Seriously? It's almost July. I am not sure what we did to make June go so quickly but, it's almost gone!? With July around the corner I have been working on my latest wreath quilt block. I, along with the rest of the nation, think "Independence Day" when I think of July. Therefore, a flag immediately popped into my head as the design of the month. I actually found so many wonderful patriotic patterns I made two.

The flag block was an adaptation of the from a pattern I found on Compuquilt.com. The pattern calls for an Ohio star inserted where the blue of the flag belongs. Being short on time this summer and having a severe distaste for flying geese, I opted for blue fabric with stars already on it.

The second pattern is Land of Liberty by Debbie Mumm. I also adapted this pattern to my tastes. Before you ask, yes that is hand stitching for the letters. We had a trip to Charleston planned to meet up with friends from High School. It made a great project to work on in the car.

Both mini-quilts were made entirely out of fabric from my stash. Woohoo.



Several years ago Jack received a National Geographic Kids TV microscope for one holiday or another. As children's toys are prone to do it makes an appearance several times a year when the kids suddenly re-discover that they have it. It is quite an ingenious toy as it connects to your TV and your Microscopic image is projected in wide screen for all to see.

Such was the case this past weekend when it turned up once again. Everything within reach of the TV was examined and looked at. Things were brought in from all over the house to be looked at up close. After a while the normal inanimate objects become boring and live or living type things make an appearance. Noses are looked up, throats are looked down, and fingernails are clipped for closer examination. Rarely do they tire of looking at things under the microscope. More often that not they run out of things close at hand to observe.

Yesterday, after perusing through all of the items close at hand Jack asked me for a new ideas. I suggested a few items I found in the desk drawer. After all of the items found within the desk were observed, they still were not satisfied. They wanted something new. Something they hadn't looked at before. Jack had a cut on his hand that was mostly healed so I suggested that they look at that. After clotting and coagulation were discussed and the wonders of the human skin examined they still were not satisfied. Jack said, "We need more blood. I want to see if we can see red blood cells." Knowing that they could not under this magnification I suggested they look at some pictures in my Anatomy books from college. This suggestion was NOT what they were looking for. "We want something really gross." Jack suggested in a slightly devious manor. Fearing the worst, I remembered the cut I have on my head. (Little run in with a cabinet door. Noting to worry about. Just general clumsiness.) I suggested that they look at my scalp. They were thrilled beyond belief. Pleased I could make someone at least a tiny bit happy, I indulged them. Once the cut was located and the hair pulled away the kids zoomed in on the scab and surrounding tissue. Jack immediately exclaimed, "That is so disgusting! Mom, you are the grossest thing we have looked at all day. Thanks!"




The quilt I have been working on still sits and looks at me with longing. The main portion of the quilt is finished; and I am embarrassed to say I am sadly disappointed. When I designed this quilt, I was super excited to get stared. I was young and in love, but foolish. Oh, so foolish. Maybe I rushed into something too soon. I should have planed better. There is not a perfect quilt. I should have seen through the charm, the longing, the bright cheery solids. The more I work on this quilt the less I want to. My design has lost the excitement it once held for me. When I get time to work on it I can only think of the next quilt I want to work on. I am two timing my quilt. Thinking of another while I am with one. Guilty.

I keep trying to change it. I know I shouldn't, but I cannot help myself. I want things to be how they were before. I keep thinking maybe if I change this element or that dimension I will like it better. But, I don't. The honeymoon is over. So it sits, pins half in, borders half finished. While I wait for inspiration to strike me down.

Away from this quilt I secretly look at other fabric, touch it longingly. I draw out other patterns. I stash quit magazines all over the house and buy countless others hoping to find something, anything that will excite me the way this quilt did once. Yes, I feel guilty but what am I to do? I need to decide, am I committed to this quilt or not?

I know it's over. Deep down I know it is time to move on. I have never been one to walk away from a project unfinished. It's a sad fact, but a true one. I am staying with this quilt for the sake of the fabric. I love them all, individually. But together in this pattern it just doesn't work. How can I leave them? There has got to be a way to work this out. When they are completed and together as a whole quilt they will understand it wasn't them. The pattern and I just weren't a good match.

Perhaps I need to see a councilor?


End of the Year at Show

The end of school brought with it lots of additional clutter. School boxes filled with broken pencils, crayons and pens. Glue bottles that were all but empty and workbooks that were almost completed filled the recycle bind. Among the clutter and the trash that was brought home were several important notes, invitations and artwork. (All of the aforementioned buried among the garbage.) I hate throwing the artwork out and I hate storing it. With the amount of moving we do the paper just doesn't stand a chance. Many of the kids drawings I frame, but one only has enough wall space. Here is a little end of the year Art show for all to enjoy. (I really should make a calendar for next year with all of the art!)

Birdhouse-- Emma


Dragon and Baby--Emma

The Sea--Emma

Garfield (a study)--Jack


The Tree--Jack

The Drive--Mark

Math Art-- Emma


Myself without glasses--Emma


Random Quilting

Now that I have my "new" machine, Emma has taken over the White. I may never get around to taking in to get repaired at this rate. Sigh.

This is a good thing, or so I keep telling myself. Emma has been wanting to use my sewing machine independently for at least a year. Last year we had a few sewing lessons. The awe factor disintegrated quickly and she was off onto something new. Now, once again she is ready to try sewing again. The problem that always seems to present itself to me is what to teach her. She always wants to make something, after all that is the fun part. I struggle with what is age appropriate. I want something that will keep her interest and yet not make her,or me, frustrated beyond belief.

I ran across this pattern online, as soon as I remember where I found it. It is a great pattern for beginners and for those of us who tend to have varying stitch lengths. She has taken off and now has taken over my sewing table. She has even added a foot stool to make her work environment more economical. Her father's Daughter for sure.

I on the other hand have been designing a new quilt. I am midway through the piecing the top. So far it is coming along nicely. Here is my rough sketch.

And a peek at the fabric I am using from my scraps. (You didn't think I really show it to you, Did you?)

We are off to the pool. With luck I'll have more pictures to share soon! Keep cool.



The weeks that have past since the repair of my machine have blown by. I have gotten many projects completed and many others started. During the completion of my flip-flop wreath block, a devastating fact occurred to me. My zig-zag stitch is once again not working. Okay, it's working, just not the way it is supposed to. It kind of looks like this zzzzz--zzzz___zzz_zzzz---, with lots of straight stitches intermingled with the zig-zag. Basically it has a serious stutter.

The machine is under warranty for another month from the last repair, which is good. For those of you who remember the saga that was the last repair, this is bad. I had resigned myself to a new machine after the last repair, yet it is never seems to be a "good" time. After I realized that I needed to take my machine back to Larry, Daryl and Daryl, I realized also that I may not see it for a long while. Therefore with the help of my birthday $$$ (Thanks Mom & Dad!) I went out and bought this little beauty. It is last years model and may not be a "top-of-the-line" model but it sews a zig-zag beautifully!

Sorry, can't write more. I'm off to sew.


All I wanted was a nap.

It's official my kids have been out of school for 2 days, 2 DAYs! and I am ready for them to go back. I think summer vacation is only a 'vacation' for the teachers. I think it should be renamed "Summers are boring" or "There is nothing to do in the summer break." I try to combat boredom over the summer by planing things to do. I enroll the kids in activities, pay out the nose for lessons of one type or another, schedule play dates and still it is not enough. I think perhaps I am only sabotaging myself. Regardless of the activities I plan, the kids pick things to do which drive me insane, namely fighting, arguing, and nastiness towards one another. Why is this I ask you?

Today was no different than any other "planned day". Revelry was at 7am. followed by breakfast and a quick trek out the door to our first activity at 8. (John has been teasing me about Mommy boot camp.) The morning was full of activities and errand running. We arrived home at 12:30. I even took them out to lunch at McDonald's. How great am I? Yet, still there was fighting. Fighting in the car over who sits wear. Arguing over the radio. Yelling at one another over what was said, and wasn't said. I tried, really tried to tune them out. They have some things they have to work out on their own. Yeah, only that didn't work. Finally Emma said, "Tell, Jack I wasn't trying to say what he said, I was saying it my own way." What?! It appeared they were arguing over arguing. Goodie a new summer activity.

At one o'clock I had had enough! I declared my Independence from my children and went to my room to read. AKA take a short nap. My goal was 1 hour. After 10 minutes they found me. I sent them away. After 22 minutes, they were back with a not so serious, toe-nail emergency. OH, happy day. After 40 minutes, I was awakened as the TV got louder and LOUDER, as did the accompanied screaming and piano playing. That was it! Not only did I not get my respite, I did not even get a time-out. I sent them outside to play in there really cool tree house, which brought many, many protests, believe it or not. Inevitably, both Jack and Emma returned saying it was too hot to play outside and (my favorite excuse of all, "WE'RE BORED!" )

Oh, how sorry they are that those words were uttered. Bored, hmm, well I have lots to do so I guess you'll just have to help me. As I sit and vent in this post my windows are being washed, my laundry folded and the carpets swept. I think next the dishwasher needs unloaded and the dining room could use dusted. Perhaps the toilets need cleaned, oh, that's just a fabulous idea. Maybe I could have the porches swept next, hmm. Of course I will have to plan for tomorrow when I am sure we will have a random case of the "We're bored!" With luck by Friday I will get that nap.


You may remember this quilt, Fall Frolic. I sewed up the quilt top last summer when I was without my long-arm machine.

Thursday I was able to put the backing together, load my long arm machine and get it quilted, all in the course of one evening!!! Now you may be asking yourself, "Did Hell freeze over?" and I assure, it did not. Thursday night was an interesting mix of unrest and freedom in the same bite. As you may or may not be aware, my children finished up their last day of school on Thursday. With the culmination of another year, a fact that I am still having trouble with, the number of parties that were occurring was astronomical. Mark and Emma were both invited out. Emma to her first sleepover! It was this event was causing me a bit of unrest and uneasiness as she is my last to do so. I needed to keep busy. The comfort that I still had Jack here to entertain me was quickly smothered as Jack exclaimed, "I am exhausted! Can I go to bed now?" At no less that 8 pm that night I was alone, uneasy and wide awake. Not that I could have slept if I had wanted to. I was sure if I fell asleep Emma would be calling to ask me to come and pick her up. I also reasoned that if I stayed awake she would be fine. My assumption proved true as she spent the entire night and was not at all ready to come home when I went to retrieve her at 10:30 the next morning. I worked steadily all evening and well into Friday morning and now have this quilt finished. Three quilts in one week, if you can fathom that!

I have been checking out how other quilters finish their quilts. I have been drawn to several quilts made by Film in the Fridge. I love, Love, LOVE the fact that she makes the backs of her quilts just as beautiful as the front, without taking away from the beauty of the front. She is quick to challenge the "law" of traditional quilting and put her own spin on a quilt or quilt pattern. I admire this, and therefore have been experimenting with the limits I have put on my own quilts.

In this quilt I added leftover strips from the front onto the backing. I also intermixed solid color binding fabric with small pieces of color from the pattern on the front and back. The results are stunning and the pictures do not do them justice. I really need to take a photography class and learn how to show off my quilts in pictures. The new quilt is in the Etsy shop, check it out!


Put a fork in this--IT"S DONE!

Much to my great relief, and my children's, I am finally finished with Emma's Garden Quilt! (The crowd goes wild. and there is much rejoicing)

I am posting this as part of Sew-&-Tell Fridays. Check out the wonderful things made by other sewing enthusiasts!

Please note :No children were harmed in the completion of this quilt. The quilt maker suffered only mildly annoying injuries to her fingers and is now typing with a pencil.


Fabric Nesting Baskets- A Tutorial

I have been working on this design for several months. It was a challenge putting the design that has been tumbling around inside my brain into words for and images for others. The directions for the boxed corners were a stumbling block for me so lease feel free to email me with any questions. There are several good tutorials on the web strictly for boxing corners. This link has many good pictures if you are a visual person (It even has the algebraic equations for those of you are so inclined.)

This is the second set of nesting baskets I have made. The first set was much to small to be functional and was really a prototype. These latest baskets are much more fuctional and I think will come in handy around the house. Actually, Emma has already claimed them for herself, I need to make my own.

I have been wanting to set up a tutorial for this project so that others may enjoy it. After many, many electronic and technalogical stumbles I think I finally have it! WooHoo! Here is the Fabric Nesting basket link for pdf. file.