Timing is everything. Apparently this applies with sewing as well as life. My sewing machine has lost it's timing. I am only guessing this is the problem. It symptoms include shredding my thread and not picking up the bobbin thread, therefore not sewing. Which is unfortunate timing since I have hundreds of quilt ideas floating around in my head. I was able to get the newest Ohio State design pieced before this unfortunate event occurred.

O-H-I-O hopefully will be up on Etsy by next week. Hopefully.

My poor beloved White sewing machine sits on my sewing table looking pathetic, with a half used spool of thread resting on top. I took this as a sign that it was time to start quilting. Only after I went searching for everything to load onto my Longarm machine did I realize that I still need to sew the backings. This is not entirely true, I can quilt all the quilts I have that I don't need pieced backings for, 2 total. This is so not the time to loose one of my machines. I have been perusing websites taking this setback as a sign that perhaps it is time to get a new machine. The White is 20 odd years old. I will hopefully have time tomorrow in between appointments to get estimates for the repairs that need done. Maybe one of the shops will have time to fix it this week. God speed.


A Tisket, a Tasket

A Tisket, a Tasket a set of nesting baskets!

Here they are folks! I have been wanting to have some fabric nesting baskets so I designed these. I am not sure this is exactly what I was going for but, they do nest. While making these, prototypes, I played with several different interfacing weights, felts and batting. I definitely like the fusible felt, but without a coupon it is quite pricey. The heavy duty interfacing worked well but I don't know how long it will maintain it's stiffness. The batting combined with the interfacing, definitely did Not work. It is much to fluffy for this small scale, and without extensive quilting it is quite floppy. I need to wash them and see how they survive the wash. They sure are cute! I think with the next set I will make them wider and shorter. When I settle on a size, shape and material I'll post a tutorial and then you too can have a set of nesting fabric baskets of your own!


Busy Bee

Can I just say, "I am so excited!" I have finally, FINALLY gotten around to finishing off a few quilts. I have been pumping out the quilt tops for months and haven't actually quilted much since December. Thanks to Emma, who unfortunately is ill, I got to sit around and quilt and bind and design (And Oh, yea watch an entire day's worth of princess movies!). Here are a few things I got around to this weekend.

I received a box of quilts from Mary on Friday. Two of the Three are quilted. See below. Added a little bit of personalization to the horse t-shirt quilt.

Mad About Plaid quilted! I chose 4 different swirl designs for the blocks. I also rotated the designs by row to swirl left and right. The quilt seemed to have lots of lines. I felt it needed more movement. I am a little disappointed in my quilting. I suppose that it just some odd perfectionist tendency I have.

All three of these quilts bound! That in it's self was a true miracle. Look for these on my Etsy site!

As if that isn't enough. I dug out some fabric scraps and came up with a prototype for a small fabric basket idea I have swimming around in my head. More on those to come on that later in the week.


When you're Right, You're Right

Jack asked me last week why I didn't work when his friend Jordan's mom did. I explained my reasons for staying home, along with our good fortune that I can afford to stay home. I went on to further explain the reasons some women work. I tried to hit all of the major points, financial need, desire to work, enjoyment and personal fulfillment etc. I thought I was given a rather good little life lesson. I realized as I glanced over that what he probably heard was, Blah, blah, blah, blah, mom can stay home with me, blah, blah, blah. I ended my monologue with something my grandfather always said, "There are three thing you don't talk about with others. " Jack chimed in "Yea, you told me that before, MONEY, POLITICS and RELIGION. " "But why don't you talk about those things?" I tried my best to explain that all three were emotionally charged items. I went on to say that people tend to feel very strongly about those items. I stated when people discuss these items conversations can get very heated. People have their beliefs and are not usually happy to hear that you think differently than they do. And many times I think what people hear is they are wrong and you are right. He sat quietly for a while and then said, "But, what if you really are right?" I can see this conversation may need to be repeated.


Fabric Basket

Tomorrow is Jack's teachers Birthday. Normally I am not big on teacher birthdays. I believe this is the first I have ever known about, before the actual event. Jack's teacher, Mrs. Taylor is a big believer in Birthday Celebrations. Which is, I think, Great! Anymore the kids are not allow to celebrate birthdays in school. In El Paso we had one day a month where they were allowed to celebrate all the birthdays of the month. Since they were only allowed one party a month this usually coincided with the party theme of the month, (ie Christmas, Valentine's Day etc.) Not very exciting or very special to the birthday boy/girl. Jack "LOVES" Mrs. Taylor and really, really, really wanted to buy her a birthday present. I on the other hand did not want to buy anything. However, in the spirit of Giving and Celebrating I made this. A cute little fabric basket. Want to know how to make one. Check out the Pink Penguin here It was super simple and very quick. I think it took me less time than it would have to mop my floor, the task that was on the agenda for today. Not to mention it was so much more fun! And Jack was so impressed he said, "Thanks mom! Too bad Mrs. Taylor doesn't knit, it looks like a great place to hold yarn!" That's my boy!



With unwavering dedication, patience and concentration I finished the Bargello quilt.
I am totally impressed with myself! I wasn't sure I would ever get it done, and have it look nice. Woohoo.

Cut strips before seaming.

Finished bargello quilt.

Now I just have to decide if I should put a boarder or leave it as is. What do you think?



I have been inspired to create a quilt. This may not sound like much to many of you but, I feel as though I have thrown myself to the wolves. It's a kin to deciding to make a dress without a pattern. Granted, I know the basic elements of a quilt and I have made one or 100 before but somehow this step is terrifying me! I was struck by a design one morning. I don't really remember what preempted this only that I had a feeling that I needed to sit down and draw, RIGHT NOW! Call it what you will, divine inspiration, a creative spurt or OCD. All I can tell you is that what ever plagued me in December/January has lifted. I have been sitting down with graph paper, printer paper, lined paper, heck even the backs of envelopes and drawing. It seems the ideas come faster than I am capable of putting them down. I have also inspired Emma and she sits with me daily, graph paper and pencil in hand and draws. I think she has come up with some rather beautiful designs and ones I surely never would have considered. As for my own, time will tell.

In addition to this compulsion of mine, I have been continuing to work on Mark's bigger, badder, better OSU quilt. With the help of Mary's block O template and embroidery blocks it has taken shape rapidly. (THANKS M) .

I am also working on a Bargello Quilt. The quilt guild I belonged to in El Paso had a workshop on it the weekend we decided to depart for S.C. I had already purchased all of the fabric (big surprise, I know) before we left. I had the leader of the workshop send me her pattern and instructions. I have been struggling with this quilt. I cannot remember how I had planned on using all of the fabric, many of my fabric choices seem a bit odd to me. I have already replaced at least two of my original fabric choices and I am still not satisfied. Hmm. Maybe, I really do have OCD? LOL.


A Day Later.

What a difference a day makes. All day yesterday the snow melted away. The dripping water was so loud sometimes it sounded like rain. Don't worry, it didn't stop anyone from playing in every last flake. Here is the snowman Emma built yesterday while her brothers abandoned her to go play with their friends. Aww. Don't feel too bad for her. Dad stepped in and helped her build a bigger snowman in the front yard. He said, "He felt bad that she didn't have anyone to play with." Really I think he just needed to play too. (Who was feeling left out?) LOL.

Here are the kids outside this morning before church, with no coats! This is the largest deposit of snow we have left! The kids have big plans for the rest of the snow left in the yard (mostly the spots the sun could not reach!) I heard something about shovels, sleds and a ramp. Should I be concerned?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to you!
Hope you are all Happy and Healthy.
Wish we could share this delicious cake with you. Emma was nice enough to decorate it for us. Yummy.


Let it snow!

This morning was a "flurry" of mittens, boots, snow pants, scarves and excited children. Even Mark was up early (9 is early by middle school standards) to go out in the snow. All told we had about 7.5 inches of snow. The 5 th biggest snowfall on record here in Columbia. Ginger and I were up bright and early and took a few of these pictures to share.


It's Snowing!

Here we are safe and warm is South Carolina and it is snowing here for the first time in 4 years. The chaos a little of the white stuff causes! I was absolutely dumbfounded when the schools were closed early and the snow was only predicted! This time the weather men/women got it right. As of now we have just over 4 inches and it is falling fast. Many of the trees are bending over from the weight and the streets are covered. This is a heavy wet snow. The kids have already been out playing and came in drenched. I tried to take a picture of the snow while the kids were out playing, unfortunately it was snowing to heavily. All I ended up getting were pictures of white orbs. Tomorrow once the sun and I are up for the day I'll post some pictures.


Projects Everywhere

This was project central this weekend! I cannot believe how many things we worked on! Needless to say the weekend went by fast.

First the refrigerator cabinet.

This is John and Mark's baby. They have been working side by side all weekend measuring, cutting, nailing, grunting and making general male noises. My kitchen has been a bit of a struggle to maneuver in but, it is all for a good cause.

For those of you wondering. The owners of the home before us had a sub-zero, big honkin' refrigerator in the kitchen. We did not want such a monstrosity so we are putting in a cabinet and a broom closet. Yeah!

Emma's Garden quilt top is sewn together. Now I just need a backing. Hmmm.

I was able to sew up a backing and load another of the quilts tops I finished over the summer.
This was the Mad about Plaid.

We have an appointment together with the longarm machine on Monday.

Jack and I were busy making his Valentine box for the BiG Valentine Box Judging contest at school this week. Jack, being in 4th grade, shies away from anything that could be potentially 'girly' so this presented quite a struggle, as you know valentines can be a bit girly. (Or so I am told). He was quite worried about what we should do and it could under no circumstances be pink! I came up with this idea after I found Emma making a paper string of valentines.

This is Jack's Valentine Piranha. Not at all girly as you can see. Very deadly even. I did, however, have to convince him to leave the bloody teeth out.

Emma kept herself busy making creatures out of an eraser and push pins while jack and I made the valentines box. I found these pictures on my camera while uploading the pictures.

I am told one is a dog and one is a spider. The other creatures did not develop quite so clearly.
I finished these Cabled Mittens last night while John and I watched The Reader.

Jack has a love of all things bread, especially homemade bread. One of his favorites are pretzels. He and I made 3 different pretzel recipes this weekend. All from the food network website. While they were all good. These were his favorite!



The Date

Many of you know I had my date with "The Seam Ripper" yesterday. It went well enough. We met at a quaint little place I know. We exchanged pleasantries over coffee. At least, I had coffee. He on the other hand, said coffee made him slow and rusty, and declined beverages. Although, he helped himself to the string cheese with an appetite that resembled the average middle schooler. He set about his business in a most industrious fashion, and it was obvious he had been about this business quite awhile. I was anxious to get on my way and limited my polite conversation as much as possible. I inserted my mmm's and ooo's where I felt it was most appropriate and added an occasional head nod just to fein my interest. He was a sharp witted fellow and had me laughing at the inaccuracy of my mistakes, but didn't at all make me feel inferior. I did have to listen to him ramble on and on regarding the stature of cutting utensils. It seems he is a bit affronted by the rise in social status of the rotary cutter. One can only assume this is due to the recent prominence of ads and the fact that they did not, as he saw it come from "old money." All and all it was a most tolerable visit and one I hope I shall not have to repeat for many years.


A date with my seam-ripper.

I have dug out the quilt blocks I made for Emma's quilt over the summer. Emma helped me arrange them and then I sewed them into rows. With the easy part over and a rather heavy sigh I sat down to start to sew the rows together. This quilt has been hanging over for months. I have been trying to work up enough energy to sit down and dig it. The difficult thing for me was that the blocks for this quilt are hexagons. Hexagons cannot be sewn in a straight line. Hexagons are not mind numbingly simple. They take time and patience, something I have been running low or lately. The first two rows took an hour to sew together. Eight hexagons matched with 7 and 2 half hexagons, back and forth along the edges. Pinning one side at a time. Matching dots and seams. Sewing. Taking out the pins and proceeding down the row. Always careful not to pinch the corners or sew more than one hexagon, unintentionally together. It was much like making a garment. No, not a garment, just the sleeve of the garment, over and over and over. I persevered and finished sewing two rows together. Only 5 more to go! With the first two under my belt I was more confident than ever. Setting off on the next row, I sewed happily while listening to Echo in the Bone on CD. After the first two seams a thought crept into my mind, "The last rows didn't go together this easily. I must be getting better." After about 5 seams, I turned the quilt to pin another edge and thought. "I don't remember the seams fitting so easily. And I haven't caught any corners under the pressure foot! Woohoo!" After more than 3/4 of the row was finished I held the quilt up and immediately saw my error. I had not off set the hexagon as I sewed, as the pattern directed.

I had sewed them matched right sides together down the row. ( Which is fine if you are sewing a pillow! But not a quilt which is supposed to lie flat!)

So, tonight as I sit and watch soccer practice I will be knitting. Tomorrow I have a date with my seam-ripper.