Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Cross Stitch Update!

I've made some progress on the March block, but there is still much left to do. The end of the month is TOMORROW! EEK! I will not finish it tomorrow. I even stitched extra during the weekend, but it's hard to do two blocks in one month. That's okay. I hope to finish this by the end of the weekend. Maybe. And then I can start the April block. I'm actually proud of myself for doing this well on the project so far this year. I hope the April block is on the simple side!

I still am doing a good bit of hand stitching. And I started a new quilt - I think I mentioned that I wanted to make an eye spy quilt. I've collected the fabrics. But I couldn't decide what pattern to use. 

Then I saw something on Instagram and I knew this was it. I'll share soon. 

Have a happy rest of the week!


Monday, March 28, 2022

One Finish. And Tiny Scissors. And Circles!

After having THREE quilts quilted by a friend, I finally completed the binding on the first one - I know, I'm slow! The newly finished quilt is on the right - Open Envelopes. Hubby's quilt is one the left. So we finally have coordinating quilts while we sit in our matching recliners to watch TV in the evenings. Ha!

A friend gave me a pair of these tiny scissors last Fall and I adore them! I do so much hand sewing and decided I needed a pair in every project bag. I also feel safe with these little snips around Sadie - I hear they are even approved by the airlines for carry on. So I ordered a bunch more so I'll always have them nearby. I got mine from

I finally used my bag! Hubby and I went to our lake house Sunday to take care of some odds and ends, so I packed up a couple of projects for the road; it was perfect!

The other little project I have going is another bag - thank goodness this is a more simple sewing project. It's the Macaroon Bag.

I spent FOREVER prepping these little circles for both sides of the bag. Now they are ready for applique. I would love to get the hand stitching done during this week and assemble the bag this weekend. Let's see if I can do this! I hope so!!! 

I am SO enjoying the Spring weather! We went for a nice walk today and loved every second. I even started listening to a new book at the same time. I hope you are having nice weather, too.

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Cross Stitch Update and a Birthday!

Here is my progress on the March block of Anniversaries of the Heart.  There were a couple of evenings that I did not stitch, including last night when we went out for pizza with friends from our previous neighborhood.  I decided to dedicate this block to our sweet granddaughter, Sadie. I stitched her birthday in the upper left - the 23rd of March. 

I also purchased a new cross stitch booklet. Does this mean I'm becoming a cross stitcher? Well, part time, anyway. I'm enjoying this for an evening project while watching TV. The above booklet just came out at the Cross Stitch market held recently in Nashville. I heard that these designs go quickly and may not be reprinted, so I grabbed one to put aside for a later date. Only ONE project at a time for cross stitching! I always have several quilts in progress, but I'll try not to do the same with cross stitch.

Did you note the date I stitched into Anniversaries of the Heart? Yes, yesterday was Sadie's 2nd birthday. This photo sums her up well; she has a snack in one hand and her calculator in the other. This girl loves numbers!

Keep stitching!


Sunday, March 20, 2022

Binding! And a Few Binding Tips...


I got THREE quilts back from my quilter friend. And you know what that means.... BINDING!  For my Cheddar Bow Tie quilt, I decided I needed cheddar binding. And because I don't have cheddar yardage, that means a very scrappy binding. I'll talk you through how I do this and maybe you'll pick up a tip or two. (Don't you love the Baptist Fan quilting on this???)

I cut lots of strips from lots of cheddar fabrics. How many strips? A LOT! I will admit that I never measure the quilt circumference OR make 'just enough' binding. I alway cut more than I will think I'll need. Leftover binding gets wound up and put in my drawer for extra bindings. Sometimes I get lucky and find the perfect leftover piece all ready for a quilt.

In the old days I would sew two random strips together, and again, and again. Then I'd sew the twosies together, and again, and again. And so on and so forth until it was all sewn together.

Now I chain sew it all, in one fell swoop. I sew two together. Flip the last on over and sew its other end to a new strip.

I hope you can see in these pictures how it works. I've been doing this for a few years, and can't figure out why I haven't always done this way. Fast and easy. 

Before I knew it, I had a really long chain of binding.

I bought this handy dandy Clover cutter at Houston last Fall and I do love it for cutting apart chain piecing.

Now I was ready to trim off the triangles pieces and press the binding. Onto sewing!

One more little tip-  when sewing on binding, I like to increase my stitch length. I'm now sewing through four layers of fabric plus batting. If your backing is minky or something else thick, increase the stitch length even more! 

Today I also stitched my Happy Bird blocks together, layered them with batting and backing, and quilted in the ditch. So it was ready to bind. Done! It needs more quilting, but I'm not sure what yet. I'm thinking of hand stitching around each bird and tie the rest of each block with little knots of perle cotton. We'll see....

No pictures, but I sewed the binding on my Open Envelopes quilt (with its minky backing) this weekend, too. One more quilt to bind (Casseroles) and then I'll have four quilts which will need the binding hand stitched on the backside. Whew!

Continue to stay safe!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Cross Stitch and Hand Piecing

Last night I finished the first bonus block for Anniversaries of the Heart! And I just barely started working on the March block - see those stitches in the upper right?. I doubt I'll finish it before March is over, but you never know!

And here's a reminder of the Clopin (or is it Clopen? - can't remember) pillow in Jen Kingwell's Quilt Recipes book.

And here's my start. I'm hand piecing this and have only made a small start. But it won't take too long to finish. I'm in no rush!

I feel like I sewed like a maniac every weekend during January and February, so I have definitely slowed down my pace. I'm adding other things to my weekends such as doll house work. Last weekend I sanded the epoxy bondo spots and found one place that needed a bit more. I applied that. This weekend I'll be ready to start priming the house, inside and out. A BIG job- one that will take more than one weekend I think. But it really needs to be done! Once I get the house primed and painted, I plan to start tackling one room at a time- looking forward to the decorating!

Continue to stay safe. And happy!


Sunday, March 13, 2022

My Weekend Project


I've been working on this bag for a few weeks. I spent a weekend cutting out all the fabric. I spent another day cutting out all the foam (Bosal), fusible batting, and fusible interfacing. LOTS of pieces! Then I spent another day fusing aforementioned foam, batting, and interfacing to all the pieces.

Yesterday I spent most of the day quilting the individual pieces. LOTS of quilting of little bits. I did simple straight line quilting.

Today was the day to put all the pieces together. And it did take ALL DAY. This is called the Tool Tote. The pattern came with metal stays that force the bag to stay open all the way when unzipped - see below. I bought this pattern in Houston last Fall.

Here's a picture of the inside of the bag. There are 8 pockets around the outside of the bag and 8 more around the inside. LOTS of pockets!

I'm so glad I made this, but I'm even more glad it's done! I'll admit that the instructions were very confusing at times. I spent a good bit of time today figuring out what I was supposed to do. I finally figured it all out, thank goodness. 

Now what will I do with this??? My plan is to take it along for sew days with my friends - it can hold all my necessaries. It may also carry my toiletries for weekends at our lake home. Or how about holding picnic food for a boat outing? I can think of LOTS of uses. 

I have two smaller bags - more like zippered pouches - cut out and ready to make. They will be much easier and faster than this complicated bag. It's a good thing I love it!

I've also done a bit of hand piecing this week. More on that soon.

Continue to stay safe!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Cross Stitch Update!

I've had a pretty good cross stitch week! I only do cross stitch in the evenings while Hubby and I watch TV. So this is pretty good progress!

I'm over half way done with the stitching on this bonus block! I have hope to finish this and start on the March block in a week or so.

I've really enjoyed this one - I like stitching letters! Each one goes so quickly and gives me little boosts from each completion.

We have been particularly busy as of late. I think things are beginning to settle down now and life will normalize. My head cold is almost gone! Yay! You know, some colds are worse than others. During the Fall I had a few, but they were very minor. This one was worse. Even worse than my case of Covid. But it is GONE! Hooray! 

I bought an umbrella stroller for Sadie recently so I can go more places with her. We have a honking big stroller for walks in our neighborhood, but the umbrella stroller can easily be thrown in the trunk and is so easy and lightweight to handle. So excited! I might even take her to the mall today! She loves shopping! And I really need new shorts! None of mine fit (Yay!) and the weather is getting warmer. 

Continue to stay safe!


Sunday, March 6, 2022

Playing with Scraps and Cutting Out Bags! Plus Smocking and Dollhouse...

A friend came over last weekend to let me help her cut out circles with my Accuquilt for a future quilt guild program. We cut up some of her Jen Kingwell scraps. She let me keep the remains of our cutting session.

I used the templates I'd made from Jen's Quilt Recipes book for this pillow. The Clopin.

I was able to cut all the pieces for the pieced diamonds - just barely! I cut the white pieces from a Grunge fabric and used a black/white lined fabric from my stash for the smaller diamonds.  I'll be hand piecing and hand quilting this before making it into a throw pillow. 

I finished cutting all the fabric, batting, interfacing, and foam, as called for. in my bag patterns I bought in Houston. The Big Mouth Pouch.

The Macaroon Bag.

And the Tool Tote. I can't wait to start making these!

A friend gave me this ready-to-smock little dress for Sadie.  I picked it up and began to smock a simple orange and blue pattern. Nothing too involved. I haven't done smocking in 30 years, but it came right back to me.

Today I worked a bit on my big dollhouse. There are a few repairs needed where the wood has broken off or worn down in places.

I didn't take an 'after' picture, but I mixed some epoxy bondo and dabbed and spread it here and there. Once it dries, I'll sand it and see if I need another application. Hubby replace the dated casters on it a few weeks ago so it rolls around easier now. The next step will be paint! That a biggie because of the size of this.

Here's a pic to remind you what the house looks like. It needs more work than I first realized, but it's very doable.

Did you notice? No machine sewing at all this week. Eeks! Truthfully, I've been battling a nice head cold, so I slowed down a bit. But I still got a few small things done. Plus I was a bit 'sewed out' after finishing FOUR quilt tops so far this week.

Stay tuned. And continue to stay safe!


Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Cross Stitch and Miscellaneous Update

I finished the February block on the last day of the month. I had planned to something special on the door of the house, but it didn't work out so I simply added a 'W'. Done!

In this picture, you can see the entire piece - look closely and you will see that I have barely started on the border of the next block. This next block is not the March block though - it's a bonus block. Will I able to finish both the bonus block AND the March block in one month???? That is the question.... we'll just have to see. 

After finishing so many quilt tops and backings, I haven't done much sewing since. I have done other sewing related things though.

I traced the templates for four projects from Jen Kingwell's Quilt Recipes on to template plastic. I cut them out on Monday.while riding in the car with Hubby to Birmingham for my 6 month check up with my breast surgeon. Making use of my time!

This week I have also cut out two different bags I plan to make soon.  Love the bottom fabric so much - designed by Tina Tarr. I recently took a class from Tina Tarr via the Internet on how she makes her portraits - fun little course! I hope to try it soon.

Oh my....this post has been written off and on over the course of the entire day.  Hope it makes sense! Finally done!

Stay safe, still!