Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Planning for 2009

I have been taking inventory of my projects and thinking about the things I want to accomplish this next year. I want to finish the Sister's Choice quilt top next, I will baste it tomorrow. I have the 4 patch posies to finish and the Road to Washington block exchange to finish. Then I think I will bust my stash by making some raggy quilts, I have tons of batting pieces and odd pieces of fabric perfect for that design.

Then I want to finish my white felted tote bag. Finish my striped tote bag. I found a box of knitted hand towels that I need to weave the ends in. I found a cosmetic bag I knitted that needs a zipper (just purchased one for it), those finishes I hope to have done this week.

Then I found a few items on Ravelry.com that I want to make. I really am taken with Amigurumi toys that are usually crocheted. I have a teddy bear pattern printed. This one is from a free pattern from amigurumi along.

I signed up for a pincushion exchange on hand did and I want to do this one:


I found some cute gnomes on the net to make from wool felt on http://www.weefolkart.com/. Wow, I have lots of things planned. Now I need to organize my ideas on the blog to get things accomplished.

We have some quiet time through the New Year and then the usual working week starts next week. I am still reviewing my resolutions. I have the above craft goals but I need to make more efforts to lose weight, exercise, get organized, have fun and live every day to it's fullest. Hmm, sounds really hard. I am starting with small steps... like exercise 4 times a week. I have been going twice.

Lots of resolutions, I am also joining the stashbusting pledge see the side for details. I don't need to buy much to do my plans. I don't need lots of extra time. I think of the old story of the tortise and the hare. If I work on things in a slow and steady fashion, the race will be finished. I am not really sure I need or want to win!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

100 inches of snow and counting. My sister sent me this photo and it is sooo true to how we feel right now. We need to shovel the roof this weekend, well, DH needs to shovel I will supervise from the ground.

I finished the calendar quilt and it is for my friend. I recieved some charm packs for Christmas from my Mom and now Iam thinking about a new project. Disappearing 9 patch? I have some books to look through.

Great Christmas had by all.

link to local article documenting the total snowfall

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I have been snuggled down in the house this afternoon,brrr it's cold and snowy here. We are just enjoying relaxing and watching TV. DD and her DH made it from college and they had some bad weather but all ended well when they got here. Long drive from Texas to Michigan on a good day but especially in December.

I played bass in the Youth Orchestra's concert to fill in for a vacationing bassist. After the kids played, the opera "Ahmal and the night visitors" was performed. I loved it and the males tolerated it. I am in a minority around here. I borrowed the image from the net so the date is wrong.

I have been working on the calendar quilt. It is ready to bind. I have also been knitting on the white bag. I haven't made a lot of progress but that is ok. I have decided that I am not overdoing it and making my hands hurt and getting stressed about completing on a self imposed deadline.

I am on vacation all next week. I am only working 2 days the next week so I have lots of creative time. Lets see cookies, quilting, knitting, crafting...and most of all RELAXING.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another PSA (public service announcement)

Crock Pots and back seats of mini van's do not mix.

I had a scalloped potato-crock pot disaster today that took a considerable amount of time to clean up. It froze to the carpet and then I had to warm it up and then soap it up. Then I had to clean the storage compartment in the door etc...ugh

Did I ever mention that I really don't like potlucks? It is kinda funny now that it is over....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

No crafting today, just a public service announcement

I helped one of my husband's relatives move today. Remind me when the spring is here-- and we have extra garbage pick up-- of this day. I need to clean out my closets. I have my stashes of items that I am not ready to part with. But, if I were perfect I would have Kristen Cunningham stop by to organize me.

That being said:

I had the worst 2 days of my life this year moving relatives, today being one of them. It isn't the moving that was the problem, it was the junk and filth that we had to wade through to find the items being moved. I don't understand how people live like that but they do and if they are older , stubborn, refusing help and occasionally sick... enough said.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: clean up after yourself! Throw out anything that is not useful, expired or broken. Disinfection of our homes, persons and items is manadory for the sake of other human beings! Don't put off these project and leave them for your relatives to come and do it for you. It isn't fair to anyone.

Sigh, after a long and stressful day, I showered and washed twice. Now I pray that I don't get a strange and incurable disease. Good thing I am already on antibiotics for a sinus infection.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The white lights at the top of the tree are out. I am going nuts trying to find the burned out one so the rest of the string will light up. Isn't there a better way?? I spend alot of time annually doing this task.


This is Dexter. He should have been called Chewbacca. He is being a petulant child. He is spoiled and runs the show much of the time here. He gets his hair in my quilts, and eats my quilt blocks. I had to rescue a 4 patch posie from his jaws last time I was sewing. I let him outdoors. Upon returning in the house, he bolted to the sewing machine on the table and grabbed my block. Evidently, I had been spending to much time on the quilt. I was able to reach his collar and started to open his alligator like jaws when he started into doing the gator death roll. I had to carefully open up the jaws and retrieve my block from his gullet, ugh. I steamed it out so the block was ok. I have to keep everything out of his reach but he is getting better about letting me sew and do my craft thing. If I'm not telling stories about what a challange it is to live with this dog, I am spending lots of time enjoying his companionship.

Just working on prepping the quilt for a border. I have been knitting on my tote bag. I have been really getting into using wool felt for projects. I have many ideas for it's uses since the ornie exchange. Hmm, another project, another media. Yeah for craft stores and free patterns on the internet!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The decorations are up!

I had help with the tree and decorating. I think our efforts paid off. I know you may laugh at my tall skinny tree, but it is great. It has hundreds of branch tips to hang ornaments on. It is the perfect shape for my 100 year old house as all the rooms are tall and skinny. We put it out in the "front porch" which was totally enclosed many years ago. This room was chosed for visibility and protection from the dog. The blue lights are a new addition. My son wanted to add the blue, I like it because it reminds me of my Grandmother. She always had all blue lights.

There is a "picture window" still intact and I can enjoy the tree from my chair. We put lights in the living room and in the dark is my sofa with a Christmas quilt on it.

Here is my little village my sister painted for me. I love the little battery operated tealights. They are a great invention. She also made the snowman. Ahh, all this has helped my get into the spirit of Christmas and shake off the Sunday pm doldrums. (And work was horrible today.)

By the way, there is another 12 inches of snow in the forecast for the next two days. We need to shovel the roof soon, the weight gets to be too much. Sigh, I think it is going to be a long winter.

I completed the light handquilting for the Calendar quilt 1. I plan to give this to a friend for Christmas. I will work on the Sister's choice next. My problem is that is a flannel top and I had a hard time hand quilting the last flannel top I made. I may jump in and try to use my machine to quilt it. It would be the biggest project ever for my machine experience. Deep breath, I think I will take the plunge.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Nights are so depressing!

I have the "I really don't want to go to work" thing going about tomorrow. I did get my tree up today and some of the decorations around the house. I have one more block to quilt and I will be ready to bind the Calendar quilt 1. At least we had the sun out for several hours today, it felt so good.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Snow Day for the kids!

We have feet of snow that has fallen on us this week. Yes, I am going to work. Good weekend to finish a quilt. I am going the hockey game tonight if it isn't cancelled.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Angela of Hand Dids this is a spoiler-Don't Read until next week!!

I just mailed out Angela's Ornament's today. I can't wait to show you what she sent me!! The ornaments are adorable and she does such good work. The little circles are peppermint scented sachets. LOVE IT!!
I have been working on her ornaments and I finished up the details today-like putting together the stocking. I had all components ready to go. I just have had a few hard weeks at work etc. So here is a pic of what I sent her. Hope Angela likes hers as much as I like what she sent me. I am getting so hooked on folk art and primatives!

I did some Black Friday shopping. I also went to the Quilt shop and bought 10 yards of fabric at 75% off. So my Christmas shopping is off to a good start. And now I am going to baste a quilt together.!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hey it's Thanksgiving!!

The house smells of wonderful roasting bird, the pie is done and now we wait. Hmmmm, I am getting hungry already and we won't be feasting until 1pm.
Hopefully, the dog will behave and not be obnoxious to any guests.

I recieved my "ornies" from Angela. She does amazing work. I love the gifts and hope mine can hold a candle to what her work is. Pictures will be tomorrow. I am putting the finishing touches on mine and rethinking part of the plan for the ornie today. I will have it out in the mail tomorrow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am WILD about 4 patch posies!!!

I have been sewing the posies this weekend. I love the "mindless" sewing once the yardage is divided. There are times when I really dislike piecing. It is not what I am best at. Of course, the more I do the better I get with practice. However, after a long and trying week at work I don't always need the stress of piecing. So with the relaxing and quick rewards of the posies, I am hooked and think many more projects of this type will be in my future.

I couldn't baste the top I have together because I need to buy some muslin to back it. I don't have alot of large pieces of fabric.

I worked on my "ornie" for an ornament exchange. I worked on the first photo over this weekend. Then I had to lay them all out on my dining room table aka the "design board" and see what they looked like. Now to decide how to put them together, maybe solid black blocks between.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekly accomplishments

I have been working on sewing a binding for my Christmas flannel quilt. I have been knitting a little. Not much to take a photo of.

Lots of snow today! I had to go to 2 meetings at our office Headquarters to at lunch I went to the grand opening of Joann's.I bought batting, you know what I will be doing tomorrow. I will be basting my calendar quilt. I really don't like basting but it is a must before my favorite part-- the quilting!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Four Patch posies

The question was asked yesterday about what the fabric looked like before it was cut up for the Four Patch posies. Here it is. The gold threads don't show up in the photo. I hope I have enough to make a border.... I think the store I bought it from may have more if needed. The posey blocks are almost magical how they take on such a diverse look and the original fabric is nearly unidentifiable. I definitely want to make more of this type of quilt. So many possibilities are out there waiting !

Check Spelling
Today I sewed the binding on my Christmas flannel quilt. I want to complete my Wips and UFO list in 2009. I have a couple of tops that are completed that need to be basted and quilted. Perfect for the cold weather.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How was your weekend??

I have made a lot of quilting progress during the Quilt a thon this weekend. First thing I did, on Saturday, was the bottom three string blocks for the Heartstrings Charity quilts. I also added the binding to my Postage stamp basket table runner.
Then Sat Night I picked out fabrics for the Santa block. Today I started by working on the background pieces for the Santa block. I was surprised at how easily it went together!! I bonded the pieces and will applique the edges on my machine using a blanket stitch. I have a long way to go yet but it will be done before Christmas.
Then I picked up my four patch posies. I made the blocks pictured and I have 8 more and none of them are the same. I have so much fun with this block. It is mesmerizing to me. I am going to make a throw sized quilt.
I still did a lot of house work, I went to Church and shopping. AND we did get about 10 inches of snow. Check out snowman cam. The snowman cam is about 20 miles from my house but you get the gist of the weather.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Are you sewing this weekend? I am!

I am joining the at home sewing retreat or Quilt a thon this weekend with many others at Patchwork Times. This am I had chores around the house to do, go to the gym, and go to the local quilt shop for a piece of background fabric. My sewing had to wait a bit.

So far, I have sewn three Heartstrings blocks. I sewed the binding on my Postage stamp basket table runner and I am cutting out the pieces for the Santa applique I am starting next. The link below will take you to the pattern with a pic!

I will continue to do alot of sewing all winter but this weekend was a good pick. Opening day of Deer hunting for my husband. So far, he hasn't seen anything which means more sewing for me!!

I do have to get groceries this evening and church tomorrow morning. So I have some interruptions. I seem to do my best sewing the the afternoon and evenings anyway. It has started to snow this evening and that makes for better quilting!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Today was a regular day. I have been updating the blog checkout the signature below, a new item and I added some items in the side column.

Been knitting, back hurting from too much sewing and using the rotary cutter at the kitchen table, ouch the wrong height. Now I need to finish some items before I start anything new in the quilting department.

I am going to make more Heartstrings this weekend so I can mail them. Gotta bust this stash of little pieces.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I finished all of the Road to the White House Exchange blocks. There are three layout options as pictured above. I am exchanging about 20 of the blocks so there will be more variety in the fabrics. I like the option that makes the traditional X pattern in the light fabrics. I sewed three of the blocks today with minimal problems with the machine. I have it working the best it has ever worked now.

I am proud of the Middle School's Veterans Day program. I think about a thousand people were there. It was moving, educational, professional and very well done. Thanks to all Veteran's. DS did a great job with taps even though he was nervous.

I am knitting another tote during television viewing in the evening. I loved the Christmas music today. The snow is still here and I think that I am getting ideas for projects for Christmas. First is the ornament exchange. First attempt isn't working so I am going to the second plan.

I am going to have some of my apple pie, I hope it tastes as good as it looks.


Monday, November 10, 2008

I have a sewing day planned for tomorrow

Yeah for our Veterans! We appreciate all of the sacrifice! Yeah for my employer who gives us the day off!! Yeah for a Day for sewing!!

DS has a school Veterans day program in the am I will attend because he is playing taps. I have some cleaning to do but not much the day is planned to be my day.

I need a fun day. I couldn't get my sewing machine to work yesterday so I didn't get much done. I think I fixed it... a little cleaning, 2 new needles, oil and taking the bobbin all apart and playing with the tension, new spool of thread.. and wa la... it was working.

I have been thinking about Christmas already. I bought a Holiday Cd from a fund raiser and I am going to listen to it tomorrow. We had 6 inches of snow this am but it is slowly melting. I went to Kohls with my Mom and saw lots of great holiday gifts and sales already. I am getting in the mood. I usually get bit by the bug early in fall and start projects and gifts but not this year. I have been just not into it this year and not inspired I guess. I think I will plan little projects tomorrow, I have time before Christmas.
Click on the link for a live view of snowman cam.http://www.snowmancam.com/news.htm


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Update on THE squirrel

If you look closely you can see the little black squirrel in my neighbors ancient lilac trees. All of the leaves have fallen and the squirrels are going crazy for the walnuts and acorns in the neighborhood. I see about 12 little squirrels of all colors -- black, red and gray. Yes there are times when you see calico ones too.
The little squirrel, aka the tree rat, that found it's way in the house yesterday was a 4 inch gray squirrel. We left the doors open and the dog kenneled and haven't seen or heard of him since. We even left out a paper plate with peanut butter and it was untouched. BTW, tree rats love captain crunch cereal. He was lured out from under the fridge with that. Good bye little fella, you are cute outside but aggrivating in my domain.
While I was doing the Sat weekly cleaning. I found evidence of where the squirrel came in. He came in through the crawl space under the bathroom followed the pipes to the vanity holding the sink. He chewed a hole in the rear corner and let himself in. Now to find where he came in under the foundation ..... Rats!!
I have sewed 2 RTWH blocks for the exchange and I am pondering how to start my applique Santa. I have not attempted something so large, intricate and with a pattern. I usually look at a pattern and then draft my own because so many patterns have errors in it.
It is a nice quiet weekend home and I am taking advantage of it. I am making meatloaf and apple crisp. Nice fall comfort foods.

Friday, November 7, 2008


AND.... IT .... IS ...... IN..... MY HOUSE!!!!!!!!

Wish me and the whole family luck in shooshing it outside. It was discovered this am, spotted again at noon and muddy footprints by the fridge and dog's bowl this evening. I feel like Carl the groundskeeper on Caddy shack.... "Come on little gopher....." No idea on how it got inside. GRRRR.


Friday Nov 7

There really hasn't been anything new here. I did finish hand quiltng the Postage stamp table runner!! This is not a great example of the best piecing skills but I absolutely love the fabric. I decided this is a cute block but the pattern I used was terrible and the handles weren't easy to do.

I have been watching Quilt in a Day on RFD. Elenor has been doing victory quilts based on 1940's patterns. Wow, so many little pieces and she makes them look so easy. I want to try some of the blocks but they are intimidating with my elementary piecing skills. But as I tell my music students, practice makes perfect. Has anyone made any of these blocks? Are they as hard as I think?

I am going to start my Santa applique this weekend using the wonderful patterns I won from Dorothy. I hope my fears are settled over this project. Until I get my courage up on applique the Dear Jane, Civil War Diary quilt and Nearly Insane quilts I love will have to wait. Just google the names of the quilts and you will be dazzled by the workmanship of these antique quilts and quilt blocks without the use of computers and modern technology. Horray for the ingenuity of Women!!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Signs, Signs everywhere there's signs....

Lots of signs in people's yard this year, I noticed before the election. However, they were not political signs. They were House For Sale signs. Going out of business signs. Signs very few for candidates or the props. I voted already, I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. Now we wait and see. I am hoping that the signs change soon. It is a uncertain world out there.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weekends are way to short

...and weekdays too long. Went shopping and Christmas music is in full swing at all the stores. I am slowly thinking about it.

I went to the local quilt show. I was great! Saw quilts by people I know and was truly inspired. I forgot my camera so no photos. I did buy some powder stuff to use for applique instead of Wonder Under or stitch witchery. I will post photos when I use it. I hope it is worth the money I spent on it. It is called 007 Bonding Agent.

I sewed 2 more RTW block exchange blocks yesterday and worked on my table runner. Both goals on the those projects will be met soon. I have a applique Santa project that I will do next.

An aquantaince I met at the quilt show said "We should have a quilt in this show. We can do it." I thought why not? I think I am going to plan a show quilt for next year. My work is as good as many of the quilts there... I CAN DO IT!! Maybe...


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Holloween All

In Honor of the day, my dog is a pirate in my photo on the side. It was the fastest snap in the world. Why, because he is not a clothing wearing creature. In fact, if it isn't nailed down, he would eat it.

I have been sewing Heartstrings blocks. I have 3 done. It really isn't too hard and you can use all kinds of small strips. I will be able to reduce my fabric stash quite a bit with the donation to this charity.

So Happy Halloween to all!! Don't eat too much candy.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stashbusting 2009

Stashbusting is a commitment I am making now for the next year. I did commit to this during 2008 and I only purchased about 5 yards of fabric, 2 charm packs and 10 fat quarters. I made more than I used. The larger yards were used to finish WIP's.

My goal is to reduce my stash, as pictured in this post, to half or one quarter in the tote used for storage. I don't want to be wasteful of time, money and storage space in my small house. I want to be more disciplined in many areas of my life and this is another way to not swap one area of weakness for another.

I don't want my stash of fabrics ( or Yarn for that matter) or UFO's to be sold at a garage sale, dumped or overlooked like Grandma C 's were. The family heirloom quilt tops were in a box to be given away at a sale or thrown out. Yes, I saved them but one cannot save every top or fabric scrap in this world. I want to continue to not waste, to use up and make do with what I have.

I am only purchasing fabrics in 2009 to sash, back or use as borders. I have Patchwork Times as my accountability partner for this next year. I will do a stash report on Sundays for my own benefit. Click link to see the commitment I am making with other likeminded folk.

Ok now off to sew. Fabrics I am finished with, and don't have any more plans for, are being made into blocks for Heartstrings and local charities.

Vicki H.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Into the time of darkness....

Yep, it's that time of year. Daylight hours are getting shorter. Snow and cold weather is coming. This is what I woke up to this morning. I need to start warming up the cars. Shoveling is not so far away. I know what my grandma ment when she used to say she could feel the cold in her bones. I have a couple of places where I feel it too. Ugh.

The next pic shows where I am at on the hand quilting for the table runner. It is a slow process but I love it. I am not the most passionate at the piecing part. I haven't sewn on the machine in a couple of days. I should get going on it. I want to do some charity blocks.

My favorite holiday cartoon is on tonight-- It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!! I will record it so I can watch it again on Halloween.