Monday, December 31, 2012

The last day of the year and a finish!

Woohoo! I finished the Mystery Monday's #4 that was hosted by Little Bits of This and That! I had messed up the seam allowance and had to restart. Then, my surgery kept me from sewing for a while - but now the wall hanging top is complete and I am really happy with it. I will have to take it to the quilter; it is too big for my 40 year old White brand machine. Nevertheless, I am glad it is done. What do you think?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The end of 2012 and the start of 2013

So, 2012 has been full of challenges. A diagnosis of Parkinson's in the spring and shoulder surgery to (unsuccessfully) repair my rotator cuff in December. The kids are going off in their own directions. Realizing that retirement is approaching. Health checks for hubby. A lot of transitions - plus more on the horizon.

I made a project list for 2013. For me, it is ambitious considering that I will continue to work full time and have to learn how to cope with new, physical challenges. I hope the first item is actually completed this year but it depends how fast I can sew the binding, (I am about half way finished). The only other thing I must finish this year is a scrapbook calendar. I should get it done in time, but if not, I can finish it a month at a time!

Without any further delay, here is my project list for 2013.

Projects to finish in 2013

1. Finish binding Retro quilt
2. Quilt and bind Purple Craze quilt
3. Bind Lil' Twister quilt
4. Finish sewing, cutting, and piecing green Lil' Twister quilt. Quilt and bind it.
5. Finish piecing Mystery Monday wall hanging. Quilt and bind it.
6. Participate in Ten Sisters BOM throughout the year. Two blocks per month. Not sure which size yet, lap quilt or twin.
7. Make Bargello place mats to learn technique.
8. Get starch and make Hidden Wells quilt with fall-colors fabrics.
9. Make shadow quilt with Tic Tac charm pack.
10. Work on Matt's and Dan's t-shirt quilts.

Non-quilting projects
1. Finish Dan's Scout scrapbook.
2. Finish Australia scrapbook.
3. Finish SmashBook for Ireland trip.
4. Begin boys' childhood scrapbooks.
5. Make Christmas cards. Must find new pattern idea.
6. Continue researching our family tree.


1. Eat healthier.
2. Minimize snacking.
3. Exercise (walk mostly) more.

The list is exhausting - but in a good way! :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Flower Doodle fabric!

My Flower Doodle fabric arrived in the mail today. It's so pretty! I know a lot of people would say it is gaudy but I think it is so vibrant and exciting. I'm really not sure which pieces are my favorite, but I'm leaning towards the semi-solid color Tic Tac fabrics. I'm joining a block of the month group starting in January. It's supposed to be a modern take on traditional blocks. I'm hoping the new fabric will look good with these updated patterns. What do you think of this fabric line?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Comfort Pillowcases for Sandy Hook

     I just finished 4 pillowcases for the survivors of Sandy Hook. My co-workers were so generous in giving me a comfort basket (since I am recovering from my surgery) that it just seemed natural to use some of those goodies for someone else. Included in my basket were four yards of material. They were brightly patterned dots, stripes, and a flower/paisley type design. The cuts were just extra long enough that I was able to get four pillowcases out of them! I'll drop them in the mail tomorrow. Especially now, it just feels like the right thing to do.

     I've had a little time to work on my retro quilt also. It is very slow going. I estimated that I have about 340+ inches of binding to sew and I've gotten about 50+ inches done! There's still a long way to go. Also, I'd like the boys to help me cut my fabric backing for the purple crazed quilt. I have trouble spreading out the fabric with my bad shoulder. I measured and will need two 2-yard cuts to have enough backing. I plan to save some of the extra purple fabric for the binding and for backing on a smaller quilt called "Heartfelt." That pattern is a Lymphoma support quilt and the colors are lime and purple! The rest of the purple fabric will be donated to the Home Ec department at school. They should be able to make some (maybe 3?) pillowcases out of it by adding some coordinating fabric.
     It is time to get dinner started! Merry Christmas if I don't get back here before then!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Another shadow quilt pic

Don't mind the background mess! I needed to put this somewhere that I had a more neutral background to show off the colors. Our comforter was the best option. Here is the color setup that I am considering for the shadow quilt. What do you think?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Planning out the shadow quilt

Last night, I got it in my head that I had to start planning out my shadow quilt. It's something I've been thinking about for a while, but it's suddenly become important to do NOW and not put off. I am sure everyone gets that feeling sometimes! :-) I received a set of charms from Andover; it was the TicTac line by Kim Schaefer. All 48 colors were included in the charm pack, so it is perfect for a graduated color scheme. Now it's just a matter of deciding if I'm going to go strictly light to dark or if I'm going to sort the colors within each spectrum and try to put each color block in the order of the rainbow. To be honest, I'm leaning towards the second option. Here's a picture of the fabrics. It is my first arrangement of the colors. I am not completely happy with it. I am planning to arrange the shadow blocks in a 6 x 8 rectangle. I expect the finished blocks to be about 10 inches square. If you have any suggestions on how to rearrange these colors, please feel free to leave a reply.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I got mail!

Today there was a lot of mail. I expected the usual Christmas cards and a couple Amazon packages, but had almost forgotten about a couple blog prizes. The first package was from sew.darn.quilt. It was a set of snowman coasters (or mug rugs). The second package was from Quilt to the Edge. It contained six beautiful fabrics in green, red, and white plus a Heartfelt quilting pattern.

Thanks to Carolyn and Martha for the goodies!

And good news! I am allowed to start sewing again! Okay, so it has to be in small bits, 10 - 15 minutes at a time, but that means I can work on binding my retro quilt again. I can't use the sewing machine yet - the angle isn't right - but soon, I think.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


     Today is the first day where my arm has been in less pain - truly less pain. Tomorrow I start therapy - so that'll change! And please, don't get me wrong, I'm still taking pain pills. But today I went into the sewing room and was trying to decide if I can work on the binding a little bit on my retro quilt. I must be feeling better.
     Yesterday, the Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts book  by Eileen Wright arrived. Her book is lovely but I better practice making Bargello quilts by making the small placemats first! I really have my heart set on someday making the Cosmic Twist quilt that she has pictured. After I was inspired by her book, I started looking around on the Internet for additional Bargello patterns. There is one called the Pink Ribbon Bargello quilt. I think that would be wonderful to make for a fundraiser for hospice. I'll have to become more confident and competent in my quilting and piecing to do that however.
     Today, I hope to get some pictures posted of things I've made in my sewing room this year. Not all of them are quilts and not all of them are as well done as I would like, but I do want to share them. I'm proud of the pillows and the pillowcases and I'm glad I tried the silhouette quilting. I think the silhouette quilting will become easier and better as I become more familiar with the techniques. It might help to have a better sewing machine someday, too. LOL! 
     Mom called me yesterday. She was crying. She was so tickled over the Christmas card I made for her that she claims she was crying tears of joy. I'm glad she liked the card, I'm just wondering how she's going to react to all the homemade gifts I have for her at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blog hop party 2

     So even though I complained about it the other day, I went to another blog hop. It was Quilting Gallery's fifth birthday "party", so they hosted a blog hop. Over 150 bloggers participated in various giveaways. I ended up looking at waaaaaay more of the blogs then I had planned. Some of the giveaways were very generous, others were nice but I just didn't want what they had to offer. Of course, looking at the blogs gave me new ideas for quilts to try.
     One quilt block that I found is called the Eternity Knot. It involves paper piecing, but it looks so nice when it's done, I think I'll have to try it sometime. I also found that a couple of the bloggers will be hosting blocks of the month opportunities next year. I am very interested in those but I am very concerned about being able to keep up with the work. And then there all those quilts that I already have planned out in my mind. I don't want to get behind again (or should I say further behind?).
     A quilt that needs the binding finished is my first Lil' Twister quilt. I loved the Domestic Bliss charm pack and purchased it on a whim. I also saw the little twister tool and decided that would be the perfect thing to use with this charm pack. Of course, I added background fabric - I wanted to break up the charms a bit - but I really like how this turned out. I know this isn't the best picture, it's draped over some other items so it's a little bit wonky looking. I love the swirly quilting that Lisa B. did for me. I think it needed a different "motion" to break up the blocky twists.

I started another quilt using the Lil' Twister tool. I think it will be really cute. The background fabric has little bees which complements the other fabrics I'm using. 

 Another quilt that I need to tie and bind is what I call my purple mess or purple puke quilt. Now, I know it is not a nice reference but it really is a bit of a mess. It was intended to be a scrappy quilt that I was making for my mother-in-law. Unfortunately she passed away before I could finish it. My niece-in-law now likes the quilt and I'm finishing it for her. She loves purple, even this jumble of colors! I know she appreciates everything I've tried to do with it, so if she wants it - she can have it!

I guess that is all for today! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blog hop party

 Quilting Gallery is sponsoring the Quilter's Blog Hop Party! There are over 150 bloggers participating and they are giving away great gifts! One of the most awesome gifts is from Leona's Quilting Adventure. She has fabric, booklets, and notions included. Make sure to stop by, look round, and sign up!

Friday, December 7, 2012

All blogged out

     In the past few days, I've spent a lot of time on the Internet visiting different Sew Mama Sew blog links. It has been a lot of fun, but I'm done - I'm just overwhelmed by all this time on the Internet. There are so many wonderful blogs, I just can't keep them all sorted out. I added a couple to my reading list, but I couldn't add as many as I liked. How do you decide which blogs to follow?
     My shoulder is still very sore. I really hope I have a quick recovery. I'm so desperate to start sewing again. I want to make Brent a stocking for Christmas. Brent likes penguins and I bought penguin fabric several years ago. It is going to make an adorable stocking if I ever get to it. I don't have the old excuse of "the boys are too young" and "I'm too busy with the family" to put it off any longer!
     I saw another quilt today that I would like to make. It is called On the Slant. It was on Marti's 52 quilts in 52 weeks blog site. I like the geometric style of a lot of quilts. I'm not much into the flowery appliqué style. Someday I think I would like to try hexagons though. That's paper piecing but it's similar to appliqué with the small handstitching. I'm not sure how long my Parkinson's will let me do small handwork.
     I know I won't have time when we visit mom at Christmas, but I'd like to go into JEllen's House of Fabric. They have some new fabric lines and I would like to take advantage of being in a good quilt shop. They carry a lot of Moda fabric and batiks. They have a Facebook page that they update more regularly than their website.
     I was hoping to hear this week from a fabric shop I found online. It is The Rabbit's Lair & they carry a line of Kim Schaefer fabrics called Flower Doodle. They know I'm waiting for a fat quarter bundle of the line; I thought it would be ready to ship by now. I have no idea what I will do with it all! However, I absolutely love it -  it is so pretty and so vibrant that I need to have it and figure out something to do with it. Here is a picture of part of the line, pic found on Google images. Apparently originally posted by

So long for now. Feel free to leave me a comment, please.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

So sore...

Okay, so yesterday I had shoulder surgery. It was to get rid of bone spurs and repair my rotator cuff. Bone spurs are gone but the rotator cuff could not be repaired. Doc says that the pain should be gone after I recover but my arm will be weaker. He wants me to work extra hard in therapy to build up the muscles to compensate for the damaged cuff. Right now, I just want the surgery pain gone and to be out of this sling!

Honestly, it is a good thing that I finished up my mom's gifts before surgery. I made her a scrapbook about her pets, pillowcases out of a blue, batik fabric and hemmed with Red Rooster's "A Tale of Two Kitties" fabric, a sampler lap quilt, and soap in her favorite scent, Sweet Rain, from! I also purchased a puzzle for her. She likes to work on them, especially during the winter months. This is the quilt top before I took it to Lisa B. to be quilted on her longarm.

I suppose I should include a picture of the quilt I started 40 years ago. I've been calling it my retro quilt. There are a lot of flaws, (I started it at 13!) but it is growing on me again. When I get the binding done ??? I will post a picture. Thanks for stopping by! Please write me some comments! I am bored and sore! :-)


I forgot to mention that I won two giveaways recently! The first was a set of snowman coasters from sew.darn.quilt. These coasters are really cute and I'm looking forward to receiving them. The other giveaway is from Quilt To the Edge. It is a set of green, red, and white fat quarters. They are not Christmasy, though, and the giveaway also included a pattern. The pattern is called Heartfelt by Cindi Edgerton. It's wonderful to have some things to look forward to this week. Too bad I won't be able to do anything with the fabrics for a while. :-(

Also, I forgot to say that a friend and I went through our fabric stashes and pulled out what we didn't need/want anymore. Brenda was able to pull more fabric than I was. I will have to wait until my boys come home from college to pull the rest of the fabric. (There is plenty for them to sort for me.) We gave the fabric to the home ec teacher at my school to use with her classes. I asked her to please have the students make pillowcases for the Million Pillowcase Challenge. She promised to try. I'm excited to see how well the students do with the fabrics.

I will probably be blogging more now that I've had my surgery. I'm looking forward to recovery! I'm just not looking forward to not being able to quilt or craft for now. Bummer.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Binding woes

So my retro quilt is pieced, backed, and tied. I have the binding halfway on. I was trying a machine binding technique, but I just can't get the hang of it. I love the look, so I can see myself making binding that has the look of added piping, but I will just have to finish it the old fashioned way - by hand stitching.

I need to do some grading today and get the midterm grades submitted. My surgery is Wednesday and I also need to get plans finalized for my sub. I am not looking forward to the recovery period but am looking forward to the (hopefully) long- term relief that it will provide. I will start back at school in January.

There are so many projects that I wish I could get done over the next month, but I think I will mostly be catching up on my reading. That's good too!

Matt is quitting BGSU. He is not happy, finally admitted to being depressed, and wants to be home. If he doesn't know what he wants to do, he shouldn't be wasting the money on college. At least he has begun the job search. Dan still loves it - well, the classes, not the work! He's ready for break.

Until next time.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Wow, I didn't realize how long it has been since my last post. I picked up my two quilts from Lisa yesterday. She did a lovely job machine quilting them. I machine sewed the binding on the sampler quilt, now I have to hand sew it to the back. I hope to finish it before my shoulder surgery as I want it to be a Christmas gift for my mom. I have several projects going and I don't know what I will finish when! I did complete a scrapbook for mom - it is about her pets. I just need to add a few more photos. I know it seems weird, but I need to organize my scrapbook supplies better for crop nights. I think I will dig out the old diaper bag I made and see if it is sturdy enough to use as a carrier. Late. Need to go to bed. Goodnight!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus day musings

School is closed today for Columbus Day. I need to enter some grades and later I have an MRI on my shoulder, but I'm debating what to do for fun. I need to make soap. I have one bar left and actually purchased some manufactured soap for when that is gone. I have to go buy some olive oil and lye first, but it shouldn't take too long to make once I have that. I also want to sew. The new instructions for Mystery Monday 4 will be out today and I started another Lil Twister quilt top on Saturday. Of course, there is still work to be done on the Retro quilt and the Purple Puke quilt, too! I didn't do as much over the weekend as planned because I got food poisoning Friday night. Pretty sure it was tainted coleslaw but I threw away the rest of my leftover dinner that I brought home. Not much fun for the boys to be home and me being sick. I don't feel like I took the time to really visit with them.  Brent took them back yesterday and I stayed here. Okay, so I'm rambling. Better keep this short!

Update: I decided to make soap first, so I went to GFS and bought olive oil. I've measured out the oils and melted the solid ones, but I won't bother to make up the lye water or mix anything until I'm back from my MRI. Now, I've got a little time, I'm going to work on the Mystery Monday project as new instructions were posted today. Grading will wait until tonight!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sick day

     Lost my voice yesterday and am very congested. Since I can't talk, I can't teach -- so sick day for me. I really don't feel horrible, but I am tired. Might try to sleep later.
     I finished the first cutting instructions for This and That's Mystery Monday #4. I haven't gotten any sashing, binding or backing materials yet. I want to see the pattern first before making another decision. And who knows? Maybe I'll have some fabric that would already work! Nah...what was I thinking???
     I have been working on UFO's. I have the Purple Puke Log Cabin blocks finished and joined in groups of four, with lights inward. Most of the blocks did not come out matching at the strips. The last blocks I made were actually the worst. I whipped those up quickly; I should have taken more time. I'm sure waiting 15 years to work on it again hurts things, too. I think I used different seam allowance or strip widths. Oh well. Need to put on the sashes and borders. Veronica said she'd take it since she loves purple. She has seen some of the blocks already, so it won't be a complete, hideous surprise to her!
     I need to finish tying my retro quilt. I hope Zorro doesn't try to help again. Having a cat dive under the fabric is NOT conducive to tying a quilt! is the list of UFO's that I need to work on:
1. Retro quilt: tying and binding
2. Baby quilt: complete binding, once back from Lisa, who is quilting it
3. Sampler quilt: complete binding, once back from Lisa, who is quilting it
4. Purple puke quilt: finish piecing, then tie it and bind it
5. T-shirt quilts for the boys: not even started, but I do have some of the material!
6. This and That Mystery Quilt #4: weekly instructions sent - I am current on the steps!
7. Braid quilt: design by Eleanor Burns, joined a QAL started by Aunt Marti at 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks, only sign ups done so far
8. Pre-printed material quilt: Made up of rusts and blues, the material is printed with houses. Very 80s. Need to sew parts together, then tie it, and bind it.
9. New baby quilt using Moda's Lily and Will charm packs with additional "beehive" type material
10. Hidden Wells quilt. I bought the pattern years ago and still like it. I have some material in greens and reds that would work well, but I need one or two more for additional contrast. The fabrics that I have are good Fall-type fabrics, so I'll want to match them up.
     I can't think of any more quilt projects, but I have plenty of other crafty UFO's. That will be another list!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another week rushes by...

End of another week. Tests to grade and cleaning to do this weekend. Tomorrow, we are going out with some friends. Recently, it seemed like every time they called to ask us to get together, we were busy. So now we're free and can catch up.

I've been working on the purple log cabin quilt trying to square up the blocks. I have some blocks that are almost too small and I will have to watch the seam allowance. Then I have other blocks that are too big and I have to trim them down a half-inch. Those blocks may look ridiculous because their outermost pieces will end up being thin. Not what I intended, but what I get for not touching it for 10+ years.

I joined the Little Bits of This & That Mystery Monday project. She suggested fall or holiday fabrics. I had one piece large enough in my stash that I considered using. I was going to have to buy some complimentary fabrics, though. Then, today at school, I was getting some supplies out of my closet and found some Christmas fabric that I just adore! (I used to use that fabric on my bulletin board. It's still in good shape, so why not be creative with it?) The fabric is a dark blue and has red, gold, and silver ribbons designs on it; the designs look like Christmas trees! This will (obviously) be the dark fabric piece that I need. I might use a red for the medium and a silvery gray for the light color. I hope to get to the fabric store tomorrow. That reminds me, I need to buy some solid black fabric for the sashes on the purple quilt. The sashes should help minimize the uneven blocks.

Extra tired today --- think I will lie down and try to nap. TTYL.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Purple quilt

So I started working on my purple Log Cabin UFO. Boy, is it ugly! I just wanted to make a purple quilt with as many varieties of purple fabric as I could get. It was supposed to be a gift for my mother-in-law, but she passed away before I finished it. She would have loved going over all the purple fabric and choosing her favorite of the moment -- but it all really clashes. I'll finish it and pass it on to my niece-in-law who also loves purple. She claims she likes it even though I know she is just being nice!

I had planned to work on my retro quilt today. Actually, I did start tying it. Of course, that's when the cats decided it would be a fun thing to play on, dive under, and lounge upon. Needless to say, I didn't get too far. Well, back to the ugly purple quilt top!

Friday, September 7, 2012

What to do, what to do...

So, I really want to do some quilting or sewing, but I'm extra shaky today from my Parkinson's and I think I'd end up making too many mistakes and just being frustrated. Even if I work on something soon or tomorrow, I don't know which project I want to tackle. I need to finish my retro quilt. Oh, the top is done and I've got the backing cut to size, but I still have to cut the batting and start tying it. (I refuse to have it quilted! That would be too much money on such an ugly quilt!) I should spend some time trying to iron some of the pressed seams the other way to minimize that "show through" appearance. It would look better, but I dread that time commitment -- it's a big quilt top! Also, I don't know what to do about the binding. I saw a sew-only binding that uses an accent piece -- very nice -- and I'd like to try that on this quilt but I already made the binding. I could cut it down to the correct size, but the fabric is a bit thin and the accent fabric shows through it. I'd have to buy new binding fabric and re-make it the new way. Since I'm cheap, I'll probably just stick with what I have and try the new technique on another quilt.

Speaking of which...I want to make another Lil' Twister crib quilt. I have all the material and could get started, but I have a partially finished, full-size Log Cabin design that I promised to my niece-in-law. I should get that done first. There are so many quilts that I want to make! The worst part is knowing that I have to grade papers and clean sometime, too. ::sigh::

Well, I should wrap it up. The cats are waiting for their treats.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lazy Sunday

     There are so many things that I need to do - mostly cleaning - but my shoulder continues to hurt and it's hard to get anything done. My arm is weak, too, meaning even picking up a pan of eggs on the stove requires two hands. Plan to call the doctor tomorrow to tell him that therapy isn't working so well and I'd like to come in. Oh well...
      Brent drove me to Piqua today. He didn't have to go but it was nice to have the company. We found the quilt shop on Main St. that I'd been curious about; of course, I knew it was closed today, but I'll go back soon. Went to Joann Fabrics, too. I had a coupon for 60% off a single cut of fabric. Luckily, I found a great backing for the "retro" quilt. The cost was $62 and I got the fabric for $27! Woohoo! Now I've got everything to finish the quilt but I want my arm to heal a bit first. And I really need to clean - and complete some lesson plans. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Returning to work

     So, today is the first day back at school with kids. It's always hectic and I have some large classes this year. I felt really overwhelmed this morning, but I might have just been extra tired. Things are starting to be a bit smoother - it always takes several days to adjust. I admit it: I've been stress eating. I have to cut that out. I need to go heat up my Lean Cuisine lunch and relax for the next half hour. Oh -- and I worry about Matt. He's having trouble getting his textbooks and I don't want him to fall behind in his work the very first week. I'll feel better when that is settled.
     Looking forward to next Monday. I am planning to buy a walking foot and some Bali Pops. I really need the walking foot. I thought I'd be okay without it, but I ended up ripping out a seam twice because of the bunching fabric. I really want to get some sewing done tonight. I haven't decided for sure what pattern I want to use with the charm packs I have. I think Lily and Will will be used in a twister quilt and Ooh-la-la might go into a stacked coins quilt. They are really suitable for baby quilts. I'm having trouble deciding what to do with A Walk in the Woods. Suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

      One more much to do. The boys return to BGSU next Sunday. I start school the next day. I need to take the boys shopping, go into the school, have some time with the family, and of course, sew! I'm almost done with my first silhouette quilted wall hanging. I just need to finish making the binding and then bind it, (duh). I came out okay. I hope the nephew and his wife like it!
      I know it's silly, but I really hate the idea of going back to work - mostly because it will cut in on my sewing time! I worry that I won't get things done before my Parkinson's really kicks in. I guess whatever will be, will be. Tired this morning, can't think. That's it for now.