Thursday, September 21, 2017

Quick trip - must love dogs!

I had the good fortune to take a quick trip to the very hot Windy City this week.  I met up with a dear friend and we went to see Hamilton (to which we were able to find relatively inexpensive tickets!!), which was truly an amazing experience.  Don't we look spiffy??!! Actually, my friend Tamra is quite the dresser so she looks glamorous even first thing in the morning!

I spent most of my time walking all over (notwithstanding that it was truly very very hot) and was inspired by a display I found all around the city on behalf of K-9s for the police.  I took pictures of many of these paper-maché doggies which were along Michigan Avenue (the main shopping thoroughfare in Chicago) as well as in front of many hotels.  Enjoy!  There was so much thought and creativity put into each one of them!

These are probably a bit of overload;  there were tons more but I'm not going to go overboard!  
Kids this weekend so no sewing until after the weekend.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Something has gotten done. YEAH

My husband and I didn't have our grandkids this weekend so we took advantage of the free time and drove up to Napa (which is about 2 hrs away) for some fun wine tasting.  Of course, I use the time to get my hand sewing done and I have been prepping a number of projects in anticipation of our next trip (next week) back up to our cabin in Oregon.  More on that later this week.

I was able to get two centers done for the Primitive Gatherings Summer Block of the Week.  Mind you, there are 12--these also need very tiny half square triangles sewn on, but those will come later.  I really do enjoy doing wool appliqué.  For these, I used some of the new Sue Spargo variegated threads I ordered.  I just love the colors.  I have not been following the PG instructions to the letter (BIG surprise, right??? vbg) but I think they're fine.
I love using variegated threads on wool.  Makes the pieces so much more interesting. 
Don't look too closely at my strips.  Of course they're not uniform or necessarily straight.

There were supposed to be 5 little pink things on top but I lost one in the car.  Oh well!  Don't you love the colors of the french knots? That is what you get with variegated threads.  Those pinks were from Sue Spargo. Most of the other threads are Valdani, size 12, which I love.

I told you I also would show you the pillowcases I made to send off to Texas.  They are going in the mail tomorrow.  I still want to make some of those adorable kennel quilts for the doggies there.

My husband and I stopped off to see a friend who is a manager at a winery (she had asked me to fix a couple of her grandmother's wonderful quilts and I brought them back to her).  They have a cute little farm stand outside and I just loved the look of the peppers!

tomorrow is a busy day with a visit to my ob-gyn.  Silly me... I put it off because I didn't want her to see how heavy I'd gotten.  Anyway, now that I'm down a bit of weight, I'm not so worried.  Isn't that ridiculous???   Do you think she'd care??

Friday, September 15, 2017

Now the fun begins

I have sent everyone their mug rug partners so hopefully you've received your "assignment"!!  Please let me know if I've sent you the wrong email address.  I am hoping this time I didn't make any duplications!!

please mail your mug rug out to your recipient by Oct. 15th... That gives you a month.

there aren't many.
It should be no smaller than 4" really; no larger than 10"!!
line it with batting;
you can put binding on or turn it and sew the edges down
you should quilt it to hold it in place
sign your name on the back, if there's a place...

Thanks so much for joining in on our swap.  I appreciate it! We had participants from Europe, Canada and just about every state! WOOHOO!!

I didn't take pictures of the pillowcases but will do it this weekend.
No grandkids so my dh and I are taking a little day trip tomorrow.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mug Rug swap

Here is another idea for a mug rug, sent to me by Barbara.  Her's is a rectangle and she used a binding.  I think they are 4x8 or thereabouts.  Aren't they cute?  Please check out her blog:

I'll be sending out your assignments tomorrow.  We had a great response--something like 25 of you!  WOOHOO!

I will also post pictures tomorrow of the pillow cases I whipped up to send to Texas.  I'm also going to make a couple kennel quilts, thanks to Wendy Reed, who posted the info!  No grandkids this weekend so I hope to get some sewing done!

Have I mentioned that I am also reducing my "stash" in my house?  Remember I told you about the book I read months ago, "The Hoarder in You"??  Well, I'm still very motivated to get rid of stuff.  We've lived in our house 27 yrs and have accumulated a lot!  I've been filling bags and going to the Goodwill every day.  Today the back of my car was FILLED.  You'd never know, looking around the house, though!!! vbg  My standard is if I don't want to move it to another home, say, out it goes!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A little sewing going on here

I did manage to catch up again on the Triangle Gatherings last week;  I found some adorable fabric at the new lqs:

I put these next to each other for you to see the amazing difference when you pair one fabric with a totally different contrast.  Both blocks use the same polka dot background.  I think they look entirely different.  The aqua fabric above, by the way, was from a modern quilt shop that Wendy Reed took me to in Maine.  Really fun.  The little birdies are from the new lqs, as is the background.

How can you have chickens without chicken wire??  FUN

And I started back on my Mountmellick (Di Ford) Quiltmania mystery.  Finally got all the circles appliquéd onto the background grid.  It was done in a really interesting way:  they had me draw a grid, with the squares being 2" each, onto a large piece of background.  I sewed all of them down on my Janome 6600 (which has a great buttonhole stitch, IMNSHO).  Then I cut them apart, cut them down a little and sewed on the triangles.  Not looking forward to the corners which are to be hexies... oh well.  It's moving in the right direction.  Don't look too closely...  Some of the circles wound up not being centered once I sewed the triangles on.  I call them very modest! 

Here's the English teacher in me speaking up.
I was reading a review of Hillary Clinton's new book and saw a word I'd never heard of before, so now you're getting a vocabulary lesson for free.
Contumely ("she was exposed to gossip and contumely")... means an insulting display of contempt in words or actions or humiliating insult.  It was also in Hamlet.
So there you go... learn something new every day!

Tomorrow is the LAST day to sign up for the mug rug swap...
new some ideas?? Motivation?  Mine are small; they don't have to be.

Wish I could take credit for the cat but I can't.  That was a gift from Will in Paris.  Isn't it cute?

You can also make it with a binding, if you'd like.  Mine were turned.
Hope you'll join in.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

SWAP reminder

Here's a gentle nudge and reminder to join in on our Mug Rug swap upcoming next month.  It's going to be great. EASY PEASY.

Just send me an email, please, with your email address and mailing address:

Also, do you follow my dear friend Wendy Reed (constant quilter blog)?? She recently posted information about donating to a guild in Texas that lost everything.  I packed up  (stuffed, is more like it) one of those flat rate padded envelopes and am sending off lots of fabric and threads (and had a bunch of pre-wound bobbins I hadn't used)... I encourage all of you, if you can, to donate!

I have caught up on my Triangle Gatherings and just need to post you some pictures.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Upcoming SWAP--- DO NOT MISS

So many of you last year participated in my pin cushion swap and I think it was a huge success.

So this year I'm going to host something a little different---

We're going to do a mug rug swap!! 
Don't know what I mean??

It's a little coaster that's quilted, for drinks!  Water; tea; coffee; wine
And you need one by your computer, your bed, your recliner... can never have TOO many!!

They are so EASY.  You need a small block (has to be pieced or appliqued) that's not larger than say 5"... you'll need to use some batting and quilt it and BINGO it's done.

I hope you'll be interesting in joining in!  You can never have too many mug rugs.  And they may take you 10-15 minutes max to whip up...okay, maybe a little longer but NOT too long


Please email me by SEPTEMBER 13th (one week away).

We'll have a due date of October 16th... that gives you a month to whip one up.





Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Straight lines are not my strong suit!!

I was looking at the pictures I posted of a few close ups of some blocks and realized you can really see how WONKY my seams are...

Please don't look too closely or judge me for not sewing straight lines!!

Even when I was in 10th grade and took home ec, I remember being berated for not being able to sew straight seams.  Some things never change!!



Monday, September 4, 2017

Marvelous Monday Mini DONE

I took some snippets of time this weekend to assemble the Temecula Quilts Marvelous Monday Mini top.  I still need to quilt it, of course.  But I had cut out the sashing strips last week and put it together in between kids' naps.  I also decided I didn't like the few blocks which were basically not pieced so I replaced them with blocks of my own creation!

I think the Triangle Gatherings is back in business this week after a brief reprieve so I'll be working on those this week for sure.  Claire is coming over again on Wednesday so I'll get lots done~

We had the 3 grandkids over this boiling hot weekend, and I  had bought them each brushes to help wash my car.  Here they were in the driveway, hard at work!  They sing while they work.  There's a show on Sprout called Terrific Trucks (which I haven't seen) but apparently there's an appropriate car wash song from the show and they all 3 sing it.  It's hysterical.  A bit like a broken record, since I think they only know one or two lines, but it's good enough for me.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Found a new quilt store... uh oh

So much for my downsizing!  I sent out a large package to one quilter who needed batiks for her ministry;  I have three other piles ready to ship out.  And while driving I found a new local quilt store that just opened that I'd been trying to find.  

Adorable!  All bright and modern things, totally different than what I'm used to buying.

So, of course, I had to stop in and spend a little money.  What fun! Kind of inconsistent with my downsizing but I'm trying!  Someone bought my Tutto trolley and I sold a jelly roll I never opened.

Anyway, I did get a little sewing done this week. All caught up on the triangle gatherings!  The contrast on the first one didn't come out as I'd hope but the fabric is adorable.  It's got little skunks. And it's not Tula Pink.  Not sure you can make them out but I'm keeping it the way it is.  I don't think it'll matter in the large quilt this is going to be.

I think this house fabric is adorable!

And I laid out the Temecula Quilt Marvelous Mini... found the perfect sashing for the large strips and a diagonal stripe for the sashings between the little blocks.  Now to sew it together and get it quilted. I will actually finish something.  What a concept! VBG 

I also decided that I was completely tired of the ratty, run down cutting mat I had next to my sewing machine so I got myself another Martelli cutting mat.  If you have never used one, you are missing out.  It's hands down the best mat available.  It's pricey but you never have to replace it.  It is "self-healing".  When I was in Maine at the quilt show with Wendy Reed, I did talk her into buying one and she's delighted with it.  You can use it either on the yellow side or the purple side.  I have one at our cabin in Oregon as well.  I found mine on Amazon and got it at a discount, with free shipping.  WELL worth the investment!

I am still going to sell my Singer 301 black long-bed, even though it's a real beauty.  It sews great but I just don't use it and I'm over collecting machines.  So if you are interested or know anyone looking for one, let me know.  It even has the original case (which looks like a suitcase!) as well as a buttonhole attachment (contraption, in my opinion) and other accessories.  I even bought a special foot so you don't need to use a toe to operate the button.  If you've sewn on a featherweight or a 301, you'll know what I mean. I like the 301 much better than the featherweight but that's just my $.02

The winners of my batik giveaway are:
Shirl S.
Quilting Babcia 

Please email me your mailing address and I'll send them off to you.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


I am serious about trying to downsize all my sewing things.  I've sold two machines (and only bought ONE... that's one less, right??);  I've sold my Tutto rolling tote that I never used.  I'm going to sell another 1130 that I've never used (it's a great machine!! I'm keeping the other one, which I use daily!)  I may also sell another Singer 301 long bed (BLACK, even) that I'm not using.  Let me know if you're interested in either of them.

Now I am going to give away some BATIK fabrics.  I used to love them;  they are taking up precious space in my cabinets and I'm not using them so I'd love to send them your way.

I'll fill a small package (prefer just to the US, please) and send it to you this week.

Please send me a comment by Wednesday and I'll mail it out Thursday.

Let me know what you think you'd do with a gift of batik fabrics, excellent quality!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Triangle Gatherings progress..up to date until today! UGH

I sewed on Tuesday when my friend Claire came over and I caught up (at least until today when they posted two new ones!) on my Triangle Gatherings.  I had fun with the fabrics!  This one has ducks and hens! and chicks!

This one has dancing girls!

Cherries, pears and hens!


Travel-related items!!

Just flowers... nothing special

Mice, going every which way!

I also made this week's Marvelous Mini Monday:

I want to show you what my friend Claire was working on.  She knitted together strings of all widths and lengths and then sewed them together into blocks.  She sewed the blocks together to make a little throw-rug.  On Tuesday she was sewing a "backing" of an old towel to give it some stability.  Very cute. I think it's extremely clever, too!   That's Claire!  I think she's going to put it in front of her kitchen sink in her cabin in Washington.

Last, but not least, I have to share a picture of Emma, who just turned 5, visiting with her cousin Eli, who is 9 months old. She just loves him.  He's not so sure about her, though.

As my husband says, the chaos returns tomorrow, for the weekend!  We will have my daughter's 3 kids (little Eli is in Germany for a couple of weeks).

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Back home and lots to show!

I'm still a bit behind in my Triangle Gatherings (they just keep coming!) but not terribly.  I had help from my grandson up at the cabin last week -- we put the foot pedal on a stool (if you have grandkids, buying these stools from Target is a MUST have.  Our kids use them all the time, for everything!).  Even little Emma got in on the fun after her family left and she stayed behind for a WEEK with Nana and Papa!  Not sure who loved it the most.  Note my wine was readily available!  Emma just turned 5 last week, by the way!

I've been working on my Marvelous Mini Mondays from Temecula Quilts and I'm up to date thus far, until the reveal comes out tomorrow.  I have to say that making blocks so friggin' tiny is a challenge for me!  Especially with my inability to sew very accurately!! ;-)  Here is the whole lot of them, along with some of my favorites.  Mind you they are 4" unf!  I had a very hard time with the 49 patches, which I was able to do thanks to the Mini Maven Janet O, who advised me to cut them 1" and make it 7x7.  Really??  Don't look too closely at mine... they frequently don't line up... oops.  I may not be the most accurate piecer, but I do enjoy fussy cutting!!

And on the drive home Friday, I was able to get some stitching done on my Summer Blocks of the Week from Primitive Gatherings.  My grandson helped me do the piecing before he left and I was able to prepare about 3 blocks for the car ride.  FUN.  All these blocks still need the tiny half square triangles that go around each one.  Later...

I do enjoy doing the wool appliqué (=don't have to be perfect) and now that I'm home for a while, I'm hoping to tackle some of the projects I have left hanging--maybe even play around with some of the things I bought in Maine (although to be honest, I think I had to leave most of what I bought in Maine at the cabin -- no room in the car!! vbg)

More triangles!

This is a lot of little sewing but nothing to put together into a quilt thus far so I am not feeling very accomplished.

On another note, I am feeling accomplished for two non-quilt related reasons:

1-- my wedding anniversary is tomorrow (Eclipse Day, which we were going to spend up in Oregon, along the path of totality, but since we chose to have Emma for the week, we had to bring her back home this weekend... opted for a week with Emma vs watching the eclipse.  No brainer for us!)... We got married in 1977-- FORTY years ago!! Amazing that it's been that long.  Has gone by so fast.  It's a lifetime!  Still feel very lucky!

2--I got on the scale in mid-June and just about died.  Decided on the spot that I had to lose weight so started following Weight Watchers online that very day and am proud to say that I've shed nearly 15 pounds in about 11 weeks.  Have to remind myself that it's a lifestyle choice and not a diet.  In other words, this is a problem that will plague me all my life (and has)...  On a conservative approach, I'm half way to my goal.  it's not where I want to be, but I'll take it. Actually, I'll take 15 pounds too!  That's a lot of potatoes!! vbg

So that's two pats on the back for me!! WOOHOO!!