Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Wonderful HONOR!

Many who read my blog know I have a close and proud relationship with my offspring.  Since I'll be sending the years 2013 and 2014 off to Blog 2 print, it's now time to mention a huge honor that my then 8 year old grand daughter, McKenna received.

She won a 
Not only does this go on to her school transcript, 
she won a $1000 grant to go to the charity of her choice 
which is the Vermont's Childrens Hospital in Burlington, VT.  

I nominated her when I saw advertisements on TV from Channel 22 and ABC news mentioning the Youth Service America campaign and the possibility of winning of a grant.  So based on McKenna's generosity and doing so much especially at such a young age,  I filled out the appropriate forms and submitted them despite the frustrations of my computer woes and internet service provider problems.  Imagine the heart swell I felt when on the first day of school in September 2014 we were notified by YSA representative from Washington DC that she was awarded this honor!   SQUEE!!!!

I notified the principal of her elementary school about this immediately so they knew a check would be coming and that grant needed to be channeled through them.  We communicated for the next several weeks  and I informed her of how all this happened and the sequence of it which I'll share with you now.

It all started in 2012 with PGD#1 learning to quilt and making quilted place mats with her junior guild quilt group of "the Cupcake kids".  She enjoyed making those place mats so while the other girls progressed making different items for themselves, McKenna happily sewed the quilted place mats wanting to make another and another.  She made around 6 or so for the MEALS on WHEELS programs for this county and a neighboring one.  It does take a then 7 year old awhile to sew.
Then also in 2012, both she and her brother, Brody gathered items to send 2 Shoe Boxes to Africa collected through a nearby church.  Gladly Popi and I assisted in this as any time we had commitments/errands with the children in town, we'd think of what someone in Africa (and I guess the Appalachia area too) would want and pick up items to fill the shoe boxes.  Do you know how much it takes to fill one shoe box?  As it turns out, quite a bit, but both children were happy and thinking of their blessings all the while helping out someone they didn't even know.  We shopped for brush, hair ties, ribbons, Combs, pics, mirror compacts, note books,  boxes of crayons, paint sets, several packages of pencils (charcoal and colored), paper tablets, etc.., zippered bags, tote bags, water bottles, jacks, marbles, rubber super balls, matchbox cars, sewing kits and a couple of  tee shirts were given in the two shoe boxes and they both colored a page to include from themselves with their names on it for the recipients.
Then in third grade she got a rubber band loom.  Learning to create bracelets of different styles besides other items, which she loved doing the loom so she soon was taking custom orders for making bracelets and stuff. Whichever color and style was wanted was made and then she'd charge a dollar or two for the custom orders, some even getting pencil grips made of their desired colors.  If a classmate/friend wanted one, but didn't have the money or couldn't get it from their family, she made them anyway and then gave it to them so no one in her class was left without.    Hauling her loom to her cousin's baseball /football games and making many bracelets for the fans in the attendant's preference, many were of favorite National sport team colors, (like the Yankees, Redsox and even some Dolphin fans).  After making close to one hundred dollars, her younger brother, Brody age 5 (PGS#3) and a friend/classmate/neighbor, Olivia joined in and continued making bracelets for money to help the children which I coined the phrase "Banding for Children".   This continued until July 2014  when they finalized their efforts selling their goods at a town-wide garage sale day along with LEMONADE at their lemonade stand.  Total made with their efforts was $163.50.   They all got public recognition in the "Speak out" and the Letter to the Editor sections of the local paper.

The Principal didn't want to share their story until the Holiday time so it could foster the spirit of giving within the community, so all three children were recognized for their positive choices and behavior at an assembly. During this gathering, the school had written out a HUGE check to Vermont's' Childrens Hospital in the amount of $1,163.00 that McKenna had to sign as the drawer.  Dr. First, Director of VCH had sent a you tube video recognizing the efforts and honor given to and by McKenna which was played during the assembly while also recognizing her brother and friend at the same time.   A representative of VCH was also there  to accept the check whom I also happened to give the 2 baskets/bags full of the stuffed toys (each toy having their own unique quilt as shared on my blog around November)

Brody M., McKenna M., and Olivia B holding the check they earned and gave to the Vermont's Childrens Hospital

Since I had also mentioned in the application process of a quilt she was planning on making for the 10 year old boy in Nicaragua and thankfully it was finished in time for the assembly too, the principal thought it would be great to have all three children hold it up and show it to everyone then.

Brody M (see how dapper he looks while holding the check - he was so awesome containing his 5 year old self while all this hoopla was going on! Makes a Meme proud), Olivia B., McKenna M. and their principal Mrs TM
Now even in that, the principal gave McKenna a choice.  
Since she won this award and not all three of them, would she want the others to stand up on stage with her to be recognized?  
Yes, she wanted them to receive the recognition too, 
what a beautiful, giving and open-hearted child she is.  

McKenna M. acting like a 9 year old.  Perfect!    8^ )

She is a blessing to all who know her and now perhaps even to some that don't.  

Lovingly written by her Grandmother Jane, aka Meme.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Horse Quilt- CHECK!

It's done.  The finishing touches being stitched by PGD#1 on the quilt she's making for the 10 year old boy in Nicaragua. 
She sewed on most of the binding and finished it by machine stitching a new to her stitch- the buttonhole stitch, Bernina's #45.   The binding was sewn on the back and then flipped over the edge to top stitch and catch it on the front. 

Looks great Honey.

It was finished with 24 hours to spare.  The Cupcake Kids, the group name of our younger members guild of our local guild were to be the night's program for the December's Christmas meeting.  Of course with that snow storm coming through our region, the meeting was cancelled.
Here she is showing her grandfather the completed quilt on Tuesday afternoon after school.

Awesome Job Kiki!

I did the quilting for her since most of the others in her group sent their quilts out to be quilted, so there's no regrets about me doing it for her.   (I really don't know why I put off chores like this like I do, it went along nicely.)

Just a 1/4" echo stitch was quilted on all the yellow bands, then a large meander on the top horse fabric, the green haddock sides (this fabric I had in my stash for decades!), as well as the bandanna print used on the bottom section.  That bandanna print I had recently purchased to bind a community quilt in October.  It seemed more suitable for this so I used something else to bind that other one.  I tried to "stitch in the ditch around the oval brown band surrounding the centered horse but I got a little off on some of the lines, Oops, oh well it's good enough and its done! 
To finish it off with a bit more quilty detail, a tighter meander was done around the horse using the same colored thread as the rest was quilted.    All pictures are click able for a closer look if you want.  Not perfect but DONE!

An American Eagle printed Fleece was used for the backing and it's seems a perfect choice since this was made in America and going to someone in a South America.   No labels are required per the groups' decision which is fine by me.    I hope the recipient enjoys it for years to come.  Initially we had a crayola panel and  thought it too immature for a 10 year old boy, so we just hope he likes horses.  VBG

Other things going on around here were to revamp the Christmas wreath on the front door.  I deemed it outliving it's purpose as the metallic horns were rusted beyond redeemable.  Took over an hour to remove all the decorations to "fix" and update our look.  Some of the older red berry cluster were ravaged by feathers or fur, not sure which, but they are all gone.

Last week Michael had 50% off all their floral pics and holiday fixings besides some additional incentives so DH and I made out rather well.  Purchased a bunch and remade our front door wreath.  All the extra cream/gold poinsettias are going back with the crystal branches that were rejected.  Here's the finished project a totally new look.  DH being an old farmer mentioned he doesn't care for the udder thingy hanging down but I like it so it's staying.

School was closed two, I mean TWO days this week.  Talking with my Mom she mentioned that she hopes I keep my sanity and I didn't know what she was talking about.  LOL  Anytime the youngest two got restless and started any horse play, you could hear me say take it OUTSIDE.  and they did.  Were out a couple of times  in a couple hour stretches. 

Yeah Meme!  Your a smart one, tire em out and enjoy a respite to boot.  Not too long after being outside, the littlest one came to the door and said, do you want to see me climb my tower?  Of course I said yes.  Next thing I knew there he was 25-30 feet in the tree. 

"You get down, you're too high", yep and then I said it, "you're going to fall down". 

Guess what.  Two steps down on 2 tree branches then he crashed through all the boughs to the ground.  Thank goodness he was well padded had a softer landing with all the snow and didn't land straddling a tree branch along the way . 

So it ended well.  I shared the story with our daughter when she stopped to get the children after work, and she was amazed that we let them do that.  What did I tell her, "Well Sometimes you just have to let children be children".
Then giggled. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Daybook December

I'm feeling...content
I'm hearing...quietness,  ah so perfect.
I'm thinking...what next, there is much to get to today
I'm cooking...nothing yet
I'm planning...what to fix for breakfast and getting a potted poinsettia to welcome another new neighbor 2 doors down.
I'm reading...Sister's Choice by Emilie Richards then need to get through The Christmas Train by David Baldacci by the 18th of December.  That's the night of our book club Christmas gathering
I'm wearing...Purple comfy jammies
I'm creating..CXS Winter alphabet by Lizzie Kate
I'm enjoying...the artwork of my youngest grandchildren
I'm sharing...the art work.  I love Netflix and thought I'd have the movie, Oliver Twist in for a classic tale so the youngest ones could enjoyed it,  it's based on the book by Charles Dickens.  Can you say they paid rapt attention to it and then started doing some artwork the next day while they watched it for the 2nd time.  They also want to see it today so Netflix will have to wait for that return.  I do love them dearly and love their earnestness and creativity.
The CXS of Lizzie Kate's WInter Alphabet is enjoyable to stitch.  I had DH get my frame down out of storage from the garage and it makes the stitching so much easier.  While watching Oliver Twist with the grands, the lil guy, PGS#3 asked if he could help.  So of course I said yes.   He cuddled on my lap and would pull the needle up when I got the correct needle placement.  He and I got the brown tree branch near the bird house done.  Thanks Brody!  His sister also wants to stitch on it with me, perhaps we'll tackle the blank space where the reindeer stands near the pine tree since she's so good at drawing them.  ; )

All the turkey has left the building.  It's great having a Thanksgiving bird then  hot sandwiches with all the fixings too for leftovers.  I always make a soup and this year I changed it up a bit.  I made the traditional stock then added the usual trinity? (celery, onions, carrots) (I left out the potatoes this year ).  Then I used a tomato paste for the base and literally  threw in with additional veggies of frozen corn, frozen peas, fresh cauliflower, fresh broccoli and 1 serrano pepper with all the seeds.  WOWZER!  That spiced it up nicely.   Was great served with rice and was served with a cottage cheese salad appetizer finishing the meal with deep chocolate brownies Brody and I cooked up earlier in the afternoon.

With some of the sliced meat I found a recipe for warm turkey spinach salad that utilized the leftover cranberry sauce for the dressing.  It was fantastic.  SO I will write what I did here, since I really adapted it to make it with what I had on hand, that way I can share it with you and can duplicate it myself when I want to.  (Yes it was that good!)

Warm turkey spinach salad with a cranberry dressing.
For each Main Salad:
1 cup Spinach leaves
1/2 cup of Romaine lettuce
2 Tablespoons (Tbl) spiced walnuts
1/2 shallot sliced very thin
chunks of warmed turkey (DH thinks it would be better having the turkey cold next time.)
Fruit of choice -  I used 1/2 of a diced red pear, DH had 1/4 fresh raspberries.

The walnuts were sauteed with a pat of butter
and a pinch of all the following:  cayenne pepper, cinnamon, allspice, and sugar.
Don't scorch or burn it, just heat through to add a spicy sweet crunch.

The dressing comprised of:
the left over jellied cranberry sauce melted in microwave or stovetop
add a Tbl  of water to thin it a bit
1 TBL finely diced shallot
1-2 TBL of vinegar, I had a pear cranberry balsamic vineger actually on hand
2 TBL Olive Oil
Hint of garlic salt, a couple of shakes

Mix dressing all together and enjoy!  It was wonderful!
Off to get breakfast then quilt for awhile on that Horse quilt since a trip to the Docotors is going to happen around Noon.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Forty Diamonds, a 2013 Quilt show entry that was never shared.

Because of Val's Tuesday Archive post, I thought I'd share my layer cake quilt previously known as the 10 minute block quilt then by the name of my 40 Diamonds Quilt.

While looking for the 40 diamond quilt I made for my husband last year I realized I never shared it here on a blog post.  It was initially known as the 10 minute block anyways, here it is almost finished.  IMHO it needs more quilting.
40 Diamonds a 4 layer cake quilt
King Size - with a brown minkee dot backing
I love me some Minkee!
This king size quilt (and it's huge!) started with the purchase of a kit containing 4 layer cakes of batiks and the pattern in the book,  10 minute blocks.  (BTW, it took me way longer to make a block than ten minutes, sounds similar to those Quilt in a Day products doesn't it?)
It was started at quilt camp that I attend yearly with my best friend Trudy, in March 2013 .  I did show a picture of it in progress and mentioned it here  but never gave you a glimpse of it all sewn together.  While at our quilt retreat, I did get most of the blocks made except for one which didn't play well with the others IMHO.  No problem I thought, I'll just shop for one more batik that would behave better when I got home.  Did that then assembled the 20th block. The Quilt show in my local guild was approaching in October 2013 so I entered it thinking it would be just the incentive I needed to "get 'er done".

 What a Big mistake on my part but that is a whole other story.  I survived and entered all that I had intended to but they weren't quite done, just done enough to hang.  Inserting a red faced here.  :(   and that I know I'll never do that again.

Anyways, I love details so while assembling this now named  40 Diamond Quilt it was sashed with a complementary batik for the cornerstones made out of that unifier print batik used in the diamond areas.   I had just enough to make the binding with this fabric too and I think just a tad more that I'll use as an accent for two pillowcases which I'll make after this gets it's final quilting done, it needs a bit more quilting and am thinking some soft fat feathers circling those diamonds might be just the ticket.   The  quilt was assembled as a top then layered using a brown minkee dot fabric for the backing without any batting.   Oh I love me the drapiness of a minkee backed quilt. 

Lime piping adds a little POP of color.   :  )
You can see some of my quilting in this pic,
diamonds and straight lines..
After that I quickly and simply quilted with echoing that diamond folded shape on those brown print batik centers and also stitched an echo 1/4" on both sides of the sashings/cornerstones to be able to hang it up  for the quilt show figuring I could do more quilting within those grouped sections of the four batik clumps after the show. 

Label made of same lime as the piping.
Name of the 10 minute block quilt is now officially known as the Forty Diamonds.
A tribute and gift for my DH on our 40th anniversary. 

Usually I love selecting fabrics and relish playing with all the possible choices but I can't tell you how nice it was to sit and sew with having all that worked out for you by using those layer cakes.   It was pure heaven and exactly what I needed at that time in my life.  

Hope you enjoyed hearing about this finish from last year.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Desires for December

With the major Holiday fast approaching there's a calmness I have with knowing that all will get done.  Just by doing bits at a time, it will be achievable, hehe.....(and delegating)

                      it's the same principal as how I mention how do you eat an elephant?

                              One Bite At a Time!  (Or as with Trudy, moving that paper clip)

That being said there seems to be more done when I list my intentions down and this will be my format this year.
  • This week I plan on getting the outdoors decorations up like the wreaths, garland and even candles in the windows.  Then I'll start the Christmas cards and greetings. 
  • Of course there will be shopping, cooking, and candy making included for tasks needing done.
  • As for traveling, we need to visit the eldest grandson at his school in Ma., Christmas concerts (I love!!), Christmas Services, Holiday parties and gatherings with friends I also love.
  • Taking care of all of that besides progressing on my creative endeavors and the want to get done lists.  So the December's list in that arena will contain:

1- Quilt that Horse quilt PGD#1 made for the boy in Nicaragua. This I'll slate as my December's challenge for ALYOF.  It is resting on the sewing table relaxing so I hope to get to that this coming week.   YIPPEE! Done, see this link...
2- Teach PGD#1 how to bind it.   Done on the above link and project.
3- Quilt then Bind the Community Project quilt for WFQG.
4- Stitch four more blocks on the current CXS Lizzie Kate, Winter Alphabet.  Progressing nicely.
5- Make 2 more doll/stuffed animal quilts. 
6- Start the new QAL with Bonnie Hunter Mystery, Grand Illusion. Yep, going to jump on that boat and try to keep up with the steps for each week. Maybe not get all the units sewn but started so it'll be in bits unti I can get caught up, I have to be realistic about this. Perhaps a baby quilt size.......hehehe.  Also am thinking of changing the colors a bit too time wll tell, Yellow, pink red and green with the black and white sounds yummy doesn't it.  
7- Make trash containers for the car, these should be such a quick project that I'll use this project as my NewFO for December, the last one, she's giving these up to concentrate on UFOs next year.  Barb Stanbro who has been hosting this at Cat Patches blog gets so much accomplished each month.  She's amazing.  If you have time, check out her posts and the quilting she's currently doing on the "Gardeners Quilt". 
8- Using another wild card or 2,3  4  for myself as my #8 entry, making things like a tea cozy, assist making a Library card holder and bag for PGD#1, new table runner with a Christmas fabrics for Living Room,  etc....  we'll see.
9- Exercise 20 minutes a day at least for 5 days a week.
Could you tell I was an over achiever in school? It's either that or am I just plain NUTS? It seems like quite a large list to get to and I know it'll be a challenge but I am also ever optimistic. 

We went to see the Holiday Train last night when it went through town and despite the deep cold, it was  enjoyable.  The Canadien Pacific Holiday Train is another tradition we've embraced in the past several years.  The grand children love seeing it and the idea of giving food for those less fortunate embodies the season of giving.   As I sign off it's only fitting to quote a train by chanting,  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can .........toot toot!

I need to run, the ladies of our family are attending a party at 5pm with oils and fragrances and I love learning new ideas. 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving and November's recap

Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving celebrations with family and friends. 

I am thankful for all the blessings we have in our lives.  My gratitudes are typically expressed each morning upon waking and when I retire when the day is done.   So I try to live each day with gratitude in my heart.  Some other be phrases to use and I think are appropriate is:

be focused,
be unique,
be nice,
be on time! (a personal pet peeve of mine),
be true to yourself and to others,
be persistent,
be  loyal,
be your best,
and most of all........ BE CREATIVE!

This bouquet of flowers lasted over 2 weeks.  My DH gave them to me for my uh  Birthday on the 10th.  He surprised me with having them on the dining room table when I returned home on the 9th from my guild meeting in Glens Falls.  The roses didn't last as long and were shabby after the first week, but the rest lasted quite a while and I thought of the photo Mom took of her bouquet and thought this would be a terrific bookmark for moi and a reminder of that love when I read each night.  ;)

The November's goals I had were to:

1- Quilt Wee Wander Baby Blanket ( no intention declared for this yet, just to have it done and on hand.) I'm attributing this project as my ALYOF project with Melissa and H20 girl at Fiber of all sorts.  FINISHED!!! including a blank label to attach when I know where it's going.   Used a minkee plush fabric on the back with a variegated thread.  Photos below......
2- Quilt the Horse quilt PGD#1 made for the boy in Nicaragua. Also, I need to cut the binding so she can learn the binding making technique at one of our upcoming sewing sessions.    It's layered but not stitched a bit yet.  This will be moved to December's ALYOF project.
3- Quilt and Bind the Community Project quilt for WFQG.  Nada-zip, this will stay on my list for December
4- Make two stuffed animal quilts for CVQG.  Check!  Photos shared here.....
5- Do something for myself, this will be my wild card.   Check!  Made a table runner with leaves scattered on the center panel for that sofa table.  A nice easy finish.
6- Help PGD#1 finish her pillow she started with the cupcake kids. Almost done and it is too cute. She's planning on giving this to her Mom for her Birthday on the 22nd. Will be done this week! I'll post and share photos after the finish.   Check! 
7- Mend the vinyl on my Brother in Law's snap on weather protector for his backhoe. Hopefully right after I get off this computer. Edited 11/4- Attempted without success, but now I can cross this one off my list.  Check!
8- For Slow stitching Sundays I want need to start another cross stitch project. Maybe another small one like the recent finish, a Shepherds Bush Christmas fob.  Started a Lizzie Kate winter alphabet.  Planning on getting one square stitched each week -minimum! shown below...

Plush minkee used on backing.
Had an issue of that "fringing" effect so
had to rip out and redo with a thin bat between.

My favorite part of the panel ......
For next month's challenge....
It's laying on top of the sewing area to quilt in
December for the ALYOF challenge!

Started on November  13, 2014
using the threads called for.

So all in all, I'm content and feeling inspired to continue more.  Don't get me wrong I still have numerous UFOs pigs and plenty to get done on my lists, but if I can just keep all of these balls in the air and now focus on some exercise each day to boot and I'll be feeling mighty grand. 

Enjoy your blessings,


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scraps, a Fat Quarter and a Hunk of Fabric

Yep, that makes me extremely happy.  Some scraps, a fat quarter and a half yard hunk of yellow fabric is how much I've used in the past several days.  ;~)  Doesn't take much to make me happy does it.  LOL!
The yellow patchwork doll blanket is 20" x 16", a perfect doll blanket size.  Many of the floral purple scraps were pulled to unify this quilt and I choose to let them flow in a diagonal design.  Most of these scraps were from an Irish chain colorwash quilt I made around the turn of the century.  Imagine that!  All of these languishing in my scrap basket, it's time to set them free into the world.
For the backing I used some minkee scraps.  It's those bits you cut off around the perimeer and were narrow so I had to piece them with a centered seam.  Now it's a cuddly and very tactile element that's finished.  Of course there is still plenty of that to use.

I forgot how much fun it was doing these smaller projects.  While I was working on them I also had an epiphany.  Considering that recent baby quilt that I finished this past month, the Wee Wander one that I'm not yet sure where it's going, I plan on making a doll blanket out of it's scraps to go with it for the little girl who gets it.    Figure it'll be a beautiful gift a quilt for baby and her dollies.  She'll love her babies with the same blanket "Mommy" had. 
After I meet more of my self-imposed deadlines, I'll get to that - promise!
I did mention this to my Mom and she thought it was a fantastic idea.
Thanks for the endorsement Mom.  (see insanity is a genetic theme with in our family line. lol)

This litlle quilt measures 16 inches square, rather large for that little bee,
but I just know the recipient will have a doll or two that would love to use it  too..

In case you missed the stuffed animal, it's a cute little bee.  So many children scream when a bee buzzes around them that I hope this lil' one will foster kindness and a sense of respect and hopefully even a love toward these creatures, which we all know are a necessity for all of mankind.

It also has embroidered eyes and doesn't have any removeable buttons so it will be safe for any child.

That fabric mentioned is just the amount used up on those stuffed animal and doll quilts I've worked on.  The two yellow and purple quilt combinations are totally done and I'm currently working on the third which is totally scrappy and made up of 2 1/2" squares.  Again making it a comfortable 20" x16" quilt.   

What do you think of this scrappy mess?   I have some dark brown minkee scraps I thought for the baking and perhaps using a bright green for a binding.  There is a frog in my studio that wants a covering.

This past Saturday it was time for our circle of friends quilting group gathering.  Since we got together at a local fire station that has with plenty of space I have to add, 3 items that were pieced and awaiting quilting got layered for that next step, QUILTING.    I also was able to cut binding for all three of these as well as cut up that yellow half yard fabic into 2 1/2" strips so I could humpjump with some of my scraps while doing other projects.  Then before you knew it, I had a doll quilt finished. 

They were:
1-  A fall themed table runner that I utilized the fabric print with some quick borders slapped on.  Thanks Gina for the idea to KISS (keep it simple stupid  silly).
2- The twin size horse quilt for PGD#1's charity quilt for that young man in Nicaragua.
3- A charity quilt double-queen size for my quilt guild in Glens Falls.

I had trouble doing the last one and it may need to get relayered with a wider table set up, we'll see.   Hopefully, I'll get the first two quilted in the next week before Thanksgiving so there will be some easy hand stitching around while I finish the binding especially while we have family and friends stopping by for the Holiday. 


Friday, November 7, 2014

Going smoothly...

Things are going smoothly around here, despite the snow that started falling.  I am not ready, please make it stop! 
DH has left the hot tub open longer this season and it'll have to be closed soon. Inserting my whiniest voice for that, Sitting in it daily makes it so much easier for me.  When that's closed all the solar lighting will have to be stored as well as the last few other items that need tending so we can bunker down for the winter.

Our neighbor had a turn of bad luck on the 24th of October.  Their class A camper had an electrical fire.    It didn't take long before it was just a skeleton and they are not sturdy by any means.   They were just getting it packed up to head south for the winter.  Luckily they weren't on a highway or sleeping in it.  No one was hurt, Thank God.

As for project progresses made:
**That Backhoe door/vinyl repair was attempted and without success so it was given back to my sister in law.  I broke a needle in three different places and it jammed up my machine.  The stitches were huge loops and when I knew the Bernina didn't sound right and tried to take it off, it didn't want to release it.  I had one bugger of a time so I knew it couldn't be done here. I mentioned to my SIL that I figure an upholstery shop or boat/canvas repair shop might be able to help them out.  She was truly grateful for my attempt.

**McKenna-PG#1, finished that jack-o-lantern pillow for her Mom's Birthday on November 22nd, but couldn't wait to give it to her.  lol    She did a fantastic job.  I did quilt it for her and helped her years ago with most of the embroidery after she had colored the pumpkin.  The rest she did in stages with me helping her by pinning it together and directions with  the next step.  Here it is......

orThe jack o lantern pattern came from the Happy zombie which she started coloring it around 2007 or 2008!  (I knew she started coloring it when she was just three years old.)  Then we embroidered with threads and even a long piece of silk orange ribbon.  Then the center just languished in my sewing room waiting and grinning at my like a fool each october.  So glad that an idea finally hatched and it morphed into this project and became her pillow to give to her Mom. 

She learned numerous techniques with this project.  Simple up and down stitching, coloring on fabric, selecting fabrics with auditions, doing a partial seam, inserting a zipper and lining, and using a zig zag stitch.  Well done honey!  With the crafting for kids recently offered through web sights with Sew Cal gal, I should share her craft there. Perhaps there will be another time for that since it's a bit too late and it was a long project.  Way to go Honey, I am so proud of you!!!!!

**The Wee Wander (WW) baby quilt was attempted with just Minkee fabric on the back.  Then that minkee fringing started showing up on the top of the quilt.  Grrrrr! Just last year I was able to use a minkee only for the backing on a batik quilt which has a much tighter weave and the "fringe effect" never showed up by coming through the top, I'll be playing around in the mean time to come up with how it's best to get that subtle drape I love for these cuddle quilts.   So for the WW, I ripped out all of the stitches, re layered the top, thinnest batting I had and the minkee sprayed then pinned it and it's ready to try again. 

Feeling great since it's only the first week of Nov. has gone by.  Now if I can keep the mojo running to get to the rest of my declarations done, wish me luck!
Next there is some paperwork on the horizon ......


Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Desires

I hope to progress on several PIGs and UFOs so my focus this month will be to:

1- Quilt Wee Wander Baby Blanket ( no intention declared for this yet, just to have it done and on hand.)  I'm attributing this project as my ALYOF project with Melissa and H20 girl at Fiber of all sorts.
2- Quilt the Horse quilt PGD#1 made for the boy in Nicaragua. Also, I need to cut the binding so she can learn the binding making technique at one of our upcoming sewing sessions. 
3- Quilt and Bind the Community Project quilt for WFQG.
4- Make two stuffed animal quilts for CVQG.

Here are a couple of photos of the group project our CVQG is doing.  Making stuffed animal quilts to give.  These will be going to the Vermont's Children's Hospital in Burlington, VT.   

They are the cutest things you ever did see.  From tiny small to a much larger size, we hope the children these go to will enjoy and love them for years to come, hopefully making their illness plights easier to handle.  I think I might atempt to make a sleeping bag style quilt for one of mine.  There is a frog and a teddy bear  that needs some blankets of love. 

5- Do something for myself, this will be my wild card. 
6- Help PGD#1 finish her pillow she started with the cupcake kids.  Almost done and it is too cute.  She's planning on giving this to her Mom for her Birthday on the 22nd.  Will be done this week!  I'll post and share photos after the finish.
7- Mend the vinyl on my Brother in Law's snap on weather protector for his backhoe.   Hopefully right after I get off this computer.   Edited 11/4- Attempted without success, but now I can cross this one off my list.
8- For Slow stitching Sundays I want need to start another cross stitch project.  Maybe another small one like the recent finish, a Shepherds Bush Christmas fob. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

It's the end of October so besides the trick-or-treaters coming around tonight, today we'll be enjoying the Grandparents' Day at school with the youngest grandchildren.  A costume parade, meeting the teachers as well as a nice turkey dinner we don't have to prepare with both PGD#1 and PGS#3 will be nice.  Yesterday was actually our eldest grandson's 21st Birthday too, or where does that time go?  He is doing well and is still attending his school in Ma. hopefully being able to graduate with life skills next year.

Seems like each month time continuously speeds up to higher warp levels lately and I am always feeling way too rushed.  Several friends have lost their mothers recently so my time has been well spent just being there and attending the end of life services that have been bittersweet.  

I am so grateful that I still have my Mom to enjoy.  She actually is heading back to Florida this am as she was able to come visit for the past 10 days.  Didn't get to see her that much, only several times as she enjoyed time with all of my  other siblings along the way, so that's okay, I can share nicely.  With my schedule and transporting the kids to their respective groups; speech, hockey, gymnastics and hip hop class not to mention all the other trips to town needed it's no wonder I went to bed at 7:45 last night!  Of course I won't mentioned the margaritas I shared with Mom for our last  meal.  I crashed when I got home.

The Scaredy Sheep Scissor Fob is completed and looks nice. CHECK! that one off my list.
Table Runner for that new to me sofa table was made when I got the Halloween decorations out, CHECK! that's off my list too.
The Boo! Table Mat hasn't been started yet, but I still have 20 more hours until October ends, LOL (aren't I ever the optimist or should I say fool).

The pics towards the top of this post shows additional projects I started and finished.  That carved pumpkin showing a witch stirring a cauldron over flames done on one of those perpetual pumpkins.  I started it then had DH complete it since I don't have the power with my arms to control the dremel tool.  It was too difficult to manage with my neck spine difficulties and he didn't mind.  Thanks Honey!.
Also with the help of the youngest two grandchildren we created a beautiful wreath for our front door.  It has black roses, many skeletons, and skulls along with a myriad of spiders and glittery bits of whimsical color spinning outwards.  Looks great if I say so myself and I am pleased.  As for sharing the photos, DH has been taking pictures off our older computer and added them to this one and now I can't get to any of my pictures in the normal pattern.  When trying to download the camera, RITZ pics comes up and downloads them there, not my usual autoplay download so I am totally lost!  It also seems to distort the photos where they are more grainy than ever.  How irritating!  It's been fixed!  Not sure how I can fix that.  I  just need a few more hours, days and perhaps even weeks to manage that.   Grrr........! 
Perhaps I best go back to bed now and catch a few more Zzzzzz's. 

If any body has a tip to get our auto feature fixed, I'd sure appreciate it.

Good Night,

PS:  Last month's book club selected Morning Glory by LaVerle Spencer my Librarian recommended and I truly enjoyed it.  Right now I'm reading November's selection of Still Alice by Lisa Genova and it's pulling me in. It's about a mid life college professor being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and talking about screening for the APP, PS1 and PS2 mutations. I think I'll be googling that to read more about it. Even though I'm retired, that lab technician nerdy side of me still wants more information. MUWAWhaha ha ha........

Brody PGS#3 with Addison, a friend he's had since daycare, preschool and now they're in Kindergarten together.  
(He's insisting on her not calling him "Brodybear" anymore, lol.)

Witchy McKenna, PGD#1 with a friend of hers she's had since they were infants, Lexus. 
Their Moms are great friends too.