Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! I hope the reason for the season is in all of your hearts. I wish love, health and happiness to all of you as my Christmas gift. I will not be posting for a couple of days. I am taking time off to spend with my children. As you know, I do not get to see them often, so I soak up all of their goodness when I can. I will be having much family time. I will not be sewing until after Christmas---all of my gifts are made and on their way to their new owners.  Smile, be happy and enjoy each other!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Busy, Busy, Busy!

   Oh time is going by so fast---and yet, I find that my sewing is going so slow! I am not sure if other people feel this way, but right now, I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back. I wish I could wiggle my nose and make all of my projects complete. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I make such demands on myself? I always say----"Nadine, you did it again!" And then I find myself adding this to the comment: " You should have started these during the summer!"  You would think that after all of these years, I would finally take my own advice, do myself a huge favor---and just start in the summer months.

  OK, deep breath--in and out. Better. I know I have a few more days to work on these projects. It will work out. I will probably have to pull a few late nights here though. Can you relate? Please tell me I am not the only one doing this " sew like mad" thing right before Christmas.

  On another note here, I do feel pretty satisfied in my accomplishments yesterday. I had made myself a check list and I have to say---I had them all checked off by the time I went to bed. That is a good thing. At one point, I had to chuckle at myself. I was working on the longarm and having my embroidery machine stitch out more ornaments at the same time. That was something I never did before. I usually just sit there and gawk at my machine while it is stitching out a design. But.....time waits for no one, and there is no rest for the weary.

  Here are some more of the ornaments that I have been making. Someone on an earlier post said that they look Victorian. I have to admit----they do! I can not believe that I did not notice this before, since I love the Victorian era. I do not think I mentioned what collection  these ornaments are from.They are: Christmas Lace II by Betty Svensson. I bought it from the Husqvarna dealer a few years back.

  I have something to show that I made, but I want to finish stitching it out first. Hopefully I can show it off tomorrow. Till then, enjoy your day. Keep working at checking off all that you can on your to do lists!
Sorry--I can not figure out how to rotate this silly picture. I just love these ornaments. The ribbons for hanging will be added today.  Couldn't you see crystals hot glued on them--wouldn't that look nice?!

Love all of the possibilities n this collection.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Ornaments

'Tis the season for sewing!!! I uncovered my embroidery machine yesterday and decided it was high time to load up a design and get stitchen"! I have not used my embroidery machine in a long time. I can't even remember the last time I embroidered something. What a shame! Shame on me! I have committed machine abuse...... something that I can not tolerate. Well, I changed that all yesterday when I uncovered it, put in the thread and bobbin, picked out a design and pressed start. What a lovely thing to watch.
I actually own a couple sewing embroidery machines. They are Vikings. I own a Diamond and a Designer Ruby. They are able to do amazing things. Let me rephrase that: they do amazing things when you use them. My machines came with pre loaded designs. I have also purchased Cd's with pretty designs and downloaded them from varies sites on the Internet. It is so exciting to buy a pattern, load it into my machine, put in choice of colored thread and press start----the machine starts moving. The needle goes up and down all around the hoop-before you know it, you have a beautiful design. I always sit there in amazement watching it. Hours can go by without me moving. I use to do all kinds of hand embroidery. Now that I am older and I own these wonderful machines, I don't do it anymore.
I wanted to do some fun sewing yesterday--I wanted to reward myself for all the hard work I have been doing with the customer quilt that is on the long arm. With Christmas coming fast- I decided to sew a few Christmas Ornaments. I choose the color red. I could use other colors, but red is one of my favorite colors. My CD offers many ornaments to choose from. That was the difficult part. It took me a long time to choose which ones I wanted.  Finally the choice was made. I put the stabilizer on the hoop that dissolves in water: Aqua Magic, connected it to the machine and away it went. I sat there with a cup of coffee in my hand with my eyes glued to the stitch out. I don't think I will ever get over watching it sew. It really is amazing. I really do love it.
Before too long, it was done. I took it from the machine. Cut the pieces out and placed them in a bowl of warm water. The Aqua Magic dissolved immediately. Fascinating! Took them out of the bowl and placed them on a towel to dry. I left them to dry in the studio during the night. I couldn't wait to see them this morning. They are dry and beautiful. I am going to put ribbon on them so that they can hang. I am so inspired by this----I think I will pick out some more ornaments and stitch them out. Oh happy happy!
The weather here is currently freezing and snowing---it looks a lot like Christmas. Fitting weather to stay in doors and love my machines and create some more goodness. Hope you all have a great day. I hope you all make something lovely today!
Here are the ornaments up on my computer. I have the 6D  Embroidery program on my computer. I love it. It helps to do many wonderful things with my embroidery designs.

It is all loaded onto my machine.  The hoop is in place and it is currently starting to stitch the first ornament.

It is so cool watching it stitch out and start to take shape. It is captivating to watch.

Here is the finished product! Aren't they lovely??!!! They are addicting to make---I see some more being made in my immediate future!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Past

Today is a day of going down memory lane. The weather is cold and snowy. I am not feeling ambitious to go out and about in it. Warm and fuzzy clothes with a good cup of coffee in my hand is a great way to be. With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season on us, it is making me want to just slow down for a minute and savor the moment. My list is a mile long of all the things that need to be finished, the fun events that are scheduled, the wrapping and sending off of gifts, etc...... You know the deal. No one is free from this craziness. Days are going by very fast---truly, in just a blink of an eye a week has past! What is happening? The answer is - life. Life is happening. We are so busy with our lists, responsibilities, getting ready for the next day-that we whiz right through the day without thinking about it. I find myself thinking about the people in my life.

I remember a few years ago, that I heard from my daughter that her good friend,Rachel, was coming home from college for Christmas, but would be leaving soon to move to Florida. I was like: wow, how can this be? Is she old enough to do this? Is she ready to do this?? With these thoughts going through my head, I thought about what I could do to wish her well and send her on her way with love. So...... even though it was a week before Christmas day- I got busy on making her a quilt. I wanted to make something special for her. I wanted her to know that she is loved. I wanted her to know that I care and that I wish her the best on her new adventure. 

I decided on a pattern called " 3 Sisters". I choose this pattern not only because I liked it and it looked fun to make, but because it made me think of Rachel, her mom and her sister----three ladies, three sisters in spirit. I had already had the material in my stash. I even remember were I bought it from--Creekside Quilting in Arcade. I worked as fast as I could on cutting, piecing and then quilting it on the longarm. I had a fast approaching deadline. Rachel was coming over to say goodbye before she left. I cut it so close, that she was actually walking up to my door when I was sewing the last of the binding stitches!!!

I was so happy to see her! Many hugs and good wishes were given. She was so shocked when I presented the quilt to her. I could see the emotion of happiness and surprise all over her cute face. The time---that blasted thing called time-----it went by so fast. She no sooner came, then she was gone. Gone to travel her own road of life.
Beautiful smile on a beautiful girl

I love this picture
Flash forward to the present. I would like to say that I have seen Rachel many time since she left. The truth is, is that I have not seen her since that day a couple of Christmases ago. Time goes by, and here we are. I would love to say that she took her quilt with her and cuddled with it many nights when she was alone. I would love to say that the quilt has comforted her while she was away from her mom. That she felt all the love that was put into the making of it for her. No I can not. Sadly it has been folded up and stored at her mom's home in her old room.

I feel sad thinking about this quilt. Quilts are made to be used. Made to comfort and heal. Made from love and given in love. At least, that is how I view it. I miss Rachel. She is doing well. She is traveling the States and loving life. Good for her!!!! My only wish is that the quilt that is lonely and waiting for her - was with her and traveling around and gathering miles on it as well.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Northern Lights

As I am flipping through my pictures, I came across a few lovely shots of a customer quilt that I had done earlier this year. I love this quilt- it was so much fun to play with. Did I say play with??? I sure did! I love to free motion quilt with my long arm. I receive a variety of types of quilts from my customers. They are all beautiful. What I have not had the joy of working a lot on, are the "Modern" style quilts. You know the ones----they are made of mostly solid colors. The designs on them may vary, but there is always wide open spaces on them. Some people call this "negative space". I like the term wide open better. It just seems so much more positive. Sewing is positive, quilting is positive-so why shouldn't the words to describe it be positive???

A few months back, I received a quilt top from a customer of mine. I knew about this top for awhile and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. It is very modern in it's look. It is made up of different colors with a sort of zig zag'ish block style. At first glance, it reminded me of a rainbow. She told me the pattern was called " Northern Lights". It really is a neat pattern. When I brought it home into my studio and hung it up on my design board, I just stood there and stared at it. All sorts of cool ideas and designs were floating in and out of my little head. I also was thinking of various thread choices and colors. So many ideas--it was over whelming trying to narrow it all down and pick a few. I have to admit, it took me awhile to really do just that--narrow it down and finally make a pick. Aaaahhhhh, choices, choices and more choices.

Well, I finally did choose. I decided to use matching threads for each color and to do a different design for each color. I ordered the color of threads that I did not have and started to draw on blank sheets of paper what I wanted to sew. That took a couple of days. Enough time to allow the thread to arrive. It only took a couple of days. I quickly loaded it up on the frame and started the process. Oh how much fun it was. I was having so much fun just stitching away. I was in my own little world, my own little zone. I can't even tell you what the weather was doing outside. I lost all track of time, and just sewed and sewed  and sewed. I really had so much fun quilting this top, that it is sinful.
When I finally finished- I remember feeling like the cat who ate the mouse. I felt stuffed and satiated in a quilty sort of way. I called Rochelle and let her know. I could not wait to give it to her.

Here are some of the pictures. I was so exited to do this top and give it back, that in my excitement-----I forgot to take pictures. I actually took these with my cell phone after I showed her the quilt. I am not a good photographer--so the pictures do not do it justice.
This is the whole quilt top. As you can see, there is still extra batting and backing attached. I never  cut it off. I let the owner do it when they are ready to bind it. Taking scissors to some one's quilt scares me to the bones.

This is a design that I totally created. I love the movement it creates

This is one of my favorite designs on the quilt.

 I love how I was able to sew lines and combine them with other flowing designs to create neat looks. Modern quilts are fun to quilt. They really do allow for your creative side to shine through

Love stitching out feathers. Who doesn't love feathers???

My own version of an Oak leaf
I know that the pattern is called Northern Lights--but for me, I call it Northern Candy.  I felt like a child in a candy store the whole time I worked on this top. Thanks Rochelle!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

From Me to You

Burrrrrr......rub arms up and down each for coffee.....stand by heater. Yep, that is what my first minutes of my day were like. If you haven't guessed by now---let me tell you then,  Babe-it is cold outside!!!! I know, it is December and I do live in upper Western New York---but, for me, it never gets any easier. The sad thing is that we just started our cold weather. Winter is not officially here for 7 days. Not going to complain though-----this past summer was so painfully hot to me. We are now getting the cold weather that I remember begging for. Be careful for what you ask for people.
I am posting a picture of this gentleman. I have never met him, I can't even tell you his name. I do know that he is a nice man---how can he not be, he is the father to one of my friends from the Center. I love this picture for a few reasons. One---he asked her to show it to me. Two----he is loving on this afghan that was made just for him. Three----It touches my heart.
The gift of warmth and love
In the middle of this past summer, my whole house was torn upside down. We had the Amish come and do some major work on roofs, ceilings, walls and doors. It was greatly needed, but much chaos and mess. During this time, my poor little Gia (yorkiepoo), hurt her back and couldn't walk or stand. It was so stressful and terrible. Well, life is life and we never know what will happen from one day to the next. I received a text from a friend of mine-Rochelle. Her mom just passed away suddenly. I remember standing in my kitchen just starring at my phone. So sad. So hard to think about. It took me back to when my mother was suddenly and tragically taken from me. There are those moments in life that you will always know where you were and what you were doing when it strikes. Needless to say---I felt so bad for her and her family.  Immediately placed them into my prayers.  I can't remember the sequence of events or the exact time space of everything because of what was happening on my home front, but I did receive a call from Rochelle some time later. She told me about finding an afghan that her mom was in the middle of making for her dad. She asked me if I could finish it. I was so shocked and moved that she would think of asking me this. What an honor. This afghan clearly meant something to all of them. This clearly needed to be finished and gifted to her dad. Rochelle only had the partially completed afghan and a couple more skeins of the yarn her mom was using. I would have to figure out what hook she used and figure out the stitch pattern.
Rochelle and her husband dropped off the package to me on a very hot sunny day. They were gracious enough to look past all of the crazy chaos happening at my home. When you have people come to your home the first time---there is always an urge and a need for it to be clean and orderly. Well, not in this case. God bless them. I remember peering into the bag and thinking to myself- sure, no problem-easy peasy--but what the heck kind of stitch is this???? I knew it was some sort of a shell stitch. That was it. I tried pulling back the yarn to unravel a few stitches---but it did not make sense. Some of the stitches were done differently then the others. I took it to another friend of mine who crochets a great deal. She too, had a similar problem figuring it out. She even brought out all of her hooks to help figure out what size I needed.  After a few hours, we came up with a stitch that we thought worked well, and I was on my way to the store to buy the hook that I needed.
I worked on the afghan at night when things were calmer and cooler in the house. I would think of Rochelle and her family. I prayed to her mom and asked her to help me finish this in a good way. I prayed to Creator to help bless my stitching, help me re-create what this woman had done. I kept thinking about how important this afghan was and what it meant to the family. I felt so honored and humbled every time I sat and worked on it.
The day finally came when I was finished. I was so happy that it was done and looked good. I honestly could not tell where her mom ended and where I picked up. Mission accomplished. I made the call to Rochelle and happy to tell her the news. She picked it up and away she went. I have thought many times about that afghan and the meaning of it. I have thought many a time of her mom in heaven watching me work on her gift to her husband. I have crocheted many items in the past---but I am a Quilter to the bone. Working on this afghan made me use muscles I have not used in a long time. It made me reflect on the meaning of creating something, of gifting, of our family and loved ones, on extending ourselves to help others, the joys and pains of life.
So----needless to say, I was very happy when her father had this picture taken of him and asked her to forward it to me. He loves it and he said it is so warm. Way awesome!!! Way good!!! Today was so cold to me when I got out of bed----I couldn't help thinking of cuddling under quilts and afghans. This picture is picture perfect for today. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Meet Shea-this smoochy bundle of goodness!

Beautiful Shea
I have been waiting to write this post for some time now. To me, this is a special one. It is special in many ways. All of them good in my mind. I want you to meet Shea Schaus. Isn't she so darn cute??!!! This little honey was born earlier this year to one of my favorite Doctors- Dr  B Schaus.. As you know, I am a Nurse. I had the pleasure of working with her daddy at my last place of employment. He was new to our Center and full of life. I liked working with him right away. You can't help working along side someone for a couple of years and not get to know them. It was exciting to hear that he met someone. It was exciting to hear they became engaged. It was exciting to hear about the wedding and it was more exciting to hear of their pregnancy. Prayers of happiness and health for the baby was started immediately. I had retired almost a year ago to this date from Nursing---so I did not hear  more of the baby to be for awhile. As a quilter---what do you think was going through my mind?? HHHhhmmmmm....... I wonder. Yes of course- making a quilt. The hardest part was deciding on what pattern and then the color. I decided to wait for the birth to see if the baby was a boy or girl. I had a feeling it was going to be a girl. One day, I was at the Quilt Barn in Boston NY, with a friend of mine. I came across a Precious Moment panel. It struck me hard- and could not stop looking at it. I knew right then---I was going to use this to make the quilt. So, I bought all of the supplies and brought it home. I was so excited to make this quilt. I have not made a baby quilt in a long time. I decided to make a chenille quilt using flannel against the cotton panel. I used three different colored flannels for contrast--all matching the panel. I really wanted the new baby to be warm. Eventually---I got the call that the newest member of the Schaus family was born!!!! A girl!  It made me smile to hear the news---I smiled all day! Next came finding out the correct spelling of her name---I needed to know for the label on the quilt. I was in continuous communication with a couple of my Nurse friends back at the Center to secretly find out for me. Ha- I would have loved to be  fly on the wall, to see his face, every time one of them asked him about his daughter's name. Well-mission accomplished---got the spelling and finished the label and quilt. Again, I made calls to my friends and found out what day he would be there working and the best time with his schedule to come.
Back up a few months: I really could not wait to bring this quilt to him. I wanted  him to know that I was so happy for him and his wife.  Prior to presenting the quilt to him- I had been up to the Center to drop off a customer order. He came over to me and showed me a picture of his baby. He was a proud Daddy. He had a total smitten look to his face. My heart glowed for him and his wife. But------I did notice something as soon as I looked at the picture. Besides thinking, " Oh my god how beautiful she is!", I noticed something else. I did not say anything and I could see it on his face when he showed me her picture. His beautiful daughter was born with Down Syndrome. My heart hurt for him and his wife. I went home that day with a sad heart and one filled with prayers for them.  Down syndrome is a genetic disorder. It is one of the most common chromosome abnormalities in humans. This news was sad, but, to me, it is not the worst in life. Though hard to deal with at first,this is workable, this is just a speed bump in life. As a Nurse---I have many sad stories. As a person----I have family and friends that deal with sadness and disabilities. I thought long and hard about this news. There is a family in Silver Creek- Mr and Mrs Hotelling. Their daughter Laurel was born with Down Syndrome. Through their hard work, love and dedication-they have raised awareness of this genetic disorder and disabilities. They have organized and put on the "Laurel Run" for 20 years. The event is named in honor of their daughter.The run is held in Silver Creek, NY. Laurel is special. Her smile is contagious-her love of life is amazing and humbling. My immediate family, brothers and friends have attended and participated in the Laurel Run for years. It is very important to us. I encourage every one to become aware and involved with your community. I encourage everyone to contact the National Down Syndrome Society to learn, understand and reach out.
When I brought the quilt to Dr. Schaus- he was surprised and filled with smiles. I was thrilled that he liked it. I made him promise to send me pictures of her with it. And he did. I have held on to them and looked at them often. They make me happy when I look at them.
Looking at Shea smiling up at the camera is so awesome! It is so overwhelmingly wonderful to see her on my quilt that I made. She makes my quilt look good. She is a natural model! She is so smoochy precious and so squeezable cute! Making quilts for babies, special occasions, family, children, neighbors, community fund raisers---all good, all needed and the benefits are shared with the giving and the receiving. Be good to each other. Enjoy looking at the smile on this adorable face..... I know I do.
This is the most recent picture of Shea. Isn't her smile contagious??? Do you notice the quilt she is playing on??? This picture made my day when I saw it

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Meet Lovely Emma

Aaahhhhhh..... don't you just love dolls?!  I mean of course- homemade dolls. They are the absolute best. I have such a soft spot for them in my heart. I love these precious creations. My mother use to collect dolls-but they were not handmade. They were all store bought. I have never really cared for those types. I have made a few soft handmade ones for myself and as gifts. I have purchased a few from craft shows. Here is my latest purchase. Meet Emma!
My beautiful Emma
She was made by the loving crafty hands of a customer/friend of mine. Rebecca Davison-March. I have her listed as "Rebecca Quilter" in my phone, because this is how we first became acquainted. She is a fellow Quilter, full time mom of three and works outside of the house full time. It amazes me how women are so strong and talented that we can raise children, work full time and still create beautiful things. A couple of months ago, Rebecca showed me a picture of a group of dolls that she had made her little girls. I was like: OMG- I love them! She sells them on eBay. They are all hand crafted, made with vintage items and unique cashmere hair.They all are a bit different and unique. I had made the request for dark hair and to have a vintage/Victorian look. Looking at dolls like this, takes me back in time to a simpler life. I think of Victorian times, along with the Civil War era, I am as fascinated with the Victorian era, as I am the Civil War era---there is just something about that time that just grabs my attention and I can't get enough.

she is in a antique doll cradle
I just received her yesterday. I have a good dear friend-Margaret Logan, who has been graciously acting as a go between for Rebecca and I. Margaret has not only brought us together, but is bridging the miles between us and helping us to connect. Thank you Margaret!!! Well, as I was saying- I just got her and I was so thrilled when I looked in the bag and saw her. I immediately placed her in this antique doll cradle that I found a couple of years ago. She looks at home sitting there-doesn't she? The cradle sits next to one of my vintage Treadle Singer sewing machines. I keep them both in my living room. They great together. Looking at her inspires me to get back to making my own cloth dolls. I think this will be good to do right after the new year. Thank you Rebecca for my Emma!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Keeping Busy- and Smiling

With this Holiday Season upon us-----I am so very aware of how busy everyone is and all of the "To do lists" that are out there. I love and dislike this season. Don't get me wrong---I love the reason for the season---I just hate all of the commercialism that seems to grow and grow each year. It is so funny, when I was a child----I was so unaware of this craziness, I just wanted for Jesus to have his birthday and for Santa to come. Ahhhhhh----the innocence of childhood. As an adult---I still want to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I no longer wait for Santa ( or do I?....... hahahaha). I do though want to enjoy every bit of it. I want to be with all of my children, sit back with my husband and talk about the wonderful things to come in the new year, I want to see my family members that I do not live close to, I want to cook and eat our traditional foods, I want to play music that is up lifting and joyful. I want to be in the moment. Then----if there is a chance for me to slip away and play with my machines and create something beautiful on a wonderful day of rejoicing---then it all adds up to a perfect day.  So, with these thoughts and desires of mine-----I force myself to stay focused. Look at my list-ha ha, and smile at each one listed. It is my personal list of what I realistically want and will do this Holiday Season. I will share a bit of it with you. Maybe it will inspire you on your list:
- wake up and smile at the beginning of each day
-think quickly of 10 things I am thankful for
-think of each of my children and send a loving thought to them
-envision us all together laughing and talking
-make at least 3 phone calls a day to different friends just to say hello
-make it a point to smile at strangers when I am out and about

As you can see, it has nothing to do with buying or meeting high expectations that always feel so self defeating. These are things that truly make me happy, smile, feel wonderful and create a better immediate world for me. Now----let it not be said that I will be thinking of my sewing studio and all of my machines with love..... of course I will, I want to make it a point to go into my room everyday and cut out some personal sewing time for just me. It doesn't have to be a big and extravagant sewing project---just something to allow me to go into my studio. Appreciate my room, machines, notions and fabrics. You know----fondling fabric never hurt anyone!!!! Ha!

Today, I plan to work on a quilt on my longarm. I am doing custom quilting on it for one of my customers. I have looked forward to starting this quilt top for many months. We had issues with batting and backing. So happy we conquered it and I have started it. I am planning my stitching as I go and I am even thinking of using some designs from my robotics on this. That is exciting, because it will be the first real quilt that I will using the robotics on. Way cool-- way exciting. I will post pictures as I move along on it.

Later I have my Christmas Party for my Guild. It is going to be so much fun and I can't wait to see all of  the ladies. We are exchanging Christmas potholders. Doesn't that sound neat?!
I came across this picture and had to post it here. I made these  Christmas stockings as a gift a couple of years ago. They are of my own design. I just loved making them. They were fun to do from the beginning to the end. I have to admit---I do love making stockings. Maybe that is something I will do in a couple of days. Every time I think of these stockings I have to smile.  So---I encourage everyone to make something today that keeps you busy in a good way and that also makes you smile.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Country road take me home....

Well--we did it. My family and I flew to California for Thanksgiving, and we made it back safe. We wanted to go and see our daughter and my son who are there. It has been over a year and a half since I have seen Doug, and it has been since this August that I haven't seen my daughter. Hate it, hate that I don't get to see my kids often. Hate that I have to fly out and take a vacation to see them. But.... feel very blessed that I am able to do this. We flew into California on Tuesday and stayed at a hotel in Burbank. Burbank was a great place to stay. Very interesting there. The weather was very nice-perfect for us. Not to hot and not to cool. Total flip flop weather for me. We were able to walk around and take in the sites. We ate at a few local places. One of the restaurants we ate breakfast in was all decked out in the 50's- so cool. There was a small juke box at every table. You could play 3 songs for 25 cents. My kids thought that was the neatest thing---of course we played song after song. One of the things we decided to do was actually on my Husbands birthday---it was the day after Thanksgiving. We went on a tour at Warner Bros Studio in Hollywood. That was so way cool! We saw props from shows like Superman, Batman, Big Bang Theory, Friends,Harry Potter, Gilmore Girls. Pretty little liars, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies and more. We love this kind of stuff! It was neat to go into the studios were they film current live shows. It is amazing to see how little the areas are that they film in--not really how it looks on TV. The men in our group went crazy over all of the Batman mobiles and motorcycles---yep, they were all there and all running! My daughter was thrilled with the Gilmore Girls homes and scenes--and yes----Friends. Me---loved the Friends scenes and props--but I really loved the stuff for Harry Potter.
Marissa and I sitting on the couch from "Friends" TV show

We were just goofing off here and staging a laugh scene

Marissa behind the counter at the "Central Perks" scene for Friends TV show.

Thanksgiving day was spent at a friends home in Calabasas. Cheryl--great host, beautiful home, wonderful dinner. Her mother and brother joined us. It was a very nice day. How many people will open up their doors on a holiday and invite a group of people in-some that they are meeting for the first time and host a holiday meal??? Not many that is for sure--but this lovely lady did. Thank You Cheryl!! If you haven't guessed yet---that is who I made the blue and grey fabric coil basket for. She liked it and it matched her living room.
Getting ready to film me on a broom from Harry Potter movie

It is pretty neat to walk around an area that is not your home and see how they prepare for the Holiday season. So weird though to see Christmas lights, trees and wreaths out and about right next to palm trees. Had to take this picture of this Christmas tree. It was huge and you could walk right through it to get to the other shops. At night, this tree was all lite up and pretty.
had to show this- a Christmas tree in California that you can walk through. That is Joe Man standing there.
The days went by quickly. Before we knew it, we were flying back home. We flew out of Canada, so coming back was the same. It felt so long of a flight and then the 2 hour drive home felt endless. Back to the cold, back to our fur babies. Our home was waiting safe and sound for us---all thanks to my friend Colleen. She took care of our home and fur babies. She is a true gem. Thank you Colleen!! It was really good to see the kids and spend time with them. In a blink of an eye our trip was over and time to say goodbye again. I really hate saying goodbye. Hello is so much better. It is always nice to be back home though, no place like home. I missed my fur babies and of course...... being the quilter that I am...... I missed all of my machines and fabric. I do have a story that I will share with everyone later about fabric and California. For now,,I am sitting here in my home enjoying a nice cup of coffee and thinking about our next visit with our kids.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Another Fabric Coil Bowl

I have another Fabric Coil Bowl to show. It is a gift for someone else, I highly doubt they will see this blog or my face book page-so I think it is very safe for me to show you all. I have to say---I really do love this bowl. I made it into an oval shape. I used yellow/gold, blue and grey colored fabrics on it. I was told by an inside source that this recipient has those colors in her home. I have not made an oval shape bowl in like forever--so it was sort of a treat for me to do this. I know that I have mentioned this the other day, but I have to say it again. Making these bowls are not tedious in anyway for me. It is very calming and relaxing. Once I decide on the colors and the shape that I want, I just sit and sew zig zags in circles. What is not to love about that. I play my favorite music, drink my coffee, get lost in my little world in my mind---and then like magic the bowl is done!!!!! Easy peasy! I have altered the pattern in the past. I have made lids for them, I have added accessories, I have made hot mats and mug rugs out of them. They are so useful.
Here it is! TA DA! It sorta reminds me of denim but, I did not use jean material. 

The inside is nice and bright- this way , you can see to the bottom no matter what you use it for or the lighting in the room

Well, this will be the last post for a couple of days. I am going to focus on the family and the Thanksgiving Day Holiday.As you all are probably feeling--there is much to do and the days go by fast. Of course, my mind will be going a mile a minute thinking of all my WIP, and other projects I can not wait to do and share. I hope everyone has a safe and loving Holiday. Enjoy your families!
Just a side view. I love the design on it. I don't like to make the same design over and over.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fabric Coil Bowls

I just had to show a couple of pictures of one of my latest fabric coil bowls. I love these bowls. They are easy to make, fun to make and very versatile. These bowls allow you to exercise your creative flow. You can choose what ever color, design, or shape you desire. I have made them custom to sell, and I have made them as gifts for people. There are a few around my home being used in various ways. One of my favorite ones, is a little scrappy bowl that sits right next to my sewing machine. I love it! It is so cute and so tiny. I use it to hold little items such as: seam ripper, stiletto, bobbins, etc.... I have brought this little bowl with me to sew dates and retreats. It is a helper tool for me. The other fabric bowls around my home are used as decorations, to hold rolls for dinner, to hold extra decorations for holidays, bathroom supplies, makeup...... As you can see, I use these bowls for many things. This particular bowl is a gift for my son and daughter in law. They own a spa in California. It is a gift for them. Their spa is purple, silver and white. So- I made this bowl to order. I am not sure where or how they will use it. I have not seen their spa yet----. When I gift them the bowl, I hope to get a good feel of their color scheme and decor then. I may be making a wall quilt or two for them (hint-hint).
This is one of the latest bowls I have recently made. The colors are a deep purple, whit and grey.

I have a tab here on my site that has some of the various bowls that I have made. I really do enjoy making them. My guild had me teach a class last year. All of the ladies did so well- all of their bowls were different colors and unique. Also, just recently, at my retreat there were a small group of women that wanted me to show them how to make them. The supplies that I use are few and simple. I use all cotton clothes line, fabric glue,basting glue, wonder clip, denim needle, large pins, fabric of choice, a sewing machine that does a zig zag stitch, thread of choice and away I go. I pre cut my fabric into 3/4 inch wide strips. I think that width works the best. I use" ROXANNE" baste it glue, and" Aleene's  Fabric Fusion". With all of the trials and errors- I have settled with these products. It can take a good couple of hours to make a bowl. Some people have told me that they find it tedious. I do not. To me, it is is mindless sewing. I can just sit and sew, listen to the sound of my machine, be lost in my thoughts. Before you know it- you have a beautiful bowl at your disposal.
I love the way this bowl came together

The inside: nice and round and deep enough to use for many things.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Debbie has big ones..........!

Ha-  I just had to laugh at myself when I came up with this post title. Just a little bit of nutty humor to start the day. No this is not a trashy post---yes, it has to do with quilting. My friend, "Quilter Debbie" is the person on spot today. She is a marvelous quilter--she can look at a picture of a quilt and come up with a pattern with a snap of a finger. She is very talented and may I mention---has nutty humor also. Well- She recently made this quilt top at our retreat in October. It is of her own design. It is a gift---so no names mentioned on who it is for. She asked me to quilt it with an all over meander stitch. The interesting thing about her request is that she did not want to have any batting in it. I was like: Hhhmmmmm- OK, let's give it a try. I have never tried this before. She wants it to be as a cover  on the bed for the warm months. We picked out "light olive" thread from Glide. I loaded it up on my Long arm frame. I had to smile and stand back and look at it. This is the first huge quilt that I have put on my newly extended frame. I would not have been able to quilt this if it were not for my new extension. I am so thankful that I was blessed with this purchase. When I had it all loaded and ready to quilt---I just stood there looking at it and smiling. That is when this title came into my head: Debbie has big ones......., hahahaha- so true. To know Debbie is to know this statement. She makes huge quilts!!! They are beautiful, but they are huge. Truth be known, her and her quilts were taken into consideration when I was thinking of getting the extension. Well, I am glad I did buy it, because it was useful with this quilt.

Debbie being silly at a past Quilt retreat at Halloween time. Love it!

Her big beautiful quilt. See how it stretches from one end of the frame to the other!

This quilt took me a couple of hours to do from start to finish. It was fun and it went by quick.  I used 5 bobbins on it. I am pleased with the out come of it. It does make me think of making some light weight quilts for my family for the warmer months. Not only does Debbie have big ones--- she had get ideas! Thanks Quilter Debbie!
Just a close up of the stitching on the back. I am so amazed how nice it looks without any batting in between.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Quilter's Creative Touch-Quilt motion

Is it Friday yet??? This feels like such a crazy week. I feel like I have had a full 5 days worth already. I think it is a great indication that I need to slow down and relax- sort of enjoy the process. I woke up with a feeling of great relief and that a weight has been taken off of my shoulders. I had not realized how much I have been worrying about the robotics for the longarm. By nature---computers and electronic devices and me do not get along. I have shaped a few strong cords in my relations with them recently--but it is an adventure to say the least. Yesterday, I was thinking that I would work on some of my WIP -you know, that stack of stuff in your sewing room that gets taller by the day,,,,,, at least mine is. I have been wanting to attach the robotics since I brought it home last Friday.  It is from the Grace Company and they are out in Utah. I am very pro America and I wish that much more "things" were made from beginning to end here in the USA. With that being said----I have had a few hiccups along the way of putting together and attaching my much desired robotics. After a series of phone calls back and forth from the company and addendum's of the instructions sent to me via email---I decided to sit down, spread out all the parts and pieces and get to putting this on. My husband is traveling for business right now-but with me being a stubborn Sicilian, I thought to myself "Oh I can do this by myself", ha--- how silly is that! I sat there for hours trying to figure everything out. Oh how I wished the directions and diagrams were accurate and easy to see. Parts were missing and  there were unidentified screws and bolts.  I was rescued at dinner time by a dear friend (Colleen) to come have dinner at her home. What a blessing and a relief to get away from what was happening in my studio. I wanted to stay and visit much longer but I was blessed with another friend (Bonnie) who was sending her husband over to help me with the robotics. I can not thank my friends enough!!! I am truly blessed. Well- Rob came over and he quickly jumped to the task of helping. Between the two of us---we finished a couple of hours later. He even helped me load it back up on the frame and return the poles in place.What a guy!!!!!! I sent my husband a text and told him of my happy success and then went directly to bed........ sleep came fast.  When I woke this morning I was anxious to get into the studio and fire this baby up and see that it was working----- and it did!!! I want to play with it today and see what I can learn. I am sure I have some fabric and batting laying around that I can load up and try. With fingers crossed--wish me luck---- I am jumping in feet first!!!!!
The view of the new tablet mounted on the head of the machine. This is the opening window of it.

A slightly larger view. I was hoping to be able to show the tracks on the table top that will control the movement but it all blends in together.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sewing Fun at Creekside Quilting in Arcade

I have to admit---it has taken me some time to post these pictures. I was hoping to have been able to work on my table topper (from the newest Kim Diehl book ), finish it and then display it in all of it's glory. The truth of the matter is that I have been so busy, that this project has been on hold. As I was going through all of my pictures, I came across these and said---oh heck, let me post these now and then when I do work on my project- I will post those.  I know, I know-- the ole" WIP" line. I am guilty as charged.  I do plan on working on it some more- Scouts honor, I promise. Any way, I do want to say that this was a very fun day. I rode up with my friend Sandy. What a girl-she is so much fun, easy to talk to and we have so much in common. The drive to Creekside went by quickly. It was so cold and windy that day. There is a window near us in the shop and I kept looking up and watching the bushes swing back and forth. So glad we were indoors enjoying ourselves. There were only 3 of us students for the class, so we were able to spread out---I do love having elbow room. This is the first class that I took that Rochelle did since she joined Creekside. I am so glad she did. Doesn't she look happy in the picture?! I am sure I could have done this pattern on my own--but having Rochelle there with her humor and guidance--everything went by so much more smoothly and fun. Everyone one of us girls reached the same point by the end of the class--we each completed one tree---wow, that was a lot of piecing! Small piecing to be exact. I can't wait to see it completed.  Did you notice something in the pictures??...... Sandy and I brought out our vintage machines. I love it! Nothing like sewing with these sweet machines. She brought her Singer 221 with a really neat seam guide that matches her machine. I brought my green Singer 185J. I named this machine-- Joey ( G.I. Joe ), I bought this machine around the time my youngest started college. The color green reminds me of those toy army men that my Joey played with. So, in honor and thoughts of him--- It is so rightly named. I love to sew on it. Perfect size to bring to sewing dates with friends and classes. I have to admit though- looking across at Sandy sewing with her FW--- it made me think of mine. I need to get her out and play with her for a day.
Here is our Teacher for the class-Rochelle!Look at her smiling face-she is the Best! Look at the concentration going on with Sandy!

Just love this window with the pretty flowers. Look at the sewing space we had for our class

Sandy and I brought out our vintage babes to play with
Time for confession......... after class, Sandy and I did some shopping. Surprise- Surprise! In the book that this table topper directions are in- are a few other really cute patterns. We told Rochelle we wanted to make them. She is currently putting together a class for us on a snow man pillow. Well..... we had to get the supplies for that didn't we..???? Hahahaha.... Good excuse. I am looking forward to making that project. I love making pillows. Will show pictures of that when the class comes. For now, I need to start my day and work some more on those WIP's!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Good Morning America!!!!!

Good morning America-----now that is a statement that is totally embedded into my head from Robin Williams. With the recent Presidential Elections and now our Veterans Holiday-my head is swimming with many thoughts: America, Patriotism,Voting, Veterans, families and friends, Women's rights. These are all big and important issues not only to me but many other people in the United States. It makes me go through memories in my mind of my parents years past, as they lived through the voting, country changes, wars, changes in family and friends. They, at times, were quiet about their thoughts and other times----they were very loud about it and you couldn't get out of the room fast enough! I have always been proud of my parents and of course my brothers while growing up---- but, I have to admit- the older I get the wiser I do become-I am absolutely PROUD of my family. I come from a line of very Patriotic people and totally pro USA. Most men in my family have served our country and served it well. The woman in my family are strong and confident and supported our country and troops in any way they could. I have a few pictures of my mother as a child celebrating Flag Day---she still loved that day until she passed. So........ with all that has been happening in our country lately and now the Veterans Holiday---I have been very..hmmm how do you say..."inward". I have always been one who is sensitive to not only my thoughts and emotions but to others around me. I pick up on the emotions that swirl around me very easily. Can you imagine what I have been feeling this past week.....? A lot!I love my Country, I am so blessed to be a citizen and to raise my children in this country. I am very happy that my daughter can be a strong confident free woman and be who she wants without all of that crazy restrictions that other countries impose upon women. In many countries, women can not vote, hold certain jobs, get an education, dress how they want, travel where they want, marry who they want, express their spiritual sides as they want.....the list goes on. As a woman in the USA--I am free, my mother was free and my daughter is free. So--- to all the Veterans out there, in my family and outside my family- I say a huge THANK YOU!!!! I feel your sacrifice, I see your pain and trauma, I know of your loneliness, all the sacrifices your families have to make....It does not go unnoticed. Because of you all- We are free as a Nation. So, With that all in mind- I do wake up proud and free and say to you all: Good Morning America!
My friend Ricky and Me at our Retreat-sitting at the bar in our PJ"s! Just what I wanted to do, and lift a toast up to my Mom

Ricky's husband served our country well, as did she in supporting him. Cheers to all of you. Because of you-we are free women to go to a Quilt Retreat and sit at a bar  with our PJ's on and  have fun and be silly. Thank you!!!!