Sunday, December 30, 2012

What I've Been Up To

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted. I've been busy though. Customer quilts to finish. Two trips to California and a Christmas surprise.
One of the customer quilts was rather large. I didn't get a nice picture of it.
The pattern is called Snowman Collector by Lynda Howell. Very cute!
Then there was Twinkle Toes' dance recital. She's on the left.

Following the recital there was construction of gingerbread houses. The gingerbread didn't cooperate, and graham crackers were substituted.

Some of the architects were more successful

than others.

We blamed it on frosting that was too softly whipped. Certainly it wasn't the fault of the workers!

The following weekend was Grandparents' Day at Spicy's school.
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting her school, and spending the day with her.

I drove home from California the Saturday before Christmas. There were preparations to be made for the big day. My husband had invited homeless veterans for Christmas dinner. We had planned on serving turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, rolls, pumpkin pie and apple pie.

Christmas Eve day I made potato casserole, pumpkin and apple pies, and got the stuffing casserole ready.

Then it was Christmas morning. With just my Dear Motorcycle Dude and me, presents opening is a much calmer affair than in years past. Around noon we got the ham in the crock pot and the turkey in the oven. I started the dough for rolls.

About the time we were expecting homeless veterans to show up we got a call letting us know they would be a little late. Well, the nerve of them! A free meal and they were going to be late?!

Finally, we saw the headlights of their car. Motorcycle Dude opened the door and called me to come meet the veterans. Only they weren't veterans. They were my Dear Daughter, Spicy, Bubba, Baby G, and my Dear Son-in-Law. I was so shocked! It took me several moments to realize they were really there. Tears flowed freely, to say the least.

It was the best, most surprising present I've ever received. It was the idea of my DSIL. Wouldn't you say he's just the best ever?

There was a light snowfall on the 26th, and Spicy had a wonderful time in the snow. Bubba didn't care for it much. He preferred watching her frolic, rather than getting all cold and wet.

Baby G and I just enjoyed watching the fun.

Since all good things must come to an end, we had to say goodbye. The house seems a little quiet now that they've returned home. It was wonderful though, while it lasted.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas

I have sporadically been joining QuiltSue's Christmas Quilt Along. Even though I haven't been a good member of the group, I have finished something.

TaDa! I'm calling it Christmas Leftovers, because
it's made from the trimmings from last year's quilt. It's going to become a table topper.

I'm very proud of myself for finishing something. I haven't made anything since last January. That's a long time to go without a personal project. I'm going to be better about planning personal time in 2013. Of course I think that's been my New Year's Resolution for about six years now.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I have a confession to make. I am an Ana White wannabe. She is amazing! I would love to have her skills with power tools and paint. She has a new book The Handbuilt Home. I bought it. I want to make most of the projects in it. However, I don't have the skills or the tools to do them. I realized that the missing tools could easily be fixed with a trip to Home Depot or Lowe's. After painting the closet I began to suspect I was lacking skills.

I decided to repurpose a small, rustic cabinet left at our house by a previous occupant. My Dear Motorcycle Dude put dowels inside for thread. He did a beautiful job, by the way. My job was to paint it. I was using the same paint as the closet for the interior and exterior, except that I was going to use Martha Stewart's recipe for chalkboard paint for the exterior of the doors. After this makeover I realized that I really don't have the finishing skills. If I were in High School I'd be sent to remedial woodshop.

My chalkboard paint is lumpy and gloppy in spots. It's a good thing that it does a good job of doing what it's supposed to do, hold thread. Don't the threads look pretty organized by color? I couldn't decide whether to organize by color or type, but color sure is pretty.

There is one teeny tiny problem, it only holds about half of my thread. Motorcycle Dude thinks he can make me a duplicate of this one for the rest of the thread. I'm hoping I'll do a better job of painting the second one. I really want to be proficient with tools and paint like Ana.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Even before we moved in to our new house I knew that I wanted to remove the closet doors. That closet space was valuable real estate, and I needed free access to it. The doors came out and were taken away by the Disabled American Veterans on their second truck pick-up. Thank goodness for them coming out to pick up large items.

I started planning.
Step 1, remove closet doors. Check
Step 2, remove clothes rod and shelf. Check

Step 3, install shelves
Leo, the Super Handyman came out yesterday and put shelves
in the closet in my sewing room/studio. (Is it presumptuous to call my room a studio?)
Step 3, check.

I know you'll laugh at me. Somehow in my mental plan of getting these shelves the painting of them was a forgotten step. These shelves are just common pine. Not a good idea to store fabric directly on bare wood.

So, this morning I went to the local Sherwin Williams Paint store, and bought primer and a brush. (Have you checked out their Let's Chip It program? Loads of fun) I know we have brushes, but they haven't been unpacked yet. $40.00 and a few hours later I have primed shelves.

I also have a new paint shirt, new paint pants, paint in my hair, paint on my hands, and a few paint footprints. I am not a neat and tidy painter.

I have been trying to decide whether or not to paint the inside of the closet a new color. The old owner left some of the wall paint behind. I could use it. However, I also like the idea of a contrasting color.
I picked up this color card while I was at the paint store. The second one from the top is the color I'm thinking of using. It's called Tidewater. We're a long way from any tidewater here in Arizona, so I hope there's no Paint Police saying I can't use it this far away from the ocean.

Monday, October 8, 2012


"My daily routine involves looking through my stuff, putting stuff away, organizing stuff, feeling guilty because I haven’t organized other stuff, ... wading through misplaced stuff in our garage, piling up stuff I’m tired of so we can sell it, packing away stuff I’m really tired of to give it away, asking my husband where he put his stuff, sorting, washing, and drying our stuff, "
               Quote courtesy of The Nester

My sewing room went from bare,

to overcrowded chaos.

Because, I'm terrible at managing stuff. I'm working really hard at reducing my piles of stuff. I am completely embarrassed by how much stuff I have accumulated. I will now have to live to be 153 to use up all my knitting/quilting stuff. Maybe even longer if I don't start working faster.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Getting There

We got the longarm moved in today. It looks a little lonesome in there. I have to get the rest of my quilty things moved in.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moving Day

Strong backs and a truck arrived promptly at 8:00 A.M. I'm so glad they are moving all the heavy stuff!

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Monday, September 24, 2012

The Doctor Will See You Now

Our poor Big Dog has been limping around for a week or so. I decided it was time for the veterinarian to check out his leg.

He wasn't happy about having to see all those people, much less being poked and prodded.

The vet couldn't find anything wrong. I opted not to have an x-ray done. I figured the poor boy had been through enough today, so we're taking a wait and see attitude.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ta Da!

From this

To this, in four steps.

My inspiration (Pinspiration?) came from a pin on Pinterest. I don't know that these are even on a board, but I knew that I wanted to put mine on the wall in my new quilting room. I also knew that I wanted to use my old wooden spools, and not the newer plastic ones.

Mine turned out a little fat and squat for my taste, but I'm not making another one. I'll live with it.

The steps:

First, make a paper heart.
Second, trace it onto your base. Mine is thin plywood, but if you make yours smaller it could be on foam core board. I don't think foam core could have supported the weight of all the spools that I used without warping.

Third, cut out your heart.  My Dear Motorcycle Dude did this step for me. It is his jig saw after all.
Fourth, I don't have in progress pictures of this step. Sorry. Glue the spools onto your backing. I used Gorilla glue, because that was on hand. Any wood glue should work.
I guess there is a fifth step. Put hangers on the back of the board. Mine is not hanging on a wall, because it's for the new house. We are supposed to close escrow late next week. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Christmas Quilt Along

Saturday was the Christmas Quilt-Along with Hazel and Sue. I was able to join along in the afternoon. Most likely, Hazel and Sue had shut off their machines and gone to bed by the time I started sewing.

I've been working on a quilt for my daughter based on this Sugar Garden Throw from Moda Bake Shop. The orginal is made from a layer cake.

My version is using yardage that I purchased on one of my California trips, so there is a little less variety in the fabrics. I've decided that I'm going to make more blocks without a red piece. I think the red should be a little less prominent.  It only requires a little bit of resewing, and I already have some of the replacement pieces cut.

I should have it done by Thanksgiving, maybe.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Do You Pinterest?

Do you Pinterest?

Since we have been in escrow I have been spending way too much time on Pinterest. I have been looking for ideas for storage,

decorating,  you name it. If it has to do with homes and decorating, I've been looking at it.

Which means that I'm behind on my quilting. I haven't figured out how to surf the web and quilt at the same time, pity that.

However, I have managed to finish five quilts that I'll be delivering this weekend in California, and two that have been delivered locally this week. Here are some pictures of a couple of them.

This is a redwork quilt done by my old quilt friendship group.

This one has also been done by Noreen's friendship group.
This is how the cornucopias looked before the detail quilting.

Then I used Superior Threads' MonoPoly to add details by stitching along the applique lines. This is how it looked after the extra quilting.

I'm having Pinterest withdrawal. I'd best get back to surfing the web.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

About Face

Well, things do change. Today, as I was mourning the end of escrow, our real estate agent called. It seems that the owner of the house met with the selling agent. He met with her to tell her about the problems with the house, and that we were going to have to withdraw our offer. Poor lady burst into tears. It seems that she really liked us, and wanted us as neighbors as much as we wanted the house. She offered to fix all of the major problems with the house! The gist of all this is that we are back in escrow. Yippee!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We are no longer in escrow. We had the home inspection yesterday. There were some very serious problems with the wiring in the house, plus nearly all the additions to the house were illegal or in violation of building codes. I'm very sad. I really liked the house. Well, back to house hunting.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

House Hunting

Though we returned from vacation July 30 I haven't had time to post.

We've been house hunting. Before we left on vacation, we saw a great home on a great lot. The owners had raised vegetable beds, a compost heap, a greenhouse, workshop/longarm studio space. Their decorating style even matched ours. We worked up an offer and ended up as a second back-up offer.

Then last Friday, there was a home on a large lot, pretty oak floors, a big bonus room over the garage that could have been for the longarm, and a recently remodeled kitchen with limestone counters. We worked up an offer on that one, only to find out that an offer had been received just a few minutes before we were going to submit ours.

Our agent was feeling pretty sorry for us. She got a few more listings and arranged for us to view them Monday. One was on a hill with a pretty view, but near a highway with lots of road noise. Two on one street, both of them were kind of smelly and pricy.

Then we saw this one.

The lot is smaller than we were hoping for. However, it has fresh paint inside and out, new carpeting and tile, and one of the bedrooms is large enough for the longarm.

We rushed back to the agency office and wrote up an offer. We managed to get it in before anyone else, but  still we didn't know if it would be accepted.

Our agent called this morning, we got the house!
Escrow closes September 21.
Check out this fabulous room! It's a north facing room. It's not quite as large as the photo makes it seem. I can't wait to have my morning cup of coffee here.

It also has a quirky, funky, wonderful yard. The coreopsis was blooming when we saw the house. I love coreopsis. I tried to grow it in California, but I couldn't get it to stay alive.

I'm so excited!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Aahh, vacation! Back home next week.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012


 I've had a few finished in the last few days, but I haven't had a chance to get the posted. This is Janice's quilt. I have been calling it "Leading Ladies." There is a lot of piecing in this lap quilt!
 She does such great quilts.

I tried a new border design. It's from Dustin Farrell's book Freehand Filigree. I really like the way that it turned out.

 This one is by Anelise, for her grandson. He is a skate and snowboarder. I've been calling this one "Shred."

I'm not too familiar with current lingo, but I think shred is a term that boarders use. Though I'm not exactly how it works in a sentence. "You shred." "Shred it!" I have no idea. I'm just an old grammy.

She has inset photos of her grandson in the borders.

Anelise makes some of her quilts reversible. This is the back side of "Shred."

Well, back to work!