Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

    As we embark on 2014 I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

    As I look back on 2013 I realize that I have many things to be thankful for.  Most importantly is my family.  We started the year off with the wedding of our daughter.  People say you didn't lose a daughter, you gained a son....and I totally agree!

I'm always thankful for my wonderful and supportive husband.  We've been together since 1979 and have survived thru many births, deaths, moves and just real life!  He's supported me when raising 3 small kids in a new town was overwhelming to me and I had no friends, he's supported my decision to return to work when the kids got older and I needed to get out of the house,  we've been there for each other when he lost his younger brother, mother and father and my dad and niece in less than a year.  We are a good "team" I would say!!!
     In 2013 I decided I was ready to retire after 19 years of working in the school.  I wanted to spend some time relaxing, sewing and traveling when we wanted to and wanted to do it while we are both healthy enough to enjoy it.  We've seen too many people who "retired" not on their own terms or passed before they could enjoy some relaxing time so I made the decision to retire as of 12/31/2013!
WOW, that's today!!!  YAY!

     My children are all happy, healthy, and productive adults so a mama couldn't ask for anything more!  I still have 2 of those adults living home but we have such a great relationship and they really do live their own lives, they just sleep here, and there's nothing wrong with family living like family!!
We have dinner together every night of the week and we talk about each other's day.   They help around the house with cooking, cleaning, and just all the things that need to be done.  I was asked once this year if I thought I was an enabler.  Really?  Since when did sharing life with your children make you an enabler?  NAH....WE are a family!   BAH to people who think their opinion on my life counts!

     I have many friends that make me happy.  Some I worked with, some I sew with, some I just know from my blog and Facebook.  I value your friendship and hope you have a happy, healthy and fruitful 2014!

     I'm thinking tomorrow I'll get a little less sappy and show a nice quilt recap of 2013 if I can figure out how to do it......New computer, new programs, new things to learn!!!

     Happy New Year one and all!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Celtic Solstice Update- Part 5

Not bad......I got the step 5 instructions on Friday afternoon and got to working on it Saturday.  Here it is Sunday evening and I finished!  YAY for me!

I actually enjoyed this step.  I'd already had the small HST units made from step 4 so all I had to do was cut my neutral triangle units and then today I did all the blue cutting.
When Bonnie promised more neutral and blue, she didn't disappoint.  We got enough of that this step.

What do you think.  Do you think Step 6 will be some assembly of the units?

This is a repeat picture from last week's Bonnie update.....these are all the units from the previous 4 steps.

This is one 3-1/2 inch  unit from today's sewing.....aren't they cute?

Friday, December 27, 2013

"Warm Winter Blessings"

     Well, my Warm Winter Blessings block of the month thru Primitive Gatherings is finally finished.
I can honestly say that I kept up with each block as they came in and if Thanksgiving and Christmas didn't come up so quickly, I'd have had the whole thing assembled at least 3-4 weeks ago......However, the holidays did come and that's ok, I'm done and once it's all quilted and bound, I'm ready for next winter.

Here is a picture of the finished top on my design wall and a closer up picture of 2 of the snowmen.....

I really love this top and I'm thrilled I signed up and did it!


Jamestown Landing

My "Jamestown Landing" quilt has returned from it's travels and it came back to me more beautiful than I could ever hope for.

This project was a Bonnie Hunter quilt that I'd found in an Australian Magazine at least 3 years ago, if not longer.  I know I started working on it at a November retreat I went to in Indiana 3 years ago so it's been around a long time!

I worked on the hundreds of parts over time, stopping and starting in between other quilts.  I finally decided back in either January or February that I was getting it done come hell or high water.  While assembling the top I'd text and email my BFF's Robin and Michelle pictures of my progress and I'd get a message back stating this part or that part was not where it belonged.  I'd double and triple check my layout with the magazine and see I was doing it right.  FRUSTRATION definitely set in!
FINALLY in about April or May I bought Bonnie Hunter's book and found the magazine had the layout wrong......  rip, rip, rip....

In the end, I got the top assembled and shipped off to Michelle for quilting.  I don't remember if it was late October or early November, figuring I'd have it back around now.  I always tell Michelle "no rush".  She's had some life moments going on so I didn't want to pressure her, especially since the quilt wasn't for anyone in particular.

"Jamestown" was mailed back to me on 12/9 with an expected 12/16  arrival date in NJ.  Michelle and I tracked it from the 16th on and although some would say "that wasn't that long a time", when you are the recipient and shipper and the tracking stops back on 12/10 and you're talking to rude people at both end in the PO, you get frustrated.

So, long story longer....it came home yesterday, and I'm thinking that if quilts could talk I wonder what this one would have to say?

I think it's gorgeous and Michelle's quilting is exquisite.....

I'll be making the binding and tacking it down as one of my January 2014 Big 3 list items for sure......


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

tone it down

Have you see this article in the February 2014 issue of "American Patchwork & Quilting"?
I think for me, it was an article that was much anticipated.  I'd seen a few blog posts and Instagram posts with hints that there was going to be a "quilt along" with about 9 or 10 designers as well as one of the editors of the magazine.

I had my niece and daughter looking in grocery stores and Barnes & Noble and I went to 2 quilt shops looking for the magazine....even though I subscribe to it. (I thought mine was missing in action :)

Lissa Alexander of MODALISSA.BLOGSPOT http://modalissa.blogspot.com/ wrote the article and got some designers on board to see how they'd make their version. 
I've gone to quite a few of the designer's blogs and I'm seeing that not all of them are doing their quilt scrappy.   I've made quite a few scrappy quilts recently so I'm going to change it up and make mine a planned color.....

        I'm thinking that I'd like to use this black, tan & red colorway.  I've been doing a lot of pastel, floral bright quilts of late and I want to do something a little more organized and dark.
                       Each block in the quilt is 15-1/2 inches and as you can see in this picture from the magazine, you can use up quite a bit of your stash making each block different.
I won't be starting this until after New Years Day since I want to finish up my Bonnie Hunter mystery and a couple other projects.

2013 Celtic Solstice Mystery

     YAY.....I'm all caught up with my Bonnie Hunter Mystery units. 
     Part 3 was pinwheels and half square triangles which were super cute, and Part 3 was orange and green 4 patch units and they were fairly quick and easy to do. 

This picture is all 4 steps pictured together.
I'm hoping Bonnie will use more of the blue and neutral colors.  I'm not a real orange person so I'm looking forward to using more blue than orange  :)

And here is a question.  Do you square up your 4 patch units?  I do because I want mine to be very precise so this picture is what I had from 100 4 patch units.

Has anyone guessed what the quilt might look like?
I have no idea what to expect and I think I want to keep it that way.

Here's a link to Bonnie's Monday Link Up so you can check out other's updates:


Thursday, December 19, 2013


I'm finally finished with Part 2 of the Bonnie Hunter mystery.  I don't know why I'm moving so slow but as I'm told....it's not a race, just git er done when you can. 

I did start Part 3 but I need to trim my HST's down to size so that picture will have to wait for next Monday. 

I saw on Bonnie's blog just now that since it's a holiday week she's saved an easy step for us....
lets wait and see what Bonnie considers "easy"  LOL

So....how are you doing on this mystery?  Any ideas on what this quilt will look like?   I haven't a clue, which is perfect because it is a mystery after all.......

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What's in the Hoop?

Are you the kind of person that has to be doing something while you watch TV at night? 
I'm the kind of person that either has embroidery or quilt binding. 
Lately I've had the urge to start another Crabapple Hill project that I have traced but not started....only problem is I have at least 2 other embroidery projects that I've started.  One is Hocuspocusville and the other is "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Helen Stubbings of hugs n kisses fame.

I pressed the pieces that I'd finished and put them up on my design wall, which made it easy for me to pull the unfinished blocks out and get to work on them. 

Here's the block I'm working on right now and the others that are done.......
It's not easy to see these blocks but trust me, they're really cute!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Celtic Solstice Part 2

     As I write this post I am realizing that I am not moving as fast on this year's mystery as I did last year but I'm fine with that because "I have to be"  :)    I know everyone is saying the same thing.....missing that extra week between Thanksgiving and the beginning of December has everyone thrown off.  I tend to take that extra week and prep for holiday shopping, list making, starting my candy making etc. but this year we are into the start of week 2 and I'm just now doing those things......

     Anyhow....I did finish Part 1 of the mystery but not in time to post over at Bonnie's blog so I'm including Part 1 that is finished and Part 2 in it's state that I found it when I came home from work today.  I kind of thought that the "mystery fairies" might drop by to lend a hand today but that wasn't the case so I'm updating with just the cutting layout and will start working on the units tonight.

    I can honestly say that I was a little nervous getting into this color way but when I saw part 2 cut out and the fact we're doing a chevron unit....well, I realized to myself that it's going to be an interesting and fun quilt.  I can't wait to see how the finished quilt looks!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Are You Ready For This?

     Are you ready for Bonnie Hunter's 2013 mystery "Celtic Solstice"?   I am!  
I have to say that last year I was VERY reluctant to do the mystery because I wasn't sure I was up to the challenge but my BFF's were confident I could do it and even keep up with the weekly cutting and piecing of it all so I did it, and I am THRILLED that I did.  I came away with an awesome quilt that I gave to my niece for her first apartment and am happy to say, she still talks about how much her and her boyfriend love it.

     As I read Bonnie's story about her reason for naming the new mystery Celtic Solstice it made me think about my Irish heritage and the stories my mom told me about hers and my dad's trip to Ireland oh so many years ago.   I wasn't sure about the colorway when I looked at my paint chip samples but when I started to pull fabrics from my stash I knew I wanted to stick with Bonnie's colors.....all except for the neutrals.  My stash was pretty much depleted in that department but my drawer of black on white's, like last year, was full to almost overflowing.....(yeah, I got a little obsessed with getting a nice variety last year so I overshopped :)
Here's a picture of my bundle of fun for this year......
I think the quilt will be lots of fun and I'm absolutely certain I will not have any trouble finding someone to gift it to. 
I can't wait to see what Step 1 is........................
Lets get the Party started  :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


     I cannot believe Thanksgiving is here already.  I love everything about this holiday....it's the first turkey of the season and all I have to do to make everyone happy is cook!  I have to say, I do make a killer stuffing, turkey, mashies and fresh veggies.....My daughter will be making the desserts once again this year and I'm hearing we'll be having new items this year.  We're not a pumpkin pie type of family....we're actually a brownie, chocolate chip cookie, chocolate cream pie type of family so we all look forward to those sweets.

     Now, I would be remiss if I didn't mention some "thankful" things....after all, it is the big day to give thanks isn't it?

     I am thankful this year that my mother was able to come to New Jersey to celebrate with us.  At 81 and the thought of having to come from Florida into the cold, doesn't thrill her but she's a trooper and came up last week.  I'm ALWAYS thankful for my husband, 3 children, my new son in law, our puppy Luna, who has calmed down a lot this year, my brothers, sisters, sister in laws, brother in law and their families, a few "special" BFF's who I hope know how much I care about them, and all my extended friends from work, quilting groups and internet friends that I "talk" to but have never met face to face. 

     I wish each and every one of you the happiest of holidays!  


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Block of the Month Update

     Today I did a little catch up on two Block of the Month's I'm involved in. 

     First I worked on my "A Christmas Sampler" by Susan Marth.  I'm doing this thru Daisy Cottage Quilting and when I realized that the 4th block would be here any day I jumped into action and got #2 and #3 made. 
There was a lot of tracing to this but the blocks really are so cute......I have to do the hand sewing on the letters and attach red buttons to the holly but I have time.  I'm not rushing to get this one done this year, especially since when I just looked at the pattern, there's probably about 9 more units to make so I'll set my sights on finishing it for 2014!
With that done, I assembled Block # 6 "Sparklers" of my 2013 Designer Mystery BOM.  It was designed by Kate Spain and it went together so quick and easy.  
Now..............what to do tonight?????


Warm Winter Blessings

     This has been a work in progress for the last 9 months.  Lisa Bonegan of "Primitive Gatherings" offered this snowman wall hanging as a block of the month that she designed and we even used fabric that she designed for it. 

     I surprised myself by keeping up with the snowman blocks each month....In the past I'd sign up for a block of the month and then I'd drop the ball on it.  MAYBE, just MAYBE my plan to only do 1 or 2 a year helped me stay focused?  MAYBE doing this with one of my BFF's Michelle and not wanting to fall behind her kept me focused?  or lastly, MAYBE the fact that I LOVED the project and didn't impulse jump into signing up?   Whatever the reason, I'm happy that I kept up and it's now coming to an end. 

     Here's the 8 blocks I had finished as of Sunday night
and even had the sashing and cornerstones attached.
I did get the last snowman fused early this week and I'm almost done with him.

     I'm hoping to have this one finished and out to Michelle for quilting over the next week but depending on her schedule (with the holidays etc) we'll see if it's up on my wall this winter or next.  However it works out, I'm THRILLED to have it almost done and not a project just sitting in a bin waiting to be worked on like SOOOOOOO many others.


Saturday Update

     I've come to my blog more times than I can count since Veterans Day thinking I would update it and then laziness just set in realizing that before I can update it I have to take some pictures of finished projects and then think of something witty to say.....so I shut down and just do other things.
Today though, I wanted to check out some sidebar favorites and decided that the blog looked tired so I took a few pictures.....not enough to do a huge post but enough to start today with a little story.

     So, last time we talked I was working on my Round & Round blocks.  I'd gotten them to the point where I had 6 of the 9 rows connected to make up each block.  YES, each block is 9 rows!!!
I then set them aside to prep some wool/fabric snowman blocks but then mid week I decided to get back to these round and round blocks.  Here's what I got done
 The last long row of 2 blocks is ready to attach to these 2 units and since it doesn't call for any time of border it will be done and ready for quilting.  There's a group of girls on Instagram that share their pictures and I love each and every one.  I can't say for sure but I think I'm the only one that only used 1 color.  Most of the girls used a variety, which made for a gorgeous quilt...I just wanted a red and white top at the time so that's what I did.

There's also another Instagram/Internet program that's going to be starting up that I KNOW a lot of girls are going to start following and working on.....It's in the new American Patchwork & Quilting magazine that will be on newsstands next week I think, and supposedly in our mailboxes this week.....  http://www.camilleroskelley.typepad.com/    If you check out Camille Roskelley's blog you'll see what the whole deal is about, but this is what the quilt will look like
I've checked it out and it's very scrappy.....I'm thinking it will be a new years project for me  :)

I also finished my 3rd "SWOON" block on Thursday. 
These are biggies so I'm doing 1 a month till I decide I have enough.  Right now I have 9 cut out to assemble.  I think I might need 12 since I am not really a fan of square quilts but time will tell......
And yes, if you're thinking I'm a Camille Roskelly fan, you'd be correct.  All 3 of the projects I wrote about today are hers or something she inspired.......




Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veteran's Day

     In honor of all veterans past and present, we salute you on this Veteran's Day.  It's because of you that we have the freedom's that we do. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Round & Round

     I'm back with an update on my Thursday sewing.

     Last week I pulled the pattern "Round & Round" out when I saw some girls on Instagram talking about doing a round & round along...  I'd been wanting to make this quilt top since I saw the pattern so it was a perfect time to collect up some fabrics and get to work on it. 

     A lot of the girls are using a variety of prints but I thought I'd make mine in all reds and use a white with a pindot from the "Redwork Rendevous" fabric line as the background.
Some girls are doing just 1 block and using it as a table topper of sorts...after all, each block finishes up to 23 inches!!! I'm doing the entire top!

Here is my first block and my 192 half square triangles that I need to trim down to do the other 6 blocks.

I better get a fresh rotary blade into the cutter and get to trimming don't you think?

Thursday Things

     Well, it's no school for me today  :)    Teacher's convention here in New Jersey so we are off today and tomorrow, which affords me 2 extra days for sleeping in, sewing etc.    I LOVE IT!
We did not have the convention last year due to Hurricane Sandy so I am thankful for no hurricane but 2 days off!

     I absolutely love this time of year regardless of the icky, rain we have here today.  I love the change of seasons because I love all the colorful leaves etc. that you get to see here on the east coast.
I've often thought that I could do without the change of seasons but I am convinced I need them.

     This has not been the most productive week in the sewing room but I can say, one project, my "Jamestown Landing" quilt, that's been like an OLD friend, has finally been completed and I found the perfect backing fabric for it in my stash!  AND, it's an extra wide backing so there was very little I had to do to prepare it to send for quilting.
I love when the planets align like that.
Now, to contact the quilter and see when I can send it to her.

        Here's the quilt folded with the backing on top.  I think it will look perfect quilted in a tan thread and bound in a blue!

     I've started a new project too this week.  It's  called "Round & Round". 
I did 1 block on Sunday so today I'm going to spend some time and get the remaining half square triangles made for the other 6 blocks.  I'll show some pictures after I make a little progress.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Jamestown Landing Done

     Yes, it is done.  It only took me 3 years working on and off, but my "Jamestown Landing" quilt is finished.  I always loved it and didn't mind working on it but once the center was done I found that I just didn't want to work on it any more........but, I'm thrilled to death that I was challenged by both my BFF's and Jo. 

     Here is a picture of two corners where the borders meet


And let me tell you....there is a LOT of fabric in this top....here's me trying to push the borders thru the machine.....

 And here's what Bonnie's quilt looks like.  I don't have a single flat surface that I can lay mine out on to take a picture of it.

Now I need to look thru my bin of backing fabrics and see if I have the "perfect" backing fabric.....


"Jamestown" Update

     Since Jo posted her challenge to finish an old Bonnie Hunter project BEFORE the new mystery starts, I've only had 2 days to work on my Jamestown quilt before hubby and I left for 5 days of vacation so I didn't get a lot done but I'm thrilled with what I did get done. 
This will finish to be 84 X 96 so I have a lot of piano key strips to connect....
I will say that I DID strip piece the units so that made the strips faster to do.  Since this quilt is on my Big 3 list as well this month I'm once and for all decided it's time to git er done!


How true is that?
Like last night (Friday).  I was thankful for a safe flight home from Florida and able to sleep in my own bed  :)   


Sunday, October 27, 2013

We're on Vacation

     Yes, when we came in from work on Friday we each had the same comment "We're on Vacation!".  

     Hubby and I weren't sure we were going to do a vacation this year since we'd had the wedding back in April and then made the decision we wanted to redo our kitchen in January but all of a sudden one afternoon sitting at the kitchen table Sarah asked "Big Popi" if we were doing anything since she had a week's vacation left from work , so the conversations started...... 
The final decision was made and these guys won out.....

     It's been a few years since we've been to Disney and with the new Harry Potter rides available and other great rides to experience, it was an easy decision to make.   We're hoping that we've picked an "off" time at the park but just in case, we signed up for the
Magic Bands.  We've reserved some meals and rides with them with the hopes that if it's not an "off" time that we'll at least get on our favorite rides quickly and easily  :)    We'll be gone Monday-Friday, which will be just enough time away to relax and regroup.

I hope you all have a great week....


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jo's Bonnie Challenge

     I've quickly become a Bonnie Hunter fan thanks to my BFF's who'd been fans forever.  I did last year's mystery and now I'm going to participate in the Celtic Solstice.   Well, Jo, at Jo's Country Junction http://www.joscountryjunction.com/bonnie-challenge-2013/ is having a challenge.  Finish up an old Bonnie project before you start the new mystery.  Do I have one?   You betcha!!!
I started her "Jamestown Landing" before it was even in her book.  I'd gotten the pattern from an Australian magazine. 
I have the entire center done...It needs a skinny border and then a piano key border.
Scrap bin here I come!!!!

I'll take a picture later of how far I've gotten and post that.

Challenge on!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Are you jumping on the Bonnie Bandwagon?

     I know I don't "need" to add another project to my already large list of things to do but seriously, it's a Bonnie Hunter Mystery!   I'm not a veteran of the Bonnie mysteries, I've actually only done last year's "Easy Street", but I think that piqued my interest and hooked me right away. This year it's being called "Celtic Solstice"
So, while I prepared dinner last night I pulled blues, yellows and oranges from my downstairs sewing room and tonight while the spaghetti water was boiling I pulled more blues and oranges.  My only substitution to Bonnie's colorway is the black on white I'm using instead of the tan/neutrals.
So, without further ado, here are my picks:

My goal again this year is to only pull from my stash.  Last year I only bought the black on whites and I guess I overdid it just a teeny bit  :)  I may find more prints between now and the day after Thanksgiving when we start cutting, but for now I think I have a great start to the project.
I'm going to go to Bonnie's site now and upload her "Paddy" picture for my sidebar!
Are you jumping on Bonnie's bandwagon????

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Yes, I'm Back

    2 Posts in 1 weekend?  Shocking I know!

    This afternoon I assembled my SWOON # 2 block.  I am really loving working with the large blocks!  I had this one all laid out on my design wall so all I had to do was turn around and grab the block parts.  I wasn't tired nor was I distracted but suffice it to say, my seam ripper got a workout today.  I don't know why, but the top left unit was ripped out at least 3 times (ugh).  I finally got it all done and pressed but by then it was almost time to start dinner so I had to stop.

Also, here is a picture of some flannel yardage I found on Friday at my local quilt shop "Quilting Possibilities" in Forked River, NJ.   The fabric is a Bonnie and Camille flannel and was in the "Sale Room" for $5.99 a yard.  To me I think that's a steal!   There was 6-3/4 yards on the bolt so I bought it all.  So, Debbie the owner has a program at the shop where you can put your name in a bucket if you don't take your purchase in a bag.  She's been doing this for years and almost every time I go in I put my name in but never win.  Well, surprise, surprise, last week I came home and found I'd won! 
So, my 6-3/4 yards of flannel minus the $20 I won in the bag program cost me $23.00.  That's a win /win in my book..........................AND, here's a fun story.  As I came out of the sale room a woman walked past me and said "Oh Peggy, I enjoy reading your blog".  I stopped short and looked at the woman (yes, I'm sorry, I can't remember your first name) and had to ask her how she knew me....
She said she recognized me from my blog!!!   I find it amazing when people can put a name with a blog! 

I saw her again as I was leaving with my flannel.  She was standing by Debbie's longarm machine watching her husband as he quilted a wedding quilt for her.  What fun to see her gorgeous quilt on the machine and also to see a man behind it!!!   

     And last but not least, there was some "mail call" this week. 

Back when Lori Holt did the row by row that's on the cover of her book I did a few rows then lost interest when one of my friends died.  Her and I were doing the rows together so I just didn't want to finish without her.  Over the summer I decided that I'd finish the rows "for Laura".  Now, where did those pattern instructions go?  Hmmm...  Aw heck, just order the book.  So I did and it came this week.   I also fell in love with The Blue and the Grey cover quilt so I ordered that one too.....
NOW, where's the time to do all these projects?   :)

Hope you have a good week!!!