Monday, December 31, 2012


For Christmas this year, I totally surprised my son.  He had been interested in a designer hoodie that was priced at $200. It's too high a price for his or my budget. So, he asked me if I could make one. Well, that was months ago, some time late summer. Just before Thanksgiving, he said "You have all these sewing machines, and you don't use them for sewing."  Man! Nothing like a major meltdown from a kid as a reminder that Christmas was coming quickly.

He didn't know that I had saved the image of that hoodie so that I could copy the pattern. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas while my son was in school, I had my countdown to producing "the hoodie".   Monday-Friday daily for two weeks, 2:30 P.M. became my alarm. I would clean up all materials and vacuum up all the threads. At night, I worked on socks for my dad and daughter. I didn't want a nosy kid discovering my gift to him.

On Christmas, he opened a huge box with a pattern sitting on top of tissue paper, under that was "the hoodie". My son looked at the pattern in total  surprise. A "what's this" look came over his face. I told him to look under the tissue. An astonished kid stated, " And here I thought you were just knitting socks all this time. I thought you were the slowest knitter...which would make for the most expensive socks."

Yes, I'm not the fastest knitter, but who really cares since it's my time, my countdown.

With that, I leave you with a countdown that I can't control, a new year.
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!  May 2013 be peaceful, healthy, and prosperous for all.

Monday, December 24, 2012


The Night Before Christmas....

Have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Playing with Gadgets

I dislike shopping for Christmas. I love Christmas! It's just that I dislike shopping with a mob; I need my space. Instead, I would rather stay home making gifts, ornaments, and cookies. Not every year do I make gifts or ornaments, but I do always bake cookies. Well this year, I took a break from my baking to make some ornaments and gifts.

I gathered up my gadgets and recycled Christmas cards.  I also used leftover Christmas fabrics from past projects along with leftover batting in my creation. I love recycling!  

After entertaining myself by using the circular cutter to form circles, I stitched a decorative stitch to the sandwich material using my Singer 224.

Finished! In lieu of Christmas cards to my neighbors this year, I will be giving them these. They can use these ornaments as they wish: to decorate a package, as a tag for a present, or simple as an ornament for their tree.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Knitting with Toothpicks

That is what my brother asked me when we were together at my parents over Thanksgiving holiday.  He looked at my knitting needles, laughed, and asked,  "Are you knitting with toothpicks?".  Here are just a couple of my toe up socks that I have been working on.  The orange and blue sock is my very first toe up that was knitted using just two needles. 

This green sock is my second toe up. I prefer working with the three needles so that I can try on the sock as I work.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Shattered Bones

Finally finished my October quilt.

I had purchased some fabric with a skeleton print that could be made into an apron over a year ago at a quilt show.  When I saw the fabric, I thought this would make for a great theme for a Halloween quilt. Well time went by and that quilt never happened.  I kept seeing other quilts to make, and my quilting "to do" list grew. I started into my black, white, and red triangle quilt with no Y seams that was on "to do" list. As I was sewing the front together, I thought of many possible backs. I love the look of double sided quilts. Well, I had leftover fabrics from the front that could be incorporated into the back. I used those pieces to form triangles for the back. Since I didn't have enough of them, I came up with the idea of scattering them onto a large background fabric and stitching them down with a decorative stitch.

 Then, I remember that skeleton. That motif set the theme for the back of the quilt.

Binding was made from the leftover directions and sections of the apron fabric.
I'm so pleased that section of bones can be found on the binding.

And that is how I came up with the title Shattered Bones for this quilt.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Oh no, tension issues!

It pays to do things correctly the first time around. I realized that the thread tension dial was not correctly in place on my Singer 224. That is what I get for not taking that area apart to clean correctly when I first got the machine. Before starting work on the decorative stitching today, I took some very thin yarn with a light amount of oil to clean between the discs. Well in doing so, I somehow again messed up the tension mechanism. This is the third time I have done this stupid maneuver, and somehow the machine still sews. Normally it had been an easy fix, but not today. Well, I took the thread tension assemble apart and cleaned all the parts.

 Reassembled the parts and adjusted the tension.

Much cleaner! Plus, it works!


I love concealing imperfections of my piece work with decorative stitching.

A hint to the look of the back of the quilt and the binding.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Production Day

I'm finally quilting the black, white, and red quilt with straight stitch quilting (Davis NVF) and decorative stitching (Singer 224).  This one red triangle is from fabric used in some past Christmas project. Hohoho off to work I go!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Feast Day

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fall Runner

I took a break from my recent project to make a table runner for Thanksgiving.

I found a leaf pattern that I used with fabrics that came from my mom.

I can't recall who gave me the back fabric, but I finally found a use for it.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Star is Born

Not all my points are prefect, but then neither is life.

Finished the top, now onto the back.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

No Y Seam

Sweet and Simple, first triangle done.

Monday, October 22, 2012


That is the number of pieces (triangles, trapezoids, and parallelograms) I cut yesterday for my next quilt.

 Fabrics are all from past projects.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mystery Triangle

No this isn't the Bermuda Triangle.  How does one sew these pieces together to form a triangle without having to sew a Y seam?  I saw someone's cute "Hopscotch" quilt that stated no Y seams to sew. Of course I had to figure out how that works. One mystery solve. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waggly Tail

How much is that doggie in the window? arf, arf
The one with the waggly tail...

This song kept going through my mind as I quilted this triangle quilt.
There is no batting in this quilt since the back is the minkee material.
The top white minkee triangles gave me some difficultly in piecing since the material stretches, but I was very surprised at how easy it was to quilt with just the minkee as the backing using my Davis NVF. The back is a solid black, and decorative stitching on binding was done with my Singer 224.

....I do hope that doggie is for sale...arf, arf.

This quilt has be donated to a victim of Hurricane Sandy; may they stay warm.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Doggie Biscuits

I made doggie biscuits for the first time today for my picky eater dog. The recipe passed the test- she ate one!

Doggie Biscuit Recipe
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbps. dry milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 tsp dried parsley

Preheat oven 350

Mix eggs and pumpkin until smooth, then add all other ingredients.
Briefly kneed and then roll dough to 1/4-1/2". Use whatever shape cutter to form biscuits.  Bake on ungreaded pan for 20 minutes. Remove to turn biscuits over and then bake for another additional 20 minutes. Cool before feeding to dog.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Odd Scrappy

I was given some fabrics by someone who heard that I was going to make some donation quilts. The gal inherited the fabrics after her mother had passed away.  The gal thought that she would make a quilt with her mother's fabrics, but she never got around to making that quilt and the fabrics sat for years in a closet. The recently discovered fabrics were passed to my mother who then sent the fabrics to me.

Since there wasn't enough off-white fabrics in the stash, I added some of the off-white fabrics that my mom had given me earlier this year to make the half squares. I didn't have enough half squares to continue with the pattern; so, I used one of the paper-piecing stars that I made earlier this year to fill in that section. The materials for the backside of quilt was also from the gal's stash.

 This quilt will be a donation to the local guild. The guild members donate quilts to those in need locally.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recycling Again

I made another denim quilt with jeans that were given to me. First step was making the denim circles. Yes, I just draw lots of circles and then cut. Yes, I know about the rotary circle cutter that eliminates the drawing and just does the cutting.  I'm cheap! And this works!

 I spent some time playing with the arrangement of the denim. A game of dots!

 Started sewing the circles together.

Decided to add doggie paws to dress up the back of the quilt.

My mom had sent me some pretty red fabric that I decided to use for this quilt, but then I realized that all those red squares just looked too boring. I needed another color square for the red circles. So, I dug around in my stash of fabrics and found a yellow.

And then the marathon sewing started. I used the Singer 224 and the Singer 201 for this project.

Did something different for the binding on this quilt. I added a yellow border strip to top of quilt to add an additional decorative look to the binding. This is a two inch folded strip of fabric that is added on top. The binding was attached to back and the folded over to top and stitched down with the decorative stitching. I like this look!

 Front and back of finished quilt. This quilt will be one of my donation quilts for the year.  My son's school is having a silent auction. This will be my contribution for the event.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


One of my favorite foods is natto. It's stringy. It's fermented.
They say it's an acquired taste, but in my opinion you either like it or you don't. Natto is made from soybeans fermented with bacillus subtilis. The Japanese like to eat natto for breakfast on top of rice. No Special K or Cheerios for them; their mornings start with a rich diet of healthy protein. I like to eat my natto with a fried egg, soy sauce, and grits. An East meets West recipe. This is what I had for breakfast today...yummy!

Natto can be purchased in an Asian grocery store here in the States. It comes in a cute packaging that has soy sauce and mustard that is stirred into the natto before eating.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Warming up the Kitchen

I awoke to a chilly kitchen this morning since I left the windows open last night in the kitchen. The chilliness is a hint that Autumn is just around the corner. So, I made popovers to quickly warm up the kitchen and satisfy my craving.

1 popover pan or muffin pan
Oven 425
Mix 1 cup of flour, 3 eggs, 1 cup of milk with whisk, but don't over mix.
Heat pan for 2-3 minutes, take out and place a slab of butter at bottom to melt.
Fill prepared pan half way and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Serve with your favorite jams or apple butter.
Snatch them while they are hot and before they sink.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

LINK # 2

Just out of the dryer, a wrinkled Link! This time, I quilted this lap size quilt mainly in the ditch minus the corners. All quilting was done with the Davis NVF. The binding is leftover red and blue fabrics with an arrowhead decorative stitch from my Singer 224. This quilt doesn't have the spotlight rays running across Link like the mini wall quilt that I had made for my son a couple of weeks ago. The rays on this quilt extend out from the corners and end at the colored squares.

After comparing the two differently quilted Link quilts, I can state that prefer the smaller (first quilt) quilt's look with the rays across Link. I just love the abstract appearance of the quilting lines against the pixel squares since the quilting gives a feel of Link being captured. Plus, the back of the quilt has a much more interesting pattern than this quilts back.