Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Vintage Christmas Pillow and Peppermint Twist Blocks

This Christmas pillow features Lori Holt's Vintage Christmas cross stitch. I believe I started this after Christmas last year and finished during the summer. This morning I put a backing of plaid Christmas flannel to make it cozy.

In my last post I mentioned the Peppermint Twist pattern by Margot Languedoc and how I wanted to use the blocks to surround the Lynx Star block that I had just finished. I started the blocks, and I really like them! Margot has a clever way of making the smaller twists as cornerstones with the sashing, and I love the effect. Instead of incorporating these blocks with the Lynx Star block, I may put Lynx Star on the back of this quilt so that each side can be a "star"!

There are a LOT of HSTs to square up (one of my least favorite tasks!), but when the block goes together it is worth the tedium.

I'm using mainly Aurora fabric from Moda, the same as I used for Lynx Star, as well as some gingham from my stash.

At night I'm working on a stamped cross stitch table topper called "Village in the Snowfall" that I purchased from Herrschners. The kit came with plenty of white floss, but I decided to try one of DMC's twinkly threads - Mouline Etoile in Blanc - and I like the hint of sparkle (hard to see in the photo!)

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Lynx Star Flimsy

Last week Wendy at  Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life posted her beautiful test pattern results of Lynx Star Quilt, the newest pattern released by Lucky Penny Quilts, I was inspired to buy the pattern. I finished the flimsy yesterday.

Just so you know, I have PRACD (Pattern Reading And Cutting Disorder), and as I progressed through the pattern there were many thoughts about putting it all away until next year. My seam ripper may still be stuck in one of the seams. Visualizing how this piece sews to that piece and fits together into a block and how this block fits with that block is something I struggle with, and I think that contributes to my difficulty with patterns. Encouraging emails from Wendy kept me from quitting! At any rate, when I reached the "putting it all together" part, my joy returned, and I finally saw the big picture. The pattern has instructions for baby, throw, and queen sizes, and mine is a 30x30 baby-sized.

My original thought was to use it as a Christmas wall hanging or table mat. Now I'm planning to use it as a center block with another quilt pattern around it. I've started this Peppermint Twist pattern by Margot Languedoc. I still have fat quarters left from the main fabric pull for Lynx Star, and I am debating Christmas-y white or light grey Grunge for the background.

Toby may be the most helpful cat on the planet. When I start cutting fabric, he throws himself down on it and purrs and flops around blissfully. He and the other three kitties are happy this week, because the noisy scary "mans" are not tromping through the house. We have taken a break from renovating until after Thanksgiving.

Wherever you are today and whatever you are doing, I hope you are enjoying your Sunday as much as I am!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


I feel such gratitude at being able to get into the sewing room. It has been a long time since I packed up all my fabric back in August. Getting my room in order has been a long, slow process, but I hung the last few pictures yesterday and immediately started on a project or two!

Diann at Little Penguin Quilts posted about quilt-as-you-go hexagons, and they looked like so much fun. So I ordered the Daisy and Grace templates, watched the video by Jenny at Missouri Star, and plunged in. I love the hexagons and the method of putting them together. These are designed to be stitched together by hand, but I tried the option of machine stitching and am not happy with my stitching. I may try a few by hand and see how that goes.

Wendy at Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life tested a beautiful pattern called Lynx Star by Lucky Penny Quilts. Her test quilts were so pretty I decided to buy the pattern to make a baby sized quilt with  Christmas fabrics.

These are in addition to ALL the other things I want to make before Christmas - Farmhouse Christmas cross stitch and a Village in the Snowfall stamped cross stitch, a crochet vest, a Dresden wreath, a Noodlehead bag, and a new quilt pattern called "Nightingale" from Lo and Behold Stitchery - think I'll get it all done??? 🙏

Since we moved in on October 1, there have been so many interruptions and inconveniences but it is so worth it! The house has been painted inside, the utility room has been enlarged, a slab was poured to extend the patio, granite will be installed in both bathrooms today, a sprinkler system will be installed later this week, and the master bath will be redone after Thanksgiving. We like how things are looking so far. At some point I will attempt a "before and after" post for the house.

And, in case I don't post again until after Thanksgiving . . .

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Getting Settled In North Texas

We are finally in north Texas! We moved in last Friday and are now living with boxes. About all I can do is stack them as neatly as possible, because this week the inside of the house is being painted. The painters have asked us to leave boxes unpacked so they can pile everything in the middle of rooms while they paint.

A few of the things we love about our house: the kitchen with new appliances and new granite and tall, roomy cabinets, the high beamed ceiling in the family room, tall windows (albeit dirty!) throughout the house, covered patio, roomy garage, attic storage, and a big back yard for the grandkids!

It is a big change from south Texas, and I love the cooler weather and low humidity. When you walk out our front door and look to the south (left), there is an open pasture with cows, and I love the big open sky.

Now for the dark side: due to a late appraisal - and I'm trying to be as kind as possible here - and the ex-owners moving out very late and not finishing some promised repairs and clean-up, there were major hiccups regarding our move-in. Our moving expenses increased due to storage, and we had nowhere to go with four cats and a dog, so our agent kindly provided his in-laws rental house for two nights. The house was empty, but it was relaxing and peaceful, exactly what we needed in the midst of all the stress.

Living in a rental house for two days turned out to be a welcome respite from the craziness

The rental house is on 65 acres and very peaceful

Due to living 250 miles away prior to the move, we only saw the house once before we moved in, and of course we didn't notice the dirty condition of the walls and baseboards, the filthy blinds, and the toilets - yuck! So the first thing we did was find a contractor to repair and paint the walls and baseboards as we cleaned toilets and replaced the seats. We are removing the blinds and will install cellular shades. And our sweet daughter wants to bring her spin mop and clean the floors after the painting is done - lol!

Our daughter, son-in-law and two youngest grands, who live 55 miles away (much better than 250!), came over Saturday to help us. Our 4 year old granddaughter started pre-K last week and loves it. Our 17 month old grandson likes to jabber and play with trucks. It will be wonderful to get to watch them grow up as we did our other three, who are now 21, 19, and 17!

As much I long to be in it, my sewing room is low priority right now. The painters are working their way from one side of the house to the other, and the sewing room was painted yesterday. Hopefully by next week I'll be blogging from in front of that window you see in the photo above!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Making A Move!

Our soon-to-be new home!

In 2016, we made a decision to move from our suburban home to a small acreage with my husband's Mom, sister, and nephew. His Mom's health was failing, and his sister needed our help. So they moved to Texas from Oklahoma, and we all purchased five beautiful acres on a dirt road in the Sam Houston National Forest. The two homes that came with the acreage housed his Mom, sister, and nephew, and we bought a new manufactured home and had it placed about 100 feet away. We got quite an education on mobile home living, as we knew nothing about aerobic septic systems, having power lines brought in, and having water pipe laid!

Driveway to our current 5 acres

In 2017, his Mom passed away, and since then his sister and nephew have wanted to move back to Oklahoma. With two of our grandchildren being born to our daughter since 2016, we also wanted to move closer to them in north Texas. Plus, taking care of 5 acres was beginning to wear on our senior citizen bodies - it's a lot of physical labor. So we made the joint decision to move, put our properties on the market as one listing, and waited to see what would happen. It would have to be a very special situation for someone to want acreage with three houses, but surprisingly, we had a few interested parties. The last one made a full price offer, and we have a closing date of September 28.

His sister found a home in Oklahoma very quickly while we looked online for houses. In mid-August we had a list of a dozen houses and made a trip north. We fell in love with the first house we saw, half-heartedly looked at the other houses, and made an offer on the first one. That deal just refused to work, and we were very disappointed. So back to the drawing board. The problem we encountered was a hot market all over north Texas - every time we put a house on our list, it was in contract within a day or two. Finally on August 31 we had a list of six houses and made a fast trip north. As we were driving, two of the houses we really wanted went to contract. So we had only four left. The first two looked great in the listing but weren't so great in person, and the third one had foundation issues, so we dejectedly traveled to the last house on our list.

As we parked out front I saw two beautiful white crape myrtles in bloom on either side of the house. White crape myrtles are my favorite trees - it had to be a sign! We liked what we saw inside, and the neighborhood was nice, so we decided on the spot to make an offer. Now that the option period has ended, we are feeling enormous relief and can finally say we are moving.

We will only be 60 miles (currently 250 miles) from our daughter and two littlest grands and 30 miles from the border of my beloved Oklahoma. We have lived within 40 miles of our son and family since 2012, and we hate to be so far from them (280 miles!), but those three grandchildren range in age from 17 to 21 and are leading busy lives. We are very excited to begin this new journey.

We will miss our garden and the views of the forest but not the dust from the dirt road!

My fabric is packed into boxes, and my sewing machine is going in for maintenance this week, so I will miss sewing and posting, but I will try to keep up with your blogs while I anticipate moving into my new sewing space!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Summertime Sewjo Is A No-Go

With many distractions this summer, my "sewjo" has been severely tested. Lately, keeping the garden watered during the high heat and mini drought has been a major task. Rain is in the forecast today and a tropical wave predicted for the weekend, so we are hopeful for some relief.

When Jen at Patterns by Jen posts new patterns for the Color Challenge, I immediately print them off and place them on my cutting table. Both June and July patterns had been sitting on the table for a few weeks, and yesterday all the stars aligned for me to work on them!

June featured the Mountain Bunting, a beautiful blue bird common to western US. Although my points weren't perfect, this block was a breeze to put together.

The beloved American Robin is the bird of the month for July. This block was a bit more time consuming but fun to assemble.

This post is linked to the Color Challenge linkup. Now on to the RSC blocks for June (pink) and July (dark blue)!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

God Bless America!

Happy Fourth of July!

This is a little wall quilt I made back in 2017 from a pattern by Running Stitch Quilts. It hangs on our kitchen wall. If the orientation seems odd, it is because flag etiquette dictates that the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right or the observer's left . After washing a few times, it is smaller than the original! You can read the original post here.

We are celebrating quietly with yummy food and the promise of a stray thunderstorm this afternoon. I hope you enjoy whatever you do on this 244th anniversary of our great nation's independence!

If you like goosebumps, I highly recommend the new version of God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood, Home Free, and the Air Force Singing Sergeants. Click on the link below. You'll have to skip through the annoying ad.