Tuesday, January 10, 2017

One Done...and One Working

Here it is!  My Cathedral Window Quilt all finished.  It was a long time in the making since this was mostly all hand sewn except for 2 small seams on the muslin base squares.  The project flew back and forth across the Pacific with me and I sewed on it in both the US and AU.  I am so happy it is finished!

Now on to other items in need of finishing.  I have decided I will try to work on finishing up projects in 2017.  I do plan to participate in some BOM sew alongs, but will try to limit myself on starting new projects until I complete some old ones.

This top has been hanging in the closet waiting to be layered and basted.  I decided now is the time.   It is about half basted after working for a few hours yesterday afternoon and I hope to finish basting today so I can begin  basting another quilt top that is complete.  That will give me 2 basted projects ready for quilting!  I will hand quilt this applique quilt, but the other quilt is a scrappy patchwork....and I may try my luck at machine quilting that one.

Please excuse the mess in my sunroom.  It is a small room, but nice and light to work in, so I just move thing against the walls in order to have space.  I love houseplants and they seem to like this room.  The big plant at the end of the quilt is now 38 years old.  It was a small plant in a 6 inch pot when I got it.  It has moved around the country with me.  My silly Christmas cactus is just beginning to bloom.  I can never get it to bloom for Christmas.

Friday, January 6, 2017

It's Been a Long Time

Wow!  I can't believe it has been over a year since I last posted to this blog.  My resolution for 2017 is to do a much better job at documenting my quilting and other needlework projects.  I have been busy in 2016, but just never bothered to post any pictures.  I have been quilting, knitting, and sewing.  I have taken pictures of some of my projects and will share them in the coming days.  I also have a tentative list of things I want to work on in 2017.  Might be a good idea to put them on this blog so I can hold myself accountable at the end of the year.

For this post I will share a view out my sewing room window.  We woke to -1F this morning and will go to a balmy 18F for our high.  There was 2.5 inches of snow yesterday and with temps as we have, there won't be a lot of melt.  I thank my neighbor often for his love of gardening.  There is always something lovely to view in his backyard...even when it is snow covered.

 My mother is in her 80's and keeps busy with her church making quilts for charity.  Her machine is a 1954 Brother straight stitch machine, and she has had issues with the tension mechanism with a wire breaking.  I live a long distance from her and cannot easily try to help her repair it, but I have been searching thrift stores to find a machine that I could give her.  I found this machine at my local ReStore.

The wiring was in awful condition, but my husband said he could fix it.  He also said he could fix the box it sits in with new covering or totally remake it.  All electrical repairs have been made and I have cleaned and oiled it and it purrs like a kitten.  The stitch is really nice.  We still have the box repair to complete.  I think my mom will be pleased as this New Home looks much like her old machine.  My mom also said that when she no longer sews, it will be given back to me.  I already have 4 machines in my house, but I have no sea foam green machines like this one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


While we were living in Australia, I decided one of the things I wanted to bring home with me was a crock from Bendigo Pottery.  We made a day trip there to visit and do a bit of shopping.  DH and I decided that a fermenting crock would be a nice souvenir and a useful addition to our kitchen.  Isn't it a pretty crock and each time I look at it, I have such fond memories of our time in AU!

A few weeks ago I started my first small batch of saurkraut.  It turned out very well.  We enjoyed eating some and I canned 3 pints for future use.  I will make a much larger batch next time as DH and I both like kraut.
Since I had the canning equipment out, I decided to also make a batch of pizza sauce and can that.  By making my own sauce I can control the ingredients to accommodate my dietary needs.  I usually make one pizza and I always have extra sauce since the cans available at my local store are large cans.  My small jars are perfect for one pizza with lots of veggies.

Tomorrow I plan to work on my mystery quilt and then maybe a few small items that I plan to give for Christmas gifts.  Hope my plans work out!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Slow but Done

I have had a busy week, but I was able to cut and sew all the half square triangles for Allietare Mystery Quilt I am participating in.  This is my first time to participate and this will be my first attempt to link up to Bonnie's website or any website for that matter.  Let's hope I can do it!

Half square triangles are not my favorite thing to make, but I did use the Easy Angle ruler and I must say it went pretty well.  My fabric choices not the best, but I am using what I have in my stash.  That's a good thing!  Use it up so there is room for new additions.

Be sure to check Bonnie K. Hunter's blog to see information about the mystery quilt and to see the work of others.

Friday, November 27, 2015

First On-Line Mystery Quilt

Even though I have so very many UFOs that I promised myself I would complete before starting anything new, I have decided to participate in Bonnie Hunter's new Allietare mystery that begins today. I will try to work on my UFOs in conjunction with the mystery quilt...time permitting.   You can find information on this mystery at Bonnie's blog.

Now for my fabric selections.  There were not many gray fabrics in my stash to pick from.
These are the larger pieces of gray that I had and some did not have the yardage necessary for the project.
In the end, this is what I have chosen to be my constant gray.

 I have selected these lights.

 There are a few strips and squares in my scrap basket and I will be adding those along with what I have here.  I have learned in my efforts to select fabrics for this mystery that my stash is severely lacking in lights and neutrals.  Hmmm!  A good reason to go shopping soon.

 The pot of soup is on the stove (freezing rain at my house) and hubby is bonding with his saw, router, and wood. Let the cutting begin!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Our time in Australia has come to an end.  DH told me we were going for 18 months to 2 years at most.  Our time there ended up being about 5 years 8 months.  We made lots of wonderful friends and enjoyed our time there.  We returned to the US in June and life has been so hectic since.  There have been simple adjustments to life at home, trips to visit family, functions associated with my husband's work, and DD transferring with her work and moving out to her new location. Now the holiday season is upon us.  I think Thanksgiving will be a quiet one for us as both children will be staying in their respective communities.  I'm OK with that as I hate to see them drive on Thanksgiving when so many others are traveling and traffic can be a nightmare.  Low gasoline prices will only add to the quantity traveling....and our gasoline is currently as low as $1.79 per gallon.  Haven't seen prices like that in such a long time!

I am trying very hard to make my way back to my sewing and quilting.  I have slowly cleaned and organized the sewing room, but have done very little actual sewing.  I'm hoping to change that very soon.  I am planning to participate in a online mystery quilt and will journal that as I work.  I'm hoping my postings will be much more regular with some quilting progress to share each time.

My 18 year old kitty is now in kitty heaven.  My heart is heavy as she was a member of the family.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sewing kit

I promised to share pictures of the kit I use for sewing on the long (13-14 hr.) flight from Sydney to LA.  Scissors was my number one issue.  While the US will usually let you carry scissors with small blades, rules in AU do not allow scissors as of the current date (they have confiscated mine before) .  I have tried using the dental floss containers, but I use a very small needle and the cut using that leaves some "fuzz" making the needle very hard to thread.  I spent time looking and came up with an alternative which works for me.

This is the little bag I use to hold my sewing.  It is a bag my husband gave me as a give away from his employer.  No money required.....saving more for the quilting supplies!  It is approximately 10 inches x 6 inches x 2 inches and fits in my backpack.

Here's a peak inside the bag before I unpack it.

This shows the items I keep in the bag.  I placed them on my cutting mat so you could get an idea of the size.  My hexagons are 1 inch and the little bag of prepare hexagons had a lot more than that in it when I started the trip back to the US.  I use snack size bags for the hexagons that are prepared for sewing.  The completed hexagon flowers are slipped into a quart size bag.  I also found a little melamine tray at a Reject Shop which is sit on the pull down tray to help keep my items from rolling off and on to the floor.  It's a big help with keeping my thread handy.

This little re-purposed pill bottle holds all my tools.

And here are all the items I can fit into the pill bottle laid out on my tray.  I put my thread conditioner in the bottom (blue square); the container with a few extra needles, which is a re-purposed tube from a friend that once contained glue;  2 small magnets (red and blue hour glass shape) from the same friend....which I use to help control my needle; 2 clover clips which I use instead of pins, if I need them; scissors, the turquoise item; and my Clover thimble, which is flexible except for the silver top.
This is the best part of all the tools

My little scissors!

I was so excited when I found these little scissors at a small quilt shop in AU.  They were expensive, but the perfect size to fit in my little bottle.  I thought they might be small enough to make it through security and I was correct.  In fact, I carried them right through 3 check points on my journey. You can see that they are tiny, but they cleanly cut the thread so I can easily thread the needle.  I didn't keep the packaging, so the only thing I can remember is they are Japanese made and they have "Canary" printed on them.

I was able to stitch away on my flight home.  I believe I completed 10 flowers, watched 3 movies, and got up and walked to restore circulation and prevent DVT.

I am slowly getting reacquainted with my sewing room.  I have cleaned, dusted and sneezed, but have found lots of things I forgot I had.  Among all of my discoveries are way too many UFOs.  Yesterday I actually sewed a little on my machine.  A long time ago I had begun to work on a string quilt since I find it so difficult to throw away usable scraps.  I use everything down to approximately 1 inch wide.  My intentions are to make a utility quilt with the rectangles.  I would like one for myself and then I will also make some for charity.  I am going to try to sew at least 3 blocks each week.  I met my goal for the week yesterday and it is only Wednesday!

Later today I will probably sew more as it is bitterly cold at my house.  We woke to 9F this morning with a wind chill of  -10F.  The temperature is suppose to drop throughout the day and be 0F by noon with wind chills in the afternoon of -15F to -20F.  After I get the big pot of soup cooking, I'll be stitching!