Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Happy Winter Solstice

 It has been almost a month since I have checked in here. Lots has happened in that month. I finished all my packing of my worldly goods in Southern California, loaded them into a POD and got on a plane for North Carolina. Now, those of you who have followed me for more than 5 years might remember when I left NC for Southern California 5 years ago. I retired from my job of over 20 years, after a well fought battle with cancer. I am doing great in the health department now. But Covid changed everything.

We could not travel and see our family. We missed them, and the grandchildren so much. They also needed us, as much as we needed them. They were working from home, home schooling and all the stuff that many many families were doing and they needed help. We could have helped if we had been here. So we made the decision that we did not want to be so far away in these uncertain times.

It had been two years since I had been there and 3 years since my husband had been able to be there. It was a very tough decision, but the right one for us. They have all grown so much, and change so much over the last two years. Our 14 year old grandson is now 6'3"!! And the youngest turns 6 next month.

For now, we are staying with our daughter and her family. It is a very full house, but full of love and hugs being given daily to all. All of our belongings are in storage. We will have a great holiday with all the kids and then, once school resumes in January, we will begin the search for a place to live. Our two NC daughters live about 2 hours apart, and we plan to look for something between the two places.

I have a couple of my hand projects with me, and as time permits, I work on them. I do have my Bernina here at the house, but I don't know if she'll see much use right now. I am downloading all of Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt, to sew it up once I am settled somewhere and reunited with all my stash. I also plan to sign up with Rachel Hauser for her 2022 BOM program which begins in January. I may start a few months late, but I am okay with that. I have really been missing sewing, so I think once I get settled, I will be sewing a lot to make up for lost time.

For now, I am just enjoying the family and the holidays. I miss my on line community, but I just got my computer here and set up, so I have to catch up with everyone I follow. I will check in from time to time and let you know how things are going, and if any sewing happens, of course I will share.

Have a peaceful solstice my friends, and a very Merry Christmas. I wish you joy!


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

I've Been Thinking

 With not much else to do but pack, wait to pack and a couple of hand projects, time  has been harder to fill. So, I have been thinking. Sometimes that can be a dangerous thing. I am thinking of my future, and what it will look like. I am thinking of how thankful I will be when the move is done. 

I have also been thinking about Christmas, because, let's face it, it's coming soon. We had talked about trying to keep it simple and less expensive and such. I feel like we say this every year, and then we just revert to the same old ways. I don't really know how to make the change and get everyone on board with me. So on Sunday, I saw this and picked it up and read the whole thing.


My youngest sister gave it to me for Christmas one year. I have never actually read it, although I have seen countless iterations of it on TV. I have to say, I am so glad I read it. Maybe it was just that it hit at the right time for me to absorb it. I mean, I have always understood the message of the story and all, but something else struck me while reading this.

The joy people felt at getting together and singing and eating and playing simple games really struck me. And it got me to thinking that that is what I wish Christmas could be. Not just for me, but for everyone. That we could be together and celebrate that. The food and the singing and such is just icing on the cake. 

I wish for a kinder and gentler world, with more love and understanding for each other. I think the older I get, the more these concepts mean to me. The world has become very harsh and hateful in the last 5-6 years and there seems no end in sight. It makes me weary.

So, for this year, my first in 3 years with the grandchildren, I am going to choose to focus on the togetherness, the food and enjoying the company more than anything else...those boxes will still be waiting to be unpacked eventually. 

I wish you peace, comfort and happiness for Thanksgiving and Christmas, in case I am unable to post again before then.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Hurry Up and Wait

Getting ready to move is tough. You have your list of things to do, and your timeline for getting them done. But when you don't work, it's hard to pace yourself. The sense of urgency isn't quite the same. That's kind of where I am right now. Some things are packed, that won't be needed until well after the move. Some things can't be packed until closer to the move.

This is the beginning of the packing in my sewing room. These boxes are all full of fabric and scraps. I started packing in there to have something to do that felt like moving forward. I wanted to take my time and pack things logically as well. I also wanted to keep myself from starting any more projects before the move. But let's be honest, my mind is in such a dither, I couldn't concentrate on sewing right now if I had to.

So, instead I am working on hand projects and reading and watching HGTV a lot. If I go ahead and pack quickly now, I will be sitting in a sea of boxes, just waiting. That doesn't sound like fun to me.


                           So I work on my hexie project...

And I work on my crochet project...getting quite a stack for both of them.

I have 15 of the crocheted blocks with their outside neutral part on them. Waiting for more yarn to arrive so I can do the other 30. Not sure how many blocks I will do, but once I run out of enough of my scrap yarns, I will probably stop. That's about all that's going on here right now. I hope you all are well and keeping busy crafting. That's really what life is all about :)

I hope to talk to you again soon.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Slow Crochet Project

Still trying to get several hand done projects going that will carry me through my move. I do like having a variety of things to work on, as the spirit moves me. So I have a new crochet project that costs me nothing but time.

I have crocheted about 8-9 blankets from Attic 24 kits and tutorials. I love them all. But there is leftover yarn from each of them. I tried to think of a way to use it up, just like my scraps of fabric go into quilts.

 My first thought was to crochet in Double crochet stitches, alternating between cool and warm colors and letting each stripe be however big it was based on how much yarn was in the ball.

I had divided all my leftover yarn balls into two bags. One is warm colors and one is cool colors. But once I got some of it crocheted, I wasn't happy with how it looked. I mean I really didn't like it.

So then, I ripped it all out and started again. I thought Granny Squares. It was what I originally wanted to do, but I had though they might be too much work. My daughter suggested warm centers and cool borders. I made one. It was okay.

Then I made another one. It was just okay. I like the colors, but this was not bringing me joy. I could not make a bunch of these for a blanket. Back to the drawing board. Lucy (Attic 24) had done a pattern for a floral Granny Square for International Granny Square Day! (Who knew there was such a thing?) So I went to her blog to take another look at it and I took my yarn with me.

This is the first square I made. Now, don't laugh. I know that this is much more complicated than the simple project I originally envisioned. But, it brings me joy! And the one thing I know about myself is that when I eventually cave and try the more complex project, I fall in love with it. It has happened with paper piecing and EPP projects as well. I do a lot more of those than I ever thought I would. I just need to remember that when I am looking for a project. Simple isn't always best.

And now I have a stack of them! I don't know how many I can make before I run out of scrap yarn, but I do know that I am going to keep making them as long as they bring me joy. That is the point of being a maker if you ask me.

What's bringing you joy today?

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Slow, Slow, Slow

Things have slowed way down over here. Not a bad thing in the summer. Usually, I would be gearing up for  fall and the reinvigorating feeling it brings to me and my sewing. This year, not so much. In part, it's because I am having a bit of a creativity slow down. In part, my back is still not 100% and I have several quilts that need pin basting to move them forward and so I can't do any quilting. The third reason is that I am moving in a couple of months and I am loath to start anything new at this point. In October packing will begin in earnest, and I just can't make myself start something new with that looming.

I did sort of see this coming. I have two long term projects going on that I can fiddle with as time and the will to do so occurs. I have started the Scrap Stash Plus Quilt by Quilty Love. I need a total of 120 plus blocks for this quilt. I am about half way through this. I still have some to sew and about 34 more to figure out the fabrics and cut. I have been cutting and clipping together blocks to have ready to sew as I feel the urge to do so.

The other long term project is my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, which is EPP and so very portable.

 I am using mostly scraps. Can you believe I still have pink scraps after the other pink scrap quilts I have made this year? Each flower will be yellow center (also scraps) and pink petals. Once the 128 flowers are done, I will make more yellow hexies to be the in between hexies for the quilt. So a pink and yellow quilt.

I have these little wooden boxes that are perfect for holding hexies. I first made my 768 pink hexies over the course of a few weeks. Perfect therapy while waiting for back pain to subside.
Then, I made the 128 yellow centers and added them to the boxes. So now, whenever I want to, I can just grab the boxes and my thread and stitch them together.
Here are the first four I did. My only "rule" is to try and have all six petals be different in each flower.

The perfect stack of hexies, next to a stack of fabric squares waiting to be stitched together.
The funny thing is, I was never an EPP girl in my younger sewing days. Now, I seem to have infinite patience to sit and sew these little shapes by hand. Some days I prefer it to sitting at the machine. I shall do my best to keep a good photographic record of my progress on these two projects. Next time I shall share pictures of the plus blocks. Oh, and by the way this is my 700th blog post! Wow!!

Saturday, August 7, 2021


 Before I hurt my back, I was sewing quilts like a maniac. The ideas just kept coming. Apparently I love sewing from my scrap bins, because that is what I have been doing for this last year a lot. I haven't really run out of ideas yet...or scraps.

Remember the little bit of green quilt? I used scraps from my grey bin and mywhite/cream bin with one square of green. I quilted it.

I began with straight lines on the diagonal, but I knew that wasn't going to be all that I would do. So I cut myself a template for a curved line which I drew on with disappearing marker. I quilted using a medium grey thread. You can see it a little better in the pictures below. The yellow is part of the pieced back.

And the grey binding is from the Spring Chicken fabric line by Sweetwater. It was the perfect grey and I had enough to do the whole quilt. I really love the result of the grey and off white in this Irish Chain quilt. I am only sorry I could not get the green square to show up better in the pictures. It looks neat in person.

The other quilt top I pieced from scrap bins was this American flag. I drew it up on graph paper and stitched it up in 16 patch blocks. I find that for me, that is the best way to make a patchwork quilt. It is hanging on my design wall now. I know how I want to quilt it, but I am not feeling better enough to pin baste a quilt just yet, and I have a couple to do. So it will wait.

Have a great weekend and I will see you soon.

Friday, August 6, 2021

And Now It's August

 I know you are not surprised that the summer is speeding by. We see this every year and for some reason it always seems to surprise us. Summer has been pretty gentle so far, here in southern California. We do not really see the impact of heat until later into August and September. Some years October is hot too. The first year we lived here it was so hot on Thanksgiving, we fixed our plates and went and sat outside to eat since the cooking had really made the house uncomfortable.

I tweaked my back a few weeks ago, and that really put the brakes on my sewing. Nothing like a sore back to remind you you are getting old. I had to go to the doctor after a few days of home remedies didn't make much headway. I am much improved now, but I was surprised it took this long.

So, what I was able to work on was this:

This is 400 one inch hexies for a grandmother's flower garden quilt I want to make. I was able to sit in a chair with a lumbar pillow for support, and hand stitch hexies. A good skill set to have for times such as these.

I need just over 700 pink hexies. I am using mostly scraps and some stash for this. Next is 120 yellow hexies for the centers, also from scrap bins. Then, I will assemble all the flowers. The hexies in between will also be yellow and scrappy. This is definitely a long term project, but very portable.

This is the look I am going for with the flowers. I want no two petals the same in every flower.

My other long term no stress project is the Scrap Stash Plus quilt from Emily Dennis at Quilty Love. It is a free pattern on her blog and she has posted several versions on her Instagram. Her first one was rainbow. I am thinking of a modified rainbow for mine, but I won't know the layout until I get all the blocks made. I am making the throw size quilt. If you have a scrap stash, this is a good one, and very easy to sew. You can make it as small or as large as you like.

Well, off to start my day. I will chat with you soon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

A Bit of This and That

I am working on some smaller projects right now. I have decided that I cannot keep making big quilts. It is hard to baste them and hard to quilt them on my Bernina.

I have had this green and white print for about 5-6 years and I love it! But it is so large I couldn't ever figure out how to use it without cutting it too small. Then I saw the Checkerboard Star block by Lori Holt on the Flamingo Toes blog. To be honest, I thing I saw it on Instagram first, but chased it down on her blog. I loved it and when I went into my stash to choose fabrics, I grabbed the green and white print. I made a large border around the blog and I am so happy with this. I will quilt it and let it be either a table topper or a wall hanging. Either way, I win!
I finally finished joining these blocks together. They all came from my green and blue scrap bins. I tried three different arrangements before I landed on this one. I have pulled fabrics for the backing that I need to piece, and then it will get basted and quilted. It is a good lap size.
Then, I found this block pattern in my Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson. I was really drawn to the shape of the curves in this block. Again the water color flowers print has been waiting for inspiration to strike. I am going to make 4 of these, with two different centers and two different neutral backgrounds and put them together for a wall hanging. I will border it with the watercolor flowers fabric. No letting fabrics languish any more!
The last thing I have to show you today is this bag. It is the box tote pattern from Very Shannon. I saw this on Instagram as well. So I chased it to her blog. Free patterm.
I actually saw a version on the Cotton Cuts blog, and that's what reeled me in. I made it for my daughter, the knitter. It is a very easy make and I had everything on hand for this. So that's some of what I have been up to lately. Have a great day. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Mid July

 Can you believe it's already the middle of July? My grand children go to year round schools and they start the new school year next week! When I was a kid, I remember that the middle of July meant that the summer was half over!

I have been keeping pretty busy here with sewing and such. I am still doing some sewing from scrap bins. They seem bottomless to me. But I also put together a quilt top from my Spring Chicken fabrics. 

I decided to make a colorful Irish Chain quilt. I wanted to use all the colors and as many fabrics as I could without it looking too scrappy.
I sketched it out on graph paper to get the color placement the way I wanted it. And then I chose the fabrics.
The chickens are obviously the stars of the show here. So I used up most of the chicken fabric to make this top. I still have some small pieces left.
But now that I have this done, I can't decide if I want to put a border on it. I am thinking grey if I do.
And, I also can't decide how I want to quilt it. So, even though I finished it a couple of weeks ago, it is resting on a hanger on the door, waiting for me to make these decisions that only I can make.

I seldom put borders on quilts any more, but this one might just need one. And should I quilt straight lines or curves? Maybe some swirls? I guess it just needs a bit more thought. But not to worry, I have other projects to work on until I decide. I cannot be idle. :)

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

I Made an Apron!

 I had been seeing those cross strap aprons all over the internet in the past year. You know, the ones that are long-ish and criss cross in the back, but have no apron strings? I have seen many that I love, but being able to sew, I wasn't about to buy one. So I googled patterns. I found LOTS of patterns.

The one I ended up choosing was a free tutorial from Susan of aboxoftwine.com. She is also on Instagram as @aboxoftwine. She mostly does crochet and such, and her version of this apron has a cute crocheted pocket. I decided to take this tutorial and make my own version of it.

I found a gorgeous canvas from Rifle Paper Co. on Fabricworm. Linen was Susan's choice, but I wanted something colorful, and a print as well. This is not a very heavy canvas. I pre-washed it, since I know canvas is prone to shrinking. I had decided to line mine, whereas Susan did not line hers. I used and Art Gallery print called Lyricist's Diary from the Raise the Volume collection. I chose Art Gallery because it's so light weight, plus I love the print. I added the two pockets to the front.

Here's a shot of the back. I am so happy with this and once I train myself to wear it all the time in the kitchen, my clothes will thank me. I cook and bake a lot, so I needed this. Also, it's a nod to my Great Aunt Charlotte, who I am named for. She almost always wore an apron. Every day. Check out the tutorial if you are interested in making one.

Thanks for stopping by.