Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An Adventure...

Hands Help Hearts
And Change Lives

What does it take to change a life?  Less that you might think…

Tiny acts multiplied by many hands change lives everyday.

Something as simple as a handmade hat makes a world of difference to children and families in need.

The children and families in the village of Beaufort West, South Africa need our help.  The living circumstances of this village are poor and dangerous beyond what most in America, or any western culture can fathom.  Living in a climate very similar to that of the Southeastern US, the winters (US spring/summer) are cold and wet.  Despite these conditions, the People of Beaufort West are beautiful with a spirit of love and learning. 

They need OUR help!

The Goal (and it’s a BIG one):  Collect 1000 Handmade hats by January 12, 2014

What can YOU do?  Knit or Crochet a hat (wool is warmest) in any size from infant to adult.

Don’t Knit or Crochet?  We’ll teach you.  There will be mini-classes available for groups who want to learn.

Don’t WANT to Knit or Crochet?  Don’t worry – you can still help!  We need DONATIONS of yarn (wool preferred), knitting and crochet supplies, or money toward these items*

*Receipts for cash donations provided.  ALL donations used expressly for the Hands Helping Hearts Hat Project.

For more Information please email:
HATS (at) thedements (dot) com or visit handshelphearts.blogspot.com

I'll keep you posted,

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Today's List

Oh The lists get longer and longer and the errands greater and greater (I often HATE errands) as I prep for travel in my near future.

Today looks like this:
  • Trim Bind and Wash Anna's Flannel Quilt (I finally finished the quilting)
  • Hope that Fabric for dresden plates gets delivered (and hope I ordered the correct colors - if not - oh well) I really want to finish these.
  • Buy Fabric for Bonnie Hunter Jamestown Landing workshop
  • Pick up a new bobbin case for my Pfaff (blerg!)
  • Prep handwork for upcoming travel
  • Take Kids to classes
  • Pick Kids UP from said classes (this is the part I have to set an alarm for)
  • Register kids for MORE classes
  • Bank
  • Bills
  • Anna's Haircut
  • And the usual - Laundry, dinner, dishes, etc...

Goodness I'm tired just writing it down.  I better get off the computer and get to it!

Oh and a funny:
That's my poofy cat (PC) in Alessia's carrier.  Don't worry, Lessie isn't in there.

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, February 01, 2013

A Patchwork Kind if Girl?

I am a patchwork kind of girl.  

I am NOT an applique kind of girl.

I love cutting and piecing and joining the seams and the finished look and utility of patchwork.  

Patchwork quilts are friendly and relaxed - comfortable, warm, and down-home, while appliqué quilts (especially those haughty Baltimore girls) seem formal and uptight, staid and even a bit snobby (humorous reference only to the quilt's personality NOT the makers').  Oh appliqué quilts are beautiful - NO DOUBT, they are true works of fine craftsmanship and dedication - but if I threw someones Baltimore Album quilt (click the link for an example)on the ground for our picnic people would


For the entirety of my long and illustrious quilting career I have avoided appliqué.  Besides the formality of most appliqué work, the idea of all the pieces shifting around or working around pins - YUCK!  Except, I NEEDED to appliqué these dresden plates.  What ever should I do?


Yes, glue.  Specifically temporary water washable appliqué specific glue (I know I can also use elmer's washable and it's not $9.00/tiny bottle but I bought this BEFORE I knew...).   I tried it.  It works. See:

After stitching and removing glue basting

After stitching and removing glue basting

  I LOVE it! 

close up of tiny stitches

I might have a problem.  I seem to be looking for things to hand appliqué.  Alas, this patchwork girl might have to broaden my horizons.

On the Finish Along Front:

It seems like I should have more marked off my list.  I've been working and sewing and cutting and pressing...  but not finishing much.

Many of my projects are 'on the cusp' of finished - right there on the verge - like teenagers - chomping at the bit to be out the door, but not quite ready.

I feel February will be a month of MANY finishes!

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013




I finally finished all of the blocks for Easy Street - the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt.  My points are not perfect and my seams are not precision, but I love it.  I really enjoyed the process and I am going to love the quilt.  It IS a work in progress as I must assemble the blocks and then add some borders - I think emerald green batik - then I will send it out for quilting.  I'd like to be one of those people who says "I do all my own stunts, er quilting" and I could be, but it would cost me a left rotator cuff and some nerve damage in my elbows and wrists.  Alas I will listen to my body, take it easy, and leave the quilting to someone else.

Toffee Helped some more - in that way kitties are experts at...


With Easy Street almost finished I hope to make progress on the rest of my finish along projects.  Of course I've got about 10 new ideas banging around in my head and if I send out a few more quilts to longarm services I might even get to them.

For more WIP Wednesday posts check HERE and see what others are doing.

We had a super fun/busy weekend (more on that later) and things look to be super busy for a while.  I'm trying to 'go with it' and 'enjoy the moment' - you can stop laughing any time now.


Stop laughing!

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Progress Hinderances

This is Toffee

She's helping me finish Easy Street

I'll keep you posted!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Planning is Everything...

That's what I've heard anyway.

I find that planning is NEVER my struggle.  DOING is my struggle.  My theme for 2013 is DO MORE!

In keeping with my DO MORE theme I joined the 2013 Finish Along HERE where you can also join in.  I am keeping a running list of all my UFO's as Rhonda suggested.   I know that the running list will keep me motivated and organized.

Finish Along Q1

A mosaic of my UFOs (not the blue denim owl - he's a cute sewing kit buddy)

From top left to bottom right:
1. Dino Quilt
2. Mermaid Quilt
3. Strip sets for both robot quilt and sailing quilt
4. Easy street
5. 'Nest' quilt
6. Anna Maria turning 20 quilt
7. Easy Street with kitty helper
8. Madras quilt
9. Dr. Who Owl (not on list above but it should be)
10. Zombie Dice (not on list above but it should be)
11. CT Tumbler topper
12. Spaceman quilt
13. Binding for Anna's flannel quilt (which needs to be basted)
14. Hexie Runner 1 (hexie runner 2 is that same but needs borders added)
15. Dresden Plate topper 1
16. Dresden plate topper 2
17. Ruby tumbler baby quilt
18. Anna's floral quilt (I thought this was further along)
19. Log cabin runner
20. Vintage hand pieced runner 1
21. Vintage hand pieced runner 2
22. Large Floral Quilt
23. Baby bears quilt
24. Painting all hanging
25. Floral Xs & Os quilt (not on list above but it should be)
26. Tiny Stitches BOM (not a finish along project)
27. Denim Sewing Owl Buddy (not a finish along project)
28. Hexies pic 1
29. Hexies pic 2

See all those hexies?  There are 3 bags of them and if you look closely you'll see the number '1000' printed on the bag.  YEP!  It's official.  I am a crazy person.  I only have about 800 left to make, but I might be changing my layout plan - in which case I have more than enough already made.

Can you tell from the state of my project stalls that I DETEST basting?  I wonder if I can pay the long arm services to do basting for me; would the threads be a problem for my machine quilting? Hmmm?

I am excited to get to work on these projects and mark them off the UFO list!

Oh and one more picture of my Gracie Lou helping me work on Easy Street - see the links to more projects HERE.

What are YOU working on?

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, January 04, 2013

I've Got Nothing...

I tried for a clever post title, but it's very late and I'm all out of creative juice.  I'm busy sewing this week and not at the computer as much.

The final instructions for Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street are posted and it's quite a dynamic quilt.  I know I'm going to love my color choices in the completed project.  I'm not finished with mine as I've been taking Anna back and forth to Horseback Riding Camp everyday this week so drive time is taking a HUGE chunk out of my sewing time.  It's worth it as Anna is LOVING camp.

I finished sewing a flannel quilt for Toby and am now taking ibuprofen for my sore wrists & elbows (I need a higher/better chair).

I began sewing the pinkest quilt I've ever seen for a special small friend and I hope she loves it when it's finished.

I'm working on about a dozen things at the moment and feeling more than a bit frenzied.  I have 6 quilts ready to baste (I HATE BASTING - more than I hate purling) and quilt - a BIG pile up.  My friend Pam's tolerance for 'pile up' is 2 - she's motivated and driven and must have a better basting method than I.  Pam hosts the Hip to Be a Square Podcast. - Check it out when you get a chance.  She makes me laugh and I think she'll make you laugh too.

I'll have pictures after the weekend - and more to tell about my plans for the new year.

I'll keep you posted!