Sunday, January 26, 2014

Something Different

Than snow, ice, sub-zero temps and howling winds.

And a subtle reminder to slow down and savor each moment.  Animals live in the present--not worrying about what happened yesterday and not worrying about tomorrow.  

My goal?  To be present for each moment of my life.  I've been lucky in that I seem to know when I am in a moment that is especially important and that I will remember always.  Like sitting on the front porch with my husband, rocking and talking and quilting.  Just enjoying the time together.  Time spent with family and friends and animals.  That brief moment in a riding lesson when everything comes together--sometimes for only a minute or so--but to have experienced it is priceless.  What special memories do you have that bring a smile to your face, or a sigh of happiness, sometimes a tear of remembrance.  They are all what our life is made up of...many tiny moments.

Well, that was a bit philosophical for a Sunday night.  Who knew that a cow could evoke so much emotion?

Blissful hugs on this slightly-warmer-than-lately night,

P.S.  I am listening to King and Maxwell by David Baldacci.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

So Darn Cute

A bit of progress on the 4-inch stars for the Mariner's Compass quilt.  There are several of these in various color combinations.

I fear this one may go to the row of shame on the side of my design wall.  The row of shame is for all the reject blocks from this piece.  (I had an awful time getting good color pics tonight.  This is a vivid red against the same navy background shown above.)

The newest member of the 8-pointed star brigade.  Still four inches finished.  And that's red, lime green, and navy.

Getting closer with every stitch.

Blissful hugs to all,

P.S.  I just finished listening to A Wanted Man by Lee Child (a Jack Reacher novel) and am starting Mistress by James Patterson and David Ellis.  

P.P.S.  Diane G, I heard your shouts of joy at my house!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Student Show and Tell

I've been collecting pictures of student quilts and now would be a good time to start catching up!  

First up, Susan.  Here is her version of Baltimore 3D, which won a prize at the guild show this fall.

Next, Green Thumb.  This, and Baltimore 3D, were hand appliqued by Susan and machine quilted by her friend Sandy.

This is Triangulated Star, or as her kids call it "Strangulated Star".  Machine pieced of reproduction prints and again machine quilted by Sandy.  All three of these pieces are absolutely beautiful.  Great job, Susan!

And Cheryl, whose work you have seen on other posts, comes in with a Dresden Plate quilt made with chicken fabric.  Fussy-cut one blade at a time, hand pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted by Cheryl.  (It's just fowl, I tell you!)

Here's a look at her quilting design--it is just lovely and so well executed!  Who loves hand work?  Cheryl!

It's been colder and lots more snow--I actually had to use the snow blower today.  That's the bad news.  The good news?  I have a snow blower that works, I know how to use it and I did!  It's good to be empowered!

Have been working on the Mariner's Compass quilt today--still making 4 inch blocks.  A couple more blocks (because I had a couple that didn't work out) and then I can take a wild ride and see if any other layout works better than the one I currently have.  Just a bit of tweaking--nothing serious.

Stay warm and have a great Sunday!

Blissful hugs,

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Catching Up

It's been a wonderful reprieve to have temps into the 40s the last few days.  Unfortunately, that has come to an end and the deep freeze is again headed our way.  Just enough snow tonight to make the roads slick.

Here's a pic of Dickens curled up on the hand-quilted pillows on the love seat.  Here's some trivia about the things other than Dickens on the love seat.  From left to right:  The blue 8 pointed star pillow was made by my friend Rose's mom in Florida.  It came home in a suitcase from one of my trips to visit her.  The pillow with the two ladies on it was made for me by my friend Beverly and given to me when we were judging together near Albany.  The willow tree was machine pieced and hand quilted by me.  The one Dickens is laying directly on is an original heart design and hand quilted.  The pillow to the right is also hand quilted by me.  On the back of the love seat is a small doll quilt that my mom made for me when I was a kid.  And the love seat itself was given to me by my mom when we moved into our house almost 30 years ago; I played on it as a kid.

In a brand new bag of M&Ms I found these two mutant M&Ms!  They were near each other and I think they got mauled trying to escape!

Another mug shot from the back!

That's it for tonight.  It's been a day of errands, laundry, and crosswords.  I have just a few left to finish both books and then I am not buying any more crossword books for a while.  

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Blissful hugs,

Friday, January 10, 2014

Random Friday

Last night I picked up a DVD set that is right up my alley.  Sixteen hours of old commercials!  Yes, that's right, commercials!  Not the stuff from today--these are the oldies--Alka Seltzer, Ajax, Barbie, etc.  My favorite part of TV as a kid was the commercials.  I think the box said 1001!  

You know what?  I'm too tired to think up anything else for tonight.  I just didn't want you to think I had forgotten you.  Every minute is filled to the max.  2014 is going to be a great year.  Someone in class last night said she's found that even years are always better than odd years.  Anyone else found that to be true?

Stay (pick one or more) warm, cool, dry, safe, healthy and happy.

Blissful Friday night hugs,

Monday, January 6, 2014

Our Feathered Friends

Hard to believe that our feathered friends can keep warm in these sub-zero temps.  It's hard enough for those of us who can add extra layers of clothing!

I've designed two  new four-inch stars to go with the Mariner's Compasses.  Patterns made--ready to cut fabric and start piecing.  Also prepped for a class tomorrow night--wonder if it will be warm enough to venture out?  Many area schools have already closed.  That's a decision for tomorrow--golly, that sounded a lot like Scarlet!

Stay warm and safe.  This is excellent weather to hunker down with quilting or knitting or a good book or _______________ (insert your choice here).

Blissful, but burrrrreeeee, hugs,

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Another Compass Finished

The last larger (everything is relative) mariner's compass block for a top I am working on.  All hand-pieced.  All in P&B Suedes.  Just a few smaller (4-inch) stars to finish and then I can set the top.  I love how it is turning out!

Happy back to school and work to all who are returning to such on Monday.  I guess that's the official end of the holiday for some....

Blissful hugs,

Friday, January 3, 2014


With all that goes on in everyday life, I thought you could use a dose of tranquility.  Here are two views of stacked stones on a boulder.  Just gazing at them makes me breathe more slowly and I feel a sense of calm.  May they do the same for you.

Cold, but blissful hugs,

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Prize Reveal

Janet, if you haven't received yours yet, look away, so you can still be surprised!

Back last July I posted the 600th blog on this site.  And there was a contest involved.  Four people were able to answer the questions (or came close enough) and won an-as-yet-unidentified-prize.  Taking a lot on faith, eh?

Life intervened and the prizes were not done until December (late December).  Two were hand delivered, and two were mailed.

Here's what they received:

You've seen variations of these on this blog before.  They are made from a free pattern by Terry Atkinson called Sweet Zip.  It is so much fun to choose the fabrics for each one.  The little heart pull-tabs say "made with love".  Though very tardy in being delivered, I hope that each recipient enjoys them.  Thanks to everyone who played!

Can we say snow?  And cold?  It's already 0 degrees actual temperature.  Down to minus 20 with windchill.  And we probably have at least 6 inches on the ground, with more falling steadily.  I've actually been in the mood to dust and vacuum, sort through stuff and give a good deal of it away.  (No, not fabric!)  Finished hand sewing binding on a tablerunner and have been doing a bit of knitting.  And reading and doing crosswords like they really will keep my brain sharp!

Stay warm and travel safe.

Blissful hugs,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!!

For many of us, the long-predicted storm has held off, allowing time with family and friends on this first day of 2014.  I've spent the day with family and good food, and have spent time in the sewing room.  And Dickens has claimed the back of the wing chair as his throne.

Who's hiding among the branches?  Look closely--he's a master of disguise!

Enjoy the rest of your holidays!

Blissful hugs,