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Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking back at 2010

Since participating with the OPAM (One Project a Month) it seems like that was just what I needed to get going. Before that I would linger on my projects enjoying them but not pushing to get them completed. Since I heard of OPAM, I think it was a quilter and designer's blog in Australia,(if you know, please let me know so I can give credit) I have been able not only to complete one project a month, but most months two! Doing my own little happy dance about that. Anyhoo, Here is the list of projects I completed for 2010.

QUILTS:
Alien Invasion
Dragonfly Star Baby Quilt
My Montana Log Cabin

QUILTED ITEMS:
Chubby Charmer Tote Bag
Long Lines/ and the Happy Scrappy Table runner
Maggie Bag- A lazy girl design
Redrafted and Enlarged Maggie Bag
Miranda Bag - A Lazy Girl Design
Patchabilities - January, Hot Chocolate
Patchabilities - Candy Hearts
Patchabilities - Chocolate Bunny
Patchabilities - Garden Pots Stacked
Patchabilities - Tulip Time
Grocery Bag Holder for Son & DIL



SEWN:
PGS#3, toy holder for crib
Valance for PGS#3
Customized Jaki's wedding ensemble
Gathered Clutch Bag complements the Miranda Bag

BEADING:
Hyacinth w/ gunmetal Bangle Bracelet
Peridot and Silver Bangle Bracelet
Dutch Spiral Rope Necklace
Needleminders made 12 from cabochons
Onyx Silver wrapped necklace and earrings

COUNTED CROSS STITCH:
Alphabet Heart framed - freebie of net
JOY - Country cottage Needleworks, oops, not yet framed!
Lil' Peep FF - The Silver Needle
Scream Girls framed - Just Nan Whimzi
St. Patrick's Pot O'Gold FF - The Silver Needle
Winter Whites - LHN

Not a bad listing, that's 28 projects completely finished in 2010, exceeding the one a month goal. I didn't count the Joy CXS since I realized that is still waiting fo rme to frame, so when I finsh it I'll be including that in the current numbers, hopefully for 2011! Some I realize are small but there are a few larger ones and as far as I'm concerned, any finish in my book is GREAT!
My goal for 2011 is to continue to shop my stash first, continue with the OPAM finish as well as participate with Judy Laquidera's UFO challenge. I also plan on continuing my efforts of prioritising my life with friends and family, with organizing my home and my life. By thoughts, exercise, and better health choices I can't wait for 2011. I know it's going to be one of my best years yet! Happy New Year!

Jane

Published post on January 25th, it was sitting in my drafts.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Challenges, I'm going to sign up....

Yep, you heard that right, I'm going to sign up for Judy Laquidera's 12 quilt project challenge. Here's the link with what she presents.

The list of my projects in the sequential numbers of 1-12 are:

1 ~ Patience Corners ~ top finished 3/31/11
2 ~ Snow Much Fun ~ finished 2/28/11
3 ~ Stranger in the Woods
4 ~ Tater's Strip Quilt ~ April's challenge
5 ~ Orange Crush Quilt ~~ Finished October 2011 and entered in the quilt show
6 ~ Bird House Wallhanging ~ Finished 1/23/11
7 ~ Inunshuk Quiltlet  - 2012
8 ~ Santa Redwork Quilt ~
9 ~ Thimbleberry pattern ~
10 ~ Happy Villages ~ Finished 2/25/11 really sent to the circular file....
11 ~ Dick & Jane Quilt ~
12 ~ Vampire Quilt ~
13 ~ Patriotic Quiltlet ~
14 ~ Four Patch ~
15 ~ Grunge Kit ~
16 ~ Kaffe Quilt ~
17 ~ Paper Piece Pattern, (Robin or Cardinal) ~
18 ~ Patchabilities - Hot Air Balloons ~
19 ~ Patchabilities - Ball canning Jars ~ finished 2012
20 ~ Scalloped Edge Runner ~
21 ~ Patchabilitieis - Spring ~ finished 2012


The first twelve are what I'll pledge to finish in 2011. The additional listings are the additional projects that I'd like to clear up. This is for the quilting challenge. I also intend on participating with her stashbusting challenge for this coming year too. I'll come back to this page to edit my finishes as they occur. I noticed on with revisiting this page visit that I listed the Inunshuk twice (as number 7 and as number 18). I'll change the #18 to something else. Not yet sure what so I'll leave it open for a bit in case somehting else comes along and I just need to wort on that.

Now for the cross stitching challenge of listing and working on 15 projects for
2011, and where I first read about this one I'm not sure, but when I stumble across it, I'll post a link to it here. I just did a google search and found it was Minna.

 1 ~ Calico Crossroads, In stitches ~ finished Jan 2011
 2 ~ Just Nan, Daffodil Run ~ started March , 2013
 3 ~ Bent Creek, Santa's Reindeer ~ finished March 2013
 4 ~ Homespun Elegance, Snow Tired
 5 ~ The LOVE sampler (Bent Creek?)
 6 ~ Sheperd's Bush - Happy Thanksgiving
 7 ~ Little House Needleworks, Heart of America
 8 ~ Little House Needleworks, Simple Joys
 9 ~ Blackird Designs, Easter Parade, current wip
10 ~ Freebie of the net, Reindeer Sampler
11 ~ Bent Creek, The Red Thread
12 ~ Just Nan, Witch Way
13 ~ Biscornu, Irish or Cherry
14 ~ Primitive Betty, Valentine freebie
15 ~ La-D-Da, Briar Rabbit


For my personal knitting challenge I'd like to complete:

1 ~ DH's slippers
2 ~ Scarf - Crocheted 2 and knitted 2 2012 & 2013
3 ~ Hat


Our Christmas stockings were knitted by my Mom years ago and I want to learn how to knit them. My obstacles are foremost, they are socks, numerous color changes in the pattern and last, they are socks. Can you tell I am intimitated by SOCKS. But I want to work on these others in preparation to thinking of tackling the Christmas Stocking Socks.

As for my sewing, I won't list everything that is imprinted on my little ol mind. Okay, well just a few then.

1 ~ Grey Slacks
2 ~ DH Bathrobe
3 ~ PGD#1 Halloween pillow
4 ~ Snowman Pillow ~ Finished 2/28/11
5 ~ Pin Cushion with ORT bag - October 2012

Quite and undertaking but I really think I'll be able to push myself a bit to get these done. The only hang up I foresee is the amount of cross stitch to complete. To me, that is huge! SO without further ado, I remain saying

I think I can, I think I can, I know I can, I know I can....

Jane

PS: after signing up on Judy Laquidera's blog I noticed my sign-in number is 123. So I'm a thinking this challenge will be "easy as 123", (humming along with the old Michasel Jackson tune now).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Feeling better,

It seems as if I'm so behind still. I got sick on Thanksgiving Day and slept most of the day (around 30 hours straight) then slept more than typical in the days that followed. I attributed it to either stress(DH's Heart attack and hospitalization), the flu shot I got 2 days before and then finally as the annual crud I seem to be afflicted with for the past 4-5 years.
SO I fought it with common sense; drinking water, chicken soups, getting plenty of rest, vitamins, taking my inhaler religiously but to no avail. I finally called the Drs for help. My first course of antibiotics and the sinus, ear pain, throat and cough symptoms lightened and I was starting to feel better. 10 days later I finished the RX and then within 3-5 days felt like crap all over again. The ear pain was "killing me" and I was ready to take anything I felt so bad. Another call to the Dr and another 10 day course of antibiotics. I have 1 day left and am finally feeling better and having energy again. I just hope and pray that when I finish this one, I won't get another relapse.
Each winter in the past 5 years, I have to take several long courses of antibiotics, inhalers and even steroids to get my health back. ENOUGH! I am willing for the Drs to take the tonsils, adenoids or whatever else seems to impede the natural drainage necessary so I don't have to suffer with this nonsense any more! I've been told that if I clear up with antibiotics and steroids though that is the best unstead of surgery. Egads!+ I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Recently, I have even been planting seeds in DH's head about possibly needing to be some place warmer at this time of year in future years. In the past when I've been caught up in this crud cycle, we or I have gone to Florida to visit my Mom and within 2 days of being there, the crud is eliminated. SO perhaps I'm similiar to the Victorians of ages ago that need a milder climate for the winter. Great thought huh.

Anyhow, it seems so nice to be able to breathe again that I am pondering my next move in the studio. Which project will be next for my plan of attack? I've been stitching on this little Snowman. It's the first time I've used transfer ease and though I messed up a bit when I started, I was able to save the efforts and still use it, that's why it looks so messy, (I started ironing the wrong side). Dang drugs! It's a This and That pattern called "Snow Much Fun". Isn't he cute!


I also have been considering which challenges I'll be participating with in the coming year. Several have tweaked my interest and i think I may. With that pondering I Wish you all a very Happy, HEALTHY New Year.

Jane

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Blessings to you and all of your Kin,







Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Solstice and holi-days (holy-days)


While blog hopping I ran across Michele's posting at With heart and Hands blopspot and was complelled to parphrase this post about the Solstice and Eclipse, a special time. "From ancient times, the winter season has been seen as part of the balance of nature such as light and dark as well as the long and short. Another time where the balance point shifts. It is a time for change and a natural time for letting go of all that which seems dark within one's life. A natural time for making choices to bring in the light...both to lessen the darkness within, and to open ourselves to life's full beauty and grace.

Throughout history, in all of the world's cultures and through many belief systems, festivals, traditions, the changes in the cycles of birth(death and rebirth) have been intrinsically and symbolically honored with the solstices. From this honoring comes our holidays...our 'holy days.'

When we walk between the veils of one season and the next......or one change or one emotion and the next...or even one 'holy day' and the next..we find ourselves always balancing our emotions...balancing the dark emotions (the ones which create power and change), with the light emotions (the ones which bring in joy and abundance).

Solstice is of Latin deviation and means 'sun stand', referring to the appearance that the sun's noontime elevation stops in its progression. It is both the shortest day yet of course the longest night of the year. Many cultures, the world over perform solstice ceremonies. It is a time when we can most acutely feel the greatest darkness or the brightest light...a time of giving, of receiving.....or for some a time of the loss of light, and a feeling of going into the dark.

This is a deep and sacred time. A symbolic time for many of us experiencing loss, facing those emotions and feeling the sadness, the yearning, and the grief that such loss brings into our lives. Yet with that darkness, comes the sacred birth of a new light and all of the wisdom, power, and knowledge that this sacred birth created and brought into our lives. We create gifts of abundance, we manifest blessings and peace as we enter into that new place of well-being and joy. Celebrating with gifts of nature, gifts of our hands, and many blessings and gifts from our hearts."

Winter Solstice and the Lunar Eclipse happening on Dec.20 or Dec 21 depending on where you live is rare. This lunar eclipse falls on the date of the northern winter's solstice. Total lunar eclipses in northern winter are fairly common. There have been three of them in the past ten years alone. However, A lunar eclipse on the date of the solstice is not usual at all. Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years. "Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is 1638 DEC 21," says Chester. "Fortunately we won't have to wait 372 years for the next one...that will be on 2094 DEC 21."

I recently watched a show talking of the norse men leaving signs of their travels in America, specifically starting in 1637. It was informational and I learned of a stone structure in Newport, Rhode Island called the stone tower. In history books its reported as a Windmill stone structure, however some idiosyncronities about it were highlighted and causes me to think it may have actually been the bones to some religious stucture. The window placement allows a Key stone in the structural remains of this tower to be highlighted (illuminated) during the solstices. The resemblances of it's supporting columns closely resembles many churches built in Northern Europe during that time period is too much of a coincidence. That and the astronomical designs with window placements that correlate with the winter solstice and other peak seasons really amazes me. Reminds me of New Grange in Ireland, and that is predates the pyramids of Egypt by 500 years!

"Many cultures celebrate or celebrated a holiday near (within a few days)of the winter solstice... Yalda, Saturnalia, Christmas, Karachun, Hanukkah, Festivus, and Kwanzaa." With the light now becoming stronger and our "Holy-day" of Christmas on the cusp, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

Let your inner light shine and Happy Holi*days,
Jane

Sources for this post came from Michele of With heart and hands blogspot and from some articles by Nasa.gov with a bit of me thrown in to the mix too. I was compelled to write about the solstice and my embracement of it after visiting Michelle's blog. The solstice and some pagan traditions have always held a certain charm despite being a Christian and that I wanted to share this feeling with you during this powerful time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

stash report -Yippee!

Yippee! Actually I did get into my studio to work on a couple of things this week AND use some fabric. Talk about a win win situation. Albeit, not a lot, but still more used.

First up is the Bag holder I made for DS and DIL. They requested one to help out the laundry area and with their taupe walls and beautiful machines, I wanted something a bit on the classic side. I think this is the cutest one I've made yet. Not boostful, just very satisfied and doing a happy dance.

Here are several photos of the quilting:


The reverse side:


Fabric pieces totally quilted, not bad right? It's a bit heavy with photos, but I wanted to show some progresssive shots for this project. I used the Moda's Bake shop's bag holder tutorial pattern and adapted it with my own mathematics by cutting out 2 pieces of fabric then trimming them down to 18.5" X 20" after quilting. As for the quilting, this is another first and it's not too bad if I do say so myself. I'm calling this pattern "spirals". I've seen it many places and have always wanted to try it to see if I could do it. It also reminds me of New Grange. A stunning archeological sight in Ireland. Many larger stones placed at the entrance of this burial mound had etching of spirals, but theirs was in a trinity layout. Here's mine:



Used a hair band in the seam for the hanger. Looks great and was easy to do.


Voila! all done


I heart Moda Bake Shop. Any time I visit that site I always come away with something brilliant to do. So don't go there unless you want some more projects! LOL Just kidding.


Doing this one brings me back to a time when I would go purchase fabrics and the next day sew like the dickens. Wonderful feeling to have it all together and completely done. It seems like I did that for many years, uh humm... specifically AQ (before quilting). I really enjoyed that so much so the following day I worked another freebie off the net. Here again I adapted the instructions from Anna's blog Noodle head.


Gathered clutch, overall size of this was 9" x 13":














The interior:
















Setting in front of My Miranda Bag:















A top-side view tucked into the Miranda bag.
















So that's all folks. A total of 1.75 yards used up. Then I went shopping at Joanns in Malone. Here's a snippet of what I came home with.















Yes, you are seeing correctly. YARN
Since DH's hospitalization last month, he's mentioned several times about the slippers I used to make with such longing that I am taking pity on him. Now where did I ever put those instructions? Off to find it so I can work on these secretly after he slips into bed. He never reads this blog. He thinks it's just me going off in Blah, blah, blahisms. Perhaps he's right.
With this I also purchased some frosted vinyl. If I'm able to do what I'm a thinking, then I'll be posting some more photos soon. I used my 50% off coupon for the fleece fabric that I hope to make a bathrobe for someone dear to my heart(DH). Of course thst wasn't all but I have already saturated you with enough photos.

To date's Stash Report is:

Used this week: 1.75 yards
Used Year To date: 57.25 yds

Added This week: 4 yards
Added Year To Date: 88 yards

YTD is a gain of 30.75 yards

Seems like I truly love going in the other direction. Go over to Judy Laquidera's blog and see how the other participants are doing.

Jane

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in November....

On November 20th, the day before my husband's hospitalization, a group of my quilting buddies and I got together one day for a mini retreat. SWEET!
It's a great group of friends and each has their own unique and diverse talents. Why is it when quilters gather, there is a calm gentleness that settles over all in attendance yet the productivity, frivolity and friendships blossom are wondrous? I so enjoy spending my time this way. Each bringing something to share, show and or tell and a common fellowship of like minded souls just makes me smile remembering it. Anyways, sorry about the soliloquy with the run on sentences and such. Anyhoo here are some snaps of them.

First up is Michelle. She has so many talents besides the ability to throw herself into any project at 150%! Her energy and the color combinations she does is absolutely stunning. Here she is working on some charm squares into a "fall looking quilt", ( I think she brought 5 projects to finish up and she succeeded in finishing 3 and almost the 4th, Amazing!


Here's Gina, a good friend and neighbor (lucky me). She has a heart of gold and is a wonderful quilter. The values of the fabrics she selects is not what in my mind thinks up BUT hers is "so Gina" and works every time. She actually brought in fabrics to make a prayer shawl for someone she knows and thinks they could use. I have since seen it completed and what a darling comfort shawl. Soothing on the outside with a special little kick for the woman it was made for on the inside, just right for a special warming hug.


Next up is Cheryl. Talk about a lady who has been through so much. You couldn't tell by looking at her or talking with her. She is battling cancer again and the chutzpa she has for life is amazing. What strength and yet so amiable. I won't share her complete story with all the upsets she's had in her life but believe me, this is one tough, positive and tenacious lady.


Next is Cathy. She and I have know each other the longest, perhaps 36-37 years. After finishing college, while working in the Hospital Laboratory, is when I first met her. Even though working in different departments and life bringing us into different employments, she is a good friend. This lady not only is a talented quilter but what a voice! She can sing and not some timid little voice, but a deep full voice that is right on every time. I'll let you know a little secret, that when I hear her sing, I actually get goose bumps! That only happens with certain singers like Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and such. Her voice is amazing like that too. Besides the voice, she also is a remarkable quilter and she owns her own long arm machine besides her domestic.


Here's Carole. What a sweetheart she is and I love the way she embraces her spiritual life force. She is not a "hoo doo voodoo personality" if you know what I mean, but an old soul that is very grounded within her life talents and just knows where she needs to go, follow or do. Carole is another amazing quilter and she also followed her heart. She and a business associate opened a quilt shop, Fibre Junction. Her philosophies are wholesome yet unique. If you ever get the chance and get to Rouses Point, NY, make sure you check out her shop, you won't be disappointed. I think they offer the most variety of reproductions and civil war fabrics in the northeast, they gain more weeklyand most recently have acquired a beautiful selection of wools. Not only is she a very talented quilter but I also absolutely love, love love her hand stitching. It's the most exquisite stitching I think I've ever seen!


Lastly is my wise, kind and sweet friend Trudy. What a fantastic lady she is. Since we first met over 10 years ago, there has always been a special connection between us that was there then and continues on strongly today. Her talents are many. Her sense of community, organization, color selections, and determination that she follows through on any project are just some of her many strengths. She too is going through some difficulties, but to look at her you'd never know. See that smile? She just had surgery the day before our get together and the next she here. What a trooper.


So here are a few of my friends. It's great to spend time with them all the while having fun and creating memories are priceless.
Now the reason I first thought of posting today is to show the quilt that I worked on lastly.
This one:

Well, for that day I brought 5 projects too. I was successful in getting 2 of them done and since the bible block quilt was making it's way to me to do my share I worked on this too. This quilt is being made by all of us. Since Cheryl is fighting the big C, her mother always wanted her to make a quilt for the Eastern Star organization that she belongs too. All of us wanted to help Cheryl with her tasks, so we stepped up and started to help get this made. Cheryl, Trudy and Cathy went shopping for fabrics, (some at Carole's shop) then we got back together with the Rosemary Makhan book, More Biblical Blocks to select which 2 blocks we wanted to make and select which fabrics we wanted to use and where. Trudy and I did the math to make sure each person had enough of their fabric selections to make the blocks. When all the blocks were completed, Trudy, Cheryl and Cathy sewed the top together. The quilt then made it's way to Carole who donated the backing and the batting (wadding) besides doing the machine quilting on her LA. Then it came to me to sew on the binding. (It was going to have a piped trim binding but that was opted-out by Cheryl). So on December 4th, I brought it to Michelle's so she can finish hand stitching the binding.
What a pretty quilt and what a great feeling to assist just a bit with a friend's wants and needs. Friends are one of life's greatest pleasures and not to be taken for granted.

Enjoy your day,
Jane

A nice quote that resonated with me recently is: "How you spend your time is how you spend your life."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finally a stash report:

It's been September since I had a stash report. Since that time I have used a fat quarter for the St. Patricks flatfold, 10 yards for the Alien Invasion quilt and 2 yards for the Miranda Bag.

Used this week: 12.25 yards
Used Year To date: 55.5 yds

Added This week: 0 yards
Added Year To Date: 84 yards

YTD is a gain of 28.5 yards


Check out all the other participants over at Judy Laquidera's blog Patchwork Times. With this post I realize I won't be hitting the 100 yards out of my stash level, but it would be sweet to break even with the fabric purchases done this year. Although I think its a bit difficult to do since the spread to the end of the year needs to use up 29 yards. Hummmm, Maybe this could be a mini challenge for myself with a win either way if I hit that mark or come up short it'll still be used. I don't want to be one of those quilters with a stash locked into a time capsule!

Jane

Friday, December 3, 2010

Next

A glimpse of what I'm currently doing.

Hope you get done what you want today.

Jane

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tutorials

Here's a link for a super cute child's tool belt holder.

I found this link through Aunt Pitty Pats.

Another great idea is found here for keeping your tootsies warm. She also has many tutorials, one I found interesting was a little stitchery wallhanging for a teacher. Might be a great little gift for a special teacher I have in mind who also used to watch my children when they were young. She has also been the first teacher for 2 of my grandchildren. Just an idea.

Wow! How about a cloth made bicycle basket... could be a great stash buster.
Another on eshe has is this lunch money cuff.

Pincushio tutoiral at texas freckles the one with the whole container in the middle.

turtle pin cushion here!

Many quirky items here at the Magic Bean. Doll shoes pin cushion, baby cubes with photo fabric.

All aout Hexagons with numerous links... at With Heart and Hand bs

A TRiangular makeup bag tutorial via Niki from alien quilt comments.

Scalloped edges can be found here on you tube put on by the Missouri Quilt Company, a really great company that has many videos and how tos.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

She's DONE!

The Quilt, Alien Invasion:







The back:








Closer look of the alien:





For this quilt I used 6 yards of fabric for the back so I'll compute 10 yards total from my stash to make this. I actually used scraps for the appliqued part that I'll throw in without counting since it was scraps and also since the backing that I'll cut off will be thrown into my scrap bin. Yippee! Something to add into my stash use on Judy Laquidera's 100 yard stash report. It all started with a jelly roll of the alien invasion fabric and an idea I had of simple rails, nine patches and filler blocks. Since the time I started this, I've seen it numerous times in different patterns from many designers. All made with the same basic shapes but for the life of me I can't remember any of the patterns names. I was surprised to see so many designers sell this idea. Of course each looks differently depending on the placement of the values and colors. Such a simple yet colorful quilt that I am so glad she's done! Now when did I start giving masculinity values to quilts? Go figure!

While hand stitching the binding, I found a thread that needs catching, knotting and burying into the quilt. Off to take care of that now.

Happy dancing Here!
Jane

GRATEFULNESS

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. Life got really hectic. Despite the unexpected hospitalization of my husband, I remain grateful. The Sunday before our Thanksgiving Holiday, he woke up with an awful pressure in his chest. Knowing his diminished cardiac output, I called the ambulance. He ended up hospitalized for a heart attack, his first. Thankfully everything worked out and the Doctors told us he is a mystery. He doesn't have any of the precursors for his heart condition, and with this attack, the catherization showed all the pathways around and in his heart were wide open and no blockages or occlusions were seen, so he remains a mystery. The all agree that most probably he formed a clot and that is what caused the attack and the body resolved it on it's own. So he's back on a regimen of coumadin and is feeling well.

Thankfully for Thanksgiving he was home from the hospital and we spent it quietly and gratefully with family. Of course our plans to visit my brother in Rhode Island was vetoed by common sense but reinforced by the Drs' recommendations. It also had another positive spin that I wasable to see and visit my sister who traveled North from Maryland to be with her in-laws. We did find time to do our typical "Thelma and Louise" getaway for a couple of hours to reconnect and visit without the menfolk around. Just what I needed to restore. So I remain eternally grateful and enjoying my many blessings.

Jane

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The dreading IS worse than the doing.


I finally pressed this quilt I've been working on recently and doing some free motion machine quilting on it. Can I say "I'm in love with quilting all over again!" I actually stayed up to 3:00 am and worked on this. Maybe I'm halfway through the top so far.
For the stitching, Instead of a simple meander, I'm inserting little stars sporatically and intermittenly throughout. This is the first time I'm using Signature thread and have a nicely variegrated "primaries" color that is being used. It flows beautifully with the colors of the front AND the back of this quilt.




See what I mean. It's coming along nicely, now why did I put this off for so long? Oh yeah, finding the space to lay it out so that it could get basted seemed to be the major delay besides my own defeating mindset. I love each step in the quilting process when I'm doing it, it just seems like I can't "shift my gears smoothly enough" when going from one stage into the next. I need to let go sooner and just flow with it.

Yesterday, we had to see DH's Cardiologist in VT. It went smoothly yet the Dr. mentioned that he had to inform us of the probability of a heart transplant at some point. Not now and hopefully not for awhile, but DH needs to get some more tests done so they'll have more baseline results ready for when the time comes. At first the Dr even thought DH had a 5% lose of function and since his EF is only at 15% I was thinking yikes! Seeing him sleep so much, I know he is tired. It will be good when he feels more able again. SO the transplant may actually be a godsend when that time comes perhaps. When the Doctor compare the Echo to his last echo though there were no radical changes so that is good.

We knew this would be coming at some point and have discussed it with the what ifs. DH even was against having a transplant saying it would be best for a younger person to get the potential heart instead of him since he was older. I did mention this to the Dr. and said how I told DH it's the best candidate that matches is the first criteria before age or other maladies are factored in. Which the Doctor told DH was correct. DH is only 57 and I know he is saying this partly because of him being sick too, and he is tired.

With all of this I am wondering, Am I doing to this what I do with my quilting and not letting the "flow" happen within my mindset? I am sitting hear crying while typing this.
Thank God for the medical miracles in this day and age. We have great medical insurances, a wonderful and trusted Doctor and terrific and loving family support, yet I am fearful. Is it the unknown? The fear of loosing him? I am glad that the Doctor brought it up since there were many questions I have had for awhile and they were answered yesterday. The cardiac stocking is not an option nor is Cardiac ablation a viable therapy. I had thought that there would be steps betweeen now and the Transplant but I guess not. So please say prayers that "HIS" will be done. DH is so strong that he hasn't even shed a tear and it's his heart, body and life. Now me on the other hand, God gave me the gift of tears and I am trying to be strong and NOT Tearful, esp. around DH. but all I want right now is for somebody to hold me and tell me everything will be alright.

Jane

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yummmmm....

With the cooler temperatures lately, I gravitate towards the kitchen and try to feed the family nutritious sorts of "love in the samples" recipes. It seems moreso this time of year than most others. While perusing some emails, I found the daily green blog site and stumbled onto a recipe for sage crescent rolls that I iknew I needed to try with my leftover turkey carcus fixins. Can you say Yummo!



Since it was a new recipe, I cut it in half to try it out. Would you believe these are the only rolls left? Every time someone stops by, DH is saying, trying these rolls she made the other night. They are receiving grand reviews from all who have tried them. Tonight we'll be polishing them off with a root soup I made up with a turkey stock with a green salad on the side. Just enough. Here's the recipe in case you're interested.


Buttery Sage Crescent Rolls

These flavorful rolls can be made a day ahead of time and enjoyed at your Thanksgiving feast. It's excerpted from The Baker's Catalogue, ©2006 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SERVINGS
36

INGREDIENTS
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1 stick softened butter or margarine
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon salt
9 cups (approx.) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted butter (to rub on the dough before rising)
1/2 cup melted butter (to brush on the crescents)


PREPARATION

1. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the water. Add 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. Let this sit for 10 minutes, to give the yeast a chance to get going.

2. Add the milk, butter, eggs, sage, and salt. Stir well. The butter will be lumpy; don't worry, as the lumps will get broken up in the kneading process. Add the flour a cup at a time, until the dough has formed a shaggy mass.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough, adding more flour as needed, until the dough has formed a smooth and satiny ball. Put the dough into a bowl and coat with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

4. Punch the dough down and knead it to expel any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. Roll one piece of the dough into a circle 1/4" thick and 9" in diameter. Cut dough into 9 triangles (as if you were cutting a pie).

5. Roll each triangle into a crescent shape, starting with the curved side and rolling toward the point. Place the crescents on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Make sure that the tip of the crescent is pinched well to attach it to the roll and that it is underneath the roll. Curve the ends to form a gentle C-shape. Repeat with the remaining triangles. Brush the completed rolls with melted butter. Roll out, cut, and form the second half of the dough.

6. Cover the crescents with a damp towel and let them rise for 25 to 35 minutes, or until puffy but not quite doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the crescents for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let me know if you like them when you try it.

Jane

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A bit of a finish

What I've been working with:















Got this little flatfold finished.


Though it's been stitched for awhile, I just needed time to contemplate trims and ways to finish the flatfold. I had purchased 3 different ribbons to possibly use and wasn't thrilled with any of them. Then came up with this a simple black braided trim. Also had a thought to use the sparkly artic rays to tie on the gold coins.











Oops! It looks like I messed up while gluing on the braid. It's a bit sloppy, and to think I didn't notice it until I was loading these photos for posting it here. I need to get that looking better.

I guess my focus was on trying to "match" the ends of the braid together to have a flawless appearance. What a joke with this "sore thumb" sticking out at the top side! Guess you only see what you are focused on.









It's difficult for me to finish my little stitcheries and find it expensive to frame them. While blog hopping recently Deborah of Cranberry Samplings had shown a gorgeous frame with some of her Blackbird Design pieces in it. She buys one frame, stitches many different designs that will fit into that frame and then swaps them out.

What a great idea!

Instead of skimping on the frames and buying ones that will work, I could actually get a gorgeous, worthy frame for the pieces stitched. ANother advantage is that I won't have to worry over where I'll hang the next framed/stitched piece either. The only hangup is to find a safe place to store the stitched pieces with their respective mats. Perhaps I could make some pillowcase style envelopes to store each piece in.

I won a couple more patterns on ebay. Think I'll have to get my needle sharpened and lubricated so it can start flying through some of these that I want to stitch. I have been wishing for the Jim Shore Trio of pumpkins since I first saw it out in blogland and I finally got mine. Now to only get it stitched for next year (perhaps). LOL




Enjoy your day, looks like it's going to be gorgeous!
Jane

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What It Really Costs To Make a Quilt!!

QUEEN SIZED, Machine Pieced, Hand Quilted
MATERIALS:

Fabric 12-16 yards @ $9per yd. $108 - $144
Batting $25 - $40
Thread $8 - $16

Total Money Invested $141 - $200

LABOR HOURS:

Piecing 20 to 60 hours
“Setting” (designing your quilt) 10 to 20 hours
Quilting 100 to 750 hours

Total hours invested 130 to 810 hours

TOTAL COST

Paying $1 per hour (Would you do this type of work for $1 an hour?!)

Materials $141 - $200
Labor $130 - $810
Total $271 - $1070

Paying minimum wage $7.25 (by law in 6/2009)

Materials $141 - $200
Labor (130-810hrs) $942.50 - $5872.25
Total $1083.50 - $6072.25

Paying skilled labor wage $20 per hour (Don’t you consider yourself trained and skilled in this craft?)

Materials $141 - $200
Labor (130-810hrs) $2600 - $16,200
Total $2741 - $16,400

(Found on the Internet 1995; unknown author)
Thought you'd like to know.....

Jane

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday today!

I am being thoroughly spoiled today.
It's my birthday. I actually forgot about it until my PGD#1 was being dropped off this morning (she always is with us before and after school) and she had a card in her hand with her pleased with herself look. I asked what is that? and she beamed a gorgeous smile at me. Be still my heart! anyways I thought to myself, oh isn't that sweet, she made a card to thank us for all that we do. Recently we have been travelling into town to help with transporting grandchildren and their dad while life
was getting too busy and it seems we've had more on our own agenda just helping them complete their agenda. If you know what I mean. Anyhow, it actually was a Birthday card that was adorned with much personalization. Hand drawn castles, and younger brother wrote on it too. Adorable and a nice surprise, I had actually forgotten it was my Birthday!

Since I have been very bad (good) with filling up my stash recently ,
I have been drooling over Yuko's scissors that she shows on her blog be happy scissors. DH was getting ready to go shopping and I showed him the scissors that I was wishing for and he said go ahead and get them. Little did he know that I had already ordered them and that sweet Yuko actually invoiced me today, my birthday of all days to fulfill the order. Oh I am one lucky girl, thanks Honey and Yuko! Typically we celebrate each Birthday with cake and ice cream, but I asked DH if we could
celebrate tomorrow since I need to leave the house this afternoon around 4:30. There will be a guest speaker tonight at the monthly guild meeting talking about Amish quilts and I don't want to be late. I also need to stop by Michaels on the way and if I stayed until my daughter picks up PGD#1, I would miss the first 15-20 minutes of the lecture. And I am so looking forward to that topic. I'll bring my camera and try to capture some photos of any quilts she may show and let you know more later.

With all of this kismet and fate going on, I just know today's going to be the best. Hope your day is one of your best too! Thanks for stopping by.

Jane

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Retail Therapy


Oh it's sweet and this is just a glimpse at some of the acquisitions! I have been wishing for some counted cross stitch patterns recently. You name it, Lizzie Kate, Country Cottage Needleworks, Carriage House Samplings, Blackbird Designs have all been casting there spells on me, must have been something about the air around Halloween time or something. I do wish we had a Needlework Shop near my home, the closest one is in STowe Vt. and that's a bit away with the added expense of the ferry on top of the design prices. So I did allow myself some retail therapy through ebay. Thank goodness for electronic shopping that is available around the clock, especially when my back/neck conundrums are horrendous. Ahhh, The Silving Lining, but now I need to get back to reality. I did also get Simple Joys from Little House Needleworks that I want to jump right into.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My muse is running amouck!

I love to be creative, however I think my muse is on overdrive or my self diagnosed ADD is taking control of my interests.
I have 2 quilts so close to being done but aren't, my St. Petersburg bracelet only needs a clasp to call her done (but I can't find my beading kit which contains it), the counted cross stitch projects (4 of them) are all stitched, they just need to be finished as pillows, hangings, cubes or flatfolds, and then even a Halloween pillow that I helped PGD#1, age 5 now, try her first bit of hand sewing with a ribbon is waiting for me to get my act together.

With all that hanging over my head and all so close to being finished, I think I'll just pour me a glass of wine and call it a night. How's that for procrastinating? I'm tired just listing them all, I know, pathetic aren't I?

Good Night,
Jane

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So many giveaways and some of my past projects

Want to win an accuquilt GO! There are several giveaways on the net. I mentioned one my friend, Micki over at Irish Muses was hosting in my last post. I just came across a couple more here, Alderwood Quitls and at Quilt Taffy. Good Luck all.


Check out this festive candle PGS#2 and PGD#1 made yesteday afternoon.


Here's a peek at one wall in the Dining Room:
We decorated with crows, spiders and rats throughout the house but they're most densely accumulated in this room.

This is a little quilt was made years ago. Some friends wanted to use the fusible grid and make wallhangings. Since it was in the fall, I thought of using a witch's silhouette with a moon background for my project so I went to my scrap basket and found whatever golden colors that could work for my moon and viola! Found aclip art of a witch and made it work with Ultrasuede. The quilting is done with a glow in the dark thread that I wanted to play with when they first came out, that's how old this piece is! I haul out each year for every Halloween.


Next is Greta the Witch who is about 20 years old. She is made from painted wood, spools, blocks, rope, hardware and to finish her, a cloth outfit and quilling paper hair. Her hair seems to be getting "rattier" each year (No pun intended with the silhouette over the door), but she is still looks festive enough.


This wallhanging was finished last year and I love it. The cutting on the fusible pattern was labor intensive which of course also became a labor intensive machine quilting but so worth it, IMHO. The pattern is still readily available, I got mine from Keepsake Quilting.


This wall hanging was one I did about 30 years ago and is done by needlepoint. At the time it seemed to take forever, but looking at it now it seems like it would be quick enough to stitch, guess I was really busy back then with a growing family and too many distractions. Remembering back, the hardest part was finding the whiskers and a pefect nose button for the cat. She too comes out once a year to play.




As for quilting, I have my alien invasion ready to press so I can get to the quilting. I'm a thinking I'll try to rent a long arm and try my hand at it. So when I know I can use that machine, I'll have it pressed and ready to go. SO, I guess I need to clean up my cutting area and start piecing the backing for my Patience Corners quilt. The top measures 106 x 106" and I found a wonderful digitized pattern that a longarmer with a computerized system purchased for me explicitely for this quilt so I need to stop putting it off! What is that mantra I had a bit ago, "the dreading is worse than the doing". Enough already, Get to it.

PGD#1 got here late today. Usually she is here for an hour which gives us time to have breakfast, watch a little tv (SpongeBob Squarepants)and then clean up to catch the bus. Well, she arrived 35 minutes late (Mom and Dad overslept) and then she told me her doll, Darla has a birthday today, could we make cupcakes? So we did as Emeril says and kicked it up a notch and got them done. Phew! All in a half hours time. While waiting for the bus and I looked down and surprise, she still had a little smear of chocolate cake mix on her chin. Glad I caught it, off it went and then the bus arrived lickity split. OMG I am soo bad. LOL

Enjoy your day,
Jane

PS: Oh that reminds me, I still have the "Jacko Lantern" Chinese Lantern floral arrangement stored in the garage over my work bench I need to haul out. Now where am I going to display that?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting decorated for Halloween and giveaway of an Accuquilt Go!

I finally am getting more decorated for Halloween. Two weeks ago when I went to my Doctor he ordered an Attends Unit to help me alleviate the continuous pain I live with. So I was instructed on what to do and did follow the directions strictly the next day.
Can I say OUCH! OMG! I couldn't use my arms, hands or walk. DH was asking, "So, how is that helping you?" Can I mention now that he always said this after each Physical therapy Treatment I went to since the exercises crippled me until the next appoint during the week.
I've been told by different physicians that I need to use arms and leg muscles otherwise I'll lose them. Anytime I try to push anything other than light housework and do something I always used to before I herniated my cervical discs I am a very sore and crippled unit. The herniation impinges my spinal cord which affect my neuromuscular anatomy so if I am able to win an Accuquilt Go! would be absolutely heaven sent!

So I have been laid up with pain because of this new treatment again. I called the medical representative and told him this unit was killin* me and that I was hurting so bad. So his advice was to just do the first portion of it and not the muscle stimulation portion. Even that makes it hurt a bit. The best comforts are the hot tub jets massaging the area or an actual massage, when I take the medicine, which helps I turn into a sleeping idiot that can't think or talk. I'm out cold. So it is a rough balance between functioning and being tolerable with the pain. Since I deal with this continuously my typical Halloween decorations were put off. Glad I was able to get to it recently when PGD#1 and PGS#2 stopped by after school and they helped.

Now, since I mentioned the Accuquilt there is a giveaway over at Micki's (a friend in Connemara) blog - Irish Muses. She is fortunate enough to have won an Accuquilt GO! AND now she is able to host a giveaway of another Accuquilt GO! The drawing is on November 5th. So close to my Birthday, wouldn't that be sweet to win something like that so I really shouldn't be spreading the word but I love to share good news, whenever I can.

Stay Well and good luck!
Jane

Friday, October 15, 2010

CXS Update


The little cross stitch of Boo Thyme from Sandra of Homespun Elegance was a quick stitch. Here again I used the 2ct. Milan Natural with 2/2 using DMC 310. Didn't take long so now to finish it up. Leaning towards a pillow, but haven't decided what type yet. The other completed "Halloween" was one I purchased through ebay from a lady in Florida, so I'm not sure of the pattern or source though I do remember seeing it someplace. Thanks Marianne. This one is screaming at me to become a pillow.

Now which pattern will I pick up to stitch next? Not sure of that so I'll have to poke around my patterns and see what one is inspiring me.

Jane

Jane

A finish.

Happy Dancing here, a finish of a Lazy Girl Pattern - Miranda Bag. Awhile back I showed you the quilting I was doing on this bag last month, but was waiting for an order to be received from Sew Thankful with the lazy girl tabs for purse handles and the pexiglass insert for the bottom so I could finish it.

I Absolutely Love It! The Bag with a magnetic closure that happened to match that chartreuse color perfectly:



The Interior with all of it's 9 pockets, several for reading and sun glasses:



The magnetic closure decorated with a dragonfly pin that I picked a couple of years ago while visiting my Mom in Florida at a flea market commonly known as the Market of Marion. They had so many great deals and very cheap prices. I think I paid $20 or $25.00 for an assortment of (maybe a total of 8-10) rhinestone pins. This dragonfly was one and I loved the details in it besides the looking ball on the top of the dragonfly. Reminds me of my Grandmother's flower garden.



You can click on any of the pictures to get a closer look. Besides the magnetic closure I did change the batting to timetex in the pockets area only. That way the bag won't fold down and will maintain it's shape and "stand up". The handles were actually a find at Joann's and they were perfect that I scarfed the pair as soon as I saw them.

Enjoy your evening. A nor'easter is going through our area and we're getting loads of rain. Hope it doesn't cause flooding.

Jane

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Upon reflection and DMC,

After my post on Sunday, I did ponder how I ever got started on my collectives and why.

After much thought, (quite deep and it hurt just a little.. VBG) I think I have figured out the why of some of it. I have always led a rural life which is one I am blessed to have grown up in and also have raised my family in. As far as great and big selections available locally though, there are limitations in many areas not just threads. So, up to that point I just planned ahead and waited until I went to town to purchase the required pieces needed to do my craft. Then it changed in the summer of 1983 or perhaps some year quite close to that.
I was doing CXS and when finishing a project, I would quickly want to stitch something else. I used to always try to keep my hands busy and actually had trouble stopping and just being at that point in my life. Too much to go into the whys of that now, perhaps a bit of my self proclaimed ADD or OCD was kicking in. Anyways, it was a major hindrance when I didn't have the required threads in stock at home and wouldn't be going into town for several more days. To compensate for that I would routinely buy 10 or 20 skeins of colors I knew I didn't have (courtesy of keeping track on the little DMC cards they used to have available) to have the full collection of their skeins. Then a little vacation to Myrtle Beach and did you know about their Wakauma Pottery and their prices? Egad,You'd think I had died and went to heaven.
They had DMC threads priced at 6/$1.00 a too good to be true cost, so at that time I finished my collections of DMC. And you know what they say....THE REST IS HISTORY! Here is my stack of boxes of regular DMC and some of the Kreineks for cross stitch.



The DMC 8 is in another tote in my sewing studio fro crazy quilting. Now mind you, they have all different sorts of threads, brands and I continue to do my part in supporting our nations economy, but perhaps I'll challenge myself to brazen away from following these charts so closely and start making the stitchings MY OWN. The next photo is how I organized my other "cross stitch" threads.



The rings seem to work the best. On ebay I found a seller that was auctioning off some thread tuxes. The tuxes are actually a long thin bag to hold a skein of thread with a punch hole in it to pull the thread from. That would work for storing, but with a plastic baggie the thread package would be slip siding every witch way. Not great in my mind's thinking. With storing my threads on these rings in a large plastic bag, I can locate what I need quickly (If I have it) and then it can slip on to my thread ring of the current project I'm working on. I did punch an additional hole into the cardboard tags that the threads came on to slip the parts used back onto the bobbin.




Of course with working on a couple of quick Halloween items, I became aware of the Kreinek Glow in the Dark and the DMC Glow in the Dark threads so I did order the Kreinek filament blenders in all the available colours besides a couple of Prairie Schooler patterns, and 2 pairs Kelmscott scissors of LOVE and spiderweb. Drool!

Check out how cute they are next to my recent find at Michaels. When I saw it I though Eeeks! a seasonal pincushion. Isn't that sweet, oops I meant kreepy! LOL



Now I'll have to try to wip up an appropriate scissor fob to complete "the package". This is what I'm currently working on.


It a freebie called Boo Thyme from Sandra S. of Homespun Elegance. Love the look of this and sinec it has a key too, it just appealed to me. Thanks to Berit from the blog of Along the Paths of Pins and Needles is where I found a link to it after my webbing from blog to blog.

And lastly, I just have to share about a fantastic giveaway of HalloweenY items and treasures be given away over at Missy and Annette's ~ 31 Days of Halloween Giveaway!



Check them out for your selves and good luck! They are both really creative and have alot of eye candy to check out.

Jane