Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Triangle Baby Quilt

To my baby quilt friends:  don't give up on me.  I finally have a quilt finished and the next one is in my head.  My original plan was so do this same quilt again in pink, but I'm ready to move on.  Before that happens, though, I need to finish, by Friday, a worship banner that's laying out on my floor.

Which means, it's too big for my design wall.  I love my Cape Cod upstairs, with the sloping ceilings, but it is limiting in terms of space for a big design wall.  The high areas are split with windows on one wall and doors on the other.  I need to do a little thinking about this.

I've told grandkids, when we're out and about and make a wrong turn or something isn't just where I thought it would be, "There's always another way."  These days, if I say, for example, oh, I should have turned there, the voices in the back seat remind me that there is always another way.

I need to think about that with my design wall. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Big Bone Lick

Today was a kid day and we went to Big Bone Lick State Park in Northern Kentucky, where the animals you wouldn't want to see coming after you once roamed.

It's a pretty quiet place - a few statues of the big guys, miniature golf, playground.  There are some hiking trails that we didn't try this time - Nora already has about a be-zillion mosquito bites from a pick-up softball game at a friend's house and Aaron was complaining about his shoes.  (There's nothing wrong with his shoes, He just prefers sandals and Merrill's.)

The sign outside the park said "Rabbit Hash" this way, and since we'd never been there I turned that way.  Had it said how many miles it was, I probably would have turned back the way we came.  I hoped to find some sandwiches at the general store, but there were none and the BBQ place wasn't open, so we spent a few minutes snacking at a picnic table overlooking the Ohio River and went on our way.

We did stop at a Waffle House when we got to the interstate and sat on the red stools, ate, and watched the cook.  The cook wasn't very busy at 4:00, so we didn't see very much cooking, but it was still good times and the stools were nice and twist-y.

On the way home we saw a blimp and figured that maybe it was for the Goettafest, which starts in a few days.  We made big plans for Thursday, then learned that it doesn't open until 5:00 that day.  We'll just have to make other big plans.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Monogram Wizzard

Until this summer, I'd pretty much ignored the Monogram Wizzard module on my Viking software, but now I'm having such a good time with it.  I've monogrammed a bunch of towels for graduation gifts, for keeping track of them in residence halls.  And a few birthday gifts too.  This is really fun - if you have that software, or something similar, give it a try.

I've found that, for towels, cut-away stabilizer is the way to go.  Even though it shows on the back, it supports the stiches so well through many washings and keeps them looking good.  That, and a topping to keep the stitches from burying into the towel during embroidery - I like Clean 'n Melt, which pretty much just tears off after embroidering.

Thanks to Joanne and Sarah for helping me identify my white bush, which turned out to be a hydrangea.  According to the sign at the zoo, it's probably Little Lamb Panicle Hygrandea.  I'm going to pay more attention to the plant signage at the zoo from now on, who knows what I might learn.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


These days, I'm liking bracelets.  Not just to wear, although I like that too, but to give a bit of stretchy, sparkly goodness to someone who could use a little positive energy.

It started, as these things do, strictly spontaneously, when I was sitting in the living room of a friend who had lots going on.  My energy level felt high, and I felt compelled to take the bracelet off my wrist and give it to her.  Both the bracelet and a little energy too.

A couple of weeks later, she presented me with the pretty blue bracelet in the picture, and that felt good.  There were a couple of bracelets for a friend who'd just had surgery.

It's a lot more fun to spot a great bracelet than to read through the cards that always seem to say the same thing.  Yep, I'm liking bracelets. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sewn Studio

After running some church errands this morning, I stopped in at Sewn Studio, which is just a short block or two down the street in Oakley.  I'm not sure why I never knew it was there, right beside the tea shop.  They had a nice selection of Oliver and S patterns as well as some Amy Butler and other patterns, neatly arranged fabrics, and some wallhangings here and there.

I got a package of fat quarters with bicycle prints, something I'm always on the lookout for.  The clerk was sewing a shirt for a store sample, which was a nice touch.  Everything was wonderfully clean and dusted.  It looked like someone's dream shop, and I hope it does well. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Who Can Help?

Thanks to my family and their Memorial Day work session, my front yard garden, which is most of the front yard, is blooming nicely.  Right now, I'm especially fond of this plant, but I wasn't good about mapping what was planted.  I just know that someone knows what this is - who can help me?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Baby Things

I've been still moving along slowly, sewing wise.  Yesterday I did finish a bag of sewing for a customer, and I did work on some past due baby things.  For bibs, I love Anita Goodesign's Baby's Sleeping, although I've always struggled a little with the ties, never really liking the ribbons.  Then I saw some pretty shoe laces at Target, 45" long, made by Kiwi.  Perfect for bibs.  One lace, cut in half, is just right for one bib.

Today I got a good start on a baby quilt.  It's mostly white, and will have assymetrical piecing.  My plan is to quickly make a second with the same pattern but with pink accent colors.  I'm loving my clear 1/4" piecing foot with the guide - once again, why did I wait so long?  Don't be me - if you're wondering about getting one, get it now. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


A month ago, when we met Janie and Steve and their kids at Kings Island, Nora was about half an inch shy of being in the orange zone, which would mean that she could ride anything in the park.  Her mom told her that night that she would be there by the end of the year.

Yesterday, I had the kids fitted with wristbands, which mean that there is no measuring at individual rides, and she was in the orange area, not even close, probably a good inch or inch-and-a-half over the line.  With regular shoes, nothing with extra height.  Magic!

Prior to the Kings Island adventure, I had my dreaded eye  doctor approintment, complete with a visual field.  I, and everyone else, probably, hate the visual field, with little flashing lights and a button to push when one appears.  All was well, and my next appointment is for a pressure check only, four months away.  Four months away is right before Thanksgiving, how can that be?

The night before I had a variation of THAT dream, the one that surfaces again and again.  I am in college, always, although not a younger version of myself.  This time, I turned in my Psychology exam, feeling pretty good about it.  Then I realized that the other students were also turning in papers about a book we (well, they!) had read.  And on the professor's desk were three-inch blue binders, which the other students were turning in.  I had no binder, didn't even know we were supposed to turn one in.

I walked down the street, thinking maybe I could still get these finished, when I realized that I had three other classes and didn't know when the exams were and hadn't studied for them.  Maybe one was right that minute!  And one was in a math class that I hadn't attended in weeks!

Every few months, it seems, I have a variation of that dream.  It can't really be about college, because I was a pretty good student and ALWAYS knew when my exams were.  I was good about going to class.  No, it has to be a current life theme in a college setting.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Forget about the various Play Dough toys - the big Play Dough favorite at my house is playing Chopped.  Deciding what to cook, how to present, the hustling to get it all finished on time.  It's great fun every time.  Of course, Team Lockhart always wins!

Yesterday, because she was in a race up Grandfather Mountain last night, there was a discussion about Aunt Sarah.  The kid concensus was that Aunt Sarah can do anything:  make milkshakes and smoothies, fix bikes, and run up mountains. 


Monday, July 8, 2013

Garden Decor

I worked at the store a couple of days last week and got to make some samples using the new Dakota designs.  The design above is from the Garden Decor collection.  I'd love to keep this one.

My own garden is doing well with all the rain.  Finally, finally yesterday I was able to mow, around 5 p.m., and the grass was still wet and clumpy because the ground is so soaked.  I still have a few potted things to plant, and that's my garden goal for today.  Yesterday I scattered some cosmos seeds and put some four o'clock seeds in a planter.  I'm getting toward the end of my planting for the year.  Next year I want to get back to starting seeds during the spring since it's just too hard to find pretty things that aren't the usual suspects.  You know what they are.

I'm getting ready to spend a couple of days at Pieceful Haven, just sewing.  I LOVE that.  The first thing to do, of course, is to clean out my car.  I'm such an admirer of people who have lovely clean cars, not a spec of trash, pristene dash, no crumbs anywhere.  Oh, my.  I know I have sand toys in the back, library books, probably a couple of empty juice boxes floating around.  A hammer and some nails from putting up several quilts at church yesterday.  A bag of sewing I need to do for a client.  Even my embroidery machine USB stick in the glove box.

I guess my cluttered house and cluttered car reflect my cluttered mind.   

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mississippi Mud Cake

Every once in awhile, I get an urge to bake something.  Not too often, because the doctor says I have pre-diabetes and I don't want the full-blown thing, but just now and then I want to get out the butter and sugar and chocolate or fruit.  And when it's cake, I get out this book, which has lovely pictures and nice stories and yummy recipes.  Every time I read it, I want to BE a Cake Lady.

Yesterday for the 4th, my assignment was to bring watermelon for dessert, but I really wanted to MAKE something, which turned out to be this Mississippi Mud Cake.  I won't tell you that it isn't so bad for you because . . .    It really has the wonderful things that make it taste great.  Butter, sugar, cocoa. 

My theory about eating cake or ice cream or whatever is that if you're going to have some, it should be really good, not something with lots of preservatives and ingredients that I have no idea what they could be.  And this was really good.  We never did eat the watermelon. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth, Everyone

Last night, Steph and I with the kids spent the evening at Kings Island, riding up the Eiffel Tower just before 10:00 for the fireworks.  It was a good time to celebrate because it looks like it's going to be a rainy 4th.

Rainy or not, I love all the holidays.   

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Don't Give Up

One last picture of the embroidered pants from yesterday, with a reminder to never give up.  A couple of added buttons and the project looks like it was designed that way.  I'm happy.

Yesterday the kids and I had lunch at Cobblestone Cafe for the first time this summer, and it was cool enough to sit on the patio.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, either cut as a flower or a butterfly, with Skittles on top.  Goldfish and grapes.  Perfect for a kid.  The chips were from my lunch.

We got to the zoo around 2:30, which was perfect.  The early people were leaving and we got one of the shaded parking spots on Vine Street.  The last hour was especially nice as people cleared out.  There was a very short line for the train and the kids got the last seat, which faces backward.  A first for them.  We're going to be late zoo go-ers from now on.  Extra bonus:  we met up with their mom, who works about two minutes from the zoo, and they could go on home with her.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Here's the Deal

I've embroidered names on the back of little baby pants before with good results, but this was the first time I embroidered two words.  My first thought was to do it in two hoopings, one for each side and that's what I did.  Here's the deal:  don't do that!

I started with the gray pants and my first side was ok but the second side was a little crooked.  It's pretty easy to rip out a satin stitch, and when I saw that it wasn't going like I wanted I got out the seam ripper, ripped, adjusted, and went on my way.  All looked pretty good, but I was using a larger needle that I should have and there were a couple of miniscule holes in the knit from the first stitching.

Eventually I figured that I could satin stitch a curvy line between the words and the holes would disappear, so it was a decent rescue.  For the black pants I did both words in one hooping and life was good.  I did a couple of little extras for the friend who needed the baby gift so hopefully she'll be happy.

But if you embroider, don't do what I did.  Hoop once for the baby butt, even if it's two words. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lunch on the River

June was a month full of good stuff, really fun stuff, so I'm not sure why I found my creativity tanking.  And my motivation overall.  And my housekeeping, never stellar at best, too.

This is a new month, and I'm going to try to do better, and in that spirit, I really enjoyed having lunch with my baby quilt group.  This is the time when we just lunch, and don't sew.  We went to Don Pablo's, on the Ohio River, and it was so enjoyable.  Except for a couple of times walking to see fireworks, I'd never driven through the entry in the flood wall that leads to several restaurants.

I so enjoy the creativity and generosity of spirit in this group.  And now I'm ready to sew again, beginning with the quilt that was supposed to be for June.

One thing that will help:  when hot weather comes, my upstairs Cape Cod studio is just too warm.  I don't even try to air condition it, just keep the vents closed.  I usually end up with a dining room sewing area and then I'm cranky because the living area never looks neat.  I grew up in a messy house and just get uneasy when things get out of control.

This summer, today actually, I'm setting up a table in my bedroom, which is certainly large enough, and I'll choose one of my sewing machines to live there.  Well, maybe two of them.  A small cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter.  I'll see how that works.  I know there will be lots of running up and down stairs, but I do that anyway and it's good exercise.

Maybe one of these days I'll have a project completed.