Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's Time

It’s heart wrenching to “de-stash” my stash of
and trims
and lace
and notions
and all the goodies forwarded to me over the years.

While going through it all, I dream ~ a lot ~ of what I could make with this and that.

But then I ask myself, why?

Why do I make things?

I remind myself how much I love to sew
to quilt
to cross-stitch
to crochet
to spin

So through the tears of letting go and sorting into stacks for this person or this group or this project for whatever reason or cause, I’ve made some life-changing decisions.

Really, it’s a re-focus.

It’s time to move on.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

National Quilting Month

I know, March is almost half over and I’m just now realizing it is National Quilting Month! And, this Saturday (3/18/2017) is National Quilting Day!

Maybe I can find a bit of time to work on a quilt! I haven’t had the opportunity in a couple of months and I’m struggling with sewing/quilting withdrawals! But, all for good reasons…

 Anyway, a day late and a dollar short, I discovered this morning Missouri Star Quilt Co. was hosting a contest (deadline was YESTERDAY!) for your quilting story. Maybe next year…

While searching around the Internet this morning, I discovered The Kentucky Quilt Project ~

Why Quilts Matter

[You can see snippets of their series on YouTube, and follow their link to purchase the complete set.] 

For the time being I plan,
and wait
until I get back to sewing/quilting!

Happy National Quilting Month!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Week Later

My goodness. This week has flown by much too quickly! This afternoon I head back to Dallas, to again help my mother during her rehab period after breaking her right wrist on January 13th. Yes. It was a “Friday the 13th” freak episode of tripping over her feet.

I got a week respite after spending 29 days there (three days during this time I had two special visitors)! For a blessed 7 days I came home ~ to regroup, to spend time here at home with my family, and get some remodeling done on the dedicated sewing room! Thank the Lord for my sister!!!

Back to the renovation update ~ I had to basically empty the room first, before we could install the new flooring, which took a couple of days while DH had a few projects to do outside. You can see the absolute mess I faced in my previous post.

The Allen & Roth laminate flooring was a BUGGER to install. Last year we installed the same principled type flooring in our living room, but a different brand. It was a room three times bigger and it went down beautifully with hardly any issues. But, not this stuff.

Anyway. It’s done.

We put the bookcases back in the room and I reloaded the shelves with most of my collection. I’m selling the knitting books. I know I will never learn to knit.

Did you happen to notice the tv trays leaning against the wall next to the bookcases?

These are older than me! They also still work! I have precious memories of using them at my grandparents when they lived behind us, and then at the farm. They will NEVER get painted, nor thrown away.

We then moved the new HEAVY SUCKER quilting frame and machine boxes from the living room! (Yes. They’ve been there since arrival in November 2016)!

I’ve order wall cabinets – white Shaker style – for this wall. I will pick up from Lowe’s and we will get them installed once I get back.

If I can find oil-based paint, I may eventually paint the remaining walls white. I know from lessons learned latex paint will peel off the paneling.

To the right of the door was once a window. It’s been filled in, and will have a wall cabinet, but it won’t totally cover the ‘pieced’ section. I’m still thinking about how to cover it as my Plan A didn’t work. I saw on Fixer Upper where Chip used a “peel and stick” type of flooring on a wall. Well, it wouldn’t stick to the varnished paneling like I’d hoped. I am NOT ABOUT to strip the varnish, so am back to the drawing board on this one! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

I cleaned out a closet. I should have taken a “before picture”…
But, I didn’t.

It’s cool to clean out a closet after having stuff buried for 15-20 years! It’s amazing the things that are rediscovered!  

Now it’s time to de-clutter!

While going through the all stuff taken out of the room, I set up two boxes…
1)    donation to the local Senior Center
2)    donation for the American Legion Post #116’s annual “garage sale” at the Diamondback Jubilee (Rattlesnake Roundup) in Lometa Regional Park on 3/25/17
I also have a HUGE trash bag.

It’s a start.
It’s only been a week.

Until the next time I’m back home…

Friday, February 17, 2017

Dedicated Sewing Room - Progress Report

It's been a long time coming, one of the last rooms to renovate in this 1918 house. What I've lovingly referred to as my "walk-in closet" is now changing!

What it looked like in November 2014:

Trust me. It only got worse.

I know.
I have too much "stuff" !!!
But, but, I have so many things I want to do.

Over the years, there have been many passions, wants, desires to create various projects.

When taking everything possible out of the room, I know there will be a few items totally tossed. Some will donated.
Some will be put up for sale... like all my knitting books because I know my brain doesn't work that way, and my hands can't take it. No. I'll simply crochet.

I haven't yet gone through the "stuff" as I had to clear the room for the new flooring:

Anna had never been able to look out this window!

The fun begins this afternoon!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Creating Your Own Organizer - Free Printables Found!

Just before Christmas a friend called my attention to a 2017 quilt planner she’d come across on the internet. I took a look and decided it wasn’t for me, not just because of the hefty price (even when multiples were ordered together), it was because I knew I wouldn’t use all the various pages included. It would be a waste.

I decided to create a planner myself, to customize it to fit my needs and wants. That’s when I went searching for ideas and free printables on the internet.

I came across Just a Girl and Her Blog. Abby has wonderful ideas and I signed up on her website for additional printables exclusive to her newsletter subscribers! Trust me! Worth it!

In addition to printable pages readily available, she provides a tutorial how create one in MS Word from scratch! Totally custom! Totally me!

Oh, and also, she shares “Plan to Achieve Your Goals this Year!” asking some great SMART questions:

In January I saw the original planner in person. I’m so thankful I didn’t get it because it would be much too heavy for me. Also, I realized it had a spiral binding. I hadn’t noticed that back in December. And, is another reason I wouldn’t want it as it’s too limiting. I’m thinking a one inch three ring binder will be perfect. When September comes, would I really need to be carrying around March stuff?


At No Side Bar, they have a few printables, like the Weekly Planner – perfect for my custom planner!

Blooming Homestead not only offers numerous brightly colored printables, but also shares her method of getting organized! You’ll find a 28 page .pdf download – pick and chose!!!

Oh. My. Goodness. If I can’t find everything I need on Organized Home, I don’t need a planner! They even have a “Fabric Organizer Page” !!!!

Life Your Way has a Home Management Notebook system with sheets for Birthday Organizer and Basic Medical Information among many others!

I also found many printables at Organizing Home Life

Fab n Free created lovely printables for Home-Family organization like Meal Planner and Cleaning Planner. I especially like her “Daily Planner” as it has check boxes for water and exercise (a reminder I need on a daily basis)!

I happened across a website that had a YouTube video about creating planners so got me to thinking…

Who would have thought? Oh, Yes! Check out the variety!!!

I guess everything you ever wanted to know can be found on YouTube!!!

This is not for a binder, but for the sewing room! How fun is this one I found on Crafterhours!

I so appreciate all the talented and good-hearted folks for creating a multitude of free printables!

Now to get started printing…

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Top 7 Articles of 2016

#7 – The Gift to Give

....Instead of asking her [my sister] last Christmas, I simply prepared and gave her “Blessing Bags” for her to pass along to those in need. I don’t think I’ve ever given her anything she liked and appreciated better – ever!

#6 - Introducing the Wings Quilt Block!
...Have you ever created a quilt block and didn’t like the way it looked? Maybe the color scheme used or the size of individual pieces within the block just didn’t look like the way you envisioned?

#5 – Just Shy of a full blown addiction

…finding free “Block of the Month” (or bi-weekly) (BOM) websites and the Facebook support groups that go along with them! I’m a happy camper that they are out there by the droves!

#4 – Crumb Quilts

...Those itty bitty tiny scraps are not just for stuffing pillows or pet beds any longer!

#3 – When Sisters Work Together

…a story I want to share…

#2 – Whispers in the Wind
 …each time I feel the wind on my face, I will be absorbing the prayer from a Prayer Flag someone, somewhere in this world, has made. Because, now I know about the whispers in the wind!

And, the Number One article for 2016:

#1 - Labor Day - Labor of Love
 …There are a multitude of those giving from the heart ~ a labor of love ~ their creativeness, expertise, and devotion through making quilts, dresses, shorts, pillowcases, bags, and on and on for whatever the need may be! 

Read the complete article.

Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It’s Official – I AM addicted to BOM's

Last February I wrote about finding a couple of FREE “Block of the Month” (BOM) challenges that were available online. In March, I shared a bit of my progress. Yesterday, I made/shared a to-do list.

Because I am using basically the same fabrics/color themes throughout the BOM's – of course Red White and Blue, they will be for our local Veterans once done.

1.     One BOM is still going. I think she’s on Block #90 (out of 100). Last year I shared a bit of my progress here. I'm not doing all 100... many are not appropriate for Veterans.

2.     One has all 12 blocks available for download, I’ve made 4. Photos of the first 3 are here.

3.     The third one I signed up for, I think I have 2 blocks made. I got frustrated with the website because it would take ages for the .pdf printable instructions to become available. I now have all the block patterns downloaded and am ready to finish it up.

I know. I know. I am addicted because just this week I discovered two more recently released Block of the Month challenges! Both are by the talented designer and quilter and writer Pat Sloan! I love her 2017 themes:

Children’s Library” (this is monthly)


Yes! I’ve downloaded the few block patterns she’s already shared for both BOM’s.

TIP:  I’m getting organized by downloading all the patterns for the different BOM’s on my laptop. I created separate file folders for each BOM challenge. I also created basically a blank Word document and saved it with only the link to the specific website.

I’ve promised myself, however, not to start on these two until the other three are FINISHED!

Have you ever done a Block of the Month challenge?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How do you work?

Recently, “How do you work?” was asked on the Lone Star of Texas Quilts for Others Facebook group. Michelle asked if we have several work-in-progress (WIP) going at once, or do we totally start to finish before going to the next project. The discussion had mixed results. Some do several at a time – like me! Others must complete before starting something new!

Bottom line, it is whatever works! Either way, you are not alone!

I decided to share my WIP list before the world, get it out into the universe. I need to set goals and get them done! There are so many more projects I want to do!

Besides the following major WIP, there are “minor” projects I want to do, like Blessing Bags, Action Quilts (aka Fidget Quilts), Kennel Quilts, more Prayer Flags, and any Pocket Prayer Quilts when the need arises.

It will be interesting to see at the end of the year what I’ve accomplished…

Carry Over from 2016 WIP:

1.     Camp Quilt – top is ready, need to quilt and bind and label.

2.     Butterflies and Dragonflies Quilt – ordered fabric arrived, need to finish border, then quilt, bind and label.

3.     Nancy’s Quilts – design and create at least 3 more
4.     Charm (Beggar) Quilt – two rows pieced, need total of 6 rows. Cut more 2” squares and stitch together, join rows, quilt, bind, and label. Will be a *Veteran’s Quilt

Block of the Month (BOM):

5.     Secret Garden – catch up on the bi-weekly blocks, add sashing, stitch together, quilt, bind, and label – Will be a *Veteran’s Quilt
6.     Splendid Sampler – half way through creating the blocks. Add sashing, stitch together, quilt, bind, label – Will be a *Veteran’s Quilt
7.     Starry Night – bunches of blocks to make, join together, quilt, bind, label – Will be a *Veteran’s Quilt
*DEADLINE on the Veteran’s Quilts – July 1, 2017

Totally NEW Must-Do projects:

THEN: Create at least 6 more Veteran’s quilts by July – to cover veterans that attend the American Legion Post’s Cowboy Breakfast!!!
THEN: replace those quilts for the September’s Cowboy Breakfast
THEN replace those for the Veteran’s Day program at the local school!!!

Projects I want to start for Me, our Home:

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt

And, two wall hangings for my NEW dedicated sewing room!

Yes. I have various projects going at one time. I love it! I don’t get bored for a lack of something to do!

How do you work?
One project at a time?
Several on-going?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Top 7 Articles of 2015

#7  Follow Your Heart

 …the words of Edward Everett Hale are a great mantra to keep playing in our minds:

I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do
interfere with what I can do.
 Follow your heart and you’ll create with passion.

#6 Chair Bound

Seldom do I follow pattern directions. Well, this [wheelchair quilt] is certainly a prime example! This is also a good example how you can make things your own as well!

#5 Creating an Action Quilt - Part 9

....finishing up.I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! I encourage you to make your own Action Quilt [Fidget Quilt] to give a Loved One with Alzheimer's Disease or dementia!

#4 Turning Scraps into Fabric

…try it!…adapting…

#3 Creating an Action Quilt – Part 1

The Action Quilts (aka Fidget Quilts) I create are not for commercial facilities such as Nursing Homes or Adult Day Care Centers serving those with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. My focus is for those living in a home environment with a 24/7 caregiver.

#2 Action Quilt (aka Fidget Quilt)

…a friend called my attention to a newspaper article about a lady creating Fidget Quilts. La Mon knows me well…

And the NUMBER 1 Article is...

#1 Life with a 16 year old

Various websites state a Doberman has a life expectancy of 10-12 years. Some mention up to 13 years. We have a miracle living with us!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Make your own Chenille fabric!

A new technique on my to-do list for 2017 ~ to make my own Chenille fabric like this:

I thought, How clever, when I happened across this blog article sharing this idea! When I was little, I had a chenille bedspread and loved it! I still have the chenille robe my parents gave me for Christmas at least 10 years ago!

It is something I will use in small projects, like on Action Quilts (aka Fidget Quilts) or zipper bags or potholders or pillows. Maybe a doll quilt, or mini quilt, but that’s about it. I do not intend on ever making enough for an entire quilt!

Through my searches, I discovered one can either use the same fabric for the multiple layers needed, or different prints on each one. It’s then the placement changes the entire color scheme!

On Stores Online, they used 3 different colors (then the base), and shows the three different results depending on placement! How cool is this?!

See how the other colors come through the top! Just love it!
I went to Pinterest and searched for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) to find more ideas / uses for Chenille!

At Peanut to Princess, she shows how to create the chenille, then use as an appliqué! Clever!

Oh, and then just strips of chenille, for other projects! At Kati’s Quilting, she shows us how to make the strips.

Then in Part 2, how to use them!

Of all the YouTube videos I watched to create Chenille Fabric, I enjoyed Mary Beth’s presentation the best!

The Olfa circular cutter shown on some sites like this from Walmart:

But, I’m going to use the Fiskars Scissors like Hobby Lobby (among the many places) offers! I think I will be able to handle gripping the cutter better with the spring scissors rather than the circular one.

Oh, and the “chenille brush” …

I’m going to see if I can find something around the house that will work just as well – maybe a firm toothbrush? It’s difficult for me to purchase something ~ anything ~ and have the shipping cost almost as much as the product itself! On one site I went to, it was triple the product’s cost!

Maybe I’ll stumble across one somewhere, sometime!

I’m excited about trying this technique!

Let me know if you try it as well!!!

UPDATE:  I purchased a "Utility Dish Brush" while at Walmart and hope it works just as well as the "chenille brush"!!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Testing 1 2 3

I discovered a site where I can create graphics, printables for others... trying to get it figured out!

Here is one I did a few minutes ago... wondering if it works:

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

It is the end of our Christmas season.

              It is the beginning…

                           …of faithful living!


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