So. It is the end of the year. Do you feel kind of hollow? Maybe you should have done more things for others. Check out this website and see how basic human kindness to strangers changes more than just one or two people's day. Also, if you haven't already seen this video, give it a watch.  AND...don't try this at home.


I bought Moda Over the Rainbow Batiks charm pack about a month ago and I have enjoyed playing with all the colors.

 The difficulties: deciding what to make with them, cutting off the pinked edges so the measuring of the resulting lines is easier, and putting them away when company comes. 



I am writing this on Thursday. I had it in my mind to go to town Friday. If I did, I went to pick up books as the library and a couple things at the grocery store. I would like to have picked up some Perle Cotton in colors to quilt my mini-quilt. The ones I have chosen from my stash don't really satisfy my color sense but I may just go ahead anyway. Maybe they will enhance what I have done. I should get a picture on here so you can see what I mean.


Yes, that is a remote control and yes, those are votive candles--battery operated. I used the computer by "candlelight" this morning. It was very charming. I can not believe no one thought of these before. So cozy, yet so safe! Thank you, family!


I think I just won a contest! This is a book by Laura Wasilowski, the Queen of fused fabric.

It is out of print and I am excited to add it to my bookshelf. Here is an area I really need to explore further.


I made arm warmers for Away Son. I tucked in a Teddy Bear, too, but never photographed it. It was turquoise felt and I drafted, cut out and sewed it up all in one day. You would think I would have taken a picture of it! 

One with owl...
 one without!  

Cashmere and merino yarn make these luxurious. I used the Highwayman pattern by Knitting Pirate for the basics and then futzed around with it a little.


Look what I have! 

Here is another tea pot KM might like. I know I do! It sure is cute!
I found it in an old blog post HERE by someone I never even heard of.


I am a strong and smart person. I am a good and kind person.
C'mon, you know the words!


A few oldies but goodies. 
 My favorite Polar Bears depicting our family.

Santa on a Chicken. Why not?

Favorite Russian Dolls from the Russian Exhibit several years back.


Modern "Elf on a Shelf".

I don't even know that story but I remember in the 60s it was a big deal to have an elf. Most of them had red and white stripes.

Here is one I made a few years back in the peak of mt doll making days. No shelf for this guy, he is perched on a computer monitor!


You probably already know how wonderful my husband is. You might even know how different we are from each other. 

For instance, he can stay up VERY LATE and sleep until the next afternoon. While I am learning to stay up VERY LATE (for me--2 a.m. +) it is still difficult to sleep much past 9 or 10. I try to leave the bedroom as quietly as I can so he can sleep on undisturbed but sometimes that just does not happen. The other day, for instance. I crept back into the room for something and found he had gotten up to plug in the lights for our little Christmas tree! Just because he knows I enjoy it so much.

HomeSon said one day, "Mom, you KNOW everything he does is to make you happy!" 

Yes, HomeSon, you are right. And I am pretty lucky to have him.


This post is possible due to my participation in the Free-Motion Quilt Challenge! Thanks, SewCal Gal and all the teachers we had this year. I am so pleased with my progress from HATE IT BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL STUPD all the way to LOVE IT, SOMETIMES I FEEL CREATIVE AND WANT TO DO MORE.

I hope by the time you are reading this, I am ready to present my Christmas place mats to the family. Don't worry about the distortion of the edges--some of it is due to the binding not being sewn down and partly due to how short I am and my reluctance to stand on a rolling chair to get a straight-on photo.
I have had the pretty candy cane fabric for years--possibly 15 or more. I had the green and red binding at least that long. I remember buying it in blue and making an "overall/apron style jumper for sister KM before Niece N was born. That is a long time in the stash and time to get it out and use it!  I do not know what possessed me to buy the rainbow trees I have for the reverse. It even has metallic stars all over it. It is horrendous.

Can you see the trees I FREE MOTIONED? I sure enjoyed machine quilting these place mats. I should make some more--they were fun!


Merry Christmas, Mom (and Scamp)! Glad you liked it!

It looks wrinkly, but really, that is just where I did Sashiko style stitching. I used 30's green and lavender and made flowers with leafy vines.

I call it a floating 9-patch and it is done mostly in batiks with an assortment of white fabrics. The back was very popular.
Of course, I signed it!


I found it HERE but I do not think it is available. It is to me, though, since my collection is virtual! Last week I showed a tea cosy that might please N. This week, one for her snowman loving mother, KM. It isn't just Christmas-y but would work well all through February. I like the cardinals, don't you?



Last week's Monday Mantra post was fairly austere.

Here is another on the same line of thought. One step and then another. Look on the bright side.


Knee Warmers! As it gets chillier and chillier--outside AND inside the house, I think about making myself some knee warmers. I found plenty of knee warmer offerings. there are a lot of them for sale that look like tall knee socks with no feet. The ones I favor come from the 20th century and include short rows. Take a look at some from some of my vintage knitting books.
One of my vintage books has patterns for military rib warmer but I think I have that area covered pretty well. Knitting seems to be a great nighttime activity and I am enjoying finishing up a gift I started for someone a couple of years ago. I am using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the yarn but it pills HORRIBLY as do most of the Debbie Bliss yarns. 
Not a good choice for knee warmers which would rub underneath the jeans all the time. Look at this knee cover. It looks like standard ribbing with garter stitch short rows--kind of like a short sock with two cuffs. I found a free pattern while I was rummaging around. It is by Sarah Peasley. If she gives me permission, I will show you below a picture of some warmers made using her Uncle Phil pattern.


Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? I can think of several passing ideas but the first answer I remember was "I want to be FAMOUS!" I vaguely remember classmates telling me I could not choose that because FAMOUS was not a THING. Hmmm. Abstract thought...age six...what a geek. 

Did I ever show you my lunch bag made by Niece N? She made it from juice pouches and red duct tape. I use it at all day quilting events and it always gets admiration. It is being featured on a worksheet for a national publisher! I am famous! (for having a famous lunch bag)


I have been doing a lot of sewing since my machine was fixed. You saw the wheelchair bags for veterans last week. This week, I made some for some nursing home residents. 
I had fabric chosen for lap robes but the nursing home said they needed bags that attach on the arms of the wheelchairs. JM, a quilt guild buddy, measured and tried on several ideas and we came up with something we think works.  I bought the Velcro at my local quilt shop, Country Stitches, and Priscilla gave me such a discount since it was for charity, I doubt she made any profit.


Mmmmmm. I am writing this last Saturday. I am sipping Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Spice coffee. Mmmmmm. With CREAM, not milk. Mmmmmm. We were in BigW last week and I spotted two remaining packages of this delicious stuff. I couldn't reach the last one, but I DID get the second-to-last one. Sure, it is really a "Fall" flavor. Yes, my Halloween decorations are still up. 
I plan to drink this stuff all week so chances are, if you are reading this on THURSDAY, I am still saying Mmmmmm. Do you think if I get some of that Gingerbread Cookie flavor I can trick myself into decorating for Christmas?


Isn't this interesting? I could do that...or I could buy it...36" X 48" is only $248! But for $648, I could get one that is 98" X 98". (Did you detect a little sarcasm there? Because 36" X 48" is barely lap robe sized and $648 is several trips to the dentist) Since a King sized mattress is about 109" Square--just the top, I would say if I really want one, I will have to make it myself.


I found this cute tea cosy on Pinterest and traced it back to Lindsay Mudd Designs. If you are knitter, you should definitely click her name and check out her creations. I think my niece, N, would like the sock monkey Rudolph.


Keep on. One step, then another.


I discovered Crazy Mom Quilts. I am pretty excited to see what she has been up to. I will ask her if I can post one of her images below so you can see what sparked my interest. Hopefully, she will get back with me before this goes to publish and you can see it right here. There is so much to see on her blog, though, you may want to go and SEE IT FOR YOURSELF RIGHT HERE.


The back side of my December lesson.
Patsy Thompson is the December teacher for the Free Motion Quilt Challenge. If you click her name you can see what she is all about. Amazing. I am probably the least experienced and least talented of the FMQC participants and what I saw HERE really made me scared to try this month's challenge. 
But it is the final challenge and to get all the way to the end and not finish, no. Not me. So I plunged in. At first I thought maybe I would increase the size of the bars that were to be filled. For instance, the first frame near the center is a half-inch! Surely I would need at least an inch in width to work that. 
 No. That will absolutely not do. I would do as her printouts indicated. I marked off two half-inch frames, two one-inch frames, and a two-inch frame and got to work. 

Frame 1 and 3 have similar somewhat challenging shapes so that is probably why they are worked first. Of course, I enjoyed the free-form pebbles in the corner of frame 3! Back to frame 2, also enjoyable. 
I liked making frame 4 much better than I thought I would and I found the corner pieces fun--kind of like ears of corn with shucks on each side. The last frame was going to be scary for me. Feathers, you know. 

I marked carefully and began. I kept saying to myself, "They are just plume-y leaves." I saw a little improvement and was able to increase my speed. When I saw that I had room for another frame, I made a little narrow divider between the assignment and what I would do extra for my own satisfaction and drew out more feathers.
It was a real challenge but I am now even more confident with my feathers. In fact, I am now not afraid to use my machine to quilt and I might even do feathers.

Front side of my December lesson


Today I have a video to share. I wish I had thought of this. Maybe you will make some of these for your gift-giving.


Another iPad photo. The two chicken fabrics are scraps from Florrie. I gushed over them until she gave them to me. I had the yellow dotted fabric and when I was at Fabric Center's sale,the little black in the lower left corner called my name. I think I see another Small Quilt in my future.




Yeah, found it on Pintrest, had to try it. It was okay, I guess. Look at the finished product. You should see some of the ones I saw--truly professional looking. Still haven't used mine yet. It is supposed to be a tray or plate for Christmasy snacks. Hmmmm. I have hauled food to two out of the five (possibly six) things I am obligated to and it still sits unused--in a big sealed baggie, of course.


It's a stock photo you can find HERE. Lovely teapot for the season. I would like to see it done in a higher quality material, cleaned up a little in the design execution. But what the heck? I can add it to my virtual collection because I have room to spare and I dust NOTHING.


Here is a good thought for the week from my elementary school friend Bob Allgeo. Still can't help thinking of him as BOBBY. Sorry, Bob. 

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."

He frequently posts inspirational quotes on FaceBook and I have used them here before.  Isn't this a good one? 


Pieceful Mountain Quilters Guild had our Holiday Meeting Thursday. We exchanged yards or yards worth of fabric and I enjoyed seeing all the different favorite pieces. There were a LOT of neutral with metallic gold prints. You KNOW metallics are NOT my first choice. Luckily, I got my absolutely favorite piece of the evening. Isn't it lovely?
I even found some coordinates in my stash. This photo I took with my iPad and I even figured out Instagram and FaceBooked it.


A gift for exchange.

I bought 1/3 yard pieces of batiks that I though coordinated perfectly. I tied them up with a pretty ribbon and put them in a handmade felt bag. Then I added a pin that I had made in the shape of a pretty lady. I took the photo without my glasses and gave away the gift before I saw that my focus was off a little. Oh, well. You get the idea. I sewed a button on the bag and secret snaps so it would close.