Thursday, December 29, 2022

A Very Old UFO


We had a spectacular Christmas. I was so busy cooking leading up to the big day that I haven't done any sewing in a couple of weeks. Time to remedy this issue!

I went in my sewing room and was totally stuck. What should I sew? I remember how much I enjoyed hand quilting my Marshal quilt. Maybe I'd pin baste a quilt top? I have quite a few at the ready. I went through them and found this,

I'm guessing I made this at least 15 years ago, at a Birmingham quilt retreat. I had seen this in a kids' puzzle book and I thought it was cool. Nine squares, all of different sizes. So I drew it out and made a quilt top. It was already thread basted and ready to stitch. Why did I leave it like this????

Then I noticed that I had already started hand quilting it. But what in the world is the pattern I was stitching???

Ahhh! I had put a funky backing on it and was quilting from the backside, using the backing fabric pattern as a guide. Hmmm...why did I stop?

I figured it was puckering on the front side. So I must have put it aside and stuck it in a closet for more that 15 years. Sounds just like me! 

I got out Mr. Ripper and removed all those quilting stitches. They were tiny! I didn't know I could make such tiny stitches! So I pressed it and pulled some thread choices for big stitch quilting.

I decided the black thread would work best. 

Then it was time for marking. I'll just mark a section at a time.

And here's where I got to last night. I like the way it looks. The quilt will only be 33" square, a nice wall hanging. I'm glad I'm finally working on it again. 

I'd like to finish more UFO's in 2023, and make some scrappy quilts, too. I have SO MUCH FABRIC! 

Ready, set, GO! Make quilts!

Monday, December 19, 2022

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!


Everyone who has been sick is much improved! Yay! 

Yesterday I finished Sadie's yearly ornament. It turned out really cute, I think. As a reminder, here are the previous two I made for her.

As you may remember, I finished Noah's first ornament a few weeks ago. I only have to stitch a little '2022' charm on it to commemorate the year. Woohoo, Christmas READY!

I keep these ornaments at my house for now. I like to keep them separate from other ornaments. When the kids are around 18, I plan to give them to Sadie and Noah, each in a special box of their own. But I do get picture of them with the ornaments each year.

I got a new cutting table yesterday- woohoo. It's from Home Depot and here's the link. There was free delivery to our door, though Hubby had to put it together. We actually ordered two of these so he'd have a nice new workbench in our garage, but for some odd reason the other one hasn't arrived yet.

Last week I made all my cookie doughs. Gingerbread, sugar, and chocolate.

I've now baked two of the flavors...only gingerbread left. We have usually already had our cookie decorating party with our girls by now, but sickness has pushed it back. We hope to fit it in this week, though Daughter 1 may have to miss it because she's leaving today for a last minute business trip to NYC. 

Once Hubby started feeling better, we ventured downtown one evening. The iconic Samford Hall is in the distance.

And there's Toomer's Drugs, home of the insanely delicious lemonade.

And our destination...Little Italy Pizza. It was fun to be downtown at dusk and view all the Christmas lights on campus and nearby.

I only have one more present to wrap. This week I just need to do a bit of house cleaning, buy groceries, and begin the prep for our Christmas meal with our family. Can't wait! 

Enjoy your week!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Holiday sickness....


'Tis the season. You may remember that last year I was diagnosed with the Flu on Christmas Eve. It was horrible, worse than the Covid I had in February. Last week a bunch of our family took Sadie to ride the Christmas train in a local park. I wore a mask unless my picture was being taken (as above!)

I was the the only one wearing a mask... Hubby now has Strep Throat. I'm keeping him confined on one side of the house. One of our daughters (Sadie and Noah's mom) has Flu. Noah isn't feeling too great either - he's 3 weeks old now. 

UGH! We hope all are better for Christmas! Meanwhile...

I'm still making wheat bread. So good!

And here are the bag tags I've been making for gifts. These are so fun to make! They have a layer of foam inside to keep them sturdy. 

Here's to staying well so I can help everyone who is sick. Many of my friends are sick, too. Some with Covid, some with Strep, some with nasty colds. Everything is going around in our little city. Wear your masks, people!!! Please!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Life Around Here

Long time, no post. I've spent a bit of time in my sewing room this week. I finally hung my ruler rack.

I spent hours like this, with TWO laptops in my lap. My Apple is on the right and Hubby's PC is on the right. I have the Bernina machine embroidery software - Creative Design 9 and I'm determined to learn to use it. I installed the software on the PC but I was using my computer to learn tips on YouTube.

I made so much progress! I'm figuring it out. A couple of Youtube videos helped me so much. I still have a lot to learn, I still haven't figured out how to import designs and I want to learn to digitize designs. But I'm pleased with the progress I've made. 

I actually made a bag tag for each of Sadie's preschool teachers for Christmas. So excited to be using these new tools.

We took Sadie to the Auburn Christmas parade Sunday - lots of fun! And yes, Santa was there, too! But we do love Aubie.

I bought the doggies new dog beds, a big one for Cooper and a little one for Mickey. Big Cooper seems to prefer the tiny bed. Go figure!

All is well here. Little Noah is doing great. Our daughter is doing better - spinal headache is finally gone. We are staying in a lot - trying not to get exposed to germs. I don't want a repeat of last year's Christmas flu. 

Enjoy your weekend!


Monday, November 28, 2022

Noah Arrived!

Our sweet grandson, Noah, came into the world Wednesday night, November 23. He's healthy and eating well - doing fantastic! Our daughter, however, is having a rough time. In fact she's back at the hospital now getting a second spinal procedure after having the epidural leak into her spine. It's left her with a horrendous spinal headache, which is torture. Hopefully, she'll turn a corner today! We are hoping and praying so! 

Sadie is a wonderful big sister, and loves to pat 'Baby Noah.' She's really adjusting well. 

I'm staying at their home to help with everything as long as they need me. 

That's all from here! Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 21, 2022

A Quilt Finish!

I can't believe it! I finished my Marshal quilt Saturday while watching football. I hand quilted all day long. And when late afternoon arrived...I put in the last stitch. I adore this quilt. This is the quilt I began 4 years ago, soon after my mastectomy. I wasn't able to sit at my machine and sew for a few months. But as soon as I started feeling better, this block of the month pattern came out in Quiltmania magazine, designed by Jen Kingwell. Hand piecing worked great for this and that's all I could do at the time. 

I had some Tula Pink fabric and decided to use it. It worked. You know how when you sew something special? How you later remember what you were watching on TV or whatever was going on with your life? 

That's how this quilt is for me. This quilt got me through my breast cancer journey. I remember sitting on the sofa at the lake house (the same sofa where I slept for months after my surgery), tracing my homemade templates, cutting fabric out one piece at a time, and carefully hand piecing the little bits together. 

It's truly a milestone to finish it finally. Four years in the making. Yay!

I've been threatening to do it and I did! I made a loaf of whole wheat bread. It was great! So easy to make and so delicious! So we finished it and I made another. Tomorrow I'm making more! It's just too easy not to make it myself. Find the recipe HERE. This bread slices beautifully for sandwiches or toast. 

We are still on watch and wait duty for the new baby to arrive. He's taking his time, but it can't be much longer. 

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 14, 2022

Christmas Ornament - DONE! And a Baking Day...


I finished Noah's ornament! I'm thrilled with how it turned out. I had the striped cording in my stash - I hand stitched it around the needlepoint and also around the backside. Then I hand stitched vintage rick rack in between.

And here is the back side. I had this Santa fabric in my stash. I also had the polka dot ribbon in my stash.  I have ordered a 2022 charm to stitch on it.

I made the templates for the Wenleydale quilt from Jen Kingwell's Quilt Recipe book months ago. I finally cut out one block's worth of pieces and hand pieced it. Most of these fabrics are Jen Kingwell designs. I decided to use some of my stash of black and white prints for the outer corners. This is a BIG block! I've already cut another block out. This is a great 'TV watching' project. No rush to finish it! And I can see to do this with my blurry eyes.

I got LOTS of hand quilting done on Marshal on our football Saturday. The end is nearing! I think I only have about two more football Saturdays to go.

After finishing my Sadie quilt, I'm at a bit of an impasse. What to work on next? I'm not going to do Bonnie Hunter's mystery, I do know that. But I was drawn to her recent pattern release of Ditch Lilies.

I purchased the pattern. I have nice piece of green yardage that will work well.

I did a pull for the orange fabrics and I have lots of neutrals on hand. I think I'll start doing the cutting this week. You can see the pattern in color and buy it here.

I was in a baking mood last week. Fall makes me want to bake! I made two loaves of Apple Fritter Bread - it was so good!!!! Recipe HERE. I also made a batch of cinnamon rolls - forgot to take a picture, but they were also delicious. 

If you're wondering how the dogs are liking our new home, here's proof that they LOVE it! Cooper loves the back patio!

And that's all from here. We are definitely on baby watch. Our daughter is going to pop at any minute. We can't wait to meet Noah! Have a great week!

Monday, November 7, 2022

Update on Christmas Ornaments and My Eyes

Over the weekend, I finished the needlepoint on Noah's ornament. Yay! I really enjoyed this process. The ornament kit is meant to be self finishing...there is a flap of fabric on the back that you are meant to stitch in place. BUT...I didn't want to do it like that. So I cut off the flap and also removed that green binding.

I also ended up removing the hanging loop later.

Next I wrapped the needlepoint around some cardstock padded with batting, laced it to get it nice and snug.

I chose this fabric for the backside of the ornament. I wrapped this around more cardstock and batting, again lacing to tighten it all up.

And now I'll hand stitch the two sides together with some cording in between...I'll share the finished ornament when I'm finished!

Saturday was college football watching (and lots of hand quilting on Marshal!) I can see the finish line on this quilt!

I've been in the routine of grocery shopping on Sunday and making some kind of casserole that day, too. I like to get a jump start on the week by making a dish that will feed us for at least two evening meals. Sadie is picked up at 5 pm most days, so I like to make evening meals during the week quick to prepare. This week it's a pizza casserole...noodles, spaghetti sauce, sausage, pepperoni, and cheese. Easy peasy!

Other meals this week will include hot ham and cheese sliders with potato salad and grilled chicken with a vegetable and tossed salad. All are yummy, but fast and easy.

Are you as flabbergasted as I am over the grocery prices???? A tube of toothpaste was $7.47 yesterday! I was going to buy some bagels, but they were $6.00 for six bagels and I passed. And the bread I like is $6.99 a loaf!!! Maybe I should start making my own bread? And bagels? I just might....stay tuned....

You may remember that I recently had an ophthalmologist appointment. My vision, particularly in my right eye, is quite blurry. Well...I didn't get great news. I was diagnosed with Macular Puckers, also known as Macular Wrinkles. The puckers are on the backside of my eyeball. I have it in both eyes, but it's worse in the right. At this point there is nothing that can be done. It's very bothersome. I find it difficult to read a book or menu. (Good thing I listen to books on Audible now.) 

As for sewing....I can see well enough to machine sew. Hand sewing something tedious (like tiny cross stitch) is very hard. In fact, I haven't pick up my Anniversaries of the Heart piece since before our move. I do hope to get back to it eventually. 

I did read that if the condition worsens, there is a surgery that can be done. So I don't know if I should hope it worsens? Or hope it stabilizes? It bothers me the most in the evenings, but I'm aware of it all day long. Such a nuisance, but I'll keep sewing. I will say that big stitch hand quilting is something that I can easily see to do! So I'll be finishing more quilts like this. The needlepoint is okay for me to see, as long as the mesh is big enough. 

That's all from here! Have a great week!


Tuesday, November 1, 2022

What I'm Working On....

Here's my Marshal quilt - my college-football-watching project. I'm still hand quilting, but making progress. Hoping to finish it during this football season!

I finished all the white on Noah's Christmas ornament and started working on another color! Glad to have the white behind me!

I also started working on Sadie's wool bird ornament. I have to make two alike and then stitch them together.

OH! LOOK! I finished quilting my Sadie quilt! I made and stitched on the binding, too. I'm in the process of hand stitching the binding now.

Yesterday we had a carpet runner installed on our stairs here in the new house - I think it will make the stairs much safer. I really like the way it turned out with the herringbone pattern. 

We are loving the house. We've been here just over a month and I'm still learning the light switches, etc. My sewing room is great and I have plenty of storage for fabric. I was surprised that we had ZERO trick or treaters last night! I guess we have to eat all the candy???? Oh dear. 

We still have to hang pictures, but that will come before long I think. And I plan to remodel our pantry closet SOON! It's the only part of the house we didn't like - but it can easily be fixed. I plan to hire a local cabinet shop to do it for us. Can't wait!

And that's the update from here! Have a great week!


Monday, October 24, 2022

This, That, and The Other

I thought I'd share this little pumpkin tote bag I made in one of the machine mastery classes I recently took for my Bernina. We were working with the embroidery module on this particular day. Such great classes! How did I not know that machine feet with a D (example, 3D) in the name are meant only for the dual feed function???? So many great little tips!

I simply have to share this with you! I have found a new makeup line that I ADORE! I had given up on foundation - haven't worn it in years. It's impossible to find a shade that matches my skin tone, and I couldn't find one that 'felt' right. They were always too much coverage or too little.

I finally found one that is 'just right'! This is by Jones Road, developed by Bobbie Brown. I ordered online after taking their quiz to pick out my shade. My shade is Porcelain. When I opened it I immediately thought it would be too dark, but it's absolutely perfect! I bought several of the products and love them all. Now I plan to order more.

Here's a weird selfie of me in the car (with seat belt and mastectomy pillow!) so you can see how the foundation looks on me. I'm terrible at selfies! But I do love this makeup!

What? Needlepoint? YES! You know I've been making Sadie a wool bird Christmas ornament every year. This Christmas we'll have another grand - Baby Noah due in weeks. I decided to make him a needlepoint ornament each year, so this will be his first. A friend taught me to always do the white first, so that's what I'm doing. 

Here's a sneak peak at the Sadie quilt - still making quilting progress. I'm working on it a few hours each week.

This past week I made TWO Apple Dapple Cakes. This is a childhood favorite of mine. My mother made this every Fall. My brother makes many of these each year for Christmas presents. I hadn't made one in years. We are eating and sharing one of these. I froze the other to save for the holidays. SO GOOD! Sinfully delicious! After baking you make a sauce to pour over the top and it soaks in. YUM! Find the recipe HERE.

And that is the randomness that's going on around here. I'm loving the pleasant weather. I've gotten out of the habit of walking since we moved, but hope to start back again soon. Enjoy your week!