Scary Stuff

I’m feeling a little guilty because I took 2 days off from work during our busy opening season. Since I work on a college campus and classes are in session on Labor Day, I haven’t enjoyed the holiday for nearly 10 years. And, wouldn’t you know it, disaster struck on Friday, which was my first vacation day: the campus bookstore flooded due to a water line break. So my peaceful sleep-in morning turned into a social media posting fest.

The remainder of the weekend was much less stressful: I helped my mother and her best friend prep for a party and then attended said party;  did a little monster TV shopping (it won’t fit in my car, so we’ll have it drop-shipped); and I got a in a lot of reading time.

I was able to spend several hours on my Dia de Los Muertos design. I cannot tell you how many times I have ripped out rows of this tiny wall-hanging. Sometimes Most times, it seems that I spend more time polishing my un-sewing skills instead of making progress.

I must have vacation brain because I’ve measured, remeasured and stomped my feet many times and I still only have 8 rows complete.

The best part of the weekend was the last part. My son and I went for a hike today (Sunday) at Letchworth State Park aka, the Grand Canyon of the East. We haven’t been there together in a long time, and he fell in love with it, just like everyone else who visits. It’s been many years since I visited Letchworth in the summer, and it was spectacular. We made a pact to go back again soon and find more trails to explore. The fall colors can be breathtakingly, heartrendingly beautiful.


A distant view of the Letchworth gorge.


Closest he would allow for a selfie. And you don’t want to see it anyway, he’s gone full-on Amish for the duration of soccer season.

As the extra long vacation weekend comes to a close, I have my seam-ripper in hand and I’m ready to buckle down to quilting work. Pays-the-bills job restarts tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Eclipse Day 2017

Today was a fun day, wasn’t it? Although the eclipse was less than full here in western New York, the event created a festive atmosphere in the dog days of August. I snapped an over the shoulder shot just as the action was starting — don’t worry, I took the picture without looking, so my vision is safe.



The sun at about 1:15pm as the takeover begins.

The college campus where I work is about to explode with life and I can’t wait. Here’s a pic from this morning — the proverbial calm before the storm.


The first group of Freshmen arrive tomorrow. They don’t know it, but they are going to love it here.

The community garden is bursting with goodies. This weekend we enjoyed our first home-grown ear of corn. Delicious!


Butter+Salt+Pepper+Fresh Sweet Corn.

And, finally, the floor in my family room  has been overtaken by a rainbow. I’m so close to being finished, but alas, I’ve run out of white scraps. Off to the fabric store sometime this week to bring this scrappy Drops of Rainbow quilt top to completion.


Left Over Monday Yellow Brick Road Pillow

I made my husband’s Aunt Candy a quilt using the Yellow Brick Road Pattern from Atkinson Designs.  I found four leftover blocks and some extra backing fabric (oops…3 years later!) and decided to make a throw pillow for her.


I sewed the four blocks together into a large square, added a two inch blue border to all sides and pinned up a quilt sandwich!


Deep breath, time to machine quilt!  I always start with a straight stitch because it’s easy and builds up my confidence.


With my confidence soaring, I quilted some loops and flowers to highlight the fabrics.


Some of my stitches didn’t quite turn out as I wanted them to!  Oops!  This section didn’t feed through my machine smoothly and I have a big jumble of crooked somethings!  Oh well, I chalked this up to a learning experience and kept quilting!


I changed thread color to yellow and made a plaid pattern on this white fabric to help disguise the thread glob.  Not too bad if I do say so myself!


I like this loopy stitch and plan to use it in other projects!


Once I finished quilting, I trimmed my blue borders to 1 inch and used a 1/2 inch seam allowance to attach an envelope back to the pillow.  As you can see, I had a lot of extra backing fabric on hand! This pillow measures 18 inches square.


Here’s a side view.


This looked great on our sofa, but I mailed it off to Aunt Candy.  She called to say she loved it!  Yet another set of leftover blocks put to good use!


Misc. Monday Bunny Pin Cushion

It’s been a crazy busy week. You see, I have a full time job.  I run a real estate company. I’m raising a 15-year-old. I keep watch for my elderly parents. I’m trying to log my 12,000 steps per day. And it’s cold outside. I know we all are wearing multiple hats and truth be told all of those “things” I have to do bring my joy in many, many ways.

But sometimes, my energy stores are low and whipping up a leftover or two gives me a little breather. Tonight I transformed frozen Christmas ham into potato ham and cheese soup for dinner. I also transformed a mini ceramic bunny into a pin cushion. I bought the bunny last summer at a garage sale after I saw this idea all over Pinterest. A snowy evening, a scrap of fabric and some stuffing transform this 25 cent find into an adorable sewing companion.

Homemade pin cushion

This little guy was freed during a garage sale raid in the heat of the summer. Who knows how long he had been in storage? He seems content to hang around my sewing room.

The soup was awesome too!