As the needle bends

A world view thru my hobbit hole door

A give-away of a different kind

Helena, at Syverkstan, is having a give-away to celebrate her new quilting studio.  All you have to do is leave a comment, and link to her give-away to get a lovely stitchery pattern… Run on over and check it out – I think you’ll love it! Now I just have to figure out how to squeeze more hours into a day, so I can do all the different projects I dream of!


August 23, 2008 Posted by | Life and Ramblings, Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time) | , | Leave a comment

Jewel Box Quilt, from “Near Philadelphia” to Near Houston

A short time back, I was ecstatic to find that I was the winner of one of the give-aways held by Nancy, who was celebrating her 500th post at “Blogging, Near Philadelphia!” My prize – the gorgeous contents of this basket:

Jewel Box Quilt Kit
Jewel Box Quilt Kit
to make my own version of a “mostly Civil War Fabrics Jewel Box Quilt” similar to this one on her blog. I was sooooo excited because a jewel box quilt has been on my “someday” quilt list for a long time, and while I’ve never worked with specific “Civil War type” fabrics I absolutely LOVE the colors. What person whose favorite season is autumn would NOT love the fabrics shown above?

When Nancy notified me it was being mailed while I was on vacation last week, I was sooooo excited but in a bit of a quandry as to when I’d find time during my “stay-at-home quilting retreat” vacation to work on it. Well, the US Postal System took that delimma out of the equation – they delivered it on my second day back to work! What a wonderful pick-me-up!!!!

I’d share a picture but the reflections from the ziplock bag were too much for my meager photographic skills… Take them out of the ziplock???  Not a chance! I sneaked a peek and the fabrics are just as wonderful in person as they were in Nancy’s picture only there are many other colors you can’t see in the basket. However, I want to make sure that I keep them all together, don’t mix in any ‘rogue’ 1990’s scraps, or lose any of these lovely pieces.  This coming weekend, while I’m off again, I’ll find a basket to keep the leader/enders in, so that I can keep them seperate from the ones I’ve got in my current  leader/ender container – and GET MYSELF BACK IN THE HABIT of using the leader/enders, a-la-Bonnie, so that I can make this quilt while assembling the border (Whatever that turns out to be) for my “If I Had a Nickel” quilt.

So, I’d like to say “Thanks again Nancy” – there are wonderful quilt-makings in there, along with a lesson in the value of consistently using the leaders and enders. Hopefully I’ll be sharing a picture of the “real-deal” before long!  Until then I’d best get dressed, and get on the road to Planet Houston, or I’ll be late for work because it’s raining, and it’s a proven fact that Houstonians, when mixed with commuters, don’t fare too well on the freeways!  And I can hardly wait to get back home to admire my new quilt kit some more!!!!! Nancy – it’s the best!

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

If I Had a Nickel, I’d Take an Olympic Vacation

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the things I did during my stay-at-home retreat “vacation” was a Nickel Mystery Quilt, designed by Ann Smith, which she called “If I Had a Nickel.”

Tomorrow I go back to work, but today…. I finish assembling the sections into a “flimsy!”

Here’s a picture of the block that makes up the center of the “barn-raising” setting:

I love the Olympics!!!!

I love the Olympics!!!!


And here’s a picture of the whole thing. Borders will have to wait. In 12 hours, I have to be back at the hospital. But there will be other times off.

If I Had a Nickel Mystery Top

If I Had a Nickel Mystery Top

 Perhaps not next weekend. My DH thinks we need to do something together then!

August 17, 2008 Posted by | Life and Ramblings, Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time) | , , | 2 Comments

Star BOM 2 “Michael Phelps Star”

As I have been on vacation this week, I ‘ve spent lots of time piecing some quilty projects, but I’ve spent much of my time in the same manner I’m sure many others have. Watching the Beijing Olympics, and watching the boy I saw in the Sydney Olympics, Michael Phelps, show that he has grown into a mature wise young man. 

Today, as I began trying to pick the fabrics from my stash of 30’s reproductions for this star, I was torn between several different combinations. (Remember last time when I said you just reach into the Aunt Gracie stash and pull out 4 because they all go together??? Forget about it – I dithered most of the day yesterday, and again this morning over my fabric choices, as much as DaVinci likely deliberated what color to paint Mona Lisa’s lips!) Later this afternoon, I remembered running across some “A.G.’s” in the box of “nickels” from which I chose the makings for my “If I Had a Nickel” Mystery quilt – but that’s another story. Anyway… I found a light blue nickel, with little white diamonds – reminiscent of the floating lane markers in a swimming pool. Then I added a creamy nickel with little stars that matched the blue of the “water” in the first nickel. I already had a lovely gold out from my first rejected combination, from which to make one star point for each of young Mr. Phelps’ gold medals. To that I added a red, like the ribbons on which the medals hang, and from that I used Judy’s pattern to create this:

Star BOM 2 - Michael Phelps Star

Star BOM 2 - Michael Phelps Star

I know that many think the Olympics are hokey. But I have memories of many events that are tied to various Olympics.  My freshman year in college, at East Texas State University,I was a 17 year old “far from home,” who sat in horror as the Isreali Olympic team was decimated by terrorists, then we watched Mark Spitz set the record that Michael tied last evening. 

The Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta were watched from a forced time off work because of a snafu with my paramedic recertification, so I was “there” watching on TV during the Olympic Park bombing, and when Kerri Strug “stuck” a one-footed landing, bringing home the Gold for the American women’s gymnatics team.

In 2000, I was in a hospital room following my hysterectomy, watching the Olympics “live” in Australia – that’s the first time I remember seeing Michael Phelps. And Paul and Morgan Hamm, who missed this year’s games.  A couple of weeks later, I got to meet an on-line quilting friend from Australia, and hear more about the culture of that marvelous country – thanks Caro!

This year’s “stay at home quilting retreat vacation” was made much more memorable by “sharing” it with this first week of the Beijing Olympics, thanks to the USA Men’s bronze medal gymnastics team performance, the USA Women’s silver medal gymnastics team performance, as well as the USA Women’s Gymnastics Gold and SIlver in the All-Around, and all the fun finishes with Mr Phelps, and all the other swimming competitors, both male and female.  And these Olympics will be commemorated in my Star BOM quilt by this star! Thanks for another wonderful pattern, Judy!

And tomorrow comes the completion of my “If I Had a Nickel, I’d Take an Olympic Vacation” top. Stay tuned ;0)

August 16, 2008 Posted by | Life and Ramblings, Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time) | , , , | 6 Comments

What a Sunday… Maybe I should just go back to work!

I went and got the Wal-Marting done, after stopping by Hancock’s and picking up the background fabric for my original fabric choices for Judy’s Star BOM. A nice bone Kona cotton, and something called Bridget Gold for an accent. I like them ;0)

On my way home I ran right into a HELL of a storm. The closer to home I got, the worse it got. Just as I turned into our drive-way, DH called me to tell me NOT to come into the subdivision – but he was a little too late. I stopped fairly close to the front of the driveway because it was raining and blowing so hard I couldn’t see. It was rather like being INSIDE a washing machine on spin cycle. When it finally died down enough that I could pull on down the driveway, I saw DH’s brother, his fiancee’ and our nephew running next door to Mom and Dad’s house. While I was in the “spin cycle” a tornado/microburst/straight line winds from Hades had snapped a big tree in front of his house and buried his son’s jeep, his fiancee’s pretty little red Mustang, and landed with one end smooth in the center of the cab of his truck (which is now on the seat of his truck) and the middle on top of his mobile home. It’s a REAL mess…  


BiL's home, and cars after the tree fell

BiL’s home, and cars after the tree fell


That was about 3:00 this afternoon, and the power just now came back on. Now there is a pine tree on the old logging road across the ditch from us that is hitting the power line and burning.

We came through relatively unscathed but when the power came back on, we learned that there is now a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico and it appears to be headed straight for Galveston Bay – just down I-45 from here. The storm is supposed to make landfall early Tuesday morning, and the insurance adjuster said he won’t be able to make it to BiL’s until Tuesday. What a way to end a drought – when it rains it pours. And what kind of name for a storm is Edouard, anyway? What happened to the manly names like Bill, George, Ferdinand, or Gilbert?

To make matters worse, I didn’t get to wash my new background and accent fabrics for the BOM… In fact, I’m not sure I even told DH I bought it…. Shhhhhhhhhh ;0)

Hope everyone else had a nice, BORING Sunday!

August 3, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments