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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I recently made hats for a couple of very special outdoor enthusiasts.   I double knit them by the "twining" method of knitting with two balls of yarn at once,  alternating which strand would form a stitch.  The strand that isn't being used is held under the yarn being used, which is different then when you are doing a Norwegian knit, where yarn is carried over.

Amazing what a small change like that can make in the construction of a hat!  These are supposed to be super windproof, and I knit them out of 100% wool. Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash.  The "brim" of the hat is actually a two layered tube, the concept being the body's heat will get in the tube and provide super warmth.

For the pom poms I bought some new Clover brand pom pom makers and I love them.  All I had on hand was my mom's old donut shaped piece of plastic, the original pom pom maker.  It was lousy.
Here's the inside of the hat, where you can see the the twining and how it makes a super double layer.

I made these hats for my son Paul and his girlfriend JoJo.  Extraordinary wilderness and outdoors enthusiasts they are, and so need warm hats.  For spring break they went to Kentucky to climb rock cliffs and I knitted these hats especially for that trip.  In spite of the fact that it was 80 degrees out, they donned the hats and sent a picture.

This is my favorite picture of the hats.  :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012



Well, not chicken dinner, something even better, fat quarters!  Eileen at http://robinhillquilts.blogspot.com/ held a giveaway and I won!  It was meant to be, as these are "my colors" and my mind is full of ideas made with this exact palette.  Thank you Eileen!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

WOW Liebster Blog!

Well, Cool Beans, I have been honored by my Blogging Friend Denise of riversidestitching, who has granted me the honor of being one of her five picks to be a Liebster Blog.  I met Denise.... well, I don't know how I met Denise and that's how it works in the blogging world.  We share the common interest of cross-stitching and last year I enjoyed a stitch-a-long with Denise and three other amazing stitchers.  Denise is incredibly patient and talented with her stitching, her work amazes me.  And, she is kind, often making the effort to check in on me, when I know she is a very busy lady.  

What is a Liebster?  Liebster means "favorite" in German and paying forward the Liebster Blog badge is a way for those of us in the blogger world to spread the word about the blogs we enjoy and which inspire us. 

When you receive the Liebster Badge, tradition compels you to pass it along to 5 bloggers.  To accept the award you must:

1.  Link back to the person who granted the badge to you, thanking them for the honor; 
2.  Post the award to your blog;
3.  Give the award to 5 bloggers who you appreciate and value and who have less than 200 followers
4.  Leave a comment on those 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award; and
5.  Share 5 random facts about yourself that people don't know about you.

So, it is my pleasure to offer the Liebster Blog award to these 5 blogs:

catsonmyquilts.blogspot.com--No where in the rules does it say nepotism is not allowed, so my first choice is my sister, Christine, as she is one of the two people who have most inspired me to embrace quilting and blogging.  Christine is 2 years older than me and is one of those people who does her work with little fanfare and much talent.  I watch what she does with colors and work hard to apply her ideas to my own style.  She has an amazing ability to disappear into her sewing room and emerge a few hours later with a finished project.  Her focus and attention span inspire me.  

susakaysquilts.com--Sue is the second woman who inspired me to get quilting and get blogging.  Sue and I met through our husbands, who were frat brothers in college.  She has lived all over the world, returning to rural PA a few years back.  She is the definition of "Grow where you are planted," which is exactly what she has done in every city she landed in.  It was especially true during her years in Singapore, where her quilting skills were honed and her personal style shined.  You'll see by a visit to her blog that she has an amazing sense of style and color, a lot of it with a unique Asian flair.  

pinelandstreasures--Barbara is a very kind, interesting and talented woman.  She creates fantastic Spirit Dolls and felted vessels, all very unique and colorful and inspiring.  Although I don't know for sure, I think she is always smiling and always on the move.  She gives the impression of someone who is living life well and in balance.  I even met her in person, after I bought a Jester's Hat vessel from her Etsy shop, and she just happened to be coming to the Boston area to visit her daughter at college.  She stopped by my house and rang my doorbell and delivered that vessel in person.  Now, that's a special Blogger.  And, Barbara taught many of us a thing about our Blogs the hard way, when she deleted a gmail address that was tied to her blog, gone was the blog, with no way to retrieve it.  So, being who she is she built herself a new blog and carries on.  

501quiltblocks--The most amazing thing about Pat at 501 Quilt Blocks, is that she must somehow have more hours in her days than I have.  Her ability to live each and every day to it's fullest inspires me, this woman wastes no time..... ever!  She is a talented seamstress, quilter, artist, photographer, and a loving mom and grandmother.   She seems to be my kind of strong, no nonsense, New England woman.  

martinquilts--Here is a blog by a husband and wife (Jay and Angela), and I think they don't blog often enough!  Perhaps a Liebster will inspire them to create more and blog often.  Their work is all very interesting and unique and makes me want to think outside my box.  I want to see more of their work!  I want to get t know them better, so let's exert some pressure to get them creating and sharing more.  

Now the rules of the game dictate I must share with you 5 things about me that I've not previously revealed in my blog.  

1.  Thunderstorms scare me, especially if I am in a tent.  
2.  Once my daughter asked me "what is the greatest thing you have ever done in your life?" and I told her "raise you and Paul." 
3.  My favorite smell is that of the first mowing of the lawn in the Spring.  
4.  My favorite place is Cozumel.  
5.  When I die I want to be put in a pine box and good grief do not shut the top, just burn me up within hours and then scatter my ashes where the loons call.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Anna was recently back in Orange, County, California, with all the fancy people, enjoying Spring Break.  She brought a present home for Misty, since she's a fancy girl too.  In case you can't read the label, this is a designer "Chewy Vuitton" purse.  Misty loves it and is doing her best to keep it away from the other beasts in the house, who aren't fancy like she is.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012



Best Friends (75% of the time!)

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I am always knitting, you all know that already.  This winter I've knit a few things for myself, stepping out of my baby afghan box for a bit.

Right now I'm knitting myself a shawl and it is lovely.  Originally, I was making this shawl to wrap myself in during some medication infusions starting in April, but that idea has changed so now I'm knitting just for fun and style.

I am using Classic Elite Yarn's Wool Bam Boo (50% wool/50% bamboo) yarn and it is probably the most luxurious yarn I've ever indulged in.  The color in the photos isn't quite right, the color is a deep rust.
I love to knit, and am always amazed at the patterns that can be made by knitting, purling and counting.  This pattern made me a little nuts as I got it established, but now I've got rows memorized and am buzzing along.  The finished shawl will be around 5 feet, for a good double wrap.
It pays to be a yarn snob, as here is an item that will feel fantastic and will last for years and years to come.


I've not been blogging a whole lot, not because I've had nothing to show, but because I've been working on getting my groove back in the sewing room.  The holidays and some other distractions got my rhythm off and so I've been working at getting back to it, and I think I've finally succeeded.  

I'm making the small and the large version of Hot Cross from the Schnibbles Times Two book.  The smaller one I finished today, and it is for a wonderful little girl named Kaylee, the daughter of a cousin in Western PA.  The small quilts in Schnibbles Times Two are just too small to make them worthwhile, so I always double them, using two charm packs instead of one.  

Here it is on what's left of my design wall.  Poppy kitten has now climbed the wall enough times that the carefully stapled sticky fabric is popping off.  
I used charm packs of the Moda Summer Breeze collection, absolutely fabulous I say.  I love blues and yellows together, and I know Kaylee's Mom Linda (I'll next be making the larger version for her) is very fond of blues.  
My X intersections are very poorly done, as I used the ruler wrong when trimming down the blocks.  Luckily the fabric is busy enough to hide those sins, and now I have learned and will have perfect intersections on the larger quilt (I hope).