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!


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.


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.


Monday, November 15, 2010


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.


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)


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.


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!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What It Really Costs To Make a Quilt!!

QUEEN SIZED, Machine Pieced, Hand Quilted

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

Total Money Invested $141 - $200


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


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.....


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.


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.