About Me

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's The Cheesiest

I can't say that I'm a huge fan of "boxed" macaroni and cheese, but my grandkids love the stuff!  In fact, they even prefer it over homemade macaroni and cheese!  When my oldest granddaughter first saw the yarn that I dyed for this project she immediately said that I should name the yarn "macaroni and cheese explosion" because the color matches a bowl of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese almost perfectly.  The pattern that I am using is Little Pansy Socks, but I think this particular pair will forever be known as "the macaroni and cheese socks".

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Ugly Duckling

I don't know that this ugly duckling of a quilt has turned into a swan, but it is finished and finished is certainly better than being left an orphan at the second hand shop!  There was a lot of fullness in this quilt top due to all of the different kinds of fabrics used (including knits), so I used a higher loft batting than what I normally use to help compensate and I think it turned out just fine.  There's no doubt in my mind that I'll be able to find someone who will love this quilt ugly or not!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Keep Calm & Sew On

Northeastern Pennsylvania has been hit with yet another snowstorm.  10 inches of snow fell with this storm, covering all of the signs of spring that have been slowly appearing over the past few days.  The one good thing about snowstorms this late in March is that the snow never lasts long, so I will just keep calm and sew on while I wait for the sun and spring to return.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One More Block

Beth of Love Laugh Quilt asked for help in making quilt blocks so she can make a quilt to send to Japan for those impacted by the recent earthquake and tsunami.  As long as I had the scrap basket out to make the Just One Star block, I thought I might as well make a block for Beth's project at the same time.  I'm not sure if Beth is still seeking block donations at this time, so if you are interested in helping with this project, you may want to contact her before making a block to send.  Another way to help would be to get together with a few quilty friends and make a quilt to send to the relief effort in Japan through Quilters Newsletter.  They are working in conjunction with Patchwork Tsushin to collect quilts of any size to be distributed to those in need.  The mailing address and other important details can be found at www.quiltersnewsletter.com/blogs/insideqn/2011/03/18/call-for-quilts-for-japan/.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just One Star

As the mother of a United States Marine, how could I not participate in the Just One Star project?  If you haven't heard, Moda Fabrics is putting together quilts that will be donated to injured soldiers through the Semper Fi Fund.  They are asking quilters to donate one star block to help with the enormous task of making 100 quilts before Flag Day, June 14, 2011.  Will you also donate a star block in support of the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to keep us safe and free? 

Complete details along with the block pattern and instructions can be found at http://www.unitednotions.com/LA_just_one_star.pdf

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy National Quilting Day!

I found this quilt top (along with three others) at a local thrift shop.  Like most orphans, it (and its siblings) were so pitiful looking that they were hard to resist.  I just had to bring them home with me! Obviously this top was made straight from someone's scrap basket because it has every kind of fabric in it, from calicos to selvages!  Today, in honor of National Quilting Day, my plan is to finish this quilt.  Once it is finished, it will be donated to someone who needs a nice bright quilt! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

“May God give you...For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Like It Or Not...Take A Break!

The other day a friend handed me a bag and said, "I got something for you."  I opened the bag and found a little fabric ball inside.  The first thing I noticed was the saying that was printed on the ball.  It's the same saying that I have on my blog.  It is true, my soul is fed with needle and thread, but lately the arthritis in my hands has slowed my stitching down, which in turn has brought my mood down.  My friend went on to explain the value of this little ball...it is a Take-A-Break Ball designed to help relieve stiff or aching fingers.  My doctor suggested that I only do handwork for 20 minutes at a time because repetitive motion aggravates the condition and causes pain.  (As if that is easy...who wants to stop stitching after just 20 minutes?)  Having this little ball in my sewing basket will remind me to take those necessary breaks and help exercise my hands, but most importantly it will remind me of a friend who cares about me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Experimental Design

I have been experimenting dyeing cotton fabric with Sharpie permanent markers and rubbing alcohol this week.  I first tried drawing directly on the fabric with the markers and then dripping the rubbing alcohol on the fabric and that worked alright, but the ink didn't blur as much as I had hoped it would.  However, I discovered that when I pressed another piece of fabric on top of the first one, I ended up with a wonderful subtle
print.  In the interest of not wasting fabric, I decided to try drawing a design on a paper towel, then I dripped rubbing alcohol on the paper towel until the paper towel was saturated and the design was blurred.  After that, I placed a
piece of cotton fabric over the paper towel, pressing gently so the ink would be absorbed into the fabric. (Do make sure to protect your work surface with plastic and wear rubber gloves during the dyeing process or you will end up with a very colorful counter top and fingers to match!)  I let the piece dry thoroughly and then heat set it with an iron. (Take note that rubbing alcohol is flammable, so make sure the piece is completely dry before you expose it to a heat source!)  As I was ironing, I was trying to decide what to do with my tiny "work of art"...a quilted postcard seemed to be the obvious answer (especially since I had a quilty friend with a birthday this week), but I think the possibilities are endless with this technique!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sunshine & Shadow

A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a String Quilting workshop given by Ami Simms.  It was great fun and I learned a lot, both about quilting and the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.  The other day when I came across a package of scraps from that workshop, it seemed only appropriate that they should become my March Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt...Sunshine & Shadow.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I woke up this morning hoping that the 14 inches of snow on the ground was just a nightmare, but unfortunately it really happened.  I think I may just go back to bed and dream of the day when I will actually need to turn on the air-conditioner and my rose bush will have green leaves and beautiful pink blooms!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Summer Socks

These socks are made from the very first skein of yarn that I hand dyed with Kool-Aid.  The colors just scream "summer" to me...green grass, blue sky and bright sunshine!  I think it made the perfect ankle socks for keeping my granddaughter's tootsies warm on chilly mornings this summer.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feeling Wonky

I've been feeling a little wonky this week, not really sick, but not 100% well either, so I thought a new quilting project might be just the thing to help straighten me out.  What better project to cure my wonky-ness than Crazy Nine-Patch blocks?  The blocks now have all the wonky and I'm feeling much more like myself again!

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