Thursday, March 31, 2011


. . . that I figure out a way to have a "design board" for my quilting. Since I don't have a room devoted to my sewing, I have always preferred to keep my sewing / quilting contained in my laundry room which is large enough to accommodate my sewing machine table and cutting table (which admittedly I have folded most of the time). But there's no real wall space left for a good design board. I like using the laundry room, 'cause I don't have to put things away between sewing sessions.

So when I have to make a quilt plan, I've been putting a flannel backed vinyl tablecloth on the floor in the living room to "plan" and then drag it to the hallway outside the laundry room for my assembly. (Well, until yesterday, I was walking back and forth to the living room.)
I do sometimes sew in the basement family room, using my smaller sewing machine on a game table. As I was doing a bit of sewing there yesterday, I got to thinking as I looked at this wall hanging, "Certainly there is a way I can devise a temporary design board there." And EUREKA, I designed a design board:

I started out with a 4 foot wooden dowel (a bit too narrow for the cloth, but it had to do) placed in an open "hem" at one end of the tablecloth. The wall hanging is a bit high for my 5'4" frame, so I used wire coat hangars to hang it from the wall hanging rod. Not wanting to damage the art (It's painted leather), I put almost-empty paper towel rolls over the wire hangars. When I went to the garage to get some masking tape to wrap around the paper towels to keep them in place, I spied a 5' 1/4" steel rebar in the corner. A little heavy, but the perfect size! So out of the hem came the wooden dowel and in went the rebar. After getting it in place, I padded the extending ends of the rebar with scrap quilt batting. Perfect fit to reach the "folds" of the hangars. And it works like a charm.

And no, I'm not putting it away before I go to bed tonight! Not expecting company any time soon, so I'm just going to have to live with the family room not being tidy. Just using it for a couple of my blocks (that's a disappearing 9 patch) makes me realize it's well worth giving up having the room neat all the time. But it will be easy to put away when I need to.
I also realized that I can lay the hang my new device on the ironing board rack in my laundry room. Down side to that, though: about 1/2 of the flannel is behind the cutting table. Not very convenient, and not much room to move around if I change the position of the cutting table. So I think this will be a new quilt assembly place for me. An up side to that too: I can watch TV at the same time!

OK, I've convinced myself. It was a great decision!

This is a quilt that I completed a couple weeks ago--another disappearing 9 patch, with sashing.

And of course I'm still knitting. This is the start of the sweater (front laying on top of back) that I'm making for my almost 2 year old grandson.

Enough chatter from me; gotta get back downstairs and play with my new design board!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


NEW YORK CITY just can't be beat!

I just got home from a short trip to NYC with daughter Anna Maria, her mother-in-law, and her two younger daughters for a visit with her older daughter who is a student at Pratt University in Brooklyn.
And you can't make that visit without some fun in THE big city.

The eating is ALL phenomenal. Evening dinners were at wonderful restaurants: Il Palazzo in Little Italy on Thursday evening; French restaurant Balthazar in Soho on Friday afternoon ; and Spaninsh restaruant Meson Sevilla in Manhattan on Saturday. You can't go to NY without a stop at at least one "diner", right? So we took care of that at Junior's in Brooklyn on Sunday after church. Oh my: all soooooo good.

Of course with a 7 and 9 year old along there was also a stop at an ice cream truck and a sidewalk vender for a pretzel:

We walked by FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) where we happened upon a museum tour of fashion, featuring displays from Japanese designers. Couldn't resist a photo op of the girls!

And as luck would have it for the youngsters, the Hello Kitty store was right across the street from the New Amsterdam theatre where we all tremendously enjoyed "Mary Poppins".

I couldn't resist this photo in Brooklyn our Sunday morning walk back to the hotel. If there's not enough ground space for a parking lot, just go up!

Not the usual photos of NY, I know, but you can see those in a tour magazine! These are part of MY memories.

I'm sure Anna Maria will be sharing some soon too.

Oh, yes, and on a knitting note: I wore the new sweater that I've made for myself on 3 of the 4 days we were gone!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Well, now, this doesn't happen very often. I actually knitted a sweater for myself. I had lots of time on my hands while I was at my daughter's with her children while she was gone a few days. (You know the drill: teenagers in school all day, then mostly in their rooms the rest of the time.)
So by the time I came home the sweater was all knitted, just needed assembly which I finished today. It turned out oversized enough that it will be used more as a knitted jacket. I really like the yarn -- a wool - silk blend.

So now it's time to decided on a pattern for the next couple sweaters.
I've gotten a couple new pattern books which have great choices. The boy's will most likely be from this book that I picked up at a great yarn shop in Asheville NC. (I met up with a friend there on my way home from South Carolina where I had been at my daughter's.)

I had picked up this pattern book at a little shop here in Knoxville a few weeks ago. Great for those "tween" sizes. And I'll be having a few of those over the next few years, so I figured it was worth it.

I'm leaning toward this for little Roman who will be two in May.

And this might just be the pattern for his sister who will be 10 in August. But I've got a lot of time to figure that out.

Oh, yeah, the yarn is from Friends and Fiberworks too: Berroco Vintage DK--a washable wool blend.

But before I start on that knitting, I might just work on some embroidery.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Oh, my, I just came from a lovely overnight trip with my daughter to Charleston SC.  What a lovely city.  It was kind of a birthday treat for both of us.  (Her birthday is this month, mine was last month.)
We stayed at the lovely Renaissance Charleston Hotel  right in the heart of the historic district with some WONDERFUL shopping.  My daughter got some lovely items at the Copper Penny and Sam's Closet.  I found a couple great sale items at Anne's and a great purse at Hand Picked.
And the food:  OH MY.  Can't remember the name of the place we had a wonderful salad for lunch on Tuesday, or the roof top bar where we had appetizers and a glass of wine. But from that rooftop, we were able to see the harbor and the famous Yorktown aircraft carrier where our family had visited many years ago when our children were young--mostly for my husband and our son, but the girls and I did tag along.  (The girls were a bit too young at the time to know about all the good shopping.)  And all those years ago we weren't even there long enough for a good meal.  Well, my daughter and I sure took care of that this time!  Dinner was at FIG.  Breakfast the next morning at Sweetwater Cafe and lunch at the famous Jestine's. Kitchen.  All wonderful choices.
If you get a chance to visit Charleston, DO NOT pass it up!