Checking In

Well, we have been in Florida now for about six months and in our house for about five, and I am beginning to feel like this is home. I suspect finally getting a washer and dryer helped with that feeling.  It is so nice to do my own laundry again and not have to take it out to the laundromat.

2015-06-03 washer & dryer

here are the new lovelies, happily nestled in their own little niche. And look at what we (‘we’ in this case means Raymond) had to do to vent the dryer! I don’t know how the previous owners did laundry as there was no vent for a dryer anywhere in the garage.  This setup is a little funky looking, but as long as it works I love it.

2015-06-03 washer & dryer2

I happened across a Quilting Arts episode (1210) on Create TV this week and saw two projects that seemed interesting — quick fabric flowers and a scrappy trip around the world block. That same day, I tried making the flower before I forgot how and here is my attempt.  I like it. I can see this being a cute addition to a purse or pillow or even a baby quilt. The one in the clip used ombre fabric and the first one I found was this brown to tan. It still looks like a flower.  It was as easy to make as it looked in the video.

2015-06-12 sample quilting arts flower

And here is the scrappy trip block. The original pattern is on Bonnie Hunter’s website,  I had seen it there but thought making all those little squares looked like a lot of work. Well after seeing the video on Quilting Arts, I found out it is a fun and quick little block to make. I am so tempted to cut up all my fat quarters into strips and start making more of these blocks.

2015-06-13 scrappy trip

Because the blocks are so busy, I think if I used the same color in the center (I decided to go with white) the blocks would have a little bit of order.

Sock it to me

Next, I am pleased to show a finished sock. I have been knitting on this one for over a year!  The yarn is wool, silk and a little nylon. It feels very soft. I started the second one right away but who knows how long it will take to finish!  Don’t you love the color!

2015-06-12 table sock #20

Studio Update

This week, we got a piece of pegboard and some 1″ x 2″s for the legs and frame and Raymond put them together to hold my rulers and rotary cutters. This one is bigger than the last one and I love it.  Here are some shots of the studio showing the new pegboard.

2015-06-12 studio 2

I moved the furniture around again as you can see. 

2015-06-12 studio 3The pegboard as well as the design wall just lean there against the wall. I love that I can move them around without leaving marks on the walls.  The only exception with that will be my next design wall which will be made of insulation sheets covered in flannel. They will be secured to the wall. Maybe next month I will get around to that.
2015-06-12 studio 1

And here is the pegboard with all my rulers arranged on it right by the cutting table.  I love it!  Now I better get in there and sew something.
2015-06-13 pegboard


Still Waiting

Here is the scoop:

  • We sold our house in Chattanooga 26 days ago.
  • We have been in Florida for 24 days.
  • We have 11 days till the closing on the new house (unless Fortune moves the timetable up).

That is pretty much all the news. It occurred to me a couple of days ago that I could have entertained you with reviews of all the restaurants we have eaten at since we have been kitchen-less, but now I am not sure I even remember them all.

I think I am getting use to being back in Florida. I love the weather especially when I see what is happening further north. I forgot how immense the sky is when you don’t have mountains on all sides limiting the view.

Oh, here is a picture of a little quilt I finished in December that I never got around to mentioning. I made it for our friend Sam’s birthday.This wall hanging is in his favorite colors features some Adinkra symbols that I felt were appropriate for him.   If you search up Adinkra online you will find many different sites with more information on these and many more symbols.  In a nutshell:

“Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. They represent concepts or aphorisms, and are extensively used in fabrics, pottery, logos and advertising.  The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment.”


These particular symbols represent Supremacy of God, Justice, Leadership and Wisdom which fit Sam perfectly.

That’s all for now. Happy Day!


The Waiting Game

So we have been in Florida now for 12 days. We found a house that we want to buy, made an offer that was accepted, and got the financing process started. Today was the home inspection, and although it turned up some little things that will eventually need repaired, there were no big surprises  that might persuade us to look for a different house.

I think we have filled out and signed every piece of paper necessary to buy this house untill the actual closing, which leaves us waiting while the paperwork  is shuffled from one desk to another.  That gives me a lot of time to think about arranging furniture and what new items might need to be acquired.

I took this picture of the outside of the house a couple of days ago.

2015-01-16 new house 01b front

When you walk in the front door you see this lovely living room with hardwood flooring, and right through the big sliding window to the screen room in back of the house and into the back yard. This big room, which is 16′ x 17′ is going to be my new sewing room.

2015-01-17 05

I am having a great time imagining how I will fit all my tables, shelves and fabric in here, and I am sure it will be a great place to play.

There is a nice sized family room which will be our TV room as well as a dining room, kitchen, four bedrooms and two bathrooms.  When we walked in the door we could feel the great energy in this place and knew it was for us.

The closing on the house is tentatively set for February 18th which seems like a hundred years from now, but hopefully things will go more quickly.  Cross you fingers for us. I am starting to really miss my sewing machine.

Bathroom Decor, Birthday Present, Living Room Decor and Quilting

BATHROOM DECOR: Raymond was in the middle of painting the hall bathroom when I decided to move the guest room and the sewing room, so in the flurry of switching around the two rooms, I never got around to mentioning about the painting.  Originally that bathroom was painted a very dark avocado green, walls and ceiling alike, which made it a very dark room.

I love green and consider green to be a neutral color because it goes with everything, so avocado was fine for a while.  Nonetheless, I have always had a love/hate thing going with avocado. When my mother re-did her kitchen and dining room she did everything in avocado.  All the appliances and the floor were avocado. The curtains on the windows were too. It was very fashionable at the time, but it was a lot of avocado day after day, year after year. So, I knew it wouldn’t be long before we painted that bathroom.

Over our years together, we have amassed a wide assortment of towels in various shades of blue, lavender, green and rose.  Shortly after we moved in, we found a nice shelf thingy to go above the toilet to hold the towels and look pretty nice.  And this room was perfect for all the angels and cherubs I made in ceramics in Florida.  It even has room for the three little angel pictures I got a hundred years ago at Wacama Pottery in Illinois.  You can see one angel peeking above the shower curtain.  One of these days, I will try to get pics of the others. It’s hard to take good pictures in there.  Besides the fact that it is a long narrow room, if the bathroom light is on, the colors in the picture are too light, if the bathroom light is off, the colors are too dark. I took the picture below by standing across the hall in the guest bedroom so the doorway blocked the light fixture.

After much consideration, I decided the bathroom would look better in lavender, so we got some paint and he got right to work (what a sweetie he is).  We got white paint for the ceiling, which made a big difference all by itself.  I picked out what I thought was between a light and a medium lavender.  When it first was on the wall, I was worried that it was too dark, but now I think it is perfect.

A couple days ago, we went shopping for a new shower curtain and eventually settled on one at Bed Bath and Beyond.  It has rose and lavender flowers and some green leaves and stems on a translucent white background that looks a little like mulberry or parchment paper.  Yesterday, we got a toilet seat cover and rug in a dark purple. I think that touch of grape sets off the room nicely.  So here is a picture of our hall bathroom all fixed up:

2009-07-18 bathroom

The new wall color, the towels, the angels, the shower curtain and the rug all look good together.  It looks like a whole different room to me.

The counter top went really well with the old green paint — it looks kind of orange in this picture, but it is actually an ugly guacamole greenish color.  We are planning on replacing it eventually, once we decide on what will look best.  Until then, I am pretending that It looks OK.

BIRTHDAY PRESENT: Raymond decided what he wanted this year for his birthday – another TV!  I figured why make him wait until September if he knows the one he wants.  After some research, he decided on this one:

2009-07-18 tv 2

The one on the bottom is the new one.  It is 42″ and will be mounted on the wall once he finds the right wall holder thingy for it.  He is very happy with it.  I am happy that he is happy.

The one on the wall has moved to the master bedroom.  It is 30″.  I will post pictures as soon as he gets them completely arranged in their new homes.

LIVING ROOM DECOR:  The TV that was in the master bedroom was in a big armoire that goes with the bedroom furniture.  The TV that got moved out of the bedroom is awaiting a new owner.

Since the new (to the bedroom anyway) TV is going on the wall, that armoire is not needed anymore.  I had linens in it’s drawers, but there is room for them in other drawers in the room. So, we moved it to the living room!  It is now my ‘supply cabinet.’  I think it looks much better next to my computer than that stack of plastic drawers it replaced.  And it has lots of room in it, so I may be able to clear off my computer desk.  That will make the whole room look neater and better.  Here is what it looks like now:

2009-07-18 living room

I moved the plastic drawer cart into the sewing room where it will become home to crafty stuff.

QUILTING:  So that I could measure the full width of the pick-and-choose quilt top, I had the brilliant idea to put my two little tables together end to end, making a narrow table long enough to lay the whole quilt across.  I think this allows a more accurate measure than my only other option which would have been to lay it on the floor in the living room.  Besides the awkwardness of crawling around trying to measure the quilt on the floor,  there would have been the added challenge of trying to keep the cats off and out from under the quilt while I was measuring.  So, I thought I would show you a picture of the long table with the quilt on it:

2009-07-18 pick and chooseI love how versatile this sewing room is.  In this picture, you can almost see that I have two of the first border strips attached on opposite ends.  Well, you can see the border on the closest end.  Today, I should get the other two sides on and maybe the second borders as well.  Then it will be just a matter of quilting this giant thing.  I have the binding strip already assembled.

Today, my grandson Joey is 12 years old.  Happy Birthday Joey!

Sorry for the long post.  Thanks for taking the time to read through it all.  Until next time . . .

Home Sweet Home

This post, like the last one is slightly belated. Well, this one is even more belated. Right after we moved to this house, my wonderful sister sent us a jigsaw puzzle made from a map of our area with our address exactly in the middle. It is such a clever idea. We put the puzzle together pretty quickly – Raymond did more of it than I did – and then it sat arould for months while we got around to framing it. Here it is:


It hangs at the top of the stairs from the front door. We hilighted the center piece which is shaped like a house so it would show up more clearly. Isn’t that the cutest thing!

Playing With Fabric Again

I started a  new project this week. I think it will be a wall hanging in the middle bedroom. A couple months ago, I found a red paisley duvet set that I liked at a Tuesday Morning store. I liked it so much that I went back and got a second one so I could cut it up for table cloths and various fabric decorations. There is a dark and a light red along with two shades of a  salmonish pink and a tan. Seems like an odd combination, but they look pretty good together. And I have always love paisley designs anyway.

This pattern has many different kinds of loops and curves.  There are two night tables in that room, and the first thing I did was cut up some of the second duvet and make a couple of simple quilted covers for them. They go over the top and hang a bit down the sides. I quilted a crisscross of straight lines on them.

Then I made a matching cover for a body pillow. I thought it was pretty clever to use the edge of the duvet with the buttons so that I didn’t have to fiddle with making a closure. Those were pretty simple projects and actually took longer to cut out than to sew.


Since there was still a lot of fabric left over, I thought about making a little quilt for the wall in that room.  I don’t remember if I read about this block in a book or on someone’s blog, but it is a simple four-patch that ends up looking kind of like a kaleidoscope block.

I cut four pieces of fabric and layered them to align the paisley pattern. Then I cut strips and sub-cut them into squares. I used the width of my ruler to determine the size of the squares, so they are all 5 inches square.

The next step is to lay them out and arrange them so that the same corner meets in the middle. There is some fiddling around to find the best arrangement, but that is the fun part. Each set of blocks has four different possible combinations. Then you sew the four patches together to make a single block that is about 9 1/2 inches. Because each stack of four is cut out of a different part of the pattern on the fabric, they end up making unique blocks that look quite complex. Here are some of the blocks on my design wall:


Isn’t it interesting how different each one is?

I think I cut up enough to make 24 blocks and have almost all of them sewn together and up on the design wall. I will probably pick out the best 20 and make a quiltlet 4 blocks by 5 blocks. I will probably sash the blocks with a dark red fabric that I have, then a narrow tanish inside border with a wider outside border made from the paisley fabric. I think that would look good on the wall over the bed.

There is still a lot of the duvet fabric left. I might just make a valance for the window in there. What a co-ordinated room that will be! Maybe one day we will even get a headboard for the bed!


Napkins I finished these the other day. They are about 16.5″ square and are made of two pieces of fabric. The gradation fabric is the same on all of them and folds over to the print side to make a little hem. I saw something similar to this done on a Sewing With Nancy show a while back and made them as best as I can remember.

I am still planning the oven mits. I saw an old Simply Quilts on Seminole piecing and am thinking of making a Seminole stripped piece to go across the back of the mits. That might be fun, but I need to plan it out some before I try it.