Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Two Weeks under the tree was his record.

 Well, it didn't exactly turn out like I could see in my minds eye. . . 

And it had a few make-overs as well a drastic designer revision.

(Imagine me whispering)  "I won't tell you or show you the mistakes."


TA DA!!!!

That's a lot of mid-day brightness.


Monday, April 1, 2024

Doings around here


Well, Easter is over and so I put all the decorations back in their boxes and took them down to the basement.  All except this little guy that I just got yesterday.  I needed to enjoy him for a few more days before he went into hibernation for a year.   My oldest daughter made him for me.  So cute!

We worked on a Wysocki puzzle this last week.  I bought this over a year ago but haven't been doing very many puzzles like I usually do and so it has languished in the puzzle closet.  It was a really fun puzzle to do because there is so much going on.  There isn't a lot of water or sky (or snow) to try and match similar colored pieces.  I just really enjoyed it.  I'll have to get another one out soon.

The apricot buds were starting to swell so my husband brought in a few branches.  

They bloomed in no time. 


I'm working on the Christmas quilt (still).  It just wasn't looking right and I came up with two reasons why.

1.  The stars were taking all the attention from the center.  The whole point of making the quilt was to have the focus on the little boy sleeping under the tree and that wasn't happening.

2.  I used white for the star backgrounds because I thought the background print of the center was white.  It's not!  It was just not right. 

So, I've spent a lot of time unpicking.

I decided to take a page from Laurie Simpson's book.  She often makes quilts with lots of applique framed by a really simple border.  Here are two examples;

Kato's Garden Quilt

and Hartfield.  I have wondered why she uses such simple borders and I figured it out.  It's so the center can grab the viewers attention, so the center can shine.

And so, with that in mind, I've put a simple surround to compliment the center.  And I used off white fabric - snow to be exact.

I put a 6" solid red border around it and called it good.  That was a week ago.  The quilt keeps whispering from the closet that it's not through with the stars yet.  So I've cut out an outside border of double stars.  

Only time will tell if it will look better or if I've got 28 more star blocks without a home. ~sigh

I thought I was going to have jury duty this month.  I sent in the questionnaire and haven't heard a word back.  Maybe I've reached the "too old" status.  When I watch courtroom dramas I seldom see a grey haired granny in the jury - ha!


Thursday, March 7, 2024

Ongoing progress

I finished the center with the gifts and put on a double star border.  It now measure 48" square.

Now I'm at a standstill. . . 

I'm not sure what to do next.  I had considered putting a border of present blocks but that seemed to be too busy next to the star blocks.  I thought about flying geese, red and white pinwheels, 9-patches, a row of tiny trees, and just this morning I am thinking about words.  

With this improv and the Bramble Blooms improv - I think I'm ready for a straight forward pattern, of  cutting and sewing where all I have to consider is the beautiful fabric.

I guess I'll get one of my UFO tops ready to be quilted and then at least I'll be doing something productive while my indecision wallows.

My 2 eleven year old grandsons decided to roll a snowball to use up all the snow on the grass in the backyard.  They finally had to stop because they couldn't push it anymore - too heavy.

I had hoped for a snowman.  But no, I just have a very large lump of snow in the corner of the backyard.  We've got some more snow coming but  we won't get very much on this side of the valley, we never do.

I think I'll make a pie this morning.  That would make my DH very happy.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

A fun little project.

I made a little needlebook today.  It took me most of the day.    It looks a little tilted because of that dusty green leaf in the upper right corner but I assure you it's really okay.  I used a pattern by Ann Wood and it is on her blog here.  She has free patterns and easy to follow instructions.

This is the first inside page.  I sewed a little pocket on the upper left.  And there is a matching one on the lower right of the back inside cover.  I think I'm going to tack some white felt patches on the inside of both covers for easy access.

This is the 2nd page unit using a piece of  ballet pink 3 Sisters fabric that I love and only have a few scraps of it left. 

This is the middle and 3rd page.  The heart is like another folio (is that the right word?) and yes I know it's off center.  I'm trying to decide if I want to unpick that seam and center it because when it's full of needles. . . is it really going to bother me?

I used fabrics from an old 3 Sister line called Gingham Rose.  I loved that line - sigh.  

And this is the back with it's little bird button.  The instructions say to button it on the front. 


 And this picture shows it's thickness.

I think it turned out pretty well overall and  it was a fun project.  

So, it's cute.

It's done.

And I now can get my needles organized so I'm not always wondering where I put my binding needle, or embroidery needles  or "big stitch" needles etc.  I even found a beading needle while I was going through things.  Now, I know where that is.😏

Back to the Christmas quilt. . . 


Monday, February 19, 2024

Sleeping under the Christmas Tree

I've made a little progress on my Christmas under the tree quilt center.  A strip of the tree garland and the picture on the wall are not sewn down yet.  The tree looks like it needs more ornaments but I have tried a few different ideas that didn't work out so, I'm going to wait till I have presents in front of the tree to decide what else it needs.  I tried buttons, and I cut a few small designs from other fabrics to be appliqued.  It just wasn't right.

We always do Charles Wysocki puzzles at Christmas time so when I found this scrap of Wysocki fabric. . . I had to make it into a picture.  At least it has snow and sleighs.

I'm uncertain what the rest of the quilt is going to look like.  I had thought about just doing a Double Star block in red, green, blue, and yellow but now I am feeling uncertain about that decision.  Maybe I just need to make sawtooth star blocks and call it good.  I also considered making small triangle tree blocks but that would not be the quickest option.  I'm having fun, that's what counts.

My husband got a cortisone shot for his hip last week.  Here he is reclining on the lounge in the waiting room at the pain center.  Notice he's wearing his slippers, gotta be comfortable, right?

My two youngest grandson's and I made a little snowman this week. The little boys were delighted. 

We called him "Winky" because one of his eyes fell out.  

Then we came inside because we were cold and had a real tea cocoa party.  We used my mother's old Franciscan Ware teapot and the little boys were so careful not to drop anything.  They both found out that the saucer does a really good job of catching all the slurps and spills.

                                      You can't have too many marshmallows I always say. . . 

 Another fun event this week is that my granddaughter had her first fitting for toe shoes.  

Last week she and her mother (my daughter) were visiting.  She was on her tablet in the living room and we were sewing at the kitchen table.  Her mother called to her and asked her to come in and tell me what she had coming up this week. She's quite an introvert and was reluctant to come in so her mother finally told me about the shoe fitting.  A quiet cheerful voice came from the living room, "You can come if your want to."

Well, there was no way I was going to refuse THAT invitation.  It was special to be part of something that is important to her.  She's a sweetheart!

Have a lovely week,


(310 days to get this Christmas quilt done.)

Friday, February 9, 2024

Ho Ho Ho

 I'm preparing a meal to take to someone else this morning.  It always makes me so nervous.  It's because  while I used to be a pretty good cook. . . as I have aged I don't multi-task as well.   Sometimes ingredients get forgotten or I don't stir something or the cake falls.  I think it's because I'm out of practice.  So, I picked a never-fail recipe and I'm plowing ahead.  I also added ham chunks to this recipe.

We woke up to about 2" of new snow.  It's always so pretty to see the world covered in white. But, having snow on the ground meant that I wouldn't be going for my walk.  My walking partner has had knee replacements and she won't risk slipping and falling.  I don't blame her at all.   I just looked out the window and the sweet snowflakes are fluttering down again.  Sigh, so peaceful.

I've started yet another Christmas quilt.  Here is my progress.

The background looks tan but it is white and measures 24" X 24".  My middle son (who I'm making the quilt for) used to spend weeks before Christmas sleeping under the Christmas tree.  He's behind the loveseat because that is where the heating vent was.

I need to finish the pillow, decorate the tree, and make presents.  I think the wall in the center needs a picture or shelf or something.  I'll figure that out when I get the rest done.

I was going to make individual blocks to look like my son's ornaments.  This is a really horrible picture of his missionary tree.  As each of the kids went on their missions I would collect their ornaments given to them by Grandma and Grandpa and put them on an artificial 1/2 tree that hung on the wall.  This son's tree is the only one that I have a picture of and so I have a record of all the ornaments.  

Now that I'm actually working on the quilt I shudder to think how much time it would take to make those 12 ornament blocks.  It would look fabulous but I need to come up with better idea.

Christmas is only 320 days away,


Saturday, January 27, 2024

Bramble Blooms Pt. 2 done

I finished the border around the center of my Bramble Blooms SAL.  The prompt asked us to repeat something from the center.  There are obviously pink blooms from the corners of baskets liners (see previous post) but I was mostly trying to repeat the blue circle around the hollyhocks in the center by using circles in the border.  The lovely machine appliqued flowers are really a bonus.  

We were also asked to use quarter square triangles for the cornerstones.  The example blocks were just to angular for this piece.  So I chose to make hourglass blocks and put more appliqued circles in their center.  

I'm looking forward to the next prompt

 And I leave you with a peek of the peak of Mt. Olympus across the valley. 
 I am lucky to have such wonderful views.


Two Weeks under the tree was his record.

 Well, it didn't exactly turn out like I could see in my minds eye. . .  And it had a few make-overs as well a drastic designer revision...