Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I can't say I am sorry to see 2008 go - while I can't say it was a bad year personally, the first half of 2008 all DH and I seemed to do was go to wakes and funerals. We had over 12 in the first 4 months or so of the year! Thank goodness that trend did not continue all year. On a positive note, I started my blog in 2008 and have really enjoyed it- even if I don't post as often as I'd like. One of my goals for 2009 is to post more often and to continue to do more swaps.

So, since it is New Years I feel compelled to list some goals for the new year. So here goes:

1. DRASTICALLY reduce the amount of money I spend on quilting and crafting! This morning I tallied the money I had spent since October and multiplied it by 4 to get an average for the year - it wasn't pretty. The sad part is last year was probably a lot less than I've spent other years! The sad part is I have a TON of projects all ready to go - I don't consider them UFOs because they are not even started! So this year I will work primarily with what I have and only buy for VERY special projects or backings and borders.

2. Get caught up on the quilting part of the process. Right now I have about 8 flimsies that need quilting - by the end of 2009 I want to have those done plus whatever new projects have been started this year. I will quilt most of them myself but the really large or intricate ones will go to a longarmer.

3. Post to my blog more often (at LEAST twice a week). It isn't as if I don't have stuff to say, I just don't seem to get around to doing it. I also have a hard time getting around to taking pictures and then I don't post until the pictures are taken, etc. etc.

4. Start a good old paper journal. I found a set of journal prompts at last year and meant to start journaling but never did. This year I will!

5. Bring my lunch to work 2-3 days per week. The money I spend on lunches is ridiculous as is the calories I consume from deli - bought lunches. So in an effort to conserve both money and calories I will start bringing my lunch.

6. DRASTICALLY reduce the amount of bank charges I incur! I rely on the ATM way too much and all those dollar (or $3 depending on the bank!) charges add up.

Are you seeing a pattern here about saving money - LOL!

7. Be better at keeping in contact with friends/relatives. After all of the aforementioned funerals earlier this year I vowed to keep in touch with people better and I have to say I have failed miserably at it. So I am going to set a goal to call at least 2 people a week that I don't see on a regular basis to keep in touch. Time just slips by too fast and before you know it the only contact you have all year with an old friend is a Christmas card.

8. Make time to do more fun things like see some broadway shows, lunches with friends or my DDs, have friends over for dinner, etc. All the things that when I take the time to do them I wind up saying "we should do this more often."

and of course what list of goals/resolutions wouldn't be complete without the old standbys:

9. Lose weight and get in shape.

10. Keep my house cleaner.

Well, there they are for the world to see. I make some goals every year. Some years they get written down, some they don't. This is definitely the most detailed they've ever been! Maybe that and the fact that they are out there on the world wide web will help in accomplishing them!
Hope all of you accomplish all of your goals for 2009 and that you have a happy, healthy, safe and fulfilling 2009!
Have a Pieceful Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

SSCS goodies and other stuff...

I received my SSCS package from Ailsa about a week before Christmas - unfortuately in the pre-Christmas frenzy that was my house for the month of December, I forgot to take pictures of the package before unwrapping, or even after unwrapping. So here is a pic of the beautiful mini quilt that I received - with it was some chocolates, some beads and a Christmas ornament. Thank you so much Ailsa!

Here is a pic of the items I sent to my swap partner Marianne in France. Marianne's blog is all in French so I had the bonus of learning how to use Google translator!

I made and received some other handmade Christmas presents also despite not one but two of my sewing machines breaking down during early in December! Here is a picture of a journal cover, mitten ornament and yo yo keychain I made. I'll save the other pictures for another day.

It's funny, I hadn't done any hand stitching since before Thanksgiving, but almost immediately after the company left on Christmas and DH and I sat down to watch some TV, I felt like taking out my Noah's Ark BOM stitchery - which I did! Much as I love Christmas, this is one of those years when I am SO GLAD its over! Does anyone else feel like that?

Have a pieceful day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Feast or Famine

Someone remind me of this productive streak next time I am whining about not having time to quilt!

Yesterday's mail brought a little kit of plaid fabrics I won on Kathie's blog last week. She made a little quilt and had a giveway for a kit to make another one. I was one of the lucky winners. The fabrics were even already cut to the right size so all I had to do was sew - and sew I did! I think I will hand quilt it as I have been wanting to do a little quilt like this to hand quilt - it will probably have to wait until after the holidays though as I have a huge list of things to make for Christmas gifts. Thanks again Kathie!

I also managed to finish two bags I've been working on. The first is a pattern from Lila Tueller. The pattern showcases her new fabric line due in quilt stores in February (I think). I saw the bag on her blog this past summer when she had a giveaway for it (that one was made in different fabrics). Since her new fabric line isn't out yet I pulled some batiks from my stash. I had to mail order the handles and had a little trouble finding the right leather lacing and beads but yesterday I finally found what I was looking for (in Walmart - who've thunk it?) and was able to finish it up. This is by far my favorite bag that I've made. I can't wait to make some in other fabrics.

The second bag I finished I had also started a few weeks ago when I was home on vacation. It is the size of a small tote or a large purse. I am very happy with the way it turned out although I was VERY disappointed in the quality of the pattern! If I had not make bags before I would never have been able to finish it because the instructions were so poor. The yardage requirements were also off causing me to scramble and search my stash for similar fabrics to make do. I was not a happy camper after shelling out $10 for this pattern!
Everything else I've been working on (yes! there is more!) is for Christmas gifts - including my SSCS which I have to get in the mail tomorrow or Tuesday, so those pics will have to wait for another day.

I hope you've been able to get as much done as I have this weekend!

Have a pieceful day!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where do I start?

Well, I haven't posted in a while but this time I can't say its because I haven't been doing any quilting. I've actually got lots done in the last month, thanks in part to attending my guild quilting retreat. More on that in a minute...

...before I forget, my friend's grandson won the cutest baby pic contest - thanks to all who voted for him!

Okay, back to some show and tell... before the retreat, I finished some little projects I had hanging around since last year... 2 table toppers and 2 pumpkin appliqued towels... I also made a little fleece and minkee machine embroidered baby blanket for a friend's new granddaughter.

At the quilting retreat weekend I finished 3 UFO quilts and a tote bag (need to take pics of those). I also finished my embroidered leaf rag quilt that I've been working on: the color in this picture is horrible but you get the idea. After the retreat I had a week off from work but got a virus right after returning from the retreat. I had a lot of couch time last week so I cross stitched a biscornu pincushion
Last but not least I made my SSCS gift - not quite ready to put it in the mail yet. The deadline is Nov. 25 and I have a few other little surprises I want to add to the package. I also got my oldest UFO back from the quilter - it looks fantastic. Once the weather clears up a bit and I am home during daylight I will post pics of the quilts - this post probably has enough pictures already!

Have a Pieceful Day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Please Vote!

I don't usually ask people to do this kind of thing.... but..... my friend Susan's daughter in law entered Susan's grandson in an online cutest baby picture contest. Her grandson is now in 2nd place and gaining fast. So I offered to post it to my blog to see if any of my readers would be so kind as to place a vote for Kevin.

In the picture he is wearing Lederhosen (sp?) that Susan's parents bought in Germany 35 years ago!

If you do want to vote here's how: click on the link below and vote for Kevin. You have to enter your email address and they will email you a link to either click on or cut and paste into your browser (depending on your email) once you follow the link they send you you will see a screen saying your vote is confirmed. The contest is open until Monday (I think?). You can vote 5 times from the same computer but each vote has to be from a different email address.

Thanks and Have a Pieceful Day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Wonderful Surprise!

I arrived home from work today to a wonderful surprise in my mailbox! A few weeks ago I had admired a bag Karol-Ann had made and today in my mailbox was one made by her for me!

I ran outside immediately to try to get a good picture before the sun went down. This is still a little dark but hopefully you can see it okay. I just love this bag and it was so sweet of Karol-Ann to make it for me! She also included some African fabrics which I also just LOVE!

My oldest DD was home when I received the package and she was very surprised when she saw the bag. She was even more surprised when she asked who it was from and I told her "one of my quilty friends from England!"

I just love blogland - don't you?

Have a pieceful day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Where do I start???

Okay, so I went from posting every day (or just about) to not having posted in almost a month! Since we added Dooley Dog (as we've come to refer to him) to our family, my evenings have been crazy. He is 2 years old but he is very puppy-ish. Having lived in a kennel for many many months he is learning manners and is very hyper and happy to have a family. All this means he needs CONSTANT supervision! Additionally, he and our existing dog, Max, are, how shall I say it? they are still in the early stages of their friendship. We have some jealousy issues we are working on. Here they are in one of their better moments (the best actually).

Add to that that work has gotten absolutely crazy and its no wonder I haven't gotten around to posting.

So, I think I posted a picture of the bag I sent to my swap partner in Linda's bag swap but I don't think I ever posted a pic of the one I received. Melinda sent me this GREAT bag and lots of other goodies too. Included in the package was a steno pad cover - which was perfect for me because I use steno pads ALL THE TIME! There was also a seam ripper (always comes in handy) and a pack of fat quarters.

The bag is made from sandcastle fabric and is a nice big size, perfect for all kinds of things, the least of which will be vendor purchases at quilt shows!

Well, I have lots more to post but I don't want to make this too long so I will continue in another post - lots to share - a few projects finished, a class on precision piecing with Sally Collins and more!

Till next time,

Have a pieceful day!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

MIA again!

Sorry if I was missing in action for awhile - when I am not posting it is a sure sign that life has gotten chaotic again! In this case DH and I went to the Jersey shore - or "down the shore" as its known in Jersey - to Wildwood specifically - for the Fireman's Convention. We were gone for 6 days and had a great time and great weather!

On the way home we picked up a new member of the family. This is Dooley. We adopted him from a rescue shelter. He is 2 years old. This isn't the greatest picture but he doesn't hold still for long! It's been a busy week of trying to catch up a work during the day and dog supervising in the evening- our existing dog Max has had some issues adjusting to not being the only dog in the house. They still aren't the best of friends yet but they are getting along much better.

In the meantime, I have lots more to post about - PIF gifts, my bag swap - but I'll save those for tomorrow!

Have a pieceful day!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Productive Weekend!

Yesterday we were predicted to have rain from Tropical Storm Hanna and rain we got! It poured most of the day. We were lucky and did not lose power. I planned to quilt all day and with the exception of a nap I did just that. I finished my bag for Linda's bag swap. I also made another little surprise to go with the bag - and then proceeded to make 7 more for myself, a friend, my pay it forward gifts and a few others.... I won't post a picture until they are delivered so as not to spoil the surprise. I will post a picture of my bag though since my partner won't know its for her.

I also made some flip flop placemats for DS's girlfriend to go with the flip flop quilt I made her last year. Only problem is I found out that she doesn't have a kitchen or dining room table in her new apartment at college. Oh well, I guess she'll have to use them on the breakfast bar!

(Boy did this picture turn out bad!!! They really are nicer in person!) Unfortunately its back to work tomorrow so my quilting productivity is over for now.

Have a pieceful day!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

This 'n That

This picture is the view (from my beach chair) of our lake. We live in a lake community, unfortunately we do not own lakefront, but we do have access to 5 different lakes. We haven't been getting to the lake as much as we'd like to lately, between other plans on the weekend and weather that doesn't always cooperate, but it is nice to get there when we do. One of the lakes is much bigger than the rest and is suitable for kayaking, rowboating, canoeing, sailing, etc.

This is another of those weekends that we will not get to the lake. Yesterday we had the fire dept. picnic and then headed out to Pennsylvania to a goodbye party for my nephew and his wife who have been stationed in Okinawa (sp?) for the next 3 years. Today and tomorrow we have been invited to BBQs.

All I can say is it is probably a good thing summer is over. I have to get back to some serious quilting. My wishlist of projects to do gets longer by the day. In addition, there are quite a few people on my 'to make quilts for" list - my nephew who is graduating college, his sister, who just graduated high school, their parents who are celebrating an anniversary this year - my SIL "hinted" that she would like a quilt for either her birthday or anniversary this year, also one of my best friends "hinted" that she would like one too. And last night at the goodbye party the same SIL asked me to make her a totebag for Christmas (maybe she's given up on the quilt!).

First, though I have to get my bag for Linda's bag swap finished and mailed. I am a little behind on that one but I should make the deadline! It's a good thing I have a quilt retreat and a week's vacation coming up in a few months!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grown Up College Students?

A few weeks ago I was going to a baby shower and made up a quick little blanket from flannel and minkee. DS and his girlfriend were here and fell in love with the minkee - "oh, make me something with that!" they begged. So about a week before they left for college, DS's girlfriend saw some flip flop fabric that I had lying around. (She is the recipient of the flip flop quilt I showed a couple posts ago). She asked if I would make her a pillowcase for her body pillow out of minkee and the flip flop fabric.

This was right about the time I posted about the quilt shop being open only till 5 during the week. I wasn't able to get the minkee until the day before they left for school and there was so much else to do the pillowcases didn't get made. But I finished them this weekend and they are being shipped today. Oh, did I mention that it was originally supposed to be one pillowcase for DS's GF - but when we went to the quilt store to get the minkee, DS saw the dinosaur fabric above and asked for one for himself too.

Have a pieceful day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Noah's Ark BOM

I've been meaning to post about this for awhile... and now that I've added the link to my sidebar I guess this is as good a time as any!

I've gotten a bit of a late start but I finally began working on Lynette Anderson's Noah's Ark stitchery block of the month. They are small blocks and they are so very cute. The rabbits are month 1. I am hoping to get caught up on these quickly. Click on the button on my sidebar to got to Lynette's blog and see the other months' patterns. She also links to others who have finished the blocks.

Have a pieceful day!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's Finally Done!

My oldest UFO is done - well, ready to send out to be quilted anyway, close enough!!!!!

It is hard to see with the brown decking but it has a brown border. This is only half of it, it is queen size and the other half is draped over the deck. I adapted a tip I saw on someone's blog last week - sorry I don't remember whose it was - to measure for the borders I draped the quilt over the deck railing - no crawling around on the floor! The original tip that inspired this used her stair railing but I live in a ranch so the deck had to do. It worked really well and I'll continue to use it until the weather prohibits it. This UFO was literally 18 years old. The blocks were from a block party at a guild I belonged to. After I finished it I thought to myself "hmm, I wonder how old the next oldest UFO is?" I checked out my list of UFOs and was glad to discover that the next oldest is only two or three years old!

Oh, and in case you are wondering what that plant is in the container on top of the spackle bucket - it is DH's grapevine. A few months ago we went to a wine festival with friends and on the way out someone was selling grapevines. Now, this thing looked like a stick - no leaves, nothing. So DH bought one and brought it home and believe it or not it grew! It still isn't that big but it did grow. I'm thinking that in about ten years or so he should be able to make me a glass of wine!

Have a Pieceful Day!

End of summer?

DS and his girlfriend left for college this morning. I guess it is technically the end of summer for them - back to the books! Somehow though I think college is more like four years of continuous summer! Especially since they go to school down south - it stays relatively warm (compared to here!) all year. It's definitely a flip flop kinda life!
Speaking of which...(real subtle segway there, huh? LOL!) here is a pic of the quilt I made for DS's girlfriend last year when she was starting her freshman year of college. She is a big fan of flip flops so it seemed appropriate. This year I picked up a flip flop doormat for her new off campus apartment and she left today with a promise that I would make a cover for her body pillow from flip flop fabric and minkee and mail it to her next week. Unfortunately I couldn't get to quilt store until yesterday to get the minkee.

Am I the only one who gets annoyed by quilt stores not having night hours? or does your LQS have night hours? I'm curious. I know a lot of my quilting friends have full time jobs and yet none of the local quilt stores have hours conducive to working women. Yes, the most local shop is open on Thursday evening but the rest of the week they close at 5. Just curious.

Have a Pieceful Day!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I've spent the better part of the morning editing my blog. I still can't quite find a color I really like for the background but maybe once I find a quilt I really like for the header it will be easier. As you can see I did put a quilt in the header. I haven't done it before because I don't really like the header being that big and I can't really figure out how to make it smaller. I am not fluent in html. Can anyone give me some tips on how to make the header smaller without using a completely different template?

***Edit*** - Thank you to all who commented on how to change the size of the picture. I could have sworn I tried this when I started my blog and it hadn't worked but I guess I either didn't try it then or was doing something else wrong because it worked this time!

Some of the changes I did manage to make by myself were adding more blogs to the list of blogs I read - I have about 150 blogs on my bloglines so I could not put them all on my sidebar but I did update with a bunch more than I had. There are more to go but I ran out of time. I also finally added some links to swaps, etc. I am participating in and made a few other small changes.

Last night was the Tricky Tray at the fire department where DH is a member. Our little firehouse quilting group made this lap quilt to be donated for one of the prizes. A few of the quilting ladies were in attendance last night and bid on the quilt but none of us won it. It actually went to my neighbor up the street. I was glad it went to someone I knew and she seemed thrilled to win it so I would rate it as an all around success.

I forgot to take a picture of the prize I won last night- it was a poster frame with about 15 instant lottery tickets taped inside. It was the most bid on prize and I was lucky enough to win it. So far I won $22 from the tickets. DH went and cashed them in for me this morning and got half of the winnings in new tickets - so there is still a change of winning big!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Driveway? or Used Car Lot?

We are halfway through the week of having all three kids home and this is what my driveway looks like:

8 cars total! Mine, DH's, DD#1's, DD#2's, DS's old car, DS's new car, DS's girlfriend's car and my neice's car (she came to visit for a night). It was so crowded this morning there was no where for the woman we carpool with to park her car! Any of you that have had kids come and go to college can just IMAGINE what my living room looks like this week. DD has brought all her stuff back and DS is gathering stuff to take with him. On top of that I might as well install a revolving door because someone always has a friend (or 3 or 4) stopping by. It is really great to have everyone home and I know I'll miss DS and his girlfriend when they leave, but it will be nice to get the house back to normal.

I did have a package waiting when I got home today. I've been wanting to get the tumbler and thimble templates that Megan, Kathie and Mary have blogged about, so I finally ordered them along with a dresdan plate template also.

I plan on cutting shapes from scraps and when I have enough I'll start putting them together. I like long term projects that are intended to be long term projects - so much less guilt when they turn out to be long term projects!

Have a pieceful day!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A little progress

Despite the best of intentions I didn't get my oldest UFO finished this weekend - too much going on with having all three kids home at once. I'm not complaining though, as Anna noted on her blog, before you know it they are off on their own for good. I did get my package in the mail with the border and backing fabric I ordered.

The best part was I got it on sale!!! I had bought one fat quarter a while back. It looked good in the store but I wanted to see it up against the blocks. It looked good when I got it home but the store is 2 hours away and I never got around to calling to have them send it to me. Last week when I got some progress made on the oldest UFO I pulled out the fat quarter to see what fabric line it was and did a search on I found it in a bunch of online stores and one if them had it marked down to $5.95/yard. How can you beat that when you are ordering 13 yards?

So I got the borders started. If I don't get them finished until after DS gets on his way back to college next week - that's okay. After 18 years in UFO status, can I really get impatient now? LOL!

Cheryl at Polka Dots and Rick Rack is having a giveway for her one year anniversary of blogging - so check it out and while you are there check out the pics of her brandy new baby grandson Luke!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

DD is coming home today!

I'm so excited! After graduation college in May and spending the summer in Myrtle Beach, DD#1 is headed home. She should be here within a few hours. For exactly one week I'll have all my babies home, then DS heads back off to college.

Yesterday was DD's friend's baby shower. I am also friends with the grandma to be. Another friend and I made some things for the shower... candy lollipops, hershey bars with customized wrappers and a baby carriage fruit bowl.

This is DD's first friend to get married and have a baby - I guess there will be many more to come. It seems like just yesterday was MY baby shower!

Have a pieceful day!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I've fallen and I can't get up!

Ok, so I fell off the "I'm going to post every day" wagon. For some reason this week I was exhausted and went to bed by 8 or 9 every night. I'm afraid not much of anything got done around here, including posting to my blog. But I'm back now and determined to do better!

Karen nominated me for this award!
Thank you Karen! The rules are that you have to link back to the person who gave it to you, put the logo on your blog, nominate 7 other recipients and put their links on your blog. There is no way I could limit the list to 7 and if I listed all the blogs that inspire me this post would be a mile long! So if I've ever commented on your blog consider yourself nominated!

Have a pieceful day!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Is the Weekend Over Already?

Why is it Saturday and Sunday seem to be the shortest days of the week? I don't know if its because it is summer or what but the weekends just seem to go faster and faster! Maybe it just means we are enjoying our weekends more - as in time flies when you're having fun!

Today DH and I went to a local winery with one of the posse and her DH. We go to this particular winery every 3 months or so. They have a wino club and every three months we go to collect our quarterly selections. We saw this guy wandering outside in the grass and occasionally in the pavillion where the wine tasting was.

We usually have a much bigger group and make a day of it but today it was just the four of us. Mary belonged to the club first, she and her DH got me and my DH to join, then we brought another posse member, who then brought her son and his girlfriend, and so on and so on... I guess our group is getting large now as even the winery staff today asked where the rest of our crowd was!

Have a pieceful week!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Rainy Saturday

I made some good progress on my oldest UFO today. We had thunderstorms so it was a good day to stay inside and quilt. I also ordered my border and backing fabric for it and as luck would have it - it was on sale! No pics of that yet but here is a pic of a version of the BOM I showed yesterday. This was from a quilt show. The pattern is from Piece O'Cake. I'm still not sure if I'll do all 12 blocks or maybe only 9.

Hopefully tomorrow's weather will be better and we can get some time at the lake - that's after the wine tasting we are going to in the early afternoon.

Have a pieceful day!

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Pieceful Evening...

Tonight I had a pleasant surprise - a few hours alone at home - all to myself! I worked on my oldest UFO and watched What Not to Wear. Its so nice to have the house to myself once in awhile - doesn't happen often though!

Last night I worked on my ongoing applique project. These are the first two blocks...

This was a block of the month but it has changed to more like a block of the year! I am working on block 3 now. Each block is 20 inches and has a LOT of applique. As I am not the fastest appliquer and I don't have time to sew every day, it takes me a long time to get each block done but hopefully I can stay on a roll with these.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

PIF Received!

I arrived home from work today and my Pay it Forward gift from Linda is in the mailbox! She sent this beautiful stitching organizer.

Just to see how it would look with the 3 ring binder, I put my Quilting Journal in it - doesn't it look great???

I was just thinking last week that I have to get started on my Pay it Forward gifts. If I remember correctly I still need a third person to sign up - any volunteers????

Lots of great giveaways lately - May Britt is having a giveaway to celebrate her 2 year blogging anniversary. She is giving away a beautiful stitchery book.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I realized I never posted a picture of the pincushion I made for Linda's pincushion swap.

The pattern is from Crabapple Hill Studios - I love their stuff! I really need to make myself one of these. This one went off to Karol-Ann in England. I love that Linda paired everyone with someone from another country. The swap was so much fun that as much as I tried to resist and spend all my time working on some of these UFOs, I caved and signed up for Linda's bag swap. Oh well, this IS a hobby and it IS supposed to be fun right? I'll save the guilt trips for work!

Speaking of bags, there is a FABULOUS bag being given way on this blog. So stop by and enter to win - but also leave a comment asking for a pattern!

Have a pieceful day!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A little help from my friends...

What would we do without (quilting) friends??? A few weeks ago I received this package from Takako She was so sweet to bring me some items from her trip to Japan!

And tonight I was working on the Oldest UFO and having a bit of an issue. I was talking to a quilting friend on the phone and she suggested something that should have been so obvious but I just wasn't seeing. Her suggestion saved me a ton of time and possibly saved me fabric - which is good because I only have a limited amount of this fabric left.

Oh and last but not least...Quilty threads and Ohio quilter are both having giveaways - go check them out!

Have a pieceful day!