Thursday, December 31, 2020

Now is a great time!

Hi everybody! Welcome to 2021!

2020 has been a rough and tragic ride for many. I count myself as lucky to be healthy and truly blessed that my family is healthy. I've been treading water for a while now after my life was shattered by an unexpected broken heart, divorce and relocation. 

Enough of that stuff....

I have been sewing and cooking up a storm with some friends, for stress relief. Having been on vacation and resting a lot since Christmas Eve, I found myself turning a corner. 

Trying new sewing techniques and cuisines has been a priority and I'd love to show you some of what I have been keeping myself busy with. 

One of my favorite new skills is making Jelly Roll Rugs. They are time consuming but simple, beautiful and useful.

To start,  make the "cord" by sewing  42 2 1/2" X WOF strips together, end to end. If you sew it as it comes off of the roll, its usually looks great. Then, you lay 2 1/2" batting strip onto the wrong side of the fabric. Batting side up, fold each side to the center and then in half. Do this for the entire length of fabric strip. It helps to secure the strip with binder clips before sewing and then after, roll it into a ball as you go.

I used the pattern from R.J. Designs and it was very easy to follow. Its important to have the rug lay on a large surface that is the height of the sewing surface to support the weight of the growing rug. Books will work if you don't have the right table This way, the rugs came out nice and flat. The one that I kept for myself has been washed in cold water on the gentle cycle several times without issue. 

Give this a try! It's lots of fun!

Monday, April 16, 2018


Finally! Starting to feel like my self again.

Its been a really long time......not just for posting on my Blog but also for sewing and quilting.
To make a very long story short, my hubby's parents moved, gave us their house and then we moved and put our house on the market. I still, over a year later, have not figured out how to put three stories and a two car garage into a ranch with no garage. Our "new" house needed a lot of work and TLC and I am truly grateful for the fact that hubby is a carpenter and we are both the type to just dive into projects and get them done.

The place has come a really long way and we are beginning to feel less stressed and overwhelmed and more hopeful. Here are a few pictures of what we have accomplished. The kitchen cabinets we so dark they were almost black with a white laminate counter top. I used cabinet paint and colored them a pretty pale grey with a maple wood counter top. The second picture is hubby's beautiful wood work using antique boards. The last is our little piece of serenity.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another Long Arm Quilter is Born

Hi quilty friends!
I  have not posted in quite a while as my world, unfortunately, has been far to busy to  sew. Things are getting better and I took a weekend off to spend some quality time with my sister and sewing. I'm so grateful that she and I have this in common.

   This was one of my first quilt tops, quite a while go.
I gave it to my sister, Michele ( with a  plan for her to quilt it for me on her long arm machine when she was ready. I intended to keep the quilt so didn't mind the idea of her experimenting and doing whatever she chose with it.  
A year later, I was working on a gift for my dear father in law and decided to try and quilt it myself if my sister would be so gracious as to give me a lesson and let me try it on her Penelope.
I really wanted to find out if I even like long arm quilting.
So, off I went last weekend. Thankfully Michele remembered that we had Giggles to quilt. It was the perfect thing for me to practice on before I quilted something meant for a gift. Being more than a little intimidated by that huge machine, I was and definitely afraid to make mistakes.
 My sister is a great teacher and in no time at all, I was quilting away and thrilled that I had succeeded. I do need lots of practice to make my quilting flow more smoothly but gained more confidence by the hour, loved every minute of it and.............
Another Long Arm Quilter is Born!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Addicted to Zipper Pouches

I'm hooked!

Sometimes I just need to make something that I can accomplish quickly. Little zipper pouches can be done in all kinds of shapes and sizes and are a great stash buster.

Over the past couple of weeks, I made these using lots of different patterns and fabric scraps. I used interfacing and lined all of them because I like for the bags to have a little stiffness. The zippers are getting easier with each one that I finish.

My Mom confiscated this one for a make-up bag. Using fabric protection spray makes it washable.

These are a good size for phones, and other small electronics. 

Thread, bobbins, seam rippers and other small tools fit nicely to carry to classes.

This one is a favorite! It is just the right size to hold your rotary cutter.

What a cute way to organize all of my stuff!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Milford Valley Quilters Guild Show and to Guild or not to Guild (part 3)

 Mind Blowing Quilting!

This Tree of Life Quilt was created by Gayle Shelton as part of the 2011 Botanical Keepsake Challenge using machine applique and quilting.

Both of these quilts maybe good candidates for my sister Michele's Stunning Stitchin Sunday series!

 Jackie Belton created this 2014 Keepsake Challenge quilt using Carl Bryer Fallert-Gentry's "applipiecing" technique. She exquisitely quilted this 30 x 30 quilt by machine.

So, to Guild or not to Guild? In general, how much does guild membership mean to you? What are the benefits? I am the sort that would rather not commit to something if I can't commit to it 100%. Especially if people are depending on me. With working full time and a 2.5 hour per day commute, I am concerned that people may be disappointed in me when I can't participate at the rate they may expect of members. Am I just being silly? I have never been a member of a quilter's guild. I would love to hear your comments on the MVQG show and how you feel about guild membership, in general, pros and cons.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A New Charm Swap!

Crayon Box Quilt Studio

 My sister Michele at is hosting  a new charm swap showcasing beautiful Kate Spain Christmas designs. I know there are some spots left so if you love Kate Spain designs like we do, please follow the link to Michele's blog for instructions!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Milford Valley Quilter's Guild Show (part 2)

More beautiful creations from the show.........

French Knot Fun is a whole cloth, trapunto quilt  by  Reggie Kirkwood.

Buggy Barn was created by Linda McKerrell and quilted by Cindy Curcio. I can really appreciate this modern pattern and color way.

 A Little Bit of Red by Mary Murray and quilted by Mary Van Patten was created using the Five Minute Block technique by Suzanne McNeil.

Star Burst is by Lind aMcKerrell and quilted by Cindy Curcio.

Colorful Baltimore by Judy Brumbaugh uses block patterns from Baltimore Album books by Elly Sienkiewicz.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Nature of Quilting, 2015 MVQG Show (part 1)

The Milford Valley Quilter's Guild Show, The Nature of Quilting was this weekend. It was not hard to spend all afternoon studying the quilts and being in awe of the amazing local talent. There was a variety of traditional and modern quilts, hand and machine quilted, beginners and experts. The member that I met were very friendly and helpful. I even scored a real bargain on a gently used rolling sewing machine carrier.

This is a sampling of my favorites, not necessarily which quilts won ribbons. 
This years Raffle Quilt, above, was designed by Cheryl O'Sullivan for the MVQG.

 These had to have been a labor of love. The first, Dear Jane created and hand quilted by Jane Kroener. The second, Enchanted Garden, each block individually designed by Jean Gannon and quilted by Nancy Wall.

 This American Valor quilt is by Linda Edwards and long arm quilted by Clara Ulmer, Twiltworks.

Butterfly Baby is a Jelly Roll Race quilt that was made as part of the MVQG National Quilt Day celebration by Cheryl O' Sullivan and quilted by Nancy Wall.

I studied Dreaming of Alaskan Glaciers for twenty minutes!
This very complicated quilted is by Debby Siccardi and was quilted on her domestic, sit down machine. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A New Arrival and a Just In Time Finish

When I first saw the Jubilee line from Bunny Hill Designs, I fell for it and bought some on the spot. I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with it but I had to have it. The pastel shades are not too pale for my liking and the gray compliments the pink, blue and purple perfectly.
This was destined to be a baby quilt but for who?   The fabric is not overly "baby" but it is charming.

Recently (nine months ago) a neighboring couple that my husband and I have become close to, happily announced that they were expecting.

I remembered my Jubilee stash immediately.
This seemed to me to suit the lovely lady who was about to be a new Mom and I started drawing......

Sketching a quilt prior to starting the project fits right in with my resolution to consistently learn new skills.

The blocks came together quickly but then I was stuck on the color choice for sashing and borders.
My next decision was about the quilting. Send it out or do some simple straight line quilting and let the fabric be the focus?
Everything came together and this beautiful little quilt was ready one day prior to the blessed event, or so I thought!

Disaster struck!
I would love to hear if this has happened to any of you........As I always do, I washed the quilt when it was finished. When I took it out of the machine, there were black spots all over it! I was literally in tears, this had never happened before. I gather my emotions and started trying anything and everything that I had in the house to remove stains. It was difficult considering that I did not know the make up of the stains. I used commercial stain remover, then vinegar, then baking soda, then fels naptha soap, one at a time.The quilt survived my efforts and thankfully, all but two tiny little spots came out and my hubby figured out what happened so that I can avoid it happening again. It has been a very dry summer here. My husband was using water to top off our koi pond and the well could not keep up with the use. This caused air in the water lines. When the pipes refilled, the air shot thought the washing machine hose along with any "gunk" in the pipes. Yuck!
Lesson Well Learned!
Now this little "quilt that could" lives across the street on our new little friend's crib.
 Maybe some day I will get to tell her this crazy story.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What do you get when you cross..................................

A blank wall with one too many snow days?
 Something bright? Something fun?
I can't stand another moment of this dull, dreary winter. I love being home but I need something cheery to perk me up! Let's see what I can find in my stash.
I bought two panels from Loralie Designs a year or so ago, just because I liked them. I had no idea what to do with them, I just wanted them. I decided to go with Chefs because the eventual quilt was going to hang next to my kitchen.
I poured over books and images trying to find just the right pattern. Nothing seemed quite right.
Oh boy, this was getting a little intimidating.
I'm using a panel and now I need to come up with my own pattern??????
I started with my favorite image on the panel. This will be the center and I will work my way out. One of these characters reminds me of me, love to cook and all attitude!
Nine blocks later, I'm so excited with this that I stayed up most of the night playing. Sashing, no sashing, dark, light? Maybe if I put it up on my design wall? 
Ta Da! By the time the roads cleared and I had to go back to work on Tuesday, I had a new wall hanging that makes me giggle every time I look at it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Resolutions in progress

Check out my progress toward one of my resolutions!

 Thanks to some help from Emily at, my blog is looking much brighter and happier. She could not have been more accommodating and helpful.
I'm not quite finished tweeking it yet but I would love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Little Spring in the Middle of a Blizzard

Here comes another Pennsylvania winter.
I've been stuck in the house for days!!!!

Yea, I have time to work on a couple of UFOs. I finished another Just Right Bag. The floral fabric came from Yankee Pride Quilts in Essex Junction, VT. The ladies there were warm, friendly and helpful. I was a visitor to the area but I think they have made a regular customer out of my Vermonter Uncle I hope to get back there for the Vermont Shop Hop 2015.
The colors did a great job of cheering me up in the middle of this cold, blustery, dreary weather. The fabric is bright and the pattern is practical. It has lots of pockets sewn on the inside as well as a zipper pocket on the outside of the front and an adjustable strap.The first two of these that I completed had snaps on the top and I realized that a zipper would be better when I dumped mine out all over the car, lol.
As if this bag wasn't girly enough, I added an adorable little silver high heeled shoe to the zipper pull. 
The recipient of this bag is a favorite Aunt who did a great job of passing on her obsession with beautiful shoes. Just Right is perfectly Aunt Bernie.  Which brings me back to the point, the past two days were spent working on this sunny, happy project for Aunt Bernie even though the freezing wind howled and the snow just keeps coming and coming and coming.