Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hot Flash Fashion

I had to perform surgery on my sweatshirts this year, giving them binding, buttonholes, and buttons for quick removal when those annoying hot flashes strike.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Do you see Linda's birthday present? *Hint* she's turning 50 this year. Two of my good friends are reaching the half century mark this year, but they get no sympathy from me since I'm ahead of them by two years. Instead of sympathy I am offering small wall hangings. Do you remember the cross stitched black cat looking out the window in one of my earlier posts? That is my friend Liz's present since she loves to see our black cat, Hallie, looking out the window when she comes to visit.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rembrandt doesn't paint kitchens

What a relief to complete this big bag of alterations someone at work asked me to do. I loved Lisa Boyer's suggestion of what to do when it happens again. It's hard to say no, but the busier I get the less I want to spend time shortening sleeves on someone else's leather jacket. First I had to find my leather needle which I've had for 30 years! (I don't use it often.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wedding placemats

This shows the front and back of the placemats I made for Valerie and Chris. I have enough of both fabrics to make two more, and the wedding isn't until May, so I probably will do that. I am going to use the same red as the binding for the napkins since it will go well with either side. I do love these fabrics!

A Spring Surprise From Mother Nature

Our son, Daniel, faithfully keeps our driveway clear so Larry's guitar students can get in and out safely.

Family Heirloom

This clock has been in our family since 1895, when it was a wedding present to my great grandmother. I love the way it looks, and I especially love the way it sounds. It strikes every hour (nine times for nine o'clock, etc.) and strikes once on the half hour. It helps me keep track of the time while I am sewing. Hours can go by unnoticed without the friendly chiming clock reminding me that yet another hour has passed.

The Calendar Says Spring, the Driveway Says Winter

Happy second day of spring. We woke up to a winter wonderland - again - and there was Daniel outside shoveling snow - again. What a guy! Even with a large stainless steel plate in his leg and six huge screws he gets out to clear the driveway. I would think all that metal would get cold, but he bundles up and doesn't complain.

I'm having trouble with the blogger photo uploader, but I did take some pictures of our guy outside with the snow shovel, as well as yesterday's placemats. I'm going to look for some fabric to make coordinating napkins, maybe three colors, four of each. We've been using cloth napkins forever, and they sure do a better job with messy things like pizza than paper napkins do. I think Valerie and Chris will like using them, too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Spring!

Today I celebrated the first day of spring by putting on my flannel lined jeans, a turtleneck and sweatshirt, my winter jacket, and mittens for a walk to the store. Looking out the window tells me that tomorrow we'll be observing the second day of spring by shoveling the driveway - it's snowing again.

I did see some bulbs coming up in the garden - in the parts that weren't covered with snow.

My son, David, gave me a gift card to JoAnn Fabrics for my birthday two weeks ago. On my way home from visiting my mom I detoured through Solon and had a dandy time deciding how to spend $40. I got a yard of the most gorgeous blue to do something with someday, and two fat quarters of forest green - a color lacking in my stash. I must have 15 greens, but not that color until now. My quilting needs work, and I found a book to help; "Machine Quilting Made Easy" by Maurine Noble. They must have had 200 books in that store, but this one looks very helpful, so it came home with me. In addition I bought several zippers for purse projects, some thread, a new blade for my rotary cutter, and a little bitty quilt bat. Being used to Wal-Mart prices I was surprised at how much everything cost, but it was a fun outing.

I'm making placemats for a wedding present, and am happy to tell you that two pieces I bought several months ago just because they were so pretty are just perfect. When I finish them I'll try to remember to post a picture. I've been out of the shower/wedding loop for a while and have an etiquette question for anyone who has an answer. The shower was last weekend, and I had made a lovely wall hanging with the bride and groom's names, their wedding date, and entwined gold rings. I also gave them a cookie baking book and a homemade apron and pot holders. Sara tells me that that is the only present I need to give, but I'm pretty sure that the shower present and wedding present are separate; thus the placemats. I also made a present for the cat - his own pillow, since I happened to have the most beautiful cat print on hand. (Love that stash!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dawn Happy Hula Hut

This is the dawn version of Lisa Boyer's Happy Hula Hut. The color of the door and border is actually more coral colored than it appears in this picture. I learned from this one and the nighttime version that I need to use more contrast between the roof and the sky. The first one must have been dumb luck. I still want to do a sunset version.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Night time Hula Hut

Lisa Boyer's Happy Hula Hut looks great as a night time scene, too! I completed what I thought was going to be a dawn scene, but somehow the colors weren't right, so I got out my trusty seam ripper. I hope to post it soon.
We drove all the way to Lake Farmpark in Kirtland, Ohio to see the quilt show yesterday, only to find out that they are not open on Monday. Bummer. It was a pretty day for a drive, though, and we did get to visit the town where we grew up (Chagrin Falls) and we even stopped in at the library where our mom worked for many years. We also spent several hours with our mom at Anna Maria of Aurora, where she has lived since last March.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Whoo hoo! I am on vacation for nine days. I took the week off because my sister, Sara, will be arriving from Knoxville, TN to visit for a few days. In between visits to our mom in assisted living, we plan to have a mini quilt camp, an idea we got from Jennifer Chiaverini's books. We're also going to go to the quilt show at Lake Farmpark in Kirtland. I plan to make a few more Hula Huts (many thanks, Lisa Boyer for the darling pattern and lovely Hawaiian prints). It is so fun deciding what fabric to use where in that pattern! Other projects might be a quilted purse in the Vera Bradley style. I've made some to give away, but I'm ready to make one for myself now.

How do other people respond when a friend or coworker brings you a bag of pants to be hemmed, or a jacket needing a new zipper, etc.? I don't like to be mean, but I don't want to spend my time off on THAT kind of sewing. Last weekend when we were snowed in I hemmed five pairs of lined woolen pants. I pressed them all carefully, then had to make the little hangy things that connects the lining to the pants - 10 of them! I also had to replace a zipper in a pair of ski pants for someone else, and repair a zipper on a bag for yet another person. Come on! I felt so triumphant when I was able to return them all - until someone else brought a big bag of things to be altered.

My son suggests I charge such a ridiculously high amount that they will stop asking, which is beginning to sound like a good idea. Why do people assume that since you know how to sew you are automatically available to do their mending?

I do draw the line at prom dresses. I have hemmed and altered all the prom dresses I am ever going to, including removing and reattaching beads and sequins that were in the way. That's enough of that!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A memorial to my dad.

Losing my dad last April was incredibly hard.
Stitching a memorial wall quilt for him was good therapy for me.
Thank you for your interest in the cat pattern. The original pattern was published in 1988 by Banar Designs, and was intended to be used on a sweatshirt. I made a few changes to the pattern, and stitches it on 14 count aida cloth. Don't you love the mouse button?! I found it in a knitting shop.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I like small projects!

A few of my small projects. See Lisa Boyer's Hula Hut pattern next to the butterfly?