Welcome to my blog, we're talking about quilting and other good stuff. I'm glad you stopped by ... look around, add a comment, become a follower if you feel inclined, tell your friends about me, and come back soon!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Worth repeating

I think I've discovered why most of us can't get more done ... we're not properly prepared!  Study the following tips closely --

Tips on preparing yourself for sewing, from a 1949 Singer Sewing Manual:

"Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do ... never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically.  Good results are difficult when indifference predominates.

"Never try to sew with a sink full of dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing.

"When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible.  Put on a clean dress.  Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals.  Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on with care ... if you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should."

On the Other Hand:
2017 tips on preparing yourself for quilting, just from the top of my head:

Prepare yourself mentally for quilting.  If you're not sure what you want to do, just dive right in and start piecing and slashing scraps with mad abandon! Surprising and pleasing benefits can result from this creativity.

Never mind a sink full of dishes or unmade beds - finishing that UFO or mystery quilt comes first!  Throw something in the crock pot so your mind is free to enjoy your quilting.

When you quilt, make yourself as comfortable as possible.  Put on an old floppy warm-up suit and bunny slippers.  Keep a little bag full of French chocolates or peanut M&Ms near your sewing machine and pop one into your mouth at regular intervals.

Don't worry about your hair, just pull it out of your face and off your neck with a rubber band. DO NOT put lipstick on; you'll need your mouth to hold extra pins.

If you are concerned that a visitor will drop in, just close the curtains and pretend you're not in. If your husband comes home and you are not at a good stopping place, you will not enjoy your quilting as you should with him bumbling around in the background.  Send him out for pizza.

Sew forth and sew on

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Buzzing at the Bee

Three things to be happy about:
(1) cell phone bling
(2) folding chairs
(3) the color yellow

We had our first meeting of the year yesterday, and the room was really buzzing!

In some cases some people hadn't seen each other since our last meeting of the year in November, so the excitement level was very high.

There was a lot going on; Valerie models her Wee Bee t-shirt...

... while Sondra prepares strips for another chevron quilt.

I like the fuss-free way she pieces the strips; she says you really can't make mistakes.

If I know Sandy, she'll probably have the quilt - pieced, quilted and bound - ready for show n tell at next month's meeting!

Several people turned in their blocks for the Inside Out Pineapple block swap.

I love the different colors, these will make pretty quilts!

What would a bee meeting be without show n tell ...

I received this wonderful "WOW! Bag" as a Christmas gift; notice my initials embroidered on it - wow!  It starts out as a large bag, then it unfolds into an even larger bag with a shoulder strap.

I've wanted one for years, ever since the pattern came out!  Go to this link for details.

Linda S. wow'd us with this square in a square quilt.  The black fabric in the middle is printed with spools of thread.

She doesn't usually make large quilts but this one was super easy!

Double wow!  Pat K made this lovely basket quilt, a Fons and Porter pattern.

Yellow, red, and black-and-white - this is definitely going on my must-do list!

And last but not least, Sondra shared another one of her lovely table runners.

I love those colors!

I always have fun at bee, and I'm looking forward to next month.

Sew forth and sew on ...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

More EP progress

Three things to be happy about:
(1) digital cameras
(2) fresh fruit
(3) Deer Park water

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes!

Three quadrants are done on my EP quilt - moving right along!

I need to cut some more green and yellow strips because by now I'm starting to repeat the same fabrics a little too often.

I didn't want to start in sewing right away today, I've been wanting (not really) to tackle my kitchen cabinets and clean them out.

Powdered sugar, beans, bread crumbs, muffin cups - a lot of stuff that hasn't seen the light of day for a very long time and should be used or tossed!

Honey, old spices ... poultry seasoning, orange peel, red pepper flakes, green food coloring.

Two containers of baking powder, I hardly ever bake!

How long has that been hanging around?

Several people have blogged how they spend 15 minutes on a drawer or an hour on something else to bring it into submission.

Should I spend an hour ... 15 minutes?   2 hours??

This is what I decided:

I think I'll go and cut some more 2" strips!

Sew forth and sew on

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The best birthday ever

Today is my birthday, I hit the double digits!

As I was thinking about how I've celebrated my birthday over the years, I remembered that my 'best birthday ever' didn't start out that way!

Years and years ago my birthday fell on a Sunday, and the guy I was dating at the time was to take me to dinner.  This wasn't any ordinary dinner, mind you - it was dinner theater!

He had something come up at the last minute and couldn't take me (let me pause here and say he wasn't the most reliable person in the world).  I'd been so looking forward to this for weeks, and when he cancelled at the last minute I was really crushed!

I didn't want to spend my birthday all alone in my house because I knew I'd get depressed, so I decided to take myself to dinner.  First place I went to (I think it was called The Pleasant Peasant) had a wait time of over an hour.  Yeeech, I didn't want to wait an hour!  I decided to go to Hogate's on the waterfront - 45 minutes wait - sheesh!  I figured I may as well stay, have a drink in the bar.

Somehow I got in a conversation with a lady sitting on the stool next to me, told her it was my birthday, boyfriend stood me up, yadda yadda yadda.  She sympathized and bought me another drink. I was starting to feel a bit better!

A guy sitting on the other side joined our conversation and offered to buy me another one ... well, two was my limit so I politely declined.  By that time my table was ready; I asked the bartender for my tab and he winked at me and said forget the tab.  Feeling better and better!

On the way to my table I told the maitre d' that I wanted a nice table because it was my birthday.  He sat me at a very nice table at a window overlooking the Potomac - better still!

After I ordered, the guy I'd talked with in the bar asked to join me, I said sure!  He said he had already eaten but he wanted to sit with me awhile because nobody should eat alone on their birthday - and that he'd asked my waiter for my dinner check because dinner was on him - wow!

My new friend had to leave after a few minutes.  When I finished eating my waiter brought me a slice of cake with a candle, and 5-6 other waiters gathered around and sang Happy Birthday to me!

That was the best birthday I ever had!

I know how I'll celebrate my birthday today, I hope you have a great one too!  Sew forth and sew on

Monday, January 23, 2017

Good things

Three things to be happy about:
(1) blue butterflies
(2) retractable pencils
(3) bread pudding

I made a bread pudding for dinner yesterday that was spot on!  I like to make mine with half regular bread and half raisin - or leftover raisin bagels. No nuts, no gourmet sauce, nothing special - just plain ole bread pudding like mama used to make!  Come to think of it, mama used leftover biscuits.


Another part of my dinner included these delicious, creamy mashed potatoes!

When we were at Disney World last June, grocery shopping at the Walmart, my sister picked up these Ore Ida potatoes.  They were quick and easy to prepare, and they really were very good.

So ... when I saw them at the Giant yesterday I picked up a bag on impulse.

The entire package of potatoes was too much to fix at once, so these Ziploc Zip 'n Steam bags came in handy.

Easy to use - just load the bag, microwave it, stir and serve!


I'm still sewing away at the EP bits and pieces!

Sashing units and green/yellow/neutral units are being pieced along with the main 15" blocks.

And last but not least, one more good thing - I got "The Birthday Dollar" on Friday!!

If you've read my blog for awhile you might know that this dollar has been passed between my sisters and me for years and years.  My birthday isn't until January 25, but The Dollar comes to the birthday girl on her birthday, she signs it and passes it to the next person on her birthday.  But not without drama!  You can read a more detailed story about The Birthday Dollar in this post.

That's it for now, have a great Monday, sew forth and sew on til later...

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Three things to be happy about (compliments of my friend Pat):
(1) filet mignon
(2) poinsettias that last
(3) waking up to sunshine

Did you ever want to know how to do something, but didn't want to take the time to learn it?

I want to do a perspective drawing for a quilt - I found tutorials on the internet, but I'm too impatient to sit down and do the exercises!

One thing I learned off the bat is you start with a horizontal line and place a dot somewhere on that line representing the farthest, or vanishing, point.

So I learned that much, anyway!

This is a silhouette that I found among my bits and pieces a few weeks ago. I want to use it - it already has fusible on the back and besides, it's a really kewl silhouette!

I've pieced a few more of the hourglass blocks that will surround the central block, I think it will look nice.

My idea is to have the couple dancing in the street, with buildings on one side of them.  The challenge is, in order to be realistic the buildings closest to the couple need to be larger than their 11" height.  So, rather than drawing buildings and inserting figures that fit, I need to draw the buildings to fit the figures.  BUT I want a wall hanging, not a full sized quilt!

More on that later, I'll keep practicing and see what I come up with.

I needed something to give me a break from my EP which is about half done.  I say "about" because I made a second quadrant but when I went to sew the two pieces together - I discovered I'd left off the top sashing for that quadrant!

Now how'd that happen??  Back to the sewing board; I'll keep plugging away at it, but doing other things in between, just for variety.

That's it for now, sew forth and sew on...

Friday, January 20, 2017

Smile anyway

Kirk Franklin - I Smile Lyrics *

I dedicate this song to recession,
depression and unemployment.
This song’s for you.

Today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine.
Nothing but clouds, and it’s dark in my heart
and it feels like a cold night.
Today’s a new day, but where are my blue skies.
Where is the love and the joy that you promised me
tell me it’s alright.

(I’ll be honest with you)

I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain,
fell from heaven like a shower now.

(When I think how much better I’m gonna be when this is over)

I smile, even though I hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while
I smile, smile..
It’s so hard to look up when you look down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now.
You look so much better when you smile, so smile.

*You can get the lyrics in their entirety from http://www.songonlyrics.com/kirk-franklin-i-smile-lyrics

Sew forth and smile on

Thursday, January 12, 2017

One quadrant done

Three things to be happy about:
(1) a new recipe
(2) playing Bingo on Facebook
(3) Ritz crackers with cheddar cheese

I know cheese isn't that great for your body, especially when that body is in it's mid-sixties, but I think I come by my love of cheese honestly.

I remember when we were kids and would go visit my grandparents, we'd all go running to Pa Brown because we knew he'd have vanilla wafers and cheese in his pocket.  He'd give us some and say "don't tell you mama now!" because he knew mama didn't want us to have all that hard cheese.  So you see, I come by my love of cheese honestly!

I worked a bit on my En Provence quilt yesterday, managed to get a quadrant done before I stopped for the day.

At least two other people that I saw in the Mystery Monday linky are doing their quilt in quadrants to make it easier to handle.  I think it's a great idea!

So quadrants, it is.
Looking at my purple four-patches, I was thinking I may have to redo some because the light/dark contrast isn't that great.  See what I mean at the left?

Then I thought I'd just leave them alone - for one thing I don't have a large variety of light purples and I'd have a lot of repeats.  I do NOT want to buy more fabric, it won't be the end of the world to leave those low-contrast blocks in.  Maybe.

Sew forth and sew on

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Post not worthy of a name

This is a picture of the sunrise at 7:30 this morning:

This is a picture of my messy worktable at 7:30 this morning:

This is a picture of my latest progress on En Provence; yesterday was a no-sew day:

This is a picture of me at 8:15, trying to wake up so I can leave for my 9:00 appointment:

This is a picture of police activity in the 'hood yesterday; apparently there was a shooting while I was out galavanting around:
They're dusting for prints on a door about eight houses down from me - darn that's a good camera!

Gotta go, I'll be late!  Sew forth and sew on...

Monday, January 9, 2017

Ganging together

Three things to be happy about:
(1) Monday mornings
(2) cell phones
(3) polka dots

The gang's all here [honk honk]

Honker and Dinger are excited about their colors all together in a quilt - with a French name, no less:  En Provence, ooh la la!

Can you tell they're happy?

Me too, it's a gorgeous quilt, full of happy scrappy fabrics and the smell of sunshine!

When step 7 was posted and the finished quilt was revealed, I wanted to jump right in and start sewing my blocks together!

After finishing step 6, it was easy enough to cut the 3-1/2" yellow squares in step 7 using my GO die - piece 'o cake!

I tossed in all the yellows that wanted to come along.

So, now I'm piecing the main blocks, but also piecing the green/yellow/neutral units as leader/enders.

Ooops, what's wrong with this picture?

I did this twice - slow down!

The blocks sew up easily and I'm loving the way they look all sewn together!

I made two so far, I haven't sewn any of the sashing units yet.

Looking good!

Thanks for stopping by, now go on over to the En Provence linky at Quiltville and see what everybody else has done for steps 6 and 7!

Enjoy your Monday, sew forth and sew on til later

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Trimming up

Three things to be happy about:
(1) clear sinuses
(2) playing bingo on Facebook
(3) finding sweet potatoes on sale

Yesterday at Shoppers Food Warehouse I found sweet potatoes on sale - they were calling them red-fleshed yams, but to me they just looked like regular ole sweet potatoes!

Whatever the name, at 2 lbs for $1.00 I got a few pounds to add to my frozen tater collection.  I've usually had good experience with potatoes from Shoppers, they have such a good taste!

I also got a package of this spice since it was on the "come-on" shelf above the potato bin; never noticed it before.

Here's my progress on the En Provence mystery, step 6:

I sewed and sewed before something else grabbed my attention...

Twenty units already pieced and trimmed, 44 more to trim and stack neatly away before moving on to step 7!

And as for the pile of leftover strips on my cutting table...
shall I straighten it out now, or wait til later?

I agree, I'll leave it for later!  

Sew forth and sew on ...