Monthly Archives: July 2014

On my needles

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on On my needles

I didn’t pull the knitting out last night but I did tonight. Still working on the same garter ridge blanket. The goal will be to knit a little each day and maybe I’ll make some real progress on it.


Tonight was date night … We drove down to the Sea Watch restaurant, an old favorite of ours on the beach. So nice when places are still there after YEARS!


Trial and Error

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Trial and Error

Since I rarely make a quilt from a pattern, I have to figure out things for myself. The blocks for my HSTeria quilt can be assembled either in rows …

photo 1

Or in quads…

photo 2

and I tried both ways to figure out which was easier from an assembly and pressing standpoint and am assembling the block in quadrants. My fabric placement is a little more random since I’m sewing 4 HST’s together and just making sure that the bottom right one is different in each of the 4 quads (that’s where the 4 browns will come together).


I’m making good progress!

photo (1)

On a side note, I bought a new laptop the other day. While I use my iPad most frequently there are still some things I need a computer for and I have to say I’m loving┬áthe combination of keyboard and touch screen on the Lenovo computer. I’m so used to touching the screen on the iPad to choose an item or to scroll that’s its cool to be able to use those same actions on the laptop rather than always having to use the keyboard. I will admit that Window’s 8 has a bit of a learning curve … it’s very different from previous versions and I’m having to hunt around to figure out how to do things I’ve done for years without any thought at all.

I have a brown thumb

Published / by Mary / 10 Comments on I have a brown thumb

Gardening isn’t my thing but I love having a plant on my deck. In Minneapolis we had full sun all day long and geraniums were the only flowers that would tolerate it along with my over and under watering.


I was thinking about trying hibiscus here on the deck in FL but Keith voted for bougainvillea. It’s supposed to be a hardy plant so here’s hoping I don’t kill it!



Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Tools

Since I finished the RWB HeartStrings top, I got to pull out a new project this morning … Vicki’s HSTeria sew along is finished but I’d just barely started mine when I had to pack everything for the move.

As I sew these blocks, I’m thankful for three of my favorite tools.

My Accuquilt GO die that lets me quickly cut all the half square triangles.

My straight needle plate for my Elna that sews the HST’s easily.


And EQ7 that lets me play with different block and quilt layouts until I find one I love.


We don’t always need or even use the tools we buy but they can make our quilting so much easier.

Slowing down

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Slowing down

I’m taking this move as an opportunity to slow down so you will see a much less frantic pace from me. The Minneapolis years got increasing busy with HeartStrings, traveling, volunteering with the library and Habitat and I felt like I was always running to catch up.

I’ll still be working with HeartStrings and traveling — in fact, I’m traveling to Lincoln in August and Maine in September for HeartStrings events but having my longarm in GA will force me (in a good way) to slow down in my quilting. I’m anxious to spend more time piecing that I’ve been able to do in the last 7+ years.

I’ll also be doing more walking to prepare for the half marathons in November and March – I don’t plan to run them, but having a training goal will hopefully keep me moving on a week to week basis. We’ll continue to travel and I plan on lots of down time, sitting by the pool and reading and finally my library time will be spent getting back to work on my family genealogy rather than volunteering.

West Broward library

Today is a library day and I’m enjoying the view from my table!

Sewing along with HeartStrings

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Sewing along with HeartStrings

I’m assembling my first set of RWB blocks and didn’t take my own advice at first. I usually recommend using a walking foot to assemble these because of the extra layer from the muslin foundation.


I couldn’t easily find the walking foot so I started assembling them without and even though I pinned the blocks … It was hard to get them lined up exactly because the top block was being pushed down slightly.


While I’m not a perfectionist and don’t intend to take this out, it bothered me just enough that I went hunting through the bins for my walking foot.


With the top and bottom feeding evenly using the walking foot … It’s much easier to get the seams lined up.


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Leftovers

I started the 2nd set of HeartStrings blocks from 2.5 inch strips and a set of fat quarters and now I have leftover fabric. It’s not unusual at all for me to make a quilt and then piece a leftover quilt and sometimes I even like the leftover quilt best.

I’m thinking of making this one from the RWB leftovers. I’d order a framing fabric and use the rest of the fat quarters.


Brief instructions are on my website.

Goodbye peace and quiet

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Goodbye peace and quiet

It’s been 12+ years since Keith has worked out of the house … Now, when he’s not traveling he’ll be working from the apartment. Today he was on a conference call in the living area and I was sewing in the back bedroom … with my music on to drown him out. I realized I could use the small rotating mat on the ironing board so I didn’t have to go into the kitchen to trim my blocks. The second set of blocks is done so now I just have to assemble both tops but tomorrow is a Spa day!

Having him around during the day will take some getting used to!


The design wall is up

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on The design wall is up

I worked some more on the RWB HeartStrings blocks and then put up the design wall. I’d intended to have my sewing table under the window in the small room but with the trundle bed, I needed to rearrange the room so I could use my design wall.

These are the blocks I made last week at Mom’s. I’ll rearrange them a little before sewing them together later this week.


Scavenger hunt

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Scavenger hunt

After searching through bins for pins, scissors, rulers, muslin, and other necessary items I cut some muslin foundations and started my 2nd set of RWB HeartStrings blocks.

My kitchen island will have to serve as a cutting table.


I’m taking the easy way with this set of blocks … The centers are cut 2 inches like our standard HeartStrings blocks but the strips are all cut 2.5 inches. Since I only brought a bin full of scrappy strings, I ordered RWB fabric from Connecting Threads for this set.


I thought I’d sit by the pool a little this afternoon but it’s been raining since 12pm. No FL sunshine for me this afternoon – not a very good welcome home.

I made it

Published / by Mary / 15 Comments on I made it

A good dinner at a favorite Cuban place with Keith last night and a reunion with Chesty were the perfect homecoming activities.

This morning Keith headed out for a couple days so we’re just relaxing and I’ll pull out my design wall, set it up, and sew a little but no real agenda for the first time in months!


Lucky number

Published / by Mary / 21 Comments on Lucky number

Do you have a lucky number?

Mine is 11 … It has shown up throughout my life and I always think it’s good luck when it does. I’m at the airport and having some lunch and my lucky number showed up today.


Today is a lucky day because I’m heading to FL …. Heading home to Keith and Chesty although it feels funny to call FL home again.

It’s also a lucky day because I will be getting a contract from the realtor to sign – we had an offer on the MN townhouse yesterday and after some back and forth we’ve agreed on a price. If all goes well we should close on August 8.