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Monday, November 28, 2022

To Do Tuesday 11-29-22 . . . And Some News

Good morning and welcome to To Do Tuesday, where we share what is going on in our creative spaces. Last week there were 32 bloggers who linked up! If you are new to TDT, please click on the couple above for more information about how to join us. The linkup is at the end of this post.

First of all, some very sad news. Carolyn of Quarter Inch Capers by Carolyn lost her husband Bill on Thanksgiving Day. I was so sorry to read about this on her blog. She was OK with me announcing it here today. You can find her blog post right here, in case you want to express your condolences.

MY NEWS: I have been the To Do Tuesday "host" since September 2021. This has been a very rewarding role for me, because I have made so many new friends, and the squirrel-spiration is incredible! Lately I have found myself thinking frequently about stepping down to have more sewing time and less time spent online. When I feel "prompts" like that, I have learned to listen to myself. So with that in mind, my last day to host To Do Tuesday will be December 27, 2022. Let me know by December 26 if you would like to become the new TDT host so I can make the announcement. Also please contact others you think might be interested in hosting.

The "duties" consist of preparing a weekly post with a linkup to be published by late Monday or early Tuesday. There are no "rules" about visiting blogs, but I think every person who links up deserves a visit and a comment. I use Inlinkz as the host - a free platform for linkups, and creating a linkup is easy and fully described here on their website. If you prefer another platform, feel free to use it. If you have any questions, contact me using the Email Me form in my sidebar.

23 year old Brandon wearing 6 year old Delaney's pink backpack!

Fun times!

How was your holiday celebration last week? Ours was just delightful and went by SO fast. The food was plentiful and well eaten, and the kids enjoyed the ping-pong table and dartboard we put up in the garage. It rained most of the day, so we were unable to enjoy the back yard, but we played cards and watched football and snacked and nibbled right up until bed time!

Fabrics ready for Virtual Cookie Exchange project

Here was my list for last week:
✅1. Get ready for our son and family as well as our daughter and The Littles coming on Thanksgiving Day! - Everything was done and ready, and we had a wonderful time!
❌2. Work on Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery SAL - I have fallen behind
✅3. Work on Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange project - Cut out and ready to put together
✅4. Evening needlework - I had something under my needle several nights
❌5. RBD quilt - The only "progress" is putting back the blocks that Toby pulls off the design board

Remember, the Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange starts next week!
Go to Carol's blog Just Let Me Quilt on December 5 and find the schedule

And here is the plan for this coming week - pretty much "rinse and repeat":
1. Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange project - My day is December 7!
2. Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery project
3. RBD quilt
4. Evening needlework

Now it's time to share with us - link up your post and go visit some other blogs for your weekly inspiration. If you are having issues with accessing Marsha's Spot, copy this URL and paste it into your browser:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

To Do Tuesday 11-22-22

Sorry for the late start, but Welcome to To Do Tuesday on this Thanksgiving week! For those of you who celebrate, what are your plans for the holiday, and more importantly, what is your menu!? Please join the 25+ bloggers who participate each week. We share our accomplishments and activities for the past week and our goals for the coming week. Click on the image above if you need more information about joining us.

Carol Swift

Let's all give a big round of applause to our very own Carol at Just Let Me Quilt for being selected as one of  twelve 2023 talented ambassadors for Benartex Fabrics! You may read all about her exciting honor in her post right here, and you can also see the full list of ambassadors and read their bios on the Benartex website right here. Congratulations Carol!

My Janome 4160QDC is home!

Last week I was waiting for my new Janome from Ken's Sewing Center, and it came during the day on Wednesday, only two days after I ordered it! I almost hugged the FEDEX guy, but I hugged my Hubs instead - lol! I got it set up and started sewing and finished putting the setting triangles on my RBD quilt. It sews like a dream and has features I love, like the automatic thread cutter and a locking stitch, plus this machine has the heft I associate with Janome, as well as smooth, quiet stitching, a simple bobbin, and the sloped front, which enables me to see the stitching much easier. The Necchi had a complicated bobbin which drove me crazy and a straight front, which caused me to crouch to see the stitches. I don't mean to disparage the Necchi, but I'm in heaven!

I saw this puffy tree skirt in an ad on Instagram and found the instructions to make it on Not sure I'll have time to make it, but isn't it cute! Click on these links to the Instructions and Templates.

I got an email from Art Gallery featuring these beautiful little lavender-filled eye pillows. You can find the tutorial right here

My daughter asked me if I could make stockings like this rag-edged one she found on Amazon. I found the fabric company that makes them and purchased 3 yards of their homespun fabric and will try make three stockings for her - wish me luck!

I am caught up with Joy's Mystery Stitch-Along, but I have fallen behind in Flurry and Flakes, the stitch-along of our dear Melisa at Pinker n Punkin Quilting and Stitching. I hope to get caught up after Thanksgiving. Melisa has the cutest patterns, and they are generously offered free!

I finally got my game on with Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery SAL. You can still join in! Either visit the Quilting Gail blog or you can click on each clue in the logo in my sidebar.
Last week my goals were:
✅1. Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery SAL - Caught up through Clue #5
✅2. RBD Quilt - got the setting triangles sewn on the blocks, working on a sashng layout
✔3. Virtual Cookie Exchange project - I have a plan!
✅4. Evening needlework - Almost finished with a couple of my projects

Playlist for the coming week:
1. Get ready for our son and family as well as our daughter and The Littles coming on Thanksgiving Day!
2. Work on Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery SAL
3. Work on Virtual Cookie Exchange project
4. Evening needlework
5. RBD quilt

You are all invited to share your posts by clicking on the link below - then go make some friends by visiting a few blogs - but you will need to wear your Squirrel Blinders! Be sure to visit Marsha's Spot by copying this URL and pasting it into your browser:

Here is our Thanksgiving menu for Thursday:
Roasted Turkey Breast and Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Dressing (made by our daughter)
Green Bean Casserole
Corn (tradition of our son and family)
Pumpkin Cupcakes

My Mom used to make the most wonderful marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving, but we discovered this one in 2008, and it is decadent! I miss having my Mom to share it with because my family won't touch it, so I only make half the recipe: 

Weezie’s Sweet Potato Soufflé
Serves 8-10 people
3 cups yams or sweet potatoes, boiled, drained, mashed
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla 
4 tablespoons melted (salted) butter
Mix all ingredients and place in greased casserole dish. It's best if you mix everything while the potatoes are still hot.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons melted (salted) butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Mix together and sprinkle over potatoes. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

I would love to see your Thanksgiving menu!

Have a wonderful week and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 20, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I am joining Kate at The Book Date for It's Monday! What Are You Reading? It is fun to read Kate's weekly reviews of books as well as those of others who participate. Thank you for hosting this event, Kate!

I really need to keep a reading journal and write down sources of my reading inspiration. One of you recommended this, and whoever it was - thank you! Sometimes you just need an uncomplicated plot, and this was an easy, light read with likeable characters. I was able to pick it up and put it down without losing track of the storyline.

This is the first book of the author's twelve-book "quilting cozy" series. The main character, Sarah Miller, is a widow who moves into a retirement community. A few years ago I would never have read a book with a premise such as this, but now it attracts me - lol! Sarah is reluctant to make this move initially, for various reasons, but she soon settles into her new life with new friends and even learns to quilt. There is a murder involved and a bit of a mystery, but overall the mood is pretty pleasant, and the reading is easy

The author is Carol Dean Jones, and her writing is a cut above that of many of the lighthearted books I have read. Although there is a resolution, the ending is rather abrupt. I felt that an epilogue was needed, but instead found a prologue that offers explanation in the second book of this "Cozy" series - "Running Stitches". Yes I am reading the second book in the series, so that should tell you I'm not too put off about the abrupt ending of the first - lol! I found the entire series on Kindle Unlimited, so I am delighted to be able to continue reading them at very little cost.

Click on this logo to go read other book reviews for this week!
Monday, November 14, 2022

To Do Tuesday 11-15-22

Welcome to To Do Tuesday and oh my goodness what is happening with November - it is halfway over already - eeeek! You are welcome to join with us as we list our accomplishments for the past week and share playlists for the coming week. If you need more information, just click on the couple above.

Squirrel Alert! As usual I was inspired by your posts last week - full of interesting projects, tips, and pattern links - my big downfall! Carolyn at Quarter Inch Capers had this pretty pattern linked on her post, and it is now sitting in my pile of patterns I want to try. It is called Abstract Pinwheel Baby Quilt and the link is here.

Melva's quilt!

And Melva of Melva Loves Scraps completed this pretty quilt at a retreat, and I loved it so much I bought the pattern! It is Sticks and Stones from Missouri Quilt Company.

One more - Bonnie at Institches with Bonnie finished Pat Sloan's Traffic Jam, and I think it is so pretty, especially in the scraps she chose. It is a free pattern by Pat Sloan, but I opted to buy the updated version with more sizes. 

Three days ago, this happened - see anything missing?
Yes, I sold my Necchi! I had issues with it, but I found out it was "user error" and took the steps to fix it. It was sewing perfectly fine, but I just missed my Janome, so I finally bit the bullet and listed it on Facebook Marketplace. After fending off two scam idiots, I was surprised to get an inquiry from a very nice gentleman who quilts. We connected, he came to the house and tried it out, and he bought it!

This will be sitting on my sewing table hopefully tomorrow!

I started researching Janomes months ago and finally decided yesterday on the Janome 4120 QDC. This is a big step up from my original Janome 3050 QDC that I purchased in 2010. I loved that little machine and never had one problem with it. In 2017 I gave that one to my granddaughter and bought a used Janome Horizon 7700 QCP, which I enjoyed until it began to have some bobbin issues. I sold it last April and bought the Necchi, and I've never really felt comfortable with it. I am beyond happy to be going back to Janome. I purchased it through Ken's Sewing Center after watching several of their videos, and I am sold on their family approach to customer service; plus their 4120 models were "deeply discounted", and I got mine for the price of a lesser model!
Scrappy Mystery SAL fabrics

This was my intended playlist last week:
✔1. Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery SAL - I finally started cutting. Thank all of your for your advice, I decided to take the advice of Peggy at Quilts and Adventures and chose a dark background
✔2. RBD quilt - I got a few more setting triangles sewn on
✔3. Evening needlework - I have worked on embroidery every night!
❌4. Get started on my project for Virtual Cookie Exchange by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt! - nothing yet

My playlist for the upcoming week, depending on when my Janome arrives:
1. Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery SAL
2. RBD Quilt
3. Virtual Cookie Exchange project
4. Evening needlework

As always, you are invited to link up and share your posts with us! If you would like to see what Marsha at Marsha's Spot is up to, just copy this URL and paste it into your browser:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Monday, November 7, 2022

To Do Tuesday 11-8-22

Today is To Do Tuesday, where we share our activities of the past week and plan our playlists for the coming week. Whether you quilt or sew or craft or photograph or read or decorate, you are welcome! More information may be found by clicking on the young couple above. 😁

I thought of Diann at Little Penguin Quilts when I saw this at Joann's last week!

Melisa at Pinker 'n Punkin Quilting has started a new SAL with the cutest little snowman! It is called "Flurry and Flakes" and will feature five snowmen and alternate blocks. She will share a block pattern every Thursday for five weeks. It started this past Thursday, but you can easily catch up - find all the details as well as the first pattern, "Winter Welcome", right here. I have mine ready to stitch, along with one of Kathy' Schmitz's designs, Winter's Brew.

Pattern #3 for Joy's Mystery Autumn Stitchalong can be found right here. I am really enjoying this little piece and went kind of crazy buying all different colors of floss.

The Wedding Quilt!

My playlist for this past week:
✅1. Bind The Wedding Quilt and post about it. - DONE and posted here!!
✅2. Continue work on the RBD quilt if fabric arrives. - Yes - fabric arrived, and I am in the process of sewing on the setting triangles.
❌3. Work on Quilting Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery QAL - No - I finally printed the instructions, but I can't decide whether to use a dark background or light - how do you decide on fabrics for a mystery SAL?
❌4. Work on wall hanging and Christmas quilt - Nada
✅5. Keep working on needlework in the evenings - DONE - I am enjoying a variety of projects!

I resumed cross stitching a piece I worked on last year and am going to try to finish it for Christmas. It is a round, lace-edged table topper with a dark navy background, and I am using a sparkly white silvery floss.

Here is my playlist for the coming week:
1. Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery SAL
2. RBD quilt
3. Evening needlework
4. Get started on my project for Virtual Cookie Exchange by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt!

Now it is your turn! Link up those posts and go offer a word of encouragement or pat on the back to your fellow linkers. If Marsha of Marsha's Spot links up and you have issues accessing her blog, copy this URL and paste it into your browser:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

The Wedding Quilt Finish

At long last, here is The Wedding Quilt for my great nephew and his new bride! They were married last January in a beautiful winter setting in northeast Oklahoma.

My great-nephew Cory and his beautiful bride Brooklyn

Cory with his hat - lol - to cover his bald head!

I still remember Cory as a toddler, when he cried every time his Mama put him down. We thought he would grow up attached to her hip! He grew into such a good young man, and I think Brooklyn must be the girl of his dreams. Apparently he fell in love with her the first time he saw her, although they were "just friends" for a few months. After dating for two years, Cory popped the question, and the rest is history!

Pixelated Heart pattern by Amy Smart
My decision on a quilt pattern went through so many starts and stops, including Corey Yoder's Sprinkling, Slice of Pi's Exploding Heart, and Southern Charm Quilt's Lulu Louise before I finally decided on a simplified Pixelated Heart, a free pattern by Amy Smart. Since I already had 5-1/2 squares cut and ready to go, I just used her quilt photo as my guide to lay it all out.

Quilt back using yardage of Vert Fusion and a sage green buffalo check I had in my stash

My great nephew emailed this inspiration photo to me as Brooklyn's preferred colors

Bumble Beez by Art Gallery

Doiland Gloss Sparkler by Art Gallery

Lots of scrappiness with most of the neutrals from my stash

I actually had the fabric line, Vert Fusion by Art Gallery Fabrics, before I chose the pattern. My intention was to follow the inspiration photo above as closely as possible, but the colors are so muted that I decided to perk it up using Art Gallery's Bumble Beez and Doiland Gloss Sparkler to influence my choices. These fabrics add soft jade with hints of coral pink and ochre as well as provide some whimsy to the quilt. The neutrals and pops of color are from stash, with a big boost from Decostitch in Cloud, my favorite neutral.

Quilt progress was delayed by indecision, cataract surgery, procrastination, and fear of failure. Fortunately I overcame those obstacles and not only am I pleased with the outcome, but I also learned to "quilt from the back" using Longmire! A couple of you have wondered how that works. It involves putting the quilt on the frame, placing a pantograph on the table, using the rear handlebar, and positioning the laser beam from to trace the pattern on the pantograph while the needle stitches the pattern. You can see a demonstration of it right here.

My intent was to be true to the winter theme of their wedding, using snowflake fabric, text prints with sweet words, the silky elegant front, as well as a more homey theme on the back, and the name of the quilt pattern - "Drift", very appropriate for snow!

The weather has not cooperated for photos. My DIY guy suggested that foggy weather
was not the best for quilt photography, so I took the photos inside the house.

Toby putting last minute touches on draping the quilt

Rosie saw a wrinkle that Toby overlooked!

Cory's step-sister (my great-niece) lives near me and will see Cory and Brooklyn when she goes to Oklahoma for Christmas, so I will wait on mailing it and let her cart it to them. It is not only heavy for mailing, but I want to make sure it arrives intact!

Pattern inspiration: Pixelated Heart pattern by Amy Smart
Finished size: Approximately 76" wide x 80" tall

Front fabrics:
Vert Fusion layer cake by AGF (Art Gallery Fabrics)
India Ink from Kismet by Sharon Holland for AGF
Stamped from Paperie by Amy Sinibaldi for AGF
Spotted Graphite by Zen Chic for Moda
Decostitch in Cloud by AGF
Various fabrics from stash

Sonic Flora Vert from Vert Fusion by AGF
Anew in Green Plaid with White/Cream by Brenda Riddle for Lecien

Metallic snowflake fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics

Superior Threads So Fine! 50 wt:
Piecing -#503 Genoa Gray
Quilting - #402 Pearl
Binding -  #152 Bisque and #1142 White Sand (30 wt)

Pantograph "Drift" by Keryn Emmerson

Toby lent his tail to the final shot

I am linking this post to Brenda's Monday Musings and PHD Update and Melva's Sew and Tell.

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

I am joining Kathryn at The Book Date today for It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

After finishing The Winter Sea, I resumed my re-reading of Tony Hillerman's series of Navajo detective Joe Leaphorn crime novels. Listening Woman is the third in the series and was first published in 1978. The story gets off to an exciting start with Leaphorn being nearly run over by the driver of a car during a routine traffic stop. The driver is wearing gold-rimmed sunglasses, and he is referred to in the book as "Gold Rims".

A view of the Chuska Mountains, often mentioned in Hillerman's novels

As always, I enjoy Hillerman's descriptions of geographical locations in the desert Southwest almost as much as the stories. When I read a book that vividly describes the scenery, I sometimes stop what I’m reading and visit to look for homes there!

Listening Woman is Margaret Cigaret, a blind Navajo who has knowledge of Navajo "sings" and helps people with specific problems in their lives - spiritual and physical. While giving advice to Hosteen Tso about his illness, she walks outside his hogan for a few moments to ponder the situation and returns to find both Tso and his niece dead. Along with these murders and the search for Gold Rims, there is a missing helicopter, a Boy Scout troop being held hostage, and a harrowing 30 hours in a cave to offer many tense moments.

As always I enjoyed Leaphorn's thoughtful method of investigation and how the reader is invited along for the ride. Although he holds deep reverence for the spiritual and sometimes supernatural views of the Navajo people, he employs the logical reasoning of his police training to bring the case to an often surprising conclusion.

I am currently reading Tie Died: A Quilting Cozy, by Carol Dean Jones. It was recommended as a light read by someone whose blog I follow, but I cannot remember who - so if it was you please let me know - I am enjoying it!