Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/29/17

It's Memorial Day here in the US and although my heart aches for our country, I must remember those that served so we have the freedoms we enjoy. I pray that our freedoms continue and that we the people have a voice.

On my FB page I shared these:  This is my dad, probably about summer 1946 judging from the other photos that were will this one in my mom's belongings. I lost him too young. I was 23, by sister and brothers still in school. He was 49, killed in a car accident.

This is our son. He served in the Air Force in 1987-1990. Luckily for him and for us, not during wartime. I am proud of the man he has become. He would cringe at this photo, but it is the only one I have of him in his uniform, except for his wedding to his first wife and I can't publish that. 

I am finally back to reading more. My book club is taking a break during the summer, but we have selected 3 of the titles by Fredrik Backman for our summer reading choices.
I had already read A Man Called Ove and liked it a lot. 

This one was one that our friend and member, Helen wanted to read. She was 84 and at our March meeting was having trouble with her hip. Easter weekend she fell and though she had had a hip replacement, she broke the surrounding bone. Her heart problem complicated further surgery, so she was admitted to  rehab in a town 2 hours away.  She missed our April meeting.  We staying in touch with her through emails and because one of our members is a friend of one of her daughters. She raised 10 children on a ranch in NE Wyoming. We met the third Tuesday in May, discussed our books and decided to chose these because Helen was interested and we knew she was recuperating now in a hospital a bit closer to home. By the next morning Wednesday, we got word that she had passed away, due to heart issues. We will miss this lovely woman of God, strong spirited, lover of literature and her fellow man.   

I am looking forward to the discussion of all three of these. I am currently reading my grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry

Last week I finished, though not in Audio format.  I read a regular sized paperback from the library. It looked and felt liked it had been read many times. I enjoyed it too. I especially like the main character Eve Dallas. If you like detective stories, with a bit of romance ( or just plain lust) and you don't mind setting in the future, try this series. It is set in 2058 in NYC.  Still gritty and "happening". 

I've sort of fallen away from my sewing room in the last couple of weeks. I attended a retreat  and started several projects there, finished 2 but that is all. I did not complete my challenges for May at all. One I did not even start, although I did locate it in the stack of project boxes and bags! The weather is improving here, I got some pot planted for in front of our house and on the back deck. I need one more for the front porch. I put the flag out this morning when I got up, I think I would like a patriotic themed planter this year. I will go looking for an appropriate pot and selection of flowers today. 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Friday, May 19, 2017

Shasta Daisy Backpack

Last week I shared  the backpack layout that I started at the retreat I attended. This week I finished it. I was using a pattern that I downloaded from a blog. I was sort of confused by some of the directions, so I grabbed my laptop and searched for  YouTube videos about backpacks with  drawstring casing. Luckily I found a great one on Shabby Fabrics YouTube channel. Thanks, Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics. My directions called for grommets,and I already had them ready so I used them. . They're cute, but if I do this pattern again, I will use the loops in the Shabby Fabrics pattern.

I really like the way this turned out. It was made from some of the scraps from the graduation quilt I made for my youngest granddaughter, Shasta.  This will be her birthday gift this weekend. I was shopping in SD at a Mall last weekend and went to Bath and Body Works. I found these.... the perfect addition to the backpack for a girl with the chrysanthemum name. 

Oh, and I'll add a Starbucks gift card too!  

Off to get ready for a double birthday party. Both my daughter's daughters have birthdays in May, so we celebrate when we are able to get together. Ice cream cake, Gluten Free frosted brownies, sorbet and my requested potato salad are on the menu. Older granddaughter's husband will do brats and ribs on the grill. Looking forward to a wonderful weekend. 

I am linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Finished Or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Til next time,

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Friday, May 12, 2017


Last week I told you about the retreat I was attending. I am home now and maybe rested. We had lots of fun, the weather was amazing, and there were lots of tops finished and some other projects completed as well. 

Our theme was Let's Go Glamping!  There were several variations on the theme in the decorations and in the menus. We had a lace table covering and flowers in a mason jar for our Early Morning offerings. 

The snack table had cookies, pretzels, chips, popcorn, and "first aid kits" in prescription bottles. First aid kits were titled Happy Pills to bring joy. Bottles held M&Ms, Skittles, Red Hots, or Jelly Beans. I wish I had taken pictures of the food. There was everything from Oven German Pancakes to Brats and Burgers. Lemon Ice Cream cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Pizzelles to Oreos in the newest flavors. 

Each table had welcome gifts of a bottle of water, a pocket sized pack of tissues and a Smores Kit. ( 2 graham crackers, a square of chocolate bar and 4 marshmallows) and a sewing themed band aid. 

My projects were a Taggie quilt for an expected great granddaughter, due date is August 11th. A tool roll made from scraps and a pattern from A Spoonful of Sugar,  a quilted knapsack from a pattern from Pleasant Home (Jodi's blog is not current at the present time, but here is a link to her Instagram)and a zippered pouch from a box of strings and a pattern gifted from a friend. 

I took my big Bernina to the nearest Bernina dealer( 2 hours from my home but only an hour from the retreat location) for it's bi-annual cleaning and maintenance checkup. While there I purchased some fabric for a fellow quilter who needed some "different gray", 2 yards of fabric for a future 5 yard quilt and I was supposed to purchase a zipper foot for my travel machine ( a Janome Gem) so I could complete my projects. I got all the way back to the retreat and remembered I forgot to buy the zipper foot. So, I completed the baby quilt. It's only 36" square, but just the right size for tummy time or a light stroller cover. 

See all the little loops of ribbon, and rickrack?  Babies love tactile taggies and mom can hang a toy or binky there too. 

I made the tool roll from all scraps. This is the outside. HST finished at 1.5".
This is the inside with several pockets for small tools to take along with a project. The pattern is no longer on their blog, but here is a link to the site. There are lots of other yummy projects. 

I pieced the main patch work for the knapsack, up to the part where I needed to insert the zipper. Stopped!!! Actually this is a picture in progress...I lay the 2.5" squares in a pleasing design, then started to sew. I decided to take a picture with my phone so I could remember what went where. I tried the  "web" technique and worked quite well. 

Then I foundation pieced the strings front and back for the zippered pouch, attached the tabs on the zipper and "stopped", no zipper foot. No pictures, but I will share when the pouch is complete. 

So I worked on a hand quilting yet to be revealed. Oh my, not my best 4 days of sewing but I did get started on some things and I rested too. That was my not be so exhausted when I got home. Goal Accomplished. 

I will link this to Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday and Finished Or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Til next time,


Friday, May 5, 2017

Finish It Up Friday 5-5-17

 I'm at a quilting retreat today in this beautiful setting.

 Before I left home on Wednesday I finished two things.  I had been working on a small wall hanging. It was started some time ago. I wish I had remembered to take pictures.  The images were fused to the background, but I found that I had placed them wrong and they were too big for the background. I added the darker brown fabric to make the top large enough to accommodate the pieces. I button-hole stitched around most of the pieces , but decided to do a little zig zag around the butterflies and flowers. They are tiny and I like that stitch better in tiny spaces. Then as I trimmed up the backing and batting to get ready for the binding, I decided I needed to add the darker brown at the bottom and top to be more symmetrical. Call me crazy. That meant that the backing and the batting needed to be added to also. So I made it so!!
Luckily, this is a wall hanging and won't be washed often if at all. I had to go to my stash for a suitable binding fabric  because I used all the fabric in the kit for borders! 

It is done and ready to hang. This is a Patch Abilities pattern, Butterfly Haven #MM08, dated 2007. It has been in my basket of kits  for some time. 

I was also working on a counted cross stitch project for another challenge. I am to the point in the design where there are tons of thread color changes. I used to have a specialty pincushion that allowed me to keep needles threaded and had a place to mark on it the thread color and symbol. I was following Amanda Jean's blog tour for her new book No Scrap Left Behind. I own her book, and the post from  Mary Kolb,  reminded me about the Needle Sorter pattern . I thought about it for a bit and then had an idea. I thought if I put a piece of thin clear vinyl over the top of the pincushion , I could write on it with white board markers. But that did not work ,the wipe off markers  "wipe off" the vinyl way too easily. Like with a finger tip. So I thought maybe I could make small labels that would stick on the vinyl , but not permanently.  It worked!  

 This is my sorter on the page of Amanda Jean's book, No Scrap Left Behind.  You can see the shine of the vinyl on top.

 I used clear vinyl from Walmart, I had it in my stash, my rotary cutter dedicated for paper only and wonder clips instead of pins. Although you can carefully pin through the vinyl.

I made the pincushion according to Amanda Jeans directions, I just added a 3 1/2 X 7  piece of clear vinyl to the top of the center before I added the top and bottom strips. If I do it again, I will only cover the white square sections. But I love how it turned out.  You can see how I have small pieces of file folder labels, cut in squares with the thread color number and the symbol used in my cross stitch pattern. They come off will just a little help, but will not just fall off. The needles are in the border strips above and below. A cross stitch needle is blunt on the end, so it will not pierce the vinyl. A win, win in my book. 

I have scheduled this to post on Friday the 5th of May. There will be intermittent internet service while at retreat. If I can get to it, I will link to Amanda Jean's Friday Post. If not, just go to her blog, Crazy Mom Quilts and look for the Finish It Up Friday event. 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy