Saturday, March 17, 2018

Penny Squares

I've always loved redwork and am fascinated by Penny Square quilts.  I have always thought it would be fun to make one, but will I ever do such a time consuming thing? 

*** Do you ever wonder what you would be working on if there was no internet to keep you distracted?***

We have so much to see and learn and do these days.   I used to look forward to getting my monthly quilt magazines for ideas and inspiration.  I would sit for days and look through the pages, over and over again, trying to take in all the details and goodness in each copy.  Now we have so much to see,  I tend to click, click, click and over stimulate my mind,  forget what I saw, and have a difficult time finishing anything. 

If I didn't have the internet,  I just might be working on a Penny Square quilt.  Or a state bird embroidered quilt. (I have a pattern)

But back to the Penny Square quilt....

Here is a history of penny squares that I found on the internet. 

I can just imagine the excitement of going to the store each week to pick out the next square.  I would have begged to go with my Mama or Daddy so I could spend time with the penny squares.  I have loved having a needle and thread in my hand since I was a little girl.

So what's a girl to do?

I  had ordered a 'cheater' cloth panel from ebay years ago. 

When I was cleaning up my sewing room, I found the panel, which had each block 'set' in red strips.  I wanted my penny square quilt to look more like those  old ones I had seen on Pinterest. (  So, I cut all the squares out and decided to make a doll quilt for my granddaughters' doll play.

Nothing fancy and I didn't have to stitch the squares.  I sat down last night and added all the X's and ta-da ! I have my own mini version of a Penny Square quilt.  I have quite a few blocks left, so I may make something a little larger for myself. 

Another fun and *mindless* project this week. 

So what do you think you would be working on if you didn't have internet?  Would you still be using templates?  Would you be hand stitching?  I just wonder how it would be.... probably not as many quilters, for sure!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Is it really March?

Grandma's helper

Ok folks, time is flying by!! (it'll be Christmas before we know it)

February was a busy month for me.

 Several of you have asked about Butterbean, as my last post was about him and his surgery.  He recovered extremely well from his surgery and acts like a young dog again.  I guess those large two tumors were affecting his activity level.  He has been kicking and playing and chasing his tail, and acting like a young boy again.

The  bad news is that he does have malignant cancer.  Both biopsies showed the cancer, which has pretty well been removed at this time.  We have elected not to do any type of further treatment, but will love him for as long as we can.
Brinley Kate

This little girl came to stay with Grandma and Papa for 9 days.  She was a pure pleasure to have around and is growing up so fast.  I realized two things about her while she was here;  1. She loves suckers (lollipops) and spent a LOT of  time trying to decide which flavor she could have the next time she was allowed one.  2.  She loves playing baby dolls as much as her Grandma did when she was a little girl.  

I loved seeing that she included her doll in all day play.  Whatever we were doing, we had to consider the doll.... what she was wearing, if she needed to eat, if she could ride in the car, etc.

Since Brinley has gone back home, I have been going through my scrap flannel and making bedding accessories.  I have two cradles and I'm trying to get them both fixed up for when both granddaughters are here at the same time.  

From there, I made mini burp pads for the dolls; then wash cloths and towels.  I need to pick up baby bottles, make cloth diapers, and anything else I can think of to get our granddaughter doll center into place. It has been fun and mindless sewing so far.


As if we need another sad dog story, here's another one about our black dachshund.  He woke me up at 3:00 Monday morning (snow on the ground) and needed to go outside, which is rare for him.  He was acting a little strange, pacing, scratching and just not being himself.  By last night, he was vomiting and very lethargic.

I took him to the vet this morning and he was diagnosed with liver and heart problems.  We came home with a bag of medication to see if we can get him better.  He is already feeling better by this afternoon, but I'm not sure how the long term will be for him.  

I know my dogs are now known as 'old dogs' but it seems odd to me that so much is happening all at once with them.  (Sweet Pea, the other dachshund has a fast growing mass on her shoulder that we will have looked at next)  We moved here two years ago and the only thing that is different with them is our water supply.  We are now on municipal water, whereas we had used well water before.  Any thoughts?  The whole dog process is a first time thing for me.  

I have been cleaning out and reorganizing my sewing room which has been a busy job.  I have rearranged the layout and I think I like it better.  I'm hoping the new arrangement will make me spend a little more time in there.  The weather is still cool here, but I just know Spring is right around the corner!!

Question:  I have noticed that a lot of bloggers no longer reply to their comments with an email.  This means we have to go back to their blog to see if they have any kind of reply for us.  I'm not really a fan of this way, but I'm wondering if there is a way to know they have responded without having to go back to the same post to find out. 


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sweet Butterbean

Our sweet Butterbean turned 11 years old on Feb.2.

A few days before his birthday, we had taken him to the vet to have two large masses checked out.  (the first having been there a few years, and we were always told it was a harmless fat tumor)   I found a new one in his groin around Christmas time. 

This is how Butterbean looks today.  He had surgery on Tuesday to remove these tumors, which have turned out to be cancer. 

We are so sad, but we are loving on our sweet boy all we can.  The vet said he needs to rest a lot for at least a week, so the incisions on his hip, side, and belly can heal.   We are waiting on biopsy reports, just to see what type of cancer we are dealing with. 

Butterbean likes to follow me everywhere I go inside the house.  So I have had to make myself sit a little more than usual, which really hasn't been a problem.  I'm still making yo yo's. 

**Of course, after the fact, I have done lot of research and feel guilty because we have allowed the vet to administer every type of vaccine that was offered ,  used flea and tick medicine, gave monthly heartworm medication..... thinking we were doing a good thing.  I am now realizing that some of these cancers have been attributed to over vaccinating.  Go figure! **

If you have young puppies, please do your research now. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Tiny Bindings and other things

I decided to try my hand at making a mini quilt  last week; of course, using my sudden yo yo obsession.

Things were going along pretty nicely and I was enjoying the smallness of the process.

Until I tried to put on a binding!!!

First attempt at tiny binding

I ended up with a wonky mess and just knew that my ugly binding had ruined the whole quilt.  Not only was it thick, but the corners seemed to be falling off the edges, and it was just a mess.

I removed the binding and decided to ask for advice.  I received wonderful advice and tips from Janet at Roque Quilter (who is known for her incredible mini and small quilts)  and Debbie at Homemaking Dreams and  Angel Scraps Quilting.(probably my longest blogging buddy and she makes beautiful things)   (I was doing the corners all wrong and I learned to use a single fold binding instead of the double fold like we do with larger quilts)

I also held everything down with my mini clips, which helped secure the binding in place while I was sewing.  Notice I changed the binding fabric to the same fabric as my border, to help camouflage my boo boo's.

Not perfect, but way better!!

Thank you Janet and Debbie (and also thanks to a few Youtube video's I watched).

Moving on to other things...

Do you know what these things are?  They are oysters.  Hubby and I went out on the boat in January (I've never been out in the winter before)  to search for oysters.  I had never been oyster-ing and I had so much fun.  It was truly like searching for Easter eggs in the water.   We came home and hubby shucked them all (we had approx 100 oysters).  I fried enough for our supper and we froze the rest of them.  I'll definitely do this again with him.

Do you like oysters?  I ate one raw on a cracker and it took all my strength and willpower to get it down without gagging.  Around here, you are pretty tough if you can do that!

And I did go through with recoloring my hair  after going through the long process of letting my gray take over.

My hairdresser used a semi permanent gloss (versus creme color) that should wash out over time.  This may be a great alternative for me, since I can change my mind without having to grow all the color out again.... maybe?  I'm not sure if it works that way, but that's what I understood.

I'm also trying to let my short 'pixie' cut fill in a little and not be so very short.  Of course, this is after my hairdresser styled it and it hasn't looked this nice since.  I'll be able to style it correctly just before it's time for another trim.  Does anyone else have this problem with fresh haircuts?

And look who lost his first tooth:

Chandler Tate!

That's about it  for this post.  My friend liked her candle mat that I posted in the last blog post.  She told me she has a yo yo maker, too, but has never made the first yo yo! We are truly kindred spirits.  Happy Birthday Wanda!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Still yo yo'ing!

I can't seem to stop making yo yo's. 

I wanted to share this little candle mat I made for an upcoming birthday gift.  I will buy a great smelling  candle and gift them together. 

This was fun to make and I'm planning to make a more 'country' version for myself.

I'm itching to get back to the sewing machine , so my yo yo making needs to take a break soon!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Yo Yo's and Grey Hair

Just to prove that I finished something....

It's not much, but it still feels great to mark a project as complete.

granny spreads done

I bought a couple of clearance  quilt kits after Christmas, one I hope to make into a wall hanging for my livingroom.  I found an awesome deal on Elsa and Anna fleece no sew blankets (you know, the ones you tie the fringe together) , so I bought two to make for the my granddaughters.  They really need another blanket... :-))

L@@k at this grey hair

Ok, so this is me and the top of my hair!  Back in the summer,  I had all the color cut out of my hair, just to see how much grey is really there.  (I have colored my hair since I was in my 30's... before I even needed to color)  It was a fun experiment with the idea of letting myself go grey, embracing my age, being all natural, etc. etc.

I was thinking it looked pretty good in my own lighting at home.  Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror if I was out somewhere in different lighting and think 'hmmm.... looking old there , Penpen."

My  final decision was made for me during a Christmas party at my sis in law's house.  Known for saying what she thinks, she gazed into my hair and said "what have you done?"  I proudly replied "nothing.... it's all natural."  She replied, "well whatever it is, don't do any more of it."  SHE POPPED MY BUBBLE!  She told me it looks as if I had it 'frosted'.... anyone remember when we had our hair frosted?  I do and I did!

So I came home and took some pics of the top of my  head, just to see what others might be seeing.

Since it's a new year, a new me, etc.... I've decided to have my hair colored  on my next  salon visit.  

I am not going to lie... I feel like 'something' happened to me when my own mother died almost 3 years ago.  A part of me went with her.  I just didn't care much about most things any longer.  I went into survival mode.  It didn't matter how I looked, because I was going to die soon, too.  Just be.... take care of daddy.... do the best I can.

I quit my job, gained weight, spent a lot of time on the couch, rarely went outdoors, stopped walking the dogs (they have a fenced in yard), slept a lot, ate terribly., developed high blood pressure and gastric reflux .... you name it, all the typical signs of depression. (something i've fought all my life)

I saw my doctor several times, who recognized my depression and has been very kind and patient while seeing me through this.

Several things happened at Christmas, besides the hair color comment, that made me take a good look at myself.  The blood pressure and gastric reflux really really got my attention, because I thought I was having a heart attack one night.  Something had to give....

So, it's 2018.  Time for a change, time to get back to being me , time to look after me, to improve my health and my outlook.  And time to color my hair!  

Life is beginning again in 2018.

*Prayers welcome*

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Happy New Year! *2018*

Happy New Year!  Each new day is truly a gift!

I changed my wreath out to represent winter and snow and then  amazingly, we had snow in eastern NC just a couple days later!!  It's been unusually cold and we've had trouble with our water heater freezing a couple times this week.  But with hubby to the rescue... he was able to get it running again in very little time.

Snow 2018

I've been enjoying some hand stitching this week, staying warm with blankets and dogs and fireplace.

I"m making yo yo's , using the Clover yo yo maker, that makes the process SO easy!  I made my very first yo yo when I was in 7th or 8th grade.  We  had a fun day at school and we were able to choose which fun  'learning' session we wanted to attend.  My English teacher was teaching yo yo making (the old fashioned way) in her group and without hesitation, I signed up for her group.  It was so much fun and I remember having a brown paper grocery bag full of fabric, thread , and yo yo's after her class.  I don't know what ever happened to those yo yo's, but I fondly remember making them.

My son and his wife gave me a huge stack of 5-6 inch charm squares a couple years ago.  I have had fun going through these to make yo yo's.  I'm making a little spread to drape across the top of a chair.  I have matching chairs and one already has a spread, so I thought the other needed one, too.    I'm such a 'granny' decorator.  :)))

Here's a link to my first yo yo spread, that now resides on the matching chair.   I had framed it to hang on the wall, then I got tired of looking at it.  It was removed from the frame and used as a table scarf for a night stand in the bedroom.   The grandkids were were always taking it and dragging it around, which made my heart smile.  It recently became an addition to the navy chair,  therefore it needs a twin.

It's still cold and the roads are still covered with snow and ice, so our church has been cancelled for today.  I think I'll make more yo yo's today.

Happy 2018!