Monday, December 15, 2014

Bags, Bags, Bags

Bags are some of the fastest gifts to whip up, especially for an instant Christmas present.  If you need some ideas check out these great free patterns gathered by Heather of The Sewing Loft.  I dare you to make just one!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Red and White Quilt Challenge Reveal

I have been so darn busy this past week -- maybe that should be sew darn busy.  I made a super cute sock monkey pillow for the guild's Holiday Bazaar silent auction:

Altogether I had 6 items I contributed to the auction.  I bought several things that other members had made so I did my share to support the guild.

I sewed the binding on my Red & White Challenge quilt yesterday.  I used the stitch in the ditch foot, foot R for my Juki F600, to sew the binding to the backside of the quilt.  I love this method because it's so much quicker and saves wear and tear on my hands over hand sewing the binding to the back.  Since I think it will be a table cloth for my kitchen table it just didn't warrant the hand sewing method.  I washed the quilt using TWO Color Catcher sheets and there was no bleeding whatsoever.  The Color Catchers were pink when they came out of the washer but the quilt remained white where it should have and none of the reds bled -- phew!

The pattern is called Syncopated Rhythm by Karen Montgomery.  It's a fun pattern that works up quickly.

Now on to more Christmas sewing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Serged Edges

My Red & White Challenge Quilt is nearly done.  I just need to cut the binding strips and sew them on.  I used my serger tonight to finish the edges of the quilt.  I had heard other quilters do this in the past but I never had a serger - now I do.

Can't reveal too much of it right now.  I liked serging the edges as I think it will make sewing the binding on much neater since all three edges are cleaned up and stable.  Can't wait to finish it!

Friday, December 5, 2014


Have you ever been to a great pottery show? Today I took a co-worker to her first Potters' Market.  I finally found the batter bowl I've been searching for ever since I gave my niece a batter bowl that I had originally purchased for me! Yeah!  I can't wait to make some scrambled eggs for breakfast. I also bought a berry bowl and a pin for a coworker who is a huge Santa fan.

This weekend I will have to baste and quilt my Red and White quilt.  Stay tuned!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Getting My Sewing Groove Back

After all of my down days lately I think I've finally got my sewing groove back.  I worked on my Red & White Challenge Quilt, which is due on December 14th and I think I will actually finish quilting and binding it in time.  I used the cutting mat from my new Martelli Round-About to square up my blocks.  Here are the scraps:

Tonight I worked on a orange clutch for my quilt guild's Holiday Bazaar, which is December 11th.  I like how it turned out and I think I'll be making a larger version, maybe a tote bag.  The idea came from but I made this one a bit different.  I used a great orange melton wool and faux leather for the hexagons, and an invisible zipper (because that's all Haberman Fabrics had tonight when I needed it at 8:30 pm).  I pressed it using the ironing pad from my new my Round-About.  

And now that I've looked at it here I could see where I forgot to stitch a row on the right side so I've since correct that.

When I sew I just feel so much happier.  Being creative is the perfect balance to my day job where I'm so left-brained sometimes my head hurts!  I've got lots of sewing projects to make for Christmas so it's a good thing that my mojo has returned.

Oh, and that Red & White challenge quilt -- stay tuned for the reveal, once the 14th has come and gone.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I am so grateful for all the support I've received following my Mom's sudden passing.  My friends have been so kind and quick with a hug.  Countless times I've reached for my cell phone to call my Mom to ask advice, tell her what I'm up to or what my grandkids are doing.  For the most part I'm doing well, but then I'll see something -- Jeopardy, Red Wings games, etc. - and wish we could be watching them together, just once more.

The holidays are fast approaching and I don't know how I can get in the spirit this year.  I wish I could pull the covers up over my head and wake up in 2015.  Even New Year's Day will be hard as we spent it together for many years.  She would make a big pot of Canadian Pea Soup and we would reflect on the year gone by and talk about our plans for the coming year.

I'm grateful my mother died so peacefully but oh do I wish I had known it was coming.  I didn't have a proper goodbye.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sad Times

You know how things can go rolling along in your life relatively smoothly for a while and you feel like you haven't a care in the world?  The sun is shining, the leaves are turning beautiful shades of color, the air is getting crisper and Fall is in 'bloom'.  Work is going better, the kids are all healthy, my sewing mojo has returned - life is good.

Well it all goes to Hell in a hand basket with a phone call.  My sister Renee, who had a full knee replacement last week, couldn't get my mom on the phone.  My oldest sister Denise was on a cruise in Germany, my youngest sister Carol was in Ohio.  So I was the one to drive out to Mom's only to discover she had died in her sleep some time on Monday.  Renee had called the apartment handyman to check on Mom and he discovered her, shortly before Kevin and I arrived.

Stunned.  She had been doing so well having returned the week before from a visit with Denise for about 10 days, enjoying the Fall colors of northern Michigan.  Chester the handyman said he'd seen her Saturday sweeping the leaves from her porch.

As far as we can tell she just died peacefully in bed.  Age 88 1/2.  A good long life.

Yesterday was the visitation and today was her funeral and she would have been so pleased by all the folks who came to pay their respect and comfort all of her family.  Childhood friends, former co-workers, bowling buddies, they all came.  Denise had to keep adding and adding to the luncheon count -- so many people came.  We have treasured friends who mean the world to us, doing what they can to ease our sorrow.

If your Mom is still around, give her an extra hug for me please.  I miss mine already.

My sister Denise read this today at Mom's service and I hope you enjoy it.  I don't believe the author is known but if I'm wrong please kindly let me know.

Life is like a journey on a train...with its stations...changes of routes...and accidents!

At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel by our side.

However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone….but not quite.

As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life.

Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Some will move to another car for awhile and come back. Others will go so unnoticed we don't realize they left their seats!

This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hurts, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.

Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers...requiring that we give the best of ourselves because we are all on this ride together.

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way - love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are, including our seat if necessary.

It’s important because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty -- we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life without us.

I wish you a joyful journey for the coming years on your train of life. Reap success, give lots of love and be happy.

More importantly, be thankful for the journey!

Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train!