Sunday, December 30, 2012

NEW YEAR '13 Tables Ready --DONE

Each year we celebrate with family in our traditional New Year's Eve meal...lobster and Dom.  The tables are set to welcome one and all.  (sorry bout pic quality, can't figure out what the issue is?)
Kids table is ready to party 

Adult table ready to party

Centerpieces on both table have glow in the dark bracelets, poppers w/fortunes, tatoos and tabasco samplers (from our Thanksgiving trip to Louisana).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Knit Hat...wrong yarn?

A simple knit hat but the yarn is so scratchy...Not sure it will get much wear but it is super warm.  The yarn was a wool that I got on my trip to Vermont, just can't find the ball band to know what it is.  I know it was from a Vermont sheep farm and was spun in Vermont.  Sometimes knitting can seem like a great fit with pattern and yarn and then it does not turn out exactly as planned.  At least that is my knitting novice issues. I certainly know how to knit, just don't always know what I am doing.  Got for Christmas three really super books by Clara Parkes: The Knitter's Book of Yarn, The Knitters Book of Wool and The Knitters Book of Socks.  The books are an easy read and I am finding them full of really great information, text book stuff that I need to absorb and take my knitting to a better place in yard choice.  Off to read more of my books...Happy Knitting.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Merry Christmas - Tree is ready for all the family
Merry Christmas to All.   Our family wish for all people no matter the faith, God's Blessings this season.  Our house is ready to celebrate!
Santa wants to celebrate with the kids
Dining table is ready for family

Monday, December 24, 2012

Easy Street Part 5 Mystery

It is Part 5 of the Bonnie Hunter mystery and I did a few just to get in on the linky day.  Christmas has me all wrapped up with getting ready for family fun on Christmas morning.  Not much on the mystery as I have no idea what it might turn to be, but I am having fun and it is a great way to work a quilt into my life.  Sometimes I get so focused on getting a quilt DONE that I miss the fun of a quilt on Easy Street where it is better to walk slowly and look in all the downtown Christmas windows.  Yea, it is nice to slow it down to one step at a time.

I love that this was snowball corners, wintery white images played in my head as I was sewing each of you 
Peace of the Season
Joy to ALL.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Advent


The 4th and last Sunday of Advent, the big day of delivery is coming for Mary and Joseph, joy to the world is so near.  Mary, an unwed mother to be at age 14 (so scholars tell us) must be so tired and gosh knows the back is not feeling so great as the baby drops to ready for birth (I am reminded the gospels were written by men and I wonder what the gospels would read if written by women?)  Yet in this story we do not see anything but wonder, majesty and love of God for his children and Mary will become blessed and given high status among women as we honor her commitment to her calling from God to bear a child in this way.  Joseph was brave, but Mary, my Mary was so brave.  How we respond to God’s calling for us makes us brave too.  We cannot deliver his Son as Mary, but we can deliver HIS Son - we can give hope to the world we live in, we can be there hearing the cries of babies wanting; we can give not as Mary and Joseph gave, but as we can give. We wait with Mary and Joseph, we wait with the world, we wait with GOD.  I can see God smiling in and around that day to come, the birth of his Son, the Savior of our world then and today.  Come, Come baby, bring joy to the world and peace.  COME, COME LORD JESUS.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Street Flying Blue Geese

It is those pesky geese again.  Geese are starting to fly however and I will get them all done but must take a break to finish some Christmas gifts that are due tomorrow.   Easy Street is keeping my interest and I look forward to the pattern and play to start showing itself

Use the link below to see all the fun everyone is having!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Third Sunday of Advent.. Mary a young women in her last week of pregnancy was most likely uncomfortable and could have even been a bit quick to confront Joseph as to where they would stay and where their baby would be born…born with out midwife? Without the women of her family? In reality we do not know the details of who would be with her as she went into labor, as she cried out in the pangs of birth pains, as she first heard the baby’s cry…the cry of Jesus, a child’s cry, an infant breaking into a world to bring God into the world; joy to the world. It is hard with the events of the week to think there can ever be joy in the world as suffering and evil take it from us, but Mary waits, one more week for her time, our time. We wait one more week. Come, come Lord Jesus we are in desperate need of Joy. Give us this week hope, peace and comfort. Come, come Lord Jesus we are in desperate need of Joy.

Quick Gifts for Christmas

I love using what I have and not doing a lot of fuss or work.  I find sting piecing a perfect way to use what I have and it is not fussy or a lot of work.  Sewing straight and trimming is as easy as it gets.  I had a lot of scrapes from a Christmas quilt I did last year.   I can say for sure the fabric line that gave away the free pattern for the tree quilt made sure you had to buy a lot of material and then you wasted a lot of it in the cutting.  The quilt was extra cute, but golly the fabric left behind.  So, hot pads were perfect and string piecing perfect....a marriage in the making.  I used muslin for the base for the string piecing, cutting 4 1/2" squares.  Using the squares to make a four patch; using insulated batting between and simple quilting together with a fast binding on the machine.  Christmas Hot Pad!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I have to admit that Christmas is coming and I really have not gotten my head around it yet.  I know, I know, what is there to get around?  It comes every year at the exact same time/date, but this year just seems to be a bit slow mo in my mind.  My mind has it coming in slow mo and I know then it will speed up lightening fast.  I am still in slow mo with only hope I can get lightening fast.  My  Advent Thoughts:

First Sunday Advent ...Awaiting the birth. As a mother I can certainly understand the "count down" to the coming of a child. I know Mary as she rode a donkey to a land that was not her home must have been counting down the days before she gave birth. Praise you God for Mary's faith and trust, not only in You Lord, but a man named Joseph.
Come, Lord Jesus! Come and visit your people. We await your coming. Come, O Lord.

Second Sunday Advent...still waiting; still counting the days till her child is born Mary still holds faith with God and the man called Joseph. Mary can feel the life within her, feel her baby move, kick, hiccup, sleep...all those things women feel as they wait the birth. Men can put their hand on the stomach and feel it move as it grabs their heart with longing to see the baby. God has us waiting for the birth as we are asked to "feel" it coming in our body and our mind and our soul. Come, come Lord Jesus; we await.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Getting to the Good Part - Easy Street Mystery

I am trying to keep up with this mystery and I have to say it is really challenging.  I have other Christmas sewing that I have to sneak in with the mystery.  I have now completed all the four patches and flying geese, cut the rectangles of black and white, and am working on the shaded four patch.  I was struggling to get my mind around these shaded four patches not sure why.  Made 3 trial patches and they would not square up to the needed 3 1/2 ".  Cutting was off?  I took a break to clear the mind and remember what my Mother would have done.  My mom was the best sewist I have every known and I miss being able to call her to just whine.  She would have said, "clean up your work area, take one step at a time and just focus on it, nothing else and remember this only gets you to the good part....the sewing".  Breath well, give total focus to the cutting and don't think ahead or about the end product."  I did what my Mom said to do, I cleaned up my cutting table, read the instructions again, worked on the simple process of cutting one cut at a time AND in just that long all the pieces were laid out, ready to sew.  Sometimes it takes us to clear our minds and focus on the now that get us to the good part.  Clink here to see all the fun :  Link up Monday see the progress

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Yes, I like totally feel this as Christmas comes faster and faster and I quite frankly think I will be looking at my Christmas tree and saying this on December 25.  I have the following sewing projects to finish and I am not prepared to even know if I can get them done. 
1.  finish machine quilting Alaska Round Quilt and bind it. 
2.  Finish flying geese as the next clue comes out tomorrow and I had promised to be caught up each week
3.  Hot pads for office people gifts and cookie mix in jars
4.  pillow cases for Christmas gifts for 7 people
5.  Make a pin cushion for gift exchange for guild party
6. AND there is probably something I have not even remembered to put on this list~

Must get off this computer as that is one way I do not get sewing done, but I do love my tech time. 
Merry Christmas and off I go dashing through the house, up to the sewing studio to get my Santa on. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Easy Street Mystery continues

The Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt Easy Street

the links will get you to the link-up for week 2 and week 1 incase you missed it.  FUN, FUN
is underway and I am sewing.  I have all the first week four patches done and 5 of the flying geese.  I only have 5 geese at this time because I am not one who has much fun making flying geese, I have in fact not ever enjoyed the piecing of flying geese.  So, I decided to wipe the brain free of all the ways to do geese and follow the one described by Bonnie Hunter using the strips I had cut.  It had been forever that I had done this method as the new methods out there have become so popular.  I loved going back to the cutting of the triangles and the piecing process of speed piecing.  I think I will enjoy making these now and putting aside my old negative reaction to making geese will certainly be freeing.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I have started to follow Bonnie Hunter on the new mystery Easy Street.  Easy Street Mystery Quilt
I have chosen my fabrics that I have for now in the colors of purples, teals, limey greens, back/white, and grey for the constant.  These are not colors I would normally use but I really do like them together and using the paint "chips" from Lowe's was the perfect way to focus material choices.  I will make this process a part of my routine in taking color needs with me as I shop.  I can now get ready for the first installment to get cutting and working.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Boneyard Off the Needles

The Stephen West workshop I attended and cast on the Boneyard Shawl challenged me to a new type of cast on.  Getting past that then it was all about getting the rhythm of the shawl.  Two skeins of Malabrigo DK weight in .......... it was done.  Now the issue I have  it seems it is very "small" and I am not sure what to do with it.  If it were really cold here and one needed a great coat neck scarf it would work.  It is really nice and very pretty, but once again I am not sure I would wear it much.  I have not blocked it and I think that will help for it to lay flatter and be more pliable and possibly I could extend it more.  I am going to do that and then see what it brings.  I really did enjoy knitting it and it is  fun knit and easy to do while visiting with my knit sibs.  A few pics of how it is now. Stephen West

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I like the new trend for modern quilts.  When I was growing up and was about 10 or so the Contemporary Arts Museum was opening in our town.  My parents were invited to all those kinds of openings and of course was expected to attend.  So my Dad and Mom took me with them I think because they could not find a baby sitter BUT I was taken in by all the color and movement in the art, all the different kinds of impressions and I remember thinking how it was so fabulous.  My Dad on the other hand thought it was certainly not "art" and while he smiled and made nice sounds I knew he was thinking...are you kidding me?  Art?  There was sculpture and one was of a chair...Dad turns to Mom and says, "That's a chair".  Mom says to Dad, "Well, one might think that, but it's artfully done."  Dad says to Mom, "OK, so that is an artfully done chair, but it is still just a chair."  and with that said it was time to go.  I loved the chair art and thought it was perfect, just as an artfully chair should be.  I have loved modern art since that day and could only dream of putting together color and movement in such splendor.  This is my first attempt at a modern quilt.  I like that it is simple lines and the quilting I did in hand dyed wool yarn.

I am going to join the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild  this week and see where this takes me in this contemporary adventure.  If nothing else I will love seeing those quilts others make.

Friday, October 5, 2012


OH, what fun the  Stephen West workshop was.  I was so out of my league with most that were there but really that has never bothered me because I know it is just knits and purls!  Stephen jumped right in and I was holding on by the skin of my fingers.  I had no idea what he was saying and all those around me were off and running.  Then -- I just sat back, took a breath, put my yoga focus into the breath and  picked up the pattern that was on the table, read it, started again and again and again till I get it.  As I was doing my thing to get it, everyone else was sailing along and he was going a million miles an hour with it all.  I just kept breathing, stayed in my zone and worked to understand the pattern.  I know that I do not really care that others are sailing along because I will get my wind in my sails too....and I did.  Stephen then gave a lecture on the math of his pattern(s) and I was in my element and many around me were struggling to keep up.  I love the math of his designs and the creative repetition of pattern that creates genius of flow of motion to a flat surface.  I knew then that I would love to do his looks.  I have now on my needles the Boneyard Shawl that was the workshop and I can say I can now hold my own with anyone that was at the workshop.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Finally done.  See blog post for August 25....  These 6x2 rib pattern was easy and boring.  It is what it is, a "vanilla" sock.  Fits OK, not hard to do and fits good.  I thought I would like the coloring of this yarn better and after seeing it in pics the black is not my favorite.  The pooling of the black and in general how it threaded through the socks were not for me that attractive.  All this to say, I will like wearing them as I do love the hand knit that fits my feet well.  It will be in a shoe, so who will really see the things I don't care for.  DONE - OFF THE NEEDLES that is all that really matters.  Now what shall I cast on?

I am going to the Stephen West workshop Saturday, so maybe I will  wait till after that to see what might be.  The workshop is at Madtosh....more on that later.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Inspiration should come from inward to be expressed outward and I get that.  To fill the inward I look for people, places and experiences that will jolt me into action.  I have belonged to Quiltsittters at my local quilt shop for gosh a really long time and it seems stale now.  I am going to visit the Modern Quilt guild meeting this week to get new input, new people and who knows maybe new inspiration.  I can't decide if I will join my long time group of Quiltsitters (this is renewal month)?  I am inspired in the modern quilt simplicity lately and have enjoyed the clean lines and simple but not boring lines.  I visited the Contemporary Modern Art Museum this last week that I had not been to for several years and it brought back the joy of color, lines and movement rather than complex, color heavy and complex images.  Clean lines, fresh color and ones self interpretation of what you see inspired me to look around and take some renewing breathes of creativity.  I am on the hunt for different experiences this month to see where I might land.  More later on what it means and where I land.  Taking off now....

Monday, September 3, 2012


I work fulltime and we are having our employee campaign to give to United Way.  I get the joy of working every year with the employee campaign committee and it is the best time of the year in our organization.  It is an honor to work in the community and make differences in lives across the community.  We know in this organization that one never knows when it will be us or someone near us that will need help.  Needing help crosses all socio economic status and we can need help as well as anyone.  It is an honor to work to raise money to fund programs that give aid to many in the community.  The theme is one around the Olympics with groups formed to put together "baskets" to raffle.  The baskets are themed by counties that participated in the Olympics  and I am on the Mexico basket team.  I bought a chiminea to use as our "basket" and fill up with goodies.  We are well on our way to a full and fun "basket" with lots of gift cards to Mexican restaurants, Tequila, Mexican beer, books on Mexico, Mexican food items and ingredients to whip up a fiesta.  I have put in a Mexican cook book and thought I needed to add something to dress it up, so why not an apron with a Mexican touch.  I have a great fabric stash which made it no problem to pull from what I have and a couple of hours later...dada.....APRON.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


This pattern "Just Right Socks" a free download on Ravelry.  I was looking for a "vanilla" sock pattern that would fit and be an easy knit.  I can say this is easy to do, but I am not sure I started with enough cast on stitches.  I would like a little more give in the fit.  It fits me like a glove but is snug.  I also will definately make the top longer if I do this pattern again.  I seem to tend toward the top not long enough issue as I get bored with the top...need to remember bored is OK if I want longer tops.  The thread used is a  Lisa Souza in the Bloojay colorway.The blue is very jean blue and I like it a lot. It is heavier/thicker than I have used in the past, but I like it.  I just hope it will not be too heavy for some of my shoes.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curve Master Pressure Foot and Round Alaska

I fell in love with the quilt in the magazine Modern Quilting, the quilt is  Project Curious Nature as it is so simple but so beautiful. I was taken by its use of circles and the math concept that has always intrigued by Pi, that the circle doubles itself as you add outer circles.  This quilt grows very fast into the 64x64 as Pi falls into play with the circle.  I decided it had to be the pattern I use for the "Ugly Fabric" quilt event at my local quilt store Quilters Dream, Colleyville, Texas.   I took the material to Alaska with me to find fabric to make the quilt and had so much fun visiting quilt shops (see previous blog post).  So here is the start of the quilt on the design board ready to sew.  This is after many many material auditions!  The fabric except for the one with the pop of red are all from my trip to Alaska, so I think I will name this quilt Round Alaska...but still auditioning names.

As I thought of sewing all the curves I remembered the Curve Master Pressure Foot  I had bought at the Dallas Quilt Show and knew it would be a perfect time to test it and see just how it works and if it is all it says it is.    I remembered how easy it looked as it was demonstrated, and I was sure that would not be the case, but hey, guess one has to try. OMG, it was like a dream come true, I have never known such ease in joining curves.  This foot works exactly as advertised and better, no pinning, no guessing, no fussing, no problem.  I am sailing along on getting it put together.  When complete I will post the final results.  This foot is amazing and I recommend it highly.

Curve Master Pressure Foot  YOU WILL NOT BE LET DOWN!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Alaska Quilt Shops

Morley J. Moose III

Quilted Raven
I got to meet my friend in Anchorage, Alaska for a week of fun.  We have never been to Alaska before and were exited to just be there.  She was judging a dog agility show and while it rained the whole weekend, no one seemed to mind and the dogs cared less--they ran and jumped and had tons of fun.  After the weekend of making new friends and getting to pet lots of dogs we had the next week to explore Anchorage and surrounding area.  My friend and I are both quilters so of course we looked up all the quilt shops in the area, we wanted to visit a few.  The first was downtown Anchorage.  The Quilted Raven was a feast for the eyes and while cozy, it was packed with great Alaska material and locally dyed yarns and other great things.  The pattern Morley J. Moose III was another delight for the eyes and just darn cute. Moose are after all very Alaskan!  Morley J. Moose III  - this is the link to the pattern.

We visited 3 other quilt shops  Quilt Zone, Quilt Tree and Dinas Cozy Cabin Quilts ....   and found a lot.  I bought many cuts for a quilt I am going to do for an "ugly" fabric challenge they are now in  audition status.  But another pattern that really caught our eye was the Labyrinth Maze from the April/May issue of Quilt Magazine.  I will have to order that back issue.   It was so much fun to shop, play tourist and relax.  There is still much to do and see in trip.

Lunch was great...Texas don't have these!  My friends all believe that I did not made Santa happy, but I do not see Santa as a vegetarian.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Owl Quilt for Baby

I love to know that I don't have to do anything with a pattern, I can just imagine the look and then start to create.  I think baby quilts are the perfect way to do this as they are a great size to work with and can be finished in a short period of time and....a baby does not judge so any booboos are never really the focus.  I know parents or others may see them, but I know they are so focused on the baby that they never really look too deeply at anything else.

This quilt was inspired by a picture of owls, so I took off from there.  I remember seeing laser cut owl appliques Hooterville Quilt Pattern by Brandywine Design  on Cabbage Rose Quilt Shop web site Cabbage Rose Fort Worth Texas, so I started there.  Yep just what I wanted to use, so off to the shop.  I purchased the laser cut pieces for the Hootervillle Quilt and was ready to go to step two.  (I now have a lot of owls and trees to use for other projects.)  

I had in my mind a modern quilt with white and a chevron pattern of some sort.  I envisioned a center panel of white with owls and tree and chevrons on either side.  To make the chevrons it only takes half square triangles and the design board to get the lay out.  Keeping the chevron in order when sewing is somewhat the hardest part of the process, but all ended well.

I love the finished results and the  quilting was simple with my Viking Diamond Deluxe machine.  I sewed a broad zig zag decorative stitch in the center of the chevron to mimic the flow of them and echo around the owls and tree.  A little detail quilting on tree and owls made it pop.

One week end and a quilt pattern that goes together very quickly is a perfect duo.  I like the results really well.

First Look on the design board and getting it together