Friday, October 31, 2008


Be safe......
Treats only, no tricks!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here's a vintage crocheted pincushion given to me by my cousin, Lisa. Thanks, Lisa! It's pretty large.....about 5 1/2" tall, and has padding in the seat and back. I'm even wondering if it was made specifically as a doll chair and not as a pincushion, since it is so big. It would be the perfect size for Barbie. In any case, it's a cute idea. Someday, I'd like to make similar version in a smaller size if I can find the pattern. I'll add it to my "to do" list!

Monday, October 27, 2008

This may not look like much now, but these are baggies filled with about 800 quilt pieces destined to be small wall hangings. I've spent several hours over the past few days, cutting away, little by little, and I now have all of the pieces cut for 6 small wall hangings, each 15" x 20". And my plan is to have them finished for Christmas exchanges. I may have set myself up to fail, but I'll give it a shot. Once I get started, most of the sewing can be done with chain stitching, a huge time saver. As usual, I sure hope they turn out as they look in my minds' eye! To be continued......

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This bright little dog was found on EBay. He was listed as a toothpick holder, but he has now earned the title of Pincushion. I thought the bone fabric would suit him well. What dog wouldn't love a hat full of bones? As I was working with him and stuffing the fabric into the hole, I heard a soft rattle coming from his head. I pulled the fabric out and spent the next 15 minutes trying to extract the "whatever" out of his head. Of course I had thoughts of money being tucked away for a rainy day.....maybe something of value since it had to have been specifically forced into the head cavity. Well...........
It was this! A wadded up list of baby items! It almost looks like a child's handwriting, as I don't think a mother-to-be would write "baby's" before all of these items. Maybe it was a list for Santa. In any case, it brought me a little excitement for 15 minutes!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Today, the 24th, I am officially a senior citizen.'s my birthday and I've been around for 55 years. Not a bad thing, in my opinion, and I intend to take full advantage of senior citizen discounts.

I'm posting a few pictures to take you down memory own memory lane, of course.

This is my Dad, my Brother, and me. I'm about 5 months old in this picture. I think my Dad looks pretty proud! (Dottie....that's your wedding picture in the background!) Back then, there weren't many cameras around so there aren't that many pictures of me as an infant and toddler. I've inherited the photo box and have most of them in my possession. Every now and then, I enjoy a little reminiscing.
This is my Mom holding me. I'm between 3 and 4 years old in this shot. I have pretty clear memories of this age and remember the dress I was wearing and the paper dolls that are on my lap. Jr High School and pimples! I still have the brooch that I'm wearing and it's one of my favorite pins yet today. I was always very protective of my things and still have lots of items from my childhood tucked safely away.

Lastly, High School. This was literally decades ago! When did all of these years slip by?! I always loved school, from Grade School to High School. College.....not so much!
Well, now I look like my avatar on this blog. Whatever happened to my youth and good looks? Well, I got old and fat, I guess!

I want to thank everyone that helped me celebrate my birthday this year. Lots of cards, calls, good wishes, presents, and lunches. Birthdays should be celebrated, regardless of our age. And I think we need to share our birthdays with our friends and family, as we need their support to get from one birthday to the next. I consider myself blessed to have so many great, loving friends! Hugs and God's blessings to you all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Aren't these pretty?! My friend, Penny, stopped by with the last of her summer roses. She didn't want them to just fade away without being enjoyed. We've had several frosts now, and all of my own rose bushes are taking a well deserved winter break.
This picture may look like the Psalm block that I've already posted, but if you had seen the first block up close, you would be able to see a big difference in the accuracy compared to this block. Last night, while watching TV, I took the first block apart, piece by piece, in an effort to save as much fabric as possible. No wonder this block is called "Patience." This afternoon, I cut new pieces for the areas that I needed to redraft in order to sew straight seams. The center squares went from 2 large squares to 8 smaller triangles, and the 2 side triangles became 4 smaller triangles. I really don't like to rip and redo, but now I'm happy with this block and will not hesitate to include it in my finished quilt.

Monday, October 20, 2008

After messing up yesterday's Psalm block, I received an email from the organizer suggesting that many of the pieces could be split in half in order to be able to make straight seams with no inset pieces. Well......duh! I'm not sure why I didn't do that, I guess I was just sticking to the pattern, as is. I have redrafted the pattern and will remake the block very soon.

With that thought in mind, I redrafted this Psalm block so that it did not have any inset pieces. It was going to be another really tough block and by redrafting and splitting 9 of the inset pieces into 18 pieces, I was able to make the entire block using straight seams. It involves more pieces and more seams, but ultimately, it makes a very simple and accurate block. Whew!

This is Psalm 85: 11-12. "Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Patience" is the name of this Psalm block and patience is exactly what it required. Today was not a great day for me and undertaking this block was a mistake. Since it didn't have many pieces, I decided to give it a go. With all of the inset seams, I ended up doing part of the block by machine and part of the block by hand. For whatever reason, combining techniques did not result in a smooth, precise block. It looks fair in this picture, but overall, I was not pleased with my work. Right now, I'll leave it as is, but someday I may give it another try.
This block was inspired by Psalm 37:4-7;
"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him..."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not much of a post today, but I thought I'd better check in. I met with my quilting friends on Thursday and this was the wreath on the welcoming door. Fall seems to have finally arrived in Indiana and we are actually seeing the leaves turn to wonderful shades of rust, orange, and gold......soon to be crunching under our feet. I know this sounds odd, but I enjoy leafless trees so that I can see the limb structure that's hidden under the leaves. I find that the most beautiful and interesting part of the tree. I'm loving the cooler temps and shorter days. Good weather for crafting, yet I've been so busy that I haven't done much over the last few days. I'm hoping to complete a project (or projects) over the weekend. Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here's this week's Psalm block. Whew..... this one was tough to construct. I use Electric Quilt 5 (EQ5) to draft my patterns and this block came up with pieces requiring 43 and 47 degree angles on some of the pieces. Certainly, not your standard angles. I ended up using a combination of rotary cutting and template cutting to get all of the pieces cut. I'll bet I spent 2 hours getting the pieces cut and another 4 hours putting the block together. All of the pieces had to be organized and laid out before making the block, as it's almost impossible to tell the difference between the 43 and 47 degree pieces. After all was said and done, I probably could have just used the standard 45 degrees and it would have gone together fairly well. When you are working with triangles and bias edges, you do have stretching and tweaking ability. Well, no matter. It's done and I'm pleased with the results.

I'm sure hoping that all of the upcoming blocks in this series won't be this complex. Maybe they will send a simple block every few weeks to give us an easier project. We'll see.

And this was my inspiration, Psalm 19:1-6. "The heavens declare the glory of God: the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech: night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech of language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Although I have plenty of things to do today, I got sidetracked with a little Origami. Paper money folding, to be exact. I just Googled
"Origami money folding" and got several good options, many with complete directions. This one looked pretty simple...... it was....... and a good beginning project.
Wouldn't this be a cute way to repay someone or tuck it inside of a card? This was my first try, but apparently once you know what you are doing, you can plan the look of your shirt a little better. Using the other side of the bill would have made a totally different pattern. Maybe I'll move up to more difficult patterns some day.....or maybe not. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A sad note today. My sweet little Beta, Rokka, passed in the night. This is an old picture as his "redness" had grown even more striking. I know it sounds odd to grieve for a fish, but he was one of God's creatures and deserved a good life. He was acting perfectly normal yesterday, even eating as normal, but last night he was swimming in what I would call a frantic mode. Beta's don't swim very fast or jerky because of their large, draping fins. I knew this wasn't normal behavior, but I had no idea what to do for him. This morning, his fight was over.

Rokka had a sweet personality. He would come up and beg for food and whenever I walked into the room, he would rush to the front of his aquarium for attention. He never showed any fear of me, even from the start. I could work in the aquarium, rearranging things, or whatever, and he would brush up against my hand and swim in and out of my fingers. What a sweetie!

"So God created the the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds.....and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21

Yes, Rokka was good.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Another dish cloth finished. This one has been sitting around on my coffee table for quite some time, patiently waiting for me to finish it. I got side tracked with sock knitting and put it aside. I bound off the edges this morning, wove in my loose ends, and gave it a quick hand blocking. Even though this is a simple project, it still feels rewarding to finally complete it. Plus..... it gives me less guilt to get started on new projects.

I'm going to cast on my other sock today and begin making the mate for my first sock. I'm hoping that most of my sock knitting lessons are still hanging around in my brain and won't be too hard to retrieve. I won't be posting a picture of this sock until it's finished, as it will look just like the first one (or at least that's the plan). So.......don't hold your breath on this may be months before it's completed and posted.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This is my second Psalms block representing Psalm 1: 1-3. "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditated day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."

I chose fabrics that were blue or had blue in them. The darker blue represents the streams of water, the brown represents the tree trunks, and the lighter blue represents the trees. You can't tell much by this photo, but the lighter blue has leaves on it. I liked this because it shows leaves that are not withering and the blue indicates that water flows through the leaves, sustaining them. Same thing for the trunk fabric. It has blue running throughout. The outer gold fabric represents God, just as in my first Psalms block.

This was a fairly tough pattern because of the four inset pieces. I did this block by machine, even the inset pieces, and didn't have too much trouble. I find that if the inset pieces have angles greater than 90 degrees, I can still use my sewing machine by putting my needle down at the intersections and maneuvering the fabric. It's a bit of a tug of war, but if you take your time, you can make it work. Of course, this is the perfect block to hand piece, but I knew I wouldn't have the time for hand sewing.

I'll be receiving four Psalms blocks every month, so I don't know that I'll be able to keep up. For today, I can say that I'm up to date!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Block #10 in the Thangles series. I keep getting the block numbers messed up, but this really is block #10 out of 12 total blocks. This series will end in December. The blocks begin to look alike as we are using the same fabrics each month. Although they are similar, they do differ slightly in pattern and will look nice once they are set in my table runner. Oh, these are 8" blocks.

Quality Control has stepped in again to look over the progress of these blocks. Don't worry......... this rotary cutter has an automatic shield and Gracie can't hurt herself. When I'm actually slicing and dicing my fabric, I keep her out of harm's way.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Boo! Halloween is coming and here's a little bottle cap pincushion to welcome the little goblins!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Block #2 in this block of the month series. I didn't follow the pattern exactly on this block. I used their supplied fabrics, but did a little rearranging on placement of the fabric. The first block of this series was a 12" block and this one is a 6" block.....big difference. All they told us when we signed up for this series was that the blocks would be various sizes. Although I like different sizes of blocks, it does make setting them into a finished project more difficult. It will be interesting to see how things shape up over the year. Ten more blocks to go...........
My dear cousin Lisa came to spend the day with me on Thursday and she did not come with empty arms. Look at the goodies she brought with her! She's doing a little stash sorting and these were fabrics and items that she no longer wanted. Lisa is a great home decorating sewist and does beautiful work. These fabrics will make great purses, pillows,...... whatever. She also brought along three sets of purse handles and I already have more dish towels ready to use with them. The two Styrofoam eggs are the right size to make more fabric pine cones. Plus, some yarn scraps. There is enough of the white yarn to make a bigger project, maybe even a sweater.
So.......thanks Lisa! You didn't have to bring all of these goodies......just spending time with you was the best gift of all!