Nov 27, 2009

Grateful Musings

This is my first truly official month of being a "Charming Girl" and with that comes the November Tag. Kelly asked us to share some things we are grateful for AND one of our other hobbies.
The other hobby is fairly easy- I've fallen under the spell of scrapbooking/minibook making and altered art. I won't bore anyone here with endless musings about my other works of art- I'll let you discover it IF you want. I keep a second blog which hasn't been updated much. You are welcome to visit should you wish. I've contemplated merging the two, but I find myself here on this blog more often and feel it is more a representation of who (and where) I am right now in my life.
So on to gratitudes. I feel that my life is blessed in so many ways. I am grateful for:
1. a wonderful family who put up with all my creative messes
2. an extended family who can brighten even the darkest of days
3. laughter
4. a warm and cozy home;my (poor neglected) gardens
5. becoming a grandmother for the first time, and having the ability to care for my little man several days a week
6.Friends who round out my life and make it richer each and every day.
7. Becoming a Charming Girl just before the group was closed to new members!

I am truly a lucky woman....

Now since November is drawing to a close (how did that happen so fast!!?) I will fess up that I did not get time to complete the small list of November accomplishments I had hoped finish. So with the holiday crazies really coming into high gear I will spend what quiet time I can grab for myself this December continuing to work on both my Jacob Ladder blocks and Baking Day blocks. My half square triangles for the sew-along are still giving me fits of indecision, but I hope to get my mind made up and get the borders finalized by the end of December as well. Then I can get it off to be quilted. I'm looking forward to getting really organized in 2010 and getting lots of those older projects off the shelves and finished. Like the "Little Engine Who Could"..I'm just going to tell myself I know I can!
Happy Stitching

Nov 3, 2009

Charming Projects

November is here,and I'm set to work on the next round of projects. This month I am committing to finishing the tops for two older block of the month's that have sat idle for way too long. The first is Baking Day by Lynda Hall (Primitives by Lynda):

The second is a shop BOM from either last year or the year before! It is a Jacob's Ladder done in (mainly) the beautiful Worn and Loved line of fabric I fell completely in love with! This should look wonderful once done. I can't for the life of me remember if I decided to add a border or not- so I have to go searching in the fabric drawers and see if I did buy yardage. This is one quilt that doesn't really need to be bordered,so either way it will be nice to have it done and off the "to-do" list!

I am also pretty much on target with the Half Pint Sew Along! I really like the softness of the 9-patch top. I wasn't sure, but it does work....

Now to decide if I really like the plain red HST border, or should I "follow directions" and make the scrappy red ones??

Comments please! All thoughts will be appreciated.

I'm off to stitch!

Oct 31, 2009

Rainy Halloween Night and a Finish

Tonight will be a short post- when the rain lets up those Happy Halloween Candy Lovers stream out to "Trick or Treat", AND I'm trying to adjust to my new life schedule. Starting next week, I'll be out of the house every day rather than just three days a week, so I'm cooking ahead! Wonder how long that will continue?! Tonight is a beef stew, and tomorrow's intent is to make a large pot of cauliflower, potato and cheese soup. I also bought the fixings to make Black Forest ham sandwiches with cranberry mustard to go with that midweek soup ....well, all but the ham. I'll get that fresh come Tuesday night.
So without much more fanfare, here is the finish for my October commitment to the Charming Girls Club....all neatly hand quilted and bound with a single fold binding. I loved doing the hand quilting!! It has been a long time since I actually hand quilted something, and I just enjoyed it so much. I also love how the single fold binding lays on this small quilt. The usual double fold would have been too thick for this little treasure.

With fall in full swing, I am feeling that urge to dig in and sew more. Good thing- I have LOTS of little 9-Patches to complete for the Sew Along over at the Charming Girls Quilt Club! I also have a couple projects to work on for November. I am bound and determined to give a couple of quilts this Christmas, and if this commitment thing works- I think I can do it!!
So off I go...Happy Halloween to one and all.

Oct 28, 2009

Back again but not as quickly as I had promised! Without much fanfare, let me get right to the quilts and then perhaps a bit of musings...if there is time.
I promised to share some of my favorite bigger quilts from Empire QuiltFest, held two weeks ago here in the Albany area (Clifton Park to be exact). It was a wonderful show....
this neutral quilt was one of my favorites. I don't do "neutral" well, and really admired it for the choice and placement of the fabrics. I must once again apologize to you and to the quilt makers. I didn't have a catalog of quilts so I can not give credit where credit is due. I hope if any of the quilt makers find me (by accident - I'm sure)they will leave a comment so I can remedy that.

this next quilt is another I put in my "maybe some day" file- or at least a quilt very much like it. I love stars of any kind:

this quilt sported three ribbons-two, if not all three were Vendor's Choice, and it is a nice rendition of the Hunter's Star:

This one took a lot of hours I'm sure!

and these both appealed to my more rustic leanings:

This top quilt is just the perfect scrap quilt to me

This was a shop hop pattern from either one or two hops ago:

And then there was my own personal heart stopper!! I don't know if I would ever seriously contemplate beginning a Baltimore Album quilt! I do entertain thoughts now and again, but am realistic enough to know it will never happen. Enjoy this one:

And time has run out. I will try to get back tomorrow night and show off the dolls from the traveling Hoffman Challenge. Back in my dolling days I would have run right home and started planning out a new doll project. Now I'll just stand back and admire the time and dedication (as well as the creativity) it takes to execute one of these creatures. I find them all completely amazing and know you will too. Until then-
Happy Stitching

Oct 19, 2009

Empire QuiltFest

The Theme of the Empire Quilt Fest this year was Voyage of Discovery (in honor of the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Henry Hudson) This Particular quilt really caught my eye- and was just one of many in the challenge category. As you can see it received a ribbon, and rightfully so.

The show was filled with wonderful quilts- with several applique stand outs. This Rose quilt has a touching story. These hand appliqued blocks were found by a friend's co-worker after the death of her mom. Said friend offered to set them together so that co-worker would have a quilt stitched by her mom. It was then given to a local long armed quilter to quilt. The final product is just stunning! I hear there were lots of happy tears shed when it was unveiled. I'm not at all surprised, because the story still makes me tear up.

Same friend exibited and won a blue ribbon in the Mixed Technique Category for this (hand) appliqued and (machine) pieced quilt, Old Glory, designed by the gals of Blackbird Designs. I think it is one of of my favorites, and every time I see a new project of Pat's, I think THAT ONE is my favorite! I love the talent of my quilting buddies. Congratulations, Ms. Patty!!

I wonder if someday I'd be able to produce anything half as beautiful as this Baltimore Album??
I wish I could give the quilt maker her dues, but since I was working the show, I had to run through the exhibit very early, and didn't have a program, or pen to make notes!

The local Jo Morton Club, which I finally have the time to join this year, put on a tempting display of quilts made by their members. I am so happy to be able to participate now, and am eagerly waiting for Club #9 to begin. I think I heard it will be ready come November?? No matter, I'm itching to get working on Jo's small projects. This stars in a log cabin setting has such great color. I don't think it photographed well, but I'm showing it off anyway:

This version of Hattie's Baskets was made by another friend, and received a third place ribbon. She was so excited- congratulations Linda!

Another of Jo Morton's basket designs. Love the paisley border on this one:

Another quilting buddy made this one. Isn't it gorgeous? The bird print in the setting triangles and outer border just makes me swoon. Another congratulatory wave - this time to Liz:

And here are a few more smaller quilts:

I love the cheddar in this brown, cheddar and blue:

And these Pinwheels!

Seen enough yet??
How about tomorrow I share some of the larger quilts that I particularly liked!
Don't want to overwhelm blogger tonight! Besides, I have some 9-Patches to work on for my Sew Along with the Charming Girls group! Time to get the machine fired up for a bit.
Happy Stitching to one and all.


Oct 14, 2009

No photos today, but...

I did spend most of the day at the sewing machine! Last night I finished re-piecing a candle mat from a new project book by Holly Taylor. Now, I should mention that it was all pieced and ready for binding, but something didn't look quite right to me. It took a couple of days before I realized that I used the outer border fabric in the "twist" instead of the red "main" fabric. It was a matter of wordy semantics. When I think main border fabric I think "outer" border. What about you?? Oh well, since I was partially under the weather, I'll give myself a break. So, my seam ripper and I got totally re-acquainted and I had to rip off all the outer borders, remove the wrong twist pieces and do a bunch of resewing. It was totally worth the effort! At least it is almost done and will be ready to be used in the shop's booth at this weekend's Empire QuiltFest in Clifton Park,NY. Today I did all the (machine) quilting and got ready to bind. Wouldn't you know-- I don't have the intended binding material here. Either I never cut it, or I left it at the shop over the weekend. Darn it all. Now I will have to "rush" to make sure it is done for Friday night set up. Thankfully it is just a candle mat and not a quilt!! I'll get it all done tomorrow evening. Happily, I was pleased with the outcome of the machine quilting this time around, but made a mental note that I enjoy hand quilting so much more. I hope to do more of it this winter.

I'll fire up the camera this weekend and take a photo (or two) of my latest endeavor as well as my Jo Morton 9-Patch.

Now it is on to the Acorn and Oak Leaf block for Sunday's get together with some quilty friends. I don't think I'm going to have 4 other blocks done this month, but at least I can have this assignment finished, since I was the one who chose it!

Oct 12, 2009

No Quilting Today

It was such a beautiful fall morning. With a day like today there was only one thing any respectable New Yorker could possibly want to do--hop in the car and go apple picking!
This past weekend was the annual Apple Festival at this particular orchard, and the aftermath of the hoards of folks tromping through was evident....

but there was still lots of good picking to do in several of the sections today. We got to choose from the Romes, Crispins or Red Delicious. First born and I decided we'd pick some of each and fill our bag full of yumminess. The Tree below is a Rome apple, and it has lots of good pickin' left on it:

I tried to encourage First Born to climb on high, but she was convinced the ladder would collapse and drama would ensue. So she posed instead! OK, I admit, I made her do it!

and she payed me back,and shot this one with her camera:

Once we filled our bag, we headed off hoping to find just a pumpkin or two (or three if lucky!) in the completely picked over pumpkin patch. It was still a great view, even if hundreds of pumpkins were snatched up by festival goers Saturday and Sunday.

We managed to find two cute pumpkins, all the while being overcome by the smell of apple cider donuts baking in the shop. After paying for said pumpkins (and lugging them and our apples to the car), First Born and I made our way towards that wonderful smell, mouths watering in anticipation. What is a day of apple picking if not to end it with cider donuts for home?

Our day:
Seven pounds of apples
Two pumpkins
One dozen cider donuts
One home made apple pie
One jug of pressed cider- direct from the orchard's cider mill
One teeny jug of maple syrup
One jar of pumpkin butter
One jar of white chocolate peanut butter (omg- so good! And we know because we taste tested all 3 options)
Three strands of old buttons
One great old lunch bucket from the corner flee market shelves
A stop at the winery display to see the offerings (when is wine tasting??)

I'd call it a successful and relaxing morning.
Tomorrow (after a trip to the repair shop and work) I'll quilt- maybe!!

Oct 10, 2009

Wow, another entry!

This blogging without obligation thing is sure freeing! I've written 3 posts in about as many days.
I won't pat myself on the back too hard, as I don't know if I can keep up with myself *smile*.
My thought for today is to share the projects I've chosen to work on in October. As of today all I need to do is finish up some quilting stitches and bind a little piece done with Jo Morton's fabrics (photo to come). I've re-made block one of Prairie Flowers, Encore. Just 8 more to go,and I'm not seeing an October finish for this one.

I've finally chosen the color pallet for the quilt along over at Charming Girls

I really wanted to work with something a bit different than what I'm doing now- meaning no repros. I have collected some sweet red and whites and think that this is the project for them. I'm hoping it will be a very light and airy project- and instead of the lap size, I've decided on the smaller version- mainly because I was only collecting half yards and I'm not 100% sure I'd have enough for the larger version. But I'm subject to changing my mind yet again-stay tuned!!

So there you have it. Photos and all. Tomorrow is a play date with DD who will be coming into town tonight. I may not have much to share until next week. But there are no blogging obligations- remember!

Oct 9, 2009

New beginning

A few years ago I started (and almost finished) Prairie Flowers from a booklet by Jo Morton.
I pulled it out a few nights ago and said to myself--yuck!
Well not technically a real yuck, but just not "me" at this point and time. So what is a girl to do?
Well, this girl packaged it up, will offer it to someone who might love- and finish- it, and I pulled all new fabrics and chose a new setting option. I am now working on Prairie Flowers , Encore.
I'll have block one done this weekend and will post a photo.
Fall is truly here and I feel the nesting instinct kicking in- I want to hunker down and sew.
I have to decide on a definite color scheme for the sew-along over at Charming Girls. The cutting directions are up, and I've ear-marked Saturday for that. Seeing that I just realized that today is Friday I'm already feeling a bit "behind" lol...
Watch for photos......................

Oct 6, 2009

Blogging without Obligation

somewhere out there in blog land, I read about blogging without obligation- complete with a badge for your blog! Now that is for me, I thought....
No obligation. Blog when you can. Looking at the last post on this my "quilting" blog shows I don't have much in the way of blogging obligation! Truly-- how many months has it been??
The honest truth has been that quilting has not been high on the priority list. It became an "obligation" to work on something. Too much work quilting, not enough home quilting.
All that took on a positive change when I made a conscious effort to push past "tired" and go to a meeting of a Jo Morton club at a fairly "local" shop. What a wonderful evening. I took my needed-to- be- bound Emma's Quilt, and even shared it at show and tell. Many of the women around the table were known to me as customers from the shop at which I currently work. Chatting and sewing took on a life of its own and I found myself loving every minute of it.
Quilting does hold onto a (happy) piece of me- and I really wanted to grab hold of that and go back to all those projects sitting about in various stages-- you know the ones: tucked away, sealed in their own special holders, just waiting for the time I'd decide to let them loose and turn them into the beauties they knew they could become.
About the same time, I ran across a new blog- The Charming Girls Club. What fun I thought.
But I knew myself. If I can't carry through with the "obligation" of blogging, could I really add some "obligatory" quilting to my life? A few questions to the club founder, Kelly, and all my "fears" were put aside. I was ready to commit to becoming a charming girl.
So here we go...I'm a day late I do believe, but I am still going to commit to finishing a small project this month....a little Jo Morton 9-Patch complete with half square triangle borders.
I can do this. And if I don't....
well so what!
According to Kelly-- no lashes with a wet (quilting) noodle.
Sounds like just the right fit .

Mar 3, 2009

Isn't this just the most relaxing and wonderful spot you've ever seen?? I can just imagine myself curled up on the window seat, warm sun streaming thru the window...reading a favorite book.
thank you purplearea for the thoughts of spring...they seemed so far way earlier today!

Feb 13, 2009

An Early Valentine Day Gift

Look what I got today, an entire day early. I'm home with the yucky stomach virus that is going around, so the hubby thought I needed some cheering up. He was absolutely right, and I have been enjoying the sight of my beautiful roses most of the day!

They are simply grand...

I just love roses...I wish I could grow them in my garden. but they always succumb to black spot so I've given up. I remember the beautiful roses my father had growing in our yard when I was young. They were just gorgeous- especially the yellow ones. No black spot there...just a lovely row of roses along the fence line. Sweet memory....
May you all have a very happy Valentine Day tomorrow. I hope you can make a memory or two to file away.

Feb 10, 2009


Nothing quilty today...I just had to share this photo of Uno (last year's best of show at Westminster) greeting another beagle named RJ. Is this not the most adorable??
Natch I'm biased. Our own Goober Beagle is just as adorable.....ahhhhh....Beagle love!

Feb 4, 2009

Some Blocks in (Eternal) Progress

Well, the camera has returned: overhauled, checked out, re-calibrated, re-formatted "re- everything-ed" ...or so they say.
At least it is taking photographs again, but is the loudest (whirring) camera I've ever owned.
I really don't think that (as much as I still love its picture taking abilities) it will last as long as I would like. Guess I should take a ton of photos before it gives up the ghost permanently. So much for blind faith! Maybe I should start researching my next camera and learn.
Anyway, taking pictures is just what I decided to do. Today was one of those "go-me" kind of days. First, I got a new cell phone for free-- yes free! Glad I waited a couple of weeks to go back to Verizon to get a deal- the first look was going to cost me a mere $4.98 after rebate, but my salesman extraordinaire went one click of the computer further and got me a totally free package. And better yet...I got a sleek, slim, well put together basic phone. No big text pad, no "hidden" text pad , no anything I was never going to use! After my rant about not needing the extra blue tooth (for $60) and my need not to be connected to the world 24/7, I got my lovely (free, remember, FREE!) phone and skipped my way to staples where I spent that $50 on a SanDisk card reader! At checkout the reader cost a whopping $43, so I figure I'm $7.00 ahead of the game today. Nice work don't you think?
Since I was able to hook up the reader with out any trouble, I decided to show you my "eternal blocks"! This is why I need a big design wall (next to the small design area above the cutting table). I'm forever getting myself into projects and not finding time to actually finish any...but I've set some priorities so here you go:

Above are my 2.5" churn dash blocks for the Chocolate and Cheddar quilt I'm in the process of making myself crazy with. Actually I do love it, and have proposed a "little quilts " club at the shop. this could be the first project we do if I get up and running with this proposal.
Next is more "chocolate and cheddar". To say this is one of my favorite combinations (thus the tons of scraps in browns and golds/cheddars) is an understatement. Almost as good as pink and brown! This second blocks has been left to sit on the small design wall way too long, and is from one of Bonnie Hunter's mysteries. Her first I think! Head on over to and I'm sure you'll find it! Bonnie is a gem, and I just love the way her quilts use scrap fabrics to their ultimate potential. This quilt will one day get finished. All those cut strips are hanging in plain site in my sewing room so I don't forget! Gee...should have snapped a photo of that too (LOL).

Now this next block is a sample block just to see if I'd like it. Guess what?? I do! Big surprise there,no?? Because of where it is pinned to the board, it is shadowed on the right hand side, but you can still get a good idea .....

I may decide that this is to become a project after all. I'm sure I have chunks of the fabric hidden away "just in case".
And last but not least- tah dah- here is my jump out of my box project! I have the wonderful ability to hop into my car, drive south for about an hour and end up at Woodstock Quilt Supply (goggle them!). Jim and Bob have an awesome shop in the heart of Woodstock,NY (yes, "that" Woodstock). Besides being adorable, they do have a way with quilts. The glimpse below is last year's block of the month program. Some quilting buds and I would get up with the chickens one Saturday a month, meet at a local park and ride and drive down together for a morning of shopping and complete hysteria. It was great fun, and I am embarrassingly behind in blocks. Such a slacker, am I....

So the whole premise behind this post was to see if

1. the camera worked (OK, it's loud but it does).

2. it was easy to use the card reader (it's idiot proof! I'm having a good day).
3. I could manage to get back to talking quilts

I think for the most part, I've succeeded!

Tomorrow- stay tuned. I'll shoot some photos of my little bird baby quilt!

Jan 28, 2009

Snow Snow and More Snow

Today is the kind of day I really miss having a camera. We are in the mist of yet another snow storm. The shop has declared a snow day- the roads are terrible, and the meeting I was to attend out in the woods (yes literally!) is postponed until Friday. None of the shop owners involved wanted to make the dangerous trek. Can't blame them.

We are supposedly in for another 10" by the time this storm ends later tonight.

I'm nursing the beginnings of a cold, so I am more than happy to stay home and be productive.

I've already baked my favorite coffee cake for our Quilter's Circle meeting tomorrow night, I've done the handouts for February's block of the month, and printed out the patterns for the little baby quilt I made. I'm drowning the germs in cranberry juice laced with seltzer and have decided to forget about the nap I thought I might take, and prepare some rabbits, vines and blossoms for machine applique. I'm achy but not all that tired. I have a movie to throw into the DVD player and I think in the end I can declare it a productive snow day indeed.

Darn it all...I really, really miss that camera. It is so pretty outside- just the kind of day I'd love to photograph. Hope the repairs go on schedule and I can get it back soon. For once I have lots to show, and no way to show it! Go figure.

Jan 21, 2009

Change Has Come and Some Marathon Sewing

I think I started watching TV even before the White House changed its web page to reflect our new administration! It was an amazing day on many levels, and I for one am glad it has arrived.

I love this next picture! Sasha, this is exactly how I was feeling yesterday! And look awesome!

There is much work to be done, but at least there is a feeling of hope. It won't be easy; there are no quick fixes, but where there is hope....

On other fronts, I did manage to do some fun sewing while the little sewing room TV got a work out. I am making (what I think is) an adorable little baby quilt. I found the pattern on the web and had to make it. The fabric companies have so much stuff on their websites- I could just download patterns for days. This one is for a work sample and is made of simple squares- I chose sweet baby pastels- and then has a branch (a funkier brown and pink dot-like fabric) and a momma and baby bird (again funkier blues- one a large dot for momma, the other a swirly squiggle for baby). The top half and all the applique is done, today is the bottom so it is ready for quilting.
What? you photos??
Well, unfortunately you will have to wait to see my latest projects (except of course the swap blocks I am embarrassingly behind on) because my brand new, what I thought was so wonderful camera up and died on me Monday morning. I won't even hint at my reaction-- this is a family friendly site after all- but let me tell you it wasn't pretty!

I'll share photos as soon as I can- for some reason the quilting bug has hit hard and I am just sewing my heart out. I know there is one member of my family who will find that of great comfort! Seems first born prefers that I quilt rather than create "altered art"!
I'm quilting, first born, I'm quilting!

Jan 13, 2009

Spending time on my other blog

I've done so little quilting of late- as you can tell from my lack of posting. But the quilt muse is finding her way back! If you're interested in what I've been doing in the visit my other blog- you can get there from my profile.
I had the pleasure of attending a lecture/trunk show by Mark Lipinski (Quilters Home Magazine) and let me tell you- if that man is anywhere in your vicinity- run, don't walk to go hear him. I laughed for 2 hours straight, much of that time with tears streaming down my face. He is hilarious and pretty much right on when it comes to his take on quilting. Made me take a second all boils down to if you're not having fun, why do it??
I think I was becoming one of those quilters who was taking herself way too seriously. I think I need an attitude adjustment. Thanks Mark!
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