Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Recap...

Here are the projects I was able to finish during 2011. It seems much nicer to have more projects completed but yet When I look around my sewing space I still have too many UFOs, PIGs, Phds and other already kitted projects to proceed with that I feel like I'm not even making a dent into any of it. It's with these lists though when looking back that I do see I am making headway, small steps but headway at least. The challenge that Judy LaQuidera hosts besides the challenge I also participate with my Mom's guild in Florida have helped spurn me toward the finish line for many while I still allow myself the priviledge and fun of going off track too. I still have many areas that need improvement in that department and it you're a follower, you'll see some of thee projects from one year to the next if it wasn't completed. hehehe. So without further adeiu, here they are. Projects Completed in 2011: Beaded Bracelet - Hex Nuts! Beaded Bracelet - St. Petersburg Beaded Bracelet - Triangular Swarovski Beading - Dodecehydron Beaded Drop Earrings Crafting - Lion w/PGD#3, Turkey napkin rings, CXS - In Stitches , "Purrnina" by Calico Crossroads gave to Diana CXS- BBD, Easter Parade Happy Villages - reevaluated and finished! Quilt - Baby doll Blanket w/ PGD#1 Quilt - Cheryl's quilt for Chris Quilt - Jeweled Pavers, King size Quilt- Key West Sunset (aka Orange Crush) Quilt Wallhanging - Bird House Wallhanging - Waiting For Spring Sewing - Dishcloth Purse Sewing - Dog Bed - Community Project Sewing - Elmo Bibs Sewing - Oil Cloth Bag Sewing - Ott Lamp Bag Sewing - Snowman Pillow It's mid May 2012 as I write this since I was "super busy" (as PGS#3 likes to say) that I never got a fairwell post in for 2011. I am proceeding with projects still at this point but have many to dos yet to be to dones. Hopefully as the calendar flows through the year I will with more projects too. Jane Sewing- Chili pepper Apron Snow Much Fun Table Quilt - a this and that pattern Tiki Tote with nylon mesh CXS- BBD, Easter Parade still need to have this framed! Happy Villages - reevaluated and finished! Knitting - 3 dish clothes made Quilt - Deer with HST was Cheryl's quilt for Chris Quilt - Jeweled Pavers, King size Quilt- Key West Sunset (aka Orange Crush) Quilted - Bird House Wallhanging - Waiting For Spring Sewing, Dog Bed - Community Project Sewing, Elmo Bibs Sewing, Snowman Pillow Sewing- Chili pepper Apron Snow Much Fun Table Quilt - a this and that pattern Tiki Tote with nylon mesh (a great sea themed beach tote)

Joining with Judy Laquidera's UFO challenge 2012

Judy Laquidera from Patchwork times blog has hosted this challenge for two years now, as far as I'm aware of. I did participate last year. Not as successful as many participants, but I still consider my involvement a success in being abole to totally complete 5 projects besides the other numbers were worked on and at least progressed on.
So it's with eager anticipation that I'm listing another 12 for this year. Now in the same paragraph, I'm also challenging myself to keep up with the UFO challenge that my mother's guild in Florida does. Naming 5 projects and with that challenge, you have 2 months to complete it. I'll list those at the end of this post without pictures since many are included in Judy's UFO challenge.

Number 1 - Husband's Bathrobe - Number drawn for February  2012.

Number 2 - Tow Mater Quilt - This one was  drawn for May 2012.

Number 3 - Scalloped Table Runner - This was July 2012 number that ws drawn.

Number 4 - Santa Redwork

*Number 5 - Inukshuk table quilt - Number drawn for January 2012
Finished this on January 31, 2012!  Glad I only used this technique for a small project.  For reverse applique, I  prefer the finished look doing it by hand rather than by machine as was taught in the class by Cathy Miller.   This quiltlet will remind me of our journey across Quebec and Ontario on our trip to the midwest.  Many Inukshuks were stacked along the highways and byways along the way.   Hummmm, reminds me I have an assortment of stone I brought back from Nova Scotia to make an Inukshuk to stand in the gardens or near the pond.  Perhaps I'll be getting to that soon.

* Number 6 - Cheryl's Chris' Quilt - Number drawn for ????? 
This was  finished and delivered this to Juanita on January 26, 2012.   Was able to make a bright green piping which I then added a solid  black binding.    It Looks really nice with that combo and it compliments the rest of the quilt beautifully.  When I delivered it, Juanita was in tears and thanking me for making this.  How  Bittersweet, glad I was able to, but missing her daugher , my friend Cheryl. 

Number 7 - Spring Patch-a-bilities this was drawn for August 2012 UFO challenge.

Number 8 - Disappearing Nine Patch with Moda's Kashmir IV line drawn for March 2012

Number 9 - Convergence
Sorry no photo......(I Need to find where I stored this one, esp if she pulls this number tomorrow!)

Number 10 - Grunge Quilt drawn for April 2012

Number 11 - 3 Baby Quilts to finish drawn for September 2012

Number 12 - Fall Country Flowers Patch-a-bilities - this was June's 2012 number drawn.

Two additional projects I'd like to get too are the Four Patch quilt and the Flora quilt.
Many of the above listed have been started and are languishing away waiting for me to get inspired or uh hum.... driven to finish them. Some are just kitted up and I want to get to, but yet won't allow myself to start until I get some more UFO's finished! A definite catch 22? and a vicious cycle? Or more likely my realistic "Janie Conundrums"!


As for joining the challenge with Mom's guild that is starting on the 10th. You are to list 5 projects and number them. When the number is pulled (as Judy does) BUT herein lies the have two months to get it completed. Here's how I divided them up for that:

1-     Tow- Mater Quilt

2-     Convergence Wallhanging
        Beach Tote finished 3 of these!  The last two while retreating in Fine, NY.

3-    - this was drawn for January through March 2012
        *Cheryl's Chris' Deer Quilt - Finished and delivered to Cheryl's Mom in Rouses Point, NY on 1/26/12
        *Inukshuk - Finished on 1/31/12 as a quiltlet to stand via an acrylic photo frame on a table top.
         Spring Patchabilities was drawn for August 2012.

4-     Disappearing 9 patch

5-     Santa Redwork 

As you can see most of these are also listed in the 2012 UFO list of 12 in Judy's challenge. I do hope the Number 5 is drawn first in Florida. All of these really don't have that much more to get done on. For the life of me I wonder why they end up in the UFO pile!

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A couple of winnings..

Lucky me. I won two different items recently from giveaways held by two terrific ladies of the internet. I apologize to both for not sharing them until now.

Lesley at SewHappy.Me held a give away with her My Memories Software for photo albums and I won! I did get this just after Thanksgiving but with all the doings of Christmas and wrapping, it was placed (lost) amongst the wrappings. Thank you Leslie, I really do appreciate it and hope to have DH get it installed soon. Oh and BTW, she happens to be hosting a sew along that could be perfect for Valentine's Day just in case you're interested. Thanks Lesley!

This software program I have yet to install in the computer. I am looking forward to trying out some photo collages using it. I'd be so embarassed if you actually saw how I store my photos, so this is heaven sent! It may be my saving grace.

I also won "Little Bits QUILTING BEE" a book by Kathryn Ricketson from a giveaway held by Jodi of Pleasant Home Blogspot. Thank you so much Jodi for hosting this giveaway! This book just arrived about a week ago and I really enjoy the different designs Kathryn offers.

This book had a couple of unusual and nice patterns that are now some of my favorites.
Love this one!

Unique layout for air plane blocks!

Each page offers more and more unique quilt designs with "fabric tongues" appliqued within the borders. I want to read this little bits QUilting Bee book which is lovely on quick review. Thanks Jodi!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Noticing a trend

Enjoying the peaceful moments after celebrating the Christmas Holiday with family. I happened to notice a trend of black, gold, green and the reds. I love the look and I marvel how enjoyable they are even after many years of their embellishing my home. I made all of them except for the primitive Santa (bought that at a craft sale) and the stockings(a dear friend gave this to me for Christmas many years ago).

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I am going to take a short break from this space until Monday. I wish you many moments of love, peace and joy. May you continue to keep the love and gratitude in your hearts throughout the next year. Have contentment for all the Blessings you receive and lastly, my wishes for you are great health, true happiness and prosperity too.

Good tidings my friends.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kent Delord Display 2011

The historical Kent Delord opened its doors for three weeks with it's Holiday Display of antique quilts. Despite getting ready for the Holiday and with all the regular to dos to get to dones, I insisted that DH attend this showing with me. I know he enjoyed it but I really, really enjoyed it.

My favorite display was just to the right of the entrance. Check this out.

I {heart} this quilt and the way it was set up. I could picture myself back in the day curled up on this settee with a book just passing the day. Each postage stamp finished at 1" and was quilted with an X through every square. Quite a few of the blocks were fussy cut to depict the print of the fabric just so. Whoever the quiltmaker was for this one was extremely fastidious and very patient. IMHO, What a talented quilter!

Absolutely gorgeous!
Other vignettes through out the home were very tastefully and thoughtfully done.

Of course this next one scared the b-jeezus out of me when I went into the (updated)bath.

Perhaps there were a total of 50 quilts. When it could be displayed they were shown its full glory. Yet with room being modest, thats when several quilts were draped over the head and footboards of beds and piled onto steamer trucks, etc.... so you got a feel for the quilts made back in the 1800s to present day. The Clinton County Historical Society actually lent the quilts they own to be shown besides of course the many local quilters that volunteer at the Kent DeLord House bringin gin their own to fill out the exhibit.

I'll just let some of the pictures I took speak for themselves.

Great display and I enjoyed the outing thoroughly!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas is Soon!

This Cactus is absolutely gorgeous this time of year. It just starting with it's floral burst and soon it will be smoothered by fuschia blooms. I just love it sitting next to the front entryway. A nice festive welcome.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Fruit cake

For a cookie exchange this past week I thought I'd bring in these miniature fruitcakes(FC).

(recipe from Libby Over of Phillipsburg, Ohio, USA as published in the Taste Of Home)

½ Cup Molasses
¼ Cup Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Box Raisins
1 Pound Candied Fruit

½ Cup Butter
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 Cup PLUS 2 Tablespoons Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
¼ teaspoon Ground Allspice
¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves

¼ Cup Milk

1 Cup Chopped Nuts

In a saucepan, combine Molasses, water and Vanilla. Add raisins and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the fruit. Cool.

Meanwhile in a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Combine all the dry ingredients in separate bowl and mix together.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk until all is in the mixing bowl. Stir in the fruit mixture, mix well.
Fold in the nuts.

Spoon into paper lined miniature tins, filling almost to the top.
Bake at 325 degrees for 22-24 minutes or until the cakes test done.
Cool on wire racks and store in air tight containers.

Even people who normally won’t eat fruitcake really enjoy these.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5th Already!

There has been enough going on lately. Our Thanksgiving was quite different this year but enjoyable. Usually we have a dinner here for the Holiday then travel to RI to visit with my other siblings and Mom, when she flies up to visit my big brother. Bbut this year the family had a hiatus. Since he is still on his honeymoon we are giving the newlyweds time alone before we bombard them, we'll do that next year.

Several days before the Holiday our daughter and her family with DH & moi went to a resort to play at a water park. It was DD's 34th birthday and she wanted to play for her special day. Off we went. We had adjoining rooms and it was a fun gathering. I thoroughly enjoyed just relaxing in the hot tub. Ahhhhhh, BLISS! Of course spending quality time with everybody that went and the dining out makes a girl feel really special too, so I had even more to be thankful for.

Then yesterday we celebrated DGS#3 third birthday, he actually turns 3 years old on the 8th. Another celebration and another turkey dinner. He absolutely loves tractors. So the theme was, drumroll ... you guessed it, John Deere Tractors.

He had fun driving his tractor on the cake's road, just look at that expression!

Here's a snap of him enjoying his new tractor.

His little tongue was licking his lips constantly while perusing his new acquisition. He was so proud and happy! Sorry, this next photo is so washed out, but I love the look on his little face. Can't tell I'm a proud grandmother can you?

So with all the traveling and celebrating, I haven't spent that much time stitching. One part of my life that I do miss is that my DH can't drive anymore. I was able to stitch to my heart's content while traveling and now, I am the only driver. He just rides shotgun and along the way telling me how to drive and where to go. I really wonder how I ever managed on my own for sooooo long? (Major sarcasism inserted here.)

A couple of recent little finishes are:

A gift made by PGD#1, age 6 for her brother's 3rd Birthday. She did a great job and I did help her with the face and yarns attachments, the rest she sewed by herself.

Also got to a little knitting, an easy dishrag that takes no thought process at all.

I plan on coming back another day and posting the directions here so I'll be able to find them at a moments' notice.

Glad also to report that I was able to get all the stitching done on my Shepherd's Bush scissor fob, I just need to finish it and that part I am really timid about doing. I do wish I had a needlework shop near me! The closest one is about 300 miles away in Massachusetts or New Hampshere! Oh well, such is life.

Enjoy your day and journey,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gobble Gobble..

The youngest grandson did not have preschool today so we have been very busy. Finger painting, cutting paper shapes, playing outside in the sandbox and swinging filled up the morning.
After lunch WE had Naptime! When his sister got home, it was story time so she did the honors while I attempted to get something done around here.

Aren't they so sweet.

I had this craft to do idea in mind for the Holiday next week after I received an e-newsletter from Martha Stewart Crafts showing it. I picked up some flowers yesterday while I did the grocery shopping in town. Would you believe the flower stems cost just 2 cents? That would be $.01 for each! They were on clearance and I thought at 80% off I'd pay at least 20 cents each but a penny was the price. This was the cheapest I have ever left Michaels!

So what did we do with them?

A gaggle of turkeys for their family to help celebrate Thanksgiving. Their Mom's 34th Birthday is next week and this will be her surprise present.


PS: The turkey with the googgly eyes is suppose to be their "Mom's" and that is according to both children. tehehee, my daughter will just love this.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crown Point Bridge Opens

On Veteran's Day, Hubby and I decided to take the 2 youngest grandchildren on a family field trip. With the service our veterans have given throughout the years, I thought it might be nice to incorporate the dilapidated military barracks at Crown Point besides check out the bridge that has just opened.

When PGD#1 brought in newspaper articles to share about the newly opened bridge, her teacher asked her to get photos and make sure she shared her adventure when and if she got to visit it. Thus getting this for her teacher and classmates. Here is PGD#1, getting a photo op since her first grade teacher loved the old bridge. Normally we don't take pictures of a 6 year old standing in the middle of the road, but I made sure no vehicles were coming and this was a great way to get perspective of the bridge.

We figured we'd get to the middle of the bridge and let her stand with a foot in each state, NY and Vermont but it was so COLD!
The height of the bridge and the wind that swept though the wire mesh bordering the sidewalks made the bridge moan and sing. The higher we went, the louder it got and the cold pressed into us more. Her little brother didn't want to walk, he wanted to be carried so he could nestle in and protect himself from the winds. He is so smart!

I made a decision, this was nuts! We come back on another day when the weather was smoother AND WARMER besides all the area historical sites would be open then and we could really enjoy our day.

So back to the car we went. The old fort was closed, the temperature was 39 degrees there and with the winds coming off Lake Champlain, our planned picnic outside was definitely out of the picture. I showed her by car the standing chimneys sentinels left of the old military barracks on the other side of a hill next to the road and promised we'd come back in the summer when everything was open and it was warmer. Even the road to the Crown Point lighthouse with the Auguste Rodin bronze bust was closed.

I also had figured that when we got home, we could do some artwork and get a couple of letters written to send off to our troops at Christmas-time thus closing up the appreciation to our veterans on this Holiday. Thanking them for keeping our country and lifestyles safe, but both kids were sleeping by the time we got home so that was a BUST.

Oh, on trying to salvage a bit of the adventure I had hoped for, I thought we'd get a treat at the nearby Bridge Restaurant at Chimney Point. They were slammed with customers and had an hour and a half wait time. SO, back to the car we went and ended up having a picnic in the car on the way home.

You know some days, my plans just don't work out at all and today was one of them. Oh well, perhaps another day.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Checking on my UFO Progress & Quick Binding Method

Reviewing the list of UFO's it is alarming how many are totally stagnant and though I was able to finish 16 so far, I actually was hoping to finish at least 24 this year plus a few extra if possible. So with the press for succeeding in that task I will be finishing up a few that would be close and relatively easy to do.

First up is to bind a quilt that is listed in the completed project list and isn't. Guess I was just too excited to get her done that I wrote it there and then got waylaid while getting along to finish it.
SO I will select the binding and get it cut and sewn together today. I plan on doing the faux piped binding method I now love.


Cut the binding 1-1/2" wide
cut the piped fabric 1-3/4" wide.

Sew each of these fabrics together end to end as you do in typical binding methods.

***Now this next part is the deviation from traditional binding methods.

Sew those two strips together side by side not end to end. Set the seam and press the seam allowance to the desired side. (I prefer to press it to the binding color, it seems to lay better for me in this orientation.) Now press the binding strip in half being careful to let the same amount of piped fabric be shown while pressing, this is crucial since the smoother the press line, the neater your piped binding will be..

Sew the binding onto the backside of your quilt viewing the piped fabric on top of it as you sew. When you turn this over to the front of your quilt.
It will have a 1/8- 1/4" reveal of the piping and you machine stitch it down by "stitching in the ditch" between these two colors. Make a practice piece so you know which color thread would work best in your quilt. Sometimes with my Number 10 foot I use on my Bernina, the topstitching shows more on one side of this seem and if it's the right color, it just fades into the cloth.

Additional note: when turning your binding over at the mitered corners, take your time and use plenty of pins to make sure there is no shifting of the layers to get a beautifully turned corner. This makes sewing on the binding so much quicker for utilitarian quilts. Now mind you, if I was working on an heirloom quilt, I would still sew the binding and piping on to the front and hand stitch it on the back to get an absolutely perfect binding. This photo shows I did use a blue thread when stitching it in the ditch on the front. It's not invisible, but it's not that evident either and it was so much quicker.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Derek Walcott's Poem


The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott


I am in a contemplative mood and feel so very serene today. Yesterday, a very good friend and I went to an all day yoda, meditative retreat in Hemingford, CA and it was so right in so many levels. It's always great spending time with Trudy and yesterday was no exception. With visiting while traveling there and back, yet when we were at the retreat we buddied up with other people for some of the exercises. So it was nice to connect with other like-minded souls traveling on their own paths.

All that I learned about myself is private, but I had several enlightening moments through-out the day. So with practice and patience, I hope to become more, much more. With less and yet in the same breath perhaps even better. To stop some of my mind chatter and get to the "pause" even quicker.

The instructor Elizabeth had recently returned from a Jon Kabat-Zinn seminar and shared her thoughts and processes of being more mindful. Some of the physical effects that happen to our bodies when we perceive "STRESS" and the destructiveness of this angst in a self survival role. Perception is the beginning, and with sharing of perceptions more insights and possibilities are evident, especially when shared.

So with that shared, I am off to find my balance between being and doing.


MEDITATION- Its' not what you think.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Key West Sunset Quilt

A while back, I mentioned I would be back to share information learned along the way while making this Orange Crush Mystery Quilt. First of all, let me share the actual photo of the finished quilt while it hung at our quilt show.

Finished 10-7-2011

A friend of mine took a photo of it while it was displayed at our quilt show. Thanks Patti! Here are a couple of others items I quilted into the borders that I haven't shared with you yet.

Overall, the boders contained shells, seaweed clumps on both lower edges, a couple of angel fish, several sea horses, a couple of dolphins playing, a field of jelly fish (I actually did eight of them totally free hand- no tissue paper!) and the piece de resistance- the Mermaid.
It was enjoyable playing with thread and accomplishing all of these free hand. Now I can't draw a straight line with a ruler typically, but with tracing this designs through free copy right onto tissue paper for the more detailed ones and practising on my dry erase board for the simpler designs, I was able to get what I wanted where it needed to be. Amazingly I had fun and really did it! Yoorah ME.

I learned some things about me in the process.

***Usually there is a tendancy around here to postpone going into the next step. I'll drag my feet and overthink the project until I get fustrated and then it will be put aside to the UFO pile that I truly do love all parts of quilt making. I need to put my fear aside and just do it. Thanks to the dooming deadline, I did jump into this much quicker.

***But another lesson learned, stop procastinating so you have that huge deadline approaching faster, sooner. While finishing up the quilting, I thought of having more quilting done within the interior of the quilt, BUT because of said quilt show dealine, I skipped over that bit and did enough so the borders could be finished and done in time. One week before the show, I still had to sew on the borders, quilt and bind the thing. YEE GADS!

I didn't care for sewing the borders on after the center top was quilted with my domestic sewing machine. It was another first attempt for me to try and while it is okay, there are 2 little wrinkles now on the back of this in one border AND they will be staying there.
***Next time, assemble the whole top. If I need to reduce the bulk of the quilt to get it through my machine, then I'll cut the batting and backing off to quilt the center area easier.

Still have to put the label on it. Will be getting to that as soon as I receive the "Quilt Album" software I ordered. Not sure yet how this will work, but with thinking about labeling this one I stumbled across this software. So after checking out there website and saw the possibilities this could be do, I ordered a hard copy of it that I will be sharing with my Mom's computer so when I visit her there, I can still take care of business. Am still waiting for the delivery.

Am thinking of photographing the quilt and then use that in the label.

I grabbed some snap shots of the backing done for it too.

It's not perfectly squared up with the quilt boundaries (shhhh!), but I like it anyway.
I threw some of the discarded blocks onto the back in a manner that pleased me.
Notice the star fish on the bottom border, boy that stands out on the back too!

Here are a couple of shots I just took of the whole quilt that I took of it on my deck. That little bit of white stuff is our first bit of snow.

How's that for an Oxymoron: Key West Sunset does the Adirondack Autumn that is rushing into winter.
This was a Bonnie Hunter's Mystery quilt called Orange Crush initially.  I love, Love, LOVE all her details of piecing.  Thank you so much Bonnie.  With this one, I changed her layout to have that diagonal flow of chains in the quilt top and then went onto my nautical theme after fondly remembering our trip to the Florida Keys with the sunset off Sunset Pier at Zero Duval Street.   What a great vacation and fond memories.

Enjoy your day,