Sunday, December 3, 2017

I Like Cloth Napkins and I Cannot Lie...

Actually, I love cloth napkins.  For two reasons.

1.)  In days long past, Christmas with my Gram was always special.  A wonderful day for many, gifts, relatives, food...and because Gram brought out her good china, along with the linen tablecloths and napkins to dress the tables.  She made everything look so special.  I now have - and use - those tablecloths and napkins.  

2.)  When my sons were very young (well over 35 years ago), I decided that they needed to know there was more to the world than boys and men and rough and tough.  So, every Saturday, we had candlelight dinner...what we ate - spaghetti or steaks on the grill - wasn't the issue.  The issue was to learn how to sit at the table with grace and manners.  I made some cloth napkins to go with my fall-themed Corelle dinnerware.  It was time for the boys to learn to use something other than their shirt sleeves.  Okay, they never actually did that.  I just wanted them to know there was more than...well, whatever they thought there was.
Since that time, I've always had cloth napkins.  Didn't know I was being 'green' back then.  Just knew that it made sense to me to use something reusable.  

The above was taken from a blog post 
I wrote back in November of 2013.
It made sense to repeat it here so that
you all know what the heck I'm talking
about as I go on about cloth napkins. 

Back when I wrote that post, I didn't have much money to spend on Christmas gifts, so I decided to concentrate on making gifts.  I ended up making mostly napkins, with a few aprons tossed in the mix.  I believe I made 9 dozen napkins that year...and only had to buy for 2 sets.  That's a lot of fabric, hey?  

So, here we are 4 years later, and I have continued to make - and give away - cloth napkins.  After much experimentation, I have finally settled on the best sizes and the best way to finish the edges.  Which means, of course, that making them is an almost mindless task.  Something we all need to have in our sewing repertoire.  

I usually do not buy fabric specifically for napkin-making.  Rather, whenever I run across a piece of fabric in my stash that I decide I will not be using for anything, it goes into the 'for napkins or kleenex cozies' bin.  You've had that happen, right?  Look at a piece of fabric and wonder why you bought it?  And, you know.  Those pieces of fabric that you may consider ugly sometimes do actually make darn cute napkins.    

I use napkins every day.  Every meal.  I have not bought paper napkins for many, many years.  Here is most of my current collection...
my personal collection of snack and dinner napkins...
some florals, some dog-themed, some linen, and some fun ones
I must admit, though...these red and green napkins are used more than any of the other ones.  Just because.  

I usually have a few napkins on stand-by.  It is nice to have something on hand in the event a small gift is needed...sometimes a few napkins makes for the perfect choice.  This is my current stash of napkins (and I have several more ready to work on)...
this batch appears to be running in the flowery and bright theme!

Most of the napkins I make finish at 16"...not quite as large as a dinner napkin you will find in a nice restaurant, but certainly large enough to do the job.  These all have 3/4" hems and mitered corners.  

So, there you have it.  Do you use cloth napkins?  Do you make your own?

Napkins and kleenex cozies are my go-to for something to sew when I don't feel like expending much energy (i.e. brain power).

"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

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The One About My Next Project...

It occurred to me that I am nearing the completion of two projects...two quilt tops.  And, for once, I am way ahead on my Christmas sewing with just two small gifts to finish up.  woohoo!  Which all means that soon I will have nothing to work on.  (as if)  So.  I have been giving thought to what I can do next.  

I need a project with no deadline, because after the beginning of the year, I have two major projects to begin.  After much deliberation ('much' being defined as no more than 2 minutes), I decided that I am going to start working on the Village quilt.  I have everything I need for the quilt top.  So, why not, hey?  

Here is everything I need for the quilt top...

Won't that be fun??  I surely think so!


We woke up to snow this was so pretty...fluffy white snow in the sunshine.  It is pretty much gone now, though.  Which, by the way, is fine with me.

Have a good rest of the week!!!

"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, November 5, 2017

The One with Random Photos...

It is a sunny Sunday afternoon here in Canon City.  57 degrees.  Gotta love the weather here.

Yeah.  So.  Here are some random photos...

Last month, me Mum came over to help peel apples.
I froze 13 pints of applesauce.  Yum.
This is an Ellen DeGeneres print from JoAnn Fabrics...made into an 18" pillow cover.

This is the 'will the real pineapple quilt please stand up' quilt.  I love it!

The backing...those bitty pineapples, though. ~grin~

Had lunch with Brenis Thompson one day...and, course, had to go to the LQS!

One area of my craft room.

Brenis posted this on FaceBook.  It totally cracked me up!!

Every once in awhile, I send sister Jill a photo similar to this. 
Just to tease.  She loves this quilt but it's staying with me.

Me Mum's birthday was the other day. 
We three daughters had a small party for her.
Pizza and long johns.  Yum!
1998...Allegra is in CCU post-op (her PDA surgery).

Well, that's about it.  Hope your Sunday is wonderful!!

"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 31, 2017

The One About Allegra...

Today is the 8th anniversary of the death of Allegra.  

She was truly one in a million.

Allegra was my joy.

And, I miss her.

Always and forever...

"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 26, 2017

The One About Meeting Up With a Special Friend...

While on vacation in Wisconsin, I was able to spend time with some of my friends.  Course, there is never enough time.  And, never enough time to do everything one wants to do.  Right?  I am definitely going to plan my trip differently next time so that I am able to include those I wasn't able to see this year.  

So.  I promised a blog post about meeting up with a special friend while in Wisconsin.

Her name is Donna.

If you will recall, I met Donna back in 2013 through an online strawberry swap we were participating in.  If you don't recall this, click here and then here.  We have maintained an online friendship since then.  

This is the same Donna I commissioned to make a mug mat featuring a chocolate Labrador.  I wrote about it here.

About the time I was moving out here, Donna and her husband bought some property in Wisconsin and moved from Florida!  So, I was hoping that I would get to meet with her on this trip back home.

Thankfully, everything worked out...we met up in West Bend at the Omicron Family Restaurant, where we had a wonderful lunch.  We sat and visited for a very long while after we were finished eating.  Apparently, we both like to talk.  ~grin~  I felt very comfortable with if we really had known each other for a very long time.  Once we left the restaurant, we decided to visit a quilt shop (always in need of quilt fabric, you know).  So, off we went up the road where we found Royce Quilting.  Gotta is a lovely shop!

Over the years, most of the fabric shopping I do is done solo.  Whether buying online or at a LQS, I shop alone.  Why?  Because I've never had sewing/quilting friends who lived near me.  So, you can imagine my delight at shopping with a who knew what I was talking about and who helped me get what I needed.  We had a great time together.  I am so very glad that I made the time to spend time with Donna.  My friend.    

Looking forward to the next time I visit Wisconsin...

PS  Donna and I exchanged gifts...I gave her some acorn-headed straight pins (she is acorn crazy!) and she brought me homemade canned pears and pesto.  LOVELY!  Thank you, Donna!!


"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

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The One About That Vacation Blog Post...

Two times.


That is twice.  Yup, on two separate occasions, I had a lovely narrative detailing my vacation to Wisconsin!  With a gazillion photos to boot!!!

Both times, I went back in to edit the post and somehow, someway, managed to delete the entire thing.  Seriously?  This isn't my first time around the block...and certainly not my first rodeo.  Ya know?  I have been doing this blog thing for several years (10+ to be exact!).  So, what did this latest experience teach me?  Well, of save this post about every other word.  ~grin~  

But, seriously.  I am no longer in the mood (and you probably don't care THAT much) to write a narrative.  But, I do want to show you some of the photos.  I promise it won't be boring.  

Ready?  Here you are...

Trees gone, different siding, but this is the house I grew up in.
My Gram lived in the upstairs apartment, which was the best thing ever!

Pontoon ride at sunset on Lake Mendota with Kim and Brett.  Beautiful!

I had a purse made for mine that I showed a few posts back.
Except, her purse has a Golden Retriever.  She loves it!

Princess Kaylynn and I spent a night together in a motel.
She is 12 years old now.

Paul (Kaylynn's Dad) and Rachel came to visit us in the motel.

My  boys.

Matt's son, 14!

Ferry ride across Devil's Lake.  That was fun!

These are just a few of the photos I took.  (If you are my friend on Facebook, you have already seen all of the other photos I took.)  It was a wonderful vacation!  I will need to plan differently next time, though, because there are some people I wanted to spend time with that I didn't have time for.  

You know, it was almost more difficult to leave Wisconsin this time than when I moved out here because it really hit me how much I miss everyone.  

My next post will be about a special friend I met up with when in Wisconsin.  Hopefully, I'll get it written very soon.

"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, September 12, 2017

The One Before the Vacation One...

I am way behind...I have this - a pre-vacation post - to write before I even begin sharing what a wonderful vacation I had!

So.  I believe that I mentioned in my last post that I was getting company before I left on vacation. My niece, Jody, who is also my goddaughter, came for a quick overnight visit.

Jody Lynn, me Mum (the girls' Gram), and Michelle (also niece/godddaughter)

Jody Lynn with me Mum (her Gram)

Jody Lynn with me Mum (her Gram) at the nursing home.

I finished the cotton and steel churn dash quilt top!  I like it a lot, though it is not (at this point, anyway) one that I am absolutely in love with!  I am waiting on some fabric for the back and then the Big Bad Boy and I will tackle the quilting.  
60 x 60 inches square
And, I also finally finished the antique quilt repair for Kim.

Antique Quilt circa 1941
Naomi Janome came home from the spa before I left on vacation. She had a nice quiet rest while I was gone.  

My next post will be all about my time away from home.  

"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, August 19, 2017

The One With the Crossbody Purse...

ohmygoodgracious!  I received the crossbody purse that I ordered - custom-made - from my online (and soon to be in real!) - friend, Donna.  She makes absolutely stunning purses and wallets (and quilts and backpacks and pajamas and napkins and, and...).  Check out her blog here.  I met Donna when I was involved in an online swap...a strawberry pincushion swap back in 2013.  We had several things in common...listed in this blog post.  

Anyway.  She makes wonderful pieces.  I mean, really wonderful!

So.  I do not normally carry a purse.  I carry my little zipper pouch and my phone.  Thinking about going on vacation and the travel involved in driving to/from/around Wisconsin and I thought that, perhaps, having a purse would come in handy.  BUT, I didn't want any big one that could fit everything AND the kitchen sink inside!  Something that is just big enough for my cards, license, cell phone and keys.

One day, on FaceBook, Donna showed a crossbody purse she made.  Well, that is exactly what I need!  So...after much emailing back and forth, we had everything that I wanted figured out and she made me the best purse ever!  It's not too big, but large enough to easily slip my cell phone has a long strap and a wrist strap, a puppy on the zipper pull and an embroidered brown dog.  I mean, really?  Also, she made a pocket and card slots for my driver license and other important debit/credit/library cards!  It is amazing!  See for yourself...
Cork fabric exterior...measures 8.5 x 6.5 inches.

embroidered brown dog

cutest puppy!

My fave color - teal - lining with pocket and card slots.

I am soooo happy with this!  I must go somewhere tomorrow so that I can take/use it.  Don't you think?  

Vacation begins in 10.5 days!

"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, August 17, 2017

The One About the Churn Dash...

As I have written before, the churn dash quilt block is one of my favorites.  I have made a few of them over the years.  Even finished a quilt and a mini made up of them.  Go here and here and here (You really should follow those links, you know...they provide 'can't live without it' info...~grin~).

Several months ago, I received an 'impossible to pass up' offer on a box of Cotton & Steel fat quarters.  Course, I knew not what to do with them...just knew that I needed to take advantage of said offer.  A churn dash quilt was what I decided on...which I started this week.  Certainly not a great time to start a project, but there you have it.  I will work on it this week, and then next week will be devoted to getting everything else done that I have planned to get done before we leave on vacation.  AND, my niece Jody will be here for a visit before we leave.

These are the fabrics I'm using...

And, here's what I have so far...

I have six blocks completed, with six more almost ready.  I was working on them one at a time until it dawned on me that I could work on several at a time...chain-piecing, here I come!  The blocks will finish at 12 inches and I am unsure at this point how many I'll make.  At least 25, which will make it a nice lap quilt.

I have a secret project I need to start tomorrow.  If you never hear another word on it, that will mean I failed abysmally.  Hopefully, you'll see the words 'secret project' again within the next week.  Keep your fingers crossed!  ~grin~

In the meantime, it is almost the weekend.  Enjoy the time!  

Oh, and I ran across this and wanted to share it with you...

"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, August 10, 2017

A Tale of Two Quilts...

Remember the story, "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens? Writing the post title reminded me of it.

Anyway.  Two quilts are now done.  You saw them - or parts of them - in the previous post.  

The first...the pineapple quilt...the one where I ran out of border fabric.  And, it is not to be found.  Around here, anyway.  So, I had a choice to make...either piece the border, or use a different fabric. I chose to piece the border, thinking it won't show much once the quilting is done.  Besides, if it leaves this house to live somewhere else, it will only go down the street to sister Jill's house.  Therefore, it will be fine as it is.  This quilt measures 62 x 70 inches.

I love this quilt...and it was fun to make, that's for sure.  I will work on the backing and get this off to the long arm quilter within the next few days.  I'm not sure when I will get it back...she told me that someone dropped off 12 quilts to be quilted...WOW!  But, I am in no real hurry.  I am telling you, it's gonna be awesome!!!

The next...second quilt.  This is my 3rd quilt for the SBB Heart Builders organization and it is so rewarding to do something I can easily do that will have an impact on someone.  Makes my heart feel good.  

This one measures 47 x 63 inches.  Perfect size for them.  It's kind of fun to make just the quilt top and send it off.  No worrying about anything else.  


I love this sign...if I hang it above my closet doors, it will be one of the first things I see in the morning...

Another sign I would love to have is, "Let whatever you do today be enough".  Click here to read more about that. 

I might work on some simple sewing for the rest of this day...kleenex cozies or napkins.  Just because.

Have a good one!

"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, August 7, 2017

The One Where Naomi Janome Needs a Vacation, too!

Well, she is all set to go...  

Naomi Janome has been having a few problems and needs to visit the spa. Time to relax and rejuvenate. And, get those feeding problems fixed!  Nothing real serious...just not feeding smoothly.  

Luckily, I have the Big Bad Boy...who is stepping up to the plate nicely.  He is a real workhorse.      

Here's what I'm working on right now...
This is my third quilt for the Heart Builders...a very worthy charitable organization.  This quarter, we are donating to Project Linus.  I am very proud to be part of this team.  If you would like information on Heart Builders, please click here.

"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, August 4, 2017

The One When the 5 Day Project Fell Apart...

Yeah.  So I am working along and making great progress on my in-between project (also known as #5dayproject)....and have just the borders to do.  I find that I am one piece 5 1/2 inches x WOF short.  ohno!  Well, I figured, no problem, I got that fabric here at my LQS...I will just run over and get what I need.  

Well.  Seems as if that particular Grunge fabric was discontinued.  OHNO!  What now?  I actually can check at another fabric store (but not until next week) in nearby Pueblo.  And, I do have enough small pieces to piece the border.  Definitely not my first choice, though.  For now, I have set it all aside and will wait until I see if the other store has it...then will do whatever I need to do to finish this quilt top.  Here it is thus far...

In the meantime, I am working on Christmas gifts.  Since I will be seeing most of these people on my vacation, I thought it would work out nicely to take their gifts with me.  So.  Working my fingers to the bones.  

And, I am making lists and getting everything ready to go on vacation.  I am so looking forward to it!!!

I plan to take along some knitting...just in case I have some downtime (ya never know!)...or for in the car on the way to/from Wisconsin.  I should be able to knit face cloths while riding in the car.  You know, with all the bags/zipper pouches I have, none of them has ever been designated as a 'knitting project bag'.  So.  I made a special one to put my knitting supplies in for the trip.
This zipper pouch measures 11x6x2.5 inches...enough room for everything I need...needles (I use the short ones), darning needle, 2 skeins of Cotlin yarn (50 grams each), crochet hook, ruler, and scissors.  I lined it with canvas to make it a bit sturdier and I am very happy with it.  

I'll be back next week to let you know what I find at the other LQS.  In the meantime, 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, July 30, 2017

The One In-Between ...

I am taking a break and playing with my new-to-me laptop.  Son Paul sent it to me in April and I haven't taken much time to get to know it...or to move everything over from my other laptop.  The keyboard is different, so I am getting used to the new spacing.  Lots of corrections in the meantime.  

So.  What's new around here?  Well, I have been sewing.  Big surprise, hey?  

friend of sister Joyce saw her black and white tote bag (that I made), and asked if I would make one for her.  Okay.  I like these easy requests.  

I am very happy with the way it turned out...

And, I made a few matching Kleenex cozies to send along with it...

I'm not sure how easily you can see...there are 5 quilt pallets here (1 large one for a dog and 4 smaller ones for cats)...all set to be donated to the animal shelter.

Here's a better photo of 3 of those shown above...the top two and the bottom one.  

Last week, I finished what I had planned to do for the month of July, so I looked for an in-between project.  In-between then and August 1st, which is when I am going to begin making Christmas presents. (I am going to Wisconsin on vacation - more on that later - and want to take what I get done with me.)  So.  I didn't have to look very far to find something to do.

I am going to make a lap quilt with pineapple blocks.  You know, real pineapples.  Like this one I made for Jill last year...

So far, I have 12 done...only 6 more to go!  I have had all of the fabric here since shortly after I made the pineapple block for all I needed to do was get started.  It is easy and fun and I am enjoying working on it.

Yes.  Vacation.  I will be in Wisconsin from August 30-September 9.  I am so looking forward to spending time with family and friends.  It has been almost 2 years since I have seen any of them!  I am planning on having a great time!

And...just want to say.  I love my other pineapple quilt...the one I last posted about.  Makes me smile...and sleep!

Okay.  Back to sewing...need to get that in-between project done.

Have a great week!

"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