Monday, December 31, 2012

Easy Street Update.....

We interrupt your regularly scheduled quilt project (still haven't gotten the borders on Rick Rack Nines) to bring this news bulletin on Easy Street.

All caught up.... bring it on Miss Bonnie!!!!!  Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Freyr the Snowstorm...

Ok, the first thing I have to ask is... when did they start naming snowstorms???? Seriously... are we going to start naming earthquakes?????

Now that I have that off my chest... the snow has stopped.  Kevin, Abby, and Beth are out blowing and shoveling the snow of driveways, so once again I take the opportunity to clean up.

The Christmas tree is wrapped up and put up in the attic.  It's only 4 feet tall and it's pre-lit, so we just wrap an old sheet around it and 'poof' it's ready to sleep for the year.  I think that there is some genetic predisposition to vacuuming after the tree comes down.. you know, all those needles the tree loses?  Even though we don't lose needles, I have to vacuum.  So the furniture has been moved and at least one cat's worth of fur and one kid's worth of long red/brown hair has been sucked up.  Not to mention all the thread bunnies I have managed to create.

Of course the sewing room got a good once over in all this... and yes, once again I did rearrange.  I think I'm ADD.... I can't keep things the same for very long.  I did put a couple of things up on the attic that I really didn't need down here, went through some patterns I had ripped out of magazines and decided what to keep, and re-stacked fabric on the shelf. When am I going to use all of this (and I bought more last night).

I did manage to get the center of Rick-Rack Nines put together and have the measurement for the first border.  Cutting might be a tonight activity or will wait until Monday.  We hope to take our annual trip to Barnes and Noble tomorrow.

Hope you had a super quilty day!!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Easy Street Update....

Bonnie posted Part 6 of Easy Street this morning, so I decided to get it finished before tackling my Rick Rack Nines quilt top again.  I keep taking the pieces out of the box and trying to figure out where they are going to go.

 I see the turquoise squares with the purple triangles as star points, but I can't figure out what would go in the middle... the green squares just don't look right.

My next thought is that the green squares go with the grey/b&w four patches.

I know... Amy has already told me to be patient, so be patient I will.

How fast will New Year's Eve get here?????????

Have a Super Quilty Day!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to spend a snow storm...

Well we survived mother nature yesterday.  We only received about 4 inches of snow once it was all said and done, but they say another storm is headed our way for Saturday.  I, for one, am happy they are coming this week so we don't lose any more days at school.

Anyway, how did I spend the storm?  I worked on Rick Rack Nines from Bonnie Hunter's book "Adventures with Leaders and Enders".  All of the 9-patches were from leaders and enders I used at the beginning and end of other projects.  And I am making more while working on this one.  I'm really enjoying this one and I hope to get the center done today - maybe even get the borders put on.

The back will be something I 'had to have' and now will never use in a quilt top.  I figure it's scrappy so that back doesn't really matter.

Oh, and Smokey?  Well let's just say we need to have a discussion with her about catnip.  It really knocks her out.

Have a super quilty day!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Latest UFO finish......

Last summer, my goal was to get some tops and backings ready to quilt so that when Donna had time to put one into her plethora of customer quilts, one would be done and I could scratch it off the list.

This is the latest finish.  These churn dash blocks were from an on line swap EONS ago. The center sat and sat until I decided to use up a 30's print jelly roll I had gotten on the flying geese.  It is 103" square.  Not sure if this one will stay home or go with a child.... but for now it has a home on the pile on top of the cedar chest.

Weather maker #2 has arrived in full force, so  I was unable to take the picture outside.  We will probably get more rain and slop than snow.  Then we await #3 on Saturday.

Have a super quilty day!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My first adventure into string piecing....

Today was quilt cam day with Bonnie Hunter.  I had been at school getting plans done and just made it home for the beginning of it.  So since I didn't really have anything to work on, and Bonnie was string piecing, I decided to give it a try.

I have been saving my un-used book order forms from school for foundations as the paper is thin and hopefully easy to rip out.  I just grab some strings and started sewing.

I am pleased.  Not sure what I'm going to do with it, probably just quilt it and hang it up or something.

Anyway, I can stop singing "like a virgin" now... I've done ventured into string piecing.

Have a good day!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Easy Street Parts 2 and 3

So, there is one bright spot in the hubby being away playing Civil War all weekend.  I was able to get parts 2 and 3 done in Easy Street.

The purple doesn't look very purple in this picture, but I'm really liking this so far.

Now... I wonder if part 4 is going to introduce the lime green

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Auction Day

It's been a long time since I went to an estate sale.  We used to go when Erin was little, and she is 26 now.  I can remember giving her a blank index card and she would put it up now and then like she was bidding.  The auctioneers knew it was all in fun.

Yesterday Kevin and I went to an estate sale.  The main goal was to look at and maybe bring home a Bernina 1080.  It doesn't hurt to have a spare machine.  Of course, the furniture, which it was placed with in the cabinet, wasn't sold until after 1 pm.  So we sat through all of the household items in the morning.  It was COLD.... even in the building.

I made it home with some pyrex/corning wear casserole pieces and a larger granite roaster.  I figure if I never use them, I can pack them away for the girls when they move out and set up housekeeping.  We also managed to pick up two end tables that were made by a man Kevin knew growing up.  For what we paid we couldn't have bought the walnut that was in them.  Needless to say he is very proud of his purchase.  And, it has only taken us 26 years to get matching end tables in the living room.

I often wonder about estate sales.  It must be difficult to sit and watch your entire life be auctioned away to people... many of whom are total strangers.  Then I think about all the 'stuff' that I have accumulated.  I really need to go through it.

Oh, the Bernina??? I was going to bid it up to about $300-350.  It went to a nice Mennonite lady for $650.  Unfortunately, some of the feet and bobbins went with the notions in the household goods.

Today... I sew on Step 2 of Easy Street with Bonnie Hunter.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Another Flimsy finish....

In July at Quilt Odyssey, I had the opportunity to take a class with Bonnie Hunter.  This was the Tumalo Trail Pattern out of her book Scraps and Shirttails II.  I had cut a bunch of my Christmas fabrics into 1.5-inch strips to make pineapple blocks and wasn't thrilled with the way they were turning out so I decided to use them to make the 9-patches for this quilt.

LOVE IT!!!!!

I'm going to use big pieces of my Christmas fabrics that are left to make the backing.

Oh, the red border and sashing fabrics???? I've had those for probably 23 years... since Erin was little (she is 26).

Tomorrow is our day to take Beth back to Drexel while grammy and pappy take Abby back to IUP.

So, I will have to wait for Monday to sew.... we still have two days of our holiday break.

Quilty Hugs!

Easy Street Step 1......


 And I even have some twosies leftover to feed into other scrappy four-patches.

I'm so likin' this grey with the black and white.

Head over to Bonnie's blog to see what everyone else is doing.... these are so much fun!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday in my house....

NO WAY on this planet was I going shopping.  The stress and headache are not worth the trouble.  I have been flipped off, yelled at, and had a sweater taken out of my hands during the holiday season and decided I'm going to do most of my shopping on line.

I did go out though.  The twins are back from college and Beth brought a sinus/ear infection with her.  So a trip to the doctor and pharmacy and we have an antibiotic.

I started working on Bonnie Hunter's new mystery, Easy Street.  I didn't read the directions and bought grey FQs in many different prints, but luckily had a piece of solid Kona grey in the stash that was big enough.  I'm liking the grey with the black/white prints.

Finally, we celebrated the twins' birthdays today before they go back to school.  Their day isn't until the 30th.. I can't believe they are going to be 19.  Abby received a Tardis hat, and Beth received a scarf similar to what Tom Baker wore when he was Dr. Who.

Hope you all had a safe, happy, and peaceful holiday!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Flimsy finish.......

Anymore, I allow myself to feel a finish is one step closer when I have it at the flimsy stage.

This is Bonnie Hunter's "Jared Takes a Wife" pattern.  Bonnie was teaching this class in Bedford, PA last July and I drove the hour west to sit, sew, and visit.

Today I got the flimsy done.  It will be for Abby... my owl girl.

Oh, and the picture of Kevin???? He was working on a bag for his  Civil War re-enacting.  I just had to share he looked so cute.

Now to piece the backing.

Quilty Hugs!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What am I reading.............

 As part of our 8th grade curriculum, we read The Giver, by Lois Lowry.  Honestly, I wasn't thrilled with this book the first time I read it, but when I taught it for the first time, I could see how it really makes my students think, and hopefully realize that things in our world could be really different.

As a companion book, Ms. Lowry wrote Gathering Blue.  I am all but done with it now and will pick up the third book, Messenger.  Her fourth book, Son, just came out, and it is waiting for me to read so that all of these stories will be tied together.

One question that always comes up from my students is "is the movie out?"  Unfortunately, no movie has been made.  I could see Jeff Bridges playing "The Giver"; his gruff face and beard would be perfect.

Back to my book..... have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


if one of these comes up out of the creek across the street.....

We have survived Sandy.  The basement stayed dry, the power stayed on.  No problems here.

Hugs and prayers to all who are recovering and to those still experiencing her to the west.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Before the power goes out....

Thinking positively here.  The winds have picked up, gusting now and then.  It's raining.... a lot.  I called Beth at Drexel and she said at one point the rain was falling horizontally.

Our schools are closed today and tomorrow.  Since I managed to get the bulk of the grading I needed to do finished on Saturday and taken back to school, today and tomorrow will be much needed fabric therapy days.

This is Bonnie Hunter's Jared Takes a Wife pattern.  She taught a class in Bedford, PA last July and my friend Belinda and I drove the hour west to see her and take part.  Some of you know that my daughter, Abby, loves owls.  I found this fabric last spring and of course bought it with no idea in mind as to what I was going to do with it.


I only have 11 blocks out of 30 made, they are coming slowly but surely.  I don't crank things out as fast as I used to.  Is that because I'm 50 and sitting there is hell on my back..... or because I just want to enjoy the time in my sewing room.  Slow and steady wins the race right?

Hugs to all in the path of the storm.  Sew while you can!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I don't know who painted this picture, but it seemed appropriate as she is looking out over the water.

After two days of eerily-still air, the breeze is starting to pick up and the air, surprisingly, has gotten a little cooler.  Being 50 I keep the window open at night just a smidge and around 2 am I noticed a more pronounced chill in the air.

I saw on the weather channel that the outer bands of rain have begun to fall to the southeast of us.  Needless to say I'm worried.  Our oldest, Erin, is now living west of Philadelphia and while she isn't in a flood-prone area, this will be her first big storm away from home.  So we told her to buy some water, get a cooler and some ice and fill the tub.  One of the twins, Beth, is a freshman at Drexel.  Not sure what the university is telling the students, but I have told her if she has to evacuate to call her sister and Erin is ready and waiting. In some ways I feel totally helpless, but I have to have faith that we raised them right and that they will be ok.

The projection map is saying Sandy will be over top of us on Tuesday. Does that mean a day off from school?  Who knows.  But if so, we make it up unless the governor forgives the time off.  That happened once many moons ago because of snow..and snow... and snow....

So for me today I plan on staying here with Kevin and getting some sewing done.  My friends, the Sundae Quilters, are getting together but I just don't have the uummph to get up and go.  I think the nesting gene has kicked in and I just want to stay close to home.  Maybe I'm waiting for the call from Beth to come get her... I don't know.

So to all of my blog friends that are further east... take care and hugs and prayers coming your way.  Perhaps it won't turn out as bad as they are predicting... one can only hope.

Quilty Hugs!

Friday, October 26, 2012


Doing the anti-hurricane dance.  I am so not liking the idea that we may lose days already and have to make them up.  Winter hasn't started yet!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Yep, I read them....

and honestly, after I a while you just fast forward through 'the scenes'.

It's an interesting character study and a quick read.

Now for something more cerebral.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fabric Therapy Day the Bonnie Hunter Way

It has been many days since I have allowed myself some seriously needed fabric therapy.  Of course, one reason it happened is because I stayed at school yesterday until 6 pm.  As they say when you are on a roll........................................

Anyway back to the therapy.

Last year I had decided to work on an  Irish Chain (ala Bonnie) with all of my leaders and enders four-patch units.  Then I discovered Rick Rack Nines.  It has been calling to me and when fabric calls I have learned it is best to listen.

This has been an ongoing project, here and there when I have a few minutes.  Today was the day to really do some damage to all of those pieces.  I got all of the 9-patch units made, all of the set-in squares and triangles cut, and actually started on some rows.  Needless to say I'm pleased. It felt so good to commune with the sewing machine.

I shouldn't have quit though... as I sliced my thumb along with an onion getting a meatloaf ready for the oven.  But that is another story.

Hope everyone had a pleasant fabric filled day!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A new chapter....

Well, we've reached a new point in our lives.  Erin is out on her own, working as a staff attorney at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.  Abby has been busily adjusting to college life at Indiana University of Pennsylvania since August 25.  And just this past Wednesday, Beth started her college career as a film and video major at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Are we truly empty nesters??? I don't think so; the twins will be back from time to time.  Four years from now........ yep, definitely.

So I am trying to learn to grocery shop and cook for two.  I made a pan of lasagna tonight, freezing half of it.  Took Kevin and I all of 10 minutes to eat supper, then clean it up.  That's a record.

I've also come to the realization that no one else is going to clean out the cat box, clean the bathroom, get the mail, fold the clothes, etc..................

I trained them all so well.... why did they have to go and grow up?

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Yes I've been busy this weekend, though none of it has involved sewing.

I spent yesterday at school working on my lesson plans and cleaning up some files.  Then I copied most of what I needed for the week.  Kevin, Beth, and I then went to Target and left them a lot of cha-ching getting her ready to go to Drexel this Wednesday.

Today my goals were three-fold; adapt a note-packet for my Learning Support kids, re-work a test and also create an adapted version, and re-work a Parts of Speech review and note-packet.  ALL DONE!!!  And on top of that I baked chocolate chip cookies.

We will be leaving soon to take Beth to Friendly's for supper.... 19 years old and its her favorite place to eat.   I know, it's the ice cream... which of course is the best part.

I am hoping to get some hand quilting done this evening.  So far I haven't done to well with Bonnie's challenge.  It all depends on how stuffy my head is.  Three weeks into school and the creeping crud is upon us.

Have a great rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Beth is so talented

Somehow the "I can create anything without a pattern or instructions" gene went from my artist sister (watercolor, wool, glass beads, you name it) to my daughter, Beth.  For her Latin class last spring, she and some friends had to put on a play and make puppets.  My Trekkie daughter made these.  I know, to some they look very simple, but to me... I think they are amazing.

I told her she needs to make one with a red shirt.... but then she'd have to kill it.  The guy in the red shirt always dies anyway.

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Our day in Indiana, PA

Today was the day we moved Abby to college.  It is amazing how colleges schedule these things down to a science - nothing like when I went to school in 1980.

Only a few tears.... and a few pictures.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ch - Ch - Ch- changes............

Ok so much for channeling David Bowie, but changes are happening in this house and while they say change is good, for me, well, I have some mixed feelings to deal with.

First on the list?  Summer is over and school is starting.  My mind has switched gears now and my sewing room has been lonely for about a week.  My classroom, on the other hand, has been quite well visited.  I think I have everything ready but I will, knowing me, want to go in on Sunday just to make sure.  The kids will arrive at 7:15 am Monday morning, and I don't want to leave anything to chance.

Second?  Our oldest, Erin, is moving from Martinsburg, WV to Philadelphia.  She is a lawyer, currently working as a clerk for a federal magistrate judge.  The appointment was only for one year so beginning in September she will be starting a new two-year appointment as a staff attorney for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  We found out this week that all of her friends she had lined up to help her move decided to back out.  So Labor Day weekend will be spent moving her.

Finally... it is time to face the fact that my babies, Abby and Beth, need to leave the nest and head to college.  Today is being spent with laundry, packing, baking chocolate chip cookies - all to get ready to take Abby to Indiana University of PA tomorrow morning.  I know she will be ok, I know she will have wonderful experiences... but they are my babies.  This is it... no more ( I don't think the cat counts).  Thankfully Beth doesn't leave until September 19 (Drexel is on a quarter system)... so I don't go cold turkey, empty nest all at once - stay tuned for that tearful blog post.

Ok, I must go get some things done.  Have a great quilty day!  Please know that while I may not post or leave comments I am thinking of all of my blog friends.


Monday, August 20, 2012

What you can accomplish with friends....

Last night I was tuned in to Bonnie Hunter's Live Quilt Cam.  Granted it wasn't the smoothest of video streams, but still, you're with a fellow quilter and it is amazing how that inspires you to get one of those mundane tasks done.

While I was listening to Bonnie, I video chatted through Facebook with Amy.  Again, the inspiration level was amazing.

So, what did I accomplish?  I am going to use up a bunch of leader-enders in Bonnie's pattern Rick Rack Nines.  Last night my task was to put the twosies on the foursies so that I can then add threesies to make ninesies.  Does that make sense?  Today I pressed them, and Bonnie's assembly line pressing is great when getting 270 pieces pressed!!!

So, when Bonnie gets back from Bali, I hope to  tune in and get some more accomplished.   I think I've discovered the reason for going on a retreat.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My classroom

Back Language Arts side

Front Social Studies side

Front Language Arts side

Back Social Studies side
I thought you might like to see where I spend at least 180 days of the year, as mandated by the state of Pennsylvania.  I had some extra motivation to get it  ready early this year.  As some of you know our twins will be heading off to college this year and Abby will be the first to leave on August 25th.   

I teach two subjects, Language Arts and Social Studies, so the room is set up so that one subject is represented on each side.  

We have one week of summer break left.  We have two in-service days next week, and the students return on the 27th.  

I think I"ll go get some last minute sewing done.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

More camera action

I am so glad Kevin and I decided to buy this new camera for 'our' Christmas present last year.  I am by no means a photographer, but taking decent pictures is so much easier with this camera and the lenses.
First up, the morning glories.  I love morning glories... probably more than I love pansies.  This week we finally had one of the red ones bloom.  The blue ones have been blooming for a week or two now.  

This morning I was able to get a picture out of the bedroom window of a female goldfinch feeding off the seeds from the Coneflower.  Everything bloomed so early this year because of the warm spring.  It was amazing to watch her balance on the waving stalks.  

So enjoy the pictures.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Bird on the steps.....

Kevin walked over to his parents house this evening (only two houses away) and came back to get the camera.  He found a baby mockingbird on the steps leading up to their deck.  Momma of course was squawking at him and letting him know his attentions were not appreciated.

So I walked back over with him and we got some amazing pictures.  The baby just sat there; it didn't fuss, didn't try to fly away, and Mom only fussed once.

I love his fuzzy head.  Don't think I'll ever get that close to a bird again.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

T-shirt Quilt Update

Today was a work day on the t-shirt quilt. I wanted to get another 'column' done since I will be at an all-day workshop tomorrow. If you compare the picture from yesterday to today, you can see that the layout changed..... again. it is nothing like the original layout but then change is a good thing. I'll work on this some more on Thursday. Happy Quilting!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A learning process............

In January, 2011 one of the members of the senior class was killed in an auto accident. I had known this young man since he was about four years old and I count his mom as a dear friend. Last summer I told her I would make her a t-shirt quilt, but with everything going on I didn't get the t-shirts until the end of August. So over Christmas break, I went back to her and asked her to go through them to make sure I would be using what she wanted off of each shirt.

 When I say a learning process, I mean from the ground up. I've never done this before and I'm sort of feeling my way through it. I didn't want to use little designs and have HUGE blocks of blank t-shirt so I decided to make them all different sizes. Needless to say, I have added another iron to the fire of frustration. It is slowly coming together, and I like what I see so far.

 Mom asked for black, off-white, and a rusty red; the last two colors will be in the border. They had just picked out new bedroom furniture and paint for his room two weeks before he died. She went ahead and ordered the furniture (it is black) and painting the room the way he wanted it. I thought that while it might be painful it was a nice tribute to his life.

 So I thought I would share what I have so far. Stay tuned as this slowly comes together. I would like to get the center done before school starts.

 Quilty Hugs!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quilt Odyssey

Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA was this past week/weekend. A friend of mine from our guild owns the show and she and her family always do a great job with it. There are always lots of lovely quilts and lots of goodies in the vendor mall. I managed to get out of the vendor mall with only nine fat quarters and a little something for Abby which will be squirreled away until Christmas (if I don't forget about it).

I didn't take a lot of pictures of quilts this year.  George Sicliano had a display of his miniatures... they always fascinate me.  There was also a display of Civil War era quilts, but I couldn't take pictures of those.  I think the quilt that captivated me the most was a pictorial of a little girl and her dog with cherry blossoms falling down around them.  I admire people that can and do make these types of quilts, but I know they will never be something that comes out of my sewing room.  There seemed to be more 'art' quilts rather than traditional quilts this year as well.

Of course, the high-light of my show experience was taking a class with Bonnie Hunter.  Way back in March, the classes opened on our guild meeting day.  By the time I got home her classes were closed (one of the ladies in the class said they closed within 15 minutes).  About a month ago, there was an email sent out that there were two spots in the Tumalo Trail class.... and I snagged one.  I did a lot of pre-class prep; got my strip sets sewn and sub-cut for my nine patches, and I cut the strips and HSTs with the Easy Angle as well.  Of course when you have all those pieces staring at you you have to make a couple of blocks (Which I don't have pics of yet).  I did manage to get the 388 nine patches done in class and that was my goal.  I also met a new friend, Susan, from Mt. Joy, PA.  We hit it off immediately... wonder if it is because we are teachers LOL.
Me, Bonnie, and Susan 

Happy Quilting!