Top Done & Cross Stitch

Another busy week around here. Last Wednesday we made the trip to University of New Hampshire for a campus tour. Friday was mine and Greg’s 21st wedding anniversary and Saturday we went to a tour of Simpson Spring which is the oldest bottling plant in the US. We toured the small facility and tasted yummy sodas. Brought a few home too!

I got the borders put on Amanda’s Love Notes quilt this morning! I couldn’t blog until that was done so I’d have something quilty to show you all…


I am loving the aqua borders. The quilt measures about 50″ x 60″. I have a few yards left of the aqua but possibly not enough to back and bind it. I really want the aqua for the binding so I’ll cut all those strips first and then fudge the back with some other fabric in addition to whatever is left of aqua.

I went to Joann’s on Saturday and got hooked into the cross stitch section. Like I need another hand project!!! I didn’t see anything I loved and of course knew in my mind I had several at home…both ones that are started and some in the packaging. These are two I picked up years ago in Lancaster County because that’s what you do in Landcaster County, right?


This one I picked up in Disney World and gave myself 15 years to complete, at least 8 or so have gone by. It should look like this…


This is all I have completed…lol!!!!


Now I’m going to blame it on the floss. Disney is sparkly and magical and the instructions want you to use whatever color floss called for plus a piece of metallic floss for dazzle. Well, do you have any idea what a pain in the behind metallic floss is to work with? Just saying….Of course I found this cross stitch in the first quilted tote bag I ever made…


Ok, so moving on. The last one I have in progress is this really cute Christmas one. I pulled it out, reread the instructions and began working on it again this week. I have to tell you though, the little bitty squares on the aida cloth have gotten significantly smaller in the last 10 years. Wow, is that hard to see.


That’s about it for the week. We are back to doctors and dentists and orthos and oral surgeons this week. No fun. Next week we head to UMASS Amherst for a college tour. That is my alma mater so I’m looking forward to returning to it. Amanda’s heart is set on UNH now and I can see that but we must visit a few more!

Have a good week and be well.


Update For The Week

It has been a very busy week around here. Leah turned 13 on Friday!! That makes teen daughter #3! When I think back to when the girls were really little, I couldn’t really imagine what life would be like when they were teens. Now it’s here and I can hardly believe it. Life is fun and there’s never a dull moment, that is for sure.

Saturday we hosted a family reunion which was very fun. Yesterday I finished typing up the Quilter’s World project and this morning I shipped it! Now I’m tying up loose ends and getting phone calls and emails out of the way.

On Sunday I treated myself to a morning of sewing for pleasure and I finished piecing the love notes quilt.


This one is for Amanda and it served as my ‘therapy’ quilt while she was away in Paris in April. I got the rows all joined but it needs some major borders to get to an acceptable size. I will do an inner border of 3″ in Kona white and then a larger 8″ border in the aqua Paris Kiss Kiss fabric. Amanda chose the aqua over the pink and I think it will be pretty. I ordered the yardage from Fat Quarter Shop this morning. I ordered enough for borders, binding and backing.


The white Kona I’ll have to get at Joann’s because I couldn’t match up the whites on Fat Quarter Shop. I originally got the white at Jo’s so I’ll go back this week.

My next work projects will be a few more mug rug patterns for Craftsy and some magazine designing for upcoming submission deadlines.
What are you all working on?


A Day Trip, A Hat & Other Stuff

Happy Wednesday, again!

Last week the girls, my mom and I took a day trip to Rockport, MA. It’s less than an hour there from my mom’s house and we enjoyed lunch out and a walk around the harbor. There are so many cute shops and artsy little places to check out. This is the very famous Motif 1. It’s one of the most photographed places in the world. I was very pleased with this picture as it caught the reflection of the boats in the water!


I played with the panorama setting on my phone finally and took this of the harbor…


And this is looking back down the road that we had just walked up. The little restaurant on the corner looked adorable-maybe next year we will eat there…


Before we left Rockport for the day, I found this awesome hat! I’ve never been a hat person before but I saw this on the mannequin in one of the shop windows and I just loved it. My mom purchased it for me and it’s going to Hawaii with me in August! I had it on at the pool yesterday and it took about 67 tries to get a decent selfie but here it is…


This week I finished sewing the project for Quilter’s World. I still have to draft the pattern but I’m feeling relieved to know I’ll meet the deadline before vacation. Tonight I had a few minutes so I stitched together the first row of Love Notes which is for Amanda.


The new needles for the Singer 40k came on Friday. I put the new needle in and that machine is sewing like a dream! Here is a little back story on the needles. Evidently, the size 24×3 needles that you are supposed to use in the machine are not being produced any longer, however, a 24×1 needle can be used in the machine by simply inserting the needle backwards with the rounded side toward the needle clamp as opposed to the flat side. These 24×1 needles are much easier to find. I was able to get 10 of them for $10 on Ebay.

Yesterday, I came across this article via a tweet by Abby Glassenberg. The article refers to the practice of people copying free patterns and tutorials and giving them to other people. This blogger feels doing that is unfair because often designers will offer freebies as a way to increase blog views and income potential. I cut and pasted the following paragraph from the article…

“How is this my problem?” I hear you ask. Without your support and assistance, designers will be unable to continue to provide free patterns and tutorials. Many of us rely on our freebies for blog views or downloads, which subsequently turn into sponsorship, sales or other opportunities. Without those, the blog will survive for only so long. The blogger too, for that matter. It takes a lot of time and effort to create patterns and tutorials. Design, images/diagrams, writing, testing, advertising. This doesn’t even include monetary costs such as materials, computer software, blog costs etc. Without some form of compensation, be it financial or otherwise, freebies simply become ‘not worth it’.—-Sew Today, Clean Tomorrow

She goes on to ask that in the future, instead of copying or emailing the freebie, mail the person a link to the website. The person still gets the free pattern but must visit the original designer’s website.

Hmmmmmmm…as a designer who has had free patterns on my website, I can see her point but I guess I don’t agree with it completely. I believe that if you are offering something as “free”, it is just that FREE. So I feel you are free to do what you want with it in terms of passing it along. It seems a bit over the top that a designer would depend so heavily on traffic from a free offering. She also states that part of the problem is not knowing how many times the freebie has been downloaded…was it 10,000 times, 20,000 times or 100,000 times. To me, that doesn’t really matter. I’m not a numbers girls when it comes to blogging. I check my stats about once a month and if anyone is still reading, I think that’s grand! Not for nothing, but I have a whole lot of other things that are more concerning than how many hits and visits I have. Offering something free is a way of giving back and also a way to draw in a new customer. As long as your name is on the download somewhere (as it should be), people will find you. Believe me, Google knows where your website is! I say, be joyful someone liked your free offering enough to recommend it to the next person and let whatever comes of it happen naturally.

What are your thoughts?


Sew Much Fun & Dream List

The little Singer Model 40K hand crank arrived this week and I’ve been having a ball with it! It came on Friday and I was ecstatic when I opened the box and saw how beautiful it was. It came with the original packaging, a case, instruction manual, scissors and a needle threader. The best part is that all the parts are there! When I was looking on Ebay I saw many toy Singers but a lot of them were either very overpriced or missing one part or anther. I feel like I got a great steal for $50 on Etsy from a vintage toy seller. Here is the little cutie…


Notice the price…it could be yours in 1960 for $14.95!
Right out of the box, it made a beautiful chain stitch and a perfect 1/4″ seam…



I was so excited that I set it up on the kitchen table and I made all these units…


And then it stopped working. Sigh. Cry. Curse. I was so sad. I threaded it again, changed the thread spool, oiled it, tipped it upside down to see what was up. When I looked under it, I could see that the little hook that should catch the thread when the needle passes under the plate, was not catching the thread so no chain stitch could be completed. I played around with the only needle the machine came with by taking it in and out of the clamp a few times and miraculously by 11pm that night, it was back making a beautiful chain stitch again! I went ahead and ordered some new needles on Ebay and I will change out the old one when they arrive just to be safe. So I was back in business and the next day, the machine and I went out by the pool and I stitched outside while the kids swam!


Two people have asked me what I will do with all those 2″ blocks that I am seaming together and I really have no idea. The joy is in using the machine. I have dreams of a postage stamp quilt but maybe a tote bag will do. Right now, I’m happy to use the hand crank and have a portable sewing machine that I adore. If you think you’d like one as well, be sure that the machine you purchase has all of its parts like the spool holder and the seam guide. Those seemed to be the items that were missing on a lot of them.

Ok, now on to the dream list…Gretchen of 120 Blocks has been talking about her quilting dream list. Read her post HERE.

She is making a list of the quilts she would really like to make. This inspired me to do the same. I realized while writing the list that the quilts I was talking about are all the quilts that I have the patterns for here already. I just haven’t made them yet. There are one or two that I’d like to make that I don’t have the patterns for and that would be a Modern Maples quilt and a baby puffy or biscuit quilt. Here goes:

Lighthouse quilt by Dottie Krueger. This one is a big wall hanging and I have several fabrics set aside for it.

Love Notes quilt….working on it currently

Sunshine Pineapple Quilt by Vicki Stratton and Barbara Jones

Winter table runner, don’t know the name of the pattern but it looks complicated and I do have the fabric.

Song Bird Trio by Quilt Lily

Forget Me Not by Zebra Patterns

Bird of Paradise by Zebra Patterns

Life’s a Beach and Snow Scene by Cynthia England

Farmer’s Wife quilt in 1930 repro fabrics

Grandma’s Sewing Machine water color mosaic by Mim Schlaback

Pineapple Hawaiian Quilt – I have pattern and have started but it’s needle turn and ya know…’nuf said.

I also have 2 felt applique projects on the list and two cross stitch projects on the list.

I think there are more quilts that I’d like to make that I don’t have the patterns for but I haven’t really delved into those yet. I’ll keep working on that list.

So…what’s your dream list? Care to share? I’d love to hear from you…


Painting, A New Toy & A Ukulele

Happy Wednesday!
I seem to be in the habit of posting on Wednesdays the last few weeks. At first it bothered me that I wasn’t getting at least a second post in each week but now I’m kind of enjoying the weekly Wednesday update. I think for the summer, I’ll continue that trend as it makes life easier with 3 kids home all day. I do have hopes of getting a podcast in soon too…

This week I’m working on the project for Quilter’s World. That is my priority for each morning until it’s finished. The deadline is the day we leave for Hawaii so I want to finish that up very soon.

I mentioned in the last post that I was on the hunt for a hand crank Singer toy model. I originally wanted the Singer Model 20 but then I found a beautiful Singer Model 40. I wanted a small hand crank to use out at the pool and also possibly to take on the trip. I found this gorgeous one on Etsy and it is due here tomorrow!


It has the original box and case. I can’t wait to play with it! Last night I started cutting up scraps into 2″ squares so I can make a postage stamp quilt of some kind with the machine. I started cutting at 9pm.

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I got aggravated and remembered why I hate using scraps by 11pm. LOL! Oh my…I kept thinking, ‘doesn’t someone sell these all ready cut?’
I will press on…just not tonight.

Over the weekend I painted the girls’ bathroom. It was white with a red, white and blue lighthouse theme. Now it is aqua (Ben Moore Forget Me Not) with navy and white accessories.

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I am waiting on two new white framed mirrors to arrive to finish the project off.

Tonight I busted out the ukulele again…Linda Hicks, if you’re reading this, I know you are smiling! Linda is the one I caught the ukuklele bug from originally. I reacquainted myself with some notes an chords and worked up to playing Ode To Joy and Love Me Tender. Maybe you’ll hear me struggle through it on the next podcast!!


These beauties have been making me smile in the garden all week. They are so full of color.

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Gretchen over at 120 Blocks posted about making her dream list of what she wants to accomplish in her quilty life. I loved reading her list and feel a bit inspired to make my own and share it. I’ll work on that for next week.

What are your quilty goals?


And the week goes on…

We are almost to the end of the school year!! The kids are out tomorrow and we just can’t wait. It has been a long end of the year. I’m ready for no packing of the lunches, no setting of the alarm and some time to just hang out with the girls. Check in with me around the end of July and my tune will have changed drastically!!! LOL! Just kidding. We are looking forward to a vacation in Kauai during August. We have been to Maui before and are really excited to see another Hawaiian island. Now I need to find the quilt shops on the island and plan when I can get there. I looked briefly and found 2 possibly 3. I’ll whittle my choices down to 2 to keep my fellow traveling companions from the requisite eye rolling and teasing. Time to break out that ukulele again.

This past weekend was the music school show. Look who won the raffle quilt…


For a brief moment, I felt I should tell the school to choose another ticket but Leah was so thrilled to have won it, I didn’t have the heart. She loves it and I’m glad. We had a great show that night. Amanda was given the flautist of the year award along with high honors awards in piano and flute. Lindsey came away with high honors in voice and honors in piano and guitar. It was a good night.

This week I’m working on bright project for Quilter’s World magazine’s spring issue. I can’t tell you what it is but the fabrics sure are pretty…


Greg and I had a hot date to the antique store yard sale on Saturday morning. I know, we are so adventurous! LOL. I found this adorable quilt rack for $15. There was no way I could leave it there. I’ve never seen one like it and it’s perfect in my living room.


I had great news earlier this week. My block has been chosen for QuiltMaker’s 100 Blocks Vol 12! I’m thrilled to be part of that magazine again for the 6th time! They are fabulous to work with.

I’ve got a new obsession. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know I see something quilting related and then I obsess until it’s in my possession. I promise myself this will be the last purchase and then it happens again…does this sound familiar? Bonnie Hunter posted about her friend
Carla’s adorable hand crank machine. It’s a Singer Model 20 which is actually a toy model. She has brought it on long flights with her and used it to quilt blocks even though it’s a chain stitching machine. Bonnie swears that chain stitching stitches are small and get crossed over with other seams so they are fine to use. Long flights (Hawaii) + adorable machine + my obsessive nature = I want one. Do you see where this is all heading? Here is the link for the post:

So I troll Ebay every night now looking for one that works and has all of its pieces. And yes, I hate myself for it. LOL!!! I’ll let you know how this works out…

Projects I’ve been neglecting for the moment are Amanda’s Love Notes quilt and the comic show sewing. Hopefully I can get back to those soon. I’ve also neglected sketching and handwork. I see I need to spend some time in the garden as well…thank goodness for summer!

What are you all working on today?


A Finish & Good News

Happy Wednesday! Hope you are all making some decent progress on your projects this week. I’m thrilled to have finished up the t-shirt quilt I was working on for my friend’s daughter. She had a combination of 23 t-shirts, sweatshirts and tank tops. We used the fronts, some backs, and even a sleeve! It was quite a project and took many hours of planning and prepping. I sashed it in a printed black cotton fabric and backed it with fleece. The quilt is heavy as all get go but is durable and warm!

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When I wasn’t working on the t-shirt quilt last week, we were getting ready for the dance recitals. Both Lindsey and Leah were in all three shows that day. It was Lindsey’s 6th and final recital and Leah’s 10th recital! Leah has been dying to get her hands on a 10 year trophy since the day she received her 5 year trophy! Lindsey had a long day as she still is feeling affects of her concussion. She wanted to be able to wrap up her dance career though and she did just that. Greg and I are so proud of both of them.

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Leah getting one last practice in!

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This week we are moving on to the music recital where Amanda and Lindsey will both be performing. I’m hoping the raffle quilt I made will take in some good ticket sales.

I received some great news from the lovely people over at Quilter’s World that one of my projects will be included in the Spring 2016 issue! I love working with them and I’ll be busy now for a few weeks completing the project. It’s due the day we leave for Hawaii in August so I’ll be working on that sooner rather than later!

I had an idea to research some Block Of The Month programs and to possibly design my own. I’m wondering if there would be interest in that? I’ve always wanted to organize one but haven’t had the time. I’ll keep you posted if I move ahead with that.

I think that’s it for today! Have a good one.


Turtle’s Pace

Ever feel like you’re moving at turtle’s pace? That’s how I’m feeling this week. I have a million things to do but every day life is getting in the way of progress.  It’s the urgent v. the important all day long. Everything seems urgent this week and some of it is important but the lines are blurred amongst the dance rehearsals, dentist appointments, doctor appointments and influx of school paper work. I kind of feel like giving up. Of course right when I wanted to throw in the towel, this amazing article arrived in my mailbox on the topic of giving up or gutting it out.  This one section stood out to me the most:

This Is Life

Life is a constant balance between giving into the ease of distraction or overcoming the pain of discipline. It is not an exaggeration to say that our lives and our identities are defined in this delicate balance. What is life, if not the sum of a hundred thousand daily battles and tiny decisions to either gut it out or give it up?

This moment when you don’t feel like doing the work? This is not a moment to be thrown away. This is not a dress rehearsal. This moment is your life as much as any other moment. Spend it in a way that will make you proud.

—-James Clear

So I’m gutting it out right here with you now. Yesterday I worked for a few solid hours on the T-shirt quilt. I completed all of the measuring, remeasuring, stabilizing and cutting.

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I laid them all out and started making sashing strips. The sashing will be black which is by request of the young lady. I took a quick picture and sent it to her to confirm that is wasn’t too much black but in typical kid fasion, that is what she likes best. So I’ll continue with that this week. The quilt will have a pretty red fleece backing.

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I had some great news last week that my Hanukkah Celebrations mini quilt pattern will be offered on the beautiful 1-800-dreidel website. The pattern isn’t up there yet but should be by the end of the week.



If you’re looking for summer quilt projects, check out the Third Seasonal Trio , Nautical Table Runner , It’s American, and Sail Away Mug Rug patterns on Craftsy.

Third Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW


pattern cover photo

mug rug cover 2


T-Shirts and Irons

Happy Thursday!

Today I’m working on the t-shirt quilt for my friend’s daughter. I think the math and planning of a t-shirt quilt is the hardest part. Lucky for me, this young lady knew how she wanted the shirts layed out so I just have to figure out how to make that all work mathematically. I’ve progressed from making a diagram and labeling to working on the cutting and interfacing.

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decided to replace my Panasonic iron with a Black & Decker Digital Advantage iron before I began this quilt. I’m so glad that I did because this iron heats up quickly and does a bang up job of actually ironing. I’ve had several $100 irons and a few $20 ones. This one was around $45 and seems to be just right…hmmm…sounds like Goldilocks! Oh and it tells you digitally when it’s heated to the desired temp for whatever fabric you are working with. Fingers crossed this one doesn’t leak or randomly stop heating.

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Ashley Hackshaw’s blog is one of my favorite ones to read. I started following her when she began her series about her fight with cancer. Since winning her battle, she has given up her fast paced life in CA and moved to a slower paced and simpler life in North Carolina. She makes a life of making connections with her surroundings and those around her. She wrote yesterday about a quilt she purchased on Ebay and how that quilt went full circle through her back to it’s original owners. It’s a sweet story with a beautiful ending. I hope you enjoy it.

Have a lovely evening…


Beauties From The Quilt Show…

The Quilter’s Connection Quilt Guild, to which I belong, had it’s quilt show over the weekend. I have to say that I am in awe at the quilts that were displayed. I worked in the boutique on Saturday morning which also had a stunning amount of unique products for purchase. Later in the day, I worked as a hostess doing the ‘white glove’ thing. Working as a hostess is neat because you can trade off with other hostesses and move around to the different areas of the show. This allows you to have a chance to spend quite a bit of time with many different quilts. The venue for our quilt show is actually a theater building so quilts are hung on 3 different floors including in the main theater and the black box lower level.

I took pictures of some of my favorites, not all the pictures I took came out great but our guild puts every quilt on the website. This takes a little time to appear but as soon as it does, I’ll post a link so you all can see the wonderful quilts. There were about 150 quilts on display.

This quilt was so awesome in every way. This was done by Anne Kimball. The texture was amazing.

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A beautiful one by Susan Stemporzewski

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This one garnered so much attention. It was made by Pam Arsenault. The background quilting includes all kinds of sea life.

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This one impressed my hubby. It was made by Rosemary Bawn.
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This was one of my favorites by Nancy Howard. The picture doesn’t even do it justice.

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Mike McNamara had a very impressive showing of quilts. This first one with the rooster was selected by reps from the Museum of Fine Arts to add to their permanent collection. Having the reps attend was a great way to start the day off!! I really enjoyed his MLK quilt as well.

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The two in the background are also Mac’s.


I especially loved the colors and texture on this one by Raphaela Greenstein…

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My mom entered the following quilts…one she made on her embroidery machine and another she made from one of my patterns.

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I entered the Amanda quilt and also The Lindsey Project…

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Sometimes the most unexpected things happen at a quilt show like meeting a fellow member you did not know before and finding out that you are so inspired by this person and very grateful to have met them. I had the pleasure of meeting quilt artist, G. Wong on Saturday. G was doing applique demonstrations outside of the boutique while I was working. I didn’t get to see her demonstration at that time but later in the day, she came into the theater area and we got to talking. She so sweetly, took out her demo supplies and gave me my own lesson on Hawaiian applique right there and then. I am sending you all over to her blog, Quilt & Bitch, to see her AMAZING work. When you go to her blog, click on the Quilts tab to see pictures of all of her quilts. The Orange Peel quilt was at the show among others (From The Inside Looking Out and From The Outside Looking In). Her color placement is

Have a great day everyone! I’m off to work on a t-shirt quilt for a special grad!