Friday, February 28, 2014

February Scrappy Challenge

I love the block this month for the Scrappy Challenge 2014 at Patchwork Times. I made a total of 13 blocks, and I’ll have several projects to show for it. First, I made my potholder for the month:

I love the carrot fabric. The carrots are also on the back. I have enough carrot fabric to make at least one more of these, so I probably will. My husband really likes it and wants one for our kitchen (go figure!). I also have some similar cherry fabric which would make a cute potholder too. I’ll see when I have some time to do it!

I also used this block to do some fussy cutting and use up some snowman fabric I got from my mother-in-law when she gave me all of her fabric last year. I put four blocks into a wall hanging. I’ve completed the top:

I also have eight more snowman blocks left over. I was also going to put them into two more wall hangings, but I think I’ve talked myself into making a few potholders and probably some mini quilts. I still may end up making another wall hanging, but I’ll wait on that until later in the spring. I really want to get them done by the summer so I’m not panicking at the last minute in November trying to get Christmas gifts done!

Here are the remaining blocks:

Like I said, I love this block so I think I will revisit it many times. Thanks so much to Judy at Patchwork Times for hosting this Scrappy Challenge. Head on over to the Linky Party to see what everyone else has done with this block.

Mug Rugs

I finished the mug rugs! This afternoon I was able to quilt and bind them. I just brought the backing around to the front for the binding. They turned out pretty good, though I think maybe a bit small…they are 5x9 inches. I think 6x10 inches or 6x9 inches might be a better size.

I think this will go on my list for Christmas gifts this year.

Have a great weekend!

February NewFOs

My “official” NewFO for February is a family tree wall hanging for my husband’s side of the family. It’s a kit I’ve had for over six years (I have two kits, actually) and never even opened it. I was going to do one for my mom and one for me, but right after I got them my mother became ill and passed away and I just couldn’t do it. But, now is the time. So, one for hubby’s family and one for mine. This is the tree part:

The green blurs are covered birth dates.

And this is the tree plus the other fabrics I will use in it:

I wrote all the names on the nameplates and fused them to the tree. The backing fabric is on the left top, the border fabric is the stripe on the bottom left, and the binding fabric is on the bottom right. Writing and fusing the names is as far as I got this month. I really want to get it done in the next couple of months. I’ve taken everything off the walls in the hallway and plan to repaint in there as soon as it warms up, and I’d like to hang this one up when it’s repainted. We’ll see if I can get it done this spring.

Yesterday I also started a quickie project. I cut and pieced some mug rugs. I also sat down and sketched out some more mug rugs for various holidays. Here are the ones I pieced yesterday:

I will trim up the batting and try to get these quilted and bound today or this weekend. It shouldn’t take very long at all. It took me about 10 minutes to cut and piece them.

I’ll be linking up at Cat Patches…stop by and check out all the NewFOs for February.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes 2014 – February

Well, I didn’t quite make my goal for this month. I’m #6 at the February goal Linky Party. My goal was to complete the top, including borders, for this pattern:

I’ve had the paper pieced parts for the backs of the cats done for a couple of years, and that’s where it has stood since. I did get a lot accomplished on this quilt this month, and I’m so pleased that I’ve come as far as I have on it. There is a combination of hand appliqué and machine piecing in the top, so I wasn’t able to just sit down at the machine and zip it through. But, I’ve gotten all the cat blocks done and sashed. I’ve appliquéd five (of twenty) tails on, and I still need to paper piece and attach the borders…a goal for another month. I just don’t think I’ll be able to get it all done in the rest of this week J.

I’ve switched up the pattern a little. I didn’t really like the upside-down cats, so I have my cats sitting in windows. Here’s what it looks like so far:

I’ll be linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes 2014 February Finishes Linky Party. Stop by to see what others have been working on.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Design Wall Monday & Goals for the Week of February 24, 2014

All that’s been on my design wall this week has been my Sawtooth Cats quilt blocks…and now blocks with sashing!

This week is all about cats. I want to get all the tails appliquéd onto the Sawtooth Cats quilt top. Once that is done I’ll need to paper piece the borders, then attach them. This is my goal for February for A Lovely Year of Finishes 2014, and I don’t think I’m going to get it done L . I’ll probably have to set it as my goal for March, too.

But the good news is that this quilt top has been sitting around with the paper piecing for the blocks done for about two years, and now I’m actually getting it finished. I am really excited about completing it, which is good news. I tend to get bored with some quilts…they sometimes lose my attention and I want to work on something else. But, I haven’t run into that problem this time around with it.

The weather is due to turn cold again this week and next (more snow!), so it will be a good week to sit with the quilt top in my lap (and a cat, I’m sure) and get the appliqué done. If I get bored with the appliqué, I can spend some time downstairs working on the paper pieced border. I think the border itself is going to be quite a bit of work. Maybe if I work like crazy I could finish it by midnight Friday and reach my goal!

Other than that, I’m not planning on working on anything else quilt-wise this week. Today I’ll be doing some laundry and housework and Tuesday will be spent with errands in the morning and a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. So I’ll need to really focus to get it done in the time I have available this week. I’ll be linking up at Patchwork Times…stop by and check out what others are working on this week.

I hope you are all staying warm…spring is on its way…I think!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stash Report Week 8 of 2014

This week I only finished up a potholder, so not much out. Fortunately, nothing came in either…and it’s not for a lack of trying! The thrift stores just didn’t have anything fabric-y this week.

I’m still on the negative side, but I am hoping to get out of the hole soon. Probably not this month though!

Used year to date:    16.0 yards
Used this week:         .25 yards
Added year to date:  18.75 yards
Added this week:       0 yards
Total net used 2014: 2.50 yards
(green means I’ve bought more than I’ve used)

I’ll be linking up with the Stash Report over at Patchwork Times.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Week in Review

This week I didn’t get anything more done on the Snowman blocks. I have the wall hanging top done, plus eight more blocks. I may make them into small 11x11 inch mini quilts. Or I may make them into more wall hangings. That’s why I haven’t done more…I can’t figure out what to do with them. I will probably not do any more work on them until next month. I was able to finish my carrot potholder. These blocks were for the Scrappy Challenge 2014 at Patchwork Times.

I did get all the blocks pieced for the Sawtooth Cats quilt.

Since I took the above photo I have put the sashing on the top two rows and have them put together. I’ve appliquéd the tail for the top left corner cat, and that’s where it stands. I think I will go down this afternoon and get the remaining sashing put on and put all the blocks together while I watch the USA vs. Canada Olympic men’s hockey game. Then I will just need to hand appliqué the tails on, do the paper pieced border, and put it all together. Finishing this quilt top was my goal for February for A Lovely Year of Finishes 2014. I don’t think I’m going to get it done in time, but setting it as my goal has forced me to actually work on it - which is a good thing! If I don’t finish it I’ll make it my goal (again) for March’s A Lovely Year of Finishes. I want it to be done!

I was able to get some seeds started this morning for our garden. I hope it warms up soon so they can go outside!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I finished the potholder for the February Scrappy Challenge 2014 from Patchwork Times. Carrots!  The backing is the same carrot fabric you see on the front.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Design Wall Monday – February 17, 2014

I got a little bit done this week. I completed one of the snowman wall hanging tops. I like it, but I don’t know if it’s what I want to do with the others. I was thinking maybe even making small quilts out of each individual block to hang on a small table top quilt frame like this. With a border around it, it would be just under 12 inches square. I just don’t know yet.

Join in the Design Wall fun over at Patchwork Times.

And Happy Presidents’ Day!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Stash Report Week 7 - 2014

This week I received an order of 3 yards of fabric plus I stopped in at Joann’s to pick up some needles and things, so of course I grabbed some fat quarters…four to be exact. So I added four yards this week:

I thought about using the gray for something, but now I’ve changed my mind. However, I have another project I think it will work in. The fat quarters I will use for my Sawtooth Cats border.

I didn’t finish anything this week, so no fabric out. I’m officially on the negative side, but I have some projects I’m finishing up so by the end of the month I hope to get out of that hole!

Used year to date:    16.0 yards
Used this week:         0 yards
Added year to date:  14.75 yards
Added this week:       4.0 yards
Total net used 2014: 2.75 yards
(green means I’ve bought more than I’ve used - I so don't want to be in the red!)

I’ll be linking up with the Stash Report over at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


We had quite a bit of snow…actually a lot for here, nearly six inches. More than we’ve had in one storm in 20 years (before I moved here). Snow in East Tennessee can be a pretty sight, though not much fun to drive in! Hope you are all staying warm!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Getting Ready

I’m getting ready for the snow storm that is supposed to hit us today. I have to run to the dermatologist this morning, but I should be home by noon before the worst of the storm hits. I’ll then get to spend the rest of the day sewing!

I have lots of hand piecing to do on my Sawtooth Cats blocks. Yesterday I did all the machine piecing that I could on nine of the blocks. Today I’ll stitch the cat bodies to the background pieces, then I can piece the body/background to the head/legs pieces. I’ll have ten more blocks to go after that. I’m hoping I can get it done for the February 2014 A Lovely Year of Finishes.

I also finished the snowmen blocks for the Scrappy Challenge 2014 for February. I’m putting them in 2 by 2 blocks to make three wall hangings. That will be three Christmas gifts done! I may even keep one for myself, we’ll see. I still need to cut the sashing and border pieces. I will use red for both, then dark blue cornerstones. Here are the finished blocks (please pardon the grainy photo…bad camera today):

I hope everyone stays warm and safe today!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Design Wall Monday

I have a few things on my design wall this week. On the top right is the one Sawtooth Cats block that I’ve done. I need to get crackin’ on that quilt top! Below that is a block for the Scrappy Challenge 2014 February block. It has carrots on it…I’ll make that into a potholder by the end of the month. The three blocks on the left are also from the February block of the Scrappy Challenge. There are snowmen in the centers. I have nine more blocks to sew together (all the parts/pieces are done), and then I think I will make these into two wall hangings for Christmas gifts. I have sashing/border fabric ready to go, so I really just need to figure out if I want to have them 3 across and 2 down or 2 across and 3 down. They’re 9 inch finished blocks, so with the sashings and borders they would be either about 22” across by 33” long, or 33” across and 22” long. I’ll have to set them out on the design board when I get them all done and see which I prefer.

For more Design Wall fun, head over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stash Report 2014 - Week 6

Yesterday the rest of my fabric arrived for the Sawtooth Cats quilt top. My plan is to use this for the sashing and border. I'll probably bind with it too.

I didn’t finish anything this week, so no fabric out. At least I’m still in the black…barely!

Used year to date:    16.0 yards
Used this week:         0 yards
Added year to date:  10.75 yards
Added this week:       4.0 yards
Total net used 2014: 1.25 yards

I’ll be linking up with the Stash Report over at Patchwork Times.

Friday, February 7, 2014

This Week

Yesterday and today I worked on the Scrappy Challenge 2014 February block from Patchwork Times. I made some snowman blocks from some fabric from my mother-in-law. I have three blocks made and nine more to go with the units all sewn and ready to put into nine-patch blocks. I think I’ll end up making two wall hangings, three blocks wide and two blocks long, as Christmas gifts. I have sashing and binding fabric picked out. I’ll try to get the rest of the blocks sewn next week. Here are the snowman blocks on the left side of the design wall. The cat block on the right is for the Sawtooth Cats quilt (only one block done! Oh no!) and the block underneath it is the same February block for Scrappy Challenge. That block will be made into a potholder.

My project for this weekend is to start cleaning up my mom’s sewing machine. I brought it home this past summer when I visited my dad. I asked him if I could have it and he said “Get it out of here!” He wants to clear out the “clutter” around his place. Here is her Singer 201-2:

My husband replaced the frayed cord after we got home and it runs fine. It’s just a bit dirty from being in the desert and not being used for decades. My first step is to clean up the cover. It has old gold/brown contact paper on it. I’m sure my mom just wanted to cover the ugly brown of the machine cover, but the sticky residue it’s left behind is pretty nasty. Here’s the cover before I started taking off the contact paper:

I’m still working on it and I’ll try to clean it up this weekend. If I can clean it sufficiently I’ll leave it as is. If it doesn’t clean up well I’ll probably figure out something with which to cover it. I was thinking possibly using some old vintage clothing patterns and Mod Podge to decoupage it. Once I get this cleaned up, I’ll get the machine cleaned out and actually use it for piecing. We’ll see how it goes.

I hope you all have a safe and warm weekend!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I got a bit of sewing done today. I was able to make a block for February for the 2014 Scrappy Challenge at Patchwork Times, plus I cut out some more fabric for 12 more of these blocks. Hopefully I can get the rest of the fabric cut out this week and put them together. Here is the one block I finished…I’ll make this one into a potholder.

The other blocks I started cutting are from a snowman fabric. I fussy cut the snowmen for the center of this block. I plan on putting it together into a wall hanging. We’ll see how it turns out.

I also (almost) finished the first block of the Sawtooth Cats quilt.  I still have to put a face on the cat and stitch the tail down after I get the sashing put on. I’m not quite sure how I want to put the faces on the cats, so I’m just going to work on making the remaining 19 blocks. The block actually takes a bit longer than I anticipated, so I don’t know if I’ll get this top done for A Lovely Year of Finishes for February. But I’ll keep working on it and see what happens. Here’s the block I did today:

I hope you got a lot done today!


Be Prepared – Part 6

The last several weeks have helped me get my family better prepared for an emergency in our home. With the winter weather we’ve had, plus utility work on my street – cutting water and sewer several times – I’m glad I’ve focused more on stocking up on water and supplies for emergencies.

I feel pretty confident that we can handle a week without needing to get to the store. We have plenty of water and I keep the pantry better stocked now. We also have wood for a fire for warmth (and cooking if needed), plus plenty of extra bedding in case the heat/power goes out. 

It will be an ongoing process, and I just need to be more mindful this year to keep items on hand and plenty of food in the pantry. I think if I can continue it through this year, it will be more of a habit for me and I can always be better prepared for whatever happens.

What I’m Reading This Month

This week I finished a Carolyn Haines book and that’s ready to go back to the library. I still have Anne Perry’s Silence at Hanover Close on my Kindle. I need to get that finished. I also have a couple of Charlaine Harris’ books – the last Sookie Stackhouse book, Dead Ever After, and Shakespeare’s Landlord.  Can you tell I like “cozy” mysteries? I think my favorite thing about them is that I can read them very quickly. The last book I have to read is a Carolyn Haines novel, Penumbra. We’ll see how these go. I didn’t finish a couple of books I was reading last month. I just could not get into them.

What are you reading?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sawtooth Cats

Today has been a busy day. I ran my errands before the rain and colder temperatures hit for the rest of the week, and I was able to make my husband’s English muffins. I got the car washed and my hair cut, hit Walmart and the grocery store, and even ran to a thrift store and Michael’s. I was also able to fit in some sewing this afternoon.

I’m moving along on my Sawtooth Cats quilt top. I’ve appliquéd the cat bodies to the paper pieced cat backs, and I have all the block background pieces cut. Today I was able to sew the larger block in the background to the curved piece in the background. I’ll then hand appliqué the cat body/back pieces to the curved piece. You can see the parts of the block below:

There are 20 blocks and 10 cats face to the left and the other 10 cats face to the right. I need to stitch the ears to the background piece that goes above the cat’s head, then the long background piece to the cat’s side, then the body/back and background piece to the other side of the cat. The paper pieced tails will be sewn on when I attach the sashing, then hand appliquéd down onto the sashing pieces.

I’ve decided to switch up the pattern a bit and have all the cats right side up. As you can see in the photo of the pattern, some of the cats are upside down and there are longer background pieces that join their heads and bodies.

I’ve decided to use the blue-ish background and have them all right side up so it looks like they’re sitting in a window. We’ll see how it turns out.

I need to run downstairs and hit the exercise bike before it’s time for dinner. Never got that in this morning! I hope everyone is safe and staying warm.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Stash Report Week 5 of 2014

This week I broke down and bought fabric. At Joann’s I picked up the lavender below for the lining of a bag and the light bluish-greenish is for a top I want to finish in February. I’ve ordered additional fabric for the top and I’m waiting on that. I bought 2 yards of the lavender and 3.5 of the bluish-green.

I also stopped by a couple of thrift stores in the area and found the following fabrics:

They’re for nothing in particular, but I kind of liked them. The brown polka dot has 2 yards ($1.49), the light plaid has 2 yards (79 cents), and the Bob the Builder fabric is four panels and measures 1 ¼ yards (79 cents). I didn’t know it was Bob the Builder when I bought it because it was rolled up and taped, and you’re not supposed to un-do the rolls. But I figured whatever it was, for the price, I could always cut it into scraps. I’ll probably hang on to it a while…you never know if I’ll need to make something with Bob!

So my total in for the week was 10.75 yards and out was a big fat zero!

Used year to date:    16.0 yards
Used this week:         0 yards
Added year to date:  0 yards
Added this week:       10.75 yards
Total net used 2014: 5.25 yards

I’ll be linking up with the Stash Report over at Patchwork Times.

Scrappy Challenge January 2014

I completed my Scrappy Challenge for January early in the month. Here it is:

And here’s the back:

Those are little yellow chicks on green fabric on the back and binding.

I decided for the Scrappy Challenge I’m going to make potholders for each block. I had wanted to make some potholders for Christmas gifts last year and never got around to it. This way I’ll be sure to have some made up before the holidays sneak up on me! If I have the time, I’ll make more blocks for additional projects, but I’m just setting the goal each month of a potholder. I think I can manage that.

This project truly did use stash fabrics. The chickens in the center of the block are from some fabric my mother-in-law gave me last year that she had forever. The other fabrics (including the cute chicks on the back) have been sitting on my shelves for probably ten years.

I also had practice working with some specialty rulers with this block. I have the Easy Angle Ruler and the Companion Angle Ruler so I practiced using those. I messed up with the first cuts L but I figured it out. Live and learn!

I like how the potholder turned out and I decided to keep this one, so it’s hanging in my kitchen now. J

I’m linking up over at Patchwork Times. Stop by and see what everyone else is up to.