Monday, September 30, 2013

Make a List Monday

So in the spirit of true confessions, I'm going to borrow this theme from another blogging friend, Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. (You can visit her blog at ).  I really like the idea of being organized, and I TRY to be organized, but it certainly can be a challenge, can't it! I once read that every morning you should write down the top 3 things you want to accomplish that day, and if you accomplish those 3 things, you're doing great! I sometimes do this, but my problem is I'm not really consist with it. So, in the effort to get myself more organized, I'll share my list with you on Mondays. And obviously, it won't only consist of quilting and sewing things! And I'm only going to list 1 item for each day. So, here is my 1st Make a List Monday!

List for the week of September 30th:

1.  Download photos from Happy Quilters retreat and blog at least twice with them. (that's Pam and her gorgeous flower garden quilt....she's binding it! Oh happy day!)

2.  Decide on setting fabric and put together "Double Hourglass Quilt" from Kathleen Tracy's book "Civil War Sewing Circle." (no photo)

3.  Trace applique pattern and begin applique templates/pieces for "Pinwheels in My Garden" from Fat Quarter Quilting by Lori Smith (probably the book our group will be working from in 2014).

4.  Find a recipe for blackberry cobbler AND apple strudel and make them both. Add them to my "Christmas Cookbook Journal" if they are keepers. Photo them for the book? Blog about them on my Rudy Day News blog?

5.  Complete a lesson for my new Bernina 820QE. Specifically, learn how to get my machine to accept my 37 foot (for you non-Bernina folks out there, that's the quarter inch foot. A MUST have!)

6.  Choose another small quilt to hand quilt, layer it, and begin quilting it.

7.  Write up 3 commendations for the hospital staff at Johnston Willis Hospital (Midlothian, Virginia). One tireless nurse in Neuroscience ICU literally helped to save his life! Two other nurses went above and beyond to keep him comfortable in the days following his surgery. By the way, 2 of them were female, 1 was a male nurse. I cannot tell you how special these people are in my book!

We'll see how I do with checking things off my list, keeping in mind that I work full time! I'm also the personality type that can research something to death and NEVER actually get around to doing it! So hopefully that won't happen--especially with my recipe ideas. I had the blackberry cobbler at Cracker Barrel this summer and it was delicious, and I've been thinking about making it ever since then! That's almost 3 months of dreaming, and no doing! Am I the only one that does that?

Till next time, keep stitchin!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Quilters Retreat

Twice a year I get to go on a fun weekend retreat with the Chesterfield Happy Quilters. And this was the weekend! It's such fun to spend time with friends who share a common interest with you.

The show and tell was truly wonderful, here are a few quilts from the weekend:

Judy's Double Wedding Ring bed topper.

That's Kay's quilt above, I forget the name of it. I believe those are 1.5 inch squares!

That's Deanna's Tumbler quilt, above. Deanna's "Vintage Valentine" was one of my favorites. I took a close up of her signature block for you to see also.

Won't it be wonderful once it's quilted! I have lots more photos and will post them over the next few days. As for me, I worked on advancing 3 particular projects and don't really have anything to show yet. I did have a terrific conversation with Paula, who I discovered owns the same machine I do. (Bernina 820QE) I still have so much to learn about it, but I did pick up a few simple pointers from her. That was worth the price of admission! ;-)
Till next time, keep stitchin!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

If you've read my blog before, you've probably caught that I'm a big Jo Morton fan. She has posted some wonderful photos of her quilts on her blog. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of them. The quilt above is a Courthouse Steps, made with logs cut at 1 inch wide.

This quilt is called her "S'More's Quilts" and was featured in American Patchwork and Quilting. Not sure, but I think the Dec. 2012 issue.

You can get to her blog by clicking on this link:
She has some great photos under "decorating" including some of her Christmas decorations.

Till next time, keep stitchin!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Girls Night Out

"Pleasant words are like a honeycomb;
Sweet to the taste and health to the body."
Proverbs 16:24
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Good morning and happy Sunday to you all!
Once a month, my local quilt shop "JoJo's" in Chesterfield, hosts a "Girls Night Out." A group of us get together to stitch by hand or machine, share a little supper and get caught up with what's happening in everyone's life. These little outings always inspire add a few more sew a few rows complete a project! Thanks, friends, for your inspiration!
This first photo is a project that Joann is working on--she is doing beautiful machine applique on these adorable bright colored fabric flowers. I believe the pattern is called "Stitcher's Garden."

Barbara is making a darling "free" project that she found online. I took a photo of her handout so I had the website, but alas, the photo didn't turn out! Barbara is also doing a beautiful job with her machine applique. Don't you love her darling Sunbonnet Sues?

You probably can't see the wonderful detail in these blocks, but Barbara has hand colored and hand lettered the words. They are from the Book of Proverbs, and have to do with the words we speak.

Deanna gets the gold star award for most progress with her projects this month. She pieced these darling "Drunkard's Path" blocks above. She's not sure how she'll set them together. This (below) is her folk art summer quilt. Is this a Liberty Star or Jan Patek pattern? We weren't sure.
Joann brought her cute quilt featuring these adorable puppies and kitties. Some of the ears are floppy! How cute is this!

Deanna also finished her Romantic Valentine quilt. The applique is just wonderful! Great job Deanna! This is what I would call "An Heirloom Quilt." It takes hours and hours to create this kind of beautiful art with fabric. Nicely done, Deanna.

Carol was late showing up but she had a great excuse....she had to stop at her longarm quilter's to pickup this patriotic beauty. It is a gift she is giving to her sister-in-law who is in the service. This was a quilt she adapted from our "Shared Nine-Patch" pattern. I helped her by designing the layout for her on EQ.

This was Pam's project, below. It's actually for our Thimbleberries group meeting for November/December. She used a little creative license and didn't use Thimbleberries fabrics. Very cute snowmen, Pam!

And ha ha, I didn't photograph Ann, the shop owner, who was working on the shop website. Come visit it at . And I didn't photo my project, I had brought a small top that I almost finished hand quilting. Guess I'll have to post that in an upcoming bloggie post.

It's been a delightful day. I slept with the window open last night and the cool air felt wonderful. I spent several hours today sewing on a blue and white project either, which I'll post about soon. I have a pot roast in the's one of those cooking bag easy-peasy dinners. Add stew meat, potatoes, carrots, and packaged spices to a cooking bag, put in a 13x9x2 pan and pop in the oven. It's starting to smell heavenly in here! I ordered a Christmas gift for someone in the family and it arrived today. I also received a delightful Susan Branch calendar/planner that I will use next year. If you haven't discovered her delightful artwork, go visit her at .

I think I'll finish my little bit of hand quilting on last night's project. Then I can bind it tomorrow. Another finish in sight! Have a great day, and till next time, keep stitchin!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fall has arrived in Virginia!

Thank goodness fall is here! As this has been our worst summer EVER, I am glad to say goodbye to summer and move on to fall. In my efforts to simplify, I have decided that I'll seasonally decorate just a few areas of my house.

First of course, is the front door and porch area. Down came the spring/summer wreath and up went the fall one. I even found a little scarecrow to add to my ivy plant!

A blue dry sink is located just inside the front door. My Noah's ark is there most of the year (except for Christmas) but I like to put out a few seasonal leaves and pumpkins on the top shelf.

On the inside of the front door is my little fall door quilt. I did this years ago...I think it is an "Art to Heart" pattern.

Then I change out the little quilt in my glass-topped coffee table. I like this little checkerboard one that I made last year, it's made of half inch finished squares. My sugar cookie candle with fall ring sits on top of the table, along with my little Jim Shore cornucopia. I bought the 4 seasonal Jim Shore pieces from QVC just this past year. They're on the small side, about 9 inches long by 7 inches high.

I also decorate the area over our fireplace mantel. It was originally designed for a "big box tv" but we don't need the space for that, so I get to decorate with a little quilt and some fall colors.

I enjoy looking through my fall magazines...Victoria, Celebrate, and my fall quilt magazines. Time to settle down with a nice cup of hot tea and decide which fall-looking project will be my next quilt.

Till next time, keep stitchin!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Design Wall and God is Good!

Hello friends, and I'm sorry for the long absence. It has been the most challenging month of my life! My husband of 44 years has had 2 surgeries and we are thanking God that He has allowed us to have more time together. Very long story short--hubby was on Cumadin and had a brain bleed. Then he fractured a disk in his back and was in incredible pain. Both surgeries went well, and he is on the road to recovery. This week he only has 2 doctor appointments! And today, for the first time in over a month, I sat down at my sewing machine! Life is wonderful and God is sooo good!

The first thing I did was hem a pair of sweat pants for hubby. Then I made some more blocks to go with my Soldiers Cot Quilt. This quilt is from Kathy Tracy's book "The Civil War Sewing Circle." Kathy's directions call for (12) 12" blocks, her quilt finishes to 54x79 inches. I decided to downsize my blocks, and started with 5 inch squares of background fabric. The center square is cut at 1.5" square and the "x" strips are cut 1.5" x 4". My quilt will have a 5" border and will finish at about 40 inches square...a nice size for a table topper. Notice in the block above--I actually managed to keep the background fabric all going in the correct direction.  

Until hubby is fully recovered he has to limit his trips upstairs, which is where the master bedroom is. Our son and daughter-in-law spent a day taking down our dining room table and setting up a twin bed in its place. Our dining room is really a very pleasant, versatile room. It's on the front of the house, with a bay window that looks out over the cul-de-sac where the neighborhood children like to ride their bikes and trikes and tractors. It also looks over our front yard and driveway, so he can see anyone coming and going (mail carrier/ups man, etc). Today I did a little shuffling of furniture, and moved in the little green cabinet from my sewing room. It held my "Cricut die cutting center." I put it in the bay window and now it houses hubby socks, undies, t-shirts, etc. Then I took all but 2 of the winter coats out of the front closet and brought some of his shirts and pants on hangers to that closet. Hubby frequently naps on the bed or in the blue recliner in his new "studio."

And while I was at it, something I've wanted to do for a long time, is to create a "plug-in" station for our phones and my Nook. I like to read the Storage and Organizing magazines you can find at the bookstore. They frequently feature a neat wooden box with slots for the cables, to the tune of $35 or so. Well, I raided hubby's upstairs office space, where he has about 12 of these cute storage boxes, full of misc. office supplies. I plugged the 3 devices in, and made slots with a scissors to accommodate the cords. I labeled each plug with a small post-it and used clear tape to adhere it to the cord. 

It frequently amazes me that it is the simple things in life that can make you feel so good. Getting organized really is helping me deal with the stress in my life. Every Thursday is my "toss it in the trash day" as Friday is our trash pickup day. I'm currently working my way through boxes of old papers and magazines. And my other stress reliever is prayer. People all over the US have been praying for hubby and me, and I am so grateful that our God is one who hears our cry. We are truly thankful for His great care, and the incredible care provided by many nurses and doctors. If you are a health care professional, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your work!
Till next time, keep stitchin'!