Wednesday, October 29, 2014

In Honor Of

Today is the day I honor Onie Kelley, my grandmother.  It is the anniversary of her birth, 109 years ago.  Unfortunately, she died in 1985…and I miss her to this day.  Gram Kelley was loved and respected by everyone who knew her.  She was kind and honest and caring and giving.  But, on top of that, she was the best Grandma that anyone could hope to have. 

Living in the apartment upstairs of where we grew up, she was always available to meet our needs.  Whatever we needed, she gave.  Pieces of candy, slices of cheese, strawberry soda in little glass bottles, windmill cookies, but most of all, her time.  She taught us how to crochet.  She played cards with us.  We ironed her handkerchiefs.  We gossiped with her.  She listened to us.  We watered her plants.  We loved her.  She never took lessons, couldn’t read music, but she played the organ.
She gave me something that I cherish more than everything else I have.  A 33x42 inch filet crochet of the Lord’s Prayer.  Gram started it around the year 1950 when she sat at my aunt's bedside (my aunt was bedridden with nephritis).  I'm not sure if it was framed immediately upon completion, but has been as long as I can remember. When I was about 11 years old, I started making comments to Gram about it..."Gram, when you die, may I have that?"  Needless to say, my family was appalled by my behavior.  However, it wasn't long before Gram wrote my name on a piece of paper and taped it to the back of the frame...her way of saying that it WAS to be mine. I found that out when I was about 18 years of age, but I didn't quit pestering her about it. My aunts thought I was a very rude young person...but, HEY! see whose wall it's hanging on! I didn't have to wait until Gram died to have this beautiful piece in my home, either. She gave it to me several years before she left us. Thank you, Gram. 

Holidays were a huge event at Gram’s house.  She did most of the cooking herself.  The tables were covered with linen tablecloths, and we had matching linen napkins to use.  (I have those linen tablecloths and napkins.)  The tables were set with Gram’s best china and crystal.  The food was delicious and always plentiful.       

She had a huge salt and pepper shaker collection that was contained in a curved glass china cupboard.  She had a chicken collection that took up all of the available space in her kitchen.  Plants thrived under her green thumb.  I especially remember her violets lining the window sills…always beautiful.  

I will never know another woman like her.  She was unique.  She was loved.  She was my Gram.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spilling the Beans!

Yes, it is finally time to tell all!  I am so excited about this new venture!  

What I briefly mentioned in my previous post about a collaboration between Cathy and I is what this is all about.  All about the dolls.  Cathy loves making them.  I am into the making of doll clothes.  Well.  What better way to put our talents to good use than by working together!!!  I say, what a great idea!  A few weeks ago, she sent the first doll for me to 'dress'.  I did nothing with the doll at first...well, first because I took my litttle vacay.  Even when I first got home, though, I did nothing.  I needed to let the ideas work themselves around inside my head and come together in a cohesive manner.  I sat and looked at the doll and let my mind wander.  She needed a name and I needed to know what to dress her in.  

Collaboration.  Creating something together.  I have complete freedom, but I do want to make sure that what I decide isn't completely off the wall as far as Cathy is concerned.  You know? 

Her name came to me...Fiona.  Perfect! 

 I knew that I wanted Fiona to have a sweater.  Her hair is an orangish color, so I chose a lime green yarn for the sweater...and for a pair of booties.  I finished those yesterday.  This morning, I made a dress and pantaloons for her.  Next on the list...a play outfit.  Something with fun fabric...which I have a lot of, thanks to Cathy and her boxes of 'scraps'.  ~grin~  And, I was thinking that she might need a quilt and pillow, but I have not made up my mind about that. 

Here's a peek at what I've gotten done...

I definitely need to fix her hair.  

So, tell me...what do you think? 


A former coworker and fellow retiree called upon me for some help finishing a quilt.  Loretta came over yesterday and we spent a lovely time together.  We caught up on what everyone was doing at the Vet School and completely solved the world's problems.  I handsewed her binding to her quilt while we chatted.

Loretta brought me a gift of fabric from Country Sampler, a quilt shop in Spring Green, which is about 45 minutes from here.  I have never been there, but I do get their newsletters and drool over everything I see in it.  She brought me a charm pack and yardage of Nature's Basket by Blackbird Designs, put together this way (the ribbon was tied around it when she gave it to me).  Isn't that just neat?  Nothing like an awesome presentation, hey?

 I cannot wait to use it!  Here are the fabrics in the charm pack...

Very much a prim palette...that should get me away from the white/bright that I've been hooked on of late, don't you think?  

Loretta also brought some gloves (cuz doesn't everyone need an extra pair?) and left the flannel fabric that we didn't use.  What a sweet and thoughtful person she is!  Thank you, Loretta!  We should do this again.  Well, perhaps not the 3 hours of handsewing, but the chatting.  Definitely should! 
Have a great night!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, October 25, 2014

In The Mail...

A few days ago, I received a box of linen.
oh, I do love me some linen!
black, redwood, meadow (very, turtle green, dress blue, tawny port

On that same day, I received the fabric
that sister Joyce and I (with Ashley)
chose using FaceTime.  
(first mentioned back here)

And, as if that wasn't enough fabric...
in today's mail 

I received another box from Cathy.

It's been 5 years since I first 
ran across Cathy's blog (click here).
Five years since I won her first box of 'scraps'.
Five years of calling her my friend. 

It is always great fun to open one of Cathy's boxes.
In this box, I knew there would be some
already made small doll heads.
Here they are...

I have something definite in mind for these...
I hope to work on them very soon.

The rest of the medium flat-rate box
was filled with fabric.
And, what fun fabrics they are! 

                      Here's the stack of small-sized pieces...

The stack of medium-sized pieces...

Look at the fun prints!
These are the large-sized pieces...

*alert**cuteness factor**alert*
red corduroy with embroidered gingerbread men...

And, look at this cute floral corduroy!

                         All of this in a medium flat-rate box.

Thank you so very much, Cathy! 

**Excuse me, but I must go and play with all this new fabric.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, October 20, 2014

Library Book Bag...

I was browsing through my photos this morning and realized that I never showed you the book bag I made.  It was in one of the mosaics a few posts ago, but if you didn't look closely, you had no clue about it. 

While going through my fabric one day - looking for something totally unrelated - I ran across 3 Summersville fabrics that I have had for over 2 years.  One of the pieces is 'town'...a print of buildings and vehicles.  Looking at it, I spied the Library building and an ah-ha! moment occurred!  (See the library in the photo?  It's in the row under the vehicles...with a little flag atop it.  If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you'll be able to find it more easily.  LIBRARY is actually printed on the building.)

Sister Joyce is an avid reader.  She has a Kindle Fire and reads books on there, but not everything she wants to read is available as an e-book.  So, off to the library she goes.  Often.  My ah-ha! moment?  I should make Joyce a bag for her library books! 

So, I did!  I carefully cut the print so that the Library was (somewhat) centered.  I used Kona cotton solid in Black for the straps and bottom.

I lined it with Kona cotton solid in Purple...cuz my sister loves purple!

I even made a little pocket for her library card and sewed a little patch of the library building on it...

I am very pleased with how it turned out.   

But, most importantly, Joyce loves it.

And, there you have it...the 'up-close and personal' story of the library book bag.

Have a great Monday!

 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, October 19, 2014

God Bless Technology...

I tell ya, I am loving what we are able to do in this age of technology. 

My sister, Joyce - the one who lives in Maryland - asked me to make a tv/bed pillow cover for her.  She wanted to choose her own fabrics, but when at Joann's, she became a little overwhelmed with all of the choices.  So, we worked together through FaceTime and accomplished it quite effortlessly.  Her granddaughter, Ashley, was a big help!  That 8 year old girl has a great sense of color and style...a little fashionista, for sure!  

(Are you familiar with FaceTime?  It is a real time video chat application for Apple Products only...similar to Skype, Viber, Tango, etc., which are also available for android phones.) 

Here is what we came up with...

Poison green for the backing and the other 4 prints for the pillow front.  Not sure what I am going to do, but there is enough of each piece so that I won't have to be restricted in my choice of pattern. 

We live 800 miles apart, but that did not prove to be a deterrent for us!  HURRAY!

A very special thank you to Ashley!  You were a big help, Sweetie!


I managed to get 7 maple leaf blocks done this weekend.  I have 7 more to do.  I have something special planned for this quilt...but you will need to wait to see what I am going to do.  At least, until I have everything that I need to do that something special with! 


A few weeks ago, I received a jury duty summons in the report tomorrow.  But, my number was not in the range of numbers that need to show up.  This counts as having served, so I am off the grid for 4 years. This is my third time to receive a summons and I really thought that I would be making my way downtown early tomorrow morning.  Well, I guess I won't complain.

Have a restful Sunday night.

 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall Leaves...

In keeping with my new business practice set forth earlier this week - of sewing for fun on the weekend (and the weekend begins at my house at 3:00 p.m. on Friday) - I have begun to make some maple leaf blocks.  I was inspired by Erin's Indian Summer Maple Leaf quilt shown here.  Erin's tutorial for the block is here.  The fact that I had 7 fabulous maple leaf print fat quarters definitely helped that inspiration move me to jump right in.  Mind you, I have had these fabrics in my 'someday' bin for about 5 years...always meant to be used for a maple leaf quilt.  But, you know how that ideas and new fabrics and inspiration hitting from all sides...well, those fabrics soon were at the bottom of the box.  That is, until Erin showed her quilt.  Ah-ha!  What fun!  I can do this without buying any fabric! 

When I bought these leaf print fat quarters, I also purchased a multi-colored leaf print to be used as borders...or as backing for a small quilt.  For the background fabric, I am using a neutral print that adds interest without taking away from the leaf prints.  It's a tan on cream print that I have used before and I LOVE it! 

Here is my first block.  The blocks measure 12.5 inches unfinished...
These are super easy to put together.  I am so looking forward to working on this over the weekend.

This past week, I worked on dressing a first collaboration with the fabulous Cathy.  Did I tell you about that?  Our collaboration?  Don't worry, I will talk about it when I have this first doll completely dressed.  I spent quite a lot of time re-sizing patterns and sewing samples of clothes to see if the patterns needed further revision.  I am good to go with what I have, so by the end of next week, I will have some things to show you.    

Have a great weekend!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Heart of It...

 So.  You all know that I retired 15 months ago.  I may have mentioned retirement once or twice.  ~grin~  Well, after the first 9 months, I set a daily schedule of sorts for myself (talking Monday through Friday).  I needed to do it because I have 2 sisters who like to call and/or text often.  Being continually interrupted wreaks havoc on my concentration and my creativity.  Because morning is my best time, I wanted that time with no distractions or interruptions.  Turn off the phone, you say?  No, I don't want to do that in the event that me Mum needs me.  So, I asked my sisters to not call/text until 1:00.  That way, I could have several hours to work with whatever project I had going, run errands, take care of Curly Sue (the Beagle I potty around noon Monday through Friday), and eat lunch.  It is working out really well.  And, would you be surprised to hear (read) that my phone rings promptly at 1:00 most every day? 

I lack self-discipline.  Which is not a huge surprise to me and really shouldn't be to you.  I am this person..."I should be working on this, but that looks like more fun!"

So, now that I had my mini-vacay/time away, I think I have come up with another plan.  Monday through Friday mornings are for business sewing, knitting, etc..  Nights and weekends are for whatever I want to work on.  (Like, you know, Snow Days.  Remember that?  It's now been over 3 1/2 years since I started it...YIKES!  I would love to get it done this winter.)

So, to start my plan off right, I did a fun-for-me project this weekend.  I made a 16" pillow cover.  I was planning to make two of heart and one pumpkin (inspired by Cathy) but ended up combining the two ideas...the heart because I like hearts in the color orange like a pumpkin.  ~grin~

Here it is with all the pieces together and pressed...
I quilted the white areas with the same orange thread that I quilted the rest of it with.  I actually messed up the quilting in a few places, but not badly enough to be super noticeable...and it's for me.

I used Kona Cotton Solid in White for the backing.  Once it was all put together, I looked at it and said, "Oops!"  I had intended to stitch a line around the border.  Well, I was not going to take the backing off, quilt around the border, and sew the backing on again.  So, I decided that I could hand-quilt that line.  I did it and I am happy.

I actually cheated and made little dots where I needed to stitch.  Does anyone else do that?  Please tell me that you do!  In any case, I am very happy with this pillow cover.  And, I believe that the hand-quilting around the border really gives it a finished look.  Don't you?


Remember the lap quilt I had 3 days to make for me Mum?  For the story on that, please click here.  Well, I finished it.  Yup, finished tying it an hour before I was to leave on Tuesday morning.  haha.  Here are a few photos (taken by sister Julie)...

In this photo, me Mum is talking on the phone.  With me.  She called to tell me that her little lap quilt had been laundered and that she was going to use it for her morning rest.  I am so happy that she loves it!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 9, 2014

As Promised...

Back when I started making gifts to take with me on my vacay, I told you that I would take photos of all that I was making to show you once the gifts were given.  Well, I am here today to keep my promise. 


Zippered Pouches...

Kleenex Tissue cozies...

Thread Catchers...
tape measures, normandy court, monopoly

lap quilt, knitted headband, library book bag, pillow cover
  And, I finished my scarf...
for me!
I have been and I am back and I am happy.  I spent time with me Mum and me sisters.  Also, two of my BFF;s.  It was a lovely time.  Photos will show up here in another post (perhaps tomorrow).

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Just Shoot Me Now!

I am going on a short vacation this next week.  Just 3 days to visit me Mum and sisters, as well as a few friends and other relatives.  As mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, sisters Joyce and Jill are traveling to Wisconsin!  I am so looking forward to spending some time with them!  And, as I also mentioned in that post, I am busy making gifts to take with me.  That is the reason for my absence from this blog.  I have been taking photos, as promised, so you will eventually see everything that I made.  As of last night, I only had one more little quickie thing to make and then every single item on my list would be checked off. 

Except.  Me Mum decided that she wanted a small lap quilt.  Mind you, she has a lap quilt that I made for her.  See it here.  However, she wanted something 3 x 4 feet.  So, this morning, I dug out the Saltbox Harvest fabrics (2009 collection by Deb Strain) I had in my 'someday going to make a quilt with this' container and started planning.   

I know, I know.  I did it to myself.  I could have told her (as sister Joyce pointed out) that I would buy her a fleece blanket for $5.00.  But, no.  I said, "hey about if I make you one...and bring it with me when I come in 3 days"  or something like that.  I said what?  Nothing like putting myself under the gun.  So, just shoot me now!

Actually, it won't be so bad.  Except, then I decided to make a snowball quilt.  No just sewing charm squares together for me...nosirree!  Must make it more complicated than it needs to be.  Still and all.  It's a small quilt and I am going to tie it, not quilt it.  And, I am not going to bind it...just going to put right sides together, sew around the edges and turn it right side out.  Easy peasy.  Yes?  

Yup, this will work...

Lot of trimming goin' on...

One row done...

Me Mum's going to love it!  And, the best part?  I have all the necessary parts here!  woohoo!

I have something fun to tell you about, but it will need to wait until I get back.  

What are you up to this weekend?

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11