Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It's been so long since I last posted I wonder if anyone will read this! I've been away from the computer for a while because I started up with carpal tunnel symptoms again. As I've mentioned, we are hoping to move next year and part of getting ready to do that is cleaning out. We knew we didn't want to move the huge, obsolete computer cabinet I was using so we got rid of it. I thought I could use a rickety little desk of my son's. Within just a short time of using it I started having pain in my wrists and up my arms. Thinking the desk was too high, I ordered a little white corner desk from hoping that would work. No improvement even after my DH adjusted the keyboard tray for me. I spent weeks just doing the bare minimum on the computer. One day I took the time to think about why this wasn't working. The height of the keyboard tray was the same as the old set up  - what could be the difference. I closed my eyes and thought about how I sat at the old cabinet and it dawned on me that I always rested my feet on the bottom trim. I found a box to rest my feet on while at my new desk and that seems to have done the trick! I still feel a twinge now and again and am still trying to limit my computer time and wearing wrist braces at night and part of the day. Less computer time did allow me extra time to do some cleaning out of closets and drawers. I thought I'd been pretty good about doing that all along but when I heard movers charge by the pound it changed how I thought about my stuff. Every couple of weeks I've been putting out boxes and bags of stuff for the charities who pick up your donations at the door. Makes it very convenient. I also cleaned out my sewing room and had the back of my Forester full of things to take to my guild's Stash and Dash. Have you heard of that? Everyone brings quilting supplies and fabric they don't want anymore, the guild sells bags and you have a set amount of time to fill them. Unfortunately, our meeting was cancelled due to snow (love the snow, not the cancellation). I know of another guild who has a free table at their first meeting of the month so I may have to do that instead.

My, my how I've gone on! I have spent some time at the sewing machine and was able to put together this churn dash top. These are the blocks Janet O and I swapped. I made quite a few extra. It grew even larger than I'd initially planned when I decided on this border setting.

Last Saturday we took a drive out to Berryville Virginia to see their Christmas parade. I took the opportunity to get quilt photos in an outdoor setting.

This policeman directing traffic before the parade began reminded me of the policeman in the Frosty the Snowman TV show.

the high school band 

 Berryville is in Clarke County in the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley. It is still very agricultural even though it's only 1 1/2 hours drive from Washington DC.

this girl is carrying a turkey wearing a Santa hat 

 Clarke County Benevolent Association

Just a few more photos-

The people on the floats and in the parade vehicles were throwing candy. I guess that's standard practice at parades nowadays.

I also finished up the quilt for my great niece Halle who was born a few months ago. This took forever to quilt - just a meander pattern - because I was having trouble with breaking threads and thread tension. I usually use Aurifil thread and was using a varigated pink Mettler I've had forever. I went to a local quilt shop to get some pink Aurifil and the owner told me it was probably time to get my machine cleaned. So I did. My sewing machine repairman - at a different LQS - said if the cleaning and adjusting didn't work to try a 90/14 needle or bring the BSR back in for a new spring. I was still having problems so as a last ditch effort I tried the Auriful thread and breezed through the last bit of quilting. Why don't I listen to myself! Oh, well. It was time to get the machine cleaned anyway but wished I'd tried the new thread at the very beginning. That Mettler thread went into the trash!

I need to get this mailed off. Halle will need it in the cold temperatures of Minnesota.
I used the corners I cut off when making the star points to add a little more interest to the back of the quilt.

Don't know if I will post again this year. Hope everyone has a safe and jolly holiday season!

Friday, October 18, 2013


A couple of weeks ago I read this article on how to buy lightbulbs in The Washington Post. It made me realize that the problem with photographing things on my design wall wasn't just a problem with my little point and shoot camera but also the lighting. My sewing room is in the basement so my only source of light is artificial.

I learned from the article that the lower the kelvin number (2700-3000) the more yellow the light. The higher the kelvin number (5500-6500) the bluer the light. White light is 3500-4100. Typically, modern decor looks better with whiter light and traditional decor looks better with yellow light.

Last night Dave was going to Home Depot so I asked him to pick me up some light bulbs on the white/blue spectrum.

Here is a before photo of the Sisters Choice blocks I've been working on.

CFL 750 lumens 2700 kelvin

And here is the after photo (with a few additional blocks).

CFL 800 lumens 5000 kelvin

Quite a difference! I'm going to pay more attention to lighting in the rest of my house now.

These blocks are for a quilt for baby Halle, my great niece. What do I need more or less of? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I just started making blocks without much of a plan. I really should take the time to pull fabrics first.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Abby's Quilt

I finished the quilt for my great niece, Abby. Just in time, too. Abby lives in Minnesota as do her grandparents (my sister and brother in law). I'll see my DS and BIL in Ohio this weekend so I'll hand it off to them. I'm glad not to have to put it in the mail. The USPS is very reliable but I always feel a little anxious mailing a quilt.

Here is the back-

I used the scraps from this quilt for the light section of the hour glass blocks. I was running out and was ready to use a substitute when I decided to do a little digging in the scraps and strings. I found enough to finish the quilt and even pieced some together for the background of the "Abigail" block. This is what I have left-
Not much. I love this happy little print and will enjoy using it in my scrappy quilts.

I made lots of "parts" while making this quilt-
I'll use them for this quilt. And maybe I'll make more for another baby quilt. My nieces and nephews are always one step ahead of me. Halle Paige was born in August so I'm planning another quilt for another little one. Not sure I'll use these 9-patches though. I'm thinking maybe some bigger shoofly blocks. Or maybe some stars.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer Swap

You may have heard that Janet of Rogue Quilter and I swapped blocks this summer. It was an absolute pleasure and I can't wait to swap blocks with her again. During each of the summer months - June, July and August - we each made eight - 6 1/2" churn dash blocks. Each block had a twin. One we kept and the other was sent for the exchange. It was so much fun waiting to see what Janet had put together. Here is what I plan to do with my blocks-

I need to make at least one more block and will probably make six more for a 5 x 6 setting. The setting squares are not solid but this Judie Rothermel fabric - Pine Tree Lodge-

I took most these photos yesterday and it was raining or overcast all day long. Today, the sun keeps peaking out. I'd give the photography another try, but to tell you the truth the floor wasn't all that clean yesterday and I haven't gotten around to cleaning it! You try keeping floors clean with three dogs during a rainy stretch. ; c )

With the last swap we had a fabric repeat. What are the chances of that?!?!

Here are the goodies Janet sent along each month. Her home made soap smells divine! I'm so excited about getting one of her pineapple ornaments. Truly tiny! And I love my new pin cushion. I don't know how she got it stuffed so tightly and no evidence of where she stitched it up after filling it. It's already been put to use!

Here are some other treats that have come my way this month-

from Doniene of Now it's just quilts!

 from Meriyln of Quilt Minstrel

Thanks you all! - it is always fun to get quilty things in the mail!!!!

I have made some progress on Abigail's quilt (see my previous post) and hope to have it finished next week. I've also been making hexie flowers and thinking about the applique border I will have to tackle when I finish the hexie flowers. Believe it or not, I often make bed size quilts with no particular bed in mind. No surprise that they never exactly fit any bed in my house! This time I will check and recheck to make sure this hexie quilt fits our queen bed. Or maybe I'll make it fit the double bed that will be in the guest room in my dream farmhouse - see my problem? I still have plenty of stitching to do before I make the final decision.

I finally started stitching flowers together and can imagine the skill it will take to stitch multiples together. Yikes!

These amaryllis belladonna flowers pop up in our backyard every summer. 

This weekend is Labor Day here in the states. Our only plans are to go to crab night at our community pool. I'm already seeing signs of fall. I'm ready for cool breezes, softer hues of nature and the crunch of leaves beneath my feet. Love the change of seasons!

So long for now! Off to clean some floors!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Little 9-patch for Abigail

I'm putting together a quilt for my great niece, Abigail, who is almost 6 months old. I was having fun putting together little 9-patches for my crabapple quilt so I decided to pair some up with hourglass blocks. I've seen quilts at shows and online with hourglass blocks framing an alternate block and was looking forward to doing the same some day so this was a perfect opportunity. I tend to like blocks on point but I like the straight set in this case since the hourglass blocks give the on point effect.

straight set

on point

A straight set is also easier to piece together. My blocks will finish at 3 inches. I'm aiming for a 36" x 51" quilt so I've got a good many more blocks to make.

My DH started working from home this week. This will take some getting used to!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Finally, Some Things to Share

It's been a few weeks since I last posted. I guess I'm just having a lazy summer - reading, cooking, visiting with my mom, catching my nieces at a swim meet (had to get our fix now that our youngest is done swimming), a bit of stitching and a little cleaning, too. I finished this quilt top-

The blocks finish at 8.5 inches.

I pieced the back using a Kaffe Fassett fabric that wasn't quite wide enough.

Here is a close up of the fabric. I bought 2 yards of it a couple years ago having no idea what I would do with it. I guess it kind of reminds me of growing up in the 60's and 70's. I'm glad I found a place to use it.

This purse came together quickly. Best of all it used up some batting scraps.

It's an Aunties Two pattern called Bailey Island Hobo. I typically have problems when following a pattern like this. I was pleasantly surprised that I could follow these with ease and didn't have to unsew any of it.  I made the smaller bag. It has already gone with me on a few errands and I love it's size and light weight. You start with 2.5 inch strips of fabric and batting. Nice to have a place to use those scraps of batting I can't throw out.

Today, we are canning tomato sauce. It takes all day starting with a visit to the farmers market for boxes of tomato seconds. Here is a shot from a couple weeks ago of our first attempt at canning green beans. We used our new pressure canner. We lucked out and got some beautiful beans from an organic farmer from Pennsylvania who is a new addition to our Saturday market.

These photos are also from a couple weeks ago. I've been meaning to post for a while. ; c )
I love the combination of the deep pink, orange and green. Every year I say I'm going to use this color combination in a quilt.

I love when the hosta blooms...and so do the bees...

We had a little relief from the heat today. I really can't complain about the hot weather since we have air conditioning. I feel for those of you who don't. Hope this coming week brings relief from the heat for all...and keep stitching!

Friday, June 28, 2013

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Can someone tell me what this does? Is it really necessary? It seems suspicious to me.

Am I allowed to include photos in the post? Here are some from our drive in the country last week. The farm photos are from an area outside Staunton Virginia and the town photos are of Lexington Virginia. I just found out my cousin is moving from Oregon to Lexington. We had to check it out.