About Me

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I am a wife, mama and grandmama getting through life by hanging on to a needle and thread.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Socktoberfest Finish!

I did it! My Socktoberfest socks are finished and have already been gifted! Now, for the rest of the story...quite awhile ago, my friend, Anya, won a beautiful skein of hand dyed wool in a giveaway and because she does not knit she gave the yarn to me! (Who could ask for a better friend?) I offered to make her something with the yarn and she said that she would like a pair of socks, but I didn't have to rush to get them done. Then along came Socktoberfest and Anya's birthday just happens to fall on the last day of October, so it was the perfect time to get out the hand dyed yarn and start knitting a pair of boo-tiful birthday slipper socks for my friend! Happy birthday, Anya!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Skip Stitch Madness!

I am crazy about my new skip stitch blade, but I feel it necessary to post a warning that making fleece blankies is highly addictive! Skip stitch madness has not only infected me, but it has spread to several of my friends as well. It's not a bad thing though because Project Linus and the local NICU are going to benefit greatly from our new obsession. The latest blankie that I have been working on is shown in the photo. It is made from the softest pink fleece and edged with baby yarn in a simple crocheted shell stitch (hdc, dc, hdc, sl st, repeat). This pattern works up quickly and will make a sweet blanket for a baby girl.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quilting At The Library

Have your ever checked your local library for quilting books? We are fortunate to have a wide variety of quilting books, magazines and even DVD's at our local library. Now don't expect me to start a Kaffe Fassett or Paula Nadelstern quilt any time soon, but leafing through quilt books and dreaming about future projects is a great way to spend an evening!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Design Wall Monday

It seems like it has been weeks since I have sat down at my machine to piece something! After a little backtracking through my blog, I see that it has actually been over a month since I started these disappearing nine-patch blocks. No wonder my design wall has been noticeably empty for so long! I guess I was way overdue to spend a little time at my machine.

Be sure to stop by Patchwork Times to see what other quilters have on their design walls this week and add your latest project to the list too!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apple Squares

These apple squares are great all by themselves, but top them with a little warm apple pie filling and vanilla ice cream and you have a fantastic dessert!

Apple Squares

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 inch pan. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar and sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Blend in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon just until combined, then stir in the apples and walnuts. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping and sprinkle over the top of the batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven. Bars should spring back when lightly touched when finished.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another Kind Of Selvage

I think I need professional help. Last week I trimmed the selvage edges off of a yard of fleece and found that I just could not bring myself to throw them away...they are selvages after all! I have no idea how I would use these selvages. I would imagine that they could be stitched together just like cotton selvages for a neat effect. They could also be braided or crocheted into a rug. Fleece selvages also tend to roll a bit, so maybe they could be stitched into something like the wrapped fabric bowls only without the clothesline. It seems like there could be a lot of uses for fleece selvages! Do I really need another tote full of scraps taking up space? Do I really need another project? Should I call a therapist? Maybe I should just throw them away after all!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I'm late to the party, but better to show up late than not at all, right? Have you heard about Socktoberfest? It's a month long celebration of sock knitting! I love to knit socks, but I don't do a whole lot of knitting while the weather is nice (or when I have a new quilting machine). I don't know if I can get this pair finished by the end of the month or not, but that's my goal!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Practice, Practice, Practice

Don't think that this is a fancy quilt top. It's just a piece of Christmas cheater cloth that I am practicing my free motion stitching on. Meandering is coming easier now, so my next practice piece may be a real quilt!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Meet Quilter, Sue Andrus

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Sue Andrus and seeing several of her quilts that were hanging at the Endless Mountains Quilt Guild's quilt show. Sue has a unique approach to quilting which incorporates her love for nature and photography into each of her quilts. Tonight Sue is going to be the guest speaker for the monthly meeting of the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild. If you happen to live in the Wellsboro area you are invited to attend tonight's meeting to meet Sue and see her beautiful quilts in person. If you are unable to attend, you can learn more about Sue Andrus' work at her website, Andrus Gardens & More, and also at her blog, Sue's Quilted Gardens.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Quilt Show

Yesterday a few of my quilty friends and I braved the snowy weather and traveled to Williamsport, PA for the Tiadaghton Quilt Guild's quilt show. There were over 200 quilts on display that left us awed and inspired! What a great way to spend a cold and snowy day. Honestly, is there a better way to spend any day than admiring beautiful quilts at a quilt show?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Frost On The Pumpkin???

Pumpkins this time of year are supposed to be covered with frost, not buried in snow! Enough said...I'm going back into my sewing room.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What A Nice Surprise!

I had to share this lovely wall hanging that my friend, Deb from The Angel and the Pukeko, sent to me for my birthday. She said as soon as she saw the pattern she knew she had to make it for me. I guess it is known world wide that I am not a fan of winter! What I don't think Deb knew, was that the package would arrive one day before our first snowfall! (We are under a winter storm warning for 4-12 inches of snow!) Perfect timing...I'm going now to hang this in my sewing room and I'm not coming out until spring!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


A few weeks ago I asked for suggestions for how to use up odds and ends of leftover yarn. One of those suggestions was to make a Project Linus blanket by crocheting an edging around some fleece. It's a fast easy way to dress up a yard of fleece, especially if you use a skip stitch blade in your rotary cutter to pre-cut the holes. The yarn that I am using for this blanket is called Bliss by Caron. The label says that it is "plush furry softness" and they aren't kidding...it's just about the softest yarn I have ever worked with and it makes a wonderful fuzzy binding! You can find full instructions for this blanket at www.skipstitch.com/instructions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Learning To Meander

I decided last night that I couldn't wait to finish a top before I tried out my new machine, so I loaded some flannel on the frame and started stitching! Keep in mind, that up until just a few months ago, I had only quilted with straight line stitching and meandering wasn't even in my vocabulary. There are a few rough spots at the top where I first started, but I had a pretty good rhythm down by the time I finished. I used white flannel instead of batting and then stitched 1" in all the way around and clipped the edges to make a "ragged binding". I think this practice piece will make a nice cuddly quilt for Project Linus!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Set Up And Settled Back!

I finally have my new machine and frame all set up and everything settled back into my sewing room. The hardest part of this purchase was clearing the room out and then deciding what was going back in and what wasn't. I found that I had stored a lot of things in my sewing room that I didn't use or had nothing to do with sewing, so I applied the Clean Sweep rules and put it all in keep, sell or toss piles. Believe it or not, I actually have more space now with the frame and new machine than I did before! Now I just need to get a quilt top finished, so I can try this baby out!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More Quilts On The Line

If you would like to see more quilts from last weekend's trip to the Airing of the Quilts visit Hills Creek Quilter and have a look at the beautiful slide show that Anya has put together!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Breezes Of Hope

I don't consider this one of my favorite quilts, but it is one of the most special ones that I have made. Those who follow my blog will recognize this quilt right off...it's the one that I made for my sister after she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma this past summer. My sister was terribly ill and in the hospital when she asked if I could make her a "Linus Quilt". I knew that this wasn't going to be an easy quilt for me to make. The circumstances definitely made this a difficult quilt to work on, but I also knew that the quilt would have to be purple, my sister's favorite color and my least favorite. (Sorry purple lovers...please don't send hate mail!) While the quilt was in the planning stages I decided to add fabric from one of our father's white dress shirts. Another difficult task, I hadn't had the heart to cut into any of his shirts since he passed away, but I knew that my sister would be comforted knowing that one of his shirts was given new life in her quilt. However, the real challenge came with the quilting. Normally I send my larger quilts out to be quilted by a pro, but this one I wanted to do all myself. Straight lines wouldn't have been a problem, but I wanted curved ribbon quilting. It wasn't the easiest thing to do on my machine and there are a few imperfections, but I pulled it off. I gave my sister her quilt just before her 39th birthday in July. As soon as it was unwrapped she said that the pinwheels looked like they were blowing ribbons of hope all through the quilt which led to the name "Breezes of Hope". My sister's latest scans and tests showed a dramatic improvement just half way through her chemotherapy treatment, which has given us all more breezes of hope that she will have a full recovery.

You can read the full details of the making of this quilt by clicking on the following links...

The Color Purple
Shirt Tales
No Slacking
Binding Back-Story
Made With Love And Hope

Thanks to Amy for organizing this virtual quilt show! Be sure to visit Park City Girl for a complete list of all the participants.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Blogger's Quilt Festival

Have you heard about the Blogger's Quilt Festival that Amy at Park City Girl is sponsoring? The Blogger's Quilt Festival is a giant online quilt show in which all quilting bloggers are invited to participate. It's easy to enter and there are some great giveaways involved too! Visit Park City Girl for all the details.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Peanut Butter Brownies

If you love chocolate and peanut butter together, then these are the brownies for you!

Peanut Butter Brownies

1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream together egg, brown sugar, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir just until combined. Pour into a greased 8"x8" pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool. Frost with Creamy Brownie Frosting (below).

Creamy Brownie Frosting

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

Cream butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in a small mixer bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency.

Monday, October 5, 2009

One Weekend...Two Quilt Shows!

Yes, it is definitely quilt show season in northern Pennsylvania and southern New York! Yesterday a few of my quilty friends and I visited the Tompkins County Quilters Guild 17th biennial quilt show in Dryden, NY. The theme of the show was Traditions and Beyond and yes, there were some beautiful traditional quilts on display, but the "beyond" is what caught my eye at this show! Oh, all of the beautiful colors and wonderful designs...simply amazing!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Airing Of The Quilts

Yesterday was much too beautiful of a day to spend cooped up in my sewing room with a stack of instruction manuals, so Anya and I got in the car and went to Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania for the annual Airing of the Quilts. After a solid week of rain and temperatures that barely got above 50 it was wonderful to walk up and down the streets enjoying the warm weather and sunshine while looking at beautiful quilts displayed on front porches and picket fences. I can't think of a better way to have spent the day!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Some Assembly Required

Yes! It's here! For those of you who haven't heard (Could there possibly be anyone left who I haven't told?) I purchased a gently used Juki TL-98Q machine and a Grace quilting frame from a friend who is upgrading to a larger system. I have lots of reading to do and a few pieces to put together, but hopefully it won't be long and I'll be happily quilting away on my new baby!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Brazieres For A Cure

The Common Threads Quilters Guild of Vestal, NY is sponsoring Brazieres For A Cure, a Breast Cancer Awareness project to support women in New York's Southern Tier. In all, 82 bras were decorated by local quilters and artists throughout the region. The bras are now being displayed in a traveling show at various locations in New York state. At each place the brazieres are displayed, the public can donate $1 to vote for their favorite bra. At the end of the month the bras will be auctioned off with all proceeds being donated to the American Cancer Society and ENCORE Plus, a program that provides uninsured women with free screening for breast and cervical cancer. For more information and a schedule for the traveling exhibit go to the Brazieres For A Cure blogspot.

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