Friday, December 30, 2011


I'm trying to stay close to DH, to encourage him to keep his foot elevated.  His sprain is healing slowly, and his ankle is the most interesting colour combination, none of it natural!

So I could keep an eye on him yesterday, I took over the dining table, covered it with a cardboard cutting surface, and pulled out some baby quilt panels that I had brought from my stash at home.  I managed to get all 4 pin-basted, with lovely flannel on the back of each.  One top is also flannel.  I had even brought small pieces of fabric for the binding on each.  While DH was resting, I did all the straight line quilting on each, then made the binding for the first one. I sat and hand stitched the binding while watching TV with DH. 

Today I managed to apply the other 3 bindings, and stitch one.  The rest of my day was spent chasing DH, as his ankle was feeling a bit better, and he tends to over-do the activity too soon.  I don't want him to have a relapse - he makes a less than average patient, and I run out of my patience very quickly!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


DH did it again - sprained his ankle at the golf course yesterday.  Only managed to play 9 holes before his minor accident - rode in the cart for the rest of the round, putting ice from his water bottle in his sock to help keep the swelling at bay.
He has had problems with his left ankle for many years.  He tore his Achilles tendon many years ago, and it is slow to heal.  Had a horrible sprain about 5 years ago - same ankle, then his Achilles has been swollen and acting up for the past 6 months.  Doctor said that if he was a pro athlete, they would repair it with surgery, but for a regular person, age 63, he just has to rest and hope it will heal!
Of course, because it has caused him to limp, his hip and back hurt as well.  Now we add a new sprain to the same ankle!
He has finally learned to rest his ankle, so hopefully this too will pass!  He gets bored easily, and likes to keep busy, so the next week will be fun.......

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I managed to get two of the three plaid quilts photographed today before the rain started.  I've added the fronts to the "Quilts 2011" page, but here are the backs.
This is the back of "Moth in the Window".  I cut 10 1/2 inch squares of plaid, and some 10 1/2 x 5 inch strips to make the back.
This is the back of "Spinnin' Spools.  It has a strip of 10 inch squares on each side.  The centre is made of leftover strips from the "moth in the window" blocks, and pinwheels made from leftover units from the third plaid quilt, "Smokey Mountain Stars".  I used John Flynn's method to make a diagonal pieced back.  The instructions are part-way down the page.  

Hopefully the rain will stop and I'll be able to get the last quilt photographed.

Monday, December 26, 2011


I'm taking the day off today, after an enjoyable but busy Christmas day.  I have some projects lined up, as well as preparing samples for the projects that my quilt group will be working on, but today I just plan to relax - thumb through the two quilting books that my DS1 and his wife sent, maybe read a book, eat a turkey sandwich from the leftovers, watch a movie........

DH is off helping a neighbour who had a pipe break sometime in the wee hours.  Their bedroom, bathroom and hall are soaked.  He helped move furniture to a dryer location, and took our shop vac and rug shampooer over to help remove the water from the carpet.  Another neighbour sent over a couple of fans to help dry the house out.  It doesn't help that we have 96% humidity in our part of Florida today........
I'll be back at the machine tomorrow........
Check out Judy's blog to see what everyone is working on...

Sunday, December 25, 2011


I can't believe that this is the final stash report for this year!  I've been working hard to finish the plaid quilts so I could count all the fabric.  My productivity always drops in the fall as we take time to relocate to our home in the sunny south.

Fabric Used this week  37.125 yards
Fabric Used year to date  252.625 yards
 Fabric added this week  0 yards
Fabric added year to date  72.25 yards
Net Fabric Used 2011  180.375 Yards!!!!

The most frightening part of this report is that I've hardly made a dent in my stash yet!  I'd like to thank Judy for hosting our weekly stash reports on her blog.  Keeping track of my usage and shopping has made me more aware of my shopping habits, and has made me "shop my stash" first for each new project!  I plan to keep track of my stash for many years to come!
Head over to Judy's blog to see everyone's final report for 2011.


I hope everyone has a wonderful day, full of family, friends and good food.  We are celebrating the day in Florida, with good friends, old and new, sharing food, laughter and companionship.  Our eldest son will be spending the day with his wife, and our youngest with his fiancee and her family, sharing in their holiday traditions.

Good wishes are sent to all my quilting friends and their families,for a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Christmas always seems so long in coming, but all of a sudden it is looming!
Tuesday morning DH & I headed to our clubhouse to use the big tables for pin basting.  We had the 3 plaid quilts basted in just over an hour.  Came home, and haven't a clue what I did with the rest of the day!  I only know that I was busy.....
Wednesday, I headed out to my sewing room early, and managed to get all the basic, stitch-in-the-ditch quilting finished and the binding added to the first quilt.  Then I was into the kitchen to prepare my dish for the quilt group's pot luck lunch.  One of the group offered to host everyone, so at 11:15 we were all at Carrol's lovely, well decorated home.  Of course we chatted, ate great food, drank punch, chatted.  At 12:55 I announced that I was headed to the clubhouse for our regular quilting group, as some did not attend the party, and some who did were trying to get some items finished before Christmas.
I finally arrived home about 4.  DH had just arrived from his golf outing, so we both had a great day.  Simple dinner - I re-heated the leftover pasta dish that I had taken for the lunch, along with a small salad and a piece of homemade bread.
DH offered to clean up the kitchen, while I went back to my sewing room to trim the excess backing and batting from the quilt.  I managed to stitch the binding down before heading off to bed.
I managed to get the basic quilting on plaid quilt number 2 finished, along with binding attached, so my project this evening is to hand stitch the binding so I can begin the quilting on plaid quilt number 3 tomorrow!
I'm anxious to get them finished, so that 1. I can begin something new, and 2. I can count the fabric in my last stash report of the year!

Monday, December 19, 2011


I completed my Christmas hexagon - minus the final borders.  I took a picture of it on my queen bed.  I'll get the borders on after the plaid quilts are completed!
 I used the John Flynn method of diagonally pieced backs for two of my plaid quilts.  I pieced together all the left-over parts from the three plaid quilts, then cut them into lengths that were the same as the width of the tan muslin I was using.  After stitching them together, I folded them on the diagonal, corner to corner, cut apart, then slid the pieces to the correct width measurement, pinned and stitched them together.  This method works well for quilts that are up to 1 1/2 times the width of the fabric.  For one of my quilts, I used a pieced strip on one side to meet the requirement, and on the other I used a pieced strip on both sides.  The first time you try this method, you will be sure that it won't work,  but I have used it successfully many times!
I have difficulty taking a picture of the backing, as my living room is small and I had no room to spread it out!  You can see the strip of squares in the top right corner of the picture.  These were added to make the pieced part fit the 1 1/2 times criteria.   Now head over to Judy's blog to see what others are working on this week!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Used this week  0 yards
Used year to date  215.5 yards
Added this week  2 yards
Added year to date  72.25 yards
Net used 2011  143.25 yards
I HAD to buy 2 yards of batik this week!  I'm making samples for a class with my group this week, so I had to get enough background fabric for the runners I'll be making.
I just have two more seams to go, and my third quilt backing will be completed.  DH & I took a couple of days off to do some Christmas baking.
I made 4 loaves of cinnamon fruit bread for yummy breakfast toast, a pan of "Hello Dollies" and one of marzipan bars, both family recipes.  DH made a batch of Chocolate Mint Snappers, while I made the dough for Ribbon Cookies, refrigerator cookies to bake later. I baked another dozen mini mincemeat tarts, using more of the cream cheese pastry (still have some left for another batch later.) 
This morning I'm baking Rolled Oat Shortbread.  My family likes it so much, I don't make any other type!

I still have one more treat to prepare - Cocoa Krispie Roll - I found the recipe in a magazine many years ago.

I've added links to the recipes on my recipe page.....
Now head off to Judy's blog to check on everyone's stash reports!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


It seems like I've been sewing plaid fabric forever!  For the last few days, I've been using up all the bits and pieces to make pieced backs for the 3 plaid tops that are finished.
I began by cutting 10 1/2 inch squares.  Some of the fabric wasn't wide enough after washing, to get 4 across, so I ended up with some smaller pieces.  I cut these into 5 inch x 10 1/2 inch strips.
I had pinwheel units made from the cut-offs of Smokey Mountain Stars blocks.  I also had strip sets from Moth in the Window.  I began combining strip sets, etc. to make 3 1/2 inch wide pieces.
Oh the insanity!!!!

So far I have one back totally prepared, and a strip of 10" squares to go on one edge of the second, and 2 strips of 10" squares to go on the third.  Now I have to piece the remaining puzzle pieces to make up the rest of the backs.

Even though pin-basting is my least enjoyable part of quilting - this time I'm really looking forward to it!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Our company headed north this morning, and DH left for the golf course at 7:30, so I headed right to my sewing room.
I managed to get the borders sorted out and attached to plaid quilt number 3.  I had to get creative, because none of my left-over yardage was long enough for the final border.  The pattern for the centre was "Smokey Mountain Stars" from Quiltville.  

I "double stitched" the corner squares and had lots of half-square triangle units left, so I sewed most of them into pinwheel blocks, then used some of the leftover strips from plaid quilt #2 to make them the right size to fill the gap in the final border.  

Since the two borders had corner squares, I used leftover strips from plaid quilt #1 to make strippy corner squares.

Now I have to get busy and make up the backs for each of these quilts.  Then I'll plan a pin-basting binge with DH - he is an awesome help!  I am determined to have NO LEFTOVER PLAID to take home in the spring!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Used this week  0 yards
Used year to date  215.5 yards
Added this week  0 yards
Added year to date  70.25 yards
Net used 2011  145.25 yards
 Still nothing to report.  It seems that Christmas decorating and baking have sucked away most of my sewing time this week!  I made cream cheese pastry for the first time yesterday, so today I plan to make some small mincemeat tarts.  I remember when my Mother used to make mincemeat pie, and I wonder how we ever ate a whole slice, since the mincemeat is so rich!

Check out everyones' progress at Judy's blog.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Yesterday DH and I finally tackled the decorating on the inside of our southern home.  Our space is small, and most of my decorations are up north, but we still feel the holiday spirit.
 First we put the Christmas quilt on our bed.  This was made many years ago.  I had seen a similar design in Keepsake quilting, but I just drew the design for the pillow panel onto brown paper and fused all the applique pieces.

 Next I added a pieced tablecloth that I made on my serger one fall, when my sewing machine was in the shop for servicing!  It is a Quilt-in-a-Day pattern called Blazing Star Tablecloth.  It was simple to make following the step by step directions.

Of course, we hung the stockings, shown here.

Next I hung my newest Christmas quilt in the living room.  It is from a pattern I found in Quiltmaker magazineIt has fun snowman embroidered blocks.
My other wall hanging was an experiment made from a Santa block and some Christmas 9-patch blocks I received in a swap many years ago.

We only have a small tree, but it is full of memories.  Many of the ornaments are home-made, some were special gifts made by family and friends.  It even has its own tree skirt.  I had made a full size one for my MIL, using the Quilt-in-a-Day pattern called Diamond Log Cabin Tablecloth or Tree Skirt.  Of course, I had fabric left over, so I made a mini skirt for my mini tree.

The nativity scene was set in its place of honour, shown here.

 Once the table was set with its red cloth and topped with a crochet white cloth, made by my Mother, it feels like Christmas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


We had a fun afternoon - the group grows each week.  A few more quilters arrived in the sunny south this week, so there was lots of meeting and greeting going on.

Just as everyone was packing up, it became dark, and suddenly we had rain blowing almost sideways!  Of course, DH used the van to drive to the golf course, with 3 other avid golfers this morning, so I had taken all my stuff to the clubhouse on a borrowed golf cart.  Everyone was phoning for rides home, but I didn't feel right leaving the golf cart in the parking lot, so I called home and left a message for DH to pick me up when he arrived home from golf.  We have a small lending library in the clubhouse, so I spent a few minutes browsing through the books.  Next thing I knew, DH was there - he came straight over to pick me up as soon as he dropped off the other golfers.  The rain had almost stopped, so he drove the golf cart back to the neighbours' home, and I drove home in the van.  My hero to the rescue!
I managed to get the centre of plaid quilt number 3 finished this morning, so I hope to get the borders made tomorrow.  Then I'll put my Pfaff away and get out my Juki, and the quilting will begin!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011


This is part of the fourth corner for my Christmas hexagon quilt.  When it is finished, I'll still have another small side unit to make as well.  Then I have to decide on the final borders.  I picked up some lovely green fabric with holly leaves on our trip south, but still have to decide on the finished border widths.

My final plaid quilt is partly pieced - all the small units are made, and I spent some time yesterday, arranging the pieces on my living room carpet.  The rows are pinned and ready to stitch, so I'm hoping to get some of that done today before we head out to play!

Head over to Judy's blog to see what others are working on today.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Used this week  0 yards
Used year to date  215.5 yards
Added this week  0 yards
Added year to date  70.25 yards
Net used 2011  145.25 yards

Same as last week!  I only sewed for a while on Wednesday, then was off to my quilt group.  Thursday I sewed, but in teaching mode for two friends who were visiting.  Friday we were out all day, so no sewing, and Saturday I had to pick up some groceries, do my month end book keeping, and I only managed to sew a while on plaid quilt number 3!
I guess I'd better get into the sewing room, or my design wall will be empty tomorrow!!!!!
Check on others' progress at Judy's blog.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Friday morning, DH & I headed off to Disney World.  We began around mid-morning, visiting Animal Kingdom.  
 We never miss the Safari Ride, and this time saw lots of animals.  This hippo was sun-bathing (they are usually totally submerged!
 There were many elephants, including this tiny baby, who was playing in the water, blowing bubbles....
 Even a cheetah decided to pose for a picture!
Had a lovely time, ate our picnic lunch and picked up our Disney calendars (free to passholders).  We headed out to the parking lot, where we discovered that our car had a flat!  DH calmly took out the jack and began changing the tire.  Before he was finished, 3 different security people stopped to see if we were all right, and offered to have their service vehicle stop by and change the tire for us - free!  DH thanked them and said that he was doing just fine.
After putting the spare tire on (one of those tiny donut spares!), we headed over to Epcot.  We strolled around the lake, listening to a couple of bands, then lined up for the Candlelight Procession.  We attend every year - it really puts us in the Christmas spirit.  We chatted with some nice people while waiting in line, and were not disappointed with the show - Geena Davis did the readings, and the music was amazing as usual.
 The sky was an interesting colour as we walked through the park to the car.  DH drove a little slower than usual on the way home, and we arrived safe and sound, just before 8p.m.
This morning he got up and took the car in to get the tire repaired or replace.  A belt had broken in the tire, so he decided a replacement was in order, and bought 2 new tires for the front end of the van.  The repair was taking an extra long time, and he noticed that the service tech had the car up and down on the hoist, then moved to another bay and put it on the hoist there as well.
When he returned home, he looked under the car and found some damage to the body, so he returned to show the service manager.  They argued a bit, saying that it was old damage, but the tech admitted that he had a problem.  We are waiting for the claim to be entered into their computer system, and then we'll see what will happen.  DH plans to take the car into the dealer on Monday, to see what they say about the damage, and to get a written estimate on the repair.
More to follow.
It is 3:10 p.m. and I haven't turned on my sewing machine yet!!!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


A friend called the other day.  She wanted to make a quilt, using a pattern I had taught when in Panama City many years ago.  She couldn't find her pattern, (one of the problems with spending the winter in Florida!), and wondered if I still had a copy.  Thank heavens for a computer, because I had taught the same project to the group in Florida as well.  I emailed the pattern to her, but knowing that she is much happier seeing and doing, rather than reading instructions, I invited her to come for a quilting visit, along with her husband and a friend who also wants to learn.

They arrived about 10:30, and the "girls" headed right to the sewing room, while the "boys" did whatever.  I had my boxes of light and dark 2 inch strips ready to go, and I showed them how to make the block, with them following along on the printed instructions.  By the time we had 2 blocks completed, DH called us in for lunch.  I had made 2 salads ahead of time, and DH got out the sliced meat, cheese and breads.  The cheesecake brownies and 2 kinds of homemade cookies were served for dessert, and then we headed back to the sewing room.  

This time, Miss B sewed, while Miss S trimmed and pressed the block parts.  Half-way through they switched, and Miss S sewed, and Miss B trimmed and pressed.  
They headed back home, each with a sample block, and all the pieces to use as a reminder when they begin their projects.  
The block was a half log cabin, using Sharyn Craig's method

They were both anxious to get home and wash their fabric in preparation for their quilt project.  They had brought samples along, to see what I thought, and of course, I encouraged them to use lots of different fabrics, rather than just a few.  The more the merrier!

Now back to my plaids!