Saturday, May 31, 2014


Just a quick note to put up some photos from Brooke's Graduation last night. A beautiful, meaningful commencement and a beautiful graduate:
 the happy family
 Happy grandparents and graduate

Today we start our journey in ernest. We are embarking on the train trip that will take us from Dar es Salam, down through Tanzania and into Zambia. It takes 46 hours plus delays so will be interesting. If you want to follow our travels in Africa, please go to:  Where are we today?

The only things that I brought with me for while I travel besides my camera, are:
~ Knitting - my silk scarf.   I will get this finished sometime for sure.
~ Crocheting - my granny square coat squares. Now that I have all the wool, I can go to town on them. I forgot, however, a needle to sew them together so will end up with a bunch of finished squares with loose tags of yarn. 
~ Needlework - 2 Christmas Crackers. These are the ones that I gave Mom for Christmas. They are just not for her in her current state. So I promised to complete them for her and then make them up into crackers. I believe that she wants to give them to my sister Lauri for Christmas, so I had better get going on them!  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Africa here we come, graduation month is a must

The month of May is a busy one for us and I can tell you it won't be in the needlework or quilting arena. Our granddaughter has many an activity and event this month in honor of her graduating high school. The high school graduation is a memorable time in a young woman's life and we are blessed to be able to share in it.

How wonderful is it to see these events as grandparents? And graduation comes this coming Friday.

Throughout these events/celebrations, I was able to finish another mugrug, this one for April, themed Fruit 
 Apple Blossoms in April lead to a basket of apples in the fall.

I was able to finish, well almost finish the flimsy for BTF#2. I miscut so had to order the last border. And so it sits waiting for me to pick up the mail, return from our next fabulous journey, and get Miss Betsy out of deep storage.

Throughout this period of time we are planning our next epic journey, this time to Africa with friends from Europe. With this in mind, Miss Betsy is put into deep storage as she is a minor irritant sitting there waiting for me to come to her and use her many talents. 

I managed to make a sandwich for my flying geese UFO. I had already sandwiched them but it was way to flimsy for even a summer quilt. So Mr. Rippit came to visit and we ripped everything out and started again. It is now at the point where I can quilt it on Miss Betsy. Do I dare get her out and try? We leave in less than a week and still have some things left to do in getting ready? hmmmmm

And so the question remains, will I get it done to qualify for this quarters Stashbuster's UFO Challenge or will I have to pay a penalty?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I tried to be productive ...

So I tried to be more productive in April, at least that was the plan. And as all planning goes sometimes, mine went awry. An unplanned, quick trip to Panama found me taking my needlework with me - no quilting.

The last couple of days I managed to complete a little bit more of Zach's quilt squares, until I ran out of the main blue. How could I have miscalculated? I had one more complete round of blue to do. to do.
 now the fun will be to try and match it up as the fabric is at least 1.5 years old.

I found inspiration for a way to present all my molls in the oddest place - a bathroom in a quilting/knitting shop.
 so of course while in Panamá, I had to buy more molas.

 This is the one that I will make into a cover for the printer which will definitely add some color to the house.

As soon as we returned, out came Miss Betsy and I was able to do some random sewing at random times in between our random ramblings. 
Christmas Cracker completed in Panama but the embellishment added once back stateside.
 First up was finishing up Rainbow Jane's Spanish Moss.
 Next was to finish March's mugrug - Luck in all Shapes ...
As well as adding to my stash at a wonderful store found near Lake Somerville State Park. This will make a flimsy for BTF #2.

I continued to work haphazardly on the Santa Stamp cross stitch. I am motivated to get it finished as I want to start a pattern that I bought while in Edmonton. It is a big project so will no doubt last a few years just like this one has. :)

Somehow life always seems to get in the way so I really haven't done much more than this. Sometimes I feel like I have done nothing yet when I start to list it all out, I have actually done a little something. I should just stop berating myself and go with the flow ...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Are these really addictions?

Time without internet, time without electricity which equates to, without one's sewing machine. Withdrawal symptoms are definitely there. Would this be considered an addiction of sorts? I would have to say so. Well, this has been my manta now for the last while and it is miserable, I can tell you.  We are back in the land of 21st Century technology and all it takes is for me to get out Miss Betsy and resume where I was when I closed her down, so why can't this be done at will?

I had been working simultaneously on DGD and DGSs quilt before I was shut down in March (National Seashore Park). You know the one that I wasn't so sure about the colors [photo] and the wonky but not so wonky lime greens and blues.  Well, I got all the lime green blocks to about 1/3 finished and also found a black that I think will work for the sashing. With the DGDs blocks, I got enough finished to put together one set of the pattern. This was so that she could look at the colors and pattern to make sure it is what she wants. The lime green is as it is - no changes. Then I realized that I had been working on the first DGS's quilt and not a thing was done on the 3rd DGSs quilt and he was the one coming to visit. So I had to do an about face and get started on his.

This involved taking a photo
 from the internet and designing out the sizes that I wanted, using choices from this fabric set.

 I started with a goal in mind - a set of 4 circular squares together so that he could see how his would look in design, if not colorway. I got a couple of insert squares completed in a left-over fabric color way not designed for anything and decided that, hey, I could make a baby quilt out of the trial and error for his quilt. I got the first 2 circles of 3rd DGDs cut out and the first set of strips cut and sewn. A mock up of the color war Not even ironed yet. And then disaster struck: the generator went kaput - no more electricity except what little we could get from solar in overcast and stormy skies and this was definitely not enough to run a sewing machine and an iron. So with a heavy heart, I put everything away so that  wouldn't be tempted to tempt fate and the solar panels. My mind however, kept thinking about his quilt as I showed him what I had, how it would look but he wants it backed with fleece and extra long like his brothers. So I came up with a slightly modified way of getting the circles on the flimsy and still back with fleece. [photo]

During this time I had also intermittently worked on starting the sample squares for the cover for the printer and the dash table as talked about in Procrastination. They are coming along quite nicely; i.e. I got the first block cut out and sewn into a haphazard start before the disaster.  It too was put away.

There was one square for Rainbow Jane - Bachelor Buttons
 completed as well.

Don't forget the quickie project for my World Wide Swap from Stashbusters - a needle holder to go along with the stash exchange. The was made from scraps of another project that is still a UFO.

There was no hand sewing of any kind to be done there.

Now what to do? My hands were idle, not busy as they normally are. Oh well, off to the bag of handwork UFOs to pull out the first random one to work on. And it was……. oh my goodness, the cross stitch postage stamp Santa that is definitely not a favorite,
 Who ever heard of greens in the beard and yellows in the fur on his hat when the pompom is whites and blues? Oh well, if I finish it I can start another travel project. It has only been on the go since 2010 - a UFO for sure.

And of course there were always the Christmas Crackers ....

During our stay in the area around Corpus Christi I was also able to sign up and take a half day class for building (read sewing here) a fabric bowl. I had wanted to do this for some time and here was the chance.

Fun fabric, meeting new people, and finding another equally fun project. Oh boy, I think more to come.

And all of this was just March. Of course April is another story! And yes, I would say that I am addicted!

Friday, February 28, 2014

New toy and mug rug finish

My new toy allowed me a fast finish(due before midnight tonight) of February's One Toe Out of the Box mug rug with "Love" as the theme.
Two Hearts Beat as One
The background fabric of floating hearts is pretty busy so I made the appliqué very plain - simply the two intertwined hearts. The floating hearts have been FMQd. The right side, middle hearts on white fabric is densely quilted for the mug to sit on. I do now understand why the instructions recommended that appliqué pieces be backed with a "wonder under" type fabric and then cut like paper. It was hard to get the hearts straight and tight in order to satan stitch around them. I ended up using spots of glue out of another appliqué kit. The glue claims to wash out easily or even soak out. This was a fun project and already March's theme - "Luck" is sending all sorts of ideas pulsing through my mind.

I did not get the February UFO finished as I had hoped. Monkeys Jumping on the Bed still waits the final border to be quilted, squaring and trimming, the binding applied and then a label. Hopefully within the first few days of March a finish ill be accomplished.

Working helper skelter on the blocks for Brooke and Zach's quilts. Also need to get started on Blake's so that he can see them as well when he comes.