Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mega Piping foot

Just finished a sample for a workshop using the new Viking Mega Piping foot. The stitches are on the Viking menu J, heritage stitches. The appliqued flowers were on the denim when I purchased it. I like starting from a little added bling.

The foot is a large one and fun to use. The picture below shows the Mega Piping foot beside the regular zig zag foot. It makes putting on the large 1/2" piping easy.

For all that it was easy, I've put off doing this sample for awhile, not that I'm completing other projects. Doing other things, I guess. Once I saw the decorated denim in the store I could picture how I wanted to use Marie Duncan's idea.

Twelve degrees this morning and my truck is still frosted in spite of sunshine and nine o'clock. There may be some scraping before church. My Berea friends are talking about snow and Sarah in Asheville has lots, so I'm not complaining. Once again, we missed a big one.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 161

Here are Friday Fill-Ins. Answers are in bold. And if you have a blog, try them out and let me know so I can come read yours.

1. Wouldn't it be easy to just walk out the door with a light sweater? Wouldn't it be fun to hear the fireworks when the Reds win? January's almost over. Spring is coming.

2. This year's Super Bowl is going to be better than ever! And maybe one day the Bengals will be there. Sigh.

3. I love the taste of potato chips. I never buy them, except for the occasional bag of Baked Lays, but if there is a bowl in front of me I always go for them. Especially the ruffled kind.

4. There's a Norfolk Island Pine in the living room. I got it for Sarah for Christmas but there wasn't room in the car when she packed to go back. I'm trying to find a saucer for the bottom of it, but it's January and these things are hard to find, so I stuck it in a Barnes and Noble bag. And no, I didn't buy a huge bag of books but I did buy some calendars.

5. The first thing we're going to do is make a plan. I was reminded this week of my friend Jessica's words, "Hope is not a plan." Followed by, "We need to make a binder." Good memories, Jess.

6. My kitchen faucet still goes drip, drip, drip, despite having Mike and Sarah and someone else take it apart. It wasn't a cheap faucet, either. It takes the little cartridges and those have been replaced but it still drips. Recently, though, the dripping has slowed down. Maybe the dripping will disappear as mysteriously as it started.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to putting together Aaron's quilt top, tomorrow my plans include working, then adding the leaves to Helen's quilt, and Sunday I want to make something really good to take to Journey Group.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Need More Turquoise

Playing with Aaron's quilt by laying it on the floor - the reason it looks a little off is because I need more turquoise flannel. Just a strip 7" wide to cut into squares, guess 1/4 yard will allow for any crookedness in the cut. I hadn't planned on making the quilt quite this big, but I have plenty of everything else and this seems like a nice size. It will probably be just right without a border, too.

I actually have more of the turquoise but it's already cut out to line a baby blanket. I can just see where it is in the fabric store and it's 30% off. I hope no one else has bought it in the meantime.

I used some of the turquoise to embroider six train cars. Like I mentioned earlier, Aaron loves trains.

It's getting cold again and I've realized that I forgot to turn off the outside faucets. I turned them off last night but the hoses, still attached, are frozen, and I can't drain the water. Guess I'll just have to hope for the best. I put turning off the faucets on my calendar so that won't happen again next year.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I'm not satisfied with this sample of a tiny purse. The embroidery's really nice, and I could almost be happy with it except . . .

the first time around I put the snaps in upside down (left side.) I always have trouble visualizing how the snaps will work and it was especially bad this time since I didn't know how the purse would come together.

This one will probably be a do-over. But not today.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

To Sarah

Sarah, I'll be sending these shower gifts to you tomorrow. Designs from Embroidery Library.

Quick trip through the Aquarium today. Personality differences surface regarding touching the starfish.

Nora at first said yes, then changed her mind to "no, I don't want to." She has a healthy respect for touching strange critters. Aaron, as usual, was eager. We hustled him past the shark-petting tank in order to get to lunch. He's always happy to spend some time there too.

Rainy, 51 degrees. Umbrellas, light jackets. Nice.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mountains and Sky

Finally got to work on Helen's quilt again. There are is a mountain and some clouds where there were none before. And another mountain shaded with stitching and tulle. How can I not be happy?

And I went shopping for those little bits of things that I needed to work on my projects. Three pieces of tulle for the quilt above. A flannel bit for Aaron's quilt to match his sheets. Some Fray Check, eyelet, and ribbon to finish the latest burp cloths. Some bright green for a work sample. A remnant of some pretty denim to make a pillow for a workshop. I think I remembered everything.

Some really yummy things from my new Kroger too. A little Caesar salad from the salad bar. Olives, artichoke hearts, and grape leaves from the olive bar. Just a little, added to the salad. Soup from the soup bar, tomato with bits of veggies in it. Fun stuff.

Flour sack dishtowels from the new Kroger too. Who would have guessed it? I love using those for vintage redwork or other outlined embroidery. The KMart close to my house has stopped carrying them, so I have even less reason to shop there. I have a feeling that when the new Target opens in the same shopping plaza as the Kroger that the KMart will close soon after.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 160

I've skipped a week or two, and it's fun to be doing Friday Fill-Ins again. Answers are in bold.

1. You have a chance to make change happen. Personal change, environmental change, political change. Scary, easier to sit on the couch, but you have that chance.

2. I'm making corn pudding and baked sweet potatoes right now. I did try to get a veggie burrito at the new Chipotle near here, but there were no parking places and the line was long. There was supposed to be a Panera in the same location but they backed out. Definitely not enough parking places in the plan.

3. There is a trip to IKEA coming up. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe Monday.

4. We can play now and pay later. Nothing wrong with play (or dessert) first. Can you say "P personality type?"

5. It's time to get back to work on Helen's quilt. Start with a secondary mountain behind the highest one. Lavender organza and thread painting.

6. Weekend plans are up in the air but it's going to be a good one. Can't remember the last time I had a three-day weekend, except for Christmas. Having Thursday off is nice but having Saturday off is better!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner, grocery shopping, and starting a James Patterson book Alex Cross' Trial, tomorrow my plans include an early movie or a trip to IKEA, and Sunday I want to finish the hooded baby blanket I have cut out.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Going Home

There was a great thread sale at my local fabric store on Monday. I filled in my collection of serger threads with the bright colors I was lacking in my thread stash and got the plain colors I'm always using up in my sewing thread stash.

I have projects to work on this week but I need a few little pieces of this and that to complete them. I make big plans in the mornings, but at the end of the work day my truck just heads for home. I try to tell it that we're going shopping, and then walking around the mall for exercise, but it just goes home.

I think it's a winter thing. It's dark and cold and home is welcoming. When I lived in a small town I always headed for the big discount store about half a mile from home where I got everything. I'm glad for other options now, rarely go to that store, but in some ways I miss the nearness and convenience of it.

I enjoy staying at home on winter evenings, enjoy just being there. The evening time goes by so quickly, and I don't even watch tv. I love gardening, but I enjoy the break from lawn mowing and working outside on summer evenings. Tonight I'm going to help watch Nora and Aaron, so no shopping then, even though I told myself last night that I could leave their house around 8 and still pick up a few things since the stores are so close to their house. My truck will probably head for home, though.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday night

I went to Mike and Steph's Sunday night to try out the new Domino's Pizza - yum, it no longer tastes like cardboard -

and deliver the long-overdue valance for Aaron's room - the beads and letters should drape nicely, picture later when it's all hung.

Happy little Nora posed in her new jacket

and Aaron played with trains, being ever so careful to not disturb the track. The kid loves trains.

and Nora took a picture of me, not at all fazed by the fact that I had a different camera. I guess to a kid they're all the same - press the big button.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baby Things

There's a baby shower after church today. The first time the shower was scheduled, the baby was born a few days earlier. I opted to send my gift to the parents then but still wanted to do a little something for the shower.

My first choice was a baby blanket from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones. By the time I got home last night after teaching a workshop I was way too tired for cutting and stitching it and even too tired to get motivated to go to the store close by. I remembered that I had diapers to embroider for burp cloths and started on that before bed. Designs from Embroidery Library.

I didn't have any eyelet trim for the edges and decided to just bind them. Good choice - I like the binding as well as the trim, especially for a boy. No cards or gift tags so I stitched a quick gift tag on left-over Peltex. Just as good - I've been wanting to make a collection of these to keep on hand.

Turned out that after all this, I would have been way late for church, so I'll just opt to drop the present in the mail and have a lazy rest-of-the-morning. My computer and my ears both tell me that it's raining outside. Forty-two degrees. Awesome.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Asian Quilt

Anita Goodesign

Little wallhanging, work sample, hand-dyes and a gifted fabric. One night on the way to quilt guild, my buddy said she had a bolt of fabric that a member who moved had donated to whoever wanted it. Needless to say, it didn't make it as far as the meeting.

At Monday night's meeting I joined a postcard exchange for the coming year. It's been awhile since I made postcards, and I have a couple of new books with new techniques to try. Those little postcards are perfect for "trying."

Tired this morning, doing laundry and marveling once again at the huge amount of laundry with all those winter layers. Ten degrees today, not warming up so far. I have all those layers on the bed, ready to pull on after my shower.

One of my really good purchases this winter is a little space heater for the bathroom. I'd hoped to install a fan/heater combination but the electrician wasn't sure that the venting would work. For the heating part, this is a great substitute. Still thinking about the fan, I think the answer might be to ask a different electrician because I really think it would work.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Dakota design - enlarged but not resized.

I had a meeting at my house tonight, which meant cleaning this afternoon. Sort of. Steph was going to the Aquarium with the kids and I couldn't resist meeting them there. Then I came home and cleaned and picked up just enough and read the material I needed to - just enough. And all was well.
I made potato soup and had Panera bread. The others brought quiche, corn casserole, and cranberry nut bread. Just right. I love when people bring things and everything comes together.
I have to admit that it is nice to have the house looking neat. Downstairs. Upstairs, the studio is far from reputable. Lots of make tomorrow since Tuesday night is seminar night at work and I have several projects to work on.
Everyone's talking about warmer temps tomorrow, maybe 37 degrees. I'll probably take the truck to the car wash, especially since I'll be picking up someone for quilt guild tomorrow night. I really need to vacuum, but I'm not sure it's going to be that warm.
Tomorrow's Monday so I'll go to the thrift shop too, to see if I'll get lucky enough to find a wool sweater for felting for 50 cents. It's been weeks since I've been there . . . you never know.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I baked cookies this morning for my neighbors who cleaned my sidewalks and steps after the latest snow. They acted like it was no big deal but it was a very big deal to me.

I remember having a house with a large driveway to shovel and then shoveling just a little more so that my older neighbor could get to the mailbox, and I'd put her newspaper beside her front door. She thought that was a big deal, it seemed so small to me. Am I the older neighbor now?

Let's think ahead a little - design by Dakota. Not such a stretch, really. I came home from work today at 5:45 and it wasn't dark yet. We're almost three weeks past the winter solstice and the magic is happening.

Not the best choice in footwear in the snow yesterday, but I wore black dress shoes to work (as dress as it gets for me, anyway.) After months of sore toes and clunky shoes I realized that things are better now and I can wear just about anything again. I'll have to see what else is waiting in my closet, but for today, it was back to the clunky (and warm.)

Two days off sounds glorious. I have lots to do, including Journey Group at my house tomorrow night, which means soup and cleaning. Mostly cleaning, soup is no big deal. I stopped at Panera and got some good bread and I'll think up a tiny dessert, maybe buy that too. Everyone will bring a little something, and it will be a warm and happy gathering.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow and Light

The promised snow has begun right on schedule. How lucky for me, in my working-four-days-at-work schedule, that the snow has fallen on my day to be at home. Working on my projects.

Beginning as a teen-ager, I always wanted to cook on snowy days, and I still do. Chili with veggie crumbles for dinner tonight, and cornbread. Last night, eating a quick dinner at Whole Foods on my way to a meeting, I spotted their blueberry cornbread and meant to pick up some blueberries at the grocery store on the way home (no time for shopping when I was at Whole Foods.) I forgot. But wait . . . there are frozen blueberries, left from summer, in my freezer. I am happy.

Thanks to Steph for the bendable light for my cherished Quilt Designer. It fastens on the side of the machine and focuses wonderful LED light on my sewing. She also gave me a second bracket for my serger. Now I find that I'm automatically turning on the extra light when I turn on the sewing machine.

My "new" sewing/embroidery machine has build-in LED lights, but I find that I turn to my Quilt Designer, which I once considered luxury because it has two light bulbs, for most sewing projects. Maybe in its memory there is good karma from the many projects I've sewed on it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

One Last Holiday Gathering

Pretty Martha Pullen work project - points on the towel are made with ribbons. The embroidery's light, but I did the color the directions asked for.

Last night was one last holiday gathering, down the street at Bridget's. Bridget and Helen are enjoying Steph's gifts to them - calendars featuring camping pictures. Of meat on a stick - you might have had to be at the campfire to really understand.

Nora enjoyed her two-sided puzzle from Bridget and spent a happy time opening presents and singing Christmas songs. She and I may have to do more singing in the new year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year, everyone.

I arrived at Steph's on New Year's Eve to find Nora playing Barbies with Aunt Tina

and Aaron enjoying the Barbie fun.

Our friend Janet had given the kids an ice cream ball. The idea is to mix ice cream ingredients in one chamber and rock salt and water in another, then roll the ball for half an hour. Fun, and the kids enjoyed the vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips.

I left well before midnight, after clinking Mickey Mouse cups with a two-year-old about twenty-five times and saying "Happy New Year." What gladness. Nora was playing one of her new board games with her parents during most of the clinking, but Aaron would come to the game from time to time and clink with all the players. Great way to celebrate New Year's. Hope yours is wonderful.