About Me

My photo
I am a wife, mama and grandmama getting through life by hanging on to a needle and thread.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Speaking Of Old Tablecloths

Yesterday I mentioned that the fabric I recently purchased was reminiscent of the tablecloths that my grandma once had. I really do have a love for all things vintage...especially linens. I'm fortunate to have several of my grandma's tablecloths as well as others that I have collected from yard sales and thrift shops over the years. The tablecloth in the photo is a new addition to my collection. It was made by my daughter-in-law's grandmother around 1976 and has a beautiful hand crocheted pineapple edging all the way around. Just imagine the time it took to do that! Sadly, my daughter-in-law's grandmother is having to move to a nursing home for health reasons and the family has the difficult job of sorting through and dividing up her belongings. I feel privileged that they have entrusted this beautiful tablecloth to me. I will treasure it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's A Quilter To Do?

It started innocently enough with a quick stop at a fabric store just to have a look around. I have lots of fabric, I don't need any fabric, and goodness knows I have projects that I am already working on so there was no need to buy anything. I was just going to see what there was to see. Then all of a sudden a bolt of fabric caught my eye..."Oh, isn't this pretty?!" The rest I can blame on my sister because she is the one who said that the print reminded her of a tablecloth that our grandma once had. Then she pointed out another "tablecloth print" and another and another! It was then that the wheels started turning and I knew that I HAD to make a table topper with these prints! Now there is a beautiful stack of flowered prints sitting on my cutting table mocking me every time I say, "I can't start the table topper until I get some of these other projects finished!" They are so hard to ignore! This project would be perfect for the spring fever that I have been suffering from, but I really need to keep working on my other projects and keep up with my promise to finish my UFO's. What's a quilter to do?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Did You Work On Your UFO This Week?

I don't have a lot of UFO progress to report, but at least there has been progress and block 6 is now complete! While I was working on this block I was trying to remember why I packed this project away to begin with and couldn't think of a single reason. I really do like the blocks and the Thangles are an easy way to quickly make a lot of perfect half square triangles. I'm actually looking forward to making the next block. Maybe it won't take me as long to finish this UFO as I thought it would!

Did you work on your UFO this week?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dreaming Of Spring

My husband keeps telling me that it's too early to get spring fever, but I'm afraid I have a bad case of it! Yesterday I checked these two books out of our local library. Both Garden Inspired Quilts and Flower Pounding have beautiful photos and lots of ideas for making quilts inspired by flowers from your garden. I can hardly wait for the flowers to start blooming, so I can try a few of these projects, but for now I guess I'll just have to be satisfied to read through the books and plan my flower quilts while waiting for spring to arrive.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Late Winter

We have had a lot of rain here the past couple of days, but the good thing about that is that it melted all the snow and washed away a lot of the winter grime. While it was raining, I finished the bed runner top that I have been working on for my daughter-in-law. As I was studying the finished top this morning, I realized that it's the same colors of a late winter day...browns, sage green and bright sky blues. It really is the perfect project for late winter and I should be done with it just in time to break out another project using the colors of SPRING!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind?

After looking through my UFO basket yesterday, I realized that I had forgotten about most of the projects that were in the basket. Projects get packed up for one reason or another and then become buried in the closet never to be thought of again. Out of sight, out of mind! Could this be the reason why I have so many UFO's? Maybe. Yesterday afternoon I covered a 4'x4' foam insulation board with a piece of flannel and hung it on the wall above my sewing machine and on it, I hung this week's UFO project. Now I will see this project every time I sit down at my machine and it will be on my mind even if I am working on a different project. No more out of sight, out of mind!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

UFO's, WIP's & PIG's

UFO's (UnFinished Objects), WIP's (Work In Progress) and PIG's (Projects In Grocery Sacks)...we all have them! Some of us have more than others though and I'm the first one to admit that mine are out of control! For example, see the bag of Thangles Buck A Block's on the left? They are from 2007! Anya and I decided to make Christmas quilts using those blocks. Her quilt has been finished, gifted and it is probably half way to being worn out by now. I have a whopping 5 blocks finished! Needless to say, it's time for me to do something about all these unfinished projects that are taking up space in my closet. Each week I am going to set aside some time (even if it's just a few minutes) to work on one of my UFO projects and then on Friday's I will post my progress (big, small or none at all). Accountability can be a great motivator! If you have UFO's that you would like to finish, you are welcome to join me in my efforts...I'd love the company!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Missing Quilt

See the lovely little Charming Circles quilt in the photo? This photo is all that Kimberly Einmo has left of her wonderful quilt because someone had the audacity to steal this quilt while she was giving a trunk show at a local quilt shop. I don't understand what makes someone steal to begin with, but it's hard think that a quilter would stoop so low as to steal a quilt (or anything for that matter) from another quilter, but who else would attend a trunk show at a quilt shop? On top of that, Kimberly is a designer and author, so if someone loved this little quilt so much that she had to have it for her own, she only needed to purchase Kimberly's new book, Jelly Roll Quilts and More, and make one for herself! I know that things like this happen and that there is good and bad everywhere, but today I can't help but ask, what is this world coming to?

You can read the full story about Kimberly's stolen quilt on her blog, Quilting with Kimberly and if you have seen this quilt or know of its whereabouts, please contact Kimberly Einmo.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tension Headaches

When you were a little girl and learning to sew, did your mother ever tell you never, ever, no matter what, NEVER touch the tension dial on the sewing machine? Mine did and after all these years I still find it very hard to turn the tension dial. As I reach for the dial I break out in a cold sweat, my hands shake and I start to hyperventilate, but this time I had to work through my fear and just do it! I had just finished ripping out three rows of horrible "loopy on the back" quilting and something had to be done to fix it. I did a little research and found that yes, those tension dials are meant to be turned! Who knew? After breathing into a brown paper bag for a minute or two, I made a few adjustments to the top and bottom tensions and started quilting. It turned out perfectly! I don't think I'll ever hesitate to adjust the tension again!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marking Methods

Disappearing markers, chalk pencils, mechanical pencils or pounce pads? What works best and which ones stay where you put them and then (more importantly) come out when they are supposed to come out? The topic of marking quilts is just as confusing as the topic of which thread to use! I'm also guessing that there are just as many preferences for marking quilts as the kind of quilting thread to use, so let's hear it...what is your favorite method for marking quilts?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How Can You Help?

A friend of mine recently asked "Where is God among the destruction in Haiti?" and then she answered her own question..."God is in the face of every person who reaches out to help the people of this devastated land." Most of us cannot physically go to Haiti to help, but there are ways that we can help from our own homes. Donate to a reputable disaster relief organization such as The American Red Cross, World Vision or UNICEF. You can also donate from your cell phone with something as simple as a text message to Yele Haiti. Just text YELE to 501501 to automatically donate $5. Closer to our crafting hearts, there is Craft Hope, a blog and Etsy shop where all proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. All of these donation suggestions will certainly lend aid to those who are suffering, but I believe that one of the most important things that we can do for these people is to keep them all in our prayers. God is in Haiti and He will work through us if we only answer the call.

Friday, January 15, 2010

French Breakfast Puffs

I finally broke down and watched Julie & Julia last night and this morning I woke up with the incredible urge to bake something French and then blog about it! I'm not sure how "French" this recipe is, but let me tell you these part muffin, part cupcake, breakfast puffs go great with a cup of tea first thing in the morning!

French Breakfast Puffs

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk


1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups or line cups with paper muffin liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, cream together 1/2 cup sugar and shortening. Beat in egg. Stir flour mixture into shortening mixture alternately with milk. Beat well. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. While muffins are baking, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Remove muffins from oven and muffin pan. Immediately, dip the tops of the muffins into the melted butter, then into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Repeat with each muffin, until all muffin tops are covered. Serve warm.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Project Night Night

I recently learned about Project Night Night, a program that provides a new blanket, book and stuffed animal to children entering homeless shelters across our country. According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, one out of every fifty children in this country face homelessness each year. That's correct, 1 out of every 50! It's awful to think of anyone losing their home and only having a homeless shelter to turn to for help, but think about how frightening that process would be for a child! What better way to help ease those fears than with a blankie, a book and a special stuffed friend? There are several easy ways to help this very worthwhile organization...donate child sized quilts or handmade blankets, donate new or gently used children's books, donate new stuffed animals or make a cash donation. Please visit www.projectnightnight.org to find more details about Project Night Night and how you can help a child in need.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bed Runners Explained

(Photo from Flicker by tenth48)
The first time I saw a bed runner was during a stay at a motel not long ago. They are mainly used for decorative purposes, but I suspect that they also protect the foot of the bed and the small size makes them easier to wash than large bedpreads. The dimensions are typically 24" wide and the length is 25"-30" longer than the width of the mattress, so that there is a 12"-15" drop on each side of the bed. I honestly have not seen a lot of these runners in the quilt world, but when my daughter-in-law told me that she had purchased a solid chocolate brown quilt for their new bedroom, I suggested that I make a runner for the foot of the bed to help brighten it up a bit and she loved the idea. I also loved the idea...making a runner is a lot easier than making a full sized quilt!

See a photo of the finished bed runner that I made for my son and daughter-in-law HERE.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Slice & Dice

I promised my daughter-in-law a bed runner for Christmas and here it is half way through January and it still isn't done. I do have it started though! I'm using an easy "slice and dice" pattern with random strip sizes and placement, so it shouldn't take too much longer to get it all together. Hopefully I will have it all done by the time the new bedroom is finished!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Auckland Quilting Exhibition 2009

Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee and enjoy looking at some amazing quilts!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More On Thread

The comments concerning yesterday's thread post confirmed just as I suspected, we all have definite opinions about the thread that we use! There are several things that we all agree on....we don't want to pay a small fortune for good quality thread, we like a large color selection and we don't like threads that leave a lot of lint! Superior, Glide by Fil-Tec, Guetermann, Aurifil, and Mettler threads were all mentioned as favorites and several people mentioned that they find thread with all of the qualities that we are searching for at Connecting Threads. All in all, it still comes down to finding the thread that works best for you and your machine and trial and error is the only way to do that, so "a thread shopping we will go"!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Have you looked at the machine quilting thread selection lately? There are enough different brands of cotton, polyester and cotton/poly blends to make your head spin. Add in the different thread weights and the topic of thread really gets confusing! What's a new machine quilter to do to solve this thread mystery? She asks her quilty friends, of course! The funny thing is that each of my quilty friends prefers a different kind of thread! I guess there isn't a right or wrong thread for quilting, so the answer must be to use the thread that works the best for you and your machine.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Even I have to admit that it is pretty outside this morning with everything covered in snow. Of course, I wouldn't be saying that if I had to go anywhere today! Thank goodness I can stay home and watch the snow from my window while I sew.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fleece, Fleece And More Fleece

The last time I was at Joann Fabrics they had lots of fleece remnants all marked at 50% off the regular price. I also happened to have a coupon for 20% off of my total purchase, so how could I not stock up? I have cut all of the fleece to size and used the skip stitch cutter on all the edges, so now I just have to work at crocheting around each blanket...the perfect project for these cold evenings! Once they are finished, they will all be donated to Project Linus.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Something To Warm You Up

Here's a simple way to make a latte at home without an espresso machine. It may not be exactly like the what you get at the coffee house, but it sure beats going out into the cold and snow just to get a cup of coffee!

Vanilla Latte (one serving)

1/2 cup milk (skim, 2% or whole...I use skim)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla (use real vanilla, if possible)
2 teaspoons sugar (more or less to suit your taste)
extra strong brewed coffee

Pour the milk into a small mason jar and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and add the vanilla and sugar, cover and shake vigorously for a minute or so (the shaking creates the foam). Pour the milk mixture into a tall latte mug, reserving the foam for the top. Fill with hot coffee and top with the reserved foam.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

It seems like just about everyone across the country is complaining about the cold weather. Even my sister-in-law who lives in Florida was saying that she had icicles hanging from her porch roof! January is supposed to be cold, but the temperatures that we have been experiencing the past few days are a bit ridiculous. It's a good thing that I have plenty of quilts and goodness knows I have lots of fabric on hand so I can make more...I just hope the firewood holds out!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Knitting And Netflix

A girl who is not coordinated enough to walk and chew gum at the same time, should know better than to try and knit while watching a movie! Even a simple knit 3, purl 1 ribbing was too much for me while watching Angels & Demons last night. I ended up ripping out most of what I did and starting over.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Quilting On A Whiteboard

My friend, Anya, has been telling me for months that I needed a whiteboard to practice my free-motion quilting designs on, and after doodling through more than a few legal pads, I finally took her advice and got myself a whiteboard. Practicing on a whiteboard isn't as much about developing the design as it is repeating the motif over and over until it becomes a natural movement for your hand. Basically, practicing on a white board helps take some of the awkwardness out of quilting a new motif before you attempt it on a quilt. Hopefully it will help me with my free-motion quilting...at the very least I will save a few trees!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Quilting In My Pajamas

Back in November I saw a quilting motif on Mary's blog, Mary Quilts, that I really liked. I left a comment telling her how much I liked the quilting and she wrote back telling me that it was a design by Dawn Ramirez, the pajama quilter. Mary highly recommended the Pajama Quilter DVD and workbook for anyone who wanted to learn freemotion quilting, so I added them to my Christmas wish list. I guess I have been a good girl because the DVD and workbook were under the tree! Today is the first free day that I have had since Christmas, so I'm spending the day in my pajama's and a new whiteboard to see if I can learn some new freemotion quilt designs!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful 2010 filled with joy, happiness and good health! Happy New Year!

Blog Archive