Sunday, December 30, 2018

Catching up

I'm back in Massachusetts after a wonderful couple of days relaxing with my husband and kids.  I knitted, I quilted, and I binge-watched TV shows.  I LOVE VACATION!

After an uneventful drive home, I finished up Clue #5 for my Good Fortune Mystery Quilt.
Clue #5 done and trimmed
I'll start Clue #6 tomorrow before heading up to NH to spend Christmas #2 with my sisters and their families.  In the meantime, I'm quilting like crazy, trying to finish my 8-month-old niece's quilt before her first birthday!
I've really enjoyed hand quilting these last few days.  Why do I set it aside for so long???
I'm linking up with Oh Scrap and Monday Making.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Wild Ride!

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's always seems crazy, but never more than this year!  My husband started a new job in New Jersey in mid-October - and yes, I live in Massachusetts.  He comes up to visit most weekends, but this is my third time driving down to New Jersey with the kids since Thanksgiving.  I know that many, many families live apart in order to make things work financially or because of the nature of their jobs, or for any number of other reasons.  I always thought, "wow, that must be a challenge."  I was right!  I miss him terribly when we are apart, and I don't want him (or me) to leave when we are together.  That's normal, I guess.  What perhaps isn't so normal is how much I RESENT the traveling!  All I can think of when I'm stuck in traffic (usually somewhere in Connecticut) is that if I can't have my family all together, I at least want to spend the time apart doing something I love - quilting or knitting - not stuck in a car surrounded by other cars.  Ugh!  (OK, pity party is over)

As a result, I've not been as productive in the sewing room as I normally would strive to be during this time of year.  My main project has been Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune Mystery Quilt.  I'm behind, but not too behind.  Another clue will be released tomorrow while I am still working on last week's clue - and I still haven't finished assembling last YEAR's quilt, but I'm enjoying the process.
Clue 1 done and trimmed
Clue 2 done but NOT trimmed
Clue 3a done and trimmed

Bonus triangles from Clue 3, NOT trimmed
Clue 4 done and trimmed
I've been keeping my finished pieces in a butter cookie tin (much like the HSTs that I shared last month).
I dutifully ate 5 lbs of butter cookies so I could use the tin in this way.  :)
In the meantime, my 16-year-old son has been sharing memes (is that right?  Are these memes?) with me, letting me know that he isn't the only one who doesn't know what to expect when he finds a tin of  butter cookies:

I'll have two days back at home before I get back to work.  I'm hoping I can get completely caught up with this year's mystery, make some more progress assembling last year's mystery, and plan out some baby quilts.  I have two showers in February and one in April - better get cracking!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Good (and bright) Fortune

After spending a wonderful and relaxing few days in New Jersey with my husband's family for Thanksgiving, I'm back home.  I'm proud of myself for feeding the dog and unpacking my suitcase BEFORE sprinting to my sewing room to start my Good Fortune Mystery Quilt!

First, I needed to pull fabric.  I decided on ORANGE and GREEN because I have so much of them and they are my absolute favorite colors, and then YELLOW and PURPLE because those are the two colors I have the least of and because it should make for a bright and cheerful quilt (I hope!).  And lots of scrappy neutrals make my heart sing.  I took this photo to remind me which color corresponds to which color in Bonnie's directions (please, Please, PLEASE let me remember that my green is actually blue in her directions and that my purple is her green!).

Before cutting any fabric, I went into my precut scraps to see what I could make from those.  I had a bunch of the appropriate sized squares,

and I had a bunch of neutral strips the correct width for which I just had to cut yellow to match.

To my absolute delight, I was able to sew together almost 25% of Clue #1 without even cutting into my neutral yardage, and just cutting a couple strips of yellow!

Of course, the next 75% will take much longer since I'll have to iron and cut fabric...

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap and Monday Making as well as Bonnie's Monday Mystery Link Up.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


I am a slow runner.  I don't run often, but if I run on a track with other runners, I am almost guaranteed to be lapped, to have the same person pass me more than once on my way around the track.

It is the same with quilting, I am afraid.  The new Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, Good Fortune, starts is just three days, and here I am just now finishing block construction and just now assembling my quilt from LAST year!

Oh well, I have had so much fun doing this one, On Ringo Lake, that I am determined to do Good Fortune as well.  I am driving to New Jersey tomorrow, and won't be back until Sunday, so I'll get a late start and won't have time to finish On Ringo Lake first, but that's OK.  My goal is to do a fabric pull in the morning before I hit the road so I can jump right into sewing when I get back home.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Fly away, Flutterby!

Tonight was the fundraising event where my Flutterby quilt (based on the Jen Kingwell pattern in the Quilt Lovely book) was auctioned off to raise money for Project Horizon, a non-profit organization in Lexington, VA (my old stomping grounds) dedicated to reducing domestic and sexual violence in the area.  I've donated items before for the silent auction and brought in a couple hundred dollars, but this year, they wanted my quilt to be in the live auction.  I was super nervous - was my quilt good enough for the big leagues?

This is what it looked like when it left my house as a flimsy.

One of my friends from my old quilt guild volunteered to quilt it on her long-arm machine.

She also added the binding by machine.

My friend who attended the fundraiser (which is a fabulous dinner and dancing plus silent auction and live auction) videotaped the auctioning of the quilt for me.  I was on pins and needles watching.

Nine hundred and fifty dollars!?!  I'll be honest - I started to cry.  I'm so humbled.  I hope that whoever won the bid loves the quilt and that it brings him/her many years of comfort and warmth.  And, more importantly, I hope that the money it raised helps someone make a new, violence-free start in her life.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Home Stretch!

Tomorrow starts the last week of school before a nine-day Thanksgiving Break - woo hoo!  I'm doing my best to get my On Ringo Lake quilt done before the release of Bonnie Hunter's new mystery, but I don't know if I'm going to make it; I realized this weekend that I never finished one of the clues, so I'm scrambling to make some flying geese units so I can finish piecing the blocks.  I did get three or four more blocks pieced this weekend, though.

My leaders and enders for the weekend was to sew together the bonus triangles I had laying around from a recent project

and add them to my HST tin.  At some point, I should be able to make something fun from all of these.
I L-O-V-E butter cookies!
I also finished and mailed off five blocks for Carole's Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project.

No finishes to show, except a couple more stockings for my ETSY shop

but I've been thinking a lot about beginnings - five people here at work are having babies this spring!  Five opportunities to make fun little quilts!!

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap and Monday Making.

Sunday, November 4, 2018


I  am ADDICTED to making these mini Christmas stocking gift card holders for my ETSY shop.  I love using up little bits of batting and scraps of holiday fabrics.

In between times, I am sewing up some blocks for the Carolina Hurricane Quilts Project coordinated by Carole at From My Carolina Home.  I sent her some blocks back when she was collecting for the California Fire Quilts, so this was a no-brainer for me to get involved again.  I hope you will, too.  The big blocks go together quite quickly, especially since I already have pre-cut scrap squares.

I'm headed to a conference in PA for the next two days, so I will be knitting, not quilting.  I'm hoping to finish a Christmas present while away from home, or at least make significant progress.  I'm only planning to make a few gifts this year; the rest I am trying to buy from local artisans or on ETSY.  Do you have a favorite ETSY shop to buy gifts or a go-to gift that you like to make?  I'm always looking for ideas...

I'm linking up with Monday Making and Oh Scrap!

Thursday, November 1, 2018


In my world (college advising), October is commonly referred to as Suck-tober.  Crass, I know, but whoa, what a crazy, exhausting month!  Today is the deadline for seniors to apply Early Action or Early Decision to most colleges, so tomorrow, things start to slow down to a trot instead of this full-on gallop we've been experiencing all month.  YAY!

To me, that means picking up the guitar again, reading for pleasure (I have a backlog of new-to-me cozy mysteries waiting for me) and SEWING!!  Tonight, in between panicked emails from the kids who didn't listen to me about getting things done early and are just now finalizing essays before submitting applications tonight, I am whipping up a couple of mini Christmas stockings.  They usually sell well in my ETSY shop, and those that don't sell, I use to give gifts to friends and family.  They are the perfect size to hold a gift card, but I've also filled them with candy, lottery tickets, money, any little thing.

When I got online tonight, I found that Bonnie Hunter has announced this year's mystery quilt!  ACK!  I guess I should get back to finishing LAST year's quilt; I had fun working on it last year, and want to do it again this year.  I have 18 more blocks to put together before I can start assembling the quilt.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Another donation quilt started

A number of student groups that I work with had a Block Party tonight.  Since I had to be there anyway, I set up some sewing machines, brought some precut fabric, and helped anyone who wanted to make blocks for another Community Quilt.  This one will be donated to Quilts Beyond Borders.  Most of the students had never sewn before, but they made great progress!

Same pattern for my last Community Quilt Project - Arkansas Crossroads

(I swear some girls sewed, too.  But since I live in a boys dorm, I know a lot more of the boys on campus than the girls, and they are great sports about trying new things.)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Guilty quilting

I had so much fun getting back to sewing yesterday that I snuck in some sewing today, too!  Gonna have to double up on the recommendation letters tomorrow to make up for the time I spent sewing today, but it was worth it!

I revisited my On Ringo Lake quilt - I only had 31 blocks pieced, so I assembled another block today.
18 to go!

Meanwhile, I got to looking at my Leaders & Enders Challenge on the design wall

and decided it needed sashing and cornerstones.

I like it!  I'll let that marinate on my wall for a while.

And, I made two travel tissue covers for a co-worker who will be going to her grandmother's funeral on Tuesday.  Just wanted her to know I was thinking of her.
When asked, she first indicated a blue that she liked, and then said red, so I made her one of each color.  Only the blue one has tissues in it, though.
I'm hoping I can find a few moments to sew regularly this week, but most likely, it won't be until next weekend, if I am staying on schedule and doing the work I should be doing.

I'm linking up with Oh, Scrap and Monday Making.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Catching up!

As a college advisor, the fall is a super busy time.  I realized today that I hadn't worked on my temperature quilt at all during September, so I carved out some time for myself to sew this evening.  I'm happy to state that I'm all caught up through today!

And since my design wall is currently empty, I put up my what I have so far for my Leaders & Enders Challenge, Jewel Box Stars, designed by Bonnie Hunter.  Fun and scrappy!

I probably won't get another chance to sew again until next weekend, but today's sewing marathon will see me through.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Flutterby Flimsy!!

This past week was a blur - I traveled to Salt Lake City for a conference while operating in a DayQuil and NyQuil induced haze.  Storm related delays in connecting cities gave me time to complete my third POCC sock, finally giving me a matching pair,
They are the same size!  Yay!  I had already made two of these socks, but they were completely different sizes because I did the gusset wrong on Sock #2.  That's what you get when you work out of your crowded head instead of from a pattern, I guess.

but the highlight of my week was finishing my Flutterby flimsy!  I love it! 
Based on pattern by Jen Kingwell, final size 86.5" x 98.5"

It is on its way to a long arm quilter and then off to join other donated items in a silent auction to benefit Project Horizon, an organization that assists victims of domestic abuse.

It is letter writing time for me as a College Advisor, and I am woefully behind.  I'm afraid I won't have much time for sewing in the coming month, but I'm going to do my best to find moments here and there to create.

I'm linking up with Monday Making and Oh Scrap!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Plodding along

I've been plodding along with my Flutterby quilt, staying focused by keeping my eye on the calendar and the silent raffle that is coming up for which this queen sized quilt will be one of the offerings.  My goal is to have the top completed by Saturday, as I'm headed to Salt Lake City for a conference next week.  I know I can do it!  I've completed all 168 blocks, and sewed them all into 42 blocks of 4.  I love the variety in every single block.

I've begun sewing them into ever larger chunks.  The pieced borders are already constructed and ready to be added.

I happily realized that Frances O'Roark Dowell's quilt podcast, Friendship Album 1933, is back with new installments as of September 7, so I got caught up with that while sewing.

I'm excited to share the seven Orphan UFOs that I have up for grabs through Cynthia's Quilty Orphan Adoption Event.  If you want to throw your name into the ring for any of them, visit my previous post - I'm drawing names tonight (Tuesday, September 18).

Stay safe and dry, everyone!

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap.

Friday, September 14, 2018

UFOs: FREE to a good home!!

Edited 9/18: Drawing is now closed - winners listed below and contacted via email.  Winners chosen with Random Number Generator.  Thanks for playing along!

I've participated in Cynthia's Quilty Adoption Event twice a year for a couple years now, so you'd think I'd have cleared out all of my UFOs.  WRONG!  Even though I moved this summer AND last summer, I STILL came across UFOs that I didn't even remember having!

The following 7 (seven!!) UFOs are up for grabs.  Let me know in a comment any and all projects that you'd be interested in winning, and if there is more than one taker out there by Tuesday evening (9/18), and I will randomly choose recipients.  My goal is to get these all out of the sewing room by the end of next week.  There are no restrictions on how you use the blocks - make something for yourself, for a family member, for a charity, to sell - it doesn't matter to me.  I will ship at my expense anywhere in the US and CANADA.


A.  WESTERING WOMEN Congratulations, Rebecca! Please send me your address so I can mail your package.  There is no email address attached to your profile.  If I don't hear from you by Saturday, I will draw a new winner.

In 2016, I participated in Barbara Brackman's Westering Women BOM.  I loved making the blocks and reading her posts, but I'm not really a fan of sampler quilts, so I doubt I'll ever make the last three blocks and put it together.  Will you?  I tried to use repro fabrics, and in addition to the nine 12.5" (unfinished size) blocks I made, I will send what I have left of the fabrics I used in the blocks, in case you want to go ahead and make the last three blocks.  Some are just scraps, others are as big as a quarter yard or more.

B. DOTTY Congratulations, Patricia!  Package mailed!

I love polka dots, and I love black as a contrast color.  But I can't for the life of me figure out where I was going with this project.  Half the 9" (unfinished size) blocks are a square in a square, while the other half are a type of sunburst.  The polka dot fabric is all Love by Amy Butler.  The black is likely a Kona solid, but I can't guarantee that.  There are still three uncut fat quarters of polka dot and two 10"xWOF pieces of black along with the leftover bits of the fabrics I already cut (basically 7.5"x21" each).

C.  JASON Congratulations, Louise! Package mailed!

Do you know a Jason?  I began a quilt for my son, Jason, back when we were taking karate.  The quilt was going to feature the colors of the belt up to black belt.  However, after receiving our black belts, we stopped taking karate, so this project screeched to a halt.  There is a 56"xWOF piece of the black solid, nine 8" (unfinished size) wonky stars in a rainbow of colors, and some various sized scraps of the rainbow solids (but no white or blue).  There are two pieced border strips and a free-pieced wonky JASON.  I can't even remember what this quilt was supposed to look like.

D. I SPY Congratulations, Crystal! Package mailed!

This was one of my first UFOs from before my second son (who is now 13) was even born, I think.  Which means my piecing is probably of questionable quality.  There are twenty-eight 6" (unfinished size) snowball blocks, twenty-two additional 6" squares of novelty fabric, and an 8"x72" piece of WOW background fabric.  The novelty fabric is everything from vehicles to frogs to aliens to ice cream, etc.

E.  STARS Congratulations, Linda! Package mailed!

I taught a class on these star blocks, but I doubt I'm going to make more.  They are 12.5" (unfinished size), and there are just 4 of them.

F. QUILT SAYINGS Congratulations, Cheryl! Package mailed!

I had completely forgotten about the block lotto in my guild over a decade ago when I won these blocks.  I don't even know which block I made!!  (although I think I made the wonky star - very much my style)  Each block is 12.5" (unfinished size) and includes a quilty saying.  I've included a couple close ups of the sayings for you.

G.  MEDALLION Congratulations, Sharon!  Please send me your address so I can mail your package.  There is no email address attached to your profile.  If I don't hear from you by Saturday, I will draw a new winner.

This was the beginnings of my first attempt to make a quilt for my mom, well over a decade ago.  I liked the idea of a medallion, but I just couldn't pull it together.  The center piece is about 42" square, and there is an extra 4.5" (unfinished size) flower block and an aborted pieced corner piece.  There are two 25"xWOF pieces of the background fabric.

Thanks for helping me out.  I've been on a major de-stash kick lately, and this, along with the fabric and yarn I've been steadily adding to my ETSY shop, is helping me to stay organized, focus and FINISH!

I'm linking up with Cynthia's Quilty Adoption Event.  Check it out to see if there are other items out there that you'd like.