Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31, 2013

One more day left in 2013, wow… where did it go? Seems like just yesterday I was sharing my New Year’s resolutions… let’s see how I did.

1. Finish some UFOs… I finished a total of seven old UFOs. But I also started and finished a total of 21 new quilts. I am quite proud of that accomplishment.
2. Start some new UFOs Yes, I did leave some unfinished quilts started in 2013, I have a top to quilt and three Christmas wall hangings (counting them as one UFO). Not bad, not bad at all.
3. Be happy… yes I was happy most of the year, it was a good year. And I am ending the year happy, healthy (knock on wood) and at peace with myself.

So what about resolutions for next year…
1. Finish some UFOs
2. Start some new UFOs
3. Be happy

I think I can manage that!

Monday, December 30, 2013

My UFO List

I started 2013 with 41 UFOs and I am ending the year with 35. Only two of those UFOs were new in 2013.  I started and finished (or donated as tops along with backing fabrics) 21 other quilts.  I’m quite proud of those numbers but I know I can do better.  I am setting a goal this year to finish more of these UFOs and get the list down to the single digits… wonder if I can manage that? 

Let’s analyze My UFO list

UFO #1 I started in the last century and I’m not sure if I will ever finish it… but it’s on the list so it stays there until I either throw it away or something ….

There are two at the quilters now.  (Please don’t rush because if you get them done they become my problem again, LOL!) 

Four need the handwork done, three bindings and one I should have never started hand work on but I did so…

Eight are just blocks or in one case just strips, barely started, those will be on the UFO list a while most likely because I’ve lost interest in them. 

My 2007 Retreat project is listed as almost assembled and if I could find it I would finish it but it seems to have been put away somewhere that makes it hard to finish because I can’t find it. 

The other 20 on the list need quilting, some I can do but I don’t enjoy the quilting part and some need professional help…  I’m thinking that just maybe I can donate a few of these to Bob’s providing I can do two other things first… find them and find backing and binding fabrics for them. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Our Christmas

As happens when you have children and they grow up, fall in love and get new families, we learn to share holidays with the other families involved.  So that means that holidays are not always on the specific date set by the calendar.  So while many of you were done and over with Christmas a few days back, we just had ours yesterday. 

And it was just like every other Christmas has been for the last few years… make sticky buns, nice conversations, eat sticky buns, open presents, long talks, have a meal, more deep conversations, and then pack up and head home… 

This year we had two Christmases.  The 2012 Christmas was in January at Mike and Kelly’s home in Maryland and then yesterday the 2013 Christmas was at Jon and Steph’s in Wilmington. 

Both were grand and I can’t wait for the next one… wonder if anyone would object if we did it again in January?

Mike, Kelly and Roscoe
Jon and Stephme and John

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Seasons greetings

In this time of being politically correct I have just one thing to say… I hate politics.  So whatever it is that you celebrate this time of year, be it Christmas or Kwanzaa, or just dancing around the fire, do it with love. (Hanukkah is over, so if that was your holiday, hope you had a wonderful one already. ) 

Some people don’t enjoy this holiday season, and of you are one of them, do something you do enjoy, be it sewing, reading, or sleep the day away.  Remember the reason for the season, whatever your reason is.  Just like a quilt, don’t try to copy what everyone else is doing, make your own thing, and love your results.

And like it or not, a week later a new year will start.. make it a happy healthy and peaceful 2014, that’s one thing we all have to look forward to!

And to quote Tiny Tim, “Tip toe through the tulips”

HUGS and a Ho Ho Ho to all!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

If it isn’t one thing…

On Monday I saw the rheumatologist, good visit.  We are going to try reducing the prednisone again.  Fingers crossed that the other meds she added will help my body tolerate the lower dose of prednisone, and I’ll be happy with that for now.

One thing I brought home with me from the retreat in November was a runny nose.  It ran and ran and ran and then stopped running, which was almost worse.  I would wake up unable to breathe through my mouth or nose which was pretty scary.  Pills pills and more pills and I hate taking pills. 

On top of that, I had a few sensitive teeth all of a sudden.  No reason at all they would attack me with pain that went from my mouth up my head and sometimes I swear my toes curled up.  I could rinse my mouth with warm water and it would go away… for a while.  But they couldn’t do anything about it because of the nose.  Had to be able to breathe for the dentist to do any work.

Mid week the pain became unbearable, but I realized I was almost breathing normal again, so I called the dentist and got an appointment the next day.  I should explain that more than I hate doctors I hate dentist… long story and I’m not going into it, but I would rather stand in the middle of a busy highway then go to the dentist.  I explained this to the nurse on the phone every time I called, and she made note of it. 

I took my anxiety meds before going for my appointment, but it didn’t help.  The second I sat in the chair I started shaking and crying and couldn’t stop.  The nurse sat down and talked me though it, and without me hardly realizing it the dentist was in, had looked in my mouth, and I was heading out again… so that was over.

Of course I had to make another appointment for the surgery and the first opening was January 21st.  I immediately started to panic again and then something miraculous happened.. the clerk on the phone hung up and said (pointing to me), “she can have this appointment” pointing to the computer screen.  There had JUST been a cancellation for the next day, the last surgery of the year… and I got it!

Through the magic of medicine, thiopental sodium aka sodium pentothal and all those pills I so hate taking, I am doing ok.  Three fewer teeth in my head, nose is working fine and in a day or two, knock on wood, this will all be over. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Two things I love…

I love nativities.  I love the story they tell, and try to always remember that in the craziness of Christmas. 

Many years ago I started collecting miniature nativities, the smaller the better.  I have all kinds, wooden carved, painted and just plain wood. I have stone, ceramic, and even one made from ivory which I bought at a car boot sale in England before it was illegal to own ivory. 

I also love children portraying the nativity, and I have quite a few sets of those in my collection, from a ceramic one I made myself back in the early 70s, to a Fisher Price plastic one and to the one I bought yesterday.

Which brings up another thing I love… Peanuts.  I have loved Charlie Brown and the gang for as long as I remember.  I have many books, old and new, and here and there a few other goodies, a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, many Peanuts’ ornaments and now…    

 Remember the reason for the season. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Numbers realization

A few months ago I mentioned I was coming up on a big number.  And then I unintentionally passed right by that number and zoomed ahead to #503.  That planned #500 is still on my want to do list…..

Problem is that I also have other quilts I want to do.  Lots of them.  I have several packages of self made kits ready and waiting for me to get at them. 

And ideas…. Oh boy do I have ideas. 

So while I’m not “ignoring” or “neglecting” that #500 let’s just say I’ve decided to postpone it for a while… just like I ignored that other number that occurred yesterday… it’s just a number after all. 

Friday, December 06, 2013

Not buying

I’m doing real well at resisting all the temptations sent to me via email.  Ads are deleted unopened, 147 since Thanksgiving.   I don’t need anything so I’m not tempted to buy anything I don’t need… and not seeing it makes it easier for me not to buy. 

But I did buy three things I kind of wanted… I loved the first Monster movie so I bought Monsters University.  And I’d never seen from beginning to end Despicable Me so I bought that and I preordered Despicable Me 2.  Didn’t cost me a dime either, I used a gift card sent from a friend, (Thanks Sandy)

So now I have lots of books downloaded on my Kindle and Nook, and several unwatched movies… bring on winter!

PS - Fabric ads.. not even looking, nope, not even a peek.  I haven’t unpacked what I bought in Lancaster yet!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I know, I know...

I know I’ve been a bad blogger lately, so sorry.  I’ve been busy trying to wrap up 2013 that I’ve forgotten to do a lot of things.  Blogging isn’t the only thing, you should see my house, no maybe its better you don’t see it. 

I’m going to blame it on my internet advisor.  He said I needed to update the majority of my web site.  He has no idea how many pages that is, honestly I don’t either.  But I’ve been working on the main pages at least, the indexes. 

And I thought I had done all of the quilt history pages, but found out otherwise.  2008 and 2009 which is the current history page is as far as I’ve gone.  That means I’ve got a few more history pages to build. 

For those who have asked, health wise I’m doing OK.  Still on the prednisone and can happily report no flare ups for months now, knock on wood.  I have been fighting a cold/nasal problems since I got home from the retreat, trying to keep it from going to my chest. 

As  for sewing.... not getting any of that done right now either.  My head is bursting with ideas and projects I want to start, but I need to finish “work” first!  And sometime I probably should get ready for Christmas... 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

December 1, already

A little bit of everything has been updated for December. 

There are a few retreat openings available for the Angels 2014 retreat only.  All other retreats are fully booked.  http://www.delawarequilts.com/Retreat/index.html
I’ve updated my Quilts For Sale page, hoping to raise a few more dollars before the new Relay year starts in January.  http://delawarequilts.com/MyQuilts/QuiltsForSale.html  Need another quilt for a Christmas gift, already made and ready to go. 

I updated my UFO list, I’m down to 35 UFOs. http://delawarequilts.com/UFOList.html
My History page is 2008 & 2009 http://delawarequilts.com/MyQuilts/History/11.html

And I posted a new project, our very first Mysteries For Relay project, Tessellated Friendship Stars.  http://delawarequilts.com/Projects/Yearly/TessellatedFriendshipStars.pdf

Monday, November 25, 2013

Numbering predicament

If you follow me, or read once in a while even, you might know that I am approaching a certain number in my quilting history.  I have said that #500 will be a very special project, a circular log cabin made of all batik scraps. 

However, when I left for the retreats I was working on #498 a baby disappearing 4-patch.  I found the perfect border and backing fabric while up in Lancaster but that’s all I did with it. 

So my next project would be #499… however as you can see from my previous post, I made a few other quilt tops while retreating.  Do I count them as #499 to 504, or just ignore them on my inventory list? 

How can I ignore projects that meant something special to me and hopefully someone else?  The two Simply Squares quilts and Anne’s blocks will go to Bob’s, certainly worth counting, right?  Laurie surely loved the Batik Strips top, she made a nice donation to get it.  And the Christmas wall hangings… hopefully someday they will sell to raise money for Relay… a must count in my opinion. 

I think maybe the two Simply Squares quilts should be #499, and the Batik Strips #500, and the three wall hangings #501… What do you think?

Uh oh, that means I have to add the three wall hangings to my UFO list… or can I count them as WIPs?  Guess that depends on what I work on next.

Friday, November 22, 2013


On that fatal day 50 years ago I was sitting in study hall.  Our study hall was in the cafeteria and we sat at the same tables where we ate lunch.  Across from me sat a big burley senior football player, he never spoke to me, I was just a lowly freshman.  (I was actually a little afraid of him for no reason other than his size.) 

I remember the school PA system hissing, which always meant an announcement was coming.  Everyone looked up at the speakers, like we could actually see something.  We heard mumbled voices and then an announcement that our President had been assassinated. 
There was silence, then gasps and then sobbing.  The big burley senior openly sobbed, his head on the table, while I sat there stunned. 
I wasn’t sure what to do... who did

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Retreat reports

The 17th year of Quilters Retreats is now finished and what a year it was.  Some challenges, lots of laughs and many wonderful memories.  People often ask me if I get anything done while retreating.  This year again I can honestly say yes, and even show photos to prove it! 

At the October Retreat I promised myself I would not set up the sewing machine until I had two of my own UFOs finished, all they needed were bindings.  Snap Crackle Pop was huge and that took forever, and you can believe I did a Snoopy dance when it was finished.  It was even more important because it was a retreat sample! 


Next I finished the binding on Key West Tango, a smaller quilt but I was equally as happy to get it finished. 


To reward myself for those finishes I used up some of my friend Marge’s UFO blocks and made a few quilts for Bob’s.  The first two used up some of her spare Simply Squares blocks and were done before the October Retreat was over.  (I only have a pic of one)


The Angels Retreat was next, and I went right to work on another pile of Marge’s blocks and finished this little top.  Laurie liked it a lot and offered a donation so she could take it home with her.  Anne had brought along some blocks, which I made into this little quilt. 
Then I worked on the last binding I had with me, my Mardi Gras‏ quilt.  However my fingers were worn out, so I sat it aside and started another project which was to use up a kit I had in my stuff, an incomplete kit from somewhere.  (Marge says it is not hers)  It was a Christmas stripe which I made three wall hangings from, after a few trips to the Quilt Shack to get some fabrics to go with it. 
Before I knew it the November Retreat had started and I was forced to finish the wall hangings and

the Mardi Gras binding ..
and then it was time to come home.
I think I did pretty good for three weeks of work, laughing, shopping, eating, more laughing and even some sleeping. 

November update

I don't think I've posted this yet,  sorry I'm late! 

For November I’m sharing my Simply Squares pattern.  It’s really easy and lots of fun.  Here’s a whole page of quilts made using this pattern. 
This block came about because a close friend wanted to make a quilt she’d seen in a magazine.  She said no matter what she did or how carefully she sewed, her blocks were not coming out the right size or were all wonky from stretching the triangles.  I said I’d play with the pattern and see what I could come up with, and this was it. 

Yes you lose a point, but if ALL of the squares lose the same point, is that a problem?  I made this little baby quilt and loved it, so I made a few more quilts with the same pattern.  I didn’t “love” the larger blocks but thoroughly loved the smaller ones! 

And my favorite quilt made with this pattern is this one … actually totally made with scraps, dozens of blue, red, yellow and white-on-white scraps!

Warning, this pattern is full of photos and for that reason is slow loading.  Please give it a few minutes to load.  Then have fun making your own Simply Squares quilts!

Little behind

Little is an underestimate, sorry!  Let’s just say retreating got the best of me.  I’ve been home for three whole days and I am still catching up with things, and have yet to unpack most of my stuff!

The Angels Retreat photos can be seen at http://delawarequilts.com/Retreat/2013/Angels2013.html
and you can find the 17th November’s photos at http://delawarequilts.com/Retreat/2013/Nov2013.html 

All three retreats were great fun, and I actually got a lot done. 
Best of all, I sold FOUR quilts while up there.  Three went to guests of the AVI and one went home to NY with a retreater.  Between the quilt sales and the fund raisers I had at the retreats, my sponsorship for 2014 Relay For Life is paid for in full… and I might even be at a higher sponsor level! 

Monday, November 04, 2013

November already

The 2013 October Retreat is officially finished, photos are now posted at http://delawarequilts.com/Retreat/2013/October2013.html  It was a wonderful week!
The project for November is Simply Squares which can be found at
And I just happened to make two of these at the October Retreat!

Friday, October 25, 2013


TGIF and only three days before the retreats start.  I’m still not ready, LOL!  I keep thinking of things I need to take and then promptly forgetting what I remembered and I’m sure I’m losing my mind.  This shouldn’t be so hard, I’ve been doing this for 17 years now and I have lists… but dang if I know why this year is being so challenging to me. 

OH, I remembered what I wanted to remember… setting my cell phone up so I could communicate with my blog and facebook while retreating.  So text messages sent to both and the facebook one posted immediately.  Blogger, not so. 

I’ll try to post while I’m away, but if not, check my facebook page to see what’s happening while I’m away, either my personal one or Delaware Quilts. 
AND for you who are not on facebook, you don’t have to be on facebook to see the Delaware Quilts page and posts!  Everyone can read what’s on there.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dreary day

What a totally fall day we’re having.  I’m not sure what is falling faster, the rain or the leaves.  It’s so dark out I have to turn on lights to see what I’m doing, which is more packing of course.  I think I’ve been packing longer than I will be away!

My goal for today is to get my personal projects organized.  I need to make sure I have enough with me to keep me busy and out of trouble.  Well busy at least!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Less than a week!

Yep, as of today I have less than a week to get my stuff all together and organized for the fall retreats.  Am I ready... nope, nowhere close.  If I had to leave right now I’d be in big trouble.  But I would!  I would throw clean undies and my toothbrush in my purse and take off without anything else.  Because in the long run the best part of the retreats to me is being with all the ladies and the fun we have.  Sewing is just secondary to being with my friends who just happen to be addicted to quilting like I am. 

BUT...  well some of those ladies expect patterns and some of them expect fabric to use with the patterns, and some of them need a sewing machine to sew on, and most of them expect the electric cords, goodie bags and so much more

Personally, yes I could go and just sit around and visit and laugh the whole time up there, but I want to sew too.. although I’m not real sure what I’m going to sew just yet.  I have three quilts I’m taking with me that need the bindings sewn on by hand, I’d love to get all three done while up there.  And I have a few UFOs passed on to me by a friend, I can work on those, or pass them on to someone else to work on.. they are for charity (Bob’s)  And I have a pile of fabrics I think I’ll stuff in a bag incase, and then there is that Aunt Grace UFO started last fall, maybe I can finish it this fall? 

I am so not ready and I am so ready...

Friday, October 18, 2013


So I went to see one of the Docs today… my family physician.  He was pretty pleased with my blood tests, happy to see my numbers going down.  Well except for one, I found another pound somewhere, darn prednisone!  We had a nice long (in Doctor’s terms) chat about my health and all in all he’s happy.  Of course like me he’d love me to be off the prednisone, but that’s a decision my body has to make… hoping someday! 

Today is Be Bold Be Bald day however I am not participating this year. First of all it’s no fun being bald alone and secondly, I have done two Relays this year and raised $10,000 in the fight against cancer.

However I want to thank everyone who donated to my Be Bold Be Bald last year, and to all of you who helped me raise all that money this year! In honor of all of you I am showing my baldie picture from last year (It will be on facebook for a whole week) and making a donation to Heaps of Hope through my BBBB page. 

And here’s hoping that someone somewhere soon finds the cure for cancer!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Less than two weeks

I should be hitting panic mode, less than two weeks to the first retreat and I’m not ready.  But I’m beyond that this year, I honestly don’t care what makes it up there and what stays home, I just want to get there. 

However, it would be best if I remembered a few necessities.  Clothes for one, can’t wear the same thing for three weeks straight and I know my roommates would appreciate my wearing PJs, especially Anne... (private joke) 

And I really should remember retreat necessities, the electrical cords, mats, rotary cutters, blades, rulers, irons.  And the ladies probably would like me to remember the pins and prizes too.  Can’t forget all of my things, sewing machines (one for me and one for other ladies), my sewing tool box and can’t forget to put in my Janome tools, some  scissors and thread, you won’t believe how many times I’ve forgotten thread!

BUT instead of getting ready, I want to put binding on just one more quilt, one of the retreat samples.  At least the machine part, then I can do the hand work up there.  Hey,  maybe I won’t need a machine… I have a pile of quilts that need hand work done!

PS Neck is getting better, it only reminds me of the recent injury when I turn a certain way which I try not to do. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Moving along then wham!

Yes, things were moving along nicely… getting prepared for the fall retreats and working on some quilts then WHAM…

I went to bed fine and woke up with a broken neck.  Well not totally broken but that’s what it feels like.  Yesterday I kept hot compresses on it, and went to bed last night and … well…. well let’s just say it wasn’t the most restful night sleep.  I would get comfortable and actually fall asleep and wake up feeling like a knife was sticking me in the neck, or worse.  I was so miserable John is working from home today to take care of me!  (Sweetie that he is and that’s why I love him!)  More hot compresses and lots of pain pills, seems a little better today.  It better be, only 17 days to the first retreat!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Uh oh

Sorry, apparently I’ve forgotten how to blog and that concerned some people.  I’m OK really, just some typical now normal for me complaints, but really doing pretty good.  Nothing wrong with me to keep me from blogging except being too busy and forgetful too I guess.

Let’s see, in the last week we finally got John’s truck back, he’s happy to have it sitting in the driveway… guess that’s a man thing, like having a spare sewing machine.  And he’s been super busy at work, working later and longer, but we’re thankful he has a job and hasn’t been furloughed like so many others we know. 

I’ve been getting ready for the fall retreats, and with three in a row that’s a lot of getting ready.  (Can’t tell you what I’m doing, it’s a secret)  And I’ve been working on a new to me but not to the rest of the world disappearing four patch.  I’m using some cute pastel prints and white Kona and it’s looking really good, I hope to get it together today.  I’ve also been writing a new mystery for future use. 

We had company last week too, Jon and Steph and grandkitty Simba.  KG and Simba had never met and we were a bit concerned as to how they would get along… well they didn’t fight and there wasn’t any yowling, so we humans are happy.  But Simba wanted to make friends and KG doesn’t trust other kitties (he was picked on in his prior life by his roommate).  I’m sure eventually they will be friends, just not this visit. 

And yesterday I got three quilts back from the quilters.  You know what that means right?  Three more bindings to do and three more quilts getting closer to being taken off the UFO list and finished…. sooner or later. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Semi-annual maintenance time

Guess October is the month to get things checked…  the bug man has been here and sprayed all the bugs that might be lurking in the yard.  Pity he can’t get the gnats, the sky is loaded with them. 

And the HVAC man is here now.  Funny, when I scheduled the maintenance it was chilly and we had the heat on.  Right now it’s 80 degrees outside and we could have the AC on, but… no it’s time to check the heater to see how it’s working.   
And in order to do that he had to turn the heat up…  it’s now 82 83 84 in the house!  I sure hope that he checks the AC next by cooling the place down some. 

My car needs an oil change, John’s truck is still in the shop getting whatever needs done done and.. well you know what else happens in October right?  Yes dreaded Doctors’ appointments.  I have three, but before them I have to go see the vampires. 

Good thing that there are retreats at the end of the month or I would skip October all together!

Monday, September 30, 2013

End of the month

Yes, it’s the end of September… where has this year gone?  Anyway, that means it is update time. 

This month I’m sharing pictures of quilts I made in 2006 and among them are my Crooked Stars.  How they came about was interesting, at least to me. 

My BOMs (Blocks Of the Month) for 2006 were all stars and I got emails almost every month from quilters asking me how they could make my blocks and not lose the star points.  I personally didn’t have occasionally had that problem so I decided to make a pattern where it didn’t matter if you lost your star points or not.   

I had this pile of black and white “scraps” which were truthfully miss-cuts from another project, (Always read directions carefully) so I decided to use them to make my sample block.  The first one came out great and so did the second and so on… I just kept making stars until I ran out of B&W scraps.  And here’s the result. 

Then I realized I hadn’t taken any pictures of my process, so I had to make a second sample, so I made this using some RW&B scraps.  They were smaller scraps, so I got a smaller star and sample, but I loved it! 

So for this month I’m sharing my Crooked Stars pattern.  Have fun and don’t stress if you lose your points!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Relay For Life

On Friday night we ventured alllll the way south to Salisbury MD to the Shorebirds Stadium, otherwise called Arthur Perdue Stadium for the Wicomico Relay For Life. I felt unfilled at my first event this year and needed some more Relay Spirit and boy did I get it!   I felt that each person wanted to be there for the right reason, either to remember someone they had lost, honor someone who had beat cancer, or to fight back against it.
The survivors were duly recognized and walked a victory lap, followed by teams of caregivers, and then many many relayers. 

The luminaria ceremony was moving, although in the crowds of campsites and people they kind of got lost and it was hard to see them all at once, but boy did they light up the sky.  I saw some old friends, made many new friends and except for the cold enjoyed the evening.  I hated leaving, but my body couldn’t take anymore.  We will go back!