Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Goals and a Few Finishes

We had a great Christmas but not the celebration we thought we were having.  Christmas Eve day our son called to tell us his wife had come down with Covid. He wasn't feeling all that great and also worried about the kids.  But the gist of the conversation was they couldn't host Christmas for us or his in-laws.  We all enjoy the opportunity to catch up with everyone while having room for the 17 of us to fit in the house or play in the yard.  Bummer.  Our daughter and her husband came up with a meal at their house really fast.  (Hum, what does it say about me when I'm concerned about the meal?) We were trying to figure out if a 6 lb. turkey breast would feed 7. They came up with a meal before we could figure that out! 

I thought I'd share some of the presents I made and ones I received after I do the normal goals post.  As you can see below I did pretty well on the goals. 


✅Sing at Mall and a private gig — done until mid January

Quilt a small quilt — the back is loaded ... but no sewing done

✅Wrap presents — finished with a day to spare!

✅Attend guild dinner  — Had a wonderful time — so much fun

✅Make more placemats — turned in 6! 

Wash, dry and fold some more fabric — 3 of 4 boxes done and returned, 1 to go

The gals who plan our quilt guild holiday party go all out. It was a beautiful scene and we had a lot of fun. 

So far this week I have been taking things easy. I did think about skipping goals but decided to go ahead and make a list.  I may not get them done but that's ok.


Quilt a small quilt or two 

Clean up several horizontal surfaces in studio 

Pick something fun and easy and make a quilt top

Finish Dec. Clue for Malted Mystery

Relax, read, and have fun 

Since some of the Christmas presents I made have been given away I'm including photos of two of my grands in their presents.  Remember the goals to embroider two sweatshirts?  Several months ago Urban Threads had a sale on some designs just right for sweatshirts.  I sent emails to both grands and asked them to pick the design they would like.  Sophie, the oldest, picked out several and asked me to surprise them.  Argh! How to make that decision as they were very different. I finally chose the first one listed. And, luckily they really liked it -- thought it was cool.  (I liked it because it had only 4 thread colors and only 4 thread changes. Yipee!) 

Natalie chose one after some prodding from her mom.  And, evidently totally forgot about it. (She mentioned that to me Christmas Day which was nice that it was a surprise.) Unfortunately I bought the wrong size sweatshirt and didn't realize it until after I'd embroidered it.  That went to my good friend's granddaughter who was tickled to get it.  This design used 8 colors and 11 color changes.  What was neat about both of them is I didn't have to buy any threads -- I used what I have. 

It's been quite a while since I last did any embroidery.  There was a learning curve to remember (or look up) how to do things but I think there might be some more embroidering in my future. 

Hubby got me two great Christmas presents.  One was a new sweatshirt. I relate to this pile of books.  Needless to say it hit the wash and I started wearing it right away.  

My other present hubby made for me after I sent him the idea.  Have you been using wooden blocks to help make your blocks/seams lie flatter?  I had the opportunity to use some at two of the retreats this year and decided I liked the bigger size rather than smaller ones.  I heard a lot of cutting, sanding and such from his workshop but didn't know what he was working on although I was hoping. I was really happy to see this 10" block. If you don't know about using wood blocks they started out in tailoring as clampers.  Someone decided it might work well to make quilt seams lie flat and they were right.  I always use steam with my iron as it doesn't seem to do well without it. Now I steam my units and/or my finished block and pop this wood block on it. It seems to pull out the heat and moisture leaving a very flat seam. 

I used this while working on some Happy Blocks and some of the blocks for Malted Mystery.  I was very happy with the results.  I chose a 10" block because I have the 9" (fin) Accuquilt Cube so I tend to make a lot of 9.5" unfinished blocks. 

Part of what's left of this week I need to decide on which UFOs I'll put on the APQ 2024 challenge. I might also list the quilts and other items I've finished this year.  I have decided I'm going back to keeping fabric usage and purchases again.  I've done it for many years and for some reason decided I didn't want to this year.  I wish I had so I'm going back to keeping that info. I'm not sure what new projects I'll start but might I admit to having a dresser drawer full of fabric and some patterns I pulled to use together.  I need to stop pulling and start using that fabric.  I keep planning quilts but haven't work on new ones since before October.  I also plan to participate in the 15 minutes of sewing every day at Life in Pieces. Although I do tend to sew every day, I am going to include time spent cutting fabrics, or cleaning up the cutting table and the like.  It all goes into the mix and counts toward sewing time. 

That's enough for today.  Here's some different blogs that I'll be linking with.  

Midweek Makers

Wednesday Wait Loss

Im hoping to spend some time surfing the Internet.  I really don't need more ideas, but it is fun to see what is going on with quilters around the world. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas

 Here's wishing everyone a 

Merry Christmas. 

These reindeer looked cute at the Mall last week.  But, I bet the real reindeer are relaxing after their long journey yesterday!

I'll be back tomorrow (or maybe Wednesday) with my normal post.  In the meantime I'm getting ready to go to a Christmas Day that is different than planned but it's going to be fun for sure.

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Monday Meandering 12 - 18 - 2023

Have you checked out a book today with a two week check out period?  I haven't yet but I know what the due date will be: Jan 1, 2024.  Yes, we are 2 weeks from next year!  That doesn't mean I am completely ready for Christmas, a week away; but I think my plans will get me to the big day with little problems. Let's go straight to the goals lists.  First last week's list. 


✅Quilt and bind small quilt — no binding yet.

✅Sing with carol group - done. 

✅Quilt customer top - done and returned. 

Finish ornament(s?) — I stitched a little on the one left to finish.

✅Wash, dry and fold some fabric — several batches were done but I agreed to take two more boxes. And returned a box. 

✅Make more placemats — at least 2 were done.

Make more happy blocks — oops. Didn’t get anymore done.

Not a bad week. Mostly this week was spent quilting.  First up was finishing up one of my small quilts.  It's pretty wild.  

I don't remember where I got this fabric from. I think it must be from a group of fabrics I purchased used from a quilter.  I think I used a built in stipple to quilt it. As soon as it was off the frame I put on Nancy's quilt. 

She made one similar to this one using some of the same fabrics with the cute alphabet.  She chose Squiggle Wiggle for the quilting design.  It adds to the fun of the animals.  I forgot to take a pic of the full quilt.  If I'm lucky she'll bring it to the quilt guild meeting this week so I'll get a picture of the finished quilt. 

Next up are pics of some of the placemats I've made recently. These will be turned in at the meeting also. First up is one I made from a new pattern -- Easy Mitered Placemats by Karen Montgomery of The Quilt Company. It worked really well and is easy so more will be coming. (There is a specific ruler to make it really easy but I was able to figure it out using my Olfa ruler.) 

And I finally made the companion to the snowman mat shown here. Here's the penguin.  Darn he is cute.  Maybe I should make two for my youngest grands? 

And, now, here's what I hope to do this week. (Some I better do or they won't be ready for gifting next Monday!)


Sing at Mall and a private gig Friday

Make more placemats

Attend guild dinner 

Wrap presents 

Wash, dry and fold some more fabric

Quilt a small quilt 

Yep, a smaller group of Spotsylvanians are still singing this week.  Much of the music will come from our show but we'll also being doing some sing alongs at each gig. 

I'm still trying to get more of my own tops done. I went wild buying fabric in November so it's time to use it.  Most likely I can get a small one done but preparing for Christmas comes first. I've been so focused on getting things done in my studio I haven't been reading quite as much.  Yep, I'm still getting a half hour in every day though.  I've read 608 days in a row according to my Kindle. And, wait there's more! I've read every week for 282 weeks! Let's see what that is in years? It's 5.4 years. Yep, I am a dedicated reader! 

Here are the Linky parties links. Go check them out!  

Oh Scrap

Stitching Stuff at Life in Pieces

Design Wall Monday

Sew and Tell

I'll be surfing the Web a bit over the next few days.  But Christmas prep has to take priority. And, I've been thinking about what I'll be doing in 2024.  I know I'm going to try the 15 Minutes Stitching every day. I'm debating whether I'll continue the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I enjoy making the blocks especially if I pick an easy one. I'll be thinking about what else I want to do during 2024.  What are you planning on doing? 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 


Monday, December 11, 2023

Monday Meanderings 12 - 11 - 2023

What a week!  I normally write my blog Sunday evenings although I date it with Monday's date. Today I'm way behind and it's nearly noon 5:00 pm on Monday as I type.  It was concert weekend.  Set up and tech rehearsal was Friday night. We dragged in nearly 6 hours after we left the house. Pat and I generally help with getting equipment from our rehearsal location to our concert space.  That amounts to a lot of the extra time. Rehearsal went well. We tried to rest up on Saturday and Sunday to save energy for the concert.  I can now show you one of the things I've been working on in secret. (I know, you wouldn't have told anyone.) 

The surprise act for the show was "Sister Act" from White Christmas, the 1954 holiday movie starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen.  The set up in the movie was Bing and Danny took the place of sisters Rosemary and Vera-Ellen for one show. (I forget why the girls couldn't go on.) Here's a link to their version. And, here's the link to Bing and Danny's version. 

I was asked to make some aprons that could stand in as dresses.  I hit my back closet and happened to have some slinky turquoise fabric. (Best part is I picked it up at the guild's free table!) I realized the slinky fabric would just fall straight down. So the closet coughed up a decent piece of netting that I could put under the aprons. After a full day of sewing I had two of these done.

Our director was able to borrow some feather fans. One of the wives found some outrageous hats at a thrift shop. Voila! Here's one of our "Sisters." 

And how about seeing both of them? 

And a candid of a group of sopranos.  I'm the one with the silver hair....

I imagine parts of the show will show up on Facebook and YouTube eventually --  Look for Spotsylvanians 2023 Concert.  

Moving right along -- Here's last week's goals. 

✅Bind Christmas present - done!  
✅Sew on ornaments ✅✅3 of 4 are done…Wow!
Make more placemats — didn’t do anything on this. 
Quilt small quilt — the backing is loaded, the batting is seamed, next load top & quilt.
✅Wash, dry and fold some fabrics — 1 box done; 1 to go (see pictures below).
✅Concert Weekend: Fri rehearsal,  Sat nite and  Sunday afternoon show 

Yea, except not a lot of sewing got done. I've got a lot going this week too although most of it isn't really time consuming. Here's this week's list... 


Quilt and, maybe, bind small quilt 

Sing with carol group

Quilt customer top

Finish last ornament 

Wash, dry, and fold some fabric

Make more placemats

Make more happy blocks 

Regarding those boxes of fabric here's what I've already done. You can't really see the size of the box, but it's generally called a banker's box.

One box of low volume fabric that's been washed and folded. It was fun to see what fabric was in the box.  Most pieces were less than 1 yard or fat quarters.  Surprisingly most pieces had a square cut out of them.  There were a lot of what looked to me to be 30s fabrics.  Many of the fabrics were small animals with a little geometric figure.  Most were blue and cream.  They'll be great as a background. 

My next box is reds and pinks.  Here's what it currently looks like on the guest room bed. 

In the front are the pieces I've already washed and folded.  The background is a jumble of fabric.  I try to open each piece all the way and trim any longer threads hanging off.  I've been throwing in several Color Catchers and Color Grabbers with each load.  Before throwing the washed fabrics in the drier the loose threads get trimmed again.  I'm trying to prevent a lot of extra wrinkles.  After drying I try to get the warm fabric smoothed out on the counter so I can fold it once it is cooler.  

It'll be fun to see what charity quilts we can make with all of this new-to-us fabric. 

If you're doing presents this Christmas are you ready?  We have been making donations in the name of some family members and asking the same in return. But we still give our kids and grands presents.  I'm slowly finding gifts and getting them purchased.  Hopefully everything will be in hand by the end of the week. Then there is the wrapping!  Sigh... It's time to get back to work on present finding. 

I'm linking up with the following Linky parties this week. Hope you have time to check some of the blogs out.  

I'm hoping I get a lot more stitching time this week. 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

December Mysteries, Sew Alongs, and Small Projects

Mysteries and Sew Alongs are being announced for 2024.  First up is Merry Mayhem’s New Year’s Day Mystery called Twist and Shout.  Fabric requirements and some cutting info is out now. There are sizes from crib to queen.  Plan to stop back at the the same page on 12/25 but before Jan 1, 2024 to get further directions. Clues will be released for making the quilt on the first of Jan.   The directions will be taken down on January 3.

QCNYS (Quilters Consortium of New York State) is offering the 4 & 20 Mystery Quilt. The first clue comes out in January.  You can choose your own rulers or use Studio 180 rulers. $

Starting in January, 2024 is the newest Murder Mystery Quilt “Murder in Greece.”  “This is a monthly subscription club that reads along together and stitches up a quilt to find the clues and solve the mystery.” $$

Here are a few small projects to tempt you. 

Do it Yourself Picture Frame Ornament. The video shows it made with Christmas fabric but I can definitely see it in really bright fabrics or pastels.

Very cute gift bags — they aren’t just for Christmas!

Make your own potholders —

Hanging Kitchen Towel Pattern and Video Tutorial —

How about a cloth jewelry pouch with 8 pockets?

Enjoy checking out these opportunities! 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 


Sunday, December 3, 2023

Monday Meanderings 12 - 4 - 2023

Welcome December! You sure came fast this year! I'm surprised that I feel pretty good about the gifts I'm making this year.  I see the end in site probably by the beginning of next week.  The purchased gifts?  It's panic time! I'm hoping to start in on the purchased gifts soon... if folks will tell me what they want! 

In the meantime I did a good job on my list this week! And there were a few off list items that spoke up and got done. Check out my successes.


✅Quilt Christmas present -- done! Yipee! 

Finish 1 of 4 ornaments (or more!) -- I made process but none are done yet! Yikes!

Quilt one small quilt -- the backing is loaded.

✅Finish Nov. clue for Malted Mystery -- ready for the next clue coming Thursday.

✅Make more maple leaf and basket blocks -- at least one of each were made.

Off List: more placemats; work on costumes -- both done.

I added Off List to remind myself that sometimes I choose to do things off list and sometimes I forget to put items on the list. I made two aprons to be used in a number for the concerts this weekend.

Sharon and I got together on FaceTime for our monthly clue sewing date.  We each succeeded in finishing the October clue.  Come on December clue! (Which probably won't get done until the end of the month.) 

And here's what's going to happen this week.  (Or at least I hope it happens!) 


Bind Christmas present 

Sew on ornaments

Make more placemats

Quilt small quilt 

Wash, dry and fold some fabrics* 

Concert Weekend: Fri night rehearsal, Sat night, and Sunday afternoon shows

* My local quilt guild was given the fabric stashes from 2 ladies.  We received about 10 boxes of fabrics.  Before storing it we are washing, drying and folding it.  I've volunteered to do several of the boxes.  I'm starting with low volume and reds.  My plan is to wash one load a day. My guess is it will take about a week or more to do each box.  It's fun to mentally plan quilts to use the new-to-us fabric. Hopefully we'll be making a lot of wonderful charity quilts with it. 

Hopefully next week I'll be able to get more pictures to share. This week things got done but only the one picture to share. So, it's time to say please check out these Linky parties to see what quilters are doing around the world. 

Oh Scrap!

Stitching Stuff at Life in Pieces

Design Wall Monday

Monday Musing

Here's hoping you are getting all your projects moved forward and enjoying yourself while you sew. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie