Friday, February 28, 2014

Voice Versus Choice

(Disclaimer)  I do have to voice my opinion about something I have been seeing lately that I find kind of disturbing. 

Having a voice is why many people blog.  It is a way to share what we love, and the craziness of our lives.  There are times that people post to share whatever is going on be it a win, loss, learning experience, joy or sorrow.  I have noticed lately that many people have a disclaimer on their blog that the opinions given are purely their own.  Just that an "opinion".

My grammar, punctuation, and spelling are not always perfect, and not many people are perfect.  Some people blog throughout the day, creating several posts.  Others once a day, or a couple of times a week.  As far as I know none of us have an Editor to review our posts.  For some coming up with anything they consider "interesting" is a struggle, and for others it is free flowing.  But the one thing we all have in common is that we are putting ourselves out there.  Everyone may not have the perfect points, best matching seams, loveliest color choices but we all take the time to share little parts of proudly. 

Leaving a comment is a voice for those of us that follow other bloggers.  Be it the "Rock Stars" of the quilting world, the "lesser known but extremely talented supporting actors" and some of us mere mortals (we are the expendable crew member from Star Trek) that hope to become better piecers, quilters, and designers. But having a voice does not give us (those that leave comments)  permission to be mean, critical or condescending.....or my ultra favorite---super whiney when someone presents a free pattern.

While everyone has been more that sweet, lovely, and kind when leaving comments on my blog, I have seen others that are actually cringe worthy.

Example 1:

Lady (A)  was commenting on a sewing machine that she rented at a retreat.  She struggled with the machine and in her opinion it did not meet her expectations of what it said it could do (also she did state in the opening line of her post this was only her opinion based upon her experience). Can you believe that someone had the unmitigated nerve to tell her that it was her inexperience with the machine and that it was USER ERROR! Then the person went on to rant and rave how it was the best machine on the market and if she had been trained to use it she would have not had all the problems with it, and how wrong she was.  Funny thing is that other people who owned that brand of machine in the comments had agreed with the lady (A) who had posted-- that the feature did not work as it was supposed to even on their machines after "training". 

Example 2:

Someone misspelled the name of a city in their blog.  Oh my the comment that was posted was scathing about using spell checker, learning their geography etc.

Mistakes are made people, spell check does not always work.  Our oldest daughter who has a Master's degree in English posted a comment not too long ago--  I am thankful for my cooking jeans that I inherited from my mother.  LOL  Obviously Spell check FAIL!

I know these are just a couple of small examples and if you read blogs you may know exactly who I am talking about and their blogs.

Maybe I am wrong, and again this is only my opinion but just because we do not agree with someone's post,  or that they made a mistake, does not give us the right to be mean, or cruel.  If you do not not like someone's writing style--maybe that is not the blog for you to be reading.  If someone makes a mistake instead of blasting them in the comments, maybe you should "take it offline" meaning send them a short e-mail explaining their error but do not deride them for it.  Or better yet, shrug your shoulders and giggle- chalk it up to an off day. 

When bloggers want your opinion on a color choice, layout, fabric choice they will ask for it and believe me the readers will give it!  Which is what is so great about blogging and sharing.

Finally a question.  If you were at a guild meeting, at a seminar, or met that blogger in person would you stand up/walk up to them and tell them they are stupid or ignorant because you did not agree with their opinion, or they made a grammatical/spelling error in front of other people?  How do you think it makes them feel?  Also how would you feel if someone did the same to you?

We are here to lift people up, cheer them on, and bend a knee and our head in prayer when they have sorrow and needs. Not to bring people down, and if I have ever left a comment which was not kind or encouraging I apologize profusely.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Supporting the Economy

Have you ever seen a pattern or some fabric that you just loved but did not purchase?  Then when you went to buy it you could no longer find it?  Not even on Etsy, Ebay, or anywhere?

DH tells me if I want it to go an buy it, but I feel that at times it is not appropriate so I wait until I have worked some extra hours, or it is on sale. 

I have been watching these patterns for a while and decided to take the jump and purchase them when they were on sale from Shabby Fabrics.

This super cute wool and embroidery pattern.

The Happy Trails applique pattern.  I haven't done much applique' but I am sew looking forward to learning and have been picking up some applique' patterns here and there.

I also found this pattern while I was participating in the Fab Shop Hop which I think will put a dent in some of my batik strips.
I also finally broke down also and went and had my Farmer's Wife book  spiral bound.  I went to a local shop which was cheaper than the big "office supply stores", which I think is Fabulous with a capital F since I love to support local businesses. It will make it much easier to use the book, instead of propping it open with a jar, or something heavy, stuff sliding all over, you know what I am talking about.    I am thinking that maybe I should consider taking other favorite quilt books and have them bound this way too.
I am still working on replenishing my fabric basics and I love the black type print on white. 
I also bought some of there basics from Thousands of Bolts.  I found this shop while I was doing a Fab Shop Hop and I will admit that after working in the computer industry maintaining websites it is not my favorite format for shopping. BUT!  They have some wonderful prices and some lovely choices.  I purchased a couple of more black on white, and some white tone on tone.  Also I think that they have the least expensive price for Moda Bella Solids I have seen anywhere, unless you know somewhere less expensive then do share.

Finally I have been seeing these images for Charley Harper who was an American Modern Artists.  I became enamored with his artistic style when I saw a pixellated looking quilt on Pinterest  based on the Charley Harper Goldfinch.  It was LOVE!  I then found out that there was a company that had the rights to produce a line of fabrics based upon Charley Harper prints!  Of course I am always the late comer to the party and most of what I could find was on Etsy or Ebay.  I finally broke down and purchase a couple of yards of the Cardials and Squirrels which I find absolutely adorable. 

Sew as you can see I am helping the economy.

Thank you everyone for the Birthday wishes.  I have been working lots of hours so not much partying but DH told me I could have a birthday week!  Oh and Finn...thanks for the gift of sharing your cold with me!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's My Party

This weekend DH threw a birthday party for me.  My birthday wasn't until today the 26th, and it was a milestone birthday!  The MIL, Aunt Jennie, the oldest daughter and SIL and their 2 daughters, and the youngest daughter and her 4 children came to help celebrate! 

DH was forbidden from black balloons, any types of signs mentioning my age.  How did he handle this?  The birthday cake he ordered said Happy 49th Birthday +1.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it before it was cut. 

I received many lovely gifts including these two mug rugs/pot holders from my mother which she made.  I know it is silly but I love home made gifts!

I also received a couple of gift certificates, a couple of quilting magazines, special cards made by the kids too.

I want to make a Swoon quilt  very girly with pinks, roses, whites, aqua.  I have been collecting bits and pieces.  I think I need some solids to match, I already have my background which is my one of my favorites a white on white polka dot.

I ordered this yummy strawberry and gingham from an Etsy shop from Japan.  Love!

I had to work a double today early morning, then an overnight. BLECH!  No date out with DH for me.  (Big sad face).  I have a couple of more crazy schedule days which translates to late night or overnight.  Before I get to have a dinner out with the love of my life which is not pizza!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Just a Few Blocks

I finally got to sew!

I know that sounds silly, there are times I find cutting relaxing.  When you are cutting hundreds of the same pieces I don't always have a lot of patience.   I actually worked on cutting up some of the scraps taking up space on my table while I was cutting, and made a bit of a dent in the scraps.  That made me feel better.

While I was cutting I was listening to a really good book called "A Wilder Rose" by Susan Albert Wittig which is a fictionalized account of Rose Wilder Lane who was a celebrated author, but also the only surviving child of Laura Ingalls Wilder of "Little House on the Prairie." The book was written based upon Rose's diaries that she wrote during the time. Recently I have seen a couple of shows about the Depression, the Dust Bowl, and some of Roosevelt's New Deal programs.  When I was growing up he is portrayed in a certain light, and I know some may call it revisionist history but in hindsight maybe not all of his New Deal programs (some which are still in place) were the best ideas. Overall a very good book.

While scrappy is not a problem for me I am struggling putting these pieces together with my limited white tone on tone, black tone on tone, and black on white fabrics.  

These are the units you start with.
To make these units.  Then you flip it over and draw two lines on the back with the line touching the corners.

Match them up with either a white tone on tone or a black on white.  Sew on the lines, and then cut apart to make these squares.
I have six blocks made, only 218 more to go!

I worked on my leaders for my quilting machine today, sew maybe not any more block sewing but I am excited about getting to use it soon!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spring Cleaning

I needed to clean my cutting table sew bad it was almost embarrassing.

Patterns, tools, rulers, orphan blocks or parts of blocks, and a pile of scraps that needed to be cleaned up and cut down to more manageable units.

After the clean up.  I still have a couple of patterns and my rulers but at least I can lay my hands on a pair of scissors, or a seam ripper if I need one.  I need to figure out what to do with my rulers.

What I found while I was cleaning?
Piles of 4 patches which did not go into the Jewel box quilt.  I took some of them apart to use the batiks in my current quilt.  But I still have a pile of these left, and I found some more in the dining room while cleaning today!

Oodles of HST some sewn together and squared up,others not.  I finally broke down and bought a plastic box to corral  these bad boys.

A bag of flying geese.
Some more bit and pieces. Majestic Mountain blocks, drunkard's path, triangle in triangles. 

Have you ever had lots of orphan bits and pieces?  What did you do with them?  Maybe I should make a quilt with them someday. 

I got a parcel of goodies which I won during the She Who Sews blog hop.  This  give away was from Baa's Amazing Adventures.

All the way from New Zealand!

Gorgeous fat quarters, kitty buttons and this lovely pattern which I think looks like oodles of fun.  Also the Lumps which I shared with DH.  They are soooo good. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Just the Basics

Many quilters have decided to go on a fabric diet.  I am going to assume that is because they have a good stash of "staples".  Thread, fabric, blenders, batting, and all the accoutrements.

While working on my most recent quilt I realized that I am lacking some basics.  I have a nice stash, lots of scraps, but I don't have a lot of basics which would be considered neutrals, or blenders.  When I made Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street I had to buy a lot of black on white fabrics so that I could make the quilt.

I realized the other day I don't have many basics.  I don't have much white tone on tone, or black on white, or black tone on tone. I don't have many solids so it is tough to start a quilt.

I had to do some serious stash enhancement of black tone on tone, and I scraped the bottom of the barrel for white on white, and black on white.

DH says there is no way I can fit another piece of fabric into that room.  I really must though!  I explained not having those staples is like a kitchen not having flour, sugar, or salt, or a mechanic not having oil and grease!  I think he now understands. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I know it sounds like a silly question, and I am sure to some people it is a "hot button" topic.  But are you a helpmate to your spouse or significant other, and are they a helpmate to you?

While I may "blow my own horn" about learning to snow plow, mowing the lawn, working in the garden it isn't so much to say "Look at me" but in a way it is too.  I am a very lucky old hubby helps me just as much as I help him, but what is even better is the praise I get from him, and the gratitude.  Which kind of goes into my word of the year.  Grateful.

When I mow the lawn, stack wood, plow snow-while it takes away from my sewing time it does give him a gift of time to do what he wants.  Just like when  he cleans the bathroom, empties the dishwasher it give me time to do what I want to do. 

I wanted a quilting machine and frame, but with out budget and house needs it is cost prohibitive.  DH attended quilt shows with me, talked to the sales people, check out the different features.  What did we like about the different frames, what didn't we like about the different frames, and what could he fabricate from what he found in the garbage pit at work.

This is what he created.  He measured it to work with my Husqvarna Viking.  We have figured out how to make leaders to load the machine (that is my job to work on next), the only thing we discovered that may need to change is that I  need longer handles for the carriage.  DH created a wonderful platform for it to slide on and playing with it a little today I cannot wait to load a quilt on it.   I am so grateful for this wonderful gift. 

We have discussed leaving it here on the sun room porch, or taking it up to one of the bedrooms upstairs.  Here I have beautiful light, but it is cold!  But a small milk house heater warms up the space in no time at all.  During the summer it is hot in here, but with the windows, and the ceiling fan it is quite pleasant. 

To take it upstairs we have to actually borrow a bucket truck and take it through an upstairs window.  The light up there is not as nice as the sun porch.  I think I  may beg to stay right here.

Friday, February 21, 2014


I have been working strange hours, and I am all out of synch.  I am trying to make sure that if I work an overnight but am off the next day/night that I don't sleep over a couple of hours.  We had a couple of beautiful sunny days after my snow plowing adventure.  Lots of housework, and chores to work on, and not much sewing getting done.

I was actually able to take the rugs out of the mud room, and get some of the dirt, and salt off.  I also cleaned up the mud room/sun room and swept and then DH mopped.  Since I cleaned, and it was nice enough that the the sun room door could be opened to help heat the family room/kitchen where it had been freezing.   The blanket came off the door between the dining room and kitchen, and the blankets came off of the windows.  No more crack house! This excited DH so he insisted that the TV and all the accessories and furniture should be returned to their rightful spots.  (We found that there is going to be another round of Polar Vortex next week!)

I have been working on a new quilt.  All I have been doing is cutting.

I finished cutting my 700 2 1/2 inch squares, 56 white on white squares, and 56 black on white squares.

I struggled to get enough of the white on white, and black on white to make all the squares.  I also had to order reinforcements of black tone on tone.  Most definitely time to order new some basics of white on white, black on white, and black on black. 
I have 336-  2 1/2X 3 1/2 inch blocks to cut of this.  Then I can sew.  Do you ever get impatient to sew especially when you have been just cutting for what seems days on end? 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Plowing With Snow!

I was lamenting the fact that I am not allowed to use the snow plow.  This morning DH was called into work at about 2 am.  I had to be up and out of the house by 5 am.  When I left there was a 3 foot drift in the Ancient Uncle's driveway, and it was still snowing hard! No way he was going anywhere today, and no offense to older drivers but he really should not be out today anyway in this kind of weather. 

(When I left work it was sunny, blue sky, but cold!)  Nice enough the salt melted the snow on the roads.  

When I got home from work I told DH that I had to go back to work at 9pm and was working an overnight, and to be careful because the county had plowed and we had a 2-3 foot snow drift to get into our driveway.  DH told me go out, start the plow truck flip this switch, back it out of the barn.  It is easy peasy.  Go through the uncle's and push all the way to the other side of the road.  Lift the blade come down the road to our drive, and drop the plow and plow through our driveway, past the barn and into the piles.  Make several passes so I can get into the driveway when I get home.  I asked him are you sure, especially with my previous faux pas with the lawnmower and the house, and the mailbox.  He said sure.  So out I went. 

 Our drive at least DH can get into it and near the porch.  See that huge pile it is at least 6 feet tall.  Yep that is all mine!  It is taller than our deck.
 The drive to the Ancient Uncles, and the 2nd pile I created.  I also created another on the other side of the driveway down a bit.
The plow truck.  I even backed it part way into the barn so it was all ready when DH gets home to finish up the plowing. I then grabbed the mail and did a bit of shoveling so we could get up the walkway to the deck and into the house.  And I did not run into anything....knock on wood.

Also run on over and visit Jan at Sew and Sow Farm.  She is sew much fun, and this is her 1st blogiversary.  Hop on over and check out her give away for 5 days.  Yes 5 whole days.  Isn't that awesome!

Monday, February 17, 2014


OK I don't get to plow.  DH made the mistake of letting me mow the lawn in the yard once.  Um yeah, she confesses I ran into the house.  Not once, but twice!  The next time he allowed me to use the zero turn mower, I accidentally backed over the mailbox, and caught the corner of the house with the roll bar.  Geez one little mistake and I will never hear the end of it.

I don't know if you have ever skied but when you try to slow down you snow plow.  I have had to plow this week.  I have worked every day except Saturday, and my only option was to do a little grocery shopping.  Started at the meat market, and never made it any further.

I feel like I have just been plowing along.  I finished all 8 of my Farmer's Wife blocks for this month- another goal accomplished.  I am officially over halfway done!  Crazy as it sounds, I think I would like to make these again, but maybe find a simpler way of constructing some of the blocks.

Flower Pot

Garden Path

Broken Dishes
I have also been working during little increments of time I have available on my next two quilts.

I need 700 of these 2 1/2 inch squares.  I have about 200 cut so far for one quilt.

I also had to buy a box to corral all of my HST.  I have bags, small boxes, and they are sitting all over my cutting table. 

I wonder if I can get them all gathered up in one place to make something someday?  This is just a small group of them hanging out.

We are getting more snow tonight!   Hopefully it won't be too bad. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Ever have one of those days you just can't really settle down and do anything?  I am having that day! OK I have been having that week. 

We have gotten so much snow, and what a lot of people don't think of when you get this much is where does it go when it is plowed?  Around our house,  because we have such a large drive which circles to the Ancient Uncles there is a pile by the back deck between the house and garage which is over 5 foot high, a couple of piles by the ancient uncles which are a good 4 foot high, and a couple of piles between the garage and barn, and on the backside of the barn.

Municipalities have a whole other challenge.  They pile it into the off street parking as best they can.  But then there is no parking for downtown so it needs to go somewhere.  DH went to work at 2 am a couple of  mornings ago to  move those piles by loading them into dump trucks and taking them to the landfill.  This is the 2nd time they have had to do it this way this winter.  The landfill is called 40 acres, they are down to less than 30 due to the 10 ft high snow piles on 10 of the acres. 

I woke up this morning to -8.  At least there was no wind chill, but this afternoon it is so beautiful, and sunny.  I thought I would wander out and take some snaps.

Piles of snow between the barn.  They don't look that substantial, but when you stand by them they are over 4 foot tall.

The neighbor's pond.  See that pile to the right of the tree?  I think it looks like an ice bee skip.  It is where the fountain to maintain the water movement was, it created that ice formation which is several feet high.  Not too sure if he finally shut off the fountain, or that the ice finally closed over it. 

I also had a chance to get outside pictures of my two quilts.

Oh how I love the way the colors just pop in the sun!

Lazy Sunday Mystery the colors are so much nicer.  Daffodil yellow, and sky blue!
See what I mean about the colors!  

I need to figure out what to sew next so inside I go.  


Friday, February 7, 2014

Just Scrappin By

I don't know about you, but I am Sew over winter and snow!  We got about 10 inches Wednesday on top of the 3-4 inches of ice on the ground from last Saturday's heavy snow, then late day warm up that melted it but before it could all run off it froze again.  Treacherous!  I actually hurt my back the other day by slipping, I caught myself before I fell, but the off balance was enough to pinch a nerve, pull a muscle, something to the point where I could not even lift my leg to go up stairs, and I was in severe pain.  

Three days later, many reheated corn bags, ice bags, and a few Aleve and I am feeling much better.  I can at least pick up my foot and walk without looking like Quasimoto  or Igor. 

Since I finished Lazy Sunday my next two goals for the month were the Aurifil BOM. Done!

The square is called Mother's Day you can find the interview with the designer and a link to the pattern here.

Then I started working on my Farmer's Wife blocks.

Duck and Ducklings.  I ran out of the red and white dot and did not want to cut more so scrappier it is.
Star Gardener.  Like the block, you know the commercial where someone hits themselves in the forehead and thinks I could have had a V8?  Yea this one was it for me.  Cutting all those tiny triangles to only discover--I could have made 8 flying geese and 8 HST to make this block instead.  Can you say Grrrr.

Evening Star.  Again could have made 4 flying geese to make it much simpler.

I have 5 more to make for my goal for the month.  The block I am currently working on is called homemaker, definitely a paper piecing square.  Still a bit perplexed on what to work on next.  I have 2 finishes so I can start something new.  I have been half heartedly taking apart 4 patch units which were not used in the Jewel box quilt to use them in another project.

I have some fabric reinforcements that arrived yesterday.

The panels, and some yardage form the Janet Wecker Frisch's "She Who Sews" byQuilting Treasures.  My girls need some covers because they are dirty girls.  Like poor Rita, , Marilyn, and Scarlet.

Of course I also found a yummy batik and had to have it!

Love the colors and the squares flung about.

Sew as you can see the past couple days have been scrappy days for me.  Keep warm everyone!