn.  Of course I bought some.

garrett popcorn 001

Since I was still full from lunch I decided to forgo making dinner and instead I had a bowl of Garrett cheese/caramel combination popcorn, while I put a small jigsaw puzzle together.

garrett popcorn 004

Among my long list of favorite things to do is eating popcorn and putting jigsaw puzzles together.

After walking to and from the station (in the cold rain), gabbing and laughing with my friends, eating heartily, and concentrating on a puzzle, I’m pleasantly tired and grateful for a lovely day.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Cactus 2011

The Christmas Cactus that I purchased last year is starting to bloom.

Christmas Catcus 2011 003

This makes me very happy – a blooming flower inside my house in the month of December!!!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Scarf

The scarf that I was knitting was taking much too long, and I was getting bored with the slow knitting process.  On top of that, I really didn’t like how it was coming out.

Christmas Scarf 002

It was too skinny and too tight.  I wanted more of an explosion of Christmas colors.  So I tore it all out and started over again, except that I decided to crochet it with a nice loose and easy pattern.

Christmas Scarf 004

It was quick to make and I finished it all in one day.  I’m very happy with the result.  It will dress up my old faux-suede green jacket and give me something festive to wear in the next few weeks. 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Fun

Finished the backing for my Christmas Tumbler quilt…Sunday112611 004

using up old fabrics that I have no idea how they got in my stashSunday112611 005

and then got the binding all made.Sunday112611 007


Speaking of binding, I finished up the binding on a charity quilt.  It was a big quilt and will hopefully give warmth and comfort to someone.Sunday112611 003

For another charity project, ConKerr Cancer, I made this bright pillow case using some old Mary Engelbreit fabric.Sunday112611 008


Every year I see this (tacky?) red, white and green Christmas yarn and every year I stick my nose up in the air and don’t buy it.  I’m much too sophisticated to add such cheap yarn to my stash, I think.  Well, this year I decided I was old enough to be tacky if I want and so I purchased a skein.  It has made me happy and I’m loving knitting it into a simple scarf.  It has a sparkly silver strand running through the yarn that shines and winks at me as I knit. 

Sunday112611 009

I hope you had a fun Sunday afternoon like I did, and that you find some sparkle and winks in your life too.


(P.S. – please visit my niece’s blog to see her wonderful counted cross-stitch stockings.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sewing Friday

First I dumped my Christmas fabric scraps onto the table….Black Friday 001

Then I cut them into 9-1/2 inch squares – 80 in all….Black Friday 003

Sewed them into columns……Black Friday 002

and then began the process of sewing the columns together.Black Friday 004

I should finish up this process tomorrow and have a backing for my Christmas Tumbler quilt.


Also spent some time today working on my binding project.Black Friday 005

Today I was grateful for leftover turkey dinner, lots of sewing time, and some favorite old movies on TV.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Pretty Stuff

Yesterday the flowers from church were sent home with me.

flowers,Tumblerflimsy 002

The beautiful fall colors could inspire a quilt.

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Look at this rose.

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And these oranges are so luscious.

flowers,Tumblerflimsy 005


Today I worked on my Christmas Tumbler quilt and got the two borders finished.

flowers,Tumblerflimsy 007

Unfortunately the camera gives the forest green tumblers a grayish tinge.  In real life, the green of the tumblers actually matches the green in the border quite nicely.

flowers,Tumblerflimsy 009

Sure wish the pictures were better, but I am very happy with the quilt and pleased with the borders.  I’ll get it quilted some time this coming summer and then have a nice new quilt for next Christmas.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Check it out……

Penny – my dear friend (and although we are not blood related, I consider her one of my cousins) – has started a blog.  YES.  I’m so happy.  She lives too far away to see her or what she is doing very often, so posting her work to a blog will give me (and you) the chance to see her work.
She does everything – and does it well.  Spins, weaves, (at one time grew silk worms), quilts, sews, makes bobbin lace, knits,  does punch needle and counted cross-stitch.  She is a wife and mother and grandmother. 
On top of all that, she is cute and nice and funny and delightful to be around.  My life is richer just knowing her.  And now you too can get to know her.  Please visit her blog –   Tell her I sent you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Update–stitching & tumbler

The Red Chair worked out in my cozy bedroom.  I stitched for a while last night, finishing up the pineapple leaves and getting a good start on the pineapple for block #6 of Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow.

XmasTumblerflimsy 002

It was nice being in a comfortable chair, my legs warm under a small quilt, good light for stitching, and some mildly interesting TV for company while I worked on my stitching. 


My niece, who quilts and stitches also, has started a blog and I am trying to encourage her to show off her excellent workmanship.  Please visit her blog - Mustard Seed  (


Today I sewed the rows of the Christmas Tumbler together.

XmasTumblerflimsy 003

I went through my limited stash of Christmas fabrics to find a good border.  I picked out a red stripe for a small inner border and a flowery Christmas fabric for the outer border.  There isn’t much of the Christmas fabric, so that border will be just 3-1/2 inches – if there is even that much!

XmasTumblerflimsy 008

If there is not enough for the borders, I’m not going to worry myself about it as I got an email from the LQS today announcing that all Christmas fabric is 30% off.  Sounds like a good deal to me!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Red Chair

This is my Red Chair

red chair 001

It was originally purchased to use in my kitchen.  I wanted a comfortable chair to sit in while I had my coffee and read the newspaper.  It was lovely at first, but it did crowd the table and sometimes made it difficult to fully access the refrigerator.

I moved it to my office, but it was crowded in the office too and there was no good lighting near the chair.

Company was coming, so I moved it to the living room and could then accommodate six people on comfortable seating – three upholstered chairs and a three-seater sofa.  I had a small TV in the living room, so the red chair faced the TV.

Then I took the TV out of the living room and decided to move the red chair so that it faced out into the room and towards the front door.

There is a point to this story, so stick with me…….

Winter arrived here today.  It was cold and windy.  When winter arrives, I don’t like to be in my basement quilt studio in the evenings.  I’m OK during the day with a good heater and daylight, but it isn’t as cozy as I would like it in the evening when the winter/cold weather seeps through the floor and walls.

I don’t want to get a TV for the living room, but I would like to stitch in a comfortable chair and watch TV in the evenings.  The rocking chair that resides in the bedroom works OK if I’m only sitting for an hour, but after an hour it becomes very uncomfortable. 

So…….I decided to move the red chair into the bedroom and the rocking chair to the living room.  Now I can sit in the red chair, watch my bedroom TV, stitch, and be very cozy and comfortable.

red chair 002

There was one big problem – getting it through the doorway and past the dresser.  I am persistent and strong.  Putting it on it’s side I was able to squeeze it through the doorway and then with all my muscles put to use, I lifted the chair over the bed and around the dresser, into the corner where it barely fits.  Yes, it is crowded and will be difficult to get to the left side of my closet, but this will be temporary.

I’d love to find a small inexpensive upholstered chair, but for now the red chair will do just fine.

Of course I didn’t sit in it yet and by the looks of the picture, there may not be much room for my legs. 

red chair 2 002

The walls in my bedroom are a deep red and it makes the chair look almost tan/brown.  (I hope you didn’t notice that the bed is not made – just pulled the quilt over to make it look like it was made.)

I’m going to go make dinner now and then spend a few hours in the Red Chair doing some counted cross-stitching.  I’ll let you know how it works out.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Tumbler

The Christmas Tumbler blocks I cut a while back are now all sewn together in rows. 
Christmas Tumbler 003
The very dark green tumblers make the whole quilt look rather dreary so I think I will add a bright border to spice it up a bit.
Have you ever purchased a whole bolt of fabric?  I was worried that I might not have enough of the main fabric for my cousins quilts, so I bought a whole bolt.  The bolt is not that big – only 11 yards – but it insures that I will have enough for the sashing and borders.  Any leftover can be used for pillow cases or part of the backing.
Christmas Tumbler 001
I wanted to cut into the fabric and make some sample blocks, but I restrained myself to make some progress on the Christmas Tumbler.  There are so many good choices of things to work on right now – and temptations to start other new projects. 
My friend Penny is commencing on a new counted cross-stitch project – Quaker Christmas II Songs of the Season by ByGone Stitches.  It is huge and beautiful.  I will encourage her to not only “commence”, but to “continue” and finally to “finish”.
Today I’m grateful for plenty of time to sew and read.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Old UFO Finished

Today I put the last stitch on the binding for this UFO from several years ago.  I’ve lost all the information about the fabric and the pattern, but I seem to remember that the fabric line was titled “Oak Leaves and Reel”.

Oak Leaves & Reel 001


My friend Moe quilted it for me and I love that she used red thread.

Oak Leaves & Reel 004


The back is pieced with stash scraps.

Oak Leaves & Reel 005


So nice to have this finished and ready for using on my lap.

Oak Leaves & Reel 007


It will live on the rocker in my bedroom where I sometimes read, stitch, or knit.

Oak Leaves & Reel 009

It is November and I am happy to discover that I have finished up 12 UFO’s in 2011 so far, threw out one that was a mess, and three are at the long-arm quilter right now.  (We won’t mention the 15 other UFO’s on the list, nor the promised two quilts for my cousin.  There will be plenty to do in 2012!)

Today I am very grateful for quilting blog friends who never fail to inspire me – Judy L.,  Bonnie H.,  Jeanne A. just to name a few.