Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

I had a rough night last night or should I say this morning when I woke up at 2 a.m. from a nightmare and couldn't get back to sleep for a bit.  So I haven't done much today.  I have done cross stitch and promise to show you a picture tomorrow of the progress on the Noel.

Today is Halloween.  So here are some pictures of some pumpkin carvings.  I think they look terrific.  I didn't go out Trick or Treating but instead spent a nice quiet night at home.

So I guess what I'm saying is:

Have a great day/night!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Christmas Cards for Recovering American Soldier

I don't send out many Christmas cards but it's getting to be that time of year again.  Here is one place that I like to send a couple of cards too.   I'm going to send mine out this week (there isn't a deadline).  In case you would like to do the same, I'm posting this now so you have plenty of time to start to spread the good cheer.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


I had a good time gaming last night with friends and they are taking over being in charge for a bit to give me a break.  That's nice.  I need the mental break of GMing.  That won't make sense to a lot of you but to my gaming friends who read my blog it will.  So what does that really mean?  It means I get some more time to craft!

This weekend I have actually managed to get two projects, small ones, done and planning on a couple more.  What did I get done?

I have had a t-shirt that I loved the saying on it.  I made a mini wall hanging that I can use in the office after Thanksgiving.  It will hang after Thanksgiving until we leave for Christmas break.  It measures around 15 inches and should fit nicely in that little space by my desk.

The backing fabric, which I used to wrap around for the binding, was some free fabric that was given to me.  It has some Christmas ornaments and holly leaves on it.

Then I decided to pull out some other free fabric that was given to me and finally get around to making one of those microwave hot pad/bowls.  I really need to figure out what to call them.  This isn't great but it is functional and my first one and didn't take that long to do.  I tested it in the microwave for 5 minutes and didn't have any problems with it.

This first picture is the back so that you can see the fabric.

And this is what it looks like with a bowl in it.

I kind of like it.

Now the honesty section otherwise known as "notes".

1.  Don't forget to clip corners and maybe even trim the seams so you have less bulk.
2.  Leave a bit more opening for when you flip it inside out.
3.  Make sure you cotton (including your thread).
4.  Write down the dimensions for different sizes before you forget.

I feel productive and that means planning new projects.  That probably should be "planning new UFO's".  I found a great picture of a pumpkin on  It is a coloring page for adults and when I saw it I thought I might want to make a small pumpkin wall hanging with it.  I don't have much time for this year so it would probably have to be done in straight stitches and French Knots but I could so see me doing it in full hand embroidery.  I hope to get it drawn out this weekend yet and perhaps started.

Then Esther Aliu came out with a new pattern which I am thinking of doing.  That probably won't be until the new year but that really isn't that far away.

I'm not sure what colors I'll do .  Not to fond of the ones she used.  I also am not sure if I"ll do the whole thing or just the middle.  I'll start in the middle and figure out if I want to continue after that.

That's about it for my news today.  I hope everybody has a great day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A few Days off Work - and nothing

I took some days off work and totally enjoyed it.  Normally that would mean that I would get lots done.  Ummm.  Not this time.  I was soooo lazy.  I don't think I got much accomplished except for around 20 stitches in cross stitch.

I did go to Clinton Iowa on Sunday with my niece in law Jessica.  She gave me a ride to go and meet up with one of my online gaming friends who wished to give me a refurbished computer.  It's something that he did when he worked in the field and when he can he and his wife still do it.  This time they had one that he wanted to give me.  Clinton Iowa was about the half way point between the two of us.  Jess and I decided to make a little bit of an outing.  Here are some of the pictures that I managed to snap as Jess was driving.  It was a beautiful day and I loved to see the different colors in the trees.

Finally we arrived in Clinton and what was the first thing we saw?  This cute adorable advertising which was making us both hungry!

You will see a train theme in these pictures since Larry, my online gaming friend, loves trains and I like them too.  I also love the water and after getting this

We headed back.  I couldn't snap any pictures on the way down but did manage to get some pictures  on the way back (while the car was moving).

I was surprised at how good the pictures turned out when we went across the Mississippi River since the car was still moving.

Then in Morrison Iowa we saw a sign that said there was a covered bridge near by.  We found it!

Nothing glamorous but something else that made the trip a little special.  I was expecting Jess to take me straight home but she had other plans.  There is a railroad park in Rochelle, IL that she likes to take the kids (including her husband) to so she showed me where it was.  Just a little park where the trains go by and you can have picnics at, etc.

I liked the idea that they have a couple of stationary trains there for people to get a close up look at.

I also liked that they turned one of the cars into something that kids can sit in and take pictures on etc.

I also went to see my sister in law Bobbie to see how she is doing.  I can't believe that it has already been three months since Kerm died.  She is doing ok.  Predominantly she is doing well.  I will be going to her place to have Thanksgiving and we had a nice chat about crafts and stuff.  She showed me what she was working on with her cross stitch and I had taken my book on Civil War quilts for her to read as well as my Civil War BOM blocks that I had sewn together.  I had hoped to get the border put on but, of course, I haven't yet.

And that was about ALL I did on vacation (besides meeting friends for lunch) and now I find myself having to go back to work tomorrow.  :)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Weekend Projects!

WOO  HOO!   I finished some weekend projects.  Don't get too excited because they are small projects and were mostly done already.  Still I feel like I made progress so before I go take a nap here is what I did today.

First I finished up on my four heart blocks.  They are all squared up and cut to 12 1/2" so I can mail them off next week.  The left top color is a dark red which is hard to show up in pictures but I'm kind of happy how they turned out.

Then I decided I needed a new tote.  Not a fancy one but one that was super basic and not even lined.  This is the result.  The material is a bit like a canvas so it should last. I put a large pocket at the bottom and then decided it needed to be sewn down the middle more so now I have two pockets.  :)  Like I said, it was all last minute stuff and I didn't measure ANYTHING!  I will get some use out of it though.

Then I went and made a little mug rug from some left over fabric from Ghana.  I had a leaf applique that i was wanting to use and then the Ghana fabric jumped out to say use me.  No, really!  Ummm, well maybe not jumped out but I had a stack of material that was by the leaf and it fell over and the Ghana fabric landed on the leaf.  The ONLY fabric that landed on it.  So yeah, it was ALMOST like it jumped out.  :)

If you look closely you'll see my bad stitching (I did it all by hand) but I do like how the veins in the leaf came out.  Its a little hard to see but that means you don't see so many mistakes, right?  Then I had a little bit too much extra room down in the lower right hand side so I quickly added 2015.  

What have you been working on/  i'm going to take a nap now and then work on some more cross stitch.  Have a great evening/day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Civil War reproduction fabric quilt coming along

I'm working on some projects and feel pleased that I pulled out a UFO and am making progress on that.  First though I am proud to announce that I have two of my four heart blocks done and that is way ahead of schedule.  I just need to get all four done and mailed by the 16th.  I can breath a little easier knowing that I am half way there.

That led me to pulled out an UFO and see how much I needed to get done on it.  I pulled out the Civil War BOM blocks that I had done from Custom Quilt Kits, Inc.  The blocks are FAR from perfect and I had to quickly sew them together before I decided they should be thrown out.  Thrown out means throw them to somebody else so I don't have to look at them.  Still I kept them and quickly sewed them together.  I was afraid if I waited to do any sashing for the blocks I wouldn't EVER finish them.
I decided to keep them because it is my first pieced project and I've never done those blocks before.  It was a huge step out of my comfort zone.  Then I remembered that I also have some scallops from a Applique of the Month that might look nice.  The scallops even had been done in the same fabric as the BOM fabrics!  What do you think?  Will it look ok?  I'm thinking of just using muslin for my border and will applique the scallops to that.  My main question is should I have a narrow border to frame out the blocks first and then to the scallops or just immediately do the scallop?  Opinions are appreciated.

Perhaps I pulled out the Civil War BOM because a good friend of mine went to the Grand Gulf Historic Tour site (Mississippi) and took the most awesome pictures there.  This one is the frontal view of the USS CAIRO, a Union gunboat ironclad.  it sank in the Yazoo river by a CSA torpedo to the port bow and starboard side rudder mechanism in the Battle of Gulf Bay prior to the Siege of Vicksburg.

Can you imagine being in a battle with that?!

I also got back to my NOEL cross stitch.  It takes me forever to do cross stitch but I did make some progress.  A little each week and it will get done eventually.

It won't be long before I'm starting on the N.  I won't do my green border for the N until after the N is done.  Then it will be easier to make any adjustments.  What do you think?

Have a great day everybody.  I'm off to work.