Splendid Day

Yeah — spring is officially here in Western NY. Yesterday was a glorious day with bright clear skies in the afternoon and a warm, velvety breeze that lifted my spirits. Right after work I grabbed my first (and favorite) quilt and headed into the backyard to gather some Vitamin D (per doctor’s orders).  I wasn’t there long and I had company.


Boots, the little beggar, always horns in on the sunshine and a cozy quilt. 

You may notice the hay field in the background–yes, my mower is broken again, else I would have been trimming the lawn instead of lolling about.

Whilst enjoying the rays, I started re-reading one of my favorite books — Outlander. Love me some Scottish romance. I want to re-read the entire series before I watch the live action version.

On the sewing front, I’ve given up on my idea of refurbishing a cutting table. I spent a lot of time priming and painting an old cabinet from the Salvo (a la shabby chic style) — but I simply cannot make it work as I had originally envisioned. The wood for the top is just too hard and I cannot successfully attach the supports for the top that will give it the correct cutting height as planned. Yes, I am a DIY failure!

Plan B. Now I’ve found a dude who makes custom islands and I’m hoping to persuade him to build me a custom cutting table (a la Joanna Gaines — Joanne and Chip, if you’re reading this, come to NY to redo my sewing room, please, please, please! Love, your biggest NY-Texas-NY fan).  Meanwhile, what little organization I had previously has devolved into chaos since I’m without a fabric storage solution as well as a cutting surface. Yes, I moved out the old before the new was ready <story of my life>.

Despite the disarray, I did manage to get the final wide border on my modified Paddle Wheel Quilt! Woop! Woop! I’m searching for the proper backing, but soon I will be able to go and see the fabulous Ms. G about applying the appropriate quilting to this striking quilt top.


I like the unexpected pop of red in the lower right and in the skinny border!


I was drawn to this kit because of the color palette, but I wanted to add my own touch. 

The lawnmower dude picked up my machine right as the sun was going down last night. I hope he doesn’t feel obligated to rush — I’m rather liking the thought of more sunshine, books, quilts and cat hair because it’s going to be even nicer this afternoon!

Machine Quilting Woes

I’ve really tried to like quilting on my sewing machine but am having a very troublesome time of it, woe is me!

In my post on August 11, 2016 , I mentioned I was making a sewing machine cover for my mom’s sewing machine.  Well, here is the final result.  I had a lot of fun planning and piecing this cover, figuring out the necessary dimensions and even sewing it together…but the machine quilting part, not so much!  It looks good from a distance.


We are honing in on a closer view and it still looks reasonable…but wait!  There’s more!


When I started the machine quilting, I made a valiant attempt to do meandering loops, but things quickly turned on me!


This is just one hot mess of quilting loops and jagged sewing lines.  My stitches are less than even because I was dragging the quilt sandwich around with my feed dogs down…talk about downward dog (oops thinking ahead to my yoga class tonight!).  I digress…


I even thought I would try the meandering stitch on my machine (note white in upper right and lower left pinwheel in photo below).  I quickly realized this wasn’t a good solution but I wasn’t willing to give up!  I kept making jagged loops and lines until I was done.  Finally, I resorted to a decorative zigzag stitch to hem this sewing machine cover and bring my woeful attempt at machine quilting to completion.


I know I’ll try again this again someday but wonder if I should just stick to straight lines?

Life in a Twizzle

Since my brand new sophomore returned to school, it seems that time has sped up. There is so much happening, it’s a good thing that I have my planner, because I’d never keep all of this straight!


He wasn’t completely thrilled to return to routine, but I do believe that he was ready for a change.

As my son is tackling trig, the bathroom renovation that I’ve been dreaming about has finally begun. Seriously, this project has been 1+ years in the making, but I still haven’t finalized all of the details. I think I am one of “those” customers


Demolition nearly complete

And then there is soccer or soccer practice every night. Meanwhile the lawns needed to be mowed, I’m starting to think about winterizing the house and for goodness sake, who’s making dinner? Don’t get me started on the holiday planning….

Just when you think you might have a lazy afternoon at the farm, a first cousin arrives for a visit for the first time in 5 years.


Since my grandmother died long before I was born, it was nice to hear my father’s cousin speak about her “Aunt Jessie”.

I’m not complaining about any of this activity — I love the early fall and the promise of things to come and time with family. But it certainly has curtailed time in the studio. It’s a good thing that I worked a little ahead.

Several months ago I developed a little Frank N. Stein mug rug to match Count Dracula. Cindy sewed and quilted Frank. Isn’t he the original patchwork man?frank_watermark

Vintage Find

Mom was helping friends clean out their house and move into an assisted living facility.  In the process of cleaning, they found this sweet, vintage baby quilt that needed a loving home.  I gladly stepped up to honor this work of art.  I keep it on this rocking chair that belonged to my great grandmother when she was a child in the 1870’s!


The artist is unknown as the quilt does not have a label!  This is a good lesson for me because I often wish I could skip the label step…but who will know I created quilting masterpieces if I don’t label my work?

This quilt measures 34 inches square and was hand embroidered, machine pieced and machine quilted.  The embroidery is well done and very detailed.  The colors have remained vibrant over the years.  The fawn and the kitten are two of my favorite blocks but the puppy is very cute too…those furry ears are flopping in the wind!



I think the french knot buttons are special.  How about that house on the left with the red chimney and smoke drifting up into the sky?


Of course we have a Sunbonnet Sue!  She’s pushing her baby carriage through a flower garden.  More cute details to admire!


Here is the entire quilt on display.


I am going to add a hanging sleeve to this so I can use it as an inspirational wall hanging in my sewing room!  It seems like every time I look at it, I see another detail that makes me smile!