Wednesday, January 29, 2014

No News is . . . Just No News

Hi all!  You may have noticed I haven't posted anything for a couple of days.  Why?  Well, I've just been working on a Schnibbles quilt project and I haven't had much to show or write about just yet.

I did do something non-quilty last night that was totally awesome though.  I'm a Dr. Who fan and I was watching a three-episode "marathon" while I was sewing.  I still needed to ride my exercise bike, but that meant missing one of the three episodes, staying up super late, or skipping the exercise.  What to do?  Well, I remembered that as an Amazon Prime member, I have access to TV shows and movies on my Kindle, so I checked and sure enough--I could watch the same show on my Kindle while riding my bike.  And better still?  I had purchased some ear buds a couple months ago, so I tried those out while watching Dr. Who, and it was an excellent experience!  It was like being in a surround sound theater or entertainment room, and even viewing on the small screen wasn't a problem at all.  Boy did my 40 minutes on the exercise bike fly by!  Soon the show was over and I'd put in OVER 40 minutes.

I was looking forward to similar experience tonight, but my knee hurt at CrossFit and then my shoulder and hand hurt at bowling, and by the time I got home, I'd sworn off exercise for the rest of my life.  Or at least tonight.  So I sewed a little, took a bath, and thought I'd check in with you.

At work, we're gearing up for a trial, and I anticipate some overtime work will be coming along soon.  That means I'll probably be a little sporadic in my blog posting again, but I'll try to keep up with posting at least a couple times a week, and definitely for Scrap Basket Sunday.  I haven't started quilting my Pie in the Sky quilt yet, but that's next on my "to do" list after I finish my current project.  How about you?  What are you working on?

Thanks for stopping by to chat!  "See" you again soon!

Monday, January 27, 2014

What Happened?!

Saturday night I wrote a post that included sign ups for Scrap Basket Sunday, and when I went to write tonight's post, I realized it never posted.  I'd "scheduled" it to post a few hours after I wrote it and never checked back.  ARGH!  So I've manually posted it now and you'll find it below this one.

Since I wrote yesterday's post, I pin basted the Pie in the Sky quilt top--

If you've followed my blog for awhile, you'll know this was made with scraps from my scrap bin over the course of the last many months.  Now I'm ready to start quilting it!  How about you?  Did you play with scraps?  If so, please link up below.  Thanks for your patience!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Scrap Basket Sunday and a Flash Back

I think my Scrap Basket Sunday project will have to be pin basting the Pie in the Sky quilt top.  Since I'm writing this on Saturday night, though, it's just a plan that I haven't done yet--I'll probably post a photo tomorrow.  How about you?  Are you working on a scrappy project to share?  If you are, I'd love it if you'd post a link to your blog and show us what you've been doing.  But before I give you Mister Linky, I thought I'd remind you about a Valentine project I published on my blog three years ago--the Heart Struck Runner.  Do you remember this?

I wrote the directions HERE. I can also send you a PDF file if you email me to request it.  But, of course, you don't HAVE to make the whole runner--you can just make a heart block and turn it into a mug rug.  Or four heart blocks for a small wallhanging.  And you know what?  It's a great pattern for some scrappy reds, pinks, and creams.  So if you didn't have a scrappy project in mind before, maybe now you do!

So, are you ready to make something scrappy and link up?  Here's Mister Linky:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

One Down, Twelve to Go . . .

I completed the first block of the Globetrotting BOM by Pat Sloan.  This is the central block of the quilt and it's a very large 26 inches!  I have a vague notion that I'd like to made this quilt using red, white, and blue . . . and maybe some golden colored fabrics.  But we'll see how it develops.  I'm going to keep this somewhat scrappy because I certainly have A LOT of these colors in my stash that I can use and it should still look fairly cohesive.  I think.  That's the difficulty--and fun--of making a mystery quilt, though.  You don't quite know where it's going until it's gotten there.  Kind of like globetrotting!

This central block represents Washington, DC, and each of the next 12 blocks will represent a famous city, so I anticipate London, Paris, Rome . . . maybe New York?  San Francisco?  Several more cities, anyway.  This should be fun.

Pat Sloan has a Facebook page where everyone has been posting their blocks, and the color combinations are terrific!  Click HERE and scroll around to see some of them.  Are you participating in this BOM?  Have you made your block yet?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Never Enough Time . . .

Did I tell you I had started bowling?  Yes, I think I did!  So Wednesday night I bowled for the second time on this league we've joined, and I had a great time!  Everyone is very friendly, and one of the other nice perks?  The bowling alley has some good beer on tap.  Because beer and bowling just go together, right?  I don't usually drink much . . . like hardly at all . . . but sometimes a quality beer is a nice treat.

Back in the day when Hubby and I were about half the age we are now, we bowled in a league, and my average was usually somewhere between 135 and 145.  I've lost some of whatever I knew then, or perhaps it's because I was younger then, but now I'm holding pretty steady at right around 120.  In fact, my three game scores last night were 120, 121, and 120.  Consistent.  Even after a beer!

When I haven't been busy bowling and drinking beer, I've done a little scrappy sewing.  See?

I was struck by an idea a few weeks ago about something I wanted to do with a Schnibbles pattern and some scrappy green and white fabric.  So I've had a pile of green fabric scraps sitting out on a counter in the Sweat Shop ever since, and I finally started stitching up half square triangles the other day.  There's not much more to show just yet, but I hope to amaze and delight you soon.  Or it will turn out to be an utter and complete failure--only time will tell.

I was talking with a friend the other day about all of the projects I have in the works or that I want to make and have gathered fabric for, and I realize I'm probably crazy because there's just not enough time to get everything done that I want to do.  Ah, well, all we can do is try to enjoy the process and try to NOT stress when we aren't able to get more done.  I guess if I wanted a FAST hobby, I should have picked drag racing.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Did You Know Already?

For those of you who are fans of the Outlander series (by Diana Gabaldon) . . . and really, who isn't?! . . . well, did you know that Starz is filming a mini series to air sometime this summer?

Claire and Jamie.  Yep, it's true.  There's a Facebook page and everything.

Have you read Outlander?  How many times?

You haven't read it?  I kind of envy you . . . how excellent would it be to look forward to reading one of the best and most romantic books of all time . . . for the FIRST time?!  If you haven't read it, you really must.  If you've read it and want to refresh your memory, please do!  And if you want a link to the book on Amazon in its many forms, including Kindle, click HERE.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Scrappy Than You Know . . . .

Yesterday I showed you what I'd done with the leftover scraps from the Quilt Doodle snowman row but I didn't tell you about the other scrappy projects I worked on over the weekend.  I was very anxious to finish up the Pie in the Sky quilt top--all I had left to do was to add a couple rows of 2" squares to the sides of the quilt, so I took time away from the snowmen to do that.

And when I stripped the bed to wash the bedding on Sunday, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try the quilt top on for size!

I don't prewash my fabrics, so I know this will shrink about 3" or so when I've quilted it and thrown it into the washer and dryer, but I think it should still be big enough.  I really, REALLY don't want to cut more squares and add additional rows.  And I didn't think a solid border was really right for this quilt although it would have been so much easier and quicker to add one, right?  But then there was the question:  what color?  Yikes!  The mind boggles.  But I actually AM considering adding just a final 2" row of black fabric all around--or white, I suppose.  Just to be on the safe side in case of shrinkage and to set off and put a visual "stop" to the rest of the blocks and colors.

By the way, speaking of color, I think I'm going to call this quilt "Another Hundred" or something like that.  The idea for the name comes from quilter Freddy Moran who, when talking about her color ideas, said "10 colors won't work, but 100 do."  I think that's really true of this quilt--there are so many colors in these blocks and not all of the colors play well together on their own, but all together, they look great, don't they?!

Hmmm.  Now what?  I guess I'll have to start thinking about the next Scrap Basket Sunday project soon.  I ordered some wide quilt backing from an online shop the other day, so if it's here by next Sunday, I'll use my "scrappy sewing time" to sandwich this quilt.  I'm thinking about all-over meandering type quilting for this one but I'm open to suggestions.  If you quilt your own quilts, what would you do with this one?

Monday, January 20, 2014


Remember I talked about how I made half square triangles from the "waste" corners I cut off the snowman heads/snowball blocks?  I mentioned that I'd used those half square triangles in another project I was working on this weekend, and now that I've finished it, I can show you what I was doing.  Ta-da!

I know--most of the time when we get scrappy little leftover pieces, we put them away.  Rarely do we immediately build a whole project around them.  And I'm no different, of course, but this time the idea of a line of snowman heads tickled my imagination, and I didn't want to wait to complete the larger mystery block of the month project.  So I used the half square triangles and some other scrappy leftovers from the original row project to make more snowman heads and then I turned them into a snowman runner with the addition of a little more fabric from my stash.

I'm always looking for decorating ideas to span the time between Christmas and spring, so combining snowmen and hearts into a runner seemed like the perfect idea. For those of you who like playing with scraps, I hope my little idea sparks your imagination for using leftovers.  Sometimes trying to use up the bits and pieces that are left at the end of a project brings out our creativity and leads to some fun results!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Snowman Blocks and Scrappy Sign Up

From the comments you have left, it seems I'm not the only one who decided to do the snowmen row (photo below) different from the original Quilt Doodle directions.  And you know there's nothing wrong with doing them the way Cindy has written them--she wanted to base everything on 2-1/2" squares and that's the way she wrote the instructions, but in quilting, there are usually several ways to achieve the same results.  After all, look at how many ways we have to make flying geese blocks!

Well, as I mentioned the other day, I decided to make mine the way I've learned in the past.  And Janet, one of my readers, asked me what measurements I used to make my blocks, so I thought I'd go ahead and post what I did in case there are other readers who want to try doing them this way.

First I cut 6-1/2" white squares--there are seven heads in the row of snowmen so I cut seven squares.  And for each "head," I needed four corners, so I cut 28 2-1/2" squares from the blue fabric.

These blocks are often referred to as snowball blocks, which seems particularly appropriate for snowman heads, right?  To make the heads or snowballs, you'll position one 2-1/2" square on each corner of the 6-1/2" white square and attach the smaller squares by sewing on the diagonal of those 2-1/2" squares.  There's a nice illustrated tutorial on Craftsy you can see HERE that shows how to sew these on and trim the corners off.  (And when I made mine, I sewed a second seam about 1/4" closer to the corners and then trimmed between the two stitch lines, so I ended up with small half square triangles from the "waste" corners.  I'm currently working on another project using those little "leftovers" that I should be ready to show you tomorrow.)

After I made the snowball blocks, I attached a 6-1/2" x 2-1/2" rectangle to the top and bottom of the blocks.  I needed to cut 14 of those pieces from the blue fabric.  Finally, I cut eight rectangles from the blue fabric that measured 10-1/2" x 2-1/2"--and those became the sashing between the blocks when I sewed the entire row together.  Simple enough?  If anything's not clear, please ask.

Now, on another subject, who's working on a scrappy project this weekend?  If you have something scrappy you'd like to share with us, please add your blog link to Mister Linky below and we'll come over and visit:

I hope you're enjoying your weekend as much as I'm enjoying mine! I'm feeling much recovered from the stomach bug I had last week, but I decided I would take it easy this weekend just to make sure. Of course, it's no burden to spend the weekend in the Sweat Shop, right? It's been awhile since I had a free weekend to devote to sewing so I'm having a great time! Happy stitching!

Friday, January 17, 2014

And So It Begins . . .

While I've was home sick with the stomach bug . . . on the second day, after I got tired of laying in bed and sleeping and thought I might actually feel better if I moved around a little . . . I took some hot tea into the Sweat Shop and started picking out fabrics for a few of the projects I've decided to work on this year.

From there, the next step was to start doing a little cutting, and I thought the January row of the Quilt Doodle BOM was probably the easiest place to start.  I should tell you, though, that being the quilting rebel that I am, I decided to make the blocks MY way--which means instead of making half square triangles and piecing a snowman head like you would a nine-patch block, I cut out the head as one piece and sewed corners on--the kind where you sew on the diagonal and flip the fabric back.  I think you probably know what I mean.  And then on each of those corners, I sewed a second seam, and when I trimmed the excess, I ended up with small half square triangles.  I'll show you what I'm doing with those later.  For now, though, I'll show you my snowman row:

At this point, my snowmen are eye-less, because I'll use black buttons for eyes, and I will probably wait until the quilt is quilted before I add those--or maybe just before, but for now I'll wait.  I also deviated from the pattern by hand appliqueing the carrot noses, because hand applique is just what I like to do.  And it gave me something fairly restful to do while I felt icky and sat back on the couch and watched some TV.

This has been a fun section to work on and if the rest of the quilt is as cute as this first month, I know I'll really enjoy participating and I'll end up with a great quilt.  How about you?  Are you working on this project too?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's Anna's Fault . . .

If you don't want to be tempted to buy stuff and if you have plenty of projects and don't want any more, click away now. But if you do read through and it causes you to spend some money, you should know that Anna's to blame.  Yes, I know you'll want to blame me, but Anna's at the root of it

A little bit before Christmas, I popped over to visit Anna at her Woolie Mammoth blog, and she was sponsoring some giveaways.  But what really got my attention was her completed Country Homecoming quilt.  Have you seen it?  Here it is--

Do you remember this blog quilt-along Anne of Cottons 'n Wool hosted awhile back?  I started to play along, using brighter fabrics, and then I decided I wasn't all that excited about my houses.  Anna's finished quilt got me excited again, and I've had some homespun fabrics set aside for a little while now until I was ready to try again.  I've decided this is one of the projects I'll work on in 2014.  Would you like to join me?  But I'll tell you more about that in a minute.

The other thing Anna did was to show some of her completed projects on the blog posts I looked at and that sent me searching for a few of the patterns I saw there.  And I found The Wooden Acorn Etsy shop--love, LOVE, L-O-V-E that site.  Are you brave enough to take a look?  If so, click HERE.  But don't say I didn't warn you!

Now, if you're interested in joining me in making the Country Homecoming quilt, the pattern is in the book Primitive Gatherings, Quilts and Accessories.  A great book, but if you don't already have it, I'll warn you it's gone up in price in recent years and although Amazon lists some used copies, they aren't cheap.  But if you compare it to the cost of other BOM patterns and consider this is not nearly the only pattern in the book . . . .  Well, let's just say I'm pretty good a justifying spending money, and I think you see where I'm going with this argument.  Here's what the book looks like if you want to hunt through your quilt books to see if you already own it:

The houses are pieced with just the windows and doors appliqued on and the border applique as well.  I think I might modify the pattern so the windows are also pieced in.  My plan is to make two house blocks a month.  Anna made nine blocks but the pattern has twelve total, so that's six months of houses and then another month or two to work on the border applique.  Email me if you want to join in and we'll set up a schedule.  In the meantime, here's a list of people who participated in Anne's original quilt along and links to some of their project posts if you'd like to take a look:

Sandy and Anne (Sandy doesn't have a blog, so Anne shared her photo)
Sandy R.

I'll post photos of my first two blocks sometime before the end of January.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Begins to Take Shape . . .

Thank you all for the information about blog/BOM projects for 2014.  Raewyn provided links to two sites that list links for a lot of different projects of this type.  If you're looking for a project or two, click HERE and/or take a look at all of the comments left on yesterday's post.

I'm sorry to say that I started to feel ill last night and came down with a stomach bug that caused me to stay in bed much of the day today.  Once I got up, though, I did a little blog hopping while drinking some hot, soothing tea, and I found two projects that I'm going to take on this year, thanks to your suggestions.

The first project that really "spoke to me" is Quilt Doodle Designs mystery BOM.  Maybe it's because I love snowmen?  Or maybe it's just because it looks "fun."  In any event, I really like the look of the first row of this quilt (photo above), so I've put the button in my sidebar, and I'm willing to take a chance that the rest of the blocks or rows for the year will be equally cute.  If you want to check out the details, just click that button.

The other quilt project is Pat Sloan's Globetrotting BOM.  She's doing two quilts in different colorways.  Here's a photo of the first block in the red colorway (she's also doing blue):

I don't know what fabrics I'll pick for mine yet, but this seems like it could be a fairly simple and doable project for the year.

So I have these two new projects to work on in 2014, as well as something else I'll tell you about tomorrow.  2014 will also see me finishing up a couple of applique projects I started last year, quilting some tops that have been otherwise done for some time now, and selecting a new Scrap Basket Sunday project soon.  Oh, and I've also been thinking about starting the Country Charmer quilt and perhaps making it as an accelerated BOM-type project--two blocks a month maybe?  Three?  I haven't really given that one very much thought yet.  Is all this too much to take on, I wonder?  And I haven't even mentioned a monthly small wool stitchery I'm doing (it will take the place of the sheep blankets I worked on last year) or the BOM Bertie's year--the first month's kit arrived last week.  Ah, well, we'll see how it goes.  So many quilts, so little time!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Information, Please . . .

Not that I really NEED any more projects, but I was trolling around Blogland the other day, trying to find out if there were any quilt-alongs or virtual BOM projects starting up at this, the beginning of the new year, and I didn't really find much.  What did I have in mind?  Well, something like the Comfort & Joy applique quilt that Anne at Cottons 'n Wool hostessed a year or two ago.  Or the Country Charmer pieced quilt.  Or the Shabby Cottages BOM.  Or any of the great BOMs Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill used to offer.

As I said, I don't really need any more projects, but there's something fun about participating with a group of online friends that I've missed this last year.  So I thought I'd throw the question out there:  Is there something starting up that I may have missed?  If you've come across anything lately, please leave a comment with a link, if possible, to someone hosting something along these lines.  Or if you've been looking for something and haven't found it, please let me know--maybe we could start something ourselves.

Thanks, in advance, for any information you can provide to point us in the right direction!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Best Laid Plans . . .

When I got back on the computer last night to post, I found our internet access was down.  But, it wasn't like I had much to share with you anyway--although I sewed and sewed on Pie in the Sky, it isn't quite done yet, although I hope to add the last little strips of 2" squares tonight, so maybe I'll be able to show it later.

I do have a couple photos I downloaded of the table decorations when my stitchery gals gathered on Saturday though.

The table bears some of the little gifts we exchange and is set for breakfast once the guests arrive.

Then all is cleared away and we stitch for a few hours before re-setting the table for a late lunch--unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of the reset table, which was a little prettier with "real" plates and utensils--I used paper and plastic for breakfast so it would be quick to clear away and there would be fewer dirty dishes cluttering up the area.

Well, the weekend is over and it's time to head back to work.  Happy sewing!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Please Pardon My Tardiness . . .

Oh my!  I just sat down in front of the sewing machine to work on my Scrap Basket Sunday project, Pie in the Sky, and I realized I hadn't posted Mister Linky for those of you also working on SBS projects!

It's been a busy few days and when I last wrote, I was suffering post-bowling aches and pains--or the beginning of them, anyway.  I have a little arthritis in my bowling hand, and one of my fingers has been giving me a bit of trouble.  I was also just generally achy and tired on Thursday, but it really felt pretty good to have had an active day on Wednesday.  Still, I had to skip CrossFit Thursday night because I ended up working until 8 p.m.

Why?  Because I was taking Friday off work to run a few errands and tidy up the house before I hosted all my stitchery friends on Saturday.  I made up for slacking on CrossFit on Thursday by attending an open gym on Friday evening and going through the CrossFit paces--that felt good too.  I wish I could always go on Friday instead of Thursday; back to back Wednesday and Thursday workouts aren't as much fun, but I don't really want to be all sweaty on Friday nights--not when it's "date night" with Hubby at any rate.  And going home and taking a shower just makes me want to put on my jammies afterward!

Friday night I made dough for homemade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting for the stitchery gals gathering--we always gather for a mid-morning breakfast and stay all day until early evening, stitching, eating, and chatting.  On Saturday morning, I assembled the ingredients for 9-Can Soup in the crockpot, and I was nearly ready to entertain.  (I've posted the recipe for the soup before--it's super simple and delicious.  It can be found HERE.)

I took a photo or two of the tablescape before everyone arrived--if they turned out okay, I'll post one later.  In the meantime, here's Mister Linky--I'll be back tonight to show you what I've accomplished.  I hope you'll link up to share too!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

What a Change!

I used to say my favorite sport was extreme quilting, but now I can boast that I'm a multi-sport athlete.  Yep; scoff if you will, but now not only do I engage in CrossFit and (stationary) cycling, but I'm also a bowler.  And I did all three tonight.  A veritable triathlon, right?  And that doesn't even include extreme quilting!

My employer very kindly agreed to sponsor three teams for bowling and our league play began this evening.  Yes, we're coming in at the middle of the season, but it doesn't matter--we're all just there for fun.  And the cool bowling shirts.

The other day, I bought my own ball--THAT's how serious I am, right?  Well, not exactly.  The truth is I have big fingers and need a light ball; and all of the house balls with large enough holes weigh about 16 pounds or more--ARGH!  So I broke down and bought my own ball--a very pretty swirly blue one--and tried it out tonight for the first time.  I think I bowled 121, 124, and 97--not nearly as good as I used to bowl back in the day, but not a poor showing either . . . except maybe that last game.  Still, it's been something like 30 years, so I can't expect to just jump right back in.  Besides, I figure a slow start can only help the handicap.  Hubby and I used to bowl in a league, but it was tough to line up child care when the kids were little, and then my ball started losing chunks of plastic, so once it stopped rolling straight, rather than buy a new ball, we stopped bowling.

By the way, do you know they have automatic scoring now?  Awesome!  That means you can go ahead and HAVE that extra beer and not worry about adding, subtracting, erasing, sloppy penmanship, and soggy score sheets. About that beer though.  When it comes to bowling and beer, I suspect calories in exceed calories out.  So I guess I'll have to keep up with the CrossFit and (stationary) cycling.

You know what I suspect the hardest part of being a multi-sport athlete is?  It's probably going to be getting my muscles to obey when it's time to roll out of bed tomorrow morning.  I'll let you know how that goes . . . unless I just can't manage to do it, in which case I'll probably just give up and die there and you won't hear from me again.  But for now, I guess I'd better go take a warm bath and gulp down some anti-inflammatories.  We'll talk again later . . . I hope.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another Helping of Pie

Recently I shared with you my progress on the Pie in the Sky quilt, but it occurred to me tonight that I hadn't shown you how I was doing with the Pumpkin Pie quilt.  This is a BOM-type applique quilt designed by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill.  The pattern came out a couple years ago, and my friends and I started working on it sometime around summer, I think.

Three of these blocks aren't actually appliqued yet--they've just been prepped.  One is the owl block and there are two more blocks with the same pumpkin pattern.  Tomorrow night I'm going to Imelda's house where I'll sit and stitch with Imelda and Shirley, both of whom are part of my stitchery group; all three of us have been working on this project.  Besides what you see here, there's a bottom strip with a pie and a top strip with black birds and then a bunch of black birds flitting here and there throughout the quilt top--and all of that hasn't even been started yet, so I still have a way to go.

I guess I just have to keep on stitching, and one of these days it will be done.  For now, though, all this talk of pie is making me hungry, so I think it's time to raid the kitchen for something reasonably healthy to eat . . . which probably isn't going to be pie!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cupid Has Landed!

Quite often after Christmas I change out the decorations for Valentine's Day, and since red is the common color theme . . . and since snowmen are appropriate winter decorations at least through January . . . it's pretty simple to do.  Many of my "Christmas" decorations stay for awhile, although Santa, at least, is retired to the North Pole.  The trees?  Well, one or two are put away, like the large one in the living room, but some are redecorated for the next holiday.  Here's a look at a few of the spaces in my home.

First up is a woven heart quilt I made and taught--this was the first class I ever taught!  A little more about that in a second.  That was SUCH a fun class!  And best of all, it led to the beginning of my stitchery group, because all or most of those ladies were students in that class.

More woven hearts . . . and snowmen.  And mice.  Mice are good any time of the year because they're non-seasonal, although mine seem dressed for cold weather, so they'll probably come down with the snowmen.

Do you remember the Heart Stuck Runner?  More woven hearts.  Click HERE for the directions to make it.

The Valentine tree in the Sweat Shop is tricked out in hearts and Monica Solario-Snow (Happy Zombie) Pennie Pockets.  Now about that first class I taught . . . .  Not only did I teach how to make the quilt but I decorated the classroom with a tree similar to this one, and I filled the Pennie Pockets with chocolate dipped pretzel sticks rolled in sprinkles.  At the end of class, I gave each student a Pennie Pocket.  I wrote about it HERE.  I should probably put something in these Pennie Pockets, but I'm not sure what that might be.  If you'd like to make some of Monica's Pennie Pockets, click HERE

Also, the heart tree skirt?  You can't really see it very well in this photo, but if you click HERE, you'll see a better photo along with the directions to make one of your own.

A little glimpse into the "powder room" with another Valentine's Day mini.  I think I still have one kit left for the wool and cotton heart wallhanging--I'll have to get a few things listed in my Etsy shop in case anyone is interested because this is the perfect time of the year for small, quick projects!

 In the computer/craft room, we have a tree with folded paper hearts.  I remember making these, but I don't remember where I got the pattern, and I didn't find a link on my blog.

In the Wild Child's former room, there is a tree with heart-shaped ornaments.  Directions for making your own mitten pillow as seen in the background can be accessed HERE.

Can you stand one more woven heart block quilt?  This one alternates the heart blocks with tree blocks, which perfectly pulls Christmas and Valentine's Day together for me.

The lettering on this one says, "Winter Chills . . . Warm Hearts."

Happy quilting!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Well, If You Insist . . .

Yeah, I think those of you who said I should go for the extra row are right.

So I've made eight more blocks.  Yes, there are nine blocks on the design wall--the pink and brown block in the upper left hand corner is the one I made before.  I thought I should make enough to have one extra in case something doesn't fit in with the others.  Although there are so many crazy colored blocks in the quilt, who'd notice if one didn't go well?!

I still have to make more sashing strips--I think I need something like 17 more strips and then there are all the extra squares I want to add to the outside to make it just a little larger, so I'll be busy with this one for awhile longer.

Who else is working on a scrappy project this weekend?  Please post a photo on your blog and add your link to Mister Linky below so we can stop by to admire your handiwork:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Is It Pie Yet?

The project I spent much of New Year's Day working on is the scrappy Pie in the Sky project.  And by the end of the day, I got the quilt top done!

Well, maybe.

The problem is that now I have the top put together as I'd planned - eight rows by eight columns - and I laid it on my bed to take a photo, I thought maybe I'd like to make it just a little larger so it would fit my king size bed rather than the double bed in the spare bedroom.  Yes, I think it's long enough, but it's not quite wide enough.  Another row should do it . . . and maybe an extra border of 2" squares all around.  Yes, I probably DO have enough of those pesky 2" squares cut, but I only have one extra block made, so I need to make seven more to complete the extra row.

I think I'll fold it up and set it aside while I think about it a little.

But I think I probably WILL make seven more blocks.  What would you do?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Gift for Soccer Son and His Lovely Wife . . .

I thought you'd enjoy seeing what Hubby made for Soccer Son and His Lovely Wife for Christmas.  Truth to tell, Hubby tried to make it for them LAST Christmas . . . or maybe it was the Christmas before.  But life got in the way, as it often does when we create things, and the project was postponed a few times.

It all started some years ago, when I recovered an old wooden drum-type footstool with wool.  That was okay for awhile, but Hubby decided to redo the stool completely.  Well, that got him thinking . . . and before long, he made a couple of footstools for friends.  Then he thought it would be fun to make footstools with "hidden" compartments, and that idea led to the idea that the compartments didn't have to be hidden.  And, perhaps, dreams of Hobbits influenced his designs.  In any event, soon he began plans for a footstool with a door in the base that opened.


I call it the toadstool.

The inside is an open space, but for some reason, the shine and reflection from the flash makes it look like there's a pole in the center.  And on the back wall, Hubby included a photo, but I'm not sure what it is or why.

Most importantly, perhaps, there's a handy bottle opener on the side . . . presumably for those occasions when it's just too much trouble to get up and go into the kitchen to open a bottle of soda or beer.  And on the back wall on the outside, there's a small, square stained glass piece for decoration, but I didn't get a good photo of it.

Now that this project is done, I wonder what he'll dream up next?  Stay tuned . . . .

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

On the First Day . . .

I have heard it said that a person should spend the first day of the new year doing what he or she plans to do the rest of the year.  So that's exactly what I did.

I slept in a little bit . . . but not too much.  Just enough to ensure a sufficient amount of sleep after being out late on New Year's Eve, celebrating with friends and family.

I did a little reading . . . but not too much.  Just enough to occupy my mind and entertain me while I drank my morning coffee, ate my breakfast, and waited for Hubby to wake up (because I didn't want to be too noisy around the house while he was getting the sleep he needed).

I did a little house cleaning . . . but not too much.  Just enough to keep the dust from choking the people who live in this home.

I did a little exercising . . . but not too much.  Just enough to work off a few of the calories consumed on New Year's Eve.

I did a little sewing . . . but not too much.  Just enough to feed my soul . . . which meant spending most of the day in the Sweat Shop.

I did a little cooking . . . but not too much.  Just enough to feed Hubby and me our traditional New Year's day dinner of tamales and accompanying side dishes.  (These tamales appear to have been the last of the ones I made and froze last Christmas.)

And I spent a little time on the computer . . . but not too much.  Just enough time to check in with friends and family and wish everyone a happy New Year.

How did you spend your first day?