Thursday, December 31, 2009

A final blast from 2009

It's not even 12:30 am EST, and I have forgotten one thing from 2009 that I wanted to include in my blog. I had blogged earlier in December about a gift that I was making that I couldn't post photos of. Now, I can! This is a bird wallhanging that I made for my Audubon-volunteering hubby. It is from a printed panel, but is completely hand quilted! I had never done any serious hand quilting in my life, so it was truly a labor of love for the love of my life.
This is a close up of the back of the quilt. I had hoped to show off th quilting stitches, but they are really hard to see in this photo. But, I adore the gorgeous backing fabric!
Okay, I caught my own shadow in this photo. I am far from a professional photographer! But, this is a close up of one of the blocks, which are gorgeously detailed. You can kind of make out my grid pattern stitches. I used 1 inch painters tape placed approximately 3 inches apart on both directions. I fudged it a bit to make sure that tape crossed in the centers of the blocks and in the corners. Overall, I am very pleased with how this turned out and I am excited to do more hand quilting.

But, looking forward, I will create a section in my sidebar to post a list of projects completed in 2010. We'll see how that looks this time next year!

New Year's Eve

While 2009 had it's ups and downs, I remain very hopeful for a bright and shiny new 2010!

On the up side, 2009 brought us more Bible reading, a return to quilting (my first crafty love), and bird banding for two of the guys in my life (DS11 wants to study ornithology). We've had lots of chances to learn new things and expand our kiddo's horizons. Good stuff.

On the down side, my brother's catastrophic accident, my dad falling on the stairs, my throwing out my back (last night), my car dying a horrible, non-repairable death, many economic woes, renters who leave without paying, etc., Nothing horrible, but not good stuff.

So, on we go to 2010. A friend loaned me a good book to read. I have good projects in the works. I am making pillowcase kits to make up for a state-wide charity. I have lots of things in the works that I can feel really good about.

Here's wishing you a warm and happy new year, full of possibilities (and a major Happy Birthday to Bev)!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Well, less than 3.5 hours before festivities begin for our family. Our extended family that is in (or can make it to) Georgia spend Christmas Eve together. Christmas Day is more of a nuclear family kind of thing.

As finishing touches are finished, I wanted to wish everyone in blogdom a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!!

My Christmas wish for each of you (and me, too) is that you have a Christ centered 2010, that you promote peace and love through your actions, that you have more than enough, and that you can enjoy your loved ones.

And that you keep on reading my blog--LOL!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last Minute Christmas Blues....

I can't remember the last time that I was scrambling around this close to Christmas. Even at my most disorganized, it hasn't been this bad. But, 2009 has been a hard year.

Between my brother's wreck and hospital stay and our dismal finances this year, we just didn't have the money to go out and purchase earlier in the season as we usually do. So, yesterday, I took Mom (who is in the exact same boat but providing around the clock care, along with my Dad, for my brother) to Wal-Mart and Target.

I am more determined than ever to live for Christ as I am certain that hell will be a lot like those two places on December 22nd. Today, I went with a friend to Belk (not too bad) and to Ingles for food for Christmas Eve and Day. Of course, I could have done that days ago if not for my family not being able to decide what we would do, where, when, and who would bring what.

Actually, considering the stress that everyone is under, I am probably richly blessed to have this information before 5 pm on Christmas Eve. Sigh.

Plus, we now have some family coming that we didn't know could make it and I need to have a little something to give them. So, I have a batch of apple butter in the crock pot that I will have to can up in the morning. Just in the nick of time, huh? At least it's something folks can use and is fairly easy on me.

On a positive note, we are having two old cars that don't run hauled off for scrap and parts tomorrow morning, so that will yield a little money. Maybe enough for hand rails on the permanent ramp on Mom and Dad's house. That would make me feel a little bit better (and our yard will look nicer, too).

Now, I have to figure out what to do for DS13. He really needs a new (larger) bed as he is bigger than his twin bed now! No, I am not kidding. The kid is huge and about 6 foot tall. So, we need to get him a double bed and we have to find one that will be very durable, not pricey, and a very firm mattress. Maybe I will check out the thrift stores for something that will take a coat of paint. Hate to have a young kid tear up something good. Oh yeah, he will need some kind of chest of drawers also as he is giving up a captain's bed, which my Mom refinished for him. It was really nice not having to put a chest of drawers to take up space in his room. Plus, we will need sheets and a blanket and comforter at least. I certainly don't have time to make a couple of large quilts quickly! It's going to be clearance sale all the way on this baby!

Of course he will get a quilt when I get the time. But, right now, I am a little overwhelmed! I want to sew, but I have to clean up my work area in case someone drops in.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A busy little elf...

Okay, the elf thing might not be so funny except that I am, ahem, vertically challenged in this world. But, I have been busy. The creative juices have been hitting me and I have been playing with making things from fabric every little chance that I get. This wall hanging is my latest accomplishment. I finished it just a few minutes ago. It is made entirely of scraps from other projects. The backing is pieced with extra squares from the top in the middle of the backing in order to make the backing wide enough. Even the batting is all pieces butted up against one another and stitched.

As usual, the binding is not making me happy. I need to perfect that one of these days.

The darkness of the photo doesn't do the fabrics justice. The tree is made up of a dark green swirl with small gold accents and red berries. Love it!

Finished a Christmas gift today, but I can't show it to you, yet. I will post photos after the gift is given. Wouldn't want to ruin a surprise, would we???

Fun, fun, fun!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Well, my brother got released from Grady Hospital almost exactly one week (to the minute) from his arrival. He is home. He is still in a good bit of pain and he has a long road ahead of him in order to recover, but he is home.

It just hit me today how grateful I am that everyone will be together on Christmas. No one in the hospital. No funerals.

We came way too close to not being able to say that.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Gifts!

Well, since I am not sleeping well while my brother is in the hospital, I am up at odd hours, in between trips to Grady Hospital, working on a few Christmas gifts. At the rate I am going, I am liable to be giving out lots of IOUs this year. But, under the circumstances, I guess it will be okay. I am just hoping that everyone can be home for Christmas this year! We'll just keep praying about it, I guess. This is the right side of the table runner that I am making for my aunt and uncle. It's the same shabby chic look that I have been working on in my house. It's all Glace' by Moda.

This is the left side as I can't get it all in one shot. It was completed as a Quilt As You Go project which is quick and easy, which is all I am up to these days. I did complete a candle mat for my cousin from the same fabrics, but I don't have a picture yet.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Prayer Request

Please pray for my brother. He and a friend were in a really bad car accident earlier this evening. The friend has a broken right wrist and hand. She got banged up by the air bag some, too. She was able to be treated at the local hospital.

My brother was not so fortunate. He broke his left wrist and right femur and was rushed to Grady Hospital in Atlanta (about an hour away) to get evaluated by Orthopedic Surgeons who are arguably the very best. He is in tremendous pain, even with pain meds. He is in traction (they had to put a metal rod through his knee to pull down on the muscles in the leg to relieve pain. He will have surgery some time tomorrow (well, actually today).

Please pray for him. Please pray for us going back and forth to Atlanta.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Home sick and other news

Yuck! I am home sick with a horrible headache and stomachache. Not fun. I am waiting on Grandpa to come and take DS11 to school, then I am off to bed with a hot rice sock.

DS13 is also home today. He is having some autoimmune issues that we are working to resolve, so that is no fun either. We have wonderful support from family, teachers, doctors, therapists and I am so grateful for all of that help. But, that doesn't really top a mom from worrying.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Virtual Christmas Quilt Show!

Check out the virtual Christmas Quilt Show here.  There are such cute things out there!  I entered my mantle scarf that I posted about on December 4th.  I am rather proud of it!  But, there is so much more to see in the show.  Please check it out!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Look what I found!!!

I got inspired when a friend at church showed me some wonderful bags that she made. So, I went looking to see what I could find to go with a bag.

Cool free wallet patterns and more here

A wonderful handbag and more here

Here are more wallets and another from

One final wallet is here

How cute are these? What wonderful gifts and it's all out there just waiting for us!

A Giveaway to check out!

There is a wonderful table runner giveaway on Abbey Lane Quilts.  Check it out and pick your fave!  I am!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yeah, Baby!!!

It is exactly 2:18 p.m., EST and I am absolutely giddy. I am sure that lack of sleep plays into the situation, but it is this little slice of beautiful quilting that has me on cloud nine. My tree skirt is finished!!! I found a package of periwinkle blue bias binding for around the circle. Truly it is not the best color match, but it does blend with one accent color that is in one of the blue strips. However, you won't see it while it is under the tree, so I was able to complete it and didn't have to drive over an hour away to get a package of pre-made bias binding (I didn't have any yardage to cut bias strips out of).
Of course, immediately after we put it under the tree and stepped back to admire it, both kitties had to check it out. Delilah posed for this photo.

As I like to use a narrower Christmas tree, this smaller skirt is in perfect proportion. For a project that I kind of threw together quickly, I really love how it turned out. It's not perfect, but lovely nonetheless, kind of like us people.

I wish I could afford to buy up loads more of the fabrics. I bought a jelly roll today for stockings for next year, but now I would love to have a table scarf for the coffee table, a small, Christmas wall quilt, a table runner, and, well, everything I can think of. I just love it!
Merry Christmas all!!!

Patting myself on the back

Well, here it is. My mantle scarf is completed and on the mantle with Christmas candles, looking quite festive, if I do say so myself :-)The binding is a bit wonky, especially on the concave corners where I had to work in some extra length. I am admittedly not very good at binding. But, if you don't look at it terribly closely, you'd never notice it at all. I certainly wasn't thinking through the binding part of this little adventure when I decided that I wanted points to hang over the edge. Sheesh!

But, I am so pleased that it is finished. Now back to slowly moving along in hand tacking the tree skirt binding to the front. It's not terribly difficult work, but I surely hate how slowly it goes. I do not have my mother's gift of manual dexterity, that's for sure.

I wonder if I could work something out to apply binding with a glue stick--LOL!


Yep. I did it. I made a trip up to A Scarlet Thread in McDonough to pick up another jelly roll. It's called Glace' by Moda. Isn't the sage green and soft white lovely?
On this side, you can see the deep reds and soft blues.

And here is all of the jelly roll goodness! Doesn't it just look all delicious?

This one is destined to become stockings to hang by the chimney with care (although not likely for this Christmas). It will match the mantle scarf and tree skirt.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quilting Guilds, A Silver Thimble, Strip Clubs, etc

I am in a quandry and wondered if anyone out there had any advice for me.

I am having difficulty finding a quilt guild that I can reliably attend due to my job. There are some options, but evening meetings at my school can tend to be rescheduled at short notice, especially if a sporting event is on the same night or time. Attendance is mandtory for some of these meetings, so it can be a problem to plan around them.

A quilt shop in the next county has a strip club that meets monthly and is starting A Silver Thimble club in January 2010. Would either of these be a reasonable substitute for a guild? Should I just pursue the guild with the understanding that my attendance will be sporadic at certain times of the year? What about expenses? Money is tight and Strip Club and A Silver Thimble would conceivably cost more.

On the flip side, the Strip Club would keep me working on lots of gorgeous quilts, many in patterns/fabrics that I might not have otherwise tried. Plus, there is comeraderie that I would enjoy. A Silver Thimble membership offers 5 hours per month of instruction with quilt kits available (if desired) which could encourage me to be braver about trying new techniques, etc. as there is an instructor to help me out if I get in a bind. Plus, there are 3 potential time slots that I can attend each month.

If you could choose only one. Which would YOU choose?

I Found It!

Here is the link for the coasters that I found that would be a great way to use up left over fabric and batting stash! The link is http://

Check it out. I think they are very cute and look easy to make!

Girl that sneezes 12,000 times per day

I saw the most interesting article today on  There is a girl that has had a mystery ailment and been in the news.  I have loosely been keeping track of it because it is just kind of interesting.  

It turns out that she has received a diagnosis and I am sure that knowing what is going on will be a big relief for her and her family.  She has PANDAS--the same pediatric neurological disorder that my DS13 has.  His just doesn't make him sneeze, it gives him 2-3 months of OCD thoughts every winter when strep antibodies build up in his system and attack part of his brain.

Isn't it amazing how the same process can manifest differently in different children?


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas gift ideas

I have been toying around some inexpensive gift ideas and have run across a few that seem doable.  

Canning:  I have blackberries frozen that I can make into jelly or jam.  I have some cranberries, too that can become conserve.  The only problem there is that I can't find the recipe and I might have to wing it and pray alot!

Sewing/Crafting:  there is a cute little set of fabric coasters that I saw, but I can't find it again, but it sounded doable.  Maybe along with a new dishtowel, it could be a cute set.

I am still looking, but this year is just not going to be terribly elaborate.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In Progress...

Here is a close up of the tree skirt and mantle scarf fabrics that I have been using.  It's a very shabby chic look, don't you think?
Here is the tree skirt so far.  It is square and not completely bound yet, but I am working on it!  I did it as a quilt as you go, single courthouse steps style log cabin.  I chose that so that when I made the diagonal slash to put it around the tree, that both the dark, predominantly red side and the pale, predominantly green side would both show in the front.  The 3 outer edges are self-bound and I will use scraps to make a french binding to go up the middle.  I am thinking that bias binding is the only way to go for around the circle part, but I don't think I have a single, big enough piece to make my own bias binding.  So, I may have to purchase a package of red to use just around the circle.
Here is a close up of the mantle scarf.  It is made up of regular log cabin blocks and quilted in a grid.  The backing is left over tea stained muslin.
Here is the whole thing.  Once it is bound it will be lovely on my mantle.  I think I will just have the scarf and 3 of my red battery-operated pillar candles on it.  

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Why does a mandatory school meeting have to coincide with the ONLY time all month that I have been asked to do something of an evening? Even with all of the holiday hoopla that will happen, I am not obligated for any evening, save one.

So, the school is having their PTT meeting and changing it to the only night all month that the quilt guild that I have been invited to join will meet. Apparently, this is their big, fun, party meeting and time to bring in new members.

It figures.

The Medical Profession

Can someone please explain the medical profession to me? Why are some members the most wise, astute, and amazing people on the planet, while others are baffoons at best?

Case in point. I got a call from Eggleston Children's Hospital yesterday late afternoon informing me of some "important" testing that DS13 needs to be prepped and ready for TOMORROW morning! No doctor's office had notified me. I had no idea that tests were ordered. I haven't asked for time off of work. I don't know if this is something that can be rescheduled, etc. My head is reeling with questions.

So, this morning, I start my class, step outside and call. The tests are for a brain scan (made it sound like cardiac testing on the phone) and genetic testing. I asked what these tests were for. The nurse really couldn't tell me about the genetic testing. I asked why they were ordered (were they related to the biofeedback that we did a week ago). The nurse didn't know. I asked who ordered them and she told me. I have never heard of that doctor in my life. He is a neurologist at Emory University, which is nice. But, DS13s neurologist is at the Children's Hospital in Macon.

Long story short, after 2 hours of frustration and phone calls. The kid who is supposed to be tested hasn't been notified and his first name is the same as my kid's. However his last name is different. His birthdate is different. His social security number is different. His shoe size is different.

Go figure.