April 15, 2014

4 - 14: Blood Moon

Here is a picture from our evening walk - The Blood Moon hadn't risen to it's peak yet.  We stood on the lake shore as others did; watching for the moon to change its appearance... it would be much-much later for a good showing.  **I love how everyone whispers to each other during events like this... so polite and reverent.

Clouds rolling by and I'm using my old phone for picture-taking (!)  Oh well, if the moon was red, we would have gone back for our cameras.  The last I checked the sky was around @11pm - the moon was still a golden hue... like a big flashlight in the sky.
Did you see the Blood Moon? 

April 5, 2014

Home and a little bit about being a FarmGirl

Home is a great word. You mention the word and it immediately evokes feelings and memories. Simply defined as: the place in which one's domestic affections are centered.  Since I split my time between 2 time zones (two homes), I get twice the 'domestic affections' (hope we are talking about sewing/crocheting projects - Ha!).  Our son is getting married and that has me traveling back to the Pacific NW.  Exciting times!  I've got a list of things to do with just enough time to get them done before company shows up.

Travel was good.  Got lucky, the following day there were a number of storms across the country that included tornadoes.

In this shot you can see the dark forest colors of the Pacific NW begin to fill in the landscape.

In the Sewing Room:
I made this quilt-top in one day... the day before the trip!  It's the next quilt for my sister.  I thought it was done until I looked at this picture... it needs a border - just a thin one.

This is my first Length-of-Fabric quilt... the fabric prints called for it!  The smallest piece of the three fabrics was 1 1/2yd... so that became the width for this quilt - which is meant to be a throw-size.

I had cut out more strips than I used, the quilt was becoming too long, so I edited.  Perhaps the extra Purple print will go into the border... my sister does love Purple!

This kind of has a Marrakesh-vibe, I think-I hope.

On Walks:
There is no Polar Vortex here to contend with, so I have already ventured out on some walks... it's so good to be outside and stretching the legs.
There are signs of Spring - flowers are blooming... time to go on a hike and search for Chocolate Lilies.
Question: Have you picked up a copy of the MaryJanesFarm magazine?
My mom did when she was here visiting us during the holidays.  I remember her saying, "You can never take the Farm out of the Girl" (she is a Vermont Farmgirl).  She gave me the magazine as she was leaving and I packed it in my travel bag and read it when I was traveling back East.  Imagine my smiles as I discovered it has local ties!  It's a pretty magazine - filled with everything wholesome, organic and brought back great memories of camping...
As a child, I don't remember ever staying at a hotel, it was always campsite. The annual summer vacation to our favorite state park was the best... the family would pack up all the usual items and just as soon as we'd reach the turn-off from the highway, the truck would pull over, my sister and I would hop in to the back of the truck and ride the bumpy road up the mountain... twists and turns memorized, we'd look for our favorite sights on the way.  And, once the cousins arrived, it was off on trails and finding rocks to climb. The Great Outdoors was our playground while my dad worked for the Forestry, we became familiar with many hiking trails and it was always fun to get to the top of a lookout tower and look for the ocean in the distance... some things never change!

First opportunity, I went for a visit to the MaryJanesFarm store.  Who knows what memories will stirred.

The store is stocked with beautiful bedding and crocheted afghans...
Quilting & Knitting-theme greeting cards did not escape my eye.

MaryJanesFarm Books and Magazines. 
Mary Jane owns a unique Bed & Breakfast - I encourage you to follow the links below and get yourself familiar with Glamp-ing!

Great gifts for every occasion and for every room... and your Glamp-ing Camper!

Located in The Shops across from The Coeur d'Alene Resort. 

MaryJanesFarm links that I found interesting!
The website:

About Mary Jane:                                                                                 

Farmgirl Forum:

MaryJanesFarm on Pinterest:

Enjoy Your Sewing!

March 26, 2014

I was sharing the news of our son getting married to a friend and she had some fun news too... she and her hubby are celebrating their 25th anniversary (around the same time) by renewing their vows.  I wish I could be in 2 places at one time.

This is the table-runner I've made for Elvia and her hubby.
This is 18" wide and width of fabric length with the brown strips sewn in at the 11" point.

Now that it's done and wrapped, I'm thinking I could have stitched flower centers into the doily to make it more flower-like...  make a note!

This is a 1-day project at most... even with a little extra touches.

Imagine doilies as Sunflowers...make a note!

In the News:
Oso/Darrington Landslide (Washington State) -
Nichole Webb Rivera (Quilter, Writer) was just interviewed on the Shepard Smith show... her parents, her daughter and daughter's fiance are missing in the landslide.  How devastating. 
Please keep her and all the victims (families & friends) in your prayers.  

March 24, 2014

Keeping Busy

Finished and in the hands of my parents... I've received one message after another from them - heartfelt thank yous. I feel it.  It's been an emotional roller-coaster (the last 2 years), but we are all here and very grateful for prayers answered (for my sister's health).  We continue to pray for research and cures for the most-devastating health diagnosis'.  There is good reason to hope... 'nothing is impossible'.

If you recall (or read previous posts), this project was started for the family to focus on all our blessings.  The quilt's theme is Keeping Busy... these are activities that my sister and I enjoyed as little girls when our family would go gathering firewood and camping.  In some respects, I haven't changed... I still enjoy the same things (forget the malls).

Here's some of the photos that I took of the wall-hanging in no particular order.  I added RavioLee Dreams hand-dyed laces throughout the quilt to give it an heirloom-effect.

Catching Butterflies, chasing lizards, feeding chipmunks and finding False Gold (never the real stuff)... 

Climbing rocks and sitting under our favorite trees, the Coulter Pine. This is all before Geo-cache days!  Puffy clouds passing by with the help of an easy breeze...

It could have been a tree branch that we imagined was a swing - what can I say, we had great imaginations!

Skipping down dirt roads, picking wildflowers and riding in the back of the old red truck...our minds and hearts are filled with so memories.

Little-girl pink and rich forest-greens play a part in the borders that surround the blocks (that my parents chose).  Embroidery threads from my sister's stash are sewn in to the Twins themselves.  

I encourage anyone to work on a project like this for their family. 
Enjoy Your Sewing!

March 21, 2014

Owning it.

Now, I don't want you to leave thinking this is my BEST paper-piecing... truth is, this was my first time trying it and later I tried the pattern again with much better results.  I'm just determined to not waste this... so, let's call this Wild, Scrappy & Wonky Jeweled Forest and 'own it'.

It's so close to being done that I'm going to post the progress... almost done!

Top and bottom borders on the way.
I want to applique something in the corners...

When this is done, I'm gonna hang it up for everyone to see - in the Front room (even though the Christmas holidays are long past). 
We are sure to talk (and laugh) about how wonky the trees are, but I am going to raise a glass and shout out, 'Finished'.  

Enjoy Your Sewing!

March 19, 2014

I ♥ Spring

With renewed interest in my pattern for the Phone Pouch, I've decided to update the pattern and make a tutorial for everyone. Yes, let's celebrate the fact that (most) of the Winter is behind us!
By the way: It's snowing considerably as I write!

Here is what you're making... a pouch that will fit a small phone or electronic device.
As a holder, there is no limit to the uses.

Step 1.  Make the pattern.  If you don't have legal-size paper, then tape 2-pieces together...

Step 2. Draw out the pattern.
It measures 13 1/4" in length.  The top edge is 4" wide and the bottom edge is 3 3/4".

(I like nothing better than a pdf, so I'll get the pattern scanned and put all of this tutorial into a pdf form.)

The notch is something that I designed so that I could get my finger/or thumb into the pouch... sure makes it easier to grab whatever it is that you put in there!

Cut-out at the top of pattern is 1 1/4" deep and there is 1 1/4" to each side of the notch

This is how I make it easier to navigate around the cut-out...

At the bottom of the pattern I want to you do one more cut... it makes the flap a little more narrow.

On the bottom edge, I want you to measure 1/8" in from the Left and mark it... do the same from the Right side.
You will draw a diagonal line from the 2nd Fold Line to the mark.

Cut on those diagonal lines to create a tapered Flap.

Step 3. Cutting your fabric
Use any Cotton or Cotton blend (directional fabric is an issue since the Flap folds over onto itself , but you can get around that by piecing the flap... where there's a will there's a way!)
1 piece for Outside
1 piece for Lining
1 piece of Batting
*Fabrics should be facing each other when cutting out pattern.

This is a great pattern for those Fat Quarters just sitting around!

Step 4.
Layer fabric (facing each other) on top of batting and sew around edge, leaving an opening on side to turn inside out.

Clip all those corners to remove excess bulk.

Step 5.
Now that it's turned right side out, top-stitch around edge.

Step 6.
Fold front of pouch at 5" line.

I sew across the Fold Line to make it 'crisper.

Pattern is made to make a slight 'pouch'... so, line up the sides to sew.

Step 7.
Add Velcro for closure.  I use the Velcro dots and add a bit of Fabric glue for 'hold'.  If you do as I do with the Fabric glue, please be sure you are not going to try to move the Velcro... it's nearly impossible to do!

Now, let's talk about Options!
The top fabric is your 'playground'.  You might want to use up scraps and do a Strings, Braid or Crazy-Quilting top.

I've made all the versions - you can look through my blog posts for inspiration (I've labeled them as phone cases).  You can quilt your top by taking the top fabric and batting and quilting to your heart's content and then finish according to the directions.   The only problem I ran into was adding beads too close to the seam... you can't sew over them!

I have one request: Please use this pattern for gift-giving only. 

I look forward to hearing from you... make your phone pouch and link it here if you'd like!  Have a Happy ♥ Spring!

Enjoy Your Sewing!

March 18, 2014

The 2014 Polar Vortex

I remember saying something at the end of January that we survived the Polar Vortex, only to be still in the grips of bone-chilling temperatures in the middle of March. What gives!

Day after day (month after month) temperatures (-36 to zero)... Yes, I have plenty of fabric, patterns and quilt magazines to keep me busy, but one simply needs to be able to move around beyond the walls that protect us.  ... what does that even mean, I don't know!

Hubby wanted to have his picture taken standing on the frozen Lake Michigan... so we ventured out to do just that.  It was the most painfully-cold temperatures walking back to the car - I could hardly breath!


Take a look at this NASA photo! The Great Lakes are frozen over.  Brrrrrrrrr.

Blizzard-like winds have created a snow drift outside the front room window... it's up to 5-feet now.  You know how you look at the ceiling long enough you see images?  Well, we've convinced ourselves that we are being watched!  Let me know when you see the face.

We went out a few times to take pictures of what will be referred to as an epic winter. 

Picnic Rocks Park, Lake Superior

No ships here.
Not until the ice is broken up.

Looks like another planet.
Feels like it too!

It will be Spring in a few days... if  we want to actually 'feel' Spring, we're gonna have to travel out of the Midwest to enjoy it!

In the Kitchen:
Lots and lots of roasted vegetables (nothing like a warm kitchen), salmon, couscous, Forbidden Rice (new to us... we blended it in with our brown and wild rice).

Batches of  Colonial Apple Bread and Date muffins... eat to stay warm (?)

Made this batch substituting milk for orange juice.

In the Sewing Chair:
*A Wedding quilt for my son and his soon-to-be bride (oh yeah, we are ecstatic!)  I'm using a Kaffe Fassett Jewel Tones Charm pack along with a Blue-Green Vine print as the background.

*Sunbonnet Twins wall-hanging is finished and sent out to my parents.
*Festive Trees and Winter Trees quilts, in progress.

Enjoy Your Sewing! 

December 7, 2013

Merry and Bright

I'm busy sewing up pretty gifts (nearly finished with one) and what do I do...  I start another one.

Oh,what better way to send a Christmas greeting.
Merry Christmas!
Prayers for all of your travels, be safe and enjoy being with the ones you love.

I'm early with this message as we travel this week to watch our youngest daughter graduate.  Going to spend the Christmas vacation with family!

The plans are to get crazy with decorating little cakes this year. Several stores carried the cutest cake molds and what started with one Christmas Tree mold, quickly turned into a collection.

Here's how the story goes... I'm in Jo-Ann store to pick up some cotton batting - it's crowded and I take a detour through the baking aisle.  I see this mini trees cupcake mold and swear up and down that it is the cutest thing ever, but I don't buy it because I'm following my rule... Go in and get what you need - Do Not Get Distracted!

I put the mold down. But, a week goes by and I'm still thinking about it. I decide that the next time I'm in the store, I will buy it!

You can guess the obvious: I return and the item is sold out.
Curses... we should know better by now!  I didn't go out empty-handed though.  This Snowflake pan was cute and on sale.  

As I was in town, I meandered into the baking aisles of other stores.
Wouldn't you?!

Well, look what I found... Gingerbread Houses.

I sent pictures to the family and they were thrilled.  We began making plans for a decorating party!

You know you're obsessed when you are traveling down the highway and see a Jo-Ann store from the road and scream, 'Take the next exit"!

Choo-Choo Trains! 

That's enough for a party, right?
For the normal person, maybe.
But, I know where there is another Jo-Ann Fabric store... and, guess what?
They had 3-Christmas Tree molds on the shelf... WhoooooHooo!
Mine, Mine, Mine.
I'll take lots of pictures.

Pattern: Jeweled Forest (In-Progress)
McCalls Quilting Holiday Issue 2009