Sunday, July 28, 2013


Last week I had the pleasure of teaching six delightful women how to make quilt labels.  Jane, Pat, Elsie, Carol, Vickie, and Kathleen did a great job on their final projects.  (Names are not in the order of the pictures.)  Take a look!

Isn't it amazing what they learned?  No tracing here, just good, old-fashioned art work.  They all used the same basic components to make their own unique label.  Great job, ladies!  

I'm enjoying the cooler weather, how about you?

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Total Control by David Baldacci.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Quilters

Last Saturday, seven ladies joined me for another Big Three class.  The Big Three, you ask?  Rotary cutting, machine piecing, and pressing.  All three go hand-in-hand to make beautiful blocks...and quilts!

This is Mrs. Keller's Nine-Patch, the third in a continuing series.  First up, Victoria (left) and Linda (right).  Check out the points on all these ladies' blocks!

Joann and Debbie.  

And Pat.  Brittany and Cheryl escaped before I could get their pictures.

We had a great day together!  As you can probably imagine after seeing these pictures, there was a whole lot of laughing going on!  Great job, ladies!

Blissful hugs,

Monday, July 22, 2013

An Unusual Sighting

Last night I was wandering among the butterfly bushes, when a flash of white caught my eye.  Upon closer inspection, this is what I found!

These will have to be Penny's favorite spiders--check out the purple stripes!  And the three "indents" look kind of like a scary face!  See the two eyes and the O mouth?

On the other side of the same bush, what should appear?  Another spider hanging out in the blossoms, with quite an impressive web.  And, yes, the spider was upside down in the flower.

Trust me when I tell you that I used a long lens so that I didn't have to be up close and personal with this pair.  White spiders with purple stripes--who knew?

Joann, I have your ruler from Saturday and will bring it on August 2.  Pics from class in the next post.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Heat Wave by Richard Castle.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Sneak Peek

My newest project.  I've started hand piecing it and like the way it looks.  This is just the start of a bigger project.  Picture this surrounded by dark navy....

Hot, but blissful, hugs,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Too Crabby and Hot for Dial-Up

Last night I tried for over an hour to post.  I finally gave up.  Tonight was headed that way when, miracle of miracles, the screen finally appeared.

On the riding lesson front, I learned to post the trot in 10 seconds!  I've still got a lot of fine tuning to do on it, but I can do it with my arms out straight and with my hands on my hips!  It's so exciting!  Still on Max; learning to do lots of leg yields to keep him on the rail!  I'm taking it all in in big gulps!

I drafted a new Mariner's Compass today and have washed the fabric and have almost all of it cut out!  When I have it a bit further I'll give you a peek.  I had to Retayne my background fabric--a dark, rich P&B Suede.  Ran the first time I washed it--thank you, Color Catchers!  After Retayne, the color catcher was still white!

That's it for tonight.  Wouldn't it be nice if it cooled down a bit more at night?  It would make sleeping (or trying to) so much easier.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to The Striker by Clive Cussler.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Student Finish

Traci L. does some amazing work!  Just take a look at her newest finish.  This is Monthly Bliss 3; the class technically ended in late June.  Today, Traci has the entire top, quilting, and binding done.  

Traci long-arm quilted this piece herself.  I love the designs she chose.

Black, gray and lime green--what a stunning combination.  Thanks, Traci, for sharing!

Stay cool if you can!

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

And the Winners Are:

Keep your pants on!  First, thank you to everyone who participated.  There were some intriguing answers.  Surprisingly, or not, I did dabble a bit in oil painting several years ago--let's just say I wasn't very good and leave it at that.  I am still practicing Reiki at level 2.  And, although it is a constant battle, I did clean up my areas and do my ironing before July 1.  Good guesses all!

Now...drum roll please...the first winner is:  Janet!  She was not totally correct, but came the closest with riding as her guess...just not Morgans on this one!  I started riding lessons on July 1.  I have had four lessons so far, two on a Quarter Horse mare named Emmie and two on this Clydesdale/Paint cross gelding named Max.  Yes, that's Max and me on Saturday at my fourth lesson.  This is at Strawberry Fields in Cortland.  Joan and her daughter Kate teach Centered Riding, which is the only way to learn in my estimation.  If you'd like more information about lessons, please call Kate at 607.423.4073.  I can't tell you how excited I am to be doing this!

Question 2:  The correct number of boxers?  3.  Sandy, Ginger, and Lynnie.  Karen and Susan were both correct, but only one prize could be given.  I put both names in a hat and drew out...Susan!

Question 3:  What's growing outside the kitchen window?  Penny was closest with "weeds"--it's a giant thistle!  (Penny, that's why your name wasn't in the hat for question 2.)

Here it is on the outside!  Almost 6 feet tall!  For me that is a record--usually I keep them mowed down.  With the heat, humidity, and rain this year, this one got away from me.  It will be leaving shortly now that the contest is over!

And, because you know I love to do things oddly, I put all the "non-winner" names in a hat and drew out--Kathleen C!  Amy, I did include you in this drawing--thanks for playing!  

Janet, Susan, Penny, and Kathleen C will each receive a gift made especially for them.  I will show you what they get before they are sent.  Janet and Kathleen, do you have a favorite color?  Penny, I already know yours, and, Susan, too bad, I'm choosing for you.  Kathleen, I will need your snail mail address.  Please email answers to all questions to  This was so much fun!  Many thanks to all who played.  

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This Can't Be Good

On Wednesday night, we had a major thunderstorm go through with high winds.  It was well after dark and the lights flickered but stayed on.  At one point I heard a CRACK but figured lightning struck somewhere close.  Thursday I checked for damage and there was none.

On Friday morning, however, this is what I found:

The branch that snapped apparently came to rest on a slightly lower branch which held it up for almost a day.  Then it got tired and laid down on top of the Casket Company Brewery shed!

Armed with my trusty hand saw, I managed to saw off some of the major branches and relieve the pressure on the shed.  That one branch is probably going to have to come down eventually.  See the rather large branch sticking down in the middle of the picture?  That's what's left of the main branch after I took off the smaller branches.  But at least it's down to a manageable size.

Here are the branches neatly laid out waiting to be dragged to the hedgerow.  You can also see how tall the grass was!

That's part of the reason I didn't get all the mowing done yesterday.  

Remember the contest ends tonight at 10:00 pm EST.  Almost 100 people have visited that post, but only a few have entered.  Makes better odds for those of you who played!

Blissful hugs,

Friday, July 12, 2013


A day of mowing.  And still not done.  I truly think that this could have been baled; it was certainly tall enough.  With the heat, humidity and rain, outside work has taken a backseat.  Remember the trumpet vine on the ladder?  You can't see the ladder at all.  But even more amazing is that there must have been at least 30 small trumpet vines in about a 20 foot diameter circle around it!  They are now gone.  For those who have now or have ever had trumpet vines, you know that you want to put them in where you want them forever and that you have to watch closely for those off-shoots.  I moved the one on the ladder from near the side porch almost 15 years ago.  Yep, I have two or three that come up in the same spot by the porch year after year.  

Remember that you only have until 10 pm EST on Saturday to leave your comment on the 600th post.  I'm enjoying the comments!

Blissful hugs,

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I spent a wonderful day with five lovely women who learned how to make fussy-cut Dresden Plates.  We had a great time and all five are on their way to hand-piecing nirvana.  Can't wait to see them done!

It was a bit like old-home day!  I got to see several people I haven't seen in a bit and had a chance to see some wonderful quilts.

Cooler weather is sparking my creativity.  I made a more detailed plan tonight of a quilt I have had in the planning stages for several months.  I've bought the fabric and am really excited to get going on it.

That's it for tonight.  Remember the contest.  So far, there has only been one right answer--and no, I'm not telling you to which question.  Take a guess--it costs you nothing but a bit of time but could make you the proud owner of a fabulous prize.  Come on, you know you want to!

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Random Tuesday

It was a hot and steamy day--like many others recently--when I arrived at the LQS.  Ahhhh, air conditioning.  Tons of new fabrics--so much to look at--batiks, novelties, the sale aisle, blenders, Christmas, Halloween, fall.   RRRRRRRKKKKKK...what did you say?   Yes, the new Christmas fabrics are in, and the fall stuff, and some of the Halloween.  Let's face it, folks, if you want something to hang for the fall, or are working on Christmas gifts, you better be starting now.  Or you can be like me--wait until just before I need it and then panic when all the really good fabric selection has been purchased by quilters who are better planners--or at least better hoarders--than I am.  (I use the term "hoarders" with the greatest respect--at any time of year, those people will have access to fabric for any birthday, holiday or other gift-giving occasion you can name.  And probably in yardage, not just in fat quarters.  And they are the ones who will have that piece you need juuussssstttt a bit more of to finish a project you started years ago.  God bless the "hoarders"!)

Did you know that if you have enough fabric in your house, especially along the outer walls, that it acts as insulation?  And much better looking than the stuff inside your walls (maybe that's why it's inside).  So, while your fabric is properly aging, it's serving another purpose.

So, there you have it--written permission to buy more fabric.  Go ahead, you  know you want to!  (I did my share to boost the local economy!)

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  Remember the contest taking place on the last post (here).  Rules, deadline, and details are there.  You must leave your contest guesses on that post, not here.

P.P.S.  It wasn't that long ago that I was buying yardage of all fabrics I wanted.  (Yes, I too was a hoarder.)  I'm not sure how many steps there are to break that seems so harmless at first...just a fat quarter or two...what?  that's on sale?  Give me the rest of the bolt....

Monday, July 8, 2013

600th Post and a Contest

Hard as it is to believe, this is the 600th post for this blog.  When I started blogging, I didn't really have any idea of how to go about it--just that I wanted it to be my voice and with content that might amuse, bemuse or befuddle readers.  How do you think I've done?

Now to the contest part.  You can answer one, two, or all three questions.  There will be a prize for each question.  You may only win once (even if you answer all the questions correctly).  There are a couple questions that some more local people may not participate in because you already know the answers (that would be called an unfair advantage).  So many rules...but it's only fair.  There may be at least one question you may have to -- horrors  -- guess at!

Here we go:

Question 1:  On July 1, 2013, I started something new.  It is not quilting-related.  What am I doing?

Question 2:  How many boxers (dogs!) have I had?

Question 3:  What is growing outside my kitchen window that might normally not get quite so big?

You have until 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 13,  to hazard a guess to these three questions.  You must comment on this blog post to be entered.  No exceptions!  For those readers not in the US--you can play too!  I know how to do international mail!

Thanks for sticking with me!

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Productive Day

Yet again, too hot to venture outside much.  So...I spent the day in the sewing room (air conditioned!).  Two projects ready for binding (can you believe I have no solid black?).  Prep done for classes this week.  Laundry and ironing done.  And more cogitating on the two new projects for fall.  Exciting life, right?  I'll keep it!

Are you keeping cool?

Blissful hugs,

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Keeping a Watchful Eye

Dickens works hard to keep an eye on everything.  At night, he sits behind
my computer so that he can look out the window at the bugs attracted
by the lights.  He is most annoyed when he cannot quite
get them.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to The Tombs by Clive Cussler.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!

Our Flag:
Long may she wave o'er the land of the free
and the home of the brave.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Yes, weather is certainly a big topic of conversation right now.  While we are alternating between rain and humidity, I am thankful to have that rather than the record-breaking heat in the west.  

Historical fiction and/or movies have long depicted Kansas during the Dust Bowl era.  Can you imagine living every day with such heat, dust on and in everything, no rain in sight (and no long-range weather forecasts to even give you a glimmer of hope).  We take so many things for granted in our modern society, like abundant water, air conditioning and/or heat.  I was thinking about the massive power outage about 10 years ago that crippled much of the Northeast.  No traffic lights, no gas stations, no refrigeration.  

The point of this story?  I guess none really.  Just a walk down memory lane and a greater appreciation for our forefathers and foremothers.

Wherever you are, be safe.

Blissful hugs (okay, it's probably too hot to physically hug, so how about a virtual hug),

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ribbit, Ribbit

Have I mentioned lately how prolific my students are?  Cheryl, whose work you've seen many times on this blog, has done it again.  Just a few weeks ago, she took my Dresden Plates class and the next time I saw her she had finished it!  Quilting and all!  (These blades are cut one-by-one by hand so that they match perfectly.)

Notice that the four corner plates each showcase a different motif.  And Cheryl found a frog motif to complete the quilting!  It's almost as cute as...well, a frog on a lily pad!  Great job, Cheryl!

Blissful hugs,

Monday, July 1, 2013

Who Has More Fun than Quilters?

Susan M. sent me this picture of's just too funny.  Kathy was fussy-cutting pieces for a hexagon trip-beneath-the-sea wallhanging.  Can you just imagine?  Thanks, Susan, for sharing this, and thanks, Kathy, for being so much fun! did that happen?  At least I started the month with all my ironing done!  Took me the better part of two days...but I did it.  Also cleaned the flat surfaces of both sewing rooms and the mud room.  It always looks so great when it's first done, but I swear there are magnets under each flat surface that just pull things out of my hands.'s an on-going battle.

Congratulations to the teachers who are finally out on summer break.  Remember it will be September before you know enjoy every minute while you can.  And...on the flip side, condolences to the parents of kids who are out on summer break.  I know you are counting the days til school starts again.  (Before I get rude comments, I know not every parent is counting the days...but I know at least one who is!)

There's a give-away coming up this month so stay tuned!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I have been listening to 12th of Never by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.  Excellent.