Monthly Archives: May 2017

Virtual quilting

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Virtual quilting

I like big block quilts – a star where one block plus some borders becomes the entire quilt. In this case, I started with this block.

I put 4 together and added borders to make it throw size. Did you notice I change the bottom right corner to make a square in a square block where they all came together?

I love this little vintage friendship star and nine patch from eBay too … I’m saving it for inspiration.

Lost days

Published / by Mary / 11 Comments on Lost days

In case you were wondering why it’s been so quiet here, I’ve been sick. It started as a simple cold but for some reason knocked me on my butt! After 5 days I think I’m finally starting to feel a little better. There’s been a little activity around here between naps … I finished pin basting the small rectangle top and am ready to start quilting it, some knitting, some hand quilting but mostly just quiet activities … genealogy research, photo organization, reading, and cuddling with Finn. 

Remembering our Dads

Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Remembering our Dads

Both my Dad and Keith’s Dad served in the military and we remember them and all those who served today. 

My dad, Patrick Joseph McLaughlin, served in the Navy right out of high school which was during the Korean War – luckily he was on a ship in the Mediterranean.

Kevin, Mom, and I visited Dad’s grave a couple weeks ago. He died 28 years ago. 

Keith’s dad, Bruce Alan Johnson, also entered the military right out of high school. 

He served in the Marines in Korea during the war, in the Army in Vietnam during the war, and remained in the Army until he was eligible for retirement. He’s interred at Arlington National Cemetery along with Keith’s Mom. We haven’t been to Arlington to visit since Shirl’s funeral in July 2015 but my nephew Ben who lives in the D.C. Area sent us a photo last year and this year after visiting the site. Bruce died 12 years ago. 

Time with Finn

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Time with Finn

Finn’s still getting used to being back home so I spent a good amount of time with him today. I love our little park and he’s starting to like romping there although always on the leash. 

I also worked on the washcloths – the crochet ones go way, way faster than the knit ones but I admit I like the knit one best – that’s the blue one that’s just half way done. I’ll make some of both to send off with the scarves I’m going to donate. 

I’m working these from a couple books I have but KnitPicks has a bunch of free patterns and I’ll try some of those too

Stella Lighting Coupon

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Stella Lighting Coupon

So after I gave my feedback on the Stella Two light I was given the opportunity to offer a coupon code to my blog readers. If you’re interested you can get $25 off ANY light and free shipping just by using the coupon code ”stash“. Click the link below to go to the website.

I’ve only used the Stella Two light but I’m really liking it. I finished pinning the gray quilt and was thinking I might want to hand quilt it using the big stitch method when I remembered I’ve got one in progress that I hadn’t touched in months so I pulled it out today and worked on it for about an hour under the Stella Two light.  I had more of it left to do than I remembered but maybe I’ll get it finished up now that I’m back to work on it. 

Before I finished up for the day, I started pin basting another top – I’ll finish basting this one and quilt it while I decide whether I’m going to hand or machine quilt the gray one. 

I’m also knitting another washcloth and got my walk in too. It was a full day!

As I walked along the bay, I thought about how lucky I am to be surrounded by water. 

It’s one of the things I loved about our Hatteras vacation … the ocean on one side …

And the Sound on the other … and just an easy two block walk between them! Can you tell I’m a water baby!!


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Yarn

I haven’t done much knitting since Finn joined the family – yarn is something he’d love to get his paws on. I thought maybe some knitted washcloths would be a quick easy project and the place I found to donate scarves to also requests washcloths so it would be easy to send them along. 

I’d tried to talk my sister into learning to crochet and bought her some yarn, a hook, and a book to make dishcloths but she never got into it so I asked for it back the last time I was there if she wasn’t going to use it. 

I’m planning to find some ones to knit but the book and the hook were right in with the yarn so I decided I’d crochet a couple today. It’s a worsted weight cotton yarn and a size I hook.


And I did finish the 2nd one and the ends are already woven in. 

Finn’s home!

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Finn’s home!

I don’t know who was happier when I went to pick him up this morning – he was quite excited to come home and after greeting Keith, ran right to his toys. 

I had the groomer scheduled to come so while he was being cleaned up and trimmed, I prepped and started pinning one of the small tops waiting for quilting. 

The light in the corner is new, a Stella Two that I was offered in exchange for giving some feedback to the company. I thought I’d also share my impression here. I really, really like this light. I’ve got several OTT lights but this one is my new favorite. I like how long the light arm is and how easy it is to adjust. The light can be dimmed and the light temperature can be warm or cool or a combination – I’m using this in my sewing room but with the ability to dim and change the light temperature to warm, it would make a great light for beside my chair for reading and stitching. My one little issue with it is that the controls are a little hard to see on the base so I found myself fumbling around a bit trying to find the right one to turn the light on.  Once you’ve used the light a bit you know which one is which and it’s not a problem. 

Once Finn’s grooming was done, I took a break to walk him to the park. He came back tired and ready for a nap so I’m going to try and crochet a washcloth while he rests.

Happy early birthday to me!

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Happy early birthday to me!

You might have noticed last week that I went kayaking just about every day of our vacation – I love kayaking! I’ve always borrowed or rented one but after this vacation I decided I needed to buy one for myself. I really liked Ann’s and was able to find it online so Keith agreed I could get it for an early birthday present. Chris is going to pick it up for me and for now I’m thinking I’ll keep it in GA to use at Big Canoe but with the bay so close I’m tempted to bring it back here after the summer or maybe I need two 🙂

I bought a life vest while we were in Hatteras so now I’m all set if I can wait until July to use it. 

Chris has also agreed to bring it to Hatteras next year for me – yep, we’ve already reserved the same house for next year. 

Could there be any better way to celebrate Mother’s Day?! Love you Mom!!!

Adapting to change

Published / by Mary / 18 Comments on Adapting to change

I had some time in the sewing room today and as I finished piecing the little snowball top my mind wandered.

Life has changed so much for us in the last few years and I think I’ve finally realized that there’s a new normal now. The almost 8 years we spent in Minneapolis were the most productive quilting years I’ve had and I kept thinking that things would settled down and I’d get back to that level and for some reason not being that productive has created stress for me. 

Out of curiosity I looked at what I’ve accomplished so far this year – 11 tops quilted and 9 tops pieced – that’s not a bad count and it represents hours of happiness spent in my sewing room!

Part of the stress comes from the blog – It started as a quilting blog although over the years (11+ years!) it has developed into a journal for me where I write about my quilting, the family, and my travels. 

Don’t worry – I’m not about to stop quilting – I love the time I spend making quilts and being able to give family and people in need a handmade quilt is one of the things I love most. I will however stop worrying about being more productive and about whether I have something quilty to share on the blog every day like I did in years past. 

I’m grateful for so many things in my life and I plan to continue to enjoy my time with family, time with Finn, my travels, my quilting and knitting, being active (walking, hiking, kayaking), and having company visit us here and at Big Canoe.

I’m also happy that this little snowball top is assembled! I really don’t like coming back to a top in pieces on the design wall but luckily this one was quick to sew together and that means I can move on to something new!

One last day

Published / by Mary / 1 Comment on One last day

More of the same … I went kayaking this morning and spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool and playing with Rae. Loved seeing and spending time with everyone – we gathered from 4 different states – Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida and in the morning we’ll all head home but we’ll take memories of this wonderful week with us. 

It’s almost all about Mom

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on It’s almost all about Mom

Luckily Mom isn’t the only one having fun!!
Keith did such a great job finding a location and a house that has something to offer all of us. This is year two and assuming the house is available next year we’re planning to come back. 

There was more kayaking today … with Ann

Kevin spent time on the jet ski…

Keith and I went driving on the beach with Ben and Jamie

Visiting the Hatteras lighthouse brings back memories!

And you know there was another sunset to view!