Postage Stamp Finale

While Cindy has been holding down the blog fort, I’ve been staycationing and wallowing in my “world is out of control” funk. No more. I’ve got to shake these blues and maybe the best way to do this is to bring out the reds — you know which ones — the postage stamp reds!

As you may recall, in November 2019, I started creating a red postage stamp quilt. The pattern intrigued me from the beginning of my quilt journey when I was inspired by a quilt created by Red Pepper Quilts. Rita Hodge’s quilt was full of bright, happy colors. She created it by cutting strips that she sewed together and then cut apart in the 1.5″ square size.

But I am obsessed with saving every scrap of fabric I can and I’ve made a habit out of cutting 1.5″ squares whenever I have bits of fabric left over. So in November, I looked at a big baggie of red postage stamps and thought ‘maybe it’s time’ to start my postage stamp opus. I made this decision without doing the math — but I quickly learned that my baggie of squares was pitifully inadequate. I finished about 2 rows and then I ran out of reds. I cut some more and ran out of those. Then I bought some more red fabric and I needed still more stamps. That’s when I set up the quilting “bat signal”.

And my crew came through! Wendy at PiecefulThoughts sent squares, Tierney from TierneyCreates raided her stash. Sister Cindy sent some squares from Ohio. Roseanne and Sue from Homesewnbyus set fabric too. Then Mary from QuiltingisinmyBlood sent a most generous donation of squares. Oh my.

My Valentine’s Day finish goal fell by the wayside. Then I sewed some more and cut some more stamps, and I got sick, sick, sick of the color red and I sewed and cut some more. Covid descended on us, but we stayed safe and I received one final donation from Cindy and now, tada, it’s done.

Cindy did another big favor for me by taking over the task of selecting a 2-border finish motif. She even attached them and mitered the corners. Ms. G, my long-arming friend finished the job and I finally added the binding that Cindy so generously supplied.

My ‘takes a village’ quilt is finally completed. Thank you to all of my quilting friends, Mary, Wendy, Roseanne and Sue, and of course, Cindy for helping me finish my quilt. I am so happy with this quilt and I can’t wait until the fall so I can actually use it on my bed.

Here is the final math count for the queen size quilt:

  • Each 4×4 block required 16 postage stamps.
  • Each row required 15 blocks.
  • There are 19 rows
  • Total count of postage stamps: 4,560
  • There is a 1″ white inside border
  • Cindy add a 6″ red outer border

Let There be Light!

On this gloomy winter day, as we North Easterners await the doom moniker-ed snow bombgenesis, I’ve been thinking a lot about light –how we use it, how it affects us, and how we need it.

I escaped from my no-windowed office into the greenhouse on campus and worked for about an hour today. I try to do this every couple of days because the greenery, the light, and the sounds of the koi pond make me happy. I was ecstatic to realize that there is a papaya tree in that space — I’ve been walking by it for years and never noticed it! I can resist picking the papayas — good thing it’s not a tomato or strawberry tree.


Like many quilter blogs I’ve been reading this week, I’m contemplating a reset of my sewing space. Alas, I am still without a cutting table (the “honorable” gentlemen featured in this blog post, did not live up to my expectations).  Some time ago I moved my machine so that it is directly underneath the window in my sewing room. I assumed that more light would be better. I’m not so sure. Sometimes the light from the window is too harsh. At night when I want to see the moon and the stars while sewing, the glare from the Ottlite floor lamp reflecting on the window pane is troublesome.  Not to mention that Boots has been mad at me ever since I moved the machine to the window, because it means his favorite chair is no longer in the best corner to catch a sunny cat nap.

How do you use natural light in your space? Where do you think is the best sewing tool to be placed near the window?


The winterscape from my sewing room window at 5:30pm –before the snow bomb goes off.

There are lots of benefits to winter — and I love the four seasons — but the dark long days make me crave Vitamin D and brightness. Now my quilting obsession turns to light and quirky themes. Here is a sneak peek at a table runner I’m working on for spring. It  features some up-cycled pretty spring flowers from a former Pottery Barn dust ruffle. You can read the original post about the dust ruffle here.


The lemon yellow border fabric was also a Salvo find — it will surely keep the sunshine flowing on this pattern!

May your Friday be filled with goodness and light!

Favorite Holiday Happenings


At my pay-the-bills job, the 4th of July marks the end of summer, since our busy season begins on the Monday after the holiday. To compensate for a long slog of intense activity that starts now and doesn’t end until early October, we always get several days off around the holiday and I am enjoying every single minute.

On Saturday, my room mate and I drove to Ithaca to attend a workshop at the Yoga Farm near Ithaca, NY. The weather was threatening, but the rain held off until we were safely inside. The workshop took place in a converted barn–can you think of a more grounded place to have a workshop? Barns just seem to have an authentic vibe that you cannot manufacture.

We stopped on the way to have lunch in Corning. My room mate’s son-in-law gave us a gift certificate to a new restaurant for Christmas and this was the first chance we had to try it out. Hand+Foot was delicious (but I must say, the name is kind of a problem for me — when I first saw the gift certificate, I wondered why he got us a gift certificate to a nail salon??)

Anyway, when we walked in, all thoughts of nail polish disappeared.


The bar at Hand+Foot

We got there at 11:30 am when it opened, but we weren’t alone for long. Before the rush caught up with the kitchen, we over-ordered with three entrees and an appetizer because, well, did I mention the gift certificate? And yes, if you are counting, there were only two of us.

It was fun to try new things and indulge in local ingredients like the delicious sandwich rolls from a local bakery.


This is the pretzel appetizer with beer cheese cream. Yum! Think “blooming onion” except with bread and cheese.

I can’t resist sushi, so I chose the Tuna Poke as my entree. It was so fresh and flavorful. It featured watermelon radishes. I think I will have to expand the kinds of radishes I grow in my garden so I can try to replicate this dish.


Not quite sushi, but close enough for WNY.

On the way home after the workshop, we chased a rainbow, but we could never quite catch up with it.


On Sunday, we stayed home, rested and entertained a few friends with a steak roast on the grill.

Christmas eve can never rival the joyful anticipation I feel on July 3rd. This morning’s sunrise was spectacular to begin the 24 hour count-down to the main event. Despite the old adage, we had nothing to fear from the evening’s weather. The weather was lovely all day long.


“Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.” Pffft.

I spent the day reading, sewing and playing tennis with my family. It was perfect together time!

I’m developing a quilt to make for my room mate’s daughter and her small family. She requested yellows and grays to match her living room decor. I created a sample square today. I hope to buy the fabric for the complete quilt when I visit Cindy in Ohio next week. I can’t wait to hit the shops with her!


Tomorrow’s the big day. I hope you have a glorious 4th of July. Let the “skyworks” begin!

Waiting to Shop


I’ve been playing lean and mean with fabric purchases this month, as I wait for the Super Bowl sales to begin at my favorite fabric shops. I cheated a little with my E-Heart wall quilt and purchased a couple of jelly rolls on-line, but most of my quilting time this month has been centered around my scrap bucket.

When fabric pieces become really scrappy, I throw them into a plastic lidded bucket that I keep underneath my sewing table. It contains the flotsam and jetsam of my sewing world (and some of Cindy’s as well). When the bucket is really stuffed or when I get distressed, I iron all those little pieces and make them into “precut” squares: 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″, 4″ or 5″, depending on the size of the scrap.

I’ve been sorting through the scraps and pulling out all the bright colors for a quilt I’m calling “Drops of Rainbow”.


I’m hoping that this will turn into a bed-sized quilt. Each square is 2.5″ inches and, although I had a lot of precuts on hand, I’ve spent a lot of time cutting more scraps for this project. I haven’t even started on the white squares I’ll need — and there will be a lot of them.

Yesterday I diverted a few more scraps and spent some time on my dresser scarf (perhaps I was inspired by Cindy’s Cheddar and Blue).I’m going to attempt to quilt this by myself. If you hear some naughty words on the wind, it might just be me.


Happy scrapping!