Thursday, January 31, 2013

At Last

Since Monday I've been trying to post.  Each time it took almost an hour just to get logged into Blogger (if I even got that far) and then over half an hour to try to get to the posting form.  Needless to say, I became disenchanted and shut 'er down.  Maybe it was waiting for pictures....

At any rate, here is one of the things I did this week.  This is from Pinwheel Party by Ellen Pahl (That Patchwork Place).  I cut the pinwheel parts one night, then finished cutting the rest of the top and started piecing it the next day.  I had all but two rows together that day, setting the top as I went.  My plan is to use a multicolored binding to add some color to the edges.  All batiks, all scraps except the background and setting fabrics.

Here's a detail of the center.

I'm keeping busy...and I am grateful for that!  And many thanks to those of you who are keeping me that way--I greatly appreciate it!

Hard to believe it is the end of January.  And please hold good thoughts for my blue spruce.  You remember, it fell down last year, my brother helped it up and we staked it.  The stakes are the only thing holding it up today.  With 45 mph winds and the ground being wet (read "running stream"), you can see the roots moving. I don't know what else to do.  So please send "Keep standing upright" thoughts to my tree.  My tree thanks you.

That's it for tonight.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Poseidon's Arrow by Clive and Dirk Cussler.  For other amusement, I am reading I Declare by Joel Osteen and Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich.  As I typed that, I realized what an odd pairing that is....  I am nothing if not diverse.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More Smiling Faces

Monday was another banner day! 

Cassandra cut and pieced this hexagon flower in class!  It is not English paper piecing--just good, old-fashioned hand piecing.  She is so excited!  And has enthusiastic plans for more flowers from hexagons.  (I don't think she anticipated liking it so much.)

Terri H. brought in her Monthly Bliss 1 top completed.  This is a tough set of blocks, and it is gratifying to see so many finished quilts from this pattern.  Talk about a smiling face!

Not to be outdone, Penny also came with a finished top.  (Penny and Terri are friends!)  Can you believe the tops are from the same pattern?  Penny LOVES purple--I bet you couldn't tell that.  Love the bits of yellow to make things pop.  You can tell she's smiling big--just look at those eyes!

Liljimmydickens is sitting on my lap as I type.  He's definitely a lap cat!  And Lynnie is snoozing nearby.  Gotta love those four-legged friends!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I have been remiss in reminding you all how special you are.  This seems to be a time when things are going astray for many.  (I personally blame it on my not winning the presidential election, but I digress....)  Let's spread good things around us.  A smile costs absolutely nothing to give, but can be priceless to the receiver.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oh, Happy Day!

Just look at these smiling faces and you will see what I mean!  Today was the skill-builder class "Hearth and Home" at O'Susannah's Quilt Shop in Watkins Glen.  This class has rotary cutting, precision machine piecing, and pressing.  This is the beginning of a series of classes that will give students even more piecing skills.  Yes, I know, many of you think I only do handwork.  Surprise!  I actually started out as a machine piecer and hand-quilter.  Versatile?  You bet.

These smiling faces belong to Victoria, Cheryl, and Marie.

And here are Tina, Debbie, and Margaret Debbie.  Margaret is Debbie's daughter, who was unable to attend the class, so Mom came in her place.  Everyone went from fat quarters to finished blocks in no time.  And let me tell you, those points are sharp!

Great job, Ladies!  It was a pleasure to spend the day in such good company.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  Christie, Dickens was too much of a gentleman to rip the package open himself, but he has enjoyed the contents immensely!  I think the purple catnip mouse was the favorite!  Thanks so much for your generosity!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


You may want to cover your eyes, send your children into another room and have smelling salts chocolate standing by.  What you are about to see is just horrifying....

Not too long ago I brought a Featherweight home to clean for a friend.  You can imagine the dismay when I flipped up the arm and found this!

Shocking!  And when I tipped the machine over to see the bottom, this appeared....

Oh, the agony of this poor machine as she toiled away faithfully, all the while hampered by this lint.  Rest assured that she got a full spa day--cleaning, oiling, polishing.  And she is ever so much happier. does your machine's bobbin area look?  About every three bobbins, I take off the throat plate and use canned air to remove the lint and dusty stuff.  A couple drops of oil and I'm back in business.  The lint causes friction which damages the parts of your machine.  

And don't get me started on the needles....  Every 8 hours of sewing or at least a new needle every project.  NOT just when they break.  Yes, I am rolling my eyes!  The needles are the cheapest item we use for sewing.  You would ruin a great project for the cost of a new needle?  Really?

As an update to the question I asked Janet yesterday, no, she has not gotten her quilt back.  Let's all chant "Kaaterskill"--perhaps our collective positive energy being released into the world will be successful.  It certainly cannot hurt.

That's it for tonight.  Happy Friday, y'all!

Blissful hugs,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Good Day

It was a good day to be inside and in the sewing room.  I finished hand piecing three Bliss 3 blocks, finished prepping for class tomorrow, wrote handouts for Saturday's class and pieced a new sample.  Not too bad!

Many thanks to all who comment on the posts.  Janet, has there been any word on your missing quilt?  I'm always so pleased to see it featured on the renewal cards for QN and I'm always hopeful that someday it will be returned.

That's it for tonight.  Have a great Thursday, wherever you are!

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Keeping Watch

These were taken from my sewing room window yesterday.  Enjoy!

Blissful hugs,

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Tutorial on Posting Blog Comments

A blog reader emailed me privately and said that it would be great if I did a tutorial on how to post comments to my blog.  She reads it often and would like to comment, but didn't know how to go about it.  That's a very fair question, and may be why more readers don't comment!  So here goes!  I took pics as I went through the process of adding a comment to a recent blog.

See where the fickle finger of fate is pointing?  It says "No comments", which is confusing.  Because you need to click on No Comment to leave a comment!

Wait for it!  I changed the comment section from a pop-up (different screen) to embedded to hopefully make this easier!  This is what you will see next.  Type your comment in the box.  Now you need to choose an identity.  See where it says "Comment as"?

Click that and a list appears.  You can choose an account where you will later be asked to log in, like Google, or you can comment anonymously.  Just remember, if you use anonymous, please give me at least a hint in the comment box of who you are!

For the test, I chose to use Anonymous.  You can now hit preview or publish.  

This shows the "preview" screen.  See "edit" in blue on the right?  You can still make changes to your comments.

Next to appear is the safety zone.  Yes, I hate it too.  But the blog would be filled with yucky comments from spammers and who knows who else without it.  Having a hard time reading the two parts?  No problem.  If you get it wrong, it gives you new clues and another chance!  You can see where I have typed in the two words.  I now hit Publish.

And, voila, Bob's your uncle and your comment is posted!  It takes longer to describe than to actually post a comment.  So come on, all you lurkers, give it a whirl.  Make my day!  Leave a comment!

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Random Sunday

I must admit to a bit of sloth today.  I've started on the instep of my mom's sock, cleaned the sewing room closet (!), done a bit of vacuuming and took Dickens to the vet.  Turns out he has an auto-immune disease, which apparently is not uncommon in neutered male cats.  So he is on injectable steroids--most likely for the rest of his life.  Luckily that only has to take place every two to three months.  He is already more comfortable (less itching, no weird bumps) and his fur feels soft and silky again.  He's gone through so much in his young life, this seems like adding insult to injury.  On the plus side, he and Lynnie are happy together.

Most of the snow is gone, thanks to our warmer than usual weather.  Guess what that means?  Yep, MUD!  And we have lots of running and standing water.  On the bright side?  We don't have to snow blow or mow! Yippee!

I'm listening to The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  

Happy start to your week!

Blissful hugs,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Picture of the Day

Sometimes I wish that I had longer ears--those on animals are so expressive.  Check out the lower lip--too funny!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am updating the Schedule section of the blog,  See if there is a class taking place near you!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Study in Contrasts

 Several years ago when I was visiting my friend in Florida, I snapped this pic in her backyard.  As I was looking through pictures tonight, I was struck by the contrasts in this photo.

Light bird, dark bird.  Wings in, wings outstretched.  Standing tall, squatting down.  Did you see the reflections in the water?  Take a new look at some of your old photos and see what you find different.

Blissful hugs,

Thursday, January 10, 2013


It came as a surprise to me--I work in a sharps industry!  So proper disposal of used needles and pins is important to everyone.

I like decorative salt and pepper shakers for most needle disposal.  Or actually storage until full and then disposal in something less exciting!  If you have clear shakers, you can see the used needles and pins and they really are quite pretty.

Or you could be lucky enough to be gifted an antique shaker like that shown in the middle.  It has a tiny cork in the bottom!

For those of us who use a bit larger-headed pin, opening the shaker to get the pin inside is a royal pain.  So I use a grated cheese shaker!  The larger holes in the head (not to be confused with the larger holes in MY head!) allow pin heads (an entirely different story) to pass through easily.  Each of these containers will hold many pins and needles.

When any of these get full, I will transfer the sharps to a medicine bottle with a tight lid and dispose of them properly.  And start filling again!

These shakers are quite addicting.  I have one just about any place that I sew.  Give them a try!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  The red and white quilt behind the shakers is from 1865, is hand pieced and hand quilted and has never been washed.  It is worn and there are spring marks on one side and a bit of fading.  But what a find.  I love to display it, especially at Christmas.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 Finishes

As promised, I have lots of pics for tonight's post.

I made two more of those little cases.  One with ants inside and out, and one with flamingos on the outside and a pink batik in the middle.

 What they look like closed.

To go along with the Maxine case, I added a mug rug and a potholder to match.  The inside of the case is also shown here.  Typical Maxine!

 Protecting Peewee is finished!  I finished the quilting a few days ago, and added the sleeve and binding yesterday.  It's pretty low contrast for me usually, but I just love this piece.  The backing is the bird fabric in all its glory.

Here's a detail shot.  All the hand quilting was done with straight lines.  I did not quilt in the bird hexagons, but everything else got some.

And my parting shot for tonight.  I don't think there's a problem with Lynnie and Dickens getting along.

That's it for tonight.  I'm heading for the land of nod.

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Came...

I saw, I blogged.  Pics of finishes tomorrow, when I have more time to download them.

Suffice to say that it was a busy, happy, productive day, part of which was spent in the company of three great people.  You know who you are ;-)

Til Wednesday--

Blissful hugs,

Monday, January 7, 2013

More Nothingness

Guess what I saw today?  A pileated woodpecker!  He flew into a tree and when he landed I got a good look at his back with both wings spread.  Then a side view, complete with that fabulous red crest!  Too cool!

Still knitting on the first sock--down to the instep!

Mostly I've shuffled papers today.  But I did put up new quilts at the Groton Public Library if any of you are in town any time in January.  Patrons were sad when they thought I was taking them down--but happy when I told them I was changing them!  

Sorry the posts are so boring right now--hopefully I will have better things to share in the near future.  But I am posting--like they say "Be careful what you wish for"!

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Picture-less Sunday

Hard to imagine, but I actually strung together 2 and a half days at home!  It's been heaven.  

For the past couple hours I've been sitting with a large hairy cat on my lap.  The results?  A very happy cat, and one very hairy shirt!  The light blue is almost black!  It's worth every hair.

Lynnie is doing fine.  Every day with her is a blessing.  

When I was out late this afternoon, it was snowing those huge fluffy flakes.  So pretty against the lights.  

A couple nights ago, when I got home well after dark, there was a deer standing where I needed to turn around at the end of the drive.  I waved to let him/her know it was me.  Got "the stare".  Finally I rolled down my window and said, "Hey, I live here!  You need to move out of the way so I can turn around."  After more staring (and I swear some eye-rolling), there was the leisurely slinking away.  Just far enough for me to turn around and park.

Okay, enough for tonight.  If you were unable to sleep before reading this post, I'm sure you are drowsy by now.

Blissful hugs,

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Living the Life of Dickens

Dickens has settled in really nicely.  He loves to lick Lynnie's nose!  He has a lot of fur--my Dyson is getting a workout trying to keep up with the black hairballs scattered everywhere.  

Blissful hugs, 

P.S.  I spent part of today working on my mom's socks.  She wanted shorter cuffs, so that has made that part go twice as fast as normal!  I finished the cuff, did the heel flap, turned the heel, picked up stitches and have started the gusset decreases.  Thought of you, Barb, with every stitch!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Part of What I Did Today

Today has been a rare day indeed.  No need to venture off the property!  So I have this on the design wall--

I think I will call it "For My Own Amusement".  I will probably shuffle this a time or two more before sewing.  This started with a pack of Moda Over the Rainbow batiks.  I didn't realize when I bought it that there were two of each fabric, so I didn't have as much variety as I would have liked.  But, having a rather extensive small stash of batiks, I had no trouble adding to the mix.  The additions have made this a much better piece.  I'll show more as I go along.

I also made two of these small zippered cases today.  The pattern is from Atkinson Designs ( and is free!  It's super easy.  Check out the rest of Terry's stuff while you are there.  Her patterns are very clear, and her zipper application is perfect for those who do not feel they can "do zippers"!  Thanks for the pattern, Terry!

That's it for tonight!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Come Home by Lisa Scottoline.

P.P.S.  Emily, I'm thinking of you!  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Study in Contrasts

This morning outside:

This morning inside:

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!

Blissful hugs,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Another 2012 Finish

Sometime last fall I had pieced this top of Moda charm squares.  It languished...but only for a few months!  In December I sandwiched and turned it, and then I tied it with pearl cotton.  The ties are on the back; that's my preference so that the front looks neat and clean.

I didn't need a tree skirt so I offered it to my mom, who was thrilled.  She actually put up two trees this year so the extra skirt was a hit.  Here's the skirt under her tree.  She won the tree (live) on a call-in radio contest!

Far back, in the corner, you can also see some of my other handiwork.  My Black Spruce hanging on the wall, and a pink and black Smokin' quilt on the wicker chair.  I was excited to have something else off the "to-do" pile and my mom was excited to have another of my creations.  Sounds like a win-win!

When I looked at the calendar I was surprised it was only January 2!  

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

What did you do today?  The Yarn Harlot believes that what we do today, January 1, is what we will carry through into the new year.  I've done a bit of knitting (socks for my mom), a bit of hands-on healing, a bit of reading, enjoyed my four-legged and two-legged family members, blogged ;-), and plan to get a bit of quilting in before midnight.  Not too bad!

In the next few days I will be updating the Schedule part of my website ( so that you will know where I am teaching and where those new classes might be offered.  I hope you will be able to join me.

2013, here we come!

Blissful hugs,