Tuesday, December 27, 2011

All the candles were lit.

This was the last night to light the Chanukah candles. Aren't they pretty?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Time to watch my Dresden Plate

Look what the Hubs found:

I can hear you saying:  "So what?  It's an old watch.  Big deal!"  Well, it happens to be a big deal.  His Royal Hubserooni has a thing on wind-up watches, and looks for them wherever he goes.  We know they are out there because that's what we used before battery-operated watches.  You'd think they'd be all over the place.  Nope, they're  not.  So, anyhow, he ordered a bunch of watches from Ebay, and this ladies' watch was in the pile.  And it's a wind-up watch and it fits my small wrist.  Every morning I wind it, and then it keeps perfect time all day long.  I rather like it as a retro-watch.  I really want a new, snazzy one, but this one makes me smile at the moment, so I'll use it until I find the perfect watch.

And what are we watching?  OK, looking at?  This!

My first Dresden Plate quilt.  Appliqued by moi, and hand-quilted also by moi.  Not quilted in the ordinary way that hand quilters quilt, just in my method, which is probably wrong, but it worked for me.  I think I might have quilted it a bit too closely, but it's all a learning experience for me.  After many struggles with trying to pull through a knot, and failing and cursing miserably, I played around with one of my old embroidery skills of threading it ahead of my line, taking a tiny back stitch, and then quilting through all the layers.  So, the back is kind of messy, but boy did I learn from it!

I loved the entire process of the hand-work.  I seem to like all the quilting processes with selecting the fabric the most, of course.  I like the machine sewing the least, mostly because straight lines and I don't mix.  I swear I'm going to become a hand patchwork sewer.  Growl.

I truly adored making the Dresden Plate and now want to make many things with it or part of it as the design.  So easy and such fun, and I didn't louse up the machine piecing on it either, which really surprised me.  I backed it with a solid fabric.  Not a good idea because you can see my messy white thread stitches on that deep teal background.  Ick.  Next time I use a print for the back side.  The other thing I did which I won't do again is apply the binding to each side rather than go around the piece.  It was fast, but I made really messes on the back with trying to get the pieces to go together without raw edges showing.  I'll do the regular double binding the next time.  And I really really like to do the hand binding part.  And I think binding clips are fun and adorable.

We are having a nice Chanukah.  Quiet, just the 2 of us.  Light the candles, say the prayers and sing a song or two.  Miss P has taken to calling me a couple of times every day and she brings me up to date with her presents and such.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Chanukah!

First night.  Yep, candles are burning, but you can't see the shames.  That's the candle that lights the other candles.

Said the prayers, sang the songs.  No latkes, however.  We went to Mom's residence's Chanukah party on Sunday and consumed enough tasty fried food for the rest of the year. 

Our menorah was bought a few years ago and depicts an immigrant family setting out for New York. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finished and crinkled!

She's finished!  The little doll quilt for a certain grand is done!  Here's the before the crinkle:

And here she is after a nice tumble in the dryer, crinkly and cute as can be!

I must say that the crinkle effect really hides a lot of messes I made. 

I learned a lot from this quilt. 

  1. When you piece the half-square triangles, it helps to have that seam on top so that you have a prayer of a chance of sewing at the right spot.  Good thing to learn.
  2. Little polka dot binding really ups the adorable factor.
  3. I need to make smaller quilting sts.  This may be impossible for me.  I'm taking a hand quilting class at The City Quilter in February.  Hopefully I can do it and quilt smaller sts and not get my wrists into major ache mode.
  4. I loved doing this, all of it.  From selecting and buying the fabric, cutting, sewing and then all the hand-work, it was such fun to do. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's new?

We went to the NY Botanical Gardens on Sunday to see the train show.  The trains were OK, nothing to write home about, not even worth the wait, BUT the buildings were amazing!  They are fashioned out of twigs, leaves, acorns, etc, etc and are adorable beyond belief.  I half expected to see a little elf or fairy pop out of a door.

You cannot imagine how charming this all is!  It was tons of fun watching the little kids taking pictures and exclaiming over the trains.  Kids like the trains a lot.  Me?   Eh on the trains, but oh, the buildings!

Sewing news:  DD's Fruit Cup quilt is coming along quite nicely.  It's about 1/4 done, and I'm zooming along at odd moments of the day to work on it.  All those nice straight seems.

It certainly isn't a shy quilt at all.  Bright and cheery, and perfect for a dark NY apartment.  The blocks are on my design floor, aka the living room floor, and are just set up to get an idea of size.  Not the final placement.  And of course I'm now thinking of a bunch more quilts to do.  This stuff gets into your head and I obsess about it, even dreaming about it.

Knitting news:  It's time to sign up for the next edition of the Light & Dark Club.  Roxanne is doing the dyeing, and I've finished and blocked the shawl.  Yes, it is a mystery shawl, but I'll give you a teensy sneak peak.

The yarn is a singles, and works up beautifully. My wonderful test knitter, DragonYady, tells me that this is her favorite shawl!  I love it, myself.  I'm not a good blocker mostly because I have no patience, but if you make this, you can block those gentle points very very well.  And then you can reblock my piece.  tee hee.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fruit Cup

Some pics of the Fruit Cup quilt for elder DD taken late today.  It sure is bright and cheery. 

Why didn't anyone tell me that strips were easy to sew?  I'm even getting my seams straight.  Gasp!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dear Jane

If you would like to see some Dear Jane quilts, look here.  I figure it'll take me 10 years to do it, and by then I might be dead.  So then, Miss P will have to finish it.  After all, she's my total inspiration for quilting.

Here's the original Dear Jane website.  Go drool on that one!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Whoo hoo!

I got into a Dear Jane class at The City Quilter!  Yes, indeed!  I've been checking their site for days and days, because the classes fill very quickly.  And this one in particular is extremely hard to get into.  I'm so excited I could just jump up and down.  But then my rotten right knee would hurt.  So, I'll be mature and not jump.

I also signed up for a hand-quilting class.  This should be interesting given that I have cranky wrists.  But I'd like to try and anyhow, it's an adventure.

I finally decided on a quilt for elder DD, and started cutting out the pieces.  This is going to take forever.  Good thing I like to do it.

Yippee!  And leftovers for dinner, too.  And the Biggest Loser on TV tonight.  What a day!

scrapperjen - These little blocks finish at 4.5".  Can you just imagine it?  I'm so psyched.  I think I'll learn a ton of information.   

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Get that towel out; you're going to need it.

This post is heavy on drool.  Keep that towel handy as you salivate over my new fabric.  Don't say I didn't warn you, either.

The peachy/rosy/orangy colors.

The green colors.

Put them all together and you get cantelope, cucumber, honeydew, and other assorted sorbet colors.  What I did not show you is the soft off-white polka dot on soft off-white.  Figured it wouldn't show up well.  BTW, the colors are softer than what my camera is showing.  It really is pretty.

 Elder DD wants a quilt!  And not in black or gray or neutrals!  Whoopie!  The New Yorker likes color!  I always knew she was a classy dame!

So what to make with it all?  I have tons of fabric here, although I think I'll need more of that off-white.  Easy enough to get. Rail block with that off-white as one of the strips?  Some sort of diagonal strippy thing?  I have no idea.  Clearly it'll need white to keep it under control.  Otherwise it'll tend to look like the great pumpkin, only with more peachy tones. 

More sewing stuff:  here are the 2 doll quilts now at the hand quilting part.  I'm not terribly good at this.  Can't do the hand under the quilt thing because it hurts my hands.  So I slowly do a running stitch.  It's quite pleasant to do, although I have learned never to quilt through seam allowances unless I have to.  So far I can't seem to get more than 10-11 sts/inch, although going down to a size 9 between is helping.  Well, so it goes.  I'm certainly never going to enter anything in a competition.  I'm just doing this for the fun of it.

I started another doll quilt, also.  This is from a Schnibbles pattern, only I'm going to make it smaller for a doll.  I'm learning how to make flying geese.  Ack.  What a mess it is, except that I seem to be able to fudge it well.  Just don't look on the wrong side.  Next time, I'll really spray with more starch!

I have another row of geese to sew, and then add all the cute sashing in-between, etc, etc.

Here's my take on quilting:  I love picking out the fabrics and looking for patterns. I actually like some of the cutting out very much.  I love arranging the blocks, and then hand-quilting them.  The machine sewing part is OK; not my greatest love, mostly because I'm so totally inaccurate.  And basting the layers together is not grand fun, although on these little pieces, it's kind of pleasant.

I was chatting with the shop owner about how much I'm loving this craft even with my crummy cutting and sewing,  and she told me that she can barely knit.  So there you have it:  Different skills and some of us are great at one thing, and others of us excel at other things.  It's a challenge to step out of your comfort zone, and it keeps the brain alive.  Plus all those colors!  What can I say?  It's all about the color!

Knitting?  I'm working on the next shawl of the Light & Dark Lace Club.  I had this gorgeous border planned, but I know I won't have enough yarn, so I'll put the pattern aside for another shawl, and come up with a cute little guy.  Can't show you pics, BUT I can finally show you Arachne's Delight, the current shawl in progress.  I had the best time knitting it, and don't you love that adorable border? 

Arachne's Delight will go up for sale in Feb.

And that's enough of my blather.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New pattern

Here's the August selection for the Light & Dark Lace Club: Wandering. This is a charming scarf with lots of patterns and a border that is not never-ending. A bit of neat shaping, and some cute knitting tricks, but basically not very difficult to knit at all. And the bonus is that you get pretty patterns that you can use elsewhere!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Menu change

I just found a crock pot recipe for potatoes and fennel. Takes about 3 hours on high. My crocks cook very quickly, so I estimate about 2-2.5 hours. I can do that and not worry about the oven. Yes, indeed.

Scrabblequeen - The potatoes and fennel were pretty bad. Not disgusting, just not good. We tossed the leftovers, and we never toss leftovers. Nice try, but no cigar.

Happy Thanksgiving.

A day early, but hey, tomorrow I'll be too busy to blog.

Just a small intimate turkey day with best friends and eldest DD and the Hubs and me. Perfect. Easy? No. Still gotta do all the cooking, but compared to the big crowds I used to have, 5 people is a piece of cake. I don't have to cut up veggies ad infinitum, or make any recipe in quadruplicate. Sometimes I miss the family crowd, but given that I did 99% of the work, I don't miss the exhaustion any more. I can sit down and eat happily with everybody, they all arrive on time, they help out. What could be better.

The menu?

Cheese and crackers and veggies for starters.

Turkey, stuffing, cranberries, brussel sprouts (a new recipe this year. I got so tired of haricoats verts.), sweet potatoes with pineapple, roasted red-skinned potatoes, pickles, olives, all the other stuff.

Dessert? Whatever Judy is bringing, plus we bought (gasp!) an apple pie from Trader Joe's, and I will probably make some meringue kisses. Coffee, tea, the usual.

BTW, Trader Joe's apple pie is wonderful.

And that's it. Lots of stuff, but pretty simple. All checked out to not mes with Judy's allergies. Relatively low sodium and low cholesterol for those of us at that stage of life. Probably not too too caloric. OK, caloric, but it could be a lot worse. We never did the green bean casserole, mostly because it's dairy and doesn't fit in with a kosher meal. I think I'll cook up the sprouts, halve them, and then mix them up with sauteed and browned onions. Or something like that. The sweets? Cut up, mixed with some pineapple tidbits, and baked. Regular potatoes? Roasted with rosemary and garlic, just cause we all love them.

Any how, you get the picture, and I'm off to the icky part of the day's work: Putting away all the sewing stuff that lives on the dining room table.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, be grateful for what you have, and don't eat too, too much. And stay away from the malls on Black Friday.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


All of a sudden, I have pics to show you.  Moms of grands who are getting Chanukah presents from me, do NOT show your kids.  Or else!  I'm the Gram; I rule.

A pink and white doll quilt for one of the grands.  Moms, you know which grand I mean.  Don't show it to her.

As you can see, it is in progress.  I'm attempting to hand-quilt it.  I have to tell you that half-square triangles are really hard for me, with my wonky cutting and sewing.  I did trim the blocks a bit, and starched the fabric, and that helped a lot.  I think that doing these things in miniature is a lot harder than in full size.  But what do I know?  I'm so new at this that I have very little sense of what is hard and what is easy.  It's all difficult for me.  So?  I like doing it.

A Dresden Plate quilt for the other grand.  You know who she is, too.  The one who is totally done with pink.

Ignore the bad picture-taking.  The light was weird this morning.  I've sewn down the circle, and am now appliqueing the blades.  Then, I'll make my quilt sandwich with batting and some neat backing.  And then, I'll hand quilt.

Knitting news:  Yesterday I blocked the second Petticoat Shawl.  I am not happy with the edging on the first one; but I really don't want to redo it.  It's find for me to wear.  But in this shawl, I made sure I did that center point correctly.  So, now I'm writing up the instructions and will send out to a tester.  When we have it in good order, then I'll sell project packages for it.

Here's the original Petticoat Shawl. I love the color combination, but as you can see, that center spot is not wonderful. I'll wear it anyhow.

And that's the story, Morning Glory.  Off to actually sew a doll outfit.  It's been ages since I was motivated, so I have to grab the moment while I can.

Wall-to-wall books - It was very pleasant to knit, even twice.  I think I have to explore this kind of shawl more.  It's not as lacy as most of mine, but lacy enough and does give a bit of warmth.

scrapperjen - Thanks.

knitting kitty - Hang in there. I've charted only a bit of it. I need an 8-day week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Feast your eyes on this, oh great quilters!  I actually made a Dresden Plate.  Whew. What a relief.  I may do nothing but DPs from now on.

Even the ugly colors don't look too too bad here.  Now onto doing some cute ones for a doll quilt.  I'm thinking that for the little quilt, I might want to make them a bit smaller, maybe from 4" squares.  I don't know.  I can practice on more of these charms.

Now to set it onto a block and sew it down.  What do you think?  I haven't the foggiest idea on how to put in the batting and backing.  All at once?  Gah.  Knitting is so much easier, but I did it.  Happy Dance around the house.

CarolynJean - They're growing on me.  My mother likes olives and browns.  Maybe I'll put it on a creamy piece of fabric.

beebee   - I think it'll become an addiction!

Wall-to-wall books - It's actually much much prettier in real life.  I think I'll keep it and make a little wall hanging out of it.  Or something.

Grace - Thanks.  I do too.  ;-)

2nd post today!

It's either feast or famine here.  So, here's a thought about quilting.

I need a group of newbies who can't sew straight seams or cut perfectly.  My eyes simply don't see the wonkiness until I try to put things together.  That's what turned me off from sewing way back when.  I can thread a needle without magnification or a needle threader.  I can embroider very well.  I can knit very very well.  But I cannot sew.  Please tell me why!

Are there any crummy sewers out there who want to form a support group?  Our motto can be:  "Piffle upon experts.  We revel in our clumsiness."  Am I the only one in the world who has trouble with this?  And I really want to be good at it.  Hah!

Good Grief!

I've been gone so long I practically forgot how to blog.  I'm fine, just haven't been in the mood for my scribbles.

Knitting news:  All secret.  Yawn for you, but I'm loving it.

Mommie news:  She turned 97 on Nov. 4.  She's in remarkably good shape for such an old lady.  She's very fuzzy until after she eats, and then the brain totally kicks in.

Kiddle news:  Elder DD turned 41, SDD turned 40 and so did her hubs.  The grands had no birthdays.  They are, of course, more fun than you can imagine.

Sewing news:  I've lost my doll-sewing mojo, but I think it might come back.  I pieced a doll quilt for one of the grands and am attempting to hand quilt it with pretty decent results (for me.  not for the rest of the quilting world.)  No pics because it is a gift for someone, and I don't want the little twerp-ette to see it yet.  So, mom of kid, do NOT show her this post.

I started a disappearing 9 patch for another doll quilt and I really hate it.  I'm not going to finish it.  So there.  I think that these little patchwork pieces are much harder than those with larger blocks.  My wonky cutting and sewing shows up much more on them.  Still, I like playing with them.  It's just that this particular project is ugly.  Sometimes ugly happens.

So, today I'm stitching a Dresden Plate made from charm squares, and if I like it, I'll do one a bit smaller for the next doll quilt.  I'm doing it in some batiks I bought from ConnectingThreads.  I'm not fond of them; most are way too muddy for my liking, but they were soooo cheap, and I added them to another order.  Perfect for experimentation, I think.

So that's it.  Boring, no?  And that's why I haven't blogged. 

Thanks all for any comments you've sent since the last post.  No answer 'cause I lost my blogging mojo.  Maybe now it'll come back!

And what's new with all of you?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Snowball Rail Fence. Quilt-As-You-Go quilt

I started a class last week Tues at The City Quilter in New York.  This one is a Snowball Rail Fence, and it is constructed as a quilt-As-You-Go quilt.  I'm having such fun with it.  I can make my mismatched seams and wonky lines, and it looks adorable.  Clearly I'm not meant to be a traditional quilter.  I'm too innacurate for that, but I have mastered wonky.  Not by choice, but because that's the way I sew.  So here's a pic of what I have so far.  I don't think it will be much larger since it's meant to be a little wall hanging.

Those turquoise corners turn the square into a snowball.  Neat, huh?  Yep, all you experience quilters, I know.  This is not brain surgery type of quilting, but it suits me just fine.  There will be a little bit of that turq fabric put in where the blocks come together.  Cute and fun as can be.

Here's another layout:

I'm using all batiks.  I just love them to pieces, literally.  And the colors are glorious.

So which do you like better?  I'm leaning toward the top layout.  I did try alternating vertical and horizontal blocks, but it looked too mish-mash for me.  If you look at each block, you'll see that none of my stripes are the same width.  This was actually done on purpose.  I decided to embrace wonky-ness.  Also, some of them are on a bit of an angle.  That was also done on purpose.  OK, I lied.  That's the way I sew, but I've also embraced that bit of off centered stuff, and I like it.

Am I ever going to be an ace quilter?  Are you kidding?  But I'm having the time of my life with this.  Elder DD already wants a real quilt made this way.  For that, I'd make the blocks bigger.  She'll have to pick out fabric with me.  It's a tough life, but someone has to make these decisions.  And then I thought I could make place mats using this strip method.  A busy print on the other side (these things are reversible), which would hide the Hub's food messes (evil laugh here), and an assortment of something or other on the front side.  Again, I'll have to make the sacrifice of buying more fabric, but I'm tough and can handle that.

Knitting is proceeding apace.  I made an idiotic mistake on the charting for Arachne's Delight (see previous post), but I think I fixed it.  DragonYady, the poor soul, gets to test knit it, so keep your fingers crossed that I've repaired my goof.

Otherwise, I'm making socks for me.  Nothing exciting, in fact I'm using some of my patterns which are on Ravelry.  I like the patterns, haven't knit anything beyond basketweave in many months, so I'm happy to repeat some of what I've already done.   Pics?  Boring.  They are just cute socks.

Sharon - I wonk; therefor I am, I guess.  I think wonk comes naturally to me, precision is totally not me.
 Henya - It's not particularly difficult, the problem lies in my inability to both cut straight lines and sew a straight seam.  So, to compensate for that, I've decided that wonky quilts will be my forte.  If you can't beat 'em, you might as well join 'em.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Light and Dark Lace Club - October is here

It's time to sign up for the October shipment of the Light and Dark Lace Club!  This month, we're using real lace yarn as a change from the fingering yarns we've been knitting.  Here are the colorways:

In order from left to right:  Hot Chocolate, Woods Edge, Moody Blues, Bodacious, Roasted Pepper, and Toffee.

The yarn is Lili Lace yarn.  100% SW merino, 2 ply and slightly heavier than regular lace yarn.  850+ yards of lacy goodness.  It knits up so beautifully, you get all these lovely lacy holes, and it's a joy to work with.  Because it's superwash, it loves dye.  Hand wash even though it's superwash.

If you are new to lace weight yarn, this is a great way to get your feet wet.  If you are an old hand at lace, you'll love this weight.

The mystery pattern is called Arachne's Delight, and it's as airy as can be.  Three lovely patterns, the first one being rather sneaky.  A less sneaky pattern for the second one, and the border (aka the NEB - the never-ending border) is such fun to work.

Price for the package is $35 + shipping.  I mail out first class, both domestic and international.  I have a lot of yarn, so you can purchase whatever you wish.  If you buy more than one skein, I'll refund you the extra pattern cost.

Questions?  Ask me here or in our Ravelry Group:  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/light--dark-lace-club

Where to purchase?  http://fritzl.etsy.com

Do the Day - Steam is my best friend! Got a pic?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lacy Angles is here.

Do you  need a lacy little shawl to keep your shoulders warm and to look elegant and lovely?  Look no farther than here.  Presenting Lacy Angles Shawl, a shawl of slanted stitches.  A mere $6, and you can knit it too.

And she's now available for purchase.  This was the June selection for the Light & Dark Lace Club, and I've released it on Ravelry.  Yay, Ravelry.  I love Rav to pieces.

Lacy Angles is knit top down with a center and a wing on either side of the center pattern.  The shawl is ended with a NEB (never-ending border), which is fun and finishes the shawl as you knit along.  When you are done with the NEB, all you have to do is weave in the beginning thread and the last stitch.  Block, and then you are done.

It takes one 400 yard skein of fingering weight yarn, size 5 circular needle, tapestry needle, stitch markers.  An intermediate pattern, although a confident beginner could do it too.

Thanks, Henya!
krayolakris - I kept saying it as Angeles. 
 Wall-to-wall books - They're not that difficult.  I've had beginners knit them with great success.  I'm about to post the Oct edition.  Wait until you see that one!  Well, you won't see it 'cause it's a mystery KAL, but you'll get to see the yarns!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shanah Tovah to you and your family!

Or Shana Tova, which ever way you want to spell it.  For non-Jews, a good year to you and yours, also.

Busy, busy.  Gotta make the tejes kolacs, the chicken for tonight, neato meatloaf on a bed of potatoes for tomorrow after synagogue.   Pay bills.  ick, boring.  Stuff.

Sister and niece coming this afternoon.  Elder DD joining us tomorrow.

Totally off topic, but then I've never stayed on topic:  here's what Miss P gave her mom for her birthday.  A spa visit!  Now, you may ask yourselves, how does a 9 year old manage that?  She gave her mom a spa visit at home.  Bubble bath, cucumbers on eyes, foot massage and back massage.  How sweet is that?  What a kid!

Gotta run.  Gotta bake.  Thank goodness, a colleague of the Hubs gave him a challah, so I don't need to bake that.

scrapperjen - She really is a wonderful child.  Very caring, very kind.  And her eyes always dance with mischief and fun.  All the grands are wonderful, each in his/her own way.  She received the latest set of doll clothes and especially loved the ones that I'm most fond of.  Whadda kid!

Scrabblequeen - She is that.  More energy that the other 4 put together, and the brain is constantly going.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Where I like to live.

Right here in what passes for suburban NJ.  Suburban, my foot.  We are still on top of each other, but less so than some neighboring towns.  I'm a city girl, like being somewhere where I can easily get to a train to take me into New York.  I like having neighbors. I like going for a walk and being able to say hi to someone.  I like having shops, banks, drug stores near me.  I like that I could actually take the train to Madison and walk a few blocks to my doctor's office.  I like living somewhere where there are colleges.  We have 3 within 2 miles. I like all that being in the new York metro area offers me.

I'm sort of urban/suburban, i.e. not cheek to jowl as in Brooklyn or Manhattan.  I like having a nice piece of land which we pretty much ignore, not being gardeners.  Our land acts a a buffer between neighbors, but i can still go outside and see my neighbors.  I would be terrified if I lived in the middle of nowhere. 

I love to take the train.  I can go to NYC on an express and be there in 45 minutes.  Weekend, the locals run, so it takes about 70 minutes.  I sit on the train and knit and daydream.  If I've walked miles in the city, I rest on the ride home.  No traffic problems, no crazy drivers, just pure relaxation.  And then, being a couple of blocks from the rr station, I just walk home.  This is my idea of heaven.  Of course I don't commute; I'm retired, and that commute would get old pretty quickly, but in my working days, I did drive the half hour to work.  Can't say that I liked it, but it worked.  Now I have the luxury of taking a train to wherever.  I like taking the train to my local quilt shop, Aardvark Quilts. It's 2 stations beyond me.  8 minutes, and there I am, in downtown Morris Plains, with a quilt shop, good lunch foods, very very pleasant.

In a pinch, I could take the train to Madison (the next town eastbound) and walk to the Stop and Shop, or to downtown.  That much training I don't do, but the option is there.  The other day, when I went to Aardvark, I chatted with a lady who gave up driving. Got sick and tired of it.  She takes the train or bus everywhere.

So where is this all coming from?  I love to read Judy Laquidara's blog.  She's a delight to read.  Good writing, wonderful quilts (I wanna be her when I grow up), loves to cook, tells great husband stories.  She recently moved to Texas and has hair-raising stories of trying to find a house.  She, unlike me, wants to live out in the middle of nowhere.  The last place she would want is to live is in the metro New York area.  Cool, isn't it?  I could never live out in no-where Texas, and I bet she'd tear her hair out if she had to live in northern New Jersey.  (I specify northern NJ because the shore and the Philly areas are just not the same state.  It's pretty neat to live in a state with low mountains (very low), rivers, parks, cities, the ocean.  But I digress.) 

I guess, when all is said and done, it's wonderful to live in a country where there is so much diversity.  Me with urban areas, Judy with total country, and all that's in between.

And now I'm off to watch The Biggest Loser.  Not that I'm heavy.  I could probably lose 3-4 lbs, but I love watching how these amazing people work so hard and end up so amazingly fit.

Jo - Hi, neighbor!  Thanks for reading my blog.

Ria - South Jersey is like a different state.  Totally different, isn't it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh frabjous day

Calloo callay
I chortle in my joy!

I just finished sewing my first non-mini quilt top!  I"m happily chortling in my joy.  I should be cleaning up this mess of a house, but needed a break, so I finished up the top.

Is it perfect?  What, are you kidding?  I'm glad that it all sort of came together and that I mismatched only about 6 points.  Nope, I'm not redoing those points.  It is what it is.  I've given up perfection.

But it's good enough.  Indeed, it's more than good enough.  Needs a bit of better pressing, that's for sure.  And if you look towards the bottom, some of those long rectangular blocks seemed skewed.  I think that's the pressing.  And you can see this horizontal line just toward the bottom, but that's pressing, I'm pretty sure.  Anyhow, when it's quilted, all the quilting will take care of the wonkiness.  Not that I have any idea on how to quilt it.  This much I know:  I'm hand doing it.  Or else sending it out.

There.  See the wonkiness?  Oh, don't look.  Just enjoy the frabjousness of it all.

Happy dance.  Chortling with joy.  Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay!

And now back to the mess.  If I ever get this house straightened up, I'm so NOT ever going to let it get this bad again.

Chortle, chortle, gleeful chortle.

Thanks to Lewis Carroll for Jabberwocky.  'Twas brillig and I sewed a quilt top.

merrilymarylee - I'm still chortling, although now I'm finding a lot more messiness, or wonkieness

Scrabblequeen - Calloo, Callay!  What should I do next?  Decisions!

CarolynJean - It was a "mimsy" moment.

scrapperjen - Thanks.  I saw a d9p done so that you didn't have to match any points at all.  That is now on my to-do list.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Something that I can actually show you:  a brand-new, hot-off-the needles dolls shawl.  A shawl with great possibilities for a people shawl.  People shawls start with the same numbers and then grow and grow.  So a doll shawl is a wonderful place to play.

A mere .6 oz!  Enough left over for a pair of socks for me!  Or another shawl or a sweater or a hat.  Is this not fun?

Embiggen to see it large.

Happy weekend.  It's only drizzling after yesterday's downpour.  Drizzle is good.

CarolynJean - It's a great way to try out patterns.  You never know if one of these little guys is going to grow up to be an adult shawl.

Scrabblequeen - We'll be glad to send you a bit of rain.  We're all pretty waterlogged at the moment.  There are the most amazing fungi springing up in my grass.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Busy me

I have been sewing up a storm of doll clothing and working on my disappearing 9 patch, too.  And knitting a bunch of projects also. 

First of all, the girls:

Ignore the way they are looking up.  They are rolling their eyes at the constant photography, plus Miss Tish on the left looks 3 sheets to the wind the way she is lollying around.  Plus she's showing a bit too much leg.  She really is a shameless hussy.  I'm not thrilled with how her stand up collar top came out.  I have plenty of fabric, so I might make another top.  Or not.

Here are the 2 well-behaved girls.  Notice that they are upright.  Barefoot, of course.  They don't do shoes.

I started a shawl in a matching yarn for the cutie on the left. Did about 1/2 inch so far, but I think it's too open, so I'm switching needles from a 4 to a 3. No pics, because what can you see with a teensy bit of shawl showing? Not much. Different shaping, so it might become a little prototype for an adult shawl.

Also on the knitting needles with no pics because they are boring: 2nd sock for His Royal Hubbo. Men's socks go on forever. Good TV knitting. Working my way on the mitered border of the Modified Cardigan. Took me 4 tries to get the shaping right on the 2nd miter. Just didn't want to sink into my head, I guess. And then, I want to knit me a pair of socks out of this amazing 75/25 SW Falkland merino/nylon I just bought. Great hand. I might actually put in a more compicated pattern than what I've been doing.

And the quilt! Here's a pic of how it's coming along. I rather like it. It's bright and cheery, and not subtle in the least, but I think it would be brilliant to cuddle under such pretty colors in the middle of winter.

 By the way, the shawl behind the girls is my Avira Shawl, pattern available on Ravelry.  I thought the color fit in nicely with the center doll.

And that's the story, Morning Glory.


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