Thursday, November 30, 2017

Christmas Nine Patches

No, I never made it to the sewing machine yesterday.... We stopped on the way home from the lake for a lovely lunch of fresh vegetables at Sho Nuff Barbecue - yes, that's Sho Nuff. The food was so good! By the time we got home my full tummy was asking that I take a nap. And I agreed. By the time I woke up and got going it was dark and almost time for dinner, which turned into tomato soup since we were still very full. Maybe those burgers will be cooked tonight?

I have 35 of these Christmas nine patches made, so I should be able to finish them today. Do you notice my joining points? Pretty good, huh?

I first started making Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts to improve my shotty piecing skills. I believe this is my 4th mystery, and yes, it's working! My piecing is improving!

And I now know what my previous problems were:
-rushing through cutting
-rushing through sewing

Taking the time to slow down and focus a bit more has made all the difference in my work. AND I stop to measure blocks and pieces frequently to make sure I'm on track. I have to keep reminding myself: THIS IS NOT A RACE! I don't have to finish first. I just have to finish.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Clue 1

Boom! I finished all the nine patches for Clue 1 using Bonnie Hunter's colors. I'm almost done with the Christmas quilt nine patches - maybe today I'll finish them? We're at the lake, but will come back home this afternoon. And dinner will be grilled burgers (quick meal!), so that should leave me a bit of sewing time. Hope so! I know I won't stay caught up on all the clues as they come, but this week I will!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

On Ringo Lake

Yesterday morning I rearranged my sewing room just a bit so that I was looking straight at the TV while I was sewing. It's Hallmark Christmas movie season, you know....

I made all these little units for my Christmas mystery quilt. These were easy and fast because they are not scrappy.

And then I moved on to the version in Bonnie Hunter's colors - very scrappy indeed! I still have to make the side units to go with these - the ones with the blue. I should be able to get that done this morning and then work on sewing all the nine patches together. So far, so good!

Today I need to find two plastic shoe boxes to store the parts and pieces for each of these quilts. I'm excited about the progress I made yesterday!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend

As planned we had our Thanksgiving lunch in a restaurant. It was a bit weird not to prepare everything myself, but it was delicious! And no cooking, no dishes to wash, and no tempting leftovers. We enjoyed it and would do it again in a heartbeat!

I technically did my Black Friday shopping on the day before Thanksgiving at my local quilt shop. They had already started their BF sale, so I took advantage. Yes...more Christmas fabric....

 She even had donuts for us hungry shoppers. Yes, I did have one.

Daughter 2 and SIL2 came to town Friday for the Iron Bowl. It was a fun weekend, but yesterday afternoon I took a LONG nap. Call me tired.

Sunday afternoon (after I woke up!) Hubby and I took a drive around town to see Toomer's Corner, still 'decorated' after Auburn's big win on Saturday. And then he was nice enough to drop me off to do my grocery shopping. So that's done for the week!

Guess what I'm doing today? Yup, you got it right! I'm SEWING! I took a bit of time Friday morning to cut out strips for my TWO Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts. I'm ready to make those nine patches!

One reason I've been away from the blog for several days is that my computer charge cord died. My battery was almost dead and I had no way to charge it. I prefer blogging from my computer rather than my iPad. I immediately ordered a new charge cord from Amazon and thankfully, I'm back in business with a fully charged computer.

By the way...
I'm cohosting a small Rodan and Fields event on Facebook this week - it begins today. You do not have to be a current customer to join the fun. You are under NO obligation to buy anything at all. BUT, you just might win a great prize. There are FOUR prizes up for grabs. I know that one prize is valued at over $150! And I will say that the odds are pretty good of winning something! If you'd like to be a part of this, please send me a friend request on Facebook (Julia Cheape Wood) if we are not already FB friends - I'll add you to the private event. It's that simple! It should be fun and I'll be on there live on Tuesday.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cooper and the Geese

I took this photo of Cooper in front of dozens of geese late yesterday afternoon. You may think it was near the lake, but no...we are back home. This was in our neighborhood, near a pond. Cooper doesn't bark at the geese or chase them - he just likes to watch them.

We came back a day early because we got to a good stopping place in our work. Today will be a quiet day - remember? I'm not cooking for Thanksgiving! It does seem weird though - no turkey smell, no sweet potatoes simmering on the stove. I may make a pie just to sooth my soul.

I hope to sew a bit today. I want to work on those Christmas animals. And maybe I'll do some hand sewing.

I found this quilt image on Pinterest and simply love it. Such a simple pattern, yet very striking. Yes, I may need to put it on my list...

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

My Little Digger

In the Fall/Winter the water level is down at the lake exposing a rocky, sandy shore. While Cooper dashes back and forth, jumping in the water when he feels the spirit, Mickey stays high and dry. But he has discovered the joys of digging in the sand.

We have been very productive here. I've completely cleaned out one closet and have made great progress in the kitchen. We also repaired the flagpole, replacing parts and getting it back upright beside the water. Hubby drained the oil from the lawn mower and replaced it with new oil. He removed the blades to take home to the cottage to sharpen. It will be ready for next year's mowing. 

And so it goes. It's been really nice being here this time of year when no one else is around except a few full timers down the street. We've enjoyed good meals, with wine and cheese before dinner and hot chocolate later in the evening. 

Have a great day!

Monday, November 20, 2017

At the Lake...

After a fun filled weekend, we are at the lake now. We came up yesterday for  few days of working around the house. Although there was be a hard freeze tonight, Cooper doesn't seem to mind swimming in the cold water.

Today Hubby blew and raked leaves, we both moved around rocks near the water, we worked on the boat cover, and I also worked on cleaning out the pantry and kitchen cabinets. More of the same this week. We'll go back to our cottage mid-week.

I brought a bit of hand sewing with me, but we'll see if I get to it. We've been wanting to have a few days to work here and this seemed to be the perfect time.

Enjoy your week!

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Yesterday I worked on stitching the red and green strips to these cute Christmas animals. I don't have a pattern - just trying to wing it and make it work.  LOTS of math here. Only the center part is stitched together, but I think this may be the final layout. I know I won't finish this quilt completely by Christmas, but hopefully I'll finish the top by then. My realistic goal is to have THREE Christmas quilts complete by Christmas 2018. This is the first one. The row of Christmas tree I made last week in number two. And On Ringo Lake (Bonnie Hunter's mystery) in Christmas fabrics is number 3. I think it's doable!

I'm not sure what today will bring. I was tired and slept late...still easing into my morning.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Yesterday I set up my Accuquilt and spent the morning cutting strips. Yes, it's red. I know, I don't usually use red fabric in my quilts. But I'm on a Christmas quilt kick and a Christmas quilt must have red, right? I also cut up some green (of course).

This will be a fun quilt to make and I don't think it will take very long. I'll keep you posted!

So what did I decide about making two Bonnie Hunter mystery the same time...???? Well, I'm going for it! BUT the Christmas color way will not be scrappy - that's my one concession - only four different fabrics.

I made a big decision this week - I'm not cooking for Thanksgiving. I ALWAYS cook for Thanksgiving, so this is kind of a big deal. But we have a lot going on and we're going out to eat instead. And I'm rather glad! Woohoo! More time to sew!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Yesterday I basted a quilt! I know...where's the quilt top? I took a photo before I placed it on the batting...secret project, you know.... Anyway, it's ready to be quilted now.

What wrong with this picture? Hahaha! Little Mickey rules the roost!

My shoulder is almost completely well and that is very good news indeed. I'm ready to get back to sewing and stitching.

These days I want to clean up and organize my sewing room, preparing to begin Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt journey. In fact I've been toying with the idea of making TWO mystery quilts in different color ways. Crazy, right? That's probably asking too much of myself. I was thinking I might make one in Christmas colors, too? I'm going to have to think this through first....

Enjoy you day!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Applique Update

Since I didn't sew yesterday and have nothing new to's an update on this appliqué project. Slowly, but surely....

My shoulder is so much better today! I knew it was just a muscle tweak, but I'll baby it again today to make sure it gets back to 100% by the end of the weekend.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Okie dokie! I'm ready for Bonnie Hunter's mystery! Are you? I love these colors...

I did sew a good bit yesterday. I even finished a 'secret project' quilt top. I'll share it here eventually, but it may be a couple of months.

Last night's dinner was a hit. I had never made risotto before - but it's not so hard, just a lot of stirring. It was delicious!

It's a rainy day here - haven't had one of these in quite some time. But I've pulled a muscle in my shoulder so I'm not sure how much (if any) sewing I will do. It may be a TV day instead...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On a Winning Streak...

After winning the raffle the previous night - homemade cinnamon rolls! - I headed to World Market yesterday morning to do some shopping. Have you heard about their Golden Llama Treasure Hunt? Every day they hide 'golden llamas' around every store. I found one! I received a $50 certificate that I had to spend that day. What fun!

 I bought this big metal container to put at the lake house - I thought it would be good to hold quilts for when they are needed. Or maybe firewood?

And then I headed to Target to shop the Hearth and Hand Collection by Chip and Joanna Gaines. I grabbed a few things, including these dish towels - I plan to make throw pillows with them.

Next I picked up a new friend for lunch. We'd never met (a mutual friend put us together) though we found we have LOTS in common. We're planning some shopping trips together soon.

I only did hand sewing in the evening. Today is another story though! My machine will be humming soon!

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Christmas Quilt Beginning...

After my dentist appointment, I started a Christmas quilt! I've never been one for seasonal quilts - seems like a lot of work for a quilt that will only be 'out' for a few weeks of the year. But I've changed my tune. Now that we live in a much smaller home and I cut WAY back on Christmas decorations, I think a few Christmas quilts would be nice to add to the ambiance during the holiday season.

I didn't use a pattern for these trees - just winging it! Kind of cute, huh?

Last night I attended the neighborhood Ladies Club meeting. There were lots of donated items that were raffled. I was lucky to win a platter of homemade cinnamon rolls! When I came home they went straight into the freezer for a later date when we have family around. I donated a wallhanging quilt and the recipient seems happy with it.

I'm so blessed that we have landed in a neighborhood with so many really wonderful people. We love it here.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Productive Day

Yesterday I finally got into the sewing room! Okay, so I didn't sew in there...but I did spend time getting organized and cleaning off my desk (which doubles as my cutting table).

And I cut some fabric - Christmas fabrics! Yay!

I made two loaves of banana bread - I tried a new recipe: Pecan Coconut Banana Bread. Yes, it's delicious! Find the recipe HERE. (I didn't make the streusel topping...)

I also cleaned out a bathroom drawer - one more of these to go!

Though I hadn't planned on grocery shopping, I decided to take care of that, too. I sat down and planned meals first. How do I 'plan meals'? That requires another paragraph! Haha!

I shoot for cooking three different evening meals each week. I try to make dinners that will have leftovers. My plan is to have one meal that is quick and easy, one meal that can be cooked in the slow cooker, and one soup, because it's Autumn and I feel like we should have soup! In the summer, I might plan a nice salad instead of soup...

This week's meals:
Quick and Easy: hot dogs and baked sweet potatoes (I had some Omaha Steaks franks in the freezer)
Slow Cooker: Italian Pot Roast and Parmesan Risotto served with steamed broccoli, recipe HERE
Soup: Trisha Yearwood's Chicken Tortilla Soup, recipe HERE.

I like to try new recipes and both the slow cooker meal and the soup will be new to us. After planning the meals, I entered the items I needed on the Walmart website so I could do a grocery pickup in the late afternoon. I was a bit worried about letting them pick out a roast for me, but they did a great job!

Today I have a dental appointment, so that will take up part of my morning. But I'm hoping I'll get back to the sewing room when I get home. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Only a Bit of Sewing

Have you noticed I haven't been my usual sewing self lately? I haven't sat with my machine in quite some time. And I only have this little bit of hand appliqué to show. It's been rather crazy around here and there just hasn't been a block of time for sewing.

I'm hoping to change that this week!

I want to get back on my secret nine-patch project. I want to pick up Bring Me Flowers again. I have some wool fabric that needs cutting to size. And yes, I want to pull fabric for the Bonnie Hunter mystery!

BUT, I also have some bathroom drawers that need cleaning out and organizing, some over ripe bananas waiting for me to make banana bread, and....a few other chores. There should be time for everything this week - just need to jump in headfirst!

It makes me feel better to have listed all these things here - now I have a plan.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Little Bit of Sewing

I finished the basting on this piece and finally started the appliqué last night. Yes, this will take a LONG time. And thats okay, because I'm in no rush.

Earlier in the week I got together with some Rodan and Fields buddies and we made zipper pouches from eyelash fabric. One of the ladies had never even sat in front of a sewing machine before! She learned to sew and even put in a zipper! We had lots of fun and made a ton of these little pouches.

Yes, we love our Lash Boost!

My hubby was doubtful with I signed on as an R&F Consultant, but yesterday he said, "You're really having fun with this, aren't you?" The answer was a big and fat YES! I've had lots of fun and it takes very little of my time. My own skin looks better than it has in YEARS and I love to help others find the correct products to improve their own skin. And we have a little 'sisterhood' of consultants who get together occasionally and cheer each other on.  And the money? Yea, that's the cherry on top! I donate a good bit of my profits to charity and save a bit for fun money. This morning I ordered some fabric for the Bonnie Hunter mystery - love the colors this time around! No purple - yea!

This morning I'll be doing more hand appliqué while I watch last night's Project Runway - I alway save it for Friday.

Enjoy your day!