Sunday, December 29, 2013

Soccer Weekend for Me

No, I didn’t play soccer!  That would be like exercising … and we know I shy away from that.

I played with lots of soccer fabric and came out with two cute tops.  Yesterday’s was inspired by an on-line friend’s lotto blocks using the Bow Tie design.  I hadn’t made any Bow Ties in a long time, so I made up this fast top:
I call this one "Sportin' Ties"
And I found out that if you twist the bow ties 45 you get a soccer ball shape, but you could get there a lot quicker if you made giant snowballs and squares, so I didn’t do that – maybe next time!

And then I looked through a few books to see what I had marked but never made and found Frolicin’ Frogs from this book:

It was s-o-o-o-o easy to make with strip sets.  Mine is called Soccer Frolic, of course.

It is raining here today – and that’s a good thing.  We really needed the rain as the ponds are low again and the grass is dry.  I had put out a different brand of bird seed that included cracked corn and guess who I attracted:
follow up the trunk of the palm to see how tall that left guy is
I guess that with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners over, it is safe to come out of the woods – Lol.

And the soon-to-be Monarchs have munched away on my milkweed.  I had bought them five new plants last year, so they didn’t get anymore this year, but what was there seemed sufficient.  These are now in cocoons …

almost done eating

And this, my friends:
count the number of hops you see!
is a Squirrel Path!  You can see where the little critters hop from one plant bed to the other.  I put birdseed on the ground in the bed in the foreground and also in the birdfeeder (where the post is barely visible in the background), and they help themselves to both.  Oh well, they’re entertainment for my dog!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hope Your Christmas Was Merry!

For me, yesterday was all about the machines … a new Janome Gem and a label maker, that is!

I wanted a lightweight machine to take to classes and group meetings, so this little 12 lb will do nicely.  It even came with a bonus package that included a ¼-inch foot and extra needles – plus free shipping.  Couldn’t beat that so had to get it …

And the label maker is a must now that I have all of my storage bins organized – of course, I forgot the batteries and had to go out this morning to get them, but this afternoon I will be playing with the new toy!

What about fabric you say?  Well, I might have hit a few sales and picked up a few Fat Quarters to fill in some colors I was lacking – LOL.

And I spotted this magazine that was all about Fat Quarter quilts, so it jumped right into the shopping cart – obviously not my fault ...

And this was the only snow we’re likely to see down here in Florida, and that’s ok with us.  Snow can be very pretty, but I’ve noticed that it usually waits until it’s cold to snow (snork, snork) so we’ll take our balmy 74 today, thank you very much.

And my husband got a few things, too, but golf balls, tennis shoes and computer games just aren’t quilty enough to take pictures of!

So as the moon begins to rise over the end of the year 2013,
I wish you Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gorgeous Weather!

A friend from our Sunshine On-Line Quilt Guild posted this on Facebook today:

Made me laugh out loud!  Because it’s all too true … it was wonderful outside here today.  The dog and I romped in the yard a little bit and I wandered around taking some pictures of the flowers in my yard:
Daisy Bush


And I watched the Monarch caterpillars munch away on these:

They will soon have these milkweed plants stripped and eaten down to stalks.  I bought them 3 extra plants last year but I haven’t gotten any more this year – everybody’s going on a diet …
or not - I'll probably get them another plant or two tomorrow.
And just to continue the cheer, I pulled out this Moda fabric bundle and started working on some blocks from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and the 3 Dudes.  It’s the Amazing Jelly Roll Pattern and works up fast.

Isn't this a happy print?

Soon I'll have lots of variety to rearrange the blocks

Two days ago, I finished picking up this design from the floor.  In my Quilts of Valor group, we are in the process of changing our "signature" quilt design to another pattern and trying to use up previously made 4-patch blocks .  I had made up a bunch of HSTs for an easy layout to alternate with the 4-patches.  Once I have the layout in a pleasing pattern, I just number the blocks and rows and somebody else will sew it together at the meeting this month.  They will also add the borders.  Easy-peasy.

So there is some progress to report in the sewing room this month!

PS  The high tomorrow will be about 74 F.  I might have to break out a sweatshirt (not!)-LOL.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Did You See This News Story?

Rappelling Elves Delight Patients in Indiana Hospital

By SYDNEY LUPKIN | Good Morning America – Fri, Dec 6, 2013 5:20 PM EST
Christmastime can still be magical in the hospital, which the patients of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health learned this week when elves rappelled down the side of the 10-story building.

Dressed in pointy shoes and hats and decked out in red and green, the elves suddenly appeared outside patients' windows to wave and smile. Meanwhile, Santa himself made his way through the inside of the hospital to visit with patients and their families and give out gifts.

... The hospital thanked American National Skyline, Inc. for bringing the elves and The Cheer Guild, which operates the hospital's toy room, distributing more than 14,000 items to its patients every month.

When I make quilts for children’s charities, I always want to remember that there are REAL children that receive the quilts and are comforted.  That is what it is all about.

Read the whole story about the elves and Santa at this link – it will warm your heart this holiday season:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Quilts of Valor Top

I put the borders on a Quilts of Valor top today to have it ready to take to our meeting on the 20th.  This was a Mystery Quilt designed by Nancy Dennis called Hot Dog Stars.  The colors are richer in person - the dark is a navy blue.  I can't wait to see it quilted!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Small Business Saturday

I just had to go out today and support my local favorite small business.  I got some real bargains!  Guess where I went?

You got it ... right to my local quilt shop, Crafty Threads Quilt Shop.  The people there are great - stop by if you're in the area!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Too Many UFOs?

Can there be such a thing as too many unfinished objects?  Can there be too many works-in-progress?  We have a mini guild, maybe more like a quilt club, that has begun meeting at my LQS.  They decided that we should all bring one of our UFOs to the January meeting and vow to complete it in 2014.  So I took a look at what I had piling up … NEVER do that ... you really don't want to know!  I do know what I want to take in January – more on that later.

But I did find out I have a few simultaneous projects being made into tops:
*        The Dr. Seuss baby quilt
*        The Mystery Quilt for Military going on now
*        A Celtic Knot for Quilts of Valor
*        A 5-Yard Quilt kit for a child

So I decided to finish a few quickly so they don’t qualify as UFOs in January!  This was the 5-Yard Quilt that was begun, but was turned into a strippie to get it done today:
Swimming with the Fishies


This is the Celtic Twist that I will be getting done this week:
those boys like their Army green and cammo
It is from a free block offered by McCall’s Quilting.  Here’s the link.

It's all gray and raining here today and my camera is taking yellow pictures, so no more of the projects, but here’s a photo from my walk the other day - just for a change of pace:

Isn’t that little vignette cute?  It’s in front of a townhouse and they made excellent use of a small space.  Now, let me get back upstairs to get those projects done …

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Organizing Workspace

My sewing room has been in somewhat of a disarray since I got my new-to-me longarm and frame.  I had to remove a 10-drawer dresser and a daybed to make room for the frame in the room and my fabric and supplies have been all over and disappearing into mysterious places ever since.  It’s been very hard to get motivated to make something if you can’t find the makings, so to speak:
Was that kiddie fabric in this box?

Or was it in that blue basket?!

A friend and I decided to go over by the airport to this giant store to see what they had:

And my word!  They had EVERYTHING … containers for whatever you can think of;  everything big and small in the kitchen, in the closet, in the home office, in the kid’s rooms, in garages, on patios and every place in between – except for what I was really looking for … so sad.

I’ve had a small, plastic unit of drawers on wheels for years – and it was just the right height to fit under my frame and out of the way.  But, I wanted something with wider drawers to put my fabric in.  So I trotted over to Joann’s to see if they had something wider … and they did.  After using my 40% off coupons and taking the two home that they had in stock (just to make sure they fit), I went to another Joann’s store and used 2 more coupons and bought the two that they had.  Then, since I had to wait for more coupons to come - and Joann's to get more stock (apparently each store only keeps two in inventory at a time), I got to work putting stuff away.
The fabric went here
And the small notions went into these
I love my new organizing system and I’m back in business being inspired to make tops now that I can find stuff!  Today’s WIP:
child's Dr Seuss in process

mystery quilt for Quilts of Valor

Of course, I still have these to cut into fat quarters (or strips or squares) and put away, but I have some empty drawers just waiting to receive them!  It was a good weekend.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


One of the groups that I make children’s quilts for is called Rotoplast.  They have a medical mission to surgically repair cleft palates/cleft lips of needy children, as invited and aided by Rotary Clubs around the world – and we send the quilts for the recovering children to take home.

Another group affiliated with Rotary International is the ShelterBox organization.  I have firsthand knowledge that some of the ShelterBox tents included in their disaster relief boxes were still used and useful a year after the devastating earthquake and subsequent hurricane in Haiti, when other tents had fallen apart or were otherwise rendered unusable.  In poorer nations, it can seem to take forever for cities/towns/urban areas to recover from major disasters, and the destruction of the recent Typhoon in the Philippines was unprecedented.

If you have wondered how you can help the people in the Philippines, please consider ShelterBoxes.

ShelterBox Response Teams delivering aid in

the Philippines following major typhoon

November 13, 2013
With your help, we hope to immediately assist more than 4,000 families affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan. This typhoon was the biggest storm to ever reach landfall, destroying buildings, wiping out villages, and has reportedly caused thousands of fatalities.

Our response teams were on the ground during the storm and began conducting assessments immediately following its passing. Thankfully, we had emergency supplies prepositioned in the Philippines that were utilized immediately. But now, more are needed.

Yesterday, warehouse volunteers rallied to our international headquarters to pack ShelterBoxes and prepare other supplies that will be sent immediately to help families displaced by the storm.

Learn more about the aid we are providing as explained on CNN

"Every day that goes past, we realize more and more the real significance of this disaster and the areas of devastation are becoming more and more apparent," said ShelterBox Response Team volunteer, Mark Curnow.
ShelterBox could not carry out this important work around the globe without the support of its donors. Our teams are working around the clock to ensure we are doing all that we can to help those affected by this terrible tragedy. Watch this video to learn more about our response.

We need your help now. Please make a donation online now, call 941-907-6036, or send your donation to ShelterBox USA, 8374 Market St. #203, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202.  
For the latest updates, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. ShelterBox is also currently responding to the Syrian crisis and an earthquake in Pakistan.
Thank you for your support and making our response possible.

Emily S. Sperling
President, ShelterBox USA

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall in Florida

We don’t have the distinct seasons and the dramatic changing of the leaves like many parts of the US, but we do have subtle signs that let us know that Fall is in the air!  For example, we have some vines that die off:

And some pine needles that fall:

And some lovely wildflowers:

And, of course, the seasonal wearing of the Halloween costume by the dog:

What?!  You didn’t recognize Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?  See the two different bandanas?  Look again … LOL.

We were fortunate to get some rain – we needed it.  This view was taken from the Bayside bridge looking at the rain coming across Tampa Bay:

So I have been inside quilting children’s quilts for Wrap-a-Smile.  I’ve been testing digital pantographs.  This panel got the fish (there's some large and some small):

And this one got the paw prints (you can see some toes to the right of the lion’s head):

But I’m still having tension problems, so I’ve ordered a Towa bobbin tensioner.  Hope it gets here soon!