I was so tired last night and today. Some reading, crochet, and lots of hand quilting — All things I could do sitting cuddled on the sofa with Chesty and I did manage to finish the big stitch quilting on this small quilt. I enjoyed it so much and am looking forward to starting another but not just yet. I now have 4 to bind.


I used a Mark B Gone pen in the light diagonals and a CharcoLiner in the dark. Marking just a few lines at a time.


A pretty sunset tonight and I have to admit it’s nice to walk Chesty in short sleeves and flip flops in December!



Heading home

Yesterday was a quiet day with Mom. We ran some errands, kitted up some projects for her, and visited the cemetery to put flowers on Dad’s grave. Even though we celebrated her birthday with family on the weekend her actual birthday was yesterday and my brother and I took her out to dinner.


At the airport now heading home, I’m working on a shell stitch afghan I started last night in this pretty purple yarn.


Keith won’t be home until Friday but I can’t wait to see Chesty!



I’m enjoying my visit with my family … With 5 brothers and sisters (and their families) you can imagine how we fill up Mom’s house when we’re all together. Normally I’m snapping photos at family gatherings but the last couple years I’m busy cooking and serving rather than being out and about taking photos. Not sure I like the change in roles. We celebrated Mom’s birthday today and I didn’t snap a single photo. My SIL did get one (with her phone) of the birthday girl but I do wish I had taken some photos of Mom tonight.


Earlier this morning I’d gone for a 5 mile walk on the Nolan Trail. Much more scenic than my walks at home.


PS – I finished knitting my scarf but no photo yet. What a easy, quick, fun pattern. I’ve knit it twice now and I have some blue yarn that would make a wonderful scarf for my sister so don’t be surprised if I knit it again!



I’ve had a bunch of emails about my Sharon inspired HeartStrings quilt so I’m going to summarize the challenge and my process in this one post so it will be easier to refer people who are interested in making their own version.

First up, here’s the information about the challenge which goes through the end of December.

While we were in Maine admiring yet another one of Sharon’s planned HeartStrings quilts we decided to challenge ourselves to make our own version and invite other HeartStrings members to join in the fun. The guidelines for the challenge are:

Using a muslin foundation like our typical HeartStrings block that is cut 10 inches and trimmed to 9.5 inches after sewing the strips to it. We’re setting these blocks 6×8 for a quilt that will finish at 54×72 inches.

Choose 8 fabrics – I yard each ( not all of each fabric will be used)

All strips are cut 2 inches

Corner triangles are the same fabric on both sides of the block from 4.5 inch squares cut on the diagonal.

This is a planned quilt with the strips in the same place for each block.

You know by now that I’m living temporarily in South Florida and my stash and Longarm are in our condo in the North Georgia mountains so I had to wait until I went to GA in October to pull my fabrics.

My favorite way to choose fabrics for a non scrappy quilt is to chose a multicolored fabric that I love (this fabric may or may not end up in the quilt). In this case, I chose a multicolored stripe and searched through my fabric bins for ones in colors from the stripe. I chose 11 fabrics in total because I wanted some wiggle room when I got back to Florida and actually started to make the blocks in case I didn’t like one or more of the ones I’d chosen.

My initial 11 fabrics


Back in Florida, I cut a 2 inch strip from each of my fabrics and arranged and rearranged them until I found 8 that worked well together.


When I went to cut the gold, I found I didn’t have a full yard and was happy I had another fabric in my original 11 that would work.

While I didn’t intend it, it just happened that I had two stripes, two stars, and two dots in my choices … The different prints and scale of the fabrics were key to making my quilt successful.

Once I had all my blocks made, I needed to decide the layout — there were only two options which made it an easy decision.

Which would you choose?

Layout A?


Layout B?


I chose B because I found the brighter green more distracting on the edges of the quilt and loved them when they were the focus of the center.


This is definitely one of my favorite HeartStrings quilts and I had fun with the process and challenge. I think I’ll pull fabric for another the next time I go back to GA.


I love this yarn

I already posted the link to the pattern I’m using for my shawl but I have to tell you, I LOVE this yarn! It’s a nice big skein (560 yards) and it knits up so nice!

Miss Babs Yowza yarn


Cuddled up with Chesty, watching football, and knitting tonight!


Modest Goals

Can you believe it’s December?! I have two trips this month and some family obligations so my goals are rather modest.

Assemble 2 HeartStrings tops
Bind 3 quilts
Quilt 1 small HeartStrings top

I’ll finish up my gray shawl and continue working on my Big Stitch Quilting project. Walking is a priority also as we’re doing another half marathon in March.

I’m getting ready to head out for a walk and I already have progress made on the list – the first HeartStrings top from blocks made this weekend is assembled. It’s a smaller 24 block top that I’ll be able to quilt here in FL.




Yes, I’d ordered some gray yarn and it arrived yesterday so I had to cast on another shawl … Using the same pattern, I’m going to try to finish this one before the Minneapolis trip on the 16th. Good thing it was a quick and enjoyable knit!


I started a new audiobook by the author of A Daughter’s Walk, not sure about this one yet.


Feeling better

Yesterday was a lost day … I spent all day in bed or on the sofa and didn’t make it to the sewing room at all. Today I woke up feeling better and started a second set of HeartStrings blocks for our November project – Black/White & Brights.


I was going to try a zigzag setting but didn’t really like it so I defaulted to my usual HS setting above.


I’m going to make this a small 24 block quilt so I can quilt it here on my regular sewing machine. 12 blocks done, 12 to go.


Happy Thanksgiving!

My plans for today — Sew-cook-sew-eat-sew. We’re having a HeartStrings sew along this holiday weekend and I plan to get the rest of the blocks for my Sharon Quilt done today. I promise I won’t post another photo until the top has been assembled but this is where I was at the beginning of the day. I’ve almost finished 16 more blocks so another hour or so will finish these blocks up (I need 48 for the quilt).


Keith doesn’t like this scarf with the coat but it’s the only one I have here and the scarf will just be peaking out so I think it will be fine. (The coat looks unflattering on the hanger but it’s really nicely fitted and warm – to minus 15 according to LLBean and it folds up small to go in my suitcase which is nice).


The pattern for the shawl/scarf is here. It was a quick easy knit and I enjoyed it. I don’t know if it shows in the photo but I love the little ruffled edge.


It’s just a cold

Not sure why I feel so bad today. Keith gave me his cold but my level of fatigue seems excessive for a simple cold … I did manage a couple hours in the sewing room and I finished knitting my green shawl/scarf ( she calls it a shawl but it’s more of a scarf size in my opinion which is fine because that’s what I wanted). I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep as I have an agenda of walking, cooking, and piecing tomorrow.

Blog Rings