Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The "in-between-the-holidays" lull

Mr. Wonderful is at the gym, being so good at his workouts, he has worked out 3-4 times a week for the last ten years. I started a couple times, and oozed out of it. He loves it and never gets tired of it...

But since he's occupied, and not on his laptop, I'm taking the opportunity to play on it for a while...tee hee. My poor little puter has issues, and my "techie-geek" son worked on it for a while when he was here for the holidays. It works in spurts now, I can milk my cows on Facebook if I log in through Mozilla, and I can read blogs through AOL, but can't post anything. He wants me to back up all of my pictures and files and then he can "start from scratch" whatever that means. He said my files are corrupted, but I've known for a long time parts of me were corrupted, I just never told anybody....tee hee While on my blogging hiatis, I managed to get 4 Linus Project blankets done,,,I tried my hand at the raggy quilts, and while I love the fact that I could use up little pieces of batting, I'm not too sure I did it right. I freehanded hearts in the blocks, and oh, my, it was so easy, I was afraid I was doing it wrong...but it looks ok, and I personally know a few little girls who would love these little blankies. Not my favorite way of quilting, but I hope the ladies who run the Linus Project in my area find a home for them, anyway.
I also got three raggy rugs done. I have the most awesome cousins, and I wanted to give a little something to them for all the support and love they have given me this year. Cheryl, Rainy, and Lorie, I love you!

Santa's job was lighter this year, due to the economy, so Mrs. Claus had a lighter job, too. None of the grandbabies recognized him this year, but his watch almost gave him away...good thing Papa thinks fast!

Rachel, from Country & Cosy at sent a little squishy all the way from Belgium! She is such a precious person, loving and giving. Her eye candy alone is worth the click! She included some hand-dyed threads from Gloriana Threads, and (how did she know?) I've been eyeing some blackwork designs here so I'm dying to try it out. They even have some freebies, if you want to venture over and see.
I have been given a box of quilting magazines by a friend who's aunt passed, and she was a beautiful quilter. Most of them are "Quilt" magazines from the 80's, 90's, and early 2000's. If anybody is interested in some, let me know, I'll share, or I'll swap, what ever you'd like.
The quilting community has given me so much joy... the love and support of beautiful people all around the world is astounding. So, I am wishing you all have many blessings and much love for the New Year.

Friday, October 23, 2009

An old dog CAN learn new tricks!

The classes with Annie at is so good for me, although the blocks we've done so far, are ones I've done before, Annie is making me ***PIN EVERYTHING*** and ***SEW ACCURATE .25" SEAMS*** (AACCKKK) so this will be the most perfect quilt I've ever made, it's not all the way perfect, but it sure is a lot closer than anything I've ever made before!!! The class coming up today is hand applique, and I can't wait!! That is one thing I've never done, and I'm soooo anxious to learn. A couple of my blogging friends do such beautiful, stunning applique, and I've asked them for tips, but have never leaped over that log. Now is the time, I guess, and I'm ready! What a nice take-along project for the camper, or waiting rooms at Dr.'s offices, or road trips when I'm not driving. I like the machine applique just fine, but then again, you're tied to the machine, and although I LOVE Bessie, but she doesn't like traveling in the car, and it is nice to do a project on my own, I hope she understands....
And......whoa, Nelly!! Look what the mail lady brought me today! Aren't these little girls just the pretty kids on the block?

Kelly from sent these scraps because I was an "almost winner" again on one of her giveaways! she sure is a generous blogger, just look at all this loveliness!! I'm positive she looked into my heart and found some of my favorite fabrics to send!! Don't you think these beauties will play nicely in my scrapbox?
Hope all your scraps are finding new friends to play with!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I'm so excited to be in on the Blogger's Quilt Festival again! The last one gave me hours and hours of eye candy!! If you didn't participate last spring, try it now, click on the box on my sidebar and get a pot of coffee or tea on, you're in for a great ride!

In my estimation, it is so hard to pick a quilt to enter, each one has such a unique feeling, and like babies, it is hard to pick the "best." So, I decided to pick the latest. This is my blue Country Crossroads. I saw the pattern in a book at the library, and kinda drew it out on the back of a grocery reciept. I wrote "Country Crossroads" on the reciept, so that must be the name of the quilt in the book, or it could have been the name of the book...???...with me, you never know.
I had tried freehand stitching with the machine in the past. It was not an enjoyable experience, to say the least. I got sooo frustrated. But when it came to quilting this little deary, I just could not justify straight stitching a grid on her, with all the squares, she had so many sharp corners already, I felt she needed some curves to soften her up. I decided to freehand with a little guide line. Got out my trusty tools, (if you use a yogurt cup with a technical look on your face, you can call it a "tool") and marked each of the larger squares...
now, mind you, I have never been a leap-er...I usually just don't go off on new tangents, I'm normally a one-trick-pony when it comes to freehanding, and leave it to the "better quilters" to fight the big lions...but this time, I leapt!
And lo and behold, I liked it. Really! I guess old dogs actually CAN learn new tricks. I think the difference was, I was more patient, and I had some sort of control by using guide lines. I accepted all the little crooked parts as "personality" and I think they honestly softened the strict lines of the pattern. I'm already thinking about what I could do with the scrappy "Jacks" that I'm doing next.

And, like a scrumptious dessert, Look what came in the mail from Maria at for the Friendship Bag Swap. The wonderful bag was expertly made, and is right now being used to hold our Gold Ribbons that are completed! It came with a couple sweet treats, oh, girls, DANISH CHOCOLATE!! need I say that was gone before any grandbabies could lay eyes on it? tee hee It was sooo delicious! Thank you, to my new friend, I will love using it! Hop over to Marie's to see all of her eye candy, she is so sweet, herself**

These are the fabrics I've pulled for the Quilting 101 classes I won. The bird fabric was left over from the new curtains in the camper, I bought TONS of it, waaayyy too much, so I thought this would be a good way to use more of it up. You'll find it in all of my scrappy quilts, cuz it goes with everything.
The first class was easy peasy, I have not gotten my book yet, from Amazon, but I really didn't need it for the first class. Annie, at, is so patient and thorough, if you're interested in some on-line classes, you really should check her out.

Hope you all have fun in the Festival!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Are your feet getting cold???

Because I think Hell is freezing over!!! I have won something! Me! Granny! Yes, folks, the world must be turning on a different axis,,, the man on the moon has turned into cheese,,, and Santa has come early this year!! can I get a "Whoop Whoop???"


the Divine Miss Em at was given an entry to a 12 week quilting class given by Annie Smith at make all the blocks for this beauty.
But, life being busy, she could not accept it and she (in the kindness of her heart) offered the class as a giveaway. Boy, I wanted to win that, I have NEVER had ANY lessons on quilting, and have always done it my way, which I'm sure is the wrong way. But, alas, I lost,which did not suprise me, because I have never won a giveaway, EVER!
Mary at was the lucky winner. Well, ladies, guess who got an e-mail yesterday asking if I would still like those classes?? ME! That's right, Mary was traveling and would miss the first few weeks, so she has shared!!! What a sweet heart she is!!! oh, can you tell how excited I am? In the speed of light, I was registered and classes start on Thursday!! wowzie wow wow!! I have to get a book, I have to get some fat quarters, I have to get a hold of myself! Being an "almost winner" is wonderful!

This is what we did this weekend! My brother had his yearly Fish Fry and so we played, and ate, and laughed, and ate some more!
Tony, Jakey, & James

Elly, Jakey, Jonnie, Liberty

"the gang" (Elizabeth had a birthday party to go to)
So, now I have to go the LQS for some supplies to start the class, I'm still working on the "Blue Beast" she is soooo big, but I am half way done with the binding now, so I'll have a fresh start on the new blocks.
Have you all signed up for finn's annual New Year's Eve UFO Finish Challenge? I signed up for 6 finishes,,,,EEK! I'm going to have to get a move on!
Hope all your UFO's get finished this year!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Who could it be, now?

The giveaway was sooo much fun for me, the talented ladies who entered all had their own reasons to "pick" or "no-pick" and I kept a tally.
PICK: 21
plus, a very diplomatic scrappy quilter, who did not commit either way.
(you know who you are,,tee hee)
Most of you commented "this is the way I would do it, but you do it the way you feel is right" which reminds me of how uniquely personal quilting decisions are. We all have our own little quirks and quips, don't we?
Being a woman of a certain age, I've come to not only accept my own imperfections, but embrace them and even giggle at them.
So, I left that little mistake, thinking it was nnooo biiiggg ddeeeaaalll! It would never show in the end, and I really could find plenty of bigger problems to fret about....
And, you knew what was going to happen, didn't you? that darn old quilting Karma bit me....hard!

I turned, upside down, not one,

not two....

but THREE blocks,,,and it was AFTER some of the borders were on,
Boy, oh, boy, did I have to pick!! Crappity Crap Crap Crap!
That should teach me a lesson, Never think the Quilting Karma's not watching!!!
So, now to the Best Part! I was most scientific in the draw, and hand wrote all the names on a paper, cut them and folded them, tossed them in a basket, and had Mr. Wonderful pull out a name.

He pulled a winner,,,,and another winner was attached and fell on the table...that means a winner, and almost winner!
So, the Cinderberry Stitches pattern and fat quarters will go to Deb who has three wonderful blogs, and one is dedicated to donations crafts! Please go visit her, and she will definately inspire you!
The almost winner is Sue, who does not have a blog, but I'll e-mail her, and let her know she should, she just seems so sweet in her comments. I have three more of the same fat quarters, so I'll send her a "second place prize" since Mr. Wonderful dropped her. (ouch)
Thanks to all the dear stitchers who played along...and now I'm off to read all these wonderful bloggers!
Hope all your blocks are turned the right way!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A "Thanks For Sharing" Giveaway!

I have been sewing my leaders and enders all year, (if you haven't already done them, go check out It is a loooonnnngggg process, you could just whip up a basketfull of HST's, but then you still have to use a scrap to start strips on other quilts. So, my thrifty nature is drawn to this system. and, after a ton of scraps, I have acquired enough HST's to make a full size quilt for the guest room. I LOVE the scrappiness of this project, and I was anxious to get it done. I sewed squares into blocks, blocks into strips, laid it all out on our bed to make sure no two adjoining squares had the same fabric...
and BOOM! Mr. Wonderful dropped a bomb, he announced, in a pleading tone, that he rreeeeaaalllyyy loved this one. The best one yet, wouldn't it look good on our bed? Did I have to make it for the guest room? Nobody would be able to enjoy it unless we had guests.
So, plan B.....make it larger to fit our bed, which is a California Queen, back to the old scrap bag!
That meant I had to start a new quilt to produce more Leaders and Enders, right?
I started a matchy-matchy blue Irish Chain. Every so often, I veer from the scrappy and I have to do a matchy-matchy to renew my sense of order, and to show off some of my favorite fabrics. I stripped, and I blocked, and I was merrily ironing along, When I stumbled upon a disaster...EEK! What the...........surely, Mr. Wonderful must have gotten up in the middle of the night and tried to sew blocks, because "I" would not do this. "I" was careful. cautious, vigilant!!! "I" fastidiously made sure ALL of my seam allowances were lined up PERFECTLY! Of course, he denied all accusations.
Girls, you have all helped me soooo much, through all of my foibles, frustrations, and fretting, so would you continue to help this old gal out? I will share a beautiful Cinderberry Stitches pattern and 3 fat quarters, if you'll leave a comment in answer to this question:

"Would you un-sew this seam and return it to it's perfected state? Or would you leave it, and pray the Quilt Police never lay eyes on this quilt?"

To get a second entry in the giveaway, post this on your blog, so I can get other opinions. I will have Mr. Wonderful pick the winner on Friday.

Here's hoping all your seam allowances are straight!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Busy times for little ones...

School has started, so we had our last camping trip for the summer,,,which is always sad, for the kids, AND for Granny and Papa.

We have to wait for the weekends to take them, and if they have sports or cheerleading, we don't get the extended time with them.

But on days when Jakey has to go in for his chemo, Mom and Dad bring him into the city the night before, so he can get his spinal tap early in the mornings. (The staff has requested a minimum of people in the clinic, because of the H1N1 virus.) So that means Granny and Papa get the delightful company of Elizabeth and Jonny, (who really is a little angel.) He is the best 2-year-old I've ever known. And I've known quite a few. Today is Jakey's first day of pre-school, and he was just a little nervous last night. He just had his treatments on Friday, and he is pumped full of chemo, steroids, and antibiotics, which magnifies any stresses in his little body. He was a little excited this morning, so we have Jonny today, just in case Mommy had to stay at the school for a few hours.

With the kids in school, I have been putzing with my scrappy "Jacks in Six" (thank you, Finn, for telling me the name of this block!) I now have enough to make a queen size quilt, so I'll be stitching them together soon.

I did get my Friendship Bag Swap package out to "Anne" last week, (ssshhh! its a secret, so don't tell her) and I think she will be getting it in the next few days...I hope she likes it! I hopped over to her blog, and she does a lot of crochet and knitting, and in one of the pictures, she had her yarn in a plastic store bag. That gave me the idea to make her a bag that would hold 3 or 4 skeins of yarn. The ones in the tutorial were tiny, but I'm sure the "bag police" would not arrest me for giving a larger bag...???...

I know I'm early on this swap, but I never know when I'll get a minute or two to play with Bessie (my machine) so that is done and I can start on Christmas gifts,,,,EEK,,,did I say the "C" word? It is looming up fast here, and I have a lot to do. time flies! the older I get, the faster it goes!
Hope all your 2-year-olds are angelic!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I've given up...

...on pinwheels, I love the movement they give a scrappy old quilt, but couldn't make up my mind on what to do with them,,,
So, I took all of my 240+ "leaders and enders" and ironed themand sorted them so I would not repeat the same HST in a block, I was very careful!and I squared them up, and I squared them up....And, yes, then I squared them up....and put them together,,,,and I STILL got two of the same HST in one block (probably many blocks) ok, I happen to have a nifty little "unsewing tool" for just such an occasion. Guess what I'll be doing this evening?
Does anybody know the name of this block? I have seen it, but I never knew the name. You all know I'm pattern-impared, so I cannot follow by all the beautiful patterns out there, (maybe that should be my next goal) I have to "see" it, then I can figure out in my head how to make them. It's a pain, but I can live with it. I could not find my way out of my own kitchen with either a pattern or a recipe,,,I sew and cook by feel.
Last week, we had the girls, and we are acostomed to finding little notes around the house that say "We Love you" and sweet little girl sayings...But I was intrigued when I saw this one on the buffet, to: world
from: Liberty

"I bleavan fairy's"

so, I'm spreading the word,,,now all the world knows, Lib,

Hope all your fairy's are as precious as this one!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bundles of Love for Iraq

I have just heard about the most wonderful gift. A soldier in Iraq is ending his tour of duty in October, and the blessed man would like to give back to the people of Iraq.

After reading the book, 3 Cups of Tea, he has come up with the idea

to give the women whose lives have been turned upside down, bundles of love. He said they use and re-use everything there, every thread, every square inch of fabric, every scrap of yarn! The ultimate recycle circle. So, I have thrown in my hat, I know I have stash, needles, and yarn galore to share, do you? The quilting community has given me soooo much in the way of friendship, so I am happy to give a little back. You can help, too, if you'd like, You can read the post about it here at his wife's He really is Mr. Incredible. There are links to the "411" pages at the bottom of her post...

I'm off to the post office in the morning to get my box and send it off. The flat rate boxes cost $11.95 to send, doesn't matter how much it weighs. Too bad we don't have a place for this in the US, like Every Women's Place, or homeless shelters...any body know of a place here we send a bundle of love?

Hope all your bundles are full of love,


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Have you ever?

Have you ever just played with fabric, just because you loved the fabric?
Sara, the quiltingbookworm, sent some fabrics with her PIF and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! So, I putzed for a while and thought I would make a practice bag because, in a moment of weakness, I joined the Friendship Bag Swap. (the link is on the right column) and I have no idea what to make.
My Mr. Wonderful makes the best little model, doesn't he? He was out in the garden, and found our first tomato!! Hip Hip Hooray!!! Let the feeding frenzy begin!
Rachel has a great tutorial on her blog, friendship-bag-tutorial., but it seemed too small, so I amended the measurements and ended up with this little sweetie. I love it! (thanks Sara, for the four patches!)
I think I might do some little stitcherie and start there?
What fun! how do you make up your mind?
Hope all your tomatoes are ripe!