Thursday, November 29, 2018

Coffee mugs and mug rugs

Sitting at my desk this morning, I looked at my coffee mug and realized that it was a Valentine's Day mug.  And I have several Christmas mugs in my dining room hutch.  So I spent 5 minutes and put away some of the miscellaneous mugs in the cupboard and got out some of the Christmas ones.  I don't have any "sets" of coffee mugs. They are all just single mugs that I've bought or received as gifts over the years.

I also have a couple of really cute seasonal mug rugs that I enjoy using this time of year. Now my desk looks much more festive. 

Do you have Christmas china or dishware that you use this time of year?  I always admire the ones I see but have never purchased any, except for a few serving bowls and platters. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Needing some ambition

Usually my tree goes up the weekend of Thanksgiving, and I begin to enjoy the Christmas decorations.  I don't get too carried away with decorating the house, but I do love the twinkly lights and seeing how cheery things look this time of year all around our community.  But I'm really struggling with getting anything done in my house this year. 

We got home from Las Vegas late Monday night, which is where I found the Christmas trees in the boot planters.  It was a mad scramble to get a little laundry done so my husband could leave again the next morning for 2 weeks on a job site.  He did help carry up the tree and the ornament boxes for me before leaving.

So . . . after stringing the lights, I got about half of the tree decorated before losing my mojo.  The rest of the ornaments are sitting in the box in the living room or laying on the top of the treadle machine next to the tree - waiting for me to finish the job. 

We are having Christmas at our house the weekend before the actual holiday and I'm definitely not ready.  I haven't done any shopping yet for the kids, haven't finished their big floor pillows or their new pillowcases, haven't bought any Christmas cards, haven't put any lights on the house, or done anything else yet that will make me ready for family in 3 weeks.  Yikes!

And we haven't painted the walls yet in the basement family room and bedroom after installing those new egress windows. But I'll need to clean and move the furniture back so we can use that bedroom, and no point in doing that before we paint.  Something tells me this isn't all going to happen in time. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Last supper

Well . . . The last supper on vacation that is.

A rainbow sushi roll. Tuna, salmon, and shrimp.  It was fabulous!  Luckily for my husband, who isn’t an adventurous eater, there was steak on the menu.  We shared his salad, and then shared a yummy pumpkin custard dessert.  A great way to finish out our vacation. Back to real life tomorrow, and that will not include sushi. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Where is Waldo?

Based on the Christmas tree stand - can you guess where I am?  I will say that I have never before been to a college basketball game where the arena had a strong "horsey" odor.  

Friday, November 23, 2018

Hotel room stitching 

Does this look familiar?  The last time I worked on this was on a trip to Nashville in early June. It hid in my carry on bag ever since. Until I needed that bag this week. Guess I need to take trips more often. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Social sewing

Social sewing is something that I haven't done much of in the past couple of years.  So I jumped at the opportunity to do the One Block Wonder class last weekend.  It was an awesome class and I got a lot done on my second OBW project.

Disclaimer - I borrowed stole these photos from Brenda at The Pin Cushion.  The shop hosted this class in a local hotel conference room where we had lots of space to cut, press, sew and socialize all day long.

I'm on the left end of this first photo with my Halloween panel.  I cut my strips a bit wider than the book called for because my print was such a large scale.  It turned out to be a good decision. 

Everyone had such beautiful fabrics and the blocks were really gorgeous!  But I must admit one of my favorites was the blue butterfly panel that Alvina was using. The butterfly wing details were making exquisite OBW triangles.  

Our instructors were also sewing with us.  Deb (far left) was working on a fall themed OBW, and Karen (far right) was adding edge pieces to a very striking multi-color OBW.  These ladies led us through the process and had lots of great tips.  

Thank you to Deb and Karen for leading a fun class, and to Brenda at The Pin Cushion for hosting.  The day was a great way to renew the mojo!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Pillow tops

The tops of both Black Panther pillows are complete and ready to be quilted.  Mason’s pillow will be 28" square and Jonah’s will be 24" square.  The last one I have to make is for Sophia.

Check out more Design Wall Monday posts at:

Saturday, November 17, 2018

A Saturday to sew

I had the entire day to sew - in a big room with 16 other ladies all working on a One Block Wonder.  We started at 8:00 am. 

We pinned our layers and cut the strips needed. Next we cut 60 degree triangles from those strips. And we began to sew. 

I have 85 blocks sewn into halves and stacked on paper plates. I haven’t counted the ones left to sew yet. More on this another time. I’m worn out - but in a good way. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

It's almost the season

I do love decorating the house for Christmas, and usually it happens sometime during the weekend of Thanksgiving.  This year I won't be around over that weekend, so I'm debating with myself - decorate this weekend or wait until December.  Right now I'm leaning toward at least putting up the tree on Sunday, so it's there to enjoy when I come home again after Thanksgiving weekend. 

But I did get a little head start this morning.  There is an annual Holiday Arts show here in town about 4 times per year, right before major holidays.  Lots of arts and crafts plus home canned goods and home baked goods.  I was the driver this morning for a friend having cataract surgery, and after dropping her back at her house I had to drive within a block of the Holiday Arts show. So of course I had to stop in to check it out.

This cute little tree in a container begged to come home with me.  And it looks so good on the credenza next to me office desk.  I added the tiny LED light string, and now it will cheer up my office. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

More name pillows

There are completed pillows for Olivia and Jack. Those ended up being 20" square.  But Mason's pillow needs to be larger than 20" in order to fit the letters of his name, so I ordered 2 pillow forms that are 28" square.  I'm not sure if Jonah and Sophia will end up bigger or not but I need to get busy and get these done, no matter what size they end up.  Mason and Jonah will have Black Panther fabric that has the teal, grey, and black. So the teal names on the grey backgrounds should show up nicely. I'm not sure yet what Sophia's will look like. 

But I have no doubt what-so-ever that the different sizes will cause some kind of distress at Christmas when the kids receive them. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Design Wall Monday - Hourglass

The main part of the Hourglass top is done, so now I need to work on borders for it.  I'm trying to use up some of the Thimbleberry fabrics that were in the drawer with this UFO project.  After digging around, I've decided on a deep red for the narrow inner border and a dark blue for the wider outer border.  These colors seem to fit in nicely with the reds, golds, blues, and greens in the pieces.

Check out more Monday design walls at:

This Monday will be a busy one.  I've spent the morning trying to catch up with my online course students (high school) and cleaning out my fridge and freezer in the kitchen.  And this afternoon will be spent working on invoices for my other job - and doing whatever is needed while my new appliances are delivered and installed. 

Washer, dryer, fridge, and dishwasher will arrive in about an hour.  The range was special ordered and probably won't be here until next week sometime.  Our appliances were all original to this house so they are 22 years old and all were definitely showing some old age symptoms.  We finally decided we better spend some money now before we have an emergency with one or more appliance.  So it's exciting to have new appliances coming. I just hope we don't have any nasty surprises.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


Before our turkey dinner yesterday my daughter and I made a quick trick to Joanne Fabrics to find fabric for pillowcases.  The girls have a cousin who lives in Australia and the pillowcases will go to the cousin’s two children for Christmas.  Jerilyn and I finally found some options that fit in with the kids’ interests and we made the purchase.  This morning I made both pillowcases.  Thomas will get the Star Wars one and Emmaline will get the unicorns.  

This was a nice break from working on the Hourglass quilt, but I did also get the last rows put together.  Next steps will be putting those rows onto the section that is already done and then to add some borders.  Maybe I’ll actually get it finished this week.  

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Celebrating Thanksgiving early

We're off . . . and headed east today to celebrate Thanksgiving with our kids and grandkids a little early.  My girls both work in healthcare, so that means working some holidays. My youngest is working over the real holiday this year, and her sister is hosting her husband's family that weekend.  

So we're celebrating and eating turkey today. And my son-in-law is cooking the turkey!  Yay!!  

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Plugging away on the Hourglass

Are you getting tired of looking at this UFO yet?  Two-thirds of the rows are now assembled for the Hourglass UFO.  I had to piece one of the sashing strips because I evidently cut it an inch too short, but I had some scraps left and just inserted a section into it.  Once it's all quilted I don't think it will be noticeable. 

The stars that form in the center of the sashing are showing up nicely.  The 4.5" wide sashing does a good job of breaking up the "busy-ness" of those flying geese around the edges of every block.  One I get the finals sections added to this, then I'll decide on the borders.  There are several options in that drawer of Thimbleberry fabrics to choose from.  

Monday, November 5, 2018

Design Wall Monday - pieced sashing

My photo is shadowed due to the indoor light on this grey, rainy, cold day.  But you can get an idea of what the pieced sashing on this Hourglass quilt will look like.  There are stars at every junction.  It isn't difficult, just a bit time consuming to add the folded corners to make the star points.  And I know I'll like it a lot once it's done.

And you can see the ugly blue area rug showing through where I'm still missing a section.  My design wall is the floor in my sewing room which isn't near large enough to hold all of these pieces. But it beats running up and down the stairs as I worked on these sashing sections yesterday.  I am trying to avoid having too much of any one color, so as I sewed I also rearranged these on the floor.  Right now I have 4 sections left to add star points, and then I can start sewing these together.

Check out other design walls today at:

As I mentioned yesterday, my quiet alone time for the weekend was totally blown out of the water by my husband coming home unexpectedly on Friday evening.  And with him home this week it means we're running to some event (college basketball) every night this week except for tonight.  I would have skipped some of those games even though I really do love going.  And we are having Thanksgiving next Saturday with our kids/grandkids because of their work schedules and plans with in-laws.  So I'm just reminding myself that this project has been laying around for 14 years and a couple more weeks isn't a problem.  Spending time with loved ones is more important.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Weekend sewing 

My weekend of sewing turned into a weekend of college basketball. My husband was planning to be gone for 2 weeks but ended up coming home Friday unexpectedly. They were ahead of schedule and didn’t need him this coming week. 

So we’re at a college basketball classic cheering on our local university teams. I did sew for a couple of hours this morning so there was a little progress on the Hourglass sashing. There a 4 sashing sections left to piece. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Hourglass progress day2

I got the last block made for the Hourglass quilt, and I do like the variety.  The final layout will depend on the colors in the sashing.  The pieced sashing will also be scrappy, and then 2 outer borders will be added.  Maybe I'll get some of that done over this weekend.  I have quilt guild this afternoon, but the rest of the weekend is mine. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Hourglass progress

There is progress!  Block 8 of 9 for the Hourglass quilt has been done.  Blue and gold sure look good together in this block.  And it's really an easy block to make with 16 flying geese being the most time consuming unit in it.  

The colors I pulled for the final block are red and green.  All of the blocks have a cream print paired with 2 colors.  I'll lay out these blocks once I have the last one done and then it will be time to start working on that pieced sashing.  

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Motivation and goals

I haven't been setting goals lately. I haven't had much motivation lately - to do anything. That needs to change!!

The November number for the APQ UFO Challenge is 4, and this is what is on my list.  I was looking at these 3 projects and trying to decide if one of these was achievable this month.  So I headed downstairs and looked in the drawer marked "Thimbleberries stuff".  Yikes!! A whole drawer full - why was I avoiding it? 

I was thinking the Thimbleberries Hourglass quilt project must be close to 20 years old.  But I found the pattern and it was from 2004, making it only 14 years old.  And I found the 7 (of 9) blocks folded up with the pattern.  I love the blocks, but just didn't get them all done evidently.  

I emptied the whole drawer and laid out all of the bundles and loose fabric.  Some of the bundles had the patterns tucked in with them - Yay!  But most of them do not have any pattern attached. So I made a decision and  I just ruthlessly pulled out some of the unidentified fabrics to use for the last 2 blocks and the pieced sashings to finish this quilt.  I'm going to consider anything without its pattern to be part of the stash and OK to use in some other project because 14 years is just too long to keep it safely hidden.  Many of these Thimbleberry fabrics look similar to the current Kim Diehl fabrics.  They all have that vintage look to them which is probably why I was drawn to both lines.

UFOs are my motivation killer right now.  It's also the time of year - knowing it's getting close to the end.  Early in the year I was doing really well as I plowed through the list.  I put 36 UFOs on that 2018 list, with 3 choices each month to give me some options.  In January I finished all 3. February through May I finished 2 of the 3 projects. And after that it's been hit or miss whether I worked on any of them at all.  This is my usual pattern when working with these UFOs.

Realistically I do have 15 of the 36 UFOs done and that isn't too shabby.  Two more of them are now completed tops and ready to quilt.  I'm trying to see the positives here.  But it's hard to ignore the fact that I have way too many unfinished project laying around. It weighs me down - and they take up space so I never seem to have my sewing room completely neat and clean.

So my goal is to work on this Hourglass quilt and try to have the top ready to quilt by the end of November.  We'll see how it goes considering there will be 2 of the weekends with other things going on, like Thanksgiving.  And the pieced sashing makes me a little nervous.