Sunday, December 7, 2014

“A day that will live in infamy”

My history is really bad but I believe it was Roosevelt that said that after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

I truly did not plan my post around this being December 7th or “Pearl Harbor Day”.  My sister and her guy are in Hawaii and I really hope they’re having a wonderful time.  I also will take a moment to reflect on the tragic of that day and pray that some day our world will be a peaceful place.

Okay, enough of that…. I have been sewing PJ’s for the grands.  Most of it is pajama pants and I’ve order long sleeve T’s that I will embroider to match the pants.  My next big sewing project is making my youngest granddaughter, who is into everything Disney princess, the Anna (from Frozen) coronation gown.  OMG… when I saw how many tiny pieces of applique go on the skirt of that gown….skirt

Well, let’s just say this grandma is going to be looking for some wide, decorative ribbon…

I finished the memorials.  I did 5 but forgot to take pictures of the last 2…

IMG_0027IMG_0028IMG_0029The family members who receive these will recognize the clothing and ties.  The extremely colorful one is going to their granddaughter and she’s going to love it.  It just screams her name…  The purple tie – those number do not represent the year but the number of the Elk’s lodge he was associated with.  These were really lovely people and I feel blessed to have known them and also was honored to be able to make these.

IMG_0031Thanksgiving day in Arizona.  Yep, served on the patio outside.  My daughter-in-law sets a beautiful table and we all felt truly blessed to live in a place where we were able to ‘take it outside’.

I hope everyone is taking time to enjoy this Holiday season.  I think sometimes we get too caught up in the commercialism and forget about the joy the birth of a baby brings.  Even in the circumstances of His birth, I’m sure Mary & Joseph were full of joy.  This is a season of joy and blessings to all…



Thursday, November 20, 2014

and so it goes

I’m on a roll –really, I am!  I have things ready to go, I am going to get things done!   And then………… Well first off here’s a picture of the bride with her John Deere quilt that I posted about previously:

Tori with quiltShe loved it and her wedding was so nice.  I’m so happy for her.  She’s such a truly beautiful person.

Okay so … I told you about the ‘memorials’ I am doing for a friend from her mom’s clothes and her dad’s ties.  My plan was / is to print her parent’s picture out on fabric and make that sort of a focal point of the memorials.  Get new ink cartridges for my printer.  Buy the  computer printer fabric sheets that are already prepared.  I am ready to go.  The darn printer won’t work!  It was working fine when I put it on the shelf a year ago!  I so rarely use an ink jet printer.  I use a laser printer in just black & white for most everything.  So.. do I really want to buy another printer – no!  But buying a printer is usually cheaper than having one repaired.  And here I am with new ink cartridges.  Wonder if any of my friends have the same brand printer??? Maybe I can give them the ink and have them print the pictures for me…. Maybe I need to pick up the phone and make some calls Smile

My BFF just had a birthday so I made her a set of Christmas place mats:


I had another mutual friend edge the napkins to match with her serger – I am not good  with a serger!   The picture on the right is a close up of the designs I used in the middle of the star.  There are 8 place mats total and I used a damask that my BFF gave me for the back.  I did simple in-the-ditch quilting around the star and borders using metallic gold thread in the bobbin so these could sort of be reversible…

My “Screamin’ Christmas” quilt is finally a flimsey:

IMG_0024aI have worked on this off and on for probably a couple years.  I had planned on a bigger quilt but because it’s taken me so long, I decided this was big enough.  Lots of ‘miter’ or ‘Y’ seams in this.  It’s not difficult and is a design I worked up myself in EQ.  It’s just something I really needed to be in the mood to work on.

DH was kind enough to shoot a deer yesterday so lucky me has some butchering to do this morning – Yes, ME!  I was dumb enough as a young bride to learn how to butcher his deer (he has never done it – always sent it out to a ‘shop’).  Maybe I was more than just dumb….. Ah well, lots of jerky! A few roasts and maybe some stew meat…  AND my BFF said she would come help.  Now, really, how can you not love such a great friend Smile

I leave you with wishes that you’re staying warm if you’re reading this from the frozen tundra back in the eastern / n. eastern states.  I so don’t miss the snow and cold.  If I was still living back where I’m originally from in Michigan, I’d still be trying to shovel my way OUT the door and the high might now be above the freezing mark (but I doubt it!)


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

and today is….

In the U.S. today we recognize our Veterans.  I am proud to have been an “Army brat”.  All the men in my family have served in one service or another.  In fact, I believe they’ve covered all the military services…. So, to all the men and women who have or who are still, serving – I want to thank them as well as their families.  Sometimes it’s not easy to be related to a military person.  I’m proud to be American and truly believe I live in the best country on the planet…..

Today is also my daughter-in-law’s birthday.  She doesn’t read my blog (don’t know if she even knows I have one…) but our family was blessed when my son married her.

Okay, on the quilting front:

for Tori and WillThis is the John Deere themed quilt that I made for my BFF’s granddaughter  (and soon to be hubby).  The block is the “Disappearing 4-patch with a twist” pattern.  It’s easy enough but tedious.  Make simple 4-patch blocks, make four cuts diagonally, then switch the pieces the way you like and sew back together and trim.  The X you see is actually where the 2 blocks meet…One block has a yellow side and a green side.. The small “pinwheel” block is actually the center:

for T & W close up

Then there was the quick-get-it-done baby quilt:

Eli BlankEli's quilt backI was able to use up some small yardage on this one!  The black silhouette on gold fabric I’ve had in my stash for probably 8 (or more) years and it is finally gone with the exception of some small scraps.

Then there were the quilts from Sew Fest that needed to be quilted and sent:


I have 4 more Patriotic themed quilts that I will finish up and donate to a local VA hospital.   The one’s I’ve kept were given to me from someone else to finish and donate and not part of Sew Fest.  So these are done and gone.

My “Screaming Christmas” quilt from a year ago is now a flimsy and will be finished for Christmas.  I have already started working on another Christmas quilt and I’m thinking of donating it for a raffle at our local Elk’s lodge to help raise funds for their annual Children’s Christmas party.

I also will be working on a project for a friend.  Her parents passed about 18 months apart and she wants to take some of her mother’s clothing and her father’s ties and put them together some way to make wall hangings for her siblings.  Today I will go through what she has with her and see what we can come up with….

So I have actually got some done and will have a busy next few weeks before Christmas.  Gee, I might actually remember to take (and post) some pictures.

Until next time…. be safe, be happy, be healthy,


Monday, October 27, 2014

Selling your craft items ???

I think most of us think of selling what we make.  And most of the time we do sell an item/quilt here or there but what about craft fairs….

Okay, I read a lot about people who spend a lot of time preparing for a craft fair.  I also read a lot about how they were disappointed with the turnout.  Well, this is something I’ve thought about for years.  Why not a party sale?  You remember the Tupperware type parties of old??? Our friends would invite us over and most the time we’d buy at least something and hope our friend would get enough sales to get what she wanted.  Maybe she was having the party to help her friend get started….   So this is what I’ve thought and I’m sure you could come up with your very own variations…

If you have a certain craft you do that you really enjoy doing and don’t mind making many over and over again, make up several samples.  Ask a friend to throw you a party (maybe even make it a themed party – the Holidays are coming).  Have some samples of what you’d be willing to make multiples of and be reasonable in your time frame to have them done and delivered as promised.  You could take orders and request a certain amount for a deposit.  Or you could take items and just sell them at the party.

Do you like to make placemats?  Ask your friend to have, say a soup tasting, and you bring different placemats and a couple different home made soups.  Everyone gets the soup recipes and the ability to order a set of placemats.

Do you like to make dolls?  How about doll clothes?  (those American Dolls are really popular!)  Do you make silk flower arrangements?  How about paper crafts?  Do you make cards?  The list is endless.  But be prepared…. one thing could lead to another to another and you have to be realistic about what you can do….

Okay, so now you’re asking if I’ve done this?? No, I haven’t and it’s because I am realistic in knowing that I would get extremely bored doing the same thing over and over again.  I don’t make the same quilt design twice even if using different fabrics… When I make dolls, I have to change them up.  When I knit, I want to use a different pattern each time…  But because this is something I have thought about, I decided I’d share my thoughts and maybe you’re the type who could be successful in something like this… And my idea is NOT copyrighted.  I don’t own it – I’ve shared it for a reason.  Enjoy it if you can!



Friday, October 17, 2014

Today I will….

Start with a picture:


I love sunrises and sunsets.  This is the sun coming up over the mountains and the view from my back porch.  When I look at the colors of nature I often wonder how they’d look in a quilt and figure probably ‘awesome’!

So.. what have I been up to lately?  Well, not as much as I’d like.  I just don’t seem to want to sew or quilt and I really have to talk myself into it.  I took a few days and headed up to Flagstaff in northern AZ to visit my granddaughter, Kari.  My BFF, Vicki, went with me and it was so very nice to have her along.  It’s been years since we did a ‘road trip’ together.  It was so nice to see Kari.  She’s only been back at school for 2 months but I really miss her when she’s gone.  I probably won’t get to see her now until Christmas and while she’s home I know we’ll get to spend some time before she has to head back to school…

I have quilted a couple of the Sew Fest quilts, but put that aside to get started on the John  Deere quilt.  I’m doing the Disappearing 4-patch with a Twist block pattern

IMG_0002a and I really like the way it’s turning out. (Note: This picture is of the blocks I made up using scrap fabrics…)  I did mess up a bit but in the end it works.  I did the first 15 blocks and then when I did the second 15 blocks I switched the two colors and so ended up with 2 different blocks.  Now with the next 30 blocks I need to make, I will have to be sure to do 2 different blocks to keep the momentum of the pattern.

I’ve also been doing some knitting and crocheting.  A friend had sent me a link to a slipper boot pattern that has a Crocodile stitch pattern on the cuff and asked me if I could do it.  So… I downloaded the pattern and have been trying to get these slippers done and I will give them to her for her B-day in December.  I didn’t really like the way the pattern was written and have had to ‘ad lib’ to make it work out the way I think it should.  I guess I should add here that the slippers are crochet.  I’ve been knitting some fingerless mitts and then some cotton dish cloths.  At first, I couldn’t see the sense in a ‘fingerless’ mitt, but once I made the first pair for myself, I got it.  My hands do get cold and I can wear the fingerless mitts and still get things done and they do help with keeping my hands warm.  The dish cloths are a favorite of the ladies in my family.  Since I started making these, I could never go back to a flimsy store bought dish cloth.  And my girls let me know when they need more…..

Baby sat the two youngest grandsons a few mornings this week.  They were on Fall break (yes their school does fall and spring break) and with mom in school and dad working…. Anyway, it reminds me I’m not as young as I used to be!!! 

And to end this post…. Christmas is coming!  Yes it is, whether I’m ready or not and I always say I’m not yet somehow manage to pull it off.  I keep thinking of what I’d like to do and get overwhelmed.  Tiffani still doesn’t have all those Barbie princess dresses she wanted so guess those will be Christmas presents.   I really don’t like to give gift cards or money as gifts but I’m finding that the boys’ interests are things I just don’t understand (video games, Transformers, etc….)  So if you have any ideas you’d like to share, please let me know!

Have a wonderful day,


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

 Deb nominated me to participate in this Blog Hop.  So here I go and yet now sure if I’ll be doing it right….

1.  What am I working on?

     Right now – nothing!  Actually, having just got back from a week at Quilters for Comfort Sew Fest, I had some general house work that needed to be caught up.  Hubby does okay with maintaining but……

I will be receiving a box with quilt tops from Sew Fest that will need quilting and they will be forwarded to one of three different VA facilities that will be recipients of this year’s Sew Fest quilts.  I also have a wedding coming up in November and the bride loves anything John Deere so yep, doing a John Deere quilt for her and the groom.  My dearest friend has also asked me for a quilt to cover her queen size bed.  I have these:

IMG_0032 and they will be going into her quilt.  I let her choose the fabric she wanted for sashing and borders.

2.  How does my work differ from others in its genre?

   I don’t think my work really differs that much.  I rarely follow a pattern from a magazine or book.  I prefer instead to try and design something in Electric Quilt.  Of course, I think all quilts are made from certain ‘units’ and it’s how those units are combined that create the final project.  As for the actual quilting – I don’t use pantographs or stencils.  I had my hubby cut some circles and squares from plexiglass that I use to help steady my hand.  I have some other shapes that I’d like for him to cut. 

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?

  I pretty well write the same way I talk.  I try to add a bit of humor as that’s the type of person I am.  I try not to take life too seriously – I simply don’t have time for the stress or the ‘games’…  Creating – it’s just part of me.  I enjoy knitting, a bit of crocheting but my passion is creating with the use of a sewing machine.  I rarely do hand work.  I do an okay job of it but my patience level is not where it needs to be to do the hand work…. That said – before my neighbor passed away she gave me a quilting frame for hand quilting.  I really want to make a small (note the word SMALL) quilt using my grandmother’s treadle machine and use the frame and hand quilt it.  Please do not hold your breath waiting!!!!

4.  How does my writing/creating process work?

When I get ready to write in my blog, I really want to write something that I think will interest someone else.  I know people want to see pictures and that’s something I’m not good at doing.  Unless I’m writing a tutorial, I don’t take pictures of a work in progress.  When I get ready to create something, I design/ alter / (or whatever) a pattern, choose the fabric and fly by the seat of my pants.  Sometimes it actually turns out the way I thought it would.  Sometimes it’s a complete surprise what I end up with.

Now here’s some pictures of some of the quilts from Sew Fest:

I believe when all was counted, we ended up with 56 completed tops.  Some materials were taken home from a few of the ladies to create a few more quilts.  All in all, another successful Sew Fest.