Category Archives: Family

Crayon Embroidery, A Finish, A Storm

Happy Monday! I missed my blog post last week and maybe even the week before. Not sure how I got so off track. During that time we had school vacation and I celebrated my 47th birthday. I also attended my guild’s Winter Free Workshop which was a lot of fun. Now I’m sitting here writing to you with the help of a generator as we’ve had no electricity since Friday. A huge storm hit us and really did a number on our little town. The crews are out on the road near our house so fingers crossed the lights will come on soon.

We had some of this to contend with as well…water coming through the bricks on the chimney and down to the ash boxes spilling out into the basement. This is an issue for us whenever there is a big nor’easter type storm. We’re lucky it’s not gobs of water. A shop vac is enough to clean it up. In the past we’ve had our chimney waterproofed and it might be time to do it again!









Before the power was lost on Friday, I did finish up the silent auction quilt for Amanda’s sorority. This was a jelly roll by Moda called Summer Breeze. I love the blue and yellow so much!









This is the back of it. The pantograph is called lilac and it works up nicely.








Last Saturday, my mom and I went to our guild’s Winter Free Workshop where members teach other members new techniques in half or full day workshops. My mother and I both signed up for crayon embroidery and we had a great time! The project was from Crab Apple Hill Studios website and we learned how to color an embroidery project, heat set, and then embroider the project. This is the start of mine. I haven’t gotten too much done on it since as I am working on my bunny embroidery first. I always wanted to know how to do this as the ones I’ve seen are so beautiful.









I’m also working on the Christmas tree skirt which is a latch hook project. For my birthday, my mother gave me this awesome table for hooking rugs. I just love it. It makes the whole project so much easier. The little bins for yarn are so convenient. I like watching tv while I work on it.









It was ordered from the Mary Maxim catalog.

Lindsey made a big decision last week! She has decided she will attend the University of Vermont! Oh boy, we’re going to be road tripping up north quite a bit between visiting Lindsey and also Amanda at the University of New Hampshire! We’re super proud of Lindsey for blazing her own trail and choosing a school that’s a bit farther away than her true comfort zone. It’s four hours from us. I know she’ll love it there. It’s a beautiful place.


What have you all been working on lately?


Finishes And A Quilt From The Past

Happy Superbowl Sunday! This has been a good week for finishes over here. I wrapped up the binding on Lindsey’s Love Notes quilt. She was happy to receive it right out of the washer and dryer! This is the quilt I made for her when she was on a school trip to Paris last year. I worked on it each day until she got home. It was my therapy! I also made Amanda one when she went on that same trip 3 years ago.









I also finished up Gail’s pretty quilt on the long arm…










And I also finished a jelly roll race top for a silent auction but the picture won’t load. I’ll try again next post. And I finally put the designer hat back on and submitted a project to Quilter’s World. I really love it and can’t share it here yet…

Greg came home yesterday with this quilt from his parent’s house. It was made in the early 70’s by his great grandmother.









She made one for each great grandchild and I had actually seen Greg’s sister’s quilt last year. I don’t think I looked as closely at it as this one though. The construction method is so neat and I’ve never seen one done like this before. First of all it’s reversible and the same fabric in the blocks on one side is the same fabric on the backside. It’s a double thickness.









The quilt does not have any batting and the blocks are actually whip stitched together!








The prairie points are whip stitched on as well…each one individually…









And there’s even a bunny block!








It’s such an interesting quilt and I am really enjoying having it here to look at and think about. I love to whip stitch so it makes me think this is a great method to construct a quilt by hand. I don’t know a lot about vintage quilts, is this a common method? The quilt is in wonderful shape so I know the stitching holds up.

I live in MA so I bet you know who I’m rooting for today! I’ll have my knitting with me because they don’t win unless I do…superstition is everything on big game days! Enjoy the end of the weekend, everybody.


Open Sew Fun and More

Friday was open sew day for my students here at the house. This time around Nancy and Priscilla came to stitch the morning away with me! We had a wonderful time working on projects and catching up on life with each other.








Priscilla started this neat Valentine table runner…









And Nancy was hard at work on her Hearthside Quintet quilt…









I worked on a jelly roll race quilt that will be auctioned at my daughter’s sorority silent auction in the spring. I’ll post a picture of that when it looks like more than a bunch of rags in a ball!

Last week I finished up Priscilla’s beautiful card trick quilt. She was quite pleased with how it came out and so was I. It was a true pleasure to quilt this one.








Now I have Gail’s jelly roll race quilt on the long arm. This pretty quilt has all the soothing colors I love. I’m using a royal blue thread with a swirling feather edge to edge design.









We were excited this week to see that Leah’s professional Nutcracker pictures finally arrived in the email box. We weren’t allowed to take any photos in December during the production so now I can finally share these.

This was her angel pointe costume…









And this was her Chinese tea dance costume…









I think she’s already looking forward to auditioning again in the summer!

What are you all working on this week?


The Crafty Christmas Loot

Happy last day of 2017! I love new beginnings like a new year or a new school year. It’s time to take stock, make plans, and set new goals. As I mentioned in the previous post, my word for the new year will be ‘yes’. I am looking forward to all the possibilities that might bring! Tomorrow I’ll be working on setting new goals for the year and I’ll also be taking down my Christmas tree (boo hoo).

I wanted to share with you all the crafty related items I received for Christmas this year. These are projects that I’ll be working on in my spare time and showing you on the blog from time to time…

As I set up the Christmas tree this year I was looking at the hooked rug tree skirt that I have around the base of my tree. It was made by my grandfather and I have always loved it. I thought it would be nice if I made my girls each one for their future homes. I found several online at Herrschners and had the girls each pick which one they wanted. Lindsey chose the one with the Christmas trees. Leah and Amanda chose the ones with the cats and dogs.









I have started work on Lindsey’s and I know this is going to take some serious time. The designs aren’t stamped, it’s more like counted cross stitch where you have to follow the guide and count. The girls won’t have their own homes any time soon so I can relax about it and take my time.

I also started this redwork bunny door stop that Greg gave me for Christmas. Yes, I ordered it and he wrapped it up. LOL! I started this one while on vacation this past week. I am enjoying the rhythm of embroidery and I am a huge fan of redwork so it’s a win win on this. And you know how I feel about bunnies so it’s really a win, win, win.









From my mom I received two exciting projects! I’ve been itching to do some garment sewing again and I found these easy patterns on the Nancy’s Notions website. One is for a maxi style dress and the other for easy shirts. I now have the patterns and the fabric to make them! I can’t wait to make these and I hope I don’t mess them up!










I’m not the only one crafting this week…we gave Amanda a kit for a no sew throw that has her sorority logo as the design. She couldn’t wait to make it and she worked on it for an afternoon and finished it right up!









The winner gift for me has to be the one Greg picked up on a whim and thought I might like for stitching at night in the living room…an LED headlamp!!! Of course I had to put it on and be goofy with it but it is amazing for embroidery and knitting in a room that is not well lit…like every room on my first floor!









So that was the Christmas haul! Not too bad at all. It should keep me busy for quite a while.

Tuesday I’m back to work teaching and long arming. I have a few quilts in line for the long arm and I’m eager to get started on them.

What are your crafty goals for 2018? Did you receive some crafty gifts for the holidays? I’d love for you to share them here in the comments.
Happy New Year!


Winding It Down & A New Word

Here we are almost at Christmas time! I had to look twice to be sure that I read the blog right. I haven’t posted since Dec. 1st! Time sure got away from me this month. It has been a busy season with classes, long arming, and being involved with the Nutcracker performances. I wish I had some photos from the Nutcracker of Leah to show you but no photos were allowed and it will be another month or so before we see the professional ones. I assure you though, she did a wonderful job as an angel and also as a Chinese tea dancer.

I’ve been busier than ever on the long arm machine and finishing up my own projects as well as student ones. I finished up the blue and white quilt and wanted to show you how it is being packaged as a gift. I read online recently that someone was using large cake boxes with windows as a beautiful way to give a quilt. I love the idea so much and found that Walmart carries the Wilton brand boxes. They run about $5.50 for two of them and they look so nice.








This month I was working on two quilts for Gail. I long armed her Minnie Mouse quilt and her Harry Potter quilt. We affectionately called these quilts Minnie and Harry. Gail pointed out to me that we were referring to them as living creatures. I had to laugh because she was totally right! It was fun to be that involved with them though. On the Minnie quilt, I stitched in some mouse ears on the four corners for her.















Here is the Harry Potter quilt…









Earlier this week I picked up Priscilla’s beautiful card trick quilt and I’ll be working on that come January.









Last night I finally finished a complete pair of socks on the sock loom!!! It took me a long time but I’m really so happy with how they came out.









The yarn was so saturated with color, I just loved working with it. I’m keeping these as it’s the first real pair but I’ve already cast on with some pretty pink yarn for a pair for Amanda.

I’m looking forward to spending next week with my family. I know I have some crafty gifts under the tree and I can’t wait to share those with you.

So January is almost upon us which means it’s time to choose the guiding word for 2018. My 2017 word was “focus” and I believe I succeeded in getting my business focus down to teaching and long arming. This year, I’m choosing “yes” as my word. Yes to myself, yes to my work, yes to becoming a healthier version of myself. Next year 2 out of 3 kids will be living away at college and I think it will be a great time to see what saying yes to myself will bring. What is your word for 2018? I’d love for you to share it with me in the comments below.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday with your families and I hope your hearts are filled with peace, love, and joy.


The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

I’m so excited that Christmas is going to be here soon. It’s my favorite time of the year for sure!! We spent Friday putting up the Christmas tree and decorations and of course pulling out some Christmas quilts. This is our living room…









I managed to get a few quilts on the long arm too. Eileen’s quilt came out so nice with the fall colors and the Abundant Leaves pantograph. This was a joy to quilt!










And the blue and white quilt is on the long arm and nearly finished. This is being quilted with a pantograph called Lilac. I’m happy with the progress on it and I’ll show more pictures next time when it’s done.









Progress is happening on all fronts and I keep adding to my list of projects to which Greg laughs and says, “You really know how to pile it on.”–yes, yes I do but I’m ok with that because I know it’s passion and a desire to learn that’s fueling it all. The list of handprojects is huge and I am thinking that I need to set myself up a schedule to work on them. I absolutely love knitting the socks on the loom and I’m almost done with the orangy colored pair. I find that I’m missing embroidery though and I’ve ordered a kit for myself for Christmas to get back into it. Lindsey reminds me daily that I haven’t finished her crocheted afghan and that makes me a groan a bit. It’s the least enticing project right now. LOL!

Amanda asked if I could make a quilt to donate to her sorority silent auction in the spring and we decided on a jelly roll race quilt made with the Kappa Delta colors of green and yellow. So I found this beautiful Moda jellyroll and it’s coming out this month. I preordered it and I can’t wait til it arrives.









My students are all keeping busy and purchasing fabric for new projects! They are a talented bunch and I am so looking forward to working with each of them on those projects. And of course, I’ll share them here so you can see too.

Our family has a busy weekend with the annual Christmas on The Common parade and dance performance. I decided not to vend at the craft fair this year due to an additional Nutcracker rehearsal that Leah was involved in on the same day. I figured the logistics were too much to stick Greg with for the day and in the end, that rehearsal was canceled so it didn’t really matter but I’m happy to have a year off! It will be fun to walk around and not worry about a table.

The Quilt Show Newsletter came this morning with this cute tutorial in it.  It’s too complicated for me to do at the moment but I just adore the red and white and thought you might want to try it!

Fabric Swedish heart tutorial

That’s it for today! What are you all working on this week?



Catching Up and Crossing The Finish Line

I think I missed my weekly post two weeks in a row! October has been a busy and good month complete with quilty finishes and a new member of the family! Let’s start with furry goodness…you know how I love bunnies….









Meet Ginny…she’s a three month old Lionhead Lop Mix and I don’t think there’s anything cuter than she is!









With those airplane ears that go one up and and one down…oh my. I couldn’t pass her up to save my life. She is a sweetie and I’m glad to have her join our little bunny family! The girls adore her and I think Nala and Daisy don’t mind her too much, either.

Ok, on to quilty things…my longarm machine has been busy over the last two weeks. I finished up the Christmas quilt I was long arming for my mom. This was the one with the holly and berry pantograph.



















I also finished up the jelly roll race quilt with the Halloween theme. The pantograph is called Pumpkin Fest and it was a true joy to longarm. I just love how this came out. Leah had requested a Halloween quilt and so now we have one. I’m really surprised that I finished it before Halloween because usually I start these things with the best intentions and lose interest somewhere in the middle. But, here it is!














The binding was finished up today and Leah’s skeleton buddy thinks it’s A-OK.








I also finished knitting one sock on the sock loom! I have started the match to this pair and I can’t wait to wear them! The next pair will be for Amanda.









My students are busy too! Carol is beginning work on this awesome quilt by Missouri Star Quilt Company. We ordered all the same fabric and I can’t wait to see it progress. Carol has all the background fabric cut and is just beginning to piece snowball blocks.









On the home front, we’ve got Lindsey’s college applications sent out and soon I’ll be writing the check for her cap and gown! I think that’s due in the beginning of November. Time is really flying around here.

Amanda was accepted into her new major today which is Communication Sciences and Disorders (speech pathology). She will also minor in deaf and hard of hearing studies. I think she’s going to thrive in this major. She’s also involved with the University of New Hampshire’s Model UN and she is so looking forward to this each week. They are representing Kazakhstan in the UN and Sweden in the Security Council. They’ll have an opportunity to travel to NY to go the actual UN and represent their countries. Amazing. I’m beyond thrilled for her.

That’s about all the excitement I can handle! Every time I turn around something new is happening. It’s exciting and a wee bit exhausting!



Post Maui

After 10 days on the beautiful island of Maui, we’re back to reality around here. It’s a week of getting ducks in a row for a new school year for Lindsey and Leah, and packing for another year at college for Amanda. I’ve even made the trip to Canton to pick up my sewing machine which was getting serviced while I was away. I’m still missing this view every morning…








and this one from our perfect beach spot…










and this one from sunset each night…









I do miss these greatly but I’m also happy to be home again. After 10 days and 12 hours worth of flights each way, your body has a way of telling you it’s time to return to your normal routines. While I was in Maui I went to the Maui Quilt Shop which I know a few of you have been to also. It’s a wonderful but small store. They pack a lot into their store space.
















I purchased the pattern for this pineapple quilt on my last trip there. I haven’t made it yet but I am collecting fabrics for it here and there.









I can’t show you what I bought this time because I purchased the same thing for my mother and I haven’t given it to her yet!

Since I haven’t sewn anything this week, I’ll show you a few pictures from the trip including these beautiful flowers which were just a sampling of the stunning colors found everywhere on the island.









This photo is from our walk around the Grand Wailea hotel which is just amazing in it’s own right…








These two are from the Maui Tropical Plantation. We took the tram tour and enjoyed walking the property…

















Lastly, Leah took this selfie picture of all of us at the Sheraton Maui where we watched the cliff divers at sunset one night.








I have so many photos, it’s hard to choose which to share but these were some of my favorites.

Next week the kids are back in school and I’ll be back to work. I’m looking forward to finishing up some quilts I’m working on and getting back to my teaching schedule!

Have a great Thursday everybody!


Trip To Keepsake and Cute Baskets

This week we took our sort of annual trip to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH. I say sort of because my mother and I try to get there once a year but we missed it last year. It takes about 2.5 hours to get the Center Harbor from where I live in Massachusetts and it’s always well worth the ride! This year we had Amanda and Leah along with us. They kept themselves busy in the book shop next to the quilt store and also in the very inviting Adirondack chairs on the big front porch. They also chose fabric for small projects they’d like me to make them.










As always, I was pretty overwhelmed when I first entered the store. There’s just so.much.fabric. And it’s all beautiful and high quality. I had to calm myself down a bit by making a plan to just walk around the entire store once and then circle back again a second time to decide on purchases. One thing I really enjoyed in the past was all the quilty gift type items they carried but to my surprise, there wasn’t much of that this year. I also think the notions were not as many in number either. I know that Fons & Porter bought the shop so I’m thinking it must have to do with that. I’m sure the inventory has been streamlined a bit more than if it was still independently owned. I also noticed that a lot of the patterns/kits were from their magazines. That being said, I still found PLENTY to oogle over and purchase!

Leah was enthralled with the Halloween display at the front door and she quickly picked out fabric for a Halloween pillowcase. We then got the idea that it would be fun to have a Halloween jelly roll race quilt in the living room the month of October.

Here is what Leah chose for the pillowcase, the skeletons will be the main pillowcase and bats will be the band that goes on the end of it.









This Moda Hocus Pocus jelly roll fit the bill for our jelly roll race quilt idea…









Amanda wanted to pick fabric for a draw string backpack. I have made Lindsey a few of them and they are much more durable than the cheap nylon ones that kids collect at different events. First she saw this pretty fabric on the right but later in the sale room, she was enticed by the aqua blue on the left. We bought both and she’ll get two!








I couldn’t take my eyes off this adorable puppy quilt kit and so it came home too…I can’t wait to make it-it’s so stinkin’ cute!!









I was also in love with this blue swirly fabric and my mom purchased two yards for me to use in a future project. I love it!









The night before we went up to Keepsake, we made a few of these adorable baskets…









These are from a super easy tutorial from Shabby Fabric that was in a newsletter recently. While we were in Keepsake, I picked up this fabric to make another one.










They work up so quickly and now I’m a bit addicted to making them. I have the cherry one on my long arm table holding scissors and clamps. They can be made in any size. The sides can also be a bit lower if you like.

It’s been a fun week of sewing and shopping! Do you have a favorite quilt shop that is considered a treat when you get to go there?


New Pattern Published and Another Student Finish!

Happy Sizzling Thursday! It’s 90 today and it feels every bit 90. The weather app says it feels like 96 and I believe it! But I’m thinking about Christmas and cold weather because my Poinsettia Passion table runner just came out in the Quilter’s World Autumn issue!














It’s a beautiful runner in bold colors with easy, fusible applique. It’s on sale now in your favorite fabric stores so pick up a copy and get a jump on the holiday stitching!

So, I have to brag about my students again!! How fabulous are they? Look at the t-shirt quilt that Gail made for her daughter. This t-shirt quilt is giant. I mean GIANT. It’s king size (100″ by 90″) and it was heavy. Gail quilted all of it on her domestic machine! I’m so proud of her getting this big job done and never giving up on it. It took months and it was worth it!








Now we are moving on to a fun Minnie Mouse quilt with fusible applique. It’s going to seem to like a piece of cake after that big t-shirt quilt!

Last night I had dinner with my childhood friend, Sheila. It’s so nice to catch up with a friend and have it be like you never missed a beat even though we see each other infrequently. After a delicious dinner and much laughter, we headed to her car where I picked up a bag of t-shirts for her daughter’s quilt. I’ll be working on her t-shirt quilt over the next few weeks. All that practice with Gail’s has me primed and ready!

And this lovely lady, Leah, had her 15th birthday this week. My baby is no longer a baby and hasn’t been for quite some time. She is as sweet as she looks. Love this girl.