Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's hot up here!

My granddaughter is here for a week so I took my little sewing machine back up to the studio. I am attempting to work up there every morning so that I can get a few more bags done in a hurry. If you read my "Nest" blog, you will know that I have some unexpected expenses. (Three bags will pay for a plumber.)

Good thing I am up here early in the morning because after 9, this room turns into a sweat box. I have ceiling fan and a fan in the window to exhaust the hot air. You KNOW it is hot when your eyes burn because the sweat is running into them. (How's that for graphic?!?) Seriously, would it have killed the former owner to install duct work when he COMPLETELY reframed the house? A little central air conditioning would go a long way towards making me a much happier woman.

Sorry. I will now quit moaning and groaning. I love having Ms. Em here. We have done manicures, pedicures, make overs, weeded the garden, spray painted wicker chairs for the front porch, gone to the library, gone to the park and that was all in the first 2 days! I am thinking the museum would be a good place to visit today (since they have air conditioning) and then maybe out for dinner tonight. Tomorrow is the pool and then the movies. Every morning Em is taking a sewing class so we have not sewn anything together yet. My sister pre-cut all the fabric and gave her a Happy Jack quilt pattern for Christmas so we still need to put that together. So much to do and so little time.

Hope you are staying cool wherever you are!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Marlene asked to see the fabrics that I picked up in Norfolk last weekend.  First up is a purse that I am working on.  I fell in love with the tulip/plumeria fabric.IMG_7107

I loved this fabric and I have started the process of turning it into a purse for a friend.IMG_7111

Here is the balance of the fabric I picked up.  IMG_7109See that yummy taupe and teal fabric in the center?  I can’t wait to work with that one!  I think that may end up as a simple messenger bag for me…or not.  I fall in love with every bag I make.  I swear, it’s almost like parting with quilts. 

Speaking of quilts, I am participating in a 9-patch block swap and my second batch of blocks arrived yesterday.  We have one more month of swapping.  I think the quilt is going to be really cool.  So many of the fabrics I have never seen before and that is exciting.  I need to go pick up some Kona white fabric and start sashing them.  I really would like to do some serious quilting but I have people asking for my bags.  What’s a girl to do?!

Have a wonderful day!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back in Berks

I returned home on Sunday evening. My grandchildren wore me out. How I managed to raise 2 children, 20 months apart, mostly on my own is totally beyond me! Of course, I had boys and that means I never had to "do" hair!

I did manage to go fabric shopping on Saturday morning. It was a 35 minute drive so naturally both of the children fell asleep in the car. I dreaded waking them but they were not nearly as groggy or crabby as I would have been! My granddaughter was delighted looking at the fabric and then helping me pick out bolts to put in my cart. She is seven and told me while we were in the store that she would like for me to teach her how to sew something. YES! Another convert!! My darling grandson (who is 4) declared several fabrics "beeeuuutiful!" He makes me laugh every time he says that word. We found lots that made it into my basket and the children were absolutely delightful in the store. We were shopping at Fabric Hut in Norfolk (Marlene's fabric shop) and I was extremely happy with the fabrics and the prices on the discount wall.

It was good to be back in Virginia and have the opportunity to spend some time with dear friends. My DIL's mom is leaving for seminary at Suwanee at the end of this week and I was delighted that she and her husband could join us for dinner on Saturday night. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Good friends, good food and good conversation makes for a perfect evening!

I picked up a copy of the Fons & Porter Easy Quilts (Summer) yesterday. Whenever I want to do something quick and easy, I turn to that magazine. It is the only one I pick up on a regular basis. There is a pretty quilt in this edition that has a French flair. I think I need to make it. Now, if I could just figure out how to get 4 more hours in a day!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Just in case you were wondering

I have not fallen off the face of the earth! I am babysitting grandchildren in Virginia. I brought along my sewing machine but I still have not opened it. How women have late in life babies I will never know! These two are wearing me out.

Gotta run - we are off to Vacation Bible School. (Thank goodness 'cause Grammy needs a break!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Goofy security “words”

You know those little odd words (for lack of a better description) that you fill in on some folks blogs so that your comments will be accepted?  Today I got one that made me laugh. 


What do you think?  A martini for a nursing mother?  A martini made with milk?  (Please no emails – I am NOT advocating nursing and drinking!!)

Much sewing this weekend.  I spent the entire day Saturday in the studio…and it looks like it!  I am going to straighten up this morning and then make a chocolate pudding cake to take to my quilting group for desert after lunch today.  (We may not get much accomplished but we sure do eat!)  I am going to take along a bunch of purses that need final handwork and my “Chocolat” quilt.  I try to take things that do not require much thinking as I cannot talk and sew at the same time.

Hope you have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And the winner is…

Sandy!  I used the random number generator from 

I appreciate all the interest in my scraps!  I feel so much better knowing they will go to someone who will use them instead of into the landfill.

I am off now to make more…

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Best day off – EVER!

I spent the entire day with my sister yesterday.  We headed out without much of an agenda, just a couple of thoughts about places we might like to go.  She has the cutest car/truck thingy.Photos 3 545Now picture two “50 something” women, laughing their heads off and zipping down the highway.  That was us yesterday.  We drove all over Lebanon and Lancaster counties.  We first hit a quilt shop not too far from my house.  I needed some lining fabrics and since they have great flat fold prices I knew exactly what I wanted.  Next we stopped the Salvation Army in Lebanon just to see if there was anything interesting.  Then we drove over to Brickerville for lunch and my favorite quilt shop.  In Intercourse (wonder how many hits I will see on my blog this week!) we went to a small quilt museum that is also a quilt shop where I found some batiks that I had not seen before and several ended up in my collection!  Our last stop was a very nice little shop in Bird in Hand.  We finally headed home around 4:30. 

All this and my cell phone didn’t ring one time.  It was a fabulous day.  Thanks, Sissy Wickens, for a wonderful time that will be one of my memory days forever!

Monday, July 6, 2009


I have a heck of a backache but my studio is cleaned and organized.  


Fat quarters are stored by color in the little boxes on the left side of the shelving.  Most of that white/neutral looking stuff on the bottom left shelf is batting scraps that are of fairly significant size.  I have my new little machine set up at the left of the cutting table.  I am going shopping today to pick up clamp on lights that I will install along the wire shelving.  With only one window and a central ceiling fan light, there just isn’t enough light in the room.

IMG_7079         (Note the vintage ironing board…it was my grandmother’s and weighs a ton!)

Jenny sits on my sewing desk.  It has a leaf that pops up but I have it down unless I am quilting.  Behind my chair is an antique washstand and tucked into the corner is a small beverage cooler.  I am giving that to a friend.  It isn’t worth the extra expense of running another refrigerator just so I don’t have to go down two flights of stairs for a Diet Coke!  When that leaves, the white wicker dresser on the right will move to the other side of the eave door and the washstand will move to where the wicker chest sits now.


I really would like to get a better futon or daybed for the studio for guests but this will have to do for now.  The railing behind the futon is where I hang all of my quilt tops until I get them quilted. 

The photos were taken from left to right while I was standing in front of the computer workstation.  I have a large L shaped computer desk in the corner at the top of the stairs.  It takes up a lot of valuable space in the room but I had no where else to put it that was large enough to accommodate all of my stuff!   Here’s a photo of that area


I have the luxury of being able to work at home some days so it is nice to have the computer and all the peripherals in the same room as the sewing machine. 

So there it is…Hazelnut Hill creative center.  I know, strange name since I don’t live on a hill and there isn’t a hazelnut to be found anywhere nearby!  That was the name of my basket making company when I lived near Seattle on what had been a hazelnut farm at one time.  I love where I lived and I love the name so that’s what my Etsy shop will be called.  (As soon as I get myself in gear and get it set up!!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 1 – 4th of July weekend

You know those plans I had for studio organization?  Well, not just yet.  I sewed a couple of bags and made a tiny dent in the disarray but mostly I looked at the mess and felt totally overwhelmed.  This morning I WILL go into the eaves and start moving stuff around and I WILL organize the shelves.  Sometimes tasks just look so big and even knowing that solving the problem by attacking it in small bursts of energy is good methodology, I still have difficulty taking the first step.  Does that ever happen to you?

I need to be more realistic about scraps and scrap organization.  It is very difficult for me to throw away fabric.  Even though I KNOW I will never use 2-1/2” pieces because sewing little pieces of fabric makes me crazy, I keep throwing little strips and squares and bricks into a box.  (2-1/2” strips are different.  I like working with strips of fabric.)  Should I even bother saving them for someone else?  If I don’t I will feel badly and if I do, when do I finally get rid of them?

Nicole (Sister’s Choice) got rid of scraps once by blogging that she was willing to give away a large basket of them to anyone that wanted them.  Y’all want some of these?  I have Moda, P&B Textiles, Red Rooster, Kaufmann, Maywood Studios, etc.  I can’t guarantee what will be in the box but there would be a lot of whatever it is!  Leave a comment if you are interested.  If you are a “no reply” commenter, leave some way for me to get in touch with you.  I will do the random number generator thingy if there is any interest at all!

It is now 5:45am and I am heading into the eaves of the attic.  In the words of General McArthur, “I shall return!”

Friday, July 3, 2009

Y’all have plans for the weekend?

I do.  I bought an entire bolt of fusible fleece, yards of batting and a whole slew of buttons.  I will be up in the studio.  I am going to drag a small a/c unit to the third floor and just hope that between the iron, sewing machine and the air conditioner, I won’t blow any fuses! 

Inspired by Jen’s studio cleanup, I started in mine.  I have a long way to go but I have a plan and I want to get organized before I begin sewing this weekend.  Furniture will be moved, unnecessary items will FINALLY be stowed in the storage space in the eaves and I am going to run the vacuum.  Yes – run the vacuum!!


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