Monday, December 17, 2012

Design Wall on Easy Street–Dec. 17, 2012

In spite of MOTH being quite ill for the last two weeks, and me having jury duty,I’m all caught up on Easy Street. It looks like Easy street is going to be a bright, happy place to be.  Now to get ready for the holiday……

design wall mon  dec 17 2012 002


Stop on over to Patchwork Times and to Quiltville to see what other quilters are up to.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Design Wall Monday on Easy Street–Dec. 3.

Just a few pieces from my Easy Street mystery quilt.  Hope to get this posted before I head out the door at 0-dark-thirty to make the public transportation connections for jury duty.  I’m in the burbs, the courthouse is in downtown Atlanta, not looking forward to it at all.

Check in at Patchwork Times and Quiltville to see what others are working on.

design wall mon dec 3 002

Monday, November 26, 2012

Design Wall on Easy Street

Yes, I plan to be working on Bonnie Hunter’s new mystery quilt “Easy Street”.  Bonnie is using Lime, Aqua and Purple, with a gray “Constant” and black and white background.  I’ve done a lot of purple, or purple and green as well as some aqua recently, so I’ll be using different colors.  While trying to come up with colors to use, I noticed the Palette Challenge for November that Judy L and Vickie have issued.  Decision made, I will use colors from that palette.

I will use black and white for the background as Bonnie is doing. My constant is still being considered. I wanted something more towards the brown than towards the orange, something more like caramel, but both of these match the colors in the given palette. Unfortunately, the flash sort of bleaches out the fabrics.  I think the color of the fabric on the left is shown more accurately in the photo above, I think that is the one I will be using.

Stop in at Patchwork times and Quiltville to see what is happening on Design Walls and Easy Street.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

On the Needles on Black Friday, 2012

On the needles this week is a pair of socks which I am working two at a time, toe up. They have been on the needles a long time, as I started them on a camping trip last year, packed them away to come home and then……forgot about them!  After working the clogs in a double strand of worsted weight yarn, sock weight seems to take soooooo long.

on the needles Nov 23 004

Meanwhile, I did finish knitting and assembling the clogs. I still need to felt them, but will have to borrow someone’s top loading washer for that. Here they are, along with the left over yarn.

on the needles Nov 23 007

Hmmm, I’m sensing a theme here.  Do you suppose I might like purple??

Stop in at Patchwork Times for more knitting inspirations.

Friday, November 02, 2012

On the Needles–Nov 2, 2012

I’m working on Felted Clogs made Easy  using Cascade 220 in purple with soles in a variegated purple/hot pink for some contrast. I have finished the two tops, now working on the soles. The pattern mentions the option of making 4 soles instead of just two to have thicker, warmer, more comfortable clogs.

I’m working on the first sole. The yarn that I am using is variegated, and I intended it to contrast with the solid yarn of the top.  Seeing the pieces in this photo makes it pretty obvious that there isn’t much of a contrast, perhaps because when knitting with two strands, you lose some of the variegation?  Wish that had occurred to me earlier!  The little swatch is a less exciting shade but shows more contrast.  I had intended to make that the inside layer of the sole, so now I may put it on the outside  instead.

Gratuitous photo of new grandson, wearing the pumpkin cap I made (just to make this knitting related).

halloween 2012 Liam

Go on over to Patchwork Times to see what others have ”“On the Needles.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Still here

I just realized how long it has been since I posted. Things got a bit hectic when my daughter-in-law was put on bed rest for the last 6 + weeks  of her pregnancy. Then the baby arrived, and, well, frankly I’d much rather look at him, hold him  just do anything ‘him’ than quilt.

I have, however, knitted two hats for him. The second one has a monkey face and ears. You can tell he is thrilled to be so stylin’!

Liam oct 20 David's bday 004

and here he is with his big cousin, my oldest grandson. Oldest is excited, little one, not so much. He is such a serious little guy, just looks around him and gives everyone the evil eye for all their foolishness. What a hoot!  All those UFOs, WIPs and PIGs can age a little longer, I’ve got a baby to love on.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Design Wall Monday–Aug. 20, 2012

Well, it has been awhile, but the arm is getting better, so I have worked on some ore blocks, just a little bit at a time so as not to cause a set back. Here is what I’ve gotten done of the Patchwork of the Crosses in the past few weeks:

Here are a few starts, all from the same fabric. The large one and the one under it are both the same fussy cut, just one pointed in, the other out, and look at the difference in the design!  This is such a fund project. Now I have to try to get more variety in the way I place things, to get more illusions…and to also get more daring in what fabrics I place together, I tend to try to pull colors from within the center cross and use them. Lucy Boston didn’t have that problem, fabrics went where they went with more attention to the illusion created than to the colors. You may have to enlarge the photo to see the designs in the crosses.

I can see a wonky section that I may replace, another that I am debating about. I have read that part of the charm of the original was the imperfections, and I do think it is charming……in HER quilt. Not so sure I like it in mine. I love looking at some old quilts, and indeed, a large part of the charm is in the ‘primitive’ nature, the cut off points, the seams that don’t quite match, the odd-colored patch where there just wasn’t enough of the original fabric to complete the block, so something else was used.  I enjoy it in those quilts, but it makes me so uncomfortable when it happens in one of my own, not charming at all, just poorly executed. Anyone else have that problem? How do you ‘get over yourself’ when it happens?

Hope to get to work on the caterpillar quilt for the soon-to-be- grandchild, it is all ironed and prepped for cutting, but I just haven’t been able to do that.

Meanwhile, go on over to Patchwork Times to see what many other quilters are working on, it is inspiring!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday–July 16, 2012

Just a few more blocks completed.  One block has some of the sashing attached  on two sides, just to give an idea of what that will look like.

DWM july 16 002

The background fabric blends into the design wall, so I took another shot against a darker background.

DWM july 16 008

There are a few blocks just started, or with some pieces added on, but generally not much progress. Certainly not as much as I would have liked. 

Excuse of the week:  My doctor says that I have some unpronounceable  thing which translates into…….get ready for it….tennis elbow.  As anyone who knows me can tell you, using my name and tennis elbow in the same sentence is funny, not just very funny, but laugh- so- hard –you –cry –and –otherwise-dampen-yourself funny!

Actually, as with so many of these things, it is a repetitive motion problem, quite uncomfortable, and flairs up each time I think I well enough to do more handwork. DRAT!  So, I have been trying to rest it and follow the other instructions I was given. Not at all happy about losing my momentum with this project.

Head on over to Patchwork Times and get inspired by what many talented quilters are doing.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Design Wall Monday–July 2, 2012

More progress on Patchwork of the Crosses. The first three are finished blocks.

DWM july 1 003a

These  need one more set of hexagons.

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And these final ones need two more sets of hexagons.

DWM july 1 007a

I have more starter crosses, but haven’t chosen what the next hexes to continue working on them, haven’t found just the right colors to work with them yet.  Still enjoying the dickens out of this project, but starting to feel guilty about not getting started on my next machine pieced project, after all, one should quilt 70% of one’s non-sleeping hours, correct??

Go on over to Patchwork Times and get inspired by what many talented quilters are doing. While you are there, wish Judy a speedy recovery, she has suffered multiple spider bites (both Brown Recluse and Black Widow) additionally, she may have fractured the foot with the Black Widow bites……probably from stamping on the darn spiders! Nothing slows this gal down, but it may shift her focus for the next week or so.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Design Wall Monday–June 25, 2012

Today’s design wall is the same project as the last two or three weeks, but I have one complete block to show, plus progress on others.  I haven’t photographed all of the new blocks that I have started, but here are some:

The top left block is finished, ready to be joined to the sashing, once the sashing is made. The top right and bottom left still need another set of hexies. The bottom right is the beginning cross and the second set of hexagons.


As you can see, the left block needs two more yellows and then a last set of hexies, I haven’t found just the right color for those yet. The right block is the beginning cross and the second set is from a different section of the same print. 


All of these crosses are from the same piece of cloth. I am amazed at how many different illusions can be made from the same print, if you have the ‘right’ kind of print.  I’m also learning that  the blocks lie flatter and generally are better if I do the stitching in a different sequence than was recommend in the pattern instructions. That is  just a ‘me’ thing.

I am also amazed at how much I look forward to the evenings when I sit and do the hand stitching. Who knew I’d  enjoy hand piecing and dreadful summer television?!

Hop over to Patchwork Times to be inspired by the design walls of a few dozen talented quilters.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Design Wall Monday for June 18, 2012

On the design wall today, same project as last week but with a little progress. I’ve made a few more crosses, and added the next ‘round’ in some. Most of my time seemed to be spent cutting more hexagons.  A few hours were spent in the sewing room  folding fabrics that I pulled for this project and sorting them into piles of Used-may need to cut some more pieces, To Be Used, and Won’t Work for this Project. I can actually see my cutting board again!

dsm june 18 12 004dsm june 18 12 005

I’m finding that there are a couple of crosses that I like quite well, there are a couple that I will take apart and restitch because the design doesn’t match/align well enough to suit me, and there are a few that I probably will not use at all. Clicking on the photo will enlarge for a closer look.

There are a lot of quilters sharing their work today over at Patchwork Times, take a look, you’ll be inspired!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Design Wall Monday-June 11, 2012

I’ve made some progress on my Patchwork of the Crosses, and then I ran into a delay.  I’ve put together more of the center crosses, some of which I like very much, others I will probably not use at all. Some of the fabrics that I thought would make interesting visuals when made into the cross just don’t work.  Then, when getting to the next row or two, the fabrics I planned to use aren’t working as well as I would like, either.

However, I did take a few pictures of some of the ones that I like:

dwm June 11 002

Can you tell which ones are from different parts of the same fabric?  The two purple ones , bottom row, second photo above are pretty obvious. Can you tell that the first photo, center top (orange and white) and the third row, gray and white are the same fabric?  In the photo below, all the print hexagons are from the same fabric.

Thanks for stopping by. There are a lot of quilters sharing their work today over at Patchwork Times, take a look, you’ll be inspired!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Design Wall Monday–May 28, 2012

Before I get back to machine piecing or quilting, I am preparing hexagons for another quilt that I hope to do by hand while watching TV in the evenings, or while waiting at doctor appointments and such. 

A week or three ago, I saw a quilt that immediately grabbed my attention, and I wanted to make it. The quilt is Patchwork of the Crosses and was pieced by Lucy Boston.  As a former children’s librarian, the designer/pieceworker added extra appeal. Lucy Boston is also the author of children’s books, among them the Children of Green Knowe and the rest of that series.  Green Knowe was based on the home that Lucy Boston and her family lived in. Though it was built in the 1130s, the home still stands today and it is possible to visit and see Lucy’s patchworks.

Here are a few of the hexagons that I fussy cut and sewed together. They will form  the center cross of the blocks. If you have a fabric suitable for fussy cutting, the centers can create some amazing  designs. Enlarge the photo to see some of Lucy Boston’s blocks on the book cover.

PotC for design wall monday 001


Linda Franz, the creator of Inklingo  has produced a set of  shapes to make this quilt, and has written a book about the quilt. With the book, you don’t need to use the Inklingo pieces, and she discusses hand piecing, English Paper Piecing and machine piecing, rotary cutter or scissors. You don’t need the shapes, but I don’t know why you wouldn’t use them. Use the shape collection to print out the pieces, then cut them apart. They are marked so that you can hand or machine piece accurately, they make economical use of your fabric.  Cut on one set of lines, sew on another-and the lines wash out when you are finished. The shapes also include some that are without a seam allowance, these you print out, cut apart and then they may be used as your papers for paper piecing. 

I have used this system before, most recently last fall to make all the HSTs for Orca Bay. Anything that can make HSTs simpler and more accurate is for me. Check it out at

Stop over at Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are up to.  Thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 21, 2012

David’s Delicious Dinner

All of my sons cook, and have done even as young boys that had to stand on a stool to reach the counters. Now that they are grown, it is fun when they  decide to cut loose in mom’s kitchen to feed the family.

This past weekend my eldest decided he had a menu that he wanted to try, and he wanted to do everything from scratch.

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He made three loves of bread, one an herb bread to be dipped in EVOO and pepper. The two French loaves became croutons and garlic bread.

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\The croutons went on the Ceasar salad with homemade Ceasar dressing.

The main course was blackened chicken Fettucini Alfredo. He combined the herbs and spices to make his own rub for the chicken. The he made two types of pasta for the Fettucini, one regular, one spinach and mushroom. The Alfredo sauce was also from scratch.

Dessert was a fruit tart.

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I didn’t get pictures of everything, once things were ready, I was too busy savoring the tastes to bother with pictures!

Design Wall for May 21

The brick path top is finished. This one could have been finished in so little time if I hadn’t been distracted, and quite honestly, been interested in it. The fabrics in this are so different from the sample I remember (it was a kit) that I wonder if I didn’t pick up the wrong package. The sample was bright, spring like, fresh with a Kaffe Fassett flair. These are bright, at least some of them.  I hope to use it to  eventually practice my free motion quilting. Lots of other things to do first.

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Meanwhile, next project on the cutting board for the impatiently anticipated new grandchild:

dave dinner and design wall 009

The mom-to-be saw a baby cocoon and hat that is Hungry Caterpillar and requested that. Her mom is making the cocoon, I’m doing the quilt.  Two crafty grandmothers in cahoots! 

Every Monday JudyL hosts Design Wall Monday  on her blog, pop over and see all the inspiration and talent of these quilters!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Design Wall Monday for May 14

I know it has been a while since I posted, but there wasn’t a whole lot different on the design wall to show. I have put together a few of the vertical rows, still placing the bricks for the others. Very simple, is fast when I get to work on it but have been doing lots of other things.

For some reason the photo has a yellow cast to it.

I did make some quilty progress, I finished the purple and green quilt for my son and his wife. He was so excited to get it, he made off with it before I could get a picture. I have been waiting for him to take some pictures on the bed and send them to me. I just received the pictures.


JimDani4JimDani 5JimDani 3


What the pictures don’t show, is that this quilt has a thin inner border of black, a 3 inch piano key border of the batiks and then a final border of black. Really makes the whole visual. The pattern is from Fons & Porter’s magazine. They offer a kit which happens to be purple and green, but I bought my own batiks as I wanted particular tones of purples and greens. If you are interested in seeing what the whole thing looks like, they call it Batik Magic.

The nicest thing, even more than my son’s enthusiasm, was the email he sent me after he got it home and showed it to his wife-she hadn’t seen it yet, and I was concerned that she might not like it.

She LOVES the quilt, her eyes grew 3 sizes when I showed it to her and we put it on the bed and slept under it last night. Well she slept under the other one also (a quilt I had made for him when he was single), lol I don’t know how she does that. However, we have decided to go ahead and move everything into the larger bedroom (as we have been working on it this am. The quilt looks 10x better against the green walls. The purple seemed to drain the life out of the quilt, the fresh green seems to make it pop!!! once we get the rooms switched and cleaned (sometime in the next few hours I’m hoping I will take a pic to show it on the bed in the green room”

I’m so glad she likes it, and to sleep under two of my quilts in the Georgia temperatures puts a smile in my heart!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Great Interstate Rest Stop Tour (long)

On Monday morning we started out on what was to be a drive out to Yosemite mostly via I-20 and then on the homeward trip, to stop at the Grand Canyon. You know what they say about the best laid plans.

Since we had reservations at Yosemite, MOTH calculated the route, dividing it into 5-6 hours of driving per day and we allowed 7 days for the trip out. Since I am the only driver, we wanted to make sure that I didn’t become too tired to drive safely.

The first day we made it to Newton, MS. Along the way we stopped at a rest stop and noticed that the flowering trees were just beginning to bloom.

clip_image002 Springtime in the south is quite beautiful.

The second day put us in the eastern part of Texas, the third day got us midway through Texas to Big Springs, and the fourth night we spent in El Paso. Texas really is as big as Texans always claim it is!

Some things I noticed while in Texas:

It is BIG.

The truckers must be on some sort of peyote, because I have never come across such consistently law abiding truckers. I don’t think I came across one that was going over the limit, they all stayed in the right lane for traveling…..the first time I have been able to comfortably share the road with the big rigs; no one tried riding my bumper to intimidate me into changing lanes so they could speed past. Hooray for Texas truckers, or maybe it is the cops, but we never saw any.

Texas has the interesting rest stops which include covered picnic areas. clip_image004

The covering at each stop seems to have a theme, we saw cute covers that looked like oil rigs, barns, teepees and other things.  One stop was even ‘open air’, and they restroom areas were decorated with tile murals—Texas themes of course. clip_image006

We saw oil derricks, which were smaller than I would have expected, and fields of wind turbines, which were much larger than I expected. clip_image008clip_image010 Some were right up near the interstate and from the rest stops, you could get a good idea of their size.

I loved the hill country, although we were too early for blue bonnets, and I really wanted to see them. It was interesting to watch the landscape change as we travelled westward. From hill country, to scrubby, to some mountains, to sandy and desert.


We crossed into New Mexico and something odd happened. I began to smell….urine. I mentioned this to MOTH, and he didn’t smell anything and looked at me strangely. A little while later he noticed the urine smell, too. So we start to survey our surroundings. Lining the interstate were miles of what I guess must be stockyards. So many black and white cattle massed at feeding and watering devices that you had to look twice to realize that it was not just black and white landscape!

The countryside in NM, AZ and TX was so impressive. In spite of all the cowboy movies or National Geographic specials that I have seen, nothing can prepare you for the immense size of the southwest. The mountains are so different from those in the east, and so different from each other. Some appear to be enormous sand piles, ready to slide away if disturbed. Those reminded me of when my brother was a child playing in the dirt with his Tonka Trucks, making mountains and what not. But these were so much bigger-if God had been a little boy playing with God-sized Tonka trucks.

Others were sculpted and cut away, some perfectly flat on top, some ragged like the spine of a triceratops.


clip_image020Different textures, different colors, shapes and different vegetation.

The rugged, desolate areas play with your imagination. You can see the Apache assembling along the ridge, watching you cross the desert. You wonder at the settlers who crossed in wagons, on horseback or on foot. How did they ever do it? Days of plodding through dusty, dry, endless areas. No water to be seen, the environment working against you. Amazing.

New Mexico and Arizona also have beautiful rest stops, landscaped and beautifully tended.


I was further impressed that when we reached areas that had overpasses, or multiple overpasses such as the one in Atlanta known as ‘Spaghetti Junction’, these were also more than just functional concrete. The abutments and bridges had designs impressed into them, and were then painted. If the overpass had fencing, it wasn’t just chain link, it was something aesthetically pleasing with a design woven through it.

A little concerning were signs along the way that said Prison Area-don’t pick up hitchhikers! Or the signs that warned of possible high winds and sand storms.

When we finally crossed into California we encountered our first omen of what was to come. There was a sign that said that if the lights are flashing, there is a high winds or sandstorms occurring. Guess what? Yep, high winds. Not pleasant driving. To the west we could see ‘dust devils’ and at times lost sight of the mountains entirely behind a haze….that haze was the dust storm, and yes, it reached us, also not pleasant driving.


When the sand stopped blowing, the wind didn’t and after several more miles, we reached very heavy rains (along with the winds). Further up the road, we encountered snow!

We spent our night in California in Victorville, and the wind and cold temperatures were very uncomfortable. At times we had difficulty standing, or opening car doors.

The next morning we called ahead to our motel at Yosemite, they informed us that the roads in the area were closed to any vehicles without snow chains, so be prepared to pull over and put chains on at the blockades. We stopped at Walmart to get some chains, but they didn’t have any. We drove towards Yosemite figuring that a store nearer the area would still have chains, and MOTH dug out the owners manual to see precisely what size we would need. Rude awakening-owners manual said chains cannot be used on our vehicle, there isn’t enough clearance for them. Time for a decision-drive all the way into the mountains hoping the roads might be cleared and we wouldn’t be turned back, or change direction.

We changed direction and headed off to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. Very disappointed not to have a chance to see the Frazil Ice, or the many natural wonders of Yosemite, BUT, if the roads were that bad, did I really want to be driving on them, and could MOTH and his walker maneuver safely? Yeah, that’s what we told ourselves as we headed east across the divide. We traveled the high desert, again impressed by the scenery.

How amazing that you can see almost to the horizon without interruption. Look, over there it is sunny and spectacular, and right next to it is dark, and over there that really dark cloud is reaching right down to the ground-could Arizona be having a really heavy rain?? clip_image030

We stopped at a rest stop on I40, only slightly aware that only one other vehicle was there, and that the traffic seemed lighter. The woman in the car called me over and told me that I40 was closed at Flagstaff and east. She was planning on spending the night at the stop, in her car, because she was sure the motels in Kingman would be filled to overflowing. We went on to Kingman where we found a room easily (tons of motels and such). As we checked in, the snow began.


It was pretty heavy. We decided it was better not to try to drive in strange surroundings in these conditions, so we had subs delivered to our room. We wound up staying two days in Kingman, until the authorities cleared and reopened I40.

Kingman was a nice place, I enjoyed it. I was impressed how you could look around, 360 degrees and everywhere you looked was an exquisite view (sometimes you had to look over the car in front of you, but the mountains were much bigger!) You could walk out of a restaurant, or grocery, or Walmart into a typical and unappealing parking lot and just look up and have your breath taken away.

When I40 was re-opened, it was still snowing at the Grand Canyon, and MOTH declared that he was overwhelmed, he had misjudged just how difficult this trip would be for him and that he couldn’t manage the cold and snowy/icy ground with his walker, he wanted to skip the Grand Canyon and head directly home.


We started home, following a bad weather front. More driving in heavy rain and winds, the further east, the more traffic and those 18 wheelers really kick up a storm all their own. Something I haven’t mentioned yet was just how much road work is being done on both I20 and I40-combine narrowed lanes, reduced speeds, grooved surfaces and inclement weather….not fun.

In Checotah, OK, after a particularly harrowing day of bad road and weather conditions, we stopped for the night and as the rain let up, there was a brilliant rainbow that seemed close enough to touch.

clip_image038 There was a second rainbow, much lighter around it. We checked the weather and decided to spend an extra day in Checotah to rest and allow the weather front to get way ahead of us, and hopefully wear itself out.

Our last night was spent in Holly Springs, MS. We had dinner in a local place located on the town square. It was a very old, charming town square dating from some time before the Civil War.

From there, we arose extra early and put the pedal to the metal. We couldn’t wait to get home, through Mississippi and Alabama, through Birmingham and on to Atlanta.