Monday, October 31, 2011

Night Three

Yesiree folks, this is night 3 without any power! Can I mention again how thankful I am for a gas stove and hot water! Chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast is better than we have WITH power!

We went out for a bit today, did a little shopping, played at the park, (it was warmer outside than in), then went to the YMCA for a few hours (ok, until it closed at 10pm!) to swim, get warm, and charge up my phone and laptop. We just came home and I made hot chocolate by candlelight to warm our tummies before bed. The kids are having a blast at night. They love the power being out and using candles. It's the daytime that's a problem for them! On the agenda tomorrow, the library and maybe sledding. And I plan to get our power back on. Hey a girl can dream!

So sorry about the lack of quilting posts - not much of that is going on I'm afraid! I'll make up for it when we have power and I can actually see in my quilt studio in the basement!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


As you can tell from my post title, things are a little chilly around these parts. That's what happens when you get a foot of snow and still have no power! Yep that's right folks - still no power and it could be a week before we get it back. It's survivable though - we have gas cooking and gas hot water so we can eat and shower. All is good and it's a bog adventure. Sadly there won't be any blog posts with pictures for a while, but I think you're an understanding bunch! Trees are down over the whole neighborhood - some streets are impassable and both school and Halloween are cancelled tomorrow. Wish me luck telling the kids that one!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Power Interruption

Power interruption is a nice way of saying aaaarrrrggggghhhhh the power's out!!!! We are experiencing the worst October snow storm ever on record here in New England. The most snow recorded in October has been 1.5 inches and they're predicting a foot by morning! The tree branches are nearly touching the ground with the weight of the snow and it's cold but even with all that, there is much to be thankful for. I'm glad we have full cupboards, and I'm glad I bought candles today! Most of all, I'm glad our house is full of quilts to keep us warm! Oh I'm also glad my phone was charged fully before the power when out as it is what I am posting from right now! As such, I have no pretty pictures for you, but I must say, the scene outside right now is breathtakingly beautiful. I'm off to bed. Such an early night for me! I hope you are all warm and safe wherever you are.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sewing Can Be Boring

Oh yes - yes it can. Take today for example. Not a lick of quilting happened. What did I do for my sewing for the day? Take up the hem on a pair of jeans. How boring is that?
It had to be done, I did it, and that was the extent of my sewing today. The problem with my goal of blogging every day this year is that some days I just don't have anything interesting to report. Like most of you, some days my life is fun and exciting, and some days it is not. Welcome to the monotony of life!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fabric Fabric and More Fabric

I received a call out of the blue from a friend on my street. Her mother had decided to have a big clear out of her fabric, and took it all to my friend's place. She took what she wanted, then called me to come and take anything I wanted. I had no idea what to expect, but what I didn't expect was entire bolts of quilting fabric!
None of the fabric was the new modern stuff I like (other than a piece of Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow!) but there was a lot of good basic quilting cottons. The ones on the bolts are a little more calico-y than I like, but I think they will make good quilt backings. And plus, how could I say no to entire bolts of fabric?!! That's 15 yards on each one - crazy!

So thank you Denise for thinking of me!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Believe Part Two

Tonight I have the rest of my Christmas quilt, "I Believe", to show you. I have such great memories of working on these blocks - of my confidence growing as I realized that this whole applique thing was not only a littler easier than I expected, but totally, completely enjoyable! I fell in love with needleturn on this project, and my thanks must go to Pat Sloan for creating a pattern that inspired me enough to want to learn.
My favorite two blocks here are the cookie jar and the tree with gingerbread men.

Pat's pattern didn't have the bowl and gingerbread men, but she encouraged us to be creative, so I used her bowl and gingerbread men from another of her patterns and incorporated it into this block. It was a complete eye opener to me that you could be creative and change things. To deviate from a pattern never entered my mind before, so that was a huge thing for me to 'get', and I haven't looked back since!

Coming up tomorrow...I'm off to the hairdressers in the morning to use up some of the credit I amassed sewing all those curtains. I'm thinking of going back to blonde. Perhaps something like this...
Hmm we'll see! (I couldn't resist the wig - $1 from the thrift store!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

My First Needleturn Applique

Today I was sorting through things in my quilt studio and came across something I had forgotten about - my very first needleturn applique project. How I had forgotten, I don't know, because it is so beautiful!

It is a Christmas quilt called, "I Believe" from Pat Sloan. You can find the pattern HERE. I was a member of her yahoogroup back in the day, and one year we all had a quilt-along making this particular pattern...

The fabrics are not what I would choose today. Back then, (about 2005 I think), I thought you had to stay as close to the original as possible. Boy have things changed since then! I still love the fabrics I chose, and I remember laboring for hours making my choices, auditioning fabric after fabric, but if I were to make it today, you better believe there'd be plenty of Kaffes thrown in there!

The snowflake block was my very first block.

I remember the ladies in the group saying it was the hardest, and if you could make this block then the rest would be easy. So I jumped in with both feet and went for it. Looking at it closely you can tell I was a beginner. Look how nothing in the middle of the flakes is positioned in a nice neat circle like it should be, and the points are all skewed...

I'll never undo it though - those were my first precious applique stitches, never to be repeated!

I got a little better by the next block, the sugarplum fairies, which is one of my favorites...

The circles are still not quite as round as they could be, but not too bad...
I remember buying this fabric for this particular fairy. I looked all over until I found the perfect one!

Then by the third block I was a pro! The points on the bird are so much better than the snowflakes...

I'll show you some more blocks tomorrow. I'm not putting this away again. Christmas is coming, and these blocks deserve to be made into a quilt!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I have a couple of crafty things to show you tonight - one for Halloween and one for Christmas. Oh please - did you know Christmas is only 9 weeks away? Don't be in denial - it's coming up FAST!!

First up, since it's ALL anyone under the age of 38 can talk about in our house, let's go for the Halloween craft...
How cool is that? Just spray paint an old frame green, get some string, and weave a web. Talk about easy! Tutorial found HERE along with other really cool Halloween decorating.

Next for the Christmas craft which is found HERE...
I buy jars of buttons whenever I see them in thrift stores. This would be a perfect project to use them on. Even the kids could do it! All you would need are some polystyrene balls, buttons, pins, and ribbons. Again, how easy is that?!

Happy Halloween, Merry Christmas, and everything in between!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chilli and The 80's

You are probably wondering what chilli and the 80's have to do with each other. The answer is nothing! Let me explain...

Today the kids' school had their annual Fall Festival. They have a chilli cook-off which I entered and much to my complete shock and amazement - WON! Woo Hoo!

I honestly don't think my chilli was the best tasting - but it was definitely the best looking!! The other contestants were all men, and well let's face it - their fancying up skills were not that great, and when I say not that great, I mean they were zip, zero, zilch. But their chilli was absolutely delicious!

You can see the bowls of chilli here, and mine would be the one with the sour cream, cheese, green onions, and a big ol' hunk of cornbread! Yum!!
That's my wonderful amazing neighbor, Wally - he was one of the judges, and he said they were all raving over the cornbread. So I think my cornbread won me the chilli cook-off. Go figure!!

Now onto the 80's daughter was invited to a birthday/Halloween party tonight and we decided to channel my inner 80's teenage self and dress her like and 80's girl.

I made her a skirt this afternoon (my sewing for the day to keep me on my goal) and had a lot, and I mean, A LOT of fun doing some lovely bright blue and pink eyeshadow.

Oh and don't forget the side ponytail!

Her and I are going to be matching 80's girls for Halloween this year, though I'll be going down more the Flashdance route with the whole cut up sweatshirt thing. I'll be sure to take pics of us both!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ironing Board

Under the cover of darkness late last night I scored myself a new ironing board. Our neighbors across the street moved out of their house yesterday and instead of taking the last of their stuff, they did the great American tradition of leaving everything on the sidewalk for anyone to take. I LOVE this about America! I never saw it until I moved to this country. I grew up spending every Saturday either at garage sales or in the auction house. And some days the family activity was going to the rubbish tip (dump) and seeing what goodies awaited us there! My parents who are approaching 80, still think a trip to the recycling store at the dump is a great activity! Yep, I realize that to some it might sound a little nasty, but as a result of living frugally, my parents have never been in debt, and that includes credit cards.

But back to my story! Here is the pile of stuff across the street as it stands about 10 minutes ago when I took a photo...

Yesterday I saw an ironing board poking out of the pile, and since my current board has ceased to move up and down, I thought one that does move up and down might be a nice change!!

Well I hit the jackpot in the ironing board lottery. This one is great!

First of all, it's HUGE! It also moves up and down so smoothly (oh the luxury! ha!) It also has a rack for hanging your 'stuff' on, and a flip up mini board for things like sleeves.

Anyone want my old one? (Which I got through Freecycle!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Pumpkins

I don't do a lot of seasonal decorating. I wish I did - it's one of the things I love about America, how everyone really gets into the different holidays and seasons and decorates accordingly. I'm a slow learner but I'm getting there! My home is decorated year round, just not for any particular season.

However, I do have this recessed space in the wall when you walk in the house and each Fall I use it to put up all my pumpkin framed quilts. It normally holds some of my milk glass collection, and instead of putting that all away, I just work it into the mix!

I made these the first year we lived in the house, 2007, and they come out every year at this time. I also made the pumpkin wall hanging which was originally made to be a table runner but every year it ends up on the wall!

Do you all decorate for the seasons?!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Salon

No quilting done today - just curtains, curtains and more curtains! I did finish them and take them to the salon, and they had all the previous ones I'd made hanging. I took a couple of photos to show you - they're from my phone, so not great quality, but you'll still be able to see how pretty they look!

It went from this...
To this...
And they even hung a second row on the back side of the opening...
Sunday night is their official grand opening party and there will be a 60 foot runway coming out of the curtains. How cool will that look??!
It's so much fun to see your work like this. But next time I should convince them to hang quilts instead of curtains!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Was I Thinking?!!

So remember back HERE where I somehow got myself into making curtains for a local hair salon - remember it was 90 yards?

We they hung them, LOVED them, and have me making the same thing all over again for the front windows. Luckily they're pretty easy - the sewing part isn't hard, it's the handing of the 90 yards that's hard - the measuring, the cutting, the ironing...oh and did I mention that their grand opening is this weekend and I have to take them in tomorrow?!!

In other news, look what we've been feasting on... homemade rolls Texas Roadhouse style with yummy honey cinnamon butter!

The kids are in heaven and are begging to have the leftovers for breakfast. Sounds good to me!

Gotta go...have a curtain or two to make by tomorrow. Eeek!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mean Quilters

Do any of you read and love Jacquie Gering's blog as much as I do? I was following her when she was just starting this whole blogging thing and am amazed at how far she has come. She is a true leader of the modern quilting movement and I truly admire her.

This afternoon she linked to another quilter who was less than pleasant about Jacquie. I won't link to the quilter - you can visit Jacquie's blog if you want to get there. I did leave a comment. It's just so sad when we as quilters feel the need to criticize another fellow quilter. Kinda goes against the whole premise of quilting - to comfort and keep warm. I mean really, can't we all just get along?!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


As soon as I saw these hearts I knew I wanted to share them with you for Seen-It-Sunday.

Aren't they just the sweetest hearts ever?! I can just imagine using pretty scraps and teaching my daughter basic embroidery stitches so she can make her own. You could use them to make garlands or mobiles, but I would love to see a whole pile of them sitting in a bowl, especially around Valentines Day!
The original post here links to a store selling the kits but the store says it's closed until November. I think they'd be easy to figure out without a kit though. If any of you make any I'd love to see them!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Quilt

Things in the neighborhood have calmed down since my angry post yesterday! They made an arrest, someone from another part of the state, not from around here, which is a bit of a relief. I sure learned what a tight-knit neighborhood we live in. I love it here!

Now, back to quilting!
This time last year a box arrived at our house from my hubby's Mom. We opened it up and inside was a wonderful Halloween wall quilt. I was so impressed - my MIL is half blind, but still churns out quilts like no one I know, and most of them go to charity. Dozens and dozens per year.

I pulled it out tonight and hung it up. I decided it needed a great spot, but just couldn't find any free wall space. Then I thought, hmmm, why not just put it over an existing quilt? So I did! Before...

and after...
So it's a pretty cute quilt, right? A spooky tree with lots of Halloween themed appliques and buttons...but look closer - that's a power cord hanging out the bottom. This quilt is tech-savvy! With a flick of a switch look what happens...

and now closer...

and closer still...

Isn't that great?! There are 8 different settings for the lights - everything from a twinkle to a slow fade in and out. I love where it's hanging. This is one of my favorite spots in the house.

I love to curl up in the corner with the latest quilt magazine and get lost in its pages.

I can't wait until the kids wake up in the morning and see the quilt that I'm sure they've forgotten about in the last year!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm Angry

* arrest has been made! Woo hoo!*

Yes you read that right - this normally happy-go-lucky Mom in the suburbs is angry, and it's all because of THIS.

Want to know how close this happened to my home? Here, have a look at this photo taken just now from my back deck...
Look right in the middle of the picture - yes that is police tape. A little too close to home, both figuratively and literally. I am angry that this wonderfully safe neighborhood we chose to live in, which multiple police officers also choose to live in because of its record of safety, has had it's innocence compromised.

Now look at this photo, taken from my kitchen window...
I took this photo from the one window that I still hadn't made new curtains for. You better believe as soon as I heard the news, I went straight to my quilt room and finished those curtains.

Isn't it interesting that we went for 2 years without window coverings and then last week out of the blue I had the feeling that it was time to make curtains. I am glad for the little promptings I receive, that seem meaningless at the time but are actually important. When you get those little ideas in your head, take notice!