Friday, December 31, 2021

End of Year Wrap Up

 I have been thinking about my UFO lists—I didn’t get everything done last year, but here are some of the finished quilt tops from 2021:

Not too bad when I think about all the hours I put in at work. A few of these got quilted, but most will be quilted this year since I now have the larger machine. 

As for blogging, the post with the most views was my crocheted dishcloth pattern. I think it’s because I have it on one of my Pinterest boards. Another testament to the power of social media! I am still working on my UFO lists for 2022–I may be over-thinking it, but I tend to do that.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

On The Frame

I don’t know when I made this string quilt; probably a few years ago.

I make a lot of string quilts. They are great for scraps, and they generally are mindless sewing. I will be happy to get this one done.

I found the prettiest design, but I didn’t have a matching gray thread. I used a variegated thread, and I wasn’t sure about it, but Bill mentioned how much he liked it—without being asked. 

He hung the curtain rods I bought. They are 120” long and have clips to hang quilts. I’m really happy with them.

His drill motor was still on the floor when I took the picture. 😁

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Scraps Are Winning

It’s a constant battle here between me and the scraps that constantly multiply. I try to keep cutting them into usable sizes but it seems to be a losing battle. The more I sew, the more scraps get created. I found these when I was looking for some Christmas decorations:

I don’t know why they got put in with the Christmas stuff, but I guess it happened one year during one of my post-holiday cleaning frenzies. I know they are not recent; there’s some old stuff in there. Time to use it up!

I need to come up with a scrap busting project…..something that inspires me. I am tired of scrappy trips, although they use up a lot of random strips.

I also don’t want a pattern that uses maybe a yard of scraps and then needs about five yards of a neutral.

I belong to some Facebook groups for scrap busting, but the patterns are generally for more coordinated scraps, i.e., yardage. I want something that will let me use everything, whether it goes together or not.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021


I am tired of tamales and I am tired of ham. Too much of the holiday food. Bill said the leftover tamales were starting to get dried out. I wasn’t ready to throw them away so I made a pot of chili today. I didn’t have any chili meat, but for this purpose, ground beef worked well.

I let it simmer on low all afternoon, and it was really good. 

I took the husks off the tamales and layered them in a dish.

There were only eight left. I covered them in chili and cheese and baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.
It is a sort of tamale casserole. Is that a thing or did I invent something new? It was good, and I am always anxious to get done and get the kitchen cleaned up. Maybe tomorrow will be ham and eggs. 😁

Monday, December 27, 2021

Sunday Funday

No sewing or quilting today. We are still trying to clean up from Christmas. I woke at 4am this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep; I finally laid back down after the dogs were fed and slept another hour and a half. 

The dogs got some new toys, and we spent some time outside with them. Rosie and Ruthie like the stuffed toys that squeak.

Reba mainly likes balls.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Christmas 2021

 Christmas has come and gone again. It was a wonderful day—just Bill and me in the morning. We opened gifts and watched old movies. I fixed food to take to my mom’s house. She already had a ham, and Julia and I fixed the rest. I ate too much and still had a lot of leftovers.

It was just family this year, and it was a lot of fun. 
I was going to say I haven’t done any sewing, but I did work on the Villa Rosa pattern I started last month. I got the top done and don’t have anything for the backing, so I started piecing together some remnant pieces for the back. I want to work on that today, but I also need to clean up the house a little.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas


We will be with family today, so no blog post. I hope everyone reading this has a magical and blessed holiday.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Cross Stitch Progress

I haven't had much time to just sit and cross stitch, but I still managed to get some done. I usually am up early (dogs!!), but I will sit and drink coffee and look at different posts and such on my iPad. I have been trying to set aside some of that time to turn my task lamp on and do some cross stitching. Once the dogs have been fed and have all made a trip or two outside, they will settle down and go back to sleep, so I have some uninterrupted time. 

I got the flamingos finished:

Also, the little flower in the bottom corner:

I am officially done with all the pinks and can get the other colors done. I really wasn't sure when I ordered this kit if I would actually complete it or not, but so far I am doing okay with it, so I am hopeful it will get done, and I can start on the next one.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Practice Makes Perfect

....or so they say. I would say the jury is still out on that one, but I am continuing to practice, pretty much every day. I had several quilt sandwiches prepared with muslin.

I like this swirl design, especially with the variegated thread. Of course, I got tired of working on muslin, so I eventually loaded a quilt top that I completed last year, or maybe the year before. If was a sew-along from a jelly roll Facebook group. I think she called the pattern Modified Four Patch.
I will be glad to get it quilted and bound, but I had planned to bind it with the border fabric, and of course, I can't find any. With moving all my stuff, and half (or more) being here, and half being in Lake Jackson, I think this will be a problem for a while until I can manage to get it all moved down here and organized. 

In the meantime, I will keep working through some of the unquilted tops and seeing what I can get done. I also used some old thread on this one which I was glad to get rid of. 

I had a brief moment of regret about the trading in the Voyager machine as it sewed such a beautiful stitch, but of course I couldn't justify keeping it when this one is so much larger and computerized. I have to say, this one also sews a beautiful stitch so I am content with my decision.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Crumb Sewing

Sewing is a great stress reliever for me—especially mindless sewing like these crumb blocks, or improv blocks, or whatever you want to call them.

I have been sewing them on this little cutie:

Her belt is slipping a little, so I ordered a new one. In the meantime, I loosened the screws on the motor mount to take up a little slack. I ordered a “white” super belt. It should be here soon.

Monday, December 20, 2021

A New Learning Curve

 I have been trying to get used to the new machine and what it can do, but it’s all new to me. I got some basic training from the Innova tech, but it was just enough to get me barely functioning. The more in-depth training will happen in January or February. It is a two-day training at their shop in Richmond. 

I tried to load a video of the machine stitching out a design, but blogger is not cooperating. Maybe I can load it later when I am on the laptop instead of the iPad. 

I did trade in my 17”, non-computerized machine.

It’s a nice machine, and I’ve made some beautiful quilts on it.
I knew when I decided to start a business I would need a bigger machine with more capabilities, and I have to say, I am glad it is no longer in my living room. The houses in my neighborhood are late 60’s early 70’s ranchers with formal living and dining rooms, which I’m sure most of us don’t use for the original purpose. My next door neighbors own a business, and she handles the paperwork, and they have made a home office in theirs. I wouldn’t mind doing that, although Bill mentioned a football watching room with a recliner and a big-screen tv. No doubt he will want a mini fridge too! 🙄

I won’t have as much time to play this week since the holiday is getting so close, and we have commitments. Today we are in Lake Jackson; we had to make a quick trip to attend to things here.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

New Machine is Here

It’s been an exhausting week. Dustin was here to install my new longarm quilting machine, and I went home each day feeling so tired and brain dead.

Putting the frame together.

Added the computer monitor and keyboard tray.

You can see the machine and the light bar in this one.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Busy Days

 It’s that time of year when I am so busy and have little to nothing to show for it. I cut up four muslin quilt sandwiches so I can practice using the software system on my new quilting machine. Shopping, errands, cooking. The kids are having their Christmas programs and we went (so far) to William’s.

He’s in the back row waving at someone. No clue who. And, here is his closeup.
It’s always hard to get one that is not blurry as he doesn’t hold still very long.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

A Little Tree to Make

 Here’s a pattern for a little Christmas tree—it’s about 12” tall. Wouldn’t it be a cute holiday touch for the sewing room? I have a plastic yo-yo maker, but these need to be five different sizes so I guess I would have to use the templates. I know Hobby Lobby and Michaels have the foam trees, and in the past, they have also had the glass candle sticks. I’m not sure about the bow at the top, but wouldn’t a glued on ornament look nice? 


Monday, December 13, 2021

Quilt Cottage Sewing Room

I brought a machine over when Janice said she wanted to come and get help with her quilt. The setup for now is temporary until I get everything moved from Lake Jackson.

I had first brought the featherweight over, but I need to work on the tension. The stitch quality is not good, and I was unable to fix it in the short time I had allotted to it. The shelves in the corners will need to be taken outside for paint storage, but first I will need to buy a small storage building. 

I did put a shelf in the closet for some of the stuff I have brought already. 

The shelf is a pretty good fit. 

Jelly rolls and layer cakes are on the top shelf of the closet.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Sewing Day

 Janice came to get some help with the quilt she’s making for her mom. She had most of it done but was having trouble with the mitered corners.

She already had the piano key order pre-made, so I went ahead and attached it also. Now it’s ready to be quilted.
I think her mom will love it. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

My Cross Stitch Progress

 This is the stamped kit I bought.

It’s cute, and I like flamingoes. I can get some stitching done when I watch tv. I watch The Voice on Monday and Tuesday night, and Bill and I watch the Thursday night NBC shows, but other than that, I don’t watch much. Just a few hours a week is adding up though. Of course, not having to count is speeding things up.

Here’s how far I’ve gotten: 

The blue part of the flamingoes still needs to be done, and the plants around the sides 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

I Don’t Need Another Hobby

I have little spare time due to my work hours, and most of those hours are taken up with quilting. I am unable to sit and do nothing, so I crochet if I am watching tv, but I’m not a big tv watcher. I see some nice cross stitch projects other quilters are working one and think “No thanks”. I totally burned myself out on counted cross stitch in the 80’s and 90’s. Now even the the LQS is carrying cross stitch supplies, and some of the Lori Holt samplers are appealing to me. I have watched the recent revival with interest, but it has been a detached interest.

One of the bloggers I follow was suggesting a stitch along using “A Changed World” pattern. It’s nice, but I don’t love it, and the saying didn’t really resonate with me. While I was on the website, I made the mistake of looking around and saw this:

Now, this does resonate with me, but I didn’t want to commit. I kept going back and looking at it though……then I noticed the four dogs. Three black and one light brown one. It seemed like it was meant for me. But I don’t need another hobby, and my eyesight is not as sharp as it once was, and on and on. Of course, I ordered it. I went to Etsy and ordered some 25 count even weave. 

I decided I need to work into it, so I ordered a stamped cross stitch kit from Amazon that is printed on 11 count aida. If that goes okay, which so far it is, I will graduate to a counted sampler on 14 count aida. Then I will attempt the one that I really want to do. It will be a process. I just need to be disciplined about not starting any until I finish the first one.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Random Thoughts on Shortages

There has been a lot of news about all the shortages, and I guess I didn’t really feel it was affecting me. I don’t but much anyway—except of course groceries, and fabric and thread. Some days the grocery stores don’t seem to be as well-stocked as I am used to, but I could certainly find a substitute for anything they didn’t have. 

I started Christmas shopping a month or two ago, and things I ordered took a little longer to arrive, but it all got here. 

The problem now is that I need a new dishwasher in Victoria. The one I have here hasn’t worked in a while, but since I was seldom here, I didn’t want to replace it and have the pump freeze up from non-use. Since I will soon be here full time, I tried to order a new one, and Best Buy cancelled my order and refunded the payment. I called the local appliance places and was told it would from six months to a year before I can get one.

Second problem, I want a new car. I usually buy one that is a year old, but that is not feasible right now. A low mileage, reasonably new BMW costs more than a new one. Okay, I’ll buy a new one. Once again, I would have to order it and wait for them to build it. There’s nothing wrong with the X1 I have, but I’ve had it seven years, and also it’s pretty small. I want one that is newer and bigger. It is definitely a seller’s market right now. If I was in a bind for a car and had to buy one quickly, I don’t know what I would do. It’s just crazy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Time to Make a List

 APQS published the 2022 UFO page.

I already printed one but still need to think about the twelve projects for my list. Since I only did piecing for my 2021 list, and since I will have my new machine soon, I think mine will have projects needing to be quilted and bound. At least, that’s what I am thinking.

There are some blogs I subscribe to because they used to be about quilting, but now they are mostly about cross stitching, and UFO’s seem to be even more of a problem for the cross stitchers. I have been reading about their various strategies, and I am coming up with some ideas for my quilting stash. I know I have way too much, and I will need a plan to use it or lose it. I am also thinking about ongoing projects that need some attention. I do love English paper piecing, but I never have much spare time. Hello retirement! I think I can schedule some time daily or weekly to work on hand sewing or embroidery. It’s all a pretty loose plan that is floating around in my brain, but I have until the end of the year to make a commitment.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Infinity Scarf

 This is a free pattern for a scarf made from two tee shirts. I am not a scarf wearer. They look fabulous on other people, but I always think I look like a turtle with them on. This one hangs lower, though, and I have more tee shirts than one person needs, so I may try this one.


Sunday, December 5, 2021

Latin Lady

I have worked on this one off and on for about a month which I am in Victoria. 

It's a Villa Rosa pattern called Latin Lady (don't ask me why, makes to sense!) and I'm using one of the recent American Jane lines. 

I actually have some charm squares left over from some other American Jane lines that I will probably mix in to get a little more variety. 

I do like these Villa Rosa patterns. So fun and easy.