Category Archives: JMLW2013

Stitchin’ ‘n’ Switchin’

How’s that for a title!

I’m still sewing away on Abbygayle’s Scraps.  I got totally aggravated last week and put it away for several days.  I couldn’t get my squares to the right size (too small) and I couldn’t figure out why my seam allowance kept getting off.  I figured it out (index cards carry a magic formula) and have been a happy quilter yesterday and today.  Here’s a tiny peek at some beautiful (to me) scraps.

DSC01450There will be 36 of these lovelies.  You can see a couple more stacks of 6 under my sewing table in the upper right corner.

As to the “switchin'” portion, I’ve finally put And They Sinned aside.  Here’s where I’m leaving it:


I’m going to attempt to switch every Monday between And They Sinned and a Summer Soiree project.  I really want to get some of the beautiful pieces from this past summer’s Soiree finished before the new one gets here!  🙂

This is The Scarlett House’s A Sampler Grows.  It’s a sweet pincushion and fob.

DSC01449I received notification that my new toy has shipped!


It hasn’t been all fun and games

But before I get to that I want to share some visual “fun.”


Jo Morton's Alexandria

Jo Morton’s Alexandria

Jo Morton's Sweet Emelie

Jo Morton’s Sweet Emelie

In addition to cutting and fondling the above fabrics I’ve been trying to make up for lost time in straightening and reorganizing my craft room. Before I started back in this round I grabbed a new spiral bound notebook and made notes of what I had going on in here. So as I have been sorting, organizing and putting things away, I have been writing them down first. I’m so bad about out of sight, out of mind. I still have quite a few things in the writing down department but I’m determined to get myself organized this year.  I will say I’m beginning to wonder if I’m ever going to be happy with my room since as I put things away I find I want to change where I’ve been keeping some stuff.  🙄


You can see the top of my work table now!  This is where I was before I stopped to take a break this morning. I am going to use that magazine holder for my very few quilting magazines. The wood under the notebook is going to be a new “table top” surface for my two Rubbermaid containers you’ll see in another photo, and the fabric is going to be used to cover 2 new ironing surfaces for me. Under that you can see some brown paper gift bags that I have been using to organize my quilting projects. They hang very nicely on a towel hanger on the back of my door or sit nicely on a shelf.

You can see I still have plastic shoeboxes stacked up by the window. They’ll be moved once I get my bookcase straightened out.

Before (under my work table):

After (look at all that leg room!):

Before (The STACK):
I think this was the most physically demanding part of straightening up and I had to ask Mister to help a bit. It’s been reduced to almost half that size and moved to another room. I’ve started going through it a few minutes a day and organizing into used/not used and hopefully it will start showing up for sale very soon.

The two pieces of wood (which you can see to the left of the magazine holder) are going on top of the Rubbermaid containers and I’ll cover that with muslin. The stitching in the containers are WIPS/kitted items that are waiting their turn (yep, they’re on a list) and since I don’t need to get in them very often I can make them useful. I’m going to put some of those Command sticky hook things on the trashcan so I can reuse plastic grocery shopping bags as liners. This will make me take the trash out more often 😉

Now, to set up my machine and start piecing!

March is National Craft Month

Did you know March is National Craft Month?  I didn’t until today.  I received a newsletter from a beading company I buy supplies from.  This sent me on a search to see if it was just a ploy to get me to buy something, but it’s true!  I found some interesting ideas on how to celebrate.

One of my favorite “crafting” comments was to “finish something you’ve already started.”  This actually cracks me up.  Who among us “crafters” has something that’s not already finished?  😉

It was a nice visit last night over Mexican food and stitching.  I think I stitched a total of 20 minutes.  I just couldn’t get into it.  Might be because I haven’t been there in a while and I needed to catch up with what has been going on, plus there were several new things to see, or maybe because as I was walking out the door at home Mister handed me a box from the postman that contained more fabric and I wanted to open the box and play with it. 🙂  Half yard cuts of Jo Morton’s Sweet Emelie line.  So, now in addition to the Crimson Bouquet I’m working with for Abbygayle’s Scraps, I have Sweet Emelie and Alexandria.  What?  I haven’t mentioned Alexandria?  Oops 😉  I need to get some fabric washed and ironed.  Afterall, I’m hoping to add some blue to my stash when I get to the LQS later this month.

I spent this morning cutting 2 inch squares and then cutting half of them into triangles.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll start sewing them back together.  Unless Mister comes up with something that needs to be done.  He bought me a new mirror for our powder room downstairs.  Now he’s hot to trot to pull the old one down, patch holes, paint and hang this one.  There’s goes my free time on the weekend.  He better not try to cut into my sitting in the sunshine time on Sunday!


Coloring outside my comfort zone

Wow, the last day of February is finally here.  Normally I’m wondering where the month went, but I know what I’ve been doing almost every moment of February and it’s made the month (and actually, the year) go by rather slowly.

My goals for this past week were very simple.  Cut fabric and start walking.  After going back over what the “walk” expert told me this past week, I changed my goal from walking every day, to every other day, based on his advice.  I have done that.  Okay, it was only Monday that I started, but I walked Monday and Wednesday and Wednesday I increased the distance.  I’m going to be increasing it again tomorrow.  I thought it would take me longer to go farther, but I’m actually feeling okay afterwards and not coughing during.  The weather has been perfect for walking as well.

Speaking of weather, we are expecting 80’s this weekend so I am hoping to spend some time beside the pool!  😀

Now to my subject title.  Earlier this month I posted on one of my quilting email groups about how hard it is for me to include colors such as “poison green,” “mourning purple,” and “cheddar”  and asked if it was hard for others as well.  (It’s always nice to know you’re not alone in such things and it was great to see so many like-minded quilters.)  I set a goal for myself to include such color, however bright, in my JMLW quilts.  I started playing with my fabrics this morning and this is what I’ve come up with so far.  In for a penny, in for a pound, I cut it before I could change my mind and back out 😉


Click to increase size
Red binding, turquoise borders, cheddar cornerstones

As you can tell by the photo I’m going a teeny bit different from the original.  What do you think?


The smaller squares and triangles will be included in the center.  They are 2 inches to give you an idea how small the finished blocks will be.

Wish I could spend more time on Abbygayle but I have a few things to do before I leave the house this afternoon for open stitch-in at Attic.  But before that happens, I get to meet up with Cheryl, Annette, and hopefully Karen, for some yummy Mexican food.  Cheryl is in Phoenix for a work conference and she’s getting to meet up with us while she’s here.  Squeee!

My first scraps

I’ve been quilting off and on for more than 15 years but really took a more dedicated interest in it this past year with Mister’s retirement and buying a house with my own craft room.  Before that I never kept any of my scraps since I didn’t have the room to store them.

Since it’s Wednesday and I’m sharing what’s on my worktable, I’ll show you the fabric I cut yesterday for a 6×6″ charm square swap I’m participating in.  I have always loved the 1800-era reproduction fabrics and this swap is all about them!  I’ve cut 40 squares of the same fabric and I’ll receive 40 squares back of different fabrics.  I cannot wait to see what I get.  Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until April since the deadline to get our charms to our hostess is the end of March.

This is one from Jo Morton’s Spice Chest fabric line.  Sing!


Here are my lovely squares (and new scraps) after cutting.  The squares on the far left bottom still need to be squared up since I cut them off the fold of the fabric.  The stack on the far right contains my 41 swap charms.


The next thing on the cutting mat is this:


18 FQs from Jo Morton’s Crimson Bouquet and 10 FQs from her Toasty collections.   These lovelies will be cut later today for JMLW Abbygale’s Scraps.  The turq on the far right is what I’m going to use as the backing and I’ll probably use one of the reds for the binding.

Back to our regularly scheduled program!

Surprise!  Or maybe I should say, be careful what you say.  In my last post on February 1 (yikes!), the last thing I said was that I would be back to let you know what type of trouble I had been into.  Well……get ready for a long, picture-free catch up post.

Sunday night, February 3, I came down with the norovirus, and it wasn’t pretty.   It was rather easy to rule it out as food poisoning since Mister and I ate the exact same things all day long (Super Bowl Sunday).  I can say that I have never been more frightened in all of my life about being sick.  At one point I thought I was on the way to the emergency room, since I was throwing up so violently my nose was bleeding, and I managed to separate my ribs under my right arm.  Scary stuff!  I couldn’t eat any food for a couple of days and drank as much Gatorade as I could that first two days.  It took me the better part of a week to be able to take a shower and dry my hair without breaking out in a sweat from the activity.

We had excellent seat tickets to The Who concert that Wednesday night and Mister ended up getting valet parking next to our gate so I wouldn’t have to walk far.  I was also on an aisle seat in case I felt the need to get out of there in a hurry but it was all good and while I was tired by the end of the evening and slept extra late the next morning it was “adventure” free.

Then, of course, I got sick again.  This time it was a head and chest cold that would not go away.  Naturally I had to cough and feel like I was going to split open since I was still somewhat recovering from my ribs hurting.  I was worried it was trying to turn into bronchitis.  Yesterday was the first day in a long time that I haven’t coughed.

Other than that the other trouble I’ve been up to is putting away what I purchased at the Quilt Fair (where I probably caught that nasty virus), I’ve cleaned up more in my room, started sorting through what I’m going to sell, and attended my first Jo Morton Little Women Club meeting at 3 Dudes Quilting.

Let me share the funny about that!

I live very far south of Phoenix and our weather was unbelievably freaky last Wednesday.  Knowing we were in for some heavy rain and I knew I lived at  least an hour away from the shop I left the house at 8:15 so I could get there  when the shop opened at 9:30 to look around — new shop to me. The people and instructor in the class were SO friendly and it was obvious that several of them have been quilting together in classes for a long time (some even just got back from a cruise).  They made me feel like one of them. The instructor put the first “block” of the quilt on the board and I knew immediately something was off.  While she kept talking about how she chose her colors and about the finer points of making the block I pulled my phone out and looked up the flyer online and duh, I was in the wrong class!  LOL  I’m such an airhead! LOL  My class didn’t start until 1….not 10!  I quickly packed up said a hasty “oops, I’m in the wrong class” and tried to leave.  They tried to talk me into staying but I told them I had errands to run.  I called Mister when I got in the parking lot and told him what happened and he told me to occupy myself in this part of the state since the weather was so nasty. While I was out I grabbed some lunch and discovered that it was snowing in my part of the state.  It NEVER snows in my part of the state! Anyway, when I went back to class I talked to the instructor, we both got another laugh out of me, and then I settled in for the correct class. I was there all of about 30 minutes getting instruction and then I went fabric shopping.  I guess all clubs start with the same quilt?  Abbygale?  (I’ve since learned from Jo Morton that the instructions are sent to the shops in alphabetical order so most shops just keep them in that order when they give the classes.)  I decided that I wanted to use the opportunity of taking these classes to get myself out of my comfort zone with fabric colors so I’m using Crimson Bouquet and Toasty (that I bought at the Quilt Fair) for my quilt. I think I’m really going to like this group.  It’s a different feel from the other classes I took last year.

Mister and I went to the Arizona Matsuri Saturday.  It was for his Asian Studies course he’s taking for a cultural studies requirement to graduate.  It was so nice.  I could have stayed and listened to the Taiko drummers all day.  We ate there, and I will admit I was nervous about doing so.  I have become an almost OCD hand washer/sanitizer, and I don’t like eating with something a stranger has touched, since being sick.  Anyway, we also went to the Bonsai exhibit.  Mister has said many a time that he wanted to try it, but I think now we’re ready.  We brought back several beautiful Bonsai pottery pieces from Japan and have been using them for regular houseplants and various other decorative pieces, but now we’re going to start using them what they were created for.  I’m excited.  Another new hobby!  😀

After the festival we stopped by Road Runner Sports and I had myself fitted for a new pair of walking shoes.  It’s expensive, but I’d rather pay it out in cash than have trouble with plantar fasciitis like I have in the past.  I tried them out this morning for a short, brisk walk in our 39 degree weather.  I’m planning on walking every weekday morning, then quilting for an hour afterward as a reward.  We’ll see how that goes.

So, that’s where I’ve been!  Hopefully this finds me back blogging again more regularly.

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