Tuesday, January 31, 2012

End of the month

Normally you don’t do the beginning of the month report before the end of the month, but I never said I was normal. 

And I have to brag about the finishes I have for January.  I started the year with 51 UFOs.  I finished five and the quilt that I was working on when the year ended, and might even have another finish tonight, if my fingers cooperate.  The oldest UFO was started in September 2010 and the youngest was started on December 10th.

Not only did I finish some UFOs, I started three new projects and finished two of them.  Sure, these are all smaller quilts, lap or kids size, but they are finished.  And five of the quilts I finished in January will be going to charities! 

Now on to February....


It is 63 degrees out right now, so nice I went out for a walk. My neighbor was working in her garden and I decided to check mine… and look what I found!

I sure hope this doesn’t mean we’ll have winter in the spring!

Monday, January 30, 2012

My beginning of the month update

Yes, I know it's only the 30th and there are two more days this month.  I'm updating a little early because I am anxious to get on with February's projects.

The new header shows the three new heart quilts I made in January.  At http://delawarequilts.com/Projects/2012/  you can find a link to the February project, Jacob's Ladder. 

For those following the BOMs, I added another 2011 BOM in mid-January, the Four-Patch Snowball http://delawarequilts.com/BOMs/FourPatchSnowball/ It's a great addition to some of the 2011 BOMs. I will probably add another new block mid-February.

As I will not be traveling to teach anymore, I have decided to sell some of my show quilts. 100% of some of the sales will benefit Relay For Life and others will benefit my quilting budget. (I have a lot of UFOs that need quilting and no quilting $.) You may see my sale quilts at http://delawarequilts.com/MyQuilts/QuiltsForSale.html

And finally a Relay For Life update. The Delaware Quilts team is doing wonderful again this year thanks to many generous contributors. But we're not in this to be #1, we are in this to help find the cure for cancer. If you would like to help you may donate at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/MargeGordon
Thank you,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yesterday and today

Well I wore myself out Friday… no, not really.  I just had company yesterday, Mike and Kelly were visiting and I truthfully just plain forgot to post.  We got caught up, had lunch together, chatted some more, and then they were off for social obligations.  It’s nice to have popular kids but sad too, because you have to share them with all their friends. 

Today I’m working on updating web pages, getting ready for the end of and/or beginning of the month.  I’m quite pleased with all the progress I made in January and am moving on to February with hope I can do as well… wish me luck!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mission accomplished!

I finished all three bindings that I set out to do today.  Quilt #3 is my Just Squares sample, one of the Mysteries For Relay.  The pattern is for sale on my pattern page.  I’ve made two of these, and this one is my favorite so far.  (I have fabric for a third one set aside) 

So this dreary day turned into a very productive one!  Tomorrow, who knows!


Had to do some retreat work, I was negotiating about future retreats.  That’s all done now, as well as the one load of laundry.  And one more quilt too.  But I’m not going to show you this one yet, you will have to wait till I do my monthly report next week. 

But for now I’m calling it quits for the day.  I’ve had enough.  Time to do something new!

Reporting in

One Quilt Finished!!
And one load of laundry, LOL!

Today’s forecast

Dreary with a chance of finishes! 

What else can I do on a dreary day like this?  I have three little quilts, one a UFO and two still WIPs, which are sitting here next to me waiting to have the bindings finished.  Since it is such a dark and dreary day, I think I will just sit right in this chair and do some hand work.  When my fingers start complaining I’ll do some other work and get back to those bindings as soon as possible!

Stay tuned…..

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Strange predicament

I came upstairs to start a new quilt. This one is not one of my charity projects for this year, but a sample for an upcoming mystery. I kind of know what I am making, but I was trying very hard to choose fabrics like I had no idea what I was making. I accomplished that after about an hour of pulling fabrics from the shelves, putting them back, pulling more, trying this with that and so on. I finally decided on three fabrics, a white-on-white, a light purple and a dark purple. (Yea imagine that, another purple quilt)

This could be a mystery to me really, since I wrote this pattern when I was unable of sewing back in 2009. I had quite a few ladies who tested the pattern for me, and have quilts and blocks to show for their work. However, I have not looked at them, I’ve only looked at the pattern as I will be presenting it to the group.

So I followed my own mystery directions very carefully. The directions say “You may use three different colors for this mystery, or three different values of the same color.  If you choose to use three different colors, you will want them to contrast with each other.” OK, done.

Moving on I decided what size I would make… that took another half hour. I don’t need another purple bed quilt, I don’t need another bed quilt period. I could make this and donate it to a charity, good idea. So I can make it a lap quilt, suitable for someone in a wheelchair, or someone undergoing treatments, just something to keep someone warm.

Next step, pre-cutting. So I press all the fabric neatly. Can’t work with shelf wrinkled material can I? Ironing done.

And I go over to the cutting table… ready to cut…. And I don’t want to make this quilt any more. Not now at least. I have no idea why… but something is keeping me from making that first cut.

So I’m going downstairs to do some hand work.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today’s accomplishments

Today went much better than yesterday, not nearly as many distractions.  Of course I have no idea what we’re having for dinner, but I got a lot of sewing done!  I totally finished quilting both heart quilts and got the bindings put on part way.  Now I have some hand work to do to finish them up.  But they are small quilts so that shouldn’t be a problem, if my fingers cooperate. 

I had a companion in the sewing room most of the afternoon, Mufasa just didn’t want to be alone downstairs.  First he tried to get into trouble, exploring places he hasn’t been in yet.  Of course I kept reminding him “No” and most of the time he understood what that meant.  He still really wants to jump up on the dresser to see what is there, but quickly jumps down when I say “NO!”  I thought he’d gone downstairs, given up on exploring, but found him sleeping in the sun coming in the front window.  He was so comfy there he didn’t want to come downstairs with me when I was finished. 

Now to get to that handwork, I have six days to finish so I’d better get busy!

I wonder if anyone else is making hearts quilts for charity along with me? 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not much done today.....

I started off the day sewing, quilting one of my heart quilts.  Then all of a sudden I remembered that my hair dresser was headed to Florida next month, and if I didn’t get my hair cut before she left I would be quite shaggy by time we could get together again at the end of March.  So I called and was lucky enough to get in today. 

After my haircut, short to last a while, I went to the grocery store and then home.  John had been asking for spaghetti and meat balls, so today I baked a batch of meatballs, froze enough for five meals, and had spaghetti and meat balls for dinner. 

It was beautifully sunny and unusually warm, so I took a little walk, exploring the yard mostly.  I was amazed to find daffodils with big fat buds on them, and a few crocuses that looked like they would pop open any second.  (Forgot to go look and see if they did, I’ll try to remember tomorrow) 

Tomorrow I hope to get back to my quilting, the end of the month is creeping up on me!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Today’s progress

I finished the not so ugly hearts top and pin basted it.  I pin basted the ABC hearts and have them 3/4 of the way quilted.  I also did two loads of laundry and worked a little bit on the next mystery, which doesn’t come up until the end of March. 

I think that’s pretty good progress for a pretty gloomy day.  Anyone seen the sun lately?  Been so long since we saw it I’m starting to forget what it looks like. 


Last night Mufasa was in a different kind of mood, one I haven’t seen before.  After we went to bed he meowing in the saddest tone I’ve ever heard from a cat.  It didn’t sound like he was in pain, but odd enough I had to get up from my warm bed and go check on him.  He was sitting in his favorite corner of the couch, just sitting there meowing.  I sat down next to him and he quieted down.  I petted him until he started to purr and we just sat there together until my eyes started to close and I got up and went to bed.

This morning Kelly had to put down her other kitty, Freckles, who was 21 years old.  She was a happy kitty right up to the last few days, and it was her time. 
If these two events had anything to do with each other I don’t know.  But Mufasa was certainly feeling someone’s hurt and needed company.  I was happy to give it to him. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another finish and an almost

Another dreary day here, so I spent some time in the sewing room.  Last fall the retreaters brought fat quarters they thought were ugly to the retreats and we/I made a few charity quilts with them.  I also pulled out some FQs I thought I could use in a project, and today I started the second one.  I have 16 heart blocks finished using some so called uglies… I can’t wait to show everyone how lovely they look now.

And last night I finished another UFO…. Almost a year in the making, started on 1/26/11 and finished.. well last night, LOL!  It was my second sample for Mystery # 18, Just Squares.  This sample really doesn’t do the pattern justice, so I think I’ll finish my first sample next, all it needs is the binding! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A finish

Happy to say my hands finally finished something, LOL!  They don’t work very well, and a certain cat doesn’t help either, trying to climb in my lap all the time.  But despite it all, I finished a small UFO list night.  Small but colorful, and I like it.  I think I’ll put this one up for sale, I need some quilting money.  If I can get some larger quilts quilted then I will have more hand work to do… endless cycle! 

Friday, January 20, 2012


OK it is Friday, end of the week and ten more days to go in the January project challenge.  What have I accomplished?  I started the month with one finished hearts quilt.  I made a second, start to completely finished and I’ve finished another top.  Tomorrow I hope to sandwich it, and then quilt it, which should be a quick job, if I stick to it. 

I also have started and finished completely one of the February projects, after all I have to have a sample to show when I start the month.  I’ve also made a second top because I really like this pattern.   

I’ve also been doing some handwork at night, trying to get some of my UFOs done.  I am pretty sure I will have two done by the end of the month, although one of them is the second hearts quilt, a UFO only because I set it aside to make the February projects. 

 One more Friday this month, hope I have more to show for it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A sewing day!

I decided that I really needed to make another heart quilt for charity before the end of the month, so I went upstairs with that goal this morning.  Mufasa on the other hand had other ideas.  For some reason today was “Be Ornery in the Sewing Room Day”  and that is exactly what he did, almost all day. 

He started off trying to get into the closet.  He doesn’t like closed doors and he’s only briefly seen inside this one, so he decided he was going to get in one way or another… “NO” wasn’t enough to stop him, so I had to get out the trusty spray bottle.  That stopped him and he went back downstairs to sulk. 

After lunch he followed me back upstairs and decided that he wanted to help me sew… so he climbed up on my lap.  Of course as soon as my foot went to the foot control, he slid off.  But that was OK, he jumped back up and purred to let me know it was OK.. 

Well it was OK with him, but not me… I wanted to sew.  So I gave him a few minutes of petting and talking and then showed him what I wanted to do.  He was very interested in it, and even tried to touch the fabrics… A stern no stopped that… but his curiosity really was getting the best of him. 

Eventually he got bored and I got back to sewing.  I finished nine more heart blocks, now to decide how to set them!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Despite the gloomy day and rotten start to it, I’ve made some progress today.  I promised that I would update the BOMs page and the 2011 Sampler, so I did.  I just added the Four Patch Snowball.  It’s really not that terrific on its own, but when combined with some of the other 2011 BOMs it makes some great quilts.  Check the bottom of the web page to see what I mean.  My favorite is the Game Cocks combined with the Four Patch Snowball

And I am making progress on some hand work.  I have quite a few UFOs that only need binding, so I’m working on those.  Here’s one of those UFOs finished, also one of my January projects, Scrappy Floral Hearts. 


Did you ever get up in the morning and wonder why?  That’s how I’m starting the day.  I have a headache, it is raining outside so the house is as dark as night, and I have a runny nose, still.  It would be a good day to stay in bed all day, but I’m up.  Why I haven’t quite figured out yet. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Morning funny...

Let me tell you about my morning so far. I jumped up and went straight to sewing, I had a booboo to correct. Last night as I was putting together rows I found a block which was assembled bass-ackwards. After I ripped out all of the quilting and found the booboo block I proceeded to take it out of the quilt. But then I found another one and another one.

Then I said to myself I don't remember this many mistakes and I don't remember finishing this quilt, I thought I was just putting the rows together. Stupid me, I was taking apart the wrong quilt. Well that really made me mad. So mad, I woke up from that stupid dream.

So a few hours later, I finally get upstairs to sew. I have three rows finished, only three more blocks to sew together, after I correct the booboo block. But I had to make sure which way the block should go, light center or dark center. I look at the other two blocks… and sure enough, another booboo block to match the first one.

Maybe my dream was trying to tell me something?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quick Apple Dumplings

I got this recipe in an email from some one who said “These sound mighty GOOD!! I think someone needs to try them and let me know!  Well I tried them and found them quite delicious and the family agreed.  I’ve made them five or six times since getting the email the end of November. 
Apple Dumplings
1 can crescent rolls
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 8th, peeled
1/2 stick butter melted
1/4 cup sugar
3 oz. Mountain Dew
Roll out crescent rolls, place apple wedge on it and roll up. Place them in a greased 8X8 pan. Pour the melted butter and sugar, which have been mixed together, over the apples. Then pour the 3 oz. of Mountain Dew around the dumplings. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake 350 approx. 45 min
We like ours warm with vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

Oh woe is me

I went to mend something on my Singer 404 and she’s all locked up.  I sewed most of the summer on her and she performed beautifully, not one problem.  Today, she just won’t move.  So I’ve taken her out of the cabinet and will make a trip up to Dover to drop her off. 

Pathetic thing, we were in Dover for the first time in months yesterday, never realizing we’d need to go back again so soon.  Yesterday was clothes shopping for John, he needed some new work clothes.  Can’t remember the last time we bought him some, so I’m not complaining… except I hate clothes shopping, even when it’s not for me.  But we were in and out speedily so I won’t complain. 

Someone just told me it was playoff Sunday, whatever that means.  In this house it is Pop Sunday, John will be taking his Dad to visit Arden in the nursing home and then we’ll have dinner.  Dinner can be a challenging issue, since Pop requires “soft and easy to go down” food.  So far I’ve been lucky, except on Christmas day when my prime rib was too tough.  (Not to the rest of us, thank goodness.)  Tonight’s dinner will be chili dogs, since I know Pop likes my chili, or at least he did the last time I served it to him.  We’ll also have mac and cheese and applesauce, can’t get much softer than that.  And since he always wants something sweet after dinner, I have some Quick Apple Dumplings. 

I’m off to the sewing room, I have another mystery to finish from yesterday, and then I want to make another Scrappy Hearts, and then I have some BOMs to do and then …. Well you know what I mean!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Today was Mystery Day

Today was the first mystery of the year on my Mysteries For Relay group.  This one was really unexpected but the ladies were willing and I know of at least eight ladies who sewed along. Now normally I would show the finished quilt, but not today.  Why?  Because this quilt will be one of my February charity quilts. 

I made the first sample and enjoyed it so much I decided to share it with the Mystery group.  I also decided to make a second one along with the rest of them as they sewed today.  So hopefully I will have two quilts already when February starts.

I have two Scrappy Hearts finished, and I think I might start another one as soon as I finish the one I am working on now. 

Words of Wisdom for today

Don’t try harder.
Do harder!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 Kidney Walk

I’d like to put a plug in for Kelly and Michael Gordon who are walking in the 2012 Baltimore Kidney Walk on May 6th.
They are walking to raise awareness of kidney disease and money for patient services as Momma E. struggles with kidney problems. Please consider making a donation to help Momma E and others who are fighting kidney disease. (You can link to their donation pages from their Kidney Walk Link here)

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A retirement idea

A dear friend of mine just put a wild idea in my head.  We were talking about retirement homes, assisted living etc and how the Amish live.  They take care of their elders, putting them in their own little space in the back of or side of the big main house.  She said to me, “A quilt retreat seems the best medicine in the world. OR buy a great big house for only quilters and we all can take care of each other.”

So let’s think about that… 

When you apply to live in a retirement community they ask you about your finances.  We would do that too of course, after all we would have expenses, shelter, food, etc.  But of course we’d have to ask important questions…
How large is your stash?
Do you have your own sewing machine?
Are you willing to share both and your quilting tools and accessories?

Another part of the application would deal with type of quilting you like.. well if I was running the place it would.  I do not like paper piecing or appliqué and I dislike the quilting process itself.  Someone talented in appliqué would be nice to have around and anyone who enjoys the quilting process, either hand or machine, I would certainly welcome in my old age quilters’ home.  Then I could piece to my heart’s content and not have to worry about finishing. 

I guess another question might be how many UFOs do you have?  We would need to make sure that the balance of UFOs and quilters is not too lopsided, can’t have our quilters over worked you know. 

Another question I would like to include would be how good is your hearing.  I don’t like a lot of noise and if I’m running this place everyone would have to have good hearing, I don’t want a lot of shouted conversations or loud TVs in my retirement community. 

I’m sure there would be more to this screening process….

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Snow and quilting

The white stuff which I have been told is snow is gone, washed away by the rain in the middle of the night. I said it wasn’t cold enough to snow and the rain proved me right.

And I am quilting, you know, the process of sewing all three layers of a quilt together. Have I ever said how much I dislike quilting? Well I do. Give me a million pieces to put together into a top and I am happy. Give me three big pieces to put together by quilting and I am not.

No, it has nothing to do with the pins. I pin basted and then hand basted, something else I really don’t enjoy much, but I do it to avoid being a human pin cushion.

I just don’t enjoy quilting. But these are quilts that I need done and can’t afford to pay someone to do them, so I carry on… whining and complaining all the way.

Monday, January 09, 2012

What's this?

I looked out the window and noticed a little white bug falling past the window, shortly joined by another one and another one until…  
Now I know that can’t be snow, after all it was in the 60s all weekend and my out door thermometer says it is 40 out there now…and the Weather Channel says it is 39.. but maybe?

Sunday, January 08, 2012

How can I get in on a retreat?

I was just asked a very interesting question.   “How can a new person get in on a retreat if everyone keeps signing up for them before you even announce them?”

Let me go back a bit and explain history.  This all started with just one retreat which was held Veterans Day weekend.  36 ladies came and had a good time and went home and online and talked about it.  Most came back year two, and the empty spots were quickly filled by ladies who wanted to see what it was all about. 
Forward six years and the conference room was overfull, two ladies to a table, tripping over each other every time you wanted to move and I decided that it was time to limit the number of ladies to the number of tables that would fit in the conference room.  And since there were more ladies than there were tables I added a second fall retreat.  That same year I added the spring retreats. 

2005 rolls around and a group of friends wanted their own retreat, so I added a third fall retreat and tried a later spring retreat.  The later spring retreat didn’t fill up so I quit offering a second spring retreat. 
For the last few years every retreat has filled up quickly, so I added another one in the fall, and it filled up.  This year I will have four consecutive fall retreats, and the spring retreat, all booked to conference room capacity.  If you want to attend one of them, the best way to get in is to ask to be placed on the waiting list for the retreat of your choice.  If I get a cancellation, you will be notified of it and have the opportunity to sign up. 

This year’s retreats all booked faster than any other year and honestly, I am surprised.  I have already added a second spring retreat in 2013 and I have contacted the Inn to see what dates are available to add another fall retreat. 

If you would like to attend any of the 2013 retreats you may send me an email and let me know your preference, spring or fall and I will put you on the waiting list.  As soon as this year’s retreaters decide if they want to come back again or not, I email everyone on the waiting lists.  After those quilters have had the opportunity to take available spaces, I will announce openings for everyone else. 

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Late night

Here it is almost 11, an hour past my normal bedtime.  I should be exhausted, and I am, but I’m wide awake.  I was up early, sewed for a bit, went to the family Christmas party for an hour or so, came home and sewed some more, then went out to dinner with John and Pop and then came home and did some organizing and so on and so on.  It wasn’t until John came home a little before ten did I sit down.  And I am tired, drained and wide awake.  It finally hit me, today was a prednisone day… it always makes me hyper.  Two sleeping pills aren’t doing a thing… and I don’t trust myself to sew any more… what other kind of mischief can I get into? 

Friday, January 06, 2012

I sewed!

I sewed today despite the drippy nose.  I not only sewed, but I finished my February sample.  Well… almost finished it.  The top is done but I want to try to add borders.  It was made from some donated fat quarters and there isn’t a lot left, but I’m going to try to get a checkered border from what I have.  I’m very pleased with the top and am thrilled to be back in the sewing chair again. 

Thursday, January 05, 2012

I want to sew!

The urge is in me, and I really think tomorrow I will attempt to do some sewing.  I might need to put a bowl under my nose to catch the drips, or put a cork in my nostrils, but I’m going to sew one way or another. 

I have a quilt to quilt, one of my January Heart quilts.  I’d love to get it quilted so I can gift it in February.  And I have one of February’s projects under way, I think I have six or eight blocks done. 

Today I took down the Christmas candles, big deal.  Four downstairs and four up, and that took all of ten minutes.  It would have taken less, but I had a hard time reaching one of them.  Still need to put away the Santas, but they look cute so they might stay out a while. 

I also updated the family pages today, since our Christmas is over.  http://delawarequilts.com/Family/2011/  I had a great time looking at all of the wedding photos and that’s a lot.  The photographer had over 1700 and I think family and friends took that many also.  It was hard picking my favorites, but I did. 

Here’s one of those favorites…  my over exuberant husband whom I love dearly, just as much as the day I married him. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Couple of things first, Arden is improving, more every day.  That’s good news and we are all very thankful for every day.  However she still has a long way to go. 

Second, I went to see the rheumatologist yesterday for my check up.   Good news, my polymyalgia rheumatica is pretty much under control and I can go off the prednisone by the end of the month.  (YIPPEE!)  Bad news, we’re not done yet, the blood counts were still not satisfactory, but she said they may have been off because of my bronchitis, but just incase she wants to see me again in three months… then she will declare it done and over with… I hope!  More bad news, the pain I have now is not from polymyalgia rheumatica but from old age and gravity and there isn’t much she or anyone else can do about it, LOL!

As for the bronchitis, I’m still fighting it, and while I’d like to say I feel better, I really can’t.  I can barely talk, and breathing hurts, and I’m averaging a box of tissues every other day.  I am sleeping better thanks to meds, so I guess that’s improvement. 

Sewing, nope, not now.  I’m really doing a lot of nothing and am bored, truly bored.  I haven’t even undecorated yet, not that there is much to do, candles in the windows and a few Santa’s here and there.  But no energy to pack them up, so we’ll stay decorated a while longer. 

Reading, nope to that too.  The glare of the computer screen bothers me.  I did some blog hopping today, trying to catch up with friends and people I like to read.  That’s what brought me here to write…   I was reading about a friends NYE trip to teach, and noticed another fellow designer was also on the road teaching NYE, and then another… 

Our NYE was certainly no big deal, honestly, those of us left at home were half asleep and ready for the countdown and bed.  We were watching puppies and kittens on the animal channel until five to the New Year, then watched the countdown and then went to bed.  Like I said, nothing exciting…

But what made it so important to me and so very very special was that we did nothing together!  Yes, two of us were missing, off in the big city celebrating, but I know not everyone is a homebody like us.  But the four of us were here and that made it a very special NYE to me.  No way in heck would I want to go out and be with a bunch of strangers and miss that time with my family.  I understand some people enjoy it, and good for them, you should do what you enjoy, life is too short not to.  But me, I’ll stay home! 

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

Boy has this week flown by, yesterday was Christmas and it’s the New Year aleady!  We had a wonderful day yesterday, shorter than I had hoped our holiday would be, but full of catching up and just plain enjoying each other’s company. 
The first gift opened, after enjoying John’s delicious sticky buns, was Mike and Kelly’s bee quilt.  I got a good giggle when Kelly saw the back first and said “Oh look bees” and then saw the front.  As you can tell it fits both laps nicely and I hope it will be a good snuggle quilt as I intended it to be. 

After it was gifted I got busy finishing the hand work and it did indeed go home completed when they left for New Year’s Eve celebrations early (too early) in the evening.  When they were on the road the rest of us enjoyed playing games and relaxing.