Sunday, April 12, 2015

Beachplum Quilters of the Jersey Shore

      Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting up with my BFF Robin for The Beachplum Quilters of the Jersey Shore luncheon and Trunk Show with Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works.  The luncheon was held at Jack Baker's Lobster Shanty in Point Pleasant, NJ.
Robin got up at the crack of dawn to drive down to my house from Long Island and after chatting, visiting my sewing room and checking out my renovations to the house, we went to the luncheon.

It was a gorgeous 66 degree day and with the restaurant right on the water, we had a wonderful day.  

Jackie is a joy to meet and chat with.  WHY I didn't get a picture of us with her is anyone's guess.....  This picture is the only one I snapped  :(

After a delicious lunch, Jackie had a trunk show and also brought some kits, patterns, magazines etc. with her.  

I took more pictures than these 3 but some just didn't come out right.  Her quilts are absolutely gorgeous and the work that goes into them is phenomenal!

I have to say, the girls from the Beachplum Guild were sooooo nice and very accommodating.  When we got to the venue we were given a ticket for some of the door prizes, a free fat quarter and a bag of M&M's with a really cute MODAFABRICS Emergency Kit label.  I won the 6-1/2 inch ruler and a wooden ruler holder.  

I did have to drop a few bucks along the way and bought a Judy Niemeyer kit for a quilt and also bought some fat quarters and 2 bags of pins that are exact replica's of Jackie's quilts.

We met 3 really nice women that we shared a table with and at the end of the show I actually met one of my online friends Carolyn.  I had no idea she was going to be there but one of the girls from my LQS brought her over to introduce me.  AGAIN, no picture  :(

In closing, we bought raffle tickets for the guild's quilt raffle.  NO, I didn't win, but it is a beauty isn't it?

I'm not a member of this guild YET....but I can tell you that I'm going to join when they start back up in September!  They don't meet over the summer and since I have a ton of stuff on my plate in May and June, I'm just going to start out fresh in September.  What a nice time we had with a LOT of wonderful women!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Catching Up on Tuesday

It's rainy here today and workers are downstairs spackling so I thought I'd upload a few pictures of what I'm doing and then I have an appt. with my favorite hairdresser for some color and a haircut for our trip to Florida next weekend for a very special wedding.

First off, who's doing this?
                                         I can tell you I am!  I preordered my book and then after it came I noticed Lori had a bundle available using almost the same fabrics as she did so I ordered that bundle, a full bolt of Kona Snow and I'm set and ready for May 1st when the Sew Along starts.  

Yesterday was too nice to stay in, with temps hitting almost 70 in NJ so I went outside and sat on the steps of the deck with Luna and we soaked up a little sun.....

After a little afternoon shopping I came home and made my Red Sky at Night Sew Along block.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the red fabric line I'm using for this project and I love this Crown of Thorns block Jodi picked for this week.

I had a small package of Bonnie & Camille fabric in my mailbox too yesterday for a B&C Bee I'm doing this year.
I am in love with each one of these fabrics.....a few I never saw before but with the popularity right now of Bonnie & Camille's fabrics, some shops are pulling out their older stash and you can really get a nice variety!

And here's a quick shot of Miss Olivia on Easter Sunday.  She had the cutest little socks and ruffly outfit on........   

Monday, March 30, 2015

Kitchen Remodel

YES, the kitchen remodel started last week.

We made the decision to do a remodel back when Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey but the work had to  be delayed due to the fact our contractor had to help the families that needed their houses worked on more than we needed our cabinets changed.

Since about Thanksgiving we've been plotting cabinet colors, flooring, new sink etc.....and then last week all the planning became a reality.  We're excited to have it finally underway but aye yi yi.......the mess is crazy!

We previously had oak laminate floors that went with our oak cabinets that was laid over our blue vinyl that was laid back in 1991 or 1992 when the house was built. 

Once the cabinets and old appliances were taken out and carted away they started with the new lighting...........
Updates to follow as things progress.........

OH, and did I forget to mention that while the contractor is here we've decided that we want a door from the living room into a 9 x 11 room I used as my sewing room back in the day closed off and the wall in the laundry room opened to make it all 1 big room?   Oh yeah!  Am I crazy?  Yeah, I guess so....
The mess is in the kitchen, living room, laundry room, small side room and it's spreading into hubby's office and dining room.  OH yeah, I forgot, we're having new lighting, flooring and paint in the dining room too.   I think "crazy" is saying it lightly.  I'm certifiable!!!  This process is supposed to be done by May 15th-20th so say some prayers for me that I can keep it together that long.  It's not easy washing dishes in a bathroom sink!!!   LOL

Plumbing work on the washer/dryer/sink is in the works as I write this post so I will have more pictures of that project later this week.....

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sewalong Updates

I'm sewing along with a few different groups doing a few different blocks so as I catch up, I'm updating my status.

The Red Sky At Night Sew Along is I think my favorite right now, but that could change like the wind.....   I LOVE red so when  Jodi from Tales of Cloth did her blocks in red and white I did the same.  The first block "Peace and Plenty" was last week's block.  Don't even ask what I was doing last Monday when it came out.  I don't remember 2 hours ago so I won't remember why I didn't do that last week.  The next two are today's block.  Jodi said she'd be doing a couple of weeks with 2 or 3 blocks so there we have it "Broken Dishes & Whirlpool".
We are up to 9 blocks now and i'm thinking this might become my all time favorite quilt that will for sure stay living in my house!

The next sew along/BOM is the Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery BOM.
I just got my kit on Saturday but had last month's kit sitting on my cutting table so I decided last night that I needed to get them done right away.  I'm always afraid with these projects that the fabric comes in the mail that I'll set it aside and lose it and then what do i do?

First up Block #9 is called "Dear Robert".  It was designed by Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters    Lynne says "My biggest fan and supporter, my best friend and hero".

Block # 10 is called "Sunshine Lily" and it was designed by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs  Anne says "My grand-daughter is filled with happiness and laughter.  She makes me smile like no one else can, and her hugs and kisses are the best."

I love that each designer said something nice about their block and explains how it got it's name.

I pulled the finishing kit out last night to see how it's going to be set and was pleasantly surprised to see it's not really set sampler style but more like each block borders a center one.

I had all 10 blocks up on the design wall to see how they looked and fall in love with them every time I see them all together.

Only 2 more blocks and it can all get set together!

If anyone likes this project and want to make it, I'll send you the patterns after I'm done with them.....

Friday, March 13, 2015

Moda Modern Building Blocks Update

     I came in from being out for the day yesterday and my daughter said "when will that kid next door stop with that darn basketball?"  To which I replied "it's only just beginning since the snow just cleared like 2 days ago".  Well, i'm sitting here in my nice warm bathrobe, a nice cup of tea made and all I can hear is thump thump and yelling  :)    Why isn't that boy in school, it's 9:15!  LOL

     Anyhow....  I posted a few in progress pictures to instagram of my Moda Modern Building Blocks the other day so last night even though I was exhausted, I finished the last one for March and took a picture.
This month the blocks were all 6-1/2 inchers so I knew they'd go fast, and they did, until I had to sew up the 2 left top row blocks.  Those HST's are 1-1/2 inch square and although I got them trimmed nicely and I sewed nice and slow, they're just SMALL and not for me.  They look fine, and lay flat, but I'm truthfully not a fan of working with such tiny pieces.  
We are down to the wire on this project now too.  Only 7 more blocks to go and it's a finished quilt.  
I did not even make a dent in my Denyse Schmidt stash....something I thought I would do but it wasn't to be.  

We are starting a 1st floor remodel in our house next week.  First up is totally gutting the kitchen.  I've set up a microwave, tea pot, toaster oven etc. in the empty apartment upstairs.  Breakfast and lunch will be fine.  Paper plates etc..... but dinner, well, dinner is another story.  I like a regular old plate and a cooked meal for dinner......I'll keep you posted on that :)    We are also doing the dining room but that's just floors, walls and lights.  A lot less messy.  AND since I can't have the living room floor different than the other 2, we're pulling that up, redoing that, painting, and even closing off the door to my old sewing room which will necessitate opening the wall in the laundry room and making the old sewing room part of the laundry room.  LOTS of mess and disruption to the house but since we're not moving anywhere any time soon, we want to update the house before hubby retires next year.  I just keep saying "I can do it".........

And, a Friday update wouldn't be complete without an Olivia picture.......

It's hard to get actual "sit up" pictures since she's not even 4 months old but after we dressed her for a trip out in the car yesterday we got little "serious" Miss O to semi smile  :)
She's getting so big...and is just the cutest!!!

OH....and this lovely thing is my "baby" Sarah.  She was a bridesmaid 2 weeks ago in her friend's wedding.  She looked beautiful !  She's here with my BIL (her godfather) looking happy I'm sure that all the shower/wedding/bachelorette party details are done and she can relax!

Happy weekend and  with some luck I get in the sewing room over the weekend and can have more sewing pictures....


Tuesday, March 10, 2015


     I FINALLY got around to making binding for 1 quilt today and using up left over binding for another one.

     I took a string quilt off a friend's hands last week and immediately sent it to my favorite long arm quilter.    Sarah is such a great quilter and she knows what I like so for a lot of my quilts I let her pick the design.  She told me this was a new design and I was her inaugural test run..... I give her a 2 thumbs up!

     The second quilt I got binding on today was my "Have Yourself a Quilty Little Christmas" top.
I sewed along with a lot of others on Instagram back around the holidays but there was so much going on around here that I chose to hang onto it until after New Years before getting it quilted.
Sarah used a snowflake design on it and sent it right back to me but it took me 2-1/2 months to get up the energy to cut and sew the binding on.....

I love the little gingerbread man cookie, the christmas lights and all the other blocks.  I used a green, red and blue dot for the backing, but I thought it needed a striped binding so I found a green and white in my stash, which came out awesome!

To say i'm thrilled is an understatement.  I haven't had anything to do at night while I watched TV the past few weeks so these will be a welcome project.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

APQ Quiltalong

Just a quick Sunday morning update on my sewing for the week.

I have weeks that I jump from project to project, but then there are weeks like this past one that I concentrate on 1 project, just so I can see some progress.

This week I worked on the APQ Quiltalong project.   I had all 1,089 2-1/2 inch 4 patch units cut, sewn & trimmed so I started assembling a 9 patch block with them and some 2-1/2 inch squares.
I needed 81 Block A's.....   Here's a picture of my progress....

I set those 81 blocks aside for now and will work on a few block of the month/sewalong blocks this week.  Most likely i'll get back to 9 patch making around Thursday.  Once the next 81 Block B units are made it's really just a matter of cutting strips, rectangles and setting triangles to start the assembly of the quilt.  I'd LOVE to finish this by the beginning of April but we shall see what comes up before that....wish me luck.

Here's a shot of our life this week.......
The official final count on the height of our snow was 9 inches.  Thankfully, it's been sunny for the last 2 days so it's starting to melt already, and thanks to Sears for the cadillac of snowblowers, Al was able to get right down to the ground with the new blower so the front is officially clear and blacktop is showing.....   Luna likes to go out and stick her face in it and make tracks but doesn't stay out long.  

I'm praying for lots of sun and maybe even a little rain to wash all this mess away.  After a year like this I fear I might have to be a snowbird next year  :)


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Women of the Bible

     Stitchin Tree Quilts in Marietta, Georgia has a free program called "Women of the Bible".  Every other week they post 2 blocks in their newsletter.  I was keeping up at the beginning but got a little bit 8 blocks behind.  I decided yesterday that I'd get to them by dinner time tonight....and I did.

The blocks each have a name relating to a particular woman in the bible....and very few I remember from my Catholic school days.  
Top Left is Jephtah's Daughter  Top Right is Asenath
Bottom Left is Miriam    Bottom Right is Deborah

Top Left is  Jael     Top Right is Tamar
Bottom Left is Rahab  and Bottom Right is Potipher's Wife

Each pattern comes with a story about each woman so I'm sewing and learning at the same time.

And can I just say, this girl turned 3 months old over the weekend....

How cute is she?????????

And our Luna is getting tired of the snow....there's so much snow that when she goes out for a walk, she can't sniff every bush, tree, piece of grass etc  in sight...  She's said she's seen enough!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Catch Up

   I promised myself last night that I was going to attempt to catch up with a few sew alongs today and I think I did a good job keeping that promise.

    Before I start I just wanted to show some pictures from Sunday.  I bought my husband tickets to see "Rain"- A Beatles Tribute show for his birthday back in January.  We'd seen the show before in New York City and if I could have gone back the next day I would was that good.  When he saw that the show was going to be here in New Jersey,  he told me that he thought it would be a great birthday gift.   We only live about 45 minutes from the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank so the drive up was easy....the only drawback to going to this theatre is parking.  There is never enough and let me tell you, after the snow started to melt, it was MESSY!   BUT, the show was wonderful!!!

   We were treated to songs and video from the Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show and then while we were watching film clips, the singers changed into various costumes leading right up to their last album.  What was interesting to me is there were people there under 21 and people in their 70's and all were singing, clapping, dancing and all were equally enjoying the show.  If you ever have the chance to see this show, you should!

    Now, onto my "catch up" sewing today.
   I'm doing a "Red Sky At Night" quilt along which is 1 block a week so I did this week's block which looks hard but let me tell you, it was just HST's, 2-1/2 inch squares and some rectangles.
This is only week 5, and we're going until November so I'm going to have an AWESOME quilt when it's done!
    Then I did my churn dash block for week 8 in the 52 Week Churn Dash Challenge on Instagram.
I made an extra block "just in case" I get tied up for some reason over the next few weeks/months with kitchen remodel, wedding, vacation etc....
     Lastly, I'm in a Birthday Club with some really nice girls on Instagram.  The birthday girl filled out a questionnaire with her likes/dislikes and we send a little package to her for her birthday month.
Our March girl loves mini quilts, table toppers and is a Lori Holt fan, so this morning I whipped up a Great Granny Square block from Lori's book and even used up some squares from her line of fabric.
I'm not done with it yet....trying to decide if I want to put a border on or just quilt it as is....
I've set it aside for now to try and decide.
      Time to get out my Fig Tree fabrics and catch up with my Women of the Bible blocks.  Sadly, I think I may be about 6 behind but since hubby is out of town for the night I might just stay up and sew and get them done.  If so, I'll be back tomorrow with that update!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along

In between other projects, I've been working on making 2-1/2 inch 4 patch units for my American Patchwork and Quilting Quilt Along project called "Go Four It".

I made a lot of progress last week sewing up all the strips needed for the 4 patch units since we've had non stop snow and cold now for almost 2 weeks (with more expected today).

I decided on Wednesday this week that I was going to get to the counting and sorting part to figure out what I needed to start assembling this project.  

I counted 4 patch units..........528 of the 1,000 needed!  Not bad at all.  1,089 2-1/2 inch squares.  750 cut!  Very good!  Then I had a thought....I'd started the 2014 APQuilt Along last year using yellows, oranges, greens and blues also but switched directions after making 1 or 2 I found the plastic bin that was holding those 4 patch units and added them to my bin....I'm up to 759 4 patch 

Here's the pile of 4 patches waiting to be pressed
On the left is the 4 patches and the little bin on the right has the 2-1/2 inch squares

YES....I always have to make 1 block just to see how it looks......and I am thinking I LOVE it so, onward with making more

And here's a picture of my block on top of the APQ magazine with my "choice" of quilts.....

I think it's time to get to assembling some more blocks.  I need 80 more of these units.....  Off to the sewing machine for me

And if you didn't see enough cuteness with that block....

Olivia....the ultimate in cuteness!!!

Peggy in balmy 21 degree New Jersey

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Just a Quickie

     Just a quickie for this Valentine's Saturday.  Do you make a big deal about this holiday?  We tend to go low key on it.  We tend to exchange cards and a little box of candy.  After celebrating our wedding anniversary in mid October then Christmas and both of our birthdays, we just keep things simple.  This year I made chocolate cupcakes with homemade buttercream frosting with coconut sprinkled on top and gave hubby his favorite peanut M&M's....well, I got a cute card, a box of Hershey's chocolates and a Volkswagon Lego kit....What a great surprise!

     Last night we had a nice dinner out at a local italian place because we knew today every place would be crazy. After a relaxing day home today we decided to take a drive to Five Guys and had awesome burgers and fries.  

        Today I caught up with my Moda Building Blocks Quilt Along blocks.
February was an easy one, 6  6-1/2 inch blocks.  I'm connecting all the blocks each month so at the end and with only 2 months left to go, I'll be done and ready for quilting.

I don't have a favorite but I am partial to the Sawtooth Star and the Friendship Star takes a close second.  

There is 1 36 inch block left with a bunch of 6-1/2 inchers.....

And, a post of mine these days wouldn't be complete without an Olivia picture

She just gets cuter and cuter.......but I might be biased :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Little Sew Along Fun

I think it's always been clear to anyone that knows me that I have a hard time resisting a Sew Along so when I saw on the Moda website that they were once again participating in the American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along I knew I'd be doing it. I did this last year and made a lot of my blocks but sadly I've never finished.... Maybe this year.
 If you've missed getting your copy of the magazine, you still have time.  It's still available at a lot of grocery stores and also at Barnes & Noble.
I actually have 2 copies of the magazine because I couldn't wait for mine to come in the mail so while I was out one afternoon I picked a copy up at B&N :)   

It's no surprise that out of the 3 sample quilts that I picked " Rainbow Rows"  that Moda Lissa created.  I love working with pinks, purples, greens, yellows etc. and no lie....I have hundreds of low volume/neutral fabrics that are perfect for this project.

The above picture is from the night I bought the magazine.  I used a charm pack that was already out on the cutting table and made up 23 in a few short minutes....easy peasy!

I'm doing the 4 patches as a leader/ender project so on Monday night while I had Bonnie Hunter's Quilt Cam on, I sewed up about 30-40.  Bonnie by the way is one of the participating designers along with a long list of others.  You can check out the Moda site and there is also a list in the magazine.

Here's my box full of 2-1/2 inch 4 patch blocks....a far cry from the first day :0  I now have
303 4 patches!

Another Sew Along i'm doing is the Red Sky At Night QAL.
Jodi at is putting out one12.5 inch block a week on her blog and on Instagram and has quite a few girls sewing along with her.  The majority of us are using red but since it's really an individual choice, there are a few girls that are just using whatever they have in their stash...and each and every block is awesome.           

My absolute favorite color fabric to sew with is red and combined with my favorite Kona Snow, then it's a Win Win for me.  I'm using red on reds from the "Redwork Renaissance by Chloe's Closet" for moda fabrics.  I have 12 different prints from the line so I'll keep to the red with white but after I have all 12 done I might make another dozen or so using the other Red on White prints from the same fabric line to make the quilt a little larger.

Now....just when you thought it was safe to move on, there's one more Sew Along I'm doing with some girls on Instagram.  

It's a 52 Week Churn Dash Challenge.  Next to the Ohio Star block, the Churn Dash is my 2nd favorite block.  This challenge is 6-1/2 inch blocks.  A lot of girls are using Civil War fabrics but due to my lack of them in my stash, I'm using my scrap bin with Kona White.  I have a few ideas on how I'll set them in the end but I'm reserving that decision till the end.

I'm doing double duty with the cutting, I cut what I need for these blocks and then cut the leftover prints into 1-1/2 inch strips for the APQAL.  

I'm doing another QAL but I'll have to post about that next time.  It's the Women of the Bible blocks with Little Quilts in Marietta, Georgia.  They post 2 patterns every other week in their newsletter with a nice writeup about the woman of the bible they named the block for.  I'm using all my Fig Tree fabrics in this one but I'm behind about 4 blocks so when I catch up, I'll post again.

Good thing I'm retired huh???

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Designer Mystery BOM"

     So, here is block #8 of the Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery BOM.
I love that this star block looks like it has set in points but in reality, Kate Spain has designed "Joyful Julie" to only look that way.  In reality it's all half square triangles and 2-1/2 inch squares sewn and trimmed to look that way.  It was a breeze to make and with the fabric from Edyta Sitar, it was a joy!

Block #8 as mentioned is called "Joyful Julie" and Kate says "My aunt Julie keeps smiling no matter what".  

Above are pictures of #8, all 8 blocks so far, the picture of the pattern and the last picture is the finishing kit and on the right is the pile of the left over fabric....enough to make a small quilt I think!

I'll be back during the week with other updates.


Friday, February 6, 2015


     Back in the day I did a lot of quilt block swaps, round robins and fabric swaps....and I mean a LOT!   I stopped doing them when a lot of the blocks came home and were either too small, they were wonky or the fabric was just not what was advised for the swap.

     Recently on Instagram I saw there were a lot of mini swaps and even a birthday of the month group and since I knew a lot of girls either running these swaps or participating, I joined 2.
Here's the results of them......

     The first one was the Mini Swap.  We were supposed to keep the mini to about 18-24 inches and as the guidelines were written, help the maker out by making some IG posts with things you liked.
My girl was very vague and all over the place with her likes and never made a design board so I went out on a limb and picked something I thought she'd like....

I'd had this geese pattern for a while and was dying to use it so I picked brighter colors with a black screen like print with a very light grey for the background of the geese.  It was well received and many compliments on all was good!

I received my mini last Friday and I too was pleasantly surprised and very happy with mine.

I love the Bonnie and Camille fabrics that were used and even more surprising was all the other gifts that came with the package.  A charm pack, pins, scissors, a ruler, a pattern and a notebook!!
WOW!!!!!!  Was I spoiled.  When and If I do another swap I will have to add some "extras".

The next swap I'm doing is an ongoing monthly birthday swap.  We filled out questionnaires with our likes and dislikes and from there we make a small item whether it be quilty, knitted, crocheted.....
January's girl was looking for some pouches and since I was excited to use my new boxy pouch pattern, I made her one in orange, a color she requested and then I filled the pouch with fabric, thread, a pin, etc......  

Today I worked on the February girl's project.  She's into sewing and very much into cooking and baking so I made her a mixer that's about 15 x 15 and I'm hoping that with a few other goodies will be a nice birthday gift.

My birthday isn't until December so I have some waiting to do but in the meantime I'll be busy with gifting to other girls.

Onto other sewing..........