Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Look What I Have........................

The text read, "your quilts are finished and ready for pick-up"!  Oh, so excited!  When I hand off my quilt tops to the quilter, Judy M, they are out of my mind and off my plate into the hands of someone who will make those tops shine!

Huray!  My fall stitchery pattern!  I didn't expect them to be returned
so quickly-- I'm happy!

The quilting is so fun!! pumpkins around the border--

And yes, Happy Halloween!  These blocks have been
resting for some months--so glad to have them 
assembled into quilt top

Love these faces by Amy Bradley

Mr and Mrs. Monster!

gather together with spiderwebs--so fitting!
Ready to be bound for the fall!

And One Christmas hanging--another panel that
aged well before I thought of a setting for it

Perfect quilting pattern for this joyous quilt!
Thanks Judy--once again, creative work!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Embroidery Threads?

I'm sitting in my favorite chair, stitching away on my Christmas snowmen; pulling embroidery through my cloth, I'm in a calm zone!   All is right with the world--stitch, pull, stitch again.......and my mind wanders--just how is the embroidery threads made ?

Oh, I know the basic principals of spinning the cotton or silk as it may be, but how did DMC come up with their idea of making such massive threads of color?  Lo and behold, there is a video about just the thing!
so, I present to you this interesting video on how DMC threads come to be in my stitching!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

Memorial Day in my mind was the last hurrah of school season and the beginning
of summer--ahh, holiday for three months!
Fun story:  when we were growing up, you could go to the store and purchase
these lovely 'plastic' wreaths to take to the grave of your loved one.
These wreaths were in the stores before Mother's Day--one year, my youngest
brother who was about 6 at the time, wanted to buy one of these wreaths to
give to mother on mother's day!  My father let him and so there was a
small chuckle from my mother when she received it with honor!

The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, are unclear.
In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.
After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.

And the poppies!  Vets would sell these little paper poppies on the street corners
and we would wear them as a sign of our dedication to the veterans.  Do we see
that today?  
The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day (not Veterans Day). The origin of the red poppy as a modern-day symbol of this day was actually the idea of an American woman, Miss Moina Michael. Read more about the inspiration for the poppy.
In war-torn battlefields, the red field poppy (papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to grow. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground is disturbed—as it was by the very brutal fighting during World War 1.
The practice of wearing of poppies was further inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written in 1915 by Canadian soldier John McCrae. He saw the poppies in burials around his artillery position in Belgium.
Today, poppies are both the symbol of loss of life as a symbol of recovery and new life, especially in support of those servicemen who were damaged physically or emotionally. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

More Black and White.........................

This is one block that I had to remake--the first batch of fabrics didn't read
medium and dark--to me, that's the hardest thing to see in black and white
fabric or any monochromatic--but this combination worked!  

This is a large block--soon we'll be finished and ready for assembling!
Just as I finish, another Wednesday rolls around and another 
block appears--another one bites the dust though!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Happiness is.....................................

What makes you happy?  A good book?  A nice meal?  Time well spent?

My happiness begins when I see my friends and their quilts!

To Me Happiness is 

Feeling the warmth grandmother Camilla has for her
senior grandson

who is going to Texas Tech this fall.

Happiness is 
Sandy and her bubbly laugh!

Happiness is  

being with Linda as she stitches on her Christmas window panel

Happiness is 

giving of Judy's time and expertise for those
in need as she creates and shares

Happiness is 

Karen as she trims away excess from her small blocks,
much as we have shed our outside selves for the
short time we gather to encourage each other
in our daily struggles and successes.

Happiness is
the soft English accented voice of Annette as she
works on her English Paper Piecing.

Happiness is 

being a Texan

Happiness is

the freedom to sew what we want when we want!

Happiness is a state of mind and on this day I will fill
my life with lots of happiness as I surround myself
with positive reinforcement from my friends.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Islamorada Shawl For YOur Knitting Pleasure

Islamorada Shawl is such a lovely piece of work--love the colors!  There are several other free patterns on their website.  Be prepared to knit your summer away!

The name Islamorada (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈizla moˈɾaða]), "The Purple Isle," came from early Spanish explorers in the area. Its pronunciation has been anglicized to /ˈləmˈrɑːdə/.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fisher Girls/Herring Lassies

History is a wonderful thing!  There are so many stories out there about life of common folks who endeavored to survive.
"The Fisher girls travelled to the fishing ports each season. “There was the fishing at Yarmouth, and the summer fishing when we went to Lerwick. We went to Ireland between the summer fishing and Yarmouth.” -

A fascinating look at life girls employed as fish gutters, following the fishing fleet from Shetland to Yarmouth and Lowestoft as the herring season progressed. 
What a Job!
The Herring Girls as they were referred to, traveled every winter and summer season along Scottish and English coast.  Each girl packed all her possession, including clothes, oilskins, rubber boots and bedding etc. into a wooden chest or ‘kist’, which also at times served as a wardrobe, a seat and even at times a table in the unfurnished wooden huts that were the girls accommodation at some of the fishing ports.

There are some great pins on Pinterest showing the girls with their knitting during off hours from work.

I found this interesting video of the herring harvest in 1920 with the Herring girls as they worked.

All this history came to life for me when I saw this exhibit piece by Anita Bruce, who
has knitted Gansey herring and offered her pattern free for a small donation.  You can find
the pattern on Ravelry and through her Facebook page.
Below is her statement regarding her project............

The ‘Gansey Herrings’ celebrate the herring industry in Great Yarmouth and the fisher girls who gutted and knitted their way along the coast following the fish. Each has a unique pattern, adapted from either a traditional fisherman’s gansey design or a pattern created to reference the collections in the museum and surrounding area. Inspiration for these new patterns ranges from the nets, ropes and baskets used in the fishing industry to a butterfly bomb and off-shore wind farm.
Although free, if you enjoy this pattern, please consider making a donation to the Marine Conservation Society in celebration of the silver darling that is the herring on my Just Giving page

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Want A Lap App?

Guess my age is showing!  I had no idea what a lap app was--thought it was an 'app' for something to do with your lap!  Then I began working in wool and found out the real definition of Lap App!
Lap App gives an idea of how this little table came to be.

paper pieces has a good explanation-- and then below is the Youtube video giving you further knowledge of this piece of equipment.  there is even a Facebook group!

Now, I'm trying to decide if I NEED a lap app!  What do you think?  Do you need a lap app?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bay Leaves............................

Years ago, I purchased a small bay laurel plant.  It was unusual 
to find this at a nursery--well, fast forward to now and my
little plant has become this.........
A MONSTER!  I made the mistake of planting it in the ground--
oops!  should have kept it in a small container--
now, where it's planted, it's trying to reach sun.
All my friends are delighted to receive dried bay leaves
when I prune.  I fill so many containers with these wonder
I'm thinking of cutting it down--dry the leaves,
and start over with a smaller cutting--which I will
keep in a container!!

Anyway, there are many health benefits to bay leaves--
here is a listing of just a few..

Pinterest even has some pins on bay leaves!

Now, for something completely different how my friends use the bay leaves:

Bay leaves have been used in entomology as the active ingredient in killing jars. The crushed, fresh, young leaves are put into the jar under a layer of paper. The vapors they release kill insects slowly but effectively, and keep the specimens relaxed and easy to mount. The leaves discourage the growth of molds. They are not effective for killing large beetles and similar specimens, but insects that have been killed in a cyanide killing jar can be transferred to a laurel jar to await mounting.[8] There is confusion in the literature about whether Laurus nobilis is a source of cyanide to any practical extent, but there is no evidence that cyanide is relevant to its value in killing jars. It certainly is rich in various essential oil components that could incapacitate insects in high concentrations; such compounds include 1,8-cineole, alpha-terpinyl acetate, and methyl eugenol.[9] It also is unclear to what extent the alleged effect of cyanide released by the crushed leaves has been mis-attributed to Laurus nobilis in confusion with the unrelated Prunus laurocerasus, the so-called cherry laurel, which certainly does contain dangerous concentrations of cyanogenic glycocides[10] together with the enzymes to generate the hydrogen cyanide from the glycocides if the leaf is physically damaged.[11]

When we cleaned out my mother's house, I found bay leaves in every dresser and kitchen drawer.
Today I use bay leaves not only for cooking for insect repellent.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bucket List

Do you make lists?  I do!  There was always a notebook stuck to the refrigerator and a pencil was nearby--need something at the grocery, jot it on the list!  In today's world, I'm using an electronic reminder--Alexa or Echo!
It was a gift from #1 Son-- here is how I use it--when something is needed--I say, "Alexa, add to list".  She replies, "what shall I add?" I'll say "peanut butter".  She says "peanut butter has been added to your list!"  Isn't that the coolest thing in the world!  I know that other creatures like this are out there--what a way to make a list.

Another list, I'm making is a bucket list for the summer--do you do that?
Stitchfix has their own list of what they want to do this summer!
I could jot a few of those on my list too.

Daring to Live Fully has a HUGE list!!
It would take me longer than 3 months to accomplish 
even 1/4 of these things!

Iowa Girl Eats has a printable list for you to use--
it's much shorter list of fun things!

Seventeen for teens has a list too--so if you have a teenager, this one is for you!  I still
feel like a teen at times, so maybe some on this list is for ME!!

Hope you have fun coming up with your summer bucket list!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Working Thru B/W.........................

I pulled out another black and white quilt that I did several years ago.
In fact, this one is hand sewn--take a circle, applique it to whole
cloth and then cut into fours--re-assemble-- 
I like the addition of red!  at least, the eye doesn't get lazy!

Finished block #20 from Pat Sloan's Solstice challenge

Another finish block #18
I had this one all ready to sew--it needed more contrast
in the medium value--I was getting lost when assembling!
what to do but cut more fabrics..........

Friday, May 19, 2017

Black and White----Is it Getting Boring?

I made the decision to make this quilt black and white--with a few accents of color along the way...
now, that I'm getting to the end stage of the blocks, I'm tiring of black and white...................oh hum,
I think to myself.  I like color so why did I decide on black and white?!  It seemed like a good thought at the time, I guess........

I was behind--not unusual though!  I print off the patterns, then
when I have a chance I'll cut all the pieces for the patterns

Having the pieces all cut and ready for sewing
makes the block assembly faster--that is,
if I cut the right fabrics at the time I'm 

Here is block 18--somehow I missed block 19--
had 20 and 21--no problem; just go to
Pat Sloan's website and look up Solstice and all
the patterns are there! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017


I'm putting out a Lost notice right now!  
This pattern has gone AWOL--!
honestly, why can't I find this pattern??!!
I've looked high and low--in all my pattern boxes, storage
bins, file cabinet--just can't seem to place my hands on it.

I did have this pattern at one time as you can see from progress
on one of the blocks but somehow, and some way
it has gone underground!

So, that's why I'm putting out this notice--
maybe, just maybe, this darn pattern will show
its face--I really want to work on this!
Wonder what reward I could offer to get it to resurface?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I'm in Love.........................

I'm in love with wool work!  I like the feel of the fiber in my hand!  Wool doesn't ravel!  It dyes
beautifully as from prior post.

I'm trying to play catch up with this monthly mystery wool along!
It's month 5 already--and this one looks super cute!  
This is from Buttermilk Basin.  Part of me wishes I had ordered
the wool kits to go with the pattern but I had so much wool on hand--
...............why buy more when you have
a supply!

I think I'm set to continue!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wool Banners--Count Your Blessings!

These have been the cutest wool blocks!  This is block 4 from
Here is another one of the blocks--you must join Facebook group
Wool Applique to get in on the fun.  The latest block is free for one month,
but you can purchase the other blocks from Sew Blessed

The Facebook group has hints and techniques for sewing with
wool plus giveaways!
It's a very informative and fun group.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Knitting Along

Knitting in progress................
Estonian knitting is super fun and I even enjoy placing the beads!

It's hard to see the beads on this handspun yarn--
only because it's stripes

This is May's pattern for one of the Estonian pieces that
I'm doing

Beads, beads and no nupps!

I'm knitting away on my Rhapsody shawl--thinking
this is way to easy--after about 10 rows, I read the pattern over again--
astounding! I've left out a couple of rows that call for decreases!!
Drats!!  Do I start over? or continue on--
soldier on, I say!!