Sunday, January 31, 2010


January 2010 started off very cold and ended the same way.  All told we ended up with a bit more than 6 inches of snow here.  Unfortunately my niece and nephew who live a couple hours south of me only got a dusting of snow and some ice.  So I thought I would take some pictures to show them what it looks like.

Here's the view out our front door.  (I never stepped off the stoop for these pictures.  It's just too cold!)   It's going to take a while for the snow to melt off our cars.  Luckily I don't need to go out before Wednesday.

If the kids were up here, they would have had plenty of snow to make snow angels and build a snowman.

Can you make out the huge pile of snow that drifted off the roof?  This hill is over 2 feet deep.

And here are some of the icicles hanging off the eaves.

I've enjoyed being forced to stay indoors.  It's a guilt free mini-vacation.  I've spent most of the time in my sewing room, but I'll share more on that tomorrow.

Until later...

My mom is awesome!!!

Look what she made me!  I can tell a lot of work went into them.

Are you wondering what they are?  Perhaps this will help...

They're casserole carriers.  The fabric is lined with insulbrite to keep the contents warm.  I picked out the fabric on one of our trips to JoAnn's.  She designed the pattern herself.  Isn't she brilliant?  She did such a great job sewing them.

But that wasn't all she made.  Check out these...

She made me a bunch of matching potholders. And she also made me this...

It holds a pair of kitchen shears that she included!  Am I lucky or what?

So what do I have to say to all this bounty...

Just one thing - I love you mom!

Until later...

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Have you ever seen the movie 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'?  Do you remember when Chevy Chase plugs in the outdoor lights and the meter starts whirling around and around and around.  That's what I feel like my meter is doing right now.

We just got our electric bill for January and it's significantly higher than usual.  In fact, it's the second largest bill we've ever had in the 9+ years we've lived here.  The largest bill occurred a couple of months after we moved in and that was due to a problem with one of the heat pumps.

I know everyone is experiencing the same problem.  I started trying to think of ways to conserve energy.  I turned the thermostat down another degree (it's now at 66) and I'm looking for other options.  I was concerned that the heating blanket I've been using recently could be a culprit - and I really don't want to stop using it.  Fortunately after doing some research on the internet, I found out it actually uses very little energy.

What about those on fixed incomes and social security?  How will they afford these large increases?  It's been a very cold winter for NC and I just pray it will be a short one.

On a positive note, the storm we got yesterday has us snowbound and I've spent some quality time in my sewing room working on my Crayola Challenge quilt.  If I could just keep David off my sewing machine I'd be even further along.  Stay safe and warm!

Until later...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another block done...

I've just finished block 8 of the Baltimore Halloween BOM.  This one only had 2 pieces so it went pretty quickly.  Now I really must put this aside and start working on another snowman and a ship.

And guess what arrived in today's mail?  None other than block 12 of this same quilt.  There are 12 10" blocks surrounding a 20" square medallion.  The medallion kit will come next month.

I've also spent some time today working on  more pillowcases.  They're fun to make and go together quickly.  Kind of an instant gratification. 

Until later...

Stash Report Week #4

January 22-28, 2010

What a great week for stashbusting!

For the 2nd week in a row, I purchased NO fabric!  I wonder how long I can keep this up?

I also finally managed to finish the quilt Thistle Down for my sister.  Because the quilt top was done previously, I only counted the backing fabric as stash.  Still that was 3 yards.

And I donated fabric to make pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.   My conservative estimate is 39.5 yards.  Wow!  That's a lot of fabric.

So the totals are:
Purchased-this-week: 0
Used-this-week: 42.5
Purchased-to-date: 9.75 yards
Used-to-date: 47.5
Net used: 37.75

Until later...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Great gals and lots of fun...

Quilt bee met at my house today for lots of food, fun and conversation.  Although we meet every week, we set today aside for a charity project.  Ladies brought their machines and fabric so we could make pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  And boy did we ever!

I thought this would also be a great opportunity to use up the fabric in my stash that I had purchased with charity projects in mind.

I have tons of animal prints and a lot of children's prints as well.

Combined with the fabric that the wonderful ladies in my quilt bee brought, we were able to complete 31 pillowcases!  And we have another 32 in various stages of completion.  We have enough fabric to make even more, but after a full day of ironing, cutting and sewing, we were all pretty tired.

Here are just a few of the ones we finished.  And they all have french seams in them to give them nice finished edges.  It was the first time some of the ladies had done them and it was both a learning experience and a comedy act as people kept repeating to themselves "wrong sides together".  (You had to be there...)

Thanks ladies for all your hard work!

Until later...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another UFO done...

I've finally finished another UFO.  It's the 2nd one I can cross off my list.

I've named this quilt Thistle Down - mainly because the print reminds me of thistles.

This quilt is destined for my sister.  She plans to hang it over her living room sofa.  She picked out the focus fabric in the stars and I designed a quilt around it.  If you read my blog regularly, you'll know it went through several very ugly iterations.

(Notice the black ears sticking up in the picture...)

Unfortunately my sister is very allergic to cats so it will need some intense lint-brush rolling before I can give it to her.  It's like my cats had some inside knowledge because I couldn't keep them off of it.

I hope she likes it.

Until later...

98 pieces...

I have been working on several hand appliqueing projects including the Ladies of the Sea (ships) for Mr. QuiltingBug, the Camelot Snowmen (for my mom) and the Baltimore Halloween (for me).  I usually work on a block for one project and when I finish, switch to one of the others.  That way I feel like I'm making forward progress on all of them.

Well, I just finished stitching block 7 for the Baltimore Halloween quilt.  I'm glad I didn't know how many pieces there were in this little 10" block when I started or I may have become discouraged.


There are 98 pieces in this one block!  A lot of the pieces are smaller than a nickel.  It was a very challenging block to make.  Now guess how many pieces are in block 8...

Do you have a guess yet?


The answer is 2!  I was very surprised to see that.  And considering that, I'm going ahead and making this one now too.  I'll show you as soon as I finish.

Until later...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stash Report Week #3

January 15-21, 2010

Very boring stash report this week.  I have neither purchased nor completed any projects.  I've been working on one UFO, but I still need to bind it.  Hopefully, it will count towards next weeks totals.


Purchased-this-week: 0
Used-this-week: 0
Purchased-to-date: 9.75 yards
Used-to-date: 5 yards
Net used: -4.75 yards

Until later...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


No, not the sewing kind.  This time I mean the kind you stick into your body.  Some of you know that I've been seeing an acupuncturist for about 6 months now.  It's really helped my fibromyalgia (and a few other issues).  I was very skeptical before I went, but with some prodding from Mr. Quilting Bug I gave it a try.  And now I'm a convert.

I'm very fortunate this year that I can get a treatment once a week.  As a matter of fact, I had one this afternoon.  I don't really understand why it works, I just know that it does.  I went in there with a bad headache and came out feeling so much better.

I've been meaning to get pictures - both to share and for myself.  Because all the needles are in my neck and back, I had no idea what they even looked like.

(I hope you're not squeamish about needles...)

He usually puts in a couple dozen needles - concentrating on my neck where I have the most pain.  You can even see how the area looks swollen in the picture.  That's just the muscles knotted up.

These are needles in my back.  He also put some in my legs in spots that are supposed to help with headaches and all over body pain.

Some people have asked if they hurt.  To answer, yes, they usually do (a bit) when they go in.  Sometimes it doesn't hurt when it first enters but he keeps pressing them until they hit the nerve.  But after a few seconds they quiet down.  They stay in for about an hour.  I have occasionally fallen asleep and jerked awake.  That can be painful when your muscles twitch and the needles move.  But for the most part, you don't feel them.

Until later...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stash Report Week #2

January 8-14, 2010

Last Friday I went to the Quilting and Fiber Art Marketplace in Sanford, NC.  It was a one stop shopping experience for quilters with 37 vendors from all over NC.  The weather turned out to be good (they had been forecasting snow) and the company was fantastic as always.  I made myself visit every vendor at least once before making any purchases and my strategy paid off.  I only bought a couple of panels and got a free FQ.

I haven't finished anything this week so I have nothing for my used column.  But I'm busy working on quilting my sister's quilt and can hopefully count that towards next week.

So...  for week #2:
            Bought : 1.25 yards
               Used : 0   yards
         Net Total : 1.25 yards

Until next time...
I ran across this quote in a bible study I'm doing.  It's from the book, "Having a Mary Spirit" by Joanna Weaver.

Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

It just struck me as incredibly perceptive.  It feels like everything I've been reading or hearing lately keeps coming back to the same conclusion.  Gratitude is the healthiest emotion you can have.  It has all kinds of beneficial health effects including boosting your immune system.  On the other hand, ingratitude or unforgiveness are very negative emotions and actually hurt you both physically and emotionally.

So if you have someone in your life that you need to forgive - do it today!  It will benefit you and also your relationship with God.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Color Association...

Do you associate colors with certain things?  I know it's a random question, but I've been thinking about it lately.  I'm working on the Camelot Snowman monthly stitcheries and I need to decide what color to use on each one.  I suppose I could have done traditional redwork or bluework, but it didn't occur to me when I started.  The first few months were easy: January is blue, February is red, and March is green (to me anyway). 

(To be honest, I think of January as more of a white, but then the stitching wouldn't show up at all - so blue was a good second choice.)

But what about the rest of the months?
  • April - Pink?
  • May - Red
  • June -
  • July -
  • August - Red or Orange
  • September -
  • October - Black or Orange
  • November - Rust or Brown
  • December - Blue
Hmmm.  Any suggestions?  What colors are these months to you?  I suppose I could look for a fabric that I think represents that month (or holiday) and pull colors from it, but I'm hoping to use my stash as much as possible.

Here's the stitching I finished for March...

I still need to turn it into it's own little wallhanging, but I've got some time.

Until later...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One UFO down...

Yay!  I can cross my first UFO off my list.  That brings my total down to 43+.

Would you like to see the quilt made with these blocks?  I'm sorry.  I can't actually show it to you because I didn't make one.  There are 9 12.5" blocks in this pile all in the same colors.  They were a BOM that I got last year.  I enjoyed making them, but they're not really my colors.  So I offered them up to anyone who wanted them in my bee.  Hils pretty quickly jumped on them and I'm sure she'll make something beautiful.  Whenever she finishes it, I'll have to take a picture and share it.

But it still comes off my UFO list because I no longer own the blocks.  So as I said, one down...

Until next time...

Stash Report Week #1

January 1-7, 2010

I've seen this on other blogs and thought it was a great way to keep track of how much fabric goes in and out of your sewing room in a year.  I tried to keep track some last year, but gave up after all the trips I took (think Paducah...)  However, if I manage it week by week, I hope I'll be better about it.

I was lying in bed last night thinking about my fabric purchases for this week and I at first I thought I hadn't made any.  I gave myself a nice little pat on the back.  But on closer examination, I remembered the trip I made to Jo-Anns on Tuesday.  Although I used a gift card, it still counts.

I bought 4 yards of the black scroll to use as the backing for my Crayola Challenge quilt.  (So it should show up in my used total in the next few weeks.)  And I bought 3 yards of the batik on the right because I really liked it, it was on sale and I had a gift card!

Mr. QuiltingBug and I want to make some changes to the curtains in our living room so I also bought 1/2 yard cuts of the above fabrics to see how we liked them.  The top one - the sheer - will become sheers behind our existing curtains.  And I think we've decided on the middle one to use for the curtain addition.  I bought these 3 pieces just as samples, but now that I've got them, what can I do with them?  Any suggestions?

So that brings my total intake to 8.5 yards.

Now for what I've used.  I gave 3 FQs for Bee birthdays, 15 FQs to my mom and used 2 more for the calendar blocks - for a grand total of 5 yards.

So...  for week #1:
            Bought : 8.5 yards
               Used : 5   yards
         Net Total : 3.5 yards

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January's Package

Now that my mom has received and opened her package, I can post some pictures of what I included. 

(In case you didn't know, I'm planning to send my mom a quilting package each month of the year.  It's sort of like the secret sister swap I was in in 2009, but obviously not a secret.  I want her to know how much I love her - and to enjoy quilting as much as I do!)

First, I sent her two calendar wall-hangings featuring her favorite - Snowmen!  These stitcheries are part of the Camelot Snowman series.  Here are January and February.  I made each one to hang individually and bought the small snowflake hanger to display them.

I always tell my mom when I find tools or notions that make sewing easier.  Two of these indispensable items are glass head silk pins and Aurafil thread.  I love the silk pins because you can iron over them and they won't melt.  Plus they're strong, but slide into fabric easily.  They're also thin so they don't leave holes even in delicate fabrics.

Jan introduced me to the Aurafil thread.  The initial cost (around $9) seems rather expensive until you realize how much thread is actually on it.  I'm still on my first two spools - they seem to last forever.  Plus they produce almost no lint.  Definitely less than any other thread I've tried.  And if you should ever need to tear out some sewing (as if!), it comes out more smoothly.

And finally I found this really cute "Snow Days" fabric line at Connecting Threads that made me think of her.  There are 15 FQ's which are enough to make a nice sized throw.  The fabric came with a free pattern for making small Christmas stockings that she could use as well if she likes.

That concludes her first package.  I'd now better get busy on Februrary's - plus all my UFO's!

Until next time...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Do you have too many...

UFO's if your camera battery dies before you're finished taking pictures of them?  If so, I'm very, very guilty. 

I'm trying to make a list so I don't forget they're laying there waiting for me to finish them.  I was a little relieved that I had to stop with the pictures as I was tired of pulling them out.  I want to make a list and put it on my sidebar, but I don't yet know how to do that.  I'm hoping to run by the bookstore this week and pick up a 'Blogging for Dummies' book. 

In case your wondering, my current count is 44!  Yikes!!!

Mr. QuiltingBug was a sweetheart and held up each quilt top for me to take a snapshot.  And with both of us 'humans' up there (in my sewing room), you know the rest of the family had to check it out.

Hmmm.  That quilt looks suspiciously lumpy.  I wonder why?

I know, what a shocker...

Until next time...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Pride comes before the fall...

I think we can all agree that 2009 was a tough year economically around the world.  A lot of small businesses were forced to close as people tightened up their wallets.  As a result, I noticed a lot more sales at quilt stores around Christmas time as they tried to bring in more revenue.  They were some of the largest sales I've seen since becoming a quilter.

As my husband would tell you, I'm usually a sucker for sales (and coupons).  Especially when it comes to quilting.  I like to buy the good fabric for my quilts, knowing they'll last longer.  But at $9 or $10 a yard, it can quickly add up.  That's why I was so proud of myself when I got all the emails and sales flyers and didn't feel tempted to go.   I even had several coupons for LQSs (local quilt stores) and had no plans to use them before they expired.

Do you sense a 'but' coming here?  You'd be right.  I needed a small amount of one fabric for the background to a Disappearing 9-Patch quilt top I've finished.

It's not a large quilt - only 37" x 37".  So I needed a yard and a half for backing and binding.  I went to Quilts Like Crazy because they were having 35% off the entire store.  Well, I found the perfect fabric I needed and then some.

It's like something comes over me in there and I'm compelled to buy more.  I can always rationalize it too.

Here's the fabric I needed along with another fabric I plan to use as a backing for the mystery quilt my quilt bee is finishing up.  OK, that's not so bad.  I have an intended purpose for both of these.  But what do I plan to do with this?

I bought 3 yards figuring I could use it for either a backing or a background, but I don't have a project in mind.  I also bought a Berry Bliss Bali Pop that I've been eyeing for a while.  Again, no project in mind but I do have a pattern that works well with these.

At this point, I'm not very proud anymore.  I've broken down again, but I console myself with how much I saved on fabric I'm sure I will use.  It was a wise purchase right?  Right???

But can I justify returning to the store the next day to buy more?  I've really fallen low now I think.  I struggle back and forth with how much I'm saving versus how much more I'd save if I didn't buy it.  I also tell myself that I give away most of the quilts I make and so this is really a charitable contribution.  There are all kinds of justifications running through my mind.  (These mental discussions are pretty common for me - how about you?)

In any case, here's the other fabric I bought.  These first two are to make a purse.

And these final two are gorgeous batiks - in my opinion.

I've seen on a lot of blogs where quilters keep track of how much they buy and use in a year.  I'm seriously considering trying to keep track that way.  Of course, all of these purchases I just shared with you wouldn't count because I bought them in 2009!  Or so I tell myself...

Until next time...