Thursday, December 30, 2021

Happy Flu Year

The week before Christmas was busy and fun. We even went to an Auburn basketball game. I was so careful and kept on my mask the entire time except this quick photo opp with Aubie. Didn't know he was coming in for a hug! See my orange mask in my hand?

And this my friends is how I think I caught the flu. It's not for certain...but I have to think that in this crowded arena there were some flu germs. 

I first got sick on the evening of Christmas Eve. Diagnosed on the 26th. Covid test was negative. (Yes, I did get a flu shot in October.)

So the last week I've been either in a recliner or in bed.

Today I finally feel like a human again! Yay!


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Cross Stitch: Anniversaries of the Heart

It's time to share my 2022 cross stitch project! I know...can't believe I'm cross stitching again after decades away! But I've been inspired by Pinterest and blogs - especially Jo's Country Junction. Jo is an avid quilter, but she's taken up cross stitch, too. The above picture is Jo's Anniversaries of the Heart piece that she made during 2021. There is a block for each month, along with two bonus blocks. The idea is that your personalize each block based on members of your family.

I've been watching her (via her blog) work on this and have been smitten with it. So here I am undertaking a HUGE cross stitch project! Anniversaries of the Heart was designed by Blackbird Designs and is several years old. The monthly patterns are sold separately. 

So here I have the first month's pattern, my linen, and all my threads at the ready.

A friend gave me these adorable little scissors which I'm keeping with this project - perfection!

And yes, I've started! And yese, I'll still be quilting! Quilting will always be my Number One! I'll dedicate this first month to my husband and put his info on it.

I rarely share photos of Sadie on social media, but I had to share this picture of her with this year's bird ornament. Cuteness overload!

Continue to stay safe!


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Summarizing 2021

Before I make new goals for 2022, I wanted to take a look back on 2021. Let's see how I did!

2021 GOALS

 1. Selfcare. I will continue my walking that I started a few weeks ago. I'll continue to eat healthy (MOST of the time). I'll keep monitoring my blood pressure.

I did well at this! I still walk most days (weather permitting). I lost 30 pounds during the course of the year. My blood pressure is now NORMAL! It took me 7 montes to lose the first 10 pounds. Then I joined NOOM and lost the next 20 pounds. I really like NOOM and it has worked well for me.

2. Read. I need some improvement here. I read each evening before I go to sleep, but not long enough. I've passed the halfway point of Jane Eyre, but the old me would have been finished weeks ago. After I finish reading Jane, I'm thinking I'll splurge on an Audible membership. I can listen to books WHILE I WALK. I think that will be a game changer for me. I plan to continue to read classics this year.

Another score for me here. I did join Audible. Now I 'read' when I'm walking - win/win!  

Books I read:

Jane Eyre

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Cuckoo's Calling

Pride and Prejudice

Inheritance Games

Where the Crawdads Sing

The Wife Upstairs

Two Thousand Minnows

American Dirt

The Lost Apothecary

I know many people read a lot more books in a year, but I'm happy I read this many! And remember, I primarily read only when I walk. 

3. Wallpaper. So this is rather specific, isn't it? I want to buy some of the peel-off wallpaper for a few areas of our house. I love the idea of being able to peel it off easily when I get tired of it. 

I did this, too! I hung wallpaper in my sewing room closet. 

4. Write. Years and years ago I wrote a novel. Our kids were young. I was a stay-at-home mom and needed things to entertain myself. I started writing, I started quilting, and I entered cooking contests. The novel was a cozy mystery. It was good enough to get a New York agent to represent me, but it was never picked up by a publisher. That brings me back to my goal. I want to pull the novel out and modernize and tweak it. I will probably add more quilting in it - there is already just a bit, as I was beginning to learn quilting as I wrote it. Anyway, it will be entertaining for me, and who knows? Maybe it will get picked up. Nothing to lose here.

I did not accomplish this goal. Why? I couldn't find my manuscript! Oh no! I've been sad about this all year. Then....a few weeks ago when Hubby was working at the lake...he FOUND it! Yippee! Maybe 2022 will be the year for this.

5. Quilt. I want to quilt my Marshal top myself. That will be fun and there's no rush. I want to make a blue and white quilt. Other than that I'll keep working on UFO's. And I'm sure I'll start some new projects here and there, including another curved hexie quilt. 

I'm still working on hand quilting Marshal - I'm over halfway there. And I've started that curved hexie quilt! Also there were several quilts finished!

All in all, I think it was a great year! Hoping 2022 is just as good!

I'm already thinking about goals for 2022 - I really like to write it down - it's makes me accountable. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Christmas BUSY-NESS!

I finished Sadie's 2021 Christmas ornament - and that all I have accomplished in the sewing department. Tis the season! Haha!

We were able to spend the night in our lake house this past weekend, after months of repairs after the water leak discovered at the end of April. Yay! We spend Friday and Saturday unpacking boxes and getting everything put back in place. There were also LOTS of pictures to hang on the walls. Friday night we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant at the lake, waited on by our favorite waiter. Yum! Only a few things left to do here now - including rehanging the drapes. They were dripping with dirty water after the leak - they have been dry cleaned and are ready to hang next time we go up there. SOON! The house is as good as new now. So relieved.

I've also done some of this - organizing embroidery floss. I've had this unorganized box hanging around for years. I also have a plastic bin of floss that is already on paper bobbins. I made a good start on this. I've hinted that I'm staring a new cross stitch project. I'll share more very soon. I found I had all but two colors to start the project and I've already bought those at Hobby Lobby.  

This afternoon I went to downtown Auburn to go shopping. It was a gorgeous afternoon to walk around and go in and out of stores. So much fun! I'm officially DONE with Christmas shopping, though if I have time I may make two more small gifts.

And that's the update from here! Have I used my new sewing machine? NO! Can you believe it? I can't! But I will very soon. I'm promising myself!

Continue to stay safe!!!


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Unboxing Day!


I got the call Tuesday! My new Bernina was in! Hubby and I went to Montgomery to pick it up. There were 5 boxes! FIVE! Here are four.

And here is the main box with the machine inside.

I spent the morning unboxing. 

Box 1 held the machine itself.
Box 2 held the embroidery module.
Box 3 held the rolling suitcase for the machine.
Box 4 held the suitcase for the embroidery module.
Box 5 held a box of stabilizers and threads for embroidery.

All I have done so far is set the machine up in my table. I turned the machine on and then turned it back off. Haven't sewn a stitch yet, but I will soon!

Meanwhile I'm still working on Sadie's Christmas ornament, all handwork. 

Almost time for Sadie to get here! Gotta run!

Continue to stay safe!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

What I'm Making! And Small Gift Ideas!

You may remember that last year I began a tradition of making a wool bird Christmas ornament for Sadie.
Here is last year's bird.

I finally started this year's ornament! These two pieces will be stitched together and stuffed. I still need to do the eyes and some embellishment details, but I'm making progress!

And now for a couple of small gift ideas. I discovered this candle Friday at Christmas at the Crossroads, the yearly arts and crafts show at Lake Martin. The candle is unique because it doubles as a moisturizing cream. If you zoom in on the instructions, it says to dip a finger in the candle as it melts and rub it on your hands (or feet or elbows or anywhere!).  There are several fragrances available, but my favorite was Buttnaked.

These are made by a sweet woman in Birmingham, AL. She developed this product because she has eczema. Email her at I love they way the 'cream' makes my skin feel and smell! I'll be ordering more!

And here's another gift idea. I love these collectible gold-plated Candy Cane ornaments by Wallace. Each year has a different design. I buy three every year - one for me, and one for each of my daughters. 

Here's one of the designs. I love them and I think my girls like them, too. I have purchased them at Dillards, but can now I can get them on Amazon. Find them HERE.

I think either the candle or the ornament would make great small gifts for teachers, friends, hostess gifts, or for almost anyone. 

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful! The food was good, the company was even better. We're in the home stretch for Christmas. We put up our Christmas tree and all the other decorations over the weekend. I have even started wrapping presents! I typically wait until the last minute to wrap, so this is a big deal for me! 

I still have two more presents to make - maybe later this week I'll get to them.

Continue to stay safe!


Monday, November 22, 2021

Courthouse Steps - DONE!!!

So excited! I finished all the binding and sleeve hand stitching, and Hubby helped me hang the quilt behind our bed. From the time I started this quilt, I always knew it would hang here. It's so nice to see an idea come to life. This is a queen size bed for perspective.

Here's a shot of how we did it. If you look very closely you can see 3 magnetic hangers adhered to the wall just below the crown molding. These are  10 foot ceilings, so it's way up there. This is such a heavy quilt that we ended up adding 2 more magnetic hangers - total of 5.

And while we were hanging quilts, we also hung this one - my Manx Log Cabin - above Sadie's big girl bed. She doesn't sleep here yet - she's still in a crib in this same room. That center pillow on the bed will be changed out eventually to something more colorful.

Here the label for the magnetic hangers we used. 

This is one hanger. The round part is a VERY strong magnet. I bought these at the Quilt Festival in Houston. You used Command Strips to adhere them to the wall, so no holes! For the large Courthouse Steps quilt, I bought long, flat metal pieces from Lowes to slide through the sleeve and stick to the magnets. There were holes already in the metal pieces - we'd laid two of these overlapping to make the correct length and connected them by using cable ties in several places. 

For the smaller Manx Log Cabin quilt, I simply used a curtain rod I already owned in the sleeve.

These quilt hangers worked so well for us. I'm so glad I got them. A good purchase for me! 

We are hosting Thanksgiving this week for our family and special friends - can't wait! We got the quilt hung in the nick of time.

Happy Thanksgiving! Continue to stay safe!


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Non-Stop and a New House????

I didn't have time to sew this weekend. We went to the Auburn game Saturday - an all day event.

Hubby and I made it on to the Jumbotron!

Sunday evening we attended the traveling production of The Simon and Garfunkel Story. I highly recommend this. Wonderful music and a video tour back in time. Very awesome show! See it if you get the chance.

I got my Courthouse Steps quilt back from my quilter friend - I love it with the Baptist Fan quilting pattern. I have managed to machine sew the binding and a sleeve to this. Now for the hand sewing.... I would love to have it hanging for Thanksgiving.

Here's a bit of Fall loveliness spotted when I was out shopping a few days ago. 

As for the new house......

I did a thing. I bought this vintage dollhouse. I bought it more for me than for Sadie. The house is made of solid wood and it was built in the 50's. The windows have real glass. Both the front and back sides come off for play. It's in really good shape. I do want to replace a bit of carpet and one other room of flooring, but most of the flooring in in perfect shape. I'll share more pictures soon. I love that it's on a stand with wheels.

I'll have so much decorating this. I hope it remains in our family for generations to come. Now I have a figure out where I'm going to put it!

Continue to stay safe!


Monday, November 8, 2021

Weekend Happenings

I got back to my football watching/ hand quilting Marshal. I missed the previous weekend due to being in Houston. Look at that cute little fussy cut mouse!

Here's a new purchase that arrived Friday! An electric roaster! I have a couple of good friends here who are from Pennsylvania. They were talking about how they cook their Thanksgiving turkey in an electric roaster. Down here in the South, we've never heard of such a thing! So yes, I had to have one.

Today I'll be trying it out by cooking a large beef brisket. According to the roaster instructions, I had to turn it on high heat for one hour without the insert to get rid of the fumes. I did that on the back porch yesterday - didn't want the smells and smoke in the house. I'll keep you posted on how the brisket turns out today.

The dollhouse project has continued. I'm having a ball making this! Here you can see the teeny tiny curtains sewn in place at the top only. 

Once I read through more of the instructions, I decided that these teeny tiny curtains needed to be lined, though the pattern doesn't call for it. I didn't want exposed raw edges on the back side of the curtains. So now the curtains (there are 6 total) are completely lined. Only the best for Sadie!

Here you can see the lining - simple white cotton.

I also made a lined shower curtain - look at the little rubber ducks!

Under the shower curtain you can see the shower head.

Yesterday afternoon we went to our lake house to check out progress. You may remember, we had a major leak under the kitchen sink discovered on April 30.  All the flooring had to be torn out in the kitchen, dining, and living areas. The kitchen cabinets (most of them) had to be trashed. Lots of sheetrock had to be replaced, etc. It was a mess!

The remodelers are almost done. The floors are in. Insulation has been replaced. Sheetrock has been replaced and painting complete. New cabinets are in, along with the counters. In the middle of the floor you can see a box of tiles. They still need to repair the backsplash in a few areas. Then the next step will be to have the large appliances delivered from storage and installed. We HOPE they all work after they sat in standing water.

Then we can have all the furniture brought back from storage and we'll be DONE! This repair has taken longer than it took to build our Auburn home from scratch. But it looks just like it did before and will be worth the wait. We look forward to spending a Fall weekend there soon. The deer are everywhere - we saw 6 yesterday, including 2 babies. 

And that's the weekend report!

Continue to stay safe!


Thursday, November 4, 2021

Non Quilting Stitching!

I thought I'd share some non quilty projects I'm working on. I finally started making this soft dollhouse for Sadie for Christmas. The pieces above are fused to interfacing.


These are curtains - yes, tiny curtains.

This tiny!

I'll share more progress as I go along. And because I know someone will's the name of this project. It's printed on a panel and comes with four best friends and their pets.

Do you remember when I started this cross stitch pattern?  I'm determined to finish it soon. However, a couple of weeks ago I discovered a major problem.

I've always started cross stitch projects in the center. And I saw that the pattern was marked for the centers - see the black arrow at top and left side? Or so I thought!

The center was marked just below the gold arch with the word, "DANCE", in the center. But when you look again at the pattern, you see that it's NOT THE CENTER of the design. Oh dear.

So here I am. I have way too much fabric left at the top and will not have enough at the bottom. What to do? 

I'm NOT going to rip it out and start over! One friend told me she would toss it in the garbage and call it a day! 

I'm determined to salvage this.

If you look back at the pattern, you'll see two deer at the very bottom. I've decided to start stitching mofifs at the top to fill in. See the deer? Now above the DANCE. I'll fill in the top and then work on the bottom, using more of the pattern motifs to somehow make it work. 

Wish me luck! I'll need it.

I have a large cross stitch project planned for next year, so I really want to finish this.

Continue to stay safe!

Monday, November 1, 2021

Houston! Shopping!


Houston was wonderful, as always! The Quilt Fest was great, too. Let's start off with a bang - I bought a new Bernina! So excited! I bought the 790 CE (Crystal Edition). 

Here's a more appropriate masked photo (Bernina mask!) You can't see my big smile here though.

The machine comes with carrying cases for the machine and the embroidery module.

I will say this about the show: it was much smaller than usual. Usually there are around 1000 vendors, or maybe more. This year there were 206. So there were some vendors I really missed! Sue Spargo, Pineapple Fabric, Moda, Aurifil and so many more. 

BUT, shopping was still fun, of course. Items that were on my shopping list (yes, I do take a list!), can easily be ordered online. 

I got some Weeks Dye Works embroidery floss for a future cross stitch project.

And also I grabbed some Sue Spargo thread.

I bought these magnetic quilt hangers - I hope they work! I'll have two quilts to hang soon.

New needles.

Micro Tip scissors.

Bag patterns!

I've been wanting to make some bags. So I came home with three different patterns. Here's a Tool Tote.

A Macaroon Bag along with the wristlet handle.

And a Big Mouth Pouch.

Zippers for the bags!

2 novelty charm packs - I plan to make an Eye Spy quilt.

And my biggest purchase other than the sewing machine was this wool kit of a gingerbread house Christmas scene. So cute! But I have to finish my wool Happy Birds before I start this!

So that's a good report on what I bought. I'll share some of the quilts I liked in another post. 

My friends and I had a fabulous time - we always have fun together! 

Continue to stay safe!