Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Ugh

Watching the Vikings play tonight was painful.

Adam and Keith left today and Finn and I spent a quiet day mostly binding and knitting although I did a little unpacking and pulled a top for quilting this week. It’s going to be a short ‘work’ week as I’ve got company coming again on Wednesday night and an appointment tomorrow afternoon.

I don’t have photos yet but I have finished two UFO’s now. I need to get the framed 16 patch blocks assembled but for now I’m enjoying the quilting and binding.

Lava land

Published / by Mary / 3 Comments on Lava land

The Himalayan salt crystals make a good playing field for dinosaurs. 

There’s been lots of library time and after a trip to Barnes and Noble, Caleb and I created a children’s non fiction shelf and a children’s fiction shelf and sorted our collection. 

Adam and Lindsey took the kids off this afternoon to dinosaur world and I finished the binding on the Carpenter Star. Finn was happy to have some quiet time and I even had a half hour to lay back with my eyes closed. Headaches haven’t gone away but they’re improving. 

This is better

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on This is better

The Carpenter Star top is quilted – finishing it was the first thing on my agenda this morning. I’m lucky that there’s just enough space in front of the machine to trim these donation size quilts. I’ve already got the binding machine stitched on and am sitting in my chair ready to start hand stitching it down once I finish this post. Normally I don’t quilt with a dark thread in light areas but I was definitely going to use a pantograph on this one and didn’t want a lighter thread showing in the star. I knew the leaf motif would look fine in the darker thread and I love how it turned out. 

I forgot to mention that my troubleshooting from the other night was effective and my stitch regulator is working now. 

I also managed to make and sew the binding on the HeartStrings quilt so that one is ready for handstiching too. While I don’t make my bindings when the top is finished, I always cut and set it aside in my binding bin so it’s all ready for me to piece and use once I’ve quilted a top. 

Instructions for the Carpenter Star are on my website although I used my GO Half Rectangle die for the top and bottom border on this one. I didn’t have that die when I made the first pink and brown one. 

You can also find instructions for the HeartStrings quilt there too.  

Under productive!!

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Under productive!!

These headaches are kicking my butt and knocking me off schedule but I’m slowly emptying boxes and bins … very slowly! I can actually see the other nook and even get to the cutting table now. 

The shelves are filling up with fabric and I’m already planning a couple quilts to use the overflowing scraps although it’s probably going to take more than a couple quilts to make a dent in those blues!

Adam gets here tomorrow after dinner and since I’m determined to get two tops quilted this week, I loaded and started the second one tonight. Pantograph is Blowing Leaves – an old favorite of mine. I’ll finish up the quilting tomorrow and depending on how I feel I might even get a binding on the first one I quilted. 

Fabric folding

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Fabric folding

Let’s be real here .. I’m not the neatest quilter and no matter how organized I try to be, things will get messy! Those that have read my blog for a while may remember my wall of cubbies that I had for fabric storage during the MN years. 

Fabric was placed in the cubbies neatly but over time … it gets messy!

My goal is to get the fabric out of the bins and on the shelves. I think I’ve pretty much decided that my neutrals will go on the shelves in the closest, the reds, blues, greens, etc will go on the shelving units, and the larger pieces and backings will go in the cabinet. 

I’m not taking a lot of time as I’m pulling fabric from the bins but I am rolling the pieces around my ruler to make them somewhat uniform in size. 

Smaller pieces are going in the scrap drawers but the blue scraps are out of control – too many for the drawer so I’m going to set that bin aside for now and I think I’ll cut some tumblers once I get enough stuff cleared away to get my table and GO out. 


Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Quilted

I’ve been busy unpacking and setting up the sewing room all week but haven’t sewn a stitch since Tuesday – I’ve had terrible sinus like headaches all week that have gotten progressively worse – I thought they were caused by allergies but maybe stress because they have migraine like components too and I don’t have the congestion and drainage that are typically seen with sinus infections. Keith got me a hot pack today and I used that most of the evening while we watched the Vikings game and surprisingly, I felt up to sewing some after the game. The headache is still there but it’s been tolerable and I hope they’re on their way out because I don’t have time for headaches!

I loaded a HeartStrings top on the longarm but couldn’t get my stitch regulator to work so I sewed in manual mode – not something I’m fond of but my first top of the year is quilted. Some freehand dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD. 

And in even better news, after finishing the quilting, I pulled out the manual again and was able to figure out what was wrong with the machine – I think! We’ll see when I load another quilt which may be tomorrow.  Since my goal is to quilt one top each week I’m home, I’m already a week behind since I didn’t get one done before the movers came last week. I’ll do a second one this week and then will be caught up. 

And speaking of football, I’m thrilled the Vikings won tonight but will admit I’d given up on them. They don’t typically come up with great game saving plays but they did and I’ll be rooting for them to beat Philly next week!

Almost ready to quilt

Published / by Mary / 17 Comments on Almost ready to quilt

The table has been assembled, I just have to dig out one bin that has a few parts and I’ll be ready to quilt. Keith had to run to the hardware store for me because we couldn’t get one of the screws to work and a bolt was lost off one of the legs but he was able to find both pieces for me.  As you can see I’ve got the shelves assembled too. 

It looks narrower than it is between the machine and shelves, I have plenty of room to quilt from the back (pantographs) and to get to the shelves and I’ve got bins that fit under the machine for thread and parts.  It certainly takes up a lot of room but I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have it here. 

There’s still SO much work to do but assuming Keith can help me find the bin with my bobbins, parts, and bobbin winder, I will be loading and quilting SOMEThing Monday or Tuesday!

Tomorrow we’ll work on emptying the rest of the book boxes and getting them on shelves and Keith unpacked and cleaned the three boxes of dishes we brought back so they’re all clean and put away.  The goal is to have everything but my sewing room done before Friday because Adam and the kids will be here for the Gasparilla Children’s parade.

Taking a deep breath (or two)

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Taking a deep breath (or two)

Ok, everything is in and the movers have left, I’ve taken some deep breaths and I think it’s going to be OK. All the furniture pieces seem to fit the spots I’d chosen without overcrowding the rooms so that’s good.  Also, all the boxes and bins are confined to two rooms so the house doesn’t seem a mess. That also helps – a lot!

I’ll start on Keith’s office tomorrow. It’s mostly books for the library. His office is right next door to the library so it will be easy to unpack and put the books on the shelves but we can still use the library without tripping over boxes. 

You guys know I’m a planner and I want to still be able to sew while I work on organizing everything so I cleared as much of the area on one side of the room as I could for them to stack boxes and bins. And it’s a mess and overwhelming but …

The middle of the floor is clear so I can set up my longarm on Saturday when Keith gets home. 

And the front sewing nook is completely clear so I can sew when I need a break from unpacking. Being able to sew is especially important because my shelves aren’t coming until next week and I can’t do much unpacking of those bins until they get here. 

Finally, I was assigned to check off the numbers on the inventory as they brought stuff in and I’m happy to say there was just one item missing – a roll of batting. They’re going to follow up tomorrow but it’s an easy thing to replace if it’s gone missing somehow. 

A change in plans

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on A change in plans

I had plans for today … the movers called this morning and said they would deliver tomorrow so I was going to sew a little and then take down the tables and clear a wide space in the sewing room for all the bins and boxes … then they called back and said they would be here by 6pm so I ran around like crazy throwing stuff in closets and shifting thing around.

Can I just say this is going to be a complete mess!

I thought I was being smart 3 and a half years ago when we moved from Minneapolis. A lot of our stuff went to Big Canoe because we were going to be in the South FL apartment for an undetermined period of time, then when Keith’s Mom died we bought the Tampa townhouse and promptly started filling it up. Trying to combine the stuff we want to keep from Big Canoe along with the stuff we bought here has been a big challenge and before it’s all over, I may be donating furniture that just doesn’t work here or with the stuff we have here…… and I still have no idea where I’m going to store all that fabric and the sewing supplies.


Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Progress

As a night owl, it’s tough for me when Keith is out of town because he’s the one that gets up early with Finn. Finn was up at 5:30am for a walk, then again at 6:30am which is too early to feed him so I knit for a while (he fell back asleep – I didn’t).

I can’t sew for hours when it’s just the two of us because he has to be in his pen when we’re in the sewing room so we sew a little,  walk a little, and spend some time downstairs where he can roam around. I finally worked some on my photo project for the grandkids – I posted last year that I was going to create albums for them with photos of them with us over the years. I got as far as ordering photo prints and buying the albums but hadn’t yet put the photos in the albums. Since it’s time to order the photos from this past year, I figured I’d better catch up. Bree and Rae are caught up through the end of 2016 but I still need to organize Caleb’s. 

I mentioned before how helpful Google photos facial recognition is with this project. I can easily find the photos I want for each of them and I was able to go back and find the dates and location the photos were taken so I could write them in the album. 

After a couple hours with the photos and another walk, we went back upstairs to sew and all the framed 16 patch blocks are done. Over the next day or two I’ll play around with the block placement and then assemble them. 


Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Sunday

I hate when I don’t get around to posting until after midnight. I could go into my settings and change the posting time but I’ll just title it Sunday. 

I always forget how much catching up we have to do after being away. Poor Keith – he has to turn around and travel tomorrow and will be gone all week so he had to help me move things around today so if the movers come this week while he’s gone, they can put the furniture in the places I want it. 

There was a little football watching but since Washington is out and the Vikings had a bye week, we weren’t too invested in any of today’s games. 

We did run some errands and I ordered shelving – they were out of stock at the store but they’ll deliver them to me here for free. They’re not fancy but they’ll be very easy to set up and 3 of them will fit along the wall behind the area the longarm will go. My thinking is that I’ll have some project bins on the bottom shelves, use the top for storing quilts waiting for binding or finished quilts and the middle 3 shelves for fabric. Several people suggested shelves with castors but I don’t plan to move them around so these will work. I actually like that they’re not metal although I’d originally planned to get metal shelves. Maybe one day I’ll upgrade to something fancier but for now I just need something practical and easy and these should do it!

I also managed some sewing time. I started the first Jelly Roll quilt – the framed 16 patches. I find the pinked edges a little bit of a challenge with my 1/4 inch foot on the Elna so I’m using the Little Foot I bought when I first started quilting. I can’t believe it hasn’t gotten lost along the way because I bought it to work with my first Singer machine but it also happens to fit the Elna.

Just one finished block … to test the foot and my accuracy…. but the 16 patch blocks are in progress and I’ll do the framing of them all last. 

It’s pirate season in Tampa and Keith hung our flag today. 


Published / by Mary / 2 Comments on Miscellaneous

I didn’t last long but I did sew … 4 blocks to add to my Happy Blocks for Maine pile.

The longarm made it here to FL safely. Keith’s going to be gone all week so even if they bring my stuff, I won’t be able to set the table up without him but that’s OK, I have Happy Blocks, a binding for Mom, jelly rolls, AND quilting on a small doll top to keep me busy.

Keith was nice and drove the whole way home. I didn’t knit the whole time but did make a little progress on my new scarf.

  • Pattern – Hitchhiker
  • Yarn – Wollmeise Pure
  • Needles – size 6

In addition to Vicki’s postcard I received a lovely letter and photos from the Hancock County Quilters in Maine. They made a bunch of my Quick Strippies to donate and I’m just thrilled to see the photos and hear about their group.

Me time

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Me time

A 5 mile hike today – what a joy to be out and about on a bright sunny winter day!

We head home in the morning and I admit I’m tired down to my bones and mentally exhausted. I’m looking forward to some time in my sewing room before the moving van arrives some time between the 8th and 20th …. my price to pay for not having a larger load!