Wednesday, December 31, 2008

OK - maybe I am NOT ready!

In the previous post I showed the fabric that I choose for the mystery quilt. Somehow I totally forgot that I will need neutrals. Somedays I scare me...

I am ready!

OK, I have stopped wallowing in self-pity. I am probably going to to Virginia to touch my grandchildren in a few weeks...maybe make another trip in February if the weather holds. Someone will come here for Easter. I will go there for my birthday. I have a plan for the first 6 months and I feel much, much better!

I am ready for the New Year's Eve mystery quilt. Fabric is chosen
I hope there is enough contrast. Bonnie said that is the key to this quilt. I tend to use fabric that is pretty toned down. Someday I will go crazy with color. Maybe that should be my resolution for 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All quiet on the home front

My second batch of guests left this morning. I always say that I won't let myself get all weepy but it happens every time. You would think these kids didn't live just 7 hours away! Especially with the price of gas so low, I can easily jump in the car on a Friday morning, be there when everyone gets home from school, enjoy the weekend and head back home on Monday morning. 3 weeks of vacation disappear pretty quickly but that's what vacation days are for!

In a fit of madness I decided to do Bonnie's New Year's Eve mystery quilt - Double Delight. I need to dig through my stash to find fabrics that will work. I really don't want to buy any fabric before the middle of January. I am trying to pace myself! I have been doing a good job of reducing my stash so that I could bring in some new pretties to touch, smell, gaze upon and occasionally actually use.

Do you have any exciting plans for ringing in the New Year?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Off and running

We are about to dash out the door but I wanted to quickly post a photo of my granddaughter and her doll dressed in the jumpers I made for Christmas. I did make a white turtleneck for the doll as well but we could not get it over her head so I have to make some adjustments this afternoon.

I think she looks darling and I LOVE the missing tooth smile!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Hope everyone had a lovely holiday. We surely did here! My granddaughter slept in until a little after 7 so her Mama and I had time to start the blueberry muffins (a tradition in our family) and have some coffee together sharing some quiet time before the hoopla began. Ms. Em apparently enjoyed her day as she declared it "the best Christmas ever!" I think she actually enjoyed the fact that it was fairly laid back with intervals of excitement and activity. My parents joined us for brunch - and more gifts! Before brunch, Emily gave us a little concert on her viola.

Later in the morning I went up to the studio to make my BIL's gift (chef's apron in denim) and then came down to start the ham. I made a strange glaze from orange juice, brown sugar, honey mustard and pumpkin pie spice. It tasted terrific! We had our Christmas dinner about 5 and then after clean up we headed to my quilty sister's for dessert and MORE PRESENTS!

My sister knows that I love old, vintage, antique anything. Look at my sweet little sewing stand Christmas gift from Julie
We had a grand time at my sister's home. They have an enormous family room which is terrific for family gatherings. It is the only place in which we can all fit at one time!

I have been blessed to have my son and his family here with me since the 23rd. They are leaving today and heading back down to Gloucester, Virginia for another Christmas celebration with Brian's dad and wife. They will spend the night and then continue home to Chesapeake. I am sure they will enjoy sleeping in their own beds on Sunday night. I know that I will miss the excitement and joy of having them here with me.

I won't have much time to be lonely, however. My oldest son, his wife and 2 more grandchildren - and MORE presents - arrive this afternoon. I love long Christmas celebrations!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

Quick post - Youngest son and his family have arrived. Their quilt is not finished. Still have not picked up my parent's gift. Need to make BIL's chef's apron. Have to pick up more stocking stuffers. Completely (until now) forgot that I still need to buy my great-niece a gift. I have photos to share - just not the time to download and organize! At 4pm, life will slow down as we get dressed for an open house at my parent's home and then return to my house for a walk up the street to church for Christmas services.

Enjoy your day (even if it is rushed and crazy). Please take time to center, reflect and remember that it isn't about what you did or didn't get finished. It IS about a gift - a gift of Love Incarnate.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Remember my messy studio?

Well, it's back! I have fabric snippets and thread all over the carpet. I have batting on the floor, cutting table and on the ironing board. I have storage bins pulled down from shelves and on the carpet creating an obstacle course. I have two sewing machines set up side by side just so I don't have to move my chair too far. I still have to crawl into the storage under the eaves and look for some yardage of denim. If the weather folks could just be wrong about the lack of snow for tomorrow. I NEED one snow day before Christmas to get all my projects finished and restore some semblance of order upstairs!

Knowing that I had all this to do, I still went to the Pfaltzgraff outlet yesterday with my sister and then out to Red Robin for lunch. I SCORED at Pfaltzgraff! I found a couple of pieces of Weir in cayenne for my DIL. For my son who really likes to cook I found a santoku knife (70%) off that he will love. My dad makes an apple pie every year for Thanksgiving. I got him a pumpkin shaped pie plate from their Plymouth collection. (Isn't it cute?!)
I put some Pistolet in my basket but changed my mind at the very last minute. I did pick up an adorable teapot for my collection. All this for less than $20! I felt like a shopping guru!!

I guess I need to get back to Jenny and quilt the fabric for the baby's shopping cart seat. When it is finished I will post a photo because I think this thing is going to be darling!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

7 hours of sleep!

Whoo hoo! For "women of a certain age", a decent night's sleep is to be treasured. I got some lovely rest last night so I am bright eyed this morning.

I cut out and FINISHED a Christmas gift already this morning. I would post a photo but the recipient reads my blog. Let me just say that I love working with decorator fabrics. I am going to lay out the fabric and pattern for another gift this morning. My nephew and his lovely wife are expecting a baby in May. I am making her a grocery cart liner to use when the baboo is big enough to sit up in the cart. I think they are a wonderful idea. Goodness only knows what kind of nasty is on the cart seats and handles! My final project for today will be a gift for my BIL. He owns a "Big Green Egg" and has become quite a chef on the unit. He belongs to an on-line group for "Eggers" and has a screen name that I want to embroider on the front pocket of a chef's apron.

Oh, another thing for today...Pfaltzgraff outlet stores are going out of business. The last day they are open is tomorrow so if the roads are decent, my sister and I are going to run to the outlets in Hershey and see what is left. I am hearing that merchandise is marked down as much as 90% off. I really hope they have some "Pistolet" left in stock. Why didn't I know about this a couple of weeks ago?!!?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It is nearly 3:15am, I have been awake for an hour and a half and instead of working on my vast number of Christmas projects, I have been sitting in front of the computer playing a game. I just want to sleep and I cannot. We had snow yesterday evening that is supposed to be followed by freezing rain and sleet. Nice. Anyway, they have been scraping the streets for hours and I guess that is what woke me. Every time I tried to go back to sleep I would begin to think about Christmas gifts that I have not yet purchased, sewing projects that are half finished and quilts that need to AT LEAST be pieced by Christmas.

Half asleep, I am afraid to sew as I would probably run a needle over my finger. I don't want to cut because only goodness knows what kind of damage I might do with a rotary cutter.

And so, I sit in front of the computer like a zombie. Accomplishing nothing. And just now, I rubbed the side of my nose and a piece of clear, rubbery plastic flew off my glasses and they don't sit correctly on my face.


Monday, December 15, 2008

At last - Christmas at my house!

I posted a slide show on one of my other blogs. I know that everyone doesn't read those so I thought I would show my tree this year. I borrowed it from my parents. My own tree is 5 feet across at the bottom and would never fit in my living room. This tree is tall and narrow and very easy to decorate as it is pre-lit. What a dream! Here is the tree
From christmas
I really do think it is beautiful this year.

Here is a photo of the fabric I purchased for a tree skirt. It is several woven fabrics, damask, velvet and is pre-pieced. I bought it half price from Quilter's Quarter. I do not have the time now this year to actually make a skirt but will after the first of the year. The fabric is from Moda 3 Sister's Mistletoe Manor. I think the fabric is absolutely gorgeous and perfect in my house. I have several quilt pieces made from the regular cotton fabric.
From christmas

I am planning a second posting today so that I can show you the dresses I made for my granddaughter. I am ever so pleased with myself!

Grammy sews clothes...

Here is my granddaughter's dress and the dress for her doll. I know I complained and whined about it. Now for the truth - I ENJOYED MAKING BOTH OF THEM! Honestly, the most difficult thing was pulling the interfacing for the doll dress back through the jumper straps. I think that took me nearly 45 minutes with a "purple thang" and a pair of tweezers. (I didn't swear but I came pretty close!
From Quilty stuff

I decided to add the "flower" embellishment because the jumper was so plain. It was the first time I had ever made a "yo yo". I used fabric from my stash and vintage buttons from my button collection. On the close up of the flowers the fabric looks very orange. In reality it is a very nice shade of red.
From Quilty stuff

I am going to purchase a white turtleneck for Miss B and I am making one for the doll. (The pattern has one included.) I don't know that I will start cranking out doll clothing, however, I think I will be making more outfits for granddaughter and doll. I really am embarrassed that I pitched such a fit about sewing these!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Changed it again

Now THIS is more like it...lots of pink pretties. I love pink, cranberry and sage. My sister says that it is obvious that a man does not live in my house. One trip to my girly bathroom and he would immediately be in need of hormone replacement therapy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting in the spirit of things...

I changed the background on my blog page. I think it is just so "me"! Actually, it would be more "me" if it were in shades of pinks with lots of flowers but this will do!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Motivated by guilt

Yesterday I picked up fabric to make a jumper for my granddaughter's American Girl doll. I also picked up fabric to make a jumper for my granddaughter to match. I believe I have mentioned before that I do not like making clothing and I REALLY do not like making doll clothes! Why then am I making these gifts for my granddaughter? Because of my quilty sister. She is making my granddaughter a nightgown for Christmas and one to match for the doll. What kind of a crappy Grammy would I be if I didn't do the same? I hate being motivated by guilt...

Side note - here is one of the newer American Girl dolls

She is listed as a historical doll. There is something very wrong with a historical doll depicting a character from 1974!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Back in the saddle

or so to speak! I went up into the studio this morning, took all of my Christmas projects out of hiding and have them all over my work table. I feel so much better!

I went through some stash and found a few fabrics that will work together to make more purse organizers. I have decided not to make myself totally crazy so I am not going to make all the pajama pants and polar fleece pants that I had originally thought I would. Socks are the answer. What male doesn't need socks? OK, maybe there are a few that don't but that's what I am giving to the male contingency of nephews. If I could think of something else clever and nearly effortless, I would make something but who needs the pressure?

My youngest granddaughter has asked me to make some clothing for her American Girl doll. I think I would rather be dragged behind the back of a truck than make doll clothes but when a grandchild makes a request, Grammy has to come through! I found some very cute "Thomas" fabric to make a quick quilt for my grandson. My eldest granddaughter has requested a Minkie pillowcase. The girl is a nut for Minkie! I am going to pick up some pretend Minkie that that carry at Joann's. I have 40% off coupon and I am not afraid to use it!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Good mail!!

Looky what I got in the mail today!
From Quilty stuff

I won a drawing at Irene's blog site. I adore the fabric, the notecards are beautiful, the jewelry bag is darling and I can't wait to read my new magazine!

Thank you so much, Irene!!

Black Friday has come and gone

and I still have money in my checking account! I skipped the 4am shopping this year. I think I learned my lesson last year at Target. The checkout line went completely around the inside of the building. I realized that there was NOTHING I wanted that badly! I love on-line shopping and with free shipping being offered by a lot of companies I think that for the few things I am purchasing, buying via the Internet is a good decision.

I did take my daughter-in-law and granddaughter to a couple of thrift and consignment shops. The little girl's Christmas tea is this afternoon and Em needed something to wear over her shoulders. The theme is a princess tea party so all the girls are wearing princess dresses. My granddaughter is wearing the dress that she recently wore in her aunt's wedding. Spaghetti straps look pretty but we thought she might be chilly so a shawl or wrap of some sort was our search item. We found one that made her happy. I bought a few Christmas plates for 50 cents a piece. I will put cookies and fudge on them to use as "treat" gifts for my neighbors. We spent a couple of hours poking around at 3 shops and had a good time. Best thing - no crazy crowds!

I must say that I am getting a little twitchy having been unable to sew or cut or quilt in the studio. Next time I think I will give my son and his wife my bedroom and sleep up there. Even if I don't sew, I will be able to look at fabric!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is a day to remember and acknowledge all things for which I am thankful. Most importantly, it is a day that I take time to reflect on the fact that EVERYTHING in my life is a gift. Thanks be to God!

I hope you and yours have a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A little distraction

Know how I keep talking about locking myself in the studio? I really do mean it...but there are just so many distractions! Julie (quilty sister) and I went to Lancaster County to go grocery shopping yesterday at one of the "cheap" stores. On the way back, we pass by one of our favorite quilt shops so we had to stop in. Then since we were so close to another of our favorites we stopped in there, too.

I really wasn't going to buy anything except some fusible thread. Then I saw a quilt hanging on the wall that I thought would be PERFECT for my son and DIL so I had to buy the pattern book. Thankfully, there were not any other quilt shops on the way home so I took Julie to her house to drop off her groceries and go through her scraps. I need to make a turkey place mat for my grandson to match his sister's. I got everything I needed and then Julie asked if I would go to the mall with her to pick up something and then to another place to get a gift card. When I said that I really needed to go home, she got that woebegone look on her face so I caved and went with her. Did I mention that there is a TJ Maxx near the mall? We went there, too. We got home about 3pm (I left the house at 7:30am) so I did not sew for one minute yesterday! So much for planning...

Today the Society of Sexy Sewing Sisters is meeting so I know that I will get something done. It won't be much but it will be something! I am taking the place mat and some fabric to fuse for the purse organizers.

Hope you have a happy and productive day!

Friday, November 21, 2008

What I did this morning

instead of getting ready for work!
From Quilty stuff
Isn't it just the cutest thing? I am going to make some big ones next that I may give as gifts...or if they are too cute to give away, they may end up all over my house! I think this will be adorable to hold cocktail napkins for our pre-Thanksgiving dinner appetizers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2 more gifts finished!

From Quilty stuff
Oh, don't I just feel so good about myself?! I have many more gifts to make but I really feel like I have made a dent...and BEFORE Thanksgiving! These little purse organizers go together really quickly. I hope my nieces like them. The pattern was posted by The Giving Flower. This link will take you directly to the PDF file if you are interested. (She has other patterns at her site!) Here's a close-up
From Quilty stuff

This Sunday S4 is getting together for our monthly meeting. I will probably bring gifties to make with me since none of them involve too much concentration. Saturday (while locked in my studio!) I hope to finish the quilt top of my star quilt. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I thought I would get more done...

I really had good intentions when I got home yesterday but my eyes were so tired by 8pm that I did not get nearly as much accomplished as I had hoped. I did start to clean up the studio...
From Quilty stuff
...Think it needed some work? (This only shows one small section of the room!) I am a total slob when I am working on projects. Not to mention the fact that I tend to have 2 or 3 projects going at one time so that REALLY makes a mess!

I sewed across the entire center portion of my star quilt. Never one to stick to the pattern, I am having to think too much to make all the cuts. Why couldn't I just stick with one neutral? I think the quilt will be beautiful and, if it is, I will take a photo. If not...

Here is the table topper that I made for my nephew and his fiance.
From Quilty stuff
I like it. This is a closeup of the quilting though it is camouflaged pretty well.
From Quilty stuff
The quilting that I did in the white triangles isn't perfect but the stitches are fairly even and I am happy with that. I can free motion pretty well but following a pattern is more difficult for me.

I am hoping to get the fabric fused to the interfacing tonight so that I can start working on the purse organizers tomorrow morning. I love sewing at 4am!

Monday, November 17, 2008

No pictures

I know, I know - what's the point? I can't find my camera. I took it to the football game on Friday night and now it has disappeared. I know I didn't leave it at the game so it is probably in my BIL's car. I will search for it again this afternoon.

I want to show pictures because I was really busy this weekend and got the Christmas table topper for my nephew & his fiance finished. I struggled with thread breaking but I emailed the guru, Jen, and she gave me some advice which worked like a charm. I also cut out the fabric for my big star quilt and started piecing it. I think I am really going to like this one. I think it will hang in the living room when it is finished. I may (or may not) take it down after the holidays. The colors are perfect for my living room and I really like displaying my quilts.

I also went shopping this weekend and got the fabric and interfacing to make purse organizers for my nieces for Christmas. I think they are going to go together pretty quickly so maybe I will knock out a couple of those tonight.

I promise - photos tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where on earth???

This past Saturday, I made a quick run to Burkholder's with my sisters. I am not even sure I remember exactly why I thought I needed to go but someone says "Burkholder's" and my butt goes directly to the car. Anyway...I bought a piece of fabric to make a big, easy star quilt that my sister made this summer for her beach cottage. It is from "Quilter's World" and is supposed to be super easy and super fast. I thought I would like to make one for the holidays. OK - so I bought the piece of fabric that I needed and also got a couple of other 1/2 yard cuts. Now, what did I do with it? I cannot find the package anywhere.

Nevermind - I just found it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ugly rumor

There is an ugly rumor going around that Christmas is 6 weeks away. Oh, good grief! How can that be? The mystery quilt that I started for my son and his wife (to give them for Christmas this year) is still a mystery. I know I have all the fabric cut out but have NO IDEA where it is. My other son and daughter requested a large wallhanging for Christmas. They made the request around February so that I would have plenty of time. Have I started that one? Nooooo.... Do I know what I want to make? Noooo.... Michelle sent me a pattern that I just had to make. A sweet table topper. I was making it for myself. It has now become a Christmas present for my nephew and his fiance'. I still have to make 6 purse organizers, 3 pair of polar fleece lounging pants and 8 pair of flannel pajama pants.

I am pretty sure that I don't have anything "booked" for this Sunday. After about noon, you will find me locking in the studio and chained to the sewing machine.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nothing exciting

My niece's quilt is finally finished. Well, I am guessing it is finished since I attached the binding and gave the quilt to my sister to sew down the binding. I swear, as soon as I get some time I am going to learn how to attach binding the Sharon Schamber way. Anyhoo...I did all the quilting on this one. I was a little nervous about FMing the flower design but I figured that if I could doodle them on paper, surely I could doodle them on fabric with the LA. The thread used was Sew Fine in the bobbin (pre-wound) and King Tut but I don't remember which one. I was a little concerned that the quilting would be too obvious on the red blocks but I think it looks pretty darn good!
From Quilty stuff
From Quilty stuff
I think I have used up about 2/3 of my "Vienna Nights" stash. I have a lot of the yellow colorway still in my basket and I think I can probably get another lap throw out of what is left. There was roughly 1/3 of a yard of fabric left over from the backing. It is the blue floral from "Roman Holiday" that Julie found on sale at Burkholder's. I love it so I am keeping the scrap! I have some other pieces of Roman Holiday in my stash so if I keep it really simple, I believe I have the makings of a Christmas gift.

Which brings me to a thought. I truly am concerned about local quilt shops. Just last week, I discovered that one of my favorite shops in Pennsylvania closed their storefront and are now just an on-line operation. Our group used to go there and shop for HOURS. I never saw any evidence that they were having financial difficulties so I guess we won't know why they closed but it did make us sad. With so many of us using up stash in an effort to keep spending under control during these crazy economic times, I wonder how many shops will make it through? There is a shop about 5 minutes from where I live. I rarely go in there since the fabric selection is limited, however, I would hate to see the shop close. The shop only opened about a year ago and I know it was a dream come true for the owner. Maybe I will go there this weekend and see if I can find some Christmas fabric or something. Better yet, maybe I should sign up for a class!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Shop Hopping

From Quilty stuff
A few members of S4 went Shop Hopping yesterday. We drove all the way up to Stroudsburg and worked our way down to Allentown. We managed to hit 5 shops in 5 hours and that was pretty amazing! I decided not to participate in the quilt block purchases so I was basically along for the ride...even though I did the driving! (BTW - I am not in the photo as I was the photographer.)

I did end up with some fabric...go figure!
From Quilty stuff

The top two pieces were discounted by 40%. I don't know what I am going to do with them but I couldn't pass up the price. I am thinking a table runner for the spring. The two green pieces in the center were 1/2 yard cuts for $2.75 so I HAD to buy them. The gold and green pieces are to finish the outside of a Christmas panel I bought last year that I have not even started. I bought the red batik because I thought it would work for salmon bellies. (I have a huge collection of fabrics that I call "fish fabric" because they work great for fish backs, bellies, fins, etc. for McKenna Ryan quilts.)

Every shop on the "hop" does their own quilt design with the blocks from the shops. This quilt was at Allentown Sewing Machine Outlet.
From Quilty stuff
It was our favorite by far. The coloration is off a bit because I was trying not to use the flash but you get the idea.

I have a stack of stuff I want to get finished by next Sunday. If only I could take a week off from work and lock myself in the studio!!

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