Saturday, May 22, 2021


 All of a sudden I'm done making quilts!  Oh, not really but the process of making a large quilt is over.  For one thing, I have 3 unfinished large quilts waiting for borders, or to be sewn together and then quilted.  Bonnie Hunter's Grassy Creek is one of them.  All the blocks are done but I'm not inspired to sew them together.  

I will get this done prior to Bonnie's new mystery but not even sure I will participate.  I usually like to participate because it uses up so much fabric and 98 % of this quilt was all from stash.  

The second quilt I need to finish is the Saturday Sampler from Stitcher's Quest.  

Maybe I'll take that bag with me to sit and sew today to see if I can work on it.  I'm hoping those blocks above are actually sewn together but maybe not!  I have it all done and borders cut so why not finish it?  

And the third one is Stitch Pink from Moda's October sew along.  It was 30 days of blocks.  It is all finished except the final border.  Maybe i'll take it and cut the borders.  

Now that I have a list maybe I can get to these!  I wont be sewing much in the next few weeks as our home is being rewired and my sewing room will be dismantled.  Maybe I can get it painted!  Now is the time.  
I need  to decide what I'm going to make instead of large quilts!  Bags, potholders, crafty items, pincushions, stuff to sell at our church craft fair.  No masks!  And garments!  Need to get back into that!  My 3 grandchildren are coming to visit for 5 weeks in June and July.   That will be interesting!

Sunday, April 11, 2021


 My neighbor passed away this year of a recurrence of cancer.  I did not interact with her very much, would see her in the yard or driving by.  My fault as I could have reached out to her but did not.  She was a real thrifter, going to yard sales often and then having her own.  She would open the garage door and sell what she could.  We would wave and say hi.  

My husband walked over to the sale Friday morning and came back and said, get dressed and go!  Oh my word!  She had two walk in closets filled with fabric!   One whole room was her sewing and crafting room.  She had at least 5 sewing machines, stacks of cross stitch and assorted sewing and crafting magazines.  She probably had 500 patterns and I'm not exaggerating.  She had notions, ribbons, and elastic, buttons, pins, and more.  In each closet was a set of drawers that was filled with all of these things.  Each closet was stacked to the top with folded fabrics.  She was very organized.

There was batting and pillows, iron on interfacing, stuffed dolls, one huge bag filled with 18" doll patterns.  Just this month I ventured over to Joann's to buy a doll pattern for $1.99.  Could have waited.  The second bedroom was devoted to games and toys, dolls and doll beds, a Tv with DVD's to watch filling a chest.  My 6 year old granddaughter had just come to visit and I was able to get a lot of things for her to play with when she comes.  And a few games for the boys.  I did take a handful of doll patterns, definitely did not need the whole huge tote full!  

I told the daughter that I quilted for Lutheran World Relief and that when the sale was done, would appreciate some fabric for that effort.  She was happy for me to come and take it.  My car is full.  I keep having nightmares about the fabric I left behind.  I know there were bins still full of cottons for quilting but I felt so greedy as it was.  

I recently ventured into garment sewing so I did manage to get several pieces that I can make tops and shirts with.  And a good length of embroidered denim that is beautiful!  Will have to make a jacket out of it!  And I bought a 30" by 6 ft bookcase that will go into my sewing room!  I desperately need it!  A good deal of this fabric, magazines, cross stitch items and more is going off to my church.  In the garage she had stacks of twig wreaths, already decorated.  The daughter gave them all to me for our church arts and crafts.  I'll just spruce them up a bit!  And if we can't use them, a thrift store will be the recipient.  

I don't fault my neighbor for having all this stuff.  She had a gruesome cancer that affected her face and her voice.  She was the most brave person, having lost her husband about 25 years ago in an accident.  She raised 3 daughters on her own.  If it gave her pleasure to go to yard sales and thrift stores to accumulate treasures, so be it.  She had numerous grandchildren and devoted that one room to entertainment for the.  

But it does put things into perspective in my own sewing room.  I am happy to get this extra bookcase and will be able to get better organized.  And my guild meeting is next week and some of it will likely go there.  Just need to sort out the bags and bins I brought home and donate it or fold it nicely on the shelf.  Monday I quilt with the Lutherans and my car is full of donated fabric and more.  Hopefully I can get my son and husband to help me bring in the bookcase!  

Use it up!  Or donate it!  When its a quilt, give it away!  We sew for our pleasure but it is also pleasurable to share!  Happy Quilting!  

Saturday, April 3, 2021


 I've been thinking about getting back into garment sewing for some time.  When I was younger up until my mid 30's, nearly every stick of clothing I wore was constructed by me.  I would go out of my way to find a plaid to make into a jacket, just so I could match the pattern.  I wish I had kept those jackets but of course, they wouldn't fit me now.  I do have two plaid shirts I made for my father in law and husband way back when.  

My husband wanted to send these to Goodwill but I couldn't part with them.  Flat fell seams and buttonholes!  

Last year I took a very expensive sewing course at the LQS by a woman who gave us a pattern fitted to our bodies that was supposed to cover everything.  I made a shirt from the pattern but it had some issues.  It swam on me and the neck opening seemed to high in the back and it was lopsided.  So that ended that project and future projects.  But I still had the desire to sew clothing for myself.  And I still have the pattern and the book that went with it to show alterations for future tops, etc.  

My LQS has sewing patterns from a renowned garment sewer whose name escapes me.  Her patterns are pricey, at about $22 a pop and if I'm still experimenting, just didn't want to go there.  I talked with the shop owner about making a jacket  for the shop and she is thinking about it.  I decided I would go home, use some brushed white denim I got at a yard sale and a pattern languishing on the shelf to practice.

I'll post a pic another day but the jacket is finished!  Today I downloaded a pattern from I Think Sew.

Its a PDF pattern with 20 pages to print so I think I'll take it to a blueprint company to print off for me.  Cheaper than replacing printer ink.  The LQS has lots of great fabric for shirts and this being my style, I could make shirt after shirt after shirt!  I even hooked up the serger yesterday to sew the side seams together on the jacket.  I have another Indygo Junction pattern that I have had for years and batik fabric to go with it.  It requires serged edges and that is another project!  Learn how to do those.  I might be moving away from quilts to garments.  Takes up less space!  And a new warm and cozy wrap pattern on Indygo Junction would be perfect for the Stewart wool Plaid that came from St Andrews in Scotland!  Its been waiting in my hopeless chest for 40 plus years waiting for the perfect pattern!  I would have to keep the finished product in the hopeless chest because I've had a few moth holes in woolens in my closet.  A favorite jacket sports a few but I'm going to sew some wool patches over the holes.  AFter All its patchwork!  Have a great Easter weekend!  

Friday, April 2, 2021

When do you know your machine needs a tune up?



Our guild program for April  is a man who is going to tell us about how to take care of our machines! 

I first met Bobby in Sept of 2010.  I gauge my quilting experience to that month when I also met my friend Pam  when we took a beginner’s quilting class at The Sewing Center.  It was a 6 week class and Bobby was there to help us buy our wares and I discovered that quilting was not a cheap hobby.  I still have that quilt, my first quilt.  I wonder if Pam has hers. 

At any rate, Bobby had a little “nook” at the shop where he would work on the machines, eventually moving home into his garage where he has a tidy business, taking care of my machine and many others. 

I bought a Viking Sapphire 875 in 2009 after the shop owner had several demo Vikings in a session at a local quilt show.  Most were sold but I was able to come home with one from the shop, along with a Sew Steady Table.  Bobby has been taking care of my machine ever since. 

I usually take my Viking to Bobby at least once a year for a tune up and cleaning.  Last year, she was beyond her time needing to be cleaned  but last fall I finally took her into the Spa.   When I picked her up, Bobby said I would be needing a new set of feed dogs in the future.  I asked how I would know when?  And he said, you’ll know!  Its going to be sooner than later I think.  I’ve noticed just this week that the fabric sometimes won’t go through without a tug.  And I’ll need a new cutter soon as well. Its annoying when the cutter won't work and leaves a thread hanging.  This will be the second cutter I've gotten.  I guess when you sew every day, it just wears itself out.  

My six year old granddaughter, Evelyn, has been here this week.  I wondered what I would do to entertain her but it hasn't been difficult at all.  She is enamored with my sewing room.  I don't remember what took me in there the first day or two but she followed and when she saw my lamb's wool duster that I use to clean my machine bed, she immediately wanted to clean and tidy my "desk".  Everything was put into a neat pile and she cleaned up all the dust and threads.  Then she wanted to move over to my cutting table which was a complete mess!  

I sure wasn't going to argue with that!  I got the little ladder she could stand on and we both folded and sorted and put away.  My table was so tidy and I could actually see the top!  I do have to be careful to make sure I keep my cutters closed, teach her about the sharpness and not to touch a hot iron.  While I was sewing, she wanted to press the foot peddle and I let her, telling her when to stop.  It worked out just fine until she pushed the peddle and I wasn't there.  I had to teach her about that as well.  

Evelyn will be coming back to visit this summer and if I can keep her helping me and interested in sewing, it will be a wonderful thing.  We made some doll pillows and she stuffed them and I showed her how to hand sew the opening closed!  Makes my heart happy!  

Friday, March 19, 2021


 Today is my birthday.  I won't tell you how many but I do know, that after this past year, life is too short to not enjoy it!  Last night was my local guild meeting and I was so excited because I had spent the last month making gifts that I wanted to share with the group.  But let me digress a bit.  

I set the program for Pins and Pincushions early in the year but I knew that I would need to do some research about my topic to make it effective.  So I started researching all about pins and pincushions, looking for free patterns and more.  First I posted on The Scrappy Girls Club on Facebook and Heather sent me this file!

What a treasure of pincushion ideas but I continued my search.  I found this video from Fat Quarter Shop featuring Sherry McConnell on how she makes her pincushions.  And then I was off and running.  I located the bag of walnut bird litter on Amazon for $6.99, ordered a bag.  And I also looked into other things that could be used for stuffing a pincushion.  

My favorites and things I used.

1.  walnut bird litter.  You can also find walnut shells in some quilt shops.

2.  000 steel wool, great for sharpening your pins

3.  Batting leftovers cut into 1" to 2" squares ( you know those long strips?  )

4.  Fiber Fill

5.  Sliver trimmings from blocks

6.  Fabric cut offs from my serger

7.  Fusible Fleece and lightweight interfacing.  

The first pincushion I made was for the top of a jar that holds my quilting pins.  

I chose to use a 000 steel wool and covered it in batting and then stuffed some more around the edges.  It made a nice rounded cushion for me to keep track of all those pins and it certainly was prettier than the black lid!  The ribbon I folded and sewed together during my wait time after getting my second vaccine and I glued it on.  I just love it!  

Next I searched through my cupboards to see if I could find a teacup or something cute I could make into a pincushion.  

I found this cute basket that previously held spices, added  a Yankee Candle jar lid to the bottom to make it sturdy, a purchased pincushion glued in and ribbons.  

And thirdly, I used an orphan block from the Farmer's Wife series made from 1930's fabrics.  Make sure when you are stuffing your pincushions to push the batting bits into the corners before adding the walnut shells.  Most of my pincushions were a mix of shells and batting and other bits.  

I had so much fun making and stuffing pincushions I accumulated about 15 and decided to give 9 away to my guild members for my birthday!  I've been a member of the Silver Threads Quilt Guild for 10 years and it was so much fun for me!  

I also decided to make 3 pincushions to offer for purchase.  

A local shop has these seaside appliques for sale, complete with fusible attached to them.  Iron them onto a piece of fabric and blanket stitch around them.  One blog writer that I follow suggested always adding a button to a pincushion for a place to plant your needles instead of mixing them in with all the pins.  That was fun finding buttons to use!

In addition to bringing all the pincushions I had made to the guild meeting, I also asked members to bring a favorite.  We had 2 very unique and antique pincushioins made out of walnut and several others.  So cute! I so enjoyed it and what a wonderful birthday gift for me!  

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Pincushions and more!

     So lately I"ve been making pincushions for a guild program on March 18.  These things are really addictive and you can make them with a very tiny bit of fabric.  You can fussy cut designs, use orphan blocks and cut off HST and more.  I've had so much fun I think I'll turn it into an industry.  

I was at a local quilt shop last week and I purchased this seahorse and starfish for another project.  But when I started making pincushions, I decided to use them, along with the crab that I purchased in Maryland a few years back, to make pincushions.  The starfish is 5" square for a reference.  These three are numbers 9, 10, and 11 of the ones I have made.  I need to take photos of the rest because I'm donating 8 them to the guild for door prizes.  These cut outs are done with an accuquilt die I believe and a local shop has them available with fusible interfacing already attached.  All you have to do is iron them onto a piece of background fabric and go from there.  I'll delve more into how to make these on another blog. 

I was so enamored with making pincushions in the last month, my room has exploded and I still have plenty of projects not being made.  I even put them on my Etsy shop!

Maybe I'll sell a few.  My intention is to make them as they are sold.  Hah, we will see how that goes.  Later.  

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Feeling lighter!

    So I've sort of been working on cleaning up my space but it certainly goes slow for me.  When I moved the bookcase out of my closet to my son's room and brought in the wire rack to the closet, I went through several bins of patriotic fabric.  

Last year, I had participated in Bonnie Hunter's Unity quilt project for quarantine.   

This is the quilt in progress.  In so doing, I used up quite a lot of Patriotic fabrics and quite honestly, how many times can you make a quilt using the same fabrics, over and over.  

So I gathered up a grocery bag full of 3 1/2 tops that I had created and bags of red/white/blue scraps and took them to a friend who sews for Quilts of Valor.  Its so cathartic to rid yourself of "stuff".  One persons scraps are another persons treasure!  Feeling accomplished.  

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Hope...A block a day!

 I've been following Pat Sloan for the past year, started around March when the pandemic started.  Thankfully that bit of our lives is coming to an end.  Pat has given us a free block to create one a day for March.

And she gives us a lesson in selecting colors to put together.  After 35 years as an interior designer, colors come easy to me.  I did like her first version with the pink and teal but she felt it was too busy.  So I'm thinking, do I want to start making a block a day?  Its easy for me to keep up with but I'm already doing her Home blocks and the Sewcialite blocks which come out on Friday.  Do I want to add another?  Not sure.  

Yesterday, I had pulled out all of the patriotic fabrics that I want to get rid of, or "share" with others.  There were 4 tops that were started.  Someone who is creative could just add some borders and they would be big enough for Quilts of Valor.  I filled one of those grocery paper bags to the top and still have more I can stuff into another bag.  Last year, when I sewed along with Unity, I delved into my patriotic fabrics and used quite a bit of them.  So the rest of them just need a new home.  I still have quite a bit I am keeping so why not share the rest?  There are quite a few 2 1/2" squares and 2 1/2" HST.  Someone will enjoy them!  On to organizing.  

Sunday, February 28, 2021


 So this morning I opened up my emails to discover this blog from Prairie Moon Quilts,  I'm two months late but what the heck.  Its never too late to join in on an organizing challenge.  And really, I've been doing some organizing this year in spite of being behind.  One of Shelly's challenges was to attack a pile and I"ve been doing that lately.  Another is to choose 3 troublesome things to deal with.  I think I have more than 3 things but 3 is a good place to start.  

I've already digging into piles and moving things around.  Lets start with my closet/ironing board, etc.  

Believe it or not, this is progress.  The wire rack you see in the closet (minus doors) has been moved from my son's room and exchanged for a bookcase that was previously in the closet.  In doing so, I delved into my section  of bins that housed my patriotic scraps and unfinished projects.  Last year, I participated in sewing "unity" with Bonnie Hunter and used up a bunch of patriotic scraps.  Never mind, they were still multiplying in the closet so I decided to call a friend.  Barbie works on Quilts of Valor and I asked her if she wanted some scraps.  She happily said yes and I have created a pile for her, including at least 3 partial tops.  Maybe her guild can work them into something.  You can see on my ironing table that it has now gotten a new cover.  A fresh b/w ticking that I brought back from England in 2016.  Fond memories of that visit with my friend Barbara.  

This second pic is of my cutting table, a corner that desperately needs to be organized and more.  Try as I might, I can't keep more than a tiny space open on my cutting table to cut strips and squares.  I tend to push whatever it is I worked on aside to create a space.  More than once last year, I tidied this up but I aim to get better.  

So, my three things are:  Share patriotic fabrics with others, create a new ironing board cover, and go through bins to see what is in them.  

Already done!  In two bins that rest by my front door, I found many finished tops, some with backings that just need quilting.  One I donated to my guild with backing to finish and donate for a local fundraiser.  One I put on Facebook and managed to sell the top with its backing!  And the third went to my church to be tied and added to the Lutheran World Relief pile.  I'm feeling quite accomplished already!  

Thursday, February 25, 2021


 I follow Jo Kramer's blog and today she talked about irons.

So I thought I would give you my two cents on irons for what it is worth.  

I bought one of those $300 irons from a quilt show that lasted maybe two years. I sent it back to have a new heater put in it. Cost $55. Lasted about 6 months and died. My husband went out and bought a Hamilton Beach $25 iron from Big Lots. It is going strong still. I never use steam but my son decided to use steam with it and it leaked all over everything. I said no more so husband went out and bought an iron just for them. Even though I had one sitting on the shelf. Mine has an auto shut but only after sitting for a while. I like that part. Because sometimes I walk out and leave it on all night.

I like Jo's idea of going to thrift shops to buy irons for $2.  Hopefully, they put a tag on them that says WORKS like hers did.  How do you know it works if you can't plug it in?  I dont go to Thrift stores very often as I certainly don't need anymore junk.  I need to get rid of the junk.  

I do have several irons sitting around the house but I do prefer the Hamilton Beach one so the rest never get tried.  I keep a spray bottle of water in my sewing room and I also have Best Press.  I was cleaning out my closet this week and found a gallon of Best Press I forgot I had.  Time to refill all the small ones.  I really dont use either very often but will when I need to.

In an online group recently, there was discussion about setting your seams vs not setting your seams.  I have never gotten into the habit of seam setting but I did notice, that when I tried it, my blocks were flatter.  Maybe they were onto something, those folks who always set their seams.  There was a quilter in my group whose name was Ruth.  I watched her once in a sewing session and she always set, pressed, flipped and pressed.  She had quite a way of doing it quickly.  Ruth has since passed but I will always fondly remember her for her smile and her pressing abilities.  Until next time, sew your heart out!  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


 OMG!!!! There comes a time in every quilter's life where she has to pull it all out, purge and rearrange.  I think that time has come for me.  Not posting a pic yet but I will definitely get before and after photos.  My son has been wanting a bookcase for his room.  In my sewing room closet is a very nice 2 shelf brown bookcase.  In his closet are stackable wire racks that I continue to use for sewing supplies. So I've decided to make a swap.  He can have the bookcase and I'll retrieve the racks with drawers that I need.  This will require a complete major overhaul of the closet in my sewing room.  

When this spare bedroom became my sewing room about ten years ago, the folding doors came off the closet and are in the shed.  But its time to rework the situation and purge.  And I mean purge.  

In addition, my ironing board desperately needs a new cover.  In 2016 I went to England to visit a friend and attend the International Quilt Festival in Birmingham.  At that time, I purchased some red and white ticking and blue and white ticking fabric but never used it.  I pulled out the b/w today and it is the perfect width and length for the ironing board.  All I need to do is round the corner and add a pocket on either side for the rope or elastic.  I can do that and get rid of the ugly brown one that no longer looks clean even after washing.  And everytime I iron on my new cover I will think of Barbara!  Why do we let ourselves get to this level?  

Keep in touch to see my progress!  Its starting to be spring in Fl and time to spring clean!  

Monday, February 22, 2021

Updates and Quilt Love!

 I've been involved in an online quilting group for many years and have been quite active.  But as happens with a lot of things, I chose to leave the group where I spent too much time daily, and concentrate on my blog instead.  I have much I would like to share and this is the best way.  

Last week I posted a pic of this quilt on Facebook!

This was a Stack and Whack quilt as opposed to a one block wonder.  There is a slight difference and there are two groups on Facebook that will advise you of one or the other.  I prefer this style because of the way the triangles set off the "kaleidoscope flowers".  I have a guild friend who sews a lot for our charitable purposes and she had carried around this border fabric on a bolt for sometime.  She just didn't know what to do with it.  Its a Jackie Robinson fabric called 40's roses I believe or something like that.  Certainly not available for purchase and I wasn't familiar with Jackie but she does have a company called Animas.  

At any rate, I thought the border and colors were beautiful and wanted to try my hand at creating a stack and whack with it.  You have to carefully pin together 6 layers of fabric, cut 3 3/4" or so and then cut 60 degree triangles out of the strip.  Those triangles create the flower!  

 Maybe you can see it better here draped on a chair.  I usually take my photos of quilts on the floor as above because I can spread them out.  But one of my HS friends on Facebook saw it and thought it was a rug so I have to explain that to her.  But another friend saw the quilt, loved it and bought it for his granddaughter.  I hope she loves it.  

The fabric was so beautiful I just had to miter the corners.  However, you can see in the top photo, bottom left corner I didn't have enough fabric to miter all 4 corners.  So in that last corner I sewed the excess cut offs together to create a border and then appliqued a rose in that section.  No one but me would notice or pick it out.  

I had mitered corners before but it wasn't until I purchased a mitered border tool that I got good at it.

I had purchased the small tool which is perfectly usable even for a large width fabric.  It made a difference in my mitering abilities!  

Until next time, have a happy quilting day!  

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Nineteenth Century Dress Fabrics

 Its interesting the things I pick to blog about.  This is supposed to be a quilting blog but many things interest me and there you go!   Today I was reading Barbara Brackman's blog about dress fabrics.  It was so interesting I wanted to share.  Questions I had about the slaves who took care of the babies;  Did they own these dresses or were put into them for the photo?  

Barbara has done so much good writing about Civil War Era fabrics.  Enjoy!  

Monday, January 4, 2021


 Its finally arrived, 2021!  I'm not sure I'm really looking forward to a good new year but I'll try to be positive.  

January is always the day that we go on a diet or exercise program and this year is no different for me in that area.  4 years ago in 2017 I signed up for a Bright Line Eating (BLE) bootcamp and it was the best thing I ever did for myself.  Through the year, I managed to lose 34 lbs and met my first goal.  However, I had this feeling of fear come over me.  I veered from the program and have gained back 20 plus.  I dont know what the fear was about but it was real.  I think I didn't want the attention it was bringing me.  At any rate, this past year, I just went off the rails and ate and drank whatever I pleased.  

So a few weeks ago, I determined that I was going back to BLE and finally lose the weight and get to goal.  It will be a long process as I lose so slowly but I'm in!  Then along came an offer from Ruby Tuesdays that I couldn't pass up.  On one day only, Jan 1, 2021, I could sign up for a garden salad bar pass for $49.99! and I jumped at the chance.  It goes through January and I get one salad bar visit daily.  Salad and veggies are a big part of BLE and with a Ruby Tuesdays not far from my home, I can easily go every day.  And occasionally take my husband with me.  

So today was my first visit.  

I chatted with the manager and the wait staff and got a nice sized take out container with two small ones for dressing.  I filled it with lettuce, beets, carrots, cucumber, tomato, peppers and mushrooms.  A bit of chopped ham and peas to round it off.  Then I brought it all home and proceeded to weight everything, including the container and plate I was using.  We are allotted 6 to ten ounces of veggies at lunch and so I measured out about ten ounces, added 1/2 ounce dressing and enjoyed my lunch thoroughly.  I have salad left over that I can add to for dinner.  And then I enjoyed a tangerine!  

I am excited for the month of salads to come my way and I hope it works.  Portion control is key and choosing the fresh veggies rather than the calorie laden options!  I'll keep you posted.