Sunday, December 22, 2013


I will probably be spending the next several days immersed in Holiday Happiness and will check back here when I can.  Wishing you and yours a very Blessed Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year!

See you soon!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Yesterday around dinnertime I got a call from Ticketmaster.  I thought it was a marketing call and was ready to hang up when my ears picked up the word fraud.  "Excuse me, could you please repeat what you just said?!!"

Long story short...some SOB (yes, I do mean SOB) used my credit card number to purchase sporting tickets!!!  Ticketmaster suspected fraud and contacted me to verify the purchase.  NO.  I did not buy over $1500.00 worth of tickets!  They suggested I contact my local police, which I did.

The officer called me back tonight to let me know they have info on the thief and  will attempt to prosecute.  I say throw his/her arse in jail!  Thieves are doing this to so many people.  To me it is no different than robbing me personally.  I still feel violated!  It is NOT a victimless crime!

So be sure to check your statements carefully and notify your credit card company and local authorities if you find anything suspicious!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FINISHED...with one week to spare...

...and I will NEVER box myself into a corner like this again, lol.  Next Christmas my aunt is getting a quilt.  It will be started January 1, 2014, lol.

Here is a brief trip through the process with lots and lots of pictures.........

In case this is the first time you are reading my blog...a little back history.  My mom is a chocoholic!  Big Time!  For my entire young life my mom's breakfast consisted of a cup of tea and a Hershey's Chocolate Bar.  I had to eat yucky cereal, but she reveled in her favorite food first thing in the morning, lol.  Also, my mom's nickname since childhood is "Tootsie".  Kind of appropriate, huh?  Months and months ago I saw something that mentioned the movie "Breakfast At Tiffany's" and I thought to myself, "It ought to be Breakfast at Tootsie's and then it could be all about chocolate."  And so, an idea was born.

For a month or two I searched ebay and every online fabric shop I frequent looking for "chocolate" fabric.  My Dear Hubby took me to Lancaster, PA for a day and drove me from shop to shop as I purchased a few yards here, a few yards there.  I knew what I wanted..."chocolate", but a tiny bit more sophisticated than a typical "kid" fabric.  I also knew that I wanted to incorporate machine embroidery into the quilt.  I went online to my favorite pattern shops and found just what I was looking for.  Time to begin putting my ideas to the test.

I knew I wanted to make a Dresden quilt for mom, but I had one problem...I had never made a Dresden block before.  So, I pulled out some scrap fabric and tackled my first Dresden. 

I used my finished block to make a pillow...which I showed to mom.  She LOVED it.  First phase completed!

I began making Dresdens and while searching machine embroidery sites I came across the most perfect pattern...a woman munching on candy with the saying "Chocolate..It's not just for breakfast anymore!"  It couldn't be more perfect.  

I finally narrowed the fabric selections down to five different material Dresdens.  I used three of the materials twice to make 8 Dresdens and the central square for the main embroidery.  The plan was coming together!

I chose beige as the background fabric for the Dresdens.  It would pick up the beige in the candy and also match the beige in the quilt I made my Dad last Christmas.  Since they would be used in the same room I wanted them to coordinate a bit.  I also found four smaller embroideries to use as cornerstones of the border.  

I finally finished sewing together my eight Dresdens and even put quarter Dresdens around the central embroidery.  It was just too "blah" without any other materials surrounding it. 

I was pretty happy with the quilt so far, but it was "square" and I really wanted a rectangular quilt.  I seemed to remember spotting a cupcake "border" embroidery pattern on one of the sites I frequented, and I was sure it would make an adorable border, if I could just FIND it.  A bit of searching produced the pattern and I was one step closer to the quilt vision in my head.  

The finished border added to the length...and to the charm.  I was loving it more and more every day!

It was pretty obvious that the quilt needed a "darker" border to set off the lightness of the quilt and also showcase the individual desserts embroidered on the corners.  

I machine quilted the blocks (amid some crises...which is a WHOLE other story!) and added a deep pink border for contrast. 

The pink REALLY played well with the desserts!

When I looked at the back of the quilt, the center of each Dresden was blank...and BORING!  Another quick search online and I found the perfect quilting for the center of each block!

The central block was still a bit I made a 1/2" binding strip and followed the outline of the quarter Dresdens....better...but now TOO pink!  I went to JoAnn's looking for some type of "candy" trim to break up the pink.  I know.  I know.  Just because I WANT "candy" trim doesn't mean they have it, lol!  When I spotted this mini pompom trim my mouth began to water and visions of Malted Milk Balls filled my head.   Mmmmmm.....YUM!  PERFECT!  Now I just had to sew it all hand!  

Much better, don't you think?

So here it all of it's glory!  I am so THRILLED with the way it turned out.  This is without a doubt the hardest, most detailed and most themed quilt I have ever made...but I love every square inch of it.  Are there "mistakes"?  Sure, lots of them.  But this quilt encompassed an awful lot of sewing and quilting "firsts" for me and I am thrilled with the progress I have made in the one year since I made my dad's quilt.  

I even took a picture of the back...for posterity's sake.  

All tied up and ready to wrap.  I told my Dear Hubby that I should have named it "Blood, Sweat and Tears" instead of "Breakfast At Tootsie's".  There is an awful lot of love, along with quite a bit of DNA (complements of my blood, sweat and tears), in this quilt and I am sure it will remain my favorite for many years to come.  

I think we are going to need lots of Kleenex on Christmas morning...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


First off...I want to apologize for the lack of a photo above.  Murphy just won't quit!  But since this is the third thing to break in the past 11 days, I am hoping this is it!!!  This morning my mouse decided to give up the I am writing this on my IPAD.  Of course my camera cord is a regular USB...not the tiny one on an IPAD.  I really need to look for an adapter.  

In an effort to keep my mind off of the Murphyisms, I have been contemplating my goals for 2014.  

My first goal is to lose weight and begin gentle exercise.  I am hoping my rheumatologist will lower my steroids more at my next visit.  Yes, it has been MIRACULOUS to have reduced pain all of these months, but the weight gain is making me uncomfortable and my blood sugar is much harder to control.  So I will talk with him about getting me off of this steroid induced "honeymoon".  I know my pain will ramp back up but if I can hold out six months or more before I can no longer stand the pain, it would do my body good to have a break from the steroids.

Secondly, I want to begin doing a small food shop every Saturday with just enough food for the week.  Since dear hubby and I run errands together on Saturday he will be able to do the schlepping of heavy bags that I can't handle.  Buying smaller amounts of food will allow us to buy a smaller freezer to replace our freezer that died a month saved.

Thirdly, I want to start cooking dinner at home 5 nights a week and packing lunches for dear hubby 5 days a week.  Our usual Saturday breakfast date and a nice dinner on Saturday night, and a sandwich/pizza on Sunday night should be a feasible part of our budget.  

Fourth goal, I want to look into hiring the cleaning crew again once or twice a month to keep up with the jobs that neither dear hubby or I can physically handle.  We will work together to keep up with dusting, sweeping, toilets and sinks on a weekly basis.

Fifth goal, we need to get back to seriously purging the house...hopefully selling what we can and padding out our savings acct.

Finally, I want to continue to sew and craft as much as my body will allow.  It is my sanity!

So, have you begun planning your 2014 goals?  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


The picture you see above is "Ellie"...jammed solid.  I had just begun the first stitch on my mom's quilt label with the machine made a horrible noise, an error appeared on the screen and it is all locked up.  I can't even turn the wheel!  I called the shop where I bought it and she suggested I bring it in for her to see, or I COULD try to wiggle the needle out, even if I have to break it.  As I REALLY don't want to mess up my machine, I told her I will be there on Thursday.  I have to go with my mom and dad to the oncologist tomorrow.  So I will be the next two days, minimum, without my machine...hopefully not longer.  I could give it to my mom WITHOUT the label, but it is an integral part of the NEEDS to be there.  In fact I am going to wrap it so that the first thing she sees is the label.  Other than making the label and sewing it to the quilt (with a satin stitch to mirror the satin stitch in the cupcake border), snipping threads and giving it a quick lick with the lint brush...the quilt is done.  I had figured I would finish the label today and then sew it on tomorrow morning when my hands are a lot steadier.  So much for plans...  As my aunt said, this quilt really IS a labor of love!

Strange, the material didn't look half as scrunched up in person.  The pink lines are simply there to space out the printing and will be pulled out after each word is embroidered.

Hopefully Ellie can be "unstuck" while I wait and I can bring her home to finish things up....... 

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Two hours and still stuck.  Now he is calling for backup!  Do you see dollars flying out my window?   Ugh....  I will be happy, I will be happy.....Aaaaack.......


This is what I had HOPED to be concentrating on this morning!  J and K are coming over around 11:00 to bake Christmas cookies!  It has been at least 10 years since I have made the traditional homemade Christmas cookies that I grew up with.  Way too long!  The past few years I have just been too sick to consider any baking at all.  This year, after my dear son saying how much he missed the traditions from his childhood (Christmas cookie baking being the most important, lol) I asked if he and K would like to come over to bake cookies.  This holiday season I am still on steroids, so my pain is a bit better and I think, with a little help from my dear son and his fiance', at least SOME of the homemade cookies may find their way onto plates this Christmas day.  Notice I said I had HOPED to be concentrating on my Kitchenaid?

THIS is actually what I have been concentrating on since about 4:30 yesterday afternoon!  One blocked kitchen sink!  Definitely NOT on my wish list for this Christmas!  Now, tell me, HOW do you bake Christmas cookies without a kitchen sink or dishwasher?  Laundry tub?  Nope.  It is situated on the other side of the kitchen wall and is also blocked...and leaking (err, gushing) water out of the trap!  I tried hot water, baking soda and vinegar and plunging and the dang water never budged.  Then dear hubby came home and plunged, snaked and applied half a bottle of Drano.  Still it sits...

So this morning I bit the bullet and called a plumber.  He will be here any minute and hopefully I will have a fully functioning kitchen by 11:00.  And hopefully he will be done quickly as I STILL have to go to the store and buy the ingredients!  Time sure is getting away from me!

But, the holidays are here and I'm listening to Christmas carols on my computer and working furiously on finishing up Christmas gifts...I am NOT going to let a little bit of standing water get me upset.  No sir.  In this house there will be peace, joy and hopefully a few cookie crumbs to celebrate the season!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 2, 2013

I'M GONNA CRY !!!!!.................................

See that horrid black spotting above the word "chocolate" on my mom's quilt?  It's grease!  Horrible, ugly, black GREASE!  There are a total of 4 separate areas of grease now gracing my mom's beautiful, perfect quilt.  I could just cry buckets.  

I had my machine serviced the week before we went away on vacation, picked it up the day before we left and sat down this morning to get back into quilting it.  After I finished the blades of the Dresden I pulled the quilt out of the machine to look at it.  I almost DIED when I saw four separate areas of black grease.  This is the worst area as it encompasses about 6-8 separate little spots...and of course is in the central embroidery block...the embroidery and saying that MAKE the whole quilt! 

I called the shop where my machine was serviced and they suggested Dawn Dishwashing Liquid.  Fortunately I had a sample of Dawn in my kitchen.  The spot you see now is after Shout, Greased Lightening and Dawn!  It is lighter...but still there.  I know my mom will love the quilt no matter what...but this is her big gift and I just wanted it to be PERFECT.  I have spent so many hours designing, piecing, embroidering and now quilting...I am devastated. 

I'm going to put a bit more Dawn on the spots and pray that tomorrow morning they are gone.  If not, I will just keep on quilting it.  I don't have the time, material or ambition to start it all over again from scratch.  I know in the big scheme of things this is not a big deal...and I am ashamed of myself for making it such a big deal...but why this handmade item and why this area of the quilt?  It couldn't have happened on one of the dark brown chocolate areas, right?  

I am off to drown my sorrows in a glass of wine.  Don't worry friends, it is one of the 4 glasses per week prescribed by my physician.  I'm just drinking it at the time it may do the most good for more than just my liver......

Sunday, December 1, 2013


WE'RE HOME!!!!!!!!!

A Sad Cartoon Dog With Suitcases Stock Photo
Just a quick note to let you know that we are home safe and sound.  We arrived home last evening and collapsed into bed shortly thereafter.  We drove straight through (12+ hours from the time we left SC) and were EXHAUSTED by the time we emptied the car...into the kitchen.  No further, lol, just to the kitchen.  We dumped EVERYTHING on the kitchen floor, table and be dealt with today. 

So today we have spent all day:  emptying suitcases, sorting a mountain of mail and handling the resulting piles, reading and deleting emails, ordering Christmas gifts that we had picked out while away but didn't order as we didn't want to use credit cards on a hotel internet network.   We have sorted the bags of Christmas gifts that we purchased from brick and mortar stores while away, moved a broken futon down the basement (long story for another time, lol) and went to the local deli to pick up just the bare necessities for the next few days...milk, bread, cheese, lunchmeat, etc.  DH vacuumed up all of the leaves that had fallen in the past two weeks.  It's a miracle that there are any leaves LEFT on the trees given the piles of leaves all over the lawn and driveway!  I took down my summer wreath and hung the Christmas wreath on the front door.  Dinner tonight?  Chinese...delivered, lol. 

TOMORROW I have one more suitcase of clean clothes to put away (I do laundry while we are away) and a small pile of dirty clothing to add to the hamper of clothing that didn't get washed before we left...and then I need to wash it all and put it away.  I have to get back to my mom's quilt and I have to go to the store to research K's (J's fiance) Christmas gift.  I have a good idea what I am fact I have it all picked out from researching online, I just want to see it in person.  I also have to call my doctor's office to get them started on authorizing the MRI of my brain recommended by my family doctor to take with me to the new neurologist I am seeing on January 2nd.   

I'm hoping by Tuesday I will be back to the normal organization around here and I can begin spending all day in my sewing room working on Christmas gifts.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Be back soon to show you the fabric I purchased for me (just because); and the beginning fabrics for my Aunt's quilt!  It will be her Christmas gift next year...but I am DETERMINED to start it in January to avoid another last minute crush! 

Talk to you soon..............

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I know I have not been around the blog much lately.  I had planned on taking lots of pics during our vacation and updating you as our vacation progressed.  However I have taken NO pictures, lol.  I have been too busy relaxing!  I promise when we are back in Pa shortly I will take photos of the few purchases I have made and share them!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends and followers!  May your day be filled with the love of your family and friends and WAY TOO MUCH food, lol.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


See that big open space on my sewing table?  That's where my Ellure Plus (Ellie) is supposed to be sitting...ready and able to stitch away on tons of happy projects!  Unfortunately, she needed a bit of a "tune up" and "clean up" to keep her stitching merrily along and has been in the "hospital" for the past week.  In other words...all of the Christmas gifts I have started or planned have been waiting patiently for any progress.  THEY may be patient...but I am definitely NOT, lol.  

I have spent the past week sorting through TONS of paperwork, doing some online Christmas shopping for my folks (my gifts, lol), submitting all of our Flexible Spending Account receipts for reimbursement, etc.  In a way, Ellie's absence has been good for my other, less fun, projects!  

Since I am now done all of the Pending Paperwork Projects (say that three times fast, lol) I will spend today emptying out my scrap bucket and sorting, cutting, storing those bits and pieces of precious fabric that are worth too much money to waste. 

Goodness!  I didn't realize that my scrap bucket held so much!  Hopefully by bedtime tonight I will have everything cut into useful sizes...2.5" strip, 2.5" square, 1.5" strip, 6" dresdens, etc.  One more tiny corner of my sewing space will be all neat and organized!

AND...I will be resting and relaxing over the next few weeks and will be working on my crocheted bobble blanket.  It really needs to be done quickly to keep me warm over the winter!  Talk to you in a few with pictures, purchases and progress! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Oh My Goodness....where is the time going?  I can't believe it is noon already and all I have accomplished is quilting the Dresden blades on the FIRST of eight Dresden's in my mom's quilt.  Next I want to do an outline stitch around this Dresden, and then repeat the same for the rest of the blocks!  After the blades and outline quilting are done, then I want to quilt the centers of each Dresden and then straight lines 1/4" from the edge of each block...then quilt the border...and then bind...all in 21 days!  That is all the days I will have left between me and my machine both being away!  I am taking her in tomorrow for a good yearly overall, plus a check on the knee control of the presser foot.  Ellie is really not sewing as well as I would like and I want to get her looked at before it turns into something big.  

I woke up hurting this morning.  In fact I was DREAMING of hurting and I kept saying "Pain, Pain, Pain" in my dream.  When I woke up I realized I wasn't dreaming the pain.  So, wrestling this almost 60" x 60" quilt in my domestic machine is more than I can really handle today.  I pushed myself to do as much as I have done, and am now taking a lunch break.  I'm hoping maybe this afternoon the pain will lessen and I can knock out another one or two Dresdens.  Reminder to self:  NEXT YEAR START CHRISTMAS GIFTS ON FEBRUARY 1ST....


Friday, November 1, 2013

GOODBYE HALLOWEEN....HELLO....WINTER? is nasty, horrid and miserable outside the Cottage window this morning!  It is raining with blustery winds...and It. Is. DARK!  The sky has just gained enough bluish glow that I can begin to see the shapes of trees, cars and houses!  Up until a few moments ago it was pitch black!  Eeeek!  I'm used to seeing sunlight by 7:15 AM. 

Like Halloween, I guess summer is really and truly over (not that I mind Halloween being over...I hate the holiday, lol).  J just calls me a "weirdo" when I tell people I can't wait for it to be here and gone!  Now that the Famous Amos cookies are given out to all of the little ghosts and goblins, the Holiday countdown really begins!  I am SO far behind this year.

BUT, Mom's quilt is finally a flimsy!  Once again, I apologize for the horrible photo.  I was teetering on the step-stool again to get this picture.  I can't WAIT for a design wall!  I just have to trim the jump threads, give it a quick lick with the iron and I'm ready to sandwich.  Wait a minute!  Ummmm.....backing?  Oops, looks like I forgot to buy it!  If the weather ever calms down I will head to Walmart to buy a queen sized flat brown sheet.  I really like using sheets for the backing as I know they will wear well and there are less seams for little toes to get caught in.  Besides, I like to save my scraps for other projects instead of burying them on the back of a quilt, lol. 

Dear Hubby just yelled up the steps to remind me we have to leave for our eye doctor appointments.  Dang, I forgot I was going to have to go out in this mess.  Hubby says it looks "spooky" outside.  Yup, that describes it perfectly (shiver)!

Stay warm, and dry, my friends....

Monday, October 28, 2013


Please excuse the "meh" picture...I was standing on a step-stool trying to get a good shot, lol.  Step-stools and I are NOT good friends!  Additionally, the two tables are a smidge too high for me.  DH could lower them, but then they would probably be too low and cause my back to hurt too much.  I can't wait until someday when I have a table that works at MY height, lol.  

All I have left to do is the candy border with the embroidered corners and then I can sandwich it and begin to quilt.  Of course, I do need to press it before I sandwich it...there are wrinkles galore!

I'll post more pics when I get it further along.  Take care, my friends....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Sorry, no pic with this post.  I got everything into the trash bin before I even remembered my camera.  I went downstairs to the large upright freezer in my pantry to pull out something for dinner, only to discover everything but the bottom two shelves completely defrosted!  Lots of food and money is now in my big trash bin waiting for pickup Friday morning.  Both crockpots are going cooking up food I was able to save and 10 fully frozen thighs are in my fridge defrosting for later in the week.  I am now sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee and snack pack of cookies...I need comfort!


Remember my newly painted guest bathroom?  Well, I added a bit more to it yesterday!  It isn't done yet...I have lots of ideas still to come to fruition!  

Yesterday while I was out I picked up the cute little silver and black reed infuser, or is that diffuser?  I needed "something" for on top of the little cabinet, but didn't want it to be anything too big or heavy...the cabinet is held on with two keyholes and screws...and only one of them is in a stud, the other was hung using a "thing-a-ma-bob" (come on, girls, you know what I mean, lol) for drywall with no stud nearby.  Darn word completely escapes me.  I HATE when this happens!  Anyway...the towels are not the new "guest" towels I plan to buy, they are quite old (which explains the discoloration on the washcloth) and were only hung there to test out the towel color.  Yup, black does the trick.  And now, on to my finish...

If you swing around you can see the curtain I made to match the shower curtain.  It was easy-peasy to cut down a second shower curtain to make the valance.  I think I am going to use my mom's trick of clipping on some clothespins to help the pleats drape a bit more regularly.  One steamy shower and they should dry perfectly.  I think I will shower here over the weekend to provide the needed steam.  If you look to the top of the curtain you can see the traditional curtain rod that was hanging there already.  A quick squirt or two of silver paint and it was redone.  And my dad gave me the paint to it was a FREE redo!  It isn't a complete match, but at least it isn't the "glaring" white of the unpainted rod, lol.  My next job is to replace the yellowed shade with mini blinds.  I buy my mini blinds at Walmart.  Dirt cheap and they actually wear like iron.  I'm sure my dad will help me hang them.  

Just next to the window (toilet beneath) is the vanity.  I bought the two brushed and shiny chrome pieces at Ross yesterday (with the reed infuser).  The jar holds Q-tips and cotton balls and the brush holder now houses two new brushes and a travel sized tube of toothpaste...just in case we have unexpected overnight guests.  Please excuse the filthy hasn't been washed since the painters were here.  Time to get out my vinegar and water!  I still want to buy a can of black Krylon paint (for plastics) and paint the Dixie cup holder.  I also want to buy a plastic cube tissue holder for on top of the toilet tank.  I would love to find one in black, but I will take white and paint it with the Krylon.  

My next project will be the vanity itself.  Both the base and the sinks have yellowed over the years.  I would really like to repaint the base with a new coat of white paint (dang, should have thought to have the painters do it) and I would like to dress up the plain white doors with some beadboard and trim to match the front of the white cabinet. I would like to replace the sinks with plain white instead of the white and beige swirl that has yellowed to totally beige.  I'll keep you posted as I get things done. 

So, that was my finish.  Now, my disappointment...

These huge boxes sitting on my porch are for the UPS man to pick up today.  They are the project table for my yellow room that we bought from the Improvements catalog (Can you understand why I had to call J just to get them in the house, lol?)  I. SHOULD. HAVE. KNOWN. BETTER!  Poor J came over last night to assemble it.  Horrible.  Absolutely, totally inferior product.  The boards were warped, the holes didn't line up, the holes drilled for the silver turn-y things (technical term here, lol) were not deep enough.  After 45 minutes of fighting with it, J called "UNCLE" and I phoned Improvements to tell them I wanted my money back.  They appear to be okay with the return and said it will be free shipping...but we will see when my charge card gets credited.  J laughingly said if we EVER buy another "assemble it yourself" item that ISN'T Ikea...we can build it ourselves!  He was laughing, but I think there was a ring of truth in there.  Ikea furniture is foolproof.  We have ALOT of Ikea in our basement and bought tons to furnish J's apartment when he was away at college; and we have NEVER had a problem with assembly.  As he was leaving last night J told me not to worry...he will go to Ikea and buy what I need and then deliver it and build it.  My heart is melting... We raised a good boy...

Speaking of my boy...while going through some closets I came across the second quilt I ever made.  Back in 1991 I took a quilt class and made my first quilt, a gray/burgundy/mauve/blue, "Trip Around The World".  It hung in our basement until 2010, blocking the draft at the Bilco door.  When we had the basement finished the quilt came upstairs to snuggle under.  Anyway, the whole time I was making that quilt my then 3-year-old  begged me to "make ME a quilt, mom!" What was a mom to do?  Make my second quilt one just for him, of course!  Here is J's quilt... appropriately named"Make Me A Quilt".  It covered J, his bed, and floor, and any other stationary object, for quite a few years. 

Unfortunately, after tons of lovin' and TONS of washing (at LEAST once a week) the quilt has seen better days.  The seams are ripped, the material itself is ripped and the batting is almost non-existent in places.  But I can't bear to part with it.  I can still see his little blonde head straining to see over the top of the six foot tables to catch a glimpse of his quilt.  Believe it or not, I still have all of the fabrics used in this quilt and SOME DAY I will either fix it myself or find someone nearby who is a much better quilter than I and can fix it properly.  I would love to pass it on to a grandchild someday...

That is all that is new at my house today.  What's new at yours?

Friday, October 18, 2013


Above is a "sneak peak" of the embroidery that is going to fill the upper and lower sashes of my mom's quilt.  As you can see, I haven't torn off the stabilizer, nor have I cut the jump threads...but this IS a sneak peak, lol.  I have five more sequences to do on the lower sash and then I can clean them all up and sew on the sashes.  I'll try to give you another "peak" when that is done, before I put on the border and corner embroidery!

Until next time!

I've linked up at:

Monday, October 14, 2013


It's been a GOOD, productive morning!  Hooray!!!!

This is where I stand on mom's quilt right now.  I got all of the sashing done this morning as my pain level was pretty low and my hands weren't shaking too badly.  I just had to wash the second blood stain out of the quilt, though, so my body is telling me it is time to stop, lol.  I have had major balance issues since I woke up this morning.  I almost fell when I went to take my first steps...fortunately there was a wall there to catch me.  So I am going to spend all day today on my tush.  At least that way I am safe!  

I just realized when I hung the quilt that I forgot to do the pretty stitching connecting the quarter dresdens in the center block.  I wrote myself a note and put it on my sewing table.  My memory is so bad these days that I don't want to forget to do it!  Next I will be adding a 6" (I think) white sash to the top and bottom.  I am going to machine embroider a cupcake border into the I have to do a sample to see the finished size of the embroidery, then I can make the height of the sash appropriate to the design.  Then comes a 3-4 inch wide "candy" border, the four corners of which will be embroidered sweets.  Then the binding.  I haven't decided the material yet for the "candy" border...I will make the decision when I have the sash embroidery done and attached.  While I had a pretty good idea of my overall design going into quilt designs tend to "tighten up" as I go along. 

Now that I am done with my crafting for today (unless the tremor improves) I think I will head downstairs to either watch TV or read...both keep me safely on the sofa!  

I'll keep you posted as I get more done!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


We all need it, but BOY what a mess it can make in your sewing room! 

Last Christmas my mom and dad got me a Helmer drawer unit from Ikea.  It fits perfectly under the drop leaf table top (also from Ikea) where I do all of my cutting, ironing, etc.  

As you can see, my gate leg table and Helmer drawers form an "L" wth my sewing table...making the placement perfect for easy access to my thread.  

As you can see in the above picture (sorry for the duplicate photo), my drawers are labeled according to the type of thread they contain...Cotton (CT - Connecting Threads), Cotton (SLKY - Sulky Brand), and Poly (EMB - Machine Embroidery Thread).  Slightly organized, but not as organized as I would like them to be. 

Additionally, we all need bobbins of thread to match!  I purchased a small bobbin holder and put the label from a set of threads from Connecting Threads inside.  I tried, as I used a thread from the set, to put the corresponding bobbins in the case.  They were there, but the thread was unwinding and tangling.  So I tried putting a small hair elastic around the bobbin.  It worked, but then I couldn't see the thread color!  

Not too long ago I saw a picture on Pinterest which showed how to fasten your bobbin directly onto your spool of thread in order to keep them together.  It didn't cost anything, well except for the cost of a rubber band, and I loved that the two were attached together so securely.  No bobbins falling off of the top of the spool when I went to take it out of my drawer.  

Connecting Threads sells one of my favorite "all purpose" threads.  While they have a bazillian different colors of thread, once you take off the cellophane wrapper you have no clue as to the name!  I used my Brother P-touch label maker to print out a label for each color thread.  If you fold the label slightly the backing comes right off, no trying to peel it from a corner and losing my sanity in the process!  

I then folded the label around the middle of one side of the rubber band. 

Then stick one of the ends of the rubber band through the bobbin and the other end of the rubber band through it.  

Holding the bobbin against the spool of thread (trapping the end of the thread), wrap the rubber band around the spool and over the bobbin. 

Your bobbin is now attached securely to the corresponding spool of thread and you can tell the color of the thread at just a glance.  

I used the cardboard tube from a pants hanger, cut to size to fit "firmly" to provide a divide between the colored threads I use for ordinary sewing and piecing and the colored threads I use for quilting.  When my order comes in from Connecting Threads I will add the new spools to my current collection with their color labels attached to a rubber band so they will be ready to go when I am ready to sew!

Next I will tackle my Sulky drawer and the drawer that holds my machine embroidery thread.  That one will be done the same way, except the threads have "numbers" instead of color names and I have a LOT of threads to organize!