Sunday, January 25, 2015


The thread rack my Hubby has been working on is done.  He had a lot of trouble making it because of his hip problem, but he managed to finish it and I love it.  I have the thread placed two spools deep and so far I have more than 300 spools on the rack.  I left the shelf below the rack up to see if it works.  If not, I will take it down or lower it. 
Hubby will be having surgery this week and I likely will be busy caring for him for a few weeks.  I will post as often as I'm able.  
Take care....Barb                             

Monday, January 19, 2015


I have a lot of thread for machine embroidery sorted by color families and thrown into large plastic bags that are tucked into a drawer.  For a long time I've been looking at different ways to store thread on Pinterest and surfing the Internet looking at commercial thread racks, shelves, drawers, etc.  I came to the conclusion I don't want to pay more for a rack than for my thread, so my sweet Hubby Jeff has undertaken the project of making me a rack.

The rack is going to be six feet wide and have five shelves.  We bought the wood and trim at Lowe's and Jeff has been busy trying to fashion a rack that I can hang over my table and still reach the top. 

Of course I can't wait until it's done and filled with beautiful thread.  So far it's been a fairly simple project but the real sweetness of the whole thing is Jeff is getting ready to have major surgery that will knock him down for a few weeks.  He's not feeling his best right now, but he's plugging away to get the rack done.  Did I mention the neighbor's dogs and goat dropped in to see what Jeff's making  ~~~

Wishing you a day filled with Peace & Plenty (goats optional)!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


There's something extremely satisfying about creating something and knowing it's done the best you can make it.  Such has been my last 24 hours. 

See if things like this have happened to you.  I found a gorgeous machine embroidered rose design at Urban Threads (my favorite source for quality machine embroidery designs) and bought it right away.  I set up my fabulous new sewing/emb machine and decided to embroider the white rose on a pure black background.  This design takes more than 2 1/2 hours to stitch out.  Everything went very well until the last 3 minutes of stitching.  My machine told me the bobbin thread needed to be changed because it was running short of thread.  I did that and reconnected the hoop.  Then I did what I have always done while machine embroidering, I clicked the back button to have the needle skip back 1-2 stitches and the needle took a trip around the world.  Despite my best efforts I never could get back to the very center of the design.  I'm sure you can see the center stitching is missing, but I plan to cover the area with beads or crystals so I can still use the piece.

Undaunted, I stitched yet another white rose on black.  Did I mention this design takes 2 1/2 hours to stitch out? There was a little puckering around the design but still pretty good.  The trouble came when I was trimming away the stabilizer and accidentally snipped the fabric ~~~ this one will probably remain in my sample collection.  Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry!!

The third (and final) rose just came off the hoop and looks good.  I will resist the urge to trim the stabilizer for fear of also ruining it.  So now I can get my room back in order and get back to the business of making quilts.  Quilting is my happy Place!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Surely I'm not the only quilter who has fallen in love with mini charms ~~  2 1/2" squares of pure cuteness.  These little cuties are not available in every fabric line but there seems to be more lately.  It's simple to cut your own minis from leftover 2 1/2" strips or yardage.  If you have a charm pack you love it can be cut into four mini packs by cutting the squares in half in both directions ~~  easey peasey!

Last summer I cut mini tumblers using the mini tumbler template from Missouri Star using some leftover strips from the Ruby and Apple of My Eye lines.  Here's the table runner I made for our kitchen.  ~~

Before Christmas 2014 I made a candle/wax burner mat from a mini pack of  In From the Cold line by Kate Spain by Moda.  I used a layer of Insulbrite plus a layer of cotton batting inside the mat.  Including the binding the whole project took less than two hours.  A good tip is to save leftover binding to use on small projects like this.  If you are on my girlfriend gift list next Christmas you may find one of these in your stocking!

Don't overlook these cuties when making small items.  I find them easy and fun to work with. 
Wishing you a day filled with Peace & Plenty.


Not everything goes away if you ignore it and such was the case with this little paper-pieced Christmas tree.  I pieced it and even hand quilted it 15+ years ago.  It has been a permanent fixture in my UFO pile all these years.  Yesterday I decided I either needed to finish it or get rid of it. 

It didn't take any time to bind it.  I actually have some of the red border fabric in my stash (can you believe it!!) but I thought green binding would look a little more festive.  Then came the fun part of sewing on the red hexie buttons on the tree and adding some buttons to the tree skirt to look like gifts.  I had these cute buttons for years.  Unfortunately they had plastic shanks on the back, so with my little needle nose pliers I broke the shanks off and used some fabric glue to attach the button fronts to the skirt so they would stay in place.  Yes, I said fabric glue ~~  something I normally would never do.  I may be starting out 2015 as a Rebel!  BTW, I happened to notice I forgot to sew a button on branch 3 on the right.  It's there now! Taking pictures of your projects is the best way I know to spot your mistakes. 

I know I have a scottie dog UFO in my cabinet and that may be my next project.  It will be a tribute to all the scottie girls and one male who have shared their precious lives with me for the last 40+ years. 

Have you started anything new in 2015?  I would love to hear about it if you have. 

Blessings to Everyone on this very cold winter day.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


I love a new year ~~  a clean slate of possibilities.  This year I am starting the year with a new sewing machine that was my Christmas gift from my sweet Hubby Jeff. 

When I found out it was the machine of my dreams I was over the moon.  It couldn't be delivered before Christmas but it came last Tuesday via the big brown truck.  My driver, Cale, agreed to smile for a picture for my blog !~~~

Here she is in all her high-tech glory.

This is a Janome 12000 Horizon and I've decided to call her Jewel.  I've spent the last few days learning how she works, trying out the embroidery feature and downloading and learning two computer programs, one for embroidery editing and the other for quilting.  It will take me months to learn everything I want to know and put them to use.  In a nutshell so far, I love the Horizon Link for editing embroidery designs on my PC and sending them to the machine to be stitched, the thread cutting feature is awesome and the selection of stitches makes my eyes roll!  Jewel came with her own luggage and the acrylic table you see in the picture.  If she is as dependable as the other Janome machines I've had, Jewel will be my last sewing machine.  I have no excuse not to turn out loads of quilts this year.  Thanks Jeff, you really surprised and blessed me.

What's on your sewing agenda for early 2015?  Do you still have unfinished projects from 2014 ~~  I do.  I'm still in holiday mode and think I will sew a table runner or two for next Christmas. 

Whatever you decide to create, enjoy your time in your special sewing space. 


Thursday, January 1, 2015

HAPPY 2015!

Yes, 2015 is here for real.  I hope the new year brings everyone happiness, health and contentment.  How did you see in the new year?  We did our usual and slept through it.  I'm sure we fall into the 'boring' category!

Looking back over 2014 I'm satisfied with what I accomplished creatively.  I made five large quilts, four bereavement quilts, countless pillowcases and pillow covers for my daughter's business, thirty pillowcases for kids, a table runner and a handful of chicken pincushions.  I'm sure there was more, but this is what comes to my sleepy mind right now.   

This year I will be starting the off with a brand new sewing machine.  Once I figure it out and integrate it into the sewing room I'll post pictures.  When a sewing machine comes with a user guide almost an inch thick, you know there's a lot to learn.  This one interfaces with my PC, so there are programs to download and figure out.  I must say this is the smartest machine I've ever had.

I'm off to wish Dottie and Olive a Happy New Year and give them their first cookies of 2015.  There's nothing quite like sharing your life with Scottie dogs!

Wishing you all a year filled with Peace & Plenty.