Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Visit With Kelly, Michael and Ben

        Have I ever mentioned NOT being a morning person? me when I tell you, I'm not!  I think I take after my mother!    I'll have to tell you about her some day soon!  
Anyhow, my niece Shannon had 5 free tickets to the filming of the Kelly & Michael show in NYC yesterday so she invited my 2 daughters, my sister and me.  We were pretty excited to have something fun to do for the day so made a plan to go in....  Did I mention you have be be outside the studio at 7:15 am?    REALLY?   I live in New Jersey, at the shore!   That's a little bit of a hike.....
So, I was up at 3am and on the road at 4am with my sister and niece to meet up with my 2 daughters in Bayonne.  My oldest daughter Jennifer just moved there with her husband and Sarah was up overnight after having spent Monday in NYC taking a baking class at the culinary institute making macarons!    Anyhow....  We took the Light Rail from Bayonne into Hoboken/Jersey City and got to see NYC waking up  :)    Have you ever seen a city wake up this color?    I swear.....the sky was absolutely gorgeous at 5:30 in the morning.....

     We then had to take another train into the city, change over to a subway, walk up and down innumerable stair cases, dodge taxicabs and crazy drivers but we made it on time.....and then you stand and wait  :)    They do have a Chock Ful Of Nuts coffee truck out front and you can have coffee, hot chocolate, hot sandwiches etc, courtesy of the show, but that would mean taking off my gloves, and it was not happening in 22 degrees......

Here is Shannon (my niece), my youngest, Sarah and my oldest, Jennifer, standing outside the studio as we got there.  Notice the smiles?  Yeah, we were all smiling before we stood for 90 minutes or so out in the cold  :)

      So, they let you into the studio 10 minutes before the show starts and quickly get to instructions etc.    We had upper level seats so it was hard to see the guests but there are lots of tv screens for you to follow the show on.    We saw Chandra Wilson from Grey's Anatomy, Roma Downey from Touched by an Angel and the new movie coming out Friday "Son of God" .  In between give aways etc, the hour went fast.  When it was all over they asked if we'd like to stay and watch some Oscar filming for Friday's show......  So, while they changed the stage over to look like the Oscar stage, we took a few pictures of the set and relaxed....

 I was pleasantly surprised to get such a nice shot of myself and the girls......but I do wish the lighting was better in the studio to get a nicer one of us but I'll take what I can  :)

THEN....Ben came out!  Yes, we got to see Ben Affleck, listen to what he's been up to...a couple other guests, a makeover, and some Oscar party suggestions and clips from other Oscar shows...

We had a lot of fun!
We were STARVING at that point so we took a few more subway rides, a little bit of walking, and then down to The Iron Grill for lunch.
The food was great, lots of chatting among us girls and then another 13 block walk to the train to head home.   

I guess about 5PM I walked in the door and was EXHAUSTED!!!    

I was useless the rest of the night but we had fun and if asked, I'd do it again....but not too soon, because as I mentioned "I'm not a morning person!"


Monday, February 24, 2014

I used to be.....

           I used to be one of those "toss those little cut off geese triangles" type of gal....then recently I came across a really cute quilt on someone's blog, made up of just random HST's from leftover projects.  I guess that was an AH HA moment for me so as I assemble my "Swoon" blocks, Bee blocks, my "Designer Mystery" blocks etc. I throw the hst's in a small basket until I have enough to make a 9 patch type of block.

            On Friday I took the basket and started pressing and trimming and then this afternoon I did some assembly....

             There is a variety of on white, white on white and even some tan dots on white.

      I laid out what I have pressed so far but there is still a good size pile waiting for assembly later this week.

       I don't always have 9 of the same hst's left over....most times I have 8 but occasionally I do have 10 so I will have to make a couple hst's later on as I get further into this project.

       Do you save your triangles??  


Sunday, February 23, 2014


  For my husband's birthday I bought him tickets to see "Beautiful" on Broadway.  I find as we get older that we like to go out and do things to celebrate the day instead of your traditional sweater, book, CD etc.  Al has always loved the theatre so when I saw "Beautiful" was the story of Carole King's early days, and him being a big fan of hers since forever, I bought the tickets.
We tend to go in early, have lunch, walk around and then see the show.  We like to be out of NY before the partying and busier time starts and yesterday was no exception.

     When we got to NY the sun was out and it was about 45- 50 degrees and the masses were enjoying the day! 

     We had lunch down in Time's Square at a place called " The Brooklyn Diner".  First look inside, it appeared to just be a little coffee shop but after being seated and looking around, it was a true old diner that was probably there back in the day and the rest of the buildings went up around it.  The food was delicious !!!

     After eating we had some time to wander so we went up by Radio City Music Hall and found "Magnolia Bakery" .  We watched people going in and out and everyone coming out with small shopping bags with baked goods so thinking cupcakes for the family for later on sounded like a good idea so in we went.    The girls inside were quick to help me load up, pay for my goodies and then out we went...

     Yes, I carried them around while we did some sightseeing and enjoying the weather and then off we went to see our show.

    I LOVE the old buildings near and around the theaters and could spend all day looking at them....and wishing I could get inside some of the brownstones and peek around.  I'm sure they're gorgeous!

     "Beautiful" did NOT disappoint.  To sit back and listen to all of the music that Carole King created for others was surprising to say the least.  She wrote music for so many singers and groups that were number one hits way before she herself became popular!!!  To hear about the struggles as a newlywed at 17 and pregnant, her husband's mental illness and just all the issues with life gives a whole new perspective on her past.

     I spoke to a former co-worker last night who was also in the city seeing "Rocky", and she was asking how I liked the show....and would I see it again?   The answer is ABSOLUTELY!  I'm actually going to meet up with her later in the week for lunch and we may just discuss doing just that!!!  
     We have tickets for April that our son gave us for Christmas to see "Aladdin".  I'm anxious to see how that is.......   Do you have a favorite Broadway show?   I have a few and for different reasons....but that's a post for another day.

     Hope you New Jersey people are enjoying our 55 degree sunny day out there!!!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Still Swooning"

     I've been doing one block a month of these "Swoon" blocks for the last 5 months and as I do them they get easier and easier and I love the next one more than the one before.

     Unless you've been living under a rock, you should recognize this block as one of Camille Roskelly's "Swoon" blocks and the fabric I'm using for mine is also her "Marmalade" line.

I've been thinking all day that I should just make up the last four this week and get it finished off so I can start something else....  

Here's a picture of all 5 of my blocks up on my design wall.....

I'm always surprised at the actual size of the block after it's all sewn's 24.5 X 24.5.  
No wonder you only need 9 for an 80 X 80 quilt!!!

This will be my 2nd full size quilt by Camille this year.  I recently did Round & Round and just got it back from my quilter on Friday so once I get the binding on it, I'll post a picture of that quilt.

Simply Small Sewing

      When life hands you 2 "candy packs" and 1 yard of "Daydream" fabric by Kate Spain you know it's going to end up being cute!
     The colors in this fabric are just so vibrant and pretty!  

     So, as is my usual routine, I'm checking blogs over tea and I read Sherri McConnell's "A Quilting Life   and she's doing a "Simply Small Sew Along" with a monthly parade of different patterns.  I didn't notice it last month but this month the pattern, written by her and available on Craftsy caught my eye big time!    And, coincidentally, Sherri used the same fabric I had out and looking to use!

It's not a hard pattern but I have to admit.....1-1/2 inch squares for the corners of all the prints were trying on my patience!  1-1/2 inch is just too small for me to work with!  Anyhow, I assembled it in 1 afternoon, did a simple wavy quilting on it (which is a favorite of mine right now on small projects) and got the binding on in about an hour while watching NCIS last night.

Here's a picture of the lithe wavy quilting I did before I put the binding on.   

If you're interested, it's not too late to go over to Sherri's blog and you too can make your own topper and join Sherri's parade at the end of the month.


Monday, February 17, 2014

President's Weekend

Although feeling a little like I had a few too many irons in the fire,  I kept moving 9 pinwheel blocks from one spot in my room to another.  One morning I had 8 and drove myself crazy looking for #9....only to find it under the cutting table.    Saturday afternoon I decided it was time to either do something with them or just bag em up and put them back in the UFO bin....but since the thoughts of adding another bag to the bin, I decided to just set aside my project, connect the blocks and get it done.
So, that's exactly what I did.

Here's a short tale of where these blocks came from....  Almost a year ago I took a 2 day workshop with the designer Pat Speth.  Day one was a project that I really liked and worked hard on getting that quilt done even after the workshop was over.  Day 2 however was a little different.  Even though my patriotic color way was what I wanted to work on, making the project just didn't appeal to me.  I made 1 full block and 9 of the center pinwheels.  Then it was time to clean up and take the almost 3 hour drive home....  I NEVER once pulled the project back out until this month when I needed red white and blue fabrics for another project.     So, here's the topper on my kitchen table last night in front of one of my favorite wall quilts.    This morning I took another picture of it on my counter with my favorite candle holder!!!                          I've got quite a repertoire of patriotic going on this "President's Weekend".   I never think I have a lot until I start looking around and I see "Uncle Sam" quilts and all the red white & blue stars!!!      I'm thinking I'll take that one lone star block and make a candle mat or something with it  :)

       Happy President's Weekend Everyone!!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


     Do you do the "Schnibbles Parade"?   I just started and am hooked!  I didn't think I'd enjoy these smaller quilts, but I'm finding that I really do have use for smaller ones, especially if I pick the right kind of fabric!

     This month the pattern is our choice....and although I could use my "Morning Joe" as this month's entry, I decided to  start another one of Miss Rosie's patterns called "Bungalow".  My printer didn't do the pattern picture much justice so when I started cutting I said to myself "self, this is starting to look like log cabin cutting" so lo and behold, I was right!

     I had a charm pack which I thought was enough, which it wasn't, so I had to cut into a layer cake that I had set aside for another project, but it's ok, I think I'll be fine.....

    I used an old Moda fabric called "Hoopla" which is probably a couple of years old and a white on white for the background fabric.  All in all the quilt is super cute and going to be perfect for a little girl.....

   I'm not sure yet how I'll quilt it but since it's only 43 inches square, I think I'll do it myself.  I have plenty of  the pretty pinkish/red floral fabric that I used in the 5 centers to use for the backing and there is a tiny purple and while bud fabric in there that I can use as binding so it's just a matter of getting it sandwiched now and get to quilting.....



     Sometimes you just have to say your trouble out loud, sing a Frank Sinatra song, and walk away!
Which is just what I did....
     A Blogger friend said "check your profile", which I SWEAR I did...I truly did.  But this time I took a shot of tequila (NOT), breathed in and out and looked.  YUP, I hadn't clicked 1 box!!!
Sent my angel of mercy a message on her blog, to which she responded "YES, it's fixed"  then 2 more comments in a row :)
     Whew !   I'm leaving the blog alone...


Yes, "UGH"......  I thought I'd be "cooperative and nice".  I'd attempt to help get the comments on my blog fixed from No Reply.  I was getting comments...I really was.  A couple of bloggers kept telling me I was no reply.   Well, thanks to trying to fix it, i'm not getting any comments now!!!!
It's not that I get a lot for heaven's sake but i was getting SOME!

So, I've attempted to go back to the original settings.....  I've done some "test" comments to myself, and they're coming across..... If you're reading this, will you please just send a message?

NOW, I hope this helps with when I leave a comment........will you be able to reach me now?


From now on I will not be running things my way!
(cue Frank Sinatra here LOL)

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Warm Winter Blessings"

     I actually finished my "Warm Winter Blessings" quilt back before Christmas but with the holidays and everything else that was going on, I never got it quilted.....but I did rectify the situation right after New Years!

     I did not even know it was on it's way back to me until I walked out the front door on Friday and there it was..... Have mercy!!!!  

     I didn't know how to have it quilted....did the girl go over the wool?  Did I get it done with just a meander?   I didn't know!   So, I left it for the "professional" and was thrilled with how it turned out.
She did go over the wool, which looks kinda cool....and I asked her to do something "wintery...snowflakes?".  
 It's REALLY hard to get a picture of both the quilt and the quilting!  I hang a quilt in the front hallway on the left as you walk in the front door so I can't stand directly across from it, so I have to step inside the "little girls room" and snap away  :)

The quilter has a snowflake pattern that she used, which turned out awesome!!!

As you can see from this picture below, Luna was standing there wondering what the heck I was doing on the stepstool!

Here's as close up as I could get of one of the snowmen.....  I picked this block to celebrate "Valentine's Day"  LOL

I am very happy I was able to bind this Friday night while watching the Olympics Opening Ceremonies and then finished it off last night watching the Beatles show.....which I thought was wonderful!!!

Now, off to start cutting for the next Schnibbles Parade!!!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

2013 Designer Mystery BOM- Block 8

     I'm back with an update on this 2013 Designer Mystery Block of the Month.  I received block # 8 kit in the mail at the end of January so I put this block as one of my Big 3 projects to do this month.

     The block is called "Heartfelt Home" and was designed by Polly Minick & Laurie Simpson of Minick & Simpson fame!   As with the others, the fabric is Fig Tree.

      I was wondering if hubby would consider letting me have a red and white polka dot strip on my house?
I think not but heck, one can always ask!

Part of my Big 3 this month includes not only making this block, I challenged myself to get the finishing kit cut and assemble the rows of the quilt as far as I could until block 9 gets here....which should be soon because they always ship on the 10th of the month!!!!
Here's a look at the 8 blocks up on my design wall waiting for me to get the cutting done.....

So, is everyone ready for the Olympics opening ceremonies tomorrow night?


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blogger Girl BOM

     I was NOT going to do this BOM but I said what the once my "Grant Park" fabric came I got right to cutting.    If you want to check this one out here's the link to the blogger that's hostessing

     The first 2 blocks, the modified churn dash blocks, were easy and went together fast.  I expected the next 2 to go fast as well, and they did for the most part.  The designer calls for using a special ruler, which I happened to have only because it came with a pattern I had or
red a few years ago.

     You make the geese unit a little larger than needed and trim it down with the special ruler.  The block did assemble quite nicely.
     I'm thinking that with the blocks only being 6.5 inches and we're only making 13, I'll probably make a table topper....
     Here's my January and February blocks


Fat Quarter Shop "Wishes" Quilt Along

This is month 2 of the Fat Quarter Shop Sew Along and I'm not doing's only the 12th and I'm done!

February's block is called "Double Windmill" and it looked like it was going to be "interesting" to assemble but in reality, it was fairly easy!
The blocks are 14-1/2 inches so I'll have a good size sampler top at the end of 2014!

Fat Quarter Shop is using "Wishes Collection by Sweetwater" but I didn't want to buy anything new when I had some bundles  :)
My fabric bundle is called "Feel the Difference by"

I don't have the paperwork in front of me but I'm thinking that there is a donation page on the Jolly Jabber for donating to the Make a Wish foundation!

Here's a not so good picture of January & February's blocks....

Monday, February 3, 2014

"Schnibbles Parade" and Yes, another finish.

     I'd totally forgotten the date and almost missed the "Schnibbles Parade".....and then the light went on and I had one of those "oopsie" moments and quickly sent Sinta my "Jersey Girl" quilt.
I've never been part of this parade but my guardian angel JoAnn hooked me up with Sinta from Pink Pincushion Blog and Sherri from .
You HAVE to go check out the quilts....There was such a big variety of fabric and color choices.
     This is my version....which may look a tad different than the others.  I changed the location of my neutral square from the center to the top right :)

     I also have an update on my "Goodnight Irene" sew along blocks.  I decided yesterday afternoon that I'd make all the blocks and just get that project bin off the shelf and move onto something while the world was watching the Superbowl, I cut and sewed.  I continued this afternoon after doing a few things around the house and's my finished quilt top!
All Fig Tree scraps with Kona Snow.

The quilt measures 57 in. square.....

Time to clean up for the night and think about my next project tomorrow.



Sunday, February 2, 2014

"Goodnight Irene Sew Along Progress"

     You may remember back on January 7th I posted a picture of my first 5 Goodnight Irene blocks.
I had at the time decided to use a grey on grey for the background.  So many people are using grey so I thought "what the heck".  The blocks turned out nice but I was on the fence about them.  Every time I saw someone else's blocks I wanted to pitch mine in the trash.....Well, guess what?  I did just that yesterday.  It was time to make my February blocks so I put the grey ones up on the design wall and at that moment I KNEW it was time to start over before I got too far into this sew along....

     I pulled a Kona cream from my stash and proceeded to start cutting 4-1/2 inch white squares and attaching the corner units to make the "X".

     Once I got them done I made some more
of the 12 patch units and here below is what I have now......

     Some girls made their entire tops already and are starting the quilting process.  I haven't even decided how big I want to make this quilt yet.
I actually have enough units to make the quilt 6 x 8
so I might go with that size.....

     I was actually thinking I'd follow the name and do it as a monthly "sew along"......who knows now LOL.

If you'd like to see what the other girls are doing you can go over to Terry's Treasures and she has a linky on her sidebar linking all the girls blogs that are doing the sew along.

Oh and BTW, my fabrics are all different Fig Tree lines that I've been saving over the years.  I have some really old scraps and then I have their new line scraps thrown into the mix.

I really love all the fig tree fabrics and can't wait to see how this quilt turns out.

Hope everyone enjoys the Super Bowl.....