Monday, December 28, 2020


 The past couple of weeks between Christmas baking and a creative slump in the sewing room left me with little time time spent on doing anything that really was accomplished.  I pulled several projects out, vetoed them and kicked stacks of fabric aside into messy piles in corners.  Finally I took some time to find something interesting to make and happened on to C & T Publishing that offers all sorts of free patterns.  And I found something that finally caught my interest.  

I have tons of scraps in several wire bins and I love appliqué.  This pattern checked all the boxes for a perfect project to make.  No need to shop either, so I felt it was a great solution to getting me back into the sewing/quilting mood.

For me there is great satisfaction in pulling out piles and piles of scraps and blending something together.  This background really ended up being a wonderful several hours of fun.  Cutting, choosing, and getting them all together was just a great adventure.  

Before I knew it I had the center done along with the first border and had laid out the second pieced border.  Now I am off to the appliqué preparations. 

Recently I discovered that when doing a lot of fabric cutting my thumb would ache and throb.  The Fiskars rotary cutter has been my tool of chose for many years.  I have been watching Alex Anderson on her weekly Utube programs and she mentioned the Quilters Select rotary cutter.  It is a good deal heavier than a normal cutter so not as much pressure required to cut through several layers of fabric. I figured I would give it a try.  It has been a real cure for my thumb issue.  I spent several hours over the last day or so cutting fabric and normally would have been headed to the Tylenol bottle for relief.  It really has worked for me.  It has greatly reduced the amount of pressure I have to apply when cutting through four layers of fabric.  A real plus for me.  

Over the week before Christmas I did a good deal of baking with my granddaughter.  These are two samples of baking goodies she gifted us with along with helping me make two large trays of Baklava.  The girl is gifted.  No she is not a professional baker, she teaches Advance Placement English at a local high school.  Just a hobby for her.  

For those of you that have asked about Snowball's recovery after her encounter with a coyote.  Yes, she has been returned to her rooster and sister hens' family.  My daughter spent a good three weeks with her in a cardboard box in the house treating her wounds.  Obviously, as you can see she was not a very appreciative patient.  Never the less she has recovered fully!


Monday, December 21, 2020


This week has been filled with construction of a fence in our yard and having our wood deck torn out and to be replaced.  Not the best time of year to be doing something like this.  But when the contractor says he is ready to do the job, there you are.  So not much sewing done this week, busy making decisions on what materials to use, and do some holiday baking instead.  

A month or so ago I purchased a couple more of the Garden Patch Cat patterns to do some wall/table toppers for one of my daughter's cat rescue group.  They were half price so I decided to buy these two and one more.  The first Pumpkin Cat I did was so much fun I decided to try a couple more for her.

 Of the three this one I decided to work on first.  They are just too cute.  

I have all the appliqué done.  Now just to spray baste it to the batting and back then quilt and bind.  I did try something different for the eyes this time.  My original Pumpkin Cat had the black part of the eyes appliquéd down with black fabric and for the white accent I used beads.  This time I decided on black two hole buttons and tiny white two hole buttons.  I just set the white ones on top of the black sewed through both with white thread.  I liked the results much better and easier than appliqué on such tiny pieces.

Saturday my granddaughter and I tackled the Baklava.  It is a two person job and takes two days.  We ended up with two large trays.  Sunday morning they had set overnight in their honey/sugar/lemon baths and got their whole clove decoration.  We finished cutting them and boxed them up for family and friends.  We tackled 3 dozen decorated sugar cookies most of which I sent home with my granddaughter Suren.  I still have another chilled sugar cookie dough in the refrigerator to get baked later this week.  

My daughter's cats have a fascination for the Hanukkah candles.  Now the worry is that they don't set their tails on fire or knocks them over.   




Monday, December 14, 2020


Not sure why but the sewing room has not been all that interesting this past week.  I have wandered in there now and again but really not produced much of anything.

I did catch a tutorial done by Emily Taylor on collage that sort of caught my interest.  I have a book Scrappy Bits Applique by Shannon Brinkley that also has some collage information in it and this pattern so thought I would see if that idea sparked some creative interest for me.  

I got it this far on parchment paper and realized that the fusible was sticking to the paper pretty good, in fact too good.  So I did some more reading in Shannon's book and pulled the pieces off and stuck them on non-woven stabilizer.  I did put a teflon sheet under the stabilizer, I didn't want the fusible to pass through the stabilizer and then have it stuck to my ironing board cover.  Some times quilting is full of all sorts of interesting lessons.  

I cut out the leaf.  I think it looks pretty nice.  Not sure what I plan to do with it.  It will need to be quilted heavily to hold down all the edges.  A nice heavy weight thread to add vines to the leaf would be nice too.  

The Morewood Mystery instruction were released on the 3rd.  This block requires 60 of these 4 1/2 inch blocks and will keep me busy for a bit.  They aren't hard to make, but trimming them is tedious.  

Did some Christmas baking Saturday.  A good friend has given us a loaf of her Christmas Nut Bread every year.  This year I asked for the recipe and was graciously given it.  Mine are not as pretty as hers, there is a learning curve for these, but they taste great.  I am sure after making them once my skills will improve.  I did learn a few tricks too.  My Kitchen Aid mixer has a dough hook, and it kneads the bread for you, and our Kitchen Aid oven has a Proof setting.  Both work great!  Oh, the marvels of modern kitchen equipment!

My daughter's peacocks have been standing guard out in front of her home this last week or so.  One of her chickens was attacked by a coyote.  Fortunately Snowball was rescued by my daughter, and is being treated for her wound and recovering well.  The peacocks are the ones that alerted her that something was going on outside.  She says they do have a tendency to be watch dogs for the property and obviously are taking the job more seriously now.  





Monday, December 7, 2020


 I got busy this week and decorated for Christmas.  Always such fun to hang up my very special Christmas wall hangings.  

My VBF Brooke made this wall hanging for me in 2001.  It by far is one of my very favorites.

This one I made.  I must admit I am very negligent in putting labels on my quilts.  It must be at least 10 or more years old.  It is also one one of my very first machine appliquéd pieces.

In a bit of a rush I realized I needed a Christmas runner for a gift.  I have made this pattern before and frankly it is somewhat of a piecing jumble.  

I did manage to figure out where and what fabric to use to go where and finished the quilting yesterday with just the binding to sew on and do the handwork.  

You know that Covid has had you home bound for way too long when you decide to make yeast bread from scratch, and you have never done it before.

It is also never too late to teach an old dog a new trick.  The bread came out perfect, tasted wonderful and the process was much easier than one would believe it could be.