Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Bye and Good Riddance!

This post is a little personal, thanks for reading.

I can honestly say this has been the worst year of my life. I do think of myself as some one who sees the glass half full but this year has surely tested that optimism. In June a tree fell on my head and really changed my life.

I used to love a good summer thunderstorm, now they make me scared. Who doesn't love trees? Now I look at them as the source of a lot of pain. I am grateful my niece Caty who was with me was not hurt, that was the only good thing that happened that day. I feel like I will be in therapy forever to get back to normal and even that is not a guarantee.

My father in law Bob, died after a long battle with heart disease, two weeks later my brother Duffy died at the age of 38. Relationships of people I love have broken up, serious illness has come to friends and family members. I am now waiting for the plague to hit!

I tried hard to find some good things.....I did have the love and support of good friends and family, I started a blog which has been great fun and has helped me feel somewhat connected when I was house bound and my wonderful  husband has had the patience of a saint and never complained. These are the only highlights of my year. So good bye 2010, and I am so glad you can never come back!

This morning I read this quote and I think for all of us who sew it was most appropriate......

Time is a dressmaker who specializes in alterations.      Faith Baldwin

Welcome 2011!!!!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back In The Day

Back in the day  I was totally into reproduction fabrics and the many patterns that you could buy that went along with them. I loved block of the month especially the ones at Lady Fingers (formerly Summer House) in Oley, PA. Gail Kessler has a fabulous eye for color and her kits were the best. I believe this was called Oley Valley Tulips, but I could be wrong, that's how long it has been! Some of these blocks are from the 1990's, why does that seem so long ago?

My intentions for this year ( not resolution) is to try and finish up some UFOs. I mean come on more than half the work is done for me and all I have to do is finish it up. How hard can this be? My guild is also having a quilt show this year and that is another motivating factor.

My goal with this quilt is to use up all those stray blocks of the month and miscellaneous blocks that are taking up space. Right now it may be big enough to fit a full size bed. I may also try quilt as you go and machine quilt it in sections to make it more manageable. Anybody have any tips on that? I think the blocks will go together but we will see...


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up!

These are 2 quilting presents I got for Christmas.

I love these fabrics, they are my kind of colors. The line is called Flour Sugar by Lecien. They look much better in person.

I also got this book which I have been eyeing for a long time now...

This is the disaster after a month of sewing gifts. Things sewing related and not get dumped here when the house gets cleaned for guests. I really feel like I can't create anything when things are just all a jumble.

Ok so it's not perfect but at least I will be able to work.  Next week (maybe) I will do a thorough clean!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Day After

The day after Christmas is usually a slow and lazy day. This year is no different! So I don't have much to post!

This is my favorite gift this year! We do a pollyanna with my husband's family. He has 5 brothers and 3 sisters so it makes it fun to try and really personalize your gift when you only have to buy for one and not 30 some people!
These note cards are from my sister in law, Colleen. I was so surprised and touched by her thoughtfulness, I really really like them.

There are usually some joke gifts as well. This one had everybody laughing and was the hit of the evening. It is a mug of my brother in law, John in a very cheesey pose for my husband Bob.

I took this out of the dishwasher this afternoon and started chuckling all over again!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Miscellaneous Wednesday

These are brithday presents from my friend Suzanne. Isn't the face on Santa great? The bottom picture is a necklace with interchangeable charms. Thanks Suzanne!

I gave her this pin cushion. Pink and green are her favorite colors. I love them too, I think that is partly why we are friends!

I made this for my daughter in law, Mary for Christmas. I did a great job on the zipper if I say so myself. Usually I mess it up some how...

I had to run into Target yesterday and happened to walk by the Christmas stuff and was tempted. I am trying to use what I have because I don't really need any more stuff to store. BUT these just jumped out and right into my cart so I had to buy them. They remind me of polks dots, my favorite.

Has anyone read Cleopatra yet? I am thinking of downloading it on my Kindle but would love to hear some feedback.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


This is a hard week to try and post anything but yesterday was a crafty day.

Maddy want to do some "glueing" so we made some little Christmas ornaments. She did a pretty good job of sticking all kinds of dodads on. I love the blue snowman.

I love the googlie eyes on there too!

I love this angel and think her mom is stealing this one! Glitter is a hit and glue is right behind. It really is the simple things in life that can make us happy!

After all her hard work she needed a crown with a feather and a cookie. We had a fun day.

I did get my Kindle and read the book called The Room. It was good and I am hooked! If you are thinking of getting one I give it a thumbs up!

My friend Christine made a scarf using the vintage hankies.Let me know if you make one too I would love to see it!


Monday, December 20, 2010

What's On My Design Wall

I just posted this over at Patchwork Times. I need to get back to some UFO's and this is almost there. Why don't I finish it!?



Last week my friend Terry asked what are some Christmas rituals we all got me to thinking.

Some of the things I love about the Christmas Holiday are a little granddaughter singing some Christmas Songs at preschool.

The Nutcracker always get us in the holiday mood. My daughter and I have gone every year since she was 4, this year was out 23rd year! Next year she wants to start the tradition with her own daughter who will be 4.....

Birthday presents from crafty friends that are always wonderful. These slippers were made by my friend Cynthia who lives in Arkansas. I love the blue color and they are so comfy.

Our family Christmas card always features some or all of the family. This year it is just the grandchildren.....Madison, Elliot, Fallon and Griffin.

What are your rituals?


Thursday, December 16, 2010


I don't know where the time is going but I seem to be running out of it at an alarming rate! I have cut back on my Christmas preparations this year and it doesn't seem to matter at all.....still no time.

This is a pin cushion I made for my friend Judie, who will be recieving it today. It is a pattern by Blackbird Designs and is made out of wool. Judie loves wool so I know she will like this one.

This one I made for Cheryl......

This one for Christine....

This one for Terry. They all loved them and were happy to have a fun thing for their sewing rooms. Everyone can use a pin cushion and these are big and heavy. They are about 7 x7 and are filled with crushed walnut shells which give them a good weight to keep them on one place.

I got a very unusual gift for my birthday, an Amish Kindle! My husband ordered one for me and it did not get here in time (standard for a December birthday!). So he "made" me one and wrapped it up. For those of you who don't know, the Amish do not use electricity....

I did have some help yesterday making the Holiday Pretzel Treats, she did a great job!

See it is so easy even a 3 year old can do it!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Vintage Scarf

As I was looking for something in my messy sewing room the other day, I came across some vintage hankies (I love that word) and decided I needed to do something with them or get rid of them.

I laid them out on the floor to see how they would look all together. Next I placed them all on top of each other and sewed  (by machine) right along the rolled hem edge. I pinned like crazy as most of them are made of linen. The seams were very very small. Next I sewed the pieces that were a little big by just tucking them under so all of them were more or less the same width.....I was  NOT precise with this and I did it by hand.

First I had Santa model it for me, but it clashes with the red in his hat....

There we go a much prettier model, my daughter, Caitlin.

It looks much better with the gray sweater too! Now this could be a really good quick present for somebody???? I do have some one in mind.


Monday, December 13, 2010

I Am A Sagittarius

Today is my birthday and I feel every single year! I did get a birthday card from Anthropologie and I think they have the best marketing people ever, next to Target of course. The little cloth envelope says "What's in the stars for you, Sagittarius?" and has a 15% off coupon for the month of December. Hopefully the next year will be a little better than the last one!

This is one of the Christmas gifts (a pin cushion) I have been working on. I am pretty sure the recepient does not read my blog so I think I am am safe. I will post the rest of the things I made after I give them to my friends. I ended up using my little garnishes on it because it looked a little too "naked". I really enjoyed using  selvages my friends have been giving me along with my own.

Over at Love Laugh Quilt, Beth is inviting people to make a house block and enter a drawing to win some blocks. I have not done this yet and thought I would give it a try and I got to use that "lady with a present" fabric. Go check out her blog and maybe make one of your own!

Enjoy this snowy day!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cookie Exchange

Click here if you need some ideas for a cookie exchange or you just want to bake up some goodies Pleasant Home Cookie Exchange

Christmas Cookie Exchange


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Pretzel Treats

This is a favorite holiday goody that everyone loves and is so easy to make. The hardest part is unwrapping the Hershey Kiss!

First pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees.

I do put parchment paper on a cookie sheet but it is not an absolute.

Place the round pretzels that are about 2 inches in diameter on the cookie sheet, filling it up. Place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss on each pretzel. You can use any flavor Kiss you want.
Place them in the oven for about 4 to 6 minutes. They should be very soft but not melted.

Next take them out of the oven and press an M&M into each Kiss. Let them cool, place in the fridge for about 10 minutes and then remove from pan. You may want to experiment with the time here. The Kiss should now be completely firm. I store them in zip lock bags They don't last long so you may need to make a lot! Enjoy

It is the perfect combination of chocolate, saltiness and sugar.



I showed you this fabric the other day. I was challenged to make something with it before Christmas.
It was not a lot of fabric (thank goodness) so I knew it had to be something small.

I turned it into a luggage tag. Which should make it pretty easy to find my bag when in an airport.

The instructions were in the 2008 Quilting Arts Gifts magazine.

I cut out my 2 pieces of farbic  4 1/2 x 6 1/4

Cut out 2 pieces fo heavy weight stabilizer 3 1/2 x 5 1/4

Place the stabilizer on the wrong side of the fabric and glue the edges down. Try to use as little glue as possible because you will be stitching through it later on. Let it dry.

Next cut out some clear plastic vinyl (think plastic slip covers) 2 1/2 x 4. Center on top of one side and stitch round the edge about 1/8 " in. Cut your strap fabric 2 x 14 and press in half and then fold each edge into center, press again and top stitch on the very edge to hold together.

Layer both rectangles with the strap in the center and stitch around the edges.....I used a jeans needle after the first one broke! This is when you will be glad you did not use too much glue! Be sure to reinforce where the strap is attached with some extra stitching.

If you want to see some more projects using this lovely fabric check it out here 15 Minutes Play .