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.

Alien Invasion
Dragonfly Star Baby Quilt
My Montana Log Cabin

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

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

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

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!


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....


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.


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,

Sources for this post came from Michele of With heart and hands blogspot and from some articles by 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.


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,

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!


Friday, December 3, 2010


A glimpse of what I'm currently doing.

Hope you get done what you want today.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


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.