Friday, February 22, 2008


She's here. So if you're looking for me over the next week or so, you won't find me here. I'll be in NY playing with my new granddaughter and her big sisters and brother!

Stay tuned though, there may be some photos of her with her rag quilt or knitted blanket early in March.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Oh, goodness, I only went in the store because I finished this 30s repro baby quilt

(which now hangs on the crib side right below the quilt made from real 30s (or maybe 40s) blocks--not sure exactly, my grandmother hand pieced them sometime before she died in 1948.

We all know once one project is completed we must start on another.
I needed one more fabric to coordinate for my next quilt. I will be making Buckeye Beauty.
I did go to the quilt shop today because the shop has a selected few fabrics at $5 per yard on Tuesdays, so I thought maybe I would find the one fabric I needed at a good price. Well, I paid full price for what NEEDED, (the kind of bright pink in the lower middle).

The brown at the top will be the back, the pink the binding, the terracotta, the sashing, and the remaining fabrics (+ some of the backing fabric) will make up the blocks.

But look what was $5 a yard.

How can a girl resist? Now I'm actually sorry I didn't get 2 yards of each; I could make a king size quilt! Hmm maybe my next Tuesday trip.
Not next Tuesday, though: I'll be in New York with my little Punkin' Doodle (new grandbaby who will have some medical coaxing on Thursday to come into this world--if she hasn't decided to do it on her own by then).
So my next post just might include a photo with her cuddled in the quilt or knitted blanket that's already in my suitcase ready to go!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I know that many of you have had day after day of icy weather. We got our first real taste of it today in East Tennessee. Not a pretty snow, but more of what I used to call (growing up in Indiana) "spittin' snow"--those tiny kind of hard not-even-flakes bits of snow. As I was sitting at my sewing machine (in front of a window), I noticed my neighbor driving out her drive way--or so I thought. Within a few seconds, she was backing her car back down the drive way and putting it in the garage. It must have been pretty icy out there. Anyway, it gave me a good opportunity to get some sewing and a little knitting done today. Good thing: after all, spring will be here soon and I'm going to want to be outside playing with my flowers and the new garden bed that my husband has been working on. Only a little garden--just enough for a few tomato and pepper plants. But back to the subject of my blog.

I've been working on this quilt for a while and I finally have the top put together.

Right now it's sitting on my cutting table with 6 of the 20 blocks basted for my stitch in the ditch quilting. I'm excited to do that as it will be the first that I've used my new walking foot.

My last few evenings have been spent knitting a blanket for the new grandbaby-to-be. I thought this varigated yarn would go well with the fabric that was used in her rag quilt and bedding.

It's a bit more than 1/2 done, but perhaps I should get back to that now; she will be arriving any day.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


For those of you who may be wondering--since most of my posts lately have been about sewing: Yes, I am still knitting and here's proof.

This is a set that I've made for my soon-to-be-here granddaughter.
It should be about right for her to wear next winter, I think.

Most of you know that knitting is my evening needlework occupation and the daylight spare hours are spent sewing. I'm still working on my curved blocks. I just have four more curved seams to put together and then I'll be ready to press and construct my blocks. I usually press my seams to one side; however, this time, I think I'll press them open since I'm planning my quilting to be "stitch in the ditch".

For those of you who may be curious, this is how it is made. You can, of course, use any size you want. My strips are 5 1/2 inches wide. The curved seam is cut free hand. (I do a stack for 4 or 5 at a time.)

Then, using the "stack and whack" method, I move one of the top strips to the bottom of its pile. I mark with pins the nadir of my curves on opposite piles to get a good match for the pinning.

I then carefully pin the curved seams together. It' time consuming (Hmm, and I thought half-square-triangles were a pain), but I'm hoping the finished project will be worth it.
The tiny pins I got for some applique this summer work quite well for this pinning job.

Once those seams are sewn together and pressed, they are cut to surround a center square.

As I said, I've got a few more of those strips to cut and seam; however, there's a red dress I have that's a bit long for someone of my stature. Considering the week that is coming up, I think it's a good time to get that dress shortened and hemmed. I'd better get busy with that if I want to get back to this quilt!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

WASH (The Stash) DAY

Oh, my goodenss, I just took the time this morning to check out the closet that I keep my unwashed stash in. Oops, I have really gone a bit overboard lately. Granted, nothing like some of the stashes I have seen, but a lot for me. Whatever will I do with all this fabric? Well, first of all, I will preshrink it and get it in to the closet for "ready to go fabric".

As to what I will eventually do with it, the upper left corner is Christmas fabric; I've not made a holiday specific quilt yet, but a lap rug might be nice--maybe even one for me and another for a gift. (That fabric was 50% off after Christmas; what more can I say?)
On the upper right hand corner is fabric that I purchased a couple weeks ago when I met some internet friends for a fabric shopping trip. The packets are strips already cut and ready to go and that with it is for the backing. (I'm not washing that; I'm afraid the strips would be a real mess, so it will be sewn in its original state.) When I bought that fabric, I had in mind a nephew's expected twins in case it's a boy and a girl.
Bottom left some Kaffe Fasset that I just had to have and one of daughter Anna Maria's Bohemian prints (no longer being made)--30% off everything in the store that day. Next to that flannel for next years boys' PJ bottoms --50% off. Then some white backing fabric, 30% off.
The bottom right are a couple 1/2 price prints I found while shopping with my internet friends and the last two found the same day--nothing particular in mind, just liked them.

So now it's all washed and put away with the other fabrics waiting to become quilts, PJs, or whatevers. I already have in mind the 2 quilts that will be made from the middle stack (beside the pattern box) on the second shelf.

Now all this talk about washing and stashing really is going somewhere. My sewing machine and cutting table are in my laundry room. Yes, it would be nice to have a room devoted to just sewing; however there are advantages to the combo--even though I do have to fold up my cutting table from its largest configuration to get to my sewing machine: I can MULTI-TASK. Today as I was washing my stash I was cutting pieces for my 30's reproduction baby quilt that I had started a while back. (Jan 2 post)

And the other day I was playing with the embroidery on my machine a bit more. I found that even though the machine does its own work, if there are many colors in the design, you pretty much have to be around to thread the machine. What better time that when folding laundry?
Oh, did I just mention lots of color? Well, here's some color for you:

Add that to my latest embroidery play

And you have this:

This was sent to an internet friend who is involved in the charity, Quilts for Kids. She wanted colorful; I think she got it!

OK, back to my laundry, 'er uh, sewing room.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


The beginning of a new day always brings the opportunity for new experiences, but I never really think too much about that fact unless that start of the new day has a special majesty. This past Thursday, the last day of January, was just one of those days. In all honesty, when I saw the sunrise I knew that I had to share its beauty with my on line friends. (The photos were taken at about 5 minute intervals.)

For those of you who do not know, my husband and I are blessed to live on the banks of the Tennessee River, overlooking the Smokie Mountains. These views were too beautiful not to share.

But since this is supposed to be about quilting and/or knitting, I thought that I'd also share the new things that I have been doing. OK, I know that some of you probably get tired of me showing the same old project in various stages, but I think the PROCESS is just as great as the finished project, so here it is. You have been following the process of my first rag quilt. Well, here is the finished project:

The "raggy" part reminds me of the those frilly nylon ruffles on little girls' socs.

But, wait, there's something else that's new to me on this quilt--no, not just all the snipping with the special spring loaded scissors:

(And believe me, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to be using the keyboard today if I had done all that snipping with regular scissors.)

But in the corner of the quilt (photo taken before the final snipping and washer/dryer cycle), are my initials and the date--done with my Janome Harmony 8100.

Now those of you who are familiar with Janomes know that mine is a dinosaur in the world of embroidery machines. I hate to admit that I have had the machine for over 3 years and this is the first that I have gotten around to playing with the embroidery. I also learned that that model had been on the market for at least 4 years when I happened upon it on sale (about 1/2 price what I knew the initial cost to be) at Hancocks.

I have a few memory cards that came with the machine. I did play around a bit with one of my cards:

Sad thing is: I have learned that unfortunately the cards to fit my machine are not longer made. My machine also does not have the capability to download images. So I will be limited in what I will be able to embroider. Luckily machine embroidery is not something that I would get all that "in to " anyway, but if any of you out there happen to know where I might find some cards (ones for the 9000 series work for it), I'd love to hear from you.