Wednesday, January 31, 2018

My New Lap Desk!

You all know by now that I really like hand piecing and hand appliqué. I enjoy doing handwork in my recliner with my feet up and a dachshund in my lap.

I've been working like this for years with a  pile of tools (thread, scissors, etc.) on the table to my right, but I was constantly knocking things on the floor and seemed to spend lots of time on my hands and knees looking for my thimble or spool of thread.

In my head, I've been designing the perfect lap desk. I thought I'd need to build exactly what I wanted. When I told Hubby, he suggested looking online to see what I could find - smart guy!

I found the perfect lap desk at Target - find it HERE - and it was only $15.00. I got one a couple of days ago and have now 'tricked it out' to make the perfect sewing station for my recliner.

I started by hooking together two elastic ponytail holders and hooking around two command hooks... hold my pincushion in place. Perfect!

I used a Command strip to hold this small plastic container (empty pin box) in place to hold my thimble and thumb thread cutter.

Another Command strip hold down a retractable scissor fob - I'll never drop my scissors again!

I've even hooked a spool of thread in place with a Command strip.

There at the top I've added two strong clips to hold pieces of blocks I'm working on - yes, more Command strips.

So the right side has all my tools and the main left side is a fantastic working surface which tilts.  Other than the $15 lap desk, the only thing I had to buy was the clips - from the office supply store.

And one of the best parts is that Mickey fits underneath! Haha!

I really didn't sew yesterday. Hubby and I usually take one day a week to forgo our hobbies (golf for him) and do something together. It doesn't have to be anything special.  We ran a bunch of errands and went out for lunch. I spent the rest of my time working on my lap desk.

Today I WILL sew! (And Hubby will play golf!) Haha!

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Another Glitter Block - and Sources for the Thumb Thread Cutter

Another Glitter block completed. Yes, more 'not so pretty' fabrics. This is such a good use for these fabrics!

About the thread cutter...
THREE of my wonderful readers came through with sources!

Michelle found these available at the United Notions site: HERE.

And A Nudge and Beth found it HERE on Etsy.

Thanks, ladies!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Thumb Thread Cutter

I have had this thumb thread cutter (try to say that 3 times!) for years. I ordered it back in the day when I was publishing my Hexie Love magazine; I had planned to do an article and review on it there, but of course best laid plans....

I can't for the life of me remember from where I ordered it. There are ring cutter available via Amazon, but this thumb cutter is more like what Yoka Saito uses. I did find a similar one made by Clover HERE.  If you find one available let me know where and I will share here.

Here I am in action, hand piecing with the cutter on my thumb. So far it's a bit awkward for me, but I'm planning on reviewing Yoko's video and figure out exactly how she does it. I must have skinny fingers, because my ring cutter slips some. I tried squeezing it to make it smaller but it didn't really work. The jury is still out on this...

I did finish this Bring Me Flowers block over the weekend. Remember I'm hand piecing these. This is number 14 out of 25.

We went to a fun Mardi Gras luncheon Saturday. Bloody Marys, Mimosas, appetizers, salads, Jambalaya, and garlic bread, finishing up with King Cake and Moon Pies. We had a blast and were well fed. Other than doing a grocery pick up at Walmart, I have been inside all weekend while the rain has been falling.

Today will be nicer weather and I do have an errand to run. Enjoy your day!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Fun Guild Meeting

Yesterday I went in TJ Maxx - didn't need anything, I was just walking around. And look what I saw: a sewing machine! It's adorable, but after doing some research I learned that it's meant for crafting - sewing through paper and fabric. Might be fun, but no thanks.

Last night's guild meeting was fun. I'm showing a couple of my favorites from show and tell-

I loved the prairie points on the outside edge of this one - the maker said she never do that again - haha! Lots of work, I'm sure.

I was lucky to win one of three door prizes - some fun stuff here!

I'm planning to do a bit of sewing on my Christmas Animals quilts. I hope it grows today!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hand Sewing Day

I enjoyed a quiet day of hand sewing yesterday. I caught up on some recorded TV shows and stitched to my heart's content.

This scrappy quilt is growing!!!

And I made a second flower for the next Bring Me Flowers block.

Today I am meeting a friend for lunch and meeting friends for dinner with an errand or two thrown in between. Hubby is meeting friends for breakfast - haha! No eating together today! We are enjoying warmer weather - warm enough for him to get back out on the golf course for his friends and lot of sunshine to brighten my sewing time.

By the way, Cooper is just fine after eating those chocolate muffins a couple of days ago. He was a bit hyper yesterday, but no other symptoms. Whew!

Now I think I'll do a bit of hand sewing before I get my shower. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Two Blocks

I finished this section of my next Bring Me Flowers block - 2 more to go. I like this block!

AND, I made another Glitter block. The fabric in this block is not the prettiest - my goal is to fill this quilt with ugly fabrics - but I know they'll shine in this quilt.

Yesterday a friend asked me if Cooper had gotten into any mischief lately. "No," I said. "He's been really good recently."

Then I had to eat my words about an hour later. I made chocolate banana muffins yesterday - yes, a healthy version with not much fat and sugar. I had the plate of muffins on a HIGH countertop. Hubby went outside for a minute and I was on the phone. Well, you know what happened by now.

In the end there were only 2 muffins left. We figure he ate six muffins. CHOCOLATE muffins - not a good thing for a dog. We've been watching him closely. He let out two HUGE burps last night, but no other symptoms. He has not gotten sick. So far, so good. I hope I don't have another Cooper story for a long time.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Only a Bit of Sewing...

This was our accomplishment yesterday. What, you say? That's just a boat. I know. We went to the lake and moved the boat under the carport. Sounds simple, but it wasn't.

We've been battling this boat this winter. In the past we've left it in the carport during the off-season and covered it with tarps. The squirrels that live in the tree beside the carport have played havoc on the boat - they get under the tarp and bed down and they manage to get into the engine and chew wires. It seems every Spring we have to have someone do repairs. So we tried something different this time - we left it out, away from trees, and bought a boat cover. It was hard to cover, but we did it.

Then came lots of rain and the cover caved in and tore. $200 for that cover! So we went to plan B and covered it with lots of tarps. Then came more rain along with freezing temperatures. A few weeks ago we discovered the tarps had caved in and the water in the valley was frozen solid. Remember, during the winter we haven't been going much.

Yesterday the weather was warmer so we went to tackle the problem yet again. Almost all the ice in the tarp was melted. We hooked the boat to the car and pulled it up the hill - when the boat was angled on a slope most of the water drained out. Then we could  remove the tarps and put the boat under the carport. Nothing about this was easy. We had to push a Sea Doo to the other side of the carport to make room for the boat.

By the time we came back home to our cottage, we were tired and neither of us did anything the rest of the day. We hope the squirrels do not bother the boat, but if they do we'll just get things repaired. We still need to repair the speedometer and gas gauge from their chewing last winter, so we figured we're willing to risk a couple of months under the carport.

Next Winter will be different! We're going to leave the boat on its lift over the lake and have it shrink wrapped. Did you know that was a thing? It's about $300 each year, but is still far cheaper than keeping it at the marina. That $300 is worth every single penny in my mind. And we'll never have to take the boat in or out of the water again.

That's probably more of a boat story than you wanted to read this morning. Hopefully I'll have some sewing to show tomorrow!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Kaffe Spiderweb

I finally got a machine sewing day in. Yippee! I decided to pull out this Spiderweb quilt I started last year. This is one of those big-bang-for-your-buck quilts; after doing a bit of strip piecing, the quilt comes together fairly quickly.

I made bunches of these pieced triangle units. There are not too many left to go!

Today I think I'll hand stitch. I have cut more pieces for my Scrap Happy quilt, Bring Me Flowers, and Glitter. I have them all bagged up and ready to sew.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, January 19, 2018

More Scrappy Goodness

Yesterday: more cold weather and the streets were still dangerous, more movies, more hand stitching.

I added another chunk to my scrappy project. I put the scissors in the picture so you can get an idea of the size. It's growing much faster than I thought it would - a very good thing! I had thought this would be a lifetime project, but now I'm thinking it will come together in a year or so, maybe less. I need to cut more scraps today to add variety to the mix.

Each time I add a chunk I'm giving it a very good press. I want to keep it flat and crisp. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to press if I waited until it's really big.

We are so stir crazy today! We are getting out of the house! As the sun warms the roads, they will be much better. Yay for the sun!!!!

Have a good one!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hand Sewing and Hand Sewing and...

I had hoped to do some machine work yesterday, but with our snow day (and Hubby being stuck inside, too) I decided to hand piece instead. Hubby has been all about movies lately; he's been finding them on various channels and recording them. We watched TWO movies yesterday while I hand pieced. That's the wonderful thing about hand piecing - I can watch TV with Hubby and still accomplish something.

As you can see, I made another Glitter block. I also added another nice chunk to my Scrap Happy quilt. Scrap Happy may not be its final name, but I'll call it that for now.

Speaking of hand piecing...many of you saw the video of Yoko Saito I shared on the Hexie Love Facebook page - wasn't that something?! I'm going to watch it over and over to try to learn the technique. I already do stitch a little like her, but I need to get one of those leather thimbles. I already have a thumb cutter, but have never used it - now is the time!

We got more snow than I had initially thought - probably 3-4 inches. That's a LOT for way down here! The roads are still iffy this morning, but it's going to warm up and they should be clearing later in the morning.

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Scrap Happy!

I mentioned a few days ago that I'm cutting up scraps into little pieces for a new project. Here is the start of it. I was inspired by a quilt I saw called Scrap Happy #3 by Kathy MacCleary. Go to the link and scroll down to find it.

There is no pattern - I cut up scraps into tiny rectangle that finish at 1" x2". I also cut some squares that finish at 1". Like the inspiration quilt, I'm turning mine on point. There is no right or wrong way to do this...I just keep adding pieces randomly. Yes, the Christmas m&ms and the Easter chicks have made their way into this!

I'm hand piecing this - I know, a bit crazy. But these pieces go together very quickly and I like having this by my recliner for evening stitching.

Yes, it snowed! We think we have about 1.5 inches. We also got sleet, so the roads are icy. We will enjoy it from INSIDE except for taking the doggies out. By the way, Cooper LOVES the snow!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bring Me Flowers

Yesterday I did some hand sewing. I finished TWO Bring Me Flowers blocks! The one above only needed it's vase and stems.

And this has been sitting around for some time. I wasn't happy with it, but decided to appliqué the circles on the flower centers and I like it much better now.

I have now finished 13 blocks out of 25 for this quilt - more than half!

Are you wondering about that fabric that is in the background? It's some upholstery fabric I had in my stash. I have covered my ironing board with it.

We are expecting cold weather later today and up to an inch of snow. This has been a really cold winter for us here in the deep South. I know one inch of snow doesn't sound like much, but trust me - it paralyzes us in the South - we're also expecting ice on roads which is the worst!

Hope your day is WARM!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Glitter: Block 1

I finished my first Glitter block - it came together easily and quickly. I'm hand piecing these.

Do you notice something? I typically don't use red in quilts. But after studying lots of scrap quilts, I realize a bit of red does look good. I'm not going overboard with red, but there will be a bit of red here and there in my two scrap busting quilts. So I figured I throw some red in the very first block to make sure I don't forget!

I cut out three more Glitter blocks yesterday. I hope to continue cutting more scrap blocks every week so I always have some to hand stitch.

I have a Walmart grocery pickup scheduled today - yes, I'm still doing it. It has actually been life changing - so much quicker than wandering the grocery store aisles. And with the flu rampant around the country, I'm just as glad not to go into the store.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Don't you love a productive day??? I certainly had one yesterday. After finishing organizing my new boxes and my sewing room, I made plastic templates for the Glitter quilt (Jen Kingwell) that I want to start. They are tucked away in this envelope, ready for use. In fact, I cut out one block in the afternoon.

Here's a picture of the Glitter quilt in case you're not familiar with it. The pattern is in Jen's book, 'Quilt Lovely.' My quilt will be very scrappy.

I also started another  project to tame my scraps. I have a few shoe box sized bins of small scraps; each bin has a different color - here is my green bin. Many of these scraps are really ugly.

Christmas m&m's anyone?

Easter chicks?

I'm cutting some of these up in small rectangles and squares for a future scrap quilt. This will be a LONG TERM project! No rush or deadline here...

Last night I finally got back to hand sewing. I started the first Glitter block. Happy girl here!

Stay warm if you're in the middle of this cold front, like we are....

Friday, January 12, 2018

New Boxes!

My new sewing room boxes came in! I LOVE them - I really didn't want plastic, and I wanted the boxes to have lids. These are going to be wonderful and serve to clean up the clutter in my small room.

For the most part, I have one project per box. There is one box labeled 'Odd and Ends'  that holds lots of bonus triangles from various projects. Maybe someday I'll do something with these???? I have another box designated for my painting supplies, though I haven't filled it yet.

Today I will continue with this organizing -

I did sew a bit yesterday, but nothing to really show. I'm in the process of add strips to the sides and top of the Christmas Animals quilt to get it to a uniform size to add more blocks.

In other news....I made yogurt in my Instant Pot. This is one of the reasons I wanted an IP - Hubby eats lots of yogurt. I have to admit that the first time I made it was a failure...I used the wrong milk...not supposed to use organic milk. 

This time I did it correctly and ended up with a gallon of yogurt for only $2.99! By the way, if a spoon stands up in it, you know it worked - that's why the spoon is in it. I'm a happy camper. This morning I'll sweeten it a bit and add vanilla - I'll leave some plain as a sour cream substitute. 

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The New Glasses

I got my wish yesterday - my eye prescription did change! The good news is that both eyes improved. As someone who has suffered from lifelong severe near sightedness and astigmatism, this doesn't happen often!!! 

These are the new frames I picked out. They are a little bigger than my last ones, but the progressive bifocal part will be bigger which should help me with reading and sewing. I also asked my doctor to increase the bifocal strength to help with my hand sewing. I can't wait for them to come in!

I ended up having lots of errands to run in addition to the doctor's appointment, so sewing never happened. 

I need to sew today!!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Still Organizing...and an ORL Option

It seems all we do around here this week is organize. Hubby worked on our outdoor closet yesterday and has filled his car with things to donate. I worked on the refrigerator and my purse. Every time he starts organizing something I feel guilty and find something to sort. I hope he stops this soon!

I did get out my Bring Me Flowers last night to see where I left it. I'm ready to get back on track!

The photo above is one I saw on Facebook - someone switched up their On Ringo Lake Pieces and I like it! Maybe one of mine will look like this.

We finished Alias Grace on Netflix and have now begun watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime - we LOVE it! It's funny and the scenery and fashions are really gorgeous - straight from the 50's I believe.

This morning we are going to the eye doctor. New frames for me! Mine have had a piece broken off for several months. Let's hope my prescription changes so I won't feel like it's a splurge!

Have a happy day!

Monday, January 8, 2018

The New Storage Boxes...

Here's a picture of the new storage boxes I have now ordered. You can find them HERE. The ones I ordered are 16" x 16" and are 10" tall. Each will be large enough to hold a quilting project neatly on my shelves. I wanted them to have lids to keep dust out and I wanted them to look nice - remember, my sewing room is directly off our living area. I ordered 8 boxes and they should arrive in about a week. Yay!

We seem to be in the midst of an organizing frenzy. Hubby has bought new file boxes and folders and has been organizing paperwork. Yesterday I completely cleaned out our pantry closet - a big job! When my new boxes arrive I'll hit the sewing room hard!

I did sew over the weekend, but it was small, random things. Nothing to show here, unfortunately.

I'm still loving my Instant Pot. Last week I made some killer Chicken Pot Pie Soup. Yesterday I cooked a whole chicken in it. Then we took the cooked chicken out of the pot and added brown rice to the broth left in the IP - 8 minutes later: YUM! We'll be eating off this meal for a few more days.

Daughter 2, who got her IP around Thanksgiving, tried something new this weekend. She loves to cook, but after a long day at work it's hard find the energy to make something. She found this Instant Pot Freezer Meal Bootcamp.

Saturday she and her hubby prepped all the meats:

Sunday they chopped all the vegetables and put the meal kits together:

Now their freezer has 10 meals ready to pop into the IP - no thawing necessary. (The site even has printable labels to go with each meal.)

The instructions include a complete grocery list and it's really economical. 

Maybe someday I'll try this; I can see it would be something nice to have in the lake house freezer so I would have to bring food every time we go. 

Enjoy your day!


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Ta Dah, Ta Done!

Two stacks of 100 units each! I am now done with all parts and pieces for TWO On Ringo Lake quilts.

Okay, I'll admit it...I do have an urge to put together a block or two. And maybe I will before my May retreat...but not yet. For now I'll pack them away for another day.

Speaking of which, I'm searching for some good storage boxes (with lids!) to use for my quilting projects. I think I may have found just the thing online - I'll sleep on it and probably order them soon.

Yesterday Hubby and I finally took a nice walk, despite the cold weather - we haven't felt up to facing the cold other than minimal Cooper walks. We bundled up and were so lucky to see a deer along the way.

TV Report

We recently watched The Five on Netflix (recommended by a dear reader) - very good!

Now we are watching Alias Grace. This was written by Margaret Atwood who wrote The Handmaids Tale - one of the best books I read last year. I love that there are lots of QUILTS in this show - and lots of hand sewing, too. It's definitely not a happy, joyous show...but very good, nonetheless.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 5, 2018

On to Another Clue

I finally finished these units for both quilts yesterday - yay!

And I even started on these - the last units to put together before making blocks. I've made the executive decision to only sew these geese together for the quilt in Bonnie's colors. I'm going to leave the one for the Christmas colors quilt unsewn for now - you never know how I might sew that one together!

Even though I'm behind on this, I'm actually very proud of myself for making TWO of these. In the beginning I expected to be even more behind! But I stayed caught up until I caught this darn cold. Hubby and I are both still a bit under the weather - it seems to drag on forever. But we are feeling a bit better every day.

The goal for today is to finish these up and pack Bonnie Hunter away until retreat. This weekend I want to pull out some of the projects that got put aside during Mystery Quilt Month - namely Bring Me Flowers.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sewing and A Movie

Okay, I finally got to work on Clue 6.  I finished the Christmas fabric pieces. Well, I finished MOST of them. I must have miscounted when I cut the red triangles. So eventually I'll have to finish these, but I'm done for now. I'm thinking of turning the Christmas quilt into two smaller quilts...we'll see how that goes at my quilt retreat in May. I'll wait until then to see how many more of these units I'll need.

I'm 25% done with the other quilt units. I'll finish them today and be ready for Clue 7.

We've been watching a lot of movies lately - our weather is too cold to be outside for long. In order to kill two birds with one stone yesterday, Hubby and the dogs joined me in the sewing room and we watched a movie while I sewed. Mickey slept through the movie, as you can see.

I really want to get these two mystery quilt parts and pieced DONE before the end of the I'd better get to sewing today!