Category Archives: Family

A look back

Another year done, many many accomplishments.  I can’t say I did much “quilting” per se, but I can say I feel more accomplished at it than at this time in 2009.  Mostly, I participated in quilt alongs and bees, all of which were enjoyable.  That said, I’m going to do less of that in 2011.  It’s time to do more for the people I love.  As a serial volunteer I fear I don’t leave enough time for family and I know I don’t do enough sewing for pleasure.  I wish to do more of that in the new year.

This is a culmination of a year of bees – basically, stuff I did for others.  One bee, do. Good Stitches, is ongoing; the others will end soon or have already ended.  And then I think I’m done with bees for a while.  I won’t hold myself to that though; I’m often eager to jump in to new projects despite my better judgement.

As for last year’s resolutions, let’s just say I accomplished, um, none.  Oh well.  So I have only one this year: make more, learn more (is that 2?).  It would be nice to include a mosaic of finished quilts this time next year instead of just finished blocks.

I have seen a few blog posts where people are trying to get one WIP finished per month.  I don’t want to pressure myself that way and besides, I don’t have 12 unfinished WIPs.  Do I?

I do!

After thinking about what others are doing, I decided to come up with a list of my own projects and I must say I have kinda a lot going on.  Here are the ones that I have already started:

1.  Pinwheel sampler quilt (just a few blocks (4?) made)

2.  Purple/green/yellow baby quilt (quilt top finished)

3.  Freedom Bee quilt (still waiting for 2 blocks)

4.  Fresh Comfort 2 quilt (still waiting for one block and, uh, since my month was July I’m thinking that final block is never coming.  Grrr.)

5.  Red/aqua quilt (all pieces cut, some blocks made, not too happy with it so I may need to select new reds)

6.  Quilts for Kids quilt (this should really be on the top of my list, actually.  The quilt top is done and the batting is attached but not the backing (wtf?))

7.  Stockings (I started these right before Christmas and, honestly, just sewed together the patchwork but it’s a WIP nonetheless)

8.  Felted sweater quilt (blocks are cut – this one is going to be fun!)

9.  QAYG Quilt Along quilt (5 blocks done ~ this one is ongoing because those blocks are time-consuming)

10.  Wonky modern baby girl quilt (idea from Fat Quarterly and not sure what it’s really called)

Here are the ones that are still in my head but for which I have the fabric:

11. Sherbet pips quilt – I have this charm pack.  LOVE IT!!

12.  Daisy Janie beautiful organic charm rectangles – I won these.  Lucky me!

13.  Sit and Sip quilt – my own creation

14.  Tree skirt a la Fat Quarterly

15.  Dog bed (poor Coal has been waiting a LONG time for this one – woof!)

16.  Airplane quilt for Segundo (actually, he’s probably long outgrown this fabric)

And that’s it.  My entire WIP and dream WIP list.  I have no preconceived notions that I will accomplish all of these in the new year, but I am definitely going to enjoy trying!



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Friday Night Sew-In, December Edition

For the latest edition of FNSI:  All I wanted to complete was one pair of pjs for my youngest for Christmas.  I almost succeeded.  I had an issue with the elastic and need to purchase some that’s thinner; otherwise, they went together really nicely.  Yes, that’s New England Patriots fabric, not Green Bay Packers as one from Wisconsin should wear.  But that’s what he asked for and I aim to please.  Tomorrow I’ll knock out a pillow case from the yards of extra Patriots fabric I bought.

The hem looks a bit crooked in this picture but I did check it and all is fine 🙂

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Need a fix

Need a lighting fix.

I know I can find instructions on the web for making a light box in which I can photograph my blocks and other small things.  I need one.  My lighting setup is just terrible, even in the morning sun.  These pictures were taken this morning when it was bright and sunny but you can hardly tell:

These are more blocks for the QAYG Quilt Along.   That’s 4 blocks down and, like, a bajillion to go.  The important thing though is that these are for ME.  I’m not making them for anyone else’s quilt but mine.

I also finally uploaded some blocks for a quilt that are not for me.  They’re for the Do. Good Stitches charity quilt I’m helping create.  Alesa asked for blocks in green/teal and orange/yellow.

When put side by side, they also create blocks like this:

And you can see both blocks together here:

And on the off-chance that Laura reads this before she gets her mail, here is a sneak peek for something I’m working on for her:


Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, Family, QAYG Quilt Along, Quilting, Quilting bee

Mr. Sampson’s bierd

Snagged from my younger son’s shorts pocket after scouts:

Thank goodness the absence of slavery got top billing, but just how long is Mr. Sampson’s “bierd”?

Fills my bosom with pride, it does.

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A week at Scout camp is like a week without my heart

Primo left at the crack of dawn this morning for Boy Scout camp.  It’s the first time he’s been on his own and responsible for his own “stuff”.  Ever.  He did go for one week to San Diego when he was 9, but there he had his aunt and uncle to watch over him.

This time it’s just him.

And of course 60 other scouts and leaders.

He is going to have a fabulous week, full of fire and knives and dirt.

Miss him already.

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Staycation all I ever wanted…

I have no desire to go on an actual trip.  Not right now anyway.  What I want is a week off of work.  I might have mentioned before that I absolutely love my job (love, love, love it!).  However, I haven’t had any time off in a good while.  Well, I haven’t had any time off to just stay at home and hang out with the boys, that is.  I actually took a few days last November and we all went to San Diego, but I digress.

This week that’s exactly what I am doing.  I have taken the week off to stay at home and tackle a “to do” list about as long as my arm.  Maybe longer.  My list includes a lot of hanging out with kids, a lot of sewing, and a lot of purging of stuff.  My list also includes a bunch of fun things around town, like this:

Do you see where this is going?  A whole bakery dedicated to CUPCAKES!  Oh yeah.

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Time Flies…

Wow, it’s July already.  The first full month of Summer.  I wish I could say I’ve been crazy busy sewing and show you all the great things I made, but the truth is I’ve just been super busy with the usual things:  kids (OMG, we’re so busy with kid stuff ), work, volunteering, house work and all that blah-blah-blah.  I’ve done the absolute minimum amount of sewing.

I’m sure Ruth is glad I finished her block for Fresh Comfort Two.  She used a rainbow of colors and we each made a block using Denyse Schmidt’s “Drunk Love in a Log Cabin” as the inspiration.  This block scared me too much to be too creative, but here it is:

I did square up the edges before I sent them to Ruth.

I also finished Kellie’s block for Fresh Comfort Two:

Now it’s my turn to have the bee members make blocks for me.  Well, here’s where I already feel like I made a mistake.  While I know the other ladies will do a great job with my blocks, I know I chose a block that is way too simple.  I mean, these ladies can SEW!  I chose wonky star blocks in red and blue.  My thought was that I’d have a picnic blanket for summer holidays.  And I still will.  The thing is I have soooo much pink, orange, yellow, green… BRIGHT colors that I should have used that and had everyone help me finish my pinwheel sampler quilt.  Why didn’t I?  I just ran out of time, even though I had 6 months to get it together, I simply ran out of time so at some point I came up with the idea that it would be easy to cut and bag fabrics for the stars (it was) and that’s what I did.  Anyway, I know they’ll come back really great and regret is a waste of time so I’m moving on.  I just had to get that off my chest.

My in-laws are in town.  We haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving in San Diego and were able to spend a little time with them last night.  They were sitting for our niece while her parents were out with friends, and when we got there our niece (just over 1 year old) was up and wide awake.  It was 9:00.  My in-laws were chasing her around making sure she didn’t crack her head on any of the MANY hard surfaces in their rented house (more on that later).  She was very entertaining to our 11-year old.  He took a picture of her and sent it to her mom, to which she replied, “IS SHE REALLY AWAKE?”  and “DO WE HAVE TO COME HOME?”  Of course, we were all enjoying having her to ourselves so the answer was absolutely NO.  She was having a blast and it was great to see her toddle around since the last time we saw her she was just tiny and always being held.  At one point, I picked her up and detected a faint dirty diaper odor so I gave her a sniff and sure enough, she had a full diaper.  Segundo just laughed and said, “yeah, I smelled that too.  I didn’t want to say anything.  Ha ha”.  Kids.

So, the rented house.  It reminds me of a Frank Lloyd Wright house and one in need of some love.  The furniture is really contemporary, like truly 50s contemporary.  As in from the 50s, not reproduction.  And it’s pretty nice, but the house itself hasn’t been maintained as well as a rental house should be.  My in-laws wouldn’t even stay there the first night because it was so dirty.  Four hours and a cleaning crew of 3 later, they moved in.  I think I noticed a board over one of the kitchen windows – I’m going to have to check that out today.  There’s also a room with a bank of windows behind which are some plants.  An indoor garden, if you will.  But there’s no obvious source of insulation with windows above the window wall, so I’m guessing it’s pretty cold in the winter (and Wisconsin winters are COLD).  There’s also a massive fireplace with a stone hearth, the one on which we were trying to keep our little niece from cracking her head.  There’s a large patio in the back with white wrought iron chairs and that looks really nice.  I counted at least 4 bedrooms and 5 full baths, but I couldn’t close the door on the bathroom I used because it was stuck.  The kitchen can only be described by one word: icky.  I opened one of the oven doors and it clearly hadn’t been used or cleaned in a while.  The other door appeared to be a separate broiler which is pretty cool.  The dishwasher is about 150 years old.  The living room (with the massive fireplace) is really spacious and the furniture there is comfortable; there’s a beautiful rug on that floor.  Apparently my mother-in-law bought new dishes and silverware so she didn’t have to use theirs.  That makes me laugh.  Really, the furnishings are pretty nice; it’s just the house itself that has me scratching my head.  I’m going to try to snap some pictures today.  It has to look better in the day light.  I’m really glad my in-laws are here – it’s been a long time since we’ve visited and we always get together over the fourth, so it feels like summer.

Speaking of the fourth, I have a recipe to share.  This is one of my standbys and was given to me by my friend Sarah, in that she dictated a list of ingredients with some basic instructions on how to do the dressing, so I’m not sure it’s really the same as Sarah’s but she definitely introduced me to it and I doubt she’d mind sharing.  Here it is:


1# bowtie pasta

6T oil in small sauce pan

6 cloves of  garlic, minced

3 medium tomatoes; remove seeds and chop (this is a dry salad – the seeds add too much liquid)

8-10 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1T capers (I omit these b/c I’m not crazy about them)

Feta cheese (about 4 oz container)

1/3c roasted pine nuts

Chopped parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse.  Bring the oil and garlic to a simmer and cook until the garlic is warmed up and the oil is infused with it, but the garlic is not brown. Swish around in the pan periodically.  The garlic should basically be swimming in the oil, NOT stuck to the bottom of the pan.   Set aside to cool.  Toss the pasta, tomatoes, olives, capers, and parsley.  Pour cooled garlic olive oil on top and toss.  Top with feta cheese to taste and the roasted pine nuts.  Chill and serve.

This is really a crowd-pleaser and the ingredients can be increased or decreased according to your preference.

Now that I write this, I might just have to make it myself this weekend.  We’ll be celebrating with family and going to at least one parade and, of course, the fireworks.  We have a membership to Discovery World and members can watch the fireworks for free from their patio.  It’s a spectacular place to watch.

Happy Fourth of July!


Filed under Family, Fresh Comfort Two, Quilting