Sunday, March 27, 2011


I still have to get to my backing for the Patience Corners quilt I am contemplating on calling Aquarius and I think a muse might have hit me smack dab in the middle of the night. Years ago while still in school, an English teacher introduced the class to poetry and specifically, Haiku. I was enamoured of it and since English was always my toughest subject, I was glad I could so successfully do Haiku. While blogging I stumbled onto a blog by Julie. It is here. She reminded me of this lost art I used to love and compelled me to think about one of my passions.


These pictures are from her blog and came from Google images.

Water has been a substance I honor, cherish and have loved for my entire life. It wasn't until my late 20s when I realized that every vacation I took, brought me within a close proximity to water. Being blessed to live in the northeast, we have an abundance of good quality water (for the most part). But specifically where I live, when my husband and I had our hand dug well replaced with a drilled well, we were lucky to hit an artisian spring.
I digress, sorry about that. Even though water is abundant for us, I realize this earth has many areas where water is a highly priced commodity and for many, a luxury. Many people and countries do not have this liquid libation so readily available. Throughout my life I have taught my children to not be wasteful and to recycle when we can but that's a totally other subject for another day. With the shortages in some areas and the unusuable water in others, this resource is one to be cherished, honored and not abused and I feel very strongly about it.

Even now when the grandchildren spend the night while brushing their teeth, the faucet does not have to run nonstop, they can shut it off while brushing and then turn the tap on when needed to rinse the brush. Such a simple concept, but if all people would do this, what a difference it could make.

While working as a supervisor in a prison system, inmates would leave water running because they thought another would be coming along behind them to use the sinks, I quickly and succinctly taught them to not abuse this resource, that the next man was very capable of turning on the faucet himself. To not let the faucets drip. Informing them that many people in Africa and through out our world would walk for miles to obtain potable water, that we should do our part to make this a better world. Many were ignorant of other countries plights and soon came back to let me know that they never knew that and thanked me for the knowledge, especially with many of them proud of their family heritages.

With making quilts, some of my friends and I have been doing the humpjumpers for years. Utilizing our scraps to catch the thread when stepping from one step of a quilt to the next and before you know it, you had enough scrap parts assembled to make another quilt. It got so that I have many "humpjumper quilt parts ready to finish into quilts". One of these "hump-jumpers" was my Patience Corners quilt. Whenever I sewed with black thread I had strips of 1-1/2" black Kona cotton and I would stitch a strip of a 4-1/2" WOF fabric onto this strip aftrer reaching 4-6 strips, I would cut them apart and have them ready for the next step of their process as my humpjumper. I gathered many jewel toned colors to have a more restricted colorway and found myself thinking this quilt was a "jewel" and reminded me of my blessings of water.

To make a long story a bit shorter, when my muse recently hit, I came up with this Haiku:

Luminous Liquid
Wonderfully Wet Water
Nuturing my Soul

and thought about the PC hump jumper quilt. I have an idea......
Perhaps could I? Write this haiku on the backside of my quilt? I have longed to do more liberated quiltmaking. Thinking originally of doing a couple of wonky, LARGER THEN LIFE log cabin blocks on the back and then using black and a taupe to have broad stripes to finish this quilt but with this current idea WOW! I am inspired by Julie's blog and I think I will.

Perhaps I'll play with some paper and get a feel for how I'll construct it. I won't use the same method of machine applique that I did for the back of my alien invasion quilt. Perhaps I could piece it. Then add another tidbit I thought of after seeing the water images. It's time to play, especially since this quilt is my UFO #1 challenge and who knows, perhaps this quilt will become my "Aquarius".


Alot has happened

Nothing that extraordinary but I remain busy. This past week did not pan out like I thought. Remember on my last post boasting of a trip I'd be taking with friends to see the "red an white quilt exhibit" in NYC?
Well, I didn't get to go thanks to the dratted intestinal bug I caught. I was actually in bed most of Thursday and Friday this past week and finally got some energy back on Saturday and could actually gain a longer distance from the indoor plumbing. Thanks goodness! Even though I couldn't eat and had no appetite, I was amazed how my body could turn against me so quickly. No spring tonics are needed here for me! Would you believe I also so wanted to go so badly that I got up early Friday morning, ( we were leaving at 4:45am to catch the amtrak train in Albany that left at 8am) and showered, packed my bag/cooler and was hoping that I was over it. But while waiting for Michelle to come pick me up, it sounded like gremlins were rearranging a house in my abdomen. Out came the big girl panties, I put them on and made a hard decision. No NYC for me today. In retrospect I am so glad I did, the worse was soon to come. While visiting Milahs blog, I read a posting about the funniest story she ever read. Oh, if I had made the wrong decision that could have been me, how horrifying! Okay enough about that crap! (sorry, I just could resist, can you tell I'm feeling much better?
This past week I was able to finish two projects. My St. Petersburgh bracelet is finally done! Whoop whoop! The beading portion was done for quite a while but since I still consider myself a novice, I wanted help in the finishing clasp portion. Last weekend my beading group met and Allison gave me the nudge and tutelage needed. Thank you so much Allison, I jsut loved this project! This group of friends are remarkable. What a talented group of wise women they are and I feel honored to be able to connect with them in a creative and essential way.
The second finish is this tote bag I started while away at the quilt retreat I attended 2 weekends ago. It's the first felled seam I've ever done and though I was intimidated a bit, was ableto get it right the first time. Yippee!

Couldn't resist grabbing a snap of it while the snow banks are still so malevolent around here.
That reminds me of a quote I found awhile back. "No matter how long the winter, spring will surely come." written by Anonymous

Please hurry Spring then dally for awhile....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy National Quilting Day!

In honor of the National QUilting Day I'd love to share this article written about a quilt exhibit only showing red and white quilts.

Lucky me, a couple of friends and I are able to make a wee trip to NYC to check it out for ourselves. I can't wait! But for today several of us are gathering to sew and visit a dining room redo that Carole and her husband recently finished.

With all that is happening in the world, I do feel blessed and very fortunate. My heart still goes out to the peoples of Japan. I read in blogland that an editor who is in Tokyo is heading up and arranging delivery of quilts to help out those in need. You can read more about it here on Naomi's blog.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Easter parade coming along very slowly, here it is.

Thank goodness for getting distances with a camera. His nose looks kind of flat so after quickly checking and comparing it with the chart I see it's messed up and needs to go one stitch to the right. I'll be getting to that hopefully later on tonight. I keep marvelling at how I can mess this up!

PGD#1 is here today. She asked me so sweetly before she went to school "could we make this dolly"? I purchased this book while away at the retreat last weekend. I shopped on my way there and then again on my way home. I do miss Joann's Fabric Stores! It was so convenient when they had a store locally. Now the closest one is an hour away and with the price of gas it adds to the cost of my projects. Good thing I have a nice stash! I also hit another quilt shop while traveling in both directions that is located about 90 minutes away only going in one direction. Did acquire a bit but did try to be reasonable with what I purchased.

This afternoon the plans are to start making the doll on the left when she gets home from school. I just love that she is interested in crafts and sewing. Wish us luck!

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate all of the lovely comments and getting to know you.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Irish Blessings

Like the warmth of the sun
And the light of the day,
May the luck of the Irish
shine bright on your way.

May your pockets be heavy-
Your heart be light
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night.

May the good saints protect you
And bless you today
And may troubles ignore you
Each step of the way.

May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now
And bless you evermore.

May brooks and trees and singing hills
Join in the chorus too,
And every gentle wind that blows
Send happiness to you.

May good luck be your friend
In whatever you do
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.

May the roads rise to meet you.
May the wind be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

However you celebrate, enjoy this day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Of interest

Sara of Heirloom creations shares videos of the jelly roll races . Imagine speed quilting! Besides the races and that pattern, she shares videos of the "ruler of the month" showcasing some of the specialty rulers available. Nice to know and very interesting.
In this past month's video, she uses the Wondercut ruler. Looks like it woul dbe very handy to have, but as she mentions do not use that ruler to cut a strip of fabric the width on the ruler shown. That has been reconfigured to do the appropriate size HST and spinning 3 colors triangle units to the marked sizes.
In the past months she also shared the 120 degree ruler here.
Beside previous to that, the curved slotted ruler was shown here. Both unique and possiblilities for the future.

April 2nd she will be showing the 60 degree Double Strip Ruler by Creative Grid

On May 7, 2011she be showcasing the "Straight Out of the Line" ruler by Creative Grid
check them out for yourselves. Let me know what you think. I do appreciate any and all comments.
As yet the future videos are not announced but here is the tentative schedule for them.
June 4, 2011 Ruler TBA
July 9 (2nd Saturday) Ruler TBA
August 6, 2011 Ruler TBA
September 3, 2011 Ruler TBA
October 1, 2011 Ruler TBA
November 5, 2011 Ruler TBA
December 3, 2011 Ruler TBA

Great idea sharing these in this format.

Back from the retreat

Oh, it was so good to get away. This past weekend, several friends and I attended a quilting retreat that was held in Wadhams, NY. HEAVEN! The first photo up is Dance of the Dragonflies that Barbara was working on, a very intriguing pattern.

I did bring many UFOs and PIGs and am very satisfied with what was accomplished. Thank goodness for my freind Trudy, she helped me tremendously! I actually brought a couple of my problem UFOs.
First was the "Convergence wallhanging" that I started a couple of years ago. While piecing the rest of the top together, I somehow had twisted a section in reverse. The fabric I used was a single piece of Ricky Timms fabric and you'd think that I'd be able to tell at a glance that it was off. I could see that something was wrong in that center area, but was befuddled as to "How it was wrong". I think the medicines I'm on for my back are making me way too relaxed. Thank goodness for Trudy. I mentioned it to her and she could see it was wrong too and then she pointed out where my goof was. Now I could proceed as the project directions were written. So I did. Then whammo, I reversed another section again in the last steps. Looking at it, I just knew something was off but there again, I was at a loss as to what and where. So I was laying out how to work the borders and auditioning how it will look again with Trudy's eye and opinion requested. We figured I'll be going over to her house to finish the borders with some more Ricky Timms fabric or hers since she also does a beautiful job with fabric dyeing. So I flipped it aside to proceed with the next project, my Orange Crush quilt I started also several years ago.
All of a sudden Trudy had figured out that I had again reversed a section during the convergence construction and mentioned if I undid that particular seam and turned that section around, it would work. AMAZING! She had been processing it AND had figured out how to correct it. Thank you, thank you, thank YOU! So I did some unsewing followed by some correct sewing. The borders will be coming shortly and I'll show you the finished wallhanging then.

Next - on to assemble my Orange Crush blocks. Here's how it look now.

After assembling the top I went in to the gameroom area to audition it for borders on the ping pong table when I found some more blocks in the plastic tote container that housed this UFO. Yeeks! I thought the top was done.
So I started re-figuring if I had enough fabric of this and that to continue sewing blocks to make a 9 X 9 block grid layout( ach block is 9"). I needed an even design so I could use the cornerstone blocks I wanted to have for the final border treatment. Along comes Trudy.
Are you catching a glimpse of the relief I have towards her expertise? She was in the back of the room when I held up the I thought finished center design and mentioned WOW! at a distance it was really bright, up close to it was nice but you really needed distance to really see it. So she questioned: That did I really need to add more blocks to finish it? Could I possibly add a wider border instead?
I stopped my self-imposed drama of having to make more blocks and thought about it all the while imagining how it could be. She was right. I could ease the eye by allowing a bit more light into this quilt using my off white solid border areas, but also still embracing the design elements to finish it. So I drew out some options. I will be adding several layers of borders with a burgendy and white checkerboard border near the 2nd border area. Wrote all this down to continue it after I get home. Oh and I stillplan on having cornerstones in the border too. What a relief! Another potential problem eliminated.

Then I proceeded to a kit, Tiki Tote I've had in for awhile.

It's a clearance kit from Nancy's Notions. I got as far as the point where I was going to cut the woven webb handles. Needing to get my fray check out of my suitcase of tools and projects when I saw the table runner I had brought to figure out how to do a scalloped border. Without the blink of an eye I quickly changed projects. The tablerunner was longer than usual so I can oplace it over the antique refridgerator in the dining room. With having the over-sized pool table and ping pong table in the rec room I was able to draft out my scallop design for it. The use of dishes was also used to finalize this design.
A friend from Montreal, Roz suggested that I draw on the reverse side of it to eliminate marking on the top. What a great suggestion! So using purple, brown, red and finally blue, I had my design. Blue being the correct line placements I was able to sew on that line in another color thread. This way I'll be able to know how to quilt it within that design area and then I'll cut it out on that same line. After getting back home I realized, now Janie, Why didn't you layer it and baste it there too? DUH! I should have. Oh well, some time just after I clean the kitchen floor I'll get to it.

This photo is what Bridgette was working on. She is Tommi's SIL. I like the potential of a quilt made with HST units so I snaped a photo of this Carpenter's wheel variation. She's making a king sized quilt that her husband selected this block for her to make.

The last photo is what Lois from Ottowa finished. She does amazing work and with the machine applique, which was truly invisible to the naked eye, she used a sewart international thread. Usually she gets it through Harriet Hardgrave's site. She gave me her email to connect with her about which settings she uses on her Bernina when she does the machine applique. I'll be contacting her shortly.

Nice, bright and colorful isn't it. She also had some truly gorgeous and very unique quilts that she shared during show and tell. I wasn't able to get a snap of those though. She belongs to a group of quilters that challenge each other with art quilts. Amazing! A couple of friends and I would also like to expand our talents in the area of art quilts. We discussed how we'd go about it and hopefully it will come to fruition.

Today, a fellow retreater and friend is coming over that I'll be showing her how to construct some note cards using strips of fabric. I haven't taught anything in quite awhile and hope to do it justice. Good thing she's a friend.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Milestone hit

Alot has been happening. First off, a milestone has been hit. PGD#1 will tell you herself!

She's so proud and happy about it. She's been wiggling it and saying "will it come out today" over and over again recently. She had her Dad pull it out this morning. She said it hurt, but not too badly. Look at those eyes and that smile! What a cutie!

Her little brother, age 2, wanted to get in on the photo ops, so he very obligingly got out his bike to let me snap some photos. This is PGS#3 with his prized possession.

While staying here for a special day with Meme and Papi, we went outside and was a bit frosty on his return. Nothing like embracing the hot chocolate tradition. He thought he was drinking coffee like his Dad and Grandfather and started his slurping noises showing his enjoyment of the beverage. This slurp is agravating to some of the more delicate ears of the household which justs adds to the merryment at the time.

Then some friends along with DH and I went to a local hill. Some of us of course more daring than others. Snow kayaking... What a hoot! A friend who also is Fire Chief, Paramedic and I swear if an adrenaline junkie. He, along with our son does the technical rescue, ice water rescue, animal rescue besides certified to teach these talents anywhere in the world..... are you getting the drift? Anything that needs helps in not the best circumstances and they are off. So last week after that last huge snow storm laid down 18"+ of fresh powder. Kayaking was on the agenda.

Of course judging the descent was a must!

Enjoy your day however you are spending it.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Notes to Self...

Found a cute link for a tutorial on how to make a cute zippered pouch. One that would slip inside a notebook at Rush's Dry Goods dot ca.

Here's the tut. for a makeup case( uh hum,.. heh Michelle, they show great instructions for a zipper! ).

Here's their home page.

Another link regarding zippers is at Lazy Girl's blog by Joan Hawley. This one is how to do a totally enclosed zipper for a bag. UNIQUE!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Current WIPs

The BBD design Easter Parade is slowly being worked on. This is my progress so far.

For such a lovely little pattern it's amazing how many times I've had to rip out my ill-placed stitches. How did I do that I keep wondering. Going back trying to figure out how I keep messing up. I really am befuddled as how I am messing this up. Normally counted cross stitch is super easy for me. Perhaps it's all the interruptions with the little grandchildren around. Maybe I'll have to just stitch when it's quiet. That may save some of my efforts and wasted time doing it wrong and then going back to rip and then stitch it correctly.

As for the sewing I currently am working on a hospital gown for the friend of my granddaughter. Just 6 years old and fighting such a horrendous disease. Every time I try to work on this my heart aches so for the little one, but I really need to get this done and let the love stitched into it comfort her somewhat. Buck up Janie and get it done.

When a couple of friends and I gathered for our one day retreat, I did get the robe I'd love to make DH cut out. Since the fabric I loved and thought would work best, the tie-dyed cobalt blue fleece, was very limited I had to buy 2 separate pieces of it and took what was left on two bolts. YIKES!

The sizes of the pieces don't fit with the size of my pattern pieces...... After a bit of F&F (fudging and figuring), I'll be piecing the sleeve fabrics together to get the length I need. I've never seen a sleeveless robe have you? I don't want the seam to fall near his elbow joint so I'm hoping that it'll fall near the upper section of the sleeve. This pattern has an unusual sleeve pattern I have never sewn before. I have sewn regular raglan sleeves but never one with a dart like formation on the top of the shoulder, so I have a bit of cautious trepidation about this pattern. Besides that, it calls for an interfacing and with the stretchiness of fleece, not sure how well a fusible interfacing will hold up. The next thought is a stretch stitch, guess I'll be looking that one up in my bernina stitches, wish me luck.

I do hope both of these will be finished this week. There is a retreat I'm attending shortly and I need to get packed and planned for what I'll be bringing to work on. With the phlethoras of WIPS and PIGs it shouldn't be a problem. The only problem is I have a tendancy to think I can get it all done. LOL I know, funny isn't it. One project that I know of so far is the Number 1 UFO - Patience Corners. As far as any other projects, I'm not sure what else I'll be bringing yet.

The Patience corners is the ufo number that is up for March with Judy Laquidera's UFO challenge. I am so pleased to participate with this challenge. So far this year has been the most successful year with participating in this type of challenge yet. January and February's projects have both been finished and are off my list with a couple of other finishes to boot. In previous years, I've participated with my Mom's guild challenge on finishing a UFO in 2 months times by being selected in a similiar manner. With that challenge, I only managed to get one or possibly two done in a year's time. Perhaps it's my listing smaller wall hangings and quilts on this year's list. This month though, it's a king size quilt. So there are a variety of sizes and a variety of quilty things on it. Some participants even have knitted, sewn or counted cross stitch items listed as their ufo projects. My list just has quilted items on it for her challenge. Though to be honest, I am still exceeding in my one project a month (OPAM) challenge that I started participating with 2 years ago, so I am super happy about maintaining that while embracing JL's challenge. My problem though is that I think I have projectitis. Even though I cross some ufo's off my list, my mind or eyes sees another beautiful quilt or item and WHAM! Blammo! BLING!!!
there are now 2 more projects to do right after. I tell ya, it's a mystery.


PS: While reading my email this AM, I ran across this quote and it seemed a perfect ending for this post. Enjoy,

"Activity is not achievement. It is not enough to rush about beginning a lot of things and keeping busy. A well-spent life is one that rounds out what it has begun."

-- Eknath Easwaran

Giveaway soon.

Sharing the word about a nice giveaway ending soon. Check it out here. at Loretta's blog.

The Plaid Scottie is also hosting a giveaway for her first anniversary of blogging. Make sure you check these out.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March's UFO,

Judy Laquidera has pulled another number for the UFO challenge.

Drum Roll please ....
it's NO. 1.

Looking back at my list to figure out which project that number is, OH NO! it's my PATIENCE CORNERS. This is another project that's been hanging around for a bit, so hopefully I'll be getting to that this week and start working on it sooner in the month than I did last month with that now gone Happy Village. That only needs to get assembled into the top and then make a different looking backing so it's a reversible quilt. I love when the flip side is something complementary yet different than the quilt top. On this quilt I plan on labeling via an embroidery information somewhere. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Since this quilt will measure 106" X 106" I'll be sending it out to a Longarm quilter in Glens Falls to quilt it. Awhile back I saw an electronic design for a computerized gammil and she is the only one in the area that has one.
Leslie is really great to work with. When I contacted her about this quilt, she did not have that particular design and purchased it for me when it was at 50% off. I told her I'd be sending this quilt down to her when I finished it and that was back in October and November 2010. I hope her memory is good since now it's March 2011!

With finishing up a couple of projects this past weekend, I think I found my mojo again despite how hectic my life has seemed. A couple of major commitments are done so my schedule will be smoother.

Across the road from the youngest granchildren's house I saw this snow formation and was intrigued.

Zooming in and getting closer without putting on my snow shoes, check out the snow waves that we get in this part of the country. It's really COOL! (No pun.)

Regards, a smiling and chuckling,