Thursday, January 31, 2013

Busy Day

I got really hung up on a couple of things today and although I have a huge list of things I need to do, I spent most of the day doing stuff I wanted to do. Big difference but... boy I did a lot today.

I made 3 towel toppers, which I love. This was so easy and I really wished I had seen this tutorial  a long time ago. These were so easy and probably took an hour to make all three. And I should have taken a picture, they look awesome in my kitchen.

Then, I went off on another little trip making these wonderful little bags from

This is such a fabulous idea I am really ticked I didn't think of it myself... Oh not the bags really, but the idea behind the bags. Becky is designing a little project every week to use up those Orphan blocks that we all have and don't know what to do with. And I am going to try every one of them. These bags were amazingly easy although I decided after the first one to bind them instead of turning them, but none the less they were fun to make and I have some great ideas for using them. And don't think for a minute that I couldn't make 52 projects with Orphan blocks. I can and I will!!!!

I didn't finish my UFO Challenge for this month. I have it all done but not quilted. I didn't have a piece of white or off white or light or anything fabric to put on the back to quilt it. This cold has tied me pretty close to the house so I haven't been into town to shop, but tomorrow will be different. I am mad that I didn't get it done, but I expect it will be done by Monday. so I am excited about that.I will check in with

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Oh well... I will try to finish it soon, but tomorrow I am ready for another UFO for February and I am hopeful I will get it done.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another sew-a-long!

How cute is this sew-a-long!!! A triple zip bag! I am going shopping for the ingredients tomorrow. (Mainly the zippers)!

It's WIP Wednesday. I just got out a quilt I have been working on ( more off than on!) for the last 8 years. The blocks and sashings are done and 1 border. I want desperately to get it done so I hung it on my design wall and hopefully that will motivate me!

It's a quilt design from Alice Wilhoit called Remember When...

That's my WIP for this Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2 in one day

This mornings post was me reminiscing, this afternoons is me finishing.

I saw this blog about a Christmas Quilt-A-Long. I thought that it was a great idea and that I should join it. But now I can't find it. Seems to me it went something like... do a project every month for Christmas, post a picture on the 25th to share with the other quilt-a-longers (is that  a word?).

So I decided I would get a project done and even though it's a little after the 25th of January, I feel pretty stinkin good about finishing this runner. The pattern is called the Santa's coming table runner from Santa`s Coming by Art to Heart.

My DD came into the sewing room yesterday and asked me what I was making. I told her, a Christmas runner. She sweetly smiled, put her arm over my shoulder and said, " sorry to tell you mom, but you're a little late for Christmas."  I smiled back and said, " No I am not!!! I am about 12 months early!"

While I was in the sewing room yesterday, I had company. My granddaughter was home on a sick day and decided to sit with me.

When she saw what I was doing with the runner she said she thought she could do that too. So I scurried around and found her a little project and she choose her fabrics, busily traced and cut out her shapes and ironed them onto a background that I pieced for her.  (You can't see it but there is an "a"  on it... its just a little light!

She was so proud of herself once she had it all appliqued down. Now I just need to stitch around the pieces for her and get it ready for hanging.  It's the April Calendar from Count on it, also by Art to Heart.

It was a fun day!

Idle Hands Empty Brain

I found this great tutorial yesterday for making these little bags to hold a thimble. I loved the tutorial...

Idle Hands Empty Brain ...: Busy Busy - Opps! ... and a Thimble Holder Tute!

But what I really like is the name of the blog. I have often told people that when I was very little my grandmother would tell me that I needed to keep my hands busy or I would get in trouble. I swear thats why I can't sit without something to do.

When I read the name of the blog I heard my granny... Loud and clear... "Idle hands, empty head"! I had forgotten those words... Maybe on purpose, but looking back, I think that's where my imagination came from.

From My granny who put knitting needles in my hands as soon as I could manage them, from the crossing guard who taught me, painfully for her I'm sure, how to crochet before I was 10, from the camp activity center where I learnt all kinds of crafts, and from the seamstress who lived across the street, that was ever so happy to put me in front of her machine and teach me to make doll clothes when I showed an interest. They filled my head with fantasies and creativity and I have never looked back.

Now, I need to pass it on...

Thanks Sada, for the little meander down memory lane!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Night time blogging

Here it is. 1:30am and I am still lying in bed, wide awake. My mind is racing with things I want to sew. I have spent some of today catching up on the blogs I read.... And I read a lot of blogs for my newsletter. ( and it amazes me how much people are doing. But what really amazes me is the fact that they are doing lots of things, all at once. Most people have many projects on the go and tend to do a little of everything through the week. Some things get finished, others are WIPS, and others seem to fade away, into the woodwork.

It seems to me, that there are a lot of people out there, just like me! Does that make me feel better? Somewhat! But will I change? Not likely. I enjoy being a quilting rebel, one of the bad boys of quilting. Always looking ahead at what tomorrow might bring. What new direction I might head! What new project I can begin. It's all part of the glory of the hobby!

But in the mean time... Today was a success. I finished my paper piecing quilt. The paper is gone the top has been layered, quilted and squared, the binding is attached and sewn on and the label is neatly finished and placed in the corner. All that is left is the show and tell tomorrow night and I can post a picture for you to see. (Note... show and tell got cancelled until next week, due to bad weather, so you won't see it for another week.)

Valentine's mug mat
I also made a little valentines mug mat from my January newsletter from this blog - It's very cute! But much bigger than I thought. I don't think it will be a mug rug, but possibly, it will look cute with a nice candy bowl on it, filled with cinnamon hearts. I'll post pictures tomorrow!

And last but not least, I started my Classic Santa blocks. It's from a pattern by Sue Garman which you can see here... Mine, of course, will look nothing like hers when I am done, but I haven't got far enough along to worry about that yet! Santa 1 is ready for its block... Maybe Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It's WIP Wednesday and all around blog land, people are WIPing. (Is that a word?). So today I tried a little WIPing myself. Assuming WIP = Work In Progress, here's my progress...

I am trying to finish my paper pieced quilt before Monday night. Today I ripped paper off 48 blocks... Not my favorite part! (Come to think of it, none of paper piecing has been my favorite part, until now!) But while I was doing it, I took a picture of my paper scraps bag, because this year, I am really trying to go paperless. Impossible to do with " paper" piecing. But ordinarily I would throw the paper in the garbage. Today I made sure I put it in the recycle bag I keep in my sewing room for paper from my shredder.

The shredder is a new addition to my sewing room in my attempt to go paperless. I have been scanning all those pages I have printed out in the past and then shredding the paper to go in the recycle. Since the first of January I have managed to almost fill the bag and today I helped that cause. There is a lot of paper in 48 paper pieced blocks.

Thank goodness that job is done. The blocks are all sewn together now, and tomorrow I will be putting borders on the quilt. Mondays finish is looking pretty realistic to me right now.

I will post a picture here Tuesday of the finished quilt. Don't want to spoil the fun for my friends at Niftys


Monday, January 21, 2013

Lazy Boy!

It's Monday, 5:30 am. I am still sick.  Grrrrr.

But I have decided not to let that get to me.  I am going to spend today in my "office", a little corner of my sewing room, putting together the beginnings of my February newsletter.

( I just had a funny thought... Every time I go to spell February I am reminded of my grade 2 teacher, Mrs. Herchmer who taught us to think feb- rrrrrrru--ary, even though we would almost always never use the "r" when we said the word.  I still say it that way when I go to spell it after 50 some odd years!)

This past weekend, I spent most of my time sitting in my Lazy Boy ( aptly named, I think!) working on some "hexies" while I be-moaned my lack of energy.  I was determined to feel better on Sunday and trotted down to the "dungeon" to my fabulous sewing room and tried to finish my paper piecing quilt, which i am doing from the first lesson in a Craftsy class, which I have been trying to finish for a while. I managed to trim a few blocks when, thankfully, my friend Sharon showed up, and I spent a glorious hour drinking tea and afterwards,  me and Lazy Boy, had a nap!

I did manage to find the strength to shop though. I ordered this book from amazon and can't wait to get it.  Don't you just love the cover quilt.  Might just be my next "hexie" project!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mid Month Hump!

I cannot believe today is the 16th of January. I mean seriously! What happened to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc..  Oh yes I remember... I have had this wicked cold. Just about taken everything right out of me.

I have been way too busy with a little project and today is my January mid-month check-in linky party  over at Fiber Of all Sorts.  Remember, way way back on the first I accept the challenge to finish this project by the end of the month and today is the day they are checking to see if I have done anything!

Well I have. I had all the hexies covered in fabric and half of the circle sewn together at the beginning of the month. Now I have the whole circle sewn together and pinned to the background. All that is left is to blind stitch the circle to the background, Quilt and Bind and I am done...and I have 15 days left... hmmmmmmm

My Quilt, half way done.
Wow.. it really looks like a ball in that picture. I have one fabric I am not happy with, but once it is basted onto the background I am going to paint it with fabric paint to make it work better. (its that silly yellow, midway on the right).
Anyway the reason I have gotten so far behind is because I have been busy hatching a plan. Never a dull moment around here. I am publishing a newsletter that after months of preparation and hours of reading blogs, newsletters and many websites, I have filled the pages of my newsletter with sites you can go visit for specific things. I would be thrilled if you checked it out at

The other great news,is that I am so excited to say that I am hitting a big target in my life. Last Christmas I weighed well over 200 pounds and with a lot of effort I am about to do something I haven't done in 30+ years. I weighed in this morning at 170.5... look out 160's cause here I come!!!!  So Exciting!   Well for me anyway. LOL

OK.. Off to sew (sitting in a nice easy chair with my feet up) I go!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Saturday, sewing day!

I love Saturdays! Its so much fun to be able to spend the whole day sewing without any interruptions. Yesterday I worked at a couple of things.

First, I found this blog about a Scrap Vomit Quilt! For whatever reason the name really amused me and the quilt is something I would make so I checked it out, printed out the instructions for the two blocks and went and found my bag of 2 1/2" squares that I had cut out back in the days when I thought I might make a Colourwash quilt. I managed to sew 3 blocks, although they are a little dark (seems I didn't get around to cutting light fabrics), but I have a ton of scraps so I will get busy cutting 2 1/2" squares and this will be a sew day project for me. Here's the link in case you might like to make one of these quilts for yourself !

I also worked on my paper piecing quilt from a Craftsy Class I am doing. And  I am just about done! Two more colours to add to each block and all 48 blocks will be done. I really enjoyed making these blocks even though my best friends will all tell you I have never liked paper piecing.

I also spent some time yesterday cutting out little tiny grandmothers garden templates for a new quilt that I plan to start on Wednesdays when my friends come over to hand sew. I love doing these English paper piecing quilts so it will be fun to start another since I am all caught up with the ones I had on the go. It's for Christmas, but I will tell you more about it later!

So all in all, yesterday was a very productive day.

Today... not so much! I spent all day working on my website and have it started. You can check out my progress at Still have a long way to go, but I have been working on a newsletter that I am posting on the 15 of January. Its a compilation of all kinds of quilting information that I have found this month, from the couple of hundred blogs and websites I visit. I decided to make it all useful so I am putting together a newsletter. If it is a success I will be charging a small fee for it down the road but for now its FREE! You can sign up for it at my website. Just go to the newsletter tab and fill in the form

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quick, before I forget

I wanted to quickly get on here and let you know I haven't quit blogging, I have just been a little under the weather. This year has already been a record year for colds and flu. Everyone I know has had the worst cold or flu they have ever had. Hubby was so sick for the week around New Years that I am convinced he had both.  I on the other hand have only had the cold and other than two days that I spent primarily in bed, I haven't felt too bad.

Anyway... I wanted to post a picture of the pillow I had made for the three day challenge. I had fun doing this pillow and I think I might try making a quilt to match.

It looks lovely on my couch, but the best part is that the guys like it. In fact to quote my son... "It's way better than those other fancy things". so I count it as a success. Now wait until he sees what I have in store for February. LOL

Notion Nanny tip: My tip for today is this awesome ruler for doing Dresden plate blocks. its the EZ Dresden Ruler and I loved using it for the pillow. It was very easy to use.

I found a great tutorial on how to use it @ so check it out!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Final Countdown

OK.. I am done!

The 2012 Final Countdown Ends at noon today... I probably am late, but I am done.

Task one: Finish something... I did.. my Tree skirt which I started 3 years ago is finished!

Task two: Clean up a Pile.. well I did that too... actually I cleaned up 2 piles but the second one was from cleaning up the first one so that doesnèt count as two piles cleaned up... does itÉ

Task three: Make something for yourself... I sort of did that. I made a cushion cover for a cushion I have in my livingroom. Its a cushion for the guys to use under their precious little heads when they stretch out on my not so comfortable couch. Now you may think that is not for me, but it will save my other more decorative cushions from being used so that makes me happy!   I would add a picture but it appears there is a problem with the upload here at blogspot so I will have to come back and do that later.

But I am finished.... if for no other reason than it makes me happy to know I stuck to it and finished it! Hurray!! Now, that's a good feeling!

Notion Nanny tip.  Well I can't even post a picture right now so Here's a tip I have known for years. When making a cushion with corners, stop 2 stitches from the corner, pivot and sew on an angle for 1 to 2 stitches, depending on the thickness of the fabric, stop and pivot and sew down the next side. When you turn your cushion cover, the corners will "point" out better.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Just a quick note... I have accepted another challenge... well more a motivator!

I have joined "A Lovely Year of Finishes" at Here's the explanation ( a direct quote from Melissa)...

"Each month pick one project, anything you like (it can even be an entirely new project, so long as you can finish it in the current month) and tell yourself, " I Will Finish It."  Then write a blog post about the project and link it up to our Goal Setting Linky party. spend the rest of the month working on your finish. We will have a mid-month check , and though you are not required to link up to that post, it would be fun to see your progress! Finally, after you have finished your project, write a second (r third) post showing us your lovely finish and link it up to your "Finishes Party..."

Sounds EASY. Right? We will see.

So here is my project: FLOWER BALL quilt pattern by: Geta Grama

This is Geta Grama's quilt... not mine!!! isn't it beautiful
 I have already started this. In fact, I have a lot done. BUT, I have been working on it for 6 months and only have about 1/2 of it finished. So my thinking is this might be a motivator to get this finished. now I don't think for a moment that mine will look anywhere near as nice as this when it is done... her quilting is beautiful... but I really want to get it finished.

So consider me challenged! (OK Girls, stop laughing...I can hear you!)  So consider me Motivated then!!!

Notion Nanny hint: All this hand sewing is going to be rough on my hands so I will be using Neutrogena's hand cream to help with the dryness.

This clinically proven, highly concentrated formula instantly leaves 
dry hands noticeably softer and smoother after just one application. 
Used daily, it helps prevent dry, chapped skin – even under the harshest of conditions.

  ( I don't have stocks in this company but I wish I did!) This small tube is very concentrated so only a small dab goes a long way. Its a tiny bit sticky so it is great to use when you are working with fabric

3rd Challenge

Happy New Year everybody.  I wrote this blog yesterday and forgot to hit publish, so you are getting it today!  LOL

I waited all day yesterday to look at the third Challenge. After challenge number two I was scared. So I didn't even read it till this morning!

Pick a project to work on that is just for you

What... Make something for me!!!!That's worse than challenge two. I never make something for me... What will I do?

Don't you find that you do spend so much time making for others... grandchildren, children, family, friends, you rarely think about doing something for you. Well all I have to say is thank goodness I have until noon January 5th to finish this challenge. It will take me all day today to think of something and the next few days to do it.

Back to challenge two.. I only had an hour in the sewing room this morning so I finished challenge two!

Much better!

Notion Nanny: Well I have about 1 more minute so here is a quick tip.

I love my rotary Cutter Mat cleaner. I used it today to clean my Cutting Mat after a season of massive cutting and it works like a charm. This cleaner removes fleece and flannel lint and batting fibers from your cutting mat. Use a brush like stroke with the angled edge and it will pull the fibers from the crevasses of your cutting mat. To clean, use a brush to scrub lint off under cold water.

It has other uses too.. Its great for removing threads after un-sewing and I use it at the Gammill for picking up loose threads. Its one of those hard to find notions, but I will  have Notion Nanny back up and running (hopefully soon) and you will be able to get it from me.