Monthly Archives: February 2018


Published / by Mary / Leave a Comment

I had a lazy weekend … I watched some of the Olympics and knit and I finished up a binding but no photo yet. Keith had to make another trip to the Apple store … what a madhouse. I went along just for lunch.

Chris was supposed to come next weekend for the half marathon but told us today he’s not going to make it. I haven’t done any distance walking in a while so I’m definitely not as prepared for this one as I have been for the other two but Keith and I agreed this is one we’re just in it for the long walk without the time pressure. If we’re too slow … they’ll move us to the sidewalk – not a big deal. We’ll spend this week before the race relaxing on the beach … well I’ll be relaxing, Keith does have some work to do.


Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Quilted

The nice thing about having goals is that it gets me in gear … both my walking goals (that one or two more times around the block at night when needed) and my quilting goals. Having the longarm back with me is great and I want to use this year to catch up some on my UFO’s which are mostly finished tops so the goal is to quilt one each week I’m not traveling. This is stay at home week # 6 and this is the 6th top quilted.

It’s one of my Sharon inspired HeartStrings tops and it’s quilted with the pantograph Fern Gully.

I also managed to get the squares for Jay blocked – they’ll dry overnight and then I’ll weave those ends in. I only got 5 of them done but I’m traveling next week so it’s time to finish them off and send them.

I pulled fabric for the back and binding of a doll quilt.

And found some other leftovers from a quilt Mom made tucked away in a bag. Someone asked how I came up with ideas for these little quilts and this is a perfect example. I take small leftover pieces from a quilt and use them. This will become a little coins quilt.

And finally, Mom sent me a photo of the butterflies she’s been appliquéing for me. I’ll alternate them with some scrappy 9 patch blocks …. eventually!

Doll Quilts

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Doll Quilts

We’re having a little discussion on HeartStrings about how much fun doll quilts are to make and someone asked where we get our ideas. For me, I’ve made them with leftover blocks from another quilt or leftover fabric/trimmings from strip sets. Some are a bit bigger than others … I don’t worry so much about the size and just use what I have. They make great practice pieces and that little Drunkard’s Path was even hand quilted so they can satisfy the desire for handwork without a big investment of time.

Most of my doll quilts to this point have gone to Rae, she loves laying out all her dolls and animals with quilts and while she has a lot of quilts, she needed more so the doll sized ones were perfect.

Nikki shared a link to a blogger who is organizing the donation of doll quilts, it’s a really moving story and I want to finish a couple of mine to send now.

I’ve even knit one for Rae and Mom has crocheted some for the other girls so that’s an idea for using leftover yarn too!

More on stress

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on More on stress

Keith says I don’t handle stress well but I think he’s not completely right about that – I definitely get more stressed about things than I used to but my problem comes when I have multiple things stressing me … then I just want to hide in my room and knit or read until I have a chance to recharge my batteries and face the world again. I’ve tried some guided meditation in the past but knitting and reading seem to work best for me … and quilting too except that’s part of what is stressing me right now is all the unpacking left to do in the sewing room so I’ve been avoiding it the last few days.

Today, I decided I’d accomplish two tasks in the sewing room and then head back to my chair and bind. First up … I cut out another Strippie from these fabrics. I’m just not up to trying to find a place to set up the GO yet and Strings would add to the mess even if I could find the right bin so another Strippie is perfect.

I also got this week’s top loaded and ready for quilting and I’ll work on that tomorrow – the cleaning woman rescheduled for tomorrow because her daughter was sick today so I’ll have to be up and showered early anyway. We did at least get the inspection done on the windows and doors so that’s one more thing checked off the list but it will be about 3 weeks before the correct inserts for the doors come in so I’m not quite done with all that yet.

Stress is a part of life and I know things will eventually settle down.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Happy Valentine’s Day

Not much from me this week I know … I’m pretty stressed right now so not much is happening except a little knitting, a little binding, and some Olympic watching. I have someone coming to clean tomorrow but hopefully I can get a top loaded and quilted in the next day or two … I’m still on track with my goal to quilt one top each week I’m not traveling.

I did receive some flowers today – Keith doesn’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day but I think he’s feeling sorry that I’ve been so stressed. He also took me out to dinner … we ate outside, by the water … my favorite kind of dinner out!

Are you watching?

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Are you watching?

We LOVE watching the Olympics around here and the winter games are my favorite! It’s also great knitting time. This afternoon I worked on my 2nd square for Jay – I had to go up to a size 8 needle (from a 7) to get the right size block but I’m hoping I can block the first one into the correct size..

The purple one was finished while they were still here installing … 5+ hours today when they should have been done by Thursday at the latest. I wish I could say they were done but there were 3 damaged screens and they ordered the wrong doors for the back – they were able to install the doors and when the correct insert comes in, they can just remove the glass section and replace it with the correct one. ( That’s the front door you can see behind it and that one was correct)

It should have the individual panes like the old one.

I’m so disgusted with this sales rep – he tried to say that the “rain” glass didn’t come in the individual panes but we specifically told he we wanted the same style doors as we had and he showed us a door with the rain glass and the smaller panes. I have a bad feeling that he showed us non impact glass … again, his mistake … and then we’ll have to make a decision about whether to go ahead and switch them out and have to use a Kevlar type fabric over them if a hurricane threatens or keep the ones they installed. At this point, I’d definitely choose the smaller panes and hanging the Kevlar if needed. I just don’t like the look of the single pane of glass. I guess we’ll find out Monday.

This evening after they finally left, we had happy hour on the porch … happy to have them gone after a week and then I knit this evening while watching the Olympics … this is square #3. I guess my blanket is going to wait a while but there’s no deadline on that while there is one these squares.

No interruptions (except Finn)

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on No interruptions (except Finn)

It’s much easier to accomplish something in the sewing room without a bunch of interruptions ….

Happy Blocks for Maine were made, fabric for another Strippie was pulled, a top was loaded, quilted, and the binding is on and ready to be hand stitched.

I was tempted to do a pantograph but decided some overall freehand hearts would be easy enough even though I can’t remember the last time I’ve done them.

This top is backed with a flannel fabric and does not have any batting. I used a heavier weight muslin and I felt like it would be too heavy with batting but it’s not too cozy as is … I’m hoping it softens up significantly with washing!

More Knitting

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on More Knitting

I didn’t sew the last two days … couldn’t seem to find the energy to get into the sewing room and start something so I knit and waited for window installers to show up … they didn’t show up Wednesday, were here yesterday, and just called to say they’re not coming today …. UGH!!! This was a company recommended by a neighbor who used them frequently (she works for real estate attorneys). I’m going to like the results — the house is almost eerily quiet without the street and neighborhood noise — but I’d never recommend them.

Jay, one of my fellow HeartStrings members is working on a project making knit squares for afghans and asked our group for some help. I doubt I’ll get very many made but I thought I’d try one and see how it goes. I’m not a very fast knitter. I also made progress on the blanket.

Corner to Corner blanket

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Corner to Corner blanket

I bound off my scarf last night before bed and got up this morning and cast on a blanket. I think this yarn was bought when we still lived in Marietta. I remember winding it into balls when I was packing for the move from Minneapolis, and uncovered it in a bin a couple days ago so while I’d intended to crochet a blanket, I’m going to knit this one. I love these colors and think I need to make a blue quilt with lime green!

Same blanket … different knitting companion!

The pink one was made for Bree but this one will be donated.

This pattern is from my book Knit Baby Blankets but Lion’s Brand has a free version (link is from Ravelry)

History and Family

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on History and Family

One interesting thing about reading/viewing history is learning more about the events and places that feature in my own family history. Just this week I learned more about both the Irish potato famine and the Boer War. My dad’s family came from Ireland years after the famine and I can’t imagine what it must have been like for them during that time. I’ve done a lot of searching for information about my great grandfather who died in the Second Boer War before my grandmother was born. It’s been hard finding information and I don’t know the exact circumstances of his death – whether he died in battle, of wounds, or of disease – or where he’s buried.

We also had sad news this week that my Mom’s aunt had died. She was the last living sibling of my grandfather’s and she was 98 years old. I was fortunate to have met her several times over the years and when we were in NC last May visiting Mom’s family we stopped by to see her. I’m so glad we took the time to go.

Anna Belle Privott – 1919-2018

Not a totally wasted day

Published / by Mary / 13 Comments on Not a totally wasted day

They finished up in my sewing room just before noon so I was able to get in and work a bit. After setting my machine back up, I cut and pieced another Strippie.

This fabric happens to be directional and to save myself some grief from having to unpick strips sewn the wrong way, I toss them in order up on the design wall. (The floor works too!)

It’s almost 3 now and they’ve finished all the upstairs windows so Finn and I have the upstairs to ourselves the rest of the week. It’s a hassle but I think I’m going to like the new windows … I’ll certainly be happy not having to worry as much about hurricanes when we have to evacuate.

Now after a walk, we’re going to head back to the bedroom nook where Finn can sit with me while I knit a bit. He’s been good about being in his crate while they’ve been coming and going upstairs and while we were in the sewing room.


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on UGH!

Can I tell you how over I am having work done on the house?!!!

They started the hurricane window install today and based on their progress and the fact they also have 3 doors to install, I’m not expecting them to finish before Friday!

I had them start in the studio (the former master bedroom) and they have one more window to do (there are 3 double windows so 6 total to install in the studio and attached bathroom). This way, I’ll at least be able to sew the rest of the week once they finish that last window. Today, I just knit. Finn was VERY good!

Photo finishes

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Photo finishes

Finally! It’s raining but since Keith is here I had him hold up the three quilts I finished. The first two were from January along with the Tessellating Quilt I already posted and the Dutch Windmill was my first February finish.

A red centered HeartStrings quilt – I love using up leftovers even if I’m overrun with them right now … need to quilt faster!

The Carpenter Star – this is the second one I’ve made although I used my Half Rectangle GO die for the pieced border on this one. Brief instructions are on my website.

Finally, the Dutch Windmills. This was a remake of a vintage quilt. I love finding inspiration in old quilts! Instructions for this one are also on the website.


Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Assembled

The little Monster Strippie is assembled. I never get tired of these, they turn out so cute! The stripe and paw prints were not bought with the monster print — it’s one excuse I have for keeping a large stash — I love being able to pull fabrics for a quilt like this from stash but I do buy cute novelty fabrics when I come across them. A yard is all it takes for one of these.

Brief instructions are on my website if you want to make one too!

A couple more bins were emptied but it’s getting harder to find the easy ones! I’ve got at least a couple that I think are just going to be stuffed in the back of a closet for now