Thursday, December 31, 2009

I didn't expect this!

The weather report kept changing  and the last one I saw indicated we were going to get rain today.  When I opened the door this morning to take out the trash I couldn't believe what I was seeing!  When I left for work we had 3" on the ground and it was coming down hard.  I picked up a mocha at McDonald's and headed out onto the highway.  It was a skating rink.  I called the office, went back home and I have been working on-line all morning.  It is AMAZING how much office work I can get done when there are no distractions!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's very, very vindy...

Yes, that says "vindy"...I am having a Pennsylvania Dutch moment!  I woke up at 2am because the house was moving.  Again.  I have mentioned before that wind at night makes me nervous.  It's a throw back to being 8 years old, living in Kansas and tornadoes.  Anyway, no sleep for me.

I got an order yesterday for two children's purses and I should be working on them, however, I feel the need to quilt something other than a bag so I am working on table runners.  I LOVE working with 2-1/2" strips of fabric.  I am too cheap to purchase jelly rolls on a regular basis so I use my June Tailor Shape Cut and I can bang out a lot of strips in a short amount of time.

Do you have one of these?  I use mine whenever I am making multiple cuts and if you have a sharp blade in your rotary cutter, you can layer several pieces of  fabric.  That can be a huge time saver!  I think they retail around $39 but you can always use a coupon at Joann's.  Oh, another cool thing.  The folks from June Tailor have videos that you can watch that give great tips on using the Shape Cut so if learning visually works for you, these are great!  (Why I ever thought I would want one of those cheaply made Simplicity strip cutters is beyond me!)

OK - enough rambling.  I am off to sew!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post post Christmas

You know how plans change?  Yesterday my quilty sister, my scrappy sister and I went shopping.  We didn't get to Lebanon.  We went in the opposite direction with my scrappy sister's intent to go to Target as her daughter said they still had Christmas stuff.  Nothing there really sent me around the bend so I ended up buying body wash ('cause I needed it) and a throw rug for the front porch.  Next was Michael's.  Two rolls of very thin brown satin ribbon (for Hazelnut Hill labels) and that was it.  The next stop was going to be Joann's but we drove past another Target first so we had to stop there.  Again - nothing exciting.  Then it was decided that Big Lots should be on our list of "stop & shop" so we zipped in there.  MOTHER LODE!!  I got a huge bag of bottle brush Christmas trees, DVDs, a Christmas rug for my kitchen and I don't even remember what else.  We were in there forever.  Sisters snatched up lots of goodies as well.  Finally we ended up at Joann's and I got fabric (surprise!) to make napkins for my Christmas tea next year and two country French wine label plaques for my kitchen because they were on clearance and clearance stuff was half price.  Finally because it was on the way out of town, we stopped at AC Moore.  I found a couple of things including a bag of "snow".  (Hmmm - bottle brush trees and fake snow.  I think there is a craft there somewhere!)

Thanks, Sissywickens and CeeCee.  I had a great time!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


In a moment of weakness, I agreed to go shopping yesterday.  My purchase - a pair of silver snowflake earrings that were discounted down to around $5.  Everyone else seemed to find things they wanted but I think I just wasn't really in the mood to shop.  Today my quilty sister is picking me up after church and we are going to Joann's and a couple of shops in Lebanon.  We are also going to Lowe's.  I received a gift card and now have to decide - outdoor rolling trash can or beadboard wallpaper.  Sadly, I think the trash can will come home with me.  (I live an extremely glamorous life!)

Pretty, huh?  You know you want one, too!

One last day of fun and then back to the office.  I really do need to start playing the lottery!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

From my home to yours - may this Christmas be a time of peace, joy and reflection.  I hope that you are surrounded by the people that you love and that your heart is open to all the blessings from our Father, our Savior and the Spirit that surrounds and restores us.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Is my hair on fire yet?

Two days before Christmas and I just got a last minute request for a weekender bag.  I haven't made my sister's gifts.  I haven't decided on a gift for my father.  I just realized that I "forgot" one of my nieces.  I have two large piles of laundry to do.  My kitchen looks like Martha Stewart had a melt down in it.

So - what did I do last night?  I turned on all the lights in my little Christmas village houses, lit the candles in the windows and turned on Christmas carols.  'Cause I really just needed to calm down, relax and enjoy.

I am planning on freaking out late this evening...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Did you say "Snow"?

I have read a several blogs today that mention snow in the forecast.  Here's mine!

I am prepared - a case of Diet Coke, 2 bottles of wine, bottle of Bailey's.  (I really am very low maintenance!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What I do when I get up at 2:30am

I read blogs.  I read lots and lots of blogs.  I am inspired by some, in awe of some and some just make me shake my head.  Lately I have been looking at beautifully decorated homes and incredible handmade gifts.  I start to feel badly about myself and my thrown together Christmas decorating and I remember how wonderful our home looked when I was fortunate enough to not have to work a "regular" job.  After I finish feeling sorry for myself, I think about the fact that I do work 40+ hours a week outside the home, work unknown hours for Hazelnut Hill and I still manage to get some decorating done.  Every once in a while I have to give myself the "you go, girl" pep talk.  Do you ever feel that way?

Writing about being inspired, have you seen the great recipes for sugar scrubs as gifts?  I am going to make them for my nieces for Christmas.  (This image is from C&H Sugar.  They have some great ideas here including appropriate gift tag printables.)  I already have most of the ingredients in the house and just need to pick up some essential oils.  Yes, I do realize that Christmas is only a little over a week away but I work best under pressure!  I am making two other gifts for my sisters and that is it.  Well, that isn't exactly true.  I am also making gifts for my grandchildren but I won't see them until Epiphany so that gives me nearly 3 weeks to have them finished.  (We believe in using ALL the 12 days of Christmas in our family!!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One of those nights

I have hardwired smoke detectors throughout my home.  They are extremely good smoke detectors and though when one goes off they ALL go off (that feature can be frustrating!) I know that in the event of a fire, I will be thoroughly alerted.  What I discovered last night about my smoke detectors is that even though they are wired directly into the electricity, they have a battery backup feature.  I know that is a wonderful safety feature.  Really, I know that…however, when the battery needs to be changed the smoke detectors start to “chirp”.  And they continue to chirp until the battery is changed.  This chirping notification can start at any time of day.  Guess when my smoke detectors started making noise?  Midnight, you say?  Actually, a little after and now it is 4:30am and the chirping continues.  This is NOT a noise that you can drown out or cover up.  This is an extremely sharp, shrill chirp…AND IT WILL NOT STOP!   

My ceiling is very high.  I cannot reach it without my 8’ long step ladder which is in the basement.  I do not have any 9 volt batteries laying around.  I live in a really tiny town in the middle of nowhere and getting to Walmart is a hike.  The local hardware store doesn’t open until 8am.  Had I known, I would have kept spare batteries on hand.  Had the moron who rehabbed this house left any kind of installation manuals or user manuals here I might have been prepared.  Guess who didn’t get much sleep last night and is feeling pretty witchy this morning?  Good thing I just live with a cat…

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dang! It's cold!!

clip_image002If y'all were reading my blog last winter, you know that I struggle with heating my house.  Usually the second and third floors stay pretty warm based on the fact that warm air rises from the first floor.  Well, not THIS morning!  It is cold in the studio.  "Throw on a pair of gloves" kind of cold!  A few months ago, my mother picked up a little Pelonis ceramic heater.  I have been using in the kitchen on cold mornings but I just brought it upstairs to the studio and in 5 minutes, the change in temperature is dramatic.  Thank goodness!

I know I said I wasn't going to do it but the Christmas fabric I picked up on Wednesday is calling my name.  I think if I just whip up a couple of table runners I can get it out of my system!  Off to find a fast pattern...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Temptation called....

and I picked up the phone!  I received an email from Fabric Mart yesterday afternoon.  They have leather on sale (I have no interest) and at the bottom of the email it mentioned that the rest of their Christmas fabric was on sale for $1 a yard.  I think I squealed out loud.  I left the office later than I wanted and called the shop.  I told them I was coming but would probably only arrive about 5 minutes before they closed.  If they were not busy, would they start cutting some black & white Christmas toile?  I pulled into the parking lot with 5 minutes to spare.  She had already cut a couple of yards of each fabric and told me to just pick out what I wanted and she would continue to cut past closing time.

I chose only the Moda fabric.  Here's what $28 bought me

Table runners, table toppers, a couch throw, Christmas tote bags - the possibilities are rolling around in my head.  I don't think I have the time to do anything this year but for Christmas next year I am totally prepared!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snow Update

So...we got about 4", it got very cold over night and snow is still on the ground!  It will be in the upper 30's today so the snow will go but I see now they are predicting snow again on Tuesday.  Some sweet little boys came by the house last evening as the snowfall was winding down and wanted me to hire them to shovel my walk.  Granted the portion of the sidewalk that I am responsible for is about 12 feet but it was worth paying the little guys to clear it for me.  Hope they come by all year!

Studio progress - another bag finished, two more cut and I started a quilt.  The quilt is going together easily because I am using jelly roll strips for a portion of it and the blocks that I cut are a decent size.  This is one of those projects where you can mindlessly sew strip to block, strip to block and gun them through the sewing machine.

Oh, I finished the pot of coffee and only a little of the Bailey's.  I figured it would be good to have some on hand for the next time it snows!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Apparently I am a very good dancer!

It isn't sticking to the roads and it will all disappear overnight but for the moment we have snow!!

This is what I see when I look out the window in the studio.  They say 2 - 3" will fall today.  I have a pot of coffee, a bottle of Baileys and a whole stack of DVDs.  I am doing some strip piecing and everything has been cut so there should not be any danger of me cutting off a finger.

Hope your day is as fantastic as mine!!

Snow Dance

I know that everyone doesn't feel the same way about snow that I do, however, I cannot help but get excited about the possibility of our first snowfall today!  I keep looking out the window but nothing yet.  I am going to go put on my snow boots, a scarf and mittens and do a little tap dance in the backyard.

If no one carts me off to the hospital for observation, I will update you with snow (please, please, please) photos as soon as I see the flakes!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Somebody needs to stop me!

Guess where I went?  Yes!  Back to the cheap fabric store.  Fabric Mart (in Sinking Spring) now has ALL of their quilter's cottons on sale at $1.99 a yard.  Admit it - wouldn't you go?  I bought 12 yards of beautiful fabric for quilt backings.  (I would show it to you but I haven't dragged it up to the studio yet!)  I also found these pieces for bags/purses/totes as well as some additional Moda "Peace on Earth" fabric to add to my collection.

I could have done some serious damage...again.  You cannot believe how much fabric they still have left.  I know that they have finished bringing all of it up from the basement.  There is still Moda, Free Spirit, Rowan, Makower, etc.  If you live near Berks County, PA go to Fabric Mart.  Really.  They just dropped the prices all the way down the other day so for the best selection, go soon.  Here's the new buzz - they bought out another on-line quilt shop and they are bringing in more fabric in January.  Not this much inventory but I am sure that is why they have dropped the prices so low. 

Now I have to sit back down at the sewing machine and start working on bags again.  I managed to cut out two yesterday morning but this morning I am not feeling it.  I will be doing some serious work over the weekend.  (Jan and Dee - bags next week!!)

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Post Thanksgiving...

We had a wonderful, crazy Thanksgiving celebration at my house.  We had a turkey and a ham and we all ate too much.  My dear daughters-in-law did all the after dinner cleanup.  Bless their hearts!  We let dinner settle for a while and then all piled into the car with desserts.  Our tradition includes all going to my sister's home on Thanksgiving night for dessert and Black Friday shopping planning sessions.  I ate a piece of pecan pie, lemon pie and coconut cake.  Yummy!!  We read through all the ads and though I enjoyed hearing what strategies were going to be implemented, Black Friday shopping was something I just didn't want to do.

My 2 sisters were shopping at 4am on Friday.  After all the holiday preparations, I was happy to just stay in early on Friday morning.  My grandson requested cinnamon rolls for breakfast so I got up a little before 6 to start the dough.  By the time everyone was up and about, the house smelled heavenly.  Chad and Amy went to the mall for a few doorbuster specials...left at 7 and were back here at 8:30.  They were in and out and got everything they went to purchase.  Later in the morning all the "girls" ventured to Lebanon County for some shopping.  2-1/2 hours later we were finished and returned to my house for lunch.  Napping was the plan for the afternoon.  I couldn't fall asleep but crashed on the couch for a while.  I needed the rest! 

My darling boys hung the chandelier in the dining room.  It turned into a major project and I am surprised they are still talking to me!  It does look terrific and I am so pleased with the result.  They also installed a dimmer switch, fixed the kitchen faucet (again!) and helped with dishes.  It was nice not having to touch any garbage bags - man work!

They left around 8:30 this morning and I had my usual sob fest.  I can be brave for about the first 3 hugs and then I slowly end up sobbing on the last poor soul I hug!  I walked them out to the car and then came back into the house, sat on the couch and just cried for a while.  I feel better now.  I have been doing laundry and doing some "straightening up".

Back into the studio later today.  I have some Christmas fabric I am turning into sweet Christmas tote bags.  I am making some that are mother/daughter size.  Too cute!  I also have 2 custom order bags that I want to make this week and get out in the mail.  I bought a jelly roll of Moda dark marbles that are perfect for a quilt I want to make as a Christmas gift.  I think I will cut out the blocks on that so that with very little effort I can have quilt top ready in a few days.

Hope you have a lovely Sunday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have

done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole

creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,

and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for

the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best

efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy

and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures

that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the

truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast

obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,

through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life

again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and

make him known; and through him, at all times and in all

places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

1979 Book of Common Prayer

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No place like home...

So, you know how big designers have "trunk shows"?  I am not a big designer so I am having "big brown box" shows!  I took all of my bags into the office yesterday and (with permission) set them up in one of the small conference rooms.  A 350 mile drive from home and I sold 11 bags.  A 20 minute drive from my house and I sold 5 bags yesterday with an option on a 6th!  I boxed them all back up again and they are making the trek to my sister's office on Monday.  "Have packing box, will travel!"

I cleaned the studio last night and turned it into a dorm for the grandchildren.  I have large plastic totes with toys in the eave storage closet so they will be easily accessible.  They have a television with DVD player and a VCR and access to the computer.  I think that will keep them entertained.  The studio is warm and cozy and I hope they will want to keep the toys confined to this room.  I lowered the cutting table to regular height so that the children could color or draw.  I think I am ready!

Ms. Em and I are going to pick up some wire and chain this afternoon so the guys can hang the chandelier in the dining room on Thursday morning.  Em is going to help me with Thanksgiving preparation this afternoon/evening.  We need to get all of the Thanksgiving side dishes prepared and refrigerated...and bake a pecan pie and coconut cake...and make up the top bunk bed...and change the sheets in my bedroom...and dust and vacuum the living room & dining room...and wash the kitchen floor...

Good grief!  Why am I just sitting here?!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Craft Show Day 2

I wanted to give you some idea of how large this craft show was so here are some photos that are incredibly fuzzy.  There were 90 vendors and we were spread out down all of the main hallways of Indian River High School.

You could, in all honesty, get all of your Christmas shopping done in one place.  The quality and quantitiy was amazing.  That having been said, it was not a good show for most of the vendors.  Roughly 3,000 people attended.  I sold 11 bags.  Yes, ELEVEN!  That's it.  I had a lot of people take my card and ask if I did custom orders (certainly!) but only 11 are not returning to Pennsylvania.  Thankfully, I am fairly certain that the balance of my inventory will sell before Christmas so I am not totally freaked out.  I am very disappointed however.  I chalk this up to being a good learning experience (and I DID learn a lot!)  My dear son, Chad, is setting up a real website for me and also doing some really cool video stuff.  I will see what kind of interest that generates and go from there.  I am very serious about this becoming a business with a viable income generated.

So, this morning we are loading up the car, adding a grandchild and her stuff and heading home.  The rest of my family arrives on Wednesday night.  I am not going near a sewing machine until next Sunday.  I will probably be a little twitchy for a few days!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Craft Show Day 1

Our trip to Virginia was uneventful and I barely made my mother work.  Her principal job on the trip down was keeping me hydrated with Diet Mountain Dew so that I would stay awake.  I only slept a few hours on Thursday night so the 7 hour drive was a killer.  As her first reward, I treated my mom to dinner at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Chesapeake. 

Once we arrived at my son's house, we finished working on tags and bag buttons and got ready for Saturday.  Again, I could not sleep.  I was so afraid that I didn't have enough bags, they were not good enough, my display would be crappy, etc. 

I arrived at the venue and was overwhelmed.  This show is HUGE!  There were so many booths and they were all decorated and set up beautifully.  I had a table, a pot rack and a basket hanging rack.  Oh, dear!  I did the best I could with tablecloths, quilts and tablerunners and then I was off to pick up my mother and the bags.  Momma stuffed them with newsprint (thank you nice man at U-Haul!) as we were driving back to the show.  I put them into large packing boxes and loaded them onto the folding cart my son loaned me.  We put everything out and here are a few photos

A couple of hours later, Chad arrived with his family and a surprise for me

Isn't he a sweetheart?!

Sales were slow going but I have sold enough at this point to cover my costs so that is terrific.  I had a lot of people touching the bags and telling me they were beautiful but not nearly as many actually purchasing any!  I thought about lowering my prices but only for a moment.  I worked hard on producing this bags, I have used quality materials and they ARE beautiful. 

Today the show starts at noon and only runs until 4pm.  The woman at the booth next to me has done these shows before and told me that Sunday sales are pretty good. 

Y'all keep sending happy thoughts and I have every confidence a lot more bags will be gone by this evening.  Mama needs some new shoes!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Big Weekend

The show is tomorrow and Sunday afternoon.  I have no idea how many bags I finally have finished.  Actually, "finished"' is still a word I am throwing around rather loosely.  My mother will be sewing buttons on bags while I drive.  She will also be hanging care instruction cards on the bags and putting price tags on them.  She doesn't know this yet.  Don't you just LOVE surprises!!

By the way, I have updated the slideshow at  I keep throwing new photos on when I remember to take a couple of bags to the office to photograph.  Hopefully all that you see (plus another 60 or so) will be GONE by Sunday afternoon!

I am working from home for a few hours before we leave.  Remote access to the computer on my desk at work makes my life so much easier.  (If I could only convince upper level management to let me work from home 2 or 3 days a week!)  I will still be tied to the office via my cell for the rest of the day but my mom will also be playing secretary for me today while I am driving.  (I think I am going to owe her big time after this trip is over!!)

Y'all have a good weekend!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Early November Update

Since my posts have been few and far between, I thought a quick update the best thing to post this morning. 

Just got back from Virginia and my son’s award presentation.  I took my parents and we drove down on Friday afternoon and returned to Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon.  I think I am getting too old for these fast trips!  Chad actually received two awards and it was a delight to be able to share the moments with him. 

I have been back to the “cheap” fabric store and they still haven’t finished bringing up everything from the basement.  They were also offering a 10% discount coupon if you spent $25.  When the salesperson cut my fabric and started totaling my bill she told me if I spent $50 I could get a 20% discount.  What do you think I did?!?  I found enough of one piece of “Chocolat” to make the bed skirt for my bed and an additional border for the quilt.  I also picked up another piece that will be used for pillow cases.  So many women in home decorating blog land are using canvas drop cloths for drapery fabric so I have decided to take the plunge.  I will use the drop cloths for the basis of my bedroom drapes and add some of my “Chocolat” collection to embellish them.  This is going to be a project for after the big craft show and Thanksgiving. 

While at the fabric store I picked up a few more pieces of fabric for purses and purse linings.  That project continues and I find little time for anything else.  Next weekend is “crunch time” and I am calling in all my favors to get finishing work done.  I think that selling some of the bags will be difficult.  I am really in love with several and have had to restrain myself from snatching out of the collection to use for myself.  Some of the really large print bags are stunning…if I DO say so myself!

Did everyone take advantage of the sales at Joann’s this weekend and the extra 20% off coupon on your total bill?  I picked up Warm and Natural Queen sized batting that was pre-packaged.  The usual price is $19.99 but it was on sale for $9.99 and then the extra 20% off – SCORE!  I also picked up some harvest themed goodies that were discounted 70% so I felt like quite the shopper.  We stopped in Maryland on the way home from Virginia.  My father wanted to wait in the car.  Silly man.  He finally called my mom’s cell phone to see how much longer we were going to be.  Thankfully we were in line at that point so we didn’t make the poor man sit too much longer.  (I probably should have given him the keys so that he could get out and walk around a bit!)

We have an official due date for the new grandbaby…May 20th.  Next ultrasound may show the gender.  I found the most fabulous fabric for a baby girl quilt.  Of course, I can always find something wonderful for a boy…but another baby girl would be lovely.  (Bella said she already has a baby brother and she would like a little sister this time.)

I discovered just last week that all of my business cards and my purse/tote tags have the wrong web address on them.  You know, if it isn’t one thing… 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

About 2 weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to "Gourd Gathering" at my sister's house.  This is what I painted.

I think it is a dipping gourd.  I cut out a circle of black felt to make her hat.  She isn't exactly scary but you gotta love her "blind" eye!

Sick children update

Fevers have broken evidence that the Tamaflu has kicked in.  Both of the children have congested breathing but my granddaughter is starting to feel a lot better.  Alex is still about a day behind her but not having the fever surely makes a difference.  My son has disinfected everything he could, did many, many loads of laundry and last I heard was making up a bleach bath for Alex's toy cars. 

Thank you all for your comments, prayers and good thoughts.  Now, back to purses!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sick grandbabies...

My oldest son just called.  His two children have come down with H1N1.  They just got vaccinated yesterday and apparently were already infected.  My granddaughter was spiking a fever of 105 and my grandson at 103.  Since their momma is in her first trimester of pregnancy, she has left the house for a few days and is starting on a pro-active course of Tamaflu.  The children are both taking it along with ibuprophen to bring down their fevers.  Alex has asthma so he is in a high risk catagory.  Grammy's heart hurts because she can't be there to help care for the children.

Please add them to your prayers.

Thank you,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In case you were wondering...

No, I was not taken in the night by a band of marauding pirates! I haven't posted in over a week because I have a case of the "blue funk", purses are now the bane of my existence and I am surrounded by half-finished projects. I have less than 4 weeks before the show and 35 bags more to make. I have to take a weekend off and go to Virginia for my son's award (Virginia Teacher of the Year for Physical Education...have I mentioned that before?!?) so I will miss one weekend of serious bag making. My dear mother has offered to come and iron and fuse for me. I will be dragging her into my pit of despair (also known as the studio) on Saturday. It will take her a while to climb the 2 flights of stairs so she better be committed before she makes the ascent!

So...I did get the "Hazelnut Hill" site up on blogger with a slide show of about 8 or 9 bags. There are more that I will add when the weather clears and I can get outside to take photos. As I have mentioned before, no two are alike. I only buy enough fabric usually to make 2 bags and each of those would be from a different design or the color placements are different. At some point I have to throw a couple of diaper bags into the mix. I have designed one that I think is terrific but it is still on paper with no prototype.

That's the update, folks. Here's hoping I get a whole lot done this weekend!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Productive Day

I came down with a cold in the middle of the night but I still managed to be productive today – even if it meant a tissue stuck in the sleeve of my sweatshirt all day!  The weather here is awful – cold, rainy and gray.  I was supposed to be sewing at my sister’s house but several of our friends were going to be there and I didn’t want to drag my nasty germs over and infect others.  Truth be told, I really didn’t want to get out of my sloppy sweats, either!

I have spent the entire day in the studio.  I have 8 bags cut and pieced.  I cut all the fusible interfacing so that is next.  I find that if I do them in sort of an assembly line fashion they go faster.  The worst part is constantly changing thread color.  I try to group fabrics by color so there isn’t quite as much of that.

My big accomplishment is this


I didn’t have anywhere to hang it it the studio so this is the best photo I could take.  Here are some close ups of the quilting


IMG_7279I love this tail!  This quilt is complete down to the label.  


Monofilament is not easy to use. However, if you use a top stitch needle, loosen your tension and don’t go too fast, it works out fine.  I did not have any thread breaks from start to finish.  I finally think I know how to use this thread!  I have also been practicing a lot of the stitches that Leah Day demonstrates in her tutorials and I find that my free motion quilting is improving every time I quilt.

Hope your day was productive and you were warm and dry wherever you are!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Quilter’s ADD

I’ve got it, people and I’ve got it bad!  I need to make many, many more bags.  They weigh heavy on my mind.  They have been taking up all my time in the studio.  I think I may have snapped.  Instead of bags, last night at midnight I was doing this

IMG_7272(Sorry about the photo quality.  It’s difficult to take a photo in my studio when it is black as pitch outside and I am not using a flash!)

Fish!  I was making fish for a quilt based on a McKenna Ryan pattern.  I have made this little wall hanging before and loved it.  I dig through my stash of batiks and make little fishy pieces.  I have two large pieces of blue batiks that I am going to audition with the fish on them to see which blue makes the best background.  I will just fuse the fish onto the “water” and then add a narrow inner border and a wider outer border.  The quilting on this is the most fun.  I will use a smoke colored monofilament thread to anchor and outline the fish and then make long wiggles of stitches to represent water movement. 

This project will, no doubt, occupy me for about another three or four hours and then back to the bags.  I think I really just need some diversion.

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