Saturday, December 19, 2015

Always an Adventure

Not much new in my neck of the woods,
well, except my neck of the woods has changed!
I am back in Texas for the winter months.

During my travels, I had a 5 hour layover,
so  I entertained myself by listening to an audio book
and making some hexies to use later.

I really wanted to try out this tutorial
so made a pillow.
Such fun!
If you haven't already tried it,
and like working with hexies,
I suggest you add it to your list of things to make next.

I put a zipper in the back
with a tutorial recommended by SewFreshQuilts
It was so easy peasy, I'll always finish my pillows this way!

I have been pet sitting my crafty daughter's 
3 dogs and 3 cats for a week.
It has been an interesting adventure,
to say the very least.

Hope you are on an interesting adventure
of your own!
My new motto:  Make it fun!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Just Sayin'

During the summer of 2012,
after I made and entered the Dresden Plate quilt
that's in my header picture
into a quilt challenge,
I thought to take the block a step further

and add two more borders.

Then I thought to stitch an embroidery design in the center
in place of the Dresden Plate,

as pictured here on Nola's Just Rambling blog in Dec. 2013.
I've made a couple each year to gift family and friends
as pillows and wallhangings.

Imagine my surprise when I was scrolling through 
a well known designer's site the other day 
and found it on her blog as a new pattern she launched 
just this past October 
on her site and in her Etsy store. 

I'm sure the embroidery design she uses in her center is her own.   
I don't have an artistic bone in my body, and, 
except for the word ring, 
I either borrowed someone else's embroidery design, 
or used a Dresden Plate.

I realize it's a simple little pattern and anyone could have dreamt it, 
that there really isn't anything exclusive about it.  I was just surprised.

Either great minds think alike, 
or, as they say, 
imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I'm not a skilled and talented designer,
but once in awhile I apparently come up with a good idea.
Just sayin'.

Have a wonderful, funderful day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop, Day 1

The same day I was harvesting mint
before we experienced a killer frost,
Carol, at Just Let Me Quilt,
 introduced her Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop.

I was quick to jump in
because I knew I'd be making my favorite cookies.

Although not your traditional holiday cookie,
Fresh Mint Butter Cookies
would be a yummy addition to that cookie plate 
that you gift your neighbors each year
(not everyone likes chocolate and nuts!)
or perfect to serve for a Christmas Tea gathering.

Or, perhaps you could nibble a few
while you are sitting quietly,
making your list,
and checking it twice!

Fresh mint?  In winter?
Most grocery stores carry fresh mint 
in the produce section year round.
At the very least, 
you'll want to save this recipe
for your summertime baking!

Fresh Mint Butter Cookies

1-1/2 cups flour                              1 egg
1/8 tsp. salt                                     2 TBS milk
1/2 tsp. baking powder                  4 TBS chopped fresh mint
1 stick butter                                  1/4 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup sugar

Cream butter.  Gradually add sugar.  Add egg, milk, vanilla, and beat thoroughly.

Mix dry ingredients together with chopped mint.  Add to dough.  Let chill overnight.

Drop by teaspoonful 2" apart on greased cookie sheet at 350 for 
10 - 12 minutes.  (I use parchment paper.)

Makes 3 dozen, rolls out great with a little extra flour, and freezes well.

They are good to the last bite!

Hope you enjoy making,
and eating,
my Fresh Mint Cookie recipe.
Be sure to visit the other blog hoppers for more delicious,
and probably better,
cookie recipes!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ALYOF Completed!

My November goal was to finish machine quilting in the ditch
on this quilt and to attach the binding.
(If you click on the pictures, they will show larger!)

I accomplished my goal with time to spare
by quilting so many blocks a day.
I'm so proud of myself this month.

I went on a road trip with a friend
and brought the quilt so I could do a decent photo shoot
along the way,
but the weather did not cooperate, 
so all I have is this clothes line shot.

This was a leader-ender project  three or four years ago.
It is my second one.
It has traveled back and forth to Texas with me all these years,
but I never got it finished.

The pattern is called Scrap-Tease, 
by Bettie Hammock for Stitch'n Kitt'n.
It is out of print now.

I embellished the centers by snowballing the squares,
appliquing hearts, and doing a little embroidery.
(The centers on the first one were left square
and signed by our quilt group members,
The quilt was gifted to a fellow member who was having health issues.)

Not only did I finish Scrap-Tease,
but I finished a Christmas gift, too.

Talk about fun to make!
The solids are Free Spirit.
What a dream to work with!

I quilted it with organic wavy lines,
pretending it was the wind!
It was my first time quilting wavy lines,
and it went so quickly and smoothly.

I'm linking up to 

I've been having so much fun!
Hope you can say the same!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hazel Goes to Indiana

Thank you for visiting my blog
and entering the give away
for the PiNS pattern.

The random number generator
chose Carol of Just Let Me Quilt.
Congratulations, Carol!
I've forwarded your email address to Karen.

PiNS can be purchased at
Karen's Etsy shop,
as an instant digital downloadable PDF.
She has crushed walnut shells for sale, too.

I know that several of MY quilty friends
will be happy to receive a pincushion 
made from the PiNS pattern for Christmas.
Yours will, too!

On a quilty note,
not only did I find Dog Gone Cute
irresistible, the same was true for Hazel Hedgehog.

When Little Sister told me the story
of how my niece woke from her afternoon nap one day
and said to her mom, "Mummy, I was imagining I was a hedgehog..."
I had no choice, did I?
Especially since she was only days away from turning three?

It's almost bigger than my sweet girl!!

Hope you have a wonderful, funderful day.
Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Too Dog Gone Cute to Resist

I tried,

I really did.
But....I couldn't do it.
So, I made one.
One turned into three.
They were just 
too Dog Gone Cute to resist.

I have three very special little friends
down in Houston
who will delight in receiving this year's Christmas gifties!

Thank you, Lorna, for yet another delightful pattern.
The Blog Hop was lots of fun.
The pups were addicting.
Wish I had more time, I'd keep making them!
What a great fundraiser idea for the SPCA.
May just have to revisit this pattern
for more quilty fun.

Linking to Sew Fresh Quilts linky party!

I'm also linking to ALYoF

I fly back to Texas for the winter in 5 short weeks,
so I'm designating my remaining time here
to finishing up everything I have started.

This quilt has been a UFO for a fair amount of time.
I decided to quilt it this summer, choosing to stitch in the ditch.
Oh, what was I thinking?
It's been sitting unfinished in a pile for a few weeks now,
but I'm back at it, and it WILL be finished and bound
by the end of the month.
There are no more butterflies to distract me!

Today is the last day to enter my give away!

Have a wonderful, funderful day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Designer, New Pattern, and a Give Away!

It absolutely thrills me to introduce
a new pattern designer,
and pattern.
What's great is that it's just in time for crafting
for Christmas gift giving.

Without further adieu,
meet Karen!
In her own words:

My Photo
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
My 5 W's WHO: Besides being a wife, mother and grandma, quilting brings me to my happy place. I'm a flight attendant by day, which gives me the means to play with my creative quilty side. WHAT: Manipulating fabric to create different fonts makes me giddy. In college, studying graphic design, I always said I'd specialize in lettering. Little did I know it would be with fabric and not the printed page. WHEN: I started sewing when I was ten years old, almost half a century ago. I saved up all my money and bought my first sewing machine before my eleventh birthday. I guess I've been creating ever since. WHERE: We raised our family in Nova Scotia. Although our childrens' jobs have taken them all over Canada, my husband and I remain in this beautiful province on the east coast of Canada. WHY: I can't imagine being passionate about another craft and the women I've met during this journey makes it all worth while!

Her Etsy store: Sugar Free Quilts
Her Blog:  Sugar Free Quilts
Her FB page:  Sugar Free Quilted Designs

Karen has designed this adorable pin cushion.

The first time I saw it at Lesley's (The Cuddle Quilter),
I fell in love with it.  It's filled with crushed walnut shells
and made such a nice statement in Lesley's sewing space.

Almost a year later, I saw one at Linda's (Scrapmaster),
and thought, "I NEED one of these!).

Little did I know that I was soon to not only meet the designer,

but she'd ask ME, a TOTAL stranger, to be her pattern tester.

Sew, I made one and sent her my impressions.

We emailed back and forth for a few weeks
while she tweaked and we tested
and she tweaked some more.

Now I have three!

And I plan on making many more.
It's a lot like eating potato chips,
you can't make just one!
They were so quick and easy!

The best part of the process is the Piece Map 
that Karen included in her pattern.

It fits right on my white board,
so once my pieces are all cut and placed,
I can easily carry it over to my sewing machine
and get to work.

I didn't time how long it took to cut the pieces
for the pincushion,
but I did pay attention while sewing it together.
In only 45 minutes, I had a wonderful pincushion!

I filled two with crushed walnut shells,
available from Karen's Etsy Shop,

and one with poly stuffing.
I love them all, but the walnut shells trump the stuffing.
I also altered the cutting directions for the backing
to use the stuffing, which I will share if you ask nicely.

The best part?
We have not see the last of Karen's beautiful creations.
Not only did she design and quilt the above avatar
for her shop,

but she designed and made this gorgeous
and unique wall hanging,
hopefully, soon to be a pattern.
Both were on display at the quilt show in Amherst last week.

Karen has very graciously offered
to give away her pattern to one of my lucky readers.
It's in PDF format,
so it's an international give away!!

Just leave a comment by Nov. 3rd 
to be entered in the give away.
That's one week!

(You know what?  If you share about this 
pincushion pattern give away
on your own blog and come back to let me know,
you can have a second entry.)

Thanks sew much for stopping by today!

Friday, October 23, 2015

What? Sit Still?

Time to do a post.

It requires sitting still, 
something I don't do well.
But last Thursday,
I did sit still long enough 
to travel the three hours
with Lesley (The Cuddle Quilter
to the sweet little town of Amherst, NS
for the 8th Annual Fibre Arts Festival.
I did, however, crochet the whole way!

I joined Linda (Scrapmaster), her sweet daughter, and the other
dear ladies from the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild
for three fun days at their show

Be sure to click on their link to read all about it!
And, you can read about it on Adrienne's blog  HERE,
on Linda's blog HERE,
Jen wrote about it HERE , Lesley, HERE.
And the other Karen shared HERE!
There are lots of fun pictures, so I hope you'll check them out!
Even though I was there all that time,
I had to leave around noon on Saturday,
and I can't believe how much I missed out on!
Those MMQG ladies have it so together!

I finally met Karen Neary of Sew Karen-ly Created.
She's as sweet as the day is long!

She had a booth at The Zonta Bazaar on Saturday.
One of her beautiful creations

hangs in Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium,
a wonderful quilt store on the main street.
I walked down there to shop four times.

(Shhhh, I swiped this pic from Adrienne's post!)

There was more going on than quilting.

There was a lot of rug hooking,
but I only took one picture

This is Polly.  She's making little sheep Christmas pins.
Her family has a big history of rug hooking
and crafting in the community.

Here we have Faith and her niece, Claire,
spinning their little hearts out.
This was absolutely fascinating, and I kept gravitating
over to their area to chat with them.

Plus, there were luncheons, suppers, chocolate night out,
trunk shows, classes, a weaver....and two more quilt shows.
The list goes on and on and on.
Now that I know what it's all about, I'll be better prepared next year!

When you attend something like this, it's so electrifying!
I came home utterly exhausted,
but so charged up,
I haven't stopped sewing since!

Stay sweet!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dances With Butterflies

I love it when people "get me".
The Ranger says that if I was an Indian Princess,
my name would be Dances With Butterflies.
He claims that I am childish like a child.
Me:  "I really need to focus and get this done.
Oh, look, a butterfly!"

And off I go, task forgotten.

That said, NO, I didn't meet my September goal for
Sew Bitter Sweet Design's "A Lovely Year of Finishes".
There were just too many distractions.
But you can click HERE to see who did!

Speaking of dancing with butterflies,
I had the opportunity to see
Leah Day's Dancing Butterfly quilt up close and personal.
Well, it wasn't HERS, but it was made during her quilt along
by a very talented Maritimes Modern Quilt Guild member.

I wish I had a better picture to show you,
as it was absolutely stunning.
Now I want to make one, too!
Leah does an incredible job walking you through FMQing each block.
Add it to the list!!
No wonder I'm so overwhelmed!

I am a Virgo.
And true to my sign, I am a perfectionist.
I like a clean, professional finish to my projects.
Whenever I am making something that needs to be
turned right side out and topstitched or handstitched closed,
I always add an extra 1/4" to that seam allowance
to give me something to work neatly with
with no fuss.

Today I am linking up to

Have a great day.
Take a moment to seek your inner child.

XO, Karen

Saturday, September 19, 2015

You Otter Been There

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure
of attending the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild (MMQG) meeting

in Halifax, NS with Linda from Scrapmaster.
(I spent the most wonderful three days with
Linda and her family.)

I'd like to thank all the 'girls' for making me feel so welcomed.
It was just delightful to be able to meet and put a face to
some of the members of that guild who are also bloggers -
Anja, of Anja Quilts
Miss Valerie, of Purple Boots and Pigtails
Jenn, blogging over at A Quarter Inch from the Edge
Adrienne, the pres, of Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
Aimee, from Candy Coated Quilts
Dominique, of The Running Thimble
and Karen, at Sugarfree Quilts, who needs a little 
encouragement to write some posts.
We'll be hearing more from Karen, and I can't wait to share!

During the evening, there was a fun swap.
Linda and her swapmate, Miss Valerie, went first.

Do you think they were excited?
It was pretty funny.  Miss Valerie hadn't even opened hers yet!
She was jumping all around because Linda was.
I couldn't get a clear picture for all the tea in China.
Wish I had thought to video it all.
Valerie made a very special and meaningful wallhanging for our Linda.
You can read about it here.
All the swap wallhangings were amazing.
You otter been there.


Speaking of otters...
we went for a little local paddle in our kayaks the other day
and were visited by a new friend.
(Click on pics to enlarge them.)

Isn't he/she just the cutest thing?

They don't appear to be at all afraid, just curious!
I floated up to 15 feet of him/her.
Once I was paddling during the wee hours of the morning
(morning being my favorite time of day)
and  had three swim right by me,
not an arms length away,
and they all three lifted their bodies way up high out of the water
and looked at me as they passed by.
I can't imagine what they might have been thinking!)
This one chatted with me for a few minutes before disappearing.
They grow to about 4.5 feet long and weigh in at 30 pounds.
Experiencing nature like this really makes my heart sing.

I hope something happened during your week
that made your heart sing!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Summer's End

There is no denying that hummingbirds are
 one of Mother Nature's greatest gifts.

They hold appeal to a great many atisans.

As I say good-bye to my hummers
(there was still one out there this morning)

I'm impelled to share this website with you.

Bottom line, it explains that a hummingbird's migration
They travel just so far, then they need to stop, rest, and refuel.
So this is just a reminder that if you think your hummingbirds have moved on,
keep your feeders up,
so mine will have a place to recharge their energies!

Have a happy and relaxing Labor Day!