Wednesday, December 23, 2009



The above little Sun Bonnet Sue animation comes from the December 18th EQ blog.  Electric Quilt is offering it “free for the taking”.  I’m guessing that we all have used Sun Bonnet Sue in our quilts, at one time or another.

I even made a Sun Bonnet Sue cake for a granddaughter.

940205 It was for Jessica’s 1st birthday and it was “her” cake – the one that was set on her high chair tray for the birthday girl to eat - or demolish!  Jessie did both!  That picture brings back good memories.  Jessie is 16 now.

Christmas is about memories.  So my wish for all is to go out and make a good Christmas Memory …

Monday, December 14, 2009

Desktop Wallpaper WindowsXP


I got bored with my desktop wallpaper – same old, same old.  So, I went to National Geographic and found they have some wonderful photos to download for wallpaper.  For free.

And, if you have trouble with WindowsXP and viewing the text below your desktop icons cuz the text is the wrong color to be easily seen – here’s the thing that worked for me – found the solution on a forum --

Right-click on your desktop
“Arrange icons by…”
”Lock web items on desktop”
It puts a colored box around the text and changes the default white text to black text.  Then if the colored box is not to your liking, just change it to any color you wish with the “Color” field which brings up the whole color wheel.  Choose a color to blend in with the wallpaper or contrast with it.  In any event, you will have black text instead of white text.

Have some fun with a whole new desktop!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Desserts, Appetizers and more

CrescentLayerBars Saw a commercial the other day with all these wonderful desserts and appetizers.  There was a website listed -  A whole website dedicated to Pillsbury crescent dough!  The recipes are super simple.  And from past experience with crescent dough, all are bound to turn out terrific.

The first recipe we are going to make is the Crescent Layer Bars, pictured above.  Since we’re not fans of the vanilla chips, we are going to substitute peanut butter chips.

Gonna be mighty good with a cup of coffee.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Quilts made from blocks from others

Reading Paula the quilter’s comment on my previous blog post:

That is such a wonderful idea to make a block like that. I suppose if one kept the background the same or similar a whole quilt would be the result. Our guild doesn't do blocks like yours does but cuts simple quilt kits for donations.

reminded me of a really neat setting for blocks that were contributed by many quilters.  If you will go to the Electric Quilt blog 
and scroll down to Oct. 27 you will see the pic of a quilt that was made from blocks from quilters around the world.  Each one of the contributed blocks is certainly made of fabrics that are different from one the other, so there is no way that those blocks would have the same background.  Unless is was quite by accident.

The whole quilt comes together as a planned quilt because of that layout.  My eyes are drawn to the diagonal setting and then I see each individual contributed block.

My block is the first block in the 5th row.  Here’s a photo I took of it

1041The palm tree is thread-painted on top of appliquéd patches.  The sun is turned under appliqué, hand stitched.  Bottom row of 9patch background is paper-pieced.  9patch background is sewn together with bumpless intersections.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Perfect 1/4” seam

The secret to getting a “perfect” block is a “perfect” 1/4” seam – or so they say. Well, I found out it’s true!

1330The above block is the first time I ever made a block with rotary cut patches (other than a square) and templates and it turned out to be the perfect size! I have always shied away from rotary cut blocks and templates cuz when I sewed the patches together, the completed block was always a little bit off. This one measures 12-1/2” square – as it is supposed to.

It has 29 patches and a whole bunch of points. Lots of places to make a teensy error that multiplies into a big error as more seams are sewn.

I usually make my blocks divided into Paper Piecing parts, which I then sew together. The only time I use rotary cut is for squares. HSTs - I make by sewing 2 oversized squares together on the diagonal. Odd sized patches are usually in the Paper Piecing parts.

My secret for the perfect block -- I used a new foot on my Janome 6600 -
It’s a “Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set”, $16. It gives the most accurate 1/4” seam I’ve ever done on this machine or any other machine.

The block is one I saw in Quilters Newsletter Magazine, July/August 2005. Starry Star was designed by Judy Martin. The article had lots of “blocks within blocks” that Judy designed.

I belong to the Sunshine State Quilters Association, Inc. and also am the webmaster of their website. SSQA is a statewide guild for the state of Florida. SSQA was collecting blocks for Quilts of Valor and then distributed the blocks to member guilds who will be making them into quilts for Quilts of Valor to give to wounded servicemen and servicewomen.

Whenever I make donation blocks, I like to make unusual blocks, such as this one. It’s good for a personal challenge and gets the block out of my system. Cuz, when I finish one of these unusual blocks, I usually find out I don’t want to make more than one!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Medical Insurance World Gone Mad

I was catching up on some reading and ran across a very interesting article in the AARP magazine.  A woman has ALS and uses an iPod Touch that has an app (Proloquo2go) that can interpret her slurred speech.  Medicare will pay thousands of dollars for a device that will interpret her speech, but will not pay a couple of hundred for the iPod Touch which is compact and works just as well for the purpose.

Reason?  Medicare says it cannot cover the cost of iPods and other handheld devices because they are designed for the public and not for a specific medical purpose.  What an amazingly stupid reason!

Is Medicare afraid that along with using the iPod Touch for her infirmity, she might just use it to read a book, take notes, listen to music and keep track of her medication?  Heavens, she just might download a free app or two and play a game to while away the time. The medically approved (more expensive) device does only one thing.

Is Medicare afraid to save some money?

Here’s the URL for the full article -

Then, in this morning’s paper, I read an interesting letter to the editor.  It seems a woman went to her podiatrist to have a tiny spur on one of her toes removed.  Doctor said it would take 5 minutes.  BUT, first she had to

  • see a heart doctor and get an EKG
  • get a very detailed blood test
  • get a chest x-ray

3 separate doctors – thousands of dollars, paid by insurance – just for a 5-minute procedure?  How many of those kinds of procedures are done daily?  To the tune of what kind of money?

She decided to live with the spur.

I guess all those things have to be done that way – it’s called “covering your butt”.  Let’s see – I think we have the lawyers to thank for that …  Nothing funny, here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I think I first read about this website in the newspaper.  I like the way they explain all things techy.  They do it so I can understand what they’re talking about.  And I like all the reviews they do – on so many different products.

Go and take a look at their website and see if anything interests you.

Techlicious also has a weekly newsletter that I look forward to reading.  It always has some article (or two or more) that interest me.  In order to sign up for the newsletter, go to their blog -- and you can find the “sign up” field in the right hand column.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Little mini gifts

I’ve been working, here & there, on some little gifts.1331The above is a “Travel Tray” from Angie’s site
I think it will come in handy on trips to hold things that might otherwise get misplaced.  There’s velcro in the corners which makes it possible for the tray to lay flat. 

Once you make one, you can figure out how to make them in any size.  Angie suggests to use a solid color fabric for the floor of the tray, but, I chose a fabric that “reads” solid and I like that.

1332And here’s Angie’s “15-minute Flower Brooch”.  I must say, it took me a little longer!  I am very pleased with the way it turned out, especially with the little beads I decided to sew to the center.  This can be used as a brooch as there is a pin sewn to the back.  And when you pin this brooch on your shirt, it becomes very handy to stick some pins in while hand sewing as the center is stuffed.  Sure beats sticking pins in your shirt!

I wrapped a gift in a Fat Quarter and pinned it shut with the brooch.  It made a nice presentation.

I made myself one of the Travel Trays, too.  And am going to have to make a brooch for me, too.   Or maybe I’ll try one of Angie’s “Finger Pincushions” made from a 3-1/2” fabric square.  Or maybe both!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Many mini Projects from Angie

green-eye Are you running out of ideas for little gifts to make for Christmas?  Well, not Angie!  She has got a whole slew of projects that will be just the thing.

Lots of the projects are free.  Look around her website – Angie is some talented lady!

Sign up for Angie’s newsletter and she will send an email each time she puts up something new --

Thursday, October 22, 2009

PopEater on iPod Touch


OK, I admit it – I enjoy reading celebrity gossip & seeing the outrageous things that celebrities do and get away with.  Now, PopEater (that online deliverer of all things gossip) has an app for the iPhone/iPodTouch.

Go to for the download and to read all about this new app or go to iTunes and search the app store for PopEater.

I can read the juicy little tidbits right on my iPod Touch if I’m in a WiFi area.  If I’m not, the app auto-saves the entries for me so that I can view them when I need to pass the time in a waiting room.

Oh – it’s a free app!  I refuse to pay for any celebrity gossip …

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Gift Bag

0730This is not meant to be a Trick or Treat bag, it is a gift bag – to put in special “spooky” things for a special “trick or treater”.  It could be used for a Trick or Treat bag if the treats aren’t real heavy.  

Start off with a plain paper bag and iron on some shapes.  I got the plain bag at Joann’s.  I’m sure the Party Supply stores would have plain bags, also.  The above bag was from last year for my grandson.

I found the above design by searching for “pumpkin carving stencils”. The design I downloaded was not the right size for the bag, so I took the image into EQ6 and drew (traced) it from the design.  The beauty of EQ6 is that you can make the design to your specs  and I could put the moon and bat where I wished.  I made the windows and door “crookedy”.  And could print out the templates any size I wished.

I cut the shapes from fabric fused to “Wonder Under” (or “Heat & Bond”).  Same as you would if making an appliqué for a quilt.  Then iron the cutout shapes to the bag – no sewing involved. 

I’m going to make another decorated paper bag this year cuz last year’s was neat.  I think I’m going to use the skull stencil I found at

Another source for images to use on the bag would be from a Desktop Publishing program on your computer. 

Gift bags with ironed-on stencils can be used to decorate plain bags for any occasion.  And makes them very personal.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pumpkins in bushes!

Happy Birthday, Tim!


Ya never know what’s lurking in the bushes these days! The little wool pumpkin above is something I picked up at Joann’s the other day – half price.

And the pumpkin that is in the header at the top of the page is a little something from DH. The fall season never gets off properly until I get a little pumpkin from him. I have it setting in the window above the kitchen sink, except when I took the pic of it. It makes me smile. Hope it does the same for you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

They’ll be Tweeting from Houston!


Twitter is really good for some things and the Houston Quilt Market & Festival is one of them. I just found out PlanetPatchwork was tweeting from Houston’s Quilt Market last week and will start tweeting again for Quilt Festival which starts Wed. Oct 14. They really did a good job of sharing a lot of pics they took at Market of things they found interesting. Their Tweet Home is You don’t have to be a member of Twitter to read the tweets.

I liked the “Zipper Mouth Pillow Creatures” from Indygo Junction -

For those of you who are not familiar with Twitter, here’s a few hints – On page, you will see a list of very short comments (tweets), usually having a red “http://…” link. Click on that link and you will see a photo for that tweet (comment).

Near the top of the page, you will see #quiltmarket in red, click on that link and it will take you to a page of tweets from different people from all over.

Also near the top of page, you will see #quiltmarket in red, click on that link and you will see the beginnings of which I’m assuming will be a long list of tweeters at the Houston Quilt Festival starting Wed. Oct 14 thru Sun. Oct. 18.

Ami Simms will be tweeting from Houston, too. She said she will try & put up pics of the new owners of the ALZ Quilts that they will be selling and auctioning off.

Here’s Ami’s Tweet Home --
Here's a list of all the ALZ Quilts in Houston --

The tweets are just so easy to read from my iPod Touch and a nice comfortable chair.

Do you know of anyone else who will be tweeting from Houston? I will put links at the end of this post.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Behind the scenes at a Quilt Show

A good ole blogging buddy o’ mine - Sunnie, is taking us behind the scenes at the QuiltFest Quilt Show in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

There is so much that goes on, that we don’t see – or aren’t aware of – that makes the quilt show that we love to spend time at.

Sunnie has conveniently named each of her blogs about QuiltFest with the prefix “Quilt Show Countdown”.  You can start reading anywhere, but I would suggest starting with “Take In Day” .

If you’re anywhere near Jacksonville, you might want to take a run on over to the Prime Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water Street and see what’s going on from Thursday the 24th through Saturday the 26th.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Credit Card Shenanigans


Two years ago, my DH did a little Christmas Shopping at Sears.  He wanted to charge an item on his Sears card but the clerk suggested he sign up for a new Sears Citibank Gold Master Card and would get 20% off his first purchase.  DH thought that was a good deal and signed up.  The clerk also said that this new  Sears Citibank Gold Master Card would eventually be replacing the old Sears card.  So, he now had 2 Sears charge cards!

We have never used that Sears Gold Master Card since then and in fact, when we got a new card in the mail this past July, we did not activate it and we cut it up and threw it away.

Then yesterday, we got a letter in the mail from Sears Credit Card Services and it said “Due to this challenging business and economic climate, the cost of doing business has dramatically increased.  As a result, we are making rate and fee changes …”

Sears is now going to charge $45 a year as a “membership fee” for that Sears Citibank Gold Master Card.  $45 for what – to have the privilege of buying something and charging it on their card?  I don’t think so.

So, we called today to cancel the card.  BUT, our credit score will probably be affected by the canceling of a credit card. 

How are the credit card companies getting away with this?  Cancel a card and they subtract points from your credit score?

Didn’t those banks get money from the government?  Why do they now need to charge service fees for their cards?  Aren’t the current percentage rates they are now charging enough to cover their expenses and then some?

The $20 savings that DH had on that initial purchase sure wasn’t the bargain he thought it was.  He signed up for that credit card in good faith.

Oh, boy, people … be careful out there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Food Safety

I read about a most useful website in this morning’s paper --

They even have charts telling you how long you can safely keep meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.

Lets you know how long you should hang on to that opened package of hot dogs.

It’s a very nice looking website and very navigable.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Portable Design Area


My Feathered Star wallhanging is coming along nicely.  I thought I'd let you know about the small design area that I made that I find very useful with smaller projects such as this.

In the photo above, the pieces of my wallhanging are either adhered to or pinned to the design area which is white. I've pinned some of the pieces to the design area cuz they have little pieces of paper that need to stay with the them cuz they are labels which tell me where the pieces go.

Most times when I use this design area, I just put the fabric pieces on it, no pins needed, cuz they adhere like magic. I also use this as a background when taking pics of items for the internet.

I got a piece of foam core board, 30" x 40", from the office supply store.  I made a "pillowcase" for the foam core board of white sweatshirt fabric and brown broadcloth on the reverse side.  I purposely made a light side and a dark side which enables me to use the side that shows up the items more clearly.

When cutting the fabric for the "pillowcase", I allowed 2-3" more at the top so that I could close it up.  Be sure to cut ample fabric for the seam allowances.  The 3 sides of the "pillowcase" are sewn on the sewing machine. Have the wrong side of sweatshirt fabric facing out, as items will adhere to the nice, soft, napped surface. 

After the 3 sides are sewn, slip in the foam core board and then slipstitch the opening closed, remember, you’ve allowed ample extra fabric to do this.

Another thing about having the pinnable foam core board is that when taking pics of items, you can pin them to the board in a nice pleasing manner for a photo.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Recipe – Spatchcock Chicken


I just knew I should have taken the pic of the chicken that we had the other day, it was much prettier than this one.  But, by the time I thought of taking pic, much eating had gone on!

Here’s the link to spatchcocking a chicken --
A spatchcock chicken is a butterflied chicken and the above link tells you how to cut it to make it lay flat.  We tuck the wing tips under the bird so they aren’t poking up.

This is the only way we make chicken any more.  It is so tender & juicy. 

DH cooks it on a Weber Propane Grill on indirect heat, burners set at MOM – medium, off, medium.  350° for 55 minutes.  No peeking!  The secret is to keep that lid closed for 55 minutes.  No turning.

We have tried it with marinades and rubs, but the best way we like it is little bit of salt & pepper.  That’s it.  How much easier can you get?  Probably take-out, eh?  But, then that wouldn’t be as good-tasting as this chicken is!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

iPod Touch & Sewing

I found another great use for the iPod Touch.  I found the best way to keep track of my sewing stitches and the adjustments I make to the stitches on my new Janome 6600 is to take a close-up picture of the foot used and then type notes on the photo.

1282If you click on the pic above, you will be able to read the note better on the enlarged pic.  My note tells me the Needle Position to use for a 1/4” seam when using the Open-Toe AccuFeed foot.  And the red arrows remind me where to line up the raw edge of fabric with the foot.

Putting this in the IPod Touch saves on ink and paper as I don’t have to print it out.  I bring my iPod Touch into my sewing room a lot.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Zipper on small purse

Sherry had asked  -- how did I add that extra outer zipper?

My purse consists of 3 sections –-
1) The Front, which continues up and over the top to the back for an inch.  I created it that way so that I could take advantage of an uninterrupted design area for the front.
2) A 1-1/2” section between the upper and lower zippers.
3) A section which is below the lower zipper.

The section below the lower zipper (lined) is sewn to the bottom half of the lower zipper and it becomes the frontside of the outside pocket.

The backside (inside) of the lower zippered pocket is a piece of the lining which is sewn to the top half of the lower zipper.

The lining of the purse consists of 2 sections --
1) Back lining sewn to bottom half of top zipper (which also covers up the area of the lower zipper).
2) Front lining sewn to top half of top zipper.

After sections and lining of purse are sewn together and while it is still flat, the purse template is laid on top and cut around (See previous blog entry).  After purse is cut out, I then stitch around the purse’s lower pocket at sides and bottom (defining pocket) to give the pocket sides and a bottom.  If you don’t stitch around, defining the sides and bottom, stuff in pocket would move to parts of purse you don’t want stuff to move to.

When you look inside the finished purse, you do not see any sign of the lower zipper.

Hope this helps you Sherry (and others) to figure out how to make that lower zippered pocket.  I think I initially figured out how to do it by looking at something that had that kind of construction.  You can learn a lot about the construction of an item by looking inside or turning it wrong side out. 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

UFO complete – Purse with Trees scene!

Here’s the pieces of my new purse all constructed and cut out and ready to be sewn together.

1280This is the 3rd time I’ve made this purse.  Each one is different.  I got the idea for it from a “Triangular Cosmetic Bag” on Craftster.  One of those zippers on the back is for the main part of the purse – the place to put everything.  The other zipper is a smaller outside pocket.  There is also a pocket on the inside lining.

1283That’s the completed purse, all ready to go shopping!
And here’s the backside, showing the zippers --

1284 Top zipper opens to main part of bag.  Lower zipper is the small, but oh so convenient, outside pocket.  It holds my library card, a pen and some paper and some eyeglass wipes.

I used to carry a big purse.  One day I decided it was a nutty thing to do.  The bigger the purse, the more junk you haul around.  Now, that would make sense if you used half the stuff, but I found out I wasn’t.  The first thing I downsized was my wallet.  Went from a big leather thing with pictures in it and all kinds of stuff.  Got a small wallet which carries coins and paper money and IDs.

One day, I laid out all the stuff from my big purse and only put back into it the very barest of essentials.  I figured if I found I needed more stuff in the big purse, I could always put it in.  What I found myself doing was eliminating more stuff from the big purse!

Went shopping for a smaller purse and at the time, couldn’t find anything I liked.  So, went online and searched.  I found wristlets and then the cosmetic bag instructions which I found suited my needs.

My small purse goes on my shoulder and lays under my arm, very close.  They say that is the safe way to carry your purse – on a short strap, close to your body.

Besides what I normally carry in the purse, there is still room in it for my iPod Touch and earbuds and a cellphone.  I’m one of those few people who does not always carry a cellphone!  LOL  If I ever need to carry stuff that doesn’t fit in my small purse, I then throw the small purse into a tote bag along with my camera and other odd assorted things. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


WIP = Work In Progess, UFO = UnFinished Object

Here’s the front section of a small purse (for me), WIP:1270Here’s the reverse side to show the quilting -- 1271Did some Stitch-In-The-Ditch quilting around the scene in the middle. Added some curlicue wind to the scene. Bordered by overlapping tongue shapes.

What I found works good for purses is a 3-layer combo of fabric, 80- cotton/20-poly batting and non-fusible interfacing. The interfacing gives it some body.

I made the PaperPieced scene from the EQ CD “Town & Country Patchwork” by Cori Derksen & Myra Harder. I got inspired by those very same trees on that CD to make the Christmas Shopping Bag that I designed last winter.

I’m the type of quilter who likes to have several projects going all the time. So, I have a pile(s) of WIPs which turn into UFOs at some time or another and then back to being WIPS again. Right now, my UFOs outnumber WIPs! But, I do finish projects. Eventually.

Do you have more UFOs than WIPS?

You know, I’ve heard of quilters who start a project and stick with it until it’s complete! They never have UFOs. I’ve never actually met someone like that … just heard about them. Do those quilters really exist? Or did someone make that up to make the rest of us feel guilty!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Feathered Star Layouts

090813I made a bunch of layouts in EQ6 and like these 2 and can’t decide which one I like better.  Which do you like – 1 or 2?

Now, to go and see if I have enuf of the lighter green fabric to make either version!  If I don’t, I will have to have another plan.

The setting triangles on the FS present an upcoming decision – what do I want to quilt there?  It’s a pretty big area.  Flowers?  Leaves on a vine?  Geometric?  Abstract?  I’m sure the quilt will talk to me as I work on it.  It happens every time!  The quilt seems to know what it wants.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Clover Needle Threader

090812Something that really works the way it’s supposed to!

As eyes get older, they require all kinds help.  Like eyeglasses, good lighting, magnifying glasses and needle threaders!  While doing some handsewing the other day, I realized how I’ve come to really appreciate the Clover Needle Threader.  It is such a simple, magical tool that works every time.

Insert needle eye down.  Lay thread in the slot.  Push button.  Needle threaded!  Works every time.

When my 9 year old grandson was over one day, the Needle Threader was out and he asked what it was.  Told him it was a needle threader and told him what to do and he threaded a needle and got that wonderful look on his face that meant he was impressed.  And he wanted to do it again.  And he wanted his mom to do it!  Takes a lot to impress these 9 year old tech-savvy kids these days … yahoo for the Clover Needle Threader!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Feathered Star

Wow!  I’m happy with this block.  There are over 200 pieces in it.  And lots of match points!

It is a PaperPieced block and is from Sue Garman’s 2009 Block of the Month quilt from  It is the center of the quilt.  I did not want to commit to the whole quilt, but I sure liked this Feathered Star.  I also made a block from Sue G’s 2008 Block of the Month quilt.  It was appliqué.  Made it into a one-block wallhanging.

Now to go into EQ6 and see what kind of layout I can come up with for this wonderful Feathered Star.  I want to make a wallhanging and I know where I want to hang it, so I also know approximately what size WH I will be needing.

Now to go and have some fun playing in EQ6!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Christmas Shopping Bag & EZ shopping bag

817 I wrote a tutorial for a Christmas Shopping bag last November.  Thought I’d bring it back now, in case anyone would like to make one for this Christmas.  They make nice gifts.  The can be used to “wrap a gift”.  Make one for yourself to put your Christmas shopping items in.

And if you want to make some super-easy-to-construct Shopping Bags that are good give-aways, here’s a link to my bloggin’ buddy Sunnie’s tutorial.

Friday, August 7, 2009

NPN – NinePatchNews is back

The AOL Quilting Community had a nice newsletter back when the AOL Quilting Community was up and running on America Online. Now, some volunteers have gotten together and have brought it back as a monthly newsletter.

It has computer tips, quilting help, stories, quilt projects, links and other interesting stuff. Here’s the link to go and join up - After joining, you will get the newsletter in your emailbox every month.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How’d You Get So Rich?

DH & I were pleasantly surprised to see Joan Rivers’ new TV show on the TVLand channel last night How’d You Get So Rich?  It was very entertaining.  The premise of the show is how many times have you driven by a beautiful (expensive) home & wondered what the owners did for a living to afford such a place.

Very close to our heart was the first segment about the inventor of Billy Bob Teeth.  Yes, he made millions.  DH bought a pair of those teeth many years ago and he enjoyed amusing the little grandchildren with those teeth.

One of our grandsons was so impressed with the teeth that he saved up his weekly allowance & bought his own pair of Billy Bob Teeth.  When he had his school pic taken that year, he persuaded the photographer to take a second pic of him with his Billy Bob Teeth.

090806He proudly presented the pic to his Gpa!  Aaaah, DH’s wild and wacky sense of humor gets passed on through the genes!  LOL

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My ordinary life - zentangles

Life is being very ordinary, lately.  I should be very happy about that -considering I’ve had a lot of very unordinary things happen in my life.  Kept thinking that I’d blog when I had something interesting to blog about.  Well, instead of never blogging again (cuz nothing interesting was happening) I think I should start blogging about my very ordinary life.

In my ordinary life, like a lot of you, I am interested in all different manner of this and that.  Today I found Zentangles.

I don't know if you are aware of Zentangles.  Robbie has some examples on her blog --

Be sure and check out Robbie’s “wolves” --  her thread painting is awesome --

She suggests to do a search on youtube for Zentangle.  I did and was most fascinated by -- how to do a Zentangle Mandala.

There are other Zentangle videos that I want to view.

I doodle when I am on the phone.  Usually on the newspaper that is on the table.  Or on a scratch pad.  DH can usually determine how long I've been on the phone by the amount of doodle on paper!

This would be good practice for free motion quilting.  I have heard to draw, or doodle, on paper, the design that you are going to be FMQing in order to get into the Zen.  I guess Zentangles would get you into a Zen.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lifetime and SciFi changes to SyFy

When I’m sewing stuff that doesn’t require much concentration, I like to watch a movie in my sewing room.  I’ve always enjoyed the movies on Lifetime (cable channel) while I sewed.  The movies themselves don’t require much concentration.  But, now Lifetime is no longer running movies on weekdays.  They’ve got “lovely” programs such as 2 hours of “Wife Swap” in the time slot that used to have movies.

Evidently, people are watching that dreadful “Wife Swap”, otherwise they wouldn’t be airing it two hours in a row!

Then, SciFi (cable channel) changes its name to SyFy.  (Grandson calls it “Siffee”)  What’s up with that?  How much did they pay for that name change?  What a waste of money.

And I don’t think that SciFi is much of a science fiction movie channel anymore.  (Guess that’s why they changed the name)  They seem to run more horror movies than science fiction movies.  Since when is “horror” to be considered science fiction?

And all of those whacky new programs that SciFi keeps spewing out.  Another waste of time and money with programs that appeal to the short attention span of 14 year old boys.

At my age, I am no longer a demographic group that “they” would be interested in.  But, hey … I still spend money and I think I spend way more than any 14 year old boy spends!  Start running some programs that require some intelligence to follow.

Thank goodness for podcasts from NPR (National Public Radio).  I find myself listening to more and more podcasts.  I subscribe to “Fresh Air” and “The Diane Rehm Show”.

And I get quilting podcasts through my iPod Touch and iTunes.  I subscribe to Annie Smith, Alex Anderson and Bonnie McCaffery.

What do you like to listen to/watch while you sew?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Project gone wrong!

Did you ever have it in your mind to create something and then as the sewing progressed, you realized it just wasn’t working out?


Well, I had another one of those “project gone wrong” things happen to me.  Yep, there’s been more than one!  I wanted to make a couple of “Bah Humbug Bags” and I didn’t want any raw edges in the bag.  Thought I’d like it to have a layer of batting.  Well.  That just didn’t work out.  Tried Traditional Batt on the larger bag and it was way too bulky.  Tried Cotton Batt on the smaller bag & it was still too much.  And the added bulk of the batting made sewing thru some of the seams with all those layers a bit much.

I don’t have a pattern for the Humbug Bag, but I had made the bag years ago after seeing it on a “Sewing with Nancy” program that featured the bag.  I made several of those, at the time.  They make nice gifts.  And also a nice cover-up for a gift.  Had made one for myself, too.

Well, my 2nd try (bags 3 & 4) turned out better.  There are no exposed raw edges anywhere in the bag.  Got back to basics and used denim for its durability.  No batting.  Nice fabrics for lining and decorating the handle.  The fabric & denim are quilted together with some deco stitches on my new sewing machine.1208

The bags look just a bit different, cuz I found that I had lots of bulk when stitching the handle in the same place with the zipper insert as on the smaller bag.  So, I moved the zipper insert away from the middle on the larger bag and that did the trick – the zipper insert & the handle are sewn thru separately, rather than all on top of each other.  I even made each end of the handle to be sewn side by side, rather than on top of each other, again, less bulk.

This was a good project to choose for sewing on my new Janome 6600p.  Lots of practice on many techniques, including using the zipper foot.  Even the original idea with the green bags that didn’t work out gave me some nice practice on quilting with the AccuFeed Foot.

The old dog IS learning new tricks!  LOL

The denim bags are a gift for a niece who will be starting college in the fall.  I know Holly will put them to good use, transporting any manner of goodies in them.

The original green bags I will finish up and know I will find some use for them around here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

6600p - feet & bobbin winding

I thought I’d blog about the features of my new machine, in case anyone was in the market for a new machine, then they could see what’s a nice feature on the Janome 6600p.

1207 The new 1/4” foot has a larger area where the needle goes into the fabric. See the red circles I drew on the photo? The old foot on left and new foot on right. That little bit of extra room in that area allows me to move my needle position, ever so slightly, to get the “perfect 1/4” seam”.

If you have an older model of a Janome machine and it doesn’t have the “wiggle room” in the 1/4” foot, I’d definitely go and buy this new foot. Thankfully, Janome has kept the same foot from model to model.

There is a separate bobbin winding motor, so you don’t have to unthread your machine to wind a new bobbin. That is, if you have another spool of thread of that color!

My old Janome 9000 had an annoying sound that let me know when my bobbin thread was low. It beeped frequently from a certain point and until the bobbin was empty. Evidently, there must have been others who complained about it, cuz the 6600p does not have the annoying sound to let me know about the bobbin being low. No sound at all to warn me the bobbin is low. So, guess who wasn’t paying attention to the bobbin and ran out of thread where I really would have preferred not to … careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Knee lifts & noodles


Ever think the knee lift on your sewing machine felt uncomfortable against your leg?  I mentioned to my husband that while the knee lift was wonderful, it hurt the side of my leg as I wear shorts most of the time and that plastic handle was not comfortable against my skin.

He came up with a solution – pad the handle!

He cut a section from one of those noodles that you use in the pool and poked a knife down the middle, then slipped the purple noodle onto the handle.

I made it even more comfy by slipping a cotton footie (short sock) over the noodle.

1197It doesn’t look all that attractive, but boy oh boy, does it make a world of difference when I use that knee lift.

Isn’t it always the little things that make life easier?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Enjoying the new machine

It was a breeze quilting on a small piece that will be made into a bag. Love that AccuFeed on the Janome 6600p. No more clunky noise as with a walking foot. In combination with the knee lift, the AccuFeed made quilting on the small piece easy. The small piece wasn’t big enough to test out the capabilities of the wide arm area.

1167The arm area is soooo wide, I can keep my small pincushion nearby as I sew.

1168This machine has a presser foot lifter that lifts the foot to a normal height and then you can lift it higher than normal – an “extra lift” position. That came in mighty handy when I was sewing on a zipper. When I came to the zipper tab, I did not have to finagle around the zipper tab to slide it into a different position. I was very happy with that.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quilt Magazines in Spanish?

Someone emailed me saying that her daughter is studying in Costa Rica and the local women love quilting and yearn for American Quilting Magazines but do not read English. 

Does anyone out there in the Land of Blog know of a Quilt Magazine for Spanish speaking/reading quilters?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Stimulating the economy

Sometimes you have to make a decision – repair or replace.Yesterday was replacement day!

I got me a new sewing machine!

mc6600p It’s a Janome MC6600 Professional. Look at all that space in the arm area to push the quilt through. My old Janome (9000) had 7” of arm space. This new one has 9”. That 2” makes a huge difference.

Here’s a page with all the specs of the machine - I’ve bought machines from Sunshine Sewing Company for years now. I can remember buying my first embroidery machine, a Janome 8000, from Sunshine in 1993. That was when it was owned by someone else and before it had all the fabric that it has now. Faye (owner for last 12 years) has done a great job of seeing that the store is brimming with all the latest fabrics. They also have an online store.

The 6600 runs so smoothly and sounds so good as it hums along. It is a “professional” machine which means it is built “strong like bull”.

I’ve had 2 embroidery machines and truth be told, the big reason I got the 2nd embroidery machine was to get the knee lift. I really haven’t found much need for embroidery in recent years and never had the type of embroidery machine that connects to the computer.

I’m a quilter. And sometimes sewist. The 6600 is not an embroidery machine. It does have a lot of built in stitches. And it has the knee lift. I truly love my knee lift when doing some kinds of quilting and appliqué work. This machine is geared towards a quilter.

Faye said she likes to use the “on – off button” instead of the foot control when free motion quilting. I’m going to have to give that a try.

Just got it set up and familiar with it yesterday. Haven’t as yet tried the AcuFeed which is a built in walking foot. That’s a “job” for today!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Royal Pains & Army Wives

Tom Jicha of the Sun-Sentinel in Ft. Lauderdale is a very harsh critic.  So, when he wrote such a glowing review Thursday morning about the “Royal Pains” premiere (USA network), I just had to watch.

It’s on here at 10pm, so I recorded Thursday’s show to watch on Friday evening.  DH watched it with me and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.  Oh, those super-rich people in the Hamptons with all their excesses & false values, I liked seeing them in action!

There has to be some truth to their behavior as portrayed in the premiere episode.  If there isn’t, I don’t care – storyline is good, the characters are fun, especially the “concierge doctor’s” brother.  What a hoot he is.

If there are going to be more interesting characters in upcoming shows as there were in the first show, “Royal Pains” will have me as a regular viewer!  As it is now, I look forward to next Thursday’s show. 

New season of “Army Wives” is back again on this coming Sunday.  I’ve missed it. 

Oh, what fun viewing I will be having this summer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stuck on green & Joann coupons

Lately, I have been coming home with green fabrics.

1144 Today’s purchase included green zippers.  To be made into a gift.  Those greens go together much nicer than they look in the photo.

Here’s a Feathered Star in progress --

1143Greens on a neutral background.

I’m not the only one – a fellow shopper had a couple of greens.  The gal who cut my fabrics said she’s into greens, too.

I haven’t been at my sewing machine for a while.  Been busy with a website re-design.  And now, my sewing machine is in the shop for regular maintenance.  Isn’t that always the way?

Oh, and Joann coupons – did you know that you can turn in more than one Joann coupon (like the 40% off ones) at a time?  As long as the coupons are not the “same”.  They may all say “40% off”, but you have to get them from different circulars and/or online.

Today I turned in 3 Joann “40% off of one regular priced item” coupons.  One from a circular that was mailed to my house, one printed from their website and one from a circular I got in the store.

A helpful clerk from Joann’s turned me on to that money-saving tip.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

clubEQ challenge & recipes

Happy 21st Birthday Jason!

They’ve got a real good challenge going on this month for those who have Electric Quilt versions 5 or 6.  You design a quilt that illustrates a favorite recipe and Electric Quilt will use the illustration to publish a PDF cookbook that will be available to participants of the challenge only.

Barb Vlack has a couple of examples here.

Most quilters I know are pretty good cooks and know what tastes good and usually create easy, fast recipes, so I can hardly wait to see the recipes that will be coming my way! 

I know what recipe I will be contributing.  I know what fabrics I will be using. I even have a block in mind.  Now to get into EQ6 and have some fun designing.

Oh and hurry.  Deadline is Monday June 1.

Monday, May 18, 2009

More Fabric Bags


Cute Pooh bag, eh?  Angela from Country Scrap Quilts (blog) sent me this pic of Fabric Bag that she made from my directions.  She’s made quite a few of these bags & if you’d like to see more bags from her and others, go to my Fabric Bag Gallery on my website.  You can also find a link to the directions for the regular Fabric Bags and also a link to directions for a Christmas Shopping Bag on that webpage.  Never too early to start in on that Christmas sewing.

Angela asked for my permission to sell some Fabric Bags that she made from my directions.  She is now selling them in her Etsy shop and on her website – Country Scrap Quilts.  Hope you sell oodles, Angela! 

I like it when people send me pics of the bags they make.  I love it that people are using the Fabric Bags instead of the ugly plastic things.  Fabric Bags hold so much more and you feel so “green” using them!

I was chatting with a new checker at the grocery store the other day and she said - “I remember you, you’re the one with the pretty bags.”  Yah, that’s me all right, pretty bags & all!  LOL  ;-)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Microwave explosion

Who ever heard of water exploding?

I had read something about someone taking a cup of boiling water out of the microwave and sticking a spoon in the liquid and the water exploded & caused some serious burns.

Did not think too much about it.  Thought it was was of those one-in-a-million occurrences

THEN it happened to me.  I was lucky.  The cup of water I was boiling was still in the microwave when it exploded.  So, I was protected.  I started out with 1 cup (measured) of water and after the explosion there was about 1/8 of a cup of water left in the cup.

Thought to myself what might have been.  It is very scary when a close call like this happens.  And an eye-opener.

I now boil water in a pan on the stove.  No more microwaving to get boiling water for Jell-o.  In an effort to save time, a serious injury could have happened.  And, really, it doesn’t take all that much longer to boil water on the stove.

Practice safe boiling out there!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Oh, the joy of a grilled cheese sandwich!  It’s one of those things you eat that tends to bring back memories. 

I remember my mom’s grilled cheese.  She’d put a pat of butter in a frying pan and fry the sandwich in there, one at a time.  Usually served with Campbell’s Tomato Soup on the side.  She used Wonder bread or bakery bread.  The kind of bread you can’t buy anymore cuz of my government’s idea of protecting me from trans-fat.

I spread margarine on the outside of the bread, cheese in the inside.  Has to be Kraft American Cheese slices.  Cooked on my griddle, stove top.  Can fit 4 at a time on there.  Serve with some potato chips on the side and a Kosher Dill Pickle from the crock at the Festival Flea Market.

My DH turned me on to this – sprinkle a bit of shredded Cheddar Cheese on the American Cheese before closing up the sandwich for grilling.  What a difference that makes.  He likes his sandwich cut into 4 pieces.  Another comfort thing.

Sometimes, I like cooked bacon strips in the sandwich.
Sometimes, I like sliced tomato in the sandwich.

I bet there are more variations on a grilled cheese sandwich, but I always come back to the basic one – just grill it!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More Fabric Baskets, nice gifts

I’ve been sewing away!  Made some more fabric baskets that I first found out about at the Pink Penguin blog --

1066I like the different looks you get when you pick different colors from the focus fabric for the checkerboard rows.  Four fabrics used for each basket shown above.

1067If you click on the pic above, you will see a larger version of the pic and you will also see that I am in my “gridded wavy lines quilting” phase on my quilted pieces these days.  The gentle wavy lines are so easy to stitch and so relaxing.  No matter what you do, the quilting comes out looking great.  Try it sometime.  These fabric baskets are a good place on which to practice quilting.

1088I cut the striped fabric into squares for the checkerboard rows on the basket and when I laid out the rows, I rotated the squares so that a horizontal stripe was next to a vertical stripe.  I forgot to take a pic of it in the flat, but here’s a drawing from EQ6 to show you what I mean --


When I first made a fabric basket --  I cut the lining shorter so that it would lay better in the inside of basket.

On the stripes and dots basket, I experimented & cut the lining the same size as the quilted piece.  I let the top seam allowance extend up.  Did NOT turn the top seam allowance to the inside of basket.  Much easier to stitch in the ditch through all the layers – no bulk.

In the pic below you can see that the lining fabric shows at the top cuz it is brought to the outside of basket, rather than being turned to the inside of basket.1085I like the “cut same size” method cuz I don’t have to do any figuring and the lining does lay nicely inside.

Here’s 3 finished baskets:1090Each of the baskets has a “secret pocket” in the lining bottom – a hiding place for secrets.

Angie Padilla has directions for a cute basket --  I’m just going to have to make one of those!

I have a few more things that either haven’t been completed or haven’t been gifted and will put them up on the blog when I’ve made it so.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sewing and LeAnn Rimes

I haven’t put up any “quilty” things lately cuz I’ve been working on some items that will be gifts.  The “giftees” just might visit this blog and I don’t want them to see those pics before the items are gifted.

I hope to be able to show the results of some of my sewing sessions by the end of the week.

LeAnn Rimes was on the Today Show this morning and she was plugging her new book “What I Cannot Change” which is also a tune on her CD and which is also a website.

You can see a video of LeAnn singing a brief portion of the song and then the interview with Kathie Lee & Hoda -

The lyrics to the song are poignant.  Here’s a link to the lyrics --  Then, I went to the website -- .  There are posts from people who have had experiences in their life that they can’t change – haven’t we all – and they are having to learn to live through.  Reading some of the heartfelt posts makes me feel as if I don’t have it quite so bad as I thought.  There are a lot of people suffering with an awful lot of pain, caused by themselves or others.

I guess what makes us strong is learning how to cope with what we are dealt. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sit or Squat

I heard about on Today Show segment with Kathie Lee & Hoda. At first I thought it was amusing. But, then, I thought it to be a most useful thing. You type in a city - anywhere in the world and its map comes up with icons for available public toilets or restrooms. You can add a toilet if you happen to know about one that’s not on the map. See the legend down in the bottom right corner about the colors of the icons.

The iphone/ipodTouch has an app for sitorsquat. So, if you’re going to Paducah for the big quilt show week after next, you might want to remember that website – you might find it useful. You might find a new toilet to stick on the map.

Here’s a link to the segment with Kathie Lee & Hoda. Skip to 4:17 for the item about SOS.

The website is sponsored by Charmin toilet paper. Isn’t that a hoot!

Monday, April 6, 2009

AOL Quilting Community Project #3

AOL Quilting Community Project #3

03BLemailterri01 I have put up another project from the old AOL Quilting Community. This time it’s a Mystery - “Case of the Progressive Units” by Billie Lauder that can be made into a quilt, a wallhanging or a table top -

Several quilters have sent in pics of their finished items –

Here’s a list of Quilting Community projects - with more to be coming.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Frugal bits holder

1076Every once in the while, I like to do hand embroidery.  It soothes the soul – at least, my soul!  This pattern came from my American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, but it is available to all, online, at AP&Q’s website --

I used some felted wool that I had in the stash.  It is so pleasing to embroider on felted wool.  I would recommend it, if you are looking for a relaxing stitching experience.  You can get lost in your Zen.  The stitches go thru like a knife thru softened butter.  Used 2 strands of DMC floss.  Yes, I have a stash of DMC, too!

Instead of making French Knots for the flowers that go up the sides of the appliqué, I used beads.  I like to use beads instead of French Knots, cuz then it justifies the purchase of the beads.  Yup, another stash!1077 Aaaaah, but why are there threads hanging from the bottom of the caddy?  Those threads are the Frugal Bits, of course.

I read (or saw) a sewing machine tip some time back that said to “floss” your thread guides each time you changed your spool thread.  That is, instead of pulling the thread up and out when you remove the spool, clip the thread at the spool and pull it down and out and through, just before the needle. 

That seemed like a waste of thread to me.  So, instead of throwing away that 27” of thread, I save that Frugal Bit of thread and it drapes from a pin on the back of the caddy, until I’m ready to use it –


That Frugal Bit of thread is the perfect length for me, for hand sewing and basting.  It is very easy to pull a thread out and away from all the others.  Right now, there are lots of colors to choose from, as I haven’t had the occasion to use any.  Sometimes, there is way less thread draped over that pin.

I’ve read where some sew-ers use a stuffed animal that they have beside their machine and drape the threads on it. 

I like seeing that pretty embroidery that hangs from a pegboard hook, convenient to my sewing area. 

Nothing is in that pouch on my caddy, but if I were to get some extra cash, that would be a good place to stash it!  Nicely folded up bills.  Oh, wouldn’t it be grand to have a stash of cash?  That would require a much bigger pouch!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March clubEQ Challenge


Have you ever looked at a quilt that was designed to showcase a new fabric line & thought “Gee, I could do that”? Well if you have EQ5 or EQ6, you can do just that.

This month’s Electric Quilt clubEQ challenge is to design a quilt from Erin McMorris’ new fabric line “Wildwood” by Free Spirit. I colored the above spring flower in 4 of 34 of Erin’s fabrics.

Here’s a link to the description of the challenge, the rules and a downloadable file of the fabrics. When you create a quilt, or two, and email it into the challenge, you’ll get a project file of all the other entries. It is interesting to see other designer’s techniques. Deadline is March 30.

I had a good time designing a quilt that would be nice for a young girl’s bedroom. I found Erin’s fabric to be perfect for this.

I have not entered every month, but my entries are listed on one of my webpages -- You can request project files of most of the entries.