Sunday, December 31, 2023

Finishes for 2023

This was not a big year for quilting.  The majority of my finishes were done in the first several weeks of the year for Project Quilting.

Watership Down post cards, mixer cover, smartphone carrier
Dresden pillow, pink wavy pillow, bowl cozies

Thursday, December 28, 2023

I Like Thursday: Winding Down 2023

December has been enjoyable, with lots of likes to brighten my month!  I met up with three of my friends to swap goodies and stories.  I also met up with my hiking buddy for a hike around Tully Lake.  The best part - being introduced to the fun of skipping stones on the ice.  I had no photos or videos of our experience, but check this one out.  The sound the stones make were really cool!

The family cookie party!  So good to see aunts, uncles and cousins.  Making the gingerbread houses is a hoot.  So many different designs.  The one in the upper left makes me laugh - the roof has two big bites and the gingerbread man is missing both his head and a leg!

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Blogiversary #13

Lucky thirteen!  Goodness, where does the time go?  It was a light year - I wrote about half the number of posts compared to past years.  Fingers crossed that's just a blip. 

One of the reason there weren't many posts:  we only had one pair of guinea pigs to write about all year.  But be reassured - there will be piggy posts soon!

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Holly Sweatshirt

Last year I had promised my mother an embellished sweatshirt.  I bought a couple of sweatshirts but both were too big.  Mom found a sweatshirt that fit her, so I appliqued leaves on it.  Of the extra sweatshirts, I made a wonky Dresden design for one sweatshirt.  The other was a little smaller and I wondered all year what I wanted to do with it.  It seemed a shame to just get rid of it. 


Friday, December 15, 2023

Yoga Mat Experiment

My yoga mat has been a series of experiments, from the design, through the assembly and then onto using it.  I have finished putting it together.  Yay!  I am extremely pleased to have gotten this far, because I really wasn't sure if the plans I had in my head were going to work.  

The backstory:  I have an old pink yoga mat looks disgusting no matter how I've tried to clean it.  I've even thrown it into the washing machine a few times - nothing works.  I also am not fond of sitting on the rubberized mat.  At some point I bought a microfiber towel to use at home.  It has no padding which is not a problem on the rug at home.  However, it lacks the grippiness I need for downward dog.  I mostly solved that problem with couple of pieces of rubbery shelf liner.  Unfortunately it is a shockingly effective thread magnet so it always looks dirty, too.  At least it's easy to toss in the washer.



There had to be something better.  Hmm... what if created a quilt?  It would be washable, would look cool, would be washable (and come out looking clean).  I could sew in the shelf liner where I needed some more grip.  How hard could that be?


Sunday, November 26, 2023

I’m Sewing Again

No sewing since late October for one thing or another.  I finally had time the day before Thanksgiving and decided to take the plunge on the "new" machine.  It's so quiet!  Rob says it sounds like running water from the other room.

I did some stitch-in-the-ditch to tack the layers down.  I wasn't sure how much trouble I'd have with free motion quilting, since it's thick batting.  I had a lot of skipped stitches until I figured out my hopping foot wasn't holding the fabric tight enough.  I swapped to the hopping ruler foot which helped (but it doesn't lift much, so I'm dealing with bunched fabric).  

Thursday, November 23, 2023

I Like Thursday: November Thanks

November was a rock-and-roll month.  I pushed myself to get things done and to prep for my mother's move.  Whew.  Now I need to slow down and take a break (which is often easier said than done).

Lots of success, though; lots to like and be grateful for.  Good things to link up with LeeAnna at I Like Thursday.

I spent a chunk of time reupholstering chairs, refurbishing a Singer 201 and refinishing the cabinet.  Isn't the purple handsome on the chairs?  I even had enough to cover the sewing machine cabinet's bench.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

A Shiny Finish (Almost)

Oh, look!  This is my new sewing machine cabinet that I've spent the last couple of weeks refinishing.  I can't believe how well it turned out.

The story started mid-October when I picked up a Singer 201 with cabinet I found on nextdoor.  I was only interested in the sewing machine and had intended to pass the table along.  Then I discovered the machine's pedal was built into the cabinet.  I didn't realize from the posting that it included a stool as well.  Soon after I got it home, I started imagining using the storage space in the stool and drawers.  I didn't want to split up the machine and its cabinet.  So now I wasn't just spiffing up a sewing machine - I was taking on a major wood refinishing project.

I started working on the cabinet two weeks ago.  What a difference sanding, stain and polyurethane makes!  I finished the last bit of sanding and reupholstered the stool on Friday.  Rob replaced the power cord and wired the sewing machine all back together.  Only one piece was incomplete:  the belt.  The replacement I bought didn't fit.  I've got a new one on order. So close!  It's in working order, so I'm happy.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

A Bit of Uphostery

Last month I picked up some free dining room chairs.  They were in very good shape, although a few of the beige fabric seats had stains.  I decided to reupholster them.

I found some dark purple fabric at Swanson's.  It's a bit heavier than the old fabric and has some nap (which I accidentally cut the wrong direction on my first attempt). 

We pulled out the staples on the first chair (which was a painful process).  I used that fabric as a template, but the remaining chairs I simply covered over the existing fabric.  It's a little bulkier, but not much. 

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Oil, Polyurethane, and Elbow Grease

My sewing projects are on hold as I've been repairing and conditioning two sewing machines and refinishing the sewing machine cabinet that came with the Singer 201.  I wish I had taken more photos of the cabinet before I started working on it.  I suspect it was recently used as a plant stand given the water damage.  You can see how bad the left side was, and the right side (which I had already removed) was no better. 

A sorry start, pulling apart the top, and after a little light sanding

Thursday, November 2, 2023

I Like Thursday: October Occurrences

October has slipped by - it's time to share some of my joys with LeeAnna and friends at  I Like Thursday.

I enjoyed the fall colors, as muted as they were.  Leaves dropped almost as fast as they turned.  There was a lot of green well into the month but at this point it's rusty or bare trees.

Rob and I finally made a trip to The Clark, which we had planned weeks before, but life kept getting in the way.

I managed to squeeze in two trips to the pond to kayak between the rain and windy weather.  My sister joined me last Friday (with amazing 75° weather!). Not nearly enough paddling this fall, but I was happy we got the chance to go out.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Sandwiched Mat

I accomplished my October goal - it's a sandwiched quilt.  

The backing is leftover blocks, just as the front had been.  The middle diamond came from my recent baby quilt. The kite squares were rejects from Bouncing Boxes.  I didn't have enough of the dark grey to make the background, so I dug around for my unloved fabric.  Light colors didn't work, but oddly enough this red did.  None of the other reds.  Not even a dark green.  How odd.  

It's loud - more than the front.  But since it's the backing I'm not too concerned with the volume.

I sandwiched it with batting  from an old comforter my sister gave me.  The project is a lot of recycling and upcycling!  Initially I folded the batting into three layers for some padding for my knees.  However, it was hard to pin and I feared it would be simply too puffy.  I removed a layer, which pinned together easier.  I'll start quilting as soon as I straighten out my sewing machines.  I plan to quilt this heavily since it's supposed to be mostly flat.  We'll see what inspires me.

I had hoped to have it quilted by Halloween but got sidetracked with sewing machines!

Once it's quilted I'll attach the rubber shelf lining (in a way yet to be determined). 

Friday, October 20, 2023

Singers and Guinea Pigs

I once heard that guinea pigs are like potato chips - you can't have just one.  It appears that old Singer sewing machines are the same.  I had a single one for years and years.  And today?  I'm embarrassed to say there are six currently residing in the house.  Sewing machines, that is.  Not a guinea pig to be seen.  I need to start reducing the Singers and fostering guinea pigs again.

My experience in buying a Singer feels similar to adopting a guinea pig.  It doesn't matter if it's in bad shape (like Mabel) or has a bad attitude (like Willow and the Newbies).  Once I see it and have introductions, it needs to come home with me.  I'll give it love and affection while it's here.  (Including when it causes me to pull my hair out.  <sigh>)

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Some Art and a Spillway

We went to The Clark a week ago.  The trip was primarily to see the Munch exhibit which was interesting.  There was a lithograph of The Scream, dark prints and oddly colored landscapes.  We wandered through the other exhibit halls as well (in which I snapped a few photos).  

I knew Sarah Bernhardt was an actress, but had no idea she sculpted, too.  This is a self portrait of herself as a sphinx.  It's an inkwell.  Such an unusual piece.  I loved the details.


Monday, October 2, 2023

October OMG - Yoga Mat Sandwich

Ooh, look!  A finished flimsy!  A little funky, a little art deco.

This will be one side of my new yoga mat quilt.  My October goal is to finish the back and at least get this sandwiched (I'm still debating how much batting I want in it).

I had a bunch of orphaned blocks from three different quilts.  The striped ones were from a baby quilt - I thought they were too busy in the pattern I tried to make.  So I set them aside.  The others are from other baby quilts in the last couple of years.  

It has some odd piecing.  I designed it as I stitched; I would have cut the pieces for the large black spots differently.  It's slightly over 24 inches wide and around 72 inches long.  I'll probably cut it a little shorter before I bind it.  It depends on how much it shrinks when I quilt it.

I have more leftover blocks (plus a pile of stuff on the floor) that I have defied to become something useful.  I'm hoping to incorporate them all into the back.  That's this week's project!

Saturday, September 30, 2023

New Projects

I have wanted to make myself a quilted yoga mat for quite some time.  I've also been accumulating a bunch of orphaned blocks that were either extras or unsatisfactory cast offs from other projects.  Let's see what happens when I combine the two!

The pieces are all thrown up on the wall while I decide just what I want this yoga mat to look like.  Then I'll still need to work out how much batting I want to put in it, and how it will all go together.

I'm also researching how to make a floppy sun hat.  I met a woman last spring that had an awesome scrappy sun hat that was was assembled similar to a rope coil bowl, except there was no rope.  It was simply strips of fabric.  I regret that I failed to take a photo of it; I can only go by my vague memory of how it looked.  

And of course there are some new throw/baby quilts on the horizon.  Whew!

Sharing with:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict - Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Wendy's Quilts and More - Peacock Party

Thursday, September 28, 2023

I Like Thursday: September's Summary

Ooh - what a September!  I have lots to share with Lee Anna and friends at I Like Thursday.

Kicked off the month by catching up with old friends and co-workers.  I started my first programming job with these guys.  Two of them were new hires with me.  The third guys I jokingly call my work husband - we've been working together for more than 30 years.  Nuts!

My tall friend moved to Japan years ago - I haven't seen him since 2003.  He was in the states for a few weeks, so we took this opportunity to all get together.  I'm so glad we made this work.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rounded Bowl Cozies

A request for bowl cozies piqued my interest because it was for a rectangle container rather than a round bowl.  The timing was good, too - having finished my latest quilt I change gears to work my clean-up projects.  It was a good time to jump into this.

I dug up my original bowl cozy pattern (from a tutorial here).  Then I adjusted it by rounding the corners and moving the darts to accommodate a 5x7" bowl.

These cozies ended up a bit flatter than I imagined, but even my original bowl cozies aren't that deep.  I started with an 11" square, then rounded two corners with 4" and 2" curved rulers.  No bulky sharp corners to turn out!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Scenes From Cape Cod

Cape Cod Chick Weekend was a couple of weeks ago.  We stayed in a new place near Thumpertown beach, just a little south of Campground beach in Eastham.  We arrived to hot humid weather.  Then stormy weather blew through on Sunday and Tuesday.

We walked to the beach on Sunday to watch the weather as it rolled across the bay.  I wanted to walk on the beach before the tide came in.  I thought the dark clouds looked amazing from down on the beach as they moved across Brewster and Orleans.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

I Like Thursday: The Best of August

I'm kind of liking this month-at-a-time review for I Like Thursday - I may stick with this format going forward.

I like that I made it to Family Weekend this year.  Heading to the Cape was an adventure.

I picked Mom up at the commuter train station in Waltham.  Rob was tracking my phone and was highly entertained by my wrong turns getting to the train station and then my inability to get back on 128.  All 'round Robin Hood's barn!

Friday, August 18, 2023

Confetti and Streamers

Huzzah!  I got the baby quilt done in time for Family Weekend.  Well, finished at Family Weekend.  I wrapped up the binding and buried the last quilting threads down on the Cape less than four hours before the festivities began.  Luck was with me - I had sunshine, nearly no breeze and some excellent places to photograph at the cottage.

I held onto the quilt long enough to confirm I got good photos and then gifted it on Sunday.  Whew!

The quilt pattern is called Woven Jewelbox.  I wanted the throw quilt design as a baby quilt size.  So I cut my strips just shy of two inches wide, which resulted in a quilt roughly 40x50 inches.  The diamonds are about 11 inches tall.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Striped Backing and Zigzag Quilting

It took a while to piece the backing for this quilt.  I had put together the diamonds in tumbling blocks format, which I really liked.  However, I didn't have enough fabric to surround it properly.  I then rearranged them into a vertical stripe.  Not bad.  I was able to use the big chunk of blue fabric as well as some of the grey and off white.  The little bit of dark gold that didn't work at all in the front fit nicely on the back.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Spotty, Ghost and Dogfights


I was working in the kitchen when I caught sight of a deer in the front yard.  I saw a flash of white and thought it was a dog, but I wondered why the deer was so calm.  When it came into view from around the bush I realized it was a fawn:  mostly white, with some brown spots.  What a surprise!

As I watched, a second fawn appeared, even more white than the first one with a light brown face.  I've never seen anything like these two.  Obviously twins, although one was noticeably larger than the other.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Quilt Diamonds Flimsy

I spent most of the first weekend in July wrestling with the quilt.  Wow, I would not have thought I would have so much trouble on the center diamonds.  I started with scrappy blues, blacks, greens and orange.  I abandoned the scrappy look to make the outer edge diamonds with navy blue sides with orange-gold centers.  I tried grey diamonds in the middle - way too much contrast and it looked washed out.  Then taupe, which really dulled the color of the whole quilt (very surprising because it matched nicely with two of the zig-zags).  Then a minty green similar to the zig-zags.  That looked great in small quantities, but as soon as I finished the four diamonds and placed them on the wall, they completely overpowered the quilt.  Damn.

I cut, pieced and ripped apart most of three sets of middle diamonds before I settled on a slightly lighter green.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

I Like Thursday: July's Highlights

I'm still mostly on hiatus, but I had several likes during July that I wanted to share with with LeeAnna and friends over at I Like Thursday

A few weeks ago Rob and I headed to my mother's to help clean out her basement.  I fretted over the undertaking for weeks prior to the date.  However, the planning and research were rewarded!  Amazing  how much disappeared in less than 24 hours.  Freecycle, Craigslist and nextdoor are wonderful resources!  So many things walked away on their own.  (And some people made out like bandits with the items they picked up.)  Win-win as far as I'm concerned.

Added bonus - I had time on Friday evening to pick blueberries from Mom's massive blueberry bush.  I ate a bunch of them but the rest are in my freezer. 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

I Like Thursday: Time for a Break

All the years I've written this blog I haven't taken a hiatus.  Although it doesn't seem like a whole lot is going on right now, I feel like I can't catch up.  So it's time for a break.

But first - I have a few likes to share with the I Like Thursday crew.

Everything is growing like crazy around here with the warm, wet weather.  I pull weeds every time I walk by the gardens.  Even the birdhouse is blooming.  Can you see the little flowers?  I guess they're growing a roof garden?  How chic! 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

I Like Thursday: Return to Kripalu

This week's like - I went to Kriplau!  I haven't been to the yoga center with the gals since 2019.  How wonderful!  The wildfire smoke even cleared up enough to allow for hiking, kayaking, and Qigong on the Lawn.   

There was 10 of us in my group (and not a single group photo!).  Two of the gals I never even saw.  (I hope they had a nice time.)  Another two ran into me at afternoon yoga.  The rest of us shared a couple of dorm rooms overlooking the lake. 

My sister and I took archery, which was a lot of fun.  I haven't handled a bow in years.  The whole class agreed it was satisfying to listen to the whoosh of the arrow when released and the thunk when it hits the target.  

Thursday, June 8, 2023

I Like Thursday: Preparations

It's been a week of preparation.  I'm off to Kripalu tomorrow - the first time in three years.  A long weekend of yoga in the Berkshires with my friends.  I can't wait to go, and it will be great to see some of the gals I haven't seen since our last trip in 2019.  Thank goodness I had an old packing list I used for this weekend!  I'm not sure I'd remember what to bring and what to leave behind.

I managed a few minutes to make a few more diamonds for the quilt.  I'm not happy with how it has stalled.  But now I have enough on the wall to get a feel on what to do next.  At some point I had rejected the darkest pieces, but now they're back in as possibilities as the rest of the colored diamonds are in place.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Andres Institute of Art

I met a friend on Monday and spent the day at the Andres Institute of Art in New Hampshire.  It's an outdoor sculpture park located on a defunct downhill ski slope.  Visiting the park was a bit like being on a treasure hunt:  map in hand we headed out to see what we could find.

Most of the trails were in the shade of the trees.  The sculptures were a mix of stone and metal.  Each piece was a surprise.  Some were easy to spot, dominating a clearing.  Others were tucked under rocky overhangs or embedded in the ground.  We happened to use the paper map, rather than the interactive app, so we didn't know what the sculpture would look like until we found it.  Some had a name, artist, origin and date next to it (sometimes painted on badly-faded or rotting board).  Most had a little numbered medallion tacked to a nearby tree for reference - it's how we confirmed where we were on the map.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

A Trip to MASS MoCA

We went to MASS MoCA and Mount Greylock last weekend.  It's been years since we've been to the museum and I've never been to Greylock.  We managed to get a museum pass from the library and off we went!

I loved the sunlight streaming through the huge old glass windows.  

You never know what you'll find:  some of it's pretty, some of it's strange.  I got a kick out of a table that had instructions to sit at it, put your elbows on the table and hands over your ears.  I could hear sounds, but there was no sound standing near it.  Very cool.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

I Like Thursday: Ice Cream and Art

The bummer with a long weekend stuffed full of fun is trying to return to work.  <sigh>  I have so much I need to get caught up on.  

So let's start off with this week's prompt for I Like Thursday, which is: what's your favorite ice cream?  Oh!  Ice cream!  Anything with chocolate makes me happy.  This was Wednesday night's dinner.  I have Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl topped with something called Boston Blackout (chocolate ice cream with brownies and fudge).  The cup has Moosetracks, which is also pretty good.  I've recently become a fan of S'mores ice cream (especially when paired with the Chocolate PB).  Whatever ice cream I get, it definitely needs to go with a waffle cone.  I love the different textures.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

I Like Thursday: Happy Right Here

Most of my evenings have been spent in the yard.  I planted my seedlings and seeds; admired various plants that have sprouted.  Said hello to the hummingbirds zipping around the garden.  (And unfortunately sprayed the dozen or so hornets nest that have popped up around the eaves and gutters.)

That has slowed progress on the quilt.  I'm trying to get a feel for the dark diamonds on this quilt.  Once I get these pieced together I can do my last layout checks and stitch it all together.  I can't wait - things will cruise at that point!

Thursday, May 18, 2023

I Like Thursday: Desk

Welcome to I Like Thursday, where we share the good things of the week.

I headed up to Newbury on Sunday to help pack up the old roll top desk to ship back to Minnesota with my Dad's brother.  We detached the top from the bottom to help get it out of the house, and in doing so discovered a note wrapped in plastic glued to the top of the cubbyholes.  What a fun discovery!  The note came with two bicentennial coins.  It was signed by my dad and dated 1/23/1976.  It said -

To Whom it may concern:
This desk was rebuilt in 1975-1976 after being removed from Luke's Confectionery in LeSueur, Minnesota.  I believe the street address was 203 South Main Street.  Luke, my father, owned the business from about 1952 until 1974.  Before then it was known as McCall's.  To the best of my knowledge the building was constructed in the 1870's or 1880's.  This desk was probably original equipment.  Almost all the glue joints failed in transportation to Minneapolis where I refinished it.  I used mostly a glue called Mastic, diluted with laquer thinner, to put it back together after stripping it and restaining it with Char Oak stain by Colony Paints.  The final finish is two coats of Masur Oil by the Masury Paint Co.  All parts are original with the following exceptions

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Ahhh, Yes!

This quilt has been a long time coming to get from fabric pull to a first piece on my wall.  I had picked a pattern and pulled fabric over a month ago.  Then it stalled.  I'm still not sure how I want to put it all together, but I needed to start somewhere.  I put together a strip and see how it looks.  I suspect this quilt will be a plan-as-I-go (more than usual).

Part of the delay was lack of a design wall.  I had used all my big pieces of batting and the little chunk that was left wasn't even two feet wide.  My packaged batting says it doesn't require pre-washing, but I still do it to shrink it before quilting.  I had a package of king sized batting I hadn't wanted to tackle.  However, we've had wonderfully sunny, windy and very dry days lately, so I took the time to soak it and spread it across the clothes lines.  It dried completely in just a few hours.  Amazing!

Now that I have a design wall, and my first row on it, I'm hoping to dive in to the project.  After this, I'll get to do some projects of my own.  Then I've agreed to do a king-sized quilt.  That will be a challenge!

Thursday, May 11, 2023

I Like Thursday: Celebrating May Day

Nothing to share last week on I Like Thursday and this week I had so many photos I had to combine them into collages.  Feast or famine I guess.

First up are my May Day flowers.  Aren't they pretty?  I was really taken by the calla lilies.  My mom convinced me to get the big red flowers.  I had to add in a tulip, some roses and a carnation.  

The flowers came from the Montague May Day celebration.  My sister and mother came again this year.  Music!  Morris dancers!  A May pole!  There was also buckets of flowers to choose from to make garlands.  As you can see below, I decorated my floppy hat.  It went quite nice with my flower dress

Thursday, April 27, 2023

I Like Thursday: Contras, Quilts and Cheese

For this week's I Like Thursday I'm going to kick off with the latest addition to the neighborhood.  This guy appeared in my neighbor's yard yesterday - he must be five feet tall.  Quite striking!

NEFFA!  The New England Folk Festival.  I've written about this in the past: a weekend filled with music and dancing.  This year, alas, I only got there on Sunday.  It was a challenge finding a balance between catching up with people I hadn't seen in years and dancing as much as possible.  One day was not nearly enough (although my pedometer claimed I did 12 miles of dancing).  Next year I'll attend more of it.

Since I didn't attend NEFFA on Saturday, I attended the Hands All Around quilt show in Amherst with my sister.  So many amazing quilts.  I'm only showing a few photos of the beautiful items.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

I Like Thursday: A Paddle, Some Honey, and Good China

Welcome to this week's post.  These seem to be my only posts lately - not much on the sewing/guinea pig front.  On the other hand, I've snagged a bit of restful, quiet time.  I'll roll with that until I get creative again.

I kayaked on Friday!  Couldn't let the warm weather go by without a paddle.  No one was parked at the entrance, but I came across a trio of paddleboarders on the water.  Otherwise I had the pond to myself. 

Kayaking is calming.  I don't know if it's the water, the view, or the rhythm of the paddling, but I have a better mindset when I'm done.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

I Like Thursday: Artistic Eggs

Our neighbors invited us over on Friday afternoon to make Ukrainian eggs.  My sister came with me.  There were six of us, engrossed in eggs, wax and dye.  What fun!  I haven't done this in a long, long time, but the process came back pretty quickly.  I got to know my neighbors better, which was lovely, too!  The smell of the beeswax lingered all evening bringing back good memories.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

I Like Thursday: Easter and Quilt Prep

I picked up some daffodils last week.  They fit nicely in this cute little vase I picked up a few years ago.  A little sunlight, a little green and yellow - it makes me happy!

I've spent the last few days working on Easter candy, a little at a time.  Candy centers.  Almond buttercrunch.  I'm still working solo, so I'm doing small batches and experimenting.  Last year's coffee buttercreams were good, so I'm trying it again  year.  I intended to make chai buttercreams, but instead I added some chai spice to some of the cookie dough truffles.  I'll be curious how they taste.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

I Like Thursday: Little Bits and Pieces

Quick post this week to share with I Like Thursday.  Work has been busy.  Managed to get a bit of work done in the yard.  Pulled fabric and have been researching a quilt (I think I finally picked a pattern).  Working on my crumb blocks.  Once I go through them, I'll move onto strings and selvedge blocks.  And then onto my next baby quilt.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

I Like Thursday: Thaw

We've gone from winter to spring all within a week.  I squeezed in some cross country skiing.  Thursday morning I explored some of Upham Road at the top of my road.  It was a nice climb, but too icy to ski down.  I had to pop off the skis and walk down.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Mandala is finished, bound and labeled!  I had a beautiful sunny day for photographs in between snow storms.  It's just taken me a while to write this blog post.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Project Quilting 14.6: Broken Dishes Cover

The last of this season's Project Quilting challenges was an odd one:  Conquer a Fear. Quilting fear?  Personal fear?  How do I represent that?  And what do I fear?

I dismissed most of the sewing/quilting fears... almost all those are just something I haven't gotten around to trying yet.  Personal fears?  I have some strong dislikes (like making phone calls to people I don't know).  But what causes me the most anxiety is around What if I couldn't....  I've had some illnesses that have made me too weak or painful to do basic things, like climb stairs or go shopping (let alone go dancing).  Made my brain too fuzzy to do my work.  I've been lucky - my worst problems have cleared up in months or maybe years.  But a few never got a real diagnosis, so they could return.  What if I couldn't dance any more?  What if I can't sew?  or do yoga?  can't eat real food?  have a heart attack?

My fear is becoming broken.  

How the hell do I quilt that?

Thursday, March 16, 2023

I Like Thursday: Spring Flowers

This week's I Like Thursday prompt asks us for our favorite Spring flowers.  I love tulips.  I don't know why - they're just appealing.  Daffodils are always so happy, too.

My sister invited me to come to a flower show at a local greenhouse.  Not a big place, but oh, the color!  We came to the door and even with a mask on, the scent was amazing.

Just look at how bright and cheery that is.  How wonderful!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

I Like Thursday: Snow and Seeds

I have stories but not many photos for this week's Likes.

I got out skiing on Sunday.  Conditions were wonderful!  I made it across the top of Chestnut Hill over to Wendel. State Forest.  I had a map and was told to go around the pond for a fairly short loop.  Perfect, since it was still going to be another mile and a half back to my car.  Well... I got temporarily misplaced and instead of doing the simple mile loop, I went a couple of miles.  By the time I thought about turning back, I could see I was halfway around, so I decided to keep going.  

The truly unfortunate bit was, I was still breaking in some new boots and hadn't laced them tight enough to start.  My heels had massive blisters.  I had initially planned to ski again on Monday (I took the day off), but it hurts to put on any kind of shoe.  Bummer.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Project Quilting 14.5: Fabric Bowl

I spent most of the week quilting my mandala quilt, which I was determined to finish by the end of the week.  (It's quilted!)  That made this week's challenge a bit more challenging.  The rule was simple - Sew Not A Square.  

I picked it up on Saturday morning and it proceeded to go in a few directions.  I started out with a bunch of leftover pieces from one of my kite quilts.  I stitched them into a hexagon, which was a little large for a mug rug.  Then I remembered Rob asking for another bowl cozy.  I pinned in some darts which looked pretty good.  I decided to go with it.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Spring Cheese

Dakin asked for some St Patrick's Day or spring photos of my two foster boys, Bleu and Provolone.  I don't have any shamrock stuff, but I do have plenty of fake flowers.  I threw flowers on the table top, grabbed some cilantro and strawberry tops, plunked the boys down and this is what happened.

Pretty cute, aren't they?

Thursday, March 2, 2023

I Like Thursday: New Growth and Old Memories

It's Thursday!  Welcome to my likes of the week.  I have all sorts of color to share this week with LeeAnna and friends over at Not Afraid of Color

I still have the Cheese Boys - guinea pig fosters from the Dakin Humane Society.  Dakin wanted some spring or St Paddy's photos of the Bleu and Provolone.  I don't have Irish stuff, but I do have flowers.  We did a quick photo shoot on Monday, but I haven't had a chance to do a whole post with them.  Here's a little preview of the boys.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Mandala Progress

My latest baby quilt is progressing!  I'm thinking about the name for the quilt.  Mandala, in Sanskrit, means circle.  This quilt certainly has circles within circles!  

My goal had been to get the top stitched together.  Not only did I do that, I sandwiched and quilted a good chunk of it as well.  I got half of it quilted no problem, then I've had some thread tension issues.  So far I have all the X pieces quilted, like old fashioned pen nibs.  Now I need the orange peels quilted.