Showing posts from 2012

Easy Street Part 7

Bonnie Hunter's pattern - my colors Also got the Christmas infinity quilt backed, batted, spray-basted, and pinned, with the grandkids help. (Well, they weren't that much help.) (P.S. - Don't walk on your backing after you have sprayed it with basting spray.)

baby sox for Cheyenne River


Anniversary roses - 42 years


Bonnie Hunter Easy Street Part 3

I don't like surprises when I sew, and I don't like a lot of quilt patterns, so I assumed I wouldn't like mysteries. But I do like Bonnie Hunter, and I love most of her quilts. I have been reading her blog for a while (, and she does a mystery every year, posting one step a week. They are scrappy, and she encourages you to "shop your stash." So I thought I'd do it. Turns out, my stash is mostly clothing fabrics rather than quilting, or already promised for quilts-in-progress(well, I try something, and then decide I want it larger(Don't judge!) So I had to buy most of this - in quarter-yards. I have kept up with the steps pretty well. Part 4 is half done, and Part 5 is out today! Gotta go sew! (In non-related news, I bought 3 pair of dress pants from Half-of-half Price Store for $7. Not each - $7 total. and they were all size 14!!!!)

Christmas Infinity

I had this terrible urge today to drive nearly two hours to a new quilt shop. Instead I stayed home and finished this puzzle quilt.  Sometime around Feb 2009, I saw a picture online and it grabbed me. I had to make it. But I lost all the information about the pattern. So I figured it out, and today I finished it. If you know the name of the pattern, please let me know. The original didn't have the border, but, as usual, my husband wanted it bigger --bed sized.

Dang dog!

While I slept late this morning, my dog ate my knitting, my knitting needles, two cross-stitch Christmas ornaments, and a tatted, beaded ornament. Even though it was my own fault that I left my workbasket open, I am still furious at him. He is going to stay outside for a while. Once before I think he ate part of a knitting needle. That is, I never found about a third of one... This time the needles were made from bamboo skewers, and were so mangled that I couldn't tell if any pieces were missing. Neither the wood nor the bamboo would show up on xrays. The first time, we took him to the vet, because he became lethargic. But it turned out that he had twisted his back and had a pinched disk. After muscle relaxers and pain meds he was fine. So we will watch and see if he has any symptoms.


  I recently rejoined Stampin' Up as a demo. I love making cards, and I love SU supplies, tools, and stamps!

baby sox for Cheyenne River


cards again

I have been busy

new old clothes

Just went through some older, smaller clothes, and found five three-quarter sleeve and one long sleeve shirt that I can wear again. Also bought one 3/4 sleeve shirt recently, so my fall/winter wardrobe is looking up. I made two blouses recently, but they are short sleeve. They could be worn with sweaters, though. I have put on a couple of pounds lately, and don't like the direction I am going. I have to get back to exercising again. But I AM smaller than I was, so I won't let it get me down.




My son and daughter-in-law are moving from Alaska to their new base in Florida. They are driving, and will be here for a couple of weeks. They brought a friend. My granddaughter was complaining that he was naked, so I dressed him in my grandson's clothes. I like that the shirt says "Surrender"! We are getting our ceiling repaired, and so far, the alien has startled two workmen and scared my daughter-in-law's nieces.

Sure-Fit Designs Part 2

Tuesday I made a blouse. turns out the changes I made to the pattern were wrong, and the bust dart was wrong again. The sleeves looked a tiny bit tight. Weds I made a blouse - slightly stretchy seersucker plaid. The dart was good, length was good, fit was good - the sleeves were too gathered. I emailed Glenda and she replied within hours. She said my sleeve top was too wide, not too tall. Thurs I made a blouse. silky print - looks almost like dupioni. I narrowed the sleeve, and morphed on a v-neck from another pattern. It is beautiful! The sleeves are perfect!!! Pictures as soon as it is hemmed, since I will be sewing that part by hand. Aso, it ravels so ferociously that I had to serge every edge, and that took a while. When I sew a lot - my back hurts. Got to get up and change what I am doing.... (My son) Ben and Heather are driving through Canada today, leaving Alaska for Florida... (My son-in-law) David won first place in the Wal-Mart national truck mechanics competition

Cooking history

I had Home Ec in 9th grade. I remember one of the first things we did was learn to make a white sauce for vegetables. I really wondered why glom up perfectly good vegetables. I used to make my own yogurt 4 quarts at a time. Also loved to make bread, though. I used to make my own Bisquick - it was called "Missouri Mix" from a University extension pamphlet. Do they still have those, I wonder? Also, while my husband and I were still in college, we had a large group of non-American student friends - from India, South, and Central America, and decided to make a huge Thanksgiving party for everyone. The tradition of a big Thanksgiving has continued with all my husband's family getting together (His sister had 9 kids.) (My family is farther away, but would be welcome also.) I am famous for the dressing, giblet gravy, and for a cranberry relish my grandma used to make. Once in the grocery, in the tomato sauce aisle, a lady much older than me asked me what I used tomato sau

quilting on my Zac's quilt

I began the quilting on my grandson's quilt. I have put it off for ages, because I couldn't decide what type of quilting I wanted to do. I had thought I would do straight-line quilting a quarter inch from each star shape, and in the solid triangles. But all that stitching would show, so needed to be quite good. Finally today, I just set up the machine and started meandering in the mottled areas. It looks pretty good, is going fairly fast, and doesn't have to be perfect. It is, after all, a quilt I expect to be used, hard. -- pictures when it is done!

Sure-fit Designs

If you have never heard of Sure-fit Designs, they are a sewing pattern company that teaches you to make your own patterns from your own measurements. You never have to figure out adjustments to commercial patterns again. But if you want to use a pattern, you can overlay your sure-fit blueprint on the pattern, and get quality results very quickly. I purchased the entire system - and have created a blouse blueprint - twice. It involves sewing up a muslin - and then wearing it, and deciding if it fits, and how to change it to fit better. It is very promising - and I think my third muslin may be the one! (I hope!) But I am alternately eager to make it work, and paralyzed by the enormity of the thing. I WILL make this work, then add the sleeves and skirt - and have a shirtwaist pattern ready to go. Then I will master the pants for my new body shape. Then hopefully, in about another 6 months, I will have lost another 30 pounds, and have to do it all over again!!

closet and wardrobe planning

I have a large closet, so the temptation is great to fill it. But one thing that I do with my clothes closet is fantastic. I have a limited number of hangers. If all my clothes are clean, and I don't have enough hangers - something must go! I am not buying any more hangers - my wardrobe must fit on the space and within the limits. When I make or buy something new, something else must go. Of course, I have some things that will never leave, for sentimental reasons - a few of my own baby clothes, saved all those years by my mom, some of my Mom's old dresses, and two Chinese silk dresses that once fit me as if designed for me. The navy blue has aged not so gracefully into an ugly purple. The teal one is still wearable - but floor length, and I used to wear it when I chaperoned proms. Those times are gone, but the dress remains. I am sure I am still too large for it, but some day.... I have a dress rack, with some that are too large, some that are too small, some that fit, so

charmeuse - ravelly, slinky, slippery

I had reconstruction July 9th - and am very pleased with it. It involved shaping a new breast using tissue from my own abdomen, and making my existing breast smaller, to match. It didn't affect my weight much - but redistributed it. I am still pretty weak, but finally sewed. It's a pattern I've never used before, of course, because I have lost 30 pounds total, and have a totally new shape. Anyway, a simple top with cut-on sleeves. The first day I cut it out, and thought I was going to collapse. Then another day I sewed it up. It is a beautiful fabric--browns, navy, teal, turquoise print - but charmeuse, so very slinky. I was worn out that day too. I wore it around, and discovered what length I wanted it. The next day I hemmed it and tried three different seam finishes to control the severe raveling. I think it's good now. And it fit straight from the pattern! Under normal circumstances, this project would have taken a single afternoon. But I did it, it's beautiful


I almost spent $50 on sewing equipment - but instead I loaned two different women enough money to make a real difference in their lives - $25 each...

armadillo toe

My toe hurts. I might have broken it this morning kicking an armadillo's butt. No, really, I really did kick an armadi llo. My dog kept barking at an armadillo. I saw it turn and chase her. When I went out, it came onto my patio toward me!! I shouted and threw things. I was so mad, when it turned around, I kicked its rear. Three of them were just meandering around my house, annoying my dog. I threw rocks and pieces of fallen tree limbs. I could tell I hit one good, because it ricocheted up in the air the way they do, and I almost expected to hear the chimes of a pinball score. When I had kicked the 'dillo, it didn't move or budge at all. So I guess I learned that lesson - GOLF, not SOCCER! My other dog, Mischief, killed an armadillo in our yard once. She barked, startled it, and it  jumped straight up in the air about 3 feet. But when it landed, it missed the garden area  and fell down onto the lower story patio about ten feet below. It remained motionless, and  my

the right way to celebrate a birthday

Fireworks and concert at Jolly Mill tonight were fantastic. Our house is above most of the smoke, but about half the "blossoms" were behind our trees. Because of the shape of our valley, the noise is incredible, your heart thudders in your chest, and the pets are truly hysterical. If the wind is right (wrong), the cinders and ashes fall on our house. My hubs made frozen wild blackberry yogurt with stevia instead of sugar. Yummmm ! (My granddaughter helped pick the berries.) My grands gave me colored-ink pens and food-shaped puzzle erasers, and my daughter took me out for Chinese food. In about an hour Thursday, Jer and I and Zoe n Zac picked over 18 pounds of blueberries. Before we started, Zac wouldn't taste them. He said he didn't like blueberries. Later, he discovered he did. Most of us ate almost as much as we put in the buckets - including Zac.


So, can you see progress? I can only work on this in the daylight, because the dress is white, beige, pale gray, and cream on ecru.

cat tails

These are the first three blocks (~16") for my granddaughter's cat quilt. Someday there will be little cat faces to match each cat.

I've got the blues

I took 6 (only 6!!) of my husband's old work shirts. They had a logo, and his name and title embroidered on them. Since he's retired, he won't be using them, and he can't give them to a co-worker, either. This quilt top (sewn in columns, but rows not stitched yet) is the result. It is currently snuggle-sized, but will get larger - I still have plenty of fabric from the original 6 shirts - navy, khaki, 2 light blues, 2 dark greens...

old thread

I have seen that people are saving old thread on wooden spools.  They use the thread to make a shadowbox of memories of some ancestor they loved who used to sew . I still have some thread on wooden spools. But I won't be using the thread. Not because it is a memento of a loved one. Because I BOUGHT IT MYSELF. And if I haven't wanted something made in that color in 45 years, the chances are good that I won't want it now, either.

They shoot students, don't they?

On May 4 1970, "they" did. The National guard - on the campus of Kent State University - 13 shot - 4 demonstrating students dead. Or maybe some of them demonstrating, some just there, caught at really the wrong place at the wrong time. A university name famous (infamous?) forever, "Kent State" refers to only one thing in the last 35 years: - 13 bodies on the pavement, bleeding. --for exercising their right - guaranteed by the constitution, to meet and to express their opinion. 67 shots fired in 13 seconds - 13 wounded - four dead Neil Young, of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young echoed the despair of a generation with the haunting echo "Four dead in Ohio." I was walking down the sidewalk after a class, when a friend approached me, all upset, angry, telling me about the shooting. I argued with her - "You must be mistaken. The students must have been doing SOMETHING. The guardsmen wouldn't have shot without a REASON." But I was wrong.  The
Finally finished this yesterday - layering, binding, quilting. My quilting was minimal - kept thinking I needed to add more, but...

Live on the water

We live in the country - only a few houses surrounded by woods - deer, turkey, owls, foxes, possums, armadillos, and even a bald eagle or two in the winter time.  A spring-fed creek is just down the hill, and if you turn right, there is a small private park with a century-old partially-refurbished flour mill, picnic tables, a small bandstand with a cement dance floor. Used to be a favorite site for weddings, and some summers they have had music every Fri or Sat night. Trout are occasionally stocked in the creek, but the grandkids catch mostly little tiny sunears and crawdads.  When we lived in Massachusetts, we rented winter houses just a block from the beach. (In the summer, they are far too expensive - so we moved twice a year.) But the MA water never gets warm enough for swimming for this MO gal - even on July 4th it is icy. But we loved to hike around the beach, marshland, and an abandoned estate with grapes-gone-wild and a small pond with perch and bluegill. 
I threw out an old pair of jeans - I've lost 18 lbs, but am still not a smaller size - officially. But my largest size pants are falling down on me, and some that are 2 sizes smaller almost fit 


in sewing circles, there's a thing called me-made-May, where you promise/swear to wear me-made items every day. It involves posting pictures on your blog with your fascinating outfits, and frequently, last-minute sewing of an item here and there to wear the next day.  Now, I don't want to sew new clothes, because I am finally losing, and don't know what size I will end up. But that's no problem - I have lots of smaller clothes in my closet to get into- many of them me-made.  And wearing me-made every day is not a problem - I wear only self-made panties - don't have any store-bought - but there's not going to be any pictures. Also, my favorite nightgown is me-made - a long- skirted heavy knit. But it is very faded and has some bleach spots... so no pictures. I used to have two of them, but I finally threw away the one my husband complained about - it had changed from blue and gray to mustard-colored from a bleach accident. And let me say that this night

cat tails

I cut carefully just what this pattern said. Now it says this should be 11" square. It's 11 3/4. If I trim it, I'll lose the points. If I don't I may have to enlarge the background lattice pieces- haven't cut any yet

Students I have lost

When I was teaching college, I had lost three students in two years. One went out with two friends, drinking, at night, on a boat, and all three drowned. I hadn't liked him much. Yet it was a loss. I kept wondering what I could have done differently, so that I might have liked him more. The second I barely knew, even though he sat in my class day after day, and never shared, never showed me part of himself. He drove his car into a bridge coming home from work. Alcohol was not involved. I kept wondering what I could have done differently, so that I would have known him better. The third - now this was a kid I knew well. He had been home schooled, super-intelligent, the oldest of a brood of likable, shy kids. I saw him grow over two years, in different classes. He really shined when he earned participation in a special program that sent a group to study at Cambridge. He blossomed. He became a leader. He had a great sense of humor, and a taste for the unusual. He studied fencing.

don't make it harder

I was trying to quilt on my grandson's quilt yesterday, and it was so tiring - my shoulders were aching. Then I realized: Yes, I had put on the free-motion foot. Yes, I had changed the stitch length to zero. BUT, I hadn't put the little plastic piece over the feed dogs. Could that be why it was so hard, even if the feet were set to zero??? Will try again today...


Ever have that horrible sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize that what you MEANT was not what was HEARD, and IT'S TOO LATE!! Now, as far as relationships go, I firmly believe that it's rarely too late, and a lot of problems can be solved by just talking, but this particular feeling occurred in the haircut chair. Oh yeah... I said I thought we might take it all off, and she asked how much, and I said one inch, and not til much later did I realize that she was leaving only one inch of hair on my head. It was too late. She cut off all  my gentle curls. It has taken me quite a while to get used to this boy-cut. But I have new appreciation for how little time it takes a man to get ready. Because no matter how I try to curl or mousse or fluff, this hair looks the same as when I do nothing to it at all. I don't blame her. I did say take it all off. And it takes me no time to get ready to go somewhere. But I am definitely letting it grow. I learned one

finally losing weight

Well, since my BC treatment, I get a lot of bloodwork done every checkup. It seems that my liver enzymes have been up for a while, so they referred me for even more tests. I do not have hepatitis A, B, or C, nor do I have a number of other diseases or conditions, or syndromes, and they couldn't see anything in the ultrasound - which is good. So the doc says the remaining diagnosis is non-alcoholic fatty liver. Guess how they treat it? They don't. BUT - here's the bad part - it may indicate that I m developing diabetes. He said that, in order to change that, I need to lose 20% of my body weight. Now, I am at my highest weight ever, even though I rarely have dessert, eat lots of vegetables, etc. And I walk a mile at least 3 times a week (I know - that needs to be more). But I haven't lost anything - in fact, I have gained. He recommended the South Beach Diet, and I looked it up online and got the book from the library. For the first two weeks you eat no bread,

woke up dreaming of quilts

woke up dreaming of quilts - or cross stitch - not sure which - bright colors, all in squares. I opened my eyes, and closed them again, and the squares turned into purple batiks. I don't even like purple - but these were beautiful.

how I learned to sew

seems like I always sewed - I made clothes for my not-a-barbie doll  by hand - including a blouse with set-in sleeves while I was still in elementary school. (We were not allowed to have ridiculously over-developed Barbies.) My mom had a sewing machine, but never learned how to use it. I had a eureka moment when a neighbor of mine (my age) brought home fabric one night and wore the new blouse and matching jumper the next day. I demanded to be put into Home Ec class in 9th grade even though I hadn't had 7th n 8th grade Home Ec, and they did it because my sister and I were in a single-mom household, which was very rare then. Our first project was an apron with miles of bias tape that had to be sewn down by hand (for an apron!??!)  And our second project was a dress - had to have a waist, zipper, collar, and set-in sleeves - (but we could pick any pattern we wanted ha ha) The teacher made 5 dresses while we made ours, and had them pinned up to bulletin boards al

Jan 2 moon over mountains

about 5p.m. Jan 2   Actually near sunset - can you see a faint band of pink midway between the moon n the mountains?  But it is brighter because of city lights reflecting off the snow.

Jan 1 music to start the new year by

Jan1, 2012 Unfortunately, the song that keeps clawing its way into the forefront of my consciousness is "All those other kids with their pumped-up kicks- You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun." by Foster the people. Here's a link so you can get it stuck also -

Dec 31 ice frost?

You almost can't see the snow. It looks like floating glitter in the rays of light. Nights are quite bright with the city lights reflecting off the snow.

Dec 31 Sketch me

Sketch me app turns your photos into drawings. Jer thinks I should edit out the Exit sign - but something about it makes me laugh - in a surrealist sort of way.

Dec 30 sunlight

I t is NOT snowing. Repeat: it is NOT snowing. It did snow again overnight, but yesterday we could actually SEE the sunshine - today, not so much...

Dec 28 - It's snowing again - still - whatever

It's snowing again - still - whatever

Dec 27 Dump truck

Snow removal by front-end loader and dumptruck - it's snowing again - snowed all night _ They spent hours scraping and loading. I have no idea where they took it to dump it, but there were dozens of loads hauled away.

Dec 27 light snow

Today's snow is so fine and light that you almost can't see it. You think maybe it isn't snowing and that you have a mental problem. But see the accumulation on the 2 cars on the right next to the fence? The car to the left has not been moved for days. They do a land-office business in snow brushes here. Don't forget to clear the snow off your head- and taillights! — in Anchorage, AK . Just behind the middle car, you may be able to see where the snow has gotten so high on top of the fence that it has folded over - no wind.

Dec 25 Crunchy, powdery snow

Crunchy, powdery snow- no good for snowmen

Dec 25 Sunrise Christmas day Alaska


Dec 24 7-story mall with ice rink - Anchorage

People in Alaska are crazy. I am wearing 4 layers with gloves and a hood - the other day at the mall I saw a guy in shorts. Many many people will be outdoors in just fleece hoodies while I am indoors, sleeping in fleece pjs, socks, and with a down coverlet.
Dec 13 in the parking lot outside my son n daughter-in-law’s apartment - Anchorage Alaska The vehicle behind the tree and snowpile is Ben's truck, tho you can't really see any of it. And yes, they did just block the driveway.