Planning Ahead

Pre-spring is unfurling here in western NY after two days of sunny skies and warming temperatures. My thoughts are turning to the summer and the outdoor picnics to come. Although I need to start work on something big — a quilt that I have not yet designed — I’ve been distracting myself with little projects and by relocating my sewing room. I simply could not bear to remain in the room where my darling kitty Bootsie and I spent so many happy hours. So I’ve relocated my sewing room to the basement. Although the light is not as good down here, I find that I have more space and I feel more connected to the flow of the house.

While organizing my fabric stash and scrap baskets post-move, I rediscovered an old advertising premium that I bought for $1 in an antique store last year. It will be perfect for a couch pillow for Memorial day. The fabric is a bit thin, but I think I can stabilize it with some muslin. It’s also a tiny bit discolored, but I think it adds to the charm — after all what is pristine after 43 years??

I trimmed the flag so that the most interesting design elements will be centered for the final product.

1976 EZ Tempo advertising flag. What/who is EZ Tempo? I have no idea– my usual sleuthing skills have failed me.

I dragged my roommate along to Material Rewards this weekend to find the complimenting fabrics for my pillow design and he helped me pick out these:

New fat quarters smell so good!

I’m trying so hard not to buy fabric this quarter while I improvise and use things that I already own. I’m calling my shopping trip a success because I was using the end of a gift certificate. The solid blue was in my stash, so I only “had” to buy two fat quarters. That doesn’t count as buying fabric, does it? (I know you are shaking your head ‘no’ — thank you for agreeing with me– we quilters have to stick together!).

I was sewing strips together tonight when I realized that, although I pre-washed the flag weeks ago, I have not, in fact, pre-washed the red star fabric. How many times do I need to learn the pre-wash lesson??? Sewing on hold while I wait for the dryer….

Happy pre-spring!

The Saga of Boots — Final Chapter

With a broken heart, I must let you know that our darling kitty Boots has passed away. Just before Christmas he developed a kidney infection that shortened his amazing life. He was just 10 years old.

When we captured Boots he was a wild kitten born in the gray barn on the farm. When I handed the little gray/ginger/white fluff-ball to my son (soon after Bootsie bit me with his razor-sharp little teeth), my son exclaimed “This is the happiest day of my life!” You see, my son never had a stuffed bear that he cared about, but from the time he was teenie, tiny, he owned a white stuffed cat that he could not live without. He outgrew Kitty only after Boots came into our lives. (I know Wes’ YaYa is reading this — thank you my friend for buying that stuffed animal for him all those years ago! Kitty still lives in my son’s closet.)

Some pictures of the day Boots arrived in our lives:



From this wild beginning, Boots became a people cat almost instantly. We often talked about how unfulfilled his life would have been if he had stayed in the barn with no one to adore him and snuggle with him. Certainly our lives changed for the better the day he joined us.

These two best friends spent a lot of time together.



The Saga of Boots and his bathroom remodel adventure is one of the most read posts on our blog.

These two best friends grew up together. Now my little boy is 18-years-old and Bootsie is gone.

Boots was my sewing buddy. The corner chair by the window in my sewing room has the best afternoon light and it was his favorite place to sleep alone in the sunshine. He also liked to be wherever we were — purring and snuggling and bringing comfort and a occasional gift for the sorry folks he lived with who were too dull to hunt for themselves.


Whenever I moved a quilt and a book out to the lawn to enjoy a sunny afternoon, Boots could be counted on to show up and keep me company.


When we moved across the street to a new and bigger house, Boots, who was an indoor-outdoor kitty, gained new territory, but he always went back across the street in the morning to inspect his old stomping grounds and explore the cliff and the stream located there.

We placed him at rest above the cliff, wrapped in his/my favorite fluffy bathrobe. We are heartbroken.

The last month without him has been difficult. There are too many monumental changes happening in my life right now. I was not ready for Boots to be one of them.

My long arm quilter, the Fabulous Ms. G., gave me a mini paper-pieced heart pattern that I completed this summer when I was visiting Cindy in Ohio. Now we are approaching Valentine’s Day and it’s high time I completed the quilting. Look who is featured in the February block:


Boots was a tremendous once-in-a-lifetime friend and kitty. I’m glad he was in my life.



In the middle of the joy and bustle of the holidays, I like to take precious moments to sit quietly and reflect on the lessons learned, the chances not taken, the mis-steps, the words spoken and unspoken, and the joys and accomplishments of the past 365 days. Hand sewing always gives me that chance. #quiltbonding time can be therapeutic.


The road to the farm under a December fingernail moon:


It’s getting real Thanksgiving up in here

Monday night before Thanksgiving and the pressure is on! I haven’t mopped my kitchen floor or finished dusting and let’s not even talk about the laundry piling up! Yikes! So instead of caring about any of these major tasks, I’ve been quilting:

  1. I’m teaching a friend how to quilt. She’s making the same quilt that my quilt mentor used to teach me: Turning Twenty Again. Honestly, this pattern is a classic and Kelly used her great eye for color and selected a lovely blue and tan fabric palette with some help from the excellent staff at Material Rewards. Kelly has done a wonderful job of cutting her pieces and yesterday we worked on laying them out. I can’t wait to see the final product. Ping Pong design table
  2. I gathered up some pre-cut 2.5″ squares and got to work creating a Thanksgiving colored pillow cover for my living room. I did some walking foot quilting using a  free spool of thread that I received when Cindy and I took a quilting class in Chicago last March. I’m loving the luster that this spool of Superior Threads provides! Note to self: up my thread game in the new year — my thread stash is very low and boring.IMG_49831.jpg
  3. Cindy and I are so excited about the start of the virtual cookie exchange blog hop that starts next week. Carol from Just Let Me Quilt is a master at organizing fun hops! We can’t wait to show you what we’re cooking up.
  4. Remember how I told you that I was sick of orange colors and I was ready to work on something red? Well, look what I decided to make for Easter: <sigh> This is a draft of a carrot block for a teeny tiny bunny quilt. I might need an orange intervention.IMG_4981[1]
  5. My Texas bestie received her quilted tree skirt on Saturday and she was thrilled. I can’t wait to see pictures of it in action (after she returns from a December trip to China — I’m glad I don’t live that life any more!!!)


    Please note that this is really bad photography! It looks like there was a bleeding of the red, but there was not (whew)!

    I know that counting my blessings will take a long time. I hope you feel the same way about yours. Happy pre-Thanksgiving.