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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Unfinished Cross Stitch and Hand Embroidery Projects

Much like my last post about unfinished quilts, this one is about cross stitch and embroidery projects that are either in the works or still in the plastic bag they came in.

I keep several projects in a vinyl bag next to my TV-watching recliner. Most of these are Christmas-themed, because buying Christmas needlework is one of my weaknesses. Those in particular I would love to finish before next Christmas - so I can buy more!

Here is a list of my current needlework projects, and these are also on my 2021 goals list. (Don't even think about the crochet projects waiting patiently in my closet!) You may click on the links to see how they will eventually look:

Village in the Snowfall by Herrschners - cross stitch table topper purchased 2020. This is my current project, and I am really enjoying it. Instead of the white floss provided with the kit, I am using DMC's Etoile Mouline in Blanc to provide a little sparkle. I have made some progress on this and have about 1/3 of it completed.

Snowflakes: 12 Winter Designs for Hand Embroidery by Mary Corbet - I first saw this on Barbara's Cat Patches blog. I was enamored with her work on it and purchased the pattern at the end of 2019 to make as ornaments for our 2020 Christmas tree. I enjoyed choosing beads and threads so those are ready to stitch!

Farmhouse Christmas Cross Stitch by Little House Needleworks - purchased November 2019 to make ornaments for our 2020 Christmas tree, so maybe next year!

The Drawn Thread Cross Stitch Panels - purchased 2018. Here are the links to the ones I have: The Garden Gate, Welcome Autumn and Welcome Winter,  and Welcome Christmas. I guess I need one that says Welcome 2021!

Quilter's Cottage Cross Stitch Pattern by Lori Holt - purchased 2019. I have already made her Farm Girl Fall and Vintage Christmas cross stitch patterns. I really enjoy her patterns - they are easy to stitch and cute.

Holiday Main Street Cross Stitch Pattern by Imaginating - purchased 2018. I still intend to make this for my son, to go with the Christmas village collection he displays every year.

I have a few other little patterns that I have had for years and will get around to "someday", but these are the main ones I want to work on in 2021.

A health update: my last day of quarantine was Monday, and we went to several stores yesterday. Although I tire easily, I am feeling much better. The only lingering effect is no taste and very little sense of smell. Thank you for reading my crazy posts and for encouraging me with your comments. Wishing you a very happy 2021!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Crock Pot Quilts and 2021 Goals


We all have them - quilts that start off as projects and become one of the following: UFOs (Unfinished Objects), PHDs (Projects Half Done), PIGS, (Projects in Grocery Sacks), WIPs (Works in Progress), WISP (Works in Slow Progress), or the worst of fates: WOMBAT (Waste of Money, Batting, and Time). All these terms give me a chuckle when I read about them.

My storage area has a few, and I've decided to coin my own term for them: CPQs or Crock Pot Quilts. These are quilts that are on "slow-cook" and will be "done" at some point in time. Working on these projects will be my goal for 2021. I'm sure I will succumb to the siren call of a rogue quilt-along, but I really want to finish at least a quilt or two from this group of UFOs.

Bear with me as I document them on this post to serve as my reference point. Feel free to click on the links I've included, which are either previous posts about them or links to the patterns. They are in random order, and my oldest Crock Pot Quilt is from 2014!

Crochet Quilt - started in 2019, pattern by Joanna Figueroa; all pieces cut, four blocks completed

Lost Stars Quilt - started in 2020 as a quilt my husband quickly claimed, inspired by blocks made by @pamalamajodesigns on Instagram; 25 6-inch blocks completed; final size TBD

Butterfly Garden Quilt - started in 2019 as my entry in the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year Quilt Challenge; pattern Home Awaits by Busy Hands Quilts; flimsy completed.

Guns and Roses -  started in 2019 in an Instagram QAL; pattern Meadowland by Then Came June; flimsy completed. Intended as a quilt for our living room.

Math Class Quilt - started in 2014 (!) intended as a Christmas gift for my daughter; pattern Math Class by Sweetwater; pieces cut, a few blocks completed

Elizabeth's Dowry Quilt - started in 2018, originally intended as a quilt for our bed; pattern Elizabeth's Dowry by Marcus Fabrics; fabrics are vintage-y and not in line with our current bedroom style, but I still might use it on the bed.

Quilty Stars - started in 2019, pattern Quilty Stars by Emily Dennis; HSTs cut and waiting to be trimmed.

Antique Quilt Revival - purchased an older quilt in antique store for $25.00 in 2018; plan to restore it.

Craftsman - started in 2018 as a quilt for my DIY husband; fabrics feature tools; I would very much like to finish this one and present it to him!

Farm Girl Vintage - started in 2015 as a QAL; blocks are from Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt; blocks are complete and need sashing. My daughter wants this one.

Lone Star Flag Quilt - started in 2017 as a surprise for my husband; pattern Lone Star Flag purchased from Lisa at Aspen Tree Shop, which is no longer online but I found her on Instagram as @thingsherelately; all pieces cut, and I had them all laid out to begin piecing and have no idea why I put them away.

This list is by no means complete, but it is a good start for me! What are your goals for 2021?

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Gift!

My husband and I enjoyed a quiet Christmas, our 58th together since we started dating on December 17, 1962.

Christmas was a bit different for us this year, as it was for most folks. Our son and family were supposed to come Monday and stay until Wednesday, and our daughter and family were to come on Tuesday for us all to celebrate early this year. Last Friday I started having a dry cough and by Saturday was having more symptoms of coronavirus. I had an oral swab on Monday and by Wednesday evening had my test result, which was positive. In the meantime we informed the kids, and we decided to celebrate on a 3-day weekend in January or February. This was pretty depressing to me for a couple days, but now I am at peace with it. I always believe that God is in my life and that things turn out for the best in His perfect plans.

I did finish all the stockings! Each fabric was chosen specially for the recipient from my Christmas stash, and the names were cross-stitched. We bought stocking stuffers on the Friday I started coughing. Hopefully all the candy inside will stay fresh until we celebrate!

In spite of the circumstances, I am so grateful to be in our new home with the promise of a new year just around the corner. I hope all of you are finding peace and happiness this Christmas season!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Christmas Prep and Stockings

Right after I posted about my Peppermint Twist blocks, my husband asked me if I was going to make Christmas stockings for everyone. When I responded with a pretty emphatic "NO", he said, "why not, isn't that what you do?" Well I guess it is, but I had not planned to make stockings when all I really want to do is selfish quilt-making! But after thinking about it, I decided sure, I can make a few stockings fairly fast. Except it was not a speedy process. What started as a couple days of sewing has turned into more than a week!

It was fun to pick out fabrics from my Christmas stash for each person, and cutting and sewing the basic stockings went together quickly. I found some "cross stich font", transferred names on to pieces of flannel, and have spent evenings using 6-ply floss to stitch the letters. I am hand-stitching these labels to the stockings to look like a cuff. We have had a few interruptions (master bath renovation, babysitting with the littles, shopping) but I am beginning to see the finish line and hope to hang these on the mantel this week.

I got another block done on Peppermint Twist, but I need to correct the error you can see above! I do have all the pieces cut and ready to sew. I'm excited about this one and can't wait to devote more time to it.

I'm also working on a project bag for my oldest granddaughter, who told me she would like embroidery supplies for her Christmas gift. She wants to learn embroidery in order to possibly embellish clothing to sell on Etsy! I found the perfect fabric called "No Place Like OM" by Dear Stella. I'm going to make the bag like this one I made for myself last year. I will fill it with floss, embroidery scissors, needles, and information about stitches. She will be here for Christmas, so I hope we will have some time for a basic lesson. 

I know that most of you have snow regularly in the winter, but it has been a long time since I've seen any, and our first brief snowfall last night made me very happy. (Those white streaks are snow.) We have another slight chance for snow Tuesday night - yay!

How is your Christmas prep going this week?

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 PRC disorder (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.
Friday, July 3, 2020

Going Places Quilt For Grandson

Our littlest grandson, Everett, turned one in May. He is fascinated with any toy that has wheels and loves to play with his little toy trucks, tractors, and cars. So when I saw "Going Places" fabric in Bernie's Needle and Foot Etsy shop, I knew it would be perfect for a play quilt.

My idea was to showcase the fabric, which has little cars, trucks, machinery, boats, and train cars, so I kept the pattern simple. After I saw Preeti's quilt, I wish I had used her pattern! But . . . next time.

The back was also found at Bernie's shop. I only ordered a yard, so I added a gold print to make it fit. I was going to bind it in blue, but my husband liked red, and I think he was right!

The quilt is waiting for the little guy next time he comes to visit Papaw and Grandma - hopefully next week!

Going Places Quilt Details:
Finished Size: 40" x 45"
Pattern: Simple blocks
Fabrics: Going Places by Nutshell Designs for Blank Quilting, Ditzy in Cheddar Yellow by Mary Fons, and fabrics from stash
Threads: Superior Threads So Fine #50 in 503 Genoa Gray for piecing and 421 Marigold for quilting

I am linking to Frederique's linky party at Quilting Patchwork Applique!