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!