Monday, December 31, 2018

The End of 2018

Just about time to let go of 2018 and welcome in 2019. Here's a peek at my past week.
Gracie went to the groomer and got all pretty for our holiday guests. Here she is with my 19-year-old niece. Jennifer is relaxing after getting through her first semester at UNC-Wilmington. Thankfully Jenn was safe through the hurricane but school was closed for almost a month -- then it was catch-up time. Talk about a hard way to start college! (But isn't Gracie pretty???)
Christmas Eve dinner was at our house. Here's a picture of me and Jennifer's twin sister, Kelli. Kelli is going to NC State on a softball scholarship. She's relieved to be done with her first semester too but is looking forward to Spring Semester which translates to SOFTBALL SEASON!!! In April she'll be playing at Notre Dame, South Bend, IN and I plan on being there to root her on! Guess I'm looking forward to her spring semester too!
The three amigos! Mom, Kelli, and me. Check out my haircut! It's off my shoulders again which is WAY shorter than usual.
Meanwhile, the party has begun for these beauties -- Karen, my sister-in-law, and Sarah, my daughter. Guess I forgot to get pictures of the guys! Fred, my brother John, and his son Johnny were here too. Honest!!! Hahaha!
Christmas morning -- doesn't matter what day it is, the dog still needs to go for a walk .... and so do I for that matter! The sun was just coming up in my neighborhood. Thought I'd take a picture of the sun coming up and show how peaceful the day was starting out.
I did manage to finish up this little 3/6-month-old sweater. I knitted it up for my dental hygienist's new baby. It also satisfies the final project for Loopy Academy. Yay! I'm finally a graduate!!!!
Not a very good picture but I finished another block for Dresden Quilt Workshop. I can't remember what week this was for but I'm currently finishing up some churn dash blocks now. The week for those has also been forgotten. Hey! At least I'm catching up, right?
On the cooking front, I decided to try my hand at caramelized onions in the crock pot. This pot was 3/4 full when I started it. This picture is after a couple of hours. It ended up making about 2 cups. 

Here's a picture of it now. Mom & I smothered our Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork sandwiches with it -- so goooooooooood!

I don't know what to expect in 2019 but I hope it's as good as 2018. I wish the same for you too! Happy New Year!

Linking up with Movin' It Forward .

Saturday, December 22, 2018


Managed a little more progress on my Spring stitchery.
Daughter is in and my brother & his family arrive tonight. Will be busy, busy around here in such a good way. When the opportunity presents, I'll put in a few more stitches. See you next year!

Tank you, Wendy, for another fabulous (much-needed) FNSI at Sugarlane Quilts!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Movin' It Forward Monday and Holiday Prep

Today's post is for Movin' It Forward Monday, which I am so grateful for as it holds me accountable for my hobby PLUS it keeps me on my toes for blogging. Please join all of us at the above link -- you will be amazed at what everyone is managing to get done!

As for me, I was mostly keeping the knitting needles flying on this adorable, little sweater for my dental hygenist's baby boy. Here's a couple of pictures. You can see that I need to still weave in my ends, sew on the little buttons, and get it blocked. Except for that, it's finished and will complete Loopy Academy. I will be an official graduate! Hats off to me!!!!
Before: Remember I told
you the color was off
As of today
I love the gradation of the blue yarn. Gradation is the new cool I hear!

My embroidery is coming along.
Here are a few new Christmas things I made. The first is a little wall hanging.
Santa Hat Wall Hanging
These next couple of things I made with my TAS (The Applique Society) group. Both are made of wool and both were taught to us by the amazing Dana.
Little Woolly Tree
The little tree will get lights put on it and it will sit on my sewing table in the living room window. Polly will LOVE it!
Wool Poinsettia Pin
Obviously the pin needs to be finished since you can see it is still in the hoop.

I might as well continue talking about Christmas. Huubby went out and bought us a new tree this year. Last year, we discovered that somehow we lost the plug for the pre-lighted tree so we used an earlier tree. This is our new one.
We'll put the tree skirt on and add the ornaments when our daughter arrives for the holidays Wednesday evening. So looking forward to her arrival. 
While we were in the spirit and the weather was a balmy 60 degrees, hubby and I hung our lights, put the garland on the posts, and hung the bells by the door. So festive!

Today Gracie went to the groomer for a bath, blow dry, and a mani/pedi. She's ready for company with her beautiful poinsettia bandana!
Enjoy your day!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Movin' It Forward Monday

Just a quick post for Movin' It Forward Monday. Em and the girls have been busy this week and I think you'll enjoy seeing what we've all been up to lately. Check it out at the link above.

It's been VERY COLD here in the Midwest lately. I've taken my dog on her walk for several mornings in a row when the temps were in the teens. The wind, of course, makes it all the worse but we put one paw in front of the other and keep at it. Several miles later we're grateful to return to a warm home. Here's a couple pictures of Gracie on the frozen tundra, as I like to say. Loved the blue sky this morning.

While I have been busy sewing a little on this and that -- no, I haven't jumped on the Good Fortune wagon -- the biggie for me this week was working on this:

Pretty sure this wall paper needs to go and needs to go NOW! I set to work on the first wall the other day. After an hour or so, it looked like this:

This wall has been completely stripped of the wall paper and the baseboard & plug plate replaced. I need to decide what color paint to use on the lower half and check into chair railing. Check out that burgundy red -- that's the color the top portion of the walls were in the entire dining room and down the front hall. Way too dark for me!

Busy week as tomorrow is my guild's Christmas party, a doctor appointment Wednesday followed by putting Mom's Christmas lights up, Rosemary's Tips & Techniques on Thursday, and TAS meeting Saturday. So much fun!! Livin' it!

Monday, December 3, 2018

A Finish, Progress, and Loopy Academy

I'm very happy to say that I finished my little winter project. Quilted, bound, and actually hanging.
The picture is a little dark, blame it on the weather. Anyway, isn't it cute??? So little -- only 10" square. I bought this Red Button Quilt Co. pattern from Primitive Stitches, a Missouri shop. They were vending at my guild's last quilt show. I hope they'll be vending again in June! The Pattern included this one and another one that is non-wintry. The buttons were included and the 2nd pattern has bee buttons -- bet that's why I chose this pattern!

The Secret Santa Sew-a-Long has finished but I have not. I got the twelve blocks sewn up but need to cut sashing strips. I set it aside because I've got a couple of deadlines coming up. Here are my blocks gently folded in the refrigerator egg container along with the 20 nine-patch cornerstones.
In the foreground is a little table mat. My LQS has a table runner club and I was supposed to make five 12" blocks of the Santa hat. I don't really care for the hat and really don't have a use for the table runner so .... I shrunk the pattern down, used wool, and appliqued it down on a four-patch. All I had to do was add the flying geese & sashing strips. Ready to quilt it up and take it for show-n-tell tomorrow morning.

On the knitting front, I'm trying to catch up  on Loopy Academy. I only have one semester to finish up --  Jr. Year, 2nd Semester -- and then I will officially graduate. I already knitted up socks with beads and here's a look at my colorwork (stranded) design. I chose Calaveras Mittens by Jenny Penny and you can find it on Ravelry. I used a heavier yarn than called for (DK rather than fingering) and, even though I did swatch, the mittens came out larger than planned. I named mine Sugarskull Mitts and used plum purple and lime green. I think they turned out pretty spiffy even if they are large.
 Top Side
Palm Side
Aren't they cool??? I am also in love with that Latvian Braid on the cuff edges!!!

Since that's two out of three knitteries done for my 2nd Semester, Junior Year, I started the final project. It should knit up really quickly. My dental hygienist recently had a baby boy so I chose this Wee Lima pattern (again found on Ravelry). The requirement was to complete a pattern that uses buttons.

I cast on yesterday and the sweater looks like this so far. It's actually a prettier marled blue yarn than what is shown. Again, it's a gloomy day here in Southern IL so that makes for gloomy photos.
My dryer has buzzed so I guess I'll head downstairs to give it some attention. While I'm down there I think I'll get that Santa Hat Mat quilted up! Have a great day!

Linking up with Movin' It Forward. Looking forward to seeing what everyone has been working on this past week!

Monday, November 26, 2018

More Dresden Plates

Linking up with Em at Movin' It Forward. Wow! Those ladies can get stuff done! You really ought to stop by to see for yourself.

As for me, my Spring stitchery is coming along. (Sorry about the fuzzy picture.)
Mostly I'm happy for the latest Dresden block that I finished.
This Dresden Workshop Quilt really has been a lot of fun to work on.

Remember that photo of the six little plates on last post? Well, I was suppsed to make seven. Ugh! One short!!!! Back to the cutting table for me!

Speaking of cutting table, how many of you are sewing along with Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune? I've yet to commit besides gathering a few fat quarters!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

FNSI #2!

Another perfect evening for the Friday Night Sew-In gals & me to take a step back, breathe, and relax. Thanksgiving was wonderful with hubby's sister and two daughters eating dinner with us. Their three and our three (which included Mom, of course!) made a nice round table of six. We had all the trimmings and Mom kept exclaiming that I served $50 meals to all. Isn't that sweet??!! Anyway I'd like to say that I tried Ina Garten's Steamed Brussel Sprouts & Bacon recipe. They were a hit with everyone. Even hubby said they weren't bad which I consider a compliment from him! Hahaha!

After dinner I brought out a jigsaw puzzle which I'd received from my daughter. The guests said they didn't really do puzzles and flipped when I said it was only 1000 pieces, still in the box, and surely they could give it a go. We managed to get this much done before desserts called to us.
Mom & I worked a bit on it some more during the day on Friday and now it looks like this.
Progress is progress, right?

Anyway, after all the hubbub of Thanksgiving Thursday, it was leftovers and sewing for me on Friday. Here's a peek at what I managed to sew. 

Earlier thought that if no one wanted to do my puzzle with me that I should at least have something in my lap. I got out my Kathy Schmitz Spring pattern and copied it over to my fabric. (Love my lightbox!) Before company arrived for dinner I did manage to put a few stitches in.
Last night, I got this far ....
I'm loving it, especially that little bird!

This morning I crept down the stairs very early and worked on my Dresden Quilt Workshop. The blades were already cut out and the first pairings sewn. They needed pressing and then more sewing. Here they are.
I'm slowly but surely making progress on this and think I may be able to catch up this week. That would be sweet because the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt - Good Fortune - released clue #1 on Friday. I've vowed to not even start that one until the Dresden Quilt and Temecula Quilt Shop's Secret Santa SAL are completed! Sure hope I can hold out!!!

Meanwhile, enjoy your weekend. Remember your favorite shops today and pay them a visit if you've got a little time. Today is Small Business Saturday and we surely cry when local quilt shops fold/retire/quit/whatever.

Linking up with our beautiful hostess Wendy over at Sugarlane Designs for Friday Night Sew-In.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Secret Santa SAL & Friday Night Sew-In

Yesterday I made quite a bit of progress on Secret Santa SAL with Temecula Quilt Shop. Here are Steps 3 & 4 all sewn up, waiting patiently with Steps 1 & 2 to see what's next.
I noticed this morning that Step 5 is posted and my stomach lurched when I saw I was to cut out 96 scrappy small rectangles AND 48 a tad bigger rectangles. I read on to see that we'll also be sewing some of these steps into squares and the finale will be revealed next week. OMG!

While I was basking in being caught up, I thought I'd see about cutting up more fabrics for the few steps I'm behind on Dresden Quilt Workshop. And here we go ... This is a picture of the sewn-up blades for three small dresden plates.
 They now look like this, all turned out and pressed. So pretty, each and every one of the 36.
So then I cut & cut & cut and got 96 mini blades cut and sewn. They're all ready to be turned right-side out next.
A couple of days ago we got 4" of snow. My Gracie was in high gear racing through the white stuff. Doesn't she look like she's having a blast?

On a sad note, this week my cousin's 57-year-old husband passed away from esophagal-stomach cancer and on the same day I learned that a dear man that used to be our neighbor (who with his wife were the main ones to welcome us into the neighborhood) had passed away the week before with his funeral yesterday. He truly died serving his country as he is one of many that has contracted "Afghanistan Lung" while doing his job. He passed away two days before Veterans Day -- a veteran who did his job without looking for praise. Just doing his job whether in the Middle East or helping tornado-torn Rollo, MO.

Look around. Be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Linking up with Sugarlane Quilts for Friday Night Sew-In. Thank you, Wendy, for again hostessing this fun evening!

Also linking up with Em's Scrapbag for Movin' It Forward Monday. Thank you, Emily, for again hostessing all of us for sharing our progress!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Sewing Like My Pants are on Fire!

Lately I've been sewing like my pants are on fire. First up is a finish. Yay!

I made this Fall table runner for my daughter. I'm in a table runner club at O'Sew Personal, my LQS. I thought this turned out cute and it's 24"x48". Should fit my daughter's 29"x49" coffee table perfectly. The colors are a little wild but suits her decor! 😉

The quilting really set it off. I took 6 different leaves from a recent walk with Gracie and traced them on cardboard. Then I used one of those blue markers and traced around the patterns here & there. When it was time to quilt it, I did curlicues and off-the-cuff leaves to connect the drawn ones. Voile!

I'm making a mad scramble to get caught up on Temecula Quilt Shop's sew-a-long. I love their SALs and this one promised to be finished by Thanksgiving. That means we're getting close and I'm behind (naturally). 

This was Step 1 which I finished a few days ago. There are twelve of these unequal 9-patches. They're small, only measuring 4-3/4" unfinished.
This is Step 2. I cut the strips out Saturday and sewed them up yesterday. There are 68 (!!!!) of these tiny 9-patches. They measure a mere 2-3/4" unfinished.
This morning I cut all the strips for Steps Three & Four. Yoi!! Here's a picture of Step Three's strips. They'll need to be sewn together, cut up, and then sewn into the proper 68 units. I don't think I'll be going anywhere soon! Haha!
Of course with all this going on, I'm now three steps behind on Dresden Quilt Workshop! And when's the last time you've see or heard me talk about Kyoto???? Stop this train -- I want to get off!!!!!

Sewing like crazy and loving life!

Linking up with Movin' It Forward.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Fall Has Arrived!

Fall is here and I love it! Warm-ish days and cool-ish nights. It can stay like this awhile, please.

These past couple of days I was sewing with friends at Rock Springs Rotary Park in O'Fallon, IL. What a beautiful setting and the facilities were very nice -- once the gentleman came to turn off the A/C and switch it on to heat! It was in the 50s and I guess a room full of women with irons put out enough heat for the A/C to keep kicking on. Brrrr!

Anyway, the reason we were there was because Dana, our fearless leader, once again invited Irene Blanck from Australia to guide us along with her patterns. You remember how I'd been working on Mosaics by Irene. She is so much fun and has loads of tips for us. This is my 3rd year sewing with Irene and once again I learned a new tip PLUS she reminded me of a couple that I'd forgotten.

There were 17 of us sewing along on lots of patterns. Two of us  were sewing on Eva Grace. I got this far.
Unfortunately I didn't get any of the leaves sewn down nor the two flowers. We all fell in love with my vase fabric and there was talk of not putting that quirky stem & leaves across it. I may not sew on all five leaves from the original pattern but I will be keeping that stem.

I want to let you know that I love retreats. We are all sewing on our projects and just chat about everything and nothing. I met a really fun gal that I might not have ever met since she doesn't live near here. She heard about this retreat through her guild. I hope to catch up with Amy again one day.

Gracie & I had a wonderful walk today. Pictures from this morning's walk include Gracie, the changing leaf colors, and fungi. Enjoy!

I'll be linking up with Movin' It Forward on Em's Scrapbag on Monday. You should check out the incredible projects these ladies are working on!