Thursday, May 31, 2007


Gosh, this has been a bit of a critter week at our house. First of all, on Monday morning, I saw both of the neighbors' cats on my patio. I often see one of them there in the morning when I am exercising, but usually not both of them. I managed to lure them to a gaze into the window for this photo.

It seems that one of them wanted to join me in the Pilates "side leg lift series"!

We noticed early in the week that we had something digging in the landscape bed. So we set a trap last night that netted this little fellow.

Hopefully he's found new home about 6 miles from here where my husband took him this morning.
And this is part of why we want him to find a new home. I like my roses just like they are! This is about the most blooms I've ever had on the yellow one.

I'm hoping to transplant this one this fall, farther away from the holly bush it is near. It is too close. I'm hoping if I move it a little farther away, it will be able to breathe a little better and not get so much black spot.

Maybe some more quilting and knitting news next time!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Oh, what a week I had. You will get a much better photo journal by checking out Anna Maria's blog over the next several days, but here's just a little bit from my whirlwind trip to NY and a little of my babysitting in Nashville after Anna Maria's husband joined her in NY.

After Anna Maria put the final touches on her booth (sewing the quilt down in place, so it wouldn't be "lifted in her absence"),

we taxi'd to the Soho district. Oh what fun. NY shopping at its best! I purchased a sweater (sale, of course) in Anthropologie (a better price than I've ever seen in their catalogue). From there we went to my two goal places, Purl Soho,

and Purl Patchwork

both owned by the same wonderful young lady.

I purchased fabric for a queen size quilt.

I didn't buy any yarn, but I did buy a book, written by the owner (seen here cutting my fabric).

From there we walked to Arturo's for pizza where we were meeting Anna Maria's husband Jeff who had just arrived in the city, and my son, daughter-in-law and their 5 year old Lizzie. Ah, nothing like NY pizza. But on the way, we happened by a sign outside a church basement about chocolate art. I pointed out the sign to Anna Maria, just because she was photo snap happy and it was chocolate (connected with me, anyway, for her Chocolate Lollipop line). Besides taking a photo of the sign, we walked in to the show (we had just missed a chocolate fashion show!) Here's a couple of my photos of the chocolate art:

Pretty amazing, huh?

After our pizza, it was time for me to leave the city to be ready to fly back south early the following morning to care for Anna Maria and Jeff's children until their return home on Wednesday. Other than an occasional disgruntled child because Nani doesn't let them break too many rules, it went quite well. I even got to go to Isabela's last day of school picnic with her mom, dad, and little sister. And guess what blanket they took to the picnic: my very first quilting project! It's the quilt that Anna Maria cut and pieced in a college fabric class. I spent the following summer hand quilting it--and a quilter was born, perhaps a cacoon for a long time, but born nonetheless.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Oh, dear the day is getting away from me and I haven't even started packing yet. Packing for where, you say? Well, I'm headed to Nashville tomorrow and then daughter Anna Maria and I will head out to New York tomorrow evening. I will finally get to see just how she goes about showing all her beautiful art to her clients and future clients at what I call her "trade show" at the Jacob Javits Center. We will stay with my son, George, and his family on Long Island. (He is going to have quite a schedule keeping up with us and all the things that he and his family happen to be doing on an even busier-than-usual weekend for them--including graduation at Fordham University where he teaches). I've made the trip with Anna Maria twice before, but those years, she happened to have a newborn it tow each time, so I stayed at my sons with the babies--different baby each year.

Anyway, the matter at hand: packing. Well, first of all, I need to fold and put away the laundry--I waited until today to do it so husband Terry would be sure to have clean clothes while I'm gone. And I have to decide what to take--gonna be pretty cool this weekend, I hear. If you look through the piles of laundry, you might just see my latest baby quilt--a gift for my son and daughter-in-law's new godchild.

You can't see it, but I'm finally putting name and date on my quilts. But you can see some of my new chenille stash that I used for the backing. You can barely see that the "quilting" on this one is the outline of a butterfly.

But there are a couple other things that I need to take care of, too. As the Christian world prepares to celebrate the Ascension tomorrow, Orthodox Christians signal today as the "apothesis", "leave taking" of Pascha (Easter). Today is the last day of the year that we use the greeting , Xristos Anesti, Christ is Risen. So I will move the red eggs
that we received at church after the Resurrection service from the mantle to a less prominent place.

And the beautifully Ukranian hand painted eggs

and the Resurrection icon will be put away for another year.

But in 10 short days, we will have the wonderful celebration of the "birthday" of the Christian church: Pentecost.

In the meantime, I'll have some time in New York--hopefully that will include SHOPPING! And the first order of that business will be fabric and yarn. Anna Maria knows just the place: Purl Soho--they have both yarn and fabric as I recall. So, you see, this really was about quilting and knitting!

Monday, May 14, 2007


OK, we all know about stash, and we also know that to use up our stash it is necessary to buy even more fabric to go with our stash if we are ever going to use it up properly. And, of course, that leads to even more in our piles. And WOW, did that happen to me today. Well, it really all started last week when I saw bolts of chenille at my Hancock's store that is going out of business. I didn't buy any of it then. But when I was going through my stash over the weekend considering what to use for a baby blanket, I remembered the chenille--such a wonderful backing for a baby blanket. So---back I went today and bought about 11 yards of it in various baby colors--oh, and some cream for me for a robe. Talk about adding to stash, that stuff takes up some serious space.

But see, the yellow will be a perfect backing for this blankie:

And the lavender for this one with a sqaure of the lavender chenille in each corner of the pieces side to make it all "work":

Kind of like I did with the red on this one that I made over the weekend:

I managed to find a good backing for it at Hancock's last week too. (That's when I saw the chenille.)

Do I get credit for at least thinking about the chenille a couple days before blindly buying it?
Oh, and yeah, I got a couple yards of mint green too, not even sure if I have any stash that will go with it, but, hey, can't pass up a good sale (60% off) on chenille right?

Oh, but check this out: Not even one iota of this is stash--unless you consider the center print that I've had since February just waiting for the right idea. It will be the backing for my "Quilt Interrupted" pattern someday. Fun, huh?

Oh, and yes, to my knitting friends, I have quite a stash of yarn and unused pattern books, too!


Friday, May 11, 2007


This is an interesting week for those who keep track of days and weeks that honor different professions and people in our lives. I never made the connection before this week that Nurses' Week and Mother's Day are both celebrated during the same week. How appropriate as we honor those who nurture.
I had a wonderful surprise this week. I was in our local mall and lo and behold: there, in the holiday-time -Santa-area was a specially designated spot to honor nurses. All I had to do was show my license, and I got a couple wonderful freebies AND a choice of a makeover, manicure, or massage. You guessed it: I took the massage! I can't share the massage, but here are the freebies that I was given. I am wearing my new shirt today and actually had to take it off for the photo:

As much as I like t-shirts to wear around the house, I like this little bag even better,
perfect to hold my little knitting projects--and perhaps someday when I get really good at it applique projects--for plane trips or just a waiting room activity.

This next photo honors both mothers and nurses. Years ago I gave this little Avon "statuette" to my mother, most likely for Mother's Day. When she was in a wonderful assisted living facility, it fell from her bookshelf and was broken in several pieces. At the time, I didn't think it was necessary for the staff member (I'm not sure if she was an LPN or a nursing assistant) to bother to glue it back together. But that sweet woman did take the time to put the pieces back together, and I am forever grateful.

You see, it was my mother who taught me my love of gardening and all things that grow. She taught me to nurture. But most of all, she taught me to love.

Blessings to all you nurturers out there!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Chocolate Teddy Bears and Sand Buckets

So my first applique quilting project is complete, however minimal it was.
The patterns are supposed to be a teddy bear "jack in the box", a sand bucket and shovel, and a top--all mimicking the patterns in the flannel center of the crib quilt. I'm not too sure if my top looks like a top or a pacifier!

I also added some coordinating trims to fleece receiving blankets; that bear is machine appliqued. They are now part of a layette basket that will be a silent auction item for my church's fund raiser at a dinner dance this weekend. As you see, the layette also includes a few other purchased items.

A fun way to use daughter Anna Maria's Chocolate Lollipop, just enough to give it a little "pop", don't you think?

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Goodness, I don't have too much time left. I need to put my knitting totally aside now as I work on completing the crib quilt for my church's silent auction next weekend.

So the knitting has been moved to the side as I am concentrating on quilting this week. And I must say, after getting out the old quilting frame and doing some mindless hand quilting while watching TV, it is just as relaxing as knitting--certainly moreso that the Aran sweater. In fact, I don't know why I've waited so long to get out the frame for some quilting.

I think the frame will just stay up now, a bit out of the way--waiting for the next project. Hmmm, I think it would look better with something on it all the time, don't you?

And speaking of frames, for those of my knitting buddies who have spoken of projects DON (dead on the needles), I have a DOF (dead on the frame) needlepoint that I started sometime in the 7os, probably before some of you were even born!

Here's its twin that I did finish way back when:

OK, I need to get back to work now, putting the binding on my quilt.

Enjoy your weekend with your needles, whether they be of the knitting or sewing variety!