"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, March 25, 2011


All animals, whether wild or domesticated, thrive on routine.  They like their days to have a clear pattern, and thrive on those routines.  It works out well here, because I, too, am that kind of animal. 

My darlings know that once I've had coffee, breakfast and read the paper, I will head down the hall to make the bed.  Misty will remain where she is sunning herself or in front of the pellet stove, and Cassy and Reesie will head down the hallway to help with the bed making chore. 

And, this is what it looks like:  


What the heck is this:  

 This is how I attack a giant X stitch project.  I take the enormous pattern and copy it into sections, and work on the sections bit by bit, crossing off the stitches on the pattern as I stitch them.  And, I end up with this:

Isn't it lovely?  I'd never seen an abstract X stitch before and so when I found it in The Stitchery, I just had to do it.  It contains all of the colors of my home, and so can go in many different spots.  I need to wash it and press it and get it over to be framed.  I'm thrilled with the results and that I actually finished it!  I was motivated by my friend Sue, who in an amazing act of kindness tackled a Geisha X Stitch for a friend who was in over her head.  You'll have to hop over to Sue's blog and look at that Geisha, it is ridiculously beautiful and what a piece of work it is. 


In between BIG projects right now so I pulled out Schnibbles times Two and had the charm packs on hand to make the small Bennington.   I've gotten a few blocks sewn and onto the wall and they are very pretty, I think:  

These are Moda Summer's End charm packs and are very well suited for this quilt, with distinct lights, mediums and darks.  

I've learned a lot as working through this pattern, techniques I've not yet tackled like a snowball corner and the snip of the seam allowance in the back so as to iron the middle lump into a pinwheel so it all lies flat.  

Have also learned that I could screw up a free lunch, as have done some sewing of attaching the snowball corner to the dark instead of the light, not having matched darks with the snowball corner on the lights.  

Like I said, I learned a lot.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Finally I am going to make a quilt for us, for our queen sized bed.  Dave wants a bear paw of some type and I've been searching and searching for the pattern that grabs me.  

I found it on this website that is advertising the hand quilting of the quilt, not the pattern.  ARgHHH I want the pattern and have e-mailed the person advertising but doubt I'll hear back.  

I can't do anything without a pattern, so figured I'd post asking all of you, have you seen this pattern written down anywhere?  I'm not advanced enough in this sport to make my own.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I just had to share this photo of our Cassy girl.  Dave caught her in a very relaxed mood this afternoon and got what I am certain are the best photos we've gotten of her--in three years!  

It was three years ago just about now that we rescued her, she was perhaps 10 months old and, although we do not know exactly what happened in her first 10 months of life, we know it was all very bad.  

This is a picture of her, taken at one of the two shelters she was processed through.  I can barely look at this photo, the look in her eyes, the tense stance of her body.  She was skin and bones with mange thrown in.  It breaks our hearts to know that she suffered before she landed with her foster mom Denise.  On the intake form for the ASPCA in NYC, where she was surrendered by her owner, her temperament test described her as "nonreactive, shut down, disinterested in surroundings."  Cassy?  Impossible.  How could those "professionals" not recognize a terribly sensitive dog who'd be beaten down and scared out of her wits. 

 We have put all that in the past, and here is a photo of the dog named Cassy as she is today.  Isn't she simply fabulous?  We think so.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I hope that everyone that reads this will take the time to visit http://www.caraquilts.com/ where you can learn about an event being run by Moda Fabrics.  They are collecting "Just One Star" from quilters and will sew those stars into comfort quilts for our men and women in service.  What a great project.  

I plan on making more than Just One Star, and I hope that you will too.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


As I had shared in an earlier post, one of Dave's cousins in Western Pennsylvania recently celebrated the birth of her first great grand child and asked if I would make a quilt for that baby.  Absolutely, positively, although I was a bit intimidated to be making a quilt to send to the land of some very amazing quilters.  

So, I set my sights high and pulled fabrics out of the closet and here it is,

 I love this quilt!!
Some quilts I make and think they are fine and lovely, 
something about this one makes me WOW myself.  

The quilting was once again done by Janet Barnet, I absolutely adore her work, she never over shadows or over quilts a quilt.  
Janet was my first quilt instructor, and was the one who got me going in the right direction and especially she taught me to love this craft.  That was about 3 years ago, when she directed me through my first Yellow Brick Road and then Rail Fence.  

No quilt is complete without a label or two, one dedicating it to the baby from her great grandparents,

 And, the other is my ID.  

Don't those labels look great?  There's a story behind that.  I've been cursing my way through embroidering labels with my Pfaff 3.0 ever since I got it.  It has driven me mad every time and labels were taking hours to create.  Complaining about that at the sewing machine/fabric store last weekend and one of the lovely ladies at the store asked "what are you using for a foundation?"  "A What?"  Well, that clears things up quite a bit.  No one ever told me to pin the fabric to a special piece of stuff before embroidering.  What a difference that has made.  I turned these labels out in less than 15 minutes, with no screwy letters and no broken threads.  It's so much fun to learn the hard way.  


I have finished Diagonal Madness and this weekend had it laid out on the table to measure it for the back.  I swear that cats have little homing devices in their heads that tell them when and where Mom is laying out a quilt.  

Reesie came out of nowhere and planted herself right on that quilt.  Look at that face, what a sap she is.  Purring away.  

And, look at all of those seams!  Complete Madness.  I dropped it off to the quilter today, and we should see the results in a month. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Way back in December a neighborhood friend asked if I could make a sleeve for her daughter's Nook.  Of course I can!  I just didn't tell her it wouldn't be until March.  

Now that I've finished Diagonal Madness I got the time to make the sleeve before moving onto one of the small quilts in Schnibbles Times Two.  

I made this sleeve using the same pattern (and fabric!) that I used to make a computer sleeve, shown in an earlier post, for my friend Sue.  In the pattern they give you the math to use to adjust the sleeve to fit any computer or electronic gadget in need of a padded cover and some style. 

I use a pattern from this book
which I absolutely love.  I picked it up on a whim at JoAnn's one day, and I'm glad I did.  It has really neat, easy patterns for lots of bags and totes and sleeves and other neat little ditties.  It's a good book to have on hand for making gifts, as you're sure to find something in it to delight a special someone.