Friday, April 7, 2017

April Fools?

This would be pretty, if it wasn't in April.  Is it some kind of joke??


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WIP (#5) - Getting Organized

One of my projects this winter was to organize, and cull where appropriate, all my sewing supplies.  Everything is the basement and I would head down there for an hour or two at a time.   Lots of patterns, material, and magazines are headed to our garage sale this spring.  The rest was sorted, boxed, and labeled.  Well, everything except for the thread.  That was a big mess.
I needed a way to get at least some organization to it all.  We had a bunch of containers that the Hairy Beast's treats came in.  I cleaned them out, removed the labels, and covered them with some appropriate fabric - spools of thread.
Six tubs containing thread sorted by color now sit on the new-to-me heavy duty wire shelves I snagged from work.   We're closing down part of the office and the shelves were either going to be thrown out or given away.  So who better to give them to than me? 
To have a little fun I made  one of the cloth baskets from Faith and Fabric to hold the soon to be sorted jars of buttons.  And, yes, those are buttons on that lining material. 

I've been doing the Happy Dance now that this project is almost done.  Am I the only one that finds neat and organized to be calm and peaceful? 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

For Granted or Gratitude?

Just after I got to work yesterday, I went into our break room to make a cup of tea.  When I came back to my office I found that an envelope and silk rose had been left on my desk. 
The envelope contained a thank you card signed by my coworker, Linda, and her daughter, Olivia.  The only note inside, written in marker, again said thank you.  For what, I wondered. 

When I asked Linda about it, she said it was "just because" and "for being you."  I've promised to teach Olivia how to sew and she was excited to share with me the flower she made out of fabric. 

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take
things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
—G. K. Chesterton

Sometimes the best lessons we get in life are taught by ten year olds and long dead writers.  Don't take things, especially people, for granted.  Be thankful.  Let them know.  Pass it on.

I am really looking forward to those sewing lessons! 


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WIP (#4) - It's Coming Together

I was able to get the squares put together.  I just love how it looks.  I have a few other projects that are time sensitive, so this is going to get put away for a little while. 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WIP (#3) - How Many Quilts?

Three.  I have three quilts in process at the moment.  That's not too many, is it? 
One is set to go to the shop to be quilted.  That's the one I can't show you yet. 
One has been pushed aside so that I can work on the other two.
Then, there's this one.  Boy is the Irish Chain quilt a fun pattern!  Really.  It looks complicated but it's not.  In two evenings I had almost all of the block B's done.
Block B - sewn strips

Block B - strips cut
Block B
 Someday I may actually write about something other than quilting.  We'll see.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

WIP (#2) Irish and then some

I've been busy sewing this past week, busier than the picture below would have you think.  I finished all of block A for the Triple Irish Chain quilt, eight in total.  Once I had a system going, it came together rather quickly. 
Block B will have to wait a while.  I'm working on couple other, time sensitive, projects.  But I can't show them to you.  Not yet anyways.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WIP (#1) Irish Triple Chain

On Wednesdays I am going to try to do a WIP - Work in Progress - post.  I have a lot of sewing projects in process and it's really been what's keeping me busy lately.  If anyone else is interested in showing what they are working on, we could turn this into a link-up.  It doesn't have to be sewing.  It could be needlework, gardening, knitting or crocheting.  Whatever keeps you busy.  Let me know.

A Facebook group of which I am a member, Catholic in Stitches, is doing it's own take on the Block of the Month club.  Instead of twelve different blocks, we are all working on Irish Chain quilts.  I decided to join in a little late after I remembered some material I had in my stash.

A couple of years before we lost my mom, she bought all the material and thread to make this quilt.  I love the fabric and color.  Well, almost all of it.  I don't like and won't use the ribbons.  Sorry.  Just can't do it.

I think most of the FB group is doing a Single Irish Chain, but I decided to do a Triple, given the fabric I am using.  I bought a white-on-white fabric to replace the ribbons and got busy this past weekend.

After looking at a number of websites for directions and guidance, I decided to use these directions. Whoever put the webpage together did a great job.  It's not too wordy and has charts and graphs - perfect for my IT, techy brain!

The sewing is pretty simple, lots of strip piecing and chain stitching.  But, with the design and number of fabrics, it's taking some effort and concentration to make sure all the fabric pieces are in the correct order.  Sticky notes to the rescue!  
WOF (width of fabric) cut into 2.5" wide strips, A is sewn, B-D are staged

2.5" wide strips cut from the sewn lengths above
Block number one done.  Only seven more to go of this style.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Prayer Buddy Reminder

There's still time to sign up for Lenten Prayer Buddies.  See the previous post for details.  Match-ups will be sent out late tomorrow evening.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Prayer Buddies and Lent Ideas

Yikes!  Where did this month go?  I just looked at the calendar and realized Lent starts in less than 10 days.  Ten days, people!!
I haven't given much thought, yet, to what I want to do.  The food thing seems to be out since I'm already doing most of what I would have done for general health reasons - no sugar, no alcohol, limited gluten.  I'm open to suggestions.
- Maybe give up some TV?  Notice I said some TV.  All would be just talkin' crazy.
- Read something other than fiction?  I've had Everything is Grace, Mother Angelica Her Grand Silence, City of Saints, and Into Your Hands, among others, sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for quite a while now.
Two things I am definitely doing for this Lent are:
- Bishop Barron's Lenten Daily Reflections.  You can sign up here.
- Prayer Buddies.  Details are below.
During Lent, you can say prayers, novenas, and rosaries, light candles, and offer up suffering for your secret Prayer Buddy and whatever intentions he or she specifies.  On Easter, or shortly thereafter, you will let your assigned person who you are and how you remembered them.

Those interested in participating, please email me at:
I will need from you is:
Your first name or first initial
Your blog address (or email address if you are not a blogger)
Your intentions
Your full name
Your address
(Address can be provided if your Prayer Buddy plans to send you a small remembrance at Easter)
DEADLINE FOR SIGN-UPS IS: Monday, February 27th.


Monday, February 6, 2017


When my mom died a little over eight years ago, I inherited all her sewing and craft supplies.  It took my dad a number of trips in his minivan to bring everything over.  There were three sewing machines - an embroidery, a serger, and a "regular" one, a sewing desk, a cutting table, and loads of material, notions, crafts and supplies. 
When I first got it all, I went through the material and got it sorted out and stored in tubs.  It was interesting to see when the fabric was purchased by the evolution of Joann Fabrics bags.  But, most of the stuff remained as it arrived, packed in a variety of boxes and bags.
When Himself's aunt started adding to my stash, I decided that it was time to get things better organized.  As I started opening some of the bags and boxes, I found projects mom had started but never finished.  There were several counted cross stitch pictures, a crewel embroidery one, a bedspread for what had been her newly redecorated bedroom, and a couple of clothing items. 
As I handled the items, it took my breath away.  Mom started these new projects thinking she would have more time.  She was optimistic.  The cancer wouldn't win.  But it did.
I got to thinking about what my unfinished objects, UFOs, are.  I have a cross stitch sampler from our wedding eighteen years ago that is half finished.  There are a few more cross stitch pictures in process, a couple of dress patterns with material waiting to be sewn, a quilted wall-hanging in pieces, a quilt started for our guest room, and yarn purchased for a crochet scarf.
But, those are things.  What about the phone calls left unmade?  Or the dinner plans postponed?  And the emails and letters left unwritten?  Maybe Mom had craft projects uncompleted because she spent her time with and for people, talking and listening to them. 
I think I'm going to work on a few of my UFOs this week.  Care to join me?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Time, Words, and Getting SMART

The last two weeks of December at work were really slow and quiet.  Maybe a quarter of my coworkers were in the office.  The rest were out celebrating the holidays and leaving whatever  needed to be done, which wasn't much, to the rest of us.  Let's put it this way - it was so quiet that the Hairy Beast came to work with me, twice.  The second time he even had a friend to play with!
Now it's the end of January!  How did that happen???
Once everyone was back in the office after the holidays, things got crazy busy.  I have a lot of projects going on, my manager was out of the office unexpectedly due to the death of his mother, and I moved offices. 
We've been fairly busy at home as well.  Christmas decorations were taken down and put away.  We move out all the living room furniture and shampooed the carpet.  Last Saturday we took advantage of the unseasonably warm sixty degree weather and drove down to Amish county to stock up on a few necessities.  It's been a blur of a month. 

Earlier in the month, many people were coming up with what their "word" for the year was going to be.  I wanted to come up with one that was positive and glorious and profound.  Hope and Change sounded good, but I think they've been a bit overused, no?  If I really thought about what I wanted for this year, one word stuck out - Reduce
I didn't make New Year's resolutions.  Those always seems to go by the wayside rather quickly.  Instead, I wrote down my goals for the year.  I tried to be "SMART" about them - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound.
When I looked at my goals for the year - lose weight, eliminate sugar from my diet, clean out the basement and garage and sell or give away what we don't need/use, spend less, shrink debt, exercise more, watch less TV, read more - many seemed to have one thing in common: the need to Reduce something. 
It's not a glamorous, sexy word.  It's not profound like I had hoped.  But, it is accurate and something that has been weighing on my mind.  And, it has the potential of having an impact on my life.  At least I'm hoping it will.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Links I Like (#2)

There has been lots of good food for thought this week.  Alicia Colon at Jewish World Review is fast becoming one of my favorite writers.  Her insight, coupled with experience, makes for an interesting read.  This week, she shows up here twice on my links.  Enjoy!
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The totally insane reactions to Donald trump's election by the progressive left is proof that their brains have been wired to behave against traditional Judeo-Christian values. If it sometimes seems as if the whole world has been turned upside down and common sense has been thrown out the window, well, it has and we can trace this disastrous progressive movement to the 1940's and Nazi Germany.
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At last Saturday's Women's March in DC any sign of humor was out shadowed by the stridency, anger and hatred spewed by speakers like Madonna and Ashley Judd who ironically stooped to the coarseness and crudeness they despise in our new president. I really can't imagine Susan B. Anthony and the other suffragettes uttering four letter words and reading obscene poems alleging incest at their rallies for equal rights.

Read more here.
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Still, “pro-lifer” is a useful abbreviation. You try saying, “Eighteen anti-abortionists ate enchiladas in the open air,” five times fast. And “pro-lifer” has now been hallowed by decades of use. In case the consistent crowd didn’t know, that’s actually how words become standard usage – not by extensive attempts at twisted logic. So I am perfectly willing also to be branded as a “pro-lifer” – with the standard meaning.

Just don’t extend that meaning. If everything is a pro-life issue, then nothing is.
It's all here.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Links I Like (#1)

The internet can be both a blessing and a curse.  I find I can whittle away hours on Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest and whatever.  But, the web is also a great resource for sharing ideas and finding truth.

Have you ever read something and think "Yes! I get that." or "Hmm.  I hadn't thought about it that way."?  There have been a lot of good, no, great articles lately that have been like that for me.  I read them and find that they are worth sharing.  I'd like to do that more often. 

Since politics seem to be on most people's minds these days, here are a few with which to start.
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His obsession was so out of touch that the Supreme Court, divided as it is, issued a unanimous ruling telling Obama he must find another way.  When Ruth Bader Ginsburg joins hands with Clarence Thomas to rebuke your fixation with forcing nuns to violate their conscience, you have reached the pinnacle of ideological extremism.

  - - - - - - - -
"When the Department of Justice used Operation Choke Point to target legal businesses because they disagreed politically with those businesses, the Democrats on this committee were silent," Cruz said.  "When the Obama Justice Department sent millions of dollars of taxpayer monies to sanctuary cities that were defying federal immigration law, the Democrats on this committee were silent."
   - - - - - - - -
While the environments may be completely different, the larger principle is exactly the same: Why should one type of person be supported for refusing to participate in something antithetical to her values while another is not and even organized and legislated against?
Read the rest here: Remember the Christian bakers

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And just in case you think I can only post serious articles, please consider voting for this cutie